Jon Eardley Quartet, Quintet & Septet – In Hollywood / Hey There, Jon Eardley / The Jon Eardley SevenN
Trumpeter Jon Eardley (1928-1991) made his recording debut with Phil Woods in 1954, when he also hit the jazz big time by replacing Chet Baker in Gerry Mulligan’s celebrated quartet. For the next few years he played and recorded with Mulligan, including Mulligan’s outstanding sextet, but also led three excellent record dates for Prestige.
His debut quartet album “J.E. in Holllywood,” (originally called “First Sessions”) featured a fine Pete Jolly-Red Mitchell-Larry Bunker rhythm section, and is notable for pianist Jolly’s inventive contributions and the fire, joyful exuberance, taste and imagination of the leader on a thoroughly swinging session. The second album, “Hey There, Jon Eardley!”, was a NYC quintet date featuring J.R. Monterose—one of the heartening tenors of his generation—and another quality rhythm section in which pianist George Syran is a considerable asset. Eardley’s work here is singularly powerful. The third LP, “The J.E. Seven,” with the same rhythm section, was a particularly worthwhile blowing date with four horns, further enhanced by the work of the great Zoot Sims and Phil Woods, along with the leader.
Eardley, who moved to Europe in 1969, deserved to be better known in his homeland. His tone was rich and vigorous, his conception always personal and comfortably within his limits, with a compact, logical and swinging style, a melodic approach and an acute ear.
1. Late Leader (Eardley) - 4:58 2. Indian Spring (Eardley) - 5:27 3. Black (Eardley) - 4:07 4. Gloss (Eardley) - 4:36 5 Sid’s Delight (Dameron) - 4:17 6. Demanton (Eardley) - 4:36 7. If You Could See Me Now (Dameron-Sigman) - 6:23 8. Hey There (Adler-Ross) - 5:51 9. Leap Year (Syran) - 4:55 10. There’s No You (Hopper-Adair) - 5:45 11. On the Minute (Eardley) - 8:00 12. Ladders (Eardley) - 5:13 13. Koo Koo (Eardley) - 5:46 14. Eard’s Word (Woods) - 5:11
Tracks #1-4, from the 10-inch album "Jon Eardley in Hollywood" (New Jazz 1105)
Tracks #5-8, from the 10-inch album "Hey There, Jon Eardley!" (Prestige 207)
Tracks #9-14, from the album "The Jon Eardley Seven" (Prestige 7033
Personnel on "Jon Eardley in Hollywood" - Jon Eardley Quartet
Jon Eardley, trumpet; Pete Jolly [as Pete Cera], piano; Red Mitchell, bass; and Larry Bunker, drums.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, on December 15, 1954
Personnel on "Hey There, Jon Eardley!" - Jon Eardley Quintet
Jon Eardley, trumpet; J.R. Monterose, tenor sax; George Syran, piano; Teddy Kotick, bass; and Nick Stabulas, drums.
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s Studio, Hackensack, N.J., on March 14, 1955
Personnel on "The Jon Eardley Seven" - Jon Eardley Septet
Jon Eardley, trumpet; Milt Gold, trombone; Phil Woods, alto sax; Zoot Sims, tenor sax; George Syran, piano; Teddy Kotick, bass; and Nick Stabulas, drums.
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s Studio, Hackensack, N.J., on January 13, 1956
Original recordings produced by Bob Weinstock
Original cover art & photography: Ray Avery, Don Schlitten & Gil Melle
Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol
"So much great music came out of the mid 50s that it’s forgivable to overlook various artists. Fresh Sound Records brings back into sharp focus two trumpet players that will make you wonder where they’ve been your whole life.
Jon Eardley is best known as the guy who replaced Chet Baker on the famed Gerry Mulligan pianoless quartet. This collection of 3 albums from 1954-56 show that he’s much more than the answer to a trivia question. He’s got fire in his bones In a quartet format with Angelenos Pete Jolly/p, Red Mitchell/b and Larry Bunker/dr as he blows fire on the sizzling “Late Leader.” Next year in New Jersey, he’s with JR Montrose/ts, Geroge Syran/p, Teddy Kotick/b and Nick Stabulas/dr and they bop like there’s no tomorrow on “Sid’s Delight” and “Demanton” while Eardley is pristine and clean on “If You Could See Me Now.” In 1956 he brings together allstars Phil Woods/as, Zoot Sims/ts and Milt Gold/ts with the same rhythm team and sizzles on “Leap Year,” while Sims and Woods are as hip as Bass Weejuns on ‘On the Minute” and “Eard’s Word.” You’re gonna love this one!"
-George W. Harris (June 8, 2015)