Oliver Jackson Trio Featuring Percy France – Live In Madrid – RTVE-Radio – 1983.
Two relatively unsung heroes of Jazz this week; Oliver Jackson, and his trio which consisted of Leonard Gaskin on Bass and Cliff Smalls on Piano and featuring Percy France, tenor Sax in a live gig recorded, presumably in Madrid and broadcast by RNE in Spain in 1983.
From his bio:
Percy France worked a lot with Sonny Rollins during the period when Sonny forged a dance band that worked at the Audubon Ballroom in the late 1940s. He also worked with Sonny Payne, with Michael Silva, another drummer, and in a little of a foreshadowing of the two-tenor combines he would work in, he would work quite often with Morris Lane.
He was recommended by a musician, not remembered by name but remembered for his enthusiasm, to Bill Doggett when the legendary organist brought Percy France into his band to give it a flavor, really a distinctiveness, so it would sound different than the other organ groups that didn’t have a horn. And this clicked. Bill Doggett became the most successful in the early organ-sax combo groups. … Percy France stayed for several years, including tours, some concert activity, a lot of nightclub work and some theater work. He also was on all of the early King records.
Following his years with Bill Doggett, Percy France gravitated, perhaps by opportunity rather than preference, to continued action in organ-sax combines. He worked with Jimmy Smith, with Freddie Roach, and for the longest stay, with Sir Charles Thompson. The Sir Charles Thompson period was at Count Basie’s own night spot and Count loved organ, and occasionally took a little turn there, with Basie and Percy – Count & France.
Oliver Jackson appeared on a countless number of sessions through the years. He was part of Detroit’s very viable jazz scene in the late 1940s, playing with Thad Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Wardell Gray, and others. Jackson also often performed as half of a variety act with Eddie Locke called Bop & Locke. The drummer worked with Yusef Lateef (1954-1956), moved to New York, and then began freelancing. He was a regular at the Metropole (1957-1958), played with Teddy Wilson, was in the Charlie Shavers Quintet (1959-1961), and worked with Buck Clayton, Benny Goodman (1962), Lionel Hampton (1962-1964), Kenny Burrell, Earl Hines (off and on during 1964-1970), and the JPJ Quartet (a co-op band with Budd Johnson). In later years Jackson was with Sy Oliver’s group (1975-1980), Oscar Peterson, George Wein’s Newport All-Stars, and many short-term bands. He led sessions for Dalahay (in Switzerland in 1961) and for at least live albums for the Black & Blue label during 1977-1984.
So now you know – dive in and enjoy.
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