KENNY CLARKE, JOE HARRIS, SAHIB SHIHAB, FRANCY BOLAND ( ... and SADI !)
(LP I Giganti del Jazz 37 / Europa Jazz, 196?)
One of the more enjoyable aspects of jazz blogging is the collaboration / contribution from / with fellow bloggers and jazz fans across the world. It’s a real pleasure when an unknown blogger / visitor sends me a message saying how (s)he likes the blog (more often guys than gals, hélas!) and would I be interested in posting some obscure, long OOP record from his/her collection. So thank you Peter – wherever you are (UK I gather) - for sending me – via onxidlib – this Kenny Clarke –Francy Boland bootleg, originally issued as volume 37 of I Giganti del Jazz on the Italian “pirate” label Curcio.
The Italian publishing company Armando Curcio Editore released, under the record label Curcio, a 100 volume jazz collection entitled I Giganti Del Jazz. Many were live recording from various often poorly documented sources (radio broadcast, concerts ?), some were sometimes awkward bootleg compilations of tracks pinched from undisclosed sources. (sometimes copied from the original LPs). Several of these albums are worth looking for, they used to be commonly found in discount bins, thrift stores and boot sales at ridiculously cheap prices but unfortunately it is no longer the case. Some of these albums have become valuable collector’s items. Here is a comprehensive list of the 100 albums.
Discographical information is somewhat patchy and confusing.
KENNY CLARKE - FRANCY BOLAND [Sextet]
Sahib Shihab (flute - 02, 03, 04, baritone sax - 01, 05, and lead vocal - 04), Francy Boland (piano), probably Jimmy Woode (bass), Kenny Clarke (drums), Joe Harris (timbales, conga, backing vocal on 04), "Fats" Sadi (vibes, bongos, backing vocal on 04),
Unknown date and location; live recording, probably for radio, probably 1963-65
01 Set-Up (Clarke, 3:15)
02 Tin Tin Deo (Gillespie/Pozo, 5:50)
03 Night Lady (Boland, 10:20)
04 Yah-Yah Blues (Shihab, 12:00)
05 Jay-Jay (Clarke, 6:12)
Released as KENNY CLARKE JOE HARRIS SAHIB SHIHAB FRANCY BOLAND by Curcio (Italy) - I Giganti Del Jazz 37. Also released (with exactly the same title, covers and notes - by the same company?) as Europa Jazz (Italy) EJ-1030
On these records, "Set-Up" is misheard as "The Top", "Tin Tin Deo" as "Tin Tin Daeo", "Yah-Yah Blues" as "Ya Ya Blues" The record title omits "Fats" Sadi, who has the longest solo space on the record, and instead oddly includes Joe Harris, who plays additional percussion. The record details also omit a bassist, clearly audible on the recording, and call the group a "Quintet"! They insist on giving Sahib Shihab the main name "Edmund Gregory" - a name he had not used since the 1940s. It identifies the year (with no other details but "live recording") as 1961: which seems unlikely, as Shihab joined Clarke-Boland towards the end of 1961, whereas this Sextet was an occasional working group (an offshoot from the Big Band) in 1963-1965, with a fixed repertoire and some variations such as the tracks played at this session.
Especially the first two tracks of the session - with their loose starts, technical errors and rather uncoordinated interplay of instruments in places - argue some unfamiliarity with the material (or arrangements), and might therefore suggest 1963 or 1964. Alternatively, they might either indicate tiredness, or a "warm-up" (in front of an invited audience) for a more definitive concert/recording (such as in February 1965?).
Recording details are based closely on Clarke-Boland Discography by Michael Frohne, Duisburg
Doug Payne's discography is unreliable on this date: it largely accepts the unreliable details of the Italian release. (See above)
Walter Bruyninckx lists it as Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Quintet : Sahib Shihab (fl,bar,vcl-1) Fats Sadi (vib-2,vcl-1) Francy Boland (p) Kenny Clarke (d) Joe Harris (perc,vcl-1) omitting the clearly audible bass player (I can’t see this small group playing without a bassplayer!). The recording place and dates are given as Live recording, Cologne, prob. 1964, a date which is more probable than 1961 as stated on the record sleeve.
Thanks to Peter, onxidlib and Paul D (for W. Bruynincks info).
Enjoy the music and don't forget to thank Peter, he may have other obscurities to share with us!