Music Routes Blog

Dick Schory's New Percussion Ensemble to Bob Dylan's Christmas Album (SMLP #15: Special Long Post Title Edition)

28 December 2009

It's Christmas time and that can only mean one thing here at Music Routes HQ: Lots of cat-sitting for friends who are out of town!

One of those friends, the Flannestads, left us a Christmas gift of booze and two LPs. One of those LPs is Wild Percussion And Horns A'Plenty by Dick Schory's New Percussion Ensemble.  The credits are sparse, but they do mention in the liner notes that Bill Hanley plays trumpet. That's enough to get us somewhere.

On Christmas itself, I had dinner at Anu's where we listened to (and, yes, did many imitations of) Christmas In The Heart by Bob Dylan.

Our listening party route this week starts with Dick Schory's rendition of "My Funny Valentine".  The liner notes on Wild Percussion And Horns A'Plenty indicate that Bill Hanley played trumpet on this track.

Hanley also played the trumpet on Schory's album Politely Percussive. This album is notable for the presence of two jazz greats: Joe Morello and Gary Burton. Here's "Baby Bossa Nova" which, given it's different mood, has some surprising similarities to Les Baxter's "Quiet Village". (Both start with a bass theme centered on the same three notes. "Baby Bossa Nova" adds an incidental fourth note. Both have melodies played over the bass theme that imply C-major in contrast to the ambiguous-but-not-C-major tonality of the bass theme.)

Burton, being a jazz great, has worked with many other jazz greats including Chick Corea. Here is "Brasilia" from the album Works.

Corea was one of several keyboardists on the Miles Davis electric jazz landmark album Bitches Brew.  Here's "Spanish Key" (in two parts, probably due to YouTube time limits on videos).

The electric bass player on "Spanish Key" is Harvey Brooks.  Brooks played on Bob Dylan's landmark "Like A Rolling Stone" from Highway 61 Revisited.

And, of course, Dylan is on his own Christmas album.