Thursday, January 31, 2008

interpretations of monk- live at soundscape 1981

This is a great document of 4 different sets of monks music, each set starts with a preamble , then a solo piano rendition, before the rest of the band is introduced.

Don cherry’s pretty amazing on some of the sets, getting away with phrasing and articulation that would get anyone kicked out of a conservatory audition.

My only problem with this is the crowd constantly clapping uproariously between improvisations/solos, dissapointingly it happens a lot!
generally pretty stunning, barry harris isnt at all perturbed by this company, and oddly enough some of cherry's oddest/outest playing occurs on the harris set from memory,.
everyone else pretty much plays it straight.
these are no mere reperatory renditions though.

Heres an amg review of discs one and two ,(though this post includes the entire 2 concerts ,4 sets)

Three and a half months before Thelonious Monk died, two memorable tribute concerts took place at Columbia University. The lineup of musicians was perfect: soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy (long an expert on Monk's music), Thelonious' longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, trombonist Roswell Rudd, trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Richard Davis, either Ben Riley or Ed Blackwell on drums, and four different pianists. This legendary event was fortunately recorded, and the afternoon concert has been released in full on this 1997 double-CD set. Pianist Muhal Richard Abrams is on the first CD, while Barry Harris takes his place on the second half. Both of the pianists have a brief solo piece as a feature; Lacy takes "Gallop's Gallop" unaccompanied, and the full group jams on 11 of Monk's more difficult pieces. The unique opportunity to hear this combination of musicians and the many inspired moments make the double-CD a highly recommended acquisition for anyone interested in the music of Thelonious Monk.

Baden Powell - 27 horas de estudio

This is one of the best Baden's albums imo. Re-released on a box after his death, was out of catalog for years.
And now still
out, unless you buy all the 13 box set that is beginning to be rare to find, unfortunately.
Anyway, I've rescaned the front, which is separated from the two rar files uploaded.
The first one scanned is a s***. I don't know how I could edit something so lousily. Enjoy Baden.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sonny Rollins - Worktime

Worktime has bassist George Morrow, drummer Max Roach and pianist Ray Bryant accompanying a revitalized Rollins. Although much has been made of Roach's playing in this recording - and rightly so - both Bryant and Morrow hold their own in fine fashion too. Cole Porter's "It's All Right With Me" becomes a swift hard-bop medium for Bryant, Rollins and Roach's superbly timed, executed and conceived soli. The leader, however, evidences a superior sound, technique, and attack unimpeded by its velocity. Roach's cymbal ride is infectious nonetheless. The date, with the exception of "There Are Such Things", is cooking. Indeed, the aforementioned is truly exceptional. In the most extended cut, Rollins sounds larger than life infusing romance with sensual tonal and harmonious rhythmic strength as he expounds on the melody. He could have played this one all by himself and probably attain similar results. Bryant and Morrow, however, also get a few bars of their own whereupon they complement the leader's outstanding performance. As Rollins says at its outset: "Okay fellows"

Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Ray Bryant (piano)
George Morrow (bass)
Max Roach (drums)

1. There's No Business Like Show Business
2. Paradox
3. Raincheck
4. There Are Such Things
5. It's Alright With Me

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey, December 2, 1955

The Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Quartet

by Scott Yanow
This is one of the finest small-group sessions of cornetist Thad Jones' career. With strong and very alert assistance from drummer Mel Lewis (his co-leader in their celebrated big band), pianist Harold Danko, and bassist Rufus Reid, Jones plays at his peak on six standards, two of which were issued for the initial time on this CD reissue. Four of the songs are at least nine minutes long (two are over 15 minutes), yet Jones never loses his momentum. The musicians constantly surprise each other and there are many spontaneous moments during this often brilliant outing.
rec.nov 7&8, 1977 Burbank, CA
But Not For Me/ This Can't Be Love/Autumn Leaves/What Is This Thing/ Love For Sale/ Things Ain't What They Used To Be

Benny Carter / Cootie Williams - Echoes of Harlem Big Bands (1943-1946)

"At the beginning of the Bop revolution of the forties, the jazz world was divided in two opposing factions: traditionalists and modernists. To a point, the division was favored by the famous French critic Hughes Panassié, who complicated the matter when transferring the artistic debate to an "evangelical" perspective, thus inciting characters such as Louis Armstrong - amongst others - to define themselves in favour of tradition. And yet, in the knowledge of the artistic impasse of the Swing style, most jazzmen showed little interest in such a rarefied, "ideological" discussion; in fact, many of them showed interest in the new style, somehow assimilating Bop elements and performing with no particular problem alongside the young demons. Such was the case with established musicians like Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Don Byas...and Benny Carter or Cootie Williams. The case of these last two jazzmen was particularly emblematic, as they both formed big orchestras which included some of the future undisputed heralds of Bop." - J.G. Calvados

Although both of these bands employed some bop players (Carter's band included J.J. Johnson, Idrees Sulieman and Max Roach), they both had their feet firmly planted in the swing style. Cootie Williams, however, seemed to have one of those feet reaching for a new style separate from bop and swing that became known as Rhythm & Blues featuring soloists such as Eddie Vinson and Sam Taylor.

Benny Carter and His Orchestra (1-12)
Cootie Williams and His Orchestra (13-25)
Complete personnel listed in scans
  1. Poinciana
  2. Just a Baby's Prayer at Twilight
  3. Hurry, Hurry
  4. Love for Sale
  5. I Can't Escape from You
  6. I'm Lost
  7. I Can't Get Started
  8. I Surrender Dear
  9. Malibu
  10. Cuttin' Time
  11. Prelude to a Kiss
  12. Just You, Just Me
  13. Juice Head Baby
  14. Salt Lake City Bounce
  15. House of Joy
  16. When My Baby Left Me
  17. Everything But You
  18. Stingy Blues
  19. Echoes of Harlem
  20. That's the Lick
  21. Wrong Neighborhood
  22. I May Be Easy But I'm No Fool
  23. Let's Do the Whole Thing or Nothing at All
  24. Ain't Got No Blues Today
  25. Bring 'Em Down Front

sonny simmons- staying on the watch 1966

heres an old favourite, i dont recall this having been posted yet.
there seems to be some interest in the esp label, so heres a great one.
(lets continue the series if anyone has some etc)

it seems that ""freeform blowout"is the generic critical cliche that dispenses with any obligation to a reviewer to actually listen to a record and say something informative that might illuminate the processes involved in this great music!

this is very valuable not just for simmons and barbara donald one of the great trumpeters in this area of the music .
but also for a singular glimpse of john hicks improvising freely.
this retains quite alot of the vocabulary , and spirit of earlier jazz.
pushing those conventions to the limit.
even if you dont like or cant entertain the notion of freeblowing as music, youll find much to enjoy and be astounded by.

without further delay the fence sitting lukewarm exhortations of...............................................................................

Scott Yanow
Altoist Sonny Simmons' debut as a leader is a typically stimulating and dense ESP blowout. Performing in a quintet with trumpeter
Barbara Donald, the up-and-coming pianist John Hicks, bassist Teddy Smith and drummer Marvin Pattillo, Simmons stretches out on four colorful and mostly free-form originals. The intense set (which has been reissued on CD) still sounds quite advanced over three decades later.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Johnny Hodges - 1945-1950 (Chronological 1189)

John Cornelius Hodges began working with Duke Ellington in 1928 and soon became one of the prime voices in the Ellington orchestra. Hodges began leading his own recording ensembles -- actually scaled-down versions of Duke's band -- in 1937. Occasionally sitting in with other leaders like Lionel Hampton, Hodges also led groups of his own, including a quartet at New York's Apollo Club during the summer of 1948 and five of the six bands heard on this first volume of his complete recordings in chronological order. (All records issued under Hodges' name prior to 1947 have been included in the massive Classics chronology of Duke Ellington.) Sandy Williams' Big Eight was one of many ensembles recording for the Hot Record Society -- and one of the very best of them. "Mountain Air" and "After Hours on Dream Street" are slow, smooth, languid, and lovely, with Hodges playing pretty for the people. "Sumpin' Jumpin' Round Here" is a smart strut with a hint of Latin American rhythm built into its caboose. Harry Carney, who fortunately appears on fully half of the recordings reissued here, does some friendly nudging with his horn on this pleasantly stimulating dance tune. "Chili con Carney" is a light bounce honoring the baritone saxophonist without granting him any more solo space than a couple of brief breaks. The next four selections appeared on the small and ephemeral Wax label in 1947. Carney is roundly featured on Jerome Kern's moody existential opus "Why Was I Born?," and Hodges softly interprets Walter Donaldson's "You're Driving Me Crazy" in what must be one of the slowest and most gentle versions of this song ever recorded. "Key Largo" carries a whiff of the Caribbean in its dulcet tones and lapping rhythm. Billy Strayhorn's "Triple Play" is marvelously cool mood music, elegantly rendered by a quintet with the composer at the piano. When Hodges recorded for the Mercer and Sunrise labels, he included longtime Ellington trombonist Lawrence Brown, Chick Webb's star trumpeter Taft Jordan, up-and-coming tenor saxophonist Al Sears, and a rhythm section of Billy Strayhorn, Oscar Pettiford, and trombonist Wilbur DeParis sitting in on the drums! Each performance is a delight. "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" is the classic Strayhorn/Hodges still life. "Longhorn Blues" and "Faraway Blues" both feel like close cousins to "Jeep's Blues." On the second Mercer session Harry Carney replaces Brown, Harold "Shorty" Baker is the trumpeter, and Sonny Greer does wonderful things with the drums. Anyone who wants to hear Strayhorn cook a little on the piano should check out the groove track "Searsy's Blues," which is somewhat of an advanced approach to a boogie. Its tempo reappears exactly on "Let the Zoomers Drool" -- a "zoomer" being hip vernacular for a mooch. Years later, Dave Frishberg liked "A Little Taste" so much that he composed some of his funniest lyrics based on its nonchalant contours. This satisfying CD ends with the first of Hodges' Parisian sessions from 1950, with Raymond Fol sitting in with a pack of Ellingtonians when Duke declined to participate for contractual reasons. These tracks are notable for the presence of trombone ace Quentin "Butter" Jackson and voluntary expatriate tenor saxophonist Don Byas, who blows a splintering run during the crackling strut "We Fooled You." ~ arwulf arwulf

Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Don Byas (tenor sax)
Billy Strayhorn (piano)
Al Sears (tenor sax)
Taft Jordan (trumpet)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Raymond Fol (piano)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Billy Taylor, Sr. (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Mountain Air
2. Sumpin' Jumpin' Round Here
3. After Hours on Dream Street
4. Chili con Carney
5. Key Largo
6. You're Driving Me Crazy
7. Why Was I Born?
8. Triple Play
9. Who Struck John?
10. It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream
11. June's Jumpin'
12. Violet Blue
13. Flower Is a Lovesome Thing
14. Frisky
15. Longhorn Blues
16. Far Away Blues
17. Searsy's Blues
18. Little Taste
19. Let the Zoomers Drool
20. Charlotte Russe
21. St. Germain-des-Prés Blues
22. Good to the Last Drop
23. Only Wish I Knew
24. We Fooled You

Abbey Lincoln - That's Him

This 1957 release marked Abbey's first early peak. It's a wonderful and confident set with a stunning ensemble: Sonny Rollins on tenor sax and Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Wynton Kelly on piano, and a rhythm section of Paul Chambers on bass and Max Roach on drums. Lincoln opens with Oscar Brown Jr.'s "Strong Man"--Lincoln was one of the performers who regularly recorded his songs prior to his own debut as a recording artist in the early '60s. Kelly in particular is a wonderfully supportive accompanist, dancing around her with grace and style. The gorgeous and dramatic "Tender as a Rose" is presented acapella. Throughout, Lincoln's singing easily mingles jazz, blues and folk influences and phrasings. This strong album pointed the way to her ABBEY IS BLUE, her essential work recorded two years later.

This CD reissue brings back singer Abbey Lincoln's second recording and first for Riverside, adding alternate takes of "I Must Have That Man!" and "Porgy" to the original LP program. Lincoln is accompanied by quite an all-star roster (tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Max Roach) and, even this early, she was already a major jazz singer with a style of her own. Lincoln was careful from this point on to only interpret lyrics that she believed in. Her repertoire has a few superior standards (including several songs such as "I Must Have That Man!" and "Don't Explain" that are closely associated with Billie Holiday) plus Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Strong Man" and Phil Moore's "Tender as a Rose"; she takes the latter unaccompanied. "Don't Explain" is slightly unusual in that Paul Chambers is absent and Wynton Kelly makes an extremely rare appearance on bass. All three of Abbey Lincoln's Riverside albums (each of which have been reissued through the OJC imprint) are well worth several listens. ~ Scott Yanow

Abbey Lincoln (vocals)
Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Wynton Kelly (piano, bass)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Max Roach (drums)

1. Strong Man
2. Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe
3. My Man
4. Tender As A Rose
5. That's Him
6. I Must Have That Man
7. I Must Have That Man (take 3)
8. Porgy
9. Porgy (take 1)
10. When A Woman Loves A Man
11. Don't Explain

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York on October 28, 1957

Benny Golson - Free

A re-issue of two Golson albums; Free (Argo 716) from 1960, and Take A Number From One To Ten (Argo 681) from 1962. Discussing them in his review of the Mosaic set, C. Andrew Hovan says:

"On his own, Golson cut three more albums that are included here. The 1960 session Take a Number From 1 to 10 is an oddity in that its theme sports Golson playing solo on the first track and then adding a musician on each additional track so that by the end of the record he’s part of a ten-piece band. Despite the novelty factor, there’s some great Golson to be heard here and this one has only been briefly sampled in the past by a compilation disc that included only a few of these tracks. The other two projects dating from 1962 are Turning Point and Free, both being quartet dates of the blowing variety, ... the latter with Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, and Arthur Taylor. It is on Free that Golson really opens up and steps forward for some of his best solo work on record, this neglected set worthy of significant rediscovery."

This is also nice opportunity to compare Rudy Van Gelder with Tommy Nola, who I think was a great and under-appreciated recording engineer.

Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 26, 1962

7-13 (note there's only 7 of the 10 tracks)
Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Sahib Shihab (baritone sax)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Tommy Williams (bass)
Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)
Recorded at Nola's Penthouse, New York, New York on December 13-14, 1960

1. Sock Cha
2. Mad About The Boy
3. Just By Myself
4. Shades of Stein
5. My Romance
6. Just In Time
7. You're My Thrill
8. My Heart Belongs to Daddy
9. Best Thing for You Is Me
10. Impromptune
11. Little Karin
12. Swing It
13. I Fall in Love Too Easily

Johnny Griffin - Johnny Griffin Sextet

Johnny Griffin was rightfully known for his speed and dexterity on the tenor sax, and his work on this 1958 sextet session is no exception. Griffin's full-bodied, bluesy tone and vigorous, lightning-fingered lines scintillate on each of the five tracks here. What makes this Riverside date particularly notable, however, is the instrumentation and quality of the personnel. The rhythm section of piano (Kenny Drew), bass (Wilbur Ware), and drums (Philly Joe Jones) is fronted by Griffin, Donald Byrd on trumpet, and Pepper Adams on baritone sax.

The triple-horn lineup gives the ensemble a heavy, solid sound that gestures toward big band on the more swinging cuts, while providing beautiful contrast and texture on down-tempo numbers. Among the program's highlights are a Griffin original ("Catharsis"), a brisk take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody'n You," and the lovely ballad "What's New?" There is plenty of stretching out from all involved, but with a tastefulness and sensitivity in the group chemistry that keeps the proceedings from veering into unstructured jams.

Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Stix' Trix
2. What's New
3. Woody'n You
4. Johnny G.G.
5. Catharsis

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on February 25, 1958

Woods, Quill, Shihab, Stein - 4 Altos

Besides being one of the first jazz musicians to convert to Islam and change his name (1947), Sahib Shihab was also one of the earliest boppers to use the flute. But he was also a fluent soloist on the alto, as well as the baritone sax, the latter being the instrument with which he became most frequently associated. Shihab first worked professionally with the Luther Henderson band at the age of 13 while still studying with Elmer Snowden. At 16, he attended the Boston Conservatory (1941-1942) and later worked as the lead alto in the 1944-1945 Fletcher Henderson band, billed as Eddie Gregory. After his religious conversion, he fell in with the early bop movement, recording several now-famous sides on alto with Thelonious Monk for Blue Note in 1947 and 1951, and playing with Art Blakey in 1949-1950 and the Tadd Dameron band in 1949. Following some empty patches where he had to work odd jobs for a living, Shihab played with Dizzy Gillespie in 1951-1952, Illinois Jacquet in 1952-1955, and the Oscar Pettiford big band in 1957. After arriving in Europe with Quincy Jones' big band in 1959-1960, he remained there until 1986 (mostly in Copenhagen), except for a long Los Angeles interlude (1973-1976). While on the Continent, he played in the Clarke-Boland big band for nearly a decade (1963-1972); he can be heard applying advanced vocal effects to his attractive flute work on the superb Clarke-Boland Big Band LP (Atlantic, 1963). He recorded only a handful of albums as a leader over the decades for Savoy, Argo, Atlantic, and Chess; a 1963 live date in Copenhagen is available on Black Lion. ~ Richard S. Ginell

Gene Quill (alto sax)
Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Hal Stein (alto sax)
Phil Woods (alto sax)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Tommy Potter (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Pedal Eyes
2. Kokochee
3. No More Nights
4. Kinda Kanonic
5. Don't Blame Me
6. Staggers

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, February 9, 1957

klaus konig- times of devestation 1991

Born in 1959, Klaus König started playing piano and trombone at age 8. From 1975 to 1985 he studied composition, classical trombone and contemporary musical theater in Germany, working on an opera performance by Mauricio Kagel in Cologne in 1981. Turning to avantgarde jazz, he founded his septet Pinguin Liquid in 1987 and the Klaus König Orchestra two years later. It was the start of a unique combination of modern jazz and contemporary compositional techniques.
Klaus König’s first release was TIMES OF DEVASTATION / POCO A POCO, a 2-CD set featuring music by the septet and the orchestra, with such as Kenny Wheeler tp, Ray Anderson tb, Marty Ehrlich reeds, Simon Nabatov p.
Inspired by science fiction novelist Douglas Adams, Klaus composed another large work for his orchestra in 1990: AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE. It was premiered at the Berlin Jazz Festival, to highest cricitcal aclaim: ‘’ König’s music, like Adam’s book, operates in a fashion similar to the paintings of René Magritte, by presenting a unified reality made up of logically impossible constituent realities. You know it’s not supposed to work, but it’s already working by the time you figure that out ‘’ (Patrick Hinely). Packed with international talent, the performance was released on CD in 1991.
This is from that 1991 cd

Kenny wheeler and rainer winterschladen-tpt
Ray Anderson- bruce collings-trb
Frank struck and michel Goddard-tba
Marty erlich, mathias Schubert, frank gratkowski- reeds
Renato cordovani- reeds, simon nabatov- pno, tim wells –db
Klaus konig- composer

Leo Kottke - 6 and 12 String Guitar

In answer to Brewboy's question at another time and place - this might be the first album I ever bought. And I bought almost every one since. I even bought a private box at Carnegie Hall to see him when he played there - wayyyyy back. This is one of the greatest records of all time. You could look it up.

"With the 1969 release of 6-AND 12 STRING GUITAR, Leo Kottke established his pre-eminence as a guitar virtuoso and composer of quirky, pop-inflected pieces. Harmonically adventurous and technically dazzling, this album showcases Kottke's penchant for infusing traditional elements of folk guitar with more modern, even impressionistic harmony and tonality. Kottke inspired a revolution in acoustic guitar playing, and this record provided the opening volley.

"The Driving of the Year Nail" starts things off with a relentless fingerpicked chug, featuring splashes of open harmonics executed with the delicacy of a ballerina. Kottke proceeds to combine the familiar with the strange--each of these brief pieces (around three minutes and under) has the effect of being simultaneously charming, and a little twisted. For example, "Vaseline Machine Gun" starts with "Taps" played with a bottleneck slide, then morphs into a thumb-and-slide frenzy. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" is the exception, given a straight and loving reading on six-string guitar. This is pure steel-string joy, with liberal doses of irony and ecstasy."

1. The Driving Of The Year Nail
2. The Last Of The Arkansas Greyhounds
3. Ojo
4. Crow River Waltz
5. The Sailor's Grave On The Prairie
6. Vaseline Machine Gun
7. Jack Fig
8. Watermelon
9. Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
10. The Fisherman
11. The Tennessee Toad
12. Busted Bicycle
13. The Brain Of The Purple Mountain
14. Coolidge Rising

Oscar Peterson - Triple Play

This is a triple set from Mr. Peterson, may he RIP.
Most of you may have those albums, but maybe some don't have them all. The rip includes covers and liner notes.

Lem Winchester - Lem's Beat

Lem's Beat because he was a musician who made his living from being a policeman, get it?

He grew up in Wilmington , Delaware, and was said to have been in the High School band with Clifford Brown, but I see no reference to him in Catalano's bio of Brownie. He made his living as a cop and played vibes after hours, and had his first break when Leonard Feather invited him to play at the 1958 Newport Festival. Things went well for him, and he worked with Ramsay Lewis, Benny Golson, and Oliver Nelson. The liner notes to this release express his feeling that he was about to break out of the local scene, when he died from an accident related to a gun trick he was demonstrating. Another, albeit lesser, tragedy was that Winchester was just on the verge of a stylistic breakthrough: he was just learning how to slip chord shapes into interval cracks. Trivia note: Wendell Marshall, the bass player, was an Ellington alumnus, and a cousin of Jimmy Blanton.

Lem Winchester (vibraphone)
Oliver Nelson (tenor sax)
Curtis Peagler (alto sax)
Billy Brown (piano) on 1,4
Roy Johnson (piano)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Eddy's Dilemma
2. Lem & Aide
3. Friendly Persuasion
4. Your Last Chance
5. Lady Day
6. Just Friends

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ on April 19, 1960

Monday, January 28, 2008

gorilla monsoon

i'm about out of gas now, but my mardi gras shuffle is complete for this year. time to eat and drink 'til i puke on my shoes. make a dark roux, a strong stock and have at it; too much ain't enough.

once again from the original vinyl to flac with the listed players on the lp in some combination or another.

allen toussaint

life love and faith- with vincent toussaint, leo nocentelli, george plummer, george porter, walter payton, joseph modeliste, joe lambert, alfred roberts, squirrel, gary brown, alvin thomas, red tyler, clyde kerr, and francis rousselle. pretty good material here. not as good as southern nights or from a whisper to a scream but you can here them both coming and that is one hell of a good look he has going on the cover.

motion- with jeff porcaro, robert popwell, chuck rainey, larry carlton, richard tee, victor feldman, paulinho da costa, etta james, bonnie raitt, rosemary butler. again not quite as ferociously perfect as southern and whisper, but definitely the same guy contented and a little further down the line. this is from a sealed record played for the first time. i find that arousing.

the wild sound of new orleans by tousan- no credits

pete fountain- this guy wails. some of my earliest memories have pete fountain soundtracks. put him wherever you need to on the clarinet totem pole, but even his cheesiest records are a lot of fun.

pete fountain day- with godfrey hirsch, don bagley, jack sperling, and merle koch

at the bateau lounge- merle koch, don bagley, jack sperling,

the blues- mannie klien, conrad gozzo, art depew, shorty sherock, moe schneider, william schaefer, harold diner, peter lofthouse, jack dumont, eddie miller, russ cheever, babe russin, william ulyate, jack sperling, stan wrightman, morty cobb, jackie coon, wilbur schwartz, matty matlock, chuck gentry, ray linn, john best, art depew,

music from dixie- stan wrightsman, morty cobb, sperling, eddie miller, moe schneider, bobby gibbons, and charles teagarden.

standing room only- nick fatool, bob havens, eddie miller, charles teagarden.

new orleans after midnight- bobby gibbons, sperling, cobb, godfrey hirsch, john propst, ray sherman, stan wrightsman.

pet fountains new orleans- wrightsman, cobb and sperling.

a taste of honey- grady martin, harold bradley and??

south rampart street parade- hirsch, sperling, fatool, paul barbarin, coon, schneider, mcreary, shaefer, george roberts, phil stevens, morty corb, bobby gibbons.

al hirt- jumbo can also play. i don't think he can carry the ball as well as fountain, more often leaning on his band, but he can surely blow and the two volumes at dan's pier 600 stand with any dixieland i have ever heard.

swingin' dixie vol1- bob havens, paul edwards, bob coquille, harold cooper, and ronnie dupont

swingin' dixie vol2- same cats.

sugar lips- produced by chet atkins and a fondue for sure with jerry hubbard, hargus robbins, grady martin, ray edenton, bob moore, buddy harmon, boots randolph, dutch mcmillan, floyd cramer, and the anita kerr singers.

our man in new orleans- back on track as marty paich conducts his own arrangements with pee wee spitelera, ronnie dupont, lowell miller, frank hudec, jerry hirt.

he's the king- jack delaney, pee wee spitelera, dupont, oliver felix, paul ferrara.

latin in the horn- arranged and conducted by lalo schifirin make no mistake about it: string cheese. good stuff.

the horn meets the hornet- straying a little off the mardi gras thing here, but he does the themes from tv shows like green hornet, get smart, batman, the monkees, and others. delirium setting in i suppose.

i'm going to go on a bender for the next week or so now, and yell "show me your tits!" in all the wrong places and at all the wrong times. bon temps rouler gentlemen.

Patrick Williams - Sinatraland (1997)

Sinatraland shows another side of Patrick Williams - that as a big band arranger. I believe this CD is now out of print and is becoming difficult to find so grab it while you can!

"Frank Sinatra has been a magnet for some of the finest popular music written in the last century. Throughout his entire career, he realized the importance of the unique collaboration between himself as an artist, the song, the songwriter, and the arranger.

Sinatra basically chose songs because he liked them. He understood that there existed a 'repertoire' of great songs, not just those currently popular. Many of his recordings, in fact, helped elevate these songs into the 'standard' category and his versions became hits years after the songs were initially published." - Patrick Williams

As tributes to Old Blue Eyes go, Patrick Williams' Sinatraland ranks among the most enjoyable. Williams, the composer and arranger of countless television and movie soundtracks, has gathered together some of the most gifted musicians available to form an orchestra that brilliantly sparkles on his arrangements of 12 Frank Sinatra classics. Clarinetist Eddie Daniels, saxophonists David Sanborn, Phil Woods, and Tom Scott, trombonist Bill Watrous, and flautist Hubert Laws turn in spectacular performances that pay tribute to one of the most celebrated voices of popular music.

What this band does best, of course, is swing with a capital "S." Driven by a stunning rhythm section that includes drummer Peter Erskine, the horns lay out that famous Sinatra swagger just like in days of old. Williams' lush arrangements exude rich harmonies and striking shout choruses that swing and sway their way through standout cuts like "All or Nothing at All," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "All the Way," and "Just One of Those Things." "In the Still of the Night" was nominated for the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement.

Patrick Williams (arranger, conductor)
Featured Soloists:
Eddie Daniels (clarinet) David Sanborn, Phil Woods (alto sax) Tom Scott (tenor sax)
Hubert Laws (flute) Warren Luening (flugelhorn) Bill Watrous (trombone)
Mitchel Forman (piano) Chuck Berghofer (bass) Peter Erskine (drums)
  1. All or Nothing at All
  2. I'll Be Seeing You
  3. I've Got You Under My Skin
  4. You Made Me Feel So Young
  5. The Song Is You
  6. All the Way
  7. I've Got the World on a String
  8. I Hadn't Anyone 'Til You
  9. Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)
  10. In the Still of the Night
  11. Where or When
  12. Just One of Those Things
Recorded August 4-6, 1997

Oliver Nelson - Taking Care Of Business

Oliver Nelson would gain his greatest fame later in his short life as an arranger/composer but this superior session puts the emphasis on his distinctive tenor and alto playing. In a slightly unusual group (with vibraphonist Lem Winchester, organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith, bassist George Tucker and drummer Roy Haynes), Nelson improvises a variety of well-constructed but spontaneous solos; his unaccompanied spots on "All the Way" and his hard-charging playing on the medium-tempo blues "Groove" are two of the many highpoints. Nelson remains a vastly underrated saxophonist and all six performances on this recommended CD reissue (four of them his originals) are excellent. ~ Scott Yanow

Oliver Nelson was a distinctive soloist on alto, tenor, and even soprano, but his writing eventually overshadowed his playing skills. He became a professional early on in 1947, playing with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and with St. Louis big bands headed by George Hudson and Nat Towles. In 1951, he arranged and played second alto for Louis Jordan's big band, and followed with a period in the Navy and four years at a university. After moving to New York, Nelson worked briefly with Erskine Hawkins, Wild Bill Davis, and Louie Bellson (the latter on the West Coast). In addition to playing with Quincy Jones' orchestra (1960-1961), between 1959-1961 Nelson recorded six small-group albums and a big band date; those gave him a lot of recognition and respect in the jazz world. Blues and the Abstract Truth (from 1961) is considered a classic and helped to popularize a song that Nelson had included on a slightly earlier Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis session, "Stolen Moments." He also fearlessly matched wits effectively with the explosive Eric Dolphy on a pair of quintet sessions. But good as his playing was, Nelson was in greater demand as an arranger, writing for big band dates of Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery, and Billy Taylor, among others. By 1967, when he moved to Los Angeles, Nelson was working hard in the studios, writing for television and movies. He occasionally appeared with a big band, wrote a few ambitious works, and recorded jazz on an infrequent basis, but Oliver Nelson was largely lost to jazz a few years before his unexpected death at age 43 from a heart attack. ~ Scott Yanow

Oliver Nelson (alto, tenor sax)
Lem Winchester (vibes)
Johnny "Hammond" Smith (organ)
George Tucker (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Trane Whistle
2. Doxy
3. In Time
4. Lou's Good Blues
5. All The Way
6. Groove

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 22, 1960

Gerry Mulligan - Walk on the Water

I am grateful to Ramson for pointing out that the channels were reversed on this one so I have uploaded the corrected files. I will put the new links in "comments" and in a short while delete the first set. Like Ramson, some may be satisfied with the sound of the first set but I'm sure the new ones are better.

Ramson's better cover picture is now also included.

Apologies to all those who have downloaded the erroneous files.

(January 30 2008)

This one is for the doc. I didn't wait for your reply on "Requests" because, having listened to a bit, I decided it was good enough to put up anyway. Hope you find it acceptable - I certainly have many CD's which do not sound as good. Very little editing was necessary.

Vinyl rip - no scans

Edited to remove imperfections.

Larger cover picture thanks to ramson

Review by Scott Yanow

Baritonist Gerry Mulligan has had few opportunities to record with a big band since his Concert Jazz Band broke up in 1963, a real pity considering how talented a composer and arranger he has been. This DRG release features a strong orchestra (with such soloists as trumpeter Tom Harrell, altoist Gerry Niewood, pianist Mitchel Forman among others) performing several of Jeru's compositions (including "For an Unfinished Woman," "Song for Strayhorn" and "Walk on the Water"), Forman's "Angelica" and Duke Ellington's "Across the Track Blues" along with the standard "I'm Getting Sentimental over You".

Tom Harrell Laurie Fink Barry Ries Mike Davis Danny Hayes - trumpets
Keith O'Quinn Dave Glenn Alan Raph - trombones
Gerry Mulligan - soprano baritone
Ken Hitchcock Gerry Niewood Ralph Olson - altos
Seth Broedy Gary Keller Eric Trukel - tenors
Joe Temperley - baritone
Mitchel Foreman - piano
Jay Leonhart Mike Bocchicchio - basses
Richie de Rosa - drums

01 For an Unfinished Woman
02 Song for Strayhorn
03 42nd & Broadway
04 Angelica
05 Walk on the Water
06 Across the Track Blues
07 I'm Getting Sentimental Over You

John Handy - In The Vernacular (Roulette RE-132 LP, rec 1959)

A double LP released in 1976 of his first 2 albums for Roulette. The 2nd album from 1960 will follow shortly. I'll just say that I really am digging this a lot. A rare chance to hear John using tenor as his lady.

Altoist John Handy's debut as a leader (which was originally part of the two-LP set of the same name) was recorded when he was still a member of Charles Mingus' group. Teamed with trumpeter Richard Williams, pianist Roland Hanna, bassist George Tucker and drummer Roy Haynes, Handy (who doubles on tenor) shows the influence of John Coltrane in spots and also the fury and heat of playing with Mingus. He performs six originals (the best-known is "Dance to the Lady"), "I'll Close My Eyes," and a lyrical rendition of "I'll Never Smile Again." Excellent advanced hard bop music. -Scott Yanow

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Big Maybelle - Blues, Candy, and Big Maybelle

Two vinyl albums of Maybelle's Savoy recordings on one compact disc makes for a nice 28-track retrospective of her prime work. First up is the album originally issued as Blues, Candy and Big Maybelle, a chunk of session work from 1956-1957, with a three-song date from 1959 to round things up. Her takes on "Rockhouse," "Ramblin' Blues," and the title track are the big tickets here. The second anthology, titled simply Big Maybelle, features her recordings from 1956-1959, with the balance of it leaning toward her later output for the label. A 1957 session with Kenny Burrell on guitar yields interesting stabs at "White Christmas" and "Silent Night," while a 1959 session finds her big voice framed with a string section on a great read of "Until the Real Thing Comes Along." A very underrated singer, Big Maybelle is a total delight and deserves a much wider hearing. ~ Cub Koda

Big Maybelle (vocal)
Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)
Hank Jones (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Mickey Baker (guitar)
Frank Rehak (ttrombone)
Jerome Richardson (tenor sax)
George Barrow (baritone sax)
Dave McRae (alto sax)

1. Candy
2. Ring Dang Dilly
3. Blues Early, Early
4. A Little Bird Told Me
5. So Long
6. That's A Pretty Good Love
7. Tell Me Who
8. Ramblin' Blues
9. Rockhouse
10. I Don't Want To Cry
11. Pitiful
12. A Good Man Is Hard To Find
13. How It Lies
14. Goin' Home Baby
15. So Long
16. Say It Isn't So
17. If I Could Be With You
18. Goodnight Wherever You Are
19. That's A Pretty Good Love
20. White Christmas
21. Silent Night
22. How It Lies
23. Goin' Home Baby
24. I Ain't Got Nobody
25. I Understand
26. I Got It Bad
27. Some Of These Days
28. Until The Real Thing Comes Along

SFJazz Collective

SFJazz Collective for Nonesuch from 2005.
Anything with Bobby Hutcherson on it has to be worth a punt so this went straight in the shopping bag on it's release.But did I mention the rest of this mighty ensemble?Renee Rosnes,Nicholas Payton,Brian Blade,Bob Hurst,Josh Roseman,Gil Goldstein,Joshua Redman and Miguel Zenon....wheeeew!

I pinched this from Amazon as it's a pretty good summary of their endeavours:
The SF Jazz Collective is a group assembled under the auspices of saxophonist Joshua Redman during his tenure as the artistic director of the Bay Area, non-profit organisation SFJAZZ. With funding from SFJAZZ, Redman put together an octet of younger, high-profile players including himself, alto saxophonist/flutist Miguel Zenon, pianist Renee Rosnes, trumpeter Nicolas Payton, trombonist Josh Roseman, drummer Brian Blades, and bassist Robert Hurst. The kicker here is the inclusion of legendary vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, one of the most adventurous and distinctive voices on the instrument since the 1960s. While the results of all-star group endeavorscan sometimes be dicey, that is not the case here, as this magnificent live recording proves.
The program features several originals, including Rosnes's rhythmically-free, mid-tempo exploration "Of This Day's Journey", Redman's shape-shifting "Rise and Fall", and Hutcherson's sprightly free bopworkout "March Madness". The ensemble's penchant for adventurous phrasing and rhythmic and harmonic freedom is mirroredin their choice of three Ornette Coleman compositions: the gorgeous, off-kilter "Peace", the uptempo swing of "When Will the Blues Leave", and the whimsically expressionistic "Una Muy Bonita". Superb arrangements by Gil Goldstein put the crowning touch on this first rate session. In short, everything works together--the writing, the playing, the group chemistry--to equal an exceptional modern jazz recording.

Toots Thielemans - Captured Alive (1974)

The title suggests that this is a live set but was actually recorded at the home studio of producer Gerry Macdonald. It's all harmonica for Toots on this date for Choice Records with strong support from Cecil McBee on bass, Freddie Waits on drums, and a talented pianist who hasn't had much exposure here - Joanne Brackeen. A nice mix of standards, ballads and originals, the interplay between Toots and Brackeen, especially on the duet "Giant Steps", is amazing.

This was reissued by Polygram in 1997 as Images that included two more tracks from this session.

Toots Thielemans (harmonica)
Joanne Brackeen (piano)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Freddie Waits (drums)

  1. Days of Wine and Roses
  2. I Never Told You
  3. Dr. Pretty
  4. Airegin
  5. Images
  6. Day Dream
  7. Giant Steps
  8. Snooze
Recorded September 16, 1974

Nat King Cole Sings - George Shearing Plays

Although it would have been interesting to hear Nat Cole play some piano and perhaps accompany a vocal by George Shearing instead of exclusively the other way around, this session was a big success. Cole is in prime form on such songs as "September Song," "Pick Yourself Up," and "Serenata." Shearing's accompaniment is tasteful and lightly swinging, and the string arrangements help to accentuate the romantic moods. This CD adds three "new" selections from the same sessions to the original program. ~ Scott Yanow

This 1961 recording is a wonderful collaboration between two jazz titans. In fact, it's a shame singer Nat "King" Cole and pianist George Shearing didn't make more albums together. Inviting Shearing to play on this record is an example of Cole's musical selflessness. (A noted pianist himself, Cole might have been insulted by Capitol's suggestion to work with Shearing. Thankfully, history proved otherwise.)

Comprised of 12 tracks plus three bonus takes, NAT "KING" COLE SINGS/GEORGE SHEARING PLAYS combines the intimacy of a piano quartet with the immense sound of a string orchestra. A gentle, swaying "September Song" and a surprisingly subdued "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" are two fine examples of the record's relaxed mood. Cole and Shearing's interpretation of "Fly Me to the Moon" is especially stirring; performed as a slow ballad, Bart Howard's melody is captured in all its natural beauty on this rendition like never before. For fans of Cole and/or Shearing, this is a must-have disc.

Nat Cole (vocals)
George Shearing (piano)
Emil Richards (vibraphone)
Al McKibbon (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)
Carlos Vidal (congas)
Nick Martinez, Luis Miranda (percussion)
Ralph Carmichael (conductor)
Al Hendrickson (guitar)
Paul Horn, Wilbur Schwartz, Justin Gordon (flute, piccolo)
Lloyd Ulyate (trombone)

1. September Song
2. Pick Yourself Up
3. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
4. Let There Be Love
5. Azure-Te
6. Lost April
7. A Beautiful Friendship
8. Fly Me To The Moon
9. Serenata
10. I'm Lost
11. There's A Lull In My Life
12. Don't Go
13. Everything Happens To Me
14. The Game Of Love
15. Guess I'll Go Back Home

Recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, California from December 19-22, 1961

Art Farmer and Donald Byrd - Two Trumpets

Byrd, one of the early young migrants from Detroit, and ex-Californian Farmer, already a New York fixture by the time Byrd got there in 1955, are joined in the front line by Jackie McLean who had worked with Donald in George Wallington's group. Barry Harris, who had left Detroit for a minute with the Max Roach quintet, makes his New York recording debut here before returning to Detroit until 1960 when he departed for good as a member of Cannonball Adderley's group. The trumpeters' exchanges on 'Dig' are especially exhilarating.

Art Farmer (trumpet)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Barry Harris (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. The Third
2. Contour
3. When Your Lover Has Gone
4. Dig
5. 'Round Midnight

Recorded in Hackensack on August 3, 1956

Pete La Roca - Turkish Women at the Bath

This re-up is by request; originally a Crabbit&Daft post. All credits go to the original uploader, Rab. I've only added images of the original LP cover, taken from The format is OGG.

Walter Bishop, Jr left the music business for a while to be a tailor. Art Davis became a practicing psychologist, and Pete Sims, aka Pete LaRoca became an attorney.

He started his career playing timbales in Latin bands, changing his name to Pete La Roca at the time. He played drums with Sonny Rollins (1957- early 1959) and had associations with Jackie McLean, Slide Hampton, the John Coltrane Quartet (where he was the original drummer in 1960) and Marian McPartland. La Roca led his own group (1961-62), was the house drummer at the Jazz Workshop in Boston (1963-64) and worked with Art Farmer (1964-65), Freddie Hubbard, Mose Allison, Charles Lloyd (1966), Paul Bley and Steve Kuhn among others. La Roca started playing jazz again in 1979 and has performed on an occasional basis up to the present time.

Pete La Roca - Turkish Women At The Bath

Pete LaRoca - drums
Chick Corea - piano
Walter Booker - bass
John Gilmore - tenor sax

1. Turkish Women At The Bath
2. Dancing Girls
3. Love Planet
4. Marjoun
5. Bliss
6. Sin Street
7. And So

Patrick Williams - An American Concerto

I don't remember who requested this but it caused me to give it a spin for the first time in some years and wonder why I haven't listened to it more often.

In my opinion, this is one of the most successful forays into the world of classical/jazz fusion, commonly known as "third stream". I am not alone as An American Concerto, written in 1976 for symphony orchestra and jazz quartet, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the album was nominated for a Grammy in 1980. Curiously, this album has never been reissued on CD.

Along with Patrick Williams' Stravinsky-inspired writing and the London Symphony Orchestra's flawless execution, An American Concerto is a tour-de-force for altoist Phil Woods and there is ample solo space for Dave Grusin on keyboards, Chuck Domanico on bass, and the masterful drummer Grady Tate.

Patrick Williams (composer, conductor)
London Symphony Orchestra
Phil Woods (alto sax)
Dave Grusin (keyboards)
Chuck Domanico (bass)
Grady Tate (drums)
  1. Out of the Darkness (First Movement)
  2. Until the End of Time (Second Movement)
  3. The Messengers of Joy (Third Movement)

Billy Harper - Capra Black

Billy Harper for Strata East from 1973.This great group of players are joined by a quintet of voices including Eugene McDaniels on a couple of tracks who sing behind the jazz players in an uplifting spiritual mode that cries out with the new soul jazz freedom of the 70s.
More info on this here from KFJC:
Texas-born saxophonist Billy Harper had played with many of the greats (Gil Evans, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones) before recording this first album as a leader in 1973. Influenced heavily by Coltrane, Harper was part of the “black consciousness” movement in jazz, which fueled such artist-owned labels as Strata-East in New York, Tribe Records in Detroit, and Black Jazz in Chicago. This session for Strata-East features an all-star cast, including George Cables (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), Julian Priester (trombone), Billy Cobham (drums), and more, including a special appearance by drummer Elvin Jones on the track “Sir Galahad.” One of the quintessential traits of this strain of jazz, the vocal chorus, is featured prominently on the two tracks from Side Black, linking the music to its roots in gospel. The equally-important blues influence shines through clearly, as well; just check out the track “New Breed” for evidence of that. All in all, an impressive debut from Mr. Harper. Interesting bit of trivia: Harper’s next album release was BLACK SAINT, inaugurating the label of the same name, which is still active today.
320 rip from the long deleted Strata East cd issue.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Anthony Braxton - Charlie Parker Project 1993

Of the dozen or two Braxton albums I have, this is the one I listen to most.

On this double CD the innovative altoist Anthony Braxton (who also plays a bit of his sopranino and the remarkable contrabass clarinet) interprets 13 bebop songs (two taken twice), 11 of which were composed by Charlie Parker. However, do not mistake these performances (which are comprised of both a studio session and a club set) with the type of music often played by the Young Lions. In fact, those listeners who consider themselves bop purists are advised to look elsewhere. Performing with an adventurous sextet that also includes Ari Brown on tenor and soprano, trumpeter Paul Smoker, pianist Misha Mengelberg (the most consistently impressive of the supporting cast), bassist Joe Fonda, and either Han Bennink or Pheeroan AkLaff on drums, Braxton uses the melodies and some of the original structures of such tunes as "Hot House," "Night in Tunisia," "Bebop," and "Ko Ko" as the basis for colorful and often-stunning improvisations. He does not feel restricted to the old boundaries of the 1940s and '50s, preferring to pay tribute to the spirit and chance-taking of Charlie Parker rather than to merely recreate the past. The passionate and unpredictable results are quite stimulating and full of surprises, fresh ideas and wit. It's highly recommended to those jazz followers who have very open ears. Scott Yanow

Anthony Braxton (contrabass clarinet , alto and soprano sax)
Ari Brown (tenor and soprano sax)
Misha Mengelberg (piano)
Paul Smoker (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Joe Fonda (bass)
Pheeroan akLaff (drums)
Han Bennink (drums)

CD 1

1 - Hot House
2 - A Night in Tunisia
3 - Dewey Square
4 - Klactoveesedstene
5 - An Oscar for Treadwell

CD 2

1 - Bebop
2 - Bongo Bop
3 - Yardbird Suite
4 - A Night In Tunisia
5 - Passport
6 - Klactoveesedstene
7 - Scrapple From The Apple
8 - Mohawk
9 - Sippin' At Bells
10 - Koko

Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity

Whole generations of musicians and listeners experienced a dramatic and irrevocable awakening in the years after Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity came out in 1964, and the record has a certain timeless quality that makes it just as important today. The piercing emotional emphasis and startlingly voice- like qualities of Ayler's saxophone playing turn childishly simple melodies into expanded voyages of personal discovery and spontaneous invention. Bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray share an abstract, ethereal connection where norms of meter and harmony seem quite naturally irrelevant.

But Spiritual Unity remains enigmatic even now, nearly 35 years after Ayler's body was mysteriously found in the Hudson River. Part of that mystique comes from Ayler's own shrouded references to religion and spirituality, with revolving titles like “Ghosts” and “Spirits” evoking milennia- old cycles of meditation, discovery, redemption, and rebirth.

Part of it also comes from the makeshift presentation the record received as the first official release on Bernard Stollman's brand new ESP-Disk, a haven where “the artists alone decide” what would happen during their quick, mostly one-take studio sessions, but where the information provided about these events was spotty and sometimes contradictory.

This latest reissue of Spiritual Unity transports me to an existence ecstatically free of time and place, bringing back memories of how I first got swept away in the Ayler phenomenon years ago. Oddly enough, I never noticed the first track was recorded in mono until today—which is a sign that the disc's sound quality, while less than spectacular, does nothing to interfere with its effectiveness.

The sound is better on this remastered version than the one I picked up a few years ago, but the liner notes fall short. The essays on the ESP-Disk phenomenon and the session itself don't have the same information content as the biographies, label story, and Stollman interview included with the earlier release. So there's really no need for those already familiar with this recording to dash out for the latest and greatest.

But if you haven't heard this record, you've missed out on one of the most profound artistic statements of the 20th Century. Enough said. Nils Jacobson

Albert Ayler (tenor sax)
Gary Peacock (bass)
Sunny Murray (percussion)

1. Ghosts: First Variation
2. The Wizard
3. Spirits
4. Ghosts: Second Variation

Red Norvo - Music To Listen To Red Norvo By

You know this is going to be a solid, swinging affair. Buddy Collette is always worth checking out, as are the others here. Kessel also released an album called Music To Listen To Barney Kessel By. Don't recall which was first. If you get a chance, check out Collette's autobiography. It tells more about him than the facts presented. Seems like a real nice man.

Although vibraphonist Red Norvo is the leader of this sextet date, clarinetist Bill Smith (who contributed the 20-minute four-movement "Divertimento") often sets the tone for the music. His work has classical elements to it, but the five shorter pieces (by Jack Montrose, Barney Kessel, Lennie Niehaus, Duane Tatro, and Norvo) are much more jazz oriented. Norvo's light-toned sextet (which consists of his vibes, flutist Buddy Collette, clarinetist Bill Smith, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Shelly Manne) was not a regularly working unit, but it sounds well-integrated and tight during the complex, but generally swinging, music.

Red Norvo (vibes)
Buddy Collette (flute)
Bill Smith (clarinet)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Poème
2. Red Sails
3. The Red Broom
4. Rubricity
5. Paying the Dues Blues
6. Divertimento 1st Movement
7. Divertimento 2nd Movement
8. Divertimento 3rd Movement
9. Divertimento 4th Movement

Lennie Niehaus - The Quintets and Strings: Vol. 4

This CD reissue brings back one of Lennie Niehaus' finest recordings of the 1950s. His alto is featured throughout the dozen selections and the varied settings (Niehaus is backed by a string quartet, a standard rhythm section, and sometimes two other saxophonists in addition to performing four numbers with a standard quintet) give him an opportunity to show off his writing abilities. Niehaus varies tempos a lot (the strings are often heard on faster material), there is solo space for the tenor of Bill Perkins, baritonist Bob Gordon, and Stu Williamson on trumpet and valve trombone, and the leader's boppish alto is heard at the peak of his playing powers. Bop collectors can consider this disc to be essential.

Bob Gordon (baritone sax)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Shelly Manne (drums)
Bill Perkins (tenor sax)
Lennie Niehaus (alto sax)
Stu Williamson (trumpet, trombone)
Monty Budwig (bass)

1. All the Things You Are
2. My Heart Stood Still
3. Easy Living
4. If I Should Lose You
5. More Than the Blues
6. Full House
7. Rondo
8. Star Eyes
9. Lens
10. Crosswalk
11. Trouble Waters
12. Just One of Those Things

George Wallington - The Pleasure of A Jazz Inspiration (1985)

-What is your personal opinion of the music industry today?

-What I have forecasted decades ago has happened. Today music is marketed by two aspects: social and economic. Rock and the Beatles are not the only ones responsible for this simple deterioration. I also think of the political, social revolution that this country has gone through with Martin Luther King, the Kennedy Brothers, the Vietnam War, etc... Today music in general has nothing to do with culture and art. Music is utilized now like an economic, social and political weapon, nothing else... The music industry has become a mass production machinery without caring for quality or value. The music has negative repercussion on the public, bringing annihilation of the spirit and of the human thought. I do not listen at all to contemporary jazz. I cannot find creativity in it. With the electric rock, they try to tell a story without succeeding, it is too simple and lacks excitement...
I was often told that my sudden decision to quit my profession thirty years ago was still a real enigma for those who have known me well. Like the Babylonians, I have seen the writing on the wall. My keen intuition told me that the situation of the music would deteriorate rapidly. The creativity was then already diminishing. When I found out that I was playing for a deaf public, I threw in the towel and I was so right to do it. At that point, I could exit through the front door... -George Wallington, Interview by Louis Victor Mialy, 1992

David Fathead Newman - Resurgence

February 1 2008 - I'm sorry that for this upload the channels were
accidentally reversed. I have therefore uploaded new files which
are the right way round. See further down in comments for the
current links.

Vinyl rip - no scans

Edited to remove most crackles, pops etc.

Marcus Belgrave - trumpet, flugelhorn
David Fathead Newman - soprano, alto, tenor, flute
Cedar Walton - piano, electric piano
Ted Dunbar - guitar
Buster Williams - bass
Louis Hayes - drums

01 Everything Must Change
02 Mama Lou
03 Davey Blue
04 Carnegie Blues
05 Akua Ewie
06 Holy Land

David Fathead Newman's first freewheeling recording in a number
of years showed that he was certainly capable of playing creative
soul-jazz and bop when inspired. Newman is joined by the underrated
trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, guitarist Ted Dunbar, pianist Cedar
Walton, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Louis Hayes. The best
are "Everything Must Change," Hank Crawford's "Carnegie Blues" and
Walton's "To the Holy Land." An excellent effort.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Gerry Mulligan - Mosaic Select 21

Gerry Mulligan was certainly busy in December 1957. During a two-week period, the baritonist recorded a reunion album with trumpeter Chet Baker, documented a set of his songs with an octet that featured five top saxophonists, recorded a very obscure set with a sextet that included four strings, and cut most of an album in which his quartet teamed up with singer Annie Ross. This limited-edition three-CD set contains all of the music plus alternate takes and the last part of the Ross album, which was recorded nine months later with trumpeter Art Farmer in Baker's spot. The reunion with Baker, one of only two times when Mulligan and the trumpeter got back together (the other was a 1970s concert), has some of the old magic of the famous 1951-1952 pianoless quartet. Surprisingly, Baker sounds reluctant to play behind Mulligan's solos, but the baritonist happily harmonizes behind the trumpeter. The saxophone date features Mulligan's songs arranged by Bill Holman and featuring Allen Eager (in his last high-quality date), Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, and Lee Konitz in excellent form. It is surprising that the Mulligan with strings set did not come out for decades, for the nine songs (which have Mulligan joined by violin, cello, guitar, bass, and drums) are given spirited and swinging treatments. Annie Ross Sings a Song of Mulligan was one of the singer's finest albums away from Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and she mixes in perfectly with the two versions of Mulligan's quartet. Collectors who do not already own most of this music are well advised to acquire this perfectly conceived reissue, a month in the life of the great Gerry Mulligan. Scott Yanow

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vincent Herring - Scene One (1988)

Vincent Herring's recording debut as a leader was originally released on the Japanese Somethin' Else label and reissued in the U.S. by Evidence a decade later. Recorded shortly before Herring began playing with Nat Adderley's group, Scene One features Herring not sounding as influenced by Cannonball Adderley as he would become, although there are hints of Cannonball during his romp on "What Is This Thing Called Love?." Herring sounds Trane-ish on "Elation" and purposely hints at Charlie Rouse on "Roused About" but generally sounds quite original, both on alto and soprano (during "Almost"). Pianist Darrell Grant takes some impressive solos, bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Jack DeJohnette push the lead voices, and Kris Defoort sits in on DeJohnette's "Where or Wayne" on synthesizer. The music overall is straight-ahead, adventurous, passionate and mostly high-powered. Scene One, though somewhat obscure, was a very impressive debut for Vincent Herring, who has since lived up to his great potential. - Scott Yanow

Vincent Herring (alto sax, soprano sax)
Darrell Grant (piano)
Robert Hurst (bass)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)
Kris Defoort (synth on 7)
  1. Elation
  2. Roused About (For Charlie Rouse)
  3. What Is This Thing Called Love?
  4. Almost
  5. Running from the Cookie Monster
  6. Never Forget
  7. Where or Wayne
Recorded December 20-21, 1988

Don Sleet - All Members

This is one of the interesting things that become available when major labels are finished releasing their 12 versions of Giant Steps. Sleet was one of those very talented people that are on the margins of big time, and are both poised to and capable of making a breakthrough. It's neither perfect or flawless, but this is a very solid first effort from a guy who could have entered the front ranks.

"It's safe to say that most jazz lovers have never even heard of Don Sleet. The trumpeter died in obscurity in 1986, and 1961's little-known All Members is his only album as a leader. Produced by Orrin Keepnews, All Members demonstrates that he deserved a much higher profile. This fine hard bop date paints a consistently attractive picture of Sleet, who had a medium tone that was bigger than Miles Davis and Chet Baker but not as big as Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, or Lee Morgan. Nonetheless, Davis and Baker were prominent influences, as was Kenny Dorham (who also favored a medium-toned style of trumpeting). Another valid comparison is Art Farmer. But Sleet was an expressive, swinging player in his own right, and he shows himself to be a captivating soloist on two Clifford Jordan pieces ("The Hearing" and ("Brooklyn Bridge") as well as the familiar standards "But Beautiful," "Secret Love," and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise." Also impressive is Sleet's exhilarating "Fast Company," which has a title that describes the people who join him on All Members. Although Sleet was obscure, you can't say that about tenor saxman Jimmy Heath, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Ron Carter, or drummer Jimmy Cobb -- all of them are major jazz artists, and all of them are present on this album. The phrase "fast company" also describes Keepnews, who is one of the most famous and prolific jazz producers of all time. In a perfect world, an album as strong as All Members (which Fantasy reissued on CD on its Original Jazz Classics imprint in 2001) wouldn't be so little known. But Sleet's obscurity doesn't make him any less appealing; All Members is a CD that bop lovers should savor." ~ Alex Henderson

Don Sleet (trumpet)
Jimmy Heath (tenor sax)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)

1. Brooklyn Bridge
2. Secret Love
3. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
4. Fast Company
5. But Beautiful
6. All Members
7. The Hearing

Plaza Sound Studios, NY; March 16, 1961

Horace Silver - Paris Blues

It's been a long time since we've posted Mr. Silver. It seems when I started out that I posted everything of his about 12 times. Then the effusions of a certain Dutch jackass made it impossible to listen seriously for a long time. Age, perhaps, has mellowed me from a year ago. Time to listen anew.

The playlist will reflect the fact that Silver had recently finished The Tokyo Blues. 6 months later he began Silver's Serenade which was his only production for '63, at the end of which year he began to lay down tracks for what would be Song For My Father. For that matter, he only produced one album in all of '62 and that was preceded by the Doin' The Thing issue of the Vanguard performance, which used this same line-up.

"This is the classic Horace Silver Quintet. It existed and recorded here while Miles was between his two great quintets, just before Art Blakey recorded Caravan with Curtis Fuller and Wayne Shorter, and while John Coltrane was assembling his classic quartet. This concert takes place almost half way between Finger Poppin’ With the Horace Silver Quintet and Song for My Father. In essence, this is hard bop reaching perfection, neither al dente nor over-cooked. All of the songs are lengthy Silver compositions.

With all cuts clocking in over ten minutes (”Sayonara Blues” stretches out to sixteen minutes), all of the musicians have ample time to say what must be said. Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook are in top form, blowing their potent mixture of smoky blues and pungent funk. Tart as a lemon and strong as a Manhattan, Mitchell proves himself more than a minor prophet in the scripture of hard bop. The same can be said of Cook, whose full-throated tone melds perfectly with Silver and Mitchell on this fall night in the City of Lights. Silver is brilliant in his leadership and performance, as is his rhythm support in Gene Taylor and Roy Brooks.

When previously asked to define hard bop, I would have steered the query toward Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ Moanin’. Now I will suggest Paris Blues. " C. Michael Bailey AllAboutJazz

Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Junior Cook (tenor sax)
Horace Silver (piano)
Gene Taylor (bass)
Roy Brooks (drums)

1. Introductions By Norman Granz And Horace Silver
2. Where You At
3. The Tokyo Blues
4. Filthy McNasty
5. Sayonara Blues
6. Doin' The Thing

"L'Olympia", Paris, France, October 6, 1962

The Complete Capitol Recordings Of The Nat King Cole Trio CDs 1-4

"This collection contains 349 songs recorded at 91 separate recording sessions between October 11, 1942 and March 23, 1961. Two-thirds of the selection on this 18-disc anthology have either been out out of print since the 1940s, or have never been released in any form. Cole's 1956 album, AFTER MIDNIGHT, is included here in its entirety, along with all of the trio's more familiar songs.

Included in this set are 104 tracks previously unavailable on US LPs. Sixty-six of the tracks were previously unavailable anywhere. Fifty-six rare Capitol radio transcriptions appear commercially for the first time. Dozens of the tracks appear at the correct speed for the first time ever.

The package also contains a 64-page booklet containing session notes and commentary by Will Friedwald, (author of `Jazz Singer'), and an essay on Cole's keyboard style, by pianist Dick Katz. Rare photos, as well as, a complete session-by-session discography and cross-indexed tune list are also included."

The Complete Jazz At The Philharmonic on Verve (1944-1949) CDs 9-10

Final Installment

Lennie Niehaus - Vol. 3: The Octet #2

For this CD reissue, Lennie Niehaus contributed five originals (including "Rick's Tricks" and "Circling the Blues") plus creative reworkings of six veteran standards and an obscurity called "Yes, Yes, Honey." The lineup of musicians is virtually a who's who of West Coast jazz (altoist Niehaus, tenor saxophonist Bill Holman, baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, trumpeter Stu Williamson, valve trombonist Bob Enevoldsen, pianist Pete Jolly, bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Shelly Manne), and the charts are both swinging and filled with some subtle surprises and occasional unusual tone colors. Well worth checking out, as are Niehaus' other valuable Contemporary sessions of the 1950s. ~ Scott Yanow

Jimmy Giuffre (baritone sax)
Bob Enevoldsen (valve trombone)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Lennie Niehaus (alto sax)
Stu Williamson (trumpet)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Blue Room
2. You And The Night And The Music
3. Bunko
4. Love Is Here To Stay
5. They Say It's Wonderful
6. Rick's Tricks
7. Rose Room
8. Cooling It
9. Yes, Yes, Honey
10. Debbie
11. Nice Work If You Can Get It
12. Circling The Blues

Bill Hardman - Home

February 1 2008 - I'm sorry that for this upload the channels were
accidentally reversed. I have therefore uploaded new files which
are the right way round. See further down in comments for the
current links.

Vinyl rip - no scans
edited to remove most crackles and imperfections

Many thanks to ubu for the cover picture which is now
included with the files

Date: January 10, 1978
Location: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Label: Muse

Junior Cook (ts),
Bill Hardman (t, fh),
Slide Hampton (tb),
Mickey Tucker (p),
Chin Suzuki (b),
Victor Jones (d),
Lawrence Killian (per)

01 Samba Do Brilho - 07:32 (Guilherme Verguieiro)
02 Once I Loved (O Amor Em Paz) - 08:50 (Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius DeMoraes, Ray Gilbert)
03 My Pen Is Hot - 05:42 (Mickey Tucker)
04 Rancho Cevarro - 06:42 (Mickey Tucker)
05 I Remember Love - 06:35 (Tadd Dameron)

Muse LP 12": MR 5152 - Home

Bill Hardman had long been a talented -- if not overly original --
bop trumpet soloist. Best known for his four stints with Art
Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Hardman is in excellent form on a pair
of Brazilian pieces, two originals by pianist Mickey Tucker and
Tadd Dameron's lesser-known "I Remember Love." There are also fine
solos throughout this date by Tucker, tenor saxophonist Junior
Cook and trombonist Slide Hampton. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Susannah McCorkle - Over The Rainbow, The Songs Of E.Y. "Yip" Harburg

This was requested by The Jazzman... sorry I didn't get to it faster. The other early "songbooks" (Mercer, Leo Robin) are coming next. Scoredaddy

Susannah McCorkle's first three recordings focused on the "songbooks" of specific composers or lyricists. For her third project, McCorkle (backed by pianist Keith Ingham, bassist Jack Six and drummer Ronnie Bedford) explored the words of Yip Harburg, who was most renowned for his work on The Wizard of Oz. McCorkle not only revisits a few of those classic tunes (including the title cut, "If I Only Had a Heart" and "Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead") but plenty of obscure works such as "The Begat," "Napoleon" and "Moanin' in the Mornin'." McCorkle was very much up for this assignment and she did Yip Harburg's work justice. Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle (vocals)
Keith Ingham (piano)
Jack Six (bass)
Ronnie Bedford (drums)

1 Old Devil Moon (Harburg, Lane) 4:22
2 The Begat (Harburg E.Y., Lane) 3:41
3 If I Only Had a Heart (Arlen, Harburg) 2:22
4 Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead (Arlen, Harburg) 1:44
5 Over the Rainbow (Arlen, Harburg) 4:00
6 Poor You (Harburg, Lane) 3:05
7 Napoleon (Arlen, Harburg) 3:53
8 What Is There to Say? (Duke, Harburg) 4:15
9 Thrill Me (Gensler, Harburg) 3:08
10 Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe (Arlen, Harburg) 2:47
11 The Eagle and Me (Arlen, Harburg) 2:35
12 Moanin' in the Mornin' (Arlen, Harburg) 3:59
13 Down With Love (Arlen, Harburg) 3:40
14 Here's to Your Illusions (Fain, Harburg) 2:18
15 In Times Like These (Arlen, Harburg) 3:52

Recorded at Delta Studio, New York City, NY on January 11 and February 19, 1980

Tete Montoliu - Catalonian Fire (Inner City 2017 LP, 1974)

Cleaning vinyl and turning it into digital files is very satisfying and i'm happy with the sound from my new turntable. Hope you all appreciate it.

This album has been released on CD by the parent label SteepleChase with one bonus track not on the LP.

Tete Montoliu spent most of his career recording for various European-based record labels, with some of his best work appearing on Steeplechase, such as this trio session with bassist Niels Pedersen and drummer Tootie Heath. Montoliu chose his rhythm section well, because both of these musicians respond well to an aggressive pianist like their leader, providing both strong support and lively interplay. The program is dominated by standards, including a rather abstract take of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and an extended workout of "Falling in Love With Love" with a Latin rhythm. "Old Folks" starts with an unusual solo introduction that is both eerie and playful; Pedersen's countermelody is sparse and effective. Montoliu's sole original, "Blues for Perla," also stands out. The date concludes with a freewheeling exploration of Charlie Parker's "Au Privave," with the leader occasionally leaning toward an avant-garde sound in places. Recommended. -Ken Dryden

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tony Bennett - With Love

"With Love" was one of three albums Tony Bennett made with the Britain-based, Canadian-born arranger and composer, Robert Farnon. Farnon was somewhat a legend for his ability to write for strings and many A-list singers such as Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, and Bennett sought Farnon out and travelled to London to record with him.

This was Bennett's last great album before departing Columbia Records a year later. Although not commercially successful, the disc is an artistic triumph. "Commercial" trash not polluting the proceedings as was typical of Bennett's latter-years Columbia output, the song selection is superb, with a number of lesser-known gems such as the arranger's own "Lazy Day" and a great Marion McPartland-Johnny Mercer collaboration called "Twilight World." There are also two other Mercer songs, the well-known "Dream" and "Harlem Butterfly," both of which also feature rare melodies from the celebrated lyricist, who did not compose much music during his long career. Present as well is Bennett's exciting then-hit, "Maybe This Time," composed by Kander & Ebb of "New York, New York" fame.

Other highlights include Cy Coleman's "The Riviera" (also sung marvelously by Blossom Dearie), Jerome Kern's magnificent "Remind Me," and composer Jimmy Van Heusen's masterpiece "Here's That Rainy Day" with a lovely lyric by Johnny Burke.

The ballads are lovingly sung and are enhanced by Farnon's silk-like string settings. The up-tempo numbers swing with an easy lilt, Bennett's voice supported well by muted horns (check out "Harlem Butterfly" for great obligatto muted trumpet) and warm trombones (listen to the dreamy 'bone accompaniment in "Lazy Day").

This is a special album in Bennett's career: his singing is tender and the charts are beautiful. Enjoy it... Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Robert Farnon (arranger/conductor)

1. Here's That Rainy Day
2. Remind Me
3. Maybe This Time
4. The Riviera
5. Street Of Dreams
6. Love
7. Twilight World
8. Lazy Day
9. Easy Come, Easy Go
10. Harlem Butterfly
11. Dream

Recorded October 1, 1971 in London, England, U.K.

mardi gras monsoon

i have largely been away for some time now due to a home improvement project; my house is stacked up on a jenga looking pile of railroad ties. it is a plaster cracking, doors jamming, concrete breaking mess that is ongoing and nerve wracking for many reasons. be that as it may mardi gras is coming up fast and i have put together a few for the high steppers and gumbo crafters to carry on with. i have a pile of pete fountain and al hirt that i will try to get to before fat tuesday is upon us. all are ripped from the original vinyl in flac and the players listed are all on the album in some combination or another.
laissez les bon temps rouler!

big 10 inch records

sidney bechet and his new orleans feetwarmers -- with sonny white, charles howard, wilson meyers, kenny clarke, sidney de paris, sandy williams, cliff jackson, bernard addison, wellman braud, and sid catlett.

bechet-spanier quartet -- with carmen mastren and wellman braud. this is an allegro elite 10 inch which are notoriously brittle records but plays as well as any other allegro i have heard.

preacher rollo and the five saints -- dixieland doin's with rollo laylan, tony parenti, tommy justice, jerry gorman, al mattucci, and marie marcus.

phil napoleon's emperors of jazz -- dixieland classics vol 1 and 2 with frank signorelli, lou mcgarrity, tony spargo, felix globe, joe dixon, and chuck wayne.

papa celestin's golden wedding -- with edward pierson, adolphe alexander, joe thomas, sidney brown, jeannette kimball, albert french, and louis barbarin. this is on southland records, again not an audiophiles dream, but they do a monumental version of "marie la veau" that should not be missed.

the new orleans rhythm kings -- dixeland jazz with wingy manone, george brunies, sidney arodin, terry shand, bonnie pottle, and bob white.

sidney "the marksman" bechet

jazz classics vol 1 -- with sidney de paris, vic dickenson, art hodes, george foster, manzie johnson, goerge lugg, max kaminsky, fred moore, meade lewis, teddy bunn, john williams, sid catlett, danny alvin, albert nicholas, bunk johnson, sandy williams, cliff jackson, frankie newton, jc higgenbotham, jimmey archey, and don kirkpatrick.

giant of jazz vol 1 -- with wild bill davison, art hodes, george foster, fred moore, ray diehl, walter page, slick jones, jimmy archey, and joe sullivan.

giant of jazz vol 2 -- same as vol 1.

siney bechet in paris with the sammy price bluesicians -- with emmett berry, george stevenson, herb hall, george foster, and fred moore. at first i was only going to tack on "yes, we have no banannas" to one of the other lp's, but after listening to this one for a bit i had to include the whole thing. the band is smoking hot, it plays better than any other brunswick lp i have ever heard, and unlike any other bechet record i have, they stretch out quite a bit some tracks reaching upwards of seven minutes on songs usually finished in 2:45. i recommend it.

the grand master of the soprano saxophone and clarinet -- with zutty singleton, henry turner, leonard ware, dave bowman, ernie caceres, lloyd phillips, george foster, freddie moore, arthur herbert, bob wilbur, johnny glasel, bob mielke, dick wellstood, charlie traeger, and dennis strong.

king louis

and his hot five -- with johnny dodds, kid ory, lil hardin, and johnny st cyr. lonnie johnson on some.

and his hot seven -- with lillian hardin, kid ory, johnny dodds, baby dodds, pete briggs, and johnny st cyr. on one track add boyd atkins, stomp evans, honore dutry, rip bassett, earl hines, fred hall.

plays w.c. handy -- my favorite armstrong lp. at the end of the day armstrong was the man on this stuff. with trummy young, barney bigard, billy kyle, arvell shaw, and barrett deems. with armstrong and velma middleton on vocals. a perfect album.

luis russell

i love this guy. there is something mysterious to me about his music. nobody i have ever heard put together new orleans swing that sounded so harlem. a monster band, he lost these guys later to ellington and bechet but the liner notes say that as a core unit, they were undefeated in the band battles and ruled the roost for some time. russell died in 1963 of cancer, his last job driving the president of yeshiva university. great, great stuff.

compilation on columbia records plus a bonus version of "new call of the freaks" pulled off a different record. with bob shoffner, preston jackson, albert nicholas, barney bigard, johnny st. cyr, louis metcalfe, jc higgenbotham, charlie holmes, teddy hill, bill johnson, bill moore, paul barbarin, red allen, otis james, greeley walton, gus aiken, leonard davis, rex stewart, jimmey archey, nat storey, henry jones, and bingie madison.

orfeu negro

i will leave the brazillian stuff to zecalouro, but i needed to put this one up. a long time favorite, i recorded this as side one and side two to maintain the integrity of the lp which is artistically put together and brings the feel of the great film, and the streets of rio. i did add a single file containing the staggeringly beautiful and haunting "manha de carnaval". with jobim, bonfa, and so forth. it is not that easy to connect the song list with the lp, but the list is as follows: generique, felicidade, frevo, o nosso amor, o nosso amor, manha de carnaval, scene du lever du soleil, manha de carnaval, scenes de la macumba, o nosso amor, manha de carnaval, samba de orfeu, batterie de cappela.

clifton chenier, the black cajun frenchman himself

this guy cooks with gas.

bayou blues -- no credits.

and his red hot louisiana band -- with cleveland chenier on rubboard, john hart tenor sax, paul senegal guitar, joe brouchet and benny grunch bass, and robert peter on drums.

black snake blues -- with cleveland chenier, robert st judy drums, felix james benoit guitar, joe morris bass.

and his red hot luisiana band -- with cleveland chenier, john hart, stanley dural piano, joseph brouchet, robert peter, and paul senegal.

the very best -- blue thumb records, no credits.

allen toussaint -- southern nights

another recorded side one/side two to maintain the integrity of the album. i posted this perfect album once before, but re-ripped an unplayed copy as i was less than 100% satisfied with the condition of the lp used for the earlier rip. i recommend this for reload.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Steve Lacy - The Door (1988)

Steve Lacy's second Novus release uses a variety of different instrumental combinations and each of the selections deserves a comment or two. "The Door" (a whimsical piece built off of the knock of a door) and Thelonious Monk's "Ugly Beauty" (played as a waltz) are performed by the soprano-saxophonist's quintet (consisting of altoist Steve Potts, pianist Bobby Few, bassist Jean-Jacques Avinel and drummer Oliver Johnson). Lacy and Potts take searching improvisations over the strong pulse of the rhythm section. "Cliches" is an overlong duet by Lacy and Avinel with the bassist switching to thumb piano. "Forgetful," a forgotten George Handy ballad originally sung by David Allyn with Boyd Raeburn's orchestra, is played very respectfully by the Lacy-Few duo. The quirky "Blinks" is a four-bar phrase (taken from Kid Ory) that is played up and down a standard scale. Finally there is "Virgin Jungle," the biggest curiosity of the date. Sam Woodyard (Duke Ellington's drummer for many years), was living in Paris and sat in as a second drummer with the group just a month before his death. With violinist Irene Aebi fitting into the role of a slightly spaced Ray Nance, "Virgin Jungle" gets into an Ellington/Juan Tizol groove that works very well. Overall this is a well-conceived and highly recommended set for Steve Lacy fans. - Scott Yanow

Steve Lacy (soprano sax)
Steve Potts (alto sax, soprano sax)
Irene Aebi (violin)
Bobby Few (piano)
Jean-Jacques Avinel (bass, sanza)
Oliver Johnson, Sam Woodyard (drums)
  1. The Door
  2. Ugly Beauty
  3. Cliches
  4. Forgetful
  5. Blinks
  6. Coming Up
  7. The Breath
  8. Virgin Jungle
Recorded in Paris, July 4-5, 1988

The Complete Roulette Dinah Washington Recordings (Mosaic)

From the Mosaic website:

"With her singular phrasing, her feel for the lyric and her precise diction, she made every song she sang her own, whether blues, ballad, pop standard, jazz or even country. No matter what she sang, Dinah operated by a simple philosophy: ‘When you get inside of a tune, the soul in you should just come out. You should just be able to step back and let that soul come right out.'" - Nadine Cohodas, liner notes


If your goal is to broaden your collection of the truly distinctive voices in music, you have got to own Dinah Washington. And if you want to understand what the composers meant -- REALLY meant – when they wrote songs you think you know, you have got to own this collection – The Complete Roulette Dinah Washington Sessions.

This music, from the final stage of Dinah Washington’s short and turbulent life, is a perfect snapshot of all she was in performance – the brash belter, claiming and proclaiming her measure of fun and gaiety; the spurned lover, earnestly searching for one more chance, or determinedly wiping the slate clean of all romance; the wry commentator, knowingly chronicling the world’s troubles as only she could observe them; and the optimistic dreamer, surrendering to the beauties of life.

Eight tracks appear for the first time ever, including one astonishing medley of songs, informally presented with just piano and flute accompaniment, that lasts more than 20 minutes – probably the closest thing on record to what it was like to hear her perform after hours.

The World Takes Notice

Born August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as Ruth Jones, Dinah was raised in Chicago, which may account for her lifelong love of the blues. While still a kid, she was already winning talent contests and working the clubs, both as singer and pianist, when a friend took her to the Downbeat Room to hear Billie Holiday. But this isn’t the story of a young singer falling under another singer’s spell. This story is about a young singer meeting the club owner and getting him to audition her for his joint next door. Dinah got the gig.

A few months later, Lionel Hampton hired her for his band. But Dinah wanted more than the two or three features a night she got on the big band circuit. She wanted stardom. After less than three years with Hampton, she left the band. Within weeks, she was in the studio, on her way to earning her billing as the “Queen of the Blues.”

A Special Style

The truth is, regardless of the musical context, Dinah made every song she sang her own. She had her own no-nonsense phrasing that tamed every melody and put the lyrics under her spell. Her habit of enunciating every syllable and consonant made you sit up and take notice of the message, sometimes for the first time. And her choice of material was always eye-opening. Standards, R&B struts, pop numbers, show tunes, saloon songs, country music, the blues – as long as there was a story, she could sell it.

For many years she was associated with Mercury and EmArcy, achieving success first as an R&B performer, then in jazz, an ultimately as a pop performer, scoring her biggest hit in 1959 with “What a Difference a Day Makes.” But in 1962, Morris Levy who has owner of Birdland had befriended Dinah wooed her to his record label Roulette.

From the start, her records were hits. Fred Norman and Don Costa handled most of the arrangements and they ranged from swinging big bands to expanisive string sections. Numbers range from the sly, knowing “Drinking Again” to the painful lament, “Lord, You Made Us Human.” She crashes all known boundaries on familiar tunes such as “Something’s Gotta Give,” “That Old Feeling,” “Do Nothing ‘Til You Hear From Me,” and “These Foolish Things.” And creates her own statement with “Make Someone Happy,” and “Call Me Irresponsible.”

Coming when these recordings did, after a lifetime on the road, there is particular poignancy to such songs as “A Stanger on Earth” and “Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Morning.” And you could say she was finally uniquely qualified to sing a love-gone-wrong song, after seven marriages and many romances in between.

An Important Discovery

It’s likely that many people who buy this package will turn immediately to the medley that finishes the disc one. It has never appeared anywhere. On this after-session gem, she moves casually through eight songs – “Ill Wind,” “For All We Know,” “I Could Have Told You So,” and others. Contemporaries report Dinah hated to end the evening. Frequently after a gig, she’d hit the town with her piano player, looking for a club where she could sit down and relax, and where she knew she’d inevitably be asked to offer a song or two. This medley is no doubt the type of treat those club goers enjoyed. Stripped of all opulence, her performance shines for its technical mastery, her trademark phrasing, and her delight in singing to an audience hanging on every word.

Her recordings on Roulette display all of the power and intelligence of her earliest successes with an undisputable maturity that is the sign of a remarkable singer joining the ranks of the greats.

“The Complete Roulette Dinah Washington Sessions” appears on five CDs. An exclusive essay on her life and music, including a track-by-track analysis of the material, is by Dinah’s biographer, Nadine Cohodas. The Mosaic booklet also contains a discography of the material and all known details of the recording sessions, and there are many rare photographs from the actual sessions by Chuck Stewart.

James Williams - Images (Of Things to Come)

February 2 2008 - I'm sorry that for this upload the channels were
accidentally reversed. I have therefore uploaded new files which
are the right way round. See further down in comments for the
current links.

Vinyl rip - unfortunately there are a few blemishes in this one,
particularly at the beginning
Sorry about that - hope it won't put anyone off
I thought it was worth including -
as far as I can see, it has not been issued on CD

No scans

Pianist James Williams' second of three Concord recordings once
again uses two of his fellow sidemen with Art Blakey's Jazz
Messengers (tenor saxophonist Bill Pierce and bassist Charles
Fambrough) plus drummer Carl Burnett. He mixes together five
standards (including an unaccompanied version of "You Go to My
Head") with three of his better originals and the result is a
high-quality set of modern hard bop. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Billy Pierce - tenor
James Williams - piano
Charles Fambrough - bass
Carl Burnett - drums

01 I Hear a Rhapsody
02 You Got to My Head
03 You're My Everything
04 Wishful Thinking
05 Beautiful Love
06 Images ((Of Things to Come)
07 My Ideal
08 Focus

Born March 8, 1951 in Memphis, TN

A champion of the modern mainstream piano style first introduced by
Art Tatum and later developed by Phineas Newborn Jr., James Williams
has proven to be one of the finest contemporary players of his
generation, in addition to being a valued supporter of young talent
and a record producer in his own right. Williams was initially
influenced by '60s soul and the gospel music of the African-American
church. He spent time working and studying in his native Memphis
before heading to Boston in 1972 for a five-year stint as an
instructor at the Berklee College of Music. During this period he
worked with a number of name artists including Woody Shaw,
Joe Henderson, and Clark Terry. It would be his stay with
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers(1977-1981) that would bring Williams
his first taste of public and critical acclaim. The '80s and '90s
have found Williams working extensively as a sideman with such
players as Bobby Hutcherson and Tom Harrell. He has fronted some
impressive groups of his own and has recorded a number of valuable
albums in addition to producing other artist's work(i.e. Harold
Mabern, Donald Brown, Billy Pierce) for such labels as Concord,
Sunnyside, EmArcy, and DIW/Disc Union. An admitted student and
purveyor of the music of Phineas Newborn Jr., Williams also leads
the Contemporary Piano Ensemble, a group that includes his peers
Harold Mabern, Geoff Keezer, and Mulgrew Miller and is dedicated
to fostering the legacy of Newborn and others of his ilk. Williams'
own style is marked by a prodigious technique, a fluent two-handed
attack, and a rich harmonic knowledge that makes his music always
sound fresh and engaging.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Susannah McCorkle - Sabia

More Susannah McCorkle from Scoredaddy. McCorkle recorded a great many Brazilian songs scattered accross many of her albums during her career, utilizing her linguistic skills to sing them in their original Portuguese. Being an experienced writer, she often contributed English lyrics to those songs that lacked them. Here is a whole disc she recorded devoted to Brazil.

Susannah McCorkle spoke Italian, Spanish, German, and Portuguese in addition to English; she had worked as an interpreter before she devoted herself to singing. On her second Concord CD, McCorkle sang ten Brazilian songs plus "Estate," switching between English, Portuguese, and Italian. There is no communication problem as far as conveying her feelings and the high quality of the melodies, so this is a more accessible release than one might think. The vocalist's backup group includes pianist Lee Musiker, Scott Hamilton on tenor, and guitarist Emily Remler. Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle (Vocals)
Café (Percussion)
Duduka Da Fonseca (Drums)
Scott Hamilton (Tenor Sax)
Dennis Irwin (Bass)
Lee Musiker (Piano, Arranger)
Emily Remler (Guitar)

1 Tristeza (Sadness, Please Go Away) Lobo, Niltinho 4:53
2 Estate (Summer) Brighetti, Martino, McCorkle 6:03
3 Vivo Sonhando (Living on Dreams) DeMoraes, Jobim, McCorkle 4:12
4 Dilema (Dilemma) Guilmerme, McCorkle 3:17
5 Sabia (Songbird) Buarque, Jobim 7:13
6 So Many Stars Bergman, Bergman, Mendes 3:28
7 So Danço Samba (I Only Dance the Samba) DeMoraes, Jobim 4:20
8 Manhã de Carnaval (Sunrise) Bonfa, Maria, McCorkle 4:48
9 P'rá Machucar Meu Coração (The Day We Said Goodbye) Barroso, McCorkle 6:08
10 Travessia (Bridges) Brant, Lees, Nascimento 4:07
11 A Felicidade (Happiness) DeMoraes, Jobim, McCorkle 6:18

Recorded at Penny Lane Studios, NYC in February, 1990

Wardell Gray

"If Wardell Gray plays bop, it's great, because he's wonderful." - Benny Goodman

Now, that's an absolute RAVE coming from Goodman. I know from Hampton Hawes' autobiography that he - and virtually every musician in LA - regarded him with great respect and great admiration. Normally, a series of alternate takes are strung together as a marketing ploy. Here, they are all worth listening to as the work of a great improviser.

Originally released as two LPs and then a two-LP set, tenorman Wardell Gray's Prestige recordings are now available as two CDs that have been expanded by the inclusion of alternate takes only previously available on the collector's Misterioso label. The music on this particular CD is taken from two sessions: a quartet outing with pianist Al Haig, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Roy Haynes, and a sextet session with pianist Sonny Clark, vibraphonist Teddy Charles, and the young altoist Frank Morgan. The former date is highlighted by the famous "Twisted," which Annie Ross would soon record in a vocalese version. This CD actually has four versions of "Twisted" (along with seven of "Southside"), so there is a bit of repetition, but the great tenor Wardell Gray is heard throughout in prime form. ~ Scott Yanow

The first volume of Gray's recordings for Prestige provides a complete anatomy of a 1949 quartet session with the superb rhythm section of pianist Al Haig, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Roy Haynes, a unit then working regularly with Charlie Parker. The multiple takes of "Twisted" reveal the evolution of a bop masterpiece, a performance that has been further immortalized in Annie Ross's vocal version of Gray's improvisation (available on King Pleasure Sings/Annie Ross Sings). The final four tracks come from a 1953 session led by vibraphonist Teddy Charles, with strong contributions from Gray and another brilliant and doomed bopper, the young Sonny Clark. - Stuart Broomer

Wardell Gray (tenor saxophone)
Frank Morgan (alto saxophone)
Sonny Clark, Al Haig (piano)
Teddy Charles (vibraphone)
Tommy Potter, Dick Nivison (bass)
Roy Haynes, Lawrence Marable (drums)

The second of two CDs reissuing tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray's Prestige recordings features Gray in three different settings. Nine-minute versions of "Scrapple from the Apple" and "Move" were recorded live in L.A. with trumpeter Clark Terry, altoist Sonny Criss, a boppish rhythm section, and (on "Move") the competitive tenor of Dexter Gordon. Otherwise, Gray is heard in the studios with a quartet and a sextet that includes trumpeter Art Farmer and pianist Hampton Hawes. The latter date resulted in "Jackie," which (like "Twisted") would soon become a vocalese hit for Annie Ross. Six alternate takes round out this strong reissue. ~ Scott Yanow

In his brief career from the mid-'40s to his death in 1955, tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray was one of the essential voices in jazz, an avatar of bop who recorded with musicians from Benny Goodman to Charlie Parker, Ivory Joe Hunter to Billy Eckstine. The second volume of Gray's recordings for Prestige begins with the complete results of a 1950 Detroit recording session, the numerous alternate takes demonstrating the tenor saxophonist's fluent invention on blue changes on "Grayhound" and "Treadin'." Gray had a significant impact on the West Coast bop and cool-jazz scenes, evident here in a strong Los Angeles studio session with trumpeter Art Farmer and Hampton Hawes. It includes memorable originals by the two, Farmer's Market" and "Jackie" respectively, as well as Gray's muscular renditions of the standards "Sweet and Lovely" and "Lover Man." The final tracks are extended live versions of two bop anthems, Parker's "Scrapple from the Apple" and Denzil Best's "Move." They're fine samples of the heat of bop at its most combustible, with additional fire from altoist Sonny Criss and Gray's frequent partner, fellow tenorist Dexter Gordon. - Stuart Broomer

Wardell Gray had a group that was playing a club in Los Angeles in January of 1952. Jack Andrews recorded the group for Prestige and the resulting music was released on a 10-inch LP entitled Wardell Gray and the Los Angeles All Stars. All of the music from that date as well as two earlier sessions from 1950, one in Detroit, and a live recording from the Hula Hut Club in Los Angeles with Dexter Gordon, were eventually released on the Original Jazz Classics CD Wardell Gray Memorial, Volume 2. - E.B. OLSEN

A studio recording from January 1952 for Prestige finds Gray contributing an outstanding performance on "Sweet and Lovely." Gray is the only soloist on this and "Lover Man," but elsewhere he shares the spotlight with two exceptional sidemen: trumpeter Art Farmer and pianist Hampton Hawes . . . Art Farmer's contribution on the Gray session is expecially noteworthy. His clean articulation and assured tone foreshadow Clifford Brown's work of a short time later. - TED GIOIA, West Coast Jazz

Wardell Gray (tenor saxophone)
Sonny Criss (alto saxophone)
Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Larance Marable (drums)
Chuck Thompson (drums)

Lennie Niehaus - Vol. 2: Zounds!

This formerly rare Contemporary set was reissued on a 1997 OJC CD. Lennie Niehaus, best known for his scores for Clint Eastwood films in the 1980s and '90s, was an excellent cool-toned bop altoist back in the '50s who spent time working with Stan Kenton. For this album, he is heard on two different occasions providing arrangements and alto solos for octets. With such fine players as either Jack Montrose or Bill Perkins on tenor, Bob Gordon or Pepper Adams on baritone, and other top West Coast jazz musicians, Niehaus primarily performs cool jazz. The inventive charts (which on the later date utilize a French horn and a tuba) and the superior, concise solos make this a set well worth acquiring by fans of the West Coast jazz sound of the '50s. Scott Yanow

Octet 1
Lennie Niehaus (alto sax)
Jack Montrose (tenor sax)
Bob Gordon (baritone sax)
Stu Williamson (trumpet)
Bob Enevoldsen (valve trombone)
Lou Levy (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)
August 23, 1954

Octet 2
Lennie Niehaus (alto sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Bill Perkins (tenor sax)
Jimmy McAllister (tuba)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Vincent DeRosa (French horn)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
December 10, 1956

1. The Sermon (Octet No.2)
2. How About You (Octet No.1)
3. Figure 8 (Octet No.1)
4. Patti-Cake (Octet No.1)
5. With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair (Octet No.2)
6. The Way You Look Tonight (Octet No.1)
7. Have You Met Miss Jones? (Octet No.1)
8. Four (Octet No.2)
9. Night Life (Octet No.1)
10. The Night We Called It A Day (Octet No.1)
11. Blues For Susie (Octet No.2)
12. Seaside (Octet No.1)

Chet Baker - 1965 Baker's Holiday

BAKER'S HOLIDAY is an endearing and smoky tribute to singing legend Billie Holiday. Backed by a smartly arranged reed section, Chet Baker and his quartet swing with great dynamism on all 10 tracks. Jimmy Mundy's arrangements give this album the feel of a 1940's big band, and Baker seems comfortable recreating some of the mystique and elegance of a bygone era.
On this album, Baker plays only the flugelhorn; the instrument's dark and mellow tone only adds to Baker's already wistful sense of melodiousness. We hear this most poignantly on "Don't Explain," a composition co-written by Billie Holiday herself. Here, Baker mournfully "sings" the melody on his horn, while an English horn echoes him hauntingly. Baker sings on four of the 10 tracks, and his boyish, soft-spoken singing style is right at home with these classic tunes. Here, without copying Holiday, Baker through his elusive musical genius conjures her magic.

01 Travelin' Light (Mercer, Mundy, Young) 3:08
02 Easy Living (Rainger, Robin) 3:21
03 That Ole Devil Called Love (Fisher, Roberts) 3:16
04 You're My Thrill (Clare, Gorney) 2:58
05 Crazy She Calls Me (Russell, Sigman) 3:20
06 When Your Lover Has Gone (Swan) 2:54
07 Mean to Me (Ahlert, Turk) 3:35
08 These Foolish Things (Link, Marvell, Strachey) 3:30
09 There Is No Greater Love (Jones, Symes) 2:34
10 Don't Explain (Herzog, Holiday) 3:27


Chet Baker Flugelhorn
Everett Barksdale Guitar
Leon Cohen Reeds
Richard Anthony Davis Bass
Henry Freeman Reeds
Wilford Holcombe Reeds
Hank Jones Piano
Connie Kay Drums
Seldon Powell Reeds
Alan Ross Reeds

Recorded on May, 1965

Chet Baker - 1962 - Chet Is Back!

Recorded in Italy in 1962, Chet Is Back! showcases the "cool" trumpeter cutting loose on such bop-oriented workouts as "Pent-Up House" and "Well, You Needn't." Backed skillfully by a young cadre of up-and-coming European musicians, including the stellar saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, Chet Baker may have never sounded better, including on the ballads. One listen to "Over the Rainbow" and it's clear this is an overlooked Baker classic.

1 Well, You Needn't (Monk) 6:21
2 These Foolish Things (Link, Marvell, Strachey) 4:56
3 Barbados (Parker) 8:25
4 Star Eyes (DePaul, Raye) 6:57
5 Over the Rainbow (Arlen, Harburg) 3:30
6 Pent Up House (Rollins) 6:51
7 Ballata in Forma Di Blues (Tommasi) 10:06
8 Blues in the Closet (Pettiford) 7:42

Chet Baker Trumpet
Daniel Humair Drums
Bobby Jaspar Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Benoit Quersin Bass
Rene Thomas Guitar
Amadeo Tommasi Piano

Recorded in Rome, on January 5, 1962

McCoy Tyner - 1991 New York Reunion

'New York Reunion' was recorded in 1991 and at the time of its release it featured in numerous magazines' albums of the year lists. The hard bop session reunited pianist McCoy Tyner and tenor-saxophonist Joe Henderson who had not recorded together for more than two decades. The all-star line-up features Ron Carter on bass and Al Foster on drums. The quartet performs four originals (including Henderson's classic "Recorda Me") and four standards.

Track listing
1 Recorda Me (Remember Me) (9:47)
2 Miss Bea (Dedicated to Mother) (7:09)
3 What Is This Thing Called Love? (8:03)
4 My Romance (6:37)
5 Ask Me Now (12:11)
6 Beautiful Love (9:13)
7 Quick Sketch (10:36)
8 Home (10:58)

McCoy Tyner (piano)
Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone)
Ron Carter (bass)
Al Foster (drums)

Recorded At RCA Studio A, New York on April 3-4, 1991

Cedric Im Brooks & The Light Of Saba (Honest Jons compilation)

I would presume that most of you already have this gem, but since I noticed a number of requests for it at my recent Calvin Cameron post, here it is.

There are few reggae records that I could recommend more heartily than this one. An absolute must-have, imho, so if you don't have it, get it here. I think that reggae has seldom got closer to jazz than with the great Cedric Im Brooks.

The usual raving review from dustygroove: "How this burningly bad set has remained under wraps for so long is beyond us, but thanks to the folks at Honest Jon's, it's been brought to the much needed light of day! An excellent set collecting work from throughout the career of Cedric Im Brooks, spanning a wide assortment of styles, but all with a deep spiritual approach that Brooks gathered from time spent in his youth in Philadelphia, where he fell under the influence of Sun Ra, almost joining the Arkestra before returning home to Jamaica. The set jumps from heavy, dark roots and Nyabhingi influenced reggae, including some nice dubbed out versions, to Jamaican jazz sides like his take on Horace Silver's classic "Song For My Father", to some tightly snapping disco influenced grooves and bouncing afrobeat rhythms that would make Fela proud! 19 tracks in all, including "Free Up Black Man", "Satta Massa Gana", "Jah Light It Right", "Lambs Bread Collie", "Salt Lane rock", "Rasta Lead On Version", "Sly Mongoose", "Africa", "Collie Version", "Rebirth" and "Sabebe".

Since this is easily available for those who'd like to get it, I uploaded this in HQ OGG (three files instead of six at FLAC). For audiophiles, I could do it FLAC, if I get a lot of requests. But I guess that the OGG quality fits the bill. Full scans are included (though the odd case was hard to scan properly.) Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ernie Henry Quartet - Seven Standards And A Blues (1957)

Recorded just three months before his unexpected death, this set by altoist Ernie Henry is his definitive album as a leader. Reissued on CD with a second take of "Like Someone In Love" added to the program, Henry, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Philly Joe Jones do indeed play seven standards (including "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Soon" and "I've Got the World on a String"), plus a Henry blues ("Specific Gravity"). Superior modern mainstream music, but there should have been much more from the potentially significant Ernie Henry. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

1. I Get A Kick Out Of You
2. My Ideal
3. I've Got The World On A String
4. Sweet Lorraine
5. Soon
6. Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)
7. Specific Gravity
8. Like Someone In Love

Kenny Dorham - Kenny Dorham Quintet

Overshadowed in his lifetime by Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, and Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham (1924-72) was a giant in his own right, an improviser with a very personal sound and style and a composer of finely-crafted originals. This December 1953 date, his first as a leader, was almost impossible to come by until its 1984 release in the Original Jazz Classics series. Now the CD version offers three previously unissued tracks, including two vocal performances (#10 and 11) that serve to uncover a bit of jazz history:
Dorham first appeared as a vocalist during his mid-1940s stint with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, where he had one blues feature per show. His recorded debut as vocalist was always thought to be the 1958 Riverside LP This Is the Moment/Kenny Dorham Sings and Plays.
Evidently, however, the "new" vocal tracks included on the CD at hand were recorded for Debut either as part of or previous to the 1953 session that produced the other nine tracks. Label head Charles Mingus decided not to release them at the time, and they languished in the tape vault for almost 40 years, until their fortuitous discovery in late 1992.

Kenny Dorham (trumpet, vocal)
Jimmy Heath (tenor, baritone sax)
Walter Bishop (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. An Oscar For Oscar
2. Ruby, My Dear
3. Be My Love
4. Ruby, My Dear
5. Osmosis
6. I Love You
7. Darn That Dream
8. Darn That Dream
9. I Love You
10. Chicago Blues
11. Lonesome Lover Blues

NYC, December 15, 1953

Cecil Taylor and The Feel Trio - Celebrated Blazons

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew Shipp - By The Law of Music

This reissue is one of a series of five classic albums which Matthew Shipp recorded for hatOLOGY, and it presents the pianist in a superb setting with what he calls his "String Trio." Shipp's compositions show a romantic flair, imbued with a spirit of sophisticated discovery and complex relationships, but what makes them so compelling is the manner in which the trio interprets them, each piece ringing with a sense of completeness. Shipp's performances, in particular, are orderly constructs that in retrospect take thoroughly improvised logical paths. It is to his credit that the organic nature of the pieces merges the various elements so well, and the performances of William Parker and Mat Maneri are so utterly compatible and compelling. As with almost any artistic invention, the music can be heard on a variety of levels: as chamber jazz, it has a beauty that rewards even the casual listener, while the sophisticated interrelationships give it a great depth and even charm. Ben Ratliffe notes in his detailed liners that "Shipp's debt to Bach and 20th century classical composers is obvious," and he quotes the pianist as saying he does not "know what jazz is." Whatever this music is called, the elements of free improvisation, melodic invention, and syncopated rhythms combine to create something of lasting value, evidenced in part by the relative popularity of such seemingly esoteric fare. The final piece by Ellington connects a line that puts Shipp within a tradition that places improvised music outside any pre-conceived modes. Steven Loewy

Matthew Shipp (piano)
Mat Maneri (violin)
William Parker (bass)

1 - Signal
2 - By the Law of Music
3 - Implicit
4 - Fair Play
5 - Grid
6 - Whole Movement
7 - Game of Control
8 - Point to Point
9 - P X
10 - Grid
11 - Coo
12 - X Z U
13 - Solitude

ECM/Hat Monday

This week; one of each. The ECM is from their New Series.

Joseph Haydn - The Seven Words - Rosamunde Quartett

Haydn's Seven Last Words, performed here by the Rosamunde Quartett, proved one of the most unexpected successes of the composer's life. In 1786 he was commissioned to write some instrumental music to be performed during the annual Passiontide service in a church crypt in the Andalusian city of Cadiz: it consisted of seven sonatas, preceded by an introduction and concluded with an "earthquake", and was designed to intersperse readings of the liturgical text. So well received was it that he immediately rearranged it for string quartet, and authorised a piano reduction, before going on to write a choral version; all three were regularly performed in his lifetime. In 2000, Ricardo Muti joined the long list of distinguished conductors who have put their stamp on the orchestral version; the Rosamunde Quartett's version stands at the opposite pole. Its opening is positively glacial--very suggestive of a crypt--with a tone-quality so bleached and free of vibrato you might almost think you were listening to a consort of viols. Gradually, warmth and colour are allowed to assert themselves as Haydn's plangent melodies come to the fore. This is a noble rendering: very much the sound of today. --Michael Church Written originally for large orchestra in response to a 1785 commission, Haydn prepared his string quartet version soon afterwards. It has long been regarded as one of the most challenging pieces in the string quartet repertoire."

Andreas Reiner (violin)
Simon Fordham (violin)
Helmut Nicolai (viola)
Anja Lechner (cello)

The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross, 7 Quartets for 2 Violins, Viola and cello Hob. III: 50-56.

Introduzione: Maestoso ed Adagaio
I Largo
II Grave e cantabile
III Grave
IV Largo
V Adagio
VI Lento
VII Largo
Il Terremoto-Presto e con tutto la forza

Matthew Shipp Trio - Prism

"There's the same very fast transference of signals. There's the very complex type of pattern action. There's the same mixture of improvisation and discipline...but the unknown is being unfolded at really fast rates." Which certainly holds true for this no-nonsense, cinema verité-live set from New York's Roulette performance space, recorded in March 1993 and originally issued on the small Brinkman Records label. The more obvious references to the free jazz tradition in these two extended pieces have since been sublimated in Shipp's group work, and his compositional impulses have flourished—as may be witnessed on the five discs Shipp has been recording for Hat Hut since 1996, CDs which have strengthened Shipp's position as one of the premier piano improvisors of our day. The piano would like to thank Matthew Shipp. Peter Niklas Wilson

Matthew Shipp (piano)
William Parker (bass)
Whit Dickey (drums)

1. Prism I
2. Prism II

This Day In Jazz

Victor Feldman - The Arrival Of Victor Feldman

Feldman was a highly regarded musician - he sat in with the Glenn Miller Army Air Force band at the age of ten. And this is Scott LaFaro's recording debut. Yanow says of LaFaro: "(his) playing is a strong reason to acquire the album."

It's interesting that the first track on Feldman's first U.S. leader date was a Miles Davis composition. Regarding Feldman, Davis said: "I replaced Mabern on piano with a great player...named Victor Feldman, who could play his ass off. He also played vibraphone and drums. On the recording date we used two of his tunes: the title track "Seven Steps To Heaven" and "Joshua." I wanted him to join the band, but he was making a fortune playing studio work in L.A., so he'd be losing money if he came with me." Miles' second choice? Herbie Hancock.

Victor Feldman (vibraphone, piano)
Scott LaFaro (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)

1. Serpent's Tooth
2. Waltz
3. Chasing Shadows
4. Flamingo
5. S'Posin'
6. Bebop
7. (There Is No) Greater Love
8. Too Blue
9. Minor Lament
10. Satin Doll

Recorded at Contemporary, Los Angeles, on January 21 and 22, 1958

Steve Lacy - Momentum (1987)

On Steve Lacy's first album for an American label in over a decade, his sextet is heard on four extensive originals by the great soprano saxophonist. The music is complex yet often melodic and, although Irene Aebi takes typically eccentric vocals on two of the songs, the main reasons to acquire this album are for the thoughtful yet unpredictable solos of Lacy and altoist Steve Potts. - Scott Yanow

Steve Lacy (soprano sax, tambourine)
Steve Potts (alto sax, soprano sax, tambourine)
Bobby Few (piano)
Jean-Jacques Avenel (bass)
Oliver Johnson (drums)
Irene Aebi (vocals, violin, cello)

  1. The Bath
  2. The Gaze
  3. Utah
  4. Momentum
  5. Art
  6. The Song
Recorded May 20-22, 1987

Jaques & Micheline Pelzer Quartet - Song For Rene

Some great Whatmusic reissues...

"This rare 1975 album is a real gem -- a set of slightly funky soul jazz and modal numbers by French (Belgian!) saxophonist Jacques Pelzer, grooving around with the warmth of our favorite sessions on MPS! The group's a quartet -- with Pelzer's daughter Micheline on drums and vocals -- and the set's the kind of record that keeps us digging for rare jazz albums over the years, especially this sort of European one that we might have missed the first time around."
Dusty Groove


Jaques Pelzer - alt.ep sop.sax, flute
Michel Graillier - piano
Alby Culaz - basse
Micheline Pelzer - drums et vocal

Chivo Borraro - Blues Para Un Cosmonauta

Love this. It's got a very unique Latin sci-fi vibe...

"Laidback spiritual jazz from Argentine tenor player Chivo Borraro -- one of his best albums of the time, and a really wonderful session with lots of nice touches! The record features Borraro playing keyboard effects, in addition to his usual tenor -- and it also features some additional keyboards by Fernando Gelbard, who plays both Fender Rhodes and ring modulator on the album, working things wonderfully as he did on his own albums of the time. This wealth of keyboards gives the album a spacious feel -- keys soaring out into space, creating platforms for solo work on sax, and a space to showcase the talents of Stenio Mendes, who plays the 12-stringed craviola on the album. There's lots of post-Coltrane exploration to the record -- and titles include "Mi Amgio Tarzan", "Cancion De Cuna Para Un Bebe Del Ano 2000", "Lineas Torcidas", and "La Invasion De Los Monjes". Also issued in the US under the title Buenos Aires Blues."
Dusty Groove


Chivo Borraro - El Cuarteto Del Chivo Borraro En Vivo

"A wonderful live set from Argentinean jazz saxophonist Chivo Borraro -- recorded in 1970 at the Buenos Aires Cricket Night Club! Chivo riffs away on tenor in a quartet line up that includes Fernando Gelbard on piano, Jorge Lopez Luis on bass and Pocho Lapouble on drums. The set runs through four muscular pieces, with ample room for the players to touch on tight be bop, loose free jamming and circular, melodic grooves. This is the first ever worldwide release of the material -- and features new liner notes by Chivo."
Dusty Groove


Chivo Borraro, tenor sax
Fernando Gelbard, Piano
Jorge López Ruiz, Bass
Pocho Lapouble, Drums

Curtis Fuller - The Complete Blue Note/UA Sessions (Mosaic)

Trombonist Curtis Fuller, who developed his sound out of the style of J.J. Johnson, recorded prolifically as a leader from 1957-1962. After recording three dates for Prestige and New Jazz within a seven-day period in 1957, Fuller made four albums for Blue Note from 1957-1958, and after three albums for Savoy, he cut a lone session for United Artists in 1959. All of the five Blue Note and United Artists records (plus an alternate take of "Down Home") are on this excellent three-CD limited box set, released in 1996. Fuller is heard with four different quintets that include either tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, baritonist Tate Houston, trumpeter Art Farmer, or (on a date only previously out in Japan) fellow trombonist Slide Hampton; the rhythm sections consist of either Bobby Timmons or Sonny Clark on piano, Paul Chambers or George Tucker on bass, and Art Taylor, Louis Hayes, or Charlie Persip in the drum slot. In addition, there is a sextet session with Lee Morgan, Mobley, Tommy Flanagan, Chambers, and Elvin Jones that has arrangements by Gigi Gryce and Benny Golson. Throughout, the music is high-quality hard bop with plenty of fine features for the underrated but talented Curtis Fuller. ~ Scott Yanow

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ruth Price - with Shelly Manne and His Men at the Manne-Hole

Singer Ruth Price on this early set falls somewhere between swinging jazz, middle-of-the-road pop, and cabaret. She does not improvise much, but her strong and very appealing voice uplifts the diverse material that she interprets (including "Dearly Beloved," "Shadrack," "Crazy He Calls Me," and "Look for the Silver Lining"), and she brings great sincerity to Leonard Bernstein's "Who Am I." Backed by Shelly Manne's quintet (with plenty heard from pianist Russ Freeman, but just guest spots by Richie Kamuca on tenor and one lone appearance by trumpeter Conte Candoli), Price is in fine form for her debut recording as a leader, which has been reissued on CD in the OJC series. Scott Yanow

Ruth Price (vocal)
Shelly Manne's (drums)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Richie Kamuca (tenor sax)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Chuck Berghofer (bass)

1. I Love You
2. They Say It's Spring
3. Listen Little Girl
4. Dearly Beloved
5. I Know Why
6. Shadrack
7. Crazy He Calls Me
8. Nobody Else But Me
9. Nobody's Heart
10. All I Do Is Dream Of You
11. Who Am I
12. Till The Clouds Roll / Look For The Silver Lining

Recorded live at Shelly's Manne Hole, March 3-5, 1961

The George Wallington Trios

An interesting guy, he left the music business for some years to work in the family business; air-conditioning, I think. Two of his compositions, "Lemon Drop" and "Godchild", were recorded by Miles Davis for his Birth Of The Cool session.

Originally released as a pair of 10" Prestige albums, this CD reissue features the talented bop-oriented pianist George Wallington in trios with either Charles Mingus, Oscar Pettiford, or Curly Russell on bass plus drummer Max Roach; guitarist Chuck Wayne sits in on mandola on "Love Beat." The 15 songs include concise interpretations of ten of Wallington's originals and it seems strange that latter-day jazz musicians have yet to really explore his inventive tunes. This is one of the best showcases ever of Wallington's playing and writing talents.

George Wallington (piano)
Charled Mingus as "Baron Fingus" (bass, 1-4)
Oscar Pettiford (bass, 5-8)
Curly Russell (bass, 9-15)
Max Roach (drums)

1. Love Beat
2. Summer Rain
3. Escalating
4. Laura
5. Tenderly
6. When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New
7. Red, White And Blue
8. Arrivederci
9. Squeezer's Breezer
10. Among Friends
11. Variations
12. My Nephew And I
13. Ours
14. I Married An Angel
15. Cuckoo Around The Clock

Tal Farlow - A Sign Of The Times

Guitarist Tal Farlow's debut for the Concord label was only his second album as a leader since 1959. Farlow, who had given up the hectic lifestyle of a full-time jazz musician to become a sign painter who played guitar on the side, had not lost any of his power or creative swing through the years. Teamed up in a drumless trio with pianist Hank Jones and bassist Ray Brown, Farlow is in typically brilliant form on such numbers as a rapid "Fascinating Rhythm," a slower-than-usual "Stompin' at the Savoy," Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way" and even "Put on a Happy Face." This CD is a fine example of Tal Farlow's talents. Scott Yanow

Tal Farlow (guitar)
Hank Jones (piano)
Ray Brown (bass)

1 Fascinating Rhythm
2 You Don't Know What Love Is
3 Put on a Happy Face
4 Stompin' at the Savoy
5 Georgia on My Mind
6 You Are Too Beautiful
7 In Your Own Sweet Way
8 Bayside Blues

Duke Ellington - The Treasury Shows Volume 2

This two-CD set includes two broadcasts in the series of Treasury Department transcriptions issued as V-discs during World War II plus a Treasury Star Parade program from 1943 and a portion of a Mutual Broadcasting System program from October, 1945. These live performances have surprisingly good fidelity as they seem to originate from the actual masters rather than well-worn V-discs, which has all too often been the case with commercial issues of this series. Aside from the distraction provided by the rather stiff network MC announcements (which often clash with the opening of a song), the band seems well rehearsed and the star soloists, Johnny Hodges, Jimmy Hamilton, "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Ray Nance, Cat Anderson, and Ben Webster in particular, are in top form. Less successful are some of the vocal numbers, especially Kay Davis' excessive operatic vibrato in "If You Are But a Dream." In addition to the expected hits ("I'm Beginning to See the Light," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing," and "Creole Love Call") there are actually quite a few lesser known songs like "Tonight I Shall Sleep," "Three Cent Stomp," and "Kissing Bug"; there are also a number of rather rarely heard compositions ("Riff'N Drill," "Fishing for the Moon," "Frantic Fantasy," and "Go Away Blues") and, fortunately, none of the long medleys of hits that have turned up on far too many of Ellington's live recordings (although excerpts of the recently premiered "Black, Brown & Beige" are presented in medley form). The sound achieved by Jack Towers from this material recorded over a half century ago is phenomenal, and Ellington collectors will be glad to acquire these historic recordings, even if they bought the commercially issued LPs during the 1970s, because the sound has been greatly improved. ~ Ken Dryden

Duke Ellington (arranger, piano)
BIlly Strayhorn (arranger, piano)
Al Hibbler, Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis, Marie Ellington (vocals)
Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick (alto saxophone)
Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
Al Sears (tenor saxophone)
Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Rex Stewart, Cat Anderson, Ray Nance, Taft Jordan, Sheldon Hemphill (trumpet)
Joseph Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Claude Jones (trombone)
Fred Guy (guitar)
Junior Raglin, Al Lucas (bass)
Sonny Greer (drums)

CD 1
1. Take The "A" Train - (opening theme)
2. Mood To Be Wooed
3. If You Are But A Dream
4. Riff Staccato, (Otto Make That)
5. I'm Beginning To See The Light
6. Black, Brown & Beige, (Excerpts From)
7. West Indian Dance
8. The Blues
9. Emancipation Celebration
10. Sugar Hill Penthouse
11. Sentimental Lady
12. Stomp Look And Listen
13. Frantic Fantasy
14. It Don't Mean A Thing
15. Sentimental Lady
16. Any Bonds Today
17. Take The A Train
18. Tonight I Shall Sleep
19. Go Away Blues
20. Bond Promo
21. Creole Love Song
22. Three Cent Stomp
23. Any Bonds Today?

1. Take The A Train
2. Midriff
3. Carnegie Blues
4. Someone
5. My Little Brown Book
6. Kissing Bug
7. Ring Dem Bells
8. I'm Beginning To See The Light
9. Black, Brown And Beige
10. Work Song
11. Come Sunday
12. Candy Listen
13. Broadcast Interruption By War Bulletin
14. Teardrops In The Rain
15. Accentuate The Positive
16. Way Low
17. Take The A Train
18. Take The A Train
19. Love Letters
20. Main Stem
21. Fishing For The Moon
22. Riff'n Drill
23. Kissing Bug

Cedar Walton - Naima

The live NAIMA, recorded at Boomer's, is representative of a New York mid-'70s jazz-club gig. Cedar Walton's band mixes originals with cover tunes, conveying a vibe of bright harshness combined with propulsive NY energy. They're slightly hyper and on top of the beat.

The set opens with the bluesy Walton original "Holy Land." Walton pulls back on the beat during his solo. It's the most interesting, hard-swinging playing on the album, slightly disjointed and choppy. The influences of Errol Garner and Bill Evans emerge on Bacharach's "This Guy's in Love With You." Walton aims for clarity of line, fighting against a piano miked a little brightly. Sam Jones' driving bass is up front in the mix. Throughout, Cedar plays blues lines interwoven with ornate bop. But he brings pure melodicism to John Coltrane's "Naima." Here the band swings like a refreshing Brooklyn breeze. Cedar is at his sweetly singing best on the trio arrangement of the Cahn/Van Heusen tune "All the Way." Clifford Jordan's playing throughout is warm and almost woodsy, while Cedar and Jones' brightness offsets the mellow tonal quality of Louis Hayes' drumming.

Cedar Walton (piano)
Clifford Jordan (tenor sax)
Sam Jones (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Holy Land
2. This Guys In Love With You
3. Cheryl
4. Down In Brazil
5. St. Thomas
6. Naima
7. All The Way
8. I'll Remember April
9. Blue Monk
10. Bleeker Street Theme

Recorded live at Boomer's, New York on January 4, 1973

Moe Koffman - Oop-Pop-A-Da (1988)

Moe Koffman became famous for his 1957 hit recording of "Swinging Shepherd Blues," a catchy flute feature. Otherwise, throughout his career Koffman has been a popular soloist whose music ranges from cool-toned bop to jazz interpretations of more pop-ish material; his commercial successes have sometimes overshadowed his fine improvising talents. Although he has spent most of his life in Canada, Koffman did work with the bands of Sonny Dunham, Ralph Flanagan, Charlie Barnet, Tex Beneke, and Jimmy Dorsey in the U.S. during the first half of the 1950s. Later on, Koffman played at George's Spaghetti House in Toronto for over three decades (one week every month), worked extensively in the studios, and has been with Rob McConnell's Boss Brass since 1972. Few of Moe Koffman's records (the earlier sessions were cut for Jubilee and he made a pair for Duke Street in the mid-'80s) are available.

In 1982, with a performance in Stratford, Ont, the Koffman quintet began an occasional association with the renowned US jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. A few concerts followed each year until 1990, including those at the NAC, PDA, and Art Park in 1983, on a Canadian tour in 1987, and at the Budapest Spring Festival in 1989. (Koffman in turn played with Gillespie's United Nations big band for concerts in 1988 at the du Maurier Downtown Jazz festival in Toronto and the FIJM.)

Moe Koffman was one of the best known jazz musicians to emerge in his native Canada, where his standing was second only to Oscar Peterson. He was regarded as something of a national institution in his homeland, where he recorded numerous albums, and worked with a range of major jazz names, including Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Dorsey and Doc Severinsen.

He received the Order of Canada in 1993 for his services to Canadian jazz, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997. His death in 2001 coincided to the day with the announcement that he and Oscar Peterson were to be the first inductees into the Canadian Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame.

Moe Koffman (flute, alto sax, soprano sax)
Ed Bickert (guitar)
Bernie Senensky (keyboards)
Kiernan Overs (bass)
Barry Elmes (drums)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet on 1 & 6; scat vocal on 1)
  1. Oop-Pop-A-Da
  2. Lush Life
  3. Fried Banana
  4. Ellie's Dream
  5. No Siesta' Ees Fiesta
  6. A Night In Tunisia
  7. Fun

The Complete Jazz At The Philharmonic on Verve (1944-1949) CDs 7-8

Ralph Burns - Bijou

Irreverent change-of-key, y'all

The original guitarist was uncredited for contractual reasons and is cited as Tal Farlow in this re-issue. Jazzdisco claims the guitarist is Jimmy Raney, and Leonard Feather, who produced the sessions, mentions them in his autobiography, but doesn't name the personnel. Sounds like Raney to me.

Due no doubt to the amount of energy he expended as a composer and arranger in virtually every American mass culture medium, Ralph Burns' legacy as a pianist is extremely small. Therefore, this Leonard Feather-produced small-combo session for Period, divided originally into two ten-inch LPs, should give us some insight into the nuts-and-bolts of what made this arranger tick. As it turns out, these tracks, mostly set at relaxed tempos, reveal a modest man -- not a flashy virtuoso, not too anxious to swing (though he can), but mostly content to turn out languorous, complex voicings that occasionally veer toward the lounge. He is willing to experiment at times, dubbing in a second piano part on numbers like the sprightly "Sprang" and the contrapuntal "Perpetual Motion." On hand to help out are bassist Clyde Lombardi, drummer Osie Johnson, and guitarist Tal Farlow, who also takes a few elegantly turned solos. By far, the best track on the CD is Burns' rollicking, Latinized take on one of his most famous compositions, "Bijou," which has an irreverent change-of-key in the middle of the tune. This irresistible track alone makes this a worthwhile purchase for any fan of the many Woody Herman Herds. ~ Richard S. Ginell

Ralph Burns (piano)
Tal Farlow (guitar)
Clyde Lombardi (bass)
Osie Johnson (drums)

1. Spring Sequence
2. It Might As Well Be Spring
3. Spring Is Here
4. Sprang
5. Echo Of Spring
6. Spring In Naples
7. Gina
8. Autobahn Blues
9. Lover Come Back To Me
10. Perpetual Motion
11. Bijou

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Complete Jazz At The Philharmonic on Verve (1944-1949) CDs 4-6

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Complete Jazz At The Philharmonic on Verve (1944-1949) CDs 1- 3

Ever wonder what a 1940s-era jam session sounded like? Well, not much gets closer to the real thing than the music on these 10 CDs. Norman Granz, founder of the Norgran and Clef labels before launching Verve in the mid-1950s, brought together dozens of musicians for the popular Jazz at the Philharmonic series, taking the ad hoc bands to delighted crowds. The bands cook, taking on scores of well-known tunes and using them as the basis for loose-limbed improvisations that play off the crowd's energy--often audible after solos. With a frequent audio vérité feel to the proceedings, this set moves through all-star sessions galore. The opening session features J.J. Johnson, Illinois Jacquet, Les Paul, and Nat "King" Cole, and one of the later sessions plays Charlie Parker off Lester Young, Flip Phillips, and Roy Eldridge in heated (though always fun) exchanges. Not surprisingly, great moments crop up amid some faltering jams, places where saxophonists stumble through phrases in high spirits to find a vocalist or another soloist already cutting in on the developments. Billie Holiday does a fine turn on "Fine and Mellow" with a supertrio of tenor saxes, including Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Illinois Jacquet. A running thread throughout the 12-plus hours of music is the crosshatching of bebop and swing, which here work together in excited displays of expertise and imagination. The musical detail on this issue is especially welcome, given the recording ban that complicated the documentation of the bebop revolution in its earliest days. Oh, and nearly all this music is on CD for the first time, and for that reason (and others), the set is a full-on winner. - Andrew Bartlett

J.J. Johnson - J.J. Inc.

Trombonist J.J. Johnson's 1960 sextet is featured on this Columbia CD. Most notable among the sidemen is a rather young trumpeter named Freddie Hubbard on one of his first sessions; also helping out are tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Arthur Harper and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath. Seven of the compositions (which are joined by Dizzy Gillespie's "Blue 'N' Boogie") are Johnson's and, although none caught on, "Mohawk," "In Walked Horace" and "Fatback" (which is heard in two versions) are all fairly memorable. The six songs on the original LP are joined by three others from the same dates, two of which were released slightly earlier for the first time on a Johnson Mosaic box set that includes all of this music. A fine straight-ahead set. [Originally released on LP in 1960, J.J. Inc. was reissued on an import-only Japanese CD with bonus tracks in 2001.] Scott Yanow

J.J. Johnson (trombone)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Clifford Jordan (tenor sax)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Arthur Harper (bass)
Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)

1 - Mohawk
2 - Minor Mist
3 - In Walked Horace
4 - Fatback
5 - Aquarius
6 - Shutterbug
7 - Blue 'N Boogie
8 - Turnpike
9 - Fatback (Long Version)

New York, August 1 and 3, 1960

Warne Marsh Quartet - Berlin 1980

On this outstanding edition by one of the most successful ''pupils '' of Lennie Tristano, the first six tracks are from a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic auditorium on October 30, 1980, by the Warne Marsh Quarter with the tenor saxophonist accompanied by pianist Sal Mosca, bassist Eddie Gomez, and legendary drummer Kenny Clarke. As bonus tracks, this CD offers two selections from a live concert on April 25, 1976 at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York with a quarter comprising Marsh, Mosca, Sam Jones on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums.

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

Warne Marsh (tenor sax)
Sal Mosca (piano)
Eddie Gomez (bass)
Sam Jones (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Like The Angels (Body & Soul)
2. Leave Me
3. The Family Song
4. Background Music
5. April
6. And Then There's Music (It's You Or No One)
7. Background Music
8. She's Funny That Way
9. The Hard Way
10. Noteworthy (Lover Man)

Susannah McCorkle - How Do You Keep The Music Playing?

Susannah McCorkle's second Pausa album is highlighted by a remarkable version of "There's No Business Like Show Business." Usually performed in razzle-dazzle style, the song is drastically slowed down and treated as a dramatic ballad by McCorkle, and she shows that the words are actually quite touching. Also on the diverse set are the singer's fresh interpretations of such tunes as "A Fine Romance," "Where or When," "Cheek to Cheek," "Slap That Bass," and even a tolerable rendition of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." Backed by the Ben Aronov trio and on a few numbers joined by either tenor saxophonist Al Cohn or guitarist Gene Bertoncini, Susannah McCorkle is in such fine form that one truly regrets that her first seven American albums (four on Inner City and three on Pausa) have yet to appear on CD. (Scoredaddy: this situation has since been remedied). Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle (vocals)
Al Cohn (tenor saxophone)
Gene Bertoncini (guitar)
Ben Aronov (piano)
Steve LaSpina (bass)
Joe Cocuzzo (drums).

1. While The City Sleeps 3:44
2. How Do You Keep The Music Playing? 4:08
3. A Fine Romance 4:09
4. There's No Business Like Show Business 6:07
5. Blizzard Of Lies 3:30
6. By The Time I Get To Phoenix 3:23
7. Where Or When 4:23
8. Ain't Safe To Go Nowhere 3:32
9. Cheek To Cheek 2:41
10. Poor Butterfly 6:53
11. Slap That Bass 3:21
12. Outra Vez 4:52

Recorded at Delta Recording Studios, New York, New York in June 1985.

Dianne Reeves - Good Night, and Good Luck

On "Good Night, and Good Luck," Dianne Reeves demonstrates once again why she is one of today's preeminent jazz vocalists. The album is one of the best jazz soundtracks released in recent memory.
Any new release by Dianne Reeves, one of the best female vocalists working in jazz, deserves attention. But her new album, "Good Night, and Good Luck," is especially interesting because it features music from and inspired by the motion picture of the same name. The movie, directed by film star George Clooney, takes place during the dark political days of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Ms. Reeves sings and performs on screen.
The album, much of which was recorded live on film, has a smoky, retro sound that's instantly seductive. Reeves's instrument, which features both technical polish and beautiful phrasing, glows in the mix. And Matt Catingub's robust work on the saxophone provides excellent accompaniment. Reeves is also singing terrific material, thanks to the stellar song selection of George Clooney (relative of Rosemary).
While the album evokes the McCarthy era in sound and song ("TV Is the Thing This Year"), this is not a political record. "Good Night" is a very musical album that features everything from the classic Ellington of "Solitude" to the Latin tinge of "Pick Yourself Up" with Alex Acuña on percussion. My only reservation is that many cuts clock in around two minutes -- too short for the fabulous talents of Ms. Reeves. That said, anyone who buys this album will enjoy it for a long time to come.
John Matouk

Track listing
01 Straighten Up and Fly Right (2:44)
02 I've Got My Eyes on You (2:06)
03 Gotta Be This or That (3:16)
04 Too Close for Comfort (3:50)
05 How High the Moon (2:22)
06 Who's Minding the Store? (4:31)
07 You're Driving Me Crazy (1:57)
08 Pretend (4:01)
09 Solitude (5:28)
10 TV Is the Thing This Year (1:43)
11 Pick Yourself Up (2:38)
12 When I Fall in Love (Instrumental) (3:52)
13 Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall (4:08)
14 There'll Be Another Spring (4:43)
15 One for My Baby (3:50)

Dianne Reeves Vocals
Christoph Luty Bass
Robert Hurst Bass
Alex Acuña Percussion
Alan Estes Percussion
Matt Catingub Arranger, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Jeff Hamilton (Drums)

Shirley Horn - I Thought About You

When Shirley Horn recorded I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU LIVE AT VINE STREET in Los Angeles with her trio for Verve records in 1987, she was already very much a jazz cult figure whose work was highly esteemed by other artists including Miles Davis. Her first release for Verve Records, which also proved to be her first commercial breakthrough, is quite simply a wonderful recording.
Horn's choice of material is always compelling and chosen with exquisite taste. Her sultry and smoky vocals are extremely intimate and conversational. The show-stopping version of the haunting Italian ballad "Estate (Summer)" which she recorded three times but premiered here, is an extreme example of her slowed down manipulation of time, and is nothing less than thrilling.

Tracks listing
01. Something Happens To Me (Fisher, Segal) 3:38
02. The Eagle And Me (Arlen, Harburg) 3:09
03. I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good (Ellington, Webster) 4:58
04. Our Love Is Here To Stay (Gershwin, Gershwin) 3:32
05. Isn't It Romantic (Instrumental) (Hart, Rodgers) 6:02
06. Summer (Estaté) (Brighetti, Martino, Siegel) 7:42
07. Nice 'N' Easy (Bergman, Keith, Spence) 4:53
08. I Thought About You (Mercer, Van Heusen) 5:58
09. The Great City (Lewis) 2:52
10. I Wish I Didn't Love You So (Loesser) 5:25
11. Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Instrumental) (Jobim, Lees) 11:56

Shirley Horn (vocals, piano)
Charles Ables (bass)
Steve Williams (drums).

Recorded live at the Vine St. Bar and Grill, Hollywood, California on May 12 and 13, 1987

Thursday, January 17, 2008

James Morrison - Snappy Doo (1989)

I've always had a fascination with multi-instrumentalists. Not the ones who can play one well and hack around on the others, but who can play all of their instruments equally well. Woodwind doublers are plentiful but masters of both reed and brass instruments or multiple brasses are a rarity. Some notable reed and brass doublers are Benny Carter, Ira Sullivan, Howard Johnson and Jay Thomas (from Seattle). There have been a few good trumpet/valve trombone players like Stu Williamson and Maynard Ferguson, but how many brass players have been able to master both trumpet and slide trombone? Tommy Dorsey started on trumpet and would play it from time to time and trumpeter Chuck Findley plays some nice trombone but both of them have focused mostly on one instrument and would just "dabble" with the other. Tom Malone is another trombonist who is also quite adept at trumpet. Any others?

Australian James Morrison is undoubtedly the best brass multi-instrumentalist I have ever heard. Not only is he a master of trumpet and trombone but plays euphonium, tuba, piano and all of the saxophones quite well. He also arranged all of the music on the album except for "Jitterbug Waltz".

Snappy Doo is a tour de force for Morrison as he is featured on all of his instruments playing with a crack rhythm section of Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton. A fine bop soloist, he is versatile enough to play powerhouse lead trumpet on one tune and then show off his trombone multi-phonic skills on another. Perhaps the most incredible track is "Le Belleclaire Blues" in which he creates his own big band by overdubbing all of the brass, sax and piano parts accompanied by Ellis, Brown and Hamilton.

A very fun album with a little something for everyone.

James Morrison (trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, all saxophones, piano)
Herb Ellis (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)
Jeff Hamilton (drums)
  1. You Are My Sunshine
  2. Le Belleclaire Blues
  3. But Beautiful
  4. Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)
  5. A Brush With Bunj
  6. The Shadow of Your Smile
  7. Snappy Doo
  8. Autumn Leaves
  9. The Old Rugged Cross
  10. Jitterbug Waltz
  11. Zander
Recorded in Sydney, Australia - November/December 1989

Duke Ellington - The Private Collection (Part II)

Here's the second part of the 10 box set from the Duke. Track list is on the Part I post. Enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Charlie Rouse - Epistrophy

Although he had an extensive career, tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse is best remembered for his decade (1960-1970) as a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet. It is only right that the last time that he picked up his horn was for a Monk tribute concert. This historic event, originally released by Landmark and reissued with one extra selection on a 1997 32 Jazz CD, finds Rouse in prime form despite the fact that he had just seven weeks to live (before passing on from lung cancer). The date was special from the start, with producer Orrin Keepnews getting Rouse to say a few words to the audience about his time with Monk. There are renditions of "Nutty" and "Ruby, My Dear" that match Rouse with pianist George Cables, bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Ralph Penland; "Blue Monk" has Jessica Williams sitting in quite effectively on piano; the "new" rendition of "In Walked Bud" showcases vibraphonist Buddy Montgomery in a quartet with Cables, Chambers, and Penland; and, for "'Round Midnight" and "Epistrophy" (Thelonious' closing theme, which also closed the career of Charlie Rouse), the tenorman and quartet are joined by trumpeter Don Cherry. A historic occasion that resulted in near-classic music; highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Don Cherry (trumpet)
Buddy Montgomery (vibraphone)
George Cables, Jessica Williams (piano)
Jeff Chambers (bass)
Ralph Penland (drums)

1. Some Words About Monk
2. Nutty
3. Ruby, My Dear
4. Blue Monk
5. In Walked Bud
6. Round Midnight
7. Epistrophy

Recorded at Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, California on October 10, 1988

Andy LaVerne - Four Miles (1996)

A fine keyboardist who has ranged in styles from Bill Evans to Chick Corea and fusion, Andy LaVerne has managed to avoid predictability throughout his career. He began studying as a classical piano student at Juilliard when he was eight. After discovering jazz, LaVerne had some important lessons from Bill Evans. He toured with Woody Herman's big band (1973-1975), played with John Abercrombie, and Miroslav Vitous, and was with Stan Getz's group during 1977-1980, often playing electric piano. In the 1980s, he performed with the Brubeck-LaVerne Trio (which also featured Chris and Dan Brubeck), recorded a tribute to Chick Corea for DMP, and became a busy jazz educator. In the 1990s, LaVerne has concentrated on acoustic piano, recording a solo concert at Maybeck Recital Hall. Since his first recording as a leader in 1977, Andy LaVerne has released over 50 albums as well as appearing on numerous sessions as a sideman.

"Tributes to Miles Davis abound. This is one of the best, a date marked by sensitivity, poise and maturity. The players are LaVerne, piano; Randy Brecker, trumpet and fluegelhorn; George Mraz, bass; Al Foster, drums. The program consists of tunes associated with Miles or his sidemen.

The quartet starts with "When You Wish Upon a Star," a ballad. LaVerne clothes Brecker's fluegelhorn in rhapsodic chords and then solos economically and lyrically. "Summertime" begins with the piano playing Gil Evans' scalar background line from the famous Miles Ahead album as the Harmon muted trumpet evokes Miles. "Evokes" is an operative word throughout this album; Brecker is not an imitator. Nor is LaVerne, although the touch of his teacher, Bill Evans, surfaces frequently in his playing.

LaVerne's arrangements include reharmonization (evident on "When You Wish...," "'Round Midnight" and others) and structural extensions ("All Blues"), devices that give the date a unity beyond a jam session. It is clear that the musicians are playing thematically, too. You definitely need to check this album out." - Owen Cordle

Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Andy LaVerne (piano)
George Mraz (bass)
Al Foster (drums)
  1. When You Wish Upon a Star
  2. Summertime
  3. Maiden Voyage
  4. Some Day My Prince Will Come
  5. Song for My Father
  6. All Blues
  7. Mr. Syms
  8. Cantaloupe Island
  9. 'Round Midnight
  10. On Green Dolphin Street
Recorded February 26-27, 1996

Freddie Roach - Good Move!

Laid-back and loosely swinging, Good Move! captures organist Freddie Roach near the peak of his form. Roach never leans too heavily on his instrument, preferring a calmer, tasteful attack, yet he is never boring because he has a strong sense of groove. He keeps things moving on slower numbers like Erroll Garner's "Pastel" and Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So," but the true highlights are on originals like "Wine, Wine, Wine" and "On Our Way Up," where the bluesy structures and fluid rhythms give Roach a chance to stretch out. Throughout the record, he is capably supported by guitarist Eddie Wright and drummer Clarence Johnston, as well as trumpeter Blue Mitchell and tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, who both contribute fine solos. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Freddie Roach (organ)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Eddie Wright (guitar)
Clarence Johnston (drums)

1. It Ain't Necessarily So
2. When Malindy Sings
3. Pastel
4. Wine, Wine, Wine
5. On Our Way Up
6. T' Ain't What You Do
7. Lots Of Lovely Love
8. I.Q. Blues

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on November 29 and December 9, 1963

Miles Davis: The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965

The Complete Sarah Vaughan On Mercury Vol. 3 - Great Show on Stage (1954-1956)

On we proceed in the Mercury Sarah Vaughan saga with only one more volume to go after this one. Would be great to see someone tackle Sarah's Pablo years in FLAC, which I still feel are her best. Only a few of these have appeared 'round these parts. Scoredaddy

The third of four Sarah Vaughan Mercury box sets (this one has six CDs) traces her career during the last two and a half years of the 1950s. There are several very interesting sessions (expanded greatly by the inclusion of many previously unissued performances) on this box including 21 numbers from a gig at Mister Kelly's in Chicago with her trio (led by pianist Jimmy Jones), a meeting with the Count Basie Orchestra that resulted in the album No Count Sarah, and a live set with a septet (which includes cornetist Thad Jones and the tenor of Frank Wess) at the London House in Chicago. In addition, there are quite a few commercial sides with large orchestras (including some sessions arranged by Quincy Jones), so overall this box lets one hear the many sides of Sarah Vaughan; a special highlight is her first recorded version of "Misty." The reissue (and the other three volumes) is a must for Sarah Vaughan's greatest fans although more general listeners may want to acquire one of the less expensive) single CDs instead. Scott Yanow

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mel Lewis - 20 Years at The Village Vanguard (1985)

My last post was 11 days ago with Thad and Mel's Opening Night and then I got busy with some other things and didn't log on again until yesterday. I was amazed at the positive response to that album with over 100 dl's so on my return I decided to post a follow-up album - 20 years later.

For this 20-year anniversary album, the band's first since 1982, Lewis recorded selections from a variety of arrangers. Besides the two Thad Jones charts there are arrangements by Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Jerry Dodgion, Bill Finegan, Richard DeRosa and Kenny Werner.

This CD has been o.o.p. for awhile with used copies selling from $45 up to $100 (who would pay that much for a single CD?)

"The Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra (originally co-led by Thad Jones) celebrated its 20th anniversary with this Atlantic album, one of its very few major-label releases. Although two of Jones' arrangements are on this set ("All of Me" and "Interloper"), the big band had changed quite a bit since his defection in 1979, becoming younger (it was originally an all-star group), less dependent on one arranger, and a bit more influenced by classical music while still swinging. The 1985 version of the band included such notable players as pianist Kenny Werner, altoist Dick Oatts and both Joe Lovano and Ralph Lalama on tenors, but it was more of a team effort without any one player dominating. Excellent modern big band music." - Scott Yanow

Earl Gardner, Joe Mosello, Glen Drewes, Jim Powell, Bill Pusey (trumpets)
John Mosca, Ed Neumeister, Douglas Purviance, Earl McIntyre (trombones)
Stephanie Fauber (french horn)
Dick Oatts, Ted Nash, Joe Lovano, Ralph Lalama, Gary Smulyan (reeds)
Kenny Werner (piano) Dennis Irwin (bass) Mel Lewis (drums)
  1. All of Me
  2. Blue Note
  3. Butter
  4. C-Jam Blues
  5. Dearly Beloved
  6. Interloper
  7. Alone Together
  8. American Express
Recorded March 20-22, 1985

Susannah McCorkle - From Broadway To Bebop

Susannah McCorkle recorded a number of albums with the "everything but the kitchen sink" concept. These were discs (usually entitled "From xxx To xxx") featuring a broad range of repertoire, songs from any time and medium. This one here has some interesting and far-from-typical selections such as "Friend Like Me" from the animated Disney film, Aladdin and some not-often-recorded Broadway gems like "She Loves Me" and "One Of The Good Guys" which McCorkle inverts to the feminine POV. She does the same with "Guys & Dolls" to delightful effect. Don Sebesky's touching "I Remember Bill" (whose melody was ripped off by film composer Alan Silvestri in his score for Grumpy Old Men) is also a highlight. Enjoy this, the latest installment in the McCorkle series, available EXCLUSIVELY at Call It Anything! Scoredaddy

Susannah McCorkle covers a lot of ground during this 1994 CD on which she is joined by a four-horn octet under the musical direction of pianist Allen Farnham. Whether it be "Guys And Dolls," "My Buddy," "Moody's Mood," Don Sebesky's recent "I Remember Bill" (for Bill Evans) or even "Don't Fence Me In," McCorkle brings an intelligent joy to the lyrics. "Chica Chica Boom Chic" (a tribute to Carmen Miranda) is a bit silly but otherwise this is an excellent set featuring one of the top jazz-influenced interpreter of lyrics to be on the scene in the 1990's. Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle, Vocals
Richard de Rosa, Drums
Allen Farnham, Piano
Kiyoshi Kitagawa, Bass
Dick Oatts, Flute, Sax (Alto & Soprano)
Ken Peplowski, Clarinet, Sax (Tenor)
Randy Sandke, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Robert Trowers, Trombone
Frank Vignola, Guitar

1 Guys and Dolls (Loesser) 5:15
2 Once You've Been in Love (Bergman, Bergman, Legrand) 5:24
3 Chica Chica Boom Chic (Gordon, Warren) 6:10
4 My Buddy (Donaldson, Kahn) 4:06
5 It's Easy to Remember (Hart, Rodgers) 4:36
6 Don't Fence Me In (Porter) 4:58
7 One of the Good Girls (Maltby, Shire) 5:10
8 I Don't Think I'll End It All Today (Arlen, Harburg) 4:53
9 Moody's Mood (Fields, McHugh, Moody) 3:12
10 He (She) Loves Me (Bock, Harnick) 4:55
11 Friend Like Me (Ashman, Menken) 2:24
12 I Remember Bill (Sebesky) 4:01

Recorded April 20-22, 1994 at Penny Lane Studios, New York City

Wareika Hill Sounds (Honest Jons, 2007)

This is a new release that will appeal to both reggae/dub, trombone and drumming fans.

I am not the biggest reggae fan myself; however, at a recent visit to Honest Jons' recordshop in London, I happened to listen to this record and I bought it without hesitation before the opening track reached midway.
If you like Cedric Im Brooks, then you'll dig this one for sure: Calvin "Bubbles" Cameron (the leader and composer of all tunes) was the trombonist at the legendary Light of Saba. The man says that he could see Don Drummond play his trombone in his verandah. Nice.... The great Tony Allen co-penned and performs in one song, too ("Jamaica Is Reggae Land").

Here's the customary Dustygroove review: "Dynamite rootsy vibes from Wareika Hill, laid down by trombonist Calvin Bubbles Cameron. Very much in the vein of the fantastic Light Of Saba set, or some of the Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari material, with a nice, raw stripped down approach, featuring bold horn lines riding rhythms built up from Nyabinghi drumming and nicely bouncing basslines, plus some atmospheric dub-like effects laid in here and there. Collaborators include the Light of Saba family, Deadly Headly Bennet and Tony Allen..".

Since it's a new release that's fairly easy to locate, I did this in HQ OGG, which I think is just fine (cover scans with a text by Calvin Cameron are included - there is no booklet with the CD).
If there's interest in this, I can offer Cedric Brooks & the Light of Saba, which is a truly great set. Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Clora Bryant . . .gal with a horn

Here's a little-known West Coast trumpet-player, Clora Bryant. This 1957 session will provide a good introduction to her talents.

Clora remains a sadly under-recognized musical pioneer. The lone female trumpeter to collaborate with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, she played a critical role in carving a place for women instrumentalists in the male-dominated world of jazz, over the course of her decades-long career proving herself not merely a novelty but a truly gifted player regardless of gender.

Born May 30, 1927, in Denison, TX, Bryant grew up singing in her Baptist church choir. In high school, she picked up the trumpet her older brother Fred left behind upon entering the military, joining the school marching band. She proved so proficient that she won music scholarships to Bennett College and Oberlin, instead opting to attend the Houston-area Prairie View College, joining its all-female swing band, the Prairie View Coeds. The group toured across Texas, in the summer of 1944 mounting a series of national dates that culminated at New York City's legendary Apollo Theater. Although one of the band's lead soloists, Bryant nevertheless transferred to UCLA in late 1945 after her father landed a job in Los Angeles; there she first encountered the fledgling bebop sound, and began jamming with a series of small groups in the Central Avenue area.

In the summer of 1946 Bryant joined the all-female Sweethearts of Rhythm, earning her union card and quitting school soon after. Around this time she befriended Gillespie, who not only offered her opportunities to perform with his band but also served as Bryant's mentor for the remainder of his life. When the Queens of Swing lost their drummer, Bryant rented a drum kit and won the job, touring with the group until 1951, at which time she returned to L.A. and to the trumpet, backing Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker during their respective performances at the Club Alabam. She relocated to New York City in 1953, gigging at the Metropole and appearing on several television variety shows.

She even toured Canada, but ultimately returned to southern California in 1955, two years later cutting her sole headlining LP, Gal With a Horn, issued on the tiny Mode label. Bryant spent the remainder of the decade on the road, with long engagements at clubs in Canada, Chicago, and Denver. She also played Las Vegas opposite Louis Armstrong and Harry James. While performing with James, Bryant caught the attention of singer Billy Williams, joining his touring revue and backing him during a showcase on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1960, she also appeared in the Sammy Davis, Jr. motion picture Pepe.

After quitting Williams' band in 1962, Bryant again returned to Los Angeles, teaming with vocalist brother Mel to put together a song-and-dance act. The duo toured the globe for well over a decade, even hosting their own television show during a lengthy engagement in Melbourne, Australia. In the late '70s, Bryant replaced the late Blue Mitchell in Bill Berry's big band, but after several years out of sight she made international headlines in 1989 after accepting Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's invitation to play five dates in the U.S.S.R., becoming the first female jazz musician to tour the Communist nation.

A 1996 heart attack and subsequent quadruple bypass surgery rendered Bryant unable to continue her career as a trumpeter, but she continued to sing, at the same time beginning a new career on the lecture circuit, discussing the history of jazz on college campuses across the U.S. Honored by Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with its 2002 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Award, Bryant was again celebrated with the 2004 release of Trumpetistically, a documentary profile that took filmmaker Zeinabu Irene Davis some 17 years to complete. AMG

This VSOP CD (which reissues a Mode LP from 1957) features Bryant heading a quartet (comprised of pianist Roger Fleming, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Bruz Freeman) that is sometimes augmented by Walter Benton on tenor and trumpeter Normie Faye (who sticks to section work). Bryant, who also sings, does a fine job of interpreting eight standards, with the highlights including "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Tea for Two," and "This Can't Be Love." Scott Yanow

The Herbie Harper Quintet | Five Brothers (flac)

Continuing on with our West Coast theme, I offer another Herbie Harper session. I like Harper just as much as Fontana and Rosolino. This killer quintet is anchored by Red Mitchell.

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

Trombonist Herbie Harper, who has not been heard of much as a leader since the 1950s, has always been a talented bop-based trombonist with an attractive tone. For this quintet set, he is teamed with multi-instrumentalist Bob Enevoldsen (mostly sticking to tenor), guitarist Don Overberg, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Frankie Capp. The West Coast-styled ensemble still sounds appealing. This is one of the obscure Tampa sessions that have been rescued and reissued by VSOP. Scott Yanow

Bill Holman | In a Jazz Orbit

This is classic West Coast Big Band stuff. Imagine Carl Fontana & Frank Rosolino in the same band. Trumpets and Saxes are full of luminaries as well. It was posted in the contributions section but only as mp3 so I repost it here in flac because big band stuff really does sound better at higher bit rates.

One of the great arrangers, Bill Holman's dense but hard-swinging charts often have so much of value going on that they reward repeated listenings. After a stint with Charlie Barnet (1950-1951), Holman became well-known for his arrangements for Stan Kenton (1952-1956), which helped advance the Kenton sound. Although a fine tenor saxophonist, Holman's writing has always overshadowed his playing. He concentrated on studio work by the 1960s, but also wrote through the years for Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, and Buddy Rich, among others. Holman wrote the charts for Natalie Cole's best-selling Unforgettable album (1991), and has led his own part-time big band in the Los Angeles area since 1975. Bill Holman recorded as a leader for Capitol, Coral (reissued on Sackville), Andex, and Hi Fi during 1954-1960, and in the late '80s and early '90s his Los Angeles band was documented by JVC. AMG

Considering his talents, arranger Bill Holman has led relatively few recording sessions through the years. This formerly rare big-band set from 1958 (originally on the Andex label and reissued on CD by V.S.O.P.) features a 15-piece band filled with West Coast all-stars. Among the soloists on these five standards and four originals are trombonists Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, and Ray Sims; altoists Charles Mariano and Herb Geller; trumpeters Jack Sheldon & Conte Candoli; Richie Kamuca on tenor; pianist Victor Feldman; and Holman himself on tenor. The leader's arrangements were quite distinctive (although not as complex as they would become) at this fairly early stage, and the results are a big-band album that still sounds fresh nearly four decades later. Scott Yanow

trumpets: Al Porcino, Ed Leddy, Jack Sheldon, Conte Candoli; trombones: Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, Ray Sims; Saxes: Charlie Mariano, Herb Geller, Richie Kamuca, Charlie Kennedy, Bill Hood; piano: Vic Feldman; Bass: Buddy Clark; Drums: Mel Lewis

The Stan Levey Quintet (flac)

Well, it's once again time for Doc's West Coast jazz offerings. First up is the dynamic Stan Levey Quintet with Conte Candoli, Lou Levy, and Richie Kamuca. Levey is one of those guys that few know of, but he was part of some amazing groups and sessions over the years.

Drummer Stan Levey was the backbone of the Dizzy Gillespie-led unit that influential jazz critic Leonard Feather dubbed "the first genuine all-bebop group to play on 52nd Street," virtually defining the shape and sound of jazz in the modern era. Levey was born April 5, 1926, in Philadelphia -- the son of a car salesman and boxing promoter, he was a self-taught prodigy who at 16 entered a local club headlined by Gillespie, convincing the trumpeter to let him sit in on drums. Gillespie was so impressed by the teen's powerful yet tasteful playing that he extended an offer to join the group full-time -- Levey quit high school immediately thereafter, playing clubs at night and cleaning cars on his father's lot by day. 

Fellow jazz musicians derided Gillespie for recruiting a white, Jewish 16-year-old to anchor his band -- "Show me a better black drummer and I'll hire him," Gillespie responded, and when he relocated to New York City, he convinced Levey to move with him. There the drummer joined a small band led by Coleman Hawkins and featuring Thelonious Monk, cutting his first recording session in support of Art Tatum; he also supported Ben Webster and sat in with Woody Herman's First Herd when regular drummer Dave Tough was unavailable. From 1943 to 1949, Levey also boxed professionally, competing at Madison Square Garden and even appearing on the same bill as the immortal Joe Louis.

In 1945 Levey served in the Charlie Parker Quintet, and when Gillespie and Parker joined forces later that same year, they recruited Levey to play drums -- bassist Al Haig and pianist Curly Russell completed the group, widely considered the first and most innovative bebop lineup in history. During their existence Gillespie wrote standards like "A Night in Tunisia," "Manteca," and "Groovin' High" before the quintet self-destructed after completing a long residency at the Los Angeles club Billy Berg's -- unable to locate Parker in the hours prior to their return flight to New York, his bandmates were forced to leave the troubled saxophonist in L.A., where he proceeded to set fire to his hotel and was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital.

After spending much of the late '40s touring with Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic showcase, Levey returned to Philadelphia in 1951, forming a new quartet with tenorist Richie Kamuca, pianist Red Garland, and bassist Nelson Boyd that both headlined its own dates and backed vocalists appearing in the area. When the Stan Kenton Orchestra played Philadelphia in 1952, Kenton saw the group perform and hired Levey and Kamuca on the spot. Bolstered by the likes of Zoot Sims and Lee Konitz, this lineup would prove the strongest of Kenton's career, touring Europe the following year to enormous acclaim. 

Kenton dissolved the band immediately following a 1954 appearance in Los Angeles and Levey remained on the West Coast, soon beginning a five-year stint playing with Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars in relief of drummer Max Roach. Levey's drumming would prove a major influence on the emerging West Coast jazz sound, shaping its crisp, fluent rhythms. During this time he greatly expanded his session slate, and over the course of his career appeared on over 2,000 recordings in support of vocalists including Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and even Barbra Streisand. He additionally contributed to the soundtracks of more than 300 movies and countless TV productions. Despite his demanding studio and concert schedules, Levey nevertheless found time to translate a longtime interest in photography into a secondary career as a professional photographer, shooting a number of record covers.

In fact, upon retiring from music in 1973 he turned to photography full-time, contracting with major advertising agencies and lensing everything from fashion magazine spreads to industrial photos. Levey's photos still adorned LP jackets as well, often for musicians with whom he once played. He never performed professionally again, insisting the music business changed and that he did not miss it at all. A few months after the DVD release of the documentary profile Stan Levey: The Original Original, he died in Van Nuys, CA, on April 20, 2005, at the age of 79. AMG

The Music
The excellent bop drummer Stan Levey, who retired from playing in the 1960s to become a full-time photographer, led five record dates during 1954-1957 of which this set for MOD (which has been reissued on CD by the V.S.O.P. label) was the last one. Levey gathered together quite an impressive lineup (trumpeter Conte Candoli, Richie Kamuca on tenor, pianist Lou Levy, and bassist Monty Budwig) to perform two of Kamuca's originals, three standards and the rarely played "Ole Man Rebop." All of the musicians are in prime form, displaying contrasting but complementary styles. This swinging date is easily recommended. Scott Yanow

Stan Levey (drums), Richie Kamuca (tenor), Conte Candoli (trpt), Lou Levy (piano), Mony Budwig (bass)

Horace Parlan - Happy Frame Of Mind

Happy Frame of Mind finds Horace Parlan breaking away from the soul-inflected hard bop that had become his trademark, moving his music into more adventurous, post-bop territory. Aided by a first-rate quintet — trumpeter Johnny Coles, tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, guitarist Grant Green, bassist Butch Warren, drummer Billy Higgins — Parlan produces a provocative set that is grounded in soul and blues but stretches out into challenging improvisations. None of the musicians completely embrace the avant-garde, but there are shifting tonal textures and unpredictable turns in the solos which have been previously unheard in Parlan's music. Perhaps that's the reason why Happy Frame of Mind sat unissued in Blue Note's vaults until 1976, when it was released as part of a double-record Booker Ervin set, but the fact of the matter is, it's one of Parlan's most successful efforts, finding the perfect middle ground between accessible, entertaining jazz and more adventurous music. Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Horace Parlan (piano)
Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Booker Ervin (tenor sax)
Grant Green (guitar)
Butch Warren (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1 Home Is Africa
2 A Tune for Richard
3 Back from the Gig
4 Dexi
5 Kuchenza Blues
6 Happy Frame of Mind

Recorded on February 15, 1963

Susannah McCorkle - I'll Take Romance

Continuing our newly-started survey of the work of Susannah McCorkle, a singer not sufficiently appreciated as compared to her talents, here is a high-quality set of excellent songs (her choice of material was ALWAYS top notch) backed by an outstanding group of tasteful musicians. Scoredaddy

The plot behind this project by the wonderful singer Susannah McCorkle is that she performs fresh interpretations of familiar standards that deal with love; all but the comparatively recent "Where Do You Start?" were at least 35 years old at the time and some were of much earlier vintage. Backed by a quintet including Frank Wess on tenor and flute, pianist Allen Farnham, and guitarist Howard Alden, McCorkle's very attractive voice and impressive interpretive skills are heard at their best. Highlights include the title cut, "A Beautiful Friendship," "Get Out of Town," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Taking a Chance on Love," and "I Thought About You." Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle (vocals)
Frank Wess (tenor sax, flute)
Allen Farnham (piano)
Howard Alden (guitar)
Dennis Irwin (bass)
Keith Copeland (drums)

1 A Beautiful Friendship (Kahn, Styne) 4:07
2 My Foolish Heart (Washington, Young) 3:32
3 I'll Take Romance (Hammerstein, Oakland) 3:23
4 Get Out of Town (Porter) 4:36
5 It Never Entered My Mind (Hart, Rodgers) 5:02
6 Let's Get Lost (Loesser, McHugh) 3:22
7 Spring Is Here (Hart, Rodgers) 4:23
8 Taking a Chance on Love (Duke, Fetter, Latouche) 4:27
9 I Concentrate on You (Porter) 4:58
10 Lover Man (Davis, Ramirez, Sherman) 3:48
11 That Old Feeling (Brown, Fain) 3:57
12 Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart (Hanley) 3:43
13 Where Do You Start? (Bergman, Bergman, Mandel) 3:41
14 I Thought About You (Mercer, Van Heusen) 5:15

Recorded at Penny Lane Studios, New York City on September 15-17, 1991

Tony Bennett - Tony Makes It Happen!

Tony Makes It Happen! is one of Bennett’s better 1960's efforts at making a cohesive LP, even though there is no sustained mood. The consistency here lies with the use of one arranger's work and the fact that the record was recorded in four sessions around the same time period. As most of Bennett’s Columbia LP’s are a hodgepodge of disparate session results, this one stands out as a more genuine and “whole” product.

The orchestrations were handled by veteran arranger Marion Evans, an underrated talent whose dignified string charts really help put across the ballads (“Country Girl”, “What Makes It Happen”, etc) and whose sense of swing (he started with the big bands in the 40’s) pushes the up-tempo tracks to exciting heights (try “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart”, which are the two tracks from the this disc selected for the Tony Bennett Jazz compilation).

Twelve songs were recorded for this album but for some reason, “Out Of This World” was omitted and placed, instead, on For Once In My Life. “Country Girl”, a track recorded for and used on Tony Makes It Happen!, was repeated on Love Story. Go figure.

The sound of this rip is quite good, taken from a near mint LP. After a few months experience in utilizing audio restoration software, I am slowly learning how to apply the processing more judiciously, especially the filtering. For the record, I use ClickRepair to remove clicks/pops and I employ SoundSoap 2.0 to minimize surface noise. Any feedback on the sound would be appreciated. Personnel and session info can be found in the comments. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Marion Evans (arrangements)

1. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
2. A Beautiful Friendship
3. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
4. What Makes It Happen
5. The Lady’s In Love With You
6. Can’t Get Out Of This Mood
7. I Don’t Know Why
8. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart
9. Country Girl
10. Old Devil Moon
11. She’s Funny That Way

Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street studio, New York City as follows: tracks 4 & 9 on November 26, 1966; 5-7 on January 12, 1967; 10-11 on January 18, 1967; 1-3&8 on January 27, 1967

Mose Allison Trio - 'I love the life I live' [1961] (Flac N Scans)

I think Mose sums this album up pretty well himself
from the liner notes..over to you Mose!

"This is an album of groove music - the material consists of four
standards, three blues, a very pretty Al Cohn ballad and four
of my own compositions. I trust that there is something
in it for the veteran and for the greenhorn alike. It
certainly contains more good bass players and drummers than
most albums. You can hear Jerry Segal, drums and Addison
Farmer, bass in Night Ride, Fool's Paradise, You Turned the Tables
on Me
, Mad with you and Path. Paul Motian, drums
and Henry Grimes, bass on I Love the Life I Live, Hittin' on One
and News. Gus Johnson, drums and Bill Crow, bass are heard
on I Ain't Got Nobody, Isobel and Can't we be Friends.
I think it all came out pretty well, and I hope you do, too."

Mose Allison (1961)

Nuff Said ....!!

1 I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love
2 News
3 Fool's Paradise
4 You Turned the Tables on Me
5 Isobel
6 You're a Sweetheart
7 Night Ride
8 Path
9 Mad With You
10 Hittin' on One
11 I Ain't Got Nobody
12 Can't We Be Friends?
13 A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
14 Am I Blue

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Curtis Counce - Sonority

This CD, which adds "Drum Conversation" (a Frank Butler feature) to the earlier LP, contains material taken from bassist Curtis Counce's Contemporary sessions which resulted in three other albums but these particular performances were not released until 1989. Half of the program features Counce's 1956 quintet (which includes trumpeter Jack Sheldon, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Carl Perkins and drummer Frank Butler) while the remainding selections are from 1958 when the group had Gerald Wilson on trumpet and pianist Elmo Hope (who contributed three originals). "Sonor" and "Landslide" are heard in alternate versions and "Woody'n You" has also been since reissued as a "bonus" cut on the CD You Get More Bounce with Curtis Counce. The playing is quite rewarding, and all four of the Counce reissues are easily recommended to hard bop collectors. ~Scott Yanow

Curtis Counce (bass)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Gerald Wilson (trumpet)
Harold Land (tenor sax)
Carl Perkins (piano)
Elmo Hope (piano)
Frank Butler (drums)

1. Woody'n You
2. How Long Has This Been Going On?
3. Landslide (Alternate Take)
4. Sonor (Alternate Take)
5. So Nice
6. Origin
7. Bella Rosa
8. A Night In Tunisia
9. A Drum Conversation

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Babylon by Bus

I have run through one LP, two cassettes (am on my third), and my current CD of this recording. This is the Marley that got me hooked. On real cold nights during my High School years we’d hang out in this guy’s basement doing—er, stuff—and this LP would always be in rotation. About track 3 his parents would yell down something like, “Hey! It’s almost midnight! What are you kids doing? And turn that down!” High energy, soulful, rebellious, politically conscious, and religiously positive. This one has it all. For me, this is one of those; “If you were on a desert island and could only have 5 CDs, what would you choose?” The only downside to this set is it is only one CD… While you might be familiar with the studio recordings of these tracks, these live versions (unlike Marley’s “Live”) are almost different versions. The artists seem to feed off of the audience’s obvious energy creating some really great music.

Recorded live in Paris, Copenhagen, London, & Amsterdam on his tour for his album “Kaya.” ---the scans are all included in the loads. There are no notes on the CD nor case as to what year the CD was made, so all I can tell ya is it was originally released in 1978.

1-Positive Vibration
2-Punky Reggae Party
4-Stir It Up
5-Rat Race
6-Concrete Jungle
7-Kinky Reggae
8-Lively Up Yourself
9-Rebel Music (3 O’Clock Road Block)
10-War/No More Trouble
11-Is This Love

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (2002)

**No Cover Pic: Blogger is having trouble this morning, but the scans have all the images**

Over the years there have been a lot of LPs that have been conceived of as single works. Recordings that tell a story, or provide a template of musical scenes that work together; creating a singular whole. I offer you my personal favorite choice of such a recording—originally released in 1971. While I expect that many of you are familiar with several of the tracks on this recording, listening to them as a whole is really remarkable. Responding to (or commentating on) the social upheaval of the early 1970s, the scenes Gaye creates are stunning. Funky, soulful, thoughtful and positive. The liner notes (included) provide some background as well & provide all the lyrics & artists.

Many times we search for recordings that have bonus tracks---more sound for the same price, right? Well this is one instance when the bonus tracks are just not needed. Listening to the recording as a whole makes the two bonus tracks seem out of place. It is not that they are bad recordings, nor filler---but they just don’t work with the first nine tracks. So my advice—if you are into these loads—is to listen to tracks 1-9 first; really listen and enjoy. Then, check out the last two---from the B Sides.

Marvin Gaye produced this set (Barry Gordy gave him a lot of leeway on this & allegedly did not want to release it at first) and there are some really great things to listen for. First, the hits that came from this recording (What’s Going On, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), and Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) are top notch; both singly & as part of the whole. Also, Gaye providing supporting vocals to himself on Save The Children---freakin’ great. Right On has a tight groove that is really funky and soulful, this is one of those tunes that stays in your head for hours…am listening to it now and it is great.

Tracks (scans included in the loads)
1-What’s Going On
2-What’s Happening Brother
3-Flyin’ High (In The Friendly Sky)
4-Save The Children
5-God Is Love
6-Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
7-Right On
8-Wholy Holy
9-Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
10-bonus-God Is Love
11-bonus-Sad Tomorrow

Art Ensemble Of Chicago - The Third Decade (1984)

For the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Third Decade marked both the end of their relationship with the ECM label and the beginning of a more streamlined stretch of music making. The band would cut back on their once predominant, free-form explorations to make room for more bebop and crossover material, like "Funky AECO" and the Caribbean-tinged bop tune "Zero," straightforward genre pieces the band still undermine with playful "found sounds" (bike horns, sirens, chimes, etc.). Along these more traditional lines, the lovely, '20s-style jazz ballad "Walking in the Moonlight" is also included. The group stretches out on more open-ended pieces like Joseph Jarmen's dirge-like opener "Prayer for Jimbo Kwesi" and Mitchell's magisterial number "The Bell Piece," but even here the group's traditionally frenetic playing is kept in check. This is not necessarily bad, considering the Art Ensemble's consistently top-notch and provocative solo work, straight-ahead or otherwise. The band does end the album, though, with the decidedly frenetic and free "Third Decade," as if to say they are equally adept at a variety of styles and so should not be restricted to only one. The point is well taken with this varied yet cogent set. ~ Stephen Cook, AMG

1. Prayer For Jimbo
2. Funky AECO
3. Walking In The Moonlight
4. The Bell Piece
5. Zero
6. Third Decade

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bob Marley - Uprising

One of the most almost perfect albums I can think of. I could probably write several pages about why this is a major work, not just of popular music, but of art. Or Art, if you prefer. The last work of a man who knew it was his last work. Everything you can love about Nesta is here, and there are very conflicting messages. Does he contradict himself? Very well, then; he contradicts himself. He is large, he contains multitudes - as do we all. One of the things I dig most about Marley is his immediacy. He is fucking exhorting YOU when he sings - It's you, it's you, it's YOU he's talking to, now. With all these singers around the site lately, maybe it's time to listen to one that's actually saying something.

Don't get me started. Plain and simple, here is someone we all love; maybe we just forget it sometimes. Could you be loved?

This is the Diament mastering.

1. Coming In From The Cold
2. Real Situation
3. Bad Card
4. We And Dem
5. Work
6. Zion Train
7. Pimper's Paradise
8. Could You Be Loved
9. Forever Loving Jah
10. Redemption Song
11. Redemption Song
12. Could You Be Loved

Freddie Redd - Complete Blue Note Recordings (Mosaic)

Available in a box set as either three LPs or two CDs, this limited-edition release has all of the music recorded at pianist Freddie Redd's three Blue Note sessions. In addition to the selections originally included on the LPs Music From the Connection and Shades of Redd, there is a completely unissued date that adds to the fairly slim Freddie Redd discography. Altoist Jackie McLean (who is on all three sets) and tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks (a key soloist on two) co-star with the pianist; trumpeter Benny Bailey is also heard from the later date. The music is comprised mostly of Redd's originals (including seven songs written for the stage play The Connection) and fits into the style of the mainstream hard bop of the day, although with a few personal touches. Straight-ahead fans and Blue Note collectors can consider this set to be essential. Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle - From Broken Hearts To Blue Skies

Here is the first in a series of postings I will contribute of the work of the superb, yet underrated vocalist, Susannah McCorkle. She fought a life-long battle against depression but lost out in the end. However, she left behind a fine body of work and I hope to get to most of it here. Thanks to Galego for inspiring this by posting McCorkle's From Bessie To Brazil elsewhere, and to Kell for reminding me of my promise to post more. Scoredaddy

One of the finest interpreters of lyrics active in the jazz world during the 1980s and '90s, Susannah McCorkle did not improvise all that much, but she brought the proper emotional intensity to the words she sang; a lyricist's dream. She moved to England in 1971 where she worked with Dick Sudhalter and Keith Ingham, among others, performing at concerts with such visiting Americans as Bobby Hackett, Ben Webster, and Dexter Gordon. McCorkle sang at the Riverboat jazz room in Manhattan during 1975 (gaining a lot of attention) and recorded two albums in England (tributes to Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer) that were released domestically by Inner City. By 1980, she was back in the U.S., recording a Yip Harburg set and a fourth album for Inner City. After that label folded, McCorkle switched over to Pausa but by the late '80s was recording regularly for Concord. She expanded her pre-bop repertoire to include Brazilian songs and blues and, by the mid-'90s, Susannah McCorkle was at the top of her field. Tragically, career disappointments exacerbated her chronic depression (a condition she kept well-hidden), resulting in her suicide in May of 2001 in New York City. Scott Yanow

Susannah McCorkle suceeds where others have failed on her latest release for Concord Jazz titled, From Broken Hearts to Blue Skies. Her silky voice wraps around the classic Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington "Something to Live For," like a velvet envelope. Filled with emotional yearning, her interpretations render the listener motionless, rapt in the charisma of her phrasing and nuance. Many of the songs are indicative of broken-hearted love including "Losing Hand," a Ray Charles blues favorite from the '50s about a woman with a man gone astray. But McCorkle changes her tune and rebounds with a vibrant remedy on "I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle," in classic Bessie Smith style. Susannah McCorkle suceeds as the voice of authority, a voice that has feeling and experience and one that respects the original content of each song. In contrast to her previous releases, the songbook stylist sings a dynamic collection of many songs associated with such artists as Billie Holiday, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Chet Baker and Django Reinhardt. McCorkle's singing is straight from the heart and soul and she's clearly towering in blue skies as one of America's finest interpreters of the classic song. Paula Edelstein

Susannah McCorkle (Vocals)
Richard de Rosa (Drums)
Allen Farnham (Piano, Director)
John Fedchock (Trombone)
Alexander Gafa (Guitar)
Steve Gilmore (Bass)
Greg Gisbert (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
John Gordon (Flute, Alto Sax)
Jon Gordon (Flute, Alto Sax)
Dick Oatts (Alto Flute, Soprano & Tenor Sax)

1 Laughing at Life (Kenny, Todd, Todd) 4:08
2 Something to Live For (Ellington, Strayhorn) 5:39
3 Look for the Silver Lining (DeSylva, Kern) 4:04
4 Nuages (Larue, McCorkle, Reinhardt) 5:03
5 Caminhos Cruzados (Crossed Paths) (Jobim, Mendonca) 4:29
6 I Wish I Were in Love Again (Hart, Rodgers) 4:02
7 I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle (Bradford) 2:19
8 Losing Hand (Calhoun) 5:43
9 I Want to Be a Sideman (Frishberg) 4:47
10 Insensatez (How Insensitive) (DeMoraes, Jobim) 2:08
11 Phone Call to the Past (Mancini, Mercer) 5:05
12 Stop, Time (Maltby, Shire) 4:20
13 Wave (Jobim) 4:12
14 Blue Skies (Berlin) 3:20

Recorded October 27-29, 1998 at Sound on Sound, New York City.

Howard Tate - Get It While You Can: The Complete Legendary Verve Sessions (Hip-O Select Limited Reissue)

You may consider this as my delayed Christmas gift to all of you. Howard Tate is another unsung great.

The first time I found out about Howard Tate was in 2003 (I was completely unaware of him):, to which I was a subscriber, was promoting Tate's "Reaction" 1969 album, which was then reissued on Koch. I had grabbed it and was deeply impressed (it's a very fine record, too); also surprised that Howard Tate was not a much more familiar name.

I searched a bit more about Tate and in all sources this 1967 album presented here was unanimously considered to be not only his personal best, but one of the best soul/R'n'B albums ever cut (incidentally, Tower of Power leader Emilio Castillo lists this as his #1 all time favourites). Also, there's quite a number of songs that were originally presented in this album, which became popular from later versions by the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, B.B.King et al. - this added to my curiosity to find this one.

The problem was that this album (originally issued by Verve in 1967), in spite of the critical acclaim it received and the fact that Howard Tate was becoming a common fixture in the soul scene and had some hit singles, never made it commercially. It was reissued in 1969 again by Verve (with a different cover and a couple of extra songs) and in 1995 it had a CD reissue by Polygram. Soon, all these, due to poor sales, were going OOP - thus the record was only to be found used (and usually demanding a high price). I had almost forgotten about this, until I realized a couple of years ago that the mighty Hip-O Select label had reissued in 2004 a limited release (5,000 copies) which was considered as THE definitive version of this album - including all stereo tracks of the original issues, plus all mono single releases and one unissued track + all liner notes etc.

When I found this out, I was hoping to be able to get it before it gets OOP again. Amazon didn't have it, nor Dustygroove or other recordshops, but there it was at Hip-oselect's own site. But, upon ordering from Hip-oselect I realized that they did not deliver in Greece (nor in any other European countries). I called them on the phone and wrote them e-mails but ...nada. I placed a backorder in Dustygroove, and occasionally visited Hip-o select's site hoping they'd change their shipping policy (i guess it was a licensing issue and not a shipping issue) but this seemed as a lost case. I could not track even a digital copy - I remember I even had asked this from Rab as a contest prize, but every effort was in vein.

And, all of a sudden, while I was on a business trip just a week before Xmas, I got an email from Dustygroove that this was back in stock. I ordered it immediately upon seeing the email, hoping that noone else had grabbed it in the meantime; hopefully, it arrived just in time on my nameday celebration on Jan 7. And what a gift it was.

I have quite a few times in the past felt the disappointment when putting my hands (or better my ears) on some much praised, hard-to-find piece of music, just to realize that this was not worth the excitement, or simply not my piece of cake. This is not the case at all with this one. Upon searching the net for this one, you will come across several praising comments: believe me, they're all understatements. For this is truly one of the greatest soul albums ever waxed on record - Howard Tate should stand on a par with the famed James's, Arethas', Otises, Sly's and the rest of the pack.

The 15 compositions (presented here in a total of 28 songs, counting the dupliacte album and single releases) are a trajectory in "popular black music in US" - encompassing blues, jazz, rhythm & blues and soul, each of them a 2 1/2 minute gem - with some exceptional takes on the title track (Get it While You can, later becoming one of Janis Joplin's trademarks) and "Ain't Nobody Home". But I tell you, there's no single track to be missed or skipped.

I know that I may be overreacting due to my little personal story, and that some of you may well have this record already (or, at least, most of you US citizens can get it through Hiposelect). But, if you happen to not have it, take my word for it and as the title suggests: "Get It While You can!".

(If all this was not convincing enough, then take this too: most songs are penned by the mighty Philadelphian Jerry Ragovoy, musicians include among others Richard Tee, Paul Griffin, Ernie Royal, Ronnie Cuber, Eric Gale, Cornell Dupree etc., and a good part was recorded in RVG's living room studio. Detailed session dates, biographical info etc. to be found in the extensive liner notes.)

Captain Yaba - Yaba Funk Roots

Except for few comments, I've been otherwise absent from these boards for quite some time. I'm back now and I hope to be able to contribute more often, thus thanking all of you (no need to enumerate, I guess) for your wonderful posts during this time. I also take the opportunity to wish happiness, health & love to all of you and your beloved ones for the New Year.

Enough with comeback post is one of the most infectious records I had the chance to grab in 2007. Not surprisingly, it comes from Africa - it's the one and only record (originally titled "Tinanure") made by the late Captain Yaba in 1996 in Ghana, as reissued in 2003 by Retroafric, enhanced with "premixed" raw versions. Details and a short biography are to be found in the scanned liner notes.

Don't be intimidated by the strange two-string lute-like instrument (the koliko or xalam) that Cpt. Yaba carries on the cover; this is not about "ethnic" or "world music". Yaba dubs his music "griot funk" and that's exactly what it is: Deep, rootsy, raw funk, with nice enhancements of organ, trumpet and percussion (courtesy of the band of Sierra Leonian percussionist Francis Fuster, who produced this one). It's amazing how the sound of this koliko instrument suits the funky atmosphere of the record. One of the songs (the ultra groovy "Yaba Funk") has found its way on some Afro Funk compilations --and subsequently on the dancefloor), but generally this album is considered a rather unnoticed gem.

Those of you who liked previous posts of mine (especially the "Ghana Soundz" compilations posted a long long time ago - links still alive by the way), you can count on my word: It hardly gets funkier & groovier than this, and even though it is approx. 500 MB (i ripped it in FLAC), I reckon you will not regret the Rapidshare credits you'll spend. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Clarence Wheeler - The New Chicago Blues (LP 1972)

Last night I was playing with my new phono preamp and managed to rip my first vinyl record to FLAC. It was done on a budget turntable but don't fret theres a new one coming. Actually I think it sounds ok considering how cheap it was, let me know what you think.

As for the music, well theres a couple of ok tracks, Clarence isn't a very strong player but has his moments.

Dustygroove said this: Not blues at all -- despite the title -- but a nice set of tracks that showcase Clarence Wheeler's southside roots, and which have a slightly larger group than usual -- hitting an electric vein that shows Wheeler really opening up from the small combo mode of his earlier years. There's not any breaks on here, as with his other albums, but the expanded setting allows for some great arrangements -- quite ambitious, with a soulful groove that's very much in the style of some of the late 60s jazz work on Cadet Records. Players are all Chicagoans -- including Louis Satterfield and Master Henry Gibson -- and tracks include "Kuumba", "Miss Gee", "Oblighetto", and "New Chicago Blues".

Bill Perkins - Confluence

February 2 2008 - I'm sorry that for this upload the channels were
accidentally reversed. I have therefore uploaded new files which
are the right way round. See further down in comments for the
current links.

Vinyl rip - no scans
Edited to remove most crackles

I found this picture but no review

Bill Perkins - tenor baritone flute
Gordon Goodwin - tenor soprano
Pepper Adams - baritone
Lou Levy - piano
Bob Magnusson - bass
Carl Burnett - drums

01 Confluence
02 La Costa
03 Indoor Sports
04 Civilisation and Its Discontents
05 Dylan's Delight
06 In Love with Night

Sonny Red - Red, Blue and Green

This is in Ogg; 3 files as compared to 6 in flac.

In the early '60s, modal improvisation was still controversial in the jazz world -- not as controversial as free jazz, but controversial nonetheless. Some hard boppers found the modal breakthroughs of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Yusef Lateef exciting and decided to take up modal playing themselves, while others vehemently disliked modality and refused to play anything but bop. Sonny Red was among those who opted to explore modal improvisation in the early '60s, although the alto saxman never gave up the sort of fast, chordal, Charlie Parker-based bop he was known for. On 1961's The Mode, Red fulfills both needs: the need to investigate modal playing and the need to deal with bop's swift, demanding chord changes. Red is joined by Grant Green on guitar, Barry Harris or Cedar Walton on piano, George Tucker on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums, a team that handles chordal bop and modal post-bop equally well. Red is in good form on post-bop offerings like the title song (which is based on the standard "Out of This World") and a contemplative interpretation of Jule Styne's "Never Never Land," which he approaches in a Kind of Blue-like fashion. But a bop outlook prevails on the Parker-ish "Super-20" and a perky, upbeat version of "Moon River," the Henry Mancini piece that Audrey Hepburn fans will forever associate with her portrayal of the flighty yet charming Holly Golightly in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's. This vinyl LP isn't a masterpiece, but it's decent and certainly likable. In 2000, Fantasy reissued The Mode and another Red LP, Images, on the CD Red, Blue & Green. ~ Alex Henderson

Sonny Red (alto sax)
Barry Harris, Cedar Walton (piano)
Grant Green (g)
George Tucker (b)
Jimmy Cobb (d)

1. Moon River
2. I Like The Likes Of You
3. Super-20
4. Bye, Bye Blues
5. The Mode
6. Never, Never Land
7. Ko-Kee
8. Images
9. Blues For Donna
10. Dodge City
11. Blue Sonny
12. The Rhythm Thing
13. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered

Hampton Hawes - At The Piano

Hampton Hawes' final recording found him returning not only to the acoustic piano after having dabbled in electric keyboards from 1972-74, but to producer Lester Koenig and his Contemporary label, where Hawes recorded most of his classic gems of the 1950s. Teamed up with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, Hawes shows that he was still in prime form. The trio plays two of Hawes' originals, some current and worthwhile pop tunes ("Killing Me Softly With His Song" and "Sunny"), and "Blue In Green" and "When I Grow Too Old to Dream." The CD, also has in its liner notes a very interesting conversation between Hawes and Koenig from January 20, 1977; both would pass away before the year ended.

Hampton Hawes (piano)
Ray Brown (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Killing Me Softly With His Song
2. Soul Sign Eight
3. Sunny
4. Morning
5. Blue In Green
6. When I Grow Too Old to Dream

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Art Pepper - Winter Moon

Laurie Pepper tells us that Art considered this album - essentially Art Pepper With Strings - the best one he ever made; that "Our Song" was the most beautiful song he'd ever written, and that his solo on it was the best he ever recorded. The arrangements are by Bill Holman and Jimmy Bond, and there's a great story of how the first time they started to play (Art insisted on accompanying the strings, no overdubbing) Art missed his cue because he was so caught up in the music. Artie Shaw, whom Pepper had never met, and who was one of his heros, called him up to say how much he liked it.

So, having said that, I figured after the second tune that this would be one of those albums you play selectively, but going into the third, I realized that this is varied enough to stand listening straight through.
The personnel is as good as you might want, and Stanley Cowell, in particular, does himself proud as a tasteful, thoughtful accompanist: I've never known him to be anything else.

Art Pepper (alto sax, clarinet on 6)
Howard Roberts (guitar)
Stanley Cowell (piano)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Carl Burnett (drums)

1. Our Song
2. Here's That Rainy Day
3. That's Love
4. Winter Moon
5. When The Sun Comes Out
6. Blues In The Night
7. The Prisoner
8. Our Song
9. The Prisoner
10. Ol' Man River

Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California September 3-4, 1980

Tony Bennett - Love Story

In the 1960’s and 70’s, Columbia Records engaged in the rather insidious practice of deceptively placing previously released material onto their LP’s and issuing them as “new” albums without disclosing the fact. In this fashion, many Tony Bennett records were assembled from six or seven newly-made tracks combined with recordings that had already appeared on one or more long-play discs. Bennett fans were forced to purchase the same songs multiple times in order to obtain his latest records. Love Story is a prime example with half of the album's twelve songs recorded from three to eight years prior to the newer selections.

That’s not to say that the finished LP lacks quality: both the arrangements and singing are uniformly excellent, though the orchestrations were contributed by eight different arrangers. The work of Ralph Burns stands out on the more ancient "Tea For Two" and "I Want To Be Happy," making these old warhorses sound new. "The Gentle Rain" is pilfered from Bennett’s own favorite among his LP’s, The Movie Song Album. The subtle chart by Johnny Mandel is enhanced by gentle guitar from the song’s composer, Luiz Bonfa.

Tony Bennett had a nack (which he has credited to his long-time pianist Ralph Sharon) of finding unknown songs and introducing the definitive versions of them. Almost all his albums contain such tracks. Love Story includes a real gem called "Individual Thing", from a long-forgotten Angela Lansbury stage musical, Prettybelle. As presented on Broadway, the tune is a zippy number and somewhat forgettable. Bennett explores every nuance of the lyric and makes a record much better than the simple song could ever be. The disc's strong closer, "I’ll Begin Again", is song written by Leslie Bricusse rescued from the movie musical Scrooge. Also present is one of Bennett’s signature songs, "When Joanna Loved Me" and the lesser-known Richard Rodgers ballad "I Do Not Know A Day I Did Not Love You."

Here is a mess of an album that, for many reasons, came together to form a highly enjoyable whole. The source of this rip was a mint condition LP (dig the great album cover) and the sound is quite good, only slightly processed to minimize the clicks and other surface noise. As Bennett shouts at the close of "I Want To Be Happy," “come on have a ball, it’s 1971!” Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Ralph Burns (arr) 2-4
Ralph Sharon (arr) 10
Marty Manning (arr) 7
Johnny Mandel (arr) 9
Torrie Zito (arr) 5-6&12
Peter Matz (arr) 1
Marion Evans (arr) 8
Dick Hyman (arr) 11

1. Where Do I Begin (Love Story)
2. Tea For Two
3. I Want To Be Happy
4. Individual Thing
5. I Do Not Know A Day I Did Not Love You
6. They Can’t Take That Away From Me
7. When Joanna Loved Me
8. Country Girl
9. The Gentle Rain
10. Soon It’s Gonna Rain
11. A Taste Of Honey
12. I’ll Begin Again

Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street studio, New York City as follows: track 10 on March 16, 1962; 11 on September 11, 1963; 7 on September 17, 1963; 9 on December 28, 1965; 8 on November 26, 1966; 6 on October 16, 1967; 5&12 on September 30, 1970; 1 on December 3, 1970; 2-4 on January 25, 1971

Alvin Queen - Jammin' Uptown

January 31 2008 - I'm sorry that for this upload the channels were
accidentally reversed. I have therefore uploaded new files which are
the right way round. See further down in comments for current links.

Vinyl rip

Edited to remove most crackles etc - no filters used

Thanks to the jazzman for the cover pictures - positioning a bit out!

For a drummer-led session, there is remarkably little drum solo time

Drummer Alvin Queen's recordings for his European Nilva label have
yet to be reissued on CD. This is one of the better releases thanks
to strong group originals and the notable sidemen: trumpeter
Terence Blanchard, trombonist Robin Eubanks, Manny Boyd on tenor,
alto and soprano, pianist John Hicks and bassist Ray Drummond. The
music is essentially advanced hard bop; drummer Queen sounds
inspired and he pushes the other players to solo at their best. This
underrated LP is excellent. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Terence Blanchard - trumpet
Robin Eubanks - trombone
Emanuel Boyd - tenor alto soprano
John Hicks - piano
Ray Drummond - bass
Alvin Queen - drums

01 Mind Wine
02 Resolution of Love
03 Hassan
04 Europia
05 Jammin' Uptown
06 After Liberation

Duke Ellington - The Private Collection

This is the first part of 2 of this box set. The 2nd. batch will come in a few days.

Personnel: Duke Ellington (piano); Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet); Johnny
Hodges (alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Gonsalves
(tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, clarinet); Willie Cook, Clark
Terry, Ray Nance, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Britt Woodman, Quentin Jackson, John Sanders
(trombone); Jimmy Woode (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums).

Amazon Review:

Duke Ellington, along with his frequent collaborator Billy Strayhorn, was so prolific
a composer that whether or not he had an "outlet" for his music--an album for a record
company--he'd record it if only to hear how it sounded! Also, some of these pieces of
music were, in part or in entirety, works-in-progress, that would sometimes be
"fine-tuned" at a later date.
This is a great opportunity to hear Ellington & company playing for themselves--
relaxed and informal, but by no means sloppy or second-rate. Possibly the best thing
about the Private series is that you get to hear how Duke changed arrangements from
night to night. In all, if you like Duke's music and want to hear how the band really
sounded outside the studio, I think you'll like this record. Definitely five stars,
especially compared to the better-known but inferior studio records of this era.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Complete Sarah Vaughan On Mercury Vol. 2 - Sings Great American Songs (1956-1957)

Here is the second installment in the promised four volume boxed set survey of Sarah Vaughan's complete Mercury recordings. Volume 3 should be coming shortly...Enjoy! Scoredaddy

This five-CD box set, the second of four volumes that reissue all of Sarah Vaughan's recordings for Mercury and EmArcy (plus many previously unissued performances) contains her exploration of Gershwin songs, 13 vocal duets with her close friend Billy Eckstine and just five jazz numbers with her trio; all of the other selections feature Vaughan backed by large studio orchestras, usually led by Hal Mooney. Most of the material is a bit commercial (certainly the arrangements tend to be) but Sarah Vaughan generally uplifts the songs and overcomes her surroundings. Still, listeners strictly interested in her jazz performances are advised to get some of her single CD collections instead. Scott Yanow

Tony Bennett - Tony

This is Tony Bennett's second 12" LP recorded in 1956 and released in 1957 (his first was the beautiful 1955 Cloud 7 with an intimate jazz group). The song selection mirrors much of Bennett's live repertoire from the period and utilizes the Ray Conniff charts (with the exception of one arrangement each by Percy Faith and !!Gil Evans!!) he was to use for a few more years. This is the "young" Bennett, not yet reaching the mature phrasing he would achieve in just a few more short years. The recording of Bennett's 1950 hit "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is a remake, with annoying castenets.

Tony is mix of ballads and swingers, all very pleasant. The singing is impressive and flashy, but not quite there yet. The arrangements are unintrusive but nothing special. This is an interesting document of the infancy of a great artist.

A mint-condition Japanese pressing was ripped for this post so the sound is very acceptable, considering the age of these recordings. Some of these tracks have been issued on CD in greatest hits packages and also in a British 4-disc set of early Bennett records. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Ray Conniff (arr) all except as noted
Percy Faith (arr) #11
Gil Evans (arr) #8

1. It Had To Be You
2. You Can Depend On Me
3. I'm Just A Lucky So And So
4. Taking A Chance On Love
5. These Foolish Things
6. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
7. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
8. I'll Be Seeing You
9. Always
10. Love Walked In
11. Lost In The Stars
12. Without A Song

Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street studio, New York City as follows: Track 11 on June 6, 1956; 1-4 September 11, 1956; 5,8,10,&12 September 12, 1956; 6,7&9 September 13, 1956

Tony Bennett - I've Gotta Be Me

For worldbflat: In the late 1960’s and into the 70’s, Tony Bennett was under increasing pressure from Columbia Records to record more contemporary material and fewer timeless standards, which the record company considered “non-commercial.” This drove down the quality of Bennett’s product and eventually led to the singer’s departure from the label in the early 1970’s. From today’s perspective, the records that Bennett made of 1960’s chart hits were, in most cases, very well done. I’ve Gotta Be Me is quite a good set of songs and includes a terrific then-new song by jazz pianist Jimmy Rowles and master lyricist Johnny Mercer, “Baby Don’t You Quit Now.” The LP also features three songs by Burt Bacharach, now considered the “grand old man” of pop. The superior arrangements were done by the great Torrie Zito. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Torrie Zito (arrangements)

1. I’ve Gotta Be Me
2. Over The Sun
3. Play It Again, Sam
4. Alfie
5. What The World Needs Now
6. Baby, Don’t You Quit Now
7. That Night
8. They All Laughed
9. A Lonely Place
10. Whoever You Are, I Love You
11. Theme From “Valley Of The Dolls”

Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street studio, New York City as follows: Tracks 6 & 8 on November 25, 1968; 2 & 11 January 17, 1969; 4, 7 & 10 February 25, 1969; 1, 3, 5 & 9 March 27, 1969.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Gabe Baltazar Quartet - Back In Action (1993)

This one is worth a really good listening, if you can spare the time. Been enjoying the Gabe we've had so far, his sax is a joy to hear.

Gabe Baltazar has long been one of the most underrated alto saxophonists in jazz. Because he long ago chose to live in Hawaii, his talents (which were earlier heard with the Stan Kenton Orchestra) have been overlooked, but this V.S.O.P. CD signalled a higher profile on the mainland when it was released. Backed by pianist Tom Rainier, bassist Richard Simon, and drummer Steve Houghton, Baltazar is in brilliant form, interpreting standards and blues in his bop-oriented style. His reshapings of "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" and "The Birth of the Blues" are among the high points. -Yanow

Art Farmer - The Time and the Place

Vinyl rip - no scans

This is not "The Lost Concert" - different music, different line-up
(Cedar Walton, not Albert Dailey, on piano)

Jan 11 2008. It now appears that three of the tracks are shared with
"The Lost Concert" - 8, 9 and 10 - presumably Albert Dailey on piano
Thanks to Ramson for pointing this out

There has been some relevant discussion on Organissimo Jazz Forum
Apparently the double CD "Baroque Sketches" included this material

Edited to remove most crackles and other imperfections - no filters used

Art Farmer - trumpet
Jimmy Heath - tenor
Cedar Walton - piano
Walter Booker - bass
Mickey Roker - drums

1. The Time and the Place
2. The Shadow of Your Smile
3. One for Juan (aka Far Away Lands)
4. Nino's Scene
5. Short Cake
6. Make Someone Happy
7. On the Trail
8. Blue Bossa
9. Is That So?
10. Dailey Bread
11. Satin Doll
12. Misty

Review by Scott Yanow

Recorded shortly before he moved to Europe, this spirited hard bop
set features Art Farmer leading an all-star quintet with tenor
saxophonist Jimmy Heath, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Walter
Booker and drummer Mickey Roker. Ten of the twelve numbers were
recorded at a live concert (the other two were cut slightly later
in the studios), and this two-LP set increases the original release
from seven to twelve cuts. Farmer is particularly inspired on the
ballads, including "The Shadow of Your Smile," and the highlights
also include "Make Someone Happy," "On the Trail" and "Blue Bossa."
Hopefully, the music on this 1982 two-fer will appear on CD.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Herbie Hancock and Foday Musa Suso - Village Life

This quiet, lovely record, in which the Gambian kora virtuoso Foday Musa Suso is given equal billing, was generally ignored when it came out, probably because it fit no one's preconceived idioms -- be they jazz, funk, MTV, or even world music. The only performers are Hancock on a detunable Yamaha DX-1 synthesizer and drum machine and Suso spinning his webs of delicate sound on the zither-like kora, vocalizing a bit and playing a talking drum -- all in real time in a Tokyo studio. The results are absolutely mesmerizing, with Herbie aligning himself perfectly within Suso's unusual, complex rhythmic conceptions and folk-like harmonies. On the 20-minute "Kanatente," Hancock does introduce some of his own advanced harmonic ideas, and he contrasts and interweaves them with Suso's deceptively simple lines in a splendid jam session that eventually ends in a dance that can only be described as Gambian funk. This music generates the same feeling of ecstatic well-being as an Indian raga -- and even hardcore jazz fans may find themselves seduced against their will. Richard S. Ginell

Herbie Hancock (keyboards)
Foday Musa Suso (kora, talking drum, vocals)

1 Moon/Light
2 Ndan Ndan Nyaria
3 Early Warning 2:50
4 Kanatente

Recorded August 7-9, 1984 at CBS/Sony Studios, Tokyo

Duke Ellington - Live At The Blue Note (2 CDs)

This two-CD set gives one a good example of how Duke Ellington's Orchestra sounded in 1959. Greatly expanded from the original single LP, the release essentially brings back a full night by the Ellington band, three nearly complete sets. The music ranges from old favorites to some newer material and highlights include Billy Strayhorn
sitting in on his "Take the 'A' Train," several selections from the recent Anatomy of a Murder soundtrack, versions of "Drawing Room Blues" and "Tonk" that have both Ellington and Strayhorn on piano, an 11-minute rendition of "Mood Indigo" and quite a few features for altoist Johnny Hodges. By Scott Yanow

Track List:
1- Take the "A" Train
2- Newport Up
3- Haupe
4- Flirtibird
5- Pie Eye's Blues
6- Almost Cried
7- Duael Fuel (Dual Filter)
8- Sophisticated Lady
9- Mr. Gentle and Mr. Cool
10- El Gato Anderson
11- C Jam Blues
12- Tenderly
13- Honeysuckle Rose
14- Drawing Room Blues
15- Tonk
16- In a Mellow Tone
17- All of Me
18- Things Ain't What They Used to Be
19- Jeep's Blues
20- Mood Indigo
21- Perdido
22- Satin Doll
23- A Disarming Visit by June Christy & Stan Kenton
24- Newport Up
25- Medley
26- On the Sunny Side of the Street
27- El Gato

Dexter Gordon - Live at The Amsterdam Paradiso (1969) [Affinity]

by Scott Yanow
The great tenor Dexter Gordon made so many consistently enjoyable straightahead recordings during 1960-78 that it is difficult to come up with any sets that are not recommended to fans of bebop. This double album finds Gordon in excellent form, performing four jazz standards along with two of his originals ("Fried Bananas" and "Junior") with a Dutch trio (pianist Cees Slinger, bassist Jacques Schois and the future avant-garde innovator Han Bennink on drums). Virtually all of Gordon's records from his productive European period find him at his peak and this two-fer is no exception.

A vivid performance as Mr. Gordon always did. Note: The cover on the edition I've ripped is not the same as on AMG's link. Also it's NOT a double album, but a single CD. Maybe the vinyl release was double, but not the released CD I have.

Track List:
1- Introduction by Dexter Gordon
2- Fried Bananas
3- What's New?
4- Good Bait
5- Rhythm-A-Ning
6- Willow Weep for Me
7- Junior
8- Scrapple from the Apple

Marina de la Riva - Marina de la Riva (2007)

On her first album this young lady provoked a truly hype on Brazilian's critics. I like her, but maybe she doesn't deserve all that frenzy. Yet. Let's wait for the 2nd album to listen what she's able to do in her career. Nevertheless this is really a very pleasant album with a mix of Brazilian-Cuban music; with strong influences from both countries and Latin rhythms. It deserves a listening.
On her own words:
" I'm called Marina de la Riva. I'm Brazilian, daughter of a Brazilian mother, from
Minas Gerais and a Cuban father, from La Havana. Among other things, I' flourished out off all these influences.
To us, music has always been, a very important part of home. It was longing in space and time, rhythm and hope. It was the chosen way of sharing roots, and keep moving on. That's how I grew up. Between fields, sky and sea. This record is the natural consequence of myself, and if we are our past in the present time, here I stand to reveal myself through music. With this album, "I'll draw out what I hold within my heart"
I'll try to explain my music from the point of view of my influences... I was born in Rio de Janeiro, but, I' ve a cuban father, a spanish grandfather, a russian grandgrandfather, a brazilian mother,and a grandma from the Bororo tribe.
Blend it , and you can hear my music and my choices...

Track List:

01- Tin Tin Deo
02- Central Constancia
03- Ta-Hí! (Pra Você Gostar de Mim)
04- Drume Negrita
05- Ojos Malignos
06- Sonho Meu
07- Mariposa
08- La Caminadora
09- Adeus, Maria Fulô_La Mulata Chancletera
10- Tengo un Nuevo Amor
11- Juramento
12- Pensamiento
13- Si Llego a Besarte
14- Te Amaré y Después

The Complete Bill Evans On Verve

The rest of this set. Thanks to oui fonk for reminding me. In 320 mp3.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Complete Capitol Small Group Recordings Of Benny Goodman 1944-1955

I was going to rip this again, but I see the original mp3 links were too hard for the Wooden Shoe Crew to troll. So, by all means, check this out. Goodman made a brief stab at keeping up with the trends, and had a short-lived Bop combo. He later repudiated the form. But for a short while, Wardell Gray, Fats Navarro, Mundell Lowe and others were doin' it.

Remember - mp3

Thad Jones & Mel Lewis - Opening Night (1966)

The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis-led big band began as a rehearsal group that eventually became a regular feature on Monday nights at the Village Vanguard, an evening the famous nightclub had previously been closed before their long run began. Much of the music recorded was featured on the five-CD box set put out by Mosaic (already out of print by the time of this release), but this live CD actually documents over 70 minutes of the band's first public performance at the Village Vanguard on February 7, 1966. Alan Grant, at the time a jazz disc jockey on WABC-FM, promoted the band's first date at the club while also serving as master of ceremonies, and wisely saved a tape of the evening's music before finally releasing it himself in 2000. The recording is very intimate, as if one is seated in the middle of the action at the famous venue, and this critically acclaimed big band kicks off their initial concert with flying colors. Either Thad Jones or Bob Brookmeyer (who is heard on valve trombone) are responsible for most of the arrangements, including the flügelhornist/co-leader's well-known "Mean What You Say" and "Don't Ever Leave Me," as well as delicious (though not clearly credited) arrangements of standards such as "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," "Lover Man," and "Willow Weep for Me." The band includes a formidable cast: Hank Jones, Jerome Richardson, Pepper Adams, Snooky Young, Jerry Dodgion, and Eddie Daniels, just to name a few. With a paucity of recordings available on CD by the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, this historic disc should be considered an essential purchase for fans of this exciting band. This CD is available from - Ken Dryden

Doing a quick check on the web, this CD doesn't appear to be available anywhere. (except here of course)

Thad Jones (flugelhorn)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Snooky Young, Jimmy Nottingham, Bill Berry, Jimmy Owens (trumpet)
Bob Brookmeyer, Garnett Brown, Jack Rains, Cliff Heather (trombone)
Jerome Richardson, Jerry Dodgion, Eddie Daniels, Joe Farrell, Pepper Adams (reeds)
Hank Jones (piano) Sam Herman (guitar) Richard Davis (bass)
  1. Introduction
  2. Big Dipper
  3. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
  4. Once Around
  5. All My Yesterdays
  6. Morning Reverend
  7. Low Down
  8. Lover Man
  9. Mean What You Say
  10. Don't Ever Leave Me
  11. Willow Weep for Me
  12. The Little Pixie
Recorded at the Village Vanguard on February 7, 1966

Dexter Gordon - Great Encounters

From the vinyl, Side 1 is a Carnegie Hall appearance in September 1978. Side 2 has his working group doing "Ruby, My Dear" from May of that year, and the other two tracks from January of '79, just shortly before his appearance at "Karl-Marx Theatre", Havana, Cuba.
Also issued at this time was Manhattan Symphonie, the information regarding and links for which will be in comments.

The two great tenors, Dexter Gordon and Johnny Griffin, battle it out on in exciting fashion on live versions of "Blues Up and Down" and "Cake." Bop singer Eddie Jefferson and trumpeter Woody Shaw join Gordon and his quartet (pianist George Cables, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Eddie Gladden) on "Diggin' In" and "It's Only a Paper Moon" and Gordon takes Thelonious Monk's ballad "Ruby My Dear" as his feature. Everything works quite well on this diverse but consistent LP, one of Dexter Gordon's later efforts. ~ Scott Yanow

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
George Cables (piano)
Rufus Reid (bass)
Eddie Gladden (drums)
Eddie Jefferson (vocal)

Side One
Blues Up And Down

Side Two
Diggin' In
Ruby, My Dear
It's Only A Paper Moon

Frank Foster Frank Wess - Frankly Speaking

Vinyl rip - no scans. Edited to remove crackles etc. No filters used.

Frank Foster - tenor soprano
Frank Wess - tenor flute
Kenny Barron - piano
Rufus Reid - bass
Marvin Smitty Smith - drums

01 An' All Such Stuff as 'Dat Foster 6:32
02 The Summer Knows Bergman, Bergman, Legrand 6:47
03 When Did You Leave Heaven? Bullock, Whiting 7:12
04 Up and Coming Ths D & Smudo, Wess 4:43
05 One Morning in May Carmichael 5:01
06 Two Franks Hefti 3:09
07 This Is All I Ask Jenkins 10:22
08 Blues Backstage Foster 5:47

Review by Scott Yanow

Using the same personnel as the previous year's Two for the Blues
(Frank Foster on tenor and soprano, Frank Wess on tenor and flute,
pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Marvin
"Smitty" Smith), this set gets the slight edge and is an excellent
introduction to the playing of the two Count Basie saxophonists.
Foster contributes two originals (including the classic "Blues
Backstage"), Wess brought in "Up and Coming," and the quintet also
performs five jazz standards including "When Did You Leave Heaven,"
Hoagy Carmichael's "One Morning In May" and Neal Hefti's
"Two Franks." Recommended.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

steve lacy -the forest and the zoo, (1966)

heres one by lacy which hasnt appeared here, although it has been elsewhere as mp3'si cant say i agree with the reviewer yanow at all.. this is magnificent and doesnt at all meander, one of the best things in the esp catalog.for me this is up there with the ayler albums , frank wrights efforts for the label and noah howard's.
Review by Scott Yanow During the mid-to-late '60s, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy began to really free up his music and perform in avant-garde settings. This ESP CD (a straight reissue of the original LP) was recorded when Lacy was "stranded" in Buenos Aires, Argentina before he settled permanently in Europe. The adventurous quartet (which also includes trumpeter Enrico Rava, bassist Johnny Dyani and drummer Louis Moholo) performs two lengthy free improvisations (titled "Forest" and "Zoo") that contain their colorful moments along with wandering sections that meander a bit. Overall this date is probably more interesting from a historical standpoint than it is musically.

Mel Lewis - Live in Montreux (1980)

Mel Lewis and the Jazz Orchestra Play the Compositions of Herbie Hancock was the subtitle of this LP released on MPS and distributed in the US by Pausa Records. Lewis chose Bob Mintzer to do the arrangements due to his knowledge of Hancock's compositions and the strong influence of Bill Holman. Says Mel: "The choice of titles was left to the guys in the band. I was away in Europe while they were deciding but I left word that it had to be melodic and totally jazz orientated. I didn't want jazz rock because I hate rock 'n' roll with a passion!"

Yanow's take:
The 1980 version of the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra performs five Herbie Hancock tunes arranged by Bob Mintzer, quite an assignment for the young tenor saxophonist, who was not even a member of the big band. Mintzer's reworkings of such tunes as "Dolphin Dance" and "Speak Like a Child" are fresh and unpredictable. Such soloists are featured as pianist Jim McNeely, altoist Dick Oatts, future tenor great Joe Lovano (heard on "Eye of the Hurricane"), and trumpeter Earl Gardner; also in the band at the time (but not featured) is altoist Steve Coleman. It is a pity that this music (originally put out on the European MPS label and made available domestically by the now-defunct Pausa label) is difficult to find.

Earl Gardner, John Marshall, Simo Salminen, Joe Mosello (trumpets)
John Mosca, Lee Robertson, Douglas Purviance, Earl McIntyre (trombones)
Stephanie Fauber (french horn)
Dick Oatts, Steve Coleman, Richard Perry, Joe Lovano, Gary Pribek (reeds)
Jim McNeely (piano) John Lockwood (bass) Mel Lewis (drums)
Bob Mintzer (arranger)
  1. One Finger Snap
  2. Dolphin Dance
  3. Wiggle Waggle
  4. Speak Like a Child
  5. The Eye of the Hurricane
One Finger Snap: John Marshall, Lee Robertson, Jim McNeely
Dolphin Dance: Dick Oatts, John Mosca
Wiggle Waggle: Richard Perry, Earl Gardner, Jim McNeely
Speak Like a Child: Dick Oatts
The Eye of the Hurricane: Gary Pribek, Joe Lovano, Mel Lewis

Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 16, 1980

Roy Brooks - The Free Slave

Originally released on the Muse label, this album is of vital importance not only because it is one of Brooks' few dates as leader, but also because it introduced much of the jazz world to trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist George Coleman, pianist Hugh Lawson, and bassist Cecil McBee. Recorded at the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore, MD, Brooks and company reflect the music of the day, from straight post-bop and soul-jazz to ultra-modern sounds and unique percussion musings. There are four lengthy selections — three written by Brooks, one by McBee. The set starts with the title track, which features soaring horn lines and a steady feel-good boogaloo fueled by ostinato piano and bass. Coleman's smooth tenor and Shaw's pungent trumpet contrast each other to good effect on this number. "Understanding" features a head where lead trumpet meets harmonious tenor. Shaw's trumpet solo intensifies Brooks' lovelight beat, and the piece ends in ticktock mode with counterpointed horns and delirious gong ringing. "Will Pan's Walk" has the seeds of a classic, with McBee's heavy ostinato contrasting Lawson's delicate shadings. On the finale, "Five for Max," Brooks cops many of Max Roach's signature trappings and adds a few of his own, including using a breath-a-tone device that allows him to heighten or lower the pitch of his drums by exhaling or inhaling through a pair of plastic tubes. Brooks can drive 'em completely wild — and does on this exciting piece of modal modern jazz. Of course, Coleman, Shaw, Lawson, and McBee are nothing less than world-class. This is a band for the ages.

Roy Brooks (drums)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Hugh Lawson (piano)
Cecil McBee (bass)

1. The Free Slave
2. Understanding
3. Will Pan's Walk
4 - Five For Max

Recorded on April 26, 1970 at the Left Bank Jazz Society, Baltimore

george russell- things new (unissued concerts 1960-64 (bootleg)

im still looking for that backup of electronic sonata bri.
this is a recent release on the (cough ... ahem) renowned'' rare live jazz recordings'' label!!
the sound is good for a jazz boot from the mid 60's.which has obviously been digitally cleaned up.....
amazed that this is selling for 25 bucks in some quarters.. i wouldnt be surprised if a lot of this has appeared on dime.
great bands
click on the images to enlarge.
the highlights in terms of performances and sound are tracks 6-9 .. with john gilmore(taking a break from the arkestra) and don ellis in the front line.
its all great .. and russell's pianism , genuinely surprises especially on the above cited electrifying performances.. they are amazing

Thelonious Monk - 1955 Plays Duke Ellington

Alfred Lion was so captivated by Monk that once he got him in the studio, he recorded everything he had. However, most of the jazz listening public wasn’t quite open to such a maverick approach, and Monk struggled to find an audience early on. Once Monk hopped to Riverside after a brief stint at Prestige, producer Orrin Keepnews decided his first record needed to be a collection of Ellington songs. Ellington was an established artist with a wide selection of popular tunes, and thus the session proved to be one that was still a showcase for Monk’s inimitable style, yet without the angular melodies that some found abrasive.
However, with the benefit of hindsight, the Ellington record seems fairly tame, and those who have been enthralled with the Blue Note recordings, or the later Brilliant Corners, or virtually anything else in Monk’s repertoire, may find that they haven’t missed anything with this one. Still, a Monk record of any kind is going to be a worthy investment, and it’s always intriguing to see how Monk constructs other artist’s work with his own set of tools.
In this case, Monk approached every tune at an ambling pace, as if he’s still picking out the notes for the tunes (which, judging by the liner notes, may have been the case). Even “It Don’t Mean A Thing” is taken at a pace that would have put Sonny Greer to sleep, and only “I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart” and a masterfully rhythmic “Caravan” show any degree of propulsion. The majority of the record lags a bit, as if Monk wasn’t quite committed to the concept, and the ballads are a bit too forcefully played, when they could benefit from a softer touch.
The rhythm section holds its own quite well, and Pettiford especially seems more at home with the Ellington material than the Monk originals that would give him fits on later sessions. However, once freed from the bass and drums, Monk turns in a classic solo reading of, appropriately enough, “Solitude,” and it will be here that most Monk fans will find that they have found their home, with the subtly shifting tempos and the strong stride inflections left hand.
Ironically, in the attempt to make Monk more accessible, Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington only obscures what makes Monk so captivating in the first place. Although these renditions are pleasant, one longs for an oddity like “Straight, No Chaser” or “Hackensack” to shake things up. A worthy addition to any serious Monk collection, but those familiar with Monk’s other work may find themselves more absorbed in figuring out what the hell the cover has to do with anything than with the music itself.
By David Rickert

1. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) 4:38
2. Sophisticated Lady 4:28
3. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) 5:53
4. Black And Tan Fantasy 3:24
5. Mood Indigo 3:13
6. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 5:40
7. Solitude 3:42
8. Caravan 5:55

Recorded at Hackensack, N.J. on July 21 and 27, 1955

Thelonious Monk, piano
Oscar Pettiford, bass
Kenny Clarke, drums

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Afro-Jaws (1961)

This set was a change of pace for tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Backed by three trumpeters (Clark Terry gets some solos), a rhythm section (pianist Lloyd Mayers, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Ben Riley) and a percussion section led by Ray Barretto, Lockjaw performs four compositions by Gil Lopez (who arranged all of the selections) plus "Tin Tin Deo," "Star Eyes" and his own "Afro-Jaws." The Afro-Cuban setting is perfect for the tough- toned tenor, who romps through the infectious tunes. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

1. Wild Rice (4:53)
2. Guanco Lament (5:18)
3. Tin Tin Deo (5:10)
4. Jazz-A-Samba (4:14)
5. Alma Alegre (Happy Soul) (5:24)
6. Star Eyes (6:20)
7. Afro-Jaws (7:36)

Wayne Shorter - Moto Grosso Feio

It was the same day, it wasn't the same day as Iska. I dunno. Straight up.

Wayne Shorter - Moto Grosso Feio (Flac)

Recorded on the same day as the superior Odyssey of Iska, this loose session (Wayne Shorter's final one for the Blue Note label) is quite unusual. Although Shorter sticks to his customary tenor and soprano, pianist Chick Corea plays marimba, drums and percussion, bassist Ron Carter mostly performs on cello, electric guitarist John McLaughlin sticks to the 12-string guitar and bassist Dave Holland also plays acoustic guitar; drummer Michelin Prell rounds out the group. Not released until 1974 (and not yet reissued on CD), the music (which is influenced by early fusion) has its interesting moments although it often wanders. The group performs Milton Nascimento's "Vera Cruz" and four of Shorter's originals of which "Montezuma" is the best-known. Scott Yanow

Wayne Shorter (tenor and soprano sax)
John McLaughlin (12 string guitar)
Dave Holland (guitar, bass)
Ron Carter (cello, bass)
Chick Corea (marimba, drums, perc)
Michelin Prell (perc, drums)
Produced by Duke Pearson

1 - Moto Grosso Feio
2 - Montezuma
3 - Antigua
4 - Vera Cruz
5 - Iska

Recorded on August 26, 1970

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mel Lewis and Friends (1976)

Requested a few days ago by babybreeze, I'm sure there are others out there who would also like to have this one. (And check out his fine offers in the contributions section)

This album was briefly reissued on CD but it seems to be long gone now. For as many times as I listened to this LP over the years I'm amazed at how good of shape it's still in. For the players out there I've also included a few solo transcriptions of Hubbard and Brecker from this album.

A personal favorite, there is no filler here - just great tunes played by great musicians. Freddie Hubbard and Michael Brecker have a lot of fans and their share of detractors but no one can argue that their performances on this album are outstanding. Gregory Herbert, who died way too young, and Cecil Bridgewater were bystanders at the session until they got enlisted to sit in on a few of the tunes. Add a world-class rhythm section and you've got a band that could make anything sound good.

Mel's partner at the time, Thad Jones, does not play on the session but is on hand as musical supervisor and also contributed three charts: "Ain't Nothin' Nu", "Sho' Nuff Did" and the classic "A Child Is Born" that features the flugelhorn of Freddie Hubbard. "Moose the Mooche" is a combination of funk and bebop and is my favorite version of the Parker tune. Ron Carter contributed "De Samba" and "Windflower" is a composition by Sarah Cassey that Hank Jones brought in and is played by just the trio. The final track is 30 seconds of just Mel. His line and sense of time is so good that I could listen to him just play time all day and never get bored.

All in all, this LP is close to perfection for a straight-ahead jazz album.

Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Cecil Bridgewater (trumpet)
Michael Brecker (tenor sax)
Gregory Herbert (alto & tenor sax)
Hank Jones (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
  1. Ain't Nothin' Nu
  2. A Child Is Born
  3. Moose the Mooche
  4. De Samba
  5. Windflower
  6. Sho' Nuff Did
  7. Mel Lewis-Rhythm
Recorded June 8 & 9, 1976

Paulo Moura Quarteto - Paulo Moura Quarteto

Paulo Moura Quarteto - Paulo Moura Quarteto

01 Lamento Do Morro 3:37
02 Eu E A Brisa 4:11
03 Meu Lugar 3:22
04 Aos Pés Da Santa Cruz 3:42
05 Yardbird Suite 2:58
06 Sá Marina 3:46
07 Retrato De Benny Carter 4:18
08 Razão 3:57
09 Feitiço De Oração 3:04
10 Terra 3:44

Sax Alto: Paulo Moura
Piano: Wagner Tiso
Baixo: Luiz Carlos
Bateria: Paschoal Meirelles

One for Hideo. Gus

"The saxophonist Paulo Moura is one of the few Brasilian musicians of note to be associated with the classic 60s period of bossa nova and Brasilian groove who also had a recording career pre-bossa. In the late 50s Moura was recording in a straight jazz style for the Brasilian RCA label. Both the artwork and the arrangements of his albums had more than a nod towards the West Coast jazz movement that so influenced the early creators of what became the bossa nova in Brasil. These records featured arrangements of jazz standards like ‘East of the Sun’ and ‘Tenderly’ by fellow ‘jazzophiles’ Moacir Santos and Cipó.

Paulo Moura was already a musician of some stature in Brasil by the time that the bossa nova phenomenon occurred, and, as such, was in a prime position to take part in the new experimental groups that were mixing bossa nova with the sound of American jazz from the 60s, such as Os Gatos and Os Catedráticos. Moura played with Sergio Mendes in a group that did exactly that and was part of the famous Cannonball Adderley Sextet in NY. He also played on countless record sessions where there was a need for improvised solos, however short. But Moura’s twin loves of jazz and Brasilian popular music (later to be heard in his almost complete transition to a player of folkloric ‘choros’) reached their apogee in the few recordings that he made for the tiny, but highly influential, Equipe label during the second half of the 1960s.

Of these three jazz recordings as leader, this album ‘Paulo Moura Quarteto’ is perhaps the rarest and least known. With a band that included the young pianist Wagner Tiso, fresh from Minas Gerais and the group Sambalanço, (later so instrumental in the career of Milton Nascimento) and the drummer Paschoal Meirelles (known to fusion fans as founder of Cama de Gato in the late 70s), Moura is in his element. Taking their cue from popular tunes of the day like Antonio Adolfo’s ‘Sá Marina’ (which enjoyed massive success in the US with the Sergio Mendes version called ‘Pretty World’) the group show what the sidemen where capable of given a free rein and a willing producer. Forget the countless American tenor player’s LPs in a ‘bossa nova setting’ – the Paulo Moura Quarteto improvise naturally over subtle and organic bossa rhythms that are the real thing! June 2002"

Yusef Lateef - Eastern Sounds

Yusef Lateef - Eastern Sounds

1 The Plum Blossom 4:55
2 Blues for the Orient 5:37
3 Chinq Miau :17
4 Don't Blame Me 4:55
5 Love Theme from "Spartacus" 4:12
6 Snafu 5:38
7 Purple Flower 4:29
8 Love Theme from "The Robe" 4:00
9 The Three Faces of Balal 2:18

Yusef Lateef Flute, Oboe, Sax (Tenor), Bamboo Flute
Ernie Farrow Bass, Rabat
Barry Harris Piano
Lex Humphries Drums

I thought this might be upped already but not showing up on a search. It's one of my favourites. Gus

"One of multi-instrumentalist and composer Yusef Lateef's most enduring recordings, Eastern Sounds was one of the last recordings made by the band that Lateef shared with pianist Barry Harris after the band moved to New York from Detroit, where the jazz scene was already dying. Lateef had long been interested in Eastern music, long before John Coltrane had ever shown any public interest anyway, so this Moodsville session (which meant it was supposed to be a laid-back ballad-like record), recorded in 1961, was drenched in Lateef's current explorations of Eastern mode and interval, as well as tonal and polytonal improvisation. That he could do so within a context that was accessible, and even "pretty," is an accomplishment that stands today. The quartet was rounded out by the inimitable Lex Humphries on drums -- whose brushwork was among the most deft and inventive of any player in the music with the possible exception of Connie Kay from the Modern Jazz Quartet -- and bass and rabat player Ernie Farrow. The set kicks off with "The Plum Blossom," a sweet oboe and flute piece that comes from an Eastern scale and works in repetitive rhythms and a single D minor mode to move through a blues progression and into something a bit more exotic, which sets up the oboe-driven "Blues for the Orient." Never has Barry Harris' playing stood up with more restraint to such striking effect than it does here. He moves the piece along with striking ostinatos and arpeggios that hold the center of the tune rather than stretch it. Lateef moans softly on the oboe as the rhythm section doubles, then triples, then half times the beat until it all feels like a drone. There are two cinematic themes here -- he cut themes from the films Spartacus and The Robe, which are strikingly, hauntingly beautiful -- revealing just how important accessibility was to Lateef. And not in the sense of selling out, but more in terms of bringing people to this music he was not only playing, but discovering as well. (Listen to Les Baxter and to the early-'60s recordings of Lateef -- which ones are more musically enduring?) However, the themes set up the deep blues and wondrous ballad extrapolations Lateef was working on, like "Don't Blame Me" and "Purple Flower," which add such depth and dimension to the Eastern-flavored music that it is hard to imagine them coming from the same band. Awesome." Thom Jurek -

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Jeff Palmer - Island Universe (1995)

Liner notes: They are sweet ironies. The organ - the instrument of kings - is a quintessential blue-collar jazz ax. The organ's improvisational heritage in Europe is firmly rooted in liturgical music, while the wellspring of it's American tradition is the blues. Unfortunately, these ironies work hand-in-glove with ironies that are bewildering and, at times, embittering. Though it is the backbone of one of the most populist sensibilities jazz has spawned, the organ warrants little more than aside in most jazz histories, while being further marginalized by a generation of critics weaned on avant-garde icons such as John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. Instead of being perceived as a dynamic evolution, the organ's legacy in jazz is too often reduced to two words - Jimmy Smith. The chitlin circuit is gone, and Jimmy hasn't hopped the rails back to the chicken shack in who knows how long; yet, more than fifteen years after Larry Young's death, the organ remains the stringently stereotyped instruments in jazz.

No one knows this dilemma better than Jeff Palmer. Over the past fifteen years, Palmer's recordings have consistently demonstrated a conceptual boldness in navigating the post-Young expanse, as well as an unfailing fidelity to the soulfulness, contagious exuberance, and finger bustin' virtuosity that have historically been at the core of jazz organ music. Perhaps no other album has cogently challenged the conventional wisdom about the organ's jazz capabilities as Palmer's brash solo debut. Outer Limit (IAI; 1981) Conversely, Palmer has produced several wide-ranging quartet albums that revitalize the traditional ensemble relationships between organ, saxophone, guitar, and drums.

Whatever the setting, Palmer confronts the listener with the organ's and jazz's, seemingly conflicting propensities for abstraction and earthiness, and reconciles them in engaging ways. Taken as a whole, Palmer's albums document a man on a mission to force a rethinking of the organ's possibilities in jazz's second century.

The addition of Island Universe to Palmer's discography is a substantial step towards this end, as it further refines the trajectory Palmer established on his three previous quartet albums - Laser Wizard (Statiras; 1985) : Abracadabra (Soul Note 121201-2; 1987); and Ease On (AudioQuest; 1992). Structurally, Island Universe is akin to Abracadabra, built upon the vivid contrasts between envelope-pushing grooves and open-form plasticity. However, the feel of the date owes much to Ease On, the album that brought Arthur Blythe into Palmer's quartet. Stylistically, Universe Island is a more eclectic program than Ease On which focused primarily on simmering expanded blues forms. The presence of Rashied Ali on Island Universe is another distinct difference between the two dates. Still, Island Universe benefits greatly from the emphatic rapport Palmer, Blythe, and John Abercrombie (who has performed on all of Palmer's quartet albums) initiated on Ease On.

Despite the familiarity revealed in the shadowplay of the album's freely improvised sections and the crisp readings of its often demanding thematic materials, Palmer's assiduousness precludes him from letting the music become too comfortable on Island Universe. Subsequently, the program contains as many jarring juxtapositions and abrupt changes of direction as it does tangy, in-the-pocket grooves. the cogency of the quartet in such diverse settings is a measure of both Palmer's bandleading skills and his cohorts' pivot-like abilities. Though firmly rooted in jazz's avant-garde, Blythe is the type of alto player who can't help but play the blues; even in a tempoless, atonal setting. Blythe's every note lends the proceedings a palpable blues gravity. The same can be said of Ali, whose swirling cross rhythms can tax the tensile strength of any musical structure and, conversely, propel the most abstract discourse with unabashed swing. Simlarly, Abercrombie's mix of slashing pyrotechnics and soaring blues lyricism allows him to slip between foreground and create a host of hybrid lead/support functions.

Still, the connective tissue for these exceptional talents is Palmer's mighty Hammond B-3. Palmer expertly exploits the timbral counterpoint afforded by its double manuals, the discrete power of its foot-pedals, and the mesmerizing twin Leslie speakers. His serpentine blues and bop inflected lines reflect a thorough knowledge of the B-3's history (an engaging conversationalist, Palmer can discuss such unheralded masters as Lou Bennett with passionate insight). And, like Young, he has a rare command of the organ's watercolor-like ability to pool about and bleed through the statements of the other instruments. Yet, it is Palmer's tenacious striving for new applications of the B-3's varied assets that is his most impressive quality. Subsequently, Island Universe can be heard not only as a celebration of tradition, but also as a celebration of possibilities - for the organ, and for jazz.

- Bill Shoemaker, January 1995

Jeff Palmer - Hammond B-3 Organ - Bass Pedals
Arthur Blythe - Alto Saxophone
John Abercrombie - Guitar
Rashied Ali - Drums

Recorded March 8, Mixed March 9, 1994 at East Side Sound, New York City
Engineer: Jon Rosenberg - Assistants: Yaron Fuchs & Gary Townsley
Produced by Jeff Palmer

1) All Cracked Up (6:22)
2) Loop Hole (6:25)
3) Spot Check (7:07)
4) Amerigo (9:01)
5) Count Sirloin (6:43)
6) Octopia (7:29)
7) Geminied Take 2
8) Warrior Not Worrier (5:35)
9) Boomer Rang (12:28)
10) Five Fingers (5:14)

All Compositions by Jeff Palmer

Ripped from the original 1994 CD.


Happy New Year from Dex & Sonny!

NPR broadcast from Keystone Korner, New Years Eve 1980

I recorded this broadcast from Keystone Korner in San Francisco back in 1980 on cassette tape and have ripped it to flac. Luckily, the tapes were still in good shape. There's about 2 hours of music here with 9 files, but once you look at the lineup I think you'll agree that it's worth the time to download.

The program begins towards the end of Sonny Stitt's set just after the start of "I Can't Get Started" followed by an uptempo blues (the same one that is listed as "Original?" on his Personal Appearance album). Red Garland and Kenny Burrell are also featured on the Stitt set.

Then it's Dexter Gordon's turn as he opens with "On the Trail" (I believe Cedar Walton is now on piano). Unfortunately, there is a cut during this tune as I had to turn the tape over. As the clock strikes 12 the band goes into a rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" with Ernie Andrews, Sonny Stitt and Woody Shaw joining in on the festivities. But the music is just getting started as Dex continues with lengthy versions of "Cheesecake" and "Body and Soul". Woody Shaw joins the group for a rousing "Fried Bananas" and a 25-minute version of Donald Byrd's "Tanya".

Gordon and Stitt first played together back in 1945 when they were both with the Billy Eckstine band. Although they never did any studio sessions together, they would occasionally meet at jams, including a recorded set at Newport in '72. So "Blues Up and Down" is a rarity in which we get to hear the two tenors battle it out on the old Stitt-Ammons warhorse.

The broadcast ends with Ernie Andrews joining Dex for Monk's 'Round Midnight, which is cut before it's over (but we do get to hear Gordon's solo).

Best wishes for a Happy New Year to everyone in the crew!

Sonny Stitt (tenor sax on 1, 2, 4, 11)
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax on 3-12)
Woody Shaw (trumpet on 4, 9, 10)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Red Garland, Cedar Walton (piano)
Buster Williams (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)
Ernie Andrews (vocals on 4, 12)
  1. I Can't Get Started
  2. Original Blues
  3. On the Trail
  4. Auld Lang Syne
  5. Dexter Talks
  6. Cheesecake
  7. Dexter Talks 2
  8. Body and Soul
  9. Fried Bananas
  10. Tanya
  11. Blues Up and Down
  12. 'Round Midnight - cut
Recorded at Keystone Korner, San Francisco on December 31, 1980

The Complete Roost Sonny Stitt Studio Sessions

Charlie Parker has had many admirers and his influence can be detected in numerous styles, but few have been as avid a disciple as Sonny Stitt. There was almost note-for-note imitation in several early Stitt solos, and the closeness remained until Stitt began de-emphasizing the alto in favor of the tenor, on which he artfully combined the influences of Parker and Lester Young. Stitt gradually developed his own sound and style, though he was never far from Parker on any alto solo. A wonderful blues and ballad player whose approach influenced John Coltrane, Stitt could rip through an up-tempo bebop stanza, then turn around and play a shivering, captivating ballad. He was an alto saxophonist in Tiny Bradshaw's band during the early '40s, then joined Billy Eckstine's seminal big band in 1945, playing alongside other emerging bebop stars like Gene Ammons and Dexter Gordon. Stitt later played in Dizzy Gillespie's big band and sextet. He began on tenor and baritone in 1949, and at times was in a two-tenor unit with Ammons. He recorded with Bud Powell and J.J. Johnson for Prestige in 1949, then did several albums on Prestige, Argo, and Verve in the '50s and '60s. Stitt led many combos in the '50s, and re-joined Gillespie for a short period in the late '50s. After a brief stint with Miles Davis in 1960, he reunited with Ammons and for a while was in a three-tenor lineup with James Moody. During the '60s, Stitt also recorded for Atlantic, cutting the transcendent Stitt Plays Bird, which finally addressed the Parker question in epic fashion. He continued heading bands, though he joined the Giants of Jazz in the early '70s. This group included Gillespie, Art Blakey, Kai Winding, Thelonious Monk, and Al McKibbon. Stitt did more sessions in the '70s for Cobblestone, Muse, and others, among them another definitive date, Tune Up. He continued playing and recording in the early '80s, recording for Muse, Sonet, and Who's Who in Jazz. He suffered a heart attack and died in 1982.

Born in 1924, Sonny Stitt was just old enough to cut his teeth in the rigorous, demanding and disciplined swing era and young enough to understand and embrace the be bop revolution of the mid forties. The sides he cut for Savoy in 1946 and Prestige in 1949 (all with Bud Powell) established him as an accomplished be-bop saxophonist (both alto and tenor) with lightning speed, immaculate execution and great ideas. In the jazz press, he was sometimes written off as little more than a Charlie Parker imitator. (When alto saxophonist Gene Quill was met with the same criticism one night at Birdland, he simply said, "You try imitating Charlie Parker!"). Certainly, Stitt was under the all-pervasive influence of Bird, but he was always his own man, with his own sound and his own ideas. Miles Davis heard Stitt with Tiny Bradshaw in 1942 and reported that he already had his basic style together at a time when he couldn't have had much exposure to Bird.

Sonny Stitt's rich, expressive sound on alto was vibrant. On tenor, his tone took on a warmth that betrays a Lester Young influence. His white-hot solos, rooted as much in earthy blues as sophisticated be bop, are positively jubilant and rhythmically driving. They are not just a collection of riffs; they tell a story. It's evident in his playing that he loved what he did, and he did it magnificently. Except for the band he co-led with Gene Ammons and his mid-sixties trio with Don Patterson and Billy James, Stitt was, in Dan Morgenstern's words, the lone wolf of jazz. He traveled the country working with local rhythm sections and, night after night, he gave his all, sometimes under the most indifferent of circumstances. He recorded prolifically for a variety of labels, usually in New York with a cast of first class musicians assembled for the occasion. His artistry, commitment and vast repertoire of standards, bop tunes and blues elevated his record sessions beyond the mere blowing dates that they might have been. In 1952, Teddy Reig signed Stitt to his Roost label, for which the saxophonist recorded exclusively until 1956 and on a freelance basis until 1965, when the label faded into the Roulette catalog. After an initial quartet singles session, which produced "Symphony Hall Swing", Stitt and Reig moved to the LP format with two ambitious projects, putting Stitt's horn against the backdrop of Johnny Richards and Quincy Jones arrangements.
[Two live dates at the Hi Hat in Boston and at Birdland with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, not included in this set, were recorded between these two sessions.]

The prime focus of this set is the ten remarkable quartet albums that the saxophonist made for Roost between 1955 and '65, usually with Hank Jones or Jimmy Jones on piano and Shadow Wilson, Charlie Persip or Roy Haynes on drums. The saxophonist and his esteemed rhythm sections concentrated on a wide variety of standards (some well known, others seldom heard) and infused them with inventive treatments and inspired playing. Of course, each session had its share of original blues on which Stitt excelled. The music is pure, swinging, no-frills modern jazz. The set also include the 1962 album "Feelin's", one of Stitt's earliest organ dates, and "Stitt Goes Latin" (1963) featuring a quintet with Thad Jones and a very young Chick Corea supplemented by the Latin percussion of Patato and Chihuahua.

Sonny Stitt's Roost recordings have been among his finest and rarest, long sought-after and seldom reissued. This project has been on Mosaic's wish list for many years, but when we started research on them in 1989, most of the master tapes were nowhere to be found. As the years passed, we even contemplated seeking out virgin copies of the LPs to dub (not an easy task given the rarity of these albums). Then a recent reorganization of the Roulette tape vault in London turned up all the LP masters as well as many of the original session tapes. With all the tapes located at last, Mosaic has identified and transferred the original mono and stereo masters to 24-bit for mastering. In the case of the later sessions (discs 7-9), we remixed from the original multi-track master for greater sonic fidelity. Along the way, we've uncovered two unissued tunes and 13 alternate takes.
The booklet includes a biography and musical essay by Zan Stewart and Francis Wolff photographs of most of the participants.