Howard McGhee Vol 2 (1953)

Track Selection:  Jarm (McGhee)


Howard McGhee (tp) Gigi Gryce (as, fl) Horace Silver (p) Tal Farlow (g) Percy Heath (b) Walter Bolden (d) recorded WOR Studios, NYC, May 20, 1953


Described by one Amazon customer reviewer as “very possibly the best music on record that Howard McGhee has left us. Absolutely gorgeous full tone working mostly mid-register, McGhee’s trumpet lines are always clear, clean and creative. No grandstanding. No cliches”. Tal Farlow’s presence is also significant.

Vinyl: Toshiba-EMI Japan pressing of 10″ BLP 5025

Scott Yannow notes: “Among the rarest Blue Note recordings are the ones issued in the early ’50s on 10″ LPs, a format that did not catch on, being quickly overshadowed by 12″ LPs” . This Toshiba pressing transfers the 10″ onto 12″, leaving a huge expanse of blank vinyl surrounding the label. No extra tracks or alternate takes to bulk it out like a CD.

The cover is one of those retro joys, with the photo’s  curved cutout shape for which there is no geometrical word I know of, closely resembling the shape of an artist’s palette, or plywood furniture cut with a jigsaw. Just looks right for the period.

No liner notes to speak of, which may be characteristic of 10″ originals.

Collectors Corner

I know little of Farlows work, and these early Fifties recordings of McGhee seemed a good way in. Not expensive, apart from the small matter of 10″ playing time.

4 thoughts on “Howard McGhee Vol 2 (1953)

  1. Nice one. The CD contains a bonus alternate take of “Jarm” plus a second 10″ from the Tal Farlow Quartet with Tal Farlow and Don Arnone guitar, Clyde Lombardi bass and Joe Morello drums. They were part of the short lived Connoisseur 10″ Series: “two 10″ LPs on one CD!” 😉

  2. Hi LJC,
    Have you heard of “Jazz on Record”? It’s long title might explain better: “A Critical Guide to the First Fifty Years, 1917-67” by Albert McCarthy, Max Harrison, Alun Morgan, and Paul Oliver. This might be right for you. It’s the correct era (it’s real slant is towards the 50’s and 60’s), and densely filled with very critical reviews that have no room for apologies. Straightforward and a little uptight. It’s just the right balance. I find it’s indispensable. Of course that’s me, it seems your knowledge might stretch past this book. I bring it up as a suggestion in case you are searching for new(old) literature on this fascinating music we call jazz.

    • Just ordered a copy on Amazon, thanks for the recomendation, though the “1917” reference got me a little worried : Kaiser Wilhelm and his Austro-Hungarian Empire Oompa Oompa Band not being on my wants list. However recorded jazz 50s and 60s hits the spot. Cheers.


      Book arrived this morning. Wow! My second edition was written in 1967 – you really sense the contemporary feel of the writing. Great book, highly recommended, over forty years old, but fresh as the music

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