2 LP on 1 CD The Red Garland Quinte
## 1 - 3 'All Mornin' Long', 1957, Prestige (3*)
On November 15, 1957, a quintet headed by pianist Red Garland recorded enough material for two records. This CD reissue (whose companion is Soul Junction) has a 20-minute version of "All Moring Long," along with briefer renditions of "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (a mere ten minutes) and Tadd Dameron's "Our Delight." More important than the material is that, in addition to Garland, the main soloists are John Coltrane and trumpeter Donald Byrd. Byrd was on his way to getting his sound together, while 'Trane, very much in his sheets-of-sound period, was already blazing a new path for jazz to follow. An excellent and often quite colorful jam session-flavored hard bop set.
- Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)
## 4 - 8 'Soul Juctiont', Prestige, 1957 (4*)
Pianist Red Garland's very relaxed, marathon blues solo on the 16-minute "Soul Junction" is the most memorable aspect of this CD reissue. With such soloists as tenor saxophonist John Coltrane and trumpeter Donald Byrd, plus steady support provided by bassist George Joyner and drummer Art Taylor, Garland gets to stretch out on the title cut and four jazz originals, including "Birk's Works" and "Hallelujah." Coltrane is in excellent form, playing several stunning sheets of sound solos.
- Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)
========= from the cover ==========
All Mornin' Long
New York's jazz scene may not be equal to what it was during the heyday of West 52nd Street, but no longer can one complain about there being no place to hear live sounds in the Apple. The concentration of clubs on one block is not the setting but rather the whole metropolitan area and environs.
There are the important Greenwich Village and off Village clubs like the Bohemia, Vanguard, Five Spot, and Half Note; midtown lias Birdland and piano rooms like the Composer and the Hickory House; Harlem offers Small's and the Melody Room; in Brooklyn, it's the Continental; in Newark, Sugar Hill; on Long Island, the Cork and Bib.
Besides serving as showcases for the more permanent, established groups, these clubs feature units composed of the many fine musicians living in the New York area who band together for short engagements, between their jobs with "name" leaders, or longer tenures between periods of no work.
The Red Garland Quintet is not a group that is currently playing clubs in New York or touring the country, for Garland and John Coltrane are back with Miles Davis at this writing. Byrd, Joyner, and Taylor are still together, however, and in the company of other tenormen and pianists (Charlie Rouse and Junior Mance, for instance, at the Bohemia in January 1958) are carrying on. The group, as you hear it here, did play around New York in the fall of 1957. Sometimes it would include Lou Donaldson on alto; Coltrane was a member when he wasn't playing with Thelonious Monk's quartet. There were engagements at the Sugar Hill and the Continental; Sunday jam sessions too, at places like the Palm Garden.
Red Garland's keyboard eloquence has been heard on Prestige in the context of his own trio on three separate occasions and he has also been featured on the recordings made by the Miles Davis quintet and the quartets of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. This, however, is his first small band date under his own name. This makes him the "leader." Leader can be a very nominal term today. A group that records is not necessarily a permanent unit and may appear on record under any one of its members' names, but it is still the responsibility of the "leader" to choose some of the numbers and also to occupy a good part of the solo time. In All Mornin' Long, the titular blues, Red fills the requisites by way of a many-splendored, deep-dish demonstration of feeling, mood, and melody.
In writing of Garland in a review of his trio LP, Groovy (Prestige 7113), critic Ralph Gleason said, quite accurately, "He has brought back some long absent elements to jazz piano, made them acceptable to the ultra-modernists and proven again the sublime virtue of swing and a solid, deep groove."
John Coltrane has established himself as one of the leading saxophonists by virtue of his work with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk in 1956-57. He has arrived at a high level of performance on a consistent basis; his playing in this set is a perfect example of this.
Donald Byrd received much praise when he did his first playing in New York in the mid-Fifties. He never let it prevent him from working hard at improvement and has constantly moved upward in means and depth of expression. His potential has not been exhausted either.
Arthur Taylor is another example of a musician who is mellowing and improving with experience although he is not yet approaching any ripe old age; A.T. won't be 30 until 1959. He, too, has reached a happy level of consistency.
All of the players involved have made many appearances on Prestige with the exception of George Joyner and, therefore, the words concerning him will be more biographical and of greater number than those dealing with the returnees. George was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1932 and was started in music at a very early age by his mother who played piano at church, but it wasn't until high school that he really became interested in becoming a musician. His father, who was teaching him how to cook (literal, not jazz meaning), helped him buy his first bass at the age of 16. The first week, George stayed up late and played along with the radio; the second week he got a gig and has been working ever since. In order to travel around the country and broaden his musical scope, he did an act with his bass which sometimes found him riding it like a jockey. From 1949 to '52 he attended Arkansas State and led the dance band there which won the Pittsburgh Courier contest in 1951. Then George went into the Army. The first year he played tuba in the Army band; the second year, bass in a Special Services show unit which also included Phineas Newborn and Wynton Kelly. Upon his discharge in 1955 he joined B.B. King's blues band on electric bass and received some valuable lessons in "soul." In March of 1956 he came to New York with Phineas Newborn and met Charlie Mingus who inspired him to play and study by lending him a bass to replace the beat-up one he had been using. George's studies with Michael Krasnapolsky, recommended by Ray Brown, have been carried on ever since.
After a year with Newborn, George left to play a summer job with Teddy Charles and Idrees Sulieman in the Adirondack. In the fall of 1957 he returned to New York and has since worked with Sonny Rollins at the Vanguard, Anita O'Day at the Cork and Bib, and the Garland (or whoever was leading) group in the engagements mentioned earlier. His favorite bassists are Brown, Mingus, and Pettiford,"each one for something else." That Joyner is one of our most promising young bassists will be evident to you in this set. He certainly lives up to his last name as he helps fuse the rhythm section and his extended solo on All Mornin' Long presents some arresting ideas. The first side opener, and closer, is a rocking, funky (there's that word again) blues which bears the title from which the name of the entire album derives. All the solos are of some length hut do not lack in interest because of the soloists themselves and the devices employed by the rhythm section. Red does an interesting thing in his 14th chorus as he combines two phrases that Miles Davis originally played on Charlie Parker's recordings of "Billie's Bounce"and"Now's the Time."
Donald tenderly phrases the first 16 bars of "They Can't Take That Away from Me" as the rhythm section answers him. Coltrane has the bridge and Donald returns for the last eight. Trane, Donald, and Red solo; Donald handles the majority of the theme again with George getting the bridge.
It's a delight to hear Tadd Dameron's "Our Delight" once more. Trane and Donald are spurred on by the dynamic rhythm section in their solos. It is interesting to compare Donald's solo with the one he played on the same tune with George Walhngton (Prestige 7032). Red's piano is in a hard-swinging Bud Powell groove. Then he plays tag with the horns as they interject strains from the arrangement of "Our Delight" that Dizzy Gillespie used to play.
In the early fifties, Luckey Roberts ran an after-hours club in Harlem. Luckey had been the dean of New York ragtime pianists in the early decades of the century, and had influenced James J. Johnson, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington, among others. Lucky remembers that Red Garland was a frequent visitor to his place. "Red would ask me questions,"says Luckey, "and keep requesting certain tunes." "I used to drop in." explains Red, "because Luckey is a real two-handed pianist. He plays with ten fingers, and that's what I like to hear."
Not generally known is that one of the pianists Red paid particular attention to when he was starting was James P. Johnson. Another was Art Tatum. "He was Mr. Piano, to me. I remember being so pleased when somebody asked Art in the mid-forties which of the younger pianists he thought were going to amount to something. Art named Dodo Marmaroso and me."
Red, for all his identification with modern jazz, has had a remarkably broad background of listening experience. He's also similar in temperament to many of the older' generation of jazzmen in that he loves to play, after hours as well as on the job. Red regrets very much the passing of the jam session. "I go around and ask people to start up a session, but they all seem so withdrawn these days. And yet, it's in sessions that jazz really develops. When musicians begin trading ideas, new things get started, and then it spreads. That's what happened with Parker, Gillespie, and all of the early modern players."
This album illustrates both Red's strongly personal modern style and his considerable grasp of the jazz tradition as a whole. "A big influence," Red continues, "when I began in Dallas was Nat Cole. I was very impressed by his touch and conception, especially by the way he phrased. People don't give Nat the credit due him as a pianist "Cole besides was a consistently lyrical player, and Red too has always sustained a singing line. "Then there were Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum.. When I heard Bud Powell, I really became involved with modern jazz, but nobody ever much influenced me after Bud. That's not to say there aren't pianists I particularly like. Two of them especially are Hank Jones, who's very underrated, and Oscar Peterson."
An echo from Red's listening background is the motif of the opening Soul Junction. "Bob Weinstock asked me to play some slow blues," Red recalls, "and this theme popped into my mind. In part, it's from Floyd's Guitar Blues, the number guitarist Floyd Smith used to play with Andy Kirk." Red plays the blues with an unselfconscious naturalness that again reminds me of the poised confidence of the best swing era pianists. There's no grunting or pounding the blues into soul-for-sale music. This is simply unpretentious blues, the common jazz language, carried on through the decades by thousands of players. Note too Red's Wilson-like gentleness of touch which is, however, also firm and which articulates each note with a ringing clarity. Red gets a "sound" from the piano that's refreshingly and thoroughly pianistic. He's not one of the drummer-pianists.
Red receives relaxed support from Arthur Taylor and George Joyner throughout the long, (ruminative) blues. "I'd worked a lot with Art, and have felt for a long time that he's one of the steadiest and most swinging of drummers. George Joyner was rather new to me at that date, but he fitted in very naturally." John Coltrane takes the first solo and blows with direct, strongly emotional power. His intriguingly structured variations indicate how freshly he approaches even a simple theme. To Coltrane, everything is a challenge. And always, as has been noted, there is a demandingly communicative "cry" in Coltrane's playing.
Donald Byrd is one young modernist who didn't allow early attention from the critics to push him into megalomania. Since coming to New York, he has continued studying, both at the Manhattan School and in a wide variety of playing experiences. His work, as in this opening blues, has grown in strength and decisiveness from the fluent "humming-bird" quality that characterized him during his early months in New York.
Woody'n You, Red remembers, "was the first modern tune I ever heard in my life. It was in Dallas years. A trumpet player, Oscar Williamson, found the record by Dizzy on the juke box, and played it for me. "I'd never heard anything like it. I laughed; it made me so happy. I admit I was confused at first, especially by the way Dizzy ran his progressions, but I began to catch on." In this version, Donald Byrd again indicates the added bite to his playing that began to be noticeable around the time of this record. There is also the increased depth of tone, even in as quicksilver a solo as this one.
During his years with Miles Davis, Red grew to know John Coltrane's style well. "I've always been struck by the continuity of his ideas and by his unique way of handling changes,"Red observes. "He can start a chord in the strangest place. The average cat might start on a seventh, but Coltrane can begin on a flatted fifth. And he has the damnest way of breaking chords down, but I have no trouble accompanying him because of that sense of continuity I was talking about." John is characteristically free of cliches in his solo here, and yet his self-absorption in the potentials of a tune never results in cold intellectual exercises. This is as hot jazz playing as can be heard in contemporary jazz. Red builds a solo of thorough clarity. There is muddiness neither in Red's touch nor in his sequences of ideas. And throughout, there is his energizing beat, almost like an exceptionally fleet, jazz-oriented dancer's.
Birk's Works is a favorite of Red. "It's a naturally swinging thing, no matter who plays it. It has a built-in-swing. The tune is like a minor, 12-bar blues in structure; but Dizzy somehow worked it into a very distinctive theme "Note Red's superior solo, one of the best of his I've heard. It has a forward-moving inevitability that has to do again with the clarity of his ideas and also with his rolling beat. Coltrane, who seemed to be making everything he reached for this day, digs in with a slashing, burning solo that is, however, ordered and organically interrelated. Also impressive about Coltrane is the sheer pulsating force of his beat. Byrd is also intense here but less ferocious thaa Coltrane.
I've Got It Bad, the song that Ivie Anderson explored with aching definitiveness while with Duke Ellington, underlines Red's capacities as a ballad player: "It seems to me," says Red, "that one reason many of the younger pianists seem uncomfortable with ballads and have to double-time them is that you have to have lived what a ballad is talking about. You have to know and experience the beauty of a woman, and the losing of it. Maybe some of those youngsters have never really been in love. You have to play this kind of song out of your life." Byrd plays with silvery openness of tone and thpughtfulness of conception. Coltrane effectively understates the yearning of the song but makes his emotions clear. Red's caressing closing section includes an xpressive, reflective George Joyner solo.
The final Halleluiah is a high-spirited "head" with Red's nimble solo never blurring the line; Coltrane searching into the interstices of the tune (firmly followed by Joyner); and Donald Byrd crisply carving his own variations. As in Coltrane's solo, Garland and Taylor dramatically lay out during parts of Bird's statement, leaving him and Joyner to drive ahead. A. T. juggles polyrhythms, and the band returns to end what strikes me as an unusually free-flowing but temperamentally cohesive session with more meaningful spontaneity than most.
Red is now happily leading his own trio, and does riot intend to return to band work if he can help it Yet, as this album and all the ones he made with Miles Davis indicate. Red has as personal a skill in combo playing and accompanying as he does when soloing with just rhythm background. Miles Davis and Cannon-ball adderley, among others, have lauded the buoyant sureness arid taste with which Red accompanies horn men. And for all the preaching these days of the need for roots. Red has unaggressively made clear his feeling for and knowledge of the jazz tradition for a long time.
- Nat Hentoff (co-editor The Jazz Review)