Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wes Montgomery - Boss Guitar

Guitarist Wes Montgomery's string of brilliant straight-ahead jazz recordings for the Riverside label was near its end when he recorded this trio outing with organist Melvin Rhyne and drummer Jimmy Cobb. The music swings hard and is highlighted by "Besame Mucho," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Canadian Sunset" and "The Breeze and I." Enjoyable if not essential. [Originally released in 1963, Boss Guitar has been reissued several times on CD.] - by Scott Yanow, AMG

What's amazing about this session is the way Wes carries it from begining to end... Wes is upfront throughout... relaxed, smoking and creatively vibrant... before Mel Rhyne even gets his first word in Wes has soulfully breezed through the duration of a 5 minute guitar solo, each chorus as interesting if not more interesting than the next. - - Jimmy Cobb's bright and sizzling drumming does nothing but help... Today Mel Rhyne is one of the strongest organists around with a full, heavy grooving, heavy swinging and amply commanding sound both as an accompaniest and a soloist - - however, on this session it is clear that Wes is the Boss... however, accompanied in more than adequate company... backed by a rhythm section that is tight, yet flowing and responsive at the same time. You get the feeling that these home town cats have worked together before ! From the beauty of CANADIAN SUNSET to the frenzic licks of THE TRICK BAG the album sounds fresh and modernsitic even even almost 40 years later - - if ever a "prototypical" Jazz session was recorded... this one belongs near the top of the list ! - by Eddie Landsberg, Amazon.com

Artist: Wes Montgomery
Album: Boss Guitar
Year: 1963 (Riverside)
Label: OJC (1989)
Runtime: 53:23

Tracks:
1.  Besame Mucho (Consuelo Velázquez/Sunny Skylar) 6:32
2.  Besame Mucho (Take 2) (Consuelo Velázquez/Sunny Skylar) 6:24
3.  Dearly Beloved (Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer) 4:52
4.  Days Of Wine And Roses (Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer) 3:50
5.  The Trick Bag (Wes Montgomery) 4:27
6.  Canadian Sunset (Norman Gimbel/Eddie Heywood) 5:08
7.  Fried Pies (Wes Montgomery) 6:45
8.  Fried Pies (Take 1) (Wes Montgomery) 6:35
9.  The Breeze And I (Al Stillman/Ernesto Lecuona) 4:11
10.  For Heaven's Sake (Donald Meyer/Elise Bretton/Sherman Edwards) 4:39

Personnel:
Wes Montgomery (Guitar)
Mel Rhyne (Organ)
Jimmy Cobb (Drums)

Herbie Mann & Bill Evans - Nirvana

It is surprising that this obscure session featuring Herbie Mann with the Bill Evans Trio (making its first recordings following the sudden death of bassist Scott LaFaro just a short time after the trio's landmark gig at the Village Vanguard) only reappeared on LP during the initial wave of CD reissues during the 1980s, but it is available once again nearly 40 years after it was completed. Mann, who has changed his style numerous times throughout his long career, is heard exclusively in a straight-ahead and bop context on this pair of studio dates. Evans, who studied flute through his college years, rarely recorded with a flutist (Jeremy Steig joined him on a later record for Verve), though he was fond of the instrument; the capable Chuck Israels on bass and drummer Paul Motian round out the trio. The low-key "Willow Weep for Me" and impressionist composer Erik Satie's Gymnopedie bring out the lyricism of Mann's playing, though the trio's backing is very understated. Things open up a bit with a sparkling take of Cole Porter's "I Love You." Mann's two originals, "Nirvana" and "Cashmere," aren't quite as memorable; substituting one of Evans' compositions for either of them might have provided some additional spark. Fans of either Herbie Mann or Bill Evans will want to acquire this enjoyable CD. - by Ken Dryden, AMG

Artist: Herbie Mann & The Bill Evans Trio
Album: Nirvana
Year: 1961/2
Label: Atlantic (1996)
Runtime: 33:36

Tracks:
1.  Nirvana (Herbie Mann) 5:51
2.  Gymnopedie (Erik Satie) 3:18
3.  I Love You (Cole Porter) 7:17
4.  Willow Weep For Me (Ann Ronell) 5:34
5.  Lover Man (Jimmy Davis/Roger "Ram" Ramirez/Jimmy Sherman) 4:52
6.  Cashmere (Herbie Mann) 6:44

Personnel:
Herbie Mann (Flute)
Bill Evans (Piano)
Chuck Israels (Double Bass)
Paul Motian (Drums)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kenny Burrell - Tin Tin Deo

This CD reissue brings back a typically tasteful set by guitarist Kenny Burrell. Performing in a sparse trio with bassist Reggie Johnson and drummer Carl Burnette, Burrell plays boppish and swinging versions of his own blues "The Common Ground," Erroll Garner's playful "La Petite Mambo" and six jazz standards. Nothing particularly surprising occurs but Burrell is heard throughout in above-average form and this release should please his fans. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Kenny Burrell
Album: Tin Tin Deo
Year: 1977
Label: Concord Jazz (1994)
Runtime: 39:19

Tracks:
1.  Tin Tin Deo (Gil Fuller/Chano Pozo) 7:17
2.  Old Folks (Dedette Hill/Willard Robinson) 4:35
3.  Have You Met Miss Jones (Richard Rodgers/Lorentz Hart) 2:53
4.  I Remember You (Johnny Mercer/Victor Schertzinger) 5:44
5.  The Common Ground (Kenny Burrell) 4:22
6.  If You Could See Me Now (Tadd Dameron/Carl Sigman) 6:18
7.  I Hadn't Anyone Till You (Ray Noble) 3:52
8.  La Petite Mambo (Erroll Garner) 4:18

Personnel:
Kenny Burrell (Guitar)
Reggie Johnson (Double Bass)
Carl Burnett (Drums)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pee Wee Ellis - Blues Mission

Longtime James Brown arranger and band member Pee Wee Ellis took the spotlight on this set of hot instrumentals, blues-based uptempo numbers, and inspired covers. Ellis' tenor sax solos are strong, exuberant, and tight. His band members include guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly in a more restrained role than usual, while Tyrone Jefferson provides the trombone fills and effects much as Fred Wesley did in The JBs. The group pays homage to Ellis' past with the stinging "Cold Sweat Mother Popcorn," rivaling the original Brown orchestra in their execution, funk, and energy. - by Ron Wynn, AMG

Artist: Pee Wee Ellis
Album: Blues Mission
Year: 1992
Label: Gramavision (1993)
Runtime: 38:50

Tracks:
1.  Zig Zag (Pee Wee Ellis/P. Rusky/J. Schneider) 3:47
2.  Gotcha! (Pee Wee Ellis) 3:23
3.  Cold Sweat/Mother Popcorn (Pee Wee Ellis/James Brown) 5:36
4.  Yellin' Blue (Pee Wee Ellis) 3:11
5.  One Mint Julep (Rudy Toombs) 4:10
6.  Texas Sweet (Pee Wee Ellis) 6:23
7.  Ham (Pee Wee Ellis) 4:15
8.  Fort Apache (Pee Wee Ellis) 4:40
9.  Blues Mission (Pee Wee Ellis) 3:20

Personnel:
Pee Wee Ellis (Tenor Saxophone)
Jack Walrath (Trumpet)
Tyrone Jefferson (Trombone)
Jean Paul Bourelly (Guitar)
Masabumi Kikuchi (Organ)
Darryl Jones (Bass Guitar)
Clyde Stubblefield (Drums)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Warsaw Stompers - New Orleans Stompers

For traditional jazz lovers, to listen to New Orleans Stompers is a true regale... The group of "Stompers" have reached their culmination the standard the aimed at, their individual style... Everything they played was frawless, as regards both the style and the precision in performing. We never met before in traditional jazz with such easiness, expression, technique an perfect tunning. - from Jazz Monthly, Poland (July 1960)

Artist: Warsaw Stompers
Album: New Orleans Stompers
Year: 1964 (1959-64)
Label: Polskie Nagrania (2008)
Runtime: 49:27

Tracks:
1.  Warsaw Ragtime No. 1 (Wojciech Kacperski) 3:29
2.  Bluesoragtime No. (Wojciech Kacperski) 2 2:17
3.  Melba Rag (M. Swiecicki) 3:33
4.  The Frolicsome Mongrel (Adam Skorupka) 3:05
5.  The Funny Charleston (Henryk Majewski) 2:54
6.  Kas Bil Rag (Dymitr Markiewicz) 3:24
7.  The Black Continent (Henryk Majewski) 3:12
8.  Teddy's Dream (Wlodzimierz Kruszpynski/Henryk Majewski) 2:54
9.  A Little Bird Flew By (T. Sygietynski) 3:09
10.  The Old Miner (S. Hadyna) 3:17
11.  Mountaineer's Folk Tunes (Traditional) 3:06
12.  If I Could Soar Like A Lark At Sunrise (S. Moniuszko) 3:03
13.  A Frolicsome Clarinet (Wlodzimierz Kruszpynski) 2:41
14.  Madras (Dymitr Markiewicz) 3:13
15.  The Heat (Henryk Majewski) 3:07
16.  The Bat (Henryk Majewski) 2:57

Personnel:
Henryk Majewski (Trumpet)
Bogdan Ignatowski (Banjo)
Wlodzimierz Kruszynski (Clarinet) - 3-16
Mieczyslaw Wadecki (Drums) - 3-16
Dymitr Markiewicz (Trombone) - 4-16
Janusz Kozlowski (Double Bass) - 6-12
Tomasz Ochalski (Piano) - 4,5,13-16
Jerzy Kruszynski (Double Bass) - 13-16
Wlodzimierz Gulkowski (Piano) - 6-8
Adam Skorupka (Double Bass) - 4,5
Jerzy Kowalski (Trombone) - 1,2
Wojciech Kacperski (Piano) - 1,2
Waldemar Kurpinski (Clarinet) - 1,2
Zdzislaw Orlowski (Double Bass) - 1,2
Marian Zabek (Drums) - 1,2
Tadeusz Wojcik (Double Bass) - 3
Andrzej Dorawa (Trombone) - 3

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vince Guaraldi - Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus

Here is Vince Guaraldi's breakthrough album -- musically, commercially, in every which way. After numerous records as a leader or sideman, for the first time a recognizable Guaraldi piano style emerges, with whimsical phrasing all his own, a madly swinging right hand and occasional boogie-influenced left hand, and a distinctive, throat-catching, melodic improvisational gift. The first half of the CD is taken up by cover versions of tunes from the Antonio Carlos Jobim/Luiz Bonfa score for the film Black Orpheus, recorded just as bossa nova was taking hold in America. These are genuinely jazz-oriented impressions in a mainstream boppish manner, with only a breath of samba from Monty Budwig (bass) and Colin Bailey (drums) in the opening minute of "Samba de Orpheus"; an edited version of this haunting song was issued as a 45 rpm single. But DJs soon began flipping the single over to play the B-side, a wistful, unforgettably catchy Guaraldi tune called "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" that opens the North American half of the album. The tune became a surprise hit; Fantasy redesigned the cover to call attention to it, and Vince was on his way to fame as one of Latin and mainstream jazz's most irresistible composers. The whole album evokes the ambience of San Francisco's jazz life in the 1960s as few others do -- and such is this record's appeal that even non-jazz and non-Latin music people have been grooving to this music ever since it came out. - by Richard S. Ginell, AMG

Artist: Vince Guaraldi Trio
Album: "Cast Your Fate to the Wind": Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus
Year: 1965
Label: OJC (1990)
Runtime: 37:36

Tracks:
1.  Samba de Orpheus (Luiz Bonfá/Maria Bonfá/Antonio Carlos Jobim) 4:37
2.  Manha de Carnaval (Luiz Bonfá/Maria Bonfá/Antonio Carlos Jobim) 5:45
3.  O Nosso Amor (Our Love) (Maria Bonfá/Antonio Carlos Jobim) 4:52
4.  Generique (Traditional) 4:44
5.  Cast Your Fate to the Wind (Vince Guaraldi) 3:05
6.  Moon River (Henry Mancini) 5:16
7.  Alma-Ville (Vince Guaraldi) 4:57
8.  Since I Fell for You (Buddy Johnson) 4:20

Personnel:
Vince Guaraldi (Piano)
Monty Budwig (Double Bass)
Colin Baley (Drums)

Willie Bobo - Juicy

Willie Bobo's music is triangulated between Latin jazz (Mongo Santamaria's division; the percussionist first gained notice in Santamaria's band), what by the mid-'60s had come to be called soul-jazz, and good old-fashioned lounge-act kitsch. None of the three influences overwhelms the others on 1967's Juicy, although from the lubricious title and cover photo on down, there's a certain "swingin' at Hef's pad" vibe to the proceedings that makes this album of particular interest to latter-day hipsters. Most of the song selection consists of soul-jazz covers of popular hits of the day, from a funky take on Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" to a bossa nova-fied version of Bob Crewe's "Music to Watch Girls By," but the real standouts are the small handful of band originals, particularly the fiery groove of the title track, on which Bobo's timbales get their hardest workout. The 1998 CD reissue includes a full half-dozen extras, mostly less-than-revelatory alternate takes and leftovers, but the restored full-length version of the swell "La Descarga del Bobo" is a nice touch. - by Stewart Mason, AMG

Artist: Willie Bobo
Album: Juicy
Year: 1967
Label: Verve (1998)
Total time: 47:25

Tracks:
1.  Knock On Wood (Steve Cropper/Eddie Floyd) 2:43
2.  Mating Call (Bert Keyes) 3:08
3.  Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Gail Levy/Vincent Levy/Joe Zawinul) 2:37
4.  Felicidad (Clarence Henry) 3:20
5.  La Descarga Del Bobo (William Correa) 5:41
6.  Juicy (Mike Stoller)  2:29
7.  Ain't To Proud To Beg (Eddie Holland/Norman Whitfield) 2:45
8.  Music To Watch Girls By (Sid Ramin) 2:22
9.  Dreams (Bobby Valentin) 3:26
10.  Dis-Advantages (M. Leigh)  2:05
11.  Roots (Sonny Henry)  3:16
12.  Shing-A-Ling Baby (William Correa/Bobby Valentin) 3:11
13.  Juicy (alt. take) (Mike Stoller) 2:19
14.  Music to Watch Girls By (alt. take) (Sid Ramin) 2:26
15.  Dis-Advantages (alt. take) (M. Leigh) 2:01
16.  Shing-a-Ling Baby (alt. take) (William Correa/Bobby Valentin) 3:36

Personnel:
Willie Bobo (Timbales and Vocals)
Melvin Lastie (Cornet)
Bobby Brown (Alto and Tenor Saxophone)
Sonny Henry (Guitar)
others unknown

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Matthias Frey - Trails and Traces

The German pianist has spent a lot of time listening to fusionists like Return to Forever, Weather Report, Pat Metheny and the Yellowjackets (as well as Chick Corea's acoustic groups and the acoustic pianism of Keith Jarrett). It isn't that Frey and sidemen Büdi Siebert (sax, flute, clarinet), Ramesh Shotham (who plays traditional South Indian percussion instruments), Christoph Haberer (drums) and Wolfgang Tiepold (cello) inundate the listener with rock or funk rhythms. Frey doesn't hide his affection for Weather Report, Metheny or Corea's Return to Forever any more than he hides his affection for Jarrett. While it's important to know who has influenced the acoustic pianist's charming, reflective compositions, one should realize that Frey is his own person and that ultimately, he sounds like no one but himself.- by Alex Henderson, AMG

Artist: Matthias Frey
Album: Trails and Traces
Year: 1998
Label: Inakustik
Runtime: 65:45

Tracks:
1.  Heart Times 5:46
2.  Two Eagels 7:19
3.  Farewell Curraghduff 7:27
4.  Feed The Monkey 7:09
5.  Sun In The East 7:38
6.  Catch The Horses 5:36
7.  Pick Up The Trails 7:17
8.  Crossing The Bridge 5:12
9.  Rain In The Gardens Of Love 7:37
10.  Dance Under The Crimson Moon 4:38
All compositions by Matthias Frey

Personnel:
Matthias Frey (Piano, Prepared Piano and Keyboards)
Ramesh Shotham (Ghatam, Kanjira, Dholak, Morsing, Drums and Shaker)
Büdi Siebert (Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute) - 1,3,5,6,9,10
Chris Jones (Acoustic Guitar) - 1,3,4,10
Thomas Kagerman (Violin and Vocals) - 2-6,10
Cristoph Haberer (Drums and Percussions) - 1,3,5-9
Wolfgang Tiepold (Cello) - 2,4,8
Laura Ramey (Vocals) - 3,4,6,7,10
Martin O'Sullivan (Thin Whistle) - 3
Nisse Holsten (Flute) - 3,4,7,10
Ferdinand Försch (Percussion and Bass) - 4,7

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

John Lee Hooker - Simply the Truth

John Lee Hooker's Music has been called "primitive" by some, meaning, I Suppose, "close to the roots, basic." It is all that, but Hooker - unlike many bluesman of his generation - has never settled for basic blues alone. As times and audiences have changed, he has found a way to keep pace, while always infusing everything he does with the music and bone zhat typifies all of the bluesman of the Mississippi Delta. Recently he told Pete Welding that he divides his musical time into folk, blues, and "jump" music. Hooker often finds himself playing unamplified guitar in the coffee house circuit where he is expected to be "authentic", or in the "tough" bars of Detroit, playing the hard electric music of dance and drink. With this record, Hooker takes one more step forward. Here he is in perhaps the most modern surroundings he has yet found himself, and he is extraordinarly at home. For John Lee is not only a blues singer, he is also a guitarist with fine jazz qualities. This session was born of an idea of Hooker (who brought only a mouth harpist with him) and producer Bob Thiele, who gathered together a group of sympathetic New York musicians. On the night of the first recording session, Hooker and a small group of friends gathered at the studio, where the other musicians - some of whom did not know each other - began to assemble. John Lee - dressed in red shirt and smart green suit and hat - sat down, and impatiently began to strum his guitar and introduce the mood he wanted to set. While the others unpacked instruments and exchanged pleasantries, he started a quiet bluesman's moan, softly accompanying himself with that simultaneous combination of rhythm and lead guitar that only a few musicians can manage. Soon he found himself reciting the outlines of 1000 Miles From Nowhere (retitled by the whole group as One-Room Country Shack), a blues he reshaped from vintage stock. Around this seated figure, the musical landscape took shape: mouth harpist Rosenthal, a big block of a man (who had never been in a recording studio before), began blowing tentative respenses to Hooker's narrative; Ernie Hayes, a scholarly-looking pianist, settled himself at the keyboard and began silently fingering arrangements; bassist Fowell and rhythm guitarist Richardson fell in behind John Lee as though they had both been classmates in the Detroit scholl of blues. Off to the side, a small ritual got under way: Pretty Purdie, drummer on countless R 'n' B and pop recordings, began setting his shop in order. Cymbals and pedals arranged, he erected two small candy-stripped signs... from the original liner notes by John F. Szwed

Overseen by noted jazz producer Bob Thiele, this session had Hooker backed by some of his fullest arrangements to date, with noted session drummer Pretty Purdie and keyboards in addition to supplementary guitar and bass. The slightly modernized sound was ultimately neither here nor there, the center remaining Hooker's voice and lyrics. His words nodded toward contemporary concerns with "I Don't Wanna Go to Vietnam" and "Mini Skirts," but the songs were mostly consistent with his usual approaches. Another of his many characteristically solid efforts, although it's not one of his more interesting albums. - by Richie Unterberger, AMG

Artist: John Lee Hooker
Album: Simply the Truth
Year: 1968
Label: One Way Records
Runtime: 38:14

Tracks:
1.  I Don't Wanna Go To Vietnam 5:39 
2.  Mini Skirts 3:29 
3.  Mean Mean Woman 5:44 
4.  I Wanna Bugaloo 4:17 
5.  Tantalizing With The Blues 5:07 
6.  (Twist Ain't Nothin') But The Old Time Shimmy 3:21 
7.  One Room Country Shack 4:31 
8.  I'm Just A Drifter 6:04 
All compositions by John Lee Hooker

Personnel:
John Lee Hooker (Guitar and Vocal)
Wally Richardson (Guitar)
Ernie Hayes (Piano and Organ)
William Folwell (Fender Bass)
Hele Rosenthal (Harmonica)
Pretty Purdie (Drums)

Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane - Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane

For his final Prestige-related session as a sideman, John Coltrane (tenor sax) and Kenny Burrell (guitar) are supported by an all-star cast of Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums), and Tommy Flanagan (piano). This short but sweet gathering cut their teeth on two Flanagancompositions, another two lifted from the Great American Songbook, and a Kenny Burrell original. Flanagan's tunes open and close the album, with the spirited "Freight Trane" getting the platter underway. While not one of Coltrane's most assured performances, he chases the groove right into the hands of Burrell. The guitarist spins sonic gold and seems to inspire similar contributions from Chambers' bowed bass and Coltrane alike. Especially as the participants pass fours (read: four bars) between them at the song's conclusion. The Gus Kahn/Ted Fio Rito standard "I Never Knew" frolics beneath Burrell's nimble fretwork. Once he passes the reigns to Coltrane, the differences in their styles are more readily apparent, with Burrell organically emerging while Coltrane sounds comparatively farther out structurally. Much of the same can likewise be associated to Burrell's own "Lyresto," with the two co-leads gracefully trading and incorporating spontaneous ideas. While not as pronounced, the disparity in the way the performance is approached is a study in unifying and complementary contrasts. The delicate "Why Was I Born" is one for the ages as Burrell and Coltrane are captured in a once-in-a-lifetime duet. Together they weave an uncanny and revealing sonic tapestry that captures a pure and focused intimacy. This, thanks in part to the complete restraint of the ensemble, who take the proverbial "pause for the cause" and sit out. What remains is the best argument for the meeting of these two jazz giants. The performance can likewise be located on the various-artists Original Jazz Classics: The Prestige Sampler (1988) and Playboy Jazz After Dark (2002) and is worth checking out, regardless of where one might find it. In many ways the showpiece of the project is Flanagan's nearly quarter-hour "Big Paul." The pianist's lengthy intro establishes a laid-back bop-centric melody with his trademark stylish keyboards perfectly balancing Chambers and Cobb's rock-solid timekeeping. Coltrane's restraint is palpable as he traverses and examines his options with insightful double-time flurries that assert themselves then retreat into the larger extent of his solo. Those interested in charting the saxophonist's progression should make specific note of his work here. - by Lindsay Planer, AMG

Artist: Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane
Album: Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane
Year: 1958
Label: OJC (1987)
Total time: 37:27

Tracks:
1.  Freight Trane (Tommy Flnagan) 7:20
2.  I Never Knew (Ted Fio Rito/Gus Kahn) 7:05
3.  Lyresto (Kenny Burrell) 5:43
4.  Why Was I Born? (Oscar Hammerstein/Jerome Kern) 3:14
5.  Big Paul (Tommy Flnagan) 14:03

Personnel:
Kenny Burrell (Guitar)
John Coltrane (Tenor Saxophone)
Tommy Flanagan (Piano)
Paul Chambers (Double Bass)
Jimmy Cobb (Drums)

Cannonball Adderley - Cannonball's Bossa Nova

A pleasant date recorded in late 1962 with South American musicians the Bossa Rio Sextet of Brazil. Cannonball is heard alongside Sergio Mendes on piano, future Weather Report percussionist Dom Um Romao, and featured on five cuts is Paulo Moura on alto saxophone with Pedro Paulo on trumpet. Unfortunately this release contains little fire, as Adderley didn't get much rehearsal time with these musicians. Combined with the repetitious nature of the Bossa Nova these proceedings can get tedious. This session was originally released on Riverside, but Adderley took several master tapes (including this one) when he made his move to Capitol. - by Al Campbell, AMG

Artist: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and the Bossa Rio Sextet
Album: Cannonball's Bossa Nova
Year: 1962
Label: Capitol Jazz
Running time: 45:00

Tracks:
1.  Clouds (Durval Ferreira/Mauricio Einhorn) 4:49
2.  Minha Saudade (Joao Donato) 2:21
3.  Corcovado (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 6:41
4.  Batida Diferente (Durval Ferreira/Mauricio Einhorn) 3:24
5.  Joyce's Samba (Durval Ferreira/Mauricio Einhorn) 3:12
6.  Groovy Samba (Sergio Mendes) 4:58
7.  O Amor Em Paz (Once I Loved) (Vinícius de Moraes/Ray Gilbert/Antonio Carlos Jobim) 7:46
8.  Sambop (Durval Ferreira/Mauricio Einhorn) 3:32
9.  Corcovado (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 5:35
10.  Clouds (Durval Ferreira/Mauricio Einhorn) 2:41

Personnel:
Cannonball Adderley (Alto Saxophone)
Sergio Mendes (Piano)
Durval Ferreira (Guitar)
Octavio Bailly (Double Bass)
Pedro Paulo (Trumpet)
Paulo Moura (Alto Saxophone)
Dom Um Romao (Drums) - 2,4,5,7,8

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cannonball Adderley - Nippon Soul

Recorded live in Tokyo on July 14th and 15th, 1963, Nippon Soul is not the Asian-jazz fusion suggested by the title (check out Cal Tjader's Several Shades of Jade and Breeze From the East for that), but a solid live set that showcases one of Cannonball Adderley's finest groups, featuring himself, brother Nat Adderley on cornet, bassist Sam Jones, drummer Louis Hayes, and most notably pianist Joe Zawinul and reedsman Yusef Lateef. Both near the beginnings of their careers, Zawinul and Lateef nonetheless dominate this set; two of the original tracks are by Lateef, including the centerpiece "Brother John," for John Coltrane and featuring an astonishing extended Lateef solo on oboe, an instrument not normally associated with jazz, but which takes on an almost Middle Eastern fluidity and grace in its approximation of Coltrane's "sheets of sound" technique. Zawinul arranged the standards for the group, reinterpreting Cole Porter's warm "Easy to Love" as a fleet bebop vehicle for a wicked Adderley solo and working the "Come Sunday" section of Duke Ellington's "Black, Brown and Beige" into a full gospel-style call and response between himself and Jones. Often overlooked, this is one of Adderley's finest albums. The CD reissue includes an extra track, an extended take on "Work Song." - by Stewart Mason, AMG

Artist: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
Album: Nippon Soul (Recorded in Concert in Tokyo)
Year: 1963
Label: OJC (1990)
Running time: 56:08

Tracks:
1.  Nippon Soul [Nihon No Soul] (Julian Adderley) 9:34
2.  Easy To Love (Cole Porter) 3:49
3.  The Weaver (Yusef Lateef) 10:50
4.  Tengo Tango (Julian Adderley/Nat Adderley) 2:40
5.  Come Sunday (Duke Ellington) 7:03
6.  Brother John (Yusef Lateef) 13:03
7.  Work Song (Nat Adderley) 9:05

Personnel:
Cannonball Adderley (Alto Saxophone)
Nat Adderley (Cornet)
Yusef Lateef (Tenor Saxophone, Flute and Oboe)
Joe Zawinul (Piano)
Sam Jones (Double Bass)
Louis Hayes (Drums)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Willie Bobo - Talkin' Verve

Whatever the meaning of the word "talkin," this is still a most valuable release because it succinctly sums up Willie Bobo's Verve recordings, most of which have yet to see the light of the laser. By this time, Bobo had followed Mongo Santamaria into the marketplace as an energetic exponent of the Latin boogaloo, even scoring a minor hit with "Spanish Grease." But Bobo went even further than Mongo toward an accommodation with the '60s scene, adding the R&B-oriented electric rhythm guitar of Sonny Henry, dropping the piano, incorporating strings and even an occasional graceful vocal now and then. While there are a few covers of '60s standards here, like "The Look of Love" and "Grazing in the Grass" -- and he had the great sense to seek out and record a hip-shaking version of Eddie Harris' "Sham Time" -- Bobo's biggest contribution on these tracks was in providing the inspiration for the Latin rock boom to come. "Evil Ways" is almost an exact blueprint for Carlos Santana's career-launching hit version; "Spanish Grease" reappeared uncredited six years later as Santana's "No One to Depend On," and Santana also played Bobo's lowdown "Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries" in the band's early days. With Bobo's galvanic congas and timbales swinging at all times, few CDs by a single artist capture the ambience of late-'60s jazz radio in the evening as well as this one. - by Richard S. Ginell, AMG

Artist: Willie Bobo
Album: Talkin' Verve (Compilation)
Year: 1965-68
Label: Verve (1997)
Running time: 56:13

Tracks:
1.  Grazing in the Grass (Hugh Masakela) 5:26
2.  Lisa (Clarence Henry) 6:14
3.  Black Coffee (Sonny Burke/Paul Francis Webster) 2:44
4.  The Look of Love (Burt Bacharach/Hal David) 4:18
5.  Dreams (Bobby Valentin) 3:25
6.  Evil Ways (Sonny Henry) 2:40
7.  Night Song (Charles Louis Strouse/Lee Adams) 2:44
8.  Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Joe Zawinul/Gail Levy/Vinvent Levy) 2:36
9.  Roots (Sonny Henry) 3:19
10.  Spanish Grease (Willie Bobo/William Correa/Melvin Lastie) 2:49
11.  Shot Gun/Blind Man, Blind Man (Junior Walker/Autry De Walt/Herbie Hancock) 5:14
12.  Stuff (Sonny Henry) 2:41
13.  Night Walk (Steven Carl Huffsteter) 3:07
14.  Fried Neck Bones and Some Homefries (Willie Bobo/Melvin Lastie) 3:04
15.  Sham Time (Eddie Harris) 5:45

Personnel:
Willie Bobo (Percussion and Vocals)
Sonny Henry (Guitar)
Jimmy Owens (Trumpet) - 1,2,4,15
Felix Wilkins (Flute) - 1,2,4,15
Kenny Rogers (Alto and Tenor Saxophone) - 1,2,4,15
Chuck Rainey (Bass Guitar) - 1,2,4,15
Osualdo Martinez (Percussion) - 1,2,4,7,14,15
Victor Pantoja (Percussion) - 1,2,4,7,10,11,14,15
John Rodriguez (Percussion) - 1,2,4,15
Freddie Waits (Drums) - 1,2,4,15
Melvin Lastie (Clarinet) - 7,10,11,14
Bobby Brown (Alto and Tenor Saxophone) - 7,10,11,14
Jon Hart (Double Bass) - 7,14
Patato Valdez (Conga) - 7,14
José Mangual (Percussion) - 7,14
Richard Davis (Double Bass) - 10,11
Stan Webb (Flute) - 4
Phil Bodner (Flute and Alto Saxophone) - 4
Jack Jennings (Percussion) - 4

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ekatman - Beyond Barriers, Beyond Boundaries

Ekatman is a culmination of a quest towards spiritual bonding of Indian Ragas and Jazz. Fusion & world music are two sides of the same coin. But fusion doesn't only mean fusing musical concepts and instruments of the east with the west; fusion's most essential ingredient is the unanimous musical flow of thought. Ekatman is a musical dimension that Pt. Ronu Majumdar and Louis Banks envisioned and worked towards fruition.
Even though all the tracks on this album have been composed by the mastery of Louis Banks and Pt. Ronu Majumdar, the listener will relate to the actual oneness of mind, spirit and musical thought that each participant experienced while working on this album, sharing the extraordinary rhythmic thrust and intensity of Sivamani & Raja with the stimulating musicianship of Karl Peters. - Product info

Artist: Ekatman
Album: Beyond Barriers,Beyond Boundaries
Year: 2002
Label: Times Music
Running Time: 66:38

Tracks:
1. Reverie (Louis Banks) 11:45
2. Lotus (Louis Banks) 10:14
3. Seven Steps to Nirvana (Louis Banks) 16:03
4. Rain (Ronu Majumdar) 12:06
5. Saraswati (Ronus Majumdar) 10:36
6. Vande Mataram (Ronu Majumdar/Louis Banks) 5:46

Personnel:
Ronu Majumdar (Flute and Vocals)
Louis Banks (Keyboards)
Shivamani (Drums and Percussion)
Rajesh Rajbhatt (Tabla)
Karl Peters (Bass Guitar)
Fazal Qureshi (Tabla and Batajon) - 3
Nilanjana (Vocals) - 6

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Roland Kirk - Here Comes the Whistleman

Here Comes The Whistleman showcases Rahsaan Roland Kirk in 1967 with a fine band, live in front of a host of invited guests at Atlantic Studios in New York. His band for the occasion is stellar: Jacki Byard or Lonnie Smith on piano, Major Holley on bass, and Charles Crosby on drums. This is the hard, jump blues and deep R&B Roland Kirk band, and from the git, on "Roots," they show why. Kirk comes screaming out of the gate following a double time I-IV-V progression, with Holley punching the accents along the bottom and Byard shoving the hard tight chords up against Kirk's three-horn lead. The extended harmony Kirk plays -- though the melody line is a bar walking honk -- is extreme, full of piss and vinegar. On the title track, along with the artist's requisite, and genuinely good, humor, Kirk breaks out the whistles on top of the horn for a blues stomp with Smith taking over the piano chores. Smith plays a two chord vamp, changing the accent before he beings to break it open into a blues with skittering fills and turnarounds while Kirk blows circularly for 12 and 14 bars at a time. Byard returns for a tender and stirring duet rendition of "I Wished on the Moon," with his own glorious rich lyricism. And here is where Kirk displays the true measure of his ability as a saxophonist. Turning the ballad inside out, every which way without overstating the notes. Here, Ben Webster meets Coleman Hawkins in pure lyric ecstasy. The set officially ends with the wailing flute and sax jam "Aluminum Baby," (both courtesy of the irrepressible Kirk) and the bizarre ride of "Step Right Up" where Kirk sings scat in a dialect that sounds like Pop-eye. Now that's where the LP version ended, but the Label M CD reissue tags on, without credits anywhere two absolutely essential scorchers with what seems to be Byard on piano and an over-the-top bass blowout from Holley. Kirk plays saxophones on both, being his own horn section. This makes an already satisfying date an essential one. Given these additions, this might arguably be the place to start for an interested but underexposed listener who wants to experience how dazzlingly original Kirk was. - by Thom Yurek, AMG

Artist: Roland Kirk
Album: Here Comes the Whistleman
Year: 1967
Label: Atlantic (1998)
Total time: 35:27

Tracks:
1.  Roots (Roland Kirk) 5:49
2.  Here Comes The Whistleman (Roland Kirk) 4:04
3.  I Wished On The Moon (Dorothy Parker/Ralph Rainger) 5:54
4.  Making Love After Hours (Roland Kirk) 4:29
5.  Yesterdays (Jerome Kern/Otto Harbach) 4:07
6.  Aluminium Baby (John Byard) 6:11
7.  Step Right Up (Roland Kirk) 4:49

Personnel:
Roland Kirk (Tenor and Alto Saxophone, Flutes, Manzanello, Stritch)
Charles Crosby (Drums)
Major Holley (Double Bass)
Jackie Byard (Piano) - 1,3,6
Lonnie Smith - 2,4,5,7

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson - Industry

Industry, the first official collaborative release from singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson and double bassist Danny Thompson, is a superb collection of pieces: six songs by Richard and five instrumentals by Danny, revolving around the impact of the industrial age from the 18th century to the 1990s. The record doesn't come across as, and isn't meant to be, a history lesson, but rather an attempt to evoke the feel of the times and capture the lives of the people who lived and worked through the period. The Thompsons, joined by members of Danny's band Whatever, as well as his uncles Albert and Harry Thompson on trombones and Richard's longtime associates Dave Mattacks on drums and Christine Collister  on backing vocals, incorporate jazz, rock & roll, and traditional British folk music to convey their impressions of industry through the years. Richard, with songs such as the melancholy "Drifting Through the Days," the edgy "Saboteur," and the bouncy folk of "Lotteryland," has created some of his most challenging music to date. Meanwhile, Danny, whose family actually worked the coal mines, elicits the sadness, drudgery, and even joy of industrial England with sounds ranging from 18th century-style brass bands to British traditional music and modern jazz. Industry, from the foreboding opening instrumental, "Chorale," to the mournful closer, "Last Shift," is for the most part a dark ride through the mines and factories, and the lives and times of the people who made and were affected by the industrial age. The record makes an excellent companion piece to another Richard Thompson project, 1990's Hard Cash, a collection of songs by various artists from the British folk scene about the working class in Britain. - by Brett Hartenbach, AMG

'It wasn't going to be a history of industry from the 1700s to the present day - I don't think that's possible. The nature of a three minute song is that you have to paint little pictures. I think it's impressions of industry and the end of industry... and the transition from industrial to post-industrial... that is hopefully reflected on the album" - by Richard Thompson

Artist: Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson
Album: Industry
Year: 1997
Label: Hannibal
Runnung time: 44:01

Tracks:
1.  Chorale (Danny Thompson) 0:54
2.  Sweetheart On The Barricade (Richard Thompson) 4:22
3.  Children Of The Dark (Danny Thompson) 4:19
4.  Big Chimney (Richard Thompson) 4:37
5.  Kitty "Tommy, Quick! Get Up, I Can Hear Clogs Goin' Up The Street." Tommy \n"Well Stick Mine Out And See If They'll Go With 'em!" (Danny Thompson) 4:08
6.  Drifting Through The Days (Richard Thompson) 3:24
7.  Lotteryland (Richard Thompson) 2:51
8.  Pitfalls (Danny Thompson) 6:06
9.  Saboteur (Richard Thompson) 2:15
10.  New Rhythms (Danny Thompson) 7:05
11.  Last Shift (Richard Thompson) 3:54

Personnel:
Richard Thompson (Guitar, Vocals)
Danny Thompson (Double Bass, Arco Bass)
Dylan Fowler (Cor Anglais, Oboe, Guitar) - 1-3,5,6,8,10,11
Paul Dunmall (Soprano and Tenor Saxophone) - 1-6,8,10
Tony Roberts (Tenor and Baritone Saxophone, Border Pipes, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Harmonium) - 1-6,8,10,11
Peter Knight (Violin) - 1-3,5,6,8,10,11
Christine Collister (Vocals) - 2,4,7
Paul Clarvis (Percussion) - 1,10
David Mattacks (Drums and Percussion) - 2,4
Albert Thompson (Tenor Trombone) - 2
Harold Thompson (Tenor Trombone) - 2

Friday, August 6, 2010

Archie Shepp - A Sea of Faces

Although this performance from 1975 was known and appreciated by the then fans, some jazz critics, lamenting at the evolution of Shepp's music (thought to deviate from the royal road of politico-musical correctness), have failed to notice its remarkable qualities. While I agree with those connoisseurs that some details in this recording are less inspiring (Burrell's piano solo on "Hipnosis", Shepp's own piano playing on "I know 'bout the life", etc.), such criticisms virtually fade into nothing when you allow yourself to be carried away by the 25 minute "Hipnosis" (Grachan Moncur's obsessive theme). It offers one of the darkest, most exciting and sweeping tenor sax explorations to be found on Shepp's recordings (along with "Yasmina a black woman" and the now untraceable "Coral Rock" from the late sixties), intense and devoid of clichés. This millésime of Shepp may have become somewhat less acid, less fatty in the mouth and (whether you like it or not) more reconciled with tradition than the Impulse years' venturer. But the man is at the height of his powers here, not the captive of any one idiom but at home in many, including 'free'. Most of the time the music swings heavily and irresistibly. Shepp doesn't reduce his fellow musicians to the status of bystanders here. Bunny Foy is an excellent vocalist (on "Song For Mozambique" and "I know 'bout the life"), Charles Greenlee takes an exciting trombone solo on "Hipnosis", Cameron Brown on bass is outstanding throughout. - by Paul Cortois, Amazon.com

Artist: Archie Shepp
Album: A Sea of Faces
Year: 1975
Label: Black Saint (1993)
Running time: 49:09

Tracks:
1.  Hipnosis (Grachan Moncour III) 26:10
2.  Song for Mozambique/Poem: A Sea of Faces (Semenya McCord/Archie Shepp) 8:05
3.  I Know About the Life (Archie Shepp/Aishah Rahman) 5:20
4.  Lookin' for Someone to Love (Cal Massey) 9:34

Personnel:
Archie Shepp (Tenor and Soprano Saxophone, Piano, Vocals)
Charles Greenlee (Trombone and Tambourine, Vocals)
Cameron Brown (Double Bass)
Beaver Harris (Drums, Tambourine and Vocals)
Dave Burrell (Piano) - 1,2,4
Bunny Foy (Maracas and Vocals) - 1-3
Rafi Taha (Vocals) - 2

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mikis Theodorakis - Serpico

'Theme from Serpico' introduces the lovely main melody which goes through several variations in the course of the score, being at different times arranged for wind instruments, mandolin, violins, guitar and full symphony orchestra. 'Honest Cop' is an upbeat and vivid jazz piece performed by guitar, saxophone, trumpet (and muted trumpet), a rather active bass guitar and drums that create the sound and atmosphere a good and experienced jazz band might produce.The tracks that follow continue in the same easy listening musical style. In 'Shoe Shop' we get a nice rendition of the main theme by the flute, trumpet and piano. 'On the Streets' it's a faster, more upbeat and little strange variation of the main theme, with excellent bass guitar and drums work. The mood changes abruptly in 'Flashback', with lovely and sad melodies from the guitar, violin and wind instruments. In about 01.30 the music becomes intense and dark, the mood relaxing for a fabulous performance of the main theme by the mandolin towards the end of the cue.'Laurie's Fable' is another version of the main theme, scored for mandolin, guitar and wind instruments. 'Disillusion' is a dark, sad and slow piece followed by the real highlight of this album, 'End of Title' which starts in quite melancholic mood with the piano, violin and guitar and ends with a flawless and uplifting performance of the main theme by the mandolin and the full orchestra. Standout tracks are the main and closing titles, 'On the Streets' and 'Flashback', and some of them (especially those with the mandolin and guitar) remind us of the Captain Corelli's Mandolin original score by Stephen Warbeck released much later, in 2001.In Conclusion, this soundtrack consists of a strong and memorable main theme (and a secondary one, clearly heard in track.1 between the first and second performance of the main theme), some darker and sad moments but mostly pleasant easy listening and relaxing music that successfully combines jazz and a more classical style into a coherent whole that keeps the listener interested and satisfied. An excellent new package and fine sound quality. - by Demetris Christodoulides

Artist: Mikis Theodorakis
Album: Serpico
Year: 1973
Label: FM records (2003, digitally remastered)
Total time: 33:05

Tracks:
1.  Theme from Serpico 3:29
2.  Honest cop 3:15
3.  Alone in The Apartment 4:09
4.  Meeting in The Park 2:17
5.  Shoe Shop 3:07
6.  On The Streets 4:30
7.  Flashback 4:33
8.  Laurie's Fable 1:44
9.  Disillusion 1:55
10.  End of Title 4:00
All compositions by Mikis Theodorakis

Personnel:
Mikis Theodorakis (Piano, Arranger and Conductor)
others unknown

Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski & Wojciech Karolak - Mainstream

October 1973 in Polish Radio, Warsaw // Performed by: Jan 'Ptaszyn' Wroblewski - tenor saxophone; Wojciech Karolak - Hammond organ; Marek Blizinski - guitar; Czeslaw 'Maly' Bartkowski - drums // About: Wojciech (Wojtek) Karolak (born on 28 May 1939 in Warsaw, Poland, where he still lives today) is a notable Hammond B-3 organ player who refers to himself as "an American jazz and rhythm and blues musician, born by mistake in Middle Europe". He has also played saxophone and piano professionally. In 1958, he started working with the band the 'Jazz Believers' playing alto saxophone. The Jazz Believers consisted of the future top Polish jazz players, among them Andrzej Trzaskowski, Trafica Giant, Krzysztof Komeda (famed for writing music for Roman Polanski s landmark film Rosemary's Baby), and Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski. It goes without saying that it took a particular level of dedication to play jazz under the Soviet system of the 1950s. Next, Wojciech Karolak played tenor saxophone in Andrzej Trzaskowski s 'The Wreckers'. In 1961, Karolak switched from saxophone back to piano. In 1962, formed his own trio and started recording his own music. This trio become the premier jazz band in Poland and backed most Western/American artist visiting Poland. Among them Annie Ross, Ray Charles, and Don Ellis with whom he recorded. In 1963, he started playing with Ptaszyn Wroblewski s Polish Jazz Quartet. In 1964 Karolak (under the name of the Kurylewicz Quintet) recorded an album titled Go Right - this was the first Polish jazz LP ever released. In 1966, he left Poland for Sweden where he played rock and blues in music clubs in order to, in his own words, "make enough money to buy an apartment and a Hammond B-3" which he eventually bought in 1973. From then on, Karolak spent more time composing and arranging though he did continue to collaborate and perform with others. He cooperated with famed violinist and future Miles Davis alum Michal Urbaniak in Europe and the U.S. While in Western Europe he also played with Red Mitchell, Putte Wickman, Leroy Lowe and others. He then returned to Poland and co-led the group Mainstream and worked as a composer-arranger for the Polish Radio Studio Jazz Orchestra. In the 1980s established, with Tomasz Szukalski and Czeslaw Bartkowski, a "superformation"; 'The Killers'. The resulting recording was voted the best Polish jazz record of the decade. Since the 1990s Karolak has played with the guitarist Jaroslaw Smietana (who counts among his fans Pat Metheny), and recorded three records with him. With Piotr Baron and Zbigniew Lewandowski, Karolak has started "The High Bred Jazz Trio". He has played in numerous concerts with Leszek Cicho ski s 'Guitar Workshop' and continues to write, arrange, and perform in Poland and abroad. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski awarded him the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Poland's second highest civilian honor after the Order of the White Eagle. - Product info

Artist: Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski & Wojciech Karolak
Album: Mainstream
Year: 1973
Label: Polskie Nagrania ((24-bit remastered from original master tapes, 2007)
Total time: 40:29

Tracks:
1.  I Hear Music (Frank Loesser/Burton Lane) 7:26
2.  My Favourite Things (Cole Porter) 5:55
3.  Dookola Wojtek (Jan 'Ptaszyn' Wroblewski) 5:51
4.  Walkin' (Richard Carpenter) 6:13
5.  I Got It Bad (Duke Ellington) 6:09
6.  It Could Happen To You (Johnny Burke/James Van Heusen) 8:53

Personnel:
Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski (Tenor Saxophone)
Wojciech Karolak (Hammond Organ)
Marek Blizinski (Guitar)
Czeslaw Bartkowski (Drums)

Oregon - Northwest Passage

Oregon's first recording in a while features the three surviving original members (Ralph Towner on guitar and keyboards, bassist Glen Moore, and Paul McCandless, who switches between soprano, English horn, sopranino, oboe and bass clarinet) with either Arto Tuncboyaciyan or Mark Walker on percussion. They perform 14 originals that usually avoid blue notes, making the music sound very folk-oriented. There is plenty of variety in the atmospheres, and the consistently intriguing music should appeal to many listeners, including those who are into mood music, world music or folk songs in addition to jazz. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Oregon
Album: Northwest Passage
Year: 1996
Label: Intuition (1997)
Total time: 56:46

Tracks:
1.  Take Heart (Ralph Towner) 5:12
2.  Don't Knock On My Door (Arto Tuncboyaciyan/Glen Moore) 2:12
3.  Lost In The Hours (Paul McCandless) 5:39
4.  Over Your Shoulder (Ralph Towner/Mark Walker) 1:42
5.  Claridade (Ralph Towner) 6:36
6.  Joyful Departure (Ralph Towner) 6:32
7.  Nightfall (Ralph Towner) 8:37
8.  Under A Dorian Sky (Ralph Towner/Paul McCandless/Glen Moore/Arto Tuncboyaciyan) 1:20
9.  Fortune Cookie (Ralph Towner) 4:50
10.  Under The Mountain (Ralph Towner/Paul McCandless/Glen Moore/Arto Tuncboyaciyan) 1:52
11.  L'Assassino Che Suona (Glen Moore) 3:35
12.  Intro (Ralph Towner/Glen Moore) 1:22
13.  Yet To Be (Ralph Towner) 4:14
14.  Northwest Passage (Ralph Towner/Paul McCandless/Glen Moore/Mark Walker) 2:56

Personnel:
Ralph Towner (Classical Guitar, Keyboards, Piano and 12 String Guitar) - 1,3-14
Paul McCandless (Soprano Saxophone, English Horn, Bass Clarinet and Oboe) - 1,3,5-11,13,14
Glen Moore (Double Bass) - 1-3,5-14
Arto Tuncboyaciyan (Drums and Percussion, Cymbals and Vocals) - 1,2,5,6,8,10
Mark Walker (Drums and Hand Drums) - 3,4,7,9,13,14

Monday, August 2, 2010

Paul Horn - Inside the Cathedral

"I was given permission along the way to record in various famous buildings; the 17th century Znamensky Cathedral, adjacent to the Kremlin in Moscow and the famous Symphony Hall in Leningrad. The acoustics were good but lacked the special quality I was looking for. It was Vilnius, Lithuania that I came across the 17th century Kazamiers Catherdral which possessed a superb reverberation equal in decay time to the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid. The structure serves as a museum in the present time. I was given permission to record to record there late at night on August 21st. Selwyn Pullan, my recording engineer, and I arrived around midnight following our public concert in Kaunas, a city about one hundred miles from Vilnius. It was very quiet and peaceful. Selwyn set up the digital recording equipment as I positioned myself under the central dome which culminated approximately 80 feet above and played for about two hours.
This album is a continuation of the Inside series of mine which explores solo recording on location in various structures around the world. These buildings contain unusual acoutcics as well as a famous history (the Taj Mahal of India, the Great Pyramid of Egypt and the Temple of Heaven in China). It contains for the first time solo bass flute and solo soprano saxophone recordings along with the 'C' flute and alto flute.
It is my contention that in addition to the special natural acoustics, the history and ambience of these remarkable edifices become an integral part of the music, especially improvised music with comprises the majority of compositions on these recordings, thereby adding a mystical and spiritual dimension to the overall experience." - by Paul Horn

Artist: Paul Horn
Album: Inside the Cathedral
Year: 1983
Label: Kuckuck (1986)
Total time: 38:53

Tracks:
1.  Introduction 0:18 
2.  Song for Friendship 2:21 
3.  Song for Peace 2:48 
4.  Moscow Blues 3:48 
5.  Song for Love 3:32 
6.  Syrinx 2:51 
7.  Song for Understanding 3:34 
8.  Song for Eugene 2:51 
9.  Song for Edward 4:11 
10.  Song for Marina 2:17 
11.  Song for Riya 2:03 
12.  Oche CherrNouiye 2:40 
13.  Song for Rimsky 2:03 
14.  Song for Trane 3:31
All compositions by Paul Horn

Personnel:
Paul Horn (Soprano Saxophone and Flutes)

Radio Tarifa - Fiebre

Named after a fictional radio station at the southernmost tip of Spain, Radio Tarifa ostensibly would broadcast to the Iberian Peninsula as well as the southern shores of the Mediterranean. Proving that the distance between flamenco and Arabic music, electric and ancient instruments, and African and pop rhythms aren't all that far apart, the aptly named band is a crossroads of musics, cultures and eras. Strong musicianship pulled it together on its three studio efforts, and does so again here on the group's first live album, which was recorded in 2002. While fans are treated to two new songs, the older ones are a revelation as well, offering up fresh versions of favorites like "Ronda de Sanabria," "La Mosca," and "Tangos del Agujero." Indeed, the band seems to be playing to the crowd and for each other throughout, which is the best reason to document any group in the live setting. – by Tad Hendrickson, Amazon.com

Radio Tarifa celebrated its tenth anniversary with the 2004 Latin Grammy-nominated Fiebre (Fever), a live album recoreded during a remarkable concert in Toronto, Canada. The album - which The Evening Standard calls "raw, exhilarating, summery and sexy" - captures the dynamism of the live show and takes us on a musical journey spanning the last ten years of Radio Tarifa. The record marks the band's fourth Nonesuch/World circuit release. - Product info

Artist: Radio Tarifa
Album: Fiebre (Live in Toronto)
Year: 2002
Label: Ariola (2003)
Total time: 68:05

Tracks:
1.  Jota Bereber (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza) 7:58
2.  Elli Yeddi Haq Ennas (Abderrahmane/Amrani)  5:14
3.  Tangos Del Agujero (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza) 3:24
4.  Cruzando El Rio (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza) 5:54
5.  Bulerias Turcas (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza/Fain S. Duenas) 4:28
6.  El Mandil De Carolina (Traditional) 4:05
7.  La Mosca (Traditional) 4:17
8.  Nina (Benjamin Escoriza/Fain S. Duenas)  2:37
9.  Osu (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza/Fain S. Duenas) 2:43
10.  Cancion Sefardi (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza) 7:24
11.  El Quinto (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza) 3:58
12.  Fiebre  (Benjamin Escoriza/Radio Tarifa)  3:54
13.  El Viaje De Lea (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza) 4:59
14.  Oye China (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza) 7:10

Personnel:
Benjamin Escoriza (Vocal and Shaker)
Fain S. Duenas (Percussion and Backing Vocals)
Vincent Molino (Ney, Oboe and Cromorno)
Jaime Muela (Flute, Soprano Saxophon and Ney)
Amir Haddad (Oud and Backing Vocals)
Jorge Gomez (Flamenco Guitar and Electric Guitar)
Sebastian Rubio (Drums and Bongos)
David Purdye (Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals)

Mose Allison - Autumn Song

Mose Allison recorded six albums as a leader for Prestige during 1957-59, an era when he was better known as a jazz pianist than as a folk/country blues vocalist and masterful lyricist. On this CD reissue of his final Prestige date, Allison (in a trio with bassist Addison Farmer and drummer Ronnie Free) performs seven instrumentals (including "It's Crazy," "Autumn Song" and "Groovin' High") but it is the three vocals ("Eyesight To The Blind," "That's All Right" and Duke Ellington's "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me") that are most memorable. One realizes why Allison was soon emphasizing his vocals; he was a much more distinctive singer than pianist although his piano playing was actually pretty inventive. This is an excellent all-round set. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Mose Allison
Album: Autumn Song
Year: 1959 (Prestige)
Label: OJC (Dig. Remastered, 1996)
Total time: 35:00

Tracks:
1.  Promenade (Mose Allison) 4:12
2.  Eyesight To The Blind (Sonny Boy Williamson) 1:43
3.  It's Crazy (Dorothy Fields/Richard Rodgers) 3:40
4.  That's All Right (Jimmy Rogers) 2:28
5.  Devil In The Cane Field (Mose Allison) 4:05
6.  Strange (Matthew Fisher/John Latouche) 3:08
7.  Autumn Song (Mose Allison) 3:43
8.  Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me (Duke Ellington/Bob Russell) 3:13
9.  Spires (Mose Allison) 3:05
10.  Groovin' High (Dizzy Gillespie) 5:38

Personnel:
Mose Allison (Piano and Vocal)
Addison Farmer (Double Bass)
Ronnie Free (Drums)

Breakout - Kamienie

After a few years of playing as Blackout, the first performance of Breakout took place on Musicorama festival, in February 1968. In April the new bass player - Michal Muzolf, joined the group. In June the band toured in the countries of Benelux. After the band had returned to Poland, they became one of the most famous Polish rock band, owing much to a new sound-kit brought from the western Europe, but also to the fact that they were arguably the first to play blues rock in Poland. In November Breakout played a few concerts all around Poland. In January and February 1969 their song Gdybys kochal, hej! topped the radio chart list. In 1969 they realized their first album "Na drugim brzegu teczy", which they had recorded without K. Dlutowski, but with Wlodzimierz Nahorny, who played the saxophone and flute. In August Breakout took the new bass-player Piotr Nowak, but just at the beginning of 1970, he was replaced by Józef Skrzek. The same year Franciszek Walicki (manager) left the band. In 1970 the band was more and more criticized by Polish mass media for pro-West lifestyle and long hair. As a result, the radio and TV stopped broadcasting their songs. In 1971 Breakout accomplished arguably their best album: "Blues". It was recorded by: Tadeusz Nalepa (vocal , lead guitar), Dariusz Kozakiewicz (guitar), Tadeusz Trzcinski (harmonica), Jerzy Goleniewski (bass), Józef Hajdasz (drums). Next year they recorded their fourth album "Karate". After the recording was finished Jan Izbinski (vocal) joined for a short time. "Karate" turned out to be their best selling work to date. In 1973 year Wlodzimierz Nahorny left Breakout, and the musicians helped to record the solo album of Mira Kubasinska "Ogien". Between 1973 and 1975 the band went on concerts to USSR, Eastern Germany (DDR) and Holland. Already in 1974 Breakout recorded the next, fifth already, album "Kamienie", which was recorded by: Tadeusz Nalepa (lead guitar, harmonica, vocal), Winicjusz Chróst (guitar), Zdzislaw Zawadzki (bass), Wojciech Morawski (drums). - from Wikipedia.org

Artist: Breakout
Album: Kamienie
Year: 1974
Label: Polskie Nagrania (24-bit digitally remastered, 2005)
Total time: 40:11

Tracks:
1.  Czy Zgadniesz 3:49 
2.  Czulosc Niose Tonie 3:48 
3.  Spiekota 4:14 
4.  Modlitwa 7:36 
5.  Badz Sloncem 3:38 
6.  Pojde Prosto 3:12 
7.  Kolo Nego Okna 3:44 
8.  Kamienie 6:55 
9.  Tobie Ta Piesn 3:15 
All compositions by Tadeusz Nalepa/Bogdan Loebl

Personnel:
Tadeusz Nalepa (Guitar, Vocal and Harmonica)
Winicjusz Chrost (Guitar)
Zdzislaw Zawadzki (Bass Guitar)
Wojciech Morawski (Drums)

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Ears to the Wall

It's amazing what you can find in the 99 rack in some record stores. On this release, the Dirty Dozen drops "Brass Band" from their name and adds a keyboardist and a trap set drummer, instead of the New Orleans brass band style separate bass drummer and snare drummer. Traditionalists may bitch and moan about the band's changes; nevertheless, Ears To the Wall sho' nuff be some fonky stuff. It's neat to hear the tuba (technically, it's a sousaphone) play the bass parts along with the trap set drummer. This mostly instrumental old-school-meets-new-school release should be satisfying to anyone who is looking for something a little different. - by Tim Griggs, AMG

Artist: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Album: ears to the Wall
Year: 1996
Label: Mammouth
Total time: 47:17

Tracks:
1.  Funky Nuts (Revert Andrews) 3:58
2.  Blackbird Special (Gregory Davis/Roger Lewis/Kevin Harris/Efrem Towns/Charles Joseph/Kirk Joseph/Jenell Marshall/Benny Jones) 6:03
3.  My Feet Can't Fail Me Now (Gregory Davis/Roger Lewis/Kevin Harris/Efrem Towns/Charles Joseph/Kirk Joseph/Jenell Marshall/Benny Jones) 4:16
4.  Getin' in the Cut (Richard Knox) 4:47
5.  Reprieve (Gregory Davis) 6:00
6.  I Hold the Key (Gregory Davis) 5:19
7.  Five Aquariums (Julius McKee) 4:42
8.  L'Ascenseur (Roger Lewis/Gregory Davis/Efrem Towns) 3:32
9.  Flow On (Gregory Davis/Terence Higgins) 4:13
10.  In the Meantime (Julius McKee) 4:23

Personnel:

Gregory Davis (Trumpet and Vocals)
Efrem Towns (Trumpet)
Roger Lewis (Baritone and Soprano Saxophone)
Kevin Harris (Tenor Saxophone and Vocals)
Revert Andrews (Trombone)
Richard Knox (Keyboards)
Julius McKee (Sousaphone, Double Bass and Bass Guitar)
Terence Higgins (Drums and Vocals)
Jimmie Moliere (Guitar) - 1,2,5,7,9
Damon J. Batiste (Conga and Djembe) - 2,3,6,7

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Miles Davis - Porgy & Bess

The musical and social impact of Miles Davis, his collaborative efforts with Gil Evans, and in particular their reinvention of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess are indeed profound. However, the most efficient method of extricating the rhetoric and opining is to experience the recording. Few other musical teams would have had the ability to remain true to the undiluted spirit and multifaceted nuance of this epic work. However, no other musical teams were Miles Davis and Gil Evans. It was Evans' intimate knowledge of the composition as well as the performer that allowed him to so definitively capture the essence of both. The four dates needed to complete work on Porgy and Bess include contributions from several members of his most recent musical aggregate: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). Although the focus and emphasis is squarely on Davis throughout, the contributions of the quartet on "Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)," "I Loves You, Porgy," and "There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York" are immeasurable. They provide a delicate balance in style and, under the direction of Evans, incorporate much of the same energy and intonation here as they did to their post-bop recordings. There is infinitely more happening on Porgy and Bess, however, with much of the evidence existing in the subtle significance of the hauntingly lyrical passages from Danny Banks' (alto flute) solos, which commence on "Fishermen, Strawberry and Devil Crab." Or the emotive bass and tuba duet that runs throughout "Buzzard Song." The impeccable digital remastering and subsequent CD reissue -- which likewise applies to the Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings box set -- only magnifies the refulgence of Porgy and Bess. Likewise, two previously unissued performances have been appended to the original baker's dozen. No observation or collection of American jazz can be deemed complete without this recording.- by Lindsay Planer, AMG

Artist: Miles Davis
Album: Porgy and Bess
Year: 1958
Label: Sony (Japanese Mini LP, Master Sound, 2000)
Total time: 59:41

Tracks:
1.  The Buzzard Song 4:12 
2.  Bess, You Is My Woman Now 5:15 
3.  Gone 3:42 
4.  Gone, Gone, Gone 2:06 
5.  Summertime 3:23 
6.  Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess 4:33 
7.  Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus) 4:44 
8.  Fishermen, Strawberry And Devil Corb 4:10 
9.  My Man's Gone Now 6:26 
10.  It Ain't Necessarily So 4:29 
11.  Here Come De Honey Man 1:26 
12.  I Loves You, Porgy 3:41 
13.  There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon For New York 3:29 
14.  I Loves You, Porgy (Alternate Take) 4:16 
15.  Gone (Alternate Take) 3:41 
All compositions by George and Ira Gershwin, Dubose Heyward

Personnel:
Gil Evans (Arranger and Conductor)
Miles Davis (Trumpet and Flugelhorn)
Louis Mucci (Trumpet)
Ernie Royal (Trumpet)
John Coles (Trumpet)
Bernie Glow (Trumpet)
Willie Ruff (French Horn)
Julius B. Watkins (French Horn)
Gunther Schuller (French Horn)
Jimmy Cleveland (Trombone)
Joseph Bennett (Trombone)
Dick Hixon (Trombone)
Frank Rehak (Trombone)
Phil Bodner (Flute) - 2-5,8-15
Romeo Penque (Flute)
John Barber (Tuba)
Julian "Cannonball' Adderley (Saxophone)
Danny Banks (Saxophone)
Paul Chambers (Double Bass)
Philly Joe Jones (Drums) - 4,9
Jimmy Cobb (Drums) - 2,8,10,11
Jerome Richardson (Flute) - 1,6,7

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