Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thad or Not Thad? That Is the Question (Part Two)

© Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

What's the deal with the second Joe Williams date with Thad Jones? The first one, discussed in Pepper Adams' Joy Road, was done after hours and includes some short but memorable solos by members of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. But the second one, Something Old, New and Blue? Dave Demsey, Frank Basile and I exchanged an interesting series of emails about this recording. This first from Demsey in late April, 2014:

Hi Gary,

That Joe Williams Something Old/New/Blue date is amazing - and definitely NOT the Thad/Mel band. No musicians are credited (can you find that? I haven't been able to find any credits). In fact, it's not a big band date at all, most of it is either strings, multi-horns, etc. We have two of Thad's arrangements from that date, in Thad's handwriting (Young Man on the Way Up, and One More for the Road). There's no bari sax on that at all, I don't think; if there is, it might be ensemble stuff for one chart. Certainly no Pepper.  It may be LA guys, I don't recognize any of the sax players at all.  

Knowing how much these guys ghost-wrote for one another, it would not surprise me at all if Bob Friedman did some of the charts on this...Thad is credited as "arrangements by Thad Jones" but who knows with that stuff? Bob could even have done something on the Thad/Mel Present Joe Williams date, although I'd think that was more hands-on for Thad, it was only their second album as a band, he was bringing in his old Basie star Joe...but as I said, nothing would surprise me. All of the Thad scores we have are in one hand -- Thad's...but I have heard many stories of Thad ghosting for others, of others ghosting for Quincy or for Benny Carter, etc. Quincy or Benny would sketch out the chart with the melodies and the lines, and others would come fill the parts out.



Dr. David Demsey
Coordinator of Jazz Studies
Professor of Music
Curator, Living Jazz Archives
William Paterson University

Frank Basile wondered if any of Pepper's notations were written on the bari parts. About that, Demsey replied, "Unfortunately, there is no writing at all on the parts for that "One More For the Road" chart – must have been a quick read-through. I'll double check, but I don't think there is anything. I'd still make a strong bet that Pepper was not involved with that other Joe Williams session."

Basile had also written the following about the recording:
"This is most certainly not a big band date. There's a trumpet/tenor pairing on all the tunes, strings on a couple, vibes, and organ added on a few.

-On 3 tunes ("One for My Baby," "Everybody Loves My Baby," and "When I Take My Sugar To Tea") there's a bigger horn section. Sounds to me like 3 or 4 saxes and at least 1 trumpet. I do hear baritone on these 3 tracks only. It's hard for me to discern whether it's Pepper or not due to the mix. But in certain passages when it's more audible, it does sound to me like it could be. There's a brief alto solo on "One For My Baby" that I'm almost certain is Jerome Richardson. 

-In many spots, the drummer sounds like Mel to me. (One good example is the intro to "Everybody Loves My Baby").

-I'm not sure who the trumpet/tenor pairing is, but the brief tenor solo on "Young Man On The Way Up" sounds like it could be Eddie Daniels.

-I don't have the original LP, but an LRC CD reissue with no personnel info. Pictures I've seen of the original LP cover say "Arranged and Conducted by Thad Jones." The arrangements to me certainly have plenty of Thadisms.

-My guess would be that this was (or these were) a session (or sessions) that happened to use some guys from Thad and Mel's band and possibly other freelancers.

-Gary, Where did you get the date/location info for this record (i.e. 23-27 April 1968, Los Angeles)? Assuming these dates/location are correct, it would seem logical to me that members of the band would be used for the session."

I replied that I first learned of the date from Walter Bruyninckx's 60 Years of Recorded Jazz that I would've found at the Institute of Jazz Studies in the late 1980s. Once I researched their gig in San Francisco, I trimmed the dates accordingly.

Dave Demsey wrote the following:

"Hi Frank and Gary,

As I'd mentioned, I agree with Frank that there's no big band.

We have copies of the original parts from the session for "One for My Baby."  The instrumentation is alto/tenor/bari, two flugelhorns, trombone, vibes/gtr/pno/bass/drums.  That's the biggest horn group on the record, although other charts may share something akin to that instrumentation.

I agree about the drummer sounding like Mel, and interesting to say that might be Eddie Daniels on tenor, be cool to reach out to him and ask.  

I'm sure that, somewhere, there is a personnel list for this session, but it's not on either the original vinyl issue, or the CD re-release."

Dear Readers: Do any of you have information about this date? Can anyone reach Eddie Daniels about it?  Happy Fathers Day to all. . . .

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