Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Red Garland Quintet - All Mornin' Long (20bit K2 Super Coding Flac)

As noted, this is one of about a dozen of these 20bit Omnisonicphonic Pastelate Interval releases in SonicSound© that will be appearing, if interest warrants.

On November 15, 1957, a quintet headed by pianist Red Garland recorded enough material for two records. This CD (whose companion is Soul Junction) has a 20-minute version of "All Mornin' Long," along with briefer renditions of "They Can't Take That Away from Me" (a mere ten minutes) and Tadd Dameron's "Our Delight." More important than the material is that, in addition to Garland, the main soloists are John Coltrane and trumpeter Donald Byrd. Byrd was on his way to getting his sound together, while Trane, very much in his sheets-of-sound period, was already blazing a new path for jazz to follow. An excellent and often quite colorful jam session-flavored hard bop set. Scott Yanow

Red Garland (piano)
John Coltrane (tenor saxophone)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
George Joyner (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. All Mornin' Long
2. They Can't Take That Away From Me
3. Our Delight

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on November 15, 1957.

Frankie Trumbauer - 1929-1931 (Chronological 1245)

C-melody saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer will always be most famous for the recordings that he made with cornetist Bix Beiderbecke but he also led a series of fine sessions after Bix had departed the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. This CD features Trumbauer leading a large combo filled with Paul Whiteman sidemen during 1929-30 and a nonet in 1931. While some of the numbers are a bit commercial and there are vocals by Smith Ballew, Art Jarrett and Trumbauer himself, there are also some fine jazz solos from the leader, cornetist Andy Secrest, violinist Joe Venuti and trombonist Bill Rank. Among the better tracks are "Manhattan Rag" (which has Hoagy Carmichael on piano), "Happy Feet," "Get Happy" and "Honeysuckle Rose." ~ Scott Yanow

The preeminent white saxophonist of the 1920s, Frankie Trumbauer was a major influence on jazz performers of all colors -- at his peak, his supreme standing on the alto was comparable to the kind of dominance later enjoyed by Charlie Parker. Born May 30, 1901, in Carbondale, IL, Trumbauer -- often called "Tram" by his contemporaries -- was playing with Chicago's Benson Orchestra when he was spotted by Bix Beiderbecke and quickly recruited to join the legendary cornetist in Jean Goldkette's orchestra. Soon Tram had climbed to the position of Goldkette's musical director, earning notoriety for the impeccable technique of his light-toned solos; he cut some of the definitive records of the era with Beiderbecke, "Singin' the Blues" among them, and, by 1927, the two were reunited in Paul Whiteman's orchestra. Trumbauer remained with Whiteman until 1932, returning in 1933 for another four-year stint. When he exited in 1936, he took command of the Three T's, featuring the Teagarden brothers; in 1938, he moved on to co-lead a band with Manny Klein. With the onset of World War II, Trumbauer was assigned to the Civil Aeronautics Authority; still, he continued to pursue music in his off-hours, playing with Russ Case and cutting a number of New York studio dates during the latter half of the 1950s. However, with the arrival of the modern jazz era of the 1950s, Tram fell off the radar; he died June 11, 1956, in Kansas City, MO. ~ Jason Ankeny

Frankie Trumbauer (alto, C-melody sax)
Hoagy Carmichael (piano, cello)
Eddie Lang (guitar)
Joe Venuti (violin)
Andy Secrest (trumpet, cornet)

1. Love Ain't Nothin' But The Blues
2. How Am I To Know?
3. Turn On The Heat
4. Manhattan Rag
5. Sunny Side Up
6. My Sweeter Than Sweet
7. What Wouldn't I Do For That Man
8. Happy Feet
9. I Like To Do Things For You
10. Get Happy
11. Deep Harlem
12. What's The Use?
13. Hittin' The Bottle
14. Bye Bye Blues
15. Choo Choo
16. Bass Drum Dan
17. Honeysuckle Rose
18. In the Merry Month Of Maybe [Singing]
19. In the Merry Month Of Maybe [Humming]
20. Crazy Quilt [Singing]
21. Crazy Quilt [Humming]
22. Georgia On My Mind
23. Honeysuckle Rose

Thelonious Monk - Live at the Jazz Workshop [Complete]

The tapes of these two 1964 San Francisco shows stayed locked up at Columbia Records until the label drew a double-LP from them shortly after Monk's death in 1982. Never issued on CD in the U.S., that album is now superseded by this packed document that nearly doubles its length, restores edited portions of several performances, and adds a dozen performances that sometimes better the original recordings. Monk, saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales, and drummer Ben Riley are unsurprisingly on point for the dates, which are filled with numerous classics from the Thelonious book. Disc one, which features most of the original release, is highlighted by a solo "Memories of You" and a full-quartet "Just You, Just Me" that say much about Monk's emotive capabilities; playful and beautiful, the back-to-back standards are some of the finest gems of his Columbia tenure. Seven of the second CD's first eight cuts, apparently done on the somewhat less shaky sophomore evening, would themselves have made a five-star single album in themselves. The exuberance and care of these renditions of "Well You Needn't," "Bright Mississippi," "Nutty," and other Monk inventions make the Complete Jazz Workshop a linchpin in the genius's onstage catalog. --Rickey Wright

Thelonious Monk (piano)
Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Larry Gales (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)

CD 1
1. Don't Blame Me
2. Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
3. Well You Needn't
4. Evidence/Rhythm-A-Ning
5. Epistrophy (theme)
6. Hackensack
7. Bright Mississippi
8. Evidence
9. Epistrophy
10. 'Round About Midnight
11. I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You
12. Memories Of You
13. Just You, Just Me
14. Epistrophy

CD 2
1. Blue Monk
2. Well You Needn't
3. Bright Mississippi
4. Bemsha Swing
5. 'Round About Midnight
6. Nutty
7. Straight, No Chaser
8. Thelonious
9. Hackensack
10. Misterioso
11. Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
12. Epistrophy (theme)

Astor Piazzolla - Piazzolla-Goyeneche en Vivo (Mayo 1982) Teatro Regina

… and finally we conclude this fine series, Edición Crítica of Astor Piazzolla’s recordings on RCA Victor and Columbia spanning the 1960’s to the early 1980’s. It took me the entire month of April to get all 13 discs posted and I am quite pleased with the reception this series has received here at CIA. At this point I might as well admit that the information on each post written by Diego Fischerman, the producer of this SUPERB Piazzolla series, was translated from the original Spanish (or Castellano, as they say in Argentina) liner notes by myself. I am by no means a professional (or even amateur) translator (not an easy job!) so I ask for forgiveness if I did not capture the exact meaning behind the actual words. I did my best!

Thanks to all those that favored me with appreciative comments. They are most gratifying. Special thanks to Descargador who provided helpful suggestions and encouragement, not to mention additional scans and his own Piazzolla posts to complement my own. Scoredaddy

Piazzolla – Goyeneche en vivo – “Anyone can be a gentleman, anyone can be a thief. Mixed with Stavisky is Don Bosco and La Mignon, la Thatcher, Napoleon…” In the lyrics to “Cambalache”, Don Chico’s name was replaced by Roberto Goyeneche. It was May 1982. For one month Argentina had tried to occupy the Malvinas Islands (Falklands) and was at war with Great Britain. Astor Piazzolla performed at the Teatro Regina with Goyeneche and his new quintet, comprised of himself on bandoneón, Fernando Suárez Paz on violin, Pablo Ziegler on piano, Oscar López Ruiz on electric guitar and Héctor Console on bass. Piazzolla’s original intention had been to present the songs he composed with Horacio Ferrer, but the singer was not able to learn any of them, except for the already well known “Balada para un loco” and “Chiquilín de Bachín”. For this reason it was decided to present Goyeneche’s typical repertoire.

The series of recitals (20 functions in one month), was owed in part to the circumstances of the same war. Nobody wanted to do a show, there were available and inexpensive concert halls in Buenos Aires and it was suggested to Piazzolla that he take advantage of the opportunity. It was in these concerts that the bandoneonist dedicated to the “heroic Captain Astiz” the piece “Los lagartos”, which was renamed “Contraataque” and later “Tanguedia”, and became the central theme in the soundtrack of the film El exilio de Gardel, directed by Pino Solanes (without the director knowing the theme’s origin at the time).

Piazzolla-Goyeneche en vivo (Mayo 1982) Teatro Regina is the second album recorded live by Piazzolla in that theater. Among the pieces included on the original album are two instrumentals, “Muerte del angel” and “Tritezas de un doble A”, in which Piazzolla performs an introductory cadenza of more than six minutes where, in his words he recreated “the styles of all the bandoneonists: Láurenz, Maffia, Pichuco, up to the present”. In this new version of the piece that he had composed ten years prior for the Conjunto 9, improvisation was given an important role and there is a section in which the group improvises without a defined key, along the lines of free jazz (around the 13th minute). Numerous live recordings exist of this version, each with variations in the improvised parts. But it is notable that in all cases, following the free-style passage, order is reestablished to finish nothing less than with a trill of resolution, in the baroque style. This edition includes as a bonus track the piece “Garúa” with Goyeneche, which was not issued on the original album. Diego Fischerman

An early 80s live date that has the Astor Piazzolla Quintet joining singer Roberto Goyeneche -- a vocalist with a style as deeply evocative as the combo's instrumental music! The lyrics are all in Spanish, and delivered with a sense of feeling to match Piazzolla's work on bandoneon -- and although the overall sound is perhaps not as modern as some of Astor's other music from the time, we're still somewhat amazed at the sounds he manages to sneak in alongside the vocals -- really highlighting Roberto's words in ways that are quite unusual. Titles include "El Gordo Triste", "Ciquilin De Bachin", "La Muerte Del Angel", "Tristezas De Un Doble A", and "Balada Para Un Loco". CD also features the bonus track "Garua". Dusty Groove America

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneón)
Fernando Suárez Paz (violin)
Pablo Ziegler (piano)
Oscar López Ruiz (electric guitar)
Héctor Console (bass)
Roberto Goyeneche (vocals)

1) Tristezas De Un Doble A (Piazzolla)
2) La Muerte Del Angel (Piazzolla)
3) Chiquilin De Bachin (Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
4) El Gordo Triste (Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
5) Cambalache (Enrique Santos Discepolo)
6) La Ultima Curda (Anibal Troilo / Catulo Castillo)
7) Balada Para Un Loco (Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
8) Garua (Anibal Troilo / Enrique Domingo Cadicamo)

Recorded live at the Teatro Regina on May 30, 1982

Chico Hamilton - The Head Hunters

Here's yet another Chico Hamilton LP from the '60s that never made it to digital. There's an agreeable reveiw at AMG for those needing words before notes: "This intriguing if erratic set features up-and-comers in altoist Steve Potts and guitarist Eric Gale, along with the obscure tenor-saxophonist Russ Andrews. Most unusual is that Ray Nance, formerly with Duke Ellington for 20 years, is heard exclusively on violin and he sounds quite at home on the more adventurous pieces."
Another carefully processed LP to LAME rip, sounds quite good.

Marion Brown - Afternoon Of A Georgia Faun

Braxton on Chinese musette, as opposed to the Bolivian musette.

Difficult as it may be for younger listeners to believe, there was a time when ECM released adventurous, improvised music. Back near its inception in the early 70's, the label issued a wide variety and decent number of challenging, avant-garde recordings that represented some of the most forward-looking musical thinkers of the time. One of these was Marion Brown who, at the time of this session, was about midway between his extreme post- Coltrane explorations and the luscious, down-home evocations of Georgia that he would create for Impulse over the next few years. He gathered eleven musicians including a couple from the then-current Miles Davis Bitches Brew band (Chick Corea and Bennie Maupin), the then little-known Anthony Braxton, Andrew Cyrille and the late, great vocalist Jeanne Lee for two sidelong, wide-ranging pieces. The first, the title track is a wonderful, percussive evocation of pastoral Georgia, something along the lines of what the Art Ensemble of Chicago was doing around the same time but without the satire and with a greater sense of serenity. As the flutes, reeds, voice and piano enter, there is no idea of "soloing"; instead, each contributes to the ongoing, evolving texture of the piece creating a fabric that's as cohesive as it is unplanned. The remaining cut, "Djinji's Corner", is a bit more fleshed out, a little more "traditional" in one way, though still quite unusual for the time. Again, a reference point might be Art Ensemble works from around the same time, here a mélange of free horns and intense percussion, with Jeanne Lee soaring over the top, mixing words and glossolalia, similar to her stellar work on Carla Bley's Escalator Over the Hill. The effect is more eerie and spiritually infused than the preceding piece, with keening, bowed cymbals and deep pulses from the lower clarinet family. It gradually builds to something of a frenzy, but in an unforced manner that shows it to be merely another approach to the territory explored earlier. Afternoon of a Georgia Faun is a lovely, inspired album, a key work in Marion Brown's oeuvre and a recording that belongs in any collection of contemporary jazz. Brian Olewnick

Marion Brown (alto sax, zomari, percussion)
Anthony Braxton (alto and soprano sax, clarinet, contrabass clarinet, chinese musette, flute, percussion)
Bennie Maupin (tenor sax, alto flute, bass clarinet, acorn, bells, wooden flute, percussion)
Chick Corea (piano, bells, gong, percussion)
Andrew Cyrille (percussion)
Jeanne Lee (voice, percussion)
Jack Gregg (bass, percussion)
Gayle Palmoré (voice, piano, percussion)
William Green (top o'lin, percussion)
Billy Malone (african drum)
Larry Curtis (percussion)

1 - Afternoon Of A Georgia Faun
2 - Djinji's Corner

Recorded at Sound Ideas Studio, New York City on August 10th, 1970

Donald Byrd & Kenny Burrell - 1956 All Night Long

In late 1956 and early 1957, trumpeter Donald Byrd and guitarist Kenny Burrell recorded a couple of discs fabulous: All Night Long and All Day Long. On a sound foundation created by the aforementioned Byrd and Burrell, plus drummer Art Taylor and bassist Doug Watkins (too soon died), from one session to another only changed the pianist and saxophonist. In the Night session, Mal Waldron at the piano and saxophonists Hank Mobley and Jerome Richardson are involved, while in the Day session are Tommy Flanagan and Frank Foster.

1 All Night Long (17:10)
2 Boo-Lu (6:44)
3 Flickers (6:10)
4 Li'l Hankie (8:20)
5 Body and Soul (*) (10:20)
6 Tune Up (*) (5:36)

* bonus tracks

Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Jerome Richardson (tenor saxophone, flute)
Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Arthur Taylor (drums)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on December 28, 1956

Kenny Burrell - All Day Long

Records like All Day Long once seemed like the reason long-playing vinyl was invented--to give ordinary mortals the sense of eavesdropping on a clique of talented improvisers stretching out after hours, away from the time confines of the three-minute 78, or the commercial demands of the nightclub and radio world. Later, critics derided the "blowing session" as a rip-off in which fans spent good money on a release only to get--well, a clique of talented improvisers stretching out away from the limitations of the 78, nightclub or radio broadcast. In fact, harnessing looseness and creativity into a satisfying album takes a certain amount of thought and craft, two things that clearly went into this co-led Kenny Burrell/Donald Byrd date.

The title cut builds from a simple, down-home blues guitar riff into a breathily-voiced horn harmonization, before opening up for a series of relaxed, statesmanlike blues solos with various background figures. "Slim Jim," based on "I Got Rhythm," features a daredevil tenor/trumpet theme; "Say Listen," "A.T." (more blues, this time from a Charlie Parker perspective), and the bonus track "C.P.W" offer relaxed, mid-tempo bebop.

Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Frank Foster (tenor saxophone)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Arthur Taylor (drums)

1. All Day Long
2. Slim Jim
3. Say Listen
4. A.T.
5. C.P.W.

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on January 4, 1957

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dave Brubeck - Brubeck a la Mode

Can it be that the critics are not in perfect concordance?

It's easy to forget that Dave Brubeck ever recorded any fascinating music with a horn player other than Paul Desmond. But in clarinetist William O. Smith, Brubeck had another foil, another thorough, highly developed (and well-regarded) composer with aerated tone and brilliance of ideas. This 1960 set, like Near Myth, features only Smith's compositions, all of them modal, and all of them showing melted edges and gentle bursts of creative improvising. Brubeck is his usual stalwart player, with his stark chords played so that they sound charming. Drummer Joe Morello and bassist Eugene Wright, Brubeck's best rhythm section, step up to Smith's demanding works, playing latticed harmony so that it rumbles a bit beneath the wood-toned clarinet--whose range sounds ever so Desmond-like. This is a sleeper in the Brubeck catalog, but don't let that imply anything negative. It's astounding. ~ Andrew Bartlett

One of Brubeck's three recordings of the 1959-61 period that featured clarinetist Bill Smith in the place of altoist Paul Desmond with the Quartet, this one finds Smith contributing ten originals that use various modes and unusual scales. The music generally swings and there are some fine solos but none of the individual pieces are all that memorable. ~ Scott Yanow

Dave Brubeck (piano)
Bill Smith (clarinet)
Eugene Wright (bass)
Joe Morello (drums)

1. Dorian Dance
2. Peace Brother
3. Invention
4. Lydian Line
5. Catch-Me-If-You-Can
6. Frisco Fog
7. The Piper
8. Soliloquy
9. One For The Kids
10. Ballade

May and June 1960

Memphis Jug Band - Memphis Jug Band

One of the definitive jug bands of the '20s and early '30s, this seminal group was comprised of Will Shade, Will Weldon, Hattie Hart, Charlie Polk, Walter Horton, and others, in various configurations.

Guitarist/harpist Will Shade formed the Memphis Jug Band in the Beale Street section of Memphis in the mid-'20s. A few years after their formation, Shade signed a contract with Victor Records in 1927. Over the next seven years, Shade and the Memphis Jug Band recorded nearly 60 songs for the record label. During this time, a number of musicians passed through the group, including Big Walter Horton, Furry Lewis, and Casey Bill Weldon. Throughout all of the various lineup incarnations, Shade provided direction for the group. The Memphis Jug Band played a freewheeling mixture of blues, ragtime, vaudeville, folk, and jazz, which was all delivered with good-time humor. That loose spirit kept the group and its records popular throughout the early '30s.

Although the group's popularity dipped sharply in the mid-'30s, Will Shade continued to lead the group in various incarnations until his death in 1966. ~ Cub Koda & Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Will Shade (guitar, harmonica)
Will Weldon (guitar)
Charlie Burse (vocal, mandolin)
Jab Jones (jug)

1. Lindberg Hop
2. On The Road Again
3. Stealin' Stealin'
4. Insane Crazy Blues
5. K.C. Moan
6. Cocaine Habit Blues
7. Newport News Blues (Take 1)
8. Whitewash Station Blues
9. The Old Folks Started It
10. Everybody's Talking About Sadie Green
11. Memphis Jug Blue (Take 1)
12. Gator Wobble
13. Little Green Slippers
14. Taking Your Place
15. Sometimes I Think I Love You
16. Memphis Boy Blues
17. Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues
18. What's The Matter?
19. Oh Ambulance Man
20. Beale Street Mess Around
21. She Stays Out All Night Long
22. You May Leave But This Will Bring You Back
23. Fourth Street Mess Around

Música Popular Contemporánea de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Vol. 2

The second Astor Piazzolla entry in this great series of Argentine contemporary music -- and every bit as wonderful as the first! As with that volume, this one has Piazzolla working with a nine piece combo -- one that features the usual guitar, violin, piano, and bass of his famous quintet -- plus added percussion, viola, violin, and cello. The strings are often used almost in percussive ways -- creating really weird sounds and strange changes of mood that offer a perfect backdrop for Astor's own haunting notes on the bandoneon -- sounds beyond imagination, played with a sensitivity and feeling that's simply amazing! The record's hardly the cold modernism you might expect from the title, and it's a great demonstration of the way Piazzolla was growing during the 70s. Titles include "Onda Nueve", "Buenos Aires Hora Cero", "Baires 72", "Oda Para Un Hippie", and "Vardarito". CD also features 3 bonus tracks that include "Un Dia De Paz", "El Penultimo", and "Jeanne Y Paul". Dusty Groove America

Música popular contemporánea de la ciudad de Buenos Aires (Vol. 2) was issued in 1972, with a new pianist, Osvaldo Tarantino who replaced Osvaldo Manzi. This edition includes, as bonus tracks, “El penúltimo” and “Jeanne y Paul”, recorded that year by the same group. Both compositions existed before but with other names. Piazzolla, who had had conversations with the producers of the Bernardo Bertolucci film The Last Tango In Paris about doing the original film soundtrack, upon learning that it had been done by Gato Barbieri, renamed these pieces deciding that they formed part of the music that he had already composed for Last Tango… Also included in this edition is the piece “Un día de paz”, recorded with orchestra in 1973. Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneón)
Antonio Agri (violin)
Osvaldo Tarantino (piano)
Oscar López Ruiz (electric guitar)
Kicho Díaz (bass)
Hugo Baralis (violin)
Néstor Panik (viola)
José Bragato (cello)
José Corriale (percussion)

1) Vardarito
2) Oda Para Un Hippie
3) Onda 9
4) Verano Porteño
5) Baires 72
6) Buenos Aires Hora Cero
7) El Penultimo
8) Jeanne Y Paul
9) Un Dia De Paz

All compositions by Astor Piazzolla

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 3 & 28, 1972, February 8, 1973 and July 24, 1973

Happy Birthday, Duke! - April 29th Birthday Sessions

After you're finished with Rab's great post you might enjoy hearing these live recordings.

These five CDs of material, available separately or in a box, were cut at two successive birthday celebrations for Ellington in 1953 and 1954 at McElroy's Ballroom in Portland, OR. They capture Ellington during his period with Capitol Records, which is usually not regarded as one of his better eras, mostly because he and the label never really got on the same wavelength. That has nothing to do with what we hear on these recordings, which were engineered by the legendary Wally Heider, and, as a result, sound at least five years fresher technically. Everyone involved sounds a lot more comfortable and happy than they did playing on Bluebird's 1952 Seattle Concert release -- this is about as relaxed a live show as one could imagine, and there's lots of good work here by some of Ellington's 1940s alumni, like Cat Anderson (trumpet) and Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor), who were cheated of studio time by the Musicians' Union strikes. Ellington had no qualms in this setting about mixing his current and classic repertory, retreading old ground and rethinking hits from as far back as 20 years earlier, and having fun with it. Anderson, Harry Carney, Hamilton, Ray Nance, Paul Gonsalves, Russell Procope, and Britt Woodman are the main soloists, with Nance and Jimmy Grissom handling the singing. One also gets a hint of just how complex Ellington's situation during this period really was -- the fact that he performed "Bunny Hop Mambo," one of those Capitol dance numbers that serious fans loathed, indicates that he took it seriously. Each disc runs approximately 45 minutes, making for more than 200 minutes of music, and at $7 list per disc, that's a bargain -- anyone owning Mosaic's Ellington Capitol box should have this set, and anyone disappointed with the Seattle Concert should try at least one volume. These shows came out of an even more difficult period, and they're very solid performances. - Bruce Eder

Cat Anderson, Clark Terry, Willie Cook (trumpet)
Ray Nance (trumpet, violin, vocals)
Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, Juan Tizol, John Sanders (trombone)
Russell Procope, Rick Henderson (alto sax)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax)
Jimmy Hamilton (tenor sax, clarinet)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Duke Ellington (piano)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Butch Ballard, Dave Black (drums)
Jimmy Grissom (vocals)

Astor Piazzolla - Música Popular Contemporánea de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Vol. 1

Música popular contemporánea de la ciudad de Buenos Aires (Vol. 1) was issued in 1971 and presented seven new pieces by the flaming Conjunto 9, which on this occasion was comprised of the regular quintet (Astor Piazzolla on bandoneón, Antonio Agri on violin, Osvaldo Manzi on piano, Oscar López Ruiz on electric guitar and Kicho Díaz on bass) plus a second violin played by Hugo Baralis, Néstor Panik on viola, José Bragato on cello and José Corriale on percussion. The group in which Piazzolla was featured soloist, in the style of a baroque concerto on his “Concierto de nácar para nueve tanguistas y orquesta” was, as with the two octets, the last sextet or his previous experiences with bandoneón, orchestra with strings and piano, a thesis project. Practical problems made such a large group difficult to sustain. This was not the era of many dances each day and the large orchestras that served this market. Besides, Piazzolla’s activities had never been too close to that circuit. Despite this, the composer tried to enlarge his basic quintet with different formats when he could. In the case of the nonet, a string quintet (the classic quartet comprised of two violins, viola and cello plus bass) and percussion completed the group. The group was sustained thanks to a contract with the Municipality of Buenos Aires that staged a number of concerts at the Teatro San Martin. This was a prolific period for Piazzolla and in particular, the piece that opens this disc, “Tristeza de un Doble A”, became a classic of his repertoire. The subsequent versions, live with the quintet formed in 1979 –with Fernando Suárez Paz, Pablo Ziegler, Oscar López Ruiz and Héctor Console- incorporated a long introductory cadenza by the bandoneónist and, in the development, improvisatory passages along the lines of free jazz. This version can be heard, for example, on the last CD of this series, recorded at the Teatro Regina in 1982 with the participation of Roberto Goyeneche on the sung pieces. Diego Fischerman

The title's an apt one -- given that Astor Piazzolla alone almost represented the biggest force in contemporary Buenos Aires music at the time! The album expands Piazzolla's lineup a bit more than usual -- as his group's expanded to a nonet with a bit more percussion, viola, violin, and cello -- all used in ways that are really amazing -- hardly the kind of "with strings" mode you might expect, and instead in territory that's as sonically evocative as Piazzolla's own work on bandoneon. The sounds fly out with qualities that are simply breathtaking -- far different than you might expect, but always with a deeply personal feeling that helps get past the starker, colder sort of modernism that usually might put us off a record like this. Piazzolla's one of the few artists who can break down musical boundaries and unleash newly personal feelings in an almost universal way -- and this album's a great testament to that quality in his work. Titles include "Zum", "Tristeza De Un Doble A", "Fuga 9", "En 3x4", "Divertimento 9", and "Preludio 9". Dusty Groove America

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneón)
Antonio Agri (violin)
Osvaldo Manzi (piano)
Oscar López Ruiz (electric guitar)
Kicho Díaz (bass)
Hugo Baralis (violin)
Néstor Panik (viola)
José Bragato (cello)
José Corriale (percussion)

1) Tristeza De Un Doble A
2) Zum
3) Homenaje A Cordoba
4) Preludio 9
5) Divertimento 9
6) Fuga 9
7) En 3 X 4

All compositions by Astor Piazzolla

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 15, 1971

Wynonie Harris - 1945-1947 (Chronological 1013)

The second Classics CD to feature blues singer Wynonie Harris' recordings as a leader finds him in the period right before he signed with the King label. The five four-song sessions on this disc (all quite jazz oriented) were cut for Hamp-Tone, Bullet, and Aladdin. First, Harris (who sounds quite enthusiastic in every setting) sings three numbers (including a two-part "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop") with a combo taken from the Lionel Hampton big band. The Bullet date was quite rare. Recorded in Nashville, it finds Harris backed by local players including Sun Ra in his first recording. Ra's piano is well featured throughout including on "Dig This Boogie." Harris is also heard with a Leonard Feather-organized band that includes trumpeter Joe Newman, altoist Tab Smith, and tenor-saxophonist Allen Eager ("Mr. Blues Jumped the Rabbit" is the best-known selection), with an obscure backup band in New York (including for "Ghost of a Chance," an odd departure with a vocal group) and sharing the spotlight with Big Joe Turner on three numbers (including a slightly disorganized two-part "Battle of the Blues"). Throughout, Wynonie Harris sounds like he was ready for stardom. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Wynonie Harris (vocals)
Big Joe Turner (vocals)
Sun Ra (piano)
Bill Doggett (piano)
Milt Buckner (piano)
Arnett Cobb (tenor sax)
Allen Eager (tenor sax)
Leonard Feather (piano)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Mary Osborne (guitar)

1. Good Morning Corinne
2. Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop - Part 1
3. Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop - Part 2
4. In The Evening Blues
5. Dig This Boogie
6. Lightning Struck The Poor House
7. My Baby's Barrel House
8. Drinking By Myself
9. Mr. Blues Jumped The Rabbit
10. Rugged Road
11. Come Back, Baby
12. Whiskey And Jelly-Roll Blues
13. You Got To Get Yourself A Job, Girl
14. Hard Riding Mama
15. Big City Blues
16. Ghost Of A Chance
17. Battle Of The Blues - Part 1
18. Battle Of The Blues - Part 2
19. Going Home
20. Blues

Cannonball Adderley - Cannonball's Bossa Nova

When people think in jazz and bossa nova, inmediately thinks in Charlie Byrd and (of course) Stan Getz. However, they weren't the only ones. In the 1960's, several and well stablished jazz musicians connected with this (at that time) new music. One of them was Cannonball Addderley. The recording was made in New York and Julian was accompanied by the Bossa Rio Sextet of Brazil, including the later famous Sergio Mendes

Cannonball Adderly wasn't widely identified with the bossa nova craze of the early sixties, but the evidence on this disc, a reissue of his 1962 recording for the Riverside label, shows that it wasn't for lack of trying. If you're among those for whom Stan Getz' tenor was the definitive bossa nova saxophone, Adderly's alto efforts here will be something of a revelation. His true tone and almost airy voicings are perfect complements to the Brazilian rhythms of the Bossa Rio Sextet.That sextet was as important to the quality of the sessions as Adderly. For his entry into the bossa nova sweepstakes, Cannonball chose to record with an established group of young Brazilians which included Durval Ferreira on guitar, Octavio Bailly, Jr. on bass, Pedro Paulo on trumpet and Paulo Moura on alto saxophone. The remaining members of the Bossa Rio Sextet would become the best known eventually - pianist Sergio Mendes as the leader of the Brazilian pop group Brazil '66 (and so forth...) and drummer Dom Um Romao as a member of Weather Report. Here, most of the players are in a backup role, with only Mendes soloing beside Adderly. It's an admirable job of backup, though, and roots the music in the genuine bossa nova sound and spirit.Also noteworthy is the material. While there is the obligatory track from the pen of Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Corcovado" in this case), most of the material is original, largely by guitarist Ferreira and his composing partner Mauricio Einhorn. Mendes' "Groovy Sambas" offers a glimpse of the music that would make him famous in just a few years. the Ferreira/Einhorn composition "Clouds" was also recorded in a shortened version for release as a single, as producer Orin Keepnews attempted to do for Cannonball what "Girl From Ipanema" had done for Stan Getz. The track didn't hit like "Ipanema" did, but it was a fine effort and is included here as a bonus cut, along with an alternate take of "Cordovado."Brazilian music has been a regular fixture of jazz and pop since those heady days when the bossa nova was truly new, and the songs and artistry on this album are good illustration of the reasons why.
Shaun Dale

01. Clouds 4:51
02. Minha Saudades 2:22
03. Corcovado 6:43
04. Batida Diferente 3:27
05. Joyce's Samba 3:12
06. Groovy Samba 4:59
07. O Amor Em Paz (Once I Loved) 7:48
08. Sambop 3:34
09. Corcovado (Alternate Take) 5:37
10. Clouds (Single Version) 2:42

Pedro Paulo Trumpet
Dom Um Romão Drums (Snare)
Paulo Moura Sax (Alto)
Octavio Bailly, Jr. Bass
Durval Ferreira Guitar
Sergio Mendes Piano
Cannonball Adderley Sax (Alto)

Recorded at Plaza Studio, New York, on December 7, 10 and 11, 1962

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Ellington

The Complete Capitol Recordings Of Duke Ellington

This five-CD box set from Mosaic documents Duke Ellington's least-known period, his two years on Capitol. Although thought of by some as his off years because of the absence of Johnny Hodges, the set serves as evidence that a great deal of viable music was created. The problem was basically one of the times themselves, coupled with weaknesses at Capitol and its approach to marketing jazz. Ellington's move to the label followed four frustrating years at Columbia Records, where he was kept out of the studio for 20 months by a combination of the musicians' union strike and the label's laziness, and then allowed to record two startlingly ambitious LPs, only to see his sales (in an era dominated by singers and novelty tunes) plummet. He felt the new label would be able to sell his records better than Columbia, but it wasn't to be -- Capitol, although an aggressive, upstart company, wasn't well focused on jazz. In fact, however, during this period, Ellington's orchestra had 11 distinctive soloists including four very different trumpeters (Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, and Ray Nance), and they were playing and even writing good music. In addition, there's a well-known trio set (sounding better here than on Capitol's own reissue) that showcases Ellington's underrated piano playing. Toss in the original version of "Satin Doll" plus the unusual Ellington '55 album, and one has a highly enjoyable reissue that Duke Ellington fans should pick up immediately. Two other virtues of this set that fans should consider are the extraordinary sound quality and the thoroughness of the historical annotation. To properly appreciate all of Ellington's best work during the period covered by the Mosaic set, one should also grab hold of the Discovery Records reissue of those Reprise recordings, Symphonic Ellington. Scott Yanow & Bruce Eder

Booker Ervin - The Space Book (1964)

Tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin's quartet with pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Alan Dawson was so strong and dynamic that it is surprising that it only existed in the recording studio, and only for two sessions. For the fourth and final of Ervin's series of Books, the music is indeed somewhat spacey. The group explores two standards ("I Can't Get Started" and "There Is No Greater Love") along with a pair of Ervin originals (the intense "Number Two" and "Mojo"), stretching the boundaries of hard bop without totally abandoning the chord changes. This CD is a fine example of Booker Ervin's unique style. - Scott Yanow

1. Number Two (8:13)
2. I Can't Get Started (9:34)
3. Mojo (10:26)
4. There's No Greater Love (7:09)

Giants of Jazz - George Wein Collection (1972)

This Giants of Jazz session was recorded in Switzerland in 1972 and released on LP by Concord in 1984 as part of the George Wein Collection. There was a CD release in 1990 but that was 18 years ago and is, of course, out of print.

Unlike the more common Atlantic session recorded live in London, this one (recorded a year later) leans a little more heavily on Monk's compositions beginning with a 15 minute "Straight, No Chaser" and ending with "Epistrophy". In between these we get a Monk feature on "Thelonious" and three ballad features for the horns.

Everyone is in good form on this session and the LP is in near mint condition. A real pleasure to listen to if you are into any of these true "giants".

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Kai Winding (trombone)
Sonny Stitt (tenor & alto sax)
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Al McKibbon (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
  1. Straight, No Chaser
  2. Thelonious
  3. Sweet and Lovely
  4. Don't Blame Me
  5. I'll Wait for You
  6. Epistrophy
Recorded November 12, 1972, Switzerland

Count Basie - Basie Big Band (20bit K2)

The career of Count Basie defies the norm. More consistent than virtually any of his contemporaries, Basie never made a big band record that didn't swing hard. On THE BASIE BIG BAND, trumpeters Frank Szabo and Dave Stahl had just recently joined the band. Drummer Butch Miles, playing in the Buddy Rich mold, had also joined the band only months before this session.

All this invigorated an already swinging orchestra. On THE BASIE BIG BAND, we hear nine Sam Nestico charts (not to be confused with cousin and tenor player Sal Nestico). Among them are some of Nestico's most famous compositions including "Freckle Face," "The Heat's On," and "The Wind Machine." There is much to applaud on this release. Whether it be Pete Minger's trumpet solo on "Orange Sherbet," Dave Stahl's powerful lead work on "Tall Cotton" or Butch Miles' blazing drum breaks on "Wind Machine," this album cooks!

Count Basie (piano)
Jimmy Forrest (tenor sax)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Danny Turner, Bobby Plater (alto sax)
Eric Dixon (tenor sax, flute)
Charlie Fowlkes (baritone sax)
Pete Minger, Frank Szabo, Dave Stahl, Bobby Mitchell, Sonny Cohn (trumpet)
Al Grey, Bill Hughes, Mel Wanzo (trombone)
Freddie Green (guitar)
John Duke (bass)
Butch Miles (drums)

1. Front Burner
2. Freckle Face
3. Orange Sherbert
4. Soft As Velvet
5. The Heat's On
6. Midnight Freight
7. Give 'M Time
8. The Wind Machine
9. Tall Cotton

Recorded in Los Angeles, California on August 26-27, 1975

Astor Piazzolla con Amelita Baltar - La Bicicleta Blanca

The Edición Crítica reissue-and-remastering series of Astor Piazzolla's recordings is apparently so far an exclusively Argentine project. Wider release in the U.S. and western Europe, where Piazzolla's music has found such favor in recent years, would be desirable, for, as systematic surveys often do, it might well alter the general perception of Piazzolla's output as a whole.

Consider this disc, containing music that hasn't been much heard, at least outside Spanish-speaking countries, since its 1970s heyday, and the music presents Piazzolla in a role largely unfamiliar to many of his contemporary fans: as orchestra leader and arranger. He also composed most of the music, to texts by Uruguayan poet Horacio Ferrer, who also wrote the libretto to María de Buenos Aires, and plays the bandoneón. The first seven tracks reissue La bicicleta blanca, a 1971 album by Argentine vocalist Amelita Baltar accompanied by the Orquesta Astor Piazzolla. Piazzolla and Ferrer wrote six of the seven songs; on the seventh, Fábula para Gardel (track 2), Piazzolla's own bandoneón is prominently featured. Piazzolla's arrangements are varied; some emphasize the strings, while others gradually introduce instruments (as in some of the numbers in María de Buenos Aires) to semi-spoken passages, using an acoustic guitar at first. Generally the music trends toward the pop side; the arrangements for the most part don't have the classical experiements and the sense of freedom that made Piazzolla famous (and antagonized his Argentine detractors).

The contrast between the relatively conventional sound and the ambitions of the songs themselves is attractive; they are complex creations, sometimes in several sections, and the nearest comparison might be the songs from the heyday of Serge Gainsbourg. The bonus tracks included (there are five of them, despite the appearance of the singular "bonus track" in the otherwise all-Spanish track list) are particularly interesting. Drawn from a pair of singles and an EP from around the same time as the La bicicleta blanca album, they again feature Baltar singing Piazzolla/Ferrer compositions, but one of them presents the Piazzolla North American listeners will be more used to: his early-'70s nonet is present on Las paraguas de Buenos Aires (track 11), whose connection to the more famous Umbrellas of Cherbourg is not immediately clear. Baltar is a wonderful singer in her own right, with a classically tense Latin American contralto that proves capable of quite a range of emotion as Baltar digs into some of Ferrer's more involved lyric conceptions. In short, this album will give Piazzolla fans plenty to chew on, both illustrating something of his repertoire as a whole and giving a unique window into his musical thought processes. It's not a purchase for the casual Piazzolla buyer, however. James Manheim

La bicicleta blanca was issued in 1971 and is the second of three LP records recorded by Amelita Baltar as a soloist, with accompaniment of orchestra arranged and conducted by Astor Piazzolla- the third was recorded in Italy in 1974 by Carosello, with the local edition issued by the Trova label. It includes seven new songs: “La bicicleta blanca”, “Fábula para Gardel”, “La última grela”, “Te quiero, che!”, “Juanito Laguna ayuda a su madre”, “Milonga en Ay menor” and “Canción de las venusinas”. A few of these had appeared on En persona in versions on which the lyricist recited the words accompanied by Piazzolla’s bandoneón.

On this first CD edition (up to now only issued in Japan) four pieces issued as two 1972 singles are included as bonus tracks (“La pimera palabra”, “No queiro otro”, “Las ciudades” and “Los paraguas de Buenos Aires”). This last song was recorded with accompaniment from the Conjunto 9, comprised on this occasion by Piazzolla on bandoneón, Antonio Agri and Hugo Baralis on violins, Néstor Panik on viola, José Bragato on cello, Kicho Díaz on bass, Osvaldo Tarantino on piano, Oscar López Ruiz on electric guitar and José Corriale on percussion.

Included here as well is “El gordo triste”, recorded with orchestra that same year but not issued until 1976 as part of an EP with four tracks (the other three, previously issued, were “Las ciudades” and “Los paraguas de Buenos Aires”, plus a piece by the Conjunto 9 “En 3x4”, originally included on Música popular contemporánea de Buenos Aires (Vol. 1). Diego Fischerman

Amelita Baltar (vocals)
Orchestra arranged & conducted by Astor Piazzolla (1-9)
Conjunto 9 (10-12) comprised of:
Astor Piazzolla (bandoneón)
Antonio Agri (violin)
Hugo Baralis (violins)
Néstor Panik (viola)
José Bragato (cello)
Kicho Díaz (bass)
Osvaldo Tarantino (piano)
Oscar López Ruiz (electric guitar)
José Corriale (percussion)

1) La Bicicleta Blanca (Horacio Arturo Ferrer / Piazzolla Astor)
2) Fabula Para Gardel (Astor Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
3) La Ultima Grela (Astor Piazzolla / Ferrer Horacio Arturo)
4) Te Quiero Che! (Ferrer Horacio Arturo / Piazzolla Astor)
5) Juanito Laguna Ayuda A Su Madre (Ferrer Horacio Arturo)
6) Milonga En Ay Menor (Horacio Arturo Ferrer / Piazzolla Astor)
7) Cancion De Las Venusinas (Astor Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
8) La Primera Palabra (Astor Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
9) No Quiero Otro (Astor Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
10) Las Ciudades (Ferrer Celestino / Piazzolla Astor)
11) Los Paraguas De Buenos Aires (Astor Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)
12) El Gordo Triste (Astor Piazzolla / Horacio Arturo Ferrer)

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina March 16, April 4, October 13&16, December 23&30, 1970 and February 16, March 22, and September 7, 1972

Chico Hamilton - Chic Chic Chico

Here's another LP from Chico, this one seems never to have made it to CD, so here we welcome it to the digitosphere. As with 'Further Adventures', this LP represents two recording sessions, on January 4 in Hollywood and March 15 in NYC, 1965. Featured are Jimmy Woods, Charles Lloyd, Gabor Szabo, Harold Land and others. A rip of a rather noisy LP, but some careful processing has made it quite listenable.
LAME 3.98 vbr0 and scans.

Chico Hamilton - The Further Adventures of El Chico

A request got me to unearth (de-bin?) several vinyls of Chico Hamilton, not listened to in many moons. Here's the first, an LP rip declicked at 3600 setting in GoldWave, then LAME3.98 vbr0 to mp3. Scans included in the package. The album represents two recording dates in May, 1966. Ron Carter, Gabor Szabo, Charlie Mariano, Clark Terry, and others. The album seems to have been breifly available as a CD in Japan, but now extinct according to Amazon.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

John Kirby - The Biggest Little Band in the Land

This is a really fine bit of music; Kirby has been credited as forerunner to the West Coast Sound, whatever the hell that may be, bebop, chamber jazz: a number of things. Sullivan had a hit with "Loch Lomond", so she made a career of "interpreting" classic folk sources ("Barbara Allan", "Molly Malone"). So, on these recordings - which are presented in chronological order - you'll see a Schubert tune (which is based on a Shakespeare song) alongside something like "Zooming At The Zombie."

This is a surprisingly good and thoroughly enjoyable set of recordings from yet another leader who has been relegated to relative obscurity: and it's a shame. This might be one of the best things we've posted this year.

"John Kirby led a most unusual group during the height of the big-band era, a sextet comprised of trumpeter Charlie Shavers, clarinetist Buster Bailey, altoist Russell Procope, pianist Billy Kyle, drummer O'Neil Spencer and his own bass. Although Shavers and Bailey could be quite extroverted, the tightly arranged ensembles tended to be very cool-toned and introverted yet virtuosic. Kirby, originally a tuba player, switched to bass in 1930 when he joined Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra. He was one of the better bassists of the 1930s, playing with Henderson (1930-33 and 1935-36) and Chick Webb's big band (1933-35). By 1937 Kirby had his own group at the Onyx Club; Frankie Newton and Pete Brown passed through the band before the personnel was set. With Maxine Sullivan (Kirby's wife at the time) offering occasional vocals, the John Kirby Sextet was quite popular during 1938-42. Shavers's "Undecided" became a hit and the band's abilities to "swing the classics" caught on. The sextet gradually declined in the 1940s. Spencer became ill and was replaced by Specs Powell and later Bill Beason, Kyle was drafted and Procope was replaced by George Johnson. By 1945 (with Shavers's departure to join Tommy Dorsey), the only original members still in the group were Bailey and Kirby himself. The following year the band disbanded and despite some attempts by the bassist to form another similar sextet (including a poorly attended Carnegie Hall reunion in 1950), John Kirby was never able to duplicate his earlier successes. Classics has reissued all of Kirby's prime recordings." ~ Scott Yanow

John Kirby (bass)
Maxine Sullivan (vocals)
Charlie Shavers (trumpet)
Buster Bailey (clarinet)
Russell Procope (alto sax)
Billy Kyle (piano)
O'Neill Spencer (drums)

Mal Waldron

Some of the old-timers might recall these; but not, I think, in Flac. I was gazing at the copy of 3 Or 4 Shades Of Blues that's on my wall, and noticed Fortune and Ford. I commenced t'thinking. That led to being confused and getting a headache. What was I talking about?

Mal Waldron Trio - Our Colline's A Treasure

The '80s were a very productive decade for pianist Mal Waldron. This session is recorded in Italy, this time in a trio setting. Bassist Leonard Jones and drummer Sangoma Everett join him for a five-song set comprised of Waldron originals. "Spaces" opens and utilises Waldron's rich and massive chords, describing space as they move along, pushed and pulled playfully by the rhythm section. The title track is a ballad of haunting beauty and grace. Revisiting his "The Git Go", the trio rolls it along for over 13 minutes with slowly changing colours, like a sun setting over cold water. The closing "Because Of You I Live Again" is heartbreakingly emotive--a stunningly played and written piece. The clear recording enhances the subtle interplay between the three sympathetically linked musicians.

Mal Waldron (piano)
Leonard Jones (bass)
Sangoma Everett (drums)

1 - Our Colline's A Treasure
2 - Chez Pascale
3 - Git Go
4 - Because Of You I Live Again

Mal Waldron - Crowd Scene

This is a hard to place Waldron session; it doesn't appear in his discography, but is a studio session from around the time of the Sweet Basil set recently posted. The sidemen are great ( the drummer died in the middle of a solo less than a year after this was recorded) and the tunes are extended works. Check it and decide for yourself.

"For this quintet session, Mal Waldron contributed two somewhat episodic originals (titled "Crowd Scene" and "Yin and Yang") that are used as the basis for extended improvisations by altoist Sonny Fortune, tenor-saxophonist Ricky Ford, bassist Reggie Workman, drummer Eddie Moore and the pianist/leader. Despite the obvious talents of these very individual players, there are some rambling moments on these lengthy performances, both of which clock in at over 25 minutes. Still, it is often fascinating to hear what the musicians come up with during these go-for-broke improvisations." ~ Scott van der Yanow

Mal Waldron (piano)
Sonny Fortune (alto sax)
Ricky Ford (tenor sax)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Eddie Moore (drums)

1 - Crowd Scene
2 - Yin And Yang

Recorded in New York on June 10, 1989

Les Swingle Singers e o Barroco (Going Baroque) (1964)

In the beginning of the 1960s, the American Ward Swingle organized, in France, a vocal group named Les Swingle Singers. The group consisted of eight singers (two tenors, two bass, two sopranos and two altos), among them Cristiane Legrand, sister of Michel, which later would create a group inspired in the SS, named Quire. In 1963, the first LP was realesed: Jazz Sebastian Bach (in the US, Bach Greatst Hits), which was a great success, being a Grammy winner. In this LP, the group sang Bach's music, accompained by a double bass (Guy Pedersen) and drums (Gus Wallez). The voices make a kind of scat singing, taking the places of the other instruments of a chamber orchestra. Next year, they released the LP Going Baroque (De Bach Aux Baroques, in France) and this is the Brazilian version of this LP. Here, they sing Bach and others baroque composers: Bach's sons Karl Phillipe and Wilhelm Friedemann, Vivaldi and Handel. They got another Grammy with this record, and at least in Brazil, Bach's Largo was well heard in radios. They later made a recording with Modern Jazz Quartet and started to explore other territories: arrived in Mozart, came to Romantism, to American songs (Rags and All That Jazz) reached The Beatles (Ticket to Ride). But they never knew more the success of their first LPs (at least in Brazil). By the way, Ward Swingle retired in 1984. There is still a group performing with the same name. I can't say of any of the eight original performers are still there.

1- Badinerie (JS Bach)
2- Aria (Handel)
3- Giga (JS Bach)
4- Largo (JS Bach)
5- Prelúdio #19 (JS Bach)
6- Preâmbulo (JS Bach)
7- Fuga (Vivaldi)
8- Allegro (Handel)
9-Prelúdio # 7 (JS Bach)
10- Solfeggietto (KPE Bach)
11- Primavera (Spring) (WF Bach)
12- Prelúdio #24 (JS Bach)

Art Farmer - The Jazztet: Real Time

"...recorded live at a single residency at New York's Sweet Basil, gives a vivid idea of the groups continued spirit. Real Time offers lengthy readings of Golson staples such as "Whisper Not" and "Are You Real". There's also an expansive treatment of "Autumn Leaves" which finds all the soloists at their best. Coltrane's influence on Golson is arguably never more clear than in this music. Farmer is keenly incisive with the muted horn, romantically ebullient with it open, and Tucker emerges as a considerable soloist and accompanist; his solo on "Autumn Leaves" is sweepingly inventive. Smith, the most audacious drummer of his generation, is the ideal occupant of the drum stool." Penguin Guide

Art Farmer (flugelhorn)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Mickey Tucker (piano)
Ray Drummond (bass)
Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums)

1. Whisper Not
2. Sad To Say
3. Are You Real?
4. Autumn Leaves
5. Along Came Betty

"Sweet Basil", NYC, February 21-22, 1986

Lalo Schifrin - Marquis de Sade (1966)

The full title of this LP is The Dissection and reconstruction of music from the past as performed by the inmates of Lalo Schifrin's demented ensemble as a tribute to the memory of the Marquis de Sade.

"Come again? This crackpot title -- probably the longest ever concocted for a jazz album -- actually is a front for a not-so-dangerous, hard-swinging album in which Schifrin invents or borrows 18th-century classical themes and sets them into big band or small-combo contexts. Such is Schifrin's chameleonic mastery that his own inventions are a match for the themes of the period, and he is tasteful enough not to overload the window dressing and keep the rhythm section loosely swinging nearly all the time. Once, Lalo tries something wacky; on "Beneath a Weeping Window Shade," he has singer Rose Marie Jun intoning a madrigal-like Francis Hopkinson song against some avant-garde multiphonic flute from Jerome Richardson, ministrations from a string quintet, and Schifrin's own comments on harpsichord. There is also a stimulating pastiche "Aria" that sounds like Schifrin arguing with Heitor Villa-Lobos and Henry Purcell in 9/8 time. With the cream of New York's jazz session men of the '60s on board -- including the inimitable Grady Tate on drums, Richardson on flute and tenor, Gene Bertoncini on guitar, and J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding on trombones -- and Creed Taylor's production dictating the distinctive timbres, jazz buffs will have a fine time with this collision of the centuries, which leans heavily to the jazz side." -Richard S. Ginell

From the liner notes by Lalo Schifrin:
"This album does not represent a pretentious attempt to superimpose two eras of music history. It is, rather, a collection of impressions of my split musical personality and most of all should be approached with tolerance from both sides since my only ambition was to play a musical game, a sort of 'divertisement.' Fun, sense of humor and a harmless secret perversion are its basic ingredients."

Schifrin writes some pretty humorous descriptions of his compositions and I included all of the liner notes, although I had to scan them in four parts from the gatefold inner sleeves.

The album was reissued in 1997 on CD as part of Verve's limited Elite Editions series but has been o.o.p. for some time and difficult to find. There was a "Return of..." sequel by Schifrin in 2001. Anyone happen to have it?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Grover Mitchell - Hip Shakin' (1990)

Trombonist Grover Mitchell was best known for his leadership of the Count Basie Orchestra starting in 1995. Five years earlier Hip Shakin' was recorded with a mix of older and younger players with a variety of big band experience. Among the better known soloists are Frank Wess on tenor sax and flute, Jerry Dodgion on alto sax and flute, Cecil Bridgewater on trumpet, Conrad Herwig and Mitchell on trombone, and Mike Abene on piano. The tunes were arranged by a number of fine writers including Frank Foster, Mike Abene, Eric Dixon and Ernie Wilkins.

Grover Mitchell is a soulful and expressive soloist who is best known for his association with swing greats, and has an appealing, very likable tone that was influenced by Tommy Dorsey. Born in Whatley, AL, and raised in Pittsburgh, he moved to the West Coast in the early '60s. Mitchell played with Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1961 before working with Lionel Hampton briefly in 1962. That year, he joined Count Basie's orchestra, whom he stayed with until 1970. Mitchell rejoined Basie in 1980 and remained with him until his death in 1984. It was in the early '70s that Mitchell started writing music for television and films, including the hit 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues (which starred Diana Ross as Billie Holiday). He began leading his own bands in the 1970s, including a big band that recorded for Jazz Chronicles in the 1970s and a Basie-ish orchestra that recorded for Stash throughout the second half of the 1980s. Mitchell has also recorded for Ken, and since 1995, he has been leading the Basie "ghost orchestra." The mellow-toned trombonist lost a quiet battle with cancer and died August 4, 2003. - AMG

Byron Stripling, Cecil Bridgewater, John Eckert (trumpet)
Grover Mitchell, Conrad Herwig, Matt Finders (trombone)
Mark Taylor (French Horn)
Jerry Dodgion (alto sax, flute)
Frank Wess (tenor sax, flute)
Doug Lawrence (tenor sax)
Bill Ramsay (baritone sax)
Mike Abene (piano)
Marcus McLaurine (bass)
Dennis Mackrel (drums)
  1. Hip Shakin'
  2. B.B.B.
  3. Almost Basie
  4. Magic
  5. Thaddeus
  6. In a Mellotone
  7. No More Rat Race
  8. Lavender Lady
  9. A Move in the Right Direction
  10. Isfahan
  11. Danny Boy
  12. C Jam Blues
Recorded June 18 & 19, 1990

Joe Pass - Joy Spring

I have added the alternate tracks from the Joe Pass Mosaic set (CD 5); so the correct track list is in this post, not the artwork.

Joe Pass was near the beginning of his career (after a decade of fighting drug addiction) when he recorded the live quartet session included on this CD reissue. The great guitarist was in his early prime, nine years before he started recording for Pablo. Pass is immediately recognizable on the straightahead bebop date and is supported by a fine rhythm section that includes pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Jim Hughart and drummer Colin Bailey. The group stretches out on five standards (the renditions are 6 1/2-10 1/2 minutes apiece) but never runs out of inventive ideas. Easily recommended. Scott Yanow

Joe Pass (guitar)
Mike Wofford (piano)
Jim Hughart (bass)
Colin Bailey (drums)

1. Joy Spring
2. Some Time Ago
3. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
4. Relaxin' At Camarillo
5. There Is No Greater Love

6. Bags' Groove (previously unissued)
7. Some Time Ago (alt )
8. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes (alt )
9. There Is No Greater Love (alt )

Encore Theatre, Los Angeles; February 6, 1964

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lee Konitz - Motion

Altoist Lee Konitz recorded the original five songs of Motion on Aug. 29, 1961 in a trio with bassist Sonny Dallas and drummer Elvin Jones. When the set was reissued on a 1990 CD, it had been expanded to eight songs; although it is not obvious from the outside of this 1998 set, there are three CDs in this package. The Elvin Jones date has been augmented by a previously unreleased version of "These Foolish Things" from the same day, along with a breakdown on "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." The two extra CDs are taken from a couple of earlier sessions with Nick Stabulas on drums joining Konitz and Dallas; none of that music (29 selections) had ever been released before. Although not the altoist's greatest set (as claimed in the liner notes), Lee Konitz was in excellent form during this period, playing creative solos over common chord changes and coming up with plenty of rewarding subtle ideas. Elvin Jones shows how quietly he can play, yet always swings with constant creativity too. Worth exploring, although more general listeners will probably be satisfied with the 1990 single-disc reissue. Scott Yanow

CD 1

Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Sonny Dallas (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

1 - I'll Remember You
2 - All Of Me
3 - Foolin' Myself
4 - You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
5 - I'll Remember April
6 - You Don't Know What Love Is
7 - These Foolish Things
8 - Out Of Nowhere
9 - It's You Or No One

Recorded August 29 1961 at Olmsted Sound Studios NYC

CD 2

Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Sonny Dallas (bass)
Nick Stabulas (drums)

1 - I Remember You (rehearsal take)
2 - I Remember You (rehearsal take)
3 - I Remember You
4 - I Remember You
5 - I Remember You
6 - You Don't Know What Love Is
7 - It's Alright With Me
8 - Foolin' Myself
9 - Just Friends
10 - It's You Or No One
11 - Out Of Nowhere
12 - My Melancholy Baby
13 - Imagination
14 - That Old Feeling
15 - All The Things You Are

Recorded August 17 1961 at Olmsted Sound Studios NYC
Recorded August 21 1961 at Olmsted Sound Studios NYC

CD 3

Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Sonny Dallas (bass)
Nick Stabulas (drums)

1 - (Back Home Again In) Indiana
2 - Alone Together
3 - Embraceable You
4 - I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You
5 - I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You
6 - Pennies From Heaven
7 - I'll Remember April
8 - There Will Never Be Another You
9 - What's New
10 - Everything Happens To Me
11 - Sweet And Lovely
12 - You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
13 - Lullaby Of The Leaves
14 - I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You (overdub)

Recorded August 21 1961 at Olmsted Sound Studios NYC

Contributions II

The original got too unwieldy. It can be found among regular posts down the page.

C'mon folks, a little courtesy please; you don't need 12 posts for a 12 CD set. Or if you do, then post the accumulated links as you go along. No need to announce things you are going to upload, are in the middle of uploading, etc. Just complete them & post.


Jimmy Giuffre - The Easy Way

Jimmy Giuffre's small-group recordings of the late '50s and early '60s are renowned for his lyrical tone and intimate chamber jazz settings. Joined by frequently collaborator Jim Hall on guitar and bassist Ray Brown (who easily settles into the mellower atmosphere far removed from his many recordings with Oscar Peterson), Giuffre primarily sticks to clarinet in his interpretations of the standards "Mack the Knife" and "Come Rain or Come Shine." Switching to tenor sax, Giuffre negotiates Jim Hall's tricky "Careful," though it is Hall's bluesy solo that is the highlight of this track. Giuffre's "Ray's Time" is a blues dedicated to Brown, featuring his driving bass underneath the leader's smoky tenor sax. Giuffre's effort on baritone sax, "Time Enough," makes it obvious that this isn't his primary instrument; his sound is much harsher and less melodic than either clarinet or tenor sax. Long out of print, this 2003 CD reissue will only be available from Verve until 2006. ~ Ken Dryden

Jimmy Giuffre (tenor and baritone sax, clarinet)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)

1. The Easy Way
2. Mack The Knife
3. Come Rain Or Come Shine
4. Careful
5. Ray's Time
6. A Dream
7. Off Center
8. Montage
9. Time Enough

Recorded August 7, 1959 at Universal Studios, Chicago

Thursday, April 24, 2008

downbeat: June 25, 1959

Three Tenors

Harold Vick - Steppin' Out!

This soul-jazz outing by tenor saxophonist Harold Vick (his recording debut as a leader) casts him in a role that was often occupied by Stanley Turrentine. Vick, with a quintet that also includes trumpeter Blue Mitchell, guitarist Grant Green, organist John Patton, and drummer Ben Dixon, performs four blues, a slightly trickier original (five of the six songs are his), plus the ballad "Laura" on this CD reissue. There are no real surprises, but no disappointments either on what would be Harold Vick's only chance to lead a Blue Note date. At 27 he was already a fine player. Scott Yanow

Harold Vick (tenor sax)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Grant Green (guitar)
John Patton (organ)
Ben Dixon (drums)

1. Our Miss Brooks
2. Trimmed In Blue
3. Laura
4. Dotty's Dream
5. Vicksville
6. Steppin' Out

Recorded On May 27, 1963 At The Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Billy Mitchell - This Is Billy Mitchell

And who, you may ask, is Billy Mitchell?

Mitchell first came to New York with Lucky Millinder, and first recorded under the direction of Milt Jackson. He was, very briefly, in Woody Herman's 2nd Herd before returning to Detroit to lead a quintet from 1950 to 1953 with local boys Thad and Elvin Jones. He remained in the business, doing stints with Basie, Diz and others, eventually spending some time with the Clarke-Boland band, which was recently mentioned. A life in jazz, with the respect of his peers, yet ...have you heard of him?

"...Best remembered, if remembered at all, as a vital member of the Basie unit for a short spell, tenor saxophonist Billy Mitchell came from the budding Detroit jazz scene that also brought us the Jones Brothers. His own recording career as a leader was somewhat short lived, consisting of two 1962 sessions led for the Mercury subsidiary Smash. The first of these, This Is Billy Mitchell , could go down as one of the surprise reissues of the year, not necessarily because it's a fantastic jazz record, but because of the exposure it gives Mitchell and the taste it gives us of a young and maturing vibist by the name of Bobby Hutcherson. Mitchell is heard in two settings, one with Sleepy Anderson on B3 organ and the other with Billy Wallace on bass. As for Mitchell, his sound can be very Getz-like on slower numbers like "Sophisticated Lady" or pointed and bristling as on the perky "Automation". Trumpeter Dave Burns also makes a fine showing on five numbers reminding us of his forgotten talents as well. " C. Andrew Hovan

1-2, 7
Billy Mitchell (tenor sax)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Clarence "Sleepy" Anderson (organ)
Herman Wright (bass)
Otis Finch (drums)
Recorded October 29, 1962 at Universal Studios, Chicago

3-6, 8
Billy Mitchell (tenor sax)
Dave Burns (trumpet)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Billy Wallace (piano)
Herman Wright (bass)
Otis Finch (drums)
Recorded October 30, 1962 at Universal Studios, Chicago

1. J & B
2. Sophisticated Lady
3. You Turned The Tables On Me
4. Passionova
5. Tamra
6. Automation
7. Just Waiting
8. Siam

Teddy Edwards Quartet - Good Gravy!

I was surprised to notice that I hadn't posted this in quite a long while. Before the Dutch boys entered their life of crime, even. Time flies.

"Teddy Edwards has long been one of the most underrated of the bop tenors, due in large part to his decision to settle in Los Angeles. Edwards is in typically swinging form on this quartet date with either Phineas Newborn, Jr., or Danny Horton on piano, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Milt Turner. The tenor contributed four originals and also performs the obscure "A Little Later" and four standards with warmth and creativity within the hard bop genre."

Teddy Edwards (tenor sax)
Phineas Newborn, Jr., (piano)
Danny Horton (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Milt Turner (drums)

1. Good Gravy
2. Could You Forget
3. Stairway To The Stars, A
4. Little Later, A
5. On Green Dolphin Street
6. Just Friends
7. Laura
8. Yes, I'll Be Ready
9. Not So Strange

Recorded at Contemporary Records, Los Angeles, California from August 23-25, 1961

Bethlehem 6046

Charles Persip And The Jazz Statesmen

Charles Persip has been an outstanding drummer since his extended stay with Dizzy Gillespie's bands in the late 1950s. He has a crisp time feel, a steady stream of rhythmic details, and a talent for aggressive but musically structured drum solos. This 1960 recording, originally made for the Bethlehem label, was Persip's first as a leader. He's clearly following in the footsteps of other drummer-leaders like Max Roach and Art Blakey in surrounding himself with talented younger musicians, but he also gives heightened prominence to his own instrument. The music is solidly in the hard-bop mold, with nods toward soul jazz, and it's played by a band capable of both individual expression and a snapping precision. Freddie Hubbard would soon make an enduring impression with Blakey's band, but he's already a trumpeter of the first rank here, his solos blooming with ideas and raw energy. The dominant influences of the day are much in evidence. Tenor saxophonist Roland Alexander has the hard metallic sound favored by early Coltrane followers, while pianist Ronnie Matthews is skillful in a Horace Silver vein. A youthful Ron Carter completes the band on bass. The concluding "The Champ" is a Dizzy Gillespie tune rearranged here as a feature for the leader's drums. --Stuart Broomer

Charlie Persip (drums)
Marcus Belgrave (trumpet)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Roland Alexander (tenor sax)
Ronald Mathews (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)

1. Sevens
2. The Song Is You
3. Right Down Front
5. The Champ

NYC, April 2, 1960

Barney Wilen - 1991 Sanctuary

A sax player who has recorded with some of the greatest american jazz musicians (Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Budd Powell, Kenny Dorham, Roy Haynes or John Lewis), but also able to make an incursion in psychedelia or punk.

When Barney gently blows on the embers of a few standards chosen for the beauty of their songs and their harmonies, it gives Sanctuary, an album without noise or fury but slowly consumed by a flame inside. Sanctuary continued Wilen's good run. Catherine switches between acoustic and electric instruments and Wilen chooses classical rapture or firm, propulsive lines depending on the tempo. Danielsson's third voice is immensely rich and apposite. One might pick out the absolutely lovely reading of `How Deep Is The Ocean', but there's scarcely a weak moment on the record.

01 Recado (7:00)
02 Lucky to be me (5:41)
03 Swing 39 (6:04)
04 Dance for Victor (3:43)
05 My foolish heart (7:24)
06 No greater love (4:22)
07 How deep is the ocean (7:38)
08 Transparence (6:06)
09 Bohemia after dark (5:04)
10 Eternel desir (5:48)
11 Nem um talvez (3:31)
12 Goodbye (6:09)

Barney Wilen (ts, ss)
Philip Catherine (g)
Palle Danielsson (b)

Recorded at Studio Acousti (Paris) on January 26-28, 1991

Stéphane Grappelli & Barney Kessel - I Remember Django

Recorded in Paris in June 1969, this LP seems never to have made it to re-issue. A couple of gems here, such as Stéphane's excellent treatment of the standard, 'I Can't Get Started'. But the last 2 tracks on side 2 seem to have some distortion, a fuzz not caused by my equipment I am sure, or by the disc, its vinyl bright and new. Might be the rhythm guitar's amp or some glitch in the studio equipment. Nevertheless, worth a listen.
LP —> LAME3.98 vbr0 + scans
I Remember Django - Honeysuckle Rose -
I Can't Get Started - What a Difference a Day Made -
More Than You Know - Et Maintenant -
I Found a New Baby - It's Only a Paper Moon

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pharoah Sanders - Message From Home (Verve)

Bill Laswell has his big ol' boots all over the first track but after that this album really lifts. Especially when Foday Musa Sosa combines on the kora (taking us back to the great Village Life he recorded with Herbie Hancock). Released in 1995.

Review by Richard S. Ginell,
"The world music-minded producer Bill Laswell gets a hold of Pharoah Sanders here and lo, the sleeping volcano erupts with one of his most fulfilling albums in many a year. Message From Home is rooted in, but not exclusively devoted to, African idioms, as the overpowering hip-hop groove of "Our Roots (Began In Africa)" points out. But the record really develops into something special when Sanders pits his mighty tenor sound against the pan-African beats, like the ecstatically joyful rhythms of "Tomoki" and the poised, percolating fusion of American country & western drums and Nigerian juju guitar riffs on "Country Mile." In addition, "Nozipho" is a concentrated dose of the old Pharoah, heavily spiritual and painfully passionate, with a generous supply of the tenor player's famous screeching rhetoric, and kora virtuoso Foday Musa Suso shows up on "Kumba" with a touch of village Gambian music. This resurrection will quicken the pulse of many an old Pharoah fan."

1 Our Roots [Began in Africa] 10:21
2 Nozipho 9:42
3 Tomoki 6:25
4 Ocean Song 8:49
5 Kumba 7:50
6 Country Mile 6:03

Jeff Bova - Keyboards, Programming
Aiyb Dieng - Conga, Gong, Vocals, Bells, Chatan
Hamid Drake - Drums, Tabla, Vocals
William Henderson - Piano, Piano (Electric), Vocals
Dominic Kanza - Guitar
Charnett Moffett - Bass (Acoustic)
Steve Neil - Bass (Electric), Bass (Acoustic)
Pharoah Sanders - Flute, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Vocals, Bells, Bowls
Foday Musa Suso - Vocals, Kora, Doussn'gouni
Michael White - Violin
Bernie Worrell - Keyboards, Vocals

Bethlehem 36 and 37

Dexter Gordon only made three recording dates in 1955; I believe his volunteer duties with the Sisters Of Morpheus kept him busy otherwise. Here are two of the sessions; the third was already posted by worldbflat, and the link to that page will appear in Comments.

Dexter Gordon - Daddy Plays The Horn

During a period of Dexter Gordon's (tenor sax) life -- when he was deep in the throws of chronic drug addiction -- the artist was miraculously able to reignite his career during the latter part of 1955. After several years of being out of the spotlight, Gordon resurfaced on the Big Apple-based indie Bethlehem imprint with the half-dozen sides that comprise Daddy Plays the Horn (1956). Joining him as key constituents of the credited Dexter Gordon Quartet are Kenny Drew (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), and Larry Marable (drums). While the support team provides Gordon top-notch contributions throughout, it is unquestionably Drew who offers the most in terms of active interaction and his prominence can not be overstated. Nowhere is that as noticeable as the good-natured interaction heard on the disc's opener, the Gordon-penned title composition "Daddy Plays the Horn." In fact it could be argued that Drew enhances the tenor to the point of practically being a co-leader. The update of Charlie "Bird" Parker's bop standard "Confirmation" is taken at a steady mid-tempo pace, allowing plenty of room for the participants to have their say and not get in the way of the melody. Gordon seems considerably more relaxed and comfortable as he spreads line upon line of inspired improvisation. Drew is once again a real treat to hear briefly taking charge of the rhythm section. The pair of ballads on Daddy Plays the Horn are nothing short of stellar and stand as simple, emotive expressions unto themselves. "Darn That Dream" embraces the warmth of Gordon's tenor as his sensual phrasing leaves just enough space for Drew to sonically bridge the gap with his own unhurried and stylish chords. The generically monikered "Number Four" is anything but ordinary. The Gordon original jumps right from the opening and the ensemble lets loose with equally solid licks beneath his cool tone. Drew gets in the driver's seat missing nary a measure to reveal what could easily be his most tasteful contributions to date. The same can be said of bassist Vinnegar, who is briefly spotlighted on an efficient (if not somewhat sparse) solo. "Autumn in New York" -- the album's other essential ballad -- is proof that despite Gordon's addiction, he had retained his singular and precious sense of lyricism. Indeed, the Great American Songbook entry has rarely been permeated in such a meaningful way. The seamless transitions between Gordon and Drew are further evidence of their undeniable bond. Saving what may be the best example of the gathered instrumentalists flexing their respective be-bop muscle, "You Can Depend on Me" rounds out the platter with a bang. Each bandmember gets a final opportunity to shine -- which they individually take full advantage of. ~ Lindsay Planer

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Lawrence Marable (drums)

1. Number Four
2. Autumn In New York
3. You Can Depend On Me
4. Daddy Plays The Horn
5. Confirmation
6. Darn That Dream

Hollywood, California, September 18, 1955

Stan Levey - This Time the Drum's on Me

Bebop is spoken throughout this swinging set (a reissue CD), which emphasizes jazz tunes written since 1945, including George Handy's "Diggin' for Diz," "Tune Up," and Oscar Pettiford's "This Time the Drum's on Me." Drummer Stan Levey is the leader and he is properly forceful behind soloists, but the main significance of this set is the playing of the great tenor Dexter Gordon, who was otherwise almost totally absent from records during 1953-1959. Gordon is heard in prime form, joining a top-notch sextet also including Levy, trumpeter Conte Candoli, trombonist Frank Rosolino, pianist Lou Levy, and bassist Leroy Vinnegar. Excellent bop-based music. ~ Scott Yanow

Stan Levey (drums)
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Lou Levy (piano)

1 Diggin' for Diz
2 Ruby, My Dear
3 Tune-Up
4 Chaloupee (From Tales of Hoffmann)
5 Day in and Day Out
6 Stanley the Steamer
7 This Time the Drum's on Me

Los Angeles, September 27 - 28, 1955

Bethlehem 58

Herbie Mann - Plays Herbie Mann

Flutist Herbie Mann's first recording as a leader (seven selections from 1954 originally on a 10" LP plus four others cut in 1956) has been reissued on CD with three alternate takes added on. Even back in 1954, Mann (who doubles here on flute and alto flute) had his own sound. The music (featuring either Benny Weeks or Joe Puma on guitar in a piano-less quartet) is essentially straight-ahead bop and finds Mann playing quite melodically and with swing. This set is a good example of Herbie Mann's early style before he started exploring various types of world musics. ~ Scott Yanow

Herbie Mann (flute, alto flute)
Joe Puma (guitar)
Benny Weeks (guitar)
Whitey Mitchell (bass)
Keith Hodgson (bass)
Herb Wasserman (drums)
Lee Rockey (drums)

1. Chicken Little
2. Cuban Love Song
3. The Things We Did Last Summer
4. Deep Night
5. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
6. After Work
7. Moon Dreams
8. A Spring Morning
9. Scuffles
10. The Purple Grotto
11. My Little Suede Shoes (take 1)
12. A Spring Morning (take 6)
13. The Purple Grotto (take 1)
14. Chicken Little (take 3)

NYC, December, 1954

Bethlehem 33

Oscar Pettiford - Another One

Bohemia After Dark
is one of the great jazz tunes. Check out Cannonball's version on Summer of '55. And isn't it remarkable how many great jazz musicians came out of Oklahoma?

Oscar Pettiford became a major influence on a number of jazz artists along with fellow bassists Jimmy Blanton and Charles Mingus. Another One, Pettiford's third album as a leader for the Bethlehem label, was recorded in 1955. This exceptional date features the horns of Donald Byrd, Ernie Royal, Bob Brookmeyer, Gigi Gryce, and Jerome Richardson. Highlights include the Pettiford-penned "Bohemia After Dark," named after the club in Greenwich Village and acknowledged as a jazz standard, "Stardust," featuring Pettiford's poetic bass faintly accompanied by pianist Don Abney, and "Minor Seventh Heaven," with Pettiford switching to cello. This is not just a bebop date; Pettiford had the range to incorporate influences like Duke Ellington and calypso, creating a full, lyrical band sound that matched his bass playing. Pettiford's legacy was cut short after he passed away suddenly in 1958 in Copenhagen at the age of 37. ~ Al Campbell

Oscar Pettiford (bass, cello)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Ernie Royal (trumpet)
Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax, clarinet)
Jerome Richardson (tenor sax, clarinet)
Don Abney (piano)
Osie Johnson (drums)

1. Kamman's A'comin'
2. Minor 7th Heaven
3. Stardust
4. Bohemia After Dark
5. Oscalypso
6. Scorpio
7. Titoro
8. Don't Squawk
9. Another One

NYC, August 12, 1955

Bethlehem 43

Johnny Hartman - Songs From The Heart

Something of a Bethlehem family effort: Bethlehem 42, which preceded this, was The Return Of Howard McGhee; and B 41 was The Ralph Sharon Trio - Sharon, Cave, and Febbo.

Johnny Hartman's album debut is a set of tender ballads, each word of which is treasured by Hartman's expansive, evocative voice. The ballads appear not only especially chosen, but practically written with Hartman in mind. He shines on highlights like "I Fall in Love Too Easily," "We'll Be Together Again," "Moonlight in Vermont," and "I See Your Face Before Me," often transforming midtempo songs into completely downtempo ballads and shifting the emphasis on different beats with his phrasing. The backing -- from drummer Ralph Sharon, trumpeter Howard McGhee, bassist Jay Cave, and drummer Christy Febbo -- is soft, spare, and completely supportive. A CD reissue by Bethlehem Archives adds six bonus tracks, alternate takes of tracks from the original LP. ~ John Bush

Most jazz fans know Johnny Hartman from the famous album he recorded with John Coltrane in the early '60s. However, the singer had an illustrious career prior to that, recording for a variety of labels including Bethlehem, which released this album for the first time in 1956, six years before the Coltrane session. Of all Hartman's earlier albums, Songs from the Heart is the best place to start. It features the crooner fronting a small band, which gives the proceedings a more intimate ambience than Hartman's forays as a big-band singer (with Dizzy Gillespie, among others). The small ensemble suits Hartman's romantic melancholia perfectly; the album is like one long sob. His smoky baritone fits the mood, and the band follows in suit with some tender but evocative stylings. Considering pianist Ralph Sharon has backed up Tony Bennett for decades, it's not surprising to find in his early work an elegant smoothness. Consisting mostly of standards like "Ain't Misbehavin'," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," and "I'll Remember April," this is the perfect album for pouring a good stiff drink and drowning one's sorrows (especially on a cold winter night). A stand-out track is "Down in the Depths," where Hartman gets carried away, and apparently so does the band: the tangling between bassist Jay Cave and Sharon is the most exciting moment on the album. --Joe S. Harrington

Johnny Hartman (vocal)
Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Ralph Sharon (piano)
Jay Cave (bass)
Christy Febbo (drums)

1. What Is There To Say
2. Ain't Misbehavin'
3. I Fall In Love Too Easily
4. We'll Be Together Again
5. Down In The Depths
6. They Didn't Believe Me
7. I'm Glad There Is You
8. When Your Lover Has Gone
9. I'll Remember April
10. I See Your Face Before Me
11. September Song
12. Moonlight In Vermont
13. Down In The Depths (alt)
14. They Didn't Believe Me (alt)
15. I'm Glad There Is You (alt)
16. I'll Remember April (alt)
17. I See Your Face Before Me (alt)
18. September Song (alt)

John Coltrane - Coltrane (20bit K2)

Coltrane's first date as a leader.

This CD reissue, Coltrane, brings back the music originally released as First Trane. The classic of the set is the emotional and eerie "While My Lady Sleeps," but all six selections (including "Violets for Your Furs") are notable for tenor saxophonist John Coltrane's passionate solos. This was his first full session as a leader (as opposed to heading jam-session dates), and it also features either Mal Waldron or Red Garland on piano, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Al "Tootie" Heath, and on some numbers trumpeter Johnny Splawn and baritonist Sahib Shihab. As with 'Trane's other Prestige sessions, this valuable music is also available in his huge box set; recommended in one form or another. ~ Scott Yanow

John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Johnny Splawn (trumpet)
Sahib Shihab (baritone sax)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Red Garland (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)

1. Bakai
2. Violets For Your Furs
3. Time Was
4. Straight Street
5. While My Lady Sleeps
6. Chronic Blues

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey, May 31, 1957

Bethlehem 38

Red Mitchell - Jam For Your Bread

Winner of an engineering scholarship to Cornell, Mitchell declined it for the greater rewards and stability of being a bass player.

A talented bassist who was always in great demand, Red Mitchell was originally a pianist and he doubled on piano on an occasional basis throughout his career. He switched to bass when he was a member of an Army band in Germany. Mitchell played with Jackie Paris (1947-1948), Mundell Lowe, Chubby Jackson's big band, and Charlie Ventura (1949); toured with Woody Herman's Orchestra (1949-1951); and was a member of the popular Red Norvo Trio (1952-1954). He played with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet (1954) and then settled in Los Angeles where, during 1954-1968, he played with nearly everyone, from West Coast jazz stars (particularly Hampton Hawes) to recording with Ornette Coleman (1959) and was a member of the studio orchestra at MGM. He also co-led a quintet with Harold Land during 1961-1962 that recorded for Atlantic. In 1968, Mitchell moved to Stockholm where he led groups, played with European jazzmen, and accompanied visiting Americans, including Dizzy Gillespie and Phil Woods. Mitchell made occasional visits to the U.S. and shortly before he died, he moved to Oregon. - Scott Yanow

Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Joe Maini (alto, tenor sax)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Chuck Thompson (drums)

1. Jam For Your Bread
2. Where Or When
3. Section Blues
4. Duff
5. Ornithology
6. Will You Still Be Mine
7. I'll Never Be The Same
8. East Coast Outpost
9. You Go To My Head

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mary Lou Williams - 1953-1954 (Chronological 1417)

If not the most famous woman in jazz, then certainly the most influential.

This seventh volume in the Classics Mary Lou Williams chronology opens with a pair of gorgeous modern-sounding rhythm quartet tracks recorded in London on June 26, 1953. The next leg of her journey took her onto the northern European mainland. After a period spent gigging in France and Holland the pianist settled in Paris at the Hotel Cristal in St.-Germain-des-Prés, not far from the Deux Magots and the Café de Flore. On December 2, 1953 Mary Lou Williams recorded eight selections for the Vogue label with her good friend the perpetual expatriate tenor saxophonist Don Byas, bassist Buddy Banks, and drummer Gérard Pochonet. This exceptionally satisfying material has popped up here and there over the years but like much of Mary Lou Williams' oeuvre (and most jazz in general) it seems to have eluded the public. "Why," "Moonglow" and "Lullaby of the Leaves" belong with the best recordings ever made by Williams or Byas. "N.M.E." was named for a newly founded British periodical known as the New Music Express" O.W." refers to Orlando Wright (Muslim name: Musa Kaleem), a saxophonist with whom Williams had recorded in 1947. Eight tracks recorded by Mary Lou Williams & Her Rhythm for Blue Star on January 14, 1954 are exceptionally cool trio jazz, perfectly modern while grounded in the pianist's working history, a saga that began in Kansas City during the late '20s. This mixture of old and new is thrillingly present on four sides cut for the Club Français du Disque label near the beginning of 1954. With a front line of trumpeter Nelson "Cadillac" Williams and tenor man Ray Lawrence, Mary Lou Williams holds the ground with Buddy Banks and veteran drummer Kansas Fields, a seasoned individual who jammed with Mezz Mezzrow in Paris beginning in 1953. The surprise tidbit here is the lively "Mary Lou Blues," a close cover of something Erroll Garner had cooked up during his first recording session in 1944 and christened the "Boogie Woogie Boogie." Although Mary Lou Williams is said to have been battling depression and disillusionment during this time period, the music documented here is relaxing, uplifting and creatively inspired; suitable for lounging, working, freeway driving or making love after hours. This excellent disc also comes with an historical backstage photograph of Count Basie and Art Simmons relaxing in the gracious company of Mary Lou Williams. ~ arwulf arwulf

Mary Lou Williams (piano)
Don Byas (tenor sax)
Nelson Williams (trumpet)
Jean-Louis Viale (drums)
Gerard Pochonet (drums)
Ray Dempsey (guitar)
Kansas Fields (drums)
Ray Lawrence (tenor sax)
Tony Kinsey (drums)

1 Sometimes I'm Happy
2 Monk's Tune
3 Why
4 Lullaby of the Leaves
5 Just You, Just Me
6 Chicka Boom Blues
7 Mary's Waltz
8 O.W.
9 Moonglow
10 N.M.E. (New Musical Express)
11 Tire, Tire l'Aiguille
12 Lover
13 En Ce Temps Là
14 Autumn in New York
15 Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea
16 Nicole
17 Carioca
18 There's a Small Hotel
19 Leg 'N' Lou
20 Gravel (Scratchin' in the Gravel)
21 Nancy Is in Love with the Colonel
22 Mary Lou Blues

Meade Lux Lewis - 1941-1944 (Chronological 841)

Inspired by Jimmy Yancey and operating in close cahoots with Albert Ammons, Meade "Lux" Lewis played fine piano, pounded the celeste, and even manhandled the harpsichord, as he does on the first two selections of this thoroughly entertaining core sample of woogie works from the early '40s. The harpsichord outings are marvelously disorienting. Johnny Guarnieri did something similar with the instrument as a member of Artie Shaw's Gramercy Five, but Lewis' touch is about 50 pounds heavier per square inch, an oddly appropriate caliber for his wide-open "Self Portrait." During the slightly deranged "Doll House Boogie," as hammerhead piano is augmented with tinkling patterns on the celeste, it sounds as though a glockenspiel has been "blowing gage." Every one of these performances is filled with surprises. Lewis was a rambunctious practitioner who really spanked the plank when he felt like it. This is soulful stuff. You may derive the maximum enjoyment from these ivory stomps by forgetting about evaluating technical prowess or stylistic integrity. No way! Think like that and you'll miss the whole show. This is about feeling good and letting the piano come get you. Allow it to crawl inside of your bones and loosen you up. The last four tunes are extended-play Blue Notes from 1944. That extra minute per side really pays off in the hypnotically repetitive world of boogie-woogie. It takes about four minutes to completely establish the kind of ritual that this man specialized in. Initially unreleased, "Meade's Blues" is a meaty example of that almost pugilistic touch that distinguished this slugger from a lot of tip-toe ticklers. ~ arwulf arwulf

1. Self Portrait
2. Feeling Tomorrow Like I Feel Today
3. Doll House Boogie
4. Denapas Parade
5. The Boogie Tidal
6. Randini's Boogie
7. Lux's Boogie
8. Yancey's Pride
9. Special No. One
10. Glendale Glide
11. Honky Tonk Train Blues
12. Medium Blues
13. Yancey Special
14. Chicago Flyer
15. Blues Whistle
16. Meade's Blues

Meade Lux Lewis - 1939-1941 (Chronological 743)

Of all the duets recorded by Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons, the most exciting is a nearly-six-minute version of "Nagasaki" recorded on January 6 1939, the legendary "first day" of Blue Note Records. Originally left unissued, this amazing performance languished in the shadows for about forty years before being unearthed in the early 1980s, issued on a limited-edition LP by Mosaic Records, and later presented as part of the Classics Chronological Series more than fifty years after being etched on to a recording platter. For some reason, probably due to a labeling error on the original 78 rpm disc, Mosaic identified the melody as "Sheik of Araby." The Classics liner notes echo the Mosaic verbiage in saying that this "improvisation...never refers to the melody." That is true simply because they're not playing "Sheik of Araby" at all! The tune is readily and steadily recognizable as "Nagasaki." Taken at a brisk clip, the old pop song boils and jumps with rambunctious humor. Squeezing these two men on to one piano bench seems to have pushed Ammons to the very top octaves of the keyboard, where he cheerfully spanked the ivories with wild abandon. Lewis balanced down at the basement end, where he dutifully ground out a steady stream of what might be called bassline "Chicago stride" patterns. A marvelous four-handed strut that turns into a boogie bears the title "Twos and Fews." Also included here is the "Untitled Lewis Original," a solo experiment in free invention. The next leg of the chronology consists of five full-bodied improvisations cut for the Solo Art label in February of 1939. "Blues De Lux" has a bit of "See See Rider" about it and "Far Ago Blues" contains an old riff that Thelonious Monk would later use as the basis for "Blue Monk." Suddenly we get to hear a quintet led by trombonist J.C. Higginbotham. The "Basin Street Blues" heard here was issued briefly by Mosaic as part of an LP bringing together a cluster of ensemble sessions under the heading of "the Port of Harlem Jazzmen." These excellent recordings have since landed all over the place as presented by the producers of the Classics series -- on CDs bearing the names of Frankie Newton, Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons, for example. Maybe this wouldn't feel like a disadvantage if Mosaic's limited edition of the complete recordings of the Port of Harlem Jazzmen hadn't become so scarce over the years. Meade's wonderful solo session for Blue Note on October 4 1940 yielded some of his all-time best boogie woogie essays. A stunning version of "Honky Tonk Train Blues" rips along faster than any of his previous renderings. By this time the pianist had mastered the fine art of titling his works. "Bass on Top," "Six Wheel Chaser," "Tell Your Story" and "Rising Tide Blues" each deserve their poetic names. As a fitting coda to this exceptionally satisfying collection of individualistic recordings, two harpsichord solos highlight yet another angle in this man's incredibly varied artistic personality. Lewis pours himself into the experience, creating endless variations using an instrument commonly associated with European notated music from the 18th century. ~ arwulf arwulf

Meade Lux Lewis (piano, harpsichord)
Albert Ammons (piano)
Teddy Bunn (guitar)
J.C. Higginbotham (trombone)
Big Sid Catlett (drums)

1. Twos And Fews
2. Nagasaki
3. Untitled Lewis Original
4. Messin' Around
5. Deep Fives
6. Blues De' Lux
7. Closing Hour Blues
8. Far Ago Blues
9. Basin Street Blues
10. Honkey Tonk Train Blues
11. Bass On Top
12. Six Wheel Chaser
13. Tell Your Story
14. Tell Your Story No.2
15. Rising Tide Blues
16. Nineteen Ways Of Playing A Chorus
17. School Of Rhythm

Meade Lux Lewis - 1927-1939 (Chronological 722)

Do you realize that all these Meade Lux Lewis records almost didn't happen? After making his one three-minute side for the Paramount label in December of 1927, Lewis went back to driving a cab in Chicago. And his record didn't sell. So that could have been the end of the story. But in November of 1935 John Hammond looked him up and begged him to get back on the scene. And so began a remarkable career. This chronological survey of Meade's earliest work is delightful. Each successive version of the "Honky Tonk Train Blues" is sharper, more polished. There's always something bubbling away under the surface of the Meade. Everything he played came out slightly wicked. This man played a lot of piano in bars. Nobody could play like this who hadn't come up in an environment like Chicago during the 1920s. There's a weird sense of humor at the root of his style, most conspicuous when heard coming out of the celeste, a sort of keyboard glockenspiel that sounds like a toy. At times, Meade is cheerfully, dependably eccentric. Lewis may, in fact, be the unsuspected, auspicious link between surrealism and the blues. At times he sounds just a tiny bit like Sun Ra or Muhal Richard Abrams. Meade Lux Lewis discovered Jimmy Yancey's woogie piano back in 1921. It was a turning point for the teenaged musician, inspiring him to switch permanently from violin to piano. Meade's own rendition of the "Yancey Special," recorded in 1936, still conveys some of Yancey's wonderful hypnotic gravity. "Boogie Woogie Prayer," a two-part blow-out for three pianists, feels a lot like a freight train passing through town. Was it Hammond's idea to have Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis all playing simultaneously? It was a worthwhile experiment, and for sheer thunder you can't beat piano-six-hands. Still and all it's good to move on into a series of solitary solos. Lewis was a remarkably inventive improviser, incessantly vibrating with idiosyncrasies that make his recordings delightful to listen to at length. When Meade plays slowly and reflectively, he seems like a kindred spirit to his contemporary from Harlem, Thomas "Fats" Waller. A slow blues is one of the most powerful rituals known to humanity. Lewis tapped into these mysteries with an extended set of blues variations recorded for Blue Note on the January 6 1939. The results, augmented with two very slow blues called "Melancholy" and "Solitude" (no relation to the Ellington composition), comprise nearly twenty-eight-minutes of unhurried, unaffected, friendly, soothing piano blues. Everybody ought to hear this stuff! It's wonderfully honest music. ~ arwulf arwulf

Meade "Lux" Lewis (piano, celeste)
Albert Ammons (piano)
Pete Johnson (piano)

1. Honky Tonk Train Blues
2. Honky Tonk Train Blues
3. Yancey Special
4. Celeste Blues
5. I'm In The Mood For Love
6. Mr. Freddie Blues
7. Honky Tonk Train Blues
8. Whistlin' Blues
9. Boogie Woogie Prayer-Part 1
10. Boogie Woogie Prayer-Part 2
11. Bear Cat Crawl
12. The Blues-Part 1
13. The Blues-Part 2
14. The Blues-Part 3
15. The Blues-Part 4
16. The Blues-Part 5
17. Melancholy
18. Solitude

Lee Konitz - Konitz Meets Mulligan

Konitz was to remember Chet Baker more fondly as the years went by and later dedicated an album to his memory. Here the relationship sounds creatively acerbic, even prickly, as two of the coolest voices of the time vie for supremacy without seeming to lift a finger. Mulligan's light-toned baritone fits into the mix perfectly and there are moments on "Lover Man", "I'll Remembe April", and "All The Things You Are' when it sounds as if this must be a permanent line-up, so effortlessly sympathetic are the three front-men. Phrases and whole lines are traded back and forth; Konitz, and then Mulligan, modulates unexpectedly; the piano-less rhythm section slips the rhythm here and there. The re-issue has a short alternate take of "Lady Be Good". Penguin Guide

Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax)
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Carson Smith (bass)
Joe Mandragon (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)

1. Too Marvelous For Words
2. Lover Man
3. I'll Remember April
4. These Foolish Things
5. All The Things You Are
6. Bernie's Tune
7. Almost Like Being In Love
8. Sextet
9. Broadway
10. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
11. Lady Be Good
12. Lady Be Good - (alternate take)

Recorded in Los Angeles, California in January 1953

Sonny Simmons - Manhattan Egos

Chris Strachwitz, the founder and producer of Arhoolie Records is well known for issuing blues, Cajun, Tex-Mex, Tejano, zydeco, Mexican folk, country, folk, and world musics of every kind. His musical appetite is restless and his vision relentless. He is not, however, a known fan of out jazz. These two dates featuring the great, underappreciated sax of Sonny Simmons are evidence to the contrary. Manhattan Egos features two sessions from February 1969 and a live date from October of 1970. The studio session was the original LP issue, and the live date, as raw as it is, is additional, previously unreleased material. The music on Simmons' two sets is deeply indebted to John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, but then almost everyone breaking new ground in jazz at the time -- with the exception of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor -- owed it too. The Simmons band on the first five tracks is comprised of totally unknown musicians, with the possible exception of Barbara Donald, who played in the California free scene awhile before hooking up with Simmons, eventually marrying him and bearing him two children. The rest, Juma, Paul Smith, and "Voodoo Bember," who makes a conga appearance, were not players who had gigged with anyone before Simmons. It doesn't matter though, because Simmons and Donald -- whose style is equal parts Don Ayler, Clifford Brown, and Maynard Ferguson -- create a such a dominant frontline there is little else for the rhythm section to do but find a way to create rhythm and harmony from the interplay of the horns. On the title track, while Juma bows his bass aleatorically to create a harmonic wall of mode and timbre, Donald and Simmons trade lines almost instinctually, overlapping each other with ribbons of such mellifluous intensity it is actually possible to hear them singing to one another through the horns. The harmonic bridge created by Juma is an elastic one; Simmons is able to stretch both modes and intervals on a scalar level while engaging in a kind of chromatic exchange of pitches with Donald. Smith is keeping up, but barely, trying to continually double and triple time the band to make up for what he doesn't know, but the cracks show, making the date seem that much more organic. Listen to his interval crossovers in "Coltrane in Paradise," amid the long, slowly drawn out morphing of the improvisation as it changes meter three times in less than a minute, and you'll hear the evidence. The live session from late '70 is a different matter altogether because the band is stellar. Michael White, with his encyclopedic knowledge of counterpoint is a perfect foil for Simmons, who is primarily as player concerned with the development of thematic material based on harmonic exchange. On "Beings of Light," the frontline resembles something from the Jackie McLean/Tina Brooks band in the first six measures. When Simmons' alto moves into the solo, Kenny Jenkins' bass and Eddie Marshall's drumming follow him right to the overtonal edge and push him over. Simmons' playing here is less lyrical but far more confident and fiery. He reaches deep into the middle and lower registers of the horn for arpeggios that are slurred, bent, and angular rather than gliding or scalar. He sounds like a leader because he has a band that can take any of his ideas and extend them seemingly infinitely. When White solos, we can hear the entire history of the 20th century in his playing, from old-timey fiddle tunes to serialism and bebop. He constructs a contrapuntal system that moves against itself with drones and pitch shifting fluidity. When the two lay against each other, the dialogue is rooted to nothing but rhythm, there are no boundaries holding either to the melody, though it comes through anyway. By the time they reach the end of the set with "The Beauty of Ibis," it is as if a band had been formed, rehearsed and solidified in the course of the concert. If this is a finale there are no more beginnings. Things kick off with Simmons' solo moving ever outward from there. Each member of this quartet has the ability to take his desires to the limits of jazz expression with the confidence that everyone else covers his back. Simmons' solo is guttural, singing and centered on the overtonal possibilities inherent in atonal improvisation as it relates to mode and interval. White and Marshall play counterpoint to one another, slipping through the same patches at twice the time and trading eights on the dime. Jenkins refuses to anchor anything, he pushes the envelope far past the role of the bassist and into orbit forming a launching pad for everyone else's ideas and his own solo is as furious as fire on old wood. The piece ends with a lilting melodic modal exploration of D minor, and whispers to a close confusing everyone in the audience. No matter. They were present to history in the making. Thank God Chris Strachwitz had his tape recorder on. ~ Thom Jurek

One of the top female trumpeters of all-time, Barbara Donald has a powerful and explorative style that has been showcased on records far too little. She is best-known for playing with altoist Sonny Simmons (her husband at the time) during 1963-1972. She recorded a couple of impressive efforts for Cadence in the early '80s, but little has been heard from her since. ~ Scott Yanow

Sonny Simmons (alto sax, English horn)
Barbara Donald (trumpet)
Michael White (violin)
Eddie Marshall (drums)
Kenny Jenkins (bass)
Juma (bass, congo drum)
Paul Smith (drums)
Voodoo Bembe (congo drum)

1. Coltrane In Paradise
2. The Prober
3. Manhattan Egos
4. Seven Dances Of Salome
5. Visions
6. Beings Of Light
7. Purple Rays
8. Divine Magnet
9. The Beauty Of Ibis

Recorded at Sierra Sound Studios and Newman Center, Berkeley, California between February 2, 1969 and November 6, 1970

Third Ear Band- self titled (aka ,Elements) 1970

A great so called psyche folk classic- or minimal improv informed by 20th c chamber music depending on your point of view.

this certainly has an at times a congested claustrophobic atmosphere in common with the brutal dense drones in a composer such as giacinto scelsi's music.
or the later industrial folk of Belgian rock in opposition band universe zero.
both instrumentally and in terms of colour this also reminds one of the chamber world "fusions" of the group oregon (at their most adventurous)


1)by Chris Blackford
Third Ear Band (sometimes called Elements) (1970) (Beat Goes On BGOCD89) develops these ideas through four longer improvisations. Ursula Smith had now replaced Davis on cello and the group were sounding increasingly cohesive. The opening 'Air' features Minns' characterful oboe achieving a blend of plangent melodic and strident non-idiomatic gestures in dialogue with the string players' textural arco smears and scrapes. While 'Earth' explores a lively folk motif (echoes of a Cossack dance) through accelerated pizzicato, 'Fire' explodes into a frenzy of wailing woodwinds, high-pitch searing strings and pulsating percussion - more concerned with vertical density than linear development, and in its own way as cathartic as Peter Brötzmann Octet's seminal Machine Gun. Finally, against droning strings bathed in aquatic sound effects and Sweeney's underlying pulse, 'Water' has Minns weaving another memorable melody full of elegiac poignancy. Third Ear Band is one of the group's most satisfying works.

2) by Richie Unterberger
Their self-titled, second album is probably their definitive statement, consisting of four lengthy tracks devoted to the primary elements ("Air," "Earth, " "Fire, " "Water"). The feeling is one of improvised (though well-conceived) pieces that build up from initial drones to multi-layered ragas built around the same initial patterns. Their strong debts to both Indian music and contemporary experimental/minimalist compositions are evident. It's not accessible enough for the average rock (or even average progressive rock) listener. But it's certainly more geared toward the adventurous rock listener than the most challenging and/or difficult contemporary avant-garde music.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Great Jazz Trio at the Village Vanguard

The Great Jazz Trio:
Hank Jones - Ron Carter - Tony Williams
Recorded at the Village Vanguard on Feb 19-20, 1977.
Moose the Mooche
12 + 12

The relevance of the cover photo escapes me entirely, and I don't have the patience to read through the fine-print of Morgenstern's liner notes for a clue. But the music is too good to worry about trivia! LP —> LAME 3.98vbr0

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cecil Taylor - Momentum Space

Few names conjure the ideal of sonic adventurousness as distinctly as those of Dewey Redman, Cecil Taylor, and Elvin Jones. With Momentum Space, this explosive triumvirate comes together to present an uncommonly challenging and intriguing recording. At every turn, Redman's expressive wails, Taylor's dynamic explorations, and Jones' bombastic thunder seem to challenge the very laws of nature. Indeed, what we hear are three musical forces converging as one, pushing, pulling, blasting, and pounding their way into uncharted territory.

The opening "Nine," an eleven-minute wall of sound that proceeds to shake the foundations of all you hold dear, should be enough to clear away any preconceptions. "Bekei," Jones' staggering solo piece, is an inspiring percussive statement that only a master of his magnitude could proclaim. The Redman/Jones duet "Spoonin" blasts us with the spirit of Coltrane before Taylor leads us on a solo journey of the imagination with "Life As." "It" and the epic "Is" are much too complex to explain with words, but the bizarre sounds that Redman produces on the brief "Dew" can be described with but one: unforgettable.

Cecil Taylor (piano)
Dewey Redman (tenor sax)
Elvin Jones (drums)

1. Nine
2. Bekei
3. Spoonin'
4. Life As
5. It
6. Is
7. Dew

Avatar Studios, New York City; August 4-5, 1998

Chet Baker - Quartet with Russ Freeman

Although this 1998 CD reissue features the Chet Baker Quartet (in what was a reunion session), it was originally released under pianist Russ Freeman's name. All but two of the eight songs on the set ("Love Nest" and "Lush Life") are compositions by the pianist and they often feature both challenging chord changes and swinging solos. Baker, who improvises on the date with a fair amount of fire while sticking to his middle register, emerges as the key soloist although Freeman sounds quite original within the genre; bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Shelly Manne play tastefully in quiet support of the lead voices. All of the music was previously reissued as part of the complete Chet Baker Quartet limited-edition Mosaic box set that has since gone out of print. Well worth exploring. ~ Scott Yanow

Chet Baker (trumpet)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Love Nest
2. Fan Tan
3. Summer Sketch
4. An Afternoon At Home
5. Say When
6. Lush Life
7. Amblin'
8. Hugo Hurwhey

Los Angeles; November 6, 1956

Slim Gaillard - Rides Again!

Slim Gaillard's career had stalled a bit by the time of this 1958 studio session for Dot, as his blend of comic jive vocals and jazz had likely worn a little thin. Unlike his earlier recording with bassist Slam Stewart (and later Bam Brown), Gaillard seems to pretty much abandon the mysterious hip language he referred to as "McVouty," though the emphasis is on his humorous vocals in most of the tracks with an unidentified bassist and drummer. One of the best songs is an instrumental, a blues called "Slim's Cee" featuring the leader on piano. Unfortunately, his routines aren't particularly amusing and haven't survived the test of time very well on either the several standards (including "Oh, Lady Be Good!" and "How High the Moon") or originals, which make up the rest of the disc; while he is adequate on piano and guitar, there's nothing included on this CD that would make this an essential purchase for anyone except the most ardent Slim Gaillard fan. It's not surprising to learn that Gaillard's opportunities to record were almost nonexistent for over a dozen years after this record was released. Like other titles in Verve's limited-edition reissue series, this title will be available only until September 2005. Ken Dryden

1. Oh, Lady Be Good
2. I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
3. How High The Moon
4. Slim's Cee
5. One Minute Of Flamenco For Three Minutes
6. Chicken Rhythm
7. I Love You
8. Tall And Slim
9. My Blue Heaven
10. Thunderbird
11. Walking And Cooking Blues
12. Sukiyaki Cha Cha
13. Don't Blame Me

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bobby Hackett - 1943-1947 (Chronological 1047)

When Bobby Hackett's band is in the house and presents a pretty tune at a relaxed tempo, the spirit within the song has a chance to climb out of its shell and perch for a few minutes over the front door like one of William Blake's pigmented angels. Hackett's sensitivity turns every ballad into a magical daydream. When the band turns on the heat, you're getting Chicago-style, Eddie Condon-approved traditional jazz, right straight out of the bottle. Condon in fact played guitar on the session of December 23, 1943, along with a swell tenor saxophonist named Nick Caiazza and no-nonsense trombonist Ray Conniff. Pianist Frank Signorelli, composer of "Serenade in Blue" and cardinal member of the Original Memphis Five, takes an occasional break during some of the stomps but really gets to shine with a full-length solo during his magnum opus, "I'll Never Be the Same." Some may feel that this one track is reason enough to seek out the entire album. It all depends on how much respect you have for Signorelli, and for the Art of Melody. The Commodore session of 1944, presented in part as "Jam Session at Commodore No. 6," makes lots of room for Ernie Caceres' magnificent baritone saxophone, with a few diversions supplied by Pee Wee Russell. Lou McGarity was a trombonist comparable to George Brunies. Jess Stacy's piano chemistry worked exceptionally well when combined with Hackett's dignified persona. These excellent jams also perfectly illustrate the artistry of George Wettling, Eddie Condon's preferred percussionist. Wettling drove a substantially different band through four sides for the Melrose label in May of 1945. The ballads are gorgeous; the hot numbers really rip. Both of the sessions from February 1946 utilize a big-band sound intended for slow dancing, with sentimental arrangements by ex-Paul Whiteman anesthesiologist Bill Challis. Lush reeds hover behind Hackett's romantic horn with brief spotlights on clarinetist Hank d'Amico and guitarist Carl Kress. Johnny Guarnieri noodles gently on a celeste, sweetening up an already honey-drenched confection. A nice four-minute V-Disc trio performance is provided to clear the palette. ~ arwulf arwulf

Bobby Hackett (trumpet)
Ray Conniff (trombone)
Pee Wee Russell (clarinet)
Ernie Caceres (baritine sax)
Joe Bushkin (piano)
Jess Stacy (piano)
Johnny Guarnieri (piano)
Arthur Rollini (tenor sax)
Carl Kress (guitar)
Eddie Condon (guitar)
Cozy Cole (drums)
George Wettling (drums)

1. But Not For Me
2. Rose Room
3. S' Wonderful
4. Ja-Da
5. Exactly Like You
6. When A Woman Loves A Man
7. Embraceable You
8. I'll Never Be The Same
9. Sweet Georgia Brown
10. At Sundown
11. New Orleans
12. Skeleton Jangle
13. When Day Is Gone
14. Soon
15. Pennies From Heaven
16. Rose Of The Rio Grande
17. Body And Soul
18. I Want To Be Happy
19. Soft Lights And Sweet Music
20. Soon
21. With A Song In My Heart
22. If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You
23. Easy To Love
24. More Than You Know
25. Wht Is There To Say
26. The Man I Love

Ned Rorem - Double Concerto for Violin And Cello and After Reading Shakespeare

Ned Rorem's life, as his diaries have revealed, has been unconventional, but his music is conceived largely in accordance with traditional, tonal norms, treated with originality and immense inventiveness. He has had a long acquaintance with both Sharon Robinson and Jaime Laredo, the soloists on this disc, of whom he says “...gradually they came to exemplify for me the ideal string players.” Having already created works for both of them individually, Rorem felt they would make an ideal team, which resulted in the Double Concerto. Rorem suggests that the two instruments “are born on stage, emerging from the womb of the orchestra.” After Reading Shakespeare for solo cello is a refutation of the notion that a rich-sounding string instrument such as the cello requires any accompaniment.

Ned Rorem (b. 1923) is best-known as an American composer of art song and as a writer of memoirs. But, as several budget-priced releases in Naxos's "American classics" series testify, Rorem's compositions extend far beyond the realm of song. The most recent release of Rorem's music on Naxos includes two works in which the cello is preeminent: a suite for cello alone and Rorem's double concerto for violin and cello.

This CD features cellist Sharon Robinson, a member of the much-recorded
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson trio together with her husband and partner in the trio, violinist Jamie Laredo. Both Robinson and Laredo have long been champions of Rorem's music, and it is exciting to have the opportunity to hear them perform on a budget CD. In the concerto, Michael Stern conducts the relatively newly-formed (2000) IRIS Orchestra, which is based in Germantown, Tennessee and regularly features the music of American composers.

Rorem's solo cello suite, "After Reading Shakespeare" dates from 1981, and Robinson's recording first appeared in 1982. This is a nine-movement suite based loosely upon Rorem's rereadings of Shakespeare and of Proust. It is rare to hear music for unaccompanied cello, and Rorem's suite immediately brings to mind Bach's incomparable set of six suites for cello alone. In some of the lengthier movements, particularly the first and final movements, Rorem's suite includes echoes of Bach's suites, as Rorem uses the cello contrapuntally to create the feeling of several voices and lines. The suite also includes movements of lyricism and passion in the companiaon pieces titled "Caliban" and "Portia" and in the Proust-inspired "Remberance of things past." The finale, "Iago and Othello" is a work in two voices full of both learning and passion, as befits its title. This cello suite is an outstanding work.

Rorem's Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra was commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony which first performed it in 1998. The work brings to mind Brahms's famous "Double", but in fact it has little in common with this predecessor. As is Rorem's violin concerto, this double concerto is more in the nature of a multi-movement suite than a concerto. It consists of eight mostly short movements with close integrated writing for the orchestra and the two soloists. The composition is tonal and clear throughout in a musical language that reminded me both of Debussy and of the American works of Aaron Copland.

Sharon Robinson (cello)
Jaime Laredo (violin)
IRIS Orchestra

Double Concerto for Violin and Cello
1. I. Morning
2. II. Adam and Eve
3. III. Mazurka
4. IV. Staying on Alone
5. V. Their Accord
6. VI. Looking
7. VII. Conversation at Midnight
8. VIII. Flight

After Reading Shakespeare
9. I. Lear Sharon Robinson
10. II. Katharine
11. III. Lear
12. IV. Titania and Oberon
13. V. Caliban
14. VI. Portia
15. VII. Why hear'st thou music sadly?
16. VIII. Remembrance Of Things Past
17. IX. Iago and Othello

Bill Cosby - Where You Lay Your Head

I cannot stand Bill Cosby. Hate him. When he's not being a fucking buffoon, he's being a pompous windbag. I know, he sounds a lot like me, but I still don't like him. But I would buy anything with Don Pullen. Throw in Harold Mabern, David Murray, Harold Vick et al, and it makes the $2 I spent seem worthwhile. Sonny Bravo is a nice surprise, too.

Here's a review with some background; Cosby's still a dick, though.

Bill Cosby, master comedian, actor, and would-be musician, managed to secure an agreement with Verve where, in the first of a series of jazz albums, he would "lead" a group of top-notch musicians in his "compositions." He claims to have conceived these pieces himself, humming the notes to amanuenses Stu Gardner and Art Lisi -- which may well be the case, but more often than not, it sounds like the musicians on the session were given their own head to jam away. Actually, a lot of these sessions are pretty good, and occasionally one can trace the outlines of a Cosby musical signature in the tunes. Guitarist John Scofield gets a lot of good cutting room in four of the pieces, where the tenor sax role is in the sometimes abrasive hands of Odean Pope and David Murray. Cosby also has the cheek to let a different team of players run nearly amok in the free funk marathon "Why Is It I Can Never Find Anything in the Closet (It's Long But It's Alright)"; guitarist Sonny Sharrock can be heard in a particularly delicious freakout against Mark Egan's funky synthed bass and Jack DeJohnette's drums. This is the best of the Cosby jazz albums so far; just don't expect any droll stories about Fat Albert and the gang. Richard S. Ginell

David Murray (tenor sax)
Don Pullen (keyboards)
Harold Mabern (keyboards)
Sonny Bravo (keyboards)
John Scofield (guitar)
Sonny Sharrock (guitar)
Harold Vick (tenor sax)
Odean Pope (tenor sax)
Al Foster (drums)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)

1 - Ursalina
2 - Where You Lay Your Head
3 - Mouth Of The Blowfish
4 - Four Queens And A King
5 - Why Is It I Can Never Find Anything In The Closet (It's Long But It's Alright)

Bethlehem 51 and 1039

Joe Derise - The Complete Bethlehem Collection

Joe Derise is a fine jazz-influenced cabaret singer who has recorded recent sessions for Audiophile. This particular CD (which has been released through Evidence) brings back Derise's first two recordings along with five previously unissued alternate takes. The first session has Derise contributing some background piano in a trio with bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Osie Johnson while the second finds him sticking exclusively to vocals while joined by the Australian Jazz Quintet. Most of the repertoire is comprised of superior standards. Derise's voice is a bit of an acquired taste and he sings fairly straight although with a sense of swing, making this definitive set of as great interest to cabaret collectors as to jazz fans. ~ Scott Yanow

1-8, 21-25 (The Joe DeRise 3)
Joe DeRise (piano, vocal)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Osie Johnson (drums)
NYC, March 10, 1955

9-20 (Joe DeRise With The Australian Jazz Quartet)
Joe DeRise (vocal)
Dick Healey (alto sax, flute, clarinet)
Erroll Buddle (tenor sax, bassoon)
Jack Brokensha (vibes)
Bryce Rohde (piano)
Jimmy Gannon (bass)
Nick Stabulas (drums)
NYC, late 1955

1. Comes Love
2. It Might as Well Be Spring
3. My Romance
4. Maybe
5. How High the Moon
6. Fine Romance
7. Mountain Greenery
8. How Long Has This Been Going On?
9. Personality
10. Once I Believed
11. Swinging on a Star
12. Humpty Dumpty Heart
13. 'S Wonderful
14. More and More
15. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
16. Once in a Dream
17. Soon
18. Charm of You
19. Spring in Old New York
20. Love
21. It Might as Well Be Spring (take 1)
22. Comes Love (take 1)
23. Fine Romance (take 3)
24. How Long Has This Been Going On? (take 7)
25. Mountain Greenery (take 1)

Art Taylor - Hard Cookin'

AMG lists this album as by "various artists" but since the LP label announces Art Taylor, I'll go along with them. PRESTIGE 7342, A double album that seems to be rather hard to find, I hope you will enjoy this pre-LAME LP rip, mp3 with OCR'd liner notes. Amazingly, Coltrane plays on a one track but is not listed on the cover!

Early Music - The Lute and the Theorbo

Hopkinson Smith recorded 20 or so albums of 17th Century music for lute and theorbo, on the French Astrée label, and most are now out-of-print and generally very scarce and expensive. Here are two of my favourites. Interesting commentary on these two composers, Robert De Visée and François Dufaut, and the music of the period can be found in the notes included in the scans. LAME3.98 vbr0

Friday, April 18, 2008

Serge Chaloff - Blue Serge

I'd rank this one with the classic "Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section" except, given the comparatively small recorded output by Chaloff, this session has to be elevated to an even more exclusive place among essential jazz recordings. Along with the earlier, recently reissued "Boston Blow-Up," "Blue Serge" is the meager evidence upon which Chaloff's legacy and reputation must rest, apart from his role as one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers," arguably the most legendary saxophone section (with Getz, Steward/Cohn, and Zoot Sims) in the history of the music.

"Boston Blow-Up" demonstrated the extraordinary cohesion and rapport Chaloff was capable of as a member of a section, in which he's as integral, balanced, and tasteful as Duke's Harry Carney. On the other hand, "Blue Serge," made just weeks before his partial paralysis due to spinal cancer, is an unrehearsed meeting during which Serge's inventive melodic lines, various vibratos and articulations, wide dynamic range, and contrasting rhythmic passages--alternating lyric and dramatic styles--produce a tour de force that transcends virtually any other recording that might be described as a "blowing session." To any listener who doesn't require tight arrangements and short solo spots and who can appreciate the unrestrained mastery of a major improvisational artist for whom the baritone saxophone is as natural and expressive as the human voice, "Blue Serge" has to be given a slightly higher priority than "Boston Blow-Up."

One recording session does not make a player the best on his instrument, but it's sufficient for this listener, in any case, to proclaim Chaloff a player second to none. Just listen to his fluid and dazzling technique on the first two tunes--on which he plays with the smoothness and richness of Harry Carney combined with the swing of Mulligan and the monster post-Bird chops of Pepper Adams. Then dig the follow-up--a somewhat trite tune ("Thanks for the Memories") that Chaloff transforms into a multi-textured, fascinating ballad opus. The last tune, "How About You," was not even included on the original LP, yet it's as soulful and deeply felt as anything on this recording, easily the definitive instrumental version of this standard. The rhythm section--Philly Joe (despite the cover's misleading reference to him as "Joe Jones"), Sonny Clark, and Leroy Vinnegar--was as hip as any on the West Coast.

I'm blown away by Chaloff's ability to play with a Paul Desmond lightness one moment, then with a Johnny Hodges lushness the next, then with Hawk-like growls and plosives, and finally with a bracing and resonant, foundation-building bass tone the next, suddenly filling the massive chambers of his big baritone horn with unexpected reserves of purposeful breath. I've never heard anything quite like Serge's solo on "I've Got the World on a String." One moment he's charming his mistress/horn with a seductive, alluring tone and the next he's wrestling it to the floor, kicking, boxing, scraping and jabbing until he's got everything under control.

Serge was apparently the black sheep in his family. With a father who was a concert pianist and a mother who was a piano teacher to young prodigies (Hancock, Jarrett, Corea, even Shearing), Serge wound up with terrible addictions to booze and heroin--and an outlandish horn that he played with as much brilliance and striking originality as Charlie Parker did the miniature version. In fact, Serge reversed all priorities, fathering and bringing so much respect to black sheep that the rest of us can only be eternally grateful he didn't wind up in white wool. Samuel Chell

Serge Chaloff (baritone sax)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. A Handful Of Stars
2. The Goof And I
3. Thanks For The Memory
4. All The Things You Are
5. I've Got The World On A String
6. Susie's Blues
7. Stairway To The Stars
8. How About You?

Los Angeles; March 14 and 16, 1956

Paulo Moura - Rio Nocturnes (1992)

In the summer of 1990, Paulo Moura was invited to play in Berlin's ''Jazz in July" Festival, along Chiame, a Trio whose members were Jorge Degas, a Brazilian bassist, and the German players Andreas Weiser, percussionist which lived in Brazil for some years and Michael Rodach, guitar. Wolfgang Loos, producer and multiinstrumetist was there, and became impressed by their performance. By his invitation, this Rio Nocturnes was created. It seems to have been the first time Paulo Moura recorded composition's of his own. The title Rio Nocturnes was taken from one of his compositions and have nothing to do with Chopin's Nocturnes. In fact, they are not melancholic songs, but a interesting mixture of Brazilian and German jazz, leaded by one of the top players of Brazil.
AMG reviewer says:

"Brazilian Paulo Moura displays a number of talents on this new release. He's a tasteful saxophonist (alto and soprano) and clarinetist, ascending gracefully over fluid jazz-pop rhythms dabbed with Brazilian accents. He's also a gifted composer — he wrote or co-wrote five of the 12 primarily instrumental pieces here, including "Guadeloupe" and "Tumbalele." Bass, drums, percussion, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars provide the sonic landscapes over which Moura coasts and swoops. Though the rhythms occasionally perk up, most of this release evokes an elegant, late-night ambiance".

1- Guadeloupe (Moura)
2- Capricornio (Loos)
3- Rio Nocturne (Moura-Vasco)
4- Baleias (Radach)
5- Jumento elegante (Rodach)
6- Barbara's vatapá (Degas-Weiser)
7- Sereia do Leblon (Meirelles)
8- Mulatas (Moura)
9- Tumbalelê (Moura-Tiso)
10- Concierto Brasitalian (Bach, adapt. Loos)
11- Tarde de chuva (Moura)
12- Casamanto em Xaxei (Degas-Weiser)

Paulo Moura - Saxes, clarinet
Michael Rodach - Guitars
Wolfgang Loos - Keyboards
Jorge Degas - Bass
Stefi Marcus - Bass
Andreas Weiser - Percussion
Burkhard Schäffer - Drums

Recorded in Berlin, April 1991. Released in 1992.s

Astor Piazzolla - En Persona

One of the more unusual albums in the career of Astor Piazzolla -- a set that features his solo bandoneon alongside recitations from Horacio Ferrer -- all in a mode that's completely captivating, and somewhat mystical! Ferrer's reciting his own writings, and Piazzolla's bandoneon is used to provide almost a soundtrack of sorts -- a moody backdrop for the Spanish words, played with a great sense of feeling that's almost more poetic overall! The record's a rare opportunity to hear Piazzolla play in a solo mode like this -- and it features tracks that include "Fabula Para Gardel", "Te Quiero Che", "Balada Para El", "Preludio Para La Cruz Del Sur", "La Ultima Grela", and "Balada Para Un Loco". Dusty Groove America, Inc

En persona was recorded in October of 1970 and released the following year. It brings together ten pieces composed by Piazzolla and Ferrer, among those the famous “Balada para un loco” and “Chiquilín de Bachín”, but in totally atypical versions: Ferrer recites the lyrics while Piazzolla plays the music only with his bandoneon. The idea of the voice with music behind had already been employed by Piazzolla in “Réquiem para un malandra”, included in the album Tango contemporáneo, recorded with the Nuevo Octeto in 1963. On the notes of that album, the composer wrote: “…the music of Buenos Aires has taken on a new form…”.

On the text included on the back cover of En persona, on the other hand, a supposed dialog between Piazzolla and Ferrer sought to emphasize the idea of improvisation, spontaneity and lack of pretension. The liner notes make mention that the album was recorded “in six consecutive hours on the afternoon of Thursday, October 22, 1970”. The reality, far beyond the truth of this spirit of the “unexpected and without profit motive”, is that the album was recorded mostly at the longest of three sessions on the 2nd, the 20th and the 23rd of that month, as stated in the session information included in the CD booklet.

Independent of any interest in Ferrer’s voice reciting the lyrics to his own songs, what matters here are the ten Piazzolla bandoneon solos, a unique document to track his way of playing this instrument –that permanent syncopation, the continual shifting of accents- is a constituent characteristic of his work. Conclusively, Astor Piazzolla’s work would not truly exist unless played by Piazzolla himself. Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon)
Horacio Ferrer (voice)

1) Fabula Para Gardel
2) Cancion De Las Venusinas
3) Te Quiero Che!
4) Chiquilin De Bachin
5) Balada Para El
6) Balada Para Mi Muerte
7) Balada Para Un Loco
8) La Ultima Grela
9) Juanito Laguna Ayuda A Su Madre
10) Preludio Para La Cruz Del Sur

All compositions by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Arturo Ferrer

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 2, 20, & 23, 1970

Lee Morgan & Clifford Jordan Quintet - Live in Baltimore 1968

In July 1968 Lee Morgan and Clifford Jordan co-led the session presented here, a gig organized by the Left Bank Jazz Society, and it could well be considered a dream line-up! In listening to this superb live performance, one can only regret that this quintet never made a studio album, but at least we can enjoy this long set of great jazz of what is possibly the only available recording of the Lee Morgan-Clifford Jordan Quintet. It is also possible that the very strong playing by this fantastic group is better appreciated in a live club situation than within the confines of a studio (liner notes).

1. Introduction 0:30
2. Straight No Chaser (Monk) 18:12
3. Like Someone In Love (Burke-Van Heusen) 14:45
4. Solar (Davis) 15:51
5. The Wamp (Mobley) 21:19
6. The Theme / Announcements 3:15

Lee Morgan (tp)
Clifford Jordan (ts)
John Hicks (p)
Reggie Workman (b)
Ed Blackwell (d)

Recorded live at The Royal Arms Baltimore, Maryland on July 1968

Harry Edison, Buck Clayton, Red Allen, and Roy Eldridge - Swing Trumpet Kings

Verve's “Take 2” series has been reissuing collections of material in two disc sets for a few years now, and many of the selections in the series have been collections of the work of well known artists — people like Maz Roach, Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, and Joe Williams. However, recently, Verve has moved the focus of this series towards less well known, but artistically important artists and musical forms. Swing Trumpet Kings is one of the latest additions to the Take 2 series, and it follows in Verve's recent direction.

A reissue of three classic albums from the late 50's / early 60's, Swing Trumpet Kings shines the spotlight on four different trumpeters from jazz's golden era: Buck Clayton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Red Allen, and Roy “Little Jazz” Eldridge. Each man was a great trumpeter in his own right, but this collection brings them together as an example of “that” generation of trumpet men (All four were born within seven years of each other). While each had his own unique style, swing was predominant in all. From the authentic Dixieland of Allen, to the laid back swing of Clayton and Edison, to the energetic bop forerunner Eldridge, all of these men enjoyed successful careers, and the well deserved adoration of their peers.

Disc one starts with Harry Edison Swings Buck Clayton And Vice Versa. Edison and Clayton sound made for each other, accenting each other's musical ideas, and swinging in the same vein on tune after tune. “Memories For The Count” and “Critic's Delight” are highlights, bouncing along at an enjoyable pace, and allowing the two to flush out themes and exchange licks. Also impressive is the playing of tenor man Jimmy Forrest, especially on the jam type medley that closes the original album. Also included for this set are two additional alternate takes, offering shorter version of two of the songs.

From Edison and Clayton's laid back swing the album turns toward the authentic New Orleans music of King Oliver as played by Red Allen. Twelve songs in all, Allen's album does the King proud, reproducing the atmosphere of Bourbon Street for the listener. As the liner notes point out, in the aftermath of Louis Armstrong's tremendous influence, particularly among New Orleans type trumpeters, Allen may have been a lone original, preferring non-symmetrical solo construction to Armstrong's well known symmetry. However, Allen does follow Armstrong's lead by offering up his own unique vocals on a few selections as well. Like Armstrong, Allen does not possess the traditional good voice, but with a set of New Orleans music, Allen's “down home” vocals are a perfect fit.

The final of the three albums is Roy Eldridge's Swing Goes Dixie. While Allen's music was authentic New Orleans, Eldridge's sounds more like Dixieland night in New York City — the theme is there, and so is the style, but Eldridge's troupe spice up the numbers with some more energetic (and quicker paced) playing. The famous “Royal Garden Blues” is well done, with a slightly quicker pace that grows ever so subtly as the song moves forward. Eldridge is wonderful as the leader, blowing with the best of them, yet adding his own unique styling on the solos. On “Struttin' With Some Barbecue,” it's easy for the listener to hear Eldridge's influence on a young Dizzy Gillespie, and on “Bugle Call Rag,” Eldridge takes the old familiar to a new level.

Overall, this collection is a great pick-up for the trumpet fan, the Dixieland fan, or those interested in the historical development of today's jazz. While today's jazz is highly recorded and seems to be dominated by “kids” barely old enough to have cut their proverbial teeth, this collection spotlights four jazzmen, with all that is good and bad with that title. Reissuing this material, Verve does jazz fans everywhere a favor. Do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself. Jason R. Laipply

Harry Edison - Swings Buck Clayton And Vice Versa

Harry Edison (trumpet)
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Jimmy Forrest (tenor sax)
Jimmy Jones (piano)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Joe Benjamin (bass)
Charli Persip (drums)
October 16, 1958

Red Allen - Plays King Oliver

Red Allen (trumpet)
Buster Bailey (clarinet)
Herb Fleming (trombone)
Bob Hammer, Sammy Price (piano)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Sol Hall (drums)
November 21, 1960

Roy Eldridge - Swing Goes Dixie

Roy Eldridge (trumpet)
Benny Morton (trombone)
Eddie Barefield (clarinet)
Dick Wellstood (piano)
Walter Page (bass)
Jo Jones (drums)
June 3, 1956

CD 1
Harry Edison Swings Buck Clayton And Vice Versa
1. Memories For The Count
2. Come With Me
3. Critics' Delight
4. Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Afternoon
5. Medley: It All Depends On You/Charmaine/Makin' Whoopee/How Long Has This Been Going On?
6. Come With Me (alt take)
7. Memories For The Count (alt take)

Red Allen Plays King Oliver
8. Ballin' The Jack
9. Canal Street Blues
10. Someday, Sweetheart
11. Dixie Medley: Dixie/Marching Through Georgia/Battle Hymn Of The Republic/Bourbon St. Parade
12. How Long, How Long Blues
13. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

CD 2
1. Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?
2. Snowy Morning Blues
3. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home?
4. Fidgety Feet
5. Yellow Dog Blues
6. All Of Me

Roy Eldridge Swing Goes Dixie
7. That's A-Plenty
8. Royal Garden Blues
9. The Jazz Me Blues
10. Tin Roof Blues
11. Struttin' With Some Barbecue
12. (What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue
13. Bugle Call Rag
14. Ja-Da
15. Royal Garden Blues (alt take)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Susannah McCorkle - Easy To Love, The Songs of Cole Porter

Susannah McCorkle has long been a lyricist's dream. Rather than distort or alter the words she interprets, McCorkle (who has an immediately appealing and likable voice) brings out the hidden beauty in the lyrics. For her latest Concord disc, Susannah McCorkle sings 14 songs written by Cole Porter whose lyrics were among the most sophisticated of the 1930-1960 era. The arrangements by her musical director and pianist Allen Farnham are quite inventive, with exuberant octet numbers (featuring concise but generally memorable solos from trumpeter Randy Sandke, alto Chris Potter, trombonist Robert Trowers, and Ken Peplowski on tenor and clarinet) alternating with more intimate performances including voice-guitar duets with Howard Alden on a slow chorus of "Just One Of Those Things," "Why Don't We Try Staying Home" and the sad "Goodbye Little Dream, Goodbye." Among the other highlights are lengthy renditions of "Anything Goes" and "Let's Do It" which find McCorkle singing every stanza that could be found (the former has many obscure topical references), a boisterous version of "It's All Right With Me" and an emotional "Weren't We Fools?" Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle (Vocals)
Howard Alden (Guitar)
Richard de Rosa (Arranger, Drums)
Allen Farnham (Piano, Arranger)
Steve Gilmore (Bass)
Ken Peplowski (Clarinet, Tenor Sax)
Chris Potter (Alto Sax)
Randy Sandke (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Robert Trowers (Trombone)

1 Night and Day 4:59
2 Anything Goes 5:17
3 Just One of Those Things 2:57
4 It's All Right With Me 5:50
5 Weren't We Fools? 3:40
6 From This Moment On 3:43
7 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 4:45
8 Why Don't We Try Staying Home? 4:26
9 You Do Something to Me 3:22
10 Easy to Love 6:04
11 Goodbye Little Dream, Goodbye 3:12
12 You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To 5:28
13 Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) 6:00
14 Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye 6:07

Recorded at Sound on Sound, New York City on September 6-8, 1995

Astor Piazzolla - Concierto Para Quinteto

It's music like this that makes us realize just how amazing the music of Astor Piazzolla truly is -- a marvelous blend of sounds, colors, and tones that's completely unlike anything else we can think of -- all brought together with a great depth of feeling and sentiment, but all in ways that are never cloying or cliched! The record's an amazing one -- really unique in approach, as the core instruments often take on modes that are quite different than usual -- guitar that sounds like percussion, violin that sounds like accordion, and bandoneon that sounds like -- well, just like something you've never heard before! There's a bit of added instrumentation in the mix, which further expands the sound to marvelous new heights -- and titles include "Mi Refugio", "Flores Negras", "En Las Sombras", "Margarita Gauthier", "Recuerdos De Bohemia", and "Concierto Para Quinteto". CD also features 3 bonus tracks -- "Volver", "Milonga Triste", and "El Motivo". Dusty Groove America

Concierto para Quinteto, recorded at the end of 1970 and issued in 1971, presents the group comprised of Astor Piazzolla on bandoneon, Antonio Agri on violin and viola (on “Invierno porteño”), Osvaldo Manzi on piano, Cacho Tirao on electric guitar and Kicho Diaz on bass. The album was intended by Piazzolla as a farewell to this configuration and, in fact, did not return to it until 1979. His subsequent projects were the Conjunto 9 (1971-72), the electric octet (1976-1977) and the Italian groups with which he released “Libertango,” “Summit,” “Suite troileana,” “Persecuta” and “Mundial" between 1974 and 1978.

In addition to the title work of this disc- which had a duration of almost nine minutes, unusual for a tango although already the trend in rock and jazz- and two of the “Estaciones” in new arrangements (“Inviero porteño” and “Primavera porteña”), the album includes six pieces interpreted by solo bandoneon (“La casita de mis viejos,” “Mi refugio,” “Loca bohemia”, “Flores negras,” “En las sombras” and “Margarita Gauthier”) and one by a bandoneon quartet composed of Piazzolla, Rodolfo Mederos, Leopoldo Federico and Antonio Rios (“Recuerdos de bohemia”).

This edition includes as bonus tracks a left-over recording of two bandoneons done by Piazzolla (“Milonga triste”) and his historic duets with Aníbal Troilo (“El motivo” and “Volver”), also recorded in 1970. Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon)
Antonio Agri (violin, viola on#2)
Cacho Tirao (electric guitar)
Kicho Diaz (bass)
Osvaldo Manzi (piano)
Rodolfo Mederos (bandoneon on #10)
Leopoldo Federico (bandoneon on #10)
Antonio Rios (bandoneon on #10)
Aníbal Troilo (bandoneon on #12&13)

1) Concierto Para Quinteto (Piazzolla Astor)
2) Invierno Porteño (Nueva Version) (Astor Piazzolla)
3) Primavera Porteña (Nueva Version) (Astor Piazzolla)
4) La Casita De Mis Viejos (Enrique Domingo Cadicamo / Juan Carlos Cobian)
5) Mi Refugio (Cobian Juan Carlos / Cordoba Pedro Numa)
6) Loca Bohemia (Dante A. Linyera / Francisco De Caro)
7) Flores Negras (Francisco De Caro / Mario Gomila)
8) En Las Sombras (Meaños Manuel A.)
9) Margarita Gauthier (Joaquin Mauricio Mora / Nelson Julio Jorge)
10) Recuerdos De Bohemia (Delfino Enrique Pedro / Romero Julio)
11) Milonga Triste (Homero Manzi / Sebastian Piana)
12) El Motivo (Cobian Juan Carlos / Contursi Jose Maria)
13) Volver (Alfredo Le Pera / Carlos Gardel)

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 15 & December 3, 22, 1970

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Erroll Garner - 1949 (Chronological 1138)

Errol Garner's textured, expressive piano playing is featuring on the 2001 compilation 1949. Garner is an interesting player; at times he can be quite powerful and intense as he bangs away on old standards like "All of Me" and "I'm in the Mood for Love." At other times he really adds nothing to the songs, instead just playing the straight melody and letting the original composition speak for itself. These are the moments where he is at his weakest; despite his excellent playing skills, these are songs that are fairly simple and have been performed many times before, and his excellent flourishes would have helped the music out greatly. But then there are the other tracks, which at least balance out the album. The other problem here is the sound quality, something that curses many jazz recordings from this era. Some songs simply sound bad; the album is quite fuzzy and scratchy at times. But, overall, the music on the album manages to impress for a good portion of the album, and fans of Garner can at least get more of his recordings from this era. ~ Bradley Torreano

Erroll Garner (piano)
John Simmons (bass)
Alvin Stoller (drums)
Chuck Thompson (drums)
Dave Lambert (vocal)

1. Body And Soul
2. All The Things You Are
3. I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
4. Yesterdays
5. Goodbye
6. A Cottage For Sale
7. I'm In The Mood For Love
8. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
9. More Than You Know
10. Undecided
11. Red Sails In The Sunset
12. All Of Me
13. Over The Rainbow
14. Cherokee - Part 1
15. Cherokee - Part 2
16. Tenderly
17. Someone To Watch Over Me
18. Take The 'A' Train
19. Georgia On My Mind
20. St. Louis Blues
21. My Old Kentucky Home
22. Erroll's Peril
23. I'm Coming Virginia

Booker Little - Booker Little

Booker Little's contributions to jazz fall far short of what they might have been if he had lived past the age of 23. However, his recordings present a deeply talented trumpet player, possessing a warm, bell-like tone and a highly developed melodic sense. His work, especially that done in close collaboration with Eric Dolphy, displays an astute and well-controlled sense of experimentation. The listener is left with a strong sense that Booker was soon to be a major talent in the profound extension of the jazz language that took place in the years following his death in 1961.

Trumpeter Booker Little's second session as a leader (there would only be four) is a quartet outing (with either Wynton Kelly or Tommy Flanagan on piano, bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Roy Haynes) that puts the emphasis on relaxed tempoes. Little's immediately recognizable melancholy sound and lyrical style are heard in top form on "Who Can I Turn To" and five of his originals, some of which deserve to be revived. His jazz waltz "The Grand Valse" (inspired by Sonny Rollins' "Valse Hot") is a highpoint of this set which has been reissued by Bainbridge/Time on CD. Scott Yanow

Booker Little (trumpet)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Scott LaFaro (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Opening Statement
2. Minor Sweet
3. Bee Tee's Minor Plea
4. Life's A Little Blue
5. Grand Valse
6. Who Can I Turn To

April 13 and 15, 1960

Booker Little - Out Front

It seems like a natural choice to post this, after recent Roach, Friedman, Priester, Davis, et. al. appearances. A petit bijou.

Booker Little was the first trumpet soloist to emerge in jazz after the death of Clifford Brown to have his own sound. His tragically brief life (he died at age 23 later in 1961) cut short what would have certainly been a major career. Little, on this sextet date with multi-reedist Eric Dolphy, trombonist Julian Priester, and drummer Max Roach, shows that his playing was really beyond bebop. His seven now-obscure originals (several of which deserve to be revived) are challenging for the soloists and there are many strong moments during these consistently challenging and satisfying performances.

Booker Ervin (trumpet)
Eric Dolphy (reeds)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Don Friedman (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Art Davis (bass)
Max Roach (drums)

1. We Speak
2. Strength and Sanity
3. Quiet Please
4. Moods in Free Time
5. Man of Words
6. Hazy Blues
7. A New Day

Carmen McRae - With Mat Mathews and Tony Scott Quartets

Herbie Mann's birthday, as it happens.

This pair of 1954 sessions were combined to make up Carmen McRae's debut album, With Mat Mathews and Tony Scott Quartets. The singer is joined by two quartets, one led by accordion player Mat Mathews (with a group including guitarist Mundell Lowe and Herbie Mann, the latter heard making his debut on record as well) and the other by clarinetist Tony Scott (with pianist Dick Katz, bassist Earl May and drummer Osie Johnson). The songs include a couple of standards ("You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" and "Easy to Love"), a few obscurities, and one of McRae's earliest compositions, the ballad "Last Time for Love." The performances are rather brief, with only one approaching the four-minute mark and while McRae's youthful sound is appealing, it is a shame that there isn't a bit more room to add feature her sidemen as well. Scott takes over on piano to provide her sole accompaniment for "Misery." The reverb adding to her voice on some tracks proves a bit distracting, as she really didn't need it. There are five alternate takes added to this CD reissue, which was briefly available during the '90s before it again lapsed from print. ~ Ken Dryden

Carmen McRae (vocal)
Herbie Mann (flute, tenor sax)
Mat Mathews (accordion)
Mundell Lowe (guitar)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
NYC, October 6, 1954

Carmen McRae (vocal)
Tony Scott (clarinet, piano)
Dick Katz (piano)
Skip Fawcett (bass)
Osie Johnson (drums)
NYC, December, 1954

1. You'd Be So Easy to Love
2. If I'm Lucky
3. Old Devil Moon
4. Tip Toe Gently
5. You Made Me Care
6. Last Time for Love
7. Misery
8. Too Much in Love to Care
9. Too Much in Love to Care (alt)
10. Old Devil Moon (alt stereo)
11. You Made Me Care (alt stereo)
12. Too Much in Love to Care (alt stereo)
13. Last Time for Love (alt stereo)

Freddie Redd - Live At The Studio Grill

Due to his timeless style and relatively few recordings, Freddie Redd is a legend. A fine bop pianist who was an associate of his idols Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, Redd (62 at the time of this set) will probably always be best-known for his work on the play The Connection. Although maintaining a low profile, Redd had been playing continuously through the decades. One listen to his unaccompanied rendition of Powell's "I'll Keep Loving You," his very memorable original "I'm Gonna Be Happy" and his magical version of "I'll Remember April" makes it obvious that Redd is an unrecognized giant. Bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Billy Higgins offer short solos and sympathetic support on this highly recommended trio set, which also has fine versions of "I'll Remember April," "'Round Midnight" and "All the Things You Are." ~ Scott Yanow

Freddie Redd (piano)
Al McKibbon (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. I'm Gonna Be Happy
2. I'll Remember April
3. I'll Keep Loving You
4. Don't Lose the Blues
5. 'Round Midnight
6. Waltzin' In
7. For Heaven's Sake
8. All the Things You Are

Joe Morello

In 1961, Joe Morello, drummer with the Dave Brubeck Quartet for the past six years (with six more years to go), received an opportunity to lead his own album. It's About Time featured ten songs with the word "time" in their title. Of these, five of the six quintet selections (starring Phil Woods and a young Gary Burton) and two of the four other songs (which has the quintet augmented by a brass section) are on this, along with a totally unreleased big band session from the following year. A powerful drummer with impressive technique, Morello is also a master of subtlety and, although an important part of this set, does not dominate the music. With Manny Albam contributing the arrangements, It's About Time was a happy surprise, a hard-driving set of swinging music. -Scott Yanow

Astor Piazzolla y su Quinteto - Teatro Regina

A haunting live performance by the Astor Piazzolla Quintet -- that magical blend of instruments that includes piano, violin, bass, and electric guitar -- all mixed together wonderfully with the amazing sound of Piazzolla's bandoneon! The work here is every bit as modern as Astor's international releases in later years -- and the live recording gives it a real sense of presence that's totally great -- especially on the tunes that are filled with flurries of Piazzolla's dark notes on his instrument. All tracks are original compositions, and titles include "Verano Porteno", "Otono Porteno", "Primavera Portena", "Buenos Aires Hora Cero", and "Kicho". CD also features 4 bonus tracks done with a larger orchestra -- "Flaco Aroldi", "Casapueblo", "Tres En Magoya", and "Con Alma Y Vida". Dusty Groove America

Piazzolla – Teatro Regina was recorded live in that theater in 1970 and presented, for the first time, the “Cuatro estaciones porteñas” together with ‘Buenos Aires hora cero”, “Retrato de Alfredo Gobbi”, “Revolucionario” and “Kicho”. This piece, like “Contrabajeando,” that had been composed with Aníbal Troilo and the prior “Contrabajisimo,” is one of the pieces written to feature the bassist and in these three cases the structure is the same: a voicing for the entire quintet, a long bass cadenza and later a faster section in which this instrument carries the melody with accompaniment from the rest of the group.

The quintet is comprised of Astor Piazzolla on bandoneon, Antonio Agri on violin and viola (on “Invierno porteño”), Osvaldo Manzi on piano, Cacho Tirao on electric guitar and Kicho Diaz on bass. Diaz demonstrates, in a live setting, his strength and unique approach in addition to a prodigious talent. This edition includes four pieces as bonus tracks that belong to music composed by Piazzolla for the film “Con alma y vida” issued as an EP and recorded that same year with a small orchestra built around some of the members of the quintet. Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon)
Antonio Agri (violin, viola on#1)
Cacho Tirao (electric guitar)
Kicho Diaz (bass)
Osvaldo Manzi (piano)

1) Invierno Porteño (Palabras De Presentacion Y Tema) (Astor Piazzolla)
2) Verano Porteño (Astor Piazzolla)
3) Otoño Porteño (Astor Piazzolla)
4) Primavera Porteña (Astor Piazzolla)
5) Buenos Aires Hora Cero (Astor Piazzolla)
6) Retrato De Alfredo Gobbi (Piazzolla Astor)
7) Revolucionario (Piazzolla Astor)
8) Kicho (Piazzolla Astor)
9) Casa Pueblo (Astor Piazzolla)
10) Flaco Aroldi (Astor Piazzolla)
11) Con Alma Y Vida (Angela Tarenzi / Astor Piazzolla)
12) Tres En Magoya (Astor Piazzolla)

Recorded live at the Teatro Regina, Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 19, 1970 except for tracks 9-12 recorded Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 8, 1970.

Astor Piazzolla - Amelita Baltar Interpreta a Piazzolla y Ferrer

Amelita Baltar Interpreta a Piazzolla-Ferrer was recorded between 1969 and 1970, putting on record the successful collaboration of Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer that had begun one year before with the composition of “Maria de Buenos Aires.” The singer of this “operetta”- as Piazzolla and Ferrer called it- originally was going to be Egle Martin, with whom Piazzolla recorded a promo of “Maria de Buenos Aires,’ the song “Graciela oscura”,: with text by Ulisis Petit de Murat. The stormy end of Piazzolla’s emotional relationship with Egle Martin forced a change of plans and Piazzolla discovered Amelita Baltar who, up to that time, had sung folklore- and with whom he also later had an emotional relationship with a stormy end.

Baltar, together with Héctor de Rosas, finally became the singer for “Maria de Buenos Aires” and was the one who introduced the song “Balada para un loco” at the Festival de la Canción y la Danza in November of 1969. After rebuttals that argued that the song could not be considered a tango and after being acclaimed by some and criticized by others in the first rounds, when everyone supposed that the “Balada” series had won, the first prize went to the now-forgotten “Hasta el ultimo tren” – music by Julio Ahumada and lyrics by Julio Camilloni – sung by Jorge Sobral- an old collaborator of Piazzolla that had recorded with the first quintet in Uruguay.

“Balada por un loco,” however, was an immediate success. In December Piazzolla released a single together with “Chiqilín de Bachin” with the singer Roberto Goyeneche (for RCA Victor) and at the same time released the “official” version with Amelita Baltar (on CBS Columbia). A few months later, this label released the LP Amelita Baltar interpreta a Piazzolla y Ferrer, on which a series of songs created by the bandoneonist and Ferrer was also included: the prelude series (“preludio para el año 3001,” “preludio para Cruz del Sur” and “Preludio para un canillita”) and another two “baladas”, “balada para mi muerte” and “Balada para él”. This edition includes the songs recorded as singles by Piazzolla with the singer Roberto Goyenech as bonus tracks. Diego Fischerman

Amelita Baltar (vocals on 1-7)
Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon and orch arrangements)
Roberto Goyeneche (vocals on 8,9)

1) Preludio Para El Año 3001
2) Preludio Para La Cruz Del Sur
3) Preludio Para Un Canillita
4) Balada Para Un Loco
5) Balada Para Mi Muerte
6) Balada Para El
7) Chiquilín De Bachin
8) Balada Para Un Loco
9) Chiquilín De Bachin

All songs composed by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 4, 1969 and March 16, April 20, May 11, November 13, 1970

Roy Hargrove's Crisol at the Montreal Jazz Festival

Roy Hargrove's Crisol at the Montreal Jazz Festival, June 30, 1997

Roy Hargrove - trumpet, flugelhorn
Chucho Valdéz - piano
Frank Lacy - trombone
José Luis "Changuito" Quintana - timbales
Miguel "Anga" Diaz - congas
David Sanchez - tenor sax
Sherman Irby - alto sax
Ed Cherry - guitars
John Benitez - bass
Julio Barreto - percussions
Evelyn Cornelious - vocal (on Besame Mucho)
This is a very high-energy concert, and I have posted it as a DivX video program with 320MP3 audio. You need the DivX codec installed to view it on computer, or the file can be 'authored' to a DVD disc and viewed on a DVD player that does DivX. The sound recording is a bit 'hollow' so listening to the audio alone doesn't quite impress. With the video, however, one can overlook the shortcoming: seeing these guys perform is a treat! I'd appreciate feedback on how the quality seems chez vous, I could post further videos in this format if there is interest.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cal Tjader - Soul Sauce

Soul Sauce is one of the highlights from Tjader's catalog with its appealing mixture of mambo, samba, bolero, and boogaloo styles. Tjader's core band -- long-time piano player Lonnie Hewitt, drummer Johnny Rae and percussionist's Willie Bobo and Armanda PerazaÑ -- starts things off with a cooled down version of Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo's latin jazz classic "Guachi Guaro (Soul Sauce)". With the help of guitarist Kenny Burrell, trumpeter Donald Byrd, and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath they offer up a lively version of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue." Sticking to his music's "Mambo Without a Migraine" reputation, though, Tjader's musicians keep things fairly calm, especially on Latinized ballads such as Billy May's "Somewhere In the Night" and on midtempo swingers like "Tanya." On Soul Sauce Tjader had perfected a middle ground between the brisk, collegiate mambo of his early Fantasy records and the mood-heavy sound of Asian themed albums like Breeze From the East. In the process, he dodged the "Latin lounge" label with an album full of smart arrangements, subtly provocative vibe solos, and intricate percussion backing. ~ Stephen Cook

Cal Tjader (vibraphone)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Lonnie Hewitt (piano)
Jimmy Heath (tenor sax)
Richard Davis (bass)
Armando Peraza (percussion)
Willie Bobo (percussion)
Grady Tate (drums)

1. Soul Sauce
2. Afro-Blue
3. Pantano
4. Somewhere In The Night
5. Maramoor Mambo
6. Tanya
7. Leyte
8. Spring Is Here
9. Joao
10. Soul Sauce
11. Monkey Beams
12. Ming
13. Mamblues

November 19, 20, and 23, 1964

Sam Rivers - Eight Day Journal

"Rivers playing an extended composition of British pianist, composer and arranger Tony Hymas. A total of 13 musicians. Very interesting and very different from Rivers' own compositions."

This is Rivers in his first performance with Tony Hymas (we just saw him on the Satie post) who has bridged the jazz/rock world for years. He was pianist for Cleo Laine and John Dankworth in the '70s, worked with Tony Coe, Jim Pepper, Jean Francois Jenny-Clark, Terry Bozzio, and - extensively - Jeff Beck. Some critics comment on Rivers later performances as being those of a man to enfeebled to play properly; this is certainly not the case here. This is a programmatic piece , some of which was written for Rivers. I'd be interested in your thoughts. There is a lot of what I thought was TinTin illustration here, but I note that the artwork is by Moebius: funny I hadn't noticed his debt to Hergé before. Haven't read Moebius since the Heavy Metal magazine days.

Sam Rivers (tenor, soprano sax)
Tony Hymas (piano)
Carol Robinson (clarinet, bass clarinet)
Sylvain Kassap (bass clarinet; soprano sax)
François Corneloup (baritone sax, soprano sax)
Henry Lowther (trumpet, bugle)
Rita Manning, Sonia Slany (vocal)
Philip Dukes (viola)
Sophie Harris (cello)
Noël Akchoté (guitar)
Chris Lauvence (bass)
Paul Clarvis (drums)

1. Samedi 4 mars 1984
2. Dimanche 5 mars 1984
3. Lundi 13 mars 1984
4. Mardi 21 mars 1984
5. Mercedi 5 avril 1984
6. Jeudi 6 avril 1984
7. Venvedi 22 septembre 1984
8. Samedi 29 septembre 1985

January 22-24, 1998: Sons d'Hiver Festival, Theatre Romain Rolland, Villejuif (Paris), France

January 31, 1998: Festival de jazz Maubeuge, Le Manege, Maubeuge, France

Astor Piazzolla y su Nuevo Octeto - Tango Contemporáneo

Tango Contemporáneo (1963) was recorded by the “Nuevo Octeto” (New Octet) (Astor Piazzolla on bandoneon, Agri on violin, Jaime Gosis on piano, Kicho Diaz on bass, Oscar López Ruiz on electric guitar, José Bragato on cello, Leo Jacobson on percussion and Jorge Barone on flute). Héctor de Rosas also sings on a few tracks as well as Ernesto Sábato reading the beginning of “Sobre heroes y tumbas” (in “Introducción a héroes y tumbas” that was part of a choreographed theatrical show never completed) and Afredo Alcón reciting a poem by Diana Piazzolla in “Réquiem para un malandra”.

The octet configuration had already been used by Piazzolla between 1955 and 1958 upon his return from Paris – and after hearing Gerry Mulligan’s ten-tette, which he always remembered as an octet- but in this case it is interesting to analyze the variations introduced in the instrumentation of the prior decade. Instead of a second violin, in this case there is a flute. The second bandoneon is omitted in favor of percussion. Piazzolla himself speaks, in the album’s original liner notes, of a total renovation of his style as arranger. In reality, many of the resources already tried in the quintet appear here but with greater emphasis on instrumental color- for example, the flute part in “Divagación.”

As in the prior octet, in addition to classic tangos (“Recuerdos de bohemia” and “Milonguita”) and the compositions of the bandoneonist, themes composed by other contemporary writers are included: “Noposepe,” by Bragato (the group’s cellist), “Ciudad triste” by Osvaldo Tarantino (who later joined the quintet and the “Conjunto 9”) and “Sideral’ by Emilio Balarce. This group also recorded, in Montevideo, “Bragatissimo,” with the cellist obviously taking the leading role, which was released as a single with “Ciudad triste” on the flip side. This disc was released by the Columbia label in Uruguay. However, we do not possess the master nor the rights to the tracks so they cannot be included on this edition. Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon)
Antonio Agri (violin)
Oscar López Ruiz (electric guitar)
Kicho Diaz (bass)
Jaime Gosis (piano)
José Bragato (cello)
Leo Jacobson (percussion)
Jorge Barone (flute)
Héctor de Rosas (vocals on 8)
Alfredo Alcón (voice on 7)
Ernesto Sábato (voice on 3)

1) Lo Que Vendra (Astor Piazzolla)
2) Divagacion (Piazzolla Astor)
3) Introduccion A Heroes Y Tumbas (Piazzolla Astor)
4) Noposepe (Bragato Jose Luis)
5) Ciudad Triste (C. F. Tarantino)
6) Sideral (Balcarce Emilio)
7) Requiem Para Un Malandra (Piazzolla Astor)
8) Recuerdo De Bohemia / Milonguita (Enrique Pedro Delfino / M Romero / Samuel Linning)

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 4, 20 & October 4, 18, 24, 25, 1963

Astor Piazzolla - Tango Para Una Ciudad

This one is a beauty. Some incredible music starts off this disc with Piazzolla's facinating title tracks (first two selections). Listen to the gorgeous and passionate violin melody in the middle of the first track. There's not a bad selection in the entire album. Scoredaddy

"Tango para una Ciudad” (Tango For A City) was recorded in 1963 and presents the same quintet configuration as the prior “Nuestro Tiempo” (Astor Piazzolla on bandoneon, Antonio Agri on violin, the pianist Osvaldo Manzi, Oscar López Ruiz on electric guitar and Kicho Diaz on bass as well as the singer Héctor de Rosas on a few tracks).

Perhaps this is the album where Astor Piazzolla most approaches the jazz esthetic. In the two parts that comprise the themes that provide the album its title, the syncopation is notable, as are the continual accents on the off-beat and the rich Ginasterian and Bartokian rhythm that does not limit the beat to 3+3+2 time that later became his trademark. Jazz echoes appear as well in the classic jazz “walking bass” on “Iracundo,” where a certain noisiness is evident, then prominent in the vanguard of “sophisticated” music. The song “El mundo de los dos” with text by Albino Gómez, which starts with a female chorus, preannounces “Chiquilín de Bachín” in its melodic scheme. Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon)
Antonio Agri (violin)
Oscar López Ruiz (electric guitar)
Kicho Diaz (bass)
Osvaldo Manzi (piano)
Héctor de Rosas (vocals on 3,7,9)

1) Tango Para Una Ciudad (Piazzolla Astor)
2) Tango Para Una Ciudad 2 (Piazzolla Astor)
3) Cafetin De Buenos Aires (Discepolo Enrique Santos / Mariano Mores)
4) Iracundo (Piazzolla Astor)
5) Extasis (Piazzolla Astor)
6) Revirado (Astor Piazzolla)
7) El Mundo De Los Dos (Piazzolla Astor)
8) Buenos Aires Hora Cero (Astor Piazzolla)
9) Maquillaje (Homero Aldo Exposito / Virgilio Hugo Exposito)
10) Fracanapa (Piazzolla Astor)

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina March 25, 27, April 1, 8, & 18, 1963

Monday, April 14, 2008

Complementary Tracks (Chronological 24)

From the alternative-rock fanatic who will gladly blow $500 on a bunch of Nirvana bootlegs at a CD swap meet to the jazzhead who would like to own everything that Chet Baker ever recorded, collectors can be an obsessive bunch. The casual listener might have a hard time understanding that obsession and wonder why collectors insist on hearing 50 different live performances of Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box," or why they will go out of their way to acquire a Baker recording that the trumpeter himself would have considered less than essential. But for collectors, their addiction is endlessly fascinating. Serious jazz collectors are the target audience of Classics, a small French label that has, since 1989, been reissuing artists' recordings in chronological order. Classics' forte is pre-1950 master recordings from the 78 era -- the company usually doesn't get into alternate takes (although some completists wish that it did), nor does it concern itself with recordings from the LP era. In 1999, Classics celebrated its tenth anniversary with this three-CD set, which isn't a sampler but rather a collection of rarities and odds and ends that, for various reasons, didn't appear on previous Classics collections. Spanning 1924-1949, Classics: Complementary Tracks contains material by some well-known jazzmen (including Don Redman, Slim Gaillard, and Chick Webb) along with little known recordings by such obscure improvisers as stride pianist Garnet Clark, bandleader Alphonso Trent, clarinetist Omer Simeon, and female swing vocalist Jerry Kruger. Those with a taste for the esoteric will appreciate hearing singer Midge Williams' ultra-rare Japanese translations of "St. Louis Blues," "Dinah," and "Lazy Bones," all recorded with Japanese musicians in Tokyo in 1934. Meanwhile, disc three focuses on mostly well-known artists and sets out to correct various things that Classics felt needed correcting. For example, the spoken introductions to several Pete Johnson sides from 1946 are re-added, and the full versions of eight Bunny Berigan performances from 1936 are provided. Generally decent and occasionally excellent, Classics: Complementary Tracks isn't recommended to the casual jazz fan but is interesting and enjoyable if you're a seasoned jazz collector. ~ Alex Henderson

CD 1
Who Ya Hunchin'? - Chick Webb & His Orchestra
In the Groove at the Grove - Chick Webb & His Orchestra
Night Wind - Taft Jordan
If the Moon Turns Green - Taft Jordan
Devil in the Moon - Taft Jordan
Louisiana Fairy Tale - Taft Jordan
Boats - Al Cooper & His Savoy Sultans
Fish for Supper - Al Cooper & His Savoy Sultans
'Ats in There - Al Cooper & His Savoy Sultans
Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide - Al Cooper & His Savoy Sultans
Rain, Rain Go Away - Jerry Kruger
Summertime - Jerry Kruger
Pistol Packin' Mama - Don Redman & His Orchestra
Redman Blues - Don Redman & His Orchestra
Great Day in the Morning - Don Redman & His Orchestra
Midnite Mood - Don Redman & His Orchestra
Dark Glasses - Don Redman & His Orchestra
Mickey Finn - Don Redman & His Orchestra
Carrie Mae Blues - Don Redman & His Orchestra
Clementine - Alphonse Trent
I Found a New Baby - Don Redman & His Orchestra
After Hour Creep - Luis Russell & His Orchestra
Garbage Man Blues - Luis Russell & His Orchestra
Chickasaw Stomp - Chickasaw Sycopaters
Memphis Rag - Chickasaw Sycopaters

CD 2
I Got Rhythm - Garnet Clark
St. Louis Blues - Midge Williams
Lazybones - Midge Williams
Dinah - Midge Williams
King Porter Stomp - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Moten Swing - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Minor Riff - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Satchel Mouth Baby - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Close Your Eyes - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
This Is Everything I Prayed For - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Again - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Ain't I Losing You - Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Of All the Wrongs You Done to Me - The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Terrible Blues - The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Santa Claus Blues - The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Cake Walking Babies from Home - The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Lucy Long - Perry Bradford
I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle - Perry Bradford
If You Can't Hold the Man You Love (Don't Cry When He's Gone) - Evelyn Preer
Blue Devil Blues - Walter Page
Squabblin' - Walter Page
Smoke-House Blues - Omer Simeon
Beau Koo Jack - Omer Simeon
Exactly Like You - Ella Logan
Froglegs and Bourbon - Slim Gaillard

CD 3
I Would Do Anything for You - Art Tatum
Tiger Rag - Benny Carter
Bugs Parade - Jimmy Lunceford
Wall Street Wail - Duke Ellington
Poor Li'l Me - Luis Russell
Are You Hep to the Jive? - Cab Calloway
All the Time - Lucky Millinder
On the Sentimental Side - Billie Holiday
Pete's Lonesome Blues - Pete Johnson
Mr. Drums Meets Mr. Piano - Pete Johnson
Mutiny in the Doghouse - Pete Johnson
Mr. Clarinet Knocks Twice - Pete Johnson
Ben Rides Out - Pete Johnson
Page Mr. Trumpet - Pete Johnson
J.C. From K.C. - Pete Johnson
Pete's Housewarming Blues - Pete Johnson
It's Been So Long - Bunny Berigan
I'd Rather Lead a Band - Bunny Berigan
Let Yourself Go - Bunny Berigan
Melody from the Sky - Bunny Berigan
Rhythm Saved the World - Bunny Berigan
I Nearly Let Love Go Slipping Thru' My Fingers - Bunny Berigan
But Definitely - Bunny Berigan
If I Had My Way - Bunny Berigan

Astor Piazzolla - Nuestro Tiempo

“Nuestro Tiempo” (“Our Time”). The bass ostinato in the style of a barroque passacaglia, performed on contrabass and electric guitar and the escalating entrance of the bandoneon and violin in “Introducció al angel” probably was one of the most precise statements of the principles laid, exactly at the beginning. The beginning of this theme that opens the album “Nuestro Tiempo”, recorded in 1962, is, aside from an “introduction” to the “angel” series, to which in 1965 was added the extraordinary “Milonga del angel,” a true introduction to the Piazzolla style that began in the 1960’s.

The music of the first half of the 18th century began gaining ground in the market from the mid 1940’s. The first recordings of St. Matthew’s Passion by J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons had both been realized- one in Germany and the other in Italy- in 1942. During the 1950’s baroque had been occupying, for many musicians and for a niche group of cognicenti, the highest level of esthetic value and above all, the fugue and the repeating figures that are associated with extreme refinement and the abstract on one hand with the maximum display of knowledge and technical skill on the other. At the end of that decade, Dave Brubeck and the Modern Jazz Quartet had already made use of these resources within the world of traditional popular music.

On “Nuestro Tiempo,” there is, from the title, a reference to the spirit of time. The “nuestro” (or “our”) seems to say, is a time that describes the past and what it became. “Introducción al angel,” the fugue of “Muerte del angel,” the arrangement of “milonga triste”- in which the bandoneon does not participate- with its baroque harmonic sequences, the beginning of “Sin retorno,” work in an explicit style that looks towards that of Bach and Vivaldi, converted immediately to modernism. Also in 1962, the Modern Jazz Quartet (a group which declared its modernism in its name) included a theme on the “Lonely Woman” album entitled “Fugato.” But the reoccurrence of the baroque is not the only Piazzolla tool. In the second section of “Sin retorno” a reference to Bartok appears and in “Imágenes 676,” the same as the theme of the title selection, upon a “bajo caminante” (the classic walking jazz bass) appears the model that the composer used each time he wanted to describe the frenetic rhythms of the modern city: asymmetric accents, Bartok harmonics, the rhythmic dance steps of the candombe or milonga.

“Nuestro Tiempo” is the first recording of the quintet with Antonio Agri on the violin. The other members are Astor Piazzolla on bandoneon, Oscar López Ruiz on electric guitar, Kicho Diaz on bass and another then-recent participant, the pianist Osvaldo Manzi, and the singer Héctor de Rosas on a few tracks. This edition includes, as bonus tracks, recordings made that same year by Piazzolla fronting an ad hoc orchestra together with the singer Roberto Yanés and presenting his own arrangements of “Cafetín de Buenos Aires,” “Margarita Gauthier,” ‘Fuimos,” and “Griseta.” Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon)
Antonio Agri (violin)
Oscar López Ruiz (electric guitar)
Kicho Diaz (bass)
Osvaldo Manzi (piano)
Héctor de Rosas (vocals on 3,7,9)
Roberto Yanés (vocals on 11-14)

1) Introduccion Al Angel (Piazzolla Astor)
2) Muerte Del Angel (Astor Piazzolla)
3) Milonga Triste (Homero Manzi / Sebastian Piana)
4) Sin Retorno (Alberto Antonio Coronato / Piazzolla Astor)
5) Imagenes 676 (Piazzolla Astor)
6) Nuestro Tiempo(Piazzolla Astor)
7) Rosa Rio (Lamadrid Juan Carlos / Piazzolla Astor)
8) Simple (Osvaldo Manzi / Piazzolla Astor)
9) Todo Fue (Piazzolla Astor)
10) Los Mareados (Cadicamo Enrique Domingo / Cobian Juan Carlos)
11) Cafetin De Buenos Aires (Discepolo Enrique Santos / Mariano Mores)
12) Margarita Gauthier (Joaquin Mauricio Mora / Nelson Julio Jorge)
13) Fuimos (Homero Manzi / Jose Dames)
14) Griseta (Enrique Pedro Delfino / Gonzalez Castillo Jose)

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 2, 20, 30, 31 and December 11, 18, & 19, 1962

Susannah McCorkle - Thanks For The Memory, Songs of Leo Robin

Susannah McCorkle recorded many "songbook" collections of works by one composer or songwriter and these included the heavyweights Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, etc. However, she also turned the spotlight on lesser-known but talented lyricists such as "Yip" Harburg (which I posted on these pages in January), composer Harry Warren (posted by The Jazzman, also in January) and the subject of today's post, lyricist Leo Robin. Robin worked with some of Hollywood's leading composers like Richart Whiting, Harold Arlen, Arthur Schwartz, and Jerome Kern. Songbooks that focus on lyricists are a lot of fun because of the variety of composers featured. This collection is superb. Scoredaddy

After the Inner City label died, the talented singer Susannah McCorkle recorded three albums for Pausa before it too became defunct; however, all of those early records have been reissued on CD. For her tribute to lyricist Leo Robin (her first Pausa project), McCorkle beautifully interprets his lyrics to 13 songs, most of which were originally written for the movies. Best-known are "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," "My Ideal," "Beyond the Blue Horizon," "Havin' Myself a Time" and "Thanks for the Memory" but there are also some fine obscurities on this date too; when was the last time anyone recorded "My Cutie's Due at Two to Two" or "A Little Girl from Little Rock"? Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle (Vocals)
Phil Bodner (Clarinet, Flute, Alto Sax)
Joe Cocuzzo (Drums)
Chris Flory (Guitar)
Keith Ingham (Piano)
Al Klink (Tenor Sax)
Steve LaSpina (Bass)

1 Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend (Robin, Styne) 3:00
2 My Ideal (Chase, Robin, Whiting) 5:25
3 Beyond the Blue Horizon (Harling, Robin, Whiting) 2:17
4 It Was Written in the Stars (Arlen, Robin) 3:09
5 My Cutie's Due at Two to Two (Bibo, Robin, VonTilzer) 4:06
6 Thanks for the Memory (Rainger, Robin) 5:00
7 Hooray for Love (Arlen, Robin) 3:05
8 True Blue Lou (Coslow, Robin, Whiting) 4:20
9 A Little Girl from Little Rock (Robin, Styne) 2:13
10 Havin' Myself a Time (Rainger, Robin) 4:06
11 A Rainy Night in Rio (Robin, Schwartz) 4:06
12 In Love in Vain (Kern, Robin) 4:18
13 Bye Bye Baby (Robin, Styne) 2:44

Recorded December, 1983 & January, 1984 at Delta Studio, New York City

Bobby Hutcherson - Skyline

Review by Jim Newsom

Legendary vibist Bobby Hutcherson delivers an attractive collection on this, his first recording for the Verve label. Accompanied by an all-star lineup, it's Hutcherson himself who raises Skyline to a level above the average straight-ahead jazz jam, but he is obviously inspired by his young bandmates. Alto saxman Kenny Garrett is especially impressive here. Highlights include a "Delilah" played in a relaxed, slow groove; a beautiful reading of Herbie Hancock's "Chan's Song"; and a lovely piano/vibes duet on the Hutcherson original "Candle." In addition, the opening "Who's Got You" features fine interplay between Hutcherson and Garrett, and smokin' solos from the whole crew, while the arrangement of "I Only Have Eyes for You" takes that warhorse far beyond the mundane place where it usually resides.

LAME3.98 vbr0 + booklet scans

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Jackie McLean - A Long Drink Of The Blues

The first side of this obscure but worthwhile session is a loosely-organized, extended jam session on a blues in the key of F, much like Jimmy Smith's celebrated "Sermon." The cast combines obscure players (Gil Coggins, Webster Young) with established stars (Curtis Fuller, who offers some of his best choruses on record; Paul Chambers, the heart of the rhythm section; the long-lived, much-traveled Louis Hayes).

But the main message is offered by Jackie, first a rare solo on tenor saxophone, then a quick costume change and he's back with his alto on the same tune. On both instruments he reveals, along with his command of the language of modern jazz and deep-rooted blues indebtedness, that always controversial but inescapable personal "sound"--raw, acidic, pungently sour, and slightly sharp. If he ever listened to and learned much from a Johnny Hodges or Paul Desmond, it's certainly not apparent in his playing from this period. He's like the talented, irrepressible kid with all of the tattoos and body piercings--hard for some of us instantly to embrace yet always in your face and winning your respect in spite of yourself.

It's good to have this obscurity rescued from oblivion. Samuel Chell

This CD reissue begins with what is titled "Take 1" of "A Long Drink of the Blues." After a false start, the musicians argue for two minutes about the tempo; why was this ever released? "Take 2" is a much more successful 20-minute jam featuring Jackie McLean (doubling on alto and tenor), trombonist Curtis Fuller, trumpeter Webster Young, pianist Gil Coggins, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Louis Hayes. The second half of this reissue is from a quartet session that showcases McLean on three standard ballads with pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Arthur Phipps, and drummer Art Taylor. Although not quite as intense as McLean's later Blue Note dates, the ballad renditions show just how mature and original a soloist he was even at this early stage. Despite "Take 1," this CD is worth getting. ~ Scott Yanow

Jackie McLean (alto, tenor sax)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Webster Young (trumpet)
Gil Coggins (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Arthur Phipps (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)
Arthur Taylor (drums)

1. A Long Drink Of The Blues (take 1)
2. A Long Drink Of The Blues (take 2)
3. Embraceable You
4. I Cover The Waterfront
5. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)

Mal Waldron - In Retrospect

This is a pretty bare-bones release, with scant information. Of the 222 recordings attributed to Waldron, it is listed as 153rd, and is one of three recordings for the year 1982. He did all his recording through '82 right up to December '83 in Japan. Prior to this was one of the periods where he was active with Steve Lacy. Two albums after this was his Satie recording, done in Japan but with Reggie Workman and Ed Blackwell.

While first listening to this, I have to admit that I was impatient for the other players to finish so I could listen to Waldron, but they are all adequate (although I stretch the point for the bass player) and this is solid ensemble playing. As for Waldron, I'd listen to him drop his drink on the piano.

Mal Waldron (piano)
Akira Miyazawa (tenor sax, flute)
Isao Suzuki (bass)
Hironobu Fujisawa (drums)

1. All Alone
2. Oleo
3. Blue Monk
4. I Can't Get Started
5. Straight, No Chaser

Tokyo, Japan, April 23, 1982

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Paula Castle and Audrey Morris - The Girls Of Bethlehem, Vol. 1

This is not the kind of thing that I would otherwise pick up. In fact, I saw it 7 or 8 times before I bought it, but I am interested in these Bethlehem titles, and the price was low enough that that was not a real objection. So, knowing there are those here that go for this kind of thing - whatshernames hat is enough to make some people here like the album already; of this I have no doubt - here it is ripped and upped. The one or two tracks I've listened to are not dreadful. So, with that tepid review I commend this to y'all.

This CD reissue has a session apiece by singers Audrey Morris and Paula Castle, their entire output for Bethlehem. In the case of Castle, who has a distinctive voice, her eight songs (which find her accompanied by a quartet that includes flutist Sam Most) are probably her only recordings. Morris, who did record elsewhere, is heard joined by a combo prominently featuring trumpeter Stu Williamson. Both of the singers fall into an area between middle-of-the-road pop and jazz. Neither improvise, but both swing, and their voices were attractive. Worth checking out. ~ Scott Yanow

BCP 6010 The Voice Of Audrey Morris

Audrey Morris (vocal)
Stu Williamson (trumpet)
Marty Paich (cello, arr, cond)
Bill Pitman (guitar)
Joe Mondragon (bass)
Irv Cottler (drums)
Alvin Stoller (drums)
Bethlehem Strings

1. I Never Mention Your Name
2. It's Always You
3. How 'Dja Like To Love Me
4. Glad To Be Unhappy
5. What More Can A Woman Do?
6. If Love Were All
7. Blue Turning Grey Over You
8. If You Could See Me Now
9. I Go For That
10. I Wonder What Became Of Me
11. You Irritate Me So
12. My Old Flame

Los Angeles, CA, July, 1956

BCP 1036 Paula Castle - Lost Love

Paula Castle (vocal)
Sam Most (flute)
Ronnie Selbey (piano)
Chet Amsterdam (bass)
Herb Wasserman (drums)

circa 1954 or 1955

13. I'm Shooting High
14. Yesterday's Gardenias
15. Here I Am In Love Again
16. Mountain Greenery
17. Lost Love
18. You Don't Know What Love Is
19. Love Is One Way Street
20. Why Can't I?

George Russell

George Russell - At The Five Spot

This limited-edition CD reissue covers six tracks recorded in the studio (since they obviously omit any of the background noise, and the usual out-of-tune piano heard on live dates recorded at the long defunct New York City nightclub is missing). The band includes trumpeter Al Kiger, trombonist David Baker, tenor saxophonist Dave Young, bassist Chuck Israels, and drummer Joe Hunt, along with Russell's sparse piano. Things kick off with a driving take of Miles Davis' "Sippin' at Bells," which features great interaction among the horns. Carla Bley's "Dance Class" is choppy, dissonant, and very humorous; she also wrote "Beast Blues," which features Kiger's muted horn, an energetic solo by Young, and a very understated solo by Baker. Baker contributed "121 Bank Street," a roller coaster post-bop vehicle. John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice," which had only been recorded three years earlier by its composer, is re-scored with a very spacious Russell arrangement that provides minimal accompaniment for the soloists. Unlike many of Russell's releases, this one has only one of his originals, "Swingdom Come," with a jagged angular theme that defies predictable paths. Although Russell plays more of a composer/arranger style of piano, his very challenging arrangements are very attractive. Anyone who enjoys his releases for RCA, Riverside, and Decca from around this period in his career should definitely acquire this sure-to-be-collectable CD. Ken Dryden

George Russell (piano)
Dave Young (tenor sax)
Al Kiger (trumpet)
David Baker (trombone)
Chuck Israels (bass)
Joe Hunt (drums)

1. Sippin' At Bells
2. Dance Class
3. Swingdom Come
4. 121 Bank Street
5. Beast Blues
6. Moment's Notice

George Russell Sextet - Ezz-thetics

This is a true classic. Composer/pianist George Russell gathered together a very versatile group of talents (trumpeter Don Ellis, trombonist Dave Baker, Eric Dolphy on alto and bass clarinet, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Joe Hunt) to explore three of his originals, "'Round Midnight" (which is given an extraordinary treatment by Dolphy), Miles Davis' "Nardis," and David Baker's "Honesty." The music is post-bop and although using ideas from avant-garde jazz, it does not fall into any simple category. The improvising is at a very high level and the frameworks (which include free and stop-time sections) really inspire the players. Highly recommended. Scott Yanow

George Russell (piano)
Don Ellis (trumpet)
David Baker (trombone)
Eric Dolphy (alto sax, bass clarinet)
Stephen Swallow (bass)
Joe Hunt (drums)

1. Ezz-Thetic
2. Nardis
3. Lydiot
4. Thoughts
5. Honesty
6. 'Round Midnight
7. Kige's Tune (take 2)
8. Kige's Tune (Take 5)

The African Game

George Russell's The African Game is a major statement, a highly eclectic, nine-part, 45-minute suite for augmented big band that attempts to depict no less than the evolution of the species from the beginning of time to the present from an African perspective. Well, yes, this theme has been taken on by many an ambitious artist in every field, but Russell's work is remarkably successful because it tries to embrace a massive world of sound in open, colorful, young-thinking terms, with degrees of timbral unity and emotion to keep the idioms from flying out of control. There are traditional big band sounds here, but one is more likely to encounter electronics, African drumming by the five-piece group Olu Bata, atonality, rock, funk, even the sound of electric pencil sharpeners. Ironically, the section with the strongest injections of funk is entitled "The Survival Game (Survival of the Fittest)" -- possibly a barbed comment on the mercenary realities of the music business -- and "The Mega-Minimalist Age (Style Over Substance: The Decline of the Spirit)" leaves no doubt as to Russell's jaundiced view of commercial pop culture. The recording was made with help of grants from the state of Massachusetts and the NEA at the work's American premiere in a Boston church, and the performance sounds crisp and well-rehearsed. Indeed, this release Russell's first on a U.S. label in 13 years, and was an early sign from the newly revived (as of 1985) Blue Note label that they intended to be a major force in the jazz business again after sporadic patches of activity and neglect. So they have been ever since, despite deleting this CD. ~ Richard S. Ginell

Mark Harvey, Roy Okutani, Chris Passin, Mike Peipman (tp) Peter Cirelli, Chip Kaner (tb) Jeff Marsanska (btb) Marshall Sealy (frh) Dave Mann, Janus Steprans (as, ss, fl) George Garzone (ts, ss) Gary Joynes (ts, ss, fl) Brad Jones (bars, bcl, fl) Bruce Barth, Mark Rossi (key) Mark White (g) Bob Nieske (b) Bill Urmson (el-b) Keith Copeland (d) Joe Galeota (cga -10,11) Dave Hagedorn (per) African percussion ensemble (per -1/9) George Russell (arr, cond, comp)

1. Event I: Organic Life on Earth Begins
2. Event II: The Paleolithic Game
3. Event III: Consciousness
4. Event IV: The Survival Game
5. Event V: The Human Sensing of Unity
6. Event VI: African Empires
7. Event VII: Cartesisan Man
8. Event VIII: The Mega-Minimalist Age
9. Event IX: The Future?

Emanuel Church, Boston, MA, June 18, 1983

J. R. Monterose & Tommy Flanagan | A Little Pleasure

I'm a huge J. R. Monterose fan and who isn't a Tommy Flanagan fan? Therefore, when I saw this re-issue from a 1981 duo session I grabbed it immediately and found it wonderful. I was unprepared for how nice Monterose's soprano playing was. The session was mostly ballads . . . so put it on, sit back, close your eyes, and relax. I agree with the following review 100%.

Think of great sax and piano duets. From my own by no means universal knowledge of the genre, two classic examples come to mind: Art Pepper-George Cables and Stan Getz-Kenny Barron. To that list I would add JR Monterose-Tommy Flanagan. Flanagan, of course, needs no puffing from me. For a half century he was one of the top five (of a changing cast) of jazz pianists, a prized accompanist and a brilliant, stylistically versatile soloist. JR, however, belongs to the ranks of great players who somehow never gained the acclaim that was due them, players like Lucky Thompson, Brew Moore and Frank Strozier to name just a few. In a small, but distinguished discography, he proves over and over again his worth as a player and a composer. Respected critics (Feather, Hentoff) uniformly praised his work, his first date as a leader was produced by Alfred Lion , and the caliber of musicians-the Buddy Rich and Claude Thornhill big bands, Flanagan (a life long friend), Kenny Dorham, Charles Mingus, Horace Silver and Teddy Charles-with whom he played attests to his musical ability. But a curious restlessness afflicted his career, marked as it was by long stints in places as far out of the jazz mainstream as Belgium, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Albany, New York. And in the end, he became the definitive forgotten man, his death in 1993 going unnoticed by the jazz press, as the liner notes to one of his re-issued recordings sadly recounts.

I am still assembling what I hope will ultimately be the entire JR catalogue, but I cannot imagine when I have finished the task any of his work will please my ears more than "A Little Pleasure." It was recorded in 1981 when JR came over from his Albany gig to sit in with his old friend who was playing a solo stand in Schenectady and the two ended up going into the studio together. The result is some of the most beautifully empathetic music-making I have ever heard. With the added bonus of hearing JR's masterful and only recorded work on soprano (on his own composition "A Little Pleasure," Coltrane's "Central Park West" and the standard "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"). It is a duet in the truest sense of the word, two voices complementing each other perfectly while simultaneously blending into a mutually respectful and (how else to put it) genuinely affectionate whole.

There is not a single cut among the eight offerings (seven ballads and one up tempo JR original, "Vinnie's Pad," which sounds a bit like a reworking on the chord changes of an earlier composition of his entitled "Waltz for Claire") that I would forego, so well integrated are the performances. Still I would single out for special mention the pair's work on "Central Park West." This balladic variation on the "Giant Steps" theme by John Coltrane, a musician JR admired without reservation, was one he would record again in 1988 as a live date for Danish radio in Copenhagen's Jazzhus, fronting a quartet with his tenor. (And with his name unfortunately misspelled as "Montrose," making this excellent re-issue entitled "T.T.T" all but impossible to find on the Amazon website). Indeed, it is both instructive and rewarding to compare the two performances of this work by way of getting a handle on JR's versatility, both technical and interpretive.

I've lived in New York City for more than forty years and know CPW in all its diurnal and seasonal guises, but even if I didn't it would be plain from just listening that in the two separate readings JR has painted two very different tone portraits. With Flanagan's subtle, impeccably nuanced support, his soprano captures that stately boulevard on a crisp, bright and bracing early morning in late autumn, its cobblestoned walkway strewn thick with fallen parti-colored leaves. On tenor, however, he evokes the promenade in the glow of arc lamps after midnight on a sultry summer night, stretching out with his quartet so we can hear the strains of bop floating uptown from the fabled (but long vanished) clubs on 52nd Street.

As a writer, I constantly listen to music as background while I work, subliminally digging the sounds as I peck away on my keyboard. But there are the occasional discs that simply refuse to accept the role of soundtrack, that demand my complete and undivided attention, that bid me pause in my own self-indulgently mundane doings and partake of the transcendent. "A Little Pleasure" is one of these. A Music Fan on Amazon

J. R. Monterose (tenor, soprano sax) & Tommy Flanagan (piano)

Bob Dorough - Devil May Care

Vocalist-pianist-lyricist Bob Dorough's first record as a leader is a pretty definitive set . Assisted by his longtime bassist Bill Takas, drummer Jerry Segal and sometimes trumpeter Warren Fitzgerald and vibraphonist Jack Hitchcock, Dorough performs near-classic renditions of such songs as "Old Devil Moon," "Yardbird Suite," "Baltimore Oriole," "Devil May Care" and "Johnny One Note." Recommended. [Originally released in 1956, Devil May Care was reissued on CD on 2005 and contains bonus tracks.] ~ Scott Yanow

Although neglected and underexposed most of his life, Bob Dorough is an adventurous, risk-taking master of vocalese (the process of writing and singing lyrics to instrumental jazz solos) and scat singing who has directly or indirectly influenced Mark Murphy, Michael Franks, Mose Allison, and Kurt Elling. The Arkansas native started out on piano in the 1940s, then took up singing in the early '50s (when he played for boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, an entertainer at the time). From 1954-1955, Dorough lived in Paris, where he recorded with singer Blossom Dearie. The improviser launched his own recording career when he signed with Bethlehem in 1955 and recorded the excellent Devil May Care, which introduced the defiant title song and lyrics to Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite." But sadly, he recorded only sporadically after that. In 1962, Dorough co-wrote "Comin' Home Baby" (a hit for Mel Tormé) with Ben Tucker, and in 1966, he recorded his second album, Just About Everything, for Focus. In the early '70s, he began writing and directing the series of educational children's TV programs, Schoolhouse Rock. Though instructional material became his bread and butter, Dorough recorded obscure jazz dates for 52 Rue East, Orange Blue, Pinnacle, Boomdido, Laissez-Faire, and other tiny labels in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1997, a 73-year-old Dorough received some long-overdue attention from a major label when the Capitol-distributed Blue Note released Right on My Way Home. Too Much Coffee Man followed in the spring of 2000. His Sunday brunch residency at New York's Iridium club culminated in 2004's live offering Sunday at Iridium and, at a sprightly 82 years of age, Dorough traveled to England for a series of live dates. The tour culminated in a recording session that spawned the charming Small Day Tomorrow album in 2006. ~ Alex Henderson

Bob Dorough (piano, vocal)
Warren Fitzgerald (trumpet)
Jack Hitchcock (vibes)
Bill Takus (bass)
Jerry Segal (drums)

1. Old Devil Moon
2. It Could Happen to You
3. I Had the Craziest Dream
4. You're the Dangerous Type
5. Ow!
6. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
7. Yardbird Suite
8. Baltimore Oriole
9. I Don't Mind
10. Devil May Care
11. Midnight Sun
12. Johnny One Note
13. Yardbird Suite (alt)

NYC, October, 1956

Machito and his Salsa Big Band

Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague, Holland, July 18 1982.

1 Buenos Noches Ché Ché
2 Tibiri Tábara
3 Oye la Rumba
4 No Seras Mio
5 Dale Jamon
6 Mambo Inn

Janos Starker plays Zoltan Kodaly (1973- reissued 1987)

a few months ago ,someone shared starker performing the bach suites.
heres the out of print (i think) cd of him performing music by hungarian composer zoltan kodaly a contemporary and great friend of bartok.
the unaccompanied sonata for solo cello op8, was composed in 1915.
starker was a student in budapest at the time , and as far as i know made the first recording of the piece in 1948.
he has been regarded critically as the first and foremost exponent of the piece recording it 3 times, this 1970 recording being the last.
kodaly's style like bartok's is based on transformations of traditional folk melodies and rythms.
apparently the solo sonata was one of the first pieces to use the ponticello technique of bowing below the bridge, and you hear those dampened ghostly sounds throughout.
the disc also contains the duo for violin and cello op 7, and janos starkers own transcription of borttmunds variations on a theme by paganini( a slight piece, which for me tends to spoil the atmosphere of the disc as an entire listening experience, so best program it out, or listen to it apart from the rest , it only lasts 5 minutes and is the first track on the disc)
for those wanting to know about the composer heres a brief biographical extract, incidently i couldnt find a review of this specific disc, but i did find this bio by Blair Johnston .
" Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály is today remembered as much for his contributions to the fields of ethnomusicology and music education as he is for his own musical creations. Born in 1881, Kodály was the son of a local railway station master and amateur violinist who provided a rich musical environment for his child. Young Zoltán's early exposure to the German classics was tempered by an interest in the folk heritage of his native land; in 1900, after graduating from the Archiepiscopal Grammar School in Nagyszombat, he enrolled simultaneously at Budapest University (where he studied Germanic and Hungarian literature) and at the Budapest Academy of Music. Composition studies at the Academy were fruitful for Kodály, and he took a diploma in the subject in 1904. In 1905 he received a second diploma in music education, and in 1906 Kodály crowned his academic career with a Ph.D. earned for his thorough structural analysis of Hungarian folksong. During the preparation of this dissertation Kodály went on the first of many excursions into rural Hungary to record and transcribe authentic folk music, and in doing so built a strong and lasting friendship with Béla Bartók (who was engaged in the same practice at the time, and with whom Kodály would go on to publish several collections of Hungarian folk music).

Kodály's debut as a composer came in October 1906 with a successful performance of his orchestral poem Summer Evening (Nyári este) at the Academy of Music. Two months later Kodály left Hungary for the first time, having received funding from the Academy for a period of study in Berlin and Paris. Upon his return in 1907 he was appointed to the faculty of the Academy, eventually succeeding his teacher Koessler as professor of composition (and becoming Dohnányi's assistant when the latter was appointed director of the Academy in 1919). With the creation of the New Hungarian Music Society in 1911, Kodály firmly established himself alongside Bartók and Dohnányi as a powerful force in Hungary's developing musical culture."

Susannah McCorkle - No More Blues

Susannah McCorkle first emerged in 1976 as one of the top interpreters of lyrics to mature since the 1950s. Since then she has continued to grow as an expressive singer who brings out hidden beauty in the songs she sings. For her Concord debut, McCorkle is joined by Ken Peplowski (on clarinet and tenor), either Emily Remler or Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, pianist Dave Frishberg (in a purely instrumental role), bassist John Goldsby, and drummer Terry Clarke. Although many of her recordings have been songbooks focusing on one composer or lyricist, she chose superior standards by a wide variety of writers for this date. Highlights include "Fascinating Rhythm," a hot version of Louis Armstrong's "Swing That Music," "P.S. I Love You," "Sometimes I'm Happy," Gerry Mulligan's inspiring "The Ballad of Pearly Sue," and "No More Blues," but all twelve numbers are quite rewarding. Highly recommended. Scott Yanow

I've always favored this McCorkle disc above most others. Maybe it's because of the presence of Dave Frishberg on piano. Or, perhaps it's the singer's terrific take on Gerry Mulligan's feminist "can-do" ditty entitled "The Ballad of Pearly Sue." Great little band as well. Scoredaddy

Susannah McCorkle (Vocals)
Terry Clarke (Drums)
Dave Frishberg (Piano)
John Goldsby (Bass)
Ken Peplowski (Clarinet, Tenor Sax)
Bucky Pizzarelli (Guitar on 1,2,4,8,11)
Emily Remler (Guitar on 3,5-7,9,10)

1 Fascinating Rhythm (Gershwin, Gershwin) 4:15
2 Swing That Music (Gerlach, Armstrong) 3:18
3 The Ballad of Pearly Sue (Mulligan) 5:42
4 P.S. I Love You (Jenkins, Mercer) 4:14
5 Can't Take You Nowhere (Frishberg) 3:27
6 No More Blues (Cavanaugh, Hendricks, Jobim) 3:26
7 Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me (Ellington, Russell) 5:13
8 Breezin' Along With the Breeze (Gillespie, Simons, Whiting) 4:44
9 Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying (Greene) 3:14
10 Who Cares? (Gershwin, Gershwin) 4:58
11 Sometimes I'm Happy (Caesar, Grey, Youmans) 4:43
12 Everything's Been Done Before (Adamson, Knopf, King) 3:30

Recorded October, 1988 at Penny Lane Studios, New York City

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kenny Dorham - Quiet Kenny (20bit K2)

The title of the 1959 date, Quiet Kenny, is almost redundant, less descriptive of the session than of Dorham himself, who plays no differently here than in the explosive groups of Blakey or Silver. Thoughtful, playful, lyrical but never effusive, Dorham is, as Dan Morgenstern calls him in the notes for this latest RVG edition, the most “poetic” of trumpet players.

The playing is on a level with Dorham's best work elsewhere (Whistle Stop, Blue Note, 1961; Una Mas, Blue Note, 1963), but there are two undeniable bonuses: Dorham's is the only horn, giving him more valuable time to tell his compelling stories; and the pianist is Tommy Flanagan, whose dynamically nuanced, carefully sculpted lines are the perfect match for the trumpet's exquisitely crafted statements.

A newcomer to Dorham's music might be forgiven for being decidedly unimpressed by a ballad treatment such as Dorham's reading of “Alone Together,” so minimalist and naked as to appear reductive if not amateurish. Yet careful listening reveals that no other musician prepares and “cures” each note like Dorham before launching it on a lovely albeit fragile cushion of sound. And few play with so little pose and showmanship, simply trusting the substance of the music itself to make sense—intellectually and emotionally—without reliance on extraneous effects.

At times Dorham's horn sounds like one or two valves are stuck, limiting him to endless repetition of a single note. For example, on what is arguably his best all-around session, Whistle Stop, he makes an adventure out of repeating the tonic note on a blues in F (“Buffalo”). He alternates between tonguing and legato articulations; approaches the note from slightly above, then below, the pitch; varies the articulations by allowing the sound to explode one moment and implode the next; and finally relinquishes the note to the chord sequence and dances with it, via potentially “corny” emphasis on the first beat of each double eighth-note pattern, to a supremely felicitous close.

”Lotus Blossom,” the opener on Quiet Kenny, has a similar approach, demonstrating not only the leader's rare economy but his ability to connect phrases in a manner that masks structural markers. Finally, Dorham's playful yet respectful treatments of the sentimental chestnut “My Ideal” and the normally fulsome-sounding Harry James’ vehicle, “I Had The Craziest Dream,” are so seductively guileless a listener can feel guiltless pronouncing them simply “charming.” Samuel Chell

Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Lotus Blossom
2. My Ideal
3. Blue Friday
4. Alone Together
5. Blue Spring Shuffle
6. I Had the Craziest Dream
7. Old Folks
8. Mack the Knife

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, November 13, 1959

Shelly Manne- the french concert featuring Lee Konitz (galaxy lp 5124)

by Scott Burek
This is an excellent LP long overdue to be reissued on CD. Drummer Shelly Manne features pianist
Mike Wofford (and bassist Chuck Domanico) on two standards ("Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" and "Body and Soul") before welcoming the great altoist Lee Konitz .
As Sheena sweatily straddled him her own
increasingly empty core only glimpsed in furtive moments past, began to trouble Wenona slowly deranging her usually imperturbable,carefully cultivated corpse like demeanor in the sack.

lee awoke startled,mysterious semi calcified white gobs escaping in atomized streams from his unctuous knobbly horn. the group and four brothers (highlighted by "What Is This Thing Called Love" and "Take the Coltrane"). This combination of jazz men works quite well, resulting in music that is both swinging and exploratory thus denying time honored shop worn ideals writ large throughout the annal.

this may well shake your faith in some of contemporary urban eroticism's high fallutin touchstones, in the best possible sense.
four and a half stars

Astor Piazzolla y Su Quinteto - Piazzolla o No?

If you can read the enclosed booklet and translate the Spanish liner notes, you'll know the entire story behind this 1961 recording by Astor Piazzolla. (Note by Scoredaddy: liner notes translated to English can be found in the comments along with the links). What is easy to discover is that this session has the legendary bandoneon player primarily as an equal sideman in a quintet, backing up several singers, and performing tango music he, for the most part, did not compose. Much in the spirit of the somewhat mod early '60s, this date is full of popular tango style tunes that hint at the even more dramatic nuevo tango Piazzolla would progress into. Violinist Elvino Vardaro works closely with Piazzolla in a cooperative effort where either one of them could be the ostensible leader, but fit beautifully together. The pianist Jaime Gosis and bassist Kicho Díaz lend rhythmic support, as there is no drummer or percussionist. Starting with instrumentals, the band warms to the task on the violin led, drama soaked "Preparense," one of only two compositions by Piazzolla. Then vocalist Nelly Vazquez joins as an equal partner for "Bandoneon Arrabalero" before the group plays the faux waltz "Redencion." The other Piazzolla tune, "Truinfal," is a classic stroller's piece, with violin leading the bandoneon, guitar, and then the whole band. The CD contains bonus tracks — two with singer Daniel Riolobos and four featuring the vocals of Hector De Rosas. The musicianship remains high, but the singing, not so much, as it tends to be more of a Spanish croon. Riolobos holds an elegant, staccato grandeur, while De Rosas is somewhat subdued. Rhythmically there's a limited dynamic range, even for tango, and the steady 4/4 beats rarely waver. There's an obvious deep passion and romanticism, especially on "Maria," the haunting heartbreak during "Sur," and defiance as exhibited by the bouncy piano of Gosis on "El Arranque." It's interesting to hear Piazzolla — the interpreter — on this set of tunes that do sound a bit dated, but are distinctly in his comfort zone. Michael G. Nastos

Sublime work from the great Astor Piazzolla -- just the kind of record that shows why his music has always been almost a genre unto itself! The style's rooted in Argentine tango, but it's colored with so many deeper tones and modern moments that it hardly resembles the form in the hands of other players. And Piazzolla's approach to the bandoneon really transforms the familiar modes of the instrument too -- turning it more into a somber generator of dark sound than the more whimsical instrument in the hands of other players. The core album here features occasional vocals from Nelly Fazques, plus piano, bass, violin, and electric guitar -- on titles that include "Preparense", "Tierrita", "Maria", "Redencion", "Don Juan", "La Casita De Mis Viejos", and "Cristal". CD also features 6 bonus tracks -- "Garuo" and "Uno", with vocals from Daniel Riolobos -- and "Cuesta Abajo", "Enamorada Estoy", "Sur", and "Malena" with vocals by Hector De Rosas. Dusty Groove America

Astor Piazzolla (Bandoneon)
Kicho Díaz (Double Bass)
Jaime Gosis (Piano)
Daniel Riolobos (Vocals)
Oscar Lopez Ruiz (Electric Guitar)
Elvino Vardaro (Violin)
Nelly Vazquez (Vocals)

1) Preparense (Astor Piazzolla)
2) Tierrita (Agustin Bardi / Jesus Fernandez Blanco)
3) Maria (Anibal Troilo / Castillo Catulo)
4) Bandoneon Arrabalero (Contursi Pascual / Juan Deambrogio (Bachicha))
5) Redencion (Alfredo Gobbi)
6) Don Juan (Ernesto Ponzio / Podesta Ricardo J.)
7) El Arranque (Julio De Caro / Mario Gomila)
8) Chique (Brignolo Ricardo Luis)
9) Triunfal (Piazzolla Astor)
10) La Casita De Mis Viejos(Enrique Domingo Cadicamo / Juan Carlos Cobian)
11) Cristal (Contursi Jose Maria / Mores Mariano)
12) Quejas De Bandoneon (Juan De Dios Filiberto)
13) Garua (Anibal Troilo / Enrique Domingo Cadicamo)
14) Uno (Discepolo Enrique Santos / Mores Mariano)
15) Enamorado Estoy (Marquez Jose / Zito Oscar)
16) Cuesta Abajo (Carlos Gardel / Le Pera Alfredo)
17) Sur (Anibal Troilo / Homero Manzi)
18) Malena (Homero Manzi / Lucio Demare)

Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 3,7,17, June 9, & December 7, 1961

The Four Brothers - 1957 Together Again

The original "Four Brothers" as heard in the 1947-48 Woody Herman Orchestra were tenors Stan Getz, Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward and baritonist Serge Chaloff. In 1948 Al Cohn replaced Steward. In 1957 for this "reunion" session Getz was not available so instead Sims, Steward, Cohn and Chaloff were contacted. Accompanied by a rhythm section that includes pianist Elliott Lawrence, they naturally revived "Four Brothers" but otherwise mostly played newer songs by Gerry Mulligan, Manny Albam (who provided the date's arrangements), Lawrence, Cohn and Sims. Due to his bad health, Chaloff did not play many of the ensemble passages (Charlie O' Kane filled in) but he did take all of the solos; this would be his final recording. The music overall on this CD reissue is quite enjoyable and Sims, Cohn and Steward show how much they had grown during the previous decade.

Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

01 Four and One Moore ... Gerry Mulligan (4:09)
02 So Blue ... Al Cohn (3:30)
03 The Swinging Door ... Gerry Mulligan (2:52)
04 Four in Hand ... Manny Albam (3:20)
05 A Quick One ... Al Cohn (4:03)
06 Four Brothers ... Jimmy Giuffre (3:49)
07 Ten Years Later ... Al Cohn (3:06)
08 The Pretty One ... Elliot Lawrence (3:32)
09 Aged in Wood ... Al Cohn (2:58)
10 Here We Go Again ... Manny Albam (3:49)

Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Herbie Steward (tenor saxophone)
Serge Chaloff (baritone saxophone)
Elliot Lawrence (piano)
Burgher Jones (bass)
Don Lamond (drums)
Charlie O'Kane (baritone saxophone,1,2,5,8,9)

Recorded at Webster Hall, New York on February 11, 1957.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hank Jones - Just For Fun

Pianist Hank Jones recorded many dates as a leader during the latter half of the 1970s. A superior transitional player whose two-handed style looks toward both swing and bop, Jones is mostly featured on this CD reissue of a Galaxy date in a trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, although three numbers also welcome guitarist Howard Roberts. None of the seven compositions (by Jones, Brown, Pepper Adams, Thad Jones and J.J. Johnson, along with Sara Cassey's title cut) became well-known, but the fine interplay between the musicians and the concise and purposeful solos uplift the tunes. ~ Scott Yanow

Hank Jones (piano)
Howard Roberts (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Interlude
2. A Very Hip Rock And Roll Tune
3. Lullaby
4. Little Rascal On A Rock
5. Bossa Nouveau
6. Just For Fun
7. Kids Are Pretty People

Berkeley, California; June 27-28, 1977

Rex Stewart - 1946-1947 (Chronological 1016)

After leaving Duke Ellington's Orchestra, cornetist Rex Stewart went to Europe for a few years, recording extensively. This entry in Classics' "complete" series has a four-song studio session and a jam cut shortly before Stewart went overseas plus sessions in Paris (including six tunes from a concert) and Stockholm. The music is fairly erratic overall. There are some fireworks on a quartet date with pianist Billy Kyle, bassist John Levy, and drummer Cozy Cole, and the two-part, privately recorded "I May Be Wrong" has its moments. With the exception of a previously unreleased alternate take of "Blue Jay" from 1945 (which has a vocal by Joya Sherrill) that had been discovered and was tagged on to the end of this CD, the other selections find Stewart heading a group also including trombonist Sandy Williams (he has some of his best late-period solos), John Harris on clarinet and alto, tenor-saxophonist Vernon Story, pianist Don Gais, Simon Brehm or Fred Ermelin on bass, and drummer Ted Curry. Stewart sings "Run to the Corner" and Honey Johnson is strangely country-oriented on "Waitin' for the Train to Come In"; otherwise the performances are instrumentals. Although Stewart plays in his usual fiery mainstream swing style, some of the arrangements are a bit boppish and do not work that well, plus the recording quality is decent but not great. The overall results are not without their strong moments but are a little uncomfortable and not too essential. However, it is nice to have this formerly scattered music put out in coherent order. ~ Scott Yanow

Rex Stewart (cornet)
Eddie Heywood (piano)
Al Sears (tenor sax)
Lawrence Brown (trombone)
Cozy Cole (drums)
Joya Sherrill (vocals)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Billy Kyle (piano)

1. Loopin' Lobo
2. Blues Kicked The Bucket
3. Madeleine
4. Flim Flam
5. I May Be Wrong-Part 1
6. I May Be Wrong-Part 2
7. Waitin' For The Train To Come In
8. Boy Meets Horn
9. Run To The Corner
10. Basin Street Blues
11. Mobile Bay
12. I Can't Get Started
13. I Cover The Waterfront
14. Cotton Tail
15. The Man I Love
16. Sweet Georgia Brown
17. Be-Bop Boogie
18. Feeling Fine
19. Boy Meets Horn
20. Just Squeeze Me
21. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
22. Blue Jay

Jimmy Rowles

Long known for his expertise in coming up with the perfect chord for the perfect situation, the subtle Jimmy Rowles was in demand for decades as an accompanist while being underrated as a soloist. After playing in local groups in Seattle, Rowles moved to Los Angeles in 1940 and worked with Slim Gaillard, Lester Young, Benny Goodman, and Woody Herman. After serving in the military, he returned to Herman (in time to play with the first Herd), recorded with Benny Goodman, and also had stints with Les Brown and Tommy Dorsey. Working as a studio musician, Rowles appeared in a countless number of settings in the 1950s and '60s, but was best known for his playing behind Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee. In 1973, he moved to New York where he recorded more extensively in jazz situations (including duets with Stan Getz), but after touring with Ella Fitzgerald during 1981-1983 he returned to California. His song "The Peacocks" became a standard, and Rowles recorded for many labels throughout his career including with his daughter, flügelhornist Stacy Rowles. ~ Scott Yanow

Jimmy Rowles - Our Delight

Recorded in 1968 but not released for the initial time until this 1997 CD, this set of live but private recordings feature pianist Jimmy Rowles with either Max Bennett or Chuck Berghofer on bass and Nick Martinis or Larry Bunker on drums. The very spontaneous and relaxed music finds Rowles often quoting other songs and playing a wide repertoire. The music ranges from "You're Driving Me Crazy" and "Our Delight" to "America the Beautiful," "Moon of Manakoora" and "Lulu's Back In Town," plus songs by Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter. Although not essential, the set does feature Rowles during an era (1961-69) when he did not lead a single studio session. Scott Yanow

Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Max Bennett (bass)
Chuck Berghofer (bass)
Nick Martinis (drums)
Larry Bunker (drums)

1. You're Driving Me Crazy
2. That Face
3. You Say You Care
4. Our Delight
5. America The Beautiful
6. Moon Of Manakoora
7. Morning Star
8. That Old Feeling
9. Lulu's Back In Town
10. Crises
11. Love Letters
12. Chess Players

Burbank, California; April, 1968

Stan Getz - Presents Jimmy Rowles: The Peacocks

Although listed under Stan Getz's name, The Peacocks is really a showcase for pianist Jimmy Rowles, an underrated stylist beloved by singers and musicians alike. Rowles is heard in exquisite duets with Getz, solo, in a quartet with Getz, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Elvin Jones, and on "The Chess Players" during which the quartet is joined by four vocalists including three from Jon Hendricks' family. Most memorable are the haunting title cut, "Lester Left Town" and several of Rowles' touching vocals. ~ Scott Yanow

Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz's career as a producer for Sony Music came late in his overall career as a sometimes-troubled jazz veteran. The odd thing is that his personal troubles, of which there were some real doozies, never seemed to disrupt the music. And his second outing as a producer features some of the most unshakably calm stuff in his oeuvre. Getz's intent on Peacocks was to bring the underappreciated Jimmy Rowles to the fore, allowing the pianist to shine with his remarkable, long-lasting sense of balladry and seasoned, rough, romantic voice. Together, Rowles and Getz shine on several duets, including the wondrous, low-key swing of "What Am I Here For?" and the sublime flow of Rowles's "The Peacocks." It's not all butter, though, as Getz calls on drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Buster Williams to create a strong, supple quartet on a pair of Wayne Shorter numbers, "Lester Left Town" and "The Chess Players." The latter tune features Jon, Judy, and Michelle Hendricks along with Beverly Getz. Rowles knocks off a couple solo tracks, both showing off his reach--from swing era and Tin Pan Alley phrasing to hints of more daring execution. Through it all, though, Getz plays his heart out, milking every phrase for its musical core and the breathy shell just around the tone. It's a magnificent display, top to bottom. --Andrew Bartlett

Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Stan Getz (tenor sax)
Elvin Jones (drums)
Buster Williams (bass)
Jon Hendricks (vocals)

1. I'll Never Be The Same
2. Lester Left Town
3. Body And Soul
4. What Am I Here For?
5. Serenade To Sweden
6. The Chess Players
7. The Peacocks
8. My Buddy
9. The Hour Of Parting
10. Rose Marie
11. This Is All I Ask
12. Skylark
13. Mosaic/Would You Like To Take A Walk

Astor Piazzola Y Su Quinteto - Piazzolla Interpreta A Piazzolla

Today I begin an exciting new series of 13 postings I will make of a marvelous restoration job done by Sony/BMG Argentina in 2005 of some classic albums cut by Astor Piazzolla in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Here is a brief description of the series included in the liner notes (translated from Castellano to English):
"The Critical Edition, of the complete works of Astor Piazzolla recorded at RCA Victor and CBS Columbia, presented for the first time on CD, the essential records of the bandoneonist, restored to their original form with sound remastered directly from the original master tapes and including bonus tracks tracks issued at the time as singles and EP’s, clarifying the recording dates and the musicians who participated. Each CD includes the original liner notes (when present) and the complete technical information, correcting errors present in numerous editions and specifying the precise recording dates and session personnel". Scoredaddy

Sony BMG has released 13 Astor Piazolla albums. Normally, this wouldn’t constitute big news, considering how regularly record companies compile Piazzola’s chaotic work. On this opportunity they took the trouble to release in CD format the 13 original LP’s that the master once recorded for RCA Víctor and CBS Columbia. The album covers reproduce the artistic work on the original ones and the sound has been remastered. But this remarkable “Edición Crítica”, directed by journalist Diego Fischerman, stands out for the respect that has been given to the original composition and presentation of the master’s work, with no errors in song classification, recording dates, or musicians’ names. Beyond the “formalities” this work revives a magnificent period of Piazzolla’s career. Also as bonus tracks, a series of pieces originally released as singles and EPs. Portal de Tango

Piazzolla Interpreta a Piazzolla is the first recording made with the quintet, today commonplace but then, absolutely new, comprised of bandoneón, violin, electric guitar, and bass. The recording is from 1961 and the group members were, aside from Piazzolla, the violinist Simón (or Szymzia) Bojour who also developed an important career as a chamber musician and as a teacher, the pianist Jaime Grosis who had already participated in “Tango in Hi-Fi”, the first recording made by Piazzolla upon his return from France in 1957 together with the strings of the S.O.D.R.E. Symphony in Montevideo, Horacio Malvicino on electric guitar and who had been part of the Buenos Aires octet from 1955 to 1958, and Kicho Diaz on bass.

On this disc appear many of the stylistic traces that were characteristic of all of Piazzolla’s subsequent work: the contrast between a totally lyrical melody on the violin and the marked and rhythmic accompaniment of the piano on the first variation of “Berretín,” the use of double strings on the bass, and the romantic cadenzas on the piano, the reference to Debussy on the violin in “Lo Que Vendrá” although more concealed than in the prior version, recorded with the Octet in Montevideo, the fugal beginning in “Calambre,” the typical accentuation of the milonga applied as a rhythmic intro.

Of particular interest is the first recorded version of “Adiós Nonino” and, of course, the contrast with “Nonino,” also included on this album. In reality, in this premier version, the tension between Nonino’s theme, almost Pugliesian, and that of death appears with clarity, with that of “Nonino” remaining in counterpoint. This counterpoint becomes less apparent in each successive statement of the theme, and differing from subsequent versions, only in the last statement of the lyric theme where the accompaniment that refers to “Nonino” has totally disappeared, there is a tempo change, introduced by a piano cadenza that precurses the prelude that Piazzolla would write for Dante Amicarelli in 1969. Diego Fischerman

Astor Piazzolla (bandoneon)
Kicho Díaz (double bass)
Jaime Gosis (piano)
Horacio Malvicino (electric guitar)
Simón Bajour (violin)

1 Adiós Nonino (Piazzolla) 4:12
2 Berretín (Laurenz) 3:27
3 Contrabajeando (Aníbal Troilo, Piazzolla) 3:30
4 Tanguísimo (Piazzolla) 2:56
5 Decarísimo (Piazzolla) 2:40
6 Lo Que Vendrá (Piazzolla) 4:27
7 La Calle 92 (Piazzolla) 3:14
8 Calambre (Piazzolla) 2:43
9 Los Poseídos (Piazzolla) 3:36
10 Nonino (Piazzolla) 2:52
11 Bandó (Piazzolla) 3:14
12 Guitarrazo (Malvincino) 4:06

Recorded January 28 & 30, 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Francis Albert Sinatra & Edward Kennedy Ellington

Ok. I agree. Frank Sinatra isn't a jazz singer. But every time he was joined by jazz oriented orchestras or combos, he did well. In 1967, as owner of Reprise, he invited Duke Ellington to join him in this record. Critics divided. In AMG, Erlewine says that Sinatra had a "mild cold" and that Ellington band also was "ocasionally turning in inspired performances and as frequently just walking through the numbers". His rate: 2 1\2 stars. On the other side, Paul Evans, at Rolling Stones, says: "Among Sinatra's essentials albums of the time are: Francis A. Sinatra and Edward K. Ellington, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sinatra and Basie". His rate: 4 stars. But that's what critics opinion are in its essence: opinions. And if it's to express opinions there goes mine: If Sinatra had a pneumonia, he would still sing better than a dozen others with health of a prized cow. And the same goes for Duke Ellington. His performance in Indian Summer and Johnny Hodges solo are enough to make this a memorable record.


1- Follow me (Lerner-Loewe)
2- Sunny (Hebb)
3- All I need is the girl (Sondheim-Styne)
4- Indian Summer (Herbert-Dubin)
5- I like the Sunrise (Ellington)
6- Yellow days (Carrillo-Bernstein)
7- Poor butterfly (Hubbell-Golden)
8- Come back to me (Lerner-Lane)
Recorded in December, 1967.

Bill Evans Trio Live in Paris

The INA Recordings
Bill Evans
Eddie Gomez
Marty Morrell
Volume 1&2 recorded Feb 6, 1972
Volume 3 recorded Dec 17, 1972

Susannah McCorkle - Hearts & Minds

Just returning from vacation, here is the next installment in my Susannah McCorkle series (much more to come). Hearts & Minds was McCorkle's final recording and it's a masterful collection of eclectic songs. Listen to "Down." Truly ironic in view of McCorkle's demise. Scoredaddy

Susannah McCorkle's 16th release available through Concord begins with "I Can Dream, Can't I" and ends with "I Don't Want To Set the World on Fire," two highly desirous songs that may reflect the intentions of the dynamic vocalist, but needless to say after 15 successful releases cannot begin to measure the tremendous impact she has had as one of the most expressive singers on the jazz scene since the mid-'70s. McCorkle utilizes two rhythm sections, her longtime musical director/arranger/pianist Allen Farnham, guitarist Paul Meyers, and tenor saxophonist Dick Oatts on straight-ahead, Brazilian-influenced and swing compositions. They span nearly 70 years say a lot about human nature and what people feel and think about. She handles humor on three Dave Frishberg songs, tackles a funny song about depression on "Down," sings of fleeting romance and contemporary relationships on "For All We Know," and "Haunted Heart" and the Ivan Lins song "Evolution." Susannah McCorkle has the remarkable capability to bring rarely heard songs back to life through updated interpretations and 21st century appeal. Paula Edelstein

Susannah McCorkle (vocals)
Allen Farnham (piano, arr)
Paul Meyers (guitar)
Steve Gilmore (bass)
Dennis Irwin (bass)
Tim Horner (drums)
Vanderlei Pereira (drums)
Thiago DeMello (percussion)
Dick Oatts (tenor sax)

1 Can Dream, Can't I? (Fain, Kahal) 4:29
2 Love Is Here to Stay (Gershwin, Gershwin) 5:02
3 Love, Look Away (Hammerstein, Rodgers) 4:42
4 My Attorney (Frishberg) 4:03
5 For All We Know (Coots, Lewis) 3:15
6 It Could Happen to You (Burke, Van Heusen) 4:22
7 Haunted Heart (Dietz, Schwartz) 5:20
8 What Did I Forget? (Frishberg) 4:08
9 Down (Landesman, Wallace) 4:29
10 I Computer Age (In Motion) (McCorkle, Porto) 5:33
11 Evolution (Lins, Walsh) 5:49
12 Feet Do You Stuff (Landesman) 3:16
13 Do You Miss New York? (Frishberg) 5:30
14 Scars (Wallace) 3:12
15 I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire (Benjamin, Durham, Marcus) 3:27

Recorded March 28-30, 2000 at Sound On Sound, New York City

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Red Norvo

Red Norvo - 1937-1938 (Chronological 1157)

In this segment of the Red Norvo story, the xylophonist's collaborations with his wife, Mildred Bailey, predominate. This was a fine jazz orchestra with excellent soloists. One great and glowing jewel in the band was clarinetist Hank D'Amico, and Norvo's sparkling percussive passages are always a delight. Each of the five instrumental tracks resound with that fascinating combination of xylophone and big band, tidy brass over solidly arranged reeds, and -- beginning in January of 1938 -- precision drumming by George Wettling, that mainstay of Eddie Condon and his Commodore jam bands. With 16 out of 24 tracks serving as features for Bailey's pleasant vocals, this package will satisfy anyone who has a taste for her style and personality. As always, most of her material deals with romance or heartbreak. She sounds quite pleasant during a handsome treatment of George Gershwin's "Love Is Here to Stay," but if you scratch beneath the surface of Tin Pan Alley, things don't always look so rosy. Johnny Mercer's catchy "Weekend of a Private Secretary" seems at first like a cute description of a naughty vacation, but the lyrics, penned by Nebraska native Bernie Hanighen, reveal the mottled underbelly of old-fashioned North American bigotry. As Bailey shrewdly pronounces the phrase "Cuban gent," the song quickly evolves into a flippant essay on Caucasian infatuation with The Exotic Other. Ultimately, she presents a crude list of social stereotypes that a working girl would be likely to encounter while seeking out male companionship. These include a slicker, a hick, a Reuben -- this was originally a carnival or circus term for a rustic rube -- and even that time-honored American racial epithet, "darky." The band is tight, maracas and all, and Norvo's xylophone sounds great surrounded by Caribbean rhythm effects, but rancid social undercurrents leave an odd taste in the mouth. Further ethical/ethnic discomfiture may be experienced while listening to "There's a Boy in Harlem," which must be the most racist opus ever contrived by the otherwise admirable songwriting team of Rodgers & Hart. While accurately admitting that "all the writers copy" an unidentified Afro-American composer, lyricist Larry Hart describes the "boy" as sloppily dressed (!) and even paraphrases a nasty figure of speech by referring to him as "this person in the woodpile." The fact that "Mr. and Mrs. Swing" elected to record these vulgar songs speaks volumes about the prevailing social climate during the 1930s and momentarily sheds an unseemly light on their respective careers. ~ arwulf arwulf

Red Norvo (vibraphone)
Mildred Bailey (vocals)
Hank D'Amico (clarinet, alto sax)
Louis Mucci (trumpet)
George Wettling (drums)

1. Tears in My Heart
2. Worried Over You
3. Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie
4. Russian Lullaby
5. Always and Always
6. I Was Doing All Right
7. It's Wonderful
8. Love Is Here to Stay
9. Serenade to the Stars
10. More Than Ever
11. Weekend of a Private Secretary
12. Please Be Kind
13. Jeannine
14. Tea Time
15. How Can You Forget?
16. There's a Boy in Harlem
17. I Kiss Your Hand, Madame
18. Says My Heart
19. After Dinner Speech
20. Daydreaming (All Night Long)
21. Cigarette and a Silhouette
22. Saving Myself For You
23. You Leave Me Breathless

Red Norvo - 1944-1945 (Chronological 1356)

Anyone who listens through the previous six volumes of Red Norvo on Classics will likely experience a visceral sense of excitement from 1943 onward as Norvo switches from xylophone to vibraphone and adopts a noticeably modern attitude toward the music. Norvo underwent a profound artistic transformation in 1944-1945, his many years of experience enabling him to settle into a new role as established recording artist and bandleader with an open-minded respect for young artists bearing new ideas. Norvo's remarkable skills as an improviser coupled with a willingness to participate in what music critics call the bop revolution often placed him squarely within the eye of the rapidly evolving cultural hurricane of modern music. This seventh album in the Norvo chronology delivers an unprecedented dosage of top-notch jazz, documenting the historical swing-to-bop phenomenon in 16 wonderful tracks. With five Keynote sides, two V-Discs, and an epochal meeting with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, topped off by Norvo's Nonet/Quintet set at the fabulous 1945 Town Hall Jazz Concert, this is by far the best volume in the Classics chronology of his recorded works, and might very well be the greatest all-purpose Red Norvo album ever released to the public. ~ arwulf arwulf

Red Norvo (vibraphone)
Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Shorty Rogers (trumpet)
Flip Philips (tenor sax)
Charlie Shavers (trumpet)
Teddy Wilson (piano)
Slam Stewart (bass)

1. Man I Love
2. Seven Come Eleven
3. Which Switch Witch
4. Bass on the Barroom Floor
5. Russian Lullaby
6. I Got Rhythm
7. Sing Something Simple
8. Bugle Call Rag
9. Hallelujah
10. Get Happy
11. "Slam Slam" Blues
12. Congo Blues
13. One Note Jive
14. I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You
15. One, Two, Three, Jump
16. Man I Love

Emily Remler - East To Wes

This would be worth listening to for the rhythm section alone. Who knew Buster Williams was so good?

The late guitarist's last CD to be released before her premature death is her finest effort. Emily Remler's fluid technique brightens such seldom-heard numbers as Clifford Brown's "Daahoud" and her simplified arrangement of Claude Thornhill's lovely "Snowfall," as well as more relaxed tunes like "Sweet Georgia Fame." The polished rhythm section includes the masterful pianist Hank Jones, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden

Emily Remler's death at age 32 from a heart attack ... was a shock to the jazz world, and a sad waste. She was just beginning to emerge from the Wes Montgomery influence and develop her own voice. Remler began playing guitar when she was ten, attended Berklee (1976-1979), and recorded as a leader for the first time in 1980. She played with the L.A. version of the show Sophisticated Ladies (1981-1982) and in 1985 had a duo with Larry Coryell, but otherwise mostly worked as a leader with her own small groups. After recording bop-oriented dates for Concord, she had a contemporary set for Justice, and toured with David Benoit before her sudden death. ~ Scott Yanow

Emily Remler (guitar)
Hank Jones (piano)
Buster Williams (bass)
Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums)

1. Daahoud
2. Snowfall
3. Hot House
4. Sweet Georgie Fame
5. Ballad For A Music Box
6. Blues For Herb
7. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
8. East To Wes

Recorded at Penny Lane Studios, New York, New York in May 1988

The Lighthouse All-Stars - Sunday Jazz a la Lighthouse, Vol. 1

Shorty Rogers left the Stan Kenton band in 1951 to live in the Los Angeles area. He joined Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All Stars as both trumpet player and arranger. Shorty recorded many albums as a leader with a big band and with his small group, the Giants. Rumsey established a stay of almost a decade at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, which became sort of a ground zero for West Coast Jazz. Rumsey’s sidemen over the years included Rogers, Jimmy Giuffre, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, Russ Freeman, Shelly Manne, and Milt Bernhart.

The first title in Contemporary's 12" series.

Shorty Rogers (trumpet, arr)
Maynard Ferguson (trumpet)
Milt Bernhart (trombone)
Bob Cooper (tenor sax)
Jimmy Giuffre (tenor sax)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Frank Patchen (piano)
Howard Rumsey (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)
Carlos Vidal (congas)

1. Four Others
2. All the Things You Are
3. Creme de Menthe
4. Viva Zapata!
5. Bernie's Tune
6. Solitaire
7. Morgan Davis
8. Soncailli

"Lighthouse Club", Hermosa Beach, California, 1953

Howard Rumsey Presents... Conte Candoli and Max Roach - Jazz Structures

The inclusion of Max Roach’s name on the cover of Jazz Structures is somewhat disingenuous. Upon opening the CD insert, we’re informed that Max Roach appears on only four out of eighteen tracks. This information was conspicuously absent from the back cover, where a potential buyer would look to see if a disc’s worth spending hard-earned cash on.

Jazz Structures is a reissue of two of Howard Rumsey’s “Light House All Stars” discs. The first, 1957’s Drummin’ the Blues, featured Roach on four tracks. Stan Levey is the drummer on the other fourteen.

When present, Roach does what he always does: he knocks it out of the park. The Lighthouse All Stars were the kings of West Coast-style bop and Roach had worked with them as early as 1954. In 1956 alone, Roach played on some of the most important records ever made, like Monk’s Brilliant Corners and Sonny Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus and several sides with Clifford Brown. By 1957, he was worlds beyond Rumsey and Co. and ready to re-shape the music yet again—this time with Booker Little.

The second album tacked on here, the original Jazz Structures (1960), has little in common with the upbeat swing of Drummin’ the Blues—aside from boasting much of the same lineup. This was the soundtrack to a documentary by filmmaker Les Novros about the construction of LA’s Union Oil building. And it feels like a building being constructed: in places it’s laborious, rigid, tedious. In others, it’s decorous and light. Jazz Structures came just three years after Miles Davis had revolutionized the film soundtrack with his work for L’Ascenseur Pour l’Echafaud. Structures doesn’t compare, but Bob Cooper, who scored the work, did a good job, considering the subject matter.

There’s some interesting work here by Bud Shank (alto and flutes), Conte Candoli (trumpet), and Red Callender (bass). A playful, circuitous riff pops up on “Architectronics” and resurfaces again in the “Directional Suite,” where it’s reconfigured as “Automatons.” Refreshingly untampered-with production helps; it sounds a bit like one of those old quarter-inch-think vinyl jobs. The slightly lo-fi analog production adds a stark, concrete edge. Jazz Structures is a good soundtrack, probably better than the film that inspired it—but it’s not a Max Roach album.

Howard Rumsey (leader)
Max Roach (drums)
Bob Cooper (conductor, tenor saxophone)
Bud Shank (alto saxophone, flute)
Buddy Collette (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Frank Rosilino (trombone)
Victor Feldman (piano, vibraphone, conga)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)
Joe Castro (piano)
Larry Bunker (vibraphone)
Red Callender (bass)

1. Facts About Max
2. Milano Blues
3. Swingin' The Blues
4. Breadline Blues
5. Bye Bye Blues
6. Blues In The Night
7. Royal Garden Blues
8. Count's Blues
9. Genesis Part 2
10. Architectonics / Directional Suite
11. Impulse
12. Automatons
13. Impulso Pt 1&2
14. Complexus / The Worker
15. Rain Blues
16. In The Morning
17. Quittin' Time
18. Edifice (studio)

The Lighthouse All-Stars - At Laguna

In 1955, the Lighthouse All-Stars frequently played away from their homebase. On this live set, they are heard appearing two hours away from the Lighthouse, at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach. The All-Stars of the time (altoist Bud Shank, Bob Cooper on tenor, trombonist Frank Rosolino, pianist Claude Williamson, bassist/leader Howard Rumsey and drummer Stan Levey, but surprisingly no trumpet) perform five numbers, including features for Shank on flute and Rosolino, and support guitarist Barney Kessel on "'Round Midnight." In addition, pianist Hampton Hawes' trio (with bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Shelly Manne) romps on "Walkin'" and a heated "The Champ." This fine all-around survey of the modern jazz mainstream of 1955 is currently available as a CD reissue.

Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Bud Shank (alto sax, flute)
Bob Cooper (tenor sax)
Claude Williamson (piano, arr)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Howard Rumsey (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)

Hampton Hawes (piano)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Witch Doctor No. 2
2. 'Round Midnight
3. Mood For Lighthouse
4. Walkin' - The Hampton Hawes Trio
5. Blind Man's Bluff
6. Lady Jean
7. The Champ - The Hampton Hawes Trio
8. Casa De Luz

"Irvine Bowl", Laguna Beach, California, June 20, 1955

Tete Montoliu - 1997 Per Sempre Tete

Four months before this live performance at The Nova Jazz Cava on March 6, 1997 during the 16th Terrassa Jazz Festival, Tete was admitted to the hospital for heart problems. Following the forced rest, this venue was a very special occasion. He wanted to play and check that his health problems had not affected his music. Willing to give the best of himself, leaving a kind of musical testament. And that became, because five months later would die Tete (August 24, 1997).

The concert is divided in two parts: Monkiana, Suite in Remembrance of Thelonious Monk and Thinking of Coltrane.

Monkiana “Trio Version” – Suite in Remembrance of Thelonious Monk
01. In Walked Bud 7:22
02. Ask me Now 4:45
03. Well, You needn’t 4:45
04. Piano Solo – April in Paris – Sweet & Lovely 5:41
05. Bass Solo – Eronel 3:43
06. Tete’s Blues 3:39
07. Rhythm-a-Ning 3:47
08. Balada 2:43
09. Misterioso 4:35
Pensando en Coltrane
10. Naima 13:03
11. I Want to talk about You 10:10
12. Some other blues 6:28

Tete Montoliu piano
Horacio Fumero bass
Peer Wyboris drums

Recorded at the Jazz Cava, Terrassa on March 6, 1997.

Tete Montoliu - 1979 Lunch in L.A.

Although Yanow says it had not been reissued on CD ....., the CD copy includes Margareta as an additional bonus track.

For what was probably his only session for an American label, the great pianist Tete Montoliu is heard in top form on a couple of basic originals ("Blues Before Lunch" and "Blues After Lunch"), "Airegin," "Sophisticated Lady" and a lengthy "I Want to Talk About You." On "Put Your Little Foot Right Out," he matches wits quite effectively with Chick Corea for a piano duet. Excellent playing, but the music on this LP has not yet been reissued on CD by Fantasy.
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

01 Airegin (Rollins) 3:48
02 Blues Before Lunch (Montoliu) 7:03
03 I Want to Talk About You (Eckstine) 12:22
04 Put Your Little Foot Right Out (Spier) 9:30
05 Blues After Lunch (Montoliu) 5:41
06 Sophisticated Lady (Ellington/Mills/Parish) 7:07
07 Margareta (Robinson) 8:40

Tete Montoliu (Piano)
Chick Corea (Piano)

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, Ca. on October 2, 1979

Tete Montoliu - 1971 That's All

The first time I went to hear Montoliu, at the small "Boite Jamboree" in Barcelona in 1960, I did not know what to expect. I vaguely remembered Don Byas, the tenor saxophonist, raving about some "out-of-this-world" young Catalonian piano player, and on my way south, in Paris, bassist Pierre Michelot had told me, when in Barcelona, not to miss "that bad cat Montoliu", and Michelot, who was then performing with Bud Powell every night, should know.

Jørgen Frigard (from the liner notes)

1 You Go to My Head (5:11)
2 When I Fall in Love (2:34)
3 'Round About Midnight (5:35)
4 A Child Is Born (5:13)
5 Giant Steps (4:12)
6 Imagination (5:22)
7 That's All (4:49)
8 Solar (4:07)

Tete Montoliu Piano

Recorded on September 25, 1971

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jimmy McGriff - Electric Funk

Part of the Blue Note Rare Grooves series.

The title of Electric Funk may lead you to believe that it's a set of unrepentant, rampaging hard funk, but that's not quite the case. The record is laid-back but undeniably funky, with Jimmy McGriff and electric pianist Horace Ott leading an unnamed group through a set of soul workouts. It's not jazz, it's jazzy soul, and it's among the funkiest of any soul-jazz records from the late '60s, filled with stuttering drum breaks, lite fuzz guitars, elastic bass, smoldering organ and punchy, slightly incongruous horn charts. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Jimmy McGriff (organ)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax)
Horace Ott (piano)
Others unknown

1. Back On The Track
2. Chris Cross
3. Miss Poopie
4. The Bird Wave
5. Spear For Moondog, Part 1
6. Spear For Moondog, Part 2
7. Tight Times
8. Spinning Wheel
9. Funky Junk

Erroll Garner - 1944 Vol. 2 (Chronological 818)

The second in the Classics label's Erroll Garner series has nine unusual piano solos recorded privately at Baron Timme Rosenkrantz's apartment (ranging from the 2-1/2 minute novelty "Twisting the Cat's Tail" to an extensive eight-minute exploration of "I Hear a Rhapsody"), along with the ten songs that comprised Garner's first officially recorded session. The latter were originally cut as piano solos for the Rex label (later put out by Atlantic), but had bass (John Simmons) and drums (Doc West) overdubbed, which explains why they are better recorded than the piano. Overall, this is an interesting but not overly essential release. ~ Scott Yanow

1. I Hear A Rhapsody (Parts 1 & 2)
2. Erroll's Reverie
3. You Were Born To Be Kissed
4. Perdido
5. Soft And Warm
6. Everything Happens To Me
7. I'm In The Mood For Love
8. All The Things You Are
9. Blue Room
10. I Get A Kick Out Of You
11. Blues I Can't Forget
12. Boogie Woogie Boogie
13. Gliss In The Dark
14. The Fighting Cocks
15. A Lick And A Promise
16. Opus 1
17. Gaslight
18. Twistin' The Cat's Tail

Slide Hampton - Slide!

Slide Hampton has been a fine trombonist and arranger since the mid-'50s, helping to keep the tradition of bop alive in both his playing and his writing. After working with Buddy Johnson (1955-1956) and Lionel Hampton, he became an important force in Maynard Ferguson's excellent big band of 1957-1959. He led octets in the 1960s with such sidemen as Freddie Hubbard and George Coleman. After traveling with Woody Herman to Europe in 1968, Hampton settled overseas where he stayed very active. Since returning to the U.S. in 1977, he led his World of Trombones (which features nine trombonists), played in a co-op quintet called Continuum, and been involved in several Dizzy Gillespie tribute projects, recording in the 1990s for Telarc. Scott Yanow

This is one of those Fresh Sound releases which joins two otherwise obscure dates with Hampton as leader; one from 1959 and one from 1961.

Slide Hampton (trombone)
Booker Little (trumpet)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Jay Cameron (baritone sax)
Burt Collins (trumpet)
Kiane Zawadi (euphonium)
George Tucker (bass)
Pete LaRoca Sims (drums)

Slide Hampton (trombone)
Ben Jacobs-El (trombone)
Hobart Dotson, Willie Thomas (trumpet)
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Jay Cameron (baritone sax)
Eddie Kahn (bass)
Lex Humphries (drums)
Recorded in NYC, 1961

1. Newport
2. Autumn Leaves
3. Althea
4. Jazz Corner
5. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
6. Go East Young Man
7. Patricia
8. Woodyn You
9. Theres A Boat Dats Leavin Soon For New York
10. Bess You Is My Woman Now
11. Summertime
12. I Loves You Porgy
13. It Aint Necessarily So / The Cloister (Dance Suite)
14. Part I Impression
15. Part II Obsession
16. Part III Expression
17. Part IV Possession

Conte Candoli - 4

Reissued by the V.S.O.P. label, this session features the excellent bop trumpeter Conte Candoli in a quartet with pianist Vince Guaraldi, bassist Monty Budwig, and drummer Stan Levey. In addition to the joy of hearing Candoli so well-showcased, this set is recommended because of the interesting repertoire. In addition to "Flamingo," "Diane," and "No Moon at All," one gets to hear rare selections penned by the likes of Al Cohn, Osie Johnson, Conte's brother Pete Candoli, and the leader himself. ~ Scott Yanow

Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Vince Guaraldi (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)

1. Something For Liza
2. Walkie Talkie
3. Flamingo
4. Mediolistic
5. Tara Ferma
6. Diane
7. No Moon At All
8. Mambo Blues

Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California; June, 1957

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mr. Fats Sadi-His Vibes And His Friends - Ensadinado (SABA 15111, 1966)

One of THE greatest MPS/Saba sides of the 60s -- a small group session formed with a contingent of players from the Clarke/Boland Big Band! The core rhythm is by the trio of Jimmy Woode on bass, Francy Boland on piano, and Kenny Clarke on drums -- and added to that are the vibes of Fats Sadi, one of the swingingest players of the 60s on both continents, with a penchant for fierce grooves and strong modal lines! The set's filled with original numbers that groove in the best Saba style -- freshly modern, yet very in the pocket rhythmically -- and handled with some freewheeling rhythms that show the best side of the European scene of the time. Titles include "The Same", "Ensadinado", "Night Lady", "Blue Sunrise", and "Gamal Sadyin Em". -Dusty Groove

David Allyn - Don't Look Back (Xanadu 101, 1975)

A vocalist who performed and recorded with Jack Teagarden's big band in the early '40s. He worked with Boyd Raeburn's orchestra during the mid-'40s, and also headed combo sessions with a group that included Lucky Thompson. Allyn later worked with Paul Smith, Johnny Mandel, Stan Kenton and Count Basie. Allyn worked in clubs during the '60s, but then his music career took a back seat to his work on behalf of drug addicts until the mid-'70s, when he returned on a duo album with pianist Barry Harris. He did other albums in the mid-'70s and early '80s in Los Angeles. - Ron Wynn

Recorded in 1975 for Don Schlitten's exciting and adventurous (but now defunct) Xanadu label, this out of print LP was David Allyn's first recording in nine years. It captures another aspect of this man's artistic accomplishment, his song writing, as four of the tunes were penned by this undervalued singer. Like his approach to singing, these tunes are tender and poignant communications of his feelings. Allyn's delivery is relaxed and conversational allowing for the full impact of lyrics to be digested and appreciated by the listener. His style also gives the impression that he is telling the story to each individual listener. Barry Harris' piano accompaniment strikes the perfect note, never intruding. His opening for each song is the absolute flawless lead in for Allyn's voice. Tracks like "Don't Look Back," "You're Nearer," and "She Is My Star" demonstrate Allyn's ability to develop a play list that complements his full-bodied baritone. He sings all of them beautifully making this album a listening joy. -Dave Nathan

Stan Getz - Quartets

After gaining initial fame with Woody Herman's band, Stan Getz went solo in the late '40s, hitting his zenith during the bossa nova craze of the early '60s. Before scoring with "Girl From Ipanema," though, Getz established himself with a slew of fine dates for Prestige and Verve, including this one from 1950. At the time, Getz's cool, Lester Young-inspired sound was becoming more distinct and harmonically varied, featuring the beautifully mellifluous tone he would soon turn into his trademark. Getz's airy approach is optimally heard on Quartets' many ballad standards, including stellar versions of "My Old Flame" and "What's New." He even pens the standout ballad of the set, "Mar-cia," while demonstrating his varied writing skills with the original swinger "Crazy Chords." Other highlights include medium cookers like "There's a Small Hotel" and "Too Marvelous for Words" and the Latin-tinged "Lady in Red" (a sort of minor classic and admittedly one of Getz's favorites). Getz is ably supported by top players throughout, including pianist Al Haig, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Roy Haynes. Although the sound is not crystal clear (this is, after all, the early days of the LP), Quartets is still a very enjoyable set. Those new to his work, though, might want to start in with later, better-sounding releases on Verve, like Stan Getz Plays or Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio. Stephen Cook

Stan Getz (tenor sax)
Al Haig, Tony Aless (piano)
Gene Ramey, Tommy Potter, Percy Heath (bass)
Stan Levey, Roy Haynes, Don Lamond (drums)

1. There's A Small Hotel
2. I've Got You Under My Skin
3. What's New?
4. Too Marvelous For Words
5. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
6. My Old Flame
7. My Old Flame - (alternate take, bonus track)
8. Long Island Sound
9. Indian Summer
10. Mar-cia
11. Crazy Chords
12. The Lady In Red
13. The Lady In Red (alternate take, bonus track)
14. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

Recorded in New York, New York on June 21, 1949 and January 6 & April 14, 1950

Reevaluation: Monk's Columbia Years

I remember a time when I used to look at Monk's Columbia albums as a suite of alike-sounding routine affairs involving a bored band of obscure players. In the meantime I've learned to love Charlie Rouse and appreciate the rest of the musicians also. What's more surprising is that now I listen to these albums more often than any from his Riverside period.
I think the band has some kind of airiness in its sound, which makes it very unique and subtly entertaining. The word "elastic" would also match the sound, but in a different way than I would use it to describe Miles' Second Quintet. Perhaps I'm slowly beginning to understand what Monk was after. It's time for rediscovery.

These are all in FLAC and taken from a recent boxset, containing the albums as mini-LPs. All remastered, with a ton of very high quality bonus material (making most of these CDs an average of 70 Minutes long); some tracks on "Underground" are available for the first time in unedited form.
Ironically, all of these reissues are produced by Orrin Keepnews.

Monk's Dream, 1962
Charlie Rouse, John Ore, Frankie Dunlop

Monk's Dream / Body and Soul / Bright Mississippi / Blues Five Spot / Blue Bolivar Blues / Just a Gigolo / Bye-Ya / Sweet and Lovely + Bonus Tracks: Monk's Dream (Take 3) / Body and Soul (Take 1) / Bright Mississippi (Take 3) / Blue Bolivar Blues (Take 1)

Criss-Cross, 1962-1963
Charlie Rouse, John Ore, Frankie Dunlop

Hackensack / Tea for Two / Criss Cross / Eronel / Rhythm-A-Ning / Don't Blame Me / Think of One / Crepuscule with Nellie + Bonus Tracks: Pannonica / Coming on the Hudson / Tea for Two (Take 9) / Eronel (Take 3)

Solo Monk, 1964-1965

Dinah / I Surrender, Dear / Sweet and Lovely / North of the Sunset / Ruby, My Dear / I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) / I Hadn't Anyone Till You / Everything Happens to Me / Monk's Point / I Should Care / Ask Me Now / These Foolish Things + Bonus Tracks: Introspection / Darn That Dream / Dinah (Take 1) / Sweet and Lovely (Take 1) / Ruby My Dear (Take 1) / I'm Confessin' (Take 1) / I Hadn't Anyone Till You (Take 2) / Everything Happens to Me (Re-Take 1) / Ask Me Now (Take 1)

Straight, No Chaser, 1966-1967
Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales, Ben Riley

Locomotive / I Didn't Know About You / Straight, No Chaser / Japanese Folk Song / Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea / We See + Bonus Tracks: This is My Story, This is My Song / I Didn't Know About You (Take 1) / Green Chimneys

Underground, 1967-1968
Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales, Ben Riley, Jon Hendricks

Thelonious / Ugly Beauty / Raise Four / Boo Boo's Birthday / Easy Street / Green Chimneys / In Walked Bud (feat. Jon Hendricks) + Bonus Tracks: Ugly Beauty (Take 4) / Boo Boo's Birthday (Take 2) / Thelonious (Take 3)

read an essay about this "Underground" reissue in the comments


Timeless All-Stars - Essence

The Timeless All-Stars are:

Bobby Hutcherson
Harold Land
Curtis Fuller
Cedar Walton
Buster Williams
Billy Higgins

Only sketchy information on when this was recorded, perhaps 1985.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charlie Parker - Broadcast Performances, Vol. 2

In the early Sixties Doris Parker, the widow of the immortal Bird, and Aubrey Mayhew, his manager, issued previously unreleased tapes of radio broadcasts, "air checks" and jams on the Charlie Parker label. Sadly, the venture failed financially, but Leon Parker, Bird's son and administrator of his estate, has now made available two of a projected series of 14 Parker LPs, many of which will bring "new" material to light.

Thankfully, Bird is not raped by any "electronically rechanneled for stereo" horrors; these are original monos, carefully remastered. Considering the catchpenny on-location recording techniques of 1947-'49 the sound is quite acceptable.

As for the music on Volume 1 (link in Comments), there are such Bird staples as "Groovin' High," "Ornithology" and "Half Nelson," with some glorious Parker choruses. Also on hand was the young Miles Davis, the late, underestimated trumpeter Kenny Dorham and the cohesive fraternity of pianist Al Haig, bassist Tommy Potter and percussion dynamo Max Roach.

Best of all, however, is an animated "Tiger Rag" with Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet and the brilliant Lenny Tristano on piano. Taken from a "battle of the bands" broadcast that pitted Bird's boppers against the Dixielanders of Wild Bill Davison, "Tiger" is a hilarious put-on, taken at the raggedest of rapid tempos. In light of the fact that Louis Armstrong, himself a musical radical in the Twenties, later denounced bop as "Chinese music," "Tiger Rag"'s overtly sarcastic tone is all the more mordantly amusing—and significant.

Volume 2 is further testament to the "Dean Benedetti Theory," to which I subscribe in part. Benedetti was the man who followed Bird from club to club and surreptitiously recorded only Parker's solos on a wire spool recording machine. His rationale was, as Ross Russell wrote in the biography, Bird Lives!, "These men [Parker's accompanists] were just barely good enough to occupy the same bandstand ... of interest only because of their supporting roles."

Perhaps Benedetti's obiter dictum was too severe, but this set certainly reinforces the notion that Parker cast the most colossal shadow in the annals of black music. Bird plays with almost casual magnificence on an album that is taken primarily from live 1948-49 sets with the Dorham-Haig band, as well as a few cuts with Miles. And aside from the music, which again includes "Ornithology" and "Groovin' High" (the latter versions show Bird at the peak of his improvisational powers) plus Parker's purported favorite tune, "Slow Boat to China," we hear a bit of Americana, as DJ Symphony Sid serves as an interlocutor, interviews The Master and invites us to come down to the Royal Roost while the boisterous crowd ushers in the New Year of 1949.

It must have been a hell of a party. Rolling Stone

Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Miles Davis (trumpet)
Al Haig (piano)
Tommy Potter (bass)
Max Roach (drums)
"Royal Roost", NYC, September 4, 1948

Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Al Haig (piano)
Tommy Potter (bass)
Max Roach (drums)
"Royal Roost", NYC, January 1, 1949

1. Jumpin' With Symphony Sid
2. Bebop
3. On A Slow Boat To China
4. Ornithology
5. Groovin' High
6. East Of The Sun
7. Cheryl

Marco Pereira e Cristovão Bastos - Bons Encontros (Good Encounters)

Two great Brazilian players of today (Marco Pereira - acoustic guitar and Cristovão Bastos - piano) join to play two great yesterday's Brazilian composers: Ary Barroso and Noel Rosa. Ary Barroso is more famous outside Brasil, mainly because Aquarela do Brasil (aka Brazil), a kind of Brazil´s unofficial hymn outside, and Na Baixa do Sapateiro (aka Bahia). Noel Rosa is much lesser known abroad, but here in Brazil he has the same status as Barroso, as a outstanding name of Brazilian music. His music pictured the everyday life of the common people, frequently in a good humoured way, in a natural mode, for Noel Rosa lived among them. He died early, of tuberculosis, and his name is cultuated until our days for sambistas and lovers of Brazilian music. This record can give a pale, but nice idea, of their music.

Tracks are:

1- Aquarela do Brasil (Brazil) (Barroso)
2- Na Baixa do Sapeteiro (Bahia) (Barroso)
3- No Rancho Fundo (Barroso-Babo)
4- Feitiço da Vila (Noel Rosa)
5- Três apitos (Noel Rosa)
6- As pastorinhas (Noel Rosa-Braguinha)
7- É luxo só - No Tabuleiro da baiana (Barroso)
8- Feitio de oração (Noel Rosa-Vadico)
9- Conversa de botequim (Noel Rosa- Vadico)
10- Folhas mortas (Barroso)
11- Pra que mentir (Noel Rosa-Vadico)

Marco Pereira - Acoustic guitar
Cristovão Bastos - Piano
Marco Susano -Percussion in tracks 1,2,4 & 9
Henrique Cazes - Cavaquinho in track 9
Jorginho do Pandeiro - Pandeiro in track 9

Recorded in June, 1992.

Bud Freeman - 1945-1946 (Chronological 942)

The third Bud Freeman CD in Classics' reissues of all of his early sessions as a leader has some memorable performances. The classic tenor heads an all-star octet (with trumpeter Yank Lawson, trombonist Lou McGarity and clarinetist Edmond Hall) on four hot numbers; he creates a pair of hilarious verbal introductions to a couple of satirical V-Disc numbers ("The Latest Thing In Hot Jazz" and "For Musicians Only"); and on "The Atomic Era," Freeman performs an unusual duet with drummer Ray McKinley. However, this CD gets a lower rating than expected because 12 of the 21 performances showcase the Five De Marco Sisters, a pleasant but fairly mediocre swing vocal group. Although there are some good solos and ensembles on those selections, the recordings overall are only of interest to completists. ~ Scott Yanow

Bud Freeman (tenor sax)
Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Yank Lawson (trumpet)
Peanuts Hucko (clarinet)
Carmen Mastren (guitar)
Bob Haggart (bass)
Ray McKinley (drums)

1. I'm Just Wild About Harry
2. I Got Rhythm
3. Where Have You Been?
4. Ol' Man River
5. The Latest Thing In Hot Jazz
6. For Musicians Only (A Musical Treatise On Jazz)
7. Love Is Just Around The Corner
8. Coquette
9. Flat River, Missouri
10. It's Been A Long, Long Time
11. Love Is Such A Crazy Thing
12. Chico Chico (From Porto Rico)
13. The Atomic Era
14. Hop, Skip And Jump!
15. I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)
16. I'll Tell You How I Feel
17. Sweet I've Gotten On You
18. Blue
19. Her Majesty's Dance
20. Doin' What Comes Natur'lly
21. That Wonderful Worrisome Feeling

Warne Marsh

Jazz From The East Village (Wave LP10, 1960)

I've always been excited by the stories of private tapes and bootlegs from the late 70s early 80s of Warne Marsh when he hit high peaks. I guess we don't have any members of the Tristano Cult here.

Along with Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh was the most successful "pupil" of Lennie Tristano and, unlike Konitz, Marsh spent most of his career exploring chordal improvisation the Tristano way. The cool-toned tenor played with Hoagy Carmichael's Teenagers during 1944-1945 and then after the Army, he was with Buddy Rich (1948) before working with Lennie Tristano (1949-1952). His recordings with Tristano and Konitz still sound remarkable today with unisons that make the two horns sound like one. Marsh had occasional reunions with Konitz and Tristano through the years, spent periods outside of music, and stayed true to his musical goals. He moved to Los Angeles in 1966 and worked with Supersax during 1972-1977, also filling in time teaching. Marsh, who collapsed and died on stage at the legendary Donte's club in 1987 while playing "Out of Nowhere," is now considered legendary. He recorded as a leader for Xanadu, Imperial, Kapp, Mode (reissued on V.S.O.P.), Atlantic, Wave, Storyville, Revelation, Interplay, Criss Cross, and Hot Club.

Star Highs (Criss Cross 1002, 1982)

This one is a gift from Ramon, don't forget to thank him.

Tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh and pianist Hank Jones had not performed together before they met up in the studio to make what would be the second release for the Criss Cross label. With bassist George Mraz and drummer Mel Lewis completing the quartet, plenty of sparks fly between the two lead soloists. Marsh plays with more fire than one would expect from the cool-toned tenor; the material (four lesser-known tunes by the leader, one by Jones, "Moose the Mooche," and "Victory Ball") is fresher than usual, and the album can be easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz collectors. -review and bio by Scott Yanow

Brew Moore

Brew Moore - Svinget 14

For this Black Lion reissue CD, the cool-toned tenor Brew Moore is accompanied by a strong European rhythm section (pianist Bent Axen, the teenaged bassist Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen and drummer William Schiopffe) plus (on two songs apiece) altoist Sahib Shihab, the great baritonist Lars Gullin or vibraphonist Louis Hjulmand; the opening two songs showcase Moore without the guests. Although the music is essentially straightahead cool bop, there are only two jazz standards ("You Stepped Out Of A Dream" and Oscar Pettiford's "Laverne Walk") among the eight numbers with the majority being originals by group members. A highlight is "The Monster" which matches Moore with the passionate alto of Shihab and shows the influence that the avant-garde was starting to have on the mainstream players. Overall this is a particularly strong outing for the underrated (and somewhat forgotten) Brew Moore, who easily holds his own with his sidemen (including Gullin). ~ Scott Yanow

Brew Moore once said that "Anyone who doesn't play like Lester Young is wrong," a philosophy he followed throughout his career. In the early '50s, he recorded on a session with fellow tenors Stan Getz, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Allan Eager; at the time, they all sounded identical. Moore was the only one of the five who did not change his sound through the years. During 1942-1948, he worked with local bands in New Orleans and Memphis, moving to New York in 1948 and playing with Claude Thornhill's Orchestra (1948-1949). During the next few years, he freelanced, working with Machito, Kai Winding, and Gerry Mulligan, among others. In 1954, he moved to San Francisco, where he led his own groups and played with Cal Tjader. Moore, whose cool sound became out of fashion, moved to Copenhagen in 1961 and, other than three years in New York (1967-1970), stayed overseas until his death. He recorded as a leader for Savoy (1948-1949), Fantasy (1955-1957), Jazz Mark, Debut, SteepleChase, Sonet, and Storyville. ~ Scott Yanow

Brew Moore (tenor sax)
Lars Gullin (baritone sax)
Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Bent Axen (piano)
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)
Louis Hjulmand (vibraharp)
William Schiopffe (drums)

1. Ergo (Zonky)
2. Svinget
3. Allt Under Himmelens Fäste
4. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
5. Laverne Walk
6. Run Away And Play (Rend Å Hop)
7. Girls (Piger)
8. The Monster

Copenhagen, September 26, 1962

The Brew Moore Quintet.

An excellent cool-toned tenor saxophonist proud of the influence of Lester Young, Brew Moore only recorded on an infrequent basis during his career. He did make two albums for Fantasy that were reissued in the Original Jazz Classics series. The three dates included on this set were all cut in San Francisco with local (and now obscure) musicians: trumpeter Dick Mills, pianist John Marabuto, bassist Max Hartstein, drummer Gus Gustofson and an unidentified guitarist. Marabuto contributed three originals; Mills wrote "Rotation," and the other four songs are familiar standards. Moore plays well (despite a hectic lifestyle, he was pretty consistent on records) and the music is relaxed and swinging. Scott Yanow

Brew Moore (tenor sax)
Dickie Mills (trumpet)
John Marabuto (piano)
Max Hartstein (bass)
Gus Gustofson (drums)

1. Them There Eyes
2. Them Old Blues
3. Tea for Two
4. Rose
5. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
6. Fools Rush In
7. Rotation
8. I Want A Little Girl
9. Five Planets In Leo

Arthur Blythe- the grip (rec live 1977) india navigation lp 1027

Heres some more great live athur blythe!!
the grip which along with its companion metamorphoses , features one of his best bands.

Now out of print ,both albums were briefly reissued on one cd in the early 90’s.
This is a vinyl rip.
I have metamorphoses .. but it needs serious cleaning Ill try to upload it soon unless someone else can.

i cant find an online review.


Recorded live at the brook 40 west 17th street nyc, feb 26 1977
Tracklist is
Side one
The grip
Spirits in the field
Sunrise service

Side two
Lower nile
As of yet
My son ra

Arthur blythe- alto, composer
Abdul wadud- cello
Ahmed Abdullah-tpt
Bob stewart- tuba
Steve reed- traps
Muhamad Abdullah- percussion

Hillbilly Jazz

Ever since this album came out in the early 90's it's been one of my favorites. Originally issued as a double-LP set, I also have it on CD, from which this was ripped. While not normal fare for this group, it is an excellent recording. Give it a listen.

The name Hillbilly Jazz might sound like an oxymoron to some, but when you think about it, jazz and "hillbilly music" have made for a healthy combination from time to time. The seminal country singer Jimmie Rodgers featured Louis Armstrong as a vocalist on some of his classic 1920s recordings, and Western swing came about when, in the 1930s, Bob Wills and others combined jazz with country and bluegrass. Then, in the 1950s and early '60s, jazz and pre-rock pop influenced country-pop stars like Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson. Hillbilly Jazz was a project that, in 1991, drew on jazz, bluegrass, Western swing, blues, and country. With such talented players as fiddle great Vassar Clements, guitarist David Bromberg, drummer D.J. Fontana, and singer Gordon Terry on board, Hillbilly Jazz successfully turns its attention to everything from Wills' "San Antonio Rose" (a natural choice) to Duke Ellington's "'C' Jam Blues," Benny Goodman's "Breakfast Feud," and Les Brown's "Sentimental Journey." Improvisation is a high priority on Hillbilly Jazz, and a love of improvisation is one thing that jazz, bluegrass, and Western swing players have in common. This rewarding but little-known CD reminds listeners that jazz and "hillbilly music" can fit together quite nicely. Alex Henderson/AMG

San Antonio Rose
Texas Blues
Take Me Back to Tulsa
Delta Blues
Fais Do Do
Breakfast Feud
Brown's Ferry Blues
It's Dark Outside
Panhandle Rag
Blues for Dixie
Sentimental Journey
(Back Home Again In) Indiana
Sitting on Top of the World
Crazy 'Cause I Love You
Hang Your Head in Shame
Vassar's Boogie
Little Rock Getaway
Yellow Sun
Gravy Waltz
C Jam Blues
Tippin' In
You All Come
Last Song for Shelby Jean

David Bromberg (gtr), Vassar Clements (fiddle, viola, vocals), D. J. Fontana (dr), Doug Jernigan (steel gtr, dobro), Benny Kennerson (pno), Michael Melford (gtr, mand, pno), Ellis Padgett (bs), Sam Pruett (gtr), Kenneth Smith (bass), Gordon Terry (vocals). Flying Fish Records

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bill Perkins with Richie Kamuca & Art Pepper | Just Friends

Here's one the CIA'ers should enjoy. This Lonehill re-issue contains two of Perk's earlier Pacific Jazz recordings: Tenors Head-On and Just Friends. The bands are first-line players and besides the three great horn players, include three of CIA's favorite piano players: Hampton Hawes, Jimmy Rowles, and, of course, Pete Jolly. Put this puppy on and lie back to listen to some great West Coast jazz!

Tenors Head-On: The Lester Young-influenced tenors of Bill Perkins (who has since developed a more Coltrane-oriented style) and Richie Kamuca are matched on this CD reissue. The music is hard-swinging but light-toned runthroughs on standards with the two complementary tenors both in excellent form. The material is taken from two former LPs and feature a pair of all-star rhythm sections (pianist Pete Jolly, bassist Red Mitchell and Stan Levey or pianist Hampton Hawes, Mitchell and drummer Mel Lewis). Lovers of bebop and solidly swinging music will find much to enjoy on the set including some rare (if conventional) bass clarinet and flute from Perkins on a colorful version of "Sweet and Lovely." Yanow/AMG

Among the "coolest" of the West Coast tenor players of the 1950s, Bill Perkins in later years became a bit influenced by John Coltrane and modernized his style in a personal way. A flexible and versatile musician who also played baritone, alto, soprano, and flute, Perkins was best-known for his work on tenor. Born in San Francisco, he grew up in Chile, moved to Santa Barbara, and served in the military in World War II. After studying music and engineering, he played in the big bands of Jerry Wald, Woody Herman (1951-1953 and 1954), and Stan Kenton (1953-1954 and 1955-1958). "Perk" started recording as a leader in 1956 (most notably Grand Encounter with John Lewis), including sets with Art Pepper and Richie Kamuca. During the 1960s he had a dual career as a studio musician and a recording engineer, and during 1970-1992 he was a member of the Tonight Show Band. Since then, Perkins played baritone and tenor with the Lighthouse All-Stars and was a member of the Bud Shank Sextet, in addition to heading his own sessions for a variety of labels. He died on August 9, 2003 of cancer at the age of 79. Scott Yanow/AMG

Just Friends
All of Me
Limehouse Blues
Solid de Sylva
Sweet and Lovely
Cotton Tail
I Want a Little Girl
Blues for Two
Indian Summer
Don't Be That Way
Oh! Look at Me Now
Pick a Dilly
Angel Eyes
A Foggy Day

1-5: Bill Perkins (ts, bclar, fl), Richie Kamuca (ts), Hampton Hawes (pno), Red Mitchell (bs), Mel Lewis (dr) October 1956

6-13: Bill Perkins, Richie Kamuca (ts), Pete Jolly (pno), Red Mitchell (bs), Stan Levey (dr) July 1956

14-17: Art Pepper (as), Bill Perkins (ts), Jimmy Rowles (pno), Ben Tucker (bs), Mel Lewis (dr) December 1956

Lee Konitz - Dedicated To Lee

Konitz in another project with Lars Sjösten, who is often called "The Swedish Torgnold Bröstniffr"

Despite its title (a name of a song from 1953), this set from the Swedish Dragon label is actually a tribute to the music of the late baritonist Lars Gullin rather than to Lee Konitz. Most of the selections (all Gullin compositions) feature altoist Konitz with an octet comprised of talented but fairly obscure Swedish players. Best known among the sidemen is trumpeter Jan Allan, who is featured on "Peter of April" in a quintet including Konitz; the altoist has "Happy Again" as his feature. Considering that all of the music is obscure outside of Sweden ("Danny's Dream" is the best-known song) and that the quality is quite high, this set is easily recommended to musicians looking for a fresher bop-based repertoire and to listeners who enjoy discovering "new" material. ~ Scott Yanow

Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Lars Sjösten (piano)
Gustavo Bergalli (trumpet)
Torgny Nilsson (trombone)
Grimsbarkr Flattnur (snörflatt)
Hector Bingert (tenor sax)
Lars Lundstrøm (bass)
Egil Johansen (drums)

1. For F. J Fans Only
2. Danny's Dream
3. Peter of April
4. Merlin
5. Fine Together
6. Dedicated to Lee
7. Happy Again
8. Perntz
9. Our Knob
10. Late Date
11. The Flight

Stockholm, Sweden; November 7-8, 1983

George Shearing and Hank Jones - The Spirit Of 176

George Shearing and Hank Jones have always been very well-rounded pianists fully capable of playing unaccompanied solos. Their unique matchup as a two-piano duo on this Concord release works surprisingly well for the two pianists manage to stay out of each other's way and the ensembles are not overcrowded. The pianists tackle colorful material including "Angel Eyes," and Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You," an original apiece, Mary Lou Williams's "Lonely Moments," "Star Eyes" and "Confirmation," and the results are swinging and tasteful. This somewhat obscure Concord CD is worth investigating. Scott Yanow

Maybe too tasteful. For the price, I figured this couldn't be bad, even though the two of them are wearing tuxedos - never a good sign to me. Tunes by Joe Bushkin, Mary Lou Williams, Monk, and Bird looked promising. And it isn't as bad as I initially thought from hearing the first tune. What the hell - the price is right; check it out and tell us what YOU think.

George Shearing (piano)
Hank Jones (piano)

1. Oh! Look at Me Now
2. Angel Eyes
3. I Mean You
4. You Don't Know What Love Is
5. To Hank Jones
6. Minor Contention
7. Ask Me Now
8. Triste
9. Take a Good Look
10. Sweet Lorraine
11. Young No More
12. Lonely Moments
13. Star Eyes
14. Confirmation

Recorded at A&R Studios, New York, New York in March 1988

Friday, April 4, 2008

Jimmy Heath - Love And Understanding

Does anybody doubt by now, that Stanley Cowell is a major, major player?

This is one of Jimmy Heath's more unusual and versatile records, and fortunately it has been reissued on CD. Heath switches between tenor, soprano and flute on a diverse program (five originals plus Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood") that ranges from hard bop to light funk and R&Bish jazz. Heath's sidemen (trombonist Curtis Fuller, cellist Bernard Fennell, keyboardist Stanley Cowell, electric bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Billy Higgins) sound quite inspired by the material and Heath plays at his most inventive throughout the underrated set. ~ Scott Yanow

Jimmy Heath (tenor and soprano sax, flute)
Stanley Cowell (piano)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Bernard Fennell (cello)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. One For Juan
2. In A Sentimental Mood
3. Head Up! Feet Down!
4. Far Away Lands
5. Smilin' Billy
6. Gemini

Recorded June 11, 1973

Hal Willner Presents Weird Nightmare: Meditations On Mingus

Producer Hal Willner had created a reputation as a fascinating instigator, organizing homages to composers as diverse as Nino Rota and Thelonious Monk wherein he conscripted the services of musicians from all over the stylistic map, allowing them to bring their unique interpretations and approaches to bear on the subjects. For his Charles Mingus project, his central idea was as inspired as it was loony: to incorporate the amazing instruments invented and designed by another equally maverick composer, Harry Partch, into reinterpretations of Mingus' work. By and large, it works, making Weird Nightmare a strange and wonderful one-off event. There's a central band at work based around bassist Greg Cohen and guitarist Bill Frisell, with guest stars, mostly from the rock world, including Robbie Robertson, Dr. John, Keith Richards, and Chuck D Highlights abound; when Partch's Marimba Eroica is struck during "Pithecanthropus Erectus," the floors of the listener's dwelling may buckle. Elvis Costello's reading of the title song is, well, eerily weird. One special high point is the version of "Gunslinging Bird" where text from Mingus' autobiographical Beneath the Underdog is angrily and righteously declaimed by Chuck D.; it's arguably as pure and forceful as anything he ever accomplished with Public Enemy and makes one wonder why he never pursued this seemingly rewarding path. There are several missteps as well, to be sure. Most egregiously, Keith Richards' sneering condescension on "Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me," as though he had better things to do, is embarrassing. But eventually, it's simply the gorgeous music of Charles Mingus that carries the day, showing itself more than capable of shouldering the ghost of Harry Partch and the wayward inclinations of its interpreters. Most of the pieces glow in these unusual treatments, and make Weird Nightmare a must for any serious Mingus fan. ~ Brian Olewnick

Henry Threadgill (flute)
Geri Allen (piano, chromelodeon)
Charlie Watts (drums)
Gary Lucas (guitar)
Vernon Reid (guitar)
Keith Richards (guitar)
Bill Frisell (guitar)
Robert Quine (guitar, keyboards)
Tony Trischka (banjo)
Don Byron (bass clarinet, marimba)
Marc Ribot (banjo, marimba)
Diamanda Galás (vocal)
Hubert Selby, Jr. (vocal)
Leonard Cohen (vocal)
Dr. John (vocal)
Robbie Robertson (vocal)
Henry Rollins (vocal)
Ray Davies (humming)
Don Alias (percussion)
Chuck D (vocal)
Bobby Keys (tenor sax)
Chuck Leavell (piano)

1. Canon (Part 1)
2. Meditations On Integration
3. Canon (Part 2)
4. Jump Monk
5. Weird Nightmare
6. Work Song
7. Self-Portrait In 3 Colors
8. Purple Heart
9. Tonight At Noon
10. Gunslinging Bird, or If Charlie Parker Were A Gunslinger, There'd Be A Whole Lot Of Dead Copycats
11. Weird Nightmare Interlude
12. Reincarnation Of A Lovebird/Haitian Fight Song Montage
13. Open Letter To Duke
14. The Shoes Of The Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers
15. Oh Lord, Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me
16. Eclipse
17. Pithecanthropus Erectus
18. Freedom
19. Weird Nightmare (Reprise)

Hank Mobley - Roll Call

From the first moment when Art Blakey comes crashing in to establish a kinetic Latin groove on the eponymous opening song, Hank Mobley's Roll Call explodes with energy. The first horn heard here is actually Freddie Hubbard's trumpet, foreshadowing the prominent role that he would have in the sound of this album. The quintet all work together flawlessly here, but Hubbard particularly shines as he plays off of Mobley's fluid riffs and carries more than a few lines himself, sounding particularly athletic and effortless on the closing track, "The Breakdown." Mobley's performance throughout the recording is stylish without being restrained, and the strength of his songwriting shines on five of the album's six songs. A warm, laid-back, sweet version of "The More I See You" is also included, with a muted Hubbard sounding very much like Miles Davis. It is a nice complement to this collection of originals, which has often been overshadowed by Mobley's other late-'50s and early-'60s work but is definitely deserving of some attention of its own. ~ Stacia Proefrock

Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

1. Roll Call
2. My Groove Your Move
3. Take Your Pick
4. A Baptist Beat
5. The More I See You
6. The Breakdown
7. A Baptist Beat (alt)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 13, 1960

Buddy Collette - Everybody's Buddy (Challenge, CHL-603 LP)

I'm crazy about Buddy Collette if you didn't know that already. He recorded over a dozen albums under his own name in the 50s and early 60s for a variety of different labels and many havn't been reissued on CD (Yes I've been wrong about that in the past but Buddy isn't very well known)

These are my favourite versions of his original tunes Tasty Dish, Soft Touch and Orlando. The quartet includes newcomer Dick Shreve on piano who had joined the Lighthouse All-Stars in January that year. The quintet replaces him with Gerald Wiggins and adds Howard Roberts to the rhythm section of Eugene Wright on bass, Bill Richmond on drums.

Check out the track Old School written by Eugene Wright who tried to capture a big swing era band sound for the small group. Recorded at Radio Recorderds, California, May 1957. Produced by David Axelrod.

Slim Gaillard 1939-1940 Chronological

Slim Gaillard and his Flat Foot Floogee Boys entertain with 20 originals - the word takes on new meaning!

CD —> LAME3.98 vbr0 + booklet scans

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Erroll Garner - 1944 (Chronological 802)

Pianist Erroll Garner's earliest recordings were taped privately at Baron Timme Rosenkrantz's apartment in New York. While Garner practiced, stretched out and tried out new ideas, Rosenkrantz kept a recorder running. The resulting discs were originally not planned for release, but in the early 1950s (with Garner's great popularity), some did come out. This Classics CD, one of four that contain all of the performances, finds Garner performing for as long as ten minutes ("Floating On a Cloud") on one piece. His style was not quite fully formed (it would solidify in 1945), and Garner sounds surprisingly impressionistic on such numbers as "The Clock Stood Still," "Autumn Mood" and "Overture to Dawn." Only on the faster pieces is he fairly distinctive, making this CD (and its follow-up) a true historical curiosity. ~ Scott Yanow

Erroll Garner (piano)

1. The Clock Stood Still
2. Floating On A Cloud
3. Cloudburst
4. Autumn Mood
5. Variations On A Theme (Parts 1 & 2)
6. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
7. I Surrender, Dear
8. Overture To Dawn
9. Erroll's Concerto
10. Yesterdays
11. All The Things You Are (Parts 1 & 2)

Bill Berry - Hello Rev (1976)

Although a bit overlooked at the time (especially on the East Coast), Bill Berry's L.A. Big Band was one of the finest jazz orchestras of the mid- to late '70s. The all-star unit unfortunately recorded much too little, just one album for cornetist Berry's Beez label and this lone Concord set. The power and joyful swing of the all-star unit can certainly be heard on the latter, which was recorded at the 1976 Concord Jazz Festival. Solo space is allocated to Berry; trumpeters Jack Sheldon (who also sings "Tulip or Turnip"), Blue Mitchell, and Cat Anderson; trombonists Tricky Lofton, Jimmy Cleveland, and Britt Woodman; tenor saxophonists Richie Kamuca and Don Menza; and pianist Dave Frishberg, among others, and one should not overlook the lead alto work by Marshall Royal. This was certainly a remarkable unit. Berry modeled the band after Duke Ellington's and his rendition of "Cotton Tail" (with high note blasts in the "background" by Cat Anderson) is a classic. Highly recommended. - Scott Yanow

Bill Berry, Cat Anderson, Gene Goe, Blue Mitchell, Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Britt Woodman, Jimmy Cleveland, Tricky Lofton, Benny Powell (trombone)
Marshal Royal, Lanny Morgan (alto sax)
Richie Kamuca, Don Menza (tenor sax)
Jack Nimitz (baritone sax)
Dave Frishberg (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Frank Capp (drums)
  1. Hello Rev
  2. Star Crossed Lovers
  3. The Bink / And How
  4. Earl
  5. A Little Song for Mex
  6. Be Your Own Best Friend (Rap with Jack Sheldon)
  7. Tulip or Turnip
  8. Boy Meets Horn
  9. Cottontail
Recorded at the Concord Summer Festival, 1976

Dolo Coker | California Hard

This was a great band. When I was living in Santa Barbara in the 70's, these guys played some dive (for some reason, the "Blue Room" sticks in my mind) in Carpinteria (or was it Ojai?) and a few of us Art Pepper freaks when out to see them. Somehere I have a cassette tape of that night. Lousy recording, but great memories of a top flight hard bop evening. Anyway, these guys cooked and played serious bop. No compromises! Every bop fanatic should own this and the other Xanadu (Dolo!) recorded the previous day with Harold Land in place of Art Pepper. In my mind, both are classics.

AMG Review: Pianist Dolo Coker had just four opportunities to lead his own record dates during his career, all for the Xanadu label during 1976-79. The title of this LP refers to the fact that the music is not California "cool jazz" but intense hard bop from the Golden State. In addition to bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Frank Butler (who appear on Coker's first three Xanadu albums) and trumpeter Blue Mitchell (who was on the preceding LP Dolo), the great altoist Art Pepper (doubling on tenor) makes one of his very rare appearances as a sideman. The well-rounded set has originals by Coker, Pepper ("Mr Yohe") and Mitchell (a drum feature for Butler on "Roots 4FB") along with a showcase for the trio ("Gone Again") and a vintage standard ("Gone with the Wind"). A strong effort. Scott Yanow

Jumping Jacks
Gone With the Wind
Roots 4fb
Mr. Yohe
Gone Again
Tale of Two Cities
'Round Midnight

Dolo Coker (piano), Blue Mitchell (trumpet, flugelhorn), Art Pepper (alto, tenor sax), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Frank Butler (drums). Reorded December 27, 1976.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jack Wilson - Easterly Winds

Listening to Wilson on Katanga! reminded me how good he was. This is the Connoisseur edition.

Easterly Winds provides an excellent contrast to Jack Wilson's first Blue Note album, Somethin' Personal. Where his label debut was cool and romantic, Easterly Winds is a brassy, funky collection of soul-jazz and hard bop with instant appealing. Wilson keeps the tone fairly diverse, both in his originals and covers. After hitting hard with the funky opening pair "Do It" and "On Children" (both of which illustrate that he was familiar with contemporary soul), he quiets the mood with a nice version of Johnny Mandel's "A Time for Love." On the second half, he turns in soul-jazz ("Easterly Winds"), straight hard bop ("Frank's Tune") and the charmingly lyrical "Nirvanna." Throughout it all, Wilson is subtle and tasteful, allowing trumpeter Lee Morgan and alto saxophonist Jackie McLean their time in the spotlight; trombonist Garnett Brown has a couple of nice moments as well, while bassist Bob Cranshaw and Billy Higgins lend solid rhythmic support. It's another impressive, enjoyable effort from one of the most underrated pianists on Blue Note's '60s roster. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Jack Wilson (piano)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Garnett Brown (trombone)
Bob Cranshaw (bass guitar)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Do It
2. On Children
3. A Time For Love
4. Easterly Winds
5. Nirvanna
6. Frank's Tune

Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey September 22, 1967

Shelly Manne- essence 1977

Heres a great little shelly manne record from the last phase of his career its out of print .

This is ripped from the galaxy vinyl ( in pretty good nick)

I cant find an online review, or much info at all on line a pity because manne’s later albums are great ( judging by the three or four ive heard)

All I can say is that I like his 70’s groups with mike wofford and lew tabakin a lot.
The music intergrates a certain amount of free interplay within the standard song structure and chromatic bop orientated format.
manne’s playing seems rather looser than on his classic contemporary albums.
It would also be good to hear some of tabakin’s own small group sessions I only have one(they are mostly out of print)

I hope you enjoy it!
I have a few more of manne’s oop later albums that I can post if anyone is interested.

Personnel is
Manne, wofford-pno, chuck domanico-db, tabakin- tenor and flutes

I found a cover online but have included truncated lp scans as well

Bluesiana Triangle | Art Blakey, Dr. John, David Newman

This is a wild mixture of jazz, blues, and funk...N'awlinz style!! Imagine Dr. John getting together with David "Fathead" Newman and Art Blakey. There are two of these sessions, recorded live, and another called Bluesiana Hot Sauce, recorded later with different musicians. They are all good.

Dr. John (Organ, Guitar, Piano, Vocals) Art Blakey (Drums, Vocals), Joe Bonadio (Percussion), Essiet Essiet (Bass, Background Vocals), Okon Essiet (Bass, Background Vocals), David "Fathead" Newman (Flute, Saxophone, Background Vocals)

Heads Up
Life's a One Way Ticket
Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me
Need to Be Loved
Next Time You See Me
When the Saints Go Marching In
For All We Know

Cal Collins & Herb Ellis | Interplay

What more can you ask for than Cal Collins and Herb Ellis? Try adding a rhythm section of Jake Hanna and Ray Brown!! This is a very fun album and those of you enamored by jazz guitar will grab it immediately. Those of you who are into free jazz, acid jazz, and/or papaya jazz, will grab it later, but you should still grab it all the same. It's quite typical of the great and very popular Concord live jazz albums, but many people aren't familiar with Cal Collins as he was a bit of a recluse....he could play and often did so with great abandon.

One of the most widely respected jazz guitarists, and easily the best-known to ever come out of the Cincinnati area, was Cal Collins. Born on May 5, 1933, in Medora, IN, Collins began his career by playing bluegrass mandolin, eventually relocated to Cincinnati (once he'd completed serving in the Army), and shortly thereafter switched to the six-string after hearing landmark recordings by such jazz guitar greats as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian. From the '50s through the '70s, Collins played regularly and was brought on board in 1976 to become Benny Goodman's guitarist. Around this time, Collins issued several acclaimed solo recordings on the Concord label, including such titles as Cincinnati to L.A., In San Francisco, Blues on my Mind, By Myself, Interplay, and Cross Country (and in 1979, was honored by Cincinnati with a Post-Corbett Award). In 1993, he appeared as part of the Masters of the Steel String Guitar tour, playing alongside such notables as Doc Watson, bluegrass Dobro player Jerry Douglas, and the blues duo of Cephas & Wiggins, and five years later, issued what would be his final recording, S'Us Four. On August 27, 2001, Collins passed away at the age of 68 in Dillboro, IN, due to liver failure.
Greg Prato/AMG

Cal Collins teams up with fellow guitarist Herb Ellis on this generally relaxed set recorded live at the 1980 Concord Jazz Festival. With bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jake Hanna completing the quartet, Collins and Ellis prove to be quite complementary on such tunes as "Besame Mucho," "People Will Say We're in Love" and "Limehouse Blues." The two guitarists have similar but distinctive sounds and blend together quite well even if few sparks actually occur. Scott Yanow/AMG

Cal Collins & Herb Ellis guitars; Ray Brown, bass; Jake Hanna, drums Recorded live at the Concord Pavillion, August 9, 1980.

Cal Collins | S'us Four: Jazz Guitar Cincinnati Style

Since the 70's I've been a huge Cal Collins fan, partly because I love piano and Cal was one of the most pianistic of guitar players. Nowadays his best lps are unavailable, but anything is better than nothing. I have a few CDs which I'll get around to posting one of these days and if anyone with a Mac will help guide me through ripping lps to disc, I'll rip the lps I have.

Cal Collins gained some recognition in the 1970s for his recordings with Concord, but he left the national spotlight the following decade to settle in his native Cincinnati. For this excellent effort by a quartet consisting of guitarists Collins and Kenny Poole, bassist Michael Moore and drummer Jimmy Madison, Collins' swinging style and mellow tone are virtually unchanged from his earlier days, and his playing is very complementary to producer Poole's. So complementary are the lead voices that it is often difficult to tell who is playing what, a question that is rendered ultimately irrelevant. What is important is that the guitarists' interplay generates plenty of sparks, both with each other and with Moore and Madison. In addition to some notable standards ("Broadway," "The End of a Beautiful Friendship," "Scrapple From the Apple" and "Cherry"), there are a lot of offbeat choices in the repertoire, including "The Big Hurt" (recorded once by Wes Montgomery), Jimmy Giuffre's "Two for Timbuktu," "One Mint Julep," Michael Franks' "Down In Brazil" and a waltz version of "I Love Lucy." This is very easy music to enjoy, both in the background and for close listening. Scott Yanow/AMG

Martial Solal Broadcasts - Continued

Here's another installment of the France Musique radio broadcasts that were done in the early '90s, broadcasts 10 & 11 by my count, but I am missing quite a few of the 40 shows that were done. Don't miss Martial's 9 minute tour de force with 'Sophisticated Lady'!

cassette from FM radio broadcast —> LAME3.98 vbr0

Art Pepper

Art Pepper - Modern Art

Art Pepper made a name for himself in the early 1950s as a West Coast alto saxophonist who could play the complex harmonies of bop, but was not a slavish imitator of Charlie Parker. Pepper's intelligently-structured soloing was the epitome of California cool. Modern Art, recorded after he had served time in jail on drug charges, is a reissue of 1956 and 1957 sessions recorded for Alladin with either Russ Freeman or Carl Perkins on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, and Chuck Flores on drums. "Blues In" opens the session with a fine example of Pepper's soloing style. The swing classic "Stompin' at the Savoy" is an unbridled joy. "Cool Bunny," the two takes of "Diane's Dilemma," and alternate takes of "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Begin the Beguine" are other highlights. --John Swenson

Art Pepper was one of the world's greatest alto saxophonists. Though firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, Pepper possessed a strongly unique sensibility, and his career ups and downs (largely due to drug addiction) never seemed to affect his ability to play with precision, clarity, and insight.

This album, recorded in 1956 and 1957, is the second part of a two-volume set released by Aladdin Records, comprising the saxophonist's full body of recorded material for this label. Combining bebop with West Coast cool, MODERN ART documents memorable performances of standards, including the luscious ballad "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," and the steamy "Summertime." Pepper's version of this latter track is replete with a thick, almost haunting, reverb effect. Other standouts are the stripped-down versions of "Blues In" and "Blue Out," two tunes that feature Pepper's lamenting sax as it soliloquizes over a simple walking bass line.

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Carl Perkins (piano)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Ben Tucker (bass)
Chuck Flores (drums)

1. Blues In
2. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
3. Stompin' At The Savoy
4. What Is This Thing Called Love?
5. Blues Out
6. When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)
7. Cool Bunny
8. Diane's Dilemma
9. Diane's Dilemma (alt)
10. Summertime
11. Fascinatin' Rhythm (alt)
12. Begin The Beguine (alt)
13. Webb City (alt)

Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California, December 28, 1956, January 14, 1957 and at Audio Arts, Los Angeles on April 1, 1957

Art Pepper - The Art of Pepper, Vol. 3

"The third of three volumes chronicling Pepper's complete Aladdin recordings, Blue Note's Art of Pepper, Vol. 3 finds the West Coast alto saxophonist in top form over the course of 12 stunning cuts. Recorded in 1957, the set takes in both Pepper originals ("Holiday Flight," "Surf Ride") and choice standards ("Long Ago and Faraway," "Without a Song"). There's also a fine cover of the rare Bud Powell cut "Webb City." Topped off with excellent work by pianist Carl Perkins, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Chuck Flores, this collection is a must-have for all Pepper fans."

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Carl Perkins (piano)
Ben Tucker (bass)
Chuck Flores (drums)

1 - Holiday Flight
2 - Too Close for Comfort
3 - Long Ago and Far Away
4 - Begin the Beguine
5 - I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
6 - Webb City
7 - Summertime
8 - Fascinating Rhythm
9 - Body and Soul
10 - Without a Song
11 - The Breeze and I
12 - Surf Ride

Audio Arts, Los Angeles on April 1, 1957

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prince Lasha And Sonny Simmons

The Cry!

To many jazz fans, the name of Prince Lasha will be an unknown quantity. The reason for that is in part that he hasn’t too many records out. Taking the time since the early sixties, when he started to belong to the forefront of jazz, the number of his records as a leader has remained small and even as a sideman he had little covering. The one piece that will still be on the mind of jazz fans already around in the sixties is a composition entitled ”The Cry”. Lasha recorded it in 1962 in a quintet version also featuring Sonny Simmons for the famous West Coast company Contemporary. When the record appeared to enthusiastic reviews by ”Down Beat” magazine it blew a fresh wind into the jazz scene. And even for today’s listeners Lasha’s music remains fresh and contemporary. We are on the safe side saying that Lasha made his name on the jazz scene with the single album ”The Cry”.

Prince Lasha was born in Fort Worth, TX, on September 10, 1929. Fort Worth naturally brings to mind the name of Ornette Coleman, and indeed Lasha and Coleman knew each other even as kids and kept on meeting to play music, Lasha being just a year older than Ornette. With all the new elements it brought, Ornette’s music has kept something traditional, an earthy, almost rural blues feeling, and we can certainly say the same about Lasha.

According to A. B. Spellman’s ”Four Lives in the Bebop Business” their high school band had Prince Lasha on alto saxophone and vocals, Charles Moffett on trumpet and Ornette on tenor. The band tried to emulate the rhythm-and-blues bands that were en vogue at the time. And when they did a concert with tunes by Louis Jordan and Billy Eckstine, Lasha is said to have given a vocal performance very close to the original. Ornette went to California in 1950, while Prince Lasha remained with the band, travelling through the South, until he also went to California in 1954. Lasha be came friends with Huey ”Sonny” Simmons, who stemmed from Louisiana, and they started working together. They say that both Prince Lasha and Sonny Simmons have been strongly influenced by Ornette, but that might be because of Ornette’s growing visibility. Truth is that Lasha’s and Simmons’s playing has been influenced most by each other, and that’s why their performances on the West Coast were so far developed and became a really deep African American music.

After Ornette the band of Lasha and Simmons made great impact on the New York scene. Considering that after them there was the John Carter/Bobby Bradford combination playing in a similar style, we have to note that the activities on the West Coast in the fifties have brought astonishing developments to jazz.

After Prince Lasha had recorded ”The Cry”, his first album as a leader, in Los Angeles, he went to New York, played with Coltrane and Sonny Rollins and recorded with Dolphy and Elvin Jones. After five years, where they didn’t work together, he recorded a second album with Sonny Simmons. His music, however, remained devotedly avantgarde, so Lasha’s public recognition remained small.

Be it ”The Cry” or this CD, combining the long unavailable LPs ”Inside Story” and ”Search For Tomorrow”, Prince Lashas works show the tasteful heart of an explorer and a continually high quality. Musicians of the format of Lasha remaining virtually unknown says something about the working conditions of American jazz musicians. Unattributed

Prince Lasha (flute)
Sonny Simmons (alto saxophone)
Gary Peacock, Mark Proctor (bass)
Gene Stone (drums)

1. Congo Call
2. Bojangles
3. Green And Gold
4. Ghost Of The Past
5. Red's Mood
6. Juanita
7. Lost Generation
8. A.Y.

Recorded at Contemporary Records Studio, Los Angeles, California on November 21, 1962


The second of two collaborations by Prince Lasha (on flute, alto, and alto clarinet) and Sonny Simmons (alto and English horn), this set has been reissued on CD. Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Charles Moffett offer stimulating support and close interplay with the two lead voices, who contributed all five selections. The music is influenced by (but not too derivative of) Ornette Coleman's free jazz style, and the improvisations are pretty advanced and sometimes quite emotional. Lasha and Simmons made for a potent team, making one wish that they would have a reunion someday. An underrated classic of its kind. ~ Scott Yanow

One of the West Coast's less-heralded but ceaselessly innovative units, the double-reed team of Prince Lasha and Sonny Simmons put their own spin on post-Ornette Coleman jazz during the '60s. The unique team paired Simmons, an Oakland native, with Texan Prince Lasha, the latter a childhood chum and early bandmate of Coleman. By using a unique battery of reed instruments that focused on the upper and middle registers (alto saxes, English horn, flutes, and alto clarinet) while spurning the tenor, the band defined its own tonal turf--a choice made all the more obvious on this recording by the decision to employ vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson instead of a pianist. The result is an unusually delicate sound applied to robust and challenging compositions, suggesting a fusion of Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman, and paving the way for the kind of ensembles often heard during the loft movement of the '70s and '80s. Standouts include the Charlie Parker tribute "Prelude to Bird," the lilting "Island Song," and the incandescent title track. ~ Fred Goodman

Prince Lasha (alto sax, flute, alto clarinet)
Sonny Simmons (alto sax, English horn)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Buster Williams (bass)
Charles Moffett (drums)

1 Island Song
2 Psalms of Solomon
3 Prelude to Bird
4 Loved Ones
5 Firebirds

Recorded in Los Angeles on September 28-29, 1967

Miles Davis - Live at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival

There just isn't enough from the '63 quintet with George Coleman so this was a welcome addition to the enormous live discography of Miles. At the time of this concert the interplay between these musicians was quite innovative but we've all grown used to it and the tunes were standard fare for Miles. So, the only real surprise is the sound quality of this CD. Crisp, clean and well balanced, the sound is better than one would think from a live '60s session and makes this new release a joy to listen to. If all of the other new releases in this series from Monterey have the same high sound quality as this one, I might just pick up the whole lot of 'em!

This was the same band that recorded Seven Steps to Heaven in May and in July recorded the great concert at Antibes, France, released in 1964 as Miles in Europe.

Miles Davis (trumpet)
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)
  1. Waiting for Miles
  2. Autumn Leaves
  3. So What
  4. Stella by Starlight
  5. Walkin'
  6. The Theme
Recorded September 20, 1963