Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sam Lazar Trio - Space Flight

Here's yet another St. Louis record show find. All I can say is that if you like fast Hammond B3 movers , then I can't imagine you won't dig this. "Space Flight" is an apt title for a tune that just sort of blasts right off the ol' turntable. Sam Lazar's organ wails from the opening note and doesn't let up. He's joined by jazz legend Grant Green on guitar, who's playing is particularly inspired. The drumming is crisp and reportedly blues great Willie Dixon handled the chores on stand-up bass. Together, they whip up one of the most swinging sides you're bound to hear.

My copy of the record is on the Cawthron label, a bit of a curious issue. I can only find a couple of references to it on the internet and then only on set sale lists. "Space Flight" was recorded in Chicago circa 1960 and was released on an album of the same name by the Argo label. Argo also issued it as a single, with "Dig A Little Deeper" as the b-side. Here though, the Cawthron record is a two-parter. I'm not sure how this small label, with distribution out of Hollywood came to issue the record. Was it released concurrently with the Argo record, a later reissue or what?

One thing for sure though is that it's great having a double dose of "Space Flight". And the record was done properly. A lot of two-part records of this type come to an abrupt halt at the end of part one or simply fade out on side one and back in on the flipside. Here, part one has a real ending. Part two picks up after the opening theme and takes us back through the "jam" part of the tune again. I don't know if part two is an alternate take, an edited piece of a longer recording or what. It too has a real ending though.

I guess you could say that I'd like more information on this record. I know there are some Hammond B3 fans out there. Any additional insight would be greatly appreciated.


Allan Moss said...

I just found your blog while searching for Sam Lazar's date of death. Never heard of this. The time on the 45 is only a few seconds short of the time on the album - 2:38. If side 2 is different, you've either got an alternative take or the original cut was longer than appeared on the LP.

Todd Lucas said...

Allan, thanks for taking the time to comment. Just listened to both sides of "Space Flight" again. Parts 1 & 2 sound similar but are definitely different. Given the length of the album cut, I'd guess you're right about Part 2 being an alternate take.

abuettner said...

Hi, Todd

I have a webpage on the Allegro label which as i just found out was owned by the same man as the Cawthron label that your Sam Lazar 45rpm was on. I managed to get the Lazar 45 on Cawthron, though my copy has a St. Louis adress on it.

I have not yet added the info about the Cawthron label on my Allegro page but will soon do so. If i do, could i use your picture of the Lazar 45 with the L.A. adress label?

Please let me know

See: /www.jazzdocumentation.ch/allegro/allegro.html

Todd Lucas said...


Fell free to use the picture of the Sam Lazar label.


abuettner said...

Hi, Todd

I am not yet finished with my page on Allegro / Cawthron.

However i managed to get the Argo LP as well:

Space Flight Part 1 and Space Flight Part 1 as on the 45rpm are two variations on the blues. They have the same speed, but really different themes.

Propable personnel on the Cawthron:

Lazar (org), Grant Green (eg, he's identifiable), Chauncey Williams (dr), recorded St. Louis, 1959

Now for the Argo: Here the "Space Flight" is a rerecording of "Space Flight Part 1 from the Cawthron 45.

The Argo also contains a new recording of "Space Flight Part 2", although under a new title, "Big Willie", in honor of Chess/Argo Blues session bassist Willie Dixon, who was added to the personnel from the Cawthron session.

The Argo LP was released in 1960.


Todd Lucas said...

Armin, thank you for all of the information. Not having a copy of the Argo release, I wasn't sure whether they were the same recording or not. Thank you for filling me in and listing the personnel. Be sure to let me know when your page is finished.


Armin said...

Todd, i would not say it's finished. In fact it's still quite chaotic. But you might want to have a look anyway. The page has moved - and is now dedicated to both labels, Allgero and Cawthron. You can now find it here: