Almost Complete Antibes

BROTHER JACK MCDUFF AT ANTIBES –

There were a couple of tracks from organist Brother Jack McDuff’s performance at Antibes on YouTube, and now Jazz3+ uploaded 36 solid minutes of McDuff’s quartet on the Côte d’Azur in France. See here. Unforgettable stuff!

McDuff’s quartet consisted of tenor saxophonist Red Holloway, guitarist George Benson and drummer Joe Dukes. None of McDuff’s groups, in my opinion, matched this quartet in drive and fire, few if any of the other organ combo’s of that period in fact. Definitely his hottest band. At times, Brother Jack McDuff seemed possessed, effortlessly incorporating the fire and brimstone of the black church in his modern style. He had been a popular recording artist on Prestige since 1960.

The chemistry between McDuff and drummer Joe Dukes was unbelievable, soul jazz drum pioneer Joe Dukes anticipated every move of McDuff and the tune changes with an assault of continuous accents and rolls, adapting big band style to the blues. Red Holloway did time on the r&b circuit and was a strong-sounding swinger. Young Benson joined McDuff in 1963. It was his first break. Benson was a flashy lightning bolt of a guitarist, also drenched in r&b, and quickly developed into an exciting jazz player. McDuff’s quartet was on the road for two straight years on the East Coast and in the Mid-West.

Here’s a fragment from Benson’s biography, Benson recounting his journeyman years with “bad” boss McDuff:

McDuff and Joe Dukes were excellent teachers but tough customers. McDuff regularly shouted obscenities to Benson on stage, ‘if he had just the right (or wrong) amount of booze or weed.’ Joe Dukes, ‘such a magnificent drummer that there were times I thought he was one of the greatest things that ever happened to mankind’ was especially hard on the 19-year old prodigy, who alledgedly picked up too many girls for the taste of the envious drummer.

“Finally, after a particularly nasty rant, I snapped: ‘If y’all don’t lay off, I’m gonna take y’all outside and beat y’all old men up! I’m nineteen years old! Y’all can’t take me! We’re going out in the alley, right now! McDuff and Dukes just stared at me for a second, then they both pulled out switchblades. But that didn’t stop me: “I don’t care! Y’all don’t scare me! Bring your switchblades into the alley! I’ll beat y’all up anyhow!” Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed: nobody went into the alley, and nobody got beaten up. But it got them off my back.”

“In retrospect, I’m glad they stayed on my back; granted, their methods were barbaric, but for the most part, it was about making me a better musician so we’d be a better band.”

Great story. One of the better bands indeed. The McDuff Quartet fired on all cylinders, as you can see on the Antibes footage. Enjoy!

(Thanks, The London Jazz Organ)

Hammond Happening

CONCERT – HAMMOND HAPPENING

(Boye Ingwersen)

Different strokes for different folks. The audience of Hammond Happening, mini-festival of organ music, freely wandered in and out of the downstairs and upstairs halls, a very relaxed way to take in the oscillated grooves of a variety of Hammond organ-based groups, including the cream of the Dutch crop.

Real jazz heads arrived early. Although Belgian saxophonist Toine Thys guesses, probably right, that most customers were not familiar with his music. “So, you can discover some new stuff,” says the charming causeur from Brussels, who inherited the ugly task of entertaining a half-filled house. His trio, including organist Arno Krijger and drummer Karl Jannuska, nonetheless goes about its business unfazed, delivering a hypnotic set of African-flavored jazz, smooth exotic rhythms that, surprisingly, eventually even segue into a twisted take on dub reggae. Thys, a regular visitor of the African continent, is a bonafide poet whose lines move with measured pace on both tenor sax and bass clarinet. Krijger is a tasteful avant player and responsive accompanist, expert in creating a warm-blooded ambience. He finishes a Tony William’s Lifetime-ish groove with a piece of gritty and intense storytelling.

(Clockwise from l. to r: Arno Krijger; Toine Thys)

Though the corniest of MC’s, akin to the kind of wise guy that hardened inmates love to slap around, the boundless energy and kinetic shenanigans of Cyril Directie, drummer of the funk jazz outfit Montis, Goudsmit & Directie, does, it must be said, charm the Melkweg crowd. He lights the cubes, Montis and Goudsmit drop a couple of biggies on the grill and a big part of the audience certainly seems ready for a lavish BBQ, smiling broadly or shaking hips the old-fashioned crude Whitey-way. Unashamedly over the top, let’s get loud is the trio’s motto. But its performance simultaneously includes sizzling and delicate organ and guitar stuff. Montis is a passionate blues-drenched player equally comfortable with slick soul and classics like Funky Mama. The idiosyncratic and versatile Goudsmit spends his time of Stevie Wonder’s Living In The City half-timing classical lines which must be inspired by some master like Segovia. Cute.

(Clockwise from l. to r: Anton Goudsmit, Cyril Directie; Frank Montis)

Like Montis, Goudsmit & Directie, Orgel Vreten is a crowd favorite. Orgel Vreten, which translates as McHammond, is a band with two front men on Hammond organ: Thijs Schrijnemakers and Darius Timmers. Its patchwork of wacky New Wave and space rock is rough-hewn and the organ playing hardly of repute, excepting Timmers’ unpredictable rhythmic patterns on the added synth. Strong on stage antics, the highlight of Orgel Vreten’s performance is the presence of Arno Bakker, a big, bearded man on sousaphone – like in BIG and BEARD – who climbs on the set of organs, pounding, twisting and turning and, finally, being engaged in a bass battle with the electric bassist, who had followed suit. Jolly giant. Cousin of Z.Z. Top’s Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons. Fantastic force of nature. It’s a fair spectacle! And lest we forget, this Dusty Gibbons plays the hell out of the sousaphone.

(Clockwise from l. to r: Arno Bakker; Darius Timmers; Carlo de Wijs & Kypski)

The psychedelic pie of Herbie Hancock, Lauren Hill’s Everything Is Everything and instantly created loops by Boye Ingwersen kicks off the festival in the upstairs hall. Some of the fractured beat patterns would work well as background to the rhymes of underground hip-hop svengalis like MF Doom.

Carlo de Wijs, somewhat the Dutch pater familias of the evening’s crew of organists, developed from straight-ahead player, pop-soul artist to the most extreme innovator around. His custom-made Modular Hammond is a hybrid of the vintage B3 tone wheel system, synths and contemporary digital technology. The whole package is presented on stage, including the effective turntable-ism of Kypski and interconnected visual media. De Wijs introduced his performance with a lecture on his instrument and research of the innovative genius Laurens Hammond.

Like Ingwersen, De Wijs aims for outer space. His spun-out solo’s work to a climax on the dance rhythms of Belgian drummer Jordi Geuens, which are performed with incredible metronomic precision and the aloofness of the Kraftwerk cats. De Wijs takes a different tack with his oldie original composition Mr. Feet, working off a frolic, Stevie Wonder-ish bounce. Throughout, for all the set’s futuristic tendencies, the creative past of De Wijs and the warm and greasy essence of the Hammond organ rings through. There’s an abundance of Jimmy Smith-inspired licks, a Keith Emerson-like energy and, in the form of an intro, pure gospel, evidently a result of De Wijs’s lifelong admiration of the deeply rooted art of Rhoda Scott.

The documentary Killer B3 was furthermore featured in the cinema room. A lovely intermezzo of a quite enjoyable festival of Killer B3 combo’s.

Hammond Happening

Melkweg, Amsterdam, February 2, 2020.

Toine Thys Trio
Montis, Goudsmit & Directie
Boye Ingwersen
New Hammond Sound Project
Orgel Vreten

Photography: Filip Mertens

Johnny Griffin & Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Live At The Penthouse

Johnny Griffin & Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis Ow! Live At The Penthouse (Cellar/Reel To Real 2019)

NEW RELEASE – JOHNNY GRIFFIN & EDDIE “LOCKJAW” DAVIS

Griff & Lock rock The Penthouse in Seattle on Ow!, a killer Record Story Day release by Cellar/Reel To Real.

Johnny Griffin & Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Live At The Penthouse

Personnel

Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone), Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (tenor saxophone), Horace Parlan (piano), Buddy Catlett (bass), Art Taylor (drums)

Recorded

on May 14 & June 6 at The Penthouse Jazz Club, Seattle

Released

as RTR-LP-003 in 2019

Track listing

LP1
Side A:
Blues Up & Down
Ow!
Side B:
Bahia
Blue Lou
LP2
Side A:
Second Balcony Jump
How Am I To Know
Side B:
Sophisticated Lady
Tickle Toe


Nothing like a solid tenor battle. Starting out as a competitive ‘cutting contest’ in the swing era – the most famous being the alleged Kansas City battle in 1933 when Lester Young ‘cut’ Coleman Hawkins and thereby planted the seeds of the modern style – in the ensuing years the battle developed into a more mutually responsive festivity. Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray set the standard. Prime examples of the 50s and 60s are Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt and Al Cohn/Zoot Sims. A couple of epic recordings that come to mind are Sonny Rollins/Coleman Hawkins (Sonny Meets Hawk) and Clifford Jordan/John Gilmore (Blowing In From Chicago). To name but a few remarkable duo’s and records.

Arguably the most unique team is Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. It definitely was the most prolific duo. During their stint from 1960 to 1962, the duo recorded ten records on Jazzland/Riverside and Prestige, among them four live records of their Minton’s Playhouse performance and a superb, hard-driving record of Monk compositions – Lookin’ At Monk. The career of Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis went as far back as Louis Armstrong. He was a mainstay of the Count Basie band and, not that well-known, led the house band at Minton’s from 1946 to 1952. “Jaws” was the kind of soul tenor that also veered from honking r&b in the 50s to a successful organ combo stint with Shirley Scott in the late 50s. His work with Griffin solidified his reputation as a bonafide jazz player.

Griffin, fastest tenor bop gun in the West, came into his own in the late-50s on Blue Note and Riverside and established himself as a major force on the scene with his cooperations with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Thelonious Monk in 1957/58. Fire meets fire. Griff is a hard-boiled egg flavored with chili pepper, Lock meat and potatoes, they burned the bop and swung till they dropped.

Up until 1962, the band further consisted of pianist Junior Mance, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Ben Riley. At the time of their Tough Tenor Favorites LP, pianist Horace Parlan and bassist Buddy Catlett had replaced Mance and Gales. Both Parlan and Catlett were present at the Penthouse gig. Art Taylor presumably subbed for Ben Riley. The band plays three tunes from the Tough Tenor Favorites album: Dizzy Gillespie’s Ow!, Ary Barrow’s exotic Bahia and the warhorse Blue Lou, which the quintet takes at blistering tempo.

Lester Young’s Tickle Toe, from the Basie band book, is a furious potboiler, while Sophisticated Lady, a feature for baritone saxophonist Harry Carney in the Ellington Orchestra, is the canvas for Griffin’s meaty lyricism and double-time strokes. Classic riffs like Second Balcony Jump alternate with the blues of Blues Up And Down, both of which are right up the alley of Art Taylor, who locks tight particularly well with Griffin. They’re hot, as if they are furiously devouring a birthday cake, or dancing a passionate paso doble.

Griff & Lock, two sides of the tenor coin, two distinct stylists. “Jaws”, scrabous and witty, slurring, barking, honking, works the magic, his bag of tricks an incorporation in a style that is simultaneously earthy and more complex than generally assumed at first hearing. The almost otherworldly quality of his playing – he often begins phrases where other might end them, and vice versa – lies at the heart of his sax poetry. The way that Griffin shoots from the hip on Tickle Toe is typical of “The Little Giant”. Griffin’s torrents of notes on fast burners, every one of the notes a sure shot, have always been somethin’ else. His storytelling on this gig, a well-paced development from breeze, gusty wind to rousing tornado, is striking.

A high-level, entertaining performance from Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis.

Kudos to Cory Weeds, saxophonist and label owner of Cellar, and his companion on this job, Zev Feldman from Resonance Records. The superb re-mastering, lush packaging and thorough essays make Ow! one of the finest of RSD releases from the tail end of 2019. The Reel To Real subsidiary of Cellar also was responsible for 2018’s historical recordings of Cannonball Adderley’s Swinging In Seattle (also a Penthouse performance) and Etta Jones’s A Soulful Sunday: Live At The Left Bank.

Check out Cellar for contemporary recordings by the likes of Jeb Patton, Joe Magnarelli, Cory Weeds and a special section Hammond B3 organ combo music including Ben Patterson here.

Find Ow! Live At The Penthouse and samples here.

Hammond Happening

ANNOUNCEMENT – HAMMOND HAPPENING

The Hammond organ has been a powerful force in the world of rock, pop and soul for decades. Either as a hot-tempered kick in the butt or restrained accompaniment, it is the glue between sections of many successful songs. And regardless of a few ups and downs, the organ has been a popular (soul) jazz instrument since the late 50s. The sound of the B3 and the Leslie speaker is gritty, warm, sensuous.. it’s a madly-in-love couple, dancing in the street… And the resurgence of the Hammond organ is ongoing and striking.

At the Hammond Happening, which will take place at the Melkweg in Amsterdam on February 2, you will be able to indulge yourself in four Dutch/Belgian organ groups. There will be performances by the rebellious Orgel Vreten, contagious funk jazz group Montis, Goudsmit & Directie, futuristic, cross-medial New Hammond Sound Project and the cutting edge trio of Toine Thys featuring Arno Krijger.

Instigator and organist of New Hammond Sound Project, Carlo de Wijs, will lecture on innovation and his Modular Hammond.

We give away 2×2 tickets for this wonderful occasion. Give it a shot? Send a mail to info@flophousemagazine.com, Sunday, January 26 at the latest. Please mention “Hammond Happening” as the subject and add your name and your favorite organ record (because we would love to know!) in the message. You will be notified before Wednesday, January 29.

Holland – America Line

DUTCH JAZZ ARCHIVE –

The Dutch Jazz Archive (Nederlands Jazz Archief) is a great organization that documents Dutch jazz history by releasing music, jazz magazine Jazzbulletin and documentaries. It keeps the flame burning in generous fashion, opening up the archive for scholars, musicians and anyone interested in Dutch jazz history.

Many American jazz legends found a receptive audience in The Netherlands. Through the years, the NJA has unearthed recordings from the vaults of Dutch clubs and halls, notably the Concertgebouw, the classical bastion where, to the enjoyment of beatniks and other jazz crazed youngsters around the country, modern jazz was programmed in the late 50s and early 60s. There were performances by Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane and many others.

The Dutch jazz fan is in the know. And I’ve noticed that a number of international jazz lovers on social media have found their way to NJA. Still, the work of Dutch Jazz Archive has been under the radar internationally. Take a look at the examples below. A wealth of previously unreleased material from the greatest in the game: the Jazz At The Concertgebouw and Treasures Of Dutch Jazz series.

Somethin’ else, right?!

Ronnie Scott’s 1959-69

BOOK: RONNIE SCOTT’S 1959-69 –

Ronnie Scott’s is the stuff of legend, a jazz club that has been home to practically every modern jazz giant since 1959. The club in Soho, London U.K. was founded by saxophonist Ronnie Scott and celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019. Ronnie Scott’s is to British jazz what CBGB’s was to NYC punk, the Grand Ol’ Opry to Nashville country music and the nearby Marquee to British blues.

Reel Art Press released Ronnie Scott’s 1959-69, a book of photographs by Freddie Warren. It is edited by Graham Marsh and Simon Whittle. Whoever is singing that tune ‘I wanna present for Christmas’ now perhaps has found his desirable coffee table object.

Find Ronnie Scott’s 1959-69 here.

The Doug Webb Trio Doug Webb In Holland (Daybreak 2019)

NEW RELEASE – DOUG WEBB TRIO

Doug Webb strives for structural perfection on his latest release with bassist Marius Beets and drummer Eric Ineke, Doug Webb In Holland.

The Doug Webb Trio - Doug Webb In Holland

Personnel

Doug Webb (tenor saxophone), Marius Beets (bass), Eric Ineke (drums)

Recorded

on November 20, 2018 at Studio De Smederij, Zeist

Released

as DBCHR 75228 in 2019

Track listing

254W. 82rd Street
Subconscious-Lee
Delilah
Invitation
Alexico
Ornithology
Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
These Things
Get Out Of Town
Lunar Eclipse


Fashions, hypes, Indian ropes and hoo-ha about spiritual jazz drift past the consciousness of players like tenor saxophonist and woodwind player Doug Webb. That is, of course, because the Angeleno undoubtedly understands that to label jazz as spiritual is a contradiction in terms. By nature, jazz of any kind is a matter of the spirit. And it is, foremost, because Webb has for decades been steadily refining his art of mainstream jazz, undisturbed and very prolifically.

Webb played with Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Shelly Manne, Bill Holman and Stanley Clarke. He’s a real pro that was part of the Doc Severinsen Tonight Show band and is an omnipresent contributor to pop music and Hollywood soundtracks. Webb is a passionate woodwind specialist that plays, among others, piccolo, soprillo, saxello, sarrusophone and pretty much any flute with exotic name and characteristic he can put his hands on. As a tenor saxophonist, Webb contributes a fresh approach to the Coltrane tradition.

I coincidentally saw Webb perform at a session in Pavlov, The Hague in November, 2018 that included pianist Rein de Graaff, bassist Marius Beets and drummer Eric Ineke. That night Webb explained that before returning to L.A. he would collect a contra alto flute and subcontra bass flute from an acclaimed flute maker in the little town of Grollo in the province of Drenthe. The day after the gig, Webb, Beets and Ineke went into the studio of Beets in Zeist to record Doug Webb In Holland.

It turned out to be a rewarding session of piano-less trio jazz. Webb selected Lee Konitz’ Subconscious-Lee, Victor Young’s Delilah, Kaper/Webster’s Invitation, Charlie Parker/Benny Harris’ Ornitology, Wolf/Landesman’s Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most, Cole Porter’s Get Out Of Town and contributed four original compositions: lovely swinger 254W. 82nd Street, nifty boogaloo blues Alexico, All The Things You Are-variation These Things and Lunar Eclipse, which is based on Webb’s earlier tune Lunar – which was based on Solar, the composition that Miles Davis reportedly nicked from guitarist Chuck Wayne.

Rarely short of ideas, with the structured control of rhythm and harmony that brings to mind Warne Marsh, Webb revels in the company of two great companions. Ineke’s ability to translate his wealth of experience and massive knowledge of jazz history to sensitive and alert accompaniment is nonpareil. Beets’ choices of notes are spot-on and he takes a lot of melodic turns from low to upper register and vice versa. As a result, Delilah, featuring Beets on acoustic bass instead of double bass and Ineke with mallets, is a cushion-soft gem, beautified by Webb’s almost childlike lyricism. The mix of Webb’s witty statements and Ineke’s hard-swinging brushes of Ornitology and the probing, intriguing phrases – and paraphrases – that Webb spins on the gulf of ride cymbal and pulsing bass during These Things constitute but a few of In Holland’s highlights.

Webb has a lot of experience of playing and recording in the piano-less format. It worked out beautifully. Webb fills the unfolding space that is created by the absence of the piano with inexhaustible strings of lines. Here and there, a gravely microtone or valve effect is thrown in the equation, measured dots on the sentences of Webb’s concise stories. Webb has plenty of muscle but demonstrates the masterly wisdom of restraint. His layered poetry makes In Holland a serene experience, as if you’re listening to falling autumn leaves. Ineke and Beets sweep up the rustling leaves, gather the beautiful copies and arrange a pretty bouquet.