Friday, February 29, 2008

Manhattan Jazz Quintet - Autumn Leaves (1985) [flac]

The Manhattan Jazz Quintet was an unusual group in that they very rarely performed as a unit in the United States (much less Manhattan) but were a major hit in Japan, both for their recordings and occasional tours. Comprised of leader-pianist David Matthews, trumpeter Lew Soloff, tenor-saxophonist George Young, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Steve Gadd, the band (which emphasized straightahead hard bop swinging) first came together in 1983 at the suggestion of the King label and the top Japanese jazz magazine Swing Journal. To everyone's surprise, its first recording (simply called Manhattan Jazz Quintet) became such a big seller that it was awarded Swing Journal's annual 1984 Gold Disk Award as the #1 album in Japan.

Autumn Leaves was the group's second release, coming on the heels of the unexpected and spectacular success of their debut album. The concept for this session came from Swing Journal editor Yasuki Nakayama: "The purpose was to give Matthews the opportunity to organize a pure jazz quintet, using top New York sidemen who had their roots in jazz and selecting a repertoire that would reflect the best of fifties and sixties jazz." Represented here are tunes associated with Charlie Parker, Hank Mobley, Clifford Brown and Max Roach, and Miles Davis. Dave Matthews also contributed an original, a ballad called "Mood Piece".

Lew Soloff (trumpet)
George Young (tenor sax)
David Matthews (piano)
Charnett Moffet (bass)
Steve Gadd (drums)
  1. Jordu
  2. Recado Bossa Nova
  3. Confirmation
  4. Autumn Leaves
  5. Mood Piece
Recorded on March 3, 1985

stan tracey quartet- captain adventure 1975

Original Notes 1975:
If somebody else hadn't got there first, they ought to have called this band Ten Years After instead of the Stan Tracey Quartet. The 1965 Quartet's "Under Milk Wood" session is re-issued and back among the jazz bestsellers. Around about the time Tracey made that album, Sonny Rollins said "does anybody here know how good he really is?" From that day to this, he has been a musician who gave his identity away from the first note. Pianos that are old, infirm or of a nervous disposition should hesitate before working with him. He approaches the instrument almost as if he were about to pick a fight with it. It's a stirring sight right enough, and it was much in evidence one night in November 1975 when these four tunes were recorded.If you bend an ear to the music on this album then you'll know that it speaks for itself - and so does the reaction from the audience. If you have "Under Milk Wood" then you'll also know that this is Stan Tracey's strongest band since that time, and the pianist himself is in his imperious prime. In the past couple of years he has played as if his musical life were begun all over again, and he puts it down to working with the younger musicians like the members of his present Quartet Dave Green and Bryan Spring have worked with Stan on and off for many years; both men are able to make a conventional jazz pulse sound as if you're hearing it for the first time and they complement each other perfectly. Green is firm, dependable with a warm and velvety tone that intriguingly contrasts with Tracey's jarring dissonances. And, for a drummer, Bryan Spring couldn't have been more aptly named - he's one of the most forceful and exciting percussionists in British jazz, with the kind of rare sensitivity to whats going on around him that can send a soloist flying into space.These are all Tracey compositions, and 'See Meenah' 'Tease 'n' Freeze' and 'Captain Adventure' all came from the second set of the band's 100 Club appearance. 'See Meenah' is launched by the Guvnor, with a string of churning chords like all the freight train blues you ever heard rolled up into one. Art Themen sweeps in on soprano to make the whole thing momentarily bring back echoes of the famous Coltrane Quartet. The saxophonist acknowledges his other major inspiration on 'Tease 'n' Freeze' when he turns to the tenor and delivers a wild, raucous Rollins-like solo that is nevertheless pure Themen. 'Captain Adventure' is a typical Tracey piece, starting with the pianist stabbing chords into the rhythm like somebody trying to swat flies with a sledgehammer; and here, as in the other three, Dave Green demonstrates that he's one of the most surefooted 'walkers' in the business and Bryan Spring plays as if his life depends on it. 'Doin' it for Art' is both a beautiful example of the bands bitter-sweet ballad style (Themen with a bit more space to stretch, plays his best solo on the disc) and a pretty fair example of the Tracey way with titles, which has always been very nearly as reliable a trademark as his music.
thanks to 'boromir ' for this vinyl rip to 320 kbs mp3

The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley

The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley

Other than a Blue Note date from the previous year, this CD contains tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley's first two sessions as a leader. With trumpeter Donald Byrd, either Hank Jones or Ronnie Ball on piano, Wendell Marshall or Doug Watkins on bass, drummer Kenny Clarke and (on three numbers) the unusual altoist John LaPorta, Mobley performs a mixture of originals and standards. The results (highlighted by "There'll Never Be Another You," "When I Fall in Love" and "Budo") are a swinging hard bop date. Nothing all that unusual occurs and the CD clocks in at an average LP's length but the swinging music is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans and (unlike many of Denon's Savoy reissues), these two sessions are brought back complete. ~ Scott Yanow

Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Horace Silver (piano)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Ronnie Ball (piano)
John LaPorta (alto sax)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. There Will Never Be Another You
2. Cattin'
3. Madeline
4. When I Fall In Love
5. Budo
6. I Married An Angel
7. Jazz Message (Freedom for All)

January 30 and February 8, 1956

Hank Mobley - The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley Vol. 2

Impressive lineups, both in the front line and the rhythm section, fuel the two 1956 sessions on this Savoy reissue. The players are committed, the writing is good, and the performances reward repeated listening. The result is a worthwhile precursor to the industry-standard hard bop Mobley would later record for Blue Note.

Lee Morgan, then 18, joins Mobley on two tracks that have pianist Hank Jones, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor in the rhythm section. Even if Morgan at this time was audibly still growing as a trumpet player, his poise, execution, and resourceful imagination were already the tools of a master. Donald Byrd, on form and playing with crispness and authority, moves into the trumpet chair for the three remaining tracks. This time it's Barry Harris on piano, Kenny Clarke on drums, and Watkins (again) on bass. The influence on Mobley of swing era tenors, from Lester Young to Illinois Jacquet, can be clearly heard on these tracks. Mobley's respect for and understanding of the pre-bebop style serve him well in his contribution to the development of the predominant jazz style that followed bebop. In addition to three Mobley originals, there is a blues by Thad Jones and another from Watkins. The standout track is Mobley's "Space Flight," a bright, up-tempo bop number that has memorable solos from Mobley, Byrd, Harris, and Clarke. The recording on this CD is very good but, as is common on Savoy reissues, the running time isn't long -- 32 minutes in the case of this jazz message. ~ Jim Todd

Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Hank Jones (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, November 7, 1956

Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Barry Harris (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, July 23, 1956

1. Thad's Blues
2. Doug's Minor B' Ok"
3. B. For B.B.
4. Blues Number Two
5. Space Flight

Stephane Grappelli & the Diz Disley Trio - Live at Corby Festival Hall - May 1975

AMG Review by Ken Dryden
Stephane Grappelli recorded frequently during the last three decades of his life and previously unissued recordings like this 1975 concert at Corby Festival Hall have continued to turn up. On this occasion the violinist is accompanied by lead guitarist Diz Disley, rhythm guitarist Ike Isaacs and bassist David Moses. The set is fairly typical, concentrating on standards from the 1920s through the 1940s, starting with a chugging but brisk take of "I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me." The marvelous duet by Grappelli and Disley of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," Grappelli's inventive treatment of "(Back Home Again In) Indiana" and the crowd-pleasing "Sweet Georgia Brown" are among the highlights. It is simply amazing that Stephane Grappelli never seemed to go on autopilot as he played a song for the hundredth (or possibly thousandth) time; this CD is a valuable addition to his already vast discography.
My rip - Eac - Flac - cover 300 dpi

Justin Time Records Retrospective: 1983-1998

A history of Justin Time Records spanning two discs and covering 15 years, Retrospective includes tracks by Sonny Greenwich, Brian Hughes, Diana Krall, Paul Bley, Oliver Jones, Billy Bang, D.D. Jackson and the World Saxophone Quartet. ~ John Bush

Disc: 1

1. Fulford Street Romp - Oliver Jones
2. Mary Don't You Weep - Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir
3. My Funny Valentine - Denny Christanson Big Band feat. Pepper Adams
4. Espanada - Sonny Greenwich
5. Soon - Fraser MacPherson
6. Opus IV - Jon Ballantyne/Joe Henderon
7. God Bless The Child - Ranee Lee
8. May Dance - Brian Hughes
9. As Long As I Live - Diana Krall
10. As Beautiful As The Moon - Paul Bley
11. Fraser - Jeri Brown/Jimmy Rowles
12. Rendez-Vous - Jane Bunnett
13. OP & D - David Young/Oscar Peterson
14. Doing Time - Kenny Wheeler/Paul Bley

Disc: 2

1. DBG Blues - Oliver Jones
2. Let The Flowers Grow - Ranee Lee
3. Gete - David Murray
4. Bama Swing - Billy Bang
5. Aseeko - Bluiett/Jackson/Thiam
6. Tutu - World Saxophone Quartet
7. Rhythm & Things - D.D. Jackson
8. Barracuda - Quartango
9. Oo-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be - Jeri Brown/Leon Thomas
10. Surfer Girl - Michael Marcus/The Jaki Byard Trio
11. Killer Tumbao - Hilario Duran
12. Key To The Highway - Bryan Lee
13. Babethandaza - Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir

Ray Brown With John Clayton And Christian McBride - Superbass (1996) [FLAC]

This live Boston summit meeting between Ray Brown, Christian McBride and John Clayton was the logical outcome of several joint appearances, as well as an extension of a one-off bass troika track that McBride included on his first solo album. The idea of a bass trio on records probably would have been unthinkable in the primitive days of recording when Brown was coming up, but Telarc's fabulously deep yet clear engineering makes it seem like a natural thing to do. Whether pizzicato or bowed, whether taking the melodic solo or plunking down the 4/4 bottom line, all three perform with amazing panache, taste, humor, lack of ego, and the sheer joy of talking to and against each other beneath the musical staff. But if one has to pick out a single star, the choice has to be McBride, whose unshakeable time, solid tone and amazing ability to play his cumbersome bull fiddle like a horn stands out in astonishing fashion on the right speaker. On two tracks, the fleet-fingered Benny Green and drummer Gregory Hutchinson join Brown to form a conventional trio that serves as an effective change of pace. It's a fun set without a doubt, but these guys are also clearly making coherent music, and that is what will hold our interest over the long haul. ~ Richard S. Ginell

Ray Brown (bass)
John Clayton, Jr. (bass)
Christian McBride (bass)
Benny Green (piano)
Gregory Hutchinson (drums)

1. SuperBass Theme
2. Blue Monk
3. Bye, Bye Blackbird
4. Lullaby of Birdland
5. Who Cares?
6. Mack The Knife
7. Centerpiece
8. Sculler Blues
9. Brown Funk
10. SuperBass Theme

Olivier Messiaen - Turangalîla Symphonie

Radio Show today on France Musique, the Turangalîla Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen. Performed in concert by SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, conducted by Sylvain Cambreling, Feb 1 2008. This monumental work, almost 90 minutes long, has rendered me speechless, so I had to Google:

The Turangalîla-Symphonie is a truly massive paean to spirituality, with its overt influences from Hinduism. The title itself is in Sanskrit, made up of two words: "Turanga" denotes time, surging ever onward, held back by "Lîla", which signifies "play", articulating the flow of time with drama. Together they encompass the compound notions of oppostion, creation and destruction, and love.
The work owes its existence to the conductor Sergei Koussevitsky, who commissioned Messiaen to write something for the Boston Symphony, with complete freedom as to the kind of work, its length and size, and most importantly, the liberty of taking as much time as Messiaen needed to finish it. This beneficence was promptly repaid by the composer, who - although not exactly a fast or prolific composer - required only just over two years to come up with Turangalîla.
The result was a massive ten-movement work built on diatonic chords and systematically derived chromatic modes based on Asiatic Indian and Balinese gamelan influences. Bernstein gave the premiere of the work in Boston in December 1949. Significantly, the instrumentation included, in addition to a piano obbligato and huge percussion section, the electronic ondes Martenot. The nature of the music, freely formed after four central themes "found anywhere in the work", is radical and abstruse, and for most listeners, quite an unforgettable experience.

On the electronic ondes Martenot

With the advent of electronic sound after the turn of the previous century, a variety of exotic electrical instruments started to appear. Of them all, the only extant instrument still in use (more or less) is the ondes Martenot, ondes being French for "waves". It is named after its inventor and dates from the late 1930s.
The reason for its endurance, not including its potentially fascinating variations of sound and timbre, has to be attributed to the composers who wrote important works for it - much in the same way that the basset horn, for a time, was kept alive by the music of Mozart.
The sound of the ondes Martenot is an eerily piercing wail; in some ways artificial and inhuman, in other ways mysterious and fascinating. In Norman del Mar's seminal treatise Anatomy of the Orchestra, he includes it rather tellingly between the zither and the human voice.
The instrument can be played in two ways, described in notation as au clavier and ruban. The former makes use of the keyboard, a five-octave span similar to that of a piano, with the additional ability of broad vibratos and quarter-tones. The latter style is an entirely different affair: the player wears a metal ring on the right forefinger, controlling a ribbon across a condenser to produce the desired pitch, using the keyboard as a visual guide to achieve portamento and glissando effects.

- Benjamin Chee

Ray Bryant - 1960-61 Con Alma

Ray Bryant ranks this album, along with his Prestige/New Jazz release ALONE WITH THE BLUES, as his two favorites and who could argue with him: they are both great albums. Bryant is in absolute top form on this disc, and everything works perfectly - even the sound is exceptional (the piano sound is warm and responsive). MILESTONES (everyone knows this from the famous Miles Davis recording) is similar in tempo and format to the Davis, a superb version, with excellent brush work by drummer Mickey Roker. Additional great drumming by Roker can be heard on NUTS AND BOLTS where he interacts splendidly with the melodic line laid down by Bryant. CUBANO CHANT, taken up, is a classy, jaunty tune with a taste of Latin added. AUTUMN LEAVES gets a robust reading, a straight-ahead swinger but with Bryant playing introspectively, too. I love the big fat chords Ray lays down near the end of C JAM BLUES and the overall Erroll Garner feeling this track dishes up. In every way this is a terrific piano trio album, definitely worth having.

Bomojaz, Amazon Reviewer

1 Con Alma (Gillespie) 6:57
2 Milestones (Davis) 4:13
3 'Round Midnight (Hanighen, Monk, Williams) 3:53
4 Django* (Lewis) 5:40
5 Nuts and Bolts (Bryant) 3:06
6 Cubano Chant (Bryant) 4:24
7 Ill Wind (Arlen, Koehler) 3:14
8 Autumn Leaves (Kosma, Mercer, Prevert) 5:25
9 C Jam Blues (Bigard, Ellington) 4:22

* Previously unreleased

Recorded at Columbia Records, 30th Street Studio, New York City on November 25, 1960 (2, 4) and January 26, 1961 (1,3,5,6,7,8, 9)

Ray Bryant Piano
Arthur Harper Bass (2 & 4)
Bill Lee Bass (1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9)
Mickey Roker Drums

globe unity orchestra- 2002

my favourite guo album!

heres a review by d.................
Few dependable institutions exist in creative improvised music. The number of bands that span decades of temporal distance with their basic schematics intact can probably be counted on a single hand. Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Globe University Orchestra ranks among these fortunate few. Typically, though, the discography suggests a sporadic recording history with large gaps separating individual albums and the sum total being close in number to the fingers on that aforementioned hand.

Schlippenbach’s music has never been comfortable with categories, a feature that has likely contributed to the band’s slender catalog. Unlike many of his peers, he still embraces jazz forms and it’s not uncommon for him to break into a Monk tune in the midst of an unfettered free improvisation. That same sort of pliable eclecticism informs his playing for Globe Unity. It’s been fifteen plus years since their last conclave, but based on the music captured on this latest disc, the vagaries of time have had no effect on their shared brilliance as a band.

A large number of original participants are back in the Globe fold, including the surprising presence of brassman Manfred Schoof, an early celebrity on the European scene who later abandoned free music for more ordered forms. His sleek note streams contrast thrillingly with the boiling cacophony that surrounds him. Two of the most revered trombonists in the realm of free improvisation, Rutherford and Bauer, complete the brass section and form a tandem nearly impossible to beat.

The twin reed juggernaut of Brötzmann and Parker convenes spectacularly, something they’ve been doing far more often in recent years, much to their fans’ delight. Fellow reedist Petrowsky doesn’t carry the same redoubtable credentials, but holds his own in the commanding company, even stealing some thunder from his peers through his opening solo. Keeping the theme of consummate pairs going, Lovens and Lytton round out the band from their respective drum encampments. This is an orchestra that sounds just as superb musically as it reads on paper.
The nine men all sound in peak shape, repasting on one mammoth piece that snakes through a myriad of moods, tempi, and component combinations. After a riotous opening salvo tethered by Schlippenbach’s stair-stepping clusters and the tidal wash of colliding drums kits, the long-form improvisation unfolds into a solo by Parker’s skidding tenor which surfs the foaming chaos kicked up by his partners. He soon cedes to Brötzmann’s ululating tarogato, which in turn defers to Petrowsky’s cantankerous alto.

And so it goes, a trek through a rustling thicket of collective sound that is at times dense, at others remarkably diffuse and contemplative. There’s even space for one of Parker’s signature soprano fractals. The entire ride is an arresting experience from onset to end. A raw immediacy to the fidelity of the recording further compounds the feeling of being stage side, having one’s hair blown back by the force and magnitude of the sounds unleashed.
There is someone conspicuously absent from the proceedings. Bassist Peter Kowald was a focal point in early incarnations of the orchestra, and it’s possible that his busy schedule precluded his participation in this most recent outing. The vacancy brings with it a twinge of sadness in the realization that his oaken strings will never anchor the band again.
Globe Unity is notorious for dispersing to the winds for years on end. The participants' packed dockets and the financial logistics of assembling such a band make these breaks a necessity. With any luck, though, the next wait for another entry in the ledger won’t be so long

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Art Pepper Quintet - Smack Up

Jack Sheldon is still active - he was in a recent Family Guy episode. The last album had a song named after Pepper's wife; this has one named for his drug dealer. A typical quote from Straight Life: "He was a real dopefiend and a criminal, so I respected his opinion." No, he wasn't speaking about Chuchuni.

Art Pepper's reckless lifestyle tended to overshadow his superb musicianship, and the circumstances surrounding Smack Up are certainly no exception. Shortly after recording it in 1960, he spent three years in jail for heroin possession, and one can only wonder if the title of the record is a play on words. Nevertheless, Pepper is in good form, as he usually was despite his troubles, darting over the changes and stitching together sharp, boppish lines without hesitation. Featuring a crack rhythm section and a subtle accompanist in trumpeter Jack Sheldon, one can easily expect a set of expertly played jazz.

However, this album is different from the usual West Coast program of standards and show tunes, in that it features songs composed by other saxophonists associated with the Contemporary label, from the famous (Carter) to the infamous (Coleman) to the downright obscure (Duane Tatro and Jack Montrose). Most of these songs are inspired originals that never would have been recorded again had Pepper not resuscitated them, and the varied selection of artists and styles gives the album a wider reach than Pepper's other records, or most West Coast records for that matter.

The end result is a set that runs through various directions of music from the high-powered swing of Buddy Collette's "A Bit of Basie" to the hard bop of "Smack Up" to the edgy leanings of the Tatro tune "Maybe Next Year." The quintet even explores a soulful groove more commonly found on Blue Note releases with Pepper's own "Las Cuevas de Mario" (in 5/4) and Montrose's "Solid Citizens." Appropriately Jolly sits out for the Coleman tune while Pepper and Sheldon wander over the changes, a little more tentatively than Ornette did.

But the strength of the album, other than the terrific playing, is just that it sounds different, an unexpected foray into little known songs that features energy and swing in equal doses. Perhaps the novelty of the music forced the musicians to approach the material more creatively or purposefully, but whatever the reason, Smack Up is one of the highlights of Pepper's career, a record that shows that despite his sordid life, he was a master on his instrument. David Rickert

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Frank Butler (drums)

1. Smack Up
2. Las Cuevas De Mario
3. A Bit Of Basie
4. How Can You Lose
5. Maybe Next Year
6. Tears Inside
7. Solid Citizens (take 33)
8. Solid Citizens (take 37)

Don Byas - 1946 (Chronological 1009)

"This fourth volume in the complete recordings of tenor saxophonist Don Byas opens with 13 sides recorded for the Savoy label in May of 1946. On the opening session, three gorgeous ballads are chased with a blistering version of Ray Noble's "Cherokee" and a mellow stroll through "September in the Rain." About three months later the saxophonist resumed recording for Savoy, now backed by a tougher rhythm section in drummer Max Roach, bassist Leonard Gaskin, and pianist Sanford Gold. These deservedly famous sides represent Byas at the very peak of his early maturity. A rare parcel of four recordings originally issued on the Gotham label finds Byas accompanied by a trio including pianist Beryl Booker. A rather ominous reading of the notoriously suicidal "Gloomy Sunday" is colored so darkly as to suggest the subterranean. By December of 1946 Byas was in Europe making records for the Swing label with a group of musicians from Don Redman's entourage. "Working Eyes," which came out under trombonist Tyree Glenn's name, was written by Glenn but popularized by Duke Ellington under the titles "Sultry Serenade" and "How Could You Do That to Me?" "Peanut Butter Blues," sung in the manner of Roy Eldridge by trumpeter Peanuts Holland, was issued under his name, while the two remaining tracks -- a lush ballad and the feisty "Mohawk Special" -- appeared under the heading of Don Byas & His Orchestra." ~ arwulf arwulf

Don Byas (tenor sax)
Billy Taylor (piano)
Max Roach (drums)
Tyree Glenn (trombone)
Beryl Booker (piano)
Teddy Brannon (piano)
Peanuts Holland (trumpet)
Rostaing (clarinet)

1. I Don't Know Why
2. London Donnie (Danny Boy)
3. Old Folks
4. Cherokee
5. September In The Rain
6. Living My Life
7. To Each His Own
8. They Say It's Wonderful
9. Cynthia's In Love
10. September Song
11. St. Louis Blues
12. I've Found A New Baby
13. Marie
14. You Go To My Head
15. Don't You Know I Care
16. Gloomy Sunday
17. More Than A Mood
18. Working Eyes
19. Gloria
20. Peanut Butter Blues
21. The Mohawk Special

Benny Carter - BBB & Co.

One of Benny Carter's last jazz recordings before he became totally immersed in writing for the studios, this set matches his alto and trumpet with tenor great Ben Webster, clarinetist Barney Bigard and trumpeter Shorty Sherock on a pair of lengthy blues and Carter's "Lula" and "When Lights Are Low." All of the swing all-stars are in fine form, making one wish that they were not being so neglected by critics and fans alike during this era; Webster soon left the U.S. permanently for Europe. Although not essential, this set is fun. Scott Yanow

There was a sense of collective rediscovery about this 1962 session, which producer Leonard Feather organized to spotlight the blowing prowess of several veterans who had either been hidden in studio work or otherwise neglected by the jazz world. With hindsight, the meeting of the still-regal Benny Carter (playing alto sax and a bit of trumpet), tenor sax immortal Ben Webster, and Webster's former Ellington section mate Barney Bigard was obviously a most auspicious occasion, made more valuable still by the contributions of Shorty Sherock (trumpet), Dave Barbour (guitar), and one of Webster's favorite accompanists, pianist Jimmy Rowles. Carter and Feather each contribute two tunes that create an aura of relaxed spontaneity, akin to some of the Chocolate Dandies sessions Carter participated in decades earlier.

Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Benny Carter (alto sax, trumpet)
Barney Bigard (clarinet)
Shorty Sherock (trumpet)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Dave Barbour (guitar)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)

1. Opening Blues
2. Lula
3. When Lights Are Low
4. You Can't Tell The Difference When The Sun Goes Down Blues

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; April 10, 1962

Booker Ervin

Booker Ervin - That’s It

Booker Ervin, who always had a very unique sound on the tenor, is heard in prime form on his quartet set with pianist Horace Parlan, bassist George Tucker and drummer Al Harewood. In virtually all cases, the jazz and blues musicians who recorded for Candid in 1960-61 (during its original brief existence) were inspired and played more creatively than they did for other labels. That fact is true for Ervin, even if he never made an indifferent record. In addition to "Poinciana" and "Speak Low," Ervin's quartet (which was a regular if short-lived group) performs four of the leader's originals; best known is "Booker's Blues."

Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Horace Parlan (piano)
George Tucker (bass)
Al Harewood (drums)

1. Mojo
2. Uranus
3. Poinciana
4. Speak Low
5. Booker’s Blues
6. Boo

Recorded at Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, New York on January 6, 1961

Booker Ervin - Setting the Pace

This CD reissue has the complete contents of two former LPs, both recorded at the same session. With very stimulating playing by pianist Jaki Byard, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Alan Dawson, tenors Booker Ervin and Dexter Gordon battle it out on marathon (19 and 22 1/2 minute) versions of "Setting the Pace" and "Dexter's Deck." Although Gordon is in good form, Ervin (who sometimes takes the music outside) wins honors. The other two selections ("The Trance" and "Speak Low") are by the same group without Dexter, and these long (19 1/2- and 15-minute) showcases also find Booker in top form, sounding quite distinctive and completely original playing inside/outside music. An exciting set. ~ Scott Yanow

Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone)
Jaki Byard (piano)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Alan Dawson (drums)

1. Setting The Pace
2. Dexter's Deck
3. The Trance
4. Speak Low

NYC, January 29, 1965

Jackie McLean - Nature Boy

The year 2000 saw the release of a Blue Note CD featuring Jackie McLean that presented the alto saxophone master in a new perspective. Normally a firebrand, McLean banks the embers on this one to create a sound more mellow than his fans have heard in the past. But something is gained in the slow burn, and beautiful music is the beneficiary on this collection of jazz standards. McLean is joined in his endeavor by three of the top musicians in his trade: Cedar Walton on piano, David Williams on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. This impeccable aggregation is definitely up to the task of reining in the edgy side of McLean's playing, as they engage in a musical dialogue and trade off solo riffs. Witness their musical conversation in the album's opening number, a moody "You Don't Know What Love Is." Just like a meaningful discussion among friends, every bandmember has something to say, to which the others listen respectfully and then respond. Whether the sound is poignant as on "Nature Boy," reflective as on "I Can't Get Started," or tender as on "Star Eyes," the music is effectively evocative of the mood. "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" allows the foursome to go out gracefully with the atmospheric, romantic quality that suffuses the entire recording. The heretofore unheard side of Jackie McLean is something to be enjoyed. ~ Rose of Sharon Witmer

Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Cedar Walton (piano)
David Williams (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. You Don't Know What Love Is
2. Nature Boy
3. I Can't Get Started
4. What Is This Thing Called Love
5. I Fall In Love Too Easily
6. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
7. Star Eyes
8. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square

Thelonious Monk - The Complete London Collection

This attractive box houses three previously released Black Lion CDs recorded at pianist/composer Thelonious Monk's final sessions as a leader; only a few dates with the Giants of Jazz were left in the future for Monk, who would soon retire altogether. Heard in unaccompanied piano solos and in a trio with bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Art Blakey, Monk is in surprisingly exuberant form, still very much at the peak of his powers. Although most of this music was last available in a "complete" Mosaic LP box set, there are actually three additional alternate takes included in the very enjoyable and somewhat definitive set. Highlights include "Little Rootie Tootie," "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland," "Blue Sphere," "Criss Cross," "The Man I Love" and "Evidence," but all 29 selections are well worth hearing. This is essential music for all serious Thelonious Monk collections; the solo performances in particular are quite memorable. Scott Yanow

CD 1

Consisting of 10 solo pieces, Monk's performance on THE LONDON COLLECTION VOL. 1 was his last major recording session before receding into seclusion. Like many of his classic albums, Monk mixes his own brilliant compositions such as "Trinkle Tinkle" and "Crepuscule With Nellie" with other standards. "Darn That Dream" is a somber, thoughtful affair, as is "My Melancholy Baby," with Monk playing a slow, low-end left hand on both songs. The LONDON version of "Crepuscule With Nellie" (dedicated to his wife) is surprisingly short, but along with "Little Rootie Tootie" (written for his son) and Jackieing (for his niece), it furthers the album's personal tone. Overall, Monk's playing on this session is unusually warm and fluid, at times revealing a departure from the more overtly angular style of his earlier days. Still, this is the same Monk who believed that the spaces between the notes were just as important as the notes themselves, a philosophy as apparent as ever on these songs. Given that Monk entered into a largely non-communicative state soon after this recording, it could be said that these are some of his final eloquent musical words. - Scott Yanow

The first of three Black Lion CDs in this valuable series features music from the last significant Thelonious Monk recording session. There are ten solo performances on the spirited and generally joyful program with Monk sounding at his best on five of his originals (including the striding "Blue Sphere") plus typically unique versions of "Darn That Dream," "Meet Me Tonight in Dreammland," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "My Melancholy Baby" and "Lover Man." Although virtually at the end of his career and playing in a style unchanged from 25 years earlier, Thelonious Monk is in prime form and seems quite enthusiastic during these memorable performances. All three volumes (which have also been reissued by Black Lion in a compact box) are easily recommended.

CD 2

Pianist-composer Thelonious Monk's final recording session as a leader (cut in London during a Giants of Jazz tour) resulted in enough material to fill up three CDs. The second volume features Monk with bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Art Blakey on eight trio renditions of Monk's tunes. Although all of the material had been recorded and performed by Monk many times before, these versions sound quite fresh. Highlights include "Evidence," the complex "Criss Cross," "Nutty" and "Hackensack." All of the CDs in this series are well worth picking up for Monk proves to be in prime form during this final effort. Scott Yanow

CD 3

The third of three Black Lion CDs taken from Thelonious Monk's final recording session as a leader features the unique pianist/composer on six solo performances (including the ten-minute "Chordially," which documents him warming up) and five trio numbers with bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Art Blakey. A special bonus of this CD is that three alternate takes ("Nutty," "Crepuscule with Nellie" and "Evidence") were previously unissued, even on Mosaic's "complete" Thelonious Monk Black Lion and Vogue LP box set. Although virtually at the end of his career, Monk sounds quite content throughout this date and is in top form. All three CDs are also available in a compact Black Lion box set, and they serve as a strong close to the career of the remarkable Thelonious Monk. Scott Yanow

From Spirituals To Swing

In many ways, these 1938 and 1939 Carnegie Hall concerts ushered in an exciting period of black music for the American public. While great bandleaders like Benny Goodman had been blurring the color line for years, From Spirituals to Swing was the first prominent Carnegie Hall production to present African American performers to an integrated audience. Besides the racial and political implications of John Hammond's controversial shows, the producer was able to bring together some of the era's finest talent in jazz, blues, and gospel music. Recorded straight onto lacquer discs before the advent of long-playing albums and first released in 1959...there are several notable moments in Hammond's Carnegie collection, previously unreleased and otherwise. Naturally, this includes swinging presentations by a Basie band that showcase star-studded soloists like Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Herschel Evans, and Harry "Sweets" Edison. There are also three dynamic performances by the Kansas City Six, which feature the rare pairing of tenor saxophonist Lester Young with early guitar great Charlie Christian. The box set also includes wonderful vocal contributions from Joe Turner, Helen Humes, and Jimmy Rushing as well as blues icon Big Bill Broonzy and gospel matriarch Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Unusual artistic combinations make these Hammond productions particularly distinctive. The live trio collaborations between boogie-woogie pianists Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson are fast-paced and terrifically exciting. The New Orleans Feetwarmers showcase the Basie rhythm section of bassist Walter Page and drummer Jo Jones alongside Sidney Bechet and piano legend James P. Johnson for some real Dixieland music. While gospel contributions from the Golden Gate Quartet and Mitchell's Christian Singers are powerfully emotive, it's the seasoned work of Benny Goodman that tops off this fascinating set of performances. With a group that included Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton, and pianist Fletcher Henderson, Goodman presents classic compositions like "I Got Rhythm" and "Stompin' at the Savoy." With a jam session finale of "Oh, Lady Be Good," From Spirituals to Swing sums up two historic musical events that should not forgotten. --Mitch Myers

December 23, 1938

Swingin' the Blues - Count Basie Orchestra
One O'Clock Jump - Count Basie Orchestra
Blues with Lips - Count Basie Orchestra, Hot Lips Page
Rhythm Man - Count Basie Orchestra
Jumpin' Blues - Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade "Lux" Lewis
Honky Tonk Train Blues - Meade "Lux" Lewis
Low Down Dog - Pete Johnson, Joe Turner
It's All Right Baby - Pete Johnson, Joe Turner
Boogie Woogie - Albert Ammons
Cavalcade of Boogie - Albert Ammons, Meade "Lux" Lewis
Rock Me - Albert Ammons, Sister Rosetta Tharpe
That's All - Albert Ammons, Sister Rosetta Tharpe
What More Can My Jesus Do? - Mitchell's Christian Singers
My Poor Mother Died A'Shoutin' - Mitchell's Christian Singers
Are You Living Humble - Mitchell's Christian Singers
Weary Blues - The New Orleans Feetwarmers
Milenberg Joys - The New Orleans Feetwarmers
I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate - The New Orleans Feetwarmers
It Was Just a Dream - Albert Ammons, Big Bill Broonzy
Fox Chase - Sonny Terry
Carolina Shout - James P. Johnson
Every Tub - Count Basie Orchestra
Stealin' Blues - Count Basie Orchestra, Jimmy Rushing
After You've Gone - Kansas City Six
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans - Kansas City Six
Oh, Lady Be Good - Jam Session
I Never Knew - Kansas City Five

December 24, 1939

Gospel Train - Golden Gate Quartet
I'm On My Way - Golden Gate Quartet
Noah - Golden Gate Quartet
I Got Rhythm - Benny Goodman Sextet
Flying Home - Benny Goodman Sextet
Memories Of You - Benny Goodman Sextet
Stompin' At The Savoy - Benny Goodman Sextet
Honeysuckle Rose - Benny Goodman Sextet
Blueberry Rhyme - James P. Johnson
Mule Walk - James P. Johnson
Low Down Dirty Shame - Shad Collins, Ida Cox
'Fore Day Creep - Shad Collins, Ida Cox, , James P. Johnson
Done Got Wise - Albert Ammons, Big Bill Broonzy
Louise, Louise Blues - Albert Ammons, Big Bill Broonzy
Mountain Blues - Sonny Terry
New John Henry - Bull City Red, Sonny Terry
Good Morning Blues - Kansas City Six
Paging The Devil - Kansas City Six
Way Down Yonder In New Orleans - Kansas City Six
Old Fashioned Love - Count Basie Orchestra
If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) - Count Basie Orchestra
Oh, Lady Be Good - Jam Session

Charles Tolliver and his All Stars

C'mon, you know the fellas, how 'bout a big hand for...

GARY BARTZ - alto saxophone

Recorded at Town Sound Studios,
Englewood, New Jersey, 2nd July 1968

LP to LAME 3.98 vbr0 track list and liner notes by Michael Shera with the package.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Duke Ellington - Jazz at the Plaza, Vol. 2 (1958)

I had just finished ripping this album and was preparing to upload the files when I saw Rab's post below. Really...

Two months after the Ellington band's performance at the Newport festival they played at a private party for Columbia Records as a tribute to the label's jazz recording artists. Miles Davis was also there and his performance was released as volume 1. Both albums were released in 1973 and issued on CD in 1995, but the Ellington CD is no longer available whereas the Davis set has had a few more reissues on Sony.

Side one of this LP was Duke's first set and featured his "Jazz Festival Suite" (aka "Toot Suite") along with Clark Terry's "Jones" in which Duke gives the audience a lesson in how to be "cool".

After Miles' set the Ellington band comes roaring back on side two with Cat Anderson's "El Gato" followed by "All of Me", a feature for Johnny Hodges. Then comes the funnest part of the set, Jimmy Rushing shouting out three blues numbers as only he can do, all the time being egged on by the big band. And then it's Billie Holiday's turn for two songs. She had just finished recording Lady in Satin and sings quite well for this late stage of her life. Accompanying her on piano is Mal Waldron, and trumpeter Buck Clayton sits in on "Don't Explain".

Overall, a really enjoyable set by this edition of the Ellington band and it's 'bout time for another CD reissue or maybe as part of a box set? Sony probably ain't gonna bother. Mosaic?

Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker, Ray Nance, Clark Terry (trumpet)
Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman (trombone) John Sanders (valve trombone)
Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney (reeds)
Duke Ellington (piano) Jimmy Woode (bass) Sam Woodyard (drums)
Jimmy Rushing (vocals on 5-7) Billie Holiday (vocals on 8-9)
Mal Waldron (piano on 8-9) Buck Clayton (trumpet on 9)

1. Jazz Festival Suite (aka Toot Suite)
a. Red Garter
b. Red Shoes
c. Red Carpet
d. Ready Go
2. Jones
3. El Gato
4. All of Me
5. Go Away Blues
6. Hello, Little Girl
7. Love to Hear My Baby Call My Name
8. When Your Lover Has Gone
9. (Hush Now) Don't Explain
10. Take the 'A' Train

Recorded on September 9, 1958

Charles Mingus - Mingus at the Bohemia

Yes, you might have this from the Debut set, but this is the Japanese Supercalifragiphonic issue in Listic Expialidocious Sound. No Swedes were hurt in the making of this recording. None that lived to complain at least......the guy that played the snørrflärt wasn't in the Union.

Michael Katz! Tell them what they've won!!!.......

"A live performance at the Club Bohemia in New York, this is the first Mingus recording to feature mostly his own compositions. Some are his future standards. Here are his first attempts at future techniques such as combining two songs into one. His bass playing really stands out."

Thanks, Mike! Don't call us; we'll call you.

Charles Mingus (bass)
George Barrow (tenor sax)
Eddie Bert (trombone)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Willie Jones, Max Roach (drums)

CD 1

1 - Jump Monk
2 - Serenade In Blue
3 - Percussion Discussion
4 - Work Song
5 - Septemberly
6 - All the Things You C#
7 - Drums

CD 2

1 - Jump Monk (alternate take)
2 - All the Things You C# (alternate take)
3 - Drums
4 - I'll Remember April
5 - A Foggy Day
6 - A Portrait of Bud Powell
7 - Haitian Fight Song
8 - Love Chant
9 - Lady Bird
10 - What is This Thing Called Love

Recorded live at Cafe Bohemia, New York, New York on December 23, 1955

Duke Ellington - Newport 1958

There’s a detailed back story that accompanies Newport 1958, pianist/composer/bandleader Duke Ellington’s ambitious effort to document at the named festival newer music that had not been thoroughly road tested at the time of its recording. As the story goes, all of the music at the live event was documented and then dumped for studio retakes for the released album with dubbed-in fake applause. Some years ago, a two-disc set brought to light all of the live performances, but in doing so left the studio material out-of-print. Now Mosaic has gone back to the release the original album (that’s the studio takes and two live cuts originally issued), cover and all. They’ve also added four of the best live cuts from Newport to round out this package. With the fake applause nixed and the mono masters used for this edition, this music has never sounded better. These are some of Ellington’s best numbers from a highly prolific period; just check out “El Gato,” “Mr. Gentle And Mr. Cool,” and “Juniflip” to hear a master in his true element. Baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan makes a fine cameo on “Prima Bara Dubla” to boot. C. Andrew Hovan

Duke Ellington (piano)
Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Ray Nance (trumpet, violin)
Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker, Cootie Williams (trumpet)
Britt Woodman, John Sanders, Quentin Jackson (trombone)
Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope (alto sax)
Jimmy Hamilton (tenor sax, clarinet)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Jimmy Woode (bass)
Sam Woodyard (drums)
Ozzie Bailey, voc (3)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax on 14)

1. El Gato
2. Happy Reunion
3. Multicolored Blue
4. Princess Blue
5. Jazz Festival Jazz
6. Mr. Gentle And Mr. Cool
7. Juniflip
8. Hi Fi Fo Fum
9. Just Scratchin' The Surface
10. Happy Reunion
11. Mr. Gentle And Mr. Cool
12. Jazz Festival Jazz
13. Feet Bone
14. Prima Bara Dubla

1-8 recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio, NYC July 21, 1958 and 9-14 live at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island, July 3, 1958

Art Pepper and Zoot Sims - Art 'N' Zoot

Art Pepper and Zoot Sims had known each other ever since they were precocious kids on the Central Avenue scene. Zoot was considered grown-up because he had his own 'pad'; a garage with a dirt floor. And Pepper always held Sims in high regard; the notes have this from Laurie Pepper's mouth, and in the notes to Pepper's The Way It Was (to be upped in the next day or so) Pepper states - in a discussion of Lester Young - "...(Lester) was the man who influenced me more than anybody else, he and Zoot Sims."

Yet this is the only recorded document of the two playing together. It came about as a National Public Radio initiative, and is a professional recording of a concert organized for NPR. Check the line-up - heavy hitters every one. It is fairly well acknowledged that Pepper was at the top of his game despite years of abuse. And Zoot, well, Zoot was always very fine.

Art Pepper (alto saxophone)
Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone)
Victor Feldman (piano)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass except 2)
Charlie Haden (bass on 2)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Wee (Allen's Alley)
2. Over The Rainbow
3. In The Middle Of A Kiss
4. Broadway
5. The Girl From Ipanema
6. Breakdown Blues

Recorded live at Royce Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, California on September 27, 1981

Stan Tracey Quartet - Free An' One

Another hard-to-find LP from Stan Tracey, this time in a quartet setting with altoist Peter King. Track List, and liner notes by Humphrey Lyttelton with the files. LP to LAME 3.98 vbr0


Dr. Puck comments on Stan Tracey:
Stan Tracey is to British jazz what his deepest influence, Monk, is to jazz at large: it's central post-bop modernist. I've never heard an inconsequential record, or, for that matter, note, from Stan. He's been recording for over five decades. see:; wikipedia: He has a very dynamic, angular, vigorous style issued from the great stream of Ellington and Monk.

Prokofiev - Symphony No5 - David Oïstrakh dirige

No image, this was a radio show. I've never taken much notice of the works of Prokofiev, for no good reason to be sure. Tonight France Musique broadcast several works directed by the great Russian violinist and chef d'orchestre, David Oïstrakh, and the pièce de resistance was the Prokofiev Symphony No 5. Quite excellent. Here it is in LAME vbr0
Prokofiev - Symphony No5 - David Oïstrakh dirige l'Orchestre National de l'ORTF - 14 avril 1966

Stan Tracey Big Band - Seven Ages of Man

London's answer to the Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Village Vanguard big band? You'd have to be a cynic to insist. Lots of great compositions and arrangements here by pianist Steve Lacey and many great musicians here you would have known well had you frequented London's Ronnie Scott Club in the late 60's. Full personnel, track list and liner notes with the files. Vinyl rip to LAME3.98 VBR0

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sonny Greenwich

Greenwich first drew notice for his jazz style in the early sixties, when both Horace Silver and Lee Morgan independently brought Greenwich's name to the attention of Alfred Lion at Blue Note Records. 1965 saw him in New York at the Village Vanguard with saxophonist Charles Lloyd. Greenwich's reputation brought him to the attention of saxophonist John Handy, with whom he played from December l966 through March l967, in Seattle, San Francisco and New York. Their concert appearance at Carnegie Hall, January 15th l967 was released on Columbia, 'Spirituals to Swing'. Also in New York that year, Greenwich recorded with Lee Morgan and saxophonist Hank Mobley on Mobley's album 'Third Season' for Blue Note Records and was preparing to record for Milestone's Orrin Keepnews when problems with his green card forced him to return to Canada.

In l968 Greenwich led his own quartet composed of pianist Teddy Saunders, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Jack DeJohnette, at the Village Vanguard in New York. December l969 he played with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, David Holland and Tony Williams at the Colonial Tavern, Toronto and the following year played downbill to Miles Davis at Massey Hall.

Hank Mobley - Third Season

This CD features Hank Mobley with one of the largest ensembles he ever recorded with. Recorded in 1967, this session inexplicably sat in the vaults until 1980. Everyone is playing magnificently and Mobley was at his peak as a composer and arranger here.

Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley recorded frequently for Blue Note in the 1960s (six albums from 1967-1970) and, although overshadowed by the flashier and more avant-garde players, Mobley's output was consistently rewarding. For this overlooked session, which was not issued until 1980 and then finally reissued on CD in 1988, a regular contingent of top Blue Note artists (Mobley, trumpeter Lee Morgan, altoist James Spaulding, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Billy Higgins) are joined by a wild card, guitarist Sonny Greenwich. The music is mostly in the hard bop vein, with hints of modality and the gospel-ish piece "Give Me That Feelin'," but Greenwich's three solos are a bonus and the performances of five Mobley originals and one by Morgan are up to the usual caliber of Blue Note's releases. Pity that this one has been lost in the shuffle. Scott Yanow

Lee Morgan (trumpet)
James Spaulding (alto sax, flute)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Sonny Greenwich (guitar)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Walter Booker (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. An Aperitif
2. Don't Cry, Just Sigh
3. The Steppin' Stone
4. Third Season
5. Boss Bossa
6. Give Me That Feelin'

Recorded On February 24, 1967 At The Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Paul Bley and Sonny Greenwich - Outside In

Pianist Paul Bley and guitarist Sonny Greenwich recorded these duets in 1994. Both musicians are Canadian--and the session came about after they appeared at a jazz festival in Montreal. Relying largely upon their skills as improvisers, Bley and Greenwich play off each other with a good-natured familiarity. Common ground is found in the music itself, with characteristics of the blues running through major portions of the set.

There are solo pieces by both Bley and Greenwich. They also tackle a couple standards ("I Remember Harlem" and "These Foolish Things") and a pair by two saxophone titans (Charlie Parker's "Steeplechase" and Sonny Rollins' "Pent Up House"). Most of this session is actually much less "outside" than what Bley is generally known for, but in fact, his catalog and past experience are quite deep and broad, and he has happily headed into these friendly waters throughout his career.

One of Canada's top guitarists, the eccentric playing of Sonny Greenwich is always stimulating and usually surprising. He played locally in Toronto, appeared with Charles Lloyd in New York (1965), toured with John Handy (1966-1967), and recorded with Hank Mobley (1967). Greenwich came close to joining Miles Davis in 1969, settled in Quebec (he moved to Montreal in 1974), and went on to lead sessions for Sackville, PM, Justin Time, and his own Kleo label. ~ Scott Yanow

Paul Bley (piano)
Sonny Greenwich (guitar)

1. Sonics II
2. Horizons
3. Arrival
4. Now
5. Meandering
6. Willow
7. I Remember Harlem
8. Peel Street Blues
9. Steeplechase
10. You Are
11. These Foolish Things
12. Pent Up House

Jazz for a Sunday Afternoon, Vol. 3 (1968)

Back in the late sixties producer Sonny Lester and drummer Mel Lewis organized a series of jam sessions which were recorded and released in four volumes on Solid State as Jazz for a Sunday Afternoon. Volumes 1, 2 and 4 were recorded at the Village Vanguard in New York and have been reissued on various CDs from Blue Note, Laserlight and probably some others. The personnel on those sessions included Dizzy Gillespie, Pepper Adams, Joe Farrell, Chick Corea, Elvin Jones and others. But the 3rd volume was a little different. It was recorded at a club in Los Angeles called Marty's on the Hill and was subtitled "The West Coast Scene". This volume, as far as I know, has never been reissued. Perhaps there's a little East Coast or Village Vanguard bias?

The musicians selected for the west coast session reads like a who's who for the time and they are given ample time to stretch out with only two songs on the album. "Satin Doll" clocks in at over 17 minutes and "Straight No Chaser is over 20.

It's obvious who's leading the Satin Doll jam as Sweets Edison not only takes the first solo but also sets up the riffs behind the solos. The other trumpeter on the set is Bobby Bryant, a gifted soloist and lead player who was doing a lot of studio work at the time and had played in the bands of Charles Mingus, Oliver Nelson, Gary McFarland and Gerald Wilson. Along with veteran tenor player Harold Land we get to hear a young Pete Christlieb, just getting started on making a name for himself.

The most thrilling part of this session for me is the presence of both Carl Fontana and Frank Rosolino, two of my favorite bone players. And the rhythm sections aren't too shabby either...

Harry "Sweets" Edison, Bobby Bryant (trumpet) Carl Fontana, Frank Rosolino (trombone) Pete Christlieb (tenor sax) Jimmy Rowles (piano) Chuck Berghofer (bass) Mel Lewis (drums)

1. Satin Doll

Harry "Sweets" Edison, Bobby Bryant (trumpet) Carl Fontana, Frank Rosolino (trombone) Harold Land, Pete Christlieb (tenor sax) Tommy Flanagan (piano) Ray Brown (bass) Ed Thigpen (drums)

2. Straight No Chaser

Recorded at Marty's on the Hill in February of 1968

Tommy Flanagan - Overseas

This studio session represents one of Tommy Flanagan's earliest dates as a leader, recorded while he was in Stockholm, Sweden. Bassist Wilbur Little and a young Elvin Jones on drums provide strong support, but the focus is on Flanagan's brilliant piano. The brilliant opener is a potent brisk run through Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo," followed by a faster than typical "Chelsea Bridge," which the leader playfully detours into another Billy Strayhorn composition ("Raincheck") for a moment, while also featuring Jones' brushwork in a pair of breaks. Flanagan's approach to the venerable standard "Willow Weep for Me" is steeped in blues, backed by Little's imaginative accompaniment. The bulk of this date is devoted to Flanagan's compositions, though only one, "Eclypso," remained in his repertoire for long. This engaging piece alternates between calypso and bop, with Jones switching between sticks and brushes. "Beat's Up" has the obvious influence of Bud Powell, while the extended blues "Little Rock" opens with a sauntering bass solo. This album has been released under various titles on several labels, including DIW, Dragon, Met, and Prestige, though Fantasy reissued it with three alternate takes in 1999. ~ Ken Dryden

Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Wilbur Little (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

1. Relaxin' At Camarillo
2. Chelsea Bridge
3. Eclypso
4. Beat's Up
5. Skal Brothers
6. Little Rock
7. Verdandi
8. Delarna
9. Willow Weep For Me
10. Delarna (Take 2)
11. Verdandi (Take 2)
12. Willow Weep For Me (Take 1)

Stockholm, Sweden, August 15, 1957


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Jim Hall - Subsequently

Nice varied set from a fine group of musicians. Two superb numbers with Toots Thielemans

Larry Goldings - piano & organ
Terry Clarke - drums
Steve La Spina - bass
Toots Thielemans - harmonica
Rasmus Lee - tenor sax

Monday, February 25, 2008

Booker Ervin By Request

Booker Ervin - The In Between

Booker Ervin headed to Blue Note in 1968 for The In Between, a record that found him continuing in the vein of his later Prestige sessions. Supported by trumpeter Richard Williams, pianist Bobby Few, bassist Cevera Jeffries and drummer Lennie McBrowne, Ervin created an album that pushed the boundaries of hard bop. Every song on The In Between is an Ervin original designed to challenge the musicians. The music rarely reaches avant-garde territory -- instead, it's edgy, volatile hard bop that comes from the mind as much as the soul. Appropriately, Ervin balances his full-bodied tone with a forceful, aggressive attack that even sounds restless on the slower numbers. The result is a satisfying, cerebral set of adventurous hard bop that finds Booker Ervin at a creative peak. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Richard Williams (trumpet
Booker Ervin (tenor sax, flute)
Bobby Few (piano)
Cevera Jefries (bass)
Lenny McBrowne (drums)

1. The In Between
2. The Muse
3. Mour
4. Sweet Pea
5. Largo
6. Tyra

Recorded At The Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, on January 12, 1968

Booker Ervin - Tex Book Tenor


Tex Book Tenor was recorded in 1968 as a follow-up to Booker Ervin's debut date for Blue Note, The In Between, which was released in January of the same year. (Ervin had made two records for Pacific Jazz, which is now owned, like Blue Note, by EMI.) The album remained unreleased until 1976, when it was issued with an also unreleased Horace Parlan date on a double LP called Back from the Gig. This is its first appearance on CD. The lineup is stellar and includes Billy Higgins, Woody Shaw, Kenny Barron, and bassist Jan Arnet from Czechoslovakia. Barron and Ervin had worked together before, and Arnet had worked with Ervin three years earlier as a touring partner in Germany. The music here includes three Ervin originals, Barron's wonderful "Gichi," and Shaw's "In a Capricornian Way." The Afro-Latin-influenced grooves of "Gichi" display Ervin playing his solo in prime snake-charmer mode. His own "Den Tex" is classic hard bop with Barron and Ervin going head to head throughout. "Lynn's Tune" is a beautiful midtempo ballad with wonderful work by Arnet and a loping solo by Shaw. The closer is "204," a steaming hard bop tune with a killer head featuring the two horns just pushing the tempo before Ervin goes off the map into his solo. Barron's playing is totally inspired, pushing huge chords at both players as they dig into the changes and come out breathing fire. This is a wonderful addition not only to the Blue Note catalog on CD, but to Ervin's own shelf as well, and should be picked up by anyone interested in him as a bandleader and composer. ~ Thom Jurek

Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
Kenny Barron (piano)
Jan Arnet (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1 - Gichi
2 - Den Tex
3 - In A Capricornian Way
4 - Lynn’s Tune
5 - 204

Recorded At The Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, on June 24, 1968

Lionel Loueke - Karibu

I'm really enjoying this album.

Here's the PR gumpf:
KARIBU is the stunning Blue Note debut from guitarist & vocalist Lionel Loueke. One of the most creative new voices in Jazz today, Loueke's star is on the rise. Born in Benin, West Africa, Loueke possess an instantly recognizable sound that blends his African roots with a modern Jazz concept that he's honed while performing with his mentors, the legends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter & Terence Blanchard.

KARIBU (Swahili for welcome) features Loueke's trio of bassist Massimo Biolcati & drummer Ferenc Nemeth with very special guests Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter making rare sideman appearances, on a set of seven Loueke originals & distinct versions of John Coltrane's "Naima" & the standard "Skylark."

The West Coast 50: Numbers 6 and 20

I kind of forgot about this for some reason. I was looking something up and realized that the first Wardell Gray Memorial, and the Introducing Red Mitchell - both posted recently - were, respectively, 19 and 35 on Gioia's list. More to come.

Dave Brubeck - Jazz at Oberlin

This 1953 performance by the Dave Brubeck Quartet was recorded at Oberlin College, a school with a renowned music conservatory that, ironically, neither had jazz instruction at the time, nor particularly encouraged it. However, by the enthusiastic applause of the students, it's easy to tell that this audience was eager to embrace modern jazz. More importantly, this live album documents the early years of Brubeck's career. Drummer Joe Morello and bassist Gene Wright had yet to join his quartet, but instead Jazz at Oberlin features spirited performances by Lloyd Davis and Ron Crotty, respectively. Brubeck (piano) and Paul Desmond (alto saxophone) are the stars of the show, and Desmond's solos are particularly intriguing. Heavily influenced by Charlie Parker, Desmond's playing straddles the line between the emerging West Coast "cool" sound and bebop (which itself was less than a decade old in '53). Five standards are heard here, and each one really allows the group to stretch. The interplay between Desmond and Brubeck on the intro to "The Way You Look Tonight" shows the strength of their collaboration, even at this early juncture. Elsewhere, Brubeck's bold--indeed almost brash--solo on "How High the Moon" is quite a highlight. It's apparent that this band was destined for greatness.

Dave Brubeck (piano)
Paul Desmond (alto saxophone)
Ron Crotty (bass)
Lloyd Davis (drums)

1. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)
2. Perdido
3. Stardust
4. The Way You Look Tonight
5. How High The Moon

Recorded live at Finney Chapel, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio on March 2, 1953

Vince Guaraldi Trio - Vince Guaraldi Trio

Gioia said: " In later years, this engaging pianist would have big successes with his "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" and his enduring soundtracks to the Charlie Brown TV specials. This 1956 date with guitarist Eddie Duran and bassist Dean Reilly showcases the lyricism and bluesiness that were Guaraldi trademarks."

Vince Guaraldi (piano)
Eddie Duran (guitar)
Dean Reilly (bass)

1. Django
2. Fenwyck's Farfel
3. Never Never Land
4. Chelsea Bridge
5. Fascinating Rhythm
6. The Lady's In Love With You
7. Sweet And Lovely
8. Ossobucco
9. Three Coins In A Fountain
10. It's De-Lovely

Recorded in San Francisco, California in April 1956

Shorty Rogers and Andre Previn - Collaboration

Shorty on trumpet and Andre on piano
with Milt Bernhart, Frank Rosolino (tb)
Bud Shank (as, fl)
Bob Cooper (ts)
Jimmy Giuffre (bars)
Al Hendrickson, Jack Marshall (g)
Joe Mondragón, Curtis Counce, (b)
Shelly Manne (d)

1. It's Delovely
2. Porterhouse
3. Heat Wave
4. 40 Degrees Below
5. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
6. Claudia
7. You Do Something To Me
8. Call For Cole
9. Everything I've Got
10. Some Antics
11. It Only Happens When I Dance With You
12. General Cluster

Shelly Manne and His Men - Yesterdays

Apart from a little known set from a great combo, here we get to add to the too small discography of Joe Gordon.

Shelly Manne and Norman Granz are two names that one doesn't hear in the same sentence very often. Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic tours tended to have a lot of flashy solos, and Manne wasn't about flashiness; he was a subtle drummer who knew the value of economy. Nonetheless, Granz admired Manne's playing -- and even though Manne had reservations about taking part in J.A.T.P., Granz managed to persuade him to join J.A.T.P. on a tour of Europe in 1960. Recorded in Zurich, Switzerland, and Copenhagen, Denmark, Yesterdays finds Manne leading a diverse yet cohesive quintet that also includes trumpeter Joe Gordon, tenor saxophonist Richie Kamuca, pianist Russ Freeman, and bassist Monty Budwig. The performances on this CD went unreleased for 43 years, but in 2003, they finally saw the light of day when Fantasy released them on Granz's Pablo label. Although Manne made many valuable contributions to cool jazz, he didn't play with cool musicians exclusively -- unlike many of the New York jazz critics who loved to bash cool jazz in the '50s and '60s, he wasn't a narrow-minded dogmatist. Manne was smart enough to realize that cool jazz and hard bop were equally valid areas of the house that Charlie Parker built; as a result, he saw no reason why a cool-toned, Lester Young-influenced improviser like Kamuca couldn't have a rapport with Gordon (a big-toned trumpeter along the lines of Clifford Brown and Fats Navarro). In fact, Manne and his colleagues have no problem finding common ground on standards that include "Poinciana," Milt Jackson's "Bags' Groove," and Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser." Although enjoyable, Yesterdays isn't as essential as other Manne discs that were recorded in the early '60s; nonetheless, the drummer's more devoted fans will welcome the arrival of these previously unreleased performances. ~ Alex Henderson

Shelly Manne (drums)
Joe Gordon (trumpet)
Richie Kamuca (tenor saxophone)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)

1. Cabu
2. Bag's Groove
3. Poinciana
4. Straight, No Chaser
5. Yesterdays

1-3 recorded in Zurich, February 22, 1960
4-5 recorded in Copenhagen, March 2, 1960

Stanley Turrentine & The Three Sounds - Blue Hour

Stanley Turrentine & the Three Sounds were initially featured together on an album called Blue Hour, which was a very relaxed and bluesy release. The spaciousness of "I Want a Little Girl" makes the listener savor every note, while "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You" is played with an almost identical tempo and feeling. Gene Harris' "Blue Riff" picks up the pace a good bit, before "Since I Fell for You" and "Willow Weep for Me" once again slow the proceedings back to a late-night feeling. Turrentine's tenor sax is in top form, while Harris is the consummate blues pianist in his supporting role. After the first CD reissue of Blue Hour went out of print, it was expanded into a two-CD set by Blue Note, with eight new unissued or alternate takes added on the second disc. It is apparent right away that the original producer Alfred Lion was correct in withholding most of these recordings from release. As well as Turrentine plays during "Blues in the Closet," the rhythm section seems a bit stiff. Harris' piano is too much in the background on "Just in Time," while the pianist's composition "Blue Hour" doesn't seem to be fully formed as a blues vehicle. "Strike Up the Band" is the one truly up-tempo recording present on this release, but probably wasn't issued previously because it is faded prematurely and it was so different from the producer's concept for the originally conceived release. Regardless, since both Stanley Turrentine and Gene Harris passed away within a year of each other in 2000, having additional music made available featuring these two fine musicians is most welcome.

Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

1 I Want a Little Girl (7:05)
2 Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You (5:24)
3 Blue Riff (6:27)
4 Since I Fell for You (8:47)
5 Willow Weep for Me (9:59)

1 Blues in the Closet (5:01)
2 Just in Time (5:41)
3 Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You (Alternate Take) (5:33)
4 Where or When (7:01)
5 Blue Hour (5:18)
6 There Is No Greater Love (8:27)
7 Alone Together (4:43)
8 Strike up the Band (5:26)

BLUE HOUR: THE COMPLETE SESSIONS contains BLUE HOUR (1960) and a bonus CD of tracks from the same sessions.

Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone)
Gene Harris (piano)
Andrew Simpkins (bass)
Bill Dowdy (drums)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on June 29 and December 16, 1960

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Carlo Gesualdo de Venosa - 1560-1613

This is, indeed, remarkable, strange, and breathtaking music. I was first introduced to it by an essay written by Aldous Huxley (read it here) and if you do not know about the madrigals and motets of the late 16th century, you should read the essay first before embarking on a unique musical experience. Gesualdo's harmonic complexities went far beyond those of his contemporaries such as Monteverdi, and at least for me, rival even much of 20th century 'serious' music. The present selection is the Sabbato Sancto, excerpted from this double CD performed by the famed Hilliard Ensemble.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

To Diz with Love

Review by Scott Yanow
Dizzy Gillespie's final recording, taken from a month he spent featured at the Blue Note in New York, matches the aging giant with such fellow trumpeters as Jon Faddis, Wynton Marsalis, Claudio Roditi, Wallace Roney, Red Rodney, Charlie Sepulveda and the ancient — but still brilliant — Doc Cheatham (who cuts both Diz and Faddis on "Mood Indigo"). Although Gillespie was no longer up to the competition, the love that these fellow trumpeters had for him (and some fine solos) makes this historic CD worth getting.
1 Billie's Bounce
2 Confirmation
3 Mood Indigo
4 Straight, No Chaser
5 A Night in Tunisia
Credits: Doc Cheatham (tp), Jon Faddis (tp), Dizzy Gillespie (tp), Wynton Marsalis (tp), Claudio Roditi (tp), Red Rodney (flh), Wallace Roney (tp), Charlie Sepulveda (tp), Junior Mance (p), Kenny Washington (d), Peter Washington (b).
Recorded Jan 29, 1992-Feb 1, 1992
My rip: Eac - flac- covers 300 dpi

The Quintet - Jazz At Massey Hall (20bit K2)

One of the most famous live recordings in jazz history, this May 1953 concert from Toronto brought together five of bebop's greatest figures in alto saxophonist Charlie Parker (credited here as "Charlie Chan" in a purposely transparent attempt to sidestep Parker's exclusive recording arrangement with another record company), trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Bud Powell, drummer Max Roach, and bassist Charles Mingus. Released following Parker's death two years after the date, the recording finds him in remarkable form, his playing robust, pointed, and witty. And although each participant is a band leader, composer, and groundbreaking stylist on his instrument, the performance demonstrates that Parker remained first among equals. Compositionally, Jazz at Massey Hall leans heavily on the bebop book developed by Gillespie, and includes "Salt Peanuts," "Wee," and "A Night in Tunisia." Also featured are Tadd Dameron's "Hot House," the Ellington standard "Perdido," and "All the Things You Are." Initially released on Debut Records, a label co-owned by Mingus and Roach, the sound quality is certainly of the time, but has benefited over the years from digital technology. --Fred Goodman

Critics seem to agree this recording preserves the greatest modern jazz concert ever. It occurred in Toronto in l953 and the lineup exceeded the greatest fantasy lineups of any jazz festival programmer. Due to recording contract problems, Parker was listed as "Charlie Chan" on the original LP. All of the five were in top form for this program and the audience was with them all the way. Dizzy's treatment of his own Salt Peanuts has to be the funniest of any other recorded versions of that classic - breaks me up every time. The shortest track is about seven minutes - the players all get to do extended solos not heard on most recordings at the time. The closing Night in Tunisia brings down the house.

The only problem with this super-classic super-historical live concert recording is that previous versions on LP, cassette and CD sounded like hell. It was painful to listen to, almost like the original recording medium had been cylinder record or wire recorder. Well, this release fixes that! The mastering engineer began with a different tape than used before - one from the estate of Charlie Mingus, in which Mingus had overdubbed his bass in some ensemble passages. Somehow these tapes sound a lot better than what was used before. Then some skillful restoration work was done on them and a 20-bit converter with JVC's digital K2 Interface (also used on their xrcds) was used in remastering. Now we have for the first time a concert that's a delight to listen to - clearly reproduced solos and good ensemble sound. It's even possible now 4to hear all of Dizzy's "salt peanuts" exhortations way in the background. Bravo and thank you, Fantasy! - Audiophile Audition

Charlie Parker (alto sax)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Bud Powell (piano)
Charles Mingus (bass)
Max Roach (drums)

1. Perdido
2. Salt Peanuts
3. All The Things You Are
4. Wee
5. Hot House
6. A Night In Tunisia

Recorded live at Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada on May 15, 1953

Clark Terry - At the Montreux Jazz Festival (1969)

Polydor Records released this LP from the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969 but it has never been reissued in any other format.

Ernie Wilkins put together an international big band to back Clark Terry but other than himself and vibraphonist Dave Pike, the rest of the band was little known and made up of young musicians from 12 different countries.

Ernie Wilkins also wrote all of the arrangements including two originals, "Swiss Air" and "Broadway Joe" which lasts for almost 14 minutes and gives pretty much everyone in the band a little solo space. "All Too Soon" features the tenor work of Ernie Wilkins and is dedicated to Ben Webster who was living in Europe at the time. "Stardust" is a flugelhorn feature for Clark, "Levee Camp Blues" is one of the most humorous recordings in his vast discography and "Mumbling in the Alps" is what it is.

Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals)
Richard Rousselet, Rudolf Tomsits, Franja Jenc, Hans Kennel (trumpet)
Raymond Droz, Zdenek Pulec, Frode Thingnes (trombone)
Erik Andresen, Eero Koivistoinen (alto sax)
Ernie Wilkins, Bruno Spoerri (tenor sax)
Dave Pike (vibes) Louis Stewart (guitar) George Vukan (piano)
Benoit Charvet, Hugo Rasmussen (bass)
Franco Manzecchi (drums) Steve Boston (congas)
Arrangements by Ernie Wilkins
  1. Swiss Air
  2. All Too Soon
  3. Mumbling in the Alps
  4. Stardust
  5. Broadway Joe
  6. Levee Camp Blues
Recorded at the Casino De Montreux, Switzerland on June 22, 1969

Larry Young - Testifying

Organist Larry Young was 19 when he made this, his debut recording. Although he would become innovative later on, Young at this early stage was still influenced by Jimmy Smith, even if he had a lighter tone; the fact that he used Smith's former guitarist, Thornel Schwartz, and a drummer whose name was coincidentally Jimmie Smith kept the connection strong. R&B-ish tenor Joe Holiday helps out on two songs, and the music (standards, blues and ballads) always swings. Easily recommended to fans of the jazz organ. Scott Yanow

Young was to achieve almost legendary status with bands like Lifetime and Love Cry Want, and on Miles Davis's electronic masterpiece, Bitches Brew. On all three, and on one-off sessions like John McLaughlin's Devotion, he traded on a wild, abstract expressionist approach, creating great billowing sheets of sound. It's unfortunate that much of what survives of his work outside these groups is a throwback to the organ-guitar-drums jazz he was leaving behind at the end of the '60s. Testifying and Young Blues are both pretty callow, squarely in the Jimmy McGriff mould; Schwartz played with Jimmy for a time. Even so, both sets show a measure of the tonal sophistication Young was to display in later years. James Blood Ulmer fans would sense a kindred spirit on tracks like "Exercise for Chihuahuas" and "Some Thorny Blues" and the title-number on Testifying

Larry Young (organ)
Joe Holiday (tenor sax 3,7)
Thornel Schwartz (guitar)
Jimmie Smith (drums)

1. Testifying
2. When I Grow Too Old To Dream
3. Exercise For Chihuahuas
4. Falling In Love With Love
5. Some Thorny Blues
6. Wee Dot
7. Flamingo

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Aug. 2, 1960

Dexter Gordon - Our Man In Paris (RVG)

One of the most successful of Blue Note's 'blue' period and an album that remains his finest work. Although his tenor sax occasionally grates, this is a brilliant example of late bebop. Supported by Bud Powell (piano), Kenny Clarke (drums) and Pierre Michelot (bass), the simple quartet sound coolly in control. 'Willow Weep For Me' is played with great beauty and 'A Night in Tunisia' is yet another well-crafted version. The wonderful bonus of 'Our Love Is Here To Stay' and 'Like Someone In Love' (from Powell's Alternate Takes) on the CD reissue puts this album in the first division.

Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone)
Bud Powell (piano)
Pierre Michelot (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. Scrapple From The Apple
2. Willow Weep For Me
3. Broadway
4. Stairway To The Stars
5. A Night In Tunisia
6. Our Love Is Here To Stay
7. Like Someone In Love

Recorded at CBS Studios, Paris, France on May 23, 1963

Benny Golson And The Philadelphians

The title of this 1998 CD reissue is a little inaccurate. This set does have a six-song session with the all-Philadelphia crew of tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Philly Joe Jones. But there are also four numbers from a month later in which Golson and pianist Bobby Timmons are joined by a trio of Frenchmen: trumpeter Roger Guerin (who was actually the date's leader), bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Christian Garros. Ironically, the previous Swing LP had the equally inaccurate title of Benny Golson In Paris; the first date was actually cut in New York. In any case, the music is quite enjoyable, and the two dates match well together. Golson, Morgan and Bryant take excellent solos on three Golson tunes and one apiece by Bryant, John Lewis ("Afternoon In Paris") and Gigi Gryce. The French session finds the band performing four numbers from the Jazz Messengers songbook: "Stablemates" (which is on both dates), "Moanin'," "I Remember Clifford" and "Blues March." Guerin sounds fine filling in for Lee Morgan. Throughout, Golson is at the peak of his playing ability, and he often emerges as the solo star. Recommended for hard bop collectors. ~ Scott Yanow

Benny Golson (tenor saxophone)
Lee Morgan, Roger Guerin (trumpet)
Ray Bryant, Bobby Timmons (piano)
Percy Heath, Pierre Michelot (bass)
Philly Joe Jones, Christian Garros (drums)

1. Your Not The kind
2. Blues On My Mind
3. Stablemates
4. Thursday's Theme
5. Afternoon In Paris
6. Calgary
7. Blues March
8. I Remember Clifford
9. Moanin'
10. Stablemates (Second Version)

Recorded at Nola's Penthouse, New York, New York on November 17, 1958 and in Paris, France on December 12, 1958

Kenny Burrell - On View At The Five Spot Cafe

This likable live set from guitarist Kenny Burrell has a strong supporting cast (Tina Brooks on tenor, either Bobby Timmons or Roland Hanna on piano, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Art Blakey) and the original five-song program has been expanded on this CD to eight tunes. The swinging music, highlighted by "Lady Be Good," "Birks Works," the blues "36-23-36," and Burrell's feature on "Lover Man," is quite mainstream for the period and predictably excellent. Scott Yanow

Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Tina Brooks (tenor saxophone)
Bobby Timmons, Roland Hanna (piano)
Ben Tucker (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

1. Birk's Works
2. Lady Be Good
3. Lover Man
4. Swingin'
5. Hallelujah
6. Beef Stew Blues
7. If You Could See Me Now
8. 36-23-36

Recorded live at the Five Spot Cafe, New York, New York on August 25, 1959

Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin' (RVG)

Sonny Clark's classic COOL STRUTTIN' is a session that epitomizes the Blue Note golden era. A celebrated cast that includes Clark, Art Farmer, Jackie McLean, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones in their prime swings and struts its way through Clark's originals and some choice standards. Bluesy swingers like Clark's smoky title cut and scorching burners like Miles Davis's "Sippin' at Bells" offer swinging grooves at opposing extremes that serve as vehicles for stellar solo spots by all. Intricate tunes like Clark's energetic "Blue Minor" and a blistering read of Rodgers and Hart's "Lover" are held in tight check by the consummate rhythm team of Chambers and Jones. The tracks also provide excellent breathing room for Farmer, McLean, and Clark to strut their stuff. The lone trio cut is the swinging "Deep Night," which showcases Clark's sharp technique and tasteful touch. In all, this is an essential disc for connoisseurs of the classic hard-bop period, a period that continues to inspire future generations.

Sonny Clark (piano)
Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Paul Chambers (acoustic bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Cool Struttin'
2. Blue Minor
3. Sippin' At Bells
4. Deep Night
5. Royal Flush
6. Lover

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jerey on January 5, 1958

Andrew Hill - Dusk

Alfred Lion, founder of Blue Note records, reaction to encountering pianist Andrew Hill's music said it was exactly like the experience he had the first time he heard Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. Lion and Blue Note devoted most of the 1960s to recording sessions for Hill. His sixties sessions were unique post-Monk visions somewhere between bop and the avant-garde. Like Herbie Nichols, Hill didn't receive the deserved public recognition during his Blue Note career. And unlike Monk, he didn't persist in the New York scene suffering in semi-obscurity until being “discovered” by the masses. Hill moved to the West Coast, spending the 1970s and 80s teaching and performing solo recitals.

His return to New York a few years ago signaled a readiness to enter the jazz dialogue once again. Earlier this year, he, along with guitarist Jim Hall, sat in as sidemen on Greg Osby's four star recording The Invisible Hand (Blue Note). This release, as leader for Palmetto, assembles a quintet of instruments that parallel his 60s opus Point Of Departure. Eschewing bop for melancholy, Hill's all too personal music is thoughtful, meditative, and accessibly intellectual. He has found a musical soulmate in alto saxophonist Marty Ehrlich. The 45 year-old reedist plays a cerebral horn a la John Carter and Julius Hemphill. Joined by young lion Greg Tardy and Ron Horton of the Jazz Composer's Alliance, Hill develops a complete suite of music. From horn chorale work to the Monk influenced piano of “ML,” Hill plays with shifting time sequences and patterns. Exactly the attractiveness he has to Greg Osby and his sidemen Ehrlich and Horton. “Tough Love” opens with an allusion to “Thanks For The Memories” before exercising some elegant demons. “15/8” another variant timepiece allows his rhythm section to boil, with Ehrlich, Tardy and Horton letting their respective big dogs eat. Hill's music of the sixties opened doors for musicians like Anthony Braxton, Myra Melford, Dave Douglas, and Greg Osby. His return to the New York spotlight will definitely nudge the jazz world into new and creative directions. Mark Corroto

Andrew Hill (piano)
Ron Horton (trumpet)
Greg Tardy (tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute)
Marty Ehrlich (alto saxophone)
Scott Colley (bass)
Billy Drummond (drums)

1. Dusk
2. ML
3. Ball Square
4. Tough Love
5. Sept
6. T.C.
7. 15/8
8. Focus

Recorded on September 15 and October 27, 1999

Keith Jarrett - Mysteries: The Impulse Years

This is the entire 1975-76 output of Jarrett's quartet, with alternate takes.

"At two marathon three-day recording sessions in December 1975 and October 1976, the finest group that pianist Keith Jarrett ever led (his quartet/quintet with tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Paul Motian and, on the first sessions, percussionist Guilherme Franco) recorded enough material for four memorable albums: Shades, Mysteries, Byablue and Bop-Be. This four-CD 1996 box set has the complete sessions, including 11 previously unreleased alternate takes. Jarrett's inside/outside music (his unisons with Redman had a unique sound) both held onto the tradition of chordal improvisation and were reminiscent of Ornette Coleman's earlier acoustic groups. There are a few brief exotic sound explorations, but most of the music (best shown on the opening "Shades of Jazz") extends the swinging tradition into complex areas that have yet to be fully explored by others. Continually fascinating music."

"The Norwegian novelist and Nobel laureate Kunt Hamsun had left a great impression on Keith Jarrett. For instance, Mysteries --which inspired the title of one of the Keith Jarrett LPs reissued here-- tells the story of a restless, flamboyant, and iconclastic stranger who spends the summer in a small town. In the mid-70s, Jarrett managed to create in jazz a new expressionism of his own. His music of this time was a hybrid: primarily, it combined the intensely lyrical, often weighty romanticism of his solo piano music with the quite different demands and techniques of Ornette Coleman's free-jazz revolution 15 years earlier."

Keith Jarrett (piano)
Dewey Redman (tenor sax)
Charlie Haden (bass)
Paul Motian (drums)
Guilherme Franco (percussion)

Discs 1 and 2 were recorded at Generation Sound, NYC in 1975
Discs 3 and 4 were recorded at Generation Sound, NYC in 1976

Phil Woods Live at Duc des Lombards

Phil Woods and Friends inaugurate the gala reopening of this famous Paris nite-spot. A jazz date from Thursday Feb 21, 2008, re-broadcast on France Musique 'Jazz Club' last night, the 22nd. Claude Carrière et Jean Delmas are your hosts. Unfortunately France Musique had alloted only 2 hours for the show, so we miss the last 2 numbers.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

downbeat November 5, 1964

Buddy Rich - 1950-1955

As the Classics Chronological Series works its way into the early and mid-'50s, the magnitude of producer Norman Granz's achievement becomes increasingly apparent. Some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time -- Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Johnny Hodges, Lester Young -- were signed by Granz at a time when many Afro-American jazz musicians were struggling to get steady work, and jazz in general was beginning to take a back seat to pop vocals, R&B and rock & roll. Drummer and bandleader Buddy Rich had only just begun to lead a big band when the post-WWII restructuring of the entertainment industry edged him out (see Volume one in Rich's complete chronological recordings, 1946-1948 [Classics 1099]). He was able to continue making records by working with smaller groups, oftentimes at recording sessions supervised by Norman Granz. As the mastermind behind Jazz at the Philharmonic, Granz was adept at documenting live jam sessions. Fortunately the recording equipment was plugged in and running when Buddy Rich, Ray Brown and Hank Jones cooked up a frantic seven-minute version of "Air Mail Special" in front of a rowdy audience at Carnegie Hall on September 16, 1950. This explosive jam, which consists mainly of an extended crowd-pleasing drum solo, serves as a fiery prologue to the first of the Buddy Rich/Norman Granz studio sessions, all of which resulted in collectively swung jazz of the highest order. Granz had a knack for bringing together uncommonly gifted musicians, and Rich was very lucky to find himself recording with pianist Oscar Peterson and guitarist Herb Ellis; with trumpeters Harry "Sweets" Edison, Thad Jones and Joe Newman; and with saxophonists Benny Carter, Georgie Auld, Willie Smith, Ben Webster and Frank Wess. Buddy Rich is also heard exercising his tonsils. Sometimes compared with Frank Sinatra (his rival for the attentions of vocalist Edythe Wright during the Dorsey days), Rich was capable of crooning with convincing suavity, as could Woody Herman. Aside from his quasi-hip vocal on the novelty titled "Bongo, Bass and Guitar," this compilation contains four tracks with Rich standing away from the drums (Louie Bellson was brought in to man the kit) and concentrating upon the art of emitting songs through the mouth, accompanied by a small jazz combo sweetly augmented with strings under the direction of Howard Gibeling. Much more in line with Buddy Rich's regular modus operandi, this segment of his chronology concludes with two extended instrumental jams, each exceeding ten minutes in duration, recorded in New York on May 16, 1955. Arrogant, selfish, cruel and egotistical to the point of megalomania, Buddy Rich was an able percussionist capable of generating a lot of excitement with his drums and cymbals; he could drive an ensemble with plenty of steam, but most of his showy extended solos, which rely a lot on convulsive bouts of press rolling and restless parade ground paradiddling, lack the substance, depth and organic coherence of expanded improvisations created by Art Blakey, Max Roach and Elvin Jones. To call Buddy Rich the world's greatest drummer is just blarney. The person who made that claim most often was Buddy Rich himself. ~ arwulf arwulf

Buddy Rich (drums, vocal)
Hank Jones (piano)
Benny Carter (alto sax)
Georgie Auld (tenor sax)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Harry Edison (trumpet)
Oscar Peterson (piano)
Herb Ellis (guitar)
Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Thad Jones (trumpet)
Joe Newman (trumpet)

1. Carnegie Blues (Airmail Special)
2. Let's Fall in Love
3. Me and My Jaguar
4. Just Blues
5. Sweet' Opus No. 1
6. Bongo, Bass and Guitar
7. Strick It Rich (That's Rich)
8. Sportin' Life (Sweetie Pie)
9. Everything Happens to Me
10. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
11. Sure Thing
12. Glad to Be Unhappy
13. Sunday
14. Monster

Tommy Flanagan - Let's Play the Music of Thad Jones

This relatively little-known trio set by pianist Tommy Flanagan (with bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Lewis Nash) is a minor classic. Flanagan performs 11 of cornetist Thad Jones's compositions, the majority of which had never been played by a piano trio before. Easily the best-known selection is "A Child Is Born" with "Mean What You Say," "Three in One" and "Quietude" being the closest of the other songs to being standards. But, despite their relative obscurity, this body of work is quite diverse and flexible enough to be covered by other jazz musicians. Congratulations are due Tommy Flanagan for putting together a consistently swinging and tasteful salute to Thad Jones, a very talented composer. ~ Scott Yanow

Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Jesper Lundgaard (bass)
Lewis Nash (drums)

1. Let's
2. Mean What You Say
3. To You
4. Bird Song
5. Scratch
6. Thadrack
7. A Child Is Born
8. Three In One
9. Quietude
10. Zec
11. Elusive

Munchen, West Germany, April 4, 1993

VA - Blues For Tomorrow

"It was not uncommon for jazz record sessions of the Fifties to include an extra tune, leading in time to a previously-unissued anthology. This 1957 collection acheives unique and lasting status as a sort of "Tenor Sax Blues Summit" by virtue of two notable selections: some superb blowing by young Sonny Rollins and a long, funky work that brings together a still-powerful Coleman Hawkins and the newly-emerging John Coltrane."

The success of this project will make listeners wish jazz of this ilk had been more frequently released in nifty compilations such as this. It is like some kind of heat-and-serve DJ set, complete with a cover that looks like a hand-colored landscape shot from a '50s science fiction movie, perhaps "Invasion of the Bluesy Snatchers." A key part of the success of any compilation is to avoid the issue of quality through careful programming or some other inexplicable mojo. Since it is impossible for every track to have the same equal value, a compilation relies on charades, presenting an image of the epic and universal appeal of music as pure enjoyment, song to song, whether it is a genius leading the band or...well, Herbie Mann. It is surely no question of fame, since the latter artist was at least for a time the commercial equal if not the better of tenor saxophone genius Sonny Rollins, whose "Funky Hotel Blues" is the ultimate performance here. In terms of quality, comparing his improvisations with the flute wheezing of Mann is like comparing Chateaubriand with "hot 'em" burgers. Yet few listeners will probably bail out of the flutist's "A Sad Thing," possibly because there is a kind of intense happiness that comes from knowing it is the sole track by this Mann in the collection, but also because it is actually an effective, moody instrumental, and not the only one to be hampered not by the lack of a really good jazz soloist. Guitarist Mundell Lowe, who could always use some more recognition, becomes a champion by suggesting to his quintet "Let's Blow Some Blues." His playing is so strong that one imagines that if this performance had actually followed that of Rollins on a stage, nobody in the audience would have complained. There are many classic jazz players lurking in the wings as this collection of tracks unfolds. The first 13 and a half minutes would make a tremendous first act in a play, a loose jam on a tune by Gigi Gryce that is full of the marvelously happy spirit of hard bop. Eugene Chadbourne

1. The East Coast All-Stars
Ray Copeland (trumpet)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
Reeves Sound Studios, NYC, June 25, 1957

2. Herbie Mann's Californians
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Herbie Mann (flute, bass clarinet)
Jimmie Rowles (piano)
Buddy Clark (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Los Angeles, CA, July 3, 1957

3. Sonny Rollins Quartet
Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)
NYC, June 19, 1957

4. Mundell Lowe Quintet
Gene Quill (alto sax)
Billy Taylor (piano)
Mundell Lowe (guitar)
Les Grinage (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)
NYC, April 10, 1957

5. Bobby Jaspar Quartet
Bobby Jaspar (tenor sax, flute)
George Wallington (piano)
Wilbur Little (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)
NYC, May 28, 1957

1. Blues For Tomorrow
2. A Sad Thing
3. Funky Hotel Blues
4. Let's Blow Some Blues
5. The Fuzz

The Cedar Walton/Hank Mobley Quintet - Breakthrough!

As strong as pianist Cedar Walton plays on his session, the main honors are taken by two of his sidemen. Tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley, whose career was about to go into a complete eclipse, is in brilliant form, showing how much he had grown since his earlier days. Baritonist Charles Davis, who too often through the years has been used as merely a section player, keeps up with Mobley and engages in a particularly memorable tradeoff on the lengthy title cut. Mobley is well-showcased on "Summertime," Davis switches successfully to soprano on "Early Morning Stroll," and Walton (with the trio) somehow turns the "Theme From Love Story" into jazz. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Cedar Walton (piano)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Charles Davis (baritone, soprano sax)
Sam Jones (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Breakthrough
2. Sabia
3. House On Maple Street
4. Theme From Love Story
5. Summertime
6. Early Morning Stroll

Recorded on February 22, 1972

The Complete Verve/Clef Charlie Ventura & Flip Phillips Studio Sessions

AMG Review by Scott Yanow
Although they were never major influences, both Flip Phillips and Charlie Ventura had their moments of fame and were entertaining and hard-swinging tenor saxophonists. This 1998 limited-edition six-CD box set from Mosaic is typically wondrous with quite a few little-heard gems included among the 116 selections (five previously unreleased, three of which are alternate takes). The first two CDs feature Charlie Ventura during 1951-54, right after his "Bop for the People" band broke up. His seven sessions include a heated quintet with trumpeter Conte Candoli ("Bugle Call Rag" is a highlight), five separate quartets (with such notable players as pianists Marty Napoleon and Dave McKenna plus Buddy Rich), and a nonet date that has a few short solos from trumpeter Charlie Shavers and trombonist Kai Winding. Singer Mary Ann McCall is fine on five songs, although four less interesting numbers feature the Blentones, an indifferent vocal group. Ventura is heard on alto, baritone and his booming bass sax in addition to his trademark tenor, and was still in his prime. Flip Phillips is featured on the last four CDs on 16 sessions dating from 1947-54 and one in 1957. He is actually a sideman on sets headed by trombonist Tommy Turk, guitarist Nick Esposito and Buddy Rich (starring on the latter). Otherwise, Flip is largely the star, supported by trumpeters Howard McGhee, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Charlie Shavers, trombonist Bill Harris, pianists Hank Jones, Mickey Crane, Dick Hyman, Lou Levy and Oscar Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, and drummers J.C. Heard, Shelly Manne, Max Roach, Jo Jones and Rich, among others. With the exception of the Buddy Rich date (which is live), all of the music clocks in around three minutes apiece, so the musicians make expert use of their limited space. Highly recommended to bop and mainstream fans; get this very valuable set while you can.
My rip - Eac - flac - book - booklets - covers 300 dpi - Mosaic MD6-182
The scan of covers, book, etc., is in a separate file rar.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gerry Mulligan - Mulligan Plays Mulligan

Gerry Mulligan's first session as a leader and one of the first to showcase his baritone was recorded in New York shortly before he relocated to Los Angeles and formed his famous pianoless quartet with Chet Baker. There is a piano on this set (George Wallington) but Mulligan's writing (all seven selections are his) for a two-baritone nonet that also features trumpeter Nick Travis and tenor-saxophonist Allan Eager is already in his influential "cool style"; best-known among the originals is "Bweebida Bwobbida." Two numbers on the CD reissue feature a smaller unit out of the group with "Mulligan's Too" being an extended workout for the leader and Eager. ~ Scott Yanow

Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax)
Allen Eager (tenor sax)
George Wallington (piano)
Max McElroy (baritone sax)
Nick Travis (trumpet)
Phil Leshin (bass)
Walter Bolden (drums)
Gail Madden (maracas)

1. Funhouse
2. Ide's Side
3. Roundhouse
4. Kaper
5. Bweebida Babbida
6. Mullenium
7. Mulligan's Too

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on August 27, 1951

BabyBreeze said...

By request, I've uploaded Johnny Hartman's For Trane. Recorded in Japan, it features several musicians I've been listening heavily to lately, like Terumasa Hino and his bro, Motohiko.

Give my steady trickle of uploads I figured I'd go ahead and put up my own little site.

Visit it at:

Oscar Peterson and Jon Faddis

Prowita mentioned this in the comments to Faddis/Harper, and I remembered I hadn't upped all of the series. In comments are the links to this, and the Clark Terry and Sweets Edison discs - although I think they might be in Ogg format. (This is in Flac, though.) Still to come is the OP/Freddie Hubbard.

In the mid-'70s, Oscar Peterson recorded duet albums with veteran trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, and Harry "Sweets" Edison. He paid the young Jon Faddis a huge compliment by also recording a set with him. Faddis, very much under Gillespie's influence but already displaying a wide range, clearly enjoyed the challenge, and on a set of standards and basic material, he often tears into the songs with reckless abandon. The Peterson-Faddis encounter is generally quite exciting and a high point in the early career of Jon Faddis. Scott Yanow

Oscar Peterson (piano)
John Faddis (trumpet)

1. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
2. Autumn Leaves
3. Take The "A" Train
4. Blues For Birks
5. Summertime
6. Lester Leaps In

Recorded at RCA Recording Studios, New York on June 5, 1975

The New Sound of Maynard Ferguson and His Orchestra (1964)

After Maynard's Roulette years and before he recorded three albums for Mainstream, there were two albums released in 1964 by the little known Cameo label. The New Sounds of Maynard Ferguson and Come Blow Your Horn have subsequently been reissued by Fresh Sound on one CD containing both albums' entire output.

Though not up to the level of his Roulette albums or Mainstream's Color Him Wild (recorded later in '64), there are still some fine arrangements by Willie Maiden, Mike Abene, Don Sebesky, two by Oliver Nelson, and one apiece by Bill Holman, Don Rader and Al Cohn. The soloists aren't too shabby either with Lanny Morgan, Frank Vicari, Ronnie Cuber and Dusko Goykovich joining the leader. Among the highlights are "Cherokee", "Whisper Not", "Take the 'A' Train", "Danny Boy", and the two Oliver Nelson charts - "Groove" and "Blues for a Four String Guitar".

Maynard Ferguson (trumpet, valve trombone, french horn)
Nat Pavone, Rick Kiefer, Dusko Goykovich, Harry Hall (trumpet)
Don Doane, Kenny Rupp (trombone)
Lanny Morgan, Willie Maiden, Frank Vicari, Ronnie Cuber (reeds)
Mike Abene, Roger Kellaway (piano)
Linc Milliman (bass)
Rufus Jones, Tony Inzalaco (drums)
  1. Chicago
  2. Gravy Waltz
  3. Cherokee
  4. One O'Clock Jump
  5. Bossa Nova de Funk
  6. Whisper Not
  7. Take the "A" Train
  8. At the Sound of the Trumpet
  9. Maine Bone
  10. Watermelon Man
  11. Danny Boy
  12. Groove
  13. Country Boy
  14. We've Got a World That Swings
  15. Naked City Theme
  16. Blues for a Four String Guitar
  17. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
  18. New Hope
  19. Come Blow Your Horn
  20. Antony and Cleopatra Theme

Martial Solal Improvise - Broadcasts continued

Here is the third installment of the France Musique broadcasts of the 'Martial Solal Improvise' series. I've labeled them bc6 through bc10, but they are probably not in chronologial order, and two tracks are missing (cassette-recorder error!) This set has 3 or 4 tracks that were finally used on the 2-CD set. Also, there are again a few tunes whose name just escapes me, 'name-that-tune' for you experts. There are two tracks I've titled 'unidentified', and I think no-one will be able to name these. They are probably old French songs, and since I grew up in New York, not Paris...

Jon Faddis and Billy Harper - Jon & Billy

Faddis' debut as a leader. Believe it or not, the Penguin Guide has no listing for Faddis:Digby Fairweather, yes, Faddis no.

Jon Faddis and Billy Harper made an interesting, if at times mismatched team on this 1974 date recently reissued by Evidence. Faddis was then laboring to find his own voice on trumpet; his mentor Dizzy Gillespie remained both his predominant influence and stylistic guiding light. Harper had won critical attention and praise for his work with Lee Morgan, and his robust tenor sax was well displayed throughout this date. The times were probably responsible for Sir Roland Hanna sometimes turning to electric piano; his elegant figures, precise melodies, and harmonic interplay are not as expertly articulated on electric as acoustic, which he also plays. But the date's value is in hearing where Harper and Faddis as well as jazz itself were in the mid-'70s and then comparing how far they and the music have and have not come since then.

Billy Harper (tenor sax)
Jon Faddis (trumpet)
Roland Hanna (acoustic, electric piano)
George Mraz (bass)
Motohiko Hino (drums)
Cecil Bridgewater (kalimba)

1. Jon & Billy
2. Water Bridge: Mizu Hashi San
3. Ballad For Jon Faddis
4. Two D's From Shinjyuku, Dig & Dug
5. 17-Bar Blues
6. This All-Koredake

Recorded at Teichiku Studio, Tokyo, Japan on March 13, 1974

Ronnie Cuber - Cuber Libre (1976)

This quartet session was a perfect setting for baritonist Ronnie Cuber, who was 34 years old at the time. Joined by the impeccable pianist Barry Harris, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, Cuber gets to swing hard on such standards as "Star Eyes," "Rifftide," and "Tin Tin Deo." Throughout this bop-oriented date, Cuber shows why he has been considered one of the top masters of the baritone during the past 20 years. - Scott Yanow

Xanadu Records reissued some of their library on CD about ten years ago but appeared to give up on the rest. Unfortunately, this album, Ronnie Cuber's first as a leader, was not one of the ones chosen for reissue. But then again, this LP is still in great shape and is ready for you to download, listen and enjoy!
Ronnie Cuber (baritone sax)
Barry Harris (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)
  1. Star Eyes
  2. Rifftide
  3. Tin Tin Deo
  4. Samba D'Orfeo
  5. Misty
  6. Sudwest Funk
  7. Prince Albert
Recorded August 20, 1976

Stanley Turrentine - Up At Minton's

This 1961 live date from the legendary (and now-defunct) New York City jazz club is one of saxophonist Stanley Turrentine's finest. "Stanley's Tune" is a stately blues number that fits perfectly into the hard-bop style, and here Turrentine's solo is raucous at times, almost percussive in its delivery. "Later at Minton's" continues in the blues tradition, with a leisurely pace and solos that are decidedly relaxed and funky. On this track, the smoky timbre of Turrentine's horn is particularly reminiscent of the great Coleman Hawkins."Love for Sale" (at almost 15 minutes, the longest track on UP AT MINTON'S) begins with a tricky 12/8 Latin feel, then morphs (rather slyly) into an up-tempo bebop groove. The two-disc set's final track, "Summertime," is played as a bluesy ballad, with Turrentine's solo beginning with a series of long tones, then building to a sudden, but well-placed, flurry of notes. The backing band is also quite creative throughout, and, not surprisingly, guitarist Grant Green shines on each track.

1 But Not for Me (11:29)
2 Stanley's Time (11:03)
3 Broadway (10:38)
4 Yesterdays (11:39)

1 Later at Minton's (13:55)
2 Come Rain or Come Shine (8:34)
3 Love for Sale (15:11)
4 Summertime (7:14)

Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone)
Horace Parlan (piano)
Grant Green (guitar)
George Tucker (bass)
Al Harewood (drums)

Recorded live at Minton's, New York on February 23, 1961

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jonah Jones - Swingin' 'Round the World (1958)

A talented and flashy trumpeter, Jonah Jones hit upon a formula in 1955 that made him a major attraction for a decade; playing concise versions of melodic swing standards and show tunes muted with a quartet. But although the non-jazz audience discovered Jones during the late '50s, he had already been a very vital trumpeter for two decades. Jones started out playing on a Mississippi riverboat in the 1920s. He freelanced in the Midwest (including with Horace Henderson), was briefly with Jimmie Lunceford (1931), had an early stint with Stuff Smith (1932-1934), and then spent time with Lil Armstrong's short-lived orchestra and the declining McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Jones became famous for his playing with Stuff Smith's Onyx club band (1936-1940), recording many exciting solos. He gigged with Benny Carter and Fletcher Henderson and became a star soloist with Cab Calloway (1941-1952), staying with the singer even after his big band became a combo. Jones played Dixieland with Earl Hines (1952-1953), toured Europe in 1954 (including a brilliant recording session with Sidney Bechet), and then led his quartet at the Embers (1955), hitting upon his very successful formula. His shuffle version of "On the Street Where You Live" was the first of many hits and he recorded a long series of popular albums for Capitol during 1957-1963, switching to Decca for a few more quartet albums in 1965-1967. Jonah Jones recorded a fine date with Earl Hines for Chiaroscuro (1972) and still played on an occasional basis in the 1980s and early '90s; he died April 30, 2000, at the age of 91.

Due to his two big hits in 1957, 1958 was a busy year for trumpeter/vocalist Jonah Jones, who recorded five albums for Capitol, including this final effort. Most of Jones' dates were based around themes, and in this case he performed 11 songs having something to do with cities, countries or travel, including "Arrivederci Roma," "A Foggy Day," "Brazil," "Chicago," "Manhattan" and "Song of the Islands." Some of the songs are better served by Jones than others, and his formula with his quartet (which also included pianist Teddy Brannon, bassist John Brown and drummer George Foster) was just starting to run a little thin, although it would continue for another decade. - Scott Yanow

An interesting tidbit: Jonah Jones was the alleged trumpet player who threw the spitball that got Dizzy Gillespie fired from the Cab Calloway band.

Jonah Jones (trumpet, vocals)
Teddy Brannon (piano)
John Brown (bass)
George Foster (drums)
  1. Arrivederci Roma
  2. Swingin' 'Round the World
  3. South of the Border
  4. A Foggy Day
  5. April in Paris
  6. Brazil
  7. Madrid
  8. Chicago
  9. Manhattan
  10. Song of the Islands
  11. Isle of Capri
  12. Shanghai

Martial Solal & Friends at the 1988 Town Hall JVC Festival

Town Hall NYC Concert by Martial Solal, Daniel Humair, Michel Portal, Joachim Kühn, J.F. Jenny Clark and Marc Ducret. Recorded June 29, 1998 at the Town Hall JVC Festival. Full booklet scans included.

Johnny Hodges - The Jeep Is Jumpin'

Biography by Scott Yanow

Possessor of the most beautiful tone ever heard in jazz, altoist Johnny Hodges formed his style early on and had little reason to change it through the decades. Although he could stomp with the best swing players and was masterful on the blues, Hodges' luscious playing on ballads has never been topped. He played drums and piano early on before switching to soprano sax when he was 14. Hodges was taught and inspired by Sidney Bechet, although he soon used alto as his main ax; he would regretfully drop soprano altogether after 1940. His early experiences included playing with Lloyd Scott, Chick Webb, Luckey Roberts, and Willie "The Lion" Smith (1924), and he also had the opportunity to work with Bechet. However, Johnny Hodges' real career began in 1928 when he joined Duke Ellington's orchestra. He quickly became one of the most important solo stars in the band and a real pacesetter on alto; Benny Carter was his only close competition in the 1930s. Hodges was featured on a countless number of performances with Ellington and also had many chances to lead recording dates with Ellington's sidemen. Whether it was "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," "Come Sunday," or "Passion Flower," Hodges was an indispensable member of Ellington's orchestra in the 1930s and '40s. It was therefore a shock, in 1951, when he decided to leave Duke Ellington and lead a band of his own. Hodges had a quick hit in "Castle Rock" (which ironically showcased Al Sears' tenor and had no real contribution by the altoist), but his combo ended up struggling and breaking up in 1955. Hodges' return to Duke Ellington was a joyous occasion and he never really left again. In the 1960s, Hodges teamed up with organist Wild Bill Davis on some sessions, leading to Davis joining Ellington for a time in 1969. Johnny Hodges, whose unchanging style always managed to sound fresh, was still with Duke Ellington when he suddenly died in 1970.

Disc 1: Hodge Podge - 25 tracks
Disc 2: Day Dream - 24 tracks
Disc 3: A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing - 22 tracks
Disc 4: Castle Rock - 23 tracks

Box Proper - My rip: Eac - Flac - Covers - Booklet 44 pag at 300 dpi


Liszt - 12 Transcendental Etudes - Boris Berezovsky

OK, since we all appreciate keyboard wizardry as we have been listening to on the Martial Solal recordings, here's a little long-hair music that should terrify all those who play piano. Liszt (and Rachmaninov too) composed many solo piano works that were, it seems, designed to show off the instrument itself in all its possibilities. These included some of the most technically difficult works ever composed.

I said in a previous post that the piano was the instrument on which you could play a helluva lot of notes in a very short space of time. Well, have a listen to Boris Berezovsky, a young pianist whose sheer technical mastery we haven't seen since Horowitz, yet neither he nor the composer could be accused of merely playing a lot of notes!

This recording was taken live at the Roque D'Antheron festival last summer in France (Martial Solal mentions this festival in the notes to the 'Piano Concertos' post) and so is not up to studio standards - some crowd and background noise, and some clipping I think as well - probably the recording engineers had their levels set a little to high, not realising the immense torrent of sound that Boris was about to make this piano deliver. The photo above is the CD studio-recorded version of the Etudes, now it seems out of print. If you'd like to hear more of Boris at his best, try the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #3, another work that even some top-rate concert pianists do not tackle. The conceto #3 was the work recently made famous (for the nth time) in the Scott Hicks' excellent 1996 film 'Shine' with Geoffrey Rush playing the part of Australian pianist David Helfgott.

Dizzy Reece - 1960 Comin' On!

For a short time in the late '50s trumpeter Dizzy Reece was an up-and-coming jazz artist. However, success eluded him and he quietly faded into obscurity, only occasionally releasing material after the early '60s. As a matter of fact, the sessions that became Comin' On! languished in the Blue Note vaults for almost four decades. Rediscovered in 1999, these dates feature six well-rounded hard bop compositions by Reece along with three standards. The tracks from April 3, 1960, not only document the Blue Note debut of tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine but also employ the talents of the Jazz Messengers' rhythm section of the time, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Jymie Merritt, and drummer Art Blakey. By July 17, 1960, the only musician remaining from the previous date was Turrentine, sharing tenor duties with Musa Kaleem, who is also heard on flute. (The later session's rhythm section had changed to pianist Duke Jordan, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Al Harewood). Neglected, although spirited, sessions from an underrated trumpeter and composer.
Review by Al Campbell

01 Ye Olde Blues (Reece) 6:40
02 The Case of the Frightened Lover (Reece) 5:42
03 Tenderly (Gross, Lawrence) 9:02
04 Achmet (Reece) 8:28
05 The Story of Love (Almaran, Thorn) 10:09
06 Sands* (Reece) 6:40
07 Comin' On* (Reece) 6:44
08 Goose Dance* (Reece) 6:49
09 The Things We Did Last Summer* (Cahn, Styne) 6:17

Art Blakey Drums
Al Harewood Drums*
Sam Jones Bass*
Duke Jordan Piano*
Musa Kaleem Flute, Sax (Tenor)*
Jymie Merritt Bass
Dizzy Reece Trumpet, Conga
Bobby Timmons Piano
Stanley Turrentine Sax (Tenor)

Recorded at The Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 3, 1960 and July 17, 1960*

Gary Burton and the Berklee Allstars

Gary Burton: Vibes
Bill Pierce: Tenor Sax
Larry Monroe: Alto Sax
Jeff Stout: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jim Kelly: Electric Guitar
Orville Wright: Acoustic Piano

Bruece Gertz: Electric Bass

Tommy Campbell: Drums

Recorded at JVC Aoyama Studios,
Tokyo, July 28th, 1985

Gary Burton at the NICE JVC Jazz Fest

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Philly Joe Jones - Showcase

This 1959 session from drummer Philly Joe Jones not only showcases his inimitable drumming skills, but also his ability to play the piano and compose music. For example, his self-penned ballad "Gwen" is performed here with great success. Not only is it a well-written tune, Jones's piano playing on the track is dynamic and harmonically advanced.

Despite Jones's versatility, his drumming is still the album's main focus. For example, on "Joe's Debut," Jones takes a very lyrical solo, implying the tune's melody at each turn, proving that drums can be colorful, melodic instruments. Further, Jones's driving snare solo on "Minor Mode" really shows off his technical acumen; he displays some very fancy stick work here. The lush ballad "I'll Never Be the Same" serves as the perfect counterpoint to the drum-set features. On this track, there is wonderful interplay between the four horn players. Moreover, trumpeter Blue Mitchell's short solo is superbly rendered. His tone is crisp and pure and his use of vibrato (on only a few choice notes) makes his phrasing resonate with great clarity.

This is a particularly interesting hard bop-oriented set led by drummer Philly Joe Jones. Most unusual is "Gwen," a Jones ballad that has the leader on both piano and (via overdubbing) drums in a trio with bassist Jimmy Garrison. Otherwise, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, trombonist Julian Priester, tenor saxophonist Bill Barron, either Dolo Coker or Sonny Clark on piano, Garrison, and Jones form a sextet that performs modern tunes by Barron, Priester, and Jones, in addition to "I'll Never Be the Same" and Philly Joe's feature on "Gone" (based on the Miles Davis/Gil Evans interpretation of "Porgy and Bess"). A well-conceived, diverse, and recommended CD reissue. ~ Scott Yanow

Philly Joe Jones (piano, drums)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Bill Barron (tenor sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Charles (Dolo) Coker (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)

1. Battery Blues
2. Minor Mode
3. Gwen
4. Joe's Debut
5. Gone
6. Joe's Delight
7. Julia
8. I'll Never Be The Same
9. Interpretation

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York in November and December 1959

Martial Solal - Piano Concertos

Martial Solal in another setting altogether, as both composer for classical orchestra and master of keyboard improvisation. The notes, written by Martial, explain how these works were commissioned, composed and recorded. "The whole aim was to find a common ground for written jazz, improvised jazz and classical orchestral writing." Yet another recording long unavailable.

Dizzy Gillespie & The Double Six of Paris

AMG Review by Scott Yanow
This odd (but successful) matchup finds The Double Six of Paris singing vocalese in French to a dozen bebop classics associated with Dizzy Gillespie. Gillepie with pianist Bud Powell and a rhythm section take solos that uplift this date; two songs feature his quintet (with James Moody on alto). Not for all tastes, this is a unique addition to Dizzy Gillespie's discography.


1 Emanon
2 Anthropology
3 Tin Tin Deo
4 One Bass Hit
5 Two Bass Hit
6 Groovin' High
7 Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee
8 Hot House
9 Con Alma
10 Blue 'N' Boogie
11 The Champ
12 Ow!

Credits: Dizzy Gillespie (tp), Bud Powell (p), Kenny Barron (p), James Moody (as), Chris White (b), Pierre Michelot (b),Rudy Collins (d), Kenny Clarke (d)
Vocals: Ward Swingle, Bob Smart, Mimi Perrin, Eddy Louiss, Christiane Legrand, Jean-Claude Briodin
Arranger: Lalo Schifrin
My rip: Eac - Flac - covers 300 dpi

Dizzy Gillespie - The New Continent (1962)

A year after Lalo Schifrin wrote Gillespiana he was commisioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival to compose another work for Dizzy. Not wanting to repeat himself with a second Gillespiana, Schifrin decided to compose a more complex work while taking advantage of Dizzy's love for a variety of forms, modes and rhythms. The result was The New Continent. This was the last original work composed by Lalo Schifrin for Gillespie during his two years with the band. It was premiered at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival in September and recorded just prior and after the festival.

Played by Dizzy Gillespie, composed by Lalo Schifrin, conducted by Benny Carter, and produced by Quincy Jones, The New Continent was ripped from the original Limelight mono LP. There was a Japanese CD issued in 2002 but is now oop. I would love to get a copy of the CD if anyone has it.

Dizzy Gillespie (leader, trumpet)
Lalo Schifrin (composer, piano)
Benny Carter (conductor)
Quincy Jones (producer)
Al Porcino, Ray Triscari, Stu Williamson, Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Frank Rosolino, Mike Barone, Bob Edmondson, Kenny Shroyer (trombone)
Phil Woods, Charlie Kennedy, James Moody, Bill Perkins, Bill Hood (reeds)
Ches Thompson, Stewart Rensey, Luis Kant (french horn)
Red Callender (tuba)
Al Hendrickson (guitar)
Buddy Clark, Chris White (bass)
Mel Lewis, Rudy Collins (drums)
Emil Richards, Larry Bunker, Francisco Aquabella (percussion)
  1. The Legend of Atlantis
  2. The Empire
  3. The Conquerors
  4. The Chains
  5. The Swords
  6. Chorale

Jack West and Curvature | Around About Now

Here's an interesting band and . . . they have a pedal steel player, so I thought it a reasonable follow for my recent Buddy Emmons posts. I don't love this band, but I do find them interesting and somewhat innovative. Certainly worth a listen.

Here's what CD Baby has to say:

"stunning...fuses bebop-inspired jazz, folk, and a jam band attitude into an irresistibly cool, intriguingly textured style." - Acoustic Guitar Magazine, July 2003

"Remarkable, unusual, wondrous!" - Down Beat

"...West's unorthodox approach always breathes deep with originality" - Creative Loafing, Atlanta

Curvature's new release, Around About Now, is a dynamic collection of smokin' tunes - definitely Curvature at their most gregarious. Produced by Jack West with generous assistance from Lee Townsend, Curvature's fifth CD showcases seven of West's new compositions presented by the ensemble on unusual and wonderful instrumentation. Around About Now integrates West's unique take on acoustic jazz and blues with elements of country, electronic music, hip/hop and gospel brought in by the ensemble. Featuring Jack West on 8-string acoustic guitar, Joel Davel on electronic marimba, David Phillips on 14-string pedal steel, and drummer Darian Gray. These world-class musicians have developed masterful improvisational techniques and tight ensemble timing.

Although West is hesitant to categorize his music, he defines it as "modern American music by a musician from Georgia that's living in the diverse cultural landscape of California." Residing in the San Francisco Bay Area has allowed Jack to experiment with unusual combinations of instruments that give shape to his compositions and have helped him develop his style. It has also given him a chance to work with a slew of top Bay Area artists: Mike Marshall, Calder Spanier (formerly with Charlie Hunter Quartet), Scott Amendola, Jon Evans, George Brooks (Zakir Hussain's Rhythm Experience), Jenny Scheinman, Mark Summer (Turtle Island String Quartet), and many others.

Make no mistake, Jack West is on the path less taken. It's not only that he plays the eight-string acoustic guitar, a unique instrument that he had specially constructed while searching for the sounds he had been hearing in his mind. West is a musician dedicated to exploring uncharted territory, mapping stunning, minutely detailed soundscapes that feel uncannily familiar and yet completely fresh. This is heady music and there is a rigorous sense of structure to many of West's tunes. But in the fine-grained textures he creates with his quartet, there's also an intuitive sense of interplay and generosity of spirit found in the finest jazz ensembles. "My main goal as a writer has always been to try and create music that sounds like something I haven't heard," says the Oakland-based guitarist. "For me, song writing is usually a process of following. I never sit down to intentionally write a tune-I just start to play, then as new ideas happen, I try to follow the ones that surprise me...the ones that don't sound like anything I've ever heard before."

A mostly self-taught musician, West, 35, grew up in Savannah, Georgia and moved to California for college. After 7 years of playing mostly original rock, blues, and Afropop, he decided to work in an acoustic vein. Even before he hired Santa Cruz guitar-maker Jeff Traugott to build his eight-string instrument, West had developed a highly personal sound using unusual tunings and a dazzling combination of bluesy slide work, finger-picking, and unorthodox percussive techniques. The extra strings, a low A and a high A, have enabled West to further expand his bag of tricks, for instance slapping a percussive line on the extra bass string while simultaneously playing slide or creating screaming-high octave slide runs with his first and third strings.

West's innovative yet accessible compositions combined with Curvature's dynamic concert performances are rapidly creating a buzz on both coasts. Though he may be an artist with big ideas, there's nothing academic about Curvature's sound. West's music is as emotionally vibrant and pulsing with life as any being created today. And his rapidly growing fan base in the jazz, acoustic, and jam communities is a testament to the timeless appeal of the curved musical reflections of this honest and talented rising star.

"A whole new sub-genre of jazz" - National Public Radio

"...sounds like something never heard before...nothing short of astounding!"- Oakland Tribune

"Curvature explores an original, rhythmically astute amalgam of blues, jazz, funk, and folk. Although complex in terms of time signatures and improvisations, Curvature's music is immediately accessible, owing to West's beguiling melodic sensibility and his absorbing percussive attack." - SF Bay Guardian

"serious talent...serious ideas...a technically gifted guitarist determined to create a sound and a grove that's totally out of bounds from most of the formulaic jam band music..."- Flagpole, Athens

"Jack West is not only a fine musician, but he has an original approach and sounds like no one else. To my mind, that is one of the most important qualities that a musician can possess." - Lee Townsend

"Bold, boundless exploration...seamless ensemble give and take...West's fluid, innovative guitar stylings are matched in daring and virtuosity by the contributions of his sidemen. By all means, expect the unexpected." - Pacific Sun.

"Jack West negotiates surprising twists and turns and attains boggling musical heights...remarkable." - SF Bay Guardian.

"...unique and enchanting...otherworldly..." - Connect Savannah "Hauntingly beautiful...gorgeous, tightly structured compositions built on shifting rhythmic patterns...extraordinary!" - East Bay Express

"Jack West snaps & slides out mellow, woody jazz compositions that are both technically improbable and sonically impressive...his unorthodox approach always breathes deep with originality." - Creative Loafing, Atlanta

"[Big Ideas is] a remarkable outing of cool curves, gently sloping musical parabolas, & wondrous bends in compositional structure. With rhythm at the fore West offers unusual sound colors, fluid slide work, & percussive attack" - Down Beat

Backwards Over Bend
Balance Like This
Conversation #3
What Next to What?
Not What You Think
Christina's Song

Frank Morgan - Listen To The Dawn

Listen to the Dawn is a rare example of Frank Morgan recording an entire album without a pianist. The veteran alto saxophonist, who was only two weeks away from his 60th birthday when this post-bop/be bop CD was recorded, evidently wanted to try something a bit different -- and it was a move that paid off creatively. Whether he's forming an intimate duo with guitarist Kenny Burrell or forming a quartet with Burrell, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Grady Tate, Morgan fares quite well without a pianist. This isn't an album of fast tempos and high-speed aggression -- from Burrell offerings like "Listen to the Dawn" and "Remembering" to highly personal interpretations of Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye," Duke Ellington's "I Didn't Know About You" (which becomes a sexy bossa nova), and the standard "It Might as Well Be Spring," Morgan is especially introspective and really takes time to reflect. This compelling CD should not be missed. ~ Alex Henderson

Frank Morgan (alto sax)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Ron Carter (bass)
Grady Tate (drums)

1. Listen To The Dawn
2. Grooveyard
3. Remembering
4. Little Waltz
5. It Might As Well Be Spring
6. When Joanna Loved Me
7. I Didn't Know About You
8. Goodbye

Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster

AMG review by Ken Dryden
Although an earlier CD added five previously unissued tracks to the original LP Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster, this Verve Master Edition two-CD set adds just about everything else recorded during the two sessions that produced the original record, and also features 20-bit sound. Even though Gerry Mulligan was outspoken against issuing material omitted from his original recordings, it is a treat to hear how the songs evolved in the studio. Webster and Mulligan seem mutually inspired throughout the sessions, and strong performances by pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Mel Lewis are of considerable help. The music is presented in the order in which it was recorded, with each CD devoted to a separate session. In both cases it is clear that the initial takes of music from the Ellington songbook ("In a Mellotone" and "Chelsea Bridge") are more focused than the follow-up versions. They only needed one try to nail "What Is This Thing Called Love?" (also left off the LP), in an understated setting that shows off their beautiful interplay. Their barely disguised reworking of "I Got Rhythm," called "Who's Got Rhythm," was likely an effortless performance, though Webster seems to briefly laugh in the middle of his solo. Webster's swinging "Fajista" opens the second date, followed by two takes of Mulligan's beautiful ballad "Tell Me When." Webster's "Blues in B-Flat" is another fine swinger inexplicably left off the LP, and Rowles kicks off the oldie "Sunday" with a brief stride piano introduction (something Webster played himself but rarely in a recording studio). Fans on a budget can probably make due with the earlier CD reissue but serious fans of Mulligan and/or Webster should invest in this very rewarding set instead.
Recorded Nov 3, 1959-Dec 2, 1959


1 In a Mellow Tone (Baby, You and Me)
2 In a Mellow Tone
3 What Is Thing Called Love
4 Chelsea Bridge [LP Master Take]
5 Chelsea Bridge
6 Go Home [Breakdown Rehearsal/False Start]
7 Go Home [LP Master Take]
8 Who's Got Rhythm [LP Master Take]
9 For Bessie [CD Master Take]
10 Go Home [End of Unedited 3]
11 Go Home [Unedited Insert]
12 Fajista [False Start]
13 Fajista
14 Fajista [Discussion/Rehearsal]
15 Fajista [CD Master Take]
16 Tell Me When
17 Tell Me When [LP Master Take]
18 Blues in B Flat [Breakdown/Discussion/False Start]
19 Blues in B Flat
20 Blues in B Flat [CD Master Take]
21 Cat Walk [Rehearsal/Discussion/False Start/Breakdown]
22 Cat Walk
23 Cat Walk [Warm Up/Breakdown]
24 Cat Walk [LP Master Take]
25 Sunday [False Start. Alternative Take]
26 Sunday [LP Master Take]

My rip - Eac - Flac - Covers 300 dpi

Monday, February 18, 2008

Don Pullen - Tomorrow's Promises

Dude's got some big fuckin' hands.

This early Don Pullen recording helped introduce him to jazz listeners. The pianist is heard in a variety of settings including a duet with multireedist George Adams on "Last Year's Lies and Tomorrow's Promises," and in two groups with Adams and trumpeter Hannibal Marvin Peterson. Actually the most accessible and memorable piece is the rollicking "Big Alice" which also features violinist Michal Urbaniak and trumpeter Randy Brecker. Pullen, a very rhythmic avant-gardist who can play inside or outside, was well-served by this release. ~ Scott Yanow

Don Pullen developed a surprisingly accessible way of performing avant-garde jazz. Although he could be quite free harmonically, with dense, dissonant chords, Pullen also utilized catchy rhythms, so even his freest flights generally had a handle for listeners to hang on to. The combination of freedom and rhythm gave him his own unique musical personality. Pullen, who came from a musical family, studied with Muhal Richard Abrams (with whom he played in the Experimental Band) and, in 1964, made his recording debut with Giuseppi Logan. In the 1960s, he recorded free duets with Milford Graves, led his own bands, and played organ with R&B groups, backing Big Maybelle and Ruth Brown, among others. Although he worked with Nina Simone (1970-1971) and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1974), Pullen became famous as the pianist with Charles Mingus' last great group (1973-1975). From 1979-1988, he co-led a notable inside/outside quartet with tenor saxophonist George Adams that was in some ways an extension of Mingus' band. In later years, Pullen led his African-Brazilian Connection and recorded with Kip Hanrahan, Roots, John Scofield, David Murray, Mingus Dynasty, and Jane Bunnett, among others. His last project found the always searching pianist seeking to fuse jazz with traditional Native American music. Although his life was too short, Don Pullen fortunately did make a fair amount of recordings as a leader, including for Sackville (1974), Horo, Black Saint, Atlantic (his funky "Big Alice" became a near-standard), and Blue Note. ~ Scott Yanow

Don Pullen (piano, electric piano, clavinet)
George Adams (tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet, flute)
Michael Urbaniak (violin)
Randy Brecker (trumpet)
Hannibal Marvin Peterson (trumpet)
Sterling Magee, Roland Prince (guitar)
John Flippen, Alex Blake (bass)
Rita DaCosta (vocal)
Tyronne Walker, Ray Mantilla, Bobby Battle (drums, percussion)
1. Big Alice
2. Autumn Song
3. Poodie Pie
4. Kadji
5. Last Year's Lies And Tomorrow's Promises
6. Let's Be Friends

Phineas Newborn, Jr. - Back Home

On one of Phineas Newborn's final recordings (although he would live until 1989), the brilliant but ill pianist is reunited with the rhythm team that he had recorded with in 1969: bassist Ray Brown and drummer Elvin Jones. Actually, despite his health problems, Newborn was always superlative on records, and his playing on five straight-ahead standards (including "No Moon at All" and "Love for Sale") and three of his originals is excellent. ~ 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. ~ Scott Yanow

Phineas Newborn, Jr. (piano)
Ray Brown (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

1. Sugar Ray
2. Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good)
3. Watch What Happens
4. No Moon At All
5. Back Home
6. On Green Dolphin Street
7. Pamela
8. Love For Sale

Contemporary Records' Studio, Los Angeles, September 17-18, 1976

mal waldron- with steve lacy(sempre amore) and marion brown(songs of love and regret)

zero .. has sent a couple more great waldron uploads..
i too have both of these but am unable to upload at the moment ( and this saves me ripping the lp's)
i thoroughly recommend both of these, and songs of love and regret in particular.
those who have not heard marion browns unique approach to ballad material will be delighted by his unusually imaginative approach.
sempre amore is an all strayhorn/Ellington program more conventional perhaps ,but equally beautiful.
thanks zero!!
Mal Waldron & Marion Brown - Songs of Love and Regret
1. Blue Monk (Thelonious Monk) 7:18 , 2. A Cause De Monk (Mal Waldron) 6:40 , 3. To the Golden Lady In Her Graham Cracker Window (Marion Brown) 5:36, 4. Contemplation (McCoy Tyner) 8:095. Hurry Sundown (Clarence Williams) 4:42, 6. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing (Billy Strayhorn) 8:04, 7. Blue Monk (take 2) (Thelonious Monk) 15:42
Mal Waldron - pianoMarion Brown - alto sax Gimmick Studio, Yerres, FranceNovember 8 and 10, 1985
Mal Waldron & Steve Lacy - Sempre Amore
1. Johnny Come Lately (Strayhorn) 6:47, 2. Prelude To A Kiss (Ellington, Gordon, Mills) 5:36, 3. Star-Crossed Lovers (Strayhorn, Ellington) 4:36, 4. To The Bitter (Ellington) 5:21, 5. Azure (Ellington, Mills) 4:22, 6. Sempre Amore (Ellington) 4:44, 7. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing (Strayhorn) 5:18, 8. Smada (Strayhorn, Ellington) 7:04
Steve Lacy - soprano saxMal Waldron - piano Barigozzi Studio, Milan, ItalyFebruary 17, 1986

Woody Shaw - Two More Pieces of the Puzzle

This 1998 release combines all of the music from two of Woody Shaw's Muse albums: The Woody Shaw Concert Ensemble and The Iron Men. The former date matches the great trumpeter and his regular group of the period (altoist Rene McLean, pianist Ronnie Mathews, bassist Stafford James and drummer Louis Hayes) with tenor saxophonist Frank Foster and trombonist Slide Hampton for a frequently exciting Berlin concert. There are no slow moments, and although some of the obscure originals are quite lengthy (with Joe Chambers' "Hello to the Wind" reaching nearly 17 minutes), the solos are consistently creative and often quite explorative. 'The Iron Men' is particularly intriguing, for it teams Shaw (who is in prime form on both dates) with such advanced players as altoist Arthur Blythe, Anthony Braxton (on alto and soprano), pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, bassist Cecil MeBee and either Joe Chambers or Victor Lewis on drums. The personnel and instrumentation differ from track to track, with the highlights includes Eric Dolphy's "Iron Man" and Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz"; the latter has Braxton playing clarinet. A couple of brief free improvisations by the trio of Shaw, Abrams and McBee, in addition to Andrew Hill's "Symmetry" and the leader's "Song of Songs," round out this fascinating set. A generous and highly recommended CD.

CD 1 - originally issued as The Woody Shaw Concert Ensemble in January 1977

Woody Shaw (trumpet, percussion)
Rene McLean (alto sax, flute, percussion)
Frank Foster (tenor, soprano sax)
Slide Hampton (trombone, percussion)
Ronnie Mathews (piano)
Stafford James (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Hello to the Wind
2. Obsequious
3. Jean Marie
4. In the Land of the Blacks (Bilad as Sudan)
Recorded November 6, 1976 in Berlin

CD 2 - originally issued as The Iron Men in July 1977

Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet)
Arthur Blythe (alto sax)
Anthony Braxton (alto sax)
Muhal Richard Abrams (piano)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Joe Chambers (drums)
Victor Lewis (drums)

1. Iron Man
2. Jitterbug Waltz
3. Symmetry
4. Diversion One
5. Song of Songs
6. Diversion Two
April 6 and 13, 1977 in New York City

Barry Harris - At the Jazz Workshop

Harris is still active, and conducts jazz education classes in New York.

Pianist Barry Harris' second recording as a leader (he led a set for Argo in 1958) finds him at the age of 30 playing in the same boppish style he would have throughout his career. Teamed up with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, this live CD reissue (which adds three alternate takes to the original LP program) is an excellent example of Harris' playing. Highlights of the enthusiastic straight-ahead set (which includes three obscure but worthy originals by the pianist) include "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby," "Moose the Mooche" and "Woody'n You." ~ Scott Yanow

Barry Harris (Piano)
Louis Hayes (Drums)
Sam Jones (Bass)

1. Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby (take 2)
2. Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby (take 1)
3. Curtain Call
4. Star Eyes
5. Moose The Mooche
6. Lolita
7. Morning Coffee
8. Don't Blame Me (take 2)
9. Don't Blame Me (take 1)
10. Woody'n You (take 2)
11. Woody'n You (take 1)

Stan Hasselgard & Benny Goodman - Live at Click (1948)

AMG review by Scott Yanow

Were it not for his tragic death in a car accident late in 1948, Stan Hasselgard might be remembered as one of jazz's top clarinetists. He had impressed Benny Goodman to the point that Goodman used him as part of his septet for a few weeks in 1948. Although no commercial recordings resulted due to a recording strike, the group (which also featured tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray and pianist Teddy Wilson) was broadcast regularly from the Click in Philadelphia. Virtually all of the existing joint Goodman-Hasselgård airchecks are included on this Dragon CD, which adds a few more performances to the original program of the LP of the same name. The boppish music is often fascinating and Benny Goodman ("The King of Swing") fits quite well into the advanced arrangements. The recording quality is generally decent and, due to the historic nature of these timeless (and rather unique) performances, very acceptable.


1. Cookin' One Up
2. Swedish Pastry
3. All the Things You Are
4. Mary's Idea
5. Swedish Pastry
6. After You've Gone
7. Bye Bye Pretty Baby
8. Mary's Idea
9. Mel's Idea
10. Bye Bye Pretty Baby
11. Mel's Idea
12. (Back Home Again In) Indiana
13. Bye Bye Blues
14. Limehouse Blues
15. Donna Lee
16. Bye Bye Blues
17. Mel's Idea
18. Donna Lee
19. Swedish Pastry
20. Lullaby in Rhythm

Credits: Benny Goodman (cl), Stan Hasselgård (cl), Wardell Gray (ts), Teddy Wilson (p), Billy Bauer(g), Arnold Fishkind (b), Mel Zelnick (d).

My rip with Eac - Flac - Covers 300 dpi


Martial Solal Improvise - France Musique Broadcasts continued

Another installment from the 40 radio broadcasts from which the double album was compiled. This set consists of 2 shows, again probably not in chronological order. None of these tracks were released on the double-CD. The shows were recorded on Sunday afternoons from September 1993 to June 1994. Lend a hand and tell me the name of the selection I titled 'name that tune'! Also, the selection titled 'The End of a Love Affair' is maybe not that at all - Martial hits on so many tunes in this one it's anybody's guess what to call it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Buddy Emmons | Amazing Steel Guitar

Sax, guitar, piano, trumpet, a bit of voice . . . sax, guitar, piano, trumpet, a bit of voice . . . pretty much the same day after day after day . . . Bagpipes . . . now there's something different and here's some pedal steel guitar - also something a bit different. I really enjoy great pedal steel guitar and Buddy Emmons is one of its finest players. This reissue contains the 11 jazz tunes (tracks 6-16) on the original 1963 Mercury lp. Great stuff!! The other tracks, recorded between 1956 and 1959, are more country-ish but fun anyways. So open your minds...throw on a bit of jazzy pedal steel and listen top some great improvisations on the pedal steel guitar!!

AMG Review: Buddy Emmons wasn't the first musician to be featured playing a pedal steel guitar in a jazz setting, but it is unlikely that anyone else recorded an entire date playing one prior to this 1963 session. Although both he and the instrument are indelibly associated with country music, Emmons makes it work for several reasons. He's surrounded by some top players, including Bobby Scott, Jerome Richardson, Art Davis, and Charlie Persip; he also interacts with the band rather than overdoing the special effects available to him, especially the horn-like sounds obtained from his use of the slide. Emmons also chose an intriguing mix of material.

Obvious highlights are the loping treatment of "Where or When," featuring Richardson's delicious soprano sax trading off with the leader, and Emmons' hot playing of "(Back Home Again In) Indiana." Equally rewarding are the jazz classics: Ray Brown's soulful "Gravy Waltz," an intricate romp through Sonny Rollins' "Oleo," and Horace Silver's toe-tapping "The Preacher." This was pretty much a one-time affair for Emmons, who returned to country music, though he did record some additional jazz with guitarist Lenny Breau during the 1970s. Although the instrument never really caught on in jazz, this highly recommended album, which was finally reissued on CD in 2003, is well worth checking out. Ken Dryden

Biography: Buddy Emmons earned a place among Nashville's elite as one of the finest steel guitar players in the business. Born in Mishawaka, IN, he first fell in love with the instrument at age 11 when he received a 6-string lap steel guitar as a gift. As a teen, he enrolled at the Hawaiian Conservatory of Music in South Bend, IN, and began playing professionally in Calumet City and Chicago at age 16. In 1956, Emmons went to Detroit to fill in for Walter Haynes during a performance with Little Jimmy Dickens; soon afterward he was invited to join Dickens' Country Boys. He appeared with them a few times on the Grand Ole Opry and recorded with them on a few singles, including "Buddy's Boogie" (1957). He also recorded a pair of solo singles for Columbia, "Cold Rolled Steel" (1956) and "Silver Bells" (1957).

In the late '50s, Emmons began playing occasionally with Ernest Tubb's band on Midnight Jamboree. In 1963, he began a five year stint with Ray Price and his Cherokee Cowboys, and in 1965 teamed up with fellow steel player Shot Jackson to record the LP Steel Guitar & Dobro Sound. This led the two to create the Sho-Bud Company, which sold an innovative steel guitar that used push-rod pedals. In 1969, Emmons joined Roger Miller's Los Angeles-based band as a bass player. When not touring with Miller, he did session work for a variety of artists. He quit Miller's band in 1973 and signed a solo contract, releasing several albums in the late '70s. After 1978, Emmons began playing for a number of small labels, where he and Ray Pennington occassionally collaborated with some of Nashville's finest side men as the Swing Shift Band. In 1993, Emmons began touring with the Everly Brothers. Throughout the '90s, he continued to do session work. Sandra Brennan

I've also included the interesting Minors Aloud by Buddy Emmons and Lenny Breau. I had uploaded it as mp3 in the Contributions section, but I decided it was worthwhile to re-up it as FLAC with scans. It was recorded in 1978 and issued as Flying Fish 088. It was reissued by Art of Life Records, who have reissued many Lenny Breau sessions.

Jon Eardley - From Hollywood to New York

Trumpeter Jon Eardley's first two sessions as a leader (he would only lead two others during the next 20 years) are combined on this reissue CD. A fine boppish player who mostly stuck to the middle register of his horn, Eardley would soon be joining Gerry Mulligan's group. He is heard on four selections heading a quartet with pianist Pete Jolly (who was just starting his career), bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Larry Bunker, and on four other numbers with tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose, pianist George Syran, bassist Teddy Kotick, and drummer Nick Stabulas. The music (five originals and three standards) is essentially cool-toned bop and was quite modern for the period. Scott Yanow

Jon Eardley (trumpet)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)
Los Angeles, December 25, 1954

Jon Eardley (trumpet)
J.R. Monterose (tenor sax)
George Syran (piano)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Nick Stabulas (drums)
Hackensack, March 14, 1955

1. Late Leader
2. Indian Spring
3. Black
4. Gloss
5. Hey There
6. Demanton
7. Sid's Delight
8. If You Could See Me Now

K & JJ - Israel (1968)

This 1968 reunion of Kai Winding & J.J. Johnson was one of two produced by Creed Taylor that year for A&M so it is , of course, more commercial than their great collaborations of the fifties. However, there are some worthwhile selections including the title tune, "Saturday Night", "St. James Infirmary" and a nice arrangement of "Django" by Don Sebesky. Most of the arrangements are by Sebesky but the best, not surprisingly, are by J.J. Johnson who did "Saturday Night", "Israel" and a trombones & strings only version of "St. James Infirmary".

"My Funny Valentine" had some major cracks and skips but I was able to repair most of them. There are still a couple of small pops and skips but before the clean-up this track was virtually unplayable.

There was a Japanese CD reissue in 1992 but I doubt if there are many copies around. If you happen to have one I would be happy to replace this post with one from you!

J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding (trombone)
Herbie Hancock, Ross Tompkins (piano, harpsichord, electric piano)
Eric Gale, Bucky Pizarelli (guitar)
Ron Carter, Richard David (bass)
Grady Tate (drums)
Eugene Bianco (harp)
Lewis Eley, Leo Kruczek, Charles Libove, David Nadlien, Eugene Orloff, Tosha Samaroff (violin) Al Brown (viola) George Ricci (cello)
Phil Bodner, George Marge, Romeo Penque (flute, oboe, clarinet)
Walter Kane, Frank Schwartz (bassoon)
Bernie Glow (trumpet, flugelhorn)
  1. My Funny Valentine
  2. Israel
  3. Catherine's Theme
  4. Am I Blue/Sonnyboy
  5. Never My Love
  6. Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week
  7. St. James Infirmary
  8. Django
  9. Try to Remember
Recorded February-April, 1968

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This Day In Jazz

Sonny Stitt - Kaleidoscope

Taken from a couple of 10" releases, and issued in this form in, I believe, 1983.

Deftly handling the alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone, bebop giant Sonny Stitt is heard to perfection here on a variety of early-'50s dates. Stitt not only shows off his patented speed throughout, but he goes a long way in dispelling criticisms of him being all fire and no grace. The 16-track disc kicks off with four tight, Latin-tinged swingers featuring an octet that includes trumpeter Joe Newman and timbales player Humberto Morales. Switching to piano quartet mode for the bulk of the disc, Stitt ranges effortlessly from frenetic blasts ("Cherokee") to golden-hued ballads ("Imagination"). Capping off the set with four bonus cuts featuring the likes of Gene Ammons and Junior Mance, Stitt delivers one of the top sets of performances from the late bebop era. ~ Stephen Cook

Sonny Stitt (alto, tenor, baritone sax)
Gene Ammons (baritone sax)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Billy Massey (trumpet)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Junior Mance (piano)
Matthew Gee (trombone)
Art Blakey (drums)

1. Stitt's It
2. Cool Mambo
3. Blue Mambo
4. Sonny Sounds
5. Ain't Misbehavin'
6. Later
7. P.S. I Love You
8. This Can't Be Love
9. Imagination
10. Cherokee
11. Can't We Be Friends
12. Liza (All The Clouds'll Roll Away)
13. To Think You've Chosen Me
14. After You've Gone
15. Our Very Own
16. 'S Wonderful

Jutta Hipp - Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims

I was reading not too long ago about Jutta Hipp, and was looking for the reference - I thought it was in Randi Hultins book, but I can't find it. I recall she came to the US, was pretty depressed and did some menial work. Hmmm.. gettin' old. Beats gettin' dead, I suppose.

"Jutta Hipp, a talented German pianist, came to the United States in the mid-'50s and quickly gained some attention. However, she was soon criticized for sounding too close to Horace Silver and, after recording this final Blue Note album, she gradually dropped out of music. Reissued in 1996 on CD with two extra selections, Hipp's boppish music on the set is very enjoyable and swinging. Oddly enough, she does not sound at all like Silver on the date, making one wonder why she soon left the jazz world. Teamed up with great tenor Zoot Sims (who dominates the music), somewhat hesitant trumpeter Jerry Lloyd (who briefly came out of retirement), bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and drummer Ed Thigpen, Hipp sounds excellent on a couple of basic originals and such standards as "Violets for Your Furs," "Almost Like Being in Love," and J.J. Johnson's "Wee Dot." This formerly rare set is well worth picking up by straight-ahead jazz collectors." Scott Yanow

Jutta Hipp (piano)
Jerry Lloyd (trumpet)
Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Ahmed Abdul-Malik (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

1. Just Blues
2. Violets For Your Furs
3. Down Home
4. Almost Like Being In Love
5. Wee Dot
6. Too Close For Comfort
7. These Foolish Things
8. 'S Wonderful

Recorded July 28, 1956 by Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, New Jersey

Zoot Sims - Suddenly It's Spring

This CD reissue of one of tenor-saxophonist Zoot Sims's final recordings adds a version of "Emaline" to the original program. Pianist Jimmy Rowles often co-stars on the date (with bassist George Mraz and drummer Akira Tana offering solid support). The lyrical repertoire emphasizes ballads and pretty melodies with the highpoints including such offbeat material as Woody Guthrie's "So Long," Sims's "Brahms...I Think," "In the Middle of a Kiss" and the more familiar "Never Let Me Go" and "Suddenly It's Spring." The melodic performances are quite warm, romantic and enjoyable, fine examples of subtle creativity. Scott Yanow

Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
George Mraz (bass)
Akira Tana (drums)

1. Brahms...I Think
2. I Can't Get Started
3. MacGuffie's Blues
4. In The Middle Of A Kiss
5. So Long
6. Never Let Me Go
7. Suddenly It's Spring
8. Emaline

dave mckenna -- lullabies in jazz

for the jazzman i have mr mckenna on realm records. the man get's a lot of good press in the liner notes, most notably from the big O oscar peterson himself. i have to say this guy can play. i enjoyed it a great deal and solo piano is not generally my bag. thanks for the titles jazzman, keep 'em coming.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Case Of The 3 Sided Dream In Audio Color (1975)

Perhaps I am an apologist for Rahsaan Roland Kirk, I don't know. If I am then I should be smacked, because he needed no one to make apologies for him. The Case of the 3-Sided Dream in Audio Color is a case in point. The namby-pamby jazz critics, those "serious" guys who look for every note to be in order before they'll say anything positive, can shove it on this one. They panned the hell out of it in 1975, claiming it was "indulgent." Okay. Which Kirk record wasn't? Excess was always the name of the game for Kirk, but so was the groove, and here on this three-sided double LP, groove is at the heart of everything. Surrounding himself with players like Cornell Dupree, Hugh McCracken, Richard Tee, Hilton Ruiz (whose playing on "Echoes of Primitive Ohio and Chili Dogs" is so greasy, so deliciously dirty it's enthralling), Steve Gadd, and others from that soul-jazz scene, it's obvious what you're gonna get, right? Nope. From his imitations of Miles Davis and John Coltrane on "Bye, Bye, Blackbird" to his screaming, funky read on "High Heel Sneakers" to his Delta-to-New-Orleans version of "The Entertainer," Kirk is deep in the groove. But the groove he moves through is one that is so large, so universal, deep, and serene, that it transcends all notions of commercialism versus innovation. Bottom line, even with the charming tape-recorded ramblings of his between tunes, this was his concept and it works like a voodoo charm. Here's one for the revisionists: This record jams. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Rahsaan Roland Kirk (Tenor saxophone, bass saxophone, flute, trumpet, stritchaphone & manzello)
Cornell Dupree, Keith Loving & Hugh McCracken (Guitars)
Arthur Jenkins, Hilton Ruiz & Richard Tee ( Keyboards)
Francisco Centeno, Metathias Pearson & Bill Salter (Basses)
Sonny Brown, Steven Gadd & John Goldsmith (Drums)
Lawrence Killian (Congas)
Ralph MacDonald (Congas & percussion)
Pat Patrick (Baritone saxophone)

1. Conversation
2. Bye Bye Blackbird
3. Horses (Monogram/Republic)
4. Hi-Heel Sneakers
5. Dream
6. Echoes of Primitive Ohio and Chili Dogs
7. Entertainer [Done in the Style of the Blues]
8. Freaks for the Festival
9. Dream
10. Portrait of Those Beautiful Ladies
11. Dream
12. Entertainer
13. Dream
14. Dream
15. Portrait of Those Beautiful Ladies
16. Dream
17. Freaks for the Festival
18. Horses
19. Bye Bye Blackbird
20. Conversation
21. Telephone Conversation

Terry Gibbs|Buddy DeFranco|Herb Ellis Sextet | Memories of You

As a real Charlie Christian fan, I love to listen to Herb Ellis' lines on this CD. This CD REALLY swings. Great stuff from several of the masters.

The first of two discs recorded at a gig at Kimball's East in Emeryville, CA -- the other being Kings of Swing -- the Terry Gibbs/Buddy DeFranco/Herb Ellis sextet appoints itself chief keepers of the Benny Goodman Sextet flame, but not in a slavish way. Rather, the sextet re-interprets the Goodman classics "Flying Home, "Rose Room," "Don't Be That Way," "Avalon," etc. -- in a contemporary swing style, with thoroughly modern drumming by Butch Miles setting the pace. Ellis seems to adopt the most authentic voice from the past, taking Charlie Christian's role often quite literally (which actually fits well within this group since Christian was the most harmonically advanced player in the sextet). DeFranco and Gibbs are, as always, marvelous sparring partners, always pushing each other in their own styles, just like Goodman/Hampton or Goodman/Norvo. A genuine survivor of the old days, Milt Hinton, is on bass, and the nimble Larry Novak occupies the piano chair. Although the true authentic small-combo swing style of the period, as heard on recordings, was apparently a lost art in the '90s, this is nouvelle swing at just about its finest. Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide

JazzTimes (5/93, p.69) - "...It is fulfilling to savor the successful event--the electricity of the band's steaming sets in a packed house of 300 turned-on musicians and patrons....You can count on this sextet giving a jazz party jammed with joy!"

Musician (2/93, p.94) - "...feature[s] three of the most underrated virtuosos on their respective instruments in all of jazz, particularly clarinetist DeFranco, whose boppish lines and licorice tone are state of the art..."

1. Flying Home
2. Rose Room
3. I Surrender Dear
4. Dizzy Spells
5. Don't Be That Way
6. Poor Butterfly
7. Avalon
8. Memories Of You
9. After You've Gone

Terry Gibbs (v), Buddy DeFranco (clar), Herb Ellis (gtr), Larry Novak (pno), Milt Hinto (b), Butch Mills (dr)

Recorded live at Kimball's East, Emeryville, California from April 12-13, 1991.

Michel Portal Quintet à Théatre Antique de Vienne

Michel Portal Quintet à Théatre Antique de Vienne, le 10 juillet 2002

Michel Portal - Clarinette basse, saxophones
Flavio Boltro - trompette
Bojan Zulfikarpasic - piano
Linley Marthe - basse Fender
Laurent Robin - batterie

A set from what is now perhaps the best jazz fest in France, at the little town of Vienne. In 'the old days' the JVC Nice jazz festival was tops, but the city of Nice decided to take it over (of course) to make some money on it. What a disaster. That first year they made the unforgiveable gaffe of booking Gary Burton and Milt Jackson in sequence on the same stage. Naturally they took it in stride, and after Milt's set we were treated to some excellent numbers by both wizards of the vibes playing together.

Martial Solal Improvise - France Musique Broadcasts

The first installment from the 40 radio broadcasts from which the double album was compiled. This set consists of 3 shows, probably not in chronological order. All the tracks are unissued. The shows were recorded on Sunday afternoons from September 1993 to June 1994, and the present 3 shows were from January.

Don Menza - Horn of Plenty (1979)

Don Menza is a powerhouse tenor player and gifted writer with a sound of his own but at times reminiscent of an aggressive Sonny Rollins. A veteran of the Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson big bands, his recordings as a leader are few and far between. The last time I saw Menza was 7-8 years ago at a gig in Las Vegas at the Riviera with his own big band. I believe he is currently working in the L.A. area with his quartet and big band.

"Tenorman Don Menza's regular sextet of the late 1970s (which also includes trumpeter Chuck Findley, trombonist Bill Reichenbach, pianist Frank Strazzeri, bassist Frank De La Rosa and drummer John Dentz) is heard in fine form on two Ellington/Strayhorn standards and originals by Menza, pianist Frank Strazzeri and Marc Levin. Menza's ability to write catchy, fresh-sounding boppish lines and his fiery solos are two strong reasons to search for this little-known but superior LP." - Scott Yanow

Originally released on LP by Discwasher and ripped from the 1987 Voss CD reissue.

Don Menza (tenor sax)
Chuck Findley (trumpet)
Bill Reichenbach (trombone)
Frank Strazzeri (piano)
Frank De La Rosa (bass)
John Dentz (drums)
  1. Tonawanda Fats
  2. In a Sentimental Mood
  3. Take the "A" Train
  4. As Is
  5. Something Old, Something Blue
  6. Intrigue

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Ruby Braff | George Barnes Quartet Salutes Rodgers and Hart

With all the Tony Bennett being blasted onto the site, I thought I might present this Bennett-less quartet, if only so you can hear the other singers in the band, who were accomplished musicians in their own right! This is one of my favorite albums and has been since it first came out in the middle 70's. I have it on both LP and CD, but ripped it from the CD. The band worked up 23 Rodgers and Hart songs while backing Tony Bennett. One of their concerts was even recorded as a double LP, but the musicians were frustrated at their inability to do instrumentals, so they headed for the studio and ripped off this session in 3 hours. It's just a beautiful record. Just crank up the volume on Isn't it Romantic, close your eyes, and just give it a listen. If it sucks I'll give you your money's that for confidence? My only complaint about this session is that it's too short.

The Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet (comprised of cornetist Braff, Barnes and Wayne Wright on guitars and bassist Michael Moore) recorded five albums within a two-year period and all are well worth getting. For the fourth of five recordings made by the classic Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet, ten songs by Rodgers and Hart are given melodic, swinging, creative treatment. Cornetist Braff and guitarist Barnes fed off of each other and worked very well together, while rhythm guitarist Wayne Wright and bassist Michael Moore always gave them impeccable support. Highlights of this enjoyable set include "Isn't It Romantic," "Blue Room," "You Took Advantage of Me" and "The Lady Is a Tramp." AMG

1. Mountain Greenery
2. Isn't It Romantic
3. The Blue Room
4. There's A Small Hotel
5. Thou Swell
6. I Wish I Were In Love Again
7. Lover
8. You Took Advantage Of Me
9. Spring Is Here
10. The Lady Is A Tramp

George Barnes (gtr), Ruby Braff (corn), Wayne Wright (gtr), Michael Moore (dr)

Tony Bennett - Yesterday I Heard The Rain

Yesterday I Heard The Rain was recorded at five separate sessions over a seven-month span in late 1967-early 1968. All the arrangements were handled by the always-inventive Torrie Zito, who started as a pianist but quickly began writing for small groups and orchestras. In doing some research on Zito, I was surprised to learn that he wrote the orchestra arrangement backing John Lennon’s recording of “Imagine.” Torrie Zito has also worked with Barbra Streisand, Morgana King, Bobby Darin and Sinatra, among others. I also found out that he is married to the fine singer Helen Merrill. For more on Zito, see the comments section where I’ve included an interview with the arranger that I found on the web.

This is a highly enjoyable album, with some exciting standout tracks such as Blossom Dearie’s wonderful “Sweet Georgie Fame” and the little known Gershwin ditty “Hi-Ho.” Bennett had a pretty big hit with “Yesterday I Heard The Rain,” originally a Spanish-language song composed by Mexican musician Armando Manzanero (English lyrics by Gene Lees), who also wrote the melody for Perry Como’s hit “It’s Impossible.” The disc's finest track is the exhilarating “Fool of Fools,” in which dramatic Bennett phrasing is propelled by a driving/building Zito arrangement. “Hushaby Mountain” is from the motion picture “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and is sung beautifully with a tender guitar-centric arrangement. Zito also excels with his orchestration for “Get Happy.”

Torrie Zito is definitely the co-star on these recordings. Aside from Ralph Burns, I consider Zito the definitive Bennett accompanist. He is one of the unheralded master arrangers in popular music. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Torrie Zito (arranger)

1. Yesterday I Heard the Rain
2. Hi-Ho
3. Hushabye Mountain
4. Home Is The Place
5. Love Is Here to Stay
6. Get Happy
7. Fool of Fools
8. I Only Have Eyes For You
9. Sweet Georgie Fame
10. Only The Young
11. There Will Never Be Another You

Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio, New York, New York on October 16 1967, December 21 1967, February 26 1968, April 16 1968, and May 22 1968.

Michel Portal

Michel Portal at the 25th Europa Jazz Festival du Mans - Mai 2004.

Complete concert - 55minutes

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Art Farmer - Live At The Half-Note

This is the same group that did To Sweden With Love, re-posted as a contest thang. I believe the two were issued as a twofer CD also.

After the Jazztet that he co-led with tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson broke up, flugelhornist Art Farmer led a pianoless quartet during 1963-64 with guitarist Jim Hall. For this reissue in the Atlantic Jazzlore series, Farmer and Hall are joined by bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Walter Perkins. Their repertoire is a bit surprising since four of the five songs were veteran swing standards; all but Miles Davis's obscure "Swing Spring." Hall (who has "I'm Gettin' Sentimental over You" as his feature) was a perfect musical partner for Farmer since both musicians have mellow sounds and thoughtful improvising styles that are more complex than expected. This 1987 reissue is well worth picking up. The group only lasted long enough to make three records, all of which are out-of-print. Scott Yanow

Art Farmer (flugelhorn)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Steve Swallow (bass)
Walter Perkins (drums)

1. Stompin' At The Savoy
2. Swing Spring
3. What's New
4. I Want To Be Happy
5. I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You

Woody Shaw - Stepping Stones: Live At The Village Vanguard

It’s one thing to play the right note, it’s another to get it; one thing to play a phrase, another to get to its essence. With academic jazz education more accessible than ever, countless aspiring musicians are learning its vernacular. But music, like all art, is more than technique—it’s an indefinable truth that can only come from complete immersion and commitment. Learn the language, but without getting on the bandstand every night, playing with as many people in as many contexts as possible, and it’s impossible to make the transition from aspiration to being.

It’s possible to tell almost immediately whether or not a group has managed to get inside the music, transcending mere method. That may not be something you can easily articulate, but it’s something you know. From the opening notes of Columbia/Legacy’s reissue of the late trumpeter Woody Shaw’s 1978 live recording Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard, there’s the instant ring of truth—here is a group of players who don’t just play notes, they mean them.

Hot on the heels of his critically-acclaimed The Moontrane (Muse, 1975), Shaw found himself on a major label with the kind of promotional power that should have led to greater acclaim. Still, his uncompromising devotion to a chosen path contrary to the popular predominance of fusion at that time resulted in a reputation that was greater amongst his fellow musicians than the greater listening public. Sixteen years after his tragic death in 1989, the significance of his potent melodies, bright tone, and incisive improvisational style are finally being recognized, with his blend of change-based writing and open-ended modality resulting in flexible but eminently memorable songs.

Shaw’s band at the time—saxophonist Carter Jefferson, pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs, bassist Clint Houston, and drummer Victor Lewis—may be the best working group of his career. With everyone but Jefferson contributing songs to the set, it’s clear that this is a cooperative, despite Shaw’s name on the marquee. They come charging out of the gate for “Stepping Stone” with transcendent intensity. Jefferson is especially notable, combining vivid themes with occasional Coltrane-esque sheets of sound. Shaw’s “In a Capricornian Way” is a modal waltz that’s more slow burn than high heat, the perfect setup for Lewis’ equally modal 7/4 workout, “Seventh Avenue.”

But with all the energy and pure engagement of songs like Houston’s uptempo swinger “Escape Velocity” and Shaw’s equally fast-moving “Blues for Ball,” it’s Gumbs' lyrical “All Things Being Equal Are Not”—one of two previously unissued tracks—that’s the gem of the set. Shaw—who eschews trumpet on this date for cornet and, on this song, flugelhorn—squeezes pure emotion out of Gumbs’ deeply moving ballad. While capable of fleet-fingered runs, Shaw understood the potency of a simple phrase, a well-chosen note, and a perfectly timed trill. Something the entire band clearly understands, making Stepping Stones an album that’s more than strong material and imaginative playing. Indeed, it’s a deep musical truth that many seek, but few find. John Kelman

Woody Shaw (cornet, flugelhorn)
Carter Jefferson (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone)
Onaje Allan Gumbs (piano)
Clint Houston (acoustic bass)
Victor Lewis (drums)

1-Stepping Stone
2-In A Capricornian Way
3-Seventh Avenue
4-All Things Being Equal Are Not
5-Escape Velocity
6-Blues For Ball
7-Theme For Maxine

The Village Vanguard, New York, August 5-6, 1978

Dizzy Gillespie - Live, Chester, Pennsylvania, June 14, 1957

In 1956 the State Department asked Dizzy Gillespie to put a big band together for tours in the Middle East and South America. Since he was touring in Europe at the time, Dizzy contracted a young Quincy Jones to put the band together for him, write some arrangements along with Benny Golson, Melba Liston and Ernie Wilkins, and rehearse the band for him until he returned to the States. The tours were so successful and the band was so kick-ass that Dizzy decided to keep them together for awhile. They recorded three albums for Verve that are available on this blog as "Birks' Works: The Verve Big Band Sessions" posted in June of last year.

By the time of this session there were a few personnel changes from the original lineup, most notably an 18-year old Lee Morgan taking over for the departed Joe Gordon. The recording quality on this CD is very good for a late fifties live session and one look at the lineup will tell you the quality of the soloists is top notch.

"Although not quite up to the exciting level of their Newport Jazz Festival appearance of a month later, this live CD of the Dizzy Gillespie big band gives one a strong set from the legendary orchestra. In addition to the leader/trumpeter, such soloists as Lee Morgan (who takes the opening trumpet solo on "Night in Tunisia"), altoist Ernie Henry, trombonist Al Grey and Benny Golson on tenor make strong impressions. "Jordu," "I Remember Clifford," a blazing "Cool Breeze" and a humorous "Doodlin'" are among the highlights." - Scott Yanow

Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, E.V. Perry, Carl Warwick, Talib Daawud (trumpet)
Melba Liston, Al Grey, Ray Connor (trombone)
Jimmy Powell, Ernie Henry (alto sax)
Benny Golson, Billy Mitchell (tenor sax)
Pee Wee Moore (baritone sax)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Tom Bryant (bass)
Charlie Persip (drums)
  1. A Night in Tunisia
  2. Doodlin'
  3. Autumn Leaves
  4. My Reverie
  5. Dizzy's Business
  6. I Remember Clifford
  7. Jor-Du
  8. Whisper Not
  9. Birks' Works
  10. Jessica's Day
  11. Left Hand Corner
  12. Yesterdays
  13. Cool Breeze

The Complete Sarah Vaughan On Mercury Vol. 4 (1963-1967)

Finally I conclude the Sarah Vaughan Mercury recordings with this, the fourth volume in the series. Please don't put too much stock into Scott Yanow's review below. The larger scale arrangements, done by the likes of Quincy Jones, Robert Farnon, and Frank Foster, who are all musicians of very high caliber, are light years ahead of the distracting charts by Belford Hendricks and Hal Mooney in Vaughan's early (1950's) Mercury sets.

Sorry for the long delay but this wasn't easy: 23 discs in FLAC + four booklets + insert/disc scans. Anyway, I am glad it's done and hope everyone enjoys it. I thank Alvinho for recently making one of Sarah's Pablo discs available in FLAC. Hope someone will follow with some more. Scoredaddy

The fourth of four box sets reissuing every recording Sarah Vaughan made for the Mercury and EmArcy labels (including many previously unreleased performances) starts off (after four orchestra tracks) with its strongest selections, no less than 32 songs recorded during a live four-day engagement in Copenhagen during which the singer is accompanied by the Kirk Stuart Trio. Everything else on this six-CD set is somewhat anticlimactic in comparison, for Vaughan is otherwise hindered a bit by string orchestras, a big band and/or a choir. Better to get the live sessions (released as Sassy Swings the Tivoli in addition to a Japanese set by the same name that has extra material) instead although lovers of Vaughan's voice will want to pick up this large reissue anyway. Scott Yanow

Sonny Rollins - The Cutting Edge

Now, THIS is what I'm talkin' about! Newk is always worth listening to, and Stanley Cowell is never disappointing. But Rufus Harley?? It leads me to ask - not for the first time - why aren't there more bagpipes in jazz?

It also leads me to tell one of my favorite jazz stories, neither for the first time nor the last. I believe it was Zero that hipped me to this: Harley died about a year ago. His son was named Messiah, and when Rufus got ill he was taken to the hospital. He didn't want to remain there, and his last words were; "Messiah, come get me. I have to get to work."

Now, I may be an atheist, but even I know enough to never say "Messiah, come get me" when I'm laying in a sickbed.

Recorded at the 1974 Montreaux (sic) Jazz Festival, this live set features the astonishing "To A Wild Rose," one of the tenor saxophonist's best performances. Rollins glides gently over Mtume's subtle percussion and Bob Cranshaw's lyrical electric bass before breaking loose into a stunning unaccompanied solo which fragments the melody and then gracefully weaves it back together.

The title track and "First Moves" are rhythmic exercises thankfully lacking the empty technique of much '70s jazz. Similarly, Rollins' melodic improvs on Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "A House Is Not A Home" sidestep the mundanity of many jazz-pop crossovers. The set ends with a joyous "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" featuring a beautiful, hypnotic duet between Rollins and jazz bagpiper (and future Laurie Anderson sideman) Rufus Harley. At a time when many jazz players were sliding into cliche, Sonny Rollins kept moving forward.

Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Rufus Harley (bagpipes)
Stanley Cowell (piano)
Masuo (guitar)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
David Lee (drums)
Mtume (congas, percussion)

1. The Cutting Edge
2. To A Wild Rose
3. First Moves
4. A House Is Not A Home
5. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland on July 6, 1974

Martial Solal Big Band - Paris, June 1981

Cover photo here is from the 1991 Verve/Remark Records re-issue of the original 1981 recording for Gaumont Musique (#753 804). Notes with the files.
1. Texte et prétexte
2. Valse à trois temps
3. Tango
4. Suite

Martial Solal / Joachim Kuhn - Duo in Paris

One thing you can say about the piano, you can play one helluva lot of notes in a very short space of time - the challenge for the artist who is a master of technique is not to abuse the privilege. Here are three 'tunes' that are a veritable whirlwind of notes, but what emerges is far from confusion!
1. Solar
2. Journey Around the World
3. Musica 2000

Recorded October 24, 1975 at the 1st festival independent de Massy

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shirley Horn Trio ~ At Northsea

"Cashmere and Congnac"

Although This was somewhat of a breakthrough performance for this legendary singer/performer, it would be six years later that she would enjoy the benefits of years of toil in the D.C. area, when she signed with Verve. This is the complete Northsea concert, which yielded the "All Night Long" and "Violets For Your Firs" LP's. Some very choice swing is here, but mostly some very deep ballad work. No available reviews--the music speaks for itself.

You'd Be So Nice/ Someone Like That In Your Life/How Insensitive/Good For Nothing Joe/Git Rid Of Monday/All Night Long/ If I Had You/Meditation/When Your Lover Has Gone/If Dreams Came True. Disk Two: Our Love Is Here To Stay/Georgia On My Mind/ Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You/Lover Man/Violets For Your Furs/ Baby Won't You Please/ My Man/More Than You Know/I Didn't Know What Time It Was

rec. July 10 - 12 1981 at the Northsea Jazz Festival, Holland

Happy Birthday Mr. Gray

Wardell Gray - 1946-1950 (Chronological 1264)

Here you have the first installment in the Classics Wardell Gray chronology. His earliest appearances on record can be found on this label's surveys of Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine. Having this brilliant saxophonist's recordings laid out in exact chronological order is both a treat for the connoisseur and a perfect introduction for those who haven't yet had the pleasure. Wardell Gray's first session as a leader took place in Los Angeles on November 23, 1946, in the excellent company of pianist Dodo Marmarosa, bassist Red Callender, and alternate drummers Harold "Doc" West and Chuck Thompson. These Sunset recordings were not issued commercially and languished for years in obscurity. Here the Lester Young influence is palpable, and Gray was gracious enough to acknowledge his idol with "One for Prez." The next step of the chronology lands listeners in New York during April and May of 1948, whereupon the saxophonist made four brilliant sides for the Sittin' in With record label backed by a rhythm trio featuring pianist Al Haig, and then sat in as a member of a septet led by virtuoso percussionist J.C. Heard. While the quartet date spotlights Gray and Haig, the Heard band glows with a front line of trumpeter Joe Newman, trombonist Benny Green, baritone saxophonist Tate Houston, and Wardell Gray. (Anyone who really loves this kind of music will feel better just contemplating that lineup.) After a smart little study in bop scat singing by Buddy Stewart, the next installment is the justifiably famous New Jazz session of November 11, 1949. Securely supported by Al Haig, Tommy Potter, and Roy Haynes, on that day Wardell Gray blew some of the best jazz of his entire all-too-brief career. The producers of the Classics Chronological Series wisely opted to present only the master takes, although interested parties are encouraged to tap into Wardell Gray Memorial, Vol. 1 on Prestige for multiple takes of both "Southside" and especially "Twisted" for audible proof of this man's wealth of creativity and imagination. Speaking of Prestige, this mind-blowing treasure trove of great vintage bop closes with four sides recorded for that label in Detroit, MI, on April 25, 1950. It's the perfect closer for this potent little package of essential early modern jazz. Every track is strong and solid, tight and right. ~ arwulf arwulf

Wardell Gray (tenor sax)
Dodo Marmarosa (piano)
Benny Green (trombone)
Buddy Greco (piano)
Al Haig (piano)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Red Callender (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Dell's Bells
2. One For Prez
3. The Man I Love
4. Easy Swing
5. The Great Lee Part 1
6. The Great Lee Part 2
7. Light Gray
8. Stoned
9. Matter And Mind
10. The Toup
11. Ollopa
12. This Is It
13. Sugar Hips
14. Coastin' With J.C.
15. Shawn
16. Twisted
17. South Side
18. Easy Living
19. Sweet Lorraine
20. A Sinner Kissed An Angel
21. Blue Gray
22. Grayhound
23. Treadin'

Martial Solal - The Solosolal

Another solo session from Martial Solal, this one from 1978. Martial interprets:

4. TUNE UP 5'16

Christian Escoudé Octet - Gipsy Waltz

In the immortal words of John Cleese, "and now for something completely different".

Some Provençal flavoured jazz - perhaps a bit lightweight at times for hard bop addicts, but with the excellent guitar work of Christian Escoudé. Worth a listen.

Art, personnel, selections and notes included.

Wes Montgomery - 1965 Smokin' At The Half Note

"Smokin' At The Half Note" is consider by Pat Metheny as the greatest jazz guitar album ever made. Wes Montgomery is accompanied by the Wynton Kelly Trio in a perfect sincronicity, creating a smoky atmosphere. Besides the regular edition of the record, two other have been published: one in 1998 as part of "Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sides" with some aditional tracks and the order of the songs altered. This 2005 edition includes 6 bonus tracks from the same sessions. These aditional tracks were published as part of "Willow Weep For Me", but there with strings added.

High sound quality, very low noise of the public and an astonishing performance of Wes. An excellent album.

01 No Blues (12:56)
02 If You Could See Me Now (8:27)
03 Unit 7 (6:46)
04 Four on Six (6:45)
05 What's New? (6:16)
06 Willow Weep for Me (*) (9:07)
07 Portrait of Jennie (*) (3:27)
08 Surrey With the Fringe on Top (*) (6:16)
09 Oh, You Crazy Moon (*) (5:31)
10 Misty (*) (6:57)
11 Impressions (*) (5:03)

Wes Montgomery (guitar)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)

Recorded live at the Half Note, New York and Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in June and September 1965.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

David Friesen - Four to Go (1995)

David Friesen completed a series of CDs for ITM with Four to Go (following duo sessions on Two for the Show and trio date Three to Get Ready, though there evidently wasn't a solo disc called "One for the Money"). He's accompanied by tenor saxophonist John Gross, flugelhorn player Gary Barone, and drummer Alan Jones, who plays handmade instruments rather than a traditionally manufactured set. Although Friesen has some fine solos throughout the disc, it is the interaction between the group that makes the session work. Their explorations of Jackie McLean's "Dr. Jackal," a pair of standards "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," as well as several originals by the leader, are all enjoyable. This nearly hour-long set is full of exciting music. - Ken Dryden

Gary Barone (flugelhorn)
John Gross (tenor sax)
David Friesen (bass)
Alan Jones (drums)
  1. Dr. Jackal
  2. Come Rain or Come Shine
  3. David's Dance
  4. Portrait of Jenny
  5. On the Road With Jazz
  6. Early Morning Light
  7. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
  8. Through the Night
  9. Upon the Swing
Recorded July 11, 1995

Slim Gaillard - Los Angeles 1945

Upon exiting the service in 1944, Gaillard settled in Los Angeles and took up residency at Billy Berg's Hollywood Boulevard club, a hot spot for stars of the era. Now in tandem with bassist Bam Brown, Gaillard became a top draw and a hip name to drop; his 1945 hit "Cement Mixer" returned him to national prominence, and he recorded frequently that year, often with a quartet featuring Brown, pianist Dodo Marmarosa, and drummer Zutty Singleton. He also cut a session with bop greats Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in late 1945, the most notable result of which was "Slim's Jam." The latter half of the '40s saw Gaillard's popularity at its peak; he appeared in several films and recorded for Verve up through 1951. He had further hits with 1948's "Down by the Station," which became a popular children's nursery rhyme, and 1951's "Yep Roc Heresay," a recitation of the menu from a Middle Eastern restaurant that one radio station banned for its "suggestiveness." He performed in New York frequently from 1951-1953, and also participated in Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic in 1953; a few years later, he was name-checked in Jack Kerouac's -On the Road.

1, 4-7
Slim Gaillard (guitar, vocal)
Dodo Marmarosa (piano)
Bam Brown (bass, vocal)
Zutty Singleton (drums)

2, 11
Slim Gaillard (guitar)
Fletcher Smith (piano)
Bam Brown (bass)

8-10, 12
Slim Gaillard (guitar, piano, vocal)
Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Karl George (trumpet)
Lucky Thompson (tenor sax)
Teddy Edwards (tenor sax)
Fletcher Smith (piano)
Bam Brown (bass)
Leo Watson (drums)

1 Carne
2 Sighing Boogie
3 Ya Ha Ha
4 Ding Dong Oreeney
5 Buck Dance Rhythm
6 The Hop
7 Baby Won't You Please Come Home
8 Harlem Hunch
9 Slim Gaillard's Boogie
10 Vout Orenee
11 Central Avenue Boogie
12 Travelin' Blues

Mal Waldron - Mal 4

It seems strange that this, pianist Mal Waldron's seventh session as a leader, was his first with a group as small as his trio. With the assistance of bassist Addison Farmer and drummer Kenny Dennis, Waldron performs four standards and three of his moody originals. His sometimes-brooding style was already quite recognizable and his inventive use of repetition was quite impressive. This recording gives listeners a definitive look at the early style of Mal Waldron. - Scott Yanow

Mal Waldron (piano)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Kenny Dennis (drums)

1. Splidium-Dow
2. Like Someone In Love
3. Get Happy
4. J.M.'S Dream Doll
5. Too Close For Comfort
6. By Myself
7. Love Span

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, September 26, 1958

John Handy - No Coast Jazz (Roulette LP, 1960)

There has been an abundance of great music here recently so I understand if you put this away for a rainy day. Just don't forget about it.

The music is very original and beautiful, really it deserves to be remastered on CD for new ears. It was one of the first records I transfered to FLAC and I did not run it through any filtering programs, the vinyl was quite clean and sounds fine.

The second of altoist John Handy's three Roulette albums (none of which are currently available on CD) finds Handy performing six originals with a quartet also including pianist Don Friedman, bassist Bill Lee and drummer Lex Humphries. The altoist already had a pretty original sound (his former employer Charles Mingus would certainly not let him get away with copying Charlie Parker), and although open to the influence of John Coltrane, Handy was getting quite distinctive. The inside/outside music (advanced hard bop that sometimes hints at the avant-garde) still sounds quite fresh. -Scott Yanow

billy bang- outline #12 1983

Heres an incredible album, by billy bang one of the contemporary masters of this music.
Someone who perhaps is easily overlooked due to the fact that he chooses to play the violin.
This incidentally has appeared as mp3’s elsewhere.

by Ron Wynn
Fine, animated, but tough-to-find album featuring violinist Billy Bang, arguably the most striking to emerge on the jazz scene since
Leroy Jenkins. The songs on this set weren't gentle, demure or bluesy; they were explosive, searching, and combative and, as such, were ideal for Bang's sawing effects and sweeping solos.

The line up is
Billy bang, Jason wang and joseph hales- violins
Frank lowe, charles tyler, henri warner and david murray- reeds
Khan jamal- vibes
Sunny murray and john fuller- percussion

The pieces here are all bang compositions

mal waldron- moods 1978

Zero brings us another of waldrons classic mid 70’s albums ‘moods’
Heres the spiel

by Scott Yanow
This double-Lp features pianist Mal Waldron in two very different settings. On the first three songs (including the 20-minute sidelong "Sieg Haile"), he performs three of his compositions in a sextet with cornetist
Terumasa Hino, soprano-saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonist Hermann Breuer, bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Makaya Ntshoko. While that set has its share of fireworks, the remaining seven selections (six originals including his famous "Soul Eyes" plus the lone standard "I Thought About You") showcase Waldron as a sensitive solo pianist. This enjoyable and subtle music (which was also available at one time domestically on Inner City) gives one a well-rounded picture of Mal Waldron's talents in the late 1970's.

Mal Waldron - Moods
> 1. Anxiety 3:33> 2. Sieg Haile 19:10> 3. Lonely 6:33> 4. Minoat 8:11> 5. Happiness 03:04> 6. A Case Of Plus 4s 15:04> 7. I Thought About You 7:38> > Tracks 1, 3, 5, and 7:> Mal Waldron - piano>
Recorded at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg, West Germany, May 8, 1978> >
Tracks 2, 4 and 6:> Terumaso Hino - cornet> Steve Lacy - soprano sax> Hermann Breuer - trombone> Mal Waldron - piano> Cameron Brown - bass> Makaya Ntshoko - drums> West Germany, May 6, 1978

Mal Waldron Trio - Impressions

"In his first three albums for Prestige, Mal Waldron utilized horns to present his ideas. Then he switched to a trio format. Impressions is the second of these and shows off both his playing and composing abilities. On the writing side, three related pieces entitled Overseas Suite are presented here, although they are not in consecutive order. Among the standards, “All the Way” came out of Billie Holiday’s liking for Frank Sinatra’s recording of the song. Waldron was Holiday’s accompanist at the time and, in fact, wrote Overseas Suite after returning from a European tour with Lady in 1958. Until his death in December 2002, Waldron remained a global traveler with an enthusiastic following in Japan and Europe, as well as in the United States. Impressions represents the beginning of that internationalism and, if you will, universality."

Mal Waldron (piano)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)

1. Champs Elysees
2. All About Us
3. Ciao!
4. All The Way
5. With A Song In My Heart
6. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
7. C'est Formidable

Recorded in Hackensack, NJ on March 20, 1959

Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy - Live at Dreher, Paris 1981: The Peak, Vol. 2 CD 2

"...On disc two, where the pair move into the stellar "Let's Call This," Lacy kicks it off, smattering the melody with a skewed sense of time, and Waldron follows by playing it straight. It's a fascinating juxtaposition because Waldron is playing these huge Gershwin-like chords and Lacy, in his trademark fashion, is tonally bending the horn to fit its nutty, knot-like lyrical line. When Waldron starts to move toward Lacy's rhythmic line, he shortens the breadth of his chords and calls in a Joplin melody to play on top of Monk's bassline and Lacy begins finger poppin' in syncopation! Whew. The fact that proceeding are two more Monk tunes, ending with a relaxed but harmonically extrapolated version of "Well You Needn't," is to say that there isn't another set of duets like this anywhere in the jazz history. When two musicians can speak like this it is a bit spooky: they aren't mirrored images of one another, they speak with the same voice melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically. In other words, it is very much like hearing one man play soprano and piano at once. " Thom "What?... What? " Jurek

Mal Waldron (piano)
Steve Lacy (soprano sax)

1 - The Peak
2 - Herbe De L'Oublie
3 - Hooray For Herbie
4 - Let's Call This
5 - Epistrophy
6 - Well You Needn't

I once bent my horn to fit its nutty, knot-like lyrical line.....but I don't want to talk about it.

Mal Waldron

A couple of nice things from a great player. Most of you will probably have The Quest already, but here it is in a flac version. And the live set has a monster line-up, and features the always worth hearing Woody Shaw.

Mal Waldron - The Quest

This wonderful and luxurious set of seven Mal Waldron compositions is played by a sympathetic and inventive sextet. The featured soloists are saxophonists Booker Ervin and Eric Dolphy (also on clarinet). The rhythm section is bolstered with the presence of Ron Carter on cello, whose sonic range dances fluidly between the tamper of the reeds and the bottom of Joe Benjamin's bass. "Warm Canto" is a gorgeous and pastoral work that brings to mind classical composer Ferde Grofe. Elsewhere--such as on the post-bop frolic "Warp and Woof"--Dolphy and Ervin alternate solos with delightful contrast and verve. Their thematic statements on the closing "Fire Waltz" make it impossible to picture anyone else's tones gracing the melody. Waldron's writing is full of his characteristic solemnity and subtlety.

Mal Waldron (piano)
Eric Dolphy (alto sax, clarinet)
Booker Ervin (tenor sax)
Ron Carter (cello)
Joe Benjamin (bass)
Charles Persip (drums)

1. Status Seeking
2. Duquility
3. Thirteen
4. We Diddit
5. Warm Canto
6. Warp And Woof
7. Fire Waltz

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., June 27, 1961

Mal Waldron - The Git Go: Live at the Village Vanguard

Two spare Mal Waldron compositions act as the basis for lengthy compositions on this interesting set. With trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Reggie Workman, drummer Ed Blackwell and the pianist-leader all having their opportunities to star, this advanced set has the feel of a high-quality jam session.

Mal Waldron (piano)
Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone)
Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Ed Blackwell (drums)

1.- Status Seeking
2.- The Git-Go

"Village Vanguard", NYC, September 16, 1986

Mal Waldron - The Seagulls of Kristiansund: Live at the Village Vanguard

This review refers also to the previously posted The Git Go, which is from the same set.

" Two top-flight sets from a single night of a fine week's engagement at the Village Vanguard in New York City. All six compositions are Waldron's and his playing is supremely economical, sketching in tonal centres with a minimum of elaboration, soloing on the faster tracks with a positive touch, shading beautifully on the slow 'Seagulls Of Kristiansund'. This shows a side of Waldron's work which some critics have likened to American minimalism: a slow accretion of almost subliminal harmonic and rhythmic shifts steadily pile up until the music seems ready to overbalance. Perhaps oddly - for subsequent releases from live or studio sessions rarely match up to the original albums - the second album is more appealing. The Git Go consists of no more than the title-piece and an overlong 'Status Seeking', which seems to have lost much of the terse discipline Waldron brought to it on The Quest. On the second album, Waldron kicks off'Snake Out' with a men­acing bass pulse that builds up almost unbearable tension before loosing Woody Shaw on one of his most unfettered solos. Rouse's solo is more compact and provides a taut bridge between Shaw and Waldron, who plays lyrically over a bleak vamp. Blackwell and Workman both solo effectively, though the drummer's finest moment comes at the end of'Judy', the middle track of the set and a tribute to Waldron's great supporter, Judy Sneed. Shaw's solo is astonishing. Blackwell shines again on 'Seagulls', producing non-metrical effects on his splash cymbal; Workman's foghorn and seabird effects are straight out of Mingus's bag. The Git Go has some longueurs, but its successor is thoroughly and straightforwardly enjoyable, and should be tried for size. Penguin Jazz Guide

Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Charlie Rouse (tenor sax, flute)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Ed Blackwell (drums)

1. Snake Out
2. Judy
3. The Seagulls Of Kristiansund

Recorded at the Village Vanguard, NYC, Sep 16, 1986

Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy - Live at Dreher, Paris 1981: The Peak, Vol. 2 CD 1

This second double-CD set represents the final two nights of the stand Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy performed at Dreher in Paris. Where the previous two sets featured only two Lacy compositions, with the others by Monk and Waldron, this second volume opens with no less than four Lacy compositions with six overall, two versions each of Monk's "Epistrophy" and "Well You Needn't," as well as one of the most stunning versions of "Let's Call This" ever recorded. We also get Waldron's "Hooray for Herbie," which is sort of a signature composition that he and Lacy lay down together each time they duet. What separates these two discs from the first two is the emphasis on Lacy's own works. He loves the piano, so there's no shortage of harmonic extensions for Waldron to play with, in which he uses his well honed classical technique to change intervals and modes in Lacy's tunes with alacrity. His long solo in "Bone," is an example of how Waldron takes any thing he can find musically and transforms it with his grace and technique. He pulls in ideas from Stravinsky's ballets, Debussy's "Preludes," Herbie Nichols, Bill Evans, Scott Joplin, and even Howlin' Wolf, stringing them together in harmonic intervals that hold at their root Lacy's melody. Lacy's coloring of phrases with his melody becomes a different kind of lyricism when pasted over Waldron's open, modal chords. On disc two, where the pair move into the stellar "Let's Call This," Lacy kicks it off, smattering the melody with a skewed sense of time, and Waldron follows by playing it straight. It's a fascinating juxtaposition because Waldron is playing these huge Gershwin-like chords and Lacy, in his trademark fashion, is tonally bending the horn to fit its nutty, knot-like lyrical line. When Waldron starts to move toward Lacy's rhythmic line, he shortens the breadth of his chords and calls in a Joplin melody to play on top of Monk's bassline and Lacy begins finger poppin' in syncopation! Whew. The fact that proceeding are two more Monk tunes, ending with a relaxed but harmonically extrapolated version of "Well You Needn't," is to say that there isn't another set of duets like this anywhere in the jazz history. When two musicians can speak like this it is a bit spooky: they aren't mirrored images of one another, they speak with the same voice melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically. In other words, it is very much like hearing one man play soprano and piano at once. Thom Jurek

Mal Waldron (piano)
Steve Lacy (soprano sax)

1. Bone
2. No Baby
3. Blinks
4. I Feel a Draft
5. 'Round Midnight
6. Well, You Needn't
7. Epistrophy
8. The Peak
9. Herbe de Loublie
10. Hooray for Herbie
11. Let's Call This
12. Epistrophy
13. Well, You Needn't

Mal Waldron -- Left Alone

amg says: Review by Scott Yanow
This obscure CD reissue has the wrong date listed (it is from February 24, 1959, not November 1957) and fails to mention that altoist Jackie McLean sits in with pianist Mal Waldron's trio (which includes bassist Julian Euell and drummer Al Dreares) on the title cut, a number co-written by Waldron and Billie Holiday. Although Waldron dedicated the album to Lady Day and talks about her a bit on the last track in a short interview with vibraphonist Teddy Charles (which was recorded a bit later), he actually only performs one song from her repertoire: "You Don't Know What Love Is." Otherwise this rather brief CD has the title cut, two other typically brooding Waldron originals plus Sonny Rollins' "Airegin." McLean's emotional alto is such a strong asset on the title cut that one wishes he were on the rest of this worthwhile set.

jean lafite says: check it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

max roach -live in tokyo vols 1 and 2 ,1977

heres something , our friend glmlr wants to share!
there has been a bit great billy harper floating around, so weve decided to divide the labour on a joint post.

this is an electrifying concert !!
ripped from vinyl (its oop) by glmlr
no scans for this one unfortunately


the info is
Max Roach Quartet live in tokyo 1977
Cecil Bridgewater (tp) Billy Harper (ts) Reggie Workman (b) Max Roach (d) "Yubin Chokin Hall", Tokyo, Japan, January 21, 1977

Denon [J] YX Calvary 7508 'Round About Midnight - It's Time - Mr. Papa Jo

Denon [J] YX 7509 Scott Free, Pt. 1 - Scott Free, Pt. 2 -

((( * Max Roach Quartet Live In Tokyo, (Vol. 1 -calvary(Denon [J] YX 7508)* Max Roach Quartet Live In Tokyo, Vol. 2 - Scott Free (Denon [J] YX 7509) )))

Bobby Timmons Trio ~ In Person

This review is generally informative, however J. Todd should have refrained from specious remarks, such as: "Timmons demonstrates little taste for adventure and, consequently, can sustain himself in the spotlight only intermittently" While this may describe windshield wipers, it is woefully inadequate when evaluating Bobby Timmons. WBF

by Jim Todd
This enjoyable LP presents a relaxed, agreeable live date, but not one that generates sparks. Pianist Bobby Timmons, who made his name as a writer and invaluable part of the rhythm section in the Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderley bands of the late '50s and early '60s, is a different proposition in his role here as a leader. Although able and energetic, Timmons demonstrates little taste for adventure and, consequently, can sustain himself in the spotlight only intermittently. Still, with Timmons in the company of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Albert Heath, both in their early twenties at the time of this 1961 recording, there would seem to have been potential for great things — something beyond the sum of the parts. As it is, Carter and Heath provide little more than reliable support relative to their superior skills. Things may have sounded differently to the Village Vanguard audience, but on the LP Carter is uncharacteristically two-dimensional. His volume is about right, but the tone is rendered as an anonymous, mid-range pulsing. There is no sense of flesh, wood, and strings interacting with one another. Heath, predominantly using brushes, is also at about the right volume in the mix, but there are nuances missing and his snare is overemphasized. The players sound most together on the parts they've worked out, but the telepathy that distinguishes an excellent trio from an average one is missing in the group's improvisations. The result is a release that stops short of satisfying expectations.
Autumn Leaves/So Tired/Goodbye/Dat Dere (theme)/They Didn't Believe Me/Dat Dere (full length)/Popsy/I Didn't Know What Time It Was/Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise/Dat Dere (theme)

Paulo Moura - Visita Gershwin & Jobim (2001)

I've already released one Paulo Moura, one of my favorite sax-clarinet players in Brazil. Here's another one. Neither bossa-nova, neither jazz. But you may call it bossa-jazz. That would fit. Or at least it made only with Jobim's and Gershwin's songs. Not to lose I guess.

Review: by Carlos Calado

There are plenty of reasons for jazz musicians to compare Tom Jobim with American masters like George Gershwin or Cole Porter. Leading a top instrumental septet, Moura testifies to that comparison in this live album, recorded in São Paulo in 1998. It opens with Rhapsody in Bossa, which mingles Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Jobim’s Samba do Avião and Só Danço Samba. Both the arrangements and the interpretation might mislead a heedless listener into thinking that the songs were written by the same author.

In Água de Beber, Moura’s sense of rhythm and improvisation imprints a jazzy approach to the classic Jobim samba. The version of Embraceable You, explores the same procedures, only backwards: it opens with Moura’s saxophone flowing standard jazzy improvisations and finishes as a samba. Summertime opens with an amusing citation of Garota de Ipanema, and it all ends in samba.

If listened to without prejudice, the inventive arrangements by Moura, Korman and Nelson Faria reveal what jazz musicians noticed still in the 60s: the works of Jobim and Gershwin are the result of precious and similar musical traditions. And today, they sound classic. (Carlos Calado)

Lucky Thompson with Gerard Pochonet & His Quartet

A Gem!

Lucky Thompson, tenor sax
Martial Solal, piano

Michel Hausser, vibes
Jean Pierre Sasson, guitar
Gerard Pochonet, drums
Benoit Quersin & Pierre Michelot*, basses.

Recorded in Paris, Mars, 12 & 14 1956

1. UNDECIDED (Shavers - Robin)
2. TENDERLY*(Gross)
3. BUT NOT FOR ME (G. Gershwin - I. Gershwin)
4. YOU GO TO MY HEAD (Coots - Gillespie)
5. LULLABY IN THYTHM*(Goodman - Hirsh - Sampson)
6. INDIAN SUMMER (Dubin - Herbert)
8. DON'T BLAME ME (McHugh - Fields)
9. EAST OF THE SUN*(Bowman)
10. OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY (G. Gershwin - I. Gershwin)
11.I COVER THE WATERFRONT*(Green - Heyman)
12. MY FUNNY VALENTINE* (R. Rodgers & L. Hart)

art and notes in files

Sunday, February 10, 2008

downbeat August 7, 1958

A couple of pages have had parts torn, but the issue is pretty much intact. Miles Davis does the Blindfold test.

The Quincy Jones ABC/Mercury Big Band Sessions CDs 3-5

OK, OK . . . . . . . the masses are demanded more Quincy! I suppose that means I need to present the other three discs asap! Well, here there are. This stuff is all good! Great players!! Use up your RS limit and enjoy them. Ancillary materials to follow.

Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., known to his friends as "Q," was born on Chicago's South Side. When he was ten he moved, with his father and stepmother, to Bremerton, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. He first fell in love with music when he was in elementary school. and tried nearly all the instruments in his school band before settling on the trumpet. While barely in his teens, Quincy befriended a local singer-pianist, only three years his senior. His name was Ray Charles. The two youths formed a combo, eventually landing small club and wedding gigs.

At 18, the young trumpeter won a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, but dropped out abruptly when he received an offer to go on the road with bandleader Lionel Hampton. The stint with Hampton led to work as a freelance arranger. Jones settled in New York, where, throughout the 1950s, he wrote charts for Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley and his old friend Ray Charles.

By 1956, Quincy Jones was performing as a trumpeter and music director with the Dizzy Gillespie band on a State Department-sponsored tour of the Middle East and South America. Shortly after his return, he recorded his first albums as a bandleader in his own right for ABC Paramount Records.

In 1957, Quincy settled in Paris where he studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen, and worked as a music director for Barclay Disques, Mercury Records' French distributor. As musical director of Harold Arlen's jazz musical Free and Easy, Quincy Jones took to the road again. A European tour closed in Paris in February, 1960. With musicians from the Arlen show, Jones formed his own big band, with 18 artists -- plus their families -- in tow. European and American concerts met enthusiastic audiences and sparkling reviews, but concert earnings could not support a band of this size and the band dissolved, leaving its leader deeply in debt.

After a personal loan from Mercury Records head Irving Green helped resolve his financial difficulties, Jones went to work in New York as music director for the label. In 1964, he was named a vice-president of Mercury Records, the first African-American to hold such an executive position in a white-owned record company.

Following the success of The Pawnbroker Jones left Mercury Records and moved to Los Angeles. After his score for The Slender Thread, starring Sidney Poitier, he was in constant demand as a composer. His film credits in the next five years included Walk Don't Run, In Cold Blood, In the Heat of the Night, A Dandy in Aspic, MacKenna's Gold, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, The Lost Man, Cactus Flower, and The Getaway. To date he has written scores for 33 major motion pictures.

For television, Quincy wrote the theme music for Ironside (the first synthesizer-based TV theme song), Sanford and Son, and The Bill Cosby Show. The 1960s and '70s were also years of social activism for Quincy Jones. He was a major supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Operation Breadbasket, an effort to promote economic development in the inner cities. After Dr. King's death, Quincy Jones served on the board of Rev. Jesse Jackson's People United to Save Humanity (PUSH).

An ongoing concern throughout Jones's career has been to foster appreciation of African-American music and culture. To this end, he helped form IBAM (the Institute for Black American Music). Proceeds from IBAM events were donated toward the establishment of a national library of African-American art and music. He is also one of the founders of the annual Black Arts Festival in Chicago. In 1973, Quincy Jones co-produced the CBS television special Duke Ellington, We Love You Madly. This program featured such performers as Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin, Peggy Lee, Count Basie and Joe Williams performing Ellington's music. Jones himself led the orchestra.

The film composer/activist/TV producer had not abandoned his career as a recording artist, however. From 1969 to 1981 he recorded a series of chartbusting Grammy-winning albums fusing a sophisticated jazz sensibility with R&B grooves and popular vocalists. These included Walking in Space, Gula Materi, Smackwater Jack, and Ndeda. 1973's You've Got It Bad, Girl marked his recording debut as a singer. Its follow-up Body Heat sold over a million copies and stayed in the top five on the charts for six months.

This extraordinary streak almost came to a sudden end in August 1974, when Jones suffered a near-fatal cerebral aneurysm -- the bursting of blood vessels leading to the brain. After two delicate operations, and six months of recuperation, Quincy Jones was back at work with his dedication renewed. The albums Mellow Madness, I Heard That and The Dude finished out his contract with A&M records as a performer, but new challenges lay just ahead.

Jones went back into the studio to produce Michael Jackson's first solo album Off the Wall. Eight million copies were sold, making Jackson an international superstar and Quincy Jones the most sought-after record producer in Hollywood. The pair teamed again in 1982 to make Thriller. It became the best selling album of all time, selling over 30 million copies around the globe and spawning an unprecedented six Top Ten singles, including "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'."

His debut as a filmmaker occurred in 1985 when he co-produced Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. The film won eleven Oscar nominations and introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to movie audiences.

In 1993, Quincy Jones and David Salzman staged the concert spectacular "An American Reunion" to celebrate the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. The two impresarios decided to form a permanent partnership called Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (QDE). a co-venture with Time-Warner, Inc.

The company, in which Jones serves as co-CEO and chairman, encompasses multi-media programming for current and future technologies, including theatrical motion pictures and television. QDE also publishes Vibe magazine and produced the popular NBC-TV series Fresh Prince of Bel Air. At the same time, Jones runs his own record label, Qwest Records and is Chairman and CEO of Qwest Broadcasting, one of the largest minority-owned broadcasting companies in the United States. He has continued to produce hit records, including Back on the Block and Q's Jook Joint.

The all-time most nominated Grammy artist, with a total of 76 nominations and 26 awards, Quincy Jones has also received an Emmy Award, seven Oscar nominations, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. His life and career were chronicled in 1990 in the critically acclaimed Warner Bros. film Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones. In 2001, he published Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones.

Curtis Fuller - Soul Trombone (1961)

Curtis Fuller was very busy as a leader between his recording debut in 1957 and these 1961 sessions, which made up his first LP for Impulse and his eighteenth overall disc of his own. Not quite as adventurous on the trombone as J. J. Johnson, but Fuller more than holds his own leading a band including Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Heath, Jymie Merritt and either Jimmy Cobb or G. T. Hogan on drums. The solos on this hard bop disc are superb, with Fuller giving his musicians plenty of room, while his own work is first rate. Three of the six pieces are originals and even if they never caught on, there is no filler present anywhere. This long unavailable LP was finally reissued on CD in Japan, almost four decades after its release. - Ken Dryden

Although there was a CD reissue, it is now oop and very hard to find. There were no additional tracks or alternate takes issued.

Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Jimmy Heath (tenor sax)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)
G.T. Hogan (drums on Stockholm)
  1. The Clan
  2. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
  3. Newdles
  4. The Breeze and I
  5. Dear Old Stockholm
  6. Ladie's Night
Recorded November 15-17, 1961

Martial Solal - Michel Portal

Here's another very scarce ERATO recording of Martial Solal, this time with clarinet, bass clarinet, and sax played by Michel Portal. Inventive, humorous, inspired duets. Track list in the files.

Mose Allison - 'V-8 Ford Blues [1961]

'V-8 Ford Blues' completes the third album included in
the 1994 Collection 'High Jinks' - I already posted the other
two here at CIA in the past

"Besides cool playing and his uniquely smoky singing, Mose has
great taste in material. "Hey Good Lookin'" fits right in
with revisited versions of "I Love the Life I Live,"
"I Ain't Got Nobody" and "Baby Please Don't Go," complete
with what the singer himself calls his distinctive
"involuntary groan" during the piano solo. Teo Macero's
intimate production makes it feel like you're right there
in the studio."

Mose himself reflects on the album in 1994

"When this record was made, JFK was president, the Jazz boom was still
going strong and recording engineers were still leaving the vocal
mike on during the instrumental passages, picking up the involuntary
groan (common to many piano players) on "Baby, Please Don't Go." One
critic said that is sounded like "feeding time at the Zoo", but later
I heard that some people thought it was fascinating. The most
fascinating thing to me about this collection is the heretofore
unreleased instrumental tracks. "The Hills" was based on an
old country fiddlers tune and I had completely forgotten ever
having done "Am I Blue." I was still working a lot with Al &
Zoot during this period, and "High Jinks" does remind me of
those nights at the Half Note on Spring Street"

1 V-8 Ford Blues
2 Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
3 Baby Please Don't Go
4 Hey, Good Lookin'
5 I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love
6 I Ain't Got Nobody
7 Back on the Corner
8 Life Is Suicide
9 'Deed I Do
10 Ask Me Nice
11 You're a Sweetheart
12 Mad With You
13 High Jinks
14 So Rare
15 The Hills

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Horace Silver - Serenade To A Soul Sister

One of the last great Horace Silver albums for Blue Note, Serenade to a Soul Sister is also one of the pianist's most infectiously cheerful, good-humored outings. It was recorded at two separate early-1968 sessions with two mostly different quintets, both featuring trumpeter Charles Tolliver and alternating tenor saxophonists Stanley Turrentine and Bennie Maupin, bassists Bob Cranshaw and John Williams, and drummers Mickey Roker and Billy Cobham. (Williams and Cobham were making some of their first recorded appearances since exiting the military.) Silver's economical, rhythmic piano style had often been described as funky, but the fantastic opener "Psychedelic Sally" makes that connection more explicit and contemporary, featuring a jubilant horn theme and a funky bass riff that both smack of Memphis soul. (In fact, it's kind of a shame he didn't pursue this idea more.) Keeping the album's playful spirit going, "Rain Dance" is a campy American Indian-style theme, and "Jungle Juice" has a mysterious sort of exotic, tribal flavor. "Kindred Spirits" has a different, more ethereal sort of mystery, and "Serenade to a Soul Sister" is a warm, loose-swinging tribute. You'd never know this album was recorded in one of the most tumultuous years in American history, but as Silver says in the liner notes' indirect jab at the avant-garde, he simply didn't believe in allowing "politics, hatred, or anger" into his music. Whether you agree with that philosophy or not, it's hard to argue with musical results as joyous and tightly performed as Serenade to a Soul Sister. Steve Huey

Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone)
Bennie Maupin (tenor saxophone)
Charles Tolliver (trumpet)
Horace Silver (piano)
John Williams (bass)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)
Billy Cobham (drums)

1. Psychedelic Sally
2. Serenade To A Soul Sister
3. Rain Dance
4. Jungle Juice
5. Kindred Spirits
6. Next Time I Fall In Love

james p johnson- victory stride (the orchestral works 1923-42)

heres a delightful disc of james p johnsons orchestral music.

very little of these pieces were performed in his lifetime, some were not even officially published.

heres a review by
scott yanaow.

James P. Johnson passed away in 1955 and, although he gained fame as the top stride pianist of the 1920s, his ambitious major works were rarely ever performed. During the two years covered by this CD several of Johnson's most extended suites (much of which was feared to have been lost) were recorded for the first time: "Victory Stride," the four-part "Harlem Symphony," "Concerto Jazz A Mine," the "American Symphonic Suite" and "Drums - A Symphonic Poem"; in addition The Concordia Orchestra and pianist Leslie Stifelman play an extended version of Johnson's "The Charleston." The music, although technically outside of jazz, should greatly interest jazz collectors for these colorful performances cast new light on the talents of James P. Johnson.

Mal Waldron and David friesen - encounters 1984

heres something i was initially dissapointed with ,when i bought it some 5 years ago.
it's since grown on me, i found it a little amorphous and new agey, now i know better its a quietly beautiful at times pastoral , slightly bucolic thing.
i particularly like the last track a waldron solo named 'outside's inside too'
heres a Review by Ken Dryden
Longtime fans of Mal Waldron will find his duo session with bassist David Friesen to be of a very different character. The pianist's solo and trio recordings are typically intense, very moody performances, but his touch is much lighter in his partnership with Friesen. The two play as equals with Waldron often fading somewhat into the background during Friesen's solo in "If I Were a Bell." "Encounters" is evidently a free-form duo improvisation in the studio and full of surprising twists. The bassist's unaccompanied "My Toby," dedicated to his youngest son, finds him utilizing a delay to make it sound like he overdubbed a second line. Friesen switches to playing shakuhachi (a delicate Japanese wind instrument) for "Night Wind," a soft work with an obviously Far Eastern flavor. The piano-bass duet of the standard "Imagination" is played at a very slow tempo with an almost reverent touch. The finale, "Outside's Inside Too," is a solo feature for Waldron that sounds as if it was improvised on the spot. Long out of print, this album is definitely worth acquiring.

Mal Waldron with Yosuke Yamashita ,Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo September 17,1985

zero, says
'I was going to move on to Impressions but changed my mind. The still unheard Waldron - Yamashita boot that's been sitting here for nearly 3 years kept beckoning me and I didn't resist. Glad I didn't.
The thing came to me with no setlist. Quite obviously the first track was an extended improvisation around My Old Flame. I went googling around for details and found that the show was released by Sony Japan (possibly OOP - couldn't tell for sure), but there are differences between the boot and the release: 43 minutes vs. 64 minutes, respectively, and different tracking.
I've included info about that in the text file, which reads as follows:
Mal Waldron with Yosuke Yamashita Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo September 17,1985
Mal Waldron - p Yosuke Yamashita - p
> 1. My Old Flame 28:49 2. unidentified 9:51 3. unidentified 5:07
> Source: FM broadcast>
" This material appears to overlap with CBS/Sony Japan 32DH 360 release> Piano Duo Live At Pit Inn, which reportedly contains the following tracks
1. Duo Improvisation, part 1 (18:07) 2. Duo Improvisation, part 2 (28:00) 3. My Old Flame (18:00)"

The Quincy Jones ABC/Mercury Big Band Jazz Sessions

OK, I'll admit it - I'm a real sucker for everything Quincy Jones has ever recorded. Whether it's his R&B records, I am the World, Michael Jackson, or his Jazz stuff...I love it all. He's as close to a musical genius as I can imagine. That said, here's the first two discs of a wonderful 5 CD set issued by Mosaic Records covering his ABC/Mercury big band recordings of the late 50's-early 60's. Even if you have this material in some other form, you'll love the remastered sound in this set, so I urge you to grab it. I'll provide scans and detailed session info in one of the remaining posts.

Mosaic Records blurb: It didn't make sense economically, didn't make sense logistically, didn't provide ego satisfaction for star players, but Quincy Jones formed a big band. For the sheer sake of the music.

And because of their love for Quincy, an exceptional group of musicians signed on for the "tour," some of them literally traipsing all over Europe to find venues that could house them and bandstands that could squeeze them all in. There was never any problem finding audiences eager to hear what Quincy was thinking, or what musicians like Art Farmer, Zoot Sims, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, and Hank Jones were blowing. And listeners today will discover just the same joy.

The set includes all of his 1959-60 studio and 1961 live Mercury sessions, as well as an earlier set from 1956 for ABC-Paramount and a 1961 date for Impulse. The 1956 date for an ABC-Paramount release was a masterpiece of arranging and band leading. You hear him creating his new sound in what is the core of the set, the 1959-60 studio recording that comprised Quincy's "The Birth of a Band" release and later sessions. The final dates were a reunion of sorts, for a tour in Europe and a performance at Newport and an expanded orchestra for a studio session on Impulse. Even though recordings spanned a number of years, from New York to Zurich to Paris to Newport and back to New York, we were able to track down every original tape master.

In writing for the big band, Quincy concealed a great deal of harmonic and rhythmic complexity in his charts. He really was reinventing big band music for a new decade and a new generation of listeners. His pieces sounded youthful and vibrant, and could be technically demanding almost beyond belief; more the writing you'd expect a five-piece band to conquer, not one comprising 17 or 18 or 20 musicians. But his bands rose to the challenge, showing there is great swing in precision, and a way of creating excitement by playing both loose and tight at the same time.

The over-brimming talent of Quincy Jones was recognized early. Raised in Seattle, Quincy first began to study trumpet as a teen, and within a few years was performing, touring and recording. He also quickly took to arranging, creating charts for Oscar Pettiford, Art Farmer, Tommy Dorsey, and Count Basie, among others, just six or seven years after taking up the horn. Work as a music director, producer, and conductor came soon after and he would become a record company executive at a time when black musicians didn't get those opportunities.

The set includes an essay by Brian Priestley and a complete discography, as well as many rare photographs by Chuck Stewart. But what it mostly contains is a fountain of youthfulness, in an unlikely, illogical, unprecedented and entirely delightful way that could only belong to Quincy Jones.

CD 1 is the ABC/Impulse Sessions, recorded 1959 & '61; CD 2 contains The Birth of the Band Sessions, also recorded 1959 & 61. Some of the personnel on these recordings: Art Farmer (tp), Jimmy Cleveland (tb), Gene Quill (as), Herbie Mann (fl, ts), Zoot Sims, Lucky Thompson (ts), Jack Nimitz (bs), Milt Jackson (v), Hank Jones (p) Charles Mingus (bs), Charlie Persip (dr), Billy Taylor (pn), Freddie Hubbard, Snooky Young, Oliver Nelson, Julis Watkins, Phil Woods, Thad Jones, Harry Edison, Kenny Burrell,and others.

The New York-Montreux Connection '81

I do love a good jam. Side one of this LP features an Alto Summit session from the 1981 Kool Jazz Festival in New York and side two has music from two sets at the Montreux Festival of the same year. The Alto Summit set features the three contrasting styles of Phil Woods, Arthur Blythe and Paquito D'Rivera. The Heath Brothers and McCoy Tyner sets are not really jams, per se, but are their working bands of the time with featured guest artists.

Another connection on this album is that of old and new. Woods, Tyner, Hampton and the Heath brothers were established musicians that had been around for at least two decades. Blythe, D'Rivera, Freeman and Ford were rising new stars.

This album has never been reissued and it's unfortunate that the rest of the music from these concerts was never issued at all. Perhaps Columbia saved the tapes and will one day issue the entire performances from these sets. Dream on.....

"Several of Columbia's top jazz artists are featured on this interesting LP whose performances are from the 1981 Kool and Montreux Jazz Festivals. Altoists Paquito D'Rivera, Phil Woods and Arthur Blythe are featured on a ballad medley and a blazing version of "Ornithology," The Heath Brothers plus guest trombonist Slide Hampton jam on "Hot House" and pianist McCoy Tyner (in an octet with Blythe, D'Rivera and the tenors of Joe Ford and Chico Freeman) stretches out on one of his modal originals. This now-rare music (which has not been reissued on CD) has more than its share of surprising moments." - Scott Yanow

Alto Summit
Phil Woods, Arthur Blythe, Paquito D'Rivera (alto sax)
John Hicks (piano)
Art Davis (bass)
Steve McCall (drums)

1. Ballad Medley:
Lover Man - D'Rivera
You Leave Me Breathless - Woods
Lush Life - Blythe

2. Ornithology

The Heath Brothers
Jimmy Heath (tenor sax) Slide Hampton (trombone)
Stanley Cowell (piano) Tony Purrone (guitar)
Percy Heath (bass) Akira Tana (drums)

3. Hot House

McCoy Tyner Quintet
Joe Ford (tenor sax) John Blake (violin)
McCoy Tyner (piano) Avery Sharpe (bass) Ronnie Burrage (drums)
Guests: Arthur Blythe, Paquito D'Rivera (alto sax) Chico Freeman (tenor sax)

4. Rotunda

Mal Waldron-up popped the devil 1973

Heres an album zero and I ,agree represents the peak of waldron’s darker freer trance like mid 70’s period, his sequence of enja albums beginning with black glory and plays the blues both recorded live at the domicile in munich 1971.

this trio is a followup to those and features billy Higgins and reggie workman in what is for me one of the great trio albums of the seventies.

Id never heard such a uniquely mysterious highly congested atmosphere on any jazz record before this, and its still fresh remaining a perennial favourite to this day.

Who knows what genre this is…no longer bebop, not free jazz, who cares it’s a n angular funky brooding masterpiece!!!!
Higgins and workman are interactive as hell on this, and fairly freely too in the manner first suggested by bill evans trio with paul motian and scott lafarro but taking it a lot further to the bink of controlled almost muted frenzy.
Its well known that Waldron had a nervous breakdown in the mid 60’s having to relearn to play.
His music became even more stripped back ,and un ornamental long slowly unfolding repetitively vamping structures with an almost ritual intensity.
Waldron the griot ,dig it!!!

My lp of this has a hairline crack on the last track changachangachanga so i'm very grateful to you zero for this terrific rip from cd.

Sonically this is quite a grainy almost muddy(live) mix, which after you get used to it seems to suit the music well.
Ive loved this record a lot since I was introduced to it in 1989, its something that eases the struggle to maintain a small measure of sanity in a brutally fucked up world.

Martial Solal - Improvisations

Here's another excellent Solo Solal Set, a recording hard to find - nary even a used copy in sight wherever I look. No trace of it on AMG either.

Complete booklet / liner notes with, and here's a photo I snapped of Martial a few years back at the Antibes Juan-les-Pins festival.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Andrew Hill - Passing Ships

I got into a nice little discussion about the great Woody Shaw earlier today. Expect to see a couple of things by him; and meanwhile here's a fine appearance.

"Now this is more like it. In its Connoisseur Series, Blue Note is making available a completely unreleased Andrew Hill date from 1969. Passing Ships wasn't even included in the Mosaic box because the master tape wasn't found until 2001. The band Hill employed on this session was a nonet, featuring Woody Shaw and Dizzy Reece on trumpets, Joe Farrell on reeds, woodwinds, and English horn, Howard Johnson on tuba and bass clarinet, Ron Carter on bass, Lenny White (on only his second recording date) playing drums, trombonist Julian Priester, and French horn player Bob Northern. The music here is ambitious. Hill's scoring for one reed, two trumpets, and low brass is remarkable for the time. In fact, it isn't until his big-band album of 2002 that he ever ventured into these waters again. The title cut, with its bass clarinet and English horn counterpoint, is almost classical in structure but nearly Malian in melody. While the cut's dynamics are restrained, its color palette — especially with the lilting muted trumpets playing a mysterious harmonic line — is flush and royal. "Plantation Bag" is a showcase for Farrell's tough, grooved-out soloing as he blows blue and free in response to Hill's funky, large-spread chord voicings. The trumpets layer one another in the middle of the tune, alternately soloing and punching comp lines through the middle. The Asian melodic figures at the heart of "Noon Tide" add exoticism to one of the most adventurous tunes ever written by Hill. Rhythmically it turns on pulse rhythms that shift and slide methodically as Priester takes the tune's first solo, playing against Hill's left-hand stridency. Of the remaining three selections, "Cascade," with its staggered harmonic architecture that goes against all common wisdom for big-band harmony, is remarkable for its precision and rhythmic invention. Why this isn't going to be out there for the general public for all time is beyond reason. Why punish the artist that way? Conventional wisdom would suggest that something that has been unearthed for the first time in 34 years deserves to be a part of the general catalog. Get it quick." Thom Jurek

Andrew Hill (piano)
Joe Farrell (soprano, tenor sax, alto flute, bass clarinet, English horn)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
Dizzy Reece (trumpet)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Bob Northern - French horn
Howard Johnson (tuba, bass clarinet)
Ron Carter (bass)
Lenny White (drums)

1 - Sideways
2 - Passing Ships
3 - Plantation Bag
4 - Noon Tide
5 - The Brown Queen
6 - Cascade
7 - Yesterday's Tomorrow

Mal Waldron - Crowd Scene

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

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

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

1 - Crowd Scene
2 - Yin And Yang

Recorded in New York on June 10, 1989

Curtis Fuller

There were two requests for these Fuller albums. See? Sometimes we fill 'em.

Curtis Fuller - Jazz...It's Magic!

Trombonist Curtis Fuller's recordings for Savoy in the 1950s, like those of labelmates Hank Mobley, Milt Jackson, Wilbur Harden, Donald Byrd, and others, were prototypes in the development of hard bop. The next stage would come with the subsequent work of many of the same artists for Blue Note, where improved recording technique, greater attention to writing and arranging, and a more generous policy with respect to preparation and rehearsal time helped bring in the classic hard bop era of the late '50s and early '60s. On Fuller's Jazz...It's Magic, the hard bop prototype is still under refinement, but it's easy to enjoy the music in its essential elements: elegant, bluesy melodies; earthy, yet sophisticated, solo work; and fresh treatments of standards. For this 1957 date, Fuller is joined by the appealingly urbane Tommy Flanagan (piano), the versatile Louis Hayes (drums), and George Tucker (bass), whose loping but solid style resembles Paul Chambers'. Joining the trombonist in the frontline is the relatively obscure alto player Sonny Red, who has a clean, expressive, melodic approach to the Charlie Parker legacy that provides many of this CD's best moments. Three Fuller originals, Frank Foster's "Upper Berth," and a medley of ballad standards make up the program. If there are any misgivings about the CD, it would be the long medley (over 13 minutes), which drags on the overall pace. That said, Red's and Flanagan's solo spots on the medley are superb, but the listener's attention can be expected to wander by the time the trombonist finally steps up for his three choruses. ~ Jim Todd

Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Sonny Red (alto sax)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
George Tucker (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Two Ton
2. Medley- It's Magic,My One and Only Love,They Didn't Believe Me
3. Soul Station
4. Club Car
5. Upper Berth

NYC, September 5, 1957

Curtis Fuller - Blues-ette Part 2

The original Blues-ette album was a quintet session from 1959 featuring trombonist Curtis Fuller, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Al Harewood. Thirty-four years later, the same musicians (with bassist Ray Drummond filling in for the deceased Garrison) had a reunion for this Savoy CD. Three of the songs from the original session are given new versions and there are also performances of several recent compositions by both Golson and Fuller in addition to four standards. Although Golson's sound on tenor has evolved since the earlier date, the appealing blend of the two horns remain unchanged as do the styles of Fuller and Flanagan, making Blues-ette, Pt. 2 an excellent example of swinging hard bop. ~ Scott Yanow

Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Ray Drummond (bass)
Al Harewood (drums)

1. Love, Your Spell Is Everywhere ('93)
2. Sis
3. Blues-Ette '93
4. Is It All a Game?
5. Capt' Kid
6. Five Spot After Dark '93
7. How Am I to Know?
8. Along Came Betty
9. Autumn in New York
10. Manhattan Serenade

NYC, January 4-6, 1993

John Coltrane - Wheelin' & Dealin'

Mo' Mal. Last year I was looking in a used bookstore for whatever might jump out, and there was an autobiography by Malcolm Waldron. Very exciting, until I pulled it from the shelf to find it was some Australian mountainclimber or sump'n. More Mal is coming. (Not the mountainclimber.)

It's the fall of 1957, and John Coltrane finds himself in another session with overtones of Kansas City, thanks to the inclusion of Basie alumni Frank Wess and Paul Quinichette. WHEELIN' & DEALIN' reprises the Mal Waldron/Art Taylor rhythm section (with Doug Watkins on bass instead of Paul Chambers), only with a bit more bite and jet propulsion than on Trane's other Prestige all-star dates.

The chemistry between Coltrane, Wess and Quinichette makes WHEELIN' & DEALIN' a particular joy. Listen to the coquettish "Salt Peanuts" vamp Trane and Quinichette introduce behind Wess' percolating flute on "Things Ain't What They Used To Be," and how modern Wess' conception of this instrument is (rarely has Wess gotten the credit he deserves for his total command of the flute, and for popularizing it in a jazz setting). Quinichette offers witty asides to "Stormy Weather" and Trane answers the old master with steely trills, blues hollers and lines of escalating complexity; Quinichette answers with another quote, this time from "Undecided," offering a perfect contrast between his own classic lyricism and Trane's post-modern rhythmic/harmonic mastery. In their round-robin interplay on take 1 of "Wheelin'" Wess seems to split the generational difference.

Illinois Jacquet's classic big-band number "Robbin's Nest" offers a cool, laid back setting upon which to essay extended variations; Wess' flute carries the main melodic thrust, as drummer Art Taylor and Waldron provide sly accompaniment and interplay. Quinichette is up next, and he attacks the theme and changes with taciturn splendor, gradually building tension until he wanders off with bluesy swagger. Trane answers with a magnificent solo, calmly outlining a harmonic sketch of his intentions before vaulting into rhythmically daring variations. The concluding "Dealin'" is a wily after-hours blues by Waldron, who sets a perfect mood on his opening solo, followed by Wess' piping blues phrases, Quinichette's elegant pear tones and Trane's fervent testimony.

John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Paul Quinichette (tenor sax)
Frank Wess (tenor sax, flute)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1 Things Ain't What They Used To Be
2 Wheelin' (take 2)
3 Wheelin'
4 Robbin's Nest
5 Dealin' (take 2)
6 Dealin'

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, September 20, 1957

Horace Tapscott - aiee! The Phantom

Pianist-composer Horace Tapscott has long been Los Angeles' great local legend. He has had his own sound and style since the mid-1960's but, due to his relatively few recordings (mostly for Nimbus) and his desire to live in L.A. rather than New York, he has long been underrated if not completely overlooked. Falling between post bop and the avant-garde, Tapscott plays locally with a blazing (if thus far undocumented) quartet that includes saxophonist Michael Sessions. Recently he recorded Aiee! The Phantom with an all-star quintet including trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, altoist Abraham Burton, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille. Tapscott performs four of his modal-based originals and a pair of obscurities quite freely but with attention paid to the moods of the compositions. Highlights include "Drunk Mary/Mary On Sunday," "To The Great House" and the adventurous "Mothership." Perhaps this recording (available from Arabesque) will alert the rest of the jazz world as to the strong talents of the great veteran Horace Tapscott. Scott Yanow, AMG

1 To the Great House
2 The Goat and Ram Jam
3 aiee! The Phantom
4 Drunken Mary / Mary on Sunday
5 Inspiration of Silence
6 Mothership

Marcus Belgrave: trumpet
Abraham Burton: alto saxophone
Horace Tapscott: piano
Reggie Workman: bass
Andrew Cyrille: drums

Arabesque Jazz AJ0119

Martial Solal with the Kentonians

PARIS - MAY 3, 1956
Originally released on the VOGUE label, you are not likely to find even the 1990 KALEIDOSCOPE CD re-issue at the mall. Not a trace of it at AMG either. The liner notes both in French and English tell all about the date.
LAME VBR mp3's with full scans. Any more rare Solal out there? His recordings seem to go out of print way too fast. I'll be posting a few more in coming days.

the grand mal seizure!!! continues, Mal Waldron birthday concert -antwerp august 16th 1987

zero ,friend and fellow contributor brings us a wonderful concert recorded in antwerp belgium on august the 16th 1987.

the line up is a waldron fan's wetdream!

Mal Waldron - piano Reggie Workman - bass Andrew Cyrille - drums-Joe Henderson - tenor saxophone, tracks 10, 11 and 13 Jeanne Lee - vocals 3, 4 and 6 Abbey Lincoln - vocals 8 and 9

Disc One:1. Happy Birthday (audience) - 0:462. All Alone (Waldron solo) - 16:083. The Seagulls of Kristiansund - 10:504. Soul Eyes - 6:045. Announcement (Mal Waldron) - 0:396. Fire Waltz - 8:307. Champs-Elysees (Waldron solo) - 12:378. Straight Ahead - 6:429. God Bless the Child - 6:58

Disc Two:10. The Git Go - 15:5411. Judy - 13:1612. Announcement (Mal Waldron) and applause - 1:2313. The Theme - 9:26

this configuration recorded an album for rca in 1996, which appears to already have suffered deletions, rca are notorius for their haphazard approach to reissuing their holding's
does anyone hear care to post it??

thanks very much to zero for this and the original traders tapers.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

mal waldron and johnny dyani-'some jive ass boer'/live at jazz unite paris 1981

rab hines thanks for the recent mal , let it flow, let the mal fest continue.
we need more mal here, especially the rarer items(does anyone have his collab with gary peacock from 1971 called explosive encounter long OOP)

this is a good one, a little bit more adventurous than the reviewer gives it credit for.
asan added bonus there are the hints of south african melody, and convivial tribal atmospherics, neither person's best record but consistently engaging none the less.

Some Jive Ass BoerJazz Unité 102

There’s a certain irony in the title, booklet notes and performance of expatriate South African bassist Johnny Dyani on this duo CD shared with expatriate American pianist Mal Waldron.
Recorded in Paris in 1981, more than 15 years after the bassist fled the repressive apartheid regime for England and the Continent -- where he would die five years later -- here he vocally rages against South African (Boer) oppression and urges Westerners to boycott the country.
Slightly more than two decades later the same country has a democratically elected multi-racial government, which until recently had been headed by then-imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, subject of a Waldron-penned blues here. Oppression is rife in neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe and the Congo, with homegrown dictators revealing themselves as bloodthirsty and corrupt as former colonial masters.
What apartheid did for the proceeding half-century though was force many of South Africa’s best and brightest to leave. Among them was Dyani, a founding member of the multi-racial Blue Notes, which decamped en mass for Great Britain in 1964. Once there former South Africans such as pianist Chris McGregor, drummer Louis Moholo and the bassist mixed it up and matched their skills with emerging avant gardists, adding a unique pigmentation to their experiments. The first two, for instance, had long time association with the likes of saxophonist Evan Parker, while Dyani’s bass work was prominent in the bands of expatriate American saxist Steve Lacy and Danish-Congolese alto man John Tchicai.
Thus it’s no surprise to see him recording with Waldron, who also has had a long-time partnership with Lacy. Born in 1926, Waldron is a quirky, unclassifiable stylist, who mixes deep Black music roots with a cerebral outlook. Some of his pre-European employers included Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Billie Holiday, to give you an idea of his versatility.
Despite their differences as expatriate, this duo recital appears to be more about finding common ground for virtuosity than anything else. However it may say something about a similarity in conception, that neither sees the occasion as an excuse to show off. Three of the tunes -- two the longest on the CD -- appear to be duo compositions and the idea seems to be to figure out how Dyani’s solid bass work can mesh with Waldron’s swinging blusiness. On “Strange Intrussions”, for instance, the meandering compositions changes time and tempos several times as the pianist’s light, single-note style makes accommodation with the bassist’s hearty string pulls.
Interestingly enough the two “African-oriented” titles are Waldron’s alone, with “Blues For Mandela” exactly that and “African Cake Walk” a pretty successful fusion of the riff-rich strains of a Southern U.S. plantation dance with the heavier undertow of Dyani’s string solo that references Mother Africa.
However the bit of agit prop prophecy that the bassist vocalizes on “Time Will Tell” is almost buried under Waldron’s pile driving chord clusters. Furthermore, he seems to make a better case for the adaptability and potency of native South Africans with his nimble pizzicato attack and arco shifts on his instrument. An anomaly, “Makulu-Kalahari”, which features Dyani singing in Zulu is also a bit out of character. Pablo Sauvage’s added percussion is unfinished and characterless, though playing piano, the bassist’s interpretation could be termed further out than Waldron’s.
In short this is an imperfect session of mixed expression that luckily no longer has to be judged on socio-political as well as musical grounds.
-- Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Safari 2. African Cake Walk 3.Makulu-Kalahari* 4. Strange Intrussions 5. Blues For Mandela 6. Time Will Tell
Personnel: Mal Waldron (piano); Johnny Dyani (bass, piano*, voice*); Pablo Sauvage (percussion)*

Chet Baker - In New York

Velvety wanderings at a mid-tempo lope, y'all.

Chet Baker could hang just as well as the cats back East, as he proves on the classic Chet Baker In New York. To quell the East vs. West debate, Baker joined New York all-stars like Johnny Griffin, Al Haig, and the Miles Davis rhythm team of Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones for a rousing session that is one for the history books. Listening to these seven standards, there's little doubt that this cross-pollination was a successful experiment. Baker, sticking to trumpet, sounds just as smooth and laid back as usual. From brisk numbers such as "Hotel 49" to blue ballads such as "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," the trumpeter always projects his cool image, only now with a subtle urging from his East Coast sidemen. Griffin is complimentary to the leader, and shines on tasty solo spots such as Benny Golson's swinging opener "Fair Weather." Chambers and Jones get a chance to record a very different take of Davis' classic "Solar," here featuring Baker's velvety wanderings at a mid-tempo lope. Other choice cuts in this experiment include the bouncing "When Lights Are Low" and Benny Goodman's lazily swinging "Soft Winds."

Chet Baker (trumpet)
Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone)
Al Haig (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Fair Weather
2. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
3. Hotel 49
4. Solar
5. Blue Thoughts
6. When Lights Are Low
7. Soft Winds

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, in September 1958

Milton Nascimento

Born in Rio de Janeiro, at the age of 2 Milton Nascimento moved with his adoptive parents to Três Pontas, in the State of Minas Gerais. Despite the fact that Milton is originally from Rio de Janeiro, he was one of the musicians responsible for promoting the popular music from Minas Gerais. Endowed with an extraordinary voice, Nascimento started his music career at the age of 13, singing as a crooner, a singing style he returned to on his 1999 CD "Crooner". In his teens, he joined the group Luar de Prata with Wagner Tiso, whose mother taught piano notions. Nascimento worked on Rádio Três Pontas as a DJ, announcer and director. In 1963 and 1964, he played in the group W's Boys, whose members’ names all started with W: Wagner (Tiso), Waltinho, Wilson and Wanderley, which caused Milton to temporarily change his name to "Wilton".

Later on, Nascimento moved to Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, to do a degree course in Economics. There, he met with musicians who would became his long-term music partners, such as Márcio Borges, his brother Lô Borges and Fernando Brant. In Belo Horizonte, Nascimento played in several bands and in 1965 he moved to Rio de Janeiro, recording with the group Sambacana. In 1966 and 67, Nascimento took part in music festivals; his song "Travessia" (co-written by Fernando Brant) was placed second at a festival and Milton won an award for best performer. In that same year, Milton recorded his first album, and in 1968, on a trip to the U.S., he recorded the album "Courage".

In the years to follow, Nascimento recorded some of his most popular works: "Milton", "Minas", "Gerais" "Milagre dos Peixes" and the two volumes of "Clube da Esquina", which launched several musicians from Minas Gerais, like Lô Borges, Beto Guedes, Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, Nivaldo Ornellas, Nelson Ângelo, Tavito and others. In the 70's, some of his songs were censored by the military regime and he made other albums in the U.S. with Airto Moreira, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others.

Milton Nascimento e Lo Borges - Clube da Esquina

Milton Nascimento - Clube da Esquina 2

Miles Davis - Seven Steps to Heaven

Although this could be seen as a cobbling together of 2 sessions, it is really a record of a major shift in Miles ever shifting stylistic experiments. Just as Ezra Pound said: Make it new. And one of the admirable things about Miles was that he never stopped stretching. The excellent Victor Feldman was on board, but decided to not make this a permanent gig, so Hancock came on the scene. Frank Butler - who should have, and perhaps would have - been recognized as one of the great players on the scene had the bad historical luck of getting this gig just as the star of a phenomenal young talent - Tony Williams - was ascending.

" In early 1963 pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb left to form their own trio, and Miles was forced to form a new band, which included Memphis tenor player George Coleman and bassist Ron Carter. When Miles next entered the studio in Hollywood, he added local drummer Frank Butler and British studio ace Victor Feldman, who ultimately decided not to go on the road with Davis. It's easy to see why Miles liked Feldman, who contributed the dancing title tune and "Joshua" to the session. On three mellifluous standards-- particularly a cerebral "Basin Street Blues" and a broken hearted "I Fall In Love Too Easily"--the pianist plays with an elegant refined touch, and the kind of rarefied voicings that suggest Ahmad Jamal. Miles responds with some of his most introspective, romantic ballad playing. When Davis returned to New York he finally succeeded in spiriting away a brilliantly gifted seventeen-year old drummer from Jackie McLean--Tony Williams. On the title tune you can already hear the difference, as his crisp, driving cymbal beat and jittery, aggressive syncopations propel Miles into the upper reaches of his horn. On "So Near, So Far" the drummer combines with Carter and new pianist Herbie Hancock to expand on a light Afro-Cuban beat with a series of telepathic changes in tempo, texture and dynamics. Meanwhile, Feldman's "Joshua" (with its overtones of "So What" and "All Blues") portends the kind of expressive variations on the basic 4/4 pulse that would become the band's trademark, as Miles and Coleman ascend into bebop heaven. "

Miles Davis (trumpet)
George Coleman (tenor saxophone)
Victor Feldman, Herbie Hancock (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Tony Williams, Frank Butler (drums)

1. Basin Street Blues
2. Seven Steps To Heaven
3. I Fall In Love Too Easily
4. So Near, So Far
5. Baby Won't You Please Come Home
6. Joshua
7. So Near, So Far
8. Summer Nights

Recorded in Hollywood, California in April 1963 and in New York in May 1963

Horace Silver - In Pursuit Of The 27th Man

RVG also; the artwork here is from a favorite site.

I figured at first that this was Blue Note just jazzing up what they know is going to sell; and that may be true, but this is a better effort than I recall. Liner notes by Silver are a nice addition. While collectors push each other around for album covers with people with 'fro's and big soled shoes, this cover screams '70's as well. Lets get physical, indeed.

" Recorded in 1972, a decade removed from the last of Horace Silver's classic quintet recordings, In Pursuit of the 27th Man has never been regarded as one of the pianist's prime releases, which likely explains why Blue Note took this long to make it available on CD. But the album, which moves gracefully between quartet performances featuring vibraphonist David Friedman and quintet numbers featuring the young Brecker brothers (Randy on trumpet and Michael on tenor saxophone), has its distinctive charms. While maintaining the crispness and sense of adventure with which he has always signed his music, Silver and bands ease through some of his most appealing melodies. Songs such as Weldon Irvine's "Liberated Brother" have the early '70s written all over them, but even in those cases their light-handed lyricism and boppish vitality keep them fresh. Friedman's idiosyncratic sound adds a sense of mystery to the music, which, with Bob Cranshaw on electric bass and Mickey Roker on drums, never lacks for a solid and soulful center". --Lloyd Sachs

Horace Silver (piano)
Michael Brecker (tenor sax)
Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn)
David Friedman (vibraphone)
Bob Cranshaw (electric bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1. Liberated Brother
2. Kathy
3. Gregory Is Here
4. Summer In Central Park
5. Nothin' Can Stop Me Now
6. In Pursuit Of The 27th Man
7. Strange Vibes

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey between October 6 and November 10, 1972

Chet Baker In Europe

Chet Baker - Chet Baker In Europe

This post is a vinyl rip of Pacific Jazz PJ 1218 in full DeLuxe Scratchophonic Sound ®. This particular release is notable for the presence of Mrs. Chaloff's student, Dick Twardzik, who was dead a month after this session. Who discovered Twardzik's body? Lars Gullin. Twardzik's replacement when Baker returned to the U.S. was Bobby Timmons. That was a pretty swinging line-up.

Side 1

Chet Baker (trumpet)
Gerald Gustin (piano)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Bert Dale (drums)

1 Summertime
2 You Go To My Head
3 Tenderly
4 Autumn In New York
5 There's A Small Hotel
Recorded in Paris on October 24, 1955

Side 2
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Richard Twardzik (piano)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Peter Littman (drums)

1 Rondette
2 Piece Caprice
3 Mid-Fort E
4 Pomp
5 Sad Walk
6 The Girl From Greenland
tracks 1, 3 ,5 recorded in Paris on October 11, 1955
tracks 2, 4, 6 recorded in Paris on October 14, 1955

Horace Silver - The Cape Verdean Blues

RVG version, if that means anything.

After the success of Song for My Father and its hit title cut, Horace Silver was moved to pay further tribute to his dad, not to mention connect with some of his roots. Silver's father was born in the island nation of Cape Verde (near West Africa) before emigrating to the United States, and that's the inspiration behind The Cape Verdean Blues. Not all of the tracks are directly influenced by the music of Cape Verde (though some do incorporate Silver's taste for light exoticism); however, there's a spirit of adventure that pervades the entire album, a sense of exploration that wouldn't have been quite the same with Silver's quintet of old. On average, the tracks are longer than usual, and the lineup -- featuring tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson (a holdover from the Song for My Father sessions) and trumpeter Woody Shaw -- is one of the most modernist-leaning Silver ever recorded with. They push Silver into more advanced territory than he was normally accustomed to working, with mild dissonances and (especially in Henderson's case) a rawer edge to the playing. What's more, bop trombone legend J.J. Johnson appears on half of the six tracks, and Silver sounds excited to finally work with a collaborator he'd been pursuing for some time. Johnson ably handles some of the album's most challenging material, like the moody, swelling "Bonita" and the complex, up-tempo rhythms of "Nutville." Most interesting, though, is the lilting title track, which conjures the flavor of the islands with a blend of Latin-tinged rhythms and calypso melodies that nonetheless don't sound quite Caribbean in origin. Also noteworthy are "The African Queen," with its blend of emotional power and drifting hints of freedom, and "Pretty Eyes," Silver's first original waltz. Yet another worthwhile Silver album. ~ Steve Huey

Horace Silver (piano)
Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
J.J. Johnson (trombone)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Roger Humphries (drums)

1. Cape Verdean Blues
2. African Queen
3. Pretty Eyes
4. Nutville
5. Bonita
6. Mo' Joe

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on October 1 & 22, 1965

Arthur Blythe - Basic Blythe (1987)

Arthur Blythe possesses one of the most easily recognizable alto sax sounds in jazz -- big and round, with a fast, wide vibrato and an aggressive, precise manner of phrasing. His lines are frequently quite baroque and always well-defined; Blythe's playing has been criticized (unfairly, some would say) as being overly ornamental, but he is certainly capable of improvising melodies of great character and originality.

For a time in the late '70s and early '80s, it seemed as if jazz's avant-garde was on the verge of a popular breakthrough in the person and music of Arthur Blythe. Blythe was signed by Columbia Records; the label's hype-heavy promotion of the saxophonist almost made him a star. It didn't work; Blythe was too "out" for the masses. Columbia realized that it had made a mistake by expecting too much of the public, and threw its promotional weight behind a more malleable, less threatening young prince by the name of Wynton Marsalis. And the rest is history. - Chris Kelsey

Arthur Blythe's final Columbia album is a varied set that includes the two-part "Autumn In New York," Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear," John Hicks' "Heart To Heart" and three Blythe originals including a remake of "Lennox Avenue Breakdown." Blythe's quartet (with pianist John Hicks, bassist Anthony Cox and drummer Bobby Battle) is excellent although the use of eight strings does not add much to the music and is sometimes a bit distracting. However the altoist's playing makes the project quite worthwhile. - Scott Yanow

Arthur Blythe (alto sax)
John Hicks (piano)
Anthony Cox (bass)
Bobby Battle (drums)
David Nadien, Jan Mullen, Theodore Israel, Richard Locker, Sanford Allen,
Paul Peabody, Jesse Levine, Fred Zlotkin (strings)
  1. Autumn in New York (part one)
  2. Lenox Avenue Breakdown
  3. Heart to Heart
  4. As of Yet
  5. Ruby My Dear
  6. Faceless Woman
  7. Autumn in New York (part two)

Tony Bennett - Long Ago And Far Away

One of Tony Bennett's early LP's, recorded and issued in 1958, this is the singer's first collaboration with arranger Frank DeVol with whom he would subsequently record two more ballad sets. This was also the final album Tony Bennett would record only in monophonic. In addition (another 'fun' fact), discographies show that this was the only disc Bennett would record in Los Angeles (99% of Bennett's recordings were done in New York, a few in London in later years).

The song lineup is a typical variety of popular standards, the only newer song being Cy Coleman's "It Amazes Me." For me, the disc's highlight is Bennett's sensitive reading of "My Foolish Heart.” There are a couple of Jerome Kern gems (“The Way You Look Tonight” and the title song which is one of the best ever written), along with songs by Broadway and Hollywood’s finest composers: Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen, Irving Berlin, and Richard Rodgers (one with lyrics by Hart, the other with Hammerstein). Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye” is a masterwork.

The arrangements are quite pretty and generally unobtrusive except for a few annoyances. DeVol throws in a harpsichord as the featured keyboard instrument on two tracks, distracting more than accompanying. Listen to “A Cottage For Sale.” It sounds as if J.S. Bach had somehow wandered into the studio and decided to join the sidemen as a session player. It doesn’t work here and doesn’t work on the other “baroque” selection, “Long Ago And Far Away.” Other arrangers have successfully integrated the harpsichord into pop sessions but, in my opinion, DeVol fails. Another device which doesn’t quite come off is DeVol’s bothersome attempt to simulate the titular heart on “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” by alternating bleeps on woodblock and vibes. By the way, the arrangement of “Blue Moon” was done by Bennett’s long-time pianist Ralph Sharon.

I have ripped this vintage LP as MP3’s @320, as I thought FLAC overkill for these old mono tracks. It sounds rather good, all cleaned up with clicks/pops excised for the most part. I hope this makes up for yesterday’s Summer Of ’42! Scoredaddy
Tony Bennett (vocals)
Frank DeVol (arrangements)
Ralph Sharon (arranger on #11)

1. It Could Happen To You
2. Every Time We Say Goodbye
3. Long Ago And Far Away
4. It Amazes Me
5. The Way You Look Tonight
6. Be Careful, It’s My Heart
7. My Foolish Heart
8. Time After Time
9. Fools Rush In
10. A Cottage For Sale
11. Blue Moon
12. So Far

Recorded April 7-9, 1958 at Radio Recorders Annex, Los Angeles, CA

Susannah McCorkle - The Songs Of Johnny Mercer

Moving along in our Susannah McCorkle survey, one of her early efforts recorded in the U.K. Her phrasing had not yet reached the maturity that she would acheive a few years afterward. By the way, I recently learned that there is a McCorkle biography, written and published in 2006 entitled Haunted Heart. I'm anxious to read it for a complete overview of this great artist's tragically short life and career. Next up in this series is McCorkle's rarest disc! Scoredaddy

For her second recording and first U.S. release, singer Susannah McCorkle performs 14 songs fortunate enough to have the delightful lyrics of Johnny Mercer. Whether it be the Dixielandish "At the Jazz Band Ball," "Blues in the Night," the touching "Skylark," a "Dream" medley, "One for My Baby" or the novelty "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry," McCorkle does full justice to the words she sings. Recorded in London in 1977, the date finds McCorkle joined by such fine English musicians as pianist Keith Ingham, bassist Ron Rubin, drummer Derek Hogg, the tenors of Danny Moss and Duncan Lamont, and the excellent trumpeter Digby Fairweather. Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle, Vocals
Digby Fairweather. Trumpet, Cornet
Derek Hogg, Drums
Keith Ingham, Piano
Duncan Lamont, Tenor Sax
Danny Moss, Clarinet, Tenor Sax

1 At the Jazz Band Ball (Edwards, LaRocca, Mercer) 2:50
2 Fools Rush In (Bloom, Mercer) 4:46
3 I'm Old Fashioned (Kern, Mercer) 3:53
4 Blues in the Night (Arlen, Mercer) 3:20
5 My New Celebrity Is You (Mercer) 4:27
6 Skylark (Carmichael, Mercer) 3:32
7 Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home (Arlen, Mercer) 4:19
8 Talk to Me Baby (Dolan, Mercer) 3:22
9 This Time the Dream's on Me/Dream (Arlen, Mercer) 4:53
10 How Little We Know (Carmichael, Mercer) 3:39
11 Harlem Butterfly (Mercer) 3:45
12 Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry (Mercer, Schertzinger) 3:10
13 Lazy Mood (Mercer, Miller) 3:52
14 One for My Baby (Arlen, Mercer) 4:11

Recorded September 19, 21 & October 3, 1977 at EMI Studios, London England, UK

Sonny Criss Quartet featuring Hampton Hawes 1949-1957

This is NOT a vinyl rip
Very short CD rip - only twenty minutes
I couldn't find a review

Sonny Criss - alto
Hampton Hawes - piano
Iggy Shevack - bass
Buddy Woodson - bass
Chuck Thompson - drums

1. The first one 2:55
2. Calidad 3:15
3. Blues for boppers 2:32
4. Tornado 2:45
Los Angeles September 22 1949

5. Easy living 2:14
6. Willow weep for me 3:10
7. Wailing for Joe 3:13
Los Angeles November 25 1957

Martial Solal and Toots Thielemans

Here's another great set of 'European Jazz'. I didn't think much of the liner notes, so the blurb here will be brief. Like,

The shortest jazz poem ever written,
One word,

-Jon Hendricks on George Russell, Jazz in the Space Age.

Martial Solal Improvise pour France Musique

SOLAL 1994
What marvelous, mesmerising, yes, even miraculous music Martial Solal has brought us here! Twenty masterpieces, two hours selected by the artist himself from 40 half hour concerts (or, as Andre Hodeir has aptly dubbed them, "recitals of improvisation") presented on Sunday afternoons from September 1993 to June 1994 and broadcast live at France Musique.
- Dan Morgenstern

Piano students will recognise the tune titled Ah Non! as an exercise from that much loathed Hanon Book of Exercises. In French, 'Hanon' is pronounced exactly like the title of the tune: Ah-no!. Martial Solal brings humour to jazz in a unique way as you will hear listening to these excellent tracks. More Solal to follow if folks dig this one. I actually recorded several of these broadcasts, but our FM radio reception at the time was not that great. Nevertheless, I should check out those old cassettes to see what is worth saving?

In the files you will find cover photo and liner notes (in English!)
- Salience

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David Murray Octet - Octet Plays Trane

Tenor saxophonist David Murray and his octet rise to the challenge of performing five classic John Coltrane compositions not by playing note-for-note recreations but by allowing Trane's searching spirit to dominate the proceedings. Murray shines on all tracks, switching between tenor and bass clarinet. The octet featuring pianist D.D. Jackson, trombonist Craig Harris, trumpeters Ravi Best and Rasul Siddik, alto saxophonist and flutist James Spaulding, bassist Jaribu Shahid, and drummer Mark Johnson sound like twice the number of musicians throughout this disc. This is especially true on the raucous big band versions of "Giant Steps" and "Lazy Bird." However, they can achieve a complete turnaround when playing the ballad "Naima" or "India," which becomes an ethereal, haunting mix (complete with tabla) sounding more like electric period Miles Davis unplugged than Coltrane's arrangement. Murray's "The Crossing" is a bit of a puzzling inclusion, since it is the only non-Trane composition performed, somewhat defeating the intention of the disc. The proceedings wind down with an engaging 15-minute version of "A Love Supreme: Part 1: Acknowledgment" proving Murray has studied not only the music of John Coltrane, but like him insists on applying his individuality through his horn. Al Campbell

David Murray (bass clarinet, tenor sax)
Ravi Best (trumpet)
Rasul Siddik (trumpet)
James Spaulding (flute, alto sax)
Craig Harris (trombone)
D.D. Jackson (piano)
Jaribu Shahid (bass)
Mark Johnson (drums)

1 Giant Steps
2 Naima
3 The Crossing
4 India
5 Lazy Bird
6 A Love Supreme, Pt. 1: Acknowledgement

Ronnie Cuber - The Scene Is Clean

Ronnie Cuber for Milestone from 1993.
Love this album and love this guy's sound-anyone who can hold it down with such luminaries as the mighty Eddie Palmieri,Donald Fagen,Lee Konitz,Frank Zappa,Lonnie Smith and sustain such a series of great solo lps over the years must have mighty big cajones!!!!!

Ronnie Cuber’s name has drifted in and out of prominence over the past three decades, but the distinctive sound of his baritone sax has never been out of earshot. From his early, high-profile role in guitarist George Benson’s quartet in the mid-1960s, through gigs with King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, and Eddie Palmieri at the dawn of the ‘70s, Cuber first fashioned a solo recording career with a pair of sterling straightahead albums for Xanadu in 1976 and ‘77. Since then, his own recordings—for such labels as Dire, King, Electric Bird, SteepleChase, and ProJazz—have been less readily accessible than the work he has done with other musicians, including Steve Gadd, Mike Mainieri, Frank Sinatra, Lee Konitz, the J. Geils Band, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Curtis Mayfeld, and the Saturday Night Live Band.

All of that adds up to the proverbial Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, a Down Beat award that the reed virtuoso won early in his career; the release of his Milestone debut, The Scene Is Clean, should refocus that recognition on this hard-working, relentlessly creative musician.

Cuber’s musical odyssey began in Brooklyn, where he was born on Christmas Day, 1941, into a large family in which virtually everyone was a musician. His uncle played drums and violin, his mother played piano, and his father played accordion at Polish weddings. At the age of seven, Ronnie was learning clarinet, leading to training at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. He switched to tenor saxophone in high school and took up baritone almost by accident in 1959, when he auditioned for the Newport Youth Band. The orchestra needed a baritone player and director Marshall Brown felt Cuber could handle the job, so he bought the young musician his first bari and settled him into a band that also featured Eddie Gomez, Nat Pavone, and Larry Rosen (later the “R” in GRP).

“I didn’t begin with a strong identification with the instrument,” Cuber recalls, “but it wasn’t like I had a powerful association with the tenor at that time, either. When I did get the offer to play baritone, I had been hanging out with kids who were all into the hard-bop, Blue Note kind of sound—Hank Mobley, Sonny Rollins, early John Coltrane, Pepper Adams with Donald Byrd—so I kind of modeled myself after Pepper. It was a couple of years later on down the line that I realized that I had my own thing going, that I was developing my own voice.”

Cuber’s baritone gifts were immediately in demand. In the early ‘60s, he hit the road with the big bands of Lionel Hampton and Maynard Ferguson. He was jamming frequently with such players as Dannie Richmond, Henry Grimes, Chick Corea, and Walter Davis, Jr., when the invitation came to play with George Benson, who had just brought his organ trio from Pennsylvania to New York. “There were a lot of organ groups with tenor, guitar, and drums,” Cuber remembers, “but it was different to have a baritone in the front line. I was getting more solo space and much more freedom than I’d had playing in the big bands and I kind of stood out.”

After two years with Benson, Cuber forged a pair of affiliations with lasting impacts on his career. His association with soul tenor giant King Curtis not only put him on stage with the contemporary giants of R&B, but led to consistent studio recording work, a bread-and-butter facet of Cuber’s career ever since. And his close relationship with Latin music legend Eddie Palmieri imparted an indelible influence on Cuber’s music, an influence that can be heard throughout The Scene Is Clean—in the crackling Latin percussion of Manolo Badrena and Milton Cardona, and on the authoritative version of Palmieri’s famous composition “Adoración.”

Throughout this eclectic history, Cuber was always honing a style that has given him a unique, identifiable sound on his main horn, including an unusual facility in the upper “altissimo” register. “A lot of my blowing actually comes less out of Pepper Adams and other bari players and more out of a mixture of Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane,” be explains. “Some of it even goes back to Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis.” Because of Cuber’s virtually nonstop work with other people (add Bobby Paunetto, Mickey Tucker, Sam Noto, Rein de Graaff, and innumerable commercial sessions to the credits mentioned above), his sound has only occasionally exploded onto his own recordings. “Back in the ‘70s and early ‘80s,” he says, “disco was at its height and I was in the studio six or seven hours a day, and a minimum of three times a week. Disco drying up kind of forced me into doing more of my own thing, including getting a group together to play the Newport Kool Festival in 1980, and touring Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong.”

Although he still answers the calls for his highly sought-after studio skills, Cuber relishes the idea of making his presence felt again as a recording and performing artist in his own right. He conceived of The Scene Is Clean as “a combination of everything that I like to do,” from the return to the organ combo sound (with Joey DeFrancesco appearing on “Flamingo” and the Richard Tee tribute “Tee’s Bag”) through the updated hard-bop jazz bossa of “The Scene Is Clean” (“I did a lot of research to find a tune that had not been overdone from that era and I happened to hear it on an old Max Roach–Clifford Brown album”), to the impassioned “Song for Pharoah” and the bountiful servings of Afro-Cuban rhythms and colors, as on Eddie Palmieri’s “Adoración”: “It has a very beautiful melody that I always thought would be great to play on my horn as an instrumental,” Cuber says. “It turned out to be a great tune for the album.”

And The Scene Is Clean will undoubtedly turn out to be another big boost for Cuber’s identification as a major figure in modern jazz. “If I had gone straight ahead and done my own thing and turned down all the studio work that came my way,” he acknowledges, “I probably would have been much further along the way as a leader. So I’ve kind of picked up where I left off and it feels great!"
Lifted from Concord Music Group.
320 cd rip mp3s

Tony Bennett - Summer Of '42

Summer of ’42 is another hodgepodge mess of an album created in the early 1970’s in the waning months of Tony Bennett’s then-20+ year stay at Columbia Records. In fact, this was Bennett’s final release before departing the label in 1972 with an album title only chosen to capitalize on the success of the film with the same name which came out the previous year.

Although there are some fine moments, much of the material is weak and a few of the tracks included were cut YEARS before (“Till” was recorded 12 years prior to the release of this LP! And, it was made for another album). As explained in my previous Bennett posts, this was a typical Columbia strategy in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Three tracks were “borrowed” from other LP’s and two more were “in the can” unused and were eventually plopped onto this record. Three more were singles… as far as I can tell, only three songs were actually intended for this specific release.

As mentioned, the material is not ideal and even an excellent song such as Stephen Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind,” which I know well, is not well served here by the usually-reliable Torrie Zito’s too-fast arrangement which prevents Bennett from providing a meaningful interpretation. “The Summer Knows” (from the Summer Of '42 film) fares better and “Coffee Break” IS pretty fun. “Walkabout” is a dreary movie theme recorded during a session with Robert Farnon which would eventually spawn their wonderful With Love collaboration. Other arrangers whose work is included are Johnny Mandel, Marion Evans, Frank DeVol, and Marty Manning.

Unfortunately, not one of Tony Bennett’s best. His farewell to Columbia Records was a sad one. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Torrie Zito (arr.#1,4,6-8)
Robert Farnon (arr.#2,9)
Marion Evans (arr.#10)
Johnny Mandel (arr.#11)
Marty Manning (arr.#3)
Frank DeVol (arr. #5)

1. The Summer Knows
2. Walkabout
3. It Was Me
4. Losing My Mind
5. Till
6. Somewhere Along The Line
7. Coffee Break
8. More And More
9. Irena
10. My Inamorata
11. The Shining Sea

Recording dates and session personnel can be found in the comments

Sarah Vaughan - Send in the Clowns

This goes to our friend Scoredaddy that asked some Sarah on Pablo. At least two superb recordings of the album's title tune and Indian Summer - all tracks backed up by the great Count Basie Orchestra - makes this albums one of my Sarah's favourite.  More Sarah on Pablo to come soon depending on  my avaialable free time
As said by an Amazon Customer Reviewer "This set of mainly older & lesser known songs were perfect for Sarah. She 1st grabbed us by doing the best jazz version of Send In The Clowns & then lavished us with jewels such as the swingers,(I Hadn't Anyone Till You & Just Friends) & laments (Indian Summer & If You Could See Me Now). With all 10 tracks, Sassy show her divinity by getting to the essence of every song. Sarah somehow puts all other jazz female singers to shame. They were all great in their own way! But, didn't Sarah only & truly make her voice an isntrument? Here, that voice is truly intergrated with the band. It's too bad that she was held back & unable to go whole hog. Pablo probably wanted to sell more copies. "Keep that Divine Sassiness in check" was probably thought. Although she complied, Sarah showed us all what the perfect jazz singer can do to 10 perfect songs. If I get to Heaven, may I greeted by the Divine One & The Count." Ditto.

Cedar Walton - First Set

Cedar Walton leads his strong quartet through a rich, enjoyable set of originals and covers, recorded in 1977 live at Copenhagen's Club Montmartre. The powerful quartet is conceptually middle of the road but nonetheless hard-driving. FIRST SET is a fine recording--the piano sounds excellent, the audience is felt but not heard, and the mix is full and warm.
The set opens with a tougher update of Thelonious Monk's "Off Minor". Here and elsewhere, Billy Higgins' crisp, clearly articulated drumming is the star. He propels the band, supporting Bob Berg's emotive pentatonic sax solo over a one-chord modal vamp. Walton plays against the current, approaching the tune from different stylistic angles. On the ballad "For All We Know", 25-year-old Berg produces a fearless and soulful solo, going slightly sharp for effect. If Cedar's ornate and impressive solo lacks structural coherence, Sam Jones' rich, growling bass melds with Higgins' brushes in some wonderful rhythm section playing. "I'm Not So Sure", a Walton original, is the most exuberantly funky tune of the set, with an open, triadic solo that owes a debt to Keith Jarrett.

1 Introduction 0:48
2 Off Minor (Monk) 11:27
3 For All We Know (Coots, Lewis) 8:02
4 Introduction 0:08
5 Holy Land (Walton) 7:09
6 I'm Not So Sure (Walton) 8:53
7 Ojos de Rojo (Walton) 7:56

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

Recorded on October 1, 1977 at Montmatre in Copenhagen

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mal Waldron - Mal/2

Let's kick it!!!

This 1957 recording was the second of Mal Waldron's four Mal-titled albums (MAL/1, MAL/2, MAL/3, MAL/4). Divided between standards and originals, Mal leads a sextet throughout, with featured soloists John Coltrane and Jackie McLean.

The set as a whole adheres closer to the prevailing post-bop style of the day. Waldron's elegantly minimalist approach is most audible in his solos, and occasionally in his writing. The closing "One By One" is distinctly Waldron, with its angularly fractured march-like cadence and moody bearing. For the most part though, his writing had yet to embrace the innovative characteristics that would emerge on his 1961 album THE QUEST.

" Waldron made substantial strides as a composer towards the end of the '50s and that's reflected in his solo construction too. In 1957 Coltrane had finally decided to rid himself of a deeply rooted drug and alcohol dependency. It isn't reading too much into basically conventional performances to suggest that his solos have a new maturity, coupled with an emotional vulnerability, which McLean seems to comprehend better than the single-minded Shahib, but round which Waldron steals with unfailing tact and supportive ease." Penguin Guide

Mal Waldron (piano)
Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Bill Hardman (trumpet)
Idrees Sulieman (trumpet)
Julian Euell (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

1. Potpourri
2. J.M.'s Dream Doll
3. Don't Explain
4. Blue Calypso
5. Falling In Love With Love
6. The Way You Look Tonight
7. From This Moment On
8. One By One

Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey on April 19 and May 17, 1957

Sunny Murray Duo Featuring Charles Gayle - Illuminators

Too often, modern avant-garde albums degenerate into a sort of macho chest-thumping, more akin to furious typing than music. This album is an exception. Legendary drummer Sunny Murray and Charles Gayle, a tenorist most noted for Albert Ayler-ist explosions, here engage in an intense musical discussion. Gayle's piano playing is more akin to Powell or Monk than Cecil Taylor, and Murray's fills remind one that the drum can be a melodic instrument. Gayle's tenor solos, while never less than fierce, display a tenderness and human feeling perhaps missing on some of his other albums. While the mood can only be described as tense, these musicians pay careful attention to each other, not arguing so much as conversing. This music is dense but never crowded, and never ever directionless. Indeed, this is one of the few albums to emerge from the Knitting Factory scene to possess what most listeners would think of as songs. Not many instrumentalists could keep up with Murray's volcano. In Gayle, Murray has found a voice to rival the visceral power he once grappled with in Ayler's band. To both musicians' credit, each seems content to flex their muscle rather than knock the listener about the head and shoulders with it. ~ Rob Ferrier

"The duo with Gayle was to provide some of the most ferociously beautiful moments of the '90s. Inevitably, it transforms to record only with an overall loss of drive, but these five pieces, allbut one by Murray himself, are as clear a representationof his art as one could hope for. Less Afrocentric than Milford Graves, Murray still cleaves to a dark, punchy groove, the percussion equivalent of what Cecil Taylor was doing, but with more song in it.

1. Truth Queen
2. Spiritual Grace
3. Ascentual Spirit
4. Don't Touch This
5. Blast from the Past


for mr hines, today, i give you buddy greco. this guy generates a lot of excitement. arranged and conducted by al cohn and featuring clark terry, bob brookmeyer, urbie green, frank rehak, dick hixson, wayne andre, chauncey welsch, bill elton, zoot sims, seldon powell, romeo penque, sam scafidi, barry galbraith, eddie costa, sol gubin, george devens, bobby mariniello, sanford gold, and porky chops.
this lp has a place in everyone's collection, it is up to you to decide where.
from the album "i like it swinging" not the one pictured.

and one more for fat tuesday, al hirt and pete fountain at dan's pier 600 in '55 or '56. originally al hirt's jazz band ball on verve rekkids, i got this off a reissued cd i found the other day and it is dixie-hot.

Bill Evans, Toots Thielemans - Affinity (1979)

Pianist Bill Evans (who doubles on electric piano on this album for the final time in the recording studio) welcomes guest harmonica player Toots Thielemans and Larry Schneider (on tenor, soprano and alto flute) to an outing with bassist Marc Johnson (making his recording debut with Evans) and drummer Eliot Zigmund. The material contains some surprises (including Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love" and Michel Legrand's "The Other Side of Tonight") and only two jazz standards ("Body Soul" and "Blue and Green") with the latter being the only Evans composition. Excellent if not essential music that Evans generally uplifts. - Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

1. I Do It For Your Love
2. Sno' Peas
3. This Is All I Ask
4. The Days Of Wine And Roses
5. Jesus' Last Ballad
6. Tomato Kiss
7. The Other Side Of Midnight (Noelle's Theme)
8. Blue And Green
9. Body & Soul

The Urbie Green 6-Tet (1963)

Urbie Green is probably more familiar to the average jazz fan as a sideman than as a leader, though he has numerous albums to his credit. This obscure gem made for Command in 1963 is a gem long overdue to be reissued on CD. Accompanied by alto saxophonist Walt Levinsky and trumpeter Doc Severinsen (both of whom worked in Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band), guitarist Barry Galbraith, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Don Lamond, Green, along with fellow arrangers Jimmy Giuffre and Ralph Burns, put together a first-rate session. Burns' upbeat arrangement of John Lewis' "Django" is a terrific showcase for both Levinsky and the leader. Giuffre arranged "Four Brothers," which substitutes a drum break in place of Woody Herman's clarinet solo. Green's treatment of the Dixieland favorite "Royal Garden Blues" also packs a punch with its inventive approach, which incorporates numerous solo breaks and surprising twists. Highly recommended. - Ken Dryden

Urbie Green (trombone)
Doc Severinsen (trumpet)
Walt Levinsky (alto sax)
Barry Galbraith (guitar)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Don Lamond (drums)
  1. Slidework in A-Flat
  2. Django
  3. Body and Soul
  4. Walkin'
  5. Four Brothers
  6. Sleep
  7. Bijou
  8. Tangerine
  9. Royal Garden Blues
  10. The Bad and the Beautiful

Houston Person - Blue Odyssey

A good Cal Massey tune here. But then, they were all good.

Much to the chagrin of many critics the late 1960s was a heyday of sorts for Soul Jazz. The number of cats dipping their paws into the sweet nectar of the style would never again reach such denominations as it did during the close of the decade. Person, a saxophonist with both soulful touch and a bluesy sensibility balanced a tough tenor tone with a healthy supplication to the almighty beat. As each of the disc's tracks generously demonstrates his reverence for a groove never came at the cost of creativity and Person with Walton enlisted as ad hoc musical director devises a program that stretches his sidemen's faculties while still adhering to a finger-popping affability.

From the opening bars of the locomotive title track to the closing choruses of "Starburst" Person plans a trip well worth taking. Walton's "Holy Land" catches a sanctified groove and refuse to let go with earthy expositions from each of the horns and colorful rhapsodic fills from the pianist during the breaks. The sextet's version of "I Love You, Yes I Do" spotlights Person's gorgeous tone which references the full-bodied spirit of Gene Ammons while still remaining true to a highly personal sound. "Funky London," builds off its somewhat contradictory title into a smoking workout for Walton punctuated by a solid string snapping solo from Cranshaw. Fuller and Adams, two of the undisputed heavyweights of their respective instruments also take numerous and highly enjoyable opportunities to weigh in on the solo front. My only real complaint is that the disc comes up so short on running time. With Person and Walton at the helm these six players could have easily filled another forty minutes with high caliber grooves like these and it's a shame that the restrictions of the LP format prevented them from doing so. Or maybe the truncated nature of the session was simply a savvy marketing ploy on the part of Person designed to entice listeners into laying down the bread for his other Prestige records in search of more of the same. In the case of this listener, mission accomplished. Derek Taylor

Houston Person (tenor sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Frankie Jones (drums)

1. Blue Odyssey
2. Holy Land
3. I Love You, Yes I Do
4. Funky London
5. Please Send Me Someone To Love
6. Starrburst

Recorded in NYC; March 12, 1968

Benny Golson - The Other Side of Benny Golson

Tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson's third recording as a leader was significant in two ways. It was his first opportunity to work with trombonist Curtis Fuller (the two would be members of The Jazztet by 1960) and it was one of his first chances to really stretch out on record as a soloist; up to this point Golson was possibly better known as a composer. Three of the six originals on this CD reissue of a Riverside date are Golson's ("Are You Real" was the closest one to catching on) but the emphasis is on the solos of the leader, Fuller and pianist Barry Harris; bassist Jymie Merritt and drummer Philly Joe Jones are excellent in support. Scott Yanow

Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Barry Harris (piano)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Strut Time
2. Jubilation
3. Symptoms
4. Are You Real?
5. Cry a Blue Tear
6. This Night

New York, November 12, 1958

Paul Quinichette - On The Sunny Side

Yet another example of the informal creativity of the Prestige jam session format, in this case bringing together the Lester Young'd tenor stylings of "Vice-President" Paul Quinichette with two Bird-like alto men, John Jenkins and Sonny Red, and the J.J. Johnson-inspired trombone of Curtis Fuller.
Jenkins (from Chicago) and Red and Fuller (from Detroit) were newly arrived in New York in 1957, the year this session was taped. The fresh combination helped revitalize Quinichette, whose career was flagging at the time. Pianist Mal Waldron supplied three originals on which everyone plays and the number from which the album derives its title--Jimmy McHugh's "On the Sunny Side of the Street"--is mellowed out by Quinichette and Jenkins as the only horns. Jenkins is not currently active and Quinichette and Sonny Red are dead. On this jam their music is very much alive.

This CD reissue adds a previously unreleased version of "My Funny Valentine" to the original four-song program. The swing-based tenor Paul Quinichette is heard with a more modern group of players than usual: trombonist Curtis Fuller, both Sonny Red and John Jenkins on altos, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Ed Thigpen. Waldron's three originals (highlighted by "Cool-Lypso") allow plenty of room for swinging, and Quinichette (who also performs "On the Sunny Side of the Street") sounds comfortable interacting with the younger musicians. An enjoyable and underrated release. ~ Scott Yanow

Paul Quinichette (tenor sax)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
John Jenkins (alto sax)
Sonny Red Kyner (alto sax)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

1. Blue Dots
2. Circles
3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
4. Cool-Lypso
5. My Funny Valentine

Recorded in Hackensack on May 10, 1957

Bud Powell - The Amazing Bud Powell Vol 4: Time Waits

Bud Powell (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1 - Buster Rides Again
2 - Sub City
3 - Time Waits
4 - Marmalade
5 - Monopoly
6 - John's Abbey
7 - Dry Soul
8 - Sub City (alternate master)
9 - John's Abbey (alternate take)

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 24, 1958


Modern Jazz Quartet - Modern Jazz Quartet

I was never the biggest MJQ fan, for a stupid reason; guys who wear tuxedos all the time are creepy. I like this early stuff, and the pictures (original and modified) in the notes are telling. What they're telling I don't know, but they're telling nonetheless.

"The shift in sensibility from bop to cool is nowhere more apparent than in the evolution of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Although it had its beginnings in the rhythm section of Dizzy Gillespie's supercharged big band, the quartet evolved into one of jazz's most subdued and reflective ensembles. This 1954 recording is an early chapter in the history of the celebrated group, featuring the lightly swinging, tuneful flavor that first defined the quartet's refined approach to modern jazz. The focus was still on vibraphonist Milt Jackson's combination of elegance and bluesiness. Pianist John Lewis's use of classical composition techniques was still in the future, and bop pioneer Kenny Clarke played drums in a more extroverted fashion than would his successor, Connie Kay. Lewis's characteristically spare piano is a perfect foil for Jackson's warmer, more romantic approach. Together they create perfect bop blues on "Bluesology" and the medium-tempo "Love Me, Pretty Baby," and shimmering lyricism on "Yesterdays" and Sigmund Romberg's "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise," then an unusual tune for a jazz group." --Stuart Broomer

Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
John Lewis (piano)
Ray Brown (bass)
Percy Heath (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
Connie Kay (drums)
Al Johns (drums)

1. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
2. Love Me Pretty Baby
3. Autumn Breeze
4. Milt Meets Sid
5. Moving Nicely
6. D And E
7. Heart And Soul
8. True Blues
9. Bluesology
10. Yesterdays
11. 'Round About Midnight
12. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

The Prestige Jazz Quartet - The Prestige Jazz Quartet

With post-bop and free now serving as the primary currencies of innovation the term ‘modernist’ has somewhat dated connotations in today’s jazz speak. Back in the 1950s however the radical advancements of Be-Bop had largely gained acceptability amongst all but the most resolute moldy fig members of the jazz intelligentsia. Modernist players and composers were searching for new directions and fresh soil to plant their roots in. Musicians like Teddy Charles, Mal Waldron, Jimmy Giuffre and John Lewis looked toward Classical and folk forms for inspiration. The Prestige Jazz Quartet was a direct outgrowth of these explorations. Solely a studio aggregation they were initially something of a replacement for the recently absconded Modern Jazz Quartet. While similar in instrumentation their music was decidedly different, delving to more recent innovations in classical and conservatory forms instead of lionizing earlier ones. Debuting as the back-up band for saxophonist (and later producer) Teo Macero, they cut this captivating session several months later.

The album is largely dominated by the opening multi-sectional piece, three parts interlocking into a suite-like whole. Each part can stand-alone or together as evidenced by other versions of the first two: “Route 4” and “Lyriste” recorded by other groups on other albums. Another fascinating reading of “Route 4” is available on Coltrane’s Dakar with an unusual two baritone, tenor frontline. “Lyriste” is also afforded an unorthodox run through on the recently reissued Curtis Fuller & Hampton Hawes With French Horns date. Moving from the fast paced first section, through a meditative middle to a fast tempoed close a wealth of melodic and harmonic ideas are unveiled. Waldron’s geometric “Meta-Waltz” advances the modernist sentiments, whereas his “Dear Elaine,” a dreamy ballad dedicated to his wife, redirects the group onto less probing terrain. Closing out with the appropriately threadbare “Friday the 13th” the four men are allowed generous room to improvise. Charles malleted planks sound particularly luminous and invest the group with a warm glow.

The Prestige Jazz Quartet was relatively short-lived as a regular recording entity, soon morphing into the more dynamic sounding Teddy Charles New Directions Quartet. But even with their truncated longevity this date and the earlier debut with Macero are both well worth considering. Perhaps not ‘modernist’ by today’s terminology, they more than likely bent a few ears when they were waxed. Derek Taylor

Teddy Charles (vibes)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Jerry Segal (drums)

1. Take Three Parts Jazz
2. Meta-Waltz
3. Dear Elaine
4. Friday the 13th

Recorded on June 22, 1957, in Hackensack, New Jersey

Dexter Gordon - Sophisticated Giant

After many years living in Europe, Dexter Gordon returned to the USA in 1977 and recorded with 11 musics. The result is a record that sounds like an orchestra, perfectly emsembled by the trombonist Slide Hampton. The list of players includes Woody Shaw, Curtis Fuller, Benny Bailey, Frank Wess, George Cables and Bobby Hutcherson. In one of the songs (How Insensitive), Gordon plays soprano. As a bonus, two tracks recorded in 1979 with singer Eddie Jefferson (who died a few months later) and previously issued in Gordon's "Great Encounters" have been included.

1 Laura (Mercer, Raksin) 7:40
2 The Moontrane (Shaw) 6:38
3 Red Top (Hampton, Kynard) 8:53
4 Fried Bananas (Gordon) 7:54
5 You're Blasé (Hamilton, Sievier) 9:52
6 How Insensitive (DeMoraes, Gimbel, Jobim) 4:56
7 Diggin' In [*] (Gordon, Jefferson) 4:51
8 It's Only a Paper Moon [*] (Arlen, Harburg, Rose) 5:10

Wayne Andre Trombone
Benny Bailey Trumpet, Flugelhorn
George Cables Piano
Curtis Fuller Trombone
Eddie Gladden Drums
Dexter Gordon Sax (Soprano, Tenor)
Slide Hampton Trombone
Bobby Hutcherson Vibraphone, Vibe Master
Eddie Jefferson Vocals
Howard Johnson Tuba, Sax (Baritone)
Victor Lewis Drums
Rufus Reid Bass
Woody Shaw Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Soloist
Frank Wess Flute, Piccolo, Sax (Alto)

Recorded at Sound Ideas, New York on June 21 & 22, 1977 (1-6) and at Columbia Studios, New York on January 26, 1979 (7,8)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Joe Sullivan - 1933-1941 (Chronological 821)

All of pianist Joe Sullivan's early recordings as a leader are on this definitive CD. Sullivan is heard in a dozen solo performances from 1933, 1935, and 1941 (including the two earliest versions of his hit "Little Rock Getaway" along with memorable renditions of "My Little Pride and Joy" and "Honeysuckle Rose"), four selections with the Three Deuces (a trio with clarinetist Pee Wee Russell and drummer Zutty Singleton), and eight numbers with an octet featuring the underrated trumpeter Ed Anderson, trombonist Benny Morton, clarinetist Edmond Hall, and vocals by Big Joe Turner (who manages to turn "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" into a blues) and Helen Ward. This French import is essential for fans of the great stride pianist. Scott Yanow

Joe Sullivan (piano)
Ed Anderson (trumpet)
Benny Morton (trombone)
Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Pee Wee Russell (clarinet)
Danny Polo (clarinet, tenor sax)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Billy Taylor (bass)
Zutty Singleton (drums)
Joe Turner, Helen Ward (vocal)

1. Honeysuckle Rose
2. Gin Mill Blues
3. Little Rock Getaway
4. Onyx Bringdown
5. My Little Pride And Joy
6. Little Rock Getaway
7. Just Strolling
8. Minor Mood
9. Solitude
10. Oh, Lady Be Good
11. Low Down Dirty Shame
12. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
13. Pom Pom
14. I Cover The Waterfront
15. I've Got A Crush On You
16. Coquette
17. Jig Walk
18. Deuces Wild
19. The Last Time I Saw Chicago
20. About Face
21. Andy's Blues
22. Del Mar Rag
23. Forever More
24. Summertime

Recorded 1933-1941 in New York City and Los Angeles.

Coleman Hawkins - Coleman Hawkins 1944 (Chronological 842)

Coleman Hawkins was the man who took the saxophone from a military band instrument to the eminent place it holds today in jazz. He was the first great stylist, and remained a viable, creative player up until his death.
He was leader on the first ever bebop recording session in 1943 (which included Dizzy Gillespie and Don Byas). He used Thelonious Monk in his 1944 quartet; had Oscar Pettiford, Miles Davis, and Max Roach as sidemen early in their careers.

This particular entry in the Chronological series features Bean with some of the finest Swing players, and some of the Young Lions that were first coming into their own at this time.

"Coleman Hawkins was the first important tenor saxophonist and he remains one of the greatest of all time. A consistently modern improviser whose knowledge of chords and harmonies was encyclopedic, Hawkins had a 40-year prime (1925-1965) during which he could hold his own with any competitor."

Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax)
Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Don Byas (tenor sax)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Georgie Auld (alto, tenor sax)
Johnny Guarnieri (piano)
Teddy Wilson (piano)
Charlie Shavers (trumpet)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Budd Johnson (baritone sax)
Sidney Catlett (drums)
John Kirby (bass)

1. Flame Thrower
2. Imagination
3. Night and Day
4. Cattin' at Keynote
5. Disorder at the Border
6. Feeling Zero
7. Rainbow Mist
8. Pick-Up-Boys
9. Porgy
10. Uptown Lullaby
11. Salt Peanuts
12. On the Sunny Side of the Street
13. Three Little Words
14. Battle of the Saxes
15. Louise
16. Make Believe
17. Don't Blame Me
18. Just One of Those Things
19. Hallelujah

The Amazing Bud Powell Volume Three - Bud!

Bud Powell's playing in the late '50s (just prior to his move to Paris) found the troubled pianist in erratic form, often struggling to make it through songs he had written. However, his three Blue Note recordings from the era (which include the slightly later Time Waits and The Scene Changes) feature Powell in surprisingly inspired form; all of the releases have since been reissued on a comprehensive CD set. Bud! (which is subtitled The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 3) has five trio performances with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor (highlighted by "Bud on Bach" and "Some Soul") and three standards on which the group is joined by trombonist Curtis Fuller. This strong bop set is well worth getting. [The 2002 re-release includes one bonus track, an alternate take of "Blue Pearl."] ~ Scott Yanow

Bud Powell (piano)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1 - Some Soul
2 - Blue Pearl
3 - Frantic Fancies
4 - Bud On Bach
5 - Keepin' In The Groove
6 - Idaho
7 - Don't Blame Me
8 - Moose The Mooche
9 - Blue Pearl (alt)

Abbey Lincoln - Abbey Is Blue

Abbey Lincoln's third of three Riverside albums (all of these recommended sets have been reissued on CD) directly precedes her more adventurous work with drummer (and then-husband) Max Roach. With fine backup from trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Wynton Kelly, Les Spann (doubling on guitar and flute), bassist Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones) on seven of the ten numbers and by Roach's regular quintet of the time on the other three selections, Abbey Lincoln is quite emotional and distinctive during a particularly strong set. Highlights include the first vocal version ever of "Afro-Blue", "Come Sunday", Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Brother, Where Are You", "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise", "Long as You're Living" and Lincoln's own "Let Up". A very memorable set. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Abbey Lincoln (vocal)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Tommy Turrentine (trumpet)
Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Les Spann (guitar, flute)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Phil Wright (piano)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Bobby Bosswell (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)
Max Roach (drums)

1. Afro Blue
2. Lonely House
3. Let Up
4. Thursday's Child
5. Brother Where Are You?
6. Laugh, Clown, Laugh
7. Come Sunday
8. Softly As in a Morning Sunrise
9. Lost in the Stars
10. Long As You're Living

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, Spring and Fall 1959

Saturday, February 2, 2008

sunny murray trio- moers 1979

Heres something special
From the 1979 moers festival, sunny murray with david murray and malachi favors.
Its an electrifying concert.
Hard to find words to describe this, its certainly a peak in the masters oeuvre.
david murray (no relation) and malachi favors, are needless to say super inventive throughout.

Even though its labelled a trio
The Algerian cheikh tidiane fall plays congas throughout.

Sunny Murray Trio LIVE AT MOERS FESTIVAL Moers Music 1072 (LP - 1979); Moers Music 01054,Recorded June 3, 1979 at the 8th Moers International New Jazz Festival, Germany
David Murray (ts, bcl), Malachi Favors (b, perc), Sunny Murray (d), Cheikh Tidiane Fall (cga)
1. Sweet Lovely (Sunny Murray) 9:27 2. German Dilemma (Sunny Murray) 15:01 3. Tree Tops (Sunny Murray) 8:15 4. Happiness Tears (Sunny Murray) 14:00

Saturday Night Swing Session

This is like the Ellington Treasury shows - you can put this on some cold , dark Saturday night, and transport yourself back to radio days.

Is it just me, or does anyone else hear an (uncredited) vibes part on the first track? The Navarro set has appeared on various compilations, including the Chronological issue.

Composed of broadcast sessions from 1947, Saturday Night Swing Session proves that there was some middle ground between swing and early bebop after all, contradicting the widely held impression that the bop movement split the jazz world into two neatly divided, non-communicating factions. Swing stylists, bop pioneers, and in-betweeners populate these performances, which feature -- among many others -- trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Fats Navarro, drummer Buddy Rich, vocalist Mel Tormé, tenor saxophonists Flip Phillips, Charlie Ventura, and Allen Eager, and trombonist Bill Harris. The music is stimulating, accessible, and historically important. Steve Huey

This famed radio broadcast appeared on a number of small record labels as an LP over the years, and very briefly on CD about six years ago. Here it is, in all its glory, complete with a bonus track. Session one comes from March, 1947, with a frontline of Roy Eldridge and Flip Phillips (Specs Powell and Mel Torme! are the drummers). Session two from May of 1947 has an amazing lineup of Fats Navarro, Charlie Ventura, Allen Eager, Bill Harris, Buddy Rich, Chubby Jackson and various others.

Roy Eldridge (trumpet, vocal)
Flip Phillips (tenor sax)
Mike Colicchio (piano)
Al Casey (guitar)
Eddie Safranski (bass)
Specs Powell (drums)
Mel Torme (drums, vocal)
WNEW broadcast, NYC, May 31, 1947

Fats Navarro (trumpet)
Allen Eager (tenor sax)
Charlie Ventura (tenor sax)
Bill Harris (trombone)
Ralph Burns (piano)
Al Valente (guitar)
Chubby Jackson (bass)
Buddy Rich (drums)
WNEW broadcast, NYC, April 12, 1947

1. How High The Moon
2. Lover
3. Honeysuckle Rose
4. Flip And Jazz
5. Buck Still Jumps
6. High On An Open Mike
7. Sweet Georgia Brown

downbeat September 17, 1959

Scanned, presented in PDF format. Check it out.

Pete Christlieb - For Heaven's Sake (1998-99)

Tenor sax veteran Christlieb has the triple distinction of having been a longtime member of the Tonight Show Big Band, recording an album (Apogee, with Warne Marsh) produced by Steely Dan, and racing Top Fuel dragsters in the '60s and '70s. Despite his four decades of jazz work, he has very few dates as a leader, so in a sense he's catching up with old business, trying different-sized ensembles and styles of jazz. His personal sound bridges the gap between smooth, bluesy and ballsy, never compromising high ideals, and allowing various friends the spotlight, both from a performing and arranging standpoint. Christlieb also enjoys symphonic music, and it comes out in three more orchestral settings, as the Jim Self waltz "Capriole," with the leader doubling on bass clarinet, and the easygoing ballad "Violets," with dual flutes (Tom Scott & John Bainbridge) and trombonist Andy Martin leading the way as Christlieb takes a back seat. Christlieb takes charge on the expansive ballad "When I Fall in Love." Big band sounds clearly are the leader's comfort zone; Bill Holman's languid chart on "Laura" is perfectly romantic, while the sextet take of "I Won't Dance" sounds like a larger group, swinging hard on a hip, interactive melody line and (especially) end statement. Holman's staccato-riddled writing helps the sextet -- with backing trumpeter Conte Candoli, Martin, pianist Tom Ranier, bassist Jim Hughart and drummer Roy McCurdy -- swing "Out of This World" quite well, while Christlieb, pianist Lou Levy, drummer Joe LaBarbera and Hughart bop through Levy's "Pathetique," the best display of the leader's fluid drive and eminent capabilities. Ranier shows his immense talents, as a clarinetist on the hard swinger "Pernod" with guitarist Anthony Wilson, on the B-3 again (with Wilson and Christlieb's swaggering tenor) on the grooving take of "My Ideal," and as an arranger for the muted, Candoli-led, five-clarinet samba "Secret Passion." Christlieb's zinger is the six-piece vocal choir, directed by Don Shelton, oohing their way through the title ballad prior to a swinging bridge, girdered by Christlieb's vital tenor. There's quite a bit of diversity and great California-based musicianship -- sweetness and light as well as muscle and meat -- flowing through this recording by one of the jazz world's true unsung heroes. - Michael G. Nastos

Pete Christlieb (tenor sax, Eb contrabass clarinet)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Andy Martin (trombone)
Tom Scott (flute, alto flute)
Tom Ranier, Lou Levy (piano)
Jim Hughart, John Leitham (bass)
Roy McCurdy, Ralph Humphries, Joe LaBarbera (drums)
-and others-
  1. I Won't Dance
  2. For Heaven's Sake
  3. Out of This World
  4. Capriole
  5. Pathétique
  6. Laura
  7. Secret Passion
  8. Pernod
  9. Violets
  10. When I Fall in Love
  11. My Ideal
Recorded August,1998; February-March, 1999

Sam Jones - Changes & Things

I have now corrected all the uploads for which I had the channels reversed.
There are new links further down in the comments on each of the following items:-

Alvin Queen - Jammin' Uptown
Gerry Mulligan - Walk on the Water
David Fathead Newman - Resurgence
Bill Hardman - Home
James williams - Images (of Things to Come)
Bill Perkins - Confluence

Again, sorry for the mistake - I still haven't figured out what went wrong but do know how to put it right. At least I've got this far and haven't been fired yet! Maybe the boss hasn't noticed.

Ramson it was who put me on to this problem - if he had not taken the trouble to compare my version with an MP3, I might have continued blissfully turning out many more faulty efforts. Thanks to him are due not only from me but form all those who would have downloaded them.

Vinyl rip - no scans

Edited to remove crackles etc

As far as I know, this album has not been issued on CD

Thanks to Alpax for the much better cover picture - double click on it to see in its full glory

Review by Scott Yanow

Bassist Sam Jones' recordings as a leader have generally been
underrated, but virtually every one is well-planned and recommended.
Although the gathering of the impressive sextet on this Xanadu LP
(trumpeter Blue Mitchell, trombonist Slide Hampton, tenor saxophonist
Bob Berg, pianist Barry Harris, drummer Louis Hayes, and Jones) could
have resulted in a jam session, the music ("Stablemates," Oscar
Pettiford's "Laverne Walk" and originals by Jones, Hampton and
Mitchell) often has tightly arranged sections and avoids the obvious.
The solos are colorful and purposeful, the material fairly diverse,
and the results consistently swinging yet rarely predictable.
Hopefully, Xanadu will reissue the music on CD someday.

Blue Mitchell - trumpet
Slide Hampton - trombone
Bob Berg - tenor
Barry Harris - piano
Sam Jones - bass
Louis Hayes - drums

01 Stablemates
02 Miss Morgan
03 Laverne Walk
04 Trane Changes
05 Sam's Things
06 Blue's

Jimmy Woods - Conflict

Barak made a good observation that this type of thing could be better termed LA Bop, rather than the meaningless and misleading West Coast sound. This set is led by a guy that it's hard to find information about. He recorded another work the year previous to this with Joe Gordon; and that whole subgroup of musicians - Carmell Jones, Harold Land, Curtis Amy, Gordon, Dupree Bolton - produced some great stuff. Maybe the Carmell Jones Mosaic is due for reposting.

"It's hard to understand why Jimmy Woods recorded so little before evidently retiring from jazz. His entire recorded legacy includes just a pair of dates as a sideman and two albums for Contemporary. Woods' final date as a leader is a memorable affair, with an all-star cast of musicians, including trumpeter Carmell Jones, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Andrew Hill, bassist George Tucker, and drummer Elvin Jones, all of whom (except Tucker) recorded as leaders before the decade was over. The program is made of six originals, including the tense, bluesy march "Conflict"; the turbulent "Aim"; and the tricky (and well-named) "Apart Together." His one ballad of the date is the unusually structured "Look to Your Heart." While all of the soloists are impressive and Jones' powerful drumming fuels the horn players, the leader's adventurous alto sax is not to be missed. Ken Dryden

Jimmy Woods (alto sax)
Carmell Jones (trumpet)
Harold Land (tenor sax)
Andrew Hill (piano)
George Tucker (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

1. Conflict
2. Coming Home
3. Aim
4. Apart Together
5. Look To Your Heart
6. Pazmuerte
7. Conflict (alt take)
8. Aim (alt take)
9. Look To Your Heart (alt take)

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on March 25 & 26, 1963

Big John Patton - Got a Good Thing Goin'

Something from the Request section. I came across this shortly after TLT's message, the price was voilà.

Grant Green always brought out the best in Big John Patton. Almost any record that featured the guitarist and organist was dominated by their scintillating interplay, and it always sounded like they were trying to top each other's blistering, funky solos. Patton and Green rarely sounded better than they did on Got a Good Thing Goin', a 1966 session that functioned as a showcase for the pair's dynamic interaction and exciting, invigorating solos. In particular, the duo's mastery is evident because there are no horns to stand in the way -- only drummer Hugh Walker and conga player Richard Landrum provide support, leaving plenty of room for Green and Patton to run wild. All five numbers -- two originals by Patton and Green, two pop covers ("Ain't That Peculiar," "Shake"), and Duke Pearson's "Amanda" -- are simple blues and soul-jazz songs that provide ample space for the guitarist and organist to stretch out. And they do stretch out -- as a pair, they have never sounded so fiery or intoxicating. Fans of hard bop may find the songs a little too simple, but hot, up-tempo soul-jazz rarely comes any better than it does on Got a Good Thing Goin'. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Big John Patton (organ)
Grant Green (guitar)
Hugh Walker (drums)
Richie "Pablo" Landrum (conga)

1-The Yodel
2-Soul Woman
3-Ain't That Peculiar
4-The Shake

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, April 29, 1966

Friday, February 1, 2008

julius hemphill- coon bid'ness (1972-5)

a great one by a lamented creative genius.
this was first released in 1977, this rip is from a cd i bought in 1990.
the world sax quartet partly has its roots in this .
line up
1st 4 tracks
hemphill, arthur blythe , hamiet bluiett- reeds
abdul wadud- cello
daniel zebulan-conga
barry altschul-dr
last track
phillip wilson replaces altschul and zebulan
bakaida carroll- tpt replaces arthur blythe.
heres the amg spiel

by Scott Yanow
This historic LP includes a 20-minute performance with altoist Julius Hemphill, trumpeter
Baikida Carroll, baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, cellist Abdul Wadud and drummer Philip Wilson ("The Hard Blues") taken from the same session that resulted in Dogon A.D. In addition, there are four briefer tracks that feature Hemphill, Bluiett, Wadud, altoist Arthur Blythe, drummer Barry Altschul and the congas of Daniel Zebulon. The music throughout is quite avant-garde but differs from the high-energy jams of the 1960s due to its emphasis on building improvisations as a logical outgrowth from advanced compositions. It's well worth several listens.

Abbey Lincoln - It's Magic

Because Abbey Lincoln has always been careful to sing songs that have a deep meaning for her, all of her recordings through the years are memorable in their own way; there are no duds in her discography. Her second Riverside session (and her third recording), It's Magic has been reissued on this CD in the Original Jazz Classics series. The backup musicians are among the best in jazz at the time (Kenny Dorham or Art Farmer on trumpet, trombonist Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson on tenor, Jerome Richardson or Sahib Shihab on reeds, pianist Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers or Sam Jones on bass, and drummer Philly Joe Jones) and they have opportunities to play short solos. Lincoln is heard at her early best on such numbers as "I Am in Love," "An Occasional Man," "Out of the Past" and Randy Weston's "Little Niles." Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Abbey Lincoln (vocal)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Jerome Richardson (baritone sax, flute)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)
NYC, July 24, 1958

Abbey Lincoln (vocal)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Sahib Shihab (baritone sax, flute)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)
NYC, August 15, 1958

1. I Am In Love
2. It's Magic
3. Just For Me
4. An Occasional Man
5. Ain't Nobody's Business
6. Out Of The Past
7. Music, Maestro, Please!
8. Love
9. Exactly Like You
10. Little Niles

Erroll Garner - 1953-1954

The 16th installment in the Classics Erroll Garner chronology combines eight numbers recorded for Columbia in New York on March 30, 1953; eight more for the same label cut in Detroit on July 8, 1954; and two tracks for Mercury Records in Chicago on July 27, 1954. At this point in his career, Garner became increasingly inventive, expressive, and rambunctious, as his bluesy take on Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays" and knuckle-busting renditions of "Frenesi" and "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" illustrate. The Detroit session is remarkable for the presence of Woody Herman. Familiar to the public as a clarinet-blowing big-band leader with a penchant for rowdy novelty tunes and a tendency, during the late '40s, to employ young musicians with bop sensibilities, Herman appears with the Erroll Garner Trio as a warm and persuasive vocalist. Track nine, a medley lasting nearly 11 minutes, traces a progression from new love to romance to hopeless infatuation to heartbreak. Each successive vocal track is a gem, and the mutual enjoyment felt by Herman and Garner is palpable. Throughout this entire compilation, Garner's bassist was Pittsburgh native Wyatt "Bull" Ruther and his drummer was Eugene "Fats" Heard, who had worked with Lionel Hampton and Coleman Hawkins and who would leave Garner's band in 1955 to settle down and make steady money as a businessman in his hometown of Cleveland, OH. This album closes with two examples of what the Erroll Garner Trio sounded like when spiced up by the conga drumming of Cuban percussionist Candido Camero. ~ arwulf arwulf

Erroll Garner (piano)
Woody Herman (vocals)
Candido Camero (conga)
Eugene "Fats" Heard (drums)
Wyatt Ruther (bass)

1. Yesterdays
2. Frenesi
3. Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'
4. Groovy Day
5. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
6. For Heaven's Sake
7. Lullaby Of Birdland
8. Holiday For Strings
9. Let's Fall In Love
I Don't Know Why
You've Got Me Crying Again
10. I'm Beginning To See The Light
11. My Melancholy Baby
12. I Hadn't Anyone' Till You
13. After You've Gone
14. I'll See You In My Dreams
15. If I Could Be With You
16. As Time Goes By
17. That Old Black Magic
18. Russian Lullaby

Sonny Rollins - The Solo Album (1985)

Imagine running into Sonny Rollins in a practice room...warming up for a concert...or maybe he's wandering around a bridge somewhere. You just happen to have a tape recorder with you and you turn it on and let the tape roll...

Sonny recorded his first unaccompanied solo on The Sound of Sonny, in 1957 and in his live performances, he frequently plays chorus after chorus by himself. In 1985, his passion for unaccompanied saxophone came to the forefront, and he played a concert at New York's Museum of Modern Art, all by himself, that was recorded by Milestone Records and released as The Solo Album. This recording is a dream come true for Sonny Rollins fans, as Rollins presents an entire program without accompaniment. As expected, Rollins drops allusions all over the place and spins core melodic ideas into extended variations. The real fun, though, is simply getting caught up in the inspired whirl of the Rollins imagination as it darts here and there, managing to be both coherent and unpredictable in a manner that has earned him recognition as the music's supreme improviser. The enthusiastic audience, delighted to be along for the ride, even gets into the act at the close of this colossal solo session.

This album received mixed reviews when it was released. Here are two contrasting views:

"Despite the fact that this album consists of only Sonny and his sax, it gave me the illusion that I was listening to a full orchestra. The music made me think of Cecil Taylor, Charles Ives, and Carl Ruggles rolled into one. The entire 56 minutes were riveting. I hear something new every time I play this album. However I must give the prospective listener a warning. This is not easy listening music. It demands one's full attention. It took several listenings for me to really understand what was going on, but I'm glad I did. It was worth it." - Roger Saxton (Amazon customer review)

And from AMG's Scott Yanow, who was gracious enough to give this album one star.

"One of the few complete duds of Sonny Rollins' career, this rambling live session is a major disappointment. His unaccompanied explorations (which in the past usually clocked in at around three minutes) gave one the impression that he would be heard best in a solo setting where he could fly freely without having to be concerned about his accompanists. Perhaps that is true, but for this concert he apparently planned nothing in advance, resulting in 56 minutes of wandering around, throwing in occasional song quotes but managing to not play anything of real value. In other words, it sounds as if Rollins were merely warming up, playing whatever came into his mind without any thought of developing a coherent statement." - Scott Yanow

And what do you think?

Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
  1. Soloscope, part 1
  2. Soloscope, part 2
Recorded on July 19, 1985

Bill Perkins

Bill Perkins - On Stage: The Bill Perkins Octet

One of the nice things about this release is the diversity of arrangers. Here, on one CD, you can compare the arrangements of Perkins (4-6,9), Bill Holman (1,7), Lennie Niehaus (2,8), and Johnny Mandel (6).

" In 1998, Capitol (which owns Blue Note) reissued six Pacific Jazz CDs filled with music from the mid-1950s, the prime period of cool West Coast jazz. For this set, tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins is showcased in an all-star octet including altoist Bud Shank, baritonist Jack Nimitz, trumpeter Stu Williamson, trombonist Carl Fontana, pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Mel Lewis. Perkins' tone is heard throughout at its coolest (influenced by Lester Young but distinctive within the style) and there are plenty of short spots for the other key voices. The program includes five swing-era songs including "Song of the Islands," "When You're Smiling," and two versions of Harry "Sweets" Edison's "Let Me See," plus three newer pieces, but no bop standards. At least as important as the solos are the arrangements of Perkins, Bill Holman, Lennie Niehaus, and Johnny Mandel. Their use of restrained colors, the quiet rhythm section, and advanced harmonies on a whole, give one a definitive look at West Coast Jazz of the mid-1950s. Recommended. "~ Scott Yanow

Bill Perkins (tenor sax)
Bud Shank (alto sax)
Jack Nimitz (bass clarinet, baritone sax)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Carl Fontana (trombone)
Stu Williamson (trumpet, valve trombone)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)

1 Song of the Islands
2 One Hundred Years from Today
3 Zing Zang
4 Let Me See
5 For Dancers Only
6 Just a Child
7 As They Reveled
8 When You're Smiling
9 Let Me See (alt)

Recorded at the Music Box Theatre, Los Angeles, on February 9 and 16, 1956

Bill Perkins Quartet Featuring Victor Feldman - Quietly There

This set by multi-reedist Bill Perkins (who switches between tenor, baritone, bass clarinet and flute) has been reissued on CD with one extra selection. On what was one of the earliest tributes to film composer Johnny Mandel, Perkins was careful to not only perform ballads such as "Emily," "A Time for Love" and "The Shadow of Your Smile" but to add some variety by also playing a few of Mandel's more obscure medium-tempo numbers. Still the results are generally pretty relaxed and tasteful on a quintet set with pianist Victor Feldman (who also plays some cheesy-sounding organ and vibes), guitarist John Pisano, bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Larry Bunker.

Bill Perkins (tenor, baritone sax, bass clarinet, flute)
Victor Feldman (piano, organ, vibes)
John Pisano (guitar)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)

1 - Quietly There
2 - Emily
3 - Groover Wailin'
4 - A Time For Love
5 - Sure As You're Born
6 - Just A Child
7 - Keester Parade
8 - The Shining Sea
9 - Something Different
10 - The Shadow of Your Smile

Recorded in Hollywood, November 23, 28, 30, 1966