Bad Note Presents:
The Millstones Of JazzThe cavalcade of rare treasures continues! Max out your credit card on these newly unearthed gems! See the earlier releases in the series here.
BD0007 A Nightmare On Ella Street: Ella Fitzgerald, The Baroness Nica De Konigswarter And Chan Parker—1955
The longtime companion of Thelonius Monk and the widow of Charlie “Bird” Parker are best known as the most famous groupies in jazz history—but what they really wanted was to be the Andrews Sisters. After much pleading, they finally persuaded Ella to let them sing backup for her, with...interesting results. This release is the only Fitzgerald recording that breaks glass from the very first note.
BD0008 Diz’n’Dez: The Failed Cubop Experiments Of Dizzy Gillespie and Desi Arnaz—1953
Perhaps the bottles of tequila consumed by Arnaz at the Palladium before this session can “splain” the baffling lack of chemistry between these Afro-Latin Jazz pioneers. All we know is, shorn of his crack mambo sidemen, Arnaz could barely produce even a polka 2-step on his tourist-grade congas. And when Lucille Ball joined them to warble on “Desilu,” (a remake of the Arnaz hit “Bobalu”), stray dogs all over Manhattan turned themselves in at the Anti-Cruelty Society.
BD0009 The Dearth Of Bebop: Unrecorded Classics By Bird And Diz From The Early-Forties Recording Ban
Originally released on vinyl, this album of non-existent proto-bop gems from the recording ban was a favorite of legendary Chicago Public Radio jazz deejay Dick Buckley. For the CD release, it has been digitally remastered: all the hiss has been removed so that you can imagine in complete silence what Parker and Gillespie might have sounded like as they experimented with the complex calculations and advanced harmonies of bebop—the musical “doomsday weapon” that killed off jazz’s popularity until the discovery of cold fusion in the early seventies. Bobby “Doc” Oppenheimer would have been on piano, Edward “Fats” Teller on bass and “Rico” Fermi on drums. Arrangements by Al “Fatha” Einstein.
BD0010 I’d Rather Be Blue Than Red: Billie Holiday Live At The Army-McCarthy Hearings—1954
When Senator Joseph McCarthy’s committee began investigating communist influence in the music business, few observers suspected that McCarthy was a big fan of Billie Holiday. “There are communists under every bed” and “that colored gal sure can sing the blues” were apparently the Senator’s twin credos. While appearing before the committee, Holiday was subjected to an embarrassing series of requests that she perform McCarthy’s favorite standards—which she did, in a discomfited a capella. Bad Note is releasing this performance by special arrangement with CBS News; the outraged commentary is by newsman Edward R. Murrow.
BD0011 Mingus Shmingus: The Charles Mingus Quintet Performs Yiddish Folk Songs With Special Guest Sammy Davis Jr.—1970
This ill-advised project (with liner notes by Amiri Baraka) eroded the original 1960s civil rights coalition and nearly turned Manhattan into “the other West Bank” during the long, hot summer of 1970. Bad Note is pleased to fan the flames once more.
BD0012 Monk Drunk: Thelonius Monk Plays Wagner’s Ring Cycle (5-CD boxed set)—1967
Monk’s lovable eccentricities and puckish humor informed all of his recorded work—but get a few drinks in him, and he was a wild man. This incredible marathon project was recorded during a “lost weekend” in the late sixties, and finds Monk transforming Wagner’s sturm und drang into a Marx Brothers costume epic. Particularly wacky is Monk’s all-out stride attack on “Flight Of The Valkyries”—but overall, the joke wears thin about six hours before the fat lady would have sung. With Jim Beam on alto, Jose Cuervo on trumpet, and the Christian Brothers on bass and drums.