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The Newport All Stars

The Newport All Stars
Ruby Braff, Buddy Tate, George Wein, Jack Lesberg, Don Lamond

The Newport All Stars - The Newport All Stars The Newport All Stars - The Newport All Stars
there maybe white spots on the image - there are NO spots on the jacket

Black Lion Records...BL 303...[1967]...33 1/3 LP...Stereo

Side 1
1) Take The "A" Train - Stayhorn...3:57
2) These Foolish Things - Strachen/Maschwitz...5:12
3) My Monday Date - Hines...6:07
4) Body And Soul - Green/Heyman/Eyton/Sour...4:43

Side 2
1) Mean To Me - Taurk/Ahlert...7:42
2) I Surrender Dear - Barris/Clifford...5:10
3) Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone - Clare/Stept...5:20
4) Pan Am Blues - Wein...3:18

The Newport All Stars - The Newport All Stars The Newport All Stars - The Newport All Stars


The Newport All Stars

The Newport All Stars

London seemed to be full of American jazzmen in October, 1967. Harold Davison, George Wein and Jack Higgins were staging "Jazz Expo '67" during the week commencing Saturday the 21st and in a jazz-packed festival London audiences witnessed performances by such visitors as the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the Max Roach Quintet, Bill Coleman, Budd Johnson, Ben Webster, the Bill Evans Trio, the quartets of Roland Kirk and Charles Lloyd, Sarah Vaughan and her trio, the Thelonious Monk Orchestra with Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Jimmy Cleveland, Johnny Griffin and Charlie Rouse, the Herbie Mann Quintet, Gary Burton's quartet, a "Guitar Workshop" which included Jim Hall and Barney Kessel and a final Sunday night concert which brought together the quintets of Miles Davis and Archie Shepp. But there can have been few units to attract such overall acceptance as the Newport All Stars, a unit which took the stage at the Hammersmith Odeon on Tuesday, October 24th.

The Newport All Stars represent all that is timeless in our music. How can one categorise music such as this apart from sheltering behind a manufactured term such as "mainstream"? (I have always felt that the term "mainstream" is an insult to any other style of jazz which co-exists. It suggests, in a prim and arrogant way, that only the music of men such as Buddy Tate, Ben Webster, etc. is the real thing and that the barrier breaking work of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and hundreds of others is somehow artificial or, at best, ephemeral.) Suffice it to say here that concert promoter George Wein put together a wholly compatible unit in which he played the part of pianist. The front-line contained both the oldest and the youngest member of the band. Buddy Tate was born in Sherman, Texas on February 22, 1915 while Ruby Braff first saw the light of day in Boston on March 16, 1927. The rhythm section comprised two Bostonians in the persons of Wein (born October 3, 1925) and Jack Lesberg (Febraury 14, 1920) and Don Lamond from Oklahoma City (August 18, 1920).

George Holmes Tate, senior in experience, is looked upon as the archetypal "mainstream" tenor saxophonist by those who still want to hang labels on jazz soloists. He came up during the nineteen-thirties with the bands of Terrence Holder, Troy Floyd and Andy Kirk. In March, 1939 he joined the Count Basie band as a permanent replacement for his friend, Herschel Evans. (Evans sitting alongside a succession of fellow tenor saxophonists including Paul Bascombe, Lester Young, Don Byas, Lucky Thompson, Illinois Jacquet and Paul Gonsalves. Since leaving Basie he has spent a great deal of his time leading a very successful band at New York's "Celebrity" club. Buddy has the huge, cavernous tone of the Texas tenors. If anyone doubts the existence of the regional style of the Lone Star State then I suggest a comparison is made between the sounds of the following tenor saxophonists, all of whom were born in Texas; Illinois Jacquet, the late King Curtis, Jimmy Guiffre, Arnett Cobb, Buddy Tate and Curtis Amy. On this record Buddy's superb, big sound comes across particularly well on his two feature numbers. These Foolish Things and I Surrender Dear. His playing is at once warm-toned and commanding with a richness seldom found nowadays.

I first heard Ruby Braff on record in 1955 when I was asked to write the sleeve notes for an album by vocalist Teddi King. It was Ruby who blew the splendid obbligato phrases and short solos, exhibiting a flair for pure melody which belied his tender years. When Braff arrived on the scene, self-taught and up from Boston where he had learned his craft from men such as Pee Wee Russell and Bud Freeman, he struck me as something of an anachronism, a man born out of his time. Here was a trumpeter, about the same age as Clifford Brown and Art Farmer, who elected to turn to Louis Armstrong and Bobby Hackett for his inspiration instead of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Braff, of course, has gone his own way and has built up a reputation; quite simply he plays Ruby Bran-style trumpet (or cornet). On this LP, made the Saturday following the Hammersmith Odeon concert, his solos are delightful aphorisms, almost understated but consisting only of the notes which count. On Mean To Me, for example, he follows two of Buddy Tate's most exciting choruses not with a gallery-playing screech but with a restrained and quite beautiful phrase. His solo on Body And Soul is really one of the most poetic pieces of cornet playing I have heard in years yet when the occasion demands, as on Pan Am Blues for example, he can cut loose with soaring, building phrases.

Jack Lesberg is one of those steady, reliable and unspectacular bass players who listens carefully to everyone and gains satisfaction from having made a contribution to the rhythm section. Lesberg does not play a continuous, running solo in an attempt to draw attention to himself. Rather he makes syre thar he is there at all times, choosing the most suitable notes from the chords and adding his weight and experience to the rhythm section. Jack has succeeded dividing his time between jazz (he play with Muggsy Spanier in 1940 and was with various Eddie Condon group during the 1945 to 1950 period) and concert music (he played in the New York Symphony under Leonard Bernstein from 1945 to 1948). He toured Britain in 1957 with Jack Teagarden and Earl Hines.

Don Lamond is, quite simply, my favourite big band drummer and it is interesting to hear him in this small band context where his brush-work is such an asset. Don spent most of the late 'forties in the Woody Herman band (he played drums on such famous Herman records as Four Brothers, Lemondrop and Early Autumn). In recent years he has worked in the New York studios and his trip to Europe with the Newport All Stars turned out to be a working holiday.

George Wein studied piano with the mother of baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff. He played with men such as Max Kaminsky, Ed Hall, Bobby Hackett and Jo Jones in the late 'forties but since then he has been more active as a club owner and worldwide concert promoter. (He produced the first Newport Jazz Festivals in 1954 and 1955.) Leonard Feather rates him as a "capabale musician and sincere jazz enthusiast" and the enclosed record he is featured to go advantage with Lesberg and Lamond on Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone.

Alun Morgan

(ibid: Alun Morgan - Jazz history writer - wrote an excellent biography of Count Basie.
A British citizen who has supposedly written up to some 3,000 + - liner notes.
His contribution extends well beyond liner notes, he owns nearly a complete collection of albums with his liner notes, some friends of Morgan have put the total collection at close to a quarter of a million records. Morgan has researched discographies, chosen and sequenced selections for important tribute releases, and contributed, by any account - superb, articles to major, as well as small, publications such as the British Jars, devoted to be-bop.)

Black Lion Logo Ruby Braff (cornet) I 1-3-4 II 1-4

Buddy Tate (tenor saxophone) I 1-2-3 II 1-2-4

George Wein (piano) I 1-2-3-4 II 1-2-3-4

Jack Lesberg (bass) I 1-2-3-4 II 1-2-3-4

Don Lamond (drums) I 1-2-3-4 II 1-2-3-4

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