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Thursday, October 2, 2014

WARNE MARSH QUINTET / ANN RICHARDS 
STARS OF JAZZ - MARCH 11, 1957 - SHOW #36



The 36th program on KABC’s Stars of Jazz series featured the Warne Marsh Quintet that had been attracting appreciative audiences at Bill Whisling’s Modern Jazz Room at 6507 Sunset Blvd. Whisling’s jazz club had been in constant operation since the early 1950s when it was known as Whisling’s Hawaii. The featured vocalist on the program was Ann Richards, also known as Mrs. Stan Kenton. The Warne Marsh Quintet featured Marsh and Ted Brown on tenor saxes, Ronnie Ball on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, and Jeff Morton on drums. Ann Richards was accompanied by Eddie Beal who frequently occupied the piano chair on Stars of Jazz to back the featured vocalist. Shown above: a vintage handbill from 1950 on the left, a contemporary photo of the space at 6507 Sunset Boulevard on the right, and at the bottom a listing for the Marsh quintet at Bill Whisling's from Down Beat magazine's Where To Go column.


John Tynan reviewed the Warne Marsh Quintet for down beat's "Caught In The Act" column in the March 21, 1957 edition of the magazine.

Warne Marsh had been busy in Los Angeles recording studios the previous fall of 1956.  The quintet that appeared on Stars of Jazz had recorded an album for Imperial records, Jazz of Two Cities, in October of 1956; and another album the same month for Kapp Records, Modern Jazz Gallery, that featured other groups in a double LP set. In November Marsh teamed up with Art Pepper to record an album for Contemporary Records that would remain unreleased for a number of years.

The same quintet members with the addition of Art Pepper on alto sax recorded an album for Vanguard Records, Free Wheeling, that was released under Ted Brown’s leadership. The sessions took place at Radio Recorders on December 21, 1956, the first from 1:00 to 3:30 P.M. and the second from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Albert Marx signed the contract on behalf of Vanguard Records.














Ann Richards performing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra at Gene Norman's Crescendo Club.



 Ted Brown and Warne Marsh from the pre-show rehearsal.


SHOW #36
MARCH 11, 1957
The Warne Marsh Quintet: Warne Marsh, Ted Brown, tenor sax; Ronnie Ball, piano; Ben Tucker, acoustic double bass; Jeff Morton, drums. Eddie Beal, piano; Ann Richards, vocal.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Robert Arbogast
Director: "Hap" Leo G. Weyman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Jack Denton, Sal Folino
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: George Hillas



















The photos that greatly enhance this presentation have been provided courtesy of the Ray Avery Estate and the Howard Lucraft Collection.  The author would like to extend a most heartfelt thanks to Cynthia Sesso, Licensing Administrator of the Ray Avery Photo Archives and the Howard Lucraft Collection.  Please note that these photos remain the property of the Ray Avery Estate and the Howard Lucraft Collection and are used here with permission.  Any inquiries regarding their use, commercial or otherwise, should be directed to:  Cynthia Sesso at CTSIMAGES.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

OSCAR PETERSON TRIO / JANE FIELDING 
STARS OF JAZZ - MARCH 4, 1957 - SHOW #35
Commentary © James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved

The TV Guide listing for March 4, 1957, neglected to mention that the Oscar Peterson Trio would be appearing on channel 7, STARS OF JAZZ that evening. Fortunately the Los Angeles Times television listings did note that Oscar Peterson was scheduled to appear, but stated in error that he would be in a quartet setting, not the working trio with Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass.  Oscar Peterson’s trio had followed Dizzy Gillespie’s big band into Peacock Lane on February 22, 1957.

Oscar Peterson was born August 15, 1925, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His parents were immigrants from the British West Indies and Virgin Islands. His father, Daniel Peterson, was boatswain on a merchant ship when he met Olivia John in Montreal, where she worked as a cook and housekeeper for an English family. Daniel gave up the sailing work and began working as a porter for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He and Olivia married and stayed in Montreal as their family grew.

Oscar was the fourth of five children. Their father insisted that they all learn a musical instrument, and Oscar began to study the trumpet. A childhood bout of tuberculosis forced a fortuitous switch to the piano, under the tutelage of his father and his older sister, Daisy. It soon became apparent that Oscar’s talent surpassed the capabilities of home teaching, and he was sent first to teacher Lou Hooper and then to the gifted Hungarian classical pianist, Paul deMarky. A warm and respectful musical friendship developed between the two, and with Mr. deMarky’s guidance Oscar’s mastery of the instrument grew, along with his dedication to and command of his talent.

The performance career of Oscar Peterson began while he was still a young teenager in high school, as pianist with the Johnny Holmes Orchestra in Montreal. After a few years with the Orchestra, he formed his own trio, the first in a format he maintained throughout his lifelong career. With the trio, he quickly gained fame and popularity throughout Canada. His appearances at the Alberta Lounge in Montreal were broadcast live on the radio. In 1949 impresario Norman Granz heard one of those broadcasts, went to the Alberta Lounge and enticed Mr. Peterson into making a surprise guest appearance with Granz’ all-star “Jazz at the Philharmonic” at Carnegie Hall later that year.

Leaving the audience awestruck, Oscar joined JATP in 1950 as a full-time touring member. He formed a piano-bass duo with Ray Brown as well, and began recording for Granz at the same time. He also added Barney Kessel as the first of the guitarists with whom he would create trios, returning to the group format he loved. 







He was voted Jazz Pianist of the Year in 1950 by the Downbeat Readers’ Poll, a title he garnered for an additional twelve years. He toured the globe extensively with Jazz at the Philharmonic as well as with his own trio. 

Norman Granz had packaged many of Peterson’s recordings into a series of LPs highlighting composers such as George Gershwin, Jimmy McHugh, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, and Vincent Youmans.

One one the Peterson trio’s recent albums featuring Ellis and Brown was recorded at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival.  It would become a best selling album on Granz’s Verve label.










Jane Fielding grew up in Miami, Florida.  She took up ice skating as a teen and a promising career was cut short by an ankle injury. After high school she took up modeling and worked briefly for Slenderella before discovering her singing voice. Fielding was singing at a jam session in a Miami nightclub when she was heard by Ted Efantis, a Washington, D.C. based musician who was visiting his sister, Del Adams, also a vocalist. Efantis invited Fielding to Washington after he returned and her vocal career blossomed in the many clubs in D.C. Jane sang in front of Efantis’ quintet at the Club Caverns with Ted Efantis on tenor saxophone, Rob Swope on trombone, Wilbur Little on bass, Gene Bonike on piano and Ray Richardson on drums. Jane also sang with Joe Theimer’s band before moving to the west coast with her family.  Jane’s father was in the aeronautical industry and had accepted a position in Los Angeles. After settling with her family in Topanga Canyon Jane checked out the nightclub scene in Hollywood and Beverly Hills where she was heard by William Claxton and then introduced to Herb Kimmel.


Jane’s first album for Kimmel’s Jazz:West label was under the leadership of Red Mitchell with Lou Levy on piano. Her next album for Jazz:West paired her with a quintet led by Kenny Drew.

Prior to her appearance on Stars of Jazz, Fielding was featured in a concert at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium where other artists included Shorty Rogers Giants with Jimmy Giuffre, the Bud Shank Quartet with Claude Williamson, Bob Cooper playingt tenor and oboe, Jack Costanzo’s Afro-Cuban Octet, and Barney Kessell.  John Tynan’s review of the concert in down beat noted:

“Weakest note of the evening was sounded by Miss Fielding. While her approach to jazz singing might be debatable, her phrasing and intonation are hard to take. Overstressed and affected vocal mannerisms such as she exploits add up to an invalid passport even to the land of Ooo-bla-dee.”

Jane and Oscar relaxing during the rehearsal, photo @ Howard Morehead


SHOW #35
MARCH 4, 1957
The Oscar Peterson Trio: Oscar Peterson, piano; Herb Ellis, guitar; Ray Brown, acoustic double bass. Jane Fielding, vocal; Bobby Hammack, piano.

Production credits for this show:
Host: Bobby Troup
Producer: Jimmie Baker
Writer: Bruce Lansbury
Director: "Hap" Leo G. Weyman
Audio: Chuck Lewis
Cameramen: Jack Denton, Sal Folino
Technical Director: Gene Lukowski
Lighting Director: Vince Cilurzo
Video: George Hillas