Sunday, 19 July 2009

Donald Byrd & Booker Little - The Third World

The Third World

256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from TCB 1004

Inspired by its omission from Blaxploitation Jive's recent Donald Byrd discography post, I thought I'd thank SelfScience, Simon and the crew for all the effort they put into the Jive by posting this gem especially for them. All told, it's not a bad collection of latin-tinged hard-bop and soul-jazz from some of the giants in the genre and it contains the popular upbeat track Wee Tina which has been sampled by the likes of Beatnuts and Pete Rock.

Wee Tina

vs. Beatnuts Props over Here & Pete Rock w/ Deda Originate

This is a dodgy early 70s re-issue of The Soul Of Jazz Percussion, originally recorded & released in 1960 by the long-defunct Warwick records and usually credited to The All Stars or Earl Zinder/Armando Peraza in record guides. I say dodgy because this release drops a song ("Witch Fire") and, although I haven't heard the original, according to anecdotal evidence TCB messed up the stereo mix and poorly edited the tracks, apparently even truncated a song or two in the process. It also has inconsistent labeling; "Ping Bong Beer" is called "Ping Pong," "All Alone (Quite Temple)" is simply called "Quiet Temple" and the label title is "Music of the Third World" while the front cover uses "The Third World."

Worst of all, there are no liner notes whatsoever and personnel info is sorely lacking with no compositional credits given at all.
Outside of each song's publisher, no copyright notices are included, contributing to the mystery of the year of its issue. Early 70s seems as definitive as it gets, although for years I was under the impression it was '74 but can't find anything concrete to support that. In other words, it sure smells like a bootleg. Perhaps copyright oversight is the reason a version of his album with the same title was released twice on CD in 2000 and 2005 by bargain-basement brand Collectables.

The original release, which by all accounts is a superlative listening experience, was put out on CD-only in 1996 and 2004 by Spanish jazz re-issue label Fresh Sounds under its original Warwick title. Being listed as "temporarily out of stock" on the label's website would seem to indicate it's OOP now. From what I can suss, the 1996 reissue was distributed by EMI since it also has an EMI catalogue number (#351496) but it appears as FS are taking care of their own distribution these days.
Good luck finding an original vinyl copy of the Warwick that's both affordable and listenable.

Back to the "dodgy" statement... Although there are a good half-dozen jazz labels named TCB (most from Europe), there is practically no info on this particular company
and with only six releases (as far as I could find) it seems a shady operation at best. The entirety of their releases were culled from the defunct Warwick catalogue, as if someone got their hands on a few masters or acetates for a handful of sessions and decided to make hay while the sun shone. In fact, for all intents and purposes, every album in the series is practically a repackaging of a Warwick album released over a decade earlier.

All except for the Billie Holiday album, The One and Only Lady Sings The Blues, that is. She never recorded for Warwick and that one's a compilation of
live recordings made over the years for TV and film. The Billie Holiday Discography, which lists it as released by Musidisc and displays an ever-so-slightly altered cover but identical track sequence, gives its year of release as 1975 and provides session dates and info for each song. One cool feature of the BHD site is its assignment of a percentile score for similar albums, for this one a compilation by another quasi-bootleg label from Europe, Festival, is almost exactly the same, right down to the title: Lady Sings The Blues. There's that smell again...

The Complete (?) TCB Discography
TCB 1001 / TCB 1002

TCB 1003 / TCB 1004

TCB 1005 / TCB 1006

TCB 1007

Gettin' It Together is available at My Jazz World and you can grab Jammin' With Herbie Hancock from the Hancock discography at Blaxploitation Jive.

Especially interesting to SI, the label seems awfully Shad-y too. For those of you who check out the shad shack or are fans of the Mainstream label, the distinctive artistic style of Jack Lonshein's covers should be instantly recognizable. Lonshein was featured in Wax Poetics a while back and the linked article, although brief, goes into a bit of the history behind his relationship with Bob Shad and the TIME and Mainstream labels. The parallels go much deeper than the surface, though.

Some of the TCB records (I can only find reference to the six above) say "editing & remixing" were done at Mercury Sound Studios, a studio where Shad was very at home and the one it's thought most of the NYC MRL sessions were recorded. Finally, all the records stick to Shad's 30-minute schedule and his modus operandi of reissuing on the cheap, perfected at EmArcy and carried through the Mainstream years, is in full effect with this mini-catalogue.

The TCB releases used Shad's creative team, one of Shad's preferred studios, Shad's budget-conscious ethos and they appeared roughly around the same time as the death of Mainstream's MRL series. It walks like a Shad, it quacks like a Shad...could it be a Shad? If he was trying to make a quick buck under the table to keep Mainstream afloat, what better way than to leverage his resources for greater profit on the grey, or black, market?

If it was his operation, it might also have been especially gratifying to cash-in on the success of certain stars signed to his competitors in the jazzfunk genre, such as Blue Note or CTI. Could the initials TCB possibly stand for Takin' Care of Bobby? It's a mystery that bears further investimigation, so if anyone has some solid leads to support these wild-eyed insinuations and somewhat baseless allegations, by all means let us know!

AMG Review
by Jim Todd
There is more -- and less -- than meets the eye with this hard bop collection from 1960: less Booker Little and more performers than are listed on the CD. A little research corroborates what the ear suspects: the eight tracks come from three sessions, only one of which has trumpeters Little and Donald Byrd together (three tracks). The other sessions feature, respectively, Little and trombonist Curtis Fuller (two tracks) and Byrd and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams (three tracks). Adams is one of a half-dozen performers not credited on the CD.

To further confuse matters, both the session with Little and Byrd and the one with Little and Fuller have uncredited additional trumpeters -- Marcus Belgrave and Don Ellis, respectively. Suffice to say, sorting out who plays the trumpet solos is not easy. It seems, though, that Little solos only on one, possibly two, numbers. Originally, these tracks came out on a Warwick LP called Soul of Jazz Percussion. This explains the additional percussion parts -- some integrated more effectively than others -- on each of the tracks.

Overall, the Byrd/Adams tracks are the most consistent. "November Afternoon" from the Little/Fuller set and "Chasing the Bird" and "Wee Tina" from the Little/Byrd set are also okay. Even so, factor in a couple of poorly handled fadeout endings along with some mixing and editing gaffes and there is not enough here to rate a recommendation, except, perhaps, to the ardent Booker Little completist.

Dusty Groove Review
Early 70s issue of a record recorded for the Warwick label in the early 60s -- mostly led by Curtis Fuller, and under the name Soul Of Jazz Percussion. The record is a strange batch of soul jazz tracks that features a number of different groups with players like Fuller, Waldron, Little, Donald Byrd, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Pepper Adams, and others -- all playing soul jazz tracks with lots of added percussion. The percussion takes the form (mostly) of booming drumming which augments the deep grooves of the tracks. Most of the tracks on this one have been pulled together to emphasize the sound of the trumpeters -- and tracks include "Ping Pong", "November Afternoon", "Call to Arms", and "Wee Tina".

As previously intimated in Todd's review, you have to dig to get the real dope on the credits and diggin' deep is what we do here at Soundological. Below is the breakdown of personnel for the tracks, taken from Byrd and Little's respective discography pages at jazzdiscogs, along with a quick visual guide to the albums involved. There is some debate as to who performed which solos and it is suspected that Booker Little was only present, and didn't play, on one or more of the Peraza tracks.

To muddle things even further, there's mention of a Pepper Adams album released in 1963 titled Soul of Jazz Percussion but I couldn't confirm it and AMG seems to be the only ones aware of its existence. Since they have seven entries for that album alone and list it as being performed by Donald Byrd/Curtis Fuller and Curtis Fuller/Booker Little/Mal Waldron, as well as four of them being credited to Various Artists and one to The All Stars, they're obviously not quite clear themselves. BTW, there's also a completely different compilation on Riverside by the same name with absolutely no relation to these sessions which is a collection of drum solos edited from their songs. Sounds like the grand daddy of break records!

Warwick W 5003ST = FreshSounds FSCD210

TCB 1004 = Collectables 6132

TCB 1003 = Collectables 6131

Lone Hill LHJ10110 / Riverside S-8

Armando Peraza Septet (1,7,8)
Marcus Belgrave - Trumpet
Donald Byrd
- Trumpet
Booker Little - Trumpet
Mal Waldron - Piano
Addison Farmer - Bass
Ed Shaughnessy - Drums
Armando Peraza - Conga

These tracks also appear on The Soul Of Jazz Percussion

Willie Rodriguez Nonet/Octet (4,6)
Don Ellis
- Trumpet
Booker Little - Trumpet
Curtis Fuller - Trombone
Teddy Charles - Vibes
Mal Waldron - Piano
Addison Farmer - Bass
Philly Joe Jones - Drums
Ed Shaughnessy
- Drums
Willie Rodriguez - Conga

These tracks also appear on The Soul Of Jazz Percussion & Sounds Of The Inner City along with one other track, "Witch Fire" that does not appear on The Third World. Spanish outfit Lone Hill included "Witch Fire" only on their 2004 Booker Little featuring Booker Ervin CD, New York Session.

Earl Zindars Sextet (2,3,5)
Donald Byrd
- Trumpet
Pepper Adams - Baritone Sax
Bill Evans - Piano
Paul Chambers - Bass
Philly Joe Jones - Drums
Earl Zindars - Percussion

These tracks also appear on The Soul Of Jazz Percussion. Although it's the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Quintet with Zindars sitting in, these tracks do not appear on the Quintet's Out of This World: The Complete Warwick Sessions (also re-issued by Fresh Sounds).

1 Chasing The Bird
2 Prophecy
3 Ping Pong
4 Construction Crew
5 Quiet Temple
6 November Afternoon
7 Call To Arms
8 Wee Tina

Take care of Byrdness with Soundological HERE or HERE.


BHM said...

Much thanks for this!! Can't wait to hear it.

cheeba said...

Enjoy BHM! Thanks for dropping a line!

Simon666 said...

Hi Cheeba, As I said over at BlaxJive, I'm halfway through your post and will download tomorrow, hideously busy! (first day of semester arrrghh) Sounds fascinating, and "Wee Tina" is a very hot track. Thanks!

childish said...

Thanks for this post. I've always been interested in/confused by these records. I have TCB 1001 and since that one is a Curtis Fuller session re-credited to Freddie Hubbard, I assumed they were all reissued to capitalize on one of the players contemporary popularity. (i.e. Freddie Hubbard in the mid '70s) I also have the Riverside percussion record, which is fun and frustrating in equal measures: the tracks fade out after the percussion spotlight.

cheeba said...

@Simon, good luck gettin' the young uns learnin'! As you see, this "quick post" for BJ took a left turn and wound up in TCB land so ended up being lengthier than planned. There's a lot of great moments on the LP (especially from Fuller) and loads of open conga parts. Hope you enjoy the rest!

@childish, thanks for dropping a line! I've had this TCB for a long time and a lot of this info was new to me. However, your assumption turned out correct! Sounds like that Riverside may not be the best listening experience but would be great for drum samples. I'll be keeping an eye out for it now!

Simon666 said...

Hey Cheeba -
Yes lots of great moments indeed - I particularly like "Prophecy" and "Call to Arms". Really nice rip too, thanks!

ish said...

Cheeba, do you know Jazzman? If you go to his site (he doesn't like it linked to so let me know if you need the URL), you'll see he is a friend of the artist responsible (Jack Lonshein) for a lot of these album covers. Perhaps he can shed some light on the history as well.

Anonymous said...

TCB 107 Andrew Hill THE ONE AND ONLY = Warwick W20025T SO IN LOVE WITH THE SOUND OF ANDREW HILL...except that there is one cut on the TCB called "Good Time Soul" that is obviously NOT Andrew Hill...and...there are low-volume-but/and-cheesy string synth overdubs on a few cuts of the TCB that are nowhere to be found on the Warwick.

Definitely a mystery...

cheeba said...

@ish, thanks for the heads up! "the jazzman" is one person I was considering reaching out to and was going to include mention of him but edited it out just before posting to protect his privacy. I know he took some of the photos Lonshein used for covers. Further investimigation indeed!

@anon, thanks for the lead. This almost supports the botleg theory since there is no mention of it at all on Hill's official discog page at

This discog acknowledges and corroborates your comment that tracks were over-dubbed with strings (another technique used by Shad at EmArcy & Mainstream):

I was able to dig up a pic and I've added it to the TCB discog list, so thanks!!!

cheeba said...

BTW, that pic is from a sealed copy on auction at eBay right now if anyone's interested. There's also a copy of the TCB 1001 at $5 and TCB 1002 at $10 at the moment but all are up for bids.

dka said...

I had a few of these LP's back in the 70's. Some of the Booker Ervin/Booker Little titles such as Scoochie, Blues De Tambour and the Confined Few were edited from the Teddy Charles New Direction Quartet LP Jazz In The Garden At The Museum Of Modern Art. The edits I seem to recall were the omission of Teddy Charles vibes solos. Booker Ervin and Booker Little were "guest stars" for the performance. The LP got a cd release in 1996 on Fresh Sounds Records.

E-mile said...

cheeba, finally had a chance to lissen to this one :-( Some really enjoyable moments here, thanks a lot!
peace, E-mile

the jazzman said...

Hi! I wandered in here by chance. I did not know you had this post about TCB and showed Jack's along with a few of mine. Brought back great memories.

I did not know too much about TCB as Jack handled all that stuff. I do know that he had a relationship with Shad and there's a good chance Shad was responsible for TCB.

I do know that of all the covers we did together for various companies that TCB paid very little.

You are so right about the cheap quality of the LP's. The only reason I saved mine is to put the entire album in a frame and put them up on my wall. After trying one or two I gave up listening to them.

For those of you interested I'm glad to say that Jack is alive and well although sadly no longer painting due to eye problems.

All the best on your blog......

cheeba said...

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a comment and shed some more light on the TCB mystery, jazzman!

I'm very glad to hear Jack is well and hopefully you can communicate the continuing admiration and respect felt for him by a multitude of fans!

If you ever feel like discussing the history of your work with Jack for Shad's imprints, I would love to do so with you! My email address is on my profile so if you ever feel up to it, please drop me a line!

cheeba said...

Hook's Gems just posted the original Soul of Jazz Percussion today, added a link in the write up to it but if you're like me and too lazy to scroll up once you're down here, enjoy:

Anonymous said...

The writer of has written a superior article. I got your point and there is nothing to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not disagree with: The last ten percent of the file takes ninety percent of the download time. I will be back.

A DiG said...

Great write up, I just nabbed this record and recognized the label from the Freddie Hubbard one, which I have always really liked. And I realized soon that it wasn't Bill Evans on every track and was wondering what was going on... Thanks for the info.

A DiG said...

Excellent blahg. I just nabbed this record and recognized the label from the Freddie Hubbard one, which I have had for a while and always really liked. LIstening to this one, I found out very soon that it is not Bill Evans on a number of the tunes... Was a little disappointed, but was glad to find this to clear it up for me. Thanks!