Jazz Patterns + Soul (2 LP on 1 CD)
  • Strand SLS CD 1015
    Strand SLS CD 1015
  • Savoy MG12161
    Savoy MG12161

Pat Thomas & Barbara Long

Jazz Patterns + Soul (2 LP on 1 CD)

Best Voices Time Forgot

Pat Thomas, Barbara Long (vcl), Booker Little, Billy Howell (tp), Curtis Fuller (tb), Roland Alexander (ts, fl), Booker Ervin (ts), Tommy Flanagan, Nat Phipps (p), Teddy Charles (vib), Kenny Burrell (g), Reggie Workman, George Tucker (b), Charles Persip, Al Harewood (d)

Reference: FSR V114 CD

Bar code: 8427328641142


The Best Voices Time Forgot
Collectible Albums by Top Female Vocalists

· Collector's Edition
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art, Liner Notes
· Complete Personnel Details
· Stereo Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit

Jazz Patterns
Pat Thomas (1938-1992) was born and raised in Chicago, and even before she turned eighteen, she was already the most sought-after singer by local and visiting musicians, who all valued her way of handling lyrics. Her instrumental approach to singing, warm vocal sound, impeccable intonation, along with an unaffectedly sincere feel for the blues, earned her a chance to record her album Jazz Patterns in 1960, an excellent debut effort with a first-rate accompaniment. Backing her, we can hear, alternately, Kenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan, Curtis Fuller, and Booker Little, among other great jazz names, who not only supported the fresh, modern voice of Pat Thomas, but also contributed to keep the swing alive with their own exciting solos.

Also a native Chicagoan, Barbara Long’s career as a jazz singer began in 1953 —at twenty— when she joined tenorman Johnny Griffin’s trio at Chicago’s Cotton Club. She was essentially a small group singer in the tradition of Billie Holiday and the early Sarah Vaughan. She went to New York in 1959, and got a chance to record her first and only album, simply titled Soul. She had the backing of a quintet led by arranger and trumpeter Billy Howell, which included one of the brightest new tenor saxophone stars at the time, the fiercely rhythmic Booker Ervin. The rhythm section —Nat Phipps, piano; George Tucker, bass; and Al Harewood, drums— sounds tight, while Barbara Long’s pithy, faintly hoarse, intimately bluesy voice blends with the swing of the quintet like a sixth instrument.

01. It Could Happen to You (Van Heusen-Burke) 2:31
02. Mean to Me (Ahlert-Turk) 3:19
03. Almost Like Being In Love (Loewe-Lerner) 2:07
04. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (Rodgers-Hart) 4:02
05. There Will Never Be Another You (Warren-Gordon) 2:51
06. Blue Room (Rodgers-Hart) 2:44
07. Star Eyes (DePaul-Raye) 3:14
08. Sometimes I’m Happy (Youmans-Caesar) 3:41
09. My One and Only Love (Mellin-Wood) 2:59
10. Stella by Starlight (Young-Washington) 1:15
11. Strike Up the Band (G. & I. Gershwin) 1:53
12. The Trolley Song (Blane-Martin) 2:18
13. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You? (Redman-Razaf) 3:10
14. Largo to Oscar (Nat Phipps) 3:31
15. When You’re Smiling (Fisher-Goodwin-Shay) 3:06
16. Call Me Darling (Reisfeld-Fryberg-Marbee-Dick) 2:22
17. Where Is Lonesome (Nat Phipps) 3:17
18. On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper-Washington) 3:10
19. You Don’t Know What Love Is (DePaul-Raye) 4:00
20. Serenade (Long-Phipps) 1:45
21. Squeeze Me (Waller-Williams) 3:13
22. Theme from “Swan Lake” (Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky) 2:49
23. It’s Heaven (Nat Phipps) 4:16

Album details

Tracks #1-11, from the Pat Thomas album “Jazz Patterns” (Strand SLS 1015)
Tracks #12-23, from album “Soul - The Voice of Barbara Long” (Savoy MG12161)

Personnel on "Jazz Patterns":
Pat Thomas, vocals; Booker Little, trumpet; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Roland Alexander, tenor sax & flute; Teddy Charles, vibes; Kenny Burrell, guitar; Tommy Flanagan, piano; Reggie Workman, bass; Charles Persip, drums.
Recorded in New York City, sometime in the fall of 1960

Personnel on "Soul":
Barbara Long, vocals; Billy Howell, trumpet & arranger; Booker Ervin, tenor sax; Nat Phipps, piano; George Tucker, bass; Al Harewood, drums.
Recorded at Medallion Studio, Newark, New Jersey, January 5 & 10, 1961

Original recordings produced by Marvin Holtzman (Strand) and Herman Lubinsky (Savoy)
Liner notes by Jordi Pujol, Mort Goode & Tom Wilson
This compilation produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol

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

Press reviews

"This important series from Fresh Sound has brought back several very good although long-forgotten singers of classic pop. This particular example stands out for me because the two singers heard here are much more jazz-oriented.

Pat Thomas is very good indeed, ably demonstrating why she was very popular on the Chicago jazz scene of the late 1950s/early 1960s. Hearing the first of these resurrected albums, Jazz Patterns, it is hard to believe that Thomas was only 22 years old when this was recorded. Her vocal sound is full and rich, and she brings mature understanding to the lyrics of a nice selection of songs. Her accompanists are attuned to her vocal style, proving appropriate backing with occasional solos, mainly from Teddy Charles on vibraphone and Booker Little on trumpet.

A little older, Barbara Long was 29 years old when she made Soul. She, too, sang in Chicago’s jazz clubs, including a spell with a trio led by tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin at the city’s Cotton Club.

Her first recordings appear to have been some tracks on an album by alto saxophonist Herb Geller and this led to a session for Savoy Records, which resulted in her first and only album. On this she is accompanied by trumpeter Billy Howell’s quintet. Another Chicagoan, he also wrote the arrangements, which effectively highlight the vocalist. Also present is tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, who is given solo space on The Trolley Song and When You’re Smiling. As the album’s title suggests, there is in Long’s soulful singing a hint of the blues.

This release is a very interesting, enjoyable and valuable addition to Jordi Pujol’s treasure trove of singers from the past. After an Internet search, I see that Pat Thomas died in 1992, but there is scant information on what became of Barbara Long."

Bruce Crowther (October 6)


"It is very easy to call this the definitive Barbara Long album (or her best) because it is the only one she ever made. The obscure singer had a swinging style and a soft voice whose pitch sometimes wandered a little. She definitely had an adventurous spirit, starting the date with a very uptempo "Trolley Song" and stretching herself on some of the dozen songs. This Savoy reissue from the Japanese Denon label features Long with a fine backup group that includes trumpeter Billy Howell (who has an active role), pianist Nat Phipps, bassist George Tucker, drummer Al Harewood, and (on two songs) the great tenor Booker Ervin. This sincere effort is worth a few spins."

Scott Yanow -All Music Guide

"Fresh Sound a lancé une série, déjà riche, «The best voices time forgot» où l'on trouve quelques noms restés en mémoire (Mae Barnes, Barbara Long, Jane Harvey,...) et beaucoup d'oubliées. D'où vient ce cruel tri du temps? Chez les jazzfans du XXe siècle, le prénom suffisait à l'évocation: Bessie, Ella, Billie, Sarah, Dinah, Nina. Elles ont en commun une dimension expressive hors norme mais aussi une vraie personnalité qui les rendaient identifiables dès la première mesure. La règle vaut pour tous les genres: Edith Piaf est un exemple. Une œuvre pouvait même évoquer une interprète unique comme l'air «Casta Diva» de Norma (Bellini) qui impose le nom de Maria Callas... chez les gens ayant une culture musicale minimale. Bref, cette dimension, les chanteuses de ces rééditions ne l'ont pas. Ce qui ne veut pas dire que leurs disques ne valent rien.

Nous avons ici la réédition, y compris des textes de pochette, des albums Jazz Patterns de Pat Thomas (Strand SL 1015), Soul de Barbara Long (Savoy MG12161), Honi Gordon Sings (Prestige 7230) et Introducing Sue Childs (Studio 4 SS-200). Pat Thomas (1938-1992) a une sœur chanteuse, Mildred (pour Norman Simmons), et un frère, Earl Teddy, batteur (pour Dakota Staton et Carmen McRae). Si Ella Fitzgerald est la préférée de Pat, c'est l'influence de Sarah Vaughan que l'on entend ici («It Could Happen to You», «Star Eyes», «Sometimes I'm Happy»). Son album témoigne d'une certaine recherche en mettant en vedette un instrumentiste différent par titre: Roland Alexander au ténor («Mean to Me») et à la flûte («Blue Room»), Curtis Fuller («It Could Happen to You» et «Sometimes I'm Happy» pour le solo tandis que Booker Little, avec sourdine, y donne sa seule contribution pour l'énoncé du thème et un contrechant), Teddy Charles («Almost Like Being in Love», «Star Eyes», le court «Stella by Starlight»). Elle multiplie les formules comme «My One and Only Love» en duo avec Kenny Burrell, ou au sein d'un titre tel «I Didn't Know What Time It Was» des passages en duo (avec Reggie Workman, puis avec Tommy Flanagan) et en trio (avec Flanagan et Burrell). Ce qui rend cette lecture des standards très agréable. Il n'y a que dans «Strike Up the Band» où est mis en valeur Charli Persip, un grand batteur que révéla le big band de Dizzy Gillespie.

Barbara Long (1932) débute son album en up tempo sur «The Trolley Song» qui révèle le plus oublié encore Billy Howell et confirme le solide Booker Ervin resté un nom familier. Elle se calme avec «Gee Baby» où elle fait preuve d'expressivité qui, de plus, ne doit rien à Billie ou Sarah (la partie de basse de George Tucker et les balais d'Al Harewood, qui nous sont familiers, sont parfaits). Au plus, une vague influence de Sarah Vaughan se remarque à la tournure d'une phrase dans «Serenade». Outre une personnalité de style, Barbara Long sait swinguer comme dans «When You're Smiling» (solos de Billy Howell qui fait le complexe Clifford Brown et d'un Booker Ervin digne de sa collaboration avec Charlie Mingus). Les arrangements de Billy Howell sont convenus mais bons («Call Me Darling»). Le toucher de Nat Phipps (1931) fait merveille notamment dans «Where Is Lonesome» (contrechants d'Howell avec sourdine dignes de Brownie). Au total un album très plaisant qui fait aussi découvrir un disciple de Clifford Brown, Billy Howell qui est ici plus en vedette que Booker Ervin («Green Dolphin' Street», «You Don't Know What Love Is»).

—Michel Laplacee © Jazz Hot 2019


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

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