Saturday, January 3, 2009

Harold Vick - "Watch What Happens" (1967) ft. Herbie Hancock

Not even I'M gay enough to write reviews like this

Some new year recovery music for you all ...

We went through the career of saxophonist Harold Vick in the "Don't Look Back" post back in October, so check back there for some history, some excerpts from all of his albums; and various discographies. Also see the "Power Of Feeling" post that followed that one.

In this 1967 album (also released at some stage as "The Melody is Here") we get Vick in two settings :

Three tracks feature a quartet comprising Harold Vick on sax , Herbie Hancock on piano, Grady Tate on drums and Bob Cranshaw on bass. The standout track from the quartet session is Joe Bonner's beautiful "Ode to Trane", with superb understated solos from Hancock and Vick.

The other eight tracks are arranged and conducted by the idiosyncratic Ed Bland, a classical composer who sidelined in in individualistic soul and RnB arrangements - check this great post at Office Naps for a rundown on Mr Bland. The aforementioned quartet are joined by an uncredited nameless female chorus, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, reeds man Joe Farrell and several others.

Bland seems here to arrange in tones rather than in individual instruments, with lots of unison work from the voices, vibes, piano, reeds and so on, with the characteristics of each instrument - percussive, melodic, tonal etc - emphasised in different parts of each note. While Vick gets to break out with solos, everyone else is tightly arranged in the manner of a conducted orchestra - though featured pianist Herbie Hancock gets to break out on a few tracks.

It's all quite breezy and light with smatterings of a cocktail ambience - but we're talking good quality cocktails, so drink up! The ones that are sticking with me are the move themes "This Hotel" (from Richard Quines' "Hotel"); "Watch What Happens" (from Jacques Demy's experimental musical 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg', which also gave us Catherine Devenue), and Vick's shuffling "Eloquence".

Hit this one with some deceptively strong cocktails. Please leave recipes in the comments.

Discography trivia :

* Herbie Hancock and Grady Tate had recorded a Don Sebesky arrangement of the track "Watch What Happens" two months before on Wes Montgomery's album "A Day In the Life".

* For Hancock, this album comes between Bobby Hutcherson's "Oblique" and his own "Blow Up" soundtrack.


01. 'Watch What Happens' (Legrand, Gimbel)
from the film 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg'

02. 'Ode to Trane' (Joe Bonner)

03. 'Serenata' (Leroy Anderson)

04. 'Where Butterflies Play' (Harold Vick)

05. 'If ever I would leave you' (A.Lerner, F.Loewe)

from the musical 'Camelot'

06. 'This Hotel' (Johnny Keating)
from the Warner Bros picture "Hotel"

07. 'Eloquence' (Harold Vick)

08. 'Angel Eyes' (Matt Dennis - Earl Brent)

09. 'Whisper Not' (Benny Golson)

10. 'Guava Gelly' (Edward Bland)

11. 'Autumn Sunset' (Harold Vick)


Tracks #3, 10, 11: Harold Vick Orchestra (21.08.67)
Harold Vick - tenor sax
Jimmy Owens - trumpet, flugelhorn
Tom McIntosh - trombone
George Marge and Joe Farrell - reeds
John Blair - violin
Herbie Hancock - piano
Everett Barksdale - guitar
Bob Cranshaw - bass
Grady Tate - drums
Teddy Charles - vibraphone
Dave Carey - percussion
uncredited female vocal chorus

Tracks #1, 4, 6, 7, 9: (22.08.67)
Same as above except McIntosh out and Lawrence Lucie (guitar) added.

Tracks #2, 5, 8: Harold Vick Quartet (23.08.67)
Harold Vick - tenor and soprano saxaphone
Herbie Hancock - piano
Bob Cranshaw - bass
Grady Tate - drums

PRODUCTIONRecorded in NYC, August 1967
Arranged and conducted by Ed Bland
Recorded in RCA Victor's Studio B
Recording Engineer - Don Miller
Produced by Brad McCuen

1963 "Steppin' Out" at Ile Oxumaré
1964 rejected Blue Note sessions May 27th
1966 "Straight Up" at
Call It Anything
1966 "The Caribbean Suite" at
Orgy in Rhythm
1967 "Commitment" (released 1974)
also at Never Enough Rhodes
1968 "Watch What Happens" in comments here.
1973 "Power Of Feeling" (as Sir Edward) also at Never Enough Rhodes
1974 "Don't Look Back" also
at Never Enough Rhodes
1977 "After The Dance" at My Jazz World


POST CREDITSRip by Simon666Blog links to Office Naps, Jazz Disposition, The CTI Never Sleeps and San Pasquale Entertainment.
Please thank these folks if you visit them.



AmBrOsE said...

Thanx very much simon, iv not listened to this b4!!!
Happy New yr!

ish said...

Thanks Simon.

Interesting write-up. Looking forward to a listen (downloading now). Sounds like the album covers a lot of ground. "the theme from hotel" is one of my favorite schmalzy songs as performed by Nancy Wilson. Curious how it comes out here.

PS That album cover may earn you a quick trip over to Crap Jazz Covers! I'll try and hold back. Watch what happens.

JazzCompilation said...

Thanks & Happy New Year!!!

Reza said...

Thank you Simon also one not heard before , love that cover ,is it just me

ish said...

I'm back to say I've done a terrible terrible thing.

But seriously, loving this album. Maybe it's a saturday morning and I'm in the mood for cooing choruses, but as you say the cocktail tunes really are good cocktail music and the straighter ones are good jazz. Really love the title track. And Vick has a great sound.

taro nombei said...

yeah, me too - the title track is great, it's got 1967 all over it. I was only aware of the Trane tribute before, so thanks for bringing this to my ears... and that magnificent album cover to my eyes!

and (curiously) the word verification I have to input is... 'nockerr'

taro nombei said...

no cocktails this evening (overdid the sake last night) but the music is nice and soothing anyway.

ish said...


The TransWorld Express
(an original cocktail recipe)

*1 part benedictine liqueur
*1 part kentucky bourbon
*1 part aguardiente (or equivalent strong, tasteless clear booze, for kick!)
*1 part lingonberry syrup
(sour cherry or other berry syrup would probably work)
*a bag of frozen berries (I use South American blackberries available here but raspberries would work too)
* cranberry juice to taste (depends on how strong you like your cocktails: 2 to 3 parts)
* chipped/chopped ice

best made by the pitcher.
put everything in a blender.
blend til ice and and berries are broken up fine. enjoy. exercise caution :)

Simon666 said...

Fantastic, I was going to make the blog private if I didn't get a cocktail recipe soon .... thanks ish!

FullCircle said...


Neanderjazz said...

Este es un muy exquisito blog en cuanto a la seleccion de musica.....felicitaciones!!!
Saludos desde Valparaiso, Chile.

itsafourletterword said...

thank you very much!


E-mile said...

maybe the title wasn't complete yet:... when she takes off her hat?
Looking forward to hear is :-)
peace, E-mile

johnv said...

Looking forward to enjoying this, Simon, Thanks!

corvimax said...

bravo simon, thank you again
ish you make me want to drink and i can't. i'll look for other kind of remedy

flageolette said...

Many thanks Simon!


Smooth said...

I have Harold Vick - Commitment somewhere buried in my collection, it will turn up one day on my blog.

Simon666 said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Hi Smooth - looking forward to it :)

yakuza said...

Thanks for all,

Please share better covers¡¡¡¡

Thanks from Spain

Simon666 said...

yep, as soon as I get the scanner fixed ...

yakuza said...

OK thank for all

Simon666 said...

Hey ho -
Cover scans now added to the post, including a very floral review on the back cover.

Gianni aka Cesare Barbetta said...

watch what happens:

a lot of comments with thank you!

Slay'd said...

Thanks for this, I've always loved Wes Montgomery's version of "watch What Happens" and I'd never heard Vick's version before. I think I'm gonna pick up this CD.

Economiewurm said...

Nice album, love "Eloquence". The vocal parts give the song has a mysterious undertone.


green said...

thank you. please let me share this grant green album in return. though i suspect that you already have this one.

Simon666 said...

Thanks Green!

the jazzman said...

Thank you.

Simon666 said...

you're welcome mr jazzman :)

Simon666 said...

Hey guys, I’ve posted the final piece of the puzzle :
Harold Vick – “Commitment” (1974)
Come check it out.

ghost60 said...

thank you

grumpy said...

Many thanks, your blog is like Aladdin's Cave!

Simon666 said...

You're welcome Grumpy, enjoy :)

Prof. Yaffle said...

Wonderful, many thanks

Guitarradeplastico,scraping oddities said...

Many thanks said...

Thanks for all the Vick posts, Simon! He was such a great player, who never received the recognition he deserved and died far too early!
Great to find your blog still alive in this days of disappearing specialist blogs! Just realised through your links that Orgy in Rythmn gone private. Any chance you know how to get invited? said...

Great, but under rated album! In particular his flute work on HNIC. Thanks!
Check out for tributes to recently deceased musicians & more