Norman Granz' Jazz at the Philharmonic First British Tour 1958 009
Pages 14 and 15 of the programme for Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic tour of Great Britain. Page 14 features profiles of backing musicians Lou Levy, Max Bennett and Gus Johnson. A photograph of Roy Eldridge and Roy Brown features on page 15, with adverts for Jazz Journal and Disc magazine.
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TJIANIST LOU LEVY is one of the most highly regarded exponents of his instrument in jazz today. A He originally won fame with the old Woody Herman Herd, the band which presented the â Four Brothers,â including Stan Getz, and his solo work on Hermanâs earlier records was masterful.
Between 1947 and 1948 Lou toured Scandinavia with a unit led by Chubby Jackson and which included Conte Candoli, Terry Gibbs and Denzil Best.
For a time Levy retired from the fnusic business, but returned to activity in 1955. He moved to Los Angeles, where his modem jazz piano served to accompany Peggy Lee. His flowing style has also been featured with Chris Connor, Stan Getz and many others, in addition to his own groups, both on record and in personal appearances. His current appearance with â Jazz At The Philharmonic â is his first.
A few months ago, or maybe it was years, a series of 10 in. LPâs appeared on the London label featuring a group of young West Coast musicians. The leaderâs name varied with each LP, and it wasnât until about the third or fourth month that I realised that this was the same swinging group, with each man taking his turn at leaderâs credit. One disc was headed Mariano and another Sapphire. Eventually, a cover picture of two zebras appeared which included the name Max Bennett. It was the bass playerâs turn, and one of the tunes was a Frank Rosolino composition called â Just Max.â A tribute from a front line man to a brilliant and swinging bass player.
I liked the disc and I kept it and did a little research into Max Bennett. He was born in 1928 in Iowa, and he went to the University of Iowa during the course of a formal education. He has played, since 1949, when he landed his first important job, with Herbie Fields, Terry Gibbs, George Auld, Charlie Ventura, Sauter-Finegan and Stan Kenton. This much I have found out from the books. I hope to learn a lot more during the next few weeks. BRIAN NICHOLLS,
GUS JOHNSON first came to prominence in 1948 when he followed Joe Jones into the Count Basie band. Bom in 1913, at school he studied piano, bass and drums and was something of a child prodigy. Kansas City during the 1930âs was the scene of his first job, later he graduated to New York with the Jay McShann band.
He was called up during the war and therefore missed the bop revolution and all the publicity that went with it. On his release from the army he played with Eddie Vinson, Earl Hines and Jay McShann.
After the Basie band disbanded in 1950 he remained with the Count and established a big name for himself with the sextet. Since leaving Basie he has worked in studios and with the Larry Sonn band.
Gus has never tried to exploit himself as a soloist. He has a remarkable technique especially with brushes and his performances on slow numbers are masterpieces of taste and relaxed swing. Gus is quite likely to â blow up a storm â anytime and you can always be sure that when he does it will be memorable!
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