Here’s where I look inside the split sleeves of a full week of Crown Jazz LPs to see what’s left of the grooves in these noisy pressings made on less than virgin vinyl.
Maybe two weeks of Crown jazz LPs have left me numb but I can’t recommend any of the following budget LPs for your jazz vinyl collection. First up is Gerry Mulligan with Fazzio cover looking more like a photograph than most Fazzios.
After much digging I discovered the source of these cuts listed below, with only one track recorded by Crown (Buddy Collette). To title the LP Gerry Mulligan is stretching the truth as he’s only on one track (Knights of the Squaretable). In fact, except for Mulligan’s Knights & Buddy Collette’s track Joggin’, the tracks on this LP feature only jazz pianist Wiggins and a bass player.
Criss Cross, Gray Skies, X-15, Gerald’s Train, Lights Out are by Gerald Wiggins (2/24/56) recorded for Ember.
Knights of the Squaretable is really Nights at the Turntable by Mulligan (10/15-16/52) recorded for Pacific Jazz.
Joggin’ is by Buddy Collette (c.1959-60) recorded for Crown.
The Mulligan track:
Reissue of Modern LP 1208 with only Modern label numbers (MMLP 1208) on the vinyl trailoff, no new Crown numbers, meaning they used the same stampers for both label issues. Jazz Surprise (with identical covers) was the eighth LP issue in both the Crown & Modern (12 inch) series.
To take the surprise out of this Crown/Modern release, these cuts are mostly from Gene Norman’s Just Jazz concerts from 1947 & 1949. Here are the details with permission from jazz disco.org:
Howard McGhee (trumpet) Sonny Criss (alto saxophone) Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray (tenor saxophone) Dodo Marmarosa (piano) Red Callender (bass) Jackie Mills (drums) Anita O’Day vocals on Fall Out.
Hollywood, CA, circa April 27, 1947
Donna Lee (Scratch) Chuck Peterson (trumpet) Vic Dickenson (trombone) Benny Carter (alto saxophone) Charlie Barnet (tenor saxophone) Dodo Marmarosa (piano) Red Callender (bass) Jackie Mills (drums)
Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA, April 29, 1947
MM1000 Perdido, Part 1
MM1001 Perdido, Part 2
Teddy Edwards (tenor saxophone) Erroll Garner (piano) John Simmons (bass) Chuck Thompson (drums) Dave Lambert (vocals)
Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA, summer 1949
JJ-6X-92 Cherokee, Part 1
JJ-6X-93 Cherokee, Part 2
For even more details about this LP and its companion Modern/Crown release Jazz Masquerade, check out this well researched blog entry from the Jazz Research blog.
Note that Bihari brothers’ pseudonyms Taub/Ling (for Jules & Saul) took most of the writing & publishing credit for the tunes on this LP–a total ripoff.
The provocative cover photo was by Todd Walker who was a Los Angeles-based commercial and fine art photographer who ran his own press for a while, Thumbprint Press. For more info on this great artist check out his estate’s website.
Reissue of Modern LP 1202 (1956) as Crown continues to mirror the releases on the Modern 12 inch series of a few years before. Vinyl trailoff contains matrix numbers from both Crown & Modern with the M1202 not scratched out. The vinyl on this LP is some the worst quality I’ve noticed, both sides covered with tiny bumps (probably sand particles). Here’s a sample from the track I Got Rhythm:
You don’t have to go far to learn about the origin of the music on this LP, just read the liner notes. Perhaps the only Crown LP that fully credits both writers & musicians. William Claxton took the photos.
Here’s a great concept – pretend you’ve compiled hits by famous jazz musicians when in fact the tunes are being played by a house band with the ridiculous name The Continental Jazz Octette. One thought is Crown hoped to interest budget buyers seeking a cheaper version of the Modern Jazz Quartet (on Atlantic). Credits for the musicians on this LP have stumped even the most intrepid jazz researchers on the web. The music is uninspired and doesn’t come close to the originals.
More tracks from Gene Norman’s Just Jazz concerts on LPs above & below, late 1940s. CST 292 is comprised of four long tracks with Miss Beat (included here) in true stereo.
Reissue of Modern LP 1012. Following the pattern of early Crown releases (some listed above), this LP contains matrix numbers for both Crown & Modern with Modern numbers not scratched out. Callender Speaks Low was the twelfth issue on both Crown & Modern labels, featuring sessions from 1956 & ’58. Callender was a much in demand session player (bass) and one of the first to break the color barrier to blacks playing in TV studio bands.
Another of the few Crown LPs with informative liner notes (by Cy Schneider) and full artist credits. More photography by Claxton.