May 27, 2024

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But even if it wasn’t, it should have been: A Fifth for Cal Tjader: Photos, Videos

Curtis Counce recorded his first leadership album in October 1956. For the Contemporary Records session, the West Coast jazz bassist assembled a muscular quintet — Jack Sheldon (tp), Harold Land (ts) Carl Perkins (p) Curtis Counce (b) and Frank Butler (d). All of the tracks on The Curtis Counce Group are killer, but A Fifth for Frank stands out because of the extended drum solo by Butler.

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A Fifth for Frank
 was composed by pianist Gerald Wiggins and vibraphonist Cal Tjader, and was first recorded on Tjader’s Cal Tjader Quartet album for Fantasy five months earlier in May 1956. The quartet featured Tjader (vib), Wiggins (p), Eugene Wright (b) and Bill Douglass (d). I couldn’t find any evidence in the liner notes of these albums or in the notes of others that A Fifth for Frank was written for Frank Butler. But even if it wasn’t, it should have been. Butler delivers a terrific extended solo with sticks, his fingers and his knuckles that follows superb solos by Land and Sheldon.

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A Fifth for Frank by the Curtis Counce Group in October 1956…

The original five months earlier, with Cal Tjader and Gerald Wiggins in May 1956…

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