Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stanley Turrentine/The Three Sounds - Blue Hour: The Complete Sessions

There’s a disheartening sense of emptiness that surrounds the thought that only one member of the original crew assembled for Blue Hour is still with us, drummer Bill Dowdy. Now at the time of his recent passing, this album remains an incredibly resilient keepsake of Stanley Turrentine’s virility and spirit. The complete story of its development has never really been told until now however. After the success of his first quartet session and debut for Blue Note, Look Out!, Turrentine entered the studio in June of 1960 with The Three Sounds on board. They satisfactorily completed five tracks that were quickly forgotten. Then in December, the same line-up went back into the studio and five of the eight pieces attempted made it to the original Blue Hour album.

This double-disc Connoisseur reissue brings us both the original Blue Hour and the leftover tracks never before issued except in Japan. The match of Turrentine with pianist Gene Harris was one made in heaven. Both players held the blues at the heart of their visceral approaches. While no one would fault the initial performances included on the album, there’s much to be gleaned from the supplementary cuts, particularly the soulful groove that distinguishes “Blue Hour,” a tune that gave the album its name but was left off the original. You can never have too much of a good thing and this new reissue more than supports that precept.

Stanley Turrerntine - tenor saxophone
Gene Harris - piano
Andrew Simpkins - bass
Bill Dowdy - drums

Disc 1:

1. I Want A Little Girl (2000 Digital Remaster)
2. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You (2000 Digital Remaster)
3. Blue Riff (Instrumental) (2000 Digital Remaster)
4. Since I Fell For You (2000 Digital Remaster)
5. Willow Weep For Me (2000 Digital Remaster)

Disc 2:

1. Blues In The Closet (2000 Digital Remaster)
2. Just In Time (2000 Digital Remaster)
3. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You (Alternate Take) (2000 Digital Remaster)
4. Where Or When (2000 Digital Remaster)
5. Blue Hour (2000 Digital Remaster)
6. There Is No Greater Love (2000 Digital Remaster)
7. Alone Together (2000 Digital Remaster)
8. Strike Up The Band (2000 Digital Remaster)

** reissue of Blue Note BLP 4057 entitled "Blue Hour" + 8 bonus tracks.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BN LP 5069 | The Prophetic Herbie Nichols, Volume 2

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

Leslie Pintchik - Quartets

Review by Michael G. Nastos
Leslie Pintchik, on this, her second recording as a leader, presents two different quartets that surround her delicate, lithe, and grammatical piano. Two rearranged standards kick off the disc with the first foursome, a piano-bass-drums trio plus percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. The opener is an emotionally reversed "Happy Days Are Here Again" which is contradictorily modal, dark, and skeptical. "Too Close for Comfort" uses choppy phrases and a Brazilian undercoat. They are both unusual in style and stance, identifying Pintchik as a sly, after midnight romantic. The other quartet is a rhythm section with saxophonist Steve Wilson, who shines especially on a serpentine and fanciful soprano during some interesting rhythm changes on "Over Easy" and the pensive, light "Private Moments," both originals of the leader. His horn is straight, but that is not the way he plays it. There are more slight samba insertions on the song "Fugu" and the simple, intimate "Small Pleasures." A combo tune of "Somewhere/Berimbau" combines the modal and Latin elements Pintchik favors, the former a crystalline entity accented by Takeshi's tinkling little instruments, moving into a forward thinking end piece and coda that puts a perfect period on the date. Both quartets offer reflective and attractive views of a modern jazz that, while not challenging, is consummately professional and coolly rendered. Pintchik states a quiet, lovely restraint that is at once philosophical and impressionistic, all indicative of her intended career as an English literature teacher before the jazz bug bit.

01 - Happy Days Are Here Again 02 - Too Close For Comfort     03 - A Simpler Time            04 - Not So Fast               05 - Over Easy                 06 - Private Moment            07 - Fugu                      08 - Small Pleasures           09 - Somewhere_Berimbau
Personal Note
Delicated, sophisticated, subtle. What else could we ask from a new pianist that is just flourishing? 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don Bagley - Basically Bagley (1957)

Don Bagley made his early reputation touring and recording with Stan Kenton from 1950-1953. He subsequently would work with Kenton again at different times, but in 1954 Bagley began heading his own bands. He was quite busy as a session musician as well; Bagley recorded in Los Angeles with Nat "King" Cole, Maynard Ferguson and Dexter Gordon from 1950-52, then did overseas dates with Zoot Sims, Lars Gullin and a sextet led by Frank Rosolino and Ake Persson in Paris and Sweden in 1953. Bagley worked extensively with Kenton again and with Les Brown between 1956 and 1967, but still found the time to record in 1957 and 1958 with bands whose rosters included at times Jimmie Rowles, Shelly Manne and Phil Woods.
Originally issued by Dot Records, this was Bagley's first of only three albums recorded as a leader.

Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Don Bagley (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

  1. Basically Bagley
  2. Meet Me in St. Louis
  3. Beady-Eyed Clyde
  4. Robins and Roses
  5. 'Round Midnight
  6. Double Stop
  7. The Maids of Cadiz
  8. The Bachelor
  9. They Can't Take That Away from Me
  10. Shell's Half Acre
  11. All I Need Is You
Recorded in Los Angeles, June 27 and July 23, 1957

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lee Konitz & Franco D'Andrea - Inside Cole Porter

Lee Konitz, Franco D'Andrea
Inside Cole Porter
Date of Release Jun 9, 1998
Time 66:05
Recorded 1996

1. The Song Is You - 6:19
2. The Song Is for You - 19:58
3. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye - 8:36
4. I Love You - 13:05
5. Love for Sale - 7:36
6. Easy to Love - 5:16
7. It's All Right With Me - 5:15

Altoist Lee Konitz and pianist Franco D'Andrea make an odd yet complementary couple on this duo set. Both players are relaxed and thoughtful in their improvising, base their solos throughout their explorations of Cole Porter songs as much on the melodies as on the chord changes, and leave plenty of space as they slowly develop their ideas. At first the effect is a bit jarring, as Konitz's melancholy flights compete with D'Andrea's sparse commentary. There are passages where the altoist plays alone for a bit (although never for a complete piece), yet the two musicians function very much as equals when performing together. Although there are sections where the ideas temporarily run short and there is some meandering, one or the other musician will suddenly come up with a new direction and the music picks up again. This is definitely a set that requires listeners to put away their preconceptions and accept the renditions of Cole Porter songs on the musicians' terms.

Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Another review, by Jack Sohmer :

Once again in what now appears to be his favorite setting, altoist Lee Konitz, the prototypical reflective improviser, here focuses his sights on a mere handful of the hundreds of fruitful Cole Porter standards, but what he does with them offers the attentive listener an aesthetic discovery rarely encountered in jazz of a more aggressive nature. Konitz has long been a master of contrapuntal jazz duo improvisation, a Bach-inspired skill he first investigated in the company of his mentor, Lennie Tristano. And now, almost 50 years since their first innovative recordings, he continues to reveal further implications of this art in his duets with the conceptually intertwined Franco D'Andrea.

On the surface, the playlist-"The Song Is You," "What Is this Thing Called Love," "Everytime We Say Goodbye," "I Love You," "Love For Sale," "Easy To Love," "Night and Day," and "It's All Right With Me"-would appear quite ordinary, perhaps even unadventurous. But what veers from the predictable is Konitz' choice to interweave the themes and harmonic bases of some of these songs into artfully constructed medleys, as apart from the more extended explorations of other tunes. As is always the case with this master, repeated listening invariably disclose nuances of thought that were previously overlooked.

And this one is by Thiery Quenum :

Playing a moody, meditative paraphrase on the famous Cole Porter tune, Lee Konitz is alone for nearly 1½ minutes before Franco D'Andrea joins in. Once the pianist does enter, it is he who maintains the strongest connection with the theme through a highly rhythmic comping that lets the melody trickle through block chords or bits of single lines. Meanwhile, Konitz drifts apart, though never too far, as he often does in a strange and familiar way, like one who knows the melody and the harmonies so well that he can play anything inside or outside of them. With such a complete pianist as D'Andrea, whose strong touch and rich chords are at times evocative of Thelonious Monk for the former and Art Tatum for the latter, Konitz can wander anywhere without getting lost. All the same, the listener can follow him without ever losing track of the harmonic and melodic progression of the tune. This diving into the improvising process by one of the greatest melodic "drifters" of all time, coaxed by one of Europe's best masters of harmony, is fascinating. Inside Cole Porter? Inside Lee Konitz's art, too.

Yusef Lateef / Belmondo - Influence

87 year-old jazz legend Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, oboe, flutes) teams up with the French Belmondo brothers, Stéphane (trumpet, fluegelhorn) and Lionel (tenor sax, soprano sax, alto flute, clarinet) for this new double album - a complex, beautiful project which draws musical influences from 19th Century Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa, all given a jazz interpretation. The band also features leading US trombonist Glenn Ferris, plus Laurent Fickelson (piano), Paul Imm (double-bass), Dre Pallemaerte (drums), and a reeds section. The three multi-instrumentalist virtuosos in the front line project their individual voices into a unified soundscape without losing their individuality.

The Belmondos, who have released a series of critically-acclaimed CDs in recent years, are from a very different background to Lateef, but when Lionel and Stéphane met their ‘elder sibling’, they naturally fell into symbiosis both personally and musically, discovering that their artistic approaches are extremely close. This natural collaboration between the three follows a history of respect and admiration. Lateef’s own compositions seem to be mirrored by the separate themes which form a suite to the Belmondo brothers’ ‘Infinity’ album, recorded in 1999. The new album, “Influences”, issued on the French B-Flat/Discograph label, is the outcome of two years of hard work, of dedicated research, of intense live activity and of prolific composition.

Jim Hall - Something Special

A trio album that displays guitarist Jim Hall's absolute refusal to grow old, Something Special is a treat to listen to. Accompanied by pianist/organist Larry Goldings, who sticks to piano for the recording, and bassist Steve LaSpina, the music on Something Special is often introspective, sometimes jovial, but always adventurous. A few of the album's best moments are the ones in which the trio is pared down. "Deep in a Dream," tperformed as a solo piece by Hall, is soft and lush. Goldings' "Up for Air" is played as a duet by the pianist and guitarist, and their treatment of it is light and energetic, taking advantage of the absence of a bass, rather than trying to compensate for it. Pat Metheny, a longtime public admirer of Hall, gets a return nod of admiration on Hall's "Down from Antigua," which sounds very much in the Metheny tradition of writing. On "Steps," the trio delves into some fairly gentle "free" playing. An essential purchase for Hall fans. Dan Cross, All Music Guide

Release Date: 1993 03 06-1993 06 08
Running Time: 60:11

1 Something Special Hall 6:11
2 Somewhere Bernstein, Sondheim 5:06
3 Down from Antigua Hall 9:44
4 Steps Hall 4:22
5 Deep in a Dream DeLange, VanHeusen 3:58
6 When Little Girls Play LaSpina 6:17
7 Three Hall 8:00
8 Lucky Thing Hall 6:44
9 Up for Air Goldings 5:02
10 Consequently Hall 4:47

Mick Goodrick, Dave Liebman, Wolfgang Muthspiel - In The Same Breath

1. Hope (7:07) [Wolfgang Muthspiel]
2. Nardis (4:57) [Bill Evans]
3. Throughout (7:12) [Bill Frisell]
4. Mothers and Daughters (7:26) [Dave Liebman]
5. Visiones (9:45) [Wolfgang Muthspiel]
6. The Crusher (5:49) [Dave Liebman]
7. Liebeslied (4:45) [Kurt Weill]
8. The Rhree Stages (7:04) [Wolfgang Muthspiel]
9. Ad Liebitum (10:34) [Mick Goodrick]


Great trio.

Jam Session Vol. 5 Scott Wendholt, Dave Ballou, Greg Gisbert

Jay Anderson (bass)
Billy Drummond (drums)
Greg Gisbert (trumpet)
Dave Ballou (trumpet)
Andy LaVerne (piano)
Scott Wendholt (trumpet)

1 Dig
2 Up Jumped Spring
3 Body And Soul
4 Strikezone
5 If You Could See Me Now
6 After Thought
7 The Duke Ellington Sound Of Love
8 World Wide Web
9 Onion Straws

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Teddy Charles - Dances With Bulls

Teddy Charles is a true rarity: a jazz musician who largely retired from the business. A skillful if not overly distinctive vibraphonist and (early in his career) quite capable on piano and drums, Charles was as important for his open-minded approach in the 1950s toward more advanced sounds as he was for his playing. He moved to New York to study percussion at Juilliard in 1946, but instead became involved in the jazz world. He had short stints with the big bands of Randy Brooks, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Buddy DeFranco, and Chubby Jackson from 1948-1951 and then played with combos headed by Anita O'Day, Oscar Pettiford, Roy Eldridge, and Slim Gaillard. He also became a member of the Jazz Composers' Workshop (1953-1955) along with Charles Mingus and Teo Macero, opening his style up to the influences of classical music and freer improvising. Charles, who recorded with Mingus, Miles Davis, and Wardell Gray, among many others, began leading his own stimulating record dates in 1951, and by 1953 he was also working as a record producer, a field that took much more of his time from 1956 on. He led his own sessions for Prestige, Atlantic, Savoy, Jubilee, Bethlehem (where he produced around 40 records, mostly for other artists), and Warwick from 1951-1960, but was hardly heard from in the 1960s, other than a 1963 set for United Artists. Charles relocated to the Caribbean, where he opened a sailing business. After participating in a 1980 jam session, he eventually moved back to New York, making a "comeback" record for Soul Note in 1988, but still remaining semi-retired from music. *Scott Yanow*

Teddy Charles has been retired from jazz many more years than he had played, yet still remains one of the very best vibraphonists of all time. His decades as a sea captain off the Atlantic Ocean have never diminished his abilities as a creative performer when he wishes to display them. This is his first studio date in about four decades, showcasing his fertile imagination to revise and envision new ways to modify standards. He's also bringing back old personal favorites, and does them all with the excited wonder of a much younger musician. Longtime bandmate and criminally underrated Harold Danko is back with Charles on piano, complemented by saxophonist and flutist Chris Byars and his rhythm section, including veteran trombonist John Mosca. The organic feeling this group creates is undeniable, while Charles himself does not dominate the activity. He blends in quite nicely with the others, clear and present during "No More Nights" as Byars and Mosca join hands while the vibist comps during a piece based on the changes of "There Will Never Be Another You." An adaptation, or more accurately re-harmonization of "What Is This Thing Called Love?" - titled "Bunni" - has definite inflections of the music made by Charles Mingus in its modal calypso bass and piano led character. Always a favorite of Charles, the Mingus evergreen "Nostalgia in Times Square" enjoys a reprieve from his lively 1988 Soul Note recording Live at the Verona Jazz Festival (another 25 years past his far most previous album) but is taken at a much slower tempo. "All The Things You Are" is morphed into an exotic title for "Arlene" with the vibrato flute of Byars, while the out-and-out bopper "Blues Without Woe" is excavated from an very old recording Charles did with Thad Jones and Frank Wess, with Byars again on flute alongside Mosca in a straight and chased tempo. The opener "Dances with Bulls" is a spacious, slow discourse in 4/4 that is atypical from the rest, occupying a very dark labyrinth, weaving in and out of consciousness via noticeable tones cultivated by Mal Waldron. Everyone on the date sounds professional, practiced, and focused, where Charles himself is cool, reserved, and professes the less-is-more concept beautifully while picking and choosing select moments to tear it up. Danko is outstanding throughout and proves how he completely understands the style of Charles. This is a very fine effort, and a live in-concert follow-up with this band would be even more welcome and satisfying -- but please don't wait for another decade. *Michael G. Nastos*

01 - Dances With Bulls
02 - Nostalgia In Times Square
03 - No More Nights
04 - Bunni
05 - Arlene
06 - Blues Without Woe

Teddy Charles (vibraphone); Chris Byars (flute, alto saxophone); John Mosca (trombone); Harold Danko (piano); Ari Roland (bass instrument); Stefan Schatz (drums).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Woody Shaw - The Time Is Right

Although the quintet featured on this CD reissue from the Italian Red label was one of trumpeter Woody Shaw's finest, it failed to make much of an impact before breaking up. Teamed with trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Stafford James and drummer Tony Reedus for an Italian concert, Shaw stretches out on two of his originals plus "You And The Night And The Music" and "We'll Be Together Again"; all four of the numbers clock in between 10-12 minutes apiece. High-quality advanced hard bop.  ~ Scott Yannow

1. From Moment to Moment
2. Time Is Right
3. You and the Night and the Music
4. We'll Be Together Again

Woody Shaw - Trumpet
Stafford James - Bass
Mulgrew Miller - Piano
Tony Reedus - Drums
Steve Turre -Trombone, Haitian Shell

Recorded January 1, 1983
Red Records 123168-2

Kenny Clarke - The Golden 8

Dusko Gojkovic (tp); Raymond Droz (alto hrn); Chris Kellens (bar hrn); Derek Humble (as);

Karl Drevo (aka Carl Drewo) (ts); Francy Boland (p, arr); Jimmy Woode (b);

Kenny Clarke (d).

Cologne, Germany: May 18 and 19, 1961

01. La Campimania (Francy Boland)
02. Gloria (Kaper/David)
03. High Notes (Francy Boland)
04. Softly As In A Morning Song (Romberg/Hammerstein)
05. The Golden Eight (Francy Boland)
06. Strange Meeting (Francy Boland)
07. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To (Cole Porter)
08. Dorian 0437 (Francy Boland)
09. Poor Butterfly (Hubbell/Golden)
10. Basse Cuite (Francy Boland)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cal Tjader - Monterey Concerts

I think it was BLBS who expressed interest in a few of the great West Coast albums, this being one of them...

Review by Scott Yanow
This CD (which reissues all of the music from the two LPs Concert by the Sea and Vol. 2) is the definitive early Cal Tjader album and one of the high points of his career. For a Carmel concert that was considered a preview concert for the 1959 Monterey Jazz Festival, Tjader was teamed up with flutist and altoist Paul Horn, pianist Lonnie Hewitt, bassist Al McKibbon, Willie Bobo (on drums and timbales), and percussionist Mongo Santamaria. Their renditions of Latinized jazz tunes along with a few Latin originals practically define the idiom. Highlights include "Doxy," one of the earliest versions of Santamaria's "Afro Blue" (predating John Coltrane's famous rendition by four years), "Love Me or Leave Me," and "A Night in Tunisia." Essential music for everyone's Latin jazz collection.

2.Afro Blue
4.Walkin' With Wally
5.We'll Be Together Again
6.'Round Midnight
7.Love Me Or Leave Me
8.Tu Crees Que?
9.S. S. Groove
10.A Night In Tunisia
11.Bess, You Is My Woman
12.Lover, Come Back To Me

George Arvanitas Pesents The Ballad Artistry Of David Murray

01. Chealsea bridge
02. Polka dots and moonbeams
03. Star eyes
04. Body and soul
05. Tea for two
06. I'm in the mood for love
07. Blues for two
08. La vie en rose

Recorded in 1991.

George Arvanitas, piano
David Murray, tenor saxophone

Currently out of print, and worth picking up.

Lee Konitz & Martial Solal - Star Eyes, Hamburg 1983

"A live concert recording at New-Jazz-Festival Hamburg on November 11th, 1983. In their duo, Solal's gift to Konitz is a liberation from.....inherent restrictions. This in turn inspires Konitz to follow his own lyrical impulses to the extreme-listen to how olften he stretches his line to the breaking point. This is improvisation that goes far beyond merely altered chords or variations on a theme. Each performance walks an invisible tightrope of harmonic and rhythmic agreement-alll the more treacherous for beeing completely spontaneous."-Art Lange

"Despite the many recordings Lee Konitz has made either as a leader or as a sideman -- they number well over 100 -- there is no date, with possible exceptions of Motion and Lone-Lee, that can touch this live duet setting for breaking new ground. Given his apprenticeship with Lennie Tristano, Konitz is well-known for his melodic improvising and his ability to re-conceptualize a tune. But what happens here, with Martial Solal's dramatic, often theatrical style of piano playing, is the extension of Konitz's own abilities to visualize inherently what is possible within a given framework.

What happens on a standard like "Body and Soul" is truly startling: Solal creates a nearly orchestral backdrop of the tune's harmonic and melodic architecture, and Konitz goes looking not for another way to state it, but for something in it to move out onto the ledge of. For Konitz, on this date, the place in a tune's harmonic and melodic framework where it was most recognizable became the point of departure without any knowledge of where he would end up. Solal would carry his lines further out to lunch while remaining within the meter and rhythmic parameters of the original. But given the nearly inconceivable dexterity and musical prowess at work in Solal's playing, even these were altered while retaining their essence.

On Ray Noble's "Cherokee," which closes the set, a true anthem of bebop, the pair goes deep into the tune's bluesed-out root and drags from it a skittering skein of multiple harmonies and incandescent intervals where Konitz's melodic sensibilities change the somewhat aggressive nature of the tune and make it swing along a track where its melody is turned inside out; three new skittering skeins of lyrical improvisation are introduced to Solal who structures them vertically and hands them back to Konitz to take even further before returning eventually with a radically altered but nonetheless intact version of the tune, with Solal restating the original melody and harmony to keep it honest. It's quite honestly the finest live recording of Lee Konitz that exists.-Thom Jurek, All Music

Jimmy Raney, Jim Hall & Zoot Sims - Two Jims & a Zoot (MFSL edition)

Jimmy Raney and Jim Hall, both masterful unto themselves, team with tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims in a pianoless quintet on a recording made as one of the original CD's in the digital era from the Mobile Fidelity group. It's an energetic program (there's only one laid back tune, Hall's "All Across The City") of original boppish compositions or slightly Brazilian flavored musics that lend well to these great jazz players improvisational talents, especailly considering the strong rhythm section of bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Osie Johnson are also top notch. This rare recording, made in limited quantity, is one to search for and hold onto if you can find it. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music GuideC 2008 All Media Guide, LLC
Content provided by All Music Guide R , a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.

Recorded in 1964
Jimmy Raney - guitar
Jim Hall - guitar
Zoot Sims - tenor saxophone
Steve Swallow - bass
Osie Johnson - bass

Sun Ra - Fate In A Pleasant Mood & When Sun Comes Out

Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out is a pairing of two early-'60s Saturn LPs that catch the Arkestra in an interesting transitional phase. Fate in a Pleasant Mood is one of the final recordings from the Chicago phase, while When Sun Comes Out is one of the first recordings made after the band relocated to New York. The Chicago period had Ra forging a personal sound using elements of swing and bop, with stellar horn arrangements and propulsive timpani drums. By the time they settled in New York, the swing and bop elements had fallen by the wayside and the percussive elements figured more prominently, with solos taking a more outside tack. Sun Ra and John Gilmore, in particular, play much more aggressively, with Gilmore really expanding his vocabulary. While it's not as musically cohesive as other Evidence two-fers, Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out does a nice job of summarizing the Arkestra's first major stylistic shift. This makes it an important document for collectors and, in providing a look at two early phases of the Arkestra, it also gives the Sun Ra novice a guidepost to these two distinct periods. ~ Sean Westergaard, All Music Guide

Chet Baker - Groovin' With The Chet Baker Quintet

1. Madison Avenue
2. Lonely Star
3. Wee Too
4. Tan Gaugin
5. Cherokee
6. Bevan Beeps

Chet Baker (Flugelhorn)
Kirk Lightsey (Piano)
Roy Brooks (Drums)
Herman Wright (Bass)

Circa 1965

Stan Getz & Chet Baker - West Coast Live

One of the most infamously acrimonious musical unions transpired between two of the leading purveyors of West Coast cool jazz: Chet Baker (trumpet) and Stan Getz (tenor sax). Their paths crossed only a handful of times and West Coast Live captures two of their earliest encounters in Los Angeles at the Haig on June 12, 1953, and the Tiffany Club on August 17, 1953. These recordings have been issued in Europe and Japan ad infinitum in varying degrees of quality, completeness, and often sporting erroneous data. However, enthusiasts should note that West Coast Live is the only release derived from producer/engineer Dick Bock's own master reels. For two men who purportedly would rather not be in the same room at the same time, Baker and Getz are able to create some legitimately brilliant improvisation. For the Haig set, Getz had been brought in to co-lead a quartet with Baker for an incarcerated Gerry Mulligan. Musically the results vacillate. There are moments of sheer inspiration, such as the musical cat and mouse demonstrated on "Strike up the Band" or the straight-ahead driving-bop lines the two bandy on "Yardbird Suite," which includes tasty solos from Carson Smith (bass) and Larry Bunker (drums). There are likewise the brass entanglements that plague "The Way You Look Tonight" as well as the opening of "Winter Wonderland," which suffers from the "too many cooks" syndrome. The second and shorter set is taken from a recording session held during the afternoon -- hence the lack of an audience response after each number -- at the Tiffany Club. Baker's quartet at the time featured Russ Freeman (piano) and Shelly Manne (drums), as well as Carson Smith (bass), who reprised his role at the heart of this quintet. All three tracks contain very little in the way of interaction between Baker and Getz, featuring more of the support trio than the two co-leads. (Lindsay Plane, all music)

Stan Getz Quintet - Live at the Hi-Hat in Boston 1953 Vol. 1 & 2

Stan Getz is heard here leading what he called his best group to date. He felt he had found a perfect partnerhip with Bob Brookmeyer. Duke Jordan is on piano, Bill Crow on bass, and Al Levitt is on drums.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

BN LP 5068 | The Prophetic Herbie Nichols, Volume 1

From the Sleeve Notes;

"There is a legend (or if not, there ought to be, and it shall be promulgated forthwith) that once upon a time there was a musician so great that nobody was quite capable of appreciating him. His technique made Horowitz and Tatum seem like bumbling amateurs. He played chords nobody else had ever played, because his stretch was as wide as his imagination, and he composed music that was extra-terrestrial. But observing that his work could never fully be absorbed or understood, he locked himself in a room with a Steinway and spent the rest of his life there, and when he died there was not a single soul on earth who had ever heard him play."


"The story of the man in the legend has certain elements in common with that of Herbie Nichols, except that in the latter's case there is a happy ending."

Although with the benefit of time, perhaps the former is truer.  I have to be honest and say that Monk drew me in more quickly, but I enjoy Nichols compositions, arrangements and playing (I may draw ire on this, but I'm not sure what Art Blakey brings on this date, another choice might have changed the dynamic for the better) - I have found that repeated listening really makes them grow on you, but don't force it, wait 'til late, find a quiet time, a comfy chair, a whisky. Often.

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

Friday, August 13, 2010

James Williams - Up To The Minute Blues

This excellent CD by pianist James Williams features two tracks from an unusual session with two superb drummers, Tony Reedus and Bill Higgins, plus unissued music from the date that produced the CD James Williams Meets the Saxophone Masters. The earlier date produced the opening driving blues by the leader, "Common Knowledge," with Williams taking top solo honors. The title track that closes this release is another Williams composition; this easygoing blues includes some fine drum breaks and the rich tenor sax of Billy Pierce, as well as a choice solo by Williams. The middle four tracks showcase tenor saxophonists George Coleman and Joe Henderson along with Pierce, with Reedus on drums and James Genus taking over on bass from Ray Drummond. The exotic rhythm of Henderson's "Afro Centric" is very catchy and features some of the best solos of the date. The foot-patting arrangement of Neal Hefti's "Girl Talk" is a nice surprise; though the sound is very different from the way Count Basie approached it, he surely would approve of this slow but swinging chart. Elvin Jones' "Three Card Molly" burns with the energy of its composer. This should be an essential purchase for anyone who picked up Williams' earlier CD with these three outstanding tenors. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

James Williams (Piano)
Joe Henderson (Sax (Tenor))
George Coleman (Sax (Tenor))
Billy Pierce (Sax (Tenor))
Ray Drummond (Bass)
James Genus (Bass)
Billy Higgins (Drums)
Tony Reedus (Drums)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Romano Sclavis Texier - African Flashback (2005)


Here is a masterpiece by three of the most esteemed jazz musicians in Europe. Absolutely fabulous! I have included below two of the pictures from the booklet. This jewel is a must have! Jean François.

Romano Sclavis Texier African FlashbackThis CD has a story woven into it that details the love and respect three musicians and a master photographer have for music, art and Mother Africa. It is the tale's end of a 15-year journey taken in performance tours and photographs through the African continent by veteran French musicians Aldo Romano (drums, guitar), Louis Sclavis (reeds) and Henri Texier (bass), with the phenomenal Guy Le Querrec (Leica camera). The album's photographs are accompanied by pieces that the musicians composed, selecting four photographs each as themes. The resulting music is a varied and potent mix of African grooves, Brazilian pop, rock stomps and withering free jazz all played with an effortlessness that makes it look easy. Nothing could be further from the truth as these men are masters of their craft. They know how to lay down an astonishing diversity of music yet put their own stamp on each and every musical photo, and they are not beyond poking fun at the pompous with a march that makes sly reference to the perils of power. "Surreal Politik," indeed. Highly recommended. Review by Nilan Perera.

Romano Sclavis Texier African FlashbackPersonnel
  • Aldo Romano (Drums)
  • Louis Sclavis (Reeds)
  • Henri Texier (DoubleBass)
  1. Berbère
  2. Derrière Le Sable
  3. Harvest
  4. Entre Chien Et Loup
  5. Three Children
  6. African Panther 69
  7. Surreal Politik
  8. Viso Di Donna
  9. Fo Lion Écouter
  10. Le Long Du Temps
  11. 55 Wheels
  12. Look The Lobis
  13. Dieu N'Existe Pas

Romano Sclavis Texier African Flashback

Sunday, August 8, 2010

BN LP 5067 | Lou Mecca Quartet

From the sleeve notes;
It was to be expected, after the noteworthy showing made by Lou Mecca in his two LP appearances with Gil Melle on 5054 and 5063, that this brilliant new guitarist would soon be presented in a session of his own.

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

Lionel Hampton Quintet 1954 - Verve Master Edition Release 2001

Yanow Speaks:

In 1954, producer Norman Granz held a couple of marathon recording sessions featuring vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, pianist Oscar Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, drummer Buddy Rich, and (on April 13) clarinetist Buddy DeFranco. This set has three selections from the DeFranco date (a 17-plus-minute "Flying Home," the original "Je Ne Sais Pas," and "On the Sunny Side of the Street") and one from the earlier session ("April in Paris"). Hampton is typically exuberant throughout (grunting rather loudly during a few later ensemble choruses on "Flying Home"), DeFranco and Peterson are as swinging as usual, and the overall music is quite joyous. Even if "Flying Home" does not reach Granz's claim of being the best-ever version of the song (one misses the honking tenor and screaming trumpet), this is an excellent and rather spontaneous outing. [The Verve Master Edition also features the tracks "Don't Be That Way," "These Foolish Things," "The Way You Look Tonight," and "It's Only a Paper Moon."]

2001 CD Verve 89100

1. Flying Home 17:12
2. Je Ne Sais Pas 6:33
3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street 5:52
4. April In Paris 6:25
5. Don't Be That Way 9:28
6. These Foolish Things 8:36
7. The Way You Look Tonight 11:15
8. It's Only A Paper Moon 6:49


Lionel Hampton was the first jazz vibraphonist and was one of the jazz giants beginning in the mid-'30s. He has achieved the difficult feat of being musically open-minded (even recording "Giant Steps") without changing his basic swing style. Hamp started out as a drummer, playing with the Chicago Defender Newsboys' Band as a youth. His original idol was Jimmy Bertrand, a '20s drummer who occasionally played xylophone. Hampton played on the West Coast with such groups as Curtis Mosby's Blue Blowers, Reb Spikes, and Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders (with whom he made his recording debut in 1929) before joining Les Hite's band, which for a period accompanied Louis Armstrong. At a recording session in 1930, a vibraphone happened to be in the studio, and Armstrong asked Hampton (who had practiced on one previously) if he could play a little bit behind him and on "Memories of You" and "Shine"; Hamp became the first jazz improviser to record on vibes.

It would be another six years before he found fame. Lionel Hampton, after leaving Hite, had his own band in Los Angeles' Paradise Cafe, until one night in 1936 when Benny Goodman came into the club and discovered him. Soon, Hampton recorded with B.G., Teddy Wilson, and Gene Krupa as the Benny Goodman Quartet, and six weeks later he officially joined Goodman. An exciting soloist whose enthusiasm even caused B.G. to smile, Hampton became one of the stars of his organization, appearing in films with Goodman, at the famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert, and nightly on the radio. In 1937, he started recording regularly as a leader for Victor with specially assembled all-star groups that formed a who's who of swing; all of these timeless performances (1937-1941) were reissued by Bluebird on a six-LP set, although in piecemeal fashion on CD.

Hampton stayed with Goodman until 1940, sometimes substituting on drums and taking vocals. In 1940, Lionel Hampton formed his first big band, and in 1942 had a huge hit with "Flying Home," featuring a classic Illinois Jacquet tenor spot (one of the first R&B solos). During the remainder of the decade, Hampton's extroverted orchestra was a big favorite, leaning toward R&B, showing the influence of bebop after 1944, and sometimes getting pretty exhibitionistic. Among his sidemen, in addition to Jacquet, were Arnett Cobb, Dinah Washington (who Hampton helped discover), Cat Anderson, Marshall Royal, Dexter Gordon, Milt Buckner, Earl Bostic, Snooky Young, Johnny Griffin, Joe Wilder, Benny Bailey, Charles Mingus, Fats Navarro, Al Gray, and even Wes Montgomery and Betty Carter. Hampton's popularity allowed him to continue leading big bands off and on into the mid-'90s, and the 1953 edition that visited Paris (with Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Cleveland, Gigi Gryce, George Wallington, and Annie Ross) would be difficult to top, although fights over money and the right of the sideman to record led to its breakup. Hampton appeared and recorded with many all-star groups in the 1950s including reunions with Benny Goodman, meetings with the Oscar Peterson Trio, Stan Getz, Buddy DeFranco, and as part of a trio with Art Tatum and Buddy Rich. He also was featured in The Benny Goodman Story (1956).

Since the 1950s, Lionel Hampton has mostly repeated past triumphs, always playing "Hamp's Boogie Woogie" (which features his very rapid two-finger piano playing), "Hey Ba-Ba-Re-Bop," and "Flying Home." However, his enthusiasm still causes excitement and he remains a household name. Hampton has recorded through the years for nearly every label, including two of his own (Glad Hamp and Who's Who). Despite strokes and the ravages of age, Lionel Hampton remained a vital force into the 1990s. In January 2001, a vibraphone he had played for 15 years was put into the National Museum of American History. On August 31, 2002, at age 94, Lionel Hampton suffered major heart failure and passed away.

Houston Person & Ron Carter - Complete Muse Sessions

Review by Scott Yanow

In 1989-1990, tenor saxophonist Houston Person and bassist Ron Carter collaborated in duet studio sessions on the Muse label for the recordings titled Something in Common and Now's the Time. For both of these musicians this was somewhat a departure, as Person's soul-jazz persona and Carter's bop mentality is more pronounced and recognized. Of course in retrospect, these two have been capable of so much more during their lengthy careers in jazz, with Person taking the laid-back approach even further on subsequent efforts. Where few expected them to totally discard a drummer or supplemental instrumentalists, it turned out they needed no one else. These 17 tracks, all from those Muse dates, are extremely soulful as indeed you would expect, far beyond mere romantic mood music, and quite beautifully rendered from start to finish. It's a program of standards from early classic jazz to American Popular Songs, ballads, blues, three Carter originals, and a wee little bop, the latter being the most energetic. The level of restrained mellow and cool is remarkably sustained and maintained over the entire recording. If this style of jazz is your thing, this treasure is easily recommended, with the provision that you can find it as the 32 Jazz reissue. Fair warning -- you may have to hunt-and-peck for the individual CD's they originally appeared on. 

Personal Note

A singular duo with bass and sax bring to us an exquisite music, most sophisticated, warm and very delightful. An unique experience - as some of the the greatest unusual combinations in jazz -, which it's something that have been playing for me for quite a few years and I'm never tired of. Worth of trying, I'd say.


Something in Common
01 - Blue Seven  02 - I Thought About You  
03 - Mack The Knife  
04 - Joy Spring  
05 - Good Morning Heartache
06 - Anthropology  
07 - Once In A While  
08 - Blues For Two  

Now's The Time

01 - Bemsha Swing  
02 - Sping Can Really Hang You Up The Most
03 - Einbahnstrasse  
04 - Memories Of You  
05 - Quiet Nights  
06 - If You Could See Me Now  
07 - Now's The Time  
08 - Since I Fell For You  
09 - Little Waltz  

Stan Getz Sextet - Utopia

I thought this would make a nice companion volume to moha's recent post.

STAN GETZ - Utopia - (WestWind WW 2076)

Stan Getz Sextet
Bob Brookmeyer (vtb)
Stan Getz (ts)
Andy LaVerne (p, el p)
Mike Richmond (b)
Jeff Brillinger (d)
Efraim Toro (perc)

UTOPIA (LaVerne) 7:34
LESTER LEFT THE TOWN (Shorter) 13:00
JET LAG (LaVerne) 8:41
RAVEN'S WOOD (Towner) 11:20
INFANT EYES (Shorter) 6:58
WILLOW WEEP FOR ME (Ronell) 11:22

Friday, August 6, 2010

The guy's still in business !

Those of you living in the NYC area should seize the opportunity to catch the old man live, with Ruben Blades and the Bobby Sanabria BB. Rab, will you be around in August ? I wish I could be there myself (n'est-ce pas, Peter ?).

Oh, no admission charge by the way...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stan Getz Sextet - Jazzbühne Berlin '78. vol.15

01 - Jet-Lag
02 - Lester Left Town
03 - Anna
04 - O Grande Amour
05 - Pretty City
06 - Willow Weep for Me

Stan Getz - ts
Bob Brookmeyer - vtb,
Andy LaVerne - p, el.p,
Mike Richmond - b,
Jeff Brillinger - dr,
Efrajim Toro - perc.

Repertoire Records REP 4915-WZ

Unsung Hero - The Undiscovered Genius of Chas Burchell

01 - Juicy Lucy
02 - Bobblin'
03 - Gone Into It
04 - Have You Met Miss Jones
05 - It's You Or No One - Shades
06 - Marsh Bars
07 - Which Way
08 - Just Squeeze Me
09 - Blue Monk
10 - Tickle Toe
11 - Comeback
12 - Sometimes
13 - Sonnymoon For Two
14 - Solea

Chas Burchell, Ronnie Scott, Geoff Carter (tenor saxophone)
Bernard Eppy, Mike Hennessey, Matt Ross (piano)
Clark Terry (tp, flhrn, vcl)
Brian Wood (trumpet)
Bob Hirschman (trombone)
Alan Simmons (bass)
Mike Scott, Alec Adams, Al Merritt (drums)

In and Out Records
IOR CD 7026-2

Rare recordings by one of the undiscovered greats of British jazz scene - the late Chas Burchell. When Chas died in June 1986, his friends and musical associates determined that his music should get wider exposure. Thus began an exhaustive search for tapes -largely impromptu recordings made by Burchell and the Chastet at various club and pub locations around London. The process took several years but eventually enough material was assembled to make a representative compilation possible - after meticulous editing and noise-reduction processes.

"To me, this tenor saxophonist is a revelation - an ageless, durable style which owes nothing to anyone else...a jazzman of uncommon ability, a fluent lyrical improviser." (Ken Rattenbury, Crescendo & Jazz Magazine)

"A player of invention and integrity who found his voice at a fairly young age and stuck to his convictions."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lars Gullin - Silhouette 1951-1953 Vol 7

Vol 7 in the comprehensive series of Lars Gullin recordings takes us up to 1953. Gullin plays baritone sax on all these tracks (three are previously unissued) with various quartet line-ups and eight tunes with what was essentially the Arne Domnerus orchestra . The last few tracks include trombonist Ake Persson, who later graduated to the international jazz stage, touring with the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

Lars Gullin was arguably the most important Swedish jazz musician of the 1950s, a brilliant cool-toned baritone saxophonist who fortunately recorded regularly. Gullin could swing as hard as Zoot Sims and could have competed with fellow baritonist Gerry Mulligan (it is a pity that they never recorded together), but mostly performed in Scandinavia. The Dragon label has been doing a superb job of reissuing Gullin's most important recordings both as a leader and as a sideman. As usual for this series, Vol. 7 has a 20-page booklet full of photos and significant information. Gullin is featured on three previously unreleased performances (two are alternate takes) with a quartet from 1951-1952, on a very rare version of "You Go to My Head," and with pianist Rune Ofwerman in a different quartet from the period. A 1952 project has Gullin performing eight of his originals; all are obscure and a few deserve to be revived. His medium-size group includes trombonist Ake Persson and altoist Arne Domnérus. In addition, Gullin and Persson team up on eight other numbers in a pianoless quartet. One of the songs is called "Holiday for Piano." Throughout, Lars Gullin is heard in his early prime, showing that by the early '50s, jazz had long become an international language. All of the CDs in this valuable series are highly recommended. *Scott Yanow*

01 - Alone
02 - The Continental
03 - Stella by Starlight
04 - For Goofers Only I
05 - For Goofers Only II
06 - All the Things You Are
07 - You Go to My Head
08 - You Go to My Head
09 - Smooth Breeze
10 - Smart Alec
11 - Apostrophe
12 - Merlin
13 - Colon
14 - Comma
15 - Silhouette
16 - Disc-Major
17 - Holiday for Piano
18 - She's Funny That Way
19 - Night and Day
20 - Sounds Like That
21 - Brazil
22 - Four and No One More
23 - Sad Sally
24 - You Blew Out the Flame

Lars Gullin (bs) with: Gunnar Svensson, Rune Ofwerman (p), Arne Domnérus (as), Ake Persson (tb), Rolf Blomqvist (ts), Arnold Johansson (tp) and others.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BN LP 5066 | Hank Mobley Quartet

From the sleeve notes;

"Hank Mobley may never 'make' the cover of Time Magazine. His name may ever be on the lips of the 'chi-chi' set, and it is doubtful to assume that he will switch to Cronkite Whiskey and become a Man of Distinction. But from his work on this record, Hank Mobley certainly should be recognized by the general public, (as he is now by those 'on the jazz scene') as one of the most important of today's young tenor saxophonists."

I'm pretty sure Cook states that this session was never released again in the 12 inch format - I'll have to look that up.

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

Sugar Pie DeSanto - Go Go Power: The Complete Chess Singles 1961-1966

This is for our pal Surfrider.

Checking through the Bruyninckx discography, the personnel is mostly unknown, but does feature Maurice White and, "possibly", Buddy Guy.

Although Sugar Pie DeSanto has had a long career, most would agree that her peak as a recording artist was with Chess Records in the 1960s. All of the tracks issued on her Chess singles are on this CD, including a 1966 U.K. 45 ("There's Gonna Be Trouble") not issued in the U.S., as well as a previously unreleased bonus cut, the quite fine and tough "Witch for a Night." Nine of these cuts that appeared on 1960s singles, in fact, never appeared on an album anywhere prior to this CD. While not many of these sides made much chart noise, over these years DeSanto proved herself one of the finer, and certainly one of the grittiest, woman singers straddling the lines between bluesy R&B and contemporary soul. She's most known for the raunchier, sassier, bluesiest side of her repertoire, and there are, as expected, plenty such examples on this CD, including her moderate hit duet with Etta James ("In the Basement") and her witty answer record to Tommy Tucker's "Hi Heel Sneakers" ("Slip-in Mules [No High Heel Sneakers]"). Those who know DeSanto mostly as a soul-blues artist, though, might be surprised -- and usually pleasantly so -- to hear her do some quality material here that's more in the mainstream early- to mid-'60s soul style. Some songs even approach the fringe of the girl group and Motown sound, and occasionally she even adeptly handles ballads, like "Ask Me" (more famous in its hit version by Maxine Brown) and the more memorable 1965 recording "Never Love a Stranger." Not every song here is too distinctive, but the batting average is pretty high. Considering how heavily the Chess catalog has been mined in the CD era, it's odd that it took so long for such a comprehensive DeSanto collection to appear, but Ace has done its typical fine job with the packaging, including detailed historical liner notes. ~ Richie Unterberger

1. Soulful Dress
2. I Don't Wanna Fuss
3. In The Basement, Part 1
4. Witch For A Night
5. Slip-In Mules (No High Heel Sneakers)
6. Mama Didn't Raise No Fools
7. Go Go Power
8. Do I Make Myself Clear
9. Mr. & Mrs.
10. Good Timin'
11. Here You Come Running
12. Ask Me
13. Can't Let You Go
14. Crazy Lovin'
15. I Love You So Much
16. It Won't Be Long
17. Jump In My Chest
18. Love Me Tonight
19. There's Gonna Be Trouble
20. Use What You Got
21. Never Love A Stranger
22. Open Your Heart
23. Somewhere Down The Line
24. In The Basement, Part 2

Joe Henderson - In'n Out

Simply put, this is one of my fave Blue Note (and Joe Henderson) releases. With such a rhythm section - and Dorham, any tenor would have been thrilled, I guess.

Joe Henderson's third Blue Note release (which is here reissued on CD along with the addition of a previously unissued version of the title cut) matches the very distinctive tenor with the veteran trumpeter Kenny Dorham and an unbeatable rhythm section: pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Elvin Jones. Henderson, who has always had the ability to make a routine bop piece sound complex and the most complicated free improvisation seem logical, and Dorham provided all of the material and the music still sounds fresh over three decades later. - Scott Yanow

1 - In 'N Out
2 - Punjab
3 - Serenity
4 - Short Story
5 - Brown's Town
6 - In 'N Out

Joe Henderson ts
Kenny Dorham tp
McCoy Tyner p
Richard Davis b
Elvin Jones d