Archive for the Jethro BURNS Category

Tiny MOORE & Jethro BURNS 1979

Posted in JAZZ, Jethro BURNS, Tiny MOORE on December 15, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Tiny MOORE & Jethro BURNS 1979
Kaleidoscope F-9


Tiny Moore, who died in 1987, performed as a regular with Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys doing Western swing in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He developed a unique single-string electric solid-body mandolin with an added fifth string. Jethro Burns was far better known to the public as half of the musical parody team of Homer & Jethro, who delighted country audiences for decades and had a nationwide Top 10 pop hit in 1959 with “The Battle of New Orleans.” Burns died in 1989.

For their 1979 meeting, Moore and Burns are joined by rhythm guitarist Eldon Shamblin plus the unlikely combination of legendary bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne. Grisman himself sits in on mandolin on three tracks. Although the two leaders were not widely known for their work as so-called jazz mandolinists, Moore had, in fact, spent his years with Bob Wills developing his skills, and on a 1960 recording, Playing It Straight, Homer & Jethro dazzled with their album of instrumental standards displaying previously unknown jazz chops.

The tunes are comprised of originals, standards, and songs from Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lester Young. The music itself is low-key, relaxed, and quite enjoyable. If you’ve sampled albums from Acoustic Disc Records, you’ll know that this is typical of the label’s output; the accomplished pickers have some fun with these compositions paired with premier bass and drums accompanyment. Jazz enthusiasts will be delighted to hear, on both the Ellington “In A Mellotone” and Lester Young’s “Tickle Toe,” the melody statement from one mandolin while the other performs the exact horn riffs from the Ellington/Basie arrangement of the late 1930s/early 1940s.

After hearing this album, one can put the work of Tiny Moore & Jethro Burns in better perspective with the history of jazz guitar from Eddie Lang to Wes Montgomery.
“Back To Back” presents music that resulted from an historic 1979 summit of two superb jazz mandolinists, Tiny Moore and Jethro Burns. Both were 59 years old at the time and full of maturity and vitality in their playing. This 2004 release includes a second disc of previously unreleased alternate takes and a bonus track (“Maiden’s Prayer”). At the session, Moore and Burns were accompanied by some stellar musicians — Eldon Shamblin (guitar), Ray Brown (bass) and Shelly Manne (drums). Producer David Grisman also plays on three tunes (Moonlight Waltz, Tiny’s Rag, Maiden’s Prayer), and the third mandolin imparts a powerful intensity particularly on the slower tunes.

During his fifty years in the business, Jethro Burns made a big name for himself as half of the comedy duo Homer & Jethro. His playing is distinctive and picturesque. Texan Tiny Moore began working with western swing legend Bob Wills in 1946 and created his own unique style on a 5-string, solid-body electric mandolin. The 1979 recording session marked the first meeting of these legendary mando-giants, and you can hear the excitement in their playing.

The title cut, “Back to Back,” comes from the repertoire of Wes Montgomery. Tiny’s electric flair blends nicely with Jethro’s unparalleled acoustic sense. The interpretive twists added along the way supplant some tunes with new life (like jazzy progressions Bill Monroe’s “Moonlight Waltz”). They push the envelope on a number of jazz standards. A dazzling display of gypsy jazz permeates a cover of the Reinhardt/Grappelli favorite “Swing ’39,” while the two masters take Duke Ellington’s “In a Mellotone” and Count Basie’s “Tickle Toe” to places these songs have never been before. Impressively virtuosic playing is the trademark of this recording. Perhaps the most illustrious offerings are their own originals. With their veteran sidemen, they romp through “Jethro’s Tune” and “Flickin’ My Pick,” both certainly jaw-dropping performances. Their improvisational skills are something everyone should appreciate and study closely. Moore’s poignant “Real Laid Back” and bouncy “Tiny’s Rag” are similarly breathtaking.
Tiny Moore- Electric 5-String Mandolin, Mandolin;
Jethro Burns- Mandolin;
Eldon Shamblin- Rhythm Guitar;
Ray Brown- Bass;
Shelly Manne- Drums;
David Grisman- Mandolin (on “Moonlight Waltz”, “Tiny’s Rag” & “Maiden’s Prayer”.
A1. Back to Back   4:19
A2. Diane   2:55
A3. In a Mellotone   3:29
A4. Real Laid Back   2:15
A5. Flickin’ My Pick   2:38
A6. Moonlight Waltz   3:34
B1. Jethro’s Tune   2:33
B2. Swing ’39   3:55
B3. Out of Nowhere   3:40
B4. Tickle Toe   2:41
B5. Tiny’s Rag   3:03
B6. Groovin’ High   2:45

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