Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Jaco Pastorius - The Birthday Concert

On an irregular basis in the early '80s, the innovative electric bassist Jaco Pastorius led a big band that he called Word of Mouth. This excellent LP documents Pastorius' 30th birthday party, a concert at which he was joined by the Peter Graves Orchestra (consisting of 14 horns, two steel drums, and two percussionists) plus drummer Peter Erskine, Don Alias on conga, and both Michael Brecker and Bob Mintzer on tenors. Brecker co-stars with Pastorius on a strong program that is highlighted by "The Chicken," a burning rendition of "Invitation," and "Liberty City." The music is full of spirit and joy, featuring Pastorius at the peak of his powers just before his tragic decline. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

This is a terrific, fun album. It's the way I wish I could have seen Jaco. A small club with a great band, featuring a terrific horn section and a drummer that is totally in sinc with Jaco's playing. This album was recorded live at Mr. Pips in Ft Lauderdale, which was a familiar place to all of us who grew up in Ft Lauderdale. Peter Yianolos did a superb job of capturing the sound of the band. Cut's on this album like The Chicken and Liberty City reflect Jaco's R&B roots more than the more jazz oriented material he came to be known for with Weather Report, although there is some of that type of material included as well. This album is a terrific way to introduce the young bassist to Jaco as well as a good way to for the seasoned Jaco fan to remember where Jaco came from musically. - by Pedro Valdes,

Artist: Jaco Pastorius
Album: The Birthday Concert
Year: 1981
Label: Warner Bros. (1995)
Runtime: 69:22

1.  Soul Intro / The Chicken (Pee Wee Ellis / Jaco Pastorius) 8:00
2.  Continuum (Jaco Pastorius) 2:34
3.  Invitation (Bronislaw Kaper) 17:43
4.  Three Views Of A Secret (Jaco Pastorius) 5:56
5.  Liberty City (Jaco Pastorius) 8:11
6.  Punk Jazz (Jaco Pastorius) 4:35
7.  Happy Birthday (Mildred Hill / Patty Smith Hill) 1:48
8.  Reza (Jaco Pastorius) 10:36
9.  Domingo (Jaco Pastorius) 5:39
10.  Band Intros 2:37
11.  Amerika (Traditional) 1:43

Jaco Pastorius (Bass)
Michael Brecker (Tenor Saxophone)
Bob Mintzer (Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet)
Don Alias (Congas)
Peter Erskine (Drums)
Randy Emerick (Baritone Saxophone)
Robert Thomas, Jr. (Congas)
Peter Gordon (French Horn)
Oscar Salas (Percussion)
Dan Bonsanti (Saxophone, Woodwind)
Gary Lindsay (Saxophone, Woodwind)
Neal Bonsanti (Saxophone, Woodwind)
Othello Molineaux (Steel Drums)
Paul Hornmüller (Steel Drums)
Mike Katz (Trombone)
Russ Freeland (Trombone)
Peter Graves (Trombone [Bass])
Dave Bargeron (Trombone, Tuba)
Brett Murphy (Trumpet)
Brian O'Flaherty (Trumpet)
Ken Faulk (Trumpet)
Melton Mustafa (Trumpet)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Omara Portuondo - Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo

A beautifully executed and produced album by Omara Portuando, the only woman to appear on the original Buena Vista Social Club recordings. Portuando, who is one of Cuba's most acclaimed musicians and a featured performer at the Tropicana, has shown here that, at 70, she still possesses the qualities that helped develop her stardom on her native island. This recording, which covers a variety of traditional musical styles, from son to guajira to bolero, makes it easy to see why critics have called her the Edith Piaf of Cuba and "The Fiancée of Feeling." The style, especially on the second track, "He Perdido Contigo," evokes a nostalgic, old-fashioned sentiment, and the songwriting is classic. Featured performers include Rubén González on piano, Eliades Ochoa and Compay Segundo on guitar, and a full string section including Angel and Arelis Zaldivar. The performances are lively and tight, creating an album that feels nearly perfect. A full set of liner notes, including English translations of all of the lyrics, makes the album even more accessible. by Stacia Proefock, AMG

Artist: Omara Portuondo
Album: Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo
Year: 2000
Label: World Circuit
Runtime: 40:45

1.  La Sitiera (Rafael Lopez) 3:57
2.  He Perdido Contigo (Luis Cardenas / Maria Teresa Vera) 3:49
3.  Dónde Estabas Tú (Ernesto Duarte) 3:47
4.  Mariposita De Primavera (Miguel Matamoros) 2:54
5.  Canta Lo Sentimental (Y. De La Fuente / Urbano Gomez Montiel) 3:26
6.  Ella Y Yo (Oscar Hernandez) 3:24
7.  No Me Vayas A Enganar (Osvaldo Farrés) 2:53
8.  No Me Llores Más (Arsenio Rodríguez) 4:59
9.  Veinte Anos (Maria Teresa Vera) 4:43
10.  El Hombre Que Yo Amé (The Man I Love) (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin) 3:11
11.  Siempre En Mi Corazón (Ernesto Lecuona) 3:42

Omara Portuondo (Vocals)
Panteleon Sanchez (Alto Saxophone)
Javier Zalba (Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone)
Danie Valdes (Backing Vocals)
Teresita Garcia Caturla (Backing Vocals)
Xiomara Valdes (Backing Vocals)
Ventura Gutierrez (Baritone Saxophone)
Filiberto Sanchez (Bongos)
Arelis Zaldivar (Cello)
Roy Avila Serrano (Cello)
Lazaro Villa (Claves, Backing Vocals)
Angel Terry Domech (Congas)
Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez (Double Bass)
Roberto Garcia (Guiro)
Ruben Gonzales (Keyboards)
Alberto "Virgilio" Valdes (Maracas)
Antonio Jimenez (Tenor Saxophone)
Carlos Fernandez (Tenor Saxophone)
Rafael Jenks (Tenor Saxophone)
Amadito Valdes (Timbales)
Antonio Leal (Trombone)
Jesus Ramos (Trombone, Backing Vocals)
Alejandro Pichardo (Trumpet)
Daniel Ramos (Trumpet)
Yanko Pichardo (Trumpet)
Yaure Muniz (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Eliades Ochoa (Guitar) - 1,2
Alberto Valdes (Claves) - 4
Manuel Galban (Guitar) - 5
Roger Beaujolais (Vibraphone) - 5
Haskell Armenteros (Clarinet) - 6
Rafael Lazaro Inciarte (Clarinet) - 6
Gilberto Oviedo (Tres) - 8
Ibrahim Ferrer (Vocals) - 8
Benito Suarez (Guitar) - 6
Compay Segundo (Guitar) - 6
Carlos Gonzalez (Bongos) - 11

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sonny Rollins - Falling In Love With Jazz

This average effort from Sonny Rollins and his regular sextet is most notable for two numbers ("For All We Know" and "I Should Care") that find Branford Marsalis joining Rollins in a quintet with pianist Tommy Flanagan. Unfortunately Marsalis makes the fatal error of trying to imitate Rollins (instead of playing in his own musical personality) and he gets slaughtered. Much better are Rollins's romps on "Tennessee Waltz" and "Falling in Love with Love." - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Sonny Rollins
Album: Falling In Love With Jazz
Year: 1990
Label: Milestone Records
Runtime: 46:29

1.  For All We Know (Fred Coots / Sam Lewis) 7:38
2.  Tennessee Waltz (Pee Wee King / Redd Stewart) 6:13
3.  Little Girl Blue (Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers) 7:37
4.  Falling In Love With You (Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers) 4:46
5.  I Should Care (Sammy Cahn / Axel Stordahl / Paul Weston) 7:29
6.  Sister (Sonny Rollins) 7:01
7.  Amanda (Sonny Rollins) 5:45

Sonny Rollins (Tenor Saxophone)
Jerome Harris (Bass Guitar, Guitar)
Jack DeJohnette (Drums) - 2,4,6,7
Bob Cranshaw (Bass Guitar) - 2-4,6,7
Mark Soskin (Piano, Synthesizer) - 2-4,6,7
Jeff "Tain" Watts (Drums) - 1,5
Tommy Flanagan (Piano) - 1,5
Branford Marsalis (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,5
Clifton Anderson (Trombone) - 6,7


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