The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records (4-CD)
by Various Artists
Out of Print: Future availability is unknown
Format: CD (4 Discs)
- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: June 6, 2006
- Originally Released: 2006
- Label: Impulse Records
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Gil EvansWhere Flamingos Fly
- 2.Oliver NelsonStolen Moments
- 3.John ColtraneGreensleeves
- 4.Art BlakeyAlamode
- 5.Benny CarterHoneysuckle Rose
- 6.Count BasieTrey Of Hearts
- 7.Coleman HawkinsSamba Para Bean
- 8.John ColtraneToo Young To Go Steady
- 9.Roy HaynesSnap Crackle
- 10.Freddie HubbardChocolate Shake
- 11.John ColtraneImpressions
- 12.Charles MingusTheme From Lester Young (aka Goodbye Pork Pie Hat)
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.John ColtraneMy One And Only Love
- 2.Sonny StittSalt And Pepper
- 3.Chico HamiltonForest Flower - Sunrise / Forest Flower - Sunset
- 4.McCoy TynerT 'N' A Blues
- 5.Ben WebsterSomeone To Watch Over Me
- 6.Yusef LateefSister Mamie
- 7.John ColtraneA Love Supreme Pt. 1: Acknowledgement
- 8.Shirley ScottRapid Shave
- 9.Archie SheppLos Olvidados
- 10.Pee Wee RussellAsk Me Now!
Tracks on Disc 3:
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: John Coltrane (vocals, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); John "Captain John" Handy (vocals, alto saxophone); Clark Terry (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn); Tommy Flanagan (vocals, piano, claves); Leon Thomas (vocals, percussion); Chico O'Farrill, Johnny Hartman (vocals); Everett Barksdale, Freddie Green, John Collins, Gabor Szabo, Howard Collins, Sam T. Brown, Kenny Burrell, Larry Coryell, Ray Crawford, Barry Galbraith (guitar); Quelo Palacios (acoustic guitar); Mike Hoffmann (electric guitar); Alice Coltrane (harp, piano); Michel Samson (violin); Julius Held, Sol Shapiro, Arnold Eidus, Morris Stonzek, Charles McCracken , Raoul Poliakin, Harry Katzman, Gene Orloff, Harry Cykman, Harry Lookofsky (strings); Eddie Caine (flute, piccolo, alto saxophone); Eric Dolphy (flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone); Bob Tricarico (flute, bassoon, soprano saxophone); Rahsaan Roland Kirk (flute, stritch, manzello, tenor saxophone); Eric Dixon , James Spaulding (flute); Frank Wess (alto flute); Raul Mercado, Antonio Pantoja (quena); Garvin Bushell (piccolo, reeds); Gato Barbieri, Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Pee Wee Russell, Perry Robinson (clarinet); Pharoah Sanders (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, percussion); Budd Johnson (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Dewey Redman (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, tambourine); Frank Strozier, Johnny Hodges, Marion Brown, Phil Woods, Russell Procope, Benny Carter (alto saxophone); Dick Hafer, Coleman Hawkins, Bob Ashton, Harold Ashby, John Gilmore , Albert Ayler, Oliver Nelson, Paul Gonsalves, Archie Shepp, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Stanley Turrentine, Wayne Shorter, Ben Webster, Booker Ervin, Charles Lloyd, Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Danny Bank, Jerome Richardson, Pat Patrick , George Barrow (baritone saxophone); Richard Gene Williams , Donald Ayler, Ernie Royal, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Newman Quartet , Edward Armour, Phil Sunkel, Johnny Coles, Lee Morgan, Michael Mantler, Ray Nance, Snooky Young, Ted Curson, Tommy Turrentine, Thad Jones, Eddie Preston, Booker Little, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Robert "Brother Ah" Northern, Donald Corrado, Robert Swisshelm, Julius Watkins, James Buffington (French horn); Curtis Fuller, Lawrence D. Brown, Grachan Moncur III, J.J. Johnson , Joseph Orange, Jimmy Cleveland, Jimmy Knepper, Keg Johnson, Melba Liston, Roswell Rudd, Britt Woodman (trombone); Tony Studd (bass trombone); Marshall Brown (valve trombone); Julian Priester, Charles "Majeed" Greenlee (euphonium); Howard Glover "Johnny" Johnson, Billy Barber , Don Butterfield (tuba); Count Basie, Dick Katz, Gil Evans, Hank Jones , Jaki Byard, Keith Jarrett, Lonnie Liston Smith, McCoy Tyner, Mike Nock, Ahmad Jamal, Roger Kellaway, Bill Evans , Bobby Timmons, Carla Bley, Cedar Walton, Earl Hines (piano); Shirley Scott, Ernie Hayes (organ); Hotep Cecil Barnard (keyboards); Chuck Rainey, Adalberto Cevasco (electric bass); Elvin Jones (drums, percussion); Chico Hamilton, Eddie Locke, Ronnie Bedford, Grady Tate, Frank Gaht, James Black , James Gadson, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Jo Jones , Joe Chambers, Osie Johnson, Paul Motian, Philly Joe Jones, Rashied Ali , Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Sonny Greer, Sonny Payne, Walter Perkins, Beaver Harris, Billy Hart, Frankie Dunlop, Otis Finch (drums); Eddie "Bongo" Brown (congas); Domingo Cura (bombo); Majid Shabazz (tambourine, bells); Yusef Lateef (tambourine); Danny Johnson , Julio Cruz, Guilherme Franco, Nat Bettis, Willie Bobo, Willie Rodriguez, Bobby Rosengarden , Victor Pantoja, Frank Malab‚, Chano Pozo, Charlie Persip (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Ashley Kahn.
Recording information: ABC Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (02/1961-04/2004); Capitol Studios, New York, NY (02/1961-04/2004); Coltrane Home Studio, Dix Hills, NY (02/1961-04/2004); Front Room, Newark, NJ (02/1961-04/2004); Generation Sound Studios, New York, NY (02/1961-04/2004); Judson Hall, New York, NY (02/1961-04/2004); Music Hall, Buenos Aires, Argentina (02/1961-04/2004); New York, NY (02/1961-04/2004); O'Henry Sound Studios, Burbank, CA (02/1961-04/2004); Pep's Lounge, Philadelphia, PA (02/1961-04/2004); Plaza Sound Studios, New York, NY (02/1961-04/2004); RCA Studios, New York, NY (02/1961-04/2004); Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (02/1961-04/2004); Village Vanguard, New York, NY (02/1961-04/2004).
Photographer: Chuck Stewart.
Arrangers: Chico O'Farrill; Gil Evans; Manny Albam; McCoy Tyner; Oliver Nelson; Wayne Shorter; Thad Jones; Carla Bley.
The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records is a four-disc set, compiled and annotated by author Ashley Kahn who wrote the book of the same name being published concurrently with its release. Impulse's great run was between 1961 and 1976 -- a period of 15 years that ushered in more changes in jazz than at any other point in the music's history. Impulse began recording in the last weeks of 1960, with Ray Charles, Kai Windig /J.J. Johnson, and Gil Evans. While Impulse experimented with 45s 33 1/3 EPs, cassettes, and reel to reel tapes later in its existence, it was--and this set focuses on-- it was the music on its LPs (with distinct orange and black packaging in gatefold sleeves containing copious notes) that helped to set them apart. Impulse was dedicated to ushering in the new and controversial, but also sought to showcase established artists from the tradition (maintaining the jazz lineage) who continued to work and develop. While the label is certainly associated more closely with John Coltrane than any other of its artists (Coltrane also acted as an ad hoc A&R man), it nonetheless established and forwarded the careers of dozens of jazzers.
The discs are arranged chronologically. Disc one begins with Gil Evans and his reading of "Where Flamingos Fly" from Out of the Cool, issued in 1961. Other big-band moments on this disc include Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" from Blues and the Abstract Truth, and Coltrane's reading of "Greensleeves" from his Africa Brass issue. These three albums alone present very different large band approaches to jazz, and the number of established and up-and-coming names who played on them is staggering: Budd Johnson, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, Charlie Persip, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Roy Haynes, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Chambers, Julius Watkins, Julian Priester, Booker Little, McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, and more. Bob Thiele, the label's house producer and A&R man, is equally responsible. He was a visionary, open to any and all changes in the music; also in his favor was a healthy ambivalence toward the music business itself. Other headline acts in those early years included Art Blakey, Ben Webster, Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, Johnny Hartman, and Charles Mingus, just to name a few. The first two discs highlight these tracks, along with music by Chico Hamilton, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Gonsalves, Haynes, and Yusef Lateef very well. Disc two moves through the issue of Coltrane's A Love Supreme--the label's defining moment-- and one of its early vanguard signings in Archie Shepp. Shirley Scott and Pee Wee Russell are also represented with tracks from 1963 and 1964. But here is also where the problems begin for those who wish to quibble (we all have our wishes for what should have made the cut). Sun Ra is nowhere in sight. His Space Is The Placeis a crowning moment for him--it should be stated, that this album is a reissue of material that originally appeared on his own El Saturn label in various forms, but its best, and most complete presentation was on Impulse. Likewise, Cecil Taylor, Max Roach, and Quincy Jones are not represented here.
Organizationally, the presentation is wonderful but difficult too--and to be fair, who wouldn't run into problems trying to assemble something definitive like this--is that while the box includes four discs, there are ten single-disc overviews of the label's major artists. And most of them have multiple cuts on the box, creating a great deal of repetition. Coltrane would be the noteworthy exception to this, but it's difficult to reason why anyone else should have multiple selections in this collection If they hadn't, obviously, there would have been room for other artists that recorded for the label as well. (Realistically, one can almost bet that budgetary and licensing issues prevailed). Discs three and four focus deeply on the new and vanguard jazz with offerings by Trane, Alice Coltrane, Shepp, Albert Ayler, Chico O'Farrill, Charlie Haden, Keith Jarrett, Gato Barbieri, and Pharoah Sanders -- represented here by his 32-minute classic "The Creator Has a Master Plan"that also appears on his signature volume. While it can successfully be argued that Sanders' selection could have been chosen differently to make room for other Impulse artists, the fact that Kahn picked the one tune most closely associated with him is commendable. There is great balance on the latter two discs, with cuts from albums by Ahmad Jamal, John Handy, Gabor Szabo, Sonny Rollins, and Clark Terry showcased in the mix. Still, one wonders how Ornette Coleman, Milt Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Tom Scott, Mal Waldron, and Gary McFarland could not be included? That list of personal quibbles and questions goes on and on. But the hardest thing for a fan to bear is not having a single track by Sam Rivers, Dewey Redman, or Marion Brown included. All three men did most important work as leaders for the label. (Arguably, Rivers should have had his own volume in the signature series as well.) Again, admittedly, it was a tough call making cuts in a roster as varied and important as Impulse's was. Including tracks by a number of lesser-known acts who have never had material issued on CD would have been a nice touch as well, like the Brotherhood, Clifford Coulter, Sonny Criss, or the American Quartet. Some of these, of course, are quibbles, others are puzzling, while still a few others seem inexcusable. But there are
only four discs here. Hopefully Mr. Khan and Verve might agree in the future that a second, multi-volume box should be released. All of that said, the inclusion of Walk With Me from Alice Coltrane's magnificent comeback, Translinear Light is here. The track was released in 2004 on Impulse. It appears that Verve does indeed reserve the right to release music on the label that fits the post-John Coltrane aesthetic. The House That Trane Built is a solid overview of a label that was simply mystifying in tis vision and spot-on in its choices for documenting the many changes in jazz history. Kahn's project--both the music and his fine book, are worthwhile for any jazz listener to investigate. ~ Thom Jurek
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