This wonderful 2-CD set by saxophonist Gil Melle is one of six titles released as part of Blue Note's new Connoisseur 10" series. The set consists of four 10" LPs and the one 12" LP (Patterns In Jazz) Gil recorded for the label. These extremely rare sessions contain a mix of straight bop, a number of standards and many of Melle's unique third stream compositions. Melle's use of a guitar (Tal Farlow, Lou Mecca and Joe Cinderella) in place of a piano was seen as a bold, innovative step.
At the time of these recordings, 1952 to 1956, Melle was quite prolific, but by 1957 he had moved on to pursue other interests. He has scored over 125 films, painted, experimented with electronic instruments and is often credited for inventing the first drum machine.
Although these discs do contain some sonic imperfections they remain a valuable document of one of the most cerebral and creative figures in jazz.
2. Quadrille For Moderns;
3. Five Impressions of Color: Spectrum Violet / Sea Green / Royal; Blue / Ebony / Spectrum Red;
4. Life Begins at Midnight;
5. Night Train to Wildwood;
6. Threadneedle Street;
7. Weird Valley;
8. Set Break;
9. Moonlight in Vermont;
10. Long Ago and Far Away;
11. Arab Barber Blues;
12. Nice Questions.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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