Don Lamond, Osie Johnson, Ted Sommer, Gus Johnson (d), with Conte Candoli, Joe Newman, Ernie Royal, (tp), Urbie Green (tb), Hal McKusick, Gene Quill, Al Cohn (reeds), Hank Jones, Eddie Costa (p), Freddie Green (d), George Duvivier (b)
Reference: FSRCD 837
When RCA producer Jack Lewis conceived the album The Drum Suite in 1956, he probably didnt imagine it would sell nearly 100,000 copies, particularly as it was a jazz album. The music, composed by Manny Albam and Ernie Wilkins, is a six-part suite for four drummers Osie Johnson, Gus Johnson, Ted Sommers, and Don Lamond whose solos are written, with no one allocated more than eight bars at a time. As a suite and as a performance, it is entirely successful. The writing is fine, flexible (both the large band and the small group passages) and the playing is flawless. The drums, craftily integrated, never overwhelm the bands swinging.
Four years later, in the age of stereo, RCA released Son of Drum Suite with the idea of capitalizing on their past commercial success. During recording, the five drummers were assembled in a wide semicircle to enhance the stereo sound. There are no self-indulgent, long drum solos, no banging, no machine-gun fire. Every once in a while an exciting ensemble emergesAl Cohn contributed the chartsand there are good solos by Clark Terry, Nick Travis and Bob Brookmeyer.
01. First Movement:
DANCERS ON DRUMS (Ernie Wilkins) 5:15
02. Second Movement:
BRISTLING (Manny Albam) 5:18
03. Third Movement:
CHANT OF THE WITCH DOCTORS (Manny Albam) 6:25
04. Fourth Movement:
SKINNING THE VALVES (Manny Albam) 6:01
05. Fifth Movement:
CYMBALISMS (Ernie Wilkins) 7:31
06. Sixth Movement:
THE OCTOPUS (Ernie Wilkins) 5:57
07. First Movement:
SON OF A DRUM (Al Cohn) 4:25
08. Second Movement:
BRUSHMANSHIP (Al Cohn) 5:03
09. Third Movement:
DR. SKIN AND MR. HIDE (Al Cohn) 3:55
10. Fourth Movement:
FIVE DRUMS IN FOUR-FOUR TIME (Al Cohn) 5:19
11. Fifth Movement:
DRUMS LOCO (Al Cohn) 4:54
12. Sixth Movement:
DRUM SMOKE (Al Cohn) 5:42
Tracks #1-6, from the 12" album
The Drum Suite (RCA Victor LPM-1279)
Tracks #7-12, from the 12" album
Son of Drum Suite (RCA Victor LSP-2312)
Personnel on THE DRUM SUITE #1-6:
Manny Albam-Ernie Wilkins and Their Orchestra
The Eight Arms: Don Lamond, Osie Johnson, Ted Sommer, Gus Johnson, drums, with...
Tracks #1 & 4: Conte Candoli, Joe Ferrante, Bernie Glow, Joe Newman, Ernie Royal, trumpets; Urbie Green, Tommy Mitchell, Fred Ohms, Chauncey Welsh, trombones; Hal McKusick, Sam Marowitz, alto saxes; Al Epstein, Al Cohn, tenor saxes; Sol Schlinger, baritones sax; Marty Wilson, vibes, Hank Jones, piano; Freddie Green, guitar, Buddy Jones, bass.
Recorded at Webster Hall, NYC, March 5, 1956
Tracks #2 & 6: Conte Candoli, Joe Ferrante, Nick Travis, Joe Newman, Ernie Royal, trumpets; Jimmy Cleveland, Tommy Mitchell, Fred Ohms, Chauncey Welsh, trombones; Hal McKusick, Sam Marowitz, alto saxes; Al Epstein, Al Cohn, tenor saxes; Ed Wasserman, baritone sax; Marty Wilson, vibes; Eddie Costa, piano; Freddie Green, guitar, Buddy Jones, bass.
Recorded at Webster Hall, NYC, March 6, 1956
Tracks #3 & 5: Conte Candoli, Joe Ferrante, Bernie Glow, Joe Newman, trumpets; John Barrows, Jimmy Buffington, French horns; Urbie Green, Tommy Mitchell, Fred Ohms, Chauncey Welsh, trombones; Ray Beckenstein, Jerry Sanfino, Hal McKusick, alto saxes; Al Epstein, Al Cohn, tenor saxes; Sol Schlinger, baritones sax; Marty Wilson, vibes, Eddie Costa, piano; Buddy Jones, bass.
Recorded at Webster Hall, NYC, March 7, 1956
Personnel on SON OF DRUM SUITE #7-12:
Al Cohn and His Orchestra
Jimmy Maxwell, Nick Travis, Clark Terry, Bernie Glow, trumpets; Jim Buffington, Jim Barrows, French horns; Frank Rehak, Urbie Green, Dick Hixson, trombones; Bob Brookmeyer, valve trombone; Gene Quill, Ed Caine, alto saxes; Zoot Sims, Romeo Penque, tenor saxes; Sol Schlinger, baritone sax; Hank Jones, piano; Mundell Lowe, guitar; Buddy Clark (left); George Duvivier (right) basses; Mel Lewis, Don Lamond, Jimmy Cobb, Charlie Persip, and Louis Hayes #7-9 or Gus Johnson #10-12 (d).
Recorded at Webster Hall, NYC, August 24 & 26, 1960
Drum Suite produced by Jack Lewis.
Son of Drum Suite co-produced by Dom Cerulli and Jack Lewis
Recording engineer: Bob Simpson
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
Hi Fi / Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"This is the most disciplined drum album you'll ever find. It's also the most enjoyable I've heard. All the drummers involved are as skilled as any you could wish for. Because it is written and controlled by Manny Albam, Ernie Wilkins and Al Cohn it also contains some most inspiring big band music. It's also, I hurry to add, packed with good solos from the horns to the extent that everyone you're looking for gets some space - Conte Candoli, Joe Newman, Clark Terry, Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green Frank Rehak, Cohn, Quill and Zoot and a touch of Bob Brookmeyer - you get the idea.
To avoid anarchy, the passages for the drummers are written for them, and no drum solo lasts longer than eight bars, except in Drum Smoke where the breaks last roughly 10 seconds.
Manny Albam was one of the finest arrangers for big band. In recent years he has become a back number, but surely history will correct this. Despite being in the company of Ernie Wilkins and Al Cohn, the tracks that he wrote stand out from the rest. His imaginative Chant is perfect Albam, whilst Skinning The Valves is a simple idea to feature the trumpets. It also, like most of the other tracks, includes good tenor from Al Cohn.
Wilkins and Albam wrote three each for the first suite, whilst Al Cohn composed all of Son Of. It's invidious (and for me difficult) to choose between the fine drummers, but Lamond is particularly impressive on Brushmanship, which has a fetching duet between Terry and Travis and wailing alto from Quill. Zoot floats eloquently over Dr Skin, where Cohn's writing takes on an Albamesque precision, and Brookmeyer sashays after the ensemble. Incidentally, the two fine bass players are used to help spread the beat because the time occasionally passed from one drummer to another who could be 30 feet away."
-Steve Voce (Jazz Journal, November 2014)