Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Jazz: Cedar Walton's Animation (LP Columbia Records, 1978 – PROMO)

Cedar Walton

One of the most valued of all hard bop accompanists, Cedar Walton is a versatile pianist whose funky touch and cogent melodic sense have graced the recordings of many of jazz’s greatest players. He is also one of the music’s more underrated composers; although he has always been a first-rate interpreter of standards, Walton wrote a number of excellent tunes (”Mosaic,” “Ugetsu,” and “Bolivia,” to name a few) that found their way into Art Blakey’s book during the pianist’s early-’60s stint with the Jazz Messengers.
Walton was first taught piano by his mother. After attending the University of Denver, he moved to New York in 1955, ostensibly to play music. Instead, he was drafted into the Army. Stationed in Germany, Walton played with American musicians Leo Wright, Don Ellis, and Eddie Harris. After his discharge, Walton moved back to New York, where he began his career in earnest. From 1958-1961, Walton played with Kenny Dorham, J.J. Johnson, and Art Farmer’s Jazztet, among others. Walton joined Blakey in 1961, with whom he remained until 1964. This was perhaps Blakey’s most influential group, with Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter. Walton served time as Abbey Lincoln’s accompanist from 1965-1966 and made records with Lee Morgan from 1966-1968; from 1967-1969, Walton served as a sideman on many Prestige albums as well. Walton played in a band with Hank Mobley in the early ’70s and returned to Blakey for a 1973 tour of Japan.
Walton’s own band of the period was called Eastern Rebellion, and was comprised of a rotating cast that included saxophonists Clifford Jordan, George Coleman, and Bob Berg; bassist Sam Jones; and drummer Billy Higgins. In the ’80s and ’90s, Walton continued to lead his own fine bands, recording on the Muse, Evidence, and Steeplechase labels. In addition to his many quantifiable accomplishments, Walton is less well known as the first pianist to record, in April 1959 with John Coltrane, the tenorist’s daunting “Giant Steps” — unlike the unfortunate Tommy Flanagan a month later, Walton wasn’t required to solo, though he does comp magnificently.
By Chris Kelsey (AMG)
More info & selected discography here.

Cedar Walton

( LP Columbia Records, 1978 – PROMO )
Catalog # JC35572

1 Animation
2 Jacob’s Ladder
3 Charmed Circle
4 Another Star
5 Precious Mountain
6 March of the Fishman
7 If It Could Happen
8 Ala Eduardo

Personnel & Credits:
Bob Berg Sax (Tenor)
Dr. George Butler Producer
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Tony Dumas Bass (Electric), Guitar (Electric)
Al Foster Drums
Don Hahn Engineer
Steve Turre Trombone, Trombone (Bass)
Cedar Walton Piano, Piano (Electric), Producer
Buddy Williams Drums

Cedar Anthony Walton, Jr., 17th January 1934, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., 19th August 2013 .
Cedar Walton was born in Dallas, Texas and was first taught piano by his mother.
He attended university in Denver before moving to New York.
In 1955 he was drafted into the Army.
Stationed in Germany, Cedar played with American musicians Leo Wright, Don Ellis, and Eddie Harris.
After his discharge, Walton moved back to New York, where he resumed his career.
Here, in 1965, he joined Art Blakey’s group The Jazz Messengers with whom he played through to the mid-70’s.
Touring as a solo artist from 1975, he has played Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London every year since 1975.
Recording for CBS, his albums include ‘Animation’ (1978) and ‘Soundscapes’ (1980), the latter including ‘Latin America’, a latin fusion favourite on the UK jazz funk scene.
‘Latin America’ appearred on a compilation entitled ‘Fusion Phew’, released on the Elevate label in the U.K.  (distributed by Expansion Records).
Cedar Walton was the first pianist to record, in April 1959, with John Coltrane, the tenorist’s recording of ‘Giant Steps’.

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