Monday, December 31, 2007

reynols - 'sosina arada mica' (great experimental rock!!!)

heres a great one from now defunct argentine experimental rock trio reynols.
give it a try!
heres a short bio followed by a supposed review of the album.
(an Argentine band led by a drummer, Miguel Tomasin, with Down syndrome) earned a measure of fame with a series of high-concept art projects, including a symphony for 10,000 chickens, an album of blank tapes playing, and a disc of "dematerialized" music (an empty CD case). Reynols' drummer and band leader Miguel Tomasin was once asked how popular the band was in Argentina (where it was the house band on the hit medical program "The Health of Our Children"), to which he replied, "We're more famous than a frozen glass of wool." Music from Inside the Mirror for the Mega-Mind Ears. Reynols has played street guerilla gigs with their guitars plugged into pumpkins as well as performances for an "audience" consisting of (presumably sublimating) dry ice. Their drummer and "spiritual leader" is Miguel Tomasin, an individual with Down Syndrome who is also a former pupil of Reynols founders and special educators Alan Courtis and Roberto Conlazo. Reynols has collaborated with Pauline Oliveros as well as the residents of a pollo ranch. They have "written" a piece for "baritone, tenor, contralto and soprano whistling kettles" that does in fact have some relationship to String Quartet literature. They have also made field recordings of imaginary places, such as a Márquez-esque outpost in Tomasin's imagination over which the banner of "Minecxio" flies (shades of Christian Vander's prog-sludge Magma), the forces of attraction binding magnetized particles to spooled strips of plastic polymers (Blank Tapes on Trente Oiseaux), and the installation of a hole in a street in Buenos Aires (Rampotanza Ronil Rempelente).
source wikipedia
on the psi phenomenon label new Zealand
From the same country that brought you the Argentine Rugby Team comes the brand new bucket of steaming hot-fong from the globes finest heavy metal shamen. Lurid-green, audio-slime that whispers your name and threatens to suck you down its own psychic plughole. The shiniest examples of everything Reynols-ish: visionary wail and murmer, cyclopean beating, and unshackled string twist. Powerful, deeply sinister, and truly beyond your wildest dreams. (Label)
"Weird stuff, this. Active guitar drones with a little sickly singing over the top. Soft and distant beats start far and come closer. As it develops, thoughts of assigning this to the post-rock category, but forget Tortoise! This is more like post-garage rock alcohol fueled fun. Alternating between moving drone-like stuff to active full on songs. If you went to see your favorite band and these guys opened for them, you might boo. But, if you came to see this band only, you would have the time of your life. Fun wackiness. "(Don Poe)

Jr. Walker & the All Stars – Nothin’ But Soul: The Singles 1962-1983 (1994)

Ok, Junior Walker & the All Stars were not jazz musicians per say, but I like ‘em and thought some of you might as well. The music is upbeat, and packed full of energy. Walker’s sax wails; it has a really “tough” or “raw” quality that I can listen to for hours---and that is what you get on these two discs. Disc 1 is probably his music that you are most familiar with, chock full of great R&B hits. Disc 2 brings him out of the classic Motown sound of the 60s and into the 1980s. The loads are in three sets: Disc 1, Disc 2, and the 24 page booklet with the CD Inserts---so snag whatever you like. This music is perfect for a holiday party too---sure to get the joint jumpin’.

Tracks: D1
1-Twist Lackawanna
3-Cleo’s Mood
4-Good Rockin’
5-Satan’s Blues
6-Monkey Jump
8-Hot Cha
9-Do The Boomerang
10-Shake and Fingerpop
11-Cleo’s Back
12-(I’m A) Road Runner
13-Baby You Know You Aint Right
14-How Sweet It Is (To be loved by you)
15-Nothing But Soul
16-Money (that’s what I want) Pt 1
17-Pucker Up Buttercup
18-Shoot Your Shot
19-Come See About Me
20-Sweet Soul
21-Hip City Pt II
22-Home Cookin’

1-What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)
2-These eyes
3-Gotta Hold On To This Feeling
4-do You See My Love (for you growing)
5-Holly Holy
6-Carry Your Own Load
7-Take Me Girl, I’m Ready
8-Right On Brothers and Sisters
9-Way Back Home
10-Walk In The Night
11-Groove Thang
12-Gimme That Beat Pt 1
13-I Don’t Need No Reason
14-Peace and Understanding (is hard to find)
15-Dancin’ Like They Do On Soul Train
16-I’m So Glad
17-You Aint No Ordinary Woman
18-Hard Love
19-Blow The House Down

Big Band Twofer

Two fine Big Band vinyl offerings from the middle and late 1950's.
@320kpbs, tagged and volume normalized.
Happy New Year to all the folks that visit here.

aaly tio and ken vandermark- stumble 1998

by Joslyn Layne

Stumble is an incredibly vibrant concert recording of the AALY Trio with Ken Vandermark which took place January, 1998 at Chicago's Unity Temple. All of the participating musicians are skilled and passionate players who, by the end of the 1990s, had stepped up to the forefront of free jazz and extended techniques. Although many listeners are put off by the sounds of avant-garde jazz's wilder territories, others find the hot and fiery side of jazz energy to be invigorating; this album is for the latter group. Included are excellent and equal contributions from all of the musicians who comprise the Swedish trio: Bassist Peter Janson, drummer Kjell Nordeson, and tenor saxophonist and flutist Mats Gustafsson (who also plays the fluteophone, a cross between the two instruments).
Joining them is Chicago saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Vandermark, who adds two compositions heard at the beginning and end of the show. These numbers are firmly entrenched in blues roots, carrying on a wailing, at times plaintive, blues spirit with conviction. The second composition of the show comes from Janson and opens with several minutes of dramatic saxophone soloing. When the rhythm section finally does come in, the bass is, unfortunately, a bit lost in the maelstrom of rollicking drums and still-going saxophones. Next is the comparatively short Gustafsson/Nordeson tune, "Hommage a Lillen" clocking in under seven minutes (the other pieces exceed 11). The slightly lost-in-the-mix bass of "Umea" is atoned for with the beautiful and warm rendition of Charlie Haden's "Song for Che"; the first five minutes is a bass solo during which Janson distinguishes himself as a first-rate, tasteful, and intuitive bassist. Rounding off a truly impressive show is Vandermark's "Why I Don't Go Back," a melodically lovely, slow blues burner with a heartbreakingly emotional delivery. Stumble documents a stunning and involving performance from a new generation of jazz innovators. Highly recommended.

this features the best version ever of charlie haden's song for che!!

Junior Cook - Pressure Cooker

Vinyl rip - no scans.

Edited to remove most crackles.

I could find only this cover picture on eBay.
If anyone can find a better, please post the link.

No review that I could find.

The title is well chosen; Junior's performance is scalding.

Happy New Year to everyone, particularly Rab for letting me
join in the fun here.

Junior Cook (ts)
Mickey Tucker (p)
Cecil McBee (b)
Juni Booth (b)
Leroy Williams (d)

01 Sweet Lotus Lips 5:29 (Mickey Tucker)
02 The Crucifier 4:44 (Mickey Tucker)
03 The 8th Cat 4:55
04 Not Quite That 4:45 (Garnett Brown)
05 Yardbird Suite 8:54 (Charlie Parker)
06 Moment To Moment 14:29 (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer)

Dates: November 1 1977, November 2 1977 (or perhaps December 2 1977)
Location: New York City

Sunday, December 30, 2007

gush- live in tampere 1999

Gush live in tampere

recorded 11/3/96 live at the Tapere Jazz happening, Pakkahuone, Finland

Gush is:Mats Gustafsson - tenor & soprano saxophones, flutephone
Sten Sandell - piano & voiceRaymond Strid - drums

'more direct and free jazz like than the trios with Guy (Mouth Eating Trees.... & You Forget to Answer)two long improvisations (38 & 19 minutes) with intense energy surfacing throughout, although there is plenty of light and shade. Stendell is a fine pianist - and Strid is a great drummer/collaberator for MatsThe first extended intense improvisation is on soprano - and the breathy playing, vocalizing & his various extened technique are all well served - and all are done organically - and the detail and concentrated effort of Gustafsson's playing is, as usual, of the highest order.highly recommended, espcially if you are a fan of the saxophonist.'

gustafsson is probably just a name to most here.. and mostly known for his collaborations with vandermark brotzmann et al.
from my point of view this group whips up a hell of a purposeful storm, lovely stuff,this ones now very tough to get hold of.. i think its gone.

Elvin Jones - Brother John

Vinyl rip - no scans

Pat LaBarbera - soprano tenor
Kenny Kirkland - piano
Reggie workman - bass
Elvin Jones - drums

1 Necessary Evil LaBarbera 4:11
2 October's Child LaBarbera 5:19
3 Harmonique Coltrane 4:54
4 Whatever Possessed Me Dameron 6:12
5 Familiar Ground LaBarbera 4:28
6 Why Try to Change Me Now? Coleman, McCarthy 5:59
7 Minor Blues LaBarbera 6:20
8 Brother John 4:16

Review by Scott Yanow

This out-of-print album is very much a showcase for saxophonist
Pat LaBarbera, who doubles on tenor and soprano, for he also
contributed five of the eight selections. With drummer Elvin
Jones, pianist Kenny Kirkland and bassist Reggie Workman forming
a formidable rhythm section, LaBarbera is heard throughout in
fine form, playing in a style strongly influenced by (but not
derivative of) John Coltrane. Unfortunately, this high-quality
hard bop set will be difficult to find.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dizzy Gillespie Meets the Phil Woods Quintet (1986)

Yeah, Dizzy was way past his prime in 1986. For the last 20 odd years of his life Diz was frustrated with his inability to produce on the trumpet the ideas that were in his head and throughout the '70s and '80s there would be good nights, bad nights and once in awhile he could play like he did most of his career.

It is unfortunate that trumpet players must deal with the loss of chops as the years go by, but such is life. But even in his last years Dizzy could no more put down his trumpet than Picasso could put down a paint brush. And to me, every snippet of what he played is a treasure.

"As the greatest musical heir on alto sax to Charlie Parker, it seemed only natural for Phil Woods to record a date with Dizzy Gillespie. This European studio session features Dizzy as a special guest sitting in with one of Woods' greatest quintets, with pianist Hal Galper and the brilliant trumpeter and flugelhornist Tom Harrell. In fact Dizzy's chops had already slipped somewhat during the decade and Harrell clearly outplays him even though he clearly isn't trying to embarrass the legendary trumpeter. Gillespie is at his best with a muted solo on "'Round Midnight," while Woods, Harrell and Galper are all outstanding throughout the entire CD." - Ken Dryden

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Phil Woods (alto sax)
Tom Harrell (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Hal Galper (piano)
Steve Gilmore (bass)
Bill Goodwin (drums)
  1. Oon-Ga-Wa (aka Ungawa)
  2. Loose Change
  3. Whasidishean
  4. 'Round Midnight
  5. Love for Sale
  6. Terrestris
Recorded in Holland on December 14, 1986

This Day In Jazz

Bobby Hutcherson - The Kicker

The same personnel who performed on Grant Green's classic IDLE MOMENTS session in November 1963 reconvened for Bobby Hutcherson's first recording as a leader one month later. THE KICKER, however, was never released and waited more than 35 years to see the light of day. Thanks to reissue king Michael Cuscuna, we are now finally able to hear this swinging disc and marvel at yet another example of Hutcherson's brilliance. Although this session is a bit more conservative than DIALOGUE, Hutcherson's original released debut, this is an exquisite capsule of the Blue Note era and a crisp performance by all. Many of the tunes here have been recorded in various forms by other Blue Note artists, but this ensemble gives each cut its own distinctive treatment. Joe Henderson's title track and "Step Lightly" are excellent examples of familiar tunes that are given a new flavor by this long-buried treasure of a disc. Also included is an energetic reading of the standard "If Ever I Would Leave You" and Joe Chamber's "Mirrors," both of which feature remarkable work by Hutcherson in his early development. This is part of Blue Note's Limited Edition Connoisseur Series.

Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone)
Duke Pearson (piano)
Grant Green (guitar)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Al Harewood (drums)

1 - If Ever I Would Leave You
2 - Mirrors
3 - For Duke P.
4 - The Kicker
5 - Step Lightly
6 - Bedouin

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 29, 1963

Phil Woods, Tommy Flanagan, Red Mitchell - Three For All (1981)

1989 re-issue w/scans

Phil Woods - alto sax
Tommy Flanagan - piano
Red Mitchell - bass

1. Reet's Neet (7:18)
2. It's Time To Emulate The Japanese (7:38)
3. Talking (4:42)
4. Three For All (6:43)
5. You're Me (5:44)
6. Goodbye Mr. Evans (7:54)

Chet Baker - Once Upon a Summertime

Vinyl rip. No scans

Chet Baker - trumpet
Gregory Herbert - tenor
Harold Danko - piano
Ron Carter - bass
Mel Lewis - drums

1 Tidal Breeze Danko 6:52
2 Shifting Down Dorham 7:32
3 E.S.P. Shorter 5:41
4 The Song Is You Hammerstein, Kern 9:17
5 Once Upon a Summertime (La Valse des Lilas)
Barclay, Legrand, Marnay ... 11:21

Review by Scott Yanow

Artists House, a classy if short-lived label, released this
attractive Chet Baker LP, a quintet date with tenor-saxophonist
Gregory Herbert, pianist Harold Danko, bassist Ron Carter and
drummer Mel Lewis. The challenging material ("The Song Is You"
is the only one of the five songs that is a standard) inspires
the musicians to play creative solos. It is particularly
interesting to hear Baker interpret the Wayne Shorter tune "ESP."
This set has been reissued on CD in the OJC series.

irene schweizer- first choice (solo 2006)

Pianist Irene Schweizer has earned the status of artistic royalty in her Swiss homeland. The recital presented on this new Intakt disc was part of a larger celebration celebrating her achievements, a day that included several concerts, a screening of the biographical film Portrait and a lavish dinner reception in her honor.
The venue itself, a grand conservatory space regarded as one of most acoustically pristine in the world, was also proof of the confidence and fondness placed in her by the creative community of which she is a focal part. Schweizer was reportedly pleased by all the sincere pomp and circumstance, but her primary desire remained the chance to play the piano for the pleasure of an audience and her own. She stuck to this personal directive and turned in another highly personal and musically complete performance.

Drinking in the results, which clock at just under an hour, I found myself reflecting on Keith Jarrett, specifically his newly released Carnegie Hall concert on ECM and making snap, if possibly erroneous, comparisons. Jarrett commands a similar level of respect, albeit on a world stage. His concerts are considered cultural events; high-ticket items easily rivaling their classical counterparts in terms of aesthetic cachet. The rushing swells of audience applause that append Schweizer’s pieces are included, but tastefully truncated. In Jarrett’s case, a rapturous sea of clapping hands consumes a full seventeen minutes of the Carnegie set. Jarrett’s ego is well documented, as is his disdain for those he deems of lesser talent. This arch smugness is curiously at odds with his purported humanist philosophies.
Not so with Schweizer who takes her populist positioning to heart with every performance. Her music springs from a fount of internalized sources: African dance, European folk ballads, free improvisation, American jazz and blues, and so on. It’s an amalgam deeply her own, but I’ve yet to hear it sound self-serving or supercilious.
A nineteen-minute improv “First Choice” opens the set, Schweizer strolling elegantly through a conscious stream of melodic variations and warming up to the intimidating keys of the KKL’s house piano. Her patterns her frequently punctuate with porcelain-like stabs, fingers in near-constant synchronized motion, but also paying close attention to silence and space. The piece culminates on a glorious rolling groove that recalls the power and poise of Randy Weston. “Into the Hall of Fame” is half its predecessor’s size, but just as kinetic and varied, Schweizer’s hands once again working overtime in a restless confluence of staccato constructions. Five remaining pieces are miniatures that still pack in plenty of pianistic excitement and imagination. “The Ballad of the Sad Café” has the air of a Jarrett reverie, floating chords conjuring a cloud of tender emotion. “Scratching the KKL” finds her vocalizing and applying various percussive accoutrement's to the strings of her instrument. “Oska T.” brings some pedal-dampened Monk to the plate while the romping “Jungle Beats II” delivers a delicious Don Cherry desert. Jarrett may justifiably hold the global crown of popularity and prestige, but with sterling recitals like this one Schweizer suggests a talent of equal standing that deserves to be more widely known.
~ Derek Taylor
this is a truly stunning recital people and includes a wonderful treatment of monks oska T.
(a track that is only known to me in a big band version arranged by oliver nelson)
this may not immediately resemble that but ..has its own magnificent severe beauty.
dont be put off by the reviewers labels.. 'free' ...improv' this is stately.. majestic pianism of the highest calibre by someone whos been inventive at her craft for 40 years.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Frank Wess - Going Wess (1993)

Beware, this trio cooks with high heat. Wess plays great flute on the first track but actually it is his tenor playing which really touches me here, he plays with something that is getting harder to come by these days.. soul.

This CD gave Frank Wess (doubling on tenor and flute) his first opportunity to record with an organ, and he is in top form on this trio outing with organist Bobby Forrester and drummer Clarence "Tootsie" Bean. Burners alternate with warm ballads and Wess (whether on his tough tenor or fluid flute) matches very well with Forrester's light, pre-Jimmy Smith organ style. In fact, this session swings so naturally that it could have been recorded in 1958. The ten superior standards are all given very favorable treatments, making this a highly recommended outing. -Yanow

Stan Getz - The Master

Vinyl rip. No scans.

Stan Getz - tenor
Albert Dailey - piano
Clint Houston - bass
Billy Hart - drums

01 Summer Night
02 Raven's Wood
03 Lover Man
04 Invitation

Review by Scott Yanow

On this LP the great tenor Stan Getz is heard with a quartet
comprised of pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Clint Houston and
drummer Billy Hart. Together they stretch out on four extended
performances (all between nine and 11 minutes long) that are
highlighted by "Lover Man" and "Invitation." More straightahead
than Getz's other Columbia albums of the period, this set finds
him really pushing himself.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I like everything ive ever heard of friedman's.
I include an amg review, for those who need such things, though it says absolutely nothing and the little information it suggests is wrong!!
It says friedman is coming from a hardbop angle or suggests he is using a language that stems from hard bop.
what a pitiful review, friedmans language was formed by assimilating what bill evans was doing, and paul bley, (both pretty far removed from hard bop as defined by horace silver ,art blakey et al.) they were his formative influences along with jimmy guiffre.
This album consist of standards and 1 free improve which sounds like a tightly composed tune, as such its very different to metamorphoses , a masterly classic jazz piano solo record,Heres the amg reviewThis obscure LP contains a lyrical and generally swinging solo set by pianist Don Friedman. Performing five standards (including "If I Should Lose You" and "Body and Soul"), plus a couple of diverse originals, Friedman's fairly original style, based in the hard bop tradition, is heard inexcellent form; pity that the album has yet to be reissued on CD.

alan silva- the seasons 1970 byg

alan silva –celestial communication orchestra:the seasons’ Pretty hard to source a review of this.Its basically one sprawling massive piece subtitled ‘a stereophonic picture” In my view it’s the precursor of cecil taylor’s larger scale projects like alms tiergarten spree, and owner of the riverbank. Alan Silva has also been a mentor to William Parker, and this obviously inspired his big band project the little huey orchestra. This was recorded live in paris at l’ortf French radio studio in paris 1970. It’s a kind of big band ascension, and an important if mostly forgotten slice of Paris based freejazz history.It has many beautiful moments."Alan Silva (born Alan Treadwell DaSilva, Bermuda, January 22, 1939) is an American free jazz double bassist and keyboard player.Born a British subject to an Azorean Portuguese woman (Irene Silva) and a black Bermudian man known only as "Ruby" at the very height of segregation, Silva emigrated to the United States at the age of five with his mother, eventually acquiring U.S. citizenship by the age of 18 or 19. He adopted the professional name Alan Silva in his twenties.He was quoted in a Bermuda newspaper in 1988 as saying that although he left the island at a young age, he always considered himself Bermudian. He grew up in Harlem, New York City, first taking up the trumpet.
Silva is known as one of the most inventive bass players in jazz and has performed with many of the great names in the world of avant-garde jazz, including Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, and Archie Shepp.Silva performed in 1964's October Revolution in Jazz and for Ayler's Live in Greenwich Village album. He has lived mainly in Paris since the early 1970s, where he formed the Celestial Communication Orchestra, a group dedicated to the performance of free jazz with various instrumental combinations. In the 1990s he picked up the electronic keyboard, declaring that his bass playing no longer surprised him. He has also used the electric violin and electric sarangi on his recordings. Since around 2000 he has performed more frequently as a bassist and bandleader, notably at New York City's annual Vision Festivals.
in fact the first alan silva I heard apart from his work on cecil taylors blue note lp’s was on a magnificent album of hill’s on soulnote called ‘reunion’ which I would recommend highly.
"HERES some OF THE PERSONNEL ON THE SEASONS All of the art ensemble of chicago, all of steve lacy’s 1970 quintet, barre phillips ,beb guerin, robin kenyatta ETC

Frank Wess-Harry Edison Orchestra - Dear Mr. Basie (1989)

In keeping the Frank Wess thread going with Rusty, here's one that feature's not only the playing of Wess but his skills as a big band arranger as well. All of the charts were arranged by him except for #2 and #5.

This was a specially assembled big band to play the 1989 Fujitsu-Concord Jazz Festival tour and 15 of the 18-piece band were Basie alumni. What makes it sound even more authentic at times than the regular Basie ghost band is having Marshal Royal on lead alto and Snooky Young on lead trumpet. Just about everybody gets in some solo space on this tribute concert and a good time was had by all. Basie would have been proud.

Snooky Young, Harry Edison, Al Aarons, Ray Brown, Joe Newman (tp)
Grover Mitchell, Al Grey, Michael Grey, Benny Powell (tb)
Marshal Royal, Curtis Peagler (as) Frank Wess (ts, fl) Billy Mitchell (ts) Bill Ramsey (bs)
Ted Dunbar (g) Ronnell Bright (p) Eddie Jones (b) Gregg Field (d)
  1. Jumpin' at the Woodside
  2. The Very Thought of You
  3. Blue on Blue
  4. All Riled Up
  5. This Is All I Ask
  6. I Wish I Knew
  7. Whirly Bird
  8. Lil' Darlin'
  9. Dejection Blues
  10. Battle Royal
  11. One O'Clock Jump
Recorded at Kan-i Hoken Hall, Tokyo, November, 1989

Frank Wess - Flute Juice

Vinyl rip. No scans.

Frank Wess - flute
Tommy Flanagan - piano
Chuck Wayne - guitar
George Mraz - bass
Ben Riley - drums

1. Lover come Back To Me
2. Spring Is Here
3. Riled Up
4. There Is No Greater Love
5. Nada Mas
6. Battle Royal

Review by Scott Yanow

Frank Wess' first set as a leader in eight years finds the
multireedist sticking to flute (his most distinctive ax) in a
quintet with guitarist Chuck Wayne, pianist Tommy Flanagan,
bassist George Mraz and drummer Ben Riley. The music is
predictably excellent, lightly swinging and a bit more
sophisticated than it might sound at first listen. Wess
and his group perform four jazz standards (including
"Love Come Back to Me" and "There Is No Greater Love")
plus a couple of the leader's originals.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Booker Ervin - Booker 'n' Brass

Very few tenor players have as distinctive a sound as Booker Ervin, and no doubt it was that idiosyncratic mark that made such a substantial contribution to his work with Charles Mingus and to the success of his "Books" albums. In this album, however, while not abandoning his highly developed aesthetic, he nonetheless gets down to earth with some highly satisying, full-throated blowing, finely augmented by a large ensemble. The orientation is bluesy, swingy, leaning more to the roots of blues and traditional jazz than to the avant garde to which he contributed significantly. This has been out of print after a brief time on the market.

Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard, Charles Tolliver, Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Britt Woodman, Bennie Green (trombones)
Kenny Barron (piano)

This is a partial list: breakdown in comments.

1. East Dallas Special
2. Salt Lake City
3. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
4. L.A. After Dark
5. Kansas City
6. Baltimore Oriole
7. Harlem Nocturne
8. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
9. St. Louis Blues
10. L.A. After Dark (alternate take)
11. L.A. After Dark (alternate take 2)

Benny Carter Meets Oscar Peterson

Benny Carter could supply enough music and experience to fill an entire blog, I think. And Oscar Peterson is Canadian. Now, I was just reading somewhere that Canada has it's own money, and laws, and all kinds of things. Anybody else hear that anywhere?

" Altoist Benny Carter had recorded with pianist Oscar Peterson back in the early '50s for Norman Granz's Verve label. More than 30 years, later he teamed up with Peterson again, this time for Granz's Pablo company. There was no sign of decline or disillusionment in either of the co-leaders' playing; in fact, if anything, they had improved with age. Joined by guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Dave Young and drummer Martin Drew, Carter and Peterson are both in a joyous mood and in typically swinging form on six standards and a blues." ~ Scott Yanow

Benny Carter (alto saxophone)
Oscar Peterson (piano)
Joe Pass (guitar)
Dave Young (bass)
Martin Drew (drums)

1. Just Friends
2. Sweet Lorraine
3. Baubles, Bangles And Beads
4. It's A Wonderful World
5. If I Had You
6. Whispering
7. Some Kind Of Blues

Recorded at Ocean Way Studio, Hollywood, California on November 14, 1986

Chick Corea - Tone's for Joan's Bones

Probably my favorite Corea effort; but then, anything with Woody Shaw is OK with me. The album was produced by Corea's erstwhile boss, Herbie Mann. Other bosses up until this point were Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria. Two years after this he released Now He Sings, Now He Sobs - but, as I said, I'm kinda partial to this one.

"Tones for Joan's Bones is Chick Corea's first album as a leader. The album features only four tracks, but is still over forty minutes long. The album is quite a rare find in its original form and is more commonly found in compilation with Miroslav Vitouš' album Mountain In The Clouds."

Chick Corea - (piano, keyboards)
Woody Shaw - (trumpet)
Joe Farrell - (tenor saxophone, flute)
Steve Swallow - (bass)
Joe Chambers - (drums)

1. Litha
2. This Is New
3. Tones for Joan's Bones
4. Straight up and Down

Young Turks

The Young Lions - The Young Lions

This CD, recorded in 1960, is a group-effort by a one-off band made up of Lee Morgan (trumpet), Frank Strozier (alto), Wayne Shorter (tenor), Bobby Timmons (piano), Bob Cranshaw (bass) and Louis Hayes and Albert "Tootie" Heath alternatively on drums. The group is young and energetic, and they play with fire and imagination. Four tunes are composed by Wayne Shorter, one by Lee Morgan. Three alternate takes beef up the CD playing time. All involved went on to impressive careers and multiple recording credits, with the exception of altoist Frank Strozier, who oddly enough has fallen by the wayside. Oddly enough, because he is more than on a par with the others in this company, but his promising start never materialised into a great career. A worthy reissue of a great album by a great band. Any fan of early 1960's hardbop in the traditional Blue Note-style will enjoy this CD.

Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Frank Strozier (alto sax)
Wayne Shorter (tenor sax)
Bobby Timmons (piano)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Louis Hayes, Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)

1. Seeds Of Sin
2. Scourn'
3. Fat Lady
4. Peaches And Cream
5. That's Right
6. Seeds Of Sin take 4
7. Scourn' take 3
8. Fat Lady take 3

Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York City, April 25, 1960

Phil Woods - The Young Bloods

There are those who claim that Phil Woods married Charlie Parker's widow so he could get Bird's horn. I find that to be an ignoble sentiment, but there's a song here dedicated to Chan from less than a year after Bird died. He was mackin' it early, no doubt.

" For this early hard bop date, altoist Phil Woods and trumpeter Donald Byrd were co-leaders. In fact, the music had at one point earlier on been released with Byrd getting first billing. Since the spirited altoist contributed four of the six tunes (including "House of Chan" and "In Walked George") and consistently takes solo honors, it is only right that the date has finally been reissued on CD under Woods' name. With pianist Al Haig (who did not record that extensively during this period), bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Charlie Persip offering stimulating accompaniment, this is an easily recommended release (despite its brief LP length) for straight-ahead jazz collectors."

Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Phil Woods (alto sax)
Al Haig (piano)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Charlie Persip (drums)

1. Dewey Square
2. Dupeltook
3. Once More
4. House of Chan
5. In Walked George
6. Lover Man

Recorded in Hackensack, NJ on November 2, 1956


Although the relationship between Ornette Coleman and Theo Jörgensmann might at first blush seem somewhat tenuous, Peter Niklas Wilson argues convincingly in his liner notes that the spirit of Ornette is central to this music. While the album is dedicated to Ornette, none of his tunes are played, and the instrumentation bears little resemblance to his. Still, with the focus on melody (as a tool, not an end), the openness of time, the diversity of approaches within a single song, and the willingness to embrace unusual yet logical paths, Jörgensmann absorbs the legacy of Ornette in a way that might not at first be obvious. This is a tightly performed set of compositions in which the clarinetist's mastery of his horn leads him to flirt with the edges where free jazz meets hard bop. Jörgensmann has previously proved his virtuosic skills, and they are here in large doses, but this recording is not about jamming the changes or proving one's virility. This can be complex music, where a lightness of being intersects varied harmonies, and it can also be invigorating fare. Christopher Dell's vibes color the tonalities with a delicacy of being, though the results will never be mistaken as jazz-lite. At times, To Ornette - Hybrid Identity might seem atmospheric — but not for long. Throughout there is a seriousness to it that begs the listener to concentrate closely, as there are layers of mystery to be peeled away. Steven Loewy

Theo Jorgensmann ( Bb bassett clarinet)
Christopher Dell (vibes)
Christian Ramond (double bass)
Klaus Kugel (drums)

1 Mr. Vertigo
2 On Unsafe Roads
3 Hybrid Identity
4 Poème
5 Rainer Rumpel
6 Sisu
7 Veneta
8 Greating to Ornette

Splitting his time between the electric and acoustic pianos and a bit of organ, Jarrett teams up with drummer/percussionist Jack DeJohnette in a series of experimental duets, his only electric session for ECM. The all-acoustic title number ranges all over the lot, from tootling on a bamboo (?) flute to the energizing barrelhouse gospel riffs that would bloom in the solo concerts. Tellingly, there is little in this collaboration that predicts what Jarrett and DeJohnette would do in their Standards Trio of the '80s; rather, it anticipates the exotic Third World side of Jarrett's American quartet immediately in the future and adds a finishing flourish to his jazz-rock period. Indeed, the most memorably percolating playing by both musicians turns up in the electric numbers, where Jarrett utilizes the distinctively funky, wah-wah, fuzz-tone approach on electric piano that he developed with Miles Davis. As such, this is a valuable, underrated transition album that provides perhaps the last glimpse of the electric Keith Jarrett as he embarked on his notorious (and ultimately triumphant) anti-electric crusade.

Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette created this set of seven pieces in a largely improvised context. These were Jarrett's last explorations with electric keyboards (he'd recently come off a stint with Miles Davis, playing electric piano), but though he was soon to become a staunch pro-acoustic advocate, his work here is inventive and bracing. While not all electric (Jarrett plays standard piano, as well as bamboo flute), there's a wonderful funkiness to be heard. Elsewhere--such as on the title track--the gospel inclinations that would be a core element in his later pieces can be heard. DeJohnette's broad percussion palette foreshadows his own future work, which drew upon varied world musics. This set is varied and delightful--a hidden chapter in both men's discographies.

Keith Jarrett (piano, electric piano, organ, flute)
Jack DeJohnette (drums, percussion)

1. Overture/Communion
2. Ruta And Daitya
3. All We Got
4. Sounds Of Peru/Submergence/Awakening
5. Algeria
6. You Know, You Know
7. Pastel Morning

George Benson & Joe Farrell - Benson & Farrell

"This little-known CTI recording matches guitarist George Benson and Joe Farrell, a multi-reed player who mostly sticks to flute. Joined by a large rhythm section and sometimes two other flutists (including Eddie Daniels), Benson and Farrell play four originals by session arranger Dave Matthews, plus the standard "Old Devil Moon." This pleasing if not all that memorable instrumental date was recorded right after Benson's Breezin' (and before its release), ending the guitarist's CTI period right before he became a vocal star." Scott Yanow

George Benson (guitar)
Joe Farrell (soprano sax, flute, bass flute)
Eddie Daniels, Dave Tofani (alto flute)
Don Grolnick, Sonny Bravo (piano)
Will Lee, Gary King (bass)
Andy Newmark (drums)
Eric Gale, Steve Khan (guitar)
Nicky Marrero (perc)
Jose Madera (conga)
Michael Collaza (timbales)

1. Flute Song
2. Beyond The Ozone
3. Camel Hump
4. Rolling Home
5. Old Devil Moon

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Jan. 20-21, & Mar. 12, 1976 and A & R Recording Studios, Sept., 1976

Eberhart Weber - Chorus

Weber has always had an ear for heartachingly lovely melodies, and those on Chorus are no exception. And it's a real joy to hear Garbarek take these melodies and wring just the right amount of emotion out of them. His tone here is incredibly pure - is this really the same man as on Afric Pepperbird?

The album is in seven interlinked parts, all very simple in structure but beautiful in execution. It begins with a bass solo over a drone, joined eventually by a slow-march drumbeat and a childishly simple two-note bass synth. Then the winds enter on simple but effective chords... eventually, Garbarek adds a shrieking sax figure on top, perfect! Parts II and III are based around simple repetitive and beautiful cadences and riffs. The combination of low-register sax and bass playing Part III's riff in unison is awesome, and Garbarek's pure-toned solos on top are a joy. Part IV is a brief return to the opening slow march.

After that, Part V sounds much more free-form, tempo-free and swirling, with lots of bowed bass. (I can't recall what Garbarek does here; this is not a part I play much). Part VI bursts in with a relatively perky one-note bass rhythm and swirling sax, the most up-tempo (the only up-tempo part of the whole work). This resolves in a dazzling nigh-orchestral climax, and stops dead. As the echoes die, Part VII's electric-piano-synth arpeggios start, underlaid by a lovely theme on bass. This is quite reminiscent of Maurizius from Weber's Later That Evening (Lyle Mays, Paul McCandless, Bill Frisell,) only I prefer this by far. The saxophone repeats this new theme - more beauty! - and somehow things work their way back to the climax of Part VI, before things die back down to the Part VII theme.

This is not an album to set the world on fire, but it will put it out nicely afterwards. Though Weber has done wonderful things with both live and studio multi-tracked bass, this is still my favourite of his albums. Highly recommended.

Eberhard Weber (bass, synthesizer)
Jan Garbarek (soprano and tenor saxophones)
Ralf-R. Hübner (drums)

1. Part I
2. Part II
3. Part III, IV
4. Part V
5. Part VI
6. Part VII

Clarinet and flute parts played by Manfred Hoffbauer
Oboe and English horn by Martin Küntstner

Digital Recording, September 1984, Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg

Phineas Newborn Jr. Trio - Tivoli Encounter

Although pianist Phineas Newborn would live until 1989, this live set (released for the first time on a 1997 CD) is among his final recordings. Assisted by bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Bjarne Rostvold, Newborn performs a variety of bop standards, with the biggest surprise being a medley of "Trees" and "Tea for Two." Although still displaying impressive technique, Newborn does make some errors in spots and sounds just slightly past his prime. Whether those slips were caused by his mental problems or just being a little rusty are not known. However, even at only 80% of his powers, Newborn was still a powerful force, as he shows on such numbers as "Lady Be Good," Clifford Brown's "Daahoud" and "Oleo." Not essential, but still worthwhile. Scott Yanow

One of the most technically skilled and brilliant pianists in jazz during his prime, Phineas Newborn remains a bit of a mystery. Plagued by mental and physical problems of unknown origin, Newborn faded from the scene in the mid-1960s, only to re-emerge at irregular intervals throughout his life. Newborn could be compared to Oscar Peterson in that his bop-based style was largely unclassifiable, his technique was phenomenal, and he was very capable of enthralling an audience playing a full song with just his left hand.

He started out working in Memphis R&B bands with his brother, guitarist Calvin Newborn, and recorded with local players including B.B. King in the early 1950s. Brief stints with Lionel Hampton and Willis Jackson preceded a period in the military (1952-54). After moving to New York in 1956, Newborn astounded fans and critics alike. Although he worked briefly with Charles Mingus (1958) and Roy Haynes, Newborn usually performed at the head of a trio or quartet. His early recordings for Atlantic (1956), Victor, Roulette and Contemporary are quite outstanding. Unfortunately, after the mid-'60s, Newborn's profile dropped sharply, and although there were further recordings for Contemporary (1969), Atlantic (1969), Pablo (1976) and the Japanese Philips (1977) label, and although he still sounded strong when appearing in public, the pianist was in danger of being forgotten by most of the jazz world during his last decade. Spending most of his time in Memphis, he was an inspiration to many younger pianists including James Williams, Harold Mabern, Mulgrew Miller, Donald Brown and Geoff Keezer, who after Newborn's death would dedicate their work as the Contemporary Piano Ensemble to Phineas. Fortunately, the episode of Jazz Scene USA that features Phineas Newborn in 1962 has been made available on a video by Shanachie.

Phineas Newborn, Jr. (piano)
Jesper Lundgaard (bass)
Bjarne Rostvold (drums)

1 - Lady Be Good
2 - Don't Blame Me
3 - Daahoud
4 - Billie's Bounce,Walkin'
5 - Sweet And Lovely
6 - On Green Dolphin Street
7 - Nica's Dream
8 - Trees,Tea For Two
9 - Oleo
10 - Night In Tunisia
11 - I'll Remember April

Copenhagen, Denmark, July 16, 1979

The Complete Bill Evans On Verve

Charles Mingus - The Complete Debut Recordings: CDs 9 - 12

This completes the Mingus Debut set.

CD 9

September 19.1955
Don Senay, vocal; Thad Jones, Louis Mucci, trumpets; unknown brass; John LaPorta, Julius Baker woodwinds; Billy Taylor, piano; unknown harp; Jackson Wiley, cello; unknown strings; Milt Hinton, Fred Zimmerman (Charles Mingus?), bass; Joe Morello, drums and percussion (or unknown percussion). Arranged by Alonzo Levister.

1. The Edge of Love
2. Makin' Whoopee
3. Fanny

Probably September 26, 1955
Thad Jones, trumpet; overdubbed onto intrumental track (without vocal) from preceding session

4. Portrait

December 23, 1955
Cafe Bohemia, NYC
Eddie bert, trombone; George Barrow, tenor saxophone; Mal Waldron, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Willie Jones or Max Roach, ("Percussion Discussion," "I'll Remember April," "Drums" only), drums.

5. Jump Monk
6. Serenade in Blue )
7. Percussion Discussion ( a second bass part was overdubbed onto the original track at some subsequent date)
8. Work Song
9. Septemberly ( this is a Mingus arrangement, combining the two standards "September in the Rain" and Tenderly")
10. All the Things You C# ( this is a Mingus arrangement which combines the standard "All the Things You Are" with elements from the Rachmaninoff "Prelude in C# Minor" and Debussy's "Claire de Lune")
11. I'll Remember April

CD 10

1. Love Chant
2. A Foggy Day
3. Drums
4. Haitian Fight Song
5. Lady Bird
6. Jump Monk (alternate take)
7. All the Things You C# (alternate take)
8. Drums (alternate take 1)
9. Drums (alternate take 2)

CD 11

1. I'll Remember April (alternate take)
2. A Foggy Day (alternate take)
3. A Portrait of Bud Powell
4. Haitian Fight Song (alternate take)
5. Love Chant (alternate take)
6. Lady Bird (alternate take)
7. What Is This Thing Called Love? (previously unissued fragment: tape ran out at recording session)

June 10, 1957
Jimmy Knepper, trombone; Joe Maini, alto saxophone; Bill Triglia, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Dannie richmond, drums.

8. Latter Day Saint
9. Cunningbird
10. The Jumpin' Blues (Jump the Blues Away)
11. The Masher
12. Latter Day Saint (previously unissued alternate take 1)
13. Latter Day Saint (previously unissued alternate take 2)

CD 12

1. The Masher (alternate take )

September (?) 1957
Clarence Shaw, trumpet; Shafi Hadi, tenor saxophone; Pepper Adams, baritone saxophone; Wade Legge or Wynton Kelly, piano; Charles Mingus or Henry Grimes ("Joldi" only), bass; Dannie Richmond, drums

3. [Untitled Original Blues] (take 1)
4. Stella by Starlight (take 4)
5. Stella by Starlight (take 5)
6. [Untitled Original Composition] (take 3)
7. [Untitled Original Composition] (take 5)
8. Autumn in New York (take 1)
9. Autumn in New York (take 2)
10. Long Ago (And Far Away) (take 2)
11. Long Ago (And Far Away) (take 4)
12. Long Ago (And Far Away) (take 5)
13. [Untitled Original Blues] (take 2)
14. Joldi (take 4)
15. Joldi (take 5)

Late 1957 or (?) 1958
unknown flute (Shafi Hadi?); Charles Mingus, miscellaneous percussion, including piano percussion; Dannie Richmond, drums; unidentified others (probably including Jimmy Knepper, Clarence Shaw, Horace Parlan or Phineas Newborn), miscellaneous percussion. [This recording date was for the purpose of providing a sound track for the film "Shadows," but the material recorded was not used. The remainder of the session consists of brief snippets of instrumental "cue" segments.] Charles Mingus' voice is heard at the track's opening.

16. [Untitled Percussion Composition]

The Paul Togawa Quartet (1957)

If you are liking Gabe Baltazar after this, then you should hear his 1992 album for Mode. Dusty Groove mention its rare in the review but VSOP albums are easily available from their website.

One of the most obscure 50s sides of LA jazz -- and one of the hardest to find on the tiny Mode label! Drummer Paul Togawa leads a quartet of mostly obscure players -- including Dick Johnston on piano, Gabe Baltazar on alto, and more familiar Ben Tucker on bass. Tucker's got that round warm tone that always was his great addition to any session at the time -- and he walks the group through some tunes that have some amazing work on alto by Baltazar. In fact, Baltazar's so great, we'd rank him here with Charlie Mariano, Dick Johnson, or any other number of post-Bird groundbreaking players on the alto. The tracks are a lot longer and freer than the usual Mode bag -- which really lets Gabe open up on his playing. Title sinclude "Oriental Blues", "Ben's Blues", "Peanuts", and "Love For Sale". -dgroove

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Oscar Peterson - Eloquence (1965)

This Limelight LP was reissued on CD by Polygram in 1990 and there was a limited Japanese pressing in 2002, but both are currently unavailable unless you want to pay big bucks. You can pick up a new copy through Amazon for $99.99 : )=

Eloquence was recorded at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and was the last trio album with Ed Thigpen. In between two very short Peterson originals the trio has some strong performances on five jazz standards and "The Smudge", a blues penned by Oscar.

All of Peterson's live albums are good and this one is no exception. However, this LP has seen better days and is not up to the standard that I would normally feel comfortable posting. But what the hay, if you don't mind some scratchiness in the softer sections it is very listenable.

Ripped from the original gatefold mono album and includes scans of the liner notes from the inside booklet.

Oscar Peterson (piano)
Ray Brown (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)
  1. Children's Tune
  2. Younger Than Springtime
  3. Misty
  4. Django
  5. The Smudge
  6. Autumn Leaves
  7. Moanin'
  8. Lover's Promenade
Recorded on May 29, 1965

Sun Ra - The Singles

I have upped a lot of Sun Ra in the last year, but you-know-who (The Wooden Shoe Zoo) killed just about all of it. So, as a corrective...

Back in the mid-'50s, bandleader Sun Ra decided to get his music to his audience through a more direct process by starting his own label, Saturn Records. Equal parts creative futuristic vision and small-time Southern R&B bandstand hustle, these 45s were pressed in unbelievably small quantities (sometimes in runs of only 50 copies), making them the holy grail of Sun Ra collectibles. The collection of singles runs a neat 30-year time-frame and features everything from Sun Ra with an embryonic form of his Arkestra doing backup duties behind doo-wop groups and R&B slopbucket singers like 'Space Age Vocalist' Yochannon to wild-ass sonic experiements from the late '70s into the early '80s that would have atmospherically fit on any of his avant-garde albums. Pieced together for this release from the contributions of private collectors around the world -- and sonically cleaned up far beyond the audio capabilities of the original vinyl they were pressed on -- these 49 three-minute opuses will alternately confuse, astound, confound, delight, and illuminate Sun Ra fans of all stratas of involvement. A major piece of puzzle that is the man, now in place. Cub Koda

The Marty Paich Trio (1957)

I think there was a request for this. I've become quite fond of piano trios, this one is nice.

Marty Paich became so well-known as an arranger in the 1950s that his piano playing became secondary. This session for the Mode label was Paich's only trio set. With the assistance of bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Mel Lewis, Paich plays tasteful versions of three standards, Jack Montrose's "A Dandy Line" and four of his own originals. The music is subtle and quiet but swinging and reasonably enjoyable. -Yanow

Monday, December 24, 2007

Oscar Peterson Trio ~ A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra

This is the 2004 remaster:

A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra may not be premier division OP, but it is a most attractive and illuminating set. Recorded in Paris in May 1959, it marked drummer Ed Thigpen's Peterson debut--though such is the group's three-in-one empathy that you'd never think so. Three months later they recorded over a hundred titles in the space of a fortnight, the majority a reprise of Peterson's 10-album Songbook series from 1952-4, and the ethos of this precursor is very similar, its accent on beautifully-crafted tributes to the American popular song at its finest. The performances are short but anything but perfunctory: Peterson's arrangements are as distinguished for imagination as appositeness, and they--even more than his glorious pianism--are the key to this portrait's enduring success. Bassist Ray Brown is just awesome, and not even the decidedly modest playing time should stop you adding this to your shopping basket without delay. --Richard Palmer
Oscar Peterson: Piano
Ray Brown: Bass
Ed Thigpen: Drums
rec may 18, 1959 in Paris

1 You Make Me Feel So Young
2 Come Dance With Me
3 Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)
4 Tender Trap
5 Learning the Blues
6 Witchcraft
7 Just in Time
8 It Happened in Monterey
9 I Get a Kick Out of You
10 All of Me
11 Birth of the Blues
12 How About You?

R.I.P OP Oscar Emmanuel Peterson 15, Aug 1925 - 23, Dec 2007

The New York Jazz Quartet - In Concert In Japan (1975)

Complementing Rusty's posts, here's another one by the New York Jazz Quartet. If you think you already have this on CD, think again and then read on.

After Sony bought the CTI catalogue they released In Concert In Japan, Vol. 1 which was from a different concert on March 23rd with a slightly different set list. The notes indicated that the original LP was to be released as Vol. 2 but was never issued.

The Salvation label was created in 1972 as a subsidiary of CTI that was initially used to feature its "gospel" recordings. During 1974-75 it focused more on jazz and R&B releases that were not produced by Creed Taylor.

The first two numbers from this LP feature lengthy interpretations of Ron Carter's "Little Waltz" and Monk's "Well You Needn't" with Frank Wess on flute. "Introspection" is all Roland Hanna, showing why he is one of the most sensitive pianists on the planet. "Mediterranean Seascape" is the most interesting piece on the album and features Wess on an instrument he doesn't play very often, soprano sax.

There are once again plans to release this on CD in Japan but until that happens I hope you enjoy this vinyl rip.

Frank Wess (flute, soprano sax)
Roland Hanna (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)
  1. Little Waltz
  2. Well You Needn't
  3. Introspection
  4. Mediterranean Seascape
Recorded at Yubin-Chokin-Kaikan Hall, Tokyo on April 2, 1975

Modern Jazz Quartet - Plastic Dreams (1971)

This album has a somewhat seasonally induced and thus very short shelf life as two of its cuts have holiday themes, which provide an odd contrast with the choice of album cover art, no? Scott Yanow's review is - this time - right on:

"The Modern Jazz Quartet's Plastic Dreams is a streaky LP. The low points are rather repetitious "Variations on a Christmas Theme" and "England's Carol" (the latter is based on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman"). However, "Walkin' Stomp" is quite memorable as is the tango "Plastic Dreams" and "Trav'lin." Two selections add a five-piece brass section to the classic group (John Lewis on piano and harpsichord, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Connie Kay). Despite its faults, this generally enjoyable album deserved to be reissued on CD. [This version of the album contains bonus material.]"

I'm guessing you all know who's playing what.

1. Walkin' Stomp (4:45)
2. Dancing (5:14)
3. Plastic Dreams (5:22)
4. Variations On A Christmas Theme (4:25)
5. Trav'lin' (4:41)
6. Piazza Navona (6:36)
7. England's Carol (5:20)

Roland Hanna New York Jazz Quartet - Oasis

Vinyl rip. This one is for fslmy - hope you like it.

No scans

Review by Jim Todd

A little more throttle would have been welcome on New York Jazz
Quartet's cruising-paced Oasis set from 1981. As it is, Roland
Hanna on piano, Frank Wess on tenor sax and flute, George Mraz
on bass, and Ben Riley on drums take a low-key approach to two
Wess originals and four from Hanna. It's a pleasant session, but
not one that lives up to the potential of its lineup. The material
is respectable and the quartet knows it well enough, but perhaps
not sufficiently to transform written parts into a dynamic group
effort. Mraz is the standout performer. He is in command of a ready
flow of ideas and is captured with a rich, full sound. His duet
with Hanna on the pianist's blues "Funk House" is a highlight that
finds the pair expertly working the spaces they give each other.
Elsewhere, though, Hanna, a pianist who can summon fire, passion,
and drama from his instrument, is quite restrained, seemingly
content to focus on his writing, rather than stimulating group
interplay. Wess, too, does not take many chances or seize the
opportunity to stretch out. The one sequence where he does open
up is the third section of his 13-minute suite, "The Patient
Prince," where he unleashes an impressive series of unrestrained
choruses on tenor sax. If the goal of this quartet was to create
relaxed, subdued performances, then Oasis can be considered a
success. Otherwise, except for the bassist, the set does not fully
exploit the potential of the music or the capabilities of these
leading players.

1 Don't Come, Don't Call Wess 5:21
2 It's Just a Social Gathering Hanna 4:21
3 Funk House Hanna, Mraz 4:20
4 Cram It Damn It Hanna 5:38
5 The Patient Prince/First Sight/Perra Capricciosa Wess 13:12
6 Oasis Hanna 4:13

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Joe Pass - Six-String Santa (1992)

I'm not usually enamored by Christmas jazz albums as most are pretty trite. But this CD is surprisingly good, especially coming from a budget line, and is one that I actually listen to every year.

Seasons Greetings to Y'all!!

"This is one of guitarist Joe Pass's more obscure late-period records. Pass and his regular working quartet of the early '90s (rhythm guitarist John Pisano, bassist Jim Hughart and drummer Colin Bailey) perform a variety of famous Christmas-related songs, plus his own "Happy Holiday Blues." The tasteful renditions swing and include quartet pieces, some two-guitar duets and a few unaccompanied solos from the great Pass, resulting in one of the better Christmas albums around." - Scott Yanow

Joe Pass (guitar)
John Pisano (rhythm guitar)
Jim Hughart (bass)
Colin Bailey (drums)
  1. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
  2. (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
  3. White Christmas
  4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  5. O Christmas Tree
  6. Angels We Have Heard on High/Joy to the World
  7. Happy Holiday Blues
  8. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  9. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  10. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  11. Winter Wonderland
Recorded February 4, 1992

Roland Hanna - Blues for Sarka

Vinly rip. Issued on CD but no extra tracks.
Edited to remove crackles.

Review by Ken Dryden

The New York Jazz Quartet, an excellent though overlooked band which
was active in the 1970s and 1980s, is heard live at Jazzclub
Domicile in Munich on this Inner City album. Pianist Roland Hanna,
the founder of the group, is accompanied by tenor saxophonist Frank
Wess, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Grady Tate, who had just
replaced Richard Pratt. Aside from an extended workout of Miles
Davis' "All Blues," which centers on Wess' soulful tenor sax, the
remainder of this performance consists of originals each by Hanna or
Mraz. The pianist's exciting "Rodney Round Robin," which he had
debuted only two years earlier while recording a studio date under
Red Rodney's leadership, contrasts strikingly with his dark, funky
"Smelly Jelly Belly." The bassist's contributions are also laudable.
The feverish "I'll Tell You Tonight" is like a roller coaster with
plenty of hairpin turns, while his "Blues for Sarka" isn't actually
a blues at all but a heartfelt ballad. Issued by both Inner City and
Enja, this now out of print disc is easily one of the best releases
by the New York Jazz Quartet.

Frank Wess - tenor flute
Roland Hanna - piano
George Mraz - bass
Grady Tate - drums

1 All Blues Davis 15:29
2 Rodney Round Robin Hanna 5:44
3 I'll Tell You Tonite Mraz 7:14
4 Blues for Sarka Mraz 7:11
5 Smelly Jelly Belly Hanna 9:33

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nat Adderley - You, Baby (1968)

Calling Out Loud got a good response so I thought I'd post the first album that Nat Adderley did for A&M with Bill Fischer and Joe Zawinul. There are some nice moments, especially Zawinul's "Early Minor" which evokes memories of Miles Davis and Gil Evans on Sketches of Spain. In my opinion this album is not up to the same level as Calling Out Loud, but Mr. Ginell likes it and you might too.

"As Cannonball Adderley moved with the times in the late '60s, so did brother Nat on his own. While Adderley generally buys into Creed Taylor's A&M mixture of top-flight jazz talent, pop tunes and originals, and orchestrations packaged in bite-sized tracks, this album has its own pleasingly veiled yet soulful sound quite apart from its neighbors in the A&M/CTI series. Give credit to Adderley's successful use of a Varitone electronic attachment on his cornet, giving the horn an "electric blue" sound which he handles with marvelous rhythmic dexterity. Add Joe Zawinul's lively, funky electric piano from Cannonball's quintet, as well as the brooding, genuinely classically-inspired orchestrations of Bill Fischer that only use violas, cellos and flutes. While not always technically perfect, Adderley's solos have soul and substance; his brief, catchy bop licks on "Halftime" are some of the best he ever played and on Zawinul's "Early Minor," he evokes a sense of loneliness that Miles would have admired. A lovely, intensely musical album, well worth seeking out." - Richard S. Ginell

Nat Adderley (cornet)
Joe Zawinul (electric piano)
Ron Carter (bass
Grady Tate (drums)
George Marge (flute, oboe)
Jerome Richardson (flute, soprano sax)
Harvey Estrin, Romeo Penque, Joe Soldo (flutes)
Al Brown, Selwart Clarke, Bernard Zaslav (viola)
Charles McCracken, George Ricci, Alan Shulman (cello)
Arranged and Conducted by Bill Fischer
  1. You, Baby
  2. By the Time I Get to Phoenix
  3. Electric Eel
  4. Early Chanson
  5. Denise
  6. Early Minor
  7. My Son
  8. New Orleans
  9. Hang On In
  10. Halftime
Recorded March 26, 27, 28; April 4, 1968

Ron Carter - All Blues

Ron Carter - All Blues

Vinyl rip. As far as I can see this has not been issued on CD.

Review by Scott Yanow

One of bassist Ron Carter's better albums as a leader, this CTI LP
features a very compact quartet comprised of tenor saxophonist Joe
Henderson, pianist Roland Hanna (keyboardist Richard Tee sits in on
one number), drummer Billy Cobham and Carter. All of the music (even
the ballad "Will You Still Be Mine?") has a blues feeling although
several are not really blues. However, the quality of the solos is
high, and this date lives up to one's expectations.

Joe Henderson - tenor
Roland Hanna - piano
Richard Tee - keyboard
Ron Carter - bass piccolo bass
Billy Cobham - drums

1. A Feeling
2. Light Blue
3. 117 Special
4. Rufus
5. All Blues
6. Will You Still be Mine

Kenny Burrell - 1959 A Night At The Vanguard

A hip live date from Kenny Burrell -- recorded with a trio that includes Richard Davis on bass and Roy Haynes on drums -- both of whom help Kenny find a groove that's a bit lighter and more fluid than usual! The rhythms here are quite gentle, almost spare at times -- and always touched with Haynes' great sense of lyricism. Kenny's guitar lines are right out front, freely flowing with plenty of warm chromatic hues, and styles that echo a bit more modernism than we've heard in other work of his from the late 50s. Titles include "Well You Needn't", "Trio", "All Night Long", and "Soft Winds".
Dusty Groove review.

01 All Night Long (Brooks) 5:17
02 Will You Still Be Mine? (Adair, Dennis) 4:26
03 I'm a Fool to Want You (Herron, Sinatra, Wolf) 4:39
04 Trio (Garner) 4:19
05 I Can't See for Lookin' [*] (Robinson, Stanford) 3:48
06 Cheek to Cheek [*] (Berlin) 6:12
07 Broadway (Bird, McRae, Wood) 4:21
08 Soft Winds (Goodman) 3:20
09 Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin' (Ellington, Gaines, Strayhorn) 4:21
10 Well, You Needn't (Monk) 4:28

Recorded live at The Village Vanguard, NY on September 16 and 17 [*], 1959

Kenny Burrell Guitar
Richard Davis Bass
Roy Haynes Drums

Kenny Burrell & Frank Wess - 1956 Monday Stroll

This 1956 recording really is a record by Frank Wess with people from the Count Basie band, but has been re-issued under Burrell's name; a very young Kenny who arrived to New York that year from Detroit.

Although the original LP was reissued under guitarist Kenny Burrell's name, it was originally led by Frank Wess, who is heard doubling on flute and tenor. With the assistance of Burrell, rhythm guitarist Freddie Green, bassist Eddie Jones and either Kenny Clarke or Gus Johnson on drums, Wess is in excellent form on a set very reminiscent (not too surprisingly considering the personnel) of the Count Basie band. Wess contributed four of the songs, Burrell brought in "Southern Exposure" and the quintet also plays "Over the Rainbow" and the obscure "Woolafunt's Lament." This is a fine straightahead date, with Wess's flute taking solo honors. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

1 Monday Stroll (4:21)
2 East Wind (5:14)
3 Wess Side (5:01)
4 Southern Exposure (6:49)
5 Woolafunt's Lament (7:05)
6 Over the Rainbow (6:00)
7 Kansas City Side (8:32)

Recorded in Hackenshack, New Jersey on December 17, 1956

Frank Wess Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Eddie Jones Bass
Kenny Burrell Guitar
Kenny Clarke Drums
Gus Johnson Drums
Freddie Green Guitar (Rhythm)

Dexter Gordon 1970 The Jumpin' Blues

Scott Yanow, AMG
Although tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon seemed to have been largely forgotten in the U.S. during his long residence in Europe, he was playing in prime form during the period and made occasional trips back to America. On this CD reissue, Gordon teams up with pianist Wynton Kelly (one of his last recordings), bassist Sam Jones and drummer Roy Brooks for an obscure original (“Evergreenish”), “The Jumpin’ Blues,” the veteran ballad “For Sentimental Reasons” and three songs that were long a part of Gordon’s repertoire: “Star Eyes,” “Rhythm-A-Ning” and “If You Could See Me Now.” Dexter Gordon is in fine form on the excellent straightahead bop set.

Track listing
1 - Evergreenish (06:03)
2 - For Sentimental Reasons (06:51)
3 - Star Eyes (06:50)
4 - Rhythm-A-Ning (06:35)
5 - If You Could See Me Now (05:21)
6 - The Jumpin' Blues (05:47)

Dexter Gordon - Tenor Saxophone
Wynton Kelly - Piano
Sam Jones - Bass
Roy Brooks - Drums

Recorded on August 27, 1970 in New York City

Dexter Gordon - Clubhouse (RVG)

Oh, my God!, this Blue Note people.
This recording was made in 1965, the day before Gordon's final Blue Note album "Gettin' Around". However, Blue Note didn't released this session until 14 years later. In 2007, this Rudy Van Gelder Edition has been published.
The rhythm section (Bob Cranshaw on bass, Billy Higgins on drums and Barry Harris on piano) is the same than in Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder, plus Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Ben Tucker on track 3 on bass. The album has aged well and with the RVG treatment it sounds even better.
Rab posted it in April at C&D and when I listen to it, I immediately was excited by the music. A few months later I saw a copy at 6 € in a supermarket and I bought it.

The Dexter Gordon album Clubhouse has had somewhat of an ill-fated history. Gordon had been living since 1962 in Europe, but he returned to the states briefly in 1965 to fulfil some contractual obligations, which included delivering two albums for Blue Note Records. A single long session on May 1927, 1965 featuring a quintet of Gordon on tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Barry Harris on piano, Billy Higgins on drums and Bob Cranshaw on bass (Ben Tucker plays bass on his own composition "Devilette" here) provided enough material for the LP Gettin' Around and Clubhouse. The latter, however, wasn't released until 1979, having been judged flawed and sloppy, and the rumor was that Gordon had been using during the session (he was busted for narcotics a year later in Europe). In retrospect, Clubhouse was a solid album, and if both Gordon and Hubbard sound at times overly cautious, it doesn't mar what is clearly a successful set and hardly the disaster it was painted to be. The Gordon composition that opens things, "Hanky Panky," is lively and infectious, while the ballad "I'm a Fool to Want You" gets a moving, emotional and nuanced treatment from Gordon. Tucker's "Devilette" sounds immediately like a future standard, while the title track, Gordon's "Clubhouse," is a fully developed romp befitting its name, proving the persistent rumours that the rhythm section didn't deliver a quality effort at the original session were pure bunk. Far from a failed effort, Clubhouse, if not exactly a lost classic, can sit proudly in the Gordon discography.
Steve Leggett

Track Listing
1. Hanky Panky 6:29
2. I'm A Fool To Want You 6:41
3. Devilette 7:02
4. Clubhouse 7:30
5. Lay Iris B. 5:37
6. Jodi 5:40

Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Barry Harris (piano)
Ben Tucker, Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

M.D. L.A.M.F.

Miles Davis - Miles In Tokyo

Miles Davis's most successful groups--his first great quintet with John Coltrane, for example, and his mid-1960s outfit with saxophonist Wayne Shorter--are well known, but the ensembles in-between are also notable. On this 1964 concert, recorded in Tokyo, Japan, Miles was already working with the rhythm section he would maintain until 1970--drummer Tony Williams, bassist Ron Carter, and pianist Herbie Hancock. The saxophonist, remarkably enough, is subsequent avant-garde legend Sam Rivers. Rivers is a unique and under-appreciated player not bound by stylistic constraints; he plays with great verve, humor, and invention. Though Rivers seems a bit out of place on this set of mostly standards (which includes "My Funny Valentine" and "All of You"), it is interesting to hear how his sound changes the group, pushing it toward more flexible rhythmic and harmonic structures. "So What," for example, grows to skittering near-cacophony, with a series of complex solos. Hancock's blinding right hand and the propulsive rhythms of Carter and Williams also drive Davis to some of the edgiest playing of his career at that point. Miles In Tokyo is a fascinating document of Davis in transition, but is also worth picking up for the chance to hear Rivers in such unique company.

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Sam Rivers (tenor saxophone)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Ron Carter (acoustic bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

1 - Introduction/If I Were A Bell
2 - My Funny Valentine
3 - So What
4 - Walkin'
5 - All Of You

Recorded live in concert on July 14, 1964; Tokyo, Japan

Miles Davis - Miles In Berlin

Recorded live in Germany at the Berlin Philharmonic, Miles in Berlin represents the first recording of trumpeter Miles Davis with tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter. For various reasons, saxophonists George Coleman and Sam Rivers had both come and gone as members of Davis' band. With the addition of Shorter in 1964, Davis had found the lineup of musicians that he would stick with until 1968 and produce some of the most influential albums of his career -- collected on The Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68: The Complete Columbia Studio. Eventually known as the "second great quintet," most of the players here, including pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams, had been with Davis for just under a year. In that time, they had taken his traditional repertoire of standards and originals and reworked them with a more adventurous, edgy approach that flirted with the avant-garde. While there isn't a huge difference in the sound of this band or choice of songs from the group that recorded Seven Steps to Heaven or Miles Davis in Europe, there is a palpable sense of creative abandon in Davis' performance as well as synergy to the group sound that seems to foreshadow the innovative music to come.

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Ron Carter (acoustic bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

1 - Milestones
2 - Autumn Leaves
3 - So What
4 - Walkin'
5 - Go-Go (Theme And Announcement)

Recorded live on September 25th in concert "Berliner Jazztage '64" at Philharmonic Hall

Friday, December 21, 2007

John Coltrane - Live in Seattle

By the fall of 1965, when Live in Seattle was recorded, John Coltrane was in the middle of a highly experimental period, searching for new means of expression, having seemingly exhausted his bebop and post-modern resources. Such niceties as tune, time and tempo were optional features on these free-form search parties. The freedom first hinted at that summer (Transition and Sun Ship) was now the primary focus of the music. The music had become a reflection of John Coltrane's spiritual quest, as well as his study of non-western religions and the ritualistic music that often accompanied these solemn rites. The effect of adding young firebrands Donald Garrett and Pharaoh Sanders to his ensemble was catalytic. The enthusiasm of tenor maverick Sanders is contagious. On the sonic bookends "Cosmos" and "Evolution," Sanders' unique command of multiphonics, harmonics and blow-torched overtones gives the music a real vocal impetus. As if Trane needed one. On free interpretations of classics such as "Out Of This World" and "Afro-Blue," Trane uses Sanders as his stunt double, allowing him to explore the farthest extremities of sound, by which time the innate structure and form of his own aural onslaughts sound positively lyrical in comparison. The Tyner-Garrison-Jones rhythm team was, at any moment's notice, capable of concocting the swinging illusion of meter and form (and even groove) out of this sonic maelstrom--usually one of Tyner's magnificent rhythmic/harmonic inventions. Listen to the head of "Afro-Blue" for an example of how hard the Coltrane rhythm team could swing. And Jimmy Garrison's virtuoso showpiece "Tapestry In Sound" is indicative of the brakthroughs he achieved every night during Coltrane's last two years. But Trane wanted more sonic density to play off of, and those tunes with Garrett doubling on bass are particularly powerful--check out the dueling basses on "Afro-Blue." As for Coltrane himself, whether he's leaving earth's orbit on "Cosmos" or turning "Body And Soul" into a free-form anthem, the searching, triumphant quality of his saxophone playing is emotionally overwhelming. So happy was Trane with these dates that the next day he recorded the visionary Om.

John Coltrane (soprano & tenor saxophones)
Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone)
Raphael Donald Garrett (bass clarinet, bass)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

CD 1
1 - Cosmos
2 - Out of This World
3 - Body and Soul
4 - Tapestry in Sound

CD 2
1 - Evolution
2 - Afro-Blue

Recorded live at The Penthouse, Seattle, Washington on September 30, 1965

Jelly Roll Morton - Last Sessions: The Complete General Recordings

This might be a good introduction to those who have trouble getting past that old "Little Rascals" sounding technology to appreciate the true modernity of this man. This great man. These were done when, I believe, he was living in a boarding house in Harlem, and would sit on the stoop (our Dutch friends will recognize this New York/Amsterdam expression) all day talking to Wilbur DeParis, a fellow lodger.

"This CD contains Jelly Roll Morton's final studio recordings (the only existing later performances by Morton are a couple of tunes from a radio broadcast) and supercedes an earlier two-LP Atlantic set. The main reason to acquire this 1997 CD is Morton's 13 classic piano solos, which include five vocals, his first on record other than the much earlier "Dr. Jazz" and the Library of Congress sides. Only ten of the solos were originally released, so this is a very complete reissue. Morton, despite ailing health, was in very good form for the sessions, and his versions of "The Crave," "King Porter Stomp," "Winin' Boy Blues," "Buddy Bolden Blues" and "Don't You Leave Me Here" are quite memorable.

In addition, he is heard heading three band dates that, despite the presence of trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen and clarinetist Albert Nicholas, do not quite live up to their potential. They did introduce Jelly Roll's "Sweet Substitute" (a future standard) and include a hot rendition of "Panama," but such songs as "Get the Bucket" and "Mama's Got a Baby" have not been revived since. Still, this set is highly recommended for the solo performances, Jelly Roll Morton's final contribution to the music he claimed to have founded." - Scott Yanow

1. Sporting House Rag (Perfect Rag)
2. Original Rags
3. The Crave
4. The Naked Dance: #2
5. Mister Joe
6. King Porter Stomp
7. Winin' Boy Blues
8. Animule Dance
9. Buddy Bolden's Blues (I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say)
10. The Naked Dance
11. Don't You Leave Me Here
12. Mamie's Blues
13. Michigan Water Blues
14. Sweet Substitute
15. Panama
16. Good Old New York
17. Big Lip Blues
18. Why?
19. Get The Bucket
20. If You Knew
21. Shake It
22. Dirty, Dirty, Dirty
23. Swinging The Elks
24. Mama's Got A Baby
25. My Home Is In A Southern Town

The Riverside History Of Classic Jazz

If the jazz discography has a primer, this is it. Originally released as a five-LP set in 1956, during a Golden Age of both jazz music and scholarship, this three-CD anthology begins with jazz's genetic material -- African drumming, Negro street chants and spirituals, a military band -- and moves through ten short "volumes" (each originally an LP side), letting the music evolve naturally, letting off at the gateway to the Swing Era. There's ragtime and blues (rural and urban), New Orleans traditional jazz (both at its inception and 1940s revival), Chicago's sassy take on traditional jazz (the transplanted New Orleanians and the young white enthusiasts they influenced each get a volume), the piano thumpers of boogie-woogie and stride, and a peek at New York bands. The greats are here -- Joplin, Broonzy, Bessie Smith, Morton, Oliver, Armstrong, Waller, Ellington, Beiderbecke -- as are a few obscurities. Nobody gets much more than one number, and everything is tied together with a wise and informative essay by pioneering jazz historian Charles Edward Smith. These CDs are by no means a complete picture of early jazz -- their contents were in large part dictated by Riverside Records' holdings at the time and Kansas City and the great territory bands, for example, are notably absent -- but this set remains a vital time capsule and should be required listening for anybody looking to start sorting out the music's earliest whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys. Lee Jeske

CD 1

1 - Royal Drums Of The Abatutsi--Abatutsi Girls' Songs--Lobertina
2 - Street Cries Of Charleston - Street Cries Of Charleston
3 - Blind Lemon Jefferson - Shuckin' Sugar
4 - J.M.Gates - I'm Going To Heaven If It Takes My Life
5 - Soderos Military Band - Slidus Tromonus
6 - Fred Van Eps - Ragtime Oriole
7 - At A Georgia Camp Meeting- Cakewalk
8 - Scott Joplin - The Cascades
9 - James Scott - Frog Legs Rag
10 - Joseph Lamb - American Beauty Rag
11 - Jelly Roll Morton - Perfect Rag
12 - Cow Cow Davenport - Atlanta Rag
13 - Ma Rainey - Titanic Man Blues
14 - Bessie Smith - St. Louis Blues
15 - Ida Cox - I've Got The Blues For Rampart Street
16 - Chippie Hill - Around The Clock Blues
17 - Blind Lemon Jefferson - Risin' High Water
18 - Big Bill Broonzy - Big Bill Blues
19 - King Olivers Creole Jazz Band - Froggie Moore
20 - Jelly Roll Morton - The Pearls
21 - Jelly Roll Morton - Big Fat Ham
22 - New Orleans Rhythm Kings - Livery Stable Blues
23 - Original Memphis Melody Boys - Blue Grass Blues
24 - Red Onion Jazz Babies - Cake Walking Babies From Home

CD 2

1 - Wesley Wallace - No. 29
2 - Jimmy Yancey - The Fives
3 - Cripple Clarence Lofton - Blue Boogie
4 - Meade Lux Lewis - Far Ago Blues
5 - Art Hodes - South Side Shuffle
6 - Pete Johnson - Lone Star Blues
7 - Johnny Dodds and Tiny Perham - Oh Daddy Blues
8 - Freddie Keppard's Jazz Cardinals - Salty Dog #1
9 - Barrelhouse Five - Mama Stayed out the Whole Night Long
10 - State Street Ramblers - Careless Love
11 - Lovie Austin's Blues Serenade - Jackass Blues
12 - Doc Cook's Dreamland Orchestra - The Memphis Maybe Man
13 - Muggsy Spanier's Stomp Six - Why Couldn't Be Poor Little Ma
14 - Bix Beiderbecke and the Wolverines - Royal Garden Blues
15 - The Original Wolverines - When my Sugar Walks Down the Street
16 - Charkes Pierce Orchestra - China Boy ( Go Sleep )
17 - Jungle Kings - Friars Point Shuffle
18 - Wingy Manone - Up the Country Blues

CD 3

1 - James P. Johnson - Harlem Strut
2 - Fats Waller - Mama's Got the Blues
3 - Cliff Jackson - Hock Shop Blues
4 - Clarence Williams Orchestra - Midnight Stomp
5 - Duke Ellington's Washingtonians - Rainy Nights
6 - Fletcher Henderson Orchestra - Hop Off
7 - Original Memphis Five - Sweet Lovin' Mama
8 - California Ramblers - Sweet Man
9 - Red and Miff's Stompers - Stampede
10 - Wild Bill Davison - Eccentric
11 - Yank Lawson - Yank's Blues
12 - Mugsy Spanier - Muskrat Ramble
13 - Kid Ory - Weary Blues
14 - Bunk Johnson - Make me a Pallet on the Floor
15 - George Lewis - Careless Love
16 - Lu Watters' Yerba Buena Jazz band - Antigua Blues
17 - Bob Helm's Riverside Roustabout - Dawn Club Joys
18 - Dixieland Rhythm Kings - St. James Infirmary

Sonny '62

Sonny Rollins - What's New

This excellent album deserves to be reissued in full on CD but some of its music remains out-of-print. Many of these songs find Sonny Rollins utilizing the Latin rhythms of Candido in addition to his regular quartet members (guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Ben Riley) and, on the calypso "Brownskin Girl," a vocal chorus interacts with the group. The highpoint is a lengthy "If Ever I Would Leave You" that is quite exciting. This underrated music is well worth an extensive search. Scott Yanow

Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)
Dennis Charles, Frank Charles, Willie Rodriguez (percussion)

1. If Ever I Would Leave You
2. Don't Stop The Carnival
3. Jungoso
4. Bluesongo
5. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
6. Brownskin Girl

1,2 - NYC, April 25, 1962
3,4 - NYC, May 14, 1962
5 - NYC, April 5, 1962
6 - NYC, April 26, 1962

Sonny Rollins - The Bridge

Widely acknowledged as the most significant and accomplished tenor saxophonist in the world, Sonny Rollins's recording legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. Beginning as a sideman in the late-'40s, he worked with Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis. Since recording his first date as a leader in 1954, Rollins has recorded dozens of albums for numerous labels, eventually settling in for a long stay on Milestone. The Bridge, recorded in 1962 for RCA Records, is one of Rollins's most dramatic recordings: it marks a return from three years of self-imposed retirement and its title track is a nod to the stories that Rollins had spent much of that time practicing by himself on the Williamsburg Bridge. The lineup for The Bridge is unusual for the time, a quartet featuring guitar (Jim Hall) instead of piano. The rest of the band serves simply to frame Rollins, whose time off only improved his already awesome abilities. Along with the title track, the album's standouts include "Without a Song" and "God Bless the Child." - Fred Goodman

Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)
NYC, February 14, 1962

Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)
NYC, February 13, 1962

Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Harry Saunders (drums)
NYC, January 30, 1962

1. Without a Song
2. Where Are You?
3. John S.
4. Bridge
5. God Bless the Child
6. You Do Something to Me

Tony Scott and Bill Evans - A Day In New York

A great time in Evans' career, he had been working with these guys not only in Scott's outfit, but in previous sessions with Mingus and in Shihab and Knepper's sessions as leaders.

Tony Scott led several small groups of various sizes during the month of November 1957, resulting in three separate LPs being issued by Seeco, Carlton, and Perfect without duplicating any of the 24 tracks. This Fresh Sound two-CD set collects everything recorded during these sessions. Scott's core group features pianist Bill Evans (not long after he was discharged from military service), either Milt Hinton or Henry Grimes on bass, and drummer Paul Motian. In addition to his powerful clarinet, Scott plays a potent baritone sax on six selections. The music includes a few standards, a handful of originals by Scott, and some obscure compositions. Trombonist Jimmy Knepper is a guest on several songs, providing a perfect foil for the leader in a snappy take of "The Lady Is a Tramp," with the soloing on clarinet and baritone saxophonist Sahib Shihab following Knepper. Trumpeter Clark Terry (still with Duke Ellington at the time) blows a very soft solo in a subdued arrangement of "Tenderly." Even though Evans was yet to make his mark as a leader or composer, his "Five" is heard in extended form rather than as a brief signoff as he played on early recording dates of his own. He also solos brilliantly in "There Will Never Be Another You." The title to this collection is a bit misleading, as trustworthy discographies list these sessions as being recorded over several days. Because obtaining each of the originally issued LPs is likely to be very expensive for collectors, this comprehensive CD set is the better alternative. ~ Ken Dryden

Tony Scott (clarinet, baritone sax)
Bill Evans (piano)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Jimmy Knepper (trombone)
Sahib Shihab (baritone sax)
Milt Hinton, Henry Grimes (bass)
Paul Motian (drums)

CD 1
1. Five
2. She's Different
3. Lady Is a Tramp
4. Tenderly
5. Blues for Three Horns
6. I Remember You
7. Lullaby of the Leaves
8. Shoulder to Cry On
9. At Home with the Blues
10. There Will Never Be Another You
11. Portrait of Ravi
12. Body and Soul

CD 2
1. I Can't Get Started
2. Gone with the Wind
3. Explorer
4. If I'm Lucky (I'll Be the One)
5. Chant
6. Villa Jazz
7. Zonk
8. Blues for Five
9. Third Moon
10. For Pete's Sake
11. Just One of Those Things
12. Franzy Pants

Bill Evans

Bill Evans - On Green Dolphin Street

After a late night session for Chet Baker in 1959, producer Orrin Keepnews persuaded pianist Bill Evans, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones to stick around and lay down a few tracks as a trio. The result was the stunning On Green Dolphin Street, an album that somehow waited more than a decade for its release. The three had spent a good deal of time together in 1958 as Miles Davis' rhythm section and displayed their highly developed interplay on some of Davis' repertoire including "Woody'n You" and the title track. Evans' legendary pastel style is in fine form as he gently rolls through the opening "You And The Night And The Music" with cascading chords in the left hand and swirling melodies in the right. Of special note, included after the '59 studio session is a live "All Of You" from the famed Village Vanguard sessions of June 1961 with Evans' greatest trio, including Scott LaFaro (bass) and Paul Motian (drums).

Bill Evans (piano)
Paul Chambers, Scott LaFaro (bass)
Philly Joe Jones, Paul Motian (drums)

1. You And The Night And The Music
2. How Am I To Know?
3. Woody'n You (take 1)
4. Woody'n You (take 2)
5. My Heart Stood Still
6. On Green Dolphin Street
7. All Of You (take 1)

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on January 19, 1959 and live at the Village Vanguard, New York, New York on June 25, 1961

Bill Evans - Since We Met

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 1974 with Eddie Gomez (bass) and Marty Morell (drums), the performances on Since We Met lack the fire of Evans' seminal 1961 Vanguard dates with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian. The album does, however, find the later trio in an exploratory, somewhat freer mood. The pianist's playing is assured and smooth as always, with Gomez supplying smooth support and fluid phrasing. Morell seems to just be along for the ride but does manage to pull off some interesting stuff in his own, understated way. Overall, Since We Met is certainly not the finest Bill Evans album but would make a nice addition to the collection of those who already own his early '60s Village Vanguard records (and INTUITION) or just want to hear the Evans/Gomez/Motian trio in a relaxed club setting.

Bill Evans (piano)
Eddie Gomez (bass)
Marty Morell (drums)

1. Since We Met
2. Midnight Mood
3. See-Saw
4. Elsa
5. Sareen Jurer
6. Time Remembered
7. Turn Out the Stars
8. But Beautiful

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, New York, New York on January 11-12, 1974

The Cecil Taylor and Roswell Rudd Sextet - Mixed

A couple of unrelated avant-garde dates are combined on this single CD from 1998. There are three selections from Cecil Taylor's 1961 Quintet (featuring pianist Taylor, bassist Henry Grimes, drummer Sunny Murray, altoist Jimmy Lyons and tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp) with trumpeter Ted Curson and trombonist Roswell Rudd added on the third cut, "Mixed." "Bulbs," which includes some hints of R&B, is particularly intriguing. This date as a whole was one of Cecil Taylor's last ones on which he still had a connection (if loose) to more traditional straight-ahead jazz. Normally, the Taylor set is combined with a few unrelated selections headed by trumpeter Johnny Carisi (and issued under Gil Evans' name even though the arranger had nothing to do with either session). In this case, the Taylor date is matched with trombonist Roswell Rudd's Everywhere, a 1966 Impulse album that also features altoist Robin Kenyatta (who comes across as the date's strongest soloist), Giuseppi Logan on flute and bass clarinet, both Charlie Haden and Lewis Worrell on basses and drummer Beaver Harris. Of their four selections there are tributes to Eric Dolphy (Logan's contribution to the set) and Herbie Nichols, an odd revival of Bill Harris' "Everywhere" and the best performance, a spirited "Yankee No-How." Although not Roswell Rudd's greatest album, there are enough fascinating ensembles on this set for it to nearly hold its own with Cecil Taylor's more essential session. Scott Yanow

Cecil Taylor (piano)
Jimmy Lyons (alto sax)
Archie Shepp (tenor sax)
Ted Curson (trumpet)
Roswell Rudd (trombone)
Henry Grimes (bass)
Sunny Murray (drums)

Roswell Rudd (trombone)
Robin Kenyatta (alto sax)
Giuseppi Logan (flute, bass clarinet)
Charlie Haden, Lewis Worrell (bass)
Beaver Harris (drums)

1. Bulbs
2. Pots
3. Mixed
4. Everywhere
5. Yankee No-How
6. Respect
7. Satan's Dance

Recorded in New York, New York on October 10, 1961 and July 8, 1966

Nat Adderley - Calling Out Loud (1968)

This album is essentially a collaboration between Nat Adderley, Joe Zawinul and Bill Fischer. There is nothing else quite like it in Nat's discography and is one of Creed Taylor's better productions for A&M and CTI. There was a brief CD issue by Pony Canyon in Japan but good luck finding a copy.

"For his second and alas, last album for A&M, Nat Adderley reunites with Joe Zawinul and the greatly underrated arranger Bill Fischer, this time with a tight, often surprisingly progressive concept in mind. All the tunes are by the above three, all are linked by classical arrangements for winds to form a suite, yet both Adderley and Zawinul are given plenty of room to burn. Nat's "Biafra," clearly written with the then-raging Nigerian civil war in mind, sets the thoughtful mood, contrasting a moving dirge with buoyant extended solos by Adderley and Zawinul. Adderley plays both acoustic and electric Varitone cornet; it's amazing how the latter alters his boppish personality into something more sensitive and soulful. Fischer's charts are always intriguing, brooding even when the music is joyous, and already Zawinul is displaying some of the freedom on electric piano that would soon emerge with Miles Davis and Weather Report. Indeed, Zawinul's "Grey Moss" and Fischer's "Nobody Knows" sound like cautious prototypes for portions of Miles' Bitches Brew. A fascinating album, beautifully produced, with mordant cover art (firecrackers)." - Richard S. Ginell

Nat Adderley (cornet)
Joe Zawinul (electric piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Leo Morris (drums)
Hubert Laws (flute, piccolo) Paul Ingraham (f horn) Don MacCourt (bassoon) George Marge (clarinet, english horn) Romeo Penque (bass clarinet)
Jerry Dodgion, Jerome Richardson, Seldon Powell, Rick Henderson, Danny Bank (saxes)
Arranged and Conducted by Bill Fischer
Rudy Van Gelder, Engineer
  1. Biafra
  2. Haifa
  3. St. M
  4. Grey Moss
  5. Nobody Knows
  6. Comin' Out the Shadows
  7. Ivan's Holiday
  8. Calling Out Loud
Recorded November 19, 21 and December 4, 1968

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Artie Shaw - Highlights from Self Portrait (1937-1954)

First posted elsewhere back in May, this is in Ogg format.

Culled from a five-disc retrospective of Shaw's career, this tidy roundup features material from across the popular and critically acclaimed clarinetist and bandleader. And while 14 tracks is somewhat on the skimpy side, the collection will work well for Shaw newcomers in search of a well-balanced introduction. The set benefits greatly from sparkling sound and the artist's shrewd hand in picking out all the songs included for the box set. The bulk of the sampler includes tracks from Shaw's 1938-1945 big band prime, including "Nightmare," "Free Wheeling," "Frenesi," and a stunning strings-augmented version of his first big hit, "Begin the Beguine." The disc also features Billie Holiday's one-off vocal with him, "Any Old Time," and such later highlights from the '50s as a sumptuous reading of "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" (Shaw is featured with a small combo) and the Gramercy Five cut "Scuttlebutt." Along with Hank Jones and Tal Farlow, who are heard on the Gramercy Five side, the collection features such swing royalty as Buddy Rich, George Auld, and Roy Eldridge. With quality like this, it's only a matter of time before Shaw newbies will want to head back to pick up all five discs.

1. Nightmare
2. Free Wheeling
3. Any Old Time
4. Carioca
5. Frenesi
6. Star Dust
7. There'll Be Some Changes Made
8. Two In One Blues
9. Bedford Drive
10. Summertime
11. Begin The Beguine
12. Afro-Cubana
13. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
14. Scuttlebutt

Benny Morton and Jimmy Hamilton Blue Note Swingtets

When the reissue label Mosaic was in its first decade of operation, it mined the Blue Note vaults to license long-neglected sessions such as the three heard on this compilation. Benny Morton was one of the top trombonists of the swing era, though he has been somewhat overshadowed by others who received more publicity and the fact that he recorded infrequently as a leader. Morton's five tracks include a sextet with Ellington veterans Barney Bigard and Ben Webster, with a rhythm section made up of pianist Sammy Benskin, bassist Israel Crosby, and drummer Eddie Dougherty. Morton, Bigard, and Webster are the stars and it is hard to avoid comparisons to the Ellington sound, though it hardly keeps this date from being a memorable one. Although Benskin didn't merit inclusion in the album title, he leads a strong trio with bassist Billy Taylor and drummer Specs Powell on four tracks, two of which ("Rosetta" and "Williphant Willie") were previously unissued. His lightly swinging version of "Cherry" sounds somewhat like Teddy Wilson, but without the latter's trademark runs. Clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton recruited a number of fellow Duke Ellington sidemen to record four selections in the fall of 1945, including Ray Nance, Henderson Chambers, Otto Hardwick, Harry Carney, and Oscar Pettiford, with pianist Jimmy Jones and drummer Sid Catlett added to the date. The familiarity of the musicians with one another made it easy for them to tackle the originals written for the session, which is highlighted by Hamilton's warm "Blues for Clarinets," featuring the leader, Carney, and Hardwick together on clarinets. This release was issued exclusively as a limited-edition LP by Mosaic in 1986 and has been long out of print, though a few of its tracks were briefly available on the Blue Note CD compilation Blue Note Swingtets a decade later. Collectors are advised to keep a sharp eye out on auction list for this valuable compilation of rare and rewarding swing sessions. ~ Ken Dryden

Grachan Moncur II (bass)
Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Ike Quebec (tenor sax)
Meade "Lux" Lewis (celeste)
Charlie Christian (guitar)
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Billy Taylor, Sr. (bass)
Otto Hardwick (clarinet, alto sax)
Israel Crosby (bass)
Barney Bigard (clarinet)
Harry Carney (clarinet, baritone sax)
Big Sid Catlett (drums)
Henderson Chambers Trombone
Eddie Dougherty (drums)
Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet)
J.C. Heard (drums)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Keg Johnson (trombone)
Jimmy Jones (piano)
Tiny Grimes (guitar)
Jonah Jones (trumpet)
Ray Nance (trumpet)
Roger "Ram" Ramirez (piano)
Sammy Benskin (piano)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Specs Powell (drums)
Tyree Glenn (trombone)
Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Benny Morton (trombone)

Albert Ammons & Meade Lux Lewis - Complete Blue Note Recordings: 1935-44

One of the first Mosaic sets, this was also the first recording session by Alfred Lion for the record company he would form two weeks later. He named the new company Blue Note Records. The files include scans, full booklet in PDF, and so on. It occurred to me while this was uploading that it should really be accompanied by the Benny Morton and Jimmy Hamilton Blue Note Swingtets Mosaic: I'll dig it out - it's worth hearing.

"This magnificent three-LP (2-CD) box set was issued as part of the first release by the Mosaic label. The out of print collection has all of the music recorded during Blue Note's first session (nine piano solos by Albert Ammons, eight including a five-part "The Blues" by Meade Lux Lewis, and a pair of Ammons-Lewis duets) plus Lewis' 1935 version of "Honky Tonk Train Blues" and his complete sessions of October 4, 1940, April 9, 1941 (four songs on harpsichord), and August 22, 1944. The music emphasizes boogie-woogie and both Ammons (quite memorable on "Boogie Woogie Stomp") and Lewis are heard in prime form. Incidentally, one of their duets (which is mistakenly titled "The Sheik of Araby") is actually "Nagasaki." This box is well worth bidding on at an auction." Unattributed.

Albert Ammons - piano
Meade Lux Lewis - piano, harpsichord

CD 1
1. Boogie Woogie Stomp
2. Chicago in Mind
3. Suitcase Blues
4. Boogie Woogie Blues
5. Untitled Ammons Original
6. Bass Goin' Crazy
7. Backwater Blues
8. Changes in Boogie Woogie
9. Easy Rider Blues
10. Twos and Fews
11. The Sheik of Araby
12. Honky Tonk Train Blues
13. The Blues: Part One
14. The Blues: Part Two
15. The Blues: Part Three
16. The Blues: Part Four
17. The Blues: Part Five

CD 2
1. Untitled Lewis Original
2. Melancholy
3. Solitude
4. Honky Tonk Train Blues
5. Bass on Top
6. Six Wheel Chaser
7. Tell Your Story
8. Tell Your Story No. 2
9. Variations on a Theme Part 1: 19 Ways of Playing a Chorus
10. Variations on a Theme Part 2: School of Rhythm
11. Variations on a Theme Part 3: Self Portrait
12. Variations on a Theme Part 4: Feeling Tomorrow Like I Feel Today
13. Rising Tide Blues
14. Yancey Special
15. Chicago Flyer
16. Blues Whistle
17. Meade's Blues

Probably WMGM Studio, NYC, January 6, 1939

Zoot Sims & Al Cohn - The Hoagy Carmichael Sessions And More

Shortly after returning from their first extended road trip as co-leaders, Sims and Cohn recorded a session together in New York dedicated to the music of Hoagy Carmichael. The date featured eight classic standards by the outstanding composer and broasted a cast that included trumpeter Nick Travis, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, pianist Elliot Lawrence, bassist MIlt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson and arrangements by Bill Elton. With the tasteful and swinging band to support them, Sims and Cohn let loose on Carmichaels delicious tunes. While Sims spun his silky and supple lines on the tenor, Cohn performed the whole date on the baritone. His powerful tone and quiet fire on the instrument make this an important date for all Cohn enthusiasts.

Zoot Sims, Al Cohn- tenor sax
Nick Travis-trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland- trombone
Elliott Lawrence- piano
Mose Allison- piano
Milt Hinton- bass
Osie Johnson- drums

1. Nearness of You
2. I Get Along Without You Very Well
3. Skylark
4. Up a Lazy River
5. Stardust
6. Old Rockin' Chair
7. Georgia on My Mind
8. Two Sleepy People
9. P-Town
10. Autumn Leaves
11. Thing
12. I m Tellin' Ya
13. Morning Fun
14. I Like It Like That
15. Sweet Lorraine
16. Nagasaki

Two sessions; one from 1957-8, and the other from February 1961

Sonny Rollins and the Big Brass

This session smokes from the get-go. Rarely has the juxtaposition of bop stylings against an orchestral format worked so successfully, but the change of context seems to push the always superior Rollins to even greater heights. A rhythm section of guitar, bass, drums, and piano drives an enormous brass section through arranger/conductor Ernie Watkins' stirring (though somewhat "straight") charts of such classics as "Body and Soul," "You Are Too Beautiful," and "Love Is A Simple Thing."
Rollins, who at the time of this recording was already being recognized as the most important tenor player to emerge from the post-bop school, plays anything but straight. His audacious, magnificent tone and blistering technique turn melodies inside out, searching for their hidden meanings with a grace and depth of feeling that can only come from the finest of artists. Sonny Rollins and the Big Brass is a classic jazz recording that mixes old-school big-band swing and progressive bop in a refreshing, unique blend that is sure to appeal to fans of both genres.

Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone)
Ernie Wilkins (arranger, conductor)
Ernie Royal, Clark Terry, Reunald Jones (trumpet)
Nat Adderley (cornet)
Jimmy Cleveland, Billy Byers, Frank Rehak (trombone)
Don Butterfield (tuba)
John Lewis, Dick Katz (piano)
Rene Thomas (guitar)
Henry Grimes, Percy Heath (bass)
Roy Haynes, Connie Kay, Specs Wright (drums)

1. Grand Street
2. Far Out East
3. Who Cares?
4. Love Is a Simple Thing
5. What's My Name?
6. If You Were the Only Girl in the World
7. Manhattan
8. Body and Soul
9. Doxy
10. Limehouse Blues
11. I'll Follow My Secret Heart
12. You Are Too Beautiful
13. Grand Street [Mono LP Ending]
14. Grand Street [Verve LP Ending]

Recorded July 11, 1958 at Metropolitan Studios, New York City

Recorded July 10, 1958 at Beltone Studios, New York City

Recorded August 3, 1958 at Music Inn, Lenox, Massachusetts

Mingus: Late And Later

There are a handful of recordings that hold a special place in our lives. Ones we know well, that hold tested charms and that reveal new and renewed pleasures. For me there's Tanganyika Strut, Ellington of the early '40s and , very particularly, the first title here. The second title I just got hold of; it's new to me, and it's magnificent.

Charles Mingus - Three Or Four Shades Of Blues

The first title I ever bought by Mingus; probably because of Coryell as much as anything else. This is a late work, seems to have a few concessions to marketability (but then, when did Mingus ever do anything without an eye to making a buck?) and is not often seen in 'net postings of Mingus. I love it. The cover art on the original LP is far superior to the CD release; but then, I've been looking at that cover framed on my wall for a long time. Given time. I think you'll come to love this obscurity too.

Charles Mingus (bass)
Ron Carter (bass)
George Mraz (bass)
George Coleman (tenor, alto sax)
Ricky Ford (tenor sax)
Jack Walrath (trumpet)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Bob Neloms (piano)
Larry Coryell (guitar)
John Scofield (guitar)
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Ricky Ford (tenor sax)
Sonny Fortune (alto sax)
Dannie Richmond (drums)

1 - Better Git Hit In Your Soul
2 - Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
3 - Noddin' Ya Head Blues
4 - Three or Four Shades of Blues
5 - Nobody Knows

Charles Mingus - With Orchestra

Another relatively late work, this being one of those excellent Denon issues. The arrangements are by Jaki Byard.

Trumpeter Eddie Preston clearly sets the tone for these sides with his lovely, lugubrious opening note. Mingus, with the aid of Jaki Byard as arranger, shows his special gift for painting subtly-nuanced scenes as on the opener, "The Man Who Never Sleeps"--it's like a New Orleans jazz funeral on a rainy day in Manhattan for a man swimming in bittersweet...drudgery. Toshiyuki Miyama And His New Herd blow with perfect sympathy for it all, the horns drawing out their long-tone passages like mourners with resolve. "O.P." takes things up-tempo with spirited swing, starting in the lower register and leaping up raucously from there. The brief, whimsical head is like an answer to the preceding track, with staccato hits from the band and solos by Mingus which swing as frenetically and intelligently as kids with big vocabularies at a birthday party.

Charles Mingus (bass)
Bobbie Jones (tenor sax, clarinet)
Eddie Preston (trumpet)
Masahiko Sato (piano)

and Toshiyuki Miyana & His New Herd

1 The Man Who Never Sleeps
2 O.P.
3 Portrait

Recorded in Japan on January 14, 1971

Charles Mingus - The Clown

Released in various forms, this is the "DeLuxe Edition," and was one of fifty titles selected for re-issue by Ahmet Ertegun to celebrate Atlantic's 50 years in business.

Mingus is a true original, and THE CLOWN is an album on which his genius for melding tradition with experimentation is particularly pronounced. In the stunning "Haitian Fight Song," the track which opens the album, there are strains of indigenous folk styles and church music pastiched with raw-nerve intensity and compositional sophistication. Mingus's bass, in particular, in its strident manipulation of the fretboard and powerful sound, seems to express the emotional ferocity which propels the track. The mood becomes deceptively more traditional in "Blue Cee," but even here sections are broken up, colored by daring lines and rhythms, shifting and synthesizing stylistic modes. "Reincarnation Of A Lovebird" is Mingus' tribute to Charlie Parker, again employing what seems to be an "old-fashioned" theme which is actually a complex, extended line that flows, loops and reinvents itself., THE CLOWN boasts outstanding compositions, superior musicianship by four members of the artist's Jazz Workshop and what is arguably some of Mingus's best recorded bass work.

Charles Mingus (bass)
Shafi Hadi (alto sax, tenor sax on 4)
Jimmy Knepper (trombone)
Wade Legge (piano)
Dannie Richmond (drums)
Jean Shepherd (narrator on 4)

1 - Haitian Fight Song
2 - Blue Cee
3 - Reincarnation Of A Lovebird
4 - The Clown

Atlantic Studios, New York, New York on March 12, 1957
Recorded at Audio-Video Studios, New York, New York on February 13, 1957

Charles Mingus - The Complete Debut Recordings: CDs 7 & 8

CD 7

January 21, 1955
Van Gelder Recording, Hackensack, NJ
Hazel Scott, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums

1. Like Someone in Love
2. Peace of Mind
3. Lament
4. The Jeep Is Jumpin'
5. Git up from There
6. A Foggy Day
7. Mountain Greenery
8. Git up from There (alternate take)
9. Lament (alternate take)

March 10, 1955
Van Gelder Recording, Hackensack, NJ
Thad Jones, trumpet; John Dennis, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums

10. One More
11. I Can't Get Started
12. More of the Same
13. Get Out of Town
14. One More (alternate take)

CD 8

1. Get Out of Town (alternate take)

Probably same date and location
John Dennis, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums.

2. Ensenada
3. Machajo
4. Cherokee
5. Seven Moons
6. Seven Moons (alternate take)
7. All the Things You Are (take 1)
8. All the Things You Are (take 2)
9. Cherokee

July 9, 1955
Van Gelder Recording, Hackensack, NJ
Miles Davis, trumpet; Britt Woodman, trombone; Teddy Charles, vibraphone; Charles Mingus, bass; Elvin Jones, drums
(Mingus' discography at Jazzdisco has this as Audio-Video Recording, NYC, July 9, 1955)

10. Nature Boy
11. Alone Together
12. There's No You
13. Easy Living

Zoot Sims - Plays Alto, Tenor And Baritone

Through the miracle of overdubs.

Throughout his career, Zoot Sims was famous for epitomizing the swinging musician, never playing an inappropriate phrase. He always sounded inspired, and although his style did not change much after the early 1950s, Zoot's enthusiasm and creativity never wavered.

Zoot's family was involved in vaudeville, and he played drums and clarinet as a youth. His older brother Ray Sims developed into a fine trombonist who sounded like Bill Harris. At age 13, Sims switched permanently to the tenor, and his initial inspiration was Lester Young, although he soon developed his own cool-toned sound. Sims was a professional by the age of 15, landing his first important job with Bobby Sherwood's Orchestra, and joined Benny Goodman's big band for the first time in 1943; he would be one of BG's favorite tenormen for the next 30 years. He recorded with Joe Bushkin in 1944, and even at that early stage, his style was largely set.

After a period in the Army, Sims was with Goodman from 1946-47. He gained his initial fame as one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers" during his time with the Second Herd (1947-49). Zoot had brief stints with Buddy Rich's short-lived big band, Artie Shaw, Goodman (1950), Chubby Jackson and Elliot Lawrence. He toured and recorded with Stan Kenton (1953) and Gerry Mulligan (1954-56). Sims was also a star soloist with Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band of the early 1960s and visited the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman in 1962. A freelancer throughout most of his career, Sims often led his own combos or co-led bands with his friend Al Cohn; the two tenors had very similar sounds and styles. Zoot started doubling on soprano quite effectively in the 1970s. Through the years, he appeared in countless situations, and always seemed to come out ahead. Fortunately, Zoot Sims recorded frequently, leading sessions for Prestige, Metronome, Vogue, Dawn, Storyville, Argo, ABC-Paramount, Riverside, United Artists, Pacific Jazz, Bethlehem, Colpix, Impulse, Groove Merchant, Famous Door, Choice, Sonet, and a wonderful series for Pablo.

Zoot Sims (alto,tenor, baritone sax)
John Williams (piano)
Knobby Totah (bass)
Gus Johnson (drums)

1. Special
2. The Man I Love
3. 55th And State
4. Blue Room
5. Gus's Blues
6. That Old Feeling
7. Bohemian After
8. Woody'n You
9. Blinuet
10. The Trouble With Me Is You
11. Where You At?
12. Zonkin'
13. Noshin'
14. Major - Major
15. Minor - Minor
16. Pegasus

New York City: October 12, and November 2 and 9, 1956

The Hank Jones Quartet - Complete Recordings Vols. 1 & 2

The estimable Barry Galbraith was a surprise hit, so here is a re-up from a post at OAB which the Wooden Shoe Crew got to. I hear this guy Burrell is worth watching, too.This was ripped to flac, this time.

Here we have Hank Jones' combo performing items from the musicals Gigi, and Here's Love.

Regarding Volume 1;
"This release features two brilliant interpretations of Broadway Revues by the grandfather of the Detroit piano school, Hank Jones. Leading a piano/guitar quartet that included guitarist Barry Galbraith, bassist Arnold Fishkin and drummer Don Lamond, Jones entered a New York studio on January 31, 1958 to record Lerner & Loewe’s classic film score “Gigi”. This edition also includes a second Hank Jones led piano/guitar quartet studio date recorded in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on October 19, 1963 featuring an all-star band with guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Elvin Jones. This time, the group recorded Meredith Willson’s “Here’s Love” – a musical adaptation of the legendary Yuletide film “Miracle On 34th Street.”"

Regarding Volume 2;
"This outstanding release is the second volume of the Hank Jones Quartet featuring the guitarists Barry Galbraith and Kenny Burrell. In addition to its previous companion CD, these two volumes taken together form the complete recordings of Jones’ Quartet with Galbraith and Burrell released under the pianist’s name. This volume includes the outstanding album Talented Touch recorded in the late spring or early summer of 1958. Jones recorded twelve tracks accompanied by Galbraith, Hinton and Johnson. The variety found here showcases the pianist’s versatility, extraordinary touch on the keys, and impeccable taste."

Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars

In the 70’s and 80’s Concord Records put out many live jam sessions patterned along the JATP model, most with solid results. Here is a trio of concerts headed up by Scott Hamilton, Norris Turney and Warren Vache, standard bearers of the straight-ahead, swing tradition from the “golden age of jazz” as George Wein calls it. Please ignore the uninformative reviews below “written” by Ron Wynn. Don’t ask me why I’ve pasted such nonsense into this post! The music is self-explanatory anyway: standard repertoire with plenty of soloing. Easygoing, swinging, and extremely listenable. Scoredaddy

Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars

Nice, loose date with a specially assembled group of mostly veterans plus one or two younger players performing in vintage jam session style. This is modeled after old Jazz At The Philharmonic dates, and the atmosphere and musical performances come close to equaling that fervor. Ron Wynn

George Wein (piano)
Scott Hamilton (tenor sax)
Oliver Jackson (drums)
Slam Stewart (bass)
Norris Turney (alto sax, clarinet)
Warren Vache (cornet)

1 Exactly Like You (Fields, McHugh) 8:45
2 I Didn't Know About You (Ellington, Russell) 6:11
3 Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Cox) 4:43
4 Rosetta (Hines, Woode) 4:32
5 The Jeep Is Jumpin' (Ellington, Hodges) 7:59
6 The Mooche (Ellington, Mills) 6:39
7 Body and Soul (Eyton, Green, Heyman, Sour) 5:31
8 The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin) 4:42
9 What's New? (Burke, Haggart) 5:29
10 Struttin' With Some Barbecue (Hardin, Raye) 3:57
11 Moten Swing (Moten, Moten) 9:04

Recorded live April 1984 at Gammage Center, Arizona State University, Tempe Arizona

Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars – European Tour

A good group of musicians play hard and well despite the sameness of the material. The veteran ensemble shifts into high gear and lifts things above a jam-session context. Ron Wynn

George Wein (piano)
Harold Ashby (tenor sax)
Scott Hamilton (tenor sax)
Oliver Jackson (drums)
Slam Stewart (bass)
Norris Turney (alto sax, clarinet)
Warren Vache (cornet)
Al Cohn (tenor sax)

1 Tickle Toe (Young) 7:03
2 Mood Indigo (Bigard, Ellington, Mills) 8:30
3 Love Me or Leave Me (Donaldson, Kahn) 10:43
4 These Foolish Things (Link, Marvell, Strachey) 6:25
5 Take the "A" Train (Strayhorn) 7:34
6 Things Ain't What They Used to Be (M Ellington) 9:27
7 Through the Night (T Young) 3:18

Recorded live May 1987 at Internationales Jazz Festival in Bern, Switzerland

Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars – Bern Concert ’89

This '89 session recalls the best Jazz at the Philharmonic recordings. It's a straight-out, hard-edged, and friendly but combative date featuring The Newport All Stars playing in (sic) Germany. Everyone gets plenty of solo space and uses it to good advantage. Ricky Ford, Scott Hamilton, Oliver Jackson, Eddie Jones, Gray Sargent, Norris Turney, Warren Vache, and George Wein himself are on board. Ron Wynn

George Wein (piano, vocal)
Ricky Ford (tenor sax)
Scott Hamilton (tenor sax)
Oliver Jackson (drums)
Eddie Jones (bass)
Gray Sargent (guitar)
Norris Turney (alto sax, clarinet)
Warren Vache (cornet)

1 I Want to Be Happy (Caesar, Youmans) 9:09
2 Jeep's Blues (Ellington, Hodges) 9:11
3 Just a Gigolo (Brammer, Caesar, Casucci) 5:13
4 I'm Just a Lucky So and So (David, Ellington) 4:40
5 Johnny Come Lately (Strayhorn) 5:12
6 Blue and Sentimental (Basie, David, Livingston) 9:51
7 In a Sentimental Mood (Ellington, Kurtz, Mills) 6:37
8 Jumpin' at the Woodside (Basie, Hendricks) 6:40

Recorded live April 1989 at Internationales Jazz Festival in Bern, Switzerland

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oscar Pettiford and Barry Galbraith - The Manhattan Jazz Septette and Guitar And The Wind

A twofer release from Lonehill, in Spain. The rationale for linking these two makes sense. I like Galbraith, too.

"An impressing (sic) album presented here for the first time on CD, which combines great soloists with sophisticated arrangements by Manny Albam. As a bonus, we present another complete album, "Guitar and the Wind", including many of the same muscians as our primary recording and bearing a similar musical concept. This album was recorded exactly two years after the Manhattan Jazz Septette session.

The Manhattan Jazz Septette
Oscar Pettiford (piano)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Hal McKusick (alto sax)
Eddie Costa (piano, vibes)
Herbie Mann (flute, tenor sax)
Barry Galbraith (guitar)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Osie Johnson (drums)
Manny Albam (arr)
New York, June 7, 1956

Barry Galbraith and his Orchestra
Urbie Green (trombone)
Eddie Costa (piano, vibes)
Bobby Jaspar (flute, tenor sax)
Barry Galbraith (guitar)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Osie Johnson (drums)
Billy Byers and Al Cohn (arr)
New York, January 16,21,28, 1958

Fred Anderson Quartet - The Milwaukee Tapes, Vol. 1

I really like this.

A vitally important release in Atavistic's Unheard Music Series of reissues and new releases, the Fred Anderson Quartet's The Milwaukee Tapes, Vol. 1, catches the tenor saxophonist working in his familiar quartet setting on a beautifully recorded (on an eight track mobile studio at a Milwaukee nightclub in early 1980) live set made right before Anderson stopped recording entirely and severely curtailed his live gigs for a good decade and a half. Anderson and compatriots (longtime trumpeter Billy Brimfield, bassist Larry Hayrod, and drummer Hamid Drake) are at the top of their game singly and collectively. Drake and Hayrod provide a solid, occasionally tempestuous underpinning for Anderson and Brimfield's lyrical solos on the opening "A Ballad for Rita"; Brimfield in particular sounds like he's simultaneously channeling both the moody Miles Davis of Sketches of Spain and the don't-mess-with-me antagonism of the Agharta era. "Black Women" and "The Bull" sound like they were influenced by Charles Mingus' days with Roland Kirk in his front line, while "Bombay (Children of Cambodia)" -- complete with a very ESP-Disk tabla part by Drake -- and the Albert Ayler-esque "Planet E" recall the glory days of the birth of the AACM.- Stewart Mason

Fred Anderson (tenor sax)
Billy Brimfield (trumpet)
Larry Hayrod (bass)
Hamid Drake (drums, tabla)

1 - A Ballad for Rita
2 - The Bull
3 - Black Woman
4 - Bombay (Children of Cambodia)
5 - Planet E

Recorded in January or February 1980

Cecil Taylor and The Feel Trio - Celebrated Blazons

This FMP stuff is becoming harder to find on the 'net. Apparently Gebers doesn't want this stuff sold, traded, looked at, acknowledged, referred to, thought about, or heard. Well, you gotta have standards, I suppose. Try to stay focused with this one: it's easy to lose track of who's careening, who's furrowing, and who's exploding.

This trio setting Americans Taylor and Parker down with Brit jazz improv drummer Tony Oxley is either a match made in heaven or hell depending on your point of view. Well, heaven or earth maybe. As one would predict with any date featuring Cecil Taylor as a pianist, "out" is certainly the direction. That said, his rhythm section anchored by bassist Parker allows for plenty of room and range in dynamics, color, and texture. Taylor is the undisputed leader and, along with his trills and outrageously extended chord voicings, his singing (or rather moaning and grunting) is also part of the proceedings. This date was recorded at the 1990 Workshop of Free Music in Berlin, and the ensemble plays one long, 56-minute improvisation. Things move slowly at first, with the players getting used to each other before attempting their challenges. And then, as expected, Taylor is off to the races — ideas fly from his fingers and throat with recklessness and a certain mischievous glee. Parker never answers, but just prods him on, plying long lines to Taylor's choppy bursts, making him furrow the ground more deeply. Oxley, for his part, careens between the two, following Parker until he's sure of the palette and then exploding it with color. And then Taylor moves toward a darker, more expressionist shade of black, where Parker can assume the lead and play fours against Oxley, who calls Taylor out and ups the ante. And on it goes, as formidable players challenge and then unite with one another in a frenetic set of modes, tempos, and atmospheres until they reach a horizon, mutually agreed upon as a point of entering silence. Highly recommended. Thom Jurek

Cecil Taylor (piano, voice)
William Parker (bass)
Tony Oxley (drums)

(3 In One)
Lords Of The House
Deep Water
Realm Of The Wilds
3 In One

Recorded on June 29, 1990 during the 'Workshop Freie Musik' at the 'Akademie der Künste', Berlin

Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings

Joe Bushkin - Joe Bushkin In Concert: Town Hall

“one of the things I missed most about leaving Tommy Dorsey’s band was the piano playing of Joe Bushkin” Frank Sinatra

Over the course of his seven-decade career, Bushkin accompanied the Bunny Berigan Boys, Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Judy Garland. He appeared on Billie Holiday's first recording under her own name, and played with the Tommy Dorsey band during its most celebrated years. In 1941, he and John DeVries wrote "Oh! Look at Me Now," the song that helped launch Frank Sinatra's solo career.

Joe Bushkin (piano)
Chuck Wayne (guitar)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
Milt Hinton (bass)

1. The Man That Got Away
2. The "Porgy And Bess" Medley
a) Bess You Is My Woman
b) It Ain't Necessarily so
c) Summertime
d) The Man I Love
3. I Can't Get Started
4. They Can't Take That Away From Me
5. The Song Is Ended
6. The Cole Porter Medley
a) You're Sentimental
b) Love For Sale
c) It's All Right With Me
7. One For My Baby
8. I've Got A Crush On You
9. Just One Of Those Things

Quit Playing That Chinese Music

Still intact from it's appearance at Crabbit - probably mp3, perhaps Ogg. Don't recall.

I think Of Minnie The Moocher And Me was the first jazz autobiography I ever read. I have read better since, but I always had an appreciation for Mr. Calloway.

Cab first worked with The Missourians in New York, in 1928. In spring of 1929, he returned to Chicago and acted as the master of ceremonies and vocalist with The Alabamians. Later that year, he returned to New York and appeared on stage with the Hot Chocolate Revue before rejoining The Alabamians for an appearance at the Savoy. In 1930, he took over The Missourians, eventually changing the name to Cab Calloway and His Orchestra.

In 1931, Cab recorded Minnie the Moocher, a trademark song that would remain his theme for his entire life. He soon after emerged as the irrepressible leader of a band that succeeded Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club. He became known as "The man in the zoot suit with the reet pleats," who brought a whole new slang vocabulary to the nation along with his own brand of music via early radio broadcasts and extensive touring in the 1930s and 40s.

4 CD's from the Chronological Classics series:


Cab 'n' Babs

Cab Calloway - Zah, Zuh, Zaz

There's been a few Cab posts, and I doubt there's anything on this compilation that has had you weeping and gnashing your teeth from it's absence in your collection; but it has the virtue of being a nice one-disc overview - and besides, it was 4 bucks; how could I turn it down?

An atypically simple review from the usually turgid Thom Jurek. What I find interesting is the presence of Garvin Bushell, a musician who worked and recorded with both Jelly Roll Morton and John Coltrane - he was on the Coltrane Village Vanguard set.

"Twenty-five Cab Calloway jams from the '30s and '40s when he had one of the most cooking bands this side of Ellington's or Armstrong's. It should be stated right from the jump that the compilers at Proper could care less whether the records they issue are representative of an artist's whole career, so those looking for something definitive in terms of retrospective should look elsewhere. What is here are the 25 most solid cuts that made Cab "The Zoot Suit Man." These are not inferior -- quite the opposite -- to his later Columbia sides. "Minnie the Moocher" is here, as is his burning "Swing, Swing, Swing" and the absolutely classic "Jive (Page One of the Hepster's Dictionary)." Sound is good to very good, and the material is absolutely top-notch." Thom Jurek

Cab Calloway Vocals
Danny Barker Guitar
Chu Berry Tenor Saxophone
Dizzy Gillespie Trumpet
Jonah Jones Trumpet
Ben Webster Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Barefield Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Cozy Cole Drums
Tyree Glenn Trombone, Vibes
Mario Bauza Trumpet
Garvin Bushell Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Doc Cheatham Trumpet
Milt Hinton Bass
Hilton Jefferson Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone

1. Some of These Days
2. St. James Infirmary
3. Minnie the Moocher
4. Bugle Call Rag
5. Kickin' the Gong Around
6. Scat Song
7. Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day
8. Reefer Man
9. Lady with the Fan
10. Zah, Zuh, Zaz
11. Moonglow
12. Jitter Bug
13. Nagasaki
14. Swing, Swing, Swing
15. At the Clambake Carnival
16. Jive (Page One of the Hepster's Dictionary)
17. Ratamacue
18. (Hep-Hep) The Jumpin' Jive
19. Pluckin' the Bass
20. Calling All Bars
21. Fifteen Minutes Intermission
22. Ghost of a Chance
23. My Gal
24. I'll Be Around
25. Everybody Eats When They Come to My House

Babs Gonzalez - Real Crazy

Babs Gonzalez was an unforgettable character; there are hundreds of great stories about him. And his autobiography (I included a scan of the cover of the first edition, published by Expubidence) is something you should really try to track down.

But the guy knew everyone, it seems, and had a knack for identifying talent. Sonny Rollin's first record date (included here) was with Babs.
You'll also come across Tadd Dameron, J.J. Johnson, Bennie Green, Art Pepper: I'm telling you, he knew everybody. His writing style - quotation marks around every fourth word - his self description as creator of the BeBop language, and his sense of, or lack of, style (a typical press report: "Gonzales landed from a helicopter on Broadway in his English plaid coat, Mexican sombrero, and wooden shoes from Holland")

Listen to "Weird Lullaby", for example, and suddenly Shooby Taylor makes...well, not sense, but he finally has a context.

" A limited but enthusiastic singer, Babs Gonzales did what he could to popularize bop. He had brief stints with Charlie Barnet and Lionel Hampton, and then led his own group (Three Bips & a Bop) during 1946-1949. They recorded 24 numbers during 1947-1949, including the earliest version of "Oop-Pop-A-Da" and such songs as "Weird Lullaby," "A Lesson in Bopology," "Professor Bop," and "Prelude to a Nightmare"; among his sidemen on these dates were Tadd Dameron, Tony Scott, Roy Haynes, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Julius Watkins, Sonny Rollins (making his recording debut), Art Pepper, Wynton Kelly, and even Don Redman. However, once the bop "fad" ended, Gonzales became more of a cult figure. He worked with James Moody (1951-1953), recorded with Jimmy Smith and Johnny Griffin, ran his own label (Expubidence), and wrote two autobiographies that were more colorful than accurate." ~ Scott Yanow

1 Lop-Pow
2 Oop-Pop-A-Da
3 Stomping At The Savoy
4 Pay Dem Dues
5 Runnin' Around
6 Babs' Dream
7 Dob Bla Bli
8 Weird Lullaby
9 Capitolizing
10 Professor Bop
11 Continental
12 Prelude To A Nightmare
13 Real Crazy
14 St Louis Blues
15 Then You'll Be Boppin' Too
16 When Lovers They Lose
17 Sugar Ray
18 Cool Whalin'
19 Still Whalin'
20 Shuckin' & Jivin'
21 Get Out Of That Bed
22 Ornithology
23 For Dancers Only

Don Byas - 1945 (Chronological Classics 910)

Apparently, I posted Volume 2, but not this. Sorry.

"Years ago the game was vicious, cutthroat. Can you imagine Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Chu Berry, Don Byas, and Ben Webster on the same little jam session? And guess who won the fight? That's what it was--a saxophone duel. Don Byas walked off with everything." --Sonny Stitt

Don Byas is one of those major players who never made it big due to not making the New York scene. He was the young man who was chosen in 1941 to replace none other than Lester Young in the Basie band, and was a proto-bop player and close life-long friend of Dizzy Gillespie and other better known boppers. These sessions are from the dates he did in America, prior to his first tour of Europe with the Don Redman band. He didn't return to America until a brief visit 25 years later.The quote below is slightly confusing: it alludes to an earlier Chronological release of Byas' 1944-45 work, but is correct in it's particulars. There is a Byas 1945 Volume 2, which will be posted shortly.

" This second volume of the complete recording of Don Byas in the Chronological Classics series reissues 6 different sessions, all recorded in 1945. The National sides feature Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, the Jamborees have Buck Clayton, The Super Discs are quartet dates, as are the Americans; there's also a session on Hub with Hal Singer and Jimmy Powell. Byas was a major force on the tenor saxophone, and this period of time in the small-group setting produced some of his best recordings. HARVARD BLUES is a great slow blues while THEM THERE EYES and SLAM-IN AROUND swing like crazy at a fast clip. Best is THE SHEIK OF ARABY from the second Super Disc session with Johnny Guarnieri on piano and the great Sid Catlett on drums. [Note: Sides 1 and 2 are reversed on the disc.] Solid recordings. "

Don Byas (tenor sax)
Dizzy Gillespie, Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Erroll Garner, Johnny Guarnieri (piano)
Slam Stewart (bass)
J.C. Heard (drums)

1. Evil Gal Blues - Albinia Jones/Don Byas' Swing Seven
2. Salty Papa Blues - Albinia Jones/Don Byas' Swing Seven
3. Albinia's Blues - Albinia Jones/Don Byas' Swing Seven
4. Don't You Wear No Black - Albinia Jones/Don Byas' Swing Seven
5. Little White Lies - Don Byas' All Star Quintet
6. Deep Purple - Don Byas' All Star Quintet
7. Them There Eyes - Don Byas' All Star Quintet
8. Out Of Nowhere - Don Byas' All Star Quintet
9. Three O'Clock In The Morning
10. One O' Clock Jump
11. Harvard Blues
12. Slam-In' Around
13. Laura
14. Stardust
15. Slam, Don't Shake Like That
16. Dark Eyes
17. Embraceable You
18. The Sheik Of Araby
19. Super Session
20. Melody In Swing
21. Gypsy - Don Byas' And Orchestra
22. Nancy - Don Byas' And Orchestra
23. Poor Butterfly - Don Byas' And Orchestra

Randy Weston - Tanjah

A friend asked me to rip this, so I figured it might fit in well - Billy Harper has been mentioned recently. This was one of the things the Wooden Shoe Crew axed.

Originally on the Polydor label, this lesser-known classic (reissued on CD) teams together pianist/composer Randy Weston and arranger Melba Liston (his musical soulmate) on seven of Weston's originals. The fairly large band is filled with distinctive soloists including trumpeter Jon Faddis (19 at the time), trombonist Al Grey, Billy Harper on tenor, altoist Norris Turney (heard on three versions of "Sweet Meat," two of which were previously unreleased) and several percussionists among others. The weak points are Weston's use of the Fender Rhodes on a few songs (it waters down his personality) and Candido's chanting during an otherwise exciting version of "Hi-Fly," but those are easily compensated for by the infectious calypso "Jamaican East" and Liston's inventive reworking of "Little Niles." Recommended. Scott Yanow

Randy Weston - piano
Billy Harper - tenor sax, flute
Ernie Royal - trumpet, flugelhorn
Ray Copeland - trumpet, flugelhorn
Jon Faddis - trumpet, flugelhorn
Al Grey - trombone
Jack Jeffers - baritone trombone
Julius Watkins - French-horn
Norris Turney - alt sax, piccolo
Budd Johnson - tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet
Danny Bank - baritone sax, baritone clarinet, flute
Ron Carter - bass
Rudy Collins - drums
Azzedin Weston - percussion
Candido Camero - percussion, narrator
Omar Clay - mur, lymp
Taiwo Yusve Divall - alt sax, ashiko drums
Earl Williams percussion
Ahmed-Abdul Malik - oud, narrator (on 7)
Delores Ivory Davis - vocal (on 8)
Melba Liston - arranger, director

1 Hi-Fly
2 In Memory Of
3 Sweet Meat
4 Jamaica East
5 Sweet Meat (first alternative mix)
6 Tanjah
7 The Last Day
8 Sweet Meat (second alternative mix)
9 Little Niles

Recorded in New York on May 21-22 1973

Bill Watrous

Bill Watrous - Manhattan Wildlife Refuge

Manhattan Wildlife Refuge and its follow-up, The Tiger of San Pedro, are the only two recordings of trombonist Bill Watrous' impressive big band of the mid-'70s. Watrous, who takes an uncharacteristically crazy cadenza on "Fourth Floor Walk-Up," is in top form on such numbers as Chick Corea's "Spain," "Dichotomy," and "Zip City." Among his more notable sidemen are trumpeter Danny Stiles, guitarist Joe Beck, and pianist Dick Hyman. Available on CD as of July 2007, this reissue has been well worth waiting for.

Bill Watrous was a sought-after jazz soloist and sideman long before this 1974 album, but this is the recording that catapulted him to stardom on a par with trombone greats like Urbie Green and Frank Rosolino. At a time when many other top big bands (Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, and Woody Herman, to name a few) were inserting arrangements of pop tunes into their books in an attempt to broaden their appeal, Watrous resisted this approach and chose material that still sounds fresh today.

The album offers great arrangements from the smooth and mellow ("Sho" and "Dee Dee") to the energetic ("Zip City," "Ayo," and the opening track, Chick Corea's "Spain,") as well as showpieces that offer some of both ("Dichotomy" and "Fourth Floor Walk-Up"). Watrous is brilliant throughout, so it would be difficult to choose a favorite among his solos in this collection. However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the dazzling trombone cadenza in "Fourth Floor Walk-Up" which was imitated (but never duplicated) by vast numbers of high school and college trombonists in the mid-1970s who hadn't previously realized that their instrument was capable of such musical gymnastics. Other soloists shine here as well, with lead trumpeter Danny Stiles in particular getting plenty of room to stretch. Overall, a very satisfying album for those who enjoy big band jazz and a must for fans of the trombone.

A pretty compelling record from trombonist Bill Watrous -- one of those players you always figure for a straight guy, but who always manages to throw in a curve ball at the right moment! This one's got Bill working with a large group in kind of a mixed electric big band style -- and the tracks have the appeal of some of the European groups that were working in this mode during the early 70s -- especially some of the larger ensembles on MPS! The grooves are more jazzy than funky, but still plenty great -- and the horn sections really benefit from some great electronic help from Dick Hyman on moog and Fender Rhodes, and Joe Beck on guitar. Titles include "Dee Dee", "Ayo", "Fourth Floor Walk Up", "Zip City", and a nice version of Chick Corea's "Spain". Scott Yanow

1. Spain
2. Sho
3. Dichotomy
4. Zip City
5. Fourth Floor Walk-Up
6. Dee Dee
7. Ayo

Bill Watrous - The Tiger of San Pedro

Trombonist Bill Watrous' second and final big-band album for Columbia is the equal of his first. With such soloists as Watrous, trumpeter Danny Stiles, and either Tom Garvin or Derek Smith on keyboards, this well-rounded set (which includes ballads, Latin pieces, the rockish "T.S. T.S.," and some heated workouts) was finally reissued on CD in July 2007, along with the earlier Manhattan Wildlife Refuge.

An overlooked bit of 70s big band jamming -- one of a few great sides cut for Columbia by trombonist Bill Watrous, done in a mode that's partially like the funky Maynard Ferguson records for the label at the time, but which also has some of the hipper and more expansive approaches that you'd get on some of Woody Herman's best from the period, or (even better) some of the MPS big band classics of the time! The playing is mostly all acoustic, but there is a bit of Fender Rhodes, clavinet, guitar, and organ on the session -- bubbling under with a style that pumps up the groove nicely -- bringing in a sound that's not entirely funky, but still tight, spacious, and syncopated enough to really kick into the tracks! Titles include "TS TS", "Somewhere Along The Way", "Dirty Dan", "Quiet Lady", and the excellent "Tiger Of San Pedro". Scott Yanow

1 - Dirty Dan
2 - Quiet Lady
3 - The Tiger Of San Pedro
4 - Somewhere Along The Way
5 - T.S., T.S.
6 - Passion At Three O'Clock
7 - Sweet Georgia Upside Down

Sonny Simmons - Backwoods Suite

When this CD was released in 1994, it should have resulted in altoist Sonny Simmons getting a comeback of the year award. Playing in a sparse trio with bassist Charnett Moffett and his son Zarak Simmons on drums, the veteran saxophonist proved to not only be in prime form after many years off the scene, but just as fiery and adventurous as he had been in the 1960s. Simmons' eight originals (which include "Reincarnation," "Country Parson" and "Sundown In Egypt") have plenty of variety, but it is the frequently telepathic interplay between the three musicians during improvisations that makes this CD essential for open-minded listeners. ~ Scott Yanow

Sonny Simmons came out of New York's early-'60s avant-garde jazz scene. On this, his first album in a dozen years, Simmons shakes off years of unjust obscurity to emerge as a major talent. The noisy, superficial aspects of the early-'60s jazz scene have been stripped away from his playing but the essence of free jazz--the ability to follow an impulse wherever it leads--remains in Simmons's twisting, restless compositions. Accompanied by the propulsive rhythms of his son Zarak Simmons on drums and Charnett Moffett on bass, Simmons plays long, long solos which maintain an astonishing harmonic continuity even as they snake in every direction except the expected one. ~ Geoffrey Himes

Sonny Simmons (alto sax, English horn)
Charnett Moffett (bass)
Zarak Simmons (drums)

1 - Reincarnation
2 - Trumpet Ship
3 - Theme For Linda
4 - Crystal
5 - The Other East
6 - Country Parson
7 - Ancient Ritual
8 - Sundown in Egypt

Albert Ayler - Slug's Saloon

This is the same club where Lee Morgan was killed. I believe he is still dead. The review is lowkey, indeed.

2-CD set features Ayler's quintet recorded live in 1966 at Slug's Saloon in NYC. It's an incredible 80 minute performance with Donald Ayler, Michael Sampson, Lewis Worrell and Ron Jackson.

Albert Ayler's name has come to mean different things to different people. Some think of him as the ultimate free jazz musician, others a fraud; some know his connection and subsequent projection of church music, and a few people actually knew him as a good friend. His death in 1970, an apparent suicide at the age of 34, guaranteed that parts of his life would remain shrouded in mystery.

This two-CD set (reissued for the set's fortieth anniversary) piqued my curiosity with the only appearance of a young Ronald Shannon Jackson (listed as Ron Jackson) on drums and the inclusion of violinist Michael Sampson. Compared to, say, Witches and Devils, Jackson’s fast and powerful drumming urges Ayler and brother Donald (on trumpet) on to some of their most intense playing on record. Where the ‘64 quartet with different players known for being “free jazz” musicians has many moments of introspection, Slug's Saloon offers catharsis.

Yet what are we to think of the barely audible violin and the totally inaudible bass? Simply a recording flaw? At times, especially on the second disc (second set?), the violin never stops playing. The music is either very soft or very loud, and the unique vibrato of Ayler’s sax playing is de-emphasized, his more lyrical, searching quality blocked. However, there are also moments of great joy: about six minutes into “Bells,” the entire band (which again sounds like trumpet, sax and drums) is totally focused on the melody of this sort of children’s march. Also at this point you hear someone in the audience talking as if he’s closer to the mic than the band. From here on both Aylers launch into twisted, dark, searching solos.

This music as a whole doesn’t use harmony as a basis for improvisation. It has a kind of trance-like quality that arises from repeating the nursery rhyme-ish, calypso-like melodies over and over again. It brings jazz back to an earlier time, perhaps before Louis Armstrong and New Orleans jazz, which emphasized collective improvisation based on simple melodies. Indeed, John Kruth’s good liner notes refer to Hurricane Katrina… and many mysteries continue. Francis Lo Kee

Albert Ayler (tenor sax)
Michel Samson (violin)
Donald Ayler (trumpet)
Lewis Worrell (double bass)
Ron Jackson (percussion)

CD 1
1. Truth Is Marching In
2. Our Prayer
3. Bells

CD 2
1. Ghosts
2. Initiation

Recorded at Slug's, New York, New York, June 1, 1966

Jim Hall and Ron Carter - Alone Together

"Alone Together is one of the great duet albums in instrumental jazz. Guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Ron Carter are renowned as both studio musicians and members of stellar outfits (Hall played with Jimmy Giuffre and Art Farmer; Carter with Miles Davis's second great quintet). In the intimate, chamber-jazz atmosphere of these live dates, however, the true sensitivity and flexibility of both artists can be heard. Carter and Hall are sophisticated, harmonically advanced players. They value balance and space as much as technical showmanship, and both play with a cool tone and rhythmically intricate flair that scintillates as it soothes and seduces.

The majority of the program consists of standards ("Autumn Leaves" and "Prelude to a Kiss)," along with other covers (Sonny Rollins's "St. Thomas"). Hall contributes an original, the smoky "Whose Blues," as does Carter, with the sly bop flourishes on "Receipt, Please." Throughout, the music is playful, highly lyrical, energetic, and beautiful, while representing an almost uncanny telepathy between the two performers. Aside from faint crowd noise from the club audience, this album is perfection." Unattributed

Jim Hall (guitar)
Ron Carter (bass)

1. St. Thomas
2. Alone Together
3. Receipt, Please
4. I'll Remember April
5. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
6. Whose Blues
7. Prelude To A Kiss
8. Autumn Leaves

Recorded live at the Playboy Club, New York, New York on August 4, 1972

Grachan Moncur - Mosaic Select

We take it for granted these days, with packages as large as 18 discs (the Bill Evans Verve box) or even 20 discs (the Complete Miles Davis at Montreux), but back about 20 years ago when Mosaic Records started looking at comprehensive reissues, such massive surveys were all but a pipe dream. For better or worse, a renaissance period of reissue activity, much of it modeled after Mosaic’s trend- setting program, has brought us to the point where the amount of material available for further unearthing is dwindling.

Still, there are nuggets of music from obscure artists that still warrant some sort of rediscovery, albeit possibly not in the grand fashion of a formal boxed set. Thus, we offer the premise of the label’s new Select series of reissues. Housed in conventional jewel boxes with cardboard slipcovers, these limited edition sets also include annotated booklets that boast full color reproductions of the albums covers associated with the package.

As a possible link between bop inflected trombone stylists such as Curtis Fuller and J.J. Johnson and the more avant garde leanings of Albert Mangelsdorff or Roswell Rudd, Grachan Moncur III found an attractive middle ground that pushed the music forward while maintaining the kind of hard bop excitement that fascinated scores of Blue Note followers. During his tenure with producer Alfred Lion’s quintessential label, Moncur would cut two records of his own as a leader, in addition to appearing as a sideman on several Jackie McLean sessions. Both of Moncur’s records as a leader, Evolution and Some Other Stuff, have been previously available on CD, but are currently hard to find. As for the McLean dates heard here, only the tracks from Hipnosis have never been previously released on disc.

When Jackie McLean came out with One Step Beyond in 1963, it was not only apparent that the alto saxophonist was heading into unexplored territory, but also that he had discovered some substantial new talent, namely drummer Tony Williams, vibist Bobby Hutcherson, and trombonist Grachan Moncur III. Not only is Moncur heard at length as a soloist, but he also composed two of the albums four tracks. “Ghost Town” is probably the most remarkable of these, creating a dark and foreboding mood in its dramatic opening strains. That sense of drama imbues “Love and Hate,” one of three further originals from Moncur that would appear on McLean’s next Blue Note set, Destination Out. By contrast, “Riff Raff” is more down home, with a bluesy shuffle and a melody line punctuated by alternating two note phrases.

Two more Moncur pieces can be found among the five that constitute a February 1967 session that was not released at the time, only coming out later as part of the ‘70s twofer Hipnosis. A model of his improvisational style, Moncur’s opening gambit on the title track includes sustained tones that spill over bar lines and create drama through the careful use of space. “Back Home” is another ‘back to the basics’ tune with a bluesy base that kicks in after a more somber opening. Rounding out the McLean material are three tracks from 1967’s ’Bout Soul, possibly the most radical album that the saxophonist cut prior to the end of the decade. Sounding almost as if it belonged to another project, Moncur’s “Soul” is a groove based number not unlike “The Sidewinder” in its visceral appeal, but marked by a very hip recitation by poet Barbara Simmons.

As for Moncur’s own two Blue Notes, much has been written about their importance among the contemporary jazz canon. A few years after Evolution was recorded, trumpeter Lee Morgan commented that the 1963 session proved to be one of the most challenging that he had ever been involved in. Certainly the inclusion of Bobby Hutcherson and Tony Williams upped the ante in terms of what was possible. The cast was no less heady for the follow-up (adding Wayne Shorter; Herbie Hancock spelling Hutcherson), however Some Other Stuff is a more challenging listen, due to several free form pieces that are not marked by any sort of beat or tempo. Taken together, all of the recordings on this three-disc set delineate a particularly fruitful period for both Blue Note and Moncur and their availability as a package makes it even easier to experience their full impact. C. Andrew Hovan

Dave McKenna ~ Christmas Ivory

' Cos I have a soft spot in my head for Christmas!

by Scott Yanow
This solo set by pianist Dave McKenna is predictably infectious and joyful. Most Christmas songs naturally lend themselves to swinging jazz interpretations, and McKenna has yet to record an indifferent album, particularly when playing unaccompanied solos. He romps through such songs as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Jingle Bells" and "Sleigh Bells," contributes two originals (including the touching ballad "Snowbound"), and comes up with enough variety in tempos and moods to hold on to one's interest throughout this enjoyable effort.
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town? Jingle Bells/ Stille Nacht, Heilge Nacht/ Let It Snow/ Don't Want No Blues This Christmas/ It Came Upon A Midnight Clear/ Christmas waltz/ O Little Town Of Bethlehem-Mary's Little Boy-Child/ Cantique De Noel/ Silver Bells/ I'll Be Home For Christmas/ Snowbound/ An Eggnog, Some Mistletoe and You/ Sleigh Ride/ Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)/ O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree)
rec. Feb 1997

Cedar Walton - Eastern Rebellion 4

Vinyl rip - edited to remove crackles etc
I could only find this small cover picture -
if anyone can find a better one, please post the link

Cedar Walton - Eastern Rebellion 4

Review by Scott Yanow

The fourth Cedar Walton release under the name "Eastern Rebellion"
is not quite on the same level as his previous ones. Veteran
trumpeter Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros (who does his best) sounds
a bit past his prime. There are some good spots for trombonist
Curtis Fuller and tenor saxophonist Bob Berg while pianist Walton
is in his usual consistent form and works well with bassist David
Williams and drummer Billy Higgins. The sextet performs four
standards and a pair of Walton originals but not much magic occurs
during this workmanlike performance.

Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros - trumpet
Curtis Fuller - trombone
Bob Berg - tenor sax
Cedar Walton - piano
David Williams - bass
Billy Higgins - drums

Recorded at Studio 44, Holland, May 1983.

Close Enough For Love
St. Thomas
I Am Not So Sure

Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenters (tp)
Curtis Fuller (tb)
Bob Berg (ts)
Cedar Walton (p)
David Williams (b)
Billy Higgins (ds)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Julian Priester and Sam Rivers - Hints On Light and Shadow

On Hints on Light and Shadow, maestros Julian Priester and Sam Rivers mesh their free-spirited instincts with electronics that enlarge the palette and electrify the proceedings, a brass and reed fantasy distilled to its pure, swinging, melodic essence. This unprecedented duet session blends the music of two masters of jazz and free (who have played and developed with, and contributed to, the music of everyone from T-Bone Walker and Billie Holliday to Miles, Cecil Taylor, and Herbie Hancock, and on through the distant music galaxies of Sun Ra) with the fresh, post modern, hipper-than-now electronics of Seattle's Tucker Martine. Together they achieve the highest level of improvisational feel and thought, in a manner rarely, if ever, attempted on a recording.

"This intriguing lineup doesn't quite live up to expectations. Trombonist Julian Priester and saxophonist Sam Rivers come from slightly different perspectives, the former immersed in the bop and post-bop traditions and the elder Rivers known for his more radical harmonic and rhythmic concepts. While the idea of bringing these two very accomplished players together must have appeared to be a no-miss effort, in reality they each seem to be improvising around, rather than with, each other. The third member of the triangle is Tucker Martine, who contributes a less-than-substantial electronic underbrush. The nine tracks sound as though they are freely improvised, and there are moments of lucidity and excitement in which hints of what might-have-been emerge. For example, on "The New System," Rivers' hands slide exotically and energetically on the piano keys to deftly embrace Priester's spacious sounds. Unfortunately, these outstanding moments are the exception rather than the rule, and there are times -- particularly with the electronics (as on "Mister Mayor and Mister Miser") -- when not much is happening. Both Rivers and Priester have recorded more convincingly elsewhere, and admirers of each of these enormous talents will find better examples of their works in other contexts. Overall, a missed opportunity that begs for an encore with a different focus." Little Steven Loewy

Julian Priester (trombone)
Sam Rivers (soprano and tenor sax, flute, piano)
Tucker Martine (synthesizer)

1 - Heads of the People
2 - Desire
3 - Zone
4 - The New System
5 - Mister Mayor and Mister Miser
6 - Autumnal Influences- The Book of Beauty
7 - Public Servant
8 - The Cicumlocution Office
9 - Chiaroscuro

Recorded at Sound On Sound, New York on November 14-15, 1996

Miles Davis - Manchester Concert

Trane was itching to get out. He didn't want to make this European tour, but Miles prevailed and Trane grudgingly went. In his autobiography Miles said that he joked with Coltrane for years afterwards that he was the reason Trane played soprano: if he hadn't made that Europe tour, he wouldn't have found the instrument. Funny thing also that Sidney Bechet saw a soprano in a London store window in 1919 and, intrigued, bought it.

Now, we've posted pretty much this whole year's recorded output at one time or another. The group recorded in March and April (Olympia, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zurich) and then there was a long stretch until this English appearance with Stitt in Coltrane's now vacant spot. That great Olympia concert came two weeks after this. This fills in a nice gap in the lamentably small recorded legacy featuring Sonny Stitt.

The second part is Miles line-up for the year 1963 which was characterized by much touring and little studio work. But to put it in context, the studio time resulted in Directions and Seven Steps To Heaven. The latter title was the work of Victor Feldman who chose not to tour: I think Miles said he would have lost money giving up his first-call studio status. From the studio they next appeared in hometown St. Louis and then to Antibes. Only two words are necessary. George Coleman. 'Nuff said.

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Sonny Stitt (alto, tenor sax)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)
"Free Trade Hall", Manchester, England, September 27, 1960

Miles Davis (trumpet)
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)
"Jazz Villa", St. Louis, MO, June, 1963

CD 1
1. Four, Pt. 1
2. All of You
3. Walkin'
4. Four, Pt. 2
5. All Blues
6. Well You Needn't

CD 2
1. Autumn Leaves
2. So What
3. Stardust
4. Theme
5. I Thought About You
6. All Blues
7. Seven Steps to Heaven/The Theme

Cedar Walton Trio - Manhattan Afternoon

"A tremendous record by the master. With just two originals tucked away in the middle of the set, Walton sticks to a programme of fairly routine standards and repertoire pieces - Monk's 'I Mean You' isn't his most played piece, though - and dispatches them all with consummate skill. His very first solo, on 'There Is No Greater Love', is replete with unexpected angles, and the soft harmonic displacements recur on John Lewis's 'Afternoon In Paris'. Williams and Higgins fit the music like a glove. Strongly Recommended."

Richard Cook & Brian Morton, Penguin Guide to Jazz, 3rd Edition.

Cedar Walton - piano
David Williams - bass
Billy Higgins - drums

1. There Is No Greater Love
2. St. Thomas
3. Skylark
4. The Newest Blues
5. When Love Is New
6. I Mean You
7. Afternoon In Paris
8. The Theme

Monday, December 17, 2007

Anita O'Day ~ Live In Berlin

If anyone has a good scan of the cover, feel free to send it. This is a very good performance (I think the Verve sides are beyond anything she ever did, however) This was her first recording in the seven years preceding this effort. The rhythm section aquits itself very well (George Arvanitas, Piano; Jacky Samson, bass; Charles Saundrais, drums) and the balance is fairly good for a live jazz event. I'll spare you the Yanow screed--which adds nothing to this recording.
Let's Fall In Love/ Your Wings/ Soon It's Gonna Rain/ Honeysuckle Rose/ I Can't Get Started/ Yesterday-Yesterdays/ On A Clear Day/ Street Of Dreams/ Sunny
rec at the Berlin Philharmonie, Nov, 7, 1970

The Complete Sarah Vaughan On Mercury Vol. 1 - Great Jazz Years (1954-1956)

Complementing Rab's generous posts of Sarah's Roulette years, here is the first of four volumes documenting her Mercury recordings. Despite the huge number of terrific records Sarah Vaughan made during her lengthy career, many of them were of poor songs plagued by obnoxiously overdone arrangements. This volume has a minimum of such tracks but this changes with the subsequent boxes. What makes them terrific, however, is the first rate singing, which is NEVER less than spectacular. As the years passed, Vaughan's choice of material improved as did her singing. She is the only singer I know (maybe Mel Tormé as well) whose voice actually got better as she aged. Her Pablo recordings, made near the end of her life, are the best she ever made (in my humble opinion). Volumes 2, 3, and 4 in this series are forthcoming. Scoredaddy

Sarah Vaughan recorded extensively for Mercury/EmArcy during the 1950s and 1960s. Through much of that time, Vaughan's operatic voice was matched against overripe orchestrations or arrangements more suitable to a pop icon than one of the most versatile instruments in history. The exhaustive 4 volume set overview of Vaughan's work with Mercury/EmArcy is essential only to completists or the most avid fans. Vol. 1, however, which collects material from 1954-1956 over six CDs, shows Vaughan at her best, including sessions with trumpeter Clifford Brown and drummer Roy Haynes. Most of the excellent performances from Swingin' Easy are included here. John SwensonSarah Vaughan's years on Mercury (and its subsidiary EmArcy) feature inspired jazz performances, commercial recordings with string orchestras, and big-band sides that fall in between jazz and middle-of-the-road pop music. All of her recordings for Mercury are on four impressive box sets that add up to 23 CDs. The first set (six CDs) is the best overall of the four for it has a full set with her trio, the famous session with trumpeter Clifford Brown, a date with the Ernie Wilkins orchestra (featuring altoist Cannonball Adderley), and a variety of orchestral sides. As with all of these sets, there are many previously unissued performances included too. More selective fans may want to get some of Sassy's individual packages instead (particularly the Clifford Brown date), but completists and true Sarah Vaughan fanatics will consider these four perfectly done sets to be essential. Scott Yanow

Joe Farrell - Sonic Text

Vinyl rip. Most crackles etc have been removed.
No scans.

Joe Farrell - Sonic Text - FLAC (44.46)

Freddie Hubbard - trumpet flugelhorn
Joe Farrell - soprano tenor flute
George Cables - piano keyboard
Tony Dumas - bass
Peter Erskine - drums

1 Sonic Text 6:27
2 When You're Awake 7:11
3 The Jazz Crunch 8:16
4 If I Knew Where You're At 6:56
5 Sweet Rita Suite, Pt. 1: Her Spirit 4:25
6 Malibu 11:48

Review by Scott Yanow

This is an excellent straight-ahead outing matching Joe Farrell
(who takes four songs on tenor and one apiece on soprano and flute)
with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, keyboardist George Cables, bassist
Tony Dumas, and drummer Peter Erskine. Originally cut for the
Contemporary label, the set has six group originals (by Farrell,
Hubbard, and Cables) that are performed at the perfect length,
mostly between six and eight and a half minutes (other than the
12-minute "Malibu"). The concise solos make expert use of every
note, and the results are both fresh and swinging.

Timeless All Stars - Timeless Heart

Vinyl rip - edited to remove crackles
Number of tracks the same as issued on CD

Timeless All Stars - Timeless Heart - FLAC (35.29)

Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Harold Land (tenor sax)
Bobby Hutchinson (vibes)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Buster Williams (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1 Hindsight Walton 5:52
2 Tayamisha Williams 6:09
3 Hand in Glove Walton 5:30
4 Fiesta Espagnol Walton 7:47
5 World Peace Land 6:21
6 Christina Williams 4:09

Review by Michael G. Nastos

All star sextet with auspicious beginnings. Curtis Fuller (trombone),
Harold Land (tenor sax), Bobby Hutchinson (vibes),
Cedar Walton (piano), Buster Williams (bass), Billy Higgins (drums).
A bright, clean, happy sound. Extension of MJQ.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Commit to Memory | Bobby Vince Paunetto & the CTM Band

This is a dense, but forward-looking session of Cubop. In some ways it reminds me of a jazzy version of Phil Spector's wall of sound, but with solos, great ensemble playing and a more modern sound overall. It's got great energy and is complex enough that you can listen time & time again to discover new things. It's been posted at Orgy but as it was MP3 and the link is now dead, I add it here in FLAC with both front and back scans.

Dusty Groove calls it "a legendary bit of Latin fusion from the 70s -- one of the few albums ever recorded by vibist Bobby Vince Paunetto, and a monster! The session was recorded in New York with a cream-of-the-crop group that includes Tom Harrell, Ronnie Cuber, and Ed Byrne -- but the real highlight of the session is Bobby, whose work on vibes, and unique angular way of cutting a groove is simply amazing. The record is a sublime blend of electric and acoustic playing -- soaring with the majesty of an underground soul jazz release, but beats with the heart of a smoking Latin combo! The album's incredible all the way through -- and tracks include "Spanish Maiden", "Good Bucks", "Delta", "Taz", and "Dragon Breath".

Paunetto was a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied vibraharp with Gary Burton. After recording his first two albums (Paunetto's Point & Commit to Memory) he was striken with Multiple Sclerocis. He returned to recording in the late 90's.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (2001)

Fela Ransom (then) Anikulapo Kuti is perhaps the most well known artist to come out of the High Life/Afrobeat genre. The liner notes (included) tell his story better than I could (and with better grammar as well).

This set was originally recorded & released in 1986 (tracks 1 & 2) with track 3 being released on the “Beasts of No Nation” album in 1989. All three tracks were then released as the set you see before you in 2001. The overall length of the set is over 77 minutes of great sound---enjoy!

1 - Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense
2 - Look and Laugh
3 - Just Like That

Mel Lewis | Herbie Harper Sextets

Here are a couple more of my West Coast winners, both recorded in Hollywood during June, 1957. I ripped both from the Japanese Paper Sleeve Collections. I like these sessions and in my mind one cannot get enough Marty Paich - who is on both sessions - on piano. I've included good scans of the backs as they are facsimiles of the original jackets and contain a lot of information. Enjoy these!!

The Mel Lewis Sextet

Mel Lewis, formerly with the Stan Kenton Orchestra (and at the time a busy West Coast studio musician), had a rare opportunity to lead a record date in 1957 when he headed this sextet session for the MOD (Music of the Day) label. With arrangements by Bob Brookmeyer, Marty Paich and Bill Holman, Lewis and his group (which features Charlie Mariano on alto and tenor, Bill Holman doubling on tenor and baritone, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, pianist Marty Paich, bassist Buddy Clark and the leader/drummer) perform originals by the three arrangers and Sheldon, in addition to the standard "You Took Advantage of Me." The enjoyable boppish music is quite colorful. Scott Yanow

Although he was generally reluctant to solo, Mel Lewis was considered one of the definitive big band drummers, a musician who was best at driving an orchestra, but could also play quite well with smaller units. He started playing professionally when he was 15 and worked with the big bands of Boyd Raeburn (1948), Alvino Rey, Ray Anthony, and Tex Beneke. Lewis gained a great deal of recognition in the jazz world for his work with Stan Kenton (1954-1957), making the large ensemble swing hard. In 1957, he settled in Los Angeles, became a studio drummer, and worked with the big bands of Terry Gibbs and Gerald Wilson. Lewis went to New York to play with Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band in 1960, and he toured Europe with Dizzy Gillespie (1961) and the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman (1962). In 1965, Lewis formed an orchestra in New York with Thad Jones which grew to be one of the top big bands in jazz. When Jones surprised everyone by suddenly fleeing to Europe in 1979, Lewis became the orchestra's sole leader, playing regularly each Monday night at the Village Vanguard until his death. Lewis recorded as a leader in the 1950s for San Francisco Jazz Records, Mode (reissued on V.S.O.P.), and Andex and, after Thad Jones left their orchestra, Lewis recorded with his big band for Atlantic, Telarc, and Music Masters. AMG

The Herbie Harper Sextet

Trombonist Herbie Harper's fifth and final session as a leader in the 1950s is an excellent outing that also features the little-known tenorman Jay Core, guitarist Howard Roberts, pianist Marty Paich, bassist Red Mitchell and either Frank Capp or Mel Lewis on drums. Core and Capp contributed an original apiece and the sextet also plays five superior standards along with a surprising rendition of "Little Orphan Annie." This set for the defunct Mode label (reissued by V.S.O.P.) has plenty of high-quality West Coast jazz. Scott Yanow

A fine trombonist active in the West Coast jazz scene of the 1950s, Herbie Harper spent most of his playing time after 1955 as a studio musician, although he occasionally re-emerged in the jazz world. After playing with Charlie Spivak's Orchestra (1944-1947), Harper settled in Los Angeles, where he gigged with Teddy Edwards and had short-time associations with Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, and Stan Kenton (1950). In addition to recording in the 1950s with June Christy, Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Benny Carter, and Barnet, Herbie Harper led five albums of his own during 1954-1957 for Nocturne, Tampa, Bethlehem, and Mode. He mostly worked in the studios afterwards, but emerged to play with Bob Florence's big band and, in the 1980s, he recorded for SeaBreeze and with Bill Perkins for VSOP. AMG

Herbie Harper 6: Herbie Harper, Jay Core, Howard Roberts, Marty Paich, Red Mitchell, Frankie Copp or Mel Lewis

Mel Lewis 6: Mel Lewis, Charlie Mariano, Bill Holman, Jack Sheldon, Marty Paich, Buddy Clark

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sonny Criss - Rockin' In Rhythm

I picked this up the other day having never heard it, but such is my admiration for Sonny Criss, I couldn't wait to check it out. Right into the first tune - Eleanor Rigby - I started thinking; "Man, I guess he'd have to make some commercial stuff sometime. Lounge music does pay the bills." I figured it would get better at the solos. And, of course, it did. But I also realized that much of the problem was the expectation I brought: that is, it seemed odd to bring a beautiful song of quiet desperation and make it a pop tune. But that was just my construct. Criss is under no obligation to regard a tune the way I do. It was a new tune when he recorded it, and it's a natural for an extended jazz treatment - the melody, that is - plus, it was commercially viable. Sometimes you gotta stop thinking and just listen. Which is my recommendation: just listen. Criss never disappoints.

" Like his labelmates Jaki Byard and Booker Ervin, Sonny Criss left a legacy of often overlooked music on the Prestige label that must be taken into account when taking the full measure of jazz in the Sixties. Criss's strengths--originality within the accepted modern style, unrelenting passion, and a knack for making contemporary pop material like "Eleanor Rigby" and "Misty Roses" jazz-worthy--are all on display in this program, which spotlights his alto sax in a quartet setting. Whether the source is Duke Ellington or Lennon and McCartney, Criss assures that each tune receives his intensely personal stamp. There is also a previously unissued version of "All the Things You Are" from an earlier session, with a Walter Davis piano introduction borrowed from Jimmy Heath's "Gingerbread Boy.""

Sonny Criss (alto sax)
Eddie Green (piano)
Walter Davis (piano on 7)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Paul Chambers (bass on 7)
Alan Dawson (drums)

1. Eleanor Rigby
2. When The Sun Comes Out
3. Sonnymoon For Two
4. Rockin' In Rhythm
5. Misty Roses
6. (I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over
7. All The Things You Are

Serenades From Some Soul Sisters

Honi Gordon - Honi Gordon Sings

Honi Gordon was among the one-album wonders of jazz; the obscure, bop-oriented singer recorded only one LP as a solo artist (1962's little-known Honi Gordon Sings). But her lack of exposure was not due to a lack of talent. Gordon, the daughter of vocalist/composer George Gordon, had an appealing style that was influenced by Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, as well as Annie Ross. There were also hints of Chris Connor in some of her performances. Gordon first sang professionally in the early '50s, when she became a member of a jazz vocal group called the Gordons. That outfit was a family affair, consisting of Honi Gordon as well as her father and two brothers. Though the group didn't sell a lot of records, it attracted the attention of Charles Mingus and did some recording with the famous bassist/pianist/bandleader. Pianist Mary Lou Williams was also an admirer of the group, as was bandleader/vibist Lionel Hampton. Nonetheless, the Gordons were unable to sustain a long career, and they broke up. By the early '60s, Honi Gordon was pursuing a solo career. She recorded her first solo album, Honi Gordon Sings, for Prestige in 1962, employing such noteworthy jazzmen as acoustic bassist George Duvivier, drummer Ed Shaughnessy, and the eclectic pianist Jaki Byard. The album was quite promising; Gordon showed herself to be a strong interpreter of lyrics on material that ranged from Mingus' "Strollin'" and the standard "Ill Wind" to her father's "My Kokomo." But, unfortunately, Gordon's first solo album was also her last -- after Honi Gordon Sings, she never recorded again as a solo artist. In 1991, Fantasy reissued Honi Gordon Sings on CD for the limited editions line of its Original Jazz Classics (OJC) series. ~ Alex Henderson

Honi Gordon - vocals
Jaki Byard - piano
Ken McIntyre - flute, alto sax
Wally Richardson - guitar
George Duvivier - bass
Ed Shaughnessy - drums

1. Strollin'
2. Ill Wind
3. My Kokomo
4. Why Try to Change Me Now?
5. Cupid
6. Walkin' (Out the Door)
7. Why
8. Love Affair
9. Lament of the Lonely

Hazel Scott - Relaxed Piano Moods

Hazel Scott's impressive bop piano was just one facet of talents that extended to playing classical music on the concert stage, singing and acting on-stage and onscreen, and hosting her own radio and television shows. A child prodigy, Scott entered Juilliard at the age of eight and made extensive concert tours of Europe, Africa, and the Near East before recording this date for Debut Records in 1955. For the set, she is accompanied by Debut's founders bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach. Given her talent and training, it's no surprise that Scott has technique to burn. Her energetic presence and personality and easy authority at the piano are amply demonstrated on the up-tempo numbers "The Jeep Is Jumpin'," "A Foggy Day," and "Mountain Greenery," and on the smouldering mid-tempo of Scott's "Git up From Here." The two ballad tracks are not quite so distinctive, although Scott's attractive performance of "Like Someone in Love" is elegantly detailed and nuanced. The alternate takes of "Git up From Here" and "Lament" are tentative compared to the main takes. Mingus and Roach are generally heard in supporting roles — which they perform to perfection — but they also get in some nice four- and eight-bar vignettes here and there. This music is also part of the Mingus boxed set The Complete Debut Recordings.

Hazel Scott - piano
Charles Mingus - bass
Max Roach - drums

1. Like Someone In Love
2. Peace Of Mind
3. Lament
4. The Jeep Is Jumpin'
5. Git Up From There
6. A Foggy Day
7. Mountain Greenery
8. Git Up From There (alt tk)
9. Lament (alt tk)

Recorded in Hackensack, N.J. by Rudy Van Gelder, Jan. 21, 1955

Betty Roche - Singin' & Swingin'

Betty Roché should have been much more famous. She had two barely documented periods with Duke Ellington's orchestra and recorded three excellent albums as a leader from 1956-1961 (all of which are available on CD), but then faded away into complete obscurity. This reissue (which is mistakenly given the incorrect date of January 24, 1961, which was actually Roché's following release) matches the singer with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, organist Jack McDuff (near the beginning of his career), guitarist Bill Jennings, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Roy Haynes. Roché performs nine famous standards, coming up with fresh variations in her phrasing to such numbers as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "When I Fall in Love," "Blue Moon," and "Billie's Bounce." Recommended, as are all of the other recordings in her slim discography.

Betty Roche - vocals
Jimmy Forrest - tenor saxophone
Jack McDuff - organ
Bill Jennings - guitar
Wendell Marshall - bass
Roy Haynes - drums

1. Come Rain Or Come Shine
2. A Foggy Day
3. Day By Day
4. When I Fall In Love
5. Blue Moon
6. Where Or When
7. September Song
8. (It Will Have To Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along
9. Billie's Bounce

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ; June 3, 1960

Betty Roche - Lightly and Politely

It is ironic that what is arguably singer Betty Roché's finest all-around recording was also her last. For this session, which has been reissued in the OJC series on CD, Roché (backed by pianist Jimmy Neeley, guitarist Wally Richardson, bassist Michel Mulia, and drummer Rudy Lawless) improvises constantly and uplifts a variety of superior standards, including "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," "I Had the Craziest Dream," and three songs by her former boss, Duke Ellington. It's recommended, particularly to jazz fans not aware of Betty Roché's musical talents.

Betty Roche - vocals
Jimmy Neeley - piano
Wally Richardson - guitar
Michel Mulia - bass
Rudy Lawless - drums

1. Someone To Watch Over Me
2. Why Shouldn't I
3. Jim
4. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
5. For All We Know
6. Rocks In My Bed
7. Just Squeeze
8. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
9. Maybe You'll Be There
10. I Had The Craziest Dream

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ; January 24, 1961

This Day In Jazz

Max Roach and Cecil Taylor - Historic Concerts

The liner notes - which are by Stanley Crouch, Gary Giddins, and Robert Palmer, by the way - begin with the statement that Roach is the most melodic of jazz drummers and Taylor the most percussive of jazz pianists. That's a bit more clever than true, I think, but not altogether wrong. The real player here , for my money, is Roach. There are times when Taylor sounds as if he's not aware - or caring - that there's another player there with him; but there's plenty of engaging moments nonetheless. Lots of pastel swaths and intervalic cracks, innit?

" Drummer Max Roach met up with the intense avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor for a 1979 concert that resulted in this double CD. After Roach and Taylor play separate five-minute solos (Taylor's is surprisingly melodic and bluesy), they interact during a two-part 78-minute encounter that finds Roach not shy of occasionally taking control. The passionate music is quite atonal but coherent, with Taylor displaying an impressive amount of energy and the two masters (who had not rehearsed or ever played together before) communicating pretty well. This set is weakened a bit by a 17-minute radio interview that includes excerpts from the concert one just heard, although some of the anecdotes are interesting. No revelations really occur in the music, but it certainly holds one's interest." Scott Yanow

CD 1
1 - Presentation
2 - Drums Solo
3 - Piano Solo
4 - Duets - Part I

CD 2
1 - Duets - Part II
2 - Interviews - Part 1
3 - Interviews - Part 2

Thelonious Monk - Live At The Monterey Jazz Festival, '63, Vol. 2 (MFSL)

. Thanks to kell for reminding us that this was promised and is yet undelivered. Don't ever hesitate to remind me of stuff, folks. I read so much Thom Jurek that I am often in a wall of pretention stupor. I need a reminder sometimes to get my head out of the pastelate interval cracks, and into the "real" world.

The second volume of Thelonious Monk's appearance at the 1963 ~Monterey Jazz Festival is drawn from two separate concerts on back to back days, with the pianist joined by long time tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist John Ore and drummer Frank Dunlop. The focus is on the composer and Rouse, though the only extended workout is of the old standard "Sweet and Lovely." There aren't any real surprises, though the music is well-played. This edition was a 24-bit gold remastering by the high end limited edition reissue label Mobile Fidelity and is highly sought after by audiophiles who collect jazz. Expect to pay a high price for a copy, if you can locate one. ~ Ken Dryden

Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Thelonious Monk (piano)
John Ore (bass)
Frank Dunlop (drums)

1. Light Blue
2. Criss Cross
3. Epistrophy
4. Sweet And Lovely
5. Bright Mississippi

Recorded on September 21 and 22, 1963 at the Monterey Jazz Festival, California

George Coleman - Big George

This one is for Bill - saw your request only yesterday but
coincidentally this was not far down my list anyway.

Hope you find the vinyl rip okay - edited to remove crackles.
No extra tracks on the CD apparently so at least it's all here.

No scans. Only found a very small cover picture.
If anyone can find a better version, please post the link.

George Coleman - Big George - FLAC (44.52)

Danny Moore (t),
Frank Strozier (as),
George Coleman (ts)
Junior Cook (ts),
Mario Rivera (bar),
Harold Mabern (p),
Lisle Atkinson (b),
Idris Muhammad (d),
Azzedin Weston (per)

01 On Green Dolphin Street
02 Frank's Tune
03 Big George
04 Joggin'
05 Body and Soul
06 Revival

David 'Fathead' Newman - 1999 Chillin'

A record by James Clay & Davis 'Fathead' Newman has been recently posted by Rab. David was playing with Ray Charles for 12 years (see bio in comments).

Review by Willard Jenkins from Jazz Times

For the past several seasons, David Newman has voiced the joys of country living from the comfortable confines of his Woodstock-area home, which has contributed new luster and mellow qualities to his work on saxophones (dig the tenor tone on "These Foolish Things") and flutes. Standing in the middle of a mountain stream, barefoot and coverall-ed on the CD cover, all's seemingly right in Fathead's world. And that sense of comfort and good vibes permeates this disc, whose title is quite apt. Newman embraces this music with the seasoned improviser's special coupling of swing and relaxation. There is a level of communication reached when bandleaders have the luxury of long-term work with familiars. Such is the case with bassist Steve Novosel and virtuoso vibist Bryan Carrott. HighNote house pianist John Hicks and drummer Winard Harper round out the cast. There's nothing particularly chance-taking about this date or these selections, which opens with Ellington's "Take the Coltrane" and closes with the Chicago city blues anthem "Red Top." But then the real challenge is to make consistently good music, engaging for both the players at hand and ultimately for the listener—a goal that is achieved here. Newman aslo introduces his pleasant-voiced vocalist-son Cadino Newman on "

1 Take the Coltrane (5:51)
2 Return to Paradise (5:51)
3 Whole Tzimmes (5:58)
4 These Foolish Things (9:37)
5 Invitation (5:32)
6 Chillin' (6:34)
7 Caravan (4:42)
8 Red Top (4:26)

David "Fathead" Newman (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, flute)
Candino Newman (vocals)
Bryan Carrott (vibraphone)
John Hicks (piano)
Steve Novosel (bass)
Winard Harper (drums).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 16, 1998.

Hank Mobley ~ Far Away Lands

Not available in the western world for over 12 years--yet another elusive piece of the BN catalogue that remains unconscionably out of print. Donald Byrd, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter and Billy Higgins? please! Whatever mystical reasons they might have for keeping this out of circulation cannot be due to the fact that it's in any way inferior to other Mobley efforts (i.e. Mobley's "Reach Out"...I rest my case) There weren't a lot of straight ahead jazz albums that came out on BN around this time--what with the emergence of soul and funk and all of the Blue Note/Liberty labels catering to that particular market--so this stands alone in certain respects, from other BN releases of that year (1967) Everything here is Mobley's own writing, other than J.Heath's Far Away Lands and Donald Byrd's Soul Time. I'm sure it won't be long before the suits will release this, it must be on their mythical re-issue list somewhere---probably found in their "Cat & Mouse" department.
Hank Mobley, Tenor; Donald Byrd, trumpet; Cedar Walton, Piano; Ron Carter, bass; Billy Higgins, drums
A Dab Of This And That/ Far Away Lands/ No Argument/ The Hippity Hop/ Bossa For Baby/ Soul Time
rec. May 26, 1967

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tony Coe - Coe-Existence (1978)

"A brilliantly crisp jazz album from British saxophonist Tony Coe -- a lost 1978 session recorded for the tiny Lee Lambert label, and one of Coe's best of the decade! The format is straight and simple -- a quartet with piano, bass, and drums, plus some occasional added percussion -- and Coe blows on both tenor and soprano, with a fresh, tight line that recalls some of his brilliant solo work for the Clarke Boland Big Band in earlier years. Tracks have a nice relaxed feel, one that complements Coe's sharp tone nicely." Dusty Groove

1.Rio Vermelho
2.Lover Man
3.Killer Joe
4.Don't get around much anymore
6.What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
7.Lee Thompson's Blues
8.I'm Getting Sentimental Over You

Cohn/Perkins/Kamuca - The Brothers!

Al Cohn, Bill Perkins and Richie Kamuca share two important communalities: spending formative years as members of Woody Herman's orchestra and being profoundly influenced by the rounded tone and impeccable lyricism of Lester Young.

Those two musical worlds first converged in the 1947 Herd whose new book was shaped by the arrangements of Ralph Burns, Jimmy Giuffre and Cohn and whose decidedly Lestorian tenor section (Stan Getz, Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward) was spotlighted along with baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff on Giuffre's Four Brothers (see Mosaic MD7-223). The success of that piece led to recording projects like the 1949 Prestige session Stan Getz And His Four Brothers with Sims, Cohn, Allen Eager and Brew Moore. As its album title implies, this 1955 session is also an outgrowth of that phenomenon.

These "brothers" projects, though competitive, were not knock-down, drag-out tenor battles in the tradition of Dexter and Wardell or Ammons and Stitt. They were more co-operative in spirit and done with the grace one would expect of any Pres disciple. Tenormen like Cohn, Perkins and Kamuca generated their intensity with a low flame and high heat. Their improvisations are meticulously driven by a rhythm section headed by Hank Jones.

Material for this project was selected from Nat Pierce, Bill Potts and Bob Brookmeyer as well as the three saxophonists. The choice of these three outside writers was rather inspired since you'll also get a hell of an arrangement delivered with a great tune. Pierce was well established at the time as pianist and arranger for Herman's band. Brookmeyer had already established his skills as a composer and valve trombonist with Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan. Washington D.C. arranger Potts was the new kid on the block, having just begun to arrange for Herman, Stan Kenton and others. What they contributed are real compositions, not just vehicles for blowing.

This was the first and only meeting by this tenor triumvirate. The following year, Perkins and Kamuca would cut a couple of albums together in Los Angeles and Al Cohn would renew his relationship with Zoot Sims. It was Cohn and Sims who carried on the tradition for the next two decades.

It is pleasure for us to restore this all-but-forgotten album to print and in the process, we found four previously unissued tracks that complete the sessions.

Al Cohn, Bill Perkins, Richie Kamuca (tenor sax)
Barry Galbraith, Jimmy Raney [Sam Beethoven] (guitar)
Hank Jones - piano
John Beal (bass)
Chuck Flores (drums)

1 - Blixed
2 - Kim's Kaper
3 - Rolling Stone
4 - Sioux Zan
5 - The Walrus
6 - Blue Skies
7 - Gay Blade
8 - Three of a KInd
9 - Hags!
10 - Pro-Ex
11 - Strange Again
12 - Cap Snapper
13 - Memories of You
14 - Saw Buck
15 - Chorus for Morris
16 - Slightly Salty

Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe

Joe Gordon - Lookin' Good!

Joe Gordon did not live long, only making it to 35. His second of two recordings as a leader (originally released by Contemporary) finds him on the verge of leading his own group. Gordon wrote all eight of the selections and is joined by adventurous but obscure altoist Jimmy Woods, pianist Dick Whittington, bassist Jimmy Bond, and drummer Milt Turner. Although the solos are generally more memorable than the tunes, this is an excellent effort that hints at what might have been had Joe Gordon lived. Scott Yanow

Dick Whittington had, as well as was, a cool cat.

Joe Gordon (trumpet)
Jimmy Woods (alto sax)
Dick Whittington (piano)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Milt Turner (drums)

1. Terra Firma Irma
2. A Song for Richard
3. Non-Viennese Waltz Blues
4. You're the Only Girl in the Next World for Me
5. Co-Op Blues
6. Mariana
7. Heleen
8. Diminishing

Joe Newman Quintet At Count Basie's

Joe Newman, one of the very few musicians (other than Freddie Green) to play for long periods with Count Basie's orchestras of both the 1940s and '50s, had an unclassifiable trumpet style. Influenced early on by Louis Armstrong and more prominently by Harry "Sweets" Edison, Newman was a mainstream player who was versatile enough to hold his own with Count Basie's younger (and generally boppish) sidemen. Born to a musical family in New Orleans, Newman not only played with the college band at Alabama State College, but took over its leadership. He gained important early experience playing with Lionel Hampton's big band (1941-43) before joining Basie (1943-47). He was a featured sideman with Illinois Jacquet's popular group and also worked with J.C. Heard. Newman's second period with Basie (1952-61) gave him his greatest fame, as he shared solo space with Thad Jones. The trumpeter also recorded extensively during this era a leader for Vanguard, Storyville, Jazztone, Savoy, Coral, Roulette, Swingville and Mercury; his four near-classic RCA sessions have been reissued as a two-CD set. After leaving Basie, Newman toured the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman (1962), freelanced around New York, and became involved with Jazz Interactions (a nonprofit organization that educated youth about jazz), serving as its president starting in 1967.

Joe Newman (trumpet)
Oliver Nelson (tenor sax)
Lloyd Mayers (piano)
Art Davis (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)

1. Caravan
2. Love Is Here To Stay
3. Someone To Love
4. The Midgets
5. On Green Dolphin Street
6. Wednesday's Blues

Sonny Stitt - Stitt Plays Bird

I was listening to the Stitt Mosaic when I remembered (or imagined) that this hadn't been posted yet. It's a great work, and an interesting one, in no small part because of all that "Bird's closest imitator" stuff. No need to get back into that again, but it surely was the work of a confident man (we'll assume needy for cash of every musician) to pick this as a thematic device.

" Recently, when asked who was the toughest player he had come up against, jazz legend Johnny Griffin said it was Sonny Stitt, "because he knew all of the hip clichés and it caused me to go and practice in corners, wherever I was for years, until I was able to invite him up on the bandstand to play with me, without feeling embarrassed with his great presence or feeling intimidated." "

Sonny Stitt (alto sax)
John Lewis (piano)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Richard Davis (bass)
Connie Kay (drums)

1 - Ornithology
2 - Scrapple From The Apple
3 - My Little Suede Shoes
4 - Parker's Mood
5 - Au Privave
6 - KO-KO
7 - Confirmation
8 - Hootie Blues
9 - Constellation
10 - Now's The Time
11 - Yardbird Suite

McPhee, Brötzmann, Kessler, Zerang - Guts

When people die for what they believe in, their actions speak louder than words. At least for a moment. Repeat performances of their deaths are impossible. So it is up to those who survive them to revitalize the symbolism of their deaths. Creative people do this well in the form of a tribute, for they are lending their lives to the realm where they have invested their own spirits already.

The quartet of reedmen Joe McPhee and Peter Brötzmann, bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Michael Zerang have come together in a recording called Guts (Okka, 2007) to honor Malachai Ritscher, who died of self-immolation on November 3, 2006, in protest of the war in Iraq. Ritscher was a musician, photographer, painter, philosopher and recording engineer. He recorded many of the gigs at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, including this session, in 2005.

Nearly an hour’s worth of music exists on only two cuts, “Guts” and “Rising Spirits.” The first begins with a clear, open drum introduction replete with rapidly spun snare and bass drum interplay. An alto intercedes in long screaming arpeggiated lines to overlap the drums’ underpinnings. A tenor pumps accents throughout the alto stringency and eventually paints a series of raw abstractions. Bass pizzicati enter to round out the sharpness of the horns. The fervently agitated sounds of the tenor and the ceaselessly energetic and ofttimes piercing pressings of the alto stop and go and wind around each other. About halfway through, drums and bass drop out as the sax torrents subside into slow melodic phrasings. The fully shaped melody gradually picks up pace; the drums and the bass re-enter. The improvisation progresses into a full tilt, resolving into stretched out multiple choruses of the theme from both horns eventually to form a conclusive harmony.

A bowed bass and extra-terrestrial percussive sound start “Rising Spirits.” The clarinet initiates a sprinkling of the atmosphere with an amoebic contouring of sonic emergence. A tight-lipped embouchure to a quickly fingered trumpet marks the arrival to full-blown instrumental involvement. The sporadic phrasings of the tarogato and the trumpet sparkle on top of the heaviness of the plucked bass and the lightness of touch to the cymbals and drums. An isolated bird-like litany from the tarogato complements repetitions of a sober melody from the trumpet. The bass and drums transform the music with a rhythmically driven surge. A tenor takes the lead and reconstructs abstractions with a series of sour and squeezed chords yielding to the alto, which continues to enhance the texture. The tenor and alto seesaw between high and low notes, melodic counterpoints and discordant and harmonic absorption to unite in a thematically strong coda.

Half the liner notes are comprised of a poem by McPhee. The poetry directs the reader to ponder the contents of the recording in the context of hope—a hope perhaps that the light will shine upon us as long as we remain committed to the contents of our lives. Lyn Horton

Joe McPhee (trumpet, alto, tenor sax)
Peter Brötzmann (alto, tenor sax, clarinet, tarogato)
Kent Kessler (bass)
Michael Zerang (drums)

1 - Guts
2 - Rising Spirits

Tim Berne and Paraphrase - Visitation Rites (1997)

"Though Berne was a music fan, he had no interest in playing a musical instrument until he was in college, when he purchased an alto saxophone. He was more interested in rhythm and blues music--Stax records releases and Aretha Franklin, especially--until he heard a recording by Julius Hemphill.

Hemphill was known for his integration of soul music and funk with free jazz. Berne moved to New York City in 1974. There Berne took lessons from Hemphill, and later recorded with him.

In 1979, Berne founded Empire Records to release his own recordings. He recorded two albums for Columbia Records, which generated some discussion and controversy, due in part to the fact that Berne's music had little in common with the neo-tradionalist hard bop performers prominent in the mid-1980s. Some regarded Berne's music as uncommercial. In the late 1990s Berne founded Screwgun Records, which has released his own recordings, as well as others' music.

Beyond his recordings as a bandleader, Berne has recorded and/or performed with guitarist Bill Frisell, avant-garde composer/sax player John Zorn, violinist Mat Maneri, trumpet player Herb Robertson and as a member of the cooperative trio Miniature (group).

Recent years have found Berne performing in several different groups with drummer Tom Rainey, keyboardist Craig Taborn, bassists Michael Formanek and Drew Gress, guitarists Marc Ducret and David Torn, and reeds player Chris Speed.

Berne's complex, multi-section compositions are often quite lengthy; twenty to thirty minute pieces are not unusual. One critic has written that Berne's long songs "don't grow tiresome. The musicians are brilliantly creative and experienced enough not to get lost in all the room provided by these large time frames.""

Tim Berne (alto, baritone sax)
Drew Gress (bass)
Tom Rainey (drums)

1. Poetic License
2. Piano Justice
3. I Can't Wait 'Till Tomorrow

James Clay

This post is a joint presentation of Pepper67 and myself.

James Clay was another Texas tenor who is perhaps best known for his long service in Ray Charles' band. Clay retired after a decade with Charles, but later returned, playing with Billy Higgins in the 1980s. He also rehearsed with Ornette Coleman in Los Angeles in the 1950s and is sometimes said to have influenced Coleman, though he has never played anything remotely like the free jazz sound that Coleman made famous. On his debut Riverside recording, The Sound of Wide Open Spaces!!! (also Cannonball Adderley's debut as a producer; he "discovered" Clay in L.A.) it is usually accepted that Clay is overshadowed by the work of fellow Texas sax player David "Fathead" Newman as well as by Wynton Kelly's hyper-swinging piano work. Perhaps, but one must remember that Clay was only 24 at the time of this recording, and that he is much more bebop influenced than Newman. In general, this is not a groundbreaking recording, but much more of a blowing session—if you heard this performance in a nightclub, you would not feel you'd wasted your evening at all.

James Clay with David "Fathead" Newman - The Sound of the Wide Open Spaces
OJC, 1960

1.Wide Open Spaces
2.They Can't Take That Away from Me
3.Some Kinda Mean
4.What's New?

Cannonball Adderley - Producer
James Clay - Flute, Saxophone, Sax (Tenor)
Sam Jones - Bass
Wynton Kelly - Piano
David "Fathead" Newman - Saxophone, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Art Taylor - Drums

James Clay - A Double Dose of Soul

James Clay only led two record sessions before settling in obscurity in Texas, where he would not be rediscovered until the late '80s. Cannonball Adderley helped present him on Riverside in 1960, so it seemed fair that Clay utilized several of Adderley's sidemen on this session (cornetist Nat Adderley or vibraphonist Victor Feldman, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes) along with a young Gene Harris on piano. Clay splits his time between his lyrical flute and tough tenor, proving to be an excellent bop-based improviser. This CD reissue adds two alternate takes to the original LP program and is highlighted by Feldman's "New Delhi," "Come Rain or Come Shine," and Nat's blues "Pockets."

Nat Adderley (cornet)
James Clay (tenor sax, flute)
Victor Feldman (vibes)
Gene Harris (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. New Delhi
2. New Delhi (alt.)
3. I Remember You
4. Come Rain Or Come Shine
5. Come Rain Or Come Shine (alt)
6. Pockets
7. Pavanne
8. Linda Serene
9. Lost Tears

Recorded in Los Angeles on October 11, 1960

The Alex Blake Quintet featuring Pharoah Sanders - Now Is The Time: Live at the Knitting Factory

Now Is The Time is a series of impeccably performed tracks culled from Alex Blake's live sessions at New York's Knitting Factory. Though nothing intensely brilliant evolves out of Now, the musicianship is paramount and unmatched on any late-'90s jazz recordings. Blake, who started as a bass player in Sun Ra's Arkestra at a very young age, sits himself comfortably in the background as it seems piano and drums take most of the attention on the record. John Hicks' piano playing immediately recalls McCoy Tyner's, while Victor Jones and Neil Clark tap out rather complex beats that help to build the central framework of the seven solid tracks. Now Is The Time is Blake's first record as a bandleader, and it proves he has come a long way since playing in the bands of Dizzy Gillespie and other post-bop performers. Surprisingly, the record is quite traditional in its style, covering "On the Spot" and plotting along through some familiar jazz territory. Perhaps a bit more experimentation would set the record aflame considering Pharoah Sanders' and Blake's worlds don't usually collide in such predictable space. Still, it's an incredibly joyous record that doesn't seem steeped in trying to bring about any great meaning. Though Now Is The Time may seem pedestrian, it simply illustrates Blake's ability to play all manner of music, ranging from traditional jazz to avant-garde to rock. To say that Blake never steps forward is an understatement, though. He rarely plays a simple walking bassline as he usually flecks them with slaps and skitters to make for exciting listening. "The Chief" and "Little Help Solo" see Blake riffing and improvising in some swung-out solos, but for the most part he's content to sit back and provide the structure for the others to create their magic. Ken Taylor

Alex Blake (percussion, bass, vocal)
Pharoah Sanders (tenor sax)
John Hicks (piano)
Chris Hunter (alto sax)
Neil Clark (percussion)

1. On The Spot
2. Intro - Neil Clark
3. The Chief
4. Little Help Solo
5. Intro - Alex Blake
6. Now Is The Time
7. Mystery Of Love

Charles McPherson - Beautiful

Glad to say, this isn't one of those tragic jazz tales. Mr. McPherson is active and working today. Check his website to see what he's up to or to drop him a line.

A Detroit native, McPherson initially studied with Barry Harris - who is also an active teacher: check his page also - and was long associated with Mingus. That's McPherson you hear on some of the overdubs in the film Bird.

" Xanadu was a perfect label for altoist Charles McPherson since he was always a bop-based improviser who was perfectly at home jamming straightahead standards. This CD reissue features the talented altoist (who is joined by pianist Duke Jordan, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Leroy Williams) infusing beauty and boppish ideas into such songs as "They Say It's Wonderful," "It Could Happen to You" and "This Can't Be Love." A previously unreleased trio rendition of "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" (recorded while the musicians were waiting for McPherson to show up) has been added to the CD. Recommended." Scott Yanow

Charles McPherson (alto sax)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Leroy Williams (drums)

1 They Say It's Wonderful
2 But Beautiful
3 It Could Happen To You
4 Lover
5 This Can't Be Love
6 Body And Soul
7 It Had To Be You
8 All God's Chillun Got Rhythm

Recorded August 12, 1975

Charles Mingus - The Complete Debut Recordings: CDs 5 & 6

CD 5

September 18, 1953
Putnam Central Club, Brooklyn, NY
J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Bennie Green, Willie Dennis, trombones; John Lewis, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Art Taylor, drums.

6. Wee Dot (Blues for Some Bones)
7. Stardust
8. Move
9. I'll Remember April
10. Now's the Time

1. Trombosphere
2. Ow!
3. Chazzanova
4. Yesterdays
5. Kai's Day

October 28, 1953
New York City
Ernie Royal, trumpet; Willie dennis, trombone; Eddie Caine, alto saxophone, flute; Teo Macero, tenor saxophone, clarinet; (anny bank, baritone saxophone?); John lewis, piano; Jackson Wiley, cello; Charles Mingus, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums; Janet Thurlow, vocal ("Eclipse," "Blue Tide" only). Arranged by Spaulding Givens (Nadi Qamar)

6. Pink Topsy
7. Miss Blues
8. Blue Tide
9. Pink Topsy (alternate take)
10. Eclipse (alternate take)
11. Eclipse

November 30, 1953
New York City
Paul Bley, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Art Blakey, drums

12. Opus One (alternate take)
13. Opus One
14. (Teapot) Walkin'

CD 6

1. Like Someone in Love
2. I Can't Get Started
3. Spontaneous Combustion
4. The Theme
5. Split Kick
6. This Time the Dream's on Me
7. Zootcase
8. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

December 29, 1953
New York City
Julius Watkins, French horn; Phil Urso, tenor saxophone; Walter Bishop, Jr. piano;Oscar Pettiford, cello; Charles Mingus, bass; Percy Brice, drums

9. The Pendulum at Falcon's Lair
10. Jack the Fieldstalker
11. Stockholm Sweetnin'
12. Low and Behold

August 11, 1954
Van Gelder Recording, Hackensack, NJ
Thad Jones, trumpet; Frank Wess, tenor saxophone, Hank Jones, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums.

13. Bitty Ditty
14. Chazzanova
15. I'll Remember April
16. Elusive (Illusive)
17. Sombre Intrusion
18. You Don't Know What Love Is

Teddy Charles - Salute To Hamp

There are two kinds of tribute recordings: those that simply try to simulate the original and those that seek their own approach to a celebrated artist's material. All the interesting ones, of course, are in the second category, and that's where vibraphonist-arranger Teddy Charles's tribute to Lionel Hampton belongs. Hampton's bands were hard-riffing explosions of energy with ballads often reserved as features for vocalists. No one ever accused them of refined good taste. Charles takes a subtler approach to Hampton's best-known repertoire with a group of musicians largely distinguished by restraint and harmonic invention, including Art Farmer on trumpet, Hank Jones on piano, and Bob Brookmeyer on valve trombone. Only Zoot Sims, a compulsively swinging tenor saxophonist in a Lester Young vein, really fits the original mold. The result is an engagingly cool take on some strong repertoire with Charles's own vibraphone, more liquid-sounding than Hampton's percussive approach, standing out. - Stuart Broomer

"In February 1959 I recorded Salute to Hamp. The album was my attempt to give listeners an album that as more accessible after I'd done all those far out records. I figured this material would be music anyone could relate to. Art Farmer, Bob Brookmeyer, Zoot Sims, Addison Farmer and Ed Thigpen were on that date." Teddy Charles

1-2, 6-7
Teddy Charles (vibes)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone, piano)
Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

Teddy Charles (vibes)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

Teddy Charles (vibes)
Hank Jones (piano)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Charlie Smith (drums)

1. Air Mail Special
2. Midnight Sun
3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
4. He's Gone Again
5. Stompin' At The Savoy
6. Flying Home
7. Stardust
8. Blue Hamp
9. Moonglow
10. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
11. Stompin' At The Savoy (Alt. Take 14)
12. Moonglow (Alt. Take 4)
13. Blue Hamp (Alt. Take 5)
14. Jack The Bellboy
15. Jack The Bellboy (Alt. Take 3)

Sonny Rollins - The Complete Prestige Recordings (7 CDs Box Set) (1949-1956)

Due to bandwidth limitations I can't upload the whole set at once. Here are the first 3 CDs. The 4 others with front and back covers will be posted in the next 2 or 3 days. Unfortunately the guy that sent me this set from USA kept the booklet. So you'll only have the front and back covers, and the most important: the music. In the meantime enjoy the first sets of Mr. Rollins.

Review by Scott Yanow

This seven-CD box set lives up to its title, reissuing in chronological order all of tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins' recordings for Prestige. Dating mostly from 1951-1956, these valuable performances find Rollins developing from a promising player to a potential giant; many of his best recordings would take place a year or two after this program ends. In addition to his own sessions, Rollins is featured with trombonist J.J. Johnson, on four dates with Miles Davis, and on sessions led by Thelonious Monk and trumpeter Art Farmer. Among the other musicians participating are trumpeters Kenny Dorham and Clifford Brown; pianists John Lewis, Kenny Drew, Horace Silver, Elmo Hope, Ray Bryant, Red Garland, and Tommy Flanagan; drummers Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, and Philly Joe Jones; the Modern Jazz Quartet; Julius Watkins on French horn; altoist Jackie McLean; and even Charlie Parker. Among the many highlights are the original versions of Rollins' compositions "Airegin," "Oleo," "Doxy," "St. Thomas," and "Blue 7," and his one recorded meeting with John Coltrane ("Tenor Madness"). Essential music that is treated as it should be. The attractive booklet is a major plus too.

Jon Hendricks ~ Recorded In Person At The Trident

If this ain't a jazz singer, then the term itself is an oxymoron! I know of at least one person here who wouldn't miss a set-up like this one ; )

by Scott Yanow
One of singer Jon Hendricks' better post-Lambert, Hendricks & Ross recordings of the 1960s, this spirited live set has been reissued on CD by Polygram under the Smash subsidiary. Recorded in Sausalito, CA, with local musicians (the fine but obscure tenor Noel Jewkes, pianist Flip Nunez, bassist Fred Marshall, and drummer Jerry Granelli), the CD does an excellent job of summing up Hendricks' music of the era. He performs some hip bop ("Stockholm Sweetnin'"), revisits some of his previous group material ("Cloudburst" and "Shiny Stockings"), sings a couple of current tunes ("This Could Be the Start of Something Big" and "Watermelon Man"), performs a touching version of "Old Folks," breaks up the place with his humorous "Gimme That Wine," and revives the ancient ballad "I Wonder What's Become of Sally." Excellent music.

Chet Baker - Silent Nights: A Christmas Jazz Album

Christmas time is just here and it's the moment for this kind of record. Silent Nights was recorded by Chet Baker with alto sax Christopher Mason in 1986 in New Orleans . However, until 1998 it was not published. This delay has not be an obstacle to the re-issue of the record as a CD. After a survey in the net, I have found at least 5 different front covers of this album.

The music is basically Christmas songs and spirituals, played in a meditative and melancholic way. Very relaxed music.

01. Silent Night - 2:50
02. The First Noel - 2:06
03. We Three Kings - 2:27
04. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - 2:01
05. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen - 3:57
06. Amazing Grace - 3:36
07. Come All Ye Faithful - 4:28
08. Joy to the World - 2:40
09. Amen - 1:41
10. It Came upon a Midnight Clear - 1:57
11. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot - 3:24
12. Silent Night - 4:03

Recorded in New Orleans, on January 7, 1986

Chet Baker trumpet
Christopher Mason alto sax
Mike Pellera piano
Jim Singleton bass
Johnny Vidacovitch drums

Donald Byrd Pepper Adams Quintet Vol 1

Vinyl rip. As far as I know, not issued on CD.
I could find very little information about it - no cover picture at all.
The one here was specially commissioned! Thanks to the "Art Department"!

Most announcements have been cut.

Although entitled Vol 1, I have never seen any reference to later vols.
Does anyone have any information about this?

Donald Byrd Pepper Adams Quintet Vol 1 - FLAC (42.43)

Donald Byrd (tp)
PepperAdams (bar)
Herbie Hancock (p)
Cleveland Eaton (b)
Teddy Robinson (d)

Live at “Jorgies,” St. Louis, June 24, 1961

01 Jorgies
02 6 M’s (Blues in 3/4)
03 Hush
04 Amen

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sadao Watanabe Hank Jones Ron Carter & Tony Williams - Bird Of Paradise

This is the Inner City release which is licenced by Victor Musical Industries of Japan. A superlative effort--there's no ape-ing going on here, Watanabe didn't produce another Supersax-like record (not that there's anything wrong with that) It is a tribute, I think, in the sense that he's tipping his hat to the master, but he has a lot to say on his own terms.
Sadao Watanabe: Alto Saxophone
Hank Jones: Piano
Ron Carter: Bass
Tony Williams (birthday boy Dec.12) Drums
Bird Of Paradise/ Donna Lee/ Embraceable You/ Star Eyes/ Dexterity/ If I Should Lose You/ Yardbird Suite/ K.C. Blues
rec. May 4, 1977 at Vanguard Studios, NYC

Grachan Moncur III - Evolution

From Crabbit; looks like the wooden shoe boys didn't get to this one. Is that, technically, serendipity or expoobidence?

" Evolution utilizes the excellent front line of Jackie McLean's working group of the early Sixties: McLean on alto sax, Moncur on trombone, and Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. Extra spice comes from the addition of trumpeter Lee Morgan, while Bob Cranshaw's bass and Tony Williams' drums represent a standard Blue Note “out” rhythm section of the time. Moncur wrote all four pieces, and throughout the whole album exercises admirable control of his all-star unit: this brilliant album is nobody's but his. The Moncur mood prevails from start to finish: his somber and profound compositions set the tone for some uncommonly subdued meditations from McLean and Morgan. Subdued, yes; dull, never.

The only drawback may be Moncur himself. His soloing is generally serviceable, but everyone else is playing over his head on this album, so his deficiencies show a little more than usual. This is particularly true on the opener, “Air Raid,” where his solo threatens to spin out of control here and there, but makes it to the finish line. On “The Coaster,” on the other hand, he muffs a little, but turns in an engaging effort. Hutcherson, meanwhile,is superb throughout the album. His playing here is closer to his ringing, percussive attack on Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch than it is to the more conventional melodicism he deployed on the two companion pieces to this album, McLean's One Step Beyond and Destination...Out!. Cranshaw's fine bass work, particularly his bowing on the title track, support Hutcherson imaginatively.

McLean and Morgan seem to have met up with the crew from Invasion of the Body Snatchers on their way to this date. Not that their playing on this album isn't as magnificent as usual; it's magnificent, all right, but in some places it hardly sounds like McLean and Morgan. Morgan, particularly, shows a side of himself here rarely seen elsewhere. In a 1970 Down Beat he cited this album and Andrew Hill's Grass Roots (will that one ever see the light of day again?) as his two forays into “free forms.” His playing on Evolution alone suggests that, had he chosen to do so, he could have given Freddie Hubbard and maybe even Don Cherry a run for their money in the realm of “free” trumpeting. On “Air Raid” he broods artfully until a kick from Hutcherson launches him into high gear; where one might expect him to seize the opportunity to feel for more conventional territory, however, his playing remains adventurous and marvelously appropriate to the moment. On the playful “Monk in Wonderland” and elsewhere he shows off, with skillful valve techniques and other ingredients of his bag of tricks, his total mastery of his instrument.

McLean shines no less brightly. His work here is similar in its expanded expressiveness to that on his Destination...Out! (which was recorded two months previously). This new depth was to carry over to his subsequent Blue Note albums (most notably the Consequences session with Morgan) that returned to a more conventional hard bop mode. All in all, of the three albums recorded by McLean, Moncur, and Hutcherson, this is the most fully realized and most rewarding of repeated listens." Robert Spencer

Grachan Moncur III (trombone)
Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

1. Air Raid
2. Evolution
3. Coaster
4. Monk In Wonderland

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 21, 1963

The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Art Blakey's 1960 Jazz Messengers (Mosaic )

Drummer Art Blakey led many great editions of the Jazz Messengers from the inaugural mid-'50s sessions until his death in the '90s. While arguments rage regarding which was his best, there is no doubt that the 1960-1961 unit figures in the debate. This wonderful six-disc set, notated with care and painstaking detail by Bob Blumenthal, covers studio and live sessions from March 6, 1960, to May 27, 1961, with the same personnel on all but two songs. Producer Michael Cuscuna used only first issue dates, and while he included some alternate takes, he did not litter the discs with second-rate vault material. They smoothly detail the band's evolution, cohesion, and maturation. This set, as with all Mosaic boxes, goes beyond essential. Get it post haste. - Ron Wynn

Mo' 'Bones

The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson, Vol. 2

J.J. Johnson's Blue Note sides from the first half of the '50s represent some of the best bop of the day. And for listeners interested in just picking up one of the trombonist's early dates, this second installment of his Eminent J.J. Johnson series is the one to get. Including fewer alternate takes and more material than Vol. 1, this 15-track set features such stellar Johnson originals as "Coffee Pot" and "Daylie Double," as well as solid covers like "Old Devil Moon" and "Time After Time." Topped off with excellent contributions by the likes of Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, and Charles Mingus, Eminent J.J. Johnson, Vol. 2 is a bop classic. ~ Stephen Cook

J.J. Johnson (trombone)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Charles Mingus (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
Sabú Martínez (conga)
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 24, 1954

J.J. Johnson (trombone)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Horace Silver (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on June 6, 1955

1. Too Marvelous For Words
2. Jay
3. Old Devil Moon
4. It's You Or No One
5. Time After Time
6. Coffee Pot
7. Pennies From Heaven
8. Viscosity
9. You're Mine You
10. 'Daylie' Double
11. Groovin'
12. Portrait Of Jennie
13. Pennies From Heaven
14. Viscosity
15. 'Daylie' Double

Grachan Moncur III - Some Other Stuff

Grachan Moncur III was one of the top trombonists of the jazz avant-garde in the 1960s although he had only a few chances to lead his own record sessions. This 1964 set was one of his finest, a quintet outing with bassist Cecil McBee, two of the members of the Miles Davis Quintet (pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Tony Williams), and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter just a brief time before he joined Miles. Moncur's primary influence was Thelonious Monk. "If Monk was a tribal leader," Jackie McLean once said, "Grachan would be his medicine man."

Grachan Moncur III (trombone)
Wayne Shorter (tenor sax)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Cecil Mc Bee (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

1- Gnostic
2- Thandiwa
3- The Twins
4- Nomadic

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on July 6, 1964

Ben Sidran ~ Old Songs For The New Depression

Didn't even think of this one when posting "Cool Side" the other day. Scoredaddy, this one's right up your alley. This review, however, is an embarrassment:

I'll spare you the incredibly dense review from AMG--this is a very accessible album, and contrary to Ron Wynn of Allmusic, very well crafted. True, these are great old songs, but for Sidran, they're not sacred cows.

Ben Sidran: Piano, vocals
Marcus Miller: Bass
Buddy Williams: Drums
Richie Cole: Alto

Let's Get Away From It All/ Easy Street/ Old Folks/ Turn To The Music/ Steady Eddie/ Making Whoopie/ Piano Players/ Dark Night/ Nostalgia In Times Square

Jackie Mac

Jackie McLean - New And Old Gospel (RVG)

"This 1967 session is notable for the presence of Ornette Coleman in the role of sideman, on trumpet no less. There are only three tunes on New and Old Gospel, one side-long piece by McLean, a four-part suite entitled "Lifeline," and two works by Coleman, including the title track and "Strange As It Seems." As a trumpet player, Coleman understands the psychology of McLean's playing and composing, in that they both come directly from the blues and it haunts everything they do. The other players on the session that make up the rhythm section -- drummer Billy Higgins, pianist Lamont Johnson and Scott Holt on bass -- understand this implicitly. No matter how knotty or abstract things get, they can dance back into the blues pocket and haul it all out again. Not that they have to, because, as is evidenced here, especially in the unbelievably complex intervallic world on "Lifeline," the front-line players know exactly where they are; they intersect across harmony and melody lines throughout and meet on a dime to offer a series of tonally challenging phrases and held notes that put one theme to bed and bring another one into play. The melodic interplay here is just stellar; it follows no convention or structure other than a blues feeling, and yet swings so wonderfully hard. On the title track, the most joyous thing on the disc, Ornette uses a simple rhythmic device that is found in round singing in Pentecostal churches and Johnson takes the ostinato and lets it rip, swinging up and down the aisle, as McLean and Coleman take the front line and move all over the scale (in C) and create a stomping, wailing, roaring work that is all stomping harmonic fury and no slack out excesses. The session ends on a glorious moody note, with McLean playing a melody and Coleman using his trumpet to play counterpoint by juxtaposing a free tempo against the rigid time signature of the bluesy lyric. In the solos both men switch places, and when the turnaround happens it's Holt who signals it and brings everyone home at the same time. This is one legendary Blue Note date that isn't mentioned often enough in that label's great history." Thom "Pharoah" Jurek; So it shall be written, so it shall be done.

Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Ornette Coleman (trumpet)
LaMont Johnson (piano)
Scotty Holt (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Lifeline: Offspring/Midway/Vernzone/The Inevitable End
2. Old Gospel
3. Strange As It Seems

Jackie McLean - It's Time!

I can't recall if this has been posted before, but it's nice - one of the Connoisseur releases. Jurek uses the word 'head' five times here. He's the Scott Yanow of reviewing.

Recorded in 1964, Jackie McLean's It's Time was only available on CD in the United States as part of a four-disc Mosaic set of his complete Blue Note recordings between 1964-1966. The band here includes trumpeter Charles Tolliver, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Roy Haynes. The music was written entirely by either Tolliver or McLean and walks the line between modal post-bop and free jazz. It came hot on the heels of McLean's first forays into these waters on 1963's One Step Beyond and Destination Out!. There is more to it than that, of course; chordal improvisation still plays a large part in the music on this fine record. Hancock's solo on the opening "Cancellation" is the most angular thing here, and the tempo is simply breathtaking. McLean's butt funky "Das' Dat," which follows, owes a debt to Horace Silver to be sure, but the blues element, which is in the tune's head, is pure Jackie McLean. McLean's own playing isn't particularly adventurous, though he pushes his tone to the limits at times. He swings tough with the hard bop sensibility that put him on the label in the first place, and "Das' Dat" is the most enjoyable thing here. The knotty head in the title cut is killer, with Tolliver and McLean going head to head and charging out of the gate, and the blues return in "'Snuff" by McLean. Here again is a complex, winding head for the horns in call-and-response with Hancock -- lean, spirited and full of crackling energy. Tolliver's solo in the cut is his best on the disc. Given that this has been issued as part of Blue Note's Connoisseur Series, it's a limited edition that won't be available for long. Just get it. Thom " Butt Funky" Jurek So it shall be funky, so it shall be my butt.

Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Charles Tolliver (trumpet)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Cancellation
2. Das' Dat
3. It's Time
4. Revillot
5. 'Snuff
6. Truth

Recorded on August 5, 1964

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Frank Sinatra, Tony Williams, Joe Williams, and Grover Washington , Jr.

Tony Williams is a jazz musician. The others ......

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Harvie Swartz - In a Different Light

A superior and flexible bassist able to contribute to a wide variety of advanced settings, Harvie Swartz is perhaps best known for his series of duet recordings and performances with singer Sheila Jordan. Originally a pianist, he started playing bass fairly late (in 1967, when he was already 19) but developed quickly. After attending Berklee, he performed in the Boston area with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, Mose Allison, and Chris Connor, among others. After moving to New York in 1972, Swartz worked with Jackie & Roy, Jackie Paris, Thad Jones, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, Barry Miles' Silverlight (1974-1976), David Friedman, Double Image, Dave Matthews' big band, Steve Kuhn (1977-1981), Paul Motian, and countless other top musicians. Harvie Swartz has headed several of his own groups, including Urban Earth (which recorded for Gramavision); he has also led dates for Bluemoon and Novus, and recorded often with Sheila Jordan.

This is a very interesting set, for bassist Harvie Swartz had the opportunity to play with five of his favorite guitarists. There are lengthy workouts with guitarist Mike Stern and drummer Winard Harper on "Alone Together," "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise," and "Sunny Moon for Two" that find Stern in particularly exciting form. Two songs match Swartz with guitarist Mick Goodrick and drummer Leon Parker (who was making his recording debut), and on a third song, guitarist Leni Stern makes the trio a quartet. In addition, Swartz plays two duets with John Scofield ("Gone With the Wind" and "Nardis") and one with Gene Bertoncini ("Embraceable You"). Everything works, making this one of Harvie Swartz's best recordings to date. - Scott Yanow

Harvie Swartz (bass)
Mike Stern, John Scofield, Mick Goodrick, Leni Stern, Gene Bertoncini (guitar)
Winard Harper, Leon Parker (drums)
  1. Alone Together
  2. Gone With the Wind
  3. Equilibrium
  4. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise
  5. Nardis
  6. As Calm as the Eye
  7. Watson Part II
  8. Sunny Moon for Two
  9. Embraceable You

The Complete Bill Evans On Verve

"The 18 CDs in this exhaustive set provide a comprehensive picture of Bill Evans from 1962 to 1969, a period when the pianist was both consolidating his fame and sometimes taking his music into untested waters, from unaccompanied piano to symphony orchestra. His work with multitracked solo piano, originally released as Conversations with Myself and the later Further Conversations with Myself, was the most remarkable new format for his introspective music. It gave Evans a way to be all the pianists he could be at once--combining densely chordal, harmonically oblique parts with surprising, rhythmic punctuation and darting, exploratory runs. Two dates with drummer Shelly Manne, in 1962 and 1966, reveal the stimulus Evans could find in a new playing relationship, as does the final disc with flutist Jeremy Steig. Evans also revisited significant earlier musical relationships. The Village Vanguard recordings from 1967 reunite him with the great drummer Philly Joe Jones, whose extroverted, polyrhythmic approach always worked wonderfully with the pianist's more introverted style. Along with the virtuosic young bassist Eddie Gomez, they make up one of the most stimulating of the many trios that Evans led throughout his career. There's also a superb set of duets with guitarist Jim Hall, another of Evans's most closely attuned musical partners. Evans's recordings with a symphony orchestra are marred by conductor Claus Ogermann's ponderous arrangements, and some false starts and multiple takes will appeal only to completists, but there are tremendous musical riches here. The set is packaged in an unfinished metal box designed to rust into an original object, but Evans's own originality is apparent everywhere. "--Stuart Broomer

Erroll Garner ~ The Most Happy Piano

By Request (the cover is beyond lame--what was it Miles said about the white chick on the cover of Miles Ahead?) It may be available in stereo, but I haven't seen it.
If you've never picked up an Errol (sometimes it's spelled with 2 l's) Garner Album, you haven't lived. He must have recorded a thousand albums--in six sessions (not much of an exaggeration) Prolific to say the least. This is the album that proceeded the landmark "Concert By The Sea" which is the very album that introduced me to Jazz. It is also a "comeback" album of sorts, due to the fact that he spent much of his time recovering from a horrific taxi accident in the months after the Carmel recording--the rhythm section is also a fill in--Al Hall on Bass and Specs Wright on Drums. This is every bit the typical Erroll Garner recording. The man could swing like a mother! And a swing that is difficult to describe; his rhythm section is always ramrod straight--in fact he seems to play even eighth notes much of the time---how can even eighth notes swing? HE CONSTANTLY PLAYS BEHIND THE BEAT. It's a phenomenon. Rapid fire block chords in eighth notes, jarring two finger melodic lines--he made up a lot of new rules--he was also completely self-taught, as a lot of piano players were. Ray Charles is considered one of the greatest blues players--he stayed away from 'blue' notes'. Garner is considered by many to be the hardest swinging pianist--stayed away from the swinging eighths. Go figure.
Girl Of My Dreams/ But Not For Me/ Passing Through/ Time On My Hands/ Alexander's Ragtime Band/ Full Moon and Empty Arms/ Mambo 207/ The Way Back Blues/ Ol' Man River
Rec. June 7, 1956

Jack Sheldon - The Quartet & The Quintet

Key early work from trumpeter Jack Sheldon -- a set that captures his talents at their most basic and most stripped-down -- very much in the spirit of the best LA jazz coming out on the Pacific Jazz label at the time! If the cover makes the set look a bit like a Chet Baker album, that's because there's a bit of the Baker approach here -- one that's simple and focused, with a strongly melodic style that comes through beautifully on Sheldon's shimmering horn. But there's also a bit more of an edge, too -- thanks to bold piano work from Walter Norris, and the addition of Zoot Sims on a number of tracks -- and unlike Baker (or Sheldon on later records), there's no vocals here at all -- just a strong instrumental groove. Titles include "Beach-Wise", "Groovus Mentus", "Dozo", "Jack Departs", and "Palermo Walk". Dusty Groove
Get Out Of Town/ Ahmoore/ Dozo/ Mad About The Boy/ Toot Sweet/ Jack Departs/ What Is There To Say/ Groovus Mentus/ Beach-Wise/ Palermo Walk/ Blues/ Irresistible you/ Guatemala/ Getting Sentimental Over You
Quintet: Jack Sheldon, trumpet
Walter Norris, Piano
Ralph Pena, bass
Gene Gammage, drums
Quartet: Jack Sheldon, trumpet
Zoot Sims, tenor sax
Walter Norris, piano
Bob Whitlock, bass
Lawrence Marable, drums
rec. 1954

Monday, December 10, 2007

Victor Assis Brasil - Jobim (1970) [Atração]

Victor Assis Brasil (8-28-1945/4-14-1981)
Brother of classical pianist João Carlos Assis Brasil, Victor was influenced by music from an early age, but only at 17 did he start playing the saxophone and seriously decide to pursue a music career. His interest in music grew while he hung out with other musicians at Beco das Garrafas, the home of bossa nova in the 50s and 60s. Victor studied with Paulo Moura, and became more and more interested in jazz, performing at an International Jazz Festival in Austria, representing Brazil. He also took part in a music competition in Berlin and won an award for best solo performer. In 1966, Victor recorded his first LP, "Desenhos", which today is regarded as a rare gem. Two years later, Victor released his second album and went to the U.S. to study harmony, arrangement and composition at Berklee, in Boston. In 1970, while vacationing in Brazil, he recorded "Victor Assis Brasil toca Antônio Carlos Jobim". Victor returned to Brazil in 1974; made several recordings, shows, and taught improvisation at the Brazilian Conservatory of Music. He died early, at 35, leaving a legacy that combines traditional jazz and Modern Brazilian music.
1 Só tinha de ser com você (Tom Jobim - Aloysio de Oliveira)
2 Wave (Tom Jobim)
3 Bonita (Tom Jobim)
4 Dindi (Tom Jobim - Aloysio de Oliveira)
Victor was the best jazz sax (mostly soprano) player ever born in Brazil. Too bad he has died so early. I've had the opportunity to watch him live only twice. And his albums are often out of catalog. Every now and then someone remembers him and releases one CD, like this one, but is not an easy task to find him around. Probably they have more released CDs from him in Japan than in Brazil. Enjoy it!

This Day In Jazz

Sam Rivers - Fuchsia Swing Song

In the autumn of 1964 tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers spent two months on tour with the Miles Davis quintet. This was the group that, with the addition of Wayne Shorter, would become known as Davis’ “Second Great Quintet.” Miles found the young tenor man to be too “out there” for his group, influenced as he was by avant-gardists such as Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Archie Shepp. Yet Rivers successfully mixed these influences with more traditional ones. His expansive tenor sound is reminiscent of blues and R&B players like Arnett Cobb or Albert Ammons, while his melodic and rhythmic conception indicate the influence of Sonny Rollins.

Fuchia Swing Song was recorded in December of 1964, and it features two-thirds of the Davis rhythms section: bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, both of whom provide a modern, aggressive, yet sumptuously swinging base for Rivers to work off of. Pianist Jaki Byard, who began working with Charles Mingus in 1962, offers not only the chordal framework from which Rivers works, but also distinguishes himself by playing a variety of styles with equal aplomb as well as offering some deft solo work of his own.

Fuchia Swing Song is Rivers’ debut Blue Note recording, and it is a confident and sharp debut. All the pieces here are Rivers compositions, with the most well-known being “Beatrice,” dedicated to his wife. Other musicians have recorded the piece, but there has never been a better, more sensitive reading than here, and the solo work of Byard and Carter furthers the lyricism of the piece beautifully. Other standouts include the title track, a 32-bar structure that features the propulsive cross-accents of Tony Williams, helping Rivers build an intense, turbulent swirl of notes that eases back into a rollicking swing formation, as well as “Luminous Monolith,” which employs traditional chord changes but manages to sound modal.

Byard and Rivers are perfect for each other, as both are in complete command of their instruments and are aware of the traditions that other musicians have paved on them, but at the same time can propel those traditional sounds into the future. In addition, both possess loads of technique but never use or display it as an end in itself. Add to this the potent mix of Ron Carter and Tony Williams and you’ve got an album that sounds as modern, complex, beautiful, and hard-hitting as it did in 1964. The reissue of this CD should go a long way towards restoring interest in Rivers, which would be an excellent thing.

Sam Rivers (tenor saxophone)
Jaki Byard (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

1. Fuschia Swing Song
2. Downstairs Blues Upstairs
3. Cyclic Episode
4. Luminous Monolith
5. Beatrice
6. Ellipsis
7. Luminous Monolith (alt)
8. Downstairs Blues Upstairs (take 1)
9. Downstairs Blues Upstairs (take 2)
10. Downstairs Blues Upstairs (take 3)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 11, 1964

This Day In Jazz

split like lightning down the middle without losing its vulnerability or tenderness, y'all.

David S.Ware - Flight of I

This is the final recording of the David S. Ware Quartet with drummer Marc Edwards, who would be replaced by Whit Dickey, who would be replaced later by Susie Ibarra. What is most notable about Flight of I is how Ware, completely oblivious to his critics, turned in his straightest ever recording, though no one could remotely call it "inside." The disc opens with one of Ware's compositions, "Aquarian Sound," which showcases the stunning complexity and beauty of Matthew Shipp's pianism. Opening with a series of vamps and augmented minor chords, he lays an opening ground for Ware to join the band. As bassist William Parker comes along the bottom floor of the beat, Ware enters with his five part ostinato before moving off into one of his high-wire broad-toned solos. The break is brief and ushers in Shipp's solo, which is the body and soul of the tune. Here Shipp builds one harmonic bridge after another, knotting them together with blocks of arpeggios that move along the perimeter of the empty intervals and stamps out territory within them. One of the other wonders of this album is Ware's employment of standards, here in the shape of the lovely "Yesterdays" by Jerome Kern and Harry Warren's "There Will Never Be Another You." Again, with Shipp as a foundation point and Parker's willingness to restructure the meter, Ware can take the melody to its highest point and split it like lightning down the middle without losing its vulnerability or tenderness. The title track is a model study in the vein of mid-period Coltrane with McCoy Tyner. A series of chords are placed along a line, an intervallic series sketched and the construction of harmonic and contrapuntal statements begins. Once the seams are reached, the entire universe blows apart in ribbons of sound. There is plenty of magic here, and more mystery (check out the riveting arabesques on the closer "Infi-Rythms #1"), to be discovered by anyone willing to take a chance on one of the most original tenor players in free jazz. - Thom Jurek

David S. Ware (sax)
Matthew Shipp (piano)
William Parker (bass)

1. Aquarian Sound
2. There Will Never Be Another You
3. Sad Eyes
4. Flight of I
5. Yesterdays
6. Infi-Rhythms Number 1

Not This Day In Jazz

Well, following Webbcity's site, I posted this, then found it wasn't on this date. What the hell, it's certainly worth hearing.

Cecil Taylor - Jazz Advance

We've discussed the role of Tom Wilson before; briefly, while a student (at Harvard) he formed a small record company that produced real a home-made product. Some of the people he recorded were Sun Ra (Ra's first album), Donald Byrd, and this work: Cecil Taylor's Jazz Advance. He later went on to produce Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, signed Zappa. He was an impressive man; and, parenthetically, "...He was virtually the only African-American record producer working in mainstream American popular music."

Jazz Advance, as well as other works in the Transition catalog was sold off; which is why you'll see this as a Blue Note title. I'm getting off the subject, but Byrd's Transition work is probably due for re-posting.

" This is Cecil Taylor's first album, recorded by Tom Wilson (also Bob Dylan's first producer) in Boston in 1956. While the record works beautifully on its own terms, it also hints at the tremendous reserves of energy that would propel Taylor's whole career. And it's probably the only Cecil Taylor record you can have on your CD changer while entertaining guests--it has a light touch. Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing" starts it off, with the earthy and grounded Dennis Charles on drums and solid Buell Neidlinger on bass. Taylor's lines are extensions of Monk-like concepts, but the tightly coiled melodies contain a barely withheld fury. Full-armed clusters signal exciting breakthroughs to come. Steve Lacy makes his debut on Taylor's "Charge 'em Blues," with a tone that recalls Paul Desmond. There are many highlights: Ellington's "Azure" is given an orchestral reading by Taylor; and on "Song," Lacy's tone is like a cool mountain stream. Cecil totally re-imagines Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To." Instead of playing off the changes, he seems to be mining underlying personal meanings--reconfiguring the harmony, melody, even the words."

Cecil Taylor (piano)
Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone)
Buell Niedlinger (bass)
Dennis Charles (drums)

1. Bemsha Swing
2. Charge 'Em Blues
3. Azure
4. Song
5. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
6. Rick Kick Shaw
7. Sweet and Lovely

Tony Bennett - For Once In My Life

Here is a great 1960’s Bennett LP never released on CD. This was requested by worldbflat and I am happy to oblige, as this is a wonderful choice among the many records I am considering for my “Tony Bennett Digital Rescue Project.” The selections here are universally strong… even the sappy “How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen” comes off well. The arrangements by Marion Evans and Torrie Zito are superb, especially their lovely ballad charts for “Something In Your Smile” and the title track, respectively. The highlights of the record are Cy Coleman’s “Baby, Dream Your Dream” with nimble piano by John Bunch and a terrific David Rose orchestration, and Ralph Burns’ exciting arrangement on the closing track, “Keep Smiling At Trouble”.

This collection of songs does not convey a consistent theme or mood. Like most of Bennett's records of the 1960's, For Once In My Life was an LP thrown together from various singles and tracks accumulated by Columbia Records. The singing is unformly excellent though, and is artistically successful despite the lack of a coherent vision.

The source for this rip was an LP in very good condition. However, I did apply noise reduction in order to minimize surface noise. I would love some feedback on the sound quality as I am relatively new to LP ripping. I realize there is a tradeoff on the top end when utilizing such software and sometimes fear that the results are too dull/muffled sounding. Please note that the first track suffers from some clicking that could not be removed. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Torrie Zito (arr #1,4,5,9)
Marion Evans (arr #2,3,6,7)
David Rose (arr #8)
Ralph Burns (arr #10)

1. They Can’t Take That Away From Me
2. Something In Your Smile
3. Days Of Love
4. Broadway Medley
5. For Once In My Life
6. Sometimes I’m Happy
7. Out Of This World
8. Baby, Dream Your Dream
9. How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?
10. Keep Smiling At Trouble

Recorded at CBS 30th Street studio, NYC on December 14, 1965 (8), January 18, 1967 (7), April 20, 1967 (2,3,10), July 18, 1967 (4,5,9), September 1, 1967 (6), and October 16, 1967 (1)

Zoot Sims ~ Warm Tenor

One of the greats in a series of great albums Zoot did with Rowles, for Pablo. This is every bit as good as you'd expect--although the fills that M. Alexander constantly drops in can get on my nerves at times. It's almost as obvious that it is a Lady Day tribute (he would do a full fledged tribute later) with You Go To My Head, Comes Love, and You're My Thrill. The Porter tune Dream Dancing is a song that isn't done enough (see Bennett/Evans' second album) and Fats Waller's Jitterbug Waltz. This one's a treasure. WBF

Zoot Sims: Tenor
Jimmy Rowles: Piano
George Mraz: Bass
Mousey Alexander: Drums
Dream Dancing / Old Devil Moon/ Blues For Louise/ Jitterbug Waltz/ You Go To My Head/ Blue Prelude/ Comes Love/ You're My Thrill
rec. in NY September 18 and 19, 1978

Milt Jackson and Coleman Hawkins - Bean Bags

Coleman Hawkins has been called the first truly great saxophonist, in jazz or otherwise. And Milt Jackson, who elected to play for decades in the collective Modern Jazz Quartet rather than pursue a mainly solo career, is certainly the first great vibraphonist in jazz. Jackson learned from pioneer Lionel Hampton but developed a harmonic approach to his instrument that sparkled and resonated as warmly as either tuned drums or a piano. As coleaders of this 1959 session, reissued here in exactly the shape of the original LP, Hawkins and Coleman reveal their elegant immersion in slow tempos and blues structures. They bounce smoldering ideas off each other ("Close Your Eyes") and play to their individual strengths on the two Jackson-penned blues, with Hawkins playing breathy shadows and then leaping registers and Hawkins letting the vibes sing with controlled sustain and all the complex art of slowed bebop. The rest of the band is notable, too: bassist Eddie Jones and MJQ drummer Connie Kay work with young guitarist Kenny Burrell and pianist Tommy Flanagan to merge harmony and rhythm wonderfully. - Andrew Bartlett

Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Eddie Jones (bass)
Connie Kay (drums)

1. Close Your Eyes
2. Stuffy
3. Don't Take Your Love From Me
4. Get Happy
5. Sandra's Blues
6. Indian Blues

Recorded in New York, New York on September 12, 1959

Ben Sidran

I could start this post as worldbflat. The dust layer on the Cd case testifies I haven't heard these records in many years. I bought On the Live Side 15 or so years ago, before my interest in jazz music, because I known Sidran from The Steve Miller Band, in the flower power San Francisco years. In fact, the same Steve Miller was playing in the record.

The other one, Cool Paradise, is one of the best records by Sidran.

Ben Sidran - 1986 On The Live Side

Review by Jim Newsom

The follow-up to the popular On the Cool Side, this recording captures Ben Sidran live in concert with his working band and a couple of guests, alto saxophonist Phil Woods and longtime pal, guitarist Steve Miller. The first half of the performance includes some of Sidran's earlier works, when he was working in an all-acoustic format, while the second half has more of the Cool Side sound. The concert is entertaining and the playing is first-rate, though listeners familiar with Sidran only through Cool Side may be surprised at the amount of space accorded his acoustic side, and the musical historian voice he employs on the older compositions. Especially interesting is a jazz reworking of the Sidran/Miller composition "Space Cowboy," which first appeared on the 1969 Steve Miller Band album Brave New World. This concert was also released on video.

01. The Doctor's Blues (2:08) [Ben Sidran]
02. Broad Daylight (4:02) [Ben Sidran]
03. Piano Players (2:51) [Ben Sidran]
04. Turn to the Music (3:58) [Ben Sidran]
05. A Good Travel Agent (14:04) [Ben Sidran]
06. There They Go (3:48) [Ben Sidran]
07. Lover Man (6:00) [Davis, Ramirez, Sherman]
08. Mitsubishi Boy (5:58) [Ben Sidran]
09. On The Cool Side (5:00) [Ben Sidran]
10. Space Cowboy (7:47) [Steve Miller, Ben Sidran]
11. Last Dance (6:44) [Ben Sidran]

Ben Sidran : piano, vocals
Phil Woods : alto saxophone
Steve Miller : guitar, vocals
Billy Peterson : bass
Ricky Peterson : synthesizers, vocals
Gordy Knudtson : drums

Recorded live at the Ordway Theater, St. Paul, Minnesota, March 23, 1986

Ben Sidran - 1990 Cool Paradise

Review by Jim Newsom

Ben Sidran's most fully realized recording, Cool Paradise brings the sound he'd been working on since Keep It on the Cool Side five years earlier to full bloom. Utilizing the working band he'd been playing with over that period, Sidran achieves a smooth blend of traditionally structured jazz colored with contemporary textures. Bobby Malach's sax work is especially appealing, and Sidran's singing, still cool and relaxed, sounds better than ever. The compositions, most by Sidran himself, are compelling, and the sonic clarity of the recording is a pleasure to listen to. With arrangements reminiscent of Al Jarreau in his popular heyday, and a vocal style that crosses Michael Franks with Mose Allison, it's surprising that Ben Sidran hasn't become better known in pop and contemporary jazz circles.

01 Cool Paradise (Sidran) 5:42
02 Lip Service (Sidran) 3:22
03 If Someone Has to Wreck Your Life (MacDonald) 4:14
04 She Steps into a Dream (Sidran) 4:17
05 Try (Sidran) 4:22
06 Language of the Blues (MacDonald) 4:13
07 Desire of Love (Bottini, Sidran, Telesforo) 4:44
08 Bye Bye Blackbird (Dixon, Henderson) 4:03
09 So Long (Sidran) 3:34
10 Walking With the Blues (Sidran) 6:10
11 Searching for a Girl Like You (Sidran, Sidran) 3:11

Gordon Knudtson Drums
Bob Malach Saxophone
Billy Peterson Bass
Ricky Peterson Keyboards, Vocals (bckgr)
Ben Sidran Keyboards, Vocals

Jimmy Heath - New Picture

Is this the one you've been waiting for? I hope so.
A vinyl rip as most of mine will be but no extra tracks on CD.
Edited for clicks but some difficulty with this one -
I would be interested to hear what anyone thinks about the result.
No scans, just a cover pic.

Jimmy Heath - New Picture - FLAC (40.18)

Jimmy Heath - soprano, tenor
Tommy Flanagan - piano, electric piano
Tony Purrone - guitar
Rufus Reid - bass
Al Foster -drums

1 New Picture Heath 5:00
2 Lush Life Strayhorn 8:06
3 Changes Heath 5:59
4 Keep Love Alive Heath 5:21
5 Dewey Square Parker 4:05
6 Sophisticated Lady Ellington, Mills, Parish 6:44
7 Togetherness Heath 5:10

Review by Scott Yanow

Ten years after his most recent set as a leader, Jimmy Heath
(heard here on tenor and soprano) finally had another opportunity
to lead an album of his own. This date, reissued on CD, finds
Heath playing in a largely unchanged style from his earlier days,
although some of his freer flights hint slightly at the avant-garde.
With strong support given by pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Tony
Purrone (an alumnus of the Heath Brothers), bassist Rufus Reid and
drummer Al Foster, Heath performs four originals, "Lush Life," and
Charlie Parker's "Dewey Square," and "Sophisticated Lady." Three
numbers add two French horns, a trombone and a tuba to the ensembles
for color; Heath provided the arrangements. A tasteful and swinging

Paulo Moura & Yamandu Costa - El Negro Del Blan (2004) [Biscoito Fino]

(From review)
I came across this CD after watching the DVD "Brasileirinho", where these excellent Brazilian musicians are also featured. Yamandu Costa (7-string guitar) and Paulo Moura (clarinet) play in duo a beautiful selection of Latin American themes as diverse as Cuba (son), Venezuela (waltz), Brazil (samba) and Argentina (tango). A nice blend of two timbres: strings and reed, in a contemporary and fresh sound.

From me: This is my first release here. Sorry for any mistakes. This is a very fine album from two of the finest musician in Brazil. Paulo Moura irrefutably the best Brazilian living clarinet and alto sax player and Yamandu Costa, a young acoustic guitar player that comes from the best tradition of the instrument that comes a long way down from Garoto, Dilermando Reis, Baden Powell and Raphael Rabello, Turíbio Santos, among many others. I couldn't find a good english profile from Yamandu, but I need to say he's a truly prodigy and virtuoso on acoustic guitar even being so young. Paulo Moura has its own small profile from

Paulo Moura (2-17-1933)

Son of a band leader and brother of other musicians, Paulo Moura started playing the piano and the clarinet in his native town, São José do Rio Preto (SP). Later on, Moura moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he played at balls, parties and casinos, as a member of Zacharias e Sua Orquestra (Zacharias and his Orchestra). In Rio de Janeiro, Moura attended lessons at the National School of Music, where he studied music theory, harmony, conducting, arrangement and orchestration. At 17, Moura was the first clarinetist of The National Theater Orchestra of Rio de Janeiro. In the same period, Moura accompanied Ary Barroso on a trip to Mexico and Russia, where he conducted the Moscow Symphonic Orchestra.

Moura has always been extremely interested in jazz, and was the founder of one of the first jazz bands in Brazil, playing the sax and clarinet. In 1957, he recorded the album "Paulo Moura e sua Orquestra para Bailes".

Alternating between classical and popular music, Moura used to hang out with bossa nova musicians at the nightclub Beco das Garrafas, and wrote arrangements for Elis Regina, Fagner and Milton Nascimento. In 1976, Paulo Moura made the album "Confusão Urbana, Suburbana e Rural" and toured Japan. In the 80's, he released one of his most famous albums, "Mistura e Manda". His repertoire is comprised of classical music pieces as well as choro and gafieira.

In 1992, in collaboration with the amazing guitarist Raphael Rabello, Moura recorded the album "Dois Irmãos", winning the Sharp Music Award for best popular music performer.

Track List:

1 El negro del blanco
2 Um chorinho em adeia na Glória
3 Durme Negrita
4 La paloma
5 Valsa venezuelana
6 Simplicidade
7 Sons de carrilhões
8 Decaríssimo
9 Pot-Pourri: Samba triste/Lapinha/Samba da bênção
10 De camino a la vereda
11 Gracias a la vida
12 Taquito militar

I hope everything works fine. It'll get better on the next posts, hopefully.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Complete Atlantic and EMI Jazz Recordings Of Shorty Rogers

This four-CD limited-edition box set from Mosaic (which was also made available as six LPs) features all of the recordings that trumpeter-arranger Shorty Rogers made for the Atlantic and EMI labels. Six titles from 1951 find Rogers leading an octet based on Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool nonet and featuring solos from altoist Art Pepper, the tenor of Jimmy Giuffre, and pianist Hampton Hawes. Rogers also heads a quintet with altoist Bud Shank in 1954, a quintet with Giuffre (tripling on clarinet, tenor, and baritone) in 1955, and some slightly larger groups (with such sidemen as the Candoli Brothers, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, altoists Herb Geller and Shank, pianists Lou Levy and Pete Jolly, and drummer Shelly Manne, among others). Although West Coast jazz has received a bad rap by East Coast writers through the years, Rogers shows that his recordings actually contained plenty of fire and swing, looking back toward the swing era and ahead simultaneously. Among the many highlights of this essential set are "Popo," "Lotus Bud," "Not Really the Blues," "Trickleydidlier," "Martians Go Home," "Martians Come Back," "March of the Martians," and "Martians Stay Home." Scott Yanow

Shorty Rogers

"A fine middle-register trumpeter whose style seemed to practically define "cool jazz," Shorty Rogers was actually more significant for his arranging, both in jazz and in the movie studios. After gaining early experience with Will Bradley and Red Norvo and serving in the military, Rogers rose to fame as a member of Woody Herman's First and Second Herds (1945-1946 and 1947-1949), and somehow he managed to bring some swing to the Stan Kenton Innovations Orchestra (1950-1951), clearly enjoying writing for the stratospheric flights of Maynard Ferguson. After that association ran its course, Rogers settled in Los Angeles where he led his Giants (which ranged from a quintet to a nonet and a big band) on a series of rewarding West Coast jazz-styled recordings and wrote for the studios, helping greatly to bring jazz into the movies; his scores for The Wild One and The Man With the Golden Arm are particularly memorable. After 1962, Rogers stuck almost exclusively to writing for television and films, but in 1982 he began a comeback in jazz. Rogers reorganized and headed the Lighthouse All-Stars and, although his own playing was not quite as strong as previously, he remained a welcome presence both in clubs and recordings."

Shorty Rogers Quintet - Wherever The Five Winds Blow

Shorty Rogers (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Jimmy Giuffre (tenor, baritone sax, clarinet)
Lou Levy (piano)
Ralph Pena (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)

1 - Hurricane Carol
2 - Breezin' Along In The Trades
3 - Marooned In A Monsoon
4 - The Chinook That Melted My Heart
5 - Prevailing On The Westerlies

Shorty Rogers with His Orchestra & The Giants - Short Stops

This is #37 0f Gioia's West Coast 50

This double LP offers listeners a strong introduction to the trumpet playing and arrangements of Shorty Rogers, but unfortunately it has gone out of print and was the first and last in its series. The 32 selections feature six different groups headed by Rogers during 1953-1954, ranging from an octet to a big band; all of the bands feature sidemen who essentially formed a who's who of West Coast jazz. Among the other soloists are altoist Art Pepper; tenors Bill Holman, Bill Perkins, Zoot Sims, Bob Cooper, and Jimmy Giuffre; trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison; pianist Hampton Hawes; and altoists Herb Geller and Bud Shank. The majority of the selections are Rogers originals; there is music from the Marlon Brando film The Wild One and a Count Basie tribute set. Swinging and surprisingly fiery "cool jazz" that deserves to be reissued on CD in full.

Shorty Rogers (trumpet)
Art Pepper (alto, tenor sax)
Bill Perkins (tenor sax)
Bud Shank (alto, baritone sax)
Pete Candoli (trumpet)
Maynard Ferguson (trumpet)
John Howell (trumpet)
Bob Cooper (baritone, tenor sax)
Jimmy Giuffre (baritone, tenor sax)
Bill Holman (tenor sax)
Herb Geller (alto sax)
John Graas (French horn)
Jimmy Knepper (trombone)
Bob Enevoldsen (trombone)
Gene Englund (tuba)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Marty Paich (piano)
Curtis Counce (bass)
Joe Mondragon (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Powder Puff
2. The Pesky Serpent
3. Bunny
4. Piroutte
5. Morpo
6. Diablo's Dance
7. Mambo Del Crow
8. Indian Club
9. Coop de Graas
10. Inifinity Promenade
11. Short Stop
12. Boar-Jibu
13. Contours
14. Tale Of An African Lobster
15. Chiquito Loco
16. Sweeheart Of Sigmund Freud
17. Blues For Brando
18. Chino
19. The Wild One (Hot Blood)
20. Windswept

Illinois Jacquet - The Soul Explosion

The great tenor Illinois Jacquet is joined by a ten-piece group that includes trumpeter Joe Newman and Milt Buckner on piano and organ for this 1969 Prestige studio session which has been reissued on CD by the OJC series. Jacquet is in prime form, particularly on "The Soul Explosion" (which benefits from a Jimmy Mundy arrangement), a definitive "After Hours" and a previously unissued version of "Still King." This blues-based set is full of soul but often swings quite hard with the focus on Jacquet's exciting tenor throughout. Scott Yanow

Illinois Jacquet (tenor sax)
Frank Foster (tenor sax)
Cecil Payne (baritone sax)
Joe Newman, Ernie Royal, Russell Jacquet (trumpet)
Matthew Gee (trombone)
Milt Buckner (piano, organ)
Wally Richardson (guitar)
Al Lucas (bass)
Al Foster (drums)

1. The Soul Explosion
2. After Hours
3. St. Louis Blues
4. I'm A Fool To Want You
5. The Eighteenth Hole
6. Still King

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, March 25, 1969

Curtis Fuller - Cabin In The Sky (1962)

Cabin in the Sky brought together trombonist Curtis Fuller and arranger Manny Albam for this 1962 LP which was produced by Bob Thiele and recorded by Rudy Van Gelder for Impulse Records. A rather unusual undertaking for Curtis Fuller, who has mostly been heard in the context of small groups such as the Art Farmer-Benny Golson Jazztette and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers along with his own sessions for Blue Note and Savoy.

Fuller and Albam decided to use songs from the original broadway score which was mostly written by Vernon Duke and John Latouche. Most people are familiar with the film score which threw out most of the original songs and replaced them with new ones written by Harold Arlen.

There is fine support from the rhythm section of Hank Jones, Eddie Costa, Barry Galbraith, Art Davis and Osie Johnson plus there are a few trumpet solos by Freddie Hubbard. On a few selections, the excellent big band is augmented by a 15-piece string section led by Harry Lookofsky.

Except for a very brief CD reissue in Japan, this LP has been out of print for over 40 years.

Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Manny Albam (arranger, conductor)
Al DeRisi, Bernie Glow, Freddie Hubbard, Ernie Royal (tp) Wayne Andre, Kai Winding (tb) Alan Raph (btb) Bob Brookmeyer (vtb) Ray Alonge, Jim Buffington, Anthony Miranda, Morris Secon (frh) Harvey Phillips (tu) Eddie Costa (vib, p, per) Hank Jones (p) Barry Galbraith (g) Art Davis (b) Osie Johnson (d)
  1. The Prayer - Taking a Chance on Love
  2. Cabin in the Sky
  3. Old Ship of Zion
  4. Do What You Wanna Do
  5. Honey in the Honeycomb
  6. Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe
  7. Savannah
  8. Love Turned the Light Out
  9. In My Old Virginia Home (On the River Nile)
  10. Love Me Tomorrow (But Leave Me Alone Today) - The Prayer
Recorded April 24 & 25, 1962

Ludwig van Beethoven - The Piano Sonatas Vol. 3: András Schiff

Part of the ECM New Series, this is Volume 3, for no other reason than this is the one I was listening to today. The others - 4 more - will appear at some point or other. Granny says: " He wisnae bad for an auld deef bugger. They didnae huv they pastelate interval cracks back then either, did they? Magic."

"Much like serial novels of the past, pianist Andras Schiff is releasing his complete Beethoven cycle one piece at a time, with the complete cycle not scheduled to be finished until 2008. Also like a good serial novel, once you get a hold of a good one, you just can't wait for that next issue to come out. In this, the third volume, Schiff is again proving to his listeners that his performances and interpretations are worthy of standing alongside other legendary recordings by the likes of Serkin, Goode, and Kempff. Everything about the recordings is well thought out, from the order of performance (chronological rather than by opus number) to the variety of pianos used to the informative liner notes. This forethought is not lost on listeners as it prepares them for the experience before the play button is even pushed.

Volume III contains Opp. 49, 14, and 22, composed between 1797 and 1800. Schiff's approach to them is light and sensitive, which is not to say unsubstantial. His technique is considerable and it is employed to more clearly demonstrate his well-thought-out concept of the works he is performing. Already worthwhile on its own, this offering promises to be part of an impressive complete cycle." Mike D. Brownell

Piano Sonata No. 19 in G minor, Op. 49/1
Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49/2
Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14/1
Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14/2
Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22

Sphere - Flight Path

This one is a vinyl rip -
a CD has been issued but it appears there are no extra tracks.

Sphere - Flight Path - FLAC (36.43)

Charlie Rouse - tenor
Kenny Barron - piano
Buster Williams - bass
Ben Riley - drums

01 If I Should Lose You
02 Pumpkin's Delight
03 Played Twice
04 El Sueno
05 Christina
06 Flight Path

Review by Ken Dryden

Sphere's second LP focuses primarily on originals by members of the group,
unlike their first album, which concentrated exclusively on the works of
Thelonious Monk. The one Monk song is the infrequently heard "Played
Twice"; they also add a relaxed yet solidly swinging interpretation of
the old standard "If I Should Lose You." Kenny Barron contributed the
Latin-flavored "El Sueño" and the turbocharged "Flight Path." Tenor
saxophonist Charlie Rouse (a veteran of nearly 11 years in Monk's
quartet) wrote "Pumpkin's Delight," which is easily the most intricate
chart of the session. Bassist Buster Williams penned the ballad
"Christina" in honor of his niece. All of the group's members are in top
form, with drummer Ben Riley (like Rouse, a veteran of Monk's quartet)
solidly anchoring the rhythm section. Also noteworthy are the two
photographs on the jacket of the 1978 release; the front cover is a
dramatic vintage photo of New York City taken from a high-rise by the
well-known Margaret Bourke-White, while the group photo on the back
cover takes on some special meaning as the now-destroyed twin towers of
the World Trade Center rise high above them in the background. This
release is well worth seeking.

Beethoven - Piano Sonatas Vol.1 - Schiff

Volume 3 has been posted, and I'll get the rest up in the next couple of weeks.

For too long, too many people have underestimated András Schiff. Decca, his first Western record company, presented him as a Mozart/Schubert specialist whose Bach was the soft-focus alternative to Glenn Gould. Teldec, his second Western record company, presented him as a Brahms/Reger specialist whose Busoni was the modernist equivalent of Bach. At last, ECM, his third Western record company, grants him his due, understanding that András Schiff is certainly one of the finest classical pianists of his generation by releasing this, the first volume in a planned complete cycle of all Beethoven's piano sonatas. Based on the evidence of these performances, Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms to one side, it is clear that Schiff is a Beethoven specialist, a pianist with commanding technique and expressive intensity, but above all great heart. Schiff is always himself, with his big, singing tone and complete control of form, and these are highly individualistic interpretations, yet Schiff is never more fully himself than when he is subsumed into the soul of the music. In the Largo con gran espressione of Op. 7, Schiff's molding of phrases and shaping of paragraphs is at once wholly his and at the same time consumed in the inspiration of the music. This is Beethoven playing of temperament, taste, and, most portantly, transcendence. Recorded in the Tonhalle Zurich, ECM has ideally captured Schiff's performance in an amazing facsimile of aural reality. James Leonard

Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2/1 21:07
Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2/2 28:30
Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2/3 27:47
Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major ("Grand Sonata"), Op. 7 30:48

Saturday, December 8, 2007

True Blue | Mark Whitfield

In a nutshell, this is one of my favorite recent jazz guitar albums. Whitfield created a great jazz album. It's a pleasant mix of originals plus tunes by Coltrane, Hefti, Monk, Weston, and Parker. I just love Whitfield's rich full tone on Save Your Love For Me.

Jazz fans who loved the fleet hands and smooth, thick guitar sound of George Benson before he went off to be primarily a pop singer should pick up on Whitfield, who has become perhaps the most effective torch-bearer for Benson-style guitar.

On his third and very solid album, Whitfield, 27, is joined by a fine group of hard-chargers, most notably pianist Kenny Kirkland, who turns in his usual muscular, inventive performance, and saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Whitfield is some picker, routinely ripping off long, staccato lines at high speed with impeccable clarity. He dips into the jazz tradition for blues by Monk, Coltrane, and also pens some fine tunes himself.

This is 75 minutes of intricate, high-level stuff; I found myself yearning at times to hear Whitfield burn in a more stripped-down, funkier musical setting, say with the great blues pianist Gene Harris.

Mark Whitfield (gtr), Kenny Kirkland (pno), Rodney Whitaker (bs), Jeff Watts (dr), Branford Marsalis (saxes), Nicholas Payton (tpt)

Paul Bley - Solo In Mondsee

Fully 35 years after Open, to Love, Paul Bley's seminal solo piano recording for ECM (which stands as a watermark both in his own career and in the history of the label -- i.e., unconsciously aiding Manfred Eicher in establishing its "sound"), the pianist returns to the label for another go at it on Solo in Mondsee. Recorded in Mondsee, Austria, in 2001, and not issued until Bley's 75th year, these numbered "Mondsee Variations" were played on a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano, an instrument that is, like its player, in a class of its own. Bley moves through ten improvisations lasting between two and just under nine minutes each. His range of thought, instinct, and motion is staggering. In a little over 55 minutes, he combines melodic and abstract notions of jazz and blues (especially on "VII" for the latter), ghost traces of popular song from the 1930s to the present, various folk musics, contemporary classical ideas, and reflections on the art of improvisation itself. This set isn't about flash, nor is it about transcendence. It's about the investigation of space, and the arrangement of music within it. While Bley has recorded other solo albums in the last 35 years, none is more diverse and tender in its sparseness than this one. His sense of detail is also his sense of economy on the instrument, which is graceful and elegant, rarely simply "percussive." In this manner Bley is a poet of sound. He pushes a line only as far as the extension of his own "breath," as the late poet Charles Olson put it regarding written language. Where the writer felt compelled to use the "/" symbol as a way of creating a break, Bley is not so specific; he is not interested in being a celebrated "technician." He pushes the line in any way that suits the idea at hand, which in turns suggests others; he allows room for its reverberations and trace echoes to inform each following sound, creating song from silence, lyric from air. His vast knowledge of musical forms is never knotty or purely intellectual; there is a great deal of emotion put into -- and coming out of -- each and every piece; the harmonic reflections on "IV" and "V" are particularly beautiful in very different ways. There is a wall that writing about this music presents; there is only so much explaining to do, because there isn't a written language that can even hope to convey this except poetry itself, and even there, it falls short. For anyone who has ever wondered about Bley and his amazing 60-year career in jazz, or for anyone interested in either the piano or improvisation, this recording, like its predecessor, will mystify, delight, and satisfy in ways that cannot really be imagined until Solo in Mondsee is actually encountered. Thom Jurek

Paul Bley (piano)

1 - Mondsee Variations I
2 - Mondsee Variations II
3 - Mondsee Variations III
4 - Mondsee Variations IV
5 - Mondsee Variations V
6 - Mondsee Variations VI
7 - Mondsee Variations VII
8 - Mondsee Variations VIII
9 - Mondsee Variations IX
10 - Mondsee Variations X

Paul Motian - Bill Evans: Tribute to the Great Post-Bop Pianist

Having been Bill Evans' drummer during the pianist's prime, early-'60s period, Paul Motian is the right person to record a Evans' tribute album; a recording that fits right in with Motian's recent spate of jazz repertory releases (Monk In Motian, the On Broadway series). But the obligatory nature of the record ends there, as Motian, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, guitarist Bill Frisell, and bassist Marc Johnson turn in an innovative set, using Evans' rich harmonic and rhythmic structures to launch many inspired solos. And being sensitive to Evans' subtle and intimate piano style, the group opt for a fairly straightforward tonal attack: Frisell forgoes his usual, hyper-eclectic approach for some unadorned jazz soloing, while Lovano sticks to the middle register of his horn. Motian for his part keeps the swing supple enough to be unobtrusive, while adding choice accents throughout. Highlights include the exquisite ballads "Turn Out The Stars" and "Very Early," a somewhat free-form reading of "Five," and the elegiac rendition of "Play Song." This is one of the best releases of the handful Motian's done with Lovano and Frisell and certainly as fine a tribute record as there is. A good purchase for both fans of Bill Evans and Paul Motian. Stephen Cook

Paul Motian (drums)
Joe Lovano (tenor sax)
Bill Frisell (electric guitar)
Marc Johnson (bass)

1 - Show - Type Tune
2 - Turn Out The Stars
3 - Walkin' Up
4 - Very Early
5 - Five
6 - Time Remembered
7 - 34 Skidoo
8 - Re: Person I Knew
9 - Children's Play Song

Bill Evans The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings

This is the remastered set that features 20 bit k2 super coding. It is the complete days worth of recording of this legendary session.

The music recorded by Bill Evans on June 25, 1961, has long since acquired legendary status. Evans, a brilliant pianist whose unique voicings have influenced over a generation of jazz pianists who have followed him, weaves one masterpiece after another with bassist Scott LaFaro (a promising composer and phenomenal bassist) and the equally valuable drummer Paul Motian. The interplay between them is phenomenal throughout each of their five sets from the final day of a summer gig at the Village Vanguard. This beautifully remastered three-CD collection restores the previously omitted take of "Gloria's Step" (marred only by a brief power outage) and the humorous finale by Evans at the end of the night (first issued in the massive Complete Riverside Recordings box set). The songs are in their original recorded sequence, adding a bit of ambience and audience reaction between numbers. Sadly, it was the trio's final recording, as LaFaro died in a car crash ten days later. The selections from this three-CD box set have been reissued numerous times over the years, but this is the first time that all of them have been collected in one U.S. release. Orrin Keepnews, the original producer, updates the liner notes he previously contributed to earlier issues of this music with a thoughtful commentary. This is an essential purchase, whether you are a novice or seasoned jazz fan.

The Brass Connection - A Five Star Edition (1987)

Here's one for all the "bone-heads" out there.

The Brass Connection was originally an offshoot of Rob McConnell's Boss Brass big band featuring the trombone and rhythm sections. Led by the lead player, Ian McDougall, they recorded three albums between 1980 and 1987 with A Five Star Edition being their last. Carl Fontana, Jiggs Whigham and Bill Watrous guest star on two numbers apiece and the arrangements are by Ian McDougall, Bill Holman and Mark Taylor.

"In A Five Star Edition the Canadian trombone quintet plus rhythm section is joined (one at a time) by trombone giants Carl Fontana, Jiggs Whigham and Bill Watrous. Brass Connection is a terrific group, but when these special soloists join in, they reach stellar heights. My favorites are the ballad "Song for a Special Lady" (which features not one of the three soloists mentioned above, but the Brass Connection's lead player Ian McDougall, who has a gorgeous buttery sound), "Airegin" (an uptempo number featuring a lot of unison bebop trombone ensemble and soloist Jiggs Whigham), and "Stella", where Carl Fontana, no spring chicken at the time of this recording, proves he can still leave anybody in the dust. It's a bit of a shame that there wasn't at least one track that all the soloists played on together, but nonetheless, this is a superior album. Even more than Standards, A Five Star Edition is a true must-have for BeBop lovers, trombonists, and jazz fans in general." - Dr. Christopher Coleman

Ian McDougall, Bob Livingston, Jerry Johnson, Doug Hamilton, Ernie Pattison (trombones)
Doug Riley (keyboards)
Scott Alexander (bass)
Lorne Lofsky (guitar)
Jerry Fuller, Jr. (drums)
Memo Acevedo (percussion)
Carl Fontana (trombone on 2 & 8)
Jiggs Whigham (trombone on 1 & 7)
Bill Watrous (trombone on 4 & 6)
  1. Not All a Dream
  2. Get Out and Stay Out!!
  3. Song for a Special Lady
  4. Night After Night After Night
  5. Whenever I'm Alone With You
  6. When Your Lover Has Gone
  7. Airegin
  8. Stella

Don't Call Me Bird | Sonny Stitt

My final West Coast Blue Moon share for now is this wonderful CD re-issue of two great Sonny Stitt West Coast Sessions. If you like these West Coast shares, be sure and let me know and I'll continue to post stuff; otherwise I'll move on to some other area.

A great double-length CD -- one that reunites the complete sessions for two Sonny Stitt albums on Verve! First up is Saxophone Supremacy -- one of those masterful albums Stitt cut for the label in the 50s -- all in a format that's misleadingly simple on paper, but surprisingly complex in execution! Stitt's backed by a trio that includes Lou Levy on piano, Leroy Vinnegar on bass, and Mel Lewis on drums -- but all players seem to hit a more deeply soulful groove than usual -- just the right sound to match Sonny's sharper-edge groove, and near-perfect execution of his solos. Stitt's tone is right out front in the mix -- beautifully recorded by Norman Granz, with as much respect to his sound as Sonny brings to his own renditions of the tunes. Titles include "Two Bad Days Blues", "Blue Smile", "I Cover The Waterfront", and "Just Friends".

The second album is Sonny Stitt Swings The Most -- a near perfect example of a saxophone master at his height! The record features Sonny blowing alongside the LA trio of Mel Lewis on drums, Lou Levy on piano, and Leroy Vinnegar on bass -- but hitting all the tunes with a powerful, professional approach that makes us know he'd sound this great, no matter what the setting. The tunes are wonderfully understated, but offer up a casebook example of just how great jazz soloing can be when it's handled this well -- never overdone or overblown, with notes that are improvised, but fall into place magically -- as if they always knew where to belong in the first place! Titles include "Jaunty", "The Lonesome Road", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Blue Sunday", and "That's The Way To Be", with a tiny bit of vocal by Stitt! Dusty Groove

On Saxophone Supremacy: Sonny Stitt had a difficult time coming out from under the shadow of Charlie Parker, even though Stitt's approach to playing the alto sax was only partially similar to the late giant. Stitt (who is incorrectly listed as playing tenor sax on the album jacket) is joined by a solid rhythm section consisting of pianist Lou Levy, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Mel Lewis. Most of this album is dedicated to standards. A loping treatment of "I Cover the Waterfront" is followed by his playful take of Hoagy Carmichael's "Lazybones." Also of interest are the leader's two originals, the frisky "Two Bad Days Blues" and the uptempo romp "Blue Smile," the latter of which has a fine solo by Levy but is prematurely faded as Stitt returns. This Verve LP was recorded during the same sessions that produced Sonny Stitt Swings the Most and Sonny Stitt Blows the Blues, but this long out of print disc will be somewhat hard to track down. AMG

Sonny Stitt | Lou Levy | Leroy Vinnegar | Mel Lewis

Friday, December 7, 2007

Los Angeles River | Russell Garcia and his Orchestra

Here's yet another West Coast gem from Blue Moon. Great music and great musicians. Russ Garcia was a musician turned orchestrator par excellence; but I know very little about him overall.

Dusty Groove calls this CD, "Key 50s sessions from Russ Garcia -- one of our favorite arrangers of the time! The work here is straight ahead and swinging -- done with no tricks or gimmicks -- just a straight ahead focus on Garcia's great talents at the head of a larger group! There's some slight modern touches to the work, but the main focus here is on creating backdrops for particular soloists -- in a style that's similar to Russ' best jazz-based scores of the period -- handled in a really evocative manner, and one that shifts beautifully between controlled ensemble passages and standout work from players that include Don Fagerquist, Red Norvo, Herb Geller, Howard Roberts, Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Ted Hash, Frank Rosoloino, and others."

Palo Alto
Aren't You Glad You're You?
One Love
Good Humor
When I Go, I Go All the Way
The Boy Next Door
I'm Confessin' That I Love You
Never Never Land
I Lead a Charmed Life
Music City
Fish Tail
Smoggy Day
Los Angeles River
Number Four

Lol Coxhill/Steve Lacy/Evan Parker - Three Blokes

Dizzy Gillespie 1937-1940, Vol. 1

Inspired by the Chronological Classics label, another French company called Media 7 started a series called "Masters of Jazz" in the early nineties. Similar to the Classics label, they chose to release discs by a single artist in chronological order. The biggest difference though, is that they included everything - alternate takes, airchecks, live sessions, etc. The booklets are also expanded with liner notes (in both French and English), photos and a complete discography. Unfortunately, they went out of business and I believe only one artist project was completed - Charlie Christian, on 9 volumes. Needless to say, all of the Masters of Jazz releases are now out of print.

Volume one of Dizzy Gillespie contains everything he recorded from May, 1937 through May, 1940. This CD is not for the casual listener but is mainly for those who wish to have virtually everything on record by Diz. Only songs that had solos by Dizzy are included and on the tracks with Cab Calloway, many of his solos are for only 4 or 8 measures. One exception is "Paradiddle" that has no solo by Diz but is included because he co-wrote the piece with Cozy Cole and may have arranged it for the band.

Highlights include Dizzy's first recorded solo on "King Porter Stomp" with Teddy Hill, "Hot Mallets" with Lionel Hampton, and a few cuts with Cab Calloway that let Diz stretch out a bit like "Pluckin' the Bass" and "Pickin' the Cabbage".

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Teddy Hill (1 & 2)
Cab Calloway (3-6 and 8-20)
Lionel Hampton (7)

other soloists include
Russell Procope, Dickie Wells, Chu Berry, Benny Carter, Milt Hinton and Cozy Cole
  1. King Porter Stomp
  2. Blue Rhythm Fantasy
  3. For the Last Time I Cried Over You
  4. Twee Twee Tweet
  5. Pluckin' the Bass
  6. I Ain't Getting Nowhere Fast
  7. Hot Mallets
  8. Pluckin' the Bass
  9. A Bee Gezindt
  10. Give, Baby, Give
  11. Do It Again
  12. Pickin' the Cabbage
  13. Chop, Chop, Charlie Chan
  14. Paradiddle
  15. Calling All Bars
  16. Calling All Bars
  17. Do I Care, No No
  18. The Lone Arranger
  19. The Lone Arranger
  20. Hard Times

Marco Eneidi - Cherry Box

Listening to the 1998 recording Cherry Box is akin to spending an hour in dedicated meditation. After the intensity of the primary experience fades away, one finds oneself awash in spiritual calm. The trio of Eneidi, Parker, and Robinson use their shared experience to their advantage, ensuring coherence and cohesion. But spirituality is their main stock in trade.

Cherry Box pays open tribute to the spiritual music of Coltrane's small groups. In both the unpretentious intensity of the saxophone improvisations and the emphatic cardiac throb of the bass, this disc projects melodic energy. To offer a recent point of comparison, Cherry Box bears notable similarity to the '93 FMP Gayle/Parker/Ali record Touchin' on Trane, though it makes more ample use of space, color, and melodic restraint. Alto saxophonist Marco Eneidi states deliberately simple themes, then subjects them to spirited reinterpretation using the full timbral spectrum of his instrument (including overtones and rapid-fire note flurries, as well as more relaxed passages with a bluesy sound). Even during moments of peak density, Eneidi's improvisations remain grounded. Of course, the presence of bassist William Parker does a great deal to anchor Cherry Box. Parker offers an intuitive combination of ostinato pulse, urgent walking basslines, and melodic complement. As usual, he plays an essential role uniting the group. (Astute listeners will note Parker's similar role on Gayle's landmark '93 FMP record.)

One of the most exciting aspects of this group is the remarkably versatile drumming of Donald Robinson. Robinson, a longtime Spearman associate, covers the range from “color percussion” through swing accents. While he shuns the center stage, his presence often spurs the other players to a higher level. It's worth taking a moment now and then to focus on Robinson's playing in isolation. At times he might play offbeat accents or shape his delivery around the other two players' statements, but he also devotes much of his effort to building multilayer polyrhythmic textures. This level of detail helps make Cherry Box a resounding success. I for one have not heard a stronger record from out of the post-Coltrane continuum in a long time. Nils Jacobson

Marco Eneidi (alto saxophone)
William Parker (bass)
Donald Robinson (drums)

1. Cherry Box
2. Slashing the Bird
3. Forget It
4. Barbequed Brahms
5. One More Thing
6. Spank

Cedar Walton - Eastern Rebellion 2 - FLAC

This is a rip from an LP which only includes the first four tracks.
The two additional tracks on the CD appear to be alternate takes from the
session on ER3 as they include Curtis Fuller.

Cedar Walton - Eastern Rebellion 2 - (FLAC) (36.05)

Bob Berg - tenor
Cedar Walton - piano
Sam Jones - bass
Billy Higgins - drums

01 Fantasy in D
02 The Maestro
03 Ojos de Rojo
04 The Sunday Suite

Review by Steven Loewy (of CD)

This version of Eastern Rebellion, led by pianist Cedar Walton, features
Bob Berg on tenor, along with Sam Jones on bass, Billy Higgins on drums,
and an occasional Curtis Fuller on trombone. Walton wrote all the tunes,
which range from relaxed straight ahead jazz to hard bop. While the
consistent concept -- different horns with a rock-solid rhythm section
performing the pianist's compositions -- is a winning one, the quality
of the Eastern Rebellion groups has varied with time. Berg is a good fit;
his big toned, post-Coltrane sound challenges the trio, and the results
are usually more than satisfactory. Fuller's brief contribution only makes
one wish for more. Higgins, Jones, and Walton are all-star quality, and
it shows. The music is unassuming, without theatrics or extended
technique, and as a result may get lost in the shuffle. This is, however,
a polished and pleasing set by first-rate talent, and it achieves its
goal of exciting, mainstream fare with a 1970s flair.

Stonebird | Supersax

Continuing on in the West Coast vein, I love Supersax and still find their first two LPs to be their best. I'll rip those once I get all my music unpacked from the move; but for now here's a younger (1988) Supersax that's mighty good.

With the release of Clint Eastwood's film Bird, Supersax got together for their first instrumental recording (without the L.A. Voices) in ten years. They returned to their original concept, using Charlie Parker's original recorded solos (reharmonized for five saxophones) as melodies and featuring solos by trumpeter Conte Candoli and pianist Lou Levy (but none by the individual saxophonists). Several of the numbers had been recorded previously, but these renditions still sound fresh. Most memorable are "Scrapple from the Apple," "Salt Peanuts," "K.C. Blues" and "Confirmation." AMG

Scrapple from the Apple
If I Should Lose You
Salt Peanuts
Lover Man
Au Privave
K.C. Blues
Moose the Mooche

Saxes: Med Flory, Lanny Morgan, Ray Reed, Jay Migliori, Jack Nimitz
Rhythm: Lou Levy, Monty Budwig, Larance Marable, Jake Hanna
Trumpet: Conti Candoli

Conti Candoli | Little Band Big Jazz

Continuing on with the West Coast theme as well as another Spanish Blue Moon re-issue, I offer this little West Coast gem, originally recorded by Crown Records. Despite YaKnowitall's review and it's brevity, I like this session and often listen to it. You might not remember the melodies, but once it's over, you'll be wanting more of this session...that's for sure; and to me that's the mark of a successful session. Give it a whirl and tell me I'm wrong....

Five of Los Angeles' best musicians of 1960, all veterans of the cool jazz scene, are featured on this CD reissue. While the solos are excellent, trumpeter Conte Candoli's six originals (two co-written with pianist Vince Guaraldi) are not particularly memorable. Their chord structures are comfortable for the musicians but none of the melodies will be remembered after the CD ends. Another minus is the brief playing time (under 29 minutes) which makes one wish that the music (originally on a long out-of-print Crown Lp) had been combined with another complementary set. What is here is fine but overall Little Band, Big Jazz, despite the fine playing of Candoli, Guaraldi, tenor-saxophonist Buddy Collette, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Stan levey, falls short of being essential. Scott Yanow

Conte Candoli, Buddy Collette, Vince Guaraldi, Leroy Vinnegar, Stan Levy recorded in Hollywood, February 3, 1960

Ben Sidran ~ On The Cool Side

For Scoredaddy

I haven't heard this album in over ten years, I'm sure, but Scoredaddy brought it back to mind. Actually, I'm still looking for my copy of That's Life I Guess--released on the Bluebird label--I just have to look in the right box. As dated as this tends to get (i.e. heavy on synths, keyboards and drum machine) it's still very listenable. He's more than an able keyboardist, and has a hip way about him, much like Mose Allison--with a speak/sing thing they do so well. I'll let Prowita post the other Magenta albums--the Live Side has some nice acoustic numbers, namely "A Good Travel Agent" with Phil Woods.

by Jim Newsom
Ben Sidran's musical persona has always been one of cool-cat hipster, talk-singing his songs in a style reminiscent of his mentor, Mose Allison. On the Cool Side was one of his more commercially viable solo releases, finding an audience on the small coterie of contemporary jazz stations in the mid-'80s. The title track is a classic of the genre, an upbeat, joyous affirmation of life, featuring a backing vocal from old pal Steve Miller. Sidran's take on "Lover Man" adds a whole new funky dimension to that oft-recorded warhorse, as do his versions of "Heat Wave" and "Up a Lazy River," the latter featuring Dr. John on second vocal. The music on this recording is heavily electronicized, with programmed drums, synthesized riffs and Fender Rhodes piano, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun. And, you'll find yourself walking down the street singing "keep on searching, keep it on the cool side" with a big smile on your face.

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

I assume most fans have this, or can get it easily. It's been known for a while that there were some issues with tape speed, etc. No doubt this album, which might have some claim to being the biggest seller of all time for a jazz work, will be issued and re-issued with different marketing ploys for many years to come. After all, why buy this at all, if you can't buy it in 11 formats and 36 versions?

So, this is the 2007 Japanese issue, speed corrected, yada yada, SACD hybrid, TransSubPhonic ZygoDisc Recorporealized in AugmentoSound© utilising direct SBM (DSD) technology.

I've included the Kind Of Blue out-takes links posted some time ago.

The Modern Art of Jazz by Zoot Sims

Here's one of my favorite Zoot Sims lps, mainly because the addition of trombone by Bob Brookmeyer produces such pleasant results. Try it, I think you'll like it.

These early 1956 sessions feature Zoot Sims in top form playing a pair of standards and originals by members of the quintet. Bob Brookmeyer is the perfect foil for the tenor saxophonist, as they seamless interweave intricate lines throughout the record, especially in an upbeat take of "September in the Rain." Pianist John Williams contributed the cool "Down at the Loft" and solos brilliantly on every track. Brookmeyer penned the slinky "Our Pad" with drummer Gus Johnson, a track that would have fit a typical Gerry Mulligan date (with whom both Sims and Brookmeyer worked from time to time). Sims contributed three originals, but the hottest solos come in the closer, appropriately titled "One to Blow On." Anchoring the rhythm section is the great bassist Milt Hinton, who is easily identifiable after just a few notes during his solos. Though most of this music was reissued on the Biograph CD The Rare Dawn Sessions, "September in the Rain" was unjustly omitted, so serious fans of Zoot Sims will want to look for this rare LP as well. Ken Dryden

1. September in the Rain
2. Down at the Loft
3. Ghost of a Chance
4. No So Deep
5. Them There Eyes
6. Our Pad
7. Dark Clouds
8. One to Blow On
Not on original Dawn LP
9. When the Blues Come On
10. Buried Gold

Zoot Sims, Bob Brookmeyer, John Williams, Milt Hinton, Gus Johnson

peter brotzmann tentet- stone water 1999

by Brian Olewnick
The second release by this powerhouse lineup is a portion of a live performance at the Festival de Musique Actuelle in Victoriaville, Canada. The single piece, by Brotzmann, is a kind of suite with several clearly delineated blocks that shows off several aspects of the band's character. It begins with screaming horns, subsides into a luscious bass duo (Kessler plucking, Parker's arco), and reaches an initial climax midway through with a ferocious horn barrage reminiscent of Brotzmann's classic machine gun
kondos electronically enhanced trumpet splinters shards through some rich, basso roaring by the reeds in one of the high points of the disc. As things quiet down, the trumpeter continues in a loving homage to miles davis, only to have the rhythm section kick things once more into high gear, laying near-funky grooves for vandermark to soar over. The bassists take matters out gently with a delicate, beautiful bowed duet. Brotzmann's hand-picked cadre of some of the finest young players from the Chicago improvising scene was one of the finest mid-size jazz bands of the late '90s. While this release doesn't show nearly the range of the first release (the self-titled, three-disc set also on Okkadisk), it's an excellent entry point into their music. The shortness of the recording is the only possible complaint. Highly recommended

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang - Classic Columbia & Okeh Sessions

" This set begins with Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti's unique 1926 duets "Black And Blue Bottom" and "Stringing The Blues" and continues through a total of 194 important, varied and often amazing performances, many of which are very rare.

Eddie Lang was as seminal a figure as there is in jazz. Traditionally, the guitar was a chordal rhythm instrument. Lang had an incredible rhythmic drive and harmonic sense, but he was also the first significant jazz guitar soloist. Joe Venuti combined a sharp, crisp technique full of flair along with a strong rhythmic sensibility. Blessed with brilliant timing, his well-conceived solos were electrifying, brimming with ideas and swinging ferociously

Included are all of the Venuti-Lang duo sessions; Lang solo dates; the Venuti Blue Four/Five/Six sessions; selected nuggets as sidemen (independently or as a tandem) with small groups led by Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong and Red Nichols plus Venuti/Lang big band dates and Lang duets with disciple Carl Kress.

Among the highlights of this set are the 16 tracks that document the special relationship with Lonnie Johnson, ten of which are guitar duets. In Lonnie Johnson, a champion of the blues guitar, Lang found an empathetic collaborator. Also included are all of the blues sessions Lang recorded with Texas Alexander, Bessie Smith and others.

Record bins around the world are littered with unlicensed, inferior-sounding CD issues of some of the better-known tracks in this set. To restore this music to its fullest, we've gathered the best possible sources (the original metal mother discs or commercial 78 rpm records loaned to us by some of the most ardent collectors in the world) and enlisted the talented transfer and mastering engineer Doug Pomeroy."

Stan Getz and the Lighthouse All-Stars Live

Here's another rip from my West Coast collection. Bear in mind that Stan Getz only appears on the first 5 or 6 songs here, but the Lighthouse All Stars are always worth listening to. In this re-issue you'll find 26 songs on 2 CDs.

Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz is heard in a series of exciting live performances at the Lighthouse Café on Pier Avenue just off the Strand in Hermosa Beach, CA, and at the Irvine Bowl on Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. The Lighthouse recordings were made in February and May 1953; tracks 21-26 were taped at the Irvine on June 20, 1955. The exhilarating beachfront ambiance is palpable throughout this magnificent compilation of live West Coast jazz; the festive crowds loved these jam sessions, their enthusiasm fueled the band and will most likely infect the listener and change the dynamic wherever the recording is played back. If some of the reeds -- Getz, Bob Cooper, Jimmy Giuffre and Bud Shank -- seem occasionally to be ever so slightly off mic, bear in mind that these are not perfectly balanced, professionally mixed recordings. Somebody was rolling tape in a club atmosphere thick with easy conversation and cigarette smoke. Yet this is no slipshod location air check; the overall sound is surprisingly consistent and the music is outstanding. There are cool passages by vibraphonist Teddy Charles, and strong contributions from trumpeters Shorty Rogers and Maynard Ferguson as well as trombonists Milt Bernhart and Frank Rosolino. The rhythm section, invariably driven by bassist Howard Rumsey with either Shelly Manne or Stan Levey behind the drums, sometimes features pianists Russ Freeman or Hampton Hawes. "La Soncailli" is a fabulous feature for Manne and "Round About Midnight" spotlights guitarist Barney Kessel. Getz sounds divine on every tune, in any company, no matter what goes down. Great moments abound on this superb compilation; highlights include two extensions of the Basie book: a nearly 12-minute jam on Harry "Sweets" Edison's "Jive at Five" and a magnetically hip rendering of Eddie Durham's "Topsy." Note also how "Love Me or Leave Me" magically mutates into Billy Strayhorn's "Johnny Come Lately." arwulf arwulf

Stan Getz, Shorty Rogers, Bob Cooper, Jimmy Giuffre, Teddy Charles, Russ Freeman, Howard Rumsey, Shelly Manne, Barney Kessel, Maynard Furguson, Frank Rosolino, Bud Shank, Hampton Hawes, and others

Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio - Jitterbug Junction

The Ritual Trio had its genesis in 1985 and was originally recorded (Sound Aspects Records) as Kahil El’Zabar’s The Ritual with Malachi Favors and Lester Bowie. In 1986 Billy Bang replaced Bowie and, by 1989, Ari Brown took over the Bang chair. From the beginning, it was always a group with focus, producing substantial music and yet, or maybe because of that, previous to this session only six recordings had been released (Sound Aspects and Delmark Records) and some of those are out of print. That fact, and the fact that their artistic track record is consistently strong and fresh, was a prime factor in our getting involved with documenting the Ritual Trio in 1997.

The session was to begin on June 9, but en route to The Spirit Room their van was broken into, necessitating delays as police tried to recover some of Kahil’s stolen percussion components, and broken windows had to be replaced. As a result, the trio didn’t arrive until early evening, in good spirits but, by the time dinner was finished, the events of the day and general fatigue were taking their toll. So it was decided that we would get an early start and, at 10:30 the next morning, start they did, opening with a strong sound check on “Nia” and following that up with an even stronger take, issued here. To those who think this music only finds true inspiration in the must and dust of nicotine-leached after-hours clubs, think again. The supplements here were vitamins and ginseng; the inspiration, knowing the highs that come from artistic statements successfully realized.

After working together in various combinations since 1986, and as a group since 1989, there’s a familiarity and confidence which produces a wonderful, infectious, free aesthetic, which does so much to foster the best in expression. The fact that on this day recording was secondary to inspiration was demonstrated when, after the fine take of “Jitterbug Junction,” the group just fell into “One For John,” running out an almost 12 minute journey without acknowledging the formalities of the recording procedure. It felt right and, while it’s not the take issued here, it provided the inspiration for the issued take.

The evolution of “Sweet Nector of Cacophony” was not an easy segueway. This is an evolving piece which depends upon its developed structure to inspire the soul in its extemporaneous exposition. The group worked for almost two hours just developing its theme, taking great care to get the proper notes and nuance. The importance of this became apparent to me as the piece began to develop its long, soulful interplays off the structural base. Sweat well spent. Malachi, in a quest for perfection, was not totally happy with his work on the theme, even though the overwhelming consensus was that the power of the whole overwhelmed any technical imperfections. Even so, the group tried to attain even greater heights but, after numerous takes that never quite left the gate, it was decided to leave excellence alone.

There were also numerous incomplete takes on the impromptu “Not Yet.” After the fourth, a suggestion was made to just forget it. I suggested we try once more and, lo and behold, what I thought was an inspired outing was cut short by Kahil after 7 minutes. So it was back to square one, but now with renewed vision and enthusiasm which, to everybody’s pleasure, led the group to take #7, which is issued here.

The day’s recording ended with “This Little Light Of Mine,” an intended blow-out that furnished a shining moment as twilight descended on the northcountry.

So here is some very real artistry, with an aliveness only very capable artists could execute with such attention to detail and passion. It is that very realness which brings out the depth of soul in this music. Hurrah for no fix-it-in-the-mix recording! Hurrah for the Ritual Trio! Robert D. Rusch

Teddy Charles - New Directions

Vibraphonist Teddy Charles was turning people's heads when he recorded these tracks in the early 1950s. Originally released on one LP (entitled Teddy Charles and His Trio) and two EPs (both titled New Directions, one credited to the Teddy Charles Quartet and one to Teddy Charles, Hall Overton, and Ed Shaughnessy), these performances find him taking standards like "Ol' Man River" and "Basin Street Blues" down strange paths and creating unusually challenging "modern" music in collaboration with pianist and pedagogue Hall Overton. The trio that performs the first eight tracks consisted of Charles, guitarist Don Roberts, and bassist Kenny O'Brien; without a drummer, their sound is somewhat fragile, which doesn't benefit Charles's boppish arrangement of "Ol' Man River" but nicely serves his almost ethereal conception of "I'll Remember April." The last four tracks on this collection are the most interesting and challenging: titled "Mobiles," "Antiphony," "Metalizing," and "Decibels," they are compositions based on organizational concepts rather than melodic ideas and sound something like a cross between John Cage and Charles Mingus. Not everyone will love this stuff, but anyone with an interest in jazz theory and history will want to hear it at least once. ~ Rick Anderson

Teddy Charles (vibes)
Don Roberts (guitar)
Kenny O'Brien (bass)
New York, November 10, 1951

Teddy Charles (vibes)
Jimmy Raney (guitar)
Dick Nivison (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
New York, December 23, 1952

Teddy Charles (vibes, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel)
Hall Overton (piano)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
New York, January 19, 1953

1. O'Brien's a Fly'n
2. This Is New
3. Ol' Man River
4. Tenderly
5. Basin Street Blues
6. I'll Remember April
7. Lady Is a Tramp
8. Blue Moon
9. Edging Out
10. Nocturne
11. Composition for Four Pieces
12. Night in Tunisia
13. Mobiles
14. Antiphony
15. Metalizing
16. Decibels

Walt Dickerson - Vibes In Motion

The usual gushy "review" from Dusty Groove.

A brilliant little CD -- one that features 2 rare 60s recordings by vibraphonist Walt Dickerson! First up is Unity, a session that has Dickerson in the company of pianist Walter Davis Jr. and drummer Andrew Cyrille. The record is very unusual for the time -- as each side is one long track, both very open-ended, with a haunting approach to vibes that had yet to be cut on wax by any other player. Dickerson is as fantastic as always, and this session ranks right next to his classic "To My Queen" for sheer brilliance. Titles are "Unity" and "High Moon" -- both with writing credits split between Dickerson and Sidney Frey, the guy who owned Audio Fidelity! This one's followed by Vibes In Motion, a strange little album -- one that repackages Walt's Lawrence Of Arabia album in the early 60s, ostensibly because the big Arabia buzz had died down! Forget the "Lawrence Of Arabia" in the title, or any of the cheesy references that it might imply, because this LP is as great as any of Walt Dickerson's other records from the time, and it's got the same band that graced his Prestige recordings -- Andrew Cyrille on drums, Henry Grimes on bass, and Austin Crow on piano. The music's a beautiful blend of piano and vibes, played with Dickerson's usual dark edge -- and even though the compositions are from a familiar soundtrack of the time, Dickerson makes them into moody bases for improvisation over some exotic jazz changes. Beautiful all the way through -- and featuring the tracks "That Is The Desert", "Motif", "Nefud Mirage", and "Voice Of The Guns".

"Originally issued as Jazz Impressions of Lawrence of Arabia (Dauntless DM 4313 and DS 6313).

The Audiofidelity LP cover has no date but bears a 1968 copyright mark. The Dauntless record was reviewed by Harvey Pekar in the July 4, 1963 issue of Down Beat. Although Henry Grimes is listed, Ahmed Abdul-Malik is the bassist on both sessions at which these tunes were recorded."

Walt Dickerson (vibes)
Walter Davis, Jr. (piano)
George Tucker (bass)
Edgar Bateman, Andrew Cyrille (drums)
NYC, March 5, 1964

Walt Dickerson (vibes)
Austin Crowe (piano)
Henry Grimes (bass)
Andrew Cyrille (drums)
Gotham Studios, New York City, March 21 and 25, 1963

1. Unity
2. High Moon
3. Theme From Lawrence Of Arabia
4. That Is The Desert
5. Motif From Overture Part I
6. Motif From Overture Part II
7. Arrival At Auda's Camp
8. Nefud Mirage Part I
9. Nefud Mirage Part II
10. The Voice Of The Guns

Hans Reichel - Yuxo

"Why is Hans Reichel a genius? Because he invented the daxophone, one of the strangest, most fascinating instruments of the 20th century, but also because he has been able to use its full potential in pieces that bridge avant-garde composition and family entertainment. Released in 2002, Yuxo picks up where Shanghaied on Tor Road had left ten years before. Subtitled "A New Daxophone Operetta," it is performed solely on Reichel's wailing microtonal instruments -- actually, an array of these in different shapes and sizes, multi-tracked to create a virtual orchestra of daxophones. The term operetta has not been chosen innocently. Reichel keeps from the classical genre its song format (albeit instrumental here) and lightness. The melodies are playful, the arrangements deceptively simple. At the core of it all resides the sound of the instrument, throaty but clear, an impossible cross between the violin and the human voice. Each piece is a delight, its melody recognizable on second listen. "Death Procession" feels like being trapped in a movie by a Martian incarnation of Federico Fellini. Flashes of Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota captured by a cartoonish pygmy tribe go by, alternating with images of mutating pump organs ("Sometimes at Night") and dancing ghosts ("You Can Dance With Me"). The daxophones take lives of their own, deliriously mischievous, sometimes even childish. What it comes down to in the end is serious fun, irresistible tunes, and the masterpiece one was not expecting anymore from Reichel. Highly recommended if you can (or want to) crack a smile once in a while." François Couture

Hans Reichel (Daxophone)

1 - The Duke Of Syracuse
2 - A Life Without Lychees
3 - You Can Dance With Me
4 - Bubu And His Friends
5 - Oway Oway
6 - Out Of Namakemono
7 - Death Procession
8 - Street Song
9 - My Haunted House
10 - Le Bal (new version)
11 - Sometimes At Night
12 - The South Coast Route
13 - Eros vs. Education

Ben Sidran - Too Hot To Touch

Ben Sidran is an interesting musician, exhibiting eclectic talents as a composer, singer, arranger, pianist, and musicologist. His recent Talking Jazz – An Oral History is a fascinating book and CD set featuring 60 interviews with many of the best jazz musicians of the past several decades, over 25 hours of recordings.

Too Hot To Touch is equal parts jazz, funk, pop and fusion with some clever lyrics, such as the amusing "Critics" and the in-your-face title track. In addition to Sidran’s originals, there are also a couple of standards thrown into the mix on which Sidran acquits himself quite well, delivering the well known "Everything Happens to Me" and "Sunny Side of The Street" in his own playful manner.

How about some more Sidran? I would appreciate further contributions of his work posted here at CIA. Any offers? Scoredaddy

BIO: Pianist Ben Sidran grew up in Racine, WI. In the early '60s, he played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs in a band called the Ardells at the University of Wisconsin. After Miller moved to San Francisco and secured a recording contract, he called on old friend Sidran to join him in the Steve Miller Band following the departure of original keyboardist Jim Peterman. Sidran contributed on the keys and as songwriter on several Miller albums beginning with Brave New World in 1969, co-writing the classic "Space Cowboy" and three other tunes on that LP. He also authored "Steve Miller's Midnight Tango" on Number 5 and collaborated with Miller on several other tunes through the years. He produced his friend's under appreciated release, Recall the Beginning...A Journey From Eden in 1972.

Sidran received a Ph.D. in philosophy/musicology, writing his doctoral thesis on African-American culture and music in the United States. The thesis was published to positive critical response in 1971 as Black Talk. Since 1972, he has released a number of solo albums in a cool, easy swinging style similar to Mose Allison. His early albums relied on acoustic instruments and lyrical references to his musical heroes. Later releases used electronic instruments and tasty synthesizers for an interesting sound best presented on albums like 1985's On the Cool Side and Cool Paradise from 1990.

Sidran has produced recordings for Mose Allison, Diana Ross, and others, and collaborated with Van Morrison and Georgie Fame on the tribute album The Songs of Mose Allison: Tell Me Something in 1996. In addition to making music himself, Sidran has hosted programs on VH1 and continues to write about the music he loves. Jim Newsom

Bob Malach - Flute, Saxophone (Tenor)
Ricky Peterson - Synthesizer, Piano
Gordy Knudtson - Drums
Lucia Newell - Vocals (bckgr)
Paul Peterson - Guitar
Ben Sidran - Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
John De la Silva - Guitar
Billy Peterson - Bass, Bass (Electric)

1. Shine a Light on Me (Sidran) - 4:38
2. Enivre d'Amour (Sidran) - 4:55
3. Everything Happens to Me (Adair / Dennis) - 4:10
4. Freedom Jazz Dance (Harris) - 4:02
5. On the Sunny Side of the Street (Fields / McHugh) - 3:12
6. Critics (Sidran) - 4:50
7. Pepper - 0:02
8. Too Hot to Touch (Sidran) - 5:20
9. Longing for Bahia (Caymmi / Sidran) - 4:44
10. I Wanna Be a Bebopper (Sidran) - 3:45

Recorded October 6-9, 1987 at Creation Audio, Minneapolis, MN USA

The Oscar Peterson Trio at Newport with Roy Eldridge, Sonny Stitt & Jo Jones

Heading eastwardly to Newport for a bit just to break up my West Coast posts, here's a classic from the great 1957 Newport Jazz Festival, re-issued as 50th anniversary issues. Get the rest of the companion releases: Coleman Hawkins All-Stars at Newport, Count Basie at Newport, Ella Fitzgerald/Billy Holiday at Newport, and Dizzy Gillespie at Newport.

The Oscar Peterson Trio (with guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown) is heard in excellent form on four selections recorded at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival which are highlighted by "Will You Still Be Mine" and a dazzling "52nd Street Theme." In addition the trio (plus drummer Jo Jones) back trumpeter Roy Eldridge on "Willow Weep for Me," altoist Sonny Stitt during "Autumn in New York" and jam with both the hornmen on heated versions of "Monitor Blues" and "Roy's Son." Eldridge and Stitt were always very competitive and their tradeoffs on the latter song are quite exciting. This LP is well worth picking up. Scott Yanow

Frank Rosolino Quintet

What a fun album! Frank Rosolino (tb) with Richie Kamuca (ten), Vince Guaraldi (pno), Monty Budwig (bass), and Stan Levey (dr). Recorded June 1957. Another example of a great VSOP release – this one an old Mode recording.

One of the top trombonists of the 1950s, Rosolino's fluid and often-humorous style put him near the top of his field for awhile. He was a guitarist when he was ten, but switched to trombone as a teenager. After serving in the military, Rosolino played with the big bands of Bob Chester, Glen Gray, Gene Krupa (1948-1949), Tony Pastor, Herbie Fields, and Georgie Auld. However, all of those experiences were just preludes to his high-profile association with Stan Kenton (1952-1954), which gave him fame. Rosolino recorded frequently in Los Angeles as a member of the Lighthouse All-Stars (1954-1960), a freelancer, and as a studio musician. His song "Blue Daniel" became a jazz standard, and Rosolino was a popular attraction as a brilliant trombonist and a comical singer. He was with Supersax for a period in the 1970s. Rosolino's shocking ending was a surprise to even his closest associates. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mucho Calor with Art Pepper, Conti Candoli, Bill Perkins, Russ Freeman

Never mind what Yanow says; I like this set and I think you will too. It is a tad rough around the edges in places, but it was recorded in the Forum Theater. Generally, I'm finding all these VSOP re-issues to be wonderful and I urge you to grab 'em while you can.

An amazing little set -- one that's got a sound we could hardly expect! The album's a unique Latin jazz session that brings together some of the best talents of the west coast scene of the late 50s -- one that features arrangements from Bill Holman, Benny Carter, and Art Pepper -- making an unusual but remarkable appearance here in a Latin mode! The group's nicely stripped down with bongos by both Jack Costanzo and Mike Pacheco -- plus drums by Chuck Flores, bass by Ben Tucker, and piano from Russ Freeman. But the real strength of the set is the horn players -- including not just Pepper on alto, but also Conte Candoli on trumpet, and Bill Perkins on tenor -- all coming together in tightly crafted head arrangements that swing around the rhythm wonderfully -- then breaking out in short but sharp solos that really knock the socks off the session! The whole thing's totally great -- and proof that the LA scene could cook with the best of them, given the right sort of setting. Titles include "Mucho Calor", "Vaya Hombre Vaya", "Pernod", "I Love You", and "Mambo De La Pinta". Dusty Groove

This recording brings back an obscure session from the long defunct Andex label that was probably recorded around 1956. The emphasis is on Latin jazz with altoist Art Pepper, trumpeter Conte Candoli and tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins, pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Chuck Flores interacting with the percussion of Jack Costanza and Mike Pacheko. With arrangements by Bill Holman, Johnny Mandel, Benny Carter and Pepper, the music is quite jazz-oriented if a touch lightweight. Worth investigating by fans of the idiom. Scott Yanow as you might expect

Roland Hanna Quartet Plays Gershwin (1993)

Have you ever bought the same CD twice? One must be careful with Sonny Lester's Laserlight and LRC labels as they have a tendency to release the same recordings but in a different "package". They are like evil twins preying on us hapless music lovers who sometimes forget what we have in our own collections!

Unlike some of the usual mishmash of sessions that these labels put out, this one is a real gem. It's so good that Ken Dryden even reviewed it twice, once for the LRC issue and once for Laserlight : )=

The challenge to recording works from the Great American Songbook is for an artist to come up with a fresh approach, which is rather difficult due to the numerous recordings of the music George Gershwin made by jazz musicians over many decades. But Sir Roland Hanna is up to the task, accompanied by a strong supporting cast, including Bill Easley (tenor and soprano saxes), bassist Jon Burr, and drummer Ronnie Burrage. "Summertime," likely the most frequently done Gershwin composition, is given a disguised introduction and a dark yet funky arrangement, with inventive blues piano by the leader and haunting soprano sax by Easley. "Oh Lady Be Good" finds Hanna building the tension with an insistent left-hand vamp that briefly delves into boogie woogie, before releasing his hold and charging into a brisk bop setting. "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" is a Hanna duet with Easley's lush flute. The finale is a no-holds-barred dash through "Strike Up the Band." Originally issued by LRC in the early '90s, this recommended CD has since been reissued by Laserlight. - Ken Dryden

Most of the ten compositions written by George Gershwin have been covered numerous times on jazz recordings, so finding fresh approaches to them is a great challenge. Fortunately, Sir Roland Hanna is up to the task. This 1993 studio session kicks off with a funky "Summertime" that includes Bill Easley's hot soprano sax, though Hanna's lively choruses make up its focal point. "Lady Be Good" has a delightful, disguised introductory vamp as Hanna toys with the listener. Easley's full-bodied tenor is present in the snappy rendition of "Embraceable You," which drastically reworks the original piece so much that the label carelessly labeled it "Embrace You." Hanna's mastery of the ballad form is most evident in his luxurious take of "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," with Easley adding a haunting flute solo in a touching duet. Bassist Jon Burr and drummer Ronnie Burrage provide strong support for this very reasonably priced CD from Laserlight. - Ken Dryden

Sir Roland Hanna (piano)
Bill Easley (tenor sax, soprano sax)
Jon Burr (bass)
Ronnie Burrage (drums)
  1. Summertime
  2. Lady Be Good
  3. Variations on Concerto in F
  4. A Foggy Day
  5. Isn't It a Pity
  6. But Not for Me
  7. Somebody Loves Me
  8. Embraceable You
  9. Bess, You Is My Woman Now
  10. Strike Up the Band
Recorded Februay 4, 1993

clifford jordan-cedar walton quartet- live at the domicile munich august 30 1975

Heres some more Clifford Jordan, a short 29 minutes of music, in pretty average sound
But with the group in such fine form well worth your time .

Clifford Jordan - Cedar Walton - Quartet

München, Germany,
Domicile, 1975

Clifford Jordan,ts
Cedar Walton,p
Sam Jones,b
Billy Higgins,dr

1 Seven Minds 10:28
2 Alias Buster Henry 15:55
3 Title (fade-out) / Announcement Speaker 2:20

Total Time: 28:40

Thanks to the original taper/ traders and seeders

Tony Bennett - Tony Sings For Two

I rank this album among the very best of Tony Bennett’s recorded output. This is one of only three discs he made with just piano accompaniment and the singer shines in this intimate setting. The songs are also top-notch with more than half by either Rodgers & Hart or Harold Arlen. In fact, the album leads off with three great Rodgers & Hart standards in a row.

The lack of availability on this title infuriates me. It was briefly reissued in the late 1980’s by CBS in a poor sounding bare-bones edition. However, that release contained a bonus track (Skylark) recorded for, but not included, on the original LP. Last year, Tony Sings For Two was released again as part of a 13-disc holiday gift set entitled The Classic Collection. The sound is far superior to the 1980’s reissue so I used that version for this FLAC rip. Incredibly, however, CBS/Sony deleted the bonus track for all the suckers that paid $100+ for a set that includes virtually NO unreleased material. Adding insult to injury, promotional copy for the set boasted that the Tony Sings For Two reissue would include FIVE bonus tracks. This is interesting because the one-day session that produced this album DID include three additional tracks that were not utilized in the finished LP: God Bless The Child, Imagination, and I Only Have Eyes For You. NONE OF THESE TRACKS ARE INCLUDED IN THE REISSUE! So the reward for the diehard Bennett fans that shelled out the megabucks to buy this set was: SCREW YOU! Sad indeed… Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett's two duet sessions with brilliant jazz pianist Bill Evans have long ago earned classic status, but this beautiful piano-and-voice-only set is an equally rewarding, if less-heralded experience. The reason for this album's lack of a reputation probably lies in the fact that longtime Bennett accompanist Ralph Sharon doesn't have the name recognition with jazz fans that someone like Bill Evans has. Sharon is a supple jazz pianist and he has a special knack for bringing out the best in singers, having worked with Carmen McRae, Chris Connor, and Johnny Hartman before finding the ultimate steady gig playing with Bennett.

Sharon's light touch has an effect on Bennett, who turns in a low-key performance that wasn't in keeping with his orchestral sessions from the same era. While the young Tony Bennett sometimes had a tendency to over-sing for dramatic effect, this 1959 set finds him at his most relaxed, subtle, and rewarding. Instead of showing you how much he feels every second (à la Judy Garland), on Tony Sings for Two, Bennett allows quick flashes of emotion to appear on an otherwise calm surface (very much like Frank Sinatra in ballad mode). This approach is especially winning on the exquisite, heartbreaking readings of "I'm Thru With Love" and "Street of Dreams"; both can be considered definitive and both Bennett and Sharon deserve equal credit for the album's success.

Most of Bennett's original albums during this era have a decided jazz slant, while his pop singles were aimed at kids, and the separate approaches merged in the 1960s. Unfortunately, jazz fans largely ignored his excellent 1950s albums, while teens only bought the singles or compilation albums. Tony Sings for Two is ripe for rediscovery and the Columbia reissue includes one bonus track. Nick Dedina

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Ralph Sharon (piano)

1 I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Hart, Rodgers) 1:24
2 Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (Hart, Rodgers) 2:30
3 Nobody's Heart (Hart, Rodgers) 2:08
4 I'm Thru With Love Kahn, (Livingston, Malneck) 3:15
5 My Funny Valentine (Hart, Rodgers) 2:36
6 The Man That Got Away (Arlen, Gershwin) 3:50
7 Where or When (Hart, Rodgers) 2:09
8 A Sleepin' Bee (Arlen, Capote) 3:23
9 Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe (Arlen, Harburg) 2:19
10 Mam'selle (Gordon, Goulding) 2:40
11 Just Friends (Klenner, Lewis) 1:36
12 Street of Dreams (Lewis, Young) 2:11
13 Skylark (Carmichael, Mercer) 2:31

Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio, NYC on October 28, 1959

Bill Charlap - Stardust

With his elegant lyric sensibility and use of classic harmonics, which might best be characterized as equal parts Hank Jones and Bill Evans, pianist Bill Charlap manages to suggest something at once timeless and modern in his approach to jazz piano. And while references to past and present masters of the keyboard abound in this recital of Hoagy Carmichael compositions (as in his tasty appropriation of Evans's tolling intro to "Some Other Time" on a poignant reading of "The Nearness of You," or his interpolation of Red Garland's "Billy Boy" as a prelude to "I Walk with Music"), Charlap manages to evoke the dreamy, unhurried character redolent of so much of Carmichael's music, while maintaining his own probing, crystalline presence. Thus, while a briskly swinging jaunt through "Jubilee" finds him navigating an equestrian set of changes in a round-robin romp with his exceptionally empathetic rhythm mates (bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington), his sultry flirting with tenorist Frank Wess on "Blue Orchids" and his lofty harmonic byplay with guitarist Jim Hall reveal a musician wise beyond his years--restrained and relaxed and confident enough not to hide behind a fusillade of empty notes. Such maturity is part of what makes his storytelling accompaniments behind master vocalists Tony Bennett and Shirley Horn--and a breathtakingly slow, humid trio treatment of "Georgia"--so richly rewarding.
Chip Stern,

Track Listing
01. Jubilee 3:11
02. I Get Along Without You Very Well - (with Tony Bennett) 6:38
03. Rockin' Chair - (with Frank Wess) 7:19
04. I Walk With Music 5:00
05. Two Sleepy People - (with Jim Hall) 6:35
06. The Nearness Of You 7:27
07. One Morning In May 6:46
08. Blue Orchids - (with Frank Wess) 5:54
09. Georgia On My Mind 5:41
10. Stardust - (with Shirley Horn) 9:24
11. Skylark 3:56

Bill Charlap (piano)
Tony Bennett, Shirley Horn (vocals)
Frank Wess (tenor saxophone)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Peter Washington (bass)
Kenny Washington (drums)

Recorded at The Hit Factory, New York on September 6-8, 2001

Cedar Walton - Eastern Rebellion (1)

"Led by pianist Walton, Eastern Rebellion is more a collective enterprise than his solo records, though he is still main composer. This group's essentially a piano trio but, in line with the earlier Walton band of which Clifford Jordan became an integral part, there has always been a place for a hornman. Higgins has been a stalwart from the start and is probably the main point of continuity with Walton's other records. The original Eastern Rebellion is still arguably the finest record Walton has put his hand to; the version of 'Naima', with Coleman sounding magisterial as he cuts through the harmonies, compares more than favourably with that..."
Richard Cook & Brian Morton, Penguin Guide to Jazz, 3rd Edition.

George Coleman - tenor saxophone
Cedar Walton - piano
Sam Jones - bass
Billy Higgins - drums

1. Bolivia
2. Naima
3. 5/4 Thing
4. Bittersweet
5. Mode for Joe

New York City - December 10, 1975

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - 1958 Moanin' (RVG)

If you simply can only have one Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers disc (and why would you stop there?), it absolutely must be MOANIN'. This 1958 Blue Note date is the cream of the early Messengers' studio sessions. The group of this period featured the wailing Lee Morgan (trumpet), the swinging Benny Golson (sax) and the soulful Bobby Timmons (piano) with longtime bassist Jymie Merritt by Blakey's side. All of the pieces fell into place here to create one of the most hard-swinging, blues-inflected records in jazz history.
Timmons' classic title cut sets the pace as it's laid-back call-and-response chorus and swinging bridge will get in your soul and start your head bobbing. Golson's bouncing "Are You Real" and the subtle "Along Came Betty" feature that golden Messengers ensemble sound that can't be matched as Blakey drives his men mercilessly. The most dynamic tracks, of course, are the drum feature "The Drum Thunder Suite," a Blakey tour-de-force, and the powerful "Blues March" featuring Art's signature shuffle groove. A delightful reading of the standard "Come Rain Or Come Shine" caps it all off. This is the one to get first.

1 Warm-Up and Dialogue Between Lee and Rudy :35
2 Moanin' (Timmons) 9:30
3 Are You Real (Golson) 4:47
4 Along Came Betty (Golson) 6:08
5 The Drum Thunder Suite: Drum Thunder/Cry a Blue (Blakey) 7:30
6 Blues March (Golson) 6:13
7 Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen, Mercer) 5:45
8 Moanin' [alternate take] (Timmons) 9:19

Recorded at Hackensack, N.J. on October 30, 1958.

Art Blakey (drums)
Benny Golson (tenor saxophone)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Bobby Timmons (piano)
Jymie Merritt (bass)

Clifford Jordan Quartet - Spellbound

"Spellbound makes a welcome return, containing as it does one of Jordan's very finest recorded performances, on 'Lush Life'. His understanding with Walton was only to grow and deepen with the years, but their level of communication here is most impressive and they hurtle through 'Au Privave' with almost cavalier abandon. The sound - originally a Riverside - is very full and authentic.
A recommended purchase."
Richard Cook & Brian Morton, Penguin Guide to Jazz, 3rd Edition.

Clifford Jordan - tenor saxophone
Cedar Walton - piano
Spanky DeBrest - bass
Albert "Tootie" Heath - drums

1. Toy
2. Lush Life
3. Moon-A-Tic
4. Spellbound
5. Hot Water
6. Last Night When We Were Young
7. Au Privave

New York City - August 10, 1960

Illinois Jacquet - The Blues, That's Me!

Tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet is heard in top form throughout this quintet set with pianist Wynton Kelly, guitarist Tiny Grimes, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Oliver Jackson. The music, which falls between swing, bop and early R&B, is generally quite exciting, especially "Still King," "Every Day I Have the Blues," and the lengthy title cut. A particular surprise is a moody version of "'Round Midnight," which features some surprisingly effective bassoon by Jacquet. This CD reissue is highly recommended.

Illinois Jacquet (tenor sax, bassoon)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Tiny Grimes (guitar)
Buster Williams (bass)
Oliver Jackson (drums)

1 The Blues; That's Me!
2 Still King
3 'Round Midnight
4 The Galloping Latin
5 For Once In My Life
6 Everyday I Have The Blues

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 16, 1969

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Shorty Baker and Doc Cheatham - Shorty & Doc

This CD reissue brings back a rare Swingville session that matches together the trumpets of Harold "Shorty" Baker and Doc Cheatham. At the time Baker, a veteran of Duke Ellington's Orchestra, was much better-known and his soft tone and lyrical style often takes honors on this blowing date with pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer J.C. Heard. For Doc Cheatham, then 55 and (unknown to everyone) only at the halfway mark of his career, this was just his second opportunity to lead a record date, 11 years after an obscure session in France. The results of this meeting are generally quite friendly rather than combative with Cheatham's Dixielandish phrasing sounding slightly old-fashioned next to Baker. They perform appealing swing-oriented material and sound fine in their many tradeoffs. Scott Yanow

Harold "Shorty" Baker (trumpet)
Doc Cheatham (trumpet)
Walter Bishop, Jr. (piano)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
J.C. Heard (drums)

1. Chitlin's
2. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
3. Baker's Dozen
4. Good Queen Bess
5. Night Train
6. Lullabye In Rhythm

Recorded on January 17, 1961

Woody Herman - The V Disc Years, Vol. 1-2 (1944-46)

Through these V-disc recordings we get a chance to hear Woody Herman's First Herd in its infancy with many of the recordings taking place before Woody's historic 1945 sessions for Columbia. Along with early versions of pieces like "Apple Honey" and "Your Father's Moustache", there are a few songs like "Red Top", "Jones Beachhead", "Don't Worry 'Bout That Mule" and "125th Street Prophet" that should have been recorded by Columbia but weren't. Another bonus of the V-disc recordings is that due to the records being 12" instead of the standard 10", tracks tended to be longer than their studio counterparts with some running over six minutes.

Along with the V-disc sessions there are two selections from a 1944 Old Gold Radio Show rehearsal, a 1943 recording from the soundtrack of 'Wintertime' and six tracks from a 1946 ABC radio show titled 'Esquire All-American Jazz Concert' which featured the bands of Herman, Duke Ellington, and the Nat King Cole Trio. Only the Herman part of the show is included except for the last selection, "C Jam Blues", which featured the combined Herman & Ellington bands. Among the other highlights are two songs from a 1945 session, "Somebody Loves Me" and "John Hardy's Wife, with Ben Webster sitting in with the band.

Woody Herman (clarinet, alto sax, vocals)
Pete & Conte Candoli, Neal Hefti, Sonny Berman, Shorty Rogers... (trumpet)
Bill Harris... (trombone)
Flip Phillips, Ben Webster... (sax)
Ralph Burns, Tony Aless (piano)
Billy Bauer (guitar)
Marjorie Hyams, Red Norvo (vibes)
Chubby Jackson (bass)
Dave Tough, Don Lamond (drums)
Frances Wayne, Martha Raye (vocals)
...and many others

Track listing in comments

Andre Previn - Plays Songs By Jerome Kern

Rab recently posted two of the three "songbook" discs recorded by Previn for Contemporary in the late 1950's. Here is the third one, of Kern songs, and it is a beauty (my favorite in the series).

For this solo piano session (a Contemporary date which has been reissued on CD), the remarkably versatile Andre Previn interprets ten Jerome Kern songs including several ("Sure Thing," "WhipPoor-Will," "Go Little Boat" and "Put Me to the Test") that are quite obscure. Sometimes he treats the melodies with great respect while other performances find him stretching the themes and coming up with fresh variations; "They Didn't Believe Me" is a highpoint. This is a well-rounded set with plenty of surprises along with consistently tasteful playing, one of Previn's better jazz efforts. Scott Yanow

Andre Previn (piano)

1 Long Ago (And Far Away) 5:22
2 Sure Thing 3:20
3 A Fine Romance 2:33
4 They Didn't Believe Me 5:34
5 All the Things You Are 3:49
6 Whip-Poor-Will 4:23
7 Ol' Man River 5:57
8 Why Do I Love You? 4:05
9 Go Little Boat 3:58
10 Put Me to the Test 3:30

Recorded at Contemporary Records’ studio, Los Angeles, CA on February 26 and March 10, 1959

albert ayler- the copenhagen tapes

by François Couture
When you give birth to a free jazz record label by the name of Ayler Records, you must be dreaming of putting out an album of long-forgotten sessions by the great saxophonist Albert Ayler. It took a while (then again, not that long), but producer
Jan Ström managed to get hold of two important sessions recorded in Copenhagen. The suitably titled Copenhagen Tapes contain 45 minutes of a performance at Club Montmartre, September 3, 1964, and another 20 minutes recorded in the studio of the Danish radio a week later. Both sessions were prepared for broadcast (i.e. the tapes were already edited and include occasional presentations in Danish) and feature the little-documented quartet formed by Don Cherry, Gary Peacock, and Sunny Murray. The live set is emotionally ferocious, sax and trumpet crying with clamped fists in a way that has rarely been heard. "Spirits" book-end the session, with "Vibrations," "Saints," "Mothers," and "Children," appearing in-between. Audience chatter and worn tape can become annoying at times, but listening to Peacock's solo in "Vibrations" makes up for most hi-fidelity complaints. The studio set is a different story, sounding warm and clean. The saxophonist presents himself to Danish listeners, in English, explaining what he came looking for in Scandinavia, and the group follows with takes of "Vibrations," "Saints," and "Spirits." These versions move further into free territory, as if the absence of an audience made it easier for the group to let loose. This is one of the strongest recordings of "Saints" available to this day. The Copenhagen Tapes are not the Holy Grail of the Ayler fan and surely not a good place for newcomers to start (because of the repetitions between the two sets). But it makes a highly welcomed addition to the discography of free jazz.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Andrew Hill - Invitation

After a flurry of recordings for Blue Note during the 1960s, Andrew Hill didn't make another album as a leader until this Steeplechase studio session in 1974. Not that the pianist was inactive during this five-year stretch; he was performing concerts, teaching at Colgate University, and also writing for string quartets and symphony orchestras. This trio date with bassist Chris White and drummer Art Lewis features five original compositions, beginning with the turbulent but enticing "Catfish," which alternates between post-bop and avant-garde. "Lost No More" is far more intense, rarely giving the listener a time to focus before Hill switches his attack in another direction. The one standard of the date, Bronislaw Kaper's "Invitation," finds the pianist in an adventurous mood as the members of his rhythm section seem to be playing with a mind of their own. The CD reissue adds an alternate take of "Catfish," omitted from the original LP. Such fascinating music will be of great interest to fans of Andrew Hill. - Ken Dryden

Andrew Hill (piano)
Chris White (bass)
Art Lewis (drums)

1. Catfish
2. Lost No More
3. Morning Flower
4. Invitation
5. Laverne
6. Little John
7. Catfish (take 3)


No reviews here surprisingly- so heres a short bio instead

‘Trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff pioneered the art of jazz poly phonics, introducing to the avant-garde the symphonic tradition of playing multiple notes simultaneously. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 5, 1928, Mangelsdorff grew up enthralled by jazz, devouring his older brother EMIL'S record collection. His uncle, a professional violinist, gave him music lessons as a teen, but the rise of the Third Reich forced him to keep his passion for jazz in check. Over time Mangelsdorff taught himself guitar, but following World War II he managed to acquire a used trombone in exchange for cigarettes — he often played for audiences comprised of the American soldiers who remained stationed overseas, finally performing to crowds who shared his appreciation for jazz. ‘

has anyone got the other 2 disc set also called three originals on the same label
featuring 3 quartet albums.

this 1992 double cd set

comprises 3 classic albums

the wide point -1975
featuring- palle danielsson- db
elvin jones –drums

triologue- 1977
jaco pastorius-e bass
alphonse mouzon- drums

and my favourite
albert in montreux -1980

jean francois jenny-clarke- db
Ronald Shannon Jackson- drums

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Johnny Hodges - With Billy Strayhorn And The Orchestra

Recorded during the last decade of his long tenure with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, this album finds the great alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges's musical gifts not only intact but stronger than ever. Featuring the Ellington band -- with Jimmy Jones on piano and Billy Strayhorn as bandleader and arranger -- it is a fascinating program of Ellington remakes, including some of the orchestra's most familiar numbers, all of which have been given subtle new orchestrations by Strayhorn and melodious new interpretations by Hodges.

Alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges recorded frequently for Verve in the 1950s and 1960s, although nearly all of the musicians on this CD are from the Ellington orchestra and the arrangements are by Billy Strayhorn. Hodges is never less than superb throughout this reissue, while Lawrence Brown, Harry Carney and non-Ellingtonians Howard McGhee on trumpet and pianist Jimmy Jones also deserve praise. Strayhorn's exotic chart of "Azure" and emotional scoring of "Your Love Has Faded" are especially striking. Recommended. Ken Dryden

Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Billy Strayhorn (conductor)
Russell Procope (alto sax, clarinet)
Jimmy Hamilton (tenor sax, clarinet)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax)
Harry Carney (baritone sax, bass clarinet)
Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker, Bill Berry, Ed Mullens, Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Lawrence Brown, Quentin Jackson (trombone)
Chuck Connors (bass trombone)
Jimmy Jones (piano)
Aaron Bell (bass)
Sam Woodyard (drums)

1. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
2. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
3. Gal From Joe's
4. Your Love Has Faded
5. I'm Just A Lucky So-And-So
6. Jeep's Blues
7. Day Dream
8. Juice A-Plenty
9. Azure
10. Tailor Made
11. Star Dust

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in December 1961

globe unity-1979-01-26, Bad Godesberg, Germany.

Heres a stunning concert by globe unity
Anyone who knows the japo albums compositions and improvisations from the same year can testify to how great they were at this time.

The personnel, and compositions are the same as on ‘compositions’ thanks to the original taper/trader

Bad Godesberg, Germany.
Soundboard or Fm
Great quality
CD ONE...34.33

1a) Flat fleet
1b) Reflections
1c) Trom - bone - it
CD TWO...58.37

1. Boa
2. Nodagoo
3. Quasimodo
4. Worms
5. The fronge
6. Improvvisation

Enrico Rava trumpet
Manfred Schoof trumpet
Kenny Wheeler trumpet
Gunter Christmann trombone
Albert Mangelsdorff trombone
Paul Rutherford trombone, euphonium
Gerd Dudek tenor & soprano saxs, flute
Steve Lacy soprano sax
Evan Parker soprano & tenor sax
Michel Pilz bass clarinet
Bob Stewart tuba
Alex Schlippenbach piano
Bushi Niebergall bass
Paul Lovens drums, percussion

Tim Berne - Empire Box (1979-1980)

Certainly some of the best contemporary (avant ?) jazz from the late 70's/early 80's. This set includes the first 4 recordings Berne ever released under his own name. And the guy always knew how to choose his sidemen : Vinny Golia, the Cline Bros., John Carter, Paul Motian...I got this from my pal Andy quite a while back, and Andy's a carefull ripper, the kind of guy who only uses EAC.
Full details in comments

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gene Ammons - All Star Sessions With Sonny Stitt

This is an excellent recording that pieces together three separate sessions. The first, with Art Farmer and Lou Donaldson marked Ammons' return to jazz after exploring R&B for a period of time. The second and third sessions find "Jug" teaming up with his musical soulmate Sonny Stitt for two separate dates. Their interplay over the years produced some of jazz's most stimulating moments and they don't disappoint here. The songs are short, but the addition of numerous outtakes make for a long, satisfying listen. Essential. Robert Taylor

Gene Ammons (tenor sax)
Sonny Stitt (tenor sax)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Lou Donaldson (alto sax)
Bill Massey (trumpet)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Junior Mance (piano)
Freddie Redd (piano)
Jo Jones (drums)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. Woofin' And Tweetin'
2. Juggernaut
3. Blues Up And Down
4. Blues Up And Down
5. Blues Up And Down
6. You Can Depend On Me
7. You Can Depend On Me
8. Stringin' The Jug
9. New Blues Up And Down
10. Bye Bye
11. When I Dream Of You
12. A Lover Is Blue

Paul Bley

Paul Bley - Footloose

"It's hard, listening to Footloose (Bley, Swallow, LaRoca) after nearly twenty years, to understand why there was so very much excitement about Bill Evans when Bley was producing far more interesting and challenging piano trio music, sometimes only a couple of blocks away."
The Penguin Guide to Jazz 1992

"In the final reckoning, the pianist Paul Bley's influence over the last 50 years of jazz - and it continues - will be enormous. It includes figures as major as Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny, and endless numbers of musicians who are still learning. Deeply original and aesthetically agressive, Mr. Bley long ago found a way to express his long, elegant, voluminous thoughts in a manner that implies complete autonomy from its given setting but isn't quite free jazz. The music runs on a mixture of deep historical knowledge and its own inviolable principles." by Ben Ratliff,

Paul Bley (piano)
Steve Swallow (bass)
Pete LaRoca (drums)

1 - Floater
2 - When Will The Blues Leave
3 - Around Again
4 - Stereophrenic
5 - The Circle With The Hole In The Middle
6 - Around Again
7 - Syndrome
8 - Ballad No.1
9 - King Korn
10 - King Korn (alt)
11 - Ballad No.2
12 - Cousins
13 - Vashkar
14 - Turns
15 - Ballad No.4

Recorded in August 1962 and September 1963

Paul Bley Trio - Closer

The second ESP issue from the Paul Bley Trio is a contrast as dramatic as rain against sunshine. The earlier album, Barrage, recorded in October of 1964, was full of harsh, diffident extrapolations of sound and fury, perhaps because of its sidemen; Marshall Allen and Dewey Johnson on saxophone and trumpet, respectively, were on loan from Sun Ra and joined Eddie Gomez and Milford Graves. Indeed, the music there felt like one long struggle to survive. On this date, recorded over a year later and released in 1966, Bley's sidemen are two more like-minded experimentalists, drummer Barry Altschul and bassist Steve Swallow. The program of tunes here is also more even-handed and characteristically lush: the entire first side and two on the second were written by Carla Bley (including the gorgeous "Ida Lupino") for a total of seven, and there is one each by pianists Annette Peacock and Ornette Coleman. Bley and his trio understand that with compositions of this nature, full of space and an inherent, interior-pointing lyricism, that pace is everything. And while this set clocks in at just over 29 minutes in length, the playing is so genuine and moving that it doesn't need to be any longer. The interplay between these three (long before Swallow switched to electric bass exclusively) is startling in how tightly woven they are melodically and harmonically. There isn't a sense that one player -- other than the volume of Mr. Bley's piano in this crappy mix -- stands out from the other two; they are of a piece traveling down this opaque yet warm road together. Bley may never have been as flashy as Cecil Taylor, but he is every bit the innovator. ~ Thom Jurek

Paul Bley (piano)
Steve Swallow (bass)
Barry Altschul (drums)

1 Ida Lupino
2 Start
3 Closer
4 Sideways in Mexico
5 Batterie
6 And Now the Queen
7 Figfoot
8 Crossroads
9 Violin
10 Cartoon


Red Garland - The P. C. Blues

This CD is a reissue of P.C. Blues, a trio album from 1957 that features pianist Red Garland with bassist Paul Chambers (the "P.C." in the title) and drummer Art Taylor. In addition to the four original titles (which are highlighted by a sensitive version of "Lost April" and the lengthy "Tweedle Dee Dee"), Garland's feature on a 1956 Miles Davis record, "Ahmad's Blues" (which features him with Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones), adds to the value of this thoughtful but swinging release. Scott Yanow

Red Garland (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Taylor, Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Ahmad's Blues
2. Lost April
3. Why Was I Born?
4. Tweedle Dee Dee
5. The P.C. Blues

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 11, 1956 and May 22 and August 9, 1957

Red Garland - Red's Good Groove

Although this is a one time studio blowing session, things obviously gelled quickly for everyone as they got underway on this 1962 recording by Red Garland, which features both Blue Mitchell and Pepper Adams in prominent supporting roles. The pianist gets things off on the right foot with his relaxed blues "Red's Good Groove," while Mitchell, who had already recorded a number of dates as a leader himself, delivers a confident yet understated trumpet solo. Baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams contributed the oddly named "Excerent!" (a title which somewhat puzzled the original liner note writer Peter Drew but likely refers to the tendency of some Orientals to substitute the letter "r" for "l," long before such humor would be considered politically incorrect and unlikely to appear on a CD jacket), it's a hard bop tune that isn't the least bit reminiscent of the Far East. The core of the date consists of several standards, concluding with a driving take of "Falling in Love With Love." Bassist Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones supply the fluid rhythm that powers the quintet throughout this very enjoyable session. Ken Dryden

Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Red Garland (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1 - Red's Good Groove
2 - Love Is Here To Stay
3 - This Time The Dream's On Me
4 - Take Me In Your Arms
5 - Excerent !
6 - Falling In Love With Love

NYC, March 22, 1962

This Day In Jazz

Marion Brown - Three For Shepp

Alto saxophonist Marion Brown is an under-sung hero of the jazz avant-garde. Committed to discovering the far-flung reaches of improvisational expression, Brown nonetheless is possessed of a truly lyrical voice but is largely ignored when discussions of free jazz of the '60s and '70s are concerned. Brown came to New York from Atlanta in 1965. His first session was playing on John Coltrane's essential Ascension album. He made two records for the ESP label — Marion Brown Quartet and Why Not? - and also played on two Bill Dixon soundtracks. It wasn't until his defining Three for Shepp on the Impulse label in 1966 that critics took real notice. This set, lauded as one of the best recordings of that year, opened doors for Brown (temporarily) to tour. He didn't record for another two years because of extensive European engagements, and in 1968 issued Porto Novo (with Leo Smith) on the Black Lion label. In 1970, Brown recorded Afternoon of a Georgia Faun for the ECM label, his second classic. This date featured Anthony Braxton, Andrew Cyrille, Bennie Maupin, Jeanne Lee, and Chick Corea, among others. In 1973, he cut his second Impulse session, Geechee Recollections, with Leo Smith, followed by 1974's Sweet Earth Flying.

Marion Brown - alto sax
Grachan Moncur III - trombone
Dave Burrell - piano (1-3)
Stanley Cowell - piano (4-6)
Norris Jones (Sirone) - bass
Bobby Capp - drums (1-3)
Beaver Harris - drums (4-6)

1. New Blue
2. Fortunato
3. The Shadow Knows
4. Spooks
5. West India
6. Delicado

Recorded on December 1, 1966 in Englewood Cliffs, NJ