Thursday, December 08, 2016

Listening to Prestige 219: Art Taylor's All Stars

March 22 was a busy day out at the Van Gelder residence. Webster Young recalls that John Coltrane had already cut a session by the time he and Idrees Suleiman and Bobby Jaspar arrived, but this may not be quite accurate. There were three different sessions that day, and if you were guessing, you'd put this one-tune session in the middle slot: first the Red Garland Trio, then the same rhythm section with Coltrane, and then Coltrane sticking around to be part of the Prestige All Stars octet. But judging by the numbers in the session as recreated by, the Red Garland session was first, and although Coltrane may have arrived earlier to hang out, he did not sit in.

Next, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor remained on bill, but the All Stars session was Mal Waldron's, so Garland wasn't needed, but he stuck around. Then after the Waldron crew had finished, there was, amazingly enough, time for one more, so Garland's trio stepped up again (Chambers and Taylor still on the job), this time billed as Art Taylor's All Stars, and this time with Coltrane added to the mix.

Why Art Taylor's All Stars? The simplest explanation is as good as any. Weinstock had a previous Art Taylor session in the can, but it was just a little too short to make a full album. In any event, Taylor does some fierce and fancy drumming.

Coltrane would be back before long for a return engagement with Garland, Chambers and Taylor. I can't tell you exactly when because I don't look ahead. But I'll save my thoughts on the quartet for that album, one of my all time favorites.

"C.T.A." was included on the Taylor's Wailers album, and later on a Red Garland album. When Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors was rereleased on CD, it was included there too, as a "bonus track," a marketing gimmick that was a big deal back when CDs were a big deal, if anyone can remember that far back.

 Order Listening to Prestige, Vol. 1 here.

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