Genre: Jazz
Label: Pure Pleasure
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


Cal Massey Blues To Coltrane 180g LP

Cal Massey

Availability: Backordered
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180g High Quality Pressing!
Re-mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering!

TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the April 2020 Issue of The Absolute Sound!

"Massey only made one recording as a leader, and some say this was a result of his militant politics. Blues To Coltrane was recorded in 1961 but only released in 1987 (the same fate befell several other outstanding dates when Candid ceased operations in 196). Massey assembled an excellent sextet for the occasion that included well known artists (Jimmy Garrision, Julius Watkins) as well as lesser-knowns (Hugh Brodie, G.T. Hogan). Of particular interest is the presence of Patti Bown, an always interesting pianist who worked with Quincy Jones and Gene Ammons, among others (her name, unfortunately 'corrected' to 'Brown' on this otherwise superb reissue). Everyone contributes solid soloing to the excellent, all-Massey program, and the group feeling is terrific." - Duck Baker, The Absolute Sound Magazine, April 2020

In examining Massey’s life and music, three names continually emerge. One is that of the great tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, whom Massey met as a teenager in Philadelphia and who remained a close friend until his death in 1967. After Coltrane’s passing, Massey frequently joined forces with saxophonist, poet, and playwright Archie Shepp; though Shepp was about ten years Massey’s junior, the two developed a bond that remained close for the rest of the older man’s life. Massey, Coltrane, and Shepp are all linked by the prolific but obscure composer and arranger Romulus Franceschini, who lent his hand to many important jazz projects, such as Coltrane’s Africa/Brass and Shepp’s Attica Blues. He maintained with Massey a symbiotic relationship not unlike that of Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington. On the whole, as in the case of Ellington and Strayhorn, it was difficult to tell where one musician’s contribution ended and the other’s began.

Massey also shared a radical political stance with Shepp and Franceschini. It is impossible to separate his work from the militant arm of the Civil Rights Movement that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s. As Fred Ho has noted, “Titles such as ‘[Hey Goddamn It], Things Have Got to Change,’ ‘The Damned Don’t Cry,’ and ‘The Cry of My People’ spoke directly to a consciousness of oppression and a politics of liberation.” In fact, the Black Panthers were a driving force behind Massey’s creation (with Franceschini) of The Black Liberation Movement Suite. At the First Pan-African Arts Festival in Algiers in 1969 Massey met exiled Panthers leader Eldridge Cleaver who commissioned the Suite primarily as a fundraising venture. The work would be performed at Black Panther benefits three times during Massey’s lifetime.

Massey paid heavy dues for his adventurous music and ideology, as did many of his contemporaries. According to his widow, an altercation with an executive at Blue Note Records resulted in his being blacklisted (or, as Fred Ho put it, “whitelist-ed”) from major recording companies. As a result, only one album was recorded under his name, Blues to Coltrane (Candid, recorded 1961, released 1987).

Massey died from a heart attack at the age of 44 in New York City, New York. October 25, 1972.

• 180g Vinyl
• Re-mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
• Made in the UK

Calvin 'Cal' Massey, trumpet
Julius Watkins, French horn
Hugh Brodie, tenor saxophone
Patti Brown, piano
Jimmy Garrison, bass
G.T. Hogan, drums

Side A:

1. Blues To Coltrane
2. What's Wrong?
3. Bakai
Side B:
1. These Are Soulful Days
2. Father And Son

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