Archive for George Duvivier

45° Angle

Posted in Jazz with tags , , , , on February 24, 2018 by telescoper

Some time ago I posted a piece of music by Dick Twardzik from the mid-50s. The jazz piano scene in those days was so heavily dominated by Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell that pianists seem to struggle to find their own voice in the space created by those two. Twardzik certainly succeeded, though he died very young. Well, here’s another track from roughly the same period (1957) featuring another underrated musician who solved this problem in a different way. This fine track, undoubtedly influenced by Monk and Powell, but at the same time with its own sound, is by Herbie Nicholls, playing his own composition 45° Angle with the excellent George Duvivier on bass and Dannie Richmond on drums. Enjoy!

They Can’t Take That Away From Me

Posted in Jazz with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2016 by telescoper

This seems an appropriate piece of music for these days. It’s an unusual but deeply moving performance by the  legendary Lester Young who  was best known as a tenor saxophonist, but decided to play clarinet on two numbers that wound up on an album called Laughin’ to Keep from Cryin’. I have the original vinyl LP, which was issued on the Verve label, but it’s still waiting for me to transfer it to digital. The other members of the band are Roy Eldridge and Harry Edison (trumpets), Herb Ellis (guitar), Hank Jones (piano), George Duvivier (bass) and Mickey Sheen (drums).There were lots of problems making the record, apparently, but it did produce some fine music including this devastatingly tragic version of the standard They Can’t Take That Away From Me which is among the very best recordings he ever made.

At the time of this recording, in February 1958, Lester Young was terminally ill with cancer – he died just a year later at the age of 49.  Despite being barely able to stand, struggling with his breath control, and playing almost in slow motion, he manages to cast his fading light over this tune in a way that’s heartbreaking as well as beautiful.

Laughin’ to Keep from Cryin’

Posted in Jazz with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2012 by telescoper

Neither the time nor the energy to post anything other than a bit of music, so I’ve picked a track someone happens to have posted on Youtube. I have Laughin’ to Keep from Cryin’ the original vinyl LP on the Verve label, but it’s still waiting for me to transfer it to digital. I love this record so much because it’s so joyful and at the same time so tragic. There’s some wonderfully upbeat stuff from the two trumpeters, the great Harry “Sweets” Edison (whom I’ve had the privilege to hear play live), who opens the piece, and then the perhaps even greater Roy Eldridge, but it’s also one of the last recordings made by legendary saxophonist Lester Young who was terminally ill with cancer at the time of this session in February 1958; he died just a year later. His formerly smooth tenor tone now ragged, barely able to stand or hold the saxophone, and playing almost in slow motion, he nevertheless manages to cast his fading light over the latter part of this tune and conjure up something quite magical. The other members of the band are Herb Ellis (guitar), Hank Jones (piano), George Duvivier (bass) and Mickey Sheen (drums) and this track is called Romping.