Selection 1: Rip de Boom
Selection 2: Sassy Ann
Louis Hayes (drums) Nat Adderley (cornet) Yusef Lateef (tenor saxophone) Barry Harris (piano) Sam Jones (bass) recorded April 26, 1960 New York City, engineer Bob Fisher, credited with engineering most of the early ’60s VeeJay jazz titles.
Louis found himself at the tender age of 18 in New York as a member of the great Horace Silver Quintet, playing on Blue Note’s Finger Poppin’ and Blowin’ the Blues Away . He joined Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet/Sextet in 1959 and stayed until 1965. He is recording here for VeeJay with the Cannonball Adderley 1960 Quintet, with Lateef in for Cannonball .
Solid bop tracks, with Louis getting a few scraps of solo airtime, whilst Lateef is in an authoritative mood, straight tenor without any of the obscure conches and finger-holed clay pots to whistle through in the following years.
For twenty years, Louis Hayes appears on some of the most swinging groups in all modern jazz sessions, displaying tight-knit harmonic cohesion and hard-driving consistency. Contrast him with the free-swinging angular pyrotechnics of Anthony Williams, the snap-crackle-pop precision of Roy Haynes, the relentless driving thunder of Art Blakey, and his nearest musical relative, Philly Joe and his relentless backbeat.
Louis is a good driving force. Barry Harris is also a welcome presence, with harmonic grace and excellent compositional skills, and a wicked sense of rhythmic propulsion, (later exemplified by Harris’s piano-riff in Lee Morgan’s Sidewinder, instantly conjuring up gyrating girls in shift dresses and beehive hairdos. I do love that album)
Reissued in 1974 by successor company VeeJay International, as Yusef Lateef’s Contemplation. Cruel, Louis Hayes leader erased, dog eat dog world of records.
For Followers of The Evil Silver Disk
When it came to The Evil Silver Disk™ Vee-Jay International showed some remorse and reinstated Louis to his rightful position, but adding the seductive lure of bonus tracks, to sway impressionable young minds away from vinyl goodness towards the digital dark side.
“But LJC… it’s got bonus tracks! ” And a whiff of sulphur. No! Be-gone!!
Cover-art critique: VeeJay cover vs TESD
A comparison of the original vibrant Vee-Jay cymbal smash and the CD dull static snare drum product shot speaks volumes. A picture of a drum does not visually capture the rhythmic propulsion delivered by the missing drummer’s stick. The pedestrian CD cover is like a drum manufacturer’s brochure. Worse, the curved 3D typography is straight out of Hollywood B-movies, I Married A Monster From Outer Space. No-one involved had any empathy with the music, just tired formulaic visual clichés. It is worth being reminded how great some original cover art is.
Vinyl: SR 3010 (stereo)
Manufactured by American Record Pressing, Michigan, (ARP) like similar VeeJay titles. This time, the black/rainbow rim/oval logo label indicates first issue, a having become the standard label from 3009 and there being no earlier maroon/script. Much as I enjoyed munching my way through the LJC millinery department, this time I think one is an original. Anyone find an earlier edition, this time I’ll eat my …shorts.
Source: Lucio’s market stall, Saturday bric-a-brac and antiques market in the Italian/French border town of Ventimiglia. Lucio and his delightful wife have a good command of English, unlike my Italian, which apart from prego, grazie and scusi..is limited to the immortal phrase learned in childhood train travel through Europe, “E’ Pericoloso Sporgersi”
Whilst I have never forgotten the phrase, I have never actually found a modern day use for it. European international trains hardly run any more, and the windows on modern jets don’t open, so warning people not to lean out is…sort of redundant. After only a little haggling, (and discussing of the world’s problems, of which Ventimiglia has more than its share) Euros changed hands for vinyl.
Last weekend I went back again for another dip into Lucio’s jazz box, and secured a couple of nice US Riverside titles I had never seen before. This process gave rise to another interesting collector’s dilemma – Do I Already Have This™ ?
Have you been there? The cover looked possibly familiar, but with 1500 records on the shelf back in the UK, I knew I had one Lenny McBrowne album. Was this it or another? Without my usual database printout or internet access, there was only one thing to do. Comandeering a spot in a busy alfresco pavement café full of Italian locals drinking and smoking (public health, go figure), I ordered a refreshing early morning birra al spina, and rang my lifeline back in England, Man-in-a-Shed .
Answering the phone, he sounded surprised by the early morning call.
Man-in-a-Shed : Err.. where are you?
LJC: “Italy. Are you near a computer…and can you do me a favour?
Barking instructions down a mobile phone to search my own website, and Google, with various spellings, Man-in-a-Shed embarked an epic online search and returned the requested information, that apparently I had the artist’s Pacific Jazz title, but not the artists title on Riverside. Result! Eastern Sounds – Lenny McBrowne and the Four Souls, US Riverside, subject of a future post.
Isn’t collecting fun?
Perhaps you have some stories to tell.