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Duke & Django/Savory Collection thoughts

MinorBluesMinorBlues New York✭✭✭
edited November 2011 in History Posts: 72
I had the chance to go up to the Harlem Jazz museum and listen to the Savory collection today. First I have to say the people working at the Harlem Jazz museum are ultra friendly. Loren Schoenberg stopped by the listening booth to say a few words...real nice guy.

Anyway, to the good stuff.

There were two recordings with Django playing; Honeysuckle Rose, and Improvisation #2, which Duke mistakenly called out as "Improvisations 1". Before Django came on Duke said something like "I'd like Django to say a few words in English, but he's very reluctant, especially on stage". The sound on Improv 2 was a bit muddy, most likely a combo of the thick chords, electric archtop and recording quality, but still fun to hear the song on an electric. He stuck quite close to the original, but I'm not an expert on his solo work so some of you will point out the differences when you hear it.

Honeysuckle Rose - You heard a good chunk of it on youtube by now. The rest of the solo continues on with more flying triplets and ascending arpeggios, followed by some downright angry chords. If there is ANY argument at all that he was "off" that night, it would be because he hit a couple of clams during the rest of his solo and was slightly less enthusiastic than usual on one of his trademark lines (the old hitting the same note on high E and B string back and forth line). He wasn't at his peak here, but still top notch playing any way you look at it.

One highlight of the collection was an unreleased B side of Lennie Tristano and Billy Bauer. Their recording of "A Night in Tunisia" was definitely a stand out for me. I also got to hear Charlie Christian with Benny Goodman on a few tunes (there was more Benny Goodman in the collection than anyone else), Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong. Definitely a worthwhile trip to make if you're in the NYC area.


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