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BOPland - Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Howard McGhee, Sonny Criss and many more (3 CDs)

BOPland - Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Howard McGhee, Sonny Criss and many more (3 CDs)

$ 9.99 $ 11.99

Personnel: Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Barney Kessel (guitar); Sonny Criss (alto saxophone); Wardell Gray, Wild Bill Moore (tenor saxophone); Howard McGhee, Al Killian (trumpet); Trummy Young (trombone); Hampton Hawes, Russ Freeman (piano); Leroy Gray, Tim Kennedy, Roy Porter (drums).

Recording information: 07/06/1947.

At long last the historic Elks Club Concert from 1947 has been released in its entirety. This event has been excerpted countless times on 78s, 10" LPs, 12" long-players, and even on CDs both officially issued and pirated. The significance of the concert can hardly be overstated, since it features a sheer who's who of the Los Angeles Central Avenue jam scene at the dawn of the bebop era. While Dexter Gordon is a prominent figure in this collection, he is by no means the only one. Gordon was a featured soloist with the Howard McGhee Orchestra in 1947, and the other players in this illustrious outfit include Wardell Gray, Sonny Criss, Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, McGhee (of course), Trummy Young, drummer Roy Porter, and bassist Harry Babasin. The 19-plus minute jam on "Bopera" (aka Coleman Hawkins' "Disorder at the Border") is a stunning cutting session featuring burning solos from the players. The other orchestras on this amazing evening included Wild Bill Moore's -- which starred pianist Russ Freeman and tenor man Gene Montgomery -- and Earl Coleman with the Al Killian Orchestra, featuring Gray, Freeman, Criss, Kessel, and Red Callender. In addition, the loose, one-night-only collective the Bopland Boys was an amalgam of the McGhee group and the rhythm section from the Killian orchestra. Over the three discs here are stretched-out blowing sessions, woolly blues, and stridently played standards -- all with top-notch soloing. What is most significant, aside from having this material assembled together for the first time, is that this is the first time anywhere listeners have gotten to hear the much-rumored extended take of "Perdido" until now. Over 20 minutes in length and played by the Moore band, it is one of the highlights of recorded jazz in the 1940s. Add to this the startlingly brutal "Bopland" (aka "Byas-A-Drink"), the slippery "Bop After Hours," and the beautiful and swinging "What Is This Thing Called Love," and you have one amazing package. Given the venue and the different cutting lathes (these were cut straight to 16"discs from the inside out), there are some quality problems; the overall fidelity is decent but certainly not more than that -- but nothing to seriously mar the offering. Recommended. ~ Thom Jurek

1. Tune-Up/Announcement
2. Bopera (Disorder At the Border)
3. What is This Thing Called Love
4. take) Body and Soul - (previously unreleased
5. take) Back Breaker - (previously unreleased

1. Tune-Up/Announcenment
2. Bopland (Byas-a-Drink)
3. Bop After Hours (After Hours Bop) - (previously unreleased)
4. The (Rocks 'N' Shoals) Hunt

1. Perdido - (previously unreleased)
2. Incomplete Take) Merry Go Round Blues - (previously unreleased
3. take) Blowin' With Bass - (previously unreleased
4. Blow, Blow - (previously unreleased, take) Blow
5. Geronimo
6. Take 1) Unknown Theme [Take 1] - (previously unreleased
7. Take 2) Unknown Theme [Take 2] - (previously unreleased

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