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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.


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

(I have posted that link before here on SOTW)

Enjoy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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):
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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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thanks for the nice words Adrian and Rooty. I also enjoy this stuff very very much, but I guess that was already clear :bluewink:!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks for the kind words, MrP. Yes, that's my solo on the slow blues in Eb. It was called 'Kansas City Style', or something, and it was my only feature most nights. Slow, felt like 29 bpm. Man, ants moved faster than I was playing!
You played the roof of the tent in that solo, very solid and powerful alto sound, great bluesy impro! I plan to digitalize those old cassettes into MP3's before they don't play anymore... Will pm you when I have done that, just to see if you would like to get a copy. But it can take a while before I can do that, very busy person... But I won't forget!

PS. I played at the same Meer Jazz Festival with my band in that time, but in a much smaller tent, and on a much lower level!

Jacquet got hoisted on his own pitard at that Laren gig you mention. We had long travel to get to Laren and IJ wanted to rehearse all day instead of resting and making the gig that night. So we went straight to the venue, Nick Vogelbrects Jazz Cafe, and started to rehearse. We rehearse right up to broadcast time. So we broadcast two long sets and everyone's beat, dog tired by the final tune, 'One O'Clock Jump'. So the rhythm section starts One O'Clock Jump in F. Just as they modulate to Db, you hear that dreadful thud of a saxophone hitting the floor. Jacquet had picked his tenor up off the stand and missed the hook with his neck strap! BLAM! the horn hits the floor! Embarassed, he picks up the horn and somehow forces out the solo in Db. We finish the tune and IJ collapses, totally exausted, into the arms of Brian Sledge, one of the trumpet players. We had to carry his *** back to his dressing room. Fortunately for Jacquet, our next stop was Hamburg, and I was familiar with a pretty good saxophone repair shop in St. Pauli, so he was able to get it running when we got there.
This is again an incredible story! The funny thing is that I played a cassette of this concert for years in my car (now I only have CD/MP3 options, no cassette anymore). I didn't see this concert live, but from my tape I figured out that IJ's tenor jumped on the floor, because I heared the 'bang' and the reactions of the guys in the background. It happened during a piano solo and I can hear that this guy had to stretch his solo for some more chorusses before IJ get it up again. You can even hear IJ playing some test notes in the last bars of the piano solo. And then he begins a short solo, but it's one of my favourites of him. He starts his solo in a Herschel Evans way (Herschel was one of his big examples) and his sound is terrific. I think he plays only 2 chorusses, and in the last bars he goes done to the lower registers where his horn doesn't respond anymore (cracked notes). But I love it, I have a preference for those notes on the edge of the sound! My findings by ear completely match your story above, fantastic! My story is completely from memory, I didn't listen to that tape for years. I have to put this stuff on MP3 soon I guess...

Those long rehearsals must have been killing for the first trumpet player. On the other hand, he always hits the very high notes at the times I heared the band, so he must have had some chops...

Thanks again Mr. sideC for your great inside stories :)!

Peter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
He practically lives next door. Did you know he put up a street sign calling his street "Dexter Gordon Plaza"?
I have been at Rinus place (and will visit him again soon), but didn't know that! Funny, real Rinus humor! Nice place to live also. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Man, I wish I could have heard your band while we were there. I'm sure you guys were sounding good. What was your instrumentation, and what kind of stuff were you doing?
Thanks for asking Mr. sideC :). I played at that time in an amateur band called Bob Session. Bob was our bandleader, a retired professional music teacher who played clarinet, alto and piano. The rest of the band was full time amateur! We mainly tried to play straight ahead jazz. The instrumentation was clarinet/alto/piano (Bob), tenor (me!), baritone, trumpet, vibraphone, guitar, bass and drums (I liked that setting very much).

I have some old recordings of that time (around 1999) on my SoundClick page. Bit reluctant to post the links in this thread full of great professional players, because the quality of the recording and the musicians is by far not up to the other postings in this thread. But anyhow, here are some links:

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=9607310 - Walkin Shoes (studio) - my solo starts around 3:06
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10037993 - 7 Come 11 (live) - my solo starts around 3:02
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=9607401 - Just A Closer Walk With Thee (live) - feature of me (inspired by Mr. Arnett Cobb)

I played at that time on a Selmer SBA of 1952 with a metal Otto Link Early Babbitt 8* mouthpiece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
Winston Byrd played first trumpet in that band, he was just a kid back then and he had chops around the corner. He's coming in from L.A. later this month and I'll pass your complement on to him. He loves complements!
Please make it a very BIG compliment to Winston, he really hitted all those high notes in a great way (almost like Cat Anderson did)!

MrP, thanks for giving me a chance to talk about the good old days!
No thanks at all, actually I can't get enough of those good old days stories (I guess the same is valid for the other readers of this thread), thanks again for that.

Talking of old stories... I'm a great fan of Arnett Cobb and happen to know that Illinois played alto with him in the late 30's in the Milton Larkin band. Arnett already played tenor in that time. Hampton offered Cobb the job of first tenor in 1939 (also Basie has asked him to replace Herschel), but he refused both offers. Illinois went to Hampton and had to switch to tenor, with great results as we all know. Later, when IJ left Hampton, Cobb replaced him (in 1942). Now most people think that Cobb is influenced by IJ, but it would be more logic to assume that IJ was inspired by Cobb (being older and playing tenor before IJ did). But I never found any information on IJ mentioning that Arnett was an example or influence for him. I know both had great respect for each other, I could see that clearly during mutual performances of them (have seen them together about 5 times in Holland from 1979 onwards).

Did IJ speak ever to you on how he thought of Arnett?

A fantastic source of information on Arnett Cobb can be found via this link (it contains beautiful stories and old pictures):
http://issuu.com/nicquemont/docs/arnettcobb_booklet_web

Also just found a great performance of Arnett Cobb on YouTube, playing in the Lionel Hampton All Star Big Band in 1978 in The Netherlands. Just check this link if you would like to see it:
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...a-Jazz-Festival-in-1978-featuring-Arnett-Cobb
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thanks rolltrane, fully agree. Everybody seems to have that LP/CD! We shouldn't forget to mention Roy Eldridge, who is in real great shape at this recording.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Nicely phrased Mr. sideC :)! I could have expected something like that, remembering what you wrote on what IJ yelled back at Catherine in Hoofddorp (" **** YOU! I'M THE KING!!!!!"......)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Wow Mr. sideC, that are great compliments coming from you, thanks, really appreciate that :)!

Indeed we had a band that only played tunes we liked ourselfs. I brought in quite some tunes coming from my record and CD collection, but I'm very bad in reading and writing music, so Bob (our leader) put them on paper and sometimes added some extra voicing. Still miss that band, we quit about 5 years ago. I now play in a Big Band as first tenor and primairy solist. I like it, but I miss the freedom of a small combo (and don't have time to play in more then one band right now).

PS. We also played a tune of IJ which I brought in. It's a nice blues called 'Banned in Boston', recorded by IJ and Roy Eldridge in 1962.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
...Sorry to mention horns but it looks from pictures like he in fact played a SBA not a BA...
I did some further checking on the sax pictures of IJ and think it's a BA, like sideC also mentioned in one of his posts.

Please check this picture (posted in this thread #10):
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Illinoisjacquet.jpg

When you blow it up to super size you can see in the right bottom (on the bell) a serial number. For me it's 29166 or something close to that. That number is listed as a Balanced Action of around 1939 in the Selmer serial number chards:
http://saxofoons.volop.info/serienummers-selmer

Some other differences between BA and SBA are listed here:
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?154248-SBA-Owners-Club&p=1604989&viewfull=1#post1604989

One of the striking differences is that BA's have the serial number on the bell and SBA's under the thumbrest, so that also makes this one probably a BA.

According to sideC IJ himself didn't bother at all about this, see post #19 in this thread: "It ain't no balanced action, it's a Selmer," :)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
You are right about that picture. It is a BA. But that isn't the horn that Illinois Jacquet played in latter years... for example in the video you posted he is playing a SBA which you can distinguish by the adjustable Gsharp and longer bow compared to a BA. See following picture:

View attachment 26270 View attachment 26271 View attachment 26272
Indeed you're right, those are SBA's (I also have one like that). Seems that even IJ was also regularly in search of something 'extra' in his sound! Thanks for posting.
 
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