Monday, October 31, 2016

Mel Tormé - Comin' Home Baby!

Paced by his only hit of the rock era, Comin' Home Baby! is a real crossover record, balancing a few groovy dance numbers (like the title track) with early-'60s cool jazz versions of the standards "Walkin'," "Moanin'," and "On Green Dolphin Street." Though Mel Tormé never made a terrible record -- his crisp voice and ineffable delivery carried all of his dates -- this session has to count as a low point. The constant striving for some sort of jazz-hipster atmosphere relegates one of Tormé's positive attributes -- his excellent scatting -- into little more than a novelty act. Shorty Rogers, who arranged the record except for the two hit hopefuls (Claus Ogerman's "Comin' Home Baby!" and "Right Now"), attempts to equal Marty Paich's excellent arrangement on the mid-'50s records -- and doesn't quite succeed. "Moanin'" is a stale recasting of the superior Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross version, and the child noise on "Dat Dere" is just baffling. Compared to Tormé's other record for Atlantic, Sunday in New York, Comin' Home Baby! is a passé work that understandably can't get much of a reaction from the usually majestic Mel Tormé.- by John Bush, AMG

Artist: Mel Tormé
Album: Comin' Home Baby!
Year: 1962
Label: WEA Japan (24bit remastered, 2012)
Runtime: 33:12

1.  Comin' Home Baby! (Bob Dorough / Ben Tucker) 2:41
2.  Dat Dere (Oscar Brown, Jr. / Bobby Timmons) 2:58
3.  The Lady's in Love With You (Burton Lane / Frank Loesser) 3:01
4.  Hi-Fly (Jon Hendricks / Randy Weston) 3:13
5.  Puttin' on the Ritz (Irving Berlin) 2:23
6.  Walkin' (Richard Carpenter) 2:59
7.  Moanin' (Jon Hendricks / Bobby Timmons) 3:03
8.  Sing You Sinners (Sam Coslow / Frank Harling) 2:27
9.  Whisper Not (Leonard Feather / Benny Golson) 2:49
10.  On Green Dolphin Street (Bronislaw Kaper / Ned Washington) 2:56
11.  Sidney's Soliloquy (Jimmy Wisner) 2:30
12.  Right Now (Herbie Mann / Carl Sigman) 2:12

Mel Torme (Vocals)
Larry Bunker (Drums)
Milt Bernhardt (Trombone)
Harry Betts (Trombone)
Joe Burnett (Trumpet)
Buddy Colette (Woodwind)
Shorty Rogers (Arranger, Conductor)
Ollie Mitchell (Trumpet)
Al Porcino (Trumpet)
Ray Tiscari (Trumpet)
Kenny Shroyer (Trombone)
John Kitzmiller (Tuba)
Bob Cooper (Woodwind)
Bill Hood (Woodwind)
Bud Shank (Woodwind)
Gene Estes (Vibraphone)
Mike Wofford (Piano)
Joe Mondragon (Double Bass)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Radio Tarifa - Temporal

Started around 1990, Radio Tarifa is a Spanish ensemble that has come into its own as a purveyor of pan-Mediterranean musical styles from across time. With a penchant for traditional gypsy pieces from Persia, North Africa, and their homeland, Radio Tarifa provides musical proof of the continuity of gypsy music throughout the world (a fact explicated in the film Latcho Drom with equal effectiveness). For their second release, Temporal, the ensemble concentrates on traditional material from Iberia, with pieces culled from Galician, Andalucian, Castilian, and Flamenco culture.
Reflecting the distinctly Middle Eastern influence -- via Moorish culture -- in Spanish music, many of the cuts here feature such Persian, Arabic, and North African instruments, including the tar lute, ney flute, and derbouka clay drum. The group also use Greek and Indian instruments, not to mention both medieval and modern devices like the crumhorn wind instrument, organ, and electric bass. This rich mix is topped off by some excellent vocal performances. Another fine title in the group's small but stellar catalog. - by Stephen Cook, AMG

Artist: Radio Tarifa
Album: Temporal
Year: 1996
Label: BMG
Runtime: 43:52

1.  La Tarara (Traditional/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 3:22
2.  Las Cuevas (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 5:11
3.  Canción Sefardi (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 4:22
4.  Baile de Almut (Fain S. Duenas) 3:50
5.  Solea (Traditional/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 4:29
6.  Tangos de la Condición (Traditional/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 4:22
7.  Conductus (Traditional/arr. Fain S. Duenas/Vincent Molino/Ramiro Amusategui) 4:04
8.  Temporal (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 5:31
9.  El Mandil de Carolina (Traditional/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 3:56
10.  Vestido de Flores (Traditional/Benjamin Escoriza/arr. Fain S. Duenas) 4:40

Fain S. Duenas (Banjo, Bouzouki, Bass Guitar, Spanish Guitarand Percussion)
Benjamin Escoriza (Vocals) - 1,3,8-10
Peter Oteo (Bass Guitar) - 1-3,7,10
Vincent Molino (Nay, Cromornos, Oboe) - 1-3,5,7,9
Ramiro Amusategui (Oud) - 1,6,7
Wafir Sh. Gibril (Accordeon, Violin) - 1,6,10
Jaime Muela (Soprano and Tenor Saxophone) - 1,7
Sebastian Rubio (Percussion) - 1,4
Rafael Jimenez (Vocals) - 5,6
Joaquin Ruiz (Flamenco Dance) - 2
Cope Gutierrez (Hammond Organ) - 3
Javier Colina (Double Bass) - 8
Javier Paxarino (Bansuri Flute) - 8

Monday, October 3, 2016

Ike Quebec - Bossa Nova Soul Samba

This was veteran tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec's final recording as a leader. It was cut in October 1962 and produced by Alfred Lion a little more than three months before the saxophonist's death. Bossa Nova Soul Samba was recorded and released during the bossa nova craze, as Brazilian music was first brought to the attention of pop listeners via Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's smash hit with Tom Jobim's "Desafinado," on their Jazz Samba record for Verve in February. After that, seemingly everyone was making a bossa nova record. Quebec's effort is a bit unusual in that none of the musicians (guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Wendell Marshall, drummer Willie Bobo, and percussionist Garvin Masseaux) was associated with Brazilian (as opposed to Afro-Cuban) jazz before this, and that there isn't a single tune written by Jobim on the set. Quebec emphasizes warm, long tones (reminiscent of Coleman Hawkins in a romantic fashion), and his sidemen play light and appealing but nonetheless authoritative bossa rhythms. Standout tracks here include Burrell's own "Loie," which opens the disc, "Goin' Home," based on a tune by classical composer Antonin Dvorák and arranged by Quebec -- he does the same with "Liebestraum" two tunes later -- and the stunning "Favela," by the crack composing team of Joraci Camargo and Heckel Tavares. The result is high-quality melodic Brazilian dance music with Burrell shining in particular. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Ike Quebec
Album: Bossa Nova Jazz Samba
Year: 1962
Label: Blue Note (Remastered, 1996)
Runtime: 48:30

1.  Loie (Kenny Burrell) 3:12
2.  Lloro Tu Despedida (Cabral/Joraci Camargo/Lacerda) 3:06
3.  Goin' Home (Antonin Dvorák) 5:43
4.  Me 'N You (Ike Quebec) 6:01
5.  Liebestraum (Franz Liszt) 3:44
6.  Shu Shu (Antonio Almeida/Carlos Monteiro DeSouza) 3:32
7.  Blue Samba (Ike Quebec) 5:23
8.  Favela (Joraci Camargo/Heckel Tavares) 4:02
9.  Linda Flor (Henrique Vogeler) 3:28
10.  Loie (Alternate Take) (Kenny Burrell) 3:36
11.  Shu Shu (Alternate Take) (Antonio Almeida/Carlos Monteiro DeSouza) 3:21
12.  Favela (Alternate Take) (Joraci Camargo/Heckel Tavares) 3:22

Ike Quebec (Tenor Saxophone)
Kenny Burrell (Guitar)
Wendell Marshall (Double Bass)
Willie Bobo (Drums)
Garvin Masseaux (Chekere)


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