Odds And Ends

Congratulations to George Wein, who will be honored on Thursday with an award for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities. The honor comes from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities in recognition of Wein’s George Wein headstewardship of the Newport Jazz Festival since 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival since 1959. The council cites his launching of what “became the first jazz festival in America and started an era that has inspired music events around the world.” At 87, Wein is still organizing festivals and still playing piano with his Newport All-Stars. At the celebration in downtown Providence, Christina Bevilacqua of the Providnce Athenaeum will also be awarded a prize, for Creative Achievement in the Humanities.

News has arrived that bassist Butch Warren died over the weekend in Washington, DC. He was 74. Warren wasButch Warren a veteran of bands led by Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, and Thelonious Monk. He recorded with them, Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd, Sonny Clark and other stalwarts of the Blue Note label at the height of its influence.  His years back in Washington, his home town, were marked by physical and psychiatric illness, interrupted by occasional returns to active music making. A Washington Post article by Marc Fisher reprises Warren’s career and recent troubles.

Warren’s strength and drive are an important element in the success of this version of Monk’s “Evidence,” taped in Japan in 1963. Charlie Rouse is the tenor saxophonist, Frankie Dunlop the drummer.


Trumpeter Bobby Shew sent a photograph made on a cruise in the Caribbean in 1994.


From left to right, we see Louie Bellson, Gerry Mulligan, Shew and bassist Keeter Betts. Mr. Shew’s note reads, in part:

No real story re: this photo, except that we were all on a jazz cruise together for Hank O’Neal. I was with Louie’s quintet as was Keeter. Somehow we were all in conversation and someone snapped this shot, luckily! I think Gerry died shortly after this photo was taken.

Mulligan died in early 1996.

(Addendum, 10/11/13: Rifftides reader Alex Cohen writes from New Zealand, “I’m the ‘someone’ who snapped this shot and sent it off to Mr Shew last week.”)


The Rifftides staff is off to Seattle to hear the Emil Viklicky Trio tomorrow evening at a newViklicky small club, The Royal Room. The Czech pianist is flying in from Prague for a one-nighter with Clipper Anderson on bass and Don Kinney on drums. The same Pacific Northwest sidemen joined him for a Seattle appearance last year and one at The Seasons in Yakima in 2010. For Rifftides reports on those occasions, go here and here.

Dave HollandThe following night, I’ll hear bassist Dave Holland’s quartet at Jazz Alley. Holland’s two-night gig is part of a tour following the release of a new CD with his quartet known as Prism, which is also the title of the album. His regular members will be along; pianist Craig Taborn, guitarist Kevin Eubanks and drummer Eric Harland. I’ll try to remember to take a note or two on each occasion and let you know if anything interesting happens.

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  1. says

    The Monk video displays an excellent example of perfect walking bass! I am going to share this with the high school kids I know. Butch Warrens’s drive – his pulling of the strings – is the bee’s knees! I dig the post Doug – thanks!

  2. says

    RIP Butch.

    BTW…Drummer Frankie Dunlop still alive living in nursing home in NYC or Brooklyn and his brother Boy Lee Dunlop living in Buffalo NY.

  3. James Cimarusti says

    Dunlop and Warren were my favorite rhythm team (just slightly edging out Gales and Riley) on the Columbia sides. I always felt that Dunlop, along with Blakey, was/were the perfect Monk drummers. :)

    • Doug Ramsey says

      I couldn’t agree more, particularly about Monk and Blakey. For those who may require a reminder of the chemistry they generated together, here’s “I Mean You” from Monk’s 1957 session with Blakey’s Jazz Messengers: Blakey, drums; Johnny Griffin, tenor saxophone; Bill Hardman, trumpet; Spanky DeBrest, bass.

      The 1999 Rhino CD reissue of the album has alternate takes of “I Mean You,” “Evidence” and “Blue Monk.” There is little to choose between the alternates and the originally issued takes. They all induce smiles, the tapping of feet and improvement in mental health.

      • Alex Cohen says

        And if you can get it on cd or vinyl, Blakey and Monk weave a lovely trio with Al McKibbon on The London Collection on Black Lion. Therein you will find, among the liturgy, the BEST version of “Misterioso” one can imbibe. They glisten. Go listen.

      • Terence Smith says

        Yes, this album, with Monk as “sideman”/co-leader of the Jazz Messengers, is a mental health day per each listening. If the Art Blakey press roll was ever used to greater effect than on the cited version of “Blue Monk”, I’d like to know when.

        All Monk fans should hear the unique tempo and re-arranged last phrase of the melody of that “Blue Monk.” The entire CD shows Monk delivering even more “less-is-more” than his usual great quota. If that sounds illogical, hear Monk in that session.

        Because I love this album, I read pages 220-221 of Robin D.G. Kelley’s Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original with great interest. At the end of the May 15, 1957 session with Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Monk announced, “We made a good record—except the drummer couldn’t keep time.” I am guessing this was some sort of Monk-style reverse-hyperbole backhanded compliment to Blakey. The whole album is a complement-message to and from Blakey

      • says

        Love how Monk takes over after the “Little Giant’s” incredible flight; Blakey’s famous triplets fill the spaces every time Monk takes a breath; then the under-appreciated Bill Hardman has a little chat with Thelonious. Wonder how that title came to be: “I Mean You”. Great version also this here, from Mr. Cohen’s recommended album(s): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omWZ0hoer2I

        P.S.—Don’t watch the s—-y vid, just listen to the trio 😉