Friday, April 29, 2011

James Taylor Quartet - Absolute - J.T.Q. Live

Emerging from the tragic bankruptcy of Stiff Records, James Taylor, founding member of the infamous group The Prisoners - formed The James Taylor Quartet JTQ's first single, Blow Up, was released on the Re Elect The President (Acid Jazz) label in 1985. It was a huge success, immediately attracting the attention of John Peel who championed it; the track appearing three years running on Peel's seminal Festive 50 Chart. After an impressive 13 weeks in the Indie Singles Chart, the band decided to start work on a mini album, titled Mission Impossible. This debut, released in '86, was naturally featured around Taylor's Hammond organ sound to produce classic covers of Sixties film themes Mission Impossible, Goldfinger, Mrs Robinson and other heavily grooving instrumental punk funk tunes. With JTQ's following growing, the band were encouraged to put out their second album on Re Elect The President, The Money Spyder. By the time it was released in 1987, the band's attentions were being drawn away from their recording career to their now massive live audience. JTQ's emphasis on live 'dance' music has been the key to the band's success, enabling them to establish a solid relationship between them and their fans. With the focus now strongly on being a 'live' band, The Quartet gigged relentlessly, selling out on the London club circuit. During this period, major record company interest was aroused resulting in a long term deal with Polydor. The James Taylor Quartet released three albums on Polydor, Wait a Minute in 1988, Get Organised in 1989 and Do Your Own Thing in 1990. A number of hit singles were spawned from these such as the acclaimed and well-loved classic The Theme from Starsky & Hutch. With the release of their first live album, Absolute in 1991, The Quartet moved to Polydor subsidiary Big Life. Featuring guest vocals from Rose Windross of Soul II Soul on Shelter and Noel McKoy on Somebody, the album initiated JTQ's introduction to the Soul Market. - from All About

Artist: James Taylor Quartet
Album: Absolute - The James Taylor Quartet Live
Year: 1991
Label: Big Life
Runtime: 45:05

1.  Wide Angle (James Taylor/John Willmott) 5:48
2.  Absolution (James Taylor/David Taylor) 5:51
3.  Starting Too Slow (James Taylor/David Taylor/John Willmott) 6:28
4.  Theme from 'The Adventures of Mr. Miles' (James Taylor/David Taylor/John Willmott) 3:57
5.  2001 Theme (Also Sprach Zarathustra) (Richard Strauss) 4:23
6.  Shelter (James Taylor/Rose Windross) 3:57
7.  Capo di monte (James Taylor/John Willmott) 5:22
8.  Somebody (James Taylor/Noel McCoy) 4:18
9.  The Riff Song (James Taylor/David Taylor/John Willmott/Gary Crockett) 4:57

James Taylor (Hammond C3 Organ, Clavinet, Fender Rhodes and Synthesizer)
David Taylor (Guitar)
John Willmott (Saxophone and Flute)
Gary Crockett (Bass)
Andrew McGuinness (Drums)
Snowboy (Percussion)
Joe de Jesus (Trombone)
Steve Waterman (Trumpet)
Noel McCoy (Vocal) - 8
Rose Windross (Vocal) - 6

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blossom Dearie - May I Come in?

Pianist/vocalist Blossom Dearie's lone Capitol session is probably her best-known album. Backed by an unidentified orchestra, Dearie sings concise versions of a dozen songs, all of which clock in under three minutes. Her small and cutesy voice will not appeal to all listeners, but she has long had a cult following. Highlights include "I'm in Love Again," "Quiet Nights," "May I Come In?," and "I'm Old Fashioned." - by Scott Yanow, AMG

What a fantastic idea it was to put the subtle , unaffected voice and piano of Blossom Dearie at the service of band leader Jack Marshall . The arrangements are lovely and varied , featuring lots of different instruments at the fore of any given song and/or given brief solo voice . Absolutely lovely . On my third listen as i write . Marvelous and a steal at these prices . A certain must for fans of the magical Ms. Dearie. - by Beatrice A. Lafave,

Artist: Blossom Dearie
Album: May I Come in?
Year: 1964
Label: Capitol Jazz (20bit SBM, 1998)
Runtime: 28:45

1.  Something Happens To Me (Marvin Fisher/Jack Segal) 2:04
2.  (I'm) In Love Again (Cy Coleman/Peggy Lee/Bill Schluger) 2:47
3.  When Sunny Gets Blue (Marvin Fisher/Jack Segal) 2:11
4.  Quiet Nights (Corcovado) (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Gene Lees) 2:53
5.  Don't Wait Too Long (Sunny Skylar) 2:19
6.  I Wish You Love (Charles Trenet/Albert Beach) 2:09
7.  Charade (Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer) 1:57
8.  May I Come In? (Marvin Fisher/Jack Segal) 2:16
9.  I'm Old Fashioned (Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer) 2:33
10.  Love Is a Necessary Evil (Marvin Fisher/Jack Segal) 2:29
11.  The Best Is Yet to Come (Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh) 2:50
12.  Put On a Happy Face (Lee Adams/Charles Strouse) 2:12

Blossom Dearie (Piano and Vocals)
Jack Marshall (Arranger, Conductor)
The Capitol Orchestra (Orchestra)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Glen Velez - Pan Eros

The New York Times says "A galaxy of timbres and inflections ... remarkable rhythmic fireworks." Five-time GRAMMY Award winner, Glen Velez is the founding Father of the modern Frame Drum movement and is regarded as a legendary figure among musicians and audiences world-wide. Velez brought a new genre of drumming to the contemporary music scene by creating his own performance style inspired by years of percussion and frame drumming studies from various cultures. Velez's virtuosic combinations of hand movements, finger techniques, along with his original compositional style, which incorporates stepping, drum language and Central Asian Overtone singing (split-tone singing), has undoubtedly opened new possibilities for musicians around the globe, resulting in a shift in modern percussion. - from Glen's website

Artist: Glen Velez
Album: Pan Eros
Year: 1992
Label: CMP (1993)
Runtime: 55:16

1.  Pan Eros (Glen Velez) 7:48
2.  Inner Smile (Glen Velez/Enzo Rao Camemi) 6:01
3.  Madrepora (Enzo Rao Camemi) 7:50
4.  Souk (Glen Velez) 5:29
5.  A Different World (Enzo Rao Camemi) 5:08
6.  Urban Medicine (Glen Velez) 7:56
7.  Gemini Rising (Glen Velez) 10:28
8.  Blue Herons (Glen Velez/Enzo Rao Camemi) 4:32 

Glen Velez (Bones, Tamborim, Bendir, Bodhran, Pandero, Buzz Sticks, Gaval, Steel Drum, Mbira, Mazhar, Shaker, Riq, Voice, Wood Drum, Frame Drum)
Gianni Gebia (Sopranino and Soprano Saxophone) - 1-6
Enzo Rao (Violin, Low Tuned Violin) - 1-6,8

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mahalia Jackson - Recorded Live in Europe

Jackson is accompanied only by pianist Mildred Falls on these songs, recorded in Sweden on April 18, 1961. There's not much to distinguish these from other Jackson performances of the period, other than perhaps the sparse accompaniment, a slightly distant quality to the recording of the vocals, and a sense of event from a live audience that didn't have the opportunity to see Jackson nearly as often as Americans did. Her favorites "Elijah Rock" and "Down By the Riverside" are here, as are compositions by Thomas Dorsey and Clara Ward, and -- more unexpectedly -- Rodgers-Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone." The 2001 CD release on Columbia/Legacy adds two previously unreleased songs recorded a week later in France, "Didn't It Rain" and "When the Saints Go Marching In." - by Richie Unterberger, AMG

Mahalia Jackson was in top form for this recording. She was in stellar voice and apparently excellent health. I agree with other reviews that this album is on the top shelf of "Jacksonian" recordings. She really sang with such ease and confidence. . . but the power in her voice is incredible. I've never heard anyone in my lifetime project with the entire gut and chest like she did in this recording. The songs are beautiful, soulful and consistent with her repertoire. They are faithful to her traditional gospel style for those purists. The critics rave about her older Apollo records for their intensity, brilliance and powerful simplicity. Perhaps those people would love this live performance from 1961. You can just "feel" it: she knew she was great and there is humility in truth. - by Bill Cleland,

Artist: Mahalia Jackson
Album: Recorded Live in Europe During Her Latest Concert Tour
Year: 1961
Label: Columbia/Sony (2001)
Total time: 53:45

1.  Tell The World About This (Traditional) 2:43
2.  There Is A Balm In Gilead (Traditional) 5:18
3.  Down By The Riverside (Traditional) 4:33
4.  In My Home Over There (H.J. Ford) 6:36
5.  He's Right On Time (Dorothy Love) 3:01
6.  Elijah Rock (Jester Hairston) 4:51
7.  It Don't Cost Very Much (Thomas Dorsey) 3:57
8.  You'll Never Walk Alone (Oscar Hammerstein II/Richard Rodgers) 4:44
9.  How I Got Over (Clara Ward) 7:23
10.  Din't It Rain (Roberta Martin) 4:29
11.  When The Saints Go Marching In (Traditional/arr. Mahalia Jackson) 6:04

Mahalia Jackson (Vocal)
Mildred Falls (Piano)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tin-Tin Quartet - Confrontation

One of the best hungarian jazz world music band. They made this album in 1994. The sound of this ensemble turns back to the roots of oriental music, based on the scales of ragas, and Bulgarian-Turkish scale variations, so called makamas, as well as the tipical mood of the half-tone scales frequently used by Bartók. - Product info

Artist: Tin-Tin Quartet
Album: Confrontation
Year: 1994
Label: Ananda Sounds
Runtime: 71:42

1.  Winding in Spring (Gabor Juhasz) 13:19
2.  Pa-Pa-Hu (Szabolcs Szoke) 9:34
3.  Broken Lines (Andras Monori) 14:23
4.  Endless Ribbon (Szabolcs Szoke) 5:54
5.  Confrontation (Szabolcs Szoke) 11:01
6.  Ibi-Aba (Gabor Juhasz) 13:07
7.  Gagaku (Andras Monori) 3:54

Gergely Borlai (Percussion, Bells, Marimba)
Gabor Juhasz (Guitar, Anklung)
Andras Monori (Kaval, Nay, Sansa, Guitar)
Szabolcs Szoke (Gadulka, Kalimba)
Federico Sanesi (Tabla, Percussion) - 6

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Back Jump

If you have been yearning for the original sound of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to return, Buck Jump is it. Produced by John Medeski, the ensemble returns to their roots, but with a twist. They remain the ultimate party group, but are fastened to the stage with a drummer, organist, the full complement of horns sounding funky and fresh with that deep tuba and baritone sax underpinning; there's some daring improvisation rooted in counterpoint and upper-atmospheric blasts that are a familiar signature of this progressive New Orleans dance machine. Everything on the nine-song CD is saturated with, as one of the titles suggests, old-school style. The solos are inspired, riffs fly left and right, and they aren't afraid to moan and wail. Horn charts are tight as can be, repeated figures give the others a platform to improvise, and occasionally a calypso beat creeps in, as on the classic "Run Joe" or the Latin-inflected "Pet the Kat." It's all in the name of fun: upbeat, positive, and with nary a trace of excess. They're at their zenith on "Duff," the collective Dozen reaching out and hammering the upper registers of their instruments, and at their most soulful on "Inner City Blues," approaching it in a most unconventional way. Of course, this band needs to be heard live for full effect, but this recorded effort might be their best yet. Every cut is solid, and the high level of musicianship is clearly evident. Singular in their stance and sound, mature like never before, and bent on having a really good time, this Dirty Dozen CD sets the bar high in mixing jazz and joy -- a hard combination to beat. - by Michael G. Nastos, AMG

Pioneers of the revival and reinvention of brass band music, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has been turning the New Orleans street tradition on its ear since the late '70s. Employing traditional brass band instrumentation (generally two trumpets, two saxophones, trombone, sousaphone, snare and bass drummers), the Dozen filters a turn-of-the-century heritage through the more contemporary lenses of jazz, R&B, funk and hip-hop. The results are nothing less than a condensed history of Black American music, and BUCK JUMP is one of the group's most cohesive and astonishing efforts.
From the in-your-face jam of the album's opener, "Unclean Waters," through the calypso flavor of "Run Joe" and "Pet the Cat," to the funk workouts of "Dead Dog in the Street" and "Nuttballus," this set is unrelenting from start to finish. Sharp, well-balanced production by New York-based avant-funkster John Medeski (whose appearance on Hammond organ and keyboards fleshes out several cuts) helps deliver the band's booty-moving power perfectly. A disc that will appeal to both the old time second liners of the band's native city, and young clubbing hipsters elsewhere, BUCK JUMP comes highly recommended.- from

Artist: Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Album: Buck Jump
Year: 1999
Label: Mammoth
Runtime: 54:31

1.  Unclean Waters (Kevin Harris) 4:40
2.  Run Joe (Louis Jordan/Walter Merrick/Joe Willoughby) 4:11
3.  Duff (Kemp) 6:04
4.  Dead Dog in the Street (Kevin Harris/Joseph Kirk/Roger Lewis/Efrem Towns) 4:29
5.  Old School (Gregory Davis/Kevin Harris/Kirk Joseph/Roger Lewis/Efrem Towns) 11:58
6.  Pet the Kat (Roger Lewis) 6:32
7.  Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (Marvin Gaye/James Nyx Jr.) 4:21
8.  Time (Gregory Davis) 5:27
9.  Nuttballus (Gregory Davis) 6:45

Gregory Davis (Trumpet and Vocals)
Roger Lewis (Baritone and Soprano Sax, Vocals)
Terence Higgins (Drums and Vocals)
Efrem Towns (Trumpet and Vocals)
Julius McKee (Sousaphone and Vocals)
Richard Knox (Keyboards)
Kevin Harris (Tenor Sax)
Damon Batiste (Percussion)
Chris Sevrin (Double Bass)
Kirk Joseph (Sousaphone)
Keith Anderson (Trombone)
Kerry Hunter (Snare Drums)
Cayetano Hingle (Bass Drum)
Corey Oswald (Trombone)
John Medeski (Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer and Keyboards)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Abdullah Ibrahim - Mantra Mode

This was a very special recording for pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim because, after nearly 30 years of exile, he was back in Cape Town, South Africa performing with local musicians. The musicianship is surprisingly high and the African septet does a fine job of interpreting eight of Ibrahim's newer folk melodies. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Abdullah Ibrahim (aka Dollar Brand)
Album: Mantra Mode
Year: 1991
Label: Enja/Tiptoe
Runtime: 40:23

1.  Bayi Lam (Traditional) 4:22
2.  Dindela (Abdullah Ibrahim) 5:36
3.  Barakaat (Abdullah Ibrahim) 3:32
4.  Tafelberg Samba /Carnival Samba (Abdullah Ibrahim-P. Appolis) 7:01
5.  Mantra Mode (Abdullah Ibrahim) 9:32
6.  Beauiful Love (Abdullah Ibrahim) 4:08
7.  Tskave/ Royal Blue (Abdullah Ibrahim) 6:11

Abdullah Ibrahim (aka Dollar Brand) (Piano, Drums)
Basil Coetze (Tenor Saxophone)
Robbie Jansen (Alto and Baritone Saxophone, Flute)
Johnny Mekoa (Trumpet)
Monty Weber (Drums)
Spencer Mbadu (Double Bass)
Errol Dyers (Guitar)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peterson, Pass, Pedersen - The Trio

Guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen both play well on these live performances, but the reason to acquire this set is for the remarkable Oscar Peterson. The pianist brilliantly investigates several jazz styles on "Blues Etude" (including stride and boogie-woogie), plays exciting versions of his "Chicago Blues" and "Easy Listening Blues," tears into "Secret Love," and shows honest emotion on "Come Sunday." Peterson really flourished during his years with Norman Granz's Pablo label, and this was one of his finest recordings of the period. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Not to be confused with his album of the same title on the Verve record label, this recording captures a live performance from 1973 made by the Oscar Peterson trio consisting of Joe Pass on guitar and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pederson on bass. The set (played at the London House in Chicago) showcases Peterson's extraordinary technique and talent for the blues. The first track, "Blues Etude", presents a romping version of the standard twelve-bar form that highlights Peterson's ambidextrous technical facility and excellent stride ability. The next two tunes on the album include a lengthy but soulful take of "Chicago Blues" and an inspired version of "Easy Listening Blues." "Come Sunday" presents guitar virtuoso Joe Pass's reflective touch to the classic Ellington standard. Played unaccompanied, the track also reveals Pass's seminal solo concept. "Secret Love" serves as a buoyant closer to a classic performance in the annals of jazz. Though often overlooked by most jazz listeners, "The Trio" is certainly one Oscar Peterson's best albums, due in no small part to the support of sidemen Pederson and Pass. This album is essential to the record collection of both connoisseur and casual listener alike. Highly recommended. - by Copenlagen,

Artist: Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen
Album: The Trio (Live at London House, Chicago)
Year: 1973
Label: OJC (Remastered, 1998)
Runtime: 37:57

1.  Blues Etude (Oscar Peterson) 5:30
2.  Chicago Blues (Oscar Peterson) 13:42
3.  Easy Listen' Blues (Nadine Robinson) 7:45
4.  Come Sunday (Duke Ellington) 3:45
5.  Secret Love (Sammy Fain/Paul Francis Webster) 7:12

Oscar Peterson - Piano
Joe Pass - Guitar
Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen - Double Bass

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bim Sherman - It Must Be a Dream

For those who found the concept of Miracle (Bim Sherman's unplugged and Indian-flavored album of 1996) just a little bit too weird, the same songs are presented here in remixes which vary from straightforward reggae treatments ("My Woman," the dubbed-up Youth mix of "Just Can't Stand It") to jungle (the Underwolves mix of "Can I Be Free from Crying"). Tim Simenon gets a bit techno-ish on his reworking of "Missing You," which does a nice job of incorporating the wailing strings of the original in altered form while pushing the whole thing forward with a modified and slowed-down house beat. Skip McDonald, who sang and played guitar on the original sessions, turns "Lovers Leap" into a funky workout that sounds, not surprisingly, an awful lot like a Strange Parcels number. But it's the Steve Osborn mix of "Bewildered" that takes the prize here -- a shamelessly lush, swooning electronic setting of a song that was uncharacteristically sweet and sentimental to begin with. Marvelous. - by Rick Anderson, AMG

Artist: Bim Sherman
Album: It Must Be a Dream (Remixes)
Year: 2003
Label: EFA
Runtime: 69:04

1.  My Woman (Jarrett Vincent/Bob West) 10:17
2.  Just Can't Stand It (Jarrett Vincent) 4:17
3.  Can I Be Free From Crying (Jarrett Vincent) 7:40
4.  Missing You (Jarrett Vincent) 6:34
5.  Lovers Leap (Jarrett Vincent/Bob West) 5:01
6.  Simple Life (A.Bandez/A. Maxwell/B. Alexander) 5:38
7.  Solid As A Rock (Jarrett Vincent) 9:51
8.  It Must Be A Dream (Jarrett Vincent) 5:52
9.  Bewildered (Teddy Powell & Leonard Withcup) 4:03
10.  Over The Rainbow (Raw Deal/Jarrett Vincent) 4:43
11.  Golden Locks (Jarrett Vincent/Bob West) 5:04

Bim Sherman (Vocals)
Skip McDonald (Acoustic Guitar and Backing Vocals)
Talvin Singh (Tablas and Percussion)
Doug Wimbish (Bass Guitar)
Carlton Ogilvie (Backing Vocals)
Studio Beats Orchestra Bombay (Strings)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Joey DeFrancesco - Live at the 5 Spot

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

Artist: Joey DeFrancesco
Album: Live at the 5 Spot
Year: 1993
Label: Columbia
Runtime: 74:52

1.  The Eternal One (Sonny Stitt) 8:01
2.  Embraceable You (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 9:09
3.  I'll Remember April (Don Raye/Gene DePaul/Patricia Johnston) 8:48
4.  Work Song (Nat Adderley) 9:33
5.  Moonlight In Vermont (Karl Suessdorf/John Blackburn) 9:43
6.  Impressions (John Coltrane) 10:29
7.  All Of Me (Gerald Marks/Seymour B. Simons) 8:54
8.  Spectator (Jack McDuff) 10:11

Joey DeFrancesco (Hammond Organ)
Byron Landham (Drums)
Paul Bollenback (Guitar)
Jim Henry (Trumpet, Flugelhorn) - 1,4
Illinois Jacquet (Tenor Saxophone) - 2,7
Robert Landham (Alto Saxophone) - 1
Grover Washington Jr. (Tenor Saxophone) - 4
Houston Person (Tenor Saxophone) - 5
Kirk Whalum (Tenor Saxophone) - 6
Jack McDuff (Hammond Organ) - 8

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baden Powell & Vinícius de Moraes - Os Afro Sambas

Os Afro-Sambas was originally recorded in 1966, while this one without Vinicius de Moraes, was done by Baden Powell, Quarteto em cy (as the original), and others nearly quarter century later. Os Afro-Sambas is certainly one of the most important works of contemporary Brazilian Music truly reflecting the transition period from the stylish Bossa Nova of the late 50's to the revolutionary Tropicalia of the late 60's. Eight of the eleven compositions are the same of the original one, while two are also compostions of Baden and Vinicius from the same period and the opening was made by Baden alone specially for this recording.
All tracks reflect religious syncretism, the mixture of West African religions of slavery origin and the European Catholicism, found mostly on Bahia State in form of Ubanda and Candoble religions. The most frequent music theme is love, specially love delusions and solitude. The understanding of singed Brazilian Portuguese would be a must to get into Vinicius poetry in full depth, as there are no lyrics on this set. As one of the most important contemporary Brazilian poets Vinicius de Moraes also has an important role on Brazilian Popular Music with his solo and works with other Brazilian musicians. His work with Baden is an encounter with one of the best Brazilian guitar players, whose strong classical influence is fantastically merged into samba. - by Andre C. Castilla,

Artist: Baden Powell & Vinícius de Moraes
Album: Os Afro Sambas
Year: 1966
Label: Universal
Runtime: 32:50

1.  Canto De Ossanha 3:28 
2.  Canto De Xango 6:34 
3.  Bocoché 2:38 
4.  Canto De Iemanjá 4:53 
5.  Tempo De Amor 4:33 
6.  Canto De Caboclo Pedra Preta 3:43 
7.  Tristeza e Solidao 4:40 
8.  Lamento De Exu 2:17 
All compositions by Baden Powell & Vinícius de Moraes

Baden Powell (Guitar)
Vinícius de Moraes (Vocals)
Pedro Luis de Assis (Tenor Saxophone)
Aurino Ferreira (Baritone Saxophone)
Nicolino Copia (Flute)
Jorge Marinho (Double Bass)
Reisinho (Drums)
Alfredo Bessa (Percussion)
Nelson Luiz (Percussion)
Gilson de Freitas (Percussion)
Mineirinho (Percussion)
Adyr José Raymundo (Percussion)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Laco Tayfa - Hicaz Dolap

Laco Tayfa represents a new synthesis within the Turkish Roman (Gypsy) tradition. Under the leardership of clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici, Laco Tayfa brings Turkish regional folk music into dialogue with contemporary world music styles, fired by a driving improvisational style. This unification is achieved in Hicaz Dolap at such a level that listeners will find themselves caught up in a journey to the edges of a harmonious whole that is composed of incongruous melodic structures. Every instrument breathes on their own in this album; instruments that once are thought to be archrivals merge in great harmony.Who gave birth to the funk, Joe Tex used to ask? For Husnu Senlendirici, clarinet and leader of Laco Tayfa, the answer is clear - Gypsy musicians from the Aegean Turkish town of Bergama, famous in the country for its bands where the classic zurna and davul are coupled with clarinet and snare drum. Husnu comes from a lineage of musicians, trumpet and clarinet players, so much that his family name means "those who celebrate" (the name of the band is half Turkish half Romany, meaning something like "good team" or "happy company"). His father, Ergun, was an amazing trumpet player, whose unique jazz style was featured in Okay Temiz's Magnetic Band; under the percussionist, Senlendirici also took his first steps.Their first album Bergama Gaydasi was very successful and is well worth seeking out. To add to the basic ingredients of Turkish-Gypsy dance music and 70's funk, Laco Tayfa looks toward other forms of Turkish pop: arabesk, belly dance, and "anatolian ska" as premiered by the best selling group Athena, whose vocalists are guesting on a track here. The CD takes its title from a piece that is often played as an introduction to a belly dance number, and serves as a showcase for the soloists, who take turns in the central section improvising on the makam Hicaz. - Product information

Artist: Laco Tayfa
Album: Hicaz Dolap
Year: 2002
Label: Doublemoon
Total time: 61:44

1.  Surmat (Traditional) 5:12
2.  Erkilet Güzeli (Traditional) 3:59
3.  Zülüf (Neset Ertas) 5:36
4.  Estergon Kalesi (Traditional) 3:58
5.  Ussak (Traditional) 4:13
6.  Püsküllü (Hüsnü Senlerdirici) 3:55
7.  Gel Yad'a Salma Dilber (Traditional) 5:30
8.  Hicaz Dolap (Sükrü Tunar) 4:49
9.  Atmaca (Hüsnü Senlerdirici) 4:30
10.  Kütahya'nin Pinarlari (Hisarli Ahmet) 4:39
11.  Divane Asik Gibi (Hasan Tunc) 3:43
12.  Surmat (Remix) 5:57 
13.  Erkilet Güzeli (Remix) 5:37

Hüsnü Senlendirici (Clarinet, Trumpet, Asma Davul and Zurna)
Özkan Alici (Baglama)
Nuri Lekesizgöz (Kanun)
Ergun Hepbildik (Violin)
Mehmet Akatay (Percussion)
Volkan Öktem (Drums and Percussion)
Nurhat Sensesli (Bass)
Burc Sensesli (Keyboards)
Kibariye (Vocals) - 3
Miustafa Uysal (Spoon) - 6
Gökhan Özoguz (Vocals) - 13
Hakan Özoguz (Vocals) - 13

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Herbie Mann - Plays the Roar of the Greasepaint/Today!

The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd:
On this out of print LP, flutist Herbie Mann performs 11 songs from a famous Leslie Bricusse-Anthony Newley musical. Joined by an orchestra arranged by Ray Ellis (and including either Chick Corea or Roger Kellaway on piano), Mann plays well enough. However, the only one of the 11 songs remembered today is "Who Can I Turn To," and the renditions of the material are so brief (only two songs are longer than three minutes) as to be unadventurous and rather superficial. One of Mann's less significant projects of the '60s. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Flutist Herbie Mann has always had wide interests in music. For this hard-to-find LP he is joined by three brass, vibraphonist Dave Pike, bassist Earl May, drummer Bruno Carr and percussionist Patato Valdes (with arrangements by Oliver Nelson) for a wide-ranging program that includes two Beatles songs, a selection from Burt Bacharach and two ancient pieces by Duke Ellington ("Creole Love Call" and "The Mooche"). In general Mann plays quite well but there is little memorable about this generally commercial effort. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Herbie Mann
Album: Plays The Roar of the Greasepaint/Today!
Year: 1965/1967 (Atlantic)
Quality: Easy CDDA flac files, artw.
Label: Collectables
Runtime: 61:50

Tracks on Plays The Roar of the Greasepaint:
1.  The Joker 2:37
2.  Feeling Good 3:26
3.  Where Would You Be Without Me? 2:20
4.  It Isn't Enough 2:26
5.  Look at that Face 2:25
6.  This Dream 1:59
7.  Who Can I Turn to 2:15
8.  The Beautiful Land 2:10
9.  My First Love Song 4:16
10.  Sweet Beginning 2:00
11.  A Wonderful Day Like Today 2:29
All compositions by Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley 

Herbie Mann (Flute)
Mark Weinstein (Trombone)
John Hitchcock (Trombone)
Chick Corea (Piano) - 1,2,4,5,7,9,11
Mundell Love (Guitar) - 1,2,4,5,7,9,11
Earl May (Double Bass)
Bruno Carr (Drums)
Dave Pike (Vibraphone) - 1-3,5-8,10
Carlos "Patato" Valdes (Conga)
Roger Kellaway (Piano) - 3,6,8,10
Gene Bertoncini (Guitar) - 3,6,8,10
Turk Van Lake (Guitar) - 4,9,11
Ray Ellis (Arranged and Conducted)

Tracks on Today!:
1.  Today (Herbie Mann/Oliver Nelson) 3:46
2.  The Creole Love Call (Duke Ellington) 4:58
3.  Don't Say I Didn't Tell You So (Burt Bacharach/Hal David) 3:48
4.  Arrastao (Edu Lobo/Norman Gimbel) 4:13
5.  The Mooche (Duke Ellington/Irving Mills) 4:16
6.  If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody (Rudy Clark) 3:50
7.  Yesterday (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) 3:38
8.  The Night Before (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) 4:58

Herbie Mann (Flute and Alto Flute)
Oliver Nelson (Arranged and Conducted)
Jimmy Owens (Trumpet)
Jack Hitchcock (Trombone)
Joseph Orange (Trombone)
Dave Pike (Vibraphone)
Earl May (Double Bass)
Bruno Carr (Drums)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Freddy Cole - In the Name of Love

There's a good reason why Freddy Cole, despite his 50-year-long career as a jazz vocalist, isn't the household word his brother Nat King Cole was -- his voice is appealing and casually soulful, but hardly as emotional, compelling, or distinctive. But that's a bit like saying Jermaine Jackson isn't as great as Michael Jackson. How could anyone truly measure up? Family connections aside, Cole's low, gruff tone has an easygoing charm that is perfectly suited to the gentle arrangements of classics and new material. The old stuff includes soft pop gems popularized by Boz Scaggs, Smokey Robinson, Bonnie Raitt, and the perennially lovable Van Morrison chestnut "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You." Producer Jason Miles first worked with Cole on A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins, and goes the Brazilian route again on Lins' easy samba-flavored "Remember Me," a likeable romantic duet with Jane Monheit. Now that Cole is back in the mainstream recording world, could a duet with niece Natalie be far off? - by Jonathan Widran, AMG

Like many of the Telarc Jazz releases I am familiar with, this outstanding recording will please the casual easy listener just as much as the vocal jazz sophisticate. Freddy Cole's smooth and loving approach of this material is apparent throughout, and the musicians back him with such warmth and respect that each song is a complete gem. To describe just a few of them - "Habor Lights" swings gently and romantically, effortlessly creating a vivid mental picture of swaying palms, soft breezes, and simpatico companionship. "Just To See Her" is a worthy remake of the song Smoky Robinson opened his 1987 One Heartbeat album with, and the absolute reverence that Freddie brings to Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" flat puts Rod Stewart's version in the back seat. "Lady Love" swings with such mellowness and pure satisfaction that it puts a new and different luster to this Lou Rawls classic, and one of the most moving heartbreak songs of all time, "I Can't Make You Love Me", is longingly presented through the kind of eyes and feelings that only maturity can bring. I could go on and brag on every song this recording includes, but I shrink from stealing the joy of discovery from anyone who has not experienced Freddie Cole. If you enjoy very mellow smooth jazz vocals - the kind of music that subtly enhances the reflective or romantic moment, you'll undoubtedly enjoy this release. - by John R. Jones,

Artist: Freddy Cole
Album: In the Name of Love
Year: 2002
Label: Telarc Jazz (2003)
Runtime: 50:49

1.  Harbor Lights (Bozz Scaggs) 5:30
2.  Just to See Her Again (Jimmy George/Louis Pardini) 4:11
3.  Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Van Morrison) 4:37
4.  In the Name of Love (Ralph MacDonald/Bill Salter/Bill Withers) 3:53
5.  Remember Me (Ivan Lins/Vitor Martins/Brenda Russell) 4:31
6.  I'm Not Alone (Anjo De Mim) (Ivan Lins/Vitor Martins/Will Jennings) 5:07
7.  Save a Little Time for Me (Lionel Cole) 4:39
8.  When It Rains (Jason Miles/Kathy Byalick) 4:45
9.  Lady Love (Von Gray/Sherman Marshall) 4:38
10.  I Can't Make You Love Me (Mike Reid/Allen Shamblin) 4:31
11.  I Love You (Paul Curtis) 4:23

Freddy Cole (Vocals)
Jason Miles (Keyboards,Synthesyzers, Hammond Organ, Drum programming) - 1-10
Romero Lubambo (Acoustic Guitar) - 1,3,5-9
Will Lee (Bass) - 1,4-6,11
Cyro Baptista (Percussion) - 1,5-7,9
Keith Carlock (Drums) - 1,4,7-9,11
David Mann (Soprano and Alto Saxophone) - 4,10,11
Jeff Mironov (Guitar) - 2,4,10,11
Marc Quinones (Congas) - 2,4,10
Cassandra Reed (Vocals) - 4,7
Katreese Barnes (Backing Vocals) - 1,9
Bette Sussman (Piano) - 3
Jane Monheit (Vocals) - 5
Jay Beckenstein (Soprano Saxophone) - 7
Marc Egan (Bass Guitar) - 9
Cesar Camargo Mariano (Keyboards, Strings) - 8
Dean Brown (Electric Guitar) - 1
Barry Danielian (Trumpet) - 1

Monday, April 11, 2011

Frank Corrales - Burning Desires

Frank, with the help of Ben Tavera King has done it again, this time instead of movies and cantinas, the influence is on cooking and yummy Tex-Mex treats. Frank is accompanied on this album by Los Tortilleros (the tortilla makers) who consist of: Ben Tavera King who plays rhythm guitar, lead guitar on the cut "Enchiladas Rojas", harpa Mexicana and my favorite the corn tortillas, (which don't last long in my possession to use as an instrument); Jose Alfredo Trevino who provides the "gritos" in just the right places in the musical dishes. There is a double delight to this album, which is a collection of six traditional Tex-Mex recepies from the pen of Melissa Guerra, the celebrated PBS-TV chef. Track number 10, El Porro de Jaime, an adopted traditional Colombian folk tune is the intro music to Melissa's TV program, "The Texas Provincial Kitchen" Included in this platter is "un poco the todo" (a litte of everything) musical to cook and savor by. Track # 2 "Jesusita En Chihuahua" is a yummy spicy polka number used in the move "Like Water For Chocolate". Each track has it's own flavor which like "Mira Luisa" and "La Bamba" adds a bit of spark to "comiendo o cocinando" (eating or cooking). My sombrero is off to chef Frank and his most able assistants Ben and Melissa in assembling a treat for both ear and palate. What a great idea! - by David Cantu,

Artist: Frank Corrales
Album: Burning Desires
Year: 2000
Label: Iago
Runtime: 42:48

1.  Aquellos Ojos Verdes (Menendez Nilo) 3:22
2.  Jesusita En Chihuahua (Traditional) 2:18
3.  Enchiladas Rojas (Ben Tavera King) 2:17
4.  Adios Mariquita Linda (Marcos Jimenez) 2:37
5.  Mira Luisa (Traditional) 3:18
6.  La Bamba (Traditional) 2:24
7.  Mi Rosal (Frank Corrales) 3:57
8.  Quiereme Jesusita (Traditional) 2:05
9.  Rosita Alvires (Traditional) 2:30
10.  El Porro De Jaime (Traditional) 2:41
11.  Atotonilco (Traditional) 2:38
12.  Cuatro Milpas (Belisario de Jesus Garcia) 2:58
13.  Las Nubes (Traditional) 2:33
14.  Pajarillo Barranqueno (Traditional) 3:21
15.  Gabino Barrera (Traditional) 3:42

Frank Corrales (Guitar, Bass Guitar, Percussion)
Ben Tavera King (Rhythm Guitar, Harpa Mexicana)
Jose Alfredo Trevino (Percussion)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eumir Deodato - Inútil Paisagem

This album is a reissue of Deodato's debut solo record, originally registered for (extinct) label Forma in the studios of RCA between July 21 and 23, 1964, when the "Girl From Ipanema" hadn't been presented to American audiences yet. The repertoire consists uniquely of Jobim's classics. Deodato was only 22 years old, but already had five years worth of experience as an orchestral conductor. The revealing original liner notes by Tom Jobim express with subtlety Jobim's amazement at such precocious mastery: "Eumir Deodato is not only the perfect bridge engineer which all arrangers should be, but also the creator and poet which all arrangers must be." The influence of the delicacy of Gil Evans is evident on an album where straightforward, to-the-letter, simple renditions of Jobim's tunes coexist with an inventive use of orchestral backing and choice of timbres. Historic names of Brazilian music can be known in this record, as the late trombonist Maciel and the clarinetist Paulo Moura. Also here are the maestro Copinha, maestro Cipó, Roberto Menescal, Oscar Castro-Neves, and Deodato on the piano, along with other masters. - by Alvaro Nedel, AMG

Artist: Eumir Deodato
Album: Inútil Paisagem
Year: 1964
Label: Universal (24bit mastering, 1999)
Runtime: 34:01

1.  Insensatez/How Insensitive (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes) 3:27
2.  Corcovado/Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 2:36
3.  So Tinha De Ser Com Voce/It Could Only Happen With You (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira) 2:14
4.  O Morro Nao Tem Vez/The Hill (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes) 3:20
5.  Ela e Carioca/She's a Carioca (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes) 2:26
6.  O Amor Em Paz/Once I Loved (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes) 3:16
7.  Garota De Ipanema/Girl From Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes) 3:31
8.  Inutil Paisagem/Useless Landscape (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira) 1:55
9.  Samba De Uma Nota So/One Note Samba (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonca) 2:38
10.  Meditacao/Meditation (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Newton Mendonca) 3:42
11.  Vivo Sonhando/The Dreamer (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 3:10
12.  Samba Do Aviao/Song of the Jet (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 1:47

Eumir Deodato (Piano)
Luis Marinho (Double Bass)
Juquinha (Drums)
Roberto Menescal (Acoustic Guitar) - 1,2,4,6,7,9-11
Meirelles (Flutes and Tenor Saxophone)
Hamilton (Trumpet)
Paulo Moura (Alto Saxophone) - 1,4,6,9
Cipó (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,4,6,9
Copinha (Flute) - 2,7,10,11
Edson Maciel (Trombone) - 2,3,7,8,10-12
Aurino Ferreira (Baritone Saxophone) - 2,7,10,11
Oscar Castro-Neves (Acoustic Guitar) - 3,5,8,12

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jacintha - Autumn Leaves

Nine of the 11 tracks here are ballads. Their uncluttered arrangements spotlight Jacintha's smooth and sensuous voice, while her expressive phrasing draws the most from the classic Johnny Mercer lyrics. Jacintha includes the original lyrics to "Autumn Leaves," done in soft and flawless French; otherwise, her primary innovation is to deliver the tunes straight and sincerely, with minimal improvisation and maximum tenderness. There's no trace of the customary bitterness in "One More for the Road," and her unaccompanied reading of "Moon River" liberates that song from any prior goopy associations. In fact, her version brings out the poignancy of the lyrics so purely that her additional chorus, coming after a rather wandering piano interlude, seems redundant. The band is good but pretty restrained throughout, supplying subtle commentary and close support, then breaks out nicely on the two up-tempo tracks: "And the Angels Sing" and "Something's Got to Give." Jacintha's measured, legato approach isn't very conducive to swinging, but listening to "Skylark"and "Midnight Sun," in particular, is like sipping cool champagne in a fragrant hot tub. Another highlight is the bonus track, "Here's to Life," a signature tune for Shirley Horn, which Jacintha takes at a slightly faster tempo. While it's not a Mercer lyric, its beautiful sentiments and melody fit nicely into this relaxed and intimate set. Whatever this CD may lack in fire, it makes up for in warmth. - by Judith  Schlezinger, AMG

Artist: Jacintha (Abishegenaden)
Album: Autumn Leaves: the Songs of Johnny Mercer
Year: 1999
Label: Groove Note
Runtime: 61:03

1.  And The Angels Sing (Johnny Mercer/Ziggy Elman) 3:32
2.  Skylark (Johnny Mercer/Hoagy Carmichael) 5:19
3.  One For My Baby (Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen) 5:21
4.  Midnight Sun (Johnny Mercer/Lionel Hampton/Sonny Burke) 3:57
5.  Autumn Leaves (Johnny Mercer/Jacques Prevert/Joseph Kozma) 7:47
6.  Days of Wine & Roses (Johnny Mercer/Henry Mancini) 5:28
7.  I Remember You (Johnny Mercer/Victor Schertzinger) 5:35
8.  Trav'lin' Light (Johnny Mercer/Jimmy Mundy/Trummy Young) 6:32
9.  Something's Gotta Give (Johnny Mercer) 4:07
10.  Moon River (Johnny Mercer/Henry Mancini) 8:32
11.  Here's To Life (soundtrack mix) (Artie Butler/Phyllis Molinary) 4:49

Jacintha (Vocals)
Teddy Edwards (Tenor Saxophone)
Kei Akagi (Piano)
Darek Oles Oleszkiewicz (Double Bass)
Larance Marable (Drums) - 2,3,5,6,8,9,11
Joe La Barbera (Drums) - 1,4,10
Anthony Wilson (Guitar) - 2,3,6
Will Miller (Trumpet) - 5,8,9
Artie Butler (Hammond Organ) - 11

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fred Jackson - Hootin' 'n Tootin'

Unjustly ignored at the time of its release, Fred Jackson's lone album, Hootin' 'N Tootin', is a thoroughly enjoyable set of funky soul-jazz with hard bop overtones. It is true that Jackson doesn't try anything new on the set, but he proves to be a capable leader, coaxing hot, infectious performances out of guitarist Willie Jones, organist Earl Vandyke and drummer Wilbert Hogan, all of whom were collegues of Jackson in the Lloyd Price band. All of the songs on the album are Jackson originals, and while there are no substantial, memorable melodies, they provide an excellent foundation for the group's smoking interplay. Both the uptempo R&B numbers and the slower blues give the musicians plenty of opportunity to flaunt their chops while working the groove, and the result is a modest but highly entertaining set of earthy, bluesy soul-jazz that should have been heard by a wider audience. Blue Note's 1998 CD reissue adds all of the material from the second and final session Jackson led. All seven tracks from that session are in the same soul-jazz vein and feature the same group, augmented by bassist Sam Jones. Their presence on the reissued Hootin' 'N Tootin' makes an already fine album even better. - by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG

Artist: Fred Jackson
Album: Hootin''n Tootin'
Year: 1962
Label: Blue Note (Japan, 1994)
Runtime: 37:58

1.  Dippin' In The Bag 4:01 
2.  Southern Exposure 6:57 
3.  Preach Brother 5:47 
4.  Hootin' 'n Tootin' 4:34 
5.  Easin' On Down 6:18 
6.  That's Where It's At 5:09 
7.  Way Down Home 5:11 
All compositions by Fred Jackson

Fred Jackson (Tenor Saxophone)
Earl Vandyke (Organ)
Willie Jones (Guitar)
Wilbert Hogan (Drums)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fred Hersch - The Fred Hersch Trio Plays...

On this highly recommended set, Fred Hersch plays his favorite compositions from ten of the greatest composers in the history of recorded jazz -- Monk, Miles, Ellington, and Strayhorn included. All of the important and complimentary adjectives customarily used in relation to Hersch's work can also be used to describe this effort, most notably lyricism, warmth, and taste. Hersch and his bandmates -- Drew Gress (bass) and Tom Rainey (drums) -- form a trio in the best sense of the word. The band listens to and respects one another, providing appropriate space for each to explore, while always functioning as a complete and thoughtful whole. They never overplay; they are consistently interesting; they choose only the best music to play. If Hersch's distinctive style can be compared to other artists, the list would certainly include Bill Evans, in terms of lyricism and touch, and Thelonious Monk, for his employment of unique rhythmic and harmonic patterns. Each of the tracks on this album is worthwhile, yet two stand out above the rest: Monk's "Played Twice" and "Think of One." Hersch has always been a supreme interpreter of Monk's compositions, and again he does not disappoint. "Played Twice" is stripped down to its essential, stark beauty, while "Think of One" is played with a slightly heavier touch and offers the quirky rhythms, variable tempos, and subtle humor that are indispensable to Monk. If you are a fan of jazz piano trio, do not miss this opportunity to enjoy one of the best. - by Brian Bartolini, AMG

Artist: Fred Hersch
Album: The Fred Hersch Trio Plays...
Year: 1994
Quality: eac-flac, cue, log, artw.
Label: Chesky
Runtime: 63:15

1.  Milestones (Miles Davis) 3:51
2.  Iris (Wayne Shorter) 6:14
3.  Played Twice (Thelonious Monk) 3:22
4.  Con Alma (Dizzy Gillespie) 6:00
5.  Mood Indigo (Duke Ellington) 5:35
6.  Speak Like a Child (Herbie Hancock) 6:09
7.  Evanessence (Fred Hersch) 5:11
8.  Think Of One (Thelonious Monk) 5:30
9.  Daydream (Billy Strayhorn) 8:05
10.  Forerunner (Ornette Coleman) 3:11
11.  Moment's Notice (John Coltrane) 3:08
12.  Doxy (Sonny Rollins) 6:59

Fred Hersch (Piano)
Drew Gress (Double Bass)
Tom Raney (Drums)


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