Friday, November 30, 2007

Bobby Shew & Chuck Findley - Trumpets No End (1983) [flac]

Inspired by Worldbflat's Candoli Brothers post, here is another trumpet "duet" album from Bobby Shew and Chuck Findley. Both of them are renowned lead trumpet players and studio musicians that could have turned this session into a scream festival but instead chose to show off their jazz chops, which are very impressive indeed.

Among the twelve nicely varied tracks are two Clifford Brown tunes, "Brownie Speaks" and "Joy Spring" which utilize Brownie's solos played in unison by Shew and Findley before taking off on their own. For a change of pace, Shew plays an instrument specially designed for him on "Stompin' at the Savoy" - a trumpet with two bells so that one can be played open and the other muted. What does he call it? A shew-horn of course! Chuck Findley shows his versatility by switching to trombone on "I'm Old Fashioned" and both players have ballad features on flugelhorn as well.

Yanow's short take:
This album contains an exciting set of music. Trumpeters Bobby Shew and Chuck Findley (who are accompanied by pianist Art Resnick, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Sherman Ferguson) are both complementary and competitive on such songs as Clifford Brown's "Brownie Speaks," "Stompin' At the Savoy" and Carl Saunders' "Will Do - Done Did." The superior and spirited bop-oriented music deserves to be made more widely available.

Bobby Shew (trumpet, flugelhorn, shew-horn)
Chuck Findley (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone)
Art Resnick (piano)
John Patitucci (bass)
Sherman Ferguson (drums)
  1. Brownie Speaks
  2. Nadalin
  3. Stompin' at the Savoy
  4. I Love You
  5. Simplico
  6. Chelsea Bridge
  7. I'm Old Fashioned
  8. Will Do - Done Did
  9. I'll Never Stop Loving You
  10. Here's That Rainy Day
  11. Joy Spring
  12. Direct Connection
Recorded October 25 & 26, 1983

Cedar Walton - Cedar!

His first recording as a leader finds Cedar Walton an optimistic and self-assured pianist/composer in the post-bop style. This 1967, cleanly-produced recording contains seven swinging numbers featuring Cedar in trio, quartet and quintet configurations. The album opens with "Turquoise Twice," a hard-driving, modally-inclined tune. Cedar's solo is crisp, logical and rigorous, his left hand dipping into some McCoy Tyner-like fifths. His no-nonsense approach, and rootsy pianistic touch carries the album.

This is intelligent but not intellectual jazz. One of the strongest tracks is the charming but edgy "Twilight Waltz." Billy Higgins' drums out some swinging counter-rhythms underneath Cedar's bluesy ornamentation. And trumpeter Kenny Dorham performs a clearly melodic solo, straight and singing. "My Ship" (Gershwin-Weill) is intimate as a trio. Cedar's balance between horn-like single notes and meaty, two-hand chord voicings is masterful. And the ethereal ending adds an appropriately literary touch. Junior Cook's lazy, airy tenor sax solo lends a Sunday morning vibe to Ellington's "Come Sunday." This slightly odd arrangement is in 6/8, but the band breaks into a solid, driving 4/4 for the solos. An impressive debut, CEDAR! can be enjoyed by the erudite jazz buff and the casual listener alike.

Cedar Walton (piano)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Junior Cook (tenor sax)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Turquoise Twice
2. Twilight Waltz
3. My Ship
4. Short Stuff
5. Head and Shoulders
6. Come Sunday
7. Take the "A" Train

Recorded in New York, New York on July 10, 1967

Charles Mingus - The Complete Debut Recordings: CDs 3 & 4

CD 3

1. Perdido
2. Salt Peanuts
3. All the Things You Are
4. 52nd Street Theme
Same date, location and personnel as previously listed Massey Hall Quintet tracks. (Please refer to the note which precedes track 15, Disc 2. The set of Massey Hall Quintet recordings heard on this disc are made from the tapes onto which Mingus added bass in ensemble passages [and, in "All the Things You Are," solo exchanges].)

5. Perdido
6. Salt Peanuts
7. All the Things You Are
8. 52nd Street Theme
9. Wee (Allen's Alley)
10. Hot House
11. A Night in Tunisia

CD 4

Summer 1953
Billy Taylor, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; unknown drummer (both Art Taylor and Max Roach, either of whom were assumed to have played on this session, have denied being the drummer. It is likely that Mingus's new bass part was added to the original Massey Hall tapes at the session.)

1. Bass-Ically Speaking (take 1)
2. Bass-Ically Speaking (take 2)
3. Bass-Ically Speaking (take 3)
4. Bass-Ically Speaking
5. (Untitled)

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

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

Oscar Pettiford - Complete Big Band Studio Recordings

Another of the Spanish Lonehill label releases. They put out some interesting things, and always try for a "Complete" in the title; even if it's just the "complete" recordings done in one day. Still...interesting stuff. Pettiford wrote "Tricotism" , done also by Lucky Thompson, who appears here. Regarding the rest of the woman on the cover? Don't ask, I have no idea.

"Whether playing bass or cello, Oscar Pettiford was an extraordinary soloist and ensemble player with a singlar sound and focused attack who levitated sessions with Coleman Hawkins, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington, among many others. In '56 and '57, when Swing Era big bands had given way to small groups and singers, it may have seemed defiant to assemble a jazz orchestra of well-known and presumably costly soloists, but the OP assemblage made two records and appeared at Birdland. This newest reissue, following on the heels of the studio tracks released in '94 as Deep Passion, adds three Birdland tracks and clocks in at an impressive 78 minutes.

The Orchestra was nothing if not original, relying on harmonically sophisticated repertoire by Randy Weston (”Little Niles”), Horace Silver (”Speculation”), Gigi Gryce (Nica's Tempo,” ”Smoke Signal”), Lucky Thompson (”Deep Passion”), Benny Golson (”I Remember Clifford”) and OP himself, with Gryce doing most of the arrangements. In the fashion of the times, the band sported an unusual instrumentation: two trumpets, trombone, two French horns, a four-piece reed section, and a three-piece rhythm section with harp and OP doubling on cello.

The pieces are intriguing but only intermittently vibrant, due to Gryce's rudimentary arrangements. Perhaps it's an oversimplification, but the great jazz orchestras of the '30s and '40s offered simple propulsive arrangements that kicked soloists into greater inventiveness (eg. Basie) or beautifully idiosyncratic voicings integral to the material (eg. Ellington). Gryce's charts have the mundane prettiness of television and movie soundtracks, offering rhythmically updated Swing Era conventions and harmonized versions of simple solos. In ensemble passages, the OP Orchestra seems faceless, except for the leader's powerful presence. Even the two Johnsons (drummers Osie and Gus), usually ebullient, seem muffled: one thinks wistfully of how the late Big Sid Catlett would have energized this group.

From the recorded evidence here, Pettiford—like other gifted musicians who preceded him in a desire for the tonal colors and intensity only a big band could provide—opted for a format that unintentionally diluted his strong musical personality. Ironically, the less formal versions he made of many of these compositions in the '50s are more compelling music. As a soloist, OP always deserves attention, and his playing is always joyous, whether on ”Perdido,” “Little Niles” or the Birdland recording of “Aw! Come On.” But listeners who want to hear him at his best should seek out the small band recordings he made in this period with Lucky Thompson, Hawkins, Nat Pierce, Ruby Braff, and Kenny Dorham, or under his own name. To enjoy this recording fully, one must be prepared to focus on the brief solos, not the formulaic ensemble writing Michael Steinman

Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Kenny Dorham, Art Farmer (trumpet)
Lucky Thompson, Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Sahib Shihab (baritone sax)
Al Grey (trombone)
Tommy Flanagan, Dick Katz (piano)
Dave Amram, Julius Watkins (French horn)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)

1. Nica's Tempo
2. Deep Passion
3. Smoke Signal
4. Sunrise-Sunset
5. Not Sleepy
6. Perdido
7. Speculation
8. Two French Fries
9. Pendulum at Falcon's Lair
10. Gentle Art of Love
11. Now See How You Are
12. I Remember Clifford
13. Aw! Come On
14. Somewhere
15. Laura
16. Little Niles
17. Seabreeze
18. Gentle Art of Love
19. Aw! Come On
20. I Remember Clifford

Nat Adderley - Little Big Horn FLAC

This lesser-known set by Nat Adderley (reissued on CD in the Original Jazz Classics in 1999) teams the likable cornetist with either Jim Hall or Kenny Burrell on guitar and the Junior Mance Trio (which consists of pianist Mance, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Mickey Roker). Nat wrote all eight selections and, even though none would catch on (a la "Work Song"), several of the numbers are quite memorable and are deserving of revival. "Loneliness" sounds properly desolate, "Roses for Your Pillow" is a superior ballad and most of the other songs are filled with joy, including "El Chico," "Half-Time" and "Broadway Lady." A fine obscurity recorded at a time when Nat was one of the stars of his brother Cannonball Adderley's Sextet.
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

01 Chico (6:42)
02 Foo Foo (4:11)
03 Loneliness (4:14)
04 Little Big Horn (5:20)
05 Half-Time (4:48)
06 Broadway Lady (4:19)
07 Roses for Your Pillow (5:11)
08 Hustle With Russell (4:20)

Junior Mance Piano
Mickey Roker Drums
Bob Cranshaw Bass
Kenny Burrell Guitar (2,3,4,8)
Nat Adderley Trumpet, Cornet
Jim Hall Guitar (1,5,6,7)

Recorded at Plaza Sounds Studios, NY on September 23, 1963 (2,3,4,8) and October 04, 1963 (1,5,6,7)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Charles Mingus - The Complete Debut Recordings: CDs 1 & 2

CD 1

April 1951
Los Angeles
Spaulding Givens [Nadi Qamar], piano; Charles Mingus, bass

1. What Is This Thing Called Love?
2. Darn That Dream
3. Yesterdays [piano solo]
4. Body and Soul
5. Blue Moon
6. Blue Tide
7. Darn That Dream (alt)
8. Jeepers Creepers (Take 1)
9. Jeepers Creepers (Take 2)

April 12, 1952
Lennie Tristano Studio, NYC
Jackie Paris (on "Portrait" only), Bob Benton (on "I've Lost My Love" only), vocal; Lee Konitz, alto saxophone; Phyllis Pinkerton, piano; George Koutzen, cello; Charles Mingus, bass; Al Levitt, drums

10. Portrait (Take 1)
11. Portrait (Take 2)
12. I've Lost My Love (Take 1)
13. I've Lost My Love (Take 2)
14. Extrasensory Perception
15. Extrasensory Perception (alt)
16. Precognition

September 16, 1952
Jackie Paris, vocal; Paige Brook, flute, alto saxophone; John Mehegan, piano; Jackson Wiley, cello; Charles Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums

17. Make Believe
18. Paris in Blue
19. Montage

April 14, 1953
Spaulding Givens [Nadi Qamar], piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums

20. Day Dream (Take 1)
21. Day Dream (Take 2)
22. Theme from Rhapsody in Blue (Take 1)
23. Theme from Rhapsody in Blue (Take 2)

CD 2

1. Jet (Take 1)
2. Jet (Take 2)

April 29, 1953
Hank Jones, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums

3. (Medley) You Go to My Head

Same session - add Honi, Richard, George, and George Gordon, JR. ("The Gordons"), vocal

4. Can You Blame Me [vocal by Honi Gordon]
5. You and Me [vocal by The Gordons]
6. Bebopper [vocal by The Gordons]
7. Cupid [vocal by Honi Gordon]

May 15, 1953
Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada
Max Roach, drums

8. Drum Conversation

Same session - add Bud Powell, piano; Charles Mingus, bass

9. I've Got You Under My Skin
10. Embraceable You
11. Sure Thing
12. Cherokee
13. (Jubilee) Hallelujah
14. Lullaby of Birdland

Same session - add Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Charlie Parker (as "Charlie Chan" on original issue), alto saxophone.

NOTE: the Massey Hall Quintet tracks on this disc were transferred from the original single-channel mono recording tape made at the concert, before Charles Mingus, dissatisfied with the low level at which the bass had been recorded, added a new bass part. The corresponding tracks on Disc 3 are made from the overdubbed tape sources.

15. Wee (Allen's Alley)
16. Hot House
17. A Night in Tunisia

Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970’s Funky Lagos (2001) FLAC

Dig them boots!

Here is a collection of music from Nigeria and surrounding countries reflecting an interesting bit of fusion. No, not that 80’s fusion—but African roots, with some Carribean influence, with some jazz, R&B, and funk thrown in for good measure. If you are familiar with Fela Kuti you got a good line on this material—in fact Fela is featured on three tracks showing his own evolution in the genre.

Ok, this is a big one. Not only some great music, but educational too! CD 1 & 2 provide 23 tracks of great funky music. CD 3 is a documentary using interviews and such tracing the growth of that funky Lagos sound. Now, some of the tracks are from masters, but some are from the original vinyl—so the quality varies a bit----but feel free to convert from the FLAC if ya wish. Also, the scans include an in-depth set of liner notes on the Lagos scene as well as details of each track (players/etc.)—I scanned them in large so you can zoom in to read them all without losing your eyesight---very interesting material. So if you only want the music get the first 12 loads; if ya want the documentary too, get the next 5 loads; and if ya want the scans too, get the last 2 loads…I think the links are pretty self explanatory.

1-Koola Lobitos: Ololufe Mi
2-Monomono: Tire Loma Da Nigbehin
3-Blo: Chant to Mother Earth
4-Fela Ransom Kuti & The Africa 70: Jeun Ko Ku (Chop N Quench)
5-Tunji Oyelana & The Benders: Ifa
6-Bala Miller & The Great Music Pirameeds of Africa: Ikon Allah
7-Segun Bucknor & His Revolution: La La La
8-Peter King: Shango
9-Tony Allen & His African Messengers: No Discrimination
10-Sir Victor Uwaifo & His Melody Maestroes: Akayan Ekassa
11-William Onyeabor: Better Change Your Mind
12-Bongos Ikwue: Woman Made The Devil

1-Orlando Julius & The Afro Sounders: Alo Mi Alo (Parts 1 & 2)
2-Ofo The Black Company: Allah Wakbarr
3-Sahara All Stars Band Jos: Enjoy Yourself
4-The Funkees: Dancing Time
5-Afro Cult Foundation: The Quest
6-Joni Haastrup: Greetings
7-Gasper Lawal: Kita Kita
8-Lijadu Sisters: Orere Elejigbo
9-Fela Anikulapo Kuti & The Africa 70 with Sandra Akanke Isidore: Upside Down
10-Shina Williams & His African Percussionists: Agboju Logun
11-Sunny Ade & His African Beats: Ja Fun Mi (Instrumental)

1-Introduction/Highlife Time
2-Ginger Baker
3-The Voices Of The People. Social Commentary, Critical Statement & Satire
4-A Day In The Life Of …
5-Nigeria 70 Poem
6-Hidden Track/Untitled Track

Candoli Brothers Sextet ~ Jazz Horizons (flac)

If I am to believe the liners (there are no reviews or track listings available) this is a compilation of their first and third albums--however their first two were released by Dot, their third is listed as a Mercury release. I believe it is actually the first two Dot Albums, but I cannot corroborate this, since there doesn't seem to be any discographic information on any of the original LP's. Be that as it may, this is a thoroughly entertaining and engaging release. Usually I'll run away from an all trumpet front line, not this time--it's not at all like Diz & Little Jazz blowing their brains out--there's a lot of texture (half valving, muting counterpoint and thoroughly written out harmony between the two) I hate the term "cool" but it certainly applies here. In addition to that, they could'nt have done better for a rhythm section (Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel or Howard Roberts, and Mondragon and Stoller) and many of the schmandards (standards) are set in atypical contexts (My Funny Valentine and Boulevard of Broken dreams alternate between swing and latin) and the originals are always entertaining (even the goofy "Rockin' Boogie) There's no better way to size these two up than when they're on the same tracks.
1-11: Conti, Pete, Rowles, Roberts, Mondragon (b) Stoller (d) in L.A. May 6, 7, 13 1957
12-21 same personnel as above except Barney Kessel, L.A. December 5 & 6 1958
Disc-Location/ Beautiful Love/ Crazy Rhythm/ My Funny Valentine/ Exodus In Jazz/ Fascinatin' Rhythm/ Love (Your Spell Is Everywhere)/ It Never Entered My Mind/ Pe-Con/ Twilight On the Trail/ Rockin' Boogie/ Boulevard of Broken Dreams/ Pavanne/ Spaniard Carnival/ Old devil Moon/ What Is This Thing Called Love/ Bell, Book and Candoli/ Hey, Bellboy!/ Pagoda/ Night Walk/ I May Be Wrong (But I Think you're Wonderful)

Tony Bennett - To My Wonderful One (LP/Flac/Scans/1959)

Here is another otherwise unavailable Tony Bennett disc never released in the digital domain. To My Wonderful One can be considered a companion album to Alone Together, posted here by me a few months ago. Wonderful One was actually recorded three months before Alone Together, and was also a collaboration with the same arranger Frank DeVol, whose approach is virtually identical to the latter effort.

The repertoire is dominated by familiar, often-recorded standards such as Laura, Autumn Leaves, Tenderly, and April In Paris but also includes lesser known gems like We Mustn’t Say Goodbye, Till and Suddenly… overall, it’s a nice, if unexciting selection of songs sung flawlessly by the then-33 year old Bennett.

This is my first LP-rip and it came out quite well. I was lucky that the source was a mint-condition Japanese pressing issued in 1983. Due to the high quality of the record, I have chosen not to process the sound with noise-removal software, as there is minimal detectable surface noise and almost no clicks or pops. More to come…

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Frank DeVol (arranger/conductor)
session personnel in comments

1. Wonderful One
2. Till
3. September Song
4. Suddenly
5. I'm A Fool To Want You
6. We Mustn't Say Goodbye
7. Autumn Leaves
8. Laura
9. April In Paris
10. Speak Low
11. Tenderly
12. Last Night When We Were Young

Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio, New York City, NY on October 23, November 10-12, 1959

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Curtis Fuller and Hampton Hawes - With French Horns

The French horn has rarely been used in jazz as a solo instrument until recent times. Back in the 1950s, jazz's top French horn player was Julius Watkins, with David Amram certainly ranking in the top five. For this 1957 session, trombonist Curtis Fuller and his quintet with altoist Sahib Shihab, pianist Hampton Hawes (Teddy Charles, who contributed three originals, takes his place on one number), bassist Addison Farmer, and drummer Jerry Segal are joined by both Watkins and Amram. On originals by Charles, Amram, and Salvatore Zito, the colorful ensembles and the very adept soloing by the French horns make this a particularly memorable recording. Strange that this album has been obscure for so long. Only the brief playing time keeps this intriguing set from getting a higher rating. ~Scott Yanow

Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Sahib Shihab (alto saxophone)
Julius Watkins, David Amram (French horn)
Hampton Hawes, Teddy Charles (piano)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Jerry Segal (drums)

1. Ronnie's Tune
2. Roc & Troll
3. A-Drift
4. Five Spot
5. Lyriste
6. No Crooks

Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 18, 1957


Jeri Southern Meets Johnny Smith

Jeri Southern began her career as a singing pianist before eventually choosing to focus exclusively on vocals. This release, recorded for the long defunct Forum label, pairs her with the masterful guitarist Johnny Smith, along with pianist Bob Panacost, bassist George Roumanis and drummer Mousie Alexander. Southern's deep, slightly smoky alto swings on uptempo numbers, while she is also a gifted ballad interpreter. Smith's accompaniment is never less than superb, as are his occasional (but all too brief) solos. The songs that have best stood the test of time include her subtle treatment of "Music, Maestro, Please" (with Panacost doubling on celeste), along with the deliberate interpretations of "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" and &"Two Sleepy People." Recommended. Ken Dryden

1. Music Maestro Please
2. Robins & Roses
3. Without A Word Warning
4. Ungrateful Heart
5. Things I Love
6. Where Or When
7. Until The Real Thing Comes Along
8. Shake Down The Stars
9. Have You Forgotten So Soon?
10. When The Sun Comes Out
11. Isn't It Romantic?
12. Two Sleepy People

Sylvia Syms - Sylvia Is! Sylvia Syms with Kenny Burrell

Sylvia Syms was one of the top cabaret singers, uplifting a wide variety of interesting songs throughout her career. For this unusual pianoless date she is heard with either Kenny Burrell or Buck Pizzarelli on guitar, bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson and occasionally percussionist Willie Rodriguez. The emphasis is on Brazilian songs and superior swing standards with the highpoints including "As Long as I Live," "More than You Know," "How Insensitive," "Meditation," and "Brazil." Still, because Syms does not improvise, this CD reissue is more for fans of cabaret than for followers of jazz. Scott Yanow

1. As Long As I Live
2. More Than You Know
3. (I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over
4. How Insensitive
5. Smile
6. If You Could See Me Now
7. Meditation
8. Cuando Te Fuiste de Mi
9. God Bless the Child
10. Wild Is the Wind
11. You Are Always in My Heart
12. Brazil

The Classic Columbia Condon Mob Sessions - Mosaic CDs 1-3

Moldy fig, anyone?

This is the first 3 of an 8 CD set, and the artwork - full booklet and discographical info - is listed separately. Even though you don't have to gamble a nice bundle o' money to try this, the investment in bandwidth might give you pause. So, check out the book: if you aren't tempted to listen to what is some fine musicianship performing music that is unfamiliar, then nothing is lost. But think of when you made your first forays into free jazz - turned out OK, didn't it? Nobody got hurt, right? And if nothing else, you'll find out more about an important movement in the history of this music we love.


Andre Previn - Plays Songs By Harold Arlen

André Previn turned in his most intensely personal jazz performances on the solo songbook albums he recorded for Contemporary Records. One key to the series’ success was the pianist’s choice of subjects. On this third volume, he explores the music of Harold Arlen, the most blues-based of the great popular tunesmiths; but Previn does not settle for merely bringing out the obvious facets of these great songs. His spontaneous interpretations introduce layers of color and detail, extending and expanding the material in improvisations that are deeply felt and rich in surprising ideas. The ten tracks here manage to present pure Previn while retaining the distinctive Arlen magic.

1. That Old Black Magic
2. Come Rain Or Come Shine
3. My Shining Hour
4. Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe
5. A Sleepin' Bee
6. Stormy Weather
7. Over The Rainbow
8. Let's Fall In Love
9. For Every Man There's A Woman
10. Cocoanut Sweet

Andre Previn - Plays Songs by Vernon Duke

A measure of how respected Andre Previn has long been in many musical fields is that this set of unaccompanied jazz piano solos has liner notes by the composer of the ten songs, Vernon Duke. Previn alternates well-known Duke pieces such as "Autumn In New York," "Taking a Chance on Love," "What Is There to Say," and "I Can't Get Started" with a few obscure numbers including "The Love I Long For," "Ages Ago" and "I Like the Likes of You." This CD reissue finds Previn at the peak of his jazz powers, displaying an original yet accessible style that falls between swing and bop. Recommended. Scott Yanow

1. Cabin In The Sky
2. Autumn In New York
3. The Love I Long For
4. Ages Ago
5. Taking A Chance On Love
6. What Is There To Say?
7. I Can't Get Started
8. I Like The Likes Of You
9. Round About
10. April In Paris

Shelly Manne - and His Friends, Vol. 1

I don't know if this has appeared around here yet.

In addition to his regular quintet recordings with "His Men," drummer Shelly Manne recorded a series of trio dates with "His Friends" which generally included pianist Andre Previn and bassist Leroy Vinnegar; eventually Red Mitchell would take over the bass spot. This initial release from the group, as with all of the later sets, is really a showcase for the remarkable piano playing of Previn who was not even 27 yet but already had a dozen years of major league experience behind him. The trio largely sticks to standards and jazz tunes on this date with "Tangerine," Johnny Hodges's "Squatty Roo" and "Girl Friend" being among the highlights.

Andre Previn (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1 Tangerine
2 I Cover the Waterfront
3 Squatty Roo
4 Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas
5 Stars Fell on Alabama
6 Girl Friend

Recorded February 11, 1956

Ivo Perelman - Sound Hierarchy

If Sound Hierarchy leaves you feeling like you've just consumed ten cups of extra-strong coffee, it's because of the element of density. While Roscoe Mitchell and his many admirers in the AACM have made extensive use of space when exploring "the outside" (an approach that is equally interesting, but not as jolting), this outstanding CD is just the opposite. The Sao Paulo native thrives on density, and he uses it to such an extent on Sound Hierarchy that the listener doesn't get a chance to catch his/her breath. Perelman is joined by pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist William Parker and drummer Gerry Hemingway, and the quartet spares no passion whatsoever as it rips into such atonal pieces as "Frozen Tears," "Datchki Dandara" and "Fragments." Short of Charles Gayle, you won't find any 1990s avant-garde jazz that is more incendiary, ferocious and violent than Sound Hierarchy. Music this blistering obviously isn't for everyone, but for those who enjoy free jazz that takes not a single prisoner, this disc is highly recommended. Alex Henderson

Ivo Perelman (tenor sax)
Marilyn Crispell (piano)
William Parker (bass)
Gerry Hemingway (drums, vocal)

1. Frozen Tears
2. Sound Hierarchy
3. Datchki Dandara
4. Fragments

Clara Rockmore - The Lost Theremin Album

In 1975, electronic music pioneer Robert Moog realized a long-held dream at his own expense, to document in high quality recordings the artistry of his idol, Theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore, who was getting on in years. The equivalent of at least two albums were recorded at Producers Recording Studio in New York with Rockmore, her aging instrument that Moog had just revived from a state of disrepair, and Rockmore's longtime accompanist (and sister) Nadia Reisenberg. This resulted in the Delos LP The Art of the Theremin, issued in 1976 and still available from Delos as part of its Facet product line. While critics and fans of electronic music warmly received the album, it was hardly a blockbuster and the remaining tracks were shelved. Although three of the 16 unissued numbers appeared in a 1989 IPAM tribute to Nadia Reisenberg and is likewise still available, the rest remained stubbornly unavailable.

Cut forward 30 years, and all of the principal players are gone -- Reisenberg, Rockmore, and even Robert Moog have passed beyond the veil of the ether into that great tube amp up in the sky. Leave it to producer Robert Sherman, director of the Nadia Reisenberg and Clara Rockmore Foundation and son of Reisenberg, to get the missing 13 Rockmore/Reisenberg selections out, finally, on Bridge Records' Rockmore's Lost Theremin Album. The quality of Bridge's digital transfer of these 1975 studio tapes is outstanding and better than on the Facet issue; they have a nice top, are not hissy, and establish a pleasing sense of presence for Reisenberg's piano. In the case of the three tracks already circulated on the IPAM issue, Sherman has decided to replace Reisenberg's track with newly recorded chamber groups and guitarist Jorge Morel to good effect -- these cuts help refresh the overall texture of the album precisely where it might have bogged down. Rockmore's playing of the theremin, of course, is masterly -- girlish, like something between a violin and a human voice. Moreover, that was its tremendous significance; at a time when cynicism, and not a small amount of fear, was the average musician's take on the whole idea of electronic music, Rockmore proved that electronic technology could produce a result that was both musical and responsively human. As a representation of her gifts and overall contribution to music, Clara Rockmore's Lost Theremin Album makes the transition from being "lost" to leading the pack -- it is the best CD on Rockmore out there. Anyone interested in electronic music should own one.

Clara Rockmore (theremin)
Nadia Reisenberg (piano)

1. Liebeslied
2. Air
3. Humoreske
4. Pastorale
5. Ave Maria
6. Nocturne in C-sharp minor
7. Requiebros
8. Adagio
9. Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras
10. Celebrated Air
11. Midnight Bells
12. Kaddish
13. Summertime
13. Water Boy
14. Estrellita
15. La Vie en Rose

Hampton Hawes ~ Four (flac)

The cover looks like a bad episode of "To Tell The Truth" Who's the real golfer here? Shelly could almost pass for one, but he's not bending his knees, nor is his left elbow straight. Hamp seems to the most athletic of the crew, but again, the knees ain't bent, and the body is too upright--and he's looking up too soon (probably a slice into the woods) Red looks like he could give a shit. I'd say it's Barney, but why is he putting from the middle of the fairway. The other obvious problem for this foursome is that they all have drivers and they're all playing out of the same bag. Oh, the album is great, but if these guys were behind me on the links, I'm sure you'd here "Fore" rather than "Four" Hamp's intro to Yardbird Suite is one to hear several times.
Rec. January 27, 1958
Yardbird Suite/ There Will Never Be Another You/ Bow Jest/ Sweet Sue/ Up Blues/ Like Someone In Love/ Love Is Just Around The Corner/ Thou Swell/ The Awful Truth

Stan Getz - Serenity (Flac/Scans/1987)

Stan Getz was 60 when this recording took place; he had only four more years before his death from cancer in 1991. Technically he was probably the best-equipped tenor man of all times, equally he had a unique sound on the instrument which made him instantly identifiable. On this record he is backed by a jazz trio which has had few equals, Kenny Barron inspired Stan to his best ever work, but he was more than just that, he himself is an exceptional soloist. Rufus Reid is one of the best bass players you will ever hear his notes are clean and his solos inventive. Victor Lewis keeps immaculate time whilst swinging in a neat unobtrusive way and contributes mightily to the overall sound of the group.

On Green Dolphin St is a nice mid-tempo starter and Stan plays his way as only he can through this fine old standard. Voyage is a composition written by Kenny Barron that really seems to fire up the whole band. I suspect that by this time Stan knew that his life span was not going to last to much longer and as well as the usual immaculate tone, there is also an anguish in his playing that was not heard in earlier recordings. Kenny Barron contributes a magnificent piano solo his playing is full of invention as always.

Falling In Love is a Victor Feldman composition; Feldman was a British pianist who had graduated from being a child drumming protégé in London, to being acknowledged as one of the best around on the US jazz scene. This is no mean feat, the competition in the US is fierce and unless you are really up to it you are soon found out. The composition is ideal for the quartet and brings the best out of everyone. Charlie Parker was very fond of I Remember You, a Johnny Mercer composition and whilst Stan’s choice of tempo is similar, his approach to the tune is very different. Both treatments are excellent however and Stan is on great form, I am sure he is inspired by the work of the trio, which is outstanding.

Cole Porter’s composition’s feature in the repertoire of many of the greatest jazz players, most are well suited to the jazz performance. I Love You has been one of the most endearing and intriguing of these tunes. The performance here is like a master class as to how a jazz quartet should sound, Kenny Barron solos first this time and it was almost as though Stan did this to give himself a real challenge. He gets the challenge OK, but he responds magnificently. There is no doubt in my mind that Stan was the greatest tenor sax player the jazz world has ever known, don’t miss the opportunity to hear more of his work. Don Mather

Stan Getz – Tenor Saxophone
Kenny Barron – Piano
Rufus Reid – Bass
Victor Lewis – Drums

1.On Green Dolphin St
2. Voyage
3. Falling in Love
4. I Remember You
5. I Love You

Recorded Live at the Café Montmartre in Copenhagen, Demark on July 6, 1987

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ed Thigpen - Out Of The Storm

Drummer Ed Thigpen's first album as a leader (recorded a year after he left the Oscar Peterson Trio) was reissued as a CD in 1998. Although not soloing much, Thigpen wrote three of the seven selections and occasionally played tuned drums, which sound a little bit like timbales. In addition to the leader, the main star is Clark Terry (on flugelhorn and trumpet), who plays quite freely on two numbers utilizing only a trumpet mouthpiece in spots. Guitarist Kenny Burrell gets in a few good solos and is showcased on "Struttin' With Some Barbeque" while bassist Ron Carter and pianist Herbie Hancock also make strong contributions. Unfortunately, there are only 32 minutes of music on this CD (which is highlighted by "Cielito Lindo"), so its brevity keeps it from being too essential, but the performances are enjoyable. Scott Yanow

Ed Thigpen (drums)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)

1. Cielito Lindo
2. Cloud Break (Up Blues)
3. Out Of The Storm
4. Harper
5. Elbow And Mouth
6. Heritage
7. Struttin' With Some Barbecue

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on April 18-20, 1966

The Fats Navarro Story

"Bebop trumpet genius Fats Navarro only lived to the age of 26. During that time he left behind a slew of recordings with numerous bands and vocalists for a number of labels. Proper, a British compilation label, has attempted to assemble four CDs of music from what it perceives to be Navarro's four major periods, in order to reveal the trumpeter's development not only as a soloist, but as a bandleader. And Proper did it for little more than the price of one CD. Navarro was a force so pervasive and influential that his only equals during his lifetime were Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown. The first disc, Bebop Boys, showcases Navarro's emerging place in the company of great bands such as the short-lived but ridiculously influential Billy Eckstine and His Orchestra, where he replaced Dizzy Gillespie. Some of the personnel on these sides include Sarah Vaughan, Art Blakey, Gene Ammons, and Tommy Potter; "Air Mail Special" and "Don't Blame Me" from these sessions were arranged by Tadd Dameron. The sound quality varies only slightly. By and large they sound better than the material issued by National or Blue Note. Later sessions include bands called the Bebop Boys with Kenny Dorham, Kenny Clarke, and Sonny Stitt. The set closes with a couple of tracks from Savoy with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis as a leader and two from Sonora with Coleman Hawkins fronting the band. Literally, there isn't anything on this disc that is not first-rate. The second CD, Nostalgia, focuses on Navarro's work with Coleman Hawkins and Lockjaw Davis from sessions late in 1946 recorded for Savoy. Also represented are Navarro's first sessions as a leader with his Thin Men; a quartet with Ernie Henry, Tadd Dameron, and others; and Dameron's sextet. Most of the material is from Savoy, but there are also tracks cut for Alladin (with Illinois Jacquet & Big Band), Counterpoint, and Blue Note. So many name players are featured on this disc that it's impossible to mention them all, but some include Charlie Rouse, Shadow Wilson, Charlie Ventura, Allen Eager, and many more. The masters have been cleaned up considerably, and the sound, for the most part, is very good (better than any of this material has been presented previously). Discs three and four, entitled At the Royal Roost and Double Talk, respectively, pinpoint Navarro's emerging place -- despite a huge heroin habit -- in the new music of bebop, primarily in a band with Hawkins (that also included Max Roach and J.J. Johnson), a Benny Goodman sextet, and with Dameron. On disc three, all but four sides come from the Jazzland label; the rest are from Capitol and Blue Note. The final set is from primarily Navarro-led groups and were recorded for Dial, Blue Note, Victor, Capitol, and Prestige, with two single cuts being on fly-by-night labels like Ozone and Grotto. The material on all these sides is the canon from which bebop was created, including everything from Navarro's own unique read of "Night in Tunisia" to his blistering break on "52nd Street Theme," the glorious ostinato on "Bud's Bounce," and the dizzying glissando on "Yardbird Suite." Even the ballad playing and swing numbers, where Navarro is playing behind vocalists, are startling for their full tone and unusual phrasing for a soloist in swing bands. In sum, this is the Fats Navarro story, told through the sounds and styles of his era, a crucial time in the history of jazz. This is a box set with accurate, even voluminous documentation; it's a well-designed package for a deep budget price and is long overdue. AMG (5 stars)

Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Coming Home Jamaica

From the looks of things, the Art Ensemble's first studio album in roughly six years was recorded under vacation-like conditions -- on a resort-like compound in Bonham Springs, Jamaica during winter 1995/96. Saxophonist Joseph Jarman had long since departed, leaving Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors and Famoudou Don Moye to bask in the Caribbean sun, with more than two months of studio rehearsal time (courtesy of the Odwalla juice company) to use up. Accordingly, the whole album seems to have a relaxed, carefree, even at times lackadaisical feeling, best when celebrating AEC's good fortune ("Grape Escape"), worst when dragging through the mostly torporous "Malachi." At 12½ minutes, "Mama Wants You" is the central work, consuming about two-fifths of the playing time. With a bebop frontline opening, Moye's unpredictable drums signal an eventual disintegration into free near-chaos before landing back in bopland down the stretch. They attempt some off-kilter reggae on "Strawberry Mango" (Bowie's son Bahnamous kicks in some uncredited rhythm piano on this one) and half-hearted calypso on "Lotta Colada"; otherwise, local color is kept at arm's length ("Jamaica Farewell" bears no relation to the Belafonte hit; it's just a brief collective recitative). In other words, this AEC working holiday is not going to push many envelopes. Richard S. Ginell

Bahnamous Lee Bowie (keyboards)
Lester Bowie (trumpet, bass drum, flugelhorn)
Malachi Favors (bass, percussion, bells)
Roscoe Mitchell (flute, chimes, piccolo, alto, tenor, soprano, baritone and bamboo sax)
Famoudou Don Moye (percussion, bongos, conga, drums)

1. Grape Escape
2. Odwalla Theme
3. Jamaica Farewell
4. Mama Wants You
5. Strawberry Mango
6. Villa Tiamo
7. Malachi
8. Lotta Colada

Zoot Sims/Al Cohn/Phil Woods - Jazz Alive: A Night at the Half Note

Zoot Sims and Al Cohn always made great music together; this live CD documents portions of two nights' work together at the Half Note in New York City, assisted by pianist Mose Allison, bassist Nabil Totah and drummer Paul Motian. Their brisk setting of "Lover, Come Back to Me" features Cohn, Sims and Allison soloing in turn, building the fire before the eventual trading of fours between the tenor saxophonists. After a relaxed rendition of "It Had to Be You," alto saxophonist Phil Woods is added to the mix for the next two numbers, recorded the very next evening. The guest sets up the percolating mid-tempo setting of "Wee Dot," with the tenors following him. The delightful interplay within the long workout of "After You've Gone" signals the chemistry between the three friends. It's a shame that no unreleased material was located for this 1998 CD reissue, but in any case, bop and cool fans will want to make an effort to acquire this excellent release. Ken Dryden

This 1959 live session is much more than an average blowing session. With Zoot Sims and Al Cohn on tenor saxophones throughout, adding Phil Woods on alto for half the recording, the four tunes are each miniature studies in the way multiple saxes intertwine to form a kind of choral horn effect. The tunes are all standards, with J.J. Johnson's "Wee Dot" the most hard-swinging. The best thing about this recording is its impromptu showing--its revelation of the way these musicians scoped out testing grounds for multiple but similar textures in a live gig. Among the other great things, though, is the piano comping from Mose Allison, who elevates this CD at times to a veritable all-star group before most of the group's members were truly "stars." Rife with rhythmic pulse--provided amply by drummer Paul Motian and bassist Nabil Totah--this is a treasure trove that again points to the value of the current jazz reissue phase, a phase when the catalog is into its second and even third tiers. Andrew Bartlett

Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Al Cohn (tenor sax)
Phil Woods (alto sax)
Mose Allison (piano)
Nabil Totah (bass)
Paul Motian (drums)

1 - Lover Come Back To Me
2 - It Had To Be You
3 - Wee Dot
4 - After You've Gone.wav

Recorded live at the Half Note, New York, New York on February 6 and 7, 1959

Savoy On Central Ave.

"Jazz fans take note: Here is an affordable, rollicking collection of Los Angeles-based recordings, circa the late '40s and early '50s, that permanently eradicates two long-held myths. For one, the two-CD set kills the misconception that everything interesting in the genre at the time was happening in the Big Apple. Two, the collection destroys the stereotype that all West Coast jazz from that era was detached or "cool" (a moronic critical notion that put the region's music in blunt -- and convenient -- contrast to the volcanic sound of East Coast bebop).

If all you know about California jazz is the sound of Chet Baker, then you are in for a jolt. There is nothing disengaged, for instance, about Roy Porter and His Orchestra (which includes a young, soon-to-be-iconic Eric Dolphy) and their blaring and surrealistic "Gassin' the Wig." Johnny Otis (who would later pen R&B mainstay "Willie and the Hand Jive") and his band deliver similar musical chaos on "Preston Love's Mansion" and "Wedding Boogie." The anthology also offers numerous examples of Harold Land's searing saxophone work, reminding listeners what a neglected reed genius he was.

If names such as Land, Porter and Otis do not carry the tip-of-the-tongue recognition that other jazz gods might, that is exactly the point. Savoy on Central Avenue brims with half-remembered talent that went missing only because the jazz intelligentsia of the day fixed its collective gaze on the NYC skyline.

But if sampling untried artists sounds too daunting, relax: The collection also includes knockout takes from better-known acts. Lester Young breezes through "Blues 'N' Bells." Erroll Garner provides the necessary L.A. noir with his cover of "I Surrender Dear," while Slim Gaillard delivers goofy, zoot suit nonsense in "Laguna." Savoy also taps into its extensive Charlie Parker library and gives listeners a sort of before-and-after sampling of Parker's famed City of Angels meltdown, which left him institutionalized in between the "before" and the "after."

Few will argue that the post-World War II era was an explosive time in jazz, with ideas and talent coming from every direction. What this collection reminds us of is that like Chicago, New Orleans and Kansas City, L.A. had a talent pool of its own with abilities that stretched far beyond its city limits. " Jeff Hinkle

Savoy on Central Avenue explores early Savoy sessions from 1941 through 1952 recorded for the legendary West Coast label. While the material had been previously released on similar Savoy compilations, these tracks hadn't been heard in these cleaned-up incarnations, using 24-bit digital transfers from the original acetates and tape masters. Hearing these cleaned-up tracks by Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, Big Joe Turner, Slim Gaillard, Johnny Otis, the Hampton Hawes Trio, and Harold Land is a pleasure and will even impress the most picky audiophile. Lovingly compiled, produced, and annotated by Billy Vera, Savoy on Central Avenue is a must. Les Campbell

CD 1
1. On The Sunny Side Of The Street - King Cole Quartet
2. Long Tall Dexter - Dexter Gordon Quintet
3. Should I - Kay Starr/Ben Pollack & His Orchestra
4. I Ain't Gonna Cry No More - Kay Starr/Ben Pollack & His Orchestra
5. Preston's Love Mansion - Johnny Otis & His Orchestra
6. Jimmie's Round The Clock Blues - Jimmy Rushing/Johnny Otis & His Orchestra
7. Harlem Nocturne - Johnny Otis & His Orchestra
8. Laguna - Slim Gaillard Quartet
9. Savoy Blip (Jacquet And No Vest) - Illinois Jacquet
10. Yardbird Suite - Charlie Parker Septet
11. Ornithology - Charlie Parker Septet
12. Wake Up Old Maid - Numa Lee Davis/Russell Jacquet & His Yellow Jackets
13. Blues A La Russ - Russell Jacquet & His Yellow Jackets
14. I'm Sharp When I Hit The Coast - Joe Turner
15. Relaxin' At Camarillo - Charlie Parker's New Stars
16. Rocks In My Bed - Joe Turner
17. Gassin' The Wig - Roy Porter & His Orchestra
18. You're My Thrill - Mary Ann McCall/Phil Moore Orchestra
19. I Hadn't Anyone Till You - Mary Ann McCall/Phil Moore Orchestra
20. I Surrender Dear - Erroll Garner Trio

CD 2
1. Blues 'N' Bells - Lester Young Sextet
2. Central Avenue Hop - Dee Williams Sextette
3. Outlandish - Harold Land
4. Swingin' On Savoy - Harold Land
5. San Diego Bounce - Harold Land
6. I'll Never Smile Again - James Von Streeter
7. Man I Love, The - Erroll Garner Trio
8. Moon Mist - Ike Carpenter Orch.
9. After All - Ike Carpenter Orch.
10. Take The 'A' Train - Ike Carpenter Orch.
11. Double Crossing Blues - Johnny Otis & His Orchestra/Little Esther & The Robins
12. Head Hunter - Big Jay McNeely/Johnny Otis & His Orchestra
13. I'll Ask My Heart - Linda Hopkins/Johnny Otis & His Orchestra
14. The Turkey Hop Part 2, - The Robins/Johnny Otis & His Orchestra
15. Sad Feeling - Helen Humes/Marshal Royal & His Orchestra
16. He May Be Yours - Helen Humes
17. Wedding Boogie - Johnny Otis & His Orchestra/Esther Phillips/Mel Walker/Lee Graves
18. Rockin' Blues - Johnny Otis & His Orchestra/Mel Walker
19. Move - Red Norvo Trio
20. Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Hampton Hawes Trio

Jim Walker - Freeflight (1981) [flac]

This obscure LP was the debut album for Free Flight, a remarkable group that was always capable of playing jazz, classical and crossover, often switching back and forth. Flutist Jim Walker and pianist Milcho Leviev were the co-founders (bassist Jimmy Lacefield and drummer Peter Erskine complete the quartet), and the emphasis on this album (unlike later ones) was on jazz interpretations of classical themes. Leviev adapted melodies by Bach, Samuel Barber, Henri Dutilleux, Debussy and Poncho Vladigerov. In addition, the group plays Leviev's "Pavane for a True Musical Prince" (dedicated to Don Ellis) and his classic "Bulgarian Boogie" (which is in 33/16 time!). Well worth searching for. - Scott Yanow

"Fusion", "Third Stream", "Crossover" or "Chamber Music for Four Buffoons" - call it what you want, Jim Walker is a masterful flautist and Milcho Leviev is...well, Milcho Leviev! Ripped from the CD reissue (tracks had to be renamed as they were out of order)

Jim Walker (flute)
Milcho Leviev (piano)
Jimmy Lacefield (bass)
Peter Erskine (drums)
  1. Sonata No. 4 in C Major (J.S. Bach)
  2. Pavane for a True Musical Prince (Leviev)
  3. Bulgarian Boogie (Leviev)
  4. Syrinx (Debussy)
  5. Carnival Cortege for Flute and Piano (Vladigerov)
  6. Bach's Groove (Badinerie) (J.S. Bach)
  7. Adagio (Barber)
  8. Sonatine for Flute and Piano (Dutilleux)
Recorded March 16, 17, 1981

edmond hall -- petit fleur

jean lafite says: first rate session with great players. traditonal root swinging dope. with my boy ellis larkins, jimmiew crawford, milt hinton, emmett berry, and vic dickenson. don't miss it.

Benny Carter, Earl Hines, Shelly Manne, Leroy Vinnegar ~ Swingin' The 20's Japanese CD (flac)

Combining altoist Benny Carter with pianist Earl Hines in a quartet is an idea with plenty of potential, but the results of this 1958 session are relaxed rather than explosive. Carter and Hines explore a dozen tunes (standards as well as forgotten songs like "All Alone" and "Mary Lou") with respect and light swing, but one wishes that there were a bit more competitiveness to replace some of the mutual respect. (Yanow yet again allows his ignorance to go on display; All Alone is a Berlin standard an is in no way forgotten)
Benny Carter: Alto
Earl Hines: Piano
Shelly Manne: Drums
Leroy Vinnegar: Bass
rec. Nov. 2, 1958 for Contemporary
Thou Swell/ My Blue Heaven/ Just Imagine/ If I Could Be With You/ Sweet Lorraine/ Who's Sorry Now/ Laugh Clown Laugh/ All Alone/ Mary Lou/ In A Little Spanish Town/ Someone To Watch Over Me/ A Monday Date

shirley scott & clark terry -- soul duo

jean lafite says: fun record. with mickey roker, george duvivier, and bob cranshaw

Pablo Ziegler - Asfalto: Street Tango (Flac/Scans/1997)

Here is the continuation of my postings of Pablo Ziegler's jazz/tango fusion. See comments for links to the others I've posted here at CIA.

The late New Tango composer and bandleader Astor Piazzolla has cast a nearly inescapable shadow over those who have attempted to further his tango innovations. Consider the hurdles for Pablo Ziegler, Piazzolla's pianist for a decade. Remarkably, Ziegler does not shy away from Piazzolla (in fact he revisits several of the master's pieces) and still offers a personal sound. "El Empedrado" runs the gamut from Piazzolla's influence to Ziegler's lush romanticism. "Milonga en el Viento" has a surprisingly traditional feel--paced by jazz style drumming. The ambitious Radio Tango II suggests an intriguing fusion of jazz, rock, Piazzolla, classical music, and traditional tango. Ziegler has quite a challenge before him, but if Asfalto is any evidence, he has the tools, the smarts, and the imagination to inch the New Tango line forward. It is an effort worth following. Fernando Gonzalez

Asfalto (Spanish for asphalt and slang in Argentina for "street smarts") features 13 inspired performances of six Zielger originals as well as arrangements by the pianist of several classics by Astor Piazzolla, the legendary Argentine composer and bandoneon (accordion) virtuoso who was Ziegler's mentor and with whom the pianist toured internationally for a decade. Piazzolla is credite with launching the nuevo tango movement in the face of intense criticism from the traditional tango establishment during the 1950s. Ziegler and the other members of his Quintet for New Tango - Héctor Del Curto (bandoneon), Oscar Guinta (bass), Horacio López (drums) and Quiqui Sinesi (guitar) - as well as special guest Antonio Agri (violin) are as adept at traditional and contemporary tango forms as they are performing jazz and world music. By using percussion and improvisational elements on Asfalto, Ziegler enriches the nuevo tango legacy and further explores the common ground between tango and jazz. The recording is a quintessential example of the nuevo tango style the pianist created which removes the music's traditional emphasis on the violin and focuses instead on the piano, guitar and bandoneon. Europe Jazz Network

Pablo Ziegler (piano)
Quiqui Sinesi (guitar)
Hector Del Curto (bandoneon)
Oscar Guinta (bass)
Horacio Lopez (drums)
Antonio Agri (violin)

1. Asfalto
2. La Muerte Del Angel
3. Milonga En El Viento
4. El Empedrado
5. La Cumparsola
6. Soledad
7. Decarisimo
8. Radio Tango II
9. Elegante Canyenguito
10. Maria Ciudad
11. Michelangelo 70
12. Dos Cadencias Sobre "Adios Nonino"
13. Elegia Sobre "Adios Nonino"

Recorded August 1996-October 1997 at El Studio del Abasto in Buenos Aires, Argentina

benny carter -- cosmopolite

jean lafite says: i dig benny carter. from the norgran wax, benny solo's on alto on every track. no credit given to the supporting cast on my lp cover, though the one in the picture here indicates that oscar peterson is involved. i'll leave that to the scholars.

tracklist: can't we be friends, symphony, sorry, i'll be around, beautiful love, blue star, street scene, imagination, pick yourself up, i get a kick out of you, with a song in my heart, and flamingooooooooooo.....

Philly Joe Jones - Blues For Dracula

OK, let's put this in perspective: Jones was a Dracula fan from way back, and although the reviews mention his "ad-lib" Lugosi impersonation, there are those who will recognize a few Lenny Bruce lines in there. And small wonder; Bruce and Jones were friends, and Bruce actually intended to participate in this dopy - allow a moment for the word to resonate - effort, but his record company at the time wouldn't go for it. In the fullness of time and capitalism, the two companies have since become one.

The liner notes mention that this is the first time Jones' Dracula impression was recorded. It could have waited. But some other notable firsts for this album are: it's Jones' first leader session, the first Riverside dates for Julian Priester and Tommy Flanagan, and it was Jimmy Garrison's first recording date ever. And it has an early appearance of a Cal Massey tune. The corny cover put me off buying this for a long time, but the personnel sure looked good. I was dopy for waiting so long; this is a solid session.

Philly Joe Jones (spoken vocal, drums)
Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone)
Nat Adderley (cornet)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)

1. Blues For Dracula
2. Trick Street
3. Fiesta
4. Tune Up
5. Ow!

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on September 17, 1958

Woody Shaw - Live: Volume One

Woody Shaw was a major voice in jazz when this recording was made in 1977, a trumpeter with few equals who could balance bravura skills and saxophone-like fluency with inspired invention, whose every leaping solo was an amalgam of cool logic and emotive fire. While many had converted to fusion, Shaw remained loyal to acoustic postbop in its most advanced form, continuing to develop the mix of complex harmonies, modality, and demanding rhythms that had characterized the mid-'60s work of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock. The tracks here are long--"Love Dance" is over 15 minutes, "Why" nearly 19--but there's no sense of sprawl. It's a band with an intense focus, and each piece is an exploration of a tune's possibilities, whether a dive into a deepening pool (pianist Larry Willis's "Light Valley") or a quest for a molten, expressive core (Shaw's high-speed "Stepping Stone"). Real camaraderie shows in the collective ability to shift direction and in the frequent dovetailing of Shaw's trumpet and Carter Jefferson's blistering tenor and soprano saxophones, the latter sometimes compressed to an oboe-like tone. The horns are driven along by the swarming, fluid detail in Victor Lewis's drumming, Stafford James's darting, propulsive bass, and Willis's insistent, prodding piano. Details of date and venue are missing from the CD, but the sound quality is very good. Only occasional applause and the spirit of the music testify to a "live" recording. --Stuart Broomer

Woody Shaw (trumpet)
Carter Jefferson (tenor, soprano sax)
Larry Willis (piano)
Stafford James (bass)
Victor Lewis (drums)

1. Love Dance
2. Light Valley
3. Why
4. Stepping Stone

Shelly Manne & His Men - Play Peter Gunn

Henry Mancini's writing for Peter Gunn was quite significant, for it was the first regular television series to utilize jazz as an integral part of its score. Half a year after the show debuted, drummer Shelly Manne, the members of his quintet (trumpeter Conte Candoli, altoist Herb Geller, pianist Russ Freeman, and bassist Monty Budwig), and guest vibraphonist Victor Feldman (doubling on marimba) interpreted the Peter Gunn theme and nine selections from the show, including "Dreamsville." The enjoyable music (originally made for the Contemporary label) was reissued as a CD via the Original Jazz Classics imprint. Mancini encouraged Manne to use the songs as vehicles for extended solos, and the results are swinging, standing apart from the show. Candoli and particularly Geller are in top form on this fairly memorable effort. Scott Yanow

Shelly Manne (drums)
Victor Feldman (vibraharp, marimba)
Conte Candoli (trumpet)
Herb Geller (alto sax)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)

1. Peter Gunn
2. The Floater
3. Sorta Blue
4. The Brothers
5. Soft Sounds
6. Fallout
7. Slow And Easy
8. Brief And Breezy
9. Dreamsville
10. A Profound Gass

Recorded at Contemporary Records, Los Angeles; the evening of January 19th and the early morning of January 20th, 1959

Arranged by Henry Mancini

John Jenkins - With Kenny Burrell

The second (and best) of John Jenkins' two sessions as a leader features the altoist in a quintet with guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Dannie Richmond. Sounding at times like Charlie Parker (with touches of Phil Woods and Jackie McLean), Jenkins easily keeps up with his better-known sidemen and plays the boppish music with plenty of creativity, emotion and excitement. This 1996 CD reissue adds a pair of "new" alternate takes to the original six-song program which includes three Jenkins originals, one by Burrell and two standards. After listening to the high-quality set, one wonders why John Jenkins did not make it. ~ Scott Yanow

John Jenkins (alto sax)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Dannie Richmond (drums)

1. From This Moment On
2. Motif
3. Everything I Have Is Yours
4. Sharon
5. Chalumeau
6. Blues For Two
7. Sharon (Stereo Take)
8. Chalumeau (Stereo Take)

Ted Curson

Charles Mingus - Mingus At Antibes

Bud Powell once got physically agitated at a Paris Dolphy performance to which he was unwillingly taken. Notice how he tends to sit out at Dolphy's contributions

The claim that "This is one of the great Mingus albums," made in the liner notes to Mingus At Antibes, is no exaggeration. Recorded live at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1960, Mingus is presented here at his emotional, ground-breaking best with an ensemble that was surely one of his finest. Mining the style forged on Blues And Roots (released in early 1960), the music is an adrenaline-charged amalgam of black folk forms: gospel, blues, call and response and collective group improvisation, all woven through the spacious structures of Mingus' fiercely complex compositions. All of this and more is evidenced on the surging, riotous "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting," which opens the album, followed by "Prayer For Passive Resistance" in a similar vein. "What Love," based loosely on the chord structures of "What Is This Thing Called Love" is highlighted by loose, improvisational passages and a free-form dialogue between Mingus' bass and Eric Dolphy's bass clarinet. Elsewhere, Dolphy plays alto sax with great intensity and startling, conversational phrasing. A stirring performance, Mingus At Antibes captures the artist at one of the most exciting points of his career.

Charles Mingus (bass, piano)
Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, bass clarinet)
Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Ted Curson (trumpet)
Bud Powell (piano)
Dannie Richmond (drums)

1. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting
2. Prayer For Passive Resistance
3. What Love?
4. I'll Remember April
5. Folk Forms I
6. Better Git Hit In Your Soul

Recorded live at the Antibes Jazz Festival, Juan-les-Pins, France, July 13, 1960

Ted Curson - Plenty of Horn

We see him here with other Mingus alumni in Curson's debut session as a leader. They co-led a quintet for five years at this time: '60-'65. This is a relatively mainstream production ( and that is meant without judgement either way) from a man - I refer to Curson, not Barron - who worked with Dolphy, Cecil Taylor, Max Roach and Mingus. He, no doubt, got to know Kenny Drew better during his long residence in Denmark later in the decade.

Ted Curson (trumpet)
Bill Barron (tenor sax)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)
Eric Dolphy (flute, replaces Bill Barron on 2, 8)
Dannie Richmond (drums on 2,4,9)
Pete La Roca (drums on 5,8)

1 Caravan
2 Nosruc Waltz
3 The Things We Did Last Summer
4 Dem's Blues
5 Ahma (See Ya)
6 Flatted Fifth
7 Bali-H'ai
8 Antibes
9 Mr. Teddy

Shelly Manne - Li'l Abner

In a follow-up to their hit recording of music from My Fair Lady, Shelly Manne and his Friends (a trio with pianist André Previn, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and the drummer/leader) recorded nine songs from the play Li'l Abner. Although Johnny Mercer and Gene DePaul wrote the score, none of the songs caught on except for the ballad "Namely You," and this LP (whose music has not been reissued yet on CD) was not a best-seller. The musicians are in fine form but the melodies are not too memorable (when was the last time anyone played "If I Had My Druthers" or "Progress Is the Root of All Evil"?). Actually the main reason to search for this album is for the hilarious photo on the cover.

Shelly Manne (drums)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Andre Previn (piano)

1. Jubilation T. Cornpone
2. The Country's In The Very Best Of Hands
3. If I Had My Druthers
4. Unnecessary Town
5. The Matrimonial Stomp
6. Progress Is The Root Of All Evil
7. Oh, Happy Day
8. Namely You
9. Past My Prime

The Complete Argo/Mercury Art Farmer/Benny Golson/Jazztet Sessions (Mosaic)

"The three years of music in this collection represent one peak in two exceptional jazz careers. Art Farmer enjoyed, and Benny Golson still enjoys, varied and lengthy lives as musicians, with several triumphs as soloists and, in Golson’s case, composer/arranger. As a team, they left a recorded trail of their collaborations that spans four decades, yet the pinnacle of that association was clearly the sextet they co-led under the name the Jazztet." - Bob Blumenthal, liner notes

The seven CDs in Mosaic’s set include not only all the Jazztet recordings from 1960 to 1962, but concurrent sessions led by Golson or Farmer that rank among their greatest recordings– quartets, a Golson tentet and an Art Farmer Orchestra date. Key sidemen include Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, Arthur Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Albert “Tootie” Heath, and many, many others.

Our exclusive booklet includes an essay and track-by-track analysis by Bob Blumenthal, a complete discography of this set, and rare photographs by from the actual sessions by Chuck Stewart.

" This set encompasses the Argo and Mercury sessions by Art Farmer and Benny Golson separately and as co-leaders of The Jazztet. In terms of repertoire and sidemen, they are all one inter-related body of work. For musical compatibility, we have programmed the set by group. The first four discs cover the original Jazztet’s entire output. Disc five contains both of Art Farmer’s quartet sessions for Argo. Disc six contains Benny Golson’s quartet sessions, made within eight weeks of each other, but for different labels. The final disc is given over to two very different ensemble albums. "

Monk: Early And Late

Thelonious Monk - After Hours At Minton's

Often cited - and sometimes disputed - as the cradle of bebop, Minton's is where Monk first developed and extended his personal vision of the piano. I could have matched this post with one of Don Byas at Minton's around the same time; both are from the Jerry Newman collection. As such, these are rare survivors of a seminal time in modern jazz, and cannot be appreciated enough. But the Byas was posted before, and I thought it interesting to match early and late live performance. These are, in fact, the earliest recordings known by Monk.

Thelonious Monk (piano)
Joe Guy, Roy Eldridge, Oran "Hot Lips" Page (trumpet)
Charlie Christian (guitar)
Nick Fenton (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. I Got Rhythm
2. Nice Work If You Can Get It
3. Down, Down, Down
4. I Found A Million Dollar Baby
5. Body And Soul
6. I've Found A New Baby
7. My Melancholy Baby
8. Sweet Lorraine
9. Sweet Georgia Brown
10. You're A Lucky Guy
11. Stompin' At The Savoy
12. Indiana

Thelonious Monk - Evidence (Paris 1963-1966)

"...Thelonious resembles somewhat those phoenician small boats which coasting are menaced by sinking in the gulf, when the black-honey ship with its beared captain reaches port, its the masonic wharf of Victoria Hall which greets it with a sigh like soothed wings, harbours homed...three shadows like wheat ears surround the bear which explores the hives of the keyboard in and out among the disconcerted bees and hexagons of sound..."

Jeez. Makes Jurek sound like an amateur.

1-3, 7-8
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Butch Warren (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)

Thelonious Monk (piano)
Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Larry Gales (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)

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

1 - Rhythm A Ning
2 - Ruby My Dear
3 - Bright Mississippi
4 - Round About Midnight
5 - Evidence
6 - Jackie ' ing
7 - Stuffy
8 - Blues Monk

Monday, November 26, 2007

Count Basie 1940-1941 [flac]

This is the last disc from volume one in the Count Basie Chronological Classics series. Since I bought this set there have been twelve more single discs issued (up to 1954). I decided to hold out waiting for these to be packaged in subsequent volumes but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. (How many times have you seen a volume one but no volume two?)

"The biggest change for the Count Basie Orchestra during this period of time is that after the first session (which resulted in four selections, including "Broadway"), Lester Young left the band, at first replaced by Paul Bascomb and then Don Byas. Otherwise, the classic orchestra remained intact and stayed at the same high swinging level. Among the highlights are the rare anti-racism protest song "It's the Same Old South," "Rockin' the Blues," the original version of "Goin' to Chicago Blues," and two numbers ("9:20 Special" and "Feedin' the Bean") that have the great tenor Coleman Hawkins guesting with the band." - Scott Yanow

  1. Five O'Clock Whistle
  2. Love Jumped Out
  3. My Wanderin' Man
  4. Broadway
  5. It's the Same Old South
  6. Stampede in G Minor
  7. Who Am I?
  8. Rockin' the Blues
  9. It's Square But It Rocks
  10. I'll Forget
  11. You Lied to Me
  12. Wiggle Woogie
  13. Beau Brummel
  14. Music Makers
  15. Jump the Blues Away
  16. Deep in the Blues
  17. The Jitters
  18. Tuesday at Ten
  19. Undecided Blues
  20. I Do Mean You
  21. 9:20 Special
  22. H and J
  23. Feedin' the Bean
  24. Goin' to Chicago Blues

Ayler/Cherry/Tchicai/Rudd/Peacock/Murray - New York Eye And Ear Control

The following is taken from an interview with Michael Snow in the Austin Chronicle:

“AC: The soundtrack for NYE&EC is pretty legendary in the world of free jazz.

MS: Oh yes, it's by one of the most amazing free jazz groups. It's Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, Sunny Murray, and Gary Peacock. I had just come across the music of these people, and I was completely knocked out. I had arrived in New York two years before, hoping that I was going to stop playing music and make it as a visual artist, try to get gallery shows and all that, which I did do. But running across all that music that was going on in New York at the time changed my plans! For me, there was an immediate connection between free jazz and New Orleans jazz, in which I had been previously involved, playing Louis Armstrong, Hot Five. But the point that I'd like to make is that, although I was very affected by all these great players, after a while I felt some differences of opinion with what they were doing in their sessions. They [the NYE&EC musicians] all used to play "heads," you know, a tune of some kind, and then a solo, and then "head" again, and I found myself disagreeing with that. When I had them come to the studio to record the soundtrack, I was careful to tell them that I didn't want any themes, but as much as possible ensemble playing. They accepted and they performed this way, but, in my opinion, this is one reason for which the music is so great. I mean, they're great, fantastic musicians, but they were stuck in that business of the statement of theme, alternating with solos. That's when I started working on my own music, which is what you'll hear with my trio, CCMC. Hmm, see, this is what happens, everything gets confused in these interviews!”

Albert Ayler (tenor saxophone)
Don Cherry (trumpet)
John Tchicai (alto saxophone)
Roswell Rudd (trombone)
Gary Peacock (bass)
Sunny Murray (drums)

1 - Don's Dawn
2 - A Y
3 - ITT

July 17, 1964, at the home of Paul Haines, New York

Cedar Walton - The Trio, Vol. 3

One of the most valued of all hard bop accompanists, Cedar Walton is a versatile pianist whose funky touch and cogent melodic sense has graced the recordings of many of jazz's greatest players. He is also one of the music's more underrated composers; although he has always been a first-rate interpreter of standards, Walton wrote a number of excellent tunes ("Mosaic," "Ugetsu," and "Bolivia," to name a few) that found their way into Art Blakey's book during the pianist's early-'60s stint with the Jazz Messengers.

Walton was first taught piano by his mother. After attending the University of Denver, he moved to New York in 1955, ostensibly to play music. Instead, he was drafted into the Army. Stationed in Germany, Walton played with American musicians Leo Wright, Don Ellis, and Eddie Harris. After his discharge, Walton moved back to New York, where he began his career in earnest. From 1958-61, Walton played with Kenny Dorham, J.J. Johnson, and Art Farmer's Jazztet, among others. Walton joined Blakey in 1961, with whom he remained until '64. This was perhaps Blakey's most influential group, with Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter. Walton served time as Abbey Lincoln's accompanist from 1965-66 and made records with Lee Morgan from 1966-68; from 1967-69, Walton served as a sideman on many Prestige albums as well. Walton played in a band with Hank Mobley in the early '70s and returned to Blakey for a 1973 tour of Japan. Walton's own band of the period was called Eastern Rebellion, and was comprised of a rotating cast that included saxophonists Clifford Jordan, George Coleman and Bob Berg, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins. In the '80s and '90s, Walton continued to lead his own fine bands, recording on the Muse, Evidence, and Steeplechase labels. In addition to his many quantifiable accomplishments, Walton is less well known as the first pianist to record, in April 1959 with John Coltrane, the tenorist's daunting "Giant Steps" — unlike the unfortunate Tommy Flanagan a month later, Walton wasn't required to solo, though he does comp magnificently.

Cedar Walton (piano)
David Williams (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1 Girl Talk from Harlow
2 Fantasy In D (Ugetsu)
3 Ground Work
4 Once I Loved
5 Another Star
6 Theme For Red
7 Relaxin' at Camarillo

Jackie McLean - 1991 The Jackie Mac Attack FLAC

Veteran altoist Jackie McLean is in top form on this live quartet session with pianist Hotep Idris Galeta, bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Carl Allen. He performs two originals by Galeta, Rene McLean's "Dance Little Mandissa," "'Round Midnight" and his own "Minor March" and "Five." The amount of passion and intensity that McLean puts into his improvisations is quite impressive, and 40 years after his recording debut, he remains in prime form. This strong, advanced hard bop date gives listeners a good example of his abilities. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

01 Cyclical (Hotep Idris Galeta) 11:51
02 Song For My Queen (Hotep Idris Galeta) 10:24
03 Dance Little Mandissa (René McLean) 6:18
04 Minor March (Jackie McLean) 9:12
05 'Round Midnight (Monk – Williams - Hanighen) 11:16
06 Five (Jackie McLean) 6:44

Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Hotep Idris Galeta (piano)
Nat Reeves (bass)
Carl Allen (drums)

Recorded live at Hnita Hoeve Jazz Club, Belgium on April 2, 1991

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lou Donaldson - Blues Walk

I can't take too much Lou Donaldson; most of the stuff after this sounds like Pepsi commercials from the sixties, but some of this early stuff is OK

"Lou Donaldson's undisputed masterpiece, Blues Walk, marks the point where the altoist began to decisively modify his heavy Charlie Parker influence and add a smoky, bluesy flavor of his own. The material is still firmly in the bebop vein, and the mellower moments aren't as sleepy as some of Donaldson's subsequent work, so the album sounds vital and distinctive even as it slows down and loosens things up. That makes it the definitive release in Donaldson's early, pre-soul-jazz period, but what elevates Blues Walk to classic status is its inviting warmth. Donaldson's sweetly singing horn is ingratiating and melodic throughout the six selections, making even his most advanced ideas sound utterly good-natured and accessible. The easy-swinging title cut is a classic, arguably Donaldson's signature tune even above his late-'60s soul-jazz hits, and his other two originals -- "Play Ray" and "Callin' All Cats" -- are in largely the same vein. Elsewhere, Donaldson displays opposite extremes of his sound; the up-tempo bebop classic "Move" provokes his fieriest playing on the record, and his romantic version of "Autumn Nocturne" is simply lovely, a precursor to Lush Life. The addition of Ray Barretto on conga is a subtle masterstroke, adding just a bit more rhythmic heft to the relaxed swing. There are numerous likable records in Donaldson's extensive catalog, but Blues Walk is the best of them all. Steve Huey

Lou Donaldson (alto sax)
Herman Foster (piano)
Peck Morrison (bass)
Dave Bailey (drums)
Ray Barretto (conga)

1 - Blues Walk
2 - Move
3 - The Masquerade Is Over
4 - Play Ray
5 - Autumn Nocturne
6 - Callin' All Cats

Van Gelder studio July 29, 1958

Clifford Brown - The Complete Paris Sessions Volume 1

This is from the same Hampton tour as the previous post. While Hampton was making extracurricular recording sessions that he forbade to his bandmembers, the boys weren't having it.

This is the session recorded in Paris after Brownie arrived in Europe with his first real professional jazz gig, with Lionel Hampton. Hampton had them playing in New York dressed in purple jackets and lederhosen and Tyrolean hats. Artists like Diz and the others on 52nd street would come during their breaks to laugh at them.

Hampton - or more likely, Gladys, Hamp's wife - forbade extracurricular recording by the band's members, so when the guys snuck out for this after hours session, the story took on legendary proportions. Art Farmer said the truth was more prosaic; they just went out the hotel's back door.

Tracks 1-5
Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Fernand Verstraete, Walter Williams (tp) Fred Gerard (tp -1/4) Quincy Jones (tp, arr) Jimmy Cleveland, Al Hayse, Bill Tamper (tb) Gigi Gryce, Tony Ortega (as) Henri Bernard, Clifford Solomon (ts) Henri Jouot (bars) Henri Renaud (p) Pierre Michelot (b) Alan Dawson (d)
Paris, France, September 28, 1953

Tracks 6-11
Clifford Brown (tp) Gigi Gryce (as) Henri Renaud (p) Jimmy Gourley (g - on 10,11) Pierre Michelot (b) Jean-Louis Viale (d)
Paris, France, September 29, 1953

1. Brown Skins (Alternate Take)
2. Brown Skins (Master Take)
3. Deltitnu
4. Keeping Up With Jonesy (Master Take)
5. Keeping Up With Jonesy (Alternare Take)
6. Conception (Master Take)
7. Conception (Alternate Take)
8. All The Things You Are (Master Take)
9. All The Things You Are (Alternate Take)
10. I Cover The Waterfront
11. Goofin' With Me

Recorded in Paris, France on September 28 & 29, 1953

Lionel Hampton In Paris (1953) [flac]

Recorded just two days after I was born and halfway around the world, I nevertheless feel right at home with this informal session for Vogue Records. My first exposure to Lionel Hampton was listening to my father's Benny Goodman records when I was just a young boy so the sound of the vibes was always a connection to the world of jazz. I would listen in amazement as Hampton, Goodman, Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa would converse on their instruments like they were one-and-the-same mind.

Lionel Hampton's first session on vibes came in 1930 while he was playing drums in Les Hite's band which used to back up Louis Armstrong on a lot of his big band sessions and gigs. Armstrong saw a set of vibes in the studio and asked Hampton to accompany him on "Memories of You". His big break came in 1936 when Benny Goodman heard him in a group at the Paradise Cafe in Los Angeles. A rather hilarious moment occurs in the movie "The Benny Goodman Story" when Hampton is portrayed as a short order cook at the cafe!

This session for Vogue occurred while Hampton was touring with his big band and the musicians are a mix of players from his band and a few Parisians, most notably New Orleans clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow. There's also an opportunity to hear from trumpeter Walter Williams who rarely got any solo space with the big band seeing as how his section mates included Art Farmer and Clifford Brown! Unencumbered by the usual restraints of the recording studio, Hamp is the main soloist and gets a chance to really stretch out on the long tracks.

Yanow's take:
This CD reissue features a loose jam session dominated by vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. The nine selections (which include such titles as "Real Crazy," "More Crazy" and "More and More Crazy"), in addition to many long solos from Hamp, has some spirited playing by trumpeter Walter Williams (who rarely had an opportunity to stretch out like this on records), trombonists Jimmy Cleveland and Al Hayse, clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow, tenors Alix Combelle and Clifford Scott and guitarist Billy Mackell with suitable backup by pianist Claude Bolling, electric bassist Monk Montgomery and drummer Curley Hamner. The results are not innovative or essential but generally quite fun.

Tracks 1, 3, 5
Lionel Hampton (vibes)
Billy Mackell (guitar)
Monk Montgomery (electric bass)

Tracks 2, 4, 6-9
Walter Williams (trumpet)
Jimmy Cleveland, Al Hayse (trombone)
Mezz Mezzrow (clarinet)
Clifford Scott, Alix Combelle (tenor sax)
Claude Bolling (piano)
Curley Hamner (drums)
  1. September in the Rain
  2. Blue Panassie
  3. Always
  4. Free Press Oui
  5. I Only Have Eyes for You
  6. Walking at the Trocadero
  7. Real Crazy
  8. More Crazy
  9. More and More Crazy
Recorded on September 28, 1953

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hampton Hawes - The Sermon (Flac)

Hawes' father was a preacher who would lock up the piano at home when he wasn't there, so that his son wouldn't have an opportunity to practice the jazz he was so crazy about. Hampton was, indeed, crazy enough about jazz to pick the lock and put in hours of practice every chance he got. Funny thing is: Hawes Senior used to let a young guy named Carl Perkins use the church piano for practice.

" There is irony in the history of The Sermon, one of the most directly affecting of Hampton Hawes's 14 albums for Contemporary. He recorded it a few days before he was sentenced to federal prison on a technically correct but unjust narcotics conviction. Hawes served five years of his ten-year sentence, then was pardoned by President Kennedy, but The Sermon spent 29 years in solitary confinement in Contemporary's tape vaults. It was released as a long- playing record ten years after Hawes's death and quickly went out of print. Now on CD at last, it finds the preacher's son at a time when he must have felt that nobody knew the trouble he'd seen. Still, his playing reflected the hope inherent in the spirituals that make up the collection. The album is capped by one of Hawes's typically sunny blues. Throughout, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Stan Levey accompany him with enthusiasm and impeccable taste."

Hampton Hawes (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)

1. Down By The Riverside
2. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
3. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
4. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
5. When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder
6. Go Down Moses
7. Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho
8. Blues N/C

Recorded at Contemporary's Studio in Los Angeles, California on November 24 & 25, 1958

Ken McIntyre Trio - Chasing the Sun (FLAC)

A great trio session, McIntyre is in full voice
& he breathes life into everyone of his
compositions / songs.

"I Close My Eyes" is especially memorable.

Ken McIntyre, alto-sax & flute & bass-clarinet & oboe & bassoon
Hakim Jami, bass
Beaver Harris, drums

1 I Close My Eyes
2 Coconut Bread
3 El Hajj Malik
4 Puddin'
5 Got My Mind Set On Freedom
6 High Noon
7 Chasing The Sun

Count Basie 1939-1940 [flac]

The Count Basie Orchestra continued to grow in strength during the period covered by this CD, with Vic Dickenson replacing Benny Morton in the trombone section, high-note trumpeter Al Killian taking over for Ed Lewis, and Tab Smith being added as an alto soloist. Among the classics recorded by the definitive swing band are "I Never Knew," "Tickle Toe," "Louisiana," "Easy Does It," "Somebody Stole My Gal," "Super Chief," and a remake of "Moten Swing." This set would be well worth acquiring if only for the Lester Young solos, and there is much more to savor including spots for Buck Clayton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Dicky Wells, Buddy Tate, Jimmy Rushing, Helen Humes, and Basie himself. - Scott Yanow

  1. Ham 'n' Eggs
  2. Hollywood Stomp
  3. Someday, Sweetheart
  4. I Never Knew
  5. Tickle-Toe
  6. Let's Make Hey! While the Sun Shines
  7. Louisiana
  8. Easy Does It
  9. Let Me See
  10. Blues (I Still Think of Her)
  11. Somebody Stole My Gal
  12. Blow Top
  13. Gone With "What" Wind
  14. Super Chief
  15. You Can't Run Around
  16. Evenin'
  17. The World Is Mad - Part I
  18. The World Is Mad - Part II
  19. Moten Swing
  20. It's Torture
  21. I Want a Little Girl
  22. All or Nothing at All
  23. The Moon Fell in the River
  24. What's Your Number?
  25. Draftin' Blues

Friday, November 23, 2007

Shelly Manne

Shelly Manne and His Men - At The Blackhawk Vol. 5

The last of the series, so far as I know. I'm guessing that the earlier volumes have been posted already; if not...they're readily available.

Shelly Manne (drums)
Joe Gordon (trumpet)
Richie Kamuca (tenor sax)
Victor Feldman (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)

1. How Deep Are The Roots
2. This Is Always
3. Wonder Why (Trio)
4. Eclipse Of Spain
5. Pullin' Strings
6. Theme: A Gem From Tiffany

Shelly Manne and His Men - The Gambit

If West Coast jazz can be said to have any marked characteristics, one of them must be the regard given to structure and composition. It features as strongly as improvisation; equally in many cases. It's not surprising, really, that many of these so-called West Coast players were technically very accomplished, and were able to make the transition from studio work to club date with facility. Note the first track on this album; after a formal and stylised statement of theme it goes into a looser improvisational jam. Not uncommon in jazz, of course, but the shift is characteristic of this time and place in a way it isn't from, say, Diz and Bird blowing unison and then taking off individually.

This is a work that is cobbled together - successfully I think - from a suite commissioned from Mariano (who had been with the group for over two years at the time: he had these guys in mind when he wrote it), with chess as its thematic center, and two tunes by Jim Hall and Russ Freeman, respectively. This album brings to mind the Teddy Charles Evolution album, but unlike that one, where the two appended tracks are markedly different, this set has a cohesiveness, and works seamlessly.

Shelly Manne (drums)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Charlie Mariano (alto sax)
Stu Williamson (trumpet, valve trombone)
Monty Budwig (bass)

1. Queen's Pawn
2. En Passant
3. Castling
4. Checkmate
5. Blu Gnu
6. Tom Brown's Buddy
7. Hugo Hurwhey

ECM/Hat Whatever Day This Is..

Gary Burton & Steve Swallow - Hotel Hello

Vibraphonist Gary Burton and bassist Steve Swallow had played together on a regular basis since 1967. This duet outing finds Burton switching between vibes, organ and marimba while Swallow doubles on occasional piano. As expected, the music is introverted, quiet, and occasionally swinging, but mostly floating. Burton and Swallow perform group originals (generally by Swallow), plus Carla Bley's "Vashkar" and Mike Gibbs' "Inside In." Thoughtful background music with no real surprises or excitement. ~ Scott Yanow

Gary Burton (born on January 23, 1943 in Anderson, Indiana) is a jazz vibraphone player, known for developing the then-innovative technique of playing the instrument with four mallets, rather than the usual two.

He studied with Herb Pomeroy at the Berklee College of Music, where he met the composer and arranger Michael Gibbs, with whom he subsequently collaborated frequently.

Burton, who released his debut album in 1961 at the age of 18, spent the early parts of his career playing with George Shearing and then in Stan Getz's piano-less mid-sixties quartet.

In the late sixties, he assembled like-minded players for a series of electric sessions that melded jazz elements with rock and blues. Burton's album Duster (with guitarist Larry Coryell, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Roy Haynes) is regarded by a minority of jazz critics to be the first jazz-rock fusion album, as it predates Miles Davis' In A Silent Way by two years.

Gary Burton (organ, marimba, vibraphone)
Steve Swallow (bass, piano)

1. Chelsea Bells (For Hern)
2. Hotel Overture + Vamp
3. Hotel Hello
4. Inside In
5. Domino Biscuit
6. Vashkar
7. Sweet Henry
8. Impromptu
9. Sweeping Up

John Surman - Coruscating

In John Surman's wildly diverse recorded catalog, two things remain constant: his dedication to finding the players he wants and getting the sonic atmosphere he needs to accomplish his musical ideas. There are few players and/or composers whose record is as consistent or as prolific as Surman's. John Zorn may be as diverse, but he's got a long way to go to match Surman's recorded output. Surman is one of those artists who is the creative musician ECM is named for. His career can be categorized according to the definition of this album's title, "flashing brightly." On Coruscating Surman assembles a string quartet, a bassist, and his own array of saxophones and clarinets to embark upon a journey that texturally resembles a suite, but is actually a series of compositions by Surman of settings for strings and soloists. The atmospheric backdrop that the string quartet drapes the scene with is chilling in its beauty. Bassist Chris Laurence and Surman are soloists in another world, full of color, balance, and harmonic space. That said, there are two pieces on the record written strictly for strings and bass where Surman doesn't appear at all. On "Stone Flower," a tribute to the late baritone saxophonist Harry Carney, Surman bleeds the opening with the strings playing glissandi and states a minimal melodic theme before allowing Laurence to move into this space and paint it with a deeply moving and melodically intricate bass solo. Surman's own solo restates the theme twice (sounding like something out of 1940s Hollywood — Charlie Haden eat your heart out) before reaching into Carney's fake book for a phraseology that is equal parts his own and the late musician's — particularly in the glides to the lower register of the baritone. Harmonically, the tune is simple enough, but Surman stretches it in the upper register while crossing lines with Laurence. It's not dissonant, but it isn't consonant either. Rather, as Jackie McLean would say, there exists here "a fickle sonance." There is "out" baritone sax play on the album, however, as "The Illusive Shadow," originally commissioned by a dance company, moves modally to juxtapose itself against a series of tone rows by the string section. The notes and phrases are minimal, but there are microphonics coming from both the horn and the two violins, underscored deeply by Laurence. It feels as if the notes have disappeared altogether into an ether of silence and resonant harmonics. As the work progresses, there are serial tone rows asserting themselves before giving way to pastoral washes of color and nuance. "Winding Passages" is an illustrative work that feels very close in its beginning to Vaughan Williams in its layering of the string quartet's individual harmonic cadences; viola and cello assert themselves in counterpoint and are closely followed in unison by the violins. It changes quickly, however, upon the entrance of Surman's bass clarinet and Laurence's pizzicato style. The minor-key, shaded trade-off with the strings presents a problem of intervallic irresolution, but it's covered by the bass clarinet which fluidly binds both ends together in a gorgeous cadenza that scales the strings and offers an open mode for Laurence. It's simply brilliant in its modern classicism — a la Britten, Williams, and even Dvorak in places — and still so full of Gil Evans elegance in its jazz-like architecture, where tempos and changes occur seamlessly and without warning according to space and color. Coruscating is one of the finer moments in an already stellar career. Coruscating's mood and timbre is delicate, mysterious, and gentle, but its musical reach is muscular and wide. Thom Jurek

John Surman (soprano and baritone saxophone, bass and contrabass clarinets)
Chris Laurence (bass)
Rita Manning (violin)
Keith Pascoe (violin)
Bill Hawkes (viola)
Nick Cooper (cello)

1.At Dusk
2.Dark Corners
3.Stone Flower
4.Moonless Midnight
5.Winding Passages
6.An Illusive Shadow
7.Crystal Walls
8.For The Moment

Recorded at CTS Studios, London in January 1999

John Surman - John Surman

This is not an ECM - or Hat - release, but I thought it would go well here.

" Avant-reedist John Surman's self-titled Deram debut straddles the past and future of British jazz. Recorded in collaboration with altoist Mike Osborne, bassist Harry Miller and pianist Russell Henderson, the disc's first half comprises four succinct workouts that channel the Caribbean textures and rhythms so influential on the evolution of Britain's postwar musical culture — Surman's potent baritone is kept in check here, and while the performances pulsate with warmth and energy, their straight-ahead approach proves much too limiting. Which makes the second half of John Surman that much more radical — a sidelong, three-part suite recorded with jazz-rock titans including trumpeter Harry Beckett, bassist Dave Holland and trombonist Paul Rutherford, the music erupts with invention and passion, exploring the deepest reaches of sound but never lapsing into self-indulgence." Jason Ankeny

John Surman (baritone saxophone)
Mike Osborne (alto saxophone)
Kenny Wheeler (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Paul Rutherford, Malcolm Griffiths (trombone)
Russ Henderson (piano)
Dave Holland, Harry Miller (bass)
Alan Jackson, Stirling Betancourt (drums)
Errol Phillips (conga)

1. Obeah Wedding
2. My Pussin'
3. Good Times Will Come Again
4. Carnival
5. Incantation
6. Episode
7. Dance

August 12 & 14 1968

Larry Young - Of Love And Peace

" By 1966, Larry Young was playing music that fell between advanced hard bop/soul-jazz and the avant-garde. For this stimulating Blue Note date, the organist meets up with trumpeter Eddie Gale (who was playing with Cecil Taylor during this era), altoist/flutist James Spaulding, and three obscure but fine sidemen: tenor saxophonist Herbert Morgan and both Wilson Moorman III and Jerry Thomas on drums. Two of the selections ("Of Love and Peace" and
"Falaq") are essentially free improvisations that have a momentum and purpose of their own, moving forward coherently. In addition, Young and his group perform adventurous versions of "Pavanne" and "Seven Steps to Heaven." Very stimulating and intriguing music, this was one of Larry Young's best recordings. Previously only available on CD as part of Young's Mosaic box set retrospective, Blue Note issued the remastered title as a limited edition in its Connoisseur series in October of 2004." Scott Yanow

Larry Young (organ)
Eddie Gale (trumpet)
James Spaulding (flute, alto sax)
Herbert Morgan (tenor sax)
Jerry Thomas (drums)
Wilson Moorman III (drums)

1 Pavanne
2 Of Love and Peace
3 Seven Steps to Heaven
4 Falaq

Thelonious Monk - Live At The Monterey Jazz Festival, '63, Vol. 1 (MFSL)

First; the good news, Amazon has 3 new and used copies of this available.
Now the bad news; they start at £55.99

But then, the good news; we present it here in Flac, with cue, cd scan, etc.
And then, more good news; Volume 2 will be posted shortly.

I remember reading that Monk was very pleased with this date.

"This double-CD contains pianist/composer Thelonious Monk's two sets at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival, music that was unreleased until 1994. Monk, tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist John Ore, and drummer Frank Dunlop perform lengthy versions of two standards: "I'm Getting Sentimental over You" and a nearly 19-minute "Sweet and Lovely," and seven of Monk's originals. Nothing all that unusual occurs (outside of the two-beat feel that Ore gives "I Mean You") but Monk and Rouse have plenty of fine solos. An above-average effort." Scott Yanow

Charlie Rouse - Tenor Sax
Thelonious Monk - Piano
John Ore - Bass
Frank Dunlop - Drums

1. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
2. Well You Needn't
3. Evidence
4. I Mean You

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

The Vandermark 5 - Free Jazz Classics, Vol. 3 - Six For Rollins

The Vandermark 5's Free Jazz Classics, Vols. 3 & 4 is the last double-disc set in the Free Jazz Classics series, according to Ken Vandermark's liner notes. The two artists Vandermark focuses on here are Sonny Rollins — particularly his "Alfie Suite" — and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The Rollins set was previously issued in a limited-edition double disc of the V5's Airports for Light, and the Kirk set was included in limited-edition double packaging with Elements of Style...Exercises in Surprise. Both these albums were recorded live at Chicago's Empty Bottle in 2003 and 2004, respectively. The "Six for Rollins" disc (inspired by Archie Shepp's Four for Trane) is tight, solidly arranged, and the tune selection is great. It opens with "The Bridge"; the interplay between Vandermark, saxophonist Dave Rempis, and trombonist Jeb Bishop is remarkable. Another notable is the second part of the "Freedom Suite," included here, and the "Alfie Suite" offers a keen view of the deep listening that occurs in this band. The opening part of the cut with Bishop's slow, leisurely trombone solo working through the melody brings out the blues underneath the compositional sketch, as Vandermark enters slowly, harmonizing quietly on the changes. The real blowing begins at about seven minutes, and the swinging blues as it walks the edges of free playing is astonishing. The Kirk disc, entitled "Free Kings — The Music of Roland Kirk," concentrates equally on the pre-Kirk Mercury, and Emarcy period material — Vandermark assembled suites from the We Free Kings and Rip, Rig and Panic recordings — and chose select other material from the Atlantic years such as "The Inflated Tear," "Black and Crazy Blues," and "Silverization/ Volunteered Slavery." The two discs are very different in mood and style with the latter being less, intense perhaps, but still looser, riskier, and genial. Bishop's solo on "Black and Crazy Blues," is pure hard bop-blues swinging. Suites Vandermark arranged are wonderful, full of surprise and great humor — something you wouldn't expect from him, but you did from Kirk. If you didn't have a chance to pick these up on their original release, now's your chance. This set is not to be missed. Thom de la Van Der Jurek, Esq.

Ken Vandermark (tenor sax, Bb and bass clarinet)
Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Kent Kessler (bass)
Tim Daisy (drums)
Dave Rempis (alto and tenor sax)

1 The Bridge
2 Strode Rode
3 Freedom Suite, Pt. 2
4 John S.
5 East Broadway Rundown
6 Alfie Suite: He's Younger Than You Are/Little Malcolm Loves His Dad

The Vandermark 5 - Free Jazz Classics, Vol. 4 - Free Kings - The Music Of Roland Kirk

The Vandermark 5's Free Jazz Classics, Vols. 3 & 4 is the last double-disc set in the Free Jazz Classics series, according to Ken Vandermark's liner notes. The two artists Vandermark focuses on here are Sonny Rollins — particularly his "Alfie Suite" — and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The Rollins set was previously issued in a limited-edition double disc of the V5's Airports for Light, and the Kirk set was included in limited-edition double packaging with Elements of Style...Exercises in Surprise. Both these albums were recorded live at Chicago's Empty Bottle in 2003 and 2004, respectively. The "Six for Rollins" disc (inspired by Archie Shepp's Four for Trane) is tight, solidly arranged, and the tune selection is great. It opens with "The Bridge"; the interplay between Vandermark, saxophonist Dave Rempis, and trombonist Jeb Bishop is remarkable. Another notable is the second part of the "Freedom Suite," included here, and the "Alfie Suite" offers a keen view of the deep listening that occurs in this band. The opening part of the cut with Bishop's slow, leisurely trombone solo working through the melody brings out the blues underneath the compositional sketch, as Vandermark enters slowly, harmonizing quietly on the changes. The real blowing begins at about seven minutes, and the swinging blues as it walks the edges of free playing is astonishing. The Kirk disc, entitled "Free Kings — The Music of Roland Kirk," concentrates equally on the pre-Kirk Mercury, and Emarcy period material — Vandermark assembled suites from the We Free Kings and Rip, Rig and Panic recordings — and chose select other material from the Atlantic years such as "The Inflated Tear," "Black and Crazy Blues," and "Silverization/ Volunteered Slavery." The two discs are very different in mood and style with the latter being less, intense perhaps, but still looser, riskier, and genial. Bishop's solo on "Black and Crazy Blues," is pure hard bop-blues swinging. Suites Vandermark arranged are wonderful, full of surprise and great humor — something you wouldn't expect from him, but you did from Kirk. If you didn't have a chance to pick these up on their original release, now's your chance. This set is not to be missed. Thom "Interval Crack? Make Mine Pastel" Jurek

Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Kent Kessler (bass)
Tim Daisy (drums)
Dave Rempis (alto and tenor sax)
Ken Vandermark (tenor sax, Bb and bass clarinet)

7 The Black and Crazy Blues (Blue Rol)
8 The Free Kings Suite: Meeting on Termini's Corner/Three for the Festival/
9 The Inflated Tear
10 Rip, Rig and Panic Suite: From Bechet, Byas and Fats/
11 Silverization/Volunteered Slavery Vandermark 5

Freddie Redd - Shades Of Redd (Japanese Issue Flac)

While looking for something else I came across this little gem. Redd's work on the Jack Gelber play The Connection brought a lot of musicians to prominence, including Jackie McLean.

"A classic bop pianist and a composer of haunting melodies, Freddie Redd has had an episodic career, with high points followed by periods in which he maintained a low profile. After a period in the Army (1946-49), Redd worked with drummer Johnny Mills and then in New York played with Tiny Grimes (with whom he recorded), Cootie Williams, Oscar Pettiford and the Jive Bombers. Redd, who appeared with both jazz and early R&B groups, recorded his debut as a leader for Prestige in 1955 (reissued in the OJC series), appeared on dates led by Gene Ammons and Art Farmer, and toured Sweden in 1956 with Ernestine Anderson and Rolf Ericson, cutting an obscure trio set in Sweden for the Metronome label. When he returned to the U.S., Redd settled for a time in San Francisco, where he worked as the house pianist at Bop City and recorded for Riverside. He found his greatest fame when he wrote the music for the play The Connection. He acted and played in the landmark show in New York, London and Paris, was in the film, and recorded the music for Blue Note, the first of his three sessions for the label (all of which were reissued on a Mosaic limited-edition box set as two-CD sets). Unfortunately, there were no encore writing assignments, and Redd soon moved to Europe, where he performed regularly but became quite obscure in the U.S. In 1974, he moved to Los Angeles, but despite worthy sessions for Interplay (1977), Uptown (1985), Triloka (1988) and Milestone (1990), Freddie Redd remains an underrated great, still playing in his prime without gaining much recognition. ~ Scott Yanow

Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Tina Brooks (tenor sax)
Freddie Redd (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1 Thespian
2 Blues-Blues-Blues
3 Shadows
4 Melanie
5 Swift
6 Just A Ballad For My Baby
7 Ole

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 13, 1960

European Trane

I believe these are Ogg format as well, they're from a number of months back.

This post is slightly deceptive, much like a Blakey post from not long ago. While the titles might lead you to think these are live recordings, the second selection is actually studio production. But you savvy buggers knew that, no doubt.

John Coltrane - The Paris Concert

This excellent CD by the classic John Coltrane Quartet (with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones) is highlighted by a 26-minute version of "Mr. P.C." Also included on the album are "The Inch Worm" and the ballad "Every Time We Say Goodbye." Although the sound and passion of the group on this date will not surprise veteran listeners, it is always interesting to hear new variations of songs already definitively recorded in the studios. It's recommended to all true Coltrane fanatics. Scott Yanow

John Coltrane (tenor sax)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

1. Mr. P.C.
2. The Inch Worm
3. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

John Coltrane - Dear Old Stockholm

This CD contains five excellent performances by the John Coltrane Quartet from two occasions when drummer Roy Haynes filled in for Elvin Jones. A definitive "Dear Old Stockholm" and Coltrane's mournful ballad "After the Rain" are from Apr. 29, 1963 while the beautiful "Dear Lord" and two long and raging performances ("One Down, One Up" and "After the Crescent") date from May 26, 1965. Although Haynes had a different approach on the drums than Jones, he fit in perfectly with the group, stimulating Coltrane to play brilliantly throughout these two sessions. Scott Yanow

John Coltrane (tenor sax)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Dear Old Stockholm
2. After The Rain
3. One Down, One Up
4. After The Crescent
5. Dear Lord

John Coltrane - The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions

At the end of John Coltrane's two-year contract with Atlantic Records in 1961, the saxophonist became one of the first major figures to sign up with ABC-Paramount's new label, Impulse! Six years later, he died, leaving behind an immense legacy of music. There is a sense of adventure, expectation and delight to Coltrane's Impulse! recordings--a sustained burst of creativity which constitutes his greatest achievements. The soulful folk songs--past, present and future--which make up THE COMPLETE AFRICA/BRASS SESSIONS are a celebration of freedom: the freedom to create on a higher plane, the freedom he felt in playing with his new quartet. In a sense, THE COMPLETE AFRICA/BRASS SESSIONS are a celebration of McCoy Tyner's contribution to the group. Tyner's distinctive block voicings, and his method of modulating in fourths were a major part of the quartet's sound. Reed innovator Eric Dolphy (who joined Coltrane's Quartet later in 1961) took melodic ideas and chords from Coltrane and Tyner, and developed brass-reed orchestrations that echoed the characteristic Tyner sound, and the quartet's mode of interaction. Cal Massey's "The Damned Don't Cry" is a fascinating exception, as Dolphy allows individual voices to glisten against the dusky shadow of ten brass. Creative use of repetition was a hallmark of Coltrane's music during this initial phase of inquiry (a factor that explains his influence on progressive rockers). The double bass ostinatos which distinguish three very different takes of "Africa" (recorded on May 23 and June 7, 1961), are part of Coltrane's attempt to realize an incantory pulse to match the hypnotic minor melodies he uncovered in folk tunes such as "Greensleeves" and "Song Of The Underground Railroad." "Blues Minor," from the second session, reflects this concern, as drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Reggie Workman bring a rocking three against four feel to the basic swing groove (listen to Tyner's sprightly polytonal dance). On the final version of "Africa," Dolphy employs an expansive tonal palette for a scaled back brass session, and Trane, Tyner and Elvin respond with abstract, expressive solos that push the envelope of jazz.

John Coltrane Tenor Saxophone
McCoy Tyner Piano
Reggie Workman Bass
Elvin Jones Drums
Booker Little Trumpet
Julian Priester Trombone
Eric Dolphy Alto Saxophone, Flute, Bass Clarinet
Freddie Hubbard Trumpet

CD 1
1. Greensleeves
2. Song Of The Underground Railroad
3. Greensleeves (Alternate Take)
4. The Damned Don't Cry
5. Africa (1st Version)

CD 2
1. Blues Minor
2. Africa (Alternate Take)
3. Africa

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on May 23 & June 4, 1961

James Blood Ulmer - Tales of Captain Black

Tales of Captain Black first appeared in 1978 on the Artist House label in America. It was a label set up for the purpose of allowing visionary artists to do exactly what they wanted to do. They had issued a couple of records by Ornette Coleman previously, so it only made sense to issue one by his then guitarist, James Blood Ulmer. With Coleman on alto, his son Denardo Coleman on drums, and bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma on bass, Ornette's harmolodic theory of musical composition and improvisation (whereby on a scale of whole tones, every person in the ensemble could solo at one time and stay in this new harmony) was going to get its first test outside of his own recordings. Blood was, before he was a jazz player, a funk guitarist who had tenured with Black Nasty and a side project of George Clinton's in Detroit, as well as playing as a sideman to organ groovemaster Big John Patton. Having an ally in Tacuma, Ulmer brought funk deep into free jazz territory. The disc opens with "Theme From Captain Black," a furious exercise on the interplay between Ulmer and Tacuma's root contribution. Ulmer sounds like a sideways Jimi Hendrix driving home the rhythmic riff from "Voodoo Chile" as Tacuma charges toward Denardo to undercut the time and Coleman soars over the top. But we also hear Ulmer slipping his fills in, faster than lightning, always in the cut and rolling those strings out like a sax player. On "Moon Shine," we hear the blues angle of harmolodics assert itself. Long, repetitive melody lines are played between Coleman and Blood; there's a modal feel, but it's subverted by the lack of flats. Blood augments all his chords to be played as drone-like as possible, so then even though the piece appears to be played in a minor key, after the first two measures it makes no difference because everyone is soling, not along a set of changes but a melodic line introduced at the beginning. Here is where Blood shines. His fiery arpeggios cut across the bass and rhythm lines and become their own tempo while never leaving the ensemble. The melody restates itself only often enough for the microtonal alignment between Coleman and Blood to become apparent. They are playing in different keys, and through different modal inventions, but sound in unison. On "Revelation March," which Blood recorded on Are You Glad to Be in America, is indicative of the complexities of harmolodics; it also offers a glimpse of this music out from under Coleman's tutelage. The previous melodies were all from Coleman's fake book. Here, Blood introduces the anarchy he's interested in, allowing fragmentary ideas to assert themselves as the sole reason to engage in group improvisation. Tacuma and Denardo are more than up to the challenge. Tacuma trades single lines with Blood's triple-timed fours and chords, creating a kind of melodic invention on the fly. Denardo treats the tune as if it were a march in hyperspeed. Only Coleman dares to play his loping, easy, graceful pace, blues — wailing it above the chaos. It's beautiful. Safe to say, there are no weak tracks on Tales From Captain Black, and even the redo of "Revealing" from Ulmer's previous album show an unbridled excitement and an extrapolation of that tune's rhythmic and harmonic elements into something more sinister, more driven, more angular, more mercurial. Captain Black marks the real beginning of Ulmer's career as a leader. It has been a bumpy, restless ride since that time with many creative and professional ups and downs, but it hardly matters. Records like this one make him the most visionary and brilliant electric guitarist in a generation.

James Blood Ulmer (guitar)
Denardo Coleman (dums)
Ornette Coleman (alto sax)
Jamaaladeen Tacuma (bass)

1. Theme From Captain Black
2. Moons Shine
3. Morning Bride
4. Revelation March
5. Woman Coming
6. Nothing To Say
7. Arena
8. Revealing

Shelly Manne & His Men ~ Boss Sounds (flac, HDCD)

The version of "Margie" puts me in mind of Monk's "Evidence" (aka, Just You, Just Me) lots of whole tones, very quirky--actually arranged by Jimmy Rowles. Margie is one of the cornpone-iest of tunes, Rowles virtually transforms it into an abstract piece. The rest is fairly straight ahead....And Good.

by Scott Yanow
Although drummer Shelly Manne was closely associated with the Contemporary label for many years, he also recorded for other companies after Contemporary slowed down operations. This particular Koch CD reissues a set that was cut for Atlantic. The 1966 version of Shelly Manne's Men
(altoist Frank Strozier, trumpeter Conte Candoli, pianist Russ Freeman, and bassist Monty Budwig) played in a similar style to his 1950s groups. Only Strozier hints (and only slightly in spots) at the avant-garde explorations then going on elsewhere. The quintet performs three group originals, an obscurity, "The Breeze and I," (to think of all the albums Yanow allegedly hears, and he calls the breeze and I obscure?) and "Margie" (which was arranged by Jimmy Rowles). Fine hard bop music.

Shelly Manne: Drums, Frank Strozier: alto, Conti Candoli: Trumpet or flugelhorn, Russ Freeman: Piano, Monty Budwig: Bass

Margie/ Idle One/ The Breeze And I/ Frank's Tune/ Wandering/ You Name It
Rec. June 20, 1966 for Atlantic


A discussion about Shaw at another site, and hearing the DeFranco on the radio a little while ago, reminded me of this post from some time ago.

Artie Shaw - So Easy

I have always dug Shaw. Even his most commercial stuff was mindless music for the thinking person. This was originally released under the name 1949, and in this incarnation as So Easy. Here's Artie channelizin'.

In 1949 just before he was about to start yet another big band, Artie Shaw made the following statement: 'We'll find an identity. Perhaps it would be fairer to say I'll find one. Sooner or later all bands that stick find an identity, and find it through their leader. All the sounds, the creative arrangements, the pop tunes and the originals, must be channelized through the leader''. And on September 14, 1949 Artie Shaw was back on the bandstand, opening at Symphony Hall, Boston. The band's book contained both old and new material, and it was the first time Shaw had gone on the road with a band for many years. The 1949 band features a mixture of numbers associated with the Shaw bands of the early 40's and some in a more modern vein from new writers/arrangers such as Tadd Dameron, Johnny Mandel, Gene Roland and George Russell, with the more exotic Latin sounds coming from the pen of John Bartee.

Artie Shaw (clarinet)
Don Fagerquist , Vic Ford (trumpet)
Al Cohn, Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Jimmy Raney (guitar)

1 - Krazy Kat
2 - I Cover The Waterfront
3 - Fred's Delight
4 - Stardust
5 - Aesop's Foibles
6 - Orinoco
7 - They Can't Take That Away From Me
8 - Smooth 'n Easy
9 - I Get A Kick Out Of You
10 - Afro-Cubana
11 - So Easy
12 - 'S Wonderful
13 - Innuendo
14 - Similau
15 - Carnival
16 - Mucho de Nada

Benny Goodman - The Famous Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert 1938

In jazz, live recordings not only document an artist or group's sound in its purest form but, in rare cases, herald the arrival of a musical genre. That's the case with this invaluable, two-CD collection that captures clarinetist Benny Goodman's historic 1938 Carnegie Hall concert, which exemplified the so-called "swing era." Originally released in 1950, it contains rare commentary from Goodman and music from the entire event, which was a unique mix of formality and spontaneity. Goodman's perfect intonation and lyrical improvisation front the big band here, featuring the smooth solos of trumpeter Harry James, the percussive power of Gene Krupa--jumping the blues on "Don't Be That Way"--and the Fletcher Henderson- arranged "Sometimes I'm Happy" and "One O'Clock Jump." Another segment of the evening, called "Twenty Years of Jazz," takes Goodman to New Orleans with a lickety-split reading of "Sensation Rag" and "When My Baby Smiles at Me." A spirited jam session follows with Count Basie on the keys, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophonists Johnny Hodges, Lester Young, and Harry Carney, along with trumpeter Buck Clayton. Goodman hangs tough with the crew on a rollicking read of Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose." The spotlight turns to Goodman's color-line breaking small combos. His trio with Krupa and the elegant, fleet-fingered Teddy Wilson on piano delivers a harmonically delicious version of "Body & Soul" that would give Coleman Hawkins's version a run for its money. When vibraphonist Lionel Hampton gets into the mix and makes it a quartet, the standards "Avalon," "The Man I Love," and "I Got Rhythm," as well as "Stompin' at the Savoy," are transformed into timeless vehicles of improvisation. The big band returns with growling grandeur on Irving Berlin's optimistic "Blue Skies" and the British Isle balladry of "Loch Lomond," with the majestic vocals of Martha Tilton. One listen to Goodman and company's rockhouse romp on "Sing, Sing, Sing" will testify to the success of this event, which still reverberates today. - Eugene Holley Jr.

Benny Goodman (clarinet, vocal)
Ziggy Elman, Harry James (trumpet)
Jess Stacy, Fletcher Henderson (piano)
Teddy Wilson (piano)
Lionel Hampton - vibraphone)
Count Basie (piano)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Lester Young (tenor sax)

The Buddy DeFranco Quartet - Mr. Clarinet (Flac)

The clarinet never quite made the transition from the big band era to the modern age, probably because many found it hard to play the licks of bop on what ultimately is a tricky instrument to master. Thus what used to be the most popular instrument for band leaders quickly became old-fashioned, associated with a time period when people preferred to dance instead of listen.

Buddy DeFranco was virtually the only clarinetist to follow Shaw and Goodman and was determined to find a niche for the clarinet in a music that quickly became dominated by trumpets and saxophones. Mr. Clarinet, one of his first records, demonstrates why he was called the Charlie Parker of the clarinet. By looking at the hard-hitting rhythm section alone, one can detect a forward-thinking group of people who aren't going to linger in the past. The opener is a lengthy blues tune that would have been par for the course for any saxophonist, but which sounds oddly soulful on a clarinet, DeFranco really throwing out some bluesy riffs. At other points the tempo is kicked up to a pace that would cause many inferior musicians to stumble but which DeFranco handles expertly, peeling off licks with the same nonchalance he would bring to the act tying his shoes. Drew, Blakey, and Hinton, are superb, as is to be expected. All of this is a far cry from an instrument we normally associate with bubbles and champagne instead of small group jazz. A thoroughly enjoyable session. David Rickert

1. Buddy's Blues
2. Ferdinando
3. It Could Happen To Me
4. Autumn In New York
5. Left Field
6. Show Eyes
7. But Not For Me
8. Bass On Balls

Buddy DeFranco (clarinet)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

Recorded April 1953 in New York City

The Trio de Clarinettes - Live (Flac)

" Three musicians who, despite having each followed an unconventional career path, have onething in common: the clarinet. Their music deliberately weaves back and forth over the boundaries of genre and style combining the expressiveness and unbridled energy of jazz with the virtuosity and exaction of contemporary music, and the pure emotion and joyous sponta- neity of traditional idiom.
In performance, the three fearless exponents of this most popular of instruments - in every shape and size - deploy humour and irreverence, switching between written and improvised forms… trading their poetic ideas, and veering from the boisterous to near-silence... The sounds and rhythms of today’s live music scene."

Armand Angster (clarinet, bass clarinet, contra-bass clarinet)
Jacques di Donato (clarinet, bass clarinet)
Louis Sclavis (clarinet, bass clarinet)

A. Berliner Suite Part 1
B. Berliner Suite Part 2
2 Martok bass; clarinet solo by Louis Sclavis
C. Domaines
3 Version; for two solo clarinettes played by Jacques di Donato and Armand Angster
D. Berliner Suite - Part 3
4 Debora; bass clarinet solo by Armand Angster
E. Berliner Suite - Part 4
5. Trilles
6 Intinéraire bis
F. Berliner Suite - Part 5
7. Impromptu -
8. Clarinettes

Recorded November 1990, Berlin, Germany

Jimmy Smith - Portuguese Soul (1973)

This Jimmy Smith LP from 1973 is very different from his other large group recordings for Verve. The orchestra is arranged by Thad Jones but no other personnel is listed on the album or anywhere else. There isn't very much information on the web but I believe it was once available as a CD reissue in Japan. The only review I could come up with is from Dusty Groove.

"An oft-overlooked 70s gem from Jimmy! The album's got a smooth complicated sound -- with very long tracks that open up, stretch out, and groove in a much more sophisticated way than some of Jimmy's 60s work for Verve. The approach is almost similar to Jack McDuff's complicated Blue Note albums, especially Moon Rapping, as Jimmy's working here with Thad Jones on long tracks that have lots of time changes, rhythm shifts, and mood twists that really give them a dark dark edge. Titles include "Blap", "And I Love You So", and the extended "Portuguese Soul" suite, which is really tremendous!"

Jimmy Smith (organ)
Thad Jones (arranger, conductor)
  1. And I Love You So
  2. Blap
  3. Opening: Prologue
  4. 1st Movement: Portuguese Soul
  5. 2nd Movement: Ritual
  6. 3rd Movement: Farewell to Lisbon Town
Recorded February 8 & 9, 1973

Chet Baker - Sings And Plays

A horrible front cover, but the cool West Coast jazz style of Baker is at his peak. An excellent group of musicians, including Russ Freeman, Bud Shank and Red Mitchell.

With the growing popularity of Chet Baker's first vocal album, Chet Baker Sings, Pacific Jazz producer Richard Bock wanted to capitalize on both facets of his young star's abilities. Hence, the trumpeter turned vocalist entered the studio in 1955 with both his quartet featuring pianist Russ Freeman and an expanded sextet including bassist Red Mitchell, Bud Shank on flute, and various string players. The resulting album, Chet Baker Sings and Plays, helped set in stone the image of Baker as the jazz world's matinee idol and icon of '50s West Coast cool. His laid-back style -- a mix of '30s crooner and Miles Davis' nonet recordings -- appealed in its immediacy to a jazz public tiring of the hyper, athletic musicality of bebop. Similarly, his plaintive, warm trumpet sound was the more sensitive antidote to such brassy kings as Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown. Others artists had performed many of these standards before, but as with "My Funny Valentine" on Chet Baker Sings, tracks like "Let's Get Lost," "Long Ago and Far Away," and "Just Friends" became definitively associated with Baker for the rest of his career. Chet Baker Sings and Chet Baker Sings and Plays are not only the two most important albums of Baker's career, but are classics of jazz. [The 2004 EMI reissue of Chet Baker Sings and Plays includes an EP version of "Let's Get Lost" not included on the original album.]~Matt Collar, All Music Guide

01. Let's Get Lost 03:43
02. This Is Always 03:07
03. Long Ago and Far Away 03:58
04. Someone to Watch Over Me 03:01
05. Just Friends 02:42
06. I Wish I Knew 03:59
07. Daybreak 02:42
08. You Don't Know What Love Is 04:50
09. Grey December 03:41
10. I Remember You 03:12
11. Let's Get Lost [EP Take][*][Take] 02:54

Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA, February 28, 1955 (2, 4, 6, 9)
Chet Baker (tp, vo)
Bud Shank (fl)
Ray Kramer, Ed Lustgarten, Kurt Reher, Eleanor Slatkin (cellos) Corky Hale (harp)
Russ Freeman (p)
Red Mitchell (b)
Bob Neal (d)
Frank Campo, Johnny Mandel, Marty Paich (arr)

Los Angeles, CA, March 7, 1955 (1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11)
Chet Baker (tp)
Russ Freeman (p)
Carson Smith (b)
Bob Neal (d)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Steve Lacy - Clinkers

If anyone ever wonders what the hoopla was in the 1970s about Steve Lacy's solo performances, he or she needs look no further than this album. While it encompasses less than 45 minutes of recording time, and constitutes just half of a live concert (where is the other half?), Lacy is perfectly splendorous, with solos that rival his best on disc. The saxophonist is alone and his playing is terrific, with each piece a mini-masterpiece. "Trickles" opens the set, contrasting Lacy's excellent version of the same tune elsewhere with trombonist Roswell Rudd. "Duck" is an apt title, with the quacks and squawks reminiscent of the animal. "Micro Worlds" focuses on laser-like streams of sound distorted here, twisted there. The perfect intonation, symmetrical melodies, and warped interpretations lead to altered expectations, as Lacy winds his way across terrain uniquely his own. One of the few instrumentalists who can sustain a solo performance for seemingly indefinite periods, the saxophonist's cool and restrained yet radical style is fully displayed without a moment's lapse. Steven Loewy

Steve Lacy (soprano sax)

1 - Trickles
2 - Duck
3 - Coastline
4 - Micro Worlds
5 - Clinkers

The Adderley Brothers - The Summer Of '55

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and Nat Adderley are both legendary names in jazz now, but when the material on these two discs was recorded in 1955, they were newcomers on the New York jazz scene. These 21 tracks were originally released on three separate LPs: the first as Bohemia After Dark (with drummer Kenny Clarke billed as leader), the second under Cannonball's name as Spontaneous Combustion, and the third titled That's Nat. This reissue leaves the tracks in the same order as that found on the original LPs (with the addition of several alternate takes). The playing is stupendous, and Cannonball's alto sax is particularly reminiscent of Charlie Parker at the peak of his powers. Cannonball and Nat's compositions, especially the very boppish "Chasm" and the bluesy "Hear Me Talkin' to Ya" simultaneously hark back to and expand the bebop tradition in a way that would lead directly to the hard bop sound of Art Blakey and others. On his solo date, Nat's trumpet style is a bit more individualized than Cannonball's alto; his tone is sweet, his phrasing fluid. The packaging is attractive and there are excellent liner notes. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson

In 1955, Florida-born brothers Julian ("Cannonball") and Nat Adderley arrived in New York on summer vacation. The night of their arrival, they sat in with bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Kenny Clarke at the Café Bohemia. A few days later, Clarke took them in the studio with him to record the Savoy album Bohemia After Dark . Jazz critics immediately pronounced Cannonball the best alto saxophonist since Charlie Parker for his incisive tone and fluid rhythm, and younger brother Nat provided the perfect complement on cornet. This double-disc set includes the classic Bohemia After Dark (which also features pianist Horace Silver) as well as debut solo efforts by Cannonball and Nat. The Adderley Brothers went on to form one of the most popular and enduring bands in jazz during the 1960s. As heard here, they possessed a knack for communicating complex musical ideas with the immediacy of the blues from day one. ~ Rick Mitchell

Nat Adderley (cornet)
Cannonball Adderley (alto sax)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Jerome Richardson (tenor sax, flute)
Horace Silver (piano)
Hank Jones (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

CD 1
1. Bohemia After Dark (Take 2)
2. Bohemia After Dark (Take 1)
3. Chasm
4. Willow Weep For Me
5. Late Entry
6. Hear Me Talkin' To Ya
7. With Apologies To Oscar (Take 3)
8. With Apologies To Oscar (Take 2)
9. Spontaneous Combustion
10. Still Talkin' To Ya

CD 2
1. A Little Taste (Take 2)
2. A Little Taste (Take 3)
3. Caribbean Cutie
4. Flamingo
5. We'll Be Together Again
6. Porky
7. I Married An Angel
8. Big E
9. Kuzzin's Buzzin'
10. Ann Springs
11. You Better Go Now

Duke Ellington - The Treasury Shows: Volume 1

Good sound, and the Ellington band in it's great '40s configuration. Especially nice, because Ellington did not make V-Discs for Army distribution because of his disapproval of the treatment of Black soldiers. The more I know about this guy, the more I like him. But, patriot that he was, he did an extended series of these broadcasts. I have this and Volume 2; there are at least 11, and now that I've heard them, I intend to get whatever of them I can. Excellent notes, t'boot.

"On April 7, 1945, Duke Ellington began a series of shows sponsored by the U. S. Treasury Department which ended 45 shows later on October 5, 1946. These albums were released by Sweden's Phontastic label's Nostalgia Series beginning in the early 1980's. Now almost 20 years later, Denmark's excellent Storyville label begins an undertaking to reissue all of these sessions on CD. Not a favorable commentary on our domestic labels when important sessions of this country's greatest composer have to be brought to the public by foreign labels, but thank heaven they have. The war was ending in Europe when this series got underway, but an intense struggle was anticipated for Japan. Treasury, continuing to push War Bonds, sponsored 55 minute Saturday broadcasts by Ellington from various venues, mainly in New York. Storyville has included on a CD a bonus of two 1943 broadcasts of Treasury's Star Parade Show where Ellington's band was the feature.

Duke's band was undergoing some changes during this period. Ben Webster had departed (although he is heard on the 1943 broadcasts), Junior Raglin on bass had replaced the recently departed Jimmy Blanton. Juan Tizol and Harold “Shorty” Baker also departed but like so many former Ellington players, they returned in later years. But the basic foundation of the band was still intact. Johnny Hodges does rhapsodizes on “Don't Get Around Much Anymore”. Kay Davis pays honor to Adelaide Hall with her obbligatos on “Creole Love Call”. Other great Ellington vocalists are well represented, especially Al Hibbler. Jimmy Hamilton, Harry Carney, Cat Anderson are on hand as part of one of Duke' most creative organizations. The play list, 45 selections, was too long to list here. But it's made up mostly of Ellington/Strayhorn compositions, along with a few pop music of the day and a musical tribute to FDR who had passed during the time of these broadcasts.

Even the demeaning comments of the announcer, like referring to Al Hibbler as “that blind boy who sings with the Duke Ellington Orch.”, can't detract from the wonderful music on this album. The liner notes promise a new CD every other month." Dave Nathan

Duke Ellington (piano)
Ray Nance (vocals, trumpet, violin)
Joya Sherrill, Kay Davis, Al Hibbler (vocals)
Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick (alto sax)
Jimmy Hamilton (tenor sax, clarinet)
Al Sears, Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Harry Carney (baritone and bass sax, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Rex Stewart, Taft Jordan, Shelton Hemphill, Cat Anderson (trumpet)
Joseph Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Juan Tizol (trombone)
Billy Strayhorn (piano)
Fred Guy (guitar)
Junior Raglin (bass)
Sonny Greer (drums)

Count Basie 1939, Vol. 2

The Basie band recorded 53 studio tracks in 1939 not counting alternate takes. A very prolific year from the the best band in the land.

The Count Basie Orchestra may not have been the number one band popularity-wise in 1939 (Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw were ahead of Basie), but it was certainly the most swinging ensemble. With Buck Clayton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Dicky Wells, Lester Young, and Buddy Tate as major soloists, Jimmy Rushing and Helen Humes providing vocals, and the Basie rhythm section saying so much with so little, few bands were in Basie's league. This set has a variety of Columbia/Vocalion recordings from 1939, including the two-part "Miss Thing," "You Can Count on Me," "Song of the Islands," "I Left My Baby," and two numbers from a small-group date ("Dickie's Dream" and "Lester Leaps In"); there are plenty of gems to choose from, although one does regret the lack of any alternate takes, as is Classics' custom. - Scott Yanow

  1. And the Angels Sing
  2. If I Didn't Care
  3. Twelfth Street Rag
  4. Miss Thing - Part I
  5. Miss Thing - Part II
  6. Lonesome Miss Pretty
  7. Bolero at the Savoy
  8. Nobody Knows
  9. Pound Cake
  10. You Can Count on Me
  11. You and Your Love
  12. How Long Blues
  13. Sub-Deb Blues
  14. Moonlight Serenade
  15. Song of the Islands
  16. I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
  17. Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie
  18. Dickie's Dream
  19. Lester Leaps In
  20. The Apple Jump
  21. I Left My Baby
  22. Riff Interlude
  23. Volcano
  24. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chico Hamilton - The Complete Pacific Jazz Recordings

Seeing the recent Chico Hamilton posts, I went to see if the links to this set were active, and to my surprise it hadn't been posted at Pom, at C&D, at OAB - I can't recall when it was posted, although I know it was. Could it possibly have been as long ago as JPT?

Enough with the alphabet soup. Here it is in Flac, full scans in jpeg and PDF form. In full Swankola© Process. You know how we do.

"The original Chico Hamilton Quintet was one of the last significant West Coast jazz bands of the cool era. Consisting of Buddy Collette on reeds (flute, clarinet, alto, and tenor), guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Carson Smith, and the drummer/leader, the most distinctive element in the group's identity was cellist Fred Katz. The band could play quite softly, blending together elements of bop and classical music into their popular sound and occupying their own niche. This six-CD, limited-edition box set from 1997 starts off with a Hamilton drum solo from a 1954 performance with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet; it contains three full albums and many previously unreleased numbers) by the original Chico Hamilton band and also has quite a few titles from the second Hamilton group (which has Paul Horn and John Pisano in the places of Collette and Hall). In addition, there are three titles from the third Hamilton Quintet (with Eric Dolphy on flute and alto) and a 1959 Duke Ellington tribute date that featured both Collette and Horn. Most of these performances were formerly quite rare and never reissued coherently before. Highly recommended to jazz historians and to listeners who enjoy classic cool jazz, this box is sure to be sold out quickly." ~ Scott Yanow

Bebop & Beyond Plays Dizzy Gillespie (1991)

Bebop & Beyond is a repertory ensemble devoted to interpreting works from the modern jazz canon and one of the few working jazz bands that is also a not-for-profit corporation (Benny Carter, Jimmy Heath, and Orrin Keepnews sit on its board of advisors). Founded and led by San Francisco-based tenor saxophonist Mel Martin, the band has, since its inception, concentrated on updates of classic bebop tunes by Charlie Parker, Tadd Dameron, and Charles Mingus. Their record Bebop & Beyond Plays Dizzy Gillespie was the trumpet innovator's final studio date.

Bebop & Beyond's third recording was particularly special, because for their performances of six Dizzy Gillespie tunes (plus Ray Brown's "That's Earl, Brother" and leader Mel Martin's "Rhythm Man"), the group has as guest artist on six of the eight numbers -- Gillespie himself. 73 at the time and way past his musical prime, Dizzy does get off a few good solos and takes a touching vocal on "I Waited for You." Martin (switching between soprano, alto, tenor and flute), trumpeter Warren Gale, pianist George Cables, the distinctive and creative guitarist Randy Vincent, bassist Jeff Chambers, drummer Donald Bailey, Vince Lateano on drums and timbales and guest percussionist John Santos are all in fine form on fresh versions of such numbers as "Wheatleigh Hall," "Manteca" and "Diddy-Wa-Diddy." - Scott Yanow

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet, vocal and rhythmstick 1-6)
Mel Martin (soprano, alto, tenor saxes, flute)
Warren Gale (trumpet, flugelhorn)
George Cables (piano 1-6, 8)
Randy Vincent (guitar)
Jeff Chambers (bass)
Donald Bailey (drums 1, 2, 4 & 8)
Vince Lateano (drums, timbales 2, 5-7)
John Santos (congas, bongoes, percussion 2, 5-7)

  1. Wheatleigh Hall
  2. Manteca / A Night in Nazca
  3. I Waited for You
  4. That's Earl, Brother
  5. Con Alma
  6. Diddy-Wa-Diddy
  7. Father Time
  8. Rhythm Man (Do Not Disturb)
Recorded May 23, 24, 1991

Count Basie 1939

This CD has Count Basie's last three sessions for Decca and his first recordings for the Columbia/Vocalion labels. One of his tenor stars, Herschel Evans, had just passed away and is replaced by Chu Berry on one date before Buddy Tate became his permanent replacement. Otherwise, the band's very strong personnel remained the same. The first four numbers are showcases for the Basie four-piece rhythm section, "You Can Depend on Me" is by a sextet with Lester Young and trumpeter Shad Collins, and there are also four titles by "Basie's Bad Boys," an octet from the band with Basie doubling on organ. Among the other highlights are "Red Wagon," the two-part "Cherokee," the original version of "Jive at Five," "Rock-A-Bye Basie," "Taxi War Dance," and Helen Humes' warm vocal on "Don't Worry 'Bout Me." - Scott Yawn-ow (arwulf, arwulf, where art thou?)

  1. Fare Thee Honey, Fare Thee Well
  2. Dupree Blues
  3. When the Sun Goes Down
  4. Red Wagon
  5. You Can Depend on Me
  6. Cherokee, Part I
  7. Cherokee, Part II
  8. Blame It on My Last Affair
  9. Jive at Five
  10. Thursday
  11. Evil Blues
  12. Oh! Lady, Be Good
  13. I Ain't Got Nobody
  14. Going to Chicago
  15. Live and Love Tonight
  16. Love Me or Leave Me
  17. What Goes Up Must Come Down
  18. Rock-a-Bye Basie
  19. Baby, Don't Tell on Me
  20. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight
  21. Taxi War Dance
  22. Don't Worry About Me
  23. Jump for Me

subtlety AND nuance

Rab: Right, Granny. Who should we pick for this week?
Granny: Bumskin.
Rab: Bumskin? What the hell is Bumskin??
Granny: Bumskin, ye glaikit bugger! That laddie who plays they drums.
Rab: Bumskin???.....d'ye mean Erskine? Peter Erskine?
Granny: Bumskin, Erskine....same bloody thing!

Peter Erskine - Juni (Flac)

A beautiful collection full of subtlety and nuance, Juni is not the type of recording one would expect to be led by a drummer of Peter Erskine's high-octane pedigree. In fact, this trio's music owes more to that of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett's standards trio than to the work of Weather Report, Maynard Ferguson, or any of Erskine's other aggregations. The playing on this, the group's fourth under Erskine's name, is soft, spatial, melodic, and accessible. Pianist John Taylor weaves an introspective spell with his lyrical touch, and bassist Palle Danielsson is superb in support and when stepping into the solo spotlight. Erskine himself is continuously inventive within the context of these balladic compositions. ~ Jim Newsom

John Taylor (piano)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Peter Erskine (drums)

1. Prelude No. 2
2. Windfall
3. For Jan
4. The Ant & The Elk
5. Siri
6. Fable
7. Twelve
8. Namasti

Recorded July 1997

Peter Erskine - As It Is (Flac)

Peter Erskine's group is openly influenced by both Bill Evan's Vanguard trio and Paul Bley's trio circa "Footloose" and "Closer", and brings some of their values into the present tense. At the same time, it has its own distinct character and understanding of dynamics. "As it Is" features works written primarily by John Taylor, with Erskine also contributing material. The group has been heralded for their understated approach to music which is performed with a controlled sense of freedom and simple lyricism.

Although led by a drummer, this trio session mostly showcases English pianist John Taylor who is heavily influenced by Keith Jarrett. His interplay with bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Peter Erskine on the group originals is impressive, leaving plenty of space and developing quite slowly but also holding on to one's attention.

John Taylor (piano)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Peter Erskine (drums)

1. Glebe Ascending
2. The Lady In The Lake
3. Episode
4. Woodcocks
5. Esperança
6. Touch Her Soft Lips And Part
7. Au Contraire
8. For Ruth
9. Romeo & Juliet

Recorded September 1995

Bernd Konrad/Hans Koller Unit with Didier Lockwood - Phonolith (Flac)

The meaning of the word "phonolith" is sound stone, and though I've never to my knowledge tried the sound of a phonolith, it seems an apt word to describe the structure of this composition. ... Konrad's composition creates a masterful balance of composed and improvised parts. This is not about the loneliness of the soloist (they are not left alone in their a capella parts, and in the second version, there are duos anyway), it is about the constant change of texture, about construction and decay, about what we used to call deconstruction. The soundness of this stone, if you pardon the pun, is incredible. — Stephan Richter

Bernd Konrad (soprano & baritone saxophones)
Hans Koller (sopranino & tenor saxophones)
Didier Lockwood (violin)
Christoph Spendel (violin)
Kenny Wheeler (trumpet)
Paul Schwarz (piano)
Christoph Spendel (piano)
Thomas Stabenow (bass)
Martin Bues (drums)
Martin Bues Drums
Pierre Favre (drums)
Thomas Heidepriem (bass)
Herbert Joos (trumpet)
Michael Kersting Drums

1 Phonolith 1
2 Traumtänzer
3 Nordlicht
4 Aufwärtsregen 22
5 Jeannerette
6 Lush Life
7 Sleepwalk
8 Phonolith 2

Recorded at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik, Stuttgart, Germany on March 12, 1980 and Bauer Studios, Ludwigsburg, Germany in 1994

Art Farmer - The Time And The Place: The Lost Concert (Flac)

It has been a bit of a checkered path for many of the titles from Columbia’s jazz program of the mid to late 1960s, aside from the big names of the catalog. The small Collectables firm has helped somewhat in terms of this product, but there are still many titles that have yet to make a proper return to the market. Not a widely known set, The Time And The Place (Columbia, 1966) featured an impeccable unit led by fluegelhornist Art Farmer from the mid 1960s, including saxophonist Jimmy Heath, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Mickey Roker. Although reportedly recorded in concert, the original album was actually a studio date with fake applause dubbed in. When three tracks from the concert at the Museum of Modern Art came out on vinyl back in 1982 it raised the suspicion that there might be more music in the vault. Fast forward now 25 years later and at last Mosaic has brought us all eight tracks from that concert for the first time on disc. And while the issued studio tracks were on the short side, these performance takes run their full length. Highlights include “On The Trail,” “Far Away Lands,” and “The Time And The Place.” C. Andrew Hovan

Art Farmer (flugelhorn)
Jimmy Heath (tenor sax)sax
Albert Dailey (piano)
Walter Booker (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1. On The Trail
2. Band Announcement
3. Far Away Lands
4. The Shadow Of Your Smile
5. Dailey Bread
6. Blue Bossa
7. Is That So?
8. The Time And The Place

Recorded live at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, August 18, 1966

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cedar Walton at Maybeck (1993)

Although this is hardly Cedar Walton's first attempt to go completely solo, his fans still know him primarily from his ensemble work and will no doubt be surprised and pleased with this album, No. 25 in the Maybeck Recital Hall series. After warming up with an intricate self-composed workout, "The Maybeck Blues," Walton veers into some standards ("Stella By Starlight," "Sweet Lorraine") with the polystylistic twists and turns of an Art Tatum. Walton's other composition "Bremond's Blues" is somehow generated by the changes from "Giant Steps" -- a neat trick. Beyond the strong Tatum influence, Walton remains a strong hard bopper with his right hand, a manner that takes very well to the characteristically bright, crisp tone of the hall's Yamaha pianos; but he also displays as fully equipped a harmonic arsenal as that of anyone. The CD concludes with a technical tour de force on "Just One of Those Things," which almost, but not quite, ties itself in knots. Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide

01 Maybeck Blues (4:01)
02 Stella by Starlight (5:52)
03 Sweet Lorraine (3:48)
04 Darn That Dream (5:04)
05 Zingaro/Caminhos Cruzados (7:19)
06 Bremond's Blues (4:21)
07 You're My Everything (4:09)
08 Meaning of the Blues (4:04)
09 I'm Old Fashioned (3:51)
10 I Didn't Know What Time It Was (5:06)
11 Just One of Those Things (5:40)

Recorded on 30 March, 1993

Monday, November 19, 2007

Peter Brötzmann - Nipples and More Nipples

No, we haven't changed format.

I remember many years ago, Cedar Walton was being interviewed on the local jazz station, and Rhonda Hamilton asked him what his tune N.P.S. was about. He was hemming and hawing, and she kept pushing him. Yep, you guessed it.

Peter Brötzmann - Nipples (Flac)

Due to its previous rarity, Nipples has been something of a free jazz cult item, even championed by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. Now with a more easily found CD available, listeners can hear that it's not quite a lost classic but still comes by its reputation honestly. To be fair, the slightly muffled sound quality doesn't help music this detail-oriented, but perhaps listeners should be glad it was even recorded. The 18-minute title track (the original LP's first side) is a performance by improvisers who would become well-known names but were still making their marks in 1969. Peter Brötzmann, of course, is on tenor sax with Evan Parker also playing tenor (instead of his usual alto), guitarist Derek Bailey, pianist Fred Van Hove, drummer Han Bennink, and the now mostly forgotten Buschi Niebergall on bass. They create a swirl of sound with saxes locking into repeated riffs that generally change slowly but sometimes take abrupt leaps while the drum, bass, and guitar roll in waves and the piano jumps in with hyperactive runs. The music's dense, everything-at-once nature sometimes makes it seem like a hot-headed competition, but in the end it's the musician's construction of intricately detailed patterns that really matter. The 15-minute "Tell a Green Man" finished the album. A performance by just Brötzmann, Van Hove, Niebergall, and Bennink, the piece offers a contrast by a closer focus on each instrument instead of group improvisation. The piece opens with Bennink alone on drums at a mid-tempo before Niebergall enters with bowed bass. Brötzmann and Van Hove eventually jump in, pushing the others. Nipples is certainly not the best introduction to these musicians but nevertheless offers a fascinating look at their early careers. Lang Thompson

Peter Brötzmann (tenor sax)
Evan Parker (tenor sax)
Derek Bailey (guitar)
Fred Van Hove (piano)
Buschi Niebergal (bass)
Han Bennink (drums)

1. Nipples
2. Tell A Green Man

Peter Brötzmann - More Nipples (Flac)

Vanguard saxophonist Peter Brötzmann has continually insisted that a 1969 session he recorded for FMP with Evan Parker (saxophones), Derek Bailey (guitar), Fred Van Hove (piano), Buschi Niebergall (bass), and Han Bennink (drums) yielded more material than was originally issued. A CD version of Nipples was re-released by Atavistic in its amazing Unheard Music Series in 2000. In 2002, FMP founder Jost Gebers did indeed come across a reel of material, recorded by both the quartet (without Bailey and Parker) and sextet incarnations, in the FMP archive. That material, three long tracks, is issued here for the first time ever. And like the original session, it is fiery, woolly, and an absolutely perfect example of free jazz at its finest. The opener is an alternate take of "Nipples," entitled "More Nipples." At over 17 minutes, it clocks in as the longest piece here and is the only sextet collaboration. What is most stunning is how much more prominent Bailey's guitar is in the mix; not only can it be heard better, but it stands as pivotal in the development of the improvisation. His angular turns and strangled phrases cut across both Parker's soprano and Brötzmann's tenor dueling, to provide a bridge for the rhythm section to engage them both. The two quartet pieces, "Fiddle-Faddle" and "Fat Man Walks," are stunning examples of the kind of communication possibilities offered by free jazz in the 1960s. This is the kind of intensity one hears on John Coltrane's Meditations or Live in Seattle, or Pharoah Sanders' recordings with the Jazz Composer's Orchestra. And while Brötzmann is well-known for his brand of gut-blowing intensity, he has never sounded so urgent and so completely commanding as he does here; it was if the saxophone held no bounds for his voice. More Nipples is certainly as essential for free jazz fans as its predecessor. Thom Jurek

Peter Brötzmann (tenor sax)
Evan Parker (tenor sax)
Derek Bailey (guitar)
Fred Van Hove (piano)
Buschi Niebergal (bass)
Han Bennink (drums)

1. More Nipples
2. Fiddle-Faddle
3. Fat Man Walks (To Robert Wolfgang Schnell)

The Peter Brötzmann Octet - The Complete Machine Gun Sessions

"Arguably the single most important landmark in European free music: The original BRO Records LP restored to its 1968 format, with two alternate takes, new liner notes by Brötzmann and John Corbett, plus the only live version of Machine Gun ever recorded."

Machine Gun was a watershed, and even if it has taken four decades to find its appreciative audience, it is now an essential recording, both in terms of the development of free music in Europe and taken on its own merits, outside of the context of its creation. For this reissue, we have resequenced the CD as the original LP, self-produced and released on Brötzmann's own BRO label in 1968, followed by the two extant alternate takes. For comparison, UMS has included the live version, recorded two months earlier at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival, which adds Gerd Dudek to the ensemble." John Corbett

Peter Brötzmann (tenor and baritone sax)
Evan Parker (tenor sax)
Willem Breuker (tenor and alto sax, bass clarinet)
Fred Van Hove (piano)
Buschi Niebergall (bass)
Peter Kowald (bass)
Han Bennink (drums, tabla, voice)
Sven-Åke Johansson (drums)
Gerd Dudek (tenor sax)

1. Machine Gun
2. Responsible/For Jan Van De Ven
3. Music For Han Bennink
4. Machine Gun (take Second)
5. Responsible/For Jan Van De Ven (take First)
6. Machine Gun

Malachi Thompson - Freebop Now! 20th Anniversary Of The Freebop Band

Freebop Now! is designed both as a manifesto for Malachi Thompson's aesthetic principles and a 20th anniversary celebration of his Freebop Band concept. But it's a rather disjointed disc jamming together two sextet sessions with different goals, one commemorating a 1998 trip to play in Senegal featuring Billy Harper as Thompson's front-line foil, and the second centered around a science-fiction short story by Thompson with Oliver Lake replacing Harper. But "Cancerian Moon" is a 1993 track featuring Thompson's old Carter Jefferson/Joe Ford sax tandem that only muddies the waters even more. Wayne Shorter's "Black Nile" is a solid opener, while Mae Koen's voice joins the horns to give "Flight to Senegal" a Brazilian tinge à la Flora Purim as Harper turns in a blazing tenor solo. The title track features vocal scatting and strong solos from Steve Berry on trombone and Harper over James Cammack's free-ranging bass foundation. Thompson's trumpet solo explores "'Round Midnight" using a spare, Monk-like approach to the melody over Cammack's anchor, and while "Just a Look" and "Cancerian Moon" are well-crafted and delivered pieces, they're also nothing particularly special. But the sci-fi pieces with Lake are spottier and much less cohesive. "Jammin' at the Point" is ruled by a loping Caribbean-flavored groove fueled by Hamid Drake's percussion, while "Worm Hole" leans to the free side of freebop with drummer Dana Hall ripping underneath the horn harmonies. But the brief "Ancient African Horns" sounds like mouthpiece solos, "Black Hole" incorporates a spoken word reflection on black-on-black youth violence, and "Heathens and Space/Time Projection" is built around recitations by Amiri Baraka and Larry Smith. The final four tracks are pretty scattered, and while that doesn't derail Freebop Now!, it's not the strongest disc in Thompson's consistently interesting catalog. And some of his liner note rhetoric here makes you wonder if Thompson should attach so much conceptual baggage to what is the essential quest for any jazz musician -- a commitment to creating inventive music without being limited to prior models. ~ Don Snowden

Malachi Thompson (trumpet, spoken vocals)
Oliver Lake (alto sax)
Billy Harper, Sonny Seals, Carter Jefferson (tenor sax)
Joe Ford (soprano sax)
Hamid Drake (percussion)
Steve Berry (trombone)
Kirk Brown (piano)
James Cammack, Harrison Bankhead, John Whitfield (bass)
Dana Hall, Richard "Drahseer" Smith, Nasar Abadey (drums)
Tony Carpenter (percussion)
Mae Koen (vocals)
Amiri Baraka, Larry Smith, Sharese Locke (spoken vocals)

1. Black Nile
2. Goree Island
3. Flight To Senegal
4. Freebop Now!
5. Just A Look
6. 'Round Midnight
7. Cancerian Moon
8. Jammin' At The Point
9. Worm Hole
10. Ancient African Horns
11. Black Hole
12. Heathens And Space/Time Projection
13. Jammin' At The Point (Reprise)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bill Evans Trio - At Shelly's Manne-Hole (20bit K2)

Although the Scott LaFaro-Paul Motian lineup of the Bill Evans Trio is generally considered to be the strongest, Chuck Israels and Larry Bunker make a strong case of their own on At Shelly's Manne-Hole, a 1964 release that finds the entire band in classic form. This particular trio may lack some of the sheer combustive force of the better-known lineup, but it is, if possible, even more sensitive, melancholic, and nostalgic than the previous band. The leadoff track, "Isn't It Romantic," is one of Evans' finest moments, with the gently swinging theme leading into a strong, if restrained, solo from Israels. Over Bunker's sensitive brush work, Evans comments briefly and beautifully on the theme before returning to the head. The band's readings of such classics as "'Round Midnight," "Stella By Starlight," and "All the Things You Are" are wonderful, but it is the lesser-known tracks, such as "Swedish Pastry" and the aforementioned "Isn't It Romantic," that makes this recording so valuable. Jazz is rarely as sensitive or as melodic as this. Another classic from Bill Evans and company. Daniel Gioffre

Bill Evans (piano)
Chuck Israels (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)

1. Isn't It Romantic
2. The Boy Next Door
3. Wonder Why
4. Swedish Pastry
5. Our Love Is Here To Stay
6. 'Round Midnight
7. Stella By Starlight
8. All The Things You Are
9. Blues in 'F'

"Shelly's Manne-Hole", Hollywood, CA, May 14 and 19, 1963

Paul Dunmall Octet - Bebop Starburst

"Saxophonist Dunmall of Mujician appears here fronting his octet, a mixture of well known & up-and-coming players, including Keith Tippett-piano, Simon Pickard-tenor sax, Annie Whitehead & Chris Bridges-trombone, Gethin Liddington-trumpet, Paul Rogers-bass & Tony Levin-drums. But the group is not just ''Mujician + four more'', as Paul is firmly in control here, mixing his compositions with the more free-oriented blowing of the ensemble, moving through a five part program that goes through many moods. Sympathetically produced by Evan Parker, Bebop Starburst is an important addition to Paul's growing body of works, and to the genre known affectionately as ''Britjazz''."

Paul Dunmall, Simon Picard (tenor saxophone)
Gethin Liddington (trumpet)
Annie Whitehead, Chris Bridges (trombone)
Keith Tippett (piano)
Paul Rogers (bass)
Tony Levin (drums)

1. Part I
2. Part II
3. Part III
4. Part IV
5. Part V

Recorded at Gateway Studio, Kingston, United Kingdom on June 22, 1997

Schlippenbach Quartet - Hunting The Snake

The '70s were a banner decade for free improvisation in Europe. Much of the free jazz of today—especially recent material from the New York avant/free scene—owes huge debts to early European improvisers. Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach made great leaps at both the compositional level and the performance level, integrating a high level of structure into a setting fully embodying musical democracy. Schlippenbach's playing per se spans the range from focused harmonic concentration to all-out glissando/clustering abandon. While the obvious comparisons to players like Cecil Taylor and Matthew Shipp may help to clarify Schlippenbach's structuralist musical vision, his approach can also be readily compared to Monk and classical composers as well.

In the company of masters like saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Peter Kowald, and drummer Paul Lovens, Schlippenbach's music rises to a higher level. Parker constantly teeters on the brink of overblown textures and whistling overtones, building and releasing tension in coordination with the rest of the group. The unique combination of Kowald and Parker together creates a web of sound which frequently steps outside the bounds of conventional notation and enters into a range of timbre that approximates the human voice. Lovens's percussion also defies any sort of regular pattern, jumping from rhythm to rhythm with creative abandon.

Hunting the Snake, a never-before released record from a 1975 Radio Bremen session, is the only CD recording in print of the Schlippenbach quartet. For those listeners who have absorbed and appreciated the underdocumented genius of Schlippenbach in settings like his fantastic 1990 FMP trio recording Elf Bagatellen (with Parker and Lovens), this disc is a must-listen. For those curious about the free jazz innovations of the '70s, Hunting the Snake is a fine starting point. Regardless, it's great music, delivered from the heart with sensitivity and unbridled creative freedom. Nils Jacobson

Evan Parker (soprano, tenor sax)
Alex Von Schlippenbach (piano)
Peter Kowald (bass)
Paul Lovens (drums, cymbals)

1. Glen Fleshie
2. Moonbeef
3. Hunting The Snake
4. Wenn Wir Kehlkopfspieler Uns Unterhalten

ECM/Hat Monday

John Taylor Trio - Rosslyn

"It has been easy to not follow the career of John Taylor, especially from the United States. Although he has appeared on 18 ECM albums going back to 1977, he has rarely recorded under his own name, and he's never done so for ECM. Many who hear Taylor for the first time will assign him to that large, active pianistic category called the Bill Evans School. Taylor recalls Evans in his introspective intellectual romanticism, and he also shares more substantive elements of the style. These include precision of fingering, a sensuous yet firm touch, harmonic erudition, an elongated sense of line and a rapt lyricism that makes all songs ballads, even very fast ones. But Taylor is his own man. He often breaks his ideational flow into irregular fragments very different from the results of Evans' processes, and he is interested in material from composers like Ralph Towner and Kenny Wheeler, whose structures are liberated from the popular songs that were Evans' focus. Taylor's own compositions, like the mesmerizing title track, are cumulatively incantatory in a way that would not have occurred to Evans.

"When Taylor does play a standard that Bill Evans played, like "How Deep Is the Ocean?" he thinks about it very differently. On Evans' 1961 Riverside album Explorations, the chord voicings are fresh but the tune is kept largely intact. Taylor, on the other hand, scatters it like loose change. He starts by strumming the piano strings and brings in little drum rolls and disparate clusters of piano notes. Implicit far below the surface is Irving Berlin's theme, sometimes touched by the bass of Marc Johnson, sometimes hit glancingly by the piano.

"Another Evans connection to Rosslyn is the central presence of bassist Marc Johnson. He was a member of one of the great piano trios, Bill Evans' last one, but he has avoided the format since Evans' death in 1980. He believed that he had nothing more to say in the piano trio context. Fortunately, he changed his mind. Johnson drives powerful energies through Rosslyn, but he also stops for poetically lyrical solos. Joey Baron, known as a volatile, edgy, free-spirited drummer, is all of the above on Rosslyn, but also shows that he understands subtle shading and coloration.

John Taylor (piano)
Marc Johnson (bass)
Joey Baron (drums)

1. The Bowl Song
2. How Deep is the Ocean
3. Between Moons
4. Rosslyn
5. Ma Bel
6. Tramonto
7. Field Day

Recorded April 2002 at Rainbow Studio, Oslo

Daniel Levin - Some Trees

Cellist Daniel Levin expands the compositional and improvisational palettes of modern jazz on Some Trees with a provocatively assembled group of adventurous musicians and pieces. Without a drummer, this group is able to rethink the dynamics and dialectic of a “jazz” group and find new phrasing, spacing and modes of interaction.

All of the players contribute vitally to this ”re-mix”: trumpeter Nate Wooley makes all of his effects—half-valving, dirty muting, etc.—work towards finding the optimal colors; vibist Matt Moran plays up the percussive aspects of his instrument and suggests the Bobby Hutcherson of the ‘60s, while also seeking new intervals and note placement; bassist Joe Morris is a solid foundation but also a very free, floating entity; and the leader uses formidable technique and an open mind to provide worlds of possibilities for the tunes, the musicians, and his own creative impulses.

This disc has roots in the Third Stream, as well as Mingus, Dolphy, Lacy and other pioneers of this new music. Like the trees in the John Ashbery poem from which Levin draws his inspiration, this music has the wild chaos of nature somehow centered in a sense of harmonious majesty.

Levin composed six of the eight tunes, and they sparkle with the surprise of the new. The proceedings begin with his “It’s For You,” in which the instruments emerge as if out of some primal setting and offer themselves in bold, spiky bursts. That setting is never truly lost, but each of the players is inventively seeking individual identities. They succeed and yet present a group identity as well.

Just when we’re beginning to get our bearings in the new landscape, we hear a familiar organization of notes. It’s the title tune from Eric Dolphy’s seminal 1964 Out to Lunch session, and it’s startling in its structured anarchy. The quartet rings all sorts of new emphases on these changes before returning—in newly-spaced quarters—to the theme.

And so it goes—with Levin and his mates forging new relationships between themselves and their instruments. The closer—sans vibes—is a haunting and unpredictable reading of another new music standard, Ornette’s “Morning Song.” Donald Elfman

Daniel Levin (cello)
Nate Wooley (trumpet)
Matt Moran (vibes)
Joe Morris (bass)

1 - It's For You
2 - Out To Lunch
3 - Some Trees
4 - Sitting On His Hands
5 - Zolowski
6 - Wild Palms
7 - Wickets
8 - Morning Song

Steve Lacy - We See

No doubt Steve Lacy possesses laudable chops in concert with a sweet, ringing tone. His Thelonious Monk influences have shaped his rather storied musical career, which is an ideology evidenced here on We See, Thelonious Monk Songbook. Naturally, Lacy's enactment of meter, depth, and space signify aspects of his Monk-based preferences and stylizations. Essentially, this a relatively straightforward set consisting of moderate to up-tempo swing vamps, accelerated by the saxophonist's gleaming choruses and Monk-like permutations. Lacy and associates perform these works with a deeply personalized and undeniably buoyant demeanor. A minor shift in strategy, however, resides within Lacy's collaboration with vibist Sonhando Estwick and trumpeter Hans Kennel. With that, the sextet pursues sequential soloing opportunities as this effort shines forth with the qualities that might parallel the birth of a sun-drenched summer's day. Glenn Astarita

Steve Lacy (soprano sax)
Steve Potts (alto and soprano sax)
Hans Kennel (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Sonhando Estwick (vibes)
Jean-Jacques Avenel (double bass)
John Betsch (drums)

1. We See
2. Shuffle Boil
3. Evidence
4. Reflection
5. Ruby My Dear
6. Eronel
7. Monk's Mood
8. Thelonious
9. Misterioso
10. Well You Needn't
11. Hanky-Panky

Archie Shepp - I Know About the Life

Ooh! That picture's kinna wee, intit?

I'll replace it when I get home.

I Know About the Life is a 1981 recording, now happily reissued by that splendid avatar of avant-garde music, Werner X. Uehlinger of Hat Hut Records. The rap on Shepp is that after his moment of glory in the Sixties and his no-holds-barred Impulse discs, he lost his edge, or his interest, or his nerve, and retreated. He himself is on record saying that avant garde music was not commercially viable, and that he wanted to make some music that his family and friends could listen to. But any suggestion that that signaled a retreat should be dispelled by this disc. Shepp's tenor playing has never been more fluent, more versatile, or more expressive, than it is on these four tracks. Aided by utterly superb backing from Kenny Werner, Santi Debriano, and the incomparable John Betsch, he tears into two Monk tunes, one by Coltrane, and one of his own compositions to demonstrate that the “outside” players of the sixties made a great many discoveries (some of them hardly new, but actually dating back to the earliest days of jazz) that could enrich and revitalize “standard” jazz playing. On “Giant Steps,” for example, Shepp shows that he is every bit the match of Coltrane's extraordinarily fleet harmonic playing, but he takes his solo to another level as well, investing what had been a sleek and exuberant original with a pathos, a cry, that adds immeasurably to the expressive range of the music.

Likewise, the Monk tunes, which are too often played simply as exhibitions, or as jaunty excursions into what the performers obviously consider to be the quirky world of Monk's changes. But Shepp approaches this music with a seriousness and daring that pays off to remarkable effect, adding a blistering emotionality to each and plumbing depths that few other interpreters even seem to realize are there.
This exquisite reissue should establish I Know About the Life in its rightful place among Shepp's works and give it a permanent place in any list of the greatest recordings of the period. Bravo. Robert Spencer

Archie Shepp (tenor sax)
Kenny Werner (piano)
Santi Debriano (bass)
John Betsch (drums)

1. Well You Needn't
2. I Know About the Life
3. Giant Steps
4. Round Midnight

Brötzmann, Parker & Drake - Never Too Late But Always Too Early

Even back on his earliest recordings from 1967, the sound of Peter Brötzmann’s reeds is a howling punishing force for which many listeners are unprepared. Famed for his intensity, his relentless drive, his stamina, and his sheer volume (Brötz was once asked if he could hear any other musicians when he gets a full head of steam going; he replied, only half-joking, "sometimes the drummer"), the powerhouse player has become the object of some reverence in the United States recently. He’s been able to set up tours for many of his regular groups, including the ever-popular Die Like a Dog. This group – originally formed as a tribute to Albert Ayler, with Brötz accompanied by trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, bassist William Parker, and drummer Hamid Drake – has seen a few lineup changes and has often performed as a trio (without Kondo).

That’s the unit on this long, raging double-disc, which documents a complete evening at Montreal’s Casa del Popolo from April 2001. The passionate music is dedicated to the memory of the extraordinary bassist Peter Kowald, who died in September 2002. At first blush, this might seem an odd tribute. For though the two had been friends and musical partners since the 1960s, Brötz’s sonic attack had contrasted rather sharply of late with the subtlety and reserve that Kowald incorporated into his musical activities. So your mileage with Herr Brötzmann will clearly vary. While Die Like a Dog has become a supremely tight band – and they can just crush people live – there is a sense that they are treading water just a bit. Don’t get me wrong: this band treading water still kicks an awful lot of ass. It’s just that much of their activities have been reduced to the kicking of ass, which is not always what I want from music. So does this recording distinguish itself from the ass-kicking glories of, say, their first disc or one of the superb volumes of Little Birds Have Fast Hearts? Yes insofar as this is trio music, but no in that it hews largely to the group’s familiar practices.

It’s a marathon ride, and from Brötz’s opening shrieks on tarogato you know that seatbelts should remain firmly fastened. The trio cycles through most of its moods, registers, and instrumentations throughout the long and rewarding sets: crushing funk, rolling free expressionism, muscular swing, and the occasional dark textural mood. The latter is the rarest commodity for this band, so it’s a pleasure to hear the dark melancholy that opens the second set, where Brötz’s bass clarinet speaking mournfully to Parker’s arco bass. And though this set slowly morphs into a more abstracted rendering of the same territory that opened the first set, Drake shifts frequently into his colorist mode here, a fine reprieve from the Blackwell-on-steroids grooves that tend to dominate (albeit exhilaratingly so). The second set additionally features very good, expressive bass and drum solos. And both discs are filled with the nice, harsh lyricism that distinguishes this band. That said, it’s hard to avoid the sense that they’re going over territory already well covered elsewhere. So your appraisal of this disc will ultimately boil down to how much of a jolt to your system this group’s over-the-top energy creates. My system remained relatively intact. It sounds like it was a great gig, and those less familiar with the output of these guys were probably atomized. Jason Bivins

Peter Brötzmann (tenor sax, tarogato, a-clarinet)
William Parker (bass, doussin gouni)
Hamid Drake (trap drums)

CD 1
1. Never Run But Go
2. Never Run But Go
3. Never Run But Go
4. Never Run But Go
5. The Heart And The Bones

CD 2
1. Never Too Late But Always Too Early
2. Never Too Late But Always Too Early
3. Never Too Late But Always Too Early
4. Halfhearted Beast

Roland Kirk - Third Dimension

Only previously available on limited edition in Japan, the New York, November 9, 1956 album Third Dimension features the groundbreaking Roland Kirk's first recording as a leader. Accompanied by Jimmy Madison, Carl Pruitt and Henry Hank Duncan, the quartet's repertoire is made-up primarily of Kirk's original compositions.

From the liner notes:
This is an album of progressive jazz played by Roland Kirk. He is featured on a tenor sax, a straight alto and a straight soprano sax. Each time these instruments are heard in this album, Roland is playing all three at the same time.

The soprano saxophone is rarely heard in a jazz album. This is perhaps true because the instrument has never held a high popularity among jazz musicians. Many saxophonists have never been able to capture the true tonal quality of the instrument. Due to the soulful feeling and the very fast execution Kirk has captured in this album, the soprano sax has come into its own as an instrument of jazz.

The style heard on the alto sax in this album is perhaps quite reminiscent of the late Charlie Parker. Here, however, can be heard many passages that are distinctively Kirk's, all adding up to a wonderful sound.

The tenor sax is perhaps the most popular of all the reed instruments. Here Kirk again displays original styling and exceptional execution.

Roland Kirk was born in Columbus, Ohio, and attended the Ohio State School For The Blind there. He became an outstanding student in mathematics and also became a master at all the musical instruments in the reed family.

Roland, who has been blind since he was two years old has not let this handicap his activities in many various fields. It is interesting to note that in addition to becoming a proficient musician in school he also was a member of the school's wrestling team.

Kirk began playing professionally when he was sixteen and was considered a master on his instrument the tenor saxophone. For years Roland had listened to many of the famous instrumentalists—Parker on alto; Hodges on tenor; Goodman on clarinet, etc.—he held such admiration for these famous stars that he became quite confused as to which instrument he would specialize in playing. Three or four years ago the idea came to Roland's mind to create a gimmick for himself and bring his abilities to the eyes of the public. Possessing a fabulous understanding for math and mechanics, he applied this talent to blowing three saxophones simultaneously. In the jazz field there never has been a musician who played more than one instrument who was also considered great on another. In Roland's case he is highly respected by other musicians of the jazz world for his ability to master improvisations on all three instruments heard m this album. Due to the uniqueness of his combo he is sought after by the leading jazz clubs all over the country. His first big break came when he was heard by band leader Buddy Morrow who arranged for Roland to play with Duke Ellington on a battle of bands concert. He was met with such great approval that Morrow arranged for him to come to New York where he was signed and recorded by King Records.

The sides heard in this album, where three instruments are heard playing as a section are not gimmicks in recording techniques, but Kirk actually performing on three instruments at the same time. On several sides, however, Kirk is blowing straight melody on one instrument and improvising on another. The improvisations in such cases are over-dubs made possible by modern recording techniques.

Roland is very creative and four of the sides here are his original compositions. It is interesting to observe the manner in which Kirk handles all three instruments when playing harmony. Several tunes contained here will show that the note on which one horn is being sustained while he blows moving duets with the other two.

Even if the listener cannot visualize how complicated it is to play all three instruments at one time he can still enjoy the music as if it were three great jazz artists performing as an ensemble.

1. Roland's Theme
2. Slow Groove
3. Stormy Weather
4. The Nearness Of You
5. A La Carte
6. Easy Living
7. Triple Threat

Tadd Dameron - Fontainebleau

Another side of what was happening in 1956. This is more Birth Of The Cool than it is Hard Bop; atmospheric, clever, and quite well played by a group of masters.

Pianist-composer-arranger Tadd Dameron led relatively few sessions in his career, making the half-hour of music on this CD reissue quite valuable. Dameron performs five of his originals (best-known are the complex "Fontainebleau" and "The Scene Is Clean") with an octet comprised of trumpeter Kenny Dorham, trombonist Henry Coker, altoist Sahib Shihab, tenor saxophonist Joe Alexander, baritonist Cecil Payne, bassist John Simmons, drummer Shadow Wilson and the leader's sparse piano. As is usual with most Dameron dates, the emphasis is on his inventive arrangements although there is space (most notably on the 11-minute blues "Bula-Beige") for individual solos. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Henry Coker (trombone)
Sahib Shihab (alto sax)
Joe Alexander (tenor sax)
Cecil Payne (baritone sax)
Tadd Dameron (piano, arr)
John Simmons (bass)
Shadow Wilson (drums)

1. Fontainebleau
2. Delirium
3. The Scene Is Clean
4. Flossie Lou
5. Bula-Beige

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 9, 1956

ECM/Hat Monday

Stanley Cowell Trio - Illusion Suite

Six trio selections by the Stanley Cowell Trio, featuring Stanley Clarke on bass and Jimmy Hopps on skins. Elastic and flowing best describe the mellow "Maimoun"; Cowell's crisp keyboarding is determined and feisty, and Clarke's dark, moody bass solo consummates the excursion. Cowell and Clarke display amazing technique on "Ibn Mukhtarr Mustapha," and Hopps' impressionistic drumming is head clearing. On "Cal Massey," Hopps plays as if he has four hands with a drumstick in each, Cowell's rolling piano chords are matched in fever by Clarke's bass work. "Miss Vicki" has a stalking beginning, and Clarke's bass preys like a big cat on the LP's most commercial track. The spacing is remarkable on "Emil Danenberg" and gives Clarke ample room to work his magic between Cowell's pensive playing that becomes bolder as the song progresses. An invigorating finale, "Astral Spiritual" finds each player exploring seemingly different territory keeping the listener in a tizzy trying to take it all in. Cowell composed all the material, and Manfred Eicher coordinated this pleasing production. - Andrew Hamilton

Stanley Cowell (piano)
Stanley Clarke (bass)
Jimmy Hopps (drums)

1. Maimoun
2. Ibn Mukhtarr Mustapha
3. Cal Massey
4. Miss Viki
5. Emil Danenberg
6. Astral Spiritual

Recorded November 29, 1972 at Sound Ideas Studio, New York

Ludwig van Beethoven - Complete Music for Piano and Violoncello (Schiff - Perenyi)

… Turning to András Schiff and Miklós Perényi, they appear as distinct, contrasting characters – Perényi suave and elegant, and though demonstrating a wide expressive range, always staying within the boundaries of what is polished and unexaggerated, Schiff much more volatile and extreme. The piano, indeed, might seem quite brittle, were it not for Schiff’s beautiful cantabile touch and his exceptional ability to balance chords – Beethoven’s gruffest harmonies form part of a texture that’s richly coloured and always clear. It’s the kind of thing we normally only experience with the best period-instrument players. In the high-spirited finales of the first two sonatas I could easily imagine the tempestuous young composer performing before the King of Prussia.
But this contrast of styles doesn’t result in unbalanced performances. There are, maybe, one or two places (in the Third Sonata’s first movement, for example) where I would have welcomed more intensity from Perényi, but overall his playing has all the vigour and commitment one could wish for. And where it’s necessary to achieve perfect unity, the two come together in the most inspiring way. The most remarkable instance of this is Op 102’s fugal finale, a movement that’s often been perceived as impressive rather than attractive, but these two artists match articulation, note-lengths, volume and tone colour in such a way as to make the music seem beautiful as well as uplifting. Perényi and Schiff bring many years of practical experience to bear and it shows in every bar. An outstanding set, indeed! (Duncan Druce for

CD 1
Sonata No. 1 in F major, op. 5 no. 1 (1796)
12 Variations in G major, WoO 45 (1796)
on a Theme from Georg Friedrich Händel’s oratorio Judas Maccabäus
Sonata No. 2 in G minor, op. 5 no. 2 (1796)
Sonata in F major, op. 12 no. 3 “Horn-Sonate” (1800) [13:55]

CD 2
12 Variations in F major, op. 66 (1796)
on ‘Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen’ from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
Sonata No. 3 in G major, op. 69 (1807 / 08)
7 Variations in E flat major, WoO 46 (1801)
on ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’ from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
Sonata No. 4 in A major, op. 102 no. 1 (1815)
Sonata No. 5 in C minor, op. 102 no. 2 (1815)

Die Like A Dog Quartet featuring Roy Campbell - From Valley to Valley

The debut North American performance of Peter Brotzmann's Quartet for the apocalypse, recorded live in Amherst at the '98 Fire In the Valley. Brotzmann on reeds, William Parker on bass, Hamid Drake on trap kit & percussion. Roy Campbell's open & muted brass replaced Kondo for these seventy uproarious minutes of group conjuring. Only Brotzmann delivers music of this immediacy & Old Testament purpose. Violent & beautiful enough to rip you, briefly, out of history.

"From the perspective of free-style jazz, it does not get much better than this, the group totally in sync for three untitled pieces recorded live at the Fire in the Valley jazz festival in Amherst, Massachusetts. From any perspective, this very tight, highly disciplined unit is one of the leading ventures in the history of avant-garde jazz." Steven Loewy

Peter Brötzmann (alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet, tarogato)
Roy Campbell (flugelhorn, trumpet, pocket trumpet )
Hamid Drake (drums & percussion)
William Parker (bass)

1. I
2. Announcement
3. II
4. Encore

July 26, 1998; Fire in the Valley Festival, Amherst, Massachusetts

Cecil Taylor - Qu'a: Live at Iridium, Vol. 1

Cecil Taylor has never compromised his ideals, and this recording is no exception. During the course of more than one hour, Taylor and his quartet perform only one piece, but do it with such exquisite finesse that it incorporates dozens of shades and styles of expression. The instrumentation may look conventional — Harri Sjöström on soprano saxophone, Dominic Duval on bass, and Jackson Krall on drums — but as with any Taylor group, the music is unique and astonishing. This is very different than the usual sax-plus-rhythm gig, and from the start, it is clearly Cecil's bag, with Sjöström's saxophone entering for lively interchange. Sometimes the saxophonist sounds like a clearing above the storm. Bassist Duval is a delight, as usual, particularly in how he holds on to the pianist and never lets loose. Taylor's percussionist approach to the keyboards can wear down many drummers, but Krall is up to the task. The results are enthralling in a very Tayloresque way. - Steve Loewy

Cecil Taylor (piano)
Harri Sjostrom (soprano sax)
Dominic Duval (bass)
Jackson Krall (drums)

1. Qu'a

Duke Pearson - Introducing Duke Pearson's Big Band

Very tasty indeed. This also includes 6 of 9 tracks from Duke's album Now Hear This.

Duke Pearson had always displayed a flair for arranging, even on small combo albums, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise that he would attempt his own big band record. What is a surprise is how successful Introducing Duke Pearson's Big Band actually is. Pearson leads 13 other musicians through a selection of nine songs, including four originals, two contemporary jazz tunes by Chick Corea and Joe Sample, and three standards. His originals are continually unpredictable and memorable, and his arrangements, especially of the standards, are provocative and intriguing. While it might not appeal to fans of Pearson's wonderful small-group hard bop sessions, it is unquestionably an experiment that works, and one that confirms his remarkable skills and talents. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Duke Pearson (piano, arr)
Randy Brecker, Burt Collins, Joe Shepley, Marvin Stamm (trumpet)
Frank Foster, Lew Tabackin (tenor sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax, clarinet)
Garnett Brown, Benny Powell, Julian Priester (trombone)
Kenny Rupp (bass trombone)
Jerry Dodgion (alto sax, flute, piccolo)
Al Gibbons (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1. Ground Hog
2. New Girl
3. Bedouin
4. Straight Up And Down
5. Ready When You Are C.B.
6. New Time Shuffle
7. Mississippi Dip
8. A Taste Of Honey
9. Time After Time
10. Disapproachment
11. Tones For Joan's Bones
12. Minor League
13. Here's That Rainy Day
14. Make It Good
15. The Days Of Wine And Roses

December 15, 1967

December 3, 1968

Van Gelder Studio, New Jersey

Misha Alperin

Misha Alperin - At Home

With a list price of $48, you should be IN his damn home listening; and being served cookies. The little butter ones with animal shapes on them. And maybe a nice cup of tea. Luckily, it can be found for less; the CD, that is.

"Music making at its most intimate. The sound of a musician alone, at home, improvising reflectively upon the piano. Of these solo pieces, the Ukraine-born Alperin says, "The mind was inert, the ears alert, and the music born practically without revisons. Improvisation here is simply the paintbrush, with the help of which you can be honest in the presence of the night."

1 - At Home
2 - Emptiness
3 - Nostalgia
4 - Seconds
5 - Nightfall
6 - Halling
7 - Light
8 - Game
9 - Shadows
10 - 10th of February
11 - The Wind
12 - Njet

Misha Alperin - Night

Now we're getting somewhere. This lists for only $40. Still no cookies.

This review with it's citation of "artless art" leads me to believe that Thom Jurek's girlfriend has entered the field. Maybe we'll someday see "wordless reviews". It is a consummation devoutly to be wished. Such reviews, that is.

"This fantastically moody disc is somehow unclassifiable. Sometimes jazz, sometimes classical, definitely crossover in the truest sense of the word. Ukrainian pianist Misha Alperin is the inspiration behind it. He wrote the work Night in response to a commission from the 25th VossaJazz Festival in Norway (April 1998), and this is a live recording made at that event. Classically trained, Alperin came late to jazz, but has developed his own very personal style interwoven with folk influences from his musical roots.

The gorgeously mellow velvet-black sound of cellist Anja Lechner suits Alperin's meditative meanderings perfectly. "Adagio" is particularly stilling, with melodic wanderings complemented by moments of harmonic peace and clarity.

"Tango" is a different story, but told in the same language. Here a tamed riot of energy meets Alperin's restraining calm, tempered by the understated contributions of Norwegian percussionist Sørensen. He and his marimba come into their own in "Second Game", where all 3 musicians join together in what begins as a sort of fugue, melds itself into several minutes of harmonically rich Glassian minimalism, and eventually develops into an energetic driving jig-style 6/8 rhythm.

"Night", says Alperin, "is a time of suprises". And surprises there are, from the vocal contributions from the percussionist, to the startlingly dramatic ending to "Second Game"; "you can walk through a silent village and catch a blast of sound from a bar door suddenly thrown open". Ah, perhaps that's what it was. "Heavy Hour" is another track which will wake you up rather than send you to sleep, with tribal rhythms and a twangy-zangy cello sound which even sets your teeth on edge at times; leaving you with a lingering desire for those little butter cookies - the ones with the little animal pictures on them.

The title track has got to be the most atmospheric: a faintly eerie percussive tick-tock sets the scene, joined by arching, sighing cello phrases and occasional keyboard outbursts. The cello is less twangy-zangy here. Some of the harmonic tensions and resolutions reach right into the soul, almost knocking over the little cookies.

"It's music for those hours when you don't need to prove anything to the world, when the need for self-presentation subsides; and the desire - yea, need - for cookies arises".

Its true. This is a disc of few or no inhibitions and even less baked goods; it really seems to come from the heart. It is artless art." Liz "Lizless" Mundler

Misha Alperin (piano, claviola)
Hans-Kristian Kjos Sorensen (vocals, marimba, percussion)
Anja Lechner (cello)

1 - Tuesday
2 - Tango
3 - Adagio
4 - Second Game
5 - Dark Drops
6 - Night
7 - Heavy Hour
8 - Far, Far...

Recorded live at Vossa Jazz Festival, Norway, Sweden on April 4, 1998

Count Basie 1938-1939 [flac]

It's nice to see such an enthusiastic response to the first volume from a small but dedicated group of Basie fans. Here's the second disc in the set.

The second Count Basie release on the Classics label, 1938-1939 offers a generous helping of the prime, groundbreaking swing the group brought to the national limelight from 1936-1942. These original Decca sides include everything from full-band charts by arranger Eddie Durham and fine vocals by Jimmy Rushing and Helen Humes to rare cuts of Basie accompanied only by his rhythm section. And, of course, there are many fine solos by star instrumentalist and jazz legend Lester Young, who came up with Basie between 1936-1940. In addition to Young's fine tenor saxophone statement on "Every Tub," other stellar contributions are made by trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, trombonist Dickie Wells, and unsung reed player Herschel Evans, whose tenor solos on "Blue and Sentimental," "Doggin' Around," and his own composition "Texas Shuffle" especially stand out. Throughout the set, rhythm section members drummer Jo Jones, bassist Walter Page, and guitarist Freddie Green provide the kind of streamlined swing that not only became manna for dancers during the late '30s, but also garnered the admiration of jazz musicians all over the world. This is a nicely varied and highly gratifying set of Basie tunes. The sound is great too. - Stephen Cook

  1. Blues in the Dark
  2. Sent for You Yesterday
  3. Every Tub
  4. Now Will You Be Good
  5. Swinging the Blues
  6. Mama Don't Want No Peas An' Rice An' Cocoanut Oil
  7. Blue and Sentimental
  8. Doggin' Around
  9. Stop Beatin' Around the Mulberry Bush
  10. London Bridge Is Fallin' Down
  11. Texas Shuffle
  12. Jumpin' at the Woodside
  13. How Long, How Long Blues
  14. The Dirty Dozen
  15. Hey Lawdy Mama
  16. The Fives
  17. Boogie Woogie
  18. Dark Rapture
  19. Shorty George
  20. The Blues I Like to Hear
  21. Do You Wanna Jump Children
  22. Panassie Stomp
  23. My Heart Belongs to Daddy
  24. Sing for Your Supper
  25. Oh! Red

Howard Roberts with Bill Holman, Pete Jolly, Red Mitchell, Stan Levey ~ Good Pickin's (flac)

By Mike Neely
Whatever you may think of guitarist Howard Roberts, Good Pickin’s will likely change your mind. Prior to this release, most knowledgeable listeners would probably associate Roberts with his studio work in popular music and easy listening jazz. Good Pickin’s will change that perspective forever. On this reissued 1959 session, Roberts plays straightahead jazz at a level that suggests that had he made different choices, he could have been known as one of the great jazz guitarists of his day.
This music is set in the West Coast jazz world of tight arrangements and incisive solos. This is ensemble jazz, and Roberts proves to be a master. Bill Holman and Marty Paich are responsible for the arrangements, making this an unusually intricate and well-planned guitar recording. The wonderful thing about the session is that it caught this band on an inspired day. The rhythm section of Red Mitchell and Stan Levey is superb, providing a drive and snap to the music that ably supports the primary soloists: Bill Holman (saxophone), Pete Jolly (piano) and Roberts (guitar).
Unison sax and guitar lines intertwine with Jolly’s piano accompaniment in a complex exchange that is consistently intriguing. Jolly’s piano work is a lesson for all; each track displays his subtlety and intelligence in support of others, while his concisely developed solos arise out of a style that is uniquely delicate and bold. This is as good as Holman has ever sounded to this reviewer, but the star of the show is undoubtedly Howard Roberts.
Good Pickin’s presents strikingly sophisticated guitar work played with a fine-honed intensity. With these sleek arrangements and this inspired band, Roberts rises to the occasion, demonstrating his mastery of a wide range of jazz styles and tempos; ultimately it is his feel for the music that is brought home track after track. This guitar master may be more widely known for his other musical accomplishments, but fortunately Good Pickin’s documents him with a hot band, playing mainstream jazz. Highly recommended.
Track listing: Will You Be Mine; When the Sun Comes Down; All the Things You Are; Lover Man; Relaxin' at Camarillo; Godchild; Easy Living; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; The More I See You; Terpsichore.
Personnel: Howard Roberts: guitar; Bill Holman: tenor sax, arranger; Pete Jolly: piano; Red Mitchell: bass; Stan Levey: drums; Marty Paich: arranger.

Harold Land Quartet with Elmo Hope, Scott LaFaro, Lennie McBrowne ~ Jazz At the Cellar 1958

Synchronicity or what? Rab's postings of Elmo. This one existed only in my dreams until last week. Three titans of jazz in their prime, a working band for a very brief time--they gigged in 'Frisco for a week or two before migrating up to Vancouver B.C for a week's engagement at the Cellar--a place, which I read about a while back, which hosted a number of other West coast luminaries. The recording is better than good--not great (mono--you hear everything very well) and it was well preserved--no drop outs that I could detect. It puts me in mind of Naima Coltrane's recording of Monk/Trane in, I wanna say, the Five Spot--but it's actually way better than it. Now, for the material: Cherokee is, hold on to something----18:59!! Just Friends: 19:40!!! The Scene is Clean (must have been the band signature; it clocks only a minute and 17 secs.) Now, Charlie Parker's Big Foot......twenty-seven minutes and forty four seconds!!!!! (I guess I'm fond of exclamation marks as well) Unbelievable really, a typical gig? perhaps. Don't go anywhere for a while, The cd clocks in a few ticks under 80 minutes. It doesn't let up, though--in spite of a very lackluster audience--regrettably too many one hand claps especially after the M.C.'s initial band introduction--very embarrasing. From Cherokee on, you'll be hooked: Cherokee must register at at least 220 beats per minute on the metronome!

Rec. Live at the Cellar, Vancouver Canada, November 1958--an in-house job.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bob Brookmeyer, Jimmy Cleveland, Frank Rosolino - The Trombones Inc.

More 'bones than you can shake a ... oh, never mind.

Led by Bob Brookmeyer, Jimmy Cleveland and Frank Rosolino, these recordings feature 27 Jazz trombonists appearing together on the same sessions and arranged by Jay Jay Johnson and Marty Paich. Includes Barney Kessel, Hank Jones, Wendell Marshall, Mill Hinton, Osie Johnson and Mel Lewis

Twenty-seven different trombonists, in two separate groups (one made of East Coast players, the other West Coast - it was popular back then to portray the two coasts as if they were at jazz war with each other), appear on the disc, which was originally released on Warner Brothers back in 1958. Anyone who had an affinity to modern jazz and blew the bone is here. With as many as 10 trombonists playing on a single track (backed by a rhythm section) the music can sometimes attain a "Music Man" feel to it; indeed Lassus Trombone by the West Coasters starts off like a halftime show at the Rose Bowl. But thanks to some good arrangements by JJ Johnson, Marty Paich, and Warren Barker, the music actually swings, and swings pretty good, throughout the proceedings.

1 - Neckbones
2 - Dues Blues
3 - Long Before I Knew You
4 - Soft Winds
5 - Tee Jay
6 - Lassus Trombone
7 - It's Alright With Me
8 - Polka Dots and Moonbeams
9 - Old Devil Moon
10 - Impossible
11 - Heat Wave
12 - I Found A New Baby


Dave Brubeck - Re-Union

Tenor-saxophonist Dave Van Kreidt, a former member of Dave Brubeck's octet in the late '40s, had a reunion with the pianist, altoist Paul Desmond and bassist Bob Bates for this unusual session; Brubeck's new drummer Joe Morello made the group a quintet. Van Kreidt supplied all of the compositions (some of which are fairly complex), giving this set a sound very much different than the usual Brubeck Quartet outing. Interesting if not essential classical-influenced music that predates the Third Stream movement.

Dave Brubeck (piano)
Dave Van Kreidt (tenor sax)
Paul Desmond (alto sax)
Norman Bates (bass)
Joe Morello (drums)

1. Strolling
2. Shouts
3. Prelude
4. Divertimento
5. Chorale
6. Leo's Place
7. Darien Mode
8. Pieta

Elmo Hope - Elmo Hope Trio

The boppish and fairly original Elmo Hope performs seven of his obscure originals, many of which are well worth reviving, plus "Like Someone In Love" in a trio with bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Frank Butler. Bop and straight-ahead jazz fans wanting to hear a talented pianist play fresh tunes should explore Elmo Hope's valuable music. Scott Yanow

Elmo Hope (piano)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Frank Butler (drums)

1. B's A-Plenty
2. Barfly
3. Eejah
4. Boa
5. Something For Kenny
6. Like Someone In Love
7. Minor Bertha
8. Tranquility

Ran Blake - Horace Is Blue: A Silver Noir (Flac)

At first blush, Ran Blake might seem an odd choice to perform tunes written by Horace Silver. But, as this recording shows, Blake's approach is so encompassing that he can transform the simple blues-drenched melodies of Silver into something darker and more sophisticated. The best pieces are those in which Blake plays alone. His singular vision carefully gets inside a song and gently turns it inside out. Alto saxophonist James Merenda and electric guitarist David "Knife" Fabris, former students at the New England Conservatory of Music where Blake teaches, often seem superfluous. Fabris seems to blend nicely with the pianist's lines while Merenda sometimes seems intimidated and relegated to a supporting role. Nonetheless, the saxophonist does emerge from the shadows occasionally to show considerable potential. Four of the most interesting tracks are the alternate versions of "Ecaroh" and "Song for My Father," each of which shows the extraordinary talents of Blake as an interpreter. Steven Loewy

Ran Blake (piano)
David Fabris (guitar )
James Merenda (alto sax)

1 Horace-Scope
2 The St. Vitus Dance
3 Ecaroh 1
4 Speculation
5 Song for My Father
6 Knowledge Box
7 Horace Is Blue
8 Soulville
9 Only Yesterday
10 Ecaroh 2
11 Señor Blues
12 Song for My Father 2
13 Creepin' In Silver
14 Two Hearts in ¾ Time

Horace Silver - Further Explorations By The Horace Silver Quintet (Flac)

For a brief time, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan and trumpeter Art Farmer were the frontline of the Horace Silver Quintet. This 1997 CD reissue finds the group (which also includes bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Louis Hayes) performing five of Silver's lesser-known originals and the standard "Ill Wind." The lyrical Farmer and the up-and-coming Jordan have plenty of fine solos, as does the influential Silver, whose funky, witty style stood apart from the prevailing Bud Powell influence of the era. Although none of the newer songs caught on as standards, this set (which has plenty of mood and groove variation) holds together very well and still sounds fresh 40 years later. Scott Yanow

Art Farmer (trumpet)
Clifford Jordan (tenor sax)
Horace Silver (piano)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. The Outlaw
2. Melancholy Mood
3. Pyramid
4. Moon Rays
5. Safari
6. Ill Wind

Recorded By Rudy Van Gelder, Hackensack, N.J. January 13, 1958

Elmo Hope - Hope Meets Foster

"Do you know Elmo Hope?...You gotta hear Elmo. He's fabulous. His stuff is very hard. He does some things that even I have trouble playing." - Bud Powell

Regarding Frank Foster, the Penguin Jazz Encyclopedia says: "...he has already left a legacy of playing, writing and bandleading which will leave a very deep mark on jazz history after bebop."

Art Taylor and John Ore will be familiar, but little is known about Freeman Lee. The notes say that he was a bandmate of Foster's at Wilberforce.

Overshadowed throughout his life by his friends Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, Elmo Hope was a talented pianist and composer whose life was cut short by drugs. His first important gig was with Joe Morris' R&B band (1948-1951). He recorded in New York as a leader (starting in 1953) and with Sonny Rollins, Lou Donaldson, Clifford Brown, and Jackie McLean, but the loss of his cabaret card (due to his drug use) made it very difficult for him to make a living in New York. After touring with Chet Baker in 1957, Hope relocated to Los Angeles. He performed with Lionel Hampton in 1959, recorded with Harold Land and Curtis Counce, and returned to New York in 1961. A short prison sentence did little to help his drug problem and, although he sounds fine on his trio performances of 1966, he died a little over a year later. Elmo Hope's sessions as a leader were cut for Blue Note, Prestige, Pacific Jazz, Hi Fi Jazz, Riverside, Celebrity, Beacon, and Audio Fidelity; his last albums were initially released on Inner City. Hope was also a fine composer, although none of his songs became standards. ~ Scott Yanow

Elmo Hope (piano)
Frank Foster (tenor sax)
Freeman Lee (trumpet)
John Ore (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Wail, Frank, Wail
2. Zarou
3. Fosterity
4. Georgia On My Mind
5. Shutout
6. Yaho

Hackensack, New Jersey: October 4, 1955

Elmo Hope - Homecoming

Homecoming! is a particularly high-spirited record for this stage in Hope's troubled career. Following an extended stay in Los Angeles, a number of the day's top players helped welcome a refreshed Hope back to New York on this session. Tenor saxophonists Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath, as well as trumpeter Blue Mitchell, form the front line on the sextet numbers, while on all tracks Hope is joined by the rhythm section of Percy Heath and Philly Joe Jones. Four of the album's (original) seven tracks are sextet performances and the two alternate takes only appear on the Fantasy Original Jazz Classics CD reissue. The Dameron-esque bop numbers sizzle and weave and the tenor work of Frank Foster is especially rewarding on the album's bouncing opener, "Moe, Jr.," take four on the CD. The three ballads are equally fresh and less doom-ridden than comparable performances found elsewhere in his catalog. Expect fine performances by all. This great hard bop record is highly recommended. ~ Brandon Burke

Elmo Hope (piano)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Frank Foster (tenor sax)
Jimmy Heath (tenor sax)
Percy Heath (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)
NYC, June 22, 1961

Elmo Hope (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)
NYC, June 29, 1961

1. Moe, Jr. (Take 4)
2. Moe, Jr. (Take 2)
3. La Berthe
4. Eyes So Beautiful As Yours
5. Homecoming
6. One Mo' Blues
7. A Kiss For My Love (Take 5)
8. A Kiss For My Love (Take 4-Previously Unissued)
9. Imagination

The New John Handy Quintet - New View

Handy played on 4 of Mingus' albums during Mingus' single greatest year - 1959.

Altoist John Handy's 1967 quintet included vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, the up and coming guitarist Pat Martino, bassist Albert Stinson and drummer Doug Sides. They really stretch out on three pieces (John Coltrane's "Naima" and an original), and New View is highlighted by Handy's emotional and episodic "Tears of Ole Miss (Anatomy of a Riot)," which clocks in at 23:45. The inside/outside music is quite picturesque, emotional, and ultimately logical. It is a pity that John Handy did not make more of an impact on the mainstream of jazz, but his three Columbia studio albums still sound fresh decades later. ~ Scott Yanow

Handy issued a great run of records on Columbia during the '60s, of which "New View!" is a distinguished member. Coming on the heels of his famous performance an Montreux (which also resulted in a must-have release), "New View!" features a revamped lineup that includes vibist Bobby Hutcherson and guitarist Pat Martino.

The result is a stimulating session of three tunes, each one offering a distinct mood and sound. Handy transforms Coltrane's standard, "Naima" into an alto flowering of lush beauty. It's a wonderful tribute to Coltrane and his composition, which is one of his most affecting. "A Little Quiet" is a gently swinging bossa nova, which features a fine, flowing solo from Hutcherson.

The relaxed mood of the release is abruptly broken with the powerful "Tears of Ole Miss," a 23-minute musical lament for the unhappy racial disharmony endured by the citizens of that state throughout the '50s and '60s. Handy and his band capture the turmoil of the civil rights movement and the resistance to it throughout the course of this exciting performance, which includes a patch of bitter and effective satire in which Handy blows a mocking chorus of "Dixie." In duration and power, "Tears of Ole Miss" rivals Mingus's best performances of "Fables of Faubus," another satirical attack on Southern racial politics.

Handy has had an enigmatic career, one which has featured stretches of silence and mediocre releases. However, he remains a vital jazz voice, as those who have seen him in performance can attest. The series of Columbia releases that includes "New View!" includes some of the best jazz from the '60s. "New View!" is an essential part of that group of releases.

John Handy (alto sax)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibes)
Pat Martino (guitar)
Albert Stinson (bass)
Doug Sides (drums)

1. Naima (In Memory Of John Coltrane)
2. A Little Quiet
3. Tears Of Ole Miss (Anatomy Of A Riot)

Recorded live at the Village Gate, New York on June 28, 1967

Count Basie 1936-1938 [flac]

Part one of a six disc set (Volume 1) that Classics put out covering all of Basie's studio masters from 1936 to 1941. Included is a booklet with photos and notes by Don Waterhouse that you can download separately. The other five discs to follow.

Bill (Count) Basie first shows up on record at the end of the 1920s, playing piano with Bennie Moten & the Kansas City Orchestra. Legend has it that Basie became a "Count" after Moten teasingly referred to him as "that no-account Basie." Classics No. 503 presents Basie's first recordings as a leader. On October 9th, 1936, a five-piece band cut two instrumental stomps and a pair of blues with vocals by Jimmy Rushing. Since Basie was breaking a contract by recording for the Vocalion label, the band was billed as "Jones-Smith, Inc." The "Jones" was drummer Jo Jones, and the "Smith" was trumpeter Carl Smith, filling in that day for Buck Clayton, who had a split lip. Basie opened up "Shoe Shine Boy" with a bit of his own brand of Harlem stride piano, powerfully supported by Walter Page's bass fiddle. Lester Young, shining like the rising sun, was making his very first appearance on phonograph record. Strong as nails, full of ideas and rhythmic enthusiasm, Young was obviously happy to be cooking in front of the microphone that day. On the 21st of January, 1937 the Count Basie Orchestra became a phonographic reality, utilizing former members of Walter Page's Blue Devils and Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra. Basie honored his Harlem roots by dishing up a smart instrumental treatment of Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose," and a stomp dedicated to Waller's preferred cathouse, the Daisy Chain. "Roseland Shuffle" is remarkable for the extended "conversation" between Lester Young's sax and Basie's piano. Jimmy Rushing is often narrowly categorized as a blues singer rather than a versatile jazz vocalist who could sing anything, including the blues, with extraordinary passion. Rushing had developed himself as a singer of pop songs with Moten, so it's not surprising that he does so well with "Pennies From Heaven." Rushing often made it seem as though he himself had written the songs he sang. He did all he could with "Boo Hoo," a cutesy Guy Lombardo hit made into a smoking instrumental in 1937 by Fats Waller His Rhythm & His Orchestra. Waller sang on his own version of "Smarty," while Basie was wise enough to keep it instrumental. This left more room for a solo by Herschel Evans, who shared clarinet and tenor sax responsibilities with Lester Young. The March 26, 1937 version of "Boogie Woogie" is a big band expansion of the blues shuffle recorded with the small group five months earlier, and the effect is anything but redundant. What an amazing band! "One O'Clock Jump" made its very first appearance in July of '37, featuring Lester Young in all his glory. Compare his solo with that of Herschel Evans' on "John's Idea" and you'll be savoring one of the greatest tenor sax dichotomies in the history of big band jazz. Evans sounds like Coleman Hawkins or Chu Berry. Young sounds like Young and nobody else. In just a few years, half the tenors in the world would be trying to sound exactly like him. 1937 and '38 were wonderful years for this group of musicians. Things evolved steadily. New energies gradually began to pervade the ensemble: Earle Warren, Freddie Green, Eddie Durham, Benny Morton. Each man brought his personality along with his chops. The future looked, and was, very bright for Basie's Orchestra. What a treat to catch this wonderful band as it perpetually reinvented itself for all to hear. - arwulf arwulf
  1. Shoe Shine Boy
  2. Evenin'
  3. Boogie Woogie
  4. Oh! Lady Be Good
  5. Honeysuckle Rose
  6. Pennies from Heaven
  7. Swingin' at the Daisy Chain
  8. Roseland Shuffle
  9. Exactly Like You
  10. Boo-Hoo
  11. The Glory of Love
  12. Boogie Woogie
  13. Smarty
  14. One O'Clock Jump
  15. Listen My Children (And You Shall Hear)
  16. John's Idea
  17. Good Morning Blues
  18. Our Love Was Meant to Be
  19. Time Out
  20. Topsy
  21. I Keep Remembering
  22. Out the Window
  23. Don't You Miss Your Baby
  24. Let Me Dream
  25. Georgiana

Friday, November 16, 2007

Andrew Hill - Divine Revelation

For this quartet date, the great and innovative pianist/composer Andrew Hill performs "Here's That Rainy Day," and his powerful 25-minute opus "Divine Revelation," and three more concise originals with a quartet; an alternate take of "July 10th" was added to the CD reissue. In addition to Hill, bassist Chris White and drummer Leroy Williams, the set features a completely obscure but reasonably talented altoist (Jimmy Vass) who also is heard on soprano and flute and seemed to have really dug into the essence of Andrew Hill's complex but logical music.

Andrew Hill (piano)
Jimmy Vass (alto saxophone, flute)
Chris White (bass)
Leroy Williams (drums)

1 - Snake Hip Waltz
2 - Here's That Rainy Day
3 - East 9th Street
4 - July 10th
5 - Divine Revelation
6 - July 10th (alt)

Sonny Criss - Out Of Nowhere

The assured music that Criss was producing in February of 1956 was still the order of the day in 1975, when he cut Out Of Nowhere for the Muse label. By this stage in his life his instrumental skills had not only ripened and deepened, now they were also the product not only of maturity, but also the ups-and-downs that are an integral part of everyone's life, and which are especially pertinent to any jazz musician wanting to turn them into something aspiring to art. That Criss so concisely achieves that end is indication of how these basic issues were pertinent to his life and music, and again the music he produces is so beautifully tailored that there isn't a surplus note to be found.

In the company of a rhythm section headed by Dolo Coker, his first-choice pianist at the time, Criss works his way through a program of standards and blues. “The Dreamer”, a blues from his own pen, is simply functional at the same time as it features some of his most effective playing. By comparison with his work in earlier decades, which was scarcely anything less than heated, his incendiary playing here panders to nothing, and retains a fierce integrity.

Sonny Criss was one of countless musicians who didn't learn much of his craft in a formal educational setting. Instead he experienced the vagaries of the Afro-American musician's life, and through the paradoxically simple yet complex act of putting that life out through a saxophone he left us with a body of work both personal and profound.

"Sonny Criss never became a major name or a pollwinner, but he was one of the great altoists. His recordings for Muse in the 1970s were often classics, including this superb effort. Assisted by pianist Dolo Coker, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Jimmie Smith, Criss comes up with one inventive chorus after another on two of his originals, a song by Coker, and four standards including "All The Things You Are," "My Ideal" and "Out of Nowhere." Criss's distinctive sound, mastery of bop and consistently swinging ideas are three strong reasons to acquire this CD reissue." ~ Scott Yanow

Sonny Criss (alto sax)
Dolo Coker (piano)
Larry Gales (bass)
Jimmie Smith (drums)

1. All The Things You Are
2. The Dreamer
3. El Tiante
4. My Ideal
5. Out Of Nowhere
6. Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
7. The First One

Los Angeles, CA, October 20, 1975

Sam Rivers ~ A New Conception > Vinyl (flac)

A response to JN & others. I've had this used copy for over 20 years (the previous owner, a gent named Filkins was kind enough to leave his moniker on the back cover) It is a thrift store find--my copy has a permanent mark that cannot be rubbed out, gee thanks. It is a decent, copy, though, but I'm afraid ol' Filkins liked "When I Fall In Love" a little too much, because he wore out the high frequency on this track by too many plays with a bad needle--there are a few other moments like this on the vinyl, hopefully not too off-putting for y'all) It is an absolutely beautiful album. I'm not a big fan of the soprano sax, unless it's Lucky Thompson or Zoot, and even less of a Jazz Flute fan (unless it's Bobby Jaspar) but Rivers is such a great player, he could have played something on a garden hose and it would have been superb. I'll post the Erlewhine synopsis (not a bad one) and hoist one to the Devious one from Okinawa, glrmlr, and old Filkins, who unwittingly made it possible for me to own this.

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The title of A New Conception refers to Sam Rivers' ingenious interpretations of standards on this record. Rivers treats the songs — such familiar items as "When I Fall in Love," "I'll Never Smile Again," "That's All," "What a Difference a Day Makes," and "Secret Love" — with respect, but he doesn't treat them as museum pieces. He knows that if the songs are to remain fresh, they need to be heard in different ways, and he skillfully opens up each composition to contemporary avant-garde techniques. Rivers and his supporting trio of pianist Hal Galper, bassist Herbert Lewis, and drummer Steve Ellington gradually ease each number into more adventurous territory, slowly shifting into exploratory instrumental sections, slyly varying the melodic themes, or adding shaded dissonant textures. It's challenging music that remains accessible, since it reconfigures familiar items in new, intriguing ways. The sheer skill in Rivers' arrangements once again confirms his large, unfortunately underappreciated, talent.

Anthony Braxton - Ten Compositions (Quartet) 2000

The highly resourceful Anthony Braxton once again contributes an important recording in this original tribute to the compositions of unsung pianist Andrew Hill, who wrote most of the pieces on the album. The saxophonist uses an unusual combination of alto sax, guitar, bass, and drums to deliver the goods. While the piano is clearly missed, Kevin O'Neil proves himself a strong voice on guitar in what appears to be his recording debut, able to handle the quirky melodies and tough chord progressions with ease, and producing fluidly complex solos that are gracefully integrated. Braxton's surprisingly yet attractively thin voice on alto often sounds like a soprano sax, while his angular improvisations bring out the peculiarities in Hill's charts even more so than when the pianist performed them himself. Braxton seems a tad uncomfortable with some of the difficult melodies and sequences, but the upshot is solos almost completely devoid of cliché. Norton is a solid timekeeper, whatever the tempo; he knows how to stay out of the way and also when to kick and complement a line. Steven Loewy

Anthony Braxton (alto sax, flute)
Kevin O’Neil (guitar)
Andy Eulau (bass)
Kevin Norton (drums)

1 - Virgo
2 - New Arrival
3 - McNeil Island
4 - Black Monday
5 - C-Bop
6 - Pumpkin - take 2
7 - Alfred - take 2
8 - Griots
9 - No Doubt - take 2
10 - Lo Joe - take 3

Recorded at The Spirit Room, Rossie, NY, May 22-23, 2000

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dizzy Gillespie & The Mitchell-Ruff Duo (1971) [flac]

Pianist Dwike Mitchell and bassist Willie Ruff (who is also a talented french horn player) first met in the late 1940s when they were serving in the Army and playing in a band at the Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio. In 1954 they were both members of Lionel Hampton's Big Band and within a year they broke away to form the Mitchell-Ruff Duo. The Mitchell-Ruff Duo has since worked on and off for over 40 years. The high points of its existence include a touring the Soviet Union in 1959 (they were the first U.S. jazz musicians in Russia since World War II, helping to pave the way for Benny Goodman's tour of 1962), playing for Lyndon Johnson in Mexico in 1966, visiting China in 1981 and recording in a trio with Dizzy Gillespie. The Mitchell-Ruff Duo have recorded for Epic (1955-56 and 1966), Roulette (1957-60), Atlantic (1961 and 1965), Mainstream (1969) and Kepler (1983).

This live CD combines excerpts from two separate concerts by the Mitchell-Ruff Duo. The earlier program adds trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie to the mix, which is a nice change of pace from the sets typically featuring this bop giant. Dwike Mitchell's conservative piano and Willie Ruff's tasty bass licks inspire Gillespie in the moving opener, "Con Alma." Ruff switches to French horn, joined by Gillespie, for the likely improvised "Dartmouth Duet." The piece is a curious mix of majestic and exotic flavors. Ruff returns to bass for a breezy "Woody 'n You," "Blues People" (an obvious knockoff of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time"), and Ruff's "Bella Bella," the latter an intricate chart skillfully navigated by the trumpeter. The last three selections were recorded in the studio not long after they concluded a gig at the Hickory House. Ruff is on bass for their romp through "Take the 'A' Train" and switches to french horn for a playful miniature of "Rain Check." Mitchell is unaccompanied for the elaborate interpretation of "Chelsea Bridge." Warmly recommended. - Ken Dryden

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet 1-5)
Dwike Mitchell (piano)
Willie Ruff (bass, french horn)
  1. Con Alma
  2. Dartmouth Duet
  3. Woody'n You
  4. Blues People
  5. Bella Bella
  6. Take the 'A' Train
  7. Chelsea Bridge
  8. Raincheck
1-5 Recorded July 12, 1971
6-8 Recorded September 14, 1971

Rex Stewart - 1947-1948 (Chronological 1057)

Here is a delightful visit from Rex Stewart's All Star European Tour Band, the way they sounded in Paris during December of 1947 and January 1948. If you ever need or want a perfect taste of what trombonist Sandy Williams could do with a ballad, "I Cried for You" might be the best example on record anywhere. The surprise star soloist in this package, though, is tenor saxophonist Vernon Story. His own composition "Storyville" is a brisk example of what many folks at the time would have called rebop. Story also blows up a storm on "Cherokee," "Stardust," "Goofin' Off," and (of course) "Vernon's Story." Whatever happened to this guy? He seems to have fallen out of circulation fairly soon after these recordings were made. As for Rex Stewart, this bag of tunes is characteristically varied, from a very hip, Coleman Hawkins-inspired handling of "Stompin' at the Savoy" through a solidly old-fashioned "Muskrat Ramble" to a brief visit from Django Reinhardt on "Night and Day" and "Confessin'." While the hot and humorous numbers are entertaining, there's nothing quite so satisfying as Rex Stewart's subtleties on ballads and blues. Glowing examples here include Duke Ellington's "I Didn't Know About You," the ethereal "Swamp Mist," and the blues sketches "Sacknasty," "Last Blues," and especially "Jug Blues," a slow drag with an almost cowpoke bassline ambling along behind Stewart's muttering cornet. ~ arwulf arwulf

Rex Stewart (cornet, vocals)
Django Reinhardt (guitar)
Vernon Story (tenor sax)
Hubert Rostaing (clarinet)

1. I Cried For You
2. Stompin' At The Savoy
3. Madeleine
4. Muskrat Ramble
5. Storyville
6. Cherokee
7. Run To The Corner
8. Georgia On My Mind
9. Let's Try It
10. I Didn't Know About You
11. I'm The Luckiest Fool
12. At The Barclay's Club
13. Jug Blues
14. Night And Day
15. Confessin'
16. Stardust
17. Vernon's Story
18. Never Let It Be Said
19. Swamp Mist
20. Goof' In Off
21. All On Account Of You
22. Sacknasty
23. Last Blues

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sam Most with Joe Farrell - Flute Talk (1979) [LP > flac]

One of the first great jazz flutists, a cool-toned tenor, and a fine (if infrequent) clarinetist, Sam Most is the younger brother of clarinetist Abe Most. He picked up early experience playing with the orchestras of Tommy Dorsey (1948), Boyd Raeburn, and Don Redman. By the time he led his first session (1953), Most was a brilliant flutist (among the first to sing through his flute) and he briefly had the jazz field to himself. Most recorded fine sessions for Prestige, Debut (reissued on Xanadu), Vanguard, and Bethlehem during 1953-1958, doubling on clarinet. He also worked in different settings with Chris Connor, Paul Quinichette, and Teddy Wilson. After playing with Buddy Rich's Orchestra (1959-1961), he moved to Los Angeles and became a studio musician. Sam Most worked with Red Norvo and Louie Bellson, gained some new prominence with his Xanadu recordings of 1976-1979, and became a local fixture in Los Angeles, sometimes playing in clubs with his brother.

Joe Farrell's CTI albums of 1970-1976, which combined together his hard bop style with some pop and fusion elements, made him briefly popular among listeners not familiar with his earlier work. He began playing clarinet when he was 11 and, after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1959, Farrell moved to New York where he worked with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band (1960-1961) and Slide Hampton (1962), and recorded with Charles Mingus, Dizzy Reece, and a notable series with Jaki Byard (1965). A member of both the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra (1966-1969) and Elvin Jones' combo (1967-1970), Farrell's distinctive sound on tenor and general versatility were assets. A member of the original version of Return to Forever (1971-1972), Farrell was fairly prosperous during the 1970s when his solo CTI records sold well, but a drug problem gradually caught up with him. After performing with Mingus Dynasty in the late '70s and recording with Louis Hayes in 1983, he moved to Los Angeles where he scuffled during his last couple of years. In addition to CTI, Farrell recorded as a leader for Warner Bros., Xanadu, Contemporary, Realtime, Timeless, and (with Airto and Flora Purim) for Reference.

Essentially a blowing session, the flutes of Sam Most and Joe Farrell are in the forefront of this enjoyable straightahead date. Pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Bob Magnusson, drummer Roy McCurdy and percussionist Jerry Steinholtz are quite supportive of the flutes. Most and Farrell play a few standards (including a creative version of "When You Wish upon a Star"), some straightforward originals and on "Leaves" they freely improvise around each other in an interesting (if overly brief) duet. - Scott Yanow

Sam Most, Joe Farrell (flute)
Mike Wofford (piano, electric piano)
Bob Magnusson (bass)
Roy McCurdy (drums)
Jerry Steinholtz (percussion)
  1. Kim
  2. Something Sweet and Tender
  3. Sound Off
  4. Love Season
  5. When You Wish Upon a Star
  6. Samba to Remember You By
Recorded January 23, 24, 1979

Bobby Hutcherson - Now

Few records capture and transcend their moment in time as definitively as Now!. Recorded in 1969, the disc emotionally echoes sentiments central to the black power movement of the day. The music is strong, passionate, sensitive, optimistic, and - like the struggle it heralded - timeless. The premier vibraphonist/composer of his generation, Bobby Hutcherson had already expanded the modern jazz vocabulary with his quintet of tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Stanley Cowell (or Kenny Barron), bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Joe Chambers. On Now! the group, augmented by guitarist Wally Richardson, conguero Candido Camero, three female voices, and lead vocalist/lyricist Gene MacDaniels, creates a work with a popular sound and a powerful message.

The leader’s opening “Slow Change” is a clarion call for justice, with McDaniel’s commanding voice soaring above the ensemble and Hutcherson and Land ringing out inspiring solos over the electrified rhythm section. Richardson’s classical guitar and Candido’s congas contribute a light delicate air to Joe Chambers’ beautiful “Hello To The Wind.” McDaniel begins his hopeful lyrics with the clear intonation of the lead on a Broadway stage and then improvises uninhibitedly, sounding at the times like a Moslem muezzin. Hutcherson’s title track is a touching tone poem, a moving lament dedicated to the late bassist Albert Stinson. “The Creators,” by Herbie Lewis, is a strangely ethereal piece, with a spacey Richardson guitar background grounded by Candido’s insistent conga rhythm, over which the voices chant repetitively while Cowell, Hutcherson, and Land solo with reserved abandon. Land and McDaniel’s “Black Heroes” is a topical protest song lauding the race’s champions of equality with the popular “Freedom Now” message developed over rhythm changes.

The second part of the CD includes, as an important addendum, the live 1978 performance of “Slow Change,” “Now,” and “Hello To The Wind” masterfully arranged by Dale Oehler for a concert by Hutcherson’s group with saxophonist Manny Boyd, pianist George Cables, bassist James Leary, drummer Eddie Marshall, and percussionist Bobby Porter Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Calvin Simmons. Originally released on the overlooked LP Blue Note Meets the L.A. Philharmonic, the melodies maintain the strength and sensitivity of the original recordings, while taking on a new character that clearly confirms the importance of Hutcherson and Chambers as modern composers. The music may well be the best amalgamation of the jazz and classical idioms ever recorded. Russ Musto

Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Gene McDaniels, Christine Spencer (vocals)
Wally Richardson (guitar)
Manny Boyd (soprano, tenor sax)
Harold Land (tenor sax)
George Cables (piano)
Kenny Barron (piano)
Stanley Cowell (piano)
Herbie Lewis, James Leary (bass)
Eddie Marshall , Joe Chambers (drums)
Candido (congas)
Bobbye Porter Hall (percussion)
L.A. Philharmonic

1. Slow Change
2. Hello to the Wind
3. Now
4. The Creators
5. Black Heroes
6. Slow Change
7. Now
8. Hello to the Wind
9. Now (reprise)

A&R Studios, New York, October 3 - November 5,1969
Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles August 13, 1977

Frank Rosolino - I Play Trombone

One of the best albums ever cut by trombonist Frank Rosolino -- a player who's far too often buried in larger groups, but who's here playing in a tight stripped-down quartet, with lots of room for soloing! Not only that, but the group features the great Sonny Clark on piano -- providing a soulful accompaniment that brings out the best in Rosolino. 4 of the album's 6 tracks are around 7 minutes long -- unusual for Bethlehem -- and titles include "Doxy", "My Delux", "Flamingo", "I May Be Wrong", and "Frieda".

Featuring the superbly imaginative pianist Sonny Clark, the album dispels notions of West Coast aridity. Both Rosolino and Clark are at their best on standards like "I Think You're Wonderful" and "The Things We Did Last Summer." By the way, no trombonist I can think of ever sounded better playing with a mute than Rosolino. Although Clark went back East in 1957, and became Blue Note's house pianist, this record proves his legacy was as memorable in Los Angeles as New York. Unattributed

Frank Rosolino ( trombone)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Wilfred Middlebrooks (bass)
Stan Levey (drums)

1. I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful)
2. The Things We Did Last Summer
3. Frieda
4. Doxy
5. My Delux
6. Flamingo

Los Angeles, May, 1956

Michael Brecker - Pilgrimage 2007 FLAC

Review by Rick Anderson
Given the heartbreaking context in which this album was released — this was the final recording by saxophonist Michael Brecker, who died of myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia only a few months before its release — there might be a certain temptation to cut it some slack for sentimental reasons. However, leniency is hardly needed. Leading a group comprised of jaw-dropping talents (pianists Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau, guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist John Patitucci, drummer Jack DeJohnette) and playing for the first time a program consisting entirely of original compositions, Brecker delivers an emotionally rich and startlingly powerful album of straight-ahead modern jazz that will stand as his musical epitaph and will effectively confound anyone who has ever been tempted to dismiss him as a mere jazz-pop fusioneer. It will also frustrate anyone looking for maudlin emotion or even any obvious product of existential angst; the only concession to sentiment here is on the title of a ballad, "When Can I Kiss You Again?," a quote from Brecker's teenage son during a period in his treatment when his family was not allowed to touch him. But even that track, with its unusual chord progression and sometimes rather arid solos, retains a core of tough-mindedness within the tenderness. Most of the rest of the program consists of uptempo and medium-tempo burners that swing with a powerful sense of urgency and life, and precious little foreshadowing of the tragedy that all involved knew was soon to come. This is a brilliant and inspiring album — and would be whether or not it had anything to do with the death of one of the great figures in American jazz.

1 The Mean Time 6:56
2 Five Months from Midnight 7:41
3 Anagram 10:11
4 Tumbleweed 9:39
5 When Can I Kiss You Again? 9:45
6 Cardinal Rule 7:33
7 Half Moon Lane 7:18
8 Loose Threads 8:36
9 Pilgrimage 10:02

All tracks by M. Brecker

Michael Brecker Arranger, Sax (Tenor)
Jack DeJohnette Drums
Herbie Hancock Piano (1, 5, 8, 9)
Brad Mehldau Piano (2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
Pat Metheny Guitar
John Patitucci Bass

Recorded at Right Track, NYC in August 2006

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blue Mitchell - The Thing To Do

This Blue Mitchell date is a classic, particularly the opening "Fungii Mama," which is really catchy. The trumpeter's quintet of the period (which includes tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, the young pianist Chick Corea, bassist Gene Taylor, and drummer Al Foster) also performs two Jimmy Heath tunes and a song apiece by Joe Henderson ("Step Lightly") and Corea. The record is prime Blue Note hard bop, containing inventive tunes, meaningful solos, and an enthusiastic but tight feel. Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Trumpeter Blue Mitchell is often overlooked, despite the fact that he was a highly gifted jazz improviser. Hopefully, this 2004 remastering will set the record straight about Mitchell's legacy. Featuring a young Chick Corea on piano, and tenor saxophonist Junior Cook (best known for his work with Horace Silver), THE THING TO DO stands out as one of Mitchell's finest albums.

Mitchell's group is tight yet relaxed, and each musician swings with authority throughout. This record features the premiere of "Fungii Mama," a Caribbean-influenced tune that, to this day, remains Mitchell's best-known composition. This is followed by two hard-grooving Jimmy Heath tunes, a bluesy Joe Henderson piece, and an absolutely burning version of "Chick's Tune," which is a clever reworking of the standard "You Stepped Out of a Dream." Fans of drummer Al Foster should note that this is his studio debut, though you wouldn't know it; Foster plays with the skill and confidence of a veteran on all five tracks.

Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Junior Cook (tenor sax)
Chick Corea (piano)
Gene Taylor (bass)
Al Foster (drums)

1. Fungii Mama
2. Mona's Mood
3. The Thing To Do
4. Step Lightly
5. Chick's Tune

Pepper Adams!

Jean Thielemans - Man Bites Harmonica!

Although he plays guitar exclusively on two of the eight selections included on this CD reissue, it is Toots Thielemans' harmonica playing that is most unique. He holds his own on a hard bop blowing date with baritonist Pepper Adams , pianist Kenny Drew , bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Art Taylor , jamming on such songs as 'East of the Sun,' 'Struttin' with Some Barbeque' and 'Isn't It Romantic.' Even four decades later, no jazz harmonica player has dethroned the great Toots .

Toots Thielemans (guitar, harmonica)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. East Of The Sun
2. Don't Blame Me
3. 18th Century Ballroom
4. Soul Station
5. Fundamental Frequency
6. Strutting With Some Barbecue
7. Imagination
8. Isn't It Romantic

Pepper Adams - Encounter!

Baritonist Pepper Adams and tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims (who rarely performed together) make a surprisingly compatible team on this CD reissue of a 1968 Prestige session. With pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Elvin Jones forming a fairly adventurous rhythm section, Pepper and Sims sound inspired on material that includes obscurities by Flanagan, Thad Jones and Adams in addition to the Ellington-Strayhorn ballad "Star-Crossed Lovers" and a pair of Joe Henderson songs. The setting is more advanced than usual for Sims, who rises to the challenge. ~ Scott Yanow

Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)

1. Inanout
2. Star-Crossed Lovers
3. Cindy's Tune
4. Serenity
5. Elusive
6. I've Just Seen Her
7. Punjab
8. Verdandi

The Mercury New Orleans Sessions 1950 & 1953

From the site of the issuing company:

Back in 1989, we issued a double LP, Mercury Records--The New Orleans Sessions, 1950. Containing early and great (not to mention some unissued) recordings by Professor Longhair, Alma Mondy, and other Crescent City legends, it was a definitive statement of New Orleans R&B at its inception. We uncovered the original acetates at Mercury Records'vault, and painstakingly restored them, thereby re-creating one of the great field trips in record business history on two LPs! Since CDs were introduced, we've had requests to reissue that 2-LP set, but we couldn't see how we could improve upon it..until now. Researcher Rick Coleman, whose recently published book on Fats Domino is recognized as a classic work in New Orleans R&B, figured out that a Mercury R&B session long thought to have taken place in Los Angeles in 1953 actually took place in New Orleans. To confirm his hunch, Rick spoke with Mercury A&R man Dee Kilpatrick, who recalled recording Alma Mondy along with a female impersonator, Pat Valadear, Woo-Woo Moore, and Plas Johnson's brother, Ray. So we included everything from that session, plus the ultra-rare gospel recordings by the Silvertone Singers from the 1950 sessions! Add new photos, new notes, and digitally enhanced sound. That's how we took the story of Mercury's New Orleans sessions to a new level. A fitting tribute, especially as so many of the neighborhoods that gave birth to this music may never return!

Ivo Perelman - Blue Monk Variations

This is a very brief offering by saxophone great Ivo Perelman, featuring three takes of Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk" and a variation on each one. Apparently this was recorded as a way of not wasting time; Perelman was waiting for a tuba player to arrive for a session — he was very late. Rather than let the booked time go to waste, he began playing "Blue Monk" and extrapolating upon it as a way of warming up. He had no intention of recording or releasing the work. Later, upon discovering the tape, he played it and sought to issue it after all — and with good reason. The liner notes apologize all over themselves for the CDs brevity — a little over 35 minutes. This is false modesty; these folks know they have a killer solo saxophone record here no matter how long or short it is. In fact, it just may be the perfect length for a solo set. What Perelman accomplished here is an intervallic wonder. He has taken Monk's melody and his notion of harmony and stretched them toward boundaries these notes had never encountered before. And, yes, he retains the same basic playful spontaneity the composer insisted upon each time he played his own work. The horn squawks and squeaks all over the place, using theme, voice modulation, various breathing techniques, and scalar invention to reach into the melodic and tonal harmonic bag of Monk for some fresh ideas. When Perelman blows the tune, all the wheels come off and only its chassis remains. When he moves into each of the three variations on the tune, in blues phrasing, free jazz blowing, and funky-bottom R&B swinging, he transforms his improvising into Monk's and vice versa. Perelman's respect for the structural integrity of the original remains intact even when he revamps the intervals and harmonic accents; he never quite leaves it behind, insisting on building from the same architecture the composer used to improvise upon in the original. So, for 35 minutes, the listener is treated to a truly original interpretation of Monk and his lyrical ideas. This is a classic by Perelman, no apology necessary. Thom "Yeah, That's Right, Thom Jurek!" Jurek

Ivo Perelman (saxophone)

1. Blue Monk 1
2. Variation 1
3. Blue Monk 2
4. Variation 2
5. Blue Monk 3
6. Variation 3

Pharoah Sanders - Jewels of Thought

Jazz yodeling. DisInk hipped me to this, and when I play it I play it loud. And the neighbors always ask: "What is that?" And I say, "Jazz yodelin', y'all! Can you dig it???" And they invariably call the police; who ask "What is that?"

Iphizo Zam is overdue too, I think.

1969 was a banner year for Pharoah Sanders-- having already recorded two albums (although Izipho Zam would wait several years to see release) and having generated quite a buzz with Karma and the stunning "The Creator Has a Masterplan." Jewels of Thought was Pharoah's followup to the magnificent Karma]. It included many of the same personnel and developed the vibe that was pioneered on the earlier album.

Pharoah Sanders (tenor sax, contrabass clarinet, reed flute, African thumb piano, orchestra chimes, percussion)
Leon Thomas (vocals, percussion)
Lonnie Liston Smith (piano, African flute, African thumb piano, percussion) Cecil McBee, Richard Davis (bass, percussion)
Idris Muhammad (drums, percussion)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum Allah
2. Sun In Aquarius

Recorded in New York City on October 20, 1969

The West Coast 50: Number 12

Sonny Criss - Intermission Riff

" A previously unknown recording from this period, which was released after Criss's death on the Pablo label, showcases this latter aspect of his style. The album, Intermission Riff, captures a live performance at the Shrine Auditorium in...October 12, 1951. Criss, then only a few days shy of his twenty-fourth birthday, fronts a seven-piece band that included some of the finest modern jazz musicians of the time....Electricity is in the air every time Criss solos. Although his colleagues on the bandstand make major contributions, is the altoist who rivets the listeners attention...At one point the audience interrupts Criss's solo with roaring applause for a particularly gripping chorus; Criss, oblivious of the crowd, plays on as if in the heat of a private jam session." Ted Gioia, West Coast Jazz

Joe Newman (trumpet)
Bennie Green (trombone)
Sonny Criss (alto sax)
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor sax)
Bobby Tucker (piano)
Tommy Potter (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. Intermission Riff
2. How High The Moon
3. Perdido
4. Body And Soul
5. High Jump

"Shrine Auditorium", Los Angeles, CA, October 12, 1951

Cooper Manne

Please note that Coop! is number 10 in the Gioia West Coast 50

Shelly Manne and Friends - Bells Are Ringing

In the late 1950s, Shelly Manne and Andre Previn were as familiar a pairing in the realm of the theatrical musical as Rodgers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Loewe. Working under the names Shelly Manne & His Friends (as here) or Andre Previn and his Pals, they pioneered one of the first successful concepts of the long-playing album era, the jazz version of a Broadway show. This 1958 set was their fifth Broadway effort, and was rounded out by the great bassist Red Mitchell, who worked with the pianist later in the year when the multi-faceted Previn briefly left the symphonic concert stages and Hollywood studios for a trio tour. Among the highlights in the Friends' version of the Comden/Green score are the now-standard "Just in Time" and two contrasting versions of "The Party's Over," as well as Manne's intriguing feature "Mu-Cha-Cha."

Shelly Manne (drums)
André Previn (piano)
Red Mitchell (bass)

1. I Met A Girl
2. Just In Time
3. Independent (On My Own)
4. The Party's Over (Ballad Version)
5. It's A Perfect Relationship
6. Is It A Crime?
7. Better Than A Dream
8. Mu-Cha-Cha
9. Long Before I Knew You
10. The Party's Over (Up-Tempo Version)

Bob Cooper - Coop!

Tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper's only Contemporary album (reissued on CD in the Original Jazz Classics series) is a near-classic and one of his finest recordings. Cooper, along with trombonist Frank Rosolino, vibraphonist Victor Feldman, pianist Lou Levy, bassist Max Bennett, and drummer Mel Lewis, performs colorful versions of five standards (best are "Confirmation," "Easy Living," and "Somebody Loves Me") that show off his attractive tone and ability to swing at any tempo. Half of the release consists of his "Jazz Theme and Four Variations," a very interesting work that holds together quite well throughout 23-and-a-half minutes and five movements. Three trumpeters (including Conte Candoli) and one trombone are added to make the ensembles richer. This set is an underrated gem.

Bob Cooper (tenor sax)
Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Victor Feldman (vibes)
Lou Levy (piano)
Max Bennett (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Conti Candoli (trumpet)

1. Jazz Theme And Four Variations -
2. 1st Variation: A Blue Period
3. 2nd Variation: Happy Changes
4. 3rd Variation: Night Stroll
5. 4th Variation: Saturday Dance
6. Confirmation
7. Easy Living
8. Frankie & Johnny

The West Coast 50: Number 39

Lennie Niehaus - Vol 1: The Quintets

Alto saxophonist Lennie Niehaus is better known as the arranger for Clint Eastwood's films, but he has long been familiar to jazz fans as a respected bandleader, composer, arranger, and soloist. This limited-edition audiophile reissue of his first solo recordings (following stints with Stan Kenton and Shorty Rogers) is a stunner. Included is the first 10" LP he recorded with a three-saxophone front line -- in this case, with Jack Montrose (tenor), and Bob Gordon (baritone) -- and other quintet sessions with musicians including pianist Hampton Hawes, and fellow Kentonite Shelly Manne (who was responsible for Niehaus' record deal with Contemporary's Lester Koenig in the first place). The involvement of Kenton bandmembers familiar with one another lends an ease and excitement to the proceedings. These quintet sessions are West Coast jazz at its finest. Melodic tunes give plenty of air to the lyrical yet complex nature of much of the music coming from that region at the time, with no remnants of the cool jazz period. These 1954 sides stomp with swing, color, and style. Bebop is called upon for tempo and pace, while swing and hard bop are referenced as checkpoints. There is a genuine glee in Niehaus' playing on "I Can't Believe You're in Love with Me," when he trades solos with Stu Williamson, while he paces the slightly faster take on "I Remember You" until slipping into one of those long, melodically sophisticated solos of his, just when you expected another chorus. Listening to this, it's hard to believe West Coast jazz ever got a bad rap. This set sounds as fresh today as it did then.

Lennie Niehaus (alto
Jack Montrose (tenor)
Stu Williamson (trumpet, valve trombone)
Bob Gordon (baritone)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. I Remember You
2. Poinciana
3. Whose Blues
4. Prime Rib
5. I Should Care
6. Inside Out
7. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
8. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
9. I'll Take Romance
10. Happy Times
11. Day By Day
12. Bottoms Up

Sonny Redd and Art Pepper - Two Altos

This album is misleading. Although it nowhere claims that the two are playing together, the fact is you probably think they are. The first 4 tracks are Pepper led sessions, one taken from the date that produced Surf Ride, two from Pepper's only 1954 recording date (the others appeared on the recently posted Discovery Sessions), and one from an early Pepper date in 1952 with Hampton Hawes.

The remaining two tracks are from a Sonny "Redd" Kyser session from 1957 that has a great backing line-up. Redd was a Detroit native (as were Adams and Watkins) who worked with Barry Harris, Bobby Timmons, Blakey, Curtis Fuller and others. He passed away in 1981

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Jack Montrose (tenor sax)
Claude Williamson (piano)
Monty Budwig (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)
Los Angeles, CA, August 25, 1954

Sonny Redd (alto sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)
November 12, 1957

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

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

1. Deep Purple
2. Watkins Production
3. Everything Happens To Me
4. Redd's Head
5. These Foolish Things
6. What's New

Matthew Gee - Jazz By Gee

Trombonist Matthew Gee was primarily a section player and a valuable sideman, but as this CD reissue shows, he could have been a significant soloist too. The two sessions (Gee's only as a leader) feature him in an unusual quintet with altoist Ernie Henry (the trombone-alto blend has a unique sound) and at the head of a septet also including trumpeter Kenny Dorham, tenorman Frank Foster and baritonist Cecil Payne. The music is quite bop-oriented and mixes together standards with three swinging Gee originals. An underrated and generally overlooked gem by a forgotten trombonist. ~ Scott Yanow

A fine bop trombonist, Matthew Gee appeared on many sessions in the 1950's but was fairly obscure during the latter part of his life. Gee started out playing trumpet, switched to baritone horn and settled on trombone when he was 11. He studied at Alabama State, worked with Coleman Hawkins, served in the Army and then played with Dizzy Gillespie on and off during 1946-49. Gee had stints with Joe Morris, the Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt band, Count Basie (eight months in 1951), Illinois Jacquet, Sarah Vaughan and Dizzy Gillespie (for a brief time in his 1957 big band). He was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (intermittently during 1959-63) and in later years played with small combos including those of Paul Quinichette and Brooks Kerr. Matthew Gee just led one record date (Jazz By Gee, a Riverside set that has been reissued on CD) and he co-led a 1963 Atlantic session (Soul Groove) with Johnny Griffin. Gee also recorded with Lou Donaldson, Illinois Jacquet and Ellington among others. His main influence was J.J. Johnson. ~ Scott Yanow

Matthew Gee (trombone)
Ernie Henry (alto sax)
Joe Knight (piano)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)
NYC, July 19, 1956

Matthew Gee (trombone)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Frank Foster (tenor sax)
Cecil Payne (baritone sax)
Joe Knight (piano)
John Simmons (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)
NYC, July 19, 1956

1. Out Of Nowhere
2. I'll Remember April
3. Joram
4. Sweet Georgia Brown
5. Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be)
6. Gee!
7. Kingston Lounge
8. The Boys From Brooklyn

Count Basie - Hollywood...Basie's Way (1966-67) [LP > flac]

A follow up to the earlier Broadway album. Same band - Roy Eldridge is out but taking his place is Harry "Sweets" Edison. Once again, all of the arrangements are by Chico O'Farrill.
  1. Secret Love
  2. Laura
  3. In the Still of the Night
  4. A Foggy Day
  5. The Shadow of Your Smile
  6. The Trolley Song
  7. Strangers in the Night
  8. A Fine Romance
  9. Carioca
  10. Hurry Sundown Blues
  11. It Might as Well Be Spring
  12. Days of Wine and Roses
Recorded December 14 & 21, 1966 and January 16, 1967

Miles Davis - The Complete On The Corner Sessions: CDs 1-3

CD 1
1. On the Corner [Unedited Master]
2. On the Corner [Take 4]
3. One and One [Unedited Master]
4. Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X [Unedited Master]
5. Jabali

CD 2
1 - Ife
2 - Chieftain
3 - Rated X
4 - Turnaround
5 - U-Turnaround

CD 3
1 - Billy Preston
2 - The Hen
3 - Big Fun,Holly-wuud (Take 2)
4 - Big Fun,Holly-wuud (Take 3)
5 - Peace
6 - Mr. Foster

marcello melis- new village on the left 1977 ogg

heres an old favourite from the early black saint catalog.
no reviews of this wonderful record.
which features pioneering Italian bassist marcello melis, in a truly flavoursome collaboration with Enrico rava ,and master trombonist Roswell rudd as well as percussionist don moye from the AECO.
what makes this album unique is that its one of the first and most successful
cross pollination's of jazz with so called
(these days anyway) 'world music'
apart from the trumpet, trombone fronted front line this features the then renown sardinian polyphonic
vocal group Rubanu.
who sing in the unique sardinian tradition referred to as' su tenore'.
which to my ears really isn't that dissimilar to vocal polyphony's of some African Pygmy tribes, and also has elements in common with tuvan singing.
incredible unison drones are generated through complex harmonics , the gruppo rubanu does not improvise or directly interact with the jazz group which was recorded 2 years later.
still the juxtaposition is stunning and seamlessly made.
give it a shot.. sorry about the rush review, shit i love this record, grab it even if initially for rava , or if you like Mediterranean folk!!!

pete jolly trio and friends -- little bird

jean lafite says: one for the jazzman. don't know how obscure it is, but i can't off the top of my head recall any other records on this label (ava records) in my collection. my favorite pete jolly outing with his trio: chuck berghofer bass and larry bunker on drums assisted by their friends howard roberts and kenny hume. some terrific cuts here with a side of cheese for glidernyc.

Billy Bang - Vietnam Reflections

This is a beautiful album.

"Though a revelation—simultaneously his most ambitious recording and his most straight-ahead—Billy Bang's Vietnam: The Aftermath (2002) told only half the story: It surveyed the Asian influences that came into jazz concurrent with Vietnam but limited itself to the American point of view. The most affecting cuts on the sequel are those where scrappy, outward-bound fiddler (and Vietnam vet) Bang interacts with Co Boi Nguyen's voice and Nhan Thanh Ngo's dan tranh (Vietnamese dulcimer). Vietnam: Reflections has plenty else to recommend it. Nothing Bang has done prepares you for his keening balladry on "Doi Moi" and "Waltz of the Water Puppets," both derived from traditional Vietnamese material. Altoist and flutist James Spaulding isn't heard nearly enough these days, nor is trumpeter Ted Daniel—both are in top form here, and Spaulding's quote from "Moody's Mood for Love" on "Lock 'n' Load" makes sense emotionally as well as musically. Pianist John Hicks solos and comps with his customary sparkle. But I keep being drawn to the tracks with Nguyen and Ngo—Westerners now, which means the graceful "Ly Ngua O" is as much a memory song for them as it is for Bang." Francis Davis

Billy Bang (violin)
James Spaulding (alto sax, flute)
Henry Threadgill (flute), trumpeter
Ted Daniel ( trumpet)
John Hicks (piano)
Curtis Lundy (bass)
Michael Carvin (drums)
Ron Brown (percussion)
Co Boi Nguyen (vocal)
Nhan Thanh Ngo (dan tranh (Vietnamese dulcimer))

1 - Reflections
2 - Ru Con
3 - Lock & Load
4 - Ly Ngua O
5 - Doi Moi
6 - Reconciliation
7 - Waltz of the Water Puppets
8 - Trong Com
9 - Reconciliation 2

illinois jacquet

jean lafite says: man you'se have all been smoking hot the last few days. i missed a couple and upon returning have foud another goddamn treasure trove. thank you my brothers.
here's two by jacquet. first the message with kenny burrell and wallace richerdson on guitar, ralph smith on the organ, william rodriguez percussion, ben tucker bass, and ray lucas drums. a cooker and a lot of fun.
next is self titled on epic with a few different lineups but including ernie royal, roy eldridge, mathew gee, leo parker (his last recordings), sir charles thompson, kenny burrell, jimmy crawford, jimmy rowser, charlie davis, barry galbraith, jo jones, goerge duvivier, and cecil payne. this is a terrific example of just how good jacquet can play. i'm not going to use the U word, but i could. thanks again fellows for all your great posts.

Thad Jones - The Magnificent Thad Jones

In 1956, trumpeter Thad Jones was making his way forward as a leader and apart from his important role with the Count Basie Orchestra, having recorded for the Charles Mingus owned Debut and Period labels. But this release for Blue Note most firmly established him as one of the premier musicians and composers in modern jazz; it's titled "Magnificent" for many great reasons. There are several precedents set here; the initial foray out of Detroit for the young pianist and fellow Michiganian Barry Harris, the identifying of a personalized small group, as well as individual sound of Jones, and his ability to easily bring great jazz icons together as a team. With Detroit's Billy Mitchell on tenor sax, Percy Heath's bass, and stellar drummer Max Roach, this quintet makes truly great jazz music together. Starting with Heath's spooky bass lines surrounding "April in Paris" melting into the silky smooth tenor of Mitchell, you immediately know you're in for a unique listening experience. Jones' singing soul on his horn comes through best on the ballads "If Someone Had Told Me," in tandem with the pristine piano of Harris during "I've Got a Crush on You," and in duet with Kenny Burrell on "Something to Remember You By." Not forgetting to follow in the footsteps of Dizzy Gillespie/Miles Davis/Clifford Brown examples before him, Jones bops strong and proud on "If I Love Again," spurred on by Roach constantly mutating the rhythm changes, and using counter-melodies while jousting with Mitchell on "Billie-Doo." The single, definitive, and most enduring piece is the near-11-minute "Thedia," a classic post-bop case study that everyone should know and revere. The musicianship being at such a lofty plateau, so intelligently selected and executed, this CD is a must-have for every collection, and is generally regarded as the very best work of Jones, later big-band recordings with Mel Lewis notwithstanding.

Thad Jones (trumpet)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Billy Mitchell (tenor sax)
Barry Harris (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Max Roach (drums)

1-April In Paris
3-If I Love Again
4-If Someone Had Told Me
6-I've Got A Crush On You
7-Something To Remember You By

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on July 9 and July 15, 1956

Monday, November 12, 2007


John Lewis - Evolution
1 Sweet Georgia Brown (2:54) 2 September Song (5:25)
3 Afternoon in Paris (5:10) 4 Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (4:17)
5 I'll Remember April (3:09)
6 Django (7:30) 7 Willow Weep for Me (3:22) 8 Cherokee (4:04) 9 For Ellington (5:35) 10 Don't Blame Me (3:50) 11 At the Horse Show (2:49)
John Lewis - solo piano Recorded January 12 and 15, 1999

albert mangelsdorff- room 1220,(1970) ogg

heres a great one from 1970

room 1220
albert mangelsdorff- trb
john surman- bari sax
n.h.o.p- db
eddie louiss- pno ,organ
daniel humair- dr

jureks review

Three stunning tunes featuring some of the best improvisers in the world today, all of them written — yes, written — by trombonist Albert Mangelsdorf. Interestingly, with a band this diverse and dimensionally articulate, the composer has come up with a program addressing each of the band's particular strengths. The title track, clocking in at over 21 minutes, is a study in the spatial relationship of tonalities. Even so, with its slow unwinding passages — and interesting interplay between Surman on baritone and Mangelsdorf — there are intervals, which allow for the creation of alternate harmonies and timbral interjections in chromatic architecture. Pianist Eddy Louis, along with Pedersen, are largely responsible for keeping the slowly revolving beast moving, but they add true depth in microtones and chord voicings. "Triple Circle" is quintet jazz, pure and simple, with everybody playing the hard bop line. Pedersen's solo is of particular interest here, in that his pizzicato playing moves through all three registers and offers scalar blues attacks in each. Finally, "My Kind of Beauty" caps it all off with a pastoral, late-night into courtesy of the horns and Louis on organ. It's a shimmering ballad until almost five minutes in, when Surman begins playing the baritone in the upper register and makes it cry with loneliness and an outpouring of what can only be called amorous emotion. Just as he finishes his sojourn, Pedersen and Louis begin to pace off a blues and transform the number into a groove tune with room enough for every body in the slowly evolving mix of textures in the intervallic transition. Louis' own solo is light and airy, whispering itself along the changes until it shifts into a noirish piece of film music with Mangelsdorf's solo. It all ends on a groove in the backbeat somewhere, but not without making the listener smile. Room 1220 is a hell of a Mangelsdorf date to be sure, but this is once in a lifetime ensemble, and the recording proves it.

Lucky Thompson and Gigi Gryce - In Paris (Flac)

I had picked this up thinking it would be of more historic interest than a piece you could just put on and enjoy. A lot of postwar recording can be dodgy, but this is a very well done effort. Some of these come from the same time, place, and people as the Clifford Brown in Paris Vogue sessions which have been here a couple of times.

Lionel Hampton had forbidden any of his bandmembers to record while on this tour. Being young men in Paris for the first time, they kinda forgot.

"Tenor saxophonist Lucky Thompson recorded enough material as a leader during the first half of 1956 (mostly in Paris) to fill up 12 LPs. This CD has music from two of his rarer sessions, featuring Thompson playing 12 songs (ten of which are his originals) with a French octet that includes pianist Martial Solal and some fine sidemen; these sessions were last available as the Xanadu LP Brown Rose. Thompson's warm tenor is well showcased at a variety of tempoes during the high-quality music. None of the songs caught on but the performances are quite enjoyable. In addition, this CD reissue features altoist Gigi Gryce on six numbers cut in France in 1953 when he was touring with Lionel Hampton's Orchestra; those selections are from the same sessions that resulted in classic recordings by trumpeter Clifford Brown although Brownie (who appears on one of these numbers) is not heard from here. The CD concludes with two selections from the same period featuring the young trumpeter Art Farmer in a sextet/septet with trombonist Jimmy Cleveland and altoist Anthony Ortega. Although not essential, this reissue is easily recommended to collectors of 1950s straightahead jazz. " This is something I got thinking it would be more interesting~ Scott Yanow

Lucky Thompson (tenor sax)
Martial Solal (piano)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Anthony Ortega (alto sax, flute)
Clifford Brown (trumpet)
Quincy Jones (piano, arranger)
Pierre Michelot (bass)
Clifford Solomon (tenor sax)
Jean-Louis Viale (drums)

1. Quick As A Flash
2. Parisian Knights
3. Street Scene
4. Angel Eyes
5. To You Dear One
6. But Not For Tonight
7. Distant Sound
8. Once Upon A Time
9. Still Waters
10. Theme For A Brown Rose
11. Sunkissed Rose
12. Portrait Of Django
13. Paris The Beautiful
14. Purple Shade
15. Rose Noire
16. Ann Marie
17. Hello
18. Evening In Paris
19. Strike Up The Band
20. Serenade to Sonny

Count Basie - Broadway...Basie's Way (1966) [LP > flac]

One of the few Basie LP's never reissued on CD, this rip is from a very clean mono copy.

The arrangements, all by Chico O'Farrill, are short and rather pedestrian at times but some are quite catchy and there is space for solos by Roy Eldridge, Al Aarons, Al Grey, Eddie Davis, Richard Boone, Marshall Royal and of course, Mr. Basie.

Scott Yanow's very brief review says that this album is "often unlistenable". Granted, this LP will not go down in history as one of his best, but I find it to be "often enjoyable" and would recommend it to anyone who likes Basie.

Marshall Royal, Bobby Plater, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Eric Dixon, Charlie Fowlkes (reeds)
Roy Eldridge, Al Aarons, Gene Goe, Sonny Cohn (trumpets)
Al Grey, Richard Boone, Harlan Froyd, Grover Mitchell, Bill Hughes (trombones)
Count Basie (piano)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Norman Keenan (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
Chico O'Farrill (arrangements)
  1. Hello Young Lovers
  2. A Lot of Livin' to Do
  3. Just in Time
  4. Mame
  5. On a Clear Day
  6. It's All Right With Me
  7. On the Street Where You Live
  8. Here's That Rainy Day
  9. From This Moment On
  10. Baubles, Bangles and Beads
  11. People
  12. Everything's Coming Up Roses
Recorded August, September, 1966

Teddy Wilson And His Orchestra - 1939 (Chronological 571)

This CD has quite a bit of variety. Teddy Wilson is featured on four of his better piano solos, backs Billie Holiday on one session (which resulted in superior versions of "More than You Know" and "Sugar" and has some fine solo space for altoist Benny Carter and trumpeter Roy Eldridge) and is heard on 13 selections with his new (and unfortunately short-lived) big band. The Teddy Wilson Orchestra was impeccable, tasteful and swinging (just like its leader) but, despite the presence of such soloists as trumpeter Harold "Shorty" Baker and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, it never really stood a chance in the competitive swing world of 1939; the orchestra would only record eight additional titles. However the music on this CD is quite enjoyable and not as common as most of the recordings reissued by the Classics label. ~ Scott Yanow

Teddy Wilson was the definitive swing pianist, a solid and impeccable soloist whose smooth and steady style was more accessible to the general public than Earl Hines or Art Tatum. He picked up early experience playing with Speed Webb in 1929 and appearing on some Louis Armstrong recordings in 1933. Discovered by John Hammond, Willie joined Benny Carter's band and recorded with the Chocolate Dandies later that year. In 1935, he began leading a series of classic small-group recordings with swing all-stars which on many occasions featured Billie Holiday. That was also the year that an informal jam session with Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa resulted in the formation of the Benny Goodman Trio (Lionel Hampton made the group a quartet the following year). Although he was a special added attraction rather than a regular member of the orchestra, Wilson's public appearances with Goodman broke important ground in the long struggle against segregation.

Between his own dates, many recordings with Benny Goodman's small groups and a series of piano solos, Teddy Wilson recorded a large number of gems during the second half of the 1930s. He left B.G. in 1939 to form his own big band but, despite some fine records, it folded in 1940. Wilson led a sextet at Cafe Society during 1940-1944, taught music at Juilliard during the summers of 1945-1952, appeared on radio shows, and recorded regularly with a trio, as a soloist and with pick-up groups in addition to having occasional reunions with Goodman. Teddy Wilson's style never changed, and he played very similar in 1985 to how he sounded in 1935; no matter, the enthusiasm and solid sense of swing were present up until the end. ~ Scott Yanow

Teddy Wilson (piano)
Roy Eldridge (trumpet)
Benny Carter (alto, tenor sax)
Billie Holiday (vocal)
Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Milt Hinton (bass)

1. Coquette
2. China Boy
3. Melody In F
4. When You And I Were Young, Maggie
5. What Shall I Say?
6. It's Easy To Blame The Weather
7. More Than You Know
8. Sugar
9. Why Begin Again?
10. Jumpin' For Joy
11. Booly-Ja-Ja
12. The Man I Love
13. Exactly Like You
14. Love Grows On The White Oak Tree
15. This Is The Moment
16. Early Session Hop
17. Lady Of Mystery
18. Jumpin' On The Blacks And Whites
19. Little Things That Mean So Much
20. Hallelujah
21. Some Other Spring

Paul Desmond - Live

During his post-Brubeck years, altoist Paul Desmond was semiretired, only playing in public on an occasional basis. When he did perform, it was often with the tasteful Canadian guitarist Ed Bickert in a quiet pianoless quartet. This double LP, put out by John Snyder's Horizon subsidiary for A&M, is melodic, subtle and consistently swinging. Desmond and Bickert (along with bassist Don Thompson and drummer Jerry Fuller) clearly enjoyed themselves matching wits and wisdom on the altoist's "Wendy" and the seven superior standards (which include Desmond's "Take Five"). Scott Yanow

Paul Desmond (alto sax)
Ed Bickert (guitar)
Don Thompson (bass)
Jerry Fuller (drums)

1. Wendy
2. Wave
3. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
4. Nancy
5. Manha de Carnaval
6. Here's That Rainy Day
7. My Funny Valentine
8. Take Five
9. Line for Lyons

Recorded at Bourbon Street, Toronto, Canada, 1975

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yusef Lateef - The Centaur And The Phoenix

From his first explosion of recordings in the mid-'50s, Yusef Lateef was a player who was always gently stretching the boundaries of his music to absorb techniques, new rhythms, and new influences from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The Centaur and the Phoenix, however, takes the risks and the innovations that Lateef was known for, and expands them in a number of different directions all at once, leading to an album that bursts with new ideas and textures, while remaining accessible, and above all, beautiful. Lateef seems eager here to take the next step musically by breaking the mold of his previous albums. While he is a gifted composer, only a third of the songs featured here are his work: the rhythm-driven flute showcase "Apathy," the gentle, nocturnal tribute to his daughter "Iqbal" and the tone poem "The Philanthropist." The best of the rest come from Kenny Barron, who was only 17 at the time, and Charles Mills, a contemporary classical composer who drew the album's self-titled highlight from two of his symphonies, the first paying tribute to Crazy Horse and the other to Charlie Parker. Providing the structure and textures needed for these intricate compositions was Lateef's largest ensemble to date. Accustomed to working in a small-group format, he makes managing a band of nine sidemen seem easy. Several Lateef regulars are here, including Barry Harris, Richard Williams, and Ernie Farrow, but the inclusion of forward-thinking musicians like Joe Zawinul also help take this album to a higher level. The greatest miracle of this recording, however, is the balance that Lateef achieves with this large group -- they are always an asset, never a distraction, and even as they come on strong and powerful on songs like "Apathy," or Barron's arrangement of "Ev'ry Day (I Fall in Love)" he remains in charge, somehow making his delicate flute (or oboe, tenor sax or argol) rise above it all, spilling out brightness, grace and joy. ~Stacia Proefrock

Milt Jackson - Wizard of the Vibes (RVG)

The pairing of the Modern Jazz Quartet and Blue Note Records seems somehow incongruent. Blue Note was the home of hard bop—blues- and gospel-influenced, down to earth and funky. The MJQ navigated the Third Stream—sophisticated, refined, classically oriented and formal. They even performed in tuxedoes.

But there was a hefty dose of blues to the MJQ's Bach, most of it courtesy of vibist Milt Jackson. Jackson's masterful blues-oriented improvisations are on fine display here on his only Blue Note outing. The entire membership of what would eventually become the MJQ is present on these recordings. Pianist John Lewis, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Kenny Clarke provide excellent support for Jackson. Filling out the lineup is a young Lou Donaldson playing very Bird-like alto sax.

Jackson is a well-recognized innovator on his instrument—the vital link between the swing era's Lionel Hampton and post-bop's Bobby Hutcherson. And those in the know hail him as a genius-level improviser. Even those who haven't recognized that fact when listening to the MJQ where Jackson's improvisational powers were sometimes reined in by Lewis' compositions—will find it hard to miss in this context. These sessions came early in Jackson's career—1952—but his playing style is exceptionally well-realized and mature. He plays blazingly fast, his melodic imagination keeping perfect pace with his mallets. His MJQ cohorts provide excellent accompaniment. It's a thoroughly enjoyable session and the only, minor, let down is Lou Donaldson. This was his first of a zillion sessions for Blue Note and his youth shows. Nothing wrong with his Charlie Parker imitations—who better or more difficult to emulate?—but his improvisational skills pale next to Jackson's. Still, only a nitpicker would fail to enjoy these sides, which appear in crystal clear sound thanks to remastering by famed Blue Note engineer Rudy Van Gelder.

The tunes include a few originals by Jackson including the lovely ballad “Lillie” and an early version of his signature tune “Bag's Groove.” A highlight is a very swinging take on Ellington's “Don't Get Around Much Anymore,” featuring Donaldson's best playing on the date. This entertaining session is augmented the same disk by Jackson's historical July 2, 1948, recording date with Thelonious Monk. The pair, joined by John Simmons on bass and Shadow Wilson on drums, play the earliest versions of Monk's best-known compositions: “Evidence,” “Misterioso,” “Epistrophy,” and “I Mean You.” On two standards—”All the Things You Are”and “I Should Care”—the group plays backup to stilted, croonerish vocals by Pancho Hagood. Those tunes seem out of place alongside Monk's still very modern-sounding works of genius.

Hearing Monk and Milt work off each other is a true pleasure. What a fascinating contrast—Monk's stop-start, playful quirkiness trading with Jackson's flowing bop blues.
Because it's Monk, and early Monk on Blue Note at that, this CD is a must for those who don't already own the music. It's a vital piece of jazz history and it's a blast to hear.

The only disappointment, to some ears, may be the sound on the Monk portion of the disk. Van Gelder remastered the session from lacquer and there's quite a bit of surface noise. But at the same time all the instruments—bass and drums included—sound very clear and distinct, which might not have been the case had Van Gelder used a heavier hand when cleaning up these recordings. It may be that it's not possible to improve them any further. I certainly trust Van Gelder's ears and judgment. So, if you can listen past some hissing and crackling (I'm probably making it sound worse than it is) you'll enjoy some very fine, very important music. John Firehammer

Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
Kenny "Pancho" Hagood (vocals)
Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone)
John Lewis (piano)
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Percy Heath, John Simmons (bass)
Kenny Clarke, Shadow Wilson (drums)

1. Tahiti
2. Lillie
3. Bags' Groove
4. What's New
5. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
6. On The Scene
7. Lillie (Alternate Take)
8. What's New (Alternate Take)
9. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Alternate Take)
10. Evidence
11. Misterioso
12. Epistrophy
13. I Mean You
14. Misterioso (Alternate Take)
15. All The Things You Are
16. I Should Care
17. I Should Care (Alternate Take)

Recorded at Apex Studios and WOR Studios, New York, New York between July 2, 1948 and April 7, 1952

Stan Kenton - New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm (1952) [flac]

In 1968 my trumpet teacher loaned me this 10" album and it was my first exposure to Stan Kenton and most of the musicians in this band. To this day I still get goosebumps when listening to it.

Stan Kenton's 1952 Orchestra was a very interesting transitional band, still performing some of the complex works of the prior Innovations orchestra but also starting to emphasize swing. This CD contains the rather pompous "Prologue" and Bill Holman's complex "Invention for Guitar and Trumpet" (starring guitarist Sal Salvador and trumpeter Maynard Ferguson) but also Gerry Mulligan's boppish "Young Blood" and Bill Russo's features for trumpeter Conte Candoli ("Portrait of a Count"), trombonist Frank Rosolino ("Frank Speaking") and altoist Lee Konitz ("My Lady"). - Scott Yanow

A controversial, marginal jazz figure to some (Kenton barely rated a mention in Ken Burns' 20-hour jazz series on PBS) and a giant who attracts cult-like devotion from many others, Kenton's career from 1941 to 1979 provides plenty of musical evidence for all hypotheses about his originality and influence, not to mention the perennial question of whether he "swings." Of all his recordings, "New Concepts" is the most non-controversial and perhaps the most musical. The emphasis is on fresh, swinging mainstream jazz influenced by the innovations of Bird, Miles, and the beboppers. I can think of no other recording by Kenton, and perhaps by any other musician, that features so many great arrangers and players--from Bill Russo and Bill Holman to Maynard, Rosolino, and Lee Konitz. In fact, in the company of these cutting-edge arrangements and inventive solos, the inclusion of a "pretentious" Kenton production number--"This Is an Orchestra," narrated with great dramatic flare by Stan himself--is a welcome bonus.

The band of 1956 ("Kenton in Hi-Fi" and "Cuban Fire") proved to be Stan's most popular ensemble, but musicians and serious listeners will want to pick up the 1952 "New Concepts" album first. With this one in the collection, you might be forgiven for indulging yourself in Kenton's 44-piece Innovations Orchestra as well as the garish but bracing Wagnerian textures and brassy brilliance of the Neophonic and Mellophonium ensembles that would come later. - Samuel Chell

Buddy Childers, Maynard Ferguson, Conte Candoli, Don Dennis, Ruben McFall (tp)
Bob Fitzpatrick, Frank Rosolino, Bill Russo, Keith Moon, George Roberts (tb)
Vinnie Dean, Lee Konitz (as) Richie Kamuca, Bill Holman (ts) Bob Gioga (bs)
Stan Kenton (p) Sal Salvador (g) Don Bagley (b) Stan Levey (d)
Derek Walton (cga) Kay Brown (vcl-7)
  1. Prologue (This Is an Orchestra!)
  2. Portrait of a Count
  3. Young Blood
  4. Frank Speaking
  5. 23º N - 82º W
  6. Taboo
  7. Lonesome Train
  8. Invention for Guitar and Trumpet
  9. My Lady
  10. Swing House
  11. Improvisation
  12. You Go to My Head
Recorded in September, 1952

Hamiett Bluiett & Concept - Live At Carlos I: Another Night

The quintet on this CD (baritonist Hamiet Bluiett, pianist Don Pullen, bassist Fred Hopkins, drummer Idris Muhammad, and Chief Bay on African percussion) was only together for a week, but three CDs resulted from their engagement at the Carlos I club in New York; Mulgrew Miller is in Pullen's place on one of the two other discs. This is a particularly intriguing setting for the great baritonist Bluiett, for even though he is an avant-gardist, he is heard here playing such numbers as "I'll Close My Eyes" (which becomes so romantic at one point that it seems satirical), "Autumn Leaves," and Bluiett's blues "John." Bluiett pays tribute to the melodies before crashing through one's expectations of what a baritone sax can sound like. Meanwhile Pullen, with his atonal clusters but highly rhythmic playing, shows how accessible some aspects of the avant-garde can be. Bluiett and Pullen made for a great team (Hopkins, Muhammad, and Bay are also quite colorful) and fortunately this gig was well documented. Fans of advanced jazz and Bluiett will definitely want this recording. Scott Yanow

Hamiet Bluiett (baritone sax)
Don Pullen (piano)
Fred Hopkins (bass)
Idris Muhammad (drums)
Chief Bey (percussion)

1. I'll Close My Eyes
2. Wide Open
3. Autumn Leaves
4. John
5. Sobre Una Nube

Recorded August 1986 in New York

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bobby Hutcherson - Live At Montreux

"Did you catch Bobby Hutcherson in the movie Round Midnight with Dexter Gordon? Hutcherson played another musician: a comparatively well-adjusted, kindly one. I had the impression watching that movie that being well-adjusted and kindly was not particularly a stretch for Bobby Hutcherson; that conclusion is supported by the music on this album. This CD captures Hutcherson's relaxed and confident quintet at Montreux in 1973. Woody Shaw (trumpet), Hotep Cecil Bernard (piano), Ray Drummond (bass) and Larry Hancock (drums) augment Hutcherson's vibes. Hutcherson wrote two tracks, the bright “Anton's Bail” and the passionate “Farallone,” a CD bonus cut.

As the only horn on this album, Woody Shaw is massive. He contributes the other two of the four tracks, “The Moontrane” (the title track of one of his own fine albums) and “Song of Songs.” On these two cuts the passion of his playing is moving while never getting away from real melodic invention.

Actually that could be said for all four cuts on this album; Shaw is consistent and superb. His solos are in the soaring Coltraneish mode popular among those still playing jazz at the time, but Shaw was not just a derivative voice. He nods to Lee Morgan here and there with a few slurring, whirling lines, which he's often liable to follow in the next breath with a sharp, slashing Freddie Hubbard-style attack. But like all masters, he is not merely copying his influences but incorporating their discoveries and breaking new ground of his own.

Hutcherson, of course, is equal to the challenge. On “Song of Songs” his playing is fleet, cogent, and lyrical, while edging toward the borderlands he explored most famously on Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch. He is thoroughly the master of his instrument, with a breathtaking range: one moment Hutcherson can use the vibes like a gong for sonority and in the next second like a happy child's toy. Hotep Cecil Bernard is in a McCoy Tyner bag on this album (but who wasn't in 1973?). He adds a dash of Cecil Taylor here and there as well, particularly, again, on “Song of Songs.”

All this adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable glimpse of the best side of jazz in the early Seventies. In other words, this album is within a tradition but not self-consciously imitative, and innovative but not mannered. It swings without electricity or a rock backbeat. It's simply some top musicians at the top of their game. If you like jazz, you'll like this one." Robert Spencer

Bobby Hutcherson (vibes)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
Hotep Cecil Bernard (piano)
Ray Drummond (bass)
Larry Hancock (drums)

1. Anton's Bail
2. Moontrane
3. Farallone
4. Song of Songs

More Ellis!! Triple Scoop (FLAC)

Continuing on with the Herb Ellis theme, I present a CD re-issue of three wonderful albums issued on Concord Jazz.

One might be led into believing that the title Triple Scoop refers to the players who comprise this trio: pianist Monty Alexander, bassist Ray Brown, and guitarist Herb Ellis. While this would be a reasonable guess, the "Triple" actually refers to the three titles -- Triple Treat, Triple Treat, Vol. 2, and Triple Treat, Vol. 3 -- recorded by this talented trio and included on this two-disc set. The first set comes from a 1982 studio session while the latter two originate from live sessions in 1988 and 1989, respectively. Disc one kicks off with the surprising "(Meet the) Flinstones," a three-minute romp that's at least as much fun as the cartoon, before settling into a lovely, six-minute version of "Body and Soul." The similar tones of Alexander's piano and Ellis' guitar offer a harmonic richness, while their light touch imbues pieces like "Lester Leaps In" with a breezy quality. Ever present, Brown's bass adds a resonate depth and becomes a prominent third voice. After track eight, the remainder of disc one and all of disc two are live, and except for the approval of an appreciative crowd, the only substantive difference is the addition of violinist Johnny Frigo to a number of cuts. On "Polkadots and Moonbeams" and "I'll Remember April" Frigo's violin adds another dimension to the band, giving the material a loose, open feel, similar to a live Stephane Grappelli album. Triple Scoop reassures jazz fans that when it comes to quality players and good material, little has changed. AMG

Terry Gibbs - Swing Is Here! (1960) [LP > flac]

Terry Gibbs led one of the best big bands in the land from 1959 to 1962 and all of his "Dream Band" sessions for Mercury have been reissued by Contemporary on six volumes. This LP for Verve, however, has never had a reissue of any kind.

Along with Gibbs' sparkling vibes solos we also get to hear from trumpeters Conte Candoli and Stu Williamson, trombonist Frank Rosolino, Joe Maini and Charlie Kennedy on alto sax, Bill Perkins and Med Flory on tenor sax, and the wonderful rhythm section of Lou Levy, Buddy Clark and Mel Lewis.

Most of the arrangements are by Bill Holman with Al Cohn, Manny Albam, Marty Paich and Med Flory contributing one apiece.

Johnny Audino, Conte Candoli, Al Porcino, Ray Triscari, Stu Williamson (tp) Bob Enevoldsen, Bobby Pring, Frank Rosolino or Tom Shepard (tb) Charlie Kennedy, Joe Maini (as) Med Flory, Bill Perkins (ts) Jack Schwartz (bars) Terry Gibbs (vib) Lou Levy (p) Buddy Clark (b) Mel Lewis (d)
  1. The Song Is You
  2. It Might as Well Be Swing
  3. Dancing in the Dark
  4. Moonglow
  5. Bright Eyes
  6. The Fat Man
  7. My Reverie
  8. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise
  9. Evil Eyes
  10. Back Bay Shuffle
Recorded February 23, 24, 1960

Duke & Herb

My recent flurry of Herb Ellis uploads caused me to go back and listen to these two CD's. If you like bluesy guitar, Herb Ellis, and Duke Robillard, which I do, you'll want to grab both. They are widely available and, if you require immediate gratification, likely even on iTunes or Amazon. We'll come back to more Herb Ellis posts soon, but these won't be among them.

Malachi Thompson And The Africa Brass - Blue Jazz

Trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader Malachi Thompson has outdone himself with Blue Jazz. Being the fourth Africa Brass date, Thompson and his notion of reinventing the manner in which a brass-driven big band explores the relationships between harmony and rhythm, and the more tenacious linguistic commonalities between bebop and free jazz have never been as articulately or gracefully rendered as they are in this pair of suites. The band is stellar, among the five-trumpet, four-trombone saxophone giants Gary Bartz and Billy Harper, with Chicago greats Ari Brown and Gene Barge on a cut each. The rhythm section featuring pianist Kirk Brown, bassist Harrison Bankhead, and drummer Leon Joyce Jr. is second to none. In addition, vocalists Dee Alexander and the Big DooWopper help out with one track each. The two suites, "Black Metropolis" and "Blues for a Saint Called Louis," are stunning compositions in and of themselves. The former, in four sections, runs the gamut of brass interplay on sophisticated urban jazz and blues à la Duke Ellington's early-'60s charts crossed with the Latin rhythmic toughness of Machito and the deep-blue groove arrangements of Oliver Nelson. On the six-part "Blues for a Saint Called Louis," the New Orleans funeral dirge meets the small-group wild styling of jazz's earliest days in Storyville's brothels to King Oliver's large-band stomp to the Hot Seven, striated harmonic workouts to the gut bucket blues as it met the big-city sophistication of New York via Armstrong's 1930s and '40s charts. The spirit is raucous, joyous, and utterly sophisticated; it looks forward and back across 20 years of Thompson's own free bop amalgam, but also through the entirety of jazz history. [The album is, simply put, a singular achievement and one of the great big band records in recent years, and a serious candidate for big band album of 2003.] ~ Thom Jurek

In 1991, Thompson created Africa Brass, a thirteen piece brass ensemble as a larger vehicle for his original compositions. Africa Brass was inspired by the traditional brass bands that became popular around the turn of the century in New Orleans. However Africa Brass is no re-creation, but a logical extension of the brass band tradition that combines big band jazz with Afro-Cuban music forms. Africa Brass has three highly acclaimed CDs on Delmark, including “Lift Every Voice” and ”Buddy Bolden's Rag” featuring special guest soloist Lester Bowie. In 2002 Africa Brass received a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund to record Thompson's “Black Metropolis Suite” and “Blues For A Saint Called Louis.” These new works were released in November 2003 on the Delmark Records CD, “Blue Jazz,” featuring Gary Bartz and Billy Harper. The CD peaked at #2 on CMJ's Jazz Chart and received worldwide critical acclaim.

Malachi Thompson (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Billy Harper (tenor sax)
Gary Bartz (alto sax)
Ari Brown (tenor sax, clarinet)
Kirk Brown (piano, organ)
David Spencer, Kenny Anderson, Micah Frazier, Elmer Brown (trumpet)
Tracy Kirk, Steve Berry, Bill McFarland, Omar Jefferson (trombone)
Harrison Bankhead (bass)
Leon Joyce, Jr. (drums)
Dee Alexander, The Big DooWopper (vocals)
Gene "Daddy G" Barge (tenor sax)

Black Metropolis Suite
1. Black Metropolis
2. The Panther
3. Jazz Revelations
4. Genesis/Rebirth

Blues For A Saint Called Louis Suite
5. Po' Little Louie
6. Get On The Train
7. Blues For A Saint Called Louis

8. Blue Jazz
9. Footprints
10. Mud Hole

Recorded at Riverside Studio, Chicago, Illinois on December 17, 2001 and February 27-28, 2003

Friday, November 9, 2007

Herb Ellis Grouping

Here you'll find 4 more Herb Ellis albums. These are not FLACs but I'll upgrade them in the near future.

Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre (1959): Fantastic Sounds and wonderful solos. I really enjoy this album and I'm sure that you will too! AMG says it's an unusual grouping, and if so, I'm enjoying unusual!!


Soft Shoe (1974): This early Concord recording (which is available on CD) is unusual in a couple of ways. Guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown (who are the co-leaders) are joined not only by trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison (who is in colorful form) and drummer Jake Hanna but pianist George Duke in one of his very few mainstream records. Their repertoire includes jazz versions of such unlikely tunes as "Inka-Dinka-Doo," "Easter Parade" and "The Flintstones Theme"; the latter version (which is based on the familiar "I Got Rhythm" chord changes) was the first of many to turn that cartoon melody into jazz. In addition Brown ("Soft Shoe"), Edison and Ellis contribute a song apiece plus there is a brief rendition of "Green Dolphin Street" that is taken as a Brown-Ellis duet. Recommended. AMG

Thank You Charlie Christian (1960): Thank You Charlie Christian pays homage to the legendary jazz guitarist in a manner most appropriate to an innovator of his stature -- rather than merely imitate that which is inimitable, Herb Ellis channels the imagination and expressiveness of his hero to create a lean, mean sound far more forward-thinking than nostalgic. Like Christian, Ellis favors feeling over flash and economy over excess -- paired here with pianist Frank Strazzari, bassist Chuck Berghofer, cellist Harry Babasin and drummer Kenny Hume, he creates a series of compact and determinedly contemporary bop snapshots in vivid Technicolor, not the black-and-white of a bygone era. A beautiful and heartfelt record that draws from the past but refuses to live in it. AMG

Down Home: This 1996 CD features a previously unreleased session by guitarist Herb Ellis during the period when he was recording for Justice. Ellis is teamed with pianist Stefan Karlsson, bassist David Craig, drummer Sebastian Whittaker and (on some cuts) trumpeter Rebecca Coupe Franks. The music is fairly conventional straight-ahead jazz, most notable for consisting of ten Ellis originals, several of which are blues-oriented. Most memorable among the new melodies are "Sunrise" and "Sunflower." Ellis plays well, although few surprises occur. AMG

Dave Liebman Trio - Monk's Mood

It's nice to hear Dave Liebman undo a few buttons and dig in with a trio session. Of late the sax icon has taken to larger ensembles and concept albums. The only concept here is Monk, and Liebman's only guests are Eddie Gomez on bass and Adam Nussbaum on drums. Seldom-played gems such as “Teo,” “Gallop's Gallop,” “Introspection,” and “Skippy” make this not just another Monk tribute. However, bookending the program with “Monk's Mood” is not original'Danilo Perez did the same on his 1996 Impulse release, Panamonk.
Liebman divides his time between tenor and soprano, playing the larger horn on five of the disc's eleven tracks. His tenor work on “Nutty” and “Monk's Dream” is especially hot. Listen for echoes of Sonny Rollins's 1958 trio with Wilbur Ware and Elvin Jones. “Reflections,” another tenor track, is played as a very slow ballad and finds Lieb sounding a bit like Joe Henderson. Nussbaum is at his most subtle on “Pannonica,” and gives “Ugly Beauty,” “Introspection,” and “Teo” an interesting, almost funky twist.
The best track award goes to “Skippy.” Gomez and Liebman nail the boppish melody together and then Gomez is off and running. Liebman's soprano foray is pointed and aggressive. When the melody returns, Gomez vocalizes along in his trademark fashion, which somehow turns the excitement up a notch. The disc closes on a mellower note, with Liebman playing not-half-bad piano on “Monk's Mood” while Gomez handles the melody.
In his liner notes Liebman candidly writes about seeing Monk live in the 60s. “I will admit,” he says, “that the sameness of presentation, personnel, tempos and repertoire sometimes bored me.” It was only later in life that Liebman fully began to appreciate Monk's music. There's something quite refreshing about Liebman's ability to tell it to us straight. Tribute records can come across as impersonal exercises in obligatory reverence. Liebman instead lets us in on his aesthetic experience. He involves his audience in his own musical maturation process. And many of us will no doubt identify. We bullshit ourselves and others by claiming that we emerged from the musical womb already digging Duke and Coltrane and Dolphy and the rest. Much jazz is and should be an acquired taste. Liebman's love for Monk came with time and effort, and the music on this disc is stronger for it. David Adler

David Liebman (soprano & tenor saxophones)
Eddie Gomez (bass)
Adam Nussbaum (drums)

1 - Monk's Mood
2 - Teo
3 - Pannonica
4 - Nutty
5 - Reflections
6 - Gallop's Gallop
7 - Ugly Beauty
8 - Monk's Dream
9 - Introspection
10 - Skippy
11 - Monk's Mood II

Recorded on January 31, 1999

Herbie Nichols - The Complete Blue Note Recordings

While this innovative pianist-composer shares a fascination for disjunctive harmonies, complex rhythmic interplay, and oblique vocalized melodies with his better-known contemporary, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols's more elongated gait and linear propulsion suggest 20th-century classicism and the polyphony of New Orleans, much as Monk's more jagged phrasing seems to extend on devices originated by icons of the Harlem stride school and the bent-note inflections of rural blues guitarists. These Blue Note sides represent the complete output of five visionary sessions Nichols recorded for producer Alfred Lion in 1955-1956, and reflect the pianist's profoundly drumlike aesthetic in which melodies derive directly from complex root syncopations. Nichols's ability to orchestrate percussive passages on the fly inspires a thrilling level of contrapuntal interplay from drummers Art Blakey and Max Roach that serves to transform his intricate song-forms into edgy, propulsive drum concertos. More significantly, Nichols eschews empty riffing in favor of a deconstructionist approach in which thematic ideas are recast in a spacious, loping, orchestral style that make medium strolls like "Lady Sings the Blues" and minor gallops such as "Riff Primitiff" so darkly romantic and hypnotically swinging, as if Nichols could keep extending and elongating his azure melodic elisions for eternity. - Chip Stern

A reissue of the 48 Herbie Nichols recordings formerly out on the limited-edition five-LP Mosaic box set, this three-CD package from 1997 has the pianist/composer's greatest work. Nichols was largely neglected during his lifetime; only in the late '90s did the highly original musician start receiving some of the recognition he deserved. Although his originals were often quite orchestral in nature, Nichols only had the opportunity to record in a trio format; the five sessions on this box (30 songs plus 18 alternate takes) feature either Al McKibbon or Teddy Kotick on bass and Art Blakey or Max Roach on drums. The music (all originals except George Gershwin's "Mine") is virtually unclassifiable, and although largely straight-ahead, sounds unlike anything produced by Herbie Nichols' contemporaries. Essential music.

The West Coast 50: Numbers 11 and 24

Curtis Counce - You Get More Bounce With Curtis Counce! (Flac)

Gioia says: "Counce's band was the hard bop successor on the coast to the Brown/Roach Quintet and one of the finest LA bands os its day."

Although the title and even the cover photo have been changed, this CD reissue has the same music as was earlier issued as Counceltation; the "bonus cut" "Woody'n You" has also been reissued on Sonority. In any case, the program features the underrated but talented Curtis Counce Quintet of 1956-57, a group consisting of the bassist-leader, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Carl Perkins and drummer Frank Butler. Counce contributed two originals but otherwise the band sticks to jazz standards with some of the best moments being on "Too Close for Comfort," "Mean to Me" and Charlie Parker's "Big Foot." Scott Yanow

Curtis Counce (bass)
Harold Land (tenor saxophone)
Carl Perkins (piano)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Frank Butler (drums)

1. Complete
2. How Deep Is The Ocean?
3. Too Close For Comfort
4. Mean To Me
5. Stranger In Paradise
6. Counceltation
7. Big Foot
8. Woody'n You

Stan Kenton - Cuban Fire (Flac)

Gioia says: "One of the most satisfying Kenton dates and a landmark of latin jazz."

Composer-arranger Johnny Richards created the music for this concept album, recorded in 1956. It required a very large band for its execution, combining Stan Kenton's usual brass emphasis with five Latin percussionists led by Willie Rodriguez on bongos. The results are admirable: music filled with heat and energy and sudden sharp contrasts in moods and voices. There are excellent solo contributions from a band that included trumpeter Sam Noto, trombonist Carl Fontana, and saxophonists Lennie Niehaus, Lucky Thompson, and Bill Perkins, but the real stars are Richards and the collective ensemble, who bring extraordinary precision and energy to a highly demanding score. The results are among the finest moments of Kenton's career, not only for the authentic use of Latin rhythmic elements but also for Richards's success in integrating extended composition techniques with jazz improvisers. The CD also includes five pieces by Richards and Gene Roland recorded in 1960 by the "Mellophonium" version of Kenton's orchestra. - Stuart Broomer

Stan Kenton was an important pioneer in Afro-Cuban jazz, reviving The Peanut Vendor in the mid-'40s and often utilizing Latin percussionists in his music. In 1956 he recorded Cuban Fire, a six-part suite composed and arranged by Johnny Richards that is considered a classic. The Kenton band was expanded to 27 pieces for this project, utilizing six percussionists, two French horns and six trumpeters. The band was particularly strong during this period and the key soloists include trombonist Carl Fontana, altoist Lennie Niehaus, tenor-saxophonist Bill Perkins and trumpeters Sam Noto and Vinnie Tanno plus guest tenor Lucky Thompson. However, the real stars of this memorable set are the raging ensembles, which is why this is considered Richards' most significant work. - Scott Yanow

Stan Kenton (piano)
Lennie Neihaus, Gene Baltazar (alto saxophone)
Bill Perkins, Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone)
Billy Root, Marvin Holliday (baritone saxophone);
Ed Leddy, Sam Noto, Lee Katzman, Phil Gilbert, Al Mattaliano (trumpets)
Vinnie Tano (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Bob Fitzpatrick, Carl Fontana, Kent Larsen (trombone)
Irving Rosenthal, Julius Watkins (French horn)
Jay McAllister (tuba)
Gene Roland (mellophonium)
Ralph Blaze (guitar)
Curtis Counce, Pete Chivily (bass)
Art Anton, Mel Lewis (drums)
Tommy Lopez, George Acevedo (congas)
George Laguna (timbales)
Roger Mozian (claves); Mario Alvarez (maracas)

1. Fuego Cubano (Cuban Fire)
2. El Congo Valiente (Valiant Congo)
3. Recuerdos (Reminiscences)
4. Quien Sabe (Who Knows)
5. La Quera Baila (The Fair One Dances)
6. La Suerte De Los Tontos (Fortune Of Fools)
7. Tres Corazones (Three Hearts)
8. Malibu Moonlight
9. El Panzon
10. Carnival
11. Wagon
12. Early Hours (Lady Luck)

Recorded at Capitol Studios, New York between May 22 & 24, 1956 and Capitol Studios, Los Angeles between September 19 & 21, 1960. Tracks 1-7 are mono, tracks 8-12 are stereo

Lee Konitz Meets Jimmy Giuffre

This unusual two-CD set not only reissues the original LP of the same name but three other rare Verve LP's from the 1950's. Altoist Lee Konitz (on "An Image") is showcased during a set of adventurous Bill Russo arrangements for an orchestra and strings in 1958, pops up on half of Ralph Burns' underrated 1951 classic Free Forms (the most enjoyable of the four sets) and meets up with baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, whose arrangements for five saxes (including the great tenor Warne Marsh) and a trio led by pianist Bill Evans are sometimes equally influenced by classical music and bop. The least interesting date showcases Giuffre's clarinet with a string section on his five-part "Piece For Clarinet And String Orchestra" and the 16 brief movements of "Mobiles." Overall this third-stream two-fer contains music that is easier to respect and admire than to love although Lee Konitz fans will probably want to acquire the obscure performances. Scott Yanow

Billy Bauer (guitar)
Bill Evans (piano)
Jimmy Giuffre (tenor, baritone sax)
Jo Jones (drums)
Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Warne Marsh (tenor sax)
Ted Brown (tenor sax)
Ralph Burns (piano, arranger, conductor)
Buddy Clark (bass),
Hal McKusick (alto sax)
Bill Russo (arranger, conductor)
Lou Stein (piano)
Ray Brown (bass)
Ronnie Free (drums)

The West Coast 50: Number 8

Ornette Coleman - Something Else (Flac)

Regarding which, Gioia says: "Coleman's work for the Contemporary label was a turning point for modern jazz and a major statement of the free jazz aesthetic."

It's my favorite - competing with Golden Circle - Coleman work. Sometimes. Unless it's not.

These are tunes that Coleman wrote in his early 20s, that he finally got a chance to record in his late 20s, in 1958. He had, meanwhile, been leading the life of a musical maverick, often-fired by leaders perturbed by his idiosyncratic approach. He was, after all, intent on digging up and replanting jazz. Hearing the startling exuberance in Coleman's compositions, and in his own whinnying playing, one senses that--truly--an annunciation is being made: Here is Something Else. With sublime assurance, Coleman was breaking free from the dictates of chordal playing, in search of increased melodic and harmonic opportunities. Pianist Walter Norris obliges by generally staying out of the way, after session producers put him in it--it is clear that the piano was not the instrument that would assist Coleman's mission. - Peter Monaghan

Ornette Coleman (alto)
Don Cherry (trumpet)
Billy Higgins (drums)
Walter Norris (piano)
Don Payne (bass)

1. Invisible
2. The Blessing
3. Jayne
4. Chippie
5. The Disguise
6. Angel Voice
7. Alpha
8. When Will The Blues Leave?
9. The Sphinx

Los Angeles, CA, February 10, 22, and March 24, 1958

Jim Hall - The Unreleased Sessions

A few days ago I picked a copy of Buddy Collette's autobiography. I hadn't read it before and it was a great pleasure: the man was at the heart of that whole LA scene that we like around here so much. It's called Jazz Generations, and is highly recommended. The co-author is Steve Isoardi, who wrote the text for the Central Avenue Sounds collection we posted some time back.

" 20bit digitally remastered ... set includes two landmark sessions that have been gathering dust in the vaults for the last fifty years - a 1957 interpretation of Gershwins Porgy & Bess and a 1959 session featuring the guitarist backing a front line of 4 flutes. Both of these sets include exquisite reed player Buddy Collette as well as such notable musicians as Bud Shank, Pete Jolly, Gerald Wiggins, Red Mitchell and Shelly Manne. Also included are 4 bonus tracks taken from the peak of Hall's association with the Chico Hamilton Quintet.

"Clarity is the thing I'm after. I want a picture in my mind of the way the solo looks as Im playing it. That way I can keep it from becoming boring - to me or the listeners. I get bored very easily, and I think thats one thing that helps me avoid cliches...Listening is still the key." - Jim Hall

Jim Hall (guitar)
Buddy Collette, Bud Shank, Paul Horn, Harry Klee (fl, alt-fl, b-fl)
Bill Miller (piano 1,2,6,8,11)
John Williams (piano 3-5,7,9,10)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums 1-5)
Earl Palmer (drums 6-11)
Los Angeles, October 1959

Jim Hall (guitar)
John Anderson (trumprt)
Buddy Collette (fl, tenor sax)
Gerald Wiggins (piano)
Curtis Counce (bass)
Chico Hamilton (drums)
Hollywood, October 11, 1956

Jim Hall (guitar)
Buddy Collette (fl, b-cl)
Gerald Wiggins (organ)
Pete Jolly (accordion)
Red Callender (bass)
Louie Bellson (drums)
Los Angeles, July, 1957

Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy - Cornell 1964

One of the recent topics discussed among jazz journalists is whether it is fair to judge newly unearthed recordings against modern ones. The debate began with last year’s issue of At Carnegie Hall by Monk’s Quartet with Coltrane. Kind of hard to compete with that. But for this reviewer’s money, a more recent discovery is even more significant.

Of all of jazz’ iconic groups - Miles’ ‘60s Quintet, Coltrane’s Quartet - one that gets short shrift is bassist Charles Mingus’ sextet from 1964. For that, Mingus’ “Underdog” status can be blamed as can the continued underappreciation of Eric Dolphy. But also at fault is pianist Jaki Byard’s relative lack of exposure or that drummer Dannie Richmond spent most of his career with Mingus. Whatever the reason, the major label release of a previously unavailable concert of this group may change some pecking orders.

Cornell 1964 is particularly special because most if not all of the other dates from the spring/summer ‘tours’ of the sextet are available, either legitimately or on bootleg. This Mar. 18th gig predates The Town Hall Concert by 17 days and the April Europe tour by almost a month and is a chance to hear Dolphy in his prime yet just months from his premature death. It is also a document of the sextet at full strength, trumpeter Johnny Coles only making a handful of performances before becoming ill. Without too many superlatives thrown around, this group was one of jazz’ strongest of the period, or any period, with major innovators on almost every instrument. And equally as important are Mingus’ compositions, not often attempted by others but in direct lineage from Duke Ellington. Both discs are revelatory from the beginning solo piano “ATFW” to 30-minute versions of “Fables of Faubus” and “Meditations”. But especially appealing is the first version of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” (played once in Europe), a rare tribute to Duke with “Take The “A” Train” and the only known instance of Mingus playing Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz”, thickened up as only Chef Mingus could.

Charles Mingus (bass)
Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet)
Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Clifford Jordan (tenor sax)
Jaki Byard (piano)
Dannie Richmond (drums)

CD 1
1. Opening
2. ATFW You
3. Sophisticated Lady
4. Fables of Faubus
5. Orange Was the Colour of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk
6. Take the “A” Train

CD 2
1. Meditations
2. So Long Eric
3. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
4. Jitterbug Waltz

Bobby Hutcherson - Mosaic Select 26

From Mosaic Records:

Bobby Hutcherson, one of the greatest vibists in jazz, had been a member of the Blue Note family since 1963 and he was one of the last artists to leave the label before it shut down in 1980. The '70s was a rough decade for pure jazz; funk and fusion had taken over the jazz market. The five albums in this collection, recorded between 1974 and 1977, were among the overlooked victims of that era. Each is a straight-ahead, small-group studio session and each contains a superb cast and excellent, varied compositions.

Cirrus features Bobby's working band of Woody Shaw, Bill Henderson, Ray Drummond and Larry Hancock with the saxophones of Harold Land and Manny Boyd added. It includes the first recording of Shaw's jazz standard Rosewood. Inner Glow, not released until 5 years later and even then only in Japan, features a three-horn front line with Harold Land, Oscar Brashear and Thurman Green.

Waiting, The View From The Inside and Knucklebean, all among Bobby's best work, revolve around his working band of the time: saxophonist Manny Boyd, bassist James Leary and drummer Eddie Marshall. George Cables or Larry Nash complete the group on piano and Freddie Hubbard is added as guest on Knucklebean. This band had developed an extraordinary empathy during its time and the musicians execute the exceptional material, most from Hutcherson and Leary, with ease, invention and enthusiasm. Added to the Waiting album is a tune from the session that was previously only issued on a Dutch compilation in 1979.

These superb albums received shockingly little notice and quickly sank from sight. As a result of their obscurity, they have not been issued on LP or CD until now.

Charles Mingus - In Paris 1970

Mingus was doing very little in terms of recording and performance in the years prior to this date: Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus was the last formal studio work, and that was seven years prior. There have been a number of concert dates released subsequently, including this date. Two days after this show they would enter the studio - in Paris - for the America label. In fact, if you add a date in Berlin later in September, you have the entire 1970 output of the Mingus band. But, as we all know, some very fine things were still ahead for this magnificent lunatic.

Eddie Preston - trumpet
Charles McPherson - alto sax
Bobby Jones - tenor sax, clarinet
Jaki Byard - piano
Charles Mingus - bass
Dannie Richmond - drums

CD 1

1 - The Man Who Never Sleeps
2 - O.P.
3 - Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress

CD 2

1 - Fables of Faubus
2 - She's Funny That Way
3 - Ellington Medley
a. In A Sentimental Mood (Ellington)
b. Sophisticated Lady (Ellington)
c. Mood Indigo (Ellington/Bigard)
d. Take The "A" Train (Strayhorn)

Recorded on October 28, 1970, at the Theatre National Populaire du Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France

Jimmy Raney - A

Jimmy Raney leads two separate groups on this OJC reissue CD, both recorded during the mid-'50s. The first session finds the leader experimenting with overdubbing a second guitar line over his introduction and closing during all four pieces, including the very exciting "Minor" (which is based on the chord changes to "Bernie's Tune"), "Double Image" (inspired by "There Will Never be Another You"), plus some wild improvised counterpoint between Raney and pianist Hall Overton in "On the Square" and an intricate rendition of the ballad "Some Other Spring." John Wilson is added on trumpet for the second and third studio dates, which primarily consist of standards. The briskly swinging "Spring Is Here," a softly played "What's New," and a very delicate "You Don't Know What Love Is" are highlights. Raney's originals include "One More for the Mode," an enjoyable reworking of a Bach two-part invention, and "Tomorrow, Fairly Cloudy," a blazing bop number which is the high point of the latter date. This CD contains some of Jimmy Raney's finest work as a leader and is highly recommended. Ken Dryden

Jimmy Raney (guitar)
Hall Overton (piano)
John Wilson (trumpet)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Art Mardigan, Nick Stabulas (drums)

1. Double Image
2. Some Other Spring
3. On The Square
4. Minor
5. Spring Is Here
6. One More For The Mode
7. What's New
8. Tomorrow, Fairly Cloudy
9. A Foggy Day
10. Cross Your Heart
11. Someone To Watch Over Me
12. You Don't Know What Love Is

Andre Previn and Russ Freeman - Double Play!

I didn't post this when I got it; I figured it would be nice for a summertime post. Then it slipped my mind. Roll out the soda and pretzels and beer. Oops, wrong song.

This unique album is believed to have been the first-ever such session by two modern jazz pianists. Not only were their pianistic conceptions similar, but they shared an interest in baseball that is made unmistakably clear by the titles of the originals, not to mention the inevitable “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” They were also close friends of (and frequent collaborators with) their colleague Shelly Manne. Previn was quite deeply involved in jazz at this stage of his career. Though they moved later to other worlds--Previn, of course, to the concert stages as an esteemed conductor, and Freeman to the Hollywood studios--both still occasionally reveal their abiding love for jazz. This is an effervescent, excellently conceived set, and a remarkable display of musical empathy.

Andre Previn (piano)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Take Me Out To The Ball Game
2. Who's On First?
3. Called On Account Of Rain
4. In The Cellar Blues
5. Batter Up
6. Double Play
7. Safe At Home
8. Fungo
9. Strike Out The Band

Los Angeles, April 30 and May 11, 1957

Skip James - The Complete Early Recordings

Robert Johnson is the one that got all the good press. Oooohh!...he sold his soul to the Devil!! Oooohh!!!.... The fact is, though, that if you were to pass by Johnson one day as he played on the street in Clarkville, you'd be as likely to here him playing "Buffalo Gals" as anything else. Which is fine.

Skip James, though, is the artist that has always captured my imagination and continued to grow in my appreciation as the years pass. He and Son House. This was a troubled, conflicted man, and from such wells are the waters of Art raised. I have mentioned before how I picked up Steven Calt's bio when it came out, only to find it goes for over $200 bucks now. Here you can read his liner notes for free.

1. Devil Got My Woman
2. Cypress Grove Blues
3. Little Cow And Calf Is Gonna Die Blues
4. Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues
5. Drunken Spree
6. Cherry Ball Blues
7. Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader
8. Illinois Blues
9. How Long 'Buck'
10. 4 O'Clock Blues
11. 22-20 Blues
12. Hard Luck Child
13. If You Haven't Any Hay Get On Down The Road
14. Be Ready When He Comes
15. Yola My Blues Away
16. I'm So Glad
17. What Am I To Do Blues
18. Special Rider Blues

Snooks Eaglin - New Orleans Street Singer

Ford "Snooks" Eaglin's first released recordings, the ones collected here, suggested to the world that Eaglin was a great lost country-blues player when he was, in fact, an excellent electric guitar player and a gospel-influenced singer who much preferred playing R&B with a band. When folklorist Harry Oster heard Eaglin busking with his guitar on a street in the French Quarter in 1958, he whisked him over to Louisiana State University and recorded the tracks collected here, either assuming that Eaglin was a folk artist, or possibly even asking him to portray one for the sake of the recording. Either way, New Orleans Street Singer was a revelation when it was released by Folkways Records a year later in 1959, presenting to the world a gifted guitar player and a naturally soulful singer who brought a kind of jazzy New Orleans feel and groove to the folk-blues standards he was covering. The album is no less a revelation in the 21st century in this expanded edition from Smithsonian Folkways, although hindsight allows us to realize that the folk stance was probably more Oster's preference than Eaglin's. The guitar work is quick and fluid, with lead bursts that surprise and delight, continually settling on unexpected but highly effective chordal resolves (the original instrumental "Sophisticated Blues" is a case in point), and the singing throughout is steady and informed, sounding a bit like Ray Charles, with tinges of both gospel and jazz phrasing. In Eaglin's hands traditional fare like "Saint James Infirmary," the near-ragtime "High Society," and the familiar "Mama Don't You Tear My Clothes" (a variant of "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down") all become reborn and re-formed into definitive versions. The seven additional tracks expand the original album to around 70 minutes in length, and the alternate takes included of "Careless Love," "Driftin' Blues," and "The Lonesome Road" show that Eaglin didn't necessarily approach a song the same way twice in a row. Steve Leggett

Snooks Eaglin (guitar, vocal)

1. Looking For A Woman
2. Walking Blues
3. Careless Love
4. Saint James Infirmary
5. High Society
6. I Got My Questionaire
7. Let Me Go Home, Whiskey
8. Mama, Don't Tear My Clothes
9. Trouble In Mind
10. The Lonesome Road
11. Helping Hand (A Thousand Miles From Home)
12. One Room Country Shack
13. Who's Been Foolin' You
14. Drifting Blues
15. Sophisticated Blues
16. Come Back, Baby
17. Rock Island Line
18. See See Rider
19. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
20. Mean Old World
21. Mean Old Frisco
22. Every Day I Have The Blues
23. Careless Love 2
24. Drifting Blues 2
25. The Lonesome Road 2

Recorded March, 1958, New Orleans, Louisiana

Seven, Come Eleven - Ellis & Pass (FLAC)

The second Concord album was recorded the day after the first with the same lineup: guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jake Hanna. Pass would sign with Pablo but Ellis would be a fixture on the Concord label throughout the 1970s. If anything, the guitarists' rematch was a bit stronger than their first due to material better suited for jamming including "In a Mellotone," a speedy "Seven Come Eleven," "Perdido" and "Concord Blues." Although Pass would soon be recognized as a giant, Ellis battles him to a draw on this frequently exciting bop-oriented date. by Scott Yanow

Jazz/Concord - Ellis & Pass (FLAC)

The very first release by the Concord label was a quartet set featuring guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jake Hanna. Ellis and Pass (the latter was just beginning to be discovered) always made for a perfectly complementary team, constantly challenging each other. The boppish music (which mixes together standards with "originals" based on the blues and a standard) is quite enjoyable with the more memorable tunes including "Look for the Silver Lining," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Georgia," "Good News Blues," and "Bad News Blues." This was a strong start for what would become the definitive mainstream jazz Scott Yanow

Johnny Griffin Sextetn (FLAC)

This is Griffin's first date for Riverside, and it has him in great rhythmic company with pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Philly Joe Jones. The Chicago-Detroit connection is completed by trumpeter Donald Byrd and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, on loan from their own working combo. It's close to a match made in heaven, as the collective really typifies the unrelenting post-to-hard-bop sound of the day. Jones intros "Stix Trix," written by Chicago drummer Wilbur Campbell, with a melody that goes one up on any head-nodding mid-tempo Jazz Messengers riff you'd care to name. Efficient solos by Drew and Adams lead to Byrd and Jones doing it by themselves, and Griff finally getting his say at the end before a drum tag. The rest of the horns lay out as Griffin's sultry tenor caresses the melody of the ballad "What's New?" alongside Drew's sensitive chordal shadings. Byrd takes over in the bridge with some improv, Adams abruptly interrupts, but Griff ends it once and for all. Jones and Griffin head up "Woody 'n' You" in an Afro-Cuban groove; again, Adams and Byrd step aside. In this highly developed rendition, Ware's patented quarter notes ring strong, heavy and true as he solos; the trio kicks in, Ware and Griff then duet, and the trio returns. Essentially, this is a blowing session, as evidenced on the concluding sides: a 9½-minute easy swinger of John Hines' "Johnny G.G.," with loudly pronounced, shouted unison horns, a soulful Griffin solo backed by horn riffs, and Byrd and Adams digging in for high, hard ones; and 10 minutes of Griffin's famous "Catharsis," a bright Charlie Parker-like bopper with a jumping melody flavored by rhythm & blues, while Griffin plays a sub-melody. Adams leads off this perfect vehicle for soloing in his adept and astute, crystal-clear fashion; Byrd follows, Griff works again in tamdem with Ware only, and this memorable theme returns, putting a period on a historic one-day session. Griffin may front bands smaller (to capture his essence more succinctly) or larger (to complement his roaringly large sound), but he'd be hard pressed to bring together another small ensemble as potent as this. Highly Michael G. Nastos AMG

Bluesy Burrell - Kenny Burrell with Coleman Hawkins (FLAC)

This is a great album. Good cookin' tunes and interesting solos.

AMG says that this session is valuable for the majestic playing of tenor great Coleman Hawkins, who performs on half of the eight tracks. While originally released on the Prestige subsidiary Moodsville -- a label that specialized in recordings with an intimate, reflective atmosphere -- the Moodsville sound doesn't sit comfortably on Hawkins. His playing is brilliantly relaxed, but it's not mood music. Leader Kenny Burrell's playing is much more in line with the Moodsville groove. The guitarist is not amplified as much as he is on his Prestige dates from this time. In fact, he performs on a nylon-string instrument almost as much as he does on his hollow-body electric. Unlike Hawkins, Burrell's subdued contribution is made to measure for this date. Listeners expecting to hear Burrell the hard bopper won't. The key moments come during the interaction between the guitarist and tenor player, especially during their exchanges on Burrell's "Montono Blues." The rhythm section, Hawkins' working band from this period (pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Major Holley, and drummer Eddie Locke), provide impeccable, sublime support. The CD is rounded out with an up-tempo performance of the standard "I Never Knew," from a date led by pianist Gildo Mahones. This is where Burrell gets a chance to cook in his classic hard bop style, along with the fine alto player Leo Wright.

with Coleman Hawkins, Tommy Flanagan, Major Holley, Eddie Locke, Ray Barretto

herb ellis and stuff smith together

jean lafite says: first i would like to thank doc for his great string of herb ellis posts. they put me in mind of this lp, which has been buried too long in the stacks. i dusted it off and check this lineup: lou levy, bob envoldsen, al mckibbon, and shelley manne. this is a swinging effort, don't miss it. thanks again to the doc.

Mark Murphy ~ Bop For Kerouac & Kerouac Then And Now (flac)

These are both very well crafted jazz recordings. Everyone here should tap into Bop For Kerouac, if you haven't already. Murphy is in the estimation of many as one of the most important singers in the history of this music, and BFK one of the most important vocal jazz albums of the last 30 years. Bop For Kerouac (and most likely 'Then and Now) received a Grammy nomination--it's just too bad that the Muse label dropped off the face of the earth; Murphy's (and other Muse artists) have had to see their catalogues reduced to chopped up compilations, including these thoroughly programmed releases (not unlike the endless Sinatra compilations that seem to crop up like weeds, choking out the original albums) Be that as it may, these contain some of Murphy's most daring and original work--in a career of great daring, originality and non-compromise. The tracks were selected with the "On The Road" esthetic in mind, with several Kerouac readings, including a re-enactment of a Lord Buckley send-up of the famous monologue from Julius Caesar, re-set in beatnik fashion. The ballads in particular (Blood Count, The Night We Called it a Day, Ballad of the Sad Young Men) should be considered definitive versions of these songs. Please enjoy, they hold up to repeated listenings.
Bop For Kerouac: Murphy ~ Vocals; Richie Cole ~ alto and tenor saxes; Bruce Forman ~ Guitar; Bill Mays ~ Piano; Bob Magnusson, Luther Hughes ~ Bass; Roy McCurdy, Jeff Hamilton ~drums Michael Spiro ~percussion
Be-Bop Lives (Boplicity)/Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Joni Mitchell verion)/Parker's Mood/You Better Go Now/You've Proven Your Point (Bongo Beep)/The Bad And The Beautiful/Down St. Thomas Way/Ballad Of The Sad Young Men rec.1981
Kerouac, Then and Now: Murphy; Bill Mays ~ Piano; John Goldsby~ bass; Steve LaSpina~bass; Adam Nussbaum ~ drums
Blood Count/Medley:Eddie Jefferson & Take The A Train/Ask Me now/SanFrancisco (reading from Big Sur)/Lazy Afternoon/ If You Could See Me Now/November In The Snow (reading from On The Road)/Lord Buckley/ Medley:The Night We Called It A Day & There's No You. rec.1986 for the ill-fated Muse label.

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

Herb Ellis - Man With the Guitar

I've always liked Herb Ellis' guitar playing. He always seems to be slightly understated, but very tasty. Here's another of his contributions, which I ripped from the Japanese-issue CD.

Herb Ellis's first record for the Dot label was also his last, and his last solo project (apart from a Columbia release around the same time) for the next eight years, during which time he mostly played sessions on other people's albums. With tenor saxman Teddy Edwards, organist Ron Feuer, bassist Monty Budwig, and drummer Stan Levey, he has put together a tight pop-jazz ensemble, in which Ellis' guitar is surprisingly understated in its prominence. This may actually disappoint some fans, though the playing by Edwards and Feuer is certainly pleasing enough, even if Ellis does most of the really interesting improvising, most notably on Ray Brown's "AM Blues." "Tennessee Waltz" is also well worth hearing, for Ellis' and Edwards' playing. And the group has fun with "Besame Mucho" as well. The CD version of this album is available exclusively as a Japanese import (Universal Victor), with extremely delicate sound in a superb analog-to-digital transfer. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

And from Dusty Groove: One of the grooviest Herb Ellis albums we've ever heard -- an obscure 60s session for Dot Records, recorded with a mix of guitar and organ, in a style that's a bit like that of Howard Roberts at the time! Herb's working here in a surprisingly bluesy mode -- playing in a combo with Teddy Edwards on tenor, Monty Budwig on bass, Stan Levey on drums, and the lesser-known Ron Feuer on organ. Feuer's got a lean, clean sound that's totally great -- like the organ work on some of the Capitol soul jazz sides of the time, but in a more relaxed mode -- in keeping with the nature of the set. The tunes are all in the 5 minute range, and have a rhythmic quality that's a real change from some of Ellis' other work -- a bit mod and groovy at times you wouldn't expect! Titles include "Empty Rooms", "Swingin On A Shoestring", "AM Blues", and "Herbin"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Better Days featuring Joe Pass

Despite the poor reviews at AMG, I like this album because Pass seems to lighten up a bit and have some fun. I love Joe but I often find his playing to be technically brilliant but emotionally lacking. This is Joe having a bit of fun.

Dusty Groove: Quite possibly the funkiest record ever made by guitarist Joe Pass -- a real surprise from an artist we mostly know for his mellower and straight ahead work! The style here is tight electric funk, almost in a Groove Merchant sort of way -- and given Joe's heavy use of hollow-body guitar on the record, and the warm chromatic hues in his tone, the style's a fair bit like O'Donel Levy on his 70s classics from the same era. Bassist Carol Kaye had a hand in putting together the record, and there's a similar feel here to her own best grooves -- tight, studio-oriented work -- but never slick or too commercial! Other players include Joe Sample on keyboards, Paul Humphrey on drums, Tom Scott on sax and flute, and JJ Johnson on trombone -- and despite the presence of these heavyweights, the record has a nicely soulful sound that's more indie grit than major label funk! CD adds some bonus tracks to the original record -- and features 18 titles that include "Free Sample", "Better Days", "Head Start", "It's Too Late", "Gotcha", "Alison", "The Preacher", "Bass Blues", "Burning Spear", "Slick Cat", "Flying Down To Baja", and "Love Is".

The Complete Recordings Of The Paul Desmond Quartet With Jim Hall

Although the RCA recordings featuring the Paul Desmond Quartet with Jim Hall were eventually reissued by the original label (also in a boxed set) after the last copy of this limited edition Mosaic box was sold, it is the Mosaic collection which will be remembered as a classic. Only that set includes the initial studio collaboration of Desmond & Hall for Warner Bros.; also present are reprints of Doug Ramsey's warm memorial tribute to the alto saxophonist, as well as Marian McPartland's brilliant portrait (written for Downbeat in 1960) and Desmond's own side-splitting article written for Punch about a Brubeck gig that went slightly haywire, all helping to unfold a portion of the mystery behind this man. The lyrical alto saxophonist found a kindred spirit and musical equal in the guitarist, and discovered that Hall was the perfect substitute for a pianist, a role left purposely unfilled on nearly all of Desmond's record dates as a leader. With Connie Kay on drums and a rotating cast of first call bassists, including Percy Heath, George Duvivier, Gene Cherico, and Gene Wright, Paul Desmond's cool toned alto sax explores a number of timeless standards, lesser known tunes, a few of the leader's originals (though none became remotely as well known as his hit "Take Five"), along with Hall's "All Across the City" and Wright's "Rude Old Man." There are no disappointing tracks within this collection, and the only minor flaw was the accidental omission of one track previously issued (and subsequently reissued) by RCA. If you haven't already acquired this now rare set, prepare to pay a fortune, but it is a very sound investment, which will likely provoke squabbles among any of any heirs who are jazz collectors. Ken Dryden

Paul Desmond (alto sax)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Eugene Wright (bass)
Percy Heath (bass)
George Duvivier (bass)
Eugene Cherico (bass)
Connie Kay (drums)

Herb Ellis -Texas Swings

Texas-born guitarist Herb Ellis teams up with a variety of country musicians on this Justice CD for a set of Western swing-oriented jazz. Essentially an instrumental country date with Ellis as one of the lead voices, the enjoyable set also has Willie Nelson's guitar added on some of the tracks along with steel guitar, two violinists and a standard rhythm section. The twangy sound of the steel guitar may not appeal to everyone but the fairly basic music (mostly swing standards) is played with plenty of spirit. This recording gives Ellis a fresh setting after years in trios and quartets. by Scott Yanow

Actually these are top flight country/western swing artists and while Herb definitely is a bit slower, he's still fantastic. This is good western swing, but stuff-shirt Scottie obviously hasn't ever listened to western swing before! Grab it, give it a listen, and let me know what you think. The Doc likes it!!

Herb Ellis, guitar; Herb Remington, Steel Guitar; Tommy Alsup, Bass; Tommy Perkins, Drums; Floyd Domino, Piano; Johnny Gimble, Violin; Bobby Bruce, Violin; Willie Nelson, Guitar

Herb Ellis - Ellis in Wonderland

In the midst of his tenure with the Oscar Peterson Trio, Herb Ellis had the chance to turn the tables on his boss and employ him as a sideman, though the keyboard virtuoso strangely reigns in his chops and pretty much stays in the background. This pair of sessions was first issued on a Norgran LP and finally reissued as a Verve CD in early 2006. The first four tracks add Jimmy Giuffre (alternating between baritone sax, tenor sax, and clarinet) and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, along with fellow Peterson sideman Ray Brown and drummer Alvin Stoller. Ellis' originals include the easygoing "Sweetheart Blues" and the cooking bop vehicle "Pogo," where both the leader and Edison eclipse Giuffre's efforts on sax. "It Could Happen to You" focuses exclusively on Ellis, with Peterson and Edison sitting out and Giuffre adding some background color on clarinet. Alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano is added for the latter date. The well-known "Detour Ahead" (jointly credited to Ellis and his former Soft Winds bandmates Lou Carter and Johnny Frigo, though Frigo has long maintained that it was his composition alone) has a chamber-like setting, with the band primarily providing background for Ellis, though Ray Brown gets in a snappy solo toward the end. The session picks up with the bubbly "Ellis in Wonderland" and a snappy rendition of "Have You Met Miss Jones?" Giuffre's loping "A Simple Tune" reflects Ellis' Texas roots in a bluesy setting, with Peterson finally getting a chance to stretch out for a chorus. This early album by Herb Ellis is well worth acquiring. by Ken Dryden

Herb Ellis, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Charlie Mariano, Jimmy Giuffre, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Alvin Stoller, December 1955-January 1956

Terry Gibbs & Sal Nistico (1963)

This 1963 LP is guaranteed to get your toes a-tappin' and your fingers a-snappin'!

Terry Gibbs plays a series of original blues riffs on this sextet session from 1963, which was first issued as a Time LP entitled Gibbs/Nistico. The focus is primarily on the vibraphonist and tenor saxophonist Sal Nistico, with Benny Goodman veteran Turk Van Lake on guitar and Nat Pierce (organ), bassist Charlie Andrus and drummer Jake Hanna on loan from the then-current edition of Woody Herman's band. Gibbs and Nistico deliver consistently strong solos, especially in the uptempo cooker "The Tweaker." The substitution of organ for the usual piano in Gibbs' rhythm section adds to the bluesy flavor of the date and while the music is enjoyable, none of the songs is particularly memorable. Reissued by Mainstream as It's Time We Met a few years after the demise of Time, either pressing of this long unavailable album should be considered somewhat difficult to acquire. - Ken Dryden

As one would expect from looking at the lineup (vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, tenor saxophonist Sal Nistico, guitarist Turk Lake, bassist Charlie Andrus, drummer Jake Hanna and pianist Nat Pierce), swing is the thing on this Time release. The odd part is that Pierce mostly plays organ (whose idea was that?), which weighs down the group a bit since his is very much a pianistic style. The nine tunes are all Terry Gibbs originals, and Gibbs, although a masterful vibraphonist, has never been a major composer. However, the enthusiastic solos of the co-leaders keep the music colorful and swinging. - Scott Yanow

Terry Gibbs (vibes)
Sal Nistico (tenor sax)
Nat Pierce (organ)
Turk Van Lake (guitar)
Charlie Andrus (bass)
Jake Hanna (drums)
  1. We Three
  2. Bathtub Eyes
  3. 7 F
  4. Settling Down Slow
  5. The Tweaker
  6. Baby Blues
  7. Big Lips
  8. No Chops
  9. Movin' In

art tatum trios

truthfully, due respect and all, i am not much of a tatum fan. i get my fill quickly and move on, despite his proficiency and innovation finding him repetitive. all i can hear after a short while is the same high to low cascading run jammed into every two minute and forty-five second track six or eight times and i'm done. no offense to his legions, and lord knows i may change my mind as i have countless times before as my ears become more educated and i can appreciate what i once couldn't.
and no, for me, this has not yet happened to cecilio taylor. tomorrow is another day.

first some solo's and also backed in a trio setting by tiny grimes and slam stewart. i do not know if it was reissued but this is from the notoriously brittle brunswick shellac which i don't think can sound much better than it does here as this copy appears to have never been played.

and here from the tatum carter bellson trio lp on clef. as you might imagine given my earlier comments it is benny carter that drives the bus for me on this rekkid. i cannot recall tatum giving anyone as much room as he does carter on these sides.

Branford Marsalis Quartet - 2003 Romare Bearden Revealed FLAC

Literature, painting and jazz, a non very common mixture. When the other day was reading James Patterson's Mary, Mary, the FBI man Dr. Alex Cord returns at his home and relaxes listen to this record. Branford Marsalis recorded it inspired by the paintings of the black painter Romare Bearden.

Review by Matt Collar

Conceptualized around the visionary paintings of Harlem-born artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988), saxophonist Branford Marsalis' Romare Bearden Revealed celebrates the obvious as well as the less tangible connections between the jazz Bearden loved and the artwork it inspired. Reflectively performing some of the songs Bearden co-opted as titles for paintings, Marsalis also includes original compositions inspired by the bluesy, organic quality inherent in Bearden's art. Featuring his working quartet of pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, the album also includes appearances by the whole Marsalis family. Brother Wynton Marsalis revisits his post-bop "J Mood" from his 1985 album of the same name, which featured cover art by Bearden. The trumpeter also keeps things bawdy with some brilliant plunger work on a live recording of Jelly Roll Morton's "Jungle Blues." Similarly, "B's Paris Blues" finds Branford turning his trademark soprano sax to the 1961 Bearden work Paris Blues, celebrating the beauty and ennui of American black musicians who expatriated to France for artistic and social freedom. Even Harry Connick, Jr. drops by for a lithe and soulful stride duet on James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout." Perhaps most compelling, though, is guitarist Doug Wamble's solo turn on "Autumn Lamp." Inspired by Beardens' 1981 rural vision of a blues guitarist playing by himself under the glow of candle lamp, Wamble utilizes a resonator guitar with a slide, calling to mind Mississippi Fred McDowell's version of "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning" (perhaps Bearden's inspiration as well?). From one great artist to another, this is an earthy and accessible homage.

Many people assume that the only musicians out of New Orleans are people like the Neville Brothers. Although the Neville Brothers are talented, and have been around a while, I prefer the Marsalis family as an example of a close-knit, fine-tuned group of talented, elegant performers. In Romare Bearden Revealed, Branford Marsalis takes his mighty musical talents and applies his own artistry to the unique art of Romare Bearden, a collage maker who could design pieces that would knock your socks off. Among the performers who play so very well on this CD, are Branford Marsalis, saxophone; Joey Calderazzo, piano; Eric Revis, bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts, drums; and all members of the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Guest artists are: Harry Connick Jr., piano; Delfeayo Marsalis, trombone; Ellis Marsalis, piano; Jason Marsalis, drums; Wynton Marsalis, trumpet; Eric Revis, bass; Reginald Veal, bass; and Doug Wimble, guitar. Some of the tunes within this CD are such gems as "Slapping Seventh Avenue with the Sole of My Shoes," "Of the Blues: Carolina Shout" and "Paris Blues," to name only a few.
This CD is one that should be part of every jazz lover's collection. Although Romare Bearden was not famous for writing jazz (on occasion, he did), his artistry with paint and the joy of his creativity combines into a CD that is well worth the purchase. For those who are more visually oriented, there are liner notes, pictures of the paintings alongside their songs and a richness and texture that could convert anyone to jazz.
- Rambles, written by Ann Flynt and published 4 September 2004

1 I'm Slappin' Seventh Avenue (With the Sole of My Shoe) (Ellington, Mills, Nemo) 2:03
2 Jungle Blues (Morton) 8:51
3 Seabreeze (Bearden, Douglas, Norman) 6:13
4 J Mood (Marsalis) 10:49
5 B's Paris Blues (Marsalis) 4:30
6 Autumn Lamp (Wamble) 2:54
7 Steppin' on the Blues (Austin, Ladnier, O'Bryant) 4:55
8 Laughin' & Talkin' (With Higg) (Watts) 10:43
9 Carolina Shout (Johnson) 2:36

Joey Calderazzo Piano
Harry Connick, Jr. Piano
Branford Marsalis Sax (Soprano, Tenor)
Delfeayo Marsalis Trombone
Ellis Marsalis Piano
Jason Marsalis Drums
Wynton Marsalis Trumpet
Eric Revis Bass
Reginald Veal Bass
Doug Wamble Guitar
Jeff "Tain" Watts Drums

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dee Dee Bridgewater - Live in Paris (1986)

One of the best jazz singers of her generation, Dee Dee Bridgewater (who was married to trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater in the early '70s) had to move to France to find herself. She performed in Michigan during the 1960s and toured the Soviet Union in 1969 with the University of Illinois Big Band. She sang with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis orchestra (1972-1974) and appeared in the Broadway musical The Wiz (1974-1976). Due to erratic records and a lack of direction, Dee Dee Bridgewater was largely overlooked in the jazz world by the time she moved to France in the 1980s. She appeared in the show Lady Day and at European jazz festivals, and eventually formed her own backup group. By the late '80s, Bridgewater's Verve recordings were starting to alert American listeners as to her singing talents. Her 1995 Horace Silver tribute disc (Love and Peace) is a gem and resulted in the singer extensively touring the U.S, reintroducing her to American audiences. She would find even more success with her tribute album, Dear Ella, which won a Grammy in 1997.

This 1986 recording started her artistic "comeback" and showed that she had developed and matured during her years in Europe. Backed by her regular French rhythm section, Bridgewater is in spirited and creative form on such numbers as "All Blues," "There Is No Greater Love" and "Cherokee," among others. Her arrival as a major singer during the decade since this set has been a welcome event. - Scott Yanow

Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals)
Hervé Sellin (piano)
Antoine (Tony) Bonfils (bass)
Andre (Dédé) Ceccarelli (drums)
  1. All Blues
  2. Misty
  3. On a Clear Day
  4. Dr. Feelgood
  5. There Is No Greater Love
  6. Here's That Rainy Day
  7. Medley Blues (Every Day I Have the Blues/Stormy Monday)
  8. Cherokee
Recorded at the New-Morning, November 24 & 25, 1986

Pharoah Sanders - Black Unity

As Sanders says: "The message is 'Black Unity Now.'" Pharoah's Pan-African instrumentation and compositional endeavors come to a singular head on this project, articulated in its single, multi-sectioned, 37 minute title track. The dynamics are entrancing, the groove hard, the pace brisk. Driving, polyrhythmic balaphone and percussion work meet Tyner-esque piano voicings and the Sanders saxophone wails we know and love. Hannibal Marvin Peterson's trumpet and Pharoah's tenor screech out of the melody in accord--their amity is in the process and the product.. Characteristic of Pharoah's other work at this time, "Black Unity" rides an often static bass figure. In this way, while the improvisations may evoke the reflective or the frantic, an assertive central theme pervades in the lower register: determination (Does "A Love Supreme" rear its head towards the end?). The harmony is sparse, yet a profound sense of movement permeates throughout. Add exciting cymbal work, care of Billy Hart or Norman Connors, and the mix is complete. BLACK UNITY is a true highlight among Sanders' Avant-Garde articulations of Black cultural visions.

Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone, balaphone)
Hannibal Marvin Peterson (trumpet)
Carlos Garnett (tenor saxophone)
Joe Bonner (piano)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Stanley Clarke (bass)
Norman Connors (drums)
Billy Hart (drums)
Lawrence Killian (congas, talking drums, balaphone)

1. Black Unity

Recorded at A & R Recording Studios, New York City on November 24, 1971

Chuck and Gap Mangione

Chuck and Gap Mangione - The Jazz Brothers

This 1960 recording, reissued on a 1998 CD, was not only the debut recording of trumpeter Chuck Mangione but has the first appearances on record by tenor-saxophonist Sal Nistico, pianist Gap Mangione and drummer Roy McCurdy; altoist Larry Combs and bassist Bill Saunders complete the group. The Jazz Brothers was based in Rochester, NY and recorded two further albums. Chuck Mangione's own fame was a decade away and, at this early point in time, he was a Dizzy Gillespie-inspired bebop trumpeter. The sextet performs "Secret Love," "Girl of My Dreams" and five straightahead group originals with spirit and swing. Pity that the group never really did catch on. Scott Yanow

Chuck Mangione (trumpet)
Larry Combs (alto sax)
Sal Nistico (tenor sax)
Gap Mangione (piano)
Bill Saunders (bass)
Roy McCurdy (drums)

1. Something Different
2. Secret Love
3. Alice
4. Struttin' With Sandra
5. Nemesis
6. The Gap
7. Girl of My Dreams

Chuck and Gap Mangione - Hey Baby!

The early-1960s group the Jazz Brothers featured trumpeter Chuck Mangione and pianist Gap Mangione in a quintet also including up-and-coming tenor Sal Nistico (shortly before he joined Woody Herman's Orchestra), bassist Steve Davis and drummer Roy McCurdy; lots of young talent in that band. Their second of three recordings has reappeared as this CD. Those only familiar with Chuck Mangione's later work will be surprised to hear him playing bop-oriented music and showing the strong influence of Dizzy Gillespie. Four standards (including "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" and "Just You, Just Me") alternate with an obscurity and three group originals. The music has spirit, even if it is a bit derivative and predictable. Scott Yanow

Chuck Mangione (trumpet)
Sal Nistico (tenor sax)
Gap Mangione (piano)
Steve Davis (bass)
Roy McCurdy (drums)

1. Hey Baby!
2. Bags' Groove
3. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
4. Givin' the Business
5. Wha's Happ'nin?
6. Just You, Just Me
7. Old Folks
8. The Bassett Sound

Joe Henderson - Mirror Mirror

Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson has had a remarkably consistent career. Although he has spent periods (such as the 1970s) in relative obscurity and others as almost a jazz superstar, Henderson's style and sound has been relatively unchanged since the 1960s. This lesser-known album finds Henderson in typically fine form in an acoustic quartet with pianist Chick Corea, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Higgins. Carter and Corea contribute two songs apiece, Henderson gets to perform his "Joe's Bolero" and the tenor sounds majestic on "What's New."

A great lost session from tenorist Joe Henderson -- recorded in 1980 for MPS Records, in a mellower, more easy-going style than some of his electric sides of the 70s! Joe's blowing in a really fluid style -- almost like Stan Getz at times, but with a darker, edgier approach -- and he's working here with a Getz-like group that includes Chick Corea on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. The set features some great originals by Corea and Carter, and in a way, we're tempted to make a comparison to Getz's Sweet Rain album -- which shares a similar mellifluous modern quality to this one. Titles include "Joe's Bolero", "Candlelight", "Mirror Mirror", and "Keystone".

Joe Henderson (tenor sax)
Chick Corea (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Mirror, Mirror
2. Candlelight
3. Keystone
4. Joe's Bolero
5. What's New?
6. Blue For Liebestraum

The Vandermark 5 - Free Jazz Classics Vol. 2

“In 1999, when The Vandermark 5 was preparing to record Burn The Incline, Kurt Kellison of Atavistic approached me with the idea of pressing the first thousand copies of the album as a double cd including live versions of the compositions as a "bonus disk." The idea sounded great, but there had already been two limited edition cds of live Vandermark 5 material already released on Malachi Ritscher's Savage Sound Syndicate so I was interested in doing something different for Burn The Incline. I decided to record a series of "free jazz" compositions by some of the great composers of the 1960s. Up until this point in time the quintet had only performed and recorded my material; investigating the work of composers that had influenced and inspired me by writing arrangements of their work specifically for the band was a new challenge that I hoped would bring out aspects of the group's playing that hadn't been discovered before.

Kurt's promotional idea quickly proved to be a good one: the first thousand copies of Burn The Incline sold faster than any of our previous recordings. When it came time to put together the next album, Acoustic Machine, it seemed like a good idea to do a follow up and Free Jazz Classics Volume 2 was put together. While on the road touring I kept running into fans who had wanted to get a copy of these limited editions of both Burn The Incline and Acoustic Machine, but weren't able to get a hold of them before the pressing ran out. Putting the two volumes together on this double cd is an attempt to get the music to the people who wanted to hear it before and couldn't.” Ken Vandermark

Ken Vandermark (tenor sax, Bb and bass clarinet)
Dave Rempis (alto and tenor sax)
Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Kent Kessler (bass)
Tim Mulvenna (drums)

8 Wherever Junebugs Go (Shepp)
9 King Korn/Calls (Bley)
10 The Earth/Jerry (Wright)
11 Scootin' About (Giuffre)
12 C.M.E./G Song (Hemphill)
13 There Is the Bomb (Cherry)

Tony Williams - Mosaic Select

When Tony Williams came to New York in December 1962 at the age of 17 under the aegis of Jackie McLean, he knocked the jazz world on its ear. This kid hit the scene fully formed with an absolutely unique and revolutionary approach to jazz drumming at a time when Blakey, Roach, Elvin and Philly Joe were still in their prime and ubiquitous on the New York scene. Tony made his recording debut on Blue Note and was signed to the label by age 18.

When Blue Note was reactivated in 1985, Williams's mind was on acoustic jazz and composing and he returned to the label to make Foreign Intrigue with Wallace Roney, Donald Harrison, Bobby Hutcherson, Mulgrew Miller and Ron Carter. Excited by the results, the drummer formed a quintet with Roney, Miller, Bill Pierce and Charnett Moffett. That group lasted eight years with only the bass chair changing to Robert Hurst and eventually Ira Coleman.

The Tony Williams Quintet recorded four studio albums between 1986 and '91: Civilization, Angel Street, Native Heart and The Story Of Neptune. Each album was distinguished by Tony's distinctive, melodic compositions, unique arranging and extraordinary drumming. Roney, Pierce and Miller, all outstanding and concise soloists, quickly developed an empathy that grew with each album.

This was a band that made Tony immensely happy. He enjoyed the company of his sidemen and loved the way they interpreted his music. And from 1986 to '94, he had a consistent musical outlet for his music. Throughout a career filled with achievement and innovation, this body of work remains among his most satisfying music.

McCoy Tyner - Mosaic Select

From Mosaic Records:

This set covers the last two years of McCoy Tyner's tenure with Blue Note, beginning with the pianist's Expansions, the first album on which his own identity as a leader-composer-pianist came ringing through.

With Woody Shaw, Gary Bartz, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter (on cello), Herbie Lewis and Freddie Waits, he fashioned a new sound, inspired by, but not mimicking his work with the John Coltrane Quartet. McCoy blended modality, Eastern music, African elements and spirituality into a music that was unmistakably his own.

Unfortunately neither this album nor its extraordinary follow-up Extensions with Bartz, Shorter, Alice Coltrane (on harp), Carter and Elvin Jones received the recognition they deserved at the time. So three more superb dates sat in the vaults; Asante, with Andrew White, Ted Dunbar, Buster Williams, Billy Hart and Mtume was issued in 1974. The rest of the music on this set was finally issued on the 1976 double album Cosmos. One session features a sextet with Bartz, White and Hubert Laws; the other is a magnificent date which adds two reeds and string quartet to Tyner's trio and includes the first version of "Song For My Lady."

In 1972, McCoy signed with the Milestone label and gradually his fortunes began to change. McCoy's new sound had found a receptive audience; record sales increased and McCoy was able to keep a band together and working. By the late seventies, he was one of the most popular and best-paid acoustic jazz artists in the world. The music in this set, five brilliant, innovative sessions over a 25-month period, represents the seeds of that success.

Charlie Rouse - Takin' Care Of Business

Though a top tenor man in his own right, he will always be remembered as the saxophonist for the Thelonious Monk quartet. He adapted his playing to Monk’s music; his tone became heavier, his phrasing more careful, and he seemed to be the medium between Monk and the audience.

Charlie Rouse studied clarinet before taking up tenor saxophone. He played in the bop big bands of Billy Eckstine (1944) and Dizzy Gillespie (1945), but made his first recordings as a soloist only in 1947, with Tadd Dameron and Fats Navarro.

After playing rhythm-and-blues in Washington and New York, he was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (1949-50) and Count Basie's octet (1950). He took part in Clifford Brown's first recordings in 1953, then worked with Bennie Green (1955) and played in Oscar Pettiford's sextet (1955); with Julius Watkins, also one of Pettiford's sidemen, he led Les Modes (later the Jazz Modes), a bop quintet (1956-59). He joined Buddy Rich briefly before playing in Thelonious Monk's quartet (1959-1970), the association for which he is best known.

In the 1960s Rouse adapted his style to Monk's work, improvising with greater deliberation than most bop tenor saxophonists, and restating melodies often. His distinctive solo playing with Monk may be heard on the classic recordings in the bands heyday.

Though he would go on to do some solo projects, they were very selective and he opted for quality over quantity. His first outing as leader was “Taking Care of Business,” (1960) for this overdue debut, he selected trumpeter Blue Mitchell, and a rhythm section of pianist Walter Bishop and bassist Earl May, and Art Taylor on drums.

Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Walter Bishop, Jr. (piano)
Earl May (acoustic bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Blue Farouq
2. '204'
3. Upptankt
4. Wierdo
5. Pretty Strange
6. They Didn't Believe Me

Recorded in New York on May 11, 1960

The asteroid "(10426) Charlierouse" was officially named to honor Charlie Rouse in 2007 by its discoverer, the American planetary scientist and astronomer Joe Montani, a Monk and Rouse fan. The asteroid is in the main-belt of asteroids. Asteroid "(11091) Thelonious" was named earlier by Montani. Each asteroid has an orbital period of about 4 years, and is about 10 kilometers in size.

More vibes: Dave Pike - Pike's Peak (1961)


I think this is one of BILL EVANS' rarer recordings. Contrary to what the reviewer says, this is a rip from the 1989 CBS CD reissue. I love the cover, by the way.

This Portrait LP (whose music has not yet been reissued on CD) was vibraphonist Dave Pike's second recording as a leader. Pike is joined by bassist HERBIE LEWIS, drummer WALTER PERKINS and most notably pianist BILL EVANS. It was one of the pianist's first sessions after the tragic death of his bassist, Scott LaFaro, and gives listeners a rare opportunity to hear Evans this late in his career as a sideman. The music is fairly spontaneous, consisting of two ballads, "Besame Mucho," "Vierd Blues," and Pike's "Why Not" (inspired by Miles Davis' "So What"). An excellent if generally overlooked straight-ahead set. —SCOTT "YOU GUESSED IT" YANOW


Away from his trio, Evans, atypically, works in a harder-grooved,
single-line attitude, the best example of which is on VIERD BLUES.
Even on IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD, he does not get into his
rich, rhapsodic, two-handed playing until the very end of his
solo, but employs a sensitive, right-handed exposition.

Bei Mir Bist Du Swingin'

The Terry Gibbs post just before this reminded me of another young woman Gibbs gave an opportunity to record.

The choice of Jewish thematic material by these musicians was remarkable, and perhaps to some degree inevitable. These melodies are rooted more in a modal tradition than most modern tunes; and lent themselves to the newer (at the time) developments in jazz. It is an established source in current jazz: witness Dave Douglas' tribute to Dave Tarras (posted at CIA by the ever excellent Alpax), and the critical and commercial success of much of Zorn's work.

Coupla other random points: Yes, this Manne title is the one formerly released as My Son The Jazz Drummer; Alice Coltrane makes her first recorded appearance on the Gibbs title. Why did Gibbs change his name from Gubenko? Perhaps, to paraphrase Lenny Bruce, Gubenko sounded too Hollywood. Gibbs father had a band that did weddings and Bar Mitvahs. I don't think there are any recordings extant.

Shelly Manne - Steps To The Desert

When Shelly Manne recorded Steps To The Desert in 1962, John Coltrane was among the most controversial musicians in jazz. Some people praised Coltrane's modal innovations; others detested his post-bop work and even went so far as to describe it as "anti-jazz" (which is simply ridiculous). Arguably, Steps to the Desert is Manne's way of acknowledging the influential saxophonist; the CD has a modal orientation, and it indicates that the Los Angeles-based drummer was paying close attention to Coltrane in the early '60s. Not that Steps To The Desert is actually meant to be a tribute to the influential saxman — if Coltrane (or for that matter, Miles Davis or Yusef Lateef) showed Manne the possibilities of modal jazz, he certainly embraces it on his own terms. Steps to the Desert finds Manne and five other West Coast jazzmen (including trumpeter/flugelhornist Shorty Rogers, tenor saxman Teddy Edwards, vibist/pianist Victor Feldman, guitarist Al Viola and bassist Monty Budwig) providing post-bop interpretations of songs that have some type of Jewish connection, and the material ranges from traditional favorites like "Hava Nagila," "Yossel, Yossel" (also known as "Joseph, Joseph") and "Zamar Nodad" to Ernest Gold's "Exodus" (which a hit for French vocalist Edith Piaf). Coltrane never recorded an album with a Jewish theme; he did, however, show a strong appreciation of modal music from India, the Middle East and North Africa, and Jewish music is certainly part of the modal family. If Coltrane had decided to record a bunch of Yiddish and Israeli songs, they probably would have worked as well for him as they work for Manne on Steps To The Desert — which is among the most intriguing and memorable sessions that he recorded in the early '60s.

Shelly Manne (drums)
Teddy Edwards (tenor saxophone)
Shorty Rogers (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Victor Feldman (piano, vibraphone)
Al Viola (guitar)
Monty Budwig (bass)

1. Hava Nagila
2. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
3. Yossel, Yossel
4. Zamar Nodad
5. Bokrei Lachish
6. Tzena
7. Exodus
8. Die Greene Koseene
9. My Yiddishe Momme
10. Orchah Bamidbar
11. Zamar Nodad - (single edit)
12. Exodus - (single edit)
13. Tzena - (single edit)
14. Hava Nagila - (single edit)

Recorded at Contemporary Studio, Los Angeles, California, December 17-20, 1962

Terry Gibbs - Plays Jewish Melodies In Jazztime

The winter of 1962/63 was a fertile one for the growth of Jewish Jazz Fusion records. Unfortunately it appears that the market for the two major label albums that would come out of this winter would be far ahead their time. Recorded in Los Angeles on December 17, 18 and 20 of 1962 was "Shelly Manne: My Son the Jazz Drummer!" Just weeks later in New York City, January 11 and 12 of 1963, "Terry Gibbs, Plays Jewish Melodies in Jazztime" was recorded.

Extended notes in Comments.

Terry Gibbs (vibraphone, marimba)
Sam Kutcher (trombone)
Ray Musiker (clarinet
Alan Logan (piano)
Alice McLeod (piano)
Herman Wright (bass)
Sol Gage (drums, marimba)
Bobby Pike (drums)

1. Bei Mir Bist Du Schön
2. Papirossen (Cigarettes)
3. Kazochok (Russian Dance)
4. Vuloch (A Folk Dance)
5. My Yiddishe Momme
6. And the Angels Sing
7. S & S
8. Shaine Une Zees (Pretty & Sweet)
9. Nyah Shere (New Dance)

Produced by Quincy Jones

Sarah Vaughan ~ Sassy Swings The Tivoli Complete (flac)

Another installment in the Sassy-- Anytime, Anywhere series. Looks like a pretty swank gig! Any one of you been there? Do tell. Also, I do not have a booklet in this set (which I bought new in the early 90's) does anyone have a booklet for this?

by Scott Yanow
After four years on Roulette, Sarah Vaughan returned to Mercury (her main label of the 1950s) with this wonderful live session, one of her very best of the 1960s. Joined by her rhythm section of the period (pianist Kirk Stuart, bassist Charles Williams and drummer Georges Hughes), Vaughan is quite expressive on such signature tunes as "Misty," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "Tenderly" and "I Cried For You." A gem.
Sarah Vaughan vocals
Kirk Stuart Trio: Kirk Stuart:Piano
Charles Williams: Bass
George Hughes:Drums
Produced by Quincy Jones
Rec:Tivoli Garden, Copenhagen, July 18-21 1963
I Feel Pretty/Misty/What Is This Thing Called Love/Lover Man/Sometimes I'm Happy/Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey/Tenderly/Sassy's Blues/Polka Dots And Moonbeams/I Cried For You/Poor Butterfly/I could Write A Book/Time After Time/All Of Me/I Hadn't Anyone Till You/I Can't Give You Anything But Love/I'll Be Seeing You/Maria/Day In Day Out/Fly Me To the Moon/Baubles,Bangles And Beads/The Lady's In Love With You/Honeysuckle Rose/What Is This Thing Called Love/Lover Man/I Cried For You/The More I See You /Say It Isn't So/Black Coffee/Just One of Those Things/On Green Dolphin Street/Over The Rainbow

Carla Bley Big Band ~ Goes To Church (flac)

by Stacia Proefrock
Recorded live during an Italian jazz festival, The Carla Bley Big Band Goes to Church is a perfect showcase for the forward-thinking compositions and arrangements of Carla Bley. Starting with "Setting Calvin's Waltz," a gentle, reverent blues that blooms into a nearly 24 minute workout for the whole ensemble, the album displays Bley's spontenaiety, flexibility and lightness, unique to her and few others within the modern large group format. It helps that this material is highly sympathetic to her style — as Bley's band splits apart into sections and solos, then reforms again, echoes can be heard of gospel music, with its powerful choirs counterpointed by the clarity of a single voice. Not quite as experimental as her earlier compositions, this album manages, regardless to be among her best work in the '90s.
Carla BleyGoes To Church Lew Soloff trumpet Guy Barker trumpet Claude Deppa trumpet Steve Waterman trumpet Gary Valente trombone Pete Beachill trombone Chris Dean trombone Richard Henry bass trombone Roger Jannotta soprano and alto saxophones, flute Wolfgang Puschnig alto saxophone Andy Sheppard tenor saxophone Jerry Underwood tenor saxophone Julian Argüelles baritone saxophone Karen Mantler organ, harmonica Carla Bley piano Steve Swallow bass Dennis Mackrel drums: Setting Calvin's WaltzExaltationReligious ExperienceOne WayBeadsPermanent WaveWho Will Rescue You?Recorded Summer 1996

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mark Murphy - Midnight Mood - MPS 1967 (FLAC)

The pleasure that I get from listening to these recordings started on a cold December day in Cologne. The Kenny Clarke - Francy Boland Big Band had had three hard working days in the recording studios recording radio programmes and LP material. The boys in the band were tired. On the fourth day Mark Murphy arrived to record with an octet. Any lesser band would have given an interior performance, but not this band. The spark that lives in this international combo was lit. The atmosphere became electric and things began to happen. Mark, in a glaring red sweater, stood in a relaxed pose in front of the band, held one hand just to the side of one car and sang his heart out. Playbacks were listened to in the control room with all the guys giving their advice. This was music being made by giants. Of the many times that I have heard Mark Murphy sing on record, none has ever come up to the standard of this.

Now Mark Murphy is an American singer who has never really recieved the recognition that he deserves. Ask a musician which jazz singers he rates and among the names you will usually find Mark Murphy. The public in England also digs the Murphy sound as he was voted number two singer in the world section of the Melody Maker publication polls in 1964 and 1965. The winner was Frank Sinatra but Mark was very close. From his student days, when he was working as an actor, to the times when he studied singing, Mark has been moving steadily through to his goal. The very top of the singing profession. What reasons can be given for the obvious success of Mr. Murphy? One reason, to my mind, is that elusive quality that so many singers lack, talent. He has it.
Keith Lightbody

Mark Murphy - Vocals
Francy Boland - Piano
Kenny Clarke - Drums
Jimmy Deuchar - Trumpet
Jimmy Woode - Bass

The Vandermark 5 - Free Jazz Classics Vol. 1

Originally issued as limited-edition “bonus” discs with their last two studio albums Burn The Incline and Acoustic Machine, this 2-CD-for-the-price-of-one set makes generally available the Vandermark 5’s tributes to their forebears/inspirations from the 1960s and 70s. They tackle one composition each by the likes if iconic figures Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Carla Bley and others, as well as lesser-heralded ones Joe McPhee, Frank Wright and Jimmy Giuffre, and to them they bring a lot of hard yet elastic swing and passionate, focused solos. High points include Julius Hemphill’s “G Song” and Don Cherry’s “There Is The Bomb,” both of which cook like a stripped-down version of Blakey’s Messengers; the rollicking, pointed raunch of Archie Shepp’s “Where Junebugs Go”; and a pensive yet coolly good-humored take on Coleman’s “Happy House.” Everybody here is at the top of their game, playing it wild n’ wooly yet avoiding bombast and the ol’ noodle-doodle – though special mention is due KV’s expressive bass clarinet and Tim Mulvenna’s crisp, ebullient, frequently Ed Blackwell-like drumming. Fans of the V5 will need to have this, of course – but if there be an ol’ stick-in-the-mud out there who still needs proof that avant-garde jazz can swing and swing hard, then this set is proof enough.

Dave Rempis (alto and tenor sax)
Ken Vandermark (tenor sax, Bb and bass clarinet)
Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Kent Kessler (bass)
Tim Mulvenna (drums)

1 Happy House (Coleman)
2 69L (Braxton)
3 Conquistador, Pt. 2 (Taylor)
4 Goodybye Tom B. (McPhee)
5 Saturn (Ra)
6 Gazzelloni (Dolphy)
7 New York Is Full of Lonely People (Bowie)

Joe McPhee - Nation Time

Tenor saxophonist Joe McPhee has been a cult figure in the jazz world despite a string of releases on the visible Hat Art label and vocal support from the likes of Ken Vandermark. Nation Time is good evidence why. Its three tracks were recorded live in December 1970 and released the following year on the tiny independent CjR Records. "Nation Time" and "Scorpio's Dance" feature McPhee with a quintet that mixes electric and acoustic instruments with dual percussionists. In a way, this is familiar territory, working Coltrane-inspired repetitions and a nearly reckless group interplay against a variety of musical textures. Here some electric piano or full-speed drumming, there roughly wailed sax or a trumpet pushing notes to a near drone. But no matter how familiar the approach, the end result is inventive and captivating as these two pieces shift from nearly conventional extended improvisations to less structured sound without ever sounding forced.
However, it's the 13-minute "Shakey Jake" that seems like the birth of a wonderful new style that unfortunately never went any further. With the quintet expanded by an alto sax, organist, and electric guitarist, McPhee gets busy marrying free jazz to James Brown funk or maybe creating a vision of what would have happened if early-'60s Coltrane had revisited his R&B youth. The band sets up a complex but danceable groove while the soloists surf along, twisting melodies and pushing the beat but never relying on repeated riffs. Despite their various ideas and overlapped solos, the effect is collaborative not competitive as if they realized what a rare experience this would be. Lang Thompson

Joe McPhee (tenor saxophone, trumpet)
Mike Kull (acoustic & electric pianos)
Tyrone Crabb (trumpet, acoustic & electric basses)
Bruce Thompson & Ernest Bostic (percussion)

on 3
Otis Greene (alto saxophone)
Herbie Lehman (organ)
Dave Jones (electric guitar)

1 - Nation Time
2 - Shakey Jake
3 - Scorpio's Dance

Recorded live on December 12 & 13, 1970

The Real Group - Nothing But The Real Group (1989) [flac]

For the vocal jazz fans, here's one of the best a-cappella groups you'll ever hear. The Real Group was formed in Sweden in 1984 and is made up of three men and two women who met up at The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. This was their second album with the first, Debut, being released in 1987. From the first few bars of "It Don't Mean a Thing" you can tell that you're about to listen to something special.

Anders Edenroth - counter tenor
Peder Karlsson - tenor
Anders Jalkeus - bass
Margareta Bengtson - soprano
Katarina Wilczewski - alto

  1. It Don't Mean a Thing
  2. Sir Duke
  3. When I Fall in Love
  4. Chili Con Carne
  5. God Only Knows
  6. As Rain
  7. There Will Never Be Another You
  8. Come Sunday
  9. Very Early
  10. I'm With You
  11. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

Ron Carter - Third Plane (FLAC)

Herbie Hancock, p
Ron Carter, b
Tony Williams, d

1 - Third Plane
2 - Quiet Times
3 - Lawra
4 - Stella By Starlight
5 - United Blues
6 - Dolphin Dance

"Of the latter records, Third Plane stands out like a beacon. Commercial pressures being what they were, it wasn't easy for players of Hancock's & William's generation to make an acoustic piano record in 1978. The drummer hasn't quite got the hang of the setting and he trashes about a bit at inopportune moments, but Carter's big loopy fills on 'Stella By Starlight' and Hancock's 'Dolphin's Dance' are absolutely perfect for the job." Richard Cook & Brian Morton, Penguin Guide to Jazz

A nice album, Carter's rather pronounced bass gets better with every listen.

Bud Shank - I'll Take Romance

This album you will not find in the Mosaic set, although it is on Pacific Jazz and could have been recorded in a studio.

The lush and lovely I'll Take Romance pairs Bud Shank with the Len Mercer Strings, a significant and welcome about-face from the small group sessions that otherwise dominate his late-Fifties Pacific Jazz output. Far removed from the sometimes bloodless sensibilities of the West Coast cool school, I'll Take Romance is as warm as its title portends--the string arrangements are sweet but never sentimental, boasting a sensitivity that colors but never overwhelms Shank's lyrical alto and flute. The material, though familiar, is expertly sequenced and artfully crafted--chestnuts like "Deep Purple" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" are positively radiant. ~Jason Ankeny

Woody Herman ~ Woody's Winners (Mosaic) & East & West (vinyl rip) > flac

The CD has the WW's album in it's entirety, but has only three selections from E&W and four from an album titled "Jazz Hoot" BTW if anyone has Jazz Hoot, I'd appreciate it if you'd consider putting it up. Anyway, here's a vinyl rip of East and West (as f---ing swine are selling oop cd copies for $40 and up on Amazon) which is a pristine DJ promo copy, probably never played! Woody really had it going on in the 60's--Hell, every decade, really.
Gerald Lamy, Dusko Goykovich, Bobby Shew, Don Rader, Bill Chase: Trumpets, Henry Southall, Frank Tesinky, Don Doane: Trombones, Woody Herman:Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Gary Klein, Sal Nistico, Andy McGhee: Tenor Saxes, Tom Anastas:Baritone, Nat Pierce: Piano, Tony Leonardi: Bass, Ronnie Zito: Drums.
23 Red/My Funny Valentine/Northwest Passage/Poor Butterfly/Greasy Sack Blues/Woody's Whistle/Red Roses For A Blue Lady/Opus De Funk with Blue Flame/Watermelon Man/I Remember Clifford/The Preacher/Waltz For A Hung Up Ballet Mistress/I Can't Get Started/Hallelujia Time/Jazz Hoot/Satin Doll
East & West: Tomorrow's Blues Today/I Remember Clifford/Cousins/Four Brothers (revisited)/Free Again/The Preacher/Make Someone Happy/Waltz For A Hung Up Ballet Mistress

"the fabulous' paul bley quintet- live at the hillcrest club ,l.a oct 1958 ogg

Heres a very fine and historically important, concert recorded at the hillcrest club , los Angeles in October of 1958.

This gambit bootleg, ascribes it to ornette, (a plausible marketing ploy ,or GAMBIT), every ornette fan knows that this was bleys group and that, originally it was a quartet with vibist dave pike.
Coleman and cherry ,jammed with them a few times and bley seeing the possibilities ,sacked pike and employed them instead.

This is nowhere near the quality of even a good live recording from 1958, few people know the source of this legendary boot, I suspect it was bley himself, in fact he initially reissued half of this concert( knowing it had been widely bootlegged anyway ) as”coleman classics” on his improvart lable.

Part 1 had been released by the French “America” as well as innercity and others

This cd sounds a lot better than the lps, though it probably hasn’t been thoroughly remastered.
Charlie haden ,and bley himself are barely audible for most of the performance.
id only ever heard vol 1 before buying this, cd for a few bucks.

I cant recommend it enough, particularly to those who like bebop and have no time whatsoever for freejazz.

Ornette sounds incredibly like bird on this, so much so its uncanny!!!!!
They even do roy eldridge’s I remember harlem

The Fabulous Paul Bley Quintet /
Live "Hillcrest Club", Los Angeles, October, 1958
Ornette Coleman(as), Don Cherry(tp), Charlie Haden(b), Billy Higgins(d),
Paul Bley(p)

1. Klactoveesedstene
2. I Remember Harlem
3. The Blessing
4. Free
5. When Will The Blues Leave
6. Crossroads
7. Ramblin
8. How Deep Is The Ocean

Monday, November 5, 2007

Yusef Lateef - The Three Faces of Yusef Lateef

On The Three Faces of Yusef Lateef, Riverside seems eager to present Yusef Lateef, technical virtuoso, on a series of songs that step closer to jazz tradition than any of his work in the recent past. Largely absent are Lateef's experiments with Eastern modes, rhythms, and instrumentation, and in their place is a collection of largely upbeat, accessible songs, with a balanced mix of standards and originals. Much of the introspective, personal quality of his previous albums seems lost in the effort, but Lateef's playing still remains stellar, especially on oboe. That instrument, which is by nature soft and muted, is given enough power by Lateef to lead on several songs, most beautifully on "Salt Water Blues," where its naturally melancholy sound seems perfectly matched with the low, rounded tones of Lateef's rhythm section, especially Ron Carter's bowed cello. The quintet also shines on the following track, Joe Zawinul's "Lateef Minor 7th," where they provide a gentle counterpoint to Lateef's sweet flute line. Not quite as expansive or daring as much of Lateef's other recordings, The Three Faces of Yusef Lateef still documents a fine musician at work during the peak of his career

Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, oboe & flute)
Ron Carter (cello)
Hugh Lawson (piano & celeste)
Herman Wright (bass)
Lex Humphries (drums)

1. Goin' Home
2. I'm Just a Lucky So and So
3. Quarantine
4. From Within
5. Salt Water Blues
6. Lateef Minor 7th
7. Adoration
8. Ma (He's Making Eyes at Me)

The Yusef Lateef Quintet - The Sounds of Yusef

As good as Lateef usually is, here's a chance to hear Wilbur Harden.

Without delving into the complexity of some of Yusef Lateef's '60s era work, The Sounds of Yusef manages to chart some new territory amid his sea of late-'50s recordings. Many of the songs tilt their head toward the East, both rhythmically and in their instrumentation, but the album as a whole still has its feet firmly planted in the jazz tradition. Nowhere is that more obvious than the album's opener, a flute-led version of "Take the 'A' Train" where Lateef manages to polish the already bright and cheery melodic line of the standard to a new sheen with his exuberant playing. "Playful Flute" shows a heavy African influence, experimenting with more complex rhythmic structures; close listening reveals that it occasionally wanders off track, but Lateef's high flute line draws attention away from any imperfections. In the latter half of the song he employs a technique where he vocalizes and plays the flute at the same time. The result is a deeper, more textured, breathy sound that seems appropriate for his explorations here. Things really get interesting on the album's second side (beginning with track three) where the Asian-influenced composition opens with a shimmering Chinese gong then takes an occasionally fascinating, occasionally grating turn when a number of non-traditional instruments alternate with Lateef's flute line, including 7-Up bottles and the squeaky surface of balloons. The sound is amazingly avant-garde for 1957, making the experiment worth it, even if it is less accessible than the forward-looking jazz numbers that follow: "Buckingham," which allows Lateef to show off on tenor sax, and the contemplative, mellow "Meditation," which shows Lateef's quiet side at its graceful best.

Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, flute)
Wilbur Harden (flugehorn, trumpet)
Hugh Lawson (piano, percussions)
Enrie Farrow (bass, rabat)
Oliver Jackson (drums, Chinese gong, earth-board)

1. Take the 'A' Train
2. Playful Flute
3. Love and Humor
4. Buckingham
5. Meditation

Joe McPhee - In the Spirit

The title says it all: five spirituals played by a group led by the extraordinary Joe McPhee (on soprano and tenor saxophones). Joined by two outstanding bassists — Michael Bisio and Dominic Duval — and fellow reed player Joe Giardullo (on flute, bass clarinet, and soprano sax), this unusual quartet winds their way through "God Bless the Child," "Deep River," "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," and McPhee's own "Astral Spirits." Tempos tend to be snail-like, but the depth, originality, and unusual instrumentation make this eminently accessible recording a winner all the way. An important contribution to the discography of the spiritual, McPhee gives it a new perspective, but one that is entirely respectful of the tradition. Performed gracefully and tastefully, the group tastes free form without losing sight of the melodies. Steven Loewy

Joe McPhee (soprano & tenor sax)
Joe Giardullo (flute, bass clarinet, soprano sax)
Michael Bisio (bass)
Dominic Duval (bass)

1 Deep River
2 People Get Ready
3 God Bless the Child
4 Birmingham Sunday/Come Sunday
5 Astral Spirits
6 Just a Closer Walk With Thee

Recorded March 17 & 18, 1999

Jackie McLean - Alto Madness

A Jackie Mac Prestige session - the period between his Jazz Messengers stint and his Blue Note contract which began 2 years later.

Altoists Jackie McLean and John Jenkins shared equal billing with Phil Woods, Gene Quill, and Hal McKusick for the album Bird Feathers, on which the two saxophonists paid tribute to Charlie Parker on Parker's blues "Bird Feathers" supported by the fine boppish rhythm section of pianist Wade Legge, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. McLean, Jenkins, Legge, Watkins, and Taylor recorded the five tracks heard on Alto Madness at the same May 3, 1957, session that produced "Bird Feathers," and they continued the tribute to Parker in practically every phrase they played. McLean became much more individual within a few years, while Jenkins would fade from the scene altogether. This likable jam session features plenty of tradeoffs by the two altoists. Scott Yanow

Jackie McLean, John Jenkins (alto saxophone)
Wade Legge (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Alto Madness
2. Windy City
3. The Lady Is A Tramp
4. Easy Living
5. Pondering

Recorded in Hackensack, New Jersey on May 3, 1957

Lucky Thompson - Just One More Chance: A Proper Introduction To Lucky Thompson

Proper continues it's excellent Introduction To series with this volume of tracks that either include Lucky Thompson as a prominently featured sideman or as a leader. There are 23 tracks here which include some early rare transcriptions of Thompson with violinist Stuff Smith ("Test Pilots 1 & 2"), and Dicky Wells ("Sugar Hip"), and they traverse from the '30s through to the early '60s with his progressive big band on "Mambo in Blues" and "The Scene Is Clean." Sound is varied but is generally very good. ~ Thom Jurek

Eli (Lucky) Thompson (June 16, 1924, Columbia, South Carolina - July 30, 2005, Seattle, Washington) was an African American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist. He is considered, alongside Steve Lacy, to have brought the soprano saxophone out of obsolescence, playing it in a more advanced boppish format, which inspired John Coltrane to take it up in the early 1960s.

After playing with the swing orchestras of Lionel Hampton, Don Redman, Billy Eckstine, Lucky Millinder, and Count Basie, he worked in rhythm and blues and then established a career in bop and hard bop, working with Kenny Clarke, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson. Thompson was an inspired soloist capable of a very personal style in which the tradition of Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Don Byas was intelligently mixed with a modern grasp of harmony. He showed these capabilities as sideman on many albums recorded during the mid-1950s, such as Stan Kenton's Cuban Fire, and those under his own name. He appeared on Charlie Parker's Los Angeles Dial Records sessions and on Miles Davis’s historic hard bop Walkin' session.

Ernie Henry - Last Chorus

Ernie Henry was a promising alto saxophonist who passed away prematurely on December 29, 1957, when he was only 31. He had recorded his album Seven Standards and a Blues on September 30, and four songs for an uncompleted octet date on September 23. This CD reissue has the latter tunes (which feature trumpeter Lee Morgan; trombonist Melba Liston, who contributed "Melba's Tune"; tenor saxophonist Benny Golson; and pianist Wynton Kelly), an alternate take from the Seven Standards set ("Like Someone in Love"), a leftover track from the preceding year ("Cleo's Chant"), the solos of Thelonious Monk and Henry (from the lengthy "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are"), and an alternate version of "S'posin'" taken from the altoist's final recording (a quartet outing with trumpeter Kenny Dorham). Overall, the music is fine and, surprisingly, does not have an unfinished air about it. It does make one wish that Ernie Henry had taken better care of his health, as he was just beginning to develop a sound of his own.

Ernie Henry (alto sax)
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Wilbur Ware, Paul Chambers (bass)
Benny Golson (tenor sax)
Melba Liston (trombone)

1. Autumn Leaves
2. Beauty and the Blues
3. All the Things You Are
4. Melba's Tune
5. S'posin' (alt)
6. Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are (excerpt)
7. Like Someone in Love(alt)
8. Cleo's Chan

Shelly Manne and His Men - Yesterdays

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

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

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

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

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

Wes Montgomery - Fingerpickin'

The Indianapolis brothers on their first recording (Wes had done a number prior with Lionel Hampton.) This is also, so far as I know, the recording debut of another Indianan: Freddie Hubbard. This issue is , essentially, the Montgomery's first two albums combined.

Both historically important and highly entertaining, Fingerpickin' serves up 10 recordings from before Wes Montgomery officially burst on the scene as a leader with his Prestige albums. The core ensemble will be familiar to anyone who's heard the Montgomery Brothers' Grooveyard album; Buddy and Monk Montgomery are the leaders here, on vibes and bass respectively, with Buddy contributing four originals. The material was cut on the West Coast in 1957, while Wes was still holding down his day job in Indianapolis and gigging six nights a week on the home front.

The guitarist gets to solo, but the ensemble sound revolves around the solid bop of the three-horn front line on the first four tunes, and his brother's vibes on the ballads and the final three selections (from the musical Kismet). Wes cuts loose on the title track, and while his dry, elastic tone is somewhat different from his sound on the Riverside records his chops are all here--the octaves, the block chords, and the dizzying lines. Fingerpickin' is a fascinating trip to the source.

Wes Montgomery (guitar)
Wayman Atkinson, Alonzo Johnson (tenor saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Buddy Montgomery (vibraphone)
Joe Bradley, Richie Crabtree (piano)
Monk Montgomery (electric bass)
Paul Parker, Benny Barth (drums)

1. Sound Carrier
2. Bud's Beaux Arts
3. Bock To Bock
4. Billie's Bounce
5. Lois Ann
6. All The Things You Are
7. Fingerpickin'
8. Stranger In Paradise
9. Baubles, Bangles And Beads
10. Not Since Nineveh

Recorded in Indianapolis, Indiana and Los Angeles, California in December 1957 and April 1958

Duke Ellington - Ellington Indigos

Cat Anderson (trumpet)
Ozzie Bailey (vocal)
Shorty Baker (trumpet )
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Willie Cook (trumpet)
Duke Ellington (piano)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax)
Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor sax)
Rick Henderson Sax (alto sax)
Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Quentin Jackson (trombone)
Ray Nance (trumpet, violin)
Russell Procope (clarinet, alto sax)
John Sanders (trombone, bass)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Jimmy Woode (bass)
Britt Woodman (trombone)
Sam Woodyard (drums)

1. Solitude
2. Where Or When
3. Mood Indigo
4. Night And Day
5. Prelude To A Kiss
6. All The Things You Are
7. Willow Weep For Me
8. Tenderly
9. Dancing In The Dark
10. Autumn Leaves

Duke Ellington - New Orleans Suite

This late-period Duke Ellington album is perhaps most notable for including altoist Johnny Hodges' final recordings. In fact Hodges was supposed to record his first soprano solo in nearly 30 years on "Portrait of Sidney Bechet" but he passed away before the second session. The set consists of the five-song "New Orleans Suite" plus tributes to Wellman Braud, Bechet (tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves took Hodges' place as its soloist), Louis Armstrong (a feature for trumpeter Cootie Williams) and Mahalia Jackson. Interesting if not essential music with a few memorable themes being the main reason to acquire this release. Scott Yanow

New Orleans Suite runs in the vein of lengthy, orchestrally rich, dazzlingly complex pieces centered around a particular theme or concept, for which the Duke is so well known. A tribute to the musical legacy of the great city, New Orleans Suite consists of five movements, each concentrating on a different facet in the personality of early jazz: the blues, the ragtime of street marching bands, and church music, for example. Ellington's formal musical elements are astonishing as always, combining the high-mindedness of classical composition and arrangement with the swing and immediacy of the jazz idiom. Interspersed between the suite's movements are "portraits" of influential players such as Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Superior ensemble playing heightens enjoyment of the album, and the solos are memorable, such as Paul Gonsalves' playing on "Portrait of Sidney Bechet" and the solo by Johnny Hodges (one of his last before his death) on "Blues for New Orleans." A beautiful and moving work, New Orleans Suite is, on one hand, an acknowledgement of the inestimable importance of that cradle of jazz and, on the other, a piece that could only have been performed by the Duke himself.

Duke Ellington (piano)
Norris Tunney (alto saxophone, clarinet, flute)
Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet)
Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone)
Harold Ashby (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone)
Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Cat Anderson, Money Johnson, Mercer Ellington, Al Rubin, Fred Stone (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Cootie Williams (trumpet)
Booty Wood, Julian Priester (trombone)
Dave Taylor, Chuck Connors (bass trombone)
Wild Bill Davis (organ)
Joe Benjamin (bass)
Rufus Jones (drums)

1 - Blues For New Orleans
2 - Bourbon Street Jingling Jollies
3 - Portrait Of Louis Armstrong.
4 - Thanks For The Beautiful Land On The Delta
5 - Portrait Of Wellman Braud
6 - Second Line
7 - Portrait Of Sydney Bechet
8 - Aristocracy a la Jean LaFitte
9 - Portrait Of Mahalia Jackson

Recorded at National Recording Studios, New York, New York on April 27, 1970 and May 13, 1970.

John Coltrane with Paul Quinichette - Cattin'

John Coltrane's earliest recordings for Prestige found him in the role of host to some excellent improvising saxophonists, modernists and classicists alike. At the same time as he engaged in these conservative blowing sessions, Trane was taking stock of himself as a composer and improviser. Trane felt the influence of Miles and Monk very keenly in 1957, and thenceforth there'd be a keen edge of discovery to his music.

Still, his blowing in more or less traditional contexts such as CATTIN' WITH COLTRANE AND QUINICHETTE embraces classic values, even as he strains to break free of the form. Coltrane is a gracious host, and often defers to Quinichette, letting the old master take the lead. But Trane gets his licks in. Listen to his subtle intervals behind Quinichette on the head to "Anatomy" (our old friend "All The Things You Are"), before launching into a rhythmically complex solo; then check out Quinichette's dulcet, witty response. Pianist Mal Waldron's solo is heroically laid back, building subtle melodic sandcastles without upsetting the groove. The closing exchanges are particularly sweet, as Trane pares down his phrasing to concentrate on the sweetest notes, and play to Quinichette's strengths.

The coy easygoing blues of "Cattin'" is driven along by Waldron's thoughtful orchestrations, a new suit of chords for each stylist--a Monkish comp behind Coltrane, languid nibbles and pecks for the elegant Quinichette. Drummer Ed Thigpen's buoyant intro launches the Basieish groove of "Sunday," a classic tenor battle. Quinichette floats through the theme on a turquoise cloud. Not for nothing was he known as the Vice-President, so sincere was his admiration for the Prez (Lester Young), although his rhythmic ideas aren't as sophisticated. Coltrane follows with uncharacteristic restraint, poking around for spaces to hide, then reemerges with hot flashes of their melody, the ultimate expression of Coleman Hawkins' sheets of arpeggios.

John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Paul Quinichette (tenor sax)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Julian Euell (bass)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

1. Cattin'
2. Sunday
3. Exactly Like You
4. Anatomy
5. Vodka
6. Tea For Two

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on May 17, 1957

Anthony Ortega Trio - Scattered Clouds

This is Ortega's second release on the Hat label (the first being a 1992 reissue of New Dance, recorded in 1966-67). More conservative than much of the product on the label, the instant recording features the saxophonist leading a pared down trio performing mostly standards with pianist Mike Wofford and drummer Joe LaBarbera. Ortega has a sort of split personality, one that feels as comfortable with bop and hard bop as it does with free-style improvisation. His takes of "Body and Soul," "Alone Together," "What's New," and others reveal a player with a deep sense of the jazz tradition, but one who is not shackled to the past. Ortega's fluid lines stretch the melodies slightly and make them his own without distorting their underlying essence. Wofford and LaBarbera keep things in line, but the string bass-less trio provides enough harmonic freedom to permit the saxophonist to wander adventurously over the backing. A technically superior performer, Ortega deserves wider exposure than he has received, and this album may help him to gain the accolades he deserves. ~ Steven Loewy

Anthony Ortega (alto, tenor sax)
Mike Wofford (piano)
Joe LaBarbera (drums)

1 Alone Together
2 Body and Soul
3 Scattered Clouds
4 What's New (Take 1)
5 Night and Day
6 Island of Trolls
7 All or Nothing At All
8 What's New (Take 2)
9 Hot House

Bob Brookmeyer - The Dual Role Of Bob Brookmeyer

This CD collects two different 10-inch recording dates for Prestige recorded in 1954-55, one under Teddy Charles's leadership.

This CD reissue has four selections apiece from two different bands, both of which feature subtle interplay and cool tones. Bob Brookmeyer plays valve trombone and piano on two songs apiece with his 1955 quartet, a group also including guitarist Jimmy Raney, bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Mel Lewis. The other half of this disc is actually led by vibraphonist Teddy Charles who features Brookmeyer on both of his instruments along with bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Ed Shaughnessy; Nancy Overton takes a vocal on "Nobody's Heart." Although the overall set is not all that essential, the music is pleasing and reasonably creative. ~Scott Yanow

Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone, piano)
Jimmy Raney (guitar)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
June 30, 1955

Teddy Charles (vibraphone)
Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone, piano)
Teddy Kotick (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
Nancy Overton (vocals)
January 6, 1954

1. Rocky Scotch
2. Under The Lilacs
3. They Say It's Wonderful
4. Potrezebie
5. Revelation
6. Star Eyes
7. Nobody's Heart
8. Loup-Garou

johnny hodges -- used to be duke

jean lafite says: the rabbitt is #1. more is better, so, another helping.

with richard powell, harold baker, harry carney, jimmy hamilton, lawrence brown, johnny coltrane, call cobbs, john williams, and louis bellson.

johnny hodges -- not so dukish

jean lafite says: what more can i tell you, hodges is my man. i can listen to this guy play the horn all day and all night.

with ben webster, roy eldridge, ray nance, jimmy hamilton, lawrence brown, billy strayhorn, jimmy woode, and sam woodyard.

Peter Herbolzheimer - More Bebop (1984) [flac]

A follow-up to 1983's Big Band Bebop, More Bebop continues the format of combining two of my favorite genres - big bands and bebop. There is nothing quite like playing in a hard-swinging big band and although the solo space tends to be limited, the hard driving rhythm section and ensemble backing can spur a soloist on to new heights. Many of jazz's greats opted to front a big band when given the chance and would sacrifice the road hassles and loss of money just to play with a large ensemble every night.

Bebop continues to evolve and is still one of the best platforms to assess one's musicianship. There is a high level of skills displayed on this CD from the writing of Jerry van Rooyen, Bora Rokovic and Herr Herbolzheimer to the tight ensembles and the superior solos of Ferdinand Povel, John Ruocco and Heinz von Hermann on tenor sax, Karl Drewo on alto, Ack van Rooyen and Allan Botschinsky on trumpet, Bart van Lier on trombone and Thomas Clausen on piano.

Along with the standard tunes there are two originals - "Just Like That" by Herbolzheimer and "Oy, Oy, Oy Blues" by Heinz von Hermann. And dig Herbolzheimer's funkified arrangement of "A Night in Tunisia".

Derek Watkins, Jan Ooshof, Ack von Rooyen, Allan Botschinsky (trumpet)
Jiggs Whigham, Otto Bredl, Bart van Lier, Erik van Lier (trombone)
Karl Drewo, Heinz von Hermann, Ferdinand Povel, James Towsey, John Ruocco, Bubi Aderhold, Heinz Dretschmar (reeds)
Thomas Clausen (piano)
Peter Tiehuis (guitar)
Rob Langereis (bass)
Bruno Castellucci (drums)
Freddie Santiago (percussion)
  1. Anthropology
  2. Boplicity
  3. Just Like That
  4. Seven Steps to Heaven
  5. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
  6. Straight No Chaser
  7. A Night in Tunisia
  8. Jordu
  9. Oy, Oy, Oy Blues
Recorded August 25-27, 1984 at Studio Cornet, Cologne, Germany

Victor Feldman ~ The Artful Dodger (flac)

by Scott Yanow
On what was only Victor Feldman's second album as a leader in six years, the multi-instrumentalist stuck to piano and electric keyboards to perform a mostly straightahead jazz set. Assisted by either Chuck Domanico or Monty Budwig on bass, drummer Colin Bailey and a guest appearance by trumpeter-vocalist Jack Sheldon (on the second of two versions of the memorable "Haunted Ballroom"), Feldman is quite creative on four of his originals and particularly on fresh versions of four standards: "Limehouse Blues," Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "St. Thomas." This CD reissue is well worth picking up.
Victor Feldman:Piano and Fender Rhodes
Colin Bailey:Drums
Chuck Domanico:Bass
Monty Budwig:Bass
Jack Sheldon:Trumpet and Vocal
Rec:1977 in Los Angeles
Limehouse Blues/Agitation/a Walk On The Heath/Haunted Ballroom/Isn't She Lovely/The Artful Dodger/Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/St.Thomas/Haunted Ballroom

johnny hodges -- duke's in bed

jean lafite says: nice slippers.

with harry carney, jimmy hamilton, ray nance, clark terry, quentin jackson, billy strayhorn, sam woodyard, and jimmy woode.

Dexter Gordon - 1972 Generation

CD Universe
Unfairly, Dexter Gordon is perhaps remembered more for his well-documented drug problems and his starring role in the 1986 film 'ROUND MIDNIGHT (for which he received an Oscar nomination) than for his music. GENERATION, recorded in 1972 towards the end of a self-imposed European exile, shows why this is so unjust. Gordon's playing is simply superb. He blows with bluesy intensity on two very different reinterpretations of Miles Davis' "Milestones," and explores new rhythmic arenas with confidence on an arresting, lengthy version of Thelonious Monk's quirky "We See."
The quintet, featuring the great trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, swings effortlessly (for example, on the graceful take of Andre Previn's "Scared To Be Alone" which showcases a clarion Hubbard solo). Gordon's playing reveals both how much his influence went on to effect later tenor masters like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, and how little of his effortless technique had been lost since his '50s heyday.

Dusty Groove America
One of Dexter's most solid albums on Prestige -- and a great set cut at the Van Gelder studios with a rock-solid American lineup that includes Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Buster Williams, and Billy Higgins. The ensemble groove is a lot tighter than on some of Gordon's solo-heavy European sessions -- and in a way, the record hearkens back to some of the greatness of the Blue Note days. Titles include "Milestones", "Scared To Be Alone", "We See", and "The Group".

1 Milestones [First Version] (Davis) 8:56
2 Scared to Be Alone (Previn) 7:39
3 We See (Monk) 11:18
4 The Group (Gordon) 6:33
5 Milestones [alternate take] (Davis) 7:09

Dexter Gordon Sax (Tenor)
Billy Higgins Drums
Freddie Hubbard Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Cedar Walton Piano
Buster Williams Bass
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on July 22, 1972.

Helen Humes - 1959 'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do FLAC

Singer Helen Humes was a vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra, toured with Clarence Love and Red Norvo and ocassionally performed with Jazz at the Philharmonic. This recording was the first of three with Contemporary and in it Humes is accompanied by excellent musicians. I think Rab posted it time ago at 320 kbps.

Helen Humes had not recorded as a leader in seven years when she made the first of three albums for Contemporary, all of which have been reissued on CD via the OJC imprint. Humes, 45 at the time, was at the peak of her powers, although she never really made a bad record. Accompanied by Benny Carter (on trumpet), trombonist Frank Rosolino, tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, pianist Andrew Previn, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and either Shelly Manne or Mel Lewis on drums, the singer is typically enthusiastic, exuberant, and highly appealing on such numbers as "You Can Depend on Me," "When I Grow Too Old to Dream," and "''Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do." She even sings credible versions of "Bill Bailey" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" on this easily recommended CD. Scott Yanow

01 You Can Depend on Me (Carpenter, Dunlap, Hines) 3:22
02 Trouble in Mind (Jones) 2:37
03 Among My Souvenirs (Leslie, Nicholls) 3:37
04 Ain't Misbehavin' (Brooks, Razaf, Waller) 4:03
05 Stardust (Carmichael, Parish) 4:45
06 Bill Bailey (Cannon) 2:21
07 When I Grow Too Old to Dream (Hammerstein, Romberg) 3:34
08 A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Green) 3:06
09 Bill (Hammerstein, Kern, Wodehouse) 2:37
10 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do (Grainger, Prince, Williams) 2:24
11 I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) (Ellington, Webster) 3:26
12 When the Saints Go Marching In (Traditional) 4:03

Benny Carter Trumpet
Teddy Edwards Sax (Tenor)
Helen Humes Vocals
Mel Lewis Drums
Shelly Manne Drums
André Previn Piano
Frank Rosolino Trombone
Leroy Vinnegar Bass

Recorded on January and February 1959

communication- the jazz composers orchestra, 1964-5 flac

unfortunately i cant find a review of this.

its a fine compliment to,the 1968 record on jcoa /watt (distributed by ecm).
This has pretty much been reissued in japan only on cd, and even that is now gone.
Wonderful stuff, good to hear the workshop like atmosphere, and this is the only recording featuring , paul bley, steve lacy, jimmy lyons ,archie shepp, robin kenyatta and milford graves together.

This had been posted over at another blog 6 months ago at 190mp3 but those links are now gone
So here is a reup in glorious flac
personnel- paul bley-pno, steve lacy-soprano, jimmy lyons-alto, roswell rudd-trb mike mantler-trpt ,composer(tracks ,2 3)
archie shepp-tenor, john tchicai-alto, fred pirtle-winds, willie ruff -french horn, ken mcintyre-reeds
robyn kenyatta-reeds, bob carducci-reeds,fl, kent carter and steve swallow-db, milford graves and barry altschul-drums, carla bley-composer track#1

Vic Feldman On Vibes

Half this album is a quartet with the great Carl Perkins, Stan Levey and Leroy Vinnegar. The music is subtle, relaxing and quite bluesy as you might expect from some of the coolest players in LA. Frank Rosolino and Harold Land join the group for a few and things start to pick up swing. Feldman did all the arrangements and composed four of the tunes.

"I got to do an album with Carl Perkins"

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunset Swing

Much great music is driven by the small labels, from Commodore coming out of a record shop, to Dial, to a thousand small Rock 'n' Roll labels in the '50s and ''60's, to a bunch of small Noise labels in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sunset was the project of Eddie Laguna, and this CD is an anthology of 78's from his label. He utilised a number of local players, and would rope in members of some of the big name bands that passed through L.A who wanted to open up a little. Check track 10 for a real behind the scenes look at a studio jam. One story has it that it wasn't intended for commercial release, but was to be an acetate given as a birthday present for Dexter Gordon.

Altogether, a nice look at one of the aspects of a very vibrant Los Angeles scene; far from the Establishment of 52nd Street, and miles from the normally perceived "cool West Coast" sound. These boys are cookin'.

Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Charlie Ventura (tenor sax)
Arnold Ross (piano)
Dave Barbour (guitar)
Artie Shapiro (bass)
Nick Fatool (drums)

Andre Previn (piano)
Dave Barbour (guitar)
John Simmons (bass)

Buddy Childers (trumpet)
Willie Smith (alto sax)
Vido Musso (tenor sax)
Andre Previn (piano)
Eddie Safranski (bass)
Lee Young (drums)

Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Willie Smith (alto sax)
Lucky Thompson (tenor sax)
Eddie Safranski (bass)
Lee Young (drums)

Harry Edison (trumpet)
Herbie Haymer (alto, tenor sax)
Les Paul (guitar)
Arnold Ross (piano)
Red Callander (bass)
Shadow Wilson (drums)

Emmett Berry (trumpet)
Vic Dickenson (trombone)
Lem Davis (alto sax)
Dodo Marmarosa (piano)
John Simmons (bass)
Henry "Tucker" Green
Ernie Sheppard (vocal on 16)
Arnold Ross (piano)
Red Callander (bass)

Ray Bauduc (drums)
others unknown

Jess Stacy - 1944-1950 (Chronological 1175)

Real jazz happens when the musicians really listen to one another. You, the listener after the fact, can hear this communication woven into the music itself. "D.A. Blues," played by Pee Wee Russell's Hot 4 with Jess Stacy at the piano, moves slowly enough for this dynamic to be spelled out as big as skywriting. "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now" works like a charm. The interplay among the four and especially between pianist and clarinetist is remarkable. It's emblematic of everything that Commodore Records ever stood for. The next session in the Jess Stacy chronology resulted in a fine crop of piano and drum duets. It is strange that Commodore didn't issue them at the time, but these decisions often seem odd many years later. These are really piano solos with gently percussive accompaniment about as gentle as Specs Powell ever played on record, in fact. That is, until the fastpaced "Ridin' Easy" and "Song of the Wanderer," where Stacy runs his hands like lightning over the keys and Powell responds with steamy licks of his own. What a shame it is that Jess Stacy's big band only managed to record enough music to fit on both sides of a single, 10" 78 rpm platter. "Daybreak Serenade" is a very pretty instrumental and Stacy's wife Lee Wiley sings "Paper Moon" splendidly. Just imagine what they could have accomplished given the opportunity to wax a few more sides. Instead what we get are one dozen examples of the Jess Stacy Quartet, recording for Capitol and Columbia during the summer of 1950. These are gorgeous reveries, heavily featuring the guitar of George Van Eps. This makes the secondhalf of the CD decidedly cool and relaxing, friendly and unobtrusive. Bassist Morty Corb walks briskly through the changes of "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," a melody still associated with Fats Waller even though he didn't write it. Waller's "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now" reappears, joyously stirfried to perfection. This handsome collection of topnotch piano jazz ends with a virtuoso realization of Bix Beiderbecke's "In a Mist," something like Chantilly cream over strawberries after four courses. - arwulf arwulf

Jess Stacy (piano)
Pee Wee Russell (clarinet)
Lee Wiley (vocal)
George Wettling (drums)
George Van Eps (guitar)

1 Take Me to the Land of Jazz
2 Rose of Washington Square
3 Keepin' Out of Mischief Now
4 D.A. Blues
5 After You've Gone
6 Old Fashioned Love
7 I Ain't Got Nobody
8 Blue Fives
9 Ridin' Easy
10 Song of the Wanderer
11 Daybreak Serenade
12 It's Only a Paper Moon
13 Careless
14 I'll Be Seeing You
15 Can't We Be Friends
16 Imagination
17 Under a Blanket of Blue
18 I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
19 Lullaby of the Leaves
20 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
21 Lover Man
22 Keepin' Out of Mischief Now
23 Cherry
24 In a Mist

Phil Woods and His European Rhythm Machine (1970) [LP > flac]

In 1968 Phil Woods left the USA for a five year stay in France where he recorded some of his most adventurous music with the European Rhythm Machine. This studio session features a lineup of Gordon Beck on keyboards, who took over for George Gruntz, Henri Texier on bass, and Daniel Humair on drums. The quartet, which leaned toward the avant-garde with elements of fusion and bebop, still sounds fresh today. They traveled all over Europe performing at a variety of venues including festivals at Montreux and Frankfurt before Woods returned to the US in 1972.

Here's Dusty Groove's take on the album:
An excellent album of funky electric jazz -- and probably the best one that Phil Woods cut with his European group! The quartet's a very hip group that's way hipper than its stupid name -- with Gordon Beck on electric piano and organ, Henri Texier on bass, flute, and African percussion, and Daniel Humair on percussion and drums. All tracks are long, with a modal electric approach that's very nice -- and funky in the best parts! Beck's piano lines steal the show on most cuts, and Woods plays alto and Varitone. Titles include "Chromatic Banana", "Ultimate Choice", "The Last Page", and "The Day When The World...".

Phil Woods (alto sax, varitone, clarinet, english recorder, percussion, voice)
Gordon Beck (piano, electric piano, organ, bells, percussion, voice)
Henri Texier (bass, flutes, african percussion, voice)
Daniel Humair (drums, percussion)
  1. Chromatic Banana
  2. Ultimate Choice
  3. The Last Page / Sans Melodie
  4. A Look Back
  5. The Day When the World...
Recorded on July 5, 1970

Benny Carter And His Orchestra - 1943-1946 (Chronological 923)

Pursuing a similar path to one taken by Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter followed up a bountiful start during the early jazz and nascent big band years with an ex-pat stay in Europe. In addition to heading up the BBC Dance Orchestra, Carter recorded several big band and combo sides throughout the continent. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1938, he formed another big band in New York, eventually moved to the West Coast, and continued leading both large and small groups. This Classics disc takes up the story upon Carter's L.A. arrival in 1943 and covers the first three years of his still-ongoing residency in the south land. Standing out amongst some enjoyable vocals from Maxine Sullivan and a clutch of Carter originals, the collection's high point comes with the many tracks Carter cut with a bebop-heavy band featuring the likes of Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Don Byas, Max Roach, Gerald Wilson, and J.J. Johnson (his recording debut), among many others. And while Davis is not actually heard here (check out Classics' 1946-1948 title), these performances are still chock full of energy and wit, with notably fine contributions coming from Gordon and Johnson. All of Carter's Classics discs are highly recommended, but this mid-'40s sampler should especially please those bebop lovers wanting to explore the world of swing. ~ Stephen Cook

Benny Carter (trumpet, alto sax)
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Don Byas (tenor sax)
Al Grey (trombone)
Max Roach (drums)
Maxine Sullivan (vocals)
Freddy Webster (trumpet)
J.J. Johnson (trombone)
Idries Sulieman (trumpet)
Shorty Rogers (trumpet)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Neal Hefti (trumpet)
Tony Scott (clarinet, alto sax)
Flip Phillips (tenor sax)

1. Poinciana
2. Just A Baby's Prayer At Twilight
3. Hurry, Hurry!
4. Love For Scale
5. I Can't Escape From You
6. I'm Lost
7. I Can't Get Started
8. I Surrender, Dear
9. Daddy-O
10. A Good Deal
11. All Alone
12. Daddy Daddy
13. Malibu
14. Forever Blue
15. Prelude To A Kiss
16. Just You, Just Me
17. Jump Call
18. Patience And Fortitude
19. Diga Diga Doo
20. Who's Sorry Now
21. Some Of These Days
22. I'm The Caring Kind
23. Looking For A Boy
24. Rose Room

Bobby Hutcherson - Dialogue

Coming fresh on the heels of his groundbreaking work with Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson's debut album is a masterpiece of "new thing" avant-garde jazz, not really free but way beyond standard hard bop. Dialogue boasts an all-star lineup of hot young post-boppers -- trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, woodwind player Sam Rivers, pianist Andrew Hill, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Joe Chambers -- and a set of imaginative compositions by either Hill or Chambers that frequently push the ensemble into uncharted territory. The result is an album bursting at the seams with ideas that still sound remarkably fresh, not to mention a strong sense of collectivity. Hutcherson has so many fine players on hand that the focus is naturally on group interaction rather than any particular soloist(s), setting up nice contrasts like the fiery sax work of Rivers versus the cooler tones of Hutcherson and Hill. Hill's pieces stand tradition on its head, twisting recognizable foundations like the blues ("Ghetto Lights"), Latin jazz ("Catta"), and marching bands ("Les Noirs Marchant," which sounds like a parade of mutant soldiers) into cerebral, angular shapes. Chambers, meanwhile, contributes the most loosely structured pieces in his delicate, softly mysterious ballad "Idle While" and the nearly free group conversations of the ten-minute title track, where Hutcherson also plays the more African-sounding marimba. What's impressive is how focused Hutcherson keeps the group through those widely varied sounds; no one is shortchanged, yet the solos are tight, with no wasted space or spotlight-hogging. Dialogue remains Hutcherson's most adventurous, "outside" album, and while there are more extensive showcases for his playing, this high-caliber session stands as arguably his greatest musical achievement.

Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone, marimba)
Sam Rivers (soprano, tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet)
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet)
Andrew Hill (piano)
Richard Davis (bass)
Joe Chambers (drums)

1. Catta
2. Idle While
3. Les Noirs Marchant
4. Dialogue
5. Ghetto Lights
6. Jasper

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 3, 1965

Bobby Hutcherson - The Kicker

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

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

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

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

Janos Starker ~ Bach Suites for Solo Cello Complete

Today it is difficult to understand that despite the tremendous Bach renaissance that took place in the 19th century many compositions by the Cantor of St. Thomas’s Church in Leipzig had been underrated. The Cello Suites, for example, have been regarded for almost 300 years as purely a set of tricky etudes that every virtuoso in the making simply must tackle. What recording engineers and their equipment can bring to the ears is quite astounding. So it was back in the Thirties with Pablo Casal’s legendary recording against which every cellist is measured today and to whose perfection he aspires.

Janos Starker’s recording of the Suites from 1963 and 1965 makes a lasting impression on the listener, even when compared with other recordings from the digital era, and even record producers who are well used to recorded excellence have been highly impressed. For Charlotte Gilbert of the Mercury record label, these recording sessions were one of five truly great events in all her 20 years of recording experience. Without a doubt, Starker allows his instrument to resound freely but without forcing the tone. Starker’s full-bodied sound and technical brilliance are complemented by his finely chiselled interpretation that lends immense expression to Bach’s thrilling harmony and verve to the strict rhythmic construction of the movements. Just listen to his organ-like double-stopped passages, the eloquent dialogues, and the pure excitement created by his highly individual treatment of tempo. Then you will surely agree with the often-quoted paradox that Bach’s Cello Suites are ‘polyphony for a solo instrument’.

Barney Kessel ~ Kessel Plays Standards (flac)

by Scott Yanow
Guitarist Barney Kessel teams up with Bob Cooper (mostly on oboe but also doubling a bit on tenor), either Claude Williamson or Hampton Hawes on piano, Monty Budwig or Red Mitchell on bass, and Shelly Manne or Chuck Thompson on drums. Other than his own "64 Bars on Wilshire" and "Barney's Blues," the repertoire on this CD reissue is comprised of jazz standards. Inventive frameworks and the utilization of Cooper's jazz oboe (a real rarity in jazz of the time) give the otherwise boppish reissue its own personality.
1.Speak Low
2.Love Is Here To Stay
3.On a Slow Boat to China
4.How Long Has This Been Going On?
5.My Old Flame
6.Jeepers Creepers
7.Barney's Blues
8.Prelude to a Kiss
9.A Foggy Day
10.You Stepped Out of a Dream
11.I Didn't Know What Time is was
12.64 Bars on Wilshire

Hank Jones ~ Live at Maybeck Hall (flac)

by Richard S. Ginell
For Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 16, Concord persuaded a reigning giant of the piano to record at Maybeck's Yamaha keyboard — and the result is one of the most musical, and certainly one of the most enjoyable, concerts in the whole series. Recorded closely enough so that you can hear him grunting along with the music, Hank Jones gives full vent to his melodic gifts in a brace of pop and jazz standards from several decades, never staying on any of them for more than five minutes, and rarely falling back on the usual pianistic bop patterns. Starting out with very attractive stride work on "I'll Guess I Have to Change My Plan" and "It's the Talk of the Town," he always chooses his notes with care while rarely losing touch with the pulse of jazz, which is all too tempting in a solo format. Among the more touching moments are the treatments of "I Cover the Waterfront" and "Memories of You"; "Blue Monk" and Joe Bushkin's "Oh, Look at Me Now" have the most wit.
I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan; It's The Talk Of The Town; The Very Thought Of You; The Night We Called It A Day; Bluesette; A Child Is Born; What Is This Thing Called Love?; Oh, What A Beautiful Morning; Six And Four; I Cover The Waterfront; Memories Of You; Blue Monk; 'Round Midnight; Oh! Look At Me Now.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Muggsy Spanier - 1944-1946 (Chronological 967)

If you're looking for a straight, unfiltered shot of full-strength Chicago-style traditional jazz, this disc pulls no punches. Three of the four opening tracks are incendiary Commodore blowouts. Bob Haggart whistles during the opening and closing choruses of his own "Whistlin' the Blues," which comes as a bit of a breather after all that stomping. The next six selections were released on the Manhattan record label, available to the public as souvenirs to be purchased at Nick's Tavern, a hot spot for old-fashioned jazz in Greenwich Village. Four of these tracks feature the exciting baritone saxophone of Ernie Caceres, who exchanges a few words with Muggsy Spanier at the beginning of yet another whistling tune, "Feather Brain Blues." As Haggart whistles in the background, Caceres, speaking in a husky theatrical voice similar to that used by Harry "The Hipster" Gibson, exclaims that he hears a mockingbird. Spanier insists that the creature in question is "a feather brain bird," and vows to "blow him right away" with his trusty cornet. This results in a grand, easygoing blues with a big juicy finale, during which whistler and bassist Haggart gets the last word. The V-Disc session is solid and satisfying, right from the first few bars of a smooth walking treatment of the old "Tin Roof Blues." Creamy tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman is the star of this ensemble, as he transforms good music into something truly wonderful. Loudmouth comedian Phil Harris introduces a five-minute jam on "China Boy," counting it off in a tempo that is far slower than the one used by the band. This was a noticeable feature of V-Discs -- the spoken introductions were almost invariably recorded separate from the songs themselves, and usually sounded that way. Identifying his music as "Dixieland," Muggsy speaks at the beginning of "You Took Advantage of Me," a feature for Freeman, who had made wonderful recordings of this Rodgers & Hart dance tune for the Commodore label back in 1938. This 1945 "update" version is guaranteed to please all fans of Bud Freeman. This fine CD closes with six delightful sides originally released on the innocuous Disc record label. On "Pee Wee Squawks," Pee Wee Russell, who is heard on every session except the V-Discs, sings about how he needs a break: "My horn ain't in tune and my chops are hangin' low." The producers of the Classics Chronological Series are to be commended for periodically dredging up recorded examples of Pee Wee Russell singing in his own weirdly stilted, slightly sloshed manner. ~ arwulf arwulf

Muggsy Spanier (cornet)
Eddie Condon (guitar)
Bud Freeman (tenor sax)
Phil Harris (spoken parts)
Pee Wee Russell (clarinet, vocal)
Peanuts Hucko (clarinet)
Carl Kress (guitar)
George Wettling (drums)

1. Sobbin' Blues
2. Darktown Strutters' Ball
3. The Lady's In Love With You
4. Whistling The Blues
5. Tin Roof Blues
6. Muskrat Ramble
7. Bugle Call Rag
8. That's A Plenty
9. Feather Brain Blues
10. Lucky To Me
11. Tin Roof Blues
12. Cherry
13. China Boy
14. Royal Garden Blues
15. You Took Advantage Of Me
16. Pee Wee Squawks
17. Sentimental Journey
18. Muggsy Special
19. You're Driving Me Crazy
20. Am I Blue?
21. How Come You Do Me Like You Do

Victor Feldman ~ Merry Olde Soul (flac)

In 1961 the gifted British pianist Victor Feldman took bassist sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, his rhythm section mates from the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, into the studio for his own date. The result was Merry Olde Soul, quite possibly the finest trio album of Feldman’s career. Full of the swinging spirit that Feldman enhanced in the Adderley band, the session also featured his sensitive ballad work on Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and on the little known “I Want to Be Wanted.” On three tracks highlighting Feldman’s vibes playing, he is accompanied by the sparkling piano work of Hank Jones.with Hank Jones, Sam Jones, Andy Simpkins, Louis Hayes
1. For Dancers Only
2. Lisa
3. Serenity
4. You Make Me Feel So Young
5. Come Sunday
6. The Man I Love
7. Bloke's Blues
8. I Want To Be Wanted
9. Mosey On Down

derek bailey-tony oxley- "soho suites" 1977-1995,ogg

heres one that seems temporarily unavailable at the moment.
its tuly astounding!

This double-CD collection is meant to show a continuum of sorts in a collaboration that began in 1963. Guitarist Derek Bailey and drummer Tony Oxley met by chance in their hometown at that time, and formed a band with Gavin Bryars (a bass player back in those days) for the purpose of freely improvising music. Bailey and Oxley played together in various contexts and continue to this day. Featured here is a rehearsal from 1977 on one disc, along with a live disc recorded in New York in 1995. To play these CDs in sequence is quite remarkable. For those who have followed the careers of both men over the decades, it will be astonishing to hear what has been taken for granted in the development not only of their individual styles and approaches to improvisation, but in the actual evolution of those methods as they reach deeper into the musical muck for a kind of meaning that can only be generated in this type of musical pursuit. On the earlier record, there are Bailey's very short but very quick explosions of notes from all over the fretboard that get interrupted by his going into the instrument itself. Oxley, a busy drummer, uses percussion instruments while playing the kit, making sure he misses none of the notes Bailey drops from his guitar like small bombs. On the later music from 1995, there is a shift in focus. The explorations of tonal boundaries are much more pronounced, percussive extensions become common, and there is almost an architecture in the dynamic. Bailey has moved to using more chords of his own design, while Oxley keeps to the kit more, exploring its wood and metal as a manner of underscoring these spacious, textured explorations. This is an awesome set, so strong it's better than 90 percent of what's out there passing for free improvisation. Just get it.

Peter Herbolzheimer - Big Band Bebop (1983) [flac]

Peter Herbolzheimer came to Germany in 1951 and moved to Detroit in 1953, where he played guitar in clubs. He returned to Germany in 1957, took up the trombone and for one year studied at Nuremberg Conservatory. In the 1960s he played with the dance orchestra of Nuremberg radio under Josef Nissen, in 1968 becoming member of the pit orchestra of Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg under musical director Hans Koller. In the late 1960s Herbolzheimer belonged to Wolfgang Dauner's Radio Jazz Group Stuttgart and in 1969 formed a big band called Rhythm Combination and Brass and including musicians from European radio orchestras.

Among the members of this band, for which Herbolzheimer wrote most of the arrangements, were Dusko Goykovich, Herb Geller, Art Farmer, Palle Mikkelborg, Ack van Rooyen, Karl Drewo, Bo Stief, Ferdinand Povel, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Alex Riel and Allan Botschinsky. In the late 1970s the band toured successfully with a "jazz gala" program featuring guest stars like Esther Phillips, Stan Getz, Nat Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, Toots Thielemans, Clark Terry, Albert Mangelsdorff and others.

Herbolzheimer wrote music for the opening of the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 and in 1974 won the International Jazz Composers Competition in Monaco. Later he worked for German television as leader and arranger, and accompanied visiting American musicians such as Al Jarreau and Dizzy Gillespie. Since 1987 Herbolzheimer is musical director of Germany's national youth jazz orchestra, the BuJazzO (BundesJazzOrchester) and conducts regular workshops and clinics for big band jazz. Herbolzheimer's arrangements are a distinctive amalgam of swing, latin and rhythmic rock. He belongs among the most important arrangers in Europe, his orchestra being one of the longest-standing large ensembles. ~ Wolfram Knauer

Jan Oosthof, Allan Botschinsky, Alan Downey, Ack van Rooyen, Greg Bowen, Bob Coassin, Don Rader (trumpets)
Jiggs Whigham, Otto Bredl, Bart van Lier, Roy Deuvall, Dave Horler, Joe Gallardo, Rick Blanc, Peter Herbolzheimer (trombones)
Karl Drewo, Heinz von Hermann, James Towsey, Heiner Wiberny, Bubi Aderhold, John Ruocco (saxophones)
Rob Franken (keyboards)
Theo de Jong, Rob Langereis (bass)
Peter Tiehuis (guitar)
Bruno Castellucci (drums)
Freddie Santiago (percussion)
  1. Scrapple from the Apple
  2. Budo
  3. Au Privave
  4. Sally "O"
  5. Filibuster
  6. Tap Step
  7. Move
  8. Round Midnight
  9. Israel
  10. On the Scene
Recorded October & December of 1983 in Germany

Jelly Roll Morton - 1923-1924 (Chronological 584)

Who was an irascible, massively talented, egoist who made an indelible mark on the music? Charles Mingus, sure, but before him, one of his great heroes: Jelly Roll Morton. In Mingus' single greatest year - 1959 - he planned to do some extended work on the first jazz composer, but for various reasons all that is on Ah Um is "Jelly Roll".

But what the Beatles were to every musician for the 15 years after their explosion onto the scene, so was Jelly Roll to the musicians and bands that came after. His effect on Swing music, for example, was profound. Many of these titles are still being performed by some of the most avant musicians around, and he was even inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. The guy was no joke.

"These are Jelly Roll Morton's earliest recordings, and if you have any plans to become a Morton completist, this Jazz Classics issue with its chronological presentation is a good way to cover the early work. While the sound quality inevitably leaves much to be desired, the freshness of Morton's invention will surmount that, from the wonderfully percussive smacks at the keyboard in "Grandpa's Spells" to the rollicking energy of "Shreveport Stomp." Other perennial Morton vehicles that are heard in their first versions are "The Pearls" and "King Porter Stomp," while "Big Fat Ham" and "London Blues" are heard in both band and solo piano versions. The CD even goes so far as to include "Steady Roll" by a novelty band called Jelly Roll Morton's Stomp Kings. The group consisted of comb, banjo, and kazoos, but it didn't include Morton." --Stuart Broomer

Jelly Roll Morton (piano)
Charles Harris (alto sax)
Natty Dominique (clarinet)
Zue Robertson (trombone)

1. Big Fat Ham
2. Muddy Water Blues
3. King Porter Stomp
4. New Orleans Joys
5. Grandpa's Spells
6. Kansas City Stomps
7. Wolverine Blues
8. The Pearls
9. Someday, Sweetheart
10. London Blues
11. Mr. Jelly Lord
12. Steady Roll
13. Thirty-Fifth Street Blues
14. Mamanita
15. Frog-I-More Rag
16. London Blues
17. Tia Juana
18. Shreveport Stomp
19. Mamanita
20. Jelly-Roll Blues
21. Big Fat Ham
22. Bucktown Blues
23. Tom Cat Blues
24. Stratford Hunch
25. Perfect Rag

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lew Tabackin & Warne Marsh - Tenor Gladness (1976) [LP > flac]

The most well known tenor sax duos teamed players with similar concepts such as Ammons & Stitt, Cohn & Sims, and Gordon & Gray. Lew Tabackin and Warne Marsh are in some ways exact opposites. Marsh prefers the upper register and comes from the school of Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Lennie Tristano whereas Tabackin loves the low notes and his concept is basically a mix of Don Byas and Sonny Rollins.

Produced by Toshiko Akiyoshi, this Inner City release has the two tenors finding more in common than one might think as they explore a variety of tunes using standard chord changes. Akiyoshi brought two of her tunes, "Tadpoles" and "Hangin' Loose" to the session and the rest were improvised performances. Each tenor has a ballad feature with Marsh opting to use the full rhythm section on "Easy" and Tabackin choosing to go unaccompanied on "New-Ance". "Basic #2 is based on "rhythm" changes and "Basic #1" is a blues.

Both of these great players push each other to new heights with this constantly creative session with some of their best performances on record. Unfortunately, Inner City Records is now defunct and this LP has never been reissued on CD.

Lew Tabackin, Warne Marsh (tenor sax)
John Heard (bass)
Larry Bunker (drums)
Toshiko Akiyoshi (producer, piano on "Easy")
  1. Basic #2
  2. Easy
  3. March of the Tadpoles
  4. Hangin' Loose
  5. New-Ance
  6. Basic #1
Recorded October 13, 14, 1976

Gerald Wilson And His Orchestra - 1945-1946 (Chronological 976)

These are the first recordings to appear under the name of Gerald Wilson. Schooled at Cass Technical College in Detroit and seasoned on the road with Jimmie Lunceford, Wilson started leading his own excellent big band in 1944, employing many of the most promising young musicians in the Los Angeles area at that time. Wilson may be heard blowing his trumpet along with Hobart Dotson, Emmett Berry, Fred Trainor, and Snooky Young. During a lovely version of Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday," trombonist Melba Liston takes her very first solo on record. Saxophone soloists include Eddie Davis (not "Lockjaw"), Floyd Turnham, and beefy-toned tenor Vernon Slater. All nine instrumentals are exceptionally fine big-band swing performances. Note that "Puerto Rican Breakdown" is exciting but contains no discernible Caribbean characteristics. As for vocalists, Wilson made some interesting choices. Pat Kay, who sings "Moonrise," sounded substantial, as did Estelle Edson and Betty Roche. Dick Gray was at his best when he wasn't trying to out-vibrate Billy Eckstine. "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues" contains his strongest moments. The Thrasher Sisters were a better act than a lot of other harmonizing vocal trios on the scene during the 1940s. They were without a doubt considerably hipper -- less corny -- than the Andrews Sisters. Even so, after all of those vocals the last four tracks -- instrumentals -- are especially satisfying. For here listeners get to enjoy the 1946 Gerald Wilson Orchestra at its very finest, swinging hard on themes borrowed from the Basie and Calloway bands, and glowing with the beauty of Melba Liston's original composition "Warm Mood." One cannot help but consider the impact of this band and the L.A. jazz scene of the mid-'40s upon two creative musicians who would so radically alter the course of modern music -- Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy. ~ arwulf arwulf

Gerald Wilson (trumpet)
Melba Liston (trombone)
Vic Dickenson (trombone)
Snooky Young (trumpet)
Betty Roché (vocals)

1. Moon Rise
2. Top Of The Hill
3. Synthetic Joe
4. Puerto Rican Breakdown
5. Just One Of Those Things
6. Just Give Me A Man
7. Yenta
8. Come Sunday
9. Love Me A Long, Long Time
10. I Don't Know What That Is
11. Groovin' High
12. I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues
13. You Better Change Your Way Of Lovin'
14. Skip The Gutter
15. I'll String Along With You
16. Ain't It A Drag
17. Cruisin' With Cab
18. One O'Clock Jump
19. Warm Mood
20. Pammy

Enrico Pieranunzi - Les Amants (2002/Flac/Scans)

This is a lovely companion piece to a previous Pieranunzi disc, Racconti Mediterranei, that I posted earlier this year.

After having released seven recordings for the Italian EGEA label in settings ranging from solo to trio, when pianist Enrico Pieranunzi was asked what he'd like to do next, he immediately replied, “a CD with piano, sax, bass and—a string quartet.” Given the green light, Pieranunzi put together a series of pieces that seamlessly combine the rich culture of the string quartet with the improvisational verve of a jazz chamber trio. The result, Les Amants , successfully marries these two traditions in a way that is respectful to both, balancing them perfectly in a combination that is dramatic without being melodramatic, sweet without being syrupy, and completely accessible without losing a certain sense of exploration.

The music, for the most part, leans to the romantic, with just a hint of melancholy. That four pieces on the disk are reworked from his '00 release, Racconti Mediterranei , which featured Pieranunzi in a trio with master clarinettist Gabriele Mirabassi and bassist Marc Johnson, is no surprise, as these are all rich pieces that lend themselves to treatment in a more extended form. With Johnson remaining from the Racconti Mediterranei session, there is also a certain continuity, although on this date Mirabassi's clarinet is replaced by Rosario Giuliani's saxophone, lending a deeper resonance to the trio.

At times the string quartet and trio blend as one; at others the quartet is used to introduce themes for the trio, or expand upon them. While improvisation adheres strictly to playing over form, much in the way that Steve Kuhn did on his recent album with strings, Promises Kept , there is no sense of rigidity or confinement. There are times in fact, as in the title track, where the trio even swings. Much of the rhythmic drive is relegated to Johnson, whose lithe and understated sense of groove is always evident, even on “Canzone di Nausicaa,” where the time is so supplely placed that one only becomes aware that the piece is in an irregular meter when one actually stops to count.

But as successful as he is at blending the two ensembles into a conversant whole, the project would fall apart if Pieranunzi, along with Johnson and Giuliani, was anything less than a masterful improviser. Johnson's sense of history is without question, of course, his experience with three-way interplay going back to his days as a member of Bill Evans' last trio. But Giuliani's lyrical and playful solos are equally vivid. And Pieranunzi has proven, on such recordings as Nausicaa , with trumpeter Enrico Rava, and his '03 duet recording with Johnson, Trasnoche , that he can combine the best of the European improvising tradition with a firm understanding of the American roots of jazz.

And, as is characteristic of virtually all of EGEA's releases, Les Amants imbues a rich sense of the Mediterranean, evoking clear images of turquoise seas and the smell of fresh sea air. Les Amants is clearly another success for both Pieranunzi and EGEA. John Kelman

Enrico Pieranunzi (piano)
Marc Johnson (double-bass)
Rosario Giuliani (saxophone
Gabriele Pieranunzi (violin)
Alessandro Cervo (violin)
Francesco Fiore (viola)
Daniela Petracchi (cello)
Angelo Cicillini replaces Francesco Fiore on viola on "Canto del Mare"

1. Canto Nascosto
2. Canto del Mare
3. The Kingdom (where nobody dies)
4. Les Amants
5. Canzone di Nausicaa
6. Where I Never Was
7. The Flower

Recorded in Perugia, Italy on April 14-15, 2002

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tom Ervin | I'll Be Around

Tom Ervin is a distinguished musician, educator and clinician. A master of musical genres from Bruckner to bop. For the last thirty years he's been a Professor of Trombone and jazz instructor at the University of Arizona's School of Music. Ervin founded the Jazz Studies Program there in 1971. As a master of styles he was the principal trombonist in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for 28 years. I would never have known about the guy nor his excellent jazz cd if I hadn't just bought his house. Check him'll like his music.

Tom Ervin-Trombone, Jeffrey Haskell, piano, Jack Wood, double bass, Geoff Hamilton, electric bass, Fred Hayes, drums.

Art Tatum - 1932-1934 (Chronological 507)

This comprehensive CD contains Art Tatum's very first recording (a broadcast version of "Tiger Rag"), four selections in which he accompanies singer Adelaide Hall (along with a second pianist) and then his first 20 solo sides. To call his virtuosic piano style remarkable would be a major understatement; he has to be heard to be believed. His studio version of "Tiger Rag" may very well be his most incredible recording; he sounds like three pianists at once. ~ Scott Yanow

Art Tatum (piano)
Adelaide Hall (vocals)
Charlie Teagarden (trumpet)
Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet)
Francis Carter (piano)
Dick McDonough (guitar)

1. Tiger Rag
2. Strange As It Seems
3. I'll Never Be The Same
4. You Gave Me Everything But Love
5. This Time It's Love
6. Tea For Two
7. St. Louis Blues
8. Tiger Rag
9. Sophisticated Lady
10. Moonglow
11. I Would Do Anything For You
12. When A Woman Loves A Man
13. Emaline
14. Love Me
15. Cocktails For Two
16. After You've Gone
17. III Wind
18. The Shout
19. Liza
20. I Would Do Anything For You
21. When A Woman Loves A Man
22. After You've Gone
23. Star Dust
24. I Ain't Got Nobody
25. Beautiful Love

Only open for a short while, and most of the links were trolled, but there might be a few surprises.

glidernyc presents -- howard mcghee nobody knows you when you're down and out

glidernyc says: Lineup:
Howard McGhee - Trumpet
Ron Carter/Larry Ridley - Bass
Jimmy Jones - Piano
Art Taylor/Dave Bailey - Drums
Phil Porter - Organ
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
Lonely Town
Secret Love
Why Run Away
Canadian Sunset
Blue Bell
Fly Me to the Moon
Satin Doll
Blues Duende
Some info:
Original stereo vinyl pressing. United Artists UAJS 15028. 1963. First LP by Mr. McGhee after a ten-year hiatus. Early bebop pioneer returns with some nice tunes, the requisite early 60s bossa-tinged numbers, a little bit of cheese and a lot of interesting, high-quality playing. The numbers tend to be a little short and therefore don’t give some of the players a lot of room to stretch out. Still, pretty good, and I haven’t seen it posted anywhere else.

shelly manne -alive in london 1970 , ogg

a great album by shelly manne’s late sixties band in exploratory mode,

this is brilliant.Manne sounds like he has been listening to drummers like jack dejohnette and tony Williams Setting up lots of shimmering pulses, as well as playing very abstract fills.The group interplay is superb, and there are many moments of collective improvisation.Mike wofford is particularly outstanding.The tunes may be slightly generic but they are more distinctive than many hard bop tunes.Its basically a modal to free hard bop date, with almost prog rock like shifting meters
heres the shitty dismissive review by yanow.This CD reissue is taken from drummer Shelly Manne's brief avant-garde period. Actually Manne does not play much different than usual but his sextet (trumpeter Gary Barone, John Gross on tenor, keyboardist Mike Wofford, guitarist John Morell and bassist Roland Haynes) was open to much freer improvising than one would have heard in Manne's more famous groups of the 1950s. John Gross is easily the most impressive soloist but in general the well-intentioned music is not all that memorable.

rob brown trio- visage 2000

Review by Thom Jurek

Accompanied by Wilber Morris on bass and Lou Grassi on drums, New York's Rob Brown leads his trio on perhaps the most "inside" date he's ever played. Comprised of seven tracks, all of them supposedly improvisations, Brown and co. take a deep walk through the lake of blues as it has evolved alongside and inside jazz and the free improvisation movement. With "A Step Out the Door," Brown moves from quoting John Hurt to Hoagy Carmichael almost in the same breath, easing his delivery on the alto saxophone making it warble, sing, and even swing as he touches bases on all the mentors in blues and jazz: we can hear Monk, Rollins, McLean, Gershwin, Son House, Champion Jack, etc. On "Pivot-Full Swing," the rhythm section gets an opportunity to collectively wrest the control of harmony and the space/time continuum from the soloist. Brown plays catch up as Morris, using a bow and playing pizzicato, shapes a harmonic architecture, which Morris accents with rolls across the tom toms and with shimmering cymbal work. Brown finds himself in the unlikely position of playing ostinato for much of the tune. On "Pussy Foot," Brown's alto flute resonates in a sweet blues, caroling through the center of a random rhythmic setup. All ballad, it lilts and carries forth in half lines and parsed phrases, allowing Morris to fill in the necessary transition lines toward the next idea. The entire album is a meditation on the instinct of blues and mood, and as such it presents Brown in an entirely different light as a soloist and as a leader.

lol coxhill -spectral soprano ,retrospective 1954-99

Reviewby François Couture
There are very few versatile artists in European improvised music who hold the importance of Lol Coxhill. His highly personal style on soprano and tenor saxophones (fluent and lyrical yet capable of shrieking outbursts) and his ability to perform with everyone and in every style from jazz standards to the weirdest electro-acoustic improv, backed by his enduring sense of humor, draw the figure of a maverick musician. Spectral Soprano, a collection of mostly unreleased tracks recorded from 1954 to 1999, charts most of his ventures. This two-CD set was assembled for release by Mash in 1999, but finally came out on Emanem three years later. A 20-page booklet full of photographs and liner notes completes this marvelous set. The producers chose a non-chronological order, allowing listeners to experience the stylistic shifts and contrasts in all their glory. The earliest pieces are bebop numbers salvaged from 78 rpm records. Out of the '60s, listeners get a couple of pop songs by Tony Knight's Chessmen. The '70s and '80s were mostly kept under wraps, but listeners are treated to some music for dance, a duet with Steve Miller, and a couple of numbers with saxophonist Bruce Turner. More than half of the set comes from the 1990s, and features Coxhill improvising with various musicians from the London scene, including Veryan Weston, Steve Beresford, and John Edwards, along with his groups the Recedents and the Melody Four. Highlights abound and come from all directions: The Recedents' "Brits Abroad" is top-quality improv and the rockabilly vibe of "Messin' With the Man" brings a smile to your face, while "Embraceable You/Quasimodo" and "Murder in the Air" are exquisite examples of avant comedy theater. The concluding piece with the London Improvisers Orchestra is just icing on the cake. Highly recommended.
give it a shot there are good things for everyone here!