Thursday, April 18, 2013

A JAZZ MASQUERADE SURPRISE


A JAZZ MASQUERADE SURPRISE

This research was originally published in Names & Numbers, No. 51, October 2009, in slightly different form. 


© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved.

I began research and writing on Crown CLP-5009, Jazz Masquerade, in the spring of 2008 after an inquiry from a list member on a jazz discussion group who wondered if anyone had managed to make a complete identification of the musicians and tunes on this mystery LP. I had recalled a similar exchange on the rmb newsgroup (rec.music.bluenote), one of the first jazz discussion groups on the internet, around nineteen years ago and decided to take up the task of researching this LP. 

Unknown to me, a thread regarding the Crown mystery LPs emerged in the discography discussion column in the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) Journal beginning with Vol 41, No 2, May 2008, which continued through Vol 41, No. 4, December 2008. The President of the IAJRC, Geoff Wheeler, emailed me to alert me to this exchange. I sent copies of my research to several of the IAJRC members who had commented on the Crown mystery series of LPs. One member’s comments regarding his copy of Jazz Masquerade made it quite evident that there were other pressings of this LP with different tracks in addition to the pressings that I had researched for my initial article for N&N 48, January 2009, p. 2. This release of Jazz Masquerade will be identified as [WB] for the white border that distinguishes it from earlier pressings and releases. 


I acquired a copy of this release of Jazz Masquerade [WB] that probably dates from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s when Crown had dispensed with liner note backs and used a standard listing of LPs in their catalogue as the back cover.










The front cover was modified with a white border around William Claxton’s photograph of the masked musicians and the wider white border at the bottom featured text, HIGH FIDELITY, in gold letters with FULL COLOR superimposed over HIGH FIDELITY in hues of blue, green, purple, and red. The cover also noted the tunes on the LP in blue letters that can be seen on the shoulder of the masked drummer: Flying Home, Stompin’, Deep Purple, Steady Teddy, Ben’s Mood, Joe Is Down, Big Boy, Part 1, Big Boy, Part 2, C Jam Blues, and Why Not. But as we shall see, this listing bears little relation to the tunes included in this release of Jazz Masquerade [WB].



The matrix numbers are side one: CLP-5009 – 1X RE – 2XXG and side two: CLP-5009 – 2X RE – 2XXG. The label for side one lists five tunes and the label for side two lists five tunes as well. However, there are six tracks on side one, and four tracks on side two.

The labels on this release are identical to those used for the pressing of CLP-5009 that substituted Joe Is Down (Blow Joe Blow) for You Are Too Beautiful. The only difference is that the previous labels were black with silver letters whereas the labels depicted above, first set, are gray with black lettering. The labels on the IAJRC member’s copy, second set above, listed the same tracks, but his labels featured a black background and “CROWN” was spelled out with letters in green, blue, yellow, orange and red outlined in white. Matrix numbers printed on the labels and stamped in the wax are the same.

Five of the tracks on Jazz Masquerade [WB] are from another Crown mystery release, Jazz Surprise, CLP 5008.  The three releases/pressings in the author’s collection contain the same music with variations in labels, matrices and covers.





Tracks 1 and 2 on this release of Jazz Masquerade [WB] are not Big Boy, Parts 1 & 2. The first track is Fall Out from track 1 on Jazz Surprise. It features a scat vocal, musicians and other details unknown.

Track 2 on Jazz Masquerade [WB] is Body & Soul, Part 2 originally released as Modern 20-695B, a 78 RPM release, and labeled as Moonlight, track 3, side one, on Jazz SurpriseThis is from a Gene Norman “Just Jazz” concert at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, June 23, 1947. Charlie Shavers (tp), Willie Smith (as), Stan Getz (ts), Red Norvo (vib), Nat King Cole (p), Oscar Moore (g), Johnny Miller (b) and Louie Bellson (d).

Track 3 on side one of Jazz Masquerade [WB] is not C Jam Blues, but track 1 on side two of Jazz Surprise, Wailin’. Track 4 on side one of Jazz Masquerade [WB] is not Why Not, it is Off Night, track 5, side two on Jazz Surprise. Both of these tracks remain unidentified as to musicians and other details.

Track 5 on side one of Jazz Masquerade [WB] is a Joe Houston number, Blow Joe Blow, initially released on Modern 830 and Macy’s 5017 and listed on this release as JOE IS DOWN.

Track 6, not listed on the label, was also identified in the previous article as Time Out For Blues from Modern 858 with Benny Carter and His All Stars, listed on the front cover as Ben’s Mood.

Track 1 on side two of Jazz Masquerade [WB] is not Flying Home, but High Time, track 2 on side two of Jazz Surprise. This a “Bumps” Meyers tune from RPM 306, Bumps and Lumps, recently reissued by Ace Records, UK, on CDCHD 753, Joe Lutcher & His Alto Sax: Jumpin’ At The Mardi Gras. The RPM 78 release credits “Bumps” Meyers as the lead artist. This same track appears on Jazz Confidential (Crown CLP 5056) as track 3 on side one where it is labeled as Cool Night.

Track 2 on side two of Jazz Masquerade [WB] is not Stompin’, it is Scratch, track 4 on side two of Jazz Surprise. This has been identified in the jazz discography literature as Donna Lee from April 27, 1947, in Hollywood. This incomplete take of Donna Lee was also issued on the Italian label, Jazz Live, BLJ 8022, where Howard McGhee, Teddy Edwards and Sonny Criss are listed as possible musicians playing. Art Pepper authorities assert that it is Pepper playing alto on this track. 

Track 3 on side two of Jazz Masquerade [WB] is not Deep Purple, it is Hot House, Part 1, from Modern 20-694A, titled as Why Not on previous issues of Jazz Masquerade and discussed in the previous article examining Jazz Masquerade. The personnel are listed on the Modern label: Howard McGhee (tp), Sonny Criss (as), Wardell Gray (ts), Dodo Marmarosa (p), Charlie Drayton (b), Jackie Mills, (d).  Most discographers are in agreement that this is from the first Gene Norman “Just Jazz” Concert, Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA, April 29, 1947.

Track 4, Steady Teddy, on side two of Jazz Masquerade [WB] is Cool Fantasy, Part 2, from Modern 20-618B, also discussed in the previous article examining Jazz Masquerade. Most discographers now accept the following credits: Howard McGhee, Snooky Young, Karl George (tp); Vic Dickenson, Gene Roland (tb); Robert Isabell (as); Eugene Porter, Teddy Edwards, James D. King (ts); Vernon Biddle (p); Bob Kesterson (b); and Roy Porter (d), Hollywood, September 1945.

As noted above, there are only four tracks on side 2 of Jazz Masquerade [WB] and the fifth tune listed on the label, Ben’s Mood, is the sixth track on side 1, Time Out For Blues from Modern 858 with Benny Carter and His All Stars.

Since this mixed release of Jazz Masquerade [WB] includes tracks that originally appeared on Jazz Surprise it makes sense to discuss the remaining tracks on Jazz Surprise, although many of these continue to elude positive identification as to their origin, musicians playing, etc.





Jazz Surprise was also released in a white border version, seen above.  The track order and content are identical to the other releases of Jazz Surprise produced prior to the white border version.

Side one, track 1, Fall Out, is discussed above, musicians and other details unknown.

Side one, track 2, C-Jam Blues, was originally released on Modern 20-696A from a Gene Norman “Just Jazz” concert with Howard McGhee (tp); Wardell Gray, Vido Musso (ts); Arnold Ross (p); Barney Kessel (el-g); Harry Babasin (b); Don Lamond (d). 

Side one. track 3, Moonlight, is discussed above where it has been positively identified as Body And Soul, Part 2, from Modern 20-695B. This is from another Gene Norman concert from June 23, 1947, at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, with Charlie Shavers (tp), Willie Smith (as), Stan Getz (ts), Red Norvo (vib), Nat King Cole (p), Oscar Moore (g), Johnny Miller (b) and Louie Bellson (d).

Side one, track 4, Perdido Part 1 & Part II, is from Modern 20-660A/B with Chuck Peterson (tp), Vic Dickenson (tb), Benny Carter (as), Charlie Barnet (ts), Dodo Marmarosa (p), Irving Ashby (g), Red Callender (b) and Jackie Mills (d). Like many of the jazz tracks that appeared on Modern 78 RPM records originally, this is from a Gene Norman “Just Jazz” concert, his first concert using that trademark at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, April 29, 1947. The concert review in Down Beat, May 21, 1947, clearly indicates that this group of musicians was led by Benny Carter, and the photos from the concert published in Metronome, July 1947, also show Carter out front with his arm around Gene Norman, and Barnet in the rear of the group. But discography convention uses the first name listed on a label as the defacto leader, thus many discographies list this recording under Barnet as well as under Gene Norman’s name.

Red Callender, Jackie Mills, Benny Carter, Charlie Barnet, Gene Norman, Chuck Peterson, Vic Dickenson

Side two, track 1, WAILIN’, musicians and other details unknown.

Side two, track 2, HIGH TIME, is BUMPS AND LUMPS, a “Bumps” Meyers tune from RPM 306.

Side two, track 3, CHEROKEE, is from another Gene Norman “Just Jazz” concert from April 11, 1949, featuring Dave Lambert (vcl), Teddy Edwards (ts), Erroll Garner (p), John Simmons (b) and Chuck Thompson (d). The edited version on Jazz Surprise times at 3’16” but the Japanese CD release on Golden Radio Years On CD -1- Just Jazz Concert, Jazz Band BY28-14, times at 10’17” and is most likely the full concert version. This version includes an eighteen second introduction by Gene Norman who introduces Erroll Garner, Teddy Edwards, and Dave Lambert before the piano introduction starts which is where the version on Jazz Surprise begins after a brief round of applause.

Side two, track 4, SCRATCH, is DONNA LEE, possibly from a Gene Norman “Just Jazz”concert with probable personnel: Howard McGhee (tp), Art Pepper (as), Teddy Edwards (ts), Dodo Marmarosa (p), George “Red” Callender (b) and Jackie Mills (d).

Side two, track 5, OFF NITE or WHY NOT, musicians and other details unknown.

The author hopes that this convoluted discussion of a very convoluted Crown release has answered some questions regarding these Crown releases, especially for those readers who might have owned the release of Jazz Masquerade [WB] under primary discussion and wondered what the previous article, Jazz Masquerade Unmasked, was all about.

The author would like to express his thanks to Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute, to John Richmond for bringing this release to the author’s attention, and Geoff Wheeler for alerting the author to the exchange in the IAJRC Journal.

POSTSCRIPT:

P-Vine Records, Inc., Japan, issued a selection of tracks from Crown CLP-5008, Jazz Surprise, and Crown CLP-5009, Jazz Masquerade, in 1998.  The catalogue number was PVCP-8741.  Total timing on the CD reissue is a little under 44 minutes.  The CD notes are equally ambiguous (like the original Crown LPs) regarding jazz artists associated with each track.



The insert is a single folded piece with the cover of CLP-5009 on the front and CLP-5008 on the back, shown above.



The interior of the folded piece reproduces the original liner notes from CLP-5009 and CLP-5008, shown above.


A folded insert, shown partially above, notes the tracks on the CD along with some production credits with most of the text in Japanese.


The tray liner lists the tracks along with a listing of artists although errors are present such as Howard McGhee credited as playing tenor sax and to my best knowledge Dexter Gordon is not present on any of these tracks.  Here is a recap that represents the current state of my research regarding tune titles and musician leaders:

Jazz Masquerade + Jazz Surprise / The Modern Jazz Stars

P - VINE RECORDS INC. PVCP-8741



TRAY TITLE                         ACTUAL TITLE                       ARTIST

  1. BIG BOY PART 1               BIG BOY PART 1               J. GIUFFRE
  2. BIG BOY PART 2               BIG BOY PART 2               J. GIUFFRE
  3. C-JAM BLUES                    C-JAM BLUES                    UNKNOWN
  4. WHY NOT                         HOT HOUSE PT 1              W. GRAY
  5. FLYING HOME                  NEW FLYING HOME           L. GLENN
  6. STOMPIN‘                        SNOW PLOW                     J. JACKSON
  7. DEEP PURPLE                  DEEP PURPLE                    J. JACKSON
  8. STEADY TEDDY               COOL FANTASY PT 2          H. McGHEE
  9. BEN’S MOOD                   TIME OUT FOR BLUES        B. CARTER
  10. FALL OUT                        FALL OUT                           UNKNOWN
  11. MOONLIGHT                   BODY AND SOUL, PT 2        C. SHAVERS
  12. WAILIN‘                         WAILIN‘                             UNKNOWN
  13. HIGH TIME                     BUMPS AND LUMPS            B. MEYERS
  14. SCRATCH                        DONNA LEE                        H. McGHEE
  15. OFF NITE                        OFF NITE                           UNKNOWN