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Bob Kaster


Department of Classics


        These guys can play a bit
. . .

I've gathered here clips of some of my favorite jazz musicians at work, ranging from shorts and movie excerpts from the '40s, kinescopes and videotapes of TV appearances from the late '50s on, and miscellaneous concert performances (all in .wmv or .flv format).  There are no principles of selection beyond "I found 'em" and "I like 'em": the list is arranged according to the surname of the lead musician (or equivalent), with minor annotation in most cases.  Enjoy . . .

Cannonball Adderley

This is a set from 1958, embedded in an interview with Billy Taylor: an "Introduction to Bop," with Cannonball and company playing "Tribute to Monk" and "Jeannie." Nat Adderley (trumpet), Jimmy Cleveland (trombone), Mundell Lowe (guitar), Billy Taylor (piano), Ed Safranski (bass), and Ed Thigpen (drums).

"Brother John" from 1963 (venue unknown to me), with Nat Adderley (cornet), Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, oboe, flute), Joe Zawinul (piano), Sam Jones (bass), Louis Hayes (drums).

Dave Brubeck

"Take Five" and "St. Louis Blues"—from a tour of the Netherlands in 1961, with the basic quartet: Paul Desmond (alto), Eugene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums).

"A Raggy Waltz"—an excerpt from the 1962 movie "All Night Long" in which Brubeck and few other musicians (Mingus, Tubby Hayes) play themselves; the quartet isn't playing with him, but the other musicians are Bert Courtly (trumpet), Johnny Scott (alto), Kenny Napper (bass), and Alan Ganley (drums).

Al Cohn and Zoot Sims

"What the World Needs Now" and "Doodle-Oodle" (don't worry, they leave the insipid melody of the first behind pretty quickly)—from 1968, with Stan Tracey (piano), Dave Green (bass), and Phil Seamen (drums). What tone these guys had, what ideas. (When I compare the flabby tone of [a contemporary tenor with a monster reputation who shall remain nameless], I want to weep.)

Nat Cole

"Errand Boy for Rhythm" and "Got a Penny, Benny?"—two short pieces by the classic trio, with Wesley Prince (bass) and Oscar Moore (guitar); also featured is some incredibly lame 'dancing' during the release on "Errand Boy".

"Route 66"—from 1950, with (I'm pretty sure) Irving Ashby (g), Joe Comfort (b), and Jack Costanzo (cga)

John Coltrane

"Walkin'" (I think)—with Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums); probably from 1959 or 1960, since this is basically Miles's quintet of the time, minus Miles.

"Rifftide"—this Coleman Hawkins tune is the only known footage of Trane playing with Stan Getz, with Oscar Peterson (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums); from a European JATP tour, at Düsseldorf, Germany, March 28, 1960.

"Autumn Leaves - What's New - Moonlight in Vermont"—a medley, with Wynton Kelly out front on the first ballad, Trane on the second, and Getz on the last: gorgeous music for all 6:10, from Düsseldorf again, April 4, 1960.

"Naima"—from 1965, with McCoy Tyner (piano), Elvin Jones (drums), Arthur Davis (bass).

Chris Connor

I haven't put many of my favorite singers up on this page (too many to do them justice), but I've made an exception for Blossom Dearie (below) and the great, great Chris Connor, now alas no longer with us. Her performing career spanned five decades, and the quality of her "warm cool" voice changed amazingly little over that period: this turn on "Just One of Those Things" dates to February 22, 1995, at Quinnipiac College (with Bob Kaye on piano).

Chick Corea and Gary Burton

An epic "La Fiesta", from 1980 in Zabrze,Poland: part 1 and part 2.

"Bud Powell"--not certain of the date or venue (perhaps Tokyo 1985?).

The duet in Munich, 1997: "Rhumbata"—part 1 and part 2. (I saw these guys here in Princeton in 2007, and it was among the most exciting musical evenings I've spent: beyond great.)

Miles Davis

"So What", "New Rhumba", and more--from April, 1959, featuring Miles' quintet--John Coltrane (tenor), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums)--with the Gil Evans Orchestra. Wonderful stuff.

"No Blues"--from the "Steve Allen Show" in September 1964, with Wayne Shorter (tenor), Herbie Hancock (piano), Tony Williams (drums), Ron Carter (bass)

"Joshua"-- with Wayne Shorter (tenor), Herbie Hancock (piano), Tony Williams (drums), Ron Carter (bass), October 11, 1964, Teatro Dell'Arte, Milan.

"Walkin'" and "Footprints"--with Wayne Shorter (tenor), Herbie Hancock (piano), Tony Williams (drums), Ron Carter (bass), November 7, 1967, Karlsruhe.

Blossom Dearie

"Surrey with the Fringe on Top"--from 1961.

Paul Desmond

"Emily"--from the Monterey Jazz Festival of 1975.

Duke Ellington

"C-Jam Blues"--personnel from the great Blanton-Webster band, in an excerpt from a movie called "Jam Session" in 1942.

"On the Sunny Side of the Street"--from 1966, a showcase for Johnny Hodges' alto.

Bill Evans

There are enough of these to be worth organizing chronologically (I am, in fact, a Bill Evans maniac):


"My Foolish Heart" and "Waltz For Debby"--with Chuck Israels (bass) and Larry Bunker (drums), September 2, 1964, Stockholm.


"How My Heart Sings", "Elsa", "Summertime", and "Someday My Prince Will Come"--with Chuck Israels (bass) and Larry Bunker (drums), March 19, 1965, London.

"Beautiful Love"--with Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass), Alan Dawson (drums), October 29, 1965, Berlin.

"Waltz for Debby" and "Autumn Leaves"--on the first of these Monica Zetterlund sings with the trio, which includes Eddie Gomez (bass) for the first time, with Alex Riel (drums), October 25, 1966, Copenhagen.

"Very Early", "Stella by Starlight", "If You Could See Me Now", and "Nardis"--with Eddie Gomez (bass), Alex Riel (drums), late October, 1966, Oslo.

"I Loves You Porgy"--with Eddie Gomez (bass), Marty Morell (drums), (probably) Fall 1968, New York.

"Emily"--with Eddie Gomez (bass), Marty Morell (drums), December 15, 1970, Copenhagen.
"Gloria's Step", "My Romance"--with Eddie Gomez (bass), Marty Morell (drums), September 17, 1972, New York.

"A Child Is Born"--with Kenny Burrell (guitar), Marc Johnson (bass), Philly Joe Jones, July 12, 1978, Montreux.

"In Your Own Sweet Way", "Midnight Mood", "Up With The Lark"-- Marc Johnson (bass), Joe LaBarbera (drums), January 1979, Ames, Iowa.

"Theme from M*A*S*H"--Marc Johnson (bass), Joe LaBarbera (drums), December 1979, Barcelona.

"The Days of Wine and Roses"--Marc Johnson (bass), Joe LaBarbera (drums), August 9, 1980, Molde, Norway.

Stan Getz

"Fontessa"--with Donald Byrd (trumpet), in Germany, 1957.

"I Remember April"--with Jim McNeely (piano), George Mraz (bass), Victor Lewis (drums), 1983, Stockholm.

"On Green Dolphin Street"--with Kenny Barron (piano), don't know the rest of the personnel; from 1989.

"Seven Steps to Heaven"--with Kenny Barron (piano), Alex Blake (bass), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Eddie Del Barrio and Frank Zottoli (synthesizer), Getz's last concert recording, summer 1990, Munich.

Jimmy Giuffre

"The Train and the River"--an original, as always; from maybe 1957, with Jim Hall (sorry, can't place the bass player--doesn't look like Ralph Peña, who commonly played with Giuffre in the period)

Benny Goodman

"Christopher Columbus"-- the Benny Goodman Orchestra and Quartet (Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson), date unknown.

An 'after hours' session with Goodman, Harry James, Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, Arvell Shaw, Jo Stafford ("How Come You Do Me Like You  Do Do Do?", "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good") , and Ella Fitzgerald ("I Got A Right To Sing the Blues", "Hard-Hearted Hannah", "St. Louis Woman" [duet]); from the late '50s?

"Rose Room", "Ornithology"(!), "Airmail Special"--from a 1967 TV program on which Goodman led a seminar on improvisation, with amazing musicians including Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn), Zoot Sims (tenor), Hank Jones (piano)
"Moonglow"--the Benny Goodman Quartet, from 1973.

Scott Hamilton

"Jitterbug Waltz"--at The Hi-Hat, Providence RI, with Paul Schmeling (piano), Marshall Wood (bass), Jon Wheatley (guitar), Chuck Riggs (drums).

Billie Holiday

"Fine and Mellow"--a remarkable TV clip from 1957: Holiday sings one of her signature tunes and a series of first-rank musicians take their turns, led by Lester Young and including Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Gerry Mulligan, Roy Eldridge, Doc Cheatham, Vic Dickenson, Danny Barker, Milt Hinton, and Mal Waldron.  Along with Gjon Mili's "Jammin' the Blues", probably my favorite clip here.

Antonio Carlos Jobim

I'm just using this as an excuse to put up different versions of a very great song ("Aguas de Marco" / "The Waters of March"), though Tom Jobim plays in only one and is involved in one other; the other four feature Jane Monheit, Eliane Elias, Sergio Mendes, and a singer known simply as Sofia. (OK, fine, I'm beyond hopeless where this song is concerned and will put up any version of it I can find—or almost any (sorry, Suzanne Vega, you're not ready for prime time). As it happens, my own favorite—with Heloisa Buarque de Hollanda, Joao Gilberto, and Stan Getz—is not available on video.)

Hank Jones

"The Very Thought of You"--as elegant as they come, from the Berne Jazz Festival in 1989.

Dave McKenna

Or as Whitney Balliett called him, in a wonderful New Yorker profile, 'Super Chops': here playing "Beautiful Friendship", from the Northsea Jazz Festival in 1984.

And here's "Nagasaki", from a video (unknown date and venue) that beautifully shows the master's hands at work.

Gene Krupa

Here's "Drum Boogie", with the Gene Krupa Orchestra, from the completely wonderful "Ball of Fire" (1941: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck; Howard Hawks directing, Billy Wilder screenplay, Anita O'Day doing the vocal for Ms. Stanwyck—it doesn't get any better).

Gjon Mili

Not a musician himself but a first-rate photographer, Mili created two of the great jazz shorts of the era when bop had been born but blues and swing were still alive: "Jammin' the Blues" from 1944, with Lester Young, Sweets Edison, Barney Kessel, Big Sid Catlett and more; and "Blues for Greasy Young" from 1950, again featuring Young and Edison, who were joined by Flip Phillips (tenor), Bill Harris (trombone), Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass), and Buddy Rich (drums), with Ella Fitzgerald adding a scat chorus.  A sociological footnote: on "Jammin' the Blues" Barney Kessel is mostly shot in shadow, with his hands artificially darkened, lest it be obvious that a white musician was playing in an otherwise all black group.

Thelonious Monk

"Blue Monk"--with Charlie Rouse (tenor), Larry Gales (bass), Ben Riley (drums); April 15, 1966, Oslo.

"'Round About Midnight"—same quartet, same date.

"Epistrophy"--same quartet, same year, Paris.

Gerry Mulligan
"Walking Shoes" and "Ontet"--from an Italian TV appearance in 1956, with Zoot Sims (tenor), Bob Brookmeyer (trombone), John Eardley (trumpet), Bill Crow (bass), Dave Bailey (drums)

"As Catch Can"--from the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival (a cut from "Jazz on a Summer's Day", a documentary based on that year's festival, with many great players: commonly available on DVD, and a must-have), with Art Farmer (trumpet), Bill Crow (bass), and Dave Bailey (drums)

"Who's Got Rhythm?"--with Ben Webster (tenor) on the Dinah Shore Show from 1963.

Charlie Parker

"Jammin' in New York: Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins"--a short from 1950 that has Bird 'playing' with Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass), and Buddy Rich (drums) on "Celebrity", followed by a ballad on which Bean joins in.  I say 'playing' because it's clear that the musicians are doing the equivalent of lip-synching to prerecorded music--watch Rich on drums in particular.

"Hot House"--Bird and Dizzy Gillespie appeared on Earl Wilson's TV show in 1953 to receive Down Beat awards from Leonard Feather, then joined in on what seems to be the only filmed instance of Bird playing 'live'.

Bud Powell

"Get Happy"--Bud playing well in Paris, December 1959, with Kenny Clarke (drums), and Pierre Michelot (bass).

Django Reinhardt

"J'Attenderai"--a newsreel-style clip, with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

Sonny Rollins

"The Bridge" and "God Bless the Child"--from an episode of "Jazz Casual" with the critic Ralph J. Gleason (March 3, 1962), with Jim Hall (guitar), Bob Cranshaw (bass), and Ben Riley (drums).

Horace Silver

"Señor Blues"--from a 1959 European tour, with Blue Mitchell (trumpet), Junior Cook (tenor), Louis Hayes (drums), Gene Taylor (bass)

Lennie Tristano

"Lennie's Pennies"--from a Berlin concert featuring (among others) Earl Hines and Bill Evans also.

Ben Webster

"Chelsea Bridge" and "Mop Mop"--from an episode of "Studio 61" broadcast from New York in 1959, with Hank Jones (piano), George Duvivier (bass), and Jo Jones (drums) on the first tune, with Buck Clayton and Vic Dickenson joining in on the second.

Teddy Wilson

"Piano Medley" and "Undecided"--from a JATP performance in London, 1967, with Louis Bellson (drums), Bob Cranshaw (bass)

For more videos, see the fine site All That Jazz—On DVD "Colin Kellam Flying the Flag for Jazz & Blues.. ... & much more !!"