It’s day 19 of our Facebook challenge to publish a Crown cover every day in 2015. For MLK we found two versions of Crown’s Way Out Wardell in the closet, featuring Wardell Gray amongst other players. These cuts are from two live concerts: Gene Norman’s “Just Jazz” concerts at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in 1947 and another one at the Shrine, same year. CLP 5004 is a reissue of a Modern LP which itself reissues cuts originally released on Modern 78s.
There were a total of 11 reissues of the Wardell Gray cuts on Crown & other Bihari budget labels and this twisted tale is a graphic history lesson in how Jules reissued the same material countless times in order to make a buck. The Way Out Wardell reissue history is brilliantly presented in James Harrod’s Jazz Research blog found here, complete with photos of all the covers and loads of detailed info:
The artist rendering of the Claxton photo on the over cover of CLP 5278 is signed “E.F.” which might be the mysterious Edw. Fukute credited with the abstract cover on CST 230 (see Day 2).
For more info on Wardell’s short career check http://wardellgray.org
CLP 5004 CLP 5278