Krzysztof was a Polish composer and jazz pianist. Born in Poland 1931 and passed in Warsaw in 1969. Today the 27th is his birthday. His music is beautiful and at times haunting. If you have not heard of him or his music, you must discover. He worked and wrote music for Roman Polanski’s early films. Early on he changed his last name from Trzciński to the stage name of Komeda because of the unpopular view the Communism government held toward jazz. In the late 50’s The Komeda Sextet was the first Polish jazz group playing modern jazz, inspired by The Modern Jazz Quartet and Gerry Mulligan’s Quartet. I have been totally taken by this artist when I discovered his music last year. He died tragically from a hematoma, In Roman Polański’s memoirs he wrote that as a result a of friendly rough-and-tumble at a drinking party with friend Marek Hłasko, Komeda fell down and suffered head injuries. Discover and enjoy!!
Three days after his high school graduation he joined Lionel Hampton’s big band playing the Alto sax and it was “Hamp” who encouraged Griff to change to the Tenor, and what a Tenor…His first album as leader came in 1956 on the Blue Note label called simply “Introducing Johnny Griffin” featuring Wynton Kelly on piano, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums, this recording brought Griffin critical acclaim. In 1957 he recorded another hit Blue Note album”A Blowing Session” that features him with fellow tenor players John Coltrane and Hank Mobley. This album is a Hardbop treat, not so much of a Tenor battle here as these three artist have very distinctive sounds and plenty of solo’s abide here. Bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Blakey combine for some killer rhythm, trumpet man Lee Morgan and Wynton Kelly on the Keys make up for some classic Hard Bop. Happy Birthday to one of my favorites!!
This is a most reflective piece of music and one of my favorites written by Miles Davis. The Bill Evans trio performs this wonderfully and is one of his signature pieces. Three stunning videos capture this talent. This sound which is totally mesmerizing , it’s like the epitome of “The Jazz Trio”!!
Lionel Hampton…drummer turned to the Vibraphone when he discovered the NBC Vibraphone behind a curtain at NBC Radio Studios used for their famous “Chimes” trademark station identification. Born in Louisville, Kentucky he was the first master of the instrument and made it a household name.
“Hamps” famous Flying Home!!
“Chicago was jazzy, man, jazzy – they had all the great jazz men”. Lionel Hampton
“Jazz went from the classics to ragtime to Dixieland to swing to bebop to cool jazz, . . . But it’s always jazz. You can put a new dress on her, a new hat, but no matter what kind of clothes you put on her, she’s the same old broad.” Lionel Hampton.
“I worked hard learning harmony and theory when I was growing up in Chicago in the 1920s.” Lionel Hampton.
Don Cherry played the Cornet or Pocket Trumpet. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1936 and raised in Los Angeles, California. He played with Ornette Coleman’s landmark quartet becoming very well known by 1958. One of my favorite of his is his album as co-leader with John Coltrane “The Avant-Garde” , this one is a classic, two incredible artists recording this in 1960 but wasn’t released till 1967 on the Atlantic label. The lineup features bassist Charlie Haden, Percy Heath on Monk’s “Bemsha Swing” and drummer Ed Blackwell. Lots of improvisations going on here and Coltrane’s “Sheets Of Sound” being matched by Cherry’s high energy, showing us how a Cornet can be played.
Here’s a video tribute to a great jazz pianist, Happy Birthday to Herbie Hancock!
And what a great “LIVE” performance!!
Freddie Hubbard born on this date in Indiana, seems to a favorite of many including myself. My first album of his which introduced him to me was Red Clay and I fell in love with his sound then. He is an incredible artist playing in the style of my favorite genres of jazz, Bop, Hard Bop and Post Bop. Speaking of his sound, it is his own, being influenced by Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan. Ready For Freddie is perhaps his best album on the Bluenote label with stellar sidemen, Bernard McKinney on the euphonium, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, McCoy Tyner piano, Art Davis bass and Elvin Jones on drums. Recorded in 1961 at the Van Gelder Studios, this particular album has extra tracks and been remastered making it a RVG album. This is brilliant work, way up on the WOW scale, definitely a must own album. Happy Birthday to Freddie Hubbard! Discover and enjoy!