The Second Disc

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Pablo Records’ 40th Celebrated with Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, More

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Pablo Reissues

Concord Music Group’s Original Jazz Classics line recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer’s famed Riverside Records label with five reissues from Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery, Thelonious Monk and Gerry Mulligan, and Cannonball Adderley and Milt Jackson.  (Expect a full review of all five titles soon!)  On September 17, the OJC series will turn its attention to the 40th anniversary of jazz impresario Norman Granz’s Pablo Records with the reissue of five classic albums from Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli, Zoot Sims and Art Tatum:

  • Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, Ray Brown and Mickey Roker, Dizzy’s Big 4 (1974)
  • Zoot Sims, Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers (1975)
  • Art Tatum, The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Volume 1 (1975)
  • Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, The Ellington Suites (1976)
  • Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli, Skol (1979)

Granz founded Pablo roughly one decade after having sold his Clef, Norgran and Verve labels to the MGM dream factory.  The producer, manager and entrepreneur initially made Pablo a home to artists he also managed like Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass and Oscar Peterson, later adding many other familiar names to his roster.  In fewer than fifteen years, Pablo released over 350 albums, but in 1987, Granz sold the label to Fantasy Records, today a part of the Concord Music Group.  Each of the upcoming titles save Art Tatum’s Solo Masterpieces, Volume 1 has been expanded with previously unreleased material.

After the jump: more details and pre-order links for all five titles!

1976’s The Ellington Suites brought together music recorded by jazz’s colossal innovator Duke Ellington in 1959 (The Queen’s Suite), 1971 (The Goutelas Suite) and 1972 (The Uwis Suite).  Duke had died in 1974, but Granz – who had previously acquired these recordings – saw the opportunity to expose these lengthy compositions to a wider audience with this release.  For the OJC reissue, a new track will be added: the previously unissued 1972 “The Kiss,” recorded that the same session that yielded The Uwis Suite.  Historian Ashley Kahn puts it all into perspective via new liner notes.

More vintage jazz was unearthed by Granz for Art Tatum’s Solo Masterpieces, Volume 1.  In December 1953, Tatum – one of the most influential names in jazz piano who triumphed over his blindness from birth – joined Granz at Hollywood’s Radio Recorders to produce 69 masters solo at the piano.  Tatum, a recording artist since the early 1930s, had plenty of repertoire from which to choose.  He and Granz reunited in April 1954 to continue the project, continuing through its completion in January 1955.  The recordings yielded more than a dozen LPs, reformatted for a series of eight CDs and also in a box set.  For OJC’s new reissue, Tad Herschorn offers new notes.

Pablo was also home to the great Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson.  He teamed with French violinist Stephane Grappelli for Skol, recorded live at Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, on July 6, 1979.  The two legendary leaders were joined by Joe Pass, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and Mickey Roker for the performance, from which three additional, previously unissued bonus tracks have been added to this new reissue: “Honeysuckle Rose,” “I Got Rhythm” and “Solitude.”  Herschorn again adds new notes to this anniversary toast. Skol!

Trumpeter, composer and bebop trailblazer Dizzy Gillespie was already a living legend and veteran artist at just 57 years of age when he recorded Dizzy’s Big 4 with Pablo labelmates Joe Pass (guitar), Ray Brown (bass) and Mickey Roker (drums). Gillespie looked back to his own classics (“Be Bop” and “Birks’ Works”) and popular standards (Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson’s “September Song,” Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz”) plus an original (“Frelimo”) for this all-star jam session.  Two bonus tracks will appear for the first time, alternate takes of “Jitterbug Waltz” and “Russian Lullaby.”  Concord’s Nick Phillips promises that, true to form, these significantly different alternates show off these talents at their improvisatory best.  Willard Jenkins writes the new liner notes.

Finally, OJC revives Zoot Sims’ tribute to George and Ira, Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers.  The saxophonist is joined by Peterson, Pass, George Mraz on bass and Grady Tate on drums for this 1975 set newly annotated by Doug Ramsey.  The Pablo 40th anniversary edition adds three bonus tracks to the original 10 songs, all previously unreleased: outtake “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” and alternates of “Oh, Lady, Be Good!” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You.”  This swinging LP proved that Sims and his ace rhythm section and the Gershwins were a match made in musical heaven.

All five titles will be available from Original Jazz Classics on September 17 and can be pre-ordered now at the links below!  Some Amazon U.S. and all Amazon U.K. links are not yet active at the time of this writing; we will update as soon as possible.

Dizzy Gillespie, Dizzy Gillespie’s Big 4 (Pablo LP 2310 719, 1975 – reissued Original Jazz Classics, 2013)

  1. Tanga
  2. Hurry Home
  3. Russian Lullaby
  4. Be Bop (Dizzy’s Fingers)
  5. Birks Works
  6. September Song
  7. Jitterbug Waltz
  8. Jitterbug Waltz (Alternate Take – previously unreleased)
  9. Russian Lullaby (Alternate Take – previously unreleased)

Zoot Sims, Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers (Pablo LP 2310 744, 1975 – reissued Original Jazz Classics, 2013)

  1. The Man I Love
  2. How Long Has This Been Going On
  3. Oh, Lady, Be Good!
  4. I’ve Got a Crush On You
  5. I Got Rhythm
  6. Embraceable You
  7. ‘S Wonderful
  8. Someone to Watch Over Me
  9. Isn’t It a Pity
  10. Summertime
  11. They Can’t Take That Away From Me (previously unreleased)
  12. Oh, Lady, Be Good! (Alternate Take, previously unreleased)
  13. I’ve Got a Crush on You (Alternate Take, previously unreleased)

Art Tatum, The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces Volume 1 (Pablo LP 2310 723, 1975 – reissued Original Jazz Classics, 2013)

  1. Moonglow
  2. Love for Sale
  3. Body and Soul
  4. Just A-Sittin’ and A-Rockin’
  5. It’s Only a Paper Moon
  6. Have You Met Miss Jones
  7. Stay As Sweet As You Are
  8. My Last Affair
  9. Willow Weep for Me
  10. Too Marvelous for Words
  11. You Took Advantage of Me
  12. Sophisticated Lady
  13. I’m in the Mood for Love
  14. Everything I Have is Yours
  15. Blue Lou
  16. Embraceable You

Tracks 1-10 originally issued as Pablo LP 2310 723, 1975
Tracks 11-16 from Pablo LP 2310 835, 1979/Pablo CD PACD-2405-432-2, 1992

Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, The Ellington Suites (Pablo LP 2310 762, 1976 – reissued Original Jazz Classics, 2013)

  1. Sunset and the Mocking Bird
  2. Lightning Bugs and Frogs
  3. Le Sucrier Velour
  4. Northern Lights
  5. The Single Petal of a Rose
  6. Apes and Peacocks
  7. Fanfare
  8. Goutelas
  9. Get-With-Itness
  10. Something
  11. Having at It
  12. Fanfare
  13. Uwis
  14. Klop
  15. Loco Madi
  16. The Kiss (previously unreleased)

Tracks 1-6: The Queen’s Suite
Tracks 7-12: The Goutelas Suite
Tracks 13-15: The Uwis Suite

Oscar Peterson and Stephane Grappelli, Skol (Pablo LP 2308 232, 1979 – reissued Original Jazz Classics, 2013)

  1. Nuages
  2. How ‘Bout You
  3. Someone to Watch Over Me
  4. Makin’ Whoopee
  5. That’s All
  6. Skol Blues
  7. Honeysuckle Rose (previously unreleased)
  8. I Got Rhythm (previously unreleased)
  9. Solitude (previously unreleased)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 5, 2013 at 14:28

One Response

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  1. How about a feature on the brand new 5CD boxset reissue (Fresh Sounds label) of the complete Decca recordings of Jeri Southern. This set includes 40 songs never previously issued on LP or CD (rare singles).

    Jeri Southern deserves the attention!


    August 6, 2013 at 08:03

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