A priceless moment in the film “Big Ben: Ben Webster In Europe.” He demonstrates the old school strategy of playing along with a recording, in this case a Fats Waller LP. This film isn’t a performance documentary; it’s sketches of Mr. Webster’s daily life: going to the zoo, talking with his landlady, playing some stride piano, commuting to gigs, running a rehearsal (with Don Byas!), and so forth.
Scott Reeves and I have a new project together, a tentet featuring our original compositions and arrangements. Come on out to Sir D’s Lounge in Brooklyn and enjoy our music performed by Dave Pietro, Lance Bryant, Jay Brandford (saxes); John Bailey, Andy Gravish (trumpets); Mark Patterson, Scott Reeves (trombones); Roberta Piket (piano), Rusty Holloway (bass); Andy Watson (drums).
Sir D’s Lounge is at 837 Union Street, Brooklyn, in the same location as the old Tea Lounge in Park Slope. The club is presenting large ensemble jazz every Monday 8-11pm
Here’s a nice little tune from the 1960s that could use a little more attention. “Each Time I Think Of You” was co-composed by Duke Pearson and Donald Byrd, and was recorded at the May 1961 session for Blue Note Records that produced Byrd’s album, “The Cat Walk.”
The tune is a 40 bar medium-up swinger with A-B-C-A-D structure, a little unusual, with lovely bebop melodies throughout. It starts and ends in Ab major but modulates through B, A and C major along the way. This lead-sheet shows the 2-horn harmonies that Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams play, but listen to the recording to appreciate the supporting fills that Duke Pearson plays around the melody at the piano – they add so much to the personality of the song.
In Pepper Adams’ Joy Road, Gary Carner’s annotated discography of the baritone saxophonist, bassist Laymon Jackson recalls that drummer Philly Joe Jones was a last minute sub picked up on the way to Rudy Van Gelder’s recording studio. You’d never know it from the fantastic job he does catching all the right kicks to support the melody and the soloists. Pepper Adams takes 2 great choruses, followed by Byrd and Pearson with 1 each. The horn soloists then trade eights with Philly Joe, then it’s back to the head and out.