Sunday, December 27, 2015

Listening to Prestige Part 160: James Moody

Steve Allen used to a bit on his TV show where he would invite four people up from the audience, have each of them play one note on the piano, and then do a jazz improvisation based on the resulting 4-note melody. The results weren't bad, but they were sort of like Dr. Samuel Johnson's description of "a dog walking on its hind legs: it is not done well; but you are surprised to see it done at all." Allen wasn't a gifted improviser, and obviously, the 4-note melodies weren't very good to start with.

The routine served Allen's purposes: to show off, which he had every right to do, it being his show and all; and to draw some of his vast TV audience into jazz, which was a good thing to do. And this anecdote has almost nothing to do with a rumination on James Moody and his septet and their Decmber session, which closed out 1955.

But it does say something about melody, and its importance. You can maybe make a jazz improvisation out of anything, but you're a lot better off starting with a good melody, and better yet, with a great melody.

But can you make effective and inspired jazz out of just any melody. Jazz musicians certainly seemed to think so,,and time and again, they proved their point. Kai Winding, on an early Prestige waxing, turned Mussorgsky's most famous composition into "A Night on Bop Mountain." John Lewis and the MJQ, with an assist from Laurindo Alameida, on Bach's "Fugue in A Minor." Wayne Shorter took on Sibelius; Eddie Daniels gave us his version of Satie. And Moody himself, in his Swedish days, gave us "Flight of the Bopple Bee."

A Swedish folk song became "Dear Old Stockholm." Sonny Rollins made jazz classics out of Jamaican calypso melodies. The beboppers even swung nursery rhymes (not always with satisfying results).

And more than once, the beboppers turned to operetta for imspiration: the ultimate Hip City meets the ultimate Squaresville. And more than once they made it work.

In this case, the operetta composer was Rudolf Friml, and the operetta was The Firefly, which was
supposed to have been composed by Victor Herbert, but he got furious with the diva around whom the show was being written, and stormed off the project, so the producers, in desperation, tapped the unknown Friml, and a star was born. Friml, that was, not the diva, Emma Trentini, who was already a star (and who seems to have gotten along better with Friml than with Herbert -- she was named as co-respondent in his first divorce).

When the 1912 operetta became a 1937 all-talking, all-singing vehicle for Jeanette MacDonald, the producers decided they needed one more boffo number, so they took a Friml orchestral piece, Chanson, added lyrics to it, and came up with one of Friml's biggest hits, if an unlikely source for bebop: "The Donkey Serenade."

Which brings us back to James Moody, and this recording session, with this particular bit of boperetta. Friml's music was a bit of a joke by the 1950s. Tom Lehrer, in his send-up of old Vienna, wrote "Your lips were like wine, if you'll pardon the simile / The music was lovely, and quite Rudolf Friml-y." But you don't choose to play a piece of music just to make fun of it, unless you're Weird Al Yankovic or Spike Jones (and even he was hip to the musical value of the songs he murdered). Moody starts out with a raucous approach to "The Donkey Serenade," including some nice braying by baritone sax player PeeWee Moore. But then Moody gets down to it, and what he gets down to is some incredible bebop improvisation on the alto, gutsy and adventurous, and you don't do that without some good, gutsy music to improvise from.

The rest  of the session is great, too. "The Nearness of You" is beautiful, with Moody at his ballad best.

The days of the four-song session, yielding two 78s, are behind us now. The goal of a session, whether it took one or two days to complete, was a full 12-inch LP, although it didn't always work out that way. Like a hostile takeover by Gordon Gekko, this session was broken up and sold for parts, appearing on a couple of different albums. In any event, the new philosophy meant longer sessions, and Mark Feldman, owner of the admirable jazz label Reservoir Records, passed on to me this story from Rudy Van Gelder, about those sessions. Often, Van Gelder remembered, when five o'clock came around, and they still needed material to fill out the album, they'd swing into what Van Gelder came to call "The Five O'Clock Blues." an improvised jam on a blues riff. Generic blues? Well, maybe. But maybe not. The blues, in the hands of the musicians who made the trek to Hackensack, was rarely generic. Certainly not with this bunch, although happy hour may have come early and lasted late. There are two extended blues jams, "Wail, Moody, Wail," and "Moody's Blue Again." There are three, if you count "The Strut," a Benny Golson tune. Golson composed "Blues March,"
and this one is in the same vein.,

Too much blues? Decidedly not. Each number is different, and each is satisfying. I think my favorite is "Moody's Blue Again," which opens with the sort of riff one heard in the great rhythm and blues instrumentals of the era, and then becomes a vehicle for two guys, Moody and Burns, who know something about the blues, and know more than a little about bopping the blues.

"Wail, Moody, Wail," became the title cut of the album, and at 14-plus minutes, became most of the album. "The Strut" and "A Sinner Kissed an Angel" were pushed over to a later album, James Moody's Moods, and ultimately all were reunited on a CD reissue.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Listening to Prestige Part 159: Sonny Rollins

Nowadays, the recording of jazz drummers is a master craft, and if you're interested in trying it, the Internet has any number of sources that will tell you how. But it was not always so. Baby Dodds was one of the all-time great jazz drummers, but what he could do on record was severely limited. Recording in those days was done directly onto a wax master, and the crash of drumsticks on a drum head could make the needle jump out of the groove, so Dodds was limited to playing on a wooden block.

By the 1940s, recording techniques had made major advances, or where would Gene Krups's career be? By the time Bob Weinstock started recording jazz artists in 1949, a drummer was able to use a whole kit, but unless he was Krupa he still wasn't heard much. With one mike, the horns that would be doing the soloing were placed closest, the piano farther back, and bass and drums off to one side. The musicians heard them, the record buying public not so much.

That changed with Rudy Van Gelder, and other great jazz recording engineers who followed. But this is the first recording on Prestige, though not the first ever, to make the drum solo so central to the sound.

Max Roach had paired with Clifford Brown to form one of the most memorable quintets of the era, and his full partnership in solo space can be heard on their albums for EmArcy. A website called Twelve Great Moments in Modern Jazz Drumming highlights his contribution to their recording of Cherokee:
Max blurred barlines, interacted with soloists, and added deceptively complex ideas and polyrhythms to the bebop drummer s vocabulary -- and all with impeccable cleanliness. After years of landmark recordings and performances with Bird and Diz, Max's two-year partnership with Clifford Brown marked one of the essential collaborations in jazz. Max's drum solo on  "Cherokee"  brilliantly represents the idea of a melodically constructed drum solo with a beginning, middle and end.
One of the highlights of my jazz listening life came in 1977, when I heard Max Roach play in a club in New York, and I experienced, indelibly, a melodically constructed drum solo with a beginning, middle and end. It was right after the jazz world had heard the news of the death of Paul Desmond, and Max announced a tribute that he called "Five for Paul." It was his unaccompanied drum solo version of "Take Five." I still get goosebumps remembering.

Sonny Rollins had joined the Brown-Roach Quintet not long before this recording, and not long after his recovery from heroin addiction. Rollins credits the clean-living Brown as one of his inspirations:  "Clifford was a profound influence on my personal life. He showed me that it was possible to live a good, clean life and still be a good jazz musician." And this was something that Rollins had feared. Like so many other young musicians of his era, he had come to connect heroin use with creativity -- young people thinking they were imitating Charlie Parker, although Bird himself warned that there was no connection.

For this Prestige date under his own name, Rollins brought along not only Max Roach but also bassist George Morrow. Morrow had played with many of the important West Coast jazz musicians (including Charlie Parker during his coastal sojourn). He later accompanied Anita O'Day, and then, in the mid-1970s, tired of life on the road, he joined one of the house bands at Disney World. So the next time you're taking your grandkids on an Orlando vacation, and you hear a band playing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go," or "I Wanna Be Like You," or "Happy," before you scoff, consider: there may be someone in that band who played with Sonny Rollins. Or Max. Or Bird.

I kept trying to pick a favorite drum solo from this session, and I can't. Every one I listen to becomes my favorite.

"There's No Business Like Show Business" announces its anthemic theme with a drum roll, but this is no ordinary drum roll. Its syncopation sets the tone: driving yet complex. Which is what Rollins delivers. He belts the melody in a manner worthy of Ethel Merman, preserving its anthemic qualities, but letting the listener know that this is the bebop business, and in the hands of Rollins, Roach and Ray Bryant, there really is no business like the bebop business. And Roach's extended solo does all of the above, including the melodic part.

"Raincheck" would be another choice. Building on an irresistible tune by Billy Strayhorn, Rollins and Roach trade off percussion and melody in a role-bending way that's also irresistible.

Or the way the delicate stickwork behind Ray Bryant on "It's All Right With Me" explodes into a call-and-response duet with Rollins.

In other words, all of it.

This session, which was Rollins's return to recording with his own group after the recovery from addiction, must have showed him--certainly showed the world--that Clifford Brown's lesson was the right one: you could be clean and sober, and have all the creative inspiration, plus a lot more energy. The album was released by Prestige as Worktime, and it was. Time to get back to work. It was later rereleased as Worktime! but the music itself is its own exclamation point.

Rollins would continue to play with the Brown-Roach quintet until the deaths of Brown and pianist Richie Powell, in a 1956 auto accident, put an end to it. He would continue to stay clean, and to produce, to this day, some of the best jazz ever made.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Listening to Prestige Part 158: Phil Woods

I hope the two John Williamses who were playing piano in New York in the mid-50s at least had different answering services. Otherwise who knows what confusion might have ensued? Suppose Phil Woods had called for the guy who'd played dates with Stan Getz, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and would later play with Cannonball Adderley, and by mistake he'd been connected to the other John Williams, the Juilliard student who was also playing a lot of club dates around town, and doing a lot of studio work, much of it with a rising young composer. What if Woods had gotten the wrong John Williams for this gig, and the wrong John Williams had done so well on the session that he never would have made it out to LA with his his composer friend Henry Mancini, and never would have become a composer himself? No Jaws, no Star Wars?

But Woods did get the John Williams he was looking for, along with Teddy Kotick and Nick Stabulas, for a heck of an album.

"Be My Love" is best known as the signature song for pop-operatic tenor Mario Lanza, and it seems an unlikely vehicle for a jazz quartet. But actually, it's proven to be a surprisingly versatile warhorse. Composed by Hungarian emigre Nicholas Brodszky, it's gotten the full-out dramatic treatment from Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras,and by Lanza fan Jackie Wilson, singing in the operatic style for which he was trained--and by Sammy Davis, Jr., doing an uncanny impression of Lanza (and of Louis Armstrong on the same tune--file under "Only Sammy").

But it's been taken up by a surprising number of jazzers--Keith Jarrett, Earl Klugh, Kenny Drew and Howard McGhee, Hubert Laws and Nancy Wilson. Stranger still a rock version by NRBQ, a country rock version by Rick Nelson, and a Ray Charles version by Ray Charles. Mario Lanza might be spinning  in his grave, except that he grew to hate the song, and his spirit is probably just as glad to see it separated from him. 

Phil Woods does a terrific version of it, taking it at a tempo that would have surprised Lanza, with some fine solo work by the right John Williams, and beautifully balanced drum accents by Nick Stabulas, who provides them at just the right spots throughout the album.

We know that the classic composers who created the Great American Songbook drew much of their inspiration from jazz, and the modern jazz musicians mined the Great American Songbook for melodies. But it's interesting to me how often they went outside the Great American Fakebook of those jazz-influenced composers. Back to an earlier time, taking melodies from the operetta composers like Victor Herbert and Rudolf Friml. To European folk melodies like "Dear Old Stockholm" (and we know how much of an influence Debussy was on Charlie Parker and others). And to composers like Brodszky, who were also working out of a strictly European tradition.

The white male pop singers of this era fell broadly into two categories: the jazz-influenced singers like Sinatra, who came from the influence of Bing Crosby, who was the first white singer to understand Louis Armstrong. And the guys who were pretty much untouched by Armstrong, like Vic Damone and Jerry Vale, who came out of the tradition of bel canto, which was the pop side of operatic voices like Lanza and Ezio Pinza. And of course, the original great pop idol in American music was a pure opera singer: Enrico Caruso.

And you might not think that this would be a direction toward which jazz musicians would lean, but they were amazing. They had ears that were active and questing. Louis Armstrong loved Guy Lombardo. David "Fathead" Newman loved Michael Bolton. You don't get it? You're probably wrong, and they're probably right.

"Slow Boat to China" is a Frank Loesser tune, and Loesser is certainly a master in the tradition that flows from Gershwin. It's an irresistibly catchy melody, which also appealed to Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, to the MJQ and Sonny Rollins, to Stan Getz, to Diz and Bird. To the masters, and Phil Woods is one of those masters. And catchy as the melody is, it could resolve itself in sort of a cliched way, unless you're one of those masters, and are never going to settle for the obvious.

"Woodlore" and "Strollin' with Pam" are two strong Woods originals. Teddy Kotick is a veteran of the early days of bebop recording, where bassists didn't solo. Well, they mostly couldn't, being set too far back from a single mike, but they didn't. Kotick takes a solo on "Strollin' with Pam," and shows that he can.

We lost Phil just a couple of months ago, and what a loss for jazz.

This was only released as a 12" LP (and years later on Original Jazz Classics). And the whole session was on that LP. This is a new trend -- one session, one album. So the four-song session is on its way out.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Listening to Prestige Part 157: Miles Davis

I woke up this morning thinking "The one thing that this blog/book series is going to be judged on is whether I got Miles Davis right."

Well, you think a lot of strange things when you're waking up, but there's no overestimating how important Miles was in the history of American music.

We're at a crucial juncture in the Miles Davis/Prestige Records story: that is, the end of the story. Miles jumps to Columbia, has to finish his obligation to Prestige, does it in two marathon sessions that maybe should have sounded rushed and perfunctory but instead produced some of Miles's best-loved albums.

I had somehow thought that this was done all at once--two days, two marathon sessions, in and out, so long Bob. But actually, it was a little more spread out than that. One session in the summer of 1956, one in the fall. And this one, near the end of 1955.

 Why am I suddenly so self-conscious about writing about the Prince of Darkness? It's not as though I haven't covered him before. And it's not as though Miles is the central figure in this fragmented narrative. I'm just  as interested, if not more so, in learning about Lawrence Wheatley, who made a passionate commitment to live jazz, and chose never to record again. Or Freeman Lee, who left the road to become a beloved junior high school science teacher. I'm just as interested in trying to find out if the Junior Parker who recorded with Stan Getz is the same one who made "Mystery Train." Or finding out that Teddy Charles' professor at Juilliard later taught Steve Reich, and wondering if the inventive jazz musician influenced the celebrated modern composer.

I suppose it's because so much has been written about Miles, and so may people have read it. And I mostly haven't. There are biographies. There's an autobiography, There are even specialized books, like the one on the making of Birth of the Cool. I actually have read that one. I have so much better chance of being found wrong, in writing about Miles.

So I woke up this morning thinking maybe I ought to read a biography of Miles before going on. And I probably will, before I finish up with him in 1956. But not just yet. Now I want to stay in my head, and float a few hypotheses, wrong though they may be.

Miles's transition to Columbia was far from overnight. By the fall of 1955, he had signed with Columbia, and he had even made his first Columbia recording, though it wouldn't be released right away. That was the deal--he could record for Columbia, but the records could not be released until after he had completed his obligation to Prestige.

And altogether, the Prestige obligation was completed in three sessions: the two marathons in 1956 and this one mini-marathon from November, 1955.  

So the Columbia date in October was actually the first recording session for what came to be known as the First Quintet: Miles, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones. They did four songs, and the rhythm section did a fifth.

The Prestige session of November was long but not quite as grueling as the later ones. The group recorded six songs, which were released as Miles in April of 1956.

The first Columbia album, Round About Midnight, came out in 1957, and was not all that well reviewed. Critics found it wanting in comparison to the Prestige albums, though this judgment was to change over time, and Round About Midnight would become a classic and beloved jewel in the Davis crown. But the first response to it was tepid, and this strikes me as interesting.

First off, had I been George Avakian, and had I had the benefit of my own hindsight, I would have told Miles not to record his long Prestige swan song with the quintet. "Come on, Miles, do what you've always done with Bob. Put together a pickup group with whoever' around. You can use that piano player, Lawrence Yardley. He just played on an Ammons session and I bet he'd love to get more recording work. Maybe get Ammons, too, or how about James Moody?  Throw in a vocal -- Prestige has that guy King Pleasure, and they're not using him much. Save the quintet for the big Columbia unveiling."

But what really interests me here is the possibility that the passing of time may have led to a changing of tastes. Today, there's a lot more awareness of the evils of conglomerates and mega-corporations than there was in the 50s, and an indie label, or no label at all, might get a more sympathetic ear from critics, especially indie critics. But back then, I don't think this would have been an important issue. 

The 50s were marked by the advent of Rudy Van Gelder and a new era in jazz music recording. But
recording equipment continued to evolve, and big studios were able to constantly upgrade to the newest state of the art. Tape made editing simpler. So did multitracking and, eventually, digital recording. Today we have AutoTune, and you can virtually make the Singing Dogs sound like Pavarotti. 

Even in 1956 at Columbia, they were starting to push the possibilities of studio recording. "Two Bass Hit" took six takes, and the finished version splices the beginning of take two to the end of take five. Artists (including Miles) would come to take it for granted that if they missed a high note, they could come back into the studio and hit just that one note, and have it spliced in.

Today some critics, perhaps many of them born and raised in the in the era of studio perfection, are a little snarky in assessing the Prestige catalog. Ragged, they say. Bob Weinstock preferred quantity to quality, rushed his sessions, didn't allow his musicians to rehearse, never did more than a couple of takes. But maybe back then, that ragged edge was more appealing, more authentic. Maybe the critics of 1957 were put off a little by the studio-perfected sound.

Miles was the LP from this session, and it came out in April of 1956. "Sposin'" and "Just Squeeze Me" were released on 45.,

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Listening to Prestige Part 156: Gene Ammons

This is another one of those What Were They Thinking? sessions. Not the musicians -- they were there to play, they delivered as promised: a beautiful ballad, a blues, and a rhythm and blues stomper that's so close to rock and roll that you could even call it that. And, in fact, they did. The tune is titles "Rock-Roll."

No, it's more a question of what was management thinking? They hired seven musicians, led by one of their most popular leaders, plus a singer, Earl Coleman, and they seem to have done very little with it. "Ghost of a Chance" seems never to have been released until many, many years later by Original Jazz Classics on an Earl Coleman CD reissue, at a time when there was very little interest in Earl Coleman. "Rock-Roll" was the flip side of a 45 that featured "Sock!" as the A-side, and it was the A-side of a 78 that had the other Earl Coleman vocal, "Haven't Changed a Thing," on the flip. Nothing from this session made it to an LP until the 1965 release of Gene Ammons--Sock! and then it was only the two instrumental numbers.

"Rock-Roll" was written by the great jazz composer/ arranger/ bandleader Chico O'Farrill, and it's a powerful recording--the kind of tune that used to open up a 1950s Alan Freed stage show, stirring up the audience and allowing space for a solo by one of the brilliant tenor sax players employed by Freed, Red Prysock or Sam "the Man" Taylor or Big Al Sears. In this case, it's Gene Ammons, with strong ensemble backing and some tasty licks by Cecil Payne.

Ammons brought a lot of new musicians into the studio with him. His previous session in June, while also very rhythm and blues-based date, had featured top name jazz musicians. Before that, in February, he'd led a group of excellent but unsung R&B cats, plus Earl Coleman, but the only holdover from that group to this was drummer George Brown.

Which meant it was kind of too bad for these guys that this session was so thoroughly buried, because most of them didn't get much more of this kind of exposure. Cecil Payne, of course, had a noteworth career. But I can't find anything about trumpeter Nat Woodyard, not even whether he was related to Ellington drummer Sam Woodyard. Edwin Moore not only played trombone here, he also contributed a really nice bluesy tune, "Blues for Turfers," but I can find no other mention of him anywhere.

George Brown went the expat route, and became a legend in Paris jazz circles, but before that he had fashioned a strong career in US jazz circles, most notably with Wes Montgomery.

Ernie Shepard was an expat of a different sort, eschewing the recording centers of New York and LA for most of his career, staying in Chicago, where there was lots of music, but not much or it committed to wax (or vinyl). In the mid-60s he toured and recorded with Duke Ellingon. Steve Wallace describes his playing on Ellington's live album, The Great Paris Concerts,, thus:
His sound is massive and vibrant, his beat irresistible and there’s a lot of interplay between the ideas he plays (even while simply walking) and the rest of the band and the soloists.
Which is pretty good description of his playing on "Rock-Roll."

Just because I can't find any discographies for Nat Woodyard or Edwin Moore doesn't mean that they didn't get work. Rhythm and blues session men are rarely noted. But I can absolutely guarantee that this was 20-year-old Lawrence Wheatley's only recording, and not because there was no demand for him. Wheatley was passionately committed to live jazz, and refused to record. Instead, for 40 years he led a weekly live jam session in Washington, DC, where he was revered as a "local musical godfather" and mentor to generations of Washington jazz musicians.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Listening to Prestige part 155: Art Farmer-Gigi Gryce

This is the second and last album by the Farmer-Gryce quintet. Like John Lewis and Miles Davis, Farmer and Gryce wanted to take jazz in new directions, and like Lewis, they wanted to establish an ensemble that would stay together and grow together.

Unlike Lewis, they weren't quite able to manage it. They were able to scuffle as jazz groups do, picking up gigs in clubs, but it wasn't enough. Gryce in particular was starting to compose a different kind of music, one that probably required a different kind of listening framework, like the one Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet were beginning to find. Between the May session for Prestige, which
produced the When Farmer Met Gryce album, and this one five months later, they had lost Freddie Redd and Art Taylor. Duke Jordan and Philly Joe Jones were great replacements, but they were also just passing through. Jones, who already had a strong connection with Miles Davis, was about to join the group that Miles was putting together to jump to Columbia with. Jordan was moving in the direction of leading his own group, and unfortunately also moving in the direction of heroin addiction, which would derail his career for a number of years. I tend to think of Jordan mostly in terms of the 40s, and his days with Charlie Parker, but actually he had a prolific later career. He moved to Denmark in the 1970s, and would record a prodigious number of albums for the Danish Steeplechase label.

By early 1956 Farmer and Gryce had to give up on their vision, though Farmer was to realize it several years later with another composer/saxophonist, Benny Golson, in the Jazztet.

Art Farmer, in a recent blog interview with Ted Panken, shared some memories of Gigi Gryce:
 Gigi was a great composer, a great arranger, and a great saxophone player, and he’s one of the people that we lost too early.  The music has lost a lot because he wasn’t around.  He was from the generation of Quincy and myself, and his contribution was lost, other than a very few things that he did for me, and, oh, yes, he had a group with Donald Byrd, but this didn’t show his full capacity as a player or a writer.  If he had just been able to hang on a bit longer, then I think he would have had a great influence on the music.  Just like Freddie Webster; I think he would have had a great influence on the music if he had been able to hang around longer.  Some people just leave too early.
Gryce didn't leave as some did, succumbing to illness and addiction and dying young. As I've written before, he withdrew from the music business, disillusioned by racism and other factors. So with a relatively small recorded output, he is remembered mostly today as a composer. And on this session, Art Farmer, no mean composer himself, turned the tunesmithing chores over to Gryce, with one
composition by Duke Jordan: "Forecast," which kicked off the session and is first on the album. Ira Gitler, in his liner notes, describes this as a tune "which got everyone loose," and that sounds about right. Jordan was a talented composer--his "Jordu" remains a jazz standard--working in a style that allowed for some spirited hard bop improvisation.

"Evening in Casablanca" is described by Gitler as having been inspired by a North African swing on the Lionel Hampton tour that became such an important springboard for so much modern jazz of the 50s, and that sounds about right, too. The music has an Arabic feel to it. And it's not likely to have been inspired by the Bogart film. As iconic as that movie has become today, back then it was just an oldie, a popular war movie from the 40s, somewhat tainted by the HUAC investigation of its screenwriter Howard Koch.  In
1957 it would begin a run at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA, which lasts to this day as an exam week tradition, and begin its ascent into legend. "Shabozz" comes from the same influence.

"Evening in Casablanca," "Satellite" and "Nica's Tempo" are all excursions into experimental, longer forms by Gryce, "Nica's Tempo," in particular, has become part of the jazz repertoire, recorded by Art Blakey, Oscar Pettiford, Tito Puente and Johnny Griffin among others.

This session was issued on a Prestige LP as Art Farmer Quintet Featuring Gigi Gryce, and later as a New Jazz LP just under Farmer's name, as Evening in Casablanca. This was a 1963 release, when the Jazztet had made Farmer's name a lot bigger, and the movie Casablanca had become a cult and late-night TV favorite. It was also released in the mid-60s on Britain's Esquire label, somewhat bizarrely, as Music for that Wild Party. The liner notes are Ira Gitler's original Prestige notes, with a little preface added urgiong you to take this record to any wild parties you're invited to, and more or less suggesting that if you do, you'll be invited to more and wilder parties.