Echoes From The Prague Jazz Festival 1964
Various Artists LP SUPRAPHON (1964, Czech)
It has always been the philosophy of this blog to welcome and encourage collaborations. I can even say that without a small but expending group of collaborators - some regular (Paul D., onxidlib), some occasional, this blog wouldn’t be what it has become. This collaborative effort is the most exciting and rewarding aspect of blogging.
I’m therefore much thankful to El Porco Rojo for sending us this rare Eastern European album featuring Benny Bailey, Leo Wright, Kenny Drew and Andre Condouant a.o. He could have posted it on his own blog but he thought it would fit better here, in the company of Andre Condouant’s Brother Meeting and Leo Wright Jazz Studio’s LP (a contribution by Paul D). Thanks my friend, it is much appreciated.
It doesn’t stop here: I’m both pleased and honored to announce that the next post will be a contribution from the legendary El Reza! So keep posted!
Recorded: October 1964 live in Prague,
#B3,4 recorded at the Supraphon Studio,
Issued as issues: 1964 SUPRAPHON ST 55633 (Czech) ; 1964 or `65 SUPRAPHON SUA 15633 ;
Also released as: Ozveny Jazzoveho Festivalu Praha 1964 SUPRAPHON DV 10166 ; Czechoslovakian Jazz / Various Artists SUPRAPHON SV 9005
#A1 & #B1appear also on Baby Douglas And His Negro Jazz In Europe,
1965 EP SUPRAPHON SUK 35628 (CSSR) (mono)
1. Hallelujah, I Just Love Her So (Charles)
2. Dobbing The Red Fox (Moody)
3. Yesterdays (Kern)
4. Sonny Moon For Two (Sonny Rollins)
1. My Blues (Green)
2. I Can´t Get Started (Gershwin)
3. Ain´t Misbehavin´ (Waller/Razaf)
4. Blues For Festival (Camrda)
DONALD "BABY" DOUGLAS (voc #A1, B3);
"DR. BLUES" CANDY GREEN (voc #B1?,4; p);
BENNY BAILEY (tp #B2);
ZDENEK PULEC (tb #B4);
LEO WRIGHT (as #A2, B4) or (as #A2, B1-4; fl #A2) ? ;
KENNY DREW (p #A3);
ANDRÉ CONDOUANT (g #A4);
ROLAND HAYNES (b);
FRED BRACEFUL (dr);
PRAGUE DIXIELAND BAND /w K. KRAUTGARTNER (#B3,4);
BABY DOUGLAS & THE BLACK JAZZ IN EUROPE (#A1-4,B1,2)
Note: Leo Wright is wrongly credited as Leon Wrighte
|Condouant, Bailey, Wright|
Original liner notes
Towards the end of October 1964, the first International Jazz Festival took place in Prague. A number of the foremost European ensembles and soloists participated.
The United States, the cradle of Jazz, was represented by a group of Afro-American soloists who live at present in Europe and whom the singer Donald "Baby" Douglas organized into a group for the express purpose of participating at the Festival.
Douglas, who is 27, comes from LA and is at present studying the piano and cello at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. He is the vocalist of the well-known Swedish Jazz Orchestra headed by Putte Wickman, with whom he visited Czechoslovakia in 1963. It was then that he promised to revisit Prague in the company of a group of eminent Afro-American Jazz soloists, and he fulfilled that promise on the occasion of the Jazz Festival Praha 1964.
Leo Wright, an alto-saxophonist and flutist who came to Prague from West-Berlin (where he played in a nightclub), was really the star of this ad hoc group and its virtual leader. Wright was born in Texas in 1933 and so far has played in several leading orchestras including those of Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie. His perfect phrasing and easy fluency of playing won him a multitude of admirers during his stay in Czechoslovakia. Wright is the soloist (flute) in James Moody´s composition 'Dobbing The Red Fox'.
The second member of the melody section was Benny Bailey, the 40-year-old trumpeter from Cleveland/Ohio, who is at present a member of the Munich Radio Orchestra. Bailey has been a professional performer for 24 years and has been with such Jazz men as Jay McShann, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Quincy Jones and Harold Arnold in Sweden. He proves his extraordinary art in Gershwin´s 'I Can´t Get Started'.
|Baby Douglas, Cndy Green, Kenny Drew, Andre Condouant, (sitting), Fred Braceful, Roland Haynes|
Kenny Drew, one of the most distinguished personalities in contemporary Jazz, was the pianist of the group. He has played with Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and other soloists. Born in New York in 1928, he came to Prague from Copenhagen where he was playing at the time of the festival. Kenny Drew´s playing is not spectacular but his well-thought-out accompaniments are highly functional. He is heard as a soloist in Kern´s song 'Yesterdays'.
Other members of the rhythm group included André Condouant (guitar) from Martinique [actually he is from Guadeloupe !], a former partner, in Paris, of the organist Lou Bennett, the young Parisian bassist Roland Haynes and Fred Braceful, the drummer, who lives in the German Federal Republic. Singers Baby Douglas and "Dr. Blues" Candy Green each contributed a song to the programme: Douglas sang Charlie´s foxtrot 'Hallelujah, I Just Love Her So' and Candy Green, who also plays the piano, 'Mr. Blues'.
Since all the members of this ad hoc group live in different European cities and met in Prague for the first time just before the opening of the festival, they did not include in their programme any very complicated arrangements but concentrated instead on individual solo performances. Two pieces, however, were recorded by Baby Douglas and Leo Wright accompanied by the leading Prague amateur ensemble, the Prague Dixieland Band. These recordiings, made in the Supraphon studio, will certainly be a welcome addition to the record library of any lover of good Jazz.
A variety of groups recorded live at the Prague Jazz Festival - vocalist Candy Douglas singing with the Putte Wickman band with solists Leo Wright and Benny Bailey, Kenny Drew with Andre Condouant, Roland Haynes and Fred Braceful, and several others.
|SUPRAPHON: generic sleeve|