Saturday, February 5, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 28 - SONG #48

DAY 28 - A song you would like to hear on the radio

GOOD BAIT is an instrumental written by Tadd Dameron (1917-1965), from Cleveland, Ohio, who is best known as an arranger for various acts during the be-bop-era of Jazz Music. The song has been performed by many more or less great artists. A version I do particularly like is featured on JOHN COLTRANE's Soultrane, an album from his "Prestige-years". He did a great many recordings for that label, among them 15 albums under his name (and many others as a sideman). Jazz critics think that "Soultrane" is an outstanding performance from that time. Today is February 5, but I did not want to wait until the day after tomorrow, which would be exactly 53 years after the recording has been done, on Feb. 7, 1958.

Coltrane is accompanied on that one by Paul Chambers (1935-1969) on bass (he also played cello, tuba, saxophone and horn), Red Garland (1923-1984) on the piano, both of them also part of the rhythm section of the Miles Davis Quintet of that time (that also featured Coltrane). Instead of Philly Joe Jones (1923-1985; the drummer of the MDQ, and Miles' favourite drummer), Arthur Taylor (1929-1995) was playing the drums on that record. Taylor is the author of the book "Notes and Tones" a collection of interviews he did with famous Jazz musicians. In an interview Rick Mattingly did with Taylor that was published in Modern Drummer, May 1994, Taylor told the story that many colleagues were upset because he did so many recordings with the "top guys", so he asked Coltrane: "Why do you always hire me to make these records?" and Coltrane replied "[...] you don't get in my way. Even if you're busy or playing some different kind of rhythm, it doesn't interfere with my playing". Taylor goes on to explain, that this doesn't mean that the good drummer should stay in the background, but that there are drummers who play "at" their fellow musicians and drummers who play "with" them. I think this is a lesson every aspiring drummer has to learn (hopefully I did).
As mentioned above, there are many other recordings of "Good Bait", one extremely beautiful version done by NINA SIMONE playing the piano. In my opinion, this is an awesome performance:

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