Tuesday, July 31, 2007

J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding “Jay & Kai + 6” (1956, Columbia)

After that hot 'n greasy funk cover, I figure there must be some "boners" out there - so I close my shares for today with enough "boners" to give even the wildest Edo Period "pillow-talker" (whore) a nightmare - :&

In the late ‘50s, trombone groups were all the rage; do a quick check of discographies and see if you don’t believe me. Aside from The Jay & Kai Trombone Octet stars, Johnson and Winding are backed by an all-star rhythm section of Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, and Osie Johnson. Perhaps one the main reasons to listen to this album is the ‘trombonium’, an upright valve trombone (see below).

The playing here is simply terrific, as one would expect from these outstanding trombonists. My only problem is that after a while, I find myself wishing for some sax, or clarinets or trumpets, to get a change in the harmonics. Nonetheless, I think the playing, both solo and in ensemble, is brilliant and is a good example of how the trombone had evolved from an auxillary instrument that could execute fast-moving bop tunes – check out these incredibly controlled vibratos and tones on slower numbers! There is plenty to choose from both categories throughout this session ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:
- rather inventive arrangements of standards; foretelling of what Winding would develop in his late-‘50s and early-‘60s groups
- “The Peanut Vendor” - cleverly arranged and my favorite track
- don’t miss the trombonium on “A Night in Tunisia” & “Piece for Two Tromboniums”

(The Jay & Kai Trombone Octet)
2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11:
J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding (tb/trombonium), Urbie Green, Bob Alexander, Eddie Bert, Jimmy Cleveland (tb), Bart Varsalona, Tom Mitchell (b-Tb), Hank Jones (p), Milt Hinton (b), Osie Johnson (d); recorded in New York in 2 & 4 April, 1956

1, 4, 7, 10, 12:
Ray Brown (b) replaces Milt Hinton; Candido Camero (bgo/cga/d); recorded in New York in 6 April, 1956

01. Night in Tunisia
02. Piece for Two Tromboniums
03. Rise 'n' Shine
04. All at Once You Love Her
05. No Moon at All
06. The Surrey with the Fringe on Top
07. The Peanut Vendor
08. You're My Thrill
09. Jeanne
10. Four Plus Four
11. You Don't Know what Love Is
12. The Continental

Art Pepper - Gettin' Together! (SACD)

Includes the beautiful tune Diane. I remembered that she was nothing but trouble and wondered why he wrote it for her. Re-reading his book recently, I noticed that he said it was a better tune than she ever deserved. It shut her up for a while, apparently.

Art Pepper had a disaster of a life due to his addictions, but he made a number of superb albums which have inspired other jazz performers ever since, and which continue to sell well. This is one of them, for which he was given the “gold standard” of modern jazz rhythm sections. These three cats played with Miles and plenty of others. This combination, plus the contribution of Conte Candoli’s smooth trumpet sound on three of the tracks, ensures a great-sounding session. The final two bonus tracks of the nine were not on the original LP. The first is an alternate take of the title tune, “Gettin’ Together.” Two minutes longer than the original take, it has an extended solo by bassist Chambers. The closing track, “The Way You Look Tonight” runs for six and one-half minutes, is very uptempo and full of some very creative treatments of the theme by Pepper. One of my fav jazz ballad standards is Romberg’s Softly As in a Morning Sunrise. Pepper leads a very cool and relaxed version here, but with an underlying rhythmic pulse that’s not felt with many of the “cool school.”

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)

1 - Whims Of Chambers
2 - Bijou The Poodle
3 - Why Are We Afraid
4 - Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
5 - Rhythm-A-Ning
6 - Diane
7 - Gettin' Together
8 - Gettin' Together (alt)
9 - The Way You Look Tonight

Hollywood, California, February 29, 1960

Eddie Gomez “Down Stretch” (1976, Absord Music ABC J344)

This is not a campaign for lung cancer awareness or an advert for tobacco ;-)

Following up on Koolhip’s interest in the former member of the Bill Evans Trio and my previous post of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, let’s take a peek at this Japan-only issue by Eddie Gomez. Gomez became quite popular here because of his work with Bill Evans, so the MJQ's founding was partially based on his marketing “reach” and the ’greedy’ (:-) recording executives of King Records & Absord. As a former member of the Bill Evans’ band, understandably Gomez never had the opportunity to lead a group. This ’76 outing, to the best of my knowledge was only issued here (although, I have seen it for sale on various North American websites).

While being only a hobbyist sax player, I can only relate you my experiences to music from my novice perspective and unable as others to truly critique musical talent, but I do not think this talented Puerto-Rican bassist wasted any time with this debut set as a leader. From the beginning, his talented solos are evident in this set of “free jazz” – make no mistake about it, this is a bass player of the highest caliber. As well, one can better appreciate his work and evolution as an artist. My guess? You will clearly hear the influence of ‘70s-Evans throughout this set ~ enjoy!

Eddie Gomez (b), Takehiro Honda (p), Eliot Zigmund (d); recorded 22-3 January, 1976 at AOI Studio, Tokyo

01. Blues E
02. Caprice
03. Half Life
04. Down Stretch
05. Starry Night
06. Dream Passage

Manhattan Jazz Quintet "My Funny Valentine" (1986, King KICJ-2093)

The Manhattan Jazz Quintet was formed in 1983 at the suggestion of King Records (Japan) and "Swing Journal", a Japanese jazz magazine. While we, here in Japan, have a devout following for MJQ, I am not sure if many of you have heard much. They became quite successful here, winning the Gold Disk Award of Swing in '84. The Manhattan Jazz Quintet recorded primarily for King in Japan, and although they had their two later recordings cut for the Sweet Basil label, very few projects that actually took place in Manhattan!Here is another group that we do not see often around here; if memory serves me correct, back at C&D, there was one share . . . it is fitting from my side of the ocean to offer you all this hard swinging, dare say, and grooving jazz set. As the Duke might say, "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing" ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:
- pulsing, hard swinging, 'Mr. P.C. – Soloff is notably in good form
- fun, loopsy-doopsy, 'My Funny Valentine'
- cool, classic swing, 'New York State of Mind' – Gomez is cool
- bluesy, gospel underscored swing, 'S.U. Blues' – Matthews is awesome

David Matthews (p),Eddie Gomez (b), Lew Soloff (tp), George Young (ts), Steve Gadd (d); recorded at Soundtrack Studio, N.Y. on 20 November, 1985

01. Mr. P.C.
02. Round Midnight
03. On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
04. My Funny Valentine
05. New York State of Mind
06. S.U. Blues

Jimmy McGriff "Groove Grease" (1971, Groove Merchant GM 503)

The groove isn't the only thing with grease around here . . .

Jimmy McGriff was one of many jazz artists who combined funk and soul and maintaining the original context of jazz. This '71 set simply a delicious slab of jazz-funk made from the finest ingredients (and I would love to taste something else!). The anchor to this superb set is the electric bass of Richard Davis; he sets the frame that allows McGriff & Co. to follow suit with sassy and loose (but not too far out) improvs. Of particular note is the multi-instrumentalist, Johnny Board's baritone sax work! An excellent side-man with southern roots, Johnny plays with a 'heartful' (soulful?) and emotional tone that is very distinctive and long sought after - he came from a gospel-blues background, this guy has played with just about everybody who is/was anybody in Memphis-blues, R&B, big band, swing and ... This may not be the wildest of McGriff's work because here he shows his maturity as an artist and leader to improv and lead this cohesive group ~eee-ahhh-aaahh-nn-joy!

Set Highlights:
- album cover - no questions. . .
- album cover model - uummm, still no questions. . .
- oh! do not forgot to listen to these tasty morsels of funky jazz

Jimmy McGriff (org), Horace Ott (ep), Richard Evans (eb), Everett Barksdale (g), Cliff Davis (fl/ts), Johnny Board (fl/baSx), Murray Watson (tp), Lawrence Killian (cga/tam), Marion Jj. Booker (d); recorded in New York in 1971

01. Groove Grease
02. Bird
03. Plain Brown Bag
04. There Will Never Be Another You
05. Canadian Sunset
06. Mr. Lucky
07. Moonglow
08. Red Sails in the Sunset
09. Secret Love

Art Pepper - Mosaic Select 15

Featuring Art Pepper's 1956 and 1957 Aladdin sessions, which have been issued on The Return of Art Pepper (Jazz West), Collections (Intro), Modern Art (Blue Note), Just Friends (Pacific Jazz), Solo Flight (Pacific Jazz), The Art of Pepper (Omega) and The Art of the Art (Nadja), Mosaic's 3-CD boxed set portrays the alto saxophonist in familiar company, full of life and at his best. The collection includes several bonus tracks, alternate takes, and material that was previously available only on reel-to-reel tape.

Mosaic's 24-bit re-mastering provides a clear sound that lets you appreciate this artist who “grew” from Bird and who helped pioneer the cool school of West Coast Jazz. Pepper's attack was fast, fluid, and quick to turn on a dime. He was equally adept at animated bebop antics as with a tender ballad.

Paul Desmond's musical character was light and rhythmically swinging. Cannonball Adderley poured emotion from the heart. Sonny Stitt dove headfirst at a wild and furious pace, while Phil Woods and Richie Cole have been linked to a balanced set of musical skills that have allowed them to follow any path they choose. Pepper's alto saxophone tone proved to be light, resilient, and filled with rich overtones. He gave his audiences an upbeat feeling to go along with the rhythmic syncopation and spontaneous improvisation of mainstream jazz.

Ten tracks include trumpeter Jack Sheldon with Pepper, Russ Freeman, Leroy Vinnegar and Shelly Manne. This quintet captures the essence of West Coast Jazz. On “Straight Life,” the alto saxophonist drives with a hearty bebop character, as Red Norvo, Gerald Wiggins, Ben Tucker and Joe Morello help to push the session's animated character into high gear. Released in Morello's name, this one and four more tracks feature Pepper's clear instrumental voice with added emphasis from the drummer, including extended solos and trading fours. Pepper plays tenor on “Tenor Blooz,” a rip-roaring adventure that features Norvo in animated, bebop-driven action.

The ten selections from Modern Art feature Pepper's quartet with Freeman, Tucker and drummer Chuck Flores. His alto saxophone soars lightly with a delicate air. “Blues In” and “Blues Out” walk at a slow pace with heavy, underlying emotion, and “Summertime” drifts slowly with enduring passion. Familiar standards and Pepper's fresh originals combine to give the listener a mixture of up-tempo bebop and beautiful ballads.

Five selections from Just Friends under Bill Perkins' name, feature a quintet with Pepper, saxophonist Perkins, pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Tucker, and drummer Mel Lewis. Perkins' tenor adds a warm quality that complements Pepper's free-flowing melodies. Their integrated harmony gives the session an exotic character.

Twelve tracks from The Art of Pepper and three alternate takes from feature Pepper's quartet with pianist Carl Perkins, bassist Tucker and drummer Flores (Disc-3). Their interpretation of classic songs in the bebop tradition comes from the mainstream with consistent results. Pepper is fluid, Perkins comps and solos with force, Tucker walks the bass conversationally, and Flores colors every song with complementary textures. The Latin beat of “Beguine the Beguine” provides an exotic ambience. “Summertime” turns out dry and empty. “Body and Soul” keeps much of its luster through Pepper's heartfelt interpretation of the melody; however, Perkins' piano counterpoint proves heavy-handed and unnecessarily dense.

While Disc-3 remains the weakest of the 3-CD set, Mosaic Select 15 brings Art Pepper into our living rooms with great care paid to re-mastering his original sound. The adventures are varied, but the alto saxophonist provides us with nearly four hours of great memories. Recommended, this Art Pepper compilation captures the spirit of a bright light from jazz's not so distant past. Jim Santella

Van Morrison Pacific High 1971 sbd

Here's Pacific High Studios from 71. It's in excellent quality soundboard. I think that's it for my '70s Van stuff that's sbd/fm (I wish I had more). I have a few audience recordings from the 70s but the sound quality isn't good enough to warrant posting them. I do have a few more recent post-'70s that I think I'll post soon...

Van Morrison
Pacific High Studios
San Francisco, CA

SBD > ? > CDR > EAC > SHN

Disc 1:
01. Into The Mystic 06:01
02. I've Been Working 06:26
03. Friday's Child 05:55
04. Hound Dog 03:05
05. Medley: Ballerina >
Tupelo Honey >
Wild Night 20:51
06. Just Like A Woman 08:13

Disc 2:
01. Moonshine Whiskey 07:59
02. Dead Or Alive 05:30
03. You're My Woman 06:09
04. These Dreams Of You 03:29
05. Domino 06:10
06. Call Me Up In Dreamland 03:43
07. Blue Money 04:25
07. Bring It On Home 04:17
08. Buena Sora (sic) Senorita 03:47

Hamiet Bluiett - Resolution

The most prominent baritone saxophonist of his generation, Bluiett combines a blunt, modestly inflected attack with a fleet, aggressive technique, and (maybe most importantly) a uniform hugeness of sound that extends from his horn's lowest reaches to far beyond what is usually its highest register. Probably no other baritonist has played so high, with so much control; Bluiett's range travels upward into an area usually reserved for the soprano or even sopranino. His technical mastery aside, Bluiett's solo voice is unlikely to be confused with any other. Enamored with the blues, brusque and awkwardly swinging — in his high-energy playing, Bluiett makes a virtue out of tactlessness; on ballads, he assumes a considerably more lush, romantic guise. Like his longtime collaborator, tenor saxophonist David Murray, Bluiett incorporates a great deal of conventional bebop into his free playing. In truth, Bluiett's music is not free jazz at all, but rather a plain-spoken extension of the mainstream tradition.

Bluiett was first taught music as a child by his aunt, a choral director. He began playing clarinet at the age of nine. He took up the flute and bari sax while attending Southern Illinois University. Bluiett left college before graduating. He joined the Navy, in which he served for several years. He moved to St. Louis in the mid-'60s, where he met and played with many of the musicians who would become the musicians' collective known as the Black Artists Group — Lester Bowie, Charles "Bobo" Shaw, Julius Hemphill, and Oliver Lake, among others. Bluiett moved to New York in 1969; there he joined Sam Rivers' large ensemble, and worked free-lance with a variety of musicians. In 1972, Bluiett's avant-garde garrulousness and his competency as a straight-ahead player gained him a place in one of Charles Mingus' last great bands, which also included pianist Don Pullen. Bluiett stayed with Mingus until 1975. In 1976, he recorded the material that would comprise his first two albums as a leader, Endangered Species and Birthright.

In December of '76, Bluiett played a one-shot concert in New Orleans with Murray, Lake, and Hemphill. That supposedly ad-hoc group continued to perform and record as the World Saxophone Quartet, which in the '80s became arguably the most popular free jazz band ever. The WSQ's early free-blowing style eventually transformed into a sophisticated and largely composed melange of bebop, Dixieland, funk, free, and various world musics, its characteristic style anchored and largely defined by Bluiett's enormous sound. Bluiett continued to record and tour with the WSQ through the '80s and '90s; he also led his own ensembles and recorded a number of strong, progressive-mainstream albums for Black Saint/Soul Note. By the mid-'90s, Bluiett was recording and supervising sessions for Mapleshade Records.

Hamiet Bluiett (baritone saxophone, clarinet, flute, bamboo flute)
Billy Hart (drums, percussion)
Fred Hopkins (bass)
Don Moye (percussion)
Don Pullen (piano, organ)

1. Happy Spirit
2. Flux/A Bad M.F.
3. Head Drake
4. Before Yesterday
5. Spring's Joy
6. "Mahalia"... No Other One

Generation Sound Studios, NYC, November 1977

Clark Terry - One on One (1999)

Right in the middle of celebrating his 79th birthday, Clark Terry went into the studio for several days to record 14 duets with a different pianist on each track, with many of them being veterans of many record dates and/or concerts with him. Terry remains one of the most easily identifiable trumpeters and flügelhorn players in jazz, so much so that more than one critic has claimed the ability to identify him after just one note. Each track is dedicated to a great performer of the past, though no attempt is made to copy famous recordings, of course. Terry's brilliant flügelhorn swings mightily along with Monty Alexander on the surprising dedication to Nat King Cole of "L.O.V.E.," which was a hit for him after Cole had all but quit playing piano and enjoyed even greater success as a popular singer. The choice of Lil Hardin Armstrong's "Just for a Thrill" is also an interesting one, versus her better known "Struttin' With Some Barbecue"; Terry's fat tone on his big horn is well complemented by Geri Allen. Terry scats an imitation of brushes on cymbals to introduce "Swingin' the Blues" with Junior Mance before switching to muted trumpet. Old friend Marian McPartland works with Terry to produce a mesmerizing rendition of "Skylark." Also present are Sir Roland Hanna, Kenny Barron, John Lewis, Barry Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Don Friedman, Billy Taylor, Benny Green, Eric Reed, and Eric Lewis. There is not one performance that rates less than excellent within this very highly recommended CD. - Ken Dryden

Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn)
  1. L.O.V.E - Monty Alexander
  2. Just for a Thrill - Geri Allen
  3. Liza All the Clouds'll Roll - Eric Lewis
  4. Intimacy of the Blues - Kenny Barron
  5. You Can Depend on Me - John Lewis
  6. Memories of You - Sir Roland Hanna
  7. Honesuckle Rose - Benny Green
  8. Willow Grove - Barry Harris
  9. Solitude - Tommy Flanagan
  10. Blue Monk - Don Friedman
  11. Misty - Billy Taylor
  12. Swingin' the Blues - Junior Mance
  13. Jungle Blues - Eric Reed
  14. Skylark - Marian McPartland
Recorded December 13-16, 1999

Stan Getz - Anniversary

As he did to celebrate his 50th birthday, Stan Getz performed at the Montmartre Club in Copenhagen at the time of his 60th birthday. This enjoyable set (mostly lengthy versions of standards) finds the veteran tenor still very much in his prime and greatly assisted by pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis. Worth picking up. Scott Yanow

Stan Getz’s great talent was universally acclaimed by music fans and fellow musicians alike. His playing always showed the early influences of Lester Young and it was not without flavours of Charlie Parker. On ballads his tone, melody and flowing lines were often executed with the sensuality of Ben Webster.

‘Anniversary’ was recorded live in Copenhagen in 1987 – four years before he died. One of his finest partnerships came at this time and here the ‘mature’ Getz is joined by Kenny Barron, piano – Rufus Reid, bass and Victor Lewis, drums. Not only were these three of the most popular accompanists around they were chosen by Getz because he admired their work, they could work off each other and he fell easily into their ideas and new directions.

Commentators have often claimed that many jazz creators reach the climax of their musical careers by the age of thirty. Not so with Stan Getz as ‘Anniversary’ shows – this honest and beautiful music came during the last years of his life. As with so many of the ‘jazz greats’ Getz walked a tightrope throughout his life but he managed to leave us with a wealth of quality recordings. This music will live forever and the re-issue of ‘Anniversary’ will enable the future generation to realize the joy and intensity of his work.

It is well recognized that Stan Getz was one of the finest saxophone players that ever lived. Ben Webster was renowned for his ballad playing and the intense feeling he put into a performance. Getz was the same – there was so much in his expressive genius that it could bring tears to the eyes. On the other hand when he was ‘cooking’ on an up tempo number ‘Stanley the Steamer’ was up with the very best. There is no need to highlight or go into detail on any of the seven tracks on ‘Anniversary.’ Each has its own qualities and character and throughout Getz and his three companions turn in a performance par excellence. Jack Ashby

Kenny Barron, Piano
Stan Getz, Tenor Sax
Victor Lewis, Drums
Rufus Reid, Bass

1. El Cahon (Mandel) 13:18
2. I Can't Get Started (Duke, Gershwin) 11:27
3. Stella by Starlight (Washington, Young) 12:33
4. Stan's Blues (Getz, Gryce) 10:22
5. I Thought About You (Mercer, Van Heusen) 8:20
6. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Porter) 9:43
7. Blood Count (Strayhorn) 4:02

Recorded live at the Montmartre Club, Copenhagen, Denmark on July 6, 1987

Monday, July 30, 2007

John Coltrane - Lush Life (RVG )

To say that John Coltrane is one of the greatest jazz musicians in the history of the genre is to utter a banal truism, but amid all of the (well-deserved) hubbub over Giant Steps and A Love Supreme, it is extremely edifying to pick up this 1958 effort and hear how well the man could play standards and especially ballads. Assisting him in this worthy endeavor are various combinations of Earl May and Paul Chambers on bass and Louis Hayes, Albert Heath, and Art Taylor on drums. Without a piano supplying much of the harmony of the song, Coltrane is extremely exposed, having to rely upon his own melodic inventiveness to ground his improvisations in both the chords and melody of the tune itself, while simultaneously commenting upon them. It's a difficult task, but one for which Coltrane is uncommonly prepared. Throughout the record, the saxophonist sounds more like Charlie Parker than usual, especially on the terrific "Like Someone in Love," but that doesn't mean that he doesn't get some of his own best licks in as well. Saxophone ballads are rarely more interesting and more beautiful. The Latin groove to "I Love You" is a delight, especially so considering that the rhythm section sounds like it's going to fall apart at any second. The sole deviation from the saxophone trio format features assistance from Red Garland and Donald Byrd on a reading of "Lush Life," which is so perfectly realized that one begins to wonder why successive generations of jazzers still persist in attempting to improve upon it. A perfect track and a perfect album, one well deserving of its classic status.

John Coltrane-tenor sax
Earl May-bass (1-3)
Arthur Taylor-drums (1-3)
Donald Byrd-trumpet (4)
Red Garland-piano(4-5)
Paul Chambers-bass (4-5)
Louis Hayes-drums (4)
Albert "Tootie" Heath-drums (5)

1. Like Someone In Love
2. I Love You
3. Trane's Slo Blues
4. Lush Life
5. I Hear A Rhapsody

Ornette Coleman - Body Meta

From 1950 to 1975 harmolodics has always existed in my writing and playing. Yet I did not have a Harmolodic Band to compose and perform with as a working band. I often speak about being a composer that performs without prejudice of environment.

Enter - Prime Time in forming a Harmolodic Band, where the needs of the composer and the players found challenging questions. Prime Time is not a jazz, classical, rock or blues ensemble. It is pure Harmolodic where all forms that can, or could exist yesterday, today, or tomorrow can exist in the now or the moment without a second. - Ornette Coleman, from the liner notes to Body Meta

1 - Voice Poetry
2 - Home Grown
3 - Macho Woman
4 - Fou Amour
5 - European Echoes

Produced by Ornette Coleman at Barclay Studio, Paris, 1975

Sunday, July 29, 2007

John Coltrane “Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors” (1957, Prestige 7112)

In return for all of the hard work Ego et al, and just when you thought you had enough, I would like to offer up this beauty from ‘Trane’s seemingly endless catalogue -

By the time of this set’s recording, Coltrane had already become a noted artist from his work with the Davis Quintet. This was also a point in his evolution as an artist of expanding rhythmic and harmonic complexity. “Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors” has been criticized as a marketing ploy in order to prove that Coltrane was not out of touch with traditional jazz values. From the opening to the closing, “Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors” is what the title says – an ensemble sound of tenors and trumpets. I think what is most interesting about this set is the contrast between Coltrane and Sulieman (hot & fiery) versus Jaspar and Young (‘cool school’).

This set has a classic rhythmn section with Waldron, Burrell, Chambers and Taylor. The tracks are nearly all originals by Waldron. For my money, this star of this album is not ‘Trane but Waldron – he was the composer, soloist and accompanist. Waldron style and sense are quite apparent as he supports Trane on ‘Anatomy.’ Burrell does what he does, although this is probably not one of his better sets (or was designed to be). Waldron allows the action to ebb and flow but never overcrowd Coltrane, letting Chambers and Taylor carry the beat, as the piano accents keep the tune in everyone’s mind. Scott “Who Am I today” Yanow is closer to the truth (but still out there . . .) than his usual scat when he wrote, “With so many soloists present on this advanced hard bop date, Coltrane is only one star among many although he does emerge as a standout.” ~ enjoy this classic album!

Set highlights:
- ‘CTA’ - Trane, Garland, Chambers & Taylor smoke on this spirited, full-throttled version
- ‘Light Blue’ – Waldron’s Basie-like groove and Trane’s ballad toned ‘knife’

John Coltrane, Bobby Jaspar (ts), Idrees Suleiman, Webster Young (tp); Mal Waldron, Red Garland (p); Kenny Burrell (g), Paul Chambers (b), Art Taylor (d); recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ on 22 March, 1957

01. Interplay
02. Anatomy
03. Light Blue
04. Soul Eyes
05. C.T.A.

‘Baby Face’ Willette “Face to Face” (1961, Blue Note 84068)

As a “non-black” (only 'half-yellow'), it was always a challenge to head over to the South Side music clubs of Chicago in the '60s & '70s to listen to jazz, blues or soul concerts. Driving down from the bland, 'milk-like' North Side streets, my friends and I never knew if we would be allowed inside the South-side clubs – I will not say prejudice, but perhaps just the rarity of non-blacks appearing at the doors caused many a night of pleadings with door-men. In those times, Chicago was, sadly, more clearly divided by race and class. It must have been – oh – 1970 when I first saw Willette play. He and his trio followed John Wright (see my 15th May post) on stage. Wright was a hometown boy, and a true south-sider with a big following of family and friends.

I recall how Wright and his band were so energetically cheering a ‘guy’ named – ‘Baby Face’; I never heard of him at that time. He did not ‘look’ to me like he was a jazz legend. I was told that night he rcorded for Blue Note and such people as Lou Donaldson. However, as I now know, his legacy is all to rare -two albums with Blue Note and two albums with Argo, before disappearing from the jazz scene.

We were told that night he was living in a shelter run by the local church, and only made enough money from occasional appearances to eat. I also recall his son (I think?) being brought on stage to sit next to him at the organ. That experience reminded me of how much we, North-siders, were really outsiders to a part of Chicago – but we were graciously (sometimes) allowed a peek inside to share a world of music. Stupidity of youth, if I had only known who ‘Baby Face’ was or how his legend continues to grow . . . ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:

- Jackson’s husky tenor should not be missed!
- Grinding, gritty blues-style organ work from ‘Baby-Face’

‘Baby Face’ Willette (org), Grant Green (g), Fred Jackson (ts), Ben Dixon (d); recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood, NJ on 30 January, 1961

01. Swingin’ at Sugar Rays
02. Goin’ Down
03. Whatever Lola Wants
04. Face to Face
05. Somethin’ Strange
06. High ‘n’ Low

Shorty Rogers “Courts the Count” (1954, RCA LJM 1004)

Having developed his trademark sound from work with Herman and Kenton, Rogers shows his appreciation for one of his early influences, Count Basie. Here Shorty Rogers his big band pay tribute to ‘The Count’ with nine Basie tunes and three originals by Rogers. These tracks reflect the bounce of Basie and the “cool” that Rogers had been developing since the late ‘40s. Shorty’s band personnel look like a “Who’s Who of Big Band Jazz”.

As far as my unprofessional ears are concerned, Rogers’ original tracks are characterised by Basie-like patterns of piano chords, the walking bass with crisp sax and brass riffs, and explosive dynamics. For the bandwidth time alone, the clarinet solos of Jimmy Giuffre are worth checking out this lovely album. If you like Basie or Shorty, here is a treat you don't want to miss ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:
- cool, West Coast-styled arrangements for “Topsy” & “Doggin’ Around”
- excellent solos by West Coast giants such as Ferguson, Shank, Sims, Counce and Manne

tracks 2-5
Shorty Rogers, Conrad Gozzo, Maynard Ferguson, Harry Edison, Clyde Reasinger (tp), Milt Bernhart, Harry Betts, Bob Enevodlsen (tb), John Graas (frh), Paul Sarmento (tub), Zoot Sims, Bob Cooper (ts), Herb Geller, Bud Shank (as), Jimmy Giuffre (baSx), Marty Paich (p), Curtis Counce (b), Shelly Manne (d); recorded on February 2, 1954 in Los Angeles

tracks 1,6, 7 & 11
Shorty Rogers, Conrad Gozzo, Maynard Ferguson, Harry Edison, Peter Candoli (tp), Milt Bernhart, Harry Betts, Bob Enevodlsen (tb), John Graas (frh), Paul Sarmento (tub), Bill Holman, Jimmy Giuffre (ts), Herb Geller, Bud Shank (as), Bob Gordon (baSx), Marty Paich (p), Curtis Counce (b), Shelly Manne (d); recorded on February 9, 1954 in Los Angeles

tracks 8-12
Shorty Rogers, Conrad Gozzo, Maynard Ferguson, Harry Edison, Peter Candoli (tp), Milt Bernhart, Harry Betts, Bob Enevodlsen (tb), John Graas (frh), Paul Sarmento (tub), Zoot Sims, Jimmy Giuffre (ts), Herb Geller, Bud Shank (as), Bob Cooper (baSx), Marty Paich (p), Curtis Counce (b), Shelly Manne (d); recorded on March 3, 1954 in Los Angeles

01. Jump for Me
02. Topsy
03. It’s Sand, Man
04. Basie Eyes
05. Doggin’ Around
06. Down for Double
07. Over and Out
08. H and J
09. Taps Miller
10. Tickletoe
11. Swingin’ the Blues
12. Walk, Don't Run

Van at The Bottom Line 1978

Here's another Van show. Excellent sound. I still have a few more to post...

Van Morrison - The Bottom Line, NYC 11-1-1978 (early show)
fm broadcast

disc 1:
01: Moondance
02: Wavelength
03: Into The Mystic
04: Checking It Out
05: Hungry For Your Love
06: Brown Eyed Girl
07: Crazy Love
08: Kingdom Hall
09: Tupelo Honey
10: Natalia
11: Night Shirt
12: Wild Night>
13: Whenever We Meet Again

disc 2:
01: Caravan
02: Cypress Avenue

The Pacific Jazz Piano Trios - Mosaic Select

This set reinstates a number of important piano recordings made for Pacific Jazz (and in the case of Jimmy Rowles Liberty). Russ Freeman and Rowles were seminal to so much of the important music that emanated from Los Angeles in the '50s and '60s that their achievements would be far too many to list here. Freeman's hard swinging style is featured on 14 tracks made between 1952 and '57. Rowles, an encyclopedic piano maestro, is represented by his rare Liberty album Rare - But Well Done and two Pacific Jazz tracks, made the end of sessions by others.

Richard Twardzik was a startlingly original pianist/composer on the Boston scene in the early '50s. Russ Freeman heard him there and convinced Pacific Jazz to record him. Ironically when he died of an overdose in Paris on October 21, 1955, he was Russ's replacement in the Chet Baker quartet. These seven trio selections represent the only music he recorded professionally as a leader.

Clare Fischer, the only living pianist represented on this set, is best known for his brilliant writing. His abilities as a commanding, inventive jazz pianist have taken a back seat to other achievements. His first two albums, included here, are marvelous trio sessions that feature three of the greatest bassists on the LA scene at the time: Gary Peacock, Ralph Pena and Albert Stinson. Clare consented to the release of three unreleased tunes from these sessions.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Heres a great one from oliver lake,’ the prophet’a marvellous tribute to his obvious forebear eric dolphy.
No dolphy fan’s going to be disappointed by this.
The version of hat and beard alone is worth the dl, killer stuff, and trumpeter baikida carrol is superb throughout ,much better than hubbard for my money.

Heres the somewhat curt descriptive though hardly enthusiastic review from amg.

by Al Campbell
Following the release of his advanced live trio recording Zaki, alto saxophonist Oliver Lake recorded a relatively straight-ahead date, The Prophet, a tribute to Eric Dolphy. Released on the Black Saint label in 1980, The Prophet combines Lake's (and Dolphy's) ability to blur the line between post-bop and avant-garde jazz on three Dolphy compositions ("Hat and Beard," "Something Sweet, Something Tender," and "Prophet") with three Lake originals. This is not the only tribute to Dolphy that Lake would record; 16 years later he issued Tribute to Dolphy, also on Black Saint, with a different band.

Carla Bley & Paul Haines - Escalator Over the Hill

Filling a request

The late '60s and early '70s played a great role in the development of youth culture and politics, but it was also a heady age for jazz, where the great changes of funk, rock, and counterculture seeped into improvised music and changed it forever. Not only were the established movers and shakers of jazz creating a stir, but also several new voices were greatly affecting what jazz could and would be. One of the most eclectic and brilliant of these was Carla Bley.

Bley in many ways can be seen as one of the few great jazz composers of the post bop era. The pianist is often regarded more for her work as a composer than for her chops. For an early example, on her then-husband Paul Bley's amazing ESP release Closer shows off some of Carla fine work as a composer. During this period, she became one of the founders of the Jazz Composer's Guild Orchestra before becoming a cult icon in the world of avant-garde jazz. In 1967 vibraphonist Gary Burton recorded her genius song cycle A Genuine Tong Funeral, where she was also featured as a pianist. This record first gave her public attention and led to her composing and arranging one of jazz's finest anti-war records, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. But the record that brought her into the full realm of jazz was Escalator Over the Hill.

Escalator Over the Hill is a huge, expansive, and all-encircling work that was originally released on a three-LP set. Even today, that seems a bit extreme for a debut release, but it's even more remarkable given that jazz at the time was experiencing a severe decline in popularity. But what is even more interesting is that the record works on the premise of being a conceptual opus. Though it has often been described as a jazz opera, that description fails on many levels. An opera, no matter how abstract, tells some sort of a story. Nowhere on this set are there any lyrics written by Paul Haines that really suggest a cohesive narrative.

The work by Haines, who is classified as a “jazz poet,” consists of equal parts rambling beat poetry and interesting yet nonsensical lyrics that work more in the context of Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica than inside a unified story structure. Yet his bits are interesting and reflect the “far out” surrealism and dadaism that was a big part of this period. Although the lyrics are bit crazy, they appeal the free chaos of the record and even flesh out the overall ideas projected on the album. The album does work as a concept record, much in the same way as the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Mothers of Invention's Freak Out!, or Ornette Coleman's orchestral masterpiece Skies of America. Working from track to track with bits of poetry and vocals, the record comes alive in a variety of ways.

Throughout the record Bley’s piano works in the background and allows her skills as a composer come to the forefront. As well, she shows a determination to work from traditional elements to all other extremes of music. Her combinations, ranging from bop to Kurt Weill's pre-WWII cabaret music to the sort of pure, raw aggression that could easily fit onto an early Anthony Braxton record, make this one of most interesting works in the canon of avant-garde jazz. Between the thirteen-minute cut-up opening piece “Hotel Overture” and the all-encompassing, Zappaesque 27-minute closing epic “...And it's Again,” there's nothing left to the imagination.

Much like discs by the aforementioned Frank Zappa, the record utilizes rock at a variety of points that display aggression. Unlike Zappa's music, the rock doesn't really sound or grasp the conventions of rock music; here it seems merely like a tool, rather than a wholehearted expression, unlike the use of world music and jazz on the album. Unfortunately, at times the use of rock mixed with vocals sounds a bit too much like it might fit into the rock musical Hair. Being the first of its kind, Hair sounded like what New York theater composers and playwrights thought rock music and youth culture should sound like. But Hair was a product of its period as is this record. Musicians like Zappa and Steely Dan would find the perfect alchemy of rock and jazz.

Not to say that this set does not work. This opus is truly one of the most unique recordings that has ever graced modern music. Due to Bley's unrelenting fearlessness in surrounding her compositions with influences from around the world, this results are all the richer. Interestingly enough, the record features vocals from a young Linda Ronstadt on “Why,” some clarion trumpet from Don Cherry, and a trio composed of John McLaughlin, Jack Bruce, and Paul Motian. As well, Carla gets started with early experimental big band pieces here. Overall this now two-CD set may seem a bit dated and grandiose, but nostalgic expanse is one of the great features of Escalator. It sounds unlike any other jazz recording ever. The genius of Carla Bley and the amazing ideas she incorporates into this record (and its followup, Tropic Appetites) make it worth searching out. Trevor MacLaren


Charlie Parker - Complete Savoy Live Performances: Sept. 29, 1947-Oct. 25, 1950

This four-CD set contains a somewhat streamlined presentation of Parker's complete known live broadcasts from New York's Royal Roost, dating during 1948 and 1949, augmented with five of the live September 29, 1947, Carnegie Hall recordings and one lower-quality tape made in Chicago during 1950. The vitality of these performances still radiates off the tapes in whatever format they're reproduced 50-plus years later — the interaction between the bandmembers, which include Miles Davis (or Kenny Dorham) on trumpet and Max Roach at the drums, and Tadd Dameron or Al Haig at the ivories, is spellbinding. The difference between these performances and Parker's studio work of the period is that he was always "on" for the broadcasts, and had already achieved something of a peak that he still missed in his studio work of the era — those along with him rose to the occasion, as witnessed by Kenny Dorham's playing on Miles Davis' "Half Nelson" in December of 1947. On the other hand, nobody could touch Parker when he was at his peak on stage, which he ascends easily on a jam set to Irving Berlin's "White Christmas." The Chicago material, which exists on a separate CD from Savoy (One Night in Chicago), isn't as well recorded — the rhythm section is muted, and the balances are off, but Parker is certainly audible, and hearing his improvisations on material like Rodgers & Hart's "There's a Small Hotel" is worth the price of the disc, even on what amounts to a good audience tape. The source material has been very carefully mastered, striking a good balance between clean playback and fidelity to the original performance, and the dozens of pages of notes represent virtually a separate, free-standing book on Parker during this period in his career. --- Bruce Eder

Friday, July 27, 2007

gil fuller and the monterey jazz orchestra with dizzy gillespie

jean lafite says: this is a winner, as i am sure you already know. a frighteningly tight unit. money all the way, i think i like angel city best. last time through anyway.

Track listing
1. Man From Monterey2. Angel City3. Love Theme From The Sandpiper4. Groovin' High5. Be's That Way6. Big Sur7. Moontide8. Things Are Here

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Gil Fuller (arranger & conductor), Freddie Hill, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Melvin Moore, John Audino (trumpets), Lester Robinson, Francis Fitzpatrick, Jim Amlotte (trombones), Herman Lebow, Sam Cassano, David Duke, Alan Robinson (French horns), Buddy Colette, Gabe Baltazar, Bill Green, Carrington Visor, Jr., Jack Nimitz (reeds), Phil Moore, III (piano), Dennis Budimir (guitar), Jimmy Bond (bass), Earl Palmer (drums).

dizzier and dizzier

jean lafite says: who doesn't like dizzy? players can be seen on the scan of the back cover. some good stuff here, older sides on an old compilation. fidelity is not the greatest, but it's not bad and dizzy shines through just fine.

Pablo Ziegler - Quintet For New Tango

The tango nuevo has a new champion in pianist Ziegler, who is well qualified since he was with grand master Astor Piazzolla's bands in the last years of Piazzolla's life. This music is even more challenging than Piazzolla's, jazz oriented/not swinging, less dominated by the bandoneon, more piano and electric guitar lead. Ziegler's core band is Walter Castro-bandoneon, Enrique Sinesi-guitar, Horatio Hurtado-bass and Horacio Lopez-drums, they play on 10 of the 12 tracks, recorded in Buenos Aires, Two other cuts with a different band featuring tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano were waxed in NYC. Once again this is not music strictly in the tango tradition or following the path carved by Piazzolla, but entirely new, creative sounds inspired by the modern tango. The three selections that pay tribute to A.P. are the 6/8 modal, behemoth romp "Imagenes 676" the last piece recorded by Piazzolla and Ziegler and re-done here, "Primavera Portena" with its stacatto, head nodding and spontaneous half-time accents, and Ziegler's "Astor's Place," inspired by a walk with Piazzolla, actually a spy-o stealth, slinky number that speaks directly to the intimacy of their friendship. The rest are Ziegler's riveting compositions, "Conexion Portena" with cinematic dramatism in its ever shifting tempos, the similar "Ritmico y Nostalgico," jumpy and all over the place in its urgency, and a highlight "Alrededor del Choclo" an adaptation of the famous classic tango "El Choclo" or "The Corn," using a circle the wagons approach to hinting at the theme, but never actually playing it straight out. The purest tango form comes from the sad sax of Lovano during "Muchacha de Boedo" in agreement with the bandoneon of Hector del Curto, and Lovano's other feature "Once Again...Milonga" is spirited, the tenor's moves and countermoves shadowed by bandoneon and the piano of Ziegler. There's also a Chick Corea inspired dancing figure as the centerpiece of "Sandunga," for Ziegler's wife, and the scatting, darting, daunting sounds of "Desde Otros Tiempos," which starts as a steady mid-tempo, goes lugubriously slow, then frantic with passion, as most romances go.

In the liner notes, the quite informative Fernando Gonzalez (Miami Herald) calls tango a music of "winks and dares, " a perfectly concise description for what you hear on this truly remarkable and beautiful set of music. Listen to this in contrast with Guillermo Klein's "Los Guachos II" (Sunnyside) for both sides of an emerging sound of creative music born in Argentina, fueled and inspired by jazz improvisation. The results are revelatory. Highly recommended. Review by Michael G. Nastos

All Except 4 & 10
Pablo Ziegler, Piano, Arranger
Walter Castro, Bandoneon
Enrique Sinesi, Guitar
Horatio Hurtado, Bass
Horacio Lopez, drums
Recorded February 22-26, 1999 at Estudio del Abasto al Pasto, Buenos Aires, Argentina

4 & 10
Pablo Ziegler, Piano, Arranger
Pablo Aslan, Bass
Hector del Curto, Bandoneon
Joe Lovano, Tenor Saxophone
Claudio Ragazzi, Guitar
Satoshi Takeishi, Drums
Recorded February 3, 1999 at Clinton Studios, New York City, NY USA

1. Conexión Porteña (Ziegler) 6:30
2. Desde Otros Tiempos (Ziegler) 5:24
3. Milongueta (Ziegler) 7:24
4. Once Again...Milonga (Ziegler) 4:25
5. Imágenes 676 (Piazzolla) 4:10
6. Alrededor de Choclo (Ziegler) 4:56
7. El Vals del Duende (Dolina) 3:13
8. Rítmico y Nostálgico (Ziegler) 6:28
9. Astor's Place (Ziegler) 6:15
10. Muchacha de Boedo (Ziegler) 6:24
11. Sandunga (Ziegler) 4:31
12. Primavera Porteña (Piazzolla) 5:26

The Doo Woop Box [Rhino]

For Funky Friday

Rhino's four-disc collection The Doo Wop Box may not contain every classic doo wop single ever recorded, but it comes damn close. Featuring 100 tracks, superb sound, and amazingly detailed liner notes, the set is one of the best various-artist box sets ever assembled; although these four discs will be all the doo wop some listeners will ever need, hopefully the set will make most listeners want to investigate the genre even further. --- Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Stan Getz - Voyage

This spectacular session was recorded during the magical years Kenny Barron joined Stan Getz to form one of the better groups toward the end of Stan Getz’s long and hallowed career. Lewis and Mraz provide wonderful support as well. There are a number of additional recordings documenting the Getz-Barron partnership. I’ll post them over the next several weeks.

Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz found a perfect accompanist in pianist Kenny Barron, who would regularly play in his group for his last five years. This out-of-print Black Hawk LP finds the pair, along with bassist George Mraz and drummer Victor Lewis, performing two standards and four more recent pieces, including two ("Dreams" and "Voyage") by Barron. The music is difficult to classify (modern bop?) but relatively easy to understand; Getz never coasts. Review by Scott Yanow

Babatunde, Percussion (#4)
Kenny Barron, Piano
Stan Getz, Tenor Sax
Victor Lewis, Drums
George Mraz, Bass

1. I Wanted To Say (Lewis) 9:29
2. I Thought About You (Van Heusen) 5:29
3. Yesterdays (Kern) 9:23
4. Dreams (Barron) 10:25
5. Falling In Love (Feldman) 8:24
6. Voyage (Barron) 7:05
7. Just Friends (Klenner, Lewis) 7:24

Recorded at Music Annex Recording Studios, Menlo Park, CA USA on March 9, 1986

Eddie Gomez - Gomez

Chick Corea (piano)
Eddie Gómez (bass)
Yasuaki Shimizu (tenor sax)
Kazumi Watanabe (guitar)
Steve Gadd (drums)

1 - Dabble Vision
2 - Santurce
3 - A Japanese Waltze
4 - Zimmermann (for Toru Takemitsu)
5 - Mez-ga
6 - Ginkakuji
7 - Pops And Alma
8 - Row, Row, Row Your Tones
9 - We Will Meet Again

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Donald Byrd - Groovin' for Nat

On this somewhat obscure Black Lion release (which has been reissued on CD), Donald Byrd teams up with fellow trumpeter Johnny Coles, pianist Duke Pearson, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Walter Perkins for a set of music dominated by hard bop originals; "Angel Eyes" and "Out Of This World" are the only standards. Augmented by three previously unreleased alternate takes, this straightahead session finds Cole's brittle tone sounding more distinctive than Byrd's (who is in more of a Lee Morgan vein) but everyone plays well. Recommended Scott Yanow

Donald Byrd, Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Duke Pearson (piano)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Walter Perkins (drums)

1 - Hush! (take 2)
2 - Child's Play (take 3)
3 - Angel Eyes (take 4)
4 - Smoothie (take 4)
5 - Sudel (take 2)
6 - Friday's Child (take 1)
7 - Out Of This world
8 - Groovin' for Nat
9 - Hush! (take 1)
10 - Child's Play (take 2)
11 - Sudel (take 4)

Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York on January 12, 1962

Van Morrison Fillmore West April 26th, 1970 sbd

More Van for you. This one is a classic....excellent sound quality

Van Morrison Fillmore West - San Francisco, California April 26th, 1970
stereo soundboard

1. Moondance
2. Glad Tidings
3. Crazy Love
4. Come Running 5. The Way Young Lovers Do
6. Everyone
7. Brown Eyed Girl
8. And It Stoned Me
9. These Dreams Of You
10. Caravan
11. Cyprus Avenue
12. Into The Mystic

Van Morrison - Lead Vocals, rhythm guitar, sax
Collin Tilton - Tenor sax, flute
Jack Shroer - Alto/soprano sax
Jeff Labes - Piano, Organ
John Platanian - Lead guitar
Elias Shaar Dahaud - Drums
John Klingberg - Bass guitar

Funky Friday (. . . at least here on the rim of fire)

Hubert Laws “In the Beginning” (1974, CTI CTX 3+3)

Scott “Fair-Weather-Reviewer” Yanow wrote, “This double album features flutist Hubert Laws at his finest. The music ranges from classical-oriented pieces to straight-ahead jazz with touches of ‘70s funk included in the mix. The supporting cast includes Bob James (kybrd) on most tracks, Gene Bertoncini (g), Ron Carter (g), Steve Gadd (d), three strings, and Hubert’s brother Ronnie on tenor (his solo on Coltrane’s ‘Moment's Notice’ is arguably Ronnie’s best ever on record). Whether it be works by Satie or Rollins, this recording is one of the most rewarding of Hubert Laws’ career.”

Jazz-Nekko adds, “In the CTI tradition of distinctive cover art, this one has to be my favorite. In fact, I bought the LP solely because of the cover. Whether you like or dislike the CTI production-image-jazz cum pop formula, this double LP set is a definite keeper. This is a diverse blend of funk, classical and jazz. The supporting cast is chock-‘o-nuts with talented musicians. What I like about this album is that it is not as slick or over-produced as some of CTI’s later offerings. “In The Beginning” was most likely the high point in Hubert Law’s career and an excellent example of 70’s fusion ~ enjoy!”

Hubert Laws (fl/arr), Ronnie Laws (ts), Gene Bertoncini (g), Ron Carter (b), Steve Gadd (d), Airto Moreira (per), David Friedman (vib/per), Bob James (p), Clare Fischer (p/arr), Rodgers Grant (p), Hilary James (p/arr), Richard Tee (org/strings), Emanuel Vardi, Amanuel Vardi (viola), David Nadien (vio), George Ricci (cel); recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ on 6-8, 11 February 6-8, 1974

01. In the Beginning
02. Restoration
03. Gymnopedie #1
04. Come Ye Disconsolate
05. Airegin
06. Moment's Notice
07. Reconciliation
08. Mean Lene

Kelly Red - Piano

This first album is to fill a request from one of our friends.

Wynton Kelly - Piano

With the exception of an album for Blue Note in 1951, this was pianist Wynton Kelly's first opportunity to record as a leader. At the time he was still a relative unknown but would soon get a certain amount of fame as Miles Davis's favorite accompanist. With guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Paul Chambers and (on three of the seven selections) drummer Philly Joe Jones, Kelly performs four jazz standards, Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Strong Man" and two of his originals. Kelly became a major influence on pianists of the 1960s and '70s and one can hear the genesis of many other players in these swinging performances. The CD reissue adds an alternate take of "Dark Eyes" to the original program. Scott Yanow

Wynton Kelly (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Whisper Not
2. Action
3. Dark Eyes
4. Dark Eyes (Take 2-Previously Unissued)
5. Strong Man
6. Ill Wind
7. Don't Explain
8. You Can't Get Away

Red Garland - Red Garland's Piano

Red Garland's third session as a leader finds the distinctive pianist investigating eight standards (including "Please Send Me Someone to Love," "Stompin' at the Savoy," "If I Were a Bell," and "Almost Like Being in Love") with his distinctive chord voicings, melodic but creative ideas, and solid sense of swing. Joined by bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor, Garland plays up to his usual consistent level, making this an easily recommended disc for straight-ahead fans. Scott Yanow

Red Garland (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Please Send Me Someone To Love
2. Stomping At The Savoy
3. Very Thought Of You, The
4. Almost Like Being In Love
5. If I Were A Bell
6. I Know Why
7. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
8. But Not For Me

Miles Davis - Birth Of The Cool (RVG)

So dubbed because these three sessions — two from early 1949, one from March 1950 — are where the sound known as cool jazz essentially formed, The Birth of the Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. This is where the elasticity of bop was married with skillful, big-band arrangements and a relaxed, subdued mood that made it all seem easy, even at its most intricate. After all, there's a reason why this music was called cool; it has a hip, detached elegance, never getting too hot, even as the rhythms skip and jump. Indeed, the most remarkable thing about these sessions — arranged by Gil Evans and featuring such heavy-hitters as Kai Winding, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, and Max Roach — is that they sound intimate, as the nonet never pushes too hard, never sounds like the work of nine musicians. Furthermore, the group keeps things short and concise (probably the result of the running time of singles, but the results are the same), which keeps the focus on the tones and tunes. The virtuosity led to relaxing, stylish mood music as the end result — the very thing that came to define West Coast or "cool" jazz — but this music is so inventive, it remains alluring even after its influence has been thoroughly absorbed into the mainstream. Stephen Thomas Erlewine

As Miles Davis came to transcend the influence of Dizzy Gillespie and recognize his own musical voice, he arrived at a terse lyric conception of the trumpet, grounded in Charlie Parker's swinging syncopations. And it was in the course of searching for an appropriate musical corollary that he forged an enduring musical partnership with arranger Gil Evans and a core group of like-minded musicians that yielded three remarkable sessions which have come down to us as The Birth of the Cool. For Davis and Evans, the challenge was to create a supple new vocabulary out of the angularity of bebop, and greater emphasis on texture and form. By reining in the rhythm, Davis and Evans sought to create a more seamless fabric of written and improvised passages. And by employing tuba, French horn, trombone and trumpet, along with alto and baritone saxophones the Davis Nonet achieved a diaphanous, mellow orchestral texture. However, the notion of cool as emotional detachment or lack of improvisational heat is somewhat overstated by the title. John Lewis's chart for the opening "Move" is taken at a brisk gallop over a driving Max Roach pulse, animated by deep brass counterpoint. Miles Davis treats his own blues, "Deception," in an almost choral manner, his lovely melodic line snaking through a web of voices. Gerry Mulligan's "Rocker" benefits from the rich contrary motion of his writing, and the big band accents which launch Miles' solo. On "Boplicity," Gil Evans' harmonizes his coy swinging melody with warm, broken voicings, while his spatial, atmospheric chart for the ballad "Moon Dreams" is distinguished by the idiomatic serenity of his voice leading. A masterpiece.

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Kenny Hagood (vocals)
Lee Konitz (alto saxophone)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone)
Junior Collins, Sandy Siegelstein, Gunther Schuller (French horn)
J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding (trombone)
John Barber (tuba)
John Lewis, Al Haig (piano)
Al McKibbon, Joe Shulman, Nelson Boyd (bass)
Kenny Clarke, Max Roach (drums)

1. Move
2. Jeru
3. Moon Dreams
4. Venus De Milo
5. Budo
6. Deception
7. Godchild
8. Boplicity
9. Rocker
10. Israel
11. Rouge
12. Darn That Dream

Recorded in New York on January 21 & April 22, 1949 and on March 9, 1950

Chico Freeman - Destiny's Dance

Scott Yanow's review of this one is slightly too tepid as far as I'm concerned; this is a teriffic disc with some great playing from all concerned - but especially from Bobby Hutcherson (as always!).

An excellent tenor saxophonist and the son of Von Freeman, Chico Freeman has had a busy and diverse career, with many recordings ranging from advanced hard bop to nearly free avant-garde jazz. He originally played trumpet, not taking up the tenor until he was a junior in college. Freeman graduated from Northwestern University in 1972, played with R&B groups, and joined the AACM. In 1977, he moved to New York, where he worked with Elvin Jones, Sun Ra, Sam Rivers' big band, Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, and Don Pullen, in addition to leading his own groups. He recorded a dozen albums as a leader during 1975-1982. Starting in 1984, Freeman has played on a part-time basis with the Leaders, he has recorded on a few occasions with his father and in 1989, he put together an electric band called Brainstorm. Chico Freeman has recorded through the years as a leader for Dharma, India Navigation, Contemporary, Black Saint, Elektra/Musician, Black Hawk, Palo Alto, Jazz House, and In & Out.

By 1981, after six years of steady recording, Chico Freeman had gained a strong reputation as a flexible reed player able to play both avant-garde and fairly straight-ahead jazz. For this straight CD reissue of a Contemporary LP, Freeman doubles on tenor and bass clarinet in settings ranging from a quartet to a sextet. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (then just barely 20-years-old) is in superior form during his four appearances, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson is on all six songs, and also in fine form are pianist Dennis Moorman, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Ronnie Burrage; percussionist Paulinho Da Costa guests on one tune. The music is comprised of originals by Freeman, Hutcherson and McBee that, although based in the foundations of the past (Freeman's "Embracing Oneness" is dedicated to Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk), also looks forward. Scott Yanow

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

johnny hodges -- the blues

jean lafite says: at the end of the day, ellington is my main man and johnny hodges is my favorite sax player. i am ashamed that i did not have a series ready for his 100th birthday, i will endeavor to make up for that. happy birthday to mr johnny hodges, he was in a class by himself. i did not find the players on this, but i will eat my hat if they weren't the best in the business.

charles kynard -- wa-tu-wa-zui

jean lafite says: this is it for my kynard collection, i'm fresh out. another smoking effort with a stand up group of sidemen; beats and grooves all over. my personal favorite, zebra walk, is a killer. with rusty bryant on tenor, virgil jones trumpet, melvin sparks guitar, jimmy lewis bass, idris muhammed and bernard pretty purdie on drums (B1 only). phat.

Flip Phillips & Scott Hamilton - A Sound Investment

Following up on the Gerry Mulligan disc I posted last week, here is another nice Scott Hamilton session in which he is joined by one of his musical idols, the late Flip Phillips.

By sheer coincidence, this album was recorded a few months before and released just one month after the 1987 stock market crash; hence the upticking curve on the graph depicted on the jacket became a positive antidote of sorts to the financial screwups of the time. But without even seeing the jacket, one is always aware of the good vibes these tenor players generate in these small-combo contemporary swing sessions. Already in his 70s, Flip still plays with mature, husky soul, a slightly wailing upper register, and a feeling for space, while Hamilton's busier, directly booming tone becomes a neutral foil. Of the eight tunes, five of them are by Phillips, and the two rarely miss an opportunity to trade riffs good-naturedly in a friendly JATP manner. Good supporting cast, too, with guitarist Chris Flory making his mark as the ghost of Charlie Christian peers over the music stand. By Richard S. Ginell

Flip Phillips, Tenor Sax
Scott Hamilton, Tenor Sax
John Bunch, Piano
Phil Flanigan, Bass
Chris Flory, Guitar
Chuck Riggs, Drums

1. A Sound Investment (Phillips) 4:48
2. Comes Love (Brown, Stept, Tobias) 6:12
3. Blues for the Midgets (Phillips) 5:30
4. With Someone New (Phillips) 6:36
5. Maria Elena (Barcelata, Russell) 6:38
6. Great Scott (Phillips) 3:50
7. A Smooth One (Goodman) 6:37
8. New Orleans (Carmichael) 3:36
9. The Claw (Phillips) 6:00

Recorded at Penny Lane Studios, NYC, New York USA in March of 1987

charles kynard -- afro-disiac

jean lafite says: i can't find a picture of anything these days. another winner from mr kynard recorded in may 1970 by rudy vanG with houston person, grant green, jimmy lewis, and bernard pretty purdie. arrangements by richard fritz.

trouble at my satellite location, but not at home. afro-disiac links are up, more kynard to follow as they load to rapidshare. sorry for the delays.

charles kynard-your momma don't dance

jean lafite says: maybe not quite as good as some of his others, kynard still makes it happen playing (mostly?) covers. with chuck rainey, ray pounds, paul humphrey, david roberts. george bohanon, arthur adams, jerry rusch, and james kartchner.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Henry Cain “The Funky Organ-ization of Henry Cain” (1968, Capitol 2688)

AMG said, “Henry Cain’s lone Capitol LP is most notable for its credits. Produced by the great David Axelrod and arranged by H.B. Barnum and Oliver Nelson, The Funky Organ-ization of Henry Cain is a funky if slight set of soul-jazz instrumentals crafted with uncommon attention to detail. Cain is a soulful keyboardist with an appealing approach to the Hammond, and even if he lacks the vision and virtuosity of some of his better-known contemporaries, there’s no denying the infectiousness of this record. Barnum and Nelson’s arrangements deserve significant credit for keeping the music on message while also creating panoramic pockets of space for the musicians to move freely.”

Jazz-Nekko offers, “Following the recent Nelson sets, my previous Mann/Nelson share, the excellent Ego & Jean Lafite’s Kynard/soul-jazz/organ thread, this album fits nicely. This is the funky side of soul-jazz and the brass section pumps you with this feeling. Axelrod producing this, Nelson arranging it and Cain sitting behind the organ, what do you think you can expect? ~ enjoy!

Henry Cain (org), Oliver Nelson (arr), H.B. Barnum, Plas Johnson, John Kelson (saxes), Tony Terran, Fred Hill (tp), Jimmy Bond (eB), Howard Roberts, Arthur Wright (g), Earl Palmer (d), Gary Coleman, Jerry Williams (vib/per); David Axelrod (prod)

01. The Way I Feel
02. Respect
03. Sunny
04. Why (Am I Treated So Bad)
05. Lonely Avenue
06. Dead End Street
07. Shake a Lady
08. Precious Memories
09. Critics Choice
10. I'm on My Way
11. Horror Scope

Nathaniel and Julian

Like the Hawthornes.

Nat Adderley - That's Right!

Nat Adderley has seldom played with more fire, verve and distinction than he did on That's Right! It placed him in the company of an expanded sax section that included his brother Cannonball on alto, Yusef Lateef on tenor, flute and oboe, Jimmy Heath and Charlie Rouse on tenor and baritone saxophonist Tate Houston. Solos crackled, the backing was tasty and stimulating, and the eight songs ranged from brisk standards to delightful originals. This CD reissue, despite lacking any new or alternate material, is most welcome due to the full, striking sound that the big reed section provided.

Nat Adderley (cornet)
Cannonball Adderley (alto sax)
Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, flute, oboe)
Jimmy Heath, Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Tate Houston (baritone sax)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Jim Hall, Les Spann (guitar)
Sam Jones (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)

1. The Old Country
2. Chordnation
3. The Folks Who Live On The Hill
4. Tadd
5. You Leave Me Breathless
6. Night After Night
7. E.S.P.
8. That's Right

Recorded in August and September 1960

The Cannonball Adderley Sextet - In New York

The saga of Cannonball Adderley's band, which has unquestionably been one of the most dazzling success stories in modern jazz history, has been highlighted by recording sessions of the most 'modern' kind-on-the -job, in-the-club albums that have only become possible because of the improved tape-recording and microphone techniques and equipment of recent years.

When a jazz group is the sort that responds vividly to audience reaction, and when it also provokes great excitement and enthusiasm among the customers, an in-person recording can be an emotional and musical experience of awesome proportions. And I can think of no combination of jazz musicians who surpass Cannonball's crew in this dual ability to stimulate and be stimulated by a club full of avid listeners. This was overwhelmingly demonstrated very early in the band's existence, when they were recorded on the job at the Jazz Workshop in the Fall of 1959. That was actually a rather accidental happening-we were anxious to bring out an album by this newly formed quintet as swiftly as possible, San Francisco was the scene of their first extensive engagement, and that otherwise wonderful city doesn't particularly have recording studio facilities. So we brought our equipment into the club, and the result was "The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco"-a most gratifyingly best-selling phenomenon whose virtues included a remarkable atmosphere of audience participation.

The present album can be considered something of a companion piece to that first LP, created just over two years after it and at the other end of the continent. It presents a group that is rather more mature in terms of self-assurance and experience in working together, but every bit as electric and spirited as it was then. Four members of the unit have been on hand since the start : Cannonball, the country's top-ranked altoist ; his brother, the brilliant cornetist Nat Adderley ; and the incomparable rhythm team of bassist Sam Jones (who, like the Adderleys, could attribute much of his down-home jazz feeling to having been born down in Florida) and Detroiter Lou Hayes on drums. Their pianist, who joined the band in the Summer of '61 but is recording with them for the first time here, is Joe Zawinul, born and raised in Austria, whose playing manages to disprove a great many geographical and racial cliches about jazz. Yusef Lateef, a second emigrant from Detroit and a big-toned tower of strength on tenor sax (and flute and oboe), was added to the group only three weeks before this recording was made, thus turning it into a sextet. There seems no need to comment on the fact that Yusef was instantly assimilated into the group, or on the equally important facts that he has never sounded better than in this context and that his presence appears to have really fired up all concerned. All this is thoroughly evident on the LP, with the seemingly impossible result that the most fiery and soulful of jazz bands now sounds even more so.

As befits a 'live' date, the album has been put together much in the pattern of an actual performance. It opens with a few trenchant observations by Cannonball, who has long established himself as a rarity among bandleaders by invariably seeking to warm and welcome his audiences and to tell them what's going on. Then the sextet launches into the strong and compelling jazz waltz, Gemini, named for the zodiac sign of the Twins and written by tenor sax man Jimmy Heath, a close friend of the Adderleys and himself a Riverside artist Lateef states the theme on flute, and later follows solos by Julian and Nat with some soaring tenor comments. Then there's an ensemble interlude well worth special mention-not only on this album, but just about every time the band has played this tune, it draws applause, possibly the only time a mid-way ensemble chorus has consistently grabbed audience approval in this way.

Lateef's Planet Earth (Cannonball is apt to describe its title as "insurance-it's how to make sure where we're at") is a lusty number that displays how well the band now uses its three horn status to construct effective backgrounds for the soloists.

The second side is a good example of a the variety and pacing of a typical club set Dizzy's Business is a swift-moving "opener." (It was originally written, by Ernie Wilkins, for Dizzy Gillespie's big band and , as Cannon sometimes puts it : "Dizzy's business and our business are pretty much the same thing - to swing.") Lateef's Syn-anthesia , which utilizes his command of the oboe, is a strange and delicate piece ; Yusef explai'ns its title as referring to "a mixture of the senses." Zawinul's Scotch and Water is a rocking blues that features solos by the leader and the composer. Lastly there is a closing theme, written by Sam Jones, that is more than just a curtain-call device : after Cannon introduces the cast, they proceed to blow up a final storm that leaves the crowd clapping, beating time, and obviously reluctant to have things end-which is not at all an unusual way for an Adderley set (or record) to come to a close. ORRIN KEEPNEWS

Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone)
Yusef Lateef (tenor saxophone)
Nat Adderley (cornet)
Joe Zawinul (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Introduction-By Cannonball
2. Gemini
3. Planet Earth
4. Dizzy's Business
5. Syn-Anthesia
6. Scotch And Water
7. Cannon's Theme

Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, New York, New York on January 12 and 14, 1962

Don Sebesky - Moving Lines

This is a little-known but wonderful disc by arranger Don Sebesky, bringing his modernist sound (by modernist, I mean his incorporation of rock idioms into his instrumental jazz arrangements) to pop standards and other material (sometimes classical). Check out what Sebesky does to the big band classics Cherokee and Skyliner. For me, the highlight of this disc is Malaguena, a 1927 Spanish song that Sebesky transforms into a Miles/Gil Evans-inspired 13+ minute epic along the lines of Sketches of Spain.

Don Sebesky is best known as house arranger for many of producer Creed Taylor's Verve, AM, and CTI productions; the man whose orchestral backgrounds helped make artists like Wes Montgomery, Paul Desmond, Freddie Hubbard, and George Benson acceptable to audiences outside of jazz. He has taken critical heat for this, but Sebesky's arrangements have usually been among the classiest in his field, reflecting a solid knowledge of the orchestra, drawing variously from big band jazz, rock, ethnic music, classical music of all eras, and even the avant-garde for ideas. He once cited Bartok as his favorite composer, but one also hears lots of Stravinsky in his work.

Sebesky started out professionally as a trombonist while still at the Manhattan School of Music, working with Kai Winding, Claude Thornhill, the Tommy Dorsey Band led by Warren Covington, Maynard Ferguson, and Stan Kenton. In 1960, he gave up the trombone to concentrate upon arranging and conducting, eventually receiving the breakthrough assignment of Montgomery's Bumpin' album (1965). Some of the most attractive examples of his work for jazz headliners include Bumpin', Benson's The Shape of Things to Come, Desmond's From the Hot Afternoon, and Hubbard's First Light. He began to step out into the spotlight with the release of his all-star Giant Box, which was followed by sporadic further releases on CTI and GNP/Crescendo. He has also written classical works and a book, -The Contemporary Arranger (Port Washington, NY, 1975). - Richard S. Ginell

Eddie Daniels, Clarinet, Piccolo, Sax (Tenor), Vocals
Sue Evans, Percussion
Alex Foster, Clarinet, Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Jay Leonhart, Bass
James Madison, Percussion, Drums
Brian O'Flaherty, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jim Pugh, Trombone, Euphonium
Alan Raph, Tuba, Euphonium, Trombone (Bass)
Barry Ries, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Don Sebesky, Trombone, Arranger
Ken Sebesky, Guitar (Electric)

1. Claire’s Song (Ferrante) 4:26
2. Cherokee (Noble) 6:20
3. Moondreams (MacGregor, Mercer) 5:14
4. I Go To Rio/Mardi Gras (Allen, A. Anderson/Almeida) 5:09
5. Malaguena (Lecuona) 13:38
6. Skyliner (Barnet, Moore) 6:51

Recorded at Nola Sound Studios, New York City, NY USA in November, 1984

Archie Shepp - Live In Antibes; Vols. 1 and 2

Volumes 1 & 2 of 'Live In Antibes' document Archie Shepp’s appearance at the Antibes Jazz Festival of July 1970. Both are notable for the presence of Shorter (brother of Wayne) and Thornton.

Volume 2 opens with waves of percussion from Delcloo; a steady drum roll with the pitch changing up and down that’s reminiscent of waves breaking on the shore. This is soon followed by a long section of piano playing that’s fairly basic both in form and technique, before the horns open up. It’s not clear who’s playing piano here – both Shepp and Thornton are credited with playing piano on the sleeve, but both seem to solo while the piano goes on. Perhaps they were taking turns.

Also intriguing is Shepp’s solo in the second half of the piece – a mesmerizing piece of upper-register playing that seems to have tenor accompaniment. Again, it’s not clear who’s playing the second tenor – the line is fairly simple so perhaps one of the other band members stepped up, or maybe Shepp is managing to play 2 horns simultaneously, a la Roland Kirk? Either way, this section, and the subsequent group interplay and solo by Dejean that’s fairly interesting.

Archie Shepp (piano, soprano and tenor sax, vocals)
Allen Shorter (fluegelhorn)
Clifford Thornton (trumpet, piano)
Joseph Déjean (guitar)
Beb Guérin (bass)
Claude Delcloo (drums)

CD 1
1 - The Early Bird (part 1)
2 - The Early Bird (part 2)

CD 2
1 - Huru (part 1
2 - Huru (part 2)

Juan Le Pins Jazz Festival, Antibes, France July 18 and July 20, 1970

Dexter Gordon with Karin Krog - Some Other Spring

Not on anybody's heavy rotation list, I would guess. She sings well, Dex is fine as usual. I suppose the only problems are ones common to the period in which it was recorded. Listen to Ode To Billy Joe, and get it over with. There are more good moments than bad, however.

Recorded in Oslo in 1970, recorded, mixed and mastered by engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug.A reissue of the album made in 1970 with four extra tracks. This is a classic album, with some of the best musicians at that time. On one of the tracks Jelly Jelly Dexter Gordon makes his debut as a singer in duet with Krog. The album won a Grammy in Japan in 1971, and has now turned into a real collectors item. "An undeniable classic, by one of Europe´s finest jazzsingers" - Andy Hamilton.

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Karin Krog (vocal)
Kenny Drew (piano, organ)
Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass)
Luke Atmebum (fährtblåstr)
Ivan Ugliwyf (själfluger)
Awayan Bugeraff (acoustic snårgl)
Espen Rud (drums)

1 - Some Other Spring
2 - Blue Monk
3 - How Insensitive
4 - Blues Eyes
5 - Jelly Jelly
6 - I Wish I Knew
7 - Everybody's Somebody's Fool
8 - Shiny Stockings
9 - Ode To Billy Joe
10 - Some Other Spring (alternate)
11 - Blue Monk (alternate)
12 - Shiny Stockings (alternate)

Zoot Sims & Joe Pass - Blues For Two

Although guitarist Joe Pass recorded many unaccompanied solo albums, he made relatively few dates as part of a duo. This CD reissue of a session with tenor-saxophonist Zoot Sims works quite well because Zoot Sims was a natural swinger who did not need a full rhythm section to push him. His playing on the selections (mainly standards including "Dindi," "Poor Butterfly," "Pennies From Heaven" and "I Hadn't Anyone Till You") is as heated and lyrical as usual. Pass also warms up quickly to the situation (Sims must have been easy to accompany) and takes many fine solos of his own. The pair collaborated on the opening "Blues for 2" and "Takeoff" which wraps up the highly enjoyable set. Scott Yanow

Zoot Sims (soprano & tenor saxophones)
Joe Pass (guitar)

1. Blues For 2
2. Dindi
3. Pennies From Heaven
4. Poor Butterfly
5. What Did I Do To Be So Black And Blue
6. I Hadn't Anyone Till You
7. Takeoff
8. Remember

Recorded in March and June 1982

Milt Jackson, Joe Pass, Ray Brown - The Big 3

Milt Jackson, Joe Pass, Ray Brown - The Big 3

Before Milt Jackson, there were only two major vibraphonists: Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo. Jackson soon surpassed both of them in significance and, despite the rise of other players (including Bobby Hutcherson and Gary Burton), still won the popularity polls throughout the decades. Jackson (or "Bags" as he was long called) was at the top of his field for 50 years, playing bop, blues, and ballads with equal skill and sensitivity. Milt Jackson started on guitar when he was seven, and piano at 11; a few years later, he switched to vibes. He actually made his professional debut singing in a touring gospel quartet. After Dizzy Gillespie discovered him playing in Detroit, he offered him a job with his sextet and (shortly after) his innovative big band (1946). Jackson recorded with Gillespie, and was soon in great demand. During 1948-1949, he worked with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. After playing with Gillespie's sextet (1950-1952), which at one point included John Coltrane, Jackson recorded with a quartet comprised of John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Kenny Clarke (1952), which soon became a regular group called the Modern Jazz Quartet. Although he recorded regularly as a leader (including dates in the 1950s with Miles Davis and/or Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, and Ray Charles), Milt Jackson stayed with the MJQ through 1974, becoming an indispensable part of their sound. By the mid-'50s, Lewis became the musical director and some felt that Bags was restricted by the format, but it actually served him well, giving him some challenging settings. And he always had an opportunity to jam on some blues numbers, including his "Bags' Groove." However, in 1974, Jackson felt frustrated by the MJQ (particularly financially) and broke up the group. He recorded frequently for Pablo in many all-star settings in the 1970s, and after a seven-year vacation, the MJQ came back in 1981. In addition to the MJQ recordings, Milt Jackson cut records as a leader throughout his career for many labels including Savoy, Blue Note (1952), Prestige, Atlantic, United Artists, Impulse, Riverside, Limelight, Verve, CTI, Pablo, Music Masters, and Qwest. He died of liver cancer on October 9, 1999, at the age of 76. — Scott Yanow

Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
Joe Pass (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)

1 - The Pink Panther
2 - Nuages
3 - Blue Bossa
4 - Come Sunday
5 - Wave
6 - Moonglow
7 - You Stepped Out of a Dream
8 - Blues for Sammy

Recorded in August 1975

Miles Davis - Music For Brass

Or, to be precise; The Jazz and Classical Music Society presents a program of Music For Brass by Gunther Schuller, John Lewis, Jimmy Giuffre, J.J. Johnson conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos and Gunther Schuller

Special recording project of the Jazz-Classical Music Society, this group recorded some sessions for Columbia in 1956. Major musicians involved include Miles Davis, J.J. Johnson and Jimmy Giuffre. ~ Ron Wynn

Miles Davis (flugelhorn)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Osie Johnson (drums)
J.J. Johnson (trombone)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Many others

1. Symphony For Brass And Percussion, Op. 16
I. Andante ~ Allegro
II. Scherzo
III. Lento
IV. Quasi Cadenza ~ Allegro

2. Jazz Suite For Brass (Poem For Brass)
3. Three Little Feelings
4. Pharaoh

Pablo Ziegler - Bajo Cero

I have really loved this disc since I picked it up in Buenos Aires prior to its international release. For those looking for something different, this is a very interesting fusion of tango and jazz from someone who truly has the credentials. Pablo Ziegler was Astor Piazolla’s pianist for over 10 years. I went to see Ziegler and his small group perform selections from this disc at The Jazz Standard in New York City last December and was thrilled to be there. Ziegler recorded another very fine disc in 1999 guest starring Joe Lovano. If the reception to this post is good, I will add that one as well. PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS GREAT MUSIC.

”Nuevo Tango” is what Argentinean pianist Pablo Ziegler calls his music. El Profesor Ziegler was the last pianist to perform with the great Astor Piazzolla, joining the master’s quintet from 1978 to 1989. After Piazzolla disbanded the group, Ziegler formed Cuarteto Para El Nuevo Tango, beginning to compose and perform his Nuevo Tango. On Bajo Cero, Ziegler debuts his newly formed Nuevo Tango Duo consisting of himself on piano and Quique Sinesi on guitar. He supplements the duo with virtuoso bandoneon player Walter Castro. The resulting trio makes some of the most entertaining and provocative music in recent memory. In addition to the newer Ziegler and Sinesi compositions that the Duo has been playing recently, they honor Piazzolla with two of his own: “Chin Chin,” and ”Fuga Y Misterio” grace this recording like a fine compliment, deepening the dark and humid beauty of this music.

Zeigler’s compositions trend toward the virtuostic. His writing and arranging are well thought out and carefully crafted. “La Rayuela” and the title piece are complex as red wine and heady as fine port. His empathic relationship with Sinesi is a plus, providing the music with the depth necessary to sustain itself, almost like a breeze. Walter Castro shows up as the smile on the face of this lilting music. Khaeon continues its documentation of Latin Music with this very fine Bajo Cero.

Rescued from the ashes of Khaeon Records, Bajo Cero should be welcomed with open arms. I warmly received this recording when it was first released and am fortunate to have the opportunity to reconsider it here. The disc is ostensibly a duet between former Astor Piazzolla-pianist Pablo Ziegler and guitarist Quique Sinesi, Ziegler’s Nuevo Tango Duo.

What does this music sound like? I suspect had Ravel or Debussy or any of Les Six been Latin Americans from the humid climes of Argentina and existed now, they would be making this music. It is impressionism with an edge. The complex and densely virtuosic opening piece, “La Rayuela,” evidences this. It is a bit like a tango “Giant Steps.” Walter Castro’s bandoneon dissolves into the swirling mix of notes wafting from Ziegler’s piano. Quique Sinesi’s guitar is precise and vital.

In contrast, “Flor de Lino” is a breezy waltz that at once recalls Chopin, Gottschalk, and Jelly Roll Morton as well as Piazzolla. This, with “Yuyo Verde” and “Los Mareados,” are purely traditional tangos of piano-guitar duo. Sparely arranged with ample room for improvisation, Sinesi demonstrates his unique talent for filling spaces with long, flowing lines pregnant with Latin pathos.

Piazzolla shows up on his two rarely performed tangos, “Chin Chin” and “Fuga y Mistero.” The former piece was composed late in Piazzolla’s life and is dedicated to the piano. The latter is a more classic piece, Piazzolla’s most complex fugue with 12 statements of each theme, originally included in his tango opera, “Maria de Buenos Aires.” Both are treated respectfully so as not to stifle the breathing of the music. Ziegler frames the pieces with an appropriate splendor. Bajo Cero is a welcome re-release that points the direction of the house that Piazzolla built, the Nuevo Tango. C. Michael Bailey

Walter Castro, Bandoneon
Quique Sinesi, Guitar
Pablo Ziegler, Piano

1 La Rayuela (Ziegler) 4:18
2 Flor de Lino (Stamponi) 4:13
3 Chin Chin (Piazzolla) 7:49
4 La Fundicion (Ziegler) 6:24
5 Milonga del Adios (Ziegler) 8:11
6 Bajo Cero (Ziegler) 7:26
7 Yuyo Verde (Federico) 4:24
8 Planufer Milonga (Sinesi) 7:00
9 Los Mareados (Cobian Cadicamo) 7:05
10 Fuga y Misterio (Piazzolla) 4:58

Recorded at Hanshaus Studios, Bonn Germany in 2003.

Stan Getz - The Girl From Ipanema. The Bossa Nova Years 4CD

When Stan Getz was flying to Washington, D.C. together with producer Creed Taylor on February 13, 1962, he only knew a few about bossa nova, the music was going to change his life.
This 4 CD set contains nearly all of Stan Getz's bossa nova sessions (Jazz Samba, Big Band Bossa Nova, Jazz Samba Encore, Stan Getz/Laurindo Almedia, and Getz/Gilberto). Moreover, the set includes three previously unissued performances from a 1964 Carnegie Hall Concert and concludes with a remake of "The Girl From Ipanema".
Getz plays with Charlie Byrd (the guitarrist who introduced him to bossa nova), with a big band arranged by Gary McFarland and with several brazilian musics (Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Luiz Bonfa, Laurindo Almeida and singer Astrud Gilberto).
Enjoy this impresive document with this exciting music!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monty Alexander “My America” (2002, Telarc CD-83552)

Paraphrasing David Kidney's review, this is the fourth album for the Telarc label by Monty Alexander. Here he aims to show his appreciation to his adopted home, America. The tracks centre on people and images that shaped his attitude towards the States, be it cowboy movies he watched as a child in Jamaica, or impressions of American musicians, e.g. Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Marvin Gaye and James Brown.

This album begins with a jazzy version of a Roy Rogers-like ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ to show the direction of this album – a tight and funky Jamaican “riddim” section that stirs up a jazzy cultural mix.The solid bass (can you spell, b-a-s-s!?) and drums give Monty the perfect platform to improvise – and he does not disappoint. The inventive manner in which he wraps all of these improbable facets around jazz makes this a beyond the ordinary album from Alexander ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:
- sassy, reggae-beat or Caribbean version of Al Green’s, ‘Love and Happiness’
- rocking version of Ellington’s ‘Rockin’ In Riddim’
- bluesy, honky tonk version of ‘Mack the Knife’
- gospel and music hall piano inflected, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’
- energetic vocals and piano of Alexander

Monty Alexander (p/melodica), Leroy Romans (kyb), Derek DiCenzo, Dalton Browne (g), Glen Browne, Leon Duncan (b), Desi Jones (d), Bobby Thomas Jr. (d/per), Freddy Cole, John Pizzarelli, Kevin Mahogany (vcl); recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York between March 25 & April 1, 2002

01. Don’t Fence Me In
02. Straighten Up and Fly Right
03. Love and Happiness
04. Rockin’ In Riddim
05. Mack the Knife
06. Summer Wind
07. Honky Tonk
08. Hallelujah I Love Her So
09. Sex Machine (Soul/Yard Meeting)
10. Sexual Healing
11. The River Roll On
12. Battle Hymn of the Republic

Art Blakey - Buhaina's Delight

When Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers expanded to a sextet with the addition of Curtis Fuller on trombone, the group took on the character of a small big band propelled by Blakey's forceful drumming. BUHAINA'S DELIGHT, another session in the long line of great Blue Note dates from this period, displays that classic line-up in pristine form. With Freddie Hubbard replacing Lee Morgan, Cedar Walton replacing Bobby Timmons and musical director Wayne Shorter, the Messengers were full of fresh sounds and vibrant with energy.
Uncharacteristically for a Messengers session, the relaxed shuffle "Backstage Sally" opens the disc in a laid back groove. Shorter's brilliant playing is featured prominently on this session on the delicate ballad "Contemplation" and many stunning solo spots. The title track (dubbed for Blakey's Islamic name, Buhaina) and a dynamic arrangement of the standard "Moon River" are excellent examples of the classic Messengers sound: challenging horn arrangements, expressive soloing and assertive drumming by the leader. Also included on this set are bonus takes of all but two of the original tunes.

Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

1. Backstage Sally
2. Contemplation
3. Bu's Delight
4. Reincarnation Blues
5. Shakey Jake
6. Moon River
7. Backstage Sally (Take 15)
8. Bu's Delight (Take 37)
9. Reincarnation Blues (Take 36)
10. Moon River (Take 4)

Herbie Mann (Oliver Nelson arr.) "Today!" (1967, Atlantic SD-1454)

Scott "I Haven’t the Slightest Idea What I'm Talking About" Yanow reviewed this set as, "Flutist Herbie Mann has always had wide interests in music. For this hard-to-find LP he is joined by three brass, vibraphonist Dave Pike, bassist Earl May, drummer Bruno Carr and percussionist Patato Valdes (with arrangements by Oliver Nelson) for a wide-ranging program that includes two Beatles songs, a selection from Burt Bacharach and two ancient pieces by Duke Ellington ("Creole Love Call" and "The Mooche"). In general Mann plays quite well but there is little memorable about this generally commercial effort."

Jazz-Nekko, ever so polite, counter reviews as, "Yanow is full of it. Perhaps back in the late '60s this was considered commerical, but Nelson's arrangements of pop songs never sounded funkier. This is a sass-filled musical joy. If you are comatose - don't bother with this album. For the rest of you lively souls ~ enjoy!

Herbie Mann (fl/alt-fl), Oliver Nelson (arr), Earl May (b), Dave Pike (vib), Jimmy Owens (tp), Bruno Carr (d), Carlos "Patato" Valdes (cga)

01. Night Before
02. Yesterday
03. Creole Love Call
04. Don't Say I Didn't Tell You So
05. Today
06. Arrastao
07. Mooche
08. If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody

Bill Evans - New Conversations

The third and final over-dub album proved to be the best as far as the pianist was concerned. He said Conversations with Myself was a little too busy. Further Conversations did not work for him either. But New Conversations only had three pianos going when appropriate and some tracks are pure solo piano. Great Tunes including some reflective compositions by the pianist. Bill was only sorry that the album did not get better distribution and publicity. Being alone with a decent piano was Bill's ideal playing environment. Brian Hennessey The Bill Evans Memorial Library

1. Song For Helen
2. Nobody Else But Me
3. Maxine
4. For Nenette
5. I Love My Wife
6. Remembering The Rain
7. After You
8. Reflections In D


jean lafite says:
this one has in various combinations: lou mcgarity al godli billy rauch jack satterfield oscar pettiford tony mottola cliff leeman toots mondello artie beck carl prager george berg and the ray bryant trio with wendll marshall and bill clark

with urbie green, billy byers, chauncy welsh, satos russo, hank jones, art taylor, doug watkins, bucky pizzarelli, al cohn, zoot sims, al epstien, danny banks, barry galbraith.
these are good if you like listening to records. the amazing mr jean thielemans with some first rate players.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Van Morrison Edinburgh Castle 1995

Van Morrison and the BBC Orchestra Big Band at Edinburgh Jazz Festival in August 1995
FM BBC broadcast

01. All Right, OK, You Win (3:12)
02. How Long Has This Been Going On? (4:29)
03. Early In The Morning (3:01)
04. Days Like This (3:23)
05. Who Can I Turn To? (3:57)
06. That's Life (3:34)
07. I Will Be There (2:25)
08. Vanlose Stairway (4:23)
09. Blues In the Night (3:14)
10. Haunts of Ancient Peace (4:50)
11. Your Mind Is On Vacation (4:19)
12. Moondance (8:47)

Total time: (49:38)

I really like this era, when Van was in prime jazz singing mode (as opposed to his recent foray into country, but I won't go into that for obvious reasons!)

Really interesting show, in my opinion, though Van was definitely not pleased with it at all...One of those unusual shows you have to hear if you're a fan.

From the info file:
Dave Wilson reports that he "was at that concert and it was quite a night - for all the wrong reasons. Now I have seen Van maybe 12 times and been moved by his performance 90% of the time but on this night he was quite clearly not happy, most likely with the BBC big band who were backing him! You will notice the CD is only over 40 min long - that is all the Man played! He walked off the stage leaving bewildered musicians to wait for his return - which never happened. And somehow I admire him for it!"

I currently have several other FM/sbd Van shows on my HD that I can post. If you're interested in these, leave a comment.

ECM / Hat Monday

Art Pepper - The Discovery Sessions

Those familiar with Art Pepper's later and more heavily orchestrated works will be surprised by the sparseness of these early sessions, the first that Pepper ever cut as a leader. After serving in the armed forces between 1944 and 1946, Pepper got a job with Stan Kenton's band. This, and a 1951 Downbeat poll that placed him second only to Charlie Parker as Best Alto Sax Player, caught the attention of Albert Marx, who owned Discovery Records. During the following year-and-a-half, Pepper cut several sessions for the label, and it's those recordings that make up this CD. Although the personnel varied with each incarnation of the band, the basic makeup was the same: a small-piece unit, featuring sax, piano, bass, and drums, based roughly on the ideal founded by the classic bebop quartets and quintets in the early '40s. In fact, it's quite evident listening to these sessions that this was one of the last stands of bebop as bebop alone. Pepper has often been lumped with the "cool" stylings of the West Coast wave, and listening to his dulcet tones on the "Misty"-like "What's New (Alternate)," it's easy to sense the whole softening that jazz was going through at the time (after the frenetic acceleration of Bird, Bud, and Monk). Pepper's sax was a soft sob, punctuated by measured blows and a genuine remorse that was hard to hide. But at this point, his primary springboard was still the highly mathematical style of Bird, Bud, and Monk. In any event, he helped pave the way for the whole West Coast wing, including Jack Sheldon, Shelly Manne, Shorty Rogers, Barney Kessel, Gerry Mulligan, and Chet Baker. In the meantime, he came closer than almost anybody in evoking the majesty of Charlie Parker--perhaps the century's greatest musician--on tracks like the great "The Way You Look Tonight" (which is better than Coltrane's version). As these cuts were recorded in order, one gets the sense that Pepper's style was evolving quickly, as on "Cinnamon" and "What's New" where, as a soloist, he seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. --Joe S. Harrington

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Joe Mondragon (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)
Los Angeles, CA, March 4, 1952

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Bob Whitlock (bass)
Bobby White (drums)
Los Angeles, CA, March 29, 1953

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Jack Montrose (tenor sax)
Claude Williamson (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Paul Ballerina (drums 11-16)
Larry Bunker (drums 17-22)
Los Angeles, CA, August 25, 1954

1. Brown Gold
2. These Foolish Things
3. Surf Ride
4. Holiday Flight
5. Chili Pepper [Alternate Take]
6. Chili Pepper [Original Issue]
7. Suzy the Poodle [Original Issue]
8. Suzy the Poodle [Alternate Take]
9. Everything Happens to Me
10. Tickle Toe
11. Nutmeg [Original Issue]
12. Nutmeg [Alternate Take]
13. Deep Purple
14. Cinnamon
15. What's New? [Alternate Take]
16. What's New? [Original Issue]
17. Thyme Time [Original Issue]
18. Thyme Time [Alternate Take]
19. Straight Life
20. Art's Oregano
21. Way You Look Tonight [Alternate Take]
22. Way You Look Tonight [Original Issue]

“20th Anniversary Chesky Records” (2006, Chesky CH 312)

Chesky Records philosophy of “creating the illusion of live musicians in a real three-dimensional space” is often criticized or praised, depending on which audiophile you ask. Their recording techniques and microphone placement to try and capture every “minute detail” as a musician would like to have it”, is the vision of founder and musician, Dave Chesky. In celebration of 20 years, this compilation highlights some of the artists Chesky Records has been involved from 1986-2006 ~ enjoy!

01. Allegro Scherzando (Earl Wild)
02. Allegro Energico e Passionato (Fritz Reiner & The Royal Philharmonic)
03. Pick Yourself Up and Start All Over Again (Johnny Frigo with John and Bucky Pizzarelli)
04. Anos Dourados (Ana Caram)
05. My Blue Heaven (John Pizzarelli)
06. Recorda Me (McCoy Tyner)
07. Miles Away (Sara K.)
08. Three Dances: Tango, Valse, Ragtime (Ransom Wilson & Solisti New York)
09. Grandmother (Rebecca Pidgeon)
10. Muerte del Angel (Astor Piazzola)
11. Rewind (Oregon)
12. The Peanut Vendor (Paquito D'Rivera)
13. Isn't She Lovely (Livingston Taylor)

14. Laura (Jon Faddis)
15. Mountain Flight (Chuck Mangione)
16. Goodbye Porkpie Hat (Larry, Julian and Murali Coryell)
17. Well I've Been to Memphis (David Johansen and The Harry Smiths)
18. Skylark (Clark Terry with Marian McPartland)
19. Will It Go Round in Circles Christy Baron)
20. Manteca (The Conga Kings)
21. Perdido (Bucky Pizzarelli)
22. Eight Days a Week (The Persuasions)
23. Garota De Ipanema (Rosa Passos & Ron Carter)
24. Club Descarga (Body Accoustic, feat. B. Mintzer, G. Hidalgo, A. Gonzalez, D. Chesky and R. Brecker)
25. La Finca (Marta Gomez)
26. Allegro Molto (David Chesky & Area 31, feat. Tom Chui and Anthony Ajbel)
27. Oh Well (Billy Burnette)
28. Fever (Valerie Joyce)

Monty Alexander “Caribbean Circle” (2002, Chesky JD80)

Yet another from the Monty Alexander discography - this set again demonstrates his love of combining jazz with island roots. This concept album has three sections in which each part represents a childhood influence of Alexander’s. There is an introductory monologue by Alexander, complete with a heavy Jamaican accent (love it or leave it). See if you can detect the influences of Caribbean music, American westerns, and Louis Armstrong. This set uses a four-horn arrangement, percussion and steel drums to go along with Alexander’s base trio and plays a good amount of Alexander original compositions. All in all, this is a decent effort by Alexander - and full of variety. Alexander stays in the shadows so that he does not get in the way of the horn section ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:
- ‘Caribbean Circle’, ‘Oh Why’
- interesting rendition of Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’
- enjoyable, lively version of ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’
- outstanding trumpet by Dankworth, ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’

The Stars Of Modern Jazz - Carnegie Hall: Christmas 1949

"This Carnegie Hall concert can be considered the height of the bebop era. Among the top young modernists heard near their early peaks are pianist Bud Powell, trumpeter Miles Davis, baritonist Serge Chaloff, altoist Sonny Stitt, trombonist Kai Winding, tenor-saxophonists Stan Getz and Warne Marsh, pianist Lennie Tristano, altoist Lee Konitz and Sarah Vaughan. But while their performances are consistently outstanding, Charlie Parker and his quintet (which includes trumpeter Red Rodney, pianist Al Haig, bassist Tommy Potter and drummer Roy Haynes) steals the show. Bird and Rodney rarely sounded more fiery than on their five songs and Parker's incredible solo on this version of "Ko Ko" might very well be his best. This CD is highly recommended for all collections." Yanow

The Bud Powell Trio
Bud Powell piano
Curley Russell bass
Max Roach drums

1 All God's Chillun Got Rhythm

add to above rhythm section:
Miles Davis trumpet
Serge Chaloff baritone sax
Sonny Stitt alto sax
Benny Green trombone

2 Move
3 Hot House
4 Ornithology (incomplete)

Stan Getz-Kai Winding Quintet
Stan Getz tenor sax
Kai Winding trombone
Al Haig piano
Tommy Potter bass
Roy Haynes drums

5 Always
6 Sweet Miss

Stan Getz Quartet
as above omit Winding

7 Long Island Sound

Sarah Vaughan vocal
Jimmy Jones piano

8 Once in a While
9 Mean to Me

Lennie Tristano-Lee Konitz Sextet
Lee Konitz alto sax
Warne March tenor sax
Lennie Tristano piano
Joe Shulman bass
Jeff Morton drums

10 You Go to My Head
11 Sax of a Kind

The Charlie Parker Quintet
Charlie Parker alto sax
Red Rodney trumpet
Al Haig piano
Tommy Potter bass
Roy Haynes drums

12 Ornithology
13 Cheryl
14 Koko
15 Bird of Paradise
16 Now's the Time

Recorded at Carnegie Hall, NYC on December 25, 1949

Oliver Nelson with Eric Dolphy - Straight Ahead

This was the third and last time Nelson and Dolphy collaborated, and most of the titles are Nelson originals.

"A classic hard-bop date from 1961, Straight Ahead displays the best of Nelson's skills--his writing (he composed five of the six numbers here), his fine command of the sax (his bright, open tone and clean, lyrical approach), and his excellent taste in personnel. The latter is of particular note here. In addition to Roy Haynes (drums), George Duvivier (bass), and Richard Wyands (piano), the enormously talented Eric Dolphy is also on board, posing a triple threat on alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and flute. Nelson bravely goes toe to toe with Dolphy, and while Nelson's playing is smart and accomplished, he is buried beneath the avalanche of Dolphy's invention (the multi-instrumentalist's knotty, springy lines, always full of surprise and humor, are nearly impossible to top). Everyone gets to stretch out on Milt Jackson's "Ralph's New Blues," Nelson's lilting "Images," and the frantic title cut, among others, making Straight Ahead a magnificent showcase for all of these remarkably talented musicians."

Oliver Nelson (alto sax)
Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet)
Richard Wyands (piano)
George Duvivier (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Images
2. Six and Four
3. Mama Lou
4. Ralph's New Blues
5. Straight Ahead
6. 111-44

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: March 1, 1961

Zoot Sims - Zoot Suite

High Note finally issued this unreleased 1973 live date that puts leader Zoot Sims in the company of pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist George Mraz and drummer Mousie Alexander. Most of the tunes are standards, but there is a rather rare Sims appearance on the soprano saxophone on "Rocking in Rhythm." The sound here is fine for a club performance though the players are a tad raw. That said, the performance, particularly that of Rowles, is swinging, hot, and blue. ~ Thom "Bring It!" Jurek

Zoot Sims (tenor, soprano sax)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
George Mraz (bass)
Mousey Alexander (drums)

1 - Jitterbug Waltz
2 - Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
3 - Tickle Toe
4 - I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
5 - Honeysuckle Rose
6 - Rocking In Rythm
7 - My Old Flame
8 - In A Mellow Tone
9 - Blues

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Buddy Rich - This One's For Basie

The mutual admiration society between Count Basie and Buddy Rich is well documented. Buddy sat in with Basie's band in the 40's but tore up the blank check the Count gave him for his services. Basie responded with an inscribed gold watch which I understand he wore all of his life (Source: Traps the Drum Wonder by Mel Torme). Anyway, I guess this was Rich's way of paying tribute to the Count. Recorded in 1956 in LA, this set of Basie standards is well conceived and executed. The all-star line-up of west coast studio jocks backing Buddy includes Frank Rosolino, Conrad Gozzo, Bob Cooper, Jimmy Rowles, a few others and of course the immortal Harry "Sweets" Edison who was also a Rich favorite. This session swings fairly well and benefits from the contributions of ace arranger Marty Paich. The only drawback - and it's minor - is that as a studio band these guys are a little too tight. Ordinarily this wouldn't matter but when you're doin' Basie, you gotta be loose! Still highly recommended. Unattributed review

Buddy Rich (drums)
Marty Paich (arranger)
Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Buddy Collette (tenor sax)
Bob Cooper (tenor sax)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Pete Candoli (trumpet)
Bob Enevoldsen (tenor sax)

1. Blue And Sentimental
2. Down For Double
3. Jump For Me
4. Blues For Basie
5. Jumping At The Woodside
6. Ain't It The Truth
7. Shorty George
8. 9:20 Special

Tete Montoliu

Tete Montoliu - Temas Brasileños

The outstanding Catalan jazz pianist, whose real name was Vicenç Montoliu i Massana was born blind in the Eixample district of Barcelona, and died in the same city. He was the only son of Vicenç Montoliu (a professional musician) and Àngela Massana, a jazz enthusiast, who encouraged her son to study piano and in 1944 engaged his piano teacher, Petri Palou. Before that, Montoliu had his first piano lessons with Enric Mas at the private school for blind children that he attended from 1939-1944 where he learned to read music in Braille.
From 1946 till 1953 he studied music at the Conservatori Superior de Música de Barcelona, where he met his first jam session fellows. Don Byas arrived in Barcelona in 1947 and introduced Tete to the Bebop style.

On March 13, 1956 he met the vibraphonist Lionel Hampton in a jam session in Barcelona. Montoliu toured with Hampton through Spain and France, had his first session as a leader in 1958 , and played with the touring Roland Kirk in 1963. Through the years, he also worked with such visiting Americans as Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Lucky Thompson, and even Anthony Braxton.

On this LP, recorded in November 1973, of Brasilian themes he is joined by Alberto Moraleda on bass, Miguel Ángel Lizandra on drums and Pedro Díaz on percussion.

1. Orfeo Negro
2. La Chica de Ipanema-Corcovado-Samba de Uma Nota
3. O'Cangaceiro-Bahia-Brasil
4. Canto de ossanha-Ola-So danco samba
5. Desafinado-Meditacion-Tristeza

Tete Montoliu - Temas HispanoAmericanos

1. Frenesi - Contigo en la Distancia - Maria Elena
2. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas - Tu, Mi Delirio - Adios
3. Tres Palabras - Amor Mio - Siempre en mi Corazon
4. Noche de Ronda - Solamente Una Vez - Vereda Tropical
5. Perfidia - No me Platiques - Besame Mucho
6. Amor, Amor, Amor - La Puerta - Maria La O

Cecil Taylor - Hard Driving Jazz

This CD issue of several of Taylor's late 1950s sessions includes not only the music that made up the original release under Taylor's name (also issued later by Blue Note as 'Coltrane Time') but also goes the extra mile by including music from two other late 50s sessions featuring the misunderstood piano genius. This is actually a great place to sample Taylor for the first time if you haven't already done so - his playing - particularly his comping behind the soloists - is a little less angular than it would become, the atonality a little less pronounced. Some have even gone as far as to compare his playing on this date to that of Thelonius Monk - a pretty accurate reading of it, in my view.

In fact in many ways the original 1958 session is straightforward hard-bop. That's certainly what everyone else plays, anyway. Coltrane is on good but unspectacular form - this would be recorded at pretty much the height of his heroin addiction, so getting any performance out of him at all would have been a success. Dorham, a straight-down-the-middle trumpeter, does exactly what you'd expect, and the rhythm section do what's expected of them and no more.

Having said that, there's an exuberance about these early tracks that charms the listener. Perhaps it's just that they were all having a great time laying down some music. Maybe they were getting paid well (!). Or maybe it's got something to do with Taylor's bold approach to the piano. It sounds a little tame now, but at the time critics and audiences alike couldn't believe what he was playing - they thought he couldn't play, but this is not the sort of untutored banging away that my 2 1/2 year old son would produce if let loose with a piano. Taylor's been listening, and seems to pick the least obvious notes and chords, but they still fit harmonically. Being able to think outside of the norm and then being brave enough to go on and play it on record shows great skill and tenacity.

The other sessions on the CD are interesting too. Steve Lacy is always good to listen to, and it's interesting to hear him at the transition in his career - prior to playing with Taylor he was a noted dixieland player! Buell Neidlinger also crops up with some typically excellent bass playing, though his partnership with Taylor is not as well-formed as it would become on the Candid recordings of 1960-61.

Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Cecil Taylor (piano)
Chuck Israels (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)
October 13, 1958

Steve Lacy (soprano sax)
Cecil Taylor (piano)
Buell Neidlinger (bass)
Dennis Charles (drums)
September 14, 1956

Cecil Taylor (piano)
Buell Neidlinger (bass)
Dennis Charles (drums)
September 14, 1956

1 - Shifting Down
2 - Just Friends
3 - Like Someone In Love
4 - Double Clutching
5 - Charge 'Em Blues
6 - Song
7 - Bemsha Swing
8 - Azure
9 - Rick Kick Shaw
10 - Sweet And Lovely

Friday, July 20, 2007

Johnny Griffin and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Pisces

In May of 1962, Davis and Griffin again went into the studio. Though they had become popular as a duo, they didn’t want to be stereotyped as ‘tenor battle’ players, so they decided to perform separately, alternating as leader on the various tracks. In addition, they decided to perform all ballads (with the exception of the Griffin-penned title track, a mid-tempo swing number). For whatever reason, the project never came to fruition. A master session disc wasn’t put together until 1966, but it was not released, languishing in the vaults for some forty years before its recent release.

The rhythm section on this date is different than on Tough Tenors. Horace Parlan, a pianist with an unusual style, alternated at the piano chair for the Griffin-Davis quintet with Junior Mance. On this date he plays piano on the Griffin tracks and celeste on the Davis tracks. Bassist Buddy Catlett was originally a saxophonist himself before switching to bass in the fifties; he amassed a large number of small group recording dates on his new instrument. Drummer Arthur Taylor was a disciple of Kenny Clarke, the original bebop drummer.

Davis demonstrates his sensitive side on “Midnight Sun” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” numbers on which his tenor sax is front and center the entire time, with no features for any of the rhythm players. He shows here that, like other tenor ‘honkers’ including Illinois Jacquet, he knew what to do with a smoky ballad when the time was right. Not to be outdone, Griffin positively shines on “Willow Weep for Me” and “She’s Funny That Way” as well as Ellington’s perennial favorite, “Sophisticated Lady.” Listeners not familiar with the breadth of Griffin’s work will see clearly why he’s considered one of the best tenor saxophonists around, the heir to Dexter Gordon’s title.

Some may consider this date inferior to the duo’s other, more hard-driving recordings, but it definitely fills in a missing link by showing both players’ balladic side. Ultimately, Pisces is an incredibly enjoyable tenor recording that belongs in the library of anyone who loves the instrument or either of these two incredibly gifted musicians.

Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor sax)
Junior Mance (piano)
Larry Gales (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)

1. Pisces
2. Midnight Sun
3. Willow Weep for Me
4. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
5. What Is There to Say?
6. She's Funny That Way
7. Yesterdays
8. Sophisticated Lady
9. Willow Weep for Me (alt)
10. She's Funny That Way (alt)
11. Sophisticated Lady (alt)
12. What Is There to Say? (alt)

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York, New York on February 7, 1961

Johnny Griffin - Grab This!

Grab This! finds tenor Johnny Griffin in a soul-jazz mood, which is greatly aided by the organ of Paul Bryant. They are joined by guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Jimmy Bond, and drummer Doug Sides for nice workouts on several originals and a couple of standards. The band seems confident and relaxed throughout this recording, injecting everything it touches with a healthy dose of the blues. Griffin's tone is rich and full throughout, but is most striking on Ellington and Russell's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and the self-penned original "Grab This!" Bryant has been given special guest status, and his style is perfectly matched with Griffin's. He also wrote the wonderful "Offering Time," a slow blues piece with a strong groove. While Pass' role here is more supportive, he turns in several fine solos, as on "63rd Street Theme" and "Offering Time." What is perhaps most striking about Pass' role here is his versatility: he appears as comfortable playing soul-jazz as he would playing hard bop or swing. Bond and Sides supply the steady rhythm needed to keep this soul-jazz moving along. It's amazing that five guys were able to get together and cut this album for Riverside in one day during the summer of 1962. Like Carmell Jones, Griffin moved to Europe in the '60s, lowering his profile in the United States. Grab This! is a fine album, and serves as a reminder of Griffin's lovely tenor sound. Ronnie Lankford Jr.

Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone)
Paul Bryant (organ)
Joe Pass (guitar)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Doug Sides (drums)

1. Grab This!
2. 63rd Street Theme
3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
4. Offering Time
5. These Foolish Things
6. Cherry Float

Los Angeles, California, June 28, 1962

charles kynard is one funkified cat

amg says: we constantly struggle to put our thoughts into words you morons can understand. amongst ourselves we use numbers and code words in order to verbalize our thoughts as fast as they emerge. this allows us to simultaneously fill, and minimize the space between, interval cracks. we do not expect you to understand this, nevertheless there it is.
jean lafite says: this guy is a howl. a tidal wave of funk and an interesting story to boot, he worked extensively with mentally handicapped kids in the daytime and brought the funk in the evenings. if you do not like him keep it to yourself or i will be mad at you.

Funkify Your Life - The Meters Anthology

In Keeping with the name of this blog. Funk can be anything YOU think it is! All too often I see posts that say "not really Funk,etc".... It can be Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soul-Jazz, Doo-Wop (in fact, I think the Rhino Doo-Wop Box will be my next Funk Friday post)...you name it! If You think it fits, post it! And have a ball!

If you will suck my soul
I will lick your funky emotions....

Rhino's Funkify Your Life: The Meters Anthology was the first truly comprehensive and widely available CD retrospective of the groundbreaking New Orleans funk band's work. These two chronologically arranged discs run down virtually every important track the band recorded under its own name, finally allowing a more general audience to hear why the Meters had earned such a stellar reputation among die-hard funk collectors and sample-minded hip-hoppers. Disc one, subtitled "The Josie Years," traces the group's 1969-1971 beginnings as a Booker T. & the MG's-like outfit, cutting brief instrumentals with a similar guitar/organ/bass/drums lineup. There were important differences, though; the Meters' arrangements usually carried the melody in single-note guitar lines, which gave them a distinctive calling card, and their rhythms were notably funkier. In fact, drummer Joseph "Ziggy" Modeliste pretty much establishes himself as a monster groove machine right from the beginning; his is a dominating rhythmic presence. This is the lean, earthy Meters sound most often imitated by latter-day funk revivalists like the Soul Fire label. Group vocals and wah-wah guitars start to pop up over the second half of the disc, setting the stage for their more ambitious major-label sound, which is documented on the second disc ("The Reprise/Warner Bros. Years"). Nearly all of these tracks are vocal numbers, "songs" in the more traditional sense, but the group also opens its sound up, allowing the members to show off their individual chops as soloists. There's more flash in this music, including plenty of nimble-fingered unison passages demonstrating that the band can be as tight as they are loose. It's more proof that the Meters were the most telepathic funk ensemble this side of the J.B.'s. Those with a casual interest can safely content themselves with the fine single-disc Very Best of the Meters, but for devoted funk fans, Funkify Your Life should be considered essential listening. --- Steve Huey

Duke Pearson - Wahoo!

A truly wonderful advanced hard bop date, Wahoo! captures pianist Duke Pearson at his most adventurous and creative. With the exception of Donald Byrd's closing "Fly Little Bird Fly," Pearson wrote all of the material on this six-song album, and his compositions are clever, melodic, and unpredictable without being cloying or inaccessible. He has assembled a first-rate sextet to perform the material, enlisting trumpeter Byrd, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Bob Cranshaw, alto saxophonist/flautist James Spaulding, and drummer Mickey Roker. Even the subdued "Wahoo" and "ESP" search out new territory with their subtle themes and exploratory solo sections. The key to the success of Wahoo! is that Duke Pearson is a gifted arranger, creating nimble, challenging arrangements that are accessible, but reveal more details upon each listen. As a pianist, he has moved beyond his initial Bud Powell influence and reveals new aspects of his technique. Henderson, Byrd, and Spaulding are equally impressive,helping elevate Wahoo to one of the finest sophisticated hard bop dates Blue Note released in the mid-'60s. Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Donald Byrd (trumpet)
James Spaulding (alto sax, flute)
Joe Henderson (tenor sax)
Duke Pearson (piano)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1. Amanda
2. Bedouin
3. Farewell Machelle
4. Wahoo
5. ESP (Extrasensory Perception)
6. Fly Little Bird Fly

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliifs, NJ on November 24, 1964

jimmy mcgriff -- blues for mr jimmy (a bluefunk throwdown)

jean lafite says: jimmy's got it bad. this is dope, i particularly like "the dog" but funky shite all over this one. from 1965 with larry frazier on guitar and jimmie smith on drums.

Al Cohn - Standards of Excellence

This is the first in a series of Al Cohn Concord Jazz discs I will post in the next several weeks:

This was tenor saxophonist Al Cohn's last Concord recording, and despite how well he was playing during this era, he would not record as a leader again until three final efforts in 1987. Joined by a pianoless trio comprised of guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Monty Budwig, and drummer Jimmie Smith, Cohn performs eight standards with his usual creative invention and driving swing. The biggest surprise about the repertoire is the absence of any Cohn originals or obscurities. Highlights include "Russian Lullaby," "I Want to Be Happy," and "When Day Is Done." Scott Yanow

Herb Ellis - Guitar
Al Cohn - Sax (Tenor)
Monty Budwig - Bass
Jimmie Smith - Drums

1. Russian Lullaby (Berlin) - 5:03
2. When Your Lover Has Gone (Swan) - 4:30
3. O Grande Amor (DeMoraes/Jobim) - 4:19
4. You Say You Care (Robin/Styne) - 6:08
5. I Want to Be Happy (Caesar/Youmans) - 4:10
6. Embraceable You (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 4:49
7. Remember You (Mercer/Schertzinger) - 5:40
8. When Day Is Done (DeSylva/Katscher) - 6:00

Recorded at Ocean way Recording, Hollywood, CA USA in November 1983

Blues for Funky Friday? Perhaps early hours...

In no way...a funky friday post...if that's not obvious already

I was going to search for an alternative to the staple AMG reviews which
sometimes (like their ratings) are bang on!, and sometimes you wonder
whether the twonk who listened to the album, listened to it at all...

However for me they are about 90-95% accurate..so it is my bible still...

But the AMG for this albums is probably b-a-n-g o-n !!

Down-home, anguished laments and moody ballads were turned into triumphs by Ray Charles. He sang these songs with the same conviction, passion, and energy that made his country and soul vocals so majestic. This has not turned up in the reissue bins.

Er..apart from the last sentence as I picked this up for £4 (which is about 10,000 dollars..
ha only kidding my American friends..rates not so good against the £...
so...probably what $8???)

A bargain..and no mistake...

'flac-n-scans' but very low flac sizes(??)..I did this twice..with EAC and then Ezy and both
came same size more-or-less...guess thats the FLAC for ya!

1 Early in the Morning
2 Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)
3 The Midnight Hour
4 Night Time Is the Right Time
5 Feelin' Sad
6 Ray's Blues
7 I'm Movin' On
8 I Believe to My Soul
9 Nobody Cares
10 Mr. Charles' Blues
11 Some Day Baby
12 I Wonder Who

Sam Rivers - Waves

Among the most technically proficient artists the avant-garde has produced, reedist Sam Rivers did time in bands led by Miles Davis and Tony Williams before establishing himself as a prolific composer and recording artist in the ’60s. Rivers kept busy in the ’70s, switching mid-decade from Impulse to a steady procession of independent labels. He also became a focal point of New York’s burgeoning loft-jazz scene, housing concerts regularly in his home, which he dubbed Studio Rivbea. Waves, among the most potent records in Rivers’s catalogue, finds him working alongside bassist Dave Holland (a regular collaborator) and inventive percussionist Thurman Barker; Joe Daley, on baritone horn and tuba, is both a nimble sparring partner and a hefty rhythm-section reinforcement.

Sam Rivers (flute, piano, soprano and tenor sax)
Joe Daley (baritone sax, tuba)
Dave Holland (bass, cello)
Thurman Barker (drums)

1 - Shockwave
2 - Torch
3 - Pulse
4 - Flux
5 - Surge

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Introduction Necessary?

I apologise for not having the manners to offer some background to this remarkable album; let's fix that:

“Rollins Plus 4” was a major point in Sonny Rollins’s career. A year before the recording of the album, Rollins worked as a janitor. Given the opportunity to play with the Clifford Brown-Max Roach quartet at Chicago’s Bee Hive Club in ‘55, Rollins not only took the chance but was then asked by Harold Land to become his band’s tenor saxophonist. Rollins recorded the albums “Saxophone Colossus” & “Tenor Madness” in the same year as “Rollins Plus 4.”

Rollins is listed as the leader, but “Rollins Plus 4” is really the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet recording for a different label (Prestige not Emarcy) in ‘56,
months before Brown’s death. One of the great ensembles in jazz history, the Quintet shows its inventiveness and rhythmic daring in “Valse Hot” and Rollins's “Pent-Up House.” All the instruments are extremely vibrant, not overstepping or overshadowing each other. Max Roach is classic as usual. Richie Powell’s piano work is lively, particularly on “Kiss and Run” - the interpretation of this Sam Coslow standard has a pretty quick tempo, and allows Rollins, Brown, and Powell to show off their bop chops.

This should be considered essential listening in order to understand the roots of the style that Rollins’ continues to explore. Today’s trivia: this album was chosen to be the first that Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs (MSFL) released ~ enjoy!

Sonny Rollins (ts), Clifford Brown (tp), Richie Powell (p), George Marrow (b), Max Roach (d)

Ben Webster - The Soul of Ben Webster

Although tenor saxophonist Ben Webster gets top billing, this two-CD set actually contains an LP apiece by Webster, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and altoist Johnny Hodges. Webster is on all of the recordings, but really only stars on the first date, a septet outing with trumpeter Art Farmer and fellow tenor Harold Ashby. The great tenor is at his best on a beautiful version of "Chelsea Bridge" and "When I Fall in Love." The Edison session is a sextet outing with Webster, the Oscar Peterson Trio and drummer Alvin Stoller mixing blues and swing standards; Edison's usually muted trumpet is quite effective. The final set puts the focus on altoist Hodges, who sounds beautiful on "Don't Take Your Love from Me," although the many blues performances also give solo space to trumpeter Roy Eldridge (literally explosive on "Honey Hill") and trombonist Vic Dickenson. A total of three previously unissued performances have been added to the program, and all three of these sessions had been long out of print; they add to the legacy of Norman Granz's Verve label, showing that many top swing all-stars were actually at their prime in the 1950s. Recommended.

Ben Webster (tenor saxophone)
Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone)
Harold Ashby (tenor saxophone)
Harry "Sweets" Edison, Art Farmer, Roy Eldridge (trumpet)
Vic Dickenson (trombone)
Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Jones, Billy Strayhorn (piano)
Mundell Lowe, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis (guitar)
Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Jimmy Woode (bass)
Dave Bailey, Alvin Stoller, Sam Woodyard (drums)

1. Fajista
2. Chelsea Bridge
3. Charlotte's Piccolo
4. Coal Train
5. When I Fall In Love
6. Ev's Mad
7. Ash
8. Blues For The Blues
9. Blues For Piney Brown
10. Moonlight In Vermont
11. Taste On The Place
12. Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You
13. Blues For Bill Basie
14. You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me
15. I Didn't Know About You
16. Reelin' And Rockin'
17. Gone With The Wind
18. Honey Hill
19. Blues-a-Plenty
20. Don't Take Your Love From Me
21. Saturday Aftrenoon Blues
22. Satin Doll
23. Cool Your Motor
24. Reelin' And Rockin'

Recorded in Hollywood, California and New York in 1957 and 1958. Originally released as three separate LPs on Verve (8359), (8211) and (6123)

Frank Sinatra & Count Basie Orchestra (arr. Neal Hefti) - Sinatra/Basie: An Historic Musical First EXPANDED

This is a rather ubiquitous selection, except for the 14 alternate takes which have never been released. I've never seen these posted anywhere... and I find these additional versions facinating to hear, with Sinatra deliverying some vocal variations not heard on the finished, as-released, tracks. Those who know this album well will enjoy the alternates even more than the original takes. There's some great stuff in there.

The long-awaited first collaboration (there were two subsequent discs, one studio and one live) between two icons, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, did something unique for the reputations of both. For Basie, the Sinatra connection inaugurated a period in the '60s where his band was more popular and better-known than it ever was, even in the big-band era. For Sinatra, Basie meant liberation, producing perhaps the loosest, rhythmically free singing of his career. Propelled by the irresistible drums of Sonny Payne, Sinatra careens up to and around the tunes, reacting jauntily to the beat and encouraging Payne to swing even harder, which was exactly the way to interact with the Basie rhythm machine — using his exquisite timing flawlessly. Also the members of the Basie band play a more prominent role than usual on a Sinatra record, with soloists like Frank Wess — in some of the finest flute work of his life — and tenors Frank Foster and Eric Dixon getting prominent solo opportunities on several of the tracks. The record was criticized by some as a letdown when it came out, probably because Neal Hefti's charts rarely permit the band to roar, concentrating on use of subtlety and space. Yet the record's restraint has worn very well over the long haul — it doesn't beat you into submission — and it concludes with its best shot, a wonderfully playful treatment of "I Won't Dance." Richard S. Ginell

Al Aarons, Trumpet
Count Basie, Piano
Buddy Catlett, Bass
Sonny Cohn, Trumpet
Henry Coker, Trombone
Eric Dixon, Flute, Saxophone, Sax (Tenor)
Frank Foster, Saxophone, Sax (Tenor)
Charlie Fowlkes, Saxophone, Sax (Baritone)
Freddie Green, Guitar
Thad Jones, Trumpet
Bill Miller, Piano
Sonny Payne, Drums
Al Porcino, Trumpet
Benny Powell, Trombone
Flip Ricard, Trumpet
Marshall Royal, Clarinet, Saxophone, Sax (Alto)
Frank Sinatra, Vocals
Rufus Wagner, Trombone
Frank Wess, Flute, Saxophone, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)

1. Pennies from Heaven (Burke, Johnston) 3:29
2. Please Be Kind (Cahn, Chaplin) 2:43
3. (Love Is) The Tender Trap (Cahn, Van Heusen) 2:37
4. Looking at the World Through Rose Colored Glasses (Malie, Steiger) 2:32
5. My Kind of Girl (Bricusse) 4:37
6. I Only Have Eyes for You (Dubin, Warren) 3:31
7. Nice Work if You Can Get It (Gershwin, Gershwin) 2:37
8. Learnin' the Blues (Silvers) 4:25
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself a Letter) (Ahlert, Young) 2:36
10. I Won't Dance (Fields, Hammerstein, Harbach) 4:07
11. Pennies From Heaven (alternate take) 3:44
12. Please Be Kind (alternate take) 2:38
13. Please Be Kind (alternate take #2) 2:41
14. (Love Is) The Tender Trap (alternate take) 2:35
15. I Only Have Eyes For You (alternate take) 3:35
16. Nice Work If You Can Get It (alternate take) 2:12
17. Nice Work If You Can Get It (alternate take #2) 2:12
18. Learnin’ the Blues (alternate take) 4:25
19. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (alternate take) 2:16
20. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (alternate take #2) 2:20
21. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (alternate take #3) 2:23
22. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (alternate take #4) 2:19
23. I Won’t Dance (alternate take) 4:04
24. I Won’t Dance (alternate take #2) 4:05

Recorded in Los Angeles, California USA on Oct 2, 1962,Oct 3, 1962

Funky Friday "Pick-me-up" early bird tunes

Paul Smith - Cool And Sparkling (1956)

If anyone has any Paul Smith LPs don't be shy now!

While its title and cover certainly suggest a record firmly in the bachelor-pad lounge music camp, Cool and Sparkling: The Liquid Sounds of Paul Smith nevertheless boasts a melodic ingenuity and technical emphasis that reward deeper listening--what keyboardist Smith dubs "liquid sound" is in fact a space-age pop precursor to soul jazz, with an energy and groove all its own. Aided by clarinetist Abe Most, guitarist Tony Rizzi and bassist Sam Cheifitz, Smith is too good a player and too clever a composer to settle for mere background music--structure is as important here as sound, and while Cool and Sparkling blends effortlessly with its surroundings, it never sacrifices substance for style. ~Jason Ankeny

John Coltrane and Don Cherry - The Avant Garde

John Coltrane's search for a fresh musical feeling--in which the front line and the rhythm section are more nearly equal--began through an exhaustive study of chords. But alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman and his acolyte Don Cherry had discovered another path by concentrating on rhythmic melodies and a polytonal brand of modality. Coltrane played with Coleman from time to time (though they never recorded), and even studied with Ornette.

The Avant Garde is the fruit of their admiration for each other, but co-leader Don Cherry nearly steals the show. Originally inspired by Fats Navarro and Miles Davis, Cherry responded to Coleman's inspiration with fluttery melodic lines and tart harmonic dissonances. On The Avant Garde, his minimalist melodies and witty rhythmic displacements are a perfect contrast to Coltrane's voluminous testimonies--serving to illustrate his innovations in brass phrasing. In addition, the absence of a pianist forces the bass players to carry the whole band, and its a great joy to contrast Charlie Haden's rounded tone and bouncing melodic chromaticism on "Cherryco" with Percy Heath's rhythmic drive and chordal mastery on "The Invisible." Heath had recorded with Coleman, and his brilliant blues improvisations electrify "Focus On Sanity."

Then there's the great drummer Ed Blackwell, who turns everyone out with his uncanny independence, melodic touch and joyous swing. Listen to him fill in around Coltrane's long linear testimonies and Cherry's rhythmic dipsy doodles on the joyous "Cherryco," and how ancient echoes of work songs, parades and African polyrhythms resonate through his solo. Coltrane leaps into "Focus On Sanity" like a man possessed, while Cherry answers with a feathery tone, convoluted lines and stabbing brass accents, before leading Trane through the glorious second section, with its bluesy, near-eastern modalities. On "The Blessing," Trane matches Cherry's tone with flute-like timbres on soprano saxophone, and is particularly aroused by the rhythmic slang of "The Invisible." And in a fitting nod to an old master, he and Cherry find inspiration aplenty on Monk's "Bemsha Swing."

Don Cherry (cornet)
John Coltrane (soprano, tenor sax)
Charlie Haden (bass)
Ed Blackwell (drums)
Percy Heath (bass)

1. Cherryco
2. Focus On Sanity
3. The Blessing
4. The Invisible
5. Bemsha Swing

Recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York, New York on June 28 & July 8, 1960

Bud Powell - Jazz Giant

I'm not sure if Rab posted Bud Powell's Jazz Giant in the past. I think it's an excellent introduction to this charismatic/problematic pianist. This is the version that Verve published in Spain and as it was common during a certain period, the label used to introduce aditional tracks from others sessions (something similar was made with Ben Webster's Big Ben Time, when several tracks from Webster meets Peterson were added). In this ocasion 7 tracks from The Genius of Powell have been included.
Review by Lee Bloom
Faced with the choice of any single Bud Powell date to aptly represent his intense musical genius, choosing Jazz Giant would not be a bad bet. Culled from two sessions (Spring 1949 and Winter 1950) this Verve release showcases the master of Bebop piano leading a trio - a setting in which he excelled. With impeccable support from bassist Ray Brown and drummer Max Roach, (substitute Curly Russell for Brown on the later date), an inspired Powell roars through a varied selection of original tunes and standards. In the category of brisk burners, we get one of his best known compositions, the ebullient "Tempus Fugit." Ray Noble's "Cherokee," Harold Arlen's "Get Happy," and the ever-popular "Sweet Georgia Brown" are all taken at almost the same exhilarating clip. Powell's improvised lines at these breakneck tempos are marvelously clear and clever; take note of the Benny Harris' "Reets And I" melody which Powell quotes during his solo statement on "All God's Chillun..." Foreshadowing his less torrential later work is the soulful, buoyant, and supremely swinging "Strictly Confidential," which displays Powell's early and expert use of block chords to state the theme. Bud Powell's romantic and reflective side is in evidence on the medium tempo ballad "Celia" (written for his daughter) as well as on two unaccompanied solo piano tracks. Of these, Powell's haunting composition "I'll Keep Loving You" is outstanding; the subtle tension in his chord voicings, his effective use of contrast, and the consistent lack of cliches would later inform and inspire Bill Evans' solo piano concept. Powell's more florid, stride-inflected reading of Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays" is directly inspired by Art Tatum. Overall Jazz Giant (and the earlier session with Ray Brown, in particular) represents the best of Powell's Verve recordings. Highly recommended!

As a bonus, this spanish CD includes 7 added tracks (piano solos) from a session recorded in New York in February 1951, with Powell playing at a high level.

01 Tempus Fugue-It (Tempus Fugit) 2:29
02 Celia 3:01
03 Cherokee 3:39
04 I'll Keep Loving You 2:43
05 Strictly Confidential 3:10
06 All God's Chillun Got Rhythm 3:02
07 So Sorry, Please 3:18
08 Get Happy 2:55
09 Sometimes I'm Happy 3:40
10 Sweet Georgia Brown 2:51
11 Yesterdays 2:53
12 April in Paris 3:12
13 Body and Soul 3:21
14 Oblivion 2:28
15 Dusk in Sandi 2:13
16 Hallucinations 2:25
17 The Fruit 3:17
18 A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square 3:41
19 Just One of Those Things 3:50
20 The Last Time I Saw Paris 3:16

Recorded in New York in May 1949, Feb 1950 and Feb 1951

Songs 1-6 (May, 1949)
Bud Powell Piano
Max Roach Drums
Ray Brown Bass

Songs 7-13 (January and February, 1950)
Bud Powell Piano
Max Roach Drums
Curly Russell Bass

Songs 14-20 (February, 1951)
Bud Powell Piano

Oliver Nelson - Skull Session

Anyone, who has been fortunate enough to play in a band that uses Oliver Nelson arrangements, will vouch for how clever and musical they are. On this session he was asked to include electronic instruments and incorporate the rhythms they are often associated with them. This has been attempted before and usually results in the most horrible ‘hodgepodge’ of sounds that please no one. Oliver Nelson however succeeds in incorporating the newer instruments without detracting in any way from the normal quality of his work. This is a very good album; every track is an original composition with a strong melody line and an imaginative arrangement.

The original 1975 sleeve note by Nat Hentoff is, as one would have expected from such a highly revered writer on jazz, interesting and informative. Personally, I feel the music which is now 27 years old, deserves another written piece putting it in context with today’s scene and other Oliver Nelson albums, but keeping the original as well is a must.

Skull Session, the title track starts out like an instrumental rock number, but it isn’t long before the jazz influence is felt. The standard of jazz solos is what you would expect from California’s top session men. Nat Hentoff and Oliver Nelson comment in the sleeve notes on the Trumpet playing of Oscar Brashear, I am surprised that we have not heard a lot more of him. I assume the Billy Perkins referred to, is the Bill Perkins Kenton band fans know and love.

Ruebens Rondo has a very strong theme and the arrangement has a distinct West Coast Big Band flavour that is very much to my liking. Jerome Richardson provides a very accomplished Alto solo and the whole band sounds very polished in this one. Track 3 is dedicated to the NY equivalent of Speaker’s corner in London. Bill Perkins on Baritone has the lead in the Sax soli.

Track 4, One for the Duke, has the Ducal sound but includes a good electric piano solo from Lonnie Liston Smith. I can’t imagine the Duke on electric piano, but that begs the point of the album. Dumpy Mama and Baja Bossa continue the Big Band feel, but in the last two tracks the guitar of Laurindo Almeida is introduced, giving another dimension to the music, this time with a smaller band.

This is s very fine album, which lives up to Oliver Nelson’s tremendous reputation as an arranger and composer. Don Mather

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oliver Nelson - Black, Brown and Beautiful

I am showing the cover from the title album, but this release is comprised of three different sessions by Nelson. Six of the thirteen tunes here are by Duke Ellington, and a look at the credits in the comments section will reveal some very able sidemen. Most of the others are Nelson originals. It must have been nice to see Ernie Royal and Randy Brecker playing next to each other.

The bulk of this CD has a 1970 session that teams together arranger Oliver Nelson, altoist Johnny Hodges and (on three of the songs) singer Leon Thomas. The big band also includes pianist Earl Hines and the program is highlighted by "Empty Ballroom Blues," "Welcome to New York" and "Creole Love Call"; all of the songs were composed by either Duke Ellington, Nelson or Thomas. That near-classic session is augmented by three numbers from a couple of later dates that feature Nelson's alto playing. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

1-9, 13
from 3 Shades Of Blue

from Oliver Edward Nelson In London With Oily Rags

from Skull Session

The Modern Jazz Quartet - The Sheriff

Recorded in 1963, The Sheriff features the Modern Jazz Quartet in fine swinging form. The program is not as sharply focused as on some of the earlier Atlantic releases, but it is compelling nonetheless. There are four originals by pianist John Lewis, including the fleeting, bluesy title cut, and the moody, spacious "In a Crowd," -- originally composed for the 1961 film A Milanese Story. Its stepped-up time signature and series of phrases played by Milt Jackson grounds the tune in blues, but Lewis' solo feels more like a solo trumpet breezing through the center. The set includes Heitor Villa-Lobos' "Bachianas Brasileiras," a classical piece the quartet first performed with guitarist Laurindo Almeida. Bassist Percy Heath is stellar here, playing both arco and pizzicato and alternately moving the work forward with deftness and precision. Lewis and Jackson engage in gorgeous counterpoint throughout. It's knotty, but exotic and beautiful. Another Latin-based work here is Luiz Bonfa's brilliant "Carnival," which closes the set. Jackson's melodic interplay with Connie Kay's brushwork is subtle and rich, moving through a series of verses before Jackson takes it to the blues in his solo. Lewis keeps the pulse as Heath underscores the backbeat. It took a long while for this one to come out on CD in the United States, but Wounded Bird issued it in April of 2005. Thom "Why Am I Reviewing The MJQ?" Jurek

John Lewis (piano)
Milt Jackson (vibes)
Percy Heath (bass)
Connie Kay (drums)

1. Sheriff
2. In a Crowd
3. Bachianas Brasileiras
4. Mean to Me
5. Natural Affection
6. Donnie's Theme
7. Carnival

NYC, May 16, 1963

Gerry Mulligan Meets Scott Hamilton - Soft Lights & Sweet Music

Starting in the late '50s, Gerry Mulligan recorded a series of encounters with fellow saxophonists that included such immortals as Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster. In 1986 he resumed the practice for this one date on which his baritone is matched with the tenor of the young great Scott Hamilton. The music, which includes warm ballads and fairly hot romps (five of the seven songs are Mulligan originals), consistently swing and are quite enjoyable. Scott Yanow

Scott Hamilton, Sax (Tenor)
Jay Leonhart, Bass
Gerry Mulligan, Sax (Baritone)
Mike Renzi, Piano
Grady Tate, Drums

1. Soft Lights and Sweet Music (Berlin) 4:11
2. Gone (Mulligan) 6:24
3. Do You Know What I See? (Mulligan) 4:24
4. I've Just Seen Her (Adams, Strouse) 5:04
5. Noblesse (Mulligan) 7:41
6. Ghosts (Mulligan) 7:15
7. Port of Baltimore Blues (Mulligan) 7:45

Recorded at Penny Lane Studios, New York City, NY USA in January 1986

Ozone Makoto "The Best" (2001, JVC Victor VICJ-60881 )

The title may be a bit misleading because, in my opinion, it is not "the best". However, for Ozone fans this should be considered essential listening. Here you will find a '90s fusion style in his playing, e.g. electric organ, electric bass and guitar. At first playing, this may come across to you as 'cross-over' or 'smooth' and you may feel inclined to delete this - don't! This set will grow on you ~ enjoy!

Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery - Jimmy & Wes: The Dynamic Duo

Creed Taylor matched two of his most famous artists, Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith, on this session (Montgomery's last for Verve), and the results are incendiary -- a near-ideal meeting of yin and yang. Smith comes at your throat with his big attacks and blues runs while Montgomery responds with rounder, smoother octaves and single notes that still convey much heat. They are an amazing pair, complementing each other, driving each other, using their bop and blues taproots to fuse together a sound. The romping, aggressive big band charts -- Oliver Nelson at his best -- on "Down by the Riverside" and "Night Train," and the pungently haunting chart for Gary McFarland's "13 (Death March)" still leave plenty of room for the soloists to stretch out. "James and Wes" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" include drummer Grady Tate and conguero Ray Barretto, with Smith's own feet working the organ pedals. The Verve Master Edition reissue also includes an alternate take of "O.G.D." with Tate and Barretto, a track previously surfacing on a long-gone Encyclopedia of Jazz anthology LP from the '60s -- a neat bonus that makes this the preferred version. Richard S. Ginell

Jimmy Maxwell, Joe Newman, Ernie Royal (tp)
Clark Terry (tp, flh)
Jimmy Cleveland, Quentin Jackson, Melba Liston (tb)
Dick Hixson (btb)
Jerome Richardson (fl, cl)
Phil Woods (as, cl)
Jerry Dodgion (as, cl, fl)
Bob Ashton (ts, cl, fl)
Danny Bank (bars, bcl)
Jimmy Smith (org)
Wes Montgomery (g)
Richard Davis (b)
Grady Tate (d)
Ray Barretto (cga)
Oliver Nelson (arr, cond)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 21, 1966

Jimmy Smith (org)
Wes Montgomery (g)
Grady Tate (d)
Ray Barretto (cga)
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 28, 1966

1. Down By The Riverside
2. Happy-Go-Lucky Local (Night Train)
3. James And Wes
4. 13 (Death March)
5. Baby, It's Cold Outside
6. O. G. D (Road Song)

Dexter Gordon - Live at Carnegie Hall (1978)

I tend to break up Dexter Gordon's career into four phases: the bebop recordings of the '40's and early '50's, the Blue Note sessions of the '60's, the European recordings of the '60's and early '70's, and everything he did after his "homecoming" in 1976.

We've seen some great posts from all of these eras but very little from the last. So here's a 1998 release from Sony/Columbia that gives us the complete Carnegie Hall Concert from September of 1978. Two of the tracks were issued on the Great Encounters album but the rest are previously unissued. This was Dexter's working unit of George Cables, Rufus Reid and Eddie Gladden with the addition of guest Johnny Griffin sitting in on "Blues Up and Down" and "Cheesecake".

Gordon's many live recordings are my favorites because it gives him a chance to stretch out, playing chorus after chorus, drawing on the wealth of ideas he had developed over the decades.

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
George Cables (piano)
Rufus Reid (bass)
Eddie Gladden (drums)
Johnny Griffin (tenor sax on 8 & 10)
  1. Introduction
  2. Secret Love
  3. Introduction
  4. The End of a Love Affair
  5. Introduction
  6. More Than You Know
  7. Introduction
  8. Blues Up and Down
  9. Introduction
  10. Cheesecake
Recorded at Carnegie Hall on September 23, 1978

Charlie Mingus - The Young Rebel [Proper]

First off, Proper has issued two recordings by Charles Mingus under the title Young Rebel: this four-disc box set and a single disc, subtitled Pacific Coast Blues. The single disc is a nice slice for anyone looking for a basic, pre-bandleader Mingus set, to hear the roots of his bass playing, arranging, and even writing skills. This collection, however, gives the whole story. These four discs are jammed with 89 tracks that feature the great bassist and composer in a variety of settings from playing bass in bands such as the jump swing outfit of Illinois Jacquet (which no doubt had a huge influence on the R&B and gospel roots in many of his later compositions), Red Norvo, Earl "Fatha" Hines, and, of course, Lionel Hampton. Some cuts are set out as solo showcases; others are straight swing-jump blues, and, of course, others are hard-driving bebop. The musicians featured here range from Kai Winding to Paul Bley, from Dodo Mamaroso and Russ Freeman to Wes Montgomery, from Buddy Collette and Bill Doggett to Tal Farlow and Eric Dolphy, from Miles Davis to Duke Jordan. The basic thing with this set is that it's for the hardcore fan who wants everything and needs to trace the origin and development of the music's icons and innovators. The sound quality varies, but is generally good, and the price — under 30 dollars — is most definitely right. --- Thom Jurek

Sven-Ake Johansson, Rüdiger Carl,Joe Williamson - Hudson Riv

In a comment, Sotise hinted at the fact that one of the most interesting things when you listen to free improvisors playing standards is their sense of irony. That's exactly what I've been trying to portray with Von Schlippenbach, his wife Aki, Position Alpha, and now with this Sven-Ake Johansson cd (by the way, Johansson and Carl can be heard with Von Schlippenbach in Night & Day). Here, the main performer is Johansson. Pay special attention to the tongue-in-cheek way he over-pronounces words sometimes. The setting is quite minimalist (mainly piano and bass, Johansson occasionally uses brushes) and all the standards here seem to keep a relation with N.Y.C in a way or another - at least, that's how I understand the cd title.

Sven-Åke Johansson, vocals, brushes
Rüdiger Carl, piano
Joe Williamson, bass

1.No moon at all (02.30)
2.Autumn in New York (02.24)
3.The breeze and I (02.42)
4.All the things you are (02.28)
5.You and the night and the music (02.32)
6.I cover the waterfront (02.34)
7.Gone with the wind (03.02)
8.Old devil moon (03.07)
9.I should care (02.00)
10.Isn't it romantic (02.13)
11.I didn't know what time it was (03.26)
12.Spring is here (01.43)
13.The Surrey with the fringe on top (01.16)
Recorded on 7 November 2001 at S-Å J studio, Berlin.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Woody Herman - Concerto for Herd (1967)

Woody Herman organized the band on this well-played (and played often) album for his appearance at the 1967 Monterey Jazz Festival. The "herd" was in a state of transition and Woody brought in some veterans to join the group that was full of new faces. This was the 10th Monterey Jazz Festival and Bill Holman was commissioned to write a new piece for the band, which turned out to be the three movement "Concerto for Herd". I remember years ago seeing a documentary on TV that featured this performance with Bill Holman walking out on crutches to direct the band. The liner notes say the filming was done by N.E.T. but my searches for that tape have come up empty.

Featured soloists on the album include Carl Fontana on trombone, Sal Nistico and Joe Romano on tenor sax, Luis Gasca on trumpet, Albert Daily on piano, and Woody on alto & soprano sax. There is some awesome lead trumpet work by Tom Nygaard and solid drumming by "Baron" John Von Ohlen.

This album was up for a Grammy in 1968 (Duke's "And His Mother Called Him Bill" was the winner). One has to wonder why Verve has never reissued this on CD or any other form. I wish they'd get off their asses 'cause my LP has been played way too many times : )=

Bill Byrne, Neil Freil, Luis Gasca, John Ingliss, Tom Nygaard (tp) Jerry Chamberlain, Carl Fontana, Mel Wanzo (tb) Woody Herman (cl, ss, as) Roger Neumann, Sal Nistico, Joe Romano (ts) Cecil Payne (bars) Albert Dailey (p) Carl Pruitt (b) Russell George (el-b) John Von Ohlen (d)

Side One
Concerto for Herd
1. First Movement
2. Second Movement
3. Third Movement

Side Two
1. Big Sur Echo
2. The Horn of the Fish
3. Woody's Boogaloo

Recorded on September 16 & 17, 1967

Dexter Gordon - Settin' the Pace [Proper]

One of the most important yet overlooked figures in jazz is given his due with this amazing four-disc set on Proper. Going for the label's usual bargain-basement rate (roughly 20 dollars a pop), Settin' the Pace rounds up 55 of the tenor innovator's bop sides from the latter half of the '40s. Replete with a handsome and bulky booklet full of excellent photos, notes, and sessionographies, this import makes a solid case for Gordon being the key link between early tenor giants like Coleman Hawkins and hard bop upstart Sonny Rollins. Besides that, there's a consistently solid array of classic bop cuts. Whether backing up Billy Eckstine ("Blowin' the Blues Away") and Dizzy Gillespie ("Groovin' High") or with his own combos ("Dexter's Deck"), Gordon is in top form throughout. Settin' the Pace, indeed. --- Stephen Cook

1. I've Found A New Baby
2. Rosetta
3. Sweet Lorraine
4. Blowed And Gone
5. Blowing The Blues Away
6. Groovin' High
7. Blue 'N' Boogie
8. Lonesome Lover Blues
9. Last Night
10. Honeysuckle Rose
11. Takin' Off
12. If I Had You
13. Street Beat, The
14. Blow Mr. Dexter
15. Dexter's Deck
16. Dexter's Cuttin' Out
17. Dexter's Minor Mad
18. Looking For A Boy

1. Long Tall Dexter
2. Dexter Rides Again
3. I Can't Escape From You
4. Dexter Digs In
5. Jump Call
6. Mischievous Lady
7. Lullaby In Rhythm
8. Chase, The
9. Chromatic Aberration
10. It's The Talk Of The Town
11. Blues Bikini
12. Hunt, The
13. Byas A Drink

1. Disorder At The Border
2. Cherokee
3. After Hours Bop
4. I'll Follow You
5. Bop
6. Ghost Of A Chance
7. Sweet And Lovely

1. Hornin' In
2. Settin' The Pace
3. So Easy
4. Dexter's Riff
5. Wee Dot
6. Lion Roars
7. Dexter's Mood
8. Dextrose
9. Index
10. Dextivity
11. Sid's Delight
12. Move
13. Ain't Gonna Quit You Baby
14. Helen's Advice
15. Knockin' Myself Out
16. Airplane Blues

40th Anniversary of passing

July 17th 2007


Alexander Von Schlippenbach - Night & Day (Plays Them All)

Some of you may not enjoy the Globe Unity Orchestra, but you should check this great boxset nonetheless- these sets find the pianist playing standards, and in a very classic setting : piano trio and a horn. And do they swing ! A most noticeable fact is von Schlippenbach's use of the Harlem stride style. Funny how some pianists who have played and/or composed advanced jazz stuff have a passion for this style - Byard, for example. Just take a look at the tracklist displayed in comments : only standards here (and not only Cole Porter's as one could wrongly assume from the title). Standards still are the best way to show what you're worth, and von Schlippenbach's worth a lot, believe me (I know, it's the second time I ask you to take my words for granted in this post). A great set, and a very hard-to-get one.

Alexander von Schlippenbach, piano
Sven-Åke Johansson, drums
Rüdiger Carl, tenor saxophone, clarinet
Jay Oliver, bass.
Recorded on 27, 28 and 29 May 1992 in Badenschen Hof, Berlin.
(This limited edition package was produced in 2003 by Edition Artelier)

Wes Montgomery “The Montgomery Brothers in Canada” (1961, Fantasy/OJC 3323)

Even if Hideo probably has enough of Wes' grooving guitar, this set is for those of you who wish to add to your collection. These improvised solos by Wes are 'just' another example of the style that made him one of the greatest jazz guitarists. Check out Buddy’s tremendous solos on the vibes and the solid performance by Monk, as he more than holds his own on the bass. According to the liner notes from “Groove Brothers”, this set features the brothers playing in front a small audience in a Vancouver club called, “The Cellar” and not in Toronto as is written on the CD reissue; can someone clear this up? ~ enjoy!

Buddy Montgomery (vib), Wes Montgomery (g), Monk Montgomery (b), Paul Humphreys (d)

01. Jeanine
02. Snowfall
03. Angel Eyes
04. Barbados
05. This Love of Mine
06. On Green Dolphin Street
07. You Don’t Know What Love Is
08. Beaux Arts

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sam Rivers - Contours

Saxophonist Sam Rivers certainly assembled a team of hot soloists for this album. However, his compositions are more than just vehicles for improvisation. Rivers's largely angular, even jarring, melodies clearly seek to define a new direction in jazz; they do not fall back on bebop forms or hard-bop funkiness. Each composition contains an abstract "head" and the harmonic underpinning flatly rejects the usual chord progressions found in most standard repertoire. On this 1965 date, Rivers and his band also avoid the blues format.

"Mellifluous Cacophony" (performed twice here) is one such example. On this composition, Rivers begins with an asymmetrical melody that suggests atonality. However, the soloing remains firmly rooted in the jazz lexicon, as pianist Herbie Hancock, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and Rivers himself rip into these changes with abandon. "Euterpe" is an ethereal ballad replete with a long, free-floating form and stream-of-consciousness solos from the quintet. Rivers's own flute solo is marked by questing lines and exquisite modal excursions. Overall, this is intellectually stimulating music that avoids precise definition. Suffice to say, Contours is forward-looking jazz at its best.

Sam Rivers (flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Joe Chambers (drums)

1 - Point Of Many Returns
2 - Dance Of The Tripedal
3 - Euterpe
4 - Mellifluous Cacophony
5 - Mellifluous Cacophony (Alt. Take)

Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey May 21, 1965

My thanks to you all

Over the past two months I listened to many Dusko Goykovic in preparation for the show last weekend. This was essential for me to appreciating Dusko's playing, and I could not have even begun to enjoy the show half as much without help.

You all are in many ways an educator and where I come from this is a supreme compliment - a big thanks for your time, efforts and dedication!



Ron Carter “Dear Miles” (2006, Blue Note)

As many of you no doubt know, Ron Carter was the bassist Miles Davis's band from 1963 to 1969 – perhaps one of Miles’ better bands. This ‘tribute’ shows Carter’s careful reflection on Davis and his music. This is a risky venture because many others before him attempted a tribute to Davis and failed to pull it off. Here’s how he does it: he emphasized the strength of the members of his long-standing quartet, Stephen Scott (p), Payton Crossley (d) and Roger Squitero (per). This results on a rhythm-driven set, with Carter’s warm bass at the centre of the music. I could not help liken the music of this tribute to the playing of Ahmad Jamal; I look forward to your thoughts on my judgment ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:

- flaming percussive approach to “Seven Steps to Heaven”
- beautiful piano and bass accompaniment on “My Funny Valentine”
- endearing, subtle blues-feel of “Bags’ Groove”

Ron Carter (b), Stephen Scott (p), Payton Crossley (d), Roger Squitero (per)
01. Gone
02. Seven Steps to Heaven
03. My Funny Valentine
04. Bags’ Groove
05. Someday My Prince Will Come
06. Cut and Paste
07. Stella by Starlight
08. As Time Goes By
09. Bye Bye Blackbird
10. 595

Concert Review: Dusko Goykovic - The Pit Inn, Tokyo, 14th July, 2007

This 90 minute set by Dusko Goykovic on 14th July at ‘The Pit Inn’ in Tokyo was impressive from start to finish, leaving me with only wishing there had been more! There was never a letdown by Dusko Goykovic’s quartet of Peter Mihelic (p), Paul Gill (b), Gene Jackson (d), which lent enough space to him roam around their own admirable solos on every number. One thing that struck me was how Goykovich just dove headlong into several rhythmic black holes (i.e. 'totally hammered or totally jammed or had incredible solos...) - exploring some unknown feelings, yet tying it back into the composition ever so subtly.

I found myself likening Dusko Goykovic to Bobby Shew or Blue Mitchell. Goykovic was an entertainer, and what was already a memorable concert became even more so, as the trumpeter was absolutely awesome on some of his originals (“Balkan Blue” & “Wedding March of Alexander the Macedonian”, “Oo-Bop-p'da” and ...?) that he combined during a second encore and standards such as “Autumn Leaves”, “Secret Love” and “I’ll Close My Eyes”. However, perhaps the highlight of the evening was how he and his band smoked the hell out of Dizzy’s “Ow!”.

This was my first time to see Dusko – in fact, I only really began to know his playing about a half-a-year ago through this group and the wonderful series by Cat-Dancer. For introducing me to this incredibly talented musician, I owe you all great thanks.
Ahhhh, now my holiday is over and now back to the grind -


Bobby Shew w/Carl Fontana - Heavyweights (1995)

Trumpeter Bobby Shew had been wanting to make an album with the under-recorded trombonist Carl Fontana for 25 years when he finally had the opportunity in 1995. Using swinging arrangements by the recently deceased Herbie Phillips, Shew and Fontana (who are assisted by pianist George Cables, bassist Bob Magnusson, and drummer Joe LaBarbera) perform a bop-oriented program comprised of nine jazz standards. The interplay between the two very fluent horns is consistently delightful, and the highlights include "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," "My Romance," "The Girl From Ipanema," and "While My Lady Sleeps." Recommended for straight-ahead jazz fans. - Scott Yanow

Bobby Shew (trumpet)
Carl Fontana (trombone)
George Cables (piano)
Bob Magnusson (bass)
Joe LaBarbera (drums)
  1. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
  2. My Romance
  3. Bags' Groove
  4. But Not for Me
  5. Autumn Serenade
  6. The Girl from Ipanema
  7. Just in Time
  8. While My Lady Sleeps
  9. Night and Day
Recorded on September 20th & 21st, 1995

Diary of a Jazz Convert

First my thanks to Rab for the invite and congratulations on yet
another independent blog based on the love of music, and the passion
of its contributors

I'm very honoured...

Brief background is that I've known Rab since JPT days, a time when I also
ran a very lowly blog myself..long since demised.

Up to JPT I thought I had a good taste in music..extremely varied from Reggae, to
Classical, rock, punk...there wasn't much I didn't at least try but ultimately didn't

Jazz..however..was an exception. To those who may remember (or perhaps never had
that 'affliction' LOL!) when you don't know Jazz, you don't know Jazz. The immediate
perception a non-Jazz fan has is instantly the quite awful (I am not a fan) squarking
of free-jazz, and then to assume all Jazz is like this. And so I just refused to venture
down that path. Then through probably chance encounters with the usual recordings that
turn many a fan 'down the path', I ..well..saw the light (not to quote too savagely from
religious comments!). Of Course those hallowed recordings of 'Kind of Blue', 'Blue Train',
'Take Five', 'Songs for my Father' can easily convert those prepared to listen...

From then its a landslide..especially via old classic download sites such as Emusic of yesteryear
(the one fee..all you can download years) to really start to embrace the newly discovered genre.

Then move on to the JPT (the original which had few visitors in its incarnation!),
JPT Mk2 'the return' which attracted more and more fans, to STH, HighwaytoHell, to the
seminal OAB and on to a site such as this...These sites are crucial to let people discover Jazz,
and its without that discovery that it gets accepted by others. I mean where do you go to discover
Jazz outside of blogs? Who can give you the Jazzucation thats craved by those waiting for that
venerable 'gap' in their music listening...or are prepared to even give it a try???

And to finally immerse oneself in the best things of Jazz is..just wonderful. "What have I been
missing for so long", I keep telling myself upon hearing a newly discovered Jazz recording..
Its quite shocking! To have just been so uncultured for so long!

Anyway I digress...as I told Rab my Jazz collection is all but derived from the above sites,
and much that I may bring to this blog is probably not Jazz but as my blog once showed I hope,
at least something different. But I do have some Jazz on CD and I now try to master the 'flac'
tool..of which I'm still to be persuading is essential, but clearly can see the benefits
when a fantastic recording is found, and its in this format.

So onwards to a first post..Once again J! Thanks!

Ike Quebec..All I remember about this classic I picked up in a second hand store
was the owner stating "anyone who comes across Ike Quebec CD's for sale snaps them
up like golddust"..and this was the reason I bought it

Lucky for him, he was right about this particular CD!

Its Flac with scans..

1. It Might As Well Be Spring
2. Light Reprieve
3. Easy Don't Hurt
4. Lover Man
5. Ol' Man River
6. Willow Weep For Me

It Might As Well Be Spring gets the usual high quality Rudi Van Gelder re-issue treatment. Originally released in 1961 it features Quebec on tenor sax alongside Milt Hinton on bass, organist Freddie Roach and Al Harewood on drums.

Quire (1975)

This is one of the most amazing vocal records I have ever heard. Quire is the creation of Christiane Legrand, Michel's sister and a founding member of the Swingle Singers and the Double Six of Paris. Their goal was to transcribe and recreate 11 classic jazz piano recordings using only their voices and on some of the selections, a group of French rhythm players . Every vocal sound that you hear on this recording was actually sung. No technical alterations or corrections were made. There was no speeding up of tapes; there was no slowing down of tapes; there was no creation of an artificial sound. No tricks.

In order to create the varying number of notes in the chords, the singers recorded as many times as necessary over their original tracks to complete all of the sounds necessary to reproduce exactly what was played by the instrumentalists on the original recordings. This was a labor of love which took nearly four months and more than 50 recording sessions.

A review by Ken Dryden:

"Quire was an offshoot of the vocal group the Swingle Singers, except that, during its brief existence, Quire concentrated on recreating classic jazz works rather than classical music. Christiane Legrand, a founding member of the Swingle Singers and also the Double-Six of Paris, was the musical director and also one of the quartet of singers whose voices were taped via repeated overdubbing and splicing to recreate vocally various jazz instrumental hits, such as "Misty," "Honky Tonk Train Blues," "Waltz for Debby," and "Dancers in Love." The work required just to duplicate some of the solos is amazing, yet the singers try to fill in all of the background chords and notes, too. While there is little doubt that it takes some extraordinary singers to listen to the original recordings and vocally duplicate instrumental passages over numerous repeated takes to assemble the final product, the fact is that there is no real improvising going on at all. There is no instrumental support except for occasionally light brushes, bass, guitar, or vibes. The inability of Quire's singers to pull off their accomplishment in concert, unlike the Swingle Singers, a group that has changed personnel but continued to tour into the 21st century, made this LP a one-shot curiosity that is fun to share for a track or two but quickly grows tiresome."

Unlike Dryden, this is one album in my collection that I never grow tired of. In order to fully appreciate these reproductions you must have the originals to compare them to. If you don't have these, I suggest you download the Quire Companion file I put together with all of the original recordings. I ripped the album to flac but the companion tracks are all in aac or mp3 @192 or less to keep the file small.

Christiane Legrand, Claudine Meunier, Jose Germain, Michel Baroulle (vocals)
Martin Drew, Daniel Humair (drums)
Chris Lawrence, Guy Pederson (bass)
Francis Lemauger (guitar)
Christian Chevallier (vibes)

Woody Herman Big Band in the 1980's (Part Two)

Woody Herman Big Band – 50th Anniversary Tour (1986/Flac)

This set, which is the best of the Woody Herman Orchestra's Concord recordings, celebrates his 50th year as a bandleader, quite an accomplishment. No guest stars are needed for this set, which shows just how strong a big band he still had. With tenor-saxophonist Frank Tiberi gradually taking over leadership duties (today he leads the ghost Woody Herman Orchestra) and trombonist John Fedchock contributing the arrangements, the band was in fine shape even if the leader was aging. Whether it be "It Don't Mean a Thing," John Coltrane's "Central Park West" (a great arrangement) or Don Grolnick's "Pools," every selection is excellent. Scot Yanow

Michael Brignola Sax (Baritone)
Bill Byrne Trumpet, Flugelhorn
John Fedchock Trombone, Arranger except where noted
Woody Herman Clarinet, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Roger Ingram Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mark Lewis Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Les Lovitt Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mark Lusk Trombone (Bass)
Paul McKee Trombone
Jerry Pinter Sax (Tenor)
Dave Riekenberg Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Jim Rupp Drums
Lynn Seaton Bass, Bass (Electric)
Ron Stout Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Frank Tiberi Sax (Tenor), Co-Arranger on #5
Brad Williams Piano, Co-Arranger on #5

1. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) (Ellington, Mills)
2. What's New? (Burke, Haggart)
3. Pools (Grolnick)
4. Blues for Red (Fedchock)
5. Conga (Garcia)
6. Central Park West (Coltrane)
7. Fried Buzzard (Donaldson)
8. Epistrophy (Clarke, Monk)

Recorded Live at The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA USA in March 1986

Woody Herman Big Band – Woody’s Gold Star (1987/Flac)

Herman's final recording, made just weeks before his health began to seriously fail, is actually quite good. With future leader Frank Tiberi contributing some strong tenor solos, John Fedchock writing some colorful arrangements for a varied program (ranging from "Rose Room" and "'Round Midnight" to Chick Corea's "Samba Song"), and three guest percussionists on some of the pieces, this is an enjoyable release. Herman takes short solos on three of the pieces, recorded approximately 50 years after he formed his first successful big band. This serves as a fine closer to a significant career. Scott Yanow

George Baker Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Ramon Banda Timbales, Timpani
Michael Brignola Sax (Baritone)
Bill Byrne Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dave Carpenter Bass, Bass (Electric)
Pete Escovedo Percussion, Bongos
John Fedchock Trombone, Arranger except where noted
Woody Herman Clarinet, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Roger Ingram Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Joe Marati Trombone (Bass)
Paul McKee Trombone
Dave Miller Drums
Tito Puente, Arranger on #3
Jerry Pinter Sax (Tenor)
Jim Powell Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dave Riekenberg Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Poncho Sanchez Conga
Maria Schneider, Arranger on #7
Ron Stout Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Frank Tiberi Sax (Tenor)
Joel Weiskopf Piano

1. Battle Royal (Ellington) 4:16
2. Woody's Gold Star (Herman) 6:17
3. Mambo Rockland (Puente) 4:03
4. Round Midnight (Hanighen, Monk, Williams) 6:19
5. The Great Escape (Fedchock) 4:20
6. Dig (Davis) 3:53
7. Rose Room/In a Mellow Tone (Hickman, Williams) 6:37
8. Watermelon Man (Hancock) 6:31
9. Samba Song (Corea) 7:03

Recorded Live at the Willows Theater, Concord , CA USA in March 1987

Peter Apfelbaum & The New York Hieroglyphics - It Is Written! (ACT, 2005)

This came to mind when I saw Alpax's Apfelbaum post (a few scroll downs). No doubt, Apfelbaum is a very talented guy, and this version of his Hieroglyphics is a very good example of a contemporary big band.

I also thought it'd fit very well in my series of 'international jazz posts', as a number of so-called 'world music' idioms are fused in Apfelbaum's compositions (African, Indian, Arabic etc.). I imagine it would be difficult to achieve that sort of blending anywhere else than New York.

The number of first rate musicians who participate along Apfelbaum in the project is astonishing - there's a list in comments and complete per track participants in the scanned liner notes. Just to name a few - Steven Bernstein, Jai Uttal, Craig Handy, Cyro Baptista, Dafnis Prieto, Trey Anastasio and a lot more. Incidentally, Abdoulaye Diabate from Kora Jazz Trio participates in vocals, so there's a liaison to my previous post as well.

This is an important and very enjoyable recording which is highly recommended. Enjoy.

Links, tracklist and an AAJ review in comments.

African Jazz: Kora Jazz Trio

This is another instalment on the small 'jazz from Africa" series. The focus this time is on the West African Kora Jazz Trio, which consists of the Senegalese pianist Abdoulaye Diabate, the Guinean griot & kora virtuoso Djeli Moussa Diawara (who happens to be the half-brother of the great Mory Kante and cousin of Kante Manfila - who participated in the Hank Jones "Sarala" previously presented here) and the Senegalese percussionist Moussa Cissoko. In their second album they are also joined by Mamadou Kone (a.k.a. Le Prince) on calabash.

I was drawn to them after having loved the excellent collaboration of Bob Brozman with Djeli Moussa Diawara ("Ocean Blues", 2000 - will be presented here later on) and found them to be
a highly enjoyable trio. The basis is 'straight' jazz, with a good measure of West African elements, especially in the usage of kora and percussion and some vocal tracks. Diawara is a very accomplished kora player, and he manages to sound at times very mellow and dreamy and, at other occasions, extremely groovy. Diabate also is a very accomplished pianist, with a rich sound.
Those who like the sound of Dorothy Ashby should give these albums a listening; same goes for those who like Roswell Rudd's "MaliCOOL".

There are a couple of covers on these two albums; the first album has a very nice cover of Charlie Parker's "Now Is The Time". The second album has two covers, Monk's "Rhythm'ning" and Charles Trenet's "La Mer" (the first one is very enjoyable, Monk's 'angular' composition fits them particularly well). All the other compositions are their own; Diabate took care of the arrangements.
I hope you enjoy them; if you do, drop a comment.
Details are in comments.

Rodrigo Gonçalves - Tribology

This was one of my fave 2004 releases. Rodrigo Gonçalves indeed is part of the crop and cream of an always interesting Portuguese jazz scene (may be in the near future we could illustrate this great scene over here). For this session, he teamed up with the excellent drummer Alexander Frazão and guitarrist Mário Delgado - two of the most important jazz musicians in Portugal. Also, Spaniards Perico Sambeat on alto (I posted his cd with Mehldau at AOB last winter) and Paco Charlín on bass took part in this project, which was blessed by the appearance of arguably one of today's best U.S tenor saxes, Mark Turner. Gonçalves has his own style, and this cd has no weak moment.
Rodrigo Gonçalves p
Alexander Frazão d
Mário Delgado g
Perico Sambeat as
Paco Charlín b
Mark Turner ts
1. GBT
2. Cuanto Antes
3. Que Guay
4. Adeu (en Març)
5. Adeu (en Març) coda
6. Us Two
7. ReEvolução intro
8. ReEvolução
9. Tribology
10. Desde Já 1:57

Jack Montrose & Bob Gordon - Two Can Play: Complete Quintet and Sextet Sessions 1954-1955 2 CD

Includes three albums: Meet Mr. Gordon, By Jack Montrose and Jack Montrose Sextet.

Reviews by David Rickert
Bob Gordon was a major player on the West Coast scene of the fifties and was on a path to become one of the greatest baritone sax players jazz had ever produced. Unfortunately, he died in an automobile accident in 1955, just as the cool jazz scene was beginning to gather some steam.
Before his untimely death he was a widely sought after session player, easily able to adapt to any leader’s idiosyncrasies. He had a particular affinity for the playing of trombonist Herbie Harper and saxophonist/arranger Jack Montrose.
The Montrose sessions offer some of the best and most unusual concepts of arranging courtesy of Jack Montrose. His knotted, complicated charts may have cost him fame but are a musician’s delight and require the kind of tricky playing that Gordon excelled at. Trumpeter Conte Candoli joins the pair on the front line for some exciting ideas that represent some of the best of the West Coast. While some listeners may find Montrose’s music overly fussy, there’s no question that this session in particular produced some wonderful music that was at times bizarre, at times complicated, and at times swinging, oftentimes within the same song.
Bob Gordon isn’t the driving force behind any of these sessions, yet his contributions certainly affect their outcome in significant ways. He could blow the paint of the walls if given the opportunity (and you’ll hear it throughout) and his is a key link to the California music scene of the fifties.

01 Meet Mr. Gordon (Montrose) 2:38
02 Tea for Two (Caisar, Youmans) 3:05
03 Modus Operandi (Montrose) 3:47
04 Onion Bottom (Montrose) 3:28
05 What a Difference a Day Makes (Adams, Grever) 3:39
06 For Sue (Montrose) 3:48
07 Love Is Here to Stay (Gershwin, Gerswhin) 2:24
08 Two Can Play (Montrose) 2:30
09 Two Can Play [alternate take] (Montrose) 2:27
10 A Little Duet (Montrose) 4:59
11 Paradox (Montrose) 4:05
12 When You Wish Upon a Star (Harline, Washington) 3:34
13 Have You Met Miss Jones (Hart, Rodgers) 5:16
14 Dot's Groovy (Montrose) 4:39

01 I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town (Razaf, Weldon) 5:47
02 Cecilia (Dreyer, Ruby) 4:36
03 April's Fool (Montrose) 5:05
04 The News and the Weather (Montrose) 4:18
05 Listen, Hear (Montrose) 5:35
06 Pretty (Montrose) 5:19
07 Bewitched, Botherd and Bewildered (Hart, Rodgers) 5:30
08 Credo (Montrose) 5:27
09 Fools Rush In (Bloom, Mercer) 5:36
10 Speakeasy (Montrose) 4:14
11 That Old Feeling (Brown, Fain) 4:30
12 Some Good Fun Blues (Montrose) 5:07

Jack Montrose Sax (Tenor)
Bob Gordon Sax (Baritone)
Conte Candoli Trumpet
Shelly Manne Drums
Red Mitchell Bass
Paul Moer Piano
Joe Mondragon Bass
Ralph Peña Bass
Billy Schneider Drums

Duke Ellington – Black, Brown and Beige

Duke Ellington originally wrote the 50-minute "Black, Brown and Beige" in 1943 for a Carnegie Hall concert, where critics dismissed it as overreaching for a jazz composer. Over the next 15 years, he periodically resurrected it for performances of excerpts or, as in the case of his 1958 Columbia album, transmuting it into what was essentially a new work. Long out of print on vinyl and only available as an import on CD until 1999, the original Columbia Black, Brown and Beige album was one of the most extraordinary products of Ellington's second stay with the label, growing out of his 1956 Newport triumph, and it was received somewhat more readily than the original 1943 "Black, Brown and Beige." The main problem for those who knew the piece and its history lay in the absence of Johnny Hodges, who was hardly ever with the Ellington band during 1958, and on whose talents "Come Sunday," the centerpiece of the original work and even more the core of the revamped Black, Brown and Beige, was built. Instead, Mahalia Jackson sings a version of "Come Sunday" that is, if anything, equally affecting, backed by the orchestra led by Ray Nance's violin. The result on the original album was a piece that started off in big band-style blues and led to one of Ellington's most moving, wrenching pieces of work, and music that, had it been better known, might also have done more to raise people's consciousness about civil rights than a hundred folk songs of the period. An expanded 1999 reissue has ten bonus tracks, including eight flawed but fascinating alternate takes of the complete work. There's not a note of music that isn't worth hearing anywhere on the CD, and the album is a welcome restoration to the catalog. Bruce Eder (All Music Guide)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kenny Dorham - The Complete 'Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia (RVG)

This is at the other site, so don't duplicate your downloads.

Kenny Dorham was a musician's musician, the thinking person's trumpet player (though the emotions are personal and deep, even if not instantaneous or obvious). His tone is light but round and always centered, capable of sounding vulnerable and breathy one instant and dynamically brilliant and virtuosic the next. Since Kenny is the least "showy" of trumpet players, my hunch is that this Dorham-led date will not impress the uniniated overly much and that it should probably be purchased after one of his later studio sessions or his dates with Art Blakey ("Live at the Cafe Bohemia") or Horace Silver ("The Jazz Messengers"). Once you've acquired a taste for the Dorham sound--which, incidentally, can be addictive--the pleasures of the present session will be all the more apparent.

Each of the tunes not only features first-rate (if understated) solo work but attention to compositional details that were frequently missing in "hard bop" performances of the era. Listen to the title song--with all of Monk's transitions and intertextual motifs intact--or to "Night in Tunisia," which may be less dramatic and forceful than the version with Clifford Brown and Art Blakey at Birdland but is ten times more musical.

The underrecorded, melodically lithe J. R. Monterose complements K. D. in the frontline as effectively as Hank Mobley, and the overrecorded Kenny Burrell has never sounded more inspired and assured, almost overmatching the more subdued approach of the other players. Bobby Timmons restricts his solo time along with the block chord cliches, turning in some of his most tasteful work on record.

While this may not be "the" Kenny Dorham recording, it belongs in the top 5--which, speaking of the pantheon of all-time trumpet greats, is probably the short list on which Kenny himself deserves mention. Samuel Chell

Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
J.R. Monterose (tenor sax)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Bobby Timmons (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Arthur Edgehill (drums)

CD 1
1 K.D.'s Blues (alternate take)
2 Autumn in New York
3 Monaco (alternate take)
4 N.Y. Theme
5 K.D.'s Blues
6 Hill's Edge
7 A Night In Tunisia
8 Who Cares? (alternate take)
9 Royal Roost

CD 2
1 Mexico City
2 'Round About Midnight
3 Monaco
4 Who Cares?
5 My Heart Stood Still
6 Riffin'
7 Mexico City (alternate take)
8 The Prophet

Recorded live at the Cafe Bohemia in New York City on May 31, 1956

Jim Hall - Concierto

This is a magnificent album that I downloaded from Granny's old site (what was that called again?) and I'm happy to share it here, with some useful commentary from http://www.soundstage.com.

And in case anyone's interested, Jim's daughter has an informative blog here: http://devradowrite.com/

D/L: File in Comments

Alas, these are mp3 files, not the ones mentioned below.


When jazz guitar veteran Jim Hall entered Rudy Van Gelder's New Jersey studio in April of 1975, little did he realize that some 29 years later the album he was about to record would be given the full-monty Ultradisc UHR Gain 2 hybrid SACD treatment from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. Heck, regular ol' Red Book CD wasn’t even a blip on the radar screen at that point, though MoFi was already doing their thing on vinyl. Nearly 30 years later, Hall’s unique musical vision is served very (very!) well by Mobile Fidelity’s SACD reproduction. And it was definitely worth the wait.

Joining Hall at the session were alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, trumpeter Chet Baker, pianist Sir Roland Hanna (one of the fine unsung pianists that dot jazz history), bassist Ron Carter,and drummer Steve Gadd (whose name was just beginning to appear on both jazz and rock albums). Together they laid down some smoothly swinging, laid-back jazz that sounds as fresh today as it did back then (and given the state of modem jazz today, maybe even better). A casual perusal of the lineup brings one fact quickly to the fore -- all these guys come from backgrounds of quiet introspection. Each is a master at understanding the use of space in creating his music. All are gifted accompanists, and all are well versed in group interplay. None feels the need to dominate the proceedings, even the leader.

Each of the four tracks that made up the initial release of Concierto, "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "Two's Blues," "The Answer Is Yes," and "Concierto de Aranjuez," is a demonstration of team play. The music just seems to flow forth, slipping effortlessly from one musician to the next with only the music itself drawing the listener's attention. And because of this, the album tends to fly by, drawing to a close just as you're beginning to settle in for the long haul. Fortunately, Mobile Fidelity has realized that fact and went the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction by adding two cuts that were not used on the original album. "Rock Skippin'" and "Unfinished Business" add another ten minutes of musical enjoyment. And that’s not the end of MoFi’s beneficence. Three alternate takes, "You'd Be...," "The Answer...," and "Rock Skippin'" round out this disc.

The sound recorded by Van Gelder on Concierto is typical of his body of work. The piano is clearly rendered if still a bit too boxy-sounding, while the rhythm section, and Hall, are clustered between two speakers in a fat-mono sort of arrangement. When Desmond and Baker play, they are panned hard left and hard right. Tonal balance, then as always a Van Gelder strong suit, is very nicely done. And Hall’s guitar receives lovely treatment, too.

The CD layer is fully the equal of anything Mobile Fidelity has turned out using their Ultradisc UHR Gain 2 process. Anyone who purchases this disc, whether a hi-resolution convert or not, will have nothing to complain about. But, if you want to hear this stereo hybrid disc at its absolute best, listen to the SACD layer. The added resolution of SACD is fully demonstrated there. The instruments take on more fullness, and the recording studio's boundaries are more easily defined on SACD than on the Red Book layer.

While Concierto is not a perfect recording (is there any such beast?), it is nonetheless a fun, musically worthy album that will provide much enjoyment and find a solid spot in your jazz collection. It contains some absolutely wonderful playing by a group of cool jazz's finest practitioners, and its sonics will knock your socks off. If you are a Jim Hall fan, this is a must-buy SACD. If not, then this is the perfect introduction to his unique style, as well as to high-resolution digital.

1. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
2. Two's Blues
3. The Answer Is Yes
4. Concierto de Aranjuez
5. Rock Skippin'
6. Unfinished Business
7. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To (Alt. Take)
8. The Answer Is Yes (Alt. Take)
9. Rock Skippin' (Alt. Take)

Charles Mingus - Tonight at Noon

A valuable reissue for Mingus fans, Tonight at Noon compiles five tunes originally recorded for two of the great bassist's most important album's, 1957's The Clown and 1961's Oh Yeah. Though the two sessions cover somewhat different stylistic ground, they blend together seamlessly and amount to much more than a haphazard assemblage of dusty outtakes.

The earlier session is the more restrained of the two, with Mingus and a typically responsive quintet (trombonist Jimmy Knepper, alto saxophonist Shafi Hadi, pianist Wade Legge and drummer Dannie Richmond) expertly weaving a path between the extremes of European impressionism (on the haunting ”Passions of a Woman Loved”) and hard bop (on the fast-paced title tune). The 1961 date is a more freewheeling journey into the blues and gospel roots of jazz via Duke Ellington, with Mingus switching to piano (an instrument on which he was more than proficient) and handing the bass duties over to Doug Watkins. The hard-swinging group also includes Mingus stalwarts Knepper and Richmond, along with the dynamic saxophone duo of Booker Ervin and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Though most of the compositions on Tonight at Noon are not well known (with the exception of “Peggy's Blue Skylight” from the 1961 session) and several make their only appearances in the Mingus catalog here, there's certainly nothing second rate about these tunes. Along with the time limitations of the LP era, one gets the impression that, if anything, they were left off the original albums because they were even more provocative than the selected cuts. This is vital, exciting music. Joel Roberts

Charles Mingus (piano, bass)
Shafi Hadi (alto saxophone)
Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk (saxophone)
Jimmie Knepper (trombone)
Wade Legge (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Dannie Richmond (drums).

1 - Tonight at Noon
2 - Invisible Lady
3 - 'Old' Blues For Walt's Torin
4 - Peggy's Blue Skylight
5 - Passions Of A Woman Loved

Recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York, on March 12, 1957 and November 6, 1961

David Murray - Long Goodbye, A Tribute To Don Pullen

The other day, Rab posted a great Arthur Blythe cd. It made me think of the Roots with Blythe and Pullen, and eventually of this cd. Well, here it is. Any David Murray fan should get it. Murray's in top form here, and even if Fred Hopkins (who had passed away when this session was recorded) or Dave Burrell are not backing him, this is another fine item in the list of his output for DIW. Plus, the choice of DD Jackson for this session really makes sense. Debriano and Lewis also provide great backing. These7 numbers (including 4 Pullen covers) make up for an immediately rewarding listen, with Murray at his melodic-yet-strong best. Beautiful and moving.

David Murray tenor sax
D.D. Jackson piano
Santi Debriano bass
J.T. Lewis drums
1 Gratitude Pullen
2 Resting on the Road Pullen
3 Out of a Storm Jackson
4 El Matador Pullen
5 Easy Alice Jackson
6 Long Goodbye Morris
7 Common Ground Pullen 7:54

Position Alpha - The great sound of sound

One of my favourite European labels has to be Dragon records. Sure, they have released stuff by some U.S jazz greats such as Art Blakey or Dave Liebman. But its interest lies in national artists : Dragon records is THE label that has been documenting the Swedish jazz scene for over 30 years. From Anders Bergcrantz to Bobo Stenson (to name a few of the most well-known Swedish jazz musicians) to re-issueing Lars Gullin sessions, these guys have put out an incredible amount of gems. This cd is no exception. For lack of a better expression, I'd say it's a fucking sonic U.F.O - not avant, not free, denifitely jazz. Five saxes - no rhythm section, some of the horns make up for it - blowing like demented into standards and originals, always with a sense of humour. If you like your jazz strong and edgy (yet relatively) melodic, check it.
1 Fanfar-Mallbolali Eklof, Position Alpha
2 The Dada Zone Position Alpha
3 Epistrophy Clarke, Monk
4 The Great Sound of Sound Eklof
5 Riviera II Eklof
6 En NY Slags Likgiltighet Eklof
7 Ecclusiastics Mingus, arr Sture Ericson
8 The Mama Zone Position Alpha
9 Jagad Av Jagger, Jagad Av Watts Eklof
10 Well, You Needn't Monk
11 Jelly Roll Mingus, arr Sture Ericson
Jonas Åkerblom Horn (Alto), Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano)
Mats Eklöf Clarinet, Trombone, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Bass)
Sture Ericson Flute, Arranger, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Thomas Jäderlund Flute, Clarinet (Bass), Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Jonny Wartel Clarinet, Trumpet, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Sopranino

Adam Makowicz - A Tribute to Art Tatum (1997)

Stayed up way too late last night listening to Art Tatum's "20th Century Piano Genius". Me: "Oh my God!" Tatum: "Yes?"

Few pianists possess the technique and knowledge of harmony to even come close to sounding like Tatum. Adam Makowicz is one of those few.

Adam Makowicz's original inspiration was Art Tatum. In fact, the classically trained pianist discovered jazz by hearing a Tatum record broadcast over the Voice of America in his native Poland. In 1997, he revisited his "roots" for this CD, performing 13 selections and a melody by Chopin in the style of Art Tatum, no easy feat. Makowicz has always had phenomenal technique and is certainly up to the job on this set of unaccompanied solos, as he shows on such numbers as "Humoresque," "I Know That You Know," "Begin the Beguine," "Caravan" and "Just One of Those Things." - Scott Yanow

Adam Makowicz (solo piano)
  1. I Cover the Waterfront
  2. Humoresque
  3. Willow Weep for Me
  4. I Know That You Know
  5. Prelude #7 Opus 28
  6. Begin the Beguine
  7. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
  8. I Loves You Porgy
  9. Jitterbug Waltz
  10. Night and Day
  11. Caravan
  12. In a Sentimental Mood
  13. I Can't Get Started
  14. Just One of Those Things

Art Pepper

The recent Galaxy series, and Zero's contribution of the Leviev led date - which is a greatly underrated album - and my just having re-read pepper's autobiography kinda put me in the mood for some more Pepper.

Art Pepper - Among Friends

One of Pepper's personal favorites of all his work - and he knew how good his stuff was - this also features Frank Butler, who never seemed to me to get his due.

Art Pepper mostly sticks to standards on this Discovery LP, but he brings out new life in the veteran songs, particularly on such ballads as "Round Midnight," "What's New" and "Besame Mucho." With the assistance of pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Bob Magnusson and drummer Frank Butler, the great altoist (who is heard just prior to signing an exclusive contract with the Galaxy label) is also in top form on such pieces as "What Is This Thing Called Love" and "I'll Remember April." An excellent (if not quite essential) release. - Scott Yanow

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Bob Magnussen (bass)
Frank Butler (drums)

1. Among Friends
2. Round About Midnight
3. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
4. Blue Bossa
5. What Is This Thing Called Love?
6. What's New
7. Besame Mucho
8. I'll Remember April
9. Blue Bossa ( Take 2 )

Recorded Sept. 2 1978 at United/Western Studios, Hollywood, CA
This is the japanese reissue of the original Discovery LP, remastered
at 24-bit.

Art Pepper - Meets The Rhythm Section

True, Pepper recalls that he played with these guys after 6 months of inactivity. Problem is, the records show that he was in the studio three times already that month, including the day before. And 15 times in the prior six months. He was junksick, that much I believe.

The rhythm section in question here belonged to Miles Davis in Los Angeles, one fine day in January 1957. Pepper had made a name for himself in Stan Kenton's band, but this was really the first time he found himself in the studio with a rhythm section such as Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. In his fascinating biography, Straight Life, Pepper tells the story of the date when, after not playing for six months, he was told of the session that morning. He pieced together a broken horn, went in, and blew. Not completely remembering the first tune "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," he voices a line that both invokes the melody and refashions it. The rest of the session shows just how high Pepper rose to the occasion. It's one of the most important recordings of his career. - Michael Monhart

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Red Garland (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
2. Red Pepper Blues
3. Imagination
4. Waltz Me Blues
5. Straight Life
6. Jazz Me Blues
7. Tin Tin Deo
8. Star Eyes
9. Birks Works

Hollywood, CA, January 19, 1957

Aki Takase - Plays Fats Waller

A few months ago, Rab started posting Fats Waller cds - these great Bluebird editions. I then thought of this cd. It was the first time - and the only time until Rab's posts - I had listened to something somehow related to Waller. I liked it a lot when I first checked it. Now, retrospectively, I enjoy it even more. The repertoire here is composed of Waller themes/songs and originals. The spirit of Waller's music pervades this cd, in my opinion at least. But more significantly, there is a sense of both joy and humor to the whole thing. And that may be the best tribute these guys could come up with.

1. Lookin´ good, but feelin bad (Waller)
2. Vipers Drag (Waller)
3. Ain´t misbehavin (Waller)
4. Handful of keys (Waller)
5. Any tune, but Fats tune (A. Takase)
6. Your feet´s too big (Benson)
7. Intermezzo 1 (Takase)
8. Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans (Alter)
9. Intermezzo 2 (Takase)
10. Hold Tight (Waller)
11. Kuroneko Yamato (Takase)
12. Intermezzo 3 (Takase)
13. I got the feelin I´ m falling (Waller)
14. Tintenfisch in Wien (Takase)
15. Kauf Dir einen bunten Luftballon (Profes)
Aki Takase (p)
Eugene Chadbourne (voc, banjo,g)
Rudi Mahall (bcl)
Nils Wogram (tb)
Thomas Heberer (tp)
Paul Lovens (dr)
Recorded june 2003

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ode to The Lurker

The lurker does not participate in normal forum discourse, but he's out there...watching, reading every message, downloading every offering. Generally, he is quite harmless. In fact, his silence usually reflects a natural reticence rather than any sinister motives. He is content to let the other people haul the conversational and uploading freight and, if a fight breaks out he will observe quietly. But a lurker seldom sticks around to participate constructively, rather, after a brief exchange, he slips away, never to be heard from again.

Sonny Stitt - Pow! (1965)

Sonny Stitt teams up with trombonist Bennie Green for this 1965 session for Prestige and is ably backed by an all-Detroit rhythm section of Kirk Lightsey, Herman Wright and Roy Brooks. Stitt plays his usual ass off and it's a pleasure to hear the rarely recorded Bennie Green. You'd think that Sonny would play some tenor on this album, as it tends to blend better with the trombone, but he sticks to alto exclusively here. Green's career goes all the way back to the early '40's Earl Hines big band that included Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and his playing is unique in that he has a round, pure tone like J.J. Johnson, but his style is more akin to Vic Dickenson.

Other than the standard, "I Want to Be Happy", the rest of the tunes are originals credited to producer Richard Carpenter, but I tend to think they are probably written by Stitt and/or Green.

As far as I know, there has been no reissue of this album on CD.

Sonny Stitt (alto sax)
Bennie Green (trombone)
Kirk Lightsey (piano)
Herman Wright (bass)
Roy Brooks (drums)

Side One
1. I Want to Be Happy
2. Love on the Rocks
3. Blue Lights

Side Two
1. Scramble
2. Up and Over
3. Pride and Passion
4. 'Nuff Guff
Prestige 7459 September 10, 1965, NYC

cecil taylor and the italian instabile orchestra- owner of the riverbank 2003

here's an ambitious "big band" album from cecil taylor, possibly his most ambitious ever period.

i confess to being very partial to this music,and i believe this to be among his very finest recorded works.

cecils playing purveys a joyous sense of calm which as i perceive it, has rarely been a dominant feature of his music.

many of cecil's critics over the years including self delusional panjandrum's like stanley crouch and wynton marsallis have argued that it just isn't jazz.

they miss the point entirely and sadly for them simply cant admit, that the boundaries defining what it (jazz) is have been altered for ever.

this is not even free jazz, to my ears this is more ellingtonian in terms of the deployment of timbre and colours( its orchestration),and the overall sweep of the music than any recent music iv'e heard.

there are times also when texturally this sounds a lot like the so called stochastic music of Greek 20th c orchestral composer iannis xenakis.

its a grand shamanic syntheses that is beyond the mere confines of one single tradition.

personally i dont 'rationally understand' the greater part of how cecil weaves his magic.

cecil here is playing a lot, more sparingly, and with a delicacy, that belies the old canard's often levelled about his supposed ham fisted athleticism.

here's a good review, by francis davis from a village voice article.


check it out, and lets have a bit of feedback eh.

Myriam Alter Quintet - Reminiscence

Yannis requested it. This is a third party rip, but a decent one : 192 kbps and full scans. As any Atelier Sawano production I ever checked, the recording quality is excellent. Alter fans should definitely get this one, although it's not quite as good as If. Or as Alter Ego, which I'll post if anyone is interested (Yannis ?) as soon as I can get my hands on it. Yannis, what was that other Alter you mentioned ? I never heard it - or even heard about it - before. I tried to find a review in English (or in another language I could translate) but couldn't find one.

1. Romantic Mood
2. Conversation
3. Tenderness
4. Somewhere
5. Bossa
6. What Can I do ?
7. So Far, So Close At The Same Time
8. Keep Going
9. Mystery
10. Reminiscence
11. Don't Rush
Myriam Alter - piano
Gino Lattuca - trumpet, flugelhorn
Ben Sluijs - alto & tenor sax
Michel Benita - bass
Jan De Hass - drums

Friday, July 13, 2007

jimmy guiffre, barre phillips, don friedman-live in paris 1965

heres some more J.G, live goodness this ones also done the rounds via dodgy bootlegs over the years.
sound quality is very good.
its basically jimmy on all his horns, with stunning support from barre phillips on bass and the great underheralded don friedman on piano.

this is a hard cooking, abstract,and quite freely delivered repertoire. a viable alternative perhaps to the more raucous 'newthingisms', of the day.
any one who enjoys the great friedman session from 1966"metamorphoses" should dig this.

in fact a couple of the tunes here appeared on that session.
apparently the metamorphoses group was jimmy's regular band for a short while, and there are rumours of bootlegged matertial.
ive never heard it, if anyones holding any please post!!
i havent bothered uploading the first four tracks on this cd , because they appeared on yesterdays post "jimmy guiffre live in 1960"
ps i forgot to up scans in the file, so ive uploaded those seperately.
this is well worth your attention!

Jackie McLean - Demon's Dance (RVG)

Demon’s Dance, recorded in December 1967, was Jackie McLean’s last Blue Note album. In 1967, his recording contract, like those of many other progressive musicians, was terminated by Blue Note's new management. His opportunities to record promised so little pay that he abandoned recording as a way to earn a living, concentrating instead on touring. In 1968, he began teaching at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. He later set up the university's African American Music Department (now the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz) and its Jazz Studies degree program.

It has original music: two tunes by McLean, two by Shaw, and two from the excellent Cal Massey.

Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
LaMont Johnson (piano)
Scott Holt (bass)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)

1. Demon's Dance
2. Toyland
3. Boo Ann's Grand
4. Sweet Love Of Mine
5. Floogeh
6. Message From Trane

Recorded on December 22, 1967 in Englewood Cliffs, People's Republic of New Jersey

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Album of the Year (1981-82)

The 1981 edition of The Jazz Messengers featured more than its share of young greats (trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, altoist Bobby Watson, tenor saxophonist Billy Pierce, pianist James Williams and bassist Charles Fambrough), reinforcing drummer Art Blakey's recognition as jazz's greatest talent scout. This high-quality set, recorded in Paris, includes new material (highlighted by James Williams's "Soulful Mister Timmons"), Wayne Shorter's "Witch Hunt" and the Charlie Parker blues "Cheryl." - Scott Yanow

Yanow, in his very brief review, doesn't mention that the first two tracks are from 1982, recorded in London, and have Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison and Johnny O'Neal replacing Marsalis, Watson and Williams. (do you think he even listened to this album?)

See comments for the liner notes by Ted Panken which are much more informative.

Recorded May 20, 1982 in London

Terence Blanchard (trumpet)
Donald Harrison (alto sax)
Bill Pierce (tenor sax)
Johnny O'Neal (piano)
Charles Fambrough (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

Recorded April 12, 1981 in Paris

Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)
Bobby Watson (alto sax)
Bill Pierce (tenor sax)
James Williams (piano)
Charles Fambrough (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
  1. Oh - By the Way
  2. Duck Soup
  3. Cheryl
  4. Ms. B.C.
  5. In Case You Missed It
  6. Little Man
  7. Witch Hunt
  8. Soulful Mister Timmons

Dizzy Gillespie - Dizzy for President (1963)

This post was inspired by the "presidential" goings on over at Pomegranate.

In 1963 the Civil Rights Movement in this country was going through some tough times. On June 17th John Kennedy had to send in the National Guard to protect two students trying to enroll at the state university in Alabama, and the very next day Medgar Evers was murdered in Jackson, Mississippi. Four days before the Monterey Jazz Festival opened, four black schoolchildren were killed at a church bombing and just two months after the festival ended, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

Dizzy's campaign for President was started by his agency when they made up some "Dizzy for President" buttons for publicity purposes. But he also felt it could help promote some genuine change. From his autobiography he states, "Anybody coulda made a better President than the ones we had in those times, dilly-dallying about protecting blacks in their exercise of their civil rights and carrying on secret wars against people around the world."

Like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy could take a firm stand on issues and still keep a sense of humor. And like Satch, once he put the trumpet up to his lips it was all business.

"Before his 1963 performance at the MontereyJazz Festival, Dizzy Gillespie had already been actively involved in the influential project. As one of the first performers approached for the original 1957 lineup, Dizzy became a staple in the years to come. This set consists of eight uptempo, Latin and blues influenced jam sessions. "Dizzy Atmosphere," "Morning of the Carnival," "Desafinado," "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" are all highlights of this thoroughly exuberant set. James Moody, who alternates between tenor and alto saxophone and flute, provides smoking solos throughout. Moody had recently rejoined Dizzy, having previously been a member his orchestra in the '40s. Hired at Moody's request was 20-year-old pianist Kenny Barron, who was also beginning an important stint with Gillespie. Bassist Chris White and drummer Rudy Collins rounded out the rhythm section. Vocalist Jon Hendricks makes a guest appearance on the rowdy set finale "Vote Dizzy (Salt Peanuts) as Gillespie was in the midst of his famed presidential campaign. As a bonus, this torrid set also includes Dizzy's relaxed witticisms intact at a time when more than hints of racial tension permeated the air of our nation." - Al Campbell

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
James Moody (alto, tenor sax, flute)
Kenny Barron (piano)
Chris White (bass)
Rudy Collins (drums)
Jon Hendricks (vocal on "Vote Dizzy")
Sleepy Matsumoto (tenor sax on "Vote Dizzy")
  1. Dizzy Atmosphere
  2. Morning of the Carnival
  3. The Cup Bearers
  4. I'm in the Mood for Love
  5. Desafinado
  6. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You
  7. No More Blues
  8. Vote Dizzy (Salt Peanuts)
Recorded at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival

Teddy Charles & Shorty Rogers "Collaboration: West" (1952, Prestige OJCCD 122-2)

Scott Yanow wrote, “Vibraphonist Teddy Charles heads three West Coast-style sessions on this CD reissue that look a bit toward Third Stream and the avant-garde experiments of the early '60s. Although there are some swinging sections, much of the music is quite complex with difficult arrangements and some polytonality. One session has Charles (who doubles on piano) in a quartet with guitarist Jimmy Raney (those four numbers were not on the original LP) while the other originals feature trumpeter Shorty Rogers, bassist Curtis Counce, drummer Shelly Manne and sometimes Jimmy Giuffre on tenor and baritone. The music is thought-provoking if a bit cold and clinical, easier to respect than to love.”

Jazz-Nekko counters with, “This is some of my favorite modern jazz of the early 50s. These ‘53 Los Angeles recordings from Charles, most likely scared some people at the time. These tracks have more of a West Coast groove than Charles’ later 50s work. I think this is a lesser-known gem that should be in any jazz collection - a beautiful blend of restraint and energy ~ enjoy!”

Q: Don’t you think these may be some of the most striking work from 1953 that any of these players were involved in?
A: . . . put it in the comments!

Teddy Charles (vib), Shorty Rogers (tp), Curtis Counce (b), Jimmy Giuffre (ts), Shelly Manne (d)


here we have a couple of jimmy guiffre concerts from 1960
the first is pretty spectacular, older fans or collectors with a large disposable income may remember it, it comprises the first six tracks on this eurobootleg cd ,and was originally released by ,i think mgm and called" in person".
guiffres tone on tenor is a lot more abrasive,and sonically exploratory than on earlier records.
from what ive read by 1960 he'd already met and jammed with both sonny rollins and ornette coleman, the rollins influence on guiffre's phrasing is particularly evident.
one weird anomaly is a mutant version of monk's "we see" its barely recognisable.
jim halls pretty much on fuckin' fire on both these sets.
personnel is as follows tracks 1 to 6
guiffre- tenor, cl,
jim hall- g
buell neidlinger-db
and billy osbourne- drums, this was recorded at the five spot in august 1960
tracks 7 to 10
guiffre, hall, and wilfred middlebrooks -db(erroneously refered to as milford in the liners)
this is a gig thats circulated for years( french radio broadcast) recorded live at the paris olympia febuary 23,1960
fabulous stuff!!

Sushi, anyone?

Blue Mitchell "Blue’s Moods" (1960, Riverside VICJ-60173)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A gift from Zero !

Sometimes you get great stuff in the mail. Tonight, when I could connect to the net at long last (I'm having serious problems with my ISP lately), I found this beautiful gift from our friend ZERO in my in-box. I've come to look up Zero's posts systematically, for they always contain the most exquisite selection - whatever this artist at hand. And this post is no exception. The Pepper fan I am, as well as all of our friends I'm sure, want to thank you for this, Zero.

Art Pepper - Blues for the Fisherman [flac]

To add to the little Pepper fest Roberto has going, here's the livePepper disc I play most often. Start to finish, it's about as good asit gets, and the sound quality is terrific. It's an out-of-print (asfar as I know) quartet performance recorded live at Ronnie Scott's inJune of 1980. For contractual reasons Mole issued it under the nameof the extraordinary Bulgarian pianist Milcho Leviev, whose playinghere certainly warrants a headline. AMG says it's "one of the hottestdates in either leader's career. Solidly based in post-bop blues,Latin rhythms, and modal figures, Blues for the Fisherman is perhapsone of the most underappreciated quartet dates of the 1980s."

01 True Blues
02 Make A List, Make A Wish
03 Sad, A Little Bit
04 Ophelia
05 Goodbye
06 Blues For The Fisherman
Art Pepper - alto sax
Milcho Leviev - piano
Tony Dumas - bass
Carl Burnett - drums
Recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Club, London

Michel Legrand and Friends (1975)

Michel Legrand is primarily known as a writer of popular songs and film scores but not many know that he is also an excellent jazz pianist. You could add him to the list of other composer-conductors that were jazz pianists at some point in their life. André Previn and Lalo Schifrin come to mind, and even John Williams started his career as a jazz player back in the fifties.

Legrand is joined on this live set by Phil Woods, Randy Brecker, Joe Beck, Ron Carter and Grady Tate. The two longest tracks, "The Friday Fugue" and "Splittons" are up-tempo cookers written by Legrand, who composed all of the songs on this LP. The front line all have solo features - Phil Woods on "Once Upon a Summertime", Randy Brecker on "The Saddest Thing of All" and Joe Beck on "J & B". Brecker is especially impressive on his feature with his Clifford Brown inspired interpretation. Legrand sings on a couple of the tunes, joined by Laury Shelley on "Pieces of Dreams". These are not throwaways but I would prefer that he stick with what he does best - writing and playing.

This LP was released by RCA/Gryphon and has never been reissued on CD.

Phil Woods (alto sax)
Randy Brecker (trumpet)
Michel Legrand (piano, vocals)
Joe Beck (guitar)
Ron Carter (bass)
Grady Tate (drums)
Laury Shelley (vocal on Pieces of Dreams)

Side One
1. The Friday Fugue
2. Once Upon a Summertime
3. One at a Time
4. J & B

Side Two
1. Splittons
2. The Saddest Thing of All
3. Pieces of Dreams

Recorded live at the St. Regis Maisonette, NY on April 25, 26, 1975

Woody Herman Big Band in the 1980's (Part One)

Woody Herman Big Band – Live At The Concord Jazz Festival

The Woody Herman Orchestra is in fine form during this live performance from the 1981 Concord Jazz Festival. Other than trumpeter Bill Stapleton, none of the sidemen are all that well-known over a decade later but they played very well as an ensemble and there are some worthwhile solos on the varied material. Al Cohn guests on "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and a spirited "Lemon Drop" while the great Stan Getz steals solo honors on "The Dolphin." Scott Yanow.

Michael Brignola Clarinet (Bass), Sax (Baritone)
Al Cohn Sax (Tenor)
John Fedchock Trombone
Stan Getz Sax (Tenor)
Nick Grignola Clarinet (Bass), Sax (Baritone)
Mike Hall Bass, Bass (Electric), Guitar (Bass)
Woody Herman Clarinet, Sax (Alto)
Bill Holman (arranger on #3 &8)
Dave Lalama (arranger on #1)
Mark Lewis Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Paul McGinley Flute, Sax (Tenor), Flute (Tenor)
John Oddo Piano, Piano (Electric) and Arranger on all except where noted
Brian O'Flaherty Trumpet, Flugelhorn
George Rabbai Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Scat
Dave Ratajczak Percussion, Drums
Bill Ross Flute, Flute (Alto), Piccolo, Sax (Tenor), Flute (Tenor)
Randy Russell Flute, Sax (Tenor), Flute (Tenor)
Larry Shunk Trombone
Gene Smith Trombone
Bill Stapleton Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Scott Wagstaff Trumpet, Flugelhorn

1. Things Ain't What They Used to Be (M. Ellington)4:25
2. Theme in Search of a Movie (Oddo) 4:48
3. Midnight Run (Holman) 5:49
4. You Are So Beautiful (Fisher, Preston) 3:20
5. John Brown's Other Body (Oddo) 3:53
6. Especially for You (Oddo) 4:55
7. North Beach Breakdown (Oddo) 5:38
8. The Dolphin (Eca) 6:00
9. Lemon Drop (Wallington) 7:34

Recorded Live at the Concord Jazz Festival, Concord Pavillion, Concord, California USA on August 15, 1981.

Woody Herman Big Band – World Class

As with most of the Woody Herman Orchestra's recordings for Concord, this set (taken from concerts in Japan) welcomes guests from Herman's past. In this case tenors Al Cohn, Med Flory, Sal Nistico and Flip Phillips get to star on half of the eight selections including a remake of "Four Brothers" and Phillips's "The Claw." Phillips has an opportunity to reprise his famous Jazz at the Philharmonic solo on "Perdido." The regular Herman sidemen do not sound as distinctive in comparison, but they play quite well on these attractive arrangements, four of them by pianist John Oddo. Scott Yanow

Michael Brignola Clarinet (Bass), Sax (Baritone)
Bill Byrne Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jim Carroll Sax (Tenor)
Al Cohn Sax (Tenor) & Arranger on #4
John Fedchock Trombone
Med Flory Sax (Tenor)
Jimmy Giuffre (Arranger on #1)
Jeff Hamilton Percussion
Randall Hawes Trombone
Woody Herman Clarinet, Vocals, Performer
Mark Lewis Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Paul McGinley Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Sal Nistico Sax (Tenor)
John Oddo Piano & Arranger on #2, 5, 6 & 8
Brian O'Flaherty Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Flip Phillips Sax (Tenor) & Arranger on #3
George Rabbai Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Don Rader (Arranger on #7)
Dave Ratajczak Drums
David Shapiro Bass
Gene Smith Trombone
Frank Tiberi Sax (Tenor)
Scott Wagstaff Trumpet, Flugelhorn

1. Four Brothers (Giuffre) 3:16
2. Rockin' Chair (Carmichael) 4:48
3. The Claw (Phillips) 6:17
4. Woody's Lament (Cohn) 5:20
5. Peanut Vendor (Gilbert, Simons, Sunshine) 6:05
6. Crystal Silence (Corea, Potter) 5:07
7. Greasy Sack Blues (Herman, Rader) 7:02
8. Perdido (Drake, Lengsfelder, Tizol) 4:39

Recorded Live at Osaka Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan except #2 which was recorded Live at Yokohama stadium, Yokohama, Japan and #4 which was recorded live at The Budoken, Tokyo Japan. All recordings made in September, 1982.

Dizzy Gillespie - The Giant

Dizzy Gillespie's "The Giant" is a very classic sounding jazz album that has a feeling of old time greatness. With a backing piano, bass and drums, all the songs have very pleasant and soothing melodies with Dizzy's trumpet laying down melodic improvisations. I really like the upbeat 11 and a half minute song "Fiesta Mojo" with each instrument getting a change to improvise and really play. I really like listening to the piano comping in the background, it is played in a way to accentuates the tune without taking the spotlight and droning out what is currently happening. A very enjoyable album to listen and relax to.
- Tom MWilson.com

1. Stella By Starlight
2. I Waited For You
3. Girl Of My Dreams
4. Fiesta Mojo
5. Serenity

Dizzy Gillespie Trumpet
Johnny Griffin (4) Tenor Saxophone
Kenny Drew Piano
Kenny Clarke Drums
Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen Acoustic Bass

Recorded April 13, 1973 in Paris. Reissue of the America LP 6133.

The Lee Konitz Nonet (1977)

One of those discs that I bought and listened to once and then never again. I now realise it is worthy of listening to many times over.

This is a group that should have been able to stay together, but it was formed a few years too soon, at the height of the fusion era. Altoist Lee Konitz's nonet (featuring trumpeter Burt Collins, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, and keyboardist Andy Laverne, among others) reflected its leader's interest in a wide variety of jazz. The music on this valuable disc ranges from swing classics ("If Dreams Come True" and "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody") and bop ("Without a Song") to Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti" and a pair of Chick Corea tunes ("Matrix" and "Times Lie"). Sy Johnson wrote most of the arrangements (including a full orchestration of six choruses from Chick Corea's piano solo on "Matrix"). This is one of Lee Konitz's finest recordings of the 1970s. ~Scott Yanow

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jimmy McGriff - Tribute To Basie

Recorded in 1966 and originally released on LP by Solid State Records that same year as Tribute to Count Basie, this delightful ten-song set has seen the digital light before in 1996 when Laser Light released it on CD under its original title. It features organist Jimmy McGriff soloing on several Count Basie numbers accompanied by a big band that includes several alumni from the Basie orchestra. Make no mistake, this is McGriff's record, and it sounds exactly like a soul-jazz outing with some big band swing grafted in, and that it all works probably has a lot to do with the presence of Manny Albam (who wrote for Basie) as the arranger. Among the highlights in what is a joyously cohesive sequence are versions of Neal Hefti's "Cherry Point," which features one of those patented ensemble riffs that Basie so favored, a jaunty take on Buck Clayton's "Avenue C," and a sturdy run-through of Albam's own "Slow but Sure." McGriff has always maintained that he is a blues organist rather than a jazz one, and as these ten selections show, Count Basie was no stranger to the blues, either. At just a hair over 36-minutes in length, this is a bit short for the CD era, but it is a wonderful set all the same, and well-worth owning. ~ Steve Leggett

1. Hob Nail Boogie
2. Cherry Point
3. Swingin' The Blues
4. Cute
5. Everyday
6. Blues Go Away
7. Avenue C
8. Li'l Darlin'
9. Splanky
10. Slow But Sure

Cyro Baptista - Love The Donkey

Three years after his Tzadik debut, Beat the Donkey, Brazilian master percussionist Cyro Baptista returns with its mirror image, Love the Donkey. Like its predecessor, Baptista employs a host of players, some from the Latin jazz scene, fellow Brazilians, and some notable downtown faces like Jamie Saft (who produced and engineered this set), Mark Feldman, and Peter Apfelbaum, to name a few. This is a wild and woolly brew that parties from start to finish. While there is some abstract experimentation here, when it is applied, it is integrated into the whole of what Baptista and his collaborators are going for: a solid program of folk melodies and tribal polyrhythms that takes no prisoners. They weave jazz, new music, classical music, and even rock (the most amazing cover of Led Zep's "Immigrant Song" ever recorded, and one that rivals the original) into the brave, songlike heart of Brazil's wonderfully rich musical tapestry. Baptista — who plays over two dozen instruments here — holds court over a group of players, dancers, singers, handclappers, and who knows who else over the course of 14 tunes. This is wild, untamed, and wondrously joyous music. It has no seams, it is truly international, and it is ultimately visionary. Baptista restrained himself last time out; he sought texture and nuance on many of the pieces on Beat the Donkey; he sought to bring jazz and new music to samba in a new way. Here, he goes back before samba and MPB to the old ways, where music was the lifeblood of the people, all the people. With Love the Donkey, Baptista has done what was seemingly impossible. As urban musicians strive to learn more about roots music to incorporate into their sound, he has done the reverse: found the music of the city, of the modern, and of the postmodern, and made it serve folk music. In this wild and woolly party, where almost anything goes, the ancient is tied inseparably to the present, and creates a new and joyous future. Not since Airto's Free has a musician done so much to address culture clash and undo it without anger, without academic pretentiousness or theoretical distance. This is street music, for any street anywhere. It may initially come from Brazil, but it is available to anyone who wishes to encounter it and take it in. For intense listening or for raucous partying, Love the Donkey is a masterpiece. The disc also includes a three-minute video, playable on your computer, that offers a view of this wild band live. Thom "Did Somebody Say Donkey?" Jurek

Cyro Baptista: percussion, vocals, samples; Viva De Concini: guitar, percussion, vocals Tim Keiper, Amir Ziv: drums, percussion, vocals; Chikako Iwahori: vocals, percussion, tap; Scott Kettner, Zé Mauricio: percussion, vocals; Max Pollak: percussion, digeridoo, tap, vocals; and special guests Peter Apfelbaum: saxophones, organ, melodica, flute; Mark Feldman: violin; Nilson Matta: acoustic bass; Jamie Saft: keyboards, bass, guitar, dub; Art Baron: trombone; Jimmy Cruiz: flutes; Robert Curto: accordion; Chuck Mackinnon: trumpet.

1. American Constitution
2. Anarriê
3. Rio de Jamaica
4. Forró for All
5. Tap on the Cajon
6. Frevo de Rua
7. Bottles
8. Caboclinho
9. Matan
10. Immigrant Song
11. Maria Teresa
12. Olivia -- Step on the Roach
13. Movie Screen
14. Pandeirada

Phil Woods with Red Garland - Sugan (1957)

Phil Woods - alto
Ray Copeland - trumpet (Ray is a very good player)
Red Garland - piano
Teddy Kotick - bass
Nick Stabulas - drums
1-Au Privave
3-Last Fling
5-Green Pines
6-Scrapple From The Apple

Duke Ellington - Stereo Reflections in Ellington [128 ACC]

For Crispi (and any other Ellington fanatics lurking about)

The historic nature of this collection centers on the phenomenal real stereo sound of two extended medleys by Duke Ellington, recorded by two widely spaced discs transcribed from different perspectives and paired together for this release. There's absolutely nothing pseudo-stereo about the sound, which is also remarkably devoid of surface noise. The first medley includes "Mood Indigo," "Hot and Bothered," and "Creole Love Call," with the second showcasing Ellington's potent stride piano technique in his uptempo "Lots o' Fingers," which is bracketed by "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo" and "Black and Tan Fantasy." The full orchestra is heard from airchecks around the country in 1940, including the swinging "Harlem Air Shaft," a feature for trombonist Lawrence Brown and tenor sax great Ben Webster in "I Don't Mind" (later retitled "All Too Soon"), and trumpeter Rex Stewart's showpiece, "Boy Meets Horn." This CD compilation expands upon the earlier Everybodys LP Reflections in Ellington (which featured the first 16 tracks of this release) by adding seven additional broadcast performances from 1942, including singer Ivie Anderson's final live appearance with the band ("Solitude") and the obscure (but incomplete) "Brazilali Lou," a piece that was played a few times in 1942 and 1943 before it was dropped. This isn't a CD targeted toward beginning jazz enthusiasts, but serious Ellington collectors will want it, though it has since lapsed from print with the demise of Natasha Imports. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

Charlie Byrd - Bossa Nova Pelos Passaros

I don't mean to gush overly, but I love the new remastered CD version of Charlie Byrd's classic Bossa Nova Pelos Passaros, originally recorded in 1962-63, at the very apex of the American bossa nova explosion.

There is a freshness and a subtle excitement (bossa nova is always subtle) to the record, which functions as an introduction to bossa nova's "greatest hits," leaning heavily on compositions by bossa demigods Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. This disc was the follow up to Jazz Samba, the very first American bossa album, which Byrd had recorded with Stan Getz.

This is "mood" music in the finest sense of the word: I often have a hard time getting all the way through any full-length CD, even when I am reading or playing with the 3 year-old or otherwise pre occupied, but I put this on the other night and just blissed out - didn't even notice when it repeated. Man, don't tell anyone about that or I'll never hear the end of it.

Charlie Byrd (1925-1999) was one of the most distinctive guitarists of the '50s through the '90s, bringing the mellow sound of the amplified classical guitar to jazz. Classical guitar technique involves playing with the fingers as opposed to a pick - plucking chords as opposed to strumming them - and the classical guitar uses nylon strings, which have a more muted, organic sound than the steel strings used by most jazz and rock guitarists.

Born in the hills of western Virginia, Byrd started early on classical guitar, but also played jazz, Appalachian folk, blues, and pop. He jammed with the great European jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt as a soldier during WWll, then went on to study classical guitar with Andres Segovia in the early '50s.

Byrd switched back to jazz to play with Woody Herman in the late '50s, and led a trio in the Washinton DC area. Then great fortune struck: Dave Brubeck canceled a State Department-sponsored tour of South America in 1961, and Byrd agreed to take his place. He became enthralled with South American music in general, and Brazilian music in particular, and he and Stan Getz started the worldwide bossa nova craze with the aforementioned Jazz Samba album in 1962. The single "Desafinado" was an international smash. Byrd then recorded some excellent Latin jazz albums, as well as straight jazz, and some rather syrupy pop albums.

In the mid '70s he joined the Great Guitars group with Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis. Byrd was best heard live, where he combined his mastery of all of these styles in a tuneful, elegant but relaxed manner. Review by: Eric Olsen

Cannonball Adderley - Them Dirty Blues (1960)

When Cannonball Adderley signed with Capitol Records in 1963 he brought seven master tapes from his Riverside days with him. Them Dirty Blues, recorded in 1960, is one of the first albums to place Adderley on the permanent jazz best seller's list. The quintet with brother Nat on cornet and Bobby Timmons and Barry Harris sharing the piano chair puts the emphasis on the soulful and the lyrical. (Bobby Timmons had left the band between the two sessions to go with The Jazz Messengers) The original versions of "Dat Dere" and "Work Song" plus the easy groove of the title tune and a swinging version of Duke Pearson's "Jeannine" make this one of Adderley's greatest and most significant albums. The CD contains alternate takes of both "Dat Dere" and "Work Song".

Cannonball Adderley (alto sax)
Nat Adderley (cornet)
Barry Harris (piano #1-4)
Bobby Timmons (piano #5-9)
Sam Jones (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)
  1. Work Song
  2. Jeannine
  3. Easy Living
  4. Them Dirty Blues
  5. Dat Dere
  6. Del Sasser
  7. Soon
  8. Work Song (alt. take)
  9. Dat Dere (alt. take)
Recorded on February 1 (5-9) and March 29 (1-4), 1960


here's a great piano trio, in an uncategorisably angular postbop style, i cant find any review of this.
it covers a lot of bases ,most of it is modal to free lots of complex time changes delivered at a tumultuous whirlwind speed
on a few tunes to my ears yamashita's also using simple wholetone scales, as well at times as modes associated with hispanic music most notably on revenge of picasso.
yamashita's newyork trio of the time provide much more than mere support, as youd expect from cecil mcbee and pheeroan aklaff they respond to every gambit of yamashita's with the highest level of imagination.
this is an incredible session certainly not for those who dislike a degree of ferocity and freedom, this aint the three sounds thats for sure.
jazz nekko can probably fill us in regarding yamashita's career development much more adequately than i.
all i know is that in the mid to late seventies he scored a few films, recorded a few free-jazz albums with akira sakata on enja.
and made some great records with this rhythym section,and joe lovano in the mid nineties.
as well as a world fusion thing for axiom produced by bill laswell.
dig it!!

The shape of things to come...

This ain't no post, but I suppose that some of you may find this quote of interest...

Elvis Costello & Alain Toussaint held a concert in Athens yesterday. After the concert, Costello gave a flash interview for the Athens Festival magazine and said :

"I think I will stop making records and will only be giving live shows. MP3 changed irrevocably the way that we listen to music; you cannot any more present a set of songs in a predefined series, the personal relationship between the artist and the listener is over forever. I will wait until science discovers the music in the form of a pill".

(Note that this is my translation from Greek and I cannot personally guarantee that these were his exact words).

Not that I fully agree with the arguments, but still I think it's interesting. I, too, believe that at least the "album" as we have known it will soon be the exception, if it isn't already.

Unfortunately, I had some pressing engagement for last night and couldn't attend the concert, so I can't convey any impressions of mine; trusted friends told me that it was a great show...


heres a ripping free improv by the universes' two funkiest"deconstructionists".
phillip wilson's response to bowie on this ones near telepathic, both are now sadly dead.
as great a totally free improvised jazz session as you could possibly hope for ,and gutbucket as hell.

heres the amg spiel
by Michael G. Nastos
There is a certain static electricity generated in this series of three duets from trumpeter Bowie and drummer/percussionist Wilson. Certainly they feed off each other's energy in counterpointed reverie, but the music goes beyond being merely spontaneous or made up on the spot. The cohesion and musicality they employ is purely delightful and eminently listenable over this 40-minute span. "Duet" is a shortie at just under three minutes, with Wilson's swing-to-Caribbean drum rhythms powering up Bowie's bold trumpet. "TBM" is just under 15 minutes, and Bowie quotes a variety of different lines, not the least of which is the Art Blakey/Jazz Messengers/Lee Morgan interpretation of "Three Blind Mice." They're hardly sightless, but insightful as they read each other's musical thoughts like bold, large print pages. "Finale" has Bowie more extroverted and bluesy — quoting march exercises, holding long quieter notes, using short staccato blasts of power and Irish jig inferences, or running the table with his bleating, lightning fast runs that trademark his sound. Wilson gets more animated and at times Oriental sounding, but is generally free to insert phrases of snare, tom tom bass drums, and cymbals in whatever spontaneous fashion he chooses. He does a brief, heavy handed drum solo that is very R&B-ish in nature — the root of these two master musicians' upbringing. This is not as heady as it is clean and solid, and is a very enjoyable listening experience. It's a CD Bowie fans should cherish, and serves well as an intro to the original Art Ensemble and ex-Paul Butterfield drummer, whose acclaim is still not near what his immense talent indicates.

Ornette Coleman, ”The Music of Ornette Coleman: Forms & Sounds”

Rab has posted a few jazz ”with strings” albums lately, and this is my contribution. The review from All Music Guide isn’t very favorable, and it isn’t one of Coleman’s better or more important albums, but that doesn’t keep me from enjoying it and finding it quite interesting.

”Legendary as the performer/composer who freed jazz from the harmony and songforms of Tin Pan Alley ballads, these pieces show more of Coleman's path since his densely chromatic orchestral piece "Skies of America" (some movements are entitled "Holiday for Heroes," "Place in Space," "Foreigner in a Free Land," "Sunday in America"). This CD includes "Forms and Sounds" played by The Philadelphia Woodwind Quartet - densities of melodies alternately freely floating or played to an automaton pulse with commentary-like to bluesy to celebratory trumpet interludes played by Coleman, calls to reconsider life; "Saints and Soldiers" -- repression by the religious and political contrasted with saintly discernment; and "Space Flight" -- flashes of unidentified fluttering things which suddenly disappear. Performed by the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia String Quartet.”

Oscar Peterson “Oscar Peterson Trio in Tokyo” (1972, Columbia)

I attended this Oscar Peterson concert with my father for my birthday, I think(?). Through one of his swing jazz playing days’ acquaintances, tenor saxist Dick Gerhart from Glen Miller Band, my father somehow arranged for us special tickets to the concert and an invitation to join the Trio and the crew for a half-day tour of Tokyo and lunch together. Note #1: not one of them would touch sushi! Note #2: Peterson was quick to repeat Japanese that was taught to him, a rare talent. Note #3: Every one of them expressed a great admiration for the ancient tradition/history of Japan and our ability to persevere hard troubles.

Time plays tricks on our memory, but I honestly cannot recall that I felt honoured to meet Peterson – I was certainly too absorbed into jazz-fusion at the time and perhaps not quite interested enough in Peterson’s music. What I do clearly recall is the special treat to travel up to Tokyo and experience a trip with my father away from Okinawa.

More importantly, I recall after watching the show that this pianist played in such a way like I had never seen in person. To give you an example of what I mean, as a young adult working in the States, whenever I could, I would attend college b-ball or NBA games. The first time I saw Michael Jordan play was in the North Carolina high school tournament – you just knew that guy was on a totally different playing field than anyone else. The second time I saw Jordan play was when he won his fourth NBA title. . . Peterson had a similar aura and projected such energy throughout the ballroom. I can recall the stillness of nearly no sound of glasses or plates. I will not even try to review this concert because many of you have far better words and knowledge of jazz.

I only offer that I recall during that visit to Tokyo that we, in Okinawa, had a very difficult situation – high unemployment, stress with military and lack of concern by Japanese government for all things Okinawan. For a son to travel with his father and do something they both love is one of my lasting memories.

As I early as I can remember, my grandfather and father impressed up on my brothers and I that life is not easy. They repeatedly stressed the challenging nature of how to live fully. My father, had he not died 20 years ago today, would have turned 80 this year ~ peace to you all, and enjoy!

Oscar Peterson (p), Michel Donato (b), Louis Hayes (d); recorded at the Golden Room, Teikoku Hotel, Tokyo on May 27, 1972

01. Good Life
02. What Am I Here for?
03. I Hear Music
04. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
05. Strike up the Band
06. More I See You
07. Preacher
08. Wheatland
09. Old Rocking Chair
10. Blues Etude

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Don Cherry - Symphony For Improvisers (RVG)

For his second album, Symphony for Improvisers, Don Cherry expanded his Complete Communion quartet — tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri, bassist Henry Grimes, and drummer Ed Blackwell — to a septet, adding vibraphonist Karl Berger, bassist Jean François Jenny-Clark, and tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders (who frequently plays piccolo here). The lineup has a real international flavor, since Barbieri was from Argentina, Berger from Germany, and Jenny-Clark from France; Cherry had gigged regularly with all three during his 1964-1965 sojourn in Europe, and brought them to New York to record. With all the added firepower, it's remarkable that Symphony for Improvisers has the same sense of shared space and controlled intelligence as its predecessor, even when things are at their most heated. Once again, Cherry sets up the album as two continuous medleys that fuse four compositions apiece, which allows the group's improvisational energy and momentum to carry straight through the entire program. The "Symphony for Improvisers" suite is the most raucous part of Cherry's Blue Note repertoire, and the "Manhattan Cry" suite pulls off the widest mood shifts Cherry had yet attempted in that format. Even though the album is full of passionate fireworks, there's also a great deal of subtlety — the flavors added to the ensemble by Berger's vibes and Sanders' piccolo, for example, or the way other instrumental voices often support and complement a solo statement. Feverish but well-channeled, this larger-group session is probably Cherry's most gratifying for Blue Note. Steve Huey

Don Cherry (cornet)
Pharoah Sanders (piccolo, tenor saxophone)
Gato Barbieri (tenor saxophone)
Karl Berger (piano, vibraphone)
Henry Grimes, Jean-Francois Jenny Clark (bass)
Edward Blackwell (drums)

1 - Symphony for Improvisers
2 - Manhattan Cry

Cándido “Thousand Finger Man” Camero de Guerra “Candido” (1956, ABC Paramount 125)

Scott Yanow wrote, “Cándido was the Latin percussion of the 1950s”. This statement could not be any more spot on – perhaps because it was just a fact. From his early playing days with Machito, and regular performances with the house band at the Tropicana Club in Havana, to later when Gillespie encouraged him to move to New York, Cándido was THE man for bongos and congas. His recording experience went on to include spots with Erroll Garner, Gene Ammons, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery, Elvin Jones, Lionel Hampton and others.

I offer my humble comments as I am sure that Bacoso could add the definitive commentary on this album. This debut session as a leader set is perhaps one of the jazziest Cándido albums. To me, this small combo plays along very spirited and tight arrangements, and this percussive approach opens (smash down!) the door for incredible solos from everyone. The tracks cover swing, show tunes, and originals, all of which are totally insanely mad ~ disfrútanse!

Set Highlights:
- ‘Stompin’ at the Savoy’; rather inspired battle between Cohn and Cándido
- ‘Cándido’s Camera’; percussion heaven, and another battle between Cohn and Cándido
- ‘Perdido’; puro cubano y latin jazz!!
- ‘Poinciana’; check out the awesome lead in by Cándido

Cándido (bgo/cga), Dick Katz (p), Whitey Mitchell (b), Al Cohn (ts), Joe Puma (g), Teddy Sommer (d), Creed Taylor (prod); recorded at ABC Studios in New York City in April 1956

01. Mambo Inn
02. I’ll Be Back for More
03. Stompin’ at the Savoy
04. Candi Bar
05. Broadway
06. Perdido
07. Indian Summer
08. Cándido’s Camera
09. Poinciana
10. Cheek to Cheek

Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman - The Complete Recordings (1941-47)

In 1941, Peggy Lee had just come down from her home state of North Dakota to join Benny Goodman's band in Chicago as a replacement for Helen Forrest. Lee was young, frightened, and forced to sing the band's songs in Forrest's keys. No surprise, then, that the earliest records in this anthology seem a bit stiff and without commitment. She had not yet narrowed her range nor begun to phrase behind the beat (both á la Billie Holiday), but the confidence and speed with which she began to form her style are documented here, and it's amazing to hear how quickly she advanced--keep in mind that all but three of these recordings were made in a one year period between 1941 and 1942. And even when her singing lacks interest, there are some stunning arrangements here by Eddie Sauter and Mel Powell. After six months with the band, Lee was flying: the second CD contains gems such as "Where or When" and "The Way You Look Tonight" with the Goodman trio; her hit cover of Lil Green's "Why Don't You Do Right"; a couple of duos with Johnny Mercer; and three songs from a little-known reunion with Goodman in 1947. By then she was on her own, the Holiday influence was fully assimilated, and her smoky, vibrato-less voice was assured and distinct. --John F. Szwed

Monty Alexander “Full Steam Ahead” (1985, Concord CCD-4287)

WARNING: PLEASE SCROLL PAST THE NEXT TWO POSTS, if you have no interest in “international” jazz . . .

To preface this post and respond to some recent (although unclear to me) replies to some of my posts, I quote the New Yorker magazine jazz critic Whitney Balliett:
“The fundamental intent of jazz is to entertain and recharge the spirit with new beauties.”

Since there has already been an introduction to Jamaican-born Monty Alexander, I will not add to that bio material. Thanks to this group, I have discovered this creative musician - thanks! Here, Alexander teams up with Ray Brown and Frank Gant for bop standards, bossa-nova tunes, and the bit more unusual “Because You're Mine” (from a ‘50s Mario Lanza movie), “Happy Talk,” and “I Can't Get No Satisfaction” (yes, The Rolling Stones). Monty shows the influence of Oscar Peterson on his rendition of The Rolling Stones standard, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” – definitely a hard-swinging arrangement. “Happy Talk”, from the musical, “South Pacific”, should be a familiar tune to many of you, but one that is not often recorded. No matter what some people may wish to say about these tracks, this music is all energising, entertaining and exciting straight-ahead jazz. What I find most interesting about Alexander is that he has a wide range of his musical interests – like me!

This is as good as any album for someone to begin their musical knowledge of Monty Alexander. His piano is at its lyrical best. Ray Brown adds his usual panache and Gant keeps this trio in time in fine style. I would venture to say that once you play this album, it will take a regular spot in your player ~ enjoy!

Set highlights:
- ‘Freddie Freeloader’; Monty’s improvs and Brown’s driving bass line – cool blues treatment
- ‘Once I Loved’; A.C. Jobim’s number, excellent piano & strings arrangements
- ‘Because You’re Mine’; wonderful piano solo by Monty
- ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’; Okinawan Devil light fiber speed version – listen for the humour
- ‘Happy Talk’; rip-roaring version of the Hammerstein & Rodgers’ hit

Monty Alexander (p), Ray Brown (b), Frank Gant (d)

01. Freddie Freeloader
02. Once I Loved
03. Ray's Idea
04. Because You're Mine
05. I Can't Get No Satisfaction
06. Happy Talk
07. Estate (Ital. ‘summer’)
08. Hi-Fly
09. Just Friends

“Concrete Jungle: The Music of Bob Marley"(2006, Telarc CD-83635)

*re-upped @ 320 (25.07.07)

Monty Alexander (melodica/p), Wendel Ferraro, Panchago Christian, Wayne Armond (vcl/g), Vincent Hines (vcl/banjo), Ural Grodon (vcl/cajon drums), Luciano (vocals), Dean Fraser (sax), Dwight Richards (tp), Delfeayo Marsalis (tb), Othniel Lewis (kyb), Glenroy Browne, Courtney Panton (eB), Hassan Shakur (bG), Rolando Alphanso Wilson, Herlin Riley (d), Loris Lawrence (per)

Duke Ellington - Jazz Classics in Digital Stereo (1927-1934)

There was enough interest in Robert Parker's remastering of the Fletcher Henderson post to throw another one at you. For this release, Parker takes on early Duke from 1927 when his 10-piece "Washingtonians" was opening at the Cotton Club to 1934 as Ellington enlarged the band to 14 and took us into the Swing Era.

Louis Bacon, Freddie Jenkins, Louis Metcalf, Bubber Miley, Jabbo Smith, Arthur Whetsol, Cootie Williams (trumpets)
Lawrence Brown, Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Juan Tizol (trombones)
Barney Bigard, Harry Carney, Otto Hardwick, Johnny Hodges, Rudy Jackson (reeds)
Duke Ellington (piano)
Fred Guy, Lonnie Johnson (banjo, guitar)
Wellman Braud (bass)
Henry Edwards (tuba)
Sonny Greer (drums)
Baby Cox, Adelaide Hall (vocals)
  1. Jubilee Stomp
  2. The Blues With a Feelin'
  3. Hop Head
  4. What Can a Poor Fellow Do?
  5. Chicago Stompdown
  6. Black Beauty
  7. Hot and Bothered
  8. Misty Morning
  9. The Mooche
  10. Paducah
  11. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
  12. Creole Love Call
  13. Fast and Furious
  14. Solitude
  15. Stompy Jones
  16. Live and Love Tonight

Cal Tjader - La Onda Va Bien

It was only fitting that vibraphonist Cal Tjader launched the Concord Picante label with this release for Tjader did a great deal to popularize Latin-jazz. This was not his strongest effort (the solos of Tjader and flutist Roger Glenn are not all that substantial) but the drumming of Vince Lateano and the percussion of Poncho Sanchez keep the momentum flowing on these likable performances. Scott Yanow

The recording that launched the Concord Picante label in 1980—and the first of half-a-dozen albums that the Latin jazz legend would make for Concord —La Onda Va Bein is a Cal Tjader classic. But that fact was recognized more than twenty years ago, when this timeless Tjader opus was honored with Grammy® Award for “Best Latin Recording.” From the mesmerizing “Speak Low” to the blazing-hot “Mambo Mindoro” to the tasty “Sabor,” Cal Tjader’s vibrant vibraphone resonates with a previously-unheard depth and nuance on Super Audio CD (SACD).

Cal Tjader (vibraphone)
Roger Glenn (flute, percussion)
Mark Levine (piano, Fender Rhodes piano)
Rob Fisher (bass)
Vince Lateano (drums, percussion)
Poncho Sanchez (congas, percussion)

1. Speak Low
2. Serengeti
3. Star Eyes
4. Mambo Mindoro
5. Aleluia
6. I Remember You
7. Linda Chicana
8. Sabor

Recorded at Coast Recorders, San Francisco, California in July 1979

Peter Apfelbaum & the Hieroglyphics Ensemble - Signs of Life

I first heard Peter Apfelbaum at the 1975 NAJE (National Association of Jazz Educators) Conference when he was 15 years old and playing with the Berklee High School Jazz Combo led by jazz education pioneer Phil Hardymon (Rodney Franklin was the piano player). His tenor playing reminded me of Dexter Gordon and he was just getting into Rahsaan Rolank Kirk, doing one piece on tenor and soprano simultaneously. I was very impressed with his high level of maturity at such a young age.

When I saw this CD in the early '90's I just had to check it out and was amazed at how far his music had evolved over the years. It is hard to define since it incorporates many different sources of inspiration.

"At no point in the process of composing have I made a conscious decision to incorporate African elements or, for that matter, any other cultural or stylistic elements. I just write and build and adjust the shape of it all. My vocabulary reflects the fact that I started life as a drummer and was trained as a sub-teenager in jazz theory, blues, gospel music. As a teenager I was inundated with jazz, African and Latin music, was involved in group improvisation on a regular basis, listened to a lot of 20th century classical music, worked in R&B, reggae, blues, Latin, African, Jazz, Funk, Middle Eastern and Indian bands, and for as long as I can remember, have been fascinated by how sounds fit together." - Peter Apfelbaum

Yanow's take: (the usual glossing over)
This set by saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble features an odd mixture of styles, including avant-garde jazz, African roots music, rock, funk and folk music. Due to the amount of improvising that takes place in the frequently dense ensembles, the music should be considered jazz despite the other influences. Apfelbaum is the strongest soloist (particularly on tenor), and there are some good spots for Paul Hanson's bassoon, Will Bernard's rockish guitar, Tony Jones' violent tenor and Jeff Cressman's spirited trombone among others. The ten Apfelbaum originals set moods rather than state melodies and have an unfinished and unsettling quality about them. Although not a total success, Signs of Life shows signs of innovation. - Scott Yanow

Another viewpoint:
At the threshold of the new millennium, Signs of Life appeared as one of the finest recordings since the jazz-rock revolution at the end of the 1960s by showing the potential of jazz to reinvent itself in a cogent, unified and original way. His [Apfelbaum's] music sounded like a peek into a multicultural world beyond our own that somehow made so much jazz of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s sound dated. Perhaps more important, it revealed not only a compelling vision of jazz in the present, but with the onset of the millennium, what jazz might yet become.
—end of the final paragraph of the final page of The Essential Jazz Records, Vol. 2: Modernism to Postmodernism (p. 796). Mansell Publishing, London & New York, 2000.

Peter Apfelbaum (tenor & soprano sax, piano, keyboards, snare drum, qarqabas, tambourine, funde, bells)
Bill Ortiz (trumpet) Jeff Cressman (trombone, satellite drums, pyramid bell, chimtag cymbals)
James Harvey (trombone, bells)
Paul Hanson (alto & tenor sax, bassoon)
Tony Jones (tenor sax)
Peck Allmond (baritone sax, trumpet, clarinet, percussion)
Norbert Stachel (sopranino, soprano, tenor, baritone & bass sax, flute, bass flute)
Will Bernard, Stan Franks (guitar)
Jai Uttal (guitar, harmonium, vocals, bells, chimtag cymbals)
Bo Freeman (bass, vocals)
Josh Jones V (drums, timbales, djun-djun)
Deszon X. Claiborne (drums)
"Buddha" Robert Huffman (congas, shekere, bell tree, gongs)
Scheherazade Stone (vocals on The World Is Gifted)
David Belove (bass on Forwarding, part 2)
  1. Candles and Stone
  2. Walk to the Mountain (And Tell the Story of Love's Thunderclapping Eyes)
  3. Grounding
  4. The Last Door
  5. The World Is Gifted
  6. Chant #11
  7. Forwarding, Parts 1 & 2
  8. Samantha Smith
  9. Folksong #7
  10. Waiting
Recorded November 23-26, 1990

Monday, July 9, 2007

Kenny Dorham “Quiet Kenny” (1959, New Jazz 8225)

Lou Donaldson - The Complete 1952 Blue Note Sessions

Donaldson began playing clarinet when he was 15 before switching to the alto saxophone. And he performed in a military band while serving in the Navy after college before moving to N.Y. in 1952. It was then, at the age of 25 that Donaldson made his Blue Note debut on a Milt Jackson quintet date. He followed this with his label debut as a leader, a quartet session with Horace Silver, Gene Ramey and Art Taylor. In addition to recording with Thelonious Monk and working briefly with Charles Mingus and Sonny Stitt, he co-led a quintet recording with Clifford Brown in 1953 and in 1954 took part in a memorable engagement with Brown, Silver, Art Blakey and Tommy Potter, documented on A Night At Birdland, Vols. I & II, that was a precursor of the illustrious Jazz Messengers.

Milt Jackson (vibes)
John Lewis (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
WOR Studios, New York: April 7, 1952

Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Lucky Thompson (tenor sax)
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Nelson Boyd (bass)
Max Roach (drums)
WOR Studios, New York: May 30, 1952

Horace Silver (piano)
Gene Ramey (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)
WOR Studios, New York: June 20, 1952

Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Horace Silver (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)
WOR Studios, New York: November 19, 1952

ECM Monday

Keith Jarrett - Piano, Percussion
Jan Garbarek - Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
Palle Danielsson - Bass
Jon Christensen - Drums

Questar (9:10)
My Song (6:09)
Tabarka (9:11)
Country (5:00)
Mandala (8:17)
The Journey Home (10:33)

In addition to his solo piano concerts and the American group he led that featured tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, Keith Jarrett was also busy in the mid-'70s with his European band, a quartet comprised of Jan Garbarek on tenor and soprano, bassist Palle Danielsson, and drummer Jon Christensen. Due to the popularity of the haunting "My Song," this album is the best known of the Jarrett-Garbarek collaborations and it actually is their most rewarding meeting on record. Jarrett contributed all six compositions and the results are relaxed and introspective yet full of inner tension. --- Scott Yanow

Herbie Mann - Live At Newport (1963)

Most of Herbie Mann's Atlantic sessions of the 1960s are among the flutist's best and most popular work. Mann and his regular group of 1963 (which includes vibraphonist Dave Pike, pianist Don Friedman, guitarist Attila Zoller, bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Bob Thomas with added percussionists Willie Bobo and Potato Valdez) are heard in spirited form on this set from the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival. There are two surprises, both having to do with Antonio Carlos Jobim tunes. The bossa nova hit "Desafinado" is taken in straight 4/4 time without the percussionists, which makes it sound like a new song. And three months after Stan Getz, Jobim and the Gilbertos recorded "The Girl From Ipanema" (but before it was even released), Mann can be heard playing an instrumental version of the song, here listed as "Garota De Ipanema." A catchy rendition of "Soft Winds," the bossa nova "Samba De Orfeu," and Ben Tucker's "Don't You Know" round out the well-played program. Scott Yanow

Vic Dickenson & Urbie Green - Slidin' Swing (1954)

Jazztone J-1259 - OLP #31 (CD)
The Vic Dickenson Sextet
Shad Collins (t); Vic Dickenson (tb); Edmond Hall (cl); Sir Charles Thompson (p); Steve Jordan (g); Walter Page (sb); Jo Jones (d); Ruby Braff (t)
The Urbie Green Octet
Ruby Braff (t); Urbie Green (tb); Med Glory (as); Frank Wess (ts, f); Sir Charles Thompson (p); Freddie Green (g); Aaron Bell (sb); Bobby Donaldson (d)

Max Roach - Deeds, Not Words

This CD reissue of a Max Roach Riverside date is notable for featuring the great young trumpeter Booker Little and for utilizing Ray Draper's tuba as a melody instrument; tenor saxophonist George Coleman and bassist Art Davis complete the excellent quintet. Highlights include "It's You or No One," "You Stepped out of a Dream" and Roach's unaccompanied drum piece "Conversation." This is fine music from a group that was trying to stretch themselves beyond hard bop. - Scott Yanow

Max Roach (drums)
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Booker Little (trumpet)
Ray Draper (tuba)
Oscar Pettiford (bass on 8)
Art Davis (bass)

1. You Stepped Out of a Dream
2. Filide
3. It's You or No One
4. Jodie's Cha-Cha
5. Deeds, Not Words
6. Larry-Larue
7. Conversation
8. There Will Never Be Another You

NYC: September 4, 1958

Hank Mobley - A Caddy For Daddy

Like many of Hank Mobley's mid-'60s Blue Note dates, A CADDY FOR DADDY features Lee Morgan, Billy Higgins, and an attempt to recapture the funky backbeat of Morgan's hit "The Sidewinder." What's different here is that Mobley leads a quintet with the addition of the fabulous Curtis Fuller on trombone, Coltrane's pianist McCoy Tyner, and veteran bassist Bob Cranshaw rounding out the group. The vibe is bluesy and swinging, like most Mobley dates, with plenty of choice hard-bop moments from the assembled crew.

The "Sidewinder" of this disc is the title track, which once again finds Higgins easing into a quasi-Latin funk under a gutbucket melody by the horns. Beyond this opening resides the meat of the session. The dark, bouncing waltz "The Morning After" is a curiously flighty groove with crisp ensemble work by the horns and tasty solos all around. The comically titled swinger "Venus Di Mildew" follows and continues the laid-back groove that permeates the session. The most driving cut is the punchy "Ace Deuce Trey," an intricate piece that offers some of Mobley's best soloing of the date. Finally, the bopping "3rd Time Around," an uptempo burner, closes the set with a frenzy.

Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1-A Caddy For Daddy
2-The Morning After
3-Venus Di Mildew
4-Ace Deuce Trey
5-3rd Time Around

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, December 18, 1965

The Griffith Park Collection (1982)

File names corrected

The Griffith Park Collection was the brainchild of drummer Lenny White and producer Bruce Lundvall and was recorded at the same time that this group backed up singer Chaka Khan for her jazz session, Echoes of an Era. This was a co-op band featuring Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White and at the time of its release in 1982, it was quite refreshing to hear these musicians play some straight ahead jazz after their ventures in fusion and pop jazz in the '70's. Echoes of an Era has been reissued by Rhino but this LP has not yet made it to CD.

Lenny White contributed two selections, "L's Bop", with a '60's Blue Note feel, and "Guernica", a brooding, modal composition. Chick Corea wrote "October Ballade" and also suggested using Steve Swallow's "Remember", the only trio piece on the album. Freddie Hubbard pulled out "Happy Times", first recorded in 1962 on The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Clarke added my favorite tune on the album, "Why Wait". Listening to this one makes me wish that Clarke would have continued along this path rather than going back to the R&B/Pop Jazz stuff that would dominate his recordings through the '80's and '90's.

Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Joe Henderson (tenor sax)
Chick Corea (piano)
Stanley Clarke (bass)
Lenny White (drums)

Side One
1. L's Bop
2. Why Wait
3. October Ballade

Side Two
1. Happy Times
2. Remember
3. Guernica

Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All Stars - Mexican Passport

I've long been a fan of Howard Rumsey's boys especially their infectious Afro Cuban outings ten of which are gathered together here for this great compilation cd for Contemporary.The tracks are pulled from various lps between 1952 and 1956 and feature a myriad of the great names of West Coast Jazz.Here's Scott Yanow's review from AMG which sure as hell doesn't reflect his raving original liner notes for the cd issue:
This sampler CD has ten performances which cover a few versions of Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars. Each of the songs finds the pacesetting cool jazz outfit featuring Latin rhythms, either by an extra percussionist (Carlos Vidal or Jack Costanzo) or bandmembers banging on percussion when not soloing. There are quite a few one-chord sections in these jams and among the ten numbers are two versions of "Viva Zapata" and three versions of "Witch Doctor." The soloists include many of the top members of Rumsey's groups including :
Chet Baker - Trumpet · Sonny Clark - Piano · Bob Cooper - Sax (Tenor) · Maynard Ferguson - Trumpet · Maynard Ferguson - Trumpet · Maynard Ferguson - Trumpet · Jimmy Giuffre - Sax (Tenor) · Jimmy Giuffre - Sax (Tenor) · Shelly Manne - Drums · Howard Rumsey - Bass · Howard Rumsey - Main Performer · Bud Shank - Sax (Alto) · Bud Shank - Sax (Alto) · Bud Shank - Sax (Alto) · Bud Shank - Sax (Alto) · Bud Shank - Sax (Alto) · Bud Shank - Sax (Baritone) · Bud Shank - Sax (Baritone) · Bud Shank - Sax (Baritone) · Bud Shank - Sax (Baritone) · Bud Shank - Sax (Baritone) · Stan Levey - Drums · Claude Williamson - Piano · Shorty Rogers - Trumpet · Shorty Rogers - Trumpet · Shorty Rogers - Trumpet · Milt Bernhart - Trombone · Jack Costanzo - Bongos · Phil DeLancie - Mastering · Roy DuNann - Engineer · Rolf Ericson - Trumpet · Hampton Hawes - Piano · · Ed Michel - Producer · John Palladino - Engineer · Frank Patchen - Piano · Frank Rosolino - Trombone · Cecil Spiller - Engineer · Carlos Vidal - Conga · John Kraus - Engineer · Scott Yanow - Liner Notes

320 rip from the original cd

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ornette Coleman Quartet - Ornette!

Hard to believe, but this is the CD debut of the 1961 free jazz classic. Each member of this dynamic group was a visionary on his instrument: Ornette Coleman on alto sax, Don Cherry on pocket trumpet, Ed Blackwell on drums, and Scott LaFaro on bass. Seemingly outrageous at the time of their release, these recordings remain some of the most enduring in the jazz canon. Includes new liner notes and the bonus track "Proofreaders."

Don Cherry (cornet)
Ornette Coleman (alto sax)
Scott LaFaro (bass)
Ed Blackwell (drums)

1. W.R.U.
2. T. & T.
3. C. & D.
4. R.P.D.D.
5. Proof Readers (bonus track)

NYC, January 31, 1961

Omar Sosa "2002 Montreal Jazz Festival" (video, 90 mins)

My first time to see Sosa play was in Stuttgart, Germany; at the time, Germans were having a “Cuba boom” not long after the Bueno Vista Social Club movie came out. I was puzzled by long dreadlocks, loose tunic and lighting candles on the piano, but that guy could play awesome Cuban jazz piano. I later learned that the candle was a way to summon the spirits a la “Santeria”, a Cuban religion with mixed African and Christian influences. They believe one’s ancestors speak directly to you and messages from the other world are heard. Japanese Buddhist and Shinto, and Okinawan shaman religious traditions have similar customs – so just “purrr-fect” for a Jazz-Nekko offer. See “comments” for review and links ~ enjoy!

Archie Shepp - Meets Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio

In a dedication to the late bassist Fred Hopkins, Shepp returns to the recording studio armed with his no-compromise, no-nonsense way of playing the tenor saxophone. It's still as cutting-edge dour as ever, supported by the beautiful underpinnings of the trio, with Ari Brown mostly on piano instead of saxophone as he is more widely heard, the peerless bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, and Afrocentric drummer/percussionist/leader Kahil El'Zabar. As dictated by the art of improvisors, much ground is covered, and a track-by-track rundown is warranted. The introductory "Conversations" is based on a floating piano, free-time excursion rife for Shepp's tenor to express itself. "Kari" is a rambling swinger with Brown back to his tenor sax and Shepp on piano, the latter embellishing the melody with some Erroll Garner-like flourishes. "Whenever I Think of You" is a drop-dead gorgeous, mid-tempo meditative piece, sans Shepp, showcasing Brown's piano stylings. The 7/4 chant "Brother Malcolm," with Brown on tenor sax plus bass and conga, has the collective group vocally echoing Harlem nocturnes about Malcolm X, and the closer "Revelations" is a definitive workout for Shepp, a robust swinger where his more melodic but still pungent sax sound revels in its own free-spirited, outspoken glory. To say Shepp is back would be shortsighted; he's always been around, especially as a teacher at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This is a resolute affirmation of his powers, punctuating that he's still a vital force in the new music, as are his backup constituents on this very fine CD, a perfect introduction for the uninitiated and a must-buy for longtime fans. Michael G. Nastos

Archie Shepp (tenor sax, piano on 3)
Kahil El'Zabar (drums)
Ari Brown (piano and tenor sax (3 and 6))
Malachi Favors (bass)

1. Conversations 1/The Introduction
2. Big Fred
3. Kari
4. Whenever I Think Of You
5. Conversations 2/The Dialogue
6. Brother Malcolm
7. Revelations

Zoot Sims - On The Korner

Just two years and three days away from his death at age 59, the great tenor Zoot Sims is heard in prime form on this live session from San Francisco's legendary club Keystone Korner. The music was not initially released until this 1994 CD but it was worth the wait. The hard-swinging tenor (who plays equally effective soprano on Duke Ellington's "Tonight I Shall Sleep" and "Pennies from Heaven") is ably supported by the fine pianist Frank Collett, bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Shelly Manne. Sims plays his usual repertoire from the period (including "I Hear a Rhapsody," "If You Could See Me Now" and "Dream Dancing") but, although he had previously recorded virtually all of these selections, the "new" versions are well worth hearing. This late date gives one a definitive look into Zoot Sims's playing of his last decade, when he interpreted standards in a timeless style that had grown but not really changed since the 1950s. Recommended. Scott Yanow

Zoot Sims (tenor and soprano saxophone)
Frank Collett (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1 I Hear A Rhapsody
2 Tonight I Shall Sleep
3 Pennies From Heaven
4 If You Could See Me Now
5 Dream Dancing
6 Changes
7 I'll Remember April

Recorded live at the Keystone Korner March 20, 1983

Newport In New York '72

(click to enlarge)

In 1969, Newport Jazz Festival producer George Wein made the ill-fated decision to invite a number of rock bands like Sly and the Family Stone, Jethro Tull, Jeff Beck, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter, Blood, Sweat & Tears, John Mayall, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, and Led Zeppelin. The crowd attending the festival now numbered 22,000 with another 10,000 camped around the site.

On Friday night, Jethro Tull and Blood, Sweat & Tears were on the program and the crowd outside broke the fence down, cheered on by the audience. Saturday night, the crowd outside got unruly and again breached the fence during a set by Sly and the Family Stone. Wein received a $52,000 bill from the city of Newport, half for overtime police protection, half for a city council-ordered chain link fence to surround the site and a proviso that no more rock groups were to be booked.

The 1970 festival was only three days, and without incident. But in 1971 George Wein hired a new band called the Allman Brothers because he did not want to have the headaches caused by the big crowds. Wein had asked Ahmet Ertegun (at Atlantic Records) to recommend a white blues group, but wanted to make sure they weren't popular. So in January Ertegun recommended this group he'd just signed. And between January and July they became monsters. On Saturday evening, during a performance by Dionne Warwick, the overflow crowds, who were camping outside the festival area, broke down the chain link fence. They destroyed almost everything in sight and even tore the lid off the piano. The festival was shut down and the Newport City Council told Wein that they would not be hosting the festival again.

In 1972 Wein decided to move the festival to New York. It was huge, with 30 concerts at 11 different venues, mostly at Philharmonic Hall and Carnegie Hall. They even used Yankee Stadium for some of the shows. You could buy a ticket to all 30 concerts for $122.

Most of these recordings are from the various jam sessions held throughout the week. I won't bother with any commentaries on the music - just check out the lineups in the post above. I decided to separate the scans and different volumes into 7 archives so that you may pick and choose what to download. The booklet was too big for my scanner so some of the photos are cropped, but I managed to get all of the important stuff in there.

Zoot Sims Meets Jimmy Rowles - If I'm Lucky

Tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims recorded quite a few albums with pianist Jimmy Rowles during his Pablo years; all are recommended. Rowles assisted Sims in coming up with obscurities to interpret, and this CD reissue is highlighted by such little-performed songs as "If I'm Lucky," "Shadow Waltz," "Gypsy Sweetheart" and "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone." The lead voices are backed ably by bassist George Mraz and drummer Mousey Alexander on this enjoyable straight-ahead date. Scott Yanow

Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
George Mraz (bass)
Mousey Alexander (drums)

1. I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone
2. Legs
3. If I'm Lucky
4. Shadow Waltz
5. You're My Everything
6. It's Alright With Me
7. Gypsy Sweetheart
8. I Hear A Rhapsody

Recorded in October 1977


hi, thanks to all for sharing all the incredible , music.
here's a favourite of mine, although barbieri's frenzied lyricism wont be to all tastes.
its a wonderfully exuberant, album dating from 1969
a compliment to crispis , post of barbieri’s 71 collaboration with oliver nelson.
The highlight for me is the fantastic version of villa lobos bachinias brazillieras (well ,it’s used as a point of departure)
Its probably one of the best bands he ever worked with, and has the added bonus of roswell rudd in great form on trombone in the front line.
Heres the generic spiel, by al Campbell for amg.

The Third World is the initial session that mixed Gato Barbieri's free jazz tenor playing with Latin and Brazilian influences. It's also the album that brought Barbieri positive attention from the college crowds of the late '60s. He would expand on this musical combination with his next few Flying Dutchman releases as well as his first recordings for the Impulse! label. The records made between 1969 through 1974 find Barbieri creating a danceable yet fiery combination of South American rhythms and free jazz forcefulness. Strangely, once Barbieri signed with A&M, he began making commercial records geared to fans of Herb Alpert, sounding nothing like his earlier albums.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Cannonball Adderley - Domination [Oliver Nelson]

Today is Zawinuls birthday, as it happens. Hank Mobley too.

is a curious curate's egg of an album, not previously available on CD, and some of it bears considerable historical interest. Tracks 1-8, recorded in '65 and originally released as Domination, feature Cannonball and Nat Adderley over big band charts arranged by Oliver Nelson. The twenty-minute closing track, recorded in '70, features the two Adderleys and Joe Zawinul performing Zawinul and William Fischer's early fusion suite “Experience In E” over an almost symphonic orchestra arranged by Fischer. Somewhere along the line, maverick producer David Axelrod plays a part, probably as executive producer.

The Nelson-arranged Domination tracks are a mixed bag. A large part of Nelson's gift was his ability to give new and and surprising makeovers to well-known jazz, pop, and movie themes. Yet none of the eight tunes here were well known in '65, and they remain obscure today. Only Cannonball's “Introduction To A Samba” and Ray Bryant's ”Shake A Lady” made it, briefly, into the touring band's book. Nelson's arrangements are typically full-on and gutsy, but they lack the genius shock-of-the-new of his Jimmy Smith sessions. That said, there's some strong soloing from the two brothers, and Cole Porter's “I Worship You” is grand, with lovely solos from Cannonball and Zawinul, the pianist's only one on the album.

All this serves as an enjoyable enough curtain raiser to “Experience In E,” originally released as part of the LP Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra. Cannonball first performed the five-part suite in '69, a few weeks before Zawinul went into the studio with Miles for the In A Silent Way sessions.

Brooding and intense, “Experience In E” is close in concept to early Weather Report, with motifs and broken riffs replacing conventional chord progressions. Cannonball is the featured soloist on parts one and two, Nat is featured on three, and Zawinul on four. All three men play more (Zawinul) or less (the Adderleys) impressionistic solos over Fischer's abstract orchestral backdrops. A gritty, vocalised Cannonball is great on the shades-of-Zulu second section, as is Nat on the Spanish-tinged third. Zawinul's feature is deliciously “Shhh/Peaceful.” The fifth and closing section is a more conventional big band romp.

In short, a curio for Cannonball fans, but something of more substantial interest to those interested in Zawinul's trajectory. Chris May

Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone)
Nat Adderley (cornet, trumpet)
Jimmy Maxwell, Jimmy Nottingham, Clark Terry, Snooky Young (trumpets)
Jimmy Cleveland, Willie Dennis, J.J. Johnson (trombones)
Don Butterfield (tuba)
Marshal Royal, Phil Woods (alto saxophones)
Budd Johnson (tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute)
Bob Ashton (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute)
Danny Bank (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, flute)
Joe Zawinul (piano)
Richard Davis (1,2,7,8), Sam Jones (3-6) (bass)
Grady Tate (1,2,7,8), Louis Hayes (3-6) (drums)

Arranged & conducted by Oliver Nelson

1. Domination
2. Cyclops
3. Introduction To A Samba
4. Shake A Lady
5. Interlude
6. Mystified (aka Angel Face)
7. I Worship You
8. Gon Gong
9. Experience In E

Four Jazz Legends: Live at Newport 1960

The first week of July used to be Newport Jazz Festival time. After my Diz at Newport post yesterday I thought I'd put up some more stuff from Newport. There have already been some things posted here or at C&D like the Ellington '56 set, Monk, Miles, Coltrane and Archie Shepp.

The Newport Jazz Festival began in 1954, was the first major American jazz festival and soon became a model for jazz festival worldwide. George Wein became festival director and although he booked mostly mainstream artists, he also booked musicians whose work was on the cutting edge at the time. The festival grew rapidly and by 1960 it had expanded from two days to to five. But in 1960 a riot broke out on Saturday night and events that were scheduled through Monday night were cancelled following the Sunday afternoon blues program.

The performances on this CD were luckily recorded in the days before or the evening of the riot. The exact dates and sources for these are not listed and they are not even mentioned in the Jazz Discography Project. The quality of the recordings is actually quite good and I tend to think they are taken from radio broadcasts.

Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Cannonball Adderley (alto sax) Nat Adderley (cornet) Barry Harris (piano) Sam Jones (bass) Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Work Song
2. Stay on It

Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax) Don Ferrara, Phil Sunkel, Nick Travis (trumpet) Bob Brookmeyer, Wayne Andre, Alan Ralph (trombone) Gene Quill, Dick Meldonian (alto sax) Jim Reider (tenor sax) Gene Allen (baritone sax) Bill Takas (bass) Mel Lewis (drums)

3. Walkin' Shoes
4. Sweet and Slow
5. Blueport

Oscar Peterson Trio
Oscar Peterson (piano) Ray Brown (bass) Ed Thigpen (drums)

6. Billy Boy
7. Cubana Chant

Dizzy Gillespie Quintet
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet) Leo Wright (alto sax, flute) Junior Mance (piano) Art Davis (bass) Al Dreares (drums)

8. Lorraine
9. Norm's Norm
10. A Night in Tunisia

Coming up: Newport in New York '72 (6 LP box set)

David Murray - Dark Star (The Music Of The Grateful Dead)

Some people, encountering the David Murray Octet's astonishing new album, "Dark Star (The Music Of The Grateful Dead)" will be surprised that David Murray has chosen to do an entire album of material by the Grateful Dead. After all, they might ask, isn't the prolific saxophonist / composer / bandleader Murray a well-established star in the world of jazz? And isn't the Grateful Dead a rock band? But once people hear the album, they may well ask why someone didn't do this sooner, because "Dark Star (The Music Of The Grateful Dead)" is an out-and-out delight, and the first truly successful recorded illustration of the deep connection between the magic of the Grateful Dead and the music known as jazz.
One of the more fascinating things about Grateful Dead music is the absolute futility in trying to classify it as anything but "Grateful Dead music." It crossed so many boundaries - rock, folk, country, blues or you-name-it - that no one description could do it justice.
Certainly one genre with which the Grateful Dead felt a special affinity from the beginning was jazz - band members often spoke of the galvanic effect that their first encounters with the work of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and other masters had upon their own musical outlooks, and ultimately upon the improvisatory exploration at the very heart of the Dead's music. Consistently through the band's 30-year career, the Dead flirted, at the very least, with jazz. And a significant number of times, that flirtation blossomed into an all-out love affair. This was especially true in the late 80s and early 90s, when the Grateful Dead/Jazz relationship was most fully realized, in the form of very close encounters between the members of the Dead and some of the great practitioners of this vital American art form, including Branford Marsalis, Ornette Coleman and, finally, David Murray, whose relationship with the band became an especially close and rewarding one.
Phil Lesh was an early and vocal supporter of the Berkeley-born artist, encouraging his bandmates to listen to albums by Murray's quartet, octet and big band. The Dead and Murray finally met during the Fall 1993 run at Madison Square Garden, and Murray returned the next night with his tenor sax and bass clarinet. The result is considered by many to be among the best Grateful Dead shows of the '90s, as Murray helped the band blow the walls down with phenomenal versions of "Estimated Prophet," "Dark Star" and several other tunes. David was subsequently invited to play with the Jerry Garcia Band at the Garden later that year, and played with the Dead one more time at Mardi Gras '95 in Oakland. He also was invited to join Bob Weir and other collaborators on a musical theater project about baseball immortal Satchel Paige, and participated in a number of memorable jams with Weir and other musicians at various Bay Area clubs. In 1995, Murray's powerful Big Band began a residency at New York's Knitting Factory, appearing every Monday night. At some point Michael Nash (one of the creators of "Satchel") and Phil Lesh suggested to David the idea of his doing some versions of Dead songs, either with the Big Band or one of his other groups. Murray was excited at the prospect, and earlier this year premiered several tunes, including "Shakedown Street" and a 45-minute " "Dark Star," with the Big Band. David was astonished to find several hundred more people than ever before scrambling to get into the Knitting Factory the following Monday. Never underestimate the Deadhead grapevine! When he set out to record the new album, Murray chose the Octet as the ideal vehicle, as it afforded more harmonic possibilities than a small group, yet more room for soloists to stretch out than in a big band. It turned out to be exactly the right call. The album is a triumph of intuitive collective improvisation. It remains true to the spirit of the Grateful Dead in the truest possible way - not with literal-minded, confining or imitative arrangements, but by allowing the musicians to create the story with their own abundant talents and imaginations. "Dark Star (The Music Of The Grateful Dead)" is a knockout from start to finish, with the Dead songs you know so well given some surprising twists and turns: "Shakedown Street" is a lowdown R&B blast, led by David's remarkable, impassioned overblowing and multiphonics; "Samson and Delilah" sounds like a super-charged Mardi Gras march; the title track is, as it was for the Dead, an open-ended excursion into the cosmos; and the lovely, brooding "China Doll" features David's sax in a lush, melodic style that draws a straight line back to the great tenor tradition of Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Ben Webster. As a special bonus, the album concludes with a sax/guitar duet by Murray and Bob Weir on "Shoulda Had Been Me," a new song written for the Satchel Paige project by Weir, Michael Nash and Bruce Cockburn.
The David Murray Octet's "Dark Star (The Music Of The Grateful Dead)" is a bold and important work, and a heartening sign that the Dead's work will continue to be reinvented and renewed as we move toward the turn of the millennium. And you can't ask for much more than that.

David Murray - Dark Star (The Music Of The Grateful Dead)
[Astor Place, 1996]

David Murray (ts, bc)
James Spaulding (as, fl)
Hugh Ragin (tp)
James Zoller (tp)
Omar Kabir (tp)
Craig Harris (tb)
Robert Irving III (Hammond B-3 org, p, synth)
Bob Weir (g)
Fred Hopkins (b)
Renzell Meritt (d)

1. Shakedown Street
2. Samson And Delilah
3. Estimated Prophet
4. Dark Star
5. China Doll
6. One More Saturday Night
7. Shoulda Had Been Me

Recorded on January 17-18, 1996 at Clinton Recording Studios, New York, NY

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dizzy Gillespie at Newport (1957)

It's been 50 years today since this set was recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival. This particular band had been together for a little over a year after being organized for two State Department tours of the Middle East and South America. Yanow get's it right with his brief review but fails to mention Lee Morgan taking the trumpet solo on "A Night in Tunisia".

This CD features Dizzy Gillespie's second great big band at the peak of its powers. On the rapid "Dizzy's Blues" and a truly blazing "Cool Breeze," the orchestra really roars; the latter performance features extraordinary solos by Gillespie, trombonist Al Grey, and tenor saxophonist Billy Mitchell. In addition to fine renditions of "Manteca" and Benny Golson's then-recent composition "I Remember Clifford," the humorous "Doodlin'" is given a definitive treatment, there is a fresh version of "A Night in Tunisia," and pianist Mary Lou Williams sits in for a lengthy medley of selections from her "Zodiac Suite." This brilliant CD captures one of the high points of Dizzy Gillespie's remarkable career and is highly recommended. - Scott Yanow

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet, vocal)
Lee Morgan, Ermit Perry, Carl Warwick, Talib Daawud (trumpet)
Melba Liston, Al Grey, Chuck Connors (trombone)
Ernie Henry, Jimmy Powell (alto sax)
Billy Mitchell, Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Pee Wee Moore (baritone sax)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Mary Lou Williams (piano on 7 and 8)
Paul West (bass)
Charlie Persip (drums)
  1. Dizzy's Blues
  2. School Days
  3. Doodlin'
  4. Manteca
  5. I Remember Clifford
  6. Cool Breeze
  7. Selections from "Zodiac Suite"
  8. Carioca
  9. A Night in Tunisia
Recorded on July 6, 1957

Clifford Jordan - Bearcat (1961)

Clifford Jordan was a fine inside/outside player who somehow held his own with Eric Dolphy in the 1964 Charles Mingus Sextet. Jordan had his own sound on tenor almost from the start. He gigged around Chicago with Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, and some R&B groups before moving to New York in 1957. Jordan immediately made a strong impression, leading three albums for Blue Note (including a meeting with fellow tenor John Gilmore) and touring with Horace Silver (1957-1958), J.J. Johnson (1959-1960), Kenny Dorham (1961-1962), and Max Roach (1962-1964). After performing in Europe with Mingus and Dolphy, Jordan worked mostly as a leader but tended to be overlooked since he was not overly influential or a pacesetter in the avant-garde. A reliable player, Clifford Jordan toured Europe several times, was in a quartet headed by Cedar Walton in 1974-1975, and during his last years, led a big band. He recorded as a leader for Blue Note, Riverside, Jazzland, Atlantic (a little-known album of Leadbelly tunes), Vortex, Strata-East, Muse, SteepleChase, Criss Cross, Bee Hive, DIW, Milestone, and Mapleshade. ~ Scott Yanow

Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Teddy Smith (bass)
J.C. Moses (drums)

1. Bearcat
2. Dear Old Chicago
3. How Deep Is The Ocean?
4. Middle Of The Block
5. You Better Leave It Alone
6. Malice Towards None
7. Out-House

Recorded in New York; December 28, 1961 and January 10, 1962

Root Down!


Toward the end of his stint with Blue Note, Jimmy Smith's albums became predictable. Moving to Verve in the mid-'60s helped matters considerably, since he started playing with new musicians (most notably nice duets with Wes Montgomery) and new settings, but he never really got loose, as he did on select early Blue Note sessions. Part of the problem was that Smith's soul-jazz was organic and laid-back, relaxed and funky instead of down and dirty. For latter-day listeners, aware of his reputation as the godfather of modern soul-jazz organ (and certainly aware of the Beastie Boys' name drop), that may mean that Smith's actual albums all seem a bit tame and restrained, classy, not funky. That's true of the bulk of Smith's catalog, with the notable exception of Root Down. Not coincidentally, the title track is the song the Beasties sampled on their 1994 song of the same name, since this is one of the only sessions that Smith cut where his playing his raw, vital, and earthy. Recorded live in Los Angeles in February 1972, the album captures a performance Smith gave with a relatively young supporting band who were clearly influenced by modern funk and rock. They push Smith to playing low-down grooves that truly cook: "Sagg Shootin' His Arrow" and "Root Down (And Get It)" are among the hottest tracks he ever cut, especially in the restored full-length versions showcased on the 2000 Verve By Request reissue. There are times where the pace slows, but the tension never sags, and the result is one of the finest, most exciting records in Smith's catalog. If you think you know everything about Jimmy Smith, this is the album for you. --- Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Oliver Nelson's Big Band - Live From Los Angeles

Having created one of the all time great jazz albums, Oliver Nelson's reputation stands secure. With sidemen like Dolphy, Hubbard, and such, he demonstrated that his arranging skills were matched with a discriminating ear. He was a fine player in his own right , as well, and used the cream of L.A. session men for his very successful TV career. (Is there anyone who doesn't know by now that he brought us the sublime and transcendant Six Million Dollar Man Theme?)

Look at some of these cats; Conte Candoli, Lou Blackburn, Tom Scott, who played with as many classic rock groups as jazz groups. He burns, too. Check him out with Strazzeri. Ed Thigpen, and, nicely, Mel Brown on two tracks.

Oliver Nelson-arranger, conductor, soprano, saxophone
Frank Strozier-alto saxophone
Bobby Bryant-trumpet
Conte Candoli-trumpet
Buddy Childers-trumpet
Freddy Hill-trumpet
Lou Blackburn-trombone
Billy Byers-trombone
Bill Perkins-tenor saxophone
Tom Scott-tenor saxophone
Pete Myers-trombone
Ernie Tack-trombone
Gabe Baltazar-alto saxophone
Jack Nimitz-baritone saxophone
Frank Strazzeri-piano
Monte Budwig-bass
Ed Thigpen-drums
Mel Brown-guitar (4,5)

1. Miss Fine
2. Milestones
3. I Remember Bird
4. Night Train
5. Guitar Blues
6. Down By The Riverside
7. Ja-Da

Recorded June 1967 at Marty's On The Hill, Los Angeles

Side Effect - Goin' Bananas (1977)

If the O'Jays, the Dramatics, or Bloodstone had added a female singer and incorporated bebop-influenced harmonies, they might have sounded something like Side Effect -- a distinctive soul and funk vocal quartet of the '70s and early '80s. Side Effect was never a big name in R&B -- and its material wasn't as consistently strong as that of the O'Jays -- but it did have a recognizable and appealing sound. The group was formed in Los Angeles in May 1972, when it started out as an all-male trio and consisted of Louis Patton, Gregory Matta, and leader Augie Johnson. The latter had been singing since childhood -- in fact, Johnson was among the kids who sang on Frank Sinatra's 1959 hit "High Hopes." Side Effect became a quartet when, in 1974, Johnson, Patton, and Matta decided to add a female vocalist and hired L.A. native Sylvia Nabors. In 1975, Side Effect signed with Fantasy and recorded its self-titled debut album, which was, like subsequent efforts, produced by Wayne Henderson of Crusaders fame. By the time Side Effect recorded its second album, What You Need, in 1976, Nabors had been replaced by Helen Lowe. Then, in 1977, Lowe was replaced by Sylvia St. James, who recorded with the group in 1977 and 1978. St. James' subsequent replacement was Miki Howard, a talented singer who sang with the group for a few years before signing with Atlantic in 1986 and becoming well known as a solo artist.

Helen Lowe's replacement, Sylvia St. James, joined Side Effect with its third album, Goin' Bananas, which fell short of the excellence of What You Need, but is generally decent. Although Lowe's departure was a major loss for the group, St. James shows herself to be an expressive and capable vocalist on the catchy "Private World," the title tune (a goofy yet infectious funk song), and an interpretation of "Cloudburst" that is probably the group's most jazz-oriented offering ever. Augie Johnson, meanwhile, has a charming lead vocal on "Open Up Your Heart." Though Side Effect didn't have a lot of major hits, the funky single "It's All In Your Mind" made it to #18 on Billboard's R&B singles chart. For this LP, Side Effect went all out with the bananas gimmick -- St. James was depicted in a Carmen Miranda-like getup, and Fantasy pressed the LP on yellow vinyl. - Alex Henderson

Side Effect's first two albums have been reissued as a single CD by Fantasy. Goin' Bananas has not, although some of the tracks appear on the compilation CD In Full Effect which was released in 2003.

Augie Johnson, Greg Matta, Louis Patton, Sylvia St. James (vcl)
The Boppers:
Robert Griffin (d) Vance Tenort (perc) Ed Reddick (b) John Ervin (tb, fl) Bob Grieve, Chuck Brooke (saxes) Stan Martin, Dave Grover (tp) Ed Luna (g)
Marlon McLain (g) Nathaniel Phillips (b) Bruce Carter (d)
Bobby Lyle (keys) Steve Beckmeier (g) Herman Riley (ts) Steve Madaio, Denny Christianson, Cliff Ervin (tp) Dean Gant (keys) Wayne Henderson (tb)

Side One
1. Goin' Bananas
2. Open Up Your Heart
3. Watching Life
4. Keep On Keepin' On

Side Two
1. It's All in Your Mind
2. Private World
3. Mr. Monday
4. Never Be the Same
5. Back in Time
6. Cloudburst

Art Blakey - The Jazz Messengers

This has always been my favorite Jazz Messengers album.

The original version of The Jazz Messengers only lasted around a year, cutting four albums before the departure of pianist and chief composer Horace Silver. This LP (which also features trumpeter Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley's tenor and bassist Doug Watkins) is highlighted by the earliest recordings of two of Silver's songs, "Nica's Dream" and "Ecaroh," and plenty of typically hard swinging from the band. -- Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

This CD reissue brings back the music on the earlier LP titled Art Blakey with the Original Jazz Messengers, plus five other selections (just one of which is an alternate) from the same two sessions that were formerly out on imported sets; "Deciphering the Message" was previously unreleased altogether. These were the last recordings by the Art Blakey-Horace Silver Jazz Messengers before pianist Silver went out on his own and the first edition disbanded. Trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley and bassist Doug Watkins (along with Silver and Blakey) are in excellent form. Silver's "Nica's Dream" is heard here in the original version, and the band is typically hard-swinging throughout the 76-minute-plus program. -- Scott Yanow

Donald Byrd (tp)
Hank Mobley (ts)
Horace Silver (p)
Doug Watkins (b
Art Blakey (d)

1. Infra-Rae
2. Nica's Dream
3. It's You Or No One
4. Ecaroh
5. Carol's Interlude
6. The End Of A Love Affair
7. Hank's Symphony
8. Weird-O
9. Ill Wind
10. Late Show
11. Deciphering The Message
12. Carol's Interlude (Alternate Take)

1-3, 5-6, 9-10
NYC, April 5, 1956

NYC, May 4, 1956

Pedro Iturralde - featuring Hampton Hawes

An historic meeting, recorded in the early hours of the morning

Probably, most of you does not know who Pedro Iturralde is, but Hampton Hawes is well known at CIA. This is a historical recording in annals of the Spanish jazz, but also it is a damn recording.
One of the figures of the international jazz panorama arrived at Spain for a series of live performances at the Whiskey Jazz Club of Madrid (something not very common at that time), where usually Pedro Iturralde played. Hawes had just recorded with Martial Solal in Paris for BYG Records and soon it was going to record with Black Lion, reason why it did not have an exclusive contract. Arrangements with Hispavox Spanish label were made and after one of the performances, in theearly hours of the morning, they rushed to the Hispavox studios and almost of a pull they recorded these six songs.
Unfortunately, the company's sales department of Hispavox was not interested in to promote this type of music (that did not sell), reason why the recording was sleeping during 18 years until Fresh Sound Records published it in 1986, years after Hawes had died. Later it was published by Blue Note in CD.

1. On Green Dolphin Street
2. Black Forest Blues
3. Autumn Leaves
4. Oleo
5. Moonlight in Vermont
6. My Funny Valentine

Pedro Iturralde ts, ss,bars, fl
Hampton Hawes p
Eric Peter b
Peer Wyboris d

Recorded in Madrid, February 1968 at Hispavox Estudios

Little Roy – Packin House

Little RoyPackin House
[Tafari, 197x / Pressure Sounds, 1999]

1. Little Roy - Hurt Not The Earth
2. Carl Dawkins - Burnin' Fire
3. Little Roy - Ticket To Zion
4. The Heptones - Revolution
5. Leroy Sibbles - Total Destruction
6. Baba Leslie - Total Destruction Version
7. John Clarke - Recession
8. Little Roy - Rat Trap
9. Dennis Brown - Set Your Heart Free
10. Bongo Herman & Don D. Junior - Set Your Heart Free Version
11. The Heptones - Forward On A Yard
12. The Heptones - Forward On A Yard Version
13. Winston Scotland - Zion Fever
14. The Tafari All Stars - Free For All
15. Little Roy - Natty Yard

16. The Tafari All Stars - Prophecy Dub It Up

‘Tafari was and still is a true example of how music should be made and sold on record. It’s probably the only label in the world that upholds its principles throughout all of its business. The message is in the music’ Dave Hendley

This is the second release of Little Roy material to be reissued by Pressure Sounds - and it’s another essential collection of solid roots originally issued on Roy’s Tafari label. Packin House refers to the site in Kingston's Washington Gardens district that served as the Tafari Syndicate's headquarters – actually the house of Tafari co-founders Melvin and Maurice Jackson's mother – which served as a meeting and rehearsal space.

There are some familiar and unfamiliar names here; John (not Johnny) Clarke gives us poignant tale of the plight of the unemployed on ‘Recession’, there’s an early Dennis Brown piece (‘Set Your Heart Free’), a great Perry-like track from the Heptones (‘Revolution’), and a couple of magnificent versions of that track including one from Leroy Sibbles (in a rare toasting session on the awesome ‘Total Destruction’). Little Roy himself contributes some wonderful material, including an outstanding version of the Beatles ‘Ticket To Ride’; whilst the Tafari All Stars give us some sterling Funky Friday tunes!

Something for everyone then, and definitely recommended listening for all!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Oliver Nelson - Swiss Suite

The first of the Oliver Nelson Big Band items that were requested.

Recorded at the 1971 Montreux Jazz Festival, this big-band outing features a mostly all-star band and altoist Oliver Nelson (who wrote all of the arrangements and compositions) and trumpeter Danny Moore on remakes of "Stolen Moments," "Black, Brown & Beautiful" and "Blues and the Abstract Truth." However it is the nearly 27-minute "Swiss Suite" that dominates this album and although tenorman Gato Barbieri has a couple of raging solos, it is a five-minute segment when guest altoist Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson plays the blues that is most memorable. Vinson's classic spot alone is worth the price of this hard-to-find LP. Scott Yanow

1. Swiss Suite
2. Stolen Moments
3. Black, Brown and Beautiful
4. Blues and The Abstract Truth

Oliver Nelson - Conductor, Alto Saxophone
Charles Tolliver - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Stanley Cowell - Piano
Gato Barbieri - Tenor Saxophone
Harry Beckett - Trumpet
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson - Alto Saxophone
Richie Cole - Trumpet

Funky Friday ("pick-me-up music" pt. III)

Still needing some pick-me-up music because the job is killing me this week, I offer you yet another Monty Pythonesque moment, “and now for something completely different”. . .

The Talking Heads’ David Byrne should not require a lengthy introduction, and this release was his first after the group’s breakup. It is one of Byrne’s pop-oriented solo works that is built around his fondness for Latin and Afro-Cuban musical styles. Some of you may recall that he founded the ‘Brazilophilic Luaka Bop’ label around this time as well. “Rei Momo”, to me, is partly a music lesson because the liner notes detail which genre the songs come from and partly comparable to late-period Talking Heads material. This is purrr-fectly Jazz-Nekko cattish for Funky Friday ~ enjoy!

Set Highlights:
- interesting combination of pop/Talking Heads/Latin and Afro-Cuban music
- incredible collaboration of some very-well known Latin and Cuban musicians
- superb Latin & Afro-Cuban percussion and arrangements
- “Make Believe Mambo”, takes the honour seat for me – it is hilarious!!

David Byrne “Rei Momo” (1989, Sire Records)

David Byrne (acG/eG/vcl/string arr/album design/prod), Shunzo Ohno (tp), Celia “La Reina de Salsa” Cruz (vcl), Willie Colón (choir cond/arr), Johnny Pacheco (choir/cga), José Gallegos, Leini Guerrero (p), Floyd Carter, Felix Farrar (vio), Enrique Orengo (cel), Paquito Pastor (p/string arr), Elvis Garcia, Andy Gonzalez, Rubén Rodríguez (b), Romero Lubambo (eG), Eric Weissberg (mandolin), Angel Fernandez, Steve Guttman, Ite Jerez, Agusto Onna, Jr., Charlie Sepulveda, Joe Shepley (tp), Mauricio Smith (fl), Lewis Kahn (b-TB/vio), Sam Burtis, Joe de Jesus, Tom "Bones" Malone, Barry Olsen, Keith O'Quinn, Barry Rogers, David Sacks (tnr-TB), David Taylor, Dale Turk (b-TB), Kenneth Hitchcock, Bobby Porcelli (as), Lawrence Feldman, Mitch Frohman (ts), Steve Sacks (baSx), Robert Ameen, Juan Martinez (d), Luis Arias (cga),Luis Manuel, Santiago Pasqual (guira), Marc Quifiones (tim/bata), Luchinho Bizadao (cavaquinho), Cyro Baptista, Jorge Jose Da Silva, Reinaldo Fernandes, Huti Rodriquez, Charlie Santiago (agogo/caxixi/repique/tamb), James Fearnley, Agapito Pasqual (acc), Arto Lindsay, Kirsty MacColl, Lucy Penabaz, Cuto Soto, Herbert Vianna (vcls); recorded between May and July 1989

01. Independence Day (Cumbia)
02. Make Believe Mambo (Orïsa)
03. Call of the Wild (Merengue)
04. Dirty Old Town (Mapeyé)
05. Rose Tattoo (Bomba Mozambique)
06. Loco de Amor (Salsa-Reggae)
07. Dream Police (Cha Cha Cha)
08. Don't Want to Be a Part of Your World (Samba)
09. Marching through the Wilderness (Charanga)
10. Good and Evil (Rumba-Llesa)
11. Lie to Me (Merengue)
12. Office Cowboy (Pagode)
13. Women vs. Men (Bolero)
14. Carnival Eyes (Mapeyé)
15. I Know Sometimes a Man Is Wrong

Oliver Nelson - Berlin Dialogue For Orchestra (1970)

Rab will be posting the Swiss Suite and Los Angeles Big Band albums sometime soon. In the meantime, here's one released by Flying Dutchman Records that has never made it to CD.

"I was commissioned early in 1970 to write a composition for the Berliner Jazztage, a festival held in November of each year, to be played by The Berlin Dream Band. The Berlin Dream Band consists of the leading Berlin jazz musicians - mainly from the big bands of the two radio stations: RIAS (Radio in the American Sector) and SFB (Station Free Berlin). The musicians are all living in Berlin, however only 8 of them are German. The other musicians are Canadian, Checkoslovakian, British, Swedish, French, Austrian, Belgian, Yugoslavian and three American Black musicians who have found an audience for their music in Berlin." - Oliver Nelson (1971)

Featured soloists are Carmell Jones, Slide Hampton, Leo Wright, Kai Rautenberg and Nelson.

Oliver Nelson (ldr, as, arr), Adi Feuerstein, Rolf Römer (f, ts), Klaus Marmulla, Leo Wright (f, cl, as), Freddy L'Host (cl), Jan Konòpasek (bcl, bar), Carmell Jones, Milo Pavlovic, Ron Simmonds, Harry Stamp, Manfred Stoppacher (t), Slide Hampton, Kurt Masnick, Charles Orieux, Ake Persson, Barry Ross (tb), Kai Rautenberg (p), Hajo Lange (b), Dai Bowen, Heins Niemeyer (d)

Side One
1. Berlin Dialogue for Orchestra
a) Confrontation
b) Checkpoint Charlie
c) Relative Calm
d) Over the Wall

Side Two
Impressions of Berlin
1. Ku-damm
2. Wannsee
3. Heidi
4. Berlin Bei Nacht
Recorded on November 5, 1970

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

“Pick-Me-Up” – Part II

Fair warning - these are vinyl rips, and while I take care of my LPs, the sound engineering of the day and the march of time may lend a certain “sound” to these tracks. After listening to these, if there is enough interest, I have four other of this group’s albums. Nonetheless, I still think that these are classic albums and worthy of your time and bandwidth ~ enjoy!

Hank Jones meets Cheick Tidiane Seck & The Mandinkas - Sarala (1995)

The motivation for this post came from Rab's recent offering of the superb Salif Keita's "Soro". This was one of the albums (Orchestra Baobab's "Pirate's Choice" was another) that pushed me towards the treasure trove that African music is and had a major impact on my musical preferences ever since. I decided to start a small series of posts on a loose theme of African music (sort of 'the African Tinge') - jazz and not only. Possibly there'll be some interludes with other 'international' offerings: I'll see how it goes depending on feedback & comments.

Starting off this small series, is a big big favorite of mine, and this is not only because I adore Hank Jones (who doesn't???). This 1995 album, recorded in Paris, is Jones' tribute to Mali; and what a tribute it is.

Mali (or, better, Western Africa in general) seems to be sort of the Holy Land for several jazzmen. I am not pretending to be a jazz historian, but I don't think there's any doubt that the farther origins of the music we all like lie in that part of the world. Obviously, direct references to African music have appeared for several years in the repertoire of many a great jazzmen before Hank Jones (Randy Weston, Coltrane, Lateef, Blakey, Abdul Malik, et al.) However, I think that this is one the first projects of this kind that involved an established jazzman at a true meeting & musical exchange with Western African musicians (Weston actually preceded by some years, but this was in Morocco).

Jones, notably almost 80-year-old by the time of the recording, really delved into Malian Mandingo music. It's said that he worked in this project for almost a year; this is not simply a jazz-world fusion. Jones plays this music (West African pop & traditional tunes) as if it's his own.

As Cheick Tidiane Seck --musical director, organist, percussionist, vocalist, arranger, producer and composer of most tunes (I also presume he was preparing coffee for the sessions)-- says in the liner notes: "Hank's approach to Mandingo music, which has subtle threads close to blues & jazz, was as serious and humble as all his other undertakings. He studied this culture for months before playing a note, and worked especially hard on the modal aspects of the music. If at the beginning it marked a return to his sources, Hank integrated all his efforts into this recording with total harmony and at the outcome it was as if he had never left his roots". And, somewhere else it's mentioned that: "It took a year of patient work and difficult negotiations to convince his peers on the choice of themes and compositions, and then Hank sat down at the piano. The Mandingo musicians thought it was miraculous - he played like they did!"

Jones & Seck are joined in this project by a stellar team of Malian musicians - guitarists (the great Kante Manfila leads on one track), percussionists, players of traditional instruments (kora, n'goni, balafon etc), plus some fantastic female vocalists, including the French-Tunisian Amina on one song.

Besides its historical & musical importance, this album has an aura of serenity and merriness: all photos in the cover & booklet depict Jones and Seck smiling and laughing. It is obvious that they enjoyed this reunion, and this enjoyment is directly reflected in the music and transmitted to the listener. And, imho, that's much more important than mere musical dexterity, complex harmonic structures or whatsoever.

Other collaborations of jazz (or merely creative) musicians with Western African musicians have followed this one: Roswell Rudd & Toumani Diabate produced "MaliCool", Bob Brozman with kora player Djeli Moussa Diawara produced "Ocean Blues", Dee Dee Bridgewater with Cheick Tidiane Seck (again!) the recent "Red Earth"... All of these records are stunningly beautiful; this mustn't be a coincidence. I hope you'll enjoy this.

curtis counce -- exploring the future

amg says: Review by Ken Dryden
Although he lived for another five years after this session, this seems to be bassist Curtis Counce's last date as a leader. His quintet was in fine form playing originals by band member Elmo Hope and tenor saxophonist Harold Land, also playing standards like "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Angel Eyes" with convincing chops. Swedish trumpeter Rolf Ericson, who became better known to jazz fans while with Duke Ellington in the '60s, fits in beautifully with the cool-sounding hard bop style of this tight unit. Originally released on the long-defunct Dootone label, this highly sought-after record was finally reissued as a CD on the English label Boplicity in 1996

jean lafite says: worth the price of admission for the cover alone, i hunted this record for a long time. the amg review is accurate in my estimation, this is tight, cool, bop. rolf is right on; elmo and "the uncrowned king" harold land never let you down. i expect you'se will like it.

David Murray: San Francisco 1997

Since there have been some Dead-related posts on here recently, I thought this might be of interest...Admittedly, I don't think I'd rate this as Murray's greatest work, but it's really interesting to hear how Murray interprets Grateful Dead standards in a live setting. And Weir and Lesh sit in, which is an added bonus.

(Don't let the fact that it's an audience recording, scare you off. It's very listenable – obviously it was recording with really good gear)

David Murray Octet (with special guests Phil Lesh & Bob Weir)
The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA March 06, 1997

Unknown Audience Recording
Disk 1 [63:13]
Set 1
01. [03:20] Intro
02. [15:25] Shakill's Warrior03. [16:24] High Priest
03. [28:03] The Desegregation of Our Children *

Disk 2 [75:05]

Set 1 continued
01. [20:05] The Fight Song * / David Intros Phil
02. [13:45] Shakedown Street *%
03. [12:55] Samson and Delilah *%
04. [02:18] Start of Set 2
05. [26:00] Dark Star *%

Disk 3 [65:28]

Set 2 continued

01. [16:57] One More Saturday Night *%
02. [20:02] Hope Scope
03. [15:20] China Doll * / Band Intros
04. [13:08] Shakedown Street *

David Murray - tenor sax
John Purcell - alto sax
Winston Byrd - trumpet
Julius Melendez - trumpet
Wayne Wallace - trombone
Stan Franks - guitar
Charles Green - keys
Clarence "Pookie" Jenkins - electric bass
Ranzell Merritt - drums

* - Bob Weir
% - with Phil Lesh

Third World “All The Way Strong” (1983, Columbia FC-38687)

Advance apologies to Chuchuni, Clio and other hard-core reggae fans for this post, as it may not be up to their standards of reggae. I post this because this week has been a long work week and I needed some “pick-me-up” fresh sounds. Further, I saw this group at a summer jam fest back in ’84 and today’s post was a good part of their repertoire that day.

Third World was formed in 1973 by “Ibo” Cooper and “Cat” Coore. They are one of the longest-lived reggae bands of all time, and a consistently popular crossover acts among international audiences. While the band was long capable of authentic roots reggae, they usually preferred to mix R&B, funk, pop, rock and, later on, dancehall and rap. “All the Way Strong” made the USA R&B Top 50; however, this set is probably Third World’s most pop-oriented album.

As I recall back in the early ‘80s, after Bob Marley died, many reggae bands tried out new styles and directions in order to wear Marley’s crown as the face of the music (were any bands/persons ever really successful?). Anyhow, the mid-80s wave of electro-dancehall reggae changed reggae forever ~ enjoy!

Set highlights:
- “Love Is Out to Get You” was a pretty damn popular number back in the day
- while this isn’t the most memorable Third World album, it is worth checking

William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke (lead vcl/br), Michael “Ibo” Cooper (lead vcl/kyb), Stephen “Cat” Coore (ldG/b), Richard “Bassie” Daley (b/rhyG), William “Willie” Stewart (d), Irvin “Carrot” Jarret (per), Leslie Drayton (tp), Ernie Fields (as/baSx), Gary Bias (as), Gerald Albright (ts), Thurman Green, Reggie Young (tb)

01. Love Is Out to Get You
02. Swing Low
03. Come on Home
04. Seasons When
05. Lagos Jump
06. All the Way Strong
07. Rock and Rave
08. Once There’s Love

Shorty Rogers/Bud Shank & the Lighthouse All Stars - America The Beautiful (1991)

July 4th seems like an appropriate time to post this one. One of the last sessions for this particular version of the Lighthouse All Stars, Shorty Rogers, Bob Cooper and Monty Budwig would all be gone within the next few years. I believe Bud Shank and Larance Marable are the only surviving members at this time.

Back in 1988 I played in a big band at an outdoor jazz festival and along with our own set we played a few tunes backing Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank and Carl Fontana. Shorty, sticking to flugelhorn, was one of the most humble people I've ever met and was even kind enough to let me take his solo spot on "Come Rain or Come Shine". Bud Shank was there with his own quartet and Carl Fontana was playing in a group with Mel Lewis. Diane Schuur and Joe Williams were also on the bill. What fun it was to be able to hang out and play with such giants!

"The 1991 version of the Lighthouse All-Stars gave trumpeter Shorty Rogers and altoist Bud Shank top billing. For this Candid CD, Rogers supplied eight of the selections (including "Less Is More," "Lotus Bud," "Fun" and "Here's That Old Martian Again") and the band also stretched out on Bud Powell's "Un Poco Loco" and a Rogers' arrangement of "America The Beautiful." This was one of the final records for both Shorty and the great tenor Bob Cooper and overall it is a typically swinging, witty and beautiful effort. Also in fine form are trumpeter Conte Candoli, Bill Perkins (on baritone, tenor and soprano), pianist Pete Jolly, bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Larance Marable." - Scott Yanow

Shorty Rogers (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Bud Shank (alto sax)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Bob Cooper (tenor sax)
Bill Perkins (baritone, tenor & soprano sax)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Larance Marable (drums)
  1. America the Beautiful
  2. Less Is More
  3. New Dreams
  4. Casa de Luz
  5. Lotus Bud
  6. Un Poco Loco
  7. The Good News
  8. Here's That Old Martian Again
  9. Truly Truly
  10. Fun
Recorded August 4th and 5th, 1991

Bob Florence Limited Edition - State of the Art

One of the most inventive arrangers working today is Bob Florence, who has led his big band (The Limited Edition) for many years, primarily on the US West Coast (Los Angeles). This is one of his best. Another great one, Magic Time, will be posted shortly. I hope you all enjoy this one.

The first of two sets by Bob Florence's Limited Edition Orchestra for the USA label breaks from his tradition in that only four of the nine selections are Florence originals. The arranger completely reworks such familiar tunes as "Just Friends," "Moonlight Serenade," "All the Things You Are" and even "Auld Lang Syne." Among the key players are altoist Lanny Morgan, trumpeter Steve Huffsteter, Bob Cooper on tenor, and Kim Richmond on alto and soprano. Modern, swinging and unpredictable music. Scott Yanow

Alex Acuña Percussion
Bob Cooper Clarinet, Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Rick Culver Trombone
Peter Donald Drums
Bob Efford Clarinet (Bass), Sax (Baritone)
Bob Florence Synthesizer, Piano, Arranger, Piano (Electric)
Larry Ford Trumpet, Flugelhorn
George Graham Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Herbie Harper Trombone
Steve Huffsteter Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Charles Loper Trombone
John Lowe Sax (Baritone), E Flat Clarinet
Warren Luening Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dick Mitchell Clarinet, Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Lanny Morgan Clarinet, Flute, Piccolo, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Kim Richmond Clarinet, Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Donald Waldrop Trombone (Bass)
Tom Warrington Bass (Electric), Bass (Acoustic)
Chauncey Welsch Trombone

1 Just Friends Klenner, Lewis 6:21
2 Moonlight Serenade Miller, Parish 5:13
3 Silky Florence 6:55
4 The Crunch Florence 7:05
5 Stella by Starlight Washington, Young 4:05
6 All the Things You Are Hammerstein, Kern 8:46
7 Mr. Paddington Florence 6:04
8 BBC Florence 5:42
9 Auld Lang Syne Burns, Traditional 5:23

Recorded 1988

VOX - Lee Wiley

Lee Wiley – Sings The Songs of George & Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter

Lee Wiley was the first jazz singer to record a full album (eight songs in the '78' days) dedicated to the music of one composer; her "songbooks" preceded Ella Fitzgerald's by more than 15 years. The greatest recordings of her career were these four projects, the first two of which are on this Audiophile reissue. Wiley, who had an introverted and quietly straightforward yet sensuous (and somewhat smoldering) style, is heard singing eight songs apiece by the Gershwins and Cole Porter. Her accompaniment includes all-star groups headed by pianist Joe Bushkin and trumpeter Max Kaminsky (which include tenor-saxophonist Bud Freeman, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell and on four songs Fats Waller), a quartet with Bushkin and trumpeter Bunny Berigan, and Paul Weston's Orchestra. Wiley's renditions of such songs as "How Long Has This Been Going On," "I've Got A Crush On You," "Someone To Watch Over Me," "Let's Do It" and "Easy To Love" are both memorable and haunting. This reissue is a gem as is the followup Audiophile release of Rodgers Hart and Harold Arlen songs. Scott Yanow.

Max Kaminsky (trumpet) 1-5, 7-8
Bud Freeman (tenor sax) 1-5, 7-8
Joe Bushkin (piano) 2-4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16
Artie Shapiro (bass) 1-5, 7-8
George Wettling (drums) 1-5, 7-8, 10, 12, 14, 16
Brad Gowans (arranger) 1-5, 7-8
Pee Wee Russell (clarinet) 1, 5, 8
Fats Waller (piano, pipe organ on #6) 1, 5, 6, 8
Eddie Condon (guitar) 1, 5, 8
Bunny Berigan (trumpet) 10, 12, 14, 16
Sid Weiss (bass) 9-16
Johnny Mince (clarinet) 9, 11, 13, 15
Hymie Schertzer (alto sax) 9, 11, 13, 15
Fred Stulce (alto sax) 9, 11, 13, 15
Paul Mason (tenor sax) 9, 11, 13, 15
Clark Yocum (bass) 9, 11, 13, 15
Johnny Dillard (trumpet) 9, 11, 13, 15
Paul Weston (arranger) 9, 11, 13, 15
* many of the personnel on recording of 4/15/40 are unknown

1 How Long Has This Been Going On 3:21
2 My One and Only (What Am I Gonna Do?) 3:22
3 Sweet and Low Down 2:49
4 'S Wonderful 3:12
5 I've Got a Crush on You 3:13
6 Someone to Watch over Me 2:56
7 Sam and Delilah 3:23
8 But Not for Me 3:10
9 Looking at You 3:18
10 Let's Fly Away 2:59
11 Why Shouldn't I? 3:06
12 Hot-House Rose 2:47
13 You Do Something to Me 3:00
14 Find Me a Primitive Man 3:20
15 Easy to Love 3:06
16 Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) 3:17

Tracks 2-4, 7 recorded in New York City, NY on November 13, 1939
Tracks 1, 5, 6 & 8 recorded in New York City, NY on November 15, 1939
Tracks 10, 12, 14, & 16 recorded in New York City, NY on April 10, 1940
Tracks 9, 11, 13, 15 recorded in New York City, NY on April 15, 1940*

Lee Wiley – Sings The Songs of Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart and Harold Arlen
Lee Wiley pioneered the "songbook" concept, for which a singer exclusively interpreted the work of one composer. Her Gershwin and Cole Porter projects of 1939-40 were major successes, as is the music on this Audiophile reissue. In a fairly straight but strangely sensuous manner, Wiley sings eight songs apiece by Rodgers & Hart and Harold Arlen while backed by a variety of all-star players associated with Eddie Condon, including pianist Joe Bushkin, trumpeters Max Kaminsky, Billy Butterfield and Bobby Hackett, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, and Ernie Caceres on baritone and clarinet. Although many of these songs have been interpreted countless times since, few singers have reached the emotional peaks that Lee Wiley scaled in her versions of "A Ship Without a Sail," "Let's Fall In Love," "I've Got the World On a String," "Down With Love" and especially "Glad to Be Unhappy." This set (along with the previous one) belongs in every serious jazz collection.

Joe Bushkin (piano) 1-8
Max Kaminsky (trumpet) 1-8
Bud Freeman (tenor sax) 1-8
Artie Shapiro (bass) 1-8
George Wettling (drums) 1-8, 9-11, 14-16
Brad Gowans (arranger) 1,3,4,6
Paul Weston (arranger) 2,5,7,8
Ernie Caceres (clarinet) 11-14, 9-11, 14-16
Dave Bowman (piano) 11-14, 9-11,14-16
Eddie Condon (guitar) 11-14, 9-11,14-16
Bob Haggart (bass) 11-14, 9-11,14-16
Billie Butterfield (trumpet) 12, 13
Bobby Hackett (trumpet), 9, 10, 15, 16
Lou McGarity (trombone) 9, 10, 15, 16
Buddy Morrow (trombone) 9, 10, 15, 16

1 Baby's Awake Now 3:11
2 Here in My Arms 3:24
3 You Took Advantage of Me 2:52
4 A Little Birdie Told Me So 2:59
5 A Ship Without a Sail 3:27
6 I've Got Five Dollars 2:51
7 Glad to Be Unhappy 3:12
8 As Though You Were There 2:28
9 Let's Fall in Love 3:16
10 Moanin' in the Mornin' 2:52
11 Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea 2:40
12 Stormy Weather 2:52
13 Down With Love 2:46
14 I've Got the World on a String 2:53
15 Fun to Be Fooled 3:22
16 You Said It 2:56

Tracks 1-8 recorded in New York City, NY in February 1940
Tracks 9-16 recorded in New York City, NY in April 1943

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Phil Woods - Pot Pie with John Eardley (1954 - 1955)

Phil Woods - alto
John Eardley - trumpet
George Syran - piano
Teddy Kotick - bass
Nick Stabulas - drums

Sotise asked for...

Shelly Manne - Perk Up

This one was recorded for Atlantic in 1967, in the two days which followed the sessions that produced the excellent "Jazz Gunn" (recently presented here by Alpax), with exactly the same personnel. For some reason, Atlantic did not release this and it stayed in the vaults until Concord first released it a decade after the recording.

In the 'customary' AMG review, Yanow says: "This CD reissue brings back one of the oldest recordings ever issued by the Concord label, a set that was already nine years old when it debuted. Drummer Shelly Manne heads a strong quintet comprised of trumpeter Conte Candoli, altoist Frank Strozier (who doubles on flute), pianist Mike Wofford and bassist Monty Budwig. Although the musicians are all associated with the West Coast hard bop tradition, there are plenty of moments during this stimulating set when they make it obvious that they had been listening with some interest to some of the avant-garde players, allowing the new innovations to open up their styles a bit. The fresh material (two standards and a pair of originals apiece by Strozier, Wofford and pianist Jimmy Rowles) inspire the soloists and the music is not at all predictable. Worth investigating".

In general, Yanow's review reflects reality. Especially Strozier seems in very good form during this date, as he'd been a couple of days before on "Jazz Gunn".

1 Perk Up (J. Rowles)
2 I Married an Angel (Hart/Rodgers)
3 Seer (F. Strozier)
4 Come Back (F. Strozier)
5 Yesterdays (Harbach/Kern)
6 Drinkin' and Drivin' (J. Rowles)
7 Bleep (M. Wofford)
8 Bird of Paradise (M. Wofford)

Conte Candoli (tp), Frank Strozier (as, fl), Mike Wofford (p), Monte Budwig (b), Shelly Manne (d)

Recorded at Annex Studios, Los Angeles, CA, June 21-22, 1967

James Moody - Moody's Mood For Blues (OJC)

In the mid-'50s James Moody led a four-horn septet that played music falling somewhere between bop and rhythm blues. The danceable rhythms and riffing made its recordings somewhat accessible but the solos of Moody (on tenor and alto) and trumpeter Dave Burns also held listener's interests. Vocalese master Eddie Jefferson has two guest appearances (on "Workshop" and "I Got the Blue") and Iona Wade sings "That Man O' Mine" in a Dinah Washington-influenced style but the emphasis is on Moody's solos and the ensembles; the leader's two versions of "It Might as Well Be Spring" (one on tenor, the other on alto) are highlights of this enjoyable CD reissue. - Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

01. I'm Gone
02. A Hundred Years From Today
03. Keepin' Up With Jonesy
04. Workshop
05. That Man O' Mine
06. Over The Rainbow
07. Jack Raggs
08. Mambo With Moody
09. It Might As Well Be Spring (Take 1)
10. It Might As Well Be Spring (Take 2)
11. Blues In The Closet
12. Moody's Mood For Blues
13. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
14. I Got The Blues
15. Blue Walk
16. Faster James

Clarence Johnson - Drums
Dave Burns - Trumpet
Eddie Jefferson - Vocals
Iona Wade - Vocals
James Moody - Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Jim Boyd - Piano
Joe Harris - Drums
John Latham - Bass
Numa Moore - Sax (Baritone)
Pee Wee Moore - Brass
Sadik Hakim - Piano
William Shepherd - Trombone
Quincy Jones - Arranger
Rudy Van Gelder - Engineer

Recorded in 1954-55

The Complete Atlantic Recordings Of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, and Warne Marsh

While the hard bop music of the 1950s and 1960s has seen a considerable revival and now prospers in the hands of scores of talented youngsters, other historical genres have not been so fondly remembered nor have fared as well. The cerebral music of pianist Lennie Tristano and his cohorts has been largely neglected by all but a few historians and the small number of surviving players that came under the spell of the iconoclast pianist during his brief period in the spotlight. A recent six-disc or ten-LP boxed set from Mosaic provides a very valuable and logical package in that is presents Tristano's ground-breaking sessions for Atlantic and also brings to the forefront long out-of-print dates from two of his closest associates, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh.

The first two discs present all the surviving material from a live show in 1955 that finds Tristano working with Konitz, bassist Gene Ramey, and drummer Art Taylor. Largely consisting of be-bop standards, we find a few Tristano originals in addition to a few choice tunes from Warne Marsh. There is certainly a be-bop flair to much of this music, yet the cooler approach of Tristano and Konitz makes this more than your average blowing session. Up next are the two Tristano sessions that are chiefly considered his historical masterpieces. The first set from 1954-55 includes trio cuts with bassist Peter Ind and drummer Jeff Morton and features such quintessential tunes as “Turkish Mambo” and “Requiem”. The latter solo performances come from 1960-1961 and originally appeared as the LP The New Tristano.

We then come to the Konitz material, again, much of which has been unavailable for quite some time. Inside Hi-Fi, from 1956, contains quartet pieces which benefit from the work of pianist Sal Mosca and guitarist Billy Bauer and the quality recording job of Rudy Van Gelder. Especially noteworthy are the several cuts that feature Konitz on the tenor saxophone. His warm and liquid approach translates extremely well to the bigger horn and it's a shame that he's rarely heard on the tenor these days. Available only previously in Japan, the next set of Konitz performances find him on the west coast working with Jimmy Rowles, Leroy Vinnegar, and Shelly Manne. This is an all-standards set that covers no new ground, yet is quite enjoyable. For a more impressive outing, we turn next to the live cuts that originally appeared on The Real Lee Konitz. With Peter Ind and Billy Bauer again on board, the spirit is there and the creative juices are flowing. The sound is rough, but the music is memorable and highly inspired.

For the Warne Marsh section of this package we get two sets that rank among the finest moments of the entire boxed set. Marsh was an extremely warm and melodic player who unfortunately got overshadowed and ignored for most of his career. The celebrated Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh date from 1955 is a supreme accomplishment that has been gone from the Atlantic catalog for too long. Suffice it to say that this one is worth the price of admission and successfully pairs two of the music's most melodic players. Finally, Marsh's self-titled album cut in '57/'58 is another previously ignored gem that deserves renewed interest.

As with all Mosaic issues, you'll find a quality presentation that includes newly- restored sound quality and a highly-informative booklet that features rare photographs, an opening essay from Larry Kart, and the original liner notes. C. Andrew Hovan

Monday, July 2, 2007

Miroslav Vitous - Infinite Search

With John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, and Jack DeJohnette, this group rivaled the best fusion bands of the day. It must have been an intimidating challenge for a young Czech bassist to lead such a group on his debut album as a frontman, especially since he composed five of the six tracks. Recorded a year after the historic Bitches Brew and the year before Vitous began a stint with the innovative Weather Report, this was trend-setting fusion. It's produced by Herbie Mann, for whom Vitous played on such albums as Memphis Underground and Stone Flute. Mark Allan

Miroslav Vitous (bass)
Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone)
Mahavishnu John McLaughlin (guitar)
Herbie Hancock (electric piano)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)
Joe Chambers (drums on 3-4)

1. Freedom Jazz Dance
2. Mountain In The Clouds
3. Epilogue
4. Cérecka
5. Infinite Search
6. I Will Tell Him On You
7. When Face Gets Pale

Produced by Herbie Mann
Recorded at A&R Recording Studios, New York, NY in November 1969

The track order is for the 1972 reissue (as Mountain In The Clouds) This 1998 Japanese version follows that order. For the original track order from 1969 see Comments

John Abercrombie “The Third Quartet” (2007, ECM 1993)

The current John Abercrombie group is claimed by some reviewers to be his best-ever band. As I have not heard a great deal of Abercrombie's work, I am not able to judge that statement, but I do appreciate his approach to traditional jazz and free playing. This album actually may fall into several categories, in my opinion, because at times it feels more like chamber music than free jazz, e.g. the guitar, violin and bass. My feeling may be based on how this quartet generates some ‘heat’ when there really dos not appear to be any fire. This set mixes chamber-improv and quiet free-jazz with ballads and smidgeons of swing. Abercrombie plays strongly on ‘Banshee,’ ‘Bred’ and ‘Elvin’. While Feldman takes center stage on ‘Vingt,’ and ‘Tres,’ my favorite tune must be the rather soulful tribute, ‘Elvin’ that is highlighted by Baron’s drum solo. Perhaps this is the kind of jazz music that will definitely appeal to those with a lighter side ~ enjoy!

Set highlights –
- Ornette Coleman’s ‘Round Trip’; a vague melody but an animated affair featuring Baron’s softly shaded drums, Johnson’s bass and Abercrombie’s riffs
- Bill Evans’ classic ballad ‘Epilogue’; imagine tip-toeing thru wet grass - fun, slippery and mischievous. . .
- Alternating hard edged jazz with a definite European flair

John Abercrombie (acG), Mark Feldman (vio), Marc Johnson (dbB), Joey Baron (d); recorded in June 2006
01. Banshee
02. Number 9
03. Vingt Six
04. Wishing Bell
05. Bred
06. Tres
07. Round Trip
08. Epilogue
09. Elvin
10. Fine

Jutta Hipp...At the Hickory House, Volume 2

After having agreed with Jazz-Nekko that he'd upload Volume, I would upload Volume 2 - I had to search through alot of boxes - and it turns out, I have this in the Japanese Cardboard sleeve edition, it's also a 24bit RVG remaster (a surprise bonus).
I have now listened to it twice this evening and really enjoyed it, I hope you do as well.

Stan Kenton - The Innovations Orchestra (1950-51)

Few figures in jazz have been as controversial as Stan Kenton. Most people either love him or "Can't Standem". His Innovations Orchestra was perhaps the most controversial as much of it could hardly be called "jazz". And if you're into labeling music it probably fits more into the "contemporary classical" genre. There are some sides, however, that use a standard big band instrumentation and swing their asses off, such as "Jolly Rogers" and "Round Robin" which was later titled "Conte Candoli" as a feature for the trumpet star.

My personal favorites are the pieces written by Shorty Rogers and Kenton that are named after the featured soloists - Art Pepper, Maynard Ferguson, Shelly Manne, Bob Cooper, and June Christy.

"During 1950-51, Stan Kenton did the unthinkable by putting together a 40-piece orchestra that included a full string section. The music was quite uncommercial, complex, and advanced with the emphasis on the arrangements rather than the soloists (which include trumpeters Shorty Rogers and Maynard Ferguson, trombonist Milt Bernhart, altoist Art Pepper, tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper, and guitarist Laurindo Almeida). This two-CD set has all of the music originally released on the albums Innovations in Modern Music and Stan Kenton Presents, plus 14 other key selections by the forbidding but intriguing orchestra. Although there are two numbers by Bob Graettinger (the most radical of the Kenton arrangers), his main works have already been issued separately as Stan Kenton Plays Bob Graettinger. The primary arrangers on this twofer are Pete Rugolo (whose work is often quite serious although "Mardi Gras" is a definite contrast!), Bill Russo (including the memorable "Solitaire"), Johnny Richards, and, for a few swinging numbers that are a major contrast, Shorty Rogers. Among the more famous selections are "Lonesome Road" (which has one of two June Christy vocals), "Soliloquy," and "Cuban Episode." The last four selections on the reissue are taken from an Oct. 14, 1951, concert that was part of this very expensive ensemble's second and final tour. By 1952, Kenton was leading a more conventional big band, but the recordings of his Innovations Orchestra have since become legendary and stand apart from the other music of the 1950s." - Scott Yanow

Personnel Includes:
Buddy Childers, Maynard Ferguson, Shorty Rogers, Conte Candoli (tp) Milt Bernhart, Bob Fitzpatrick, Eddie Bert (tb) Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper (sax) Don Bagley (b) Ralph Blaze, Laurindo Almeida (g) Shelly Manne (d) June Christy (vcl) Pete Rugulo, Bill Russo, Johnny Richards, Stan Kenton, Bob Graettinger, Chico O'Farrill, Neal Hefti, Shorty Rogers, Manny Albam (arr)

Track listing in comments. Complete personnel and recording info is contained in the CD booklet

Johnny Coles - New Morning

Johnny Coles - New Morning
[Criss Cross, 1982]

Johnny Coles: fluegelhorn
Horace Parlan: piano
Reggie Johnson: bass
Billy Hart: drums

1. Super 80 (Charles Davis)
2. Sound Of Love (Charles Mingus)
3. Mister B (Johnny Coles)
4. New Morning (Johnny Coles)
5. United (Wayne Shorter)
6. I Don't Know Yet (Johnny Coles)

Other than an obscure 1971 Mainstream date, this Criss Cross album was trumpeter Johnny Coles' first as a leader since 1963. Best-remembered for being part of Charles Mingus' 1964 Sextet, Coles had continued growing as a trumpeter through the years while keeping his brittle sound and advanced hard bop style. His quartet set with pianist Horace Parlan, bassist Reggie Johnson and drummer Billy Hart finds Coles sticking exclusively to flugelhorn and performing three of his originals along with one apiece by Charles Mingus ("Duke Ellington's Sound of Love"), Wayne Shorter and Charles Davis. The fresh material and Coles' enthusiastic solos make this an album worth picking up. Scott Yanow

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Frank Lowe - The Flam

Frank Lowe's "The Flam" is one of the best avant-garde/modern jazz albums of the 1970s. For this 1975 session, a fiery, three-horn frontline of Lowe on tenor sax, Joseph Bowie (yup, Lester's brother) on trombone, and Leo Smith on trumpet (and flugelhorn and woodflute on two tracks) join the pianoless rhythm duo of Alex Blake on bass and Charles Bobo Shaw on drums. All members of this group contributed creative, original tunes for this recording -- Bowie wrote the raucous "Sun Voyage," Lowe penned the title track, Shaw the wild, free "Be-Bo-Bo-Be," Smith the brief concluding "U.B.P.," and the whole quintet is credited with the romping "Third Street Stomp." Lowe's full, abrasive tone and music are not for everyone, but fans of Dave Holland's "Conference for the Birds," Sam Rivers' 70s Impulse albums or even the more out there David Murray sessions will be right at home with "The Flam." With his fine ESP disc "Black Beeings" now out of print, and his other titles on Black Saint/Soul Note generally hard to find, interested parties should act quickly.

On this free jazz date the powerful tenor Frank Lowe teams up with trumpeter Leo Smith, trombonist Joseph Bowie, bassist Alex Blake and drummer Charles Bobo Shaw for five group originals including the collaboration "Third St. Stomp." The very explorative and rather emotional music holds one's interest throughout. These often heated performances are better heard than described. Scott Yanow

Alex Blake (bass)
Joseph Bowie (trombone)
Frank Lowe (tenor sax)
Charles Bobo Shaw (drums)
Leo Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn, woodflute)

1. Sun Voyage
2. Flam
3. Be-Bo-Bo-Be
4. Third St. Stomp
5. U. B. P.

Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band

Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band December 7, 1995
Studio Ch. Trenet, Paris (Radio France) FM broadcast in FLAC

Paul Motian drums
Chris Potter tenor sax
Chris Cheek tenor sax
Brad Schoeppach guitar
Steve Swallow bass

1 André Francis intro 01:20
2 Work (Thelonius Monk) 10:52
3 Round About Midnight (Thelonius Monk) 08:35
4 Little Rootie Tootie (Thelonius Monk) 11:50
5 Reincarnation of a Love Bird (Charles Mingus) 07:28
6 In A sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington) 08:43
7 Ornithology (Charlie Parker) 07:07 (cut off by announcer)

And...as a bonus, Jurek's review of "Time and Time Again" by Motian/Frisell/Lovano (2007). It's a true Jurek classic!! See comments.

Phil Wilson - That's All (1976)

Trombonist Phil Wilson is known mostly through his recordings with the Woody Herman Band of the early '60's. Devoting most of his career to the area of jazz education at Berklee and the New England Conservatory, he has rarely been recorded over the years and his albums as a leader are very hard to find.

That's All was recorded in 1976 and released by the now defunct Famous Door label. Phil names Jack Teagarden and Vic Dickenson as his main influences, but his own unique style runs the gamut of jazz trombone. Just listen to his unaccompanied solo on "Nostalgia" and you will hear the entire history of the trombone in jazz, from Kid Ory to Albert Mangelsdorff and beyond.

Phil Wilson (tb) Al Cohn (ts) John Bunch (p) Milt Hinton (b) Mousey Alexander (d)

Side One
1. Outrageous Mother (Wilson)
2. Nostalgia (Wilson)
3. Famous Door (Wilson)

Side Two
1. These Are the Days (Wilson)
2. Sleepy Time Down South (Rene/Rene/Muse)
3. There Will Never Be Another You (Warren/Gordon)