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Hi all,

Many years ago (1998) I played with a combo at the Meer Jazz Festival in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands. In the evening program the Illinois Jacquet Big Band gave a fantastic concert and I happen to have a big part of that concert on an old tape, recorded from a later radio broad-cast by the Dutch radio. I still remember that the concert started much later and my alto buddy and me where in the lead of forcing the entrance of the concert tent to get the best spot just in front of the band. The band was still rehearsing, but they started the concert immediately after we came in.

I just made one of the tracks from my tape available on YouTube. It's a slow Blues called "Kansas City" and has some very good ensemble work of all sections, but especially from the sax section with the great Joey Cavaseno on lead alto. Our SOTW member Julian Pressley played second alto in that band and he played a beautiful and gutsy alto solo at the end of the (long) song. Jacquet himself also rips the Blues with some of his classic lines and lead trumpet Winston Byrd ends the song in a great Cat Anderson way. The begin of the song is already great with Jacquet nocking off the tempo with his food on the wooden floor of the stage. I also added some personal pictures in the clip, one with a wine bottle with IJ on the logo (all musicians who played on that MeerJazz Festival got one), one of the autograph I got from IJ after the concert and one of the newspaper articles about this concert. You can even hear my buddy and me yelling in the first bars of IJ's tenor solo in the track (and at some other spots)!

Here is the clip of "Kansas City", played at the Meer Jazz Festival Hoofddorp in The Netherlands at Saturday 16-May-1998.

A perfect example of how to play a slow blues with a Big Band. Play it loud and on good speakers!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V1VvhItfak

- Solo index:
00:00 - Band
02:47 - Piano solo - Ed Stoute
05:08 - Tenor solo - Illinois Jacquet
06:46 - Trombone solo - Earlie Braggs
08:22 - Band
09:26 - Alto solo - Julian Pressley (<= our SOTW member sideC)
11:05 - Band
11:37 - Trumpet solo - Winston Byrd
13:06 - End

- Personnel (I'm not fully sure about all persons):
Illinois Jacquet (ts) (band leader)

Joey Cavaseno (as) (lead)
Julian Pressley (as) (<= our SOTW member sideC)
Arthur Daniels (ts)
Rob Dixon (ts)
Tom Olin (bars)

Winston Byrd (tp) (lead)
Mark McGowan (tp)
Dennis Reynolds (tp)
Reggie Pittman (tp)

Vincent Gardner (tb) (lead)
Earlie Braggs (tb)
DuPor Georges (tb)

Ed Stoute (p)
Nicholas Walker (bs)
Dave Gibson (dr)

Enjoy. :)
 

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Thank you, Peter! Just thank you very much!
 

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You can even hear my buddy and me yelling in the first bars of IJ's tenor solo in the track (and at some other spots)!
:)
Thanks man...and now I know who’s the wild man shouting in the background! :mrgreen:
 

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That's some smokin' hot performance!
 

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Wow Peter, this was some great late at night listening, thanks for sharing.
 

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Wow Peter, this was some great late at night listening, thanks for sharing.
Glad you enjoyed it Grumpie. :)

Working on the video brought back some nice memories to this concert and I again spotted some nice stuff in this recording. Like the high "A" (tenor) Jacquet plays just after 6:15, which is typical high A for a mouthpiece with a big chamber and low baffle (like the 40's Otto Link Tone Master Jacquet has played). Those high A's sound much different compared to the high baffle ones you often hear nowadays.

I also love how lead alto Joey Cavaseno really leads the section during the band parts with a beautiful and full old school alto sound, you don't often hear such playing anymore.

And the power of the alto solo of Julian Pressley of course, like he did put all he had at that moment into his solo. He didn't get a lot of solo space in that band and if you get one you have to give it all, including playing away some possible frustration of all the travel and rehearsals involved in playing in a touring Big Band.
 

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Peter, thanks for posting this, and thank you for being so unselfish in promoting and advocating for the music.

This really is a recording of Jacquet's last ever night on a bandstand anywhere in Europe. He never went back to Europe again after this night, this was recorded on the last night of a 2 week tour of 1 nighters, Jacquet ran out of steam in the middle of the tour and Joey Cavaseno and myself had to run the obligatory 4 hour rehearsal everyday while IJ was laying out in his dressing room, old age had finally caught up with him.

But he came back to life for the last day of the tour, that's why we were still rehearsing when you and your friends busted through the gate and made Jacquet end his rehearsal and start the gig. I don't know if you remember the end of this concert but Katherine, the promoter, kept trying to get him off the stage, we were way overtime, but he kept playing, yelling "I'M THE KING!!" followed by an expletive that I won't repeat here. So when the bandleader curses the promoter, you know the party's over.

We rehearsed 4 hours a day everyday while on the road, I guess that was the only way he knew. But one afternoon he fell out and we carried him to his dressing room, figuring we were off until hit time that night. But he came to and ordered Cavaseno and I to go out and finish the rehearsal and that he'd be listening. The old guy was as tough as they came.
 

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And thanks a lot Julian Pressley for sharing the story around the music. Must have been an honour to play with this giant!
 

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But he came back to life for the last day of the tour, that's why we were still rehearsing when you and your friends busted through the gate and made Jacquet end his rehearsal and start the gig. I don't know if you remember the end of this concert but Katherine, the promoter, kept trying to get him off the stage, we were way overtime, but he kept playing, yelling "I'M THE KING!!" followed by an expletive that I won't repeat here. So when the bandleader curses the promoter, you know the party's over.
I for sure remember those words Julian, but I also don't want to repeat them here (otherwise I would have to moderate my own post afterwards!).

During the concert Jacquet was in a very good mood and I later found out (through an interview in a Dutch newspaper) that he was inspired by two little children dancing in front of the band on the music. They reminded him of his own young years, when he was dancing with his brother in front of the show of his father. You probably also remember that from the Hoofddorp concert. :)
 

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Thank you saxomorris, bakkiemetkoekie, and jolind. saxomorris, all I can say is I never say never but I am dealing with an old and very high milage physical plant, recording is pretty hard work.

Working with Jacquet night after night was a challenge. He was a perfectionists, heard everything that went on in the ensemble and would turn around and cuss you out in a minute, right in front of the whole audience, if you committed any malfeasance on his bandstand. No talking, no turning around to see who's soloing in the brass section. Don't put a note even slightly ahead or behind the beat. Your solo had to be perfect, perfect entrance, nice meaty and swinging middle, and a nice melodic conclusion. If he didn't like it, he'd give it to someone else the next night. So you learned to play clean and if you played something wrong, you made sure he couldn't hear it.

But watching and listening to him every night was an education you couldn't buy. He had supreme confidence. I believe he had such a tremendous sonority in his playing because he knew what to leave out, what not to play. I always tried to learn his pacing, how to time the solo, where to stop playing and leave space and let the rhythm section propel you into the next statement, let them establish the swing for you and you ride like a surfer on a wave. That way you're not forcing anything, they take some of the weight of keeping things swinging as you solo. He was a master of that and I would sit there trying to figure how to take some of this strange genius with me when my turn came to leave.

He was a trip. I still very rarely talk on the bandstand and I never turn around.
 

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I for sure remember those words Julian, but I also don't want to repeat them here (otherwise I would have to moderate my own post afterwards!).

During the concert Jacquet was in a very good mood and I later found out (through an interview in a Dutch newspaper) that he was inspired by two little children dancing in front of the band on the music. They reminded him of his own young years, when he was dancing with his brother in front of the show of his father. You probably also remember that from the Hoofddorp concert. :)
Peter, I have to be honest, I don't remember the little children dancing in front of the stage. But Jacquet told me that he started out as a child dancing on the street corner for pennies and nickels. When I first started with the band he did a pretty good soft shoe and buck and wing during the instrumental break in "On The Sunny Side Of The Street," and there is a version of that on youtube where you can see him doing that.

He also told me that at some point during his career as a young dancer, Eddie Barefield took him aside and changed his dance act around so that it had an open, a middle, and a strong finale.
 

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Mr. Pressley you such a beast. I'm still digging your CD "Steppin' Out" . Getting time for a new one, what do you say? :salute:
Saxomorris, I've posted over a year ago a nice and very informative interview with Julian.

It might be of interest for your and others, see this thread:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ley-(our-own-sideC-on-SOTW)-on-All-About-Jazz

That thread didn't get much attention, but the interview ("Julian Pressley: From The Duke To Ornette In His Own Way") gives a good overview of Julian's career and also has some example sound clips.

He also told me that at some point during his career as a young dancer, Eddie Barefield took him aside and changed his dance act around so that it had an open, a middle, and a strong finale.
Julian, I have here a copy of a Dutch interview IJ gave in 1998, in which he told that his father Gilbert Jacquet also had a Big Band. The family had four boys, from which Illinois was the youngest. As young boys they did dance on the music of their father. He also told in this interview that his first name Illinois means in Sioux language 'Superman' (his mother had Sioux blood)!
 
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