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Don Shirley Trio
Cadence CLP3036 [1961]  Stereo CLP25046

Includes Don Shirley, piano, Ken Fricker, bass, and Juri Taht, cello.
The version of "Water Boy" here is longer than the 45rpm hit version. The 45 was a shorter, complex edit of this LP track.

1. Water Boy - Avery Robinson
2. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess? - George Gershwin
3. In a Moorish Market Place - Don Shirley
4. The Man I Love - George Gershwin 
5. This Nearly Was Mine -  Richard Rodgers
6. Blue Skies - Irving Berlin
7. Adieu Madraz - Don Shirley
8. Tribute to Billy Holiday/Traveling Light/Don't Explain/Easy Living/God - Mercer 
9. By Myself/I Know Where I'm Going - Howard Dietz
10. Freedom/I'm on My Way - Don Shirley
11. When Your Lover Has Gone - Einar A. Swan

Reissued on
Collectable Jazz Classics

Back Cover Notes:

New York-- October 1960
Whenever I am in a studio recording Don Shirley a sense of having been accorded a great privilege comes over me.  It reconfirms again and again my sincere conviction that Don Shirley possesses a truly great talent. As a musician, I am constantly overwhelmed by his technical virtuosity and his imaginative creativity.  As a human being, I am often emotionally moved by his lyricism--sometimes-I am not ashamed to say--to the point of tears.

Don Shirley's real greatness lies, I believe, in his creativity.  His version of a popular song is not an arrangement--it is a re-creation--a new composition.  It is his impression of the original--the way he hears it in terms of his own means of expression--just as a painter paints a subject as he sees it in terms of his own means of expression.

The means of expression Don Shirley uses are as many and varied as the influence which contributed to his development.  He was born of highly intellectual parents--he spent six years studying piano and composition at the Leningrad Conservatory--he spent a short time as a practicing psychologist--he paints expertly--he hold Doctorates in Music, Psychology, and Liturgical Arts--he has the same admiration for Odetta and Ellington that he has for Rachmaninoff and Debussy.  All these influences--plus many more--create the uniqueness of his musical expression.  However, because of this uniqueness, Don Shirley does not fit any of the "pigeon-hole" categories into which Show Business likes to put people. Although he makes use of the jazz idiom, he cannot be called a "jazz pianist."  Although he makes use of the blues idiom, he cannot be called a "blues pianist."  Because he makes use of the jazz, blues, and classical idioms--and often develops thematic material in the manner of a serious composter--he cannot be called a "popular pianist." Because he devotes his performing and creative talent to "music of the people"--folk songs, blues, spirituals, and so-called "popular songs"--he cannot be called a "classical pianist." What is he then? I say he is a uniquely talented creative artist-perhaps a genius--who brings an extraordinary musical experience to anyone who listens to him with an open mind and an open hear.

President, Cadence Records

WATER BOY--Traditional song arranged by Don Shirley
This famous old prison song has become the Don Shirley Trio's most requested number. The performance is Don's impression of Odetta's famous interpretation.

--By George & Ira Gershwin
The three instruments of the Don Shirley Trio play the roles of the three characters who sing this song in the opera--the piano, Porgy--the cello, Sabena--the bass, Maria.

An exotic original composition by Shirley--using a figure introduced by the piano and continued throughout by the cello and bass--a device of musical composition called an "ostinato."

--By George & Ira Gershwin
This brilliant "tour de force" is a great favorite of Don Shirley fans. Though hard to believe without seeing it, the piano solo from the beginning to the brief quote from RHAPSODY IN BLUE is played by the left hand alone.  The bass solo later on is a good example of the remarkable talent of bassist Ken Fricker.

--By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd
This lyric interpretation seems to make the beautiful words of Oscar Hammerstein actually seem to come to life.

BLUE SKIES--By Irving Berlin
In this impression of one of Irving Berlin's immortal songs, Don displays a strong influence of his Russian musical training.  As Mr. Berlin is of Russian birth, this is an interesting coincidence--or perhaps it is no coincidence--or perhaps it is no coincidence at all--but rather an example of Don Shirley's amazing insight.

ADIEU MADRAZ--Jamaican Folk Song arranged by Don Shirley
A beautifully tender folk song form Don's native Jamaica. Its story is that of a woman's headpiece (madraz) left as a goodbye remembrance for her lover.

    TRAVELING LIGHT--By J. Mercer, J. Mundy-T. Young
    DON'T EXPLAIN--By Billie Holiday & Arthur Herzog
    EASY LIVING--By Ralph Rainger & Leo Robin
    GOD BLESS THE CHILD--By B. Holiday & A. Herzog
As a good friend of the late Billie Holiday, Don believes that these four songs, closely indentifified [sic] with Miss Holiday, aptly depict her tragic life.  TRAVELING LIGHT connotes the circumstances of her birth and youth.  DON'T EXPLAIN characterizes her hatred of the "phony." EASY LIVING is really a contradiction--because she always lives for love, but found it only in her music.  GOD BLESS THE CHILD explains her personal philosophy--

"Them that's got shall get!
Them that don't shall lose!
   So the Bible says,  And it still is news.
Moma may have!
Papa my have
But God Bless the child that's got his own.
(reproduced by permission of E. B. Marks, Inc.)

--By Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz

I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING--Folk Songs arranged by Don Shirley
A look at the words of both these songs how the reason for combining them. A love may be lost-life may be, for a while, lonely-but the search for true love never ceases. The unresolved musical ending is Don's suggestion that, in love, all is never finished--there is always hope.

FREEDOM--Negro Spiritual arranged by Don Shirley

I'M ON MY WAY--Negro Spiritual arranged by Don Shirley
Out of the Negroes' fight against the intolerableness of slavery came the moving spiritual FREEDOM--which later became the marching song of the Negro regiments in the Civel War.  Don feels that the powerful phrases still apply:
"Oh freedom! Oh freedom!
Oh freedom, over me!
And before I'd be a slave,
I'd be buried in my grave,
Go home to my Lord and be free--"

Don combined this with I'M ON MY WAY, because the Negro feels he has achieved some degree of freedom and is now really "on his way" toward becoming a completely accepted member of our society.

Just a wonderful old song played in the inimitable style of --The Don Shirley Trio!

This LP was recorded monophonically and stereophonically at the Fine Recording Studios in New York on July 11th and 13th, 1960, by recording engineer George Piros, under the supervision of Bock Mack for Cadence, employing two Neumann u-47 microphones for the piano pickup plus a U-47 for the cello and a U-47 for the bass.

The tapes were made on Ampex 300 recorders and the master discs were cut directly from the original tapes by Claude Rie on a Neumann lathe with a Westrex 3C cutter for stereo and a Westrex 2b cutter for mono. Both cutters are flat plus or minus 1/2 DB for 30 cycles to 16,000 cycles.  The master lacquers were hand crafted by the Dulcet Tone Corporation.  The pressings were manufactured of the purest vinyl yet developed by Sonic Recording Products Inc., the Indianapolis plant of RCA Victor, and the Monarch Record Manufacturing Company.  We believe this is the best recording of Don Shirley we have every been able to make.  It is particularly effective in stereo.

Photography - Design - Frank Gauna
Typography - The Composing Room, Inc.
Printing - Lithographic Corporation of America