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Sunday 31 July 2011

Swingin' Saxophones

Side One
1. Cotton Tail - Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
2. Flying Home No 2 - Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra
3. Honeysuckle Rose - Ben Webster
4. Blowing The Blues Away - Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra
5. Lunatic - John Hardee
6. IQ Blues - Ike Quebec

Side Two
1. Riffin' At 24th Street - Illinois Jacquet
2. I'm Confessin' - Lester Young
3. The Spider - Joe Morris
4. Long Tall Dexter - Dexter Gordon
5. Hot In Harlem - Tiny Grimes
6. Cole Slaw - Frank Culley

My thanks to the anonymous donor who sent in this comp. It’s a good collection of 1940s tenor sax sides, beginning with some big band swing, and ending with some jazzy R&B combos via detours into boppish small group jazz. However you want to label it, it makes for some mighty fine listening. In fact never mind the label thing, just call it good music.

The sleeve notes are pretty uninformative as you would expect from a bootleg. I’ve looked up the recording details of all the tracks on the LP and listed them at the end of the post. Ben Webster is the soloist on “Cottontail,” Arnett Cobb is on “Flying Home No. 2” and Dexter Gordon and Gene Ammons serve up an early example of a tenor sax “chase” on “Blowing The Blues Away.”

On Side Two, Johnny Griffin delivers the most frantic performance of the set on “The Spider” while Red Prysock is the tenor man on “Hot in Harlem.” Ike Quebec’s “I.Q. Blues” on Savoy is really just another version of “Blue Harlem” which he had previously recorded for Blue Note in July 1944. I think I actually prefer the Savoy version for its gorgeous piano break by Johnny Guarnieri. The Blue Note original does have some nice guitar from Tiny Grimes, though.

As for the origins of this comp – there is no label number on the front or back cover, although the back cover does bear the legend “Bop u Rhythm Schallplatten, Saarland.” The sleeve notes are written pseudonymously and claim to date from 1952. I think this is probably a bootleg of a bootleg, or a reissue of an album which originally appeared in the mid to late 1950s on the legendary Bop-Rhythm label. I’m sure that the original release would have had a different front cover from the one which was sent to me. It doesn’t look like a 1950s style cover at all.

Bop-Rhythm was a strictly “underground” label whose issues of jazz, R&B and even some early rock and roll were much coveted by hopheads and beatniks around Europe. Their operation was based in the Saarland which for much of the 1950s was detached from the German Federal Republic and thus provided a haven for a motley group of jazz fanatics and dope fiends who were zealous spreaders of the gospel of groove. They took advantage of the Saarland’s unique status of being beyond the reach of German civil law and set up a record pressing plant from which they distributed all kinds of bopmungous vinyl goodies to adjacent countries. The music was sourced from records provided by American service personnel based in West Germany.

When the Saarland was incorporated into West Germany in 1957, Bop-Rhythm Records was doomed, although they managed to keep going until 1960 when their pressing plant (situated in the basement of a house of ill repute in Fraulautern, Saarlouis) was raided by an Interpol organised task force of police from three different countries – France, Germany and Belgium – plus a contingent of US Military Police. I hope that at the last, the stoned jazzers of Bop-Rhythm went down swinging as the forces of law and order stormed into their HQ.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

Recording Details:

1. Cotton Tail - Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra

Recorded in Hollywood CA, 4th May, 1940. Released on Victor 26610
Personnel: Rex Stewart (cnt) Cootie Williams, Wallace Jones (tp) Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol, Lawrence Brown (tb) Barney Bigard (cl,ts) Johnny Hodges (as,sop) Otto Hardwick (as, bassax) Ben Webster (ts) Harry Carney (bar,as,cl) Duke Ellington (p) Fred Guy (g) Jimmy Blanton (b) Sonny Greer (d )

2. Flying Home No 2 - Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra

Recorded in New York City, 2nd March, 1944. Released on Decca.
Personnel: Cat Anderson, Lamar Wright Jr., Roy McCoy (tp) Joe Morris (tp,arr) Al Hayse, Michael "Booty" Wood, Fred Beckett (tb) Earl Bostic, Gus Evans (as) Al Sears, Arnett Cobb (ts) Charlie Fowlkes (bar) Lionel Hampton (vib,p) Milt Buckner (p) Eric Miller (g) Vernon King (b) Fred Radcliffe (d)

3. Honeysuckle Rose – The Ben Webster Quartet

Recorded in New York City, 17th April, 1944. Released on Savoy 506.
Personnel: Ben Webster (ts) Johnny Guarnieri (p) Oscar Pettiford (b) David Booth (d)

4. Blowing The Blues Away - Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra

Recorded in New York City, 5th September, 1944. Released on Audiolab.
Personnel: Dizzy Gillespie, Shorty McConnell, Gail Brockman, Boonie Hazel (tp) Gerald Valentine, Taswell Baird, Howard Scott, Chips Outcalt (tb) John Jackson, Bill Frazier (as) Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons (ts) Leo Parker (bar) John Malachi (p) Connie Wainwright (g) Tommy Potter (b) Art Blakey (d) Billy Eckstine (vcl)

5. Lunatic – The John Hardee Quintet

Recorded in New York City, November, 1947. Released on Savoy 703.
Personnel: Joe Jordan (tp) John Hardee (ts) Billy Kyle (p) John Simmons (b) Cozy Cole (d)

6. I.Q. Blues – The Ike Quebec All Stars

Recorded in New York City, 7th August, 1945. Released on Savoy 570.
Personnel: Ike Quebec (ts) Johnny Guarnieri (p) Bill De Arango (g) Milt Hinton (b) J.C. Heard (d)

7. Riffin' At 24th Street - Illinois Jacquet & His Orchestra

Recorded in New York City, 18th December, 1947. Released on Victor 20-2702.
Personnel: Joe Newman (tp) Russell Jacquet (tp) Jay Jay Johnson (tb) Illinois Jacquet (ts) Leo Parker (bar) Sir Charles Thompson (p) John Collins (g) Al Lucas (b) Shadow Wilson (d)

8. I'm Confessin' - Lester Young & His Band

Recorded in New York City, 2nd April, 1947. Released on Aladdin 212.
Personnel: Shorty McConnell (tp-1) Lester Young (ts) Argonne Thornton (p) Nasir Barakaat (g) Rodney Richardson (b) Lyndell Marshall (d)

9. The Spider - Joe Morris & His Orchestra

Recorded in New York City, 23rd December, 1947. Released on Atlantic 859.
Personnel: Joe Morris (tp) Johnny Griffin (ts) Bill McLemore (bar) Wilmus Reeves (p) George Freeman (g) Emmett Dailey (b) Leroy Jackson (d)

10. Long Tall Dexter – The Dexter Gordon Quintet

Recorded in New York City, 29th January, 1946. Released on Savoy 603.
Personnel: Leonard Hawkins (tp) Dexter Gordon (ts) Bud Powell (p) Curly Russell (b) Max Roach (d)

11. Hot In Harlem – The Tiny Grimes Quintet

Recorded in Cleveland, 1st May, 1948. Released on Atlantic 869.
Personnel: Red Prysock (ts) Jimmy Saunders (p) Tiny Grimes (g) Ike Isaacs (b) Jerry Potter (d)

12. Cole Slaw - Frank “Floorshow” Culley

Recorded in New York City, 17th January, 1949. Released on Atlantic 874.
Personnel: Frank Culley (ts) Harry Van Walls (p) Tiny Grimes (g) unknown b and d.


Holly said...

Very nice share, thank you!
BTW, wondering if you currently have a copy of "Jumping Like Mad" uploaded - the links at your other blog are dead :-(

boogiewoody said...

Thank you Holly! I'm sorry - I removed Jumpin' Like Mad from Rapidshare a long time ago. I don't post CDs any more, as I hope to keep the download police at bay.

I don't want to share the fate of those Saarland hipsters ...

Holly said...


Thank you for responding!

dj ny said...

Blue Harlem is beautiful, such languid smooth playing. Amazing how few guitarists play like this nowadays. Thanks for sharing :)

dj ny

Cassy said...

Thanks for sharing the audio. I love listening to it as I feel like being serenade.

Cassy from Learn How To Play Lead Guitar

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great selection of music. I can´t imagine the work it takes, and the pictures, record covers, ticktes .....

KurtGS said...

This looks interesting, how about a re-up?
Thanx in advance,