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John Zorn / George Lewis / Bill Frisell: News for Lulu (1987)

Overview

“News for Lulu” is an album that contains hard bop compositions, which were written by Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Freddie Redd and Sonny Clark in the 1950s and the early 1960s, and were performed by the trio formed by John Zorn (alto saxophone), an American composer, saxophonist, arranger and producer known for his avant-garde and cross-genre music, with trombonist George Lewis (trombone) and guitarist Bill Frisell (guitar).

The album was recorded at a studio in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1987, and was released by Hat Hut Records in 1988.

It contains 20 tracks. Tracks 1-17 are studio recordings. Tracks 18-20 were recorded live at Jazzfestival Willisau on August 30, 1987.

It is an album of hard bop compositions performed by an unusual instrumentation using only alto saxophone, trombone and guitar without instruments in a rhythm section, such as piano, bass and drums.

Though it incorporates Zorn’s saxophone playing in the free jazz style, modern arrangements, and collective improvisations, it is basically a faithful reinterpretation of the original song structures.

The album is characterized by its unique song selection. It includes a lot of less frequently covered compositions, avoiding famous ones, such as “Moanin'” by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and “The Sidewinder” by Lee Morgan.

The original album cover features a photo of actress Louise Brooks who played “Lulu” in the silent film “Pandora’s Box” (1929) directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.

The album was reissued in 1990, 1993 and 2008. The album covers of the 1993 and 2008 reissues are different from the original.

The 2008 reissue includes a bonus track.

In 1992, the trio of Zorn, Lewis and Frisell released the album “More News For Lulu”, which featured the 1989 live performances of hard bop compositions with the same instrumentation as this album.

Track Listing

  1. “KD’s Motion” (Dorham, 3:32): The original is a song from the 1957 LP version of the album “Afro-Cuban” by Dorham (recorded in 1955).
  2. “Funk in Deep Freeze” (Mobley, 4:31): The original is a song from the album “Hank Mobley Quintet” by Mobley (recorded and released in 1957).
  3. “Melanie” (Redd, 4:07): The original is a song from the album “Shades of Redd” by Freddie Redd Quintet (recorded in 1960 and released in 1961).
  4. “Melody for C” (Clark, 4:26): The original is a song from the album “Leapin’ and Lopin'” by Clark (recorded in 1961 and released in 1962).
  5. “Lotus Blossom” (Dorham, 4:08): The original is a song from the album “2 Horns / 2 Rhythm” by Dorham (recorded and released in 1957).
  6. “Eastern Incident” (Clark, 4:04): The original is a song from the album “Sonny Clark Quintets” by Clark (recorded in 1957, 1958 and released in 1976).
  7. “Peckin’ Time” (Mobley, 3:13): The original is a song from the album “Peckin’ Time” by Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan (recorded in 1958 and released in 1959).
  8. “Blues Blues Blues” (Redd, 4:17): The original is “Blues, Blues, Blues” from the album “Shades of Redd” by Freddie Redd Quintet (recorded in 1960 and released in 1961).
  9. “Blue Minor take 1” (Clark, 3:43): The original is “Blue Minor” from the album “Cool Struttin'” by Clark (recorded and released in 1958).
  10. “This I Dig of You” (Mobley, 3:13): The original is a song from the album “Soul Station” by Mobley (recorded and released in 1960).
  11. “Venita’s Dance l” (Dorham, 3:23): The original is “Venita’s Dance” from the 1957 LP version of the album “Afro-Cuban” by Dorham (recorded in 1955).
  12. “News for Lulu” (Clark, 4:07): The original is a song from the album “Sonny’s Crib” by Clark (recorded in 1957 and released in 1958).
  13. “Ole” (Redd, 3:47): The original is “Olé” from the album “Shades of Redd” by Freddie Redd Quintet (recorded in 1960 and released in 1961).
  14. “Sonny’s Crib” (Clark, 5:22): The original is a song from the album “Sonny’s Crib” by Clark (recorded in 1957 and released in 1958).
  15. “Hank’s Other Tune” (Mobley, 3:52): The original is a song from the album “Byrd’s Eye View” by Donald Byrd (recorded in 1955 and released in 1956).
  16. “Blue Minor take 2” (Clark, 3:26): See No. 9.
  17. “Windmill” (Dorham, 0:40): The original is a song from the album “Whistle Stop” by Dorham (recorded and released in 1961).
  18. “News for Lulu” [Live] (Clark, 4:19): See No. 12.
  19. “Funk in Deep Freeze” [Live] (Mobley, 3:29): See No. 2.
  20. “Windmill” [Live] (Dorham, 1:03): See No. 17.
John Zorn / George Lewis / Bill Frisell ‎– Funk In Deep Freeze (Hank Mobley) (News For Lulu, 1988)