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  Наименование CD :
   1941-1944: Sextet And Big Band



Год издания : 1995

Компания звукозаписи : Jazz Archives

Время звучания : 1:14:33

Код CD : 158382

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Jazz (Retro Records)      

Recording Date: May 7, 1941 - August 22, 1944

Cootie Williams & His Orchestra :

(1-4) Charles "Cootie" Williams (tp), Lou McGarity (tb), Les Robinson (as), Skippy Martin (bs), Johnny Guarnieri (p), Artie Bernstein (b), Jo Jones (dm). NYC, 07/05/1941.

(5-6) Cootie Williams, Louis Bacon, Milton Fletcher, Joe Guy (tp), Jonas Walker, Robert "Bob" Horton, Sandy Williams (tb), Charlie Holmes (as), Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (as, vo on 6), Bob Dorsey, Greely Walton (t), John Williams (bs), Kenny Kersey (p), Norman Keenan (b), George Ballard (dm), Dave McRae (arr on 5).

Chicago, 01/04/1942

(7-10) Cootie Williams (tp, vo on 8), Eddie Vinson (as), Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (ts), Earl "Bud" Powell (p),mNorman Keenan (b), Sylvester "Vess" Payne (dm). NYC, 04/01/1944,

(11-14) Cootie Williams, Ermit Perry, George Treadwell, Harold "Money" Johnson (tp), Ed Burke, George Stevenson, Bob Horton (tb), Charlie Holmes (as), Eddie Vinson (as, vo on 11,14), Eddie Davis, Lee Pope (ts), Eddie De Verteuil (bs), Bud Powell (p), Norman Keenan (b), Sylvester Payne (dm), Pearl Bailey (vo on12,13).

NYC, 06/01/1944.

(15-18) Same as for (7); vo chorus on 16. NYC, 06/01/1944.

(19-20) Cootie Williams, Ermit Perry, George Treadwell, Lammar Wright, Tommy Stevenson (tp), Ed Burke, Bob Horton, Ed Glover (tb), Charlie Parker, Rupert Cole, Frank Powell (as), Sam "The Man" Taylor, Lee Pope (ts), Eddie De Verteuil (bs), Bud Powell (p), Leroy Kirkland (g), Carl Pruitt (b), Sylvester Payne (dm). Hollywood, 02/05/1944.

(21) Cootie Williams (tp), poss. Charlie Parker (as), prob. Sam Taylor (ts), Bud Powell (p), Carl Pruitt (b), Sylvester Payne (dm). Hollywood, 02/05/1944.

(22-25) Same as for (19) but Eddie Vinson (as, vo on 22,24) replaces Parker and Cole. NYC, 22/08/1944.

The very name Cootie Williams - and especially that nickname "Cootie" - remains indissociably linked with that of the Duke Ellington orchestra The ferocious, growling, sometimes sombre sounds through the plunger-mute, the thick, firm, rasping tones of the open trumpet, Cootie's playing was always aggressive and uncompromising. Here was a sculptor who did not polish his base material, but hewed it out with sheer physical force, leaving it to reflect all its natural asperity and raw beauty. His solo statements, scything their way through the orchestral mass while simultaneously serving the subtleties of the writing, remain vivid memories, and are today etched in the stone of jazz history. For Cootie's was one of the great sounds, one of the most distinctive, in the annals of Afro-American music. A sound possessed of all the strength and vitality of those deepest of the black man's roots, the blues.

Charles Melvin Williams was born in Alabama, America's Deep South, in 1910, By early childhood, he was playing trombone, tuba and drums in his school band, but then switched his attention to trumpet, which he taught himself to play. He acquired some first practical experience by playing in various territory groups, among them the Young Family Band, one of whose members, the 15-year-old Lester Young, was his senior by just a year. By 1928, Charles had already landed in New York, There he met Chick Webb, who often included him in his band's line-up for its dates at the Savoy Ballroom. That same year, in the company of stride-pianist James P Johnson, the young trumpeter made his first recordings, then joined the Fletcher Henderson orchestra. Despite the possible chance of carving out a star role for himself in this top black band of the day, he preferred to take up Duke Ellington's offer of Bubber Wiley's vacant chair. As a result, he suddenly found himself inheriting the solo spots of this meteoric genius without possessing the slightest experience of using that vital part of the Miley armoury, the plunger mute. With the help of trombonist Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, another plunger-mute specialist, he thus set about developing his own skills with this household-plumbing appliance, gradually creating a personal wa-wa style quite independent of Miley's. From 1929 to 1940, the trumpeter now affectionately known as "Cootie" would be one of the principal soloists in the wonderful Duke Ellington orchestra, and over the last three years of his tenure he would also have the opportunity to front his own Rug Cutters, a studio small-group consisting of Duke and a select band of fellow-Ellingtonians. From these sessions came the original 1938 version of Echoes Of Harlem, while Duke would later reward him for his loyal services with an unforgettable farewell piece entitled Concerto For Coote.

By now a recognised trumpet star, Cootie had been lured away from Duke by the superior financial rewards offered by Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, with whom he was set to feature in both big-band and sextet/septet contexts. In the smaller unit, he found himself playing alongside electric-guitar prodigy Charlie Christian, Air Mail Special being one of the pieces they recorded together some three years before the present big-band rendering. It was also in the company of fellow-Goodmanites (plus Count Basie drummer Jo Jones) that in May 1941 Cootie cut the four rare sides that open our collection. After a year with Goodman and now enjoying greater celebrity than ever, Cootie - with help and advice from Duke Ellington -formed his own big band, which premiered at Chicago's Grand Terrace in February 1942, Okeh recorded the orchestra, but never released the resultant discs, and it would be 25 years before When My Baby Lelt Me (successfully re-recorded for Capitol in 1945) and the very first version of Thelonious Monk's Epistrophy actually found theirway onto the market. To our knowledge, Sleepy Valley and Marcheta have remained unissued to this day. The temporary lack of further recording opportunities caused by a union ban did not prevent the orchestra from establishing a solid reputation for itself, thanks to regular bookings at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom and Apollo Theatre, backed up by screen appearances in 1943-44. Then, with two sessions in January 1944, came a fresh chance to record, the Williams aggregation cutting 12 titles in big-band and sextet format (as per the familiar Benny Goodman formula) for the little independent label, Hit. A few radio broadcasts, together with the final sides for Hit/Majestic made later that same year, complete our CD. In 1945 Cootie hooked a contract with Capitol, but, fashions and economic conditions having now undergone radical change, he was forced to disband two years later. In place of the big band, he assembled a hard-hitting small group that played for dancing, a group very much in the rhythm-and-blues mould. This combo recorded for a variety of labels and became a regular attraction at the Savoy, Cootie's activities finally landed him a contract with Victor, enabling the Cootie Williams Savoy Ballroom Orchestra to record again in 1957. The following year, the trumpeter was offered a studio big band. The January of 1959 found Cootie touring Europe, and his working quintet was recorded at Paris's Olympia Theatre. In 1962, with further recording sessions in New York under his belt, Cootie - after an absence of over 20 years - rejoined the Duke Ellington orchestra. When Mercer Ellington took over leadership of the outfit on his father's death in 1974, the now legendary trumpeter remained with the band as guest star, staying with it until his own death in 1985.

When Cootie Williams launched his big band in 1942, jazz stood at a crossroads. The so-called Petrillo Ban was about to bring commercial recording to a halt, war was raging and new musical styles were emerging. Young and not-so-young musicians were already jamming after-hours at Minton's, eagerly experimenting with a host of new ideas. Cootie immediately put Epistrophy into his repertoire, a piece written for him by young pianist Thelonious Monk. And was it perhaps Monk who recommended his 19-year-old pianist friend Bud Powell to Cootie, as replacement for Kenny Kersey? Whatever, Bud recorded his first-ever solos with the Williams outfit, and it is fascinating to listen to his already surprisingly mature work on the sextet sides {Floogie Boo, I Don't Know, My OldFlame, Honeysuckle Rose, The Boppers...), as well as on one or two of the big-band cuts (Roll Em. Blue Garden Blues). Indeed, this Williams crew reflects the then prevailing duality between the new harmonic and rhythmic trends (certain sides, almost be-bop, presage the work of Dizzy Gillespie) and the need to serve up music accessible to everyday black audiences at places like the Savoy.

It is difficult to consider Cootie Williams, a distant disciple of Louis Armstrong (cf. West End Blues), a "conservative", for here was a man who in 1944 would not hesitate to make the first recording of 'Round Midnight, another memorable piece from the pen of Thelonious Monk (who even served briefly with the orchestra). Cootie seems to have possessed that knack of producing an acceptable amalgam of old and new: witness the work of his star soloist, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a famous blues shouter who here offers his first big hits, Che/?? fieri and Somebody's Gotta Go, but whose alto-sax playing - at once straightforward and intricate, fluid and sinuous - forms a sort of link between Louis Jordan and Charlie Parker. Indeed, on a couple of occasions Parker would even replace Cleanhead in the Williams line-up (around May 1944 and February 1945), but it is difficult to affirm that the short alto-sax solos on Air Mail Special and The Boppers ate his.

Cootie Williams was a bandleader with an ear for budding talent, as his use of tenor-saxophonists Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (heard here on several occasions) and Sam "The Man" Taylor duly testifies. He gave precious exposure, too, to singer Pearl Bailey, at this time on the threshold of a brilliant career. And, even though another trumpet is heard here and there (Joe Guy's, for instance, on Epistrophy), it is Cootie who gives the band its direction and its character, Cootie who gives the music its body and its soul.

Adapted by Don Waterhouse from the French text of Jean Buzelin


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   1 G-Men         0:02:45 Cootie Williams
   2 West End Blues         0:03:13 King Oliver / Clarence Williams
   3 Ain't Misbehavin'     T       0:02:39 Harry Brooks / Andy Razaf / Fats Waller
   4 Blues In My Condition         0:03:07 Cootie Williams
   5 Fly Right (Epistrophy)         0:02:32 Kenny Clarke / Thelonious Monk
   6 When My Baby Left Me         0:02:43 Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson / Cootie Williams
   7 Floogie Boo         0:02:39 -"-
   8 Gotta Do Some War Work, Baby         0:03:04 Cootie Williams
   9 I Don't Know     T       0:03:12 Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson / Cootie Williams
   10 You Talk A Little Trash         0:03:02 Cootie Williams
   11 Things Ain't What They Used To Be         0:03:14 Mercer Ellington / Ted Persons
   12 Tess' Torch Song (I Had A Man)         0:02:31 Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler
   13 Now I Know         0:02:59 -"-
   14 Cherry Red Blues         0:03:04 Pete Johnson / Big Joe Turner
   15 My Old Flame     T       0:03:15 Sam Coslow / Arthur Johnston
   16 Echoes Of Harlem         0:03:08 Duke Ellington
   17 Honeysuckle Rose     T       0:03:11 Andy Razaf / Fats Waller
   18 Sweet Lorraine     T       0:03:11 Clifford R. Burwell / Mitchell Parish
   19 Air Mail Special         0:02:26 Charlie Christian / Benny Goodman / Jimmy Mundy
   20 Roll' Em         0:02:55 Mary Lou Williams
   21 The Boppers (You Talk A Little Trash)         0:03:11 Cootie Williams
   22 Somebody's Gotta Go         0:03:15 Casey Bill Weldon
   23 'Round Midnight         0:03:15 Bernie Hanighen / Thelonious Monk / Cootie Williams
   24 Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?         0:02:45 Bill Austin / Louis Jordan
   25 Blue Garden Blues (Royal Garden Blues)         0:03:17 Cootie Williams

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