Bobby Jaspar (20 February 1926 – 28 February 1963) was a cool jazz and hard bop saxophonist, flautist and composer born in Liège, Belgium. He was married to the jazz singer Blossom Dearie.
As a child Jaspar learned to play piano and clarinet. He then took up the tenor sax and flute. Playing with the “Bop Shots” band was some of the first work in the jazz business. Jaspar moved to Paris in 1950, playing and recording with the best musicians of that time. He met his wife “Blossom Dearie” while in Paris.
In the mid-fifties after much consideration and encouragement from his friends and peers, Jaspar decided to try playing in the United States. This was a turning point in his career as he ended up playing and cutting records with the quintet of J. J. Johnson, with Kenny Burrell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Donald Byrd to name a few.
In 1961/1962, Jaspar returned to Europe for a year and played in concerts and made several recordings. Jaspar formed a successful quintet with the Belgian guitarist René Thomas. In some sessions, Chet Baker was added to form a great sextet. One of those sessions was immortalised on the record Chet Is Back, recorded in 1962.
Bobby Jaspar died from a heart attack in Febuary 1963, he was only 37.
By 1950 Stan Getz began to depart from the style of his idol Lester Young. He formed a quartet with Horace Silver playing together for only a few months. 1951 he toured Sweden upon his return forming a quintet with Jimmy Raney developing a smoother style of Bop that would herald in the Cool Jazz style of playing. He played with Charlie Parkers Birdland sextet, and Miles Davis. Stan cut an album with Dizzy Gillespies sextet in 1953, a great example of his music during this transitional time of his life. In the 50’s Stan Getz became one of the most popular on the jazz scene, winning many Jazz Polls, playing with all the “GREATS” . When in 1958 he spent the next 2 years in Europe moving to Denmark.
Starting next Monday and running thru Friday I will feature a week long Stan Getz session. Delving a little deeper into this man and the great sound he created.
Joshua Redman a tenor, soprano saxophonist and composer recording for Nonesuch Records. He’s the son of legendary Dewey Redman. In 1991 he won the Thelonious Monk international saxophone competition and afterwords began focusing on his music career. Considered a young lion and torch bearer who is representing the Bop style in today’s jazz music. He plays straight ahead jazz!! Joshua’s 2007 Back East album plays homage to Sonny Rollins Way Out West. His new release Compass features a trio setting for his music. Discography
The Sound of Sonny …1957 was the year he became king. That year he recorded 7 albums as a leader.
Recorded as a teenager with Bud Powell and J.J. Johnson then stints with Miles, Monk, and 2 years with Max Roach groups.
Two recordings to own are Saxophone Colossus a Prestige recording with Tommy Flanagan ( piano), Doug Watkins ( bass ), Max Roach ( drums ). A improvisational masterpiece. Night At The Village Vanguard (Live) A Blue Note 2 CD set featuring Donald Bailey, Wilbar Ware (bass), Pete LaRoca, Elvin Jones ( drums). These recordings are a MUST HAVE in any collection.
Coleman Hawkins considered the first important tenor sax player. He is strongly associated with swing , big band and was influencial in the bebop and avant guarde era. Many tenor men and horn players to come would try to emulate his mood and style of playing. Miles Davis was quoted as saying “when I heard Hawk I learned to play ballads”. His 1939 jazz recording of the pop standard of Body and Soul featuring him improvising almost the whole song except for the first four bars. A definate evolutionary step in the jazz world. He also was the leader of the first ever bebop recording session with Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach in 1943. Known for his adaptable playing style he had no problems communicating with younger players. In the late 50’s he was considered a “has been” when he recorded with Roy Eldridge and John Coltrane. Lester Young known as “The Prez” said that Coleman was the first “Prez” and I was the second.
Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster is a favorite of mine.
Stan Getz a major tenor sax soloist and bandleader for over 35 years, also known as “The Sound” for his big, full, pure, lyrical tonality. Jack Teagarden (Trombone) and Lester Young were early influences. John Coltrane was an admirer of his sound and it set him apart among other great saxophone players of the day. Stan was West Coast Jazz a cool style with a little Bossa Nova thrown in. Essential albums: