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Various Artists: Everyone's Buzzin': The Complete Bee Hive Sessions

David Rickert By

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The idea behind Jim and Susan Neumann's Bee Hive label was simple: gather together a bunch of great musicians for recording dates and let them play whatever they wanted. The sessions were led by talented musicians who may not have received the recognition they deserved in the jazz heyday of the fifties and early sixties -names like Sal Salvador, Ronnie Mathews, and Dizzy Reece to name a few—but who still had plenty to say. And for sixteen recording sessions, the Neumanns recorded some of the best jazz of the seventies and early eighties on some terrific hard bop and post bop sessions. Mosaic Records has collected the entire output for the label, which was fairly obscure at the time of its release and has never been released on CD until now. It's one of the most enjoyable Mosaic sets in years, which is saying a lot for a label that has dug up some great treasures.

The Neumanns had no real ambition to make a fortune off of this venture; they simply wanted to create more of the jazz that they enjoyed. No one was really exploring hard bop and post bop anymore at the time; most listeners were interested in jazz-rock or fusion, many of the popular clubs has either closed down or were forced to book punk bands to survive, and once sturdy labels like Blue Note were struggling to stay afloat.

The talented artists that the Neumanns brought together for these sessions were lucky if they could find club work, but were only in their forties and still at the peak of their abilities. Most of them recorded a session or two in the sixties (many of which have been reissued on CD in the past decade) but were never as widely popular as Monk or Coltrane. For the Bee Hive sessions, the musicians were given the opportunity to have complete artistic control of their recordings, even down to the album covers, and jumped at the opportunity to record.

The end result was a series of remarkable albums that sound like great lost sessions from Blue Note or Riverside or any of the other great jazz labels of the sixties. A couple of them are undeniable classics. Dizzy Reece's Manhattan Project is the best session here, and edgy and adventurous session that bests any of the trumpeter's highly regarded work for the Blue Note label. Proving that there was no house sound for the label, Johnny Hartman's Once in Every Life found the vocalist in fine form. Hartman was working intermittently, only recording in Europe, but turned in this intimate classic, all guitars, flutes, and relaxed tempos. It garnered Hartman a Grammy nomination and was featured heavily in the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood's Bridges of Madison County.

Along with those two masterpieces are several other interesting forays. Nick Brignola and fellow baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams are surprisingly agile on a session of Charlie Parker tunes, while the three baritone front line on Brignola's second session was unlike anything that had been recorded in jazz. Sal Nistico's two sessions feature unexpectedly lovely and melancholy washes from a guy who was highly regarded for his ability to blow. The heavily under heard pianist Ronnie Mathews gets his due as a formidable composer and arranger on two sessions that feature dark, brooding compositions.

The other treat is to see some familiar names pop up in unexpected places. Chameleon pianist Jaki Byard is on hand for a Clifford Jordan date (Jordan found him a little difficult to wrangle) and the trombone of Curtis Fuller pops up on a few sessions. Old Basie alums like Frank Wess, Frank Foster, and Joe Newman are on hand, and for those who have been collecting limited release CD reissues over the past few decades, bass trumpeter Cy Touff and guitarist Sal Salvador will be familiar names and a welcome presence.

Despite it's short catalog and brief life span, the Bee Hive label was responsible for one of the most reliable recorded outputs of any label. Every session brims with top notch playing from minor figures on the jazz scene. It's a great collection with music that many jazz fans have been waiting for years to hear.

Track Listing: Disc I: Donna Lee; Billie’s Bounce; Stablemates; Marmaduke; Body and Soul; Alone Together. Disc II: Nick Who’s Blues; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You; Busy B’s; Groovin’ High; Our Delight; Blues in F; Anthropology; You Don’t Know What Love Is; Be My Love. Disc III: Blues For K.D.; Bambu; Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum; Like Someone In Love; Minor’s Holiday; Ballade For Gabe Wells; Hello, Young Lovers; The Egyptian Two; Yesterdays; Blue Monk. Disc IV: Con Man; Manhattan Walk; Yule on the Hudson; Woody ’N’ You; One For Trane; Con Man (alt tk); Hyde Park After Dark; You’re Blasé. Disc V: Lotus Blossom; Sad Sam; I Waited for You; I’m Glad There Is You; 2 Degrees East, 3 Degrees West; Dr. Chicago; Something to Live For; Zombie; Touch Love; If I Had You; BeBop. Disc VI: Easy Living; It Was Almost Like A Song; Wave; By Myself; For All We Know; Will You Still Be Mine; Nobody Home; I Could Write a Book; I See Your Face Before Me; Moonlight in Vermont. Disc VII: Nica’s Dream; Darn That Dream; Sometime Ago; Zone Two; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Blue Gnu’s Blues; On Green Dolphin Street; Blues in the Closet. Disc VIII: Opus de Funk; Daddy-O; Tune For Two; Northern Lights; Juicy Lucy; For All We Know; Salima’s Dance; It Don’t Mean A Thing; Hi-Fly. Disc IX: Thew’s Blues; Susanita; Reflections; Legacy; A Child Is Born; Once I Loved; Ich Ban; Suicide is Painless (Theme From M*A*S*H); Loose Suite; Four For Nothing; Untitled Blues. Disc X: Four the Hard Way; Wisteria; Raise A Ruckus; H&T Blues; Ain’t Nothin’ New; You Don’t Know What Love Is; Laverne Walk; A Few Bars For Basie; Friday the 13th; No Matter What. Disc XI: But Not For Me; Crazy She Calls Me; Cousin Mary; Lament; Mean Old Amtrak; That Lucky Old Sun; Truckin’; Funky Carnival; Miss Otis Regrets; Birks’ Works; Mean Old Amtrak (alt. tk.); Cheatin’ On Me; Blues For Lisette; Indiana; Keep On Pushin’; Stardust; Deep River; Blues For Lisette (alt. tk.)

Personnel: Nick Brignola -Baritone Madness: Ted Curson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Nick Brignola: alto sax, baritone sax; Pepper Adams: baritone sax; Derek Smith: piano; Dave Holland: bass; Roy Haynes, drums. Nick Brignola -Burn Brigade: Nick Brignola, Ronnie Cuber, Cecil Payne: baritone sax; Walter Davis, Jr.: piano; Walter Booker: bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums. Sal Nistico: Neo Nistico: Ted Curson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Sal Nistico: tenor sax; Nick Brignola: baritone sax; Ronnie Mathews: piano; Sam Jones: bass; Roy Haynes: drums. Curtis Fuller -Fire and Filigree: Curtis Fuller: trombone; Sal Nistico: tenor sax; Walter Bishop, Jr.: piano; Sam Jones: bass; Freddie Waits: drums. Dizzy Reece -Manhattan Project: Dizzy Reece: trumpet; Clifford Jordan, Charles Davis: tenor sax; Albert Daily: piano; Art Davis: bass; Roy Haynes: drums. Clifford Jordan -Hyde Park After Dark: Cy Touff: bass trumpet; Clifford Jordan, Von Freeman: tenor sax; Norman Simmons: piano, arranger: Victor Sproles: bass; Wilbur Campbell: drums. Clifford Jordan -Dr. Chicago: Red Rodney: flugelhorn, trumpet; Clifford Jordan: tenor sax; Jaki Byard: piano; Ed Howard: bass. Vernel Fournier: drums; Melba Liston: arranger. Johnny Hartman: Once in Every Life: Johnny Hartman: vocal; Joe Wilder: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Frank Wess: tenor sax, flute; Al Gafa: guitar; Billy Taylor: piano; Victor Gaskin: bass; Keith Copeland: drums. Sal Salvador -Starfingers: Eddie Bert: trombone; Nick Brignola: baritone sax; Sal Salvador: guitar: Derek Smith: piano; Sam Jones: bass; Mel Lewis: drums. Sal Salvador -Juicy Lucy: Sal Salvador: guitar; Billy Taylor: piano; Art Davis: bass; Joe Morello: drums. Ronnie Mathews -Roots, Branches & Dances: Frank Foster: soprano sax, tenor sax; Ronnie Mathews: piano; Ray Drummond: bass; Al Foster: drums; Azzedin Weston: congas, percussion. Ronnie Mathews -Legacy: Bill Hardman: trumpet; Ricky Ford: tenor sax; Ronnie Mathews: piano; Walter Booker: bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums. Roland Hanna -The New York Jazz Quartet in Chicago: Frank Wess: tenor sax, flute; Roland Hanna: piano; George Mraz: bass; Ben Riley: drums. Dick Katz -In High Profile: Jimmy Knepper: trombone; Frank Wess: tenor sax, flute; Dick Katz: piano, arrangements; Marc Johnson: bass; Al Harewood: drums. Junior Mance -Truckin’ and Trakin’: David “Fathead” Newman: tenor sax, flute; Junior Mance: piano; Martin Rivera: bass; Walter Bolden: drums. Arnett Cobb -Keep On Pushin’: Joe Newman: trumpet; Al Grey: trombone; Arnett Cobb: tenor sax; Junior Mance: piano; George Duvivier: bass; Panama Francis: drums.

Title: Everyone's Buzzin': The Complete Bee Hive Sessions | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Mosaic Records

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