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Johnny Griffin April 6, 1957

Main Session Personnel
trumpet
tenor saxophone
tenor saxophone
tenor saxophone
piano
bass
drums
# Tracks Playtime Issue Variance from Main Session Personnel
1 Smoke Stack (Alternate) 11:00
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: CDP 7 81559 2
2 Smoke Stack 10:09
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: BLP 1559
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: CDP 7 81559 2
3 The Way You Look Tonight 9:37
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: BLP 1559
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: CDP 7 81559 2
4 Ball Bearing 8:07
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: BLP 1559
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: CDP 7 81559 2
5 All the Things You Are 10:10
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: BLP 1559
A Blowin' Session
Catalog #: CDP 7 81559 2
genre: bop
Recording Date: 
1957-04-06 - 1957-04-08
Leader(s): 
Johnny Griffin
Skill/instrument: 
trumpet
Skill/instrument: 
tenor saxophone
Skill/instrument: 
tenor saxophone
Skill/instrument: 
tenor saxophone
Skill/instrument: 
piano
Skill/instrument: 
bass
Skill/instrument: 
drums
Personnel: 
Lee Morgan
Personnel: 
Johnny Griffin
Personnel: 
Hank Mobley
Personnel: 
John Coltrane
Personnel: 
Wynton Kelly
Personnel: 
Paul Chambers
Personnel: 
Art Blakey
Ensemble Size: 
septet
Venue Type: 
studio
Venue Name: 
Rudy Van Gelder Studio
Venue Location: 
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Recording company
Company Name: 
Blue Note
Parent Company: 
Capitol Records
Producer: 
Alfred Lion
Session Details: 

The issue "A Blowin' Session" says that the session was recorded on April 8th, 1957, but seeing as how EVERY other discography says the 6th of April, I am assuming that was just a misprint on the part of the CD reissue I have on hand.

On the OTHER hand, None of those same discographies (including the Blue Note Discography book edited by Ruppli and Cuscuna) list the alternate version of Griffin's tune "Smokestack", despite the fact that the CD reissue on which it appears WAS PRODUCED BY CUSCUNA. The reissue came out in 1998, Cuscuna's book with Ruppli came out in 1988, so the assumption there is he did extra research after the book was published and discovered the alternated track. But that still doesn't explain why subsequent online discographies haven't corrected their previous work (which seems to have come from the pre-internet book by Cuscuna & Ruppli.

Finally, while I don't know for certain that the alternate track of Smoke Stack was in fact "tk 1" and occurred before the master version, based on the fact that the originally issued tracks are all tk 2-5, it seems unlikely that they would play smokestack once, go through the other three songs, and play it again. I'm guessing they played it once, weren't 100% satisfied, so recorded another version and that one made it onto the original LP. Cuscuna, in his research for the reissue, found the alternate version, and included it. -JS

Sources: 
on hand CD issue, cuscuna/ruppli "Blue Note DIscography"

Comments

Session Information

In the John Coltrane Reference (2007) we listed the body of this session as follows:
a-1. take 1 Smokestack reh + fs + (10:52);
a-2(1). take 2 Smokestack (9:58);
a-2(2). insert Smokestack (0:30);
a-2(3). insert Smokestack bd (0:07) uni;
a-m. Smokestack (9:58);
b. take 3 The Way You Look Tonight fs + (9:34);
c. take 4 Ball Bearing ( 8:09);
d. take 5 All the Things You Are (10:13).

The issued master (a-m) of Smokestack is take [a-2(1).], last 0:30 replaced by [a-2(2).].
April 6 1957 is of course the correct recording date; the reissue is in error (no recording date was listed on the original release, BN 1559). The reissues do not include the studio chatter and "rehearsals" (notes played by the musicians before the take started). The information for this entry is based on information from Cuscuna and review of the session tapes. --David Wild