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Collector’s Corner

On March 12, 16 and 30, 1965 four men walked into the recording studio at Atlantic Records and laid down the tracks that would become Sing Me Softly Of The Blues. Produced by Arif Mardin, this Art Farmer Quartet album was released that same year. It is just 34 minutes and 50 seconds long and Farmer’s twentieth album and his 4th recording for Atlantic.

The album is comprised of just six songs: Sing Me Softly of the Blues (Carla Bley) – 6:44, Ad Infinitum (Bley) – 6:21, Petite Belle (Traditional) – 4:08, Tears (Pete LaRoca) – 5:45, I Waited for You (Walter Gil Fuller) – 5:55 and One for Majid (LaRoca) – 5:57.

The quartet personnel are: Art Farmer/flugelhorn, Steve Kuhn/piano, Steve Swallow/bass and Pete LaRoca/drums.

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Collector’s Corner

Soaring is an album recorded in 1973 by trumpeter Don Ellis and released on the MPS label. The album features Hank Levy’s composition which provided the title for, and was the title song for the 2014 film Whiplash. The film stars Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, and Melissa Benoist and depicts the relationship between an ambitious jazz student (Teller) and an aggressive, abusive instructor (Simmons).

Four of the eight tracks are composed by Ellis and include Whiplash, Sladka Pitka by Milcho Leviev, The Devil Made Me Write This Piece, Go Back Home composed by Sam Falzone, Invincible, Image of Maria, Sidonie by Alexej Fried and closes out with Nicole.

Twenty multi-instrumentalists and four arrangers comprised the orchestra that brought this session to life playing a myriad of instruments, making it one for the collection. They are Don Ellis, Fred Seldon, Vince Denham, Sam Falzone, Gary Herbig, Jack Caudill, Bruce Mackay, Gil Rathel, Sidney Muldrow, Mike Jamieson, Ken Sawhill, Doug Bixby, Jay Graydon, Milcho Leviev, Dave McDaniel, Ralph Humphrey, Ron Dunn, Lee Pastora, Earle Corry, Joel Quivey, Renita Koven, Pat Kudzia, Alexej Fried and Hank Levy.

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Once Upon A Summertime is an album by Blossom Dearie, recorded and released in 1959 on Verve Records. The third in a series of six albums recorded by the vocalist for the label.

When Norman Granz called and asked Blossom to make another album with Tom Nola, he had Ray Brown playing bass, Mundell Lowe playing guitar, and Ed Thigpen playing drums.e told her she could pick the songs and write the arrangements so how could a girl go wrong? So, by twisting my arm a few times he seemed to persuade her to go ahead with it… even though she says, she resisted stubbornly.

The lineup of compositions are: Tea For Two, The Surrey With the Fringe On Top, Moonlight Saving Time, It Amazes Me, If I Were a Bell, We’re Together, Teach Me Tonight, Once Upon a Summertime, Down With Love, Manhattan, Doop-Doo-De-Doop (A Doodlin’ Song) and Our Love is Here to Stay.

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Blue Serge is an album by jazz baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff, that was released by Capitol Records in 1956. It was recorded on March 14 and 16, 1956 at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, California. The session included pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Philly Joe Jones.

The album is comprised of eight tunes and among the recognizable standards are a Serge original and an Al Cohn composition.  Leading off the session is A Handful Of Stars, followed by The Goof and I (Cohn), Thanks For The Memory, All The Things You Are, I’ve Got The World On A string, Susie’s Blues (Chaloff), Stairway To The Stars and How About You. This album exhibits plenty of improvisation and melodic variations to make this an important session and has been added to the Penguin Guide and Definitive Records “Core Collection” with a four star rating.

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Lonesome Traveler is one of pianist Ray Bryant’s grittiest recordings and his second album on Cadet was recorded in 1966 on the Cadet label at RCA Studios in New York City. It featured pianist Ray Bryant as the leader of the sextet of players who performed on the recording sessions that included flugelhornists Clark Terry and Snooky Young, Jimmy Rowles and Richard Davis on bass and drummer Freddie Waits.

The cover photo and design were by Don Bronstein. Nine tracks make up the session with five on the B-side with The Blue Scimitar, Gettin’ Loose, Wild Is The Wind, Cubano Chant and Brother This ‘N’ Sister That. The title track,Lonesome Traveler, is kicking off the A-side followed by ‘Round Midnight, These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ and Willow Weep For Me.

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