Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grencso Collective - Plays Monk

From the sixties on, in all of the 80 or 90 Hungarian jazzclubs the art, piano playing and compositions of Thelonius Monk attracted a following. The pianist himself visited Budapest twice, both times in the seventies as a member of the Giants of Jazz touring group. Bearing the name of Thelonius Jazzclub, a local club operated here from 1984 to 1990 to cultivate the heritage of Monk.
From among the most famous compositions of Monk, 'Round Midnight was recorded girst, in 1962, by the Qualiton Jazz Ensemble. Straight. No Chaser was taped by violinist Csaba Deseő in 1964, on his first recording date ever. These were followed by nomerous other recordings. - From original liner notes

Artist: Grencso Collective
Album: Plays Monk
Year: 1995
Label: Pannon Jazz
Runtime: 42:32

1.  In Walked Bud (Thelonius Monk) 4:19
2.  Bemsha Swing (Thelonius Monk) 3:54
3.  Misterioso (Thelonius Monk) 6:28
4.  Epistrophy (Thelonius Monk) 6:15
5.  Rhythm-A-Ning (Thelonius Monk) 3:36
6.  Blue Monk (Thelonius Monk) 3:24
7.  Well You Needn't (Thelonius Monk) 3:45
8.  Straight No Chaser (Thelonius Monk) 3:56
9.  'Round Midnight (Thelonius Monk/Bernie Hanighen/Cootie Williams) 6:55

István Grencsó (Alto and Tenor Saxophone)
Béla Ágoston (Bass Clarinet) - 1-6,8
István Gyárfás (Guitar) - 1-6,8
György Jeszenszky (Drums and Metalophon) - 1-5,7,8

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Grant Green - The Latin Bit

Grant Green, being known mainly as a soul jazz guitarist, eventually gravitated into the popular boogaloo sound. The Latin Bit is the natural bridge to that next phase, though a bit premature for most in 1961-1963, even relative to the subsequent bossa nova craze. Pianist Johnny Acea, long an underrated jazzman, is the nucleus of this session, grounding it with witty chops, chordal comping, and rhythmic meat. The Latino rhythm section of drummer Willie Bobo and conga player Carlos "Patato" Valdes personify authentic, seasoned spice, while at times the chekere sound of Garvin Masseaux makes the soup too thick. At its collective best, the group presents a steady, serene, and steamy "Besame Mucho" and the patient, slow, slinky, sultry "Tico Tico." Just a small step below is a classy take on Charlie Parker's "My Little Suede Shoes," a premier jazz bebop (emphasis) tune with a Latin undertow and Green's tiniest staccato phrases, slightly marred by the overbearing constant chekere, but still classic. "Mama Inez" ranks high for its calypso-infused happy feeling and wry stop-start lines. The straight-ahead hard bopper "Brazil" and lone soul-jazz tune, "Blues for Juanita," display the single-note acumen that made Green's style instantly recognizable. This date always yielded mixed results for staunch fans of Green, but it remains a credible effort, even if slightly flawed in part. [Some reissues add two selections with pianist Sonny Clark and tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec, the latter of whom plays hip secondary harmonies on the bossa nova-flavored "Granada," but is in the complete background and a non-factor on the pop tune "Hey There."] - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Grant Green
Album: The Latin Bit
Year: 1962
Label: Blue Note (1996)
Runtime: 59:42

1.  Mambo Inn (Mario Bauzá/Edgar Sampson/Bobby Woodlen) 5:50
2.  Besame Mucho (Sunny Skylar/Consuelo Velázquez) 7:11
3.  Mama Inez (L. Wolfe Gilbert/Eliseo Grenet) 6:40
4.  Brazil (Ary Barroso/Bob Russell) 5:01
5.  Tico Tico (Jose Abreu/Ervin Drake/Aloysio Oliveira) 7:45
6.  My Little Suede Shoes (Charlie Parker) 6:23
7.  Blues For Juanita (Grant Green) 7:04
8.  Grenada (Agustín Lara) 6:26
9.  Hey There (Richard Adler/Jerry Ross) 7:22

Grant Green (Guitar)
Wendell Marshall (Double Bass)
Willie Bobo (Drums)
Carlos "Patato" Valdez (Conga)
Johnny Acea (Piano) - 1-7
Carvin Masseaux (Chekere) - 1-6
Ike Quebeck (Tenor Saxophone) - 8,9

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hank Crawford - Mr. Blues Plays Lady Soul

The concept for the Lady Soul date from 1969 is perfect for Crawford, who typically plays close to the melody, using his great blues feeling and jazz chops to create interest and excitement. Crawford evokes the spirit of Aretha Franklin's music without resorting to literal re-creation of the originals. Arif Mardin's driving, big-band arrangements are impressive, but it is the rhythm section that makes these tracks. Essentially, it's the Atlantic house band: guitarist Eric Gale, pianist Paul Griffin, bassist Charles Rainey, and drummer Bernard Purdie. They all get ample opportunity to show their stuff, especially on the seven-plus minute master blast of the blues, "Going Down Slow." - by Jim Todd, AMG

Artist: Hank Crawford
Album: Mr. Blues Plays Lady Soul
Year: 1969
Label: Atlantic (24bit remastered, 2014)
Runtime: 37:05

1.  Groovin' (Eddie Brigati/Felix Cavaliere) 2:40
2.  I Can't See Myself Leaving You (Ronnie Shannon) 3:33
3.  Never Let Me Go (Ray Evans/Jay Livingston) 3:29
4.  Baby, I Love You (Ronnie Shannon) 3:41
5.  Lady Soul (Hank Crawford) 3:14
6.  Soul Serenade (King Curtis) 3:31
7.  Ain't No Way (Aretha Franklin/Carolyn Franklin) 3:57
8.  Since You've Been Gone (Aretha Franklin/Teddy White) 2:16
9.  Take A Look (Clyde Otis) 3:15
10.  Going Down Slow (James Burke Oden) 7:25

Hank Crawford (Alto Saxophone)
Bernard Purdie (Drums)
Eric Gale (Guitar)
Paul Griffin (Organ, Pano)
David Newman (Tenor Saxophone, Flute)
Frank Wess (Alto Saxophone) - 1,2,4-8,10
Pepper Adams (Baritone Saxophone) - 1,2,4-8,10
Charley Raney (Double Bass) - 3-6,10
Jerry Jemmott (Double Bass) - 2,8
Ron Carter (Double Bass) - 1,3,7
Seldon Powell (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,2,4-8,10
Benny Powell (Trombone) - 1-3,7,8
Jimmy Cleveland (Trombone) - 1-3,7,8
Bernie Glow (Trumpet) - 1,2,4,5,7,8,10
Ernie Royal (Trumpet) - 1,2,4-8,10
Snookie Young (Trumpet) - 1,2,4-8,10
Joe Newman (Trumpet) - 1,2,4-8,10

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stan Getz & Bill Evans - Stan Getz & Bill Evans

The only studio meeting between Stan Getz and Bill Evans took place over two days in 1964, with the aggressive drummer Elvin Jones and either Richard Davis or Ron Carter on bass. It is peculiar that Verve shelved the results for over a decade before issuing any of the music, though it may have been felt that Getz and Evans hadn't had enough time to achieve the desired chemistry, though there are memorable moments. The punchy take of "My Heart Stood Still," the elegant interpretation of "Grandfather's Waltz," and the lush setting of the show tune "Melinda" all came from the first day's session, with Davis on bass. (Evidently he was unavailable the following day, so Carter replaced him.) Evans' driving, challenging "Funkallero" is the obvious highlight from day two, though the gorgeous "But Beautiful" and the breezy setting of "Night and Day" are also enjoyable. Only the brief version of "Carpetbagger's Theme," which seems badly out of place and suggestive of the label's interference with the session, is a bit of a disappointment. Obviously neither Getz nor Evans liked the tune, as they go through the motions in a very brief performance. - by Ken Dryden, AMG

Artist: Stan Getz & Bill Evans
Album: Stan Getz & Bill Evans
Year: 1964
Recorded: 1964.05.05. - 1964.05.06. at the Rudy Van Gelder Studio (Englewood Cliffs, USA)
Label: Verve (1988)
Runtime: 62:09

1.  Night and Day (Cole Porter) 6:49
2.  But Beautiful (Johnny Burke/James Van Heusen) 4:44
3.  Funkallero (Bill Evans) 6:44
4.  My Heart Stood Still (Richard Rodgers/Lorentz Hart) 8:40
5.  Melinda (Alan Jay Lerner/Burton Lane) 5:07
6.  Grandfather's Waltz (Lasse Farnlof/Gene Lees) 6:31
7.  Carpetbagger's Theme (Elmer Bernstein) 1:50
8.  Wnew (Theme Song) (Larry Green) 2:53
9.  My Heart Stood Still (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart) 6:45
10.  Grandfather's Waltz (Lasse Farnlof/Gene Lees) 5:32
11.  Night and Day (Cole Porter) 6:34

Stan Getz (Tenor Saxophone)
Bill Evans (Piano)
Elvin Jones (Drums)
Ron Carter (Double Bass) - 1-3,7,8,11
Richard Davis (Double Bass) - 4-6,9,10


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