Wizard of the Six String · Classic and Rare Recordings 1945-1948 (3-CD Box Set)
  • Volume 1 (1945-1946)
    Volume 1 (1945-1946)
  • Volume 2 (1946)
    Volume 2 (1946)
  • Volume 3 (1946-1948)
    Volume 3 (1946-1948)
  • Vivien Garry
    Vivien Garry
  • Arv Garrison
    Arv Garrison

Arv Garrison

Wizard of the Six String · Classic and Rare Recordings 1945-1948 (3-CD Box Set)

Fresh Sound Records

Personnel:
Arv Garrison (g, vcl), Vivien Garry (b, vcl), Teddy Kaye, George Handy, Wini Beatty (p, vcl), Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Howard McGhee, Teddy Buckner (tp), Vic Dickenson, Kai Winding (tb), Earle Spencer (tb, dir), Charlie Parker, Les Robinson (as), Lucky Thompson, Teddy Edwards, Charlie Ventura (ts), Dodo Marmarosa, Leonard Feather, Sonny White, El Myers (p), Lionel Hampton (vib), Barney Kessel, Irving Ashby, Les Paul, Tony Rizzi, Gene Sargent (g), Ray Brown, Vic McMillan, Thomas Moultree, Bob Kesterson (b), Roy Hall, Stan Levey, Harold “Doc” West, Percy Brice, Ed Hall, Phil Kraus (d), Frankie Laine, Leo Watson, Rickey Jordan, Babs Gonzales (vcl)

Reference: FSRCD1104

Bar code: 8427328611046

THE UNKNOWN ARV GARRISON
Wizard of the Six String · Classic and Rare Recordings from the 1940's
3-CD Box Set · 80-Pages Booklet

Arv Garrison is relatively unknown today. His professional recording career spanned three years after the end of WWII. A majority of that legacy was with the Vivien Garry Trio. The Trio’s first recordings for Guild and Sarco demonstrated Arv’s phenomenal mastery of the electric guitar. He was on several Dial sessions led by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Howard McGhee, but his presence on these recordings is sparse due to the short duration of 78 singles.

Vivien and Arv were on sessions for Signature and Exclusive where they were part of the ensembles backing Leo Watson and Rickey Jordan respectively. Arv plays rhythm backup with occasional solo breaks on these vocalist sessions where his ability to adapt and swing in different musical settings demonstrated his versatility. Arv was hired by Earle Spencer to compose a piece for his orchestra featuring five harmonized guitars. “Five Guitars in Flight” on Black & White 822 remained Arv’s proudest achievement of his recording career.

His most accomplished performances were recorded for the Armed Forces Radio Service on “Jubilee” and “Magic Carpet” transcriptions that were heard by service personnel around the world, but not in the U.S. Likewise, the air checks included in this set were broadcasts on Los Angeles and New York City radio stations but not recorded for commercial release.

Arv Garrison suffered from epilepsy. He was able to perform despite the occasional seizures that his trio mates noticed during their time in California. The seizures became more frequent and pronounced when the Vivien Garry Trio returned to New York.

Arv’s earlier playing had displayed his exceptional gift to communicate commands requiring milliseconds from his brain to his fingers. Epilepsy robbed that facility. Arv’s peers like his close friend, Irving Ashby, continued their performance and recording careers, the essential elements to creating and sustaining an awareness in the minds of jazz fans. His sparse outings on record failed to establish that same recognition. His name disappeared from the jazz polls. Arv Garrison remains mostly unknown among today’s jazz public.

—James A. Harrod

Tracklist

CD 1
01. Altitude (Ashby-Hampton) 3:13
02. Relax Jack (Garrison-Garry) 2:38
03. Hopscotch (Arv Garrison) 2:27
04. Where You At? (Handy-Segal) 2:44
05. I Surrender Dear (Clifford-Barris) 2:37
06. I've Got To, That’s All (Garrison-Garry) 2:41
07. Tonsilectomy (Handy-McKusick) 2:47
08. These Foolish Things (Marvell-Strachey-Link) 2:43
09. Diggin' Diz (George Handy) 2:50
10. Where You At? (Handy-Segal) 3:02
11. Moose the Mooche [Take 2] (Charlie Parker) 3:03
12. Yardbird Suite [Take 1] (Charlie Parker) 2:37
13. Yardbird Suite [Take 4] (Charlie Parker) 2:54
14. Ornithology [Take 1] (Charlie Parker) 2:57
15. Ornithology [Take 3] (Charlie Parker) 3:17
16. Ornithology [Take 4] (Charlie Parker) 2:59
17. A Night in Tunisia [Take 4] (Gillespie-Paparelli) 3:02
18. A Night in Tunisia [Take 5] (Gillespie-Paparelli) 3:04
19. Mop Mop (Leonard Feather) 2:27
20. How Deep is the Ocean (Irving Berlin) 2:45
21. It Only Happens Once (Frankie Laine) 3:47
22. It Ain't Gonna Be Like That (Laine-Torme) 2:12

CD 2
01. Where You At? (Handy-Segal) 2:16
02. Baby, I'm Gone (Callender-Enois) 3:18
03. Fred Shields Introduction 0:46
04. How High the Moon (Hamilton-Lewis) 2:42
05. Rip Van Winkle (Handy-Levinson-Leeds) 2:59
06. Jingle Bells (James Lord Pierpont) 2:39
07. Snake Pit (Leo Watson) 2:47
08. Tight and Gay (Leo Watson) 2:50
09. Sonny Boy (DeSylva-Brown-Henderson-Jolson) 2:59
10. Ernest “Bubbles” Whitman Introduction 0:29
11. Medley: 10:47
—Cherokee (Ray Noble)
—I Got Rhythm (Gershwin-Gershwin)
—How High the Moon (Hamilton-Lewis)
—Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf-Waller)
12. Dialated Pupils [Take 4] (Howard McGhee) 2:30
13. Dialated Pupils [Take 5] (Howard McGhee) 2:55
14. Midnight at Minton’s (Howard McGhee) 2:58
15. Up in Dodo's Room [Take 1] (Howard McGhee) 3:11
16. Up in Dodo's Room [Take 2] (Howard McGhee) 3:13
17. High Wind in Hollywood (Howard McGhee) 2:36
18. Five Guitars in Flight (Arv Garrison) 2:40
19. A.B.C. Blues (Rickey Jordan) 2:42
20. Blues in the Storm (Leonard Feather) 2:58
21. Rickey's Blues (Rickey Jordan) 2:57
22. Night and Day (Cole Porter) 2:35
23. Stormy Weather (Koehler-Arlen) 2:27
24. Drop Dead (Rickey Jordan) 2:38

CD 3
01. Mop Mop (Leonard Feather) 2:46
02. Art Ford Introduction 2:57
03. Just You, Just Me (Klages-Greer) 4:45
04. Lover Man (Davis-Ramirez-Sherman) 5:35
05. Art Ford Interview, Vivien and Arv 2:01
06. The Three Bears (Bobby Troup) 3:19
07. Art Ford and Vivien Garry 2:14
08. Indiana (MacDonald-Hanley) 2:47
09. Art Ford, The Great Experiment 1:02
10. Jingle Bells (James Lord Pierpont) 3:10
11. Art Ford and Babs Gonzales 1:32
12. Blues in B Flat (traditional) 4:26
13. Art Ford Introduction to Flying Home 1:07
14. Flying Home (Goodman-Hampton) 7:08
15. You Can Do It If You Try (Pappas-Spaulding) 2:32
16. Spring is Saying Hello (O’Hara-Bell) 3:03
17. Right Me If I'm Wrong (Weiser-Amann-James) 2:34
18. New Love (El Myers) 2:40
19. Baby, I'm Gone (Callender-Enois) 3:04
20. Walk It Off (James-Miller) 3:20

Album details

Original sources CD 1:
Tracks #1 & 2: Guild 124
Tracks #3 & 4: Sarco 101
Tracks #5 & 6: Sarco 102
Tracks #7 & 8: Sarco 103
Track #9: Dial 1004
Track #10: AFRS Jubilee 175
Track #11: Dial 1004
Tracks #12 & 17: Dial LP 201
Track #13: Dial 1003
Track #14: Dial LP 208
Track #15: Dial 1006
Tracks #16 & 18: Dial 1002
Tracks #19-22: AFRS Jubilee 183

Original sources CD 2:
Tracks #1 & 2: V-Disc 690
Tracks #3-5: AFRS Magic Carpet 332
Tracks #6 & 7: Signature 1004
Tracks #8 & 9: Signature 1007
Tracks #10 & 11: AFRS Jubilee 205
Track #12: Dial 1010
Tracks #13 & 14: Dial 1011
Track #15: Spotlight SPJ-131
Track #16 & 17: Dial 1010
Track #18: Black & White 822
Tracks #19 & 20: Exclusive 235
Tracks #21 & 22: Exclusive 237
Tracks #23 & 24: Exclusive 248

Original sources CD 3:
Track #1: KMPC aircheck
Tracks #2-14 WNEW aircheck
Tracks #15 & 16: Metro M8015
Tracks #17 & 18: Metro M8016
Tracks #19 & 20: Wilcox-Gay acetate

Personnel on CD 1

Tracks #1-2: VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Vivien Garry, bass, vocal; Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; Teddy Kaye, piano, vocal.
Recorded at Decca Studios, New York, June 20, 1945

Tracks #3-8: VIVIEN GARRY QUARTET
Vivien Garry, bass, vocal; Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; George Handy, piano, vocal; Roy Hall, drums.
Recorded at Master Recording Company, Hollywood, December 15, 1945

Track #9: DIZZY GILLESPIE JAZZMEN
Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Charlie Parker, alto sax; Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; George Handy, piano; Arv Garrison, electric guitar; Ray Brown, bass; Stan Levey, drums.
Recorded at Electro Recording & Broadcasting Studios, Glendale, February 5, 1946

Track #10: ARMED FORCES RADIO SERVICE / JUBILEE SHOW
VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Vivien Garry, bass, vocal; Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; Wini Beatty, piano, vocal.
Recorded at NBC Studios, Hollywood, March 1946

Tracks #11-18: CHARLIE PARKER SEPTET
Charlie Parker, alto sax; Miles Davis, trumpet; Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; Dodo Marmarosa, piano; Arv Garrison, electric guitar; Vic McMillan, bass; Roy Porter, drums.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, March 28, 1946

Tracks #19-20: ARMED FORCES RADIO SERVICE / JUBILEE SHOW
VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Vivien Garry, bass, vocal; Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; Wini Beatty, piano, vocal; Ernest “Bubbles” Whitman, emcee.
Recorded at NBC Studios, Hollywood, May 1946

Tracks #21-22: FRANKIE LAINE / VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Frankie Laine, vocal; Vivien Garry, bass; Arv Garrison, electric guitar; Wini Beatty, piano; Ernest “Bubbles” Whitman, emcee.
Recorded at NBC Studios, Hollywood, May 1946

Personnel on CD 2

Tracks #1-2: VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Vivien Garry, bass, vocal; Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; Wini Beatty, piano, vocal.
Recorded at NBC Studios, Hollywood, May 1946

Tracks #3-5: VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Vivien Garry, bass, vocal; Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; Wini Beatty, piano, vocal; Fred Shields, emcee.
Recorded at Club Morocco, Hollywood, May 1946

Tracks #6-9: LEO WATSON / THE VIC DICKENSON QUINTET
Leo Watson, vocal; Vic Dickenson, trombone; Leonard Feather, piano; Arv Garrison, electric guitar; Vivien Garry, bass; Harold “Doc” West, drums.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, September 7, 1946

Tracks #10-11: ARMED FORCES RADIO SERVICE / JUBILEE SHOW
Barney Kessel, Irving Ashby, Arv Garrison, Les Paul, electric guitars; Sonny White, piano; Thomas Moultree, bass; Percy Brice, drums; Ernest “Bubbles” Whitman, emcee.
Recorded at NBC Studios, Hollywood, October 14, 1946

Tracks #12-17: HOWARD McGHEE SEXTET
Howard McGhee, trumpet; Teddy Edwards, tenor sax; Arv Garrison, electric guitar; Dodo Marmarosa, piano; Bob Kesterson, bass; Roy Porter, drums.
Recorded at Universal Recorders, Hollywood, October 18, 1946

Track #18: EARLE SPENCER ORCHESTRA
Al Killian, Frank Beach, Bob Fowler, Dick Binns, Mike Bryan, trumpets; Earle Spencer; Ollie Wilson, J. Durward Morsch, Eugene Manson, Ray Sims, Jim Gales, trombones; William Hudspeth, Les Robinson, clarinet, alto sax; Ralph Lee, Don Lodice, tenor saxes; Hy Mandel, baritone sax; Hal Schaefer, piano; Artie Shapiro, bass; Sam Weiss, drums. Morty Corb, arranger.
Arv Garrison Quintet:
Arv Garrison, Barney Kessel, Irving Ashby, Tony Rizzi, Gene Sargent, electric guitars.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, October 19, 1946

Tracks #19-24: RICKEY JORDAN / VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Rickey Jordan, vocal; Vivien Garry, bass; Teddy Buckner, trumpet; Les Robinson, alto sax; Lucky Thompson, tenor sax; Arv Garrison, electric guitar; Wini Beatty, piano; Ed Hall, drums.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, October 28, 1946

Personnel on CD 3

Track #1: VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Vivien Garry, bass; Arv Garrison, electric guitar; Wini Beatty, piano; Gene Norman, emcee.
“Mild and Mellow,” KMPC Studios, Hollywood, November 1946

Tracks #2-10: ART FORD’S “SATURDAY NIGHT SWING SESSION”
VIVIEN GARRY TRIO
Vivien Garry, bass, vocal; Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; Teddy Kaye, piano, vocal; Art Ford, emcee.
Recorded at WNEW Studios, New York, May 24, 1947

Tracks #11-12:
Vivien Garry Trio plus Babs Gonzales, vocal; Roy Ross, accordion; Phil Kraus, drums.
Recorded in the same session as #2-10

Tracks #13-14:
All Star Jam adding Kai Winding, trombone; Charlie Ventura, tenor saxophone; Lionel Hampton, vibraphone.
Recorded in the same session as #2-10

Tracks #15-18: ARV GARRISON TRIO
Arv Garrison, electric guitar; El Myers, piano, vocal; Vivien Garry, bass.
Recorded in 1948

Tracks #19-20:
Arv Garrison, electric guitar, vocal; El Myers, piano, vocal; Vivien Garry, bass, vocal.
Private recording, 1948

This 3-CD compilation researched, compiled, and annotated by James A. Harrod, Bob Dietsche and Nick Rossi
Photos: © Bob Dietsche Collection / Los Angeles Jazz Institute
Graphic design by Rafael Ros
Produced for release by Jordi Pujol
© 2021 by Fresh Sound Records

Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

Press reviews

"For a brief, shining moment in the mid 1940s, Toledo native Arv Garrison was considered one of the best jazz guitarists in the world. A Toledo resident for most of his life, Garrison was a musician whose adept six string play made him the envy of many in the music community. He recorded with legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and regularly performed and recorded with his wife, Vivien Garry.

“He was really an astonishing talent,” said musical historian James Harrod. “Largely self-taught, (Garrison) admired Django Reinhardt and would spend his time practicing his guitar and listening to Django. And the person who helped really launch his career was his wife, Vivien Garry. She was the one who took charge of their career and signed all the contracts and made the arrangements, etc. And Arv just blossomed under those conditions.”

One of Garrison’s trademarks was his versatility— no matter what the style was of the group he played with, he was able to rise and bend his skill to accommodate the moment. On a level of sheer talent, Harrod ranks Harrison in a class with celebrated jazz guitarists like Irving Ashby and Oscar Moore.

Today, however, the name Arv Garrison is all but forgotten. His career as a full-time musician was tragically brief.

“The shame is that he had epilepsy, and that intensified in the latter part of his career,” Harrod said. “Today, modern medicine can allow us to cope with that condition. But back then, in the 40s, it was the end of his career when the epileptic fits became more frequent. It was a very short career— 1945 to 1948. Just three years that he really blossomed and became one of the best.”

Garrison returned to Toledo after his sojourn through the jazz world. He tried to play in local gigs, but his illness had progressed too far. Garrison died in a swimming accident in 1960 at the age of 37. His jazz career was so firmly in the past by then that his obituary’s headline didn’t even mention it.

But Garrison’s musical legacy is beginning to be rediscovered, thanks in large part to Harrod. A former professional bookseller, Harrod has been a fan of jazz since high school, primarily specializing in West Coast jazz. Last year, Harrod was listening to a celebration of legendary jazz composer and saxophonist Charlie Parker. One of the songs featured Garrison, a name that even Harrod, an expert in most everything jazz, was only vaguely familiar with.

“That sort of led me to Vivien Garry, and to a book she published, a biography, back in the early 90s, recounting her life and playing with Arv,” Harrod said.

Harrod determined that Garrison’s remarkable work needed to be collected, preserved and made more widely available. He began tracking down as many recordings as he could. He found sessions that Garrison and Garry made in New York in the mid-40’s. Recordings done for the Armed Forces Radio Network. A performance for a show led by popular jazz host Art Ford.

“I contacted a record producer in Barcelona, Fresh Sound Records— a man named Jordi Pujol, who’s been championing forgotten music, West Coast music for years. And Jordi said, ‘Yeah, I think you’ve got a good project there, let’s go with it!’”

The end result is a 3 CD set entitled “The Unknown Arv Garrison: Wizard of the Six String.” Featuring a slew of material that hasn’t been heard since its initial release almost 80 years ago, the set features liner notes by band leader Nick Rossi. The work is a labor of love for Harrod, and he notes that it’s not just Garrison’s legacy that will interest Toledo listeners.

The last sessions on the CD set feature another Toledo musician who was quite revered, El Meyers. He was a pianist who played with the group in New York, and toward the end of Arv’s career they did some things for a label called Metro, which have never been available on CD. So the set includes a lot of music that, up to this point, has just been available on 78s, or not at all."

Jeff McGinnis (June 1, 2021)
https://toledocitypaper.com

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