The undisputed premier baritone sax player spanning several decades was famed musician Harry Carney of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, who’s muscular tone and rhapsodic phrasing was generally considered the ‘norm’ throughout the jazz fraternity, until the arrival on the scene in the late 1940’s of Gerry Mulligan, who greatly expanded the instrument’s horizons with nimble airy approach to ensemble and solo performances.
Also a highly gifted composer and arranger with Gene Krupa (eg ‘Disc jockey jump’), Gil Evans, Miles Davis and other iconic luminaries, Gerry’s talents were soon in ever increasing demand—leading to the groundbreaking ‘Birth of the cool’ album with Miles Davis, on which he penned five of the dozen recorded numbers and sudden international fame in 1952 with the launch of his first piano less quartet, featuring co-star trumpeter Chet Baker, marked by the runaway success of the group’s first ten inch album, containing attractive tunes that were appealing not only to jazz fans but to casual listeners too.
With many similar quartets following, including Bob Brookmeyer, Art Farmer etc, the formation of The Concert Jazz Band, guest appearances with Dave Brubeck and recordings with Ben Webster, Paul Desmond and other major jazz stars, plus movie fame by way of appearances and scores for the Susan Hayward film ‘I want to live.’
The rest as they say ‘is history’, and although Gerry and Chet are sadly no longer with us, the good news is that highly regarded musicians Al Wood (saxes), Trevor Vincent trumpet/flugelhorn/valve trombone have affectionately re-created the sounds of various Mulligan-Baker combos together with pianist Vinnie Parker, Ken Marley (double bass)/Bob Howard (drums) and will be in action on Thursday April 5 at Doncaster Conservative Club. The music kicks-off at 8.30pm, admission £5 at the door. A definite must for fans of ‘cool’ West Coast Jazz don’t miss it.
Traditionalists need not despair however, as the ‘Con’ Club attraction on Thursday April 19 is The Reunion Jazz Band, featuring Alan Hipsley trumpet, Dave Hepworth clarinet, Dave Clews trombone, Keith Goddard banjo/guitar, Dave Spink double bass and ‘boss-man’ George Buckman leading from the rear on drums. George and the boys promise a musical journey back to the Louisiana Delta
The Terry Allonby Trio and guests will be in lunchtime action at The Horse & Groom East Laith Gate on Saturday April 7 from 12noon to 3pm (admission free)…Sheffield Jazz presents Simcock/Klaus(piano) and Gesing sax & bass clarinet at Crucible Studio, Friday April 13 and Michael Janish New York Standards Quartet at Millennium Hall, Friday April 20, Tel. 0114-273-8678 Sheffield Jazz Barnsley Jazz at The Fairway Hotel (S75 4LS) presents Café Society on Monday April 9, Tel 01226-281805/ 290105 Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio are in action at Doncaster Civic Theatre on April 25 Box office Tel. (01302) 342349 and on June 2 at The Junction, Goole. (01405) 763652 Junction