Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ray Brown: Some of My Best Friends are... the Sax Players (1996)

As a follow-up to bassist Ray Brown's previous record in which he collaborated with several of his favorite pianists, Some of My Best Friends Are...The Sax Players features six major saxophonists (tenors Joe Lovano, Ralph Moore, Joshua Redman and Stanley Turrentine plus altoists Benny Carter and Jesse Davis) on two songs apiece with his regular trio. Although more than 60 years separate the ageless Carter from Redman, each of the saxes originally developed their own voice in the straight-ahead jazz tradition. Highlights of the colorful set include Benny Carter's playful rendition of "Love Walked In," Moore's cooking solo on "Crazeology" (a Benny Harris bop classic which the record mistakenly lists as written by Bud Freeman), Davis ripping through "Moose the Mooche" and Turrentine's romp on the blues "Port of Rico." Pianist Benny Green and drummer Gregory Hutchinson provide suitable accompaniment (Green's solos are consistently excellent) and all dozen of the songs are successful and swinging. As an extra bonus, on the latter part of the CD each of the saxophonists has a brief chat (between 26 seconds and a minute apiece) with Brown about their early influences. There is so much good feeling and obvious mutual respect shown that one wishes these talks were at least twice as long; the Benny Carter segment is most memorable. This well-conceived project is easily recommended. ~ Scott Yanow
1. How High The Moon
2. Love Walked In
3. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
4. Crazeology
5. Port Of Rico
6. Moose The Mooche
7. Easy Living
8. Just You, Just Me
9. Fly Me To The Moon
10. (When It's) Sleepy Time Down South
11. These Foolish Things
12. God Bless The Child
13. Ray Brown In Conversation With Guest Artists: Joe Lovano
14. Ray Brown In Conversation With Guest Artists: Benny Carter
15. Ray Brown In Conversation With Guest Artists: Stanley Turrentine
16. Ray Brown In Conversation With Guest Artists: Jesse Davis
17. Ray Brown In Conversation With Guest Artists: Joshua Redman
18. Ray Brown In Conversation With Guest Artists: Ralph Moore
Ray Brown Trio: Ray Brown (bass); Benny Green (piano); Gregory Hutchinson (drums).
Additional personnel: Benny Carter, Jesse Davis (alto saxophone); Joe Lovano, Ralph Moore, Joshua Redman, Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone).
Some Of My Best Friends Are ... The Sax Players
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ray Brown: Some Of My Best Friends Are...The Trumpet Players (2000)

This is the fourth in a series of CDs that has had the great bassist hosting distinguished guests: singers, pianists, and saxophonists. Now it's time for six trumpeters, covering several generations, from the veteran Clark Terry to Nicholas Payton, 26 at the time of recording, but there's no incompatibility between their individual meetings with Brown's smoothly swinging, energetic trio. With pianist Geoff Keezer and new drummer Karriem Riggins, Brown's band at times suggests the Oscar Peterson trio (whose bassist was Brown).
As for the trumpeters, each gets two opportunities with the trio. Clark Terry is puckishly witty on "Itty Bitty Blues" and does a nice job of alternating muted trumpet and flugelhorn on "Clark's Tune." His muffled, personal sound is an effective contrast to generally brassy attacks, but Roy Hargrove, too, shows fitting restraint on his exposition of "Stairway to the Stars." No one's brassier than Jon Faddis, who even plays muted slow blues with unlikely force on "Bags' Groove," then swaggers in his upper register on "Original Jones." Hargrove and Payton acquit themselves admirably on the boppish "Our Delight" and "The Kicker," respectively. Terence Blanchard takes "Getting Sentimental over You" at an unlikely clip, showcasing the trio as well as his own sparkling chops. His concluding "Goodbye" may be the best ballad performance in a good assortment, though Payton's "Violets for Your Furs" is eloquent and moving.
There's a real surprise here in the lesser-known Australian, James Morrison. His brash sound on "I Thought About You" evokes memories of swing-era greats, while Morrison double-times and bounces around the horn with Dizzy-like abandon on Brown's otherwise subdued "When You Go." --Stuart Broomer
1. Our Delight
2. Bag's Groove
3. I Thought About You
4. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
5. Violets For Your Furs
6. Itty Bitty Blues
7. Stairway To The Stars
8. Original Jones
9. When You Go
10. The Kicker
11. Clark's Tune (Legacy)
12. Goodbye
Personnel: Clark Terry, James Morrison, Jon Faddis, Nicholas Payton, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard (trumpet); Geoff Keezer (piano); Karriem Riggins (drums).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jeff 'Tain' Watts: Megawatts (1991)

The reissue of this 1991 session -- Jeff "Tain" Watts' debut as a leader -- in 2004 suggested that the age of the neo-bopping "Young Lions" had already passed into history, and some of its artifacts were coming due for historical reappraisal. The mundane side of the story is that this release couldn't get properly distributed under this name in 1991 due to contractual conflicts, and went out under the title Thunder and Rainbows by the so-called band Jazz from Keystone. In any case, this disc's return on the omnivorous Sunnyside label is a welcome event -- mostly because of the strong playing by a trio of former Wynton-ites but also because it serves as a memorial for the late pianist Kenny Kirkland, who died in 1998. Predictably, for a piano trio session under a drummer's name, Kirkland dominates the session, whether flashing his considerable post-bop chops or displaying a Keith Jarrett-like lyrical bent in Jarrett's own "Rainbow." As a straight-ahead and highly musical if stylistically derivative pianist left mostly to his own devices, Kirkland is very impressive; indeed, this CD is one of the best examples of his work. But Watts and bassist Charles Fambrough are not left in the dust; with Kirkland, they continue the formidable team spirit and intense interplay that they developed in the Wynton Marsalis Quintet of the early '80s. They mix it up particularly well in a favorite Watts potboiler from the period, "The Impaler," as well as in the cha cha-driven groove of Fambrough's "Opal Rose," and they give Wayne Shorter's "Black Nile" a skilled post-bop ride. Only one Tin Pan Alley standard here, "You and the Night and the Music," which the threesome polishes off in a fleet straight-ahead rush. This session has truly transcended its time -- and there are new liner notes containing often valuable recollections by Watts and Fambrough.
01. Black Nile (6:45)
02. Alycia (6:15)
03. The Impaler (5:42)
04. Rainbow (5:17)
05. Kasploosh (4:50)
06. You And The Night And The Music (5:32)
07. Dance Of The Niblets (7:32)
08. Opal Rose (6:32)
09. Blooski (3:46)
FileServe / Uploading @ flac

Eliane Elias: Illusions (1987)

Eliane Elias' debut as a leader (she had been a member of Steps Ahead) finds her abandoning the electric keyboards in favor of acoustic piano. On seven songs she is joined by bassist Eddie Gomez and either Al Foster or Steve Gadd on drums; the remaining two selections feature her accompanied by bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White. With harmonica great Toots Thielemans making guest appearances on two numbers, Elias was at the time easily the least-known of the players on her own CD. However the pianist was already far along toward developing her own sound as she shows on four originals, two obscurities, Herbie Hancock's "Chan's Song," Blossom Dearie's "Sweet Georgia Fame" and the standard "Falling in Love with Love." A fine start to a significant solo career.
1. Choro (4:38)
2. Through The Fire (6:05)
3. Illusions (7:09)
4. Moments (5:53)
5. Falling In Love With Love (6:23)
6. Iberia (10:26)
7. Loco Motif (5:41)
8. Sweet Georgia Fame (5:43)
9. Chan's Song (6:18)
Piano, Producer - Eliane Elias
Bass - Eddie Gomez (tracks: 3 to 9)
Stanley Clarke (tracks: 1, 2)
Co-producer - Christine Martin
Drums - Al Foster (tracks: 4 to 6, 8, 9) ,
Lenny White (tracks: 1, 2)
Steve Gadd (tracks: 3, 7)
Harmonica - Toots Thielemans (tracks: 4, 9)
Written-By - Eliane Elias (tracks: 3, 4, 6, 7)
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Stanley Clarke, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea & Lenny White: Griffith Park Collection (1982)

This unique straight-ahead jazz project unites three core members of Return to Forever with post-bop horn heavyweights Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson. Stanley Clarke makes an unusual appearance on upright bass, and plays it well. Chick Corea and Lenny White round out the ensemble. The set is strictly acoustic, beginning and ending with two Lenny White tunes, the lively "L's Bop" and the somber, dramatic "Guernica," respectively. Clarke contributes the catchy, mid-tempo blues "Why Wait," while Corea gives us "October Ballade" and Hubbard dusts off his hard-bop classic "Happy Times." Corea's trio featured on Steve Swallow's "Remember" breaks things up nicely.
1 Lil' Bop - White 5:17
2 Why Wait - Clarke 8:12
3 October Ballade - Corea 5:36
4 Happy Times - Hubbard 7:14
5 Remember - Swallow 4:12
6 Guernica - White 9:36
Stanley Clarke - Bass (Upright) 
Chick Corea - Piano 
Joe Henderson - Sax (Tenor) 
Freddie Hubbard - Trumpet, Flugelhorn 
Lenny White - Drums
Griffith Park Collection
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Hugh Hopper: Hopper Tunity Box (2007)

The jazz-fusion bassist and former Soft Machine member's second solo album was first released in 1977. Featuring performances from some of the leading lights in British fusion, including the saxophonists Elton Dean, Mark Charig, and Gary Windo, Hopper's compositions are a mix of progressive rock, such as the title track, and the lyricism of pieces like "The Lonely Sea and the Sky." "Spanish Knee" has a Zappa-like air, while "Oyster Perpetual" is a modal meditation for electric piano and bass.
01 - Hopper Tunity Box
02 - Miniluv
03 - Gnat Prong
04 - The Lonely Sea And The Sky
05 - Crumble
06 - Lonely Woman
07 - Mobile Mobile
08 - Spanish Knee
09 - Oyster Perpetual
Hugh Hopper - guitar, recorder, soprano saxophone, percussion
Richard Brunton - guitar
Gary Windo - bass clarinet, saxophone
Elton Dean - saxophone, alto saxophone
Marc Charig - cornet, tenor horn
Frank Roberts- electric piano
Nigel Morris - drums
Mike Travis - drums
Hotfile @ 320K

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hugh Hopper: 1984 (1998)

Inspired by the atmosphere of George Orwell's novel and originally released in 1973, 1984 was bassist Hopper's first solo title. Hopper's work with Soft Machine had already revealed him as a strong and inventive writer. With his solo projects, Hopper was finally able to bring together his various musical interests--to stunning effect.
1984 includes pieces constructed with tape loops. Hopper was exposed to this form of composition in the mid-'60s, via (Soft Machine alumnus) Daevid Allen's interest in Terry Riley. 1984 also features rhythmic riffs that recall James Brown, with saxophones and bass lines actually getting close to funky. Players on hand include the cream of the British avant-rock world at the time: drummer John Marshall (who replaced Robert Wyatt in Soft Machine), saxophonists Gary Windo and Lol Coxhill, guitarist Pye Hastings (Caravan), and trombonists Nick Evans and Malcolm Griffiths.
1.Miniluv 14:39
2.Minipax I 3:19
3.Minipax II 3:13
4.Minitrue 1:24
5.Miniplenty 17:03
6.Minitrue Reprise 3:18
7.Miniluv Reprise 5:03
Hugh Hopper - bass, piano, mellophone, percussion, handbells, voice, Soprano saxophone
John Marshall - drums, percussion
Pye Hastings - guitar
Lol Coxhill - Soprano saxophone
Nick Evans - trombone
Gary Windo - Tenor saxophone
Malcom Griffiths - trombone
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baden Powell: Live At the Rio Jazz Club (1990)

Call this a master class in the art of Brazilian guitar. Recorded live in 1990, it's as stripped-down as it possibly can be, with just one man and his instrument. But when that one man was the late Baden Powell, you really don't need more. Working through a repertoire of samba and bossa nova, he creates a subtle, magical spell whether it's in Pixinguinha's "Rosa" or his own "Choro Em Menor." His fingers are fleet, but he never overdoes things, leaving plenty of space and often implying the complex rhythms at the heart of a piece rather than overtly stating them. Of course, it helps that the material is first-rate; apart from those stated above, there's work by Antonio Carlos Jobim and De Moraes, Goroto and Dorival Caymmi, among others. But he takes their offerings and transforms them into understated, glorious creations that shimmer. Even at his most pensive, Powell is brilliant, and you have to believe he was incapable of anything less. The improvisations flash with strong melodic and harmonic ideas. This is the type of disc aspiring guitarists (of any style) should listen to in wonder. And if you don't play the instrument? Just enjoy. (~Chris Nickson, All Music Guide)
01 - Valsa De Eurнdice [Vinicius de Moraes] 05:53
02 - Samba Do Aviгo [Tom Jobim] 03:51
03 - Tributo A Dorival Caymmi: Das Rosas • Dora [Dorival Caymmi] 08:00
04 - Interrogando (Jongo) [Joгo Pernambuco] 03:45
05 - Formosa [Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes] 02:45
06 - Variaзхes Sobre Asa Branca [Humberto Teixeira, Luiz Gonzaga] 09:15
07 - Naquele Tempo [Pixinguinha] 04:32
08 - Rosa [Otбvio de Souza, Pixinguinha] 05:00
09 - Gente Humilde [Chico Buarque, Garoto, Vinicius de Moraes] 04:05
10 - Samba Em Prelъdio [Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes] 03:00
11 - Choro Em E Menor [Baden Powell] 03:45
12 - Gracioso [Garoto] 03:20
13 - Violгo Vadio [Baden Powell, Paulo Cйsar Pinheiro] 04:32
Baden Powell: Live At The Rio Jazz Club
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Herbie Hancock: The Prisoner (1969)

"The Prisoner" has got to be the most overlooked recording in Herbie Hancock's catalog. This gem is blessed with great music and some intense solos - especially from saxophonist Joe Henderson and trombonist Garnett Brown. I love the way the bass clarinets and trombones make this music float and swing without getting too heavy. Buster Williams (Bass) and Albert Heath (Drums) provide the perfect rhythm section for Herbie to dance and dazzle while Hubert laws and Jerome Richardson provide some colorful Flute to give these compositions added beauty. As a group, this band is tight and on the mark. Beautiful compositions plus intense group chemistry equals five stars for this well polished recording. Check it out!!! ~ A. Davis
The opening "I Have a Dream" from this, Hancock's final (1969) session for the Blue Note label, is arguably his finest piece of ensemble writing on record. Although the remaining tracks don't quite reach the same peak of creativity and musicianship, the album remains one of Hancock's most essential.
The setting is a nonet and is pretty much a direct extension of the concept explored in Hancock's previous Blue Note album Speak Like a Child. Where that session found him experimenting with the timbral possibilities of the unusual front line of flugelhorn, alto flute and bass trombone, here he expands the instrumentation by adding the three further winds of flute, bass clarinet and trombone. The resulting texture is rich and full and with Hancock's unique writing the overall effect is quite unlike anything heard elsewhere.
Besides the expanded instrumentation, another important aspect is the soloists. On Speak Like a Child Hancock was the only soloist, with the wind players performing composed charts, whereas on The Prisoner, besides their role within the complex wind writing, Joe Henderson , Johnny Coles  and Garnett Brown all receive solo space.
In every respect "I Have a Dream" is the standout track. Hancock's tribute to Martin Luther King is compositionally utterly beautiful, with Henderson's alto flute floating in and out of the shimmering layers of winds in the head sections. The solos by Hancock, Coles on flugelhorn and Henderson on tenor saxophone both contrast and compliment each other perfectly. Henderson in particular is in his element here putting in one of his finest recorded solos. The way the head then gradually rebuilds from a single sustained trombone note, thickening in texture with the introduction of the other winds, is masterful.
Special attention must also be paid to the rhythm section pairing of bassist Buster Williams  and drummer Tootie Heath. Williams' full bass tone and solid lines provide a firm grounding for the group. Heath is on inspired form. His rim-shots and tom accents, combining elements of Latin rhythm with free, expressive playing, as well as his attention to dynamics all contribute strongly to the success of "I Have a Dream."
The recording quality of this session is another factor that must be pointed out. Rudy Van Gelder  creates a perfect balance between the winds and the rhythm section, as well as really bringing out the soloists with clarity. Quite unusual for a Blue Note session of this period is the use of reverb, most notably on Coles' flugelhorn and Henderson's tenor sax.
Overall, a thoroughly recommended record, marking the end of an era in Hancock's discography but at the same time showing hints of some of the harmonic and instrumental concepts that he was soon to explore with the Mwandishi group.
Herbie Hancock - Piano, Electric Piano;
Johnny Coles - Flugelhorn;
Garnett Brown - Trombone;
Joe Henderson - Tenor Saxophone, Alto Flute;
Buster Williams - Double Bass;
Albert "Tootie" Heath - Drums;
Hubert Laws - Flute (tracks 1,2,4,6);
Jerome Richardson - Bass Clarinet (tracks 1,2,4,6), Flute (tracks 3,5,7);
Romeo Penque - Bass Clarinet (tracks 3,5,7);
Tony Studd - Bass Trombone (tracks 1,2,4,6);
Jack Jeffers - Bass Trombone (tracks 3,5,7)
01  I Have a Dream
02  The Prisoner
03  Firewater
04  He Who Lives in Fear
05  Promise of the Sun
06  The Prisoner (alternate take)
07  Firewater (alternate take)
The Prisoner
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Liam Sillery Quintet: Minor Changes (2005)

Trumpeter/composer Liam Sillery combines with some of his friends in the New York jazz scene to pay tribute to his musical mentors in a set of originals inspired by the work of Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney and most importantly, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. A longtime member of New York's freelance musician corps, Sillery has been spending more time exploring his compositional voice and musical partnerships in projects with artists such as Los Angeles-based saxophonist David Sills.
1. Minor Change (7:41)
2. For Jane (7:43)
3. Terryis Blues (6:55)
4. Prana (7:37)
5. Cecilis Bridge (7:56)
6. You Are So Beautiful (4:35)
7. Dial D for Dial (6:57)
LIAM SILLERY - trumpet/flugelhorn
DAVID SILLS - tenor sax
Minor Changes
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Randy Crawford: Rich and Poor (1989)

Randy Crawford (born Veronica Crawford, February 18, 1952, Macon, Georgia) is an American jazz and R&B singer. She has been more successful in Europe than in the United States, where she has not entered the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist.
Import pressing of her 1989 album from Warner's that is OOP domestically. Includes the hit cover of Eric Clatpon's 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'.
01 - Knockin' On Heaven's Door
02 - Every Kind Of People
03 - Wrap-U-Up
04 - This Is The Love
05 - Separate Lives
06 - Believe That Love Can Change The World
07 - Rich And Poor
08 - Cigarette In The Rain
09 - Love Is
10 - I Don't Feel Much Like Crying
11 - All It Takes Is Love
Robin Millar - Guitar, Arranger, Producer
Leroy Osbourne - Vocals
Steve Pearce - Bass
Michael J. Powell - Producer
Paul Spong - Brass
Jamie Talbot - Brass
John Thirkell - Brass
Philip Todd - Brass
Nigel Rush - Vocals (Background)
Chris White - Saxophone
Simon Wallace - Director
Gary Wallace - Percussion, Drums
Jess Bailey - Synthesizer, Piano
Hugh Burns - Guitar
Helen Chappelle - Vocals (Background)
Eric Clapton - Guitar
Chris Davis - Brass
Tony Jackson - Vocals (Background)
Katie Kissoon - Vocals (Background)
Randy Crawford - Vocals
Rich And Poor [CD on Demand]
FileServe @ 320K

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shakatak: Emotionally Blue (2007)

2007 album from the British Jazz/Funk/Fusion band led by keyboardist Bill Sharpe and drummer Roger Odell. Like Level 42, the band came into existence in 1980, a time when Punk and New Wave were the music of choice for England's youth. Somehow, Shakatak managed to win the hearts of Europe and Japan even though their style of music was not in vogue. Since then, the band has explored many styles of Jazz and Fusion and have managed to maintain a large core audience who have grown with them.
1. All Because of You
2. Emotionally Blue
3. Osaka Skyline
4. 5 A.M.
5. Cascade
6. Two Hearts
7. Te Amo
8. Lagoon
9. Turn on the Stars
10. Can't Make the Night
11. Time and Again
12. Fall in Love
13. Small Hours
Emotionally Blue
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Dave Brubeck: Legacy of a Legend (2010) [2 CD]

Dave Brubeck (b. December 6,1920), jazz pianist, composer, and living legend, celebrates his 90th anniversary in 2010. To honour this occasion, Legacy is releasing the 2-CD, 21 track compilation Legacy Of A Legend with songs hand-picked by Brubeck himself. It spans his tenure with Columbia Records from 1954 through 1970 and includes selections from 17 albums. Brubeck’s recording career spans eight decades, and he has produced some of the most recognizable music in popular culture. His 1959 masterpiece, Time Out, was the first jazz album to sell over one million copies, and included the hits “Take Five” (now in the Grammy Hall of Fame) and “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” which played on jukeboxes around the world. Brubeck has consistently proven that pure, undiluted jazz and great commercial popularity can go together.
Disc 1:
1. Jeepers Creepers
2. Taking A Chance On Love
3. The Duke
4. Someday My Prince Will Come
5. Ode To A Cowboy
6. Thank You
7. Camptown Races
8. Gone With The Wind
9. Blue Rondo a la Turk
10. Take Five
11. Evenin'
Disc 2:
1. My One Bad Habit
2. Somewhere
3. Unsquare Dance
4. Summer Song
5. Something To Sing About
6. You Go To My Head (live at the Newport Jazz Festival)
7. Mr. Broadway (live)
8. Three To Get Ready (live)
9. Out Of Nowhere
10. St. Louis Blues
Legacy of a Legend
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Archie Shepp - Chet Baker Quintet: In Memory Of (1989)

Chet seems out of place in this odd pairing with the bluesy sax man, Shepp. The tenor sax great dominates these recordings, while Baker does have much to offer, his solos are short and tentative. Later tracks get better. On How Deep is The Ocean, Chet blows a reserved, but sweet solo. He contributes some lively phrases to Old Devil Moon. Two months after these concerts, Chet Baker was scheduled to perform with Archie Shepp on May 12th, 1988 in Laren. He never showed up for that concert, and was found dead hours later in Amsterdam.
1. My Ideal (7:18)
2. Confirmation (11:03)
3. Dedication To Bessie Smith's Blues (11:55)
4. How Deep Is The Ocean (9:41)
5. My Foolish Heart (9:11)
6. Old Devil Moon (10:51)
7. When Lights Are Low (9:26)
Chet Baker, trumpet, vocals
Archie Shepp, tenor sax, vocals
Horace Parlan, piano
Herman Wright, bass
Clifford Jarvis, drums
In Memory Of
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Enrico Pieranunzi & Bert van den Brink: Daedalus’ Wings (2000)

A piano duet recording, these two Europeans adopt a jazz stance in the romantic tradition with witty improvisations, occasional injections of raw passion, and a palpable empathy considering they had never played together before. It's a direct approach that is hardly simple or basic but should appeal to listeners of modern piano а la Bill Evans, ECM fans, and creative improvised music mavens. Each pianist does their solo take of "I Can't Get Started"; Van Den Brink uses widely spaced melody notes in a barely recognizable interpretation, while Pieranunzi is more pensive and clearly states the line and improvises more off of it. They do standards as the rambling, off-the-cuff intro, head, and bridge of "You & the Night & the Music," and a Duke Ellington medley comprising a sunrise serenade, a substantially improvised "In a Sentimental Mood," the two-beat driven "Caravan," the lightly stridden "Prelude to a Kiss," and the tango fired energy of the excited "It Don't Mean a Thing." Van Den Brink wrote the beautifully serene, dramatically romantic waltz "Woods." Pieranunzi wrote another two, a more upbeat waltz "O Toi Desir (pour Stefi)," with one pianist following the other via animation, a flying bridge, and some groove, while the multi-elemental "Si Peu de Temps" sports minimalist yet kinetic phrases, a swing section, meditation, marching, and frantic improv, a demonstration of real high drama. The pianists co-penned several songs, including the "Daedalus Suite," with the "Ouverture" fleshing out each other's notions; "Mosso" using ascending and descending crisscrossing and playful counterpoint; "Adagissimo" is like "Daedalus" rising in a pitch black, ominous mood; and "Short Tune," which displays brilliant orgasmic bursts and a resolution. The remaining four cuts are brief joint improvs, three are about a minute in length. "Two for Two" uses playful and bluesy tradings, "Hymn" is simply solemn, the three minute "Guitar Blues" has a probing stance and charcoal shadings, while "Pour Claude" is merely a slip of an improv that comes and goes in the mist. Wonder what Keith Jarrett, Kurt Ellenberger, or perhaps Chick Corea might think of this? Fans of those brilliant pianists should also gravitate toward this special recording. ~ Michael G. Nastos
01.- Woods
02.- O Toi Desir (Pour Stefi)
03.- You and the Night and the Music
04.- I Can't Get Started (Bert Van Den Brink's Interpretation)
05.- Two For Two
06.- Hymn
07.- Guitar Blues
08.- Pour Claude
09.- Si Peu De Temps
10.- I Can't Get Started, (Enrico Pieranunzi's Interpretation)
11.- Daedalus Suite: Ouverture;Mosso;Adagissimo;Short Tune
12.- Duke's Medley: In A Sentimental Mood;Caravan;Prelude To Kiss;It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
Daedalus Wings
Fileserve @ 320K

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Miles Davis: Miles in Berlin (2005)

Recorded in mono, on September 25th, 1964, Miles's Quintet graces the stage of the Berlin Philharmonie, only a year after its opening. The previous CD incarnation of this date was virtually unlistenable, so the 2005 remaster is a revelation - the glare and fuzz is gone, and (despite the mono) each instrument is discretely defined and palpable; there is a minimum of background hiss - the sound is great, as it is on all the recent Sony/Columbia Miles remasters, and allows the performance to shine through - there is no question that if you own the late 80's/early 90's CDs you should acquire these new versions, not least for their generous extra tracks - here it's thirteen minutes of the unreleased "Stella by Starlight". ”
Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Ron Carter (bass instrument); Tony Williams (drums).
01. Milestones
02. Autumn Leaves
03. So What
04. Stella by Starlight (bonus track)
05. Walkin'
06. Go-Go (Theme and Announcement)
Miles in Berlin
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Eliane Elias: The Three Americas (1997)

Eliane Elias lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil, until she was 20 and has lived in New York City ever since. The 37-year-old jazz pianist has often combined Brazilian bossa nova and North American swing with appealing results, but now she has added Cuban songo, Argentine tango, and Puerto Rican guaracha for a broader look at Western Hemisphere music on an album aptly titled "The Three Americas." The disc fails to capture Latin rhythms at their most fervid, or jazz improvisation at its most ambitious, but it does combine elements of both into a bouncy, melodic music that should be readily accessible to almost any listener.
Elias has a light but agile touch at the keyboard, and, if this undermines the percussive aspects of the instrument, it also assists the fluidity of her harmonic imagination. She accompanies her piano lines with scat vocals on several numbers, but when she attempts a lead vocal on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Brigas Nunca Mais," the results are underwhelming. She's much better off on original instrumentals such as "The Time Is Now" and "Caipora," where the Cuban and Brazilian rhythms percolated by percussionists Manolo Badrena and Cafe create a musical surf that she and flutist Dave Valentin can ride. Best of all is her stirring tribute to Astor Piazzolla on the tango "Chorango," which features Gil Goldstein on accordion. --Geoffrey Himes
1. An Up Dawn
2. The Time Is Now
3. Caipora
4. Chorango
5. Chega de Saudade
6. Crystal and Lace
7. Brigas Nunca Mais
8. Introduction to Guarani
9. O Guarani
10. Jungle Journey
11. Missing You
12. Jumping Fox
Personnel: Eliane Elias (vocals, piano); Manolo Badrena (vocals, percussion); Amanda Elias Brecker (vocals); Dave Valentin (flute); Gil Goldstein (accordion); Mark Feldman (violin); Oscar Castro-Neves (guitar); Marc Johnson (bass, background vocals); Satoshi Takeishi (drums, background vocals); Cafe (percussion, background vocals).
The Three Americas
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Wynton Kelly: Piano Interpretations (1951)

The obscure music on this CD has rarely been reissued. Pianist Wynton Kelly is heard with a trio (Franklin Skeete or Oscar Pettiford on bass and drummer Lee Abrams) at the age of 19 when he was working as an accompanist for Dinah Washington. Featured on this recording a year before he joined Dizzy Gillespie and seven years before his next date as a leader, Kelly in 1951 was already long on his way to achieving his own sound. Influenced most by Bud Powell but also displaying some of the joy of Teddy Wilson's style along with his own chord voicings, Kelly gives listeners no hints on this enjoyable CD (which has two complete sessions plus three alternate takes) that he was still a teenager.
1. "Blue Moon" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) - 3:09
2. "Fine and Dandy" (Paul James, Kay Swift) - 2:50
3. "I Found a New Baby" (Jack Palmer, Spencer Williams) - 2:53
4. "Cherokee" (Ray Noble) - 3:08
5. "Born to Be Blue" (Mel Torme, Robert Wells) - 3:26
6. "Where or When" (Hart, Rodgers) - 2:52
7. "Moonglow" (Eddie DeLange, Will Hudson, Irving Mills) - 3:29
8. "Moonglow" [alternate take] (DeLange, Hudson, Mills) - 3:11
9. "If I Should Lose You" (Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin) - 3:04
10. "Born to Be Blue" [alternate take] (Torme, Wells) - 3:00
11. "Goodbye" [1st Take] (Gordon Jenkins) - 2:23
12. "Goodbye" [2nd Take] (Jenkins) - 2:47
13. "Foolin' Myself" (Jack Lawrence, Peter Tinturin) - 3:03
14. "There Will Never Be Another You" (Mack Gordon, Harry Warren) - 3:03
15. "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" (Duke Ellington, Bob Russell) - 3:04
16. "Summertime" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Dubose Heyward) - 3:11
17. "Moonlight in Vermont" (John Blackburn, Karl Suessdorf) - 3:26
18. "Crazy He Calls Me" (Bob Russell, Carl Sigman) - 3:18
19. "Opus Caprice" (Al Haig) - 2:53
Piano Interpretations
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Charlie Haden Quartet West: Now Is The Hour (1996)

Charlie Haden and his Quartet West continue to mine the "noir jazz" genre inspired by '40s films. Seldom does modern music so perfectly evoke a time and place in history as this terrific band. Fans of Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra will find the simple accessibility either surprising or disappointing, but fans of classic, romantic jazz will find joy.
1  Here's Looking at You - Haden 6:11
2  The Left Hand of God - Young 7:48
3  Requiem - Tristano 1:31
4  Back Home Blues - Parker 4:04
5  There in a Dream - Haden 7:04
6  All Through the Night - Porter 4:12
7  Detour Ahead - Carter, Carter, Ellis, Ellis, Freigo… 6:04
8  Blue Pearl - Powell 4:32
9  When Tomorrow Comes - Broadbent 4:37
10  Palo Alto - Konitz 4:54
11  Marables's Parable - Haden 3:30
12  Now Is the Hour (Haere Ra) - Kaihau, Scott, Stewart 4:58
Now Is the Hour
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kevin Hays Trio: What Survives (2005)

'What Survives' is a strong entry point, highlighting Hays' abstract yet appealing writing, and a playing style that—like fellow pianist Marc Copland—is filled with impressionistically out-of-the-box yet eminently lyrical musical thinking. It also demonstrates Hays' ability to innovatively adapt classical material that's as reverential yet improvisationally profound as woodwind player Tim Garland's similar work on Acoustic Triangle's recent Resonance (Audio-B, 2005).
The album opens with three Hays originals, ranging from "Stellar, whose dark and introspective solo piano introduction evolves into lithely swinging vehicle for understated interplay between Hays, Weiss and Stewart. The title track revolves around a repeated 11/8 bass figure doubled by Weiss and Hays' left hand—the piano treated to lend it a "buzzing quality. Hays gradually builds a vivid yet economical solo while Stewart plays liberally with time placement. Hays applies a delicate electronic tremolo on the brooding "Black Elk, reminiscent of the subtle processing of Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson; but Hays, while equally contemporary, is less pop-inflected.
Four adaptations of classical pieces follow, with "Anniversary Waltz being the most well-known. Hays retains its familiar theme intact over Weiss and Stewart's vivid swing, but reharmonizations lend a more modernistic edge. "J.B. is the clear highlight of the album, demonstrating just how forward-thinking Hays' musical aesthetic is. Based on Brahms' "Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, it opens with reverse-attack processed piano, but ultimately moves into an organic middle section that progressively narrows the 200-year gap between its composition and Hays' performance.
An ambient reading of the classic "You are My Sunshine" ends the disc on an ambiguous note that proves beauty can be found in the most somber of places. The long break between albums may have cost Hays some momentum, but also works to his advantage in allowing him to reinvent himself. What Survives is hopefully just the beginning of a renewed solo career that will finally see the confidence of the jazz community translate into profile with the larger jazz-buying public. --John Kelman, AAJ
1 Stellar 7:28
2 What Survives 3:46
3 Black Elk 4:38
4 Anniversary Waltz 7:26
5 J.B. 9:52
6 Anton 7:02
7 Du Pre 5:58
8 You Are My Sunshine 6:04
Kevin Hays p
Doug Weiss b
Bill Stewart dr
What Survives
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Miles Davis: It's About That Time... Live In Montreux 1969 (2008)

This exciting live set (released for the first time on this European CD in the mid-'90s) finds Miles Davis at a particularly intriguing point in his evolution. He had finished recording In a Silent Way five months earlier, and was just a few weeks away from starting Bitches Brew. His working quintet (captured during a seven-song continuous set at the Montreux Jazz Festival) at that time was comprised of Wayne Shorter on tenor and soprano, keyboardist Chick Corea, Dave Holland on electric bass, and drummer Jack DeJohnette.
In addition to performing versions of "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" and "Sanctuary," both of which predate Bitches Brew, they also play the last versions thus far released of Davis performing two of his standards: "Milestones" and "'Round About Midnight." The recording quality is excellent and Miles Davis was in fine form for this very interesting transitional date which captures the trumpeter just before he permanently turned his music completely into fusion.
Personnel:Miles Davis – Trumpet
Wayne Shorter – Tenor & Soprano Saxophone
Chick Corea – Electric Piano, Keyboards
Dave Holland – Bass
Jack DeJohnette – Drums
Tracklist:1. Directions
2. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down
3. Milestones
4. Footprints
5. Round About Midnight
6. It’s About That Time
7. Sanctuary / The Theme
It's About That in Montreux 1969
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dave Holland Quintet: Seeds of Time (1985)

Dave Holland is perpetually recognized as one of postbop's most agile bassists, able to sprint on his strings like a fleet guitarist. Seeds of Time catches Holland in some deliriously spry moments--on his own "Homecoming," trombonist Julian Priester's "Celebration," and alto saxophonist Steve Coleman's free-wheeling, rumbling "Gridlock (Opus 8)." Holland's band here ranks among his best, with trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith joining Coleman, Priester, and Holland. The compositions are a mix of free-bop heads kicking off into tumbling solos, razor-sharp Coleman runs on alto, and passages of unbridled lyricism from Wheeler. "Smitty" Smith's drumming kicks things up considerably, whether on the midtempo roil of "Homecoming" or on fellow drummer and composer Doug Hammond's lovely "Perspicuity" and "World Protection Blues." Recorded in 1985, this was the second album of Holland's then-new quintet with Wheeler, Priester, and Coleman (their first was the equally excellent Jumpin' In), and Seeds of Time is overflowing with their discovery of each other's vast talents. A thrilling display, indeed. --Andrew Bartlett
01 - Uhren
02 - Homecoming
03 - Perspicuity
04 - Celebration
05 - World Protection Blues
06 - Gridlock (Opus 8)
07 - Walk-a-way
08 - The Good Doctor
09 - Double Vision
Dave Holland - bass
Kenny Wheeler - trumpet
Marvin "Smitty" Smith - Drums, Percussion
Steve Coleman - alto sax
Julian Priester - trombone
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Ahmed Abdul Malik: Jazz Sounds of Africa (1962)

Ahmed Abdul-Malik was a resourceful and versatile bassist capable of fitting in with the groups of Thelonious Monk, Herbie Mann, and others. On his few recordings as a leader, he dove head first into his fascination with African music, documented on the two early '60s sessions collected here on Jazz Sounds of Africa.
Other musicians with similar aspirations, such as Coltrane, simply fused African rhythms into a jazz context. Abdul-Malik created tunes that work solely with the West African musical idiom called highlife, which fuses calypso and Latin music, and has rounded up several players on exotic instruments (he himself doubles on the oud) to complete the effect. There’s little on either session that could properly be called jazz, and there is more than a hint of National Geographic surrounding these records. Nonetheless, it’s an ambitious recording and a compelling listen.
Most of the selections on the first session and a large part of the second are pleasant tunes in the calypso vein, played by a large horn-based ensemble powered by the fleet drumming of Andrew Cyrille. On the first session Calo Scott makes a huge contribution, showing his dexterity on the cello (both as a soloist and by holding down the bottom end when Abdul-Malik switches to oud) and on the violin, bowing an eerie solo on a sparsely populated “Out of Nowhere.” The second session delves deeper into the rhythmic possibilities of African music, which quickly grows tiresome except for those with a high tolerance for long periods of drumming. Nevertheless, Jazz Sounds of Africa is a compelling work from a man best known for his work under the leadership of other people.
Tracklist:1. Nights On Saturn
2. The Hustlers
3. Oud BLues
4. La Ibkey
5. Don't Blame Me
6. Hannibal's Carnivals
7. Wakida Hena
8. African Bossa Nova
9. Nadusilma
10. Out of Nowheredc
11. Communication
12. Suffering
Jazz Sounds of Africa
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Amir Ben Alon: HaIvriim (2008)

Another CD from Israeli guitarist Amir Ben Alon released on 2008.
1. Pact of the World - Matti CaspI
2. Song without Name - Shalom Hanoh
3. And You - Matti CaspI
4. The Place for Anxiety - Matti CaspI
5. How the Star - Matti CaspI
6. Love Song - Matti CaspI
7. How Long - Etti Ancri
8. Tree on the Field - Shalom Hanoh
Amir Ben Alon - guitar
Costa Belbin - bass
Yoav Zohar - drums
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Amir Ben Alon: Azalaf (1997)

Amir Ben Alon is an Israeli guitar player. He is also content manager and editor of Israeli guitar website PlayGuitar which is specialized in everything related to guitar.
1. Azalaf (5:25)
2. Magedet (5:28)
3. LeAyelet (5:34)
4. Square One (4:53)
5. Latin Crow (2:49)
6. Walla (To Pat) (3:43)
7. Dodo (3:23)
8. Oz (4:53)
9. Kichkachte (5:14)
AMIR BEN ALON - guital and midi guitar
DAVID EDRI - drums
AVINOAM MARTON - percussion
JOE SCHWARTZ - keyboards
ALBERT PIAMENTA - sax. on square one
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Chuck Mangione: Feels So Good (1977)

Due to the title cut, this was a huge seller when it originally came out. Reissued on CD, this set from flugelhornist Chuck Mangione (which helped give guitarist Grant Geissman some fame) is actually stronger from the jazz standpoint than Mangione's subsequent dates. The leader has some good solos, as does Geissman and saxophonist Chris Vadala, and the quintet's ensembles are generally both sparse and attractive. Pity that in ways this was Chuck Mangione's last worthwhile release to date; success did stunt his artistic growth.
01. Feels So Good (9:41)
02. Maui-Waui (10:12)
03. Theme From "Side Street" (2:03)
04. Hide & Seek (Ready Or Not Here I Come) (6:30)
05. Last Dance (10:56)
06. The XIth Commandment (6:34)
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bill Easley: Easley Said (1997)

Bill Easley plays alto, tenor and the flute, and the clarinet. He worked with George Benson in the late 60s Isaac Hayes in the 70s. Attended Memphis State University in the 70s. He also did sessions at Stax. Easley moved back to New York in 1980and has recorded sessions for Sunnyside and Milestone. He's played with Sir Roland Hanna, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith, Ruth Brown, James Williams, Bill Mobley, Mulgrew Miller, Grady Tate, George Caldwell, Victor Gaskin, and Billy Higgins among others.
01. Extension 27
02. Alex the Great
03. Nina Never Knew
04. Easley Said Than Done
05. I Want to Be Happy
06. Runnin'
07. Listen to the Dawn
08. Born Out of Darkness
09. Gypsy
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scott Hamilton: East of the Sun (1993)

For this Concord CD, tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton gave the readers of Japan's Swing Journal the opportunity to vote on which songs they would like him to record. With the exception of his original "Setagaya Serenade" (a stomping blues that Hamilton took the liberty of performing) and "Autumn Leaves," he had recorded all of these veteran songs previously, but Hamilton's melodic improvisations do not copy the earlier versions. With the assistance of an English rhythm section (pianist Brian Lemon, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Allan Ganley), Hamilton is in typically swinging form on this fine set of standards and ballads. ~ Scott Yanow
Recorded at Lansdowne Recording Studios, Ltd., London, England in August 31, 1993. Includes liner notes by Brian Peerless.
Scott Hamilton (tenor saxophone);
Brian Lemon (piano);
Dave Green (bass);
Allan Ganley (drums)
1. Autumn Leaves 5:17
2. Stardust 3:58
3. It Could Happen to You 6:04
4. It Never Entered My Mind 5:32
5. Bernie's Tune 5:39
6. East of the Sun (And West of the Moon) 5:34
7. Time After Time 4:27
8. Setagaya Serenade 6:08
9. That's All 4:54
10. All the Things You Are 8:45
11. Indiana 6:02
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