Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chet Baker Quintet featuring Warne Marsh - Blues for a Reason

Recorded September 30, 1984

The meeting of these two greats produces some magical moments. Baker and Marsh burn through "Well Spoken" with some smoking-hot solos. Chet then plays one of the prettiest versions of "If You Could See Me Now" that he has ever laid down. "We Know It's Love", "Looking Good Tonight" and the title piece are three fun little swinging tunes penned by Chet.

1. Well Spoken (W.Marsh) - 9:05
2. If You Could See Me Now (T.Dameron) - 5:35
3. We Know It's Love (C.Baker) - 6:28
4. Looking Good Tonight (C.Baker) - 8:28
5. Imagination (Van Heusen/Burke) - 7:30
6. Blues for a Reason (C.Baker) - 8:38
7. Looking Good Tonight (take2) (C.Baker) - 5:19
8. We Know It's Love (take2) (C.Baker) - 6:30

Chet Baker - Trumpet
Warne Marsh - Tenor Sax
Hod O'Brien - Piano
Cecil McBee - Bass
Eddie Gladden - Drums

Recorded Sep.30,1984 at Studio 44, Monster

joe cuba-- bailadores

jean lafite says: cuba-motion.

tomasz stanko and tim berne quartet-Århus Jazz Festival July 15, 2007

heres a great sounding broadcast of tomasz stanko's quartet featuring tim berne fom dennmark just last month.
ive never heard berne play with such delicacy and subtlety
great stuff!!
the sound quality is truly crystal clear , almost a little too pristine.
Tomasz Stanko (tp)Tim Berne (sax)Anders Jormin (b)Stefan Pasborg (d)
1. Radio announcement 0:582. Bass 14:433. Last song 9:264. Balladyna 5:435. First song 7:436. Free songs (#1) 9:317. Free song (#2) 5:41
Tt 53:50

FM broadcast (cable) > Philips CDR765 > Adobe Audition 2.0 > dBpowerAMP Music Converter (r12.1)
this seems a fitting companion to the chet post above!!!
it was meant to follow ,but blogger is not quite functional for me at the best of times.

richard grossman trio- even your ears 1992

As evidenced on these, Grossman's final recordings, at the end he had created a world so far outside even free jazz, there was only his imagination to rein him in.

It is not that the jazz idiom is no longer present in his music — there are traces both melodically and harmonically of Ellington and Monk and Herbie Nichols — but they are only a fragment of Grossman's total musical world.

That universe is a multi-dimensional non-construct of microtonal complexity, deviant harmony, rhythmic invention, and an anti-lyricism that is nonetheless beautiful and haunting. Grossman's compositions were all immediate, and as they were created in both solo and the various group environments (there are duos and trios as well as solos here), it makes no sense to make distinctions between them.

Suffice to say that on Even Your Ears, Grossman had reached such a peak of musical awareness that musical forms, such as they exist in categorization, had literally ceased to exist. And Grossman's playing has no anger or cerebralism in it; it's from pure feeling and is concerned only with "making art out of it." In the six pieces here, one encounters a world that is so far outside one's own, but that one is nonetheless welcomed into with open arms if only one's ears will hear.
Review- thom jurek

John Cage - Ryoanji

Saturday, September 29, 2007

karl amadeus hartmann- string quartets 1 and 2 (1933-46)

Karl Amadeus Hartmann has been proclaimed by supporters the finest German symphonist since Johannes Brahms, although he is a somewhat controversial figure among the more open-minded. Using Baroque, jazz and various other musical elements, he forged an eclectic style that divulged the influence of Reger, Stravinsky and Hindemith. He was versatile, producing operas, symphonies, various orchestral scores, chamber and choral music, and solo works for piano and violin.Hartmann was born in Munich on August 2, 1905.

His first serious studies began in 1924 at Munich's Akademie der Tonkunst, chief among his teachers being Joseph Haas. After five years there he moved on to studies with conductor Hermann Scherchen and, later, with Anton Webern. By 1933, owing to the success of his Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble, he was gaining considerable recognition. Around this time, Hartmann adopted a firm anti-Nazi stance, avoiding military service and, some say, actively defying government policies. One of his brothers was known to have distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, and while Hartmann's wife claimed her husband's resistance was passive, others reported that the composer helped political prisoners across the border. Whatever the level of his opposition to Hitler, he was harassed by the Nazis and his music was not played in Germany until after the war.

Yet, he remained active in the field of composition throughout the Nazi reign, producing many scores, large and small, like the symphonic poem Miserae (1934), the Concerto funebre (1939), Sinfonia Tragica (1940-43), and the dark Symphony No. 2 (1945-46). Following the war Hartmann established a concert series in Munich called Musica Viva. He also took on the post as dramaturg at the Munich State Opera. He garnered a string of composition prizes, including the Munich music prize (1949) and ISCM Schoenberg Medal (1954). In the final decade of his life, Hartmann turned to the influence of Boris Blacher, using his ideas concerning changeable meter, as exhibited in works like Hartmann's 1953 Concerto for Piano and 1955 Concerto for Viola. His reputation grew in the 1950s, reaching across the Atlantic: Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra premiered his Symphony No. 7 (1957-58). Still, Hartmann never quite reached the front rank of 20th century composers, despite the respect he had gained among conductors and musicians alike. He died of stomach cancer on December 5, 1963.

Karl Amadeus Hartmann String Quartet No. 1 ("Carillon") 1933
Performed by: Antonio Pellegrini, Helmut Menzler, Thomas Hofer, Charlotte Geselbracht, Pellegrini-Quartett,

Karl Amadeus Hartmann String Quartet No. 2 1945/6
Performed by: Antonio Pellegrini, Helmut Menzler, Thomas Hofer, Charlotte Geselbracht, Pellegrini-Quartett

Dec 1992,May 1993 Funkhaus Nalepastraße

Friday, September 28, 2007

Phil Wilson & Paul Schmeling: Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (1995)

We've been enjoying a lot of saxophone and vocal posts recently, but haven't heard from any trombonists in awhile. Phil Wilson is one of the true masters of the instrument and at the time of this recording both he and pianist Paul Schmeling were on the faculty at Berklee.

"This duo date by trombonist Phil Wilson and pianist Paul Schmelling focuses exclusively on the music of Harold Arlen, featuring 17 songs that have become favorite standards for musicians, because their memorable melodies inspire swinging improvisations. Lest you think that 71 minutes of piano-trombone duets is excessive, the imagination and musicianship displayed by the two men should alleviate any worries. A jaunty "AC-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" signals the listener that Wilson and Schmelling are here to lift one's spirits. The tantalizing bossa nova arrangement of "Out of This World" and virtuoso playing by both men in "My Shining Hour" are among the many highlights of this low-profile but highly recommended CD." - Ken Dryden

Phil Wilson (trombone)
Paul Schmeling (piano)
  1. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
  2. When the Sun Comes Out
  3. Out of This World
  4. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
  5. Stormy Weather
  6. That Old Black Magic
  7. Blues in the Night
  8. It's Only a Paper Moon
  9. A Sleepin' Bee
  10. Come Rain or Come Shine
  11. Ill Wing
  12. Let's Fall in Love
  13. Get Happy
  14. I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues
  15. My Shining Hour
  16. As Long As I Live
  17. Onr for My Baby
Recorded on July 14 & 15, 1995 at the Berklee College of Music

willie bobo and the bo-gents -- do what you want to do

jean lafite says: this is one booty shakin' album. funky latin doo doo.

with jimmy smith on drums, ron starr on tenor and flute, barry zweig on guitar, reggie andrews on electric piano, steve huffsteter on trumpet and flugle, ernie mcdaniel on fender bass, and victor pantoja on congas.

willie bobo -- bobo-motion

jean lafite says: willie and crew rock the covers. fun record.

Up, Up & Away
Ain't That Right
Midnight Sun
I Don't Know
Tuxedo Junction
Evil Ways
Show Me
Black Coffee
Night Walk
La Bamba

James Newton - The African Flower

Quite a rarity this has become... I previously shared this in the comments section, but @320 so I thought it was time for an upgrade to FLAC. I hope more download this time. Scoredaddy

This wonderful set finds flutist James Newton creating fresh interpretations of seven songs written by Duke Ellington and/or Billy Strayhorn. His ensembles include violinist John Blake, altoist Arthur Blythe, cornetist Olu Dara, vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, pianist Roland Hanna (who has long had the ability to emulate Ellington's chord voicings and touch), bassist Rick Rozie, percussionist Anthony Brown, and either Pheeroan Ak Laff or Billy Hart on drums. In addition, Milt Grayson (who had sung with Ellington) takes a guest vocal on "Strange Feeling." Whether romping through "Cottontail," reviving "Virgin Jungle" (heard in an 11-minute version), or taking an unaccompanied flute flight on "Sophisticated Lady," James Newton's tribute set is quite memorable and a real gem. Scott Yanow

James Newton (fl, arr)
Olu Dara (cor)
Arthur Blythe (as)
John Blake (vln)
Jay Hoggard (vib)
Roland Hanna (p)
Rick Rozie (b)
Billy Hart (d -1/4)
Pheeroan Ak Laff (d, talking d -4/7)
Anthony Brown (maracas, finger cymb)
Milt Grayson (vocal)

1. Black And Tan Fantasy 5:43
2. Virgin Jungle 11:10
3. Strange Feeling 4:53
4. Fleurette Africaine (The African Flower)4:12
5. Cottontail 6:55
6. Sophisticated Lady 4:05
7. Passion Flower 5:49

Recorded at RCA Studio B, NYC, June 24 & 25, 1985

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sarah Vaughan Crazy and Mixed Up Japanese original issue 1982

This is, in my estimation, the finest of the many albums Vaughan produced for Granz' Pablo label. It is all too great, but all too short, clocking in at under 35 minutes, yet this is of such high quality that you scarcely realize it's brevity as you reach over to hit the play button one or two more times! The line-up: Roland Hanna, Andy Simpkins, Harold Jones and Joe Pass--hell, Ashleigh Simpson would have sounded great with this crew! The highlights: "I didn't know what time it was" (a song not done enough) "In love in Vain" (who does this song anymore?) "That's All" and "Autumn Leaves"--both done way up-tempo--you never hear these done fast! Hanna has chops that won't quit, and Pass? Fahgettaboutit! Grab a piece of this one! WBF
1.I Didn't Know What Time It Was
2.That's All
3.Autumn Leaves
4.Love Dance
5.The Island
6.In Love In Vain
8.You Are Too Beautiful

Charlie Rouse - Bossa Nova Bacchanal

By Joshua Weiner, All About Jazz

About eight or nine years ago, the major record labels finally realized that they could sell more copies of classic jazz CDs if they reissued them with the respect they deserved, including high-quality remastering and packaging. This has proved an unprecedented boon for the jazz fan; never have so many records by so many artists been readily available, even if the inventories are in cyberspace rather than in the attic of the corner shop.
However, there is a cloud to this silver lining. There are simply so many old albums in the reissue queue that some artists, particularly those who were more prolific as sidemen than as leaders, are underrepresented. And not just in quantity, sometimes whole stylistic forays are lost. A case in point is Charlie Rouse, the vastly underrated tenor man best known for his long tenure with Thelonious Monk in the late '50s and '60s.
Thankfully, then, Blue Note has reissued Rouse's 1962 Bossa Nova Bacchanal as part of its limited edition Connoisseur Series. I know, I know, "not another bossa nova cash-in album!" But keep an open mind; this is no crass marketing ploy. Bacchanal is actually a fine album, and apparently Rouse was very serious about making authentic bossa nova music, recruiting excellent Latin rhythm players alongside the dual guitar line of Kenny Burrell and Lord Westbrook (playing acoustic Spanish guitars).
The selection of tunes is perfect, too, with really only one bossa warhorse ("Samba de Orfeu"), several refreshingly lesser-known gems (the breezy "Aconteceu", the ominous "Meci Bon Dieu"), and a Rouse original for good measure. Rouse does nothing to soften his sharp-edged, sinusoidal tone but lacks nothing in melodic invention, and his acerbic lines provide a citric zing where this kind of music is often too sticky sweet. The dual-guitar team is a real treat, providing excellent solos (both Westbrook and Burrell have their chance to shine) and a constant stereophonic percolation in the background.
A startling bonus track, however, threatens to steal the show, at least for Rouse fans;”One For Five,” a non-bossa original from a later, 1965 session with (get this) Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins. The tune is reminiscent of something that might have fit on Wayne Shorter's contemporary Blue Notes, and it features a nice Rouse solo different from his Monk guise, as well as fleet work by Hubbard and Tyner. How the rest of this session could remain in the vaults is beyond imagining, and only goes to prove the point made above. So please, Blue Note, put out the rest, and soon; but until then, thanks for the Brazilian appetizer.

01 - Back To The Tropics (Whipper) 3:56
02 - Aconteceu (Cezar, Lincoln) 2:58
03 - Velhos Tempos (Bonfa) 4:49
04 - Samba de Orfeu (Bonfa) 6:18
05 - Un Dia (Benskina, Rouse) 5:56
06 - Meci Bon Dieu (Casseus) 5:57
07 - In Martinique (Belasco, Whipper) 5:29
08 - One For Five [*] (Rouse) 7:05

Willie Bobo Drums
Kenny Burrell Guitar
Bob Cranshaw Bass [*]
Larry Gales Bass
Billy Higgins Drums [*]
Freddie Hubbard Trumpet
Garvin Masseaux Chekere
Charlie Rouse Sax (Tenor) [*]
McCoy Tyner Piano [*]
Chauncey Westbrook Guitar

Recorded at The Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 26, 1962 and January 22, 1965 [*]

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Bud Shank Quartet

A cool one for you and a favourite of mine. This is the out of print Pacific Jazz CD containing 2 extra tracks. I'll take a leaf from the Yanow book of reviewing and list the band members since I don't have much to say.

Depending on interest I may post more from this group and Bud Shank of the 50s

Bud Shank - alto sax & flute
Claude Williamson - piano & celeste
Don Prell - bass
Chuck Flores - drums

Patrick Williams - Threshold (1973)

A personal favorite of mine from the early '70's. Originally released on LP by Capitol and reissued in 1988 by Williams' short-lived Soundwings label, the CD has been out of print for some time now.

All About Jazz review by Eric Pettine:

Throughout most of the 1960s, Patrick Williams was one of many composers/arrangers kicking around the NYC studio music scene. In the late '60s he arranged/composed several Muzak-molded LPs (Heavy Vibrations , Think and Shades of Today among them) that only occasionally hinted at the ebullience and brilliance unleashed on his 1974 Grammy Award winning album Threshold. Perhaps due to his nationally successful composing/arranging credits for both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show (from 1970 and 1972, respectively), he was able to compose/arrange and finance Threshold , his pet project, that featured big band jazz/rock/classical compositions and stellar soloists that swung like mad.

The album's instrumentation augmented the typical big band setting (saxes, trumpets, trombones plus rhythm section) of the day with the inclusion of (French) horns and a full string section including the harp. Essentially two main soloists were featured - Tom Scott (woodwinds) and Marvin Stamm (trumpet). Years earlier while still a teen, Scott was great on sax with Don Ellis' Band ( Live in 3 2/3 4 Time ) and Stamm was the featured jazz trumpet soloist with Stan Kenton ( Adventures in Jazz (1961), Adventures in Blues (1962) and Adventures in Time (1963)). But by the late '60s/early '70s in their music careers, both Scott and Stamm were mostly known for their meticulous yet restrictive studio session work. The listener was never really allowed to hear either artist stretch out and take multiple choruses and make emphatic jazz statements. “Threshold” seemed to provide the perfect emancipation from that scene for them at that time while still both in their primes.

Some of the major differences between this albums' music and soloists and that of the big bands (Buddy Rich, Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson, in particular) of that era, is that unlike the aforementioned leaders, Williams composed and arranged all the music, didn't do any pop “covers”, wasn't suffering from “road weariness” and he hand picked exceptional soloists and players specifically for this project. What resulted was some of the most fresh, propulsive, exciting, spirited and original music of that or any following eras in big band music history.

”And on the Sixth Day ...,” the albums' opening cut, starts out with a homage to Richard Strauss' “Also Sprach Zarathustra('s)” main theme but quickly segues into a funky flute frolic by Scott. Before you know it, drummer John Guerin (the late/great LA studio ace and along with Scott, co-founder/leader of The LA Express), has a very intriguing (notice the cool “bending” of the tom-tom head) 12-bar solo to set up the next swinging section for Stamm to provide some powerful phrases. As if these great solos weren't enough for one tune, Scott blows his brains out on tenor for a few more choruses to bring the piece to a definitive close.

Next, the mood turns sinister with “The Witch.” Chilly, staccato/glissandi strings are set against a claves/snare drum (w/ brushes) rhythmic motive that finally gives way to a hard bop marimba solo (based on the motive) played by Larry Bunker. Stamm takes the final solo that builds brilliantly and swingingly upon the same rhythmic motive with each chorus.

(Note: Williams seemingly has a great affection for, and great skill at, employing motives in most of these compositions that serve to provide impetus for both his music and the soloists.)

The title opus, “Threshold,” begins with a Bach-like brass chorale fanfare that is alternatively juxtaposed with and contrasted against a funk/rock theme with swirling flutes (all multi-tracked by Scott). The catchy and infectious 8-note motive is developed and morphed into some beautifully lyrical lines by both Stamm and Scott. Then finally after both choruses, Williams has the entire band wail on his own written development of the the motive. (Try listening to this cut just once.)

The penultimate “A Lady Beside Me,” the CD's most commercial and melancholy piece, would've served nicely as background music played during the closing credits for a TV show or movie — perhaps for a possible bittersweet MTM Show episode. Though the 'cello, voice and tenor sax performances alone are worth a couple of listens.

”Mr. Smoke” is the closer whose title could be in reference to Williams himself smoking a cigar on the CD's cover. The real “smoke” begins, however, (after a homey, country-ish harmonica solo by Tommy Morgan in the introduction), with a tour de force Scott flute solo. Things begin to really “light up” with a hard-bopping Stamm on muted trumpet. Tom Scott, on soprano sax, catches furious “fire” as the albums' final soloist. Talk about never repeating yourself and building chorus upon chorus! If you can find a more enthusiastic and engaging Tom Scott sax solo than this one please inform the jazz world at large. The final written chorus played by the full ensemble “burns” up this selection and leaves behind centesimal cinders.

Threshold is an experience all of its own. For those who do not have it, there is a hole in your bucket.

Buddy Childers, Marvin Stamm (trumpet) Billy Byers, Ken Shroyer, Chauncey Welsch (trombone) Tommy Johnson (tuba) Tom Scott (woodwinds) John Guerin (drums) Larry Carlton, Dennis Budimir (guitar) Jim Hughart (bass) Tommy Morgan (harmonica) Larry Bunker (percussion) Mike Melvoin (keyboards) Jim Decker, Alan Robinson, Gus Klein, Gale Robinson (horns) Gerry Vinci, Jacob Krachmalnick, Jimmy Getzoff (violin) David Schwartz, Milton Thomas (viola) Gloria Strassner (cello) Brandy Artise (voice)
  1. And on the Sixth Day
  2. The Witch
  3. Threshold
  4. A Lady Beside Me
  5. Mr. Smoke

Tony Bennett - Alone Together

Due to popular demand (the previous OOP Bennett items I have posted here have been heavily downloaded) I offer yet another excellent disc that remains sadly unavailable. I am not sure when the CD I used for this posting was released (Japan issue) but it went out of print rather quickly and is nowhere to be seen today. I will not go on and on again about the poorly executed Tony Bennett reissue series under CBS/Sony. Here we have some beautiful vocals from Bennett in the prime of his form (1960), although the arrangements by Frank DeVol may be considered by some to lean slightly toward the saccharine side. DeVol was a tasteful orchestrator who did not "get in the way" of his vocalist, but depended often on "heavenly" sounds such as choirs and harps. These devices are tactfully applied and support the songs well. The song selection is mostly a familiar set but includes the lesser known "Walk In The Country" and "For Heaven's Sake." This is an all-ballad album and unlike many Bennett Columbia recordings of the period, hold together well thematically. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Frank DeVol (arranger)

1. Alone Together
2. This Is All I Ask
3. Out Of This World
4. Walk In The Country
5. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
6. Poor Butterfly
7. After You've Gone
8. Gone With The Wind
9. It's Magic
10. How Long Has This Been Going On?
11. Sophisticated Lady
12. For Heaven's Sake

Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio, New York City on February 28-29 & March 1, 1960.

Tubby Hayes New York Sessions 1961

" of the most robust talents Britain has ever produced, and one of her most famous musicians..." Ian Carr, 1973
This is a testament to the greatness of a player--being a foreigner in New York in 1961, under the most competitive of circumstances, to gain the attention of the New York scene to the extent that he was granted studio time at the West 30th Columbia studio with some pretty fast company (i.e. Clark Terry, George Duvivier, Horace Parlan, and Eddie Costa). There's substantially more available product on the other side of the pond than there is here, but as far as I know, this one was the only available title in the states and has been out of print virtually since it's late 80's release under Columbia's "masterpieces" series. He's certainly great at straight blowing, but he displays throughout a penchant for going outside of the chords in some very creative ways at the tail end of many a flourish. This is an infinitely listenable recording and hopefully puts a smile on the faces of those here. I am posting a few other salient reviews here for your perusal. WBF

It was in 1961 that Tubby started a series of successful trips to the States, in a reciprocal Union exchange deal that enabled Zoot Sims to be the first American musician to appear in Ronnie's. In New York he discovered: '"Most of the musicians that I met over there are very much more conscientious than they are over here—because it' s tough. Even if they've got a name, there' s so much competition. But there is a lot of enthusiasm. and a lot of hard work—which is probably why they come up with such good players." He was invited to play and record with some of the very best—trumpet giant Clark Terry, saxophone aces Roland Kirk, James Moody. Paul Gonsalves and Benny Golson, supported by such sterling rhythm men as Eddie Costa, Walter Bishop Jr., Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes. Nevertheless, he consistently voiced his strong allegiance to his British session-mates—in fact, when it was suggested that he might follow the ex amples of such compatriots as Shearing and Feldman and move to the USA to work, he made this prophetic statement: "I would like to go over and work there for a while—but I do think that in a few years' time it won't be so important. Jazz is getting so international."

by Scott Yanow
Tubby Hayes was a superior tenor saxophonist from England who played in the tradition of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, with just a dash of Johnny Griffin and early John Coltrane. This CD finds Tubby holding his own with a top-notch swinging rhythm section (pianist Horace Parlan, bassist George Duvivier, and Dave Bailey) along with guests Clark Terry (on four of the ten selections) and vibraphonist Eddie Costa (on three songs). Whether it be an up-tempo rendition of "Airegin" or a tender "You're My Everything," Tubby Hayes shows that he is an underrated legend. The original six selections are joined by four equally rewarding unreleased performances.

1.You For Me
2.Pint of Bitter
4.Opus Ocean
7.Soho Soul
8.The Simple Waltz
9.Half A Sawbuck
10.You're My Everything

Monday, September 24, 2007

"the free jazz quartet"-premmonitions 1989

Premonitions (1989)
review Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD
If the group's title is a wry reference to the Modern Jazz Quartet (see also Prévost's punning Supersession), it takes in Omette Coleman's seminal Free Jazz as well. The terminology is used advisedly, for this superb recording is more obviously rooted in one of the dialects of post-bop than, say, the process-dominated free improvisations of AMM. The under1ying motif of Premonitions is warning: 'Red Flags', 'Roman Geese', 'Gathering Clouds', 'Cry Wolf', 'Tocsin', and even 'Old Moore's' (an oblique reference to the trombonist's Old Moore's Alamanack album). The music is tense and often powerfully dramatic, strung along highly attenuated motivic threads. Prévost's drumming is as good as he has ever been on record and Rutherford is, as always, good enough to listen to on his own. Just as polltically Prévost and his circle have tended to reject the bland triumphalism of the doctrinaire left, so musically he clearly rejects the anything-goes attitude that gives free improvisation a bad name. This is intense and concentrated music. A warning: please do not 'understand' it too quickly.The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CDRichard Cook & Brian Morton, Penguin Books,

bobby bradford- loves dream (rec 1973)

Reviewby François CoutureThree of the six tracks included on Love's Dream first came out on a 1974 Emanem LP. Another one ("She," previously known as Bradford's classic "Woman") appeared on another LP in 1976. The second "Coming On" and "HM Louis I" are previously unissued. All six of them were recorded live on two consecutive nights of November 1973 at Chat Qui Pêche, in Paris. This quartet (Bobby Bradford, alto saxophonist Trevor Watts, bassist Kent Carter, and drummer John Stevens) was active for a few months that year, while Bradford made an extended stay in Europe. Forget the fact that Watts and Stevens were clawing away at the very frontiers of jazz with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble at the time. Here they fit Bradford's free jazz vision like a glove. The drummer swings a mean ride cymbal, displaying the energy of a young(er) Han Bennink without resorting to theatrics. Watts plays convincing unison lines with the leader and throws in his share of inspired solos (his extended one in "Love's Dream" is a delight). Carter is perfectly himself: elegant and discreet, except in the first "Coming On" and at the beginning of "HM Louis I" where he gets a nice feature. As for the cornetist, he comes through as a frantic Satchmo-like character, his fast strings of notes propelling the music as much as the drummer's beats. "HM Louis I" makes an attempt at a free-form intro after the bassist's solo, but it feels uncomfortable — strangely, Stevens doesn't seem to be able to decide if he should stick to jazz or grab the opportunity and run with it. Everything else is rather straightforward free jazz. "She" starts with a rather feeble three-voice drone (with Watts on soprano sax and Stevens on cornet) but develops into a very original statement of the theme, Carter playing some beautiful arco counterpoint, and ends up providing the highlight of the set.

the clarke boland bigband- fellini 712

One of the most striking albums ever recorded by the legendary Clarke-Boland Big Band -- a suite of tracks composed by leader Francy Boland, swinging with a style that stands with the best MPS work of the time! Boland's clearly taking his cue from the sophisticated later work by Duke Ellington -- but he's also inspired by the groovier soundtrack styles bubbling in Europe during the 60s, as well as the other incredible genre-blurring work on MPS at the time. The tracks are all nice and long, and swing with an exotic groove that keeps very much with the Fellini title -- offering plenty of space for a range of great soloists that include Tony Coe, Sahib Shihab, Benny Bailey, and Idrees Sulieman. Brilliant throughout -- an under-discovered jazz classic -- with a suite of 3 movements that include "Rosati At Popolo Square", "Tween Dusk & Dawn In Via Urbana", and "Villa Radieuse".

Sarah Vaughan - Snowbound(63) & The Lonely Hours(64)

Finally found a nicer bargain than my usual - a fleapit throwaway
two-fer from Sarah Vaughan for the princely summage of all of
3 quid in the UK - thats about 5-6 dollars I think?? But cheap
for UK

Not quite in the Rab-ster league of "coooor blimey!!", cheaply
acquired CD mega-artifacts...but it makes a nice change for me

Top notch stuff nevertheless...flac'n'a-scan-or-deux..

"Part of a refreshing series of two-fers from major vocalists of the '60s,
British EMI issued this compilation pairing Sarah Vaughan's 1963 LP,
Snowbound, with 1964's The Lonely Hours. As could be expected, the two
work well together, both being sets of nocturnally oriented standards.
The former is a cozy collection of romantic ballads arranged by Don Costa,
while the latter is more isolated, with arrangements from jazzman
great Benny Carter. Though both LPs aren't among Vaughan's more famous
releases, they're nearly as good as a classic like Sarah Vaughan
in Hi-Fi or Sarah Vaughan With Clifford Brown."

1 Snowbound
2 I Hadn't Anyone Till You
3 What's Good About Goodbye?
4 Stella by Starlight
5 Look to Your Heart
6 Oh, You Crazy Moon
7 Blah, Blah, Blah
8 I Remember You
9 I Fall in Love Too Easily
10 Glad to Be Unhappy
11 Spring Can Really Hang You up the Mos

1 Lonely Hours
2 I'll Never Be the Same
3 If I Had You
4 Friendless
5 You're Driving Me Crazy
6 Always on My Min
7 Look for Me (I'll Be Around)
8 What'll I Do?
9 Solitude
10 These Foolish Things
11 The Man I Love
12 So Long, My Love

Tonny Bennett - A Time For Love

Here is yet another fine disc by Tony Bennett that CBS/Sony has decided to ignore. This one is a mixed bag as to instrumentation and recording dates. The production of Tony Bennett for Columbia Records throughout the 1950's, 60's, and early 70's was often a hodgepodge of tracks from various sources, and for differing purposes, thrown together to make albums that carried overlapping material and usually lacked consistency of tone and mood. The albums are enjoyable nonetheless with Bennett's superlative phrasing always coaxing the best out of the songs. A Time For Love is no exception, especially with the cornet contributions of Bobby Hackett on three selections (The Very Thought of You, Sleepy Time Gal, and The Shining Sea). Save this long out-of-print Japanese CD reissue from 1990, A Time For Love has never been issued digitally, another casualty of Bennett's wonderful catalog. Scoredaddy

A couple of movie themes, a few standards, and some new songs, this mixed selection, which featured four different arranger/conductors, had some nice moments here and there — a good duet with cornetist Bobby Hackett on "The Very Thought Of You," a late-night trio version of "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning" — but was not one of Tony Bennett's more outstanding efforts. Also notable was that it marked a commercial marginalization for Bennett that all non-rock recording artsts were experiencing. Thus began the pressures Columbia would apply to Bennett to contemporize his image and his music. William Ruhlmann

Tony Bennett (vocals)
Ralph Sharon Trio 4-6: Sharon (piano), Billy Exiner (drums), Hal Gaylord (bass)
Ralph Sharon (arranger) on 3
Bobby Hackett (cornet) on 2,8,9
Urbie Green (trombone) on 7
Johnny Mandel (arranger) on 1,8,11
Johnny Keating (arranger) on 2,9
Ralph Burns (arranger) on 7,10

1. A Time For Love
2. The Very Thought Of You
3. Trapped In A Web Of Love
4. My Funny Valentine
5. In The Wee Small Hours
6. Yesterdays
7. Georgia Rose
8. The Shining Sea
9. Sleepy Time Gal
10. Touch The Earth
11. I'll Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her

January 14, 1960 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City (3)
February 26, 1964 in Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City (4-6)
September 26, 1965 in Hollywood, CA USA (11)
February, 1966 in London UK (2,9)
June 11, 1966 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City (1,7,8,10)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thelonius Monk and Gerry Mulligan - Mulligan Meets Monk (20bit K2)

Mulligan Meets Monk documents the 1957 meeting of two sharp musical minds. Though the pairing may seem unlikely, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan--whose cool, West Coast style blends dexterity with laid-back grace--and Thelonious Monk--whose radical, angular piano playing and thoroughly modern compositions are blueprints for the possibilities of bop--sound remarkable together. In fact, it is the contrast between the players' styles that lends this set its balance and appeal.

The program, which includes four compositions by Monk and one by Mulligan, is unassailable. Mulligan acquits himself admirably on the Monk classics "'Round Midnight," "Rhythm-a-ning" and "Straight, No Chaser," unfurling his smooth tone over their zigzagging melodies and ambitious scalar architecture. (The CD also includes a handful of alternate takes.) Mulligan's "Decidedly," a bright bop workout, fits easily alongside Monk's tunes, especially with the help of Monk's off-kilter, accented comping. Bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Shadow Wilson lend solid support to the spirited playing of the two leaders, making this top-notch session--with its great tunes, chemistry, and soloing--a true classic.

Thelonious Monk (piano)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Shadow Wilson (drums)

1. 'Round Midnight
2. Rhythm-A-Ning
3. Sweet And Lovely
4. Decidedly (Take 4)
5. Straight, No Chaser (Take 3)
6. I Mean You (Take 4)
7. Decidedly (Take 5)
8. Straight, No Chaser (Take 1)
9. I Mean You (Take 1)
10. I Mean You (Take 2)

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on August 12-13, 1957

Mel Lewis & The Jazz Orchestra Play the Music of Bob Brookmeyer

In 1978, Thad Jones abruptly left the band he'd co-founded, led, and written almost a hundred charts for, leaving his co-leader Mel Lewis in the lurch. Mel settled on former band member Bob Brookmeyer as the band's new composer-in-resisdence. Bob had just gotten sober after many years lost to alcoholism out on the West Coast, and he returned to New York with something to prove. The 1980 record was a triumphant return to form, with the infectious, propulsive "Ding Dong Ding" and "Hello and Goodbye" (two of Bob's most-played charts), the densely chromatic but achingly tender "First Love Song," the very bleak treatment of "Skylark" (foreshadowing developments to come), and a couple of pieces written for Bob's old comrade-in-arms, Clark Terry. Having first established that he was the ideal writer to continue Thad's smart-and-swinging legacy, Brookmeyer then proceeded to write himself out of the band with a series of charts that kept pushing at the limits of what a big band was capable of -- and what the Monday night audience at the Vanguard was willing to accept. Each piece seemed like Bob was being driven further -- to be more intense, more dissonant, more stripped-down, more single-minded, more formally daring, more wrist-slittingly depressing. There were defections -- many of the old guard from the "Thad & Mel" era left the band, to be replaced by then-unknowns like Steve Coleman, Kenny Garrett, and Joe Lovano... playing alongside Tom Harrell, Marc Johnson, Jim McNeely, Dick Oatts, and Mel himself, playing with the fire and drive of a twenty-year old. Make Me Smile & Other New Works by Bob Brookmeyer is the only document of this era of the band -- a live recording of an hour-long suite, including the blistering Lovano feature "The Nasty Dance" (Joe's first recorded solo, I believe) and Bob's infamously sparse and disquieting arrangement of "My Funny Valentine." It's very dark and very intense, but also dryly funny ("Goodbye World") and immensely satisfying. A hugely important record, not just for big band aficionados but for anyone interested in how the progressive jazz and new music scene of the early 1980's sounded when filtered through the mind of a fiftysomething jazz veteran from Kansas City undergoing a creative and personal rebirth. - Darcy James Argue (

Bob Brookmeyer - Composer, Arranger

Live at the Village Vanguard (1980)

Trumpets: Earl Gardner, Ron Tooley, Larry Moses, John Marshall
Trombones: John Mosca, Lee Robertson, Earl McIntyre, Lolly Bienenfeld
French Horn: Stephanie Fauber
Reeds: Dick Oatts, Steve Coleman, Bob Mintzer, Richard Perry, Gary Pribek
Piano: Jim McNeeley Bass: Rufus Reid Drums: Mel Lewis

Clark Terry, flugelhorn, and Bob Brookmeyer, trombone, are the soloists on "El Co" and "The Fan Club"
  1. Ding Dong Ding
  2. First Love Song
  3. Hello and Goodbye
  4. Skylark
  5. El Co
  6. The Fan Club

Featuring the Music of Bob Brookmeyer
Live at the Village Vanguard (1982)

Trumpets: Earl Gardner, Joe Mosello, John Marshall, Tom Harrell
Trombones: John Mosca, Ed Neumeister, Doug Purviance, Earl McIntyre
French Horn: Stephanie Fauber
Reeds: Dick Oatts, Kenny Garrett, Joe Lovano, Gary Pribek, Gary Smulyan
Piano: Jim McNeeley Bass: Marc Johnson Drums: Mel Lewis

Bob Brookmeyer is a guest soloist on "Goodbye World"
  1. Make Me Smile
  2. Nevermore
  3. The Nasty Dance
  4. McNeeley's Piece
  5. My Funny Valentine
  6. Goodbye World

Arvo Pärt - Tabula Rasa (ECM New Series)

"To write I must prepare myself for a long time.
Sometimes it takes five years,
and then I come up with many pieces
in a very short time."
Arvo Pärt

This is really something special.
Do yourself a favour and listen.
Ask questions later.


Gidon Kremer, Keith Jarrett (1983)
Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Staatsorchester Stuttgart conducted by Dennis Russel Davies (1984)
The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1984)
Tabula Rasa
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (1977)

Produced by Manfred Eicher

"Throughout Arvo Pärt's career, he has demonstrated a voracious musical curiosity and daring experimental spirit that has allowed him to move beyond a secure place as Estonia's premiere composer to become perhaps the best known choral and sacred music scorist of his time. 30 years of musical experimentation with influences as wide ranging as Russian neo-classicism, Western modernism, Schoenbergian dedecaphony, minimalism, polytonality, Gregorian chant and collage have led him to the creation of a distinctively sparse technique he calls "tintinnabulation." This method, which takes its name from the Latin word for bells, places unusual emphasis on individual notes and makes extensive use of silence. "I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played, " says Pärt. "This one note ... or a moment of silence, comforts me.... I build with the most primitive materials -- with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I call it tintinnabulation." (Evan Cater, allmusic)

Kessel, Brown, and Manne - The Poll Winners (20bit K2)

Because guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne all won the Downbeat, Metronome and Playboy jazz polls of 1956, it was decided to team the trio together for this and a few other future recordings. Kessel is generally the lead voice of the pianoless group although Brown and Manne also have plenty of solo space. Together they perform swinging yet quiet versions of a variety of standards (in addition to the guitarist's "Minor Mood") in a relaxed and thoughtful set, reissued on this CD.
Scott Yanow

Barney Kessel (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Jordu
2. Satin Doll
3. It Could Happen To You
4. Mean To Me
5. Don't Worry 'bout Me
6. On Green Dolphin Street
7. You Go To My Head
8. Minor Mood
9. Nagasaki

Recorded at Contemporary Studios, Los Angeles, California on March 18-19, 1957

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Poll Winners

Because these three were on the same label, it was thought to be a good marketing opportunity to get them together in the studio: and somebody got it right that time. These were successful releases, with the last appearing in 1975. Because the first two are readily found on the internet, and have appeared around here too, I think, here are the last three in the series.

Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne, Ray Brown - Poll Winners Three!

From 1956-59, it seemed as if guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne won just about every jazz poll. For their third joint recording, which has been reissued on CD, the musicians contributed an original apiece and also performed seven standards. Highlights of the fairly typical but swinging straightahead set include "Soft Winds," "It's All Right With Me," "Mack the Knife" and "I'm Afraid the Masquerade Is Over." Scott Yanow

Ray Brown (bass)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Soft Winds
2. Crisis
3. The Little Rhumba
4. Easy Living
5. It's Alright With Me
6. Mack The Knife
7. Raincheck
8. Minor Mystery
9. I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over
10. I Hear Music

Recorded at Contemporary Studios, Los Angeles, California on November 2, 1959

The Poll Winners Exploring the Scene

For one of their better outings, the Poll Winners (guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne) perform nine fairly recent jazz standards. It is ironic that this is their only release not yet reissued on CD, since it may very well be their strongest program. The trio performs creative versions of such songs as "Little Susie," "So What," "Doodlin'," "This Here" and Ornette Coleman's "The Blessing." Worth searching for. Scott Yanow

Ray Brown (bass)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Little Susie
2. The Duke
3. So What
4. Misty
5. Doodlin'
6. The Golden Striker
7. Li'l Darlin'
8. The Blessing
9. This Here

Recorded in August 30, 31 and Sept 01, 1960 at Contemporary Records, Los Angeles, California

The Poll Winners Straight Ahead (Flac)

Some sixteen years after their last hit album for Contemporary, the Poll Winners reprised their intuitive, interactive approach to the modern trio with this July 12, 1975 session. STRAIGHT AHEAD is a distillation of everything they've lived since the late '50s, and while their collective infrastructure is still based in the blues, swing and bebop, they now approach their music with an ear for the rhythmic and harmonic innovations of musicians such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery.

So if "Blue Boy" begins with a rhythmic vamp suggestive of a popular rock beat of the day, when the players break into their trademark 4/4 blowing section, the years melt away. Drummer Manne reacts to the jamming with a more discursive ear than would have been considered quite polite in 1959, crashing and rolling through Barney Kessel's solo, as the guitarist responds with taut Monkish dissonances and modern harmonies. Their bluesy big band intro to the theme of "Laura," followed by bassist Brown's quicksilver contrapuntal dance, is as witty as any of the jazzy reworkings of pop songs that made them famous, and Kessel takes an immense solo, nodding sagely to the ghosts of Bird and Charlie Christian, ending with a flurry of percussive chords.

As always, bassist Ray Brown is a mountain of strength and stability, a superb melodist, but first and formemost a great time player. Listen to how he steadies the disjointed themes and variations of "One Foot Off The Curb," anchoring the emotional spill-over in an enormous bell-like beat, then demonstrating a wide range of inflections and rhythmic variations--without ever relinquishing the beat. And you can just disappear in the glow of his firm, gentle long tones on the winsome "Two Cents." Michael Erlewine

Barney Kessel (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Caravan
2. Someday My Prince Will Come
3. Blue Boy
4. Laura
5. Two Cents
6. One Foot Off The Curb

This Day In Jazz

Charles Mingus - Let My Children Hear Music

Thanks, as usual, to Webbcity.

On the original LP issued by Columbia, Mingus thanked producer Teo Macero for "his untiring efforts in producing the best album I have ever made." From his deathbed in Mexico in 1979 he sent a message to Sy Johnson (who was responsible for many of the arrangements on the album), saying that Let My Children Hear Music was the record he liked most from his career. Although Mingus' small-group recordings are the ones most often cited as his premier works, this album does, in fact, rank at the top of his oeuvre and compares favorably with the finest large-ensemble jazz recordings by anyone, including Ellington. The pieces had been brewing over the years, one from as far back as 1939, and had been given more or less threadbare performances on occasion, but this was his first chance to record them with a sizable, well-rehearsed orchestra. Still, there were difficulties, both in the recording and afterward. The exact personnel is sketchy, largely due to contractual issues, several arrangers were imported to paste things together, making the true authorship of some passages questionable, and Macero (as he did with various Miles Davis projects) edited freely and sometimes noticeably. The listener will happily put aside all quibbles, however, when the music is heard. From the opening, irresistible swing of "The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jiveass Slippers" to the swirling depths of "The I of Hurricane Sue," these songs are some of the most glorious, imaginative, and full of life ever recorded. Each piece has its own strengths, but special mention should be made of two. "Adagio Ma Non Troppo" is based entirely on a piano improvisation played by Mingus in 1964 and issued on Mingus Plays Piano. Its logical structure, playful nature, and crystalline moments of beauty would be astounding in a polished composition; the fact that it was originally improvised is almost unbelievable. "Hobo Ho," a holy-roller powerhouse featuring the impassioned tenor of James Moody, reaches an incredible fever pitch, the backing horns volleying riff after riff at the soloists, the entire composition teetering right on the edge of total chaos. Let My Children Hear Music is a towering achievement and a must for any serious jazz fan. The CD issue includes one track, "Taurus in the Arena of Life," not on the original LP, but unfortunately gives only snippets from the Mingus essay that accompanied the album. That essay, covering enormous territory, reads like an inspired Mingus bass solo and should be sought out by interested listeners. One can't recommend this album highly enough. ~ Brian Olewnick

Charles Mingus (acoustic bass)
Charles McPherson (alto sax)
James Moody, Bobby Jones (tenor sax)
Snooky Young, Lonnie Hillyer, Joe Wilder (trumpet)
Julius Watkins (French horn)
Charles McCracken (cello)
Sir Roland Hanna (piano)

1 - The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers
2 - Adagio Ma Non Troppo
3 - Don't Be Afraid, the Clown's Afraid Too
4 - Taurus in the Arena of Life
5 - Hobo Ho
6 - The Chill of Death
7 - The I of Hurricane Sue

in case you forgot

mr herbert solomon, the pride of brooklyn

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jazz Monterey (1958-1980)

From the liner notes by Dr. Herb Wong:

Cannonball Adderley's Quintet opens the album with The Sticks and the LP closes with pianist Joanne Brackeen's 1980 interpretation of her Remembering. In Between are another dozen artists stretching chronologically from the searching Jimmy Giuffre Three (with Bob Brookmeyer and Jim Hall) on Sonny Rollins' mainstay, Doxy - excerpted from Saturday night in 1958, to Joe Williams' performance with Prez Conference, recorded during the 1979 festival.

Dizzy Gillespie has been the single most prominent jazz figure associated with Monterey through the years as a sort of ambassador at large. Note how Duke Ellington described Diz in his eloquent introduction in 1970: " of the great symbols of the 'Emperor of the Realm of the Horn' -- the inimitable John Birks Gillespie." Dizzy's guest appearance with drummer Buddy Rich's orchestra is a fitting sign of the joy and spirit that just pops up without warning. A wonderful manifestation of democratic freedom inherent in jazz!

Dig Jon Hendricks getting vocal mileage out of the classic Miles Davis trumpet lines of Cole Porter's All of You. Likewise, routed from one of legendary Lester Young's most celebrated tenor solos when he was an innovative fire-brand of Count Basie's Orchestra, you'll find famed Basie alumnus Joe Williams singing You Can Depend on Me, originally recorded by the late master blues vocalist Jimmy Rushing with Basie in 1939. Joe's vocal is worked in with Prez Conference -- the four-man saxophone section playing Lester (Prez) Young's transcribed improvisations.

A perennial has got to be Clark Terry. His distinctive trumpet is nicely framed by a rhythm quartet led by the former Musical Coordinator of Monterey -- pianist John Lewis. The same group supports the crowned prince of the jazz harmonica, Toots Thielemans. And there's a raft of other selections featuring, respectively, saxophonists Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin and Woody Herman, who chooses the soprano over his customary alto and clarinet to play Body and Soul with his 'Swingin' Herd.'

Since none of the over 85 minutes of music has ever been accessible before, "Jazz Monterey" may well earn an important place in the recorded annals of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Some jazz festivals reside immovable in one's recollection. This anthology may add to that memory.

  1. The Sticks (Cannonball Adderley)
  2. Green Dolphin Street (Toots Thielemans)
  3. Body and Soul (Woody Herman)
  4. Isotope (Joe Henderson)
  5. All of You (Jon Hendricks)
  6. Doxy (Jimmy Giuffre 3)
  7. The Jampfs are Coming (Johnny Griffin)
  8. Two Bass Hit/Ad Hoc Jam (Buddy Rich Orch. w/Dizzy Gillespie)
  9. God Bless the Child (Clark Terry)
  10. You Can Depend on Me (Joe Williams w/Prez Conference
  11. I Remember Clifford (Benny Golson)
  12. Remembering (Joanne Brackeen)
Complete discography in comments

Miles Davis In 20Bit

Yeah, I know, the first one should be Cookin'. You can send the complaints to my boss.

Miles Davis All Stars - Walkin'

The undeniable strength and conviction present in Miles Davis' performance on Walkin', underscores the urgency and passion with which he would rightfully reclaim his status as a primary architect of bop. Davis is supported by his all-stars, consisting of his primary rhythm unit: Horace Silver (piano), Percy Heath (bass), and Kenny Clarke (drums). The sextet featured on the title track, as well as "Blue 'n' Boogie," adds the talents of J.J. Johnson (trombone) and Lucky Thompson (tenor sax). Davis' quintet includes the primary trio and Dave Schildkraut (alto sax). Perhaps not an instantly recognizable name, Schildkraut nonetheless made some notable contributions to Stan Kenton's Kenton Showcase EPs, concurrent with his work with Miles. Walkin' commences with the extended title track, which follows a standard 12-bar blues theme. While the solos from Johnson and Thomson are unique, Miles retains a palpable sense of extrication from the music — as if the song was an extension of his solo instead of the other way around. The lethargic rhythms reiterate the subtle adornments of the horn section to the basic trio. In direct contrast to "Walkin'" is a full-tilt jumper, "Blue 'n' Boogie." The improvisation yields some truly memorable solos and exchanges between Davis and Johnson — who can be heard clearly quoting from Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning." "Solar" maintains a healthy tempo while drawing the listener in to the delicate interplay where the solos often dictate the melody. Horace Silver's piano solo is Ellington-esque in it's subdued elegance. The final track, "Love Me or Leave Me," gives the most solid indication of the direction Miles' impending breakthrough would take. So swift and certain is each note of his solo, it reflects the accuracy of someone thinking several notes ahead of what he is playing. Walking is a thoroughly solid effort. Lindsay Planer

Miles Davis (trumpet)
J.J. Johnson (trombone)
Davey Schildkraut (alto sax)
Lucky Thompson (tenor sax)
Horace Silver (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Kenny Clarke (drums)

1. Walkin'
2. Blue 'N' Boogie
3. Solar
4. You Don't Know What Love Is
5. Love Me or Leave Me

The Miles Davis Quintet - Relaxin'

Relaxin' features the Miles Davis Quintet in a pair of legendary recording dates -- from May and October of 1956 -- which would generate enough music to produce four separate long-players: Cookin', elaxin', Workin', and Steamin'. Each of these is considered not only to be among the pinnacle of Davis' work, but of the entire bop subgenre as well. As with the other titles, Relaxin' contains a variety of material which the band had concurrently been performing in their concert appearances. In a brilliant stroke of time conservation, the scheme was hatched for the quintet -- who includes: Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Philly Joe Jones (drums), and Red Garland (piano) -- to perform the equivalent of their live repertoire in the studio for eventual release. The results are consistently superior both in terms of song selection as well as performance. The solid nature of the unit as a singular musical force is immediately apparent. "If I Were a Bell" -- from the play Guys and Dolls -- includes some remarkable soloing via Coltrane and Garland. Davis' solos are additionally impressive, as they're derived from the same four-note motive as the melody. Hearing the many variations that he comes up with throughout the song conveys how intrigued Davis must have been by the tune, as it stayed in his performance repertoire for decades. Tracks such as "You're My Everything" and "Oleo" highlight the synchronic nature of Davis and Coltrane as they carry each other's melodies while trading off solos. The steady syncopation of Philly Joe Jones keeps the rhythms tight and the delicate interplay all the more conspicuous. Relaxin' offers something for every degree of jazz enthusiast. Likewise, the quintet's recordings provide a tremendous introduction for the curious jazz consumer. Lindsay Planer

Miles Davis (trumpet)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Red Garland (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. If I Were A Bell
2. You're My Everything
3. I Could Write A Book
4. Oleo
5. It Could Happen To You
6. Woody'n You

Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet

Workin' is the third in a series of four featuring the classic Miles Davis Quintet... Like its predecessors Cookin' and Relaxin', Workin' is the product of not one, as mythology would claim, but two massively productive recording sessions in May and October of 1956, respectively. Contradicting the standard methodology of preparing fresh material for upcoming albums, Davis and company used their far more intimate knowledge of the tunes the quintet was performing live to inform their studio recordings. As was often the case with Davis, the antithesis of the norm is the rule. Armed with some staggering original compositions, pop standards, show tunes, and the occasional jazz cover, Workin' is the quintessence of group participation. Davis, as well as Coltrane, actually contributes compositions as well as mesmerizing performances to the album. The band's interaction on "Four" extends the assertion that suggests this quintet plays with the consistency of a single, albeit ten-armed, musician. One needs listen no further than the stream of solos from Davis, Coltrane, Garland, and Jones, with Paul Chambers chasing along with his rhythmic metronome. Beneath the smouldering bop of "Trane's Blues" are some challenging chord progressions that are tossed from musician to musician with deceptive ease. Chambers' solo stands as one of his defining contributions to this band. In sly acknowledgement to the live shows from which these studio recording sessions were inspired, Davis concludes both sets (read: album sides) with "The Theme" ; a brief and mostly improvised tune indicating to patrons that the tab must be settled. In this case, settling the tab might include checking out Steamin', the final Miles Davis Quintet recording to have been culled from these historic sessions. Lindsay Planer

Miles Davis (trumpet)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Red Garland (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. It Never Entered My Mind
2. Four
3. In Your Own Sweet Way
4. The Theme (take 1)
5. Trane's Blues
6. Ahmad's Blues
7. Half Nelson
8. The Theme (take 2)

Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet

Although chronologically the last to be issued, this collection includes some of the best performances from the tapes which would produce the albums Cookin', Relaxin', Workin', and ultimately, Steamin'. A primary consideration of these fruitful sessions is the caliber of musicians -- Miles Davis (trumpet), Red Garland (piano), John Coltrane (tenor sax), and Philly Joe Jones (drums) -- who were basically doing their stage act in the studio. As actively performing musicians, the material they are most intimate with would be their live repertoire. Likewise, what more obvious place than a studio is there to capture every inescapable audible nuance of the combo's musical group mind. The end results are consistently astonishing. At the center of Steamin', as with most outings by this band, are the group improvisations which consist of solo upon solo of arguably the sweetest and otherwise most swinging interactions known to have existed between musicians. "Surrey With the Fringe on Top" is passed between the mates like an old joke. Garland compliments threads started by Davis and Coltrane as their seamless interaction yields a stream of strikingly lyrical passages. There are two well-placed nods to fellow bop pioneers Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on a revision of their "Salt Peanuts." Philly Joe Jones' mimicking cymbal speak -- which replicates Gillespie's original vocals -- is nothing short of genius. This rendition is definitely as crazy and unpredictable here as the original. Thelonious Monk also gets kudos on "Well, You Needn't." This quintet makes short work of the intricacies of the arrangement, adding the double horn lead on the choruses and ultimately redefining this jazz standard. Although there is no original material on Steamin', it may best represent the ability of the Miles Davis quintet to take standards and rebuild them to suit their qualifications. Lindsay Planer

Miles Davis (trumpet)
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Red Garland (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1. The Surrey With the Fringe On Top
2. Salt Peanuts
3. Something I Dreamed Last Night
4. Diane
5. Well You Needn't
6. When I Fall In Love

Jimmy McGriff - The Worm

Jimmy McGriff (organ)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Danny Turner (alto sax)
Fats Theus (tenor sax)
Bob Ashton (baritone sax)
Thornel Schwartz (guitar)
Bob Bushnell (bass)
Grady Tate, Mel Lewis (drums)

1. The Worm
2. Keep Loose
3. Heavyweight
4. Think
5. Lock It Up
6. Girl Talk
7. Blue Juice
8. Take The "A" Train

Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York in August 1968

Thelonious Monk Septet - Monk's Music (20bit K2)

This historic 1957 session, beginning with Monk's favorite hymn ("Abide With Me") and ending with the composer's most affecting ballad ("Crepescule With Nellie"), functions as an overview of his career. As such, Monk's Music, Thelonious' fifth album for the Riverside label, is a shot across the bow of the hard bop movement.

A cubist intro by Monk and Wilbur Ware sets the tone for an extended seven-piece rendition of the pianist's classic "Well, You Needn't," with a fiery underpinning by Art Blakey. Monk is at his angular, bluesy best, opening with Charlie Christian-like percussive accents. He grows more taciturn in the second chorus, unleashing some of his most dynamic rhythmic devices before crying out for "Coltrane, Coltrane." Monk, Ware and Blakey drive Trane relentlessly, and the tenor giant responds with taut, screaming lyricism. Monk responds to Copeland's Gillespie-ish shouts with child-like glee, then recedes as Blakey ghosts Ware's dark, driving punctuations before his own polyrhythmic explosion. Coleman Hawkins enters on the crest of a drum roll with operatic fervor, followed by a feline Gigi Gryce, a coy Monk and a final reprise of the theme. A classic moment in jazz.

But Monk's Music contains numerous highlights. Contrast Hawkins' elegant, barrel-chested machismo on the ballad "Ruby, My Dear" with Trane's rendition a year later on Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane. There are two takes of "Off Minor," one of Monk's most swinging lines. Hawkins comes off the starting blocks of the master take like a pit bull, Copeland responds in kind, and Monk follows with dissonant shards of counterpoint and harmonic subversion. Coltrane draws first blood on the spooky "Epistrophy," obviously inspired by Hawkins' steely melodic focus and Monk's probing cross-rhythms; Gryce's solo illustrates his fresh approach to the alto, and Blakey's solo, with its crushing rolls and extraordinary bent tones, is a masterpiece.

Thelonious Monk (piano)
Gigi Gryce (alto sax)
Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Ray Copeland (trumpet)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Art Blakey (drums)

1 - Abide With Me
2 - Well, You Needn't
3 - Ruby, My Dear
4 - Off Minor (take 5)
5 - Epistrophy
6 - Crepuscule With Nellie (take 6)
7 - Off Minor (take 4)
8 - Crepuscule With Nellie (takes 4 and 5)

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on June 26, 1957

McCoy Tyner - The Greeting

By Gerard Cox , All ABout Jazz
This is a rather welcome addition to McCoy Tyner's reissue catalog on compact disc. For those acquainted with Tyner's 1970s Milestone output after all, this live date featuring his sextet from the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco (1978) is definitely one of the more worthwhile Milestone Tyners.
In contrast to several of McCoy's Milestone records which share a certain level of sameness (”Together”, “Focal Point”, etc.) and seemed on some level to merely be “marathons to top other marathons” of modal soloing, this recording shows Tyner and his band playing with a more holistic musical sense. The rewards are a more diverse musical program that is less encumbered by modal cliches, and a plainly more spontaneous feeling in contrast to the somewhat mechanical Milestone studio releases.
George Adams is on board here, and for some that may be enough to convince that this is probably worth checking out. Indeed, Adams' playing here is fiery and intense, and on “Fly With The Wind” (a Tyner staple that gained most notoriety through its big band manifestation), Adams takes a solo that is remarkable for its reconciling of a purely soulful quality to the modal dogma of Tyner's music. Tyner's solo here, by contrast, seems detached and most concerned with maintaining intensity at all costs, even at the expense of revealing any emotional vulnerability it would seem. All music is a form of theater on some level however, and perhaps in this sense, McCoy Tyner played the role of "the stoic" vis a vis his band's more patently expressive soloists like Adams.
Of course, McCoy Tyner is hardly a soulless musician, and on his solo feature of Naima, he shows the penchant for romanticism and lyrical sensitivity that he was to make his name on in solo recordings of later years. This is a relatively brief edition of Naima in compared to Tyner's effort on a record like “Echoes of a Friend” (a rather “herculean” solo piano venture to say the least), but it exudes a certain understatement that is rather unique in comparison to other examples. Certainly, Naima was a tune that McCoy took to as much as his former boss John Coltrane (composer) had in his career.
The most beautiful and striking piece on this record is the opening track, "Hand in Hand". Built on a very simple melody (that itself sounds reminiscent of a very familiar African folk melody), this involves little soloing outside of a hand percussion intro but is a very emotionally engaging piece. It has the feel of something akin to a national anthem as the same melody is repeated, over and over again, but layers of instruments- including the human voice, are added, and the timbre of the ensemble sound becomes increasingly complex. Moreover, as the music develops an emotional quality of deep assuredness and unity amongst the parts becomes tangible. There's clearly something to be said for melodic persistance in this case.
While the simple folk melody of "Hand in Hand" is successful as a novelty of sorts, Tyner's ability to write epic-sounding, uplifting modal themes goes unquestioned by this reviewer. Tyner as a writer simply knew how to push the buttons of those who yearned for a powerful, epic sound that was 'inspirational' in some sense of the word. The music certainly generates idealistic associations; "Fly With The Wind" feels just like that, whether one is conscious of the title or not. Indeed, the producers for the Olympic committee should have considered commissioing Tyner at some point. The ending of "Fly With The Wind" here, however, never would have flown with the Olympics- it gets a little too "out there" as McCoy thunders on prepared piano vis a vis the mysterious musings of Joe Ford and George Adams on flute and the percussive questions posed by the hands of Sonship. This is actually quite a hip moment, as rare as it seemed for Tyner's band to get, well, all "quiet and weird" on you all of a sudden.
On the note of writing being a strength of Tyner's music, if one cannot be moved by themes like "Fly With The Wind" or "The Greeting" then there is probably no hope for ever appreciating Tyner. The writing is where the whole Tyner "sound" begins and sets the tone for everything that follows. It's epic themes followed by solos that attempt to soar into the stratosphere. The Coltrane quartet wrote the book on this, and McCoy Tyner spent a good part of his career thereafter in dialogue with what had already been said. And, while there's not always as broad a range in the expressive qualities of the compositions that one might like (relevant here: the book for the George Adams-Don Pullen quartet), one can't argue that for what McCoy Tyner did, single-minded as it may have been, he did it as well and as thoroughly as it could have been done.
"Single-minded" of course is the catchword for Tyner's Milestone period- he was clearly on a mission to advance he and his band's powerful modal sound, other possibilities be damned. This again though is a document of McCoy Tyner's band when his outlook didn't seem quite so single-minded for a moment in time.
The music here is vital and it breathes, and even for those skeptical of his Milestone period, as this reviewer is for the most part, it's decidely worth checking out. Moreover, if one is only familiar with McCoy from his Blue Notes or early Impulse sides, McCoy's Milestone era is certainly not to be overlooked and this record offers as good an introduction to it as any. If nothing else, McCoy's 70s output offers an important glimpse into the state of the music post-Coltrane. Dated as it may seem on some level today, this music had a definite resonance in the 1970s and the resonance was largely owed to, it would seem, the inspiration of one John Coltrane.

McCoy Tyner piano
George Adams flute, tenor and soprano sax
Joe Ford alto and flute
Charles Fambrough bass
Sonship (Woody Theus) drums and orchestra bells
Guilherme Franco percussion

01 Hand in Hand (Tyner) 6:18
02 Fly with the Wind (Tyner) 14:54
03 Pictures (Tyner) 7:57
04 Naima (Coltrane) 4:44
05 The Greeting (Tyner) 8:55

Recorded live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on March 16 & !7th, 1978.

Weather Report - Black Market (24-bit remastered sound)

Weather Report's Black Market, issued in 1976 and here offered in 24-bit digitally remastered form, was notable for the arrival of young bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius, the addition of the Oberheim Prophet polyphonic synthesizer to Joe Zawinul's bank of keyboards and the title track which, with its sweetly voiced melody, intensifying rhythms and doubled basses achieves the kind of unity you wouldn't expect from a band in constant flux. The album, which preceded the 1977 breakthrough, Heavy Weather, does not showcase Wayne Shorter to best effect--his pretty but banal composition "Elegant People", on which he plays the electronic Lyricon as well as tenor and soprano, is TV theme music crossed with smooth jazz. But with "Cannon Ball", Zawinul's heartfelt tribute to his former boss Cannonball Adderley and "Barbary Coast", on which Pastorius steps out with his fretless funkified axe, Black Market stands up as one of the more rewarding Weather Report efforts of the period. Review by Lloyd Sachs,

Track listing
1 Black Market (6:30)
2 Cannon Ball (4:40)
3 Gibraltar (7:49)
4 Elegant People (5:03)
5 Three Clowns (3:27)
6 Barbary Coast (3:10)
7 Herandnu (6:38)

Narada Michael Walden Drums
Chester Thompson Drums
Don Alias Percussion, Conga
Alex Acuña Percussion, Conga
Joe Zawinul Synthesizer, Piano (Electric), Producer, Oberheim, Orchestration, Arp 2600, Piano (Grand), Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Piano
Alphonso Johnson Bass, Bass (Electric)
Jaco Pastorius Bass, Bass (Electric)
Wayne Shorter Lyre, Assistant Producer, Producer, Saxophone, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)

Recorded at Devonshire Studios, North Hollywood, California on December 1975

Jazz Album of the Year, 41st Annual Down Beat Readers Poll

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Art Pepper - Living Legend

Living Legend. A perfectly chosen title for this 1975 recording of Art Pepper, for a legend he most certainly was, though some would have doubted that he was even alive at the time. Years spent in various prisons (San Quentin the most notorious among them) and at Synanon trying to get his life back in order had kept him well away from the limelight. His last albums as a leader were released way back in 1960, and Art Pepper seemed to have vanished off the bandstand for good, due to his "personal problems", as drug-problems were usually referred to in those days. Record producer Lester Koenig, who had been Pepper's staunchest supporter and backer throughout the 1950's, brought Pepper's career back to life by having him record a comeback album for his 'Contemporary' label. Backed by a brilliant rhythm section of Hampton Hawes (piano), Charlie Haden (bass) and Shelly Manne (drums), Art Pepper's alto is the true star of this brilliant album. The emotion he puts into tunes like "Here's that rainy day", "Ophelia" and especially the unforgettable "Lost Life" is unique and heart-wrenching in all its beauty. Having squandered so many years behind bars and inside the Synanon institute, Pepper played as if every note could be his last, and he gave his all to convey his emotions through his horn while he still had the chance. The track "Lost Life" must rank among one of the most beautiful, most personal and most unforgettable of all jazz-recordings. However much he made a mess of his personal life (read his painfully honest autobiography "Straight Life"), in his music Pepper seemed determined to put all the beauty and love he had so sorely lacked during most of his childhood and during his drug-related lock-ups. The rhythm section almost seem afraid to interfere in what was so obviously a cry straight from the heart, so they carefully choose every accompanying note, leaving the scene clear for Pepper's alto to tell its sad, but beautiful story of a life that had been wasted, were it not for Pepper's exquisite taste and uniquely enchanting sound, which temporarily managed to chase away his demons, as if nothing had ever happened.

Art Pepper (alto sax)
Hampton Hawes (piano)
Charlie Haden (acoustic bass)
Shelly Manne (drums)

1. Ophelia
2. Here's That Rainy Day
3. What Laurie Likes
4. Mr. Yohe
5. Lost Life
6. Samba Mom-Mom (Original Take)
7. Samba Mom-Mom (Alternate Take)

Recorded at Contemporary Studios, Los Angeles, California on August 9, 1975

jazzman4133 brings us...

Mingus '64

A great sounding edition of this show, it begins with Mingus discussing the band being arrested earlier that day.

The music was originally released as a vinyl L.P. on the Moon label but the date of this first release is not well documented . This L.P. is now a very rare item. The work was re-released in 1990 as a compact disc, also on the Moon label (MCD 016-2). There may have been subsequent re-releases. Mingus' Astral Weeks contains only two tracks: "Fables of Faubus" and "Meditations", although the full performance of his group's music that day also included other compositions that are absent from the Moon releases.

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

CD 1 (early set)
1. Intro
2. So Long Eric
3. Intro
5. Intro
6. Orange Was the Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk
7. Meditations

CD 2 (late set)
1. Intro
2. Ow!
3. Fables of Faubus

"Old Fellow Palaet's Store Sal", Copenhagen, Denmark, April 14, 1964

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

CD 1
1. These Foolish Things
2. Orange Was the Color Of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk
3. So Long Eric
4. Peggy´s Blue Skylight

CD 2
1. Fables Of Faubus
2. Sophisticated Lady
3. Meditations

Shelly Manne & His Friends - My Fair Lady (20bit K2)

While jazz musicians had long drawn an essential portion of their repertoire from the Broadway stage, this jazz version of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady was something new in 1956. Drummer Shelly Manne leads a trio with pianist Andre Previn and bassist Leroy Vinnegar here, and they bring a lightly sophisticated touch to the material, which had debuted just a few months before the recording. It's a testament to the quality of score and players alike that the tunes already feel like standards in their hands, both in the arrangements and in the solos. "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is the shimmering ballad that one might expect, but the trio applies a similar approach with almost equally successful results to the unlikely "With a Little Bit of Luck." Tempos are pushed toward the bop dimension for "Ascot Gavotte" and "Danced All Night," and Previn acquits himself well, generating imaginative lines. Vinnegar is a rock-solid timekeeper, while Manne provides brisk brush work, a lively beat, and creative accents. He's not obtrusive, but Manne's superb drumming is a focal point in this trio, highlighted by the 20-bit K2 super coding. Stuart Broomer

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

1. Get Me To The Church On Time
2. On The Street Where You Live
3. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
4. Would't It Be Loverly
5. Ascot Gavotte
6. Show Me
7. With A Little Bit Of Luck
8. I Could Have Danced All Night

Recorded at Contemporary's studio in Los Angeles on August 17, 1956

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jackie McLean - 4, 5 And 6 (20bit K2)

Not to discredit the ability, output or creative drive of any musician who has contributed to the pantheon of documented jazz in the past fifty years, but there are definitely tiers of jazz players, at least with regards to who receives credit and recognition in the eyes of the lay jazz fan. Your first tier is your Miles Davis’, John Coltrane’s and Thelonious Monk’s (the sort of guys who go by one name only, if you will). If you’re new to jazz, only listen to jazz when you’re in that sort of mood or just want one or two hip jazz records to make your record collection look cooler, these would be the guys to reach for.

Then you have cats like Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon and Joe Henderson. These guys are amazing artists who put out great records—but if a friend says, “Hey I want to get in to jazz… what record should I start with?” You’re going to say Trane—not Jackie McLean.

Originally released in 1956 by Prestige Records, 4, 5 and 6 was McLean’s third session as bandleader and teams the former Davis sideman with pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkin and drummer Arthur Taylor. Waldron, Watkins and Taylor are as good a rhythm section as any of their more heralded peers. For a strong section of “Sentimental Journey,” McLean lays back and lets this trio do the work. The three are strong in support of the saxophonist, establishing loose groves for their bandleader to wander through.

The quartet expands to six for the Charlie Parker-penned “Confirmation,” as Donald Byrd joins on trumpet and Hank Mobley adds his tenor saxophone. With a full, bright horn section the McLean band address a world of textures, tastes and tones that are delightful all around.

“Why Was I Born” is, likewise, spectacular. Everything about “Abstraction” is cool—in every sense of the word. The tune is the sort that transports you till suddenly you find yourself sitting on a bar stool thinking slow, sipping whisky to avoid the rain outside because the walk home won’t be wonderful. “Abstraction” is the distraction of slow moving hips, vision clouded by marijuana, and low lights.

As reissues go, 4, 5 and 6 is a great addition to the catalog of classic hard bop. The perfect album for late night relaxation sessions of hanging out and getting high, McLean and company are on point and in control on this amazing disc. James Taylor

Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Doug Watkins (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Sentimental Journey
2. Why Was I Born?
3. Contour
4. Confirmation
5. When I Fall In Love
6. Abstraction

Recorded July 13 and July 20, 1956 at Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ

The Thelonious Monk Trio (20bit K2

In between the first blush of genius represented by his maiden voyages for Blue Note and the veritable convulsion of creativity on Riverside, Monk recorded a handful of influential sessions for the Prestige label. Thelonious Monk gathers together most of Monk's trio performances onto one disc, presenting a stunning portrait of this American original as virtuoso improviser and composer--among the greatest trio performances in the history of jazz.

Monk was a craftsman of rhythmic contrast, a canny minimalist and musical architect who sustained the power of traditional jazz by expanding upon its primary virtues. Monk was also a master of texture and space who could make one chord suggest an orchestra and a few oddly stressed notes swing like crazy. His melodies were rhythmically conceived and accented, while his harmonies conferred extraordinary colors on his syncopated lines. Like Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington, he conceived of the piano as a scaled down big band, which is what makes the music on Thelonious Monk so enduring.

"Blue Monk" is one of his most timeless, straight-forward themes, as the pianist engages Percy Heath and Art Blakey in an extended dialogue, making poetic use of space and rhythmic displacements to badger Blakey into one amen after another. "Little Rootie Tootie" is just as exciting; Monk's crashing tonal clusters evoke distant locomotives and train whistles, as his epic blues phrases and rhythmic intricacies inspire Blakey to antiphonal effects worthy of African talking drummers. And on "Bemsha Swing" and "Trinkle Tinkle" Monk takes this notion a step farther. He treats the drums as a thematic instrument, creating new harmonies and rhythms to match, as Max Roach responds with bristling melodic ideas.

As miraculous as his own tunes are, Monk's ability to distill the sucrose sentimentality of popular tunes into heady jazz moonshine is a wonder to behold. The rhythmic variations on "Sweet And Lovely," the stride asides and impressionist coda to "Just A Gigolo" the acerbic cubist chords introducing "These Foolish Things"--all betray Monk's obstreperous delight in these old songs, even as his witty transmutations illuminate the modern jazz attitude.

Thelonious Monk (piano)
Percy Heath, Gary Mapp (bass)
Max Roach, Art Blakey (drums)

1. Little Rootie Tootie
2. Sweet and Lovely
3. Bye-Ya
4. Monk's Dream
5. Trinkle, Tinkle
6. These Foolish Things
7. Blue Monk
8. Just a Gigolo
9. Bemsha Swing
10. Reflections

Recorded at Beltone Studios, New York, New York on October 15 and December 18, 1952 and the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on September 22, 1954

Jimmy Giuffre - Western Suite

In response to a comment in the request section.

In late 1957, jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and iconoclast Jimmy Giuffre broke up the original Jimmy Giuffre 3 with Ralph Pena and Jim Hall. In early 1958, for a recording session, he formed a new trio without a rhythm section. For the album Trav'lin' Light, his new trio included Hall on guitar and the underrated trombone giant Bob Brookmeyer. For a year, they gigged together up and down the West Coast and played summer festivals, recorded, and even played clubs in New York. They became a trio of adventurous musicians for whom form was not an obstacle to creativity. As the year wound down, Giuffre wanted to document the trio once more, sensing its life was coming to an end. He composed the four-movement "Western Suite" with the trio's strengths in mind, as a way of documenting how they had come together as a band during that year. The piece itself stands as a crowning achievement in a career that included discovering the talents of Steve Swallow and Paul Bley and making the truly revolutionary recording Free Fall for Columbia three years later. The roots of that thinking lie in this set. Jim Hall's playing was dark, funky, ambiguous, sounding like drums and voices all at the same time -- particularly in the fourth movement. Brookmeyer became the pace setter. His lines were played as stage settings for the other two players to dialogue and narrate against. Giuffre, ever the storyteller, advanced the improvisation angle and wrote his score so that each player had to stand on his own as part of the group; there were no comfort zones. Without a rhythm section, notions of interval, extensions, interludes, and so on were out the window. He himself played some of his most retrained yet adventurous solos in the confines of this trio and within the form of this suite. It swung like West Coast jazz, but felt as ambitious as Copland's Billy the Kid. The record is filled out with two other tunes, one of Eddie Durham's, "Topsy," and the final moment of mastery this band ever recorded, the already classic "Blue Monk." The easy stroll of the front line with Brookmeyer's trombone strutting New Orleans' style is in sharp contrast to Giuffre's clarinet playing. Which carries the bluesy melody through three harmonic changes before he solos and then plays three more. Hall keeps it all on track, and somehow the piece sounds very natural this way, though unlike "Monk," there are no edges here -- everything is rounded off. This is as solid as any of the earlier or later Jimmy Giuffre 3 records, and two Jurek notches above Trav'lin' Light in that it reveals a fully developed sense of the responsibilities, possibilities, and freedoms of reinventing jazz for the trio. So say I...~ Thom Jurek

Jimmy Giuffre - clarinet, saxes
Jim Hall - guitar
Bob Brookmeyer - trombone

1. Western Suite
1st Movement: Pony Express
2nd Movement: Apaches
3rd Movement: Saturday Night Dance
4th Movement: Big Pow Wow
2. Topsy
3. Blue Monk

Duke Pearson - Prairie Dog

Harold Vick, y'all.

"Pearson was introduced to brass instruments and the piano as a youth, and his abilities on the latter inspired his uncle, an Ellington admirer, to give him his nickname. Dental problems forced Pearson to abandon the brass family, so from there, he worked as a pianist in Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia and Florida before moving to New York in 1959. There, he joined Donald Byrd's band, the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Sextet, and served as Nancy Wilson's accompanist. In 1963, he arranged four numbers for jazz septet and eight-voice choir on Byrd's innovative A New Perspective album; one of the tunes was "Cristo Redentor," which became a jazz hit. From 1963 to 1970, Pearson was in charge of several recording sessions for Blue Note, while also recording most of his albums as a leader. He also led a big band from 1967 to 1970 and again in 1972, hiring players like Pepper Adams, Chick Corea, Lew Tabackin, Randy Brecker and Garnett Brown. Pearson continued to accompany vocalists in the 1970s, such as Carmen McRae, but he spent a good deal of the latter half of the decade fighting the ravages of multiple sclerosis. "~ Richard S. Ginell

Duke Pearson (celeste, piano)
Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Gene Bertoncini (guitar)
Bob Cranshaw (bass )
George Coleman (tenor sax)
Harold Vick (tenor, soprano sax)
Mickey Roker (drums)
James Spaulding (flute, alto sax)

1. The Fakir
2. Prairie Dog
3. Hush-A-Bye
4. Soulin'
5. Little Waltz
6. Angel Eyes

This Day In Jazz

All thanks and praise to Webbcity

Don Ellis - Electric Bath

Years before the advent of jazz-rock, when Bitches Brew was just a gleam in Miles Davis's eye, young trumpet sensation Don Ellis was combining jazz with electric, rock-identified elements in an amalgam that somehow managed to be both adventurous and popular. Listening to Electric Bath today, some of the '60s go-go-dance beats Ellis added to his forward-looking big band compositions sound a bit dated. For the time, though, his vision and adventurousness were unparalleled. Even now, the elements of discord in the horn section, the weird time signatures, and the presence of sitar and electric keyboards in a jazz context seem like unprecedented foresight. For those interested in the place where rock and jazz meet, this is one of the first places to look.

Henry Mancini commented, "My rock-oriented teenage son, Chris, and I have both flipped out over Don Ellis's new band. Anyone who can reach these two opposite poles at once must be reckoned with and listened to."

Don Ellis, Glenn Stuart, Alan Weight,
Ed Warren, Bob Harmon (trumpet)
Ron Starr (tenor, flute, clarinet)
John Magruder (baritone, flute, bass clarinet)
Ron Myers, Dave Sanchez, Terry Woodson (trombone)
Ruben Leon, Joe Roccisano (alto, flute, soprano)
Ira Schulman (tenor, flute, piccolo, clarinet)
Ray Neapolitan (bass, sitar)
Frank De La Rosa (bass)
Dave Parlato (bass)
Mike Lang (piano, clavinet, fender piano)
Steve Bohannon (drums)
Chino Valdes (congas, bongos)
Mark Stevens (timbales, vibes, percussion)
Alan Estes (percussion)

1 Indian Lady
2 Alone
3 Turkish Bath
4 Open Beauty
5 New Horizons
6 Turkish Bath
7 Indian Lady

Recorded September 19 (tracks 1, 2 and 4) and
September 20 (all other tracks), 1967 at
Columbia Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hampton Hawes For Real

Harold Land had recorded "In The Land of Jazz" two months earlier. Scott Lefaro had finished work on the Victor Feldman and Getz/Tjader Lp's and was looking slightly ahead to "Everybody Digs Bill Evans" and "Portrait in Jazz". Butler, and Land were still hanging on with Curtis Counce. Hampton Hawes, arguably the most brilliant pianist on the West, or any coast, was only months away from the Federal Pen in Texas for "Hurtin' only myself". One of a handful of recordings with a horn player, (although Jim Hall sounds like a horn player on the All Night Sessions) this is sheer brilliance. A rather edgy album, Hawes and Land bring out the best in each other--there aren't many soloists that could spar with Hawes, whose right handed articulation was as precise as any conservatory trained musician (i.e. Previn was, Hawes was self taught) A nice comparison for those who heard Land's West Coast Blues album; listen to the way Land plays on Little Bennie-- his phrasing leans more toward Hamp's own dry and delineated bursts of notes , as opposed to Klaacto on the WCB lp, where Harold seems to play with a rounded tone and with more fluidity. And if that's not enough, LeFaro and Butler seem to know exactly where to drop in. This features three written by Hawes & Land, a couple of standards, and don't miss Crazeology. WBF
2.Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
4.Numbers Game
5.For Real
6.I Love You

Dizzy Gillespie - A Musical Safari (1961)

This set by Dizzy Gillespie was recorded at the 4th Monterey Jazz Festival in the afternoon of September 23, 1961. After a brief introduction by Duke Ellington and some words from Diz, the band breaks into an early version of "Desafinado" followed by his own composition "Lorraine" and Lalo Schifrin's "Long Long Summer". The fireworks start to fly on side two with some humorous scatting from Diz and Joe Carroll and then the band just smokes on "Pau de Arara" and "Kush". Leo Wright and Lalo Schifrin are at the top of their game and Dizzy.....well, there's nobody like Diz in his prime.

This LP was the first issue of this live set and was released by Booman Records in 1974. As far as I know, there has never been a reissue on CD.

Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet, vocal)
Leo Wright (alto sax, flute)
Lalo Schifrin (piano)
Bob Cunningham (bass)
Chuck Lampkin (drums)
Joe Carroll (vocal)

Side One
1. Duke's Intro & Dizzy's Rap
2. Desafinado
3. Lorraine
4. Long Long Summer

Side Two
1. Oo Pop A Da
2. Pau de Arara
3. Kush

The Cannonball Adderley Sextet - Fiddler On The Roof

For the New Year. Ever notice how when Yanow doesn't have much to say, he names everyone in the band?

It is a bit strange that none of the eight songs performed on this LP found their way into Adderley's permanent repertoire for the altoist is quite inspired throughout this surprising set. With strong assists from cornetist Nat Adderley, Charles Lloyd on tenor and flute, pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, Cannonball plays near his peak; this is certainly the finest album by this particular sextet. Scott Yanow

"Fiddler on the Roof is (1) the longest-running, most-beloved musical in Broadway history, (2) a smash motion picture directed by Norman Jewison and starring the Israeli-actor Topol, and (3) now an exceptional-if surprising -jazz vehicle for Cannonball Adderley.

Not surprisingly, the unpredictable Cannon performs the warm, uplifting Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock score with style and sentiment, and a lot of help from his extremely talented friends-namely, Nat Adderley, Charles Lloyd, Joe Zawinul, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes.

It is rather improper to single out certain tracks and solo performances for special praise. Instead, the entire album should be enjoyed-as an exciting marriage of superb material, fragrant mood and riveting artistry.

Titles of three selections in this package do, however, require explanation.Fiddler on the Roof in the show itself is also called Tradition. The Bolero-tempered Chavalah is strictly a dance sequence in the show, and does not appear in the original cast recording. Cannon, however, found it perfect in the context of this recording. Sewing Machine was deleted prior to the Broadway opening, but Cannon liked it so much he felt that it too should be included on this date."

Cannonball Adderley (alto sax)
Nat Adderley (cornet, trumpet)
Charles Lloyd (tenor sax, flute)
Joe Zawinul (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Fiddler On The Roof
2. To Life
3. Sabbath Prayer
4. Chavalah
5. Sewing Machine
6. Now I Have Everything
7. Do You Love Me?
8. Matchmaker, Matchmaker
9. Sweet Georgia Bright
10. Island Blues
11. Little Boy With The Sad Eyes
12. Goodbye Charlie

Recorded at Capitol Studios, New York, New York and Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, California in September and October 1964

Thelonious Monk - Misterioso (20bit K2)

Seeing that we've been on an audiophile tip for a while, I thought I'd post about 8 -10 of these limited edition Fancyass© issues.

When the quartet featured on MISTERIOSO was burning up the Five Spot back in 1958, they came under attack from fickle fans and critics, seemingly for no other reason than that they weren't the 1957 model (featuring John Coltrane, Wilbur Ware and Shadow Wilson). But the wit, wonder and vigorous interplay of this quartet enlivens these performances to such a degree, it's impossible to discern what the big deal was about. This is an amazing band.

Listening to tenor virtuoso Johnny Griffin on "Blues Five Spot," it's clear that for him Monk's music was almost second nature. Like fellow tenor giant Sonny Rollins, Griffin understood the rhythmic impetus behind Monk's melodies, and his penchant for witty interpolations allowed him to work a ditty such as "The Sailor's Hornpipe" into the conclusion of his unaccompanied chorus. Also, if you listen to how he and Monk reprise the head (and introduce "Let's Cool One"), you'll note the saxophonist's ability to voice his lines in such a way as to suggest different saxophone ranges, and even multiple horns when playing in unison with the pianist.

Which leads to an epic level of collective call-and-response throughout MISTERIOSO. The multi-leveled "Let's Cool One" has a main theme and an equally important counter-line, and during their collective improvisation, Griffin and Monk manage to maintain this antiphonal balance of preacher and congregation. Even when the band drops away for another solo Griffin break, the counter-lines and cross-rhythms keep going in the listener's mind until Monk returns with fresh abstractions and a hint of stride. Of the remaining performances, "In Walked Bud" and the title tune generate the most collective heat. On the former, the pianist counters Griffin's own Monkisms with sly rhythmic abstractions of the tune's main thematic accents, which Haynes echoes in his solo. And on "Misterioso," Monk's trademark blues, the pianist's stark harmonic juxtapositions preclude any hint of cliched postures, as he and Griffin dig down deep into this timeless form.

Thelonious Monk (piano)
Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)
Ahmed Abdul-Malik (bass)
Roy Haynes (drums)

1. Nutty
2. Blues Five Spot
3. Let's Cool One
4. In Walked Bud
5. Just A Gigolo
6. Misterioso
7. 'Round Midnight
8. Evidence

Recorded at The Five Spot, NYC, on July 9 and August 7, 1958

Lennie Tristano - Lennie Tristano

It is no coincidence that this album from over 50 years ago is being posted side-by-side (so to speak) with a cutting edge artist. It is still, 50 years on, as seminal and challenging, and just plain fuckin' good, as it was back then.
This is, for our newly discovered audiophile contingent, a Japanese 24-bit Polyphasic Zygodisc release. In Prolapsarian Echophonic Sound-sound. Take it on blind faith, if you must: you should check this out.

Lennie Tristano's Atlantic debut was a controversial album at the time of its release. Though Tristano was regarded as a stellar and innovative bebop pianist, the first four tunes on this set shocked the jazz world at the time of their release. The reason was that on the four original tunes that open the set -- "Line Up," "Requiem," "Turkish Mambo" and "East Thirty-Second" -- Tristano actually overdubbed piano lines, and sped the tape up and down for effect. While the effect is quite listenable and only jarring in the most splendid sense of the word because of the sharp, angular arpeggios and the knotty, involved method of improvising that came directly by improvising against the rhythm section drummer Jeff Morton and bassist Peter Ind, it was literally unheard of at the time. The last five tunes on the disc were recorded live with a rhythm section of bassist Gene Ramey and drummer Art Taylor. Lee Konitz plays alto as well. The tunes are all standards including "These Foolish Things," "Ghost of a Chance," and "All the Things You Are." The performance is flawless, with beautiful interplay between Lee and Lennie with stellar harmonic ideas coming down from the bandstand in a fluid relaxed manner. This is a gorgeous album with a beautiful juxtaposition between the first half and the second half between the rhythmic and intervallic genius of Tristano as an improviser and as a supreme lyrical and swinging harmonist on the back half. ~ Thom Jurek

Lennie Tristano (piano)
Peter Ind (bass)
Jeff Morton (drums)

Lennie Tristano (piano)
Lee Konitz (alto sax)
Gene Ramey (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Line Up
2. Requiem
3. Turkish Mambo
4. 317 East Thirty-Second
5. These Foolish Things
6. You Go To My Head
7. If I Had You
8. Ghost Of A Chance
9. All The Things You Are

Achim Kaufmann Quartet - Double Exposure

Achim Kaufmann is a rarity: a free-style pianist without any apparent debt to Cecil Taylor. Kaufmann seems to come from a post-bop aesthetic where he actually swings at times and appears comfortable with snatches of melody. His quartet is tightly rehearsed, the winding arrangements alternating with cluster-like escapades. Michael Moore is in peak form and perfectly suited to the pianist's style with his clarinets and alto sax playing a predominate role. Whether soft and subtle or aggressive and eclectic, his powerful presence makes a key contribution. Also impressive is John Hollenbeck's upfront drumming that rarely recedes but never gets in the way. John Schröder's electric guitars are a more delicate influence, adding color to the mix. The eight tunes never tire, in part because of the diversity but also due to the fascinating angular lines of Kaufmann who occupies that gray area between in and out genres. Like a modern-day Mingus, Kaufmann knows how to use his sidemen to key advantage. Steven Loewy

Achim Kaufmann (piano)
Michael Moore (reeds)
John Schroder (guitar)
John Hollenbeck (drums)

1 Carnies
2 Dream Logic
3 Marchebrisée (For Norman McLaren)
4 Gavia
5 Double Exposure
6 Pea Head
7 Proliferation
8 Sphericals

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cy Touff, His Octet & Quintet

Although his last name is pronounced like "tuff", Cy Touff’s name does not reflect his musical style. Touff was one of many musicians who typified the Swing movement, which touched on the themes created by the great New Orleans’ bandleaders. Like so many musicians who participated in West Coast jazz movement, Touff was a transplant from another Jazz city. As Gerry Mulligan brought his New York style to Los Angeles, Touff brought the sounds of Chicago to California. To make things more confusing, the sounds of Chicago were characterized by the sounds of New Orleans. New Orleans musicians like Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong set the standards for swing and everybody else followed their steps. Cy Touff, His Octet & Quintet features compositions by swing masters Johnny Mandel, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman as well as two Touff originals.
1-4 Octet:
Harry Edison, Conrad Gozzo (tr) Cy Touff, (Bass Tr) Richie Kamuca (ts) Matt Utal,(as & bs) Russ Freeman (P) Leroy Vinnegar (b) Chuck Flores (dr) Johnny Mandel (arr.1,2,4) Ernie Wilkins (#3)
5-10 Quintet: Cy, Richie, Pete Jolly, Leroy, Chuck
1.Keester Parade
3.What Am I Here For?
4.Groover Wailin'
6.Half Past Jumping Time
7.A Smooth One
8.Primitive Cats
9.It's Sand, Man
10.A Smooth One (alt)

This Day In Jazz

Lee Morgan - Cornbread

Cornbread offers a typical mid-'60s Morgan set of four originals and a standard. "Most Like Lee" is a straight-ahead minor blues swinger, while the title cut is a swaggering 20-bar blues workout for the three horns that owes as much to Horace Silver's down-home gospel-inflected composing as it does to tunes like Morgan's own hit "The Sidewinder." Altoist Jackie McLean lays out for "Ceora," a bossa nova with a bop-inflected melody and a beautifully stealthy set of changes. "Our Man Higgins" is, not surprisingly, a drum feature for Billy Higgins that splits the difference between modal blowing and the blues when it comes to the solos.

The band's take on Koehler and Arlen's "Ill Wind" is an artful piece of laziness, a bluesy yet carefully arranged ballad with Morgan blowing muted trumpet throughout. The amazing thing about the Blue Note era is that it produced recordings like Cornbread as a matter of course. This was due in no small part to the fact that even after artists like Herbie Hancock and Hank Mobley graduated to dates as a leader, they continued to appear in the studio as sidemen.

Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Jackie McLean (alto sax)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Larry Ridley (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Cornbread
2. Our Man Higgins
3. Ceora
4. Ill Wind
5. Most Like Lee

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 18, 1965

Yusef Lateef - The Golden Flute

It's a shame that Yusef Lateef is relegated to the second tier of jazz musicians, left as an artist who is known more for his work as a sideman. His abilities as a multi-instrumentalist place him a category with Roland Kirk, yet with none of the acclaim. It's true that on his Atlantic releases Lateef was saddled with inferior material, but his earlier recordings are adventurous, melodic, and quite satisfying. The Golden Flute is a marvelous recording from 1966 that showcases Lateef's ability to sustain a warm groove through a well-designed program of originals and standards.

"Road Runner" is a slow, funky tune with gutsy improvising that segues into a slow, beautiful treatment of "Straighten Up and Fly Right," a sultry ballad infused with melancholy beauty. Yet what would be a relatively straightforward session is augmented by Lateef's interest in using other instruments to create new textures. Despite the title, there are only two tracks featuring Lateef on flute, but both show his interest in foreign scales and how they can enhance the palette available for improvisation in a consistent way. On "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You" the thin, reedy sound of Lateef's oboe introduces a eerie quality into a straightforward standard. However, the cherry on top is "Head Hunters," where Lateef sits out and the rhythm section works through a tune you'll have in your head long after the recording is over.

In the end, Lateef proves himself on The Golden Flute to be an artist of merit, capable of creating a haunting session worthy of comparison to Wayne Shorter's Blue Note recordings. This is an excellent opportunity to discover an artist whose work as a leader is well worth a listen. David Rickert

Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, flute, oboe)
Hugh Lawson (piano)
Herman Wright (bass)
Roy Brooks, Jr. (drums)

1. Road Runner
2. Straighten Up And Fly Right
3. Oasis
4. (I Dont Stand) A Ghost Of A Chance With You
5. Exactly Like You
6. The Golden Flute
7. Rosetta
8. Head Hunters
9. The Smart Set

Recorded June 1966 at Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

This Day In Jazz

Crispi pointed this out to me, that this first album qualifies. I started to rip it to flac, but thought that perhaps I should check the old site first. So: good news and bad news. The original links were working; so no flac version, this is MP3 or Ogg. The good news is that there's another album also. Maybe a flac version will result from a contest. Between the ten people that participate here.

Dave Douglas - Charms of the Night Sky

Trumpeter Dave Douglas has participated in so many styles of music that listing them all would be mesmerizing. Some of his best work has been performed in free style and hard bop jazz groups. Here, he charts a different path, albeit one that he has pursued successfully before, in a mellow, lovely vein. Douglas is the only horn, backed by Guy Klucevsek's eclectic accordion, Mark Feldman's gloriously sweet violin, and Greg Cohen's acoustic string bass. With some exceptions, the dynamics are generally low, the tempos slow, and the mood serene. There is almost a post-minimalism to it all, capped by the exquisite sound of Douglas' trumpet. Often, the tunes (mostly written by Douglas) have an Eastern European flair, at times hinting at Klezmer or Jewish wedding music. The group's exacting technical skills eclipse limitations and transcend the immediate moment with gorgeous sound and forward-looking harmonies. Steve Loewy

Dave Douglas (trumpet)
Mark Feldman (violin)
Guy Kucevsek (accordion)
Greg Cohen (bass)

1. Charms Of The Night Sky
2. Bal Masque
3. Sea Change
4. Facing West
5. Dance In Thy Soul (For Charlie Haden)
6. Little One
7. Mug Shots: Wild Coffee
8. Mug Shots: The Girl With The Rose Hips
9. Mug Shots: Decafinata
10. Poveri Fiori
11. Odyssey
12. Twisted
13. Codetta

Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, New York on September 18 & 19, 1997

Dave Douglas - Convergence

To hear many hard bop hard-liners tell it, all avant-garde jazz is nothing more than atonal screaming. The problem with such sweeping generalizations is that some avant-garde jazz is, in fact, quite musical. A perfect example is Dave Douglas' Convergence, an experimental, adventurous outing that incorporates everything from classical and chamber music to Jewish, Middle Eastern, and East European music. Joined by violinist Mark Feldman, cellist Erik Friedlander, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Michael Sarin, the New York-based trumpeter doesn't shy away from the eccentric and the unorthodox, but he also provides his share of discernible, substantial melodies. The inside/outside approach works impressively well on pieces ranging from Douglas' "Goodbye Tony" (a passionate ode to the late drummer Tony Williams), his Miles Davis-influenced "Tzotzil Maya," and his probing "Meeting at Infinity" to the traditional Burmese song "Chit Kyoo Thwe Tog Nyin Hmar Lar" (to which he brings a strong Jewish element). You can hear a variety of influences in Douglas' playing — everyone from Lester Bowie and Don Cherry to Miles Davis and Booker Little — but Convergence leaves no doubt that he is very much an original himself. Alex Henderson

Dave Douglas (Trumpet)
Mark Feldman (Violin)
Erik Friedlander (Cello)
Drew Gress (Bass)
Michael Sarin (Drums)

1. Chit Kyoo Thwe Tog Nyin Hmar Lar
2. Joe's Auto Glass
3. Tzotzil Maya
4. Meeting At Infinity
5. Desseins Eternels
6. Bilbao Song
8. BORDER STORIES: The Elaboration
9. BORDER STORIES: The Exaggeration
10. BORDER STORIES: Apocrypha
11. Collateral Damages
12. Goodbye Tony
13. Nothing Like You

Vandermark, Drake, and McBride - Spaceways Incorporated: Thirteen Cosmic Standards By Sun Ra and Funkadelic

The series of Free Jazz Classics by Vandermark were so popular, it seemed about time to post this.

Asked once what he thought of Sun Ra's music, Funkadelic mainman George Clinton famously said: "He's out to lunch all right. The same place I eat at." Now for fanciers of these pioneer Black nationalist space travelers here's a tasty meal, courtesy of Spaceways Incorporated, that serves up several entrees from both men's oeuvre. Now before anyone looking at the band's name fears that another Klaatu is on the scene, it should be pointed out that each member is identified on the disc. The trio is made up of two Chicagoans: multi-reedist Ken Vandermark, who seems to have as many side projects as McDonald's has hamburgers; and drummer Hamid Drake who has powered the ensembles of Peter Brötzmann and Fred Anderson among others; plus Boston-based acoustic/electric bassist Nate McBride. Unlike jazz's neo-con crew who figure nothing can be a standard unless it was signed by Duke Ellington, plotted out by Jamey Aebersold or recorded by Miles Davis before 1965, this trio recognizes that the music is always growing and changing. As a composer on a similar level as Ellington and Charles Mingus, Ra definitely has a body of "standards" that deserves dissemination. As for Clinton, his tunes are as worthy to serve as improv springboards as anything created by Rogers & Hart or Lennon & McCartney. In truth, it's the Ra compositions that have the edge here. Since despite its other virtues Clinton's is primarily vocal music, the Spaceways Three treat his tunes more or less the same way: as full throttle rockers, heavy on pounding, pile driver drum rhythms, electric bass backbeats and booting, this-side-of-Big-Jay-McNeeley tenor saxophone honks. Ra's multi-faceted conceptions give the musicians more scope. Thus "Bassism" is recast as a rock-style groove tune, heavy on walking bass (what else?) and tenor saxophone runs; "Future" is enlivened with Evan Parker-like saxophone ejaculations; and Ra's biggest "hit" -- "We Travel The Spaceways" -- is given a mellow ballad feel with entwining clarinet and bass lines. Now there are some who will blanch at the idea of a trio trying to replicate every nuance of the Arkestra and Funkadelic, but that's the whole point of this exercise. If jazz is to remain a living music any sort of inventive reinterpretation of its musical cannon is necessary and should be welcomed. Now if only more musicians would follow the lead of the three here. Ken Waxman

Ken Vandermark (tenor sax, clarinet, bass clarinet)
Nate McBride (bass)
Hamid Drake (drums)

1. Tapestry From An Asteroid
2. Alice In My Fantasies/Cosmic Slop
3. Street Named Hell
4. Trash A Go Go
5. Bassism
6. Red Hot Mama/Super Stupid
7. El Is The Sound of Joy
8. Future
9. You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks/Hit It And Quit It
10. We Travel The Spaceways

George Shearing - 'The Master Touch(2002)'

Scouring the net at the usual review haunts (AMG et al) I could not find
one for this, but then I really didn't spend hours on the case...

Another acquisition in my quest for all things Shearing at present

So some blurb from the CD liner notes instead

"..This double CD package is filled with some of the finest
music Shearing recorded so far during his association with the
Concord Jazz Label. From solo piano, to the celebrated duets with
bass players...From piano duets with McPartland and Hank Jones, via
hard swinging trio performances with Ray Brown and 'Smitty' Smith.."

Its good enough for me..

HI-VBR-Ogg (nay flac for a change) with scans

1. One For The Woofer
2. Soon It's Gonna Rain
3. Don't Explain
4. Have You Met Miss Jones?
5. Pent Up House
6. I Cover The Waterfront
7. You Must Believe In Spring
8. I Won't Dance
9. To Hank Jones
10. Triste
11. It Had To Be You
12. For You
13. They Say It's Spring
14. Chasing Shadows
15. To Tommy Flanagan
16. Emily
17. It Never Entered My Mind
18. Easy To Love
19. Hallucinations
20. Prelude To A Kiss
21. Change Partners
22. East Of The Sun
23. Do I Love You
24. So In Love

Paul Chambers - Bass On Top (RVG)

Hank Jones (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Yesterdays
2. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
3. Chasin' the Bird
4. Dear Old Stockholm
5. Theme
6. Confessin'
7. Chamber Mates

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, July 14, 1957

Chet Baker - The Best Thing for You

This CD features previously unissued material from the same sessions that resulted in You Can't Go Home Again and, if anything, the music is a touch better. While an alternate take of Don Sebesky's "El Morro" uses a larger group, the other five performances find Baker accompanied just by a rhythm section (pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Tony Williams and, on one song, guitarist Gene Bertoncini). As a special bonus, altoist Paul Desmond makes memorable appearances on three songs during what would be his final recording session. Throughout, Chet Baker shows that his playing during his much documented final period would be equal if not superior to his more acclaimed recordings of the 1950s. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide


1 The Best Thing for You 4:14
2 I'm Getting Sentimental Over You/You've Changed 6:01
3 Oh, You Crazy Moon 3:33
4 How Deep Is the Ocean 5:41
5 If You Could See Me Now 4:38
6 El Morro 17:03


Chet Baker - Trumpet
Paul Desmond - Alto Saxophone
Tony Williams - Drums
Ron Carter - Bass
Kenny Barron - Piano
John Scofield - Electric and Acoustic Guitar (6)
Richie Beirach - Electric Piano (6)
Hubert Laws - Flute (6)
Michael Brecker - Tenor Saxophone (6)
Arto Tuncboyachi - Percussion, Voice (6)
Gene Bertoncini - Acoustic Guitar (5)

Recorded February and May, 1977 at Sound Ideas Studios, New York City

Sunday, September 16, 2007

This Day In Jazz

Philly Joe Jones - Blues For Dracula

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

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

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

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

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

Duke Ellington - Money Jungle; Expanded Remastered Version

I remember someone back at JPT commenting that whenever he and his father couldn't agree on what to play, one of them would say "Money Jungle", and the issue was resolved. I understand that.

This work always reveals new pleasures; not the least of which is how game Duke always was for a new musical situation. And how grumpy Mingus seems to be when finally working with his single greatest influence.

I know, you have had Money Jungle for years - but this is an expanded and remastered version. You can't get enough of any of these guys.

Duke Ellington surprised the jazz world in 1962 with his historic trio session featuring Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Not in a mood to simply rework older compositions, the bulk of the original LP focused on music he wrote specifically for the session. "Money Jungle" is a thunderous opener, a blues that might be classified somewhere between post-bop and avant-garde. The gem of the date is the fragile, somewhat haunting ballad "Fleurette Africaine," where Mingus' floating bassline and Roach's understated drumming add to the mystique of an Ellington work that has slowly been gathering steam among jazz musicians as a piece worth exploring more often. "Very Special" is a jaunty upbeat blues, while the angular, descending line of "Wig Wise" also proves to be quite catchy. Ellington also revisits "Warm Valley" (a lovely ballad indelibly associated with Johnny Hodges) and an almost meditative "Solitude." Thunderous percussion and wild basslines complement a wilder-than-usual approach to "Caravan." The 1987 CD reissue added five previously unreleased works written for the session and an alternate of "Solitude"; this 2002 edition adds two new alternate takes. Mingus briefly sings along with his opening bass solo to Ellington's sauntering blues "Switch Blade," while Roach's brushwork seasons the leader's down-and-dirty "Rem Blues." Reissue producer Michael Cuscuna adds a brief false start to "Backward Country Boy Blues" to share a complement that Ellington gave to Mingus after hearing his opening bass solo. Even if you already own the earlier, nearly complete CD, it is well worth investing in this expanded 24-bit version, but don't be surprised if it is made obsolete by a later expanded edition with additional unreleased alternate takes, rehearsals, breakdowns, and studio discussions. Every jazz fan should own a copy of this sensational recording session. Ken Dryden

Duke Ellington (piano)
Charles Mingus (bass)
Max Roach (drums)

1 Money Jungle
2 Fleurette Africaine
3 Very Special
4 Warm Valley
5 Wig Wise
6 Caravan
7 Solitude
8 Switch Blade
9 A Little Max
10 Rem Blues
11 Backward Country Boy Blues
12 Solitude [alternate take]
13 Switch Blade [alternate take]
14 A Little Max (Parfait) [alternate take]
15 Rem Blues [alternate take]

Recorded In NYC On September 17, 1962

Remixed From The Original Three Track Masters And Mastered In 24 Bit By Ron McMaster

Don Ellis - Live at Monterey (1966)

One of the most exciting new jazz big bands of the period, Ellis' ensemble became notorious for its ability to play coherently in odd time signatures. One of the four originals heard on this acclaimed outing from the 1966 Monterey Jazz Festival is titled "33 222 1 222" to show how the band manages to perform in 19/4 time. The other selections are Hank Levy's "Passacaglia and Fugue," "Concerto for Trumpet" (in 5/4), and "New Nine." In addition to the time signatures, Ellis enjoyed utilizing unusual combinations of instruments; the instrumentation on this date consists of five trumpets, three trombones, five saxes, piano, three bassists, two drummers, and a percussionist. Among the more notable sidemen are a young Tom Scott (who solos on alto) and tenor saxophonist Ira Schulman. The 1998 reissue adds three tracks not found on the original release: "Crete Idea," "27/16," and "Beat Me Daddy, 7 to the Bar."

Don Ellis, Glenn Stuart, Alan Weight, Ed Warren, Paul Lopez, Bob Harmon (trumpets) Dave Wells, Ron Meyers, Terry Woodson (trombones) Ruben Leon, Tom Scott, Ira Schulman, Ron Starr, John Magruder (reeds) Dave Mackay (organ, piano) Ray Neapolitan, Chuck Domanico, Frank De La Rosa (basses) Steve Bohannon, Alan Estes (drums) Chino Valdes (congas)
  1. Introduction by Jimmy Lyons
  2. 33 222 1 222
  3. Passacaglia and Fugue
  4. Crete Idea
  5. Concerto for Trumpet
  6. 27/16
  7. Beat Me Daddy, 7 to the Bar
  8. New Nine
Recorded at the Monterey Jazz Festival on September 18, 1966
"Concerto for Trumpet" recorded at the Pacific Jazz Festival on October 18, 1966

This Day In Jazz

Jackie McLean - Action (RVG )

This 1964 Blue Note release features Jackie McLean and his band in fine form. A hard-bop record with polytonal leanings, Action exemplifies an era in jazz when new ideas were truly budding. Ornette Coleman and his associates had been playing free jazz five years prior to the making of this album, but it took a while for the hard-boppers to digest the music and embrace the freedom that the style brought to the art form. Therefore, a lot of the music from this period sounds like it's in transition, and Action is no exception. In other words, Action is a good example of the growing convergence of bop and avant-garde. This is heard particularly on the title track, and on trumpeter Charles Tolliver's tune, "Plight." However, the group falls back on their more traditional roots with the standard, "I Hear a Rhapsody" and on the bluesy McLean original, "Hootnan." Each player holds his own on this date, though vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson stands out the most with some charmingly "inside" playing.

Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Charles Tolliver (trumpet)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Cecil McBee (bass instrument)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1. Action
2. Plight
3. Wrong Handle
4. I Hear A Rhapsody
5. Hootman

Van Gelder Studios, Englewood, NJ September 16, 1964

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Willie Bobo - Spanish Grease / Uno Dos Tres 1.2.3

Willie Bobo's 1965 LP, Spanish Grease, has been combined with his Uno Dos Tres 1-2-3 LP from 1966 on one CD reissue. One pass through the title cut of Spanish Grease and you know that Carlos Santana was listening. The easy R&B/Latin jazz shuffle on this Bobo original, with its mix of Spanish and English vocals, is an obvious touchstone to cuts like "Evil Ways" on Santana's first two albums. What a shame, then, that the rest of the record is primarily comprised of covers of pop hits of the day like "It's Not Unusual" (a vocal and an instrumental version!) and "Our Day Will Come." The timbales player and his band lay down respectable grooves, but "Spanish Grease" is the only original on the album, and by far the most rewarding number. Similarly, the toughest and most memorable track on Uno Dos Tres 1-2-3 is the one Bobo original, "Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries." Its creeping Latin soul groove was, like "Spanish Grease," an obvious inspiration for Carlos Santana. But on most of the rest of the recording, Bobo coasts through interpretations of period hits like "Michelle," "Goin' Out of My Head," and Jay & the Americans' (!) "Come a Little Bit Closer," with some jazz and pop standards as well. Richie Unterberger

Phil Schaap did the research
Chico O'Farrill the arranging
Rudy Van Gelder the recording
with Patato Valdes, Richard Davis, Victor Pantoja
and a whole bunch of great musicians.
William Correa AND Willie Bobo appear on these!!

1 Spanish Grease
2 Hurt So Bad
3 It's Not Unusual
4 Our Day Will Come
5 Haitian Lady
6 Blues in the Closet
7 Nessa
8 Elation
9 It's Not Unusual
10 Shot Gun/Blind Man, Blind Man
11 Boogaloo in Room 802
12 Come a Little Bit Closer
13 Goin' Out of My Head
14 I Remember Clifford
15 Rescue Me
16 Michelle
17 No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)
18 Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries
19 Ol' Man River
20 One, Two, Three (Uno, Dos, Tres)
21 Night Song
22 The Breeze and I

Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years

The 50th Monterey Jazz Festival opens next Saturday and this compilation covers the first 40. Back in the early '70's a few of my college buddies and myself would do an end-of-summer trip to Monterey before heading back to school. We managed to make that trip 3 years in a row and the number of giants I got to see was staggering, with most of them gone now. Look for more "Live at Monterey" sessions posted throughout the next week. (I'd rather be in the car heading for the California Coast!)

This fascinating three-CD set has 28 performances (all but the Billie Holiday number were previously unreleased) taken from the Monterey Jazz Festival and programmed in chronological order. Starting with Dizzy Gillespie playing an unaccompanied version of "The Star Spangled Banner" that opened the very first festival and progressing up until the 1996 edition, there are many memorable selections. Billie Holiday is assisted by Gerry Mulligan on "Fine and Mellow." Mulligan and Art Farmer team up for an excellent version of "Blueport" that almost but not quite reaches the heights of Jeru's 1960 big-band version. Thelonious Monk is heard in 1964 playing "Straight No Chaser" with a workshop group; there are solos by his longtime tenor Charlie Rouse and altoist Buddy Collette, and a long one by trumpeter Bobby Bryant. In one of their earliest meetings, Dizzy Gillespie (still in his prime in 1973) teams up with 20-year-old trumpeter Jon Faddis on "Manteca." Count Basie's band (with trombonist Al Grey) sounds inspired on "I Needs to Be Bee'd With," as does Joe Williams, who sings the full-length version of "Goin' to Chicago." Wynton Marsalis in 1983 reinvents Thelonious Monk's "Think of One," while Sarah Vaughan sounds typically miraculous on "If You Could See Me Now." The colorful release ends with four outstanding tenor solos: Sonny Rollins on the cooking blues "Keep Hold of Yourself," Bob Berg taking a strong cadenza on "I Loves You, Porgy" with Chick Corea, Joshua Redman having a good time on "Home Fries," and Craig Handy emerging as the main voice on Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island." Recommended. - Scott Yanow

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tete Montoliu - En el Teatro Real

Born March 28, 1933 in Barcelona and dead August 24, 1997, Montoliu is undoubtely the greatest spanish jazz musician. A blind pianist who has played with Lionel Hampton, Roland Kirk, Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Lucky Thompson, Dusko Goykovich, Johnny Griffin, Joe Henderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Charlie Mariano, Joe Monterose, Hank Jones, Elvin Jones, Roy Hardgrove, Jesse Davis and even Anthony Braxton.
This is a solo live performance, a concert tribute to Thelonious Monk. With more than 40 minutes of Monkiana, an arrangement by Montoliu on several Monk's songs.

Tete Montoliu (piano)

1 . Monkiana-- Straight No Chaser/ Reflections/ Misterioso/ Well You Needn't/ Eronel/ Little Rootie Tootie/ Monk's Mood/ Rhythmaning - 42:30
2 . Don't Smoke Anyone, Please - 6:10
3 . Jo Vull Que M'Acaricis - 5:54
4 . Apartament 512 - 11:21

Recorded at the Teatro Real, Madrid on February 2, 1988

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Complete Verve Recordings Of The Buddy DeFranco Quartet/Quintet With Sonny Clark (Mosaic )

Mosaic Records:

Clarinetist Buddy DeFranco recorded extensively for Norgran and Verve during 1953-1958. For a little over a year, Sonny Clark was his regular pianist . With bassist Eugene Wright (a couple of years before he joined the Dave Brubeck Quartet) and drummer Bobby White completing the quartet, DeFranco had one of his strongest bands. The majority of the selections are standards or based on a familiar tune's chord changes. Buddy DeFranco had no real competitors (other than Benny Goodman) during the era, while Sonny Clark was one of the most talented of the Bud Powell-influenced pianists; they made for a mutually inspiring team.

Pianist Sonny Clark enjoyed only a short career as a performing and recording musician. His premature death at age 31 due to drug abuse was a major blow to the Jazz fraternity, but unfortunately incidents like these were not uncommon among Jazz musicians of the 40s 50s and 60s. Sonny Clark's style as a pianist owed much to Bud Powell and for the duration of his career he has maintained a bop-inspired sound which was much in demand in New York in the mid 50s. Before he came east, he worked in San Francisco with Vido Musso and Oscar Pettiford in the early '50s, settled in Los Angeles, made his first recordings with Teddy Charles and then worked with Buddy DeFranco's quartet (1953-56); He also worked with Sonny Criss, Frank Rosolino and the Lighthouse All-Stars. Moving to New York in 1957, Clark became a fixture on Blue Note, recording several classics as a leader and recording no less than 7 albums in 1957 alone. Out of his total output for Blue Note, in particular Dial S for Sonny, Cool Struttin' and Sonny's Crib are noteworthy. During the late 50s he teamed up with several Jazz giants of the time both as a leader and appearing as a sideman with Grant Green, Sonny Rollins, Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Lou Donaldson and Curtis Fuller among many others.

Buddy DeFranco (clarinet)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Gene Wright (bass)
Bobby White (drums)

Andrew Hill - Time Lines

You would think that after playing for more than half a century, performing with greats like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, leading and producing acclaimed recordings with names of Eric Dolphy, Lee Morgan, and many others, that pianist/composer Andrew Hill—who is nearly seventy years young—might be slowing down.

Thankfully for jazz fans, this is not the case.

The passage of time continues to unfold Hill’s creative ingenuity as he begins his third era with Blue Note with Time Lines. Following the highly praised recordings Dusk (2000), Beautiful Day (2002), and an uncovered treasure that was recorded in 1969, Passing Ships (2004), Hill’s music is still as vibrant and progressive as ever. Whether expressing brilliant ideas through a seventeen-piece band, smaller ensembles, or as a soloist, Hill’s enigmatic approach is a rare and wondrous experience.

Time Lines captures the essence of some of his earlier quintet works with a working ensemble that has performed with him over the past few years: drummer Eric McPherson, bassist John Herbert, clarinetist and saxophonist Greg Tardy, and a reunion with trumpeter Charles Tolliver, who played with Hill on early recordings. Like many great music leaders, such as Ellington, Shorter, and Coltrane; Hill inspires and brings out the best in already stellar musicians.

Continued in comments.

Andrew Hill (piano)
Charles Tolliver (trumpet)
Greg Tardy (saxophone, clarinet)
John Herbert (bass)
Eric McPherson (drums)

1. Malachi
2. Time Lines
3. Ry Round 1
4. For Emilio
5. Whitsuntide
6. Smooth
7. Ry Round 2
8. Malachi (Solo Piano Version)

Jimmy Smith - Cool Blues (RVG)

I know that Smith at the Baby Grand was being sought; thought I'd throw this in the mix.

" This might just be the quintessential Blue Note album - the best ever if you will. Look at that line-up. Two of the greatest names in music - Jimmy Smith and Art Blakey, paired up with the hugely underrated talent of Tina Brooks on tenor, and Lou Donaldson when he was still worth a listen. Eddie McFadden, a regular name on Jimmy Smith recordings of this era, is present also and rounds out the band for this exciting live set.

Amazingly, despite the quality of the music within, this album wasn't released at the time - it had to wait until 1980 for a release (as Blue Note LT-1054). Reproduced below is the new sleeve, at least one aspect of the album that has been improved with the current issue (as part of Blue Note's 'RVG Edition' series). Also improved for the reissue is the sound - Rudy Van Gelder has done a stunning remastering job, tidying up some of the pitching problems of the 1980 release to create a sound that puts the listener right in the heart of Small's Paradise on that April night, 1958.

One thing the 1980 issue did get right was its tracklisting - in those pre-CD days, we were more limited in album length, so only 'Dark Eyes', 'Groovin' At Smalls', 'Cool Blues' and 'A Night In Tunisia' were included. These remain the key tracks on the expanded edition - although it's interesting to hear the trio playing alone on the final two tracks (with 'Small's Minor' being particularly special owing to Jimmy's amazing soloing - he never played a better solo), without the horns something is missing.

The first 4 tracks really are where it's at. Blues with a funkiness unmatched anywhere else in Smith's Blue Note catalogue, accompanied by some of the best hard bop tenor playing there has ever been. It doesn't get any better than this. What's more, unusually for a Smith record of this period, his organ sounds right on the money - none of the roller rink/seaside wurlitzer vibrato that gave a schmaltzy feel to much of his Blue Note output." Unattributed

I agree with the author about Donaldson; there's a certain point after which I just can't listen to him.

Jimmy Smith (organ)
Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone)
Tina Brooks (tenor saxophone)
Eddie McFadden (guitar)
Art Blakey (drums 1-3)
Donald Bailey (drums 4-7)

1. Dark Eyes
2. Groovin' At Small's
3. Announcement By Babs Gonzales
4. A Night In Tunisia
5. Cool Blues
6. What's New
7. Small's Minor
8. Once In A While

Recorded live at Small's Paradise, New York, New York on April 7, 1958

Cecil Taylor - Conquistador! (RVG)

For the second of Cecil Taylor's two Blue Note albums (following Unit Structures), the innovative pianist utilized a sextet comprised of trumpeter Bill Dixon, altoist Jimmy Lyons, both Henry Grimes and Alan Silva on basses and drummer Andrew Cyrille. During the two lengthy pieces, Lyons' passionate solos contrast with Dixon's quieter ruminations while the music in general is unremittingly intense. Both of the Taylor Blue Notes are quite historic and near-classics but, despite this important documentation, Cecil Taylor (other than a pair of Paris concerts) would not appear on records again until 1973. Scott Yanow

Cecil Taylor (piano)
Bill Dixon (trumpet)
Jimmy Lyons (alto sax)
Henry Grimes (bass)
Alan Silva (bass)
Andrew Cyrille (drums)

1. Conquistador
2. With (Exit)
3. With (Exit) (alt)

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on October 6, 1966

Gigi Gryce and the Jazz Lab Quintet

During 1957 altoist Gigi Gryce and trumpeter Donald Byrd co-led a quintet that sought to extend and come up with new variations to bebop. Unfortunately the group did not survive the year but Gryce and Byrd did combine for several memorable recordings, including an excellent Prestige LP reissued on this CD. Their quintet (with pianist Wade Legge, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Art Taylor) turn "Love for Sale" into a jazz waltz (an innovation for 1957), introduce Gryce's best-known composition "Minority," swing "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart," and perform a tricky but memorable blues line "Straight Ahead." This is exciting and still fresh-sounding bebop. Scott Janow

Gigi Gryce (tenor sax)
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Wade Legge (piano)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Love For Sale
2. Geraldine
3. Minority
4. Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart
5. Straight Ahead
6. Wake Up!

Coming September 25 (or 18)

Just noticed the banner on

"...The Complete On The Corner Sessions, a collection of over 6 1/2 hours of music covering Miles’ studio recordings from ’72 to ’75. [...] includes over 2 hours of previously unreleased material, plus 5 tracks available for the first time in unedited form. […] Inside, read extensive liner notes from arranger/composer Paul Buckmaster, music journalist Tom Terrell, and multi-Grammy® winner Bob Belden, plus dozens of rare photos of the musicians. This last set in the “metal spine” series documenting Miles’ career, chronologically, as bandleader – agent provocateur – is the ultimate in electric funk-rock jazz taken to a whole other level."

I put the tracklist in the comments. Let me know what you think. Can't wait for this set? Or just plain unnecessary?

Yours truly, Crispi

gigi gryce -- rat race blues

jean lafite says: this is a good record.

with richard williams on trumpet, richard wyands on piano, julian euell on bass, and granville mickey roker on drums.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lou Donaldson - Mr. Shing-A-Ling

I don't know that I would have picked this up if it weren't only a couple of bucks. ( I got a bunch of old Lee Morgan, Donaldson, etc., stuff for 5-6 dollars each the other day.) Here are a couple of conflicting reviews - you decide for yourself.

" Lou Donaldson does attempt to loosen up a bit with Mr. Shing-A-Ling, but the whole affair is a bit stilted and mis-conceived. Not quite the full-fledged electric funk workout that was becoming commonplace for old-guard soul-jazz musicians in the late '60s, but not quite the bop-inflected soul-jazz of the early '60s either, Mr. Shing-A-Ling falls into a netherworld that won't connect either with jazz purists or fans of grooving jazz-funk. When the group does try to get funky on the record, the results just sound lazy -- there's no spark to the rhythms, or to Donaldson's melody lines, especially on the embarrassing cover of the pop hit "Ode to Billie Joe." When the quintet settles into a mid-tempo vamp, Donaldson, trumpeter Blue Mitchell and organist Lonnie Smith do spin out some good solos, but the lack of energy and enthusiasm the group has for the material makes Mr. Shing-A-Ling a bit of a tiring listen." Stephen Thomas Erlewine

" This October 27, 1967, recording was always the best of Lou Donaldson's funky albums. It's just amazing — given the material and the awful cover art — that Blue Note put this back into circulation at all. If for nothing else, Mr. Shing-A-Ling is worth the investment for the ultra-funking “Peepin'” alone (featured for the first time on CD in last year's terrific The Best of Lou Donaldson Vol. 2 ). Composer and organist Lonnie Smith lays down a basic fatback groove and manages to glean a funk anthem that set the foundation for a whole decade worth of Lou Donaldson LPs (”Midnight Creeper” is a mere rewrite of this classic). Among Donaldson's big funk classics — “Midnight Creeper,” “Brother Soul” and “The Caterpillar” — “Peepin'” reigns supreme.

The groove sets the tone for its talented principals to really strut their stuff: Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Jimmy Ponder on guitar and Idris Muhammed on drums. The credit goes to Donaldson, a talented original who learned from Bird how to structure clever solos and taught by example how to get his group to deliver one infectious line after another. This group even invests corny, overplayed tunes like “Ode to Billie Joe” and “The Shadow of Your Smile” with foot-tapping good groove. Mr. Shing-A-Ling is a hearty brew of some steaming funk." Douglas Payne

Blue Mitchell - Trumpet
Lou Donaldson - Alto Sax
Jimmy Ponder - Guitar
Lonnie Smith - Organ
Leo Morris - Drums

1 - Ode To Billie Joe
2 - The Humpback
3 - The Shadow Of Your Smile
4 - Peepin'
5 - The Kid

Recorded at Van Gelder Studio October 27, 1967

For Jozy

Two of keyboardist Joe Zawinul's finest recordings as a leader were reissued on this single CD. The Money in the Pocket album from 1965 features Zawinul on acoustic piano in a sextet with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams playing superior hard bop, highlighted by the funky title cut, "If," and "My One and Only Love." The other session utilizes a string quartet, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, and the tenor and arrangements of William Fischer. Its diverse music hints at fusion (Zawinul doubles on electric piano) and has many colorful moments. This gem of a CD is highly recommended. - Scott Yanow

The Rise & Fall of the Third Stream (1967)

Joe Zawinul (piano, electric piano)
William Fischer (tenor sax, arrangements)
Jimmy Owens (trumpet)
Alfred Brown, Selwart Clarke, Theodore Israel (viola)
Kermit Moore (cello)
Richard Davis (bass)
Roy McCurdy, Freddie Waits (drums)
Warren Smith (percussion)

1. Baptismal
2. The Soul of a Village - Part I
3. The Soul of a Village - Part II
4. The Fifth Canto
5. From Vienna, With Love
6. Lord, Lord, Lord
7. A Concerto, Retitled

Money in the Pocket (1965)

Joe Zawinul (piano)
Blue Mitchell (trumpet)
Clifford Jordan, Joe Henderson (tenor sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Bob Cranshaw, Sam Jones (bass)
Roy McCurdy, Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Money in the Pocket
2. If
3. My One and Only Love
4. Midnight Mood
5. Some More of Dat
6. Sharon's Waltz
7. Riverbed
8. Del Sasser

cal tjader -- latin concert

jean lafite says: with vince guaraldi, al mckibbon, willie bobo, and mongo santamaria; a smoking hot lineup that delivers the goods. from the original red wax.

tito puente -- cha cha cha's for lovers

jean lafite says: from the king of the cha cha mambo himself. who's better than tito?

This Day In Jazz

Thanks again to Webbcity's fine site.

Booker Ervin - Booker 'n' Brass

Very few tenor players have as distinctive a sound as Booker Ervin, and no doubt it was that idiosyncratic mark that made such a substantial contribution to his work with Charles Mingus and to the success of his "Books" albums. In this album, however, while not abandoning his highly developed aesthetic, he nonetheless gets down to earth with some highly satisying, full-throated blowing, finely augmented by a large ensemble. The orientation is bluesy, swingy, leaning more to the roots of blues and traditional jazz than to the avant garde to which he contributed significantly. This has been out of print after a brief time on the market.

Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard, Charles Tolliver, Johnny Coles (trumpet)
Britt Woodman, Bennie Green (trombones)
Kenny Barron (piano)

This is a partial list: breakdown in comments.

1. East Dallas Special
2. Salt Lake City
3. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
4. L.A. After Dark
5. Kansas City
6. Baltimore Oriole
7. Harlem Nocturne
8. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
9. St. Louis Blues
10. L.A. After Dark (alternate take)
11. L.A. After Dark (alternate take 2)

Tommy Dorsey & Frank Sinatra - The Song Is You (1940-1942) CD 1

I thought I'd see what the reaction to this would be

In the interests of filesize, I scanned the book as a PDF document.

This very attractive five-CD box set has every studio recording that Frank Sinatra recorded with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra, plus a full disc of mostly unreleased radio broadcasts. Since Sinatra was never really a jazz singer and most of the selections are ballads, jazz listeners may not consider this box essential, but Sinatra fans will not need to be told of its existence twice. Sinatra's first session as a leader (from early 1942) is also included (along with a large and colorful booklet), giving listeners a very definitive look into his early days.

CD 1

1. The Sky Fell Down
2. Too Romantic
3. Shake Down the Stars
4. Moments in the Moonlight
5. I'll Be Seeing You
6. Say It
7. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
8. The Fable of the Rose
9. This Is the Beginning of the End
10. Hear My Song, Violetta
11. Fools Rush In
12. Devil May Care
13. April Played the Fiddle
14. I Haven't Time to Be a Millionaire
15. Imagination
16. Yours Is My Heart Alone
17. You're Lonely and I'm Lonely
18. East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)
19. Head on My Pillow
20. It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow
21. I'll Never Smile Again
22. All This and Heaven Too
23. Where Do You Keep Your Heart?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hank Mobley - Poppin'

Poppin' was one of many sessions tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley recorded in the late '50s and early '60s but remained unreleased until the late '70s and '80s. It's hard to say why this album sat on the shelves, since it as good as the other records he cut at the time. Leading a sextet featuring trumpeter Art Farmer, baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, Mobley plays a selection of five originals and contemporary jazz songs with passion and vigor. All of the musicians turn in fine performances (Clark in particular stands out with his lithe solos and tasteful accompaniment), and the result is a winning collection of straight-ahead hard bop that ranks as another solid addition to Mobley's strong catalog. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Art Farmer (trumpet)
Hank Mobley (tenor sax)
Pepper Adams (baritone sax)
Sonny Clark (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)

1 Poppin'
2 Darn That Dream
3 Gettin' into Something
4 Tune-Up
5 East of Brooklyn

Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, October 20, 1957

Ike Quebec

Quebec had a very big influence on what came to be known as the Blue Note sound, far greater than any of the music he produced. We've told that story elsewhere, so let's hear the man blow.

Influenced by Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster but definitely his own person, Ike Quebec was one of the finest swing-oriented tenor saxman of the 1940s and '50s. Though he was never an innovator, Quebec had a big, breathy sound that was distinctive and easily recognizable, and he was quite consistent when it came to came to down-home blues, sexy ballads, and up-tempo aggression. Originally a pianist, Quebec switched to tenor in the early '40s and showed that he had made the right decision on excellent 78s for Blue Note and Savoy (including his hit "Blue Harlem"). As a sideman, he worked with Benny Carter, Kenny Clarke, Roy Eldridge, and Cab Calloway. In the late '40s, the saxman did a bit of freelancing behind the scenes as a Blue Note A&R man and brought Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell to the label. Drug problems kept Quebec from recording for most of the 1950s, but he made a triumphant comeback in the early '60s and was once again recording for Blue Note and doing freelance A&R for the company. Quebec was playing as authoritatively as ever well into 1962, giving no indication that he was suffering from lung cancer, which claimed his life at the age of 44 in 1963. Alex Henderson

Ike Quebec - Swing Hi Swing Lo (1999)

This 22-track collection features all of the masters recorded by Ike Quebec as a leader for both Blue Note and Savoy — sadly, far too few. Definitive's collection adds three bonus tracks to the original American release. Here Quebec is heard in fine hard jump swinging settings from July of 1944 through August of 1945, with sidemen that include stalwarts such as J.C. Heard, Milt Hinton, Tiny Grimes, Oscar Pettiford, Jonah Jones, Grachan Moncur III (sic), Buck Clayton, and Johnny Guarnieri, among others. Some of the master takes here include signature tunes such as "Tiny Exercise," "Indiana," "Blue Harlem," "Zig Billion," "I.Q. Blues," and "Jim Dawgs." It's not as complete as the Mosaic set, but it's really an astonishing 22 cuts that sound fabulous and offer a wide-angle view of the many sides of Quebec's blue methodology on the horn. Thom Jurek

1 Tiny's Exercise
2 She's Funny That Way
3 (Back Home Again In) Indiana
4 Blue Harlem
5 Hard Track
6 If I Had You
7 Mad About You
8 Facin' the Face
9 Dolores
10 Sweethearts on Parade
11 I Found a New Baby
12 I Surrender, Dear
13 Topsy
14 Cup-Mute Clayton
15 The Masquerade Is Over
16 Basically Blue
17 Someone to Watch over Me
18 Zig Billion
19 Girl of My Dreams
20 Scufflin'
21 I.Q. Blues
22 Jim Dawgs

Ike Quebec - Heavy Soul (RVG)

Heavy Soul is a powerful session featuring Quebec in the company of organist Freddie Roach, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Al Harewood. Opening with the minor key “Acquitted,” Quebec comes bursting out of the gate, demonstrating with ease that he has lost none of his abilities. It’s all there—the full, round Webster/Bias tone with an extra piquant edge, the bluesy, soulful human vocal quality of his tone, and the way he chooses his notes and phrases with almost telepathic ability. In the tradition of tenor ballads, Quebec presents a soulful reading of “Just One More Chance” that is truly as interesting an interpretation as any I’ve ever heard by a vocalist.

Freddie Roach has an organ style that sometimes seems to belong to a previous era to that in which he is recording. Some would no doubt argue that his work on the instrument is somewhat hokey, but nothing could be further from the truth. His subtlety of style is both refreshing and very supportive of Quebec’s earnest readings of his chosen material. Roach was one of Quebec’s discoveries in his sideline as A&R man for Blue Note during those years, and the organist went on to record several albums for the label as a leader.

The playing here ranks with the best recorded examples of Quebec’s work, and may ultimately be judged his best recording. In conjunction with his other late period Blue Note recordings, the best music of his career was produced at the end of his life. Particular standout tracks here include the Depression-era “brother Can You Spare a Dime,” a gorgeous reading of “The Man I Love,” and an amazing interpretation of the enigmatic ballad “Nature Boy,” performed by a duo of Quebec and Hinton. These performances demonstrate clearly that Ike Quebec was a major tenor player and that his influence would have been widely felt had it not been for his untimely death. With the gorgeous sound common to all RVG Editions, Heavy Soul is a must have for anyone who loves the great tenor saxophonists.

Ike Quebec (tenor saxophone)
Freddie Roach (organ)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Al Harewood (drums)

1. Acquitted
2. Just One More Chance
3. Que's Dilemma
4. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
5. The Man I Love
6. Heavy Soul
7. I Want A Little Girl
8. Nature Boy
9. Blues For Ike

Recorded on November 26, 1961 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Harold Land

Harold Land - West Coast Blues!

If the West Coast was regarded as secondary to the East Coast in jazz critics minds, then San Francisco was the stepchild to Los Angeles. And yet the years have shown that there was great talent and vibrancy in all those scenes. The musicians themselves knew it, if the critics did not. Of course, criticism has become infallible in modern times: I cite Thom Jurek to rest my case.

And, despite the high level of performance, this was a relatively impromptu session that came about when Cannonball Adderley's group was in town; the rhythm section were, of course, Harris, Jones, and Hayes. Land and Gordon were brought in, as was Wes Montgomery, just on the verge of his great and deserved success. To me, Harold Land is worth listening to anytime, and here is also a chance to add to the discography of Joe Gordon , who was destined to be one of the trumpet greats before his horrible death. Throw in these other duffers, and you have some of the best music of the time.

Harold Land (tenor sax)
Joe Gordon (trumpet)
Wes Montgomery (guitar)
Barry Harris (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Louis Hayes (drums)

1. Ursula
2. Klactoveedsedstene
3. Don't Explain
4. West Coast Blues
5. Terrain
6. Compulsion

Recorded in San Francisco, May 17 and 18, 1960

Harold Land In New York - Eastward Ho!

It's no big secret that I'm a big Harold Land fan; as many of us here are. His peers esteemed him highly - he was, after all, a member of Brownie and Max Roach's stellar ensemble - but his decision to stay in LA assured that he'd never be as well known as he deserved. This is one of only 5 dates he did as a leader in the '60's; this time with another great player, and fellow Texan, who also seems doomed to always have the adjective 'underrated' in front of his name - Kenny Dorham.

Tenor saxophonist Harold Land and trumpeter Kenny Dorham make for a potent front line on this CD reissue, a superior hard bop set. With an obscure and quietly boppish rhythm section (pianist Amos Trice, bassist Clarence Jones, and drummer Joe Peters) giving suitable backup, Land and Dorham stretch out on five selections, most notably Cole Porter's "So in Love," "On a Little Street in Singapore," and Land's "O.K. Blues," which was dedicated to producer Orrin Keepnews. A fine effort that serves as a strong example of Harold Land's early work. Scott Yanow

Harold Land (tenor saxophone)
Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Amos Trice (piano)
Clarence Jones (bass)
Joe Peters (drums)

1. So In Love
2. Triple Trouble
3. Slowly
4. On A Little Street In Singapore
5. Okay Blues

Recorded in NYC, July 5 and 8, 1960

Some of my fave 2005-2006 releases

John Stetch Trio - Bruxin'

The delectable appeal of original music fashioned by an expert pianist is exemplified in John Stetch's Bruxin'. It marks the pianist's return to the group format after meeting the challenge of building a solo piano oeuvre with Ukranianism, Standards, and Exponentially Monk. Each track bursts with energy, originality, and waves of rhythmic adventure. The title track, coined from a retro term used by casual jazzers for grinding one's teeth subconsciously, is everything but grinding. It swings in between Stetch's brilliant use of block chords and even allows for some humorous a cappella breaks on the ivories. "Circus" is a blues with a typical three-chord structure, in triple meter, played by the trio including Sean Smith on bass and Rodney Green on drums. On "Green Grove," Stetch further propels his musical personality by clarifying intriguing melodies, harmonies, and textures with strong rhythmic propulsion from Smith and Green. This is a beautiful waltz that dances in your mind long after the track is over. However, the centerpiece of this excellent recording is his tribute to his wife, titled "The Girl in the Hemp Skirt." Stetch's refined touch and precise articulation are superbly displayed on this beautiful ballad. "Heavens of a Hundred Days" is serenely ethereal, while "Rectangle Man" is pure straight-ahead swing in 4/4 time. Overall, the excellent production values, great songs, spectrum of moods, and innovative interplay among the trio members make this recording a must-have.~Paula Edelstein (AMG)

1 Inuit Talk
2 Bruxin'
3 Circus
4 Green Grove
5 The Girl in the Hemp Shirt
6 Chord-Free Gord
7 How Far Is Callisto?
8 The Prairie Unfolds
9 Snark Stetch
10 Heavens of a Hundred Days
11 Rectangle Man
John Stetch piano
Sean Smith bass
Rodney Green drums

Javier Girotto, Ed Simon, Ben Street & Jeff Ballard - New York Sessions

A passionate, accomplished improviser, soprano and baritone, saxophonist Girotto leads Edward Simon (piano), Ben Street (bass) and Jeff Ballard (drums) on a programme of originals reflecting his Argentinean homeland. Venezuelan-born Simon is an ideal collaborator, since he also straddles the worlds of latin and jazz, while Street and the incandescent Ballard give the latin elements that hard New York drive and edge. Girotto’s originals have a folkloric feel, the lines simple and repetitive, but they also offer plenty of harmonic meat to players of his and Simon’s capabilities, and Ballard relishes their rhythmic nuances. All handle the occasional ventures outside the envelope with aplomb, with the saxophonist at home in this elite company regardless of where it takes him.~Ray Comiskey (The Irish Times)

4 CRONOLOGIA DEL '900 5:45
8 MISS MG 3:20
10 WRONG WAY 6:02
11 PA - RITANGO 8:00

Javier Girotto Soprano and Baritone sax
Ed Simon Piano
Ben Street Bass
jeff Ballard Drums

Guillermo Klein Y Los Guachos - Live In Barcelona

Woven with the colorful tapestry of a full jazz orchestra, this live recording in Barcelona captures the music of Argentinean pianist/composer Guillermo Klein, who is noted for his cerebral, progressive, and culturally rich music. The concert was captured in the intimate setting of the Luz de Gas Theatre-hall and it conveys closeness between the musicians and an enthusiastic audience. The highly orchestrated compositions range from the gaucho-istic opening piece “Blues de Liz” to the street vibes of “Juana” and the romanticism of “Ojos Cerrados,” featuring vocalist Carme Canela. Klein uses his orchestra to its full potential. The music changes through many forms, like along the surreal lines of “Intercambio Moral,” where the piano and other instruments provide dissonant notes behind the somber melody. The dancing rhythm of “Child's Play” is threaded with a funky guitar riff; “Chucaro,” laden with complex horn arrangements, beautiful flute work, and rich percussion. The intricacies of Klein’s writing skills are captured on “Richard,” with its moving horn work, addition of voice, and detailed melodic patterns and solos. There are many memorable individual efforts, but the accent is unmistakably on the orchestra as a whole, which fully realizes its role through Klein’s ingenious use of music and interpretation to capture one’s imagination.~Mark F. Turner (AAJ)

1. Blues de Liz
2. Con Brasil Adentro - Fuga X
3. Juana
4. Child's Play
5. Intercambio Moral
6. Chucaro
7. El Espejo
8. Ojos Cerrados
9. Richard
10. El Camino
11. La Ultima
12. Flores

Jeff Ballard Drums
Gorka Benitez Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Carme Canela Vocals
Chris Cheek Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Taylor Haskins Trumpet
Fernando Huergo Bass
Guillermo Klein Piano, Vocals, Producer
Bill McHenry Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Ben Monder Guitar
Richard Nant Percussion, Trumpet

R.I.P. Joe Zawinul

Josef Zawinul died of cancer today in a hospital in Vienna. 
He was 75 years old.

Elvin Jones Live at the Village Vanguard 1968

Jones lays down his polyrhythms with his usual skill and does some of the best solo work that he has ever done on record. George Coleman's work is superlative, as always. One may not notice that this is a pianoless quartet.

Rec. Date: March 20th, 1968
Location: Village Vanguard, NY

George Coleman ts
Marvin ‘Hannibal’ Peterson tp
Wilbur Little b
Elvin Jones dr

1 M.C.
2 By George
3 Laura
4 Mister Jones
5 You Don't know what Love Is
6 M.C.

Red Garland - Red Alert

Red Alert was precisely that, notification that Red Garland was back. Having disappeared from national notice in 1965, Garland played only sporadically in his hometown of Dallas, then stopped altogether. In 1977 he was persuaded by a Dallas clubowner, Jeanie Donelly, to appear at her Recovery Room. He was playing as if there had been no layoff, and it became apparent that the "rediscovered" Garland must be recorded. Red's return was so welcome an event that bassist Ron Carter insisted on recording with him. The other all-stars on the session were Nat Adderley, Harold Land, Ira Sullivan, and Frank Butler. Red was back where he belonged, working with his peers and playing beautifully.

Red Garland (piano)
Nat Adderley (cornet)
Harold Land (tenor sax)
Ira Sullivan (tenor sax)
Ron Carter (bass)
Frank Butler (drums)

1. Red Alert
2. Theme For A Tarzan Movie
3. The Whiffenpoof Song
4. Sweet Georgia Brown
5. Stella By Starlight
6. It's Impossible

Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA, December 2, 1977

Monday, September 10, 2007

Frank Lowe - Bodies & Soul

Saxophonist Frank Lowe is without exception the most direct disciple of Don Cherry's musical transculturalism. His own method of playing and improvising calls not only on the jazz lineage's great masters on his own horn, but those of others -- like Cherry's pocket trumpet or Mal Waldron's pianism -- and from the traditions of the world's great musics, whether they be Javanese court music, West African griot folk songs, Caribbean pop music, American blues and pop, or Japanese gagaku for inspiration. This trio date, recorded in late 1995, featured the great Charles Moffett on drums and was the recording debut of the Midwestern bass giant Tim Flood. According to the notes, the session began with less than auspicious results -- it took seven takes of "Impressions," two of Cherry's "Art Deco" and four of "The Blessing" to make things move. "The Blessing" didn't even make the record. The master takes of the other two tunes are gorgeous and only hint at the other things found here, including a completely out to lunch "Happy House," a wildly soulful read of Pharoah Sanders' "Bethera," and the Art Ensemble's "For Louie." Lowe's own compositions "Soul of Fortune," the faux-funky "Nothing But Love," which touches upon calypso, and "Don" numbers one and two, are among Lowe's finest, full of deep emotion, sharp accents, and rhythmic invention of all three players. His intervallic sense is warm and accessible and his modal invention is anchored in a love of chromatic and timbral sophistication. The final track, a read of "Body & Soul," is a virtual reinvention of the tune from its harmony, which is reduced and then restructured, to its melody, which is syncopated according to off beat changes. It's a fitting end to this eye and ear opening session. ~ Thom Jurek

Frank Lowe (tenor sax)
Charles Moffett (drums)
Tim Flood (bass)

1. Impressions
2. Soul of Fortune
3. Bethera
4. Nothing But Love
5. Don One #1
6. Don One #2
7. Happy House
8. For Louie
9. Art Deco
10. Body & Soul

Kenny Dorham - Two Horns//Two Rhythm

Jeez. Is it against the law to mention Kenny Dorham without using the word under-rated? He was a monster: his peers knew it, and he is universally lauded nowadays. It's Ernie Henry who's under-rated here. But then, there's only a few recordings to judge him by - he was on Brilliant Corners, you'll remember.

"Trumpeter Kenny Dorham was one of the most underrated talents of the bop and hard bop eras. Although he did not hit high note or influence a lot of players, Dorham's appealing sound and consistently creative ideas should have made him a star in the jazz world instead of just a journeyman. On this CD reissue (which adds an alternate take of "'Sposin'" to the original eight-song LP program), Dorham and altoist Ernie Henry (on his final session) are heard in a pianoless quartet (with either Eddie Mathias or Wilbur Ware on bass and drummer G.T. Hogan) playing three of the trumpeter's originals (including "Lotus Blossom") and four standards. Highlights include "I'll Be Seeing You" and a rare revival of "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?" The sparse setting (unusual for a Dorham session) works quite well."

Kenny Dorham (trumpet)
Ernie Henry (alto sax)
Eddie Mathias (bass)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
G.T. Hogan (drums)

1. Lotus Blossom
2. 'Sposin'
3. Soon
4. Is It True What They Say About Dixie?
5. The End of a Love Affair
6. I'll Be Seeing You
7. Noose Bloos
8. Jazz-Classic
9. 'Sposin' (alt)

John Williams Trio - Complete Master Takes 1954-1955

When Rab posted Stan Getz's "At The Shrine" in OAB, he included this phrase: 'The piano player, John Williams, also seems like someone to find out more about'. Well, really it's very difficult to find information about this man. 99% of the web pages corresponds to the movie-music composer John Williams.

No biography in AMG, neither in Wikipedia. Born John Thomas Williams on January 28, 1929 in Windsor, Vermont, nowadays lives in Vero Beach, Florida, and plays occasionally with some friends just for fun. His piano style sounds the influence of Horace Silver, but more stylish as well as structured. He's an admirer of Hank Jones because of the flying flow of his phrasing. This CD includes the two recordings Williams made in EmArcy as leader: "John Williams" and "John Williams Trio". He was an accompanist in many recordings, and was part of the The Stan Getz Quintet in two periods. His piano can be heard on "Cannonball" by Julian Cannonball Adderley, "Interpretations By The Stan Getz Quintet", "The Artistry of Stan Getz", "The Cool Sounds" and "At the Shrine" by Stan Getz, "At The Cinema!" by Buddy Collette And His Swinging Shepherds, "Introducing Jimmy Cleveland And His All Stars" by Jimmy Cleveland, "De Arango" by Billy De Arango, "Plays Alto, Tenor And Baritone" and "The Modern Art of Jazz" by Zoot Sims, "The Bob Brookmeyer Quartet" by Bob Brookmeyer, "The Sax Section" by Al Cohn, as well as with the Art Mardigan Sextet among others.

01. I'll take the Lo Road (J.Williams) 3:08
02. Out of this world (Arlen-Mercer) 3:28
03. Railroad Jack (P.Sunkel) 2:57
04. For heaven's sake (Mayer-Bretton-Edwards) 3:07
05. Wiliams Tell (J.Williams) 3:10
06. Be careful, it's my heart (I.Berlin) 3:26
07. Blue Minor (J.Williams) 2:18
08. Somewhere in the night (Gordon-Myrow) 2:42
09. Baubles, Bangles and Beads (Forrest-Wright) 3:13
10. Good morning, heartache (I.Higginbotham) 3:40
11. Someday my Prine will come (CHurchill-Morey) 4:48
12. Manteca (Pozo-Gillespie) 3:40
13. How strange (Kahn-Stothart-Brent) 2:57
14. Flamingo (Grouya-Anderson) 3:42
15. A sleeping bee (Arlen-Capote) 3:11
16. The girl next door (Martin-Blane) 3:00
17. Shiloh (J.Williams) 3:02
18. Good morning blues (Basie-Durham-Rushing) 4:18
19. Okeefenokee holiday (J.Williams) 4:10
20. Like someone in love (Burke-Van Heusen) 3:02

Personnel and dates:
Tracks 1-8: John Williams (p), Billy Anthony (b), Frank Isola (d).New York City, July & August, 1954
Tracks 9-12: John Williams (p), Billy Anthony (b), Jack Edie (d).New York City, June 15, 1955
Tracks 13: John Williams (p), Chuck Andrus (b), Frank Isola (d).New York City, June 24, 1955
Tracks 14-20: John Williams (p), Ernie Farrow (b), Frank Isola (d).New York City, October 11, 1955

Stan Getz - At The Shrine

In the old days at OAB, I was trying to download this record that Rab have posted in 320 kbps when a troll attack happened. I only was abble to download the first part. Surfing on the net I have obtained it in Flac format. I hope you will enjoy it!.

For certain players, career fecundity ensures that examples of their work will always be commercially available no matter how fickle the public’s buying tastes. Stan Getz certainly fits in this privileged circle with a discography running well into the triple digits. Still, even with the surfeit, several prized albums in his vast catalog are currently out of print. This late ’54 concert set from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles is one of the most unfortunate casualties. Getz is coupled with Bob Brookmeyer, a partnership that largely circumvented the usual interpersonal friction that the cocky saxophonist so often seemed to engender in his collaborators. The duo make for a mutually satisfying match across the ten tunes, not just breezing through easy heads solos schematics, but instead delving into exceptional interplay on numerous occasions. Getz even changes up mouthpieces between pieces to enhance the band’s tonal possibilities. The rhythm section of John Williams, Bill Anthony and Art Mardigan keeps pace, but doesn’t crowd the horns. Getz and his valve trombone-slinging colleague are free to parse apart the tunes that include ringers like “Lover Man” and “I’ll Remember April” as well far as less referenced fare like “Pernod” and Brookmeyer’s “Open Country” and there’s not a clunker in the bunch. Fidelity is also impressive, especially for the vintage, with clean separation between the instruments and a full warm ensemble sound. Getz’s announcements from the stage are intimate and surprisingly self-effacing, though one early segment finds him unflinchingly belittling a heckling audience member. There’s a truckload of Getz available out there for purchase, but this currently sidelined set stands as one of his early best and a well-played favorite of mine.
derek at www. bagatelle. com

01 Flamingo [Anderson, Grouya] 8:33
02 Lover Man [Davis, Ramirez, Sherman] 5:25
03 Pernod [Mandel] 6:44
04 Tasty Pudding [Cohn] 8:21
05 I'll Remember April [DePaul, Johnston, Raye] 7:32
06 Polka Dots and Moonbeams [Burke, Van Heusen] 4:36
07 Open Country [Brookmeyer] 5:46
08 It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) [Ellington, Mills] 5:54
09 We'll Be Together Again [Fischer, Laine] 8:42
10 Feather Merchant [Basie, Mundy] 8:14

Recorded live at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California on November 8, 1954 and in Los Angeles, California on November 9, 1954.

Stan Getz (tenor saxophone)
Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone)
John Williams (piano)
Bill Anthony (bass)
Art Mardigan, Frank Isola (drums)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Lou Levy Ya Know Gitanes/Verve 1993

I have a single review of this that I clipped and added to the CD jewel box in 1993. I could not find a review of this on line, and finding very little on Levy anywhere. It's safe to say he was literally one of the player's players (he accompanied Peggy Lee and Ella for 25 years) he worked with Sinatra and was Stan Getz' accompanist of choice; in short, he worked with anyone who was anybody. One of those players who could do whatever was called for; much like Rowles or Hank Jones. Here is the following clip from an unnamed source. WTF

Lou Levy: Piano
Eric Von Essen: Bass & Cello
Pierre Michelot: Bass
Alvin Queen: Drums

1.This Heart Of Mine
3.Ya Know
4.Dancing In The Dark
6.No More
7.Quarte's Fever
9.'T Ain't No Use
10.The Hymn

Dexter Gordon - Manhattan Symphonie

Recorded just upon Dex's return and lionization, this was recorded two days after the Vanguard date. The excellent George Cables, who provides some of the notes for this release, was Art Pepper's favorite pianist, and also played at that legendary return.

At the end of 1976, Gordon returned from some 14 years in Europe to play some dates at the Village Vanguard. Unexpectedly, Gordon was the jazz world’s darling, with critics lauding his mature playing and a new generation of listeners coming to hear him. Gordon returned to the States and enjoyed a renewed career until his death in 1990. Less than a year after his triumphant return, Gordon recorded Sophisticated Giant for Columbia. In 1978, Gordon went back into the studio with a band comprised of pianist George Cables, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Eddie Gladden and emerged with the classic album Manhattan Symphonie, which remains a highlight of Gordon’s discography.

Manhattan Symphonie is another perfect Dexter Gordon album, and the fact that it was on a major American music label didn’t change Dex’s approach one bit. He and the band are playing absolutely top notch bebop-influenced jazz, and it’s hard to believe this kind of thing was getting recorded and released at the time. The group revisits the signature tune “Tanya,” with Cables offering an incredibly church-tinged flourish to the piano vamp, and Dexter sounding like his tone has been mellowed in an oak barrel for a couple of decades. Comparing the Gordon of Manhattan Symphonie with Daddy Plays the Horn, or even his very earliest Blue Notes, one hears what was missing from Dexter’s sound then—experience and the distillation of one’s voice down to its absolute essentials, devoid of extraneous trappings.

Dexter Gordon (tenor sax)
George Cables (piano)
Rufus Reid (bass)
Eddie Gladden (drums)

1. As Time Goes By
2. Moment's Notice
3. Tanya
4. I Told You So
5. Body and Soul
6. Ltd
7. Ruby, My Dear
8. Secret Love

Dexter Gordon - Dexter Calling... (RVG)

Dave Brubeck Quartet - Double Live From the USA & UK (2001)

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Double Live From The USA & UK (2001)

Here’s one for the end of summer, light and crisp; the sound falls like sun on your face. I don’t recall seeing any Brubeck being posted, at least not for a while so I took up the challenge. I got this right when it came out in 2001. I heard a clip on NPR and placed an order at my local music store where the clerk said “Dave who? You mean Dave Matthews, right?”

The liner notes are included and tell the whole story better than I could summarize here. Short story-recorded in 1998 when Brubeck was 80: the US concerts are from the National Cathedral in Washington DC—neat sound quality there, the UK concerts are from Cardiff, London, and Northampton. Hope you enjoy ‘em.

The files are divided into the US disk and the UK disk---in case you only want one. Both file sets have the full scans (liners & covers).

CD1-From the USA
1-Body and Soul
3-Easy To Love
4-What Will I Tell My Heart
5-Sunny Side Of The Street
6-The Things You Never Remember
7-Broadway Bossa Nova
8-Don’t Worry About Me
9-Take Five

Dave Brubeck-piano
Bobby Militello-alto sax
Jack Six-bass
Randy Jones-drums

CD2-From the UK
3-Marian McPartland
4-Exactly Like You
5-Three To Get Ready
6-Take Five
7-Take The A Train
8-Be Natural Blues

Dave Brubeck-piano
Bobby Militello-alto sax
Alec Dankworth-bass
Randy Jones-drums

Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Blacknuss (1971)

From its opening bars, with Bill Salter's bass and Rahsaan's flute passionately playing Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," you know this isn't an ordinary Kirk album (were any of them?). As the string section, electric piano, percussion, and Cornel Dupree's guitar slip in the back door, one can feel the deep soul groove Kirk is bringing to the jazz fore here. As the tune fades just two and a half minutes later, the scream of Kirk's tenor comes wailing through the intro of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," with a funk backdrop and no wink in the corner -- he's serious. With Richard Tee's drums kicking it, the strings developing into a wall of tension in the backing mix, and Charles McGhee's trumpet hurling the long line back at Kirk, all bets are off -- especially when they medley the mother into "Mercy Mercy Me." By the time they reach the end of the Isleys' "I Love You, Yes I Do," with the whistles, gongs, shouting, soul crooning, deep groove hustling, and greasy funk dripping from every sweet-assed note, the record could be over because the world has already turned over and surrendered -- and the album is only ten minutes old! Blacknuss, like The Inflated Tear, Volunteered Slavery, Rip, Rig and Panic, and I Talk to the Spirits, is Kirk at his most visionary. He took the pop out of pop and made it Great Black Music. He took the jazz world down a peg to make it feel its roots in the people's music, and consequently made great jazz from pop tunes in the same way his forbears did with Broadway show tunes. While the entire album shines like a big black sun, the other standouts include a deeply moving read of "My Girl" and a version of "The Old Rugged Cross" that takes it back forever from those white fundamentalists who took all the blood and sweat from its grain and replaced them with cheap tin and collection plates. On Kirk's version, grace doesn't come cheap, though you can certainly be a poor person to receive it. Ladies and gents, Blacknuss is as deep as a soul record can be and as hot as a jazz record has any right to call itself. A work of sheer blacknuss! - Thom Jurek

Rahsaan Roland Kirk (tenor sax, stritch, manzello, vocals, percussion)
Charles McGhee (trumpet)
Dick Griffin (trombone)
Cornell Dupree, Keith Loving, Billy Butler (guitar)
Richard Tee, Sonelius Smith (piano)
Mickey Tucker (organ)
Bill Salter, Henry Pearson (bass)
Bernard Purdie, Khalil Mhrdi (drums)
Arthur Jenkins, Joe Habad Texicor, Richard Landrum (percussion)
Cissy Houston, Princess Patience Burton (vocals)

1. Ain't No Sunshine
2. What's Going On/Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
3. I Love You Yes I Do
4. Take Me Girl, I'm Ready
5. My Girl
6. Which Way Is It Going
7. One Nation
8. Never Can Say Goodbye
9. Old Rugged Cross
10. Make It With You
11. Blacknuss

William Parker Trio - Painter's Spring

As the second release in the acclaimed Blue Series from Thirsty Ear Recordings, Painter's Spring by the William Parker Trio sustains the living bolt of energy infused in the free and avant-garde jazz genres by the debut of Matt Shipp's Pastoral Composure. Bassist William Parker wrote all of the compositions except the traditional "There Is a Balm in Gilead" and "Come Sunday," and together with Daniel Carter on alto and tenor sax, flute, and clarinet and Hamid Drake on drums, the trio lifts the program to the listener's attention with the melding of individual talents into one powerful musical force. The CD features a three-song suite -- "Foundation #1," "Foundation #2," and "Foundation #4" -- and all are pure Parker with their wicked, loosely defined vamps full of buzzing, open drones, and short jabs. His spontaneous feelings and subtle variations that on "Come Sunday," complete with ample blocks of rhythm and melody, allow one to experience another level of sound through his masterful musician dimensions. As a master of the acoustic bass, Parker's techniques on Painter's Spring range from playing the bass in a percussive-like mode to using a mixture to staffed notation and diagrams in order to achieve an orchestral fidelity. Daniel Carter's performances are never the same and he blows an amazing set from beginning to end. Hamid Drake improvises his visions within the setting provided by Parker and Carter, drums an astounding solo on "Flash," and through this dynamic trio, this program pierces the veil of avant-garde and free jazz mystery. ~Paula Edelstein

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Beatles: Dr. Ebbetts 12, 13 and beyond

Let It Be

Two Of Us - Dig A Pony - Across The Universe - I Me Mine - Dig It - Let It Be - Maggie Mae - I've Got A Feeling - One After 909 - The Long And Winding Road - For You Blue - Get Back


Across The Universe - Yes It Is - This Boy - The Inner Light - I'll Get You - Thank You Girl - Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) - Sie Liebt Dich - Rain - She's A Woman - Matchbox - I Call Your Name - Bad Boy - Slow Down - I'm Down - Long Tall Sally

The Beatles - Let it Be... Naked (With Fly On The Wall - Limited Edition Bonus Disc)

Let It Be… Naked is a remastered and remixed version of the original session tapes from the 1970 Let It Be album by The Beatles, first released in November 2003. The album is presented in a form which is reportedly closer to Paul McCartney's vision of how the album should have sounded, and it has been stripped bare of all orchestral and other such embellishments which were added by the American record producer Phil Spector. McCartney in particular was always dissatisfied with the Wall of Sound production technique which had been employed on the original version, especially when concerning his song "The Long and Winding Road" which he had considered to be ruined by the process. Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono had agreed to the project, as had George Harrison before his death in 2001.

Re-recorded, remixed, overdubbed and repackaged--all before its 1970 American release, mind you--Let It Be has long been the most second-guessed album in the Beatles otherwise sterling catalog. This curious, three-decade-late, stripped-down rethink offers up yet another spin on what started as a back-to-the-roots album/documentary project called Get Back in January, 1969, but ended up as the band's de facto swan song 18 months later. Paul McCartney in particular has long been irked by producer Phil Spector's grandiose orchestra and choir overdubs to the title track and "The Long and Winding Road," and indeed the "bare" versions here have a distinct, plaintive charm lacking in Spector's typical pomp. All the various snippets of studio and live chatter that seasoned the original have been removed, leaving the recordings to be judged on their essentially live-in-the-studio merits. If the intent was to "de-Spectorize" the album, the inclusion of John Lennon's 1968 benefit track "Across the Universe" and George Harrison's "I Me Mine" (which marked the last-ever Beatles session in January, 1970) in their original versions seems equally odd, the legendary producer having appended them to the album's original track listing in the first place. The rambling "bonus disc" of conversation and song snippets culled from hundreds of hours of session and film tapes may fascinate diehard fans, but it also underscores the murky, often unfocused state of affairs the Fabs found themselves in during the last year of their remarkable career. --Jerry McCulley

1. Get Back
2. Dig A Pony
3. For You Blue
4. The Long And Winding Road
5. Two Of Us
6. I've Got A Feeling
7. One After 909
8. Don't Let Me Down
9. I Me Mine
10. Across The Universe
11. Let It Be

Frank Sinatra Live in Seattle 1957

Released by the Sinatra estate in 1999 on the Artemis Label, in 24 carat Gold this has had more than a few incarnations. If there are other bootleg concert recordings, there are very few of this period with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra (on the road, no less) , and fewer yet in stereo. Most of this is found on the Swingin' Lovers/Swingin' Affair albums--and the numbers get the off- the- cuff, devil may care Sinatra treatment. The voice's voice gets a little rougher as the gig goes on--fortunately not as bad as the Live in Paris CD put out by Reprise about ten years ago. If the Family has more red meat in the vault, they ought to throw some more of it out every once in a while. It's a good thing this one stands up to repeated listenings. WBF

Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra 1942-1944

Lionel Hampton was a 20th century jazz musician and composer, and the most famous player of the vibraphone in the world. Hampton grew up in Alabama, Illinois and Wisconsin. While in Catholic school in Wisconsin he learned to play the drums, and after high school he went to Los Angeles and started his professional career at the age of 16. The story goes that Hampton first played the vibraphone -- an amplified xylophone with vibrato -- with Louis Armstrong on "Memories of You" (1930) and the song became a hit. He stuck with the vibes and played during the 1930s with Benny Goodman, as well as on various recordings. Hampton organized his own big band in 1940 and became famous for his entertaining live shows and for his commitment to spreading jazz throughout the world. Always a crowd pleaser, Hampton played with smaller bands after 1965 with continued success, up until his health began to fail in the 1990s. Some of his most famous songs include "On The Sunny Side of the Street," "Hot Mallets" (with Dizzy Gillespie), "Flying Home" and "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop."

Lionel Hampton (vibes)
Joe Newman, Ernie Royal, Cat Anderson (trumpet)
Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb (tenor sax)
Jack McVea (baritone sax)
Milt Buckner (piano)

1 - Royal Family
2 - I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
3 - Blues In The News
4 - Exactly Like You
5 - Now I Know
6 - Half A Love Is Better Than None
7 - Flying Home
8 - In The Bag
9 - Loose Wig
10 - Chop-Chop
11 - Flyin' Home No. 2
12 - Hamp's Boogie Woogie
13 - Flyin' Home - Part I
14 - Flyin' Home - Part II
15 - The Major And The Minor
16 - I Wonder Boogie (Hamp's Boogie Woogie)
17 - Million Dollar Smile
18 - The Lamplighter
19 - Overtime
20 - Tempo's Boogie

The Pentagon (1976)

I hadn't listened to this album in quite some time, but after seeing it mentioned in the requests section I remembered what a great recording it was.

"Originally released by the Japanese East Wind label and made available briefly domestically on an LP from the defunct Inner City label, this quartet outing features pianist Cedar Walton, the underrated tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins; Ray Mantilla adds his congas to three of the six selections. The group performs fresh versions of five jazz standards (including "Manteca," Kenny Dorham's "Una Mas" and Lester Young's "D.B. Blues") plus Jordan's "He Is a Hero." Superior to Walton's RCA recordings of the period and his upcoming output for Columbia, this obscure effort finds all of the musicians playing up to their usual level of creativity." - Scott Yanow

Clifford Jordan (tenor sax)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Sam Jones (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)
Ray Mantilla (congas)
  1. Manteca
  2. Darn That Dream
  3. Una Mas
  4. D.B. Blues
  5. I Can't Get Started
  6. He Is a Hero
Recorded direct-to-disc on May 17, 1976 at Media Sound Studios, NYC

machito puente loco -- mambo caravan

jean lafite says: heavy hitters. as you would expect, this band can bring it and does with a mix of originals and popular covers (honeysuckle rose?). shake out a few mojito's or caipirina's and dial it up.

Jimmy Heath

Jimmy Heath - The Thumper

Jimmy Heath at age 33 made his recording debut as a leader on this Riverside session which has been reissued on CD in the OJC series. The hard bop tenor-saxophonist is in superior form, contributing five originals (of which "For Minors Only" is best known), jamming with an all-star sextet (including cornetist Nat Adderley, trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath) and taking two standards as ballad features. The excellent session of late '50s straightahead jazz is uplifted above the normal level by Heath's writing. Scott Yanow

The Thumper was his debut recording. Unlike most of his peers, Heath had not hurried into the studio. He was already in his thirties and writing with great maturity; the session kicks off with "For Minors Only," the first of his tunes to achieve near-classic standing. He also includes "Nice People."

Jimmy Heath (tenor sax)
Nat Adderley (cornet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Albert "Tootie" Heath - (drums)

1. For Minors Only
2. Who Needs It?
3. Don't You Know I Care
4. Two Tees
5. The Thumper
6. New Keep
7. For All We Know
8. I Can Make You Love Me
9. Nice People

Recorded in New York, September 1959

Jimmy Heath - Swamp Seed

This is a delightful if underrated set that was reissued on CD in 1997. The multi-talented Jimmy Heath has many consistently rewarding and distinctive tenor saxophone solos; he also contributed three of the seven pieces and arranged all of them for a group also including trumpeter Donald Byrd, two French horns, Don Butterfield's tuba and a rhythm section that has bassist Percy Heath and (on three numbers) drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath. The music is straight-ahead but contains some unpredictable moments. Highlights include Heath's versions of Thelonious Monk's "Nutty" and "More Than You Know." ~ Scott Yanow

In his arranging, Jimmy Heath has always been able to get the most out of the resources at hand. In the case of Swamp Seed, he works the harmonic magic of expanding an eight-piece band into the sound of a much larger unit. He is aided in his sleight-of-hand by virtuoso horn players: Jim Buffington and Julius Watkins on French horns, the legendary Don Butterfield on tuba, Donald Byrd on trumpet, and himself on tenor saxophone. The rhythm section is anchored by Heath's brother Percy on bass. On various tracks, piano is by Herbie Hancock and Harold Mabern. The drummers are Connie Kay and the third Heath brother, Albert. The principal soloist, of course, is Jimmy Heath, rooted in blues and the bebop that nurtured him, but harmonically sophisticated. With his expansive tone and conception, Heath sounded in 1963 as he always has — completely up to date.

Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Julius Watkins, Jim Buffington (French horns)
Jimmy Heath (tenor sax)
Don Butterfield (tuba)
Herbie Hancock, Harold Mabern (1,2,4) (piano)
Percy Heath (bass)
Albert "Tootie" Heath (1,2,4), Connie Ray - (drums)

1. Six Steps
2. Nutty
3. More Than You Know
4. Swamp Seed
5. D. Waltz
6. Just In Time
7. Wall To Wall

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City; March 11, 1963

Jimmy Heath - The Time And The Place

"Although this 1994 CD looks like a reissue, the music was actually released for the first time 20 years after it was recorded. Jimmy Heath, who is heard here on tenor, alto, soprano and flute, played at his prime throughout the 1970's although he tended to be somewhat overlooked in popularity polls. Heath was stretching himself during the era as can be heard on these obscure pieces; five of his originals plus Kenny Dorham's "No End." Although essentially bop-based, Heath was open to the influences of the avant-garde and fusion and, with a flexible group also including trombonist Curtis Fuller, guitarist Pat Martino, pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist Sam Jones, drummer Billy Higgins and percussionist Mtume, Jimmy Heath consistently takes adventurous yet logical solos. Worth checking out. "

Jimmy Heath (alto, soprano & tenor saxes, flute)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Stanley Cowell (piano, African thumb piano)
Pat Martino (guitar)
Sam Jones (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)
Mtume (congas, percussion)

1 - The Time And The Place
2 - The Voice Of The Saxophone
3 - No End
4 - The 13th House
5 - Fau-Lu
6 - Studio Style

RCA Studios NYC June 24 1974


Heres a great album, by barney kessel featuring bobby hutcherson and elvin jones.
dedicated to those such as basoso, webb city and others who have been busy regaling us with stacks of prime hutcherson, many thanks.
heres an amg review
by Scott Yanow
Guitarist Barney Kessel recorded regularly for the Contemporary label during 1953-1961, one gem after another. In 1969 he returned to Lester Koenig's label for this lone effort, a quartet set with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, bassist Chuck Domanico, and drummer Elvin Jones. The music is fairly free, particularly Kessel's four originals (which include "Blues, Up, Down & All Around" and "Two Note Samba"). Even Paul Simon's "The Sounds of Silence" and "This Guy's in Love With You" are turned into reasonably creative jazz by the all-star group. Although none of the musicians was associated exclusively with the avant-garde (Elvin Jones came the closest but never quite embraced free jazz), they show the influence of the explorations of the era, using aspects of the innovations as a logical way to stretch the jazz mainstream. Fascinating music.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Count Basie at Birdland 1963

A killer set from Count Basie -- recorded during the height of his years at Roulette! Oddly enough, the back cover of the record proclaims that "Basie Is Back Home" -- which probably means that Morris Levy was able to shake down the Count during a gig at his Birdland nightclub, and convince him to cut a record for his Roulette label! Whatever the backstory, though, the set's a nice one -- swinging hard in that completely tight 60s mode, with a great lineup that includes Frank Foster, Freddie Green, Thad Jones, and Bennie Powell.

by Michael G. Nastos
In early 1961, the 16 member Basie band lost a few key soloists (Billy Mitchell, Joe Newman & Al Grey,) but that did not slow them down. By June of that year they quite adequately re-loaded. In fact, it could be said they were re-energized, and this live set at Birdland, the self-proclaimed "Jazz Corner Of The World," gives proof how great they continued to be. This CD reissue contains the original nine tracks, plus an additional eight more. There are repeats, but included are some restored piano intros that were previously edited out, and a correction on the misidentified hard sock jam "Discommotion." Solos by immortals Frank Foster, Budd Johnson & Quentin "Butter" Jackson urged on by Freddie Green's insistent rhythm guitar remain so priceless. Though the group was known for emphazizing sweet, slow, soulful Kansas City style numbers like "Blues Backstage," "Good Time Blues" and "I Needs To Be Bee'd With," there's a lot of hard swinging big band bop to enjoy. The first two pieces "Little Pony" and the now correctly titled "Basie" get the ball rolling fervently, while "Blee Blop Blues" and the shortie "A Little Tempo Please" are en fuego. Vocalist Jon Hendricks scats up a storm on an over-the-top "Whirly Bird" from the original issue, and there's an instrumental version later on. Classic numbers "Corner Pocket," the lengthy "Segue In C" played twice, and the done three times "One O'Clock Jump" (two are set closers clocking in at under a minute) are peppered in. Often the crowd noise (perhaps the chatty band egging them on?) distracts greatly from Basie's lengthy piano discourses setting the pace for the band to chime in. At the end you get to hear a muffled Pee Wee Marquette outro-ing the band. This has always been one of the more enjoyable live recordings from Basie and company, and still can be easily recommended for aficianoados or novices of his unflappable ability to swing a band like nobody else.

1.Little Pony
3.Blues backstage
4.Blee Blop Blues
5.Whirly Bird (vocal version)
6.One O'Clock Jump (theme)
7.Good Time blues
8.Segue In C
9.One O'Clock Jump
10.Easin' It
11.A Little tempo, Please
12.Corner Pocket
13.I Needs to Be Bee'd With
15.Segue in C (alt.)
17.One O'Clock jump (theme)

S. Mos Quintet - Play it Loud! (Jazz Funk)

A very young french group for this funky Friday.

Strongly influenced by Brecker Brothers and Marcus Miller, S.Mos can find its roots in the music of the end of the Seventies. Smoothness and power characterize all 10 piece which makes this album. The effectiveness and the precision of the rhythm section make it possible to the blowing soloists (sax and trumpet) to be expressed on grounds where the fusion and the freedom of expression are kings!! The piano brings clearness to the unit, sometimes plunging the listener in a spirit of fright, sometimes in a endiablé groove. A denial with all those which think that France cannot produce good discs of jazz-funk!!! (translated from the french label info using Google)

01. Codis
02. Energic
03. Up To The Top !
04. What Dey Want
05. Lookin' Good
06. Tokyo Lights
07. Boogaloop
08. Mundele
09. Mighhty Ninety Four
10. Sunny Weather

S. Mos : Piano & compositions
Adrien Daoud : Tenor Sax
Brice Moscardini : Trumpet
Yann Gourhand : Electric Bass
Julien Sérié : Drums

Miles in Berlin 1964

Miles in Berlin
Miles Davis (1964) Finally on CD in the United States, Miles in Berlin can be viewed by Davis completists as a Rosetta Stone in his long career. It is the very first recording by what would later be dubbed the second great quintet, capturing the group in a transitional period. Largely considered one of the greatest jazz bands ever, the new quintet consisted of musicians who seemed kindred to each other. And starting at the Berlin Philharmonie on September 25, 1964, listeners of Davis would know it.
This was only the band’s third date together, but it's the first one that was recorded and released (until now in Europe only). From August of 1964 until the quintet's first studio date in January of 1965, the group would play a song lineup consisting almost exclusively of classic Davis tunes. Songs like “Milestones” and “So What” had sat on a shelf long enough, it would seem, until Davis allowed his new band of young guns to bring their youthful flair to the old repertoire.
One highlight on the new reissue is a slow, lyrical version of “Stella by Starlight” not featured on the LP. In each song, the mental affection between the players is strikingly evident. The interplay between Davis and Shorter on tenor saxophone does not, as one would expect, call to mind the bandleader’s previous relationship with John Coltrane. Instead, Shorter, plays with a sound all his own—not only playing scales at a breakneck speed or with an audible spiritual yearning, but realizing an internal, truly improvised aim to compose music from out of the air.
Herbie Hancock, only 22 year -old at the time, does Davis justice by not attempting to replicate the work of pianists of the past, such as Wynton Kelly or Red Garland. With Hancock, a fresh sensibility is heard—a near-classical feel, but sped up to swing with the other virtuosos. Amazing really, that Hancock here almost sounds like a fusion of both Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly. What a player he could have been on Kind of Blue, had he been of age. Musician’s musician Ron Carter proved a perfect counter to 17 year-old drummer Tony Williams, who is the true pace-setter in the group.
This quintet, perhaps more than any other band in jazz history, was able to not only experiment with time signatures and tempo, but always make the experiments work. For proof, check out “So What,” the album’s only modally constructed tune. After hearing Miles In Berlin, also check out the group’s dynamic Plugged Nickel date. It was recorded over a year after the band’s Berlin appearance, and by then, the quintet had been into the studio for a host of original tunes. Yet Davis still opted to play old repertoire which pre-dated his current band. Try and compare. The differences are immense, and the mental bonds of the musicians are at their peak.
With each gig, this quintet stripped another stereotypical element from the acoustic jazz cliché until finally a redefinition of the musical genre had taken place.
How many bands can say that?

Track listing: "Milestones," "Autumn Leaves," "So What," "Stella By Starlight," "Walkin,'" "Go-Go (Theme and Announcement)."

Personnel: Miles Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Tony Williams, drums; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass

Thursday, September 6, 2007

This Day In Jazz

Props once again to Webbcity's great site. It has become an essential daily stop for me. It's a great resource. Even for entertainment: I'm looking to see if I can match up an album recording date with one of the participants birthdays. Might make a good contest.

The Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Fanfare For The Warriors

Fans of the A.E.C. and cutting-edge-music rejoice! Long unavailable in this country, the Art Ensemble of Chicago's landmark album recorded in 1974 for the Atlantic label is back in print. Though not "easy listening" to be sure, the A.E.C. present challenging music that's worth the effort. Witness the relentless, Louis Jordan/Louis Prima-rooted swing of "Barnyard Scuffel Shuffel" and the sublime African/Japanese/Javanese-influenced rhythmic soundscape of "What's To Say."

The eerie, pensive, breathy "Tnoona," with its all-acoustic instrumentation, is practically ambient in tone and style. The A.E.C. were and remain ahead of their time-and it would be a shame to miss out, especially on this, one of their finest moments.

Joseph Jarman (spoken vocals, alto, tenor sax, flute)
Roscoe Mitchell (alto, tenor, bass sax, piccolo)
Lester Bowie (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Muhal Richard Abrams (piano)
Malachi Favors (bass)
Don Moye (percussion)

1 - Illistrum
2 - Barnyard Scuffel Shuffel
3 - Nonaah
4 - Fanfare for the Warriors
5 - What's To Say
6 - Tnoona
7 - The Key

Recorded at Paragon Studios, Chicago, Illinois in September 1973

Duke Jordan - Flight To Jordan (RVG )

Duke Jordan, who played regularly with the Charlie Parker Quintet in 1947, has long been known as a superior bebop pianist whose style was touched by the genius of Bud Powell's innovations. This quintet album (which also features trumpeter Dizzy Reece and the young tenor Stanley Turrentine) gave Jordan an opportunity to record six of his originals and, although none became as well-known as his "Jordu," the music has plenty of strong melodies and variety. This is one of Duke Jordan's better recordings and is quite enjoyable. [Blue Note's CD reissue included "Diamond Stud" and "I Should Care" as bonus tracks.] Scott Yanow

Duke Jordan (piano)
Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax)
Dizzy Reece (trumpet)
Reggie Workman (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)

1. Flight To Jordan
2. Star Bright
3. Squawkin'
4. Deacon Joe
5. Split Quick
6. Si-Joya
7. Diamond Stud
8. I Should Care

John Coltrane - My Favorite Things: Coltrane At Newport: 1963-65

A new issue, released two months ago - although it was released in some parts of the world in 1936 - features whet is considered by many to be the finest version of My Favorite Things.

Complete recordings of saxophonist John Coltrane's 1963 and 1965 Newport Festival appearances, most of the material on My Favorite Things: Coltrane Live At Newport has been available before. Most, but crucially, not all—the disc includes some eight minutes of previously unreleased music. When you're talking about the incandescent Coltrane quartet of the mid 1960s, that's a serious chunk of time, more like eight light years to hardcore enthusiasts.
The mixes are new too. While avoiding radical recalibrations of the balance between the instruments, they're substantially crisper and more resonant than on previous packagings: Newport '63 (Impulse!/GRP, 1993) and New Thing At Newport (Impulse!, 2000). In particular, the audio quality of first three tracks, from 1963, is mightily improved.
But it's the new material, of course, which is the main event. This forms what is now the first third of “Impressions.” It starts with a theme statement from Coltrane, on soprano, a six minute solo from pianist McCoy Tyner, and a brief extract from a solo by bassist Jimmy Garrison. Coltrane sets up the tune before Tyner takes it away for a forceful, dervish-like work-out, his two-fisted block chords framing percussive, rapid-fire single note runs concentrated at the treble end of the keyboard. It's a formidable improvisation by the pianist, and why it was left off previous releases is a mystery.
Garrison's abbreviated solo follows. The rumbling distortion on his bottom string is so bad that the entire solo was excised from previous releases, and the excerpt included here is presumably the only passage which could be rendered listenable even with the latest digital technology. The track then takes up where the edited version on Newport '63 starts, with Coltrane, now on tenor, engaging in a fierce extended dialogue with drummer Roy Haynes (who was subbing for the quartet's regular drummer, Elvin Jones, laid up during the 1963 festival with a bad case of heroin addiction).
Putting these two Newport appearances together on one disc serves, by the by, as a graphic illustration of Coltrane's journey towards the sonic extremes of his final few years—from da bomb that was Ascension (Impulse!, 1965), recorded only a week earlier than the second Newport set, until the his death in 1967. Even allowing for the presence of two massively different drummers—the turbulent Jones and the more measured Haynes—the shift in Coltrane's aesthetic is profound. The two versions of the soprano showcase “My Favorite Things” bookmark the process, from the more or less conventional lyricism of the first, to the freer, more abrasive tonalities entering the second. We know the story already, of course, but hearing these two tracks practically back-to-back certainly emphasizes it.
Factor in the new mixes, and My Favorite Things: Coltrane Live At Newport is far from being “just” another Coltrane re-master. Chris May

John Coltrane (soprano, tenor sax)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Jimmy Garrison ( bass)
Roy Haynes (drums) (1963)
Elvin Jones (drums) (1965)

1 - I Want to Talk About You ('63)
2 - My Favorite Things ('63)
3 - Impressions ('63)
4 - Introduction by Father Norman O'Connor ('65)
5 - One Down, One Up ('65)
6 - My Favorite Things ('65)

Los Lobos - La Pistola y El Corazón

You often see at sites like this, and forums and such, discussions regarding the "greatest" whatever - drummer, sax. " Max Roach was the greatest...Eric Dolphy was the greatest.." This mentality reduces art and performance to a team mentality. Like that T-Shirt that says "Your Favorite Band Sucks!"

But I am posting this album because I think it is one of the most perfect things of it's kind I have ever heard. I would rate this as one of my top five all time favorites. And those of you who know me, know that my top five changes every few minutes; I think the concept, even, is pointless and foolish. But this album has had a hold on me from the moment I first heard it, and it has grown steadily in my estimation ever since.

So, I'm going to say it: Step back, and look at the Americas, from Hudson Bay in Canada, to Patagonia and farther south. No parochialism, but don't exclude the U.S. either. Respect to all the great, great musicians who are of the Western Hemisphere, either by physical origin or emotional orientation: Los Lobos are the greatest American band ever. And this may be their masterwork.

Johnny Griffin - J.G.

This 1956 Johnny Griffin release, his debut as a leader, is an excellent choice for reissue. Though brief (the album clocks in at just over 26 minutes), the set features the tenor saxophonist in the excellent company of pianist Junior Mance, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Buddy Smith. Playing largely in a blues-inflected bop vein, with clear lyrical flourishes--especially on the part of Griffin, whose dreamy, lyrical phrasing often recalls Lester Young--the quartet turns in a top-notch set. Included are accomplished interpretations of standards like Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays" and the Benny Goodman chestnut "I Cried for You."

Alongside these classics are remarkably sturdy originals, including Ware's sprightly, Monk-esque "Riff Raff" (Ware worked with Monk, and was clearly influenced by his compositional style). Griffin contributes three tunes--the blues groove "Satin Wrap," "Bee-Ees," all sophisticated melody and finger-popping swing, and the looser jam of "Lollipop" with its driving R&B head and free-ranging solos. The rapport between these musicians is superb, on ballads and uptempo numbers alike, with Griffin's bright, infectious tone and smooth flow of ideas in the fore throughout. This is classic mid-'50s jazz, and sounds as crisp and magnificent today as it did on its initial release.

Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)
Junior Mance (piano)
Wilbur Ware (bass)
Buddy Smith (drums)

1. I Cried For You
2. Satin Wrap
3. Yesterdays
4. Riff-Raff
5. Bee-Ees
6. The Boy Next Door
7. These Foolish Things
8. Lollypop

Tony Bennett - My Heart Sings

Another sadly out-of-print masterwork from Tony Bennett, this time with a spectacular lineup of musicians, among them Urbie Green, Toots Mondello, Milt Hinton and Mundell Lowe. The arrangements are by the always-creative Ralph Burns and feature a few tenor sax solos by the great Zoot Sims. A mix of ballad and uptempo selections, the best tracks include "Close Your Eyes," "Dancing In The Dark" (with Burns' wonderful syncopated intro), and "Stella By Starlight." This recording was issued on CD only once, many years ago (late 1980's) in Japan and is virtually (and undeservedly unknown today. CBS/Sony in the USA started a Tony Bennett reissue series in the early 1990's (called The Tony Bennett Master Series) that has sputtered along ineffectively with (sometimes) years between releases with most LP's (to this day) never seeing the digital light of day. The lastest (last?) in the series was the magnificent CLOUD 7 (1955), released on CD in 2004. A sad state of affairs for the discography of a legendary singer whose entire body of work should be available. Scoredaddy

Tony Bennett (vcls)
Ralph Burns (arr)
Bernie Glow (tmpt)
Carl (Doc) Severinson (tmpt)
Jimmy Maxwell (tmpt)
Irving Markowitz (tmpt)
Urbie Green (tmbn) all except 5,7,12
Robert Alexander (tmbn) all except 5,7,12
Frank Rehak (tmbn) all except 5,7,12
William Elton (tmbn) 5,7,12
Wayne Andre (tmbn) 5,7,12
Chauncy Welsch (tmbn) 5,7,12
Richard Hixon (tmbn)
Toots Mondello (alto sax)
Romeo Penque (alto sax)
Al Klink (tenor sax)
Danny Bank (bari sax)
Zoot Sims (tenor sax) 5,7,12
Jerry Sanfino (tenor sax) all except 2,8,10
Eddie Caine (tenor sax) 2,8,10
Bernie Leighton (piano)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Herbert Lovelle (drums)
Barry Galbraith (gtr) all except 5,7,12
Mundell Lowe (gtr) 5,7,12
Chuck Wayne (gtr) all except 5,7,12
Eddie Costa (vibes) 2,8,10

1. Don't Worry 'Bout Me
2. Dancing In The Dark
3. I'm Comin' Virginia
4. (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings
5. It Never Was You
6. You Took Advantage Of Me
7. Close Your Eyes
8. Stella By Starlight
9. More Than You Know
10. My Ship
11. Lover Man
12. Toot, Toot, Tootsie! (Goodbye)
Recorded at the Columbia 30th Street Studio, NYC on April 4-6, 1961

Duke Ellington Complete Legendary Fargo Concert 1940

What this review(er) may have overlooked was the fact that it was truly an on-location recording and not a radio transcription. It was done by Jack Towers with a portable disc-cutter and the results as well as the remaster are stunning. Dare I quote the mighty Scott "Essential" Yanow to say, (dusting off Roget's) Quintessential!
Complete Legendary Fargo Concert
Duke Ellington Definitive Records(2004)
By Samuel Chell
America's greatest jazz musician performing his own music on his favorite instrument—the orchestra—and not just any edition of Ellington's band but arguably his best, especially with bassist Jimmy Blanton and tenor sax great Ben Webster. What more could you ask for? An inspired performance? The band is tight and spirited thoughout this five-hour engagement. Faithful audio reproduction? The fidelity is miraculously close to being state of the art for a 1940 recording made on marginal equipment by hobbyists. Blanton's bass comes through with greater clarity than the bass frequencies on some of the studio recordings Charlie Parker would make ten years later.
So why is this recording being all but ignored, even in jazz circles where news of an on-location Coltrane or Monk discovery, or the appearance of another Bird-Diz acetate, manages to make waves even in the mainstream press? Unfortunately, as well-known as Ellington's popular songs are, his genius as a composer/orchestrator/bandleader remains poorly understood, despite the valiant efforts of Wynton Marsalis over the past two decades to educate the public.
Count this among Duke Ellington's three or four most important recordings, an absolutely essential listen for any Ellington fan or student of the evolution of this art form. Blanton's work on bass is a genuine revelation; Webster's solos on “Cottontail” and ”Stardust” rival Coleman Hawkins' best work at the time; the horns of Johnny Hodges, Rex Stewart and Harry Carney are heard to optimal effect; compositions like “Ko-Ko and ”Harlem Air Shaft” are miniature masterpieces, microcosms of Ellington's cutting-edge genius that invite attentive and repeated listening to be fully grasped and appreciated.
Admittedly, there are a few tradeoffs: the vocals of Ivy Anderson and Herb Jeffries are practically too faint to count; some of the numbers were rendered incomplete or interrupted while the amateur engineers quickly changed acetate discs. On the other hand, the listener has a sense both of being on stage with the band, with Duke calling off tunes in the background, and experiencing a continuous five-set performance by the orchestra—a remarkable feat for a recording made in 1940.
Although an elaborate 60th anniversary edition of this concert is available on Storyville Records, this Spanish import at half the price is professionally mastered and well documented. If you're new to Ellington, you might choose to pass up either recording for the time being. Start out with Ellington at Newport, Ellington Uptown, Blue Rose, Such Sweet Thunder and The Nutcracker Suite. But don't dare end the relationship without spending a couple of fruitful hours with the Duke in Fargo, North Dakota.

Track listing: The Mooche; Sepia Panorama; Ko-Ko; There Shall Be No Night; Pussy Willow; Chatter Box ; Mood Indigo; Harlem Air Shaft; Ferryboat Serenade; Warm Valley; Stompy Jones; Chloe; Bojangles; On The Air; Rumpus In Richmond; Chaser; Sidewalks Of New York; Flaming Sword; Never No Lament; Caravan; Clarinet Lament; Slap Happy; Fanfare; Sepia Panorama; Boy Meets Horn; Way Down Younder In New Orleans; Oh Babe! Maybe Someday; Five O'clock Whistle; Rockin ' N 'Rhythm; Sophisticated Lady; Cotton Tail; Whispering Grass; Conga Brava; I Never Felt This Way Before; Chaser; Across The Track Blues; Honeysucle Rose; Wham!; Star Dust; Rose Of The Rio Grande; St. Louis Blues; Warm Valley; God Bless America; It's Glory; The Sheik Of Araby; Call Of The Canyon.
Personnel: Duke Ellington: piano; Harry Carney: baritone saxophone; Johnny Hodges: alto saxophone; Ben Webster, Otto Hardwicke: tenor saxophones; Barney Bigard, clarinet; Ray Nance, Wallace Jones: trumpets; Rex Stewart: cornet; Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton, Juan Tizol, Lawrence Brown, trombones; Jimmy Blanton: bass; Sonny Greer: drums; Fred Guy, guitar.

pandelis karayogis trio- heart and sack 1998

by Steve Loewy
John Corbett's liner notes to this album cite Misha Mengelberg, Paul Bley, and Lennie Tristano as possible influences on pianist Pandelis Karayorgis' playing. Thelonious Monk might be another. Yet, Karayorgis is an original voice, one who meshes tonal clusters with an uncannily angular and subtle style. Here, with drummer Randy Peterson and bassist Nate McBride, the pianist makes every note count, with an unpretentious, deliberately paced mix of attractive originals, plus some not-so-well-known pieces by Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, and Ken McIntyre. Karayorgis' lines follow their own logic, and sound almost as though he is performing with his elbows, which of course he isn't. Peterson and McBride are both very effective partners, sharing the leader's penchant for quirky, carefully constructed nuance. As a trio, they may not be trailblazing entirely new territory, but the journey is filled with tastefully delicious twists and turns.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ella Fitzgerald - Hello Love

Yep, the same Frank DeVol who wrote so many TV theme songs (My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch) in the '60s. If you Google his image you'll most likely recognize him; he did'nt mind being in front of the camera. Seems like a funny guy, you might remember him as Happy Kyne from Fernwood 2Nite.

Ella Fitzgerald was a well known singer.

A fine gem among the diamonds of Ella Fitzgerald's late-'50s period with Verve, Hello Love may not have approached the quality of her songbooks, but it did allow her to sing a few fine songs she'd missed the first time around. (And although none of the songbook giants are represented, the material is hardly second-rate.) Wrapped in the strings of Frank DeVol's orchestra, Fitzgerald is a bewitching presence singing these dreamy standards: "Tenderly," "You Go to My Head," "Willow Weep for Me," and "Stairway to the Stars." DeVol's charts are dynamic as well, allowing space for expressive players such as trumpeters Harry "Sweets" Edison and Pete Candoli or tenor Ben Webster. A few of the titles are solo versions of songs she had recently sung on her Louis Armstrong duets. John Bush

Ella Fitzgerald (vocal)
Frank DeVol's Orchestra (which includes Pete Candoli, Ben Webster, Barney Kessel, Harry "Sweets" Edison, and many others

1. You Go To My Head
2. Willow Weep For Me
3. I'm Thru With Love
4. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
5. Everything Happens To Me
6. Lost In A Fog
7. I've Grown Accustomed To His Face
8. I'll Never Be The Same
9. So Rare
10. Tenderly
11. Stairway To The Stars
12. Moonlight In Vermont

Recorded March 25 and October 28, 1959 at Radio Recorders, Hollywood

Machito and His Afro-Cuban Orchestra - Vacation At The Concord

The Borscht Belt was legendary. Just some years ago, I had to stay there for a weekend, and walked into the lounge because the music sounded good. A nice trio - led by Erskine Hawkins. However, this session - about which much is not known - was actually a studio session recorded in NYC.

A decade after Afro-Cuban rhythms set the jazz world on fire, we find the maestro playing the Concord, a popular lakeside resort 90 miles north of New York City. So it is tourist album, probably given away or sold as a souvenir, and the liners and photos tell as much about where to find swimming director Buster Crabbe as Machito. For popular Latin, it has the top standards, as well as a few Machito surprises. The former include obligatory covers of Perez Prado's smashes "Guaglione" and "Patricia," plus cha cha cha counterparts "Cocktails for Two" and "Rico Vacilon." Surprises include Johnny Conquet's "Estacy" and Italian-Chipmunks-bandleader Renato Corasone's "Torero." Only one title is particularly Afro-Cuban, "El Aji Caribe." It is an unusual album for Machito. Tony Wilds

1. Guaglione
2. Cocktails For Two
3. Patricia
4. El Aji Caribe
5. Me Lo Dijo Adela (Sweet And Gentle)
6. Mambo La Concord
7. The Continental (You Kiss While You're Dancing)
8. Torero
9. Estacy
10. Cha-Cha-Cha Loco
11. Rico Vacilon-Cha-Cha
12. Cotillion Mambo

Recorded October 1958

Sarah Vaughan - Live In Japan

Captivating performances by singer-composer-writer Sarah Vaughan, who Gunther Schuller once called “the greatest vocal artist of our century,” are preserved in this two-LP set. The 1973 recording is an excellent example of Sarah Vaughan’s range of talents: her stunning virtuosity, glorious instrument, heartfelt interpretations, and ease of performing before a live audience. It features several signature tunes that are associated with Vaughan, including “Summertime” and “Poor Butterfly.” Live in Japan was produced relatively late in Vaughan’s career and illustrates that, unlike most singers, Vaughan’s voice seemed to grow richer, stronger and more versatile as she aged. The National Recording Registry-Library of Congress

During 1971-1974, Vaughan recorded regularly for Mainstream, including several not-so-hot commercial projects which found her performing current pop songs. However, the two-CD Complete Sarah Vaughan Live In Japan is a definite exception and contains all of the music that Sarah Vaughan recorded during her Tokyo concert for Mainstream. Age 49 at the time, Sassy rarely sounded better than she does on the 27 selections, which include “Poor Butterfly,” “Round Midnight,” “Misty,” “The Nearness Of You,” and “Bye Bye Blackbird.” She is assisted by pianist Carl Schroeder, bassist John Gianelli, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. For whatever reason, she was inspired that night, not only scatting well and showing off her phenomenal voice but really digging into the lyrics. Essential music that gives one a definitive look at the brilliant (and sometimes miraculous) singer. Scott Yanow

Sarah Vaughan, vocals
Carl Schroeder, piano
John Gianelli, bass
Jimmy Cobb, drums

Disc One
1. Foggy Day
2. Poor Butterfly
3. Lamp Is Low
4. 'Round Midnight
5. Willow Weep for Me
6. There Will Never Be Another You
7. Misty
8. Wave
9. Like Someone in Love
10. My Funny Valentine
11. All of Me
12. (Where Do I Begin) Love Story
13. Over the Rainbow
14. I Could Write a Book

Disc Two
15. Nearness of You
16. I'll Remember April
17. Watch What Happens
18. I Cried for You
19. Summertime
20. Blues
21. I Remember You
22. There Is No Greater Love
23. Rainy Days and Mondays
24. On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
25. Bye Bye Blackbird
26. Tonight
27. Tenderly

Recorded at Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo, Japan on September 24, 1973


The IP address that he reports belongs to Google themselves.

We get frequent and regular mail from this person who - purely on suspicion and blind guessing - sent what he thought was our IP to the police.

Still no response from the "police" . This is a very vicious person we are dealing with.
I don't mind that he declared "war" on me from some mistaken and misguided reason that makes sense to only him, but he had a contributor here - one of the nicest, most helpful people you can imagine ( many of you know and appreciate his great efforts here and elsewhere) - he had him banned from Jazzymusic, and God knows his "reason" for that. Just pure maliciousness.

Now, he keeps ranting about me being "dangdedang". How does he know this? Because, back when he was pretending to be friendly, he asked me who I was over there. And I told him. What was the result of my telling him openly when he asked?: He got me banned also.

So, he admits that he knows me as dangdedang because I freely admitted it to him. He , however, says that the following message is "so obviously a fake"
See who makes insane accusations without really knowing: check for yourself
At Jazzymusic, the name is dangdedang, and the password is woowoo.
He is quick to make absolute statements and accuse people of all manner of things based only on what he wants to be true.

So, I will follow my own advice and not feed the troll. And troll he most decidedly is, and ought to be happy now, ego is gone, JN has been banned, I have been banned, and we are subjected to confused ( but entertaining, I admit) raving letters.
By responding, I am , in a way, making fun of the feeble-minded, and I apologise for that.

Roland Kirk - Natural Black Inventions (1971)

Note: This has been uploaded before by Rab at C&D as part of a 3-CD set entitled "Dog Years in the Fourth Ring". If you didn't get it back then, here's your second chance. This one is a vinyl rip in FLAC with album liner scans.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata (1971)

I say: Coming from the same year as Blacknuss, 1971, this gorgeousness of an album is somehow the complete opposite of the aforementioned. One of my favorite albums, Natural Black Inventions features Kirk solo and in duets playing some of the most not-from-this-planet music you've ever heard. In addition to playing three saxes at once, he also hits some drums - all simultaneously, of course. No big band, no overdubs, no electricity.
Scott "Enjoyable" Yanow says: "The performances are episodic and colorful with plenty of humor and adventurous moments, worthy of repeated listenings and amazement." -- He's right.

1 Something for Trane that Trane Could Have Said
2 Island Cry
3 Runnin' From the Trash
4 Day Dream
5 The Ragman and the Junkman Ran From the Businessman They Laughed and He Cried
6 Breath-A-Ton
7 Rahsaanica
8 Raped Voices
9 Haunted Feelings
10 Prelude Back Home
11 Dance of the Lobes
12 Harder & Harder Spiritual
13 Black Root

Rahsaan Roland Kirk plays tenor sax, stritch, manzello, B Flat & E Flat clarinets, flute, black puzzle flute, black mystery pipes, harmonium, piccolo, bass drum, thundersheet, sock cymbal, bells, music box, palms, tympani, gong and applies the use of bird sounds.

He is accompanied by Joe Habad Texidor on washboard, triangle, thundersheet & tambourine and by Maurice McKinley on conga drums. On Day Dream, Sonelius Smith is added on piano.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

This Day In Jazz

Can't get enough of Webbcity's site.

Paul Quinichette - Basie Reunion

This 1958 session by members of two distinct editions of Count Basie's band is actually a follow-up to a similar reunion, For Basie, recorded earlier the same year. With tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette as the leader and trumpeters Shad Collins and Buck Clayton in the front line, Jack Washington was lured out of semi-retirement to play baritone sax, though he obviously was having some problems with the instruments, due to the fact he had played alto sax almost exclusively around the time this recording was made. Nat Pierce fills Count Basie's economical role on piano, and the rest of the rhythm section includes rhythm guitarist Freddie Green (who served 50 years with the Basie organization), bassist Eddie Jones, and drummer Jo Jones. The five selections all date from Basie's repertoire circa 1937-1940, and other than Washington's numerous reed squeaks, the playing is first-rate. While this session isn't meant to substitute for the original recordings by Count Basie, the consistently swinging performances make this meeting of mostly Basie alumni worth purchasing.

Paul Quinichette (tenor sax)
Shad Collins, Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Jack Washington (baritone sax)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Nat Pierce (piano)
Eddie Jones (bass)
Jo Jones (drums)

1. Love Jumped Out
2. The Blues I Like To Hear
3. John's Idea
4. Baby Don't Tell On Me
5. Roseland Shuffle

Sal Nistico Live (1981)

Sal Nistico's explosive tenor solos with Woody Herman in the mid-'60s helped make that edition of Herman's Herd into a success. Originally an altoist, Nistico switched to tenor in 1956 and played with R&B bands for three years. He gigged with and made his recording debut in 1959-1960 with the Jazz Brothers, a band also including Chuck and Gap Mangione. But it was while with Herman in 1962-1965 that Nistico made history. In 1965, he spent five months with Count Basie. He returned to Basie in 1967 and to Herman on several occasions (1968-1970, 1971, 1981-1982), although without the impact of the first stint. Otherwise, the tenor freelanced throughout his career, playing with Don Ellis and Buddy Rich but mostly working with pick-up groups. Nistico recorded for several labels as a leader including Riverside, Red, and Beehive. - Scott Yanow

Sal Nistico (tenor sax)
Mark Levine (piano)
Peter Barshay (bass)
Bobby Rosenstein (drums)

1. How Deep Is the Ocean
2. Stella Wise
3. You Stepped Out of a Dream
4. I Can't Get Started
5. Backlog

Recorded at the Douglas Beach House, Half Moon Bay, CA, February 1, 1981

Donald Byrd - Blackjack

This is posted more for the presence of Sonny Red, who has been under discussion hereabouts.

Donald Byrd - Blackjack

One of three Donald Byrd albums from 1967 (the end of his hard bop period), this recording features the trumpeter/leader with altoist Sonny Red, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Billy Higgins. The six tunes (five of which are originals by Byrd or Red) are all quite obscure and to one extent or another quite explorative. One can sense that Byrd wanted to break through the boundaries and rules of hard bop but had not yet decided on his future directions. The music does swing and highlights include "West of the Pecos" and "Beale Street"; Byrd and Red in particular are in excellent form throughout the date. [The 2004 reissue adds bonus tracks.] ~ Scott Yanow

Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Sonny Red (alto saxophone)
Hank Mobley, Jimmy Heath (tenor saxophone)
Herbie Hancock, Cedar Walton (piano)
Walter Booker, Eddie Khan (bass)
Billy Higgins, Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)

1. Blackjack
2. West Of The Pecos
3. Loki
4. Eldorado
5. Beale Street
6. Pentatonic
7. All Members

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on May 27, 1963 and January 9, 1967

Pee Wee Russell Quartet - Ask Me Now!

This is from the requests section

After a lifetime spent playing unusual and unpredictable clarinet solos in Dixieland settings, Russell late in life broke out of the stereotype and played in more modern settings. This Impulse LP (begging to be reissued on CD) has his clarinet placed in a pianoless quartet with valve trombonist Marshall Brown, playing tunes by John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Ornette Coleman, along with some classic ballads. It is a remarkable and very lyrical date that briefly rejuvenated the career of this veteran individualist. ~ Scott Yanow

Pee Wee Russell, although never a virtuoso, was one of the giants of jazz. A highly expressive and unpredictable clarinetist, Russell was usually grouped in Dixieland-type groups throughout his career, but his advanced and spontaneous solos (which often sounded as if he were thinking aloud) defied classification. A professional by the time he was 15, Pee Wee Russell played in Texas with Peck Kelley's group (meeting Jack Teagarden) and then in 1925 he was in St. Louis jamming with Bix Beiderbecke. Russell moved to New York in 1927 and gained some attention for his playing with Red Nichols' Five Pennies. Russell freelanced during the era, making some notable records with Billy Banks in 1932 that matched him with Red Allen. He played clarinet and tenor with Louis Prima during 1935-1937, appearing on many records and enjoying the association.

After leaving Prima, he started working with Eddie Condon's freewheeling groups and would remain in Condon's orbit on and off for the next 30 years. Pee Wee Russell's recordings with Condon in 1938 made him a star in the trad Chicago jazz world. Russell was featured (but often the butt of jokes) on Condon's Town Hall Concerts. Heavy drinking almost killed him in 1950, but Russell made an unlikely comeback and became more assertive in running his career. He started leading his own groups (which were more swing- than Dixieland-oriented), was a star on the 1957 television special The Sound of Jazz, and by the early '60s was playing in a piano-less quartet with valve trombonist Marshall Brown whose repertoire included tunes by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman; he even sat in with Thelonious Monk at the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival and took up abstract painting. But after the death of his wife in 1967, Pee Wee Russell accelerated his drinking and went quickly downhill, passing away less than two years later. ~ Scott Yanow

Pee Wee Russell (clarinet)
Marshall Brown (valve trombone, bass trumpet)
Russell George (bass)
Ronnie Bedford (drums)

1. Turnaround
2. How About Me?
3. Ask Me Now!
4. Some Other Blues
5. I'd Climb The Highest Mountain
6. Licorice Stick
7. Prelude To A Kiss
8. Baby You Can Count On Me
9. Hackensack
10. Angel Eyes
11. Calypso Walk

Recorded April 9-10, 1963 in New York City

Blue Mitchell - Bantu Village

Owner of a direct, lightly swinging, somewhat plain-wrapped tone that fit right in with the Blue Note label's hard bop ethos of the 1960s, Blue Mitchell tends to be overlooked today perhaps because he never really stood out vividly from the crowd, despite his undeniable talent. After learning the trumpet in high school -- where he got his nickname -- he started touring in the early '50s with the R&B bands of Paul Williams, Earl Bostic and Chuck Willis before returning to Miami and jazz. There, he attracted the attention of Cannonball Adderley, with whom he recorded for Riverside in 1958. That year, he joined the Horace Silver Quintet, with whom he played and recorded until the band's breakup in March 1964, polishing his hard bop skills. During his Silver days, Mitchell worked with tenor Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor, drummer Roy Brooks and various pianists as a separate unit and continued recording as a leader for Riverside. When Silver disbanded, Mitchell's spinoff quintet carried on with Al Foster replacing Brooks and a young future star named Chick Corea in the piano chair. This group, with several personnel changes, continued until 1969, recording a string of albums for Blue Note. Probably aware that opportunities for playing straight-ahead jazz were dwindling, Mitchell became a prolific pop and soul sessionman in the late '60s, and he toured with Ray Charles from 1969 to 1971 and blues/rock guitarist John Mayall in 1971-73. Having settled in Los Angeles, he also played big-band dates with Louie Bellson, Bill Holman and Bill Berry; made a number of funk and pop/jazz LPs in the late '70s; served as principal soloist for Tony Bennett and Lena Horne; and kept his hand in hard bop by playing with Harold Land in a quintet. He continued to freelance in this multi-faceted fashion until his premature death from cancer at age 49. ~ Richard S. Ginell


Al Grey feat. Billy Mitchell - Snap your Fingers

Note the February 19 date; ten years later Lee Morgan was killed.

Trombonist Al Grey is joined by emerging young tenor saxophonist Billy Mitchell on this pair of 1962 sessions, which were originally issued as an Argo LP and finally reissued on a limited-edition CD by Verve in 2003. The first five tracks also feature trumpeter Dave Burns and obscure pianist Floyd Morris. "Nothing But the Truth" is smoldering up-tempo blues with a bit of a gospel flavor, while Morris gets into the groove of the mid-tempo "Three-Fourth Blues." Mitchell especially shines on Melba Liston's soulful ballad "Just Waiting." The three tracks from the earlier session feature Donald Byrd on trumpet and Herbie Hancock on piano. Also here is the slashing hard bop composition "Minor on Top." Another Liston piece, "African Lady," is complex and showcases Grey's sensitive solo. There's not a bad track on this recommended CD. Ken Dryden

Al Grey (trombone)
Billy Mitchell (tenor saxophone)
Dave Burns (trumpet)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Floyd Morris, Herbie Hancock (piano)
Herman Wright (bass)
Eddie Williams (drums)

1 - Nothing But The Truth
2 - Three-Fourth Blues
3 - Just Waiting
4 - R. B. Q.
5 - Green Dolphin Street
6 - Minor On Top
7 - African Lady
8 - Hi Fly.

Recorded live at Birdland, New York, New York and Ter-Mar Recording Studio, Chicago, Illinois on January 31 & February 19, 1962

Frank Rosolino - The Last Recording

Speaking of bad days: this was recorded three months before Rosolino's heinous end.

But I digress: "...Whatever demons haunted Rosolino, they were never visible when he was playing; what came out of his horn was pure genius, trombone artistry that was technically and musically in a class by itself. No one has ever mastered the ’bone as completely or wrested more from it, and perhaps no one ever will.

Three songs are represented here—Rosolino’s “Waltz for Diane,” Erroll Garner’s “Misty” and the Burke/Van Heusen standard “I Thought About You.” There are radio edits and longer versions of “Misty” and “You,” plus two takes of “Diane,” which presumably was written for Frank’s manager, Diane Armesto, through whose untiring efforts the tapes were finally transferred to CD and released by Sea Breeze Records.

Rosolino is dazzling throughout, as one would envision, using his singular multiple-tonguing technique, perfect pitch, ample creative reservoir and unerring rhythmic awareness to sculpt a series of memorable statements. He also uses an electronic device called a multivider, which at times gives the impression of two or three horns playing in unison. It lends a slightly different sound to the mix but doesn’t detract from Rosolino’s inherent proficiency, which always comes through loud and clear. Even so, this is a quartet date, and Rosolino is the beneficiary of unflagging support from a blue-chip rhythm section—pianist Larry Willis, a superb soloist in his own right, stylish drummer Billy Higgins and stalwart bassist Kevan Brandon.

While this may not qualify as a definitive performance by Rosolino, any new music by a virtuoso who raised the bar for his peers and set the standard for generations of trombonists to come is welcome and appreciated. An important volume in anyone’s Rosolino library. " Jack Bowers

Frank Rosolino (trombone)
Larry Willis (piano)
Kevan Brandon (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)

1 - Misty
2 - I Thought About You
3 - Waltz For Diane
4 - Misty
5 - I Thought About You
6 - Waltz For Diane (Take One)

Carl Perkins "Introducing Carl Perkins" 1956

I was inspired by the earlier entry of Curtis Counce to post this. I think the liner notes are unecessarily snooty, otherwise this is a great reissue. A very important piano player--a very big influence on Les McCann--Steeped in the blues. Like other players of his generation, he has a unique way of playing made even more so by polio. Seek out this album and any other side work, particularly the Counce albums and Art of Pepper--endless groove!

No, not the rockabilly guitarist/vocalist - rather, the exceptional but little-known West Coast pianist. Carl Perkins was born in Indianapolis, IN in 1928 and eventually settled in Los Angeles in the late 1940s where he passed away in 1958, at the age of only 29. He was a classic hard bop pianist whose original technique and conception were dictated by a crippled left arm. Despite this handicap and a very short career, Perkins made a host of exceptional recordings with most of the major West Coast artists including Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Curtis Counce, Harold Land and Dexter Gordon to name just a few. His best work is concentrated in 1957, a very good year for recorded jazz in general. The large number of reissues of many of these recordings provides testimony to the high regard in which they are held.
Perkins played with a compelling swing which was sometimes reminiscent of his contemporary, Hampton Hawes. He was also a fine composer, contributing such hard bop gems as Grooveyard, Mia (Way Cross Town) and Carl's Blues. Sadly, he recorded only one complete LP under his own name, a trio session for the Dootone label. Noal Cohen's Jazz History Web Site

by Scott Yanow
A fine bop-oriented pianist who overcame a slightly crippled left hand (due to polio), Carl Perkins was a victim of his drug problems, passing away when he was just 29. After stints with Tiny Bradshaw and Big Jay McNeely, he became a fixture on the West Coast. Perkins was with Oscar Moore's trio (1953-1954) and briefly played with an early version of the Max Roach-Clifford Brown quintet (1954), but is best-known for his association with Curtis Counce (1956-1958). Perkins, who composed one jazz standard ("Grooveyard"), recorded with Counce, Chet Baker, Jim Hall, Art Pepper, and as a leader for Savoy (1949), Dootone (1956), and Pacific Jazz (1957), but did not live long enough to realize his potential.

Reviewby Michael G. Nastos
Recorded two years before legendary West Coast pianist's death. With Leroy Vinnegar (b), Lawrence Marable (d). Six Perkins originals make this an important document. He was an important sideman. Here as a leader he shows his true worth.

1.Way Cross Town
2.You Don't Know What Love Is
3.The Lady Is A Tramp
4.Marble Head
5.Woody'n You
6.West Side aka Mia
7.Just Friends
8.It Could Happen To You
9.Why Do I Care
10.Lilacs In The Rain
11.Carl's Blues
12.West Sid aka Mia (alternate take)

Joe McPhee - Trinity

Until recently Joe McPhee's early recorded years were something of a sealed book. The rarity of his vernal trilogy of vinyl releases for the CJR label forced most listeners to access these legendary LPs through poorly rendered bootleg copies or simply via the testimony of the lucky few fortunate enough to own original pressings of the albums. Through the vigilant efforts of the Unheard label the drought has finally ceased and McPhee's trailblazing platters are at long last finding their way back into print. Trinity is the second entry in the series, preceded by the soon to be reissued Underground Railroad (1969) and followed by Nation Time, which was reissued by Unheard in spring of 2000. Originally time compressed to fit into the confines of a long-playing record the session has been restored to it's originally recording speed opening up the dynamic range considerably.

A blues-based distant cousin to the Edgar Vareses' composition of the same name McPhee's opening 'Ionization' is a lengthy improvised exchange vested with similar levels of rhythmic energy. McPhee starts on tenor squealing oblong tones in tandem with Smith's rolling percussion. Waves of textured sound crash and swirl around the pair as they drift in a sea of choppy polyphony. Kull's acoustic piano eventually replaces McPhee's horn voicing jackrabbit clusters against Smith's cymbals before the leader's craggy return in a rush of overblown flutters. Later the mood moves lyric with McPhee blowing tender Trane-like streams on tenor over a hard-edged tidal torrent of drums. A brief trumpet speech segues into a vocalized chant section before a final return to tenor and close.

'Astral Spirits,' ostensibly dedicated to the Ayler Brothers dusts off Kull's electric keys and McPhee's soprano in an improvisation the blooms slowly, but beautifully out of a folk-rooted theme. Overdubbing trumpet with soprano for the last several minutes McPhee creates a delicate braiding of lines with Kull's luminous chords. Kull and Smith launch 'Delta' together juggling the lead over a luminous expanse. McPhee eventually enters on pocket cornet breathing earnestly elegiac tones but soon turns to tenor for a more heated blues drenched energy. Moving back to trumpet and finally soprano he succeeds in cycling through each of his horns, Kull and Smith crafting a sliding wall of rhythms around him.

In his recently scribed liners, which accompany the disc, McPhee states that Trinity was the first record where he really began to feel comfortable with his tenor playing. Drinking in his work on each of his horns over the duration of the album it's startling how much of McPhee the mature player is already solidly in place and his explanation takes on new candor. Curiously the gothic sword and sorcery cover illustration is left unexplained. Derek Taylor

Joe McPhee (soprano, tenor sax, trumpet, pocket cornet)
Mike Kull (piano)
Harold E. Smith (percussion)

1. Ionization
2. Astral Spirits
3. Delta

Monday, September 3, 2007

Grand Central - Tenor Conclave: A Tribute to Hank Mobley (1995)

The quintet Grand Central unveiled a new lineup with its second album, Tenor Conclave. Ravi Coltrane was still on tenor and soprano sax, and Cindy Blackman was still on drums, but saxman Antoine Roney, pianist Jacky Terrasson, and bassist Santi DeBriano had been replaced by pianist Billy Childs, bassist Dwayne Burno, and saxman Craig Handy (who, like Roney before him, is heard on the tenor exclusively). This 1995 date finds Grand Central paying tribute to tenor titan Hank Mobley. But if you're thinking, "Oh, no! Not another jazz tribute album," please bear in mind that Mobley wasn't the subject of many tributes in the 1990s. While tributes to Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin were a dime a dozen in the 1990s, Mobley isn't someone whose hard-bop and post-bop compositions have been done to death. But his work certainly deserves attention, and Grand Central's thoughtful interpretations of "Soul Station," "This I Dig of You," "Tenor Conclave," and other Mobley pieces reminds us what a talented composer he was. Mobley was also a first-class soloist, although jazz critics tended to underrate him when he was alive. But make no mistake: Mobley was a saxophone legend who certainly did his part to define the Blue Note sound in the late '50s and '60s. More interesting than Grand Central's previous release, Sax Storm, Tenor Conclave is recommended to those who appreciate Mobley's contributions. - Alex Henderson

Ravi Coltrane (tenor sax, soprano sax)
Craig Handy (tenor sax)
Billy Childs (piano)
Dwayne Burno (bass)
Cindy Blackman (drums)
  1. This I Dig of You
  2. Hank's Waltz
  3. If I Should Lose You
  4. Hank's Symphony
  5. Hanksville
  6. Take Your Pick
  7. East of the Village
  8. Soul Station
  9. Tenor Conclave
Recorded on March 8 & 9, 1995

Japanese Impro-Jazz

Shibusashirazu Orchestra - Shibu-Hata (Chitei Records)

A band - and a scene - a pal introduced me to a few days ago. I cannot really describe this band. It's a big band (depending on gigs, its line-up can be from 23 up to 50 musicians), and the only jazz reference I can think of is Sun Ra. But there is a lot more to them, a rock edge and a fondness for binary rhythms and more significantly, a cutting edge you won't find nowhere else. they are famous for their gigs and their hardcore fans say you have to catch them live to grasp the whole thing (their concerts are refered to as "full performances" by some). Just check You Tube - some videos are available there - and see for yourself. In the meanwhile, I hope you'll enjoy this recording.Full credits and line-up in comments.

Charlie Haden and Hank Jones - Steal Away

Charlie Haden has always had a penchant for roots music, including folk songs from varied traditions in the repertoire of his Liberation Music Orchestra. It's more than affectation; the bassist's musical roots are in Oklahoma, and his career began in early childhood with his family's country-music group. Those sources loom large in this inspired meeting with pianist Hank Jones over a program devoted largely to spirituals, with a few secular folk songs added in. The feelings communicated here arise from no simple reading of traditional material. It's Jones's unmatched harmonic sensitivity that often works the transformation, his close-voiced chords adding new resonance to summon the depths at which this material communicates. Haden, for his part, is as effective a soloist as he is an accompanist, spare and exacting and making full use of his huge, dark sound and powerful lower register. This is music by two masters, immersing themselves in a profound stream of American music. Stuart Broomer


01 It's Me, O Lord (Standin' in the Need of Prayer) [Traditional] 5:22
02 Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
[Traditional] 3:44
03 Spiritual [Haden] 4:20
04 Wade in the Water
[Traditional] 4:05
05 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
[Traditional] 2:04
06 Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
[Traditional] 4:31
07 L' Amour de Moi
[Traditional] 4:55
08 Danny Boy [Weatherly] 5:51
09 I've Got a Robe, You Got a Robe (Goin' to Shout All over God's Heav'n) [Public Domain] 3:49
10 Steal Away
[Traditional] 2:49
11 We Shall Overcome
[Traditional] 5:33
12 Go Down Moses [Public Domain] 6:04
13 My Lord, What a Mornin'
[Traditional] 4:35
14 Hymn Medley: Abide With Me/Just as I Am Without One Plea/What a Friend We Have In Jesus/Amazing Grace [Bradbury, Converse, Elliot ...] 7:37

Recorded on June 29 & 30, 1994, at Radio Canada, studio B, Montreal, Canada

Charlie Haden Bass
Hank Jones Piano

Sunday, September 2, 2007

This Day In Jazz: 1957

Check out Webbcity's great site.

Curtis Counce - You Get More Bounce With Curtis Counce!

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

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

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

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

Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band at the Village Vanguard 1961

This has been upstream all the way--getting to this first post. Hope it stays up for more than 15 minutes. More to come.

by Scott Yanow
Of all the recordings made by Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band in the 1960s, this is the definitive one. There are many high points, including "Body and Soul" (which has fine solos from the baritone/leader and valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer), "Come Rain or Come Shine," and the swinging "Let My People Be," but "Blueport" takes honors. On the latter, after hot solos by Mulligan, trombonist Willie Dennis, and Jim Reider on tenor, Mulligan and trumpeter Clark Terry have a lengthy trade-off that is quite hilarious with a countless number of quotes from different songs; at one point they trade off cities. This music is essential.


2.Body and Soul

3.Black Nightgown

4.Come Rain or Come Shine

5.Lady Chatterley's Mother

6.Let My People Be


by Steven Loewry

The album's theme is referenced in the title: the "seven energies" of the universe derived from the Jewish Torah. As with Perelman's other recordings to date, this one is jammed with ecstatic energy, the highlight being the more than 20-minute "Fruition," in which the saxophonist packs his usual full-throated voice with a monumental punch. The unsung pianist Joseph Scianni, although not as intense as Perelman, offers a sophisticated and complex harmonic conception, one alternately romantic and cryptic, which fits perfectly. Longtime colleague Jay Rosen continues his successful synergistic relationship with Perelman, with unobtrusive yet propelling drumming. Each of the tunes is named after one of the "seven energies," and the last two in particular, "Femaleness" and "Endlessness," reveal a more subdued side to the saxophonist's playing than he usually shows. While this album does not break any new ground, it continues the consistently high quality of musicianship that Perelman has always evidenced. It may not attract converts to his music, but it should easily satisfy the already committed. Added bonuses are the beautiful reproductions of two of the saxophonist's pieces of abstract art in the CD leaflet, and the probing liner notes by art critic Eleanor Heartney.

bruce ditmas- what if 1995 (with sam rivers, paul bley and john abercrombie)

Sam Rivers, Paul Bley, and john Abercrombie – together !!!!

Down Beat (6/95, pp.44-45) - 4 Stars - Very Good -"...Ditmas channels his textural, dynamic and rhythmic ideas into the open-ended improvisational style...he sweats over his kit with a storm-and-stress approach that speaks loud and clear of his commitment to the striking, colorful music played in conjunction with four fellow adventurers..."

JazzTimes (5/96, p.106) - "...A set of aggressive, fiercely unstructured music, in which the tunes coalesce and fly apart in front of your eyes..."

Option (9-10/95, p.106) - "...Ditmas starts strong and only gets stronger, with a dynamic, polyrhythmic attack suggestive of Elvin Jones or maybe Jack outstanding release..."Personnel: Bruce Ditmas (drums); Sam Rivers (saxophone); Paul Bley (keyboards); John Abercrombie (guitar); Dominic Richards (bass).Recorded at Electric Lady, New York, New York on December 21-22, 1994.

albert ayler -live at slugs saloon 1966,

here a little something to compliment these fine coltrane and illonois jacquet posts.
albert stylistically is a cousin to both.
the legendary ayler concert recorded at slugs saloon on may 1 1966
His contains possibly the best version of the truth is marching in.
Not a great sounding recording by any means.
Musically though very worthwhile.
This is one of my favourite ayler bands Michael Samson as always a great frontline contrast to the ayler brothers.
I cant find a decent review of this quite possibly because its little more than a semi legitimate release, on the “lone hill label”.
There is every indication that this was never anything other than a good auudience recording.
Originally released by esp some 9 years after the concert took place, this is the single disc lone hill version.

Albert ayler-tenor , Donald ayler- tpt
Michael Sampson- violin
Louis worrell-db
Ronnald Shannon Jackson –dr


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

John Coltrane - The Paris Concert

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

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

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

John Coltrane - Dear Old Stockholm

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

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

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

Illinois Jacquet - Jacquet's Got It! (1987)

The Illinois Jacquet big band had been together on a part-time basis for over a decade, yet this is still its only recording. Fortunately, it is a very good one, displaying its leader's love for hard-swinging and exciting performances. The featured sidemen include trombonist Frank Lacy, trumpeters Irv Stokes and Jon Faddis, clarinetist Rudy Rutherford and pianist Richard Wyands, but the great tenor's solos and the exuberant sound of the ensembles are most notable. With arrangements by Wild Bill Davis, Eddie Barefield and Phil Wilson, the highlights include "Tickletoe," "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Three Buckets of Jive"; in reality, all eight selections are rewarding. Recommended. - Scott Yanow

An interesting tidbit: Eddie Barefield, musical director and lead tenor with the band, coached an 8-year-old tap-dancer named Illinois Jacquet to win a Cab Calloway-sponsored talent contest.

Illinois Jacquet (tenor sax, leader)
Jon Faddis, Irv Stokes, Johnny Grimes, Henry Scott (trumpet)
Frank Lacy, Art Baron, Kiane Zawadi, Fred Joiner (trombone)
Marshall Royal (alto sax)
Joey Cavaseno (alto sax, clarinet)
Eddie Barefield, Babe Clarke (tenor sax)
Rudy Rutherford (baritone sax)
Richard Wyands (piano)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Duffy Jackson (drums)
  1. Tickletoe
  2. Smooth Sailin'
  3. More Than You Know
  4. Stompin' at the Savoy
  5. Three Buckets of Jive
  6. You Left Me All Alone
  7. Runnin' With Ron
  8. Blues from Louisiana
  9. Port of Rico
  10. Flyin' Home
Recorded on August 19, 20 and 21, 1987

Joey DeFrancesco - Live at The Five Spot (1993)

Organist Joey DeFrancesco clearly had a good time during this jam session. His fine quintet (which has strong soloists in altoist Robert Landham, trumpeter Jim Henry, and especially guitarist Paul Bollenback) starts things off with a run-through of "rhythm changes" during "The Eternal One" and the hornless trio cuts loose on a swinging "I'll Remember April," but otherwise all of the other selections feature guests. Tenors Illinois Jacquet, Grover Washington, Jr., Houston Person, and Kirk Whalum all fare well on separate numbers (Jacquet steals the show on "All of Me"), and on the closing blues DeFrancesco interacts with fellow organist Captain Jack McDuff. Few surprises occur overall (the tenors should have all played together), but the music is quite pleasing and easily recommended to DeFrancesco's fans.

Joey DeFrancesco (organ)
Paul Bollenback (guitar)
Byron "Wookie" Landham (drums)
Jim Henry (trumpet)
Robert Landham (alto sax)
Illinois Jacquet, Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum, Houston Person (tenor sax)
Jack McDuff (organ)

1. The Eternal One (The Eternal Triangle)
2. Embraceable You
3. I'll Remember April
4. Work Song
5. Moonlight in Vermont
6. Impressions
7. All of Me
8. Spectator

Miles Davis - Ascenseur Pour L'échafaud

Although he never expressly says so, I get the impression from Miles' autobiography that this trip and commission was an important benchmark in his life.

"Jean-Paul Rappeneau, a jazz fan and Malle's assistant at the time, suggested asking Miles Davis for creating the film's soundtrack - possibly inspired by the Modern Jazz Quartet's recording for Roger Vadim's Sait-on jamais (Does One Ever Know), released a few months earlier in 1957.

Miles was booked to perform at the Club St-Germain in Paris for November 1957. Rappeneau introduced him to Malle, and Miles agreed to record the music after attending a private screening. On December 4, he brought his four sidemen to the recording studio without having had them prepare anything. Miles only gave the musicians a few rudimentary harmonic sequences he had assembled in his hotel room, and, once the plot was explained, the band improvised without any precomposed theme, while edited loops of the musically relevant film sequences were projected in the background."

" The session took place after the European tour, so we were used to playing together. We arrived at the Poste Parisien around ten, Jeanne Moreau was there, and we had a drink together.

Miles was very relaxed, as if the music he was playing wasn't that important. It was only later that I leaned he'd already been to a screening, and that he'd known about the project for several weeks. So he knew exactly what he wanted, and he also knew what he wanted from us, which is very much to his credit.

What was typical of this session was the absence of a specific theme. This was new for the period, especially with the soundtrack for a film - Pierre Michelot, from the liner notes of Ascenseur Pour L'échafaud

Recorded at Le Poste Parisien Studio in Paris on December 4 and 5, 1957

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Jackie McLean - One Step Beyond

From the request section

I found this review on the 'net, and liked it. I agree with some points and disagree with others, but the guy is opinionated, and that's enjoyable.

"I couldn't simply listen to this and review it. I broke out my copies of Evolution and Some Other Stuff by Grachan Moncur III, the trombonist, to put it into proper perspective. One Step Beyond was the big break Moncur III needed to get a shot at being a leader.Unfortunately, there seems to be some kind of curse or conspiracy against Moncur III's finest works. All three records are hard to track down and very expensive, as Japanese Imports. Evolution is the same band from One Step Beyond, later that year, with a change in bassist and the extremely odd addition of a very non-avant-garde oriented trumpet player, Lee Morgan. The first half of Evolution is really challenging and the latter half is, dare I say, kind of fun. The second half was probably for the benefit of the sensitive Blue Note label: a demonstration of some more sensible, marketable music. It worked. Moncur III got another shot with a very different all-star lineup for Some Other Stuff. It turned into something even stranger, beyond Blue Note. Moncur III didn't have something that Jackie McLean did. McLean had an established following and had made several good regular albums for Blue Note. He could do whatever he wanted as far as the were concerned. If he just so happened to play really crazy music that helped Blue Note compete with the labels that had Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, all the better. They even would have had another juggernaut in Eric Dolphy except he died shortly after recording his one and only Blue Note date, the timeless Out To Lunch.

Evolution and One Step Beyond set themselves apart from Some Other Stuff by my taste for a couple reason. Firstly, Wayne Shorter plays inappropriately nowhere near the sour tone of Jackie McLean. Secondly, Some Other Stuff sounds so ordinary without the vibraphone of Bobby Hutcherson. One Step Beyond is by far the best though. Everybody solos to their hearts content. The music is all messed up but at the same time grounded. They're like a punk jazz band. I'll spin One Step Beyond every bit as much as Out To Lunch by Eric Dolphy in the future. Hopefully some more people will bitch at Blue Note to reissue this. I'm perfectly happy with my limited edition mini lp sleeve Japanese import version because it's cool, but I wish other people could have the pleasure of hearing One Step Beyond."

Jackie McLean (alto saxophone)
Grachan Moncur III (trombone)
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone)
Eddie Khan (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

1. Saturday and Sunday
2. Saturday and Sunday (alt)
3. Frankenstein
4. Blue Rondo
5. Ghost Town

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 30, 1963

Wayne Shorter

These two works - the last Shorter would do for Blue Note before moving on to Columbia - are generally cited as being from the same day; different line-ups notwithstanding. The discography at Jazzdisco has them a couple of weeks apart. Maybe a Shorter fan could fill us in.

While these are regarded highly by some free jazz fans, I could never make up my mind about them. Admittedly, I'm not a rabid Shorter fan, so don't really have a context to work from. I wouldn't mind being schooled, though.

Wayne Shorter - Moto Grosso Feio

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

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

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

Recorded on August 26, 1970

Wayne Shorter - Odyssey Of Iska

On August 26, 1970, Wayne Shorter recorded two separate albums for Blue Note (the other one is Moto Grosso Feio), his final projects for the label. For this set, Shorter (doubling on tenor and soprano) utilizes a double rhythm section comprised of vibraphonist Dave Friedman, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, both Ron Carter and Cecil McBee on basses, drummers Billy Hart and Alphonse Mouzon, and percussionist Frank Cuomo. On the verge of joining Weather Report (referred to in the liner notes as "Weather Forecast"), it is not surprising that Shorter's originals include titles such as "Wind," "Storm," and "Calm." These moody works were never covered by other jazz players but they work quite well in this context, launching melancholy flights by Shorter. Scott Yanow

Wayne Shorter (tenor and soprano sax)
Dave Friedman (vibes, marimba)
Gene Bertoncini (guitar)
Ron Carter, Cecil McBee (bass)
Billy Hart, Al Mouzon (drums)
Frank Cuomo (perc, drums)

1. Wind
2. Storm
3. Calm
4. De Pois Do Amor O Vazio
5. Joy

Recorded at A&R Studios, NYC, August 26, 1970

Happy Birthday, Art Pepper

Lee Wiley - West Of The Moon

Influenced by Mildred Bailey and Ethel Waters, Lee Wiley's sensual, whiskey-soaked voice found its greatest champions in musicians like Joe Bushkin, Jess Stacy and members of the illustrious Condon Mob. Despite her acumen for picking great songs and her way with a lyric, Wiley found little success beyond the jazz world and her opportunities to record were shamefully scant.

"West Of The Moon," recorded in 1956, was the first of two albums she made for RCA Victor. And here she is fittingly paired with arranger Ralph Burns whose richly-voiced orchestrations are ideal for her style and delivery. Burns uses an octet, a scaled-down 12-piece big band and an ensemble with two woodwinds and a string quartet on this projects. Coupled with ideal song selection, the results are superb and include classic renditions of "Who Can I Turn To Now," "Moonstruck," "East Of The Sun" and "Can't Get Out Of This Mood."

Added to the original album are two selections ("Stars Fell On Alabama" and "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?") made earlier the same year for a Dave Garroway project, arranged by Deane Kincaide for an all-star octet.
With trumpeter Nick Travis, trombonist Urbie Green, trumpeter Billy Butterfield, trombonist Lou McGarity, and clarinetist Peanuts Hucko helping out with a few short solos, Wiley sounds inspired throughout this memorable set.