Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ella Fitzgerald - At the Montreux Jazz Festival

Although Ella Fitzgerald had been on the jazz scene for over four decades by the time of this 1975 concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival, she still knew how to swing and keep the audience in the palm of her hand. Backed by lyrical pianist Tommy Flanagan, the solid bassist Keter Betts and the driving drummer Bobby Durham, the vocalist wows the crowd with a mix of standards, popular jazz compositions and ballads in a way that only she could do it. Even though her voice shows evidence of a little more vibrato on her held notes at the end of a phrase (especially on the ballads), she still emotes like no one else, occasionally adding some playful scat in the up-tempo numbers and captivating the audience with her romp through "How High the Moon," a piece she kept fresh even though she had performed it hundreds of times over the years. This is easily one of Ella Fitzgerald's better live sets from late in her career, which would continue for another decade before ill health finally caused her to retire. - by Ken Dryden, AMG

Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
Album: At the Montreux Jazz festival 1975
Year: 1975
Label: Pablo
Runtime: 46:40

1.  Caravan (Duke Ellington/Irving Mills/Juan Tizol) 2:36
2.  Satin Doll (Duke Ellington/Johnny Mercer/Billy Strayhorn) 2:49
3.  Teach Me Tonight (Sammy Cahn/Gene DePaul) 4:36
4.  Wave (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 5:11
5.  It's All Right with Me (Cole Porter) 2:59
6.  Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) (Cole Porter) 5:40
7.  How High the Moon (Nancy Hamilton/Morgan Lewis) 8:36
8.  Girl from Ipanema (Vinícius de Moraes/Norman Gimbel/Antonio Carlos Jobim) 8:14
9.  'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do (Percy Grainger/Robert Prince/Clarence Williams) 5:59

Ella Fitzgerald (Vocals)
Tommy Flanagan (Piano)
Keter Betts (Double Bass)
Bobby Durham (Drums)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Toufic Farroukh - Drab Zeen

Drab Zeen represents one of the finest examples of this important emerging new sub-genre, Arab-jazz. The genius of this disc is how Farroukh has effortlessly melded such disparate elements as jazz trombone and saxophone, chill-beats, French vocals, acoustic piano, oud, ney, and accordion into a singly tapestry of unique sounds, all the while retaining the essential elements of each instrumental voice even as he transforms the whole into something entirely new and heretofore unheard. Farroukh has grown in every facet of his music-making: tighter and more evocative compositions, a richer and more varied sound palette, cleaner production, superior sax blowing, and a deeper groove. An altogether remarkable disc. Highest recommendation. - by Jan P. Denis,

Artist: Toufic Farroukh
Album: Drab Zeen
Year: 2002
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Runtime: 53:12

1.  Fusic (Toufic Farroukh) 6:19
2.  Lili s'en fout (Toufic Farroukh) 5:51
3.  The Pain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Brain (Toufic Farroukh) 4:35
4.  Land of Milk and Money (Toufic Farroukh) 5:18
5.  Calipyge (intro) (Toufic Farroukh) 1:00
6.  Calipyge (Toufic Farroukh/Tania Saleh) 2:22
7.  Kaf skoon (intro) (Toufic Farroukh) 1:40
8.  Kaf skoon (Toufic Farroukh) 4:38
9.  L'homme qui a perdu son ombre (Toufic Farroukh/Laurent Gehant) 4:57
10.  A Night in Damascus (Toufic Farroukh) 4:10
11.  Bilan actuel (Toufic Farroukh/Laurent Gehant) 3:51
12.  Blues for Ali (Toufic Farroukh) 4:31
13.  Petites mains et longues jambes... (Toufic Farroukh/Laurent Gehant) 3:53

Toufic Farroukh (Bendir, Percussion, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Bouzouki, Piano and Vocals)
Bassam Saba (Nay) - 1,2,4-13
Keya Tabassian (Setar) - 1,2,5-9,12
Nabil Khalidi (Banjo, Oud) - 1,2,4-6,9-11,13
Leandro Aconcha (Synthesizer, Organ and Piano) - 1-4
Gueorgui Kornazov (Trombone) - 1,2,10,11
Jean Wellers (Double Bass, Viola and Rhythmic Violin)
Ali Alkhatib (Req and Bendir) - 1,2,4-13
Tania Saleh (Vocals) - 1,5-8
Yasmine Hamdan (Vocals and Voice) - 2,9,13
Antoine Khalifé (Violin) - 2,4-6,10,11,13
J.J. Sage (Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar and Folk Guitar) - 2,4,11,12
Ibrahim Jaber (Udou) - 2,5,6,9,10
Tony Dib (Accordion) - 2,4-6,10,11
Mounir Khauli (Acoustic and Electric Guitar) - 2,11
Nicole Choueiry (Vocals) - 1,4
Saad Menkara (Voice) - 3,4
J.M. Hure (Guitar) - 4,7,8
Charbel Rouhana (Oud) - 10
Najawa Abou Alhessein (Voice) - 11
Rabih Lamah (Vocals) - 11
Phil Tohme (Vocals) - 12
DJ Roger (Scratch) - 2

Monday, September 8, 2014

Georgie Fame - Walking Wounded

At least once a year, usually just before the holiday season, Georgie Fame takes up residency at Ronnie Scott’s club in London. This particular recording was done during November, 1995.Having the legendary Georgie Fame sitting behind the Hammond organ, night after night, in a London club is wonderfully reminiscent of the time, more than thirty years ago, when he held held court at the Flamingo Club. Back then, in the early sixties, it wasn’t just for a week or two at a stretch, but for months at a time. He was at the heart of the ongoing scene, where American servicemen, budding British rockers and Georgie himself mixed it up and, ultimately created a musical stew that went on to change the pop scene the world over. So this recording takes its place in the pantheon of great Georgie Fame moments. So this record is full of spirits, spirits of great men who made the music, great moments when it was made and great places where the musicians held forth. Today, even the owner and namesake of the club where this album was recorded -- saxophonist Ronnie Scott -- is no longer with us. Yet Georgie Fames carries on with the good work, and is aware of his role in preserving and passing along the great jazz spirit.To that end, he has enlisted the able assistance of some of his favorite people to make this passage possible. The front line of the band includes some of Britain’s finest players, trumpet man Guy Barker, tenor saxophonist Alan Skidmore, alto saxophonist Peter King and Anthony Kerr on vibes. In the rhythm section is his regular bassist (and dapper man about town) Geoff Gascoyne along with the Powell brothers, Tristan on guitar and James on drums. These two boys have grown up with Georgie Fame’s music and are helping him carry the torch into the next century.It is our great pleasure and distinct honor here at Go Jazz to join hands with them all and fall in step. - by Ben Sidran (from liner notes)

Artist: Georgie Fame
Album: Walking Wounded (Live at Ronnie Scott's)
Year: 1998
Label: Go Jazz
Runtime: 72:40

1.  Eros Hotel (Georgie Fame/F. Landesman) 6:08
2.  If You Live (Mose Allison) 3:57
3.  Yeh Yeh (Rodgers Grant/Jon Hendricks/Pat Patrick) 3:52
4.  Moondance/Blue Moon (Van Morrison/Richard Rodgers/Lorentz Hart) 12:23
5.  How Long This Has Been Going On (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 8:23
6.  Cape Cuckoo (Georgie Fame) 5:02
7.  Abide With Me (Henry Francis Lyte/Thelonious Monk) 2:03
8.  The Woodshed Intro (Georgie Fame/Peter King) 1:39
9.  The Woodshed (Georgie Fame/Peter King) 6:45
10.  It Happened to Me/My Buddy (Georgie Fame) 11:01
11.  Zavolo (Zaks Nikosi) 11:27

Georgie Fame (Hammond Organ, Piano and Vocals)
Guy Barker (Trumpet)
Anthony Kerr (Vibraphone)
Alan Skidmore (Tenor Saxophone)
Peter King (Alto Saxophone)
Geoff Gascoyne (Double Bass)
Tristan Powell (Guitar)
James Powell (Drums)


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