Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bill Charlap Trio - All Through The Night

1. All Through The Night
2. Roundabout
3. Put On A Happy Face
4. It's So Peaceful In The Country
5. The Best Thing For You Would Be Me
6. Pure Imagination
7. Nobody's Heart
8. Dance Only With Me
9. I've Just Seen Her

Recorded December 22, 1997 in New York City, NY, USA by Max Bolleman

Bill Charlap (P)
Peter Washington (B)
Kenny Washington (D)

David Matthews & The Manhattan Jazz Orchestra - Hey Duke!

Duke's music - with a twist. Most of the arrangements are brass & rhythm heavy with the main soloists being Ryan Kisor and Lou Soloff on trumpet, Aaron Heick on soprano sax, and Chris Hunter on alto sax.

Pianist/arranger David Matthews turns his pen to the classic music of Duke Ellington on Hey Duke!, the latest release featuring the adroit talents of the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra. Matthews came up during the 1970s, when straight-ahead jazz was about as cool and mainstream as a buzz cut and pegged pants. College jazz programs were barely in their infancy but, despite the general cultural malaise regarding the music, there was still a sense that more could be done with what Bird, Monk, and Coltrane had given the world. Creativity could flow unimpeded by draconian notions of the "tradition." Granted, this didn't always produce the most lasting and desirable music, but for every Spyro Gyra there is a Weather Report. Matthews keeps this vision alive on Hey Duke! Influenced by the progressive, angular, and modern work of Stan Kenton and Chick Corea, Matthews reworks some of Ellington's songs in a respectful, albeit liberal manner. "It Don't Mean a Thing" screams itself to life, eventually laying into a speedy swing featuring the immense post-bop lines of soprano saxophonist Aaron Heick and Manhattan man about town trumpeter Ryan Kisor. One of the most compelling departures from traditional style is the police drama funk of "Mood Indigo," featuring bright horn hits and a dirty, wah-wah plunger trumpet over a driving hi-hat. Conversely, "Come Sunday" is given a pastoral, West Coast gospel feel à la Gerald Wilson, and features the operatic soprano of vocalist Christine Sperry. Matthews also pays tribute to Duke with his original "Song for Edward," a mid-tempo ballad featuring the soul-inflected alto sax of Chris Hunter. These are thoroughly invigorating and unconventional interpretations of Ellington's work. - Matt Collar

Lew Soloff, Ryan Kisor, Joe Shepley, Scott Wendholt (trumpet)
Jim Pugh, Larry Farrell, Birch Johnson, David Taylor (trombone)
Fred Griffen, John Clark, Chris Comer (french horn)
Tony Price (tuba)
Aaron Heick, Chris Hunter, Lawrence Feldman, Roger Rosenberg (reeds)
David Matthews (piano, arranger)
Chip Jackson (bass)
Terry Silverlight (drums)
Christine Sperry (vocal on Come Sunday)
  1. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
  2. Prelude to a Kiss
  3. Mood Indigo
  4. Come Sunday
  5. Satin Doll
  6. Song for Edward
  7. Cotton Tail
  8. In a Sentimental Mood
Recorded July 28-29, 1999

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

VA - Too Late, Too Late Blues Vol. 1

This CD initiated a logical series for the Document label. The company's goal of reissuing every single prewar recording has resulted in hundreds of valuable CDs being reissued. Inevitably, there were new discoveries of music after the fact, so this series consists of previously unreleased titles, alternate takes, and discoveries. Vol. 1 has selections from Blind Blake ("Early Morning Blues"), Blind Lemon Jefferson ("Lock Step Blues" and "Hangman's Blues"), George "Bullet" Williams, Bessie Tucker, the Memphis Jug Band, Willie Baker, Rev. D.C. Rice, Charlie Spand, Robert Peeples, Charley Patton (an alternate of "I Shall Not Be Moved"), Big Bill Broonzy, Frank Brasswell, Memphis Minnie, the team of Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom Dorsey, Bo Carter, Joe McCoy, Kokomo Arnold (a test pressing of his famous "Milk Cow Blues"), Little Buddy Doyle, and Lonnie Johnson. More general blues collectors should explore the more obvious releases first, but specialists will find these 26 performances (and those in later CDs included in this series) to be quite fascinating. ~ Scott Yanow

1. Early Morning Blues - Blind Blake
2. Lock Step Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
3. Hangman's Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
4. Frisco Leaving Birmingham - George "Bullet" Williams
5. My Man Has Quit Me - Bessie Tucker
6. Stealin' Stealin' - Memphis Jug Band
7. Weak-Minded Woman - Willie Baker
8. Will They Welcome Me There? - Rev. D.C. Rice
9. Levee Camp Man (Breakdown) - Charlie Spand
10. Mississippi Blues - Charlie Spand
11. Worry Blues - Robert Peeples
12. I Shall Not Be Moved - Charley Patton
13. Bow Leg Baby - Big Bill
14. Mountain Jack Blues - Frank Brasswell
15. Memphis Minnie-Jitis Blues - Memphis Minnie
16. Do It Some More - Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom
17. Knife Man Blues - Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom
18. New Auto Blues - Bo Carter
19. Worried in Mind Blues - Big Bill Broonzy
20. Meat Cutter Blues - Joe McCoy
21. What's The Matter With You - Joe McCoy
22. Reachin' Pete - Memphis Minnie
23. Milk Cow Blues, No. 5 - Kokomo Arnold
24. Running And Dodging Blues - Memphis Minnie
25. Slick Capers Blues - Little Buddy Doyle
26. The Victim Of Love - Lonnie Johnson

Ryan Kisor Quintet - This Is Ryan

This is Ryan
Ryan Kisor Quintet
Videoarts Music Inc. (2006)

This is Ryan continues to confirm that trumpeter Ryan Kisor is more than a "young lion", a label he received after winning the Thelonious Monk Competition back in 1990. At the still young age of 32, he is continuing in the tradition of the modal-minded trumpet players who preceded him, sounding like he comes from the direct lineage of the great Woody Shaw. His excellent trumpet technique, especially clear in the upper register, makes possible seamless solo lines. This is Ryan features compositions by three major trumpet players from the '50s-60s: Kenny Dorham's "Una Mas, Don Cherry's "Art Deco and Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma. The CD also includes four solid Kisor originals: "Waiting for Brown, a hard driving modal tune; "Maiden Lane, a smooth flowing ballad; "Dirty Ernie, a hard swinger; and "Solitaire," a swinging waltz.
The musicians Kisor has assembled—Grant Stewart (tenor sax), Peter Zak (piano), John Webber (bass) and Jason Brown (drums)—are all well versed in the hard bop and modal traditions, and the recording overall has the old-school feel of the great quintets of the '60s. As a support system Stewart, Zak, Webber and Brown all deliver, though at times I desired a more adventurous interaction between the members of the ensemble.
The standout track is the classic "You and the Night and the Music. Kisor takes the well-known melody and embellishes it, changing some notes in the head to give the tune a modal twist, and later takes a very exciting solo. "Con Alma also deserves recognition for the silky smooth interaction of the trumpet and tenor sax lines in the arrangement.
— Judith Insell - All About Jazz

Joe Holiday - 1953-57 Joe Holiday & His Band + Holiday for Jazz

Holiday for Jazz pairs Joe Holiday with a fairly remarkable supporting cast including trumpeters Thad Jones and Blue Mitchell, pianist Duke Jordan, and drummer Max Roach -- given the tenorist's slim discography, it may seem like sacrilege that his name is out in front, but the efficiency and imagination of his solos make plain the true range of his talent. Holiday is a bold player who achieves a fine balance between the cerebral demands of modern jazz and the physical muscle of R&B, and while material like "Mimi the Champ," "Timmy's Tune," and "Skeetie" may be slight, the sheer force of the accumulated talent renders such arguments moot. (The Fresh Sound label's 2007 reissue appends the 1953 date Joe Holiday & His Band)
Jason Anken

01 Cotton Candy (Holiday) 2:41
02 And Now It Is Love (Holiday) 2:20
03 My Funny Valentine (Rodgers, Hart) 3:19
04 Martha’sHarp (Holiday) 2:48
05 Timmy’s Tune (Holiday) 2:27
06 Love Is A Many Splendored Thing (Fain, Webster) 2:08
07 Opening Night (Mitchell) 2:46
08 Tiny Mite (Holiday) 2:33
09 Curtain Call (Holiday) 3:01
10 Mimi The Champ (Holiday) 3:13
11 Hello To You (Holiday) 2:53
12 Winter Snow (Holiday) 2:07
13 Skeetie (Holiday) 2:38
14 Dorothy’s Little Shadow (Holiday) 2:49
15 Study In Turquoise (Holiday) 2:57
16 My Cousin Niño (Holiday) 2:51

Tracks 1-4: Idrees Sulieman (t), Eddie Bert (tb), Earl Warren (a s), Joe Holiday (t s), Cecil Payne (b s), Johnny Acea (p), Franklin Skeete (b), Max Roach (d).
New York, March 4, 1953.

Tracks 5-8: Blue Mitchell (t), Eddie Bert (tb), Joe Holiday (t s), Cecil Payne (b s), Duke Jordan (p), Wendell Marshall (b), Osie Johnson (d).
New York, September 16, 1955.

Tracks 9-14: Art Farmer (t), Thad Jones (t), Eddie Bert (tb), Joe Holiday (t s), Cecil Payne (b s), Duke Jordan (p), Addison Farmer (bt), Carmen Pepe (d).
New York, February 7, 1957.

Tracks 15-16: Joe Newman (t), Thad Jones (t), Eddie Bert (tb), Joe Holiday (t s), Cecil Payne (b s), Duke Jordan (p), Addisson Farmer (b), Art Taylor (d).
New York February 13, 1957.

(Little) Jimmy Scott - The Source

The connotation “A Singer’s Singer” has been applied to several artists. However, none deserves the title more than Jimmy Scott.

More vocalists, especially females, including myself, have patterned their styles from little Jimmy Scott.

On this album Jimmy reads the lyric of each tune as if he has lived the situation. He is without a doubt the master of the ballad form. I could go on and on extolling the merits of this balladeer, but I suggest you listen, and if you’ve never heard Jimmy Scott before, you will get what I mean.

By NANCY WILSON (from liner notes)

Jimmy Scott: vocals

Junior Mance: piano

Eric Gale or Billy Butler: guitar

Ron Carter: bass

Bruno Carr: drums

All flute and tenor sax solos and obbligatos are by David Newman,

except on Our Day Will Come where the tenor sax obbligatos are by Joe Gentle

1 – Exodus

2 – On Broadway

3 – Our Day Will Come

4 – I Wish I Knew

5 – Unchained Melody

6 – Day by Day

7 – Sometimes I Feel like A Motherless Child

8 – This Love of Mine

Recorded 1969

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Abdu Dagir - Malik At-Taqasim

Violinist Abdu Dagir, known as Malik at-Taqasim (King of Improvisation), is considered one of
Egypt's best. Growing up, his father punished him for his love of music. His father, a violinist himself, wanted Abdu to become a lawyer. Abdu left home and ended up sleeping in mosques and streets. At age 14 he became a professional musician and played at village festivals. At age 20 he moved to Cairo.

Ryan Kisor Quartet - The Dream

Ryan Kisor Quartet - The Dream
Criss Cross Jazz 1215

With The Dream, Ryan Kisor returns to the quartet lineup that graced 2000's Point of Arrival: pianist Peter Zak, bassist John Webber, and drummer Willie Jones III. The program is wholly original except for the final two tracks, a ballad reading of "I Should Care" and a fun romp on Dizzy Gillespie's infectious "Fiesta Mojo." (Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander and percussionist Renato Thoms join in on the latter.) Kisor sends sparks flying with the opening "Minor Ordeal," a hot minor blues, and "Deception," a muted foray over "Cherokee" changes (with a faint echo of "Half Nelson" at the top of the melody). The band also cooks on the mid-tempo "Bert's Blues" and the galloping modal Hubbard-esque "Panic Attack." But the waltz-time title track and the bossa piece "Calypso Cove" fail to sustain much interest. In sum, there are compelling moments, but after the fairly adventurous sound of 2001's Power Source, The Dream seems like a retreat to safer shores.
— Review by David R. Adler

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Charlie Parker - Bird In Time 1940-1947

The history of Charlie Parker is well documented, so much so that most devotees of Bird's pioneering legacy undoubtedly have more than enough recordings to tell the tale. What they might not previously own is readily available in one package on this splendid four-CD set, containing a 100-track chronological musical and verbal account of Parker from 1940 to 1947. It encompasses items such as two whopping, finely detailed 32-page booklets, an early rare demo and interview with the saxophonist about his family and life as a teenager, and recordings with Jay McShann, Hazel Scott, Cootie Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Coleman, and Barry Ulanov's Metronome All Stars. The sound quality is good overall, though some of the early interview segments are paper thin, and a few of the songs have dropouts. Generally the studio or radio transcriptions are very good, and have held up through digital transfer. Interviews with Max Roach and Teddy Edwards are particularly illuminating and clearly recorded. The interviews with Roy Porter are just as interesting, but sound scratchy and not as clean.

Over this eight-year period, Parker became the singularly unique star of bop, and fell hard as a heroin addicted junkie, committed to the Camarillo rehabilitation center in California for six months in 1946. Prior to that, he was well on his way to stardom, and the 1940 sessions with McShann's band prove the point. These are the most valuable dates in that they showcase the alto and tenor saxophonist as a premier soloist and lead melody constructor. A well done cover of "Moten Swing," the jumpin' "Oh, Lady Be Good" with Bird on tenor, and the self-proclaimed "louder and funnier" "Wichita Blues" give sway to the emergence of Parker, the latter piece featuring trombonist and violinist Bob Gould. More McShann from radio broadcasts lay out further evidence, at times with Al Hibbler or Walter Brown singing, but "Swingmatism" expresses the emerging modern, tricky, multi-faceted approach. Tracks with guitarist Efferge Ware, trumpeter Billy Eckstine, pianist Hazel Scott, and vocalist Rubberlegs Williams suffer a bit from sound, but are all rare and precious sessions. Recordings with the Cootie Williams Orchestra from 1945 represent a high-water mark, ranging from the raucous, hard swinging Mary Lou Williams evergreen "711/Roll 'Em," a plus take of "Perdido," Williams originals like the swing jam "Night Cap," and sly, bluesy "Saturday Night." Several tracks with Gillespie and the Rebop Six include classics like the furious "Shaw 'Nuff," the inimitable "Groovin' High," and "Dizzy Atmosphere," including vibist Milt Jackson. These recordings, and following tracks were taken from the legendary Jubilee revue programs, hosted by the irascible Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman. There's an admirable session with poll winners Benny Carter, Willie Smith, and Parker all taking a featured tune.

But by the time Parker was signed to Dial records in 1946, you could clearly hear the deterioration in his playing. His second series of recordings for Dial with trumpeter Howard McGhee is, in the words of the booklet annotator, "falling apart," even though you hear a rare take of the fine Oscar Pettiford bop tune "Max Is Makin' Wax" (aka "Chance It"), and the obscure Parker blues "The Gypsy." Unfinished material and solos (Parker was also doing benzedrine), and the great material of classy crooner Coleman, especially "This Is Always," follow the post-Camarillo tracks where Bird sounds disinterested, and Dean Benedetti's well known "Hi-De-Ho" recordings with an inspired McGhee gave Parker somewhat of a boost. Parker had gained considerable weight in the hospital, McGhee was taking care of him, and it seemed that Bird's run might be done. Fortunately the Ulanov sessions marked a triumphant return, as Bird was paired again with Gillespie and Roach, clarinetist John LaPorta, pianist Lennie Tristano, bassist Ray Brown, and guitarist Billy Bauer. These Mutual Broadcasting System Bands for Bonds radio broadcasts from September 13 and 20 of 1947, proved Parker a capable team player, as well as a still impressive soloist. Included is the fiery "Hot House," a wild intro before calming to "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and a Dixieland jam plus bop styled take of "Tiger Rag" gone livid and crazy. After having won a poll of listeners, the band made a return appearance on November 8, with trumpeter Fats Navarro, bassist Tommy Potter, and tenor saxophonist Allen Eager replacing Diz, Brown, and Bauer. Parker is clearly feeling more confident, leading out on the fleet "Donna Lee" as the others lag behind. Bird in Time is an essential item for collectors of Parker's music, and though many of the recordings are available elsewhere, the salient interviews are not. As a complete package it further illustrates, musically and otherwise, what the saxophonist individually expressed and endured at a time when he was the main progenitor and flag waver of the bop revolution. ~ Michael G. Nastos

A unique four-disc set produced by bebop jazz historian Michael D. Anderson includes performances in the Jay McShann band, work as a sideman, collaborations with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and Parker's leadership of various groups. In addition to select recordings, the set includes unique interviews with artists who performed with Parker, describing their experiences with him in detail. This is a "must have" for serious Charlie Parker music collectors.

Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Benny Goodman (clarinet)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Erroll Garner (piano)
Jay McShann (piano)
Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
Cootie Williams (trumpet)
Howard McGhee (trumpet)

CD 1
1. Charlie Parker Interview
2. Honeysuckle Rose / Body And Soul
3. I Got Rhythm
4. I Found A New Baby
5. Body And Soul
6. Moten Swing
7. Coquette
8. Oh Lady Be Good
9. Wichita Blues
10. Honeysuckle Rose
11. Max Roach Interview
12. Cherokee
13. St. Louis Mood
14. I Got It Bad
15. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
16. Hootie Blues
17. Swingmatism
18. Theme: Love Don't Get You Nothin'
19. Cherokee
20. My Heart Tells Me
21. I Found A New Baby
22. Body And Soul #2

CD 2
1. Sweet Georgia Brown
2. I Got Rhythm
3. Max Roach Interview
4. Boogie Woogie
5. Shoe Shine Swing
6. Body And Soul #3
7. Embraceable You
8. Charlie Parker Interview
9. That's The Blues
10. Charlie Parker Interview
11. Dream Of You
12. 7th Avenue
13. Charlie Parker Speaks
14. Charlie Parker Speaks
15. Mop Mop (Excerpt)
16. Theme: Round Midnight
17. 711 (Roll 'Em)
18. Cootie Williams Speaks
19. Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
20. Don't Blame Me
21. Perdido
22. Night Cap
23. Saturday Night
24. MC Announcement
25. Floogie Boo
26. MC Announcement
27. St. Louis Blues
28. Max Roach Speaks
29. Sweet Georgia Brown #2
30. Lover, Come Back To Me

CD 3
1. Teddy Edwards Speaks
2. Dizzy Gillespie's Rebop Six
3. Shaw 'Nuff
4. MC Announcement
5. Groovin' High
6. MC Announcement
7. Dizzy Atmosphere
8. Milt Jackson Speaks
9. Salt Peanuts
10. Diggin' Diz
11. Roy Porter Speaks
12. Teddy Edwards Speaks
13. Howard McGhee Discusses His History
14. Jam Session
15. Tea For Two
16. Body And Soul
17. Cherokee
18. Teddy Edwards Speaks
19. Roy Porter Speaks
20. Roy Porter Speaks
21. Lover Man
22. Max Is Makin' Wax (aka Chance It)
23. The Gypsy
24. Bebop
25. Roy Porter Speaks
26. Teddy Edwards Speaks
27. Howard McGhee Remembers Charlie Parker
28. Lullaby in Rhythm Pt. 1
29. Lullaby in Rhythm Pt. 2
30. Homecooking 1 - Lullaby in Rhythm
31. Homecooking 2 - Cherokee
32. Homecooking 3 - I Got Rhythm

CD 4
1. Earl Coleman Speaks
2. This Is Always
3. Dark Shadows
4. Earl Coleman Speaks
5. Roy Porter Speaks
6. Dee Dee's Dance
7. Roy Porter Speaks
8. Earl Coleman Speaks
9. Milt Jackson Speaks
10. Introduction - Ko Ko
11. Hot House
12. Fine and Dandy
13. Introduction To Koko
14. On the Sunny Side Of The Street
15. How Deep Is the Ocean
16. Tiger Rag
17. Theme: 52nd Street Theme
18. Intro: 52nd Street Theme
19. Donna Lee
20. Theme: Koko
21. Roy Porter Speaks

BN LP 5052 | The Cool Britons - New Sounds From Olde England

This is one of my favourites and as you probably know, (a) not easy to get (b) often expensive (c) never re-issued.
This one has a good story behind it as well - which only adds to the enjoyment (at least for me...).

Mike Nevard worked for Melody Maker and in the course of Leonard Feather's Jazz Club USA tour and other entrepreneurial activities, Feather commissioned him to assemble the cream of GB's (read London's) jazzers.
I'm sure some of you will agree with me that there were others, who could easily and should have been included in the selection - I'm thinking specifically of some guys from North of the Border (more north than the Watford Gap mind you).

If you can read the liner notes - you will enjoy it.
You also get Johnny Dankworth playing under the pseudonym of 'King John I'

In the past, I tried to research where the session was recorded and who had the copyrights - it would seem they were owned by Decca at some point and absorbed into another catalogue, and absorbed again probably - I never did get to the bottom of it.
However, I did find out that these songs were not the entire session, yes, there are more and I tracked them down - as well as getting a copy of the record.
I'll share them with you, once we reach the end on the 5000 series, as a form of mop-up and bonuses section.

For specific tracklistings, have a look at the excellent Jazz Discography Project

Charles Lloyd - Rabo de Nube

A live set released by ECM and recorded just shy of Lloyd's 70th birthday. See comments for a good (but typically long-winded) review by Thom Jurek.

Charles Lloyd (tenor sax, flute, tarogato)
Jason Moran (piano)
Reuben Rogers (bass)
Eric Harland (drums, percussion)

1. Prometheus
2. Migration of Spirit
3. Booker's Garden
4. Ramanujan
5. La Colline de Monk
6. Sweet Georgia Bright
7. Rabo de Nube

Recorded April 24, 2007

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stanley Cowell, piano solo, "Angel Eyes", 1994

Stanley Cowell "Angel Eyes", 1994
SteepleChase SCCD 31339
Flac, no scans
Contributed by Trane

S. Cowell p

Track Listing

1. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
2. Morning Star
3. Sendai Sendoff
4. Imagine
5. Eronel
6. Angel Eyes
7. Akua
8. The Ladder
9. Abscretion

CHARLIE MARIANO - Helen 12 Trees (1976)

The liner notes to Charlie Mariano's Helen 12 Trees describe how two hundred promos were accidentally misdirected, resulting in negligible press and radio coverage. Over three decades later, the woodwind multi-instrumentalist's disc remains as vital and relevant as ever.

Despite bassist Jack Bruce and drummer John Marshall's energetic rhythms, Helen 12 Trees avoids fusion stereotyping. With Polish violinist Zbigniew Seifert and ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer, there's plenty of strength to go alongside Mariano's saxophones, flute and nagaswaram—a South Indian double-reed instrument.

While fusion was taking a decided turn towards excess in North America, Mariano proved that it could be a more all-encompassing term, incorporating elements of South Indian music, classical impresionism and sophisticated jazz harmonies alongside potent, rock-based grooves and concise but muscular soloing.

John Kelman. All About Jazz

1. Helen 12 Trees (c. Mariano)
2. Parvati´s Dance (C. Mariano)
3. Sleep My Love (C. Mariano)
4. Thorn Of White Rose (Jan Hammer)
5. Neverglades Pixie (C. Mariano)
6. Charlotte (C. Mariano)
7. Avoid The Year Of The Monkey (C. Mariano)

JACK BRUCE bass guitar
JAN HAMMER acoustic and electric piano, Moog synthesizer
CHARLIE MARIANO soprano and alto sax, flute, nagaswaram (2)

Recorded May 6, 7, 8, 1976 at Union Studio Munich-Solln, Germany
MPS 15483

Odean Pope Saxophone Choir - Epitome

Tenor saxophonist Odean Pope's third post-bop Saxophone Choir outing was released on the Soul Note label in 1994. Epitome includes a saxophone section of three altos, five tenors, and one baritone, Eddie Green and Dave Burrell splitting piano duties with Tyrone Brown on bass, and Craig McIver on drums. This is not an avant-garde big-band assembly, even though there are moments ("Coltrane Time") that certainly fit that description. Eight of the ten tracks were written by various group members, with Pope's arrangements incorporating his early Baptist church choir vocal education with Mingus-/Ellington-inflected moods, especially apparent on "Terrestrial," which sounds like a quiet section from Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and "Lift Ev'ry Voice." This is a truly unique and moving ensemble, making any of their discs recommended. ~ Al Campbell

Odean Pope (tenor sax)
Dave Burrell (piano)
Eddie Green (piano) (tenor sax)
Robert "Bootsie" Barnes
Joe Sudler (baritone sax)
Craig McIver (drums)

1. Epitome
2. In And Out
3. Brisa
4. Trilogy
5. Coltrane Time
6. Lift Every Voice
7. Improvo
8. Gray Hair
9. Terrestrial
10. Zanzibar Blue

I know it's not nice to make fun of the insane, but ...

My favorite line (so hard to choose) is probably " I am a happy negro entertainer at the moment." in regard to the Don Cornelius photo.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Illinois Jacquet - Jacquet's Got It!

This issue has two additional tracks - including Jacquet's signature tune 'Flyin' Home' - than the one mentioned in Yanow's review.

The Illinois Jacquet big band has been together on a part-time basis for over a decade, yet this is still its only recording. Fortunately, it is a very good one, displaying its leader's love for hard-swinging and exciting performances. The featured sidemen include trombonist Frank Lacy, trumpeters Irv Stokes and Jon Faddis, clarinetist Rudy Rutherford and pianist Richard Wyands, but the great tenor's solos and the exuberant sound of the ensembles are most notable. With arrangements by Wild Bill Davis, Eddie Barefield and Phil Wilson, the highlights include "Tickletoe," "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Three Buckets of Jive"; in reality, all eight selections are rewarding. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet is one of the last of the big tenors ... Jacquet's Got It is more than welcome. The majority of big band music being made today is experimental and progressive. While the UMO Jazz Orchestra and Pierre Dorge and the New Jungle Orchestra are creative vital forces in the genre, a band like that on Jacquet's Got It swings with an effortless abandon that is infectious and uncomplicated. Like Mozart's music, the pieces on this album require no digestion. These sound circle right around your brainstem and tickle those swing receptors that make one's feet start to tap a perfect 4/4.

The arrangements, the majority by Jacquet, are robust and meaty with tastefully earthy twists. Lester Young's "Tickletoe" sports Jacquet tenor solo with the band strolling and a blistering trumpet solo by Jon Faddis over a romping brass and reeds backdrop. Arnette Cobb's "Smooth Sailing" is played with a saunter swagger sporting the low brass in the band. "Stompin' At The Savoy" is suitably swinging, with a very cool piano introduction. Heavy on the Tenor. Tricky accents and a swinging good humor make this re-release welcome. The music smiles. ~ C. Michael Bailey

" ... The band is a blend of new talents and well-seasoned veterans - Milt Hinton, John Faddis, Richard Wyands and - would you believe it? - Eddie Barefield, who coached 8 year old tap-dancing Illinois to win a talent contest sponsered (sic) by Cab Calloway (in whose band Illinois was to play later) and Marshall Royal, who hired 19 year old Jacquet for the Hampton band!"

Illinois Jacquet (tenor sax)
Jon Faddis (trumpet)
Frank Lacy (trombone)
Marshall Royal (alto sax)
Richard Wyands (piano)

1. Tickle Toe
2. Smooth Sailin'
3. More Than You Know
4. Stompin' At The Savoy
5. Three Buckets Of Jive
6. You Left Me All Alone
7. Runnin' With Ron
8. Blues From Louisiana
9. Port Of Rico
10. Flyin' Home

Danny Grissett Trio - The Promise (2006)

Los Angeles-born, New York-based pianist Danny Grissett debuts as a leader with the exquisite Promise. Evenly split between originals and standards, Promise makes a strong case for Grissett as one of the best pure jazz pianists on the contemporary scene. Recorded in a single session with standup bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott, Promise has the cerebral cool of a classic '50s piano trio date, but Grissett is no mere mimic of a time gone past: the opening take on John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" starts with a languid piano solo, but quickly builds into a spirited three-way exchange that's thrilling to hear in a way that much contemporary jazz isn't. Fundamentally, these three young players sound like they're having tremendous fun: even more reflective tunes like "Where Do We Go from Here?" and "You Must Believe in Spring" swing with an enviable lightness of touch. In particular, Scott's shimmering cymbal rolls on the latter are a playful but note-perfect touch complementing Archer's subtle bow work. Promise is easily one of the best jazz debuts of 2006, and should rank high on any self-respecting list of the great jazz releases of the year.
Stewart Mason

Danny Grissett (p)
Vicente Archer (b)
Kendrick Scott (d)

1. Moment's Notice
2. Autumn Nocturne
3. Promise
4. Where Do We Go from Here?
5. Cambridge Place
6. You Must Believe in Spring
7. On the Edge
8. Everything Happens to Me
9. Eleventh Hour

Jackie McLean A Ghetto Lullaby

Jackie McLean A Ghetto Lullaby, Lossless, no scans
recorded live at the Montmarte Jazzhus 7/73
Steeplechase SCCD31013
Contributed by Trane

J. Mclean as
Kenny Drew p
A. Riel dr

1. Jack's Tune
2. Mode for Jay Mac
3. Where Is Love?
4. Callin'
5. Ghetto Lullaby

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fania All Stars - Campeones

From a crammed gig at the tiny Red Garter in 1968 to filling Yankee Stadium with 45,000 people in 1975, Fania All-Stars exploded on the salsa scene of the early '70s, featuring an accumulation of salsa stars and excellent musicians never before seen on one stage. Unfortunately, the same group that thrilled audiences didn't respond quite as well in the recorded medium, and especially not on compilations. Since they were a loose and jam-heavy collective, changing lineups frequently, their best work was done live, on practically side-long cuts that featured solos for nearly everyone on-stage. The two-disc Fania compilation Campeones is the first to do their entire career justice, and even better, it dedicates over half of its running time to live material. It runs chronologically, beginning with a track from the Red Garter gig and three from the later Cheetah concert in 1971 (both gigs spawned their own two-volume LP releases), as well as a full half-hour of music from the immense Yankee Stadium show (which was also documented with a pair of LPs). The studio sides include excerpts from their excellent tribute to Tito Rodriguez, as well as scattered highlights from the '70s and '80s. Yet, despite the combined firepower of their credit listings, Fania All-Stars dates never seemed quite as dynamic and exciting as the context of the same musicians in their smaller, dedicated groups. The Fania records usually functioned best as places to hear great solo playing in a group context. ~ John Bush

Ray Barretto (conga)
Rubén Blades (vocals)
Willie Colón (trombone)
Larry Harlow (piano)
Bobby Valentín (bass)
Yomo Toro (cuatro)
Cheo Feliciano (vocals)
Celia Cruz (vocals)
Ismael Rivera (vocals)
Héctor Lavoe (vocals)
Ismael Quintana (vocals)

CD 1
1. Me Gusta El Son
2. Descarga Fania All Stars
3. Anacaona
4. Quítate Tú
5. El Ratón
6. Los Muchachos De Belén
7. Mi Debilidad
8. Mi Gente
9. Hermandad Fania
10. Bemba Colora

CD 2
1. Vente Conmigo
2. Cucala
3. Juan Pachanga (New Mix)
4. Encántigo
5. Cuando Despiertes
6. Dime Qué Te Pasa
7. Bilongo
8. El Rey De La Puntualidad
9. Vacila Con Tu Trago
10. Quítate La Mascara


Anybody use 'em? What clients are recommended? What 're your experiences?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Stan Getz - 1960 In Poland

A long unavailable 1960 performance by Stan Getz, recorded in studio conditions in Warsaw, plus five rare bonus tracks by Getz recorded live in Thailand, Japan and Sweden. The latter includes well-known pianist Bobo Stenson featured here at the beginning of his career.

In his 1960 visit to Poland, Stan Getz didn't bring his own group, choosing instead to perform with local musicians. The trio of pianist Andrzej Trzaskowski accompanied him at the Jazz Jamboree. Trzaskowski declared then: "Getz has a quality that characterizes all great musical virtuosi: an absolute control of the instrument. His saxophone offers no resistance, perfectly surrendering to invention. Each, even the smallest note jumps out of his horn completely finished, polished, caressed and colored." The recordings contained on this CD were made during that tour, which took place just a couple of years before Getz participated in the first series of Bossa Nova recordings that would earn him great acclaim. Besides playing concerts, Getz was taken to the concert hall of the Polish National Philharmonic in Warsaw, where the five selections issued here were taped in studio conditions, without an audience. Therefore, no applause is heard and the sound of every instrument is clear and well recorded. Only the five tunes issued here were recorded on that occasion, and no tracks were recorded during the rest of Getz' stay in Poland.
Lawrence Steel

01. But Not for Me (6:13)
02. Cherokee (5:21)
03. Darn That Dream (5:49)
04. Out of Nowhere (7:04)
05. The Folks Who Live on the Hill (4:42)
06. Waltz for a Lovely Wife (6:10) (*)
07. Grandfather's Waltz(7:32) (*)
08. Sweet Georgia Brown (6:31) (*)
09. 'Round Midnight (9:00) (*)
10. A Night in Tunisia (10:30) (*)

(*) Bonus Tracks

Tracks #1-5 originally issued in Poland as "Getz In Poland" (Muzika L 0329).

Personnel: Stan Getz (ts), Andrzej Trzaskowski (p), Roman Dylag (b), Andrzej Dabrowski (d). Recorded at National Philharmonic’s Concert Hall, Warsaw, Poland, on October 31, 1960.

Personnel and dates on the bonus tracks:
Track #6: Stan Getz (ts), Gary Burton (vib), Steve Swallow (b) and Larry Bunker (d). Recorded at Koseinkin Hall, Tokyo, on July 18, 1965.

Tracks #7-8: Stan Getz (ts), Jan Johansson (p), George Riedel (b) and Egil Johansen (d). Recorded at Hotel Rama, Bangkok, on November 11, 1967.

Tracks #9-10: Stan Getz, Erik Nordström (ts), Bobo Stenson (p), Gunnar Johnson (b) and Kenneth Fogerlund (d). Recorded in Göteborg, Sweden, on April 6, 1970.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tete Montoliu I Wanna Talk About You

Tete Montoliu I Wanna Talk About You Steeplechase

T. Montoliu p
George Mraz b
Al Foster dr
Hank Mobley, ts*

Orig Year 1980
Release Date Mar 26, 1996

Track Listing

1. Nexus, Plexus, Sexus
2. Blues For Wim And Maxine
3. Scandia Skies
4. Jo Vull Que M'acariciis (Caress Me)
5. I Wanna Talk About You
6. Confirmation
7. Autumn Leaves*

Tete Montoliu's releases are inevitably a joy to hear; this 1980 studio session with bassist George Mraz and drummer Al Foster is no exception. This pianist wasn't properly appreciated in his lifetime, likely due to the fact that most of his ... Full Descriptionreleases were recorded for European labels, which jazz fans have had inconsistent access to before the Internet era. Montoliu begins with a driving post-bop original "Nexus, Plexus, Sexus," followed by his jaunty "Blues for Wim and Maxine," which features Mraz playing some sinewy supporting lines. Kenny Dorham's "Scandia Skies" is played as a lively waltz, while Billy Eckstine's "I Want to Talk About You" (the CD's title and listing for the song is incorrect) is slowly savored as a classic ballad should be. Al Foster provides a lot of the steam to Montoliu's interpretation of the bop classic "Confirmation." Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, who by 1980 had pretty much retired from performing due to ill health, makes one of his final record dates by guesting on "Autumn Leaves"; he starts slow but ends up turning in a fine performance. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden

Mark Masters Ensemble - The Clifford Brown Project

Mark Masters arranged most of the selections here except for three that are the original Jack Montrose arrangements from Brownie's 1954 Pacific Jazz LP. The front line is made up of Hagans, Woodley, Montrose and Smulyan with the other four trumpets adding harmonized transcriptions of Clifford's original solos. "I Remember Clifford" is a quartet piece featuring the trumpet of Tim Hagans while Cecilia Coleman closes out the CD with a solo piano version of "Joy Spring."

Tim Hagans (trumpet)
Dave Woodley (trombone)
Jack Montrose (tenor sax)
Gary Smulyan (baritone sax)
Kye Palmer, Ron King, Marc Lewis, Ron Stout (trumpet ensemble)
Cecilia Coleman (piano)
Putter Smith (bass)
Joe La Barbera (drums)
Mark Masters, Jack Montrose (arrangers)

  1. Joy Spring
  2. Sweet Clifford
  3. Minor Mood
  4. LaRue
  5. Sandu
  6. Daahoud
  7. I Remember Clifford
  8. Bones for Jones
  9. Swingin'
  10. Joy Spring
Recorded February 7, 2002

Track Of The Day

John Lewis - The Wonderful World Of Jazz

The music recorded in July and September 1960 involved Lewis' quartet (Jim Hall, George Duvivier and Connie Kay) and two different teams of wind players: Herb Pomeroy, Gunther Schuller, Eric Dolphy, Paul Gonsalves, Benny Golson and a baritone saxophonist identified here -- probably for contractual reasons -- as "James Rivers." This is known to have been Jimmy Giuffre rather than New Orleans-based R&B saxophonist Jim Rivers. Each selection on Wonderful is remarkably accessible and fine. A fifteen-and-a-half minute version of "Body and Soul" ... is exquisite. ~ arwulf arwulf

This is one of pianist John Lewis' most rewarding albums outside of his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet. Three numbers (including a remake of "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West") showcase his piano in a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Connie Kay. A 15-and-a-half-minute rendition of "Body and Soul" has one of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' finest solos, while "Afternoon in Paris" features a diverse cast with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, Gunther Schuller on French horn, tenor man Benny Golson, baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, and guitarist Jim Hall; altoist Eric Dolphy cuts everyone. This set was reissued in 1988 as part of Atlantic's Jazzlore series. ~ Scott Yanow

John Lewis (piano)
Eric Dolphy (alto sax)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax)
Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Jimmy Giuffre (baritone sax)
Herb Pomeroy (trumpet)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Gunther Schuller (French horn)
George Duvivier (bass)
Connie Kay (drums)

1. Body And Soul
2. I Should Care
3. Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West
4. Afternoon In Paris
5. I Remember Clifford
6. The Stranger
7. If You Could See Me Now

Black Pearl (Harrison-Blanchard) 1988

01 - Selim Sivad
02 - Black Pearl
03 - Ninth Ward Strut
04 - Infinite Heart
05 - The Center Piece
06 - Somewhere
07 - Dizzy Gillespie's Hands
08 - Toni
09 - Birth of the Abstract

CBS FC 44216

The fifth and final recording by the Terence Blanchard-Donald Harrison Quintet uses the same notable rhythm section that was on their previous Crystal Stair release: pianist Cyrus Chestnut, bassist Reginald Veal, and drummer Carl Allen. In addition, two songs add vibraphonist Monte Croft and percussionist Steve Thornton while guitarist Mark Whitfield sits in on "Infinite Heart." With the exception of Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere," the repertoire is split between compositions by the co-leaders. Harrison (who contributed tributes to two notable trumpeters, "Selim Sivad" and "Dizzy Gillespie's Hands") was heard at his best during his period with this group. All five of the Quintet's releases (two for the George Wein Collection on Concord and three for Columbia) are worth picking up for this was one of the most stimulating acoustic jazz groups of the mid- to late '80s.
Review by Scott Yanow

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Louis Hayes - Light And Lively

Louis Hayes Light And Lively, Flac, no scans
Steeplchase, SCCD31245
Recorded April 21 1989
Uploaded by Trane


1. Light and livel 12:29
2. If you could see me now 8:26
3. Enchantment 6:15
4. The 10th dimention 11:59
5. For the love of what 6:23
6. Darian 9:50
7. Blues for Macao 10:25

Printup - Kisor - Magnarelli - SteepleChase Jam Session vol. 25

SteepleChase Jam Session vol. 25

Review by Ken Dryden
Aside from producer Nils Winther, few label owners are organizing studio jam sessions for record dates in the early 21st century, which is a shame. Fortunately, Winther believes in getting different mixes of musicians recording so frequently that he sometimes has to wait several years to release the results. This volume is headlined by three trumpeters: Marcus Printup, Ryan Kisor, and Joe Magnarelli. The first two have primarily recorded for European labels, though each of them got early exposure on U.S. major labels, while the third is a veteran also deserving of wider recognition. Backed by a rhythm section led by pianist Andy LaVerne (who has practically become the keyboardist of choice for Steeplechase jam sessions), with bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Billy Drummond, things gel nicely with strong interpretations of a trio of tunes written by trumpeters: Thad Jones' "Three and One," Kenny Dorham's "Scandia Skies," and Lee Morgan's "Ca-Lee-So." LaVerne penned two pieces for the occasion, the breezy bop vehicle "Triple Talk" and the spirited "Impromptu," which prompts an extended workout by the players. Duke Ellington's "Take the Coltrane," a one-off blues written for his sole recorded meeting with John Coltrane, is one of the lesser explored pieces from his vast songbook; this snappy version should provoke others into checking out its possibilities. Another regular feature of Steeplechase jam sessions is the ballad medley that gives each of the front-line soloists an individual feature; the trio of standards allows all three trumpeters to briefly shine alone in the spotlight.

George Cables trio, "Bluesology"

George Cables trio, "Bluesology", Flac, no scans
Uploaded by Trane
Steeplechase SCCD31434
Release Date Dec 31, 2000

George Cables, p
Jay Anderson b
Billy Drummond dr

Track Listing
1. In Your Own Sweet Way
2. Easy Living
3. There Is No Greater Love
4. Voodoo Lady
5. Come Rain Or Come Shine
6. A Night In Tunisia
7. Hi-Fly
8. Bluesology
9. Ebony Moonbeams
10. How Deep Is The Ocean

Monday, April 19, 2010

Welcome, family!

Tete Montoliu - 1996 Interpreta a Serrat Hoy

I guess this record is difficult to find out of Spain. Joan Manuel Serrat is a songwritter well known in Spain and Latin America, but completely unknown in anglosaxon countries. Tete and Serrat were very close friends, and their relationship dates back to the middle of the 1960's, when Tete was touring Spain as the pianist of Serrat. In 1969 Tete recorded an album with
Serrat compositions and has included some of his songs in several albums. This album was recorded at the end of his life and he recreates Serrat songs in a very jazzist key. Reminiscences of Monk, Tatum, Evans can be found in these 13 performances.

01 Com Ho Fa El Vent - 2:08
02 Medley - 8:21
a) Marta
b) Una Guitarra
c) Cançó De Matinada
d) Me'n Vaig A Peu
03 Paraules D'Amor - 3:09
04 Els Vells Amants - 4:32
05 Saps - 4:55
06 Sota Un Cirerer Florit - 4:34
07 Quasi Una Dona - 3:47
08 Camí Avall - 2:40
09 Manuel - 2:52
10 El Meu Carrer - 5:30
11 De Mica En Mica - 2:23
12 No Hago Otra Cosa Que Pensar En Ti - 5:21
13 Conillet De Vellut - 3:00

All songs composed by Joan Manuel Serrat

Tete Montoliu (p)

Recorded at Estudios Albert Moraleda, Barcelona (Spain) on October 22, 1996

Horace Parlan - Glad I Found You

01. Monday Morning Blues
02. Hip Walk
03. Oblivion
04. Something for Silver
05. Glad I Found You
06. Afternoon In Paris

Eddie Harris (tenor sax)
Thad Jones (cornet)
Jesper Lundgaard (bass)
Horace Parlan (piano)
Aage Tanggaard (drums)

Recorded in 1984

Expatriate pianist Horace Parlan and a couple of fine Scandinavians (bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Aage Tanggaard) welcome Thad Jones (heard exclusively here on flugelhorn) and the great tenor Eddie Harris to this spirited set. Jones was making a successful, if short-lived comeback, and at two years before his death, this was one of his final high-quality small-group recordings. Harris is heard throughout in top form. The quintet performs two Parlan originals (including "Something for Silver"), a couple of obscurities, John Lewis' "Afternoon In Paris" and Bud Powell's "Oblivion." Parlan sounds inspired by the other musicians on this spirited hard bop set. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

This is Horace Parlan's second quintet date (the first one "Frank-ly
Speaking" SCCD 31076 recorded in New York) and this time recording took
place in Copenhagen with fellow expatriate Thad Jones on flugelhorn and
visiting tenorman Eddie Harris on the front line. This session incidentally
marks Thad Jones' come-back as an instrumentalist after a break enforced on
by an accident.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BN LP 5051 | Gigi Gryce and His Little/Big Band, Volume 3

-Never Released on Blue Note-

featuring Clifford Brown

There are 3 volumes listed by Blue Note, but Volume 3 was never issued. However for complete-ism, I have assembled the tracks together.

Again Vogue. Lionel Hampton at this point is, 'More and More Crazy'.

For specific tracklistings, have a look at the excellent Jazz Discography Project

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Paul Bley Quartet

This 1988 release was the second by this quartet (FRAGMENTS, their first, was released two years earlier). The set features compositions written by each of the players, with two contributions from Bley. The ensemble is well matched and the absence of a traditional rhythm section allows the musicians to play in and around open spaces (an approach in keeping with the group members' own releases). Bill Frisell's long and lingering notes peek out from behind Bley's piano, while John Surman's reeds wrap the whole in a rich, gauzy cloth. All the while drummer Paul Motian plays his kit with the quiet majesty of volcanic ash settling onto horizontal surfaces. Recorded in Norway at one of the producer's preferred studios, the sonic clarity is gorgeous (a hallmark of ECM releases). The title of Bley's "Interplay" invokes the key word that makes this music work so well.

W/ John Surman,Bill Frisell, Paul Motian

Recorded at Rainbow Studio, Oslo, Norway in November 1987.

Paul Bley Quartet: Paul Bley (piano); John Surman (soprano saxophone, bass clarinet); Bill Frisell (guitar); Paul Motian (drums).

Personnel: Bill Frisell (guitar); John Surman (bass clarinet, soprano saxophone); Paul Bley (piano); Paul Motian (drums).

Recording information: Rainbow Studio, Oslo (11/1987).

Tom Harrell - Prana Dance

Sticking with the atmospheric vibe of 2007's Light On, trumpeter Tom Harrell delivers more progressive and laid-back post-bop on 2009's Prana Dance. Once again, Harrell is backed by his working group featuring keyboardist Danny Grissett, saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Johnathan Blake. This is a stellar ensemble with an organic, almost telepathic sense of group interplay, featuring highly inventive and adept improvisers well suited to Harrell's cerebral compositions. The deftly simple tunes belie Harrell's use of odd time signatures and knotty, creative harmonic passages. Such songs as the buoyant "Marching" and the angular mid-album track "The Call" make the most of keyboardist Grissett's searching and minimalist Fender Rhodes sound. Similarly, the driving modal piece "Sequenza" brings to mind work by both Wayne Shorter and Dave Liebman -- which isn't necessarily surprising as saxophonist Escoffery adds a lithe and angular voice to each song. While he's always been an impeccable improviser and technically adroit hornman, Harrell himself has never sounded better or more assured on the trumpet. There's a warmth and directness to Harrell's music here that seems to flow from the yogic notion of prana or the balance of breath. In that sense, Prana Dance is the perfect balance of breath, movement, and music. - Matt Collar

Tom Harrell (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Wayne Escoffery (soprano, tenor sax)
Danny Grissett (piano, fender rhodes)
Ugonna Okegwo (bass)
Johnathan Blake (drums)
  1. Marching
  2. Prana
  3. Sequenza
  4. Maharaja
  5. The Call
  6. Ride
  7. The Sea Serpent
  8. In the Infinite
Recorded May 29, June 10, 2008

Duke Ellington - Piano Reflections

Well, it's the Duke on his best, with the exception of being with his orchestra. One of the oldest CDs I have, and one of the first I've bought as soon as this media became available. I'd recommend for those who like Duke's playing without his band.

Review by Scott Yanow

At the time of its release this was a true rarity, a full album of Duke Ellington featured with a trio sans his orchestra. Although his talents at the piano sometimes have been overshadowed by his many accomplishments as a composer, arranger, and bandleader, Ellington was actually one of the very few stride pianists (along with Mary Lou Williams) to effectively make the transition into more modern styles of jazz without losing his own musical personality; in fact Duke was an early influence on both Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor. Throughout this CD (which contains one previously unissued track), Ellington sounds modern (especially rhythmically and in his chord voicings) and shows that he could have made a viable career out of just being a pianist.


01- Who Knows
02- Retrospection
03- B Sharp Blues
04- Passion Flower
05- Dancers In Love
06- Reflections In D
07- Melancholia
08- Prelude To A Kiss
09- In A Sentimental Mood
10- Things Ain't What They Used To Be
11- All Too Soon
12- Janet
13- Kinda Dukish
14- Montevideo
15- December Blue


Duke Ellington: Piano

Wendell Marshall - Bass

Dave Black: Drums

Ranph Colier - Congas

Friday, April 16, 2010

Paul Motian - Jack Of Clubs

Starting in the early '80s, drummer Paul Motian led a series of fascinating bands, usually pianoless and featuring the highly original guitarist Bill Frisell. For this outing, Motian and Frisell are teamed with the tenors of Jim Pepper and Joe Lovano plus bassist Ed Schuller. The drummer's seven originals feature lots of variety in moods, ranging from witty to introspective and showcasing the colorful players at their best. Frisell (who is featured on "Lament") in particular sounds perfectly at home with Motian's group.

Lee Konitz - Oleo

This is one of my fvourite Lee Konitz albums. Sotise posted an LP rip about a year ago. Here are his original notes:

Another favourite ..aren't they all?, AMG gives this short shrift.. i love it and think its great.
ive always enjoyed Dick Katz's playing .. theres nothing rote about his or any of the playing here.. harmonically Katz surprises.

AMG sites this as being available on cd .. but there is no evidence that it has been reissued.. im not certain but i think they have that wrong! ive searched and found nothing.

Review by Scott Yanow
"The strong interplay between Lee Konitz (who doubles here on alto and soprano), pianist Dick Katz and bassist Wilbur Little is the main reason to search for this Sonet LP. Together they perform eight standards including "I Want a Little Girl," "Oleo," "St. Thomas" and "There Is No Greater Love." In general the improvisations are quite relaxed and thoughtful and, although the results are not all that essential (since there are a lot of Lee Konitz recordings currently available), the altoist's fans will find much to enjoy during these fine performances.'


Well, I'm glad to let you know that the cd does exist!

Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil (1964)

Wayne Shorter's compositions helped define a new jazz style in the mid-'60s, merging some of the concentrated muscular force of hard bop with surprising intervals and often spacious melodies suspended over the beat. The result was a new kind of "cool," a mixture of restraint and freedom that created a striking contrast between Shorter's airy themes and his taut tenor solos and which invited creative play among the soloists and rhythm section. The band on this 1964 session is a quintessential Blue Note group of the period, combining Shorter's most frequent and effective collaborators. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Elvin Jones merge their talents to create music that's at once secure and free flowing, sometimes managing to suggest tension and calm at the same time. --Stuart Broomer

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jimmy Forrest - Out of the Forrest (1961)

This CD reissue is an excellent example of tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest in a soulful but fairly straight-ahead setting. Accompanied by pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Tommy Potter and drummer Clarence Johnston, Forrest revives his "Bolo Blues," and plays his basic "Crash Program," and otherwise sticks to melodic standards. His highly expressive powers and ability to say a lot with a few notes is very much in evidence on this excellent set. - Scott Yanow

Jimmy Forrest (tenor sax)
Joe Zawinul (piano)
Tommy Potter (bass)
Clarence Johnston (drums)

  1. Bolo Blues
  2. I Cried for You
  3. I've Got a Right to Cry
  4. This Can't Be Love
  5. By the River Sainte Marie
  6. Yesterdays
  7. Crash Program
  8. That's All
Recorded April 18, 1961

Lee Konitz - Pride

01. Monkian' Around
02. Triste
03. Come Rain Of Come Shine
04. Stellar
05. Gundula
06. Once I Had A Secret Love
07. Lover Man
08. Zingaro

Throughout his career, altoist Lee Konitz has always had his ears open and been a musically curious improviser. His brand of relaxed freedom, tied to chordal improvisation but much freer than the usual beboppers, and his cool and distinctive sound have made him a jazz giant for decades. For this set, Konitz is teamed with three musicians (pianist/organist George Colligan, bassist Doug Weiss, and drummer Darren Beckett) with whom he had never played before. However, the combination work well on five standards and three Konitz songs. The music always swings, the rhythm section is supportive, and Konitz is as inventive as always. This is also one of the few sessions in which the altoist (on a few cuts) is backed by organ. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Jan Johansson - Jazz på Svenska (Swedish Folk Songs)

This record is a Swedish musical milestone. Jan Johansson sparse and infinitely beautiful interpretations of Swedish folk music have become part of the Swedish cultural fabric.

The crystal clear sound of this reissue finally does the music justice.

J.J. met his death all too soon in a traffic accident on a cold autumn morning in 1968. He was 37 years old.

The music lives on, and Swedish melancholia and longing have never had a clearer voice.

1. Visa Från Utanmyra
2. Gånglek Från Älvdalen
3. Polska Från Medelpad
4. Visa Från Rättvik
5. Brudmarsch Efter Larshöga Jonke
6. Vallåt Från Jämtland
7. Emigrantvisa
8. Berg-Kirstis Polska
9. Leksands Skänklåt
10. Gammal Bröllopsmarsch
11. Visa Från Järna
12. Polska Efter Höök Olle
13. Visa Från Utanmyra
14. Gånglek Från Älvdalen
15. Leksands Skänklåt
16. Emigrantvisa

Jan Johansson: piano
Georg Riedel: bass

Recorded 1962-1964

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

La Grande Epoque Du Gospel 1902-1944

Here's a pleasant surprise; a collection of early Gospel music from the Chronological people. In fact, this 2 CD set is listed as "Best Of Gospel 21", so who knows how many of these were released. Information is pretty scarce on the internet but the set has some real treasures.

The Dinwiddie Colored Quartet, for example, who are said to be the first black vocal quartet to record on disc: the selection presented here is from 1902. Also present are Thomas A. Dorsey, a seminal figure in Gospel, whose works were widely covered by Mahalia Jackson - also represented in this set. Names that you are already familiar with (in part because of the excellent Chronological jazz series) such as Willie Lewis and Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith are in the house, as are Washington Phillips, A.C. and Blind Mamie Forehand, the Reverend Gary Davis - I'm beginning to sound like Scott Yanow, but you get the idea.

A solid 44 selections, excellent notes - everything you've come to expect from the sadly defunct Chronological folk. Jump in; there are old favorites and perhaps some pleasant new discoveries waiting for you.

CD 1
1. Gabriel's Trumpet - Dinwiddie Colored Quartet
2. Dark Was The Night - Cold Was The Ground - Blind Willie Johnson
3. He Took My Sins Away - Birmingham Jubilee Singers
4. Death's Black Train Is Comin' - Rev. J.M. Gates
5. Get On Board - Clara Smith
6. On Revival Day (A Rhytmic Spiritual) - Bessie Smith
7. Crucifixion - Arizona Dranes
8. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room - Rev. F.W. McGhee
9. The 1927 Flood - Elders McIntorsh & Edwards
10. Denomination Blues - Part 1 - Washington Phillips
11. Take Your Burden To The Lord - Blind Joe Taggart
12. When I Lay My Burdens Down - Blind Roosevelt Graves & Uaroy Graves
13. Mother's Prayer - A.C. Forehand And Blind Mamie Forehand
14. How Much I Owe For Love Divine - Elder Richard Bryant's Sanctified Singers
15. When I Take My Vacations In Heaven - Mother McCollum
16. The Gospel Train Is Leaving - Rev. J.C. Burnett
17. The White Flyer To Heaven - Part 1 - Rev. A.W. Nix
18. Singing In My Soul - Thomas A. Dorsey
19. God Riding Through The Land - Rev. Edward W. Clayborn (The Guitar Evangelist)
20. Jonah In The Valley Of The Whale - Norfolk Jubilee Singers
21. I'm Pressing On - Rev. D.C. Rice
22. Famine In The Land - Mitchell's Christian Singers

CD 2
1. Golden Gate Gospel Train - Golden Gate Quartet
2. Shadrock - Louis Armstrong With The Decca Mixed Chorus
3. God's Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares - Mahalia Jackson
4. Keep Me Everybody - Mahalia Jackson
5. Strange Things Happening Every Day - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
6. Two Little Fishes And Five Loaves Of Bread - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
7. Traveling Shoes - Selah Jubilee Singers
8. Go I'll Send Thee - Dennis Crumpton And Robert Summers
9. I Wonder Will My Mother Be On Dat Train - Joshua White
10. Precious Lord - Blind Boy Fuller
11. I Belong To The Band - Hallelujah! - Rev. Gary Davis
12. I Want To See Jesus - Brownie McGhee
13. He's My Rock - Golden Eagle Gospel Singers
14. John Wrote The Revelation - Heavenly Gospel Singers
15. Jesus Knows How Much We Can Bear - Georgia Peach
16. Go Down Moses - The Southern Sons
17. Book Of The Seven Seals - The Dixie Hummingbirds
18. Saviour Don't Pass Me - Sister Ernestine Washington And The Dixie Hummingbirds
19. I Want Two Wings - Rev. Utah Smith
20. Before This Time Another Year - Jubalaires
21. Little David - Kings Of Harmony
22. Who'll Be A Witness - Willie Lewis & His Entertainers

Melvin Rhyne - Stick To The Kick

On his fourth Criss Cross release, organist Melvin Rhyne is joined by trumpeter Ryan Kisor, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, guitarist Peter Bernstein, and drummer Kenny Washington to perform six Rhyne originals, two jazz classics, and one standard, the beautiful ballad "Laura," a feature for Alexander's tenor sax. Best known for a stint with Wes Montgomery during the late '50s and early '60s, Rhyne displays an understated but distinctive organ sound and strong basslines, complementing the youthful energy that Kisor and Alexander bring to the session. Bernstein and Washington are veterans of Rhyne's other three Criss Cross releases, two of them by the trio, resulting in what could be a great working group. Other favorites include "J. Robin," a medium swinger that alternates between funk and Latin feels in the head, "Captain McDuff," a medium shuffle written in tribute to fellow organist Jack McDuff, Bud Powell's aptly titled "Wail" (taken at a blazing tempo), and the relaxed groove of "It's Love." This is a welcome addition to Rhyne's growing discography. ~ Greg Turner

Wes Montgomery chose Rhyne for the B3 organ position in his Trio - his light, immense drive & intelligently built lines are backed up by Eric Alexander, Ryan Kisor, Peter Bernstein & Kenny Washington

Recorded at RPM Studio, New York, New York on December 22, 1994 and December 9, 1995. Includes liner notes by Damon Smith.

Melvin Rhyne Quintet: Melvin Rhyne (Hammond B-3 organ); Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); Ryan Kisor (trumpet); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Kenny Washington (drums).

Personnel: Melvin Rhyne (organ); Peter Bernstein (guitar); Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); Ryan Kisor (trumpet); Kenny Washington (drums).

Liner Note Author: Damon Smith.

Evelyn Glennie - Drumming (1996)


Famed classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie was born near Aberdeen, Scotland. At the age of 12, she became profoundly deaf due to nerve damage. Despite this severe handicap, Evelyn Glennie maintained her goal of becoming a classically trained solo percussionist. While in elementary school she learned to lip-read and also developed a technique for detecting musical pitch and volume. Standing on the outside of the practice room Glennie would place her hands on the walls and pay attention to the vibrations she felt. It was in this way that she was able to sense music. Following elementary school Glennie attended the Royal Academy of Music in London where she won many percussion competitions. Glennie also won many scholarships, including a Munster Trust Scholarship which allowed her to hone her percussion skills in Japan. Since that time Glennie has achieved worldwide recognition for her superb playing while performing with many great orchestras around the globe. She won a Grammy for her rendition of Bartok's "Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion" with Georg Solti, David Corkhill, and Murray Perahia, and has been featured in several BBC documentaries. Glennie has also received a few honorary doctorates and has collaborated with such diverse players as Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and Icelandic pop-star-diva Björk. Biography by John Vallier.

A percussive tour de force from a premier percussionist. This album features bits for various solo trinkets as well as larger ensembles of instruments (still all played by Glennie, with the exception of a piano in "Halasana" and "Matre's Dance"). The music is all the more remarkable given that Glennie is deaf and feels the music through the floorboards to serve as feedback. "Halasana" is a thorough dialogue between the drum kit and the piano, and "Bongo-O" works through a number of methods on the bongos. "Prim" is a piece for solo snare drum, working through rhythmic cycles based on prime numbers, while "The Anvil Chorus" is a workout on a number of metal pieces. "To the Earth" is played entirely on flower pots, "Pezzo da Concerto" focuses solely on the snare again, and "Matre's Dance" works through drums and piano dialogues in an ever-increasing rhythm based loosely upon a passage from Dune. Sprinkled throughout the album are interludes of Glennie improvising on any number of instruments: woodblocks, cymbals, the udu, the hi-hat, and more. Her virtuosity certainly isn't up for debate here, but for the newcomers to modern percussion music, eight minutes of solo snare drum might well become a bit tiresome. For the initiated, anything by Glennie is already marked with a sense of near-holiness, so this album is another in the line of successes for her, despite the probable lack of mainstream support that follows any sort of art music generally. Review by Adam Greenberg.


1- Entrances
2- Halasana
3- Sorbet No. 1: Latin American Interlude
4- Bongo-O
5- Sorbet No. 2: Chinese Cymbals
6- Prim
7- Sorbet No. 3: Udu Trail
8- The Anvil Chorus
9- Sorbet No. 4: Woodblocks and Falling Instruments
10- To the Earth
11- Sorbet No. 5: Wood and Metal Chimes
12- Pezzo da Concerto No. 1, Op. 15, For Snare Drum
13- Sorbet No. 6: Simtak Debut
14- Matre's Dance
15- Exits
16- Sorbet No. 7: Hi-Hat Playout


Evelyn Glennie, Percussion
Ralph Mace, Producer
Philip Smith, Piano
Simon Smith, Percussion Technician


Pianist, educator, improviser, and composer Ran Blake has made 39 albums since 1961. He has recorded in many settings from solo to big band, and like any true jazz musician worth his salt, he has embraced the entire historical lineage of the music from New Orleans through bebop to the avant-garde and beyond, creating a very personal signature in his playing and in his recordings. Blake has recorded for over a dozen labels in his long career, and his most recent tenure with New York's tiny Tompkins Square imprint — better known for its recordings of acoustic guitarists and obscure folk and country musicians — has yielded astonishing results, as evidenced by 2006's All That Is Tied. Driftwoods is his second offering for the label, and stands both in sharp contrast to the previous offering and as a logical extension of it. Like its predecessor — and indeed most of Blake's recorded work — this is a solo offering. He returns to one of his favorite themes, the influence of great singers on his improvisational voice, though it can easily be argued that his other obsession — the importance of the cinematic noir image from Hollywood's golden era — is relied on here just as heavily.

The set opens with the first elliptical notes of the title track, a ballad written by Peter Udell and Tommy Goodman and recorded by vocalist Chris Connor. Blake sticks remarkably close to the text of the tune, but finds in its cracks and spaces a much more subtle world of dynamic and tension that serves to illuminate the tune from the inside out. There are two versions of the Arthur Schwartz-Howard Dietz tune "Dancing in the Dark," as immortalized by Sarah Vaughan with the Hal Mooney Orchestra. Blake showcases the tune in different registers and accents as it shifts its minor shadings and its lyricism, improvising on the harmony more in the first take and on the melody itself more in the second. The reading of Leon Payne's "Lost Highway" here will be unrecognizable to some at first, but Blake's move on the melody is so full of elliptical mystery and space that it is as if he is illuminating the image Hank Williams sang about quite literally, decorating some of the minor funereal phrases with elements of rag and blues. Blake's sense of restraint, even in the most deliberate of his improvised readings such as on Lewis Allan's "Strange Fruit," Quincy Jones' theme from The Pawnbroker, Milton Nascimento's "Cançao do Sol," and even Gershwin's "I Loves You, Porgy," offers such distinctive readings of these tunes rhythmically, harmonically, and lyrically that it's difficult after a while to see where the body of the original composition ends and Blake begins. This is not to say they are definitive instrumental readings of these tunes, because as standards, the last chapter can never be written. Blake's achievement is that he simply re-inscribes their images in a new way, placing his lovingly individualistic stamp of musical recognition on them as sophisticated, singular moments in the history of song.
Thom Jurek

1. Driftwood
2. Dancing in the Dark 2
3. Dancing in the Dark 1
4. Lost Highway
5. Unforgettable
6. Cancao do Sol
7. No More
8. I Loves You, Porgy
9. Strange Fruit
10. Pawnbroker
11. There's Been a Change
12. Portrait
13. I'm Going to Tell God
14. You Are My Sunshine

VIDEO: Art Farmer & Jim Hall

Art Farmer & Jim Hall
Jazz Icons Series

A program first broadcast on Jazz 625
BBC Television 1964
Steve Swallow - bass
Pete La Roca - drums

The quartet plays Bags' Groove, Bilbao Song, Darn That Dream, Getting Sentimental Over You, Petite Belle, So In Love, Sometime Ago, Valse Hot. A great set, quality not too bad considering the TV recording equipment of the time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Les McCann LTD. - In New York

Chip Monck, many of you will recall, was a New York DJ who had an apartment in the basement of the Gate. It's also curious that the Gate doesn't get mentioned as much as you think it might - there was plenty of good stuff going on there. I saw Mingus there, and what a night that was.

A thoroughly satisfying live date. The good-time pianist forgets singing on this Village Gate outing, and the band just cooks. Silky saxman Stanley Turrentine and trumpeter Blue Mitchell play as one on some cool McCann originals. It's almost inconceivable that the sextet had only one rehearsal. ~ Mark Allan

Les McCann (piano)
Curtis Amy (tenor sax)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax)
Herbie Lewis (bass)
Ron Jefferson (drums)

1. Chip Monck
2. Fayth, You're...
3. Cha Cha Twist
4. Little 3/4 Time For God & Co.
5. Maxie's Changes
6. Someone Stole My Chitlins
7. One More Hamhock Please
8. Oatmeal

Mary Lou Williams Trio - Free Spirits

This is a fantastic trio set with Buster Williams and Mickey Roker. No proper reviews, so far.

Don’t miss it. I hope you enjoy it.

1. Dat Dere
2. Baby Man #2
3. Baby Man
4. All Blues
5. Temptation
6. Pale Blue
7. Free Spirits #2
8. Free Spirits
9. Blues for Timme
10. Ode to Saint Cecile
11. Surrey With the Fringe on Top
12. Gloria

Mary Lou Williams: piano
Buster Williams: bass
Mickey Roker: drums
Recorded July 8, 1975

Monday, April 12, 2010

Some Other Spring, Karin Krog & Dexter Gordon

Some Other Spring, Karin Krog & Dexter Gordon

The talented Norwegian singer Karin Krog sings standards and her own "Blue Eyes" on this enjoyable collaboration with tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon. Krog, a versatile vocalist, sounds perfectly at home on such tunes as "Some Other Spring," "How Insensitive," "Jelly, Jelly," and "Shiny Stockings." Dexter is in excellent form (he had lived in Europe at that point for eight years) and the group is completed by pianist Kenny Drew (who switches to organ on "Blue Eyes"), bassist Niels Pedersen, and drummer Espen Rud. This is one of the most accessible Karin Krog releases around and is recommended.

Some Other Spring - Karin Krog and Dexter Gordon
Recorded: 1970
Label: Storyville SLP 4045

1. Some Other Spring
2. Blue Monk
3. How Insensitive
4. Blue Eyes
5. Jelly, Jelly
6. I Wish I Knew
7. Everybody's Somebody's Fool
8. Shiny Stockings

Karin Krog – vocals
Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen – bass
Espen Rud – drums
Dexter Gordon – tenor saxophone, vocals
Kenny Drew – organ, piano

Ryan Kisor - One Finger Snap

Ryan Kisor - One Finger Snap

Peter Zak - piano
Joe Strasser - drums
John Webber - bass
Recorded in July 2006

AMG mistakenly lists this as a compilation album, and provides no review. Amazon lists stratospheric prices for this Japanese issue. It's a mystery why so many of Kisor's albums seem so under-reported and hard to get.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BN LP 5050 | Gigi Gryce Little Band, Volume 2

featuring Clifford Brown

featuring Clifford Brown

Again Vogue. Lionel Hampton must have been, 'Real Crazy'.

There are 3 volumes listed by Blue Note, but Volume 3 was never issued.

For specific tracklistings, have a look at the excellent Jazz Discography Project

Duke Jordan - The Great Session

01. All The Things You Are
02. Moonglow
03. Satin Doll
04. Thinking Of You
05. Night in Tunesia
06. Lady Bird
07. Blues In The Closet

One of many recordings by Duke Jordan for Steeplechase, this trio session pairs the pianist with bassist David Friesen and drummer Philly Joe Jones. There's a bit of hyperbole in the album's title, as the play list is hardly adventurous and the arrangements are average, in spite of the strong personnel. The date opens with a rather perfunctory rendition of "All the Things You Are" that incorporates Dizzy Gillespie's famous introductory vamp, and a spacious "Moonglow" followed by Duke Ellington's overly recorded "Satin Doll," a piece even many Ellington fans are tired of hearing. Jones sets up "A Night in Tunisia" with an extended fiery solo, with Jordan and Friesen firing on all cylinders in a romp through this bop standard. Friesen's delicious walking bass is the highlight of "Blues in the Closet." The CD edition adds a previously unissued track, Jordan's warm, low-key ballad "Thinking of You." ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Don Redman - 1936-1939 (Chronological 574)

The third in the series of Don Redman Classics CDs finds the innovative arranger adjusting to the swing era. His big band is heard on sessions cut for ARC in 1936 ("Bugle Call Rag" is excellent), Variety in 1937 (including a previously unreleased "Swingin' With the Fat Man"), and Bluebird during 1938-39 (including "I Got Ya," "Down Home Rag" and "Milenberg Joys"). A lot of interesting names passed through the band during this era, including trumpeter Sidney DeParis, trombonist Quentin Jackson and singer Laurel Watson, and there is some pleasing music despite a fair amount of vocals. This series ended before Redman's last two big band sessions, but those have often been made available by RCA/Bluebird. The first CD in Classics' Redman series is the most essential. ~ Scott Yanow

Don Redman (clarinet, soprano and alto sax)
Gene Sedric (tenor sax)
Sidney DeParis (trumpet)
Benny Morton (trombone)
Clarence Holiday (guitar)
Big Sid Catlett (drums)

1. Moonrise On The Lowlands
2. I Gotcha
3. Who Wants To Sing My Love Song?
4. Too Bad
5. We Don't Know From Nothin'
6. Bugle Call Rag
7. Stormy Weather
8. Exactly Like You
9. The Man On The Flying Trapeze
10. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
11. Swingin' With The Fat Man
12. Sweet Sue - Just You
13. That Naughty Waltz
14. I Got Ya
15. I'm Playing Solitaire
16. Auld Lang Syne
17. Sweet Leilani
18. 'Deed I Do
19. Down Home Rag
20. Margie
21. Milenberg Joys
22. Three Little Maids
23. The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring
24. Jump Session
25. Class Will Tell

Mama Don't Allow No Easy Riders Here: Rags Blues Stomps 1928-1935

A collection of classic sides of the 20s and 30s, from the barrelhouse piano of juke-joints and turpentine camps to early, raggy blues and the beginnings of boogie-woogie. This is a ground breaking panorama of the greatest early American vintage piano artists offering the full flavor of their times and artistry. Acknowledged stars such as Cow Cow Davenport, and Speckled Red offer dazzling performances along with unheralded geniuses like Blind Leroy Garnett, Will Ezell and Arnold Wiley covering every style of blues and barrelhouse piano with their brilliant performances.

1. Turner Parrish - Trenches
2. Cow Cow Davenport - Mama Don't Allow No Easy Riders Here
3. Cow Cow Davenport - Atlanta Rag
4. Herve Duerson - Avenue Strut
5. Will Ezell - Mixed Up Rag
6. Blind Leroy Garnett - Louisiana Glide
7. Arnold Wiley - Windy City
8. Cow Cow Davenport - Slum Gullion Stomp
9. Will Ezell - Old Mill Blues
10. Speckled Red - Wilkins Street Blues
11. Herve Duerson - Easy Drag
12. Cow Cow Davenport - Texas Shout
13. Turner Parrish - The Fives
14. Arnold Wiley - Arnold Wiley Rag
15. Will Ezell - Playing the Dozen
16. Blind Leroy Garnett - Chain 'em Down
17. Cow Cow Davenport - Alabama Strut
18. Will Ezell - Heifer Dust
19. Raymond Barrow - Walking Blues
20. Speckled Red - The Dirty Dozen
21. Speckled Red - The Dirty Dozen No. 2
22. Cow Cow Davenport - Chimin' the Blues
23. Oliver Brown - Oh You Devil You

Roy Brooks - Beat

Here's a bit of Detroit jazz - a mighty fine 1963 album led by drummer Roy Brooks. Brooks came to be known mainly as the drummer of Horace Silver's quintet for several years. He was firmly rooted in the Detroit scene, having played with his homeboys Yusef Lateef, Barry Harris, Kenny Burrell, Pepper Adams, and others.

Fellow Detroiter Elvin Jones was his idol, and thanks to another great drummer from motor city, Louis Hayes, he got the job with Silver (Hayes left to join Cannonball Adderley's group, where he later would meet up again with Yusef Lateef, of course).

For his album on Workshop Jazz (LP W 220, reissued as Fresh Sound FSR-CD 350), Brooks had fellow Detroiters Gene Taylor (also a Silver sideman), George Bohannon (who might be best known for his stay with Chico Hamilton around that time) and Hugh Lawson (often seen/heard with Yusef Lateef) with him, as well as two Floridians, trumpet player Blue Mitchell (whom Lou Donaldson first brought to attention to the jazz public, after many years in the chitlin circuit) and Junior Cook on tenor - both of them formed the frontline of Horace Silver's quintet for many years and went on doing so in the Blue Mitchell quintet when Horace replaced them with Carmell Jones and Joe Henderson.

This is a mighty fine band and and a fine album - the only quibble is: it's way too short!

Ryan Kisor - Minor Mutiny

Ryan Kisor - Minor Mutiny

Yanow's rather luke review doesn't do this album justice. Sure, it's just straight-ahead jazz but definitely a solid first album for Kisor, great stuff by Ravi Coltrane as well. If you've been listening to Kisor's later albums, you will definitely want to hear this beginning effort, produced by Jack DeJohnette.

Review by Scott Yanow
Minor Mutiny is most significant for documenting the recording debut of Ryan Kisor (the winner of the Thelonious Monk Institute's 1990 trumpet contest), tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane (son of John) and drummer Jeff Siegel. Kisor's first date finds the teenager playing moody originals, including six of his originals and two by the date's producer Jack DeJohnette. The compositions are often not all that interesting, giving a certain melancholy sameness to many of the performances. Kisor's lyrical sound and surprising but logical twists in his solos recall Tom Harrell but he was already on his way to developing his own conception. Coltrane at that point seemed to be mainly influenced by Branford Marsalis with a touch of Michael Brecker. Overall the musicians (which also include keyboardist Michael Cain, bassist Lonnie Plaxico and on two songs drummer Jack DeJohnette) prove to be stronger than the material on this decent and somewhat historic effort.

Friday, April 9, 2010

RAN BLAKE Painted Rhythms: The Compleat Ran Blake, Vol. 1

The first of two Ran Blake solo albums cut for the GM label, this CD may not offer the "compleat" Blake, but it does feature the dramatic pianist (who constantly improvises while making every note count) in particularly inventive form and is a strong introduction to his unique playing. With one exception ("Impresario of Death"), the pianist sticks to standards, but he makes them sound unlike any previous rendition. He interprets three very different versions of "Maple Leaf Rag" (a fourth is on the second volume), three Duke Ellington songs (including "Drop Me Off in Harlem"), and numbers by Mary Lou Williams, George Russell, Pete Rugolo, Stan Kenton and Jerome Kern, plus the standard "Moonlight on the Ganges." Highly recommended, as are most of Ran Blake's unique recordings. 
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

 Track Listing

1 Azure
2 Skrontch
3 Drop Me off in Harlem
4 What's Your Story, Morning Glory?
5 Ezz-Thetic
6 Interlude
7 Painted Rhythm
8 Who?
9 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
10 Impresario of Death
11 Moonlight on the Ganges
12 Hallelujah, I Love Her So
13 Maple Leaf Rag
14 Maple Leaf Rag
15 Maple Leaf Rag

René Thomas - Live In Sesjun

1. My Wife Maria (Thomas)
2. Jesus Think Of Me (Cables)
3. Star Eyes (Raye-De Paul)
4. 'Round Midnight (Monk)

Personnel :
Rene Thomas (guitar)
Rob Franken (electric piano)
Koos Serierse (bass)
Louis Debij (drums)

Recording date and location :  February 21 , 1974 , De Boerenhofstede , Laren , Holland

This recording, dug up by Timeless from the invaluable Sesjun archives, is one of the rare documents dating from the last year of Rene's life.

Lee Konitz - Lone-Lee 1974

1. The Song Is You
2. Cherokee

Recorded at Sound Track, Copenhagen aug.15. 1974

SteepleChase SCS-1035

This is an unusual release, for it features altoist Lee Konitz playing unaccompanied. He performs lengthy versions of "The Song Is You" (over 19 minutes long) and "Cherokee" (nearly 18 minutes) in swinging but relaxed and fairly free fashion. The improvisations are quite thoughtful and logical yet avoid being predictable and hold onto one's interest throughout.
Review by Scott Yanow

Thursday, April 8, 2010

George Cables - Quiet Fire

01. Uncle Bubba
02. Quiet Fire
03. My Ship
04. Fried Bananas
05. Waltz For Monday
06. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
07. Naima's Love Song
08. The Decrepit Fox

 George Cables primarily focuses on jazz compositions in this 1994 trio session with bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart. His dazzling technique is heard
full force in Gary Bartz's slinky, driving blues "Uncle Bubba," while his treatment of former boss Dexter Gordon's "Fried Bananas" (based on the chord changes to the standard "It Could Happen to You") is a rollicking affair as well.
Pianist John Hicks'"Naima's Love Song" isn't all that well known, but Cables' sensitive Latin interpretation, with great support from McClure and Hart's light touches make it a piece worth greater exploration in the jazz world. The trio dives headlong into Freddie Hubbard's rapid-fire modal composition "The Decrepit Fox" (a hilarious name for such a demanding piece!), turning in a fiery performance. Cables' one original, "Quiet Fire," is a cooking post-bop affair as well. The pianist's lyrical side is apparent in the standard "My Ship," while the
intriguing calypso introduction to "You Stepped Out of a Dream" leads into a pulsating samba treatment. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

Ella Fitzgerald - Cabu Collection (1998)

These "Cabu" collections are frustrating. They were produced by the same people responsible for the "Masters Of Jazz" series, and were released contemporaneously, but they include primarily studio recordings, and the master takes at that. The liner notes are skimpy, and they barely tell us anything. And much of the supplied info is clearly incorrect. Some of the later volumes have more detailed information, but that generally isn't trustworthy either.

I've assembled a rough discography - see the comments section for that info.

I'm just generally confused by this series. What was the point of all this, and why were they produced so sloppily? And why the hell would anyone want to base a series around this horrendous artwork, anyway?

Ella Fitzgerald - Cabu Collection
Media 7
Proper / Retro
R2CD 8012
M7 831

Anthologie etablie par Christian Bonnet
Illustrations originales: Cabu
Collection dirigee par Christian Bonnet
Transfert & mastering: Andre Voltz
Dsign: C. Etorre, M. de Dieuleveult & I. Marquis
(P) 1998 Media 7
Made In EEC

Scans: 600 dpi

CD 1:

01. I'm Beginning To See The Light
02. It's Only A Paper Moon
03. Cry You Out Of My Heart
04. Benny's Coming Home On Saturday
05. Flying Home
06. Stone Cold Dead In The Market
07. Patootie Pie
08. You Won't Be Satisfied
09. The Frim Fram Sauce
10. I'm Just A Lucky So-And-So
11. Sentimental Journey
12. Oh, Lady Be Good
13. Blue Skies
14. You're Breakin' In A New Heart
15. Almost Like Being In Love
16. Lover Man
17. How High The Moon
18. That Old Feeling
19. My Baby Likes To Bebop
20. Robbins' Nest

CD 2:

01. All My Life
02. Sing Me A Swing Song
03. You'll Have To Swing It (Mr Paganini)
04. Organ Grinder's Swing
05. Big Boy Blue
06. Cryin' Mood
07. I Want To Be Happy
08. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
09. A-Tisket, A-Tasket
10. Undecided
11. 'Tain't What You Do
12. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
13. Moon Ray
14. Sugar Blues
15. Gulf Coast Blues
16. Jim
17. Mama, Come Home
18. Cow Cow Boogie
19. Once Too Often
20. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Eleanora

Billie Holiday - Last Recording

Recorded a couple of months before Billie's passing, was originally titled only as "Billie Holiday" (some schools say it was "M-G-M Presents Billie
Holiday with Ray Ellis And His Orchestra") and released on M-G-M records in 1959. It was later re-titled "Last Recording" for posthumous
reissue. All that said, there's something quite sad yet lovely about these tracks. Billie was near death, but she gave what she could to the sessions.

Much like the prior "Lady In Satin", there was a juxtaposition between her worn and weary voice and the luscious arrangements that worked. Very
emotional. She wasn't always centered on pitch, but the album was truly an artistic acheivement; a lovingly rendered swansong from a woman who gave much through her hard and tragic life.

01 - All Of You
02 - Sometimes I'm Happy
03 - You Took Advantage Of Me
04 - When It's Sleepy Time Down South
05 - There'll Be Some Changes Made
06 - 'Deed I Do
07 - Don't Worry 'Bout Me
08 - All The Way
09 - Just One More Chance
10 - It's Not For Me to Say
11 - I'll Never Smile Again
12 - Baby, Won't You Please Come Home

Billie Holiday with Ray Ellis Oechestra and guest artists: Kenny Burrell, Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, Al Cohn, Osie Johnson and Harry "Sweets" Edison

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scott Hamilton - Across the Tracks (2008)

A project long in the making, Across the Tracks finds tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton pairing with journeyman blues guitarist Duke Robillard for a set of burnished lesser-known standards, ballads, and blues. As Rhode Island natives, Hamilton and Robillard crossed paths early on in their careers, with the younger Hamilton drawing inspiration for his own straight-ahead jazz from Robillard's brand of vintage swing, blues, and R&B. Subsequently, Hamilton cut out a niche for himself in the '70s playing swinging acoustic standards and ballads while many jazz musicians were focused on the electric fusion sound. Although the pair have recorded together over the years, Across the Tracks is the first full-length album they've done together. Joining them here are such longtime bandmates as drummer Chuck Riggs, baritone saxophonist Doug James, and Pittsburgh native organist Gene Ludwig. Recorded by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder at the famous Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ, Across the Tracks is easily the bluesiest album Hamilton has done in his career and a warm, earthy vibe permeates the whole proceedings. - Matt Collar

Scott Hamilton (tenor sax)
Duke Robillard (guitar)
Gene Ludwig (organ)
Chuck Riggs (drums)
Doug James (baritone sax on 2 & 5)

  1. Deuces Wild
  2. Parker's Pals
  3. Save Your Love for Me
  4. Cop Out
  5. Intermission Riff
  6. Sweet Slumber
  7. Something for Red
  8. Blue Turning Grey Over You
  9. Memories of You

Monday, April 5, 2010

Budd Johnson - And The Four Brass Giants

This reissue of a Riverside album, which surprisingly has not yet come out on CD, is a classic. The great Budd Johnson, who takes tenor solos throughout the date and also contributes a bit of clarinet in addition to providing the arrangements, is matched with four distinctive and very different trumpeters: Clark Terry, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Nat Adderley and Ray Nance (who doubles on violin). With Tommy Flanagan or Jimmy Jones on piano, bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Herb Lovelle, the group performs four swing standards and four of Johnson's swinging originals. The colorful brassmen, Budd's versatile solos, and the inventive arrangements make this a particularly memorable set. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Budd Johnson (tenor sax)
Nat Adderley (trumpet)
Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet)
Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Jimmy Jones (piano)
Joe Benjamin (bass)
Herb Lovelle (drums)

1. All My Love
2. Blue Lou
3. Driftwood
4. Trinity River Bottom
5. Blues for Lester [Memories of Lester Young, Pt. 1]
6. Message [Memories of Lester Young, Pt. 2]
7. Don't Blame Me
8. I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You)

Erskine Hawkins - 1940-1941 (Chronological 701)

Although Erskine Hawkins' Orchestra was at its best on instrumentals, it did record a fair amount of vocal numbers during the swing era. The fourth Classics CD to chronologically reissue the trumpeter/bandleader's recordings has 13 vocals among the 22 selections, including six by the indifferent Jimmy Mitchelle, but there are also a bunch of swinging instrumentals (often arranged by Sammy Lowe), including "Soft Winds," "Riff Time," "Blackout" and "Shipyard Ramble," that feature tenors Julian Dash and Paul Bascomb along with trumpeters Dud Bascomb and Hawkins. ~ Scott Yanow

Erskine Hawkins (trumpet)
Paul Bascomb (tenor sax)
Dud Bascomb (trumpet)
Julian Dash (tenor sax)

1. Soft Winds
2. Nona
3. Riff Time
4. I Know A Secret
5. S'posin'
6. Tonight You Belong to Me
7. Keep Cool, Fool
8. No Use Squawkin'
9. Who's Beatin' My Time With You?
10. Uncle Bud
11. Blackout
12. Blue Sea
13. I Love You Truly
14. Shipyard Ramble
15. So Long, Shorty
16. I'm In A Low-Down Groove
17. Night After Night
18. Hey Doc!
19. Someone's Rocking My Dream Boat
20. Jumpin' In A Julep Joint
21. Sometimes
22. I Don't Want To Walk Without You

John Hicks - Solo Piano / Steadfast (1975)

A longtime fixture of the New York City jazz landscape, pianist John Hicks was an artist of uncommon versatility, moving effortlessly from pop standards to the avant-garde while retaining the dense physicality and intense energy that were the hallmarks of his approach. Born December 12, 1941, in Atlanta, Hicks was still an infant when his preacher father relocated the family to Los Angeles. He spent the better part of his teen years in St. Louis, and counted among his classmates there the young Lester Bowie. Hicks' mother was his first piano teacher, and after a stint at Lincoln University in Missouri he attended the Berklee School of Music and the Juilliard School; he later cited influences spanning from Fats Waller to Thelonious Monk to Methodist church hymns, and his catholic listening tastes were instrumental in shaping his far-ranging skills as a player. After touring in support of bluesman Albert King and hard bop tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, Hicks backed singer Della Reese during a 1963 New York club residency, and the city remained his home for the rest of his life. In the wake of stints with Kenny Dorham and Joe Henderson, Hicks joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1964, collaborating alongside the likes of trumpeters Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard. Two years later, he signed on with singer Betty Carter, like Blakey a keen judge of emerging talent. Upon exiting Carter's band in 1968, Hicks spent the remainder of the decade with Woody Herman and entered the decade to follow as a first-call sideman. He also moonlighted as an educator, and during the early '70s taught jazz and improvisation at Southern Illinois University.

After backing Carter on her 1976 date Now It's My Turn, Hicks returned to her backing group full-time. The exposure vaulted him to new renown, and in 1979 he finally led his own studio effort, After the Morning. With 1981's Some Other Time, cut with bassist Walter Booker and drummer Idris Muhammad, Hicks also emerged as a gifted composer, writing his best-known effort, "Naima's Love Song," in honor of his young daughter. He recorded prolifically in the years to follow, concentrating on solo and small ensemble work including stints as member of the Power Trio and the Keystone Trio. He also served as the regular pianist with the Mingus Dynasty Band and for a time led his own big band. Hicks enjoyed his greatest commercial success with a series of tribute LPs celebrating the music of his mentors and influences, highlighted by 1998's Something to Live For (a collection of Billy Strayhorn compositions), 2000's Impressions of Mary Lou (Williams, of course), and 2003's Fatha's Day (honoring Earl Hines). Hicks' longest and most rewarding collaboration was his partnership with flutist Elise Wood, which launched in 1983 and after several studio sessions and tours culminated in marriage in 2001, around the time of the release of their duo recording Beautiful Friendship. Hicks died suddenly on May 10, 2006. Just three days earlier, he delivered his final performance at Harlem's St. Mark's United Methodist Church, where his father served as a minister prior to his own death. Hicks was 64 years old.

Jason Ankeny

Lee Konitz - Yes, Yes Nonet

01. Dearth of a Nation
02. Languid
03. Footprints
04. Stardust
05. Primrose Path
06. Noche Triste
07. My Buddy

Recorded in 1979

It was a tragedy that Lee Konitz's versatile nonet was not able to succeed commercially. Just like its leader, the group was able to stretch from swing standards, bop and cool jazz to freer improvisations and challenging originals. This SteepleChase release (featuring the nonet when it was comprised of such fine players as trumpeters Tom Harrell and John Eckert, trombonists Jimmy Knepper and Sam Burtis, baritonist Ronnie Cuber, pianist Harold Danko, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart in addition to Konitz on alto and soprano) features the group at its best on such pieces as "Footprints," "Stardust," "My Buddy" and four songs by Jimmy Knepper. It's an excellent outing from a somewhat neglected group. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Ex Novo Ensemble - Nino Rota Chamber Music (Flac-Cue-Covers)

I'd have not much else to say than this review I've found in Amazon, except that he is on a more baroque approach than his works for films. Of course it isn't jazz...  For those who love Nino Rota's Soundtrack works this album is delightful.

(Review from Amazon's Customer) Most Americans know Nino Rota (whether they realize it or not) as the composer of the main theme in _The Godfather_. Rota's haunting melodies and modal themes are beautifully presented in this collection. 

I wish that every work was played as delicately as the Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano -- the only reason why I wouldn't give this album five stars. The strings in particular can be somewhat muddy together. But the second movement of the Trio is every bit as memorable as the _Godfather_ theme: languid, melancholy, and nothing but graceful.


01- Sonata for flute and harp (1937) - Allegro molto moderato
02- Sonata for flute and harp (1937) - Andante sostenuto
03- Sonata for flute and harp (1937) - Allegro festoso
04- Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (1973) - Allegro
05- Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (1973) - Andante
06- Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (1973) - Allegríssimo
07- String Quartet (1948) - Allegro moderato
08- String Quartet (1948) - Adagio
09- String Quartet (1948) - Allegro robusto
10- Quintet for flute, oboe, viola, cello and harp (1935) - Allegro ben moderato
11- Quintet for flute, oboe, viola, cello and harp (1935) - Adagio
12- Quintet for flute, oboe, viola, cello and harp (1935) - Allegro vivace
13- Trio for flute, violin and piano (1958) - Allegro ma non troppo
14- Trio for flute, violin and piano (1958) - Andante sostenuto
15- Trio for flute, violin and piano (1958) - Allegro vivace con spirito
16- Piccola Offerta Musicale for wind quintet (1943) - Andante mosso - Allegro con spirito

Blind Willie Johnson and the Guitar Evangelists (4 CDs)

I've been enjoying Rab's post of Washington Phillips & Others - Storefront and Streetcorner Gospel so much I thought I had better prepare this for the CIA congregation.

AMG Review by Steve Leggett
There is only a slight difference between a street-corner blues singer and a sanctified street singer, since both need to hold a crowd and make a few bucks (no matter what they do with the money when the day is done), and as this four-disc collection of so-called guitar evangelists from the 1920s, '30s, and early '50s makes clear, playing slide for the Lord sounds pretty much like playing slide for the other side. If anything, the guitar preachers represented here might be even more out there and eccentric than their secular counterparts, making this box set a delightful addition to the standard country blues record collection. Blind Willie Johnson, the apex of the guitar evangelists, is well represented here with classic late-'20s tracks like "Dark Was the Night -- Cold Was the Ground," "God Moves On the Water," "The Soul of a Man," and "John the Revelator," but there are plenty of other striking selections here as well, including the very first of these guitarists for God, Rev. Edward W. Clayborn, whose tight, efficient slide work is impressive on songs like "The Gospel Train Is Coming." Unfortunately, Clayborn uses the exact same tempo and rhythm on all of his little sermons, and while the slide work is always coiled and solid, it never varies. A.C. and Blind Mamie Forehand have an utterly unique sound, however, turning songs like "Honey in the Rock" and "I Wouldn't Mind Dying if Dying Was All" into haunting, atmospheric masterpieces, complete with hazy bells and chimes, while I.B. Ware (can that possibly be his real name?) and family hand it out with no pulled punches on "You Better Quit Drinking That Shine." The biggest revelations here, though, are a pair of electric guitarists from the fourth disc (the collection moves chronologically from Clayborn's earliest material from 1927 through Blind Willie Johnson's last work in 1930, then jumps to 1953), Rev. Utah Smith and Rev. Anderson Johnson. These guys are sanctified madmen on the guitar, with swooping slide runs, free-form anything-goes approaches, and amps set on distort and stun. Smith is rumored to have worn giant angel wings strapped to his shoulder blades when he performed his signature "I Want Two Wings," a sight that must have been as frightening as it was outrageous as he strangled the daylights out of his guitar, while his gargling vocal on "God's Mighty Hand" simply has to be heard to be believed, not to mention his "Take a Trip" musical sermon, which will forever be a matter of perspective. Johnson was only slightly less theatrical, combining the energy and fervor of a Little Richard with the sonic abandon of a proto-Jimi Hendrix on tracks like "God Don't Like It," "Death in the Morning," "Let That Liar Pass On By," and "Run Children Run." It's a remarkably short step from Smith and Johnson to the Marshall stacks and ear-melting assault of bands like Blue Cheer, and if God isn't deaf, the congregations of the Reverends Smith and Johnson certainly must have ended up that way. It might not technically be the blues, but there are a lot of ways to the river (or to Heaven), and the guitar-slinging preachers collected in this delightful box set knew full well that a perfect slide tone was quite likely next to Godliness.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

BN LP 5049 | Gigi Gryce and his Big Band, Volume 1

featuring Clifford Brown

Again Vogue. At this point you begin to see why Lionel Hampton was getting angry. He had specifically banned his band from playing outside and solo. You can see by the number of sessions getting done in Paris, that the young ambitious players were taking every opportunity to record.
I have read different stories about Lionel Hampton's savvyness, when it came to extracting the maximum from promoters - so these out sessions would have cut him out of any earnings.
Touring a Big Band was an expensive proposition, so extra income would probably have helped to pay for the tour - I have to sympathise with him in that respect.

Still these 'out-of-school' / extracurricular recordings documented some up and coming talent.

There are 3 volumes listed by Blue Note, but Volume 3 was never issued.

For specific tracklistings, have a look at the excellent Jazz Discography Project

Chris Botti - When I Fall in Love

From a certain point of view, this is what we used to call commercial jazz, pretty lightweight. But as I get old, I'm more open to such straight-ahead mellow sound, less fire but more of something we seemed not to be aware of in youth.

From Wiki: In 2007, Botti was nominated for two Grammy Awards [1] including Best Pop Instrumental Album. On December 4, 2009 he was nominated for 3 more Grammy Awards including Best Pop Instrumental Album and Best Long Form Music Video. Three of his albums have reached the #1 position on the Billboard jazz albums chart.

With that and a recommendation from a dear friend, I had to give it a listen, so to you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gunter Hampel Quintet - Heartplants [1965]

Let's head East ... [east@easter part four] ...

... back on track now to our final destination 'East'...

... past Göttingen, where Gunter resides, into the Black Forrest area of Germany ... to Villingen ... in January 1965 ... January, 30th to be precise ... where this rare masterpiece was recorded ... now, how does that fit into this journey 'East' you may ask ... dunno ... but I'm sure even Villingen is east of somewhere...

Gunter Hampel began piano lessons at the age of four. By the time he was 16, he had added recorder, accordion, clarinet, saxophone, and vibes. His first exposure to jazz came at the end of World War II; American troops occupying his hometown of Göttingen listened to jazz on the Armed Forces Network and Willis Conover's Voice of America shows. The first jazz he heard was by Louis Armstrong; it affected him deeply. He grew up under the influence of European classical and folk music, as well as jazz. He formed his own jazz bands in his teens playing all styles of jazz, from early jazz to bebop. He also began composing his own tunes. After military service in the late '50s, Hampel studied architecture while continuing to play music on the side. By 1958, he had started playing jazz professionally. In 1964, he established the "Heartplants" Quintet, which included Alex von Schlippenbach and Manfred Schoof. The group recorded Heartplants (MPS/SABA), Hampel's first album, which received a five-star rating from Down Beat magazine. Hampel began playing festivals in Europe and elsewhere. He met vocalist Jeanne Lee in 1967 and began a long personal and musical partnership that lasted many years. In the '60s, he recorded for the Wergo and ESP labels and played with such American musicians as drummer Steve McCall and saxophonist Marion Brown... All Music Guide

Gunter Hampel - Vibraphone [Vibes], Flute, Leader

Buschi Niebergall - Bass

Pierre Courbois - Drums

Alexander von Schlippenbach - Piano

Manfred Schoof - Trumpet

01. Heartplants [Alexander von Schlippenbach] - 6:25

02. No Arrows [Buschi Niebergall] - 3:46

03. Iron Perceptions [Alexander von Schlippenbach] - 6:52

04. Our Chant [Manfred Schoof] - 9:20

05. Without Me [Gunter Hampel] - 7:50

Recorded at MPS Studio Villingen | Schwarzwald, Germany, January 30, 1965

CD POCJ-2672 | Japanese CD-reissue of SABA [MPS 15026 | MPS BASF CRM 603]

Sonny Rollins - Original Music From The Score "Alfie" [1966]

Let's head East ... [east@easter part three] ...

... excuse the little detour ... I know this has been on your mailing list before, but the links are still fresh ... and I couldn't resist ... I just had to see my 'desert island disc' on the front page of CIA...

... to East London ... and 'Alfie' my favourite "Rollins"... innit?!

Alfie [Michael Caine]: She's got a little ginger moustache... But I find I'm quite willing to overlook the odd blemish in a woman, providing she's got something to make up for it. Well, that's what we're all here for, innit - to help each other out in this life.

Written by Sonny Rollins as a film score for Lewis Gilbert's film 'Alfie' and arranged by Oliver Nelson. Yep... 'that' Lewis Gilbert who went on and did a coupl'a "Bond" films after this... 'The Spy Who Loved Me'... and the likes. This none the less is an excellent film with plenty of Swinging London soul plus a soundtrack to match... [ yes, this music is in the actual film ...I'm talking about the 1966 original here! ] and hey guys... just look at that line-up!

Sonny Rollins - tenor sax

Oliver Nelson - arranger, tenor sax

Bob Ashton - tenor sax

Phil Woods - alto sax

Danny Bank - baritone sax

Jimmy Cleveland - trombone

J.J. Johnson - trombone

Kenny Burrell - guitar

Roger Kellaway - piano

Walter Booker - bass

Frankie Dunlop - drums

01. Alfie's Theme (9:44)

02. He's Younger Than You Are (5:13)

03. Street Runner With Child (4:02)

04. Transition Theme For Minor Blues (Or Little Malcolm Loves His Dad) (5:52)

05. On Impulse (4:31)

06. Alfie's Theme Differently (3:44)

Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, January 26, 1966 | Impulse CD IMP 12242

Collin Walcott - Grazing Dreams [1977]

Let's head East ... [east@easter part two] ...

... this time geographically, musically and ... yep!... spiritually [excuse the pun] ...

... to Magdeburg ... of all places ... East Germany, that was in those days, where Collin Walcott snuffed it in November 1984 ... what a place to die!

Here's Scotties comprehensive review of events: Collin Walcott was one of the first sitar players to play jazz. As a member of Oregon, Walcott's flexibility, interest in different cultures, and ability to play not only sitar but tabla and other percussion instruments made him a very valuable musician. Early on, he studied violin for two years, and played both snare drum and tympani in school. Walcott also studied percussion at Indiana University, and took sitar and tabla lessons with Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha, respectively. After stints with Tony Scott (1967-1969) and Tim Hardin, he became a member of the Paul Winter Consort in 1970. Walcott left the group with three other musicians (Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless, and Glen Moore) in 1971 to form Oregon. In addition to recording and touring with Oregon, a unique folk-jazz group, Walcott recorded with Miles Davis in 1972, and was a member of Codona (a trio with Don Cherry and Nana Vasconcelos) that recorded for ECM. Tragically, Collin Walcott was killed in a traffic accident while on tour with Oregon in East Germany. He led three sessions for ECM and can be heard on the Codona and early Oregon recordings... Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.

Collin Walcott - Sitar, Tabla
Don Cherry - Flute, Trumpet
John Abercrombie - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Mandolin, Guitar (Electric)
Palle Danielsson - Bass
Dom Um Romao - Percussion, Tambourine, Berimbau

1. Changeless Faith: Song of the Morrow (Walcott) - 9:14
2. Changeless Faith: Gold Sun (Cherry/Walcott) - 7:03
3. Changeless Faith: The Swarm (Walcott) - 6:07
4. Changeless Faith: Mountain Morning - 1:57
5. Jewel Ornament (Abercrombie/Cherry/Walcott) - 5:02
6. Grazing Dreams (Walcott) - 6:49
7. Samba Tala (Dom Um Romao/Walcott) - 1:29
8. Moon Lake - 8:27

Recorded at Talent Studio, Oslo [Norway] February 1977 | CD 1977 ECM 1096 78118-21096-2

Friday, April 2, 2010

Krzysztof Komeda Quintet - Astigmatic [1965]

Let's head East ... [east@easter part one]...

... to Warsaw, Poland, on a cold December day in 1965 ...

Krzysztof 'Komeda' Trzcinski (1931-1969), an extraordinary talented self-taught composer and pianist, is one of the icons of Polish culture. Along with Stañko, Namyslowski, Urbaniak or Seifert he represents the essence of the 'Polish Jazz' - a phenomenon which exploded in Poland and other Soviet satellites after the political thaw of 1956.

It would be fair to say that Krzysztof Komeda is one of the greatest jazz musicians that Europe ever had. There are some who argue that 'true' jazz can come only from America - you need to look no further; Komeda is a proof that the music called 'jazz' transcends time, borders and cultural classifications. Without a trace of doubt Komeda is one of the jazz greats of all time.

"Simply...ESSENTIAL!" ... Penguin Guide.

Krzysztof Komeda - piano,

Zbigniew Namyslowski - alto sax,

Tomasz Stañko - trumpet,

Günther Lenz - bass,

Rune Carlson - drums.

01. Astigmatic 23:10

02. Kattorna 07:36

03. Svantetic 16:00

Recorded at Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw, December, 1965 | Polskie Nagrania, PNCD905

Agnes Buen Garnas & Jan Garbarek, Rosensfole (1989)


Some really beautiful music from Norway, featuring Jan Garbarek on sax and the wonderful voice of Agnes Buen Garnås. Jean François.

Agnes Buen Garnas and Jan Garbarek, Rosensfole

Jan Garbarek is best known as a saxophonist, originator of a distinctive instrumental sound associated with the German ECM label, for whom he has played on dozens of solo and group projects. Agnes Buen Garnås is a Norwegian singer who specializes in folk material. These popular songs, myths and legends have been given a completely contemporary treatment by Garbarek with synthesizers, hand drums, and a great variety of wind instruments. The result is an unforgettable record that is neither folk, ethnic, jazz, new age, or space music, but is simply an original and highly effective work of art. Review by Backroads Music/Heartbeats.


  • Agnes Buen Garnås vocal
  • Jan Garbarek synthesizers, percussion instruments, soprano, tenor saxophones


    1. Innferd
    2. Rosensfole
    3. Margjit Og Targjei Risvollo
    4. Maalfri Mi Fruve
    5. Venelite
    6. Stolt Øli
    7. Signe Lita
    8. Lillebroer Og Storebroer
    9. Grisilla
    10. Utferd

Daniel Szabó Trio Meets Chris Potter - Contribution (2009)

let me show you some hungarian:

01 - Attack of the Intervalls
02 - Bubble Song
03 - Camel Gallop
04 - Melodic
05 - Strange Wind
06 - There was that too
07 -Whirligig

BMC CD 151

watch on youtube:

“I think it would be pointless to give a blow-by-blow preview of this exceptional album. Suffice to say that the combination of Dániel Szabó and Chris Potter is an incredibly fertile meeting of musical minds. With Szabó’s demanding compositions, the magnificently crafted solos and the lightning but intelligent interaction of the players, the whole record is like a breathtaking high-wire act, because with such original ideas and such clear
phrasing any mistake would be glaringly obvious, yet they all stay on the wire, on top of their game.”
 -Péter Pallai

 Szabó is a 34-year-old pianist and composer with impressive academic and performance credentials and awards in Hungary and the US. One of his professors at the New England Conservatory was Bob Brookmeyer, who sent a copy of Szabó's CD with a note strongly suggesting that his former student deserves close attention.This album commands close attention.Szabó's compositions have lines with binding energy that
urges forward motion, and chord structures of challenging densities, prompting Brookmeyer to refer to it as "highly evolved music." Throughout, currents and undercurrents of Eastern European rhythms and minor harmonies inform both writing and improvisation. Szabó, bassist Mátyás Szandai and drummer Ferenc Németh previously recorded with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel in an album I have yet to hear. It seems clear that it takes musicians of Rosenwinkel's and Potter's virtuosity and openness to ideas to navigate in Szabó's deep, sometimes stormy waters. Conversely, it requires musicians of these three Hungarians' advanced techniques and jazz sensibilties to hold their own with Potter, a soloist of daunting power, swing and imagination. His work is riveting on tenor and soprano saxophones, and bass clarinet in the nostalgic piece called "Melodic." Szabó's piano playing, founded in post-Bill Evans harmony and dynamics, is of a piece
with the advanced concepts of his writing. His exchanges and counterpoint with Potter are natural, unforced.

This album was recorded in Budapest. Potter's domestic ties to Hungary seem to take him there frequently. If that means we may expect further collaboration between him and the Szabó trio, so much the better. This is, indeed, highly evolved--and highly satisfying--music.
 -  'Rifftides'