Wednesday, June 30, 2010

VIDEO: Roy Hargrove Quintet

Roy Hargrove Quintet
New Morning Jazz Club
Paris — 2008

Roy Hargrove - trumpet & fluegelhorn
Gerald Clayton - piano
Montez Coleman - drums
Justin Robinson - alto sax
Danton Boller - bass

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Allan Holdsworth - The Sixteen Men Of Tain

Allan Holdsworth
"The Sixteen Men Of Tain"
The Story
Fuse Magazine reviewer Geof O'Keefe, ""The Sixteen Men Of Tain" finds Mr. Holdsworth performing in a trio setting backed by Dave Carpenter on acoustic bass and Gary Novak on drums. Utilizing his trademark volume swells and sometimes Metheny-esque chordal patterns as a background, he nimbly dances around the melodies of the songs before launching into solos of such speed and beauty as to leave the listener breathless. The opener "0274" is a good example, beginning with a gentle, airy wash of chording and interplay with Novak's nimble, busy (in the best way) drumming. The intensity gradually builds as Holdsworth almost casually starts his solo, increasing in speed and dazzling the ear as his fluid lines often become an aural blur, yet always staying melodically in line with the changing chord patterns behind him." This excellent Holdworthian German-import release does nothing to alter the oft-quoted perception of Sir Allan as a guitar god. Pick it up!

The Music
07:41 0274 Instrumental
06:23 The Sixteen Men Of Tain Instrumental
03:05 Above And Below Instrumental
05:55 The Drums Were Yellow Instrumental
05:41 Texas Instrumental
07:03 Downside Up Instrumental
04:33 Eidolon Instrumental
04:06 Above And Below (Reprise) Instrumental

The Artists
Allan Holdsworth - Guitar, Synthaxe, Production, Engineering, Mixing
Dave Carpenter - Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass on the Head of "Texas", Bandmember Charicatures
Gary Novak - Drums
Walt Fowler - Trumpet on Tracks 1 & 5
Chad Wackerman - Drums on Track 5
Duncan Aldrich - Engineering
Chris Bellman - Mastering
Mark Gleed - Art Direction, Design
Shawn Smith - Art Production

Recorded and mixed at millenium's end at The Brewery, North County, San Diego, CA.
Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA.

Fat Girl (The Savoy Sessions)

01 Boppin' a Riff
02 Fat Boy
03 Everything's Cool
04 Webb City
05 Calling Dr.Jazz
06 Fracture
07 Maternity
08 Stealin' Trash
09 Just a Mystery
10 Red Pepper
11 Spinal
12 Hollerin' and Screamin'
13 Fat Girl
14 Ice Freezes Red
15 Eb Pob
16 Goin' to Minton's
17 A Bebop Carroll
18 A Bebop Carroll [Master]
19 The Tadd Walk
20 Gone with the Wind
21 That Someone Must Be You
22 Nostalgia
23 Nostalgia [Master]
24 Barry's Bop
25 Barry's Bop [Master]
26 Bebop Romp
27 Bebop Romp [Master]
28 Fats Blows

Rec.: Sep 6,1946 - Dec 5,1947
Savoy SJL 2216

This out of print two-LP set features trumpeter Fats Navarro's Savoy recordings which have thus far only been reissued on CD in piecemeal fashion. The ill-fated Navarro is heard at the peak of his powers, whether teamed with trumpeter Kenny Dorham, altoist Sonny Stitt, and pianist Bud Powell in an octet, interacting with the equally fiery tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, or jamming with pianist Tadd Dameron in quintets featuring baritonist Leo Parker, altoist Ernie Henry, or tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. Among the classic bebop recordings included on this hard-to-find but essential two-fer are "Webb City," the well-titled "Hollerin' and Screamin'," "Fat Girl," "Ef Pop," "A Bebop Carol," "Nostalgia," and "Fats Blows."
Review by Scott Yanow

Sunday, June 27, 2010

BN LP 5061 | The Swinging Fats Sadi Combo

This is another of those Vogue sessions licensed for US release, it was originally Vogue (F) LD 21.
Session List;
Roger Guerin (tp, tu) Nat Peck (tb) Jean Aldegon (bcl) Bobby Jaspar (ts) Fats Sadi (vib) Maurice Vander (p) Jean-Marie Ingrand or Pierre Michelot (b) Jean-Louis Viale (d)
Paris, France, May 8, 1954

You'll perhaps notice Pierre Michelot and Jean-Louis Viale, a bass and drum section often cropping up on these Vogue sessions - look back at BN LP 5005 for comparison.

I'm not hyper-aware of Fats Sadi, other than the fact that he came from Belgium and played vibes, but if you look through his discography, you can see he played with Don Byas Quintet: Don Byas, André Hodeir, Bobby Jaspar, Henri Renaud, Django Reinhardt, Zoot Sims in Paris during 1950-61. He was also later a member of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band.

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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stan Getz - 1946-1949 (Chronological 1126)

These are the first recordings ever released under the name of Stan Getz. Four Savoy sides from July 1946 constitute one hell of a debut as Getz gets off with the expert backing of Hank Jones, Curly Russell, and Max Roach. "Opus de Bop" and "Running Water" are dazzlers, while "And the Angels Swing" and "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" reveal Getz's often-noted Lester Young influence. Six sides cut for Bob Shad's Sittin' in With record label in October 1948 are especially satisfying on account of pianist Al Haig, electric guitarist Jimmy Raney, bassist Clyde Lombardi, and drummer Charles Perry. All six tunes were composed by Getz and demonstrate an obsession with bop formulae. "Frosty," also known as "Flugelbird," was recorded about a month later for Shad's other label, Jax. The same rhythm section backs trumpeter Norman Faye and a tenor sax quartet of Getz, Zoot Sims, Allen Eager, and Al Epstein. Garnished with a bit of primitive vibrato, this record has a strange but not unpleasant quality. The Stan Getz Tenor All Stars put down four sides for the New Jazz label in April 1949, lining up Al Cohn, Allen Eager, Brew Moore, and Zoot Sims in a smooth bop experiment landing somewhere between Woody Herman's Herd and Coleman Hawkins' Keynote Sax Ensemble. Walter Bishop laid a lot of block chords while sax after sax took a shot at running the changes, and Getz even blew baritone on "Five Brothers." A Savoy session from just a few weeks later placed trombonist Earl Swope amid Getz, Cohn, and Sims, with Duke Jordan on piano. Both of these octets came across as cool and well-organized. The Stan Getz Quartet, with Al Haig, Gene Ramey, and Stan Levey, made five excellent sides for the Prestige and New Jazz labels on June 21, 1949. Their rendition of Victor Herbert's "Indian Summer" is superbly mellow. It is easy to draw a line directly from this whimsical record directly to the cool bossa novas that would make Stan Getz so famous years later, even among a record-buying public who never heard any of these marvelous early recordings by this suede-toned tenor man. ~ arwulf arwulf

Stan Getz (tenor sax)
Hank Jones (piano)
Al Haig (piano)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Allen Eager (tenor sax)
Jimmy Raney (guitar)
Walter Bishop, Sr. (piano)
Brew Moore (tenor sax)
Max Roach (drums)
Stan Levey (drums)

1. Opus De Bop
2. And The Angels Swing
3. Running Water
4. Don't Worry 'Bout Me
5. Pardon My Bop
6. As I Live And I Bop
7. Interlude In Be-Bop
8. Bopelbath
9. Pin Head
10. Diaper Pin
11. Frosty
12. Battleground (Relaxing With Garrity)
13. Four And One Moore
14. Five Brothers
15. Battle Of The Saxes
16. Stan Gets Along
17. Stan's Mood
18. Slow
19. Fast
20. Indian Summer
21. Long Island Sound
22. Mar-Cia
23. Prezervation
24. Crazy Chords

Louis Armstrong - 1938-1939 (Chronological 523)

A mixed bag of Armstrong, these 23 selections, if taken complete and in chronological order, include routine swing, three enjoyable numbers with The Mills Brothers, a few spirituals, an odd two-part sermon and some remakes of Armstrong's earlier classics. His career was drifting a bit but there is enough enjoyable music to make this a worthwhile acquisition. ~ Scott Yanow

Louis Armstrong (trumpet)
Luis Russell (piano)
The Mills Brothers (vocal)
Joe Garland (tenor sax)
Dave Barbour (guitar)
Henry "Red" Allen (trumpet)
Pops Foster (bass)
Big Sid Catlett (drums)

1. On The Sentimental Side
2. It's Wonderful
3. Something Tells Me
4. Love Walked In
5. The Flat Foot Floogie
6. The Song Is Ended
7. My Walking Stick
8. Shadrack
9. Going To Shout All Over God's Heaven
10. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
11. Jonah And The Whale
12. Naturally
13. I've Got A Pocketful Of Dreams
14. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
15. Ain't Misbehavin'
16. Elder Eatmore's Sermon On Throwing Stones
17. Elder Eatmore's Sermon On Generosity
18. Jeepers Creepers
19. What Is That Thing Called Swing?
20. Rockin' Chair
21. Lazybones
22. Hear Me Talkin' To Ya
23. Save It, Pretty Mama

Bunny Berigan - 1937-1938 (Chronological 785)

Having made a name for himself in the bands of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, trumpeter Bunny Berigan set out on his own in 1937. Heading up a big band that included such shifting personnel as drummer Buddy Rich, tenor saxophonist George Auld, trumpeter/arranger Ray Conniff, and pianist Joe Bushkin, Berigan blazed brightly and briefly, until alcoholism and a lack of discipline forced him to break up his band in 1939. This Classics disc features tracks cut before things went south. Covering the years 1937-1938, the 20 sides find Berigan and company in their prime, with sparkling solos coming from Berigan, Auld, Conniff, and Bushkin. While the disc sags a bit with some requisite filler by vocalist Ruth Gaylor, instrumental highlights like "Wacky Dust" (a possible cocaine-reference here?), Ellington's "Azure," and Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullaby" ensure this batch of mostly solid swingers stays fresh. ~ Stephen Cook

Bunny Berigan (trumpet)
Georgie Auld (tenor sax)
Joe Bushkin (piano)
Ray Conniff (trombone)
Dave Tough (drums)
George Wettling (drums)

1. Trees
2. Russian Lullaby
3. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
4. Piano Tuner Man
5. Heigh-Ho (The Dwarf's Marching Song)
6. A Serenade To The Stars
7. Outside Of Paradise
8. Down Stream
9. Sophisticated Swing
10. Lovelight In The Starlight
11. Rinka Tinka Man
12. An Old Straw Hat
13. I Dance Alone
14. Never Felt Better, Never Had Less
15. I've Got A Guy
16. Moonshine Over Kentucky
17. Round The Old Deserted Farm
18. Azure
19. Somewhere With Somebody Else
20. It's The Little Things That Count
21. Wacky Dust
22. The Wearin' Of The Green

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Legendary Andrés Segovia, Marquis of Salobreia (continued)

The Legendary Andrés Segovia
Volume 9 — The Romantic Guitar

The spirit of Romanticism first appeared in poetry, then in painting, and finally in music. It began as a reaction to Classicism, but soon came into its own — purely art for art's sake. The Romantic aesthetic dictated the artist to turn inward, to produce works of beauty that were expressions of the soul. In general, the nineteenth century is considered the Romantic era, although as is made clear by the breadth of the works in this collection, it is not limited to those confines. Even today, many composers and musicians claim allegiance to the Romantic school to a greater or lesser degree.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Charlie Shavers - The Everest Years (1959-61)

Review by Scott Yanow

The last prime period of trumpeter Charlie Shavers' career was during the period of time when he led four albums for Everest (1959-1961). Five selections from each of the records are on this sampler. On three occasions, Shavers is heard with the Ray Bryant Trio, playing in a format that Jonah Jones was having great commercial success with at the time. Shavers is a bit less uninhibited than Jones was during that period, and downright spectacular on some of the pieces. The final session, music from the forgotten play Milk and Honey, has the trumpet joined by organist Wild Bill Davis and guitarist Les Spann in a quintet. He seemed to have limitless technique, a warm sound, and a strong wit. The performances all clock in around three minutes or less, but Shavers says a lot in a brief period of time, making this an excellent overview of his work on Everest.


01- Girl Of My Dreams
02- September In The Rain
03- What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry
04- Bye Bye Blackbird
05- Pennies From Heaven
06- The Best Things In Life Are Free
07- Taking A Chance On Love
08- In A Little Spanish Town
09- My Old Kentucky Home
10- Blues For Choo Loos
11- All Of Me
12- Russian Lullaby
13- It's All Right With Me
14- Loch Lomond
15- Undecided
16- That Was Yesterday
17- I Will Follow You
18- Chin Up Ladies
19- Independence Hora
20- As Simple As That

Thomas Clausen Trio - My Favorite Things (2002)

Following a perhaps overly familiar trio of standards given pleasant but unremarkable performances — "Stella by Starlight," "Over the Rainbow," and the title track — My Favorite Things finally gets a head of steam going with an uninterrupted string of trio originals that are perfectly emblematic of Danish pianist Thomas Clausen's cerebral but never wonky or inaccessible style. Working closely with bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Peter Danemo instead of in the usual "leader plus sidemen" way, Clausen regularly cedes the spotlight to his cohorts, who wisely keep their solos brief and to the point. (Naturally, Lundgaard's brief solo in the title track nods to Jimmy Garrison's famous live solo introduction to John Coltrane's signature tune.) Clausen is similarly concise himself, with the result that the album's dozen relatively brief tracks never have to end up in the weeds. A particular highlight is the lovely tribute "Ballad for Bley," a piano solo informed by the style of the Montreal modern master.

Stewart Mason

1 Leaves

2 Stella by Starlight

3 Over the Rainbow

4 My Favorite Things

5 Teqora

6 Jasmine

7 Deep in Your Heart

8 Ballad for Bley

9 Things You Are

10 Alone 2

11 If You Are But a Dream

12 Playtime

Sunday, June 20, 2010

BN LP 5060 | Best from the West, Volume 2

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

Clifford Jordan - On Stage v3

Clifford Jordan & The Magic Triangle
On Stage v3

This final installment of a 1975 concert in Amsterdam finds tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan in fine form, joined by Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins. The set includes an extended workout of Jones' "Seven Minds," Sonny Rollins' calypso favorite "St. Thomas" (which is marred somewhat by problems with the master tape), and two enjoyable works by Walton. Like the previous two volumes, this one is also recommended.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Toshiko Mariano Quartet

“A straight-ahead session from 1960, when pianist and bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi and alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano were married and working together. Their regular band included bassist Gene Cherico and drummer Eddie Marshall, and this was the second album they released.

Akiyoshi's playing was squarely in a Bud Powell-influenced bop mode, while Mariano was playing aggressive, surging solos with pronounced Charlie Parker ties”. Ron Wynn

All I can say is: this is a truly amazing album; the four play in an advanced, tremendous way.

1. When you meet her

2. Little T.

3. Toshiko’s elegy

4. Deep river

5. Long yellow road

Toshiko Akiyoshi Mariano (piano)

Charlie Mariano (alto saxophone)

Gene Cherico (bass)

Eddie Marshall (drums)

Recorded December 5, 1960

Booker Little - Out Front

01 We Speak
02 Strength and Sanity
03 Quiet Please
05 Man of Words
06 Hazy Blues
07 A New Day

Barnaby / Candid Jazz BR-5019
Rec.: Mar 17, 1961-Apr 4, 1961

Booker Little was the first trumpet soloist to emerge in jazz after the death of Clifford Brown to have his own sound. His tragically brief life (he died at age 23 later in 1961) cut short what would have certainly been a major career. Little, on this sextet date with multi-reedist Eric Dolphy, trombonist Julian Priester, and drummer Max Roach, (+Don Friedman on piano, Art Davis & Ron Carter on bass) shows that his playing was really beyond bebop. His seven now-obscure originals (several of which deserve to be revived) are challenging for the soloists and there are many strong moments during these consistently challenging and satisfying performances.
Review by Scott Yanow

Booker Little - Victory and Sorrow

01 Victory and Sorrow
02 Forward Flight
03 Looking Ahead
04 If I Should Lose You
05 Calling Softly
06 Booker's Blues
07 Matilde

Bethlehem BCP-6034
Rec.: Aug 1961-Sep 1961

Although he only lived to be 23 and recorded for just a little over three years, Booker Little proved to be one of the top young trumpeters of his era. Victory and Sorrow was his fourth and final recording as a leader. Little's melancholy tone is heartbreaking on the date's lone standard, "If I Should Lose You," and he contributed all of the other six selections. With fine playing from tenor saxophonist George Coleman, trombonist Julian Priester, pianist Don Friedman, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Pete LaRoca, this advanced session has many touching and hard-swinging moments.
Review by Scott Yanow

Tete Montoliu by Chuchuni

Blind Spanish pianist Tete Montoliu, who never lost his sense of humor despite hardships, once said that he regarded himself as a Black pianist, especially when he looked at himself in the mirror. His life was far from being a bed of roses and he certainly paid a high price to get a chance at making a living off jazz. He first had to comply with what was in demand in Spain in the 50's, chiefly cabaret music and the corniest kind of bolero (eventually Tete would somehow develop a certain taste for boleros and record a nice, stripped-down set of boleros with Mayte Martin at the end of his life). Yet in the gloomy cultural life in franquist Spain – obviously jazz was not favoured by the regime, as any free expression form – Tete made a choice and spent most of the year out of Catalonia and Spain. That was the only way for him to play jazz, and only jazz, even if it meant getting poorly paid gigs, shabby hotels etc... He actually worked in conditions that were similar to those of his American counterparts. Yes, Tete could have said “I've got a right to sing the blues”... But that's it for the negative aspect. Most of the rest were bonuses. Tete got to play with some of the best cats around, as you all know. And the most significant part of his body of work was recorded for Steeple Chase. And the records at hand come from this label.

The three albums proposed here could almost be packaged together and justify a box set edition : solo (Music For Perla), duo (Face To Face) and trio (I Wanna Talk About You). The first one is a favourite of mine : Tete is never better than in solo recordings (a personal and very biased opinion). On Music For Perla he is on display and in full effect, and the intro to Yesterdays sets the mood : impressive, using the full range of dynamics to the point of being a bit theatrical – Tete himself. Face To Face, apart from being a duo with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen is entirely composed of standards, whereas the previous mainly contains originals. The two bummers play their hearts out, and I can't still decide who steals the show and when. A special mention for the Evans-esque rendition of I Fall In Love Too Easily. As for the trio date, that becomes a quartet for the last track with the addition of Hank Mobley, who – according to Ken Dryden at AMG “had pretty much retired from performing due to ill health, makes one of his final record dates by guesting on 'Autumn Leaves' “ . The rhythm section (Al Foster and George Mraz) shines throughout - the first track Nexus, Plexus, Sexus, once again, being a perfect example. One of Tete's originals on the cd by the way, but not as emblematic as Jo Vull Que M' Acariciis (I Want You To Caress Me), arguably Tete's most beautiful composition and still “just” a blues, also featured here. Three winners, if you ask me.

Music for Perla

1 Yesterdays
2 Here's That Rainy Day
3 Margareta
4 Imagination
5 Have You Met Miss Jones?
6 I Feel All Alone
7 What Is It?
8 Circe
9 Gentofte 4349
10 Apartment 512

Tete Montoliu : Piano solo

Face To Face

1 There Will Never Be Another You
2 I Love You
3 I Fall in Love Too Easily
4 Lover Man/Salt Peanuts

Tete Montoliu : p
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: b

I Wanna Talk About You

1 Nexus, Plexus, Sexus
2 Blues for Wim and Maxine
3 Scandia Skies
4 Jo Vull Que M' Acariciis
5 I Wanna Talk About You
6 Confirmation Parker
7 Autumn Leaves

Tete Montoliu : p
George Mraz: b
Al Foster: d

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bobby Hackett & Zoot Sims - 1967-1974 Complete Recordings

On CD for the first time ever, the complete recorded collaborations of Bobby Hackett and Zoot Sims, originally issued on two albums titled ‘Strike Up the Band’ (1974) and ‘Creole Cookin’’ (1967).

Although both musicians enjoyed long and fruitful careers, Bobby Hackett (1915-1976) and Zoot Sims (1925-1985) would only collaborate in a recording studio during the making of the two albums reissued here. No live recordings of them playing together are known to exist, with the sole exception of a short version of “When the Saint Go Marching In” from the soundtrack of the 1957 Timex All Stars TV Show, on which neither can be heard clearly.

01 Strike Up The Band 3:28
02 Blue Moment 5:19
03 Full Circle 3:40
04 Embraceable You 2:58
05 Zoot’s Toot 4:59
06 Ken’s Song 2:20
07 These Foolish Things 5:40
08 Teresa Be 3:21
09 Bobby’s Tune 3:27
10 What Is This Thing Called Love? 3:39
11 High Society 2:09
12 Tin Roof Blues 4:40
13 When The Saints Go Marching In 2:52
14 Basin Street Blues 3:54
15 Fidgety Feet 2:20
16 Royal Garden Blues 2:48
17 Muskrat Ramble 2:31
18 Original Dixieland One Step 2:12
19 New Orleans 3:00
20 Lazy Mood 2:52
21 Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans 3:01

Tracks #1-10 originally issued as
"Strike Up The Band" (Flying Dutchman BDL1 0829)

Tracks #11-21 originally issued as
"Creole Cookin'" (Verve V/V6 8698)

Personnel on "Strike Up The Band":
Bobby Hackett (tp), Zoot Sims (ts), Hank Jones (p), Bucky Pizzarelli (g), Hank Jones (p), Richard Davis (b) and Mel Lewis (d). Glen Osser (arr).

Recorded in New York, on August 3, 1974.

Personnel on "Creole Cookin'":
Bobby Hackett (tp), Zoot Sims (ts), Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Cutshall (tb), James Morreale, Rusty Dedrick (tp), Jerry Dodgion (as), Joe Farrell (ts), Pepper Adams (bs), Bob Wilber (ss, cl & arr), Dave McKenna (p), Wayne Wright (g), Buddy Jones (b) and Morey Feld (d).

Recorded in New York, on January 30, March 13 & May 2, 1967.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


    1/ The Funk Never Stops  5:23
    2/ Trade Wars   4:19
    3/ Quarter To Three 4:36
    4/ N1   2:04
    5/ The Story Over The Draw To The Music   15:58
      5a/ Treck Part One
      5b/ Poem
      5c/ Treck Part Two
    6/ The Long March of Harmony  6:53
    7/ Slow Talking  5:14
    8/ Lonesome Room Blues   5:34
    9/ N2   :11
    10/ Thrill    3:53

Recorded May 14, 1989 at Birseckerhof, Basel, Switzerland

JoPo: alto; Markus Stauss: tenor; John King: guitar, vocals; Jean

Chaine:  bass; David Moss: drums, vocals.

1990 - XOPF Records (Switzerland), CD Nr.4 / 90902 (CD)

Steuart Liebig - Pomegranate

Even in its quieter moments, Steuart Liebig's new ensemble effort, Pomegranate, projects a sense of excitement. Sometimes it's the spark of discovery, other times it's the joy of companionship, and often (not to be underrated) it's the unexpected pleasure of getting lost and then finding the way back home. On Pomegranate Liebig's tunes travel along a route consisting of city streets, back roads, and barely-marked trails through the woods... and in the end, the path itself bears just as much interest as the destination. The composer's approach on this record emphasizes the intimate juxtaposition of formally arranged structures and head-long group improvisation. Certain phrases emerge as pure chamber music: each note comes from a staff on the sheet music (the city streets). But these blocks of protected harmony and color blend together with less-obvious musical forms where certain textural or tonal constraints frame a given player's explorations in-the-moment (the back roads). And at times these tunes just break free, allowing several players to pursue an intimate conversation without fixed rules or a predetermined endpoint (the trails). The stark contrast in many of these tunes comes from moments when a backwoods trail suddenly hits main street, or when a seemingly straightahead road smacks right into the jungle. All this talk about composition understates the vital interactive roles of the eight members in this particular improvising group. The octet on this record consists of seven members in a core ensemble, offering a loose framework for four additional guest members to lend individual personality and contrast. While each of the seven core players gets plenty of opportunity to stretch out, the eighth voice really influences the flavor of each of these tunes. French horn player Tom Varner's contribution to "Widening Circles," for example, is a kaleidoscopic spectrum of color and texture. On the other hand, "The Dark," which centers around Nels Cline's explosive guitar work, has more of a punchy, angular feel. Pomegranate is by no means an obvious record. It takes some time to dig into and truly appreciate. And be warned: the broad range of colors and textures here certainly never shy from extremes. But for listeners curious about fresh ideas of jazz composition--and for those open to complex larger-ensemble sounds--this disc offers many fascinating layers of depth.

Ellen Burr - flute, alto flute and piccolo
Eric Barber - Bb clarinet
John Fumo - trumpet and flugelhorn
Scot Ray - trombone
Jeff Gauthier - 4 and 5-string electric violins
Alex Cline - drumset and percussion
Steuart Liebig - contrabassguitars (C, Bb and Eb)
Tom Varner - french horn (#1)
Mark Dresser - contrabass and giffus (#2)
Vinny Golia - sopranino saxophone (#3)
Nels Cline - electric guitar (#4)

1. Widening Circles Reach Across the World
2. The Motionless Blue of Fallen Skies
3. Flare up like Flame and Create Dark Shadows
4. The Darkness of Each Endless Fall

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clifford Jordan & the Magic Triangle V2

Clifford Jordan & the Magic Triangle
On Stage Volume 2

Review by Ken Dryden

The second of three volumes recorded in 1975 featuring tenorist Clifford Jordan with Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins finds the quartet in top form. Walton's "Midnight Waltz" is the first of three extended performances, the upbeat midtempo waltz featuring a rollicking solo by its composer, while Jordan's suave playing is buoyed by Higgins' driving rhythm. Walton's "Bleecker Street Theme" sounds more like a set closer due to its barely one-minute length; then the focus turns to standards, including a spacious treatment of "I Should Care" that has Jordan taking quite a few liberties with the melody from the very beginning, followed by a glistening interpretation of "Stella by Starlight." The CD reissue adds Higgins' tribute "Alias Buster Williams," which opens with a drum solo and then transforms into an uptempo post-bop setting with a Latin undercurrent as the band is added.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stan Kenton - Birthday in Britain

The Stan Kenton Orchestra of the 1970s featured high-level musicianship, dramatic arrangements, forceful ensembles and workmanlike solos. The 19-piece band heard on this album is mostly filled with forgotten youngsters; the exceptions are veteran saxophonist Willie Maiden, trombonist Dick Shearer and the then-unknown drummer Peter Erskine. The arrangements are by Hank Levy, Bill Holman (one of his two is "Happy Birthday to You") and Maiden. […] - Scott Yanow

You have the pro-kenton and the others…I belong to the first group but without excess. This very good record at least is worthwile to be listened due to the presence of John Park a marvelous and extremely RARE alto player who died suddenly in 1979 from heart failure. Those who know already « John Park : The winter comes » (Jazz Park Records) won't miss this one from 1973.

1.Happy Birthday To You
2.The Daily Dance
3.Street Of Dreams
4.Of Space And Time
5.For Better And For Worster
6.No Harmful
7.Slide Effects
9.Blues, Between and Betwixt

John Park, Richard Torres (reeds)
Chris Galuman, Willie Maiden, Roy Reynolds (reeds)
Dennis Noday, Paul Adamson (tp)
Frank Minear, Mike Snustead, Bob Winiker (tp)
Dick Shearer, Harvey Coonin (tb)
Lloyd Spoon, Mike Wallace, Phil Herring (tb)
Stan Kenton (p)
John Worster (b)
Peter Erskine (dr)
Ramon Lopez (perc)

Tom Harrell and his world...

The best photo of the year -according to the Jazz Journalists Association- by the Russian photographer Lena Adasheva... What would you suggest?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

BN LP 5059 | Best from the West, Volume 1

Various Artists - Best From The West: Modern Sounds From California, Volume 1

*Liner Notes as per Volume 1

Recorded under the Direction of Leonard Feather

The Music on these two LP's was recorded at a series of sessions at Radio Recorders Studio in Hollywood, Cal. Shorty Rodgers, the former Herman and Kenton sideman who is now generally considered the uncrowned king of west coast jazz, lent invaluable help, especially providing some of the original music heard on the sessions.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Erskine Hawkins - 1946-1947 (Chronological 1008)

Although by 1946 Erskine Hawkins no longer had any hit records in the future (1945's Tippin' In was his last one), his orchestra was still one of the best in jazz. Most of the 22 selections on this 1998 CD (the sixth in Classics' complete Hawkins series) are obscure but quite worthwhile. There are vocals on 13 of the songs (four by Jimmy Mitchelle, one from Ruth Christian, Ace Harris sounding spirited on "Well Natch," and seven easy-to-take vocals by Laura Washington) but it is the nine instrumentals that take honors. Although there are hints of bebop in the later records from 1947, most of the music on this CD is still very much in the swing vein. Taken as a whole, there is ample evidence here for the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra to be rated as one of the finest (and most underrated) big bands of the 1946-47 period. The key soloists in the orchestra are Hawkins and Sammy Lowe on trumpets, Matthew Gee on trombone, altoist Bobby Smith, Julian Dash on tenor, and baritonist Haywood Henry who is often heard on clarinet. Highlights include "Sneakin' Out," "Feelin' Low," "Needle Points," and "Lazy Blues." Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Erskine Hawkins (trumpet)
Julian Dash (tenor sax)
Matthew Gee (trombone)
Haywood Henry (clarinet, baritone and tenor sax)
Reunald Jones (trumpet)
Leroy Kirkland (guitar)

1. Sneakin' Out
2. Don't Say You're Sorry Again
3. That Wonderful Worrisome Feeling
4. I've Got A Right to Cry
5. It's Full or It Ain't No Good
6. Well Natch!
7. Feelin' Low
8. Hawk's Boogie
9. Sammy's Nightmare
10. Somebody Loves Me
11. I Had a Good Cry
12. My Baby Didn't Even Say Goodbye
13. Coast to Coast
14. Ain't I Losin' You
15. Fool That I Am
16. Wiggle Worm
17. I'm So Doggone Melancholy
18. Needle Points
19. Big Fat Sam
20. Sad Eyes
21. Lazy Blues

Duke Ellington - 1924-1927 (Chronological 539)

This CD contains the first 23 recordings released under Duke Ellington's name. The initial ten selections, dating from November 1924 to June 1926, are quite intriguing because, with the exception of the very first date (resulting in "Choo Choo" and "Rainy Nights"), the primitive band does not sound like Ellington's. While the first date has cornetist Bubber Miley, trombonist Charlie Irvis (Tricky Sam Nanton's predecessor), and altoist Otto Hardwick as the front line, the following eight numbers have shifting personnel and, despite the occasional presence of trombonist Jimmy Harrison (who takes two vocals) and clarinetist Don Redman, the music is under-rehearsed and rough. But on "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo" (the band's theme) and "Birmingham Breakdown" from November 29, 1926, the Ellington sound was finally together and from then on the band's output was often classic. Other highlights of this historic disc are "Hop Head" and the initial version of "Black and Tan Fantasy," with such soloists as Miley, Nanton, and Hardwick, and with Duke himself on piano. ~ Scott Yanow

Duke Ellington (piano)
Don Redman (clarinet, alto sax)
Bubber Miley (trumpet, cornet)
Otto Hardwick (alto and baritone sax)
Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton (trombone)
Louis Metcalf (trumpet)
Sonny Greer (drums)

1. Choo Choo (Gotta Hurry Home)
2. Rainy Nights
3. I'm Gonna Hang Around My Sugar
4. Trombone Blues
5. Georgia Grind
6. Parlor Social Stomp
7. (You've Got Those) Wanna-Go-Back-Again Blues
8. If You Can't Hold The Man You Love
9. Animal Crackers
10. Li'l Farina
11. East St. Louis Toodle O
12. Birmingham Breakdown
13. Immigration Blues
14. The Creeper
15. New Orleans Low-Down
16. Song Of The Cotton Field
17. Birmingham Breakdown
18. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
19. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
20. Hop Head
21. Down In Our Alley Blues
22. Black And Tan Fantasy
23. Soliloquy

Bunny Berigan - 1937 (Chronological 766)

1937 was the year Bunny Berigan went out on his own as a bandleader. He had cut his teeth with Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, before paving the way to his own big band career with some small group sessions in 1936. On the heels of several if these combo dates, Berigan teamed up with such stellar players as tenor saxophonist George Auld, trombonist Sonny Lee, drummer George Wettling, and clarinetist Joe Dixon to begin one of the more overlooked swing outfits of the late '30s. While not always on par with such highly original groups as those led by Ellington, Lunceford, and Goodmam, Berigan's band did deliver over 100 quality sides for RCA between 1937-1939. This Classics roundup focuses on that monumental first year, with such highlights as "I Can't Get Started," "Frankie and Johnny," "Mahogany Hall Stomp," and "Black Bottom." For fans looking to follow Berigan's chronological trail, do yourself a favor and start out of sequence with this collection. ~ Stephen Cook

Bunny Berigan (trumpet)
Georgie Auld (tenor sax)
George Wettling (drums)

1. Roses In December
2. Mother Goose
3. Frankie And Johnnie
4. Mahogany Hall Stomp
5. Let 'Er Go
6. Turn On That Red-Hot Heat (Burn Your Blues Away)
7. I Can't Get Started
8. The Prisoner's Song
9. Why Talk About Love?
10. Caravan
11. A Study In Brown
12. Sweet Varsity Sue
13. Gee, But It's Great To Meet A Friend
14. Ebb Tide
15. Have You Ever Been In Heaven?
16. Mama, I Wanna Make Rhythm
17. I'd Love To Play A Love Scene (Opposite You)
18. I Want A New Romance
19. Miles Apart
20. A Strange Loneliness
21. In A Little Spanish Town
22. Black Bottom

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - The Bassic Trio

"NHØP's credits as a sideman almost defy belief. He palys on well over 100 currently available CDs, backing the likes of Chet Baker, Kenny Drew, Lee Konitz, Ben Webster and (crucially) Dexter Gordon and Oscar Peterson. He has recorded with younger-generation players as far apart as Niels Lan Doky and Anthony Braxton. If his playing on the two Steeplechases from the Club Montmartre in Copenhagen sounds particularly confident, that is because he spent much of his later 20s as the house bassist there. His technique as a young man was staggering, combining forceful swing with great melodic and harmonic sense and a sure-fingeredness that gave his big, sonorous tone an almost horn-like quality.

... The Bassic Trio brings together two live sets from Club Montmartre on to a double CD. " ~ Penguin Guide (4 stars)

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Billy Hart (drums)

CD 1
1. Country Walk
2. Cowboy Samba
3. Les Sept Boules De Crystal
4. Autumn Leaves
5. Air Power

CD 2
1. The Puzzle
2. Flower Dreams
3. Little Train
4. Dancing Girls
5. Larry's Tune

Monday, June 7, 2010

Archie Shepp, "Looking At Bird" , 1980

Archie Shepp, "Looking At Bird"
Steeplechase 1980
Lossless, no scans

Avant-garde tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp created a stir in 1977 when he recorded a set of hymns and folk melodies in melodic duets with pianist Horace Parlan. On February 6, 1980, he reunited with Parlan for a set of blues associated with Bessie Smith, and the following day, as a sort of sequel, Shepp played eight songs associated with Charlie Parker in collaboration with bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. Although never a bebopper, Shepp does surprisingly well on such tunes as "Moose the Mooche," "Ornithology," "Yardbird Suite" and "Confirmation," even if he makes the mistake of doubling on his erratic soprano during a few numbers. Archie Shepp pays tribute to Bird not by copying him, but by being creative and playing Parker's repertoire in his own sound. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Archie Shepp (soprano & tenor saxophones);
Neils-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass).

1. Moose the Mooche
2. Embraceable You
3. Ornithology
4. Billie's Bounce
5. Yardbird Suite
6. Blues For Alice
7. How Deep Is the Ocean $0.99
8. Confirmation

Jessica Williams - Victoria Concert (1996)

Jessica Williams' virtuosity sometimes allows her to sound like two pianists at once (as one can hear during parts of this CD's opener, "I Want to Be Happy"), but she also knows how to use space and dynamics. On this live solo set, the pianist sometimes shows the influence of Thelonious Monk (in her witty stride), McCoy Tyner (as shown on "Mr. Syms"), and Oscar Peterson, while her lengthy trill on "Straight, No Chaser" is right from Earl Hines. But in reality, Jessica Williams has her own style, a wicked sense of humor (complete with unexpected song quotes), and seemingly the ability to play whatever pops into her mind. Among the many highlights of this continually intriguing and unpredictable program are "I Want to Be Happy," "Willow Weep for Me" (played in answer to a request), Jessica's three originals, and a fascinating 15-minute exploration of "Straight No Chaser." Highly recommended.
Scott Yanow

1 Intro
2 I Want to Be Happy
3 My One and Only Love
4 Willow Weep for Me
5 Blue Tuesday
6 Mr. Syms
7 Sometimes Silence
8 Straight, No Chaser
9 Dear Gaylord
10 Dedicated to You

Charlie Shavers - 1961 Swing Along With Charlie Shavers

Two great 1961 sessions featuring 24 tracks by the irrepressible Charlie Shavers: one of the few trumpeters to successfully bridge the gap between the swing era and modern jazz He was in the bands of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Lucky Millinder and John Kirby; later a sextet with Louis Bellson and Terry Gibbs; and on this album with Ray Bryant, Oliver Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, etc Great arrangements and sizzling playing from the trumpet virtuoso

While other trumpet men fell by the wayside or were merely content to occupy an accustomed groove, Charles James Shavers roared on. Charlie was one of the very few trumpeters who successfully bridged the gap between the swing era and the genuine jazz moods of today. His time-honoured formula consisted of a unique and completely original style and tone, a flair for showmanship, a dash of humour and an instrumental virtuosity that’s difficult to transcend. As a "little Shavers", Charlie started on banjo, later switching to trumpet, thus launching a professional career that fulfilled stints with Lucky Millinder, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and John Kirby’s combo, among others, and found him as a sextet co-leader with Louis Bellson and Terry Gibbs. He was an Esquire Silver Award and Down Beat Poll winner as well as an accomplished songwriter. On recordings, Charlie performed with most of the leading names in the jazz world.
Charlie's arranging prowess is also brought to the fore in this "SWING ALONG WITH CHARLIE SHAVERS" set. Backed and embellished by a highly volatile rhythm section from Ray Bryant’s usual trio, with Tommy Flanagan on piano for a handful of tunes, the Shavers trumpet shines with sizzling abandon, both fluent and fiery with tremendous vitality and drive, yet sensitive and touching with a beautifully projected gift of lyricism. The resultant tone is clean and robust with individual notes deliberately full-bodied.
Jordi Pujol

01 Gilded Cage (Von Tilzer) 2:26
02 My Wild Irish Rose (Olcott) 2:15
03 Tetched In The Head (Ray, Thomas, Bradley) 2:10
04 Snow In Lovers Lane (DeVita, Ball, Keller) 2:32
05 You Got Nothin' (Keller) 2:22
06 Love Gave Me You (Chapman) 2:41
07 Kentucky Home (Foster) 2:40
08 Good Old Summertime (Evans) 2:03
09 Give My Regards To Broadway (Cohan) 2:20
10 Fooled Again (Cobb, Kanner) 1:57
11 Carry Me Back (Bland) 2:39
12 Old Apple Tree (Van Alstyne) 2:19
13 Kingdom Coming (Traditional) 2:48
14 Petals Of Roses (O'Connell Jr.) 2:52
15 Kiss Me Again (Herbert) 2:41
16 Angie (Enoch) 3:04
17 Coffee Break (Castlon) 2:29
18 Deep River (Traditional) 2:35
19 Golden Slippers (Bland) 2:16
20 Why Not (Coppersmith) 2:23
21 Molly Malone (Traditional) 3:10
22 Sweet And Simple (Marsters) 2:51
23 Charlie Is My Darling (Traditional) 3:03
24 Saw Mill River Road (O'Connell) 2:15

Recorded in New York City, 1961

Tracks 1,2,6,9,12

Charlie Shavers (tp)
Tommy Flanagan (p)
Al Hall (b)
Oliver Jackson (ds)

Tracks 3-5, 7-8,10-11, 13-24

Charlie Shavers (tp)
Ray Bryant (p)
Tommy Bryant (b)
Oliver Jackson (ds)

Tracks 13-24 previously published as Charlie Shavers - Swinging With Charlie (Sesac N4703/04)

VIDEOS: Hank Jones - Martial Solal - Evgeny Kissin

Three Ways to Perfection

Three great pianists — three entirely different styles, yet all illustrative of the highest level of musicianship.

The first video is of Hank Jones and Martial Solal playing a duo-quartet at the Vienne Jazz Festival in France, 2009. On bass, François Moutin and on drums, Louis Moutin. It might be hard to imagine what these two would find in common, but have a look and listen.

The second video is a concert and recital by Evgeny Kissin at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland in 2007. The satellite guide didn't announce what would be played, so when I saw the first piece was to be the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1, I thought 'oh well', and a recent critique of Kissin came to mind, which amounted to his tendency to stick to a very basic classical repertoire. About halfway through the first movement however, a dawning revelation begain to hit me. It was that although Kissin continues to play these 'old standards', like a jazz musician he discovers great new directions in the same old pieces - probably as hard to do for the Beethoven No 1 as it is for Body and Soul. Only the great need try. The first and second movements, a little slower and more stately than you might be used to, the last movement, a whirlwind played like you've never herard it before. Can anyone identify whose cadenza is played? Kissin then goes on to play a few encores, also well known yet also brand new. Fabulous!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BN LP 5058 | Horace Silver Quintet

This one has also been re-issued in various formats several times - and you can hear why, he and the quintet are in good form.

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

Milt Jackson - Opus De Jazz

One of the best-known 50s jazz sessions from the Savoy label. A laidback classic that's a great illustration of the label's shift in modes after the early bop years

This Savoy CD is a duplicate of the original LP although it lacks the fine liner notes included on the Arista/Savoy 1978 LP. The four selections (which unfortunately total under 34 minutes) are excellent, particularly a fun version of Horace Silver's blues "Opus De Funk" in which vibraphonist Milt Jackson, flutist Frank Wess and pianist Hank Jones have a long tradeoff. The quintet (which also includes bassist Eddie Jones and drummer Kenny Clarke) swings nicely throughout the three blues and lone ballad ("You Leave Me Breathless"). This is not essential, but it is enjoyable music. ~ Scott Yanow

1 - Opus De Funk
2 - Opus Pocus
3 - You Leave Me Breathless
4 - Opus And Interlude

Milt Jackson - Vibes
Frank Wess - Flute & Tenor Sax
Hank Jones - Piano
Eddie Jones - Bass
Kenny Clarke - Drums

October 28, 1955

Joe Henderson - The Milestone Years

Reviewed by Chuchuni

If anybody needs to get a clue as to what Henderson was up to when he started recording for Milestone, he or she should check the live stuff at the Boston Left Bank Jazz Society in 1968 (2 cds, "Four" and "Straight, No Chaser" released by Verve, with Miles'- and others'- rhythm section consisting of Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb). These Boston recordings show a mature, fully-fledged musician stretching out on standards, staying on the beaten path, but playing fresh, raw, no b.s. straight-ahead jazz, without ranting or repeating himself.

He had helped fill in a gap between bop and more advanced stuff in his Blue Note years, and indeed his lps for BN are among the very best the label ever released in those days, with those of Hutcherson and McLean (2 central figures who helped jazz move from the shores of bop to a more adventurous terra incognita even more so). A serene yet forceful voice that I can only tag as post bop for lack of a better term, Henderson might have lacked the acidity (and may be the aggressivity) of stablemates Shorter or McLean for example, but still Inner Urge or Mode For Joe are highlights of the best jazz of the first half of the decade.

By the time Henderson joined Milestone, he was already a major figure in jazz and tenor saxophone playing. Granted, he may not have been a figure as distinctive as Coltrane, Rollins and Shorter (some experts even mention early Coltrane and Rollins influences in Henderson's style - yet this is as debatable as anything else, I suppose ). Plus, like what happened for some other sax players (Mobley for instance), his relative importance was given emphasis and a new perspective much later. What is history (whether it applies to art or not) if not a continuous re-reading/re-visiting ? Not a literally groundbreaking jazz luminary, but rather a craftsman who had honed very rarely paralleled skills that gave his interpretations a unique touch, an esthete's approach of the tenor.

And that is pretty much the dynamics that still prevailed for the first part of his Milestone tenure, especially on albums such as The Kicker or Tetragon. Then, as jazz sank even deeper into oblivion (in terms of product profitability), Henderson might have wanted to lurk at the mainstream or was strongly encouraged to do it by record label producers. Scott Yanow notes very matter-of-factly, prudently and respectfully that "the music [on this box set] ranges from Blue Note-style hard bop and modal explorations to fusion and '70s funk". A sign of the times, as dwindling sales in the 70's pushed most labels to aim at crossover, some even surfed on it (cf. Creed Taylor). Also to be noted are the live sides with Woody Shaw.

All in all certainly a mixed bag because of the times and not because of the evolution of an artist who was already shaped and defined before the turn of the 70's. Maybe Joe Henderson had always been taken for granted, especially in that "shadier" part of his career. Once again, maybe it's just me, but I get the feeling Henderson is best known for his earlier BN stuff or his beautiful later Verve output. This set is the best opportunity to get re-acquainted with him.

"Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson's most famous recordings are his early Blue Notes and his more recent Verves, but in between he recorded exclusively for Milestone and, although Henderson was in consistently fine form in the diverse settings, he was somewhat neglected during his middle years. This massive eight-CD set contains all of the music from Henderson's dozen Milestone LPs, plus a duet with altoist Lee Konitz and his guest appearances with singer Flora Purim and cornetist Nat Adderley. The music ranges from Blue Note-style hard bop and modal explorations to fusion and '70s funk, with important contributions made by trumpeters Mike Lawrence, Woody Shaw, and Luis Gasca, trombonist Grachan Moncur III, and keyboardists Kenny Barron, Don Friedman, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, George Cables, Alice Coltrane, Mark Levine, and George Duke, among others. Not all of the music is classic (some of the later sets are unabashedly commercial), but none of the 82 selections are dull and the very distinctive Henderson always gives his best. It's highly recommended. ' - Scott Yanow

Joe Henderson (Tenor sax)
Woody Shaw (Trumpet)
Don Friedman (Piano)
Grachan Moncur III (Trombone)
Herbie Hancock (Piano)
Dave Holland (Bass)
James Blood Ulmer (Guitar)
Alice Coltrane (Piano)
Alphonso Johnson (Bass)
Lee Ritenour (Guitar)

CD 1
1. Mamacita
2. Kicker, The
3. Chelsea Bridge
4. If
5. Nardis
6. Without a Song
7. Mo' Joe
8. O Amor em Paz :: Once I Loved
9. Tetragon
10. First Trip
11. I've Got You Under My Skin
12. Invitation
13. R.J.
14. Waltz For Zweetie

CD 2
1. The Bead Game
2. You Don't Know What Love Is
3. Unilateral
4. Scavenger, The
5. But Not For Me
6. Power to the People
7. Afro-Centric
8. Black Narcissus
9. Isotope
10. Opus One-Point-Five
11. Lazy Afternoon
12. Foresight and Afterthought

CD 3
1. Caribbean Fire Dance
2. Recorda-Me - (previously unreleased)
3. Shade of Jade, A - (previously unreleased)
4. Isotope - (previously unreleased)
5. Round Midnight
6. Mode For Joe
7. If You're Not Part of the Solution
8. You're Part of the Problem
9. Blue Bossa
10. Closing Theme

CD 4
1. Gazelle
2. Invitation
3. Mind Over Matter
4. No Me Esqueca
5. Shade of Jade, A
6. Round Midnight
7. Out 'N In
8. Blue Bossa

CD 5
1. Junk Blues
2. Terra Firma
3. Vis-a-Vis
4. Foregone Conclusion
5. Black Is the Color (Of My True Love's Mind)
6. Current Events
7. Tress-Cun-Deo-La
8. Turned Around
9. Song For Sinners

CD 6
1. Me Among Others
2. Bwaata
3. Tres Palabras
4. All Things Considered
5. Canyon Lady
6. Las Palmas
7. In the Beginning There Was Africa - (previously unreleased)
8. Air

CD 7
1. Water
2. Fire
3. Earth
4. Butterfly Dreams
5. Light as a Feather
6. Love Reborn
7. Summer Nights
8. Black Narcissus
9. Hindsight and Forethought
10. Power to the People

CD 8
1. The Other Side of Right
2. Good Morning, Heartache
3. Amoeba
4. Gazelle
5. My Cherie Amour
6. Old Slippers
7. Immaculate Deception
8. Soulution
9. Black Miracle
10. Black Narcissus
11. What Can I Say?
12. Windows

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Audience with Betty Carter - 1979

After years of being told what she ought to do by record companies and producers, and then putting up with being ignored thanks to the public's fanatic interest in rock & roll, virtuoso jazz singer Carter started her own label.
After getting her feet wet with the first few releases, she came up with this double album, which some fans would consider her masterpiece. Eventually it was licensed to Verve. The set is as faithful as possible; a transcription of her nightclub sets with piano trio backing. Interestingly enough, it is not actually recorded at a nightclub per se, because the Great American Music Hall, formerly one of San Francisco's most posh bordellos, is actually more a small theatre, with the set up just intimate enough to pull off this kind of live recording.
A pity that the singer herself had to fund the project, because, in 1980, it was much more expensive and complicated to record live than it would become decades later with new technology. And no doubt Carter had to cut a few corners and make do with the results. So, most listeners will have some quibble with the sound, wishing, for example, for much more piano presence, more clarity from the drums, and so forth.
This would have to be the only complaints that could be allowed over this material, recorded over three nights, and no doubt allowing plenty of choice of takes. "Sounds (Movin' On)" is Carter's "Chasin' the Trane": it is a bit more than 25 minutes worth of vocal improvisation, use of the voice as an instrument in interplay with the other musicians, and, above all, sheer energy, which is one thing it definitely has in common with the aforementioned Coltrane performance.
Another thing in common with Coltrane would be the pianist, John Hicks, who comes out of McCoy Tyner, the saxophonist's main piano accompanist. Hicks goes just about as far out as his notoriously anti-avant-garde boss will allow in these circumstances.
The remaining three sides are a mixture of standards and songs written by Carter. Her songwriting talents are an area that has definitely been overshadowed by her singing chops in terms of critical reception.
The fourth side of this set, which consists almost totally of her originals, is a good place for one to explore the beautiful, tough-minded songs she writes.
Other high points are the lovely exploration of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" and, of course, the fast numbers. There is not a singer alive that takes on the tempos Betty Carter does, and it is a good thing, too. Otherwise, the cardiac wards would be full of drummers and there would be no room for anyone else to get treatment.
An interesting choice amongst the songs is a version of "Caribbean Sun," written by the under-appreciated saxophonist Carlos Garnett. Carter's original gatefold packaging included a photo of the entire audience. by Eugene Chadbourne Courtesy All Music

Track listing

Disc One
1- "Sounds" (Movin' On) (Betty Carter) – 25:20
2 "I Think I Got It Now" (Carter) – 3:33
3 "Caribbean Sun" (Carlos Garnett) – 4:17
4 "The Trolley Song" (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) – 3:37
5 "Everything I Have Is Yours" (Harold Adamson, Burton Lane) – 6:16
6 "I'll Buy You a Star" (Dorothy Fields, Arthur Schwartz) – 2:12

Disc Two
1 "I Could Write a Book" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) – 3:41
2 "Can't We Talk It Over"/"Either It's Love or It Isn't" (Doris Fisher, Allan Roberts)/(Ned Washington, Victor Young) – 7:26
3 "Deep Night" (Charles Henderson, Rudy Vallée) – 2:45
4 "Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most" (Fran Landesman, Tommy Wolf) – 7:22
5 "Tight" (Carter) – 3:44
6 "Fake" (Carter) – 4:16
7 "So..." (Carter) – 7:03
8 "My Favorite Things" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Rodgers) – 4:39
9 "Open the Door" (Carter) – 5:09

Betty Carter - vocals
John Hicks - piano
Curtis Lundy - double bass
Kenny Washington - drums

Recorded December 6 - 8, 1979, Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Legendary Andrés Segovia, Marquis of Salobreia (continued)

Volumes 7&8 of the series.
(Vol. 7) Notes by Eliot Fisk
It has been said that all philosophy is but a footnote to Plato. In practically similar fashion one might say that all classical guitar playing, in the 20th century anyway, is but a footnote to the artistry of Andres Segovia.
The magic of Segovia's touch, which like that of his Elizabethan lutenist predecessor, John Dowland, might be said to "ravish human sense," is nowhere more apparent than in the little didactic miniatures he recorded (and frequently edited as well). Often the compositions themselves are little short of banal. Yet in Segovia's readings — a slight pause here, just the right amount of vibrato there, the pellucid clarity of voicing throughout — they seem to take on a practically cosmic beauty. Incredibly, the marvels of his interpretive gifts seem to increase with repeated hearings.
Segovia's lifelong interest in education is one more testament to the purity of his motivation. His willingness to perform and record even simple studies was designed not only to indulge his love for the guitar per se, but also to give encouragement to aspiring guitarists everywhere. At a time of life when most people prefer to enjoy a well-earned rest Segovia was still tirelessly crusading, working on what he called "the didactic of the guitar."
"I have many students whom I have never met," the Maestro used to say with a twinkle in his eye, as a sort of gentle rebuke to guitarists who without ever having played for him tried to pass themselves off as "Segovia students." But there was a deeper sense in which this was true, for Segovia's recordings did serve as models for generations of guitarists. Even the most gifted of his disciples continued to learn from him in this fashion long after they had commenced individual careers.

Duofel & Badal Roy - Encontro das águas (1994)

Duofel are Fernando Lima and Luiz Bueno, two Brazilian acoustic guitarists, which started playing together in 1977, and as a Duo in 1986. In 1987 they released their first record. They play mainly their own compositions, melting influences of differents regions of Brazil, since Fernando Melo came from Arapiraca, a little town in Brazilian northeastern,(same place from where Hermeto Pascoal came from) and Luiz Bueno is from São Paulo, a huge city, in southern region. But musically, they complete each other in a wonderful way. In this CD, from 1994, they are joined by Badal Roy, a percussionist from India, which they met in a jazz festival, in São Paulo. You can find traces od samba, baião, and other Brazilian rhythms, but they surely have a music of their own. I bet that most of who make a try will appreciate it.

1- Samba do indiano doido (Melo-Bueno)
2- Roda gigante (melo-Bueno)
3- Mirante (Melo-Bueno)
4- Calypso nervoso (Melo-Bueno)
5- Amitav (Badal Roy)
6- Porto Feliz (Melo-Bueno)
7- Espelho das águas (Melo-Bueno)
8- Pra lá de Bangladesh (Melo-Bueno)
9- Teen (Melo-Bueno)

Bob Brookmeyer - Music For String Quartet and Orchestra

Bob Brookmeyer, Music for String Quartet and Orchestra (Challenge). Brookmeyer long since worked himself out of the compulsion to write edgy electronic music and acoustic music that sounds electronic. This gorgeous four-part work finds him in the tonal center of his composer's art.

He conducts the formidable Metropole Orchestra and the Gustav Klimt String Quartet in a suite that melds the rhythmic sensibility of Brookmeyer's jazz mastery with his uncommon depth of orchestral understanding. Its range runs from gravity to pure fun. It is not jazz. It is not classical. It is Brookmeyer. Doug Ramsey

Metropole Orchestra conducted by Bob Brookmeyer
Gustav Klimt String Quartet

1. Fanfares & Folk Songs 10:00
2. American Beauty 20:23
3. Frolic & A Tune 17:53
4. Wood Dance 7:20

Recorded on June 16-20, 2003 at Studio 1 of the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep, Amsterdam Netherlands

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New York Unit - Naima (1995)


Published in 1995, this is very nice session from Pharoah Sanders. Much recommended. Jean François.

New York 
Unit, Naima

Pharoah Sanders gently acknowledges several standards, John Coltrane, a Richard Davis original, and the blues of T-Bone Walker on Naima. This is not the Pharoah of Jewels of Thought, Karma, or Izipho Zam. Gone is the free jazz screeching and African percussion. This is simply a beautiful, laid-back, straight-ahead jazz date. Sanders proves that moving forward simply means not repeating yourself. Sanders examined all aspects of free jazz and then moved on. While some may be disappointed with this laid-back approach, keep in mind that if anybody can bring something new to standards like "Summertime" or "Over the Rainbow" it's Pharoah Sanders. Review by Al Campbell.


  • Pharoah Sanders Tenor sax
  • John Hicks Piano
  • Richard Davis Bass
  • Tatsuya Nakamura Drums


  1. Greensleeves
  2. Naima
  3. Summertime
  4. Stormy Monday Blues
  5. I've Never Been In Love Before
  6. Skylark
  7. Mara
  8. Over The Rainbow

Dizzy Gillespie - DeeGee Days (The Savoy Sessions) 1-2

1 Tin Tin Deo
2 Birk's Works
3 We Love to Boogie
4 Lady Be Good
5 Love Me Pretty Baby
6 The Champ
7 I'm in a Mess
8 School Days
9 Swing Low Sweet Cadillac
10 Bopsie's Blues
11 Bopsie's Blues
12 I Couldn't Beat the Rap
13 Caravan
14 Caravan
15 Nobody Knows
16 The Bluest Blues
17 On the Sunny Side of the Street
18 Stardust
19 Time on My Hands
20 Blue Skies
21 Umbrella Man
22 Pop's Confessin'
23 Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee
24 They Can't Take That Away from Me

Savoy SJL 2209 LP 1985

When Detroiter David Usher and Dizzy Gillespie founded the Dee Gee record label, they might have had an inkling that their project could, and would, fail financially due to poor distribution, the conversion from 78s to LPs, and the heavy hammer of the taxman. They might have felt, but could not have imagined, that they would create some of the most essential and pivotal jazz recordings for all time, not to mention some of the last great sides of the pioneering bebop era. Gillespie's large ensembles brought to public attention the fledgling young alto and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, such Detroiters as guitarist Kenny Burrell or pianist/vibraphonist Milt Jackson, and vocalists Joe Carroll, Freddy Strong and Melvin Moore. Considering the years -- 1951 and 1952 -- this was revolutionary breakthrough music from a technical and entertainment aspect, delightful music that has stood the test of time and displays the trumpeter in his prime as a bandleader. Of the three cuts with Coltrane, he swims behind Gillespie's horn and Jackson's vibes during the churning, Latin faced "Tin Tin Deo," and in tandem with the trumpeter for the short chorus of "Birk's Work's." It's only a hint of Coltrane's genius to come. Joe Carroll is animated and jacked up during his many featured numbers, especially loose on the extrapolated "Lady Be Good," dour and all shook up on "I'm in a Mess," positively celebrating sophmoricism over the Asian piano stylings of Jackson for "School Days," giddy on a goofball take of "Blues Skies" that refers to water more than air, and down and out for "Nobody Knows" -- all of them true classics. On top of that, there's the spiky intro to the campy waltzing, troubadour chorused "Umbrella Man," the all time hit "Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo Bee" which defines vocalese and scat, and Carroll's mock Louis Armstrong singing for "Confessin'." Moore's deep Billy Eckstine-like crooning takes center stage for the begging song "Love Me Pretty Baby" and two takes of "Bopsie's Blues." Freddy Strong's feature on "We Love to Boogie" with Coltrane and Burrell exemplifies the most ebullient good feelings always present on the Gillespie bandstand. Historically but unfairly lost in the shuffle of all of the virtuosity in these groups is baritone saxophonist Bill Graham, Gillespie's back-up catcher who took basic melodies and framed them in deep blues hues, strike after strike after strike. Violinist Stuff Smith's razor sharp tone is here for seven tracks, most noticeably on two clipped, Asian/Latin flavored versions of "Caravan," Gillespie's signature reading of "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and a hallmark adaptation of the ballad "Stardust." "The Champ," at nearly six minutes, is the ultimate flag waving bop icon, with drummer Art Blakey firing up an immortal three-horn front line of Gillespie, tenor saxophonist Budd Johnson, and trombonist J.J. Johnson, with Jackson on vibraphone. Instrumentally concise, always with a harmonic depth and technical brilliance that punctuates bebop, and a recording technology enhanced from the '40s, Dee Gee Days will stand forever as one of the most important albums in jazz history, and belongs in every serious -- or whimsical -- jazz lover's collection -- period!
Review by Michael G. Nastos

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tribute To Duke

This short, nine-track tribute to the legendary Duke Ellington packs more swing into its 36-minute length than you'd expect. The disc features guest performances from Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, and Woody Herman, with some great backing musicians, including Nat Pierce (piano), Scott Hamilton (tenor sax), Bill Berry (trumpet), Monty Budwig (bass), and Jack Hanna (drums).

The instrumental "Main Stem" is a rollicking number that sadly fades out after five minutes. Crosby's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" features some of his more adventurous vocalizations. Herman's "In a Sentimental Mood" is one of the most expressive versions, and is a standout. Clooney's "I'm Checking Out -- Go'om Bye" catches her at the top of her game, while Bennett's takes on "I'm Just a Lucky So and So" and "Prelude to a Kiss" are both classic crooner performances.

A Tribute to Duke plays like a wonderful appetizer, readying your palette for more music. The only weakness of this disc is that it is too short. JT Griffith

Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney (vocals)
Woody Herman (clarinet #3)
Scott Hamilton (tenor saxophone)
Bill Berry (trumpet)
Nat Pierce (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Jake Hanna (drums)

1. Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Bing Crosby
2. Main Stem
3. In a Sentimental Mood - Woody Herman
4. I'm Checking Out--Goom Bye - Rosemary Clooney
5. Prelude to a Kiss - Tony Bennett
6. It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
7. I'm Just a Lucky So and So - Tony Bennett
8. What Am I Here For?
9. Sophisticated Lady - Rosemary Clooney

Recorded at Sunwest Recording Studios, Hollywood, California in 1977

Arthur Prysock-Count Basie

As soon as you get this CD, run to your CD player, set the highs and lows just right and before you lay back to get whisked away to the soulful and swingin' side of heaven (listening to it straight through) listen to tracks 5 and 6 - - I got this CD because I'm a Jazz organist... and at many of the spots I play, when you walk you walk through the door, the first thing you're going to hear is some PRYSOCK on the juke box. You're going to hear it... you're going to feel it... you're going to smell it.. that distinct bass vibrato, the bluesy romantic crooning... and 90% chance, the next selection in the Juke box will be some Jimmy McGriff.

Arthur Prysock, despite his enormous following in "some circles" never really got his kudos in others, and I'm happy I found him. What I found equally interesting when I got this CD were the tracks featuring Count Basie on Organ. It is a relatively little known fact - - but Count Basie was actually one of the first Jazz musicians to "doodle" on the Hammond... his musings would pave ground for the heavy swinging Wild Bill, and later, the young JOS from Norristown. - - As I listened to "I Could Have Told You" and glanced down at the label, it should have come as no surprize that the CD was recorded by Mr. Blue Note himself - - Rudy Van Gelder - - In fact this recording actually represents The Count's only recording at Rudy's place !

All in all, the Count's (and Dick Hyman's) organic augmentation here and there represent only a few moments of the album... and rightfuly so take a back seat of course to the man of the hour... the unrivaled Arthur Prysock, who's powerful, rich and emotional voice is well supported by the tightly swinging and well arranged Count Basie Orchestra. -- Though this CD is a bit "brighter" and more swinging than the darkly romantic bluesy ballads that I feel epitomize the PRYSOCK SOUND, and there are even a few moments he seems a bit pushed, this CD definitely serves as an incredible meeting of Jazz greats - - It is definitely a classic bluesy and swinging moment captured in time ! E. Landsberg

1 I Could Have Told You 3:44
2 Ain't No Use 2:45
3 I Could Write a Book 3:40
4 Gone Again 3:09
5 Come Home 3:41
6 I Worry About You 2:16
7 What Will I Tell My Heart? 2:46
8 Don't Go to Strangers 2:47
9 I'm Lost 3:21
10 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself a Letter) 2:52
11 Come Rain or Come Shine 2:21
12 Where Are You? (Bonus Track) 3:43
13 Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me (Bonus Track) 3:14
14 Sunday (Bonus Track) 2:38

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA on December 12-14, 20-21, 1965

Matt Dennis - Dennis, Anyone?

Matt Dennis' first live LP, recorded in Hollywood in 1955 and also including a dozen Dennis compositions, doesn't have quite the songwriting firepower of Sings and Plays Matt Dennis. Instead of "Violets for Your Furs" and "Angel Eyes," listeners get "Old Uncle Fud" and "Bless You, Little Sleepyhead." Still, Dennis is just as suave and sentimental (though not as humorous), singing clever ballads like "I'm the Boy Who Takes Her Home" and the unexpectedly optimistic "Where Do We Go From Here?."

A few do fall flat, including one ("That's How Close I Want to Be to You") whose references to then-current events and obscure personalities barely made it out of the '50s. Also, it's difficult to escape the fact that many of Dennis' performances are nearly identical. Undoubtedly an entertaining performance for a night out during the mid-'50s, Dennis, Anyone? exists for digital-age listeners as an interesting curio of lounge-act finesse. John Bush

Matt Dennis (piano and vocals)
Ray Leatherwood (bass)
Bill Pitman (guitar)
Alvin Stoller (drums)

1 Where Do We Go from Here?
2 Land of Danger
3 Old Uncle Fud
4 Relax
5 I'm the Boy Who Takes Her Home
6 Devil Talk
7 That's How Close I Want to Be to You
8 Too Late for Love
9 Enchanted Memory
10 A Thousand Years Ago
11 Bless You, Little Spleepyhead
12 Show Me the Way to Get Out of This World

Recorded in Hollywood, CA in 1955

Antonio Vivaldi - Il Cimento dell'Armonia e dell'Inventione (12 Concertos, Op. 8) Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood

I found plenty to enjoy in these Vivaldi performances when they were first released on LP some three-and-a-half years ago. This is the set which includes the Four Seasons and many readers may already have encountered those concertos in the present version since they have been released on a separate LP and CD. In this new issue Vivaldi's opus is presented complete. The ten violin concertos are split up between five soloists, each of whom takes two works; the remaining concertos are scored for oboe or violin and Christopher Hogwood sensibly allots them to the oboe since the solo part strongly suggests that Vivaldi had it foremost in mind.

Different soloists for different concertos make for interesting listening and Hogwood, furthermore, adds to the variety with imaginative continuo realizations which effectively enhance texture and exploit sonority. This aspect of the interpretations is, for me, the most consistently rewarding one, though I hasten to add that solo and ripieno playing is, in all but one or two instances, refined and characterful. The oboist is the Swiss player, Michel Piguet, who gives gentle, lightly-articulated performances. In general I liked his ornamentation and he introduces an affecting pathos to the slow movement of the D minor Concerto, RV454. The finale fares a little less well; Piguet hurries his solo passages and the tutti-ritornellos, lively though they are, lack the bold assertiveness suggested in the writing. The attractive C major Concerto comes off delightfully and I enjoyed the mischievous little trills in the tuttis.

To sum up: I found myself enjoying these performances as much if not more than I did the first time round. The LP recorded sound was good but textures are clearer and sonorities more resonant in the CD format. A sparkling performance of the fine eleventh Concerto, RV2 10, such as we have here, may well tip the scales if you are questioning the wisdom of acquiring yet another Four Seasons. As I have already said, though, there is no shortage of enjoyable music-making here. Recommended. N.A.

Il Cimento dell' Armonia e dell' Inventione 12 Concertos,Op.8

L'Oiseau-Lyre - Florilegium - Digital


ALISON BURY - Rogeri 1699, Cremona
JOHN HOLLOWA Y - Mariani 1650
MONICA HUGGETT - Rowland Ross 1977 (Stradivarius 1688)
CATHERINE MACKINTOSH - Rowland Ross 1978 (Amati)
MICHEL PIGUET - Bernhard Schermer 1982 Oean Joseph Hyacinth, Rottenburgh 18th century)

Continuo instruments: Harpsichord, Chamber organ, Theorbo, Baroque guitar, Archlute

Record Producer: PETER WADLAND
Sound Engineer: JOHN DUNKERLEY
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, November/December 1982

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Duke Jordan - Flight To Norway

Although he had a long career, Duke Jordan will always be best known for being pianist with Charlie Parker's classic 1947 quintet. A little earlier, he worked with the Savoy Sultans, Coleman Hawkins, and the Roy Eldridge big band (1946). After his year with Parker (his piano introductions to such songs as "Embraceable You" were classic), Jordan worked with the Sonny Stitt/Gene Ammons quintet (1950-1951) and Stan Getz (1949 and 1952-1953). He started recording as a leader in 1954, debuting his most famous composition, "Jor-Du," the following year. Although he worked steadily during the next few decades (writing part of the soundtrack for the French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses), Jordan was in obscurity until he began recording on a regular basis for Steeplechase in 1973. Duke Jordan, who was married for a time to the talented jazz singer Sheila Jordan, lived in Denmark from 1978 until his death on August 8, 2006. He recorded through the years for Prestige, Savoy, Blue Note, Charlie Parker Records, Muse, Spotlite, and Steeplechase. ~ Scott Yanow

Duke Jordan (piano)
Wilbur Little (bass)
Dannie Richmond (drums)

1. Jealous Blues
2. Undecided Lady
3. If I Did-Would You?
4. The Bullet (Shinkansen)
5. I Should Care
6. I'll Remember April
7. Ornithology
8. Dancer's Call
9. Misty
10. On Green Dolphin Street
11. My Heart Skips A Beat
12. A Night In Tunisia

Allen Eager - In The Land Of Oo-Bla-Dee: 1947-1953

In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee is a fine collection of rarities from the obscure and underrated tenor saxophonist Allen Eager. Eager had a wild career that began with him recording for Savoy in the '40s and later found him dropping out with Timothy Leary and jamming with the Mothers of Invention. This disc features Eager's always swinging sound in a variety of settings. First off are three tracks recorded in 1953 at the Hi Hat in Boston featuring Symphony Sid as the MC. Next is a very lo-fi version of Eager's own high-charged original composition "Some Blues" recorded in 1949 for CBS's Adventures in Jazz program. The song has some typically loud drumming from Buddy Rich that can't obscure Eager's fine soloing. Next up are tracks recorded at what sound like impromptu jam sessions at photographer Milton Greene's studio in 1947. There are three different sessions represented here, the first session resulted in two songs, including "Serge Swings Allen's Axe," with the similarly underrated and forgotten baritone saxist Serge Chaloff fooling around with Eager's tenor. The next session yielded three songs and this time featured Chaloff's lush playing on the baritone sax, resulting in some fine takes on Al Cohn's "The Goof and I" and the jazz standard "Fine and Dandy." The third session is an all-star session with Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Max Roach on hand. The first track, "Swapping Horns," lives up to its title as Parker and Eager actually switch horns, putting Bird on tenor and Eager on alto. They also play the same song and call it "Original Horns," with Parker on alto and Eager on tenor. In between those two tunes is a moody version of "All the Things You Are" featuring Parker and Powell but not Eager. The music is supplemented by a huge booklet jammed with biographical information, recording data, and loads of very cool photos from the Milton Greene archives. This disc is hardly an essential purchase for the casual or even dedicated jazz fan, but for those fans who would categorize themselves as rabid it is a must-have, because the music is rare and very good. There also isn't anywhere else currently to hear Allen Eager as a leader. ~ Tim Sendra

Allen Eager (tenor sax)
Serge Chaloff (baritone sax)
Johnny Carisi (trumpet)
Richard Twardzik (piano)
Bud Powell (piano)
Max Roach (drums)
Buddy Rich (drums)

1. Jumpin' With Symphony Sid
2. This Time The Dream's On Me
3. Out Of Nowhere
4. Zootcase
5. Jumpin' With Symphony Sid
6. Some Blues
7. Blues In F
8. Serge Swings Allen's Axe
9. The Goof And I
10. Lullaby In Rhythm
11. Fine And Dandy
12. Swapping Horns
13. All the Things You Are
14. Original Horns

Lee Konitz & Enrico Rava - L'âge mûr

01. What's New
02. Thingin'
03. Cherokee
04. Darn that dream
05. I'll remember april
06. L'âge mûr
07. Solar

The dry-toned and very individual-sounding alto saxophonist Lee Konitz recorded frequently for the Italian label Philology during the 1990s, and this quartet session with avant-garde trumpeter Enrico Rava, bassist Rosario Bonaccorso, and drummer Massimo Manzi is a first-rate affair, though primarily in a straight-ahead setting. On most tracks, the co-leaders generally take turns exchanging solos of no more than a chorus or two in length, with pulsing but never dull support underneath by Bonaccorso and Manzi. "What's New" is played as a quasi-bossa nova, and "Cherokee" becomes a catchy samba; while "Cherokee" and I'll Remember April" follow more predictable routes, though both are played with a lot of passion. Each musician also contributes an original: Konitz supplies an inventive march in which his alto and Rava's muted horn share a unison line before the exciting solos begin, while Rava's title track has a somewhat wandering theme but some of his best playing on the date. This very enjoyable CD is warmly recommended.

Lee Konitz (alto sax); Enrico Rava (trumpet); Rosario Bonaccorso (bass); Massimo Manzi (drums)

Jimmy Raney Visits Paris, Vol. 2

01. Fascinating rythm
02. Everything happens to me
03. Someone to watch over
04. Très chouette
05. Imagination
06. Have you met Miss Jones?
07. What's new
08. Love for sale
09. Night and days
10. Dinah
11. Too marvelous for words
12. Cherokee

Four days after he recorded Visits Paris Vol. 1 with Sonny Clark, Jimmy Raney met with some of the best French (and Belgian) musicians of the day. The result is this very enjoyable record, which made quite an impression at the time, at least in France: apparently, it made a lasting impression on René Thomas, and Sacha Distel, among others.
Jimmy Raney (g)
Bobby Jaspar (ts)
Roger Guérin (tp)
Maurice Vander (p)
Jean-Marie Ingrand (b)
Jean-Louis Viale (d)

Recorded in Paris on the 10th of February 1954.

Jimmy Raney Visits Paris, Vol. 1

01. Body and soul
02. Once in a while
03. Pennies from heaven
04. Stella by starlight
05. There'll never be another you
06. Yesterdays
07. You go to my head
08. Body and soul
09. Stella by starlight
10. Stella by starlight
11. There'll never be another you
12. Yesterdays

Tracks 8 to 12 are alternate takes, not on the original LP's.

As part of Leonard Feather's "Jazz Club U.S.A." European tour in early 1954, guitarist Raney is presented in the fine company of pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Bobby White. The music on this date, as well as the recording quality, is superb for its time. Raney and Mitchell had worked together in Red Norvo's trio, while Clark and White were the rhythmic anchors in Buddy DeFranco's group. One can't help but compare the sensitive yet energetic approach that Raney and Clark have toward their respective instruments. Both musicians have a truly artful touch with very clear articulation, never sounding hurried or arbitrary, or getting in the other's way. There are some lovely quartet interpretations of standard tunes, plus a piano trio rendition of "Once In a While." Listen to Red Mitchell's bass take the melody on "You Go to My Head" supported by Clark and Raney's sympathetic comping. Five alternate takes are included on the CD reissue. ~ Lee Bloom, All Music Guide

Jimmy Raney (g)
Sonny Clark (p)
Red Mitchell (b)
Bobby White (d)

Recorded in Paris on the 6th of February 1954.

Buddy DeFranco - Free Sail

01 - Threat of Freedom, Part I-IV
02 - Please Send Me Someone To Love
03 - Free Fall
04 - Yesterdays
05 - Free Sail

Buddy DeFranco-cl,
Victor Feldman-p & ep,
John Chiodini-g,
Victor Sproles-b,
Joe Cocuzzo-dr

Buddy says on the cover: "I got a chance to go to Japan five times and to Europe several times, and I found out I was more popular over there. It felt good to find out I was still popular somewhere."

Choice CRS 1008

Other than as leader of the ghost Glenn Miller Orchestra, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco had not recorded as a leader for a decade before cutting this adventurous set for Choice. With keyboardist Victor Feldman, guitarist John Chiodini, bassist Victor Sproles and drummer Joe Cocuzzo, DeFranco avoids bop standards and instead performs his lengthy "Threat of Freedom," Feldman's "Free Fall," a couple of standards and guitarist Jim Gillis' "Free Sail." Although DeFranco's boppish clarinet style had not changed much through the years, his ears were open to more modern ideas and he stretches himself throughout the generally challenging material.
Review by Scott Yanow