Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mal Waldron-Signals 1971(vinyl rip)

Another coda to the Waldron extravaganza on these pages that took place what seems like eons ago now.
This is what got me really hooked years ago, it's long out of print though it was briefly reissued both in Germany in the late 80’s and in Japan for a minute or so a decade ago.
I promised Zero I’d rip this ages ago, somehow though in one of my moves it got water damaged and needed extensive cleaning.
sorry it's taken so long!
Theres a little bit of crackle here and there but nothing to sweat over.
I like this one a lot, its certainly one of mal’s more brooding records, one of the tracks is named ‘things that go bump in the night’ which I remember reading 20 years ago referred to the chronic depression he was suffering immediately after the recovery from his paralyzing nervous breakdown.

One of his more challenging, and rewarding solo records.

recorded in Baarn,holland august 14 1971
(click on the image for more info)

Edmond Hall - Profoundly Blue

All of the music on this single CD was formerly out on a now out of print Mosaic box set from the LP era. Three of clarinetist Edmond Hall's four Blue Note dates are reissued in full on this 1998 CD, including all of the alternate takes; the fourth date came out as part of The Blue Note Jazzmen. The outing by Hall's Celeste Quartet (which consists of Hall, guitarist Charlie Christian, Meade Lux Lewis on celeste, and bassist Israel Crosby) has long been famous. The only session that Christian ever made on acoustic guitar and a rare opportunity to hear the celeste featured as a prominent member of a jazz combo, this exquisite date is highlighted by the two takes of "Profoundly Blue," and sticks to blues at various tempos. The second Hall session is late-period swing, with the clarinetist joined by two of Benny Goodman's associates -- vibraphonist Red Norvo and pianist Teddy Wilson -- plus the acoustic chordal guitar of Carl Kress (who recorded far too little during this period) and bassist Johnny Williams. The final set has some unusual instrumentation too, with Hall assisted by trombonist Benny Morton, baritonist Harry Carney, pianist Don Frye, guitarist Everett Barksdale, bassist Junior Raglin, and drummer Sid Catlett. The participation of Carney (heard in a rare outing away from the world of Duke Ellington) is special; he shows off his Coleman Hawkins influence and tends to take solo honors. Overall, this is a highly recommended reissue of swing and blues with hints of Dixieland. ~ Scott Yanow

Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Charlie Christian (guitar)
Meade "Lux" Lewis (celeste)
Red Norvo (vibraphone)
Teddy Wilson (piano)
Carl Kress (guitar)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Benny Morton (trombone)
Everett Barksdale (guitar)
Israel Crosby (bass)
Sid Catlett (drums)

1. Jammin' In Four
2. Edmond Hall Blues
3. Profoundly Blue
4. Profoundly Blue No. 2
5. Celestial Express
6. Rompin' In 44
7. Rompin' In 44
8. Blue Interval
9. Smooth Sailing
10. Smooth Sailing
11. Seein' Red
12. It's Been So Long
13. I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
14. I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
15. Big City Blues
16. It's Been So Long
17. Beamin' And Steamin'

Jacob do Bandolim - Vibrações (1967)

Choro is a Brazilian musical genre whose roots are in the polkas, scottish and other songs played by the Portuguese Court in Brazil, when they leaved Portugal to escape from Napoleon's troops.The mixture with Portuguese popular music and African influences became the origin of this rhythm which was a kind of lament. There were many changes since, and many variations of choro are known today, also with many combinations of instruments.Like jazz, choro put his strenght in musicians, rather than in singers. One of the most tradicional formations is the one we have in Época de Ouro,the group Jacob do Bandolim created to play with him: a mandolim (himself), a cavaquinho (a kind of ukelele), a seven-strings guitar, two six-strings guitars and a tambourine.The mandolim is the lead instrument. Jacob was one of the greatest chorões, and Vibrações is one of his main records.This CD, a reissue of the LP released in 1967, and unhapilly the CD cover brings no informations. So let me say that it brings compositions of traditional chorões and by Jacob himself. This is a pretty good record, with no filler track, but, to me, the highlights are Vibrações, Brejeiro and, mainly, Ingênuo, which makes you feel that life has been good to you, since gave you the opportunity to hear such a gem.
1- Vibrações (Jacob)
2- Receita de samba (Jacob)
3- Ingênuo (Pixinguinha-Lacerda)
4- Pérolas (Jacob)
5- Assim mesmo (Luiz Americano)
6- Fidalga (Nazareth)
7- Lamentos (Pixinguinha)
8- Murmurando (Fon-Fon)
9- Cadência (Joventino Maciel)
10- Floraux (Nazareth)
11- Brejeiro (Nazareth)
12- Vésper (Nazareth)

Jacob do Bandolim - Mandolim
Dino - 7-Strings Acoustic Guitar
César de Faria - 6-Strings Acoustic Guitar
Carlinhos - 6-Stings Acoustic Guitar
Jonas Pereira - Cavaquinho
Gilberto D'Avila - Tambourine
Jorginho - Percussion

The Secret Museum Of Mankind Volume 5

Although this is the last volume of the series, it is easily one of the stronger discs (they certainly weren't scraping the bottom of the barrel for material). If you're interested in this series, don't let the fact that this is the 5th volume turn you off: This is as good a place to start as anywhere else....there's never a dull moment from start to finish. In all, this disc would be a great place to begin, and is easily as eclectic and interesting as anything else in the series.

Of all the recent excavation projects inspired by our voracious musical culture, none is more fascinating than Pat Conte's Secret Museum series for Yazoo. Till now, a Western listener's familiarity with ethnic music from the distant past has depended on unsexy field recordings of relatively recent vintage, produced in a spirit of near-scientific inquiry by anthropologically minded musicologists. When the commercial record business really began to expand in the late '20s however, just about every national style of music was sought outand captured for a growing marketplace. This was true "world music", dressed in its Sunday best perhaps as performed byambitious locals, but still more vital than the academic, folklorist approach that followed.

Just as Harry Smith compiled early commercial blues and country records for his monumentally influential Anthology Of American Folk Music, so Conte has gathered even rarer 78s from all over the globe. Thanks to excellent remastering, we can hear vividly how an ensemble sounded in India or Japan more than a half-century ago or a klezmer orchestra right before the Nazis destroyed that bit of local culture. It's like owning your own time machine.

1. Kahira - Anon. Minstrels (French Guinea)
2. Jala-Tarang - Master Vyas (India)
3. To Nufoparam - Stavros Petrides (Pontus)
4. Adios, Pueblo De Ayacucho - Estansilao Medina (Peru)
5. Amanxila (South Rhodesia) - The Ncubes & Chuma
6. Nana Du Gros Zozo - Orchestre Du Bal Antillais (Martinique)
7. A Su Duce Italianu - Ardino Marras (Sardinia)
8. Himene Tarava - Anon. Chorus (Raiatea)
9. Shivari - A. Kevorkian (Armenia)
10. Mes Tou Aigaiou Ta Nezia - Anna & Amalia Hatzidakis (Aegean Islands)
11. Shikestei Fars - Khan Sushinksky (Transcaucasia)
12. Hutzulka W Semereczni - Ukrainska Orchestra (Ukraine)
13. Setsepise Ngoanan - Aliwal North Sesuto Choir (Lesotho)
14. Gato Cordobes - Andres Chazarreta (Argentina)
15. Plaing Si'am Gai Nyo - Don Tre Pa-Yam "Rabbit" (Siam)
16. Karelsk Vagguisa - Ulla Kantajavouri (Finland)
17. Ix-Xieh U Ix-Xieha - Rosina Xiberres (Malta)
18. Parado De Valldemdosa - Agrupacion Folklorica (Mallorcas)
19. Boire Comma Mo Boire - Francis Saloman/Ensemble (Mauritius)
20. Ya Albi Keef Ja Fak - Youssef Harb (Syria)
21. Chevy Chase/The Cott - Jack Armstrong (Northumbria)
22. Marching Songs - Private Lassimon/Regiment (Malawi)
23. Quill Blues - "Big Boy" Cleveland (Mississippi, U.S.A.)
24. Untitled - Girls Of Bunana (Soloman Islands)

Modern Jazz Quartet - Together Again, Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival (1982)

This CD reissue features the revived Modern Jazz Quartet during their 30th year (counting a seven-year "vacation"), playing some of their usual repertoire — such as "Django," "The Cylinder," and "Bags' Groove," which for some reason was renamed "Bags' New Groove" — before an appreciative audience at the 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival. In reality, this release adds little to the MJQ's legacy, since all of the songs but vibraphonist Milt Jackson's "Monterey Mist" had been recorded before (some of them many times), but it does show that the band still had its enthusiasm and the ability to make the veteran material sound fresh and swinging. Scott Yanow

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

1 Django (Lewis) 5:47
2 The Cylinder (Jackson) 5:18
3 The Martyr (Jackson) 8:43
4 Really True Blues (Jackson) 5:39
5 Odds Against Tomorrow (Lewis) 8:53
6 The Jasmine Tree (Lewis) 4:42
7 Monterey Mist (Jackson) 4:05
8 Bags' New Groove (Jackson) 4:15
9 Woody 'N You (Gillespie) 3:47

Recorded at Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland on July 25, 1982

Benny Carter - Sax ala Carter!

Sax ala Carter! was originally released in 1960, and as the liner notes point out, was meant for a general audience. That means that the songs are popular standards and the renditions offered here are fairly short (none reach the four-minute mark). Having said all this, one might expect Sax ala Carter! to resemble cocktail jazz, but it doesn't. Instead, the listener is treated to an intimate set made up of fine ensemble work by Carter, pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Mel Lewis on favorites like "Far Away Places," "I Should Care," and "Everything I Have Is Yours." The solos by Carter and Rowles are compact, with both players sticking close to the melody line. Nonetheless, their solos are tastefully energetic and achieve an air of grace. Standouts include a bouncy take on "All or Nothing at All" and a soulful version of "I'll Never Smile Again." The walking bass of Vinnegar also adds buoyancy to the performances on Sax ala Carter!, guaranteeing that the music is always flowing freely. The 2004 release of the album adds three bonus cuts, "Ennui" and two takes of "Friendly Islands." Incredibly, this entire album was recorded in one day on February 5, 1960. A fun treat. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.

Benny Carter (alto, soprano, tenor sax)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)

1. And The Angels Sing
2. Everything I Have Is Yours
3. I Understand
4. All Or Nothing At All
5. I'll Never Smile Again
6. If I Loved You
7. Far Away Places
8. I Should Care
9. For All We Know
10. (I Don't Stand A) Ghost Of A Chance With You
11. The One I Love (Belongs To Someone Else)
12. Moon Of Manakoora
13. Ennui
14. Friendly Islands
15. Friendly Islands (alt)

Steve Turre - TNT (Trombone-N-Tenor) (2000)

One of the most well-rounded and well-educated musicians of our time, Steve Turre knows himself and where he came from.

Steve Turre offers his first quintet project with TNT — Trombone ‘N' Tenor, an exciting collection of eight compositions dedicated to a select group of jazz elders. Turre plays with three different quintets and is joined by tenor saxophonists James Carter, Dewey Redman and David Sanchez. Turre focuses purely on trombone, a departure from his previous releases that have included his exceptional playing on the conch shells. The ensemble boasts an astonishing repertoire of historic compositions by Stanley Turrentine, Hoagy Carmichael, and Benny Goodman as wells as four originals penned by Steve Turre. Among the highlights are an unforgettable version of "Stompin' At The Savoy" that features Dewey Redman's inimitable sax phrasings and nuance, the eleven minute "Dewey's Dance," a modal tune in ¾ time that captivates you with Stephen Scott's piano elegance, and the technical virtuosity of James Carter and Steve Turre's open-horn plunger orations on "Hallelujah, I Love Her So." Unlike his In The Spur of The Moment recording which featured Turre's mastery of the Ellington-style of muted playing, TNT — Trombone ‘N' Tenor treats listeners to Turre's enjoyable art of the plunger-Basie style. David Sanchez's Afro-Cuban voice proves to be the perfect complement for Turre's clave and horn playing on "Puente of Soul." Together with the percussive fuel played by Giovanni Hidalgo, the ensemble reaches new heights in Turre's repertoire of Afro-Cuban jazz. - Paula Edelstein

Steve Turre (trombone)
James Carter, Dewey Redman, David Sanchez (tenor sax)
Mulgrew Miller, Stephen Scott (piano)
Buster Williams, Peter Washington (bass)
Victor Lewis, Lewis Nash (drums)
Giovanni Hidalgo (percussion)
  1. Back in the Day
  2. Puente of Soul
  3. Stompin' at the Savoy
  4. The Nearness of You
  5. Hallelujah, I Love Her So
  6. Eric the Great
  7. E.J.
  8. Dewey's Dance
Recorded November 9-10, 2000

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bill Evans - Sunday At The Village Vanguard (20bit K2)

Last Sunday morning we posted Grant Green's Sunday Mornin'; today it's Sunday At The Village Vanguard. Next Sunday? I dunno - I'm not very creative. Maybe Etta James, Spanky and Our Gang. I just don't know.

Evans was having trouble finding good bassists, but LaFaro's arrival precipitated the advent of one of the finest piano trios jazz has ever documented. The bassists melodic sensitivity and insinuating sound flowed between Evans and Motian like water and ... the playing of the three men is so sympathetic that it set a universal standard for the piano-bass-drums set-up which has persisted to this day ...Indispensable. ~ Penguin Guide

Sunday at the Village Vanguard (and Waltz for Debby, its companion album) is one of the most important piano trio albums in history and a desert-island choice among many musicians. It marks the final appearance of bassist Scott LaFaro with Evans and drummer Paul Motian. LaFaro demonstrated a concept of jazz bass playing here that shattered traditional limits to how interactive and contrapuntal a bassline could be without totally abandoning its supportive function. He also soloed with unparalleled imagination and technical facility. The album also showed how Evans had refined an approach to solo improvisation in which the pulse was not as obvious as it had been in swing and bop approaches. And his extraordinarily high standards required that each improvised melodic idea be extensively developed, resulting in more continuity and pacing than was common to any previous modern style. The influence of what LaFaro and Evans laid out here was still being felt in the 1990s. ~ Mark C. Gridley

Bill Evans (piano)
Scott LaFaro (bass)
Paul Motian (drums)

1. Gloria's Step (take 2)
2. My Man's Gone Now
3. Solar
4. Alice in Wonderland
5. All of You (take 2)
6. Jade Visions (take 2)
7. Gloria's Step (take 3)
8. Alice in Wonderland (take 1)
9. All of You (take 1)
10. All of You (take 3)
11. Jade Visions (take 1)

Bix Beiderbecke - Real Jazz Me Blues

Bix Beiderbecke was a true Modernist in the sense that Eliot, Joyce, Picasso, Hitchcock and others were. Yet we never think of their work as old-fashioned or out of date. Unfortunately, many - including me - have often thought of Bix that way. It's partly to do with the very dated vocals, material, and technology; but the guy deserves a wider audience. Having said that, it should be acknowledged that he has very devoted, not to say rabid, fans. But I for one always had to try to like him - olive, anyone? - and made several attempts; but I'd find myself zoning out and having to replay the part where Bix was.

Now, I don't know what happened; maybe it's just my time for it to click, but I suspect that the noticeable quality of this remastering has a lot to do with it. I've really been enjoying this stuff for the first time, and I hope you'll give it a try, or re-try, too. That presupposes that you ain't one of the aforementioned rabid cats or kitties. Bix lives.

Additionally, stereophobic has the Bix Restored series waiting in the wings: I've heard nothing but good things about those particular releases.

"In jazz's childhood, Bix Beiderbecke was the only cornet player to rival Satchmo in terms of influence on other musicians and on the development of the genre. Armstrong's syncopated delivery, his blues shadings, his unique phrasing--in short, his swing--became, rightly so, the benchmark, the standard by which jazz improvisation was not only judged, but actually defined. In a way, Bix represented both a practical and symbolic alternative to Armstrong. Though he was completely self-taught and couldn't read music, Bix's tone was incredibly pure, full, and lush, and his style was cooler, more restrained (but not reserved), and more plaintive than Louis's hot, ebullient playing--even though his actual tone remained bright and his note choices forceful. All of these 20 cuts come from 1927, and many of them rank among the finest performances of that classic era nudged between Dixieland and swing. A key component of these successes is Frankie Trumbauer, a remarkably fluent and lyrical C-melody sax player who was Beiderbecke's close friend and musical kindred spirit. The septet cuts from February and May are uniformly excellent, but "Singin' the Blues" (featuring Eddie Lang's prominent single-string guitar support), "Riverboat Shuffle," "I'm Comin' Virginia," and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" are astonishing landmarks in jazz history. Also worth noting are two trio cuts featuring Beiderbecke on piano supporting Trumbauer and Lang, and "In a Mist (Bixology)," a Bix piano solo full of bold, unorthodox melodies, harmonies, and rhythms." ~ Marc Greilsamer

1. Trumbology
2. Clarinet Marmalade
3. Singin' The Blues
4. Ostrich Walk
5. Riverboat Shuffle
6. I'm Coming Virginia
7. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
8. For No Reason At All In C
9. Three Blind Mice
10. Blue River
11. There's A Cradle In Caroline!
12. In A Mist
13. Wringin' And Twistin'
14. Humpty Dumpty
15. Krazy Kat
16. (The) Baltimore
17. There Ain't No Land Like Dixieland To Me
18. There's A Cradle In Caroline!
19. Just An Hour Of Love
20. I'm Wonderin' Who

Working as a featured soloist with Paul Whiteman's orchestra, cornetist Bix Beiderbecke still found opportunities to play in small jazz groups, where his creativity could range freely. This music comes from a six-month period between October 1927 and April 1928 and spotlights sessions led by both Bix and his frequent musical partner, saxophonist Frank Trumbauer. The earliest session features the Chicago Loopers, with Beiderbecke and Trumbauer heard to best advantage on the two takes of "Three Blind Mice." Six tunes by Bix Beiderbecke and his Gang represent the musical highpoint here, with Beiderbecke creating spontaneous lines that have the mark of great composition. He's in good company, as well, with frequent outbursts from Adrian Rollini on bass saxophone, an unlikely soloist but one who played his unwieldy instrument with enthusiasm and precision. There are also several tracks recorded under Trumbauer's name, some of which tend to the sentimental popular music of the day. But the music leaps to life whenever Beiderbecke's cornet, Trumbauer's saxophone, or Joe Venuti's violin comes to the fore. On "Cryin' All Day," one of the Trumbauer band's more spirited jazz numbers, Bix is adding fresh details to the out-chorus that still have the capacity to surprise. ~ Stuart Broomer

1. Three Blind Mice #1
2. Three Blind Mice #2
3. Clorinda #1
4. Clorinda #2
5. I'm More Than Satisfied #1
6. I'm More Than Satisfied #2
7. At The Jazz Band Ball
8. Royal Garden Blues
9. Jazz Me Blues
10. Goose Pimples
11. Sorry
12. Cryin' All Day
13. A Good Man Is Hard To Find
14. Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down
15. Sugar
16. There'll Come A Time (Wait And See)
17. Jubilee
18. Mississippi Mud
19. Oh Gee! - Oh Joy!
20. Why Do I Love You?
21. Ol' Man River
22. Our Bungalow Of Dreams
23. Lila

Bix Beiderbecke (cornet, piano)
Eddie Lang (guitar)
Joe Venuti (violin)
Miff Mole (trombone)
Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet, alto sax)
Adrian Rollini (baritone sax)
Frankie Trumbauer (C-melody sax)
Don Murray (clarinet, baritone and tenor sax)
Vic Berton (drums)
Chauncey Morehouse (drums)

Jimmy McGriff - Blue to the Bone (1988)

Organ master Jimmy McGriff may have studied formally at Juilliard and at Philadelphia's Combe College of Music, but there's nothing fancy about his music. It's basic to the bone, always swinging and steeped in blues and gospel. McGriff's brand of jazz is about feeling. “That's the most important thing,” he says.

Blues has been the backbone of most of the major jazz organists, including Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff, but throughout his 42-year recording career, McGriff has stuck closer to the blues than any of them. “People are always classifying me as a jazz organist, but I'm more of a blues organ player,” he insists. “That's really what I feel.”

Blue to the Bone presents a change of pace from the usual organ combo instrumentation with the addition of Al Grey on trombone. Grey contributed "Ain't That Funk for You" and other than the last tune, sticks with the plunger style that made him a star with the Count Basie band.

Al Grey (trombone)
Bill Easley (alto, tenor sax)
Jimmy McGriff (organ)
Melvin Sparks (guitar)
Bernard Purdie (drums)
  1. Ain't That Funk for You
  2. For All We Know
  3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  4. Secret Love
  5. Hangin' In
  6. After the Dark
Recorded July 19-20, 1988

Charlie Haden & Christian Escoudé - Gitane

If you don't know the great French guitarist, Christian Escoudé, here's a good opportunity to have a listen. Not too bad a review at AMG:

Review by Brian Olewnick

During the late '70s, Charlie Haden recorded all manner of duo sessions with musicians ranging from Ornette Coleman to Keith Jarrett, but one of the more unusual was this one with gypsy guitarist and Django Reinhardt devotee Christian Escoude. Not odd because of musical incompatibility; indeed, these two mesh together quite well. It's just that the two come from such different backgrounds that one might suspect they'd be unlikely to meet, much less think about playing together. But this album made up largely of Reinhardt covers works quite well, Haden playing with romantic fervor and Escoude not merely aping his idol, but playing in a relaxed and timeless manner. Beginning with an almost funky rendition of the John Lewis homage "Django," the musicians feel quite at home with the material and each other, never venturing too far from the themes and listening intently. The title track, a bass solo by Haden, is a special gem. A warm, unhurried session, one that Haden fans will enjoy for both his prominence and creativity as well as for Escoude's carefully considered contributions.

Earl Hines - 1945-1947 (Chronological 1041)

This is a very interesting CD full of rarities. Part of Classics' "complete" series, the disc features the Earl Hines big band after Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie had come and gone. Tenor-saxophonist Wardell Gray was still part of the band and has quite a few solos on their selections from 1945-46. The arrangements are sometimes uncomfortably boppish (they do not really mesh with the leader's piano and the repertoire) and in other spots swinging. Lord Essex has a few high-toned vocals that sound ten years out of date but singers Dorothy Parker and Hines himself (who is heard on "Ain't Gonna Give None Of This Jelly Roll" and the novelty "Oh My Aching Back") are much better. Fortunately there are quite a few instrumentals. While the first 14 numbers are from 1945-46, there is also a small group romp on "Sweet Honey Babe" from 1947 (featuring clarinetist Scoops Cary) and six big band selections from late in the year with four vocals from Johnny Hartman who is heard at the beginning of his career. Other than a few more numbers recorded in Dec. 1947, these were the last recordings of the Earl Hines Orchestra. The music (originally released by the ARA, French Jazz Selection, MGM, Sunrise and Bravo labels) had formerly been mostly quite scarce. Worth exploring. ~ Scott Yanow

Earl Hines (piano, vocals)
Wardell Gray (tenor sax)
Budd Johnson (tenor sax)
Johnny Hartman (vocals)
Willie Cook (trumpet)
Skeeter Best (guitar)
Oscar Pettiford (bass)
Gus Johnson (drums)

1. Nonchalant Man
2. At The El Grotto
3. Spooks Ball
4. Rosetta
5. Now That You're Mine
6. Straight Life
7. Margie
8. Ain't Gonna Give None Of This Jelly Roll
9. Oh My Achin' Back
10. Let's Get Started
11. Throwing The Switch
12. Trickatrack
13. Bambi
14. Blue Keys
15. Sweet Honey Babe
16. Midnight In New Orleans
17. When I Dream Of You
18. Ain't Misbehavin'
19. Black And Blue
20. I Need A Shoulder To Cry On
21. Louise

Henry Dixon Cowell - Music For Strings

Years before the San Quentin Prison Band had Art Pepper, Frank Morgan, and Dupree Bolton as members, it had America's greatest ultra-modernist composer. A man whose colleagues included Varese, whose collaborators included Leon Theremin, and whose students included John Cage, George Gershwin, Alan Hovhaness....and Burt Bacharach!

"Of all the early twentieth century American musical revolutionaries, perhaps composer Henry Cowell wielded the most vivid and far-reaching influence.......Until he began musical studies with Charles Seeger at the University of California at Berkeley in 1914, Cowell remained a basically self-taught musician, as well as a young man who had never spent so much as a day in school in his life. Seeger was impressed by the young Cowell's output -- over 100 compositions of varying quality by 1914 -- but was much more interested in the young composer's hyper-creative, open-minded musical personality. Free of the often confining attitudes which govern formal musical education, Cowell had come to view any sound as musical substance with which he could work, and his early music owes more to the influence of birdsong, machine noises and folk music than it does to any knowledge of earlier masterworks. In The Tides of Manaunaun, Cowell asks the pianist to use his or her fist, palm, and forearm on the keys of the instrument's bass register to evoke massive tidal waves; thus was born the tone cluster. Cowell used this and similar techniques in many later works, which proved to be highly influential for many of the "sound mass" composers of later decades, including Penderecki, Ligeti, and numerous electronic composers.

However, Seeger felt that without structure and guidelines Cowell would remain an unskilled, if impressively inventive, musician, and he encouraged the young composer to make a rigorous study of traditional harmony and counterpoint. In 1919, at Seeger's suggestion, Cowell finished a systematic treatise on his own music entitled New Musical Resources, in which he discusses new musical techniques, aesthetic directions, and possible alterations to the accepted system of musical notation. Concert appearances throughout North America and Europe during the 1920s earned Cowell countless friends and enemies throughout the musical establishment. Although he had earned the respect of such luminaries as Bartók and Schoenberg, his concerts frequently caused audience riots and invoked the wrath of critics who wondered if Cowell's headstrong independence disguised a lack of true musical craftsmanship. In the Aeolian Harp (1923), for piano, Cowell instructs the pianist to play "inside" the piano by sweeping, scraping, strumming, and muting the strings. The Banshee (1925) applies indeterminacy and graphic notation with instructions for the pianist to play exclusively inside the piano while an assistant holds down the damper pedal. Playing techniques include scraping the strings with a fingernail, and pizzicato effects, all performed in the lowest registers of the instrument, yielding resonant and primarily non-pitched waves of sound.

In 1931, with the help of Leon Theremin, he invented the rhythmicon, a device that produces various rhythms and cross-rhythms mechanically, for which he wrote a concerto (1932). ... Theremin built two more models. Soon, however, the Rhythmicon would be virtually forgotten, remaining so until the 1960s, when progressive pop music producer Joe Meek experimented with its rhythmic concept....... In the late 1950s he and his ethnomusicologist wife traveled throughout the Middle East, India, and Japan collecting musical materials, which he later incorporated into compositions.

He made such an impression with his tone cluster technique that Béla Bartók requested his permission to adopt it."

Eddie Henderson - Sunburst

Switching over to Blue Note, which was then reaping a fortune with Donald Byrd's R&B outfit, Eddie Henderson pursued a harder, earthier, more structured, funk-driven sound on his first album while maintaining some of his marvelously spacier instincts for spice. Henderson continued to keep several components of the Herbie Hancock Septet together, for drummer Billy Hart, bassist Buster Williams, reedman Bennie Maupin, and now trombonist Julian Priester are back. But this time, Hancock is replaced by George Duke, and fusionaire bassist Alphonso Johnson and drummer Harvey Mason (late of the Headhunters) are added -- and these switches make much of the difference. Duke is as much of a techie as Herbie was; he delights in flaunting his Echoplex and burbling, shooting, twinkling synthesizer effects. Henderson himself is more into electronic echo and wah-wah effects than before, definitely pursuing the current Miles Davis line but in a brighter, more tonally brilliant manner, and Maupin has many impassioned and creepy (on bass clarinet) moments. The title track, a ruminative Henderson tune with a leaping funk beat, and Mason's archetypical funk workout "Hop Scotch" are the best cuts. ~ Richard S. Ginell

Eddie Henderson (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn)
Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet, tenor sax, saxello)
George Duke (synthesizer, electric piano, clavinet)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Bobby Hutcherson (marimba)
Alphonso Johnson (bass)
Buster Williams (bass)
Billy Hart (drums)
Harvey Mason (drums)

1. Explodition
2. The Kumquat Kids
3. Sunburst
4. Involuntary Bliss
5. Hop Scotch
6. Galaxy
7. We End In A Dream

Friday, November 28, 2008

Dexter Gordon - Something Different

What is different about this set (recorded in a particularly busy year for Dexter Gordon) is that the veteran tenor is joined by a trio ... that does not include a pianist. Otherwise, the music is at the same high quality level and in the same modern bop genre as one would expect. In addition to one of his originals and Slide Hampton's "Yesterday's Mood," Gordon stretches out on some standards, making a classic statement on the ballad "When Sunny Gets Blue." All of his SteepleChase albums (particularly those from the 1975-76 period) are well worth acquiring. ~ Scott Yanow

Gordon rarely played with a guitarist, but Catherine was an inspired choice for the September 1975 session, alternatingwarm, flowing lines with more staccato, accented figures toward the top of his range. NHØP responds with firmly plucked and strummed figures and Gordon rides on top in a relatively unfamiliar programme for him - Miles' "Freddie Freeloader", "When Sunny Gets Blue", "Polka Dots And Moonbeams." ~ Penguin Guide

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Freddie Freeloader
2. When Sunny Gets Blue
3. Invitation
4. Freddie Freeloader (take 3)
5. Yesterday's Mood (take 4)
6. Winther's Calling
7. Polkadots And Moonbeams
8. Yesterday's Mood

Tribal Tech - Reality Check (1995)

More Friday Fusion.......

I was made aware of this group only a few weeks ago as the result of a friend's loan of several discs, including one by Tribal Tech titled Face First. I liked it and promptly picked up several of their other works including this one. Unfortunately, I couldn't locate a proper review.

Tribal Tech, formed in 1984 by guitarist Scott Henderson and bassist Gary Willis, released nine albums by the time the group expired in 2000. Henderson, who has played with Chick Corea's Electric Band, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and Joe Zawinul among others, was named by Guitar World as the #1 Jazz Guitarist in 1991, for what that's worth. The influences of Weather Report and Alan Holdsworth aren't subtle but they also don't stand out to the degree that the music begins to sound derivative.

And what the hell. I couldn't say no to a track list that begins with Stella By Starlight and follows with Stella By Infra-red High Particle Neutron Beam.

Scott Henderson (guitar)
Gary Willis (bass)
Scott Kinsey (keyboards)
Kirk Covington (drums)

1. Stella by Starlight (2:17)
2. Stella by Infra-red High Partical Neutron Beam (6:25)
3. Nite Club (7:47)
4. Speak (5:19)
5. Worlds Waiting (8:08)
6. Susie's Dingsbums (7:42)
7. Jakarta (4:54)
8. Hole In The Head (12:09)
9. Foreign Affairs (5:00)
10. Premonition (6:36)
11. Reality Check (3:01)

Blossom Dearie : My New Celebrity Is You (1976)

Blossom Dearie is an old favorite of mine. Many will find her vocal presence to be an acquired taste, sort of the female Dave Frishberg. For some reason, I always have latched on to the more individualistic singers, those that have carved out a niche through their own unique style and delivery. Pardon the amateur notes below as there is not too much info available on this CD. Scoredaddy

The most fashionable record of Blossom Dearie. It is hard to decide which is better between her 1975 and this album. In this album, Ron Carter plays Bass and Toots Thielemans plays harmonica. Their professional performance adds more sophistication on this album.

This starts with "My New Celebrity is You," newly written for Blossom Dearie by Johnny Mercer. Scoredaddy note: this was Mercer's final lyric).
I dig Modigliani Jolson doing Swanee...several Maharanee are my intimates too / I played with Mantovani and that's a lot of strings to get through/ but anyone can see My New Celebrity Is You

She keeps on singing the names of clebrities with an impressive bass line of Ron Carter. This is really a catchy tune. It is a great starting tune as "I'm Hip" in 1975, in which she sings, "Sammy Davis knows my friend. I'm so Hip!"

"Moonlight Saving Time" is also her famous repertoire, first appeared on Once upon a Summertime (1958). It is sweetly arranged with harmonica of Toots Thielemans. The best track for me is "Pretty People." Oh, it is so pretty and cute. I lose my roads.

This album contains cover versions of "Killing Me Softly with his Song" and "A Song for You." Particularly, "Killing Me Softly with his Song" is wonderful. It is a famous song by Roberta Flack, and it is dedicated to Don McLean. Blossom Dearie has already sung songs dedicated to John Lennon, George Fame, and Dusty Springfield. She might be a good singer in these tribute songs. In this version, she sings in a light groovy arrangements.

While the first disc of this album is very gorgeous and groovy, the second disc is more intimate and quiet, mainly played only with her piano. I love the first disc better, but the second disc is also very good. (note: this was originally released as a 2-LP set).

Blossom Dearie (piano/vocals)
Toots Thielemans (harmonica)
Jay Berliner (guitar)
Ron Carter (bass)
Grady Tate (drums)
Hubert Laws (flute)
George Devins (percussion)

1. My New Celebrity is You
2. Moonlight Saving Time
3. Smiling Feet
4. Pretty People
5. The Christmas Card
6. You'll Never Lose the Love You Give to Me
7. Killing Me Softly with his Song
8. Who Knows all the Answers
9. A Paris
10. Spring in Manhattan
11. Unless it's You
12. Inside a Silent Tear
13. Long Daddy Green
14. Peel me a Grape
15. A Song for You
16. The Pro Musiqua Antiqua

Recorded in New York City in 1976

Duke Ellington - Early Ellington: The Complete Brunswick Recordings (1926-1931)

Three companies-Decca, Columbia, and RCA Victor-own almost all of Ellington's 1920s recordings. All the Vocalion and Brunswick material is available on the 3-CD set Early Ellington, the Complete Brunswick and Vocalion Recordings of Duke Ellington, 1926-1931.

This includes among dozens of others, "Mood Indigo," the two-part "Tiger Rag," "Jubilee Stomp," and "Cotton Club Stomp." This set is highly recommended, not only for its contents but also for the brilliant liner notes by Steven Lasker. ~ The Duke Ellington Society

This three-CD set, which has all of Duke Ellington's recordings for the Brunswick and Vocalion labels, dwarfs all of the earlier reissues that Decca and MCA have put out of this important material. Starting with the first session in which the Ellington Orchestra sounds distinctive ("East St. Louis Toodle-oo" and "Birmingham Breakdown" from November 29, 1926) and progressing through the Cotton Club years, this essential release (which contains 67 performances) adds a few "new" alternate takes and rare items ("Soliloquy" and a few titles by the "Six Jolly Jesters") to make this collection truly complete, at least for MCA's holdings (since Ellington also recorded for Columbia- and Victor-owned labels during the same period). With such major soloists as trumpeters Bubber Miley (and his replacement Cootie Williams), Freddy Jenkins, and Arthur Whetsol, trombonist Tricky Sam Nanton, clarinetist Barney Bigard, altoist Johnny Hodges, baritonist Harry Carney, and the pianist/leader, along with the classic arrangements/compositions, this set is essential for all serious jazz collections. ~ Scott Yanow

Duke Ellington recorded for Brunswick from 1926 to 1931, the period in which his great talent and great orchestra first flowered, whether the band was recording under his own name or such pseudonyms as the Washingtonians or the Jungle Band. The earliest recordings are highlighted by the presence of trumpeter Bubber Miley and trombonist "Tricky Sam" Nanton, whose brilliant work with plunger mutes for vocal effects did much to define the early sound--which, in turn, rapidly evolved and expanded with the additions of Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges, and Cootie Williams. While the band's repertoire included many blues and popular songs, its distinctive identity emerges from early renditions of such trademark pieces as "East St. Louis Toodle-O," "Black and Tan Fantasy," "The Mooche," and "Mood Indigo." By the end of the period covered in this set, Ellington's ambitious later suites--some of them CD-length--are portended in the elegant extended composition "Creole Rhapsody," his clearly superior contribution to the symphonic jazz movement. ~ Stuart Broomer

Friday Fusion

Steve Gadd - The Gadd Gang (1986)

Fusion is commonly perceived as a blend of jazz and rock but like most music genres, this term can be a fairly large umbrella. With its leanings towards R&B, The Gadd Gang would fit nicely into the Funky Friday theme.

Although he has appeared on a countless number of studio sessions, this release was (with the exception of an obscure Japanese date in 1984) drummer Steve Gadd's debut as a leader. The Gadd Gang (comprised of the drummer, guitarist Cornell Dupree, bassist Eddie Gómez and Richard Tee on keyboards) was a likable unit that blended together jazz, R&B and some groovin' funk. With the addition of a horn section arranged by David Matthews, the group plays Bob Dylan's "Watching the River Flow," and Wilton Felder's "Way Back Home," a medley of "Honky Tonk" and "I Can't Stop Loving You," and some basic band originals that can appeal to a wide audience. - Scott Yanow

Cornell Dupree (guitar)
Richard Tee (keyboards)
Eddie Gomez (bass)
Steve Gadd (drums, percussion)
Ronnie Cuber (baritone sax on 1, 3, 7)
Horn section on 7
Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff (trumpet)
Barry Rogers, David Taylor (trombone)
Michael Brecker, George Young (tenor sax)
  1. Watching the River Flow
  2. Strength
  3. Way Back Home
  4. Morning Love
  5. Duke's Lullaby
  6. Everything You Do
  7. Honky Tonk/I Can't Stop Loving You
Recorded in June and August, 1986

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Duke Pearson - Honeybuns

This 1998 Koch CD reissues a Duke Pearson LP from 1966, containing music from the previous year. Other than "Our Love" (a familiar classical theme adapted to American pop music by Larry Clinton), all six selections are originals by the pianist. Utilizing a nonet that includes trumpeter Johnny Coles (who does his best to be soulful on "Honeybuns"), trombonist Garnett Brown, flutist Les Spann, altoist James Spaulding, tenor saxophonist George Coleman, baritonist Pepper Adams, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Mickey Roker, Pearson performs music in a style that would have fit in quite well on Blue Note. Most memorable among his originals is "Is That So." This is not an essential date, but it is nice to have this rarity back in print again. ~ Scott Yanow

" (Honeybuns) isn't absolutely compelling, but it does suggest some of the ways in which the pianist makes a smallish band sound like a much bigger unit. Some of it comes from the arranging, which is very richly textured in the middle register, but the recording is also very impressive, the horns arranged in a V-formation that gives the soloist a lot of presence but with plenty of backweight from the ensemble. Duke's originals...are wonderfully imagined, as is the title-track, which features a strong contribution from trumpeter Coles. Big George Coleman is in great shape, blowing his trademark choruses with freedom and great harmonic control." - Penguin Guide

Duke Pearson (piano)
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Pepper Adams (clarinet, baritone sax)
Les Spann (flute)
James Spaulding (alto sax)
Garnett Brown (trombone)
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1. Honeybuns
2. New Girl
3. You Know I Care
4. Is That So?
5. Our Love
6. Heavy Legs

Jessica Williams - In the Key of Monk (1997)

Jessica Williams' career took off during the 1990s with a series of memorable recordings for the Canadian label Jazz Focus, and this solo piano tribute to Thelonious Monk is one of her best live performances. She establishes her own voice right away with a playful approach to "Bemsha Swing," playing part of the introduction while muting the piano's strings with one hand, making use of the full range of the keyboard in the body of the piece. She throws Monk-like twists into her interpretation of one of his favorite standards, "Just a Gigolo." Not satisfied with just covering Monk's best-known works and songs by others that he enjoyed playing, she delves into the pianist's less-frequently played compositions, such as the discordant "San Francisco Holiday" and his loping "Blues at the Five Spot," while also dedicating pieces of her own to Monk (the reflective ballad "I Remember Monk") and his longest-serving sideman, tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse (the alternately tricky and jaunty "The House That Rouse Built"). Highly recommended. - Ken Dryden

On a side note - Earlier today I was posting The Memoirs of Willie "The Lion" Smith, and within seconds I was reminded by the ever vigilant Rab "The Curator" Hines that this had already been posted. A gentle reminder to myself (and others) to always check the archives before posting something new.

Jessica Williams (solo piano)
  1. Bemsha Swing
  2. Just a Gigolo
  3. Reflections
  4. I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams
  5. Monk's Mood/Crepuscule With Nellie
  6. Monk's Hat
  7. San Francisco Holiday
  8. I Remember Monk
  9. The House That Rouse Built
  10. Pannonica
  11. Ask Me Now
  12. Blues Five Spot
Recorded May 31, 1997 at the Steinway Concert Hall, Calgary, Alberta

Lonnie Johnson - Stompin' At The Penny

" he must have must have been a good man, because he spoke only good about other people, and I never heard anyone speak anything but good of him. God bless Lonnie Johnson." ~ Duke Ellington

This set (reissued on CD) is a bit unusual, for it features bluesman Lonnie Johnson with a Canadian Dixieland band, McHarg's Metro Stompers. In addition to including a few Johnson vocals, he takes credible solos on some trad jazz standards, including "China Boy." Six of the 13 numbers do not have the guitarist, putting the focus on the fine Dixieland band, which includes cornetist Charlie Gall, and clarinetist Eric Neilson in addition to the leader on bass. The original LP only sold 1,000 copies, so this reissue brings back music heard by very few at the time; this was Lonnie Johnson's last regular recording, although he did cut a series of numbers for Smithsonian in 1967. ~ Scott Yanow

By 1965 Johnson took up residence in Toronto, Canada, and within the next year opened his own nightclub, The Home of the Blues Club. Throughout the decade he recorded and played local clubs in Canada as well as embarking on several regional tours. While he was window shopping on a Toronto street in 1969, a car jumped the curb and hit Johnson. This accident, followed by several strokes, forced him to limit his musical activities. Not long after his last live appearance with bluesman Buddy Guy at Toronto's Massey Hall, he died of a stroke on June 16, 1970 at the age of eighty-one.

1. China Boy
2. Mr Blues Walks
3. Dippermouth Blues
4. Trouble In Mind
5. Bring It Home To Mam
6. West End Blues
7. Stompin' At The Penny
8. Old Rugged Cross
9. Go Go Swing
10. My Mother's Eyes
11. Canal Street Blues
12. 14th Of July
13. Marines' Hymn

Recorded live with Jim McHarg's Metro Stompers at the Penny Farthing Coffee House, Toronto: November 1965

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Milt Jackson - Meet Milt Jackson

This collection is valuable for its three tracks from Jackson's January 1956 collaborations with Lucky Thompson: a snappy, elegant "They Can't Take That Away From Me"; the proto hard bop of Jackson's "Soul Ville"; and a short workout on the ballad standard "Flamingo." Thompson's sound and technical mastery put him in the pantheon of Webster, Hawkins, Byas, and Lester Young. Jackson brims with bright ideas at every turn. The rhythm section of Wade Legge (piano), Wendell Marshall (bass), and Kenny Clarke (drums) are -- no surprises here -- a classy, supporting cast. The balance of the tracks Jackson recorded with Thompson in 1956 are also superb. They can be found spread over Jackson's Roll 'Em Bags, Jackson's Ville, and The Jazz Skyline. The remaining tracks on Meet Milt Jackson burn with a dimmer light. The four tracks from a 1949 date have some good playing from Jackson and from Billy Mitchell on tenor sax, but pale next to the three lead-off numbers. There's also one inconsequential selection from a 1954 date with Jackson crooning a ballad while saxophonists Frank Morgan and Walter Benton noodle in the background. The remaining performance, Kenny Clarke's "Telefunken Blues," is a solid Basie-style blues from a 1955 session with Jackson, and Clarke, in the company of several Basie bandmembers of the day. ~ Jim Todd

Milt Jackson (vibes, piano)
Lucky Thompson (tenor sax)
Billy Mitchell (tenor sax)
Frank Morgan (alto sax)
Julius Watkins (French horn)
Gerald Wiggins (piano)
Walter Benton (tenor sax)
Wade Legge (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. They Can't Take That Away From Me
2. Soulful
3. Flamingo
4. Telefunken Blues
5. I've Lost Your Love
6. Hearing Bells
7. Junior
8. Bluesology
9. Bubu

Charles Ives-complete piano music(1995) Alan Mandel

A magnificent 3 disc set of ives piano music, which is now out of print.
Ive always found a lot of these piano pieces to have some of the qualities that make the best free flowing piano jazz so rich.
Compare study#20 ,with the denser more abstract phases in the playing of contemporary jazz pianists like Marylin crispell, Simon Nabotov ,and you'll start to see what I mean.
A lot of the shorter study’s sound completely improvised.

This is an excellent performance by Alan Mandel who, throughout these 3 discs, shows an uncanny ability to bring out the melody from within even the most convoluted Ives' piece. Unfortunately, most of this recording is distorted and noisy when the playing gets loud. All of the Studies on CD 1 contain distortion well beyond any professional recording I've ever heard (the 2 sonatas don't suffer from the same fate -- they appear to be from a different session). The fact that Vox goes on about their 20-bit digital mastering on the back of the box sure looks like they are "protesting too much". This is all a real shame for Ives fans because Mandel's playing is some of the finest Ives piano performances I've ever heard, plus, here in one place at a great price, are arcane pieces well worth hearing. (It's almost worth getting for that reason, but, in the end, you're stuck with fine music that's distorted and noisy.)
Anonymous amazon reviewer

I listened to this set before I looked at the review already posted here; then I went back to listen again, thinking I must have missed something. For what it's worth, I did not detect distorted recording, though there are (as often with Ives) some odd sounds coming from the piano now and then--but I think they are part of it. Mandel's performances of the big works--the two sonatas--are distinctive and powerful. I am not sure I would say he replaces John Kirkpatrick's "Concord," but he stands comfortably in that company as a fine interpreter of the work, and his Sonata #1 is possibly the best I have heard of that work. The many shorter or minor pieces are performed well, so far as I can tell. I suppose it is possible that the earlier reviewer had a defective set, or possibly my ears are just not so finely tuned. I hope, however, that the recorded sound is at least as good as it sounds to me, since I would hope that both fans and newcomers would find this a welcome addition to an Ives collection.
John K Dillingham-Amazon

Conrad Silvert Presents Jazz at the Opera House (1982) [2LP > FLAC]

The late Conrad Silvert had a rare opportunity to achieve the jazz critic's dream by organizing a concert featuring many of his favorite jazz musicians in unusual combinations. This double LP matches together the pianos of Denny Zeitlin and Herbie Hancock on one fairly free performance, has duets featuring pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi with flutist Lew Tabackin and pianist Herbie Hancock with either vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson or Wayne Shorter on tenor, and four numbers ("Sister Cheryl," "Footprints," "Silence" and "Hesitation") with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (who was then 20), Shorter, Hancock, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Tony Williams. The results are consistently inspired and often memorable; strange that this music has not been reissued on CD. - Scott Yanow

"We were all very touched to be part of what everyone knew would be Conrad’s musical epitaph," according to Denny Zeitlin. "The spirit and collaboration that night was very special, and the concert lasted well over three hours."

[Conrad Silvert died from testicular cancer at the age of 34, just three weeks after this concert.]

It was also recorded and later released as a double album on CBS Records titled Conrad Silvert Presents Jazz At The Opera House (the recording has long been out of print and is now a valued collectors item, currently fetching well over a hundred dollars in recent online auctions). Perhaps as notable as the musicians credited on the album were the ones who were omitted, including Jaco Pastorius, Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny and Carlos Santana. "Because of contractual restrictions, many musicians do not appear on this double LP release," continues Zeitlin. "Conrad had the idea of creating new combinations of musicians, which heightened the sense of adventure."

Denny Zeitlin, Herbie Hancock (piano)
1. Free Form/Straight No Chaser

Toshiko Akiyoshi (piano)
2. The Village

Lew Tabackin (flute)
Toshiko Akiyoshi (piano)
3. Falling Petal

Bobby Hutcherson (vibes)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
4. Maiden Voyage

Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)
Wayne Shorter (tenor sax, soprano sax)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Charlie Haden (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)
5. Sister Cheryl
5. Dedication to Conrad Silvert by Herbie Hancock
6. Hesitation
7. Dedication to Conrad Silvert by Charlie Haden
8. Silence

Bobby Hutcherson (vibes)
Jaco Pastorius (bass)
9. Footprints

Wayne Shorter (tenor sax)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
10. 'Round Midnight

Recorded at The San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, February 22, 1982

Andy Kirk - 1938

Andy Kirk's Orchestra was at the height of its popularity during the late 1930s, still riding high from their hit "Until the Real Thing Comes Along." The star of that record, singer Pha Terrell, is on the majority of the songs on this CD (the fourth in Classics' complete reissuance of the master takes of all Andy Kirk recordings from the swing era), but there are some hotter tunes too, most notably "Mess-A-Stomp," "Jump Jack Jump," "Dunkin' a Doughnut" and "Mary's Idea." However, Terrell's dominance of many titles may make many swing fans opt for the GRP/Decca single-disc Andy Kirk sampler instead. ~ Scott Yanow

Andy Kirk was never a major musician (in fact he never really soloed), arranger or personality yet he was a successful big bandleader in the 1930s and '40s. He started playing bass sax and tuba in Denver with George Morrison's band in 1918. In 1925 he moved to Dallas where he played with Terrence Holder's Dark Clouds of Joy. In 1929 he took over leadership of the band (which was renamed Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy) and moved to Kansas City. During 1929-30 they recorded some excellent hot performances with such players as pianist/arranger Mary Lou Williams, violinist Claude Williams and trumpeter Edgar "Puddinghead" Battle. Surprisingly Kirk's Orchestra was off records entirely during 1931-35 but in 1936 (the year it relocated to New York) it immediately had a pop hit in "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" featuring the high voice of singer Pha Terrell. In future years such fine soloists as tenor saxophonist Dick Wilson, the early electric guitarist Floyd Smith, Don Byas, Harold "Shorty" Baker, Howard McGhee (1942-43), Jimmy Forrest and even Fats Navarro and (briefly) Charlie Parker would be among Kirk's sidemen. However Mary Lou Williams was the most important musician in the band, both as a soloist and as an arranger. In 1948 Andy Kirk broke up the band (which had recorded mostly for Decca) and in later years ran a hotel and served as an official in the Musicians' Union. A lone "reunion" date in 1956 featured the classic charts but almost none of the original sidemen. ~ Scott Yanow

Andy Kirk (director)
Mary Lou Williams (piano)
Booker Collins (baritone sax)
Ted Donnelly (trombone)
Pha Terrell (vocals)

1. Bless You My Dear
2. How Can We Be Wrong?
3. Messa Stomp
4. Toadie Toddle
5. I Won't Tell A Soul (I Love You)
6. What Would People Say
7. How Much Do You Mean To Me?
8. Jump Jack Jump
9. Breeze (Blow My Baby Back To Me)
10. Ghost Of Love
11. What A Life (Trying To Live Without You)
12. Sittin' Around And Dreamin'
13. What's Your Story Morning Glory
14. Honey
15. September In The Rain
16. Clouds
17. Julius Caesar
18. Dunkin' A Doughnut
19. Goodbye
20. Mary's Idea
21. But It Didn't Mean A Thing
22. (I Don't Believe It But) Say It Again

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Duke Ellington - The Great Paris Concert

As Stanley Dance's detailed and informative liner notes clarify, there were actually four Paris concerts from which this material was drawn. There's an abundance of material on this two-CD set, 30 cuts in all, and it's a luxurious trip through the Duke's extensive repertoire. Ellington was a pro at balancing his audience's desire to hear his classics with his own need to continue composing and presenting new material. So while we get recent (for 1963) creations like "Suite Thursday" and "Theme From The Asphalt Jungle'" we also get to hear the band travel back 30 years or more to reprise some of the original "jungle sound" compositions like "Black And Tan Fantasy," "Creole Love Call" and "The Mooche." This particular incarnation of Ellingtonians is alive and kicking. Duke can be heard hollering encouragement to his men from behind the piano, flirting with the audience (he's not going to tell them the title of the next piece, he explains, because "you're so hip"), and announcing such featured performers as Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams and Paul Gonsalves. All this, and great sound quality to boot.

Duke Ellington (piano)
Ray Nance (violin, cornet)
Harry Carney (clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone)
Russell Procope (clarinet, alto saxophone)
Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone)
Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone)
Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone)
Cootie Williams, Roy Burrowes, Cat Anderson (trumpet)
Lawrence Brown, Chuck Connors, Buster Cooper (trombone)
Ernie Shepard (double bass)
Sam Woodyard (drums)

The Secret Museum Of Mankind: East Africa 1925-1948

If anyone is operating under the misconception that the all traditional African music is and has been characterized by drumming ensembles, they should listen to Music of East Africa from The Secret Museum of Mankind: Music of East Africa, 1925-1948. Though there are plenty of excellent drummers and percussionists grooving on this CD's 25 tracks, much of these songs emphasize solo and choral vocals, harmony, melody, and such stringed instruments as African lyres, harps, and lutes. Though the majority of the cuts are from Kenya, a number of cuts from such East African countries as Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Mozambique are also presented. Extensive liner notes, complete with photographs and an illustration, help listeners navigate their way through the CD's diverse musical tracks. ~ John Vallier

Compiled here are many of the greatest performances of world and ethnic music ever recorded. This volume represents a trip around the world, stopping at each port to sample one of that country's finest recordings of its indigenous music. Each of these recordings was captured at a period during the golden age of recording when traditional styles were at their peak of power and emotion. Included inside are extensive notes a beautiful period photographs that work together with the music to communicate an exciting sense of discovery.

1. Chebokion Kiyai - Wilson Laboso/Kericho Girls (Kenya/Kipsigis)
2. Kumbe Siyengetile - Francis Baloye/Shangaan Band (P.E.A./Mozambique)
3. Unguja - Elmughani Maalim Shaban (Zanzibar)
4. Ab' Omupiira Bebale Okusamba - Jakaliya Or Zakaria Kasasa & Group (Uganda/Ganda)
5. Arap Tapartile - Kepkoske Arap Chepkwony/Kipsigis Men (Kenya)
6. Masanga - Jean Bosco Mwenda (Katanga/Swahili)
7. Lawino Iye Kar (11th Div. Song); Engereza Oloyo; Ogen Wang Aya - Private Christopher (Uganda/Lango/Acholi)
8. Odhiambo Otieno - Opondo Mugoye (Kenya/Luo)
9. Minim Aiakora - Eyquel (Ethiopia)
10. Ya Malaki El Bek - Hamed Nasr (Sudan)
11. Mwanangu Lala - Frank & His Sisters (Kenya/Swahili)
12. Aichi Na Wawee - Wilfred Kiute (Tanganyika/Chaga)
13. Athieno Omolo - Opondo Songa (Kenya/Luo)
14. Haiya Haiya Ee! - Bekyibei Arap Mosonik (Kenya/Kipsigis)
15. Grace Nakhalia - Richard Chelobani (Kenya/Luyha/Busuku)
16. Sila Rado - Onbonyo Ang' Ang'o (Kenya/Luo)
17. Dinga - Ojwang Ramogi (Kenya/Luo)
18. Hosi Yehina Masia - Zoutpansberg Brothers (P.E.A./Mozambique)
19. Joyce Flora Radudm - Joseph H.M. Witts (Kenya/Luo)
20. Farekna Gasr-El-H'mam - Chikha Bent Doula (Sudan/Baktashi
21. Osingolio Londoiyo - Baiyani Medureki (Tanganyika/Arusha)
22. Wanyanga Jaraha - Kisumu String Band (Kenya/Swahili)
23. Humming Song - Anon. Tigrai (Ethiopia)
24. Kasso - Anon. Dankeles (Somaliland)
25. Kingi Geogi Tumpe Salama - Salim Chapa & Group (Tanganyika/Swahili)

Give The Drummer Some

Art Blakey - Drum Suite

Drum Suite is a unique entry in the Blakey discography. Originally comprised of two sessions - one debuting Blakey’s first percussion ensemble, the other with the unit featuring Bill Hardman, Jackie McLean, Sam Dockery and Spanky DeBrest - this reissue appends a third date including two rare tracks and a previously unissued alternate take by the short-lived group with Donald Byrd, Ira Sullivan, Kenny Drew and Wilbur Ware. Although both of the quintets offer some typically swinging Messenger material, it is the percussion ensemble that makes this disc worth picking up. Papa Jo Jones, Specs Wright, Sabu Martinez, Candido, Ray Bryant and Oscar Pettiford join Blakey for three loosely interwoven pieces. The work begins with the leader’s “The Sacrifice”, which opens with Wright’s tympani and Sabu’s Swahili chant and progresses into a rumba that includes a previously excised Ray Bryant piano solo. Bryant’s “Cubano Chant” is dramatized by a group vocal and a series of exciting percussion solos and Pettiford’s “Oscalypso” features the composer on cello for one of the finest solo outings in all of jazz on that instrument. Russ Musto

Recorded in 1956, Art Blakey's Drum Suite was a wonderful hybrid of African, Latin, and hard bop rhythms that prefigured the concept of Afro-beat by at least a decade, and the sheer energy and sonic expanse of the original suite, not to mention its very special and fresh-sounding intimacy, make it still astounding 50 years on. Even more amazing is that the three parts of the suite -- Blakey's "The Sacrifice," Ray Bryant's "Cubano Chant," and Oscar Pettiford's "Oscalypso" -- were recorded straight through live, and were only intended to be a pre-take run-through, but as is obvious here, Blakey and company nailed the whole thing right out of the box. The original LP was issued by Columbia with the drum suite on one side, and three tracks recorded by a 1956 version of the Jazz Messengers (Bill Hardman, Jackie McLean, Sam Dockery, and Spanky DeBrest) for Blakey's first Columbia album, Hard Bop, on the other side. This CD reissue adds three more tracks written by trumpeter Donald Byrd ("L'il T" and two takes of "The New Message") from yet another edition of the Jazz Messengers from 1956, this time sporting a lineup of Byrd, Ira Sullivan, Kenny Drew, Wilbur Ware, and, of course, Art Blakey. The original LP featured a shortened version of the opening cut, "The Sacrifice," which is here expanded to its full-length, bringing this reissue to a little over 65 minutes in length. Groundbreaking for its time, and still sounding vital, powerful, and visionary, the Drum Suite album is somewhat of a lost masterpiece that deserves a fresh audience. ~ Steve Leggett

Art Blakey (drums)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Ira Sullivan (tenor sax, trumpet)
Donald Byrd, Bill Hardman (trumpet)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Ray Bryant (piano)
Sam Dockery (piano)
Candido (vocals, bass, congas, percussion)
Specs Wright (vocals, drums, timpani, gong)
Sabu (vocals, congas, bongos, percussion)
Oscar Pettiford (cello, bass)
Spanky DeBrest (bass)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Jo Jones (drums)

1. The Sacrifice
2. Cubano Chant
3. Oscalypso
4. Nica's Tempo
5. D's Dilemma
6. Just For Marty
7. Lil' T (aka The Third)
8. The New Message (aka Little T) - (take 1)
9. The New Message (aka Little T) - (take 3)

Art Blakey - Orgy In Rhythm Vols. 1 and 2

The brainchild of Art Blakey and Blue Note producer Alfred Lion, Orgy In Rhythm Vols. 1 and 2 is a milestone in recorded jazz. Blakey gathered together some of the best jazz drummers and Latin percussionists around for an improvised session in 1957. To this he added renowned flautist Herbie Mann, pianist Ray Bryant and bassist Wendall Marshall for melodic and harmonic support. Make no mistake, however--the focus here is exactly what the title suggests. This is a percussion extravaganza that pushes the drums to the forefront as in the traditional African music that formed the roots of jazz.

Long, hypnotic grooves, wailing chants and grounding bass tones support extended solos by Blakey, Arthur Taylor, Jo Jones and percussionist Sabu. While billed as Blakey's record, it was certainly a collective effort that brought his rhythmic collages to life. The difficulty in recording such a large ensemble of percussion instruments fell to legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who did a commendable job here; the enormity of the sound must be heard to be believed. Highlight tracks include the wailing "Buhaina Chant," the expressive "Elephant Walk" and the stunning drum set feature "Split Skins."

Art Blakey (drums)
Sabu (bongos, timbales)
Herbie Mann (flute)
Ray Bryant (piano)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Jo Jones (drums, tympani)
"Specs" Wright (drums, tympani)
Arthur Taylor (drums)
Potato Valdez, Jose Valiente (congas)
Ubaldo Nieto (timbales)
Evilio Quintero (cencerro, maracas, tree log)

1. Buhaina Chant
2. Ya Ya
3. Toffi
4. Split Skins
5. Amuck
6. Elephant Walk
7. Come Out And Meet Me Tonight
8. Abdallah's Delight

Recorded at Manhattan Towers, New York: on March 7, 1957

Portrait of Sidney Bechet vol 1-Jungle Drums 1938-39 ,MONO

“Bechet was born in New Orleans. From a young age, Bechet quickly mastered any musical instrument he encountered. Some New Orleanians remembered him as a cornet hot-shot in his youth. At first he decided on the clarinet as his main instrument, and Bechet remained one of jazz's greatest clarinetists for decades. The clarinetist Jimmie Noone, who became famous in his own right, took lessons from Bechet when the latter was only thirteen-years old. Despite his prowess on clarinet, Bechet is best remembered as the first great master of the soprano saxophone.
Bechet had experience playing in traveling shows even before he left New Orleans at the age of 20. Never long content in one place, he alternated using Chicago, New York, and Europe as his base of operations. Bechet was jailed[2] in Paris, France when a female[3] passerby was wounded during a pistol duel (which Bechet himself had instigated in an argument over chord changes); after serving jail time, Bechet was deported.He continued recording and touring, though his success was intermittent.Bechet relocated to France in 1950. He married Elisabeth Ziegler in Antibes, France in 1951.Shortly before his death in Paris, Bechet dictated his poetic autobiography, Treat It Gentle. He died from lung cancer on his 62nd birthday.”

Here's the first post in a series of ten.of “portrait of bechet” one of those past perfect bootleg boxsets ..thats been put together with great care by fans.
It’s all in mono ,and only covers the period 1935-onwards ..although there are major omissions..for example the sessions recorded in the mid 50’s with Martial Solal- alluded to in Martin Williams –masters of new orleans jazz
Anyone got that particular session to share?
Highlights for me on this set include ‘JUNGLE DRUMS” itself and an amazing three part suite entitled..”ORIGINAL HAITIAN MUSIC” featuring Willie “the lion” Smith.

Ron Carter - Where?

As noted in the Penguin review, this is often regarded as a Dolphy item, and as such it appears on CD 5 of the recent Complete Prestige set. This, however, is one of the Van Gelder RVG re-masters, and has both the original liner notes, and new notes by Carter's biographer.

This 1961 set has appeared under Eric Dolphy's name, but it is, in fact, bassist Ron Carter's date -- his first as a leader. Carter and Dolphy had played together in Chico Hamilton's group and on Dolphy's important 1960 date Out There. Where? has elements in common with both, but is closer to Hamilton's late-'50s chamber jazz than to the more outward-bound Dolphy date. As on the Dolphy session, Carter is heard on cello for three of the six tracks. Carter's skill is undeniable, but his playing on Where? is a bit polite and monochromatic. The easygoing duet with George Duvivier, for example, is a quiet, back-porch conversation that makes few demands on either of these bass giants. Dolphy -- playing bass clarinet, alto sax, and flute -- is a far more interesting prospect, even if he doesn't blow his face off to the extent he did in other settings. Pianist Mal Waldron is characteristically dry, economical, and swinging. Drummer Charlie Persip quietly impresses with thoughtful, detailed work. Duvivier is on bass when Carter plays cello. The tracks comprise two Carter originals, two standards, and a pair of Randy Weston numbers. Weston's "Saucer Eyes," the album's best track, features a strong group performance, a superbly laconic statement from Waldron, Dolphy's ebullient flute, and captivating brush work from Persip. Carter's "Rally," with Dolphy's freewheeling bass clarinet and the composer's most adventurous cello work on this set, is closest in spirit to Dolphy's own dates from this period. ~ Jim Todd

" (Carter) is unfortunate in that the record will always be seen as an item in the Eric Dolphy discography, rather than Carter's own. It's dominated by a bass-clarinet duo of the sort Dolphy created many times with Charles Mingus, and by a fine , unsentimental reading of 'Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise'. Carter plays cello on 'Really' and 'Saucer Eyes' as he had on Dolphy's second album, Out There, also originally released on New Jazz. Waldron and (on the two cello tracks) Duvivier give firm support, and persip once again displays the skills that should have guaranteed him a higher rating than he currently receives in histories of the music." ~ Penguin Guide

Ron Carter (bass, cello)
Eric Dolphy (flute, bass clarinet, alto sax)
Mal Waldron (piano)
George Duvivier (bass)
Charlie Persip (drums)

1. Rally
2. Bass Duet
3. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
4. Where?
5. Yes Indeed
6. Saucer Eyes

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: June 20, 1961

Duke Ellington - Recollections of the Big Band Era (1962-63)

This budget-priced, 23-track CD consists of the recordings of big-band standards that Duke Ellington originally did for Reprise in the early '60s. One suspects there was a quid pro quo here -- he would cut these '30s and '40s standards, which were certain to make money, for Reprise, and that same label, in turn, would record his symphonic music. The material is done in a smooth, swinging style, more laid-back than what the Count Basie orchestra of the same period would have done with this same stuff ("One O'Clock Jump" is included here as one of ten bonus tracks), but with enough fire and boundless elegance to make it more than worthwhile. Highlights include "Minnie the Moocher," "Cherokee," "Ciribiribin," "Contrasts," "Smoke Rings," "Woodchopper's Ball," "Rhapsody in Blue," and "Tuxedo Junction." The idea at the time was that these songs were tributes to their original signatories ("Goodbye" for Benny Goodman, "Christopher Columbus" for Fletcher Henderson, "Sentimental Journey" for Les Brown, etc.), so this is sort of a concept album, and a rather good one at that. The personnel include Billy Strayhorn (who also arranges the material that Ellington didn't), Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, Jimmy Hamilton, and Paul Gonsalves. This is an ideal companion to the similar set of tracks that Ellington did for Capitol a decade earlier, but a lot easier and cheaper to come by, and more cohesive. - Bruce Eder

Cat Anderson, Roy Burrowes, Cootie Williams, Bill Berry, Eddie Preston (trumpet)
Ray Nance (trumpet, violin)
Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors (trombone)
Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney (reeds)
Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn (piano)
Ernie Shepard (bass)
Sam Woodyard (drums)
  1. Minnie the Moocher
  2. For Dancers Only
  3. It's a Lonesome Old Town When You're Not Around
  4. Cherokee
  5. The Midnight Sun Will Never Set
  6. Let's Get Together
  7. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
  8. Chant of the Weed
  9. Ciribiribin
  10. Contrasts
  11. Christopher Comumbus
  12. Auld Lang Syne
  13. Tuxedo Junction
  14. Smoke Rings
  15. Artistry in Rhythm
  16. The Waltz You Saved for Me
  17. Woodchopper's Ball
  18. Sentimental Journey
  19. When It's Sleepy Time Down South
  20. One O'Clock Jump
  21. Goodbye
  22. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
  23. Rhapsody in Blue

Mary Lou Williams & Andy Kirk - The Lady Who Swings The Band

Andy Kirk and his band, the "Clouds of Joy", was one of the most popular swing orchestras in the mid-30s and 40s. A lot of the credit must be given the work of Mary Lou Williams,who played piano, wrote most of the arrangements and contributed many original compositions. Her originality is showcased on this compilation, which presents some of the band’s best sides. Women, other than vocalists, were rare in the history of jazz - especially the early decades. As well as working with the Kirk band, she played solo gigs and worked as a freelance arranger for such noteworthy names as Earl Hines, Benny Goodman, and Tommy Dorsey. Williams became one of the most sought-after composers of the Swing Era. As well as Mary Lou Williams’ talents, another important aspect of these recordings is the remarkable playing of tenor saxophonist Dick Wilson - a distinctive voice more related to that of Chu Berry than those of Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young - he was to die of tuberculosis in 1941, when he was only 30-years old.

01 Walkin' And Swingin'
02 Moten Swing
03 Froggy Bottom
04 Bearcat Shuffle
05 Puddin' Head Serenade
06 Lady Who Swings The Band
07 Keep It In The Groove
08 Mellow Bit Of Rhythm
09 Bear Down
10 Twinklin'
11 Mess A Stomp
12 What's Your Story Morning Glory
13 Mary's Idea
14 Close To Five
15 Scratchin' In The Gravel
16 Count
17 Twelfth Street Rag
18 Baby Bear
19 Harmony Blues
20 Ring Dem Bells
21 Christopher Columbus
22 Skies Are Blue
23 I Won't Tell A Soul (I Love You)
24 Floyd's Guitar Blues
25 Wham Re Bop Boom Bam

Monday, November 24, 2008

SSSD-home,2001 (subtle guitar improvs)

Here's something i love and have listened to a lot is free improvised but very rootsy, these guys love the blues.
Very slow music ..conjures up vast open spaces, its say reminiscent of the soundtrack to V.wenders Paris Texas..crossed with the static slowly shifting cyclic harmonies of Morton Feldman's music.
Some may find it anodyne ...even soporific.
There is a slightly narcotised..subtly ominous undercurrent.
ive uploaded an mp3 case anyone want's to check it out!
for me this bares absolutely no relation to Derek Bailey ..and his ideas and methods, none at all.
jazz fans will remember one of the participants Burkhardt Stangl. ..he is still the guitarist of choice in many of Franz Kogelmann's projects, and is on many of Kogelmann's, classic albums.

Burkhardt Stangl-acc&e, guitars
taku sugimoto-e-guitar, 6 stringed bass
Werner Dafeldecker-db, e-bass
Martin Siewart-acc&e guitars

"Around about the turn of the century, a new strain was working its way into the arcane world of free improvisation. This subgenre, often with guitars in the forefront, was distinctly tonal (if not tuneful), its stroked guitar strings suspended crystalline in the air like abstracted chords from John Fahey or Robbie Basho. Two of the central practitioners of this approach, Burkhard Stangl and Taku Sugimoto, are present on this release, making up two "S"s of SSSD (additional guitarist Martin Siewert and bassist Werner Dafeldecker rounding out the quartet). The music is not without an ironic sense of humor (read the song titles in order, for example), and the musicians appear to really enjoy shedding some of the serious attitude that's generally pervaded the idiom, luxuriating in the pure, ringing tones and rich, creamy harmonies between strings. That's not to say that there isn't often a grainy, complex undercurrent wafting around either. Often, a thread of crackles and abrasive textures wends its way through and around the proceedings, reminding the listener that this music has nothing to do with easy listening, despite appearances. Indeed, Derek Bailey territory (albeit Bailey in an exceptionally mellow state of mind) is touched on here and there. All of the pieces are group improvisations recorded in real time, and the intermeshing of the musicians is seamless and sometimes breathtaking, all four willing to calmly wait for the precise right moment to sound their string. There's nothing here, save for perhaps the Zen-like sense of time and space, that would put off the adventurous rock fan, but there's also enough meat, if tenderized a bit, for most hard-bitten free improv followers. A fine all around recording."
Brian Olewnick

Sun Ra and the Blues Project-Batman and Robin (1966)

Heres a vintage piece of 60’s pure Kitch entire album flimsily built around the theme of batman and robin.
I got this for a birthday present a few years ago …can't say I’m overly fond of it I’ll probably never listen to it again , once or twice is plenty,though I suppose it has its attractions.

Sun ra and various members of the arkestra did a lot of this sort of thing ..there's a different version of Neil Hefti’s batman and robin theme on the singles collection if I recall correctly.
Overall it’s a mutant cross between organ based gogo bugaboo , instrumental surf music and rhythm and blues.
Members of the Arkestra,(including Pat Patrick playing electric bass) performing with AL Kooper’s blues project.
There are a few nice moments featuring both Kooper and Ra playing unison organ lines.

Roy Hargrove & Antonio Hart - The Tokyo Sessions (1991)

Trumpeter Roy Hargrove and alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, two of the finest contemporary hard boppers, made a potent team on this CD featuring sessions recorded in Tokyo during 1991. Hargrove's fierce trumpet solos and Hart's bluesy, equally energetic and accomplished answering alto statements fueled nine excellent reworkings of standards and jazz repertory. The quintet performed such established material as Oscar Pettiford's "Bohemia After Dark," and Thelonious Monk's "Straight No Chaser," and Kenny Dorham's "Lotus Blossom," as well as Cole Porter's "Easy To Love," with confidence and in a smooth yet expressive style. It would still be nice to hear Hart and Hargrove doing their own material rather than simply putting their spin on shopworn, though wonderful, anthems. - Ron Wynn
Roy Hargrove (trumpet)
Antonio Hart (alto sax)
Yutaka Shiina (piano)
Tomoyuki Shima (bass)
Masahiko Osaka (drums)
  1. Bohemia After Dark
  2. Love Your Spell Is Everywhere
  3. Work Song
  4. I Remember Clifford
  5. Straight No Chaser
  6. But Not for Me
  7. Alone Together
  8. Lotus Blossom
  9. Easy to Love
Recorded December 4-5, 1991

Serge Chaloff - Boston Blow-Up (TOCJ)

Baritonist Serge Chaloff, best known as a member of Woody Herman's Second Herd, made a comeback in the mid-'50s after years of drug abuse. Having kicked the habit in his native Boston, he recorded The Fable of Mable (sic) in 1954 and this excellent session the following year. Chaloff is heard on a variety of obscure originals plus a couple of standards (including a near-classic "Body and Soul") in a sextet with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy and altoist Boots Mussulli. The ironic part is that, once Chaloff cleaned up his act, he contracted spinal paralysis and died in 1957. However, the baritonist is very much in prime form on this set, which was once only available on CD as part of Mosaic's Serge Chaloff limited-edition box but was reissued by Capitol Jazz in 2006 with three extra tracks. ~ Scott Yanow

The post-bop baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff is heard here in a collection of nimbly played pieces recorded a couple of years before his untimely death. His remarkable facility with what is often considered an ungainly member of the saxophone family invites comparisons with fellow artist Gerry Mulligan, and his solos on pieces like "What's New" and "Body and Soul" leave the listener regretting his all-too-brief discography.

Serge Chaloff (baritone sax)
Boots Mussulli (alto sax)
Herb Pomeroy (trumpet)
Ray Santisi (piano)
Everett Evans (bass)
Jimmy Zitano (drums)

1. Bob, The Robin
2. Yesterday's Gardenias
3. Sergical
4. What's New
5. Mar-Dros
6. Junior
7. Body And Soul
8. Kip
9. Diane's Melody
10. Unison

Lester Young and Teddy Wilson - Pres And Teddy

Lester Young and Teddy Wilson - Pres And Teddy

Although it has been written much too often that Lester Young declined rapidly from the mid-'40s on, the truth is that when he was healthy, Young played at his very best during the '50s, adding an emotional intensity to his sound that had not been present during the more carefree days of the '30s. This classic session, a reunion with pianist Teddy Wilson and drummer Jo Jones (bassist Gene Ramey completes the quartet), finds the great tenor in particularly expressive form. His rendition of "Prisoner of Love" is quite haunting, the version of "All of Me" is also memorable, and all of the swing standards (which are joined by his original "Pres Returns") are well worth hearing. This date (which has been reissued on CD) was recorded the day after Young's other classic from his late period, Jazz Giants '56. ~ Scott Yanow

Lester Young (tenor sax)
Teddy Wilson (piano)
Gene Ramey (bass)
Jo Jones (drums)

1. All Of Me
2. Prisoner Of Love
3. Louise
4. Love Me Or Leave Me
5. Taking A Chance On Love
6. Our Love Is Here To Stay
7. Pres Returns

New York: January 13, 1956

Howard Shore & Ornette Coleman - Naked Lunch

Here's a very far-out album of the music composed for David Cronenberg's film, 'Naked Lunch'. Howard Shore is quite an amazing composer, and has done many of the films you know and love, notably Lord of the Rings, Aviator, The Departed, Gangs of New York, Nobody's Fool, Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs, not to mention most of Cronenberg's films, favorites of mine. The score for Naked Lunch is exceptional, featuring the London Philharmonic, and the film wouldn't have been the classic it is without Ornette's playing and compositions, and Howard Shore's musical wizardry.

Arthur Honegger-symphonies 1 to 5 (rec 1960-86)

"Arthur Honegger (March 10, 1892 – November 27, 1955) Born in Le Havre, France. He initially studied harmony and violin in Paris, and after a brief period in Zürich, returned there to study with Charles Widor and Vincent d'Indy. He continued to study through the 1910s, before writing the ballet Le dit des jeux du monde in 1918, generally considered to be his first characteristic work.
Between World War I and World War II, Honegger was very prolific, composing nine ballets and three operas, amongst other works. One of those operas, Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (1935) is thought of as one of his finest works.
Honegger had always remained in touch with Switzerland, his root country, but with the outbreak of the war and the invasion of the Nazis, he found himself trapped in Paris. He joined the French Resistance, and was generally unaffected by the Nazis themselves, who allowed him to continue his work without too much interference, but it is said that he was greatly depressed by the war. Nonetheless, between its outbreak and his death, he wrote his last four symphonies (numbers two to five), which are quite frequently performed and recorded.
Arthur Honegger died on November 27, 1955 and was interred in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris.
Although Honegger was a member of Les Six, his work does not typically share the playfulness and simplicity of the other members of that group. Far from reacting against the romanticism of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss as the other members of Les Six did, Honegger's mature works show evidence of a distinct influence by it."

"I would take this set in a heartbeat over the lesser integral versions by Plasson (in muddy & reveberant sound on EMI) and Dutoit (an exercise in little more than beating time on Erato), both of which I weeded some time ago.
Serge Baudo (born 1927) was an excellent conductor who learned his trade at the Paris Conservatory under the great Louis Fourestier (1892-1976). Baudo's 1962 recording of Honegger's "Le Roi David" in its original orchestration (on a sadly deleted Accord CD - see my review) is utterly magical, even when compared with the composer's own (once on a Westminster 2-disc LP set).
Baudo is at his best in the 3rd & 5th symphonies, but there are even better versions elsewhere. So I am finally letting this set go to the used CD store. Here are the readings that emerged as my must-have favorites:
To summarize: this Baudo set of Honegger's symphonies is a fine effort and, for the sheer convenience of having all these works in a single 2-disc collection, it remains the best such offering."
amazon customer review

disc 1
symphony#1 1929-30
symphony#2,for strings and trumpet obliggato- 1941
symphony#3(symphonie liturgique) 1945-46

disc 2
symphony#4,(deliciae basilienses) 1947
symphony#5 (di tre re) 1951
pacific 231
symphonic movement#3
orchestral prelude to shakespeare's tempest.
czech philharmonic orchestra
serge baudo -conductor

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Johnny Hodges-"on the way up"

This johnny Hodges compilation ,on the budget Camden label..contains very little info
No personnel or session details .they are not even alluded to.
I hope this is’nt a superfluous share..i know some of this material may have already been shared.
I did as thorough a search as possible using the blogger search doesn’t appear to be here.
it appears to have been compiled from RCA,Victor sessions under both Hodges and Wild bill Davis name.
here's all the info i could ferret out.

UPA1-3630 Wild onions (For jammers only*)
UPA1-3631 On the way up (A) RCA LSP3867, Bluebird 5903-2-RB
UPA1-3632 The very thought of you (1) (A) - , -
UPA1-3634 Sir John (1) (A) - , -
Cat Anderson (tp) Lawrence Brown (tb) Johnny Hodges (as) Jimmy Hamilton (ts) Bill Berry (vib) Jimmy Jones
(p) Les Spann (g) Aaron Bell (b) Rufus Jones (d)
New York, January 10, 1967

UPA1-3635 Big boy blues Bluebird 5903-2-RB
UPA1-3636 C jam blues (A) - , RCA LPS3867
Roy Eldridge (tp) Benny Powell (tb) Johnny Hodges (as) Harry Carney (bar) Nat Pierce (p) Billy Butler (g)
Joe Benjamin (b) Oliver Jackson (d) Jimmy Jones (cond,2nd p)
New York, January 10, 1967
SPA1-1802 The jeep is jumpin' -
SPA1-1803 I'm beginning to see the light -
SPA1-1804 Lil' darling -
SPA1-1805 Sophisticated lady -
George Duvivier (b) replaces Hinton, rest same, same location and date
SPA1-1806 No one Vic LPM3393
SPA1-1807 Con soul and sax -
SPA1-1808 Drop me off in Harlem -
SPA1-1809 On Green Dolphin Street -
SPA1-1810 Johnny come lately –
Johnny Hodges (as) Wild Bill Davis (org) Dickie Thompson, Mundell Lowe (g) Milt Hinton
(b) Osie Johnson (d)
New York, January 7, 1965
Victor LPM3393 = RCA (F)741047

Milt Jackson Meets the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

EXPLOSIVE! But mellow too...

Review by Scott Yanow

This is such a logical combination. When vibraphonist Milt Jackson and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra appeared together at the Jazz Bakery near Los Angeles during the same period as when this CD was recorded, Jackson (who usually frowns when he plays) could not stop smiling. He loved both John Clayton's arrangements and the sound of the 19-piece orchestra. Jackson, a major voice on his instrument since at least 1946, seemed as happy listening to the band as he did playing with it. And, although he has the most solos, he does not overshadow the mighty ensemble on this CD. Longtime fans of the big band are used to hearing the orchestra feature drummer Jeff Hamilton's brushes on a slow rendition of "Indiana" and both the bowed bass of John Clayton and the lyrical alto of Jeff Clayton on Johnny Mandel's classic "Emily." Both of those selections are give definitive treatment on the CD and some of the other better numbers are Jackson's trademark "Bags' Groove," Thelonious Monk's "Evidence," "Along Came Betty" and a few originals. Throughout, the swinging by the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra is worthy of Count Basie, Milt Jackson often sounds exuberant, and together they have collaborated in creating an instant classic.

New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble - The Red Back Book (1973)

This is a nice complement to the recent Joplin piano rags post I made featuring Joshua Rifkin, a musician whose scholarly work on Joplin predates the 1973 film which placed the great American composer’s music front and center in a stunning revival. Gunther Schuller is another musician who had studied Joplin’s compositions and formed the New England Converatory Ragtime Ensemble to develop authentic, faithful performances of vintage rags. In 1973, again prior to the release of THE STING, Schuller and his ensemble cut a Grammy-winning LP with 10 tracks.

Unfortunately, when released on this CD, the two piano solo tracks performed by Myron Romanul were deleted, presumably to fit eight tracks (numbered 9-16) by The Southland Stingers, who rushed into the studio in mid-1974 to capitalize on the resurgent interest in ragtime to record a “light” version of Joplin’s most popular pieces. You can find tracks numbers and discographical info on these selections in the scanned artwork. I almost decided not to include these tracks in my post, bad as they are. I think they stink… I leave it to my fellow CIA listeners to make up their own minds. Scoredaddy

Back around 1910, John Stark published "Fifteen Standard High Class Rags," a folio soon nicknamed "The Red Back Book" and containing colorful arrangements for 11 ragtime pieces, mostly by Scott Joplin. In 1973 Gunther Schuller and the New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble recorded seven of the charts plus a new reworking of "Sugar Cane"; a pair of piano solos by Myron Romanul (of "The Entertainer" and "Sun Flower Slow Drag") round out this highly enjoyable set. Hearing Joplin's music interpreted by a group consisting of trumpet, trombone, clarinet, flute/piccolo, tuba, piano, bass, drums and a string quartet helps cast new light on these vintage themes. Highly recommended for ragtime collectors. Scott Yanow

New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble
Arranged By - D.S. De Lisle (tracks: A2, A5, B3), E.J. Stark (tracks: A1)
Bass - Michael Singer
Cello - Bruce Coppock
Clarinet - Victor Sawa
Conductor - Gunther Schuller
Drums - Mark Belair
Flute, Piccolo Flute - David Reskin
Piano - Myron Romanul
Trombone - Ray Cutler
Trumpet - Charles Lewis
Tuba - Gary Ofenloch
Viola - Juan Dandridge
Violin [1st] - Juan Ramirez-Hernandez
Violin [2nd] - Tibor Pusztai
Written By - Scott Hayden (tracks: A2) , Scott Joplin

1 The Cascades (3:27)
2 Sun Flower Slow Drag (3:07)
3 The Chrysanthemum (3:44)
4 The Rag Time Dance (4:00)
5 Sugar Cane (3:20)
6 The Easy Winners (3:56)
7 The Entertainer (4:15)
8 Maple Leaf Rag (3:11)

Recorded in Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, Massachusetts, on February 12 and 13, 1973

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grant Green - Sunday Mornin'

Grant Green's fourth album, Sunday Mornin', was the first time Green recorded (as a leader) with a piano instead of an organ. Joined by pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Ben Dixon, Green makes Sunday Mornin' less of a soul-jazz session than his previous work, instead turning in a solid -- if not quite exceptional -- set of modal hard bop and laid-back grooves. Pianist Drew's sparse chording leaves plenty of room for Green's lilting tones to ring out, and since Green's approach relies on single-note lines rather than chords, the whole session ends up with a spacious, light feel. Half of the original six tracks are Green originals, including the Martin Luther King-inspired "Freedom March" and the gospel-tinged title track; the others are well-known repertory: "God Bless the Child," Miles Davis' "So What," and Eddie Harris' then-recent hit adaptation of the theme from "Exodus." Green is tasteful and elegant as always, and the results make for an enjoyable addition to his discography, even if there are more distinctive Green albums available. ~ Steve Huey

Long out of print was Sunday Mornin', which unusually had Green working with a piano-player. As ever, the guitarist favours clean-picked single-note runs, fleet and expressive but somehow missing a dimension which, fortunately, Drew is on hand to supply. "God Bless The Child' and 'So What' are exceptional performances that would have an influence on a whole generation of soul-jazz and later acid-jazz performers. ~ Penguin Guide

Grant Green (guitar)
Kenny Drew (piano)
Ben Tucker (bass)
Ben Dixon (drums)

1. Freedom March
2. Sunday Mornin'
3. Exodus
4. God Bless The Child
5. Come Sunrise
6. So What
7. Tracin' Tracy

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: June 4, 1961

Charles Mingus - The Great Concert Of Charles Mingus

Jazz fans in general and Charles Mingus fans in particular will want to know what makes this American issue of the 1964 Paris concert different from the previous CD version issued on import in 2000. This tour was notorious and left a lasting impression on Mingus, who related its stories and complaints for the rest of his life. This concert was notable because of the absence of trumpeter Johnny Coles, who had collapsed of a stomach ulcer two nights before. Mingus was scheduled to play on April 17 but canceled the gig in order to rework and re-rehearse the band to cover Coles' parts. This show was announced and billed for the 18th, but the musicians took the stage shortly after midnight on the 19th. The lineup of Mingus, Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond, Eric Dolphy, and Clifford Jordan was, to say the least, formidable; they rose to the challenge and delivered one of the greatest live sets in recorded jazz history. These two CDs re-sequence the tunes in actual played order and place unreleased tracks in the proper order as well. The Byard solo ("A.T.F.W.," the initials of Art Tatum and Fats Waller) that opened the concert has never been issued before, because it had been deemed unfit for use due to technical difficulties. Likewise, after the introduction of the band and Coles' trumpet (it was displayed in its open case) comes the original version of "So Long Eric (Don't Stay Over There Too Long)." Previously a different version -- one edited from performances over two evenings -- was incorrectly titled "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." When it was correctly titled, it was the cobbled version. This one has never been issued before. What is so remarkable about this particular gig is how much it offers in a little over two hours, Mingus sums up the past and present and points to the future. While he was still ragging on the free jazz form, his use of dissonance here, in the manner in which Byard and Dolphy engage one another, is remarkable and stunning even in the deep blues of "Orange Was the Color of Her Dress Then Blue Silk." Likewise, quoting four Charlie Parker compositions in his "Parkeriana" tribute is almost mindblowing. The only thing left out here is an encore that was not recorded due to the fact it was performed, according to Bruno Guermonprez's liner notes, after three in the morning. The sound is fine, with the exception of the first two tracks, which were less than perfect from the original sound source, but the irritation is momentary given the quality of the music. Listeners finally have an accurate portrayal of one of jazz's great historic events, 40 years after its occurrence. ~ Thom Jurek

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

CD 1
1. A.T.F.W. (Art Tatum Fats Waller)
2. Presentation Of Musicians: Johnny Cole's Trumpet
3. So Long Eric (Don't Stay Over There Too Long)
4. Orange Was The Colour Of Her Dress Then Blue Silk
5. Fables Of Faubus

CD 2
1. Sophisticated Lady
2. Parkeriana
3. Meditations On Integration (Or For A Pair Of Wire-Cutters)

"Theatre Des Champs-Elysees", Paris, France, April 18, 1964

Sal Marquez - One for Dewey (1992)

Trumpeter Sal Marquez has been around for four decades and has appeared on a number of recordings but this is his only session as a leader.

Marquez played at North Texas State University (he is on the Lab '68 album) before joining Woody Herman right out of school. The following year he did a spell with Buddy Rich and then joined Frank Zappa's band in 1972. He stayed for two years, recording four albums including Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazoo, Over-Nite Sensation and Apostrophe.
One for Dewey is a tribute to Miles Davis, one of his early influences and heroes.

Sal Marquez (trumpet)
Doug Webb (tenor, soprano sax)
Kenny Kirkland, Mike Lang, John Beasley (piano)
Dave Carpenter (bass)
Jeff "Tain" Watts, Joe LaBarbera, Joel Taylor (drums)

  1. If I Were a Bell
  2. 'Round Midnight
  3. In Your Own Sweet Way
  4. I Could Write a Book
  5. You're My Everything
  6. Solar
  7. My Ship
  8. Wayne
  9. Miles

Violin and Fiddle

Stuff Smith - 1936-1939 (Chronological 706)

This delightful CD has the first 24 titles ever led by violinist Stuff Smith, virtually all of Smith's prewar recordings and the complete output of the violinist's Onyx Club Boys (other than four songs from 1940). With trumpeter Jonah Jones and occasional drummer Cozy Cole the stars of the supporting cast, this was one of the top swing combos of the era. Smith's hard-swinging violin, his enthusiastic vocals, and his interplay with Jones made this a particularly hot unit. In addition to the hit "I'se A-Muggin'," highlights of the disc include "I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music," "After You've Gone," "You'se a Viper," "Old Joe's Hittin' the Jug," "Twilight in Turkey," and the classic "Here Comes the Man With the Jive." Highly recommended. ~ Scott Yanow

Stuff Smith (violin, vocals)
Buster Bailey (clarinet)
Jonah Jones (trumpet, vocals)
Bernard Addison (guitar)
Sam Allen (piano)
Clyde Hart (piano)
Cozy Cole (drums)

1. I'se A-Muggin'
2. I'se A-Muggin' Musical Numbers Game
3. I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music
4. I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket
5. I Don't Want To Make History
6. 'Tain't No Use
7. After You've Gone
8. You'se A Viper
9. Robins And Roses
10. I've Got A Heavy Date
11. It Ain't Right
12. Old Joe's Hittin' The Jug
13. Serenade For A Wealthy Widow
14. Knock, Knock, Who's There?
15. Bye Bye Baby
16. Here Comes The Man With The Jive
17. Twilight In Turkey
18. Where Is The Sun?
19. Upstairs
20. Onyx Club Spree
21. Sam the Vegetable Man
22. My Thoughts
23. My Blue Heaven
24. When Paw Was Courtin' Maw

Michael White - The Land Of Spirit And Light

Released in 1974, Michael White's The Land of Spirit and Light is a spiritual jazz classic. Ambitious, outrageously creative, and aesthetically restless, it is simply one of the finest outings on the Impulse! label. Beginning with an unusual ensemble that included classical guitarist Bob King, bassist Cecil McBee, percussionist Kenneth Nash, Prince Lasha on woodwinds, and pianist Ed Kelly -- along with vocalist Stanley Nash and some unidentified others -- the set walks the line between improvisation and groove-based playing. The three-part title suite is a case in point, as McBee's bass creates a groove-based line and is flown over by White's violin and countermelodies by King. The melody from "Pt. 1" introduces "Pt. 2" and becomes a kind of freewheeling dance as soloists weave in and out and harmonic improvising becomes intuitive. "Pt. 3" changes directions entirely, as it is introduced briefly by percussion instruments cooking along to a speedy and pointed intersection with White and Kelly, the latter of whom solos in brief bursts before Lasha enters on flute and states an entirely new melody. The ten-minute "Fatima's Garden" is the hinge track on the disc, and is continually in the process of becoming as modal piano, bass, shimmering bells, and violin find a common ground about six minutes in before giving way to Lasha's flute as it meanders and wanders through the middle. There are Asian scales played by King, and the entire work comes off as a dreamscape. "Fiesta Dominical" sounds exactly like its title, with chanted vocals and Lasha's piccolo swirling about the mix. Even the thoroughly outside "O Ancient One," with its flamenco flavors courtesy of White, holds together because of its sparseness and inventiveness. No one player dominates, and the ensemble improvises as a whole until about three minutes in, when a groove rounds everybody up and Lasha's bass clarinet takes the improv groove in a loose contrapuntal exchange with White, whose deep Middle Eastern head covers the ground. The set closes with "Lament (Mankind)," a brief, mournful duet with White accompanied by McBee's bowed bass. It's startling, haunting, and an utterly unsettling way to end such a joyous recording, but it works because the sheer restlessness of the adventure has been so joyous. It adds a melancholy balance to the sounds of paradise. Wonderful. ~ Thom "Joyous" Jurek

Michael White (violin)
Prince Lasha (flute, alto flute, piccolo, clarinet)
Ed Kelly (piano)
Stanley Nash (vocals)
Kenny Jenkins (vocals)
Bob King (guitar)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Kenneth Nash (percussion)

1. The Land of Spirit and Light (Part 1)
2. The Land of Spirit and Light (Part 2)
3. The Land of Spirit and Light (Part 3)
4. Fatima's Garden
5. Fiesta Dominical
6. O Ancient One
7. Lament (Mankind)

Recorded February 1973, The Village Recorder, Los Angeles, California

Lem Winchester - Lem's Beat

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

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

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

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

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ on April 19, 1960

Phil Woods - Here's To My Lady (1989)

Altoist Phil Woods took a rare vacation from playing with his regular group to collaborate with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist George Mraz and drummer Kenny Washington on this fine straight-ahead quartet date. The 13 selections are fairly concise (clocking in between 3-7 minutes apiece) and most of the material (other than "Canadian Sunset," "Yours Is My Heart Alone," "Blue and Sentimental" and Bill Evans' classic "Waltz for Debby") consists of either obscurities or recent originals. A special bonus is that Woods plays his appealing clarinet on three numbers. Highlights include "Charles Christopher" (a tribute to Charlie Parker), "Butter" and Hal Galper's "Just Us." ~ Scott Yanow

Phil Woods (alto saxophone, clarinet)
Tommy Flanagan (piano)
George Mraz (bass)
Kenny Washington (drums)

1. Superette
2. Johnny Hodges
3. Another Love Song
4. Canadian Sunset
5. Charles Christopher
6. Butter
7. Visions of Gaudi
8. Yours Is My Heart Alone
9. Blue and Sentimental
10. Origins
11. Here's to My Lady
12. Waltz For Debby
13. Just Us

Billy May - Big Fat Brass (1958)

My recent post of J.J. Johnson's THE BRASS ORCHESTRA put me in mind of this old classic, a showcase for brass that arranger Billy May put together for Capitol Records in the late 1950's. His configuration jettizoned reeds in favor of french horns, as does Johnson's (except for one sax). Scoredaddy

BIG FAT BRASS is not only Billy May's best album but is also one of the finest, if not THE finest, brass albums ever made. It also won the 1958 grammy for best instrumental performance; no mean feat considering the overall excellence of jazz/popular music produced during that period. It is an unconventional, watershed album that solidified May as an arranger of uncommon savvy and sensibilities.

BIG FAT BRASS personnel were the cream of the crop of Hollywood musicians, including the likes of Conrad Gozzo, Si Zentner, Manny Klein among many others. Fortunately May also utilized his regular superb rhythm section of Paul Smith, piano; Joe Mondragon, bass; Al Hendrickson, guitar; and the always impeccable Alvin Stoller on drums. There was also a percussion section giving added color.

The tunes are uniformly excellent with the rousing BRASSMEN'S HOLIDAY starting the proceedings. Also outstanding is the relentless martial beat of RETURN OF THE ZOMBIE, impressive in its power and swagger and an almost mystical ON A LITTLE STREET IN SINGAPORE. There is also what I consider THE definitive version of INVITATION (hear for yourself!). One of my favorites is JOOM JOOMS, a fine showcase for the smooth brass ensemble and May's unstoppable sense of humor. Ted Ulrich

Arranger/Conductor: Billy May
Trumpets: Conrad Gozzo, Frank Beach, John Best, Uan Rasey, Pete Candolli, Manny Klein
Trombones: Si Zentner, Tommy Pederson, Ed Kusby, George Roberts
French Horns: Vice de Rosa, Jack Cave, Jimmy Decker, Dick Perissi, Art Franz
Tubas: Red Callender, Vlarance Karella
Harp: Veryle Mills
Piano: Paul Smith
Guitar: Al Hendrickson
Bass: Joe Mondragon, Ralph Penner
Drums: Alvin Stoller
Percussion: Lou Singer, Ralph Hansell

1. Brassmen's Holiday
2. Autumn Leaves
3. Love Is the Thing
4. Ping Pong
5. Moonlight Becomes You
6. Pawn Ticket
7. Solving the Riddle
8. Invitation
9. The Continental
10. Return of the Zombie
11. On a Little Street in Singapore
12. Jooms Jones

Recorded in June, 1958 at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA

Derek Bailey-solo guitar, vol 1 1971

However much of a radical departure this must have seemed when it first appeared, this is a highly vitalised ,poetic and at times even conventionally beautiful record.
Bailey started out as a session musician steeped in jazz tradition , a craftsman who had little conception of music as anything other than an entertaining commodity.
By the mid sixties he had formed a trio(named joseph holbrooke) with Tony Oxley and Bassist (later minimalist composer) Gavin Bryars, their main repetoire consisted largely of Bill Evans ,John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins tunes..they even backed Lee Konitz on a European tour a year later.
No recordings survive other than a few bootlegged fragments, from this formative pioneering and clearly initially jazz steeped trio.
I mention this only to make the point that the reviewer (below) exaggerates bailey’s status as completely sui generis…there was no tabula rasa, Bailey was listening to a lot of Webern in the late sixties ..and that is clearly a formative influence on the development of his unique sound world.
Bailey,perhaps half jokingly cited obscure swing guitarist Teddy Bunn as his major formative guitar influence.

“Derek Bailey's first solo recording at the time of its original release (subsequent albums have gone further back), Solo Guitar, Vol. 1 was an utter revelation for those few who initially heard it. No one, absolutely no one, was playing guitar like this in 1971. Although his influence could already be felt in the more abstract work of Robert Fripp (listen to "Moonchild" from the first King Crimson album) and would soon be picked up strongly by Fred Frith, Bailey occupied a universe of his own, freely improvising with little reference to the jazz tradition (including free jazz), sending splinters of notes into the ether and summoning ringing feedback from the deep innards of his ax. Most of the pieces here are performed on electric guitar, Bailey's patented use of the volume pedal clearly in evidence, as is the insightful intellect that would be a trademark. Solo Guitar, Vol. 1 is one of his knottier offerings; he would mellow out slightly (very slightly) after 1980 or so and listeners who have only previously heard his later work may be surprised at how unrelentingly spiny and brusque his playing is here. But it's no less spectacular than the gorgeous Solo Guitar, Vol. 2, which only took about another 20 years to appear. A handful of pieces included are odd even by Bailey standards in that they are largely composed: Misha Mengelberg's delightfully loony "Where Is the Police?" (complete with some synth work from Bailey!), Willem Breuker's hilarious and intricate "Christiani Eddy" with its puzzled, vocalized pauses, and a lovely, formidable work by ex-bandmate (in Joseph Holbrooke) Gavin Bryars. All told, this is required listening for any self-respecting Derek Bailey fan and a fascinating, complex, and ultimately delicious disc on its own merits”
Brian Olewnick

Friday, November 21, 2008

Art Blakey - The Witch Doctor

Into the third year of utilizing late-'20s superstars trumpeter Lee Morgan and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter on the front line, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers were showing a progressive compositional stance, mostly due to the emerging creativity of Shorter's sharply off-minor ideas. Pianist Bobby Timmons, a peer of the front liners, is swimming somewhere in the middle of this stylistic lake, exhibiting soulful backstrokes, straight-ahead sprinting, and the angular chordal complexities or sudden changes any potpourri of modernities might offer. Faithful bassist Jymie Merritt, no young pup at the time (seven years Blakey's junior) is solid, unspectacular, and right where this band of stars needed him to be. Writing chores continue to be split evenly between the horn players, but Shorter's pieces are distinct with a difference. "Those Who Sit and Wait" is a classic hard bop line with opposing non-sequitur melody/harmony cross sections, while "Joelle" sports two piano chords from Timmons leading to unusual phrasings, but still in a hard bop stance. Morgan contributes the title track and an alternate take with its typical and reliable hard bop shuffle buoying quirky horn and piano exchanges, and the spectacular "Afrique" with a 6/8 modal, choppy clave Latin beat merging to easy swing from the heavy tenor of Shorter -- the best of three worlds. Timmons contributes "A Little Busy" which is not far removed from the soul-jazz he is known for, a fun and funky groove biscuit where the pianist is truly in his element. "Lost & Found," penned by Clifford Jordan, showcases the straight-ahead signature sound the Jazz Messengers mined for decades -- upbeat, happy and tight. Whether this was or was not the pinnacle for this great band is still up for debate, but it assuredly ranks with Blakey's personal best aside from the popular album Moanin' of the same time frame. ~ Michael G. Nastos

Art Blakey (drums)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Wayne Shorter (tenor sax)
Bobby Timmons (piano)
Jymie Merritt (bass)

1. The Witch Doctor
2. Afrique
3. Those Who Sit And Wait
4. A Little Busy
5. Joelle
6. Lost And Found
7. The Witch Doctor (alt)

Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: March 14, 1961

Giants Of Small-Band Swing

Essential? Non-essential? Once again Yanow completely misses the point. When Benny Goodman had his historic 1938 Carnegie Hall concert - the first jazz show at that venue - he did as Paul Whiteman had 14 years earlier and presented a segment depicting the history of jazz up until that point. The very next morning Bobby Hackett, who had appeared at the show the night before, led a studio session featuring a number of Chicago school musicians that had been organized by Eddie Condon. Although the "old-school" was represented by a second wave of largely Caucasian enthusiasts (Goodman originally being one of same), they took on the mantle of Traditional - as opposed to "modern" - jazz. The import of that supposed rivalry is still being argued, but in any case new labels were formed to perpetuate the Dixieland sound - one of which was the Hot Record Society (H.R.S.). All of the selections here are from that label. The subject is a complex and interesting one. As is usual, the labels and subject are disgracefully simplified, and thereby easily dismissed or not even addressed - but it's well worth the time you might spend researching it. Just as an incidental note; if you haven't yet read Brian Priestley's Jazz On Record: A History, let me recommend it.

Giants Of Small-Band Swing, Vol. 1

The first of two CDs reissuing material originally on the H.R.S. label has generally strong performances by a variety of small swing-oriented bands from 1946. The personnel overlaps in five groups headed by pianist Billy Kyle, altoist Russell Procope, trombonist Sandy Williams, pianist Jimmy Jones and trombonist Dicky Wells; the sidemen include such veteran greats as trumpeters Dick Vance, Harold Baker and Pee Wee Erwin, trombonist Trummy Young, clarinetist Buster Bailey, altoists Lem Davis and Tab Smith and the tenors of John Hardee and Budd Johnson. Although the music overall is not that essential (the bop recordings of the period are much more significant), there are some memorable performances on this well-conceived set. ~ Scott Yanow

Billy Kyle (piano)
Buster Bailey (clarinet)
Bud Johnson (tenor sax)
John Hardee (tenor sax)
Tab Smith (alto sax)
Pee Wee Irwin (trumpet)
Russell Procope (alto sax)
Trummy Young (trombone)
Al McKibbon (bass)
Denzil Best (drums)
Buddy Rich (drums)

1. H.R.S. Bounce
2. Contemporary Blues
3. Four Wheel Drive
4. Bottle It
5. Tea For Me
6. Sandy's Blues
7. Drag Nasty (The Walk)
8. Opera In Blue
9. Right Foot Then Left Foot
10. Denzil's Best
11. Strollin' Easy
12. Weeta

Giants Of Small-Band Swing, Vol. 2

The second of two CDs put out in the Original Jazz Classics series that reissues material originally on the H.R.S. label, this volume has fine performances from bands led by three trombonists (Dicky Wells, Sandy Williams and J.C. Higginbotham) and trumpeter Joe Thomas; among the sidemen are Budd Johnson and Ted Nash on tenors, altoists Tab Smith, Lem Davis and Johnny Hodges, trumpeters Pee Wee Erwin and Sidney DeParis and baritonist Harry Carney. Although none of the recordings are classic and one can argue that the music is slightly behind the times, the solos are quite enjoyable and will be savored by small-group swing fans. ~ Scott Yanow

Johnny Hodges (alto sax)
Bud Johnson (tenor sax)
Harry Carney (baritone sax)
Tab Smith (alto sax)
Pee Wee Irwin (trumpet)
Russell Procope (alto sax)
Sandy Williams (trombone)
J. C. Higginbotham (trombone)
Billy Taylor (bass)
Denzil Best (drums)
Dave Tough (drums)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Bed Rock
2. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You
3. Mountain Air
4. Chili Con Carney
5. Riff Street
6. A Touch Of Blue
7. After Hours On Dream Street
8. Sumpin' Jumpin' Around Here
9. Dutch Treat
10. A Penny For Your Blues
11. Keeping Up With Jones
12. Sunny Side Up

Louis Prima - 1935-1936 (Chronological 1077)

Early Prima, before he became (literally) a cartoon. These performances are very creditable. I'm not a "hardcore Prima fan", but I'd rather hear this period than his later work. Sue me.

Here's Louis from his first flush of success at the Famous Door in New York City. Backed by his New Orleans gang, Prima's distinctive style was already emerging on material like "How'm I Doin'," "Plain Old Me," "Sweet Sue," "Lazy River," "Dinah," and the original version of "Sing Sing Sing." Although the backing is strictly New Orleans (and thus a long way stylistically from his later Capitol sides with Sam Butera & the Witnesses), most of the tunes boast the highly inventive clarinet work of Pee Wee Russell, and Prima's horn is well to the fore on these sides. One for hardcore Prima fans. ~ Cub Koda

"In the early '30s, he caught on with cornetist Red Nichols for a time, and moved to New York in 1934 at the urging of star bandleader Guy Lombardo, who had been impressed with Prima's trumpet playing. Initially struggling to find work, Prima formed a Dixieland-style backing group called the New Orleans Gang and landed a regular gig at a 52nd Street club known as the Famous Door. The band was a hit, adopting "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" as their signature song, and recorded numerous sides for a succession of labels up through 1939;"

Louis Prima (trumpet, vocals)
Pee Wee Russell (clarinet)
Bill Atkinson (trombone)
Jack Ryan (bass)

1. Plain Old Me
2. How'm I Doin? (Hey! Hey!)
3. Weather Man
4. Solitude
5. Sweet Sue
6. I'm Shooting High
7. I Love You Truly
8. I've Got My Fingers Crossed
9. It's Been So Long
10. Darktown Strutters' Ball
11. Dinah
12. Lazy River
13. Alice Blue Gown
14. Sing, Sing, Sing
15. Let's Get Together And Swing
16. Cross Patch
17. Swing Me A Lullaby
18. The Stars Know (I'm in Love With You)
19. Confessin'
20. Let's Have Fun
21. Mr. Ghost Goes To Town
22. Pennies From Heaven
23. The Goose Hangs High
24. What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin'?)

Benny Carter - Central City Sketches

This CD version has a nice interview between Giddins and Carter.

One of the many Benny Carter recordings cut after he returned to jazz on a full-time basis in the mid-'70s, this double-LP set is the jewel among the seemingly countless number of gems. Eight of Carter's compositions are performed by the all-star American Jazz Orchestra ("Doozy" gets two versions) along with his old theme song "Sleep" and his recently written six-part "Central City Sketches." Virtually every player in this big band was a potential star soloist; among the more notable musicians are trombonist Jimmy Knepper, tenors Lew Tabackin and Loren Schoenberg and either John Lewis or Dick Katz on piano. But, as is often the case, Benny Carter frequently steals solo honors and his brief trumpet spot on "Central City Blues" is memorable. ~ Scott Yanow

Benny Carter was six months shy of his 80th birthday when he debuted this extended composition at a "standing room only" concert at the Great Hall of Cooper Union. After a quarter of a century devoted primarily to work for movies and television, Carter could easily have been forgotten by the jazz world. Life ain't fair? Well, for once life did the right thing. Carter was given a major platform and he produced a major work -- an extended composition in six movements of Ellingtonian proportions. And like the Duke, Carter made no attempt to update his sound or jump on the latest bandwagon. The composer may be revisiting the harmonic and stylistic palette of the Swing Era, but nothing here sounds out-of-date. Carter's swinging lines and memorable melodies were captivating in 1937 and 1987 . . . and will still be charming listeners 50 years hence. Kudos as well to the all-too-short-lived American Jazz Orchestra for a winning performance. ~ Ted Gioia

Benny Carter (alto sax, trumpet)
John Lewis (piano)
Remo Palmier (guitar)
Loren Schoenberg (tenor sax)
Marvin Stamm (trumpet)
Lew Tabackin (baritone sax)
Dick Katz (piano)
Jimmy Knepper (trombone)
Britt Woodman (trombone)
Eddie Bert (trombone)
Ron Carter (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)

1. Doozy
2. When Lights Are Low
3. A Kiss From You
4. Sleep/Central City Sketches
5. Central City Blues
6. Hello
7. People
8. Promenade
9. Remember
10. Sky Dance
11. Lonesome Nights
12. Doozy
13. Easy Money
14. Symphony In Riffs
15. Souvenir
16. Blues In My Heart

Friday Fusion

Fowler Brothers - Hunter (1985) [LP > FLAC]

The Fowler Brothers, Bruce, Steve, Tom, Ed and Walt, are all members of one extraordinarily talented family. They have collectively appeared on over 500 CDs and records, have played on or orchestrated at least 100 major motion pictures and have toured the world with such artists as Billy Cobham, It's a Beautiful Day, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, George Benson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Diana Ross and Brian Setzer.

Their father, Dr. William Fowler, created a home environment where jazz and classical music were listened to and respected in equal proportions. Because of this atmosphere that lacked prejudice toward any style of music, the brothers were free to absorb and try many musical approaches, the sum of which made them fluent in jazz, classical, rock, latin and rhythm and blues. Their discographies reflect the great range of their abilities.

Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards)
Bruce Fowler (trombone)
Steve Fowler (alto sax, flute)
Albert Wing (tenor sax)
Mike Miller (guitar)
Tom Fowler (bass, violin)
Ed Fowler (bass, keyboards)
Chester Thompson (drums)
Tony Morales (drums on 3)
Roz Clarke Thompson(vocals on 1)
Nikki Harris (vocals on 3)
  1. Cosmic Relief/Feel the Way
  2. Here I Go Again
  3. Horny Toads and Foolish Quail
  4. The Coin Flip
  5. Chris
  6. The Nopah
  7. Take Out the Garbage
  8. Late Scratch

Hank Jones trio-live in Japan (v-rip ,trio lp PAP-9177) 1979

Another gorgeous piano trio.
Not much to say about this other than using the usual clichéd superlatives.
Hank mixes it up with shelly Manne, and George Duvivier who prove to be genuinely interactive and not merely providing too cushy a backdrop.

Beautiful very detailed recording. Though the bass and drums are perhaps a touch too forward in the mix (the sound quality is such that it creates the impression of a ferocious edge that probably wasn't there).
Duvivier is using an amplifier, which tends to muddy his sound a bit, a pity since he plays so beautifully(kind of steals the show..but not for long)

This album made a very brief re-appearance on cd in the mid 90’s, exclusive to Japan where it was originally released.
sorry about the somewhat low energy review..its ..

This rip is taken from the Trio vinyl release(pap-9177)1979

J.J. Johnson - The Brass Orchestra (1996)

J.J. Johnson finds himself at the helm of a dream band here — a full brass orchestra with French horns, euphoniums, tubas, and a harp — and gets to exploit its possibilities wherever they might lead. The results are beyond category, where the veteran trombonist's writing has a feathery richness, urbanity, and a depth charge in the bass reminiscent of, but not really indebted to, Gil Evans.

There is plenty of straight-ahead jazz grooving but also several episodes of formal, almost classical writing, as in the suitably joyous "If I Hit the Lottery," and rigorous combinations of both, like the angular tribute to Béla Bartók, "Canonn for Bela." The generous Johnson doesn't even appear on a piece he commissioned from Robin Eubanks called "Cross Currents" — Eubanks performs the sputtering trombone solo — nor on Slide Hampton's blazing "Comfort Zone." He also revisits some of his early third stream experiments from the '50s and '60s; "Ballad for Joe" derives from his "Poem for Brass" and "Horn of Plenty" and "Ballade" from the Perceptions album (the latter two sound a bit staid under the current light).

Johnson's own trombone solos are always imaginative, authoritative, and irresistibly swinging; at 72, he plays as well here as he ever did. This is a must-buy for all J.J. fans and those who thought that the third stream could never rise again. Richard S. Ginell

Trombones: Joseph Alessi, Robin Eubanks, J.J. Johnson, Jim Pugh, Douglas Purviance, Steve Turre
Euphonium: Alan Raph, Bruce Bonvissuto
Trumpets: Danny Cahn, Jon Faddis, Earl Gardner, Eddie Henderson, Joe Shepley, Lew Soloff, Byron Stripling, Joe Wilder
Percussion: Milton Cardona, Kevin Johnson, Freddie Santiago
French Horns: Bob Carlisle, John Clark, Chris Komer, Marshall Sealy
Harp: Francesca Corsi
Saxes: Dan Faulk (Soprano/Tenor)
Tubas: Howard Johnson, Andy Rodgers
Drums :Victor Lewis
Bass: Rufus Reid
Piano: Renee Rosnes

1 El Camino Real (Johnson) 6:10
2 Enigma (Johnson) 6:25
3 Gingerbread Boy (Heath) 5:20
4 Canonn for Bela (Johnson) 3:20
5 Comfort Zone (Hampton) 7:48
6 Wild Is the Wind (Tiomkin) 5:02
7 If I Hit the Lottery (Johnson) 4:08
8 Cross Currents (Eubanks) 6:52
9 Ballad for Joe (Johnson) 4:26
10 Cadenza 1:41 (Johnson)
11 Why Indianapolis, Why Not Indianapolis? (Johnson) 5:51
12 Horn of Plenty (Johnson) 3:33
13 Ballade (Johnson) 6:30
14 Swing Spring (Davis) 3:21

Recorded September 24-27, 1996 at Clinton Recording Studio, New York City

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bill Cunliffe - Bill Plays Bud (1996)

How does one pianist celebrate another? Sure, by playing that person's compositions. But Bill Cunliffe is smart enough to know that there's no percentage in regurgitating Bud Powell. He also knows that in essaying Powell, the apotheosis of bebop piano, he's investigating one of his own prime sources.

Within this well-chosen overview of Powelliana, Cunliffe has found enough formats to thoroughly explore his own passions: Jamaican rhythms on "Comin' Up," crazy-fingered, right-hand excursions on the bright-tempoed "Un Poco Loco," blues on "Sure Thing." Cunliffe plays Powell by playing Cunliffe. Along the way, he manages to illuminate himself as well as the legend.

Powell took his own "Hallucinations" at a hellacious meter. Cunliffe slows it down and revels in the laziness. Then, to show there are no limitations on his velocity, he blows through "Tempus Fugit" like a downhill bobsled. Stride trimmings adorn "52nd St. Theme" (something more akin to Monk than to Powell), rather than its usual bop streamlining. "Melancholia," a Cunliffe original, clearly delineates Chick Corea's debt to Powell. Cunliffe also illustrates the close connection between Monk and Powell on Powell's little-known "Broderick." Between Cunliffe's block chords, drummer Joe LaBarbera's crisp fours, and conguero Papo Rodriguez's energy, the tune is a rhythmic tour de force.

Powell's nearly oppressive "Glass Enclosure" is, at first, played straight on the head. Then Cunliffe and the rhythm section take off like kids let loose in a spring meadow. Lest we forget, youthful exuberance contributed to Powell's emotional range.

Being familiar with the ins and outs of Powelliana will make this CD a trove of insider's delights. Yet it's by no means a prerequisite. Cunliffe's strong attributes as a pianist - harmonic daring, rhythmic drive, melodic radar, and superlative dexterity - make it accessible on all fronts. - Kirk Silsbee

Bill Cunliffe (piano)
Dave Carpenter (bass)
Joe LaBarbera (drums)
Papo Rodriguez (percussion)
Ralph Moore (tenor sax on 3 & 8)
  1. Melancholia
  2. Un Poco Loco
  3. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
  4. Comin' Up
  5. Hallucinations
  6. Tempus Fugit
  7. Sure Thing
  8. 52nd Street Theme
  9. Borderick
  10. Dusk at Saudi
  11. Willowgrove
  12. Glass Enclosure
Recorded October 24, 1996

Johnny Hodges & The Ellington Men - The Big Sound (1957/LP/FLAC/Scans)

This is an LP rip from a Japanese pressing (reissue from 1982). To my knowledge, this is not available on CD. I think it was once requested here some time ago so I finally dug it out, ripped it, and cleaned it up a bit (but not too much). Enjoy! Scoredaddy

Hodges leads a large group of Ellington players that includes Willie Cook, Clark Terry, Cat Anderson, Jimmy Hamilton, Harry Carney, Ray Nance, and Jimmy Woode. The overall sound has that Ellington-minus-Ellington, plus-Hoges feel of similar Verve sessions like these -- with lots of nice strong Hodges alto (corrected) work in the foreground. Titles include "Digits", "Viscount", "Segdoh", "An Ordinary Thing", and "Little Rabbit Blues". Dusty Groove America

No surprises, but the session was as good as one might hope. Gathered here was the Ellington band with Billy Strayhorn at the piano. While it was not an Ellington record, the band brought its solid qualities in backing and the occasional solo to all the fine Hodges features. This was an integrated unit, not some detached studio band for Hodges to blow over, under, around, and through. It was wonderful Hodges and fine Ellington. Bob Rusch

Johnny Hodges And The Ellington Men
Clark Terry (tp) Ray Nance (tp, vln) Cat Anderson (tp), Harold Baker (tp), Willie Cook (tp)
Quentin Jackson, John Sanders, Britt Woodman (tb)
Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts) Johnny Hodges (as) Russell Procope (as, cl) Paul Gonsalves (ts), Harry Carney (bs)
Billy Strayhorn (p) Jimmy Woode (b) Sam Woodyard (d)
1. Don't Call Me, I'll Call You
2. An Ordinary Thing
3. Waiting For Duke
4. Dust Bowl
5. Little Rabbit Blues
6. Johnny Come Lately
7. Gone And Crazy
8. Segdoh
9. Viscount
10. Bouquet Of Roses
11. Digits
12. Early Morning Rock

Recorded in New York City on June 26, 1957 and September 3, 1957

Larry Young - Larry Young's Fuel (24bit K2)

"It's tempting to compare Young's last few years with those of Albert Ayler. There are superficial resemblences, like having his wife Althea sing on some of the records, but Larry's attempt to blend his avant-garde style with a more popular approach is nothing like as succesful as Ayler's, whose last records have been the subject of revision over the last few years." ~ Penguin Guide

Quick to embrace fusion, Young played with Miles Davis in 1969, John McLaughlin in 1970, and Tony Williams' groundbreaking 'Lifetime' in the early '70's. From here he recorded two solo albums for Arista, 'Larry Young's Fuel' (1975), including 'Turn Off The Lights', and 'Spaceball' (1976), both highly collectable 'rare grooves' among UK funk, soul and jazz fans. Young was only 38 when, in 1978, he checked into hospital suffering from stomach pains, and died from untreated pneumonia.

Larry Young (keyboards)
Santiago Torano (guitar)
Laura "Tequila" Logan (vocals)
Fernando Saunders (bass)
Rob Gottfried (drums)

1. Fuel for the Fire
2. I Ching (Book of Changes)
3. Turn off the Lights
4. Floating
5. H + J = B (Hustle + Jam = Bread)
6. People Do Be Funny
7. New York Electric Street Music

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

North Texas State University - Lab '68 [LP > FLAC]

North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas, has long been a breeding ground for professional jazz musicians and the One O'Clock Lab Band has always featured the best of the bunch. In particular, the 1968 band was chock full of future pros. Most of them went on to play with groups led by Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, the Saturday Night Live Band, and Frank Zappa among others.

Alumni of the North Texas jazz program are virtually everywhere in the professional music industry as performing artists and jazz educators. The list of significant names is truly too numerous to mention in its entirety, but runs the gamut from Jimmy Giuffre and Herb Ellis, to Bob Dorough, Marvin Stamm, Ed Soph, Billy Harper, Bruce Fowler, Dan Haerle, Gary Grant, Jay Saunders, Lou Marini and Tom “Bones” Malone; from Lyle Mays, Bob Belden, John Riley, Mike Steinel, Marc Johnson and Steve Houghton, to Jim Snidero, Greg Bissonette, Dan Higgins, Steve Wiest, Conrad Herwig, Tony Scherr, Shelley Carrol and Stefan Karlsson; from Brad Turner, Mike Pope and Keith Carlock, to Tim Miller, Ari Hoenig, Scott Englebright, Pete DeSiena, Adolfo Acosta, J.D. Walter, Annagrey LaBasse, Rosana Eckert and Norah Jones.

The tunes on this LP are pretty adventurous for 1968 and are mostly arranged by band members Lou Marini, Ray Loeckle, Jeff Sturges and Tom Boras. A must hear is Bruce Fowler's trombone feature on "Hello, Young Lovers".

Leon Breeden (conductor)
Gary Grant, Jay Saunders, Sal Marquez, Mark Hettle, Fletch Wiley (trumpet)
Tom Malone, Bruce Fowler, Jeff Sturges, Chuck Compher, Jim Clark (trombone)
Mike Campbell, Chuck Wilson, Lou Marini, Ray Loeckle, Tom Boras (reeds)
Bobby Henschen (piano)
Frank Kimlicko (guitar, mandolin, banjo)
John Monaghan (bass)
Ed Soph (drums)
Fred Stites (vibes, percussion)
Jack Karhu, Dean Corey (French horn)
  1. Codify
  2. Childhood
  3. Who Will Buy?
  4. Sweet William
  5. Norwegian Wood
  6. Ol' Five Spot
  7. Hello, Young Lovers
  8. Flashes

JAZZ SOUNDIE: George Shearing Quintet

Here's another in my series of 'soundies' - including just plain old music videos from yesteryear and movie excerpts (some aren't officially soundies)... Unfortunately there's never any information with these about dates, sidemen, so you just have to enjoy them in near total ignorance! Here, the group plays 'Conception'.

The Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Cookbooks

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - The Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Cookbook

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Shirley Scott set an enduring standard for tenor saxophone/organ groups, beginning with this, their first recording together. Davis' authoritative, hard swinging style came through seasoning as a key player in the Count Basie band. Scott, an accomplished pianist, took up the organ when she joined Davis in 1955, emerging with her distinctive, driving yet subtle style virtually fully formed. The music on this 1958 date holds few surprises; it's meat and potatoes all the way, but it's made using the choicest ingredients. The barbecue sauce is applied in moderation, as the band steers closer to Basie-style swing than to overt R&B riffing. Davis and his working band -- Scott and drummer Arthur Edgehill -- are joined here by reed player Jerome Richardson and bassist George Duvivier. Richardson, playing flute on most tracks, provides a useful complement to Davis' tenor. Duviver is indispensable in anchoring the music with a commanding walking bass. Edgehill's quick, light touch helps maintain the swinging, jazzy feel. The tracks comprise three strong Davis originals, two standards, including "But Beautiful," which ranks as a master class in ballad playing, and the CD's centerpiece, the 12-minute plus "In the Kitchen." This slow blues by Johnny Hodges has room for extended soloing all around in a performance that underlines the skill, passion, and artistry that made the Davis and Scott partnership a potent and influential combination. ~ Jim Todd

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor sax)
Jerome Richardson (flute, tenor sax)
Shirley Scott (organ)
George Duvivier (bass)
Arthur Edgehill (drums)

1. Have Horn, Will Blow
2. The Chef
3. But Beautiful
4. In The Kitchen
5. Three Deuces
6. Avalon

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - The Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Cookbook Vol. 2

A mellow set of soulful hard bop starring the underappreciated tenor Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and the powerful organist Shirley Scott, this set, true to its name, really cooks. Like the best organ-based jazz, the tempos are mostly kept painfully slow, with only the closing "The Broilers" perking up to a trot. Throughout, Davis and Scott trade solos fluidly, with Davis' blues-based, honking tone perfectly suited to the churchy grace of Scott's organ. (Bassist George Duvivier and drummer Arthur Edgehill are, to borrow a phrase from Phil Spector, felt but not heard.) The three Davis and Scott originals are excellent, but the surprise is how well hoary old standards like "Stardust" and "Surrender, Dear" fit in this low-key setting. The CD adds a bonus track, "Willow Weep for Me," recorded during the same sessions. ~ Stewart Mason

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor sax)
Jerome Richardson (flute, tenor sax)
Shirley Scott (organ)
George Duvivier (bass)
Arthur Edgehill (drums)

1. The Rev
2. Stardust
3. Skillet
4. I Surrender, Dear
5. The Broilers
6. Willow Weep For Me

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on September 12 and December 5, 1958

Complete Lester Young Studio Sessions on Verve 8-CD set (1946-1959)

All too often, jazz critics have promoted the myth that Lester Young's playing went way downhill after World War II—that the seminal tenor man was so emotionally wounded by the racism he suffered in the military in 1944-45 that he could no longer play as well as he had in the 1930s and early 1940s. To be sure, Young went through hell in the military, and his painful experiences took their toll in the form of alcohol abuse, severe depression and various health problems. But despite Young's mental decline, he was still a fantastic soloist. This eight-CD set, which gathers most of the studio recordings that he made for Norman Granz's Clef, Norgran and Verve labels from 1946-1959, underscores the fact that much of his post-War output was superb. At its worst, this collection is at least decent, but the Pres truly excels on sessions with Nat "King" Cole and Buddy Rich in 1946, Oscar Peterson and Barney Kessel in 1952, Roy Eldridge and Teddy Wilson in 1956 and Harry "Sweets" Edison in 1957. Disc 8 contains two recorded interviews with the saxman—one conducted by Chris Albertson in 1958 for WCAU radio in Philadelphia, the other by French jazz enthusiast Francois Postif in Paris on February 6, 1959 (only five or six weeks before Young's death on March 15 of that year). The contrast between the fascinating interviews is striking; in Philly, Young is polite and soft-spoken, whereas in Paris, the effects of the alcohol are hard to miss. Sounding intoxicated and using profanity liberally, Young candidly tells Postif about everything from his experiences with racism to his associations with Billie Holiday and Count Basie. But as much as the set has going for it, The Complete Lester Young Studio Sessions on Verve isn't for novices, casual listeners or those who are budget-minded (Verve's suggested retail price in the U.S. was $144). Collectors are the ones who will find this CD to be a musical feast. Alex Henderson

With his airy, vibratoless tone and sophisticated harmonic imagination, Lester Young (1909-59) was arguably the most influential tenor saxophonist after Coleman Hawkins. As the star in Count Basie's big band and Billie Holiday's favorite soloist, Young's breezy solos, along with his patented porkpie hat and unique hipster jargon, affected legions of musicians. This 8-CD compilation marks the 90th anniversary of Young's birth and contains all of the recordings he made for producer Norman Granz from 1946 to 1959, the last 13 years of Young's life. This collection aurally illustrates his supernatural ability to enliven the most familiar pop tunes and rise above his own pharmaceutically challenged physical state to create magic. The keys to Young's music making is his emphasis on knowing the lyrics to songs and on telling a story, delivering a melodic solo that communicates as it innovates.

Composed primarily of small combos, these tracks' themes are set by the piano players. Nat King Cole's walking bass lines and drummer Buddy Rich's pepperings cushion Young's Icarusian flights on "I Cover the Waterfront," "The Man I Love," and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams." On "I Found a New Baby" Young's delivery previews the bebop of Charlie Parker and on "Too Marvelous for Words" Young's subtones echo the long, tall sounds of Dexter Gordon. A quartet with pianist John Lewis, drummer and Basie bandmate Jo Jones, and bassist Gene Ramey offers similar results with Young's poetic versions of the riff tune "Neenah" and "Three Little Words," with Lewis's telepathic comping. Oscar Peterson's supersonic style, Barney Kessel's guitar, bassist Ray Brown, and percussionist J.C. Heard light a fire under Young on the down-home "Ad Lib Blues" and "It Takes Two to Tango"--with Young's hilarious vocal. With another quintet featuring Gildo Mahones at the keys and Connie Kay at the traps, Young revisits his days with Count Basie on the festive "Jumpin' at the Woodside." Another Basie bandmate, Harry "Sweets" Edison, lends his territory-toned chops to the hit "One O'Clock Jump." On "You Can Depend on Me" and "Gigantic Blues" Roy Eldridge's hot trumpet and Vic Dickenson's muscular trombone provide the perfect counterpoint to Young's ethereal excursions. The two takes of "St. Tropez" are the only recordings with Young on clarinet, and the leader delves into Latin jazz on "Frenesi," "In a Little Spanish Town," and "Another Mambo."

By the time he made his last sessions in Paris in 1959 with drummer Kenny Clarke and pianist Rene Urtreger, Young had lost his technical luster, but he gained a deep spiritual presence, as evidenced by the haunting takes on "I Cover the Waterfront" and "Oh, Lady, Be Good." The noted jazz author John Chilton's biographical essay, along with Harry "Sweets" Edison's loving memoir, Dave Gelly's musicological analysis, and two recorded interviews with Young are detailed, profane, and informative. But Bryan Koniarz's "Hipster's Dictionary" of Young's slang steals the show. From the Lestorian lexicon we get words like "Far Out" for guitarist Slim Gaillard, "little claps" for applause, and "Lady Day" for Billie Holiday, who in turn named the great saxophonist "Prez," for he was the commander in chief of jazz. Eugene Holley Jr.

Chris Connor - Early Recordings from the 50's

These two CD reissues cover several sessions from Chris' early days, and seem to be recently discontinued, so I take the liberty of presenting them here. 'Lullabys' has tunes from Chris' first three sessions as a leader.

Review of 'This Is Chris' by Scott Yanow

During 1953-1955, singer Chris Connor recorded regularly for Bethlehem. This reissue LP has her final recordings for the label (before moving up to Atlantic) with such fine sidemen as Herbie Mann (doubling on flute and tenor), pianist Ralph Sharon, guitarist Joe Puma, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Osie Johnson. The two-trombone team of J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding (which had recently become very popular) is prominent on four of the ten selections. Connor's cool tone, subtle, emotional delivery and haunting voice were perfect for the music of the 1950s. Highlights of this superior set include "The Thrill Is Gone," "Blame It on My Youth," and "I Concentrate on You," but all ten numbers are rewarding.

Todd Dockstader-Ariel#2

"Tod Dockster has done everything from writing and editing films at UPA Studios in the 1950's, leading the design contingent at Montreal's Expo '67 through to producing American TV films throughout the 1980's. You might therefore think that he'd view his 1990 retirement as an opportunity to put his feet up and spend some time with the grandkids. If so you'd be woefully wrong. Taking his new found wealth of time as a cue to build a home studio, he then started work on this 15 years in the making Aerial series. Entirely built around his passion for shortwave radio, Dockstader collected in excess of 90 hours of recordings all taken at night and comprised of jumbled cross signals and odd auditory fragments plucked from the ether. Opening with the drone of dissonant airwave prolix 'Song', Dockstader gradually allows elements to skim into sight and in doing so summons up a stiflingly crepuscular atmosphere that'll have you glancing over your shoulder all night. This kind of malignant placidity continues throughout and conjures up the impression of stumbling upon late night activity being broadcast for ears other than yours. Whilst you may believe this would shun you as a listener, it instead has the converse effect, pulling you down further into the mix as you seek to decipher the barrage of sounds on show. Is that a backward voice on 'Dada' or the sound of the sea on 'Harbor' and if so, who was broadcasting it in the first place? Prolific and uncompromising definitely, Tod Dockstader is so enthralled with his subject matter that he'll soon have you utterly submerged in his world."

"Long awaited second volume, story continuation, of Tod Dockstaders epic length 'Aerial' piece. An expert exercise in developing sounds, shapes, directions and emotions from shortwave radio signals - an area that William Basinski has made his own. The complete work in three volumes lasts over three hours, the continous piece is actually a patchwork of many parts subsequently kept in digital form for later computer finalizing. It's with complete wonder and amazement that you'll grasp the fact that these genius drone pieces were formed from simple shortwave static. Each sequence evokes a certain emotion that may or may not have led to the titles of these parts, for instance 'Pipes', 'Orgal', 'Wail', 'Spindrift' and 'Wire', from spacial soundrift to an almost industrial blast on 'Surfer'. Completely essential music from an electronic music master."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lee Konitz - Tenorlee

This is a CD rip; the link to worldbflat's vinyl rip is in Comments.

It can't have been an accident that altoist Lee Konitz chose the quintessential Lester Young vehicle "Lady be Good" to pair with the title track on an album featuring (notwithstanding the cover photo) his tenor work. Konitz on tenor sounds much like a modernized Pres—the lightness of tone and articulation and the ease of swing show his kinship with the greatest pre-bop tenorist (a title to which Coleman Hawkins also has plausible claim). However, the resemblance of Lee to Lester, while profound, is paradoxically skin-deep. Konitz the tenor player is as strong an individualist as Konitz the altoist, possessed of the same distinctive sweet-&-sour tone and no-nonsense, deliberative melodic approach.

The track begins with an unaccompanied tenor solo that leads into the embroidered theme played in unison by Konitz and Jimmy Rowles (it must surely be a transcription of a Lester Young solo, though I do not have the version on hand with which to compare). Generally, the quieter the context, the more Konitz shines. That's true here. The absence of a drummer throws the subtlety of Konitz's playing into relief. It's a treat to hear his nuanced approach in all its aspects. Jimmy Rowles is a tasty, witty bop player, and bassist Michael Moore holds down the bottom capably if inconspicuously. The performance is flawed by an anti- climactic and very abrupt fade. That said, taking into consideration that Konitz hasn't recorded much on tenor—and given the good-humored, spirited reading—this is a nearly essential gem in his discography. ~ Chris Kelsey

Lee Konitz (tenor sax)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Michael Moore (bass)

1. I Remember You
2. Skylark
3. Thanks For The Memory
4. You Are Too Beautiful
5. Handful of Stars
6. Autumn Nocturne
7. Tangerine
8. Tenorlee
9. Lady Be Good
10. The Gypsy
11. 'Tis Autumn

Recorded at Macdonald Studio, Seacliff, New York in 1977-78

Art Farmer Quintet - Featuring Gigi Gryce (20bit K2)

"...impeccable examples of a more considered approach to hard-bop forms. While When Farmer Met Gryce is the better known, it's slightly the lesser of the two. Art Farmer Quintet has some of Gryce's best writing in the unusual structures of "Evening In Casablanca" and "Satellite", while "Nica's Tempo" constructed more from key centersthan from chords, might be his masterpiece; in the sequenceof long solos, Farmer turns in an improvisation good enough to stand with the best of Miles Davis from the same period."

The success of Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce's When Farmer Met Gryce allowed the folks at the Prestige label to follow-up with The Art Farmer Quintet. The alto-saxophonist again joins the trumpeter on this October 21, 1955 session once more to glowing results. Farmer's brother Addison also makes an encore performance as the recording's bassist, and is additionally joined by pianist Duke Jordan and drummer Philly Joe Jones in fine form. The original compositions -- five penned by Gryce and Jordan's "Forecast" -- are again stellar. Those who enjoyed "meeting" Gryce earlier will certainly enjoy this reunion.

Art Farmer (trumpet)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. Forecast
2. Evening In Casablanca
3. Nica's Tempo
4. Satellite
5. San Souci
6. Shabozz

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on October 21, 1955

Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson (1957)

"At the time this recording was made, Louis Armstrong was almost perpetually traveling the globe with his six-piece All-Stars. Despite working himself almost to the point of exhaustion, Armstrong invariably shunned the opportunity to take a vacation. He worried that his chops might cease to work again if he gave them a long rest. What refreshed him was taking time off from the All-Stars to record with other line-ups. One can sense the pleasure that Armstrong is getting on these tracks, playing fresh material, some of which he had never performed before. (...) The session with Peterson allowed Armstrong to explore the lyrical and harmonic richness of some of the compositional evergreens. All jazz fans should be forever grateful to Norman Granz for making this possible. Granz was imaginative in so many of his studio pairings, but never more so than when he coupled Armstrong with Peterson and his rhythm section. The almost rugged, commanding quality of Armstrong's latter-days trumpet tone has never been captured better on record and, throughout the session, his phrasing (instrumentally and vocally) exemplifies time - that exquisite placement of notes that imparts a dynamic rhythmic impetus to every phrase. That he was being backed by a great rhythm section adds to the magic. The rapport that the five participants achieve is exemplary and will delight whole generations of new listeners." John Chilton, from the liner notes of the CD reissue (1997).

1- That old feeling (Brown-Fain)
2- Let's fall in love (Arlen-Koehler)
3- I'll never be the same (Malneck-Signorelli-Kahn)
4- Blues in the night (Arlen-Mercer)
5- How long has this been going on? (G.&I.Gershwin)
6- I was doing all right (G.&I.Gershwin)
7- What's new? (Haggart-Burke)
8- Moon song (Johnston-Coslow)
9- Just one of those things (Porter)
10- There's no you (Hopper-Adair)
11- You go to my head (Coots-Gillespie)
12- Sweet Lorraine (Burwell-Parish)
Bonus tracks
13- I get a kick out of you (Porter)
14- Makin' whopee (Donaldson-Kahn)
15- Willow weep for me
16- Let's do it (Porter)

Louis Armstrong - vocals, trumpet
Oscar Peterson - piano
Herb Ellis - guitar
Ray Brown - bass
Louie Bellson - drums.

Recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, in October 14, 1957.

Jim Hall & Enrico Pieranunzi - Duologues (2004)

Jim Hall has long exhibited a sense of adventure in his playing, which has intensified as his career has progressed. His duo meeting with Enrico Pieranunzi (a kindred spirit and one of the most in-demand jazz pianists in Europe) consists of original compositions and inventive duo improvisations (three of them are titled "Duologue" by number), which greatly contrast from one another, along with the extended improvisation "Our Valentines," which seems to briefly hint at "My Funny Valentine" as its inspiration. The compositions are as compelling as the improvisations. "Careful" is a tricky piece recorded many times by the guitarist over the decades; Pieranunzi takes immediately to the Hall's quirky blues. "Jimlogue" has the flavor of a 20th century composition for classical piano; one can easily imagine Hall composing it during his conservatory days, though it could just as easily be brand new at the time of these sessions. Jane Hall (the guitarist's wife) penned the beautiful ballad "Something Tells Me" for an earlier CD; this version proves to be even more spacious and lyrical than its initial recording. The pianist's songs include the tasty waltz "From E. to C.," the provocative "The Point at Issue," and the soothing finale, "Dreamlogue." Hopefully, this compelling first meeting between Jim Hall and Enrico Pieranunzi will inspire a follow-up recording date. - Ken Dryden

Jim Hall (guitar)
Enrico Pieranunzi (piano)
  1. Duologue 1
  2. Careful
  3. From E. to C.
  4. Our Valentines
  5. Duologue 2
  6. The Point at Issue
  7. Something Tells Me
  8. Jimlogue
  9. Duologue 3
  10. Dreamlogue
Recorded September 16-18, 2004

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wynton Kelly - Kelly At Midnight

This 1960 date was a first-rate trio outing with Kelly given the space to demonstrate subtlety and flair, harmonic precision, melodic brilliance and rhythmic diversity. He was backed by a pair of rhythm dynamos, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. While a CD session less than 33 minutes is a bit short considering current prices, there is no complaint about the music's beauty. ~ Ron Wynn

"Something of a Bill Evans influence (unless the route is in the opposite direction) creeps into Kelly's playing at this time, and it is possible also to hear echoes from the markey dominance of Ahmad Jamal. who was being talked up by Miles Davis at every available opportunity." ~ Penguin Guide

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

1. Temperance
2. Weird Lullaby
3. On Stage
4. Skatin'
5. Pot Luck

Chicago: April 27, 1960

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Duke Pearson - I Don't Care Who Knows It

“During Pearson's final period of recording activity for Blue Note his creative muse was dipping heavily into Latin and Brazilian strains that brought a whole new level of lyricism to his composing.”

The sessions that comprise I Don't Care Who Knows It date from 1969 and 1970 (with one stray track from a 1968 session with Bobby Hutcherson), when Duke Pearson was experimenting with Latin jazz, soul-jazz, and funk; they are also the second-to-last dates the pianist ever recorded for Blue Note. Working with a fairly large group that included bassist Ron Carter, drummer Mickey Roker, saxophonists Jerry Dodgion, Frank Foster, Lew Tabackin, trumpeter Burt Collins, trombonist Kenny Rupp, and occasionally vocalist Andy Bey, Pearson plays the electric piano throughout the majority of the album. As expected, the music swings with an understated funk, with the band alternating between standard hard-bop and mellow, soulful grooves. On the whole, I Don't Care Who Knows It is fairly uneven -- the sessions don't set well together, but work well as individual sets. Nevertheless, there is enough good material here to make it worthwhile for soul-jazz, Latin-jazz and, especially, Pearson aficionados. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Duke Pearson (piano)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Frank Foster (tenor sax)
Lew Tabackin (tenor sax)
Ralph Towner (guitar)
Andy Bey (vocals)
Flora Purim (vocals)
Ron Carter (bass)
Airto Moreira (drums)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1. I Don't Care Who Knows It
2. Bloos
3. Beautiful Friendship
4. Horn In
5. Canto Ossanha
6. Xibaba
7. I Don't Know
8. Once I Loved (O Amor en Paz)
9. Upa, Neguinho
10. Captain Bacardi
11. Theme From Rosemary's Baby

George Russell- the complete Bluebird recordings (1956)

There’s a little confusion( on my part) about this material, it seems to have been reissued by 3 different labels..
This rip is taken from the Lonehill “release”.. which adds a few alternate takes and a couple of quartet tracks that appeared under Hal Mcusicks name.
By the way for anyone wanting a high quality mp3 version of the basic tracks..this was posted 6 months or so ago by Salience in the form of an actual R.C.A Blue bird reissue.
Heres a decent amazon customer review of the Koch -version, i couldnt find much else.

"This Koch reissue, originally released as "Jazz Workshop" on RCA, features George Russell's debut recording as a leader. This program opens a window into the formative theories of Russell's then seminal concepts of Jazz composition and improvisation based on scales rather than chords. Having published his Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization in 1953, Russell's smalltet, as he called it, made their first recordings for Bluebird in 1958. This set collects their initial recordings, both masters and alternate takes and is an ear opening insight to the thought process behind one of creative improvised music's finest composers. Featuring astoundingly inventive writing, incredibly dense harmonies and tricky arrangements for sextet, only the ensembles of contemporaries like Don Ellis, Oliver Nelson, Lennie Tristano and Mal Waldron can compare.

With delicious harmonies that conjure the sound of a band twice its size, Russell leads his ensemble on a program of innovative Post-Bop. Flirting with dissonance and polyphonic linearity well ahead of mainstream acceptance, the group acquits themselves marvelously and with utter conviction. Snappy rhythms, interweaving harmonies and short, but effective solos lend an inescapable air of tunefulness to Russell's quirky and idiomatic writing. More than just mere head melodies, Russell's tunes embody the finest elements of advanced jazz composition. A thoroughly gifted writer, Russell was capable of enriching the most angular, knotty line with a hearty dose of melody. Despite his erudite theories and esoteric concepts, Russell's rich song forms are never lost under the weight of his abilities.

As an indication of Russell's own visionary status, "Fellow Delegates" even features Russell playing tuned drums ala Sun Ra's late 1950's recordings, invoking an air of exoticism previously unheard in Russell's music. Featuring early versions of such later standards as "Ezz-Thetic" and "Jack's Blues" these sessions will be invaluable to the Russell completist."
Troy Collins

Jean Dubuffet-'La Musique Chauve'(bald music) 1961

"Personally, I believe very much in values of savagery; I mean: instinct, passion, mood, violence, madness." -- Jean Dubuffet, 1951.
Jean Dubuffet, is best known as a visual artist..and for having demonstrated an early interest in the art both musical and visual of the mentally ill, the so called primitive..and the "mundane" in other words what he perceived as raw and fresh as opposed to academic..orthodox and contrived.
he coined the term Art Brut..and established one of the largest existing collections of such work..which is now housed in Laussane Switzerland
Although Dubuffet had had some formal musical training as a kid, mostly violin lessons he abandoned musical training fairly early on..but continued to experiment and "free improvise" throughout his adult life ,having amassed an enormous collection of instruments including non western folk instruments and home made sound making contraptions.
in 1961 he recorded several albums worth of those experiments... quite lo fi.. very reminiscent of some of the improvised lo fi 'free' folk stuff that's almost fashionable today.
this is some of it...heres a bit of biographical info.
"Savage seems to be the most appropriate description of Jean Dubuffet's work and life. Like a savage, Dubuffet often shocked society, though he did so purposely. From the start, his attitude was anti-art and anti-culture. He believed that intellectuals were the enemies of art, and he refused to be restrained by such labels as "dadaist," "surrealist," or "futuristic." Dubuffet strove to erase all categories, and in doing so he ironically created a category of art all his own -- what he and his fellow artists would term "art brut." Above all, however, he attempted to create a universal art rooted in simple, organic methods. As a result, Dubuffet's artwork remains unfettered, real, and tangible. By antagonizing the established art world, Dubuffet created a new language of painting and sculpture to be understood by all.

Jean Dubuffet was born on July 31, 1901, in Le Havre, France, to a middle-class family. Here he attended lycée until 1918, when he received his Baccalaureate. Dubuffet would later come to reject the time he spent at Le Havre as a student, claiming that his studies were "half-baked" and worthless. However, he read voraciously on his own in an attempt to foster his own education. As a youth, Dubuffet especially enjoyed reading the works of Dr. Hans Prinzhorn. Prinzhorn's writings, Bildnerei der Geisteskranken in particular, often explored the powers of the psychopathic art of asylum inmates. Prinzhorn drew endless comparisons between these inmates' artwork and the artwork of children, two groups of unrecognized artists that fascinated Dubuffet. For Prinzhorn, animal instinct and savagery, as embodied by inmates and children, led a person to spiritual strength and harmony with the universe, rather than to neurosis. These very concepts explored by Prinzhorn would later show up in Dubuffet's personal artistic tastes and style.

Music played an important part in Dubuffet's life. He was an avid jazz aficionado, and he particularly admired the work of Duke Ellington. As homage to the music form, Dubuffet painted three large canvasses of jazz musicians. These paintings represented Dubuffet's attempt to create a popular art that would entertain rather than educate and elevate. These canvasses feature jazz combos in static positions, with musicians almost frozen in time with blank looks on their faces."
unattributed info found on the net

Sonet Sunday

Benny Carter - Benny Carter All Stars

One of the best of the later sessions, recorded in the relaxed atmosphere of Sonet's studio, but with three bonus tracks recorded at Restaurant Stromsborg in Stockholm. The solo space is nicely varied, with 'Here's That Rainy Day' a feature for Norvo and 'Work Song' (with a vocal from Adderley) featuring Parlan prominently and no horns. Benny is on hand for seven of the nine cuts, sounding quietly magisterial and never missing a note. He gets 'Lover Man' from the bonus live tracks all to himself and it's a deeply affecting performance. ~ Penguin Guide

Benny Carter (alto sax)
Nat Adderley (trumpet)
Horace Parlan (piano)
Red Norvo (vibes)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Ronnie Gardiner (drums)

1. Easy Money
2. Memories of You
3. Here's That Rainy Day
4. Blues for Lucky Lovers
5. Work Song
6. When Lights Are Low
7. Just Friends
8. Lover Man
9. What Is This Thing Called Love

Recorded in Stockholm on July 8-9, 1985

The World's Greatest Jazz Band of Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart (1968) [LP > FLAC]

While listening to the Bud Freeman 1946 chrono this morning I was reminiscing about a concert from this band that my father took me to in 1972. I was amazed at how well these "old dudes" still played. This is a rip of their first album, never released on CD (a reissue would certainly come up with a new cover). The pop tunes aren't too bad but what a joy to hear them play some of the old standards!

Originally known as the Nine (and then Ten) Greats of Jazz and renamed by its sponsor Dick Gibson as the World's Greatest Jazz Band, the unit officially debuted on this Project 3 LP. The WGJB may not have been the greatest or most significant jazz group at the time but, when it came to playing hard-driving Chicago jazz, few other regular bands could compete. Its late-1968 lineup consisted of trumpeters Yank Lawson and Billy Butterfield, trombonists Lou McGarity and Carl Fontana, clarinetist-soprano Bob Wilber, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, banjoist Clancy Hayes (who would soon leave the group), pianist Ralph Sutton, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Morey Feld. In its two projects for Project Three, it was decided to alternate the usual Dixieland standards with swinging renditions of current pop tunes, in hopes of enlarging the audience and perhaps further inspiring the musicians. Therefore this album finds the WGJB uplifting such unlikely tunes as "Sunny," "Up, Up and Away," "Ode to Billy Joe," "A Taste of Honey" and "Mrs. Robinson." Although those renditions are more tolerable than expected, the highpoints of this album predictably come during "Panama," "Limehouse Blues" and "Bugle Call Rag." - Scott Yanow

Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield (trumpet)
Lou McGarity, Carl Fontana (trombone)
Bob Wilber (clarinet, soprano sax)
Bud Freeman (tenor sax)
Ralph Sutton (piano)
Clancy Hayes (banjo)
Bob Haggart (bass)
Morey Feld (drums)
  1. Sunny
  2. Panama
  3. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home
  4. Up, Up and Away
  5. Ode to Billy Joe
  6. Honky Tonk Train
  7. A Taste of Honey
  8. Limehouse Blues
  9. Big Noise from Winnetka
  10. This Is All I Ask
  11. Mrs. Robinson
  12. Bugle Call Rag
Recorded December 10, 1968

Miles Davis - Miles Davis And Horns (20bit K2)

The music from two of Miles Davis' lesser-known Prestige sessions is reissued on this CD. There are four titles from a 1953 date that finds the great trumpeter playing arrangements by Al Cohn in a sextet with tenors Cohn and Zoot Sims; trombonist Sonny Truitt joins the group on "Floppy." Those obscure performances (which include "Tasty Pudding" and "For Adults Only") are joined by four songs plus an alternate take from a 1951 date featuring Miles with tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins (their first recordings together) and trombonist Benny Green. Davis is a bit subpar on such tunes as "Whispering" and "Blue Room," but his emotional playing is still worth hearing. ~ Scott Yanow

Miles Davis' first studio session for the Prestige label took place on January 17, 1951, with a front line of Sonny Rollins on tenor and Bennie Green on trombone. Two years later, Miles made his second session of 1953 in the company of two tenor men deeply touched by the work of Lester Young and Charlie Parker: Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, two of Woody Herman's famous Four Brothers.

These two sessions, featuring a pair of three-horn front lines, make up the music on Miles Davis And Horns. The John Lewis opener "Morpheus" proceeds from where Birth Of The Cool left off, with the horns harmonizing off a sustained bass vamp/cymbal roll, then introducing a Roy Haynes drum break with fleet lines that pave the way for boppish solos. Davis' own "Down" is an early snapshot of the trumpeter's pensive blues work, with some contrasting Rollins bluster. Other highlights are Lewis' spectral chordal prologue to "Blue Room" and his Basie-style intro to "Whispering," a song on which Miles' attack and tone really come together. "I Know" is a Rollins feature, with Miles on piano.

The 1953 date is a delightful blowing session, with Kenny Clarke providing plenty of percussive salsa, and Al Cohn providing masterful charts. Cohn, Sims and Miles team to provide distinctive, rich harmonies on themes such as the slow, soulful "Tasty Pudding" and "For Adults Only," whith their introspective features. "Willie The Wailer" borrows its intro from Benny Goodman's "Soft Winds" and provides Miles and Cohn with plenty of swing drive. The call and response of "Floppy" leads to powerful Davis-Clarke interplay, a taut John Lewis solo and anthemic Cohn-Sims exchanges.

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Sonny Rollins (tenor sax)
Al Cohn (tenor sax)
Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Bennie Green (trombone)
Sonny Truitt (trombone)
John Lewis (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Leonard Gaskin (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. Morpheus
2. Down
3. The Blue Room
4. Whispering
5. Tasty Pudding
6. Willie the Wailer
7. Floppy
8. For Adults Only
9. The Blue Room

Recorded on January 17, 1951 and February 19, 1953

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bud Freeman - 1946 (Chronological 975)

The last track here - Chiquita Banana - is actually from December of '45, and features Edmond Hall, Yank Lawson, and Carmen Mastren among others.

How pleasant to know Bud Freeman. His warm tone on the tenor sax (and occasionally the clarinet) could best be described as "friendly." Here are all of the sides he recorded for the Keynote label in 1946, presented chronologically, as if the listener were sitting in the studio watching the sessions unfold. For this material to make it onto compact disc is a cause for celebration. "Town Hall Blues" refers to Eddie Condon's famous Town Hall Jazz Concerts, where all of these musicians appeared in every sort of instrumental combination, as Condon loved to constantly rearrange the lineups of his jam session groups. This served to create and maintain an almost Brecht-like "work in progress" atmosphere. The common root language of those public performances was always a blues played in the style of a traditional jazz ensemble. What's presented here on the first track is standard-issue, collectively improvised blues, exactly the way they did it at Town Hall. All that's missing is Eddie Condon's narration, which sounded a lot like gangster banter from a Jimmy Cagney movie. Peanuts Hucko radiates positive energy during "Honeysuckle Rose." Freeman and Joe Sullivan illuminate "Room with a View" most graciously. "You Took Advantage of Me" gets the hot treatment -- this was one of Freeman's favorite jam tunes. There are a couple of very pleasant love songs, then a fine visit to "The Blue Room" with clarinetist Edmond Hall. Now the mood changes along with the personnel. In addition to Hall, formidable percussionist Davey Tough and a very spunky Charlie Shavers glide easily through the relatively modern chord progressions of "Inside at the Southside." "I've Found a New Baby" leads a charge back into fundamentally traditional modes. "Blues for Peanuts" is almost like something from Lester Young. "Taking a Chance on Love" really bubbles up as Freeman's tenor is snugly backed by Bill Dohler's alto sax. There are very few extant recordings of pianist Tut Soper. Rejoice then in his presence on "The Man I Love." At the bottom of this mixed bag are two rather overbearing vocals by Marilyn Ross, most interesting for Freeman's clarinet accompaniment, and a silly song (urging everyone not to put bananas in the refrigerator) sung by the DeMarco Sisters (very close imitators of the Andrews Sisters). The real jazz on this disc is so excellent that only a spoilsport would object to the inclusion of these odds and ends. ~ arwulf arwulf

Bud Freeman (clarinet, tenor sax)
Charlie Shavers (trumpet)
Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Peanuts Hucko (clarinet),
Carl Kress (guitar)
Joe Sullivan (piano)
Wild Bill Davison (cornet)
Carmen Mastren (guitar)
Dave Tough (drums)
George Wettling (drums)

1. Town Hall Blues
2. Tea For Two
3. Honeysuckle Rose
4. A Room With A View
5. You Took Advantage Of Me
6. Sentimental Baby
7. You're My Everything
8. The Blue Room
9. Inside At The Southside
10. I've Found A New Baby
11. Royal Garden Blues
12. Midnight At Eddie Condon's
13. Time On My Hands
14. Blop Boose
15. Blue Lou
16. Goin' Far Away
17. Blues For Peanuts
18. Taking a Chance On Love
19. You Took Advantage Of Me
20. Ribald Rhythm
21. The Man I Love
22. Ontario Barrel House
23. Hard Hearted Hannah
24. I'm One Of God's Children (Who Hasn't Got Wings)
25. Chiquita Banana

Laura Nyro and LaBelle - Gonna Take A Miracle

A gem of an album, this is one of the times that record executives got it right. These women were a natural match; according to the liner notes by Amy Linden, the singers were having such a good time together that they didn't actually bother to record anything until the last day--and then they popped out one number after another with little preparation. Nyro became the godmother to Patti's son. The live works at the end are excellent - it's worth checking this CD out for those alone.

With the 1971 release Gonna Take a Miracle, pop composer and vocalist Laura Nyro completed her four-album/four-year deal for Columbia. Nyro's passion for R&B can be traced back to some of her earliest compositions, such as "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Stoned Soul Picnic" -- both of which were covered by the R&B vocal quintet the Fifth Dimension. More recently, her version of "Up on the Roof" was one of the highlights of Christmas and the Beads of Sweat. So, enthusiasts who had paid any attention at all to the course of Nyro's career would not have been surprised by her direction on this project. As much as Gonna Take a Miracle is indeed a Laura Nyro album, it could likewise, and perhaps more accurately, be described as a collaborative effort between Nyro and the female soul trio LaBelle -- featuring Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash -- as well as producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. It is ultimately this team that is responsible for the album's overwhelmingly solid results. Leading off in an apropos style is a succulent cover of the Shirelles hit "I Met Him on a Sunday." The vocal performance is structured as a round -- with each woman singing a consecutive line. The song is rightfully returned to the street corner doo wop tradition from which it originated with the simplicity of unadorned vocals creating an inconspicuous a cappella symphony. Nyro has never sounded so comfortable, easy, or "in her element" than she does backed by an all-star Philly soul ensemble that Gamble and Huff assembled for these sessions. The material reaches beyond just the sounds of Philadelphia, with Motown ("You've Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Nowhere to Run") and Brill Building ("Spanish Harlem"), as well as lesser-known covers of the Charts' "Desiree" and the Baltimore-based Royalettes "It's Gonna Take a Miracle." In 2002, Sony/Legacy issued an "expanded and remastered edition" of this album, including four "bonus tracks": "Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "O-o-h Child," and "Up on the Roof" -- all of which are previously unissued live solo performances. ~ Lindsay Planer

1. I Met Him On A Sunday
2. The Bells
3. The Monkey Time/Dancing in the Street
4. Desiree
5. You've Really Got A Hold On Me
6. Spanish Harlem
7. Jimmy Mack
8. The Wind
9. Nowhere To Run
10. It's Gonna Take A Miracle
11. Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing
12. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
13. O-o-h Child
14. Up On The Roof

Buddy Collette - Calm, Cool & Collette (ABC Paramount 179 LP, 1957)

The title says it all really. At times Buddy rambles a little (It was great to hear him play Night in Tunisia but I couldn't help thinking I wanted more from his flute than he gave) but then he can really move me when he wants. Recommended to all Collette lovers, something nice for a Sunday morning. My vinyl is a bit worn but the music came through it ok (there are a few little skips)

dustygroove hype:
Quite possibly the rarest session ever cut by Buddy Collette -- a quartet session with an unusual group that includes Dick Shreve on piano, John Goodman on bass, and Bill Dolney on drums -- all players that get past the usual west coast crew that Buddy mostly recorded with! The format here builds on Colette's work with the Chico Hamilton group -- and features a number of sprightly tracks with flute in the lead, and Hamilton-like support from the rest of the group. But then there's other numbers that have Buddy more out front on alto sax -- blowing with a nice raspy edge and a bit more of a bop feel that's mighty nice. Titles include "Flute In D", "Winston Walks", "If She Had Stayed", "Johnny Walks", "Three & One", "Perfida", "Morning Jazz", and "Perfida".

Randy Weston & Melba Liston - Volcano Blues (1993)

Pianist Randy Weston and trombonist/arranger Melba Liston have collaborated successfully for many years. This pairing was on a series of blues numbers, with Weston doubling as session producer and pianist while giving Liston almost total arranging control, except for three numbers. The results were an intriguing twist on standard 12-bar blues, as Weston's muscular piano lead the way through rigorous performances of Count Basie's "Volcano" and his own "Blues For Strayhorn," "Sad Beauty Blues" and "In Memory Of." Liston's arrangements required disciplined solos, and Weston's steady hand generated impressive cohesion and interaction during the unison segments. A superb example of the African/African-American musical continuum. - Ron Wynn

Wallace Roney (trumpet)
Benny Powell (trombone)
Talib Kibwe (alto sax, soprano sax, flute)
Teddy Edwards (tenor sax)
Hamiet Bluiett (baritone sax)
Randy Weston (piano)
Ted Dunbar (guitar)
Jamil Nasser (bass)
Charli Persip (drums)
Obo Addy, Neil Clarke (percussion)
Johnny Copeland (guitar, vocals)
Melba Liston (arrangements)
  1. Blue Mood
  2. Chalabati Blues
  3. Sad Beauty Blues
  4. The Nafs
  5. Volcano
  6. Harvard Blues
  7. In Memory Of
  8. Blues for Strayhorn
  9. Penny Packer Blues
  10. J.K. Blues
  11. Mystery of Love
  12. Kucheza Blues
  13. Blues for Elma Lewis
Recorded February 5 & 6, 1993

Kenny Drew and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - Duo Live In Concert

These two were essentially the house band at Copenhagen's Jazzhus Montmartre, which was the stopping point for all American (and other) jazz greats passing through Europe. Dexter Gordon, as we all know, set up a residency there for a while. Although this duo is what you might have heard on an otherwise quiet night at the Jazzhus, this recording is from a concert given in Utrecht. The set ranges - as is typical for Drew - from bop standards to show tunes to older jazz standards. If you think the possibilities are limited by having just these two instruments featured, you're not taking into account the fine players behind them. These guys were partners for almost thirty years, and several of the tunes here were favorites they played and recorded often - three of them appear on their last great performance together eighteen years later.

"...(Drew) is now at the peak of his career. Duo Live In Concert is his third collaboration with bassist Niels Pedersen, and to hear those two solo voices together is a thrill...this album improves upon its excellent predecessors." ~Transition

Kenny Drew (piano)
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)

1. In Your Own Sweet Way
2. My Little Suede Shoes
3. You Don't Know What Love Is
4. My Shining Hour
5. Viking's Blues
6. Oleo
7. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans
8. Serenity
9. All Blues
10. Trubbel
11. There's No Greater Love
12. Oleo

Recorded June 8, 1974 at Het Hocht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Oscar Pettiford - 1954-1955 (Chronological 1454)

During his short, prolific, and equally tempestuous career, bassist Oscar Pettiford made potent modern jazz that stands the test of time, and is equal to or as brilliant as any you can name. These reissues, mainly from Bethlehem label recordings, showcase large ensembles and are a prelude to the orchestra Pettiford would lead before his untimely death in a European bicycle accident in 1960. There is an octet and a nonet from the Bethlehem dates, quite different and very strong. With trumpeters Clark Terry and Joe Wilder, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, alto saxophonist Dave Schildkraut, clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton, and baritone saxophonist Danny Bank, Pettiford is able to use these members of Duke Ellington's orchestra in a manner much like Duke. There's a jam for Hamilton on Ellington's "Jack the Bear," Pettiford's reverent Jewish-sounding theme "Tamalpais," Terry's hard bopper "Chuckles" with Bank taking the lead, a typical "Mood Indigo" with Pettiford's walking bass up front in the mix, and a darker, moodier "Time on My Hands." The effortlessness of the ensemble is easy to hear, but does not really tell what Pettiford and his big band would do in the not-too-distant future. The next nine tracks, with considerable help from alto saxophonist and arranger Gigi Gryce, give definitive foreshadowing as to the charts that set Pettiford's music in an advanced stance. With trumpeters Donald Byrd and Ernie Royal, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, multi-instrumentalist Jerome Richardson, and Gryce, a higher bar is set from a harmonic standpoint. "Titoro" is an outstanding merging of post-bop, Latin spice, and emerging progressive modernism, topped off by a scintillating solo from pianist Don Abney. The trend continues on the predatory ambush sounds of "Scorpio," the wild bird flute of Richardson on "Oscalypso," the bluesy "Don't Squawk" (a change of pace and a feature for Richardson again on flute), the happy chart "Kamman's A-Coming," Pettiford's cello feature "Another Seventh Heaven," and the famous bass-led "Bohemia After Dark." All are stellar examples of things to come in the late '50s. There are six quintet tracks with just French horn icon Julius Watkins and tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse in the front line, ranging from the galloping bop of Gerry Mulligan's "Sextette" to the well-known tuneful melody "Tricotism" with horns comping over Pettiford's lead bassline, and the solid bop of "Cable Car" and "Rides Again," both tunes that should be standards. The CD kicks off with two tracks originally on the Swing label out of France, featuring pianist Henri Renaud and a sextet with Max Roach on drums, guitarist Tal Farlow, tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, and trombonist Kai Winding. These two tunes are from a session documented on the previous Classics Pettiford reissue, 1951-1954: another happy Mulligan bopper ("E Lag") and the Charlie Parker-like "Rhumblues" (similar to "My Little Suede Shoes"). 1954-1955 is a must-have for mainstream jazz fans, and a fully representative document of what Pettiford was capable of as a player and leader. ~ Michael G. Nastos

Volume two of the recordings of Oscar Pettiford opens with the final tracks from a session organized by pianist Henri Renaud. On "Rhumblues" Pettiford played both cello and bass made possible through multi-track recording. The rest of this CD collates the three dates he made for the Bethlehem label: the quintet-session anticipates the music of the "Jazz Modes" (led by Julius Watkins and Charlie Rouse). Quite daring music for its time. The leader's cello on Quincy Jones' "Golden Touch" stands out. The bigger band which recorded in December features several alumni from Duke Ellington's band and the music "has strong Ducal overtones" (Alun Morgan). The final session features the core of Pettiford's forthcoming big band.

Oscar Pettiford (bass, cello)
Clark Terry (trumpet)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Al Cohn (tenor sax)
Jerome Richardson (flute, tenor sax)
Bob Brookmeyer (trombone)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)
Kai Winding (trombone)
Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Tal Farlow (guitar)
Max Roach (drums)

1. E Lag
2. Rhumblues
3. Sextette
4. Edge of Love
5. Cable Car
6. Trictatism
7. Rides Again
8. The Golden Touch
9. Jack The Bear
10. Tamalpais
11. Chuckles
12. Mood Indigo
13. Time On My Hands
14. Swingin' Till The Girls Come Home
15. Titoro
16. Scorpio
17. Oscalypso
18. Another One
19. Bohemia After Dark
20. Stardust
21. Don't Squawk
22. Minor Seventh Heaven
23. Kamman's A-Coming

Charlie Sexton - Charlie Sexton

"I wish I was as cool as that guy" - Leonardo DiCaprio

Although a youngster compared to most of his Austin friends, guitarist, singer and songwriter Charlie Sexton has already had several phases to his career. Sexton, raised in Austin, Texas, made his debut with Pictures for Pleasure in 1985 at age 16. He followed that up with a self-titled second album when he was 20. Because word of his reputation as a prodigy guitar player spread far and wide, he found himself an in-demand session player while still in his late teens, and he had the opportunity to record with Ron Wood, Keith Richards and Bob Dylan.

Born to a mother who was just 16 when she gave birth to Charlie, he and his mother moved to Austin when he was just four. His mother would get him out to clubs like the Armadillo World Headquarters and the Soap Creek Saloon. Places like the Split Rail and Antone's blues club became his classrooms. After living outside of Austin for a while with his mother, he moved back to Austin when he was 12, and the musicians around Austin, his heroes, people like Jimmie Vaughan and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely and others, took him in and put him up until he could earn more of a living on his own.

From 1992 to 1994, he was a member of Austin's Arc Angels, along with Doyle Bramhall II, Tommy Shannon and Chris "Whipper'' Layton. That group recorded one self-titled album, released in 1992 on Geffen Records. By the time the Arc Angels decided to disband, Sexton was 24 years old and already pegged as a blues musician. But in fact, Sexton plays gutsy, fluid blues guitar, but also spirited rock 'n' roll guitar.

1. Don't Look Back
2. Seems So Wrong
3. Blowing Up Detroit
4. I Can't Cry
5. While You Sleep
6. For All We Know
7. Battle Hymn Of The Republic
8. Question This
9. Save Yourself
10. Cry Little Sister

Friday, November 14, 2008

Eddie Kirkland - It's The Blues Man!

Wildman guitarist/harpist Eddie Kirkland brought his notoriously rough-hewn attack to this vicious 1962 album for Tru-Sound, joined by a very accomplished combo led by saxman extarordinaire King Curtis and including guitarist Bill Doggett. As the crew honed in on common stylistic ground, the energy levels soared sky-high, Kirkland roaring through "Man of Stone," "Train Done Gone," and "I Tried" with ferocious fervor. ~ Bill Dahl

How many Jamaican-born bluesmen have recorded with John Lee Hooker and toured with Otis Redding? It's a safe bet there's only one: Eddie Kirkland, who's engaged in some astonishing onstage acrobatics over the decades (like standing on his head while playing guitar on TV's Don Kirshner's Rock Concert).

But you won't find any ersatz reggae grooves cluttering Kirkland's work. He was brought up around Dothan, AL, before heading north to Detroit in 1943. There he hooked up with Hooker five years later, recording with him for several firms as well as under his own name for RPM in 1952, King in 1953, and Fortune in 1959. Tru-Sound Records, a Prestige subsidiary, invited Kirkland to Englewood Cliffs, NJ, in 1961-62 to wax his first album, It's the Blues Man! The polished R&B band of saxist King Curtis crashed head on into Kirkland's intense vocals, raucous guitar and harmonica throughout the exciting set.

Exiting the Motor City for Macon, GA, in 1962, Kirkland signed on with Otis Redding as a sideman and show opener not long thereafter. Redding introduced Kirkland to Stax/Volt co-owner Jim Stewart, who flipped over Eddie's primal dance workout "The Hawg." It was issued on Volt in 1963, billed to Eddie Kirk. By the dawn of the 1970s, Kirkland was recording for Pete Lowry's Trix label; he also waxed several CDs for Deluge in the '90s. ~ Bill Dahl

Eddie Kirkland (guitar, harmonica, vocals)
King Curtis (tenor sax)
Oliver Nelson (tenor sax)
Herman Foster (piano)
George Stubbs (piano)
Billy Butler (guitar)
Jimmy Lewis (bass)
Jimmy Lewis (bass)
Ray Lucas (drums)
Frank Shea (drums)

1. Down On My Knees
2. Don't Take My Heart
3. Daddy, Please Don't Cry
4. Have Mercy On Me
5. Saturday Night Stomp
6. I'm Gonna Forget You
7. I Tried
8. Man Of Stone
9. I'm Goin' To Keep Loving You
10. Train Done Gone
11. Something's Gone Wrong In My Life
12. Baby You Know It's True

Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in Englwood Cliffs, New Jersey: December 8, 1961 and March 9, 1962

Jerome Richardson - Midnight Oil

Dude is working with Oscar Pettiford at the Cafe Bohemia. He arrives late one night and finds a Florida High School music teacher who was on vacation playing on the bandstand. He and Cannonball - the substitute - later recorded together.

Flutist Jerome Richardson (who switches to tenor on one of the five selections on this CD reissue) has long been underrated and has had relatively few opportunities to lead his own record dates -- only four up to the present time, of which Midnight Oil was the first. The music (three of Richardson's originals, Artie Shaw's "Lyric," and the standard "Caravan") is performed in swinging fashion by Richardson, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland (the unusual flute-trombone blend heard on three of the songs is quite pleasing), pianist Hank Jones, guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Joe Benjamin, and drummer Charlie Persip. This set offers cool-toned bop that, although brief in playing time (just over 35 minutes), is enjoyable. ~ Scott Yanow

" Oil was ... as rare as hen's teeth and reissued without fanfare ... In the past, we've argued that Richardson's one great stock-in-trade was the simple variety of his resources ... Further acquaintance, though, confirms that he was an able, often thoughtful soloist, and his traded lines with Cleveland and the more boppish Burrell will be a revelation to those who have heard him only as a utility band player." ~ Penguin Guide

Jerome Richardson (flute, tenor sax)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Hank Jones (piano)
Joe Benjamin (bass)
Charlie Persip (drums)

1. Minorally
2. Way in Blues
3. Delerious Trimmings
4. Caravan
5. Lyric

Hackensack, New Jersey: October 10, 1958

Allan Holdsworth - Sand (1987)

More Friday Fusion.....

Brit guitar hero Allan Holdsworth, ex of the Soft Machine, Gong, U.K., and Bill Bruford and Annette Peacock's solo projects, has been wildly inconsistent when it comes to his solo projects. Completely bonkers for technology, he's employed every gadget he can get his hands on own records, and has gotten results that range from the near sublime to the kind of dross one usually associates with prog excess. But Sand is a different animal, a respite from the relentless kitchen sink approach Holdsworth was mired in through much of the late '70s and early '80s. Utilizing a new contraption, the "Synthaxe," a guitar that has the tonal and sonic possibilities of the synthesizer but can be played straight as well, it seems to satisfy the artist's technology jones, and allows him to compose sensitively for the instrument while not forgetting he's a guitarist first. Guitar fans might be a little put off by the sounds and textures of the synthaxe, which allows for a guitarist to subvert its limited range of tones and colors for rounded off keyboard sounds and warm textural aspects. In other words, the traditional sound of the electric guitar -- and, in particular, Holdsworth's trademark sound -- is nearly absent. In place is a near keyboard sound played in the same way he plays guitar. The six compositions here range from the knotty, mixed tempo, arpeggio-rich title track to the reflective, near pastoral grace of "Distance Vs. Desire" to the electronically astute, fast and furious jazz-rock fusion of "Mac Man." The only time a keyboard actually appears is Alan Pasqua's solo in "Pud Wud," where the guitarist wields his traditional instrument and rips free of the constraints of his own composition for some truly fiery pyrotechnics. The rhythm section of bassist Jimmy Johnson (a killer electric jazz bassist who has also played with Percy Jones and Brand X) and drummer Gary Husband are more than equal to the task of accompaniment, and, in fact, are creative foils for Holdsworth, who allows his sidemen plenty of room to shine -- also unlike many of his earlier projects. Is Sand the mark of a new contentment and refined aesthetic for Holdsworth? Only time will, but it is safe to say that this is one of his most innovative and texturally beautiful to date. ~ Thom Jurek

Allan Holdsworth (synthaxe, guitar)
Jimmy Johnson (bass)
Gary Husband (drums)
Chad Wackerman (drums, percussion)
Alan Pasqua (keyboard)
John England (Mac computer)
Biff Vincent (octopad bass)

1. Sand
2. Distance vs. Desire
3. Pud Wud
4. Clown
5. The 4.15 Bradford Executive
6. Mac Man

Friday Fusion

Matrix - Tale of the Whale (1979) [LP > FLAC]

An instrumental figure in the booming fusion movement in the mid-'70s, Matrix never quite got the recognition they deserved. Starting in 1974, the band hit the Midwest club scene and didn't look back until 1976's Monterey Jazz Festival. Touring heavily during the next few years, they were a hit in the festival circuit and gained the admiration of artists as varied as Duke Ellington, Weather Report, and Pat Metheny. Unfortunately, the band did not survive past the beginning of the '90s, and their catalog faded into obscurity along with their efforts.

The third LP from Matrix continues focusing on the compositions of leader and keyboardist John Harmon with Mike Hale's title tune being the one exception. The nine-piece band reminds me of early Weather Report at times as well as some of the larger Return to Forever groups that Chick Corea assembled in the seventies.

The first two albums from Matrix were posted earlier this year and if interested, the links are still active. All three of these LPs have never been issued on CD.

Larry Darling, Mike Hale, Jeff Pietrangelo (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Kurt Dietrich, Brad McDougall (trombone)
John Kirchberger (tenor sax, alto sax, alto flute)
John Harmon (keyboards)
Randy Tico (bass)
Michael Murphy (drums)
  1. The Fly
  2. Tale of the Whale
  3. Homage
  4. Galadriel
  5. Nessim
  6. Narouz
Recorded April, 1979

Hank Jones - 1956 Piano Solo (a.k.a. Have You Met Hank Jones?)

Published initially in 1956 by Savoy as Have You Met Hank Jones? (do not confuse with Have You Met This Jones? published in the 70s) and later published by Arista in 1979 as Solo Piano, this Fresh Sound CD is Jones first appearance as solo player.

A rare 50s solo set from Hank Jones -- a unique opportunity for Jones to shine on his own apart from any other players! Although Hank's talents at the time were well-documented in trios and larger groups, this album's a real standout -- and Jones seems to shift his sound slightly for the date, into a mode that's even more rhythmic than before, but still in subtle ways -- almost with a trace of Art Tatum in the balance between rhythm and melody, yet not as sharp overall. Titles include "Solo Blues", "Teddy's Dream", "Gone With The Wind", "How About You", "Heart & Soul", "Kankee Shout", "Body & Soul", and "But Not For Me".
Dusty Groove

Savoy jazz director, Ozzie Cadena, was the first a&r man to give Hank Jones the amount of record time he deserved. In addition to Jones’s steadying presence as a sideman on many sessions, Cadena saw to it that he was finally brought before a wider audience than at any previous point in his career. This time Cadena chose to present him as a solo performer, an inspired choice, since Jones is a complete jazz pianist in that he can be his own rhythm section if he has to. Underneath the flowing gentleness of his lines is a firm, two-handed beat that sometimes distils stride traces of his early influences—Waller, Tatum, Wilson, and Nat Cole. And because of the intelligence and emotional acumen of his musicianship, he can make even the venerable standards included here sound freshly minted and personal again.
Fresh Sound

01. It Had To Be You ... Jones, Kahn 3:15
02. Heart And Soul ... Carmichael, Loesser 3:13
03. Let’s Fall In Love ... Arlen, Koehler 2:24
04. But Not For Me ... Gershwin, Gershwin 2:51
05. Kankee Shout ... Jones, Crossroads 3:12
06. Body And Soul ... Green, Heyman, Sour, Eyton 3:39
07. How About You ... Lane, Freed 2:30
08. Gone With The Wind ... Magidson, Wrubel 3:17
09. Teddy’s Dream ... Von Steele 3:06
10. Have You Met Miss Jones ... Rodgers, Hart 3:13
11. You Don’t Know What Love Is ... DePaul, Raye 4:09
12. Solo Blues ... Jones 4:52

Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, N.J., on July 9 (1,8,9), August 8 (2,4,7,10,11) and August 20 (3,5,6,12) 1956

Hank Jones (p)

Scientists-human juke box-1984-86 ,(Aust post punk)

Probably most often sighted today as one of the favourite bands of Kurt Cobain.and as the heralds of the late 80’s grunge revival.
The Scientists ,were one of my favourite rockbands groing up in the suburbs of western Sydney as a kid.
They started out as a 2 chord pub punk band , back in 1976 or so in suburban perth in western Australia.
That was before my time…and by the time they moved to Sydney ,the largest metropolis
the’yd become a hell of a lot more inventive affecting a gritty post punk synthesis ..which was among the most ecclectic on the australian music scene.
yet.they managed to retain their stooges and mc5 influenced riff based attack ..while drawring on elements of R&B..Psychedelic and avant rock..cramps style swampy psychobilly.. lounge exotica, and even walking bass lines derived from their idiosyncratically incorrect notions about jazz.
This is a great combo pack of their last classic album and the ep preceding it.
The influences on bands like Nirvana ,and dinosaur junior are fairly obvious.. the material here isn’t as melodically strong as say Nirvana’s ..but it’s a lot more obviously experimental and eclectic.
Ripped from the australian citadel reissue.

Review by Kathleen C. Fennessy
"The Human Jukebox isn't a greatest-hits collection and doesn't include all of Scientists' best songs (like "Swampland"). But the compilation, which combines the original Human Jukebox LP with the You Get What You Deserve EP, comes close. This snapshot of the now-U.K.-based Aussies' career, circa 1984-1986, catches them near the top of their game. Granted, the more balladic numbers — Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice" and "It Must Be Nice" — are the weakest vocally, but singer/songwriter Kim Salmon makes them work anyway by dint of sheer charisma and chutzpah. Which is to say, no one would ever confuse him for Sinatra's esteemed paterfamilias, but could Ole Blue Eyes have handled something as downright, well, explosive as "Atom Bomb Baby"? Sympathy for the Record Industry has done Scientists fans — and fans-to-be — a big favor by making this fine material available domestically. Although there are no bonus tracks, Salmon's characteristically frank liner notes make for a nice addition."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Charles Mingus - And Friends In Concert

Most of Charles Mingus's larger-group recordings, particularly in the later part of his career, tended to be unruly and somewhat undisciplined. This two-CD reissue set (which adds five selections to the original two-LP program), which celebrated Mingus's return to jazz after six years of little activity. Such great jazzmen as baritonist Gerry Mulligan, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, altoist Lee Konitz, pianist Randy Weston, James Moody (heard on flute) and a variety of Mingus regulars had a chance to play with the great bassist; even fellow bassist Milt Hinton and Bill Cosby (taking a humorous scat vocal) join in. Most of the music is overly loose but the overcrowded "E's Flat, Ah's Flat Too" and particularly the "Little Royal Suite" are memorable. The "Little Royal Suite," in addition to Ammons, Konitz, Mulligan, Charles McPherson and Bobby Jones, features an 18-year old Jon Faddis (who was sitting in for an ailing Roy Eldridge) stealing the show. ~ Scott Yanow

This two-record set is the last remnant of Mingus' brave and profoundly mad attempt to revive for a time the Big Band format. In February, 1972, he gathered 22 of the best working jazzmen in New York, including the members of his own quintet and special friends Gene Ammons, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan and Randy Weston, and sold out Philharmonic Hall on a freezing winter night. The concert was Mingus' first appearance on a New York stage in ten years and from first note to last was an eclectic, jumbled, confusing affair. The producer and master of ceremonies, Bill Cosby, patronized Mingus' audience and distracted the musicians with his buffoonery. Vocalist Honey Gordon was undermiked and inaudible. There was confusion among the under-rehearsed musicians about the order of solos, and there was a general complaint that Mingus didn't make enough display of his artistry on the bass. In spite of all these headaches, this selectively edited and I suspect heavily remixed version of the concert is a gas, at once a tribute to the genius and vision of Mingus and a fine modern Big Band recording.

The program consists of a general Mingus retrospective retooled for the large ensemble, combined with single numbers and suites that Mingus wrote especially for the big band. Classics such as "Jump Monk," "Ecclusiastics" and "E's Flat" are all given new arrangements and sound fresh and ripe. The featured soloist on all three is Gene Ammons on tenor, playing a husky bluesy mix to which the audience often responded audibly. Also to be found here is the rarely played "Eclipse," the deep blue, sexually earthy ballad that Mingus wrote for Billie Holiday. Honey Gordon's deep alto is a sharp contrast to Holiday's style, but she combines with the lowing instrumental section to make this one of the highlights of the album.

What makes this set worth the price of admission is a little mingling of Mingusiana with Ellingtonia called "Us Is Two"; it was the theme that Mingus wrote for his big band and for some reason didn't put on the unsuccessful orchestral album Let My Children Hear Music. It's a gorgeous and swinging trifle with sensation, definitely one of the most pleasing tunes that Mingus has ever composed and it's evident that the musicians liked it too, as it gets the most rousing performance of the night.

This isn't one of Mingus' best albums and is the other direction from the jazz avant-garde, but this music is just fun to get high with and a good look at the latest chapter of the never dull adventures of Charles Mingus. And check out Gene Ammons—to these ears it's the best recording he's ever made. ~ Rolling Stone

Charles Mingus (bass)
Gene Ammons (tenor sax)
Jon Faddis (trumpet)
Dizzy Gillespie (vocals)
Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Charles McPherson (alto sax)
Eddie Bert (tenor trombone)
James Moody (flute)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax)
Randy Weston (piano)
Eddie Preston (trumpet)
Honey Gordon (vocals)
Joe Chambers (drums)

CD 1
1. Introduction
2. Jump Monk
3. E.S.P.
4. Ecclusiastics
5. Eclipse
6. Us Is Two
7. Taurus in the Arena of Life
8. Mingus Blues
9. Little Royal Suite

CD 2
1. Introduction to Strollin'
2. Strollin'
3. The I Of Hurricane Sue
4. E's Flat Ah's Flat Too
5. Ool-Ya-Koo
6. Portrait
7. Don't Be Afraid, the Clown's Afraid Too

February 4, 1972, Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center, New York City

Benny Carter - Elegy in Blue (1994)

Benny Carter was 94 years old at the time of this session in which he pays homage to nine of his peers whom he had high respect for, playing one composition by each. The title track was written by Carter for a close friend, Dr. Kiyoshi Makita. The Sentimental Gentleman sounds as good as ever and is joined by 79 year-old Harry "Sweets" Edison who's chops, like most trumpet players past their seventies, has seen better days. They are backed by "youngsters" Cedar Walton, Mundell Lowe, Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton.

Benny Carter (alto sax)
Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Mundell Lowe (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)
Jeff Hamilton (drums)

  1. Did You Call Her Today? (for Ben Webster)
  2. Ceora (for Lee Morgan)
  3. Good Queen Bess (for Johnny Hodges)
  4. Prelude to a Kiss (for Duke Ellington)
  5. Little Jazz (for Roy Eldridge)
  6. Blue Monk (for Thelonious Monk)
  7. Someday You'll Be Sorry (for Louis Armstrong)
  8. Nuages (for Django Reinhardt)
  9. Undecided (for Charlie Shavers)
  10. Elegy in Blue
Recorded May 18 and 19, 1994

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anthony Braxton-Donna Lee 1972

Taken from the 2004 ,limited edition (of 5000) cd reissue ..given that this is #3074..its probably no longer available.
i own scratchy vinyl of this and this remaster is a massive improvement ..sonically.
the cover art is better too!
heres a great online review ,for a change.."The concept of playing in a living and extendable jazz tradition is given a clear-headed performance by Anthony Braxton and associates in this America reissue of a session recorded in Paris in 1972.
Braxton, the supreme innovator, dives right into the bop classic, "Donna Lee", where his thick outlining of the tune is so dutiful that his alto playing verges upon eery caricature. For their part, pianist Michael Smith, bassist Peter Warren, and drummer Oliver Johnson open up the tune's space with carefully aimed tone clusters, agile bass commentary and shifting, nuanced drumming. The tune's forward momentum ends rather abruptly — is this the engineer's doing? — but at least we hear for ourselves that Braxton clearly views bop as an extendable music, and not mere history on a shelf.
Braxton's interest in the tradition further includes two very different alto approaches to the romantic standard ballad, "You Go To My Head": in the first version, Braxton works free of abstracted melody quotes to cry and growl; in the second version, he rises up singing from a heaving sea of rhythmic waves and hammered piano chords.
The remaining two compositions are by Braxton, and they're good examples of his schematic titling system. (He also has titling systems such as the Kelvin and Cobalt series, and others that look like graphic art and are (seemingly) based upon black Egyptian mystical and metaphysical traditions.)
The first Braxton piece is entitled,

3=HF |

Unusual as the title may seem, it's actually quite functional, as are all of Braxton's titling systems; but more importantly, in its sound and feel, this is very much like an Art Ensemble of Chicago piece: it's about space and sound and silence, and with Braxton on alto and later flute, this music approximates the bitter melancholy of Joseph Jarman's notable composition, Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City.
In other words, this doesn't resemble a jazz 'blowing session', for Braxton's unique and rigorous music is more composed and organized than we realize, but it is music for improvisors.

60666 C |
sounds like classical 'new music' (compare clarinetist Jimmy Guiffre's group with pianist Paul Bley and Steve Swallow on acoustic bass) in its minimalist treatment of sound and silence, with lots of unison playing between the three players, and a tight focus on the sensitive spaces between notes. This is no surprise, coming from a musician who has introduced his musical concerns and knowledge about the music of so-called white Europeans — John Cage, Stockhausen, Lennie Tristano, Xenakis, Ligeti, Paul Desmond, Warne Marsh, and Earl Brown, among others, to the jazz world.
Jazz, make no mistake about it, is still the thesis on the above composition, and indeed this whole CD, but it's Anthony Braxton's own extended and creative thesis that we share in.
This music's very artistic, and personal, and emotional, and is definitely brainy ==> This is Anthony Braxton's music.
He is an important artist. Hear him out.
... and ... so what if it's not to your taste or liking?"
David Fujino

Sarah Vaughan - Live At The 1971 Monterey Jazz Festival

Sarah Vaughan was approximately three decades into her career when she stepped onto the stage at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1971 and still at the top of her game. Her voice swoops, sways and swings; it's a veritable roller coaster of pitch, tone and tempo, and Vaughan is in complete control of her instrument at all times. The voice is weightier than it was during her early days, but having recently taken a few years off from recording it was primed and ready for the remarkable push Vaughan was prepared to give it. Backed by the very capable trio of Bill Mays on piano (Vaughan introduces him as Willie Mays), Bob Magnusson on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums, Vaughan wastes no time showing why she always appears on the short list of jazz's greatest singers: On "I Remember You" she takes command of the rhythm and bends it to her will; it's impossible not to fall within her spell instantaneously. Vaughan must know she's on a roll because midway through the song she lets out a "Whoo!" that one might expect to hear from an audience member rather than the singer herself. "There Will Never Be Another You," taken at a breakneck pace, gives the band ample opportunity to blow, and Vaughan stays just far enough ahead to lead the way -- at times it sounds as if she will leave them in the dust, but she never does; chaos is averted and something wholly exhausting but satisfying emerges. She follows that up with a gender-altered revisit to the Beatles' "And I Love Her" (retitled here "And I Love Him" for obvious reasons) that transforms it into a loosey-goosey blues that gives the singer enough breathing room to toy with the lyric in ways Paul McCartney could not have imagined. For the last two tracks, Vaughan is joined by a true all-star cast of horn players (Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, Benny Carter, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Bill Harris and Zoot Sims), plus Louie Bellson on drums, Mundell Lowe on guitar and John Lewis on piano. Vaughan's role during the ensuing jam is primarily as scatter, but it's hard to imagine that any listener is going to complain that she takes a back seat after having experienced such a top-notch performance. ~ Jeff Tamarkin

Miss Sarah Vaughan (vocals)
Roy Eldridge (trumpet)
Clark Terry (flugelhorn, vocals)
Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (tenor sax)
Zoot Sims (tenor sax)
Benny Carter (alto sax)
Bill Harris (trombone)
Mundell Lowe (guitar)
John Lewis (piano)
Bill Mays (piano)
Bob Magnusson (bass)
Louie Bellson (drums)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)

1. Introduction by Norman Granz
2. I Remember You
3. The Lamp Is Low
4. 'Round Midnight
5. There Will Never Be Another You
6. And I Love Him
7. Scattin' The Blues
8. Tenderly
9. All-Stars Introduction
10. A Monterey Jam
11. A Monterey Jam (encore)

Recorded live at the Monterey Jazz Festival on September 19, 1971

The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen, Vol. 1 (1986)

With fond memories of Johnny, Doc and the band.

The Tonight Show Band gained fame during Johnny Carson's tenure as host of the perennially popular late-night TV program. Not only did the band gain air time with its playing, but it was a foil for Carson's jokes. The role of collective straight man did not in any way hinder the ensemble from being an exciting champion of dynamic big-band swing. The chairs are filled with veterans of topflight big bands and studio work as well. Performers like John Audino, Bill Perkins, Gil Falco, and Conte Candoli anchor the band's sections while Ed Shaughnessy's relentless drums drive the outfit. And they are playing well-conceived charts by such arrangers as Bill Holman, Tommy Newsom, and Dick Lieb. Most of the tunes on this session are familiar big-band barnburners and feature the high-voltage trumpet of leader Doc Severinsen. While others get a few bars of soloing now and then, it's Severinsen's show all the way. There is a break in the fast-paced stuff with a lovely rendition "How Long Has This Been Going On" with romantic Harry James-like blowing (vibrato and all) by Severinsen. But it's the heart-stoppers like "One O'Clock Jump" and "Begin the Beguine" that dominate this session. All in all, this album captures disciplined, well-charted big-band music, and is recommended. - Dave Nathan

Doc Severinsen, John Audino, Snooky Young, Conte Candoli, Maurey Harris (trumpet)
Gil Falco, Bruce Paulson, Ernie Tack (trombone)
Tommy Newsom, Bill Perkins, John Bambridge, Pete Christlieb, Ernie Watts, Don Ashworth (reeds)
Ross Tompkins (piano)
Peter Woodford, Bob Bain (guitar)
Joel DiBartolo (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)
  1. Begin the Beguine
  2. King Porter Stomp
  3. How Long Has This Been Going On
  4. One O'Clock Jump
  5. Tippin' In
  6. Shawnee
  7. Johnny's Theme (The Tonight Show Theme)
  8. Skyliner
  9. Flying Home
  10. Bye Bye Blues
  11. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
  12. Sax Alley
  13. Don't Be That Way
Recorded August 5-7, 1986

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jazz West Coast Live/Hollywood Jazz, Vol. 3

This event has been excerpted countless times on 78s, 10" LPs, 12" long-players, and even on CDs both officially issued and pirated. The significance of the concert can hardly be overstated, since it features a sheer who's who of the Los Angeles Central Avenue jam scene at the dawn of the bebop era. While Dexter Gordon is a prominent figure in this collection, he is by no means the only one. Gordon was a featured soloist with the Howard McGhee Orchestra in 1947, and the other players in this illustrious outfit include Wardell Gray, Sonny Criss, Hampton Hawes, Barney Kessel, McGhee (of course), Trummy Young, drummer Roy Porter, and bassist Harry Babasin.

Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Wardell Gray (tenor sax)
Sonny Criss (alto sax)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Trummy Young (trombone
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Connie Kay (drums)

1. What Is This Thing Called Love
2. Back Breaker
3. Blow, Blow, Blow (Rhythm)

Elks Ballroom, Los Angeles: July 6, 1947

Woody Shaw - Song Of Songs

This LP would be recommended if only for trumpeter Woody Shaw's autobiographical liner notes which definitively sum up both this recording and his career up to 1972. Four of Shaw's originals are interpreted by a sextet also including Emanuel Boyd on flute and tenor, keyboardist George Cables, bassist Henry Franklin, drummer Woodrow Theus II, tenorman Ramon Morris (on two songs) and Bennie Maupin on tenor for "The Goat And The Archer." The music falls between hard bop, modal musings and the avant-garde. Although possessing a tone similar to Freddie Hubbard's, Woody Shaw was a more advanced player and his solos throughout the date are both original and consistently exciting. ~ Scott Yanow

Woody Shaw (trumpet)
Bennie Maupin (tenor sax)
Ramon Morris (tenor sax)
George Cables (piano)
Emmanuel Boyd (flute, tenor sax)
Henry Franklin (bass)
Woody Theus II (drums)

1. Song Of Songs
2. The Goat And The Archer
3. Love: For The One You Can't Have
4. The Awakening

Anthony Braxton - Anthony Braxton

"...there is now more material bearing Braxton's name in the public domain than there is by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman put together ... (these) quartets...are a welcome reappearance.The addition of a percussionist gives the music a superficial impression of regular metres, but it's a fleeting impression...these fill in important parts of the Braxton story." ~ Penguin Guide

Anthony Braxton's 2002 release, Anthony Braxton, is a reissue of his initial release (with the same title) made during a three-year stay in Europe and released in 1969. The music performed by the altoist (who also plays soprano, clarinet, contrabass clarinet, flute, "sound machine," and chimes), trumpeter Leo Smith, violinist Leroy Jenkins, and drummer Steve McCall is very freely improvised, includes "little instruments" for their variety in sound, and contrasts high-energy playing with space. The music on Anthony Braxton (2002) includes one composition apiece from Braxton, Smith, and Jenkins, and is far from accessible but is generally worth the struggle. ~ Scott Yanow

Anthony Braxton (clarinet, flute, alto sax, soprano sax, contrabass clarinet)
Leo Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Leroy Jenkins (flute, harmonica, violin, viola)
Steve McCall (percussion, drums)

1. The Light On The Dalta
2. Simple Like
3. B-X2 NOI47a

Abbey Lincoln - 1990 The World Is Falling Down

Someone asked for this one some time ago.

With the release of her mesmerizing new album, The World Is Falling Down, Abbey Lincoln, now (at that moment) 60 years old, may finally earn recognition as the great singer she is -- possibly the most commanding jazz vocalist now at work.
True jazz singing, where the vocalist can be as emotive if not quite as free as an instrumentalist, flourished in the decades when pop songs were perfect vehicles for improvisation. With rock, all that changed: Jazz grew simultaneously freer and more insular, and jazz singers often found themselves stranded without suitable material. Lincoln began writing songs of her own in the 1950s, when she worked with the greatest jazz instrumentalists, and when most other singers were content with recycling Golden Age evergreens.
By the early '60s, the sublime swing of Ella Fitzgerald and the virtuoso ornamentation of Sarah Vaughan didn't always seem tough enough to suit the turmoil of the Civil Rights era. Lincoln's plain and plangent voice did, and so did her concern with racial politics and black history. That concern led to ''We Insist! (Freedom Now Suite),'' a 1960 collaboration with drummer Max Roach, who was then her husband. Her 1959 album, ''Abbey Is Blue,'' has just been reissued, affirming how far ahead of her time she was in choosing an imaginative repertoire: While other female singers stuck to man-hungry laments from the previous decade, she championed -- among much else -- songs by the subsequently famous folk-protest performer Oscar Brown Jr.
During those same years, she began working as an actress, launching a movie career -- with a role in the 1957 rock parody ''The Girl Can't Help It'' -- that peaked with Michael Roemer's landmark 1964 film about blacks, ''Nothing But a Man,'' and her 1968 starring role as a maid opposite Sidney Poitier in ''For Love of Ivy.'' (After a long absence from the screen she appeared this year as Denzel Washington's mother in Spike Lee's ''Mo' Better Blues.'') Since the '60s she had kept a low profile as a singer as well, rarely appearing at all. When she returned in the '70s she displayed an uncanny knack for finding the best young musicians -- saxophonist Steve Coleman, for one.
Fittingly, the highlight of her new record is a Lincoln original, probably the best she's ever written. ''The World Is Falling Down'' is a song with a secular gospel feel. Paced over a decisive backbeat, it has a deep blues undercurrent, a churchlike power -- appropriate because it's about defying the ravages of time. Yet it's also a glittering jazz performance, with radiant solos by trumpeter Clark Terry (surprisingly laconic and utterly free of his trademark jocular licks) and influential alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, who in the unaccustomed role of accompanist turns in the best supporting performance of the year. His solo on this track is a flourish of gorgeous melody; when Terry briefly returns on trumpet, he avows the solo's songfulness by following with a quote from Franz Schubert -- four lyrical bars of the ''Unfinished Symphony.''
Lincoln's proud yet plaintive improvisational style is in the tradition of Billie Holiday. She doesn't use many notes (though her range is greater than Holiday's -- she can hit ravishing high notes on ballads), but she chooses them with great care, savoring long open vowels and using blues shadings with telling subtlety. Unlike the brilliant flights of fancy associated with Fitzgerald, the Holiday manner -- fewer notes, narrower range --was forged in the need to make less mean more. It's never facile. From Holiday, Lincoln inherited a firm sense of drama and proportion, as well as a regard for the meaning of the lyrics she chooses to sing. Her ''I Got Thunder,'' for example, is a pealing ode of self-affirmation, dressed up with tempo changes, a catchy chorus, and another great McLean solo. She also wrote words to Thad Jones' ''Summery,'' producing a robust lament she calls ''When Love Was You and Me,'' and collaborated with the great bassist Charlie Haden (who, with drummer Billy Higgins, keeps the rhythm section unerringly graceful) on ''First Song.''
Most surprisingly, Lincoln does the impossible with ''How High the Moon,'' one of the most frequently played songs ever: She makes it fresh again. The Morgan Lewis-Nancy Hamilton classic was originally a little-noticed Broadway show tune, but in the mid-'40s it became the anthem of the bebop era when Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Cole, and other musicians recorded countless variations on it; following suit, the team of Les Paul and Mary Ford popularized the song and scored a monster hit in 1951. The fact that Lincoln sings it in French (as well as English) and in waltz time and revives the rarely heard verse accounts less for the distinctness of her version than her attention to the tune's cresting lyricism. Her approach has an aching purity that makes you hunger for alluring improvisations: Once again, Terry and McLean deliver. When the album's finished, you know you've been someplace, and you want to play the album over to get there again. Gary Giddins (Entertainment Weekly)

1. The World Is Falling Down 6:21
2. First Song 6:31
3. You Must Believe In Spring And Love 5:58
4. I Got Thunder (And It Rings) 5:49
5. How High The Moon (La Lune Est Grise.. Mon Coeur Aussie) 7:32
6. When Love Was You And Me 5:46
7. Hi Fly 6:33
8. Live For Life 4:49

Abbey Lincoln Vocals
Jackie McLean Sax (Alto)
Alain Jean-Marie Piano
Clark Terry Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Charlie Haden Bass
Billy Higgins Drums
Ron Carter Arranger

Recorded in New York on February 21-22, 1990

Johnny Griffin - 1976 Live in Tokyo

Listening to the music of this CD one can understand the power of enthhusiasm Griffin has to arouse, and you will find yourself showing it. First of all, there is his breath-teaking technique and secondly his special, perhaps unique, blend of intense diabolical seriousness and dead-pan humor.
CD information

Yanow's review obviously refers to the double LP version which includes an additional song:
The great tenor Johnny Griffin really gets a chance to stretch out on this two-LP set. Joined by pianist Horace Parland, bassist Mads Vinding and drummer Art Taylor for this Tokyo concert, Griffin digs into three standards and a pair of his originals; all except for a rapid "Wee" are at least 16 minutes long. Griffin's long cadenza on "The Man I Love" is a highlight.
Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

01 All the Things You Are .... Hammerstein, Kern 18:53
02 When We Were One .... Griffin 17:08
03 Wee .... Best 3:47
04 The Man I Love .... Gershwin, Gershwin 16:47

Johnny Griffin Sax (Tenor)
Horace Parlan Piano
Art Taylor Drums
Mads Vinding Bass

Recorded at Yuhbinchokin Hall, Tokyo on April 23, 1976

Tony Conrad w/Faust-Outside The Dream Syndicate (1972)

Any one interested in todays drone underground ought to check this out.
on a historical note...john cales viola sound on tracks like the Stooges 'WE WILL FALL'and numerous Velvet Underground tracks..were all derived primarily from conrad's playing with Lamonte Young's .improv group the dream syndicate (which Cale was also in for a spell)

"Recorded over a span of three days in 1973, Outside the Dream Syndicate was Tony Conrad's first official release; though also credited to the celebrated Krautrock band Faust, it's primarily a showcase for Conrad's minimalist drone explorations, an aesthetic fascinatingly at odds with the noisy, fragmented sound of his collaborators. Consisting of three epic tracks, each topping out in excess of 20 minutes, the album is hypnotically contemplative; the music shifts in subtle — almost subliminal — fashion, and the deeper one listens, the more rewarding it becomes."
Jason Ankeny

"During the 1960s, Tony Conrad was a member of La Monte Young's Theater of Eternal Music, a.k.a. The Dream Syndicate, a performance group dedicated to the creation and exploration of drone music and the just intonation system. (The group's efforts strongly influenced Velvet Underground, whose bassist/violist, John Cale, was also a Dream Syndicate member). As explained in the C.D. liner notes, Conrad's association with Young continued sporadically through the early 1970s, when Young's performances in Germany brought Conrad in contact with the experimental rock group Faust. This recording is the result of that meeting.
Outside the Dream Syndicate consists of three lengthy tracks, each over twenty minutes long. On the first, "From the Side of Man and Womankind," Conrad's violin slowly builds a layer of drones over a bass/ drums rhythm section that is Kraftwerkian in its simplicity. The second track, "From the Side of the Machine," is more dynamic and alluring than the first, as the drums and bass have (somewhat) freer rein, the violins sound less tremulous, synthesizers become rather prominent, and the rhythm gradually increases in tempo. The final track, "From the Side of Woman and Mankind," is extremely similar to the first track (perhaps it is an outtake or unused portion thereof) and was discovered just prior to the C.D. remix of the original recordings.
Your own feelings about this compact disc will probably correspond directly to your tolerance for very repetitive, slowly evolving music. There aren't any chord changes here, other than the constant harmonic permutations of Conrad's violin. The rhythm of the first and third tracks goes on unchanged for the duration of both, and even the second track is still pretty controlled. But those who aren't bothered by this will find Outside the Dream Syndicate to be a very rewarding listening experience. The music changes so subtly that it becomes all the more intriguing when a variation does occur. Very, very meditative."
Joe Castleman

Jandek-Telegraph melts (1986)

My favourite jandek, and I believe his debut on electric guitar.
Unusual in that it incorporates the uhm, invigorating at times ecstatic backing vocals of an unnamed female.
Also distinctive is the previously unmatched post punk ferocity of his attack on many of the tunes.
Let it roll in ernest R.H.

"Jandek proclaimed himself Ready for the House on his 1978 debut; 12 albums later in 1986 he's ready for a garden party. A garden party Jandek-style unfolds somewhat as Jandek-saga followers might think, as the host's guitar emulates, say, the ratcheting action on a child's ray gun as it wanders its back yard firing spasmodically, while the mysterious John who's banged drums since Your Turn to Fall emulates, say, a homeless person shoving 80 pounds of crap in a shopping cart up a sidewalk broken into fissures by overgrown tree roots. Jandek's first friend Nancy presides over the top with her genial wail in the early going; a mysterious third voice that may be John, Jandek singing in a lower register, or an unknown would-be cult leader passing the garden party on his way to Gomorrah joins Nancy in non-singing "Chant with joy/Chant with magic/Chant with celebration." Except the chant is called "Governor Rhodes," and Governor Rhodes of Ohio ordered the National Guard onto the Kent State campus on May 4, 1970. Genuine levity — a boot to the head for those who say Jandek lacks deliberate humor — comes in a "Mother's Day Card," where the three voices stagger around a lyric probably pinched from Hallmark. But "You Painted Your Teeth" comes on right before, and teeth painting, while commonplace among the Si La of Laos and Vietnam, is perhaps the greatest sin of Jandek's crumpled, unmapable multiverse. Just a few albums later everyone else went home, or Gomorrah-bound. By 2001's solo voice Put My Dream on the Planet Jandek was quavering, "I'm ready for the house!" and the disjointed communal satisfaction of this record's "The House up on the Hill" must have seemed to its creator like a snapshot curling from long-departed summer heat. "
Andrew Hamlin

John Pizzarelli - Hit That Jive, Jack! (1985)

John Pizzarelli's second recording as a leader... Pizzarelli's singing was already distinctive and his guitar playing quite swinging...roughly half of the songs on this CD reissue use pop or funk rhythms. Having not quite found his niche yet, Pizzarelli does perform five numbers associated with Nat King Cole; his renditions of "Racing With the Moon" and the standard "Nobody's Heart" are poppish...There is strong backup (either the quartet of pianist Dave McKenna, second guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, bassist Jerry Bruno and drummer Butch Miles or the trio of bassist Gary Hasse, drummer Stephan Ferrera and the atmospheric harmonica of Hugh McCracken), even if the material and arrangements are a bit uneven... Scott Yanow

During the maelstrom of divergent brands of popular music and jazz that was the mid-40s, there existed a variety of performer who belonged to both categories. Joe Mooney, Slim Gaillard, Rose Murphy, Mal Fitch, Page Cavanaugh, Bobby Troup and Matt Dennis not only sang ballads, rhythm numbers and novelties, but played instruments in jumping little bands (trios and larger) that emphasized entertainment as much as the big bands did. Sadly, changing trends forced this breed into extinction, and even the greatest of these men, Nat King Cole, had to conventionalize his singing into a more mainstream approach.

John Pizzarelli, on his second vocal album, not only pays homage to Cole and the others, but shows how their approach is still relevant to the music and the mood of the 80s. "The Nat Cole Trio songs are just wonderful," says John, "and it was the thrill of a lifetime to work with Butch Miles and Dave McKenna. Together with Bucky (John's guitarist/father) and Jerry Bruno they make up the best rhythm section around today bar none!" This Will Make You Laugh, one of five Cole pieces included here, was recommended to John by radio personality Rich Conaty, with whom Pizzarelli worked on WNEW's New York Tonight. "The more modern numbers offer a good representation of different things I like to play," John reports. He learned Racing With the Moon from the sheet music before having heard Vaughn Monroe's hit record of the song, and Haven't We Met, which demonstrates his enthusiasm for Kenny Rankin's music, was one of the first tunes he ever played professionally. Bassist Gary Hasse co-arranged Rogers and Hart's Nobody's Heart along with John.

In addition to singing, playing guitar and handling the keyboard work on the five sides with his trio (Hasse and drummer Stephan Ferrera, abetted by harmonica player Hugh McCracken on a couple of tracks), John also composed two original works on this record. Bix Beiderbecke's piano sketches and the state of Iowa itself mutually inspired Pizzarelli's Davenport Blues and he wrote to a lyric by Linda Rose.

So What we have here is an artist who not only knows his roots, but whose work is a statement of their artistic validity. More than updating an old tradition, John Pizzarelli has seen the past and makes it work today. Will Friedwald

John Pizzarelli (Guitar, Arranger, Vocals)
Bucky Pizzarelli (Guitar) #3,7,10
Butch Miles (Drums) #3,7,10
Dave McKenna (Piano) #3,7,10
Gary Haase (Bass)
Hugh McCracken (Harmonica)
Jerry Bruno (Bass) #3,7,10
Steve Ferrera (Drums)

1. Hit That Jive Jack!
2. Better Run Before It's Spring
3. Firm - Fram Sauce
4. Davenport Blues
5. Racing With the Moon
6. Nobody's Heart
7. This Will Make You Laugh
8. Haven't We Met
9. Baby, Baby All the Time
10. You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You

Recorded June 25, 1985 at Lobel Studios, West New York, New Jersey USA

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lester Young - 1944: Volume 4

Volume 4 of 6 that I have; volumes 2 and 3 have already been posted. Good news - I was able to find Volume 1: it'll be around eventually.

Despite the musicians union strike, Pres recorded more in 1944 than he had in the prior three years combined. A year before he had led his first leader session, and now he was back with the classic Basie outfit. This volume begins with his Keynote sessions, which is where Volume 3 left off; for contractual reasons, Basie appeared as "Prince Charming" - note the title "Six Cats And A Prince". The line-up for the KC 7 is virtually the same Basie outfit that Pres was in when he recorded "Lester Leaps In" back in '39.

The second grouping are from Lester's Commodore session, recorded six days after the Keynote. The draft had led to various personell shifts, and later this year Pres himself would be bamboozled into military service. The next two volumes, however, are from '44 also. As usual, this Masters of Jazz series has excellent and informative notes.

Lester Young (tenor sax)
Count Basie (piano)
Joe Bushkin (piano)
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Bill Coleman (trumpet)
Rodney Richardson (bass)
Dicky Wells (trombone)
Jo Jones (drums)

Kansas City Seven
1. After Theatre Jump
2. After Theatre Jump
3. Six Cats And A Prince
4. Six Cats And A Prince
5. Six Cats And A Prince
6. Lester Leaps Again
7. Destination K.C.
8. Destination K.C.

Kansas City Six
9. Three Little Words
10. Three Little Words
11. Three Little Words
12. Three Little Words
13. Jo-Jo
14. Jo-Jo
15. Jo-Jo
16. Jo-Jo
17. I Got Rhythm
18. I Got Rhythm
19. I Got Rhythm

Duofel - Atenciosamente, Duofel (1999)

Duofel is a duo of acoustic guitar players, Fernando Melo e Luiz Bueno.They met in 1977 and started to play as professionals in 1979.Their initial influences were Paco de Lucia and Egberto Gismonti. In this CD, each track is inspired or dedicated to people who were important in their musical lifes. But aren't, in anyway,musical pastiches. Duofel has a language of their own. Even when they make covers, they imprint their musical mark. There are two covers in this record: "Procissão", by Gilberto Gil, and "Norwegian Wood". Although a homage, both are very different of the original versions. And as a Beatles fan myself, I can say that their version of "Norwegian Wood" is a damned good one. The same goes to the songs dedicated to other artists. For example, Uakti is a Brazilian instrumental group that handcraft many of their instruments. The song which is dedicated to the goes to some different sonorities (sometimes with guitar played with bows) without losing the characteristic sound of Duofel. As occurs with the songs to Hermeto Pascoal, Badal Roy and all others. In some tracks, there are invited musicians. By brief, Duofel is made by two great musicians, who deserves a wider recognition. Unfortunately, here in Brazil - as in the rest of the world - there isn't too much space for musicians like them. But if you like acoustic guitar sound, take my advice and get this record.

1- Procissão (Gilberto Gil)
2- Subindo o Tapajós (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
3- Floresta dos Elfos (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
4- Azul da cor da manteiga (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
5- Fax para Uakti (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
6- Norwegian wood (Lennon-McCartney)
7- O amigo da chuva (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
8- É pra Jards (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
9- Boissucanga (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
9- Atenção: Lombada (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
11- Jazz à Vienne (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)
12- Garoando no Bixiga (Fernando Melo-Luiz Bueno)

Luiz Bueno - Acoustic Guitar
Fernando - Acoustic Guitar & 12-Strings Guitar
Sylvio Mazzuca - Bass in tracks 1,2,8,9 and 12
Nenê - Drums in tracks 1,2,8,9 and 12
Michel Freidenson - Piano in 3 and 4
Caito Marcondes - Percussion in 3 and 7
Teco Cardoso - Flute in 7; Soprano sax in 11

David Amram - Latin-Jazz Celebration (1982) [LP > FLAC]

Musical compartments mean nothing to David Amram, whose compositions and activities have crossed fearlessly back and forth between the classical and jazz worlds, as well as those of Latin jazz, folk, television, and film music. In addition to his rare (to jazz) specialty, the French horn, Amram has also recorded on piano, recorder, Spanish guitar, and various percussion instruments.

David Amram, who has played and composed in several different areas of music, has always had a special love for Latin jazz. This out-of-print LP finds Amram (on French horn, piano, guitar and various flutes and whistles) playing six of his compositions, plus "Take the 'A' Train," with an impressive 14-piece group that features such notables as altoist Paquito D'Rivera, altoist Jerry Dodgion, David "Fathead" Newman on tenor, baritonist Pepper Adams, trumpeter Joe Wilder, trombonist Jimmy Knepper and many percussionists, including Machito and Candido. Frequently explosive and always infectious music. - Scott Yanow

David Amram (French horn, piano, guitar, penny whistles, ocharinas, Andean flutes, percussion)
Paquito D'Rivera (alto sax, flute, percussion)
Jerry Dodgion (alto, soprano sax)
David "Fathead" Newman, George Barrow (tenor sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Joe Wilder (trumpet)
Jimmy Knepper (trombone)
Victor Venegas (bass)
Steve Berrios (drums, timbales)
Candido (bongos, congas)
Myra Casales (congas)
Machito (claves)
Mario Grillo (guiro, percussion)
Duduca Fonseca (Brazilian percussion)
  1. En Memoria de Chano Pozo
  2. New York Charanga
  3. Andes Breeze
  4. Take the 'A' Train
  5. Blue Bomba (Bomba Azul)
  6. Brazilian Memories
  7. Celebration
  8. Song of the Rain Forest
  9. An Interview with David Amram
Recorded January, 1982

Ernie Watts - The Long Road Home (1996)

JVC 20bit K2 Super Coding - recorded live directly to two-track by Jim Anderson

"The Long Road Home reflects my voyage back to the music that inspires me,” says Watts. “When doubt and darkness engulf us, the memory of our essence begins to call and we begin our journey back home.” Recorded in New York, Watts surrounds himself with superb players; Kenny Barron (piano), Mark Whitfield (guitar) and Reggie Workman (upright bass). Carmen Lundy lends evocative vocals on two tracks. Recorded without drums, the sessions have a mellow, bluesy feel. The disc contains the Charles Mingus classics “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and “Nostalgia In Times Square,” along with “Willow Weep For Me” and “Lover Man.” Watts’ originals “River of Light” and the title track further define his respect for the jazz idiom. His composition “Bird’s Idea” pays tribute to the great Charlie Parker.

Ernie Watts (tenor sax)
Kenny Barron (piano)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Mark Whitfield (guitar on 1,2,5,7)
Carmen Lundy (vocals on 2,8)
  1. Lover Man
  2. At the End of My Rope
  3. River of Light
  4. Nostalgia in Times Square
  5. Bird's Idea
  6. The Long Road Home
  7. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
  8. Willow Weep for Me
  9. Moonlight and Shadows
Recorded May 8, 9, 1996

Louie Belogenis -twice told tales (2003)

“New York City is a big place. When you add in Brooklyn and the other boroughs it can be downright daunting in size. With so much acreage, and so many musicians falling under the seemingly ubiquitous ‘Downtown” designation, any head-scratching on the part of listeners toward tenor saxophonist Louie Belogenis seems at least in part forgivable. Given lengthy tenures in Tucson and his native Minneapolis, Tony Malaby’s horn is even lower profile. In sum, improvising saxophonists can appear a dime a dozen in the Big Apple.
Twice Told Tales serves as a much needed shot in the arm to inoculate against such summary dismissals. Teaming Belogenis and Malaby with a crack rhythm core of Trevor Dunn on upright bass and Ryan Sawyer on traps, this Japanese bankrolled session delivers a baker’s dozen of reasons why obscurity hopefully isn’t a viable outcome for this quartet. On the endearing handwritten note that served as promo preamble for the disc, Belogenis maps out the band’s points of departure from the usual two tenor tandems that have long been a niche custom in jazz. He cites “empathic and poetic interplay” and “alchemical sensibility” among the decisive differentiating factors. Hell, it’s a well-written (if obviously biased) review in and of itself and his assessment seems spot on to my ears. And with the liner notes scribed in a combination kanji and hiragana, it also makes for some convenient context.
But what of the music specifically? Long compositions vie with significantly shorter ones creating appearance of a suite-like structure with tangential interludes. The scripting is so seamless that it’s difficult at times to discern where premeditation ends and extemporization begins. Conversely, Malaby’s silver-lacquered tenor is easily distinguishable from Belogenis’ burnished brass counterpart. The latter’s sound is commonly dry, rasp-inflected and tightly wound, while the former favors a fatter, more girth-guided tone and smoother phrasing style. Though both men often adopt elements of each other’s styles and also turn to other horns including soprano and alto variants. Deferring amiably to the dark forceful drive of Dunn and Sawyer on the opener “Long Ago,” the horns eventually enter with Belogenis testing the terrain on a short melodic reconnaissance and Malaby soon treading the path broken. Near the track’s end, the rhythm section slips unobtrusively into silence leaving the tenors to bob and twine in powerful braiding lines accapella.
Bass and drums achieve an equal footing alongside the frontline pair. Dunn demonstrates stunning facility with sharply bladed bow, scything harmonics from the crisp studio air as cunning counterpoint to the horns on pieces like the somber-patterned “Once.” Sawyer’s succinctly deployed cadences shape the action in staccato fashion on “Calliope,” tugging and pushing in tidal bursts amidst the renal overtone shrieks of the reeds. Captured in the immaculate sonics of Avatar Studios, every nuance, from the tensile twang of tautly snapped strings to the suspirating murmur of brushes on drum skin, is laid bare. The same holds fast for the exquisitely rendered horns, and the minute details of each saxophonist’s individual dialect make for some steadfastly entrancing listening.
Free jazz need not only be about ear-rending howls and instrument-splintering dissonance. Belogenis and Malaby extol the virtues of this truism at length and as such their shared music with Dunn and Sawyer comes across as far more satisfying than the usual horns-bass-drums blowout. It’s this difference that will likely translate into higher visibility for their collective and individual talents on the hardscrabble proving ground that is the New York scene.”
Derek Taylor

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Teddy Charles - Word From Bird

This Koch reissue brings to light a forgotten 1957 Atlantic session from vibraphonist Teddy Charles. Although much of this material falls under the category of cool jazz, the leadoff and title track "Word From Bird" features a full ensemble and caused some controversy for its third stream approach. Commissioned for the Stuttgart Light-Music Festival in 1956, the festival directors ended up rejecting it, insisting it was too musically advanced and serious for a "light music" festival. The swinging uptempo Bob Brookmeyer composition "Show Time" features admirable soloing from Charles, Hal Stein on alto, Robert Newman on tenor, trumpeter Art Farmer, and Jimmy Rainey on guitar. The four remaining tracks feature the rhythm section only with Hall Overton on piano, Charles Mingus on bass, and Ed Shaughnessy on drums. Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things," a haunting version of "Laura," "When Your Lover Has Gone," and the midtempo "Blue Greens" lazily gallops along with Mingus receiving ample solo space. Word From Bird is an enjoyable reissue. ~ Al Campbell

Teddy Charles (vibraharp)
Art Farmer (trumpet)
Jimmy Raney (guitar)
Eddie Bert (trombone)
Don Butterfield (tuba)
Hall Overton (piano)
Addison Farmer (bass)
Charles Mingus (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums)

1. Word From Bird
2. Laura
3. Show Time
4. When Your Lover Has Gone
5. Just One Of Those Things
6. Blue Greens

Recorded on October 23 and November 12, 1956

Jane Bunnett and Don Pullen - New York Duets

This strong outing matches together Jane Bunnett on soprano and flute and the great pianist Don Pullen. The adventurous music holds on to the tradition of chordal improvisation yet is also quite free in spots. Pullen's rhythmic playing makes his solos seem more accessible and traditional than they really were and it is to Bunnett's great credit that she keeps up with him. In addition to six of their originals, the duo performs a pair of complex Thelonious Monk songs ("Bye-Ya" and "Little Rootie Tootie") and a Cuban theme "For Merceditas." Thought-provoking and unpredictable music. ~ Scott Yanow

Don Pullen (Piano)
Jane Bunnett (flute, sax)

1. Bye-Ya
2. Ginastera
3. Double Arc Jake
4. For Merceditas
5. Main Street
6. Make Someone Happy
7. Nice Work
8. The Wanderer
9. Gratitude
10. Little Rootie Tootie

Sonny Stitt - The Champ

The hard swinging energy of the late 1950s post-bebop scene served Sonny Stitt well, and this long-unavailable reissue shows why. Stitt comes out kicking on the tenor sax, the instrument that helped him define himself away from Charlie Parker in the early 1950s when the younger Stitt was a promising bop alto player. Pugilist references aside, The Champ blooms with Stitt smoldering on alto for "Sweet and Lovely" and then taking off again in a slack, strutting clip on "The Midgets." Trumpeter Joe Newman blows a fine, open trumpet, keeping his attack almost full-bore even when he uses a mute. Stitt, though, is the champ on this CD. He molds his tone to suit the supple stair-climb melody of "The Eternal Triangle," wringing every note for all its shades of blue. ~ Andrew Bartlett

Sonny Stitt's The Champ was originally released on the Muse Jazz label ..... It contains music recorded by Stitt on April 18, 1973, during a period when Stitt was enjoying a certain commercial success. Make no mistake, this music is vintage Bebop, from start to finish. It begins with Bebop maven Dizzy's "The Champ" and ends with what might be considered an opening shot into Hard Bop, "Walkin'". Stitt performs more on tenor than alto and is capable supported by the superb Duke Jordan on piano and Sam Jones on bass, Joe Newman on trumpet, and Roy Brooks on drums.

On The Champ, he plays with a determination, confidence and care of an expert craftsman in his art. His language and style are vertically steeped in the Bebop tradition of which he is a master. .... Stitt takes jazz anthems and arranges them to suit himself to great effect. He employs the original Parker/Gillespie introduction to "All the Things You Are" except the trumpet and alto play the same line. What follows is 4' 11" of superb bop. The disc's closer, "Walkin'" boasts an arrangement and performance second only to Miles'. He has a beautiful tenor tone on the ballad, "Sweet and Lovely" and an aggressive bite on the title cut.

Trumpeter Joe Newman is cited by many critics as the single drawback to an otherwise fine recording. Newman may not be flashy sparkler bright on the Fourth of July, but he is capable and does keep it between the ditches. Jordan, Jones and Brooks are all impeccable as one would expect. All in all, this is a very good disc. A great introductory example to an important saxophonist at the top of his form.

Sonny Stitt (alto and tenor sax)
Duke Jordan (piano)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Sam Jones (bass)
Roy Brooks (drums)

1. The Champ
2. Sweet And Lovely
3. The Midgets
4. The Eternal Triangle
5. All The Things You Are
6. Walkin'

Joshua Rifkin - Piano Rags by Scott Joplin

I don't know what I can say about this CD that hasn't already been said, but it's so good that I'll try to add my own two cents. Although he's primarily a Baroque music scholar, Joshua Rifkin (however unintentionally) pretty much spearheaded the Joplin revival in the '70s, and this CD reveals that even after thirty-plus years his recordings are still the best. The emotional content on this CD is incredible not only for its depth, but for its variances; Rifkin subtly varies his playing style strain by strain, and in some cases even measure by measure, to capture the ever-changing moods of each rag. Many performers of Joplin play each piece with the same style and approach throughout, resulting in an emotionally flat experience that sounds like "a bunch of saloon music." Rifkin, conversely, obviously has a keen understanding of what feeling each rag is trying to convey, resulting in a CD that gives us a fresh, new sound with each track while displaying the subtle brilliance and Classical influence of Joplin's music as a whole.

Rifkin's best attribute by far, however, is his understanding of Joplin's "Prime Directive" regarding his pieces: "It is never right to play 'ragtime' fast." Unlike other Joplin performers, who seem to use Joplin's works more as flashy showpieces than as music of any real depth, Rifkin doesn't let his ego get in the way of what the music is trying to convey. He's experienced enough to restrain his tempi and play each work on this CD in a relaxed, flowing manner, providing us a chance to truly hear and appreciate the individual notes and rhythms that make up each rag while still maintaining the music's emotional power and vivacity.

It certainly doesn't hurt that the sound quality of this CD is rich and full-bodied, too, as opposed to many recordings I've heard in which the piano sounded excessively bright, very tinny and confined, or monotonous and flat (or any combination of these characteristics). The bottom line is that Rifkin's experience and research into the proper performance of Joplin's music shine through on this CD, leaving us with music that is in no hurry to finish itself, but takes its time and saunters easily to the end, displaying a remarkable range of dynamics, emotions and amazing musical architecture on the way--all recorded in crystal-clear sound.

While other Joplin CDs may be fun to listen to, this is the one that will not only become THE staple of your Joplin library, it will reveal the amazing technique and artistry behind Joplin's composition, providing a fascinating look into a composer who was (until Rifkin's efforts) unfortunately unknown. Richard Ryan

Joshua Rifkin (piano)

1. Maple Leaf Rag
2. Entertainer
3. Ragtime Dance
4. Gladiolus Rag
5. Fig Leaf Rag
6. Scott Joplin's New Rag
7. Euphonic Sounds
8. Elite Syncopations
9. Bethena
10. Paragon Rag
11. Solace
12. Pineapple Rag
13. Weeping Willow Rag
14. Cascades
15. Country Club
16. Stoptime Rag
17. Magnetic Rag

1-7 &17 recorded September 1970; 8-12 recorded January 1972; 13-16 recorded September 1974 at Rutgers Presbyterian Chruch, New York City

JAZZ SOUNDIE: Meade Lux Lewis - Roll 'Em

Another classic video from the wizard of Boogie-Woogie, Meade Lux Lewis. A search of the archives here will locate a previous soundie I posted plus some chronologicals.

Barney Kessel - Swinging Easy!

Here's a mellow Barney Kessel date that never made it to CD. With Kenny Napper on bass and John Marshall on drums, recorded at Polydor Studios London - Oct 1969.

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
The Look of Love
Autumn Leaves
You're the One for Me
I Will Wait for You
Watch the Birds Go By

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blue Mitchell - Blue's Moods (20bit K2)

One of the biggest challenges for a musician is to front a quartet. There's no one to hide behind. For Richard "Blue" Mitchell, Blue's Moods was his debut as the lone horn player. In the earlier part of his career, Blue was strongly self-critical, always concerned that he wasn't living up to his (self-perceived) potential. His last effort, Blue Soul was a turning point for him. Three of the cuts on Blue Soul were quartet numbers, giving him the chance to show his newly found musical maturity and confidence. Blue's Moods builds on the same sound heard on Blue Soul, and takes it to the next level.

The songs on this album cover a wide range of feelings and tempos, hence the name Blue's Moods instead of Blue's Mood. Mitchell slips right into the groove on "I'll Close My Eyes." and never looks back. The rhythm section on these sessions - Wynton Kelly (piano), Sam Jones (bass) and Roy Brooks (drums) - is outstanding. As you listen to these tracks, it's readily apparent that this wasn't just a one-off thing. Kelly and Jones both get to stretch out a bit on the lightly swinging "Avars." One of the best cuts here is the superb rendition of Charlie Parker's "Scrapple From the Apple." This may be Blue's date, but the trio really stands out on this one.

Blue played a vintage cornet owned by the album's engineer Ray Fowler on the introspective "Kinda Vague." The sparse arrangement really accentuates the horn's somewhat dry sound. Mitchell displays his penchant for the blues on tracks like "Sir John," and "Sweet Pumpkin." Jones' walking bass line on the latter makes this tune another highlight. ..... the extended resolution and definition provided by the 20-bit, K2 mastering process is nothing short of amazing. The OJC version of this CD never sounded bad, but when you compare it to this pressing, it sounds like an AM radio. There's really that much of a difference. To sum things up, Blue's Moods is an instantly enjoyable album by some of jazz' finest musicians; and thanks to the folks at JVC, it never sounded better.

Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Roy Brooks (drums)

1. I'll Close My Eyes
2. Avars
3. Scrapple From The Apple
4. Kinda Vague
5. Sir John
6. When I Fall In Love
7. Sweet Pumpkin
8. I Wish I Knew

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York on August 24-25, 1960

Sy Oliver - 1945-1949 (Chronological 1190)

Y'can never hear enough Lyman Vunk; you know it and so do I.

Sy Oliver's melodic yet sophisticated arrangements helped define the Jimmy Lunceford sound in the 1930s and modernized Tommy Dorsey's band in the '40s. A fine trumpeter (excellent with a mute) and a likable vocalist, Oliver made his recording debut with Zack Whyte's Chocolate Beau Brummels in the late '20s and also worked with Alphonse Trent. Joining Lunceford in 1933, Oliver was responsible for such memorable charts as "My Blue Heaven," "Ain't She Sweet," "Organ Grinder's Swing," and "'Tain't What You Do," among many others. It was a major blow to Lunceford when Oliver jumped at the chance to make a lot more money arranging and occasionally singing for Tommy Dorsey. The hiring of Sy Oliver was a major help for T.D. in getting Buddy Rich to join his band. Oliver's arrangement of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" was his biggest hit for Dorsey. After a brief attempt at leading his own orchestra in 1946, Oliver became a freelance arranger and producer for the remainder of his long career. As late as 1975-1980, he was regularly leading a band but Sy Oliver will always be best known for his classic Lunceford charts. ~ Scott Yanow

Sy Oliver's main contributions to jazz history were his arrangements in the 1930s for Jimmie Lunceford and during the first half of the '40s for Tommy Dorsey. In 1947, he had a big band that recorded four sessions for MGM but quickly flopped, lacking its own musical personality and being born at a time when big bands were breaking up. This interesting CD is full of rare material. Oliver sings "Seventh Avenue" on a V-Disc from 1945, leads his big band on all 16 of its recordings from 1947, and heads a couple studio bands for sessions in 1949. Overall, Oliver has vocals on ten of the 23 numbers and also features singers Henry Wells, Tommy Roberts, Joe Bailey, Bobby Marshall, Charles McCormick, and the Aristokats. Although some of the sidemen are well-known swing veterans, in general they are confined to ensembles, with only a few of the tunes being worthwhile instrumentals. The music is enjoyable enough but one can easily understand why the Sy Oliver Orchestra never caught on. ~ Scott Yanow

Sy Oliver (vocals)
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Bill Coleman (trumpet)
Budd Johnson (tenor sax)
Charlie Ventura (tenor sax)
Billy Kyle (piano)
George Duvivier (bass)
Specs Powell (drums)
Bobby Rosengarden (drums)

1. Seventh Avenue
2. Hey Daddy-O
3. If You Believed In Me
4. Slow Burn
5. Dit Dot Dit
6. I Want to Be Loved
7. Lammar's Boogie
8. Walkin' The Dog
9. Four To Go
10. Bread And Butter Woman
11. Forsaking All Others
12. Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)
13. You Know What The Trouble Is Baby
14. You Can't Tell The Depth Of A Well
15. Blues Just Blues
16. Scotty
17. Sad Story Blues
18. Just In Case
19. Gran'ma Plays The Numbers
20. Caravan
21. Nine O'Clock Gal
22. That's the Gal For Me
23. When My Sugar Walks Down The Street

Blue Mitchell - Boss Horn

This appears on the Mosaic set, which is not likely to be here again any time soon. This, though, is the RVG version. Arranged by Duke Pearson.

Recorded in the midst of Blue Mitchell's 1960s tenure at Blue Note, BOSS HORN is a solid album of top-notch hard bop. Here the trumpeter leads an ensemble with a formidable horn line that includes trombonist Julian Priester and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams. Mitchell's strong trumpet playing is always front-and-center, but BOSS HORN is particularly notable for its pianists. Cedar Walton appears on the album's first four tracks, and his jaunty work on Mitchell's own celebratory, neo-Latin "O Mama Enit" is a highlight. A young Chick Corea proves to be the real scene-stealer, however, with his two self-penned tracks, "Tones for Joan's Bones" and "Straight Up and Down." Both of these adventurous tunes are performed on Corea's '68 debut, which is titled after the former song. For fans of any of the aforementioned musicians, especially Mitchell and Corea, this is an underrated gem of a record that provides a bridge between Mitchell's more straightforward bop and Corea's groundbreaking solo work.

Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Jerry Dodgion (flute, alto sax)
Junior Cook (tenor sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Julian Priester (trombone)
Chick Corea (piano)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Gene Taylor (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

1 Millie
2 O Mama Enit
3 I Should Care
4 Rigor Mortez
5 Tones For Joan's Bones
6 Straight Up And Down

Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey; November 17, 1966

The Secret Museum Of Mankind Vol. 2

"Contains some of the most simply beautiful performances you'll ever hear...the material here is almost entirely unself conscious, culturally uncompromised and soley concerned with being the best version of itself that it can be...this album is designed to dazzle and delight." - Vibes

"Nothing less than the immense but muted roar of all strange, lost, and forgotten music, the long-ago strains of humanity's joyful music." - Village Voice

Compiled here are many of the greatest performances of world and ethnic music ever recorded. This volume represents a trip around the world, stopping at each port to sample one of that country's finest recordings of its indigenous music. Each of these recordings was captured at a period during the golden age of recording when traditional styles were at their peak of power and emotion. Included inside are extensive notes a beautiful period photographs that work together with the music to communicate an exciting sense of discovery.

1. New Caledonia - Men's Group (Anonymous), Wishes of Welcome
2. Bulgaria - Mita Stoycheva Storise, Khoro Goliamo
3. Puerto Rico - Canario Y So Grupo, Aguinaldo De Vavidad
4. India - Prof. Narayanrao Vyas, Yari Mohi Gatai Dehi Mai Shaim
5. Mozambique - Shangaan Choir, Abakwagaza (Men of Gaza)
6. Turkey - Anon Trio, Bahrie Tchifte Tellisi
7. Western Java (Soenda) - Nji Iti Narem, Soekasari
8. Ukraine - Theodore J. Swystun, Yak Poidu Z Kimi Na Nicz
9. Trinidad - Lord Invader, Old Time Cat-O'-Nine
10. Crete - Evstratios Kalogeridou, Malevitziotikos Horos
11. Corsica - Corale Corse, Paghjelle
12. Kenya - Feituk A. Sumeiyat, Bengeria
13. Greece - A. Kostis, Kaike Ena Sholio
14. France - Les Fréres Sciallour, Jabadao de Quimper
15. Ceylon (Sri Lanka) - C. Benjamin Fernando & H.D. Manuel, Manaram Sidevi
16. Spain - Cuartetto Iberia, Zacataque
17. Greece - Rita Abatzi, Prepei na Skeptetai Kaneis
18. Kazakhstan - G. Kurmangaliev, Pan Koylek
19. Cape Breton - Angus Chisholm, Glengarry's Dirk
20. South Africa - John Bhengu, Umakotshaha
21. Algeria - Mahieddine, Isikhbar Eraque
22. Tibet - Bau In Da Li Ga, Liau Kwo Da Tsaou Yuen
23. Rapa Nui - Men's Group (Anonymous), Hotu Matua

Cluster ll-1972

Another psi "kraut" classic.. dated perhaps until the late 80's and the advent of soi dissant ambient techno , chill out..etc when bands like the Orb made their names and a mint stylising ..bowdlerizing ..regurgitating the ostinato pulses cribbed from this one VERY earnest,some say austere L.S.D fuelled LP.

recently remastered this recent digipak reissue sounds .. so ..goood.

Review by Brian Way

Cluster's second album finds them still in their Berlin phase, that of the amorphous analog electronic passages without the reference points of any actual rhythms. The tracks move along based on circular synth sequences that provide structure without the addition of overt tangible beats, such as what they would explore on subsequent albums after moving to the German countryside and collaborating with Michael Rother from Neu!, who would also join them in Harmonia and provide his trademark motorik rhythms for both bands. "Plas" starts out like churning machinery, then lifts off dramatically into expansiveness, evoking the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey where the astronauts circle the moon in slow rotation to slowly reveal the sun in an ominous deep space daybreak; its analog shimmerings and pulsations are the obvious precursors to the ambient passages in Orb and Aphex Twin songs before the depth-charge bass and breakbeats drop in. "Imsüden" is monotonously repetitive, with a woozy spy flick guitar figure inducing vertigo over a swelling and ebbing synth motif and panning helicopter sound effects for over 12 minutes. The aptly named "Für die Katz'" is a brief playful interlude that is the aural equivalent of making a cat jump and chase after a laser pointer. The 15-minute centerpiece "Live in der Fabrik" comes closest to the UFOs-piloted-by-aliens-on-acid themes of their contemporaries Tangerine Dream, and manages to be space rock without the rock. Whether seen as frustratingly nebulous or trance-inducingly hypnotic, Cluster are nevertheless one of Krautrock's true electronic pioneers, and this is headphone candy at its finest.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Jimmy Rowles-on Tour 1978(polydor japan) vinyl rip

Here’s some gorgeous Jimmy Rowles..
This is one of my very favourite jazz records period.
Hopefully one of the first rips in a series of out of print Rowles vinyl in my possession.
I can’t find a review online, surely though you know you can’t go wrong.. Check out the track list.
And with walter Perkins on drums, and the phenomenal George Duvivier on bass ..this packs heat.
The title is a misnomer this is a studio album.

Jimmy Rowles- on tour (polydor Japan 1978)
1 The Maids of Cadiz
2 A Foggy Day Gershwin, Gershwin
3 Pygmie Lullaby
4 I Wouldn't Change You for the World Newman, Rodgers
5 Love Me or Leave Me Donaldson, Kahn
6 You Are a Bad Influence on Me
7 E.K.E.'s Blues
8 Do I Love You? Porter
9 Black Butterfly Ellington, Mills

recorded at metronome studios in Stockholm Sweden
august 12 1978.

Coleman Hawkins - The Hawk Relaxes

Some would contend that The Hawk Relaxes is largely mood music; it's made up almost entirely of ballads of a similar tempo. However, the quality of the music presented here automatically takes this recording (and all of the musicians) out of the limited realm of mood music.

These subtle renderings of songs such as "Under a Blanket of Blue," "More Than You Know," and "Speak Low" feature not only Coleman Hawkins' inimitable thick but never hard-edged sound, but also a youthful Kenny Burrell's refined approach to the electric guitar. In fact, on the entire album, Burrell performs almost in the role of a horn player. The tenor legend and the guitarist develop quite a rapport over the course of these seven tracks. Don't be fooled by this music; it may be sleepy, but it's filled with some of the most advanced ballad playing jazz has ever fostered.

As he grew older, Hawkins often made it a point to perform with much younger musicians, in order to keep his work fresh. Pianist Ronnell Bright, 30 years old at the time of this recording, was the oldest of Hawkins’s accompanists herein, while drummer Andrew Cyrille was, at just 21, the junior partner. With the multifaceted guitarist Kenny Burrell and bassist Ron Carter, at the dawn of what would be a ubiquitously brilliant career,

Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Ronnell Bright (piano)
Ron Carter (upright bass)
Andrew Cyrille (drums)

1. I'll Never Be The Same
2. When Day Is Done
3. Under A Blanket Of Blue
4. More Than You Know
5. Moonglow
6. Just A Gigolo
7. Speak Low

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on February 28, 1961

Larry Coryell - Spaces (1974)

More Friday Fusion......

Recorded in 1969, released in 1974.

This album features the pioneer fusion guitarist Larry Coryell with quite an all-star group. Two selections match Coryell with fellow guitarist John McLaughlin, bassist Miroslav Vitous (doubling on cello) and drummer Billy Cobham, all important fusion players at the time. "Rene's Theme" is a guitar duet with McLaughlin, while "Gloria's Steps" (a Scott LaFaro composition) has Coryell, Vitous and Cobham jamming as a trio. Chick Corea sits in on electric keyboard for "Chris," and the 20-second closer ("New Year's Day in Los Angeles -- 1968") finds Coryell playing alone. Overall, the music has its energetic moments, but also contains some lyricism often lacking in fusion of the mid-'70s. In addition, all of the musicians already had their own original voices, making Spaces a stimulating album worth searching for. ~ Scott Yanow

Larry Coryell (guitar)
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Chick Corea (electric piano)
Miroslav Vitous (bass)
Billy Cobham (drums)

1. Spaces
2. Rene's Theme
3. Gloria's Step
4. wrong Is Right
5. Chris
6. New Year's Day In Los Angeles - 1968

Friday Fusion

Jack DeJohnette - Parallel Realities (1990)

For most jazz artists, the desire to reach a pop constituency short-circuits the very creative impulses that inspired them in the first place. Happily, there are exceptions, and one of them is drummer and composer Jack DeJohnette. DeJohnette originally emerged as a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet and went on to become an influential jazz-rock innovator through his virtuoso rhythm work on Miles Davis's breakthrough recordings Bitches Brew and Live-Evil and later as a session ace and a bandleader.

Now, on Parallel Realities, DeJohnette has created an instrumental tour de force brimming with lyrical grace and propulsive energy. The drummer's collaborators – Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock – are old hands at satisfying vox populi without subverting their jazz roots. Some of DeJohnette's tunes bear more than a passing resemblance to Metheny's jazz-rock arrangements, but on a whimsical, upbeat tune like "Nine Over Reggae," DeJohnette revels in his own dancing, rhythmic style. Elsewhere, DeJohnette pushes Metheny to the limit on the exotic title tune, the boppish "Dancing" and the bluesy "John McKee." In its impeccable balance of romance and revelation, Parallel Realities is what fusion was meant to be: a contemporary melding of attitudes and styles, not simply highbrow elevator music. - Chip Stern

Jack DeJohnette (drums, keyboard bass)
Pat Metheny (guitars, synclavier, keyboard bass)
Herbie Hancock (acoustic piano)
  1. Jack In
  2. Exotic Isles
  3. Dancing
  4. Nine Over Reggae
  5. John McKee
  6. Indigo Dreamscapes
  7. Parallel Realities

Lowell Davidson - Lowell Davidson Trio

A very interesting guy, he studied with Madame Chaloff.

"This recording is the only one made by Lowell Davidson that is commercially available..... He was extremely brilliant, his sincerity and commitment to creativity was profound. The rhetoric he used to describe his music was very rarefied and reflected his background in church music and science (and perhaps hallucinogens). He talked about the upper partials of a tone, his desire to manipulate them and their effect on the biochemisty of the brain. Lowell felt that if you could expand the consciousness of people with music it would have a molecular effect and cause their brain matter to evolve. He also described hallucinations he had as if they were real and seemed fearless about peering into the darkest parts of his own thoughts." ~ Joe Morris

Pianist Lowell Davidson was a man of many parts. A biochemist, he found his muse in music and a strong one it was. He not only played the piano, he also played drums with the New York Art Quintet. He was into avant-garde and free jazz forays that he raised to a new level through his manipulation of notes. The last is evidenced in the marvelous imagery that rises on this, his only record. Lowell had Gary Peacock on bass and Milford Graves on percussion, a rare pairing that gives insight to his vision. They work well in the free flowing and changing dimensions he sets up, ready for his every whim, alert to his agile shifts.

Davidson could make the piano speak in many different ways. His mainstay was improvisation, and he let his right hand find founts of inspiration and invention in beautifully flitting notes as well as deep emphasis. Davidson did not let space dominate the intervals. He let it in judiciously. And when he did, Peacock and Graves moved in.

There are five tunes on the CD, but "Strong Tears" and "Stately 1" show how Davidson could ramp up improvisation and let melody set the path for him.

Davidson sets up a repeated vamp on "Strong Tears" as Graves thuds with bass kicks and lets the rhythm hit a lighter flex with his rim shots on the cymbals. Davidson ups the pace and the depth and as intensity storms in, he darts about before cutting loose and hammering home a welter of well conceived notes. But it is not all boil and fury. Peacock takes over, drawing in the propulsion and getting Davidson and Graves to soak in the calm. It's well-crafted, with the groundwork paved with rich imagination.

The delicate melody of "Stately 1" is gently unfolded by Davidson. Graves is a tad too busy on percussion, but he does not detract from the effect. Davidson gives the melody more momentum before he fragments it. From then on the trio rides the open range executing ideas at the turn of a beat. When they have satiated themselves, and the listener, they return to acknowledge the melody. Davidson has used his take-off point with affecting dexterity.

ESP says that they hope to acquire tapes of Davidson performing in Boston. Meanwhile this recording serves well to define the extraordinary talent that was Lowell Davidson. ~ Jerry D'Souza

Lowell Davidson (piano)
Gary Peacock (bass)
Milford Graves (percussion, drums)

1. "L"
2. Stately
3. Dunce
4. Ad Hoc
5. Strong Tears

Recorded on July 27, 1965

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Buddy Collette - A Jazz Audio Biography

Just about all of this information appears in his autobiography or in Central Avenue Sounds; but these are not, I think, the transcripts used. Just familiar stories re-told; some of the details are different.

This is an unusual double CD; a talking record. Throughout the 132 minutes, veteran reed player Buddy Collette, who has been part of the Los Angeles jazz scene since the mid-'40s, tells a bit about what he has seen and experienced through the years. Collette actually talks very little about himself, preferring to reminisce about his associates including Charles Mingus (highlighted by the complete story behind Mingus's infamous Town Hall Concert and a touching interlude about the last time Collette visited the bassist), Charlie Parker (including Bird's explanation of the origin of his nickname), Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Eric Dolphy, the Central Avenue scene of the '40s and the long struggle to integrate the Los Angeles Musicians' Union and the studios in the 1950s. The only music heard are brief interludes by Collette on his horns between the spoken sections. The often-fascinating storytelling could have been twice as long. ~ Scott Yanow

CD 1
Meeting Charles Mingus
Nat Cole
World War II
After The War
Swing All Stars
Jam Sessions
Inter-racial Orchestra
Relationship With Groucho
McCarthyism And Jerry Fielding
Paul Robeson
Amalgamation And Josephine Baker
Charlie Parker

CD 2
Bird's Nickname
Eric Dolphy
Charles Mingus
Mingus' End
Importance Of Music To Me

Tito Puente - Live At Monterey 1977

Tito Puente played the Monterey Jazz Festival for the first time in 1977, leading a big band that immediately ignited the crowd with his rousing "Para Los Rumberos." Before the conga player even gave the audience a chance to cool off, he immediately launches into "Oye Como Va," a huge hit for Latin rocker Carlos Santana, a piece that Fillmore East impresario Bill Graham introduced to the guitarist by playing Puente's early record of it. The fire is often present throughout the set, with the punch of the horn section and infectious percussion, though ballads like "Delirio" prove just as effective. One of the surprises is Puente's effective cha cha arrangement of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," demonstrating that he always was interested in any good melody regardless of its stylistic origin. Vibraphonist and Latin jazz bandleader Cal Tjader is an added guest for the closing number "Picadillo." This never dull Monterey set is a reminder as to why Tito Puente was one of the true giants of Latin Jazz. ~ Ken Dryden

Tito Puente (vibes, timbales)
Cal Tjader (vibes)
Frank Figueroa (vocals)
Mauricio Smith (alto sax)
Albert Shikaly (tenor sax)
Jimmy Frisura (trumpet, valve trombone)
Paulo De Paula (trumpet)
Richard Pullin (trombone)
Paquito Pastor (piano)
Nilo Sierra (bass)
Mike Collazo (drums)
Jose Madera (congas)
Louis Bauzo (bongos)

1. Para Los Rumberos
2. Oye Como Va
3. Babarabatiri
4. Delirio
5. Tito's Odyssey
6. Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing (Cha Cha Cha)
7. Pare Cochero
8. El Rey Del Timbal
9. Picadillo

Wardell Gray - One For Prez

This session and line-up have appeared on the previously posted Chronological Wardell, however those were just the master takes. This is the complete session with alternates, which, in the case of Wardell Gray, are worthing checking out.

On November 23, 1946, tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray recorded five numbers with pianist Dodo Marmarosa, bassist Red Callender and drummer Chuck Thompson. This CD has 16 performances in all, the original five tunes plus 11 alternate takes (including five versions of "How High the Moon," which was retitled at the time as "One For Prez"). The playing is excellent, but the repetition of titles makes the set of primary interest to completists rather than casual listeners. ~ Scott Yanow

Wardell Gray (tenor sax)
Dodo Marmarosa (piano)
Red Callender (bass)
Chuck Thompson (drums)
Harold "Doc" West (drums)

1. Dell's Bells
2. One For Prez
3. The Man I Love
4. Easy Swing
5. The Great Lie
6. Dell's Bells
7. One For Prez
8. The Man I Love
9. Easy Swing
10. Dell's Bells
11. Dell's Bells
12. Dell's Bells
13. The Man I Love
14. One For Prez
15. One For Prez
16. One For Prez

Arturo Sandoval - Swingin' (1996)

Arturo Sandoval celebrates his 59th birthday today.

It seems remarkable that Arturo Sandoval never seems to win any jazz polls, for few trumpeters can come close to equaling his technique, jazz chops, and warm sound. On this advanced hard bop date, the music is strictly straight-ahead without any Latin rhythms. Sandoval matches wits quite successfully with clarinetist Eddie Daniels on two songs, tenor great Michael Brecker on three (including a memorable rendition of "Moment's Notice"), and veteran flügelhornist Clark Terry on a joyous "Mack the Knife." In addition, Sandoval pays tribute to Woody Shaw, John Coltrane, and Dizzy Gillespie. Other highlights include the moody "Streets of Desire" (on which Sandoval plays piano), the racehorse tempo of "Real McBop" (which has an impossible but impeccably played melody chorus), and Sandoval's humorous use of the plunger mute on "It Never Gets Old." All in all, this is one of Arturo Sandoval's finest recordings to date. - Scott Yanow

Arturo Sandoval (trumpet, flugelhorn, piano)
Eddie Daniels (clarinet)
Ed Calle, Michael Brecker (tenor sax)
Dana Teboe (trombone)
Joey Calderazzo (piano)
Mike Stern (guitar)
John Patitucci (bass)
Greg Hutchinson (drums)
Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn on 11)
  1. Moontrane
  2. Swingin'
  3. Moment's Notice
  4. Streets of Desire
  5. Real McBop
  6. Weirdfun
  7. Dizzy's Atmosphere
  8. Reflection
  9. It Never Gets Old
  10. Mack the Knife
Recorded January 6-9, 1996

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Clarence Williams - 1927 (Chronological 736)

Pianist/bandleader Clarence Williams was at the height of his productivity in 1927; the 22 numbers on this CD were recorded within a 6 1/2 month period. With the exception of The Dixie Washboard Band, all of the performances were originally released under Clarence Williams's name but the personnel and instrumentation often differ from session to session. The fourth in Classics' complete reissuance of Williams's recordings features such top sideman as cornetists Ed Allen and Louis Metcalf, trumpeter Red Allen (in what was probably his earliest recording), trombonist Charlie Irvis, clarinetist Buster Bailey and a variety of lesser-known players with some of the best performances being "Cushion Foot Stomp" (which is heard three different times), "Shooting the Pistol," "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home" and Williams's solo version of "When I March in April with May." Highly recommended to collectors of vintage jazz. ~ Scott Yanow

Clarence Williams (piano)
Henry "Red" Allen (trumpet)
Buster Bailey (clarinet, soprano sax),
Ed Allen (cornet)
Louis Metcalf (cornet)
Albert Socarras (clarinet, soprano, alto sax)
Floyd Casey (drums, washboard)

1. Cushion Foot Stomp
2. P.D.Q. Blues
3. Anywhere Sweetie Goes (I'll Be There)
4. Cushion Foot Stomp
5. Cushion Foot Stomp
6. Take Your Black Bottom Outside
7. Black Snake Blues
8. Old Folks Shuffle
9. Baltimore
10. Take Your Black Bottom Outside
11. Slow River
12. Slow River
13. Zulu Wail
14. Zulu Wail
15. Shootin' the Pistol
16. Bottomland
17. I'm Goin' Back to Bottomland
18. You'll Long for Me (When the Cold Winds Blow)
19. When I March in April With May
20. Shooting the Pistol
21. Baby Won't You Please Come Home
22. Close Fit Blues

Lanny Morgan - Pacific Standard (1996)

One of the great bebop altoists, Lanny Morgan can always be relied upon to enthusiastically dig into standards, preserving the melodies and chord changes but coming up with consistently fresh variations. On this Contemporary set, Morgan is joined by three of L.A.'s finest (pianist Tom Ranier, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Joe LaBarbera), who give him stimulating and swinging support. Lanny mostly sticks to well-known standards, but somehow they sound new. "Stella by Starlight" is taken much faster than normal, "In the Still of the Night" cooks, "Body and Soul" is his ballad feature, "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" is turned into a fast samba, and a blazing "It's You or No One" wraps up the ten-song session. There is not a throwaway track or routine moment in the 67 minutes of music, which is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans. - Scott Yanow

Lanny Morgan (alto sax)
Tom Ranier (piano)
Dave Carpenter (bass)
Joe LaBarbera (drums)
  1. In the Still of the Night
  2. People Will Say We're in Love
  3. Stella by Starlight
  4. The Song Is You
  5. Rosalie
  6. I'll Remember April
  7. Body and Soul
  8. Broadway
  9. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most
  10. It's You or No One
Recorded September, October, 1996

Dexter Gordon - Lullaby For A Monster

Recorded shortly before his triumphant return to the United States after a dozen years overseas, this Dexter Gordon album features him in a surprisingly sparse setting, accompanied only by bassist Niels Pedersen and drummer Alex Riel. Whether it be the humorous melody "Nursery Blues," Pedersen's title cut or the four jazz standards (of which "Good Bait" was first released on this CD reissue), he is up to the challenge and his lengthy solos never lose one's interest. ~ Scott Yanow

Paring his '70s European quartet down to a trio, Gordon--with a substantial legacy behind him--virtually reinvented himself on Lullaby For A Monster. For a monophonic instrument to function well in a trio setting like this, the lead instrumentalist must have thoroughly mastered the concept of extended harmony, and Gordon had certainly done his homework in that department. WIth only bass and drums for company, the saxophonist weaves his serpentine melodies in and around the implied chord changes, often suggesting alternate harmonic possibilities.

With bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen taking up more of the spotlight, the sound takes on a surprising new dimension. On such songs as "On Green Dolphin Street" and the title tune, Pedersen sets up a funky, angular vamp over which Gordon can explore to his heart's content. This unprecedented funkiness obviously agrees with Gordon, as he's inspired to new levels of playful improvisation.

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)
Alex Riel (drums)

1. Nursery Blues
2. Lullaby For A Monster
3. On Green Dolphin Street
4. Good Bait
5. Born To Be Blue
6. Tanya

Recorded on June 15, 1976

Cozy Cole - 1944 (Chronological 819)

A legend among musicians, these are all New York dates although Cole was a part of the Central Avenue scene.

Check this out -- probably the best overall Cozy Cole collection, and possibly one of the top picks for mid-'40s small-group swing. There are distinct reasons for such a strongly stated claim. They are, specifically: Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Budd Johnson, and Don Byas. Got that? Three additional reasons are Teddy Wilson, Johnny Guarnieri, and Earl Hines. This is no offhand list of incidental participants, but a pantheon of indispensable figures in mid-20th century jazz. Their combined experience and influence add up to direct involvement with the heart and soul of this music, from Armstrong and Ellington to Bird and Diz. Glance at the rest of the collective personnel and you're confronted with a stunning lineup containing some of the most accomplished jazz musicians on the scene during the year 1944. The Cozy Cole All Stars session recorded for Keynote on the 22nd of February still stands near the apex of that label's best achievements, especially because of the electromagnetic field created by putting Hawkins and Hines into the same room at the same time. These Keynotes sound better than ever presented, with 17 vivid sides issued on the Savoy label, which like Commodore and Keynote granted the musicians absolute artistic control. This is precisely why the music holds up so well regardless of the passage of time. Johnny Guarnieri is particularly well represented, as is Teddy Wilson, who sparkles during the Buck Ram All Stars session. There are a couple of percussion feature numbers where attention is deliberately focused upon Cole, but generally speaking every selection is defined, supported, and shaken to its roots by the energetic presence of this indefatigable drummer. ~ arwulf arwulf

Cozy Cole (drums)
Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax)
Ben Webster (tenor sax)
Don Byas (tenor sax)
Budd Johnson (tenor sax)
Teddy Wilson (piano)
Earl Hines (piano)
Johnny Guarnieri (Piano)
Red Norvo (vibes)
Tyree Glenn (trombone)

1. Blue Moon
2. Father Co-Operates
3. Just One More Chance
4. Thru' For The Night
5. Jericho
6. Talk To Me
7. Concert For Cozy
8. Body And Soul
9. Nice And Cozy
10. Ol' Man River
11. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
12. Ridin' The Riff
13. Flat Rock
14. Jersey Jump Off
15. Stompin' At The Savoy
16. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
17. Jump Street
18. Twilight In Teheran
19. Morning Mist
20. Swing Street
21. Ram Session

Ken Nordine - The Best Of Word Jazz Vol. 1

Nordine is far better known for his voiceover work than for his albums, but those who do know the albums know the Word Jazz series best. This 1990 compilation gathers together a good selection of the earlier material, recorded between 1957 and 1960. It has a beatnik sensibility, with rhythmic poetic lines underpinned by hip cool jazz backing. It would be a fruitless pairing if it wasn't for two key things: First, Nordine's voice is amazing, polished by years of professional work behind the microphone. Secondly, Nordine's storytelling is solid, and you find yourself being pulled into his world despite the offbeat nature of the material. When you are offered a tour of his brain, as in the CD-only "Looks Like It's Going to Rain," you're glad for the chance to go. A great overview of the crucial formative years. ~ Sean Carruthers

You've heard Ken Nordine before, his immediate baritone resonating like the voice of God in countless radio and TV commercials, hawking everything from Taster's Choice to Murine. In the late 1950s, though, Nordine created "word jazz"--a combination of storytelling, sound painting, and pre-beat improvisation--as a less commercial, more personal outlet for his natural speaking talents. Best gathers the brightest of his four initial albums--material that found him somewhere between the prosody of Jack Kerouac and the arch satire of Nichols & May. As the title suggests, there's a light jazz backing behind Nordine's incantations--ranging from the lighthearted "Hunger Is From" to the disturbing, absurd scenario "Flibberty Jib" to the harrowing memoir "Confessions of 349-18-5171." Good, curious stuff. --Michael Ruby

Compiled from Nordine's 3 Dot LPs.

He's known best as that cavernously deep voice you hear on the occasional TV commercial, but monologist Nordine is in fact a primary innovator in the field of spoken-word recordings. Nordine's influence is wide, his fans including everyone from Fred Astaire (who once choreographed a dance routine to a Nordine recording) to Tom Waits (who contributes liner notes here and has recorded directly Nordine-influenced pieces).

Sadly, most of Nordine's catalogue remains out of print, but this compilation brings together a bounty of his early material. In calm, low tones, Nordine delivers his bizarre tales, both first-person accounts and shaggy-dog tales, over light, jazzy backing. He comes off like the Rod Serling of the Beat Generation, and The Best Of Word Jazz presents him in all his subtly offbeat glory.

Ken Nordine (vocal)
John Pisano (guitar)
Paul Horn (woodwinds)
Fred Katz (cello)
Johnny Frigo (bass)
Hal Gaylor (bass)
Redd Holt (drums)

1. My Baby
2. Original Sin
3. What Time Is It?
4. Confessions of 349-18-5171
5. Hunger Is From
6. The Vidiot
7. Reaching Into In
8. Adult Kindergarten
9. Sound Museum
10. Bury-It-Yourself Time Capsule
11. Anytime, Anytime
12. A Whistler
13. Flibberty Jib
14. Faces In The Jazzamatazz
15. I Used to Think My Right Hand Was Uglier Than My Left
16. Looks Like It's Going To Rain
17. Down The Drain
18. You're Getting Better

Anthony Braxton - For Alto (1969)

Recorded in 1969, this historic album was the very first lengthy document of solo saxophone improvisation. Originally available as a 2 LP set, all 73 minutes are now on one CD. When initially issued, For Alto received a five star rating in Down Beat which called the album "revolutionary". A review of the LP re-issue read "Though For Alto was only Braxton's second recording, his solo vocabulary of multiphonics, pointillistic intervals, and scalar lyricism was already in place. This set of breathy balladic fragments, streams of molten sound, and reconstituted blues elements has stood the test of time." - Down Beat

After issuing Anthony Braxton's Three Compositions of New Jazz in 1968, Chicago's Delmark Records took an enormous chance by issuing the first lengthy solo saxophone improvisation record in 1969 — and as a double LP no less! And while it's true that hindsight is 20/20, For Alto is still, over 30 years later, a record that is ahead of its time. There is nothing tame or nostalgic about these blasts of jazz futurism from the young Braxton, who sounds here like he's trying to blow his way out of Chicago. Most of the pieces on this set are over nine minutes, and all are dedicated to various influences and friends in the saxophonist's circle. Perhaps the most frightening — and enlightening — improvisation here is "To Composer John Cage." Braxton attempts to literally change the entire tonal terrain on which the saxophone plays solo. His skittering skeins of cascading runs are interspersed with huge shouts and screeches all played at lightning speed with a deftness and angularity of approach that is far superior to most of his peers at the time, Messrs. Mitchell and Jarman included. Braxton was introducing tonal possibilities and deconstructions on this record; a solid listen to "Dedicated to Multi-Instrumentalist Leroy Jenkins," with its deep color palette and textural shifts and shapes, is enough to disorient one still. Also, the use of trills as interval markers in "To Artist Murray De Pillars" is remarkable — especially now, as no one would follow this logic for such an extended period anymore. The reinvention of blues theory on this piece that becomes a kind of muted expressionism is truly remarkable. Many of the recordings from the magical period of the '60s and early-'70s creative movement sound dated now, quaint and diffuse from their original power. For Alto is not one of those records; it still has the literacy and vision to teach us about concentration, vision, emotional aesthetics, and even spiritual possibilities in the world of sound and how that world, that universe, interacts and dovetails with our lives. For Alto is one of the greatest solo saxophone records ever made, and maybe one of the greatest recordings ever issued, period. Thom Jurek

Anthony Braxton (alto sax)

1. Dedicated To Multi-Instrumentalist Jack Gell
2. To Composer John Cage
3. To Artist Murray De Pillars
4. To Pianist Cecil Taylor
5. Dedicated To Ann And Peter Allen
6. Dedicated To Susan Axelrod
7. To My Friend Kenny McKenny
8. Dedicated To Multi-Instrumentalist Leroy Jenkins

Recorded during the Summer of 1969

Monday, November 3, 2008

Andrew Hill - Point Of Departure

" Point Of Departure is one of the very great jazz albums of the '60s" ~ Penguin Guide

Pianist and composer Andrew Hill is perhaps known more for this date than any other in his catalog -- and with good reason. Hill's complex compositions straddled many lines in the early- to mid-'60s, and crossed over many of them. Point of Departure, with its all-star lineup (even then), took jazz and wrote a new book on it, excluding nothing. With Eric Dolphy and Joe Henderson on saxophones (Dolphy also played clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute), Richard Davis on bass, Tony Williams on drums, and Kenny Dorham on trumpet, this was a cast created for a jazz fire dance. From the opening moments of "Refuge," with its complex minor mode intro that moves headlong via Hill's large, open chords that flat sevenths, ninths, and even 11ths in their striding to move through the mode, into a wellspring of angular hard bop and minor-key blues. Hill's solo is first and it cooks along in the upper middle register, almost all right-hand ministrations, creating with his left a virtual counterpoint for Davis and a skittering wash of notes for Williams. The horn solos are all from the hard bop book, but Dolphy cuts his close to the bone with an edgy tone. "New Monastery," which some mistake for an avant-garde tune, is actually a rewrite of bop minimalism extended by a diminished minor mode and an intervallic sequence that, while clipped, moves very quickly. Dorham solos to connect the dots of the knotty front-line melody and, in his wake, leaves the space open for Dolphy, who blows edgy, blue, and true into the center, as Hill jumps to create a maelstrom by vamping with augmented and suspended chords. Hill chills it out with gorgeous legato phrasing and a left-hand ostinato that cuts through the murk in the harmony. When Henderson takes his break, he just glides into the chromatically elegant space created by Hill, and it's suddenly a new tune. Point of Departure is full of moments like this. In Hill's compositional world, everything is up for grabs. It just has to be taken a piece at a time, and not by leaving your fingerprints all over everything. In "Dedication," where he takes the piano solo further out melodically than on the rest of the album combined, he does so gradually. You cannot remember his starting point, only that there has been a transformation. This is a stellar date, essential for any representative jazz collection, and a record that, in the 21st century, still points the way to the future for jazz. ~ Thom Jurek

Andrew Hill (piano)
Eric Dolphy (flute, bass clarinet, alto sax)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Joe Henderson (tenor sax)
Richard Davis (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

1. Refuge
2. New Monastery
3. Spectrum
4. Flight 19
5. Flight 19 (alt take)
6. Dedication
7. Dedication (alt take)

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on March 21, 1964

Rolf Kühn - Big Band Connection (1993)

German clarinetist Rolf Kühn performs with the NDR Big Band on this 1993 release. The charts, all but two by Rob Pronk, are pretty standard fare but provide a good setting for the bop-based solos of Kühn.
Rolf Kühn (clarinet)
Herb Geller (alto sax)
Stephan von Dobrzynski, Harald Ende (tenor sax)
Howard Johnson (baritone sax)
Lennart Axelsson, Ingolf Burkhardt, Johannes Faber (trumpet)
Joe Gallardo, Wolgang Ahlers, Egon Christman (trombone)
Fritz Pauer (piano)
Lucas Lindholm (bass)
Ronnie Stephenson (drums)

  1. Sweet Georgia Brown
  2. On Green Dolphin Street
  3. Autumn Leaves
  4. Get Me to the Church on Time
  5. As the Lonely Years Went By
  6. Satin Doll
  7. Sister Sadie
  8. Cabaret
  9. Don't Be That Way
  10. Stella by Starlight
  11. Yesterdays

Ted Curson with Dizzy Reece - 'Round About Midnight

Ted Curson tends more toward bop and hard bop than usual on this series of sessions from between 1978 and 1980. His attempt to play the parts of both Sonny Rollins and Clifford Brown on the flügelhorn in "Pent-Up House" is remarkable, though there are a few slips. Trumpeter Dizzy Reece joins him for five of the nine tracks, craftily using the finale from "Stella By Starlight" as a surprise introduction to the piece. One problem with the credits is that it is unclear whether Jim McNeely or Claude Williamson is the pianist on the collaborations with Reece. Curson and Reece catch fire as they duel in the hard-driving "Walkin'." Ray Drummond's superb bass solo introduces the stunning "'Round Midnight," a generally sparse treatment. Less memorable are the originals contributed by Reece and Curson, which sound as if they might have benefited from more rehearsal. This is a good, but not quite essential, example of Ted Curson's work as a leader. ~ Ken Dryden

Ted Curson (trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo)
Dizzy Reece (trumpet)
Jim McNeely (piano)
Claude Williamson (piano)
Ryo Kawasaki (guitar)
Bill Saxton (tenor sax)
Ray Drummond (bass)
Sam Jones (bass)
Mike Richmond (bass)
Adam Nussbaum (drums)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Pent-Up House
2. Stella By Starlight
3. Walkin'
4. 'Round About Midnight
5. Bass Conclave
6. Lin's Garden
7. Snake Johnson
8. Marjo
9. All The Things You Are

New York: 1978-1980

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Howard McGhee - 1946-1948 (Chronological 1089)

During 1945-49 Howard McGhee was one of the finest trumpeters in jazz, an exciting performer with a sound of his own who among the young bop players ranked at the top with Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro. The "missing link" between Roy Eldridge and Fats Navarro (Navarro influenced Clifford Brown who influenced most of the post-1955 trumpeters), McGhee originally played clarinet and tenor, not taking up trumpet until he was 17.

"...strong bebop performances, and these were the cuts that began to reinforceMcGhee's reputation, which was also being fostered by appearences with Jazz At The Philharmonic." ~ Penguin Guide

This two-year examination of McGhee's recorded work finds the trumpeter performing dates from the West Coast to New York and Chicago. The playing is stellar, and the bands feature notables like Dodo Marmarosa, James Moody, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, J.C. Heard, Milt Jackson, and Percy Heath. Highlights include "Midnight at Minton's," "Up in Dodo's Room," "Night Mist," "Messin' With Fire," and "Bass C Jam." A nice chunk of McGhee's best work. ~ Cub Koda

Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Teddy Edwards (tenor sax)
Dodo Marmarosa (piano)
Hank Jones (piano)
Jimmy Heath (alto sax)
Percy Heath (bass)
James Moody (tenor sax)
Milt Jackson (vibes)
Ray Brown (bass)

1. Dialated Pupils
2. Midnight at Minton's
3. Up in Dodo's Room
4. High Wind in Hollywood
5. Dorothy
6. Night Mist
7. Coolie-Rini
8. Night Music
9. Turnip Blood
10. Surrender
11. Sleepwalker Boogie
12. Stop Time Blues
13. You
14. Hot and Mellow (Yardbird Suite)
15. Messin' With Fire
16. Merry Lee
17. Short Life
18. Talk of the Town
19. Bass C Jam
20. Down Home

Sun Ra and His Arkestra - Jazz in Silhouete (1958)

Throughout their mid-to-late-'50s stay in Chicago, Sun Ra (piano) and his Arkestra established themselves as formidable purveyors of a new strain or sub-genre of jazz. Having evolved from elaborate reworkings of familiar standards, Jazz in Silhouette (1959) presents a collection of originals, building upon Ra's abilities as a consummate multi-tasker — writing, arranging, scoring parts for his band, in addition to performing. He stretches the boundaries of the music to suit the Arkestra, simultaneously progressing his distinct sound. Seminal readings of the quick and complex "Saturn" and "Velvet" are offered with unmatchable dexterity and precision. The latter title comes off like a confused version of "Jeepers Creepers" as Hobart Dotson (trumpet) prominently displays his unquestionable tonality. "Ancient Aiethopia" is one of the more involved works, both in terms of length — running over nine minutes — and the Arkestra's capacity for Ra's compositions. "Blues at Midnight" is another expansive (nearly 12 minutes) outing that, by contrast, is for the soloists rather than full ensemble. John Gilmore (tenor sax), Ronnie Boykins (bass), Pat Patrick (baritone sax), and Marshall Allen (alto sax) all shine behind William Cochran's (drums) solid contributions. Equally significant is the running dialogue Ra maintains during other musicians' leads, directing the ebb and flow with an uncanny fusion of melody and rhythm. Undoubtedly, this is a factor in the freshness the material retains. It is also a prime example of Ra and company in a transitional phase, prior to their full-fledged explorations into the avant-garde. Lindsay Planer.
1- Enlightenment (Dotson-Sun Ra)
2- Saturn (Sun Ra)
3- Velvet (Sun Ra)
4- Ancient Aiethopia (Sun Ra)
5- Hours After (Turner-Sun Ra)
6- Horoscope (Sun Ra)
7- Images (Sun Ra)
8- Blues at Midnight (Sun Ra)
Sun Ra - Piano
Pat Patrick - Baritone sax, flute
Marshall Allen - Alto sax, flute
Hobart Dotson - Trumpet
William Cochran - Drums
John Gilmore - Tenor sax
Ronnie Boykins - Bass
Charles David - Baritone sax
James Spaulding - Alto sax, flute
Julian Priester - Trombone

Dizzy Gillespie & Sonny Stitt - Diz Meets Stitt (1974)

There was a request by Radenko for something from this particular version of the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet with Sonny Stitt. There were no studio recordings made by this group but here is a bootleg from a concert in Copenhagen released by Moon Records. As far as I know, this is the only boot made commercially available but I hear that Discovery is releasing another one sometime soon.

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Sonny Stitt (alto sax)
Al Gafa (guitar)
Earl May (bass)
Mickey Roker (drums)

  1. Groovin' High
  2. Lover Man
  3. Be Bop
  4. Hot House
  5. All the Things You Are
  6. Allen's Alley (Wee)
Recorded in Copenhagen, October 28, 1974

Duke Ellington - The Treasury Shows Volume 4

Duke Ellington was recorded via transcription discs for special broadcasts by the U.S. Treasury Department to help send war bonds during World War II. These well-recorded programs are reproduced from vintage sources that have obviously been handled with care over the decades. This two-CD set compiles three separate broadcasts of live concerts, complete with Ellington reading stiffly scripted bond promos and irritating announcers often talking over the introductions to the songs. But these live sets include overlooked ballads, such as "Everything but You" and "Don't You Know I Care," as well as songs not typically associated with Ellington, like Earl Warren's "9:20 Special" and Jimmy Van Heusen's "A Friend of Yours." The popular instrumentals ("C-Jam Blues" and "In a Mellotone") are present, but so are less-frequently performed Ellington pieces like "Solid Old Man" and "Sugar Hill Penthouse." One of the highlights of this volume is a seven-minute workout of "Frankie and Johnny," which includes Ray Nance's swinging violin solo; a disc of this length was still unknown on commercial 78 rpm discs available at the time. Although Duke Ellington's series of Treasury Shows aren't the place for the novice jazz fan to begin, seasoned collectors will find a lot of joy within each of them. ~ Ken Dryden

Shelly Manne - 2 3 4

This unusual CD reissue has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Shelly Manne. Both "Take the 'A' Train" and "Cherokee" find the group at times playing two tempos at once (Manne sticks to doubletime throughout "Cherokee") and showing that they had heard some of the avant-garde players. The most swinging piece, "Avalon," was previously available only on a sampler while "Me and Some Drums" features Hawkins and Manne in a very effective duet with the veteran tenor making his only recorded appearance on piano during the first half. This CD is rounded off by a pair of trio features for Eddie Costa (with Duvivier and Manne); one song apiece on vibes and drums. A very interesting set with more than its share of surprises. ~ Scott Yanow

Shelly Manne (drums)
Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax, piano)
Hank Jones (piano)
Eddie Costa (piano, vibraphone)
George Duvivier (bass)

1. Take the "A" Train
2. Slowly
3. Cherokee
4. Avalon
5. Me And Some Drums
6. Sicks Of Us
7. Lean On Me

Jazz in the movies: Nat King Cole - Blue Gardenia

Nat King Cole in the 'Blue Gardenia Club' in the movie of the same name, singing.... Blue Gardenia. "A relatively minor but still gripping film noir, in which Anne Baxter, jilted by her soldier fiancé, goes on a blind date with Raymond Burr, gets drunk (at the club)... and awakes to discover that the pushy playboy has been murdered, quite possibly by herself.... Nat King Cole contributes a welcome musical cameo."
-Time Out Film Guide

Jascha Heifetz Plays Beethoven and Brahms

The Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos by a great master. In a documentary/interview of Heifetz he says he tells his students not to practice too much, a bad habit he says, and that after a concert he'd often put his violin away for several weeks and just enjoy life, not to start practicing again until not long before his next performance. Note that in both concertos here Heifetz plays his own cadenzas.

Jazz Giants '58

First thing to note is that alpax posted this here some time ago, and the links are still functioning. This differs in being the 24bit release. Unless you are into comparisons, I'd say go with alpax' original.

This LP contains more than its share of brilliant music. Tenorman Stan Getz meets up with baritonist Gerry Mulligan, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, the Oscar Peterson Trio and drummer Louie Bellson for three standards and a lyrical ballad medley but it is the well-constructed solos on the blues "Chocolate Sundae" (during which every note seems to fit perfectly) that are most memorable. ~ Scott Yanow

Producer Norman Granz (1918-2001) had an uncanny ability to create really amazing jazz albums by experimenting with the combinative chemistry of musical minds, temperaments, and personalities. While not every Granz session resulted in recordings of equal depth or profundity, the number of artistically rewarding, genre-defining albums that came together under his supervision is almost difficult for the human mind to fully comprehend. One fine example is Jazz Giants '58, a Verve album recorded inside the rented Capitol studios in Hollywood, CA on August 1, 1957 and released almost exactly one year later. The 2008 Japanese CD reissue faithfully reproduces the original cover art and makes this outstanding music available in immaculately remastered sound. Although it has since come to be identified mainly with Stan Getz, Jazz Giants '58 feels a lot like a Gerry Mulligan session, with Harry "Sweets" Edison perfectly complementing the other two horns. To support and illuminate the trumpet, tenor, and baritone saxes, Granz used his preferred rhythm trio -- Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, and Ray Brown -- and added master percussionist Louie Bellson, fully primed after working for his wife Pearl Bailey, his hero Duke Ellington, and with Granz's internationally famous Jazz at the Philharmonic project. This was the blossoming of the great era of long-playing records, and the participants clearly relished the opportunity to stretch out and jam together in a relaxed, intimate studio environment. "Chocolate Sundae," a ten-minute collectively improvised blues of incredible warmth and irresistible texture, is followed by seven- and eight-minute sets of creative variations on a couple of tunes that were in the air during the '50s. The nearly 12-minute manifestation of the patented Norman Granz "Ballad Medley" is especially powerful by virtue of starting out with Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life." An extended romp through the changes of Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody N You" (a tribute to the progressive sensibilities of bandleader Woody Herman penned during the 1940s) adds pure undiluted pleasure to an album that already sounds and feels like some of the best music ever recorded by any of the participants under any circumstances. - arwulf arwulf

Stan Getz (tenor sax)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax)
Oscar Peterson (piano)
Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet)
Herb Ellis (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)
Louie Bellson (drums)

1. Chocolate Sundae
2. When Your Lover Has Gone
3. Candy
4. Ballad: Lush Life/Lullaby of the Leaves/Makin' Whoopee/It Never Entered My Mind
5. Woody'n You

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Freddie Roach - Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar marks a turning point for Freddie Roach: It's the moment he decided to get dirty, funky, and soulful. Previously, he had plenty of funk in his playing, but he was tasteful, at times a little bit too tasteful. On Brown Sugar, he simply burns. The album is devoted to blues, R&B, and soul, with the title track (the lone original on the album) functioning as a rallying cry of sorts. Roach is hotter than ever, but he never overplays or overloads the organ; whether it's slow blues or smoking R&B, he gets deep into the groove and works it hard, without neglecting to contribute compelling solos. And if you're looking for compelling solos, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson proves that he is as exceptional with R&B and soul-jazz as he is with hard bop. Clarence Johnston, Roach's longtime drummer, provides stable support and guitarist Eddie Wright has his moments as well, helping make Brown Sugar the standout item in Roach's catalog. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Freddie Roach (organ)
Joe Henderson (tenor sax)
Eddie Wright (guitar)
Clarence Johnston (drums)

1. Brown Sugar
2. The Right Time
3. Have You Ever Had the Blues
4. The Midnight Sun Will Never Set
5. Next Time You See Me
6. All Night Long

Fletcher Henderson - A Study in Frustration

This four-LP set, which is now also available as a three-CD box, is easily the definitive Fletcher Henderson package. Between 1923-38, Henderson's orchestra was one of the finest swing bands in the world, and during 1923-27 (until Duke Ellington's emergence) it was the first and the best. The arrangements of Don Redman in the early days set the pace for jazz; Benny Carter and Horace Henderson also wrote some important charts before Henderson himself finally developed into a major arranger in 1932. This Columbia set is not complete, but it includes 64 selections, at least 60 of them gems. This essential box (which contains three wonderful versions of "King Porter Stomp") belongs in everyone's jazz collection. ~ Scott Yanow

Pianist, arranger, and bandleader, Fletcher Henderson led the greatest and most important of the pioneering big bands. And although he boasted such extraordinary sidemen as Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Buster Bailey, Rex Stewart, Ben Webster, Chu Berry, Benny Carter, Buster Bailey, Roy Eldridge, and Red Allen, the band's legend and contributions have been eclipsed in the public's consciousness by the great bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman, for whom Henderson eventtually worked as an arranger. Formed in 1924 as a dance band, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra only evolved as a jazz group with the addition of Louis Armstrong as a featured soloist in '25-'26. But the musicians who followed in his footsteps made the group a feature for some of the music's most exciting soloists, and the arrangements of orchestrator Don Redman helped define the standard forms for big band jazz--a form that Henderson and his brother, Horace, helped extend with their subsequent superb charts. Indeed, such comparatively late Henderson recordings as "Christopher Columbus," "Stealin' Apples," and "Queer Notions" are among some of jazz's greatest if least celebrated works. ~ Fred Goodman

Fletcher Henderson (piano)
Louis Armstrong (trumpet)
Henry "Red" Allen (trumpet)
Chu Berry (tenor sax)
Roy Eldridge (trumpet)
Coleman Hawkins (tenor, baritone sax)
Benny Carter (alto sax)
Don Redman (alto sax, clarinet)
Rex Stewart (cornet)
John Kirby (bass, tuba)
Many others