Jazz Archeology: A New JATP Record

In the Seattle Times, critic Paul deBarros tells of a man named Bill Carter finding in a storage container “a treasure chest from the golden age of jazz.” The unearthing may not equal the importance of the discovery by another Carter—Howard—of King Tut’s tomb, but it is creating excitement among devotees of classic mainstream jazz. deBarros writes:

Among the hundreds of tapes Carter retrieved from that container was a recording of a 1956 Seattle concert that featured Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, the Modern Jazz Quartet and Stan Getz — yes, all on the same show.

Hard to believe, but proof positive has arrived with “Jazz at the Philharmonic: Seattle 1956…

That JATP concert also included Sonny Stitt, Roy Eldridge and Gene Krupa, among others. The recording is being released today. To get the whole story, click here.

Long after the era of this post card, I heard a lot of music in the old Civic Auditorium, including the JATP concert deBarros writes about. I listened there to, among others, Frank Sinatra at the height of his powers, Dmitri Mitropoulos conducting the New York Philharmonic, and guitarist Andres Segovia all alone on the stage of that big old barn, playing to a full house. After a Dave Brubeck Quartet concert, I stood backstage at the edge of a crowd of Seattle musicians as Eugene Wright explained how to count in 5/4, a time signature with which Brubeck and company had recently intrigued the jazz world. “You’ve got to think, ‘1,2,3 – 1,2’” he said. “If you try to count 1,2,3,4,5,” you won’t swing.”

In the mid-1950s, the big sign outside the Civic bore a message that became a part of jazz lore:


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  1. says

    I heard a lot of good music at the old Civic Auditorium during my youth. Kenton, Armstrong, and even Spike Jones, who had a good Chicago jazz band that played a straight set for an hour, took an intermission to get into costume, and did their comedy show.
    And when I first got back from the Army, I played there at a jam session that included a lot of the local talent, including pianist Kenny Kimball, tenorman Gerald Brashear and trumpeter Floyd Standifer. (I was playing valve trombone then.)

    • Fred Augerman says

      Bill Crow’s reference to tenor man Gerald Brashear is the only time I’ve ever seen his name mentioned! I have an old King Label 12″ LP featuring the Cecil Young Quartet that featured Gerald on “Flying Home” and did he have one great solo on that track! Also one of the finest “bop vocals” I ever heard was also on that album; “Who Parked The Car” which was simply outstanding!

  2. says

    Gerald was one of the best tenor men around Seattle in 1949. He was addicted to movies.. whenever I would go to a movie, I’d look around the audience when the lights came up, and there would be Gerald.

    After I moved to New York, I was on the road with Marian McPartland’s trio in Columbus. Ohio around 1954 and saw that the Basie band was in town. I found their hotel, borrowed Marian’s car and drove over to say hello to the guys. Joe Newman had a friend in Columbus, so I drove him to the guy’s house. We walked into the living room, and there was Gerald! He was on the road with some band, and also was visiting this guy. That was the last time I saw him.