Have yourself a…

By the way:

— NONE of the tracks on the below playlist could be found on the pictured album.
— ALL of them have been taken from various LP’s in my collection.
— EACH of them is a classic, and…
… — MOST of them are very jazzy interpretations of timeless American Christmas Carols, compiled for your listening pleasure by yours truly swingin’,




01 Swingin’ Them Jingle Bells — Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller & His Rhythm, 1936
02 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town — Tommy Dorsey with Edythe Wright, 1935
03 Jingle Bells — Benny Goodman & His Orchestra, 1935
04 Jingle Bells — Glenn Miller with Marion Hutton, Ernie Caceres, Tex Beneke, Ray  Eberle & The Modernaires, another early “modal” trumpet solo, this time by Billy May, 1941
05 Let It Snow — Woody Herman with Sonny Berman & Bill Harris, 1945
06 The Christmas Song — Nat ‘King’ Cole Trio, 1946
07 Announcement
08 Half Nelson
09 White Christmas
10 Little Willie Leaps — Charlie Parker Quintet, Royal Roost, NYC, Christmas broadcast from December 25, 1948
11 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town — Paul Bley with Charles Mingus & Art Blakey, 1953
12 The Christmas Song — Mel Tormé at the Crescendo, 1954
13 Greensleeves — Bill Smith with Jim Hall, Monty Budwig & Shelly Manne, 1959
14 Jingle Bells #1 — Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, 1961
15 The Christmas Song — Bud Powell (vocal & solo piano), Paris, 1961
16 Blue X-Mas (To Whom It May Concern) — Bob Dorough with the Miles Davis Sextet, 1962
17 Jingle Bells #2 — Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, 1962
18 The Christmas Song — Dexter Gordon Quartet, 1970

Blowing Christmas Kiss

Posted in Bob Dorough, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Christmas, Delikatessen...LOLL., Duke Ellington, Edythe Wright, Exoticism, Glenn Miller, It's gonna be a ball, Jazz Stories & Tales, Invented Truths & Actual Happenings, Jive, Madness, Much snow, Santa Claus, Swing Era, The Modernaires, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,


user2259_pic148100_1276206427In Düsseldorf’s commons (Uni Mensa in German), in 1986, Chet arrived one hour delayed. He was announced there with his fine trio, featuring guitarist Philip Catherine and bassist Jean Louis Rassinfosse who played a half-acoustic bass.

The George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet – which was supposed to do their set after Chet – did the first half of the concert. This was power jazz with the wonderful Danny Richmond on drums and Cameron Brown on bass. I only remember their energy.

Then came Chet … in sandals, looking like a monk, to put it nicely. He blew a few notes into the mike, stopped abruptly, put the mike to his mouth and then he yelled, in a sudden outburst: “It’s too loud!” — I don’t know what the engineer behind the desk did, but it was obviously okay then and the concert began.

It was great! What a sound, what an inspiring evening. The forceful, almost violent jazz of George Adams was soon forgotten, it just had squibbed into the air. Do I remember particular tunes? Yes, only one: Chet’s interesting, kinda funky version of Cole Porter’s Love For Sale. But what I clearly remember was an all in all good mood when I left the place of the event.

One year later, in Cologne’s now demolished jazz club Subway: Chet was supposed to do two evenings there. This time with a quartet, he only performed on the second, the Saturday night gig.

I don’t know exactly who was in there but I guess it were those guys: Harold Danko on piano, Rocky Knauer on bass, and John Engels was behind the drums.

The band seemed to be stoned which didn’t seem to bother Chet. He was more worried about his horn which apparently didn’t work properly. There he sat, helplessly pushing the jammed valves, then he eventually grabbed the mike and asked something like:

“Some trumpet player around?” I was seated right in front of him and said: “Yes!” Since the great Chet Baker intended to play on my trumpet, I fetched it from the checkroom and handed it over to him.

He took it, looked at it, and counted: “One, two, three, four!” into a very fast and boppish Conception, George Shearing’s masterpiece, a tune as closely connected to Miles Davis as it was to Chet Baker.

He played it in the key of C, that’s what I remember. After the last note, Chet waved my trumpet over his head, smiled at me in a sardonic way while he was pretending to bung the horn in some corner. I was quite shocked, but of course got the joke in the same second. This was my first real instrument, a Getzen Capri but with a little hole in the middle tube.

What do I remember yet? He played the rest of the concert on his own horn and … kept my valve oil. When I arrived later at home I found it gone. Chet Baker, a thief!

During the break, I talked to him a little bit, a short chat with Chet so to speak, and asked him if he had time for giving me a mornings lesson. He only said: “That would be kinda lesson!” …I was satisfied.

Then I talked to pianist Harold Danko. I had brought sheet music to the concert, one of my own compositions in the style of Chet, unaware of the fact that he was a lousy sight reader. Mr. Danko understood my request for plugging an own tune; but then he told me that Chet hardly even played new tunes of his own band members because he was simply too lazy for doing rehearsals. And so I took my sheet and just enjoyed the second set.

Well, of course a very moving and tearfully sung My Funny Valentine, Chet’s silent announcement that this would be his last concert in Cologne, and again a very fast number in the key of C, Charlie Parker’s Cool Blues. This time with Chet’s complete solo and not the edited version from the concert with Bird’s quintet in the University of Oregon, on November 5, 1953, where a moron had just chopped off Chet’s solo; and so we can only hear brief glimpses with Chet during a couple of chase chorusses with Shelly Manne.

Now, the title of my tune which would have fit perfectly to Chet’s style: Out Of The Window …I called it that way because I was leaning out of the window when that very line came into my prophetic mind.

I’m a bit sad that Chet Baker never got to know any of my compositions. But you can believe me: I’m very relieved at the very same time that he never played that one!

CB_Berlin_47_1P.S. #1 — Influences on Chet Baker – A superficial overview

I’m not completely sure about Chet’s musical roots, but I’m certain that he had listened a lot to the big bands, to the “Great American Songbook” as delivered by Tommy Dorsey, or Glenn Miller.

Harry James was one of his influences too. One can hear that on his early recordings with Gerry Mulligan’s quartet. He still had quite a vibrato there.

His main influence was of course Miles Davis, but technically and rhythmically he was definitely inspired by Charlie Parker whose harmonic and melodic language he had quasi eaten up.

Many folks claim that Chet lacked technique. The same fellows, mostly critics, also say that about Miles. But I, as an enthused trumpet colleague, can tell you: Both guys had chops and knew how to handle their horns! — Miles and Chet reflected the new style, a certain coolness which stemmed directly from Lester Young who was another big influence.

P.S. #2 — Chet has the last word with a complete concert video. That’s how I remember him: Strong, direct & humorous.


ⓒ Bruno Leicht

Cologne, May 13, 2008
(Edited & updated by the author on May 14, 2013; and on December 23, 2014)


Posted in Anniversary, Chet Baker, Christmas, Dedication, Jazz Stories & Tales, Invented Truths & Actual Happenings, Richard Twardzik, Trumpet, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


BrewLitesFiveYule-Ites…and therefore we, BREW LITE’s FIVE YULE-ITES, remembered Glenn on December 15, 2012 with a brand new version of Harry Warren’s “I Know Why”.

— Here now, the unaltered rest of the article:

In case you’re in Cologne, feel free to visit our Yuletide concert at “Die Eule”. Tell the cabdriver destination “Bay-In-Valley”, at the Southend of the City ;)

GloriaBrentFor all fans of the wonderful Army Air Force Band, here’s an unknown, and comparatively peaceful little gem for you, a complete BBC Broadcast (or rather what remained of it; as Glenn said: ‘Another half hour next week…’) from September 1944.

It features two splendid vocals, one by British actress and songstress Gloria Brent, the other by Johnny Desmond with the Crew Chiefs. The latter deliver a new tune by Jerry Gray, entitled “All’s Well Mademoiselle”, with a quote of La Marseillaise inserted (linked with one of the key-scenes of a very famous flick).


Enjoy my little tribute to the Major.

Nevertheless: Don’t be too Millerish!JohnnyDesmond

Yours truly,

Major Glenn Miller & The Army Air Force Band, BBC Broadcast from September 7, 1944


Here’s a P.S. for jazz historians:

88380. The American Band Of The A.E.F.. September 7, 1944. BBC. The first tune is, “Body and Soul.”

The program includes the first broadcast of, “All’s Well, Mademoiselle.”

Glenn Miller and The American Band Of The AEF, The Crew Chiefs, Johnny Desmond, Mel Powell, Gloria Brent (vocal). 24:35. Audio condition: Good to very good. Incomplete.”

Quoted from HERE; and when I’ve found the rest of the broadcast, this article will be updated… I seem to recall that I have “Body And Soul” from this broadcast in my collection :)


->>>—> UPDATE <—<<<-

1. I found “Body And Soul” from another broadcast and added it to the playlist. It’s now track #1.

2. —

Posted in Anniversary, Christmas, Glenn Miller, Harry Warren, Invented Truths & Actual Happenings, Jazz Adaptation, Jazz Stories & Tales, Obituary, Sabina, Swing Era, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Complete for the first time: CHARLIE PARKER’s “BARBADOS”, ‘Live’ in Paris, May 1949

Charlie-Parker-Bird-In-Paris-361402Anyone who knows the LP-version (pictured) will love this: ‘Cause it’s the very first time you can listen to this version of “BARBADOS” with all four theme statements by the Charlie Parker Quintet, and without some distortions due to the limitations of the private off-the-air recording in 1949.

Now, it’s also in the correct pitch ;)

Charlie Parker (as) Kenny Dorham (tp) Al Haig (p) Tommy Potter (b) Max Roach (d) – Salle Pleyel, Paris, France, May 8-15, 1949:


Posted in All American Rhythm Section, Charlie Parker, Dedication, Exoticism, Jazz in Paris, May, Salle Pleyel, Saxophone | Tagged , , , , , , , ,


25744880-p-590_450Ich find’s immer gut, wenn einer wider den Stachel löckt. — Wir leben halt nicht im Sommermärchenland, wie man uns schon 2006 weismachen wollte … und alle – leider auch ich – sind drauf reingefallen; es gibt aber harte Fakten, die man schon immer nachlesen konnte, wenn man sie wissen wollte:

Entwicklung der Reallöhne in Deutschland

Und es wird immer so weiter gehen, weil “wir Deutsche” uns immer wieder gerne sedieren lassen, von Merkel & Co., von “denen”, die ihre Schäfchen längst im Trockenen haben, und die ihre Pfründe mit Klauen und Zähnen verteidigen werden.

Und das hat nichts mit Neiddebatte zu tun; es hat etwas mit den Seilschaften in diesem Land zu tun, die auch ich immer wieder am eigenen Leib erfahren durfte.

Warum wohl werden in den öffentlich-unredlichen Medien immer wieder dieselben Figuren herumgereicht? Mal isses der “Alibi-Geissler”, der den Standpunkt des “kleinen Mannes” einnimmt, mal sind es Politclowns wie Gysi, Lafontaine & Blüm, die sich selbst immer so eloquent in Pose setzen … mal sehen, wie’s hier in 10 Jahren aussieht.

Ich bin gespannt, ob die “Daddel-Gesellschaft” (iPhone etc.) dann aufgewacht ist? — Es ist nie zu spät, auf die Straße zu gehen. Die GDL macht’s vor. Und das ist gut so.

Wo hab’ ich das mal gelesen? — Zitat: “In der DDR geht es zu, wie in einer Pilzzucht: Sobald sich ein Kopf zu weit vorwagt, wird er abgehackt.”

Das lässt sich Eins-zu-Eins auf die Hetzkampagne von der “BLÖD”-“Zeitung”, dem neuen “Stürmer”, übertragen. Ich verstehe nicht, warum es dieses elende Schmierblatt überhaupt noch gibt. Schließlich haben dessen Schmierfinken, die sich “Journalisten” nennen, bereits viele Leute in den Tod getrieben; siehe die tragische Geschichte eines Helden meiner Kindheit, der Selbstmord von Raimund Harmstorf.

Alleine deswegen werde ich diese Dreckschleuder nicht mal mit ‘ner Kneifzange anfassen:

R.I.P. Raimund Harmstorf

Und jetzt die dazu passende Musik: Revolutionär und aufrüttelnd. Genießt es!

Posted in GDL, Solidarität, Streik, Unabhängigkeit, Vielfalt | Tagged , ,

Repost of a Repost: A GIRL at A PIANO and HOW IT WORKS or: HOW EASY it can be to TRAVEL (musically!) from 1946 BACK to 1885

Not many words now, just music, supported by a little film in the, err, background. Dialogues are by Nancy Guild & Richard Conte.

The film? SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT (1946) — The short intro is taken from Sonny Berman’s “Nocturne”, interlude & extro are by … No! Just listen, and worry later.

For getting the right 1946-feeling, it’s recommended that you listen to Sonny Berman’s, respectively Ralph Burn’s “Nocturne” first.

Sonny Berman (tp) Bill Harris (tb) Flip Phillips (ts) Serge Chaloff (bars) Ralph Burns (p, arr) Chuck Wayne (g) Art Bernstein (b) Don Lamond (d) Shorty Rogers (arr, cond), Hollywood, CA, September 21, 1946:


Posted in Jazz Stories & Tales, Invented Truths & Actual Happenings


LydiaLunch_QueenOfSiam_a_bigA very good friend of mine told me to go after this excellent and very rare LP: Lydia Lunch’s “Queen Of Siam” (1980). I’ve found it on ieBuy/ Germany in an almost mint condition, and for a reasonable price; it was a bargain, to be honest.

Personnel & credits (click to enlarge)

Personnel & credits (click to enlarge).

I love this sound; it’s Lydia’s finest creation, and the music has an ever modern, a very dark, sometimes even playful touch.

— Feel free to enjoy the full album, as long it’s available on PunkTube:

— One of my favorite tracks on the album is Miss Lydia’s cover version of Dusty Springfield’s “Spooky”:

— Here’s Dusty’s complete original from 1970:


Posted in CD review, Dedication, Delikatessen...LOLL., Exoticism, Halloween, It's been a ball!, It's gonna be a ball, Jazz Stories & Tales, Invented Truths & Actual Happenings, LYDIA LUNCH, Madness, Poetry, Portrait, Sexism, Spoken Word, Tattoos | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments