Jazz Profiles 9/18 - Prestige All Stars

Sunday, September 18, 2022 - 2:00pm to 7:00pm

Sid Gribetz will feature the “Prestige All Star” recordings on the next edition of “Jazz Profiles”, this Sunday September 18, 2022 from 2-7 PM on WKCR.

In the late 1950's, Prestige Records produced a series of albums with ad hoc arrangements of medium sized bands playing extended improvisations. Some of these sessions would include sophisticated original compositions and arrangements by Teddy Charles and Mal Waldron, while others would more directly be free-wheeling jam session-styled workouts on standards and the blues. The LPs would be marketed sometimes as by the “Prestige All Stars” or even with less formal monikers.

The musicians would range from the soulful tenor sax of Gene Ammons to Hank Mobley to the modern jazz of John Coltrane. Other saxophonists involved included the likes of Jackie McLean, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and Pepper Adams. There would also be trumpet dates with Farmer, Byrd and Sulieman, or four altos, two guitars, and even the flutes of Frank Wess and Herbie Mann.

Founded by Bob Weinstock, Prestige Records was one of the leading independent jazz record companies of the post war years. The Prestige artist roster included many prominent figures in modern jazz who would be utilized on these records. Mostly on Fridays, the troupe of Prestige artists would journey to Rudy Van Gelder’s Hackensack, NJ studios for these jazz parties.

The All Star sessions can be distinguished from the albums of the working jazz groups and individual artists that have become revered classics in the jazz repertory. Accordingly, in one sense these “all star” dates may seem to pale in comparison and are of faded memory. But while less vital artifacts of jazz history, they contain excellent musicianship and many surprises worth hearing. Additionally, these recordings give us a chance to savor additional output by our favorite musicians of the period and gain insights to their artistry .