Here’s this week’s exciting new find. “Black is Beautiful” The Douglass High School Choir, Orchestra, Chorus (Oklahoma City) Century Records – Dimension 70 (1970) “Black Is Beautiful”
A early David Stone Martin cover (a 1950 reissue of the 1946 original 78 RPM set on DISC Records from 1946). Norman Granz’ Jazz at the Philharmonic Volume #4 Mercury Records From a 1944 concert featuring Jack McVea, Illinois Jacquet (tenor saxes), J. J. Johnson (trombone), “Shorty” Nadine [Nat King Cole] (piano), Johnny Miller (bass), Les Paul (guitar), Lee Young (drums)
“Blues”, a simply titled three-part jump blues running for over ten minutes, was the highlight of the first “Jazz at the Philharmonic” concert, at Los Angeles’ Philharmonic Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, July 2, 1944, because of Illinois Jacquet’s honking and screaming tenor sax solo on Part 2 and the humorous piano and guitar chase sequence by Nat King Cole (billed “Nadine” Shorty on the record label for obvious contract reasons with Capitol Records) and Les Paul on Part 3. In addition, it has fine solos by R&B tenor saxist Jack McVea nd a young J.J. Johnson on trombone on Part 1, all driven by an irrestible rhythm section, consisting of Johnny Miller, then bassist of the King Cole Trio, and Lee Young, Lester Young’s drumming brother, besides Nat Cole and Les Paul.
“Lester Leaps In”, although not the definitive JATP version of the tune (Lester Young is missing), is played with a similar attitude, showcasing some excellent solos (another tenor sax outburst of Jacquet among them) in front of the driving rhythm for over nine minutes. Via.