“The Arrival of Victor Feldman” is one of the finest trio albums of all time. Victor Feldman was one of the most talented of British Jazz musicians. He was a child prodigy and began his career as a drummer and adding vibes (vibraphone) and piano to his musical arsenal. He arrived in the USA in 1955. He eventually performed with Cannonball Adderley, Benny Goodman, George Shearing and of course Miles Davis. He worked in the Hollywood studios playing not only Jazz but pop and classical music. This album introduces Victor to American audiences and it’s a classic. He is incomparable on both piano and vibes and is backed by two legends, bassist Scott LaFaro and drum master Stan Levey. It may be Labour Day but Feldman’s music is a labour of love.
The tradition continues on The Jazz Show in time for “back to school”. The first of two educational and entertaining Jazz Features. We do this ever year and despite the finite nature of a recording the historical perspective and the analysis of Jazz music is important and fun to check out. Tonight “What Is Jazz” narrated by the eminent maestro Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein explains what is Jazz and what isn’t Jazz. He deftly with great musical examples explores various styles and approaches to the music. Despite having recorded this many years ago, this album remains relevant and even if you have heard it before, there is always something new that one might have missed.
The second Jazz Feature is a fun and entertaining sweep through the early history of Jazz music with recorded examples that brings one up to the 1960’s. Much has happened since then of course but it’s important to understand the history of this still young style of music. What makes this album fun is the easy going and lucid style of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, who narrates this disc. Mr. Adderley was one of the most formidable and influential stylists of the alto saxophone and played with Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery and led one of the most successful Jazz groups ever. Check out “An Introduction to Jazz Narrated By Julian “Cannonball” Adderley”.
One of the most brilliant saxophonists in Jazz was the late Sonny Stitt. A master of both the alto and tenor saxophones. Stitt was a favorite of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins,Jackie McLean,Stan Getz and so many others. He recorded frequently and yet today his name is sometimes left out of the roster of true greats. This album was recorded in 1972 right after a world tour with an all-star band called “The Giants of Jazz” (Dizzy Gillespie, trombonist Kai Winding, Thelonious Monk, bassist Al McKibbon and Art Blakey) while on tour Stitt more than often stole the show. He entered the studio with a “Cadillac” rhythm section who were ready to propel Sonny to the heights he was capable of. Stitt is heard on alto and tenor saxophone with Barry Harris on piano, Sam Jones on bass and the great Alan Dawson on drums. The name of the album is “Tune Up” and stands as one of Sonny Stitt’s finest outings.
Tonight we close the month with “V.S.O.P.” This was a super star band of musicians who had played with Miles Davis throughout the 1960s. They also played an extended version of the musical style that defined Miles’ band of the 1960s. The Davis alumnae were Wayne Shorter on soprano and tenor saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass and the always astounding Tony Williams on drums. The only non-Davis member was master trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. This album was part of a concert performed in Tokyo at Denen Coloseum on July 26, 1979 before an audience of 10,000 who sat in the pouring rain to hear this amazing band.