Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chet Baker - Love for Sale

This 1986 release finds the legendary trumpeter/singer at the end of his career. However, his inimitable style remains lucid and expressive. On this date, Baker plays a varied program, including uptempo Baker favorites "But Not for Me" and "If I Should Lose You." Baker was also one of the great balladeers of his generation, and even here, at the end of his life, his trumpet playing is unmistakably lyrical and "cool" on the soft-spoken and plaintive version of "You Can't Go Home Again." His mournful phrasing on the bossa nova-tinged "Arboway," highlights the trumpeter's fondness for breathy playing in the lower register of the instrument. A funky version of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" is a unique feature on this album, but even more exceptional is Baker's version of "Send in the Clowns," featuring Van Morrison on vocals. Finally, it should be noted that pianist, Michel Grailler, and bassist, Riccardo Del Fra, glue each tune together with impressive musical acumen.- from AMG

Artist: Chet Baker
Album: Love For Sale (Live at Ronnie Scott's)
Year: 1986
Label: Jazz Door
Runtime: 59:08

1. But Not For Me (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 5:57
2. Arboway (Rique Pantoja) 6:49
3. If I Should Lose You (Ralph Rainger/Leo Robin) 6:09
4. My Ideal (Newell Chase/Leo Robin/Richard Whiting) 5:48
5. Nightbird (Enrico Pieranunzi) 6:45
6. Love For Sale (Cole Porter) 9:59
7. Shifting Down (Kenny Dorham) 5:46
8. You Can't Go Home Again (Don Sebesky) 8:01
9. Send In The Clowns (Stephen Sondheim) 3:49

Chet Baker (Trumpet, Vocals)
Michel Graillier (Piano)
Riccardo Del Fra (Double Bass)

Van Morrison (Vocals) - 9

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Miles Davis - Ascenseur pour l'échafaud

Jazz and film noir are perfect bedfellows, as evidenced by the soundtrack of Louis Malle's Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (Lift to the Scaffold). This dark and seductive tale is wonderfully accentuated by the late-'50s cool or bop music of Miles Davis, played with French jazzmen -- bassist Pierre Michelot, pianist René Urtreger, and tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen -- and American expatriate drummer Kenny Clarke. This recording evokes the sensual nature of a mysterious chanteuse and the contrasting scurrying rat race lifestyle of the times, when the popularity of the automobile, cigarettes, and the late-night bar scene were central figures. Davis had seen a screening of the movie prior to his making of this music, and knew exactly how to portray the smoky hazed or frantic scenes though sonic imagery, dictated by the trumpeter mainly in D-minor and C-seventh chords. Michelot is as important a figure as the trumpeter because he sets the tone, as on the stalking "Visite du Vigile." While the mood of the soundtrack is generally dour and somber, the group collectively picks up the pace exponentially on "Diner au Motel." At times the distinctive Davis trumpet style is echoed into dire straits or death wish motifs, as on "Generique" or "L'Assassinat de Carala," respectively. Clarke is his usual marvelous self, and listeners should pay close attention to the able Urtreger, by no means a virtuoso but a capable and flexible accompanist. This recording can stand proudly alongside Duke Ellington's music from Anatomy of a Murder and the soundtrack of Play Misty for Me as great achievements of artistic excellence in fusing dramatic scenes with equally compelling modern jazz music. - by Michael G. Nastos, AMG

Artist: Miles Davis
Album: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Lift to the Scaffold)
Year: 1957 (Fontana)
Label: Phonogram (1988)
Runtime: 72:18

1.  Nuit Sur Les Champs-Elysées (take 1) 2:25
2.  Nuit Sur Les Champs-Elysées (take 2) 5:20
3.  Nuit Sur Les Champs-Elysées (take 3) 2:47
4.  Nuit Sur Les Champs-Elysées (take 4) 2:59
5.  Visite du Vigile 2:02
6.  Julien dans l'ascenseur 2:10
7.  Assassinat 2:10
8.  Motel 3:56
9.  Final (take 1) 3:05
10.  Final (take 2) 3:00
11.  Final (take 3) 4:04
12.  Ascenseur (Evasion de Julien) 1:57
13.  Le Petit Bal (take 1) 2:40
14.  Le Petit Bal (take 2) 2:53
15.  Séquence Voiture (take 1) 2:56
16.  Séquence Voiture (take 2) 2:16
17.  Generique 2:45
18.  L'assassinat de Carala 2:10
19.  Sur l'autoroute 2:15
20.  Julien dans l'ascenseur 2:07
21.  Florence sur les Champs-Elysées 2:50
22.  Diner au Motel 3:58
23.  Evasion de Julien 0:53
24.  Visite du Vigile 2:00
25.  Au Bar du petit Bac 2:50
26.  Chez le Photographe du Motel 3:50
All compositions by Miles Davis 

Miles Davis (Trumpet)
Barney Wilen (Tenor Saxophone)
Rene Utreger (Piano)
Pierre Michelot (Double Bass)
Kenny Clarke (Drums)


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