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OnLinerNotes - JAZZ!
John Coltrane - Blue Train - LP Cover

track 1. Blue Train:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 2. Moment's Notice:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 3. Locomotion:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 4. I'm Old Fashioned:
(Jerome Kern - Johnny Mercer)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 5. Lazy Bird:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957

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John Coltrane - Blue Train - LP Cover

track 1. Blue Train:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 2. Moment's Notice:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 3. Locomotion:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 4. I'm Old Fashioned:
(Jerome Kern - Johnny Mercer)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 5. Lazy Bird:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957

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John Coltrane - Blue Train - LP Cover

track 1. Blue Train:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 2. Moment's Notice:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 3. Locomotion:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 4. I'm Old Fashioned:
(Jerome Kern - Johnny Mercer)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 5. Lazy Bird:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957

Get It? - OR - Back To Site Index

John Coltrane - Blue Train - LP Cover

track 1. Blue Train:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 2. Moment's Notice:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 3. Locomotion:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 4. I'm Old Fashioned:
(Jerome Kern - Johnny Mercer)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 5. Lazy Bird:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957

Get It? - OR - Back To Site Index

John Coltrane - Blue Train - LP Cover

track 1. Blue Train:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 2. Moment's Notice:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 3. Locomotion:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 4. I'm Old Fashioned:
(Jerome Kern - Johnny Mercer)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957


track 5. Lazy Bird:
(John Coltrane)

tenor sax - JOHN COLTRANE
trumpet - LEE MORGAN
trombone - CURTIS FULLER
piano - KENNY DREW
bass - PAUL CHAMBERS
drums - PHILLY JOE JONES

in Hackensack, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio
on September 15th, 1957

Get It? - OR - Back To Site Index

John Coltrane - Blue Train - LP Cover


OnλinerNotes - JAZZ
Windsor - Canada
MMIII

Blue Train
John Coltrane

    "...Coltrane's only collection of sides as a principal artist for Blue Note...the disc is packed solid with sonic evidence of Coltrane's innate leadership abilities; the personnel on it are arguably as impressive as what they're playing - together that makes for a masterpiece in jazz..."

Blue Note Records
(53428)

LP image - Francis Wolff


producer - Alfred Lion
engineer - Rudy Van Gelder

Robert Levin's 1957 Liner Notes:

_____John Coltrane (bio) has often been called a 'searching' musician. His literally wailing sound - spearing, sharp and resonant - creates what might be best described as an ominous atmosphere that seems to suggest (from a purely emotional standpoint) a kind of intense probing into things far off, unknown and mysterious. Admittedly such a description is valid and only in a personal way but 'searching' remains applicable to Trane in view of actual fact. He is constantly seeking out new ways to extend his form of expression - practicing continually, listening to what other people are doing, adding, rejecting, assimilating - molding a voice that is already one of the most important in modern jazz. John's 'sound' as mentioned in the lead is rather unique. It is certainly his most obvious trademark (similar to Dexter Gordon, his earliest and strongest influence) but has meaning apart from just a 'different sound'. His way of thinking is at one with his tonal approach. His ideas often seem to run in veering, inconsistent lines appearing at first to lack discipline but, like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk (two of his closest musical associates, both of whom have been labeled by some as 'eccentric' and/or 'poorly equipped' instrumentalists) John is aware and in control of what he is doing. What may appear to be suddenly rejected is used, rather, as a basis for further exploration.

_____Born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926 John began his study of music with the alto horn and clarinet when he was fifteen. Later, after a hitch in the Navy, he played with King Kolax, Eddie Vinson (switching to tenor), some spotted gigs with Howard McGhee of the Apollo in New York, Dizzy Gillespie's big band, Lonnie Slappey in Philadelphia, Guy Crosse in Cleveland, Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges.

_____In 1955 Trane joined the Miles Davis Quintet for what turned out to be more than a year and a half gig and is currently a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet (incidentally, at this writing, the Monk unit was moving into its fifteenth consecutive week at the hip 'Five Spot' in Greenwich Village). Trane feels that working with Miles and Monk have been "...invaluable musical experiences...". His employment with each of these giants has provided him with an education that most musicians could not acquire in a lifetime. In addition Miles, and now Monk (being of this school themselves) have never inhibited John's musical sense of freedom. John Coltrane - Blue Train - LP CoverHe is able to experiment while on the stand with no fear of being called down and with a good chance of being congratulated.

_____John Coltrane, though highly self-critical, has broad and varied tastes when it comes to others. His favorites are many; Miles Davis ("...His style of playing is very interesting to me. He has a very good knowledge of harmonics and chord structure. I used to talk with him quite often...") Dizzy Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Joe Gordon, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Stitt, Cliff Jordan, Thelonious Monk ("...He plays with a whole range of chords. I had never heard anything like it before and I've learned a lot from him..."), Red Garland, Kenny Drew, Phineas Newborn, Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware, Earl May, Cannonball Adderley, Jackie McLean, Jay Jay Johnson, Curtis Fuller and Milt Jackson.

_____John Coltrane selected all of the musicians used for this date. Lee Morgan (bio), the exciting Gillespies / Navarro / Brown styled, young trumpet player who made his professional debut with Dizzy Gillespie when he was only eighteen and who, in a fantastically short period of time and has become an accepted front-runner on his instrument. Curtis Fuller who, next to Jay Jay Johnson (bio), is for this listener modern jazzdom's top trombonist. His conception continues to mature and increase in potency. The rhythm section, comprised of Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, is superb. Kenny Drew is a blues rooted pianist with a swinging, cohesive technique. Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones are known primarily for their sparkling work with Miles Davis. They are both more than familiar with John Coltrane's style having worked with him for an extensive period and assist in brilliant fashion.

_____The four impressive originals in this set are by John Coltrane. The title number, "Blue Train", is a moving eerie blues. John Coltrane rides swiftly down a lonesome track with Lee and Curtis shoveling extra coal into the boiler near the end of his solo. Lee follows with an energetic statement and is succeeded by a gutty Fuller. John and Lee riff behind Curtis just before he gives way to funky Kenny Drew. Chambers takes a brief but effective solo before the group returns to the theme. "Moment's Notice" is a happy romper with expressive solos by Coltrane, Fuller, Morgan, Chambers (bowed) and Drew. "Locomotion", an uptempo blues begins with a rocking drum statement and a unison riff theme with John Coltrane taking off on several 'breaks' in between the repeated pattern before moving into his actual solo which, like those of Fuller, Morgan, Drew and Jones who follow, is played in a hard, slashing fashion. "I'm Old Fashioned" a pretty, old popular song that was suggested to John Coltrane by a friend is rendered a delicate treatment. Here John is given a chance to display his warm handling of a ballad and shows himself to be adept with tunes set in any tempo. Curtis, Kenny and Lee are also provided with solo space and their interpretations are sensitive and poignant. "Lazy Bird" is faintly reminiscent of Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird". After a short piano introduction Morgan (with a brief assist from the other horns), Fuller, John Coltrane, Drew, Chambers (with bow) and Jones, take off in that order. Lee returns at the end to ride out over John and Curtis with the theme. What is perhaps the most striking attribute (among many) about this LP is its free, but not disorganized, blowing mood that has everyone in exceptional form both individually and collectively. (...Robert Levin - 1957...)

♠ ◊ ♣ ♥ ♠ ◊ ♣ ♥ ♠ ◊ ♣ ♥ ♠ ◊ ♣ ♥ ♠ ◊ ♣ ♥ 

Michael Cuscuna's CD Re-issue Liner Notes:
_____In the fertile decade from the mid-fifties to the mid-sixties, there was a proliferation of brilliant albums in jazz. "Blue Train", which John Coltrane often referred to as his favorite album of his own work, was more than that; it was a perfect album. The ingredients for such alchemy cannot be quantified anymore than genius can be defined and described. But we know it when we hear it. In late 1956 or early 1957, John Coltrane went up to Blue Note's offices to ask Alfred Lion for some Sidney Bechet albums (this was four years before he would pick up the soprano saxophone himself). He and Alfred talked about a record deal, but Francis Wolff, who handled the artist contracts, had gone for the day. John Coltrane took his Sidney Bechet LPs and a small advance, saying that he would come back in a few days. He didn't, and the whole incident seemed forgotten.

_____In early 1957, Coltrane signed with Prestige Records. But he'd remembered the discussion with Alfred Lion and the advance and insisted upon making an album for Blue Note to honour his commitment. The rhythm section that he selected was pianist Kenny Drew and his bandmates from the Miles Davis quintet: Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. This quartet had recorded "Chambers' Music" the year before in LA under Paul Chambers' name for Aladdin's Jazz West label. It's not known whether it was John Coltrane or Alfred Lion who added Lee Morgan and Curtis Fuller, both recent Blue Note signings, to the front line. Whatever the circumstances, John Coltrane enjoyed the Blue Note luxury of paid rehearsals and wrote four brilliant tunes, all of which have become jazz standards. When it came time for the recording, these six empathetic master musicians had a firm grasp of the material at hand.

_____The recording session was pure magic and Blue Note perfection. The music had a rarified air, and everyone's solo was worthy of transcription. Blue Note's greatest achievement was setting up situations in which both perfection and inspiration were attainable AND achieved. "Blue Train" is a classic case in point. Compare it to John Coltrane's voluminous output at Prestige that same year. Curtis Fuller still jokes about "Moments Notice", which he named because they recorded it under just those circumstances. "...I've been with younger musicians trying to work out that tune. And I tell them that thats just how we did it ... on a moment's notice..."

_____That was Curtis' first summer in New York, and Blue Note had not only signed him to his own deal, but also gave him the opportunity to be the only recorded trombone soloist with John Coltrane, Bud Powell and Jimmy Smith. For this definitive version of "Blue Train", two alternate takes have been added. Both immediately preceded the master take at the session. A word of explanation is necessary about the alternate take of the title tune. The master take, as issued, is take 9 with the piano solo from take 8. While take 8 has some very different and formidable playing, it did not occur to me until recently to restore the piano solo taken out of it and make it a whole alternate take. The actual piano solo from take 9 has not survived, but here we've restored take 8 to its original form, thus repeating the piano solo used on the LP.

_____This is a most astonishing album that has influenced musicians for 40 years. It's not uncommon to walk into a bar and find a 45 of "Blue Train" parts one and two on a juke box, and regulars who can hum along with every note. This music is eternal. We hope that this enhanced CD with graphics and interviews and improved sound does this monument justice. (...Michael Cuscuna...)

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John Coltrane: a bio
_____Few artists have been as influential in jazz music as saxophonist John Coltrane. Each of the several major periods of his career produced classic works that remain to this day models for jazz musicians worldwide. Born in Hamlet, N.C., on September 23, 1926, Coltrane began performing publicly in 1947, after leaving the military, where he performed in the Navy band.

_____During the next few years Coltrane drifted from band to band, but didn't achieve much fame until the mid-1950s, when he began to refine his sound under the tutelage of jazz legend Miles Davis. John ColtraneIn 1955 Coltrane joined the Miles Davis Quintet as tenor saxophonist; he quickly evolved into one of the already formidable group's strongest performers. Unfortunately, in 1957 Coltrane was fired from the Quintet due to his use of heroin.

_____After quitting drugs, Coltrane briefly worked with Thelonious Monk, then formed his own group. In 1957 Coltrane recorded his first great album (some say his best) as a band leader, "Blue Train". The next year he returned to the Miles Davis Quintet, where his fierce sheets of sound playing style earned critical raves and, soon enough, a solo deal with Atlantic Records. Coltrane's 1959 solo effort "Giant Steps", recorded with a piano-bass-drum accompaniment, certified his place in jazz history.

_____Following the success of "Giant Steps", Coltrane left the Miles Davis Quintet to begin a new group consisting of himself, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones. The John Coltrane Quartet's 1960 masterpiece, "My Favorite Things", introduced a new period in Coltrane's career marked by a more minimalist, hypnotic sound and extended, repetitious solos. Though dismissed by some critics as "anti-jazz", Coltrane's new style made waves in the music world. Not long after the release of 1964's seminal work of reverence, "A Love Supreme", John Coltrane began to pursue a more avant-garde direction with his band, which now featured several horn players and a second bassist (and later, a second drummer).

_____Eschewing melody for sonic adventure, Coltrane's music became more improvisational and intense. Tragically, by 1966 his health was beginning to fail; some blamed overwork, as Coltrane was said to practice up to 12 hours a day. He passed away on July 17, 1967 of liver cancer and was buried in Farmingdale, New York. (from "Downbeat" magazine)

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Lee Morgan: a bio
_____Lee Morgan was born in Philadelphia on July 10, 1938 and died in New York on February 19, 1972. One of the great jazz trumpeters of the 1960s, Lee Morgan was the natural successor to Clifford Brown, making an impact on the scene shortly after 'Brownie's' death and at first playing in a very similar style.

_____He was a bit of a prodigy, working professionally in Philadelphia when he was 15 and joining Dizzy Gillespie's orchestra when he was barely 18. Morgan led his first Blue Note session later that year and he would record his first two classic albums for the label during 1957-1958: Lee Morgan"The Cooker" and "Candy". Morgan was with Gillespie's band into 1958 when he became a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1958-1961), touring and recording extensively with the group and sharing the front line with Benny Golson, Hank Mobley, and finally Wayne Shorter.

_____Drug problems resulted in him quitting the band in 1961 and maintaining a low profile in Philadelphia until 1963. When Morgan came back, his first recording was his biggest hit, "The Sidewinder". He entered his greatest period, recording one memorable album after another, writing "Ceora" and "Speedball", and spending a second period with Blakey (1964-1965).

_____Morgan's playing became more adventurous and by the end of the decade he was exploring modal music, using some avant-garde elements, and opening his playing to the influence of funk.

_____On February 19, 1972, he was fatally shot by a girlfriend, ending his life at the age of 33. Lee Morgan recorded many records throughout his career as a sideman and he led 25 albums for Blue Note (coincidentally the same number as Hank Mobley) plus sessions for Vee-Jay, Roulette, Jazzland, and Trip. (...from Scott Yanow...)

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J.J. Johnson: a bio
_____J.J. Johnson was born in Indianapolis on January 22, 1924 and died in Indianapolis on February 4, 2001. Considered by many to be the finest jazz trombonist of all time, J.J. Johnson somehow transferred the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie to his more awkward instrument, playing with such speed and deceptive ease that at one time some listeners assumed he was playing valve (rather than slide) trombone. Johnson toured with the territory bands of Clarence Love and Snookum Russell during 1941-1942, and then spent 1942-1945 with Benny Carter's big band. He made his recording debut with Carter (taking a solo on "Love for Sale" in 1943), and played at the first JATP concert (1944). Johnson also had plenty of solo space during his stay with Count Basie's Orchestra (1945-1946). During 1946-1950, he played with all of the top bop musicians, including Charlie Parker (with whom he recorded in 1947), the Dizzy Gillespie big band, Illinois Jacquet (1947-1949), and the Miles Davis Birth of the Cool Nonet. His own recordings from the era included such sidemen as Bud Powell and a young Sonny Rollins. Johnson, who also recorded with the Metronome All-Stars, played with Oscar Pettiford (1951) and Miles Davis (1952), but then was outside of music, working as a blueprint inspector for two years (1952-1954). His fortunes changed when, J.J. Johnsonin August 1954, he formed a two-trombone quintet with Kai Winding that became known as Jay and Kai and was quite popular during its two years.

_____After Johnson and Winding went their separate ways (they would later have a few reunions), Johnson led a quintet that often included Bobby Jaspar. He began to compose ambitious works, starting with 1956's "Poem for Brass", and including "El Camino Real" and a feature for Dizzy Gillespie, "Perceptions"; his "Lament" became a standard.

_____Johnson worked with Miles Davis during part of 1961-1962, led some more small groups of his own, and by the late '60s was kept busy writing television and film scores. J.J. Johnson was so famous in the jazz world that he kept on winning Downbeat polls in the 1970s, even though he was not playing at all. However, starting with a Japanese tour in 1977, Johnson gradually returned to a busy performance schedule, leading a quintet in the 1980s that often featured Ralph Moore. In the mid-'90s, he remained at the top of his field, but by the late '90s and early into the 2000s, the legendary musician fell ill with prostate cancer, and sadly took his own life on February 4, 2001. (...from Scott Yanow...)

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OnλinerNotes - JAZZ
Windsor - Canada
MMIII

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