Cover from first issue US Release of First Light CT 6013

On This Day: First Light

On this day, September 14th, 1971 – Freddie Hubbard went into the studio to record what would become his Grammy winning album, First Light. Recorded over two days, the 14th and 16th, and Rudy Van Gelder’s Englewood Cliffs studio, using an ensemble cast containing many of the CTI “All Stars” with arrangements and conducting by Don Sebesky. Among the sidemen […]

Gary Peacock – Gone, But Plenty To Remember

My only exposure to Gary Peacock was mid-1985, New York City. Sometime one hot Saturday, after wandering through a bunch of art galleries around the East Village, I came across a small cinema, probably on 2nd Ave. It was showing Michael Snow’s “New York Eye and Ear Control” film on repeat. I’d never heard of the film, but at just […]

September is Creed Taylor month

The August 26th, 1968 issue of “Records, Promotion, Music” (RPM) Magazine, page-4 declared “September is Creed Taylor month in Canada”. The campaign was announced by Quality’s National Promotion Manager, Ed Lawson. The campaign and messaging must have worked to spread the music and work of Creed, because come September, a similar campaign was announced for October 1968 to be “Creed […]

Remembering Chris Connor

Chris Connor died August 29th, 2009. Chris was the first of Creed Taylor’s production career and became a major success. Taylor and Connor would never work together after both leaving Bethlehem in 1956. Remarkably, Chris and Creed were both in their twenties at the time. Those Bethlehem releases were never marked, “produced by Creed Taylor” but it would eventually happen […]

Remembering Rudy Van Gelder

Rudy Van Gelder died August 25th, 2016. Rudy was as responsible for the CTI/KUDU sound, the sound of Creed Taylor’s “new jazz”, as anyone. Rudy didn’t play the instruments, he didn’t decide of the tracks, he didn’t do the arrangements, and the style of play, and overall sound wasn’t Rudy. He did though make sure that he captured every moment […]

One Night With Blue Note

Strictly not a Creed Taylor produced effort, but a tribute to Blue Note founders, Alfred Lion, Max Margulis, and Francis Wolff. Notwithstanding that, the recordings here were recovered from laserdiscs, and feature many artists, both leaders and sidemen that were signed to, or performed for CTI, including Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Grover Washington Jr, and many more. As […]

Happy Born Day – Bill Evans

A guest post by @Jazzman1108 on Instagram. Downbeat Hall of Fame pianist, composer and leader, jazz icon William “Bill” John Evans (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was born on this date in 1929. With the passage of time, Evans has become an entire school unto himself for pianists and a singular mood unto himself for listeners. There is […]

CTI on TV: Grover Washington, Jr.

Just a short post for this week to share this video. Thanks for the clue to the appearnce John. Grover Washington, Jr. Plays “In A Secret Place” the title song to his sixth and final studio album as a leader for CTI/KUDU, not including his 1977 album“Live At The Bijou”. Washington would return to CTI later in his career, as […]

Remembering Esther Phillips

Esther Phillips died 34-years ago today, on August 7th, 1984, aged just 48. Esther lead a storied, and troubled life. Aged just 13, Esther Mae Jones won an amateur talent contest in 1949 at the Barrelhouse Club in Los Angeles, owned by Johnny Otis. That started an on, off troubled working relationship between Otis and “Little Esther”. Over the next […]

CTI Artists on TV

Enjoy two great live performances from artists from CTI. Both comes from VHS tapes I managed to buy from ebay. I was hoping to avoid getting into converting VHS tapes, as they are often more trouble than they are worth. On the full length video of the 1976 awards, George Benson performs his hit “Breezin’” but his years of work […]