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Recording date for THE JOHNNY EVER GREENS (Russell Garcia)?


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If my timeline is correct, this album is the very first assignment Williams got when he returned to LA in 1956, after a year at Juilliard. He probably celebrated New Year's 55/56 in New York, and then went "back home" early in January, for work, family and Barbara. I seem to have a vague recollection of the Garcia album being recorded in February or March or something, but can anyone confirm? I don't have the LP (only a digital version), so I can't check the liner notes. It has some historical significance, as the beginning of his professional, adult LA life.

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There are three tracks on the Fagerquist album you linked to that are possibly the same recordings, i.e. taken from the EVER GREENS album: "Body and Soul", "Out of Nowhere" and "Coquette". None of the

What a mess, yeah. The session you look for, is not documented it seems, even on this Jazz very interesting website.   https://www.jazzdisco.org/don-fagerquist/discography/session-index

They recorded EVERYTHING that day.   November 2, 1956.   Take the DeLorean, make JW miss this important recording session, and PAF: no Jaws, no Star Wars, no John Williams.  

Los Angeles River

 

Personnel on tracks #1-12:
Russell Garcia and His Orchestra
Maynard Ferguson, Don Fagerquist, Buddy Childers, Wes Hensel, Cappy Lewis (tp); Murray McEachern, Harry Betts, Lloyd Ulyate, James Henderson, Frank Howard (tb); Herb Geller (as); Bill Ulyate (bs); Howard Roberts (g); John T. Williams (p); Max Bennett or Curtis Counce (b); Alvin Stoller (d); Red Norvo (vib on #6,10); Jack Costanzo (bgo on #8).
Radio Recorders, Hollywood, July 5 and 23, 1956

 

https://www.freshsoundrecords.com/russell-garcia-albums/4025-los-angeles-river.html?search_query=Los+Angeles+River&results=31

 

Portrait of a Great Jazz Artist

 

Personnel on tracks #7-8: Don Fagerquist featured with Russell Garcia & his Orchestra
Don Fagerquist, Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Childers, Wes Hensel, Cappy Lewis (tp), Murray McEachern, Harry Betts, Lloyd Ulyate, James Henderson, Joe Howard (tb), Herb Geller (as), Bill Ulyate (bs), Howard Roberts (g), John T. Williams (p), Max Bennet (b), Alvin Stoller (d).
Recorded in Hollywood, July, 1956

Personnel on tracks #10-12: Russell Garcia & his Orchestra
Don Fagerquist (tp), John T. Williams (p), Howard Roberts (g), Joe Comfort (b), Alvin Stoller (#10) or Jack Sperling (d), Ted Nash (as on #12).
Recorded in Hollywood, 1957 WRONG

 

https://www.freshsoundrecords.com/don-fagerquist-albums/4280-portrait-of-a-great-jazz-artist.html?search_query=Don+Fagerquist%3A+Portrait+Of+A+Great+Jazz+Artist&results=1

 

@Thor You would have known these CD reissues if you had visited my website. ;)

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There are three tracks on the Fagerquist album you linked to that are possibly the same recordings, i.e. taken from the EVER GREENS album: "Body and Soul", "Out of Nowhere" and "Coquette". None of the other tracks have anything to do with the album.

 

However, those three tracks are listed as being recorded in 1957 (without any date, btw), which appears to be an error. The EVER GREENS album is from 1956. Or it's a different recording.

 

These collection-type albums are often more confusing than helpful. It's a shame the back cover that thx posted didn't have recording dates (but thanks, thx!).

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What a mess, yeah.

The session you look for, is not documented it seems, even on this Jazz very interesting website.

 

https://www.jazzdisco.org/don-fagerquist/discography/session-index/

 

ABC-149 was recorded on September 14, 1956.

ABC-139 was recorded on July 22, 1956.

 

No trace of ABC-147 LOL

 

http://www.bsnpubs.com/abc/abc100.html

 

EDIT: I think I found it!

 

http://utstat.utoronto.ca/mikevans/hroberts/sounds/side50s.html

Modern Jazz Gallery

1956 - Kapp KXL-5001.
Selections with H.R.: As part of the Russ Garcia And His Orchestra: Music City (Garcia), Fishtail (Garcia), Smoggy Day (Garcia), Los Angeles River (Garcia), Number Four (Garcia). As part of the John T. Williams Quartet: Caribe (Towner), Spring Is Here (Rodgers-Hart), Anything Goes (Porter), Aunt Orsavella (Towner).
Session: With Russ Garcia - Hollywood, November 2, 1956 and with the John T. Williams Quartet - Hollywood, November 2, 1956.
Comments: H.R. is only comping on the Russ Garcia selections. The Russ Garcia Orchestra also recorded Out of Nowhere, Coquette and I Cover the Waterfront as part of these sessions and these were issued on the recording The Johnny Ever Greens ABC-147 (see below). H.R.'s soloing as part of the John T. Williams Quartet is outstanding and similar to his work on the John Towner Touch - 1957.

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Don't give up! :)

 

The info is a little confusing. The way I read it is that the recording for MODERN JAZZ GALLERY was done in November-56. THE EVER GREENS album should have been recorded much earlier in the year.

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If the EVER GREENS album was recorded on November 2, that would leave less than two months to get it released, as the album is from 1956. Is that even feasible? It would also not make it the first gig JW got that year.

 

But I'm doubtful. You'll see that the entry for the actual EVER GREENS album on that page you linked to has no date set, only the year.

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ABC 146 - Christmas In Hi-Fi - Hank Sylvern [1956]

 

The previous record (ABC-146) was a Christmas album, so it fits for a release of ABC 147 in late november or in december, and that explain why some source say 1957 for the recording.  I hate "end of the year" albums...

 

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I suppose, but if the date is correct, it completely screws up the timeline. Williams recorded the JOHN TOWNER TOUCH album just a few weeks prior to EVER GREENS (in October), and that wasn't released untill 1957. So how they would have been able to squeeze out an album - from recording to LPs in store - in such a short timeframe, is beyond me.

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If November 2 is the correct recording date for EVER GREENS (which I still have doubts about), it makes THE JOHN TOWNER TOUCH his first album assignment after returning to LA that we're aware of - even if it was released after EVER GREENS. That was in October. So it remains to fill out work between January and October. I don't know about any other jazz albums in this period, so it would need to be session work on movies.

 

There are a couple of things in 1955 (the CAROUSEL session visit/arrangement at the end of the year and an uncredited performance on a Harry Belafonte album, both presumably done while on a holiday trip to LA during his Juilliard year), but that's pre-move to LA.

 

Any input on Jan-Sept '56 work appreciated (and yes, I'm well aware I'm digging deep into obscurity land here...that's what I live and breathe for these days!).

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51 minutes ago, Miguel Andrade said:

Sorry for coming late in the discussion. Glad you could find some of the info you needed. 

The tracks on the Don Fagerquist compilations are taken from "The Johnny Ever Greens".

 

I think the original question they were hoping you would know is when that album was recorded

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On 2/24/2021 at 4:33 PM, Jay said:

 

I think the original question they were hoping you would know is when that album was recorded

 

Yes, but since they were later wondering if the November 2 recorded pieces on the Don Fagerquist CD came from the "Johhny Ever Greens" album, I was addressing that.

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Are you saying the entire Johnny Ever Greens album was recorded on November 2nd, or are you saying nobody knows when it was recorded?

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I'm saying that those tracks (both on the Fagerquist compilation and on The Johnny Ever Greens) were recorded on November 2. It wasn't unusual back in those days to have a record done in a day or two. I seem to recall reading Williams recollecting on his Mahalia Jackson albuns, that the whole thing, from arranging to turning off the mic, would be a week or so.

So it's possible that the whole thing was recorded on one single session (or two on the same day), or at least around November 2. But unless a lable like Fresh Sound, that includes all session data, releases that album, one can never be sure.

Ok, let me correct myself. On the compilation, the date for the tracks on "The Johnny Ever Greens" selections (Body and Soul, Out of Nowhere and Coquette) is only the year, 1957.

The November 2, 1956 date refers to tracks Russel Garcia's "Los Angeles River" compilation. The actual "Los Angeles River" album was recorded on July 5 and 23, 1956. It included both Williams and Fagerquist in Garcia's orchestra.

The remaining tracks on that CD, without Williams presence, comes from some other release, but without Williams participation. 

 

Additional edit: I'm picking all my disc (vinyl and CD) and trying to check this as best as possible.

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From what I've thought over the years, THE JOHNNY EVER GREENS is not a compilation where the tracks are culled from various, unrelated recording sessions. They are comprised of tracks recorded specifically for that album, over the course of one or more days within a limited timeframe (my original guess was February or March-1956), even though the ensemble may vary.

 

So whenever people mention other albums where tracks from JOHNNY appear, and where the tracks are culled from various, unrelated recording sessions (like the Fagerquist one mentioned above), the trick is to find the one that fits JOHNNY, specifically.

 

On an unrelated note, it's quite funny that the album title appears to be a Johnny Green tribute, whereas there's only, like, one or two songs composed by him. There are a couple of tracks by another Johnny (i.e. Johnny Mercer), but most of the tracks are by Edward Heyman.

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I'm about to start a class, but just to let you know that the copyright notice on the LP of "The Johnny Ever Greens" is 1958. And yes, I don't think that this was a compilation, sorry if I sugested so. But some tracks appear on a few compilations from Fresh Sound Records (that rereleased the vinyl in the 80's).

I already cleared my schedule (mark papers after classes) to go through my collection and try to make sense of those dates.

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This is what I was able to check from LPs and CDs:

 

Year

Recording Dates

Main Artist

Title

Capacity

Format and #cat

CD Reissue info

Observations

1957

Radio Recorders, Hollywood, July 5 and 23, 1956

Russell Garcia

Listen To The Music Of Russell Garcia And His Orchestra

pf

33rpm Kapp LP KL 1050

Fresh Sound Records FSR 2203*

*retitled "Los Angeles River"; John T. Williams is mentioned on the cover

1957

November 2, 1956

Various

Modern Jazz Gallery

pf, arr, bd, comp

33rpm KAPP KXL 5001

33rpm London LTZ-R15083 Volume 1

 

The 4 Williams tracks were included on the CD compilation "Jazz Beginnings" (FSR 2228)

 

Hollywood, 1957 ???

Russell Garcia

The Johnny ever Greens

pf

33rpm ABC-Paramount ABC-147

33rpm Fresh Sounds Records 254270-1

Montepellier Records MONTCD 084

Three tracks can be found on the Don Fagerquist compilation "Portrait of a great jazz artist" (Fresh Sound Records FSR 2212)

 

 

I only own the 1986 Fresh Sound Records reissue of the vinyl of "The Johnny Ever Greens" and the (P) entry is for 1958. There seems to be a 2011 reissue of the whole album but I don't have it. I have a friend who I believe owns the original ABC-Paramount pressing and will ask him what data appears on the label, if any (there is none on the facsimile covers of the 1986 reissue).

 

I also checked the dates for the original LP program of "Funny Face" for which I believe Williams played the piano. Most material was recorded at Paramount Studios between March 29 and April 5, 1956 with a couple of additional instrumental parts recorded on September 18 and 19, 1956. The only performing credit is for Adolph Deutsch's orchestra. The more recent expanded edition lacks any information about date recordings, but on the notes is said that main photography started in April '56, which would mean that the music recorded in late March/early April sessions were pre-recordings for syncing purposes. This would likely explain the later September sessions. To which degree is Williams involved in whole this sessions is a unknown to me. Might have been just on the later ones at a time we know he was already living in LA. But if he played on the earlier ones...

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Thanks for the info on FUNNY FACE, Miguel (I remember Williams also talked about arranging a bit there, in an interview) -- and for at least trying to make heads and tails of the JOHNNY mystery! He was back in LA in January already. So FUNNY FACE might predate JOHNNY. A shame it's so difficult to find the recording dates for this stuff. I might ask over on FSM; that Bob DiMucci guy seems to have access to certain archives.

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19 minutes ago, Thor said:

Thanks for the info on FUNNY FACE, Miguel (I remember Williams also talked about arranging a bit there, in an interview) -- and for at least trying to make heads and tails of the JOHNNY mystery! He was back in LA in January already. So FUNNY FACE might predate JOHNNY. A shame it's so difficult to find the recording dates for this stuff. I might ask over on FSM; that Bob DiMucci guy seems to have access to certain archives.

 

If you are sure he was in L.A. in January '56, he can be the piano guy in all of Funny Face. I just went very quickly over the booklet notes, but rights for the film were cleared only in early '56 and work would only start afterwards. I'll read it properly after dinner and will let you know.

By the way, I should find time to be more around here and over at FSM. There's always interesting info to be found through posts by guys like you.

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He got married to Barbara on April 15 that year (eloping to Mexico for the event), so we know he was there then. And Jennifer was born in October. Substract 9 months from that, and she was....uhm, conceived in January/February. In other words, all things point towards Williams travelling to LA in January.

 

My guess is he worked relatively fast when he got back. Perhaps stayed a few weeks at his parents' house in his room atop the garage, while waiting for Barbara's divorce to finalize (mid February), but also looking for immediate work opportunities and their own place to live. Using his existing network, his father's connections etc. This is where I've always placed the JOHNNY album, but I might have to re-evaluate the chronology now.

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Got a reply from my friend who has all the vinyl releases of "The Johnny Ever Greens", plus the CD release. No dates in any of them, besides the ones I mentioned on the Fresh Sound 1986 vinyl issue (1958 and 1986).

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Okeley Dokeley T (are we treating each other on first letter basis now? :lol:)

Keep us posted.

 

I'll try to take some time over the next few days (read weeks) and finally start compiling recording dates where available.

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