Cecil Payne “The Connection” alternate score (1962)

Track Selection “Mighty Fine Wine” >

All star line up: Cecil Payne (bar/s) Clark Terry (t) Bennie Green (tb), Duke Jordan (p) Ron Carter (d) Charlie Persip (d) Recorded NY 1962

Music fromThe Connection

There is the best known Blue Note version of music from The Connection, featuring Jackie McLean, the Felstead version featuring Tina Brooks, who understudied Jackie for the stage performance, and later still, the Cecil Payne version –  with an alternative score written by himself and Kenny Drew – which took over the off-Broadway production after its initial run.

Pocket Biography: Cecil Payne

Previously unknown to me, Cecil Payne was a jazz survivor – departed age 84 in  2007. One of Bebop’s great baritone saxophonists but who worked in relative obscurity, never led a band of his own, recorded only a few albums as a leader and played an instrument that rarely takes center stage. Which explains why you wont have heard much of him.

A saxophone voice of flowing lines and warm tone, he made his reputation with Tadd Dameron and Coleman Hawkins (’49-’52), later working with Illinois Jacquet (’52-’54). In 1957, he and fellow baritonist Pepper Adams backed John Coltrane on Dakar. After a career break to mind the family business, Payne joined the cast of The Connection,”an exposé of the urban drug culture informed by its on-stage jazz performances” (it said somewhere)

According to his wiki, Payne once said that his parents urged him to consider dentistry as a career. He countered their suggestion by pointing out that no one would ever entrust his or her teeth to a “Dr. Payne”. Like the piano teacher who I encountered on my walk as a temporary postman: Miss C. Sharp, Flat B.

Cecil in action, with (OMG! foams at mouth) Sahib Shihab

Cecil Payne and Sahib Shihab with The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band 1968

Labels, run-out and liner notes

Looks like a budget pressing for Charlie Parker Records, a short-lived British label, which released, surprisingly, Charlie Parker records and a few other Jazz titles, like this.

Collectors Notes

Touring Cast, 1961/62 Recorded 14, 15, 16 March 1962 – Charlie Parker Records PLP 806. Which suggests my pressing is simply a later budget commercial reissue.

Difficult to compete with such a strong score as the original version, though the line up are no also-ran. More of an oddity or curio than a must-have, priced accordingly in the budget range. Fans of baritone sax might want to add Cecil Payne to their watch list. I think he plays nice.

However there is yet another version of The Connection, the LA Production, which introduces Dexter Gordon as the lead saxophonist. L.A. Production: The score to accompany the L.A. production was performed by Dexter Gordon who later recorded several parts from the production on his 1961 Blue Note release Dexter Calling

Quote (from the liner notes): “Soul Sister,” the original that launches the first side is one of the themes Dexter wrote for the score of the Hollywood version of The Connection in which he had an acting, playing, and writing role; it is the equivalent of Freddie Redd’s “(Theme for) Sister Salvation”… “I Want More”, the significantly titled Gordon theme that closes the first side, is the West Coast equivalent of “O.D. (Overdose)”… “Ernie’s Theme”, is the last of the three themes on this LP from Dexter’s Connection score. It parallels “Music Forever”.

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14 thoughts on “Cecil Payne “The Connection” alternate score (1962)

  1. You can enjoy Cecil Payne as a leader on Signal 1203 a deep groove pressing featuring Kenny Dorham, Duke Jordan, Tommy Potter and Art Taylor ( what a line up ) and as a sideman on Signal 1202 ( Duke Jordan is the leader here ). Two of my favourite records.

  2. Flute is tough for me too, but don’t have that much to draw from. I have a couple Herbie Mann LPa I like–some Bossa Nova stye stuff and more R&B/crossover like “Memphis Undeground”. Although I like Herbie’s playing just fine, I don’t like those records for the flute in particular, more the stuff around it.

  3. What put me off baritone sax for a long time was, wash my mouth out, Gerry Mulligan. I didn’t like West Coast at the time, and Mulligan seemed very safe and bland, and I packaged the whole instrument up with Mulligan. I have since reevaluated Mulligan but I am still not keen on a lot of his playing.
    Then I discovered Pepper Adams, woa!, then Sahib Shihab, double woa!! then Ronnie Cuber on Mingus Big Band (Moanin’), Chaloff, more recently Bob Gordon, yes it’s an animal of an instrument, but it is g r e a t sound for jazz.
    It’s a familiar pattern. One time I was convinced I didn’t like trombone. Then I heard Bennie Green.. the rest is history.
    Right now I am still not keen on flute – Herbie Mann. May be thats wrong too.

  4. You have bari sax fever! It’s a great instrument–I’ve been enjoying some Pepper Adams lately…I’m very excited about a couple Serge Chaloff LP’s I got recently, but haven’t listened to them yet…
    This Cecil Payne track is excellent, and it’s cool to hear some early Ron Carter.

  5. four are the records by Chaloff I recommend:
    Blue Serge, Capitol T 742
    Boston blow-up!, Capitol T 6510
    Plays the fable of Mable, Storyville LP 317 (10″)
    Serge Chaloff and Boots Mussulli, Storyville STLP 310 (10″)

    the first one, you have, is more than good stuff, get back one more time.

  6. even the USA version is stereo-pact!
    the same group, as quintet (no Bennie Green), recorded another session the year before, march 1961, also published on Charlie Parker Records (PLP 801), there are 7 Parker tracks.
    unfortunately I don’t have this record.
    for those interested in baritone, there’s a musician who’s an absolute must: Serge Chaloff.

  7. Hmmmm…..”Stereo-pact” never heard that before 😉 Do they mean impact and hard hitting sound? Never heard of this LP but agree with you on Shihab…..

    • The give-away is the” Produced and Manufactured by COMBINED RECORD SALES”. Not exactly Plastylite, Decca or Phillips. Anonymous pressing plant. Ive never seen the Pact bit before but I know Charlie Parker Records – a licensee for US recordings in the UK. Nothing audiophile about this, but an interesting music selection.

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