Lost Recordings: Sessions I Did That Never Surfaced
Musicians record a lot over the years. Some sessions become visible cd’s; other are released but sink into obscurity. But what of all the hip recordings that never get released?
At age 25, I got called for two days of recording with trombonist Al Grey.
Norman Simmons , who passed this week, played piano on both days. The drummers were Lewis Nash ( 1st day) and Kenny Washington ( 2nd day). Pretty exciting for a young cat. Guitarist Joe Cohn and bassist Steve Novosel, who became my bandmates with Al, were on the dates too. Midtown Manhattan, and no one has ever heard it.
PS I feel like we did another date with 4 trombones, including Steve Turre and Dennis Wilson + Al…. never saw this one again.
Medeski,Martin and Wood were my friends before they got famous. We recorded one tune I co -wrote with Billy called “Hip Hop Satellite”. The producer was drummer Jim Payne. I should ask those cats where the track is.
Duffy Jackson, a great drummer who also recently passed, made a solo cd, “Swing Swing Swing”. I was proud to play on it with Joe Cohn and others. The horn section was trumpeters Barry Ries and Riley Mullins, and myself on tenor sax / flute.
However, Barry and Duffy apparently had an argument later, and Duffy subsequently erased all of Barry’s tracks- which is a dame shame - Barry is one of the finest trumpeters in jazz.
So the cd was released but sans Barry.
My good friend, arranger/ composer Steve Weisberg had us do a big band session for just 1 tune in NYC. I remember Earl McIntyre, Lew Soloff & Marcus Rojas being there too.
The tune was “ Blue Riddle”. It APPARENTLY emanates from a jukebox in the Andy Garcia film, “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead”. But I’ve never heard it.
In Seattle, bassist Margie Pos had a tango band. We recorded with legendary jazz violinist Michael White ( Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders). Another good but un-
BONUS TRACKS: What about the hip tunes that wind up on the cutting room floor from cd’s that DO come out?
On Terumasa Hino’s “ Bluestruck” ( Blue Note), one of my first records, the cd is great… but our versions of Sonny Clark’s “ Melody For C “ and Bobby Timmons’ “So Tired” got cut. And they were really good. Onaje Allan Gumbs, Victor Lewis, Bob Hurst, Hino and myself.
A singer who will remain nameless due to her bad behavior had us do a date the day before Thanksgiving at Tony Bennett’s in NJ. It was memorable for this: Master pianist Don Friedman ( Booker Little, etc) was on it. It’s the only time I recall playing with Don. Hendrik Meurkens, the excellent harmonica/ vibes player , was there too.
Finally, the hidden gem: Trombonist/ composer Tom MacIntosh, from the original 1966 Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Band,, had an original big band suite. We recorded it at Nola Studios in NYC. The band was incredible: Roland Hanna, Peter Washington, Ed Xiques, Ray Beckenstein, Jerry Dodgion, Jimmy Knepper, Dave Taylor, Wayne Andre, Byron Stripling, Virgil Jones, Frank and Ben Perowsky,Bill Washer,……. what a thrill.
I need to hear that one.