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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Puddy: "Eventually we paid our entrance money [to Eel Pie Island] and fought our way to one of the many bars where we could buy our Newcastle Brown and retire to the back of the heaving dancefloor. There must have been lights somewhere, but my memory remains of being in some dark cavernous wonderland." - (Just Jazz July 2020)

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

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11,618 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 753 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (July 5).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tonight's Blue Note: Freddie Hubbard - The Night of the Cookers

Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard (trumpets); James Spaulding (alto sax/flute); Harold Mabern Jr. (piano); Larry Ridley (bass); Pete La Roca (drums); Big Black (congas).

Four sides recorded live in Brooklyn at the Club La Marchal in 1965 and issued on two LPs, sees the label's top two trumpet players of the day tearing it up much to the delight of the crowd. Unfortunately, like so many live sessions, the atmosphere doesn't quite come across so well in the living room.


Clare Fischer's Pensativa has Morgan and Hubbard seemingly intent on  seeing how many variations they can make out of Camptown Races in a mad free-fall that goes on for about 10 minutes. This was the kind of Pier 6 brawl normally associated with tenor players and longshoremen! If I'd had a ringside seat - and I use the term advisedly - I'd have been on my feet cheering. Who won? Who cares? The horns were locked so intently I lost track of who was who! Underneath it all, Big Black was having his own Latin party.

Hubbard dropped out for Walkin' and Morgan was initially more restrained with Spaulding the one going for the jugular on alto. He'd been listening to Dolphy and Trane I guess although he also slipped in one of Bird's favourite quotes - Country Gardens. This really was a walk on the wild side!

La Roca, Big Black, Spaulding and Morgan kicked the fours around and even in the relative tranquility of my music space the furniture seemed to be jumping - or maybe it was the neighbours knocking (I joke, I've got good neighbours - everybody needs them these days!)

Morgan sits out on Volume Two's opener which, according to Jepson, took place the day before. Hubbard is at his finest here. Jodo, an original, sees him cutting loose without having to meet the challenge of one of his peers and he blows like Armageddon is around the corner. It wasn't then but maybe it is now! However, if Freddie thought it was safe to go into the water he was wrong. Spaulding was firing on all cylinders and he made it clear that he too was up for a battle.

Immune to what was going on up front and behind, Mabern insured a degree of sanity prevailed before La Roca kicked seven shades out of the kit and  Big Black doubled that on congas!

Breaking Point saw Mabern at his finest and how grateful we surely are that he was on the scene for another 54 years. After Harold's solo it, once more became the Big Black Show!

A couple of albums I would surely cherish if I'd been in a club in Brooklyn in 1965 and, even now, they're not without charm although the excitement of a live gig that would have had you dancing on the tables cannot quite be replicated by dancing on your IKEA Chippendale flat pack coffee table without a safety net.

If you're strapped, seek out volume One.
Incidentally, being a live recording, the sound quality is far below the normal Blue Note studio sessions.
Lance.
PS: This is one of my favourite album titles - not least because it inspired a band of veteran Blue Note Alumni - The Cookers

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