1950

Wardell Gray Chronology

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen

 

Last updated: January 25, 2015.

 

 

Date

 

Event

References/Further Details

January 4

Benny Carter and His Orchestra

Karl George, Ernie Royal (tp); George Washington, Britt Woodman (tb); Benny Carter (as, dir); Willie Smith, Marshall Royal, “Bumps” Myers, Wardell Gray (reeds); Gerald Wiggins (p); Ulysses Livingston (g); Charles Drayton (b); unidentified (d); Benjamin Sherman “Scat Man” Crothers, Delores Parker (voc).

Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.

January 4, 1950, 1:00–5:14 p.m.

Wardell Gray is recording for the Universal-International short “Nat ‘King’ Cole and his Trio.”

Gray is replaced on the screen.

 

Universal: Studio logs.

http://wardellgray.org/contractsp4.html

See discography for details.

 

January 14

Just Jazz Concert

Billy Eckstine, Art Tatum, Bobby Tucker, Jeane Taylor, Wardell Gray, and the Just Jazz All Stars.

Pasadena, CA.

 

“Eckstine Minting $$$s in the Coast,” New York Age, February 11, 1950, 33.

January 15

Just Jazz Concert

Billy Eckstine,

Art Tatum

Just Jazz All Stars

Shorty Rogers (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Teddy Edwards (ts); Hampton Hawes (p); Jackie Mills (d).

Russ Auditorium, San Diego, CA.

8:00 p.m.

Gene Norman (prod).

 

Ad in San Diego Union, January 11, A-7: Wardell Gray is not mentioned in this ad.

“Eckstine Minting $$$s in the Coast,” New York Age, February 11, 1950, 33: This article mentions Wardell Gray as participating in both concerts.

January mid

Billie Holiday

Jay Burkhardt Jay-Bird Orchestra

Including Miles Davis, Wardell Gray, and Joe Williams.

Regal, Chicago, IL.

January 13–19.

Burkhardt’s orchestra is in for Charlie Ventura’s, because of Ventura’s illness.

Wardell Gray joined the Burkhardt orchestra here. He came in from California, but did not make it until the last night.

 

Ad in Chicago Defender, January 14, 1950, 13.

“Chicago Band Briefs,” Down Beat, January 27, 1950, 4.

“Capsule Comments: Jay Burkhardt: Regal, Chicago,” Down Beat, February 24, 1950, 11: Review. Orchestra of 18 pieces.

January 20

Wardell Gray Orchestra

Also on the bill: Miles Davis Capitol Recording Stars and Li’l Green Blues.

Club Valley, Detroit, MI.

January 20–22, and 25.

 

“Miles, Wardell Unite,” Down Beat, February 10, 1950, 9.

Ad in Michigan Chronicle January 21, 1950, according to L. Porter (ed.), The John Coltrane Reference (2008), 46.

February?

Wardell Gray Orchestra

Bop Battles: Little John and His Merry Men and Candy Johnson and His Peppermint Sticks.

Club Valley, Detroit, MI.

 

Michigan Chronicle acc. To L. Bjorn and J. Gallart, Before Motown (2001), 125.

?

Tony Rhodes Jump Band

Wardell Gray was an occasional member.

Michigan Chronicle acc. To L. Bjorn and J. Gallart, Before Motown (2001), 125.

 

April 25

Wardell Gray Quintet

Wardell Gray (ts); Phil Hill (p); James “Beans” Richardson (b); Art Mardigan (d).

United sound Studios, Detroit, MI.

Commercial recordings for Prestige.

 

See discography for details.

May

Monday Jam sessions

Bowl-O-Drome, Detroit, MI.

Ad in Detroit Free Press, May 19, 1950, 13: “Wardell Gray conducts

"Fantasies in Jazz" Monday evenings…

Michigan Chronicle acc. To L. Bjorn and J. Gallart, Before Motown (2001), 125.

 

July 17

Celebrity Party

Milomo, Los Angeles, CA.

Wardell Gray is guest of honor.

 

“Socializing With...” California Eagle, July 21, 1950, 22.

July 21

Count Basie Septet

Wardell Gray joins Basie.

New Orleans Swing Club, San Francisco, CA.

July 21–August 3.

 

C. Sheridan, Count Basie –A Bio-Discography (1986), 1125–26.

August 4

Count Basie Septet

Clark Terry (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts): Count Basie (p); unidentified (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Damita Jo (voc).

Oasis Club, Los Angeles, CA.

August 4–17.

 

“Oasis Buys Basie,” Variety, July 26, 1950, 5: opening August 4 for two weeks.

Ad in Variety, August 4, 1950, 5: opening tonight.

“Nitery Reviews: Oasis,” Variety, August 17, 1950, 6.

 “House Reviews: Oasis, L.A.,” Variety, August 16, 1950, 44, 47: reviewed on August 9.

August mid

Count Basie Septet

One-nighters.

“Basie Orch Booked Solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: A few one-niters.

 

August 23

Count Basie Orchestra

10 pieces [sic!]. Inclusive Buddy DeFranco (cl); Count Basie (p); Jimmy Lewis (b).

Damita Jo (voc)

Sugar Ray Robinson (voc).

Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles, CA.

August 23–29.

 

 “Orph to Relight Stage For Hamp and Basie,” Variety, July 21, 1950,1, Basie opening August 23 for a week.

“House Reviews: Orpheum, L.A.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 55: Reviewed on August 24.

August 27

Wardell Gray’s Los Angeles Stars

Clark Terry (tp); Sonny Criss (as); Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon (ts); Jimmy Bunn (p); Billy Hadnott (b); Chuck Thompson (d).

Hula Hut Club, Los Angeles, CA.

Recordings exist.

 

See discography for details.

August 29

Count Basie All Stars

Clark Terry (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); James Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d); Helen Humes (voc).

General Service Studios, Los Angeles, CA.

August 29–30, 1949.

Snader Telescriptions.

August 29, 9:30–11:45 a.m.: filming.

August 30, 7:00–8:20; 11:00–11:30 a.m.: filming.

August 30, 8:20–11:00 a.m.: recording.

 

AFM Contract.

http://wardellgray.org/contractsp3.html

See discography for details.

August 31

 

Count Basie Septet

Clark Terry (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); James Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA.

Short film with Sugar Chile Robinson and Billie Holiday.

August 31–September 1, 1950.

11:00 a.m._–3:40 p.m.: recording.

September 1, 1950, 8:30 a.m.–6:29 p.m.: filming.

 

Universal: Studio logs.

http://wardellgray.org/contractsp4.html

 See discography for details

 

September 1

Count Basie and His All Star Sextette

Including Helen Humes, Buddy DeFranco, and Wardell Gray.

Auditorium, San Bernadino, CA.

 

Ad in San Bernadino Daily Sun, August 28, 1950, 4.

September early

Count Basie Septet

One-nighters.

“Basie Orch Booked Solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: A couple of one-niters.

 

September 6

Count Basie Septet

Brass Rail, Chicago, IL.

September 6–26.

 

“Basie Orch Booked solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: opening September 6 for three weeks.

September late

Count Basie Septet

Moonglo Club, Buffalo, NY.

September late–October 1.

 

Photo dated October 1, 1950:

http://faculty.hampshire.edu/aravett/ftenor/clips/index.html

 

October 2

Count Basie Septet

Glass Bar, Kingston near Scranton, PA.

October 2–8.

 

“Basie Orch Booked Solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39.

Ad in Plain Speaker (Hazleton, PA.), August 2, 1950, 20: Count Basie all this week.

 

October 12

Count Basie Septet

Unidentified (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); unidentified (g); unidentified (b); unidentified (d).

Casino Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

October 12–18.

 

“Basie Orch Booked Solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39. “House Reviews: Casino, Toronto,” Variety, October 18, 1950, 54: reviewed on October 13.

October 19

Count Basie Septet

Hi-Hat Club, Boston, MA.

October 19–November 1.

 

“Basie Orch Booked solid Through Oct.,” Variety, August 2, 1950, 39: Two weeks starting October 19.

November 2

Count Basie Octet

Clark Terry (tp); Buddy DeFranco (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Rudy Rutherford (bar); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Jimmy Lewis (b); Gus Johnson (d).

Columbia Studios, New York, NY.

Commercial recordings for Columbia.

November 2 and 3.

 

See discography for details

November 4

Count Basie Septet

One-nighters.

November 4–30.

 

C. Sheridan, Count Basie –A Bio-Discography (1986), 1127.

November/December

Count Basie Septet

Possibly Thad Jones or Art Farmer (tp); Marshall Royal (cl); Wardell Gray (ts); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); prob. Jimmy Lewis (b); prob. Gus Johnson (d).

Unknown location, New York, NY.

Broadcast.  Recordings exist.

 

See discography for details

December 5

Count Basie Septet

Brass Rail, Chicago, IL.

December 5–January 16.

 

C. Sheridan, Count Basie –A Bio-Discography (1986), 1127.

“Chicago Band Briefs,” Down Beat, December 1, 1950, 4.

December

Count Basie Septet

Vaughn Veteran’s Hospital, Chicago, IL.

 

C. Sheridan, Count Basie –A Bio-Discography (1986), 1127.