Paul Gonsalves

Master Musician 1920 - 1974

Record Date Catalogue Song
Sittin' In - Dizzy Gillespie 26th June 1957 Verve
MG V-8225
To call the line-up on this record "All-Star" would be something of an understatement. Joining Paul on tenor are Coleman Hawkins and Stan Getz, with Dizzy on Trumpet. Two up-tempo numbers and two ballad medleys make up the track listings, Paul as expected shining on the ballads especially. This was a fact commented on by the other musicians, Stan Getz referring to Paul as a "very great tenor" who "gassed us all on this date". High praise indeed.
Taylor Made Jazz - Billy Taylor November 1959 Argo
LP 650
Few solo spots for Gonsalves on this small band date, but worth highlighting given the quality of some of music on this record, especially the Johnny Hodges ballad features which show just how damn near perfect he could sound.
Big Band Modern - Gerald Wilson 1959 The Jazz Factory
"He happens to be on a recording with me with my orchestra back in nineteen hundred and fifty four where I recorded a number called Romance, which was written by Aram Khachaturian, a very highly harmonic number with very modern chord structure. And the first time he played the solo its just like perfect – this man could play anything." - Gerald Wilson.
Swing Low Sweet Clarinet - Jimmy Hamilton 1960 Everest
SDBR 1100
"The primary focus is on the leader in these brief arrangements, who delivers consistent lyrical and swinging solos, though there is plenty of solo space for Gonsalves, who obviously knows how to complement his longtime section mate in the Ellington orchestra." - Ken Dryden, AllMusic review.
The Genius of Ray Charles - Ray Charles 6th May and 23rd June 1960 Atlantic
SD 1312
Two Years of Torture
The sixth Ray Charles studio album saw the great man break away from his previous rhythm and blues setting, using a studio big-band for the first half of this album. Although not particularly well-received on its release, it is now frequently regarded as one of the all-time great albums. Paul features in solo on Two Years of Torture.
The Ballad of Jazz Street - Nat Pierce 23rd-24th March 1961 Zim
Nat Pierce put together a wonderful rehearsal/studio band to record his three-part suite, including tenors Paul Quinichette, and Paul Gonsalves and Dick Hafer. The recordings were not released until 1980.
Phil Barboza and his Latin American Music and So Sabe- Phil Barboza 1962 Cabo Verde
Little is known about the circumstances surrounding these recording date(s) and personnel but these are important records given Paul's Cape Verdean heritage. Phil Barboza (aka Phil Edmonds) was one of Paul's early musical employers and this band also features Paul's great friend Joe Livramento. One of the tunes is also a Gonsalves original.
Big Band Bossa Nova - Quincy Jones Aug-Sept 1962 Mercury
SR 60751
Boogie Bossa Nova
The opening track of this album will be instantly recognisable to listeners both young and old, having been used as the theme for the Austin Powers movies. Paul shines in particular on the second track, the Mingus original "Boogie Stop Shuffle".
Rock Me Gently - Harry Carney 16-17th September 1963 Vocalion
SCX 3378
Baby Blue
Terrific small-band Ellingtonia featuring the best of the Duke's men. This session, nominally led by Carney, contains some wonderful performances, the stand out being Baby Blue in which Paul's sinuous ballad mastery takes centre stage.
The New World of Woody Herman - Woody Herman 26-27th December 1963 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 630 Freud's and Alice's
Originally made for the SESAC Transcribed Library, these tracks were made available only to selected radio stations on a subscription basis, never released commercially. Paul subs for the absent Sal Nestico and takes a number of fine solos.
Everybody Knows Johnny Hodges - Johnny Hodges 6th February 1964 and 8th March 1965 Impulse!
"It would be difficult to pick a favourite or a clunker, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anything more inspired or another project loaded with this much talent. Everybody knows Johnny Hodges and this stellar collection of all-stars, because they are absolutely the best at what they do." - Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic review.