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Gimme some Israel Crosby!

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

  1. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Paul, did you ever play with Vernel? My buddy, pianist Larry Novak (friend of Bill Evans) had him in his trio for a couple of years, he always talks about him. Kevin O'Connell, a Chicago piano player these days, worked in Vernel's trio in NY in the late 80's.
  2. No, Eric. Never had the pleasure. To me, he was the definitive jazz trio drummer. I used to drive drummers nuts around here in the old days, trying to make little Vernel's out of them.
    In those days, as you know, we didn't have amps and drummers were more considerate of dynamics and such...but Vernel was on a whole other level.
  3. 98mtd


    May 24, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Israel Crosby is the epitome of style and taste.
  4. +1. From some stories I've heard from some VERY reliable sources, his "person" matched his playing.
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Here's a pic of Vernel's trio with Victor Sproles and Kevin O'Connell.
  6. Cool....whatever happened to Victor?
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That looks like Fat Tuesday's (now defunct), I spent some time there when I first got to NYC.

    Vernel could throw down, too. There's a nice recording (at Fat Tuesday's) of the Clifford Jordan Big Band with him on drums...
  8. debasser!


    Sep 21, 2008
    Nice clip!

    I can't seem to find many recordings of Israel from the mid to late 40's... any ideas? I know he was working with the CBS studio band at this time, I've seen a few Victory records with Israel listed, but not managed to get my hands on them, but I think they were mostly early 40's. When was the union ban on recording?

    I love this clip too... he's got pretty large fingers hey?

    Another interesting thing I came across somewhere on the net, was that apparently there is a recording out there between Israels' stints in the band, with Richard Davis playing bass, I knew he was in the band but not that he recorded with Ahmad. Has anyone heard this recording?

    The quote is below:
    "But Not for Me," "Seleritus" (an original ballad), "Excerpts from the Blues" and "It Could Happen to You" were done with a trio that included Ray Crawford on electric guitar and the celebrated Chicago-born bassist Richard Davis. Jamal's style is already recognizable on these numbers--so Sun Ra's later charge that Jamal ripped off his rendition of "But Not for Me" lacks credibility. A fifth item from this session, "Joon's Tune," was never released and is known to us only from the Chess tape list.

    from http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~campber/parrot.html

    Another thing I found interesting,

    Jones arrived in Chicago in 1950; as they would do later to Paul Bascomb, the leadership of Musicians Union Local 208 put him through the wringer before allowing him to contract for gigs locally. Even after he finally obtained clearance from the local, some time went by before he was able to find gigs as a leader. On December 16, 1950, the Defender ran an ad and a photo with caption for bassist Israel Crosby's band appearing at Jack's Back Door (5859 South State). The photo named Fritz Jones on piano and Johnny Thompson on tenor sax. Crosby had filed an indefinite contract for the gig on October 19, 1950. While looking for jobs for his trio, Jones also spent some time playing piano in the Freeman brothers band.

    (Jones is Ahmad Jamal by the way, he would have been about 22 at the time!)

  9. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    From Kevin O'Connell:

    "That was in Paris at a hotel/jazz club called Hotel Villa, around 1991 or so. Yeah, I worked with Vernel in Cliff’s big band, but am not on the album. They played a lot at Condon’s in the late 80s/early 90s, and Vernel and I were in the band to start with, but Vernel wanted us to get more bread, so Cliff ended up getting Ronnie Mathews and Tommy Campbell."
  10. klyph

    klyph Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Mr. Debasser,

    Mosaic Records (I'll assume you've heard of them) has a current issue 7 CD box set of Chu Berry's recordings. One of the great things about their website is that they have web pages of the full credits of all their currently offered box sets. If you look at the page concerning the Chu Berry set, you'll see it contains many sides with Crosby playing bass, with Gene Krupa and others. Two of the sessions are from '33 and '36 (maybe you already have these), but one is from '39. Even if you have the other sets already (alternate takes and all?), you will find that the superior mastering practices of our friends in Stamford make these sets well worth the $$$(about $125 delivered). I have done back-to-back listening with identical material and always found Mosaic releases to be superior, especially if you're trying to hear the bass.:hyper:

    I don't own this particular set, and no, I don't work for Mosaic. I'm just a huge fan. I actually wrote this post because I love Israel Crosby's playing myself and am considering buying this set because of his presence (oh yeah, it also features Milt Hinton, Artie Bernstein, John Kirby, and other great bassists).So when you outlined your search I just had to respond, my brain actually functioning the way it's 'sposed! Otherwise, I had nothing to really add about the enduring coolness of I.C. Of course Chu Berry's playing is tremendous, and for me, it's not just about Israel; I just can't make up my mind about my next Mosaic, and I can't afford to buy all ten that I want at once! Apologies for rambling, especially if you already own the set. If you don't, go to mosaicrecords.com, and hold on to your wallet!

    One thing I can say is that discovering Mosaic has pretty much cured me of G.A.S.- these sets are way more inspiring and educational than any new piece of gear could be! I just have to remember to change strings once in a while!

    One last thing; I noticed in another thread that you were puzzling over the identity of a bassist referred to as "Chief". Pseudonyms were common to avoid contractual disputes way back when, as I'm sure you know. I know of two bassists with this nickname: John Kirby and Oscar Pettiford (there could, of course, be others). I don't know if either fits into the context of the recording you refer to, but both were bandleaders who had exclusive contracts at various times.

    By the way, when and where is your talk? I'd love to check it out! While I'm there you could point out your I.C.-dissing pianist friend-and I'll cap his ignorant ass!;)
  11. I know you dint invite me......I prolly couldn't make it anyway, but lemme know of your plans and I'll send out my Boyz :ninja: to do it for you.

    debasser....your link to the so-called jazz historian.....in my many years in the biz, I've run into many of these strange folks. (not saying your guy is one of them) They can tell you how many times Pops took a piss during a session, but when it comes to the music? Hello? Nobody's home. The deer-in-headlights look.....I could name at least three (but I won't) who couldn't even follow tune structure.......:scowl:
  12. debasser!


    Sep 21, 2008
    Mr Klyph,

    Thanks for that. I appreciate it. I won't have $110 spare for a few weeks, but it looks like good listening, and I'm sure I might have some of those tracks on other compilations, now I know the linear notes, I'll have a look.

    What I'm kinda stuck on, though it's not really important, is what Israel was doing from 1942 - 1949. I've got a few recording dates, but really not that many, I figure he was just hanging in Chicago making ends meet. If any one knows of any recording dates from that period, I'd love to know them, as there is a marked change in his playing (and everyone else of course) from 42 to his recordings with Ahmad. I don't think I have anything in between 42 and 52.


    Yes you're right, so called jazz historians often can't even follow form. ;)

    All the best!

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