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Gimme some Israel Crosby!

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by bassbuddy, May 26, 2005.

  1. I've got Ahmad's Blues, but am having a hard time finding other albums of his playing. Any suggestions?
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Live at the Pershing

    There's at least one with the George Shearing group...
  3. The Pershing side that Ed mentions is sometimes listed as 'But Not For Me'.
    Definitive IC!
    You also might do a TB search on Israel's name...we had a thread, not long ago, that might yield some more stuff. There's gotta be more than this. My brain ain't workin'.
  4. D.W.

    D.W. Guest

    There is a great Ahmad Jamal album called cross country tour 1958-61 and it includes abought four Ahmad albums (live at the pershing, ahmad's blues, happy people.....etc). I think amazon still carries it.

  5. scott reed

    scott reed Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    The Shearing album with Israel Crosby (and drummer Vernel
    Fournier) is called "Jazz Moments" - recorded June 1962 at
    Basin Street East (NYC) on the Capitol label. Shearing hired both musicians after Jamal disbanded his trio in the spring of 1962.
    Crosby fell ill that August and died on 8/11/62 from a blood clot
    that went to his heart in a Chicago hospital (liner notes).
    If you want to hear Crosby without drums, try "Chamber
    Music of the New Jazz" with Jamal and Ray Crawford on guitar.
    GRP Records for the cd or Columbia for the original vinyl.
    Some other favorites are "Live At The Pershing Vol. 2", "Ahmad
    Jamal's Alhambra" and "Live At The Blackhawk". Vinyl on the
    Argo label worth hunting.
  6. Pcocobass


    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    Just picked up Cross Country Tour from half.com. Wow. Israel's bass line on "But Not For Me" is incredible. So much form and structure!

    Definately one of the greats....
  7. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm a big fan - a while back I started a thread about him here - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=157430 .

    I've collected quite a lot of his recordings since that thread, and all of them are quite remarkable and worth owning. He really was much more of a bass originator than he is given credit for.
  8. Ahmads and Israels "questions and answers" exchanges on 'But Not For Me' are built off of Israels quotes of John Lewis' "The Golden Striker" from the album and sound track of the movie 'No Sun in Venice'
  9. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Ahmad Jamal: I was blown away by his rendition of Stolen Moments on the album The Awakening. Definitevely something to checkout if you're interested in that tune and ideas to make it less conventional.
  10. debasser!


    Sep 21, 2008

    Hey Andy,

    I'm a big fan of Israels too. As part of a masters course I'm doing, I'm giving a lecture on his contribution to the Ahmad Jamal groups, and also want to include some of his previous work of course. Sounds like you've done a lot of the research, I have a few things, of course the Shearing, but the older stuff is hard to find, especially since a lot of those old CD's would have different players on different tracks if they've been rereleased. Would you have a list of tracks that he's definately on, then I could buy them from itunes, track by track?

    It's only on bass player forums that people talk about Israel much! People sometimes are of the opinion that the only person that mattered in that trio was Ahmad! He mattered alright but so did Israel and Vernel.

    Anyways... any info you've got would be fantastic.

  11. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I get all my information from All Music Guide.

    Here's the link to Israel's credit list.

    AMG is not fully comprehensive, but usually has the main stuff. If anyone knows of a better Jazz database I'd love to hear of it.

  12. debasser!


    Sep 21, 2008
    thanks for those links Andy. Interesting stuff. Unfortunately lots of the credits are for compilation albums, and of course, all the early stuff would have been singles etc... so the CD's would have to have good liner notes to be sure you were transcribing Israel. Not having checked his early work much I wouldn't be sure if it was him.

    What I'm hoping to find though is the seeds of his beautiful playing with Ahmad, which I'm sure is where everyone knows him the most. Already from checking out what other people have to say, it seems he developed a strong sense of counter melody, and of course time and sound.

    I'll take a good look at those notes though and try to line up dates with artists and see what I can find.

    If you have any recommended tracks I'd be interested. Planning on transcribing quite a few. I've got to get a copy of John Lewis' 'Golden Striker' too!

  13. "Ahmad Jamal's Alhambra" (My favorite), "Live At the Blackhawk", and "All of You" has been reissued on a 2 cd set called The Ahmad Jamal Trio--The Complete Alhambra and Blackhawk Sessions." Ditto the Wahington DC Spotlite club and the Pershing sessions, too. Not to mention all of the Okeh and Columbia tracks with Ray Crawford on guitar, or Walter Perkins on drums, instead of Vernell Fournier on drums--that's another 2 cd set that recently came out. A lot of this hasn't been available since the days of vinyl. The Alhambra sessions are on Gambit Records--probably the others, too, but I've lent those out and don't know for sure.
  14. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    You've got to use 'But Not For Me' - it has Israel's famous bass line in the head.

    I have it on the 'Live At The Pershing & The Spotlight Club' CD.

  15. debasser!


    Sep 21, 2008
    ok, so I've got a lot of Ahmad's recording by this stage and have listened to all livestuff from 56-to 59 a lot. The point that I'm trying to make with this lecture, is that Israel contributed individually to the trio, in a way that was unique to him. This is kinda obvious, but that's what academia is about.

    The point put forward by a piano playing friend was that his contribution was mostly as a bass player, and therefore, any good bass player would really have done the job, it was so much down to Ahmad's arrangements.

    I scoff.

    I feel that Israels time, tone, and his lines make him unique, (again obvious, but stay with me), and the albums (and group) would have been completely different without him. Of course, I must explain this too a board of people who may not have even heard of Israel and who also may be classical musicians.

    So obviously his lines are unique, he has a use of counterpoint in lines that was rare. He was also more experienced than everyone else in the group (ten years older than Vernel, 13 than Ahmad) but his experience was mostly in the swing era. That he sounded so modern and hip is even more admirable.

    I'll also speak about when Ahmad drops out and leaves Israel and Vernel playing time, the presence of his lines is amazing (Cherokee for example), and the melody in his lines, and use of motifs and development.

    So I've got to stretch this out by comparing his early work, comparing Eddie Calhaun's work with him, and possibly later players. I noticed that after Israel left, first Ahmad recorded with a big band, and then the next recordings were much more McCoy Tyner influenced (or if not influenced, he was certainly heading in that freer, more heavy direction it seems to me).

    I've also heard (again from piano players) that Ahmad has claimed to have written a lot of the bass lines, (including But Not for Me) though Goldsby's book credits Israel and as Paul Warburton points out, it's got the same melodic line as John Lewis 'Golden Striker'.

    One last point is that Israel is often noted for his ostinato work on C sharp minor blues with Gene Krupa, so I'm hoping to find a lot more ostinato work in the time inbetween that, (that was 1936 I think) and his work with Ahmad, as that would imply he had an influence there.

    So, that's what I'll be talking about for 40 minutes, with recorded and played examples. If anybody feels they could add anything, offer more thoughts or sources, I'd be interested.

    Anything I say has to be backed up by primary sources ie: books, not what someone said on these forums (unfortunately!), so any help there would be great, I have a lot, when it's finished, I'll stick it all up in case anyone's interested.

    Choosing tunes won't be a problem, But not for me, cherokee, are musts, there is so much to choose from. I suppose Billy boy could be compared to the Red Garland/Paul Chambers version (have you ever checked that out? There seems to be heaps of discrepencies between the two of them in both harmony and hits, and yet it still sound fantastic! It's mad, I've got to study it some more.)

    So that's my story. If anyone's thought in depth about this or has specific lines they think are worth mentioning (bass lines or otherwise), also any transcriptions would save me time too, I've got hundreds to do before the end of the course, and it doesn't say anywhere I have to do them all myself, I just have to check them!

    Thanks for your input so far guys. I'm getting together a list of early Crosby recordings, so I'll try to get it up when it's more together.

  16. debasser!


    Sep 21, 2008
    Wow, that was rambling...
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I can't remember what the series was called, but there's some nice TV footage of the classic AJ trio along with Ben Webster's sextet available commercially, you might want to root around for that if you want some AV to go with the presentation.
  18. debasser!


    Sep 21, 2008
    Yep. know the one. darn that dream and another.. is it a blues? It's fantastic, they are all so incredibly relaxed. amazing footage... I will definately use some of that. I found some amusing anecdotes in a book I have too, apparently Israel liked a drink and there were a few stories to go with that... I'll post them when I find them again.

  19. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Here's some...

    Great trio, whatta groove!
  20. Yeah, Eric. I'm nuts about these guys.
    That look on Israel's face tells so much. Pure bliss........

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