One of the most important movements in the late 40s and early 50s jazz, was the conscious effort of well-schooled, classically informed, creative jazz musicians to reflect not only their training but also a greater sense of structure and order in the jazz music they played and improvised on. It was a movement led by writers like Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Ralph Burns, Tiny Kahn and Johnny Carisi, among others. Some, like Mulligan and Kahn, were also celebrated instrumentalists, but they all embraced both large and small group music.
Trumpeter Johnny Carisi (1922-1992), whose name endures as a notable one in this groundbreaking general movement, worked originally for bands such as Ray McKinleys and, more significantly, Claude Thornhills, in which he also played at a period when the band was famed for its contemporary, boppish book written by Evans and Mulligan.
Appropriately, this compilation contains Carisis own 1956 recordings as a leader, as well some of his most celebrated compositions and arrangements played by other great groups, all fine examples of his contribution to this development in jazz. But, apart from his extensive and varied background as both player and writer, the one composition that made him a jazz legend is Israel, one of Miles Daviss loveliest record arrangements, and for which Johnny Carisi will always be remembered.
01. Israel (Johnny Carisi) 2:11
02. Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf-Waller) 3:10
03. Lestorian Mode (Johnny Carisi) 3:43
04. Barrys Tune (Johnny Carisi) 2:39
05. How About You? (Freed-Lane) 3:59
06. Hips (Johnny Carisi) 3:58
07. Springville (Johnny Carisi) 3:08
08. Breakfast with Joe (Johnny Carisi) 4:05
09. Walkin on Air (Johnny Carisi) 2:56
10. Little John (Johnny Carisi) 3:05
11. Springville (Johnny Carisi) 3:15
12. Plain Bill from Bluesville (Johnny Carisi) 4:11
13. Israel (Johnny Carisi) 3:09
14. Angkor Wat (Johnny Carisi) 6:21
15. Barrys Tune (Johnny Carisi) 3:39
16. Moon Taj (Johnny Carisi) 8:20
17. Israel (Johnny Carisi) 2:15
Tracks #1-7 were recorded for the album RCA Victor Jazz Workshop Johnny Carisi that was scheduled as LPM 1371 but never released.
Track #8 from the album "Al Cohn -Mr. Music" RCA Victor LJM1024
Track #9 from the album "The Touch of Tony Scott" RCA Victor LPM 1353
Tracks #10-12 from the album "All About Urbie Green and His Big Band" ABC-Paramount ABC137
Track #13 from Gerry Mulligan's album "A Concert in Jazz" Verve V6-8415
Tracks #14-16 from the Gil Evans' album "Into the Hot" Impulse AS-9
Track #17 from the 78rpm disc Miles Davis and His Orchestra Capitol 57-60011
Track #1: JOHNNY CARISIS JAZZ WORKSHOP
Johnny Carisi, leader & trumpet; Urbie Green, trombone; Ray Beckenstein, clarinet & alto sax Eddie Wasserman, tenor sax; Danny Bank, baritone sax; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Russ Saunders, bass Herb Wasserman, drums.
Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, April 21, 1956
Tracks #2-7: JOHNNY CARISIS JAZZ WORKSHOP
Sol Schlinger, baritone sax; Milt Hinton, bass, and Osie Johnson, drums, replace Bank, Saunders and Wasserman.
Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, May 5 (#2-4), & May 11 (#5-7), 1956
Track #8: AL COHN OCTET
Joe Newman, trumpet; Billy Byers, trombone; Gene Quill, alto sax; Al Cohn, leader & tenor sax; Sol Schlinger, tenor sax; Sanford Gold, piano; Buddy Jones, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, December 23, 1954
Track #9: TONY SCOTT TENTET
Johnny Carisi, Joe Wilder, trumpets; Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green, trombones; Tony Scott, leader & clarinet; Danny Bank, baritone sax; Bill Evans, piano; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, July 5, 1956
Track #10: URBIE GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Johnny Carisi, trumpet; Nick Travis, Joe Wilder, trumpets; Urbie Green, leader & trombone; Jack Green, Chauncey Welsch, trombones; Bill Barber, tuba; Ray Beckenstein, Hal McKusick, alto saxes; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Sol Schlinger, baritone sax; Dave McKenna, piano; Jack Lesberg, bass Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, August 5, 1956
Tracks #11-12: Doc Severinsen, Phil Sunkel, Johnny Carisi, trumpets; Urbie Green, leader & trombone; Lou McGarity, Rex Peer, trombones; Bill Barber, tuba; Ray Beckenstein, Hal McKusick, alto saxes; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Danny Bank, baritone sax; Dave McKenna, piano; Vinnie Burke, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, August 23, 1956
Track #13: GERRY MULLIGAN & THE CONCERT JAZZ BAND
Don Ferrara, Nick Travis, Doc Severinsen, trumpets; Bob Brookmeyer, valve trombone
Willie Dennis, trombone; Alan Raph, bass trombone; Gene Quill, Bob Donovan, alto saxes; Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax & leader; Gene Allen, baritone sax; Bill Crow, bass; Mel Lewis, drums; John Carisi, arranger.
Recorded at Webster Hall Studio, New York City, July 10, 1961
Track #14: JOHNNY CARISI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Johnny Carisi, leader & trumpet; Johnny Glasel, Doc Severinsen, trumpets; Urbie Green, trombone; Jimmy Buffington, French horn; Harvey Phillips, tuba; Phil Woods, Gene Quill, alto saxes; Eddie Costa, piano, vibes; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, September 14, 1961
Track #15: Johnny Carisi, leader & trumpet; Johnny Glasel, Clark Terry, trumpets; Urbie Green, trombone; Bob Brookmeyer, valve trombone; Harvey Phillips, tuba; Phil Woods, Gene Quill, alto saxes; Eddie Costa, piano, vibes; Barry Galbraith, guitar; Art Davis, bass; Osie Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, October 1, 1961
Track #16: Same personnel, but Joe Wilder, trumpet, replaces Clark Terry.
Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York City, October 31, 1961
Track #17: MILES DAVIS NONET (Bonus track)
Miles Davis, trumpet & leader; J.J. Johnson, trombone; Sandford Siegelstein, French horn; Bill Barber, tuba; Lee Konitz, alto sax; Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax; John Lewis, piano; Nelson Boyd, bass; Kenny Clarke (aka L.A. Salaam), drums.
Recorded at WOR Studios, NYC, April 22, 1949
Original recordings produced by Jack Lewis (#1-9), Jim Davis (#13), and Creed Taylor (#10-12 & 14-16)
Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Hi Fi / Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"Johnny Carisis name will always be associated with Israel - his highly original take on the 12-bar form premiered by the ground-breaking Miles Davis nonet in 1949. He revisits it here with his own Jazz Workshop as well as on a chart for Gerry Mulligans CJB. Miles original solo has been transcribed for both ensembles. A few years ago Ray Passman added a lyric which has been recorded by the delightful Meredith dAmbrosio among others under the title Its Your Dance.
The opening tracks have plenty of Eddie Wassermans fine Prez-inspired tenor especially on Honeysuckle Rose and Lestorian Mode. The latter was also recorded by Brew Moore, Mulligan and Kai Winding in 1949 but it has yet to be reissued on CD. That doyen of the New York recording scene Barry Galbraith shows on Barrys Tune just why Mulligan once described him as an altogether beautiful musician. Springsville (misspelt on the sleeve) was recorded by the composer a year before Miles Davis and Gil Evans gave it their seal of approval on Miles Ahead. There are also two of Carisis dramatic excursions into 12-tone territory - Moon Taj and Angkor Wat. As a trumpet soloist he has some notable Phil Sunkel-like statements especially on How About You? and Hips.
This comprehensive retrospective of Johnny Carisi One of the most unsung people in the history of music according to Bob Brookmeyer - is most welcome. It should help focus attention on a vital but sometimes overlooked contributor to the celebrated Birth Of The Cool project."
Gordon Jack -April, 2014