Billy Ver Planck And His Orchestra 1957-1958 – 2CD
Trombonist Billy Ver Planck (1930-2009) wrote for all the big bands of his generation and was among the busiest studio arrangers/conductors on the New York scene. This CD set contains his only albums as leader, recorded in 1957-1958. His debut album Dancing Jazz, produced a scored jazz date for a nonet that combined the dancing sound and rhythm of the big band with the freedom of expression in solos available to the improvising combo, while Jazz for Play Girls took a modern-sounding group through an effective string of Basieinfluenced arrangements. On both albums the solos stand on their own merit; Wilder is tasteful throughout, Woods strong and assertive, and Harris, idiosyncratically imaginative, is best of all.
A mood album, The Spirit of Charlie Parker, slightly alters course, with three flutes (Wess, Jaspar and Powell), one trombone (Rehak), and a rhythm section with the dazzling Eddie Costa on piano and vibes to record four great Bird tunes. The Soul of Jazz, finds Ver Planck in a collection of songs old and new from the Gospel idiom—the final track excluded—delivered by a group of top-ranking jazzmen who “preach” their Jazz gospel. Pepper Adams is fierily effective throughout, and all involved cover the jazz spectrum from late swing to neo-modern period, depending on their stylistic allegiances.
1. Summer Evening - 5:58 2. On Top of Old Mountie - 4:19 3. I’ll Keep Loving You - 6:05 4. Day by Day - 3:32 5. Oh Gee, Oh Me, Oh My - 4:50 6. Embraceable You - 8:30 7. Jan-Cee Brown - 4:43 8. Walkin’ - 7:37 9. Play Girl Stroll - 3:30 10. Señor Blues - 6:25 11. Aw, C’Mon Sugah! - 7:18 12. Whoo-Ee! - 3:17 13. Miss Spring Blues - 5:54
1. Duh-Udah-Udah - 5:56 2. Winds - 4:20 3. Parker’s Mood - 5:57 4. Marmaduke - 9:37 5. Now’s the Time - 8:05 6. Ah Leu-Cha - 7:51 7. You Gotta Be A Good Man - 8:45 8. Each Side of the River - 4:49 9. Where You Gonna Run To? - 5:09 10. I Can’t Believe It - 6:34 11. What Could I Do - 3:57 12. Royal Garden Blues - 6:28
Sources CD 1:
Tracks #1-6, from the album “Dancing Jazz” (Savoy MG-12101)
Tracks #7 & 8, from the album “Jazz Is Busting Out All Over” (Savoy MG-12123)
Tracks #9-13, from the album “Jazz for Play Girls” (Savoy MG-12121)
Sources CD 2:
Tracks #1 & 2, from the album “Jazz for Play Girls” (Savoy MG-12121)
Tracks #3-6, from the album “The Spirit of Charlie Parker” (World Wide MGS-20003)
Tracks #7-12, from the album “The Soul of Jazz” (World Wide MGS-20002)
Personnel on "Dancing Jazz":
Bernie Glow, Joe Wilder, trumpets; Frank Rehak, trombone; Phil Woods, alto sax; Buzzy Brauner, tenor sax; Gene Allen, baritone sax; Eddie Costa, piano & vibes; Wendell Marshall, bass; Bobby Donaldson, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 26, 1957
Personnel on "Jazz Is Busting Out All Over":
Bernie Glow, Phil Sunkel, trumpets; Bill Harris, trombone; Phil Woods, alto sax; Seldon Powell, flute & tenor sax; Sol Schlinger, baritone sax; Eddie Costa, piano; Wendell Marshall, bass; Gus Johnson, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, July 30, 1957
Personnel on "Jazz For Play Girls":
Clyde Reasinger, Joe Wilder, trumpets; Bill Harris, trombone; Phil Woods, alto sax & clarinet; Seldon Powell, tenor sax; Gene Allen, baritone sax & clarinet; Eddie Costa, piano & vibes; George Duvivier, bass; Bobby Donaldson, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, November 17, 1957
Personnel on "The Spirit of Charlie Parker":
Frank Rehak, trombone; Frank Wess, flute; Bobby Jaspar, flute & clarinet; Seldon Powell, flute & tenor sax; Eddie Costa, piano & vibes; George Duvivier, bass; Bobby Donaldson, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 27, 1958
Personnel on "The Soul of Jazz":
Joe Wilder, trumpet; Bill Harris, trombone; Bobby Jaspar, tenor sax; Pepper Adams, baritone sax; Eddie Costa, piano; George Duvivier, bass; Art Taylor, drums.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 5, 1958
1. New Jersey Jazz Society - Joe Lang - November, 2017
"Most NJJS members are familiar with the name Billy Ver Planck as the husband of vocalist Marlene Ver Planck. In fact, he was a fabulous arranger who had started his career by playing trombone on the bands of Claude Thornhill, Tommy Dorsey and Charlie Spivak, among others. Ultimately he concentrated on the arranging side of his talent, and that also included his considerable talent for composing original melodies.
In the 1950s he had an association with Savoy Records. It was there that he made a series of four albums for the label, and they were the only ones that were ever released with his name as leader. These albums are compiled on Billy Ver Planck and His Orchestra 1957-1958 (FSRCD 934), and it contains a treasure trove of superb arrangements played by some of the top cats on the scene at the time like trumpeters Joe Wilder, Bernie Glow, Phil Sunkel and Clyde Reasinger; trombonists Bill Harris and Frank Rehak; reedmen Phil Woods, Seldon Powell, Gene Allen, Frank Wess, Bobby Jaspar and Pepper Adams; pianist/vibist Eddie Costa; bassists Wendell Marshall and George Duvivier; and drummers Bobby Donaldson, Gus Johnson and Art Taylor.
The albums were titled Dancing Jazz, Jazz for Play Girls, The Spirit of Charlie Parker andThe Soul of Jazz. The groups varied in size from a nonet on the first two to a septet on the latter two. Much of the music on all but The Spirit of Charlie Parker, which contained four compositions by Parker,was composed by VerPlanck. All of the arrangements are by Ver Planck, they are swinging and inventive, and made the groups sound like larger ensembles than they actually were. It is nice to have this material gathered onto a two-CD set that enables listeners to revisit these wonderful sounds, or more likely, to introduce some special sounds to a new audience."