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Bebop Spoken There

Jennifer Wharton: "People forget that the trombone is so glorious. It can be like going to church, or getting ready for battle. It can be a lot of things....For a longtime I was the only female trombonist in New York," - (DownBeat May 2021)

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'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

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Postage

13,218 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 637 of them this year alone and, so far, 45 this month (May 11).

Coming soon ...



May 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen at The Holystone (Indoors!)
May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 21: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).
June 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club. (Revised date).

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Ten underrated jazz musicians by Mike Farmer - Part One.

1. Sonny Red (1932-1981). Somewhat overshadowed by his fellow alto players Sonny Stitt and Sonny Criss he made some fine records under his own name and as a sideman. He spent his early days in Detroit playing with Barry Harris, Donald Byrd and other musicians who were influenced by the great Charlie Parker. Check out his work on Jazzland LP A Story Tale in which he is  joined by Clifford Jordan on tenor. Red’s was born Sylvester Kyner Jnr and died too young age 48.

2. Don Menza  (b 1936). I first heard Don Menza at Manchester’s Club 43 sitting in with the Dick Morrisey Quartet and I’ve been a fan ever since. He played a fantastic solo on Just Friends that night that made me seek out his records. One LP that I once had and that I  have been trying to replace is Louis Bellson’s Live at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase which has Menza in blistering form with wonderful solos from Larry Novak on piano. Another LP I like is Morning Song on MPS which has a larger ensemble.  Two years ago I saw Don in Frankfurt’s Jazzkeller over two nights and he is still amazing with a huge sound that filled the room.

3. Lanny Morgan (b 1934). Born in Iowa  but spent his early years playing in big bands such as Charlie Barnet, Terry Gibbs etc. Then came army service in Germany. He made many recordings with Maynard Ferguson in the sixties and when the big band scene faded he played in small groups at  home and abroad   A good example of his fiery alto work is to be found on The Lanny Morgan Quartet VSOP CD.

4. Ian Hamer (1932-2006. Born in Liverpool to a musical family he moved to London in 1953 playing in the Tubby Hayes Octet and in the sixties during the big band era playing trumpet or flugelhorn in the bands of Ted Heath, Harry South and Jack Parnell. He did numerous studio dates with singers, pop groups etc. then moved in 1987 to Brighton where he ran the Sussex Jazz Orchestra and did gigs with various musicians in that area. I saw Hamer’s quintet at the Lift Club with Alan Skidmore on tenor and my old friend Pete Saberton on piano and it was a great night of hard-bop!

Mike Farmer

3 comments :

Lance said...

Hey Mike, that brings back the memories from when I used to hang out at The Flamingo. Remember Ian and his brother Stu. One of them, I can't remember which, blew a Gillespie style uptilted horn!

Roly said...

I first came across the great guitarist Bruce Forman on a Lanny Morgan vinyl album 'It's About Time'. With Lou Levy, Monty Budwig, Nick Ceroli, Don Rader. Great album and he sure is a great alto player.

Nick Gould said...

I was lucky enough to hear Don Menza playing at the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh. He had a great tone and played hard swinging music all night. I think I am right in saying he composed Groovin Hard which he played that night. A very memorable evening, he joined Bill Kyle and I for a chat at the end of the gig and told us some great stories.

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