After he saw the Gerry Mulligan birthday post below, Jack Reilly sent the following update on that day at Newport in 1958.
I played after the Mulligan set, with the John LaPorta Quartet: Dick Carter, bass; Charlie Perry; drums; me, piano; and LaPorta, alto sax. Jimmy Giuffre’s new pianoless trio also played that same day, but after our set,
We played 2 of my tunes, DECIDED and SEARCHING, and one of John’s originals, THE MOST MINOR and the standard DARN THAT DREAM. Unfortunately we were left out of the film. However, we went into the recording studios in December, 1958, and recorded the above set of tunes plus 4 more. It was released on Everest Records. You may find the CD reissue on Amazon or in a Japanese record store.
John was an amazing musician, arranger and improvisor and later becameBerklee College of Music’s superstar teacher. His biography, Playing It By Ear, is a good read with lots of insights into the jazz world. There’s a special chapter devoted only to the quartet. John was proud of the quartet as I was for being chosen for the piano chair.
At 26, this was my official debut into the jazz world. I wasn’t nervous at all!!
DIck Carter, blind by age nine, was our harmonic foundation. I’m sure Bill Crow remembers him and his huge, warm, booming bass sound. Charlie Perry was a flawless technician and time-keeper. He cooked like mad!
Maybe Bert Stern has a private video of our set?
The LaPorta album, titled The Most Minor, is on a Fresh Sound CD reissue. Here is one track from it.
John LaPorta was a member of Woody Herman’s First Herd and recorded with Lennie Tristano, Charles Mingus and Helen Merrill. He soloed on clarinet on Herman’s recording of Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto and was jazz soloist for the New York Philharmonic’s 1958 performance of Teo Macero’s Fusion. He died in 2004 at the age of 84.