Tag Archives: Curly Russell

DAVE TOUGH AND FRIENDS AT CARNEGIE HALL: CHARLIE VENTURA, BILL HARRIS, RALPH BURNS, BILL DeARANGO, CURLY RUSSELL (April 5, 1947)

Here’s some extraordinary music that doesn’t often get shared, and it affords us opportunities to hear the singular percussionist Dave Tough late in his life playing the music he most preferred then. The occasion was a concert apparently produced (and recorded) by Leonard Feather, with the tapes sold to Norman Granz for issue on his Norgran label. This was a 12″ lp, and then issued on CD as filler material for Verve’s optimistically-named THE COMPLETE JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC ON VERVE, a ten-disc set. Another portion of the concert has Sidney Catlett playing drums: material for a future posting.

Some mysteries accompany this issue: no one has yet documented all the music played that evening: there has to have been more than thirty-six minutes. The record sleeve mis-identifies Dave as playing (JUST YOU, JUST ME) when it is audibly Sidney. And it is difficult to ascertain the order of performance. But perhaps there is a jazz Hercule Poirot who can solve these mysteries. For now, let us hear Dave in the company of Charlie Ventura, tenor saxophone; Bill Harris, trombone; Ralph Burns, piano; Bill DeArango, guitar; Curly Russell, string bass.

Here’s CHARACTERISTICALLY B.H., for the wonderfully versatile Harris:

and RALPH BURNS UP, by Ralph, Curly, and Dave:

finally, Ventura rhapsodizing on one of the great tenor sax ballads:

More to come, with Sidney and friends. Thanks to Hal Smith and Kevin Dorn for their erudite assistance with this music.

May your happiness increase!