Concord Music Group News

NEWS 22 Jul 2008


Monterey Jazz Festival Records' 2nd Full Collection due August 5th



On August 5, 2008 in its second full slate of archival releases, Monterey Jazz Festival Records, an imprint of the Concord Music Group, will release a new series of never-before-heard concert performances by six jazz greats-Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Shirley Horn, Tito Puente and Cal Tjader-and classic blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon:

Art Blakey and the Giants of Jazz - Live at the Monterey 1972 Jazz Festival Dave Brubeck- 50 Years of Dave Brubeck: Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 1958-2007 Shirley Horn - Live at the 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival Tito Puente & His Orchestra - Live at the 1977 Monterey Jazz Festival Cal Tjader -The Best of Cal Tjader: Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 1958-1980 Jimmy Witherspoon featuring Robben Ford-Live at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival

The MJFR label was founded in 2007 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival. It made its debut with a remarkable series of historic live-at-Monterey CDs, rolled out shortly before the September festival: Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars (recorded in '58), Miles Davis Quintet ('63), Thelonious Monk Quartet ('64), Dizzy Gillespie (‘65) and Sarah Vaughan ('71). In addition, MJFR issued a 50th-year compilation disc that included selections from the five albums as well as live Monterey material from Diana Krall, Joe Henderson, Dave Brubeck and Pat Metheny's trio with Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade.

Three years before Monterey's monumental anniversary, MJF general manager Tim Jackson started thinking in broader strokes. "I wanted to leverage the festival's assets and use the 50th as a launching pad to make this historical music available to people," he says. The label was the obvious outgrowth. Not only did this mark the first time a festival launched its own label, but the riches of its archives-more than 1600 tapes with more than 2000 hours of concerts in the vault-makes this ambitious endeavor a jazz bonanza.

In addition to releasing archival recordings, MJFR also releases new festival-related recordings, including Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival by the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars, the three-generation ensemble that performed at the festival's golden anniversary celebration in September 2007. Label general manger Jason Olaine commented on that CD: "We're not going to be stuck in a jazz time warp. We're excited to deliver important historical music, as well as assemble special projects and all-star ensembles to debut at the festival each year."

The following are thumbnail sketches of the latest MJFR releases.

Art Blakey and the Giants of Jazz- Live at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival

From the liner notes: "The Giants of Jazz was the greatest touring jam session since the heyday of Jazz at the Philharmonic. For the year or so of the band's existence, it brought together six of the most important musicians of the post-World War II era. Each of the players was a central figure in jazz, all but one the leader of an important group. They agreed to be, for a time, an entity that was the living definition of the term all-star band... The repertoire of the Giants of Jazz in this collection is made up of bop classics and superior standards, an alternation of exciting swing with lovely balladry."-Doug Ramsey Personnel: Art Blakey, drums; Sonny Stitt, alto and tenor saxophones; Roy Eldridge, trumpet; Clark Terry, trumpet and flugelhorn; Kai Winding, trombone; Thelonious Monk, piano; Al McKibbon, bass Set list: "Blue ‘n' Boogie," ‘''Round Midnight," "Perdido," "Stardust," "Lover Man," "I Can't Get Started With You," "The Man I Love," "A Night in Tunisia"

Dave Brubeck-50 Years of Dave Brubeck: Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 1958-2007

From the liner notes: "...[This] present collection [offers] an uncommon overview of artist/venue synchronicity. Unlike other volumes in the series, it is not confined to a single performance, but rather spans the entire Monterey Jazz Festival history and captures much of Brubeck's own history in the process. Along the way it touches on several aspects of this sui generis jazz career with challenging originals, signature hits, historic partnerships, and spontaneous encounters."-Bob Blumenthal Personnel: Dave Brubeck, piano; and various others, including Paul Desmond, alto saxophone; Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Bill Smith, clarinet; Eugene Wright, bass; Joe Morello, drums. Compiled songs: "Two Part Contention," "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Take Five," "Sermon on the Mount," "Jumping Bean," "Tritonis," "Goodbye Old Friend," "I Got Rhythm," "Sleep," "Margie"

Shirley Horn - Live at the 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival

From the liner notes: "In 1994, in Tim Jackson's second full year of producing the Monterey Jazz Festival, he invited pianist/vocalist Shirley Horn to the autumn classic for the first time. She had recently turned 60 and was in the midst of a career resurgence, thanks to a multi-CD contract with Verve Records that began in 1987 with her stellar comeback album, I Thought About You, a live recording at Hollywood's Vine St. Bar and Grill. "At Monterey, Shirley was at the peak of her powers," says Jackson. "It made sense to have her play the festival."-Dan Ouellette Personnel: Shirley Horn, piano, vocals; Charles Ables, bass; Steve Williams, drums Set list: "Foolin' Myself," "The Look of Love," "How Am I to Know," "L.A. Breakdown (And Take Me In)," "Nice ‘N' Easy," "A Song for You," "I've Got the World on a String," "Here's to Life," "Hard Hearted Hannah," "Blues for Big Scotia"

Tito Puente & His Orchestra- Live at the 1977 Monterey Jazz Festival

From the liner notes: "The legacy of Latin music great Tito Puente was built on his adherence to musical quality and innovation. As a bandleader and percussionist, he set a standard that uplifted his music with charisma and virtuosic skill on the timbales... As a result, he constructed a bridge between Afro-Caribbean music and American pop. Tito's performance [in Monterey] was a long-awaited first that showcased a 15-piece orchestra with a humongous sound. It also signaled Tito's entry into the jazz arena that would take him to the Concord Picante label, and would find him traveling the world playing Latin jazz throughout the Eighties and Nineties. It would also raise his profile into the American mainstream."-Jesse ‘Chuy' Varela Personnel: Tito Puente, timbales, bandleader; and his orchestra Set list: "Para los Rumberos," "Oye Como Va," "Babarabatiri," "Delirio," "Tito's Odyssey," "Don't You Worry ‘bout a Thing (Cha Cha Cha)," "Pare Cochero," "El Rey del Timbal," "Picadillo"

Cal Tjader - The Best of Cal Tjader: Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 1958-1980

From the liner notes: "A relaxed musician with a natural sense of song, space, and swing, Tjader was equally versed in jazz, Afro-Cuban and other Latin idioms and bridged them in a way that never sounded forced. He was a Swedish American with rhythm in his bones and an ear for melody and harmony that allowed him to play many styles of music-blues and boleros, mambo, bop and bossa nova-with grace, taste, and feeling."-Jesse Hamlin Personnel: Cal Tjader, vibraphone, percussion, bandleader; and various others, including Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, trumpets; Buddy DeFranco, clarinet; Vince Guaraldi, John Lewis, pianos; Michael Wolff, electric piano; Al McKibbon, Richard Davis, bass; Willie Bobo, drums, timbales; Mongo Santamaria, Armando Peraza, Poncho Sanchez, congas Set list: "Summertime," "Now's the Time," "Cubano Chant," "Tumbao," "Manteca," "Afro Blue," "If You Could See Me Now," "Speak Low"

Jimmy Witherspoon featuring Robben Ford - Live at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival

From the liner notes: "Spoon always had the audience in the palm of his hand and this show was no exception. When our time was up and the curtain was closing, Spoon started dragging the curtain open. We played another song, the curtain closed again, and Spoon dragged me out in front of the curtain, with the band playing behind the curtain. Some hippie with an alto saxophone comes to the front of the stage, hands it up and Spoon says, "You don't think he can play it, do ya?" He makes me play it, and the audience goes nuts. Spoon was an entertainer par excellence."-Robben Ford Personnel: Jimmy Witherspoon, vocals; Robben Ford, guitar, alto saxophone; Paul Nagel, electric piano; Stan Poplin, bass; Jim Baum, drums; (on bonus track, "When I Been Drinkin'," recorded 1959: Witherspoon is heard with with Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, tenor saxophones; Roy Eldridge, trumpet; Woody Herman, clarinet; Earl "Fatha" Hines, piano; Vernon Ashley, bass; Mel Lewis, drums) Set list: "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," "S.K. Blues," "Kansas City," "Goin' Down Slow," "Walkin' by Myself," "Ain't Nobody's Business What I Do," "I Want a Little Girl," "I Don't Know," "Early One Morning," (incomplete) "Reds and Whiskey," + bonus track "When I Been Drinkin'"


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