Selection: C Jam Blues
Red Garland (p) Paul Chambers (b) Art Taylor (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, December 14, 1956 and August 9, 1957
Enter stage left, the Miles Davis Quintet rhythm section, Red Garland and Paul Chambers but the choice of drummer is the more swinging Art Taylor in preference to Philly Joe, whose trademark “kick” was perhaps thought better suited to the larger brass-led ensemble. Or may be he was busy that day.
Red’s swinging musicality is the absolute embodiment of piano accompaniment, so much so, he was destined to be the principal casualty of Miles transformation to his modal, more cool and minimalist style, for which the piano was thought too busy, too much information. Red wasn’t the one to pursue Herbie Hancock’s percussive, staccato piano solution. His hands wanted to move.
And move they do. If Miles was later to drop Garland, here, Garland drops Miles, and shows that piano can lead as well as accompany, though the emphasis remains focussed on swinging rather than Powell’s jaw-dropping virtuosity or Monk’s fiendish compositions .
Red’s rendition of the very simple yet very complex Ellingtonian “C Jam Blues” illustrates perfectly the art of playing just what is needed, nothing more and nothing less. It is so subtle an art it is easily overlooked, especially in the presence of attention grabbing lead lines from the brass. With Groovy, you can learn to listen again to the rhythm section.
Esquire 32-056, first UK release of Prestige PR 7113, vinyl weight 174gm, RVG machine stamp, AB (Abbey Manufacturing)
The Prestige cover: what a contrast! Prestige “urban” vs Esquire’s “urbane”: gritty graffiti vs lounge-bar. The rebellious reversed “R” in “Red” gives it a visual lift, as the second O in GROOVY takes on the image of the vinyl disc. Neat, but to round off the faux-underclass schtick they ought to have mis-spelt Prestige, and annoy Bob Weinstock.
On this occasion, I think the Esquire takes it on points – more in keeping with the music inside. Now there is a novel idea…
COVER – EXCELLENT CONDITIONVINYL – GOOD CONDITION ( SURFACE MARK THAT RUNS ACROSS TRACK ONE, SIDE ONE. SOME LIGHT SURFACE MARKS, BUT NOTHING THAT AFFECTS PLAY )
Ebay under the bonnet: the second-placed bidder: The Price Setter:
Occasionally, I like to lift the bonnet and take a closer look at the competition in an eBay auction I have won – or lost. It’s always interesting to know who you are up against in pursuit of vintage vinyl, where they are coming from, their bidding style, what else is in their field of view. In the last 30 days month they placed 303 bids on 196 items, many of them vintage hi-fi components, I assume – on German Ebay..
Red Baron, for you the war is over: I won. But I salute an honourable opponent. Good taste.
Snoopy vs The Red Baron (1966)