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Bebop Spoken There

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cool at the Coast - Warne Marsh at Whitley Bay 1975 NEW COMMENTS ADDED!

Listening recently to a tape I'd picked up somewhere along the way - "Freewheeling" by the Ted Brown Sextet - stirred a few memories and asked a few questions. The tape featured Art Pepper (alto) with Ted Brown and Warne Marsh (tenors). I'd obviously acquired the tape because of Art - over the years I've tried to grab anything that featured my favourite alto player - and he doesn't let me down. However, the question is who was Ted Brown? I've never come across him before or since yet he had the leader status over Art and Warne - both more familiar names. (Further investigation of the Warne Marsh site reveals that Ted is alive and well and still blowing age 81. See picture right.)
And the memory? For that we have to go back 33 years to the Corner House in Whitley Bay.
Who can recall (or should I say 'who can forget'?) that rather magical night when Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Dave Cliff, Peter Ind, Al Levitt brought the West Coast to the East Coast?
One person who remembers it vividly is Jack Goodwin, a former Vieux Carré trombone player who has since seen the light. Jack has produced an impressive website devoted to the work of Warne Marsh with what is surely the definitive discography of the tenorman. There are also photos, and recollections of the relatively unsung hero.
A must for anyone with a leaning towards the esoteric sounds of the Tristano disciples. Link to Warne Marsh site.


Anonymous said...

Just been looking at the Warne Marsh site Lance. It's a delight to discover things like this are around (produced by a local guy too) and what a great tribute to one of the great jazz saxophonists. Warne's oblique, cliche-free playing is abolutely unique. An unsung cat as his biog. says. I was at that memorable concert at Whitley Bay's C/House. Our own Dave Cliff played great guitar too. Great memories.

Anonymous said...

I’m in fairly regular contact with Ted and he’s still playing at 81. Sounds not bad either. He’s played regularly with Lee Konitz in NYC and I think they manage to lean against each other to be able to keep standing up.
Jack Goodwin

Anonymous said...

Just heard that Ted played Birdland, NYC in September this year with Charley Krachy another tenor player in the Tristano mould, plus rhythm; a gig in Brooklyn, also in September, with pianist Charles Sibersky and another at a restaurant in Peekskill, NY with Charley Krachy, Steve Lamattina on guitar and Joe Solomon on bass. So he’s still pretty active.
He’s also released a couple of CD’s : Ted Brown Quartet w. Jon Easton, p; Don Messina, b; Bill Chattin, d. “Love Me Or Leave Me” recorded at Trumpets Jazz Café, Montclair, NY. Aug 29, 2006 on Blue Jack Jazz Records and secondly, Ted Brown Trio w. Steve Lamattina, gtr; Dennis Irwin bass. Title: “Shades Of Brown” recorded January 2007 and released on SteepleChase.

Anonymous said...

I was also at the concert because it was on our regular Wednesday(?)gig night at the Corner House with the Brian Fisher Five - Me (saxes), Kevin Elliott (trumpet), Brian (piano), Barry Phillips or Dave Murphy (Bass), Billy young or Ian Forbes (Drums). I remember asking Warne Marsh how he produced his amazing harmonics and he replied brusquely "Go get yourself a book about it". The room was a funny shape and people had to walk past the front of the band to go to the bar or toilets. Every time this happened Lee konitz stopped playing and stared at the punter walking past. A right couple of surly so and sos, I reckon!

Anonymous said...

Well Steve, maybe Lee thought they should wait until the interval to go to bar or toilet!
I say this knowing I was probably one of the offenders!
As for Warne, maybe he too wanted to go to the bar or toilet.
Surly or not - still good players.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how often Warne or Lee were asked for a music lesson right in the middle of a session? I also recall the American gentleman who acted as compere that night interrupting a Lee Konitz intro to a tune to yell "S-h-u-t-u-p!" because of some very loud punter's conversation. Perhaps this was getting to the musicians who had had a very long mid-winter drive to Whitley Bay from Sittingbourne in Kent. I had a conversation with both Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz and found them extremely courteous.
Jack Goodwin

Anonymous said...

How I wish I was at the gig that night.I understand that the support was none other than Dave Weisser.Is this true ?


Anonymous said...

I don't recall Dave although he could have been I suppose. Dave Cliff was in the main band.
I would have imagined support would have come from Brian Fisher/Steve Andrews and co. then again there is no mention of a support band on the poster.
Come in Jack, Steve or Roly.

Anonymous said...

I can't recall any support band but couldn't say for sure. Later on I went to some great sessions there with Dave Weisser, a singer called Joy Askew, several fine guitarists incl. Eric Gamblin, son Paul and a great young player Mark Wood who went down to London and later worked with Ian Carr.
Happy days.


Anonymous said...

As I recall, the support group that night at the WB Corner House was “Friends of Jazz”. Who was in the band I can’t remember but I’m pretty sure that was the name of the group. Ring any bells?

Lance said...

That was Dave Weisser's band - "Friends of Jazz". So you were on the money Russell.
See you at that other Corner House tonight?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lance

Roly's comments about Joy Askew got me googling...check out this think this could be the Geordie ex-pat.

I remember seeing Mark Wood in the bar of the then University Theatre-the line-up escapes me.What has stayed with me is that Wood as a teenager looked (check jackets)and sounded like Barney Kessel,then years later at the Buddle in Wallsend he turned up with Ian Carr's Nucleus...what a transformation!Fusion guitar,long hair and...leather trousers !


Hil said...

I remember coming down from Glasgow with Mike around 1974. The jazz scene in Glasgow was really very healthy. Lots of wonderful big bands playing in city centre pubs.
Mike was thrilled to find we had the Whitley Bay Corner House Jazz Club almost on our doorstep.
He was involved with a few of the local guys in a couple of bands. I other hand was grounded being a Mammy to a new baby our first son, named after his Daddy.

Hilary Gilby.

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