Mance: I think that’s Lucky Thompson.
Pena: Lucky doesn’t usually go like this until
about the third chorus.
Mance: Yeah, but this doesn’t sound like the
beginning of the tune, anyway.It’s a continuation from another part
of the tune, isn’t it?
Tomkins: No, the track started like that.
Cranshaw: I didn’t even hear any kind of melody.
Ah—those horns. That’s Benny Golson.
Roker: There’s Curtis Fuller.
Mance: That’s not Curtis.
Roker: You sure?
Mance: Wait a minute—I take that back.
Cranshaw: It sounded like the one where Benny
started with one piece and went on up.
Mance: Oh—“ Take A Number From One To Ten.”
Cranshaw: Yes, that’s it.
Roker: Art Farmer on trumpet?
Mance: Yeah, that’s Art.
Cranshaw: Is that Lex Humphries playing the
Roker: No, it’s Tootie Heath—and Tommy Williams.
And there’s Cedar Walton.
Mance: Cedar sure holds the section together.
Cranshaw: He’s a good accompanist and soloist.
Mance: There’s not too many cats around who
can do both. They can either do one well or the other.
Pena: Yeah, there’s very few cats who’ve got
Mance: A lot of soloists can’t camp.
Pena: That’s the truth.
Mance: Cedar’s one of the few who does both
Pena: He came out to the coast with Art Blakey,
didn’t he? Their charts were real nice, man.
Mance: Yeah, he’s still with Art.
(Full personnel details were given here)
Mance: Freddie Hubbard? Are you sure?
Cranshaw: And yet it didn’t sound like Art
Mance: Well, that fooled me. Freddie usually
goes way upstairs. But that just proves he’s a man of many moods.
He can play high if he feels like it, then he can get down and settle
into a more lyrical and melodic thing.
Pena: I liked the sound of it. It’s really
a cooking record. The feeling of playing together was obviously there.
Cranshaw: Did we hear it right from the first
note? Pena: The tenor chorus was the first thing we heard.
Mance: And after Benny soloed it was the first
time we heard any other horns.
Tomkins: You heard the whole track. That must
have been the way they wanted to do it.
Roker: Well, it’s different.
Pena: Oh—I get it. I see what they’re doing.
They’re playing the jazz first and then stating the theme.
Mance: Tootie is very flexible and can play
with anybody. He’s one of the steadiest of the younger cats. He doesn’t
get over-busy. You can always feel the pulsation and the beat—and
some bass drum.
Roker: He’s got good facility and he can swing.
What else can you ask? He comes from a family of good musicians.
Pena: Yeah, his brothers are Percy Heath and
Jimmy Heath, who plays tenor, doesn’t he? I like the way Jimmy writes,
Tomkins: Do you think Benny’s writing has
overshadowed his playing? Possibly people don’t think of him so much
as a soloist.
Mance: They should. He’s a terrible cat.
Cranshaw: I guess there’s evidence from what
we said when we first started. We thought it was Lucky Thompson.
Pena: Yeah, Lucky in his third chorus. He
doesn’t get cooking until the third or fourth chorus.
Mance: That’s right—and Benny was in there
Roker: Yeah, Benny starts out bashing, man.
Mance: Most cats who are noted as writers
started that way and then became soloists. But Benny was a soloist
for a long time before he actually settled down to just writing. He
knew how all the time—he’s been studying—but he concentrated more
on playing. Although he did writing when he was with Art Blakey and
when he was with Dizzy. Now he’s writing much more—but he’s still
Pena: People have a tendency to say : “This
guy does this,” not taking into account any of the other things he
It’s a matter of trying to over-simplify everything—to
pigeon-hole everybody into his one little category.
“Moanin’ “—Johnny Dankworth and his
(Composed by Bobby Timmons, arranged
by Johnny Dankworth.
From “African Waltz” EP, Columbia).
Mance: I don’t know who it is,
but they sure are swinging.
Pena: I’d be willing to bet that was made
here in London. I may be wrong, but I think so.
Cranshaw: Ha, ha—is that Tricky Sam on trombone?
Pena: l’ll take a guess. I think that was
Johnny Dankworth’s band.
Mance: I do too. You know why? That ending.
They used that ending on something else. I think it was that “African
Pena: It’s just a gas. I like the band very
much. But if I’m right, I have to make a confession. If not I’ll back
Tomkins: Well, you are right.
Pena: Okay—well, I should have recognised
it because when I was here in June with Frank Sinatra, I had the good
luck of working opposite them and they played that very tune. I recognised
the tempo more than anything—and the tuba was kind of a give–away,
Cranshaw: I was gassed. I didn’t know who
it was, but the tuba—this is something I enjoy. Bass and tuba together—that’s
a mean sound.
Pena: I know some of the guys in the band.
Who was the tenor player?
Tomkins: That was Danny Moss.
Mance: I heard Johnny’s band when they came
to the States—at the Newport Jazz Festival. I was with Dizzy then.
They sounded good then, too.
Cranshaw: Ralph, you mentioned something about
you knew by the tempo. What did you mean?
Pena: Well, they attacked the tune in a certain
tempo and that gave it away. It really rang a bell because I knew
where I’d heard that tempo before. Which brings me to a criticism—I
don’t think that’s the right tempo for that tune.
Cranshaw: It seemed a little faster than I’ve
heard it. I couldn’t say it was bad, but it was the first time I’ve
heard that tune at that tempo.
Roker: I’ve heard a big band version of “Moanin’
” by Quincy Jones and he did it slower. I don’t know if he’s recorded
it. It has to do with whoever arranges it—whatever tempo he wants
it to be in. It’s the individual feeling, depending on what’s happening
at that moment. I liked that track very much. It was nice and mellow,
Pena: It had a lot of spirit—a lot of fire,
Cranshaw: The solos, particularly the trombone
and trumpet, were different from the way I was expecting them to sound.
“Yaknik’‘—Al Fairweather and Sandy
Brown’s All Stars (AZ Fairweather—trumpet, Sandy Brown—clarinet, Tony
Milliner—trombone, Brian Lemon—piano, Brian Prudence—bass, Benny Goodman—drums).
Composed by Al Fairweather. From “Study In Brown” El’, Columbia).
Mance: You know
who that is, don’t you?
Roker: I’m not sure.
Mance: I would say it was a small group from
Ray Charles’ band.
Roker: Could be.
Mance: If there’s an alto solo I can tell.
Pena: Oh, that’s wild, isn’t it?
Cranshaw: I was trying to hear if that was
Jimmy Knepper on trombone, but he didn’t play long enough.
Fournier: ( during trumpet solo ) There’s
some oldtimers on that.
Roker: (during clarinet solo) What instrument
Mance: Alto? Is it Hank Crawford?
Pena: Or a soprano?
Mance: It doesn’t sound like Hank now.
Pena: Who is it?
Mance: I thought it was Hank Crawford at first—you
know, the alto player with Ray Charles.
Cranshaw: I thought it was Mingus.
Pena: If there was hollering it’d be Mingus.
Roker: I don’t know who this is.
Fournier: It’s some young cats playing some
Mance: Playing an old rhythm.
Roker: Yeah—old feeling—that’s what it is.
Fournier: No, the rhythm was modem. It’s the
way they were jamming in the background that sounded antique.
Mance: No, the rhythm was that old Sanctified
Church style. That’s what they’re trying to get.
Pena: It could very easily be Mingus.
Cranshaw: He often does things like that.
But having heard the whole tune, the bass player didn’t sound like
Mingus would play as leader. Maybe I would play those notes if I was
playing bass with Mingus. This guy seemed like he was just playing
for the date.
Mance: Mingus doesn’t always play bass but
that wasn’t him on piano either.
Fournier: Was that a British band? What they
were trying to do was not quite authentic. It’s almost—but it’s a
collaboration of two things. That’s why I ask. If it was oldtimers
they would have had another thing going.
Pena: The soloists played a little too modern
for them to be real oldtime musicians.
Fournier: The trumpet solo sounded like it
(Details of personnel were given here).
Fournier: All young fellows? They’re on a
Pena: Generally speaking, is that what you
consider a traditional group?
Tomkins: Well, no—it’s what is classified
more or less as a mainstream group.
Pena: Mainstream? What’s that?
Fournier: You mean like Al Hirt style?
Mance: Oh, it’s a little more modern than
Al Hirt. It’s the type of tune Hank Crawford would play. But they
didn’t get deep enough into it—the way Hank would have done.
Roker: There would have been much longer solos.
Fournier: The thing that made me realise it
wasn’t oldtimers was that if it had been there would have been a little
more syncopation on the bass drum.
Tomkins: That particular track, incidentally,
has had some commercial success in this country.
Pena: Oh, I can see why. I don’t think the
solos were what made it a success. It was that ‘bag’ that they were
into. Because that’s very exciting. At that tempo, two–beat is really
Roker: Yeah, that beat—that rhythm in the
background—that’s what sold the record.
Pena: Yeah, that swung right along. Getting
back to where that came from Vernel, what would you call that?
Fournier: It all comes from my home town—New
Pena: I know. That’s why I’m asking you.
Fournier: I’ll tell you what you would call
that. That’s like cakewalk music. It’s a little too fast for a real
parade. It’s a faster cakewalk—like what we would call a show tune.
Pena: Cakewalk. That’s what I wanted to hear.
“Moments Like This” — Peggy Lee (with
Joe Hamell—piano, Max Bennett—bass, Dennis Budimir—guitar, Stan Levey—drums).
From “Peggy Lee At Basin Street East”, Capitol.
Pena: Peggy Lee. Right?
Mance: This has got me fooled.
Roker: Who’s this singing here?
Fournier: He says Peggy. I can only tell Billie
Mance: I’m terrible at identifying singers,
Fournier: She sounds like Billie, too.
Cranshaw: Yeah—that’s “Peggy Lee At Basin
Mance: Is that Lou Levy on piano?
Pena: No. I think it’s Jimmy Rowles.
Fournier: Lou was with her last time in there.
Pena: Lou Levy plays much busier.
Mance: He does, yeah.
Pena: That’s Max Bennett on bass.
Cranshaw: You know, Lou sure has a pretty
Pena: He’s the Jeff Chandler of jazz.
Roker: Who’s that, man?
Pena: Lou Levy. But I’m pretty sure this is
Mance: I’m pretty sure it is, too. Lou has
a little lighter touch.
Pena: I think that’s Stan Levey on drums.
The guitar could be either Dennis Budimir or Al Hendrickson.
Fournier: If that’s Basin Street it’s Mel
Lewis on drums.
(The sleeve was shown here)
Tomkins: You found that a pleasing sound?
Roker: Oh yeah.
Pena: I’ll tell you. Peggy’s ‘bag’ is in that
real subdued mood. Her thing is underplaying a thing—which, of course,
Billie was the instigator of. But Peggy has an ability to project
enormously at a very subdued level. In other words, her intensity
isn’t dependent on the volume. And what she projects isn’t so much
a feeling of intense swing as it is a real intimate thing. She’s an
enormously talented girl. She can write lyrics. And in addition to
writing lyrics and singing she’s got a book out on Italian cooking.
She’s got a lot of things going on.
Mance: I don’t like to hear her go into that
Ray Charles ‘bag’, though. She sounds real stiff when she gets into
Tomkins: Of course, she needs a particular
kind of rhythm section behind her.
Pena: I never saw a singer that didn’t, and
they’re very choosey about them. In that ‘bag’ it becomes even more
critical, I think.
Mance: She usually has a very good rhythm
Pena: I worked with Billie for a while in
Hollywood, and I’ll never forget the piano player who was with her.
Mance: Mal Waldron?
Pena: That’s it. Beautiful. He writes great.
“A Thrill From The Blues” Milt Jackson Quartet
(Milt Jackson—vibes, Hank Jones—piano, Paul Chambers—bass, Connie
Kay—drums). Composed by Milt Jackson.
Fournier: Who’s playing them sock–cymbals?
Roker: That might be Tubby Hayes on vibes.
Cranshaw: It’s somebody who likes Milt.
Roker: Yeah, definitely. Somebody who’s in
love with Milt Jackson.
Cranshaw: Was that made in the States? I don’t
think it was.
Mance: Somebody likes Hank Jones on piano.
Cranshaw: That bass‑player don’t ring
Pena: It’s the piano player’s group. Right?
Tomkins: No, it isn’t, actually.
Roker: Probably the vibes player’s.
Mance: Definitely isn’t Sam Jones on bass—playing
Cranshaw: It’s somebody who likes Paul Chambers.
Roker: The drummer’s somebody who likes Kenny
Clarke. It might be Kenny Clarke—the way he plays that sock‑cymbal.
Fournier: The last sock‑cymbals I heard
were on a recording of “Salt Peanuts”. Except Philly Joe’s thing.
Cranshaw: It’s the drummer’s record?
Tomkins: Well, I’d better let you all into
the secret. Milt Jackson was on vibes.
Mance: He was? It sure didn’t sound like him.
Pena: It’s an old record, then. Huh?
Mance: It must be, because Bags doesn’t usually
play that heavy. He has a much lighter touch.
Fournier: I guess that was Connie Kay on drums.
But it didn’t sound like him.
(The sleeve was then shown)
Pena: Recorded December, 196l? That’s hard
Mance: Hank Jones! I said it was somebody
that liked Hank—and it is Hank.
Fournier: Connie has a more distinct, lighter
sound than that.
Mance: It didn’t sound like what is usual
for those cats. I really didn’t think it was Bags.
Fournier: Who recorded that—Riverside?
Tomkins: ABC Paramount.
Cranshaw: I don’t know if the record was warped
or something, because the tempo seemed to go down after they started.
Fournier: I’ll have to tell Connie about that.
He ought to take that one off the market! But he is a good sock‑cymbal
player—like Osie Johnson and Philly Joe.
Pena: I think it was sub‑standard Milt
Jackson. It wasn’t his best at all. I can’t say that I was too impressed
by Hank Jones either, because he sounded a lot like he’d been listening
to Red Garland too much lately—and that’s unusual for him.
“Chase And Capture” The Tubby Hayes
Orchestra (with Jack Costanzo—bongos). Composed and arranged
by Tubby Hayes. From “Costanzo Plus Tubbs —Equation In Rhythm”, Fontana.
Roker: If Peraza was here he’d know right
away who that bongo player was.
Mance: This second tenor player here is really
into something. The first guy could play, too. Ah, here’s the first
Pena: Yeah—marvellous, man. Swinging.
Mance: I’ve no idea whose band this is. I
think it’s just a record date for the two tenor players, whoever they
Fournier: That’s what it sounds like—a studio
band. You think there’s two tenor players? They both sound alike to
Mance: There’s definitely two. You can hear
the difference. That tenor player sounds like Al Cohn a little bit.
Pena: That one did.
Mance: It’s not Al and Zoot, is it? That second
one definitely wasn’t Zoot.
Pena: It could be Al, but I’m sure Zoot isn’t
Mance: It was a very good arrangement.
Roker: Is it Ted Heath?
Fournier: You might be right.
No, Ted isn’t making that kind of record now.
But you definitely thought there was more than one tenor player.
There was. Wasn’t there?
It sounded like a forceful cat.
It might have been Tubby
Hayes. He can play changes a little differently.
No, it wasn’t him. He’s an excellent tenor player, but he doesn’t
play this way.
I know the conga drummer wasn’t Peraza.
It’s one thing to have a conga drummer, but to play bongos, you gotta
have the right cat—and that cat was.
Who was on tenor?
Beautiful. I didn’t think that was him.
Like I say—Tubby’s forceful.
Who was the other tenor player?
Well, that was—Tubby Hayes!
Oh, wait a minute. No—it couldn’t be!
It had to be two tenors.
Yeah, there were two different sounds.
were three tenor soloists on the recording, Tubby Hayes, Tommy Whittle
and Ronnie Scott. Webmaster)
Well, I’m sorry. I only heard Tubby once before, but he wasn’t cooking
like that, man.
Yeah, he really took care of the business on this album. And the band
was really together, too.
I wonder who wrote the arrangement?
It was Tubby’s writing—the second part of his “Southern Suite”.
The record was made in this country and, apart from Costanzo,
it was all British. Listening to that you wouldn’t have said “This
is a British band?”
No, I wouldn’t. I really couldn’t tell.
Especially with all those bongos going on.
I couldn’t hear the bass player. In the States the bass is always
strictly out in front.
Pena: The definition of individual voices
is particularly hard on a big band date like this. With so many individuals
there, plus the Latin instruments, it makes it very difficult to really
hear everything. It sounded like an early Dizzy date. Remember those
things—“Manteca” and so on? It had that flavour.
Copyright © 1964 Les Tomkins. All Rights