Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Teddy Charles - 1964 - Russia Goes Jazz

Teddy Charles
Russia Goes Jazz - Swinging Themes From The Great Russian Composers

01. Sheherazade Blue 3:45
02. Lullaby Of The Firebird 5:02
03. Love For Three Oranges March 2:21
04. Borodin Bossa Nova 3:37
05. Dance Arabe 2:49
06. Lullaby Russe 4:25
07. Etude 3:11
08. Princess Sheherazade 4:45

Baritone Saxophone – Pepper Adams (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1 to B3)
Bass – Ted Kotick
Bass Clarinet – Eric Dolphy (tracks: A1, A3, A4), Tommy Newsom (tracks: B1 to B3)
Clarinet – Jimmy Giuffre (tracks: A2, B)
Drums – Osie Johnson
Flute, Tenor Saxophone – Jerome Richardson (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1 to B3)
Guitar – Jim Hall (tracks: A2, B), Jimmy Raney (tracks: A1, A3, A4)
Piano – Hank Jones (tracks: B1 to B3)
Tenor Saxophone – Jimmy Giuffre (tracks: B1 to B3), Zoot Sims (tracks: A1, A3, A4)
Trumpet – Howard McGhee (tracks: A2, B4)
Vibraphone – Teddy Charles

Jazz artists have long been drawn to classical composers as a source of inspiration for arrangements. These sessions led by vibraphonist Teddy Charles with several different all-star groups adapts the music of several Russian composers. Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" is rearranged by Charles into the loping, bluesy "Scheherazade Blue," featuring Zoot Sims and flautist Jerome Richardson, along with the leader. Even better is "Lullaby of the Firebird," taken from Stravinsky's famous ballet, an ominous but swinging take showcasing Jim Hall and clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre with Charles. The swinging "Borodin Bossa Nova" was not the first reworking of this Russian master's works, this theme had already been popularized in American music by the pop song "Stranger in Paradise." In fact, all of the arrangements are interesting and have held up well over the decades. The rather brief total time of under a half-hour makes one wish that additional material had been recorded and included, as neither bass clarinetist (Eric Dolphy and Tommy Newsom) is given an opportunity to solo. Veteran jazz critic Ira Gitler's humorous liner notes, which have Russians like the fictitious Meade Lux Lenin taking credit for various jazz innovations, are an added bonus. Long out of print, this United Artists LP will be difficult to track down.



  2. Hey Zen Archer - a belated happy new year! Excited about this Dolphy strand you're giving us here... I don't comment that often but just want to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciate all your incredible work. I'm an artist/performer whose day job is as (officially) a music academic in the UK, which among other things means that your blog is a priceless resource for research and teaching. I'm half way through (I think) my second year of filefactory's special 1-year deals - it's a shame the money doesn't go to you... but I tend to download everything you post (even when I have the originals in hardcopy) because... it's just fucking great. Thank you!!