The first American indoor jazz festival.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Arts & Acts
Although the "Miles Davis Sextet" was booked at the Playboy Jazz Festival, only the Quintet performed.
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Magnificently staged in the south bowl of Soldier Field. Home to the Chicago Bears football team.
Coleman Hawkins - Body And Soul (Playboy Fest) - Chicago, IL., August 9, 1959
Coleman Hawkins Quartet Coleman Hawkins (ts) Eddie Higgins (p) Bob Cranshaw (b) Walter Perkins (d) Concert, "Playboy Jazz Festival", Chicago, IL., August 9, 1959
Ella Fitzgerald - HOW HIGH THE MOON
"HOW HIGH THE MOON" ハウ・ハイ・ザ・ムーン エラ・フィッツジェラルド From my 33rpm(LP)record collection. Ella Fitzgerald (vo) Lou Levy (p) Herb Ellis (g) Wilfred Middlebrook (b) Gus Johnson (ds) Recorded August 9, 1959 at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Chicago, illinois.
Bob Cranshaw: My 50 Years with Sonny Rollins
Bassist Bob Cranshaw first played with Sonny Rollins at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Chicago in 1959. Some of his best-known performances include Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder and Grant Green's Idle Moments. Cranshaw also served as the sole session bassist to Sesame Street and The Electric Company songwriter and composer Joe Raposo, and played bass guitar on all songs, tracks, buttons and cues recorded by The Children's Television Workshop during Raposo's tenure. Although he lacks the name recognition of other bassists, Cranshaw has performed and recorded with a wide range of leading jazz artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dexter Gordon, Grant Green, Coleman Hawkins, Jimmy Heath, Joe Henderson, Johnny Hodges, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, J. J. Johnson, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Thelonious Monk, James Moody, Lee Morgan, Wes Montgomery, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Shirley Scott, Stanley Turrentine, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, George Benson, and Joe Williams. Along with Wes Montgomery's brother Monk, Cranshaw was among the early jazz bassists to trade his upright bass for an electric bass. Cranshaw was criticized for this by jazz purists, although he was forced to switch by a back injury incurred in a serious auto accident. Throughout his long and distinguished career he has also performed on hundreds of television shows and film and television scores. He appears on The Blue Note Story, a 90-minute documentary of the famed jazz label. Cranshaw was also a founding member of the short-lived MJT +3 (Modern Jazz Two) that included Frank Strozier on alto saxophone, Harold Mabern on piano, Willie Thomas on trumpet, and Walter Perkins on drums. The Chicago-based group produced several albums, a number for Vee Jay Records. Another vintage Cranshaw jam, 1964's Blue Flames, featuring Shirley Scott, Stanley Turrentine and Otis Finch, was recorded for Prestige Records. Cranshaw also played live shows for tap dancer Maurice Hines, along with friend and drummer Paul Goldberg. His career spans the heyday of Blue Note Records to his recent involvement with the Musicians Union. He is perhaps best known for his long association with Sonny Rollins. Cranshaw has been in Rollins's working band on and off for almost five decades, starting with the 1962 album The Bridge.
The title Jazz After Dark II references late night seduction as conjured up in the slow, but purposeful, pace of ballads. The set's two discs are smartly divided into instrumentals and vocals. The thematic focus aligns a broad range of players from Chet Baker to Ella Fitzgerald. There are the classicists (Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington) and the modernists (Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk), with small combos and duets being the setting for them all. The vocal disc covers the greater span of years, with performances by contemporary singers (including Curtis Stigers, Karrin Allyson, and Peter Cincotti) alongside vintage tracks by some of their mentors and influences. --David Greenberger
Various artists - a historical collection to represent 4 decades of jazz
Tito Puente, the Puerto Rican king of the timbales, reigned as the master of Latin music for more than 50 years until he died in 2000. This live date at the Playboy Jazz Festival in 1994 captures the danced-charged electricity he released from the bandstand. Backed by a sizzling band of young Turks, Puente launches into his zesty, Cubop, mambo-motored, Latin-jazz-fused dance grooves. His swing on Hilton Ruiz's "New Arrival," which was also featured on the movie soundtrack Calle 54, highlights his skills on the vibraphone, while jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's standard "Little Sunflower" dances as well as trances. Only Puente could get more grooves out of the well-worn Mongo Santamaria standard "Afro-Blue." "Ti Mon Gi," his update of the famous percussion track "Ti Mon Bo" from the legendary '50s record Top Percussion, highlights the incredible conguero Giovanni Hidalgo. This CD brings back Tito Puente's magic and majesty. --Eugene Holley, Jr.