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jeudi 9 novembre 2017

NEWPORT BLUES FESTIVAL/ 3 Juillet 1960

NEWPORT BLUES FESTIVAL/ 3 July 1960


           
L'après midi du 3 juillet de l'édition 1960 du Newport Jazz Festival (organisée par George Wein) était entièrement consacrée au blues avec une programmation audacieuse pour l'époque: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Rushing, Sam Price Trio avec Lafayette Thomas et la chanteuse Bettye Jeanette, les louisianais Butch Cage et Willie Thomas, les seuls - amenés par Harry Oster qui venait de les découvrir - à représenter ce jour-là le blues acoustique plus une démonstration de tap dancing par Al Mimms ainsi que des poèmes et des textes lus par l'écrivain Afro-Américain Langston Hughes.
            Muddy Waters qui ouvre le concert par un superbe Catfish blues, accompagné de son orchestre de l'époque (James Cotton, Pat Hare, Otis Spann, Andrew Stephenson et Francis Clay) continue par un programme qui a été publié en LP et CD (Muddy Waters at Newport) et que nous n'avons donc pas inclus ici. Puis laisse la place à Otis Spann qui démontre l'étendue de ses talents de pianiste sur quatre pièces instrumentales. C'est l'orchestre de Muddy qui accompagne aussi John Lee Hooker - qui avait joué peu de temps auparavant en acoustique au Festival Folk de Newport - sur cinq morceaux très représentatifs de ce qu'il enregistrait à l'époque.

            Le pianiste Sam Price prend ensuite place sur scène accompagné du guitariste Lafayette Thomas, alors Newyorkais (qui chante un rare Things I used to do) et du batteur Panama Francis ainsi que de la chanteuse Bettye Jeanette, (en fait probablement Betty Harris) qui interprète ici avec conviction trois classiques du premier blues. Le trio accompagne aussi le Blues Shouter (de l'orchestre de Count Basie) Jimmy Rushing. Butch Cage et Willie Thomas donnent ensuite la touche la plus rurale de ce programme avec plusieurs duos fiddle/guitare avant que presque tous les artistes viennent terminer le show par un Mean mistreater accompagné par le Muddy Waters Blues Band. Mais suite à de sérieuses rixes en marge du festival qui avaient eu lieu la veille, la petite ville de Newport fait annoncer par le présentateur Willie Connover qu'elle annule le Festival à l'instant même, le concert de jazz du soir étant même supprimé. C'est donc par un beau blues triste et prenant improvisé sur le moment que Otis Spann termine la journée. Goodbye Newport blues.
            Un grand merci à Steve K. et Jeanie H. pour avoir fourni ces enregistrements rares qui donnent une idée plus complète de ce concert historique.
                                                                       Gérard Herzhaft

            The 3d of July's afternoon concert of the 1960 Edition of the annual Newport Jazz Festival was boldly entirely devoted to a blues programme assembled by George Wein who had gathered for the occasion Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Rushing, The Sam Price Trio featuring ace guitarist Lafayette Thomas (then a New Yorker), drummer Panama Francis and classic blues singer Bettye Jeanette, the fiddle/guitar duo of Louisianans Butch Cage and Willie Thomas (just discovered by Harry Oster) who was the only acoustic act of the day and also Blues Shouter from the count Basie band, Jimmy Rushing. Plus some tap dancing by Al Mims as well as poems and texts read by the famous African-American author Langston Hughes.
            Muddy and his band (James Cotton, Pat Hare, Otis Spann, Andrew Stephenson et Francis Clay) open the show with a striking version of Catfish blues, followed by a programme that has been issued several times on LP and CD (Muddy Waters at Newport), so not included here.
            Pianist Otis Spann follows, demonstrating his powerful talents on four instrumentals backed by the band. The complete Muddy's band backs also John Lee Hooker on five electric numbers (he had shortly previously been featured on the Folk version of the Newport Festival as a solo acoustic bluesman) well in the mould of what he was recording at the time.
            Pianist Sam Price and his Trio deliver a frantic shuffle with a brilliant Lafayette Thomas and Bettye Jeanette (proably Betty Harris) who sings with authority three blues from the 1920's. After Jimmy Rushing, and the duo Cage and Thomas, almost all the artists accompanied by the Muddy band sing a long version of Mean mistreater which was supposed to end the show.
            But Willie Connover, Newport Jazz Festival emcee had suddenly to announce the decision of the city council of Newport to suspend activities of the Newport Jazz Festival, beginning with the evening concert on July 3. This decision was made following a clash with students and police the preceding night that escalated into a full-scale riot. Upset, Otis Spann then decided to close the Festival with an improvised brooding blues. Goodbye Newport blues.
            A lot of thanks to Steve K. and Jeanie H. who sent me those very rare tapes which give a better and more complete idea of what happened this 3d July of 1960 at the historic Newport Jazz Festival.
                                                                       Gérard Herzhaft

NEWPORT BLUES FESTIVAL
3 July 1960
MUDDY WATERS, vcl/g; James Cotton, hca; Otis Spann, pno; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephenson, bs; Francis Clay, dms. Newport, RI. 3 July 1960
01. Catfish blues
OTIS SPANN, vcl/pno; James Cotton, hca; Otis Spann, pno; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephenson, bs; Francis Clay, dms. Newport, RI. 3 July 1960
02. Chicago blues
03. Newport blues
04. Otis blues
05. Saint Louis blues
JOHN LEE HOOKER, vcl/g; James Cotton, hca; Otis Spann, pno; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephenson, bs; Francis Clay, dms. Newport, RI. 3 July 1960
06. My own fault
07. Maudie
08. Tupelo
09. I wanna walk
10. I wish you were here
SAM PRICE, pno; Lafayette Thomas, g; Panama Francis, dms. Newport, RI 3 July 1960
11. The price is right
LAFAYETTE THOMAS, vcl/g; Sam Price, pno; Panama Francis, dms. Newport, RI. 3 July 1960
12. The things I used to do
BETTYE JEANETTE, vcl; Sammy Price, pno; Lafayette Thomas, g; Panama Francis, dms. Newport, RI 3 July 1960
13. Ain't nobody's business
14. The birth of the blues
15. Backwater blues
JIMMY RUSHING, vcl; Sam Price, pno; Lafayette Thomas, g; Panama Francis, dms. Newport RI. 3 July 1960
16. Bye bye baby
BUTCH CAGE, vcl/fdl; WILLIE THOMAS, vcl/g. Newport, RI. 3 July 1960
17. Hen cackle
18. Hard achin' blues
FINALE: Muddy Waters, vcl; Bettye Jeanette, vcl; Butch Cage, vcl; Willie Thomas, vcl; Jimmy Rushing, vcl; James Cotton, hca; Otis Spann, pno; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephenson, bs; Francis Clay, dms. Newport, RI. 3 July 1960
19. Mean mistreater
OTIS SPANN, vcl/pno; Muddy Waters, g; James Cotton, hca; Otis Spann, pno; Pat Hare, g; Andrew Stephens, bs; Francis Clay, dms. Newport, RI. 3 July 1960
20. Goodbye Newport blues



21 commentaires:

  1. Newport Blues Festival/ 3 Juillet 1960:

    https://www.mediafire.com/file/wmr54d8ic4p751o/NEWPORT1960%20BE.zip

    OK?

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  2. Great job Gérard, thank you for sharing.

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  3. Bonsoir,

    BTW.'Betty Jeanette' is none other than N.O. Soul Queen Betty Harris!That's what Betty Harris told to Frederic Adrian,moderator of 'The Dark End of The Street' Forum.

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    1. Thanks, I had read that but I'm not sure. On the Newport files of that year's concerts, Bettye Jeanette has a New York adress and she was brought at the Festival by Sammy Price who introduced her as a «well known Gospel singer» who was singing old blues standards with his Trio

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    2. And here is a film clip from this concert featuring singer Bettye Jeanette
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MGlZaPesGkc

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  4. Thank you very much Gerard. This is one of those concerts you wish you could have been there!

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  5. Just looked at the youtube clip, so Bettye Jeanette is actually Betty Harris, who would have been 20 when this concert took place.

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  6. Bonsoir,

    Juste pour votre information.

    Le 24 janv 2015: frederic_adrian écrivait

    La découverte du jour ! L'identité de cette chanteuse vue à Newport en 1960 avec Muddy Waters et entendue en duo avec Jay Lewis sur 'Love is to blame' (voir chez Sir Shambling) était en débat sur de nombreux forums (y compris ton Blindman, René!) . Mais j'ai la réponse, de la bouche même de l'interessee : il s'agit de Betty Harris !

    Betty & Jay : 'Love Is To Blame Pt 1 & 2'
    (Both sides credited To B. Janette - J. Lewis)

    http://soul-in-groove.eklablog.com/betty-jay-a126037572

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  7. Gerard:

    Thanks for putting this together. A truly memorable concert that I'm glad to have. Excellent job!

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  8. I read that Otis Spann sang "Goodbye Newport" to close the show, although Muddy was supposed to, but he could not read the hastily written lyrics. Anybody else heard that ?

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  9. GRANDIOSE !!! Un grand merci Gérard.

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  10. Merci Gerard
    Never seen these recordings
    I've posted some rarer Muddy Waters live recordings at : http://deepsouthernsoul.blogspot.co.uk/ just in case you don't have them
    Cheers...à votre santé

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    1. Thank you GuitarGus. No I didn't know all those live recordings.... Cheers to you too!

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