Afternoon Session




Artist: Various Artists
Title: Afternoon Session

Ellis Marsalis – piano
Jim Haden – Bass
Lee Charlton – Drums
John Peirce – Alto Saxophone
Chuck Foster – Trumpet

In the Deep South, in the late fifties, where I mixed and melded with other musicians at all hours of the day and night, jazz was a way of life for a small but very talented community of players. Between gigs, jam sessions soared with an inspired spontaneity that took even the best to new heights. New Orleans, the place that sparked the heart and soul of jazz, continued to fan the flames, and by the early sixties, the heat was on.
There I met pianist Ellis Marsalis, known for his engaging performances at the Music Haven, who joined me, in 1963, for a Bay Area gig before heading back South to nurture his growing jazz family. So, in 1968, when Eliss let me know he was coming with Al Hirt to Sparks, Nevada, I was eager to join him for a spirited reunion. “I’ll put my drums in the car and come up,” I said. “Maybe we can find a place and some cats and play.”

When I arrived, Ellis had already lined up an afternoon session with members of Al’s club band, including saxophonist John Peirce, trumpeter Chuck Foster and bassist Jim Haden. We gathered at John’s pad, I set up my new Uher tape recorder and two AKG 202 mikes, and we spontaneously set Sparks afire.

This year, after 32 years, I rediscovered the tape and realized how truly hot it was. You’ll find in this recording the best of that afternoon’s alchemy — magical moments that breathe a heartfelt, acoustic fire that is the essence of true, hot jazz.

— Lee Charlton


1. Impressions
2. No Clues, Minor Blues
3. Broadway
4. Embraceable You (old folks)
5. 12’s It
6. Song For Nancy

Sample of song #7