The new issue of the DESS Bulletin has been with its subscribers = the DESS members since a week now. Its is another very good job by its longtime editor och the DESS Chairman this year Bo Haufman.
The cover story is about Paul Gonsalves – the gentle giant in the Ellington band for more than 30 years.
He is portraited by Bo Haufman in a five-page article.
Bo admits that it is an immense topic and that Gonsalves is not his favorite tenor man. Despite this, he gives a very good and detailed portrait of Gonsalves. It covers among other things his early career, his entrancer into the Ellington band and significant recordings with Ellington.
Bo considers that Gonsalves is at his best in ballads and slow numbers and his selection of recordings has a bias towards this.
His selection does not include I have Just Seen Her on the Columbia album All American In Jazz, which Gonsalves apparently considered as his best performance.
Bo’s article also covers Gonsalves’ many recordings with others and in this list he includes the album Boom-jacki-boom-chick, which he says, “should absolutely be included in a Gonsalves collection”.
The new issue also has a reprint of an interview of Gonsalves in Crescendo Magazin in 1964. In it, Gonsalves talks among other things about the influences when he developed his style. “Hawk was my main influence, then Ben Webster and Don Byas. ….. Other influences were Lester Young Chu Berry and even Bud Freeman.”
He also talks about his years in the Basie band – “they were a wonderful experience” – and about the Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue effect. “After a few years … you don’t want to play it at all.” “Actually, what I really like to play are ballads”, he said.
The reprint from Mike Zirpolo’s Swing and Beyond website is this time the article about Billy Strayhorn, Billy May and Chelsea Bridge that Zirpolo published in February 2017. It is about two boys from Pittsburgh, two very different careers and two interpretations of the same song. A highly recommended article.
For those, who would like to hear the music, go to the article at https://swingandbeyond.com/2017/02/11/chelsea-bridge-billy-and-billy-strayhorn-and-may/.
Besides these three articles, there is a lot more to read in the new issues of the DESS Bulletin, among it another two articles by Bo Haufman.
One is about Leonard Feather – The Golden Feather – and the other about the names of the two parts of The Beautiful Indians suite – Hiawatha and Minnehaha.