September Songs: Classic Jazz, Born In The Fall

Hear Five Songs Below

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Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Charles Mingus on the cover of Money Jungle. i i

Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Charles Mingus on the cover of Money Jungle. Courtesy of Blue Note hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Blue Note
Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Charles Mingus on the cover of Money Jungle.

Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Charles Mingus on the cover of Money Jungle.

Courtesy of Blue Note

September means a lot of things to a lot of people: It's a time to reflect on the summer that was. The harvest is afoot. Football is back. The elections are approaching. The kids are out of the house, back in school as part of their mission to become smarter than us in record time.

The change of season offers a chance to look ahead and look back simultaneously. For many, it's an especially productive month: In the world of jazz, September sessions have produced some special recordings, as heard below.

September Songs: Classic Jazz, Born In The Fall

Count Basie

Count Basie

  • Album: Essential Count Basie, Vol. 2
  • Song: Lester Leaps In

On Sept. 5, 1939, William "Count" Basie assembled trumpeter Buck Clayton, trombonist Dickie Wells, guitarist Freddie Green, bassist Walter Page, drummer Jo Jones and tenor giant Lester Young for this spirited exchange, which has to be a part of any jazz starter kit.

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Song
Lester Leaps In
Album
Essential Count Basie, Vol. 2
Artist
Count Basie
Label
Columbia
Released
1939

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Cover for Money Jungle [Expanded]

Duke Ellington/Charlie Mingus/Max Roach

  • Album: Money Jungle [Expanded]
  • Song: Very Special

Listening to the musical communication among Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach, it's hard to believe that there wasn't more than this session from Sept. 17, 1962. Ellington, Mingus and Roach were more than a trio; they were a powerhouse.

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Song
Very Special
Album
Money Jungle [Expanded]
Artist
Duke Ellington/Charlie Mingus/Max Roach
Label
Blue Note

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Cover for Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

Duke Ellington w/ John Coltrane

  • Album: Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
  • Song: The Feeling of Jazz

It speaks to the genius of Ellington that, nine days after recording with Mingus and Roach, he was back in the studio on Sept. 26, 1962 — this time providing composition and chords to the colors of John Coltrane. With bassist Aaron Bell and drummer Sam Woodyard, "The Feeling of Jazz" is conveyed quite nicely.

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Song
The Feeling of Jazz
Album
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
Artist
Duke Ellington w/ John Coltrane
Label
Impulse!
Released
2007

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The Verve Jazz Sides

Wes Montgomery

  • Album: Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides
  • Song: Unit 7

Guitarist Pat Metheny said that this date — Sept. 22, 1965 — was a very important inspiration to him when he was starting his guitar career at the age of 13. Here's Wes Montgomery with pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb.

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Song
Unit 7
Album
Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides
Artist
Wes Montgomery
Label
Verve
Released
1965

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Cover for Public Eye

Roy Hargrove

  • Album: Public Eye
  • Song: September in the Rain

This tune was introduced in the film Melody for Two. It's been recorded by folks as diverse as June Christy, Chad & Jeremy, Dinah Washington, Frank Sinatra, George Shearing, Willie Nelson, Lionel Hampton, The Beatles and Norah Jones. This version — with Roy Hargrove, alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, bassist Christian McBride, pianist Stephen Scott and drummer Billy Higgins — wasn't actually recorded in September, but it certainly captures its spirit. Enjoy, but don't get wet.

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Song
September in the Rain
Album
Public Eye
Artist
Roy Hargrove
Label
Novus
Released
1990

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