1954

Wardell Gray Chronology

 

 

 

Created by Leif Bo Petersen

 

Last updated: January 25, 2016.

 

 

Date

 

Event

References/Further Details

January 31

Modern Sounds

Wardell Gray, Red Callender, Buddy Collette, Al Bartee, Carl Perkins, John Ewing, and others.

Pastel Room, Los Angeles, CA.

4–8 p.m.

 

“Modern Sounds At Pastel Room Sunday at Four,” California Eagle, January 28, 1954, 9.

February 4

Tour

Produced by Gene Norman

George Shearing Quintet

Wardell Gray - Zoot Sims - Stan Getz

accompanied by local bands.

February 4–12.

8 one-niters: Los Angeles, Sam Diego, Riverside, San Francisco, Eugene, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.

 

“Norman Sets Shearing for 1-Niter Tour, Billboard, January 30, 1954, 26.

 

February 4

George Shearing Quintet

Wardell Gray - Zoot Sims - Stan Getz

accompanied by

Sauter-Finegan Orchestra

Rendezvous Ballroom, Balboa, CA.

“Clef Dwellers,” Variety, January 28, 1954, 15: Gene Norman has added another date to the Sauter-Finegan Southern California Stretch. Band will have a one-niter at the Rendezvous Ballroom, Balboa, a week from tonight.

“Package $7,415 on HWD. 1-Niter,” Billboard, February 20, 1954, 17.

 

February 5

George Shearing Quintet

Wardell Gray - Zoot Sims - Stan Getz

accompanied by

Sauter-Finegan Orchestra

Embassy Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA.

 

“Package $7,415 on HWD. 1-Niter,” Billboard, February 20, 1954, 17.

“On the Upbeat,” Variety, February 3, 1954, 54.

February 6

George Shearing Quintet

Wardell Gray - Zoot Sims – Stan Getz

Roger Fleming (p), Buddy Woodson (b), Lawrence Marable (d).

Coliseum, San Diego, CA.

 

“Shearing appears With New Quintet,” San Diego Union, February 8, 1954, a-13.

February 8

George Shearing Quintet

Wardell Gray - Zoot Sims - Stan Getz

accompanied by

Gerald Wilson Orchestra

San Francisco Veteran’s Memorial. CA.

Recordings exist.

 

See discography for details.

February 11

George Shearing Quintet

Wardell Gray - Zoot Sims – Stan Getz

Benson High School Auditorium, Portland, OR.

 

“Blind Pianist Due,” Oregonian, February 11, 1954, 8.

February 12

George Shearing Quintet

Wardell Gray - Zoot Sims

Metropolitan Theatre, Seattle, WA.

9:30 p.m.

 

Ad in Seattle Times, February 12, 1954, 24.

 

February 21

Wardell Gray

Knights & Dawn Trio

Garden of Allah, San Diego, CA.

2–7 p.m.

Sunday Jazz presented by Don Howard.

 

Ad in San Diego Union, February 20, 1954, a-8.

May 11

Concert

Dave Brubeck Quartette

Anita O’Day

Shorty Rogers and His Giants

Wardell Gray, Zoot Sims, Harry Edison, Shelly Manne, Arnold Ross, Jackie Mills, Joe Comfort, and Barney Kessel.

Embassy Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA.

May 11, 1954, 8:15 p.m.

Irving Granz (prod.): Jazz ala Carte featuring Down Beat

Award Winners.

 

Ad in Daily Trojan, Friday, May 7, 1954, 2.

July late

 

Wardell Gray

Blue Bird House band

Pepper Adams (as & bars); Barry Harris (p); Beans Richardson (b); Elvin Jones (d).

Blue Bird, Detroit, MI.

 

L. Bjorn and J. Gallart, Before Motown (2001), 125.

http://www.pepperadams.com/Chronology/EarlyYears.html

July

Wardell Gray Combo

Planning a combo having drummer Chuck Thompson for touring in California.

 

“Return of the Thin Man,” Melody Maker, July 51, 1954, 3.

August 9

Wardell Gray Combo?

Detroit, MI.

Detroit Free Press, August 9, 1954, 29: 11 P.M. 7-SOUPY'S ON-Soupy Sales with Wardell Gray, saxophonist, guest.

 

August

Wardell Gray Combo

Leading own combo in the middle West.

 

“Swinging the News,” Chicago Defender, August 14, 1954, 19.

September mid

Ira Sullivan-Wardell Gray

Ira Sullivan, Wardell Gray.

Bee Hive Lounge, Chicago, IL.

 

Ads in Chicago Defender, September 18 and 25, 1954, 15 and 25.

September 27

 

Wardell Gray and Jo Jones Trio

Wardell Gray (ts); Duke Jordan (p); Tommy Potter (b); Jo Jones (d).

Scale’s, New York, NY.

September 20–October 3.

 

“Cool School Offers Drums,” Milwaukee Journal, September 28, 1954, part 2, 11.

 

 

October/November

Wardell Gray

Engagements as single.

Baltimore, MD.

 

Wardell Gray letter to Dorothy Gray dated Toronto October 19.

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

 

October

Wardell Gray

New York, NY.

Without work.

 

Wardell Gray letter to Dorothy Gray dated Toronto October 19.

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

 

October 25

Wardell Gray – Eddie Chamblee

Loop Lounge, Cleveland, OH.

October 25–31.

Battle of Saxes.

 

Ad in Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 24, 1954, 59-D.

Ad in Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 31, 1954, 65-D.

October late/November early

 

Wardell Gray

2 weeks without a gig.

Wardell Gray letter to Dorothy Gray dated Toronto December 8.

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

November 25

Wardell Gray

Detroit, MI.

November 25–28.

 

Wardell Gray letter to Dorothy Gray dated Toronto December 8.

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

 

November late

Wardell Gray

Boston, MA.

One week.

 

Wardell Gray letter to Dorothy Gray dated Toronto December 8.

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

 

December early

Wardell Gray

Probably accompanied by Bill Goddard Quartet.

Metropole Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

One week.

Wardell Gray letter to Dorothy Gray dated Toronto December 8.

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

Photo showing Dorham at the Metropole has a poster on the wall mentioning Gray as future guest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kenny_Dorham.jpg

 

December 10

Wardell Gray

Al Hibbler, Wardell Gray.

Bee Hive Lounge, Chicago, IL.

December 10–23.

 

Ad in Chicago Defender, December 18, 1954, 15.

Wardell Gray letter to Dorothy Gray dated Toronto December 8.

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