The Jazz Message of John La Porta
  • Savoy MG 12064
    Savoy MG 12064
  • Savoy MG 12065
    Savoy MG 12065

John La Porta

The Jazz Message of John La Porta

Fresh Sound Records

John La Porta (as), Donald Byrd (tp), Horace Silver, Ronnie Ball (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Kenny Clarke (d)

Reference: FSRCD1111

Bar code: 8427328611114

Back in the 50’s, John La Porta was the rare bird among the alto saxophonists. He played like no one else, and these 1956 recordings are a poignant signature of his stimulating profile. La Porta’s sound and phrasing were extremely distinct. His playing was emotionally striking, with a hard, plunging attack that underlines the solidity of his style, spiced with an occasional nod to Charlie Parker but without being overwhelmingly influenced by Bird.

La Porta builds up intriguing solos, cohesive and well-shaped from individual ideas, as is evidenced in charging, up-tempo performances like Budo and Volcano. He also stands out in the introspectively impressive Yesterdays, which is almost entirely his showcase. The other horn on Jazz Message is trumpeter Donald Byrd. He is in flowing form, playing with a feeling for wholeness in his choruses, as he demonstrates in Volcano and La Porta—Thority.

In the rhythm section, Kenny Clarke’s vital presence is constantly felt. His ever swinging drumming, together with the dependable and melodic voice of Wendell Marshall on bass, goes along effortlessly and effectively, pursuing the feeling and the changes of the tunes. They both take creative advantage of their solo space on Message and Volcano. Pianists Horace Silver and Ronnie Ball, either merging with the rhythm section or in their solos, contribute greatly to the success of these performances. In Budo and Message, Horace swings with his roaring depth of pulsation, and in I Married an Angel, he also shows how smooth and deep he can be when playing a ballad.

Throughout the second date, Ronnie is shown as a subtle and imaginative pianist, with a constant and throbbing interest in ideas —I Hear a Rhapsody and Play, Fiddle, Play are both good examples. The entire album is an excellent endeavor thanks to the cohesive work of the musicians involved in the collective quintet.

—Jordi Pujol

01. Budo (Powell-Davis) 7:28
02. I Married An Angel (Rodgers-Hart) 6:55
03. The Jazz Message (Freedom for All) (P.D.) 7:59
04. Volcano (Kenny Clarke) 5:59
05. La Porta—Thority (John La Porta) 5:54
06. I Hear A Rhapsody (Fragos-Backer-Gasparre) 4:47
07. Will Wail (John La Porta) 7:04
08. Yesterdays (Jerome Kern) 5:57
09. Play, Fiddle, Play (Altman-Deutsch) 4:32

Album details

Tracks #1-3, from the LP “The Jazz Message” (Savoy MG 12064)
Tracks #4-9, from the LP “Klook’s Clique” by Kenny Clarke featuring John La Porta (Savoy MG 12065)

Donald Byrd, trumpet; John La Porta, alto sax; Horace Silver (#1-3) or Ronnie Ball (#4-9) piano; Wendell Marshall, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.
Recorded in Hackensack, NJ, January 30 (#1-3) and February 6 (#4-9), 1956

Sound engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Original liner notes by H. Alan Stein
New liner notes: Jordi Pujol
Original recordings supervised by Ozzie Cadena
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol

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

Press reviews

"One of the more unique sounding musicians in jazz was John La Porta (1920-2004). Originally a clarinetist (and friend of Buddy DeFranco), he studied with Lennie Tristano and created a signature sound on the alto sax, a foundation of Charlie Parker, but with a strong mix of classical-cum Jackie McLean. This album spotlight the fingerprint signature of a jazz artist in a rich and creative setting.

This 1956 Message session has him in the hard bopping company of Horace Silver-Ronnie Ball/p, Wendell Marshall/b Kenny Clarke/dr and Donald Byrd/tp for a snapping take of the bop classic “Budo” as well as the lyrical and bel canto “I Married An Angel” and “I Hear A Rhapsody”. His tone gets dark and long shadowed on a foreboding read of “Yesterdays” while the whole team stretches out for “The Jazz Message”. This is a keeper!

The liner notes give some light to La Porta’s brief modern jazz career, making this a great “what if”. Had he kept on this path, where would he, and jazz, have gone? Fascinating rhythms."

—George W. Harris (January 24, 2022)


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

Add to wishlist

Added to your wishlist.

You can manage your wishlist here.

You're not signed in

You must sign in to manage your wishlist.
Sign in
Delivery information:
Delivery in 5-7 days
Shipping rates Terms and conditions
Payment methods:



Customer reviews

No customer reviews yet. Login to leave your impressions!

Write a review

The Jazz Message of John La Porta
Rate this product:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Your review has been added and will be available once approved by a moderator.