28 January, 2011


Charles Mingus - Mingus Dynasty (1959) (eac-log-cover)

Charles Mingus - Mingus Dynasty (1959)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 400MB
Mingus Ah Um catapulted Charles Mingus from a much-discussed semi-underground figure to a near-universally accepted and acclaimed leader in modern jazz. Perhaps that's why his Columbia follow-up, Mingus Dynasty, is often overlooked in his canon -- it's lost in the shadow of its legendary predecessor, both because of that album's achievement and the fact that it's just a notch below the uppermost echelon of Mingus' work. Having said that, Mingus Dynasty is still an excellent album -- in fact, it's a testament to just how high a level Mingus was working on that an album of this caliber could have gotten lost in the shuffle. There's a definite soundtrack quality to a great deal of the music here, and indeed the majority of Mingus' originals here were composed for film and television scores and an expanded, nine- to ten-piece group. On some pieces, Mingus refines and reworks territory he'd previously hit upon. "Slop," for example, is another gospel-inflected 6/8 stormer, composed for a TV production that requested a piece similar to "Better Get It in Your Soul." The ferocious "Gunslinging Bird" follows a similar pattern, and it's the same piece whose full title -- "If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats" -- is given elsewhere. There are a couple of numbers from the Ellington songbook that both feature cellos -- "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and a fantastic, eight-minute "Mood Indigo" -- and a couple of pieces that rely on the even more tightly orchestrated approach of Mingus' pre-Pithecanthropus Erectus days -- "Far Wells, Mill Valley" and the atonal but surprisingly tender and melodic "Diane." The CD reissue of Mingus Dynasty -- like that of its predecessor -- restores the full-length versions of some songs that had portions of solos edited for time on the original LP release.

-01. "Slop"
-02. "Diane"
-03. "Song With Orange"
-04. "Gunslinging Bird"
-05. "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" (Mercer Ellington)
-06. "Far Wells, Mill Valley"
-07. "New Now Know How"
-08. "Mood Indigo" (Barney Bigard, Duke Ellington)
-09. "Put Me In That Dungeon"
-10. "Strollin' " (Nostalgia In Times Square) (Mingus, Nat Gordon)

Teddy Charles (Vibraphone), Don Ellis (Trumpet), Booker Ervin (Saxophone), John Handy (Saxophone), Jimmy Knepper (Trombone), Jimmy Knepper (Trombone), Charles Mingus (Bass), Jerome Richardson (Saxophone), Dannie Richmond (Drums), Seymour Barab (Cello), Maurice Brown (Cello), Benny Golson (Saxophone), Benny Golson (Sax (Tenor)), Roland Hanna (Piano), Dick Williams (Trumpet), Richard Gene Williams (Trumpet)


Super Guitar Trio - Live At Montreux (1989) (music video)

Super Guitar Trio - Live At Montreux (1989)
jazz | DVD5 PAL | DD 2.0, 5.1; DTS 5.1 | iso, cover | 4240MB
Eagle Vision | rel: 2007
The word "super" as a way of sneaking in as a descriptive epithet, merited or not. In this instance it sits upfront of Guitar Trio, the triumvirate comprised of Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola and Biréli Lagrène. The three came together for a five-week tour in 1989, the last stop being the Montreux Jazz Festival. The performance gives them a right to the adjective; it captures the virtuoso strengths, the imagination and the empathy of the players and casts them in solo, duo and trio settings.
The players, all dressed in white, take the stage for "PSP No. II. It's an exhilarating ride and just the right tune to capture the attention of the audience. Di Meola gets first nod and sets up the Latin melody. His technique is a marvel to see and hear: a ripple of notes, a flowing cascade, a gentle flow that sips becomingly from each note. Coryell and Lagrène add to the chordal effects and bring their own individuality to their solo spots. In tandem, the pair provide 11 minutes of pure delight.
Coryell is at ease in several styles. He gets into a duet with Di Meola on Astor Piazzolla's "Tango Suite (For Two Guitars), which is another vantage point of two masters at work. They conceptualize, then execute the tune brilliantly, bringing in vibrant textures through their melodic lines augmented by their fresh chord structures. Coryell extends his ambit with Lagrène on "Musette de Paris Avec la Rue Dupierre No. 5, on which he is more of a muse to Lagrène who shapes the tune with improvisations and neat harmonic variations.
The trio comes back for two Chick Corea tunes to end the concert. No Mystery and "Spain let them weave one spell after another, both in their interplay and in their individual moments. Di Meola even finds the right time to reference "Leaving on a Jet Plane during "No Myster," revealing a sly sense of humor.
The concert is an emotional and imaginative lock-in, the power of their craft transforming each tune into a little nugget.

-01: PSP No. II;
-02: Tango Suite (For Two Guitars);
-03: Orient Blue Suite/Traces of a Tear;
-04: Musette de Paris Avec la Rue Dupierre No. 5;
-05: Waltz;
-06: Brazilliance;
-07: No Mystery;
-08: Spain.

Larry Coryell: guitar; Al Di Meola: guitar; Biréli Lagrène: guitar.

71 minutes. Recorded July 1989, at Montreux, Switzerland.


Super Guitar Trio & Friends - In Concert (1990) (music video)

Super Guitar Trio & Friends - In Concert (1990)
jazz | DVD5 NTSC | DD 5.1; DTS 5.1; LPCM 2.0 | iso, cover | 4130MB
TDK | rel: 2005
The Super Guitar Trio is captured live at the Nightstage in Cambridge, Massachusetts in this May 24, 1990 performance featuring the acoustic mastery of performers Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell, and Biréli Lagrène. As the trio performs both original works as well as covers of Chick Corea's "Spain" and "No Mystery", guitarist Chris Carrington, and percussionists Arto Tuncboyaci and Gumbi Ortiz fill out the sound as the skilled trio's backing band.
I love these types of DVDs. A few years back I saw a concert that was similar to this: "Friday Night In San Francisco" It was amazing live. This DVD brought back memories of the show and CD I bought. Of course this was a different line up, I saw Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola, and John McLaughin oh and a little known axe player at the time Steve Morse I guess it was more than a few years ago. Anyway I digress back to this lineup, great sound, all acoustic mic,and furiously fast. This frentic trio had me hypnotized from the opening salvo of guitar splendor. This lineup included Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell, and Bireli Lagrene. If you love Guitar fireworks at blazing speed, but always in key and in time you will love this accoustic masterpiece. They cover Coryell, Return to Forever, Chick Corea, and Astor Piazzolla tunes and a few Di Meola classics. Its short, sweet, blazing, hypnotic and totally worth the price. If you have any interest in classical guitar, or acoustic speedstering this the DVD for you. I wish more stuff like this were available. (Amazon)

1. PSP [10:49]
2. Medley (Orient Blue, Rhapsody of Fire) [5:39]
3. Mediterranean Sundance [6:47]
4. Tango Suite For Two Guitars [13:20]
5. Spain [11:25]
6. No Mystery [11:59]

* Al Di Meola - Guitar
* Larry Coryell - Guitar
* Biréli Lagrène - Guitar
*Chris Carrington - Guitar
*Arto Tuncboyaci - percussion
*Gumbi Ortiz - percussion

27 January, 2011


Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica (1969) (eac-log-cover)

Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica (1969)
rock, blues, avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 500MB
Allmusic:Trout Mask Replica is Captain Beefheart's masterpiece, a fascinating, stunningly imaginative work that still sounds like little else in the rock & roll canon. Given total creative control by producer and friend Frank Zappa, Beefheart and his Magic Band rehearsed the material for this 28-song double album for over a year, wedding minimalistic R&B, blues, and garage rock to free jazz and avant-garde experimentalism. Atonal, sometimes singsong melodies; jagged, intricately constructed dual-guitar parts; stuttering, complicated rhythmic interaction -- all of these elements float out seemingly at random, often without completely interlocking, while Beefheart groans his surrealist poetry in a throaty Howlin' Wolf growl. The disjointedness is perhaps partly unintentional -- reportedly, Beefheart's refusal to wear headphones while recording his vocals caused him to sing in time with studio reverberations, not the actual backing tracks -- but by all accounts, the music and arrangements were carefully scripted by the Captain (aided by John "Drumbo" French), which makes the results even more remarkable. As one might expect from music so complex and, to many ears, inaccessible, the influence of Trout Mask Replica was felt more in spirit than in direct copycatting, as a catalyst rather than a literal musical starting point. However, its inspiring reimagining of what was possible in a rock context laid the groundwork for countless future experiments in rock surrealism, especially during the punk/new wave era.

-01. "Frownland" 1:41
-02. "The Dust Blows Forward 'n the Dust Blows Back" 1:53
-03. "Dachau Blues" 2:21
-04. "Ella Guru" 2:26
-05. "Hair Pie: Bake 1" 4:58
-06. "Moonlight on Vermont" 3:59
-07. "Pachuco Cadaver" 4:40
-08. "Bills Corpse" 1:48
-09. "Sweet Sweet Bulbs" 2:21
-10. "Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish" 2:25
-11. "China Pig" 4:02
-12. "My Human Gets Me Blues" 2:46
-13. "Dali's Car" 1:26
-14. "Hair Pie: Bake 2" 2:23
-15. "Pena" 2:33
-16. "Well" 2:07
-17. "When Big Joan Sets Up" 5:18
-18. "Fallin' Ditch" 2:08
-19. "Sugar 'n Spikes" 2:30
-20. "Ant Man Bee" 3:57
-21. "Orange Claw Hammer" 3:34
-22. "Wild Life" 3:09
-23. "She's Too Much for My Mirror" 1:40
-24. "Hobo Chang Ba" 2:02
-25. "The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)" 2:04
-26. "Steal Softly thru Snow" 2:18
-27. "Old Fart at Play" 1:51
-28. "Veteran's Day Poppy" 4:31

* Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) – vocals, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, musette, simran horn, hunting horn, jingle bells
The Magic Band
* Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo) – "Glass Finger Guitar" (slide guitar using a glass slide), flute
* Jeff Cotton (Antennae Jimmy Semens) – "Steel Appendage Guitar" (slide guitar using a metal slide), vocals on "Pena" and "The Blimp"
* Victor Hayden (The Mascara Snake) – bass clarinet, additional vocals
* Mark Boston (Rockette Morton) – bass guitar, narration on "Neon Meate Dream Of A Octafish" and "Old Fart At Play"
* John French (Drumbo) – drums, percussion (uncredited on the original release)
Additional musicians
* Doug Moon – guitar on "China Pig"
* Gary "Magic" Marker – bass guitar on "Moonlight on Vermont", "Veteran's Day Poppy" (uncredited)
* Frank Zappa – speaking voice on "Ella Guru", "The Blimp", and "She's Too Much For My Mirror"; credited as album producer
* Roy Estrada – bass guitar on "The Blimp" (uncredited)
* Arthur Tripp III – drums & percussion on "The Blimp" (uncredited)
* Don Preston – piano on "The Blimp" (uncredited)
* Ian Underwood and Bunk Gardner – alto and tenor saxophones on "The Blimp" (uncredited)
* Buzz Gardner – trumpet on "The Blimp" (uncredited)

26 January, 2011


Zoot Sims - Soprano Sax (1976) (OJC) (eac-log-cover)

Zoot Sims - Soprano Sax (1976)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 260MB
Jazz soprano saxophone is mainly associated with its originator in the idiom Sidney Bechet and later John Coltrane who brought the instrument into a new realm with the success of "My Favorite Things." Even though this was the first time Zoot Sims played soprano saxophone exclusively on a date, he sounds comfortable enough with it to be included in that elite category. Originally recorded in 1976, Soprano Sax highlights two Sims originals alongside standards "Moonlight in Vermont," "Willow Weep for Me," and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams." Pianist Ray Bryant, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Grady Tate make up the complementary rhythm section behind Sims, who unfortunately never made another all soprano date.


-1 "Someday, Sweetheart" - Spikes, Spikes - 6:09
-2 "Moonlight in Vermont" - Blackburn, Suessdorf - 4:47
-3 "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" - Barris, Koehler, Moll - 5:04
-4 "Blues for Louise" - Sims - 8:03
-5 "Willow Weep for Me" - Ronell - 6:39
-6 "Wrap Up" - Sims - 3:47
-7 "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You" - Crosby, Washington, Young - 7:06
-8 "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" - Forrest, Wright - 4:45

*Zoot Sims - sax
*Ray Bryant - piano
*George Mraz - bass
*Grady Tate - drums
Recorded at RCA Studios, NYC; January 8 and 9, 1976

25 January, 2011


Horace Silver - A Prescription For The Blues (1997) (eac-log-cover)

Horace Silver - A Prescription For The Blues (1997)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 380MB
Pianist/composer Horace Silver teams up with the Brecker Brothers (both of whom used to be in his quintet) and a veteran rhythm section of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Louis Hayes to debut nine of his originals. The funny part about Silver's music is that, no matter who he is paying tribute to (this set includes a song for Lester Young), the style always ends up sounding like Horace Silver, with no real reference to the subject matter. All of the music on this date is very much in Silver's funky hard bop tradition, in the phrasing, catchy themes, concise solos by tenor Michael and trumpeter Randy Brecker, and the pianist's distinctive and quote-filled improvisations. None of the melodies are all that memorable ("Walk On" has the best chance of catching on), so there are probably no future "hits" on this collection. But it is a joy to hear Horace Silver still playing in his prime at the age of 68.

-1. "A Prescription for the Blues" - 5:12
-2. "Whenever Lester Plays the Blues" - 6:35
-3. "You Gotta Shake That Thing" - 5:16
-4. "Yodel Lady Blues" - 6:42
-5. "Brother John and Brother Gene" - 4:43
-6. "Free at Last" - 6:27
-7. "Walk On" - 6:26
-8. "Sunrise in Malibu" - 5:01
-9. "Doctor Jazz" - 5:31
* All compositions by Horace Silver
* Recorded in NYC on May 29 & 30, 1997.

* Horace Silver - piano
* Randy Brecker - trumpet
* Michael Brecker - tenor saxophone
* Ron Carter - bass
* Louis Hayes - drums

24 January, 2011


Doudou Ndiaye Rose - Djabote (1992) (eac-log-cover)

Doudou Ndiaye Rose - Djabote (1992)
world | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 290MB
Real World
Unlike most drummers in the West African traditions, Rose has always tended to work with large ensembles. Yet their enormous power has mostly come with little loss of subtlety, as these recent recordings attest. This open-air set involving no less than 50 drummers and as many singers has a sweep and strength that take your breath away.
Amazon customer:
No other drumming quite sounds like that of Doudou N'Diaye Rose. Large drum ensembles (50 drummers on this album) play together with a level of complexity and subtlety usually associated more with orchestral works than with drum music. Doudou hails from Senegal and is esteemed there as not only a master drummer but also as a living repository of the musical traditions of that nation. He is conductor of his ensemble as much as featured drummer, and a chance to see him play, even on video, should not be missed. He has been heard on tracks of some albums by Peter Gabriel- who in turn is the force behind the RealWorld label that recorded him. 'Djabote' features 12 engaging and unique compositions. There are singers involved as well, but the singing is enjoyable and perhaps used more judiciously and less intrusively (to Western ears) than is true of many other ostensibly "drum" recordings. If you can keep still while listening to this album, better check your pulse. ;-{) Whether you are already a fan of African drumming or are checking it out for the first time, it would be hard to do better than 'Djabote'.

-01 - "Ligueyou Ndeye" Rose - 5:54
-02 - "Cheikh Anta Diop" Rose - 5:21
-03 - "Rose Rhythm" Rose - 4:22
-04 - "Sidati Aidara" Rose - 5:12
-05 - "Baye Kene Ndiaye" Rose - 4:53
-06 - "Chants du Burgam" Traditional - 4:02
-07 - "Khine Sine" Rose - 4:27
-08 - "Khine Saloume" Rose - 6:37
-09 - "Walo" Rose - :39
-10 - "Tabala Ganar" Rose - 3:28
-11 - "Diame" Jonga - 6:01
-12 - "Ndiouk" Rose - 6:37

22 January, 2011


George Braith - The Complete Blue Note Sessions 2cd (BN Connoisseur series) (1963-64)

George Braith - The Complete Blue Note Sessions (1963-64)
jazz | 2cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 750MB
Blue Note Connoisseur Edition | 24-bit SBM
The use of multiphonics in jazz has been mastered by very few players, and while at times shrill and thin, can be enlivening and exciting. Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Albert Mangelsdorff set the gold standard, while several trumpeters like Rayse Biggs and Corey Wilkes have tried it with two brass instruments, and contemporary saxophonist Jeff Coffin gives it ago. George Braith holds a singularly unique place in the pantheon of these stylistas, following the path of Kirk in playing two saxophones while combining bop and soul-jazz. This set represents the complete works of Braith on Blue Note in 1963 and 1964 from the albums Two Souls in One, Soul Stream, and Extension. While a consistently satisfying set, it does take some orientation and a bit of patience warming up to the duality presented on a combination of soprano, alto, straight alto aka the stritch, and tenor sax. The brilliant guitarist Grant Green and Braith's high school classmate Billy Gardner on the Hammond B-3 organ are heard throughout, with three different drummers per album. Braith wrote the bulk of the material, with an occasional cover or traditional song tossed in for good measure. Because of the uneven level of song choices overall, there are definitive standout cuts, but the Two Souls in One recording features the great drummer Donald Bailey, and that factor alone lifts the first five tracks. Theoretically, doing "Mary Ann" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" brings the session down to a childish level. A unique version on alto only of the choppy, Latin shaded "Poinciana," the original light waltz "Home Street" with the dual horns agreeably merging together, and the 13 1/2 minute soprano sax jam "Braith-A-Way" lifts the cache of Braith's music. Hugh Walker on the drum kit stokes the rhythms for Soul Stream, six cuts that range from a stealth, slinky variation of "The Man I Love" (dedicated to assassinated Pres. John F. Kennedy,) the spatial ballad title track, the hot bop "Boop Bop Bing Bash" with Braith's woodwinds a tad bleating, and the Spanish castanet flavored traditional "Billy Told," adapted from the "William Tell Overture." Finally Clarence Johnston is the drummer on the final six selections, all originals save for a bop take of the Cole Porter standard "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," which closely foreshadows the style of Kirk. Braith adopts a lilting quality for the spirit waltz "Nut City," paraphrases Dizzy Gillespie and Gil Fuller's "Things to Come" on "Extension," while Johnston proffers the perfect small shuffle beat on "Sweetville." "Out Here" is the most fun and playful tune of the entire collection, using pedal point start-stops, shifting bop lines, and tangents that stream out of the nimble beat. Grant Green is the true star here at a time where he was ultimately empowered as a sideman, and special attention must be given to the obscure but cozy and talented Gardner. Where the saxophonist's personal sound may not universally appeal to all, his style next to Kirk compares favorably. One of the truly lost figures of modern jazz, George Braith deserves a revisit, and this complete compilation is quite worthy of more attention as the years go passing by.

-2 "Home Street" - Braith - 6:57
-3 "Poinciana" - Bernier, Simon - 6:17
-4 "Mary Had a Little Lamb" - Traditional - 6:57
-5 "Braith-A-Way" - Braith - 13:29
-6 "The Man I Love" - Gershwin, Gershwin - 5:26
-7 "Outside Around the Corner" - Braith - 7:52
-8 "Soul Stream" - Braith - 3:14
-1 "Boop Bop Bing Bash" - Gardner - 6:23
-2 "Billy Told" - Traditional - 7:52
-3 "Jo Anne" - Braith - 5:21
-4 "Nut City" - Braith - 5:57
-5 "Ethlyn's Love" - Braith - 7:22
-6 "Out Here" - Braith - 6:58
-7 "Extension" - Braith - 6:39
-8 "Sweetville" - Braith - 6:03
-9 "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" - Porter - 4:30

*George Braith - sax
*Grant Green - guitar
*Billy Gardner - organ
*Donald Bailey - drums
*Hugh Walker - drums
*Clarence Johnston - drums

21 January, 2011


Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden - Jasmine (2010) (eac-log-covers)

Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden - Jasmine (2010)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 230MB
The reason to mention the "particulars" of this document of informal sessions is because Keith Jarrett went to the trouble of doing so in his liner notes: they came about in the aftermath of him and Charlie Haden playing together during a documentary film about Haden. The duo, who hadn't played together in over 30 years, got along famously and decided to do some further recording in Jarrett's home studio without an end result in mind. The tapes sat -- though were discussed often -- for three years before a decision was made to release them. Jarrett used his home Steinway instead of his usual concert Boisendorfer. The more immediate, present sound of the former piano makes for something less dynamic than his live performances. And here, with the sheer natural grace and unhurried elegance of Haden's earthy bass playing, that is a great thing. Jasmine is love songs; most are standards. Haden not only supports but solos a great deal. Picking out highlights on this eight-song, hour-long set is difficult because the dry warmth of these performances is multiplied by deeply intuitive listening and the near symbiotic, telepathic nature of the playing. The entire proceeding flows seamlessly. The depth of emotion in Peggy Lee's and Victor Young's "Where Can I Go Without You" opens the world of the bereft lover -- and Haden's solo seems to make her/him speak. Jarrett's intro to "I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life," by Cy Coleman and Joseph McCarthy, reveals in its lyric just how woefully ironic this tune is. The loss and reverie steeped in false bravado are expressed in Jarrett's arpeggios and underscored by Haden's emphasis on single notes during the changes and a deep woody tone he gets in the combination of skeletal flourishes during Jarrett's solo. On the surface it might seem that the inclusion of Joe Sample's "One Day I'll Fly Away" is an odd inclusion; yet it acts on some level as the hinge piece for the set. Its simplicity and sparseness are offset by the profound lyricism Jarrett imbues it with. Haden asserts, quietly of course, that the complex emotions in the tune go beyond any language -- other than music's -- to express. After a devastatingly sad reading Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" with Jarrett at his most poignant and clean, a brief reading of Jerome Kern's and Oscar Hammerstein's "Don't Ever Leave Me" closes the set. The way it's played, this tune is not a plea, but a poetically uttered assertion between lovers. Jasmine is, ultimately, jazz distilled to its most essential; it not only expresses emotion and beauty, but discovers them in every moment of its performance.

-1. For All We Know 9:49
-2. Where Can I Go Without You 9:24
-3. No Moon at All 4:41
-4. One Day I'll Fly Away 4:18
-5. Intro/I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life 12:11
-6. Body and Soul 11:12
-7. Goodbye 8:03
-8. Don't Ever Leave Me 3:11

19 January, 2011


Oliver Nelson - Live From Los Angeles (1967) (eac-log-cover)

Oliver Nelson - Live From Los Angeles (1967)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 290MB
Oliver Nelson's live recordings don't seem as sharp as his studio stuff. Good playing, though, from a good group of West Coasters, but nothing exciting happens.
Amazon customer
I first heard this recording in my college jazz improvisation class. All of us young kids were sitting around ooh-ing and aah-ing over the burning sax duet on the classic rendition of Milestones, as well as the extraordinary Mel Brown and his guitar solo on Guitar Blues. But what we couldn't get over was the groove, energy, and passion that drenches every note.
It is twenty years later and this is still one of my favorite jazz recordings. Nelson takes risks all around and they all pay off. He takes on pop tunes (Down by the Riverside and Ja-Da), Jazz standards (Milestones, I Remember Bird), and Blues (Night Train, Guitar Blues), and he makes them all his own. This cd is essential. It's a river of ideas, sounds, and passion. It's the kind of cd that can make you believe in big bands again.
Because you can't listen to the tracks on this one, I want to describe a little the style. I guess the best way to put it is that it's what you would expect from Oliver Nelson, a lot of straight-ahead jazz mixed with some great blues. It's sort of a big band version of Blues and the Abstract Truth with more blues.

-1 "Miss Fine" 4:04
-2 "Milestones" 8:16
-3 "I Remember Bird" 5:29
-4 "Night Train" 4:39
-5 "Guitar Blues" 4:15
-6 "Down By The Riverside" 8:29
-7 "Ja-Da" 2:05

Oliver Nelson (saxophone); Mel Brown (guitar); Tom Scott (saxophone); Frank Strozier, Gabe Baltazar (alto saxophone); Bill Perkins (tenor saxophone); Jack Nimitz (baritone saxophone); Conte Candoli, Bobby Bryant , Freddy Hill, Buddy Childers (trumpet); Lou Blackburn, Billy Byers (trombone); Frank Strazzeri (piano); Monty Budwig (bass instrument); Ed Thigpen (drums).


Roy Harper - The Unknown Soldier (1980) (eac-log-cover)

Roy Harper - The Unknown Soldier (1980)
rock | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 310MB
Science Friction HUCD031
Released in 1980, The Unknown Soldier initiated an unsettling trend in Harper's career whereby over-production and unfocused songwriting became commonplace. Since that time, great Harper albums have been the exception rather than the rule, although every release does have at least a few good songs. The best song on this effort is "You," which benefits from the considerable talents of David Gilmour and Kate Bush. "Short and Sweet" is also good and was co-authored by David Gilmour, who released a similar take of the song on his solo debut, David Gilmour, in 1978. But not even the all-star cameos can completely save the day on this album, for most of the other cuts are mired in synth noodlings and inorganic sounds. The title track briefly reverts to Harper's simple yet strong acoustic approach, yet fails to completely convince due to the surrounding songs. Harper's output continued to be erratic for most of the '80s, with his Jugula album being the lone bright spot. There are many places to start investigating Harper's brilliant work, but The Unknown Soldier is not among them.

-01. "Playing Games" (Harper/Gilmour) – 3:12
-02. "I'm In Love With You" – 3:45
-03. "The Flycatcher" – 4:10
-04. "You" (The Game Part II) (Harper/Gilmour) – 4:37
-05. "Old Faces" (Harper/Gilmour) – 4:09
-06. "Short and Sweet" (Harper/Gilmour) – 6:28
-07. "First Thing in the Morning" – 3:40
-08. "The Unknown Soldier" – 3:33
-09. "Ten Years Ago" – 3:35
-10. "True Story" (Harper/Gilmour) – 3:50

* Roy Harper – vocals
* Kate Bush – vocals
* David Gilmour – guitar
* Andy Roberts – guitar
* Steve Broughton – guitar
* Hugh Burns – guitar
* B.J. Cole – steel guitar
* Don Grolnick – keyboards
* Jimmy Maelen – percussion
* Andy Newmark – percussion
* Pete Wingfield – keyboards
and others

18 January, 2011


Police - In Concert: Germany (1980) (music video)

Police - In Concert: Germany (1980)
rock | DVD5 NTSC | DD 5.1 DTS 5.1 | iso, cover | 4250MB
Immortal | rel: 2009

The Police - ultimate 1980's post-punk rockers - in a highly energized live concert filmed for German television in 1980, just when the poower-pop trio was first breaking out to huge international audiences.
The first hit singles are here, in fascinating live renditions.
The band is tight and aggressive - and Sting's characteristic singing, high-pitched and reggae-influenced, cuts right through.
It's 1980 - and the Police are changing rock and roll forever.

-01 Voices Inside My Head
-02 Don't Stand So Close To Me
-03 Walking On The Moon
-04 Deathwish
-05 Fall Out
-06 Man In A Suitcase
-07 Bring On The Night
-08 De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
-09 Thruth Hits Everybody
-10 Shadowns In The Rain
-11 When The World Is Running Down You Make The Best Of What's Still Around
-12 The Bed's Too Big Without You
-13 Driven to Tears
-14 Message in a Bottle
-15 Roxanne
-16 Can't Stand Losing You
-17 Next to You
-18 So Lonely
 Grugahalle, Essen, Germany
 October 18, 1980

17 January, 2011


Sun Ra - Fondation Maeght Nights, Vol. 1 & 2 (1970)

Sun Ra - Fondation Maeght Nights, Vol. 1 & 2 (1970)
jazz | 1+1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 400MB
Jazz View
allmusic v1
This is a reissue of Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Vol. 1 (1970), which includes recordings of Sun Ra and his concurrent Arkestra during their first European trip in August 1970 for the French Maeght Foundation arts consortium. Granted, Ra and company's idiosyncratic brand of avant-garde and free jazz is not for everyone; however, inclined parties are encouraged to locate these sides, as the cuts are uniformly outstanding. Although there are only four songs, each provides distinct facets of what makes the Arkestra so undeniably unique. The set opens with enthusiastic readings of the invocation "Enlightenment" and "The Star Gazers," both featuring rare vocal duets between June Tyson (vocals) and John Gilmore (tenor sax/drums/vocals). The latter is followed by some highly complex and equally luminous piano runs from Ra leading into a full-ensemble outing on "Shadow World," a workout dating back to the mid-'60s. Marshall Allen's alto sax volleys cast continuous layers of sporadic textures weaving disparate lines within the joyous cacophony. Primary among the sonic strata is Ra's miniMoog synthesizer, which alternately soars and gurgles against the aggressive percussion and potent woodwind and brass. The B-side of this extended play 7" contains one of the most inspired keyboard performances available from Ra, titled (appropriately enough) "The Cosmic Explorer." There are moments that vacillate from terrifying to sublime as the artist methodically investigates the sounds while carefully constructing his progressive arrangements. Much like the Arkestra presentation, Ra's solos are intricate and involved, making up for any perceived lack of structure with an undeniably solid and quite possibly unequaled entry. Enthusiasts should note that the Nuits de la Fondation Maeght volumes are available on CD from an excellent quality tape (read: non-vinyl) source on Comet Records.
Although the music is unquestionably worth seeking, Fondation Maeght Nights (1986) is not an optimal way to hear it. However, interested parties are encouraged to locate the respective installments of the similarly titled Nuits de la Fondation Maeght (2003), which is available on CD. Sun Ra and the Arkestra are captured during their August 3, 1970, set at Saint Paul de Vence in Côte d'Azur, France. This was the combo's first European excursion and they certainly rise to the occasion, giving one of the strongest documents of the Arkestra during this era. "Friendly Galaxy" (aka "Friendly Galaxy Number 2") seethes below an undulating rhythm that is held in check amidst brooding and wailing outbursts from Alan Silva (violin). Silva likewise provides the sublime and steady electric bass guitar line that girds the full ensemble on a limber and joyous "Spontaneous Simplicity." The introductory theme prominently showcases the brass and woodwind sections and is bookended by the sinuous and remarkably melodic assertions from Ra on electric piano. In a stylistic 180-degree turn, "The World of the Lightening" commences some of the decidedly farther-out selections. Ra's miniMoog slashes through the equally profound and incendiary blows from Marshall Allen (sax), eventually landing into an all-out sonic assault from the Arkestra. June Tyson (vocals) opens up a deeply resonate "Black Myth" with a pair of recitations in the form of "The Shadows Took Shape" and "The Strange World." These are juxtaposed with direct and aggressive Moog interjections from Ra during the final movement, "Journey Through the Outer Darkness." "Sky" is a brief concluding solo from Allen on an instrument called the hautbois -- a Russian predecessor to the oboe. Whether by design or fluke, the song concludes abruptly, seemingly in mid-thought. Once again it is worth mentioning that while this specific disc lacks considerably from the standpoint of acceptable fidelity, enthusiasts should direct their respective attentions to Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Vol. 2 (2003) on Comet Records

-1 Enlightenment 2:57
-2 The Star Gazers 3:09
-3 Shadow World 13:28
-4 The Cosmic Explorer 19:53

-1 Friendly Galaxy Number 2 8:46
-2 Spontaneous Simplicity 10:50
-3 The World Of The Lightening 5:54
-4 Black Myth 8:32
-5 Sky 2:01

Bass, Cello, Violin - Alan Silva
Clarinet [Bass], Drums - Robert Cummings
Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Percussion - James Jacson
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone [Alto] - Absholom Ben Shlomo
Drums - Nimrod Hunt
Drums, Percussion - Lex Humphries
Drums, Timpani - John Goldsmith
Saxophone [Alto], Flute, Flute [Piccolo], Oboe - Marshall Allen
Saxophone [Alto], Flute, Percussion - Danny Davis
Saxophone [Baritone], Bassoon, Flute - Danny Ray Thompson
Saxophone [Baritone], Clarinet [Bass], Saxophone [Alto], Saxophone [Tenor], Flute, Clarinet, Percussion - Pat Patrick
Saxophone [Tenor], Drums - John Gilmore
Synthesizer [Moog], Piano, Electric Piano, Organ [Electric], Performer [Intergalactic Instruments] - Sun Ra
Trumpet - Kwame Hadi
Trumpet, Cornet - Akh Tal Ebah
Vibraphone, Drums - Rashied Salim IV
Vocals - Gloristeena Knight , June Tyson , Verta Grosvenor

16 January, 2011


Mose Allison - Autumn Song (1959) (eac-log-cover)

Mose Allison - Autumn Song (1959)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 230MB
Mose Allison recorded six albums as a leader for Prestige during 1957-59, an era when he was better known as a jazz pianist than as a folk/country blues vocalist and masterful lyricist. On this CD reissue of his final Prestige date, Allison (in a trio with bassist Addison Farmer and drummer Ronnie Free) performs seven instrumentals (including "It's Crazy," "Autumn Song" and "Groovin' High") but it is the three vocals ("Eyesight To The Blind," "That's All Right" and Duke Ellington's "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me") that are most memorable. One realizes why Allison was soon emphasizing his vocals; he was a much more distinctive singer than pianist although his piano playing was actually pretty inventive. This is an excellent all-round set.

-01 Promenade (Mose Allison) 4:12
-02 Eyesight To The Blind (Sonny Boy Williamson) 1:43
-03 It's Crazy (Dorothy Fields/Richard Rodgers) 3:40
-04 That's All Right (Jimmy Rogers) 2:28
-05 Devil In The Cane Field (Mose Allison) 4:05
-06 Strange (Matthew Fisher/John Latouche) 3:08
-07 Autumn Song (Mose Allison) 3:43
-08 Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me (Duke Ellington/Bob Russell) 3:13
-09 Spires (Mose Allison) 3:05
-10 Groovin' High (Dizzy Gillespie) 5:38

*Mose Allison (Piano and Vocal)
*Addison Farmer (Double Bass)
*Ronnie Free (Drums)

13 January, 2011


Iva Bittova - River of Milk (1991) (eac-log-cover)

Iva Bittova - River of Milk (1991)
avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 195MB
EVA records
I could not find album reviews
Singer and violinist Iva Bittová is one of the few artists from the Czech Republic to enjoy an international career. Her irresistible charm, original use of voice, and fondness of melodies that sit on the border of avant-garde and playground nursery rhymes won her devoted fans around the world, although the core of her audience resides in Eastern Europe.
more (allmusic)
more (wikipedia)

Bittová's music
Bittová's music is a blend of rock and East European music which she describes as "my own personal folk music". Her violin playing mixes different techniques, including playing the strings with various objects and plucking them like a banjo. Her vocal utterances range from traditional singing to chirping, cackling and deep throat noises. She puts her whole body into her performances, drawing on her theatrical skills. AllMusic.com writes: "Her irresistible charm, original use of voice, and fondness of melodies that sit on the border of avant-garde and playground nursery rhymes won her devoted fans around the world."

-01. Waterphone (2:48)
-02. Before (5:49)
-03. River of Milk (4:46)
-04. Bells (3:56)
-05. China (2:57)
-06. The Vampire's Ball (7:40)
-07. Viola I (4:09)
-08. Someone Played the Oboe (3:34)
-09. Strange Young Lady (5:06)
-10. Viola II (3:02)
-11. There Was a Sister Had a Brother (2:05)

- Iva Bittová / vocals, violin, viola, waterphone, percussion

Recorded at the Church of St. Philip and St. Jacob, Lelekovice, and at the Chapel Hradec Králové, Czechoslovakia, November 1990.

12 January, 2011


Bobby Jaspar - With George Wallington & Idrees Sulieman (1957)

Bobby Jaspar - With George Wallington & Idrees Sulieman (1957)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 225MB
OJC limited edition
This CD reissue, which adds "The Fuzz" to the original six-song LP, is a fine showcase for Bobby Jaspar and acts as an excellent introduction to his playing. A mellow-toned tenor and a fluent flutist who was quite bop-oriented, Jaspar is featured with pianist George Wallington, bassist Wilbur Little, drummer Elvin Jones, and (on three numbers) trumpeter Idrees Sulieman. The majority of the tunes (other than "My Old Flame" and "All of You") are originals by group members, straight-ahead tunes with good blowing changes. Recommended.

-1 "Seven Up" Jaspar 9:00
-2 "My Old Flame" Coslow, Johnston 6:01
-3 "All of You" Porter 5:55
-4 "Doublemint" Sulieman 6:52
-5 "Before Dawn" Wallington 6:14
-6 "Sweet Blanche" Wallington 5:40
-7 "The Fuzz" Jaspar 6:12


Bobby Jaspar (flute, tenor saxophone);
Idrees Sulieman (trumpet);
George Wallington (piano);
Elvin Jones (drums).
Wilbur Little (bass)

11 January, 2011


Bill Evans - Everybody Digs (XRCD) (1958) (eac-log-cover)

Bill Evans - Everybody Digs (1958)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 305MB
Everybody Digs Bill Evans was a landmark recording for the young pianist and sported a unique album cover, featuring written-out endorsements from Miles Davis, George Shearing, Ahmad Jamal, and Cannonball Adderley. At a time approximate to when Evans was performing with the famous Kind of Blue band of Davis, Adderley, and John Coltrane, and actually departing the band, Evans continued to play the trio music he was ultimately best known for. With the unmatched pair of former Miles Davis drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Sam Jones (no relation), Evans was emerging not only as an ultra-sensitive player, but as an interpreter of standards second to none. The drummer is quite toned down to match the dynamics of the session, while the ever-reliable bassist lays back even more than usual, but at the expense of his soul. Of the covers, the solo "Lucky to Me" and the melancholy "What Is There to Say?" with the trio evoke the cool, smoldering emotionalism Evans was known for. He's even more starkly reserved on his solo version of "Young and Foolish." But Evans also knows how to play vigorous bop, tearing up the complicated "Oleo," and he modestly tackles the Gigi Gryce icon "Minority," though if you listen closely, the takes are slightly imprecise and a bit thin. Evans is hyperactive on a clattery calypso version of "Night and Day," with the melody almost an afterthought, powered by the precise drumming of Philly Joe Jones. Taking "Tenderly" in waltz time, Evans makes this familiar theme inimitably all his own. There are three more solos: two Asian-inspired interludes titled "Epilogue" and the demure and ultimately quiet "Peace Piece," a timeless, meditational, reverent, prayer-inspired composition that, in time, set a standard for chamber/classical European-tailored jazz. In an alternate/second-version bonus track, Evans superimposes this theme under the standard "Some Other Time," and it fits beautifully. Though not his very best effort overall, Evans garnered great attention, and rightfully so, from this important album of 1958.

-01. "Minority" (Gigi Gryce) – 5:21
-02. "Young and Foolish" (Albert Hague, Arnold B. Horwitt) – 5:53
-03. "Lucky to Be Me" (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green) – 3:39
-04. "Night and Day" (Cole Porter) – 7:34
-05. "Epilogue" (Bill Evans) – 0:39
-06. "Tenderly" (Walter Gross) – 3:32
-07. "Peace Piece" (Bill Evans) – 6:42
-08. "What Is There to Say?" (Vernon Duke, E.Y. "Yip" Harburg) – 4:53
-09. "Oleo" (Sonny Rollins) – 4:07
-10. "Epilogue" (Bill Evans) – 0:41
-11. "Some Other Time" (Bernstein, Comden, Green) – 6:09

* Bill Evans - piano
* Philly Joe Jones - drums
* Sam Jones - bass

08 January, 2011


Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Signs Of Life (1987) (eac-log-cover)

Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Signs Of Life  (1987)
new age, chamber jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 290MB
EG Records
The PCO's last proper studio album of all new tunes also wound up being their last for EG Records, but the group shows no sign of slowing down or of boredom (the album title is certainly not ironic). In fact, the jokiness of some of the earlier albums (particularly in song titles) is totally absent here as well, suggesting Jeffes and company worked at considerable length to make this a mature effort. It is. Works like "Southern Jukebox Music" and "Swing the Cat" are an Englishman's imagined version of Appalachia, or Michael Nyman trapped in a bluegrass band. The centerpiece of the album is the brilliant "Perpetuum Mobile" -- which unfortunately went on to be used in several television ads for telecommunication companies, brokerage houses, and other yuppie pursuits -- a simple repetitive melody put through several tonal and textural changes, building grandeur as it goes. The album has a general bittersweet air, more sunset than sunrise, and balances its foot-tappers with its moments of quiet repose ("The Snake and the Lotus (The Pond)," the lengthy closing number "Wildlife"). An excellent place to start if interested in the band, and one of their finest hours.

-01. Bean Fields - 4:19
-02. Southern Jukebox Music - 4:34
-03. Horns of the Bull - 4:30
-04. Oscar Tango - 3:10
-05. The Snake and the Lotus (The Pond) - 2:51
-06. Rosasolis - 4:12
-07. Dirt - 4:46
-08. Sketch - 3:19
-09. Perpetuum Mobile - 4:24
-10. Swing the Cat - 3:19
-11. Wildlife - 10:54


McCoy Tyner - Echoes Of A Friend (1972)

McCoy Tyner - Echoes Of A Friend (1972)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 225MB
An obvious classic, this piano solo record (reissued on CD in the OJC series) features McCoy Tyner paying tribute to John Coltrane. Tyner not only plays three of Coltrane's songs ("Naima," "Promise," and "My Favorite Things") but two of his originals (a lengthy "The Discovery" and "Folks") which display how much the pianist had grown since leaving the saxophonist's group in late 1965. Few McCoy Tyner records are not easily recommended but this one even ranks above most.

-1. "Naima" (Coltrane) - 6:43
-2. "Promise" (Coltrane) - 6:14
-3. "My Favorite Things" (Hammerstein, Rodgers) - 8:44
-4. "The Discovery" - 17:35
-5. "Folks Tyner" - 7:33
All compositions by McCoy Tyner except as indicated
Recorded in Tokyo, Japan, November 11, 1972

* McCoy Tyner – piano

07 January, 2011


Captain Beefheart - The Legendary A&M Sessions (EP) (1966)

Captain Beefheart - The Legendary A&M Sessions (EP) (1966)
rock, blues, avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 115MB
Before gaining a cult with his avant-garde excursions in the late '60s, Captain Beefheart wielded a much more traditional sort of blues-rock. That's not to say that these two obscure mid-'60s A&M singles (packaged together on this five-song EP, which adds a previously unreleased track from the same era) aren't well worth hearing. The Captain's Howlin' Wolf-like growl led a tough outfit that ranked among the best early American blues-rock groups, and among the few that could reasonably emulate the Rolling Stones' toughness. Produced, unbelievably enough, by future Bread leader David Gates, this reissue includes their regional hit cover of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy." The best track, though, is "Moonchild," their shameless derivation of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning." Featuring wailing harmonica, stomping riffs and adventurous, quasi-psychedelic production, it was actually written by Gates himself. To think that the same man was also responsible for "If" and "Baby I'm A-Want You" blows the mind.

-1. "Diddy Wah Diddy" (Willie Dixon, Ellas McDaniel) – 2:28
-2. "Who Do You Think You're Fooling?" – 2:10
-3. "Moonchild" (David Gates) – 2:30
-4. "Frying Pan" – 2:05
-5. "Here I Am I Always Am" – 2:33

* Don van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) – vocals, harmonica
* Doug Moon – guitar
* Richard Hepner – guitar
* Jerry Handley – bass
* Alex St. Clair Snouffer – drums (track 1–4)
* PG Blakely – drums (track 5)

06 January, 2011


Thelonious Monk - En Concert_Olympia 6-7 Mars 1965 (Paris Jazz Concert v1-2)

Thelonious Monk - En Concert_Olympia 6-7 Mars 1965
AKA: Paris Jazz Concert, Vol. 1 & 2
jazz | 2cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 720MB
Thelonious Monk is heard in a concert that was probably recorded for a radio broadcast at the somewhat cavernous Olympia in Paris, which causes a rather slow fade of his piano chords. He is joined by his long time tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Ben Riley. Nothing unusual takes place as the fare is standard for Monk: long versions of "Evidence," "Blue Monk," and "Four in One," a lengthy exploration of the old standard "Sweet and Lovely," plus a brief (by Monk's standards) excursion into "Rhythm-A-Ning" and the obligatory sign-off theme of "Epistrophy." There are some minor sound problems due to some dropouts in the decades-old master tape, but Monk fans will enjoy this release, as well as the concert recorded the following day, which is available on a separate second volume from Malaco Jazz.
Pianist Thelonious Monk appeared at the Olympia in Paris on consecutive nights in March 1965; this is the second CD documenting some of the music played, which was probably first recorded for a radio broadcast. The slow fade of the music is due to the reverberation caused by the large theater's acoustics, but it doesn't interfere with the music. Like the previous Malaco Jazz CD from the day before, the play list has no surprises but the performances are exhilarating, including long versions of Monk's always swinging "Well You Needn't," "Teo," "Bright Mississippi" (his reworking of "Sweet Georgia Brown"), the old standard "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," and the inevitable set closer "Epistrophy." Tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse is in great form and the quartet seems to have turned it up just a notch from the previous evening. One can't have enough versions of Monk playing his works, so this CD is recommended.

cd1, 6-03-65
-1 "Evidence" 12:34
-2 "Blue Monk" 11:08
-3 "Four in One" 12:07
-4 "Sweet and Lovely" 15:48
-5 "Rhythm-A-Ning" 8:31
-6 "Epistrophy" 4:56

cd2, 7-03-65
-1 "Well, You Needn't" 12:56
-2 "I'm Getting Sentimental over You" 13:50
-3 "Teo" 11:31
-4 "Bright Mississippi" 12:35
-5 "Epistrophy" 5:10


*Larry Gales (Bass),
*Charlie Rouse (Sax (Tenor)),
*Ben Riley (Drums),
*Thelonious Monk (Piano)

05 January, 2011


Captain Beefheart - Strictly Personal (1968) (eac-log-cover)

Captain Beefheart - Strictly Personal (1968)
rock, blues, avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 255MB
EMI 1994
Considered by many to be a substandard effort due to the circumstances of its release (producer Bob Krasnow, the owner of Blue Thumb, the label which debuted with this album, remixed the album while Don Van Vliet and crew were off on a European tour, adding extraneous sound effects like heartbeats and excessive use of psychedelic-era clichés like out-of-phase stereo panning and flanging), 1968's Strictly Personal is actually a terrific album, every bit the equal of Safe As Milk and Trout Mask Replica. Opening with "Ah Feel Like Ahcid," an a cappella blues workout with its roots in Son House's "Death Letter," the brief (barely 35 minutes) album is at the same time simpler and weirder than Safe As Milk had been. Working without another songwriter or arranger for the first time, Captain Beefheart strips his idiosyncratic blues down to the bone, with several of the songs (especially "Son of Mirror Man/Mere Man") having little in the way of lyrics or chords beyond the most primeval stomp. Krasnow's unfortunate sound effects and phasing do detract from the album at points, but the strength of the performances, especially those of drummer John French, make his efforts little more than superfluous window dressing. Strictly Personal is a fascinating, underrated release.

-1. "Ah Feel Like Ahcid" 3:05
-2. "Safe As Milk" 5:27
-3. "Trust Us" 8:09
-4. "Son of Mirror Man - Mere Man" 5:20
-5. "On Tomorrow" 3:27
-6. "Beatle Bones 'n' Smokin' Stones" 3:18
-7. "Gimme Dat Harp Boy" 5:05
-8. "Kandy Korn" 5:06


* Don Van Vliet - vocals, harmonica
* Alex St. Clair - guitar
* Jeff Cotton - guitar
* Jerry Handley - bass guitar
* John French - drums

04 January, 2011


John Scofield - Live 3 Ways (1990) (music video)

John Scofield - Live 3 Ways (1990)
jazz | DVD5 PAL | DD 2.0 | iso, cover | 3150MB
Blue Note | rel: 2005
At long last Blue Note is digging into their archives and reissuing some of their concert footage, previously only available on long out-of-print videotape, on DVD. While these are bare bones releases — nothing in the way of special features to speak of — they stand on their own as documents that are vital on their own merits.
Arguably the best of the bunch is John Scofield's Live 3 Ways, which finds the guitarist in three different contexts: a trio with Don Pullen on organ and Marvin "Smitty Smith on drums; a duo with pianist Dr. John; and his touring quartet of the time, featuring saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Anthony Cox and drummer John Reilly. The only shame about the DVD is that it is so short — at only 50 minutes, with 13 given to the trio, 9 to the duo and the remaining 28 to the quartet. Still, with performances this strong we should be thankful for what we get.
While each context is different and has its own distinct charm, it's Scofield's truly blended style — which seamlessly combines a rich bebop vernacular with equally deep roots in soul and the blues — that provides the glue joining each set to the next. Whether he's playing the relatively straight-ahead blues of Thelonious Monk's "Bolivar Blues with the trio, the soulful Percy Mayfield "Please Send Me Someone to Love with Dr. John, or the New Orleans second-line of "Cissy Strut with the quartet, Scofield's tone is sharp, his phrasing visceral, his choice of notes and use of space impeccable, and his personal way of bending a note deep down and evocative, regardless of the context.
It's pointless to compare the three segments to decide if any one is better than the others. Given the wealth of soul-jazz out there that is based on the organ trio format, it's surprising that Scofield had never recorded with one previously. His choice of the late Don Pullen couldn't be better. Like Scofield, Pullen was a player who could wear many hats, and wear them with conviction and veracity. In sharp contrast to his work on the recent Mosaic Select 13 box, here Pullen is every bit the groove-meister but, like Scofield, with a much broader harmonic language. One doesn't seem to hear from "Smitty Smith as much these days as in the late '80s and early '90s, and that's a curious shame, because Smith has always been a remarkably versatile drummer, and swings hard on both trio performances here.
Scofield's duets with Dr. John lean more to his soulful roots, and it's a treat to hear Dr. John in a context where his unquestionable talents are stretched a little more than usual.
But the lion's share of the DVD is given to Scofield's working quartet of the time. Recorded six months after Scofield cut his first CD release for Blue Note, Time on My Hands, with Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette and Lovano, this band wouldn't last long with this personnel before settling into its own with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Bill Stewart. Still, while that quartet would go on to forge a stronger group identity; Cox and Reilly are absolutely in the pocket, with Cox being especially notable for his warm tone, comfortable groove and ability to handle everything from the straightforward to the more experimental.
The quartet play a hard-swinging version of "Wabash III, from Time on My Hands, followed by three tunes that would end up on Scofield's next CD release, Meant to Be — the title track and "Keep Me in Mind being more relaxed affairs; and "Big Fan demonstrating strong roots in Ornette Coleman with a compelling head that opens up into a more free-inspired, but still rhythmically-centered solo segment. It's clear, by virtue of his rich interplay with Lovano, that Scofield had found a strong foil for his own broadly-reaching sensibilities; Lovano would continue to record and tour with Scofield for another three years, until his own solo career became more all-encompassing. The quartet segment finishes with the down-and-funky "Cissy Strut, from Scofield's last release for Gramavision, the appropriately-titled Flat Out.
While the DVD gives the impression that each grouping recorded more than the handful of tunes released, and one can always bemoan the fact that, with the extended capacity of the DVD, no additional tracks were released. But as short as it is, Live 3 Ways is a fine look at a relatively early stage of Scofield's emergence as an artist of major significance. While he had been recording since the mid-'70s, it was only with his mid-'80s stint with Miles Davis, and a string of subsequent mid-to-late '80s albums for Gramavision, that he began to receive the wider attention he deserved. And with his move to Blue Note in '89, he reconciled his fusion and bebop roots with a style more elastic than that of his late '80s funk band with bassist Gary Grainger and drummer Dennis Chambers. Live 3 Ways captures Scofield at this nexus point, with a style that seamlessly marries all his disparate influences into a fluid, cogent style that continues to evolve to this day.

Trio: Opening Credits/Lick of the Century; Bolivar Blues; Charlie Chan
Duo: Please Send Me Someone to Love; My Babe
Quartet: Wabash III; Meant to Be; Big Fan; Keep Me in Mind; Cissy Strut
----running time: 50 min----

John Scofield (guitar), with:
Trio: Don Pullen (organ), Marvin "Smitty Smith (drums)
Duo: Dr. John (piano)
Quartet: Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone), Anthony Cox (bass), John Reilly (drums)

03 January, 2011


Art Blakey - Live In Stockholm (1959) (eac-log-cover)

Art Blakey - Live In Stockholm (1959)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 270MB
Dragon 1990
Fabulous, radio tape quality live recordings of Blakey & The Jazz Messengers on their first Scandinavian tour. A young Wayne Shorter had recently joined the band, which already contained a slightly younger Lee Morgan, plus Jymie Merritt (bass) and Walter Davis Jnr who had recently replaced Bobby Timmons on piano. They stretch out and swing through 5 extended pieces including "Lester Left Town", "Night In Tunisia", and a masterly version of "Like Someone In Love"

-01 - Close Your Eyes (Petkere) 13:08
-02 - Like Someone in Love (Van Heusen, Burke) 13:44
-03 - Lester Left Town (Shorter) 9:25
-04 - The Midget (Morgan) 12:44
-05 - A Night in Tunisia (Gillespie, Paparelli) 9:40

*Lee Morgan (trumpet)
*Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone)
*Walter Davis jr. (piano)
*Jymie Merritt (bass)
*Art Blakey (drums)


Charlie Byrd - Mr Guitar (1961) (eac-log-cover)

Charlie Byrd - Mr Guitar (1961)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 130MB
A delightful trio outing with an adroit and light feel, also featuring Keter Betts on bass and Bertell Knox on drums. Byrd's playing combines jazz swing with influences from both Spanish guitar and classical music on a session comprised of both Byrd originals and covers, usually of Gershwin and Ellington tunes. Betts and Knox are both nimble players who flesh out Byrd's arrangements without encumbering them, Knox exhibiting a deft touch on the snares in particular. Byrd swings pretty hard on numbers like "Gypsy in My Soul," and gets more into the Spanish sound on the original "Funky Flamenco"; there is one chance for the musicians to stretch out into more space, on the six-minute "Lay the Lily Low." It sounds like this album was a substantial influence upon the noted eclectic British folk guitarist Davy Graham, whose debut LP from the early '60s, Guitar Player, has arrangements that are similar to much of what's on Mr. Guitar.

-01. "Blues for Felix" 3:00
-02. "Gypsy in My Soul" 2:57
-03. "In a Mellow Tone" 3:16
-04. "Prelude to a Kiss" 4:45
-05. "Travelin' On" 2:36
-06. "Play Fiddle Play" 3:37
-07. "Funky Flamenco" 2:51
-08. "My One and Only" 2:47
-09. 2Mama, I'll Be Home Someday" 3:16
-10. "How Long Has This Been Going On?" 3:43
-11. "Who Cares?" 2:15
-12. "Lay the Lily Low" 5:51

*Charlie Byrd (guitar);
*Keter Betts (bass);
*Bertell Knox (drums).


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