'I Love Blues', by The Pim Jacobs Trio, Feat. Wes Montgomery

Willem Bernard (Pim) Jacobs (1934-1996) came from a talented Dutch musical dynasty: his mother and father both involved in the arts for a profession and hobby, respectively, and his brother Ruud Jacobs played bass and tenor sax. He started playing piano at age six, and he eventually triumphed in a jazz competition and made performing and composing his life. Jacobs started his first piano trio in 1954, heavily influenced by the introspective styles of American pianists such as Bud Powell and Bill Evans. Typically for the Dutch jazz scene, opportunities arose for the pianist to head up rhythm sections backing visiting stars from the States. Pim Jacobs has been associated with Dutch tours involving reed players Stan Getz, Lucky Thompson, Tony Scott, and, featured today, guitarist Wes Montgomery.

Subsequently, Jacobs began performing regularly with his wife, vocalist Rita Reys, their typical program featuring arrangements of vocal music standards as well as bebop material. Jacobs also crafted scores for both narrative and documentary films.

Pim Jacobs and Wes Montgomery

Today’s clip is recorded on April 2nd, 1965 in the Dutch VPRO television studio. It’s an excerpt from the Jazz Icons DVDWes Montgomery Live In ‘65’, filmed beautifully in intimate studio settings, with Wes leading three different lineups (in Holland, Belgium and England) through some of his best-known tunes.

Wes Montgomery - Guitar
Pim Jacobs - Piano
Ruud Jacobs - Bass
Han Bennink - Drums 

'Pretty Memory', by Nat Adderley

Nat Adderley (1931-2000) played most of his musical career with or in the band of his brother, Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley. During the 40’s in the band of Ray Charles, in the 50’s with Lionel Hampton and from 1959 in Cannonball’s new quintet, until his brother’s death in 1975. After that, he led his own groups and kept recording extensively.

Nat Adderley - Work Song

The liner notes of the 1960 album ‘Work Song’, of which this song comes from, indicate that there were ‘complications during the original session’. The pianist, Bobby Timmons, only lasted through five of the nine songs. Suffering from heroin abuse at that time, he was not able to play on two compositions as scheduled. He did contribute one composition, ‘Pretty Memory’, and the motivation for Nat Adderley to compose ‘Fallout' as a reminder of the session. The liner notes also indicate that 'this is a sound you are guaranteed not to have heard before'. The addition of Wes Montgomery in a supporting role offers up a different take on his skill as a fine accompanist. The combination of cello by Sam Jones and bass by Percy Heath, creates a unique sound.

Nat Adderley - Cornet
Wes Montgomery - Guitar
Bobby Timmons - Piano
Sam Jones - Bass Cello
Percy Heath - Bass
Louis Hayes - Drums 

The Keepnews Collection, #5

The Keepnews Collection is a series of reissues of classic Riverside jazz albums.
Mr. Keepnews was the co-founder and producer of Riverside Records and tells great anecdotes from that time. Every episode is a different album.

Today’s feature: Blue Mitchell with ‘Blue Soul

You might also want to check out my previous posts about these series:

Thursday Treat: ‘Caravan’ by Wes Montgomery

Movin' Wes

Around 1977, when I was about 7, I was allowed to stay up a little late on Saturday evenings to watch ‘Wie Van De Drie’, a Dutch version of the American quiz ‘To Tell The Truth’. This song was it’s openings tune, which I found extremely exciting and it still reminds me of shampooed hair, my pyjamas and tea. Plus the belief that if I sat really, really still, my parents would forget all about me and I could stay up really late.

'Caravan' was written in 1936 by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol, a Puerto Rican trombonist and composer, who joined Ellington's band in 1929.
The original song (which has a very different time signature, as you can see here) is considered by some to be the first real Latin jazz tune, although it owes as much to ‘Middle Eastern’ melodies. Tizol immediately sold the rights to the song to Irving Mills, Ellington’s publisher and publicist, for $25, but Mills agreed to give the rights and royalties back to Tizol after the song became a success. 
Nowadays, there are enough covers of ‘Caravan’ to play different versions for 24 hours straight.

Today’s version is from Wes Montgomery, from his album ‘Movin’ Wes’ (1964), his debut for Verve, after leaving Riverside Records. On Riverside he recorded mainly with small combo’s; on this record he is backed up by a superb, more than tight 12-piece, brass dominated mini big band consisting of multi-reed man Jerome Richardson, a trumpet section consisting of Clark Terry and Basie veterans Ernie Royal and Snooky Young, trombonists Urbie Green and Jimmy Cleveland and a rhythm section of pianist Bobby Scott, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Grady Tate.

It was a bit of a commercial move by Montgomery, but then again: by then he had 6 kids to support.