Saturday, February 20, 2021

Luiz Bonfa - Six Classic Album II


Artist: Luiz Bonfa
Album: Six Classic Album II
Amor! The Fabolous Guitar (1958, Atlantic) 1-8; Ritmos Continentais (1958, Odeon) 9-15.
Year: 2018
Label: Reel To Reel Music
Runtime: 52:51

1.  Old Times (Velhos Tempos) (Luiz Bonfa)  2:45
2.  Marajo (Luiz Bonfa)  2:06
3.  Indian Dance (Luiz Bonfa)  1:21
4.  Nelly (Luiz Bonfa)  2:35
5.  Preludio (Luiz Bonfa)  1:41
6.  Yesterdays (Jerome Kern / Otto Harbach)  2:12
7.  Bagpipes (Luiz Bonfa)  1:46
8.  Arabesque (Luiz Bonfa)  1:58 

9.  Medley 20:07  
10.  Morena Boca De Ouro (Ary Barroso)  2:48 
11.  Verenda Tropical (Gonzalo Curiel) 2:57 
12.  Melodiando (Luiz Bonfa)  3:00 
13.  Eclipse (Margarita Lecuona) 2:45 
14.  Na Baixa Do Sapaterio (Ary Barroso)  2:43 
15.  Swinging in Madrid (Luiz Bonfa)  2:07 

Luiz Bonfa (Guitar) 
Jorge Henrique (Organ) - 1-8 
Eduardo Lincoln (Double Bass) - 1-8
Tommy Lopez (Congas, Bongos) - 1-8 
Joao Stockler (Drums) - 1-8 
Ralph Freundlich (Flute) - 1-8
Don Elliott (Mellophone, Triangle, Vibraphone) - 1-8

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Luiz Bonfa - Six Classic Album I


Amor! The Fabolous Guitar:

This CD is more like American easy listening music than the Brazilian music I associate with Luis Bonfa. Some of the songs have flute or horn with guitar background. Even so, it is very well performed and recording quality is very good. He does three songs that he did not write and this makes the flavor of his music obvious. As usual the guitar work is superb. There doesn't seem to be the passion as in some of his other work, perhaps because of the ensemble format. Some of the songs are too short or at least for me I wish they could have been extended. In summary, I would say this was easy listening with a little bit of Brazilian flavor. Bonfa's guitar is always beautiful and enjoyable. You can't go wrong if you enjoy guitar music to go with Luiz Bonfa. - by Lee Whiteside,

Artist: Luiz Bonfa
Album: Six Classic Album I
De Cigarro en Cigarro (1956, Atlantic) 1-8; Amor! The Fabolous Guitar (1958, Atlantic) 9-15.
Year: 2018
Label: Reel To Reel Music
Runtime: 37:10

1.  De Cigarro en Cigar (Luiz Bonfa) 3:08 
2.  Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen / E.Y. "Yip" Harburg)  2:53 
3.  Meu sonho (Gui Boratto / Ramilson Maia) 2:40 
4.  Carnaval de Ontem (Luiz Bonfa) 2:37 
5.  Esquiando (Luiz Bonfa) 2:18 
6.  Adios (Luiz Bonfa) 2:29 
7.  The Song Is You (Jerome Kern) 3:29 
8.  Te Quiero....Dijiste (María Mendez Grever / Charles Pasquale) 2:36 
9.  Brasilia (Luiz Bonfa) 2:16 
10.  I'll Remember April (Don Raye / Gene DePaul) 2:33 
11.  Lonely Lament (Luiz Bonfa) 2:35 
12.  Carnival (Luiz Bonfa) 1:42 
13.  George Back In Town (Luiz Bonfa) 1:33 
14.  Blue Madrid (Luiz Bonfa) 1:50 
15.  Island Of Trinidade (Luiz Bonfa) 2:31 

Luiz Bonfa (Guitar) 
Jorge Henrique (Organ) - 1-8 
Eduardo Lincoln (Double Bass) - 1-8 
Joao Stockler (Drums) - 1-8 
George Shearing (Piano) - 9-15 
Tommy Lopez (Bongos, Congas) - 9-15 
Ralph Freundlich (Flute) - 9-15 
Don Elliott (Mellophone, Triangle, Vibraphone) - 9-15 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Herbie Mann- First Light - The Family of Man

Actually released as a "band" recording by the Family of Mann, First Light offers an enjoyable mix of accessible, melodic jazz penned by Herbie Mann and his band mates. In addition to Mann's flute and alto flute, Sam Brown's tasty acoustic guitar work and David Newman's smoky tenor sax highlight the album. Longtime Mann collaborator and keyboardist Pat Rebillot provides solid support along with the rhythm section made up of studio stalwarts Tony Levin and Steve Gadd. This album is more laidback than most of the Mann catalog from the era, with the rhythmic variations and complementary interplay between the musicians contributing to the feeling of a real band. First Light is one of the classiest and most unified recordings of Herbie Mann's long career. - by Jim Newsom, AMG

Artist: Herbie Mann
Album: First Light - The Family of Mann
Year: 1974
Label: Warner Japan (24bit remastered)
Runtime: 39:09

1.  Toot Stick 2:20 (Herbie Mann)
2.  Davey Blue 4:37 (David Newman)
3.  Daffodil 2:58 (Tony Levin)
4.  The Turtle and the Frog 2:40 (Herbie Mann / Steve Gadd)
5.  Muh Hoss Knows the Way 2:18 (Sam Brown)
6.  Music Is a Game We Play 4:37  (Tony Levin)
7.  Sunrise Highs 9:17 (Sam Brown)
8.  Thank You Mr. Rushing 3:05 (Pat Rebillot)
9.  Mexicali 4:17 (Herbie Mann)
10.  Lullaby for Mary Elizabeth 3:00 (Herbie Mann / Steve Gadd)

Herbie Mann (Flute)
Tony Levin (Bass Guitar)
Steve Gadd (Drums, Kalimba)
Sam Brown (Guitar)
Pat Rebillot (Keyboards)
Armen Halburian (Percussion)
David "Fathead" Newman (Tenor Saxophone, Flute)
Carlos "Patato" Valdes (Congas) - 1

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Herbie Mann - Waterbed

If you need an example of how jazz critics and soul/funk audiences didn't see eye to eye in the 1970s, you need look no further than Herbie Mann. Many jazz critics hated commercial Mann LPs like Discotheque and Waterbed with a passion, and saw them as examples of a gifted virtuoso dumbing his music down in order to sell more records. But young soul and funk lovers -- the ones who made 1975's "Hijack" a hit on black radio -- were digging Mann and didn't understand why jazz snobs had it in for him. Although it contains a funky version of Ben Tucker's "Coming Home, Baby," Waterbed is a vocal-oriented soul/funk project first and foremost. In fact, it's one of the strongest commercial albums he recorded, thanks to memorable cuts that range from the infectious title song and the haunting "Body Oil" to remakes of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" and Joe Cuba's "Bang! Bang!." A dynamo of a singer, Cissy Houston (Whitney Houston's mother) has an excellent spot on the dusky "Violent Don't Be Blue" -- it's too bad she would eventually give up secular music altogether. Unfortunately, Waterbed has long been out of print, but it's worth trying to find if you're a fan of 1970s soul/funk. - by Alex Henderson, AMG

Artist: Herbie Mann
Album: Waterbed
Year: 1975 (Atlantic Records)
Label: Warner Japan (2014, 24bit remastered)
Runtime: 37:40

1.  Waterbed (Melvin Barton / Walter Chiles) 3:51 
2.  Comin' Home Baby (Benjamin Tucker / Bob Dorough) 5:35
3.  Paradise Music (Herbie Mann) 4:57
4.  Bang! Bang! (Jimmy Sabater / Joe Cuba) 4:51
5.  Deus Xango (Astor Piazzolla) 4:37
6.  Violet Don't Be Blue (Pat Kirby / Pat Rebillot) 5:10
7.  I Got A Woman (Ray Charles) 3:50
8.  Body Oil (Herbie Mann) 4:49

Herbie Mann (Flute)
Cissy Houston (Backing Vocals)
Eunice Peterson (Backing Vocals)
Sylvia Shemwell (Backing Vocals)
Tony Levin (Bass Guitar) - 2-4,8
Will Lee (Double Bass) - 1,5-7
Michael Rudiakov (Cello) - 3-6,8
Steve Gadd (Drums) - 1-4,6-8
Bob Mann (Guitar) - 2-4,8
Hugh McCracken (Guitar) - 2-4,8
Jeff Mironov (Guitar) - 1,5-7
Armen Halburian (Percussion) - 2-4,8
Ralph MacDonald (Percussion) - 2-4,8
Ray Barretto (Percussion) - 2-4,8
Ray Mantilla (Percussion) - 2-4,8
Jean Dane (Viola) - 3-6,8
Anahid Ajemian (Violin) - 3-6,8
Matthew Raimondi (Violin) - 3-6,8
David Newman (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,7
Alan Schwartzberg (Drums) - 5
Darryl Washington (Drums) - 5

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Eric Burdon & War - Love Is All Around

An odd collection of live tracks and what sound like cuts from the two Eric Burdon and War albums released at the turn of the '70s, 1976's LOVE IS ALL AROUND was probably a contractual obligation album. That said, it's a pretty terrific collection of long, loose War jams, which sound marvelous. Limber rhythms and dead-on horn and harmonica accents made this L.A. band one of the premier funk outfits of the '70s. Unfortunately, as was usually the case with Eric Burdon and War, their free-flowing funkiness and his more constricted, blues-based singing style don't always mesh as well as they might, as on the slightly awkward verses of the title track. But when War opens up and lets loose, it's hard to imagine a better band. -

The album opens with a funky (War exists, of course, as one of the most naturally funky collections of instrumental artists on the planet) rock track originally laid down in 1970, 'Love Is All Around'... not to be confused with the 1960's Troggs hit that prevented the latter from being a one-trick pony. Two other tracks are also drawn from 1970, 'Magic Mountain', which premiered as the flip side of the band's sole hit single, 'Spill the Wine', which rose to #3 on the national charts in July of that year. It's also one of the more interesting tracks, producing a unique psychedelic sound by mixing slow-tempo horns with a fast tempo piano melody and rhythm track. The lyrics continue 'Spill the Wine's' theme, offering such high-minded considerations as, "We're goin' high, high, high... never comin' down". 'A Day In the Life' follows, a daring eleven minute plus cover of The Beatle's epic finish to their most epic album. An organ replaces the piano foundation for the song, and while some horn and electric lead guitar add some unique flourishes, the song comes off a bit "lounge-y" in comparison to the original. A studio version of the cover is also offered on 'Black Man's Burdon'. The closing track, a ten minute plus rendition of The Rolling Stone's 'Paint It Black' comes off much stronger, featuring a driving beat, an unbelievably rocking bridge, and those familiar lyrics over an unfamiliar instrumental construct. The track was recorded live in 1969 in L.A., and offers an interesting contrast to versions by The Stones and West, Bruce and Laing. Two other tracks sum up the disc, a six and one-half minute take on the oft-covered classic 'Tobacco Road', given (of course) a funk/jazz treatment, and an eleven minute plus, Eric Burdon composed blues track titled 'Home Dream', spiced up with a jazzy sax and conga bridge. - by Don Schmittdiel,

Artist: Eric Burdon & War
Album: Love Is All Around
Year: 1976 (recorded 1969-1970)
Label: Avenue Records (1993)
Runtime: 43:46

1.  Love Is All Around (Papa Dee Allen/Harold Brown/B.B. Dickerson/Lonnie Jordan/Charles Miller/Howard Scott) 4:14
2.  Tobacco Road (John D. Loudermilk) 6:36
3.  Home Dream (Eric Burdon) 7:15
4.  Magic Mountain (Papa Dee Allen/Harold Brown/B.B. Dickerson/Lonnie Jordan/Charles Miller/Howard Scott) 4:22
5.  A Day In The Life (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) 11:06
6.  Medley: Paint It Black - Black On Black In Black - Paint It Black - Laurel & Hardy - Black Bird (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards) 10:10

Eric Burdon (Vocals, Percussion)
Papa Dee Allen (Conga, Bongos, Percussion, Backing Vocals)
Harold Brown (Drums, Percussion,Backing Vocals)
B.B. Dickerson (Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals)
Lonnie Jordan (Organ, Piano, Backing Vocals)
Charles Miller (Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Alto Saxophones, Percussion, Flute, Backing Vocals)
Howard Scott (Guitar, Backing Vocals)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Eddie Harris - E.H. In The U.K.

Following the hip strategy of the time, Eddie Harris flew to London to mix it up with some of Britain's most in-demand rockers -- including guitarists Jeff Beck and Albert Lee, pianist Stevie Winwood and drummer Alan White -- on this LP. Truthfully, though, most of the results aren't too different from what Harris had been recording at home at the time, with only a hint of a rock edge. If anything, the workmanlike Brits are too much on their best behavior -- Beck plays with restraint and taste while Lee is jazzier and a bit flashier -- making Harris seem like a wild man by comparison. The most entertaining tune is an EH-patented funkster "Wait a Little Longer," which develops a head of steam and escalates into a freeform brawl, but the designated free workout "Conversations of Everything and Nothing," give or take a few stimulating passages, wanders uncontrollably. - by Richard S. Ginell, AMG

Artist: Eddie Harris
Album. E.H. in the U.K.
Year: 1973
Label: Atlantic Records (24bit remastered, 2013)
Runtime: 43:17

1.  Baby (Eddie Harris) 6:45
2.  Wait A Little Longer (Eddie Harris) 4:12
3.  He's Island Man (Eddie Harris) 2:25
4.  I've Tried Everything (Eddie Harris) 8:13
5.  I Waited For You (Charles Stepney) 5:48
6.  Conversations Of Everything And Nothing (Eddie Harris) 15:54

Eddie Harris (Electric Saxophone, Electric Trumpet, Vocals, Piano)
Albert Lee (Guitar)
Alan White (Drums) - 1,2,5,6
Stevie Winwood (Electric Piano) - 3-6
Raymond Burrell (Bass Guitar) - 1-3
Zoot Money (Piano, Electric Piano) - 1,2
Neil Hubbard (Guitar) - 1,2
Lofty Amao (Congas) - 3,4
Ian Pace (Drums) - 3,4
Jeff Beck (Guitar) - 3,4
Rick Grech (Bass Guitar) - 4
Chris Squire (Bass Guitar) - 5,6
Tony Kaye (Synthesizer) - 5,6

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hank Crawford - True Blue

This lesser-known Hank Crawford set has plenty of enjoyable numbers that fit into the R&Bish soul/jazz idiom. Crawford, who plays piano on two of the ten songs but otherwise sticks to his distinctive alto, is the main soloist other than three short spots for either John Hunt or Phil Guilbeau on trumpet. Most of the selections on this out-of-print LP are quite catchy with the highlights including "Shake A-Plenty," a passionate "Merry Christmas Baby," "Save Your Love for Me" and "Two Years of Torture." - by Scott Yanow, AMG

A cool cooker from altoist Hank Crawford – cut in a tightly-grooving ensemble mode that really reflects his roots with Ray Charles! The tunes are mostly short, but have a great sense of personality – a vibrant approach that comes not just from Hank's lead solos, but also from the group backing by players who include James Clay and Wilbur Brown on tenor, Charlie Patterson on trumpet, and Sonny Forriest on guitar. Hank plays a bit of piano at times, and both John Hunt and Phil Guilbeau get in some trumpet solos too – and titles include "Mellow Down", "Shake-A-Plenty", "Shooby", "Blues In Bloom", and "Skunky Green". - Dusty Groove, Inc.

Artist: Hank Crawford
Album: True Blue
Year: 1964
Label: Atlantic Records (Japanese remaster, 2013)
Runtime: 35:33

1.  Shake-A-Plenty (Hank Crawford) 2:36
2.  Mellow Down (Hank Crawford) 3:01
3.  Read 'em And Weep (Hank Crawford) 3:15
4.  Merry Christmas Baby (Lou Baxter/Johnny Moore) 3:50
5.  Save Your Love For Me (Buddy Johnson) 3:57
6.  Skunky Green (Hank Crawford) 2:37
7.  Two Years Of Torture (Percy Mayfield/Charles Morris) 4:27
8.  Blues In Bloom (Norman Mapp) 4:14
9.  Got You On My Mind (Howard Biggs/Joe Thomas) 3:12
10.  Shooby (Hank Crawford) 4:24

Hank Crawford (Alto Saxophone)
Julius Brooks (Trumpet) - 2,4,8
Phil Guilbeau (Trumpet) - 3,5-7
John Hunt (Trumpet) - 1,9,10
Charlie Patterson (Trumpet) - 1,9,10
Wilbur Brown (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,2,4,8-10
James Clay (Tenor Saxophone) - 3,5-7
Leroy Cooper (Baritone Saxophone) - 2-8
Alexander Nelson (Baritone Saxophone) - 1,9,10
Sonny Forriest (Guitar) - 3,5-7
Charles Green (Double Bass) - 2,4,8
Edgar Willis (Double Bass) - 3,5-7
Lewis Worrell (Double Bass) - 1,9,10
Bruno Carr (Drums) - 3,5-7
Carl Lott (Drums) - 1,9,10
Milt Turner (Drums) - 2,4,8

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Herbie Mann - Stone Flute

The 1970 record buyer who came across Stone Flute expecting a typical Herbie Mann album in the Memphis Underground vein was in for a big surprise. Instead of funk, there was moodiness. Instead of a groove, there were violins, viola and cello. The feeling was one of floating in space, with the flute sailing freely over the William Fischer arrangements, like a Miles Davis trumpet solo of this, the Bitches Brew era. This is a totally atypical Herbie Mann recording, but one which rewards repeated listening. - by Jim Newsom, AMG.

Artists often fall short when they step out of their trademark sound, but not Herbie Mann, best known for his soulful jazz. Here on Stone Flute, Mann slides into an atmospheric and spacious sound, much as Miles Davis did on Bitches Brew, developing sparse string arrangements that are inter-laced with his magical flute, creating insightfully light exotic and airy washes of psychedelic blissful wonder. Opening the album with “In Tangier,” and a sly nod and reference to the original version laid out by the legendary 60’s troubadour Donovan, with Mann creating an intoxicating stoned out celestial flight across the galaxie. Locked in tight with the mind-bending heyday of the mid 60’s swirling from his flute, he moves into “Flying,” a profound influential Beatles instrumental from The Magical Mystery Tour, creating a vibe that is equally as hallucinatory. The rest of the tracks are top shelf straight forward thinking jazz that grooves along at a steady pace, exhibiting Mann’s unmistakable restraint to allow things to flower, and then moves on in a contained, yet free spirited manner. Stone Flute is a unique body of work from the Herbie Mann catalog, with minor hints at late 60’s and early 70’s experiments into the realm of fusion and sound exploration … though not quiet, because it is very accessible. Nevertheless, this is not an album you’re gonna want to miss, as it goes down easy, holding your attention, without demanding it. - by Jenell Kesler,

Artist: Herbie Mann
Album: Stone Flute
Year: 1970 (Embryo)
Label: WEA Japan (2013, 24bit remastered)
Runtime: 40:57

1.  In Tangier (David Mills) / Flying (Herbie Mann) 10:39
2.  Flying (George Harrison / John Lennon / Paul McCartney / Ringo Starr) 5:21
3.  Don't You Know The Way (How I Feel About You) (Herbie Mann) 5:17
4.  Miss Free Spirit (Herbie Mann) 12:40
5.  Waltz For My Son (Herbie Mann) 4:20
6.  Pendulum (William Fischer) 2:40

Herbie Mann (Flute)
Sonny Sharrock (Guitar)
Roy Ayers (Vibraphone)
Selwart Clarke (Violin, Viola)
Miroslav Vitous (Double Bass) - 3-5
Ron Carter (Double Bass) - 1,2,6
Bruno Carr (Drums) - 1,2,6
Mickey Roker (Drums) - 3-5
George Ricci (Cello) - 1,2,6
Kermit Moore (Cello) - 3-5
Al Brown (Viola) - 3-5
Emanuel Green (Violin) - 1,2,6
Gene Orloff (Violin) - 1,2,6
Peter Dimitriades (Violin) - 3-5


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