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Just found a fantastic video of Flying Home, as played in 1979 in The Netherlands at the North Sea Jazz Festival during a tenor-battle with Budd Johnson, Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb and Buddy Tate. I was there as a 17 year old non playing jazz lover and it turned me to start playing tenor a few years later.

Nicest moment for me is when Dexter starts his solo: he plays a part of the famous solo as played by Illinois Jacquet back in 1942. Look at the face of Illinois at 2:42 and Dexter's gesture at 2:50 (and the face of Arnett Cobb in the back), fantastic!!! Remember that Dexter and Illinois both played tenor in the Hampton band when Jacquet recorded this solo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtbzCXbLv6Q

Two other great video's of the same tenor-battle, featuring Arnett Cobb and Buddy Tate, are also on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka4qujkzcSA (I have posted that link before here on SOTW)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THXENfWaSoI

Enjoy!!!
 

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Thanks for posting that. Very very good.
 

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That's what one of my favorite DJs would call a LIVE JAZZ PARTY! They're having great fun, and talk about building up to fever pitch... wow.

shawn

ps - Gus, got the key. Gus Johnson!!!
 

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Hi Adrian,

I think all 3 solists on Flying Home (Budd Johnson, Dexter Gordon and Illinois Jacquet) use a Link. Dex and Illinois probably a vintage Florida (Dex an 8*, when I remember well). Budd sounds like a modern STM to me, but I'm not sure.

In the other tunes Arnett plays also Link (I think he used a 9 Florida), Buddy Tate uses some high baffle stainless steel piece with big tip, not sure what brand (don't think it's a Berg). Maybe other readers now what he uses.

Thanks for your comments my friend!
 

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Jacquet told me the story of the mouthpiece he's playing in this vid. Acording to IJ, he and Dexter were working in the Hampton band back in '42. One night they switched mouthpieces, and they both liked the other guys piece better than their own. So they traded pieces. Jacquet used Dexter's mouthpiece on the famous "Flying Home" recording in '42, and that's the one he's playing here. It's an early model Link. He played the piece until it was stolen in '92 or '93, while his horn sat onstage in Switzerland. He replaced it with another Link of similar vintage. Dexter moved on to the more modern model Link mouthpieces.
 

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That is a great video Peter, thanks for putting it up- and with Side C ’s comments we have some real deal juicy mpc folklore too! Wonderful.

I was in a fusion type band many years ago with the late Budd Johnson Jr., who was a good conga/percussion player. The band did a recording and Budd Jr. played it for his Pops. Budd Jr. came to the rehearsal and said his Pops dug the tenor player- man that is something I will always treasure.

Anyway I think Budd play his #$% here and smites everyone :bluewink:. Very underated cat in the pantheon of greats.
 

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Listening to Dexter's solo reminds me of the first time I heard him. Completely taken by the sound and
his complete harmonic knowledge.

Just want to quote from drummer, Daniel Humair, when asked to recall the days with Dexter:

“Dexter was the perfect jazz musician because the music was always about purity and creation.
He never played the role of the leader, he never dictated, because he knew that this would have
a negative effect on the musicians and would cancel the purpose of the mutual adventure.
As a drummer, he was one of the most pleasing soloists to be behind. We never had an argument and he was devoid of an ego. His attitude was respect of musicians to musicians.”
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jacquet told me the story of the mouthpiece he's playing in this vid. Acording to IJ, he and Dexter were working in the Hampton band back in '42. One night they switched mouthpieces, and they both liked the other guys piece better than their own. So they traded pieces. Jacquet used Dexter's mouthpiece on the famous "Flying Home" recording in '42, and that's the one he's playing here. It's an early model Link. He played the piece until it was stolen in '92 or '93, while his horn sat onstage in Switzerland. He replaced it with another Link of similar vintage. Dexter moved on to the more modern model Link mouthpieces.
Thanks for your additional information sideC.

I have also seen that story in a Dexter Gordon biography (when I remember well). Recalling from memory they swapped their Otto Link Tone Masters (the Link model of the 40's). Dexter played before the swap on a tip 4 and IJ on a tip 6, both where very happy with the switch. Dexter switched later in the 40's to a Dukoff piece, and after that back to a more modern Link (probably a Florida or Early Babbitt).

I found some bigger pictures of IJ on the internet that give a better close-up on his mouthpiece then the YouTube video does:
1. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Illinoisjacquet.jpg
2. http://dailydesktop.eu/data/media/24/jazz_csg_031_illinois_jacquet.jpg

On these pics you see the young (1) and old (2) IJ on a Tone Master model from the 40's, so that fully supports your additional information above.

Thanks again for sharing and correcting me :).
 

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That is a great video Peter, thanks for putting it up- and with Side C ’s comments we have some real deal juicy mpc folklore too! Wonderful.

I was in a fusion type band many years ago with the late Budd Johnson Jr., who was a good conga/percussion player. The band did a recording and Budd Jr. played it for his Pops. Budd Jr. came to the rehearsal and said his Pops dug the tenor player- man that is something I will always treasure.

Anyway I think Budd play his #$% here and smites everyone :bluewink:. Very underated cat in the pantheon of greats.
Wow Jeff, that's a great compliment for your playing coming from the old Budd (and you deserve it, I heared some of your great TOTM recordings here on SOTW)!

I love Budd Johnson for a long time. Have seen him several times here in Holland, also with Cobb and Jacquet in a Texas Tenor tribute on North Sea Jazz Festival. Biggest impression he made on me in a concert with Jay McShann and Jimmy Witherspoon in the 80's. They only played blues, which I love. I have an old tape of that concert (don't even know if it still works, didn't play it for years) which I played about a million times, mainly because of the great blues solo's of Budd. What strikes me in his playing is how he enters his solo's: mostly that is with a very complex chromatical lick that sounds fantastic! Indeed a great and under-estimated player.

Did you know he has/had a brother named Keg Johnson? Keg played great trombone. I have a CD with them, recoreded in the 50's, Budd is killing on that. Also Ben Webster loved his playing, check out the LP or CD 'Ben Webster and Friends', where Budd (IMO!) outplays Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster (I know that's a risque statement!).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Listening to Dexter's solo reminds me of the first time I heard him. Completely taken by the sound and
his complete harmonic knowledge.

Just want to quote from drummer, Daniel Humair, when asked to recall the days with Dexter:

“Dexter was the perfect jazz musician because the music was always about purity and creation.
He never played the role of the leader, he never dictated, because he knew that this would have
a negative effect on the musicians and would cancel the purpose of the mutual adventure.
As a drummer, he was one of the most pleasing soloists to be behind. We never had an argument and he was devoid of an ego. His attitude was respect of musicians to musicians.”
Thanks for sharing your very interesting story DenisJ.

I remember a simular story coming from Rinus Groeneveld, one of the best Dutch tenors IMO. Dexter was one of his great hero's (besides Arnett Cobb), so when Dexter gave a concert in Netherlands in the 70's Rinus wanted to play with him. But he was to shy to do that without permission. So after a cople of drinks he gathered some guts and jumped on the stage (almost at the end of a solo of Dexter) and played his solo. According to Rinus Dexter was just smiling and spoke after the tune ended two words to him: 'Nice tone!' (this is a 'free' translation from what I remember of the story of Rinus, don't point me on the details!).

If you would like to hear some great recent blues playing of Rinus, check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zz0jgcypH8
 

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Yes! Dexter's Dukoff! I totally forgot about that mouthpiece. Thanks for reminding me about that.

Interesting story about IJ's Selmer Balanced Action. The horn in the old photo with the hat is the same one he plays in the vid. When I joined him in the '90s, he was playing a mk6, but I asked him about the balanced. He said that it was 'blowed out,' and that it was 'around here someplace,' meaning in his house, where the conversation was taking place. IJ then told me how he aquired the balanced action. He said that he had been playing a Conn Conquerer, and that he put it under the airplane to go make a gig. When he got to the gig, the horn was unplayable. So he borrowed Coleman Hawkins' balanced to play his gig. He said that he ended up liking CH's balanced better than the Conn, so when he got back to NYC, he traded the Conn for the Selmer.

His last horn was a gold plated Serie II that had his name engraved in the bell. This horn was a gift from Patrick and Gerard Selmer. I don't know how to post youtubes, but there's a short vid of him playing this horn. I believe it's under the tittle 'Texas Tenor' and his sound on this horn is really beautiful, IMHO.

Thanks for posting all this history, mrP.
 

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Did you know he has/had a brother named Keg Johnson? Keg played great trombone. I have a CD with them, recoreded in the 50's, Budd is killing on that. Also Ben Webster loved his playing, check out the LP or CD 'Ben Webster and Friends', where Budd (IMO!) outplays Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster (I know that's a risque statement!).
Didn't know that man about Keg. I do have that Budd CD with Ben, Hawk & Lil Jazz and Budd sounds great and I agree with you that he outplays Hawk & Ben on that date.
 

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Jeff, here is some info on the CD of Budd and his brother Keg on trombone (CD The Budd Johnson Quintet - Let's Swing):
http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1036747/a/Let's+Swing.htm

On the bottom of the page you can listen to some sound fragments. It's a great CD, I can recommend it. Checking the CD-cover picture of Budd it looks like he played a white Brilly in that time (recorded Dec 2, 1960).
 

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I always marvel at that Dexter echo he does. He did it on "I want more".
 

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Yes! Dexter's Dukoff! I totally forgot about that mouthpiece. Thanks for reminding me about that.

Interesting story about IJ's Selmer Balanced Action. The horn in the old photo with the hat is the same one he plays in the vid. When I joined him in the '90s, he was playing a mk6, but I asked him about the balanced. He said that it was 'blowed out,' and that it was 'around here someplace,' meaning in his house, where the conversation was taking place. IJ then told me how he aquired the balanced action. He said that he had been playing a Conn Conquerer, and that he put it under the airplane to go make a gig. When he got to the gig, the horn was unplayable. So he borrowed Coleman Hawkins' balanced to play his gig. He said that he ended up liking CH's balanced better than the Conn, so when he got back to NYC, he traded the Conn for the Selmer.

His last horn was a gold plated Serie II that had his name engraved in the bell. This horn was a gift from Patrick and Gerard Selmer. I don't know how to post youtubes, but there's a short vid of him playing this horn. I believe it's under the tittle 'Texas Tenor' and his sound on this horn is really beautiful, IMHO.

Thanks for posting all this history, mrP.
Wow Mr. sideC, that's again a terrific story! I love these kind of stories very very much, thanks again for sharing :). Do you happen to know what the tip size of his mouthpiece was, what reeds (strength and type) he used and if his MPC was standard or refaced? I would love to know those kind of details.

I think I found the YouTube video you mentioned above (please correct me if it's not the correct one):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMbjIc2DLSE
Indeed IJ plays again on the Tone Master, his sound is great on that Selmer Series II. I have that Video at home, but didn't remember the details anymore (getting old!).

What I do remember is that I saw Mr. Jacquet about 16 times when he visited The Netherlands. That was in various settings, from small groups to his terrefic Big Band. I once talked a few words with him and got his autograph. That was just after a concert of his Illinois Jacquet Big Band at the 'Meer Jazz Festival' in Hoofddorp in May 1998. I was standing 1 meter in front of the podium and noticed that he was looking quite often towards two small young kids with a light coloured skin, standing close to the podium with their parents. A few years later I found an interview with IJ, where he mentioned this concert in "Hoefdorp" (he ment Hoofddorp!) and the fact that he was very excited that evening because of two young boys with a coloured skin standing in front of the podium. Those young kids reminded him of his own youth, when he danced with his brother Russel (the trumpet player) on Jazz music. I still have a cassette tape of that concert, he really sounded great overthere at age 75 (on tenor AND alto).
 

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I always marvel at that Dexter echo he does. He did it on "I want more".
I guess he did that via some falls fingering technic on middle C and/or on middle A, together with a special air support. Don't know for sure, can't repeat it myself as well as Dex does. Does anybody else know?
 

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Wow Mr. sideC, that's again a terrific story! I love these kind of stories very very much, thanks again for sharing :). Do you happen to know what the tip size of his mouthpiece was, what reeds (strength and type) he used and if his MPC was standard or refaced? I would love to know those kind of details.

I think I found the YouTube video you mentioned above (please correct me if it's not the correct one):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMbjIc2DLSE
Indeed IJ plays again on the Tone Master, his sound is great on that Selmer Series II. I have that Video at home, but didn't remember the details anymore (getting old!).

What I do remember is that I saw Mr. Jacquet about 16 times when he visited The Netherlands. That was in various settings, from small groups to his terrefic Big Band. I once talked a few words with him and got his autograph. That was just after a concert of his Illinois Jacquet Big Band at the 'Meer Jazz Festival' in Hoofddorp in May 1998. I was standing 1 meter in front of the podium and noticed that he was looking quite often towards two small young kids with a light coloured skin, standing close to the podium with their parents. A few years later I found an interview with IJ, where he mentioned this concert in "Hoefdorp" (he ment Hoofddorp!) and the fact that he was very excited that evening because of two young boys with a coloured skin standing in front of the podium. Those young kids reminded him of his own youth, when he danced with his brother Russel (the trumpet player) on Jazz music. I still have a cassette tape of that concert, he really sounded great overthere at age 75 (on tenor AND alto).

MrP, the mouthpiece IJ got from Dexter was refaced, I'm pretty sure. He used a fairly modern metal Link on his alto. He told me that he had the alto piece refaced to match the tenor MPC, so I'm assuming that the tenor mpc was refaced also. After the Dex piece was stolen, people were sending him old tone masters to try out, but none were quite like the Dex MPC. He finally settled on one that I believe he got from Emilio up in Boston. This piece was never refaced while it was in IJ's possession, that I know of. I really don't know the tip openings but I can tell you one thing. Jacquet wasn't into equipment, he was just into results. He probably wasn't too concerned with the tip opening, just if it played for him. For example, he didn't know that his old Selmer tenor was a Balanced Action model. "It ain't no balanced action, it's a Selmer," he said when I asked him about the horn! He told me he had a guy in Paris who worked on his mouthpieces, and I guess he planned to visit him when we got to Paris, but we never made that stop while I was in the band. His reeds were Rico, I don't remember if they were orange box or blue box.

Yes, that's the vid I was referring to. Thanks for putting it up! I love the sound he gets with that setup. This horn was probably triple gold plated, I never saw a horn with that much gold plate, it looked to be an inch thick! It was beautiful.

Yeah, I played that Hoofddorp gig with Jacquet. Inside a big tent, if my memory is correct. I was sitting in the 3rd alto chair. All kinds of stuff was going on in front of the bandstand that night. Catherine, IJ's European promoter kept politely screaming at Jacquet to get off the stage, we were way overtime. IJ just kept running the band longer and finally yelled back at Catherine, " **** YOU! I'M THE KING!!!!!"...... and called yet ANOTHER tune! Needless to say, that was our last trip to Europe.
 

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Yeah, I played that Hoofddorp gig with Jacquet. Inside a big tent, if my memory is correct. I was sitting in the 3rd alto chair. All kinds of stuff was going on in front of the bandstand that night. Catherine, IJ's European promoter kept politely screaming at Jacquet to get off the stage, we were way overtime. IJ just kept running the band longer and finally yelled back at Catherine, " **** YOU! I'M THE KING!!!!!"...... and called yet ANOTHER tune! Needless to say, that was our last trip to Europe.
This is amazing! I just digged up this old cassette recording of that concert and think I just listened to your great alto solo in a very slow blues. It's a tremendous solo, you played some licks from the Jimmy Forrest tune 'Night Train' (which was played after this slow opening blues!). Was that really you? Illinois counted of the tempo with his foot on the wooden floor of the stage. I was always impressed by the way how he always found the perfect tempo of a tune, something like Count Basie also could do. The first alto (Joey C) also played a great feature on 'Willow Weep For Me'. Illinois himself had a great alto feature in 'On The Sunny Side Of The Street'. I have a killing alto solo of him (not of this concert) on that tune where he plays a fantastic high G, on the edge of collapsing, like he also often did on tenor with a high A.

Wow man, some great memories come up now! I remember the concert was much longer then planned, but it also started much later. The band was still doing a sound check while the concert already should have started. The people outside the tent started to be restless. I remember we (my alto buddy and me) where one of the first that forced the back doors of the tent open, to have the best standing spot close to the podium (always on the right of IJ, to be able to see his fingering on the sax). I was always killed by IJ's solo on the 'Blues From Louisiana' and his high screaming notes in that tune (and the short and dry tong slap notes). Also remember whisling softly most of his solo's (knowing most of them by heart from other recordings I have of the band from radio concerts in Laren for TROS Sesjun broadcasting) and the five saxophone chorus feature (I just whistled it again note for note, didn't hear it for years)!

This was a tremendous band, must have been a great experience for you to have been a part of that. One of the most beautiful things of those concerts was to see the faces of the bandmembers when Illinois took a solo. Full of respect and encouraging him with vocal statements. I always had the idea that it must have been like heaven for guys playing in his band, and you where there!

Thanks again for sharing your memories :).
 
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