September Songs: Classic Jazz, Born In The Fall

Hear Five Songs Below

fromWBGO

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

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

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.

close

Purchase Featured Music

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

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Very Special"
  • Album: Money Jungle [Expanded]
  • Artist: Duke Ellington/Charlie Mingus/Max Roach
  • Label: Blue Note
 
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.

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "The Feeling of Jazz"
  • Album: Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
  • Artist: Duke Ellington w/ John Coltrane
  • Label: Impulse!
  • Released: 2007
 
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.

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Unit 7"
  • Album: Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides
  • Artist: Wes Montgomery
  • Label: Verve
  • Released: 1965
 
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.

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "September in the Rain"
  • Album: Public Eye
  • Artist: Roy Hargrove
  • Label: Novus
  • Released: 1990
 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.