Car School - Part IISunday, February 18, 2007
Last week in Rebecca - Richard Twardzic I mentioned how I got Rebecca started on jazz through Oscar Peterson's piano. The lesson continued with Andre Previn And His Pals Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell - West Side Story (Contemporary OJCCD-422-2). This CD has my favourite ever version of America. Next week we will watch West Side Story, the movie and only after that will I reveal to Rebecca that I have an LP with Oscar Peterson's Trio playing the same music. Rebecca was surprised to find out that Andre Previn and his pals were all white. She is familiar with the music as a couple of months back we listened to the UBC Philharmonic play Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story: Symphonic Dances.
It was in 1962 that I listened to the two jazz albums that finally cemented my interest in jazz for all these years. One was Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's Jazz Samba. I remember that I wore the LP out with my heavyish Gerrard turntable's tonearm and that gave me the excuse to upgrade from a mono recording to a stereo one. The other record, because of its variety, would be my desert island record even if I considered Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. The latter, as good as it is, can put me into very long bouts of depression.
The former is Bags Groove - Miles Davis (Prestige-P7109 - OJCCD -245-2)with Sony Rollins, Milt Jackson, Thelonius Monk, Horace Silver, Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke. If there is indeed a God and He is indeed in heaven, then the above guys would be playing the banquet music.
Bags' Groove has two takes of one of my favourite jazz standards composed by vibraharpist (in those days it was called a vibraharp and not a vibraphone) Milt Jackson whose nickname was Bags. In both those takes I first discovered the piano of Thelonius Monk. His method struck me as playing the right wrong notes. Sometimes I reversed this into he was playing the wrong right notes. Because of my dyslexia I have always considered Sonny Rollins'Airegin (Nigeria) as the superior dyslexic jazz standard over Duke Ellington's Oclupaca (Acapulco). That Airegin is played by Horace Silver on the piano is a much appreciated bonus.
So it was indeed a pleasure to turn on Sophie's (our family Audi) CD yesterday. Rebecca immediately asked me if it was Milt Jackson on the vibraphone.
We listened to the one take and, after she correctly IDd Thelonius Monk on piano, we skipped to Airegin. By then we had arrived at her sleepover birthday party. Car school was over until the next time.
I think Rebecca is hooked.