Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rufus Harley - A Tribute To Courage

Just when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes a jazz bagpipe player. Make no mistake folks, this is more than a joke -- whatever you might think, the cat can play. At first it sounds like some sort of weird organ, but a couple of minutes later you can't mistake it for anything but what it is. Like an organ, though, the bagpipe turns out to be remarkably suited for jazz. With little effort, one man can make an absolute ocean of sound. The groove here is nothing special, a solid soul-jazz feeling. Side one is all bagpipe. Side two is the leader on a number of different instruments. A talented fellow. - by Rob Ferrier, AMG

Brilliant work by one of the most unusual jazz talents of the 60s! Rufus Harley's best known for his use of bagpipes in jazz music – a re-cooption of the instrument from Scottish styles, taking it back to its roots in northern Africa. A number of Harley's other albums from the time are a bit gimmicky – but this later set is a soul jazz masterpiece, infused with rich Coltrane-like modes of expression, as Harley plays both soprano sax and bagpipes over some long modal original compositions! The group is a great one – with Oliver Collins playing some fantastic spiraling lines on piano, and great bass and drum work by James Glenn & Billy Abner. Titles include "Ali", "X", "About Trane", "Tribute To Courage", and a great version of "Sunny"! (White label promo. Cover has some edge wear, a promo sticker, anda name in marker on back.) - Dusty Groove, Inc.

Artist: Rufus Harley
Album: A Tribute To Courage
Year: 1968
Label: Warner Japan (24bit remastered, 2014)
Runtime: 35:46

1.  Sunny (Bobby Hebb) 7:06
2.  A Tribute To Courage (JFK) (Rufus Harley) 7:46
3.  Swing Low Little Charriot (Traditional) 5:35
4.  Ali (Rufus Harley) 4:03
5.  "X" (Rufus Harley) 3:32
6.  About Trane (Rufus Harley) 7:44

Rufus Harley (Bagpipes, Piano, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone)
James Glenn (Bass)
Billy Abner (Drums)
Oliver Collins (Piano)
Robert Kenyatta (Congas) - 1-3

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shorty Rogers - Jazz Waltz

Shorty Rogers' Jazz Waltz is exactly that, an exploration of ten compositions played in waltz settings. Only these big-band charts are hardly the waltzes heard on Lawrence Welk's long-running television series. Rogers kicks off with a swinging number ("I'm Gonna Go Fishin'") written by Duke Ellington for the soundtrack to the film Anatomy of a Murder and featuring the leader's rich flügelhorn. The lyrical take of the centuries-old folk melody "Greensleeves" alternates between the tense rhythm section and Bud Shank's gorgeous flute solo. Rogers' delightful "Be as Children" almost sounds as if it was adapted from a gospel song. The brisk treatment of Ellington's "Echoes of Harlem," featuring Paul Horn on flute, is refreshing. Only Bobby Scott's "A Taste of Honey" is the least bit disappointing, simply because this arrangement isn't quite as adventurous as the rest of the album. - by Ken Dryden, AMG

Artist: Shorty Rogers
Album: Jazz Waltz
Year: 1963 (Reprise)
Label: WEA Japan (24bit remastered, 2014)
Runtime: 40:11

1.  I'm Gonna Go Fishin' (Duke Ellington/Peggy Lee) 4:33
2.  Greensleeves (Traditional) 5:27
3.  Walk on the Wild Side (Elmer Bernstein) 4:17
4.  Witchcraft (Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh) 2:57
5.  Be as Children (Shorty Rogers) 3:35
6.  Jazz Waltz (Shorty Rogers) 4:06
7.  Echoes of Harlem (Duke Ellington) 4:41
8.  A Taste of Honey (Ric Marlowe/Bobby Scott) 2:52
9.  Terrence's Farewell (Shorty Rogers) 3:34
10.  The Streets of Laredo (Shorty Rogers) 4:05

Shorty Rogers (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Bud Shank (Alto Saxophone) - 1,3,5,6
Joe Maini (Alto Saxophone) - 1,3,5,6
Paul Horn (Alto Saxophone, Flute) - 2,4,7,10
Bill Hood (Baritone Saxophone) - 1,3,5,6
Joe Mondragon (Double Bass)
Mel Lewis (Drums)
Lou Levy (Piano)
Bill Perkins (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,3,5,6
Bob Cooper (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,3,5,6
Harry Betts (Trombone) - 1,3,5,6
Milt Bernhardt (Trombone) - 1,3,5,6
George Roberts (Bass Trombone) - 1,3,5,6
Kenny Shroyer (Bass Trombone)
Al Porcino (Trumpet) - 1,3,5,6
Ray Tiscari (Trumpet) - 1,3,5,6
Joe Burnett (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Ollie Mitchell (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Emil Richards (Vibraphone) - 2,4,7,10
Larry Bunker (Vibraphone) - 1,3,5,6

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bob Brookmeyer - Trombone Jazz Samba / Samba Para Dos

Trombone Jazz Samba:
Bob Brookmeyer was in the studio just a few months after Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd helped to launch the bossa nova craze in the United States with their hit LP Jazz Samba, but this extremely enjoyable LP didn't come close to matching the success of the earlier album; it may be because the valve trombone is not envisioned as a lush melodic instrument by the average jazz listener in comparison to the tenor sax. Brookmeyer's mellow solos are complemented by the presence of guitarists Jim Hall (who plays all of the solos) and Jimmy Raney, along with vibraphonist Gary McFarland and a trio of Latin percussionists, including Willie Bobo. Luiz Bonfá's "Samba de Orfeu" and "Manha de Carnaval" as well as Antonio Carlos Jobim's "A Felicidade" (all three of which have become standards within the genre) are given imaginative arrangements, but there are a few twists thrown in by the leader. Brookmeyer's catchy "Blues Bossa Nova" works very well, as do his loping bossa nova treatment of Bronislaw Kaper's theme from Mutiny on the Bounty and a hilarious brisk chart called "Colonel Bogey Bossa Nova," a reworking of the well-known song made famous by the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. Long out of print, this album deserves to be reissued by Verve -- although there are hopefully some unissued tracks, as its brevity (under 28 minutes) is a handicap.

Samba Para Dos:
This long unavailable record pairs valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer with pianist Lalo Schifrin in a light but swinging Latin-flavored studio session. Although there is a formidable supporting cast, which includes Phil Woods, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Jimmy Raney, the solos are primarily by the co-leaders and Leo Wright, heard on several flute solos. Following Schifrin's extended but lively "Samba Para Dos," the remainder of the date focuses on very familiar standards. Raney's solos are a highlight of "I Get a Kick Out of You" and "My Funny Valentine." The full reed section fleshes out a potent interpretation of "Just One of Those Things," which features an impressive and often humorous solo by Brookmeyer. Although this may not be considered an essential LP by the average jazz fan, it is well worth acquiring. - by Kewn Dryden, AMG

Artist: Bob Brookmeyer
Album: Trombone Jazz Samba (1-8) / Samba Para Dos (9-16)
Year: 1962, 1963 (Verve)
Label: Universal (2012)
Runtime: 59:22

1. Samba de Orfeu (Luiz Bonfa) 4:09
2.  Manha da Carnival (Luiz Bonfa) 4:32
3.  Blues Bossa Nova (Bob Brookmeyer) 4:12
4.  Qual E O Po (Gerson Goncalves/Joao Roberto Kelly) 3:29
5.  A Felicidade (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 3:15
6.  Mutiny on the Bounty (Bronislaw Kaper) 2:04
7.  Chara Tua Tristeza (Oscar Castro-Neves/Luvercy Florini) 4:13
8.  Colonel Bogey Bossa Nova (Kenneth J. Alford) 2:15
9.  Samba Para Dos (Lalo Schifrin) 10:06
10. What Kind Of Fool Am I (Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley) 3:03
11. I Get A Kick Out of You (Cole Porter) 3:34
12. Just One Of Those Things (Cole Porter) 3:20
13. Time After Time (Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn) 3:29
14. It's All Right With Me (Cole Porter) 2:31
15. My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart) 2:01
16. But Not For Me (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin) 3:06

Bob Brookmeyer (Trombone and Piano)
Lalo Schifrin (Piano) 9-16
Jim Hall (Guitar) 1-8
Jimmy Raney (Guitar)
Gary McFarland (Vibraphone) 1-8
Willie Bobo (Percussion) 1-8
Carmen Costa (Cabassa) 1-8
Jose Paulo (Tambourine, Percussion)
Leo Wright (Alto Saxophone, Flute) 9-16
Phil Woods (Alto Saxophone) 9-16
Jerome Richardson (Alto Saxophone) 9-16
Zoot Sims (Tenor Saxophone) 9-16
Al Cohn (Tenor Saxophone) 9-16
Romeo Penque (Bass Clarinet) 9-16
Danny Bank (Baritone Saxophone) 9-16
Frank Rehak (Trombone) 9-16
Carmelita Koehler (Cello) 9-16
Ben Tucker (Double Bass) 9-16
Dave Bailey (Drums) 9-16

Monday, May 4, 2015

Luisa Sobral - There's A Flower In My Bedroom

Portuguese music continues to enjoy an enviable health, which pleases us greatly that we are neighbors and friends yet. Born in Lisbon 25 years ago, the singer-songwriter Luisa Sobral, he surprised two years ago with his album-debut entitled "The Cherry On My Cake", which fuses jazz and pop with American performers preferably reserved for talent. On occasion, she commented that in jazz, the audience is too fixed in the instrumental aspects and little letters, so with his music,
intended to claim the role of excellent composer and writer. His tenure in New York and the School of Music Breklee, have provided a link with the world of jazz and other music, in which the references to the style divas as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington are unavoidable but always as a fulcrum and never pretentious imitation or something, because Luisa has a personality that projects in each and every one of his creations. If I had to compare it to someone you know than enough, I would go for Madeleine Peyroux. Your voice reminds me of the American singer and also something Frenchified atmosphere that both cause in some of his songs. Two years have passed since the release of their first album and Luisa Sobral released "There's A Flower In My Bedroom", confirming the expectations of the quality and originality demonstrated in his first job. Are seventeen tracks in total, in which Luisa deals with different styles, jazz, folk and pop, she connects talented. In this new album, the Portuguese singer performs in English, Spanish ("How many times") and in their own language and, for the occasion, he has chosen Jamie Cullum as a guest on "She Walked doown The Aisle" and also to pianist Mario Laginha, one of the great figures of Portuguese jazz in "The Last One", as well as the singer and guitarist Antonio Zambujo in "Agnes". All acoustic and issues especially recommend as "Mom Says," "I Was In Paris Today" and, my favorite, "As The Night Comes Along", reminiscent of Norah Jones. - from

Artist: Luisa Sobral
Album: There's A Flower In My Bedroom
Year: 2013
Label: Universal
Runtime: 49:32

1.  I Was In Paris Today 2:41
2.  Mom Says 3:21
3.  Sr. Vinho 3:01
4.  She Walked Down The Aisle 3:25
5.  Quando Te Vi 2:41
6.  Cuantas Veces 3:21
7.  Japanese Rose 3:02
8.  What Do You See In Lily? 1:53
9.  Rainbows 2:54
10.  As The Night Comes Along 2:55
11.  Hello Stranger 1:38
12.  The Letter I Won't Send 4:31
13.  Will You Find Me? 2:15
14.  Ines 3:36
15.  I Remember You 2:30
16.  I'll Be Waiting 3:01
17.  The Last One 2:47
All songs written by Luisa Sobral

Luisa Sobral (Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Glockenspiel, Harp, Vocal Trumpet)
Joao Salcedo (Piano, Harmonium, Accordion, Backing Vocals)
Joao Hasselberg (Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals)
Carlos Miguel Antunes (Drums, Backing Vocals)
Mario Barreiros (Guitalele) - 3
Jamie Cullum (Vocals) - 4
Antonio Zambujo (Vocals) - 14
Mario Laginha (Piano) - 17
Gileno Santana (Trumpet, Flugelhorn) - 8,10
Claudio Cesar Ribeiro (Guitar) - 5,14
Vitor Vieira (Violin)
Juan Maggiorani (Violin)
Jorge Alves (Viola)
Marco Pereira (Cello)


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