Sphere Leader Entry
by Michael Fitzgerald

Generated on Sun, Oct 02, 2011


Date: February 17, 1982
Location: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Label: Elektra/Musician

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. a-01    Four In One - 6:51  (Thelonious Monk)
b. a-02    Light Blue - 3:36  (Thelonious Monk)
c. a-03    Monk's Dream - 5:57  (Thelonious Monk)
d. b-01    Evidence - 5:59  (Thelonious Monk)
e. b-02    Reflections - 5:57  (Thelonious Monk)
f. b-03    Eronel - 6:53  (Thelonious Monk, Sadik Hakim, Sahib Shihab)
All titles on:      Elektra/Musician LP 12": 60166 — Four In One   (1982)
     Elektra Masters CD: 7559-62601-2 — Four In One   

Date: 1983
Location: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Label: Elektra/Musician

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. a-01    If I Should Lose You - 10:31  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. a-02    Pumpkin's Delight - 6:40  (Charlie Rouse)
c. b-01    Played Twice - 4:30  (Thelonious Monk)
d. b-02    El Sueño - 5:27  (Kenny Barron)
e. b-03    Christina - 4:47  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
f. b-04    Flight Path - 4:45  (Kenny Barron)
All titles on:      Elektra/Musician LP 12": 60313-1 — Flight Path   (1983)
     Elektra Masters CD: 7559-62602-2 — Flight Path   

Date: July 6, 1983
Location: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal - Théâtre St-Denis, Montréal, Canada
Label: [radio broadcast]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Pumpkin's Delight - 14:29  (Charlie Rouse)
b. 02    Christina - 10:20  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
c. 03    Flight Path - 6:43  (Kenny Barron)
d. 04    Well, You Needn't - 17:00  (Thelonious Monk)
e. 05    Spiral - 17:52  (Kenny Barron)

Broadcast on CBC-FM program "JazzBeat" on November 23, 1983.


Date: July 8, 1983
Location: North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague, Netherlands
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a.     [unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Date: July 23, 1983
Location: Montreux Jazz Festival - Casino, Montreux, Switzerland
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego] - 12:00  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
b. 02    Flight Path - 9:30  (Kenny Barron)
c. 03    Christina - 9:12  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
d. 04    Spiral - 15:04  (Kenny Barron)
e. 05    Pumpkin's Delight - 11:59  (Charlie Rouse)
f. 06    Well, You Needn't - 9:48  (Thelonious Monk)

Date: March 20, 1984
Location: New Morning Club, Paris, France
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego] - 19:12  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
b. 02    Spiral - 25:24  (Kenny Barron)
c. 03    Christina - 17:44  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
d. 05    Well, You Needn't - 11:26  (Thelonious Monk)

One additional unknown selection #4 (17:44).


Date: February 16, 1985
Location: The New School, New York City
Label: [radio broadcast]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego]  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
b. 02    Epistrophy  (Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke)
c. 03    Christina  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)

Date: November 9, 1985
Location: Teatro Sperimentale, Ancona, Italy
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 20:51  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    Tokudo - 11:38  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
c. 03    Christina - 7:55  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
d. 04    Pumpkin's Delight - 16:44  (Charlie Rouse)
e. 05    Scratch - 24:37  (Kenny Barron)
f. 06    Well, You Needn't - 10:21  (Thelonious Monk)

Additional unidentified selections: 07 (9:29); 08 (9:42).


Date: November 21, 1985
Location: Bologna, Italy
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 20:01  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    Tayamisha [aka Pale Blue] - 5:22  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
     Red CD: 123 191 — On Tour   (1988)
c. 03    Spiral - 11:06  (Kenny Barron)
     Red CD: 123 191 — On Tour   (1988)
d. 04    Christina - 11:20  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
e. 05    Scratch - 7:56  (Kenny Barron)
     Red CD: 123 191 — On Tour   (1988)
f. 06    Tokudo - 7:15  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
g. 07    Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego] - 7:59  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
     Red CD: 123 191 — On Tour   (1988)
h. 08    A Beautiful Friendship - 10:15  (Donald Kahn, Stanley Styne)
     Red CD: 123 191 — On Tour   (1988)
i. 09    Flight Path - 18:27  (Kenny Barron)
j. 10    Pumpkin's Delight - 8:22  (Charlie Rouse)
k.     Well, You Needn't - 8:40  (Thelonious Monk)
     Red CD: 123 191 — On Tour   (1988)

Unissued material exists on private audience recording. This recording runs slightly fast, resulting in timing discrepancies.

CD issue gives date as November 1985.

a listed as Dual Force.


Date: November 22, 1985
Location: Nick's Jazzcafe, Laren, Netherlands
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Reflections - 8:17  (Thelonious Monk)
b. 02    Flight Path - 7:50  (Kenny Barron)
c. 03    Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego] - 16:27  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
d. 04    Spiral - 16:36  (Kenny Barron)
e. 05    Christina - 6:53  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)

Final selection fades out on only known source.


Date: July 12, 1986
Location: Umbria Jazz Festival - Panino Jazz Club, Perugia, Italy
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. I - 01    If I Should Lose You - 21:35  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. I - 02    Tokudo - 15:58  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
c. I - 03    Spiral - 19:05  (Kenny Barron)
d. I - 04    Flight Path - 12:56  (Kenny Barron)
e. II - 01    Scratch - 18:50  (Kenny Barron)
f. II - 02    Christina - 9:17  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
g. II - 03    Well, You Needn't - 22:08  (Thelonious Monk)

Date: July 14, 1986
Location: Umbria Jazz Festival - Teatro Morlacchi, Perugia, Italy
Label: Red

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a.     Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego] - 21:48  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
b.     A Beautiful Friendship - 22:17  (Donald Kahn, Stanley Styne)
c.     Spiral - 18:28  (Kenny Barron)
d.     Pumpkin's Delight - 13:44  (Charlie Rouse)
e.     Tokudo - 14:01  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
f.     Flight Path - 12:27  (Kenny Barron)
g.     Scratch - 18:38  (Kenny Barron)
h.     Christina - 8:48  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
i.     Well, You Needn't - 21:21  (Thelonious Monk)
j. 01    Pumpkin's Delight - 12:05  (Charlie Rouse)
     Red CD: 123 207 — Pumpkin's Delight   (1993)
k. 02    Tokudo - 11:00  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
     Red CD: 123 207 — Pumpkin's Delight   (1993)
l. 03    Saud's Song - 10:40  (Kenny Barron)
     Red CD: 123 207 — Pumpkin's Delight   (1993)
m. 04    Christina - 9:10  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
     Red CD: 123 207 — Pumpkin's Delight   (1993)
n. 05    Deceptakon - 11:40  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
     Red CD: 123 207 — Pumpkin's Delight   (1993)

Unissued material exists on private tape. Confirmation needed that this is all from the same one date.


Date: July 25, 1986
Location: Acireale, Italy
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. I - 01    Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego] - 19:01  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
b. I - 02    Tayamisha [aka Pale Blue] - 13:40  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
c. I - 03    Christina - 11:57  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
d. I - 04    Flight Path - 12:24  (Kenny Barron)
e. II - 01    If I Should Lose You - 21:56  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
f. II - 02    Tokudo - 13:57  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)

One additional unidentified selection (composed by Thelonious Monk): I - 05 (12:57)


Date: November 14, 1986
Location: Brass Group - Teatro Golden, Palermo, Italy
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Firewater [aka Dual Force; aka Fuego] - 18:30  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
b. 02    Tayamisha [aka Pale Blue] - 13:45  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
c. 03    Christina - 12:29  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
d. 04    Flight Path - 13:11  (Kenny Barron)

One additional unidentified selection (composed by Thelonious Monk): 05 (12:52).


Date: March 2, 1987
Location: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Label: Verve

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Baiana - 7:49  (Kenny Barron)
     Verve LP 12": 831 674 — Four For All   (1987)
b. 02    Bittersweet - 6:00  (Charlie Rouse)
     Verve LP 12": 831 674 — Four For All   (1987)
c. 03    Lunacy - 8:02  (Kenny Barron)
     Verve LP 12": 831 674 — Four For All   (1987)
d. 04    Air Dance [aka Air Dancing] - 7:59  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
e. 05    San Francisco Holiday [aka Worry Later] - 7:16  (Thelonious Monk)
     Verve LP 12": 831 674 — Four For All   (1987)
f. 06    Lupe - 9:21  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
     Verve LP 12": 831 674 — Four For All   (1987)
g. 07    This Time The Dream's On Me - 5:32  (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)
     Verve LP 12": 831 674 — Four For All   (1987)
h. 08    Melancholia - 4:30  (Duke Ellington)
All titles on:      Verve CD: 831 674-2 — Four For All   (1987)

Date: May 19, 1987
Location: Théâtre Boulogne-Billancourt, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Label: [radio broadcast]

Sphere (ldr), Phil Woods (cl, as), Yochk'o Seffer (bcl, bar), Steve Lacy (ss), Charlie Rouse (ts), Benny Bailey (t), Yves Robert (tb), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Light Blue - 17:02  (Thelonious Monk)
b. 02    Epistrophy - 1:55  (Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke)
c. 03    Oska T - 11:55  (Thelonious Monk)
d. 04    I Mean You - 14:17  (Thelonious Monk)
e. 05    Evidence - 11:32  (Thelonious Monk)
f. 06    Four In One - 11:31  (Thelonious Monk)

Date: May 27, 1987
Location: Coutances, France
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 20:36  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    This Time The Dream's On Me - 14:10  (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)
c. 03    Scratch - 16:10  (Kenny Barron)
d. 04    Lupe - 17:22  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)

Date: February 21, 1988
Location: YMHA, West Orange, NJ
Label: [radio broadcast]

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Spiral  (Kenny Barron)
b. 02    Christina  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
c. 03    Flight Path  (Kenny Barron)
d. 04    If I Should Lose You  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
e. 05    Lupe  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
f. 06    Scratch  (Kenny Barron)

private tape exists


Date: March 12, 1988
Location: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Label: Verve

Sphere (ldr), Charlie Rouse (ts), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Red Cross - 5:50  (Charlie Parker)
     Verve LP 12": 837 032-1 — Bird Songs   
b. 02    I Didn't Know What Time It Was - 10:29  (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)
     Verve LP 12": 837 032-1 — Bird Songs   
c. 03    Dewey Square - 5:41  (Charlie Parker)
     Verve LP 12": 837 032-1 — Bird Songs   
d. 04    Moose The Mooche - 6:47  (Charlie Parker)
     Verve LP 12": 837 032-1 — Bird Songs   
e. 05    Barbados - 5:08  (Charlie Parker)
     Verve LP 12": 837 032-1 — Bird Songs   
f. 06    Ah-Leu-Cha - 5:48  (Charlie Parker)
     Verve LP 12": 837 032-1 — Bird Songs   
g. 07    Quasimodo - 5:15  (Charlie Parker)
     Verve LP 12": 837 032-1 — Bird Songs   
h. 08    Just Friends - 7:41  (John Klenner, Sam M. Lewis)
All titles on:      Verve CD: 837 032-2 — Bird Songs   

Date: October 4, 1997
Location: Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY
Label: Verve

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (ss, as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    We See - 8:29  (Thelonious Monk)
b. 02    Isfahan - 8:15  (Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn)
c. 03    Uncle Bubba - 6:19  (Gary Bartz)
d. 04    Hornin' In - 8:27  (Thelonious Monk)
e. 05    Buck And Wing - 7:52  (Gary Bartz)
f. 06    Twilight Song - 9:19  (Kenny Barron)
g. 07    The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top - 7:22  (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II)
All titles on:      Verve CD: 314 557 796-2 — Sphere   (1998)

Gary Bartz (ss) on f; (as) on a-e, g.

"Twilight Song" listed as "Twlight" on this issue.


Date: 1998
Location: Dayton, OH
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Isfahan - 14:59  (Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn)
b. 02    Hornin' In - 12:30  (Thelonious Monk)

Final selection (14:04) - title unknown.


Date: April 19, 1998
Location: Village Vanguard, New York City
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 17:37  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    Scratch - 13:32  (Kenny Barron)
c. 03    Twilight Song - 15:13  (Kenny Barron)
d. 04    Well, You Needn't - 14:04  (Thelonious Monk)
e. 05    The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top - 12:50  (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II)

Spoken introduction of band (0:35) precedes final selection.


Date: ca. 1999
Label: Ambiance

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (ss, as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a.     Well, You Needn't  (Thelonious Monk)
b.     Green Chimneys  (Thelonious Monk)
c.     A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing  (Billy Strayhorn)

Date unknown - 1999 is date of Harrisburg, PA concert by Sphere.

Information from interview of Barron by Russ Neff, published in Harrisburg Patriot-News. Uncertain whether the group's label Ambiance ever existed. Additional selections are original compositions by group members.


Date: May 7, 1999
Location: Bern Jazz Festival - Kursaal, Bern, Switzerland
Label: [radio broadcast]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (ss, as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 15:06  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    Isfahan - 11:44  (Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn)
c. 03    Cook's Bay - 14:26  (Kenny Barron)
d. 04    Tayamisha [aka Pale Blue] - 8:17  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
e. 05    Well, You Needn't - 14:26  (Thelonious Monk)
f. 06    Uncle Bubba - 8:03  (Gary Bartz)

Gary Bartz (ss) on c; (as) on a-b, d-f.

A spoken introduction by festival director Hans Zurbrügg precedes the first selection.


Date: ca. June 2000
Location: Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a.     [unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Date: May 10, 2001
Location: Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (ss, as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Lenny White (d)

a.     [unknown titles]  (Composer Unknown)

Date: September 1, 2002
Location: Chicago Jazz Festival - Grant Park, Chicago, IL
Label: [radio broadcast]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz, Phil Woods (as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 19:19  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    Tokudo - 15:31  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
c. 03    A Beautiful Friendship - 16:45  (Donald Kahn, Stanley Styne)

Broadcast on February 22 and 24, 2003 on WBEZ-FM radio. Concert billed as "Millennium Monk" (but apparently no compositions by Thelonious Monk!).


Date: September 4, 2002
Location: Iridium, New York City
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (ss, as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 15:52  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    We See - 15:10  (Thelonious Monk)
c. 03    Reflections - 16:21  (Thelonious Monk)
d. 04    Tokudo - 15:43  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)

Gary Bartz (ss) on c; (as) on a-b, d.

Broadcast on WBGO-FM radio.


Date: September 7, 2002
Location: Iridium, New York City
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (ss, as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    Pumpkin's Delight - 14:24  (Charlie Rouse)
b. 02    We See - 15:23  (Thelonious Monk)
c. 03    If I Should Lose You - 17:20  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
d. 04    Tokudo - 8:12  (Charles 'Buster' Williams)
e. 05    Isfahan - 13:39  (Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn)
f. 06    Evidence - 14:21  (Thelonious Monk)
g. 07    Cook's Bay - 15:21  (Kenny Barron)
h. 08    Twilight Song - 13:36  (Kenny Barron)
i. 09    The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top - 11:50  (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II)

Gary Bartz (ss) on g-h; (as) on a-f, i.

First and second sets (of three).


Date: December 28, 2002
Location: Palazzo del Popolo, Orvieto, Italy
Label: [private recording]

Sphere (ldr), Gary Bartz (as), Kenny Barron (p), Buster Williams (b), Ben Riley (d)

a. 01    If I Should Lose You - 17:40  (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
b. 02    We See - 16:18  (Thelonious Monk)
c. 03    Reflections - 19:56  (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland, Jr.)
d. 04    Cook's Bay - 14:28  (Kenny Barron)
e. 05    Well, You Needn't - 10:36  (Thelonious Monk)

Spoken comments by Gary Bartz (0:54) precede the final selection.