Clifford, Gigi and Judy


Someone asked me yesterday what the period after Labor Day and before autumn on September 22 feels like if I could choose just one recording. My reply was All Weird, not for the title but because of the way the Clifford Brown Octet sounds on Brown’s original song. Recorded in Paris in 1953 and likely arranged by Gigi Gryce or Quincy Jones, the group featured Clifford Brown (tp), Jimmy Cleveland (tb), Anthony Ortega and Gigi Gryce (as), Clifford Solomon (ts), William Boucaya (bar), Quincy Jones (p), Marcel Dutrieux (b) and Jean-Louis Viale (d). The Americans were touring with Lionel Hampton at the time and had sneaked away to record. The song is both melancholy and joyous. Here’s All Weird, or, as I like to call it, Pre-Autumn

Dave Thompson sent along a SoundCloud of him playing On a Clear Day, with a Bill Evans feel. Here it is…

Angel Eyes. Last week, I stumbled across this clip of Peter Hoehn playing Angel Eyes. Ignore the spooky harbor-fog background. Go here

And here’s the original, from Jennifer (1953). Move the time bar to 55:27 to hear Matt Dennis play and sing his saloon song…


British blues.
Last week, following my post on a fine BBC documentary on the British blues, I received an email from Brian in Hong Kong:

Dear Marc, thanks so much for your post pointing me toward the BBC’s Blues Britannia. I was there in London at that time and grew up listening to all those British groups that were so clearly aligned with the Delta blues that I didn’t really know much about. I remember putting a hard-earned sixpence in a jukebox in 1967 to get another listen to Procol Harum’s follow-up to A Whiter Shade of Pale called Homburg and splashed out nearly four shillings to buy the sheet music, which I still have.

Back to the present. I know you enjoy big band music in the U.K. in the 1950s and ’60s. I thought you might be interested in my current project on YouTube compiling music by a British big band called David Ede and the Rabin Band on a weekly BBC radio show called Go Man Go from 1959 to 1964.

The band was made up of some of the country’s top session musicians, including some of its top jazz players. The show mainly featured the band and its singers performing the top pop songs of the day but often included a rousing horn-driven big band number such as this one, Flying Home:

As a fan of the show, I used to record it off air on my reel-to-reel tape recorder each week, cut out the bits I wanted to keep, and record the next week’s show over the remainder. Some of those tapes still exist today, 60 years later. I’ve uploaded nearly 20 pieces to YouTube with more to come. Here’s my channel (go here).


Jim Altamore.
One of the finest singers who specializes in Frank Sinatra’s songbook is Jim Altamore. His new album, Jim Altamore Celebrates Sinatra (Live In France), was just released and adheres to Sinatra’s arrangements and warm tone (go here).  

Here’s Jim singing Night and Day, with Nelson Riddle’s arrangement from A Swingin‘ Affair

Judy and the Count. Here’s Judy Garland on her TV show with Count Basie in 1963…


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