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Stereo Fidelity - Playable On Monaural Equipment - But For Best Results Use A Stereo Needle
Don Wilkerson - Elder Don - LP Cover

track 1. Señorita Eula:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 2. San Antonio Rose:
(Wills)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 3. Scrappy:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 4. Lone Star Shuffle:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 5. Drawin' A Tip:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 6. Poor Butterfly:
(Golden-Hubbell)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

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Don Wilkerson - Elder Don - LP Cover

track 1. Señorita Eula:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 2. San Antonio Rose:
(Wills)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 3. Scrappy:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 4. Lone Star Shuffle:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 5. Drawin' A Tip:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 6. Poor Butterfly:
(Golden-Hubbell)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

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Don Wilkerson - Elder Don - LP Cover

track 1. Señorita Eula:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 2. San Antonio Rose:
(Wills)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 3. Scrappy:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 4. Lone Star Shuffle:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 5. Drawin' A Tip:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 6. Poor Butterfly:
(Golden-Hubbell)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

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Don Wilkerson - Elder Don - LP Cover

track 1. Señorita Eula:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 2. San Antonio Rose:
(Wills)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 3. Scrappy:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 4. Lone Star Shuffle:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 5. Drawin' A Tip:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 6. Poor Butterfly:
(Golden-Hubbell)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

Get It? - OR - Back To Site Index

Don Wilkerson - Elder Don - LP Cover

track 1. Señorita Eula:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 2. San Antonio Rose:
(Wills)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 3. Scrappy:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 4. Lone Star Shuffle:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 5. Drawin' A Tip:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 6. Poor Butterfly:
(Golden-Hubbell)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

Get It? - OR - Back To Site Index

Don Wilkerson - Elder Don - LP Cover

track 1. Señorita Eula:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 2. San Antonio Rose:
(Wills)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 3. Scrappy:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 4. Lone Star Shuffle:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 5. Drawin' A Tip:
(Wilkerson)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

track 6. Poor Butterfly:
(Golden-Hubbell)
on May 3rd, 1962
in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
at the Van Gelder Studio

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OnλinerNotes - JAZZ
Windsor - Canada
MMIII

Elder Don
Don Wilkerson

    "...albums like this go a long way in proving that Don Wilkerson was one of the great underrated saxophonists of his time; his vibrant, robust tone dominates the session, and that's no small accomplishment, since he's playing with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Willie Bobo, as well as pianist Johnny Acean and bassist Lloyd Trotman - all masters themselves. 'Elder Don' is no one-note session: hard-swing, bluesy soul-jazz, hard bop, with an added wallop of Latin lilt and a dollop of graceful, lyrical ballad to round out all these ingredients into one highly delectable recipe..."

Blue Note Records
[ BST-84121 ]

LP art design - Reid Mills


tenor sax - Don Wilkerson
guitar - Grant Green
piano - Johnny Acea
bass - Lloyd Trotman
drums - Willie Bobo

producer - Alfred Lion
engineer - Rudy Van Gelder

Joe Goldberg's Original 1962 LP Liner Notes:
_____This is Don Wilkerson's (bio here) second LP for Blue Note. His first, "Preach, Brother!" (4107) was in a more overt rhythm-and-blues groove than the present collection, and contained something of a hit in a piece with the self-explanatory title, "Camp Meetin' ".

_____On the jacket notes to that album, it was pointed out that Don Wilkerson played most of the tenor solos in the Ray Charles band of 1954, the band that recorded the first great Ray Charles hits such as "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" and "I Got A Woman". Wilkerson was to that band what another Texas tenorman, David 'Fathead' Newman is to the present one. I think it is significant that Don Wilkerson had so much experience, and because of it, it is more than coincidental that Blue Note should be the company to record him.

_____Ray Charles's overwhelming success as a singer has fairly effectively obscured the fact that for years he led one of the best small jazz bands in the business, a sort of successor to Louis Jordan's Tympani Five. Ray CharlesHow deeply this stylistic tradition has affected contemporary jazz is indicated when one remembers that Sonny Rollins (bio) has called Louis Jordan his first influence, and that Art Blakey (bio) has called the Charles group his favorite band. The Ray Charles instrumentals are so similar in intent to what Art Blakey and Horace Silver have been doing that it seems natural that Don Wilkerson's music, in much the same vein, would appeal to the Blue Note people.

_____To continue the parallel for a moment, the main difference between the music of Louis Jordan / Ray Charles and that of Art Blakey / Horace Silver is that the former two have spent much of their time playing music for dancing. Therefore, their music is often of a functional character, while the Messengers and Horace Silver play what could more accurately be called art music, for listening only. It is this functional quality that is happily present in Don Wilkerson's work. He has listed as tenor influences such men as Illinois Jacquet (bio), Arnett Cobb, Gene Ammons, Paul Gonsalves, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt and Ike Quebec. Significantly, I think, all except Sonny Rollins have spent a good part of their professional lives playing for dancing; and certainly, Sonny Rollins has kept the quality of dance in his work more than all but a very few major jazzmen. I hear the sound of Arnett Cobb in Don Wilkerson more than that of anyone else, but it may be only the famous "cry" that seems indigenous to the work of Texas tenormen. And it might not be irrelevant to mention that the first great Count Basie band, one of the greatest of dance bands, was largely staffed with men from that Southwest tradition.

_____The most recent manifestation of the jazz-dance combo has been the countless small groups which feature tenor and/or guitar with organ and drums. One of the most recent musicians of importance to emerge from the workshop of those groups has been the guitarist Grant Green (bio), and it is entirely fitting that he should have a major role to play on this set. He has several successful Blue Note LPs to his credit, and my own more extensive comments on his playing can be found on the back of "Sunday Mornin' " (4099). Dinah WashingtonThe pianist Johnny Acea is also admirably suited to this company. Originally a trumpeter, he worked in the band of the great Texas pianist Sammy Price. Much of his recent work has been with Illinois Jacquet, and he has been Dinah Washington's accompanist. It is significant that on the LP that signalled Ray Charles's entrance into popular music, "The Genius Of Ray Charles", the most overt blues performance, "Two Years Of Torture", was arranged by Johnny Acea. Bassist Lloyd Trotman's experience includes time spent with such disparate people as Eddie Heywood, Hazel Scott, Duke Ellington, Pete Brown, Wilbur De Paris, Boyd Raeburn and Johnny Hodges. And finally, there is drummer Willie Bobo, most widely known for his part in the current popularity of Afro-jazz.

_____The Texas influence on Don Wilkerson is evident in his choice of material. The opener, Don Wilkerson's own "Seņorita Eula", is a blues with Spanish (or Mexican) overtones. Don Wilkerson's preaching solo more than justifies the album's title, "Elder Don", but as impressive as its emotional quality are the strong order and logic he brings to his ideas. Don Wilkerson's 'Elder Don' - LP CoverAlso interesting is the economical way he brings strong support to Grant Green's single-line solo. Grant Green, the only holdover from Don Wilkerson's previous LP, shows a great affinity with the leader's approach.

_____Indirectly, perhaps Ray Charles can also be credited with the inclusion in this album of Bob Wills's "San Antonio Rose". Just as he raised so-called "rock 'n' roll" to the level of art, Ray Charles has recently pointed out to jazzmen and pop artists alike the possibilities inherent in country-and-western music. "Rose" is one of the best of the song's, a classic in its field, and Don Wilkerson gives it an unusual and appropriate performance. The Cuban overtones in the statement of the tune are not dropped from the solos, as many groups would do, but continue through Don Wilkerson's and Grant Green's choruses to reach a peak in Johnny Acea's piano solo, which would be perfectly in place in a Cuban band. The result is a performance which combines country music, Cuban music and jazz into a unique, exciting whole.

_____Three other Don Wilkerson originals, "Scrappy", "Lone Star Shuffle" and "Drawin' A Tip", account for half the LP. The first is a 'rhythm number', played with fast intensity. The second, a shuffle blues, as its title implies, is typical of the power and excitement which often erupts on the bandstands of local clubs late at night, when the musicians are in good form and the audience reception has been responsible for raising the temperature of the room. The third could loosely be described as a medium jump number, also a club standby.

_____The final number, "Poor Butterfly", is a ballad. Much space has been devoted to dance music in these remarks, but Don Wilkerson's performance here certainly necessitates further comment. Much dancing is slow dancing, of course, and the rare jazzman who can sustain the dancing feel at a slow tempo while still creating meaningful music is a valuable man to have around. Many young musicians can create nothing but funeral music at this tempo, but Don Wilkerson manages to be light and charming, while still properly reflective.

_____Taken together, these six pieces by tenor saxophonist Don Wilkerson provide a fascinating example of the fact that while many of today's jazzmen have left behind the dance origins of their music, others have retained those origins and use them as a basis to make highly direct and satisfying music. (...original 1962 LP liner notes from Joe Goldberg...)

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Don Wilkerson: a bio
______Don Wilkerson was born in 1932 in Moreauville, Louisiana and died on July 18, 1986 in Houston. The archetypal big-toned Texas tenor of Don Wilkerson was unfortunately not documented on record as much as the quality of his music deserved; he was an excellent, earthy soul-jazz saxophonist capable of playing blues, ballads, bop, swing, and gospel-tinged R&B. Don Wilkerson at a live gig in TexasDon Wilkerson was born in Moreauville, Louisiana, in 1932, and first learned the alto sax; by his teens, he had moved to Houston and was accomplished enough on tenor to play with R&B outfits headed by Amos Milburn and Charles Brown.

______Don Wilkerson played on some of Ray Charles' earliest recording sessions in the mid-50s, taking memorable solos on classics like "I Got a Woman", "This Little Girl of Mine", and "Hallelujah I Love Her So". He also led a band in Miami for a short time, and participated in numerous jam sessions with Cannonball Adderley. Adderley produced Don Wilkerson's first recording session, a 1960 date for Riverside® titled "The Texas Twister". After another short stint with Ray Charles, he signed with Blue Note® and recorded three stellar, soulful albums over 1962-1963: "Elder Don", "Preach, Brother!", and "Shoutin' ", all of which featured Grant Green (bio) on guitar. Unfortunately, none was very successful, and Don Wilkerson didn't record any further as a leader. He remained in Houston for most of his life and passed away on July 18, 1986. (...from Steve Huey...)

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Grant Green: a bio
_______Grant Green was born in St. Louis on June 6, 1931 and died in New York on January 31, 1979. He learned his instrument in grade school from his guitar-playing father and was playing professionally by the age of thirteen with a gospel group. He worked gigs in his home town and in East St. Louis, Illinois until he moved to New York in 1960 at the suggestion of Lou Donaldson. Grant Green told Dan Morgenstern in a Down Beat® interview: "...The first thing I learned to play was boogie-woogie. Then I had to do a lot of rock & roll. It's all blues, anyhow..."

_____His extensive foundation in R&B combined with a mastery of bebop and simplicity that put expressiveness ahead of technical expertise. Grant Green was a superb blues interpreter, and his later material was predominantly blues and R&B, though he was also a wondrous ballad and standards soloist. He was a particular admirer of Charlie Parker, and his phrasing often reflected it. Grant Green played in the 1950s with Jimmy Forrest, Harry Edison, and Lou Donaldson.

_____He also collaborated with many organists, among them Brother Jack McDuff, Sam Lazar, Grant GreenBaby Face Willette, Gloria Coleman, Big John Patton, and Larry Young. During the early 1960s, both his fluid, tasteful playing in organ/guitar/drum combos and his other dates for Blue Note established Grant Green as a star, though he seldom got the critical respect given other players. He was off the scene for a bit in the mid-60s, but came back strong in the late 1960s and 1970s. Grant Green played with Stanley Turrentine, Dave Bailey, Yusef Lateef, Joe Henderson, Hank Mobley, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones.

_____Sadly, drug problems interrupted his career in the 1960s, and undoubtedly contributed to the illness he suffered in the late 1970s. Grant Green was hospitalized in 1978 and died a year later. Despite some rather uneven LPs near the end of his career, the great body of his work represents marvelous soul-jazz, bebop, and blues.

_____A severely underrated player during his lifetime, Grant Green is one of the great unsung heroes of jazz guitar. Like Stanley Turrentine, he tends to be left out of the books. Although he mentions Charlie Christian and Jimmy Raney as influences, Grant Green always claimed he listened to horn players (Charlie Parker and Miles Davis) and not other guitar players, and it shows. No other player has this kind of single-note linearity (he avoids chordal playing). There is very little of the intellectual element in Grant Green's playing, and his technique is always at the service of his music. And it is music, plain and simple, that makes Grant Green unique.

_____Grant Green's playing is immediately recognizable - perhaps more than any other guitarist. Grant Green has been almost systematically ignored by jazz buffs with a bent to the cool side, and he has only recently begun to be appreciated for his incredible musicality. Perhaps no guitarist has ever handled standards and ballads with the brilliance of Grant Green. (...from Michael Erlewine and Ron Wynn...)

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OnλinerNotes - JAZZ
Windsor - Canada
MMIII

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