30 June, 2011


Bobby Timmons - In Person (1961) (OJC 20-bit remaster)

Bobby Timmons - In Person (1961)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 350MB
OJC 20-bit remaster
This enjoyable LP presents a relaxed, agreeable live date, but not one that generates sparks. Pianist Bobby Timmons, who made his name as a writer and invaluable part of the rhythm section in the Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderley bands of the late '50s and early '60s, is a different proposition in his role here as a leader. Although able and energetic, Timmons demonstrates little taste for adventure and, consequently, can sustain himself in the spotlight only intermittently. Still, with Timmons in the company of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Albert Heath, both in their early twenties at the time of this 1961 recording, there would seem to have been potential for great things -- something beyond the sum of the parts. As it is, Carter and Heath provide little more than reliable support relative to their superior skills. Things may have sounded differently to the Village Vanguard audience, but on the LP Carter is uncharacteristically two-dimensional. His volume is about right, but the tone is rendered as an anonymous, mid-range pulsing. There is no sense of flesh, wood, and strings interacting with one another. Heath, predominantly using brushes, is also at about the right volume in the mix, but there are nuances missing and his snare is overemphasized. The players sound most together on the parts they've worked out, but the telepathy that distinguishes an excellent trio from an average one is missing in the group's improvisations. The result is a release that stops short of satisfying expectations.

-1 "Autumn Leaves" (Joseph Kosma, Johnny Mercer, Jacques Prévert) - 7:57
-2 "So Tired" - 6:24
-3 "Goodbye" (Gordon Jenkins) - 4:46
-4 "Dat Dere (Theme)" - 0:56
-5 "They Didn't Believe Me" (Jerome Kern, Herbert Reynolds) - 6:48
-6 "Dat Dere" (Full-length) - 4:31
-7 "Popsy" - 6:12
-8 "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) - 8:14
-9 "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Sigmund Romberg) - 5:30
-10 "Dat Dere (Theme)" - 0:56
* Recorded at the Village Vanguard in New York City on October 1, 1961.

*Bobby Timmons - piano
*Ron Carter - bass
*Albert Heath - drums

29 June, 2011


Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa - Rare Beefheart, Vintage Zappa (released 1991)

Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa - Rare Beefheart_Vintage Zappa (released 1991)
rock | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 190MB
Frank's half of this disc has six rare sides that he had a hand in for the Del-Fi label during the early '60s. These crude but adventurous productions clearly point toward The Mothers with their skilled R&B and doo-wop chops that walk the line between affection and parody, and inventive montage of sound effects on the bizarre Dracula novelty single "Dear Jeepers"/"Letter From Jeepers." Disappointingly, it isn't taken from the master tapes, but the singles themselves, although the surface noise is minor. Five rarities from fellow Southern California mad genius Captain Beefheart (alternate takes from his Strictly Personal album) fill out the disc; these are also available on a more complete CD of Strictly Personal outtakes on the British Sequel label, and it's too bad they couldn't have just fit everything from that collection, as there's plenty of room.

-01. Beatle Bones & Smokin Stones Pt. 1 0'35
-02. Beatle Bones & Smokin Stones Pt. 2 2'35
-03. Trust Us (take 9) 7'20
-04. Gimme Dat Harp Boy 3'25
-05. Moody Liz (take 8) 4'31
-06. How's Your Bird? 2'10
-07. The World's Greatest Sinner 2'25
-08. Everytime I See You 2'29
-09. Dear Jeepers 2'26
-10. Letter From Jeepers 2'20
-11. Cradle Rock 2'52
Tracks 1-5 licensed from Kama Sutra Music Inc. and tracks 6-11 licensed from Del-Fi Records. (p)&(c)1991 Disky Communications B.V. Marketed and distributed in the Benelux by Disky Communications B.V.Hoorn. Cover Design: Van Dijken Enschede. From Pop Almanac Records of Holland(?)

28 June, 2011


Gene Ammons & Dodo Marmarosa - Jug & Dodo (1962)

Gene Ammons & Dodo Marmarosa - Jug & Dodo (1962)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 380MB
This CD (which completely reissues a double LP with the same title) is a bit unusual for it teams together the great tenor Gene Ammons with the very talented (but now obscure) bop pianist Dodo Marmarosa whose mental problems kept him from pursuing his career. Actually Ammons is only half of this set (which also includes bassist Sam Jones and drummer Marshall Thompson) but Marmarosa is in top form; it's strange that the music was not released for the first time until the mid-'70s. This historical curiosity contains plenty of hard-swinging performances (including two versions apiece of "Yardbird Suite" and "Falling in Love with Love") and is worth picking up.

-01. "Georgia" - Carmichael, Gorrell - 5:35
-02. "For You" - Burke, Dubin - 4:26
-03. "You're Driving Me Crazy" - Donaldson - 6:48
-04. "Where or When" - Hart, Rodgers - 6:57
-05. "The Song Is You" - Hammerstein, Kern - 7:36
-06. "Just Friends" - Klenner, Lewis - 5:20
-07. "Yardbird Suite [Take 1]" - Parker - 3:54
-08. "Yardbird Suite [Take 2]" - Parker - 4:23
-09. "I Remember You" - Mercer, Schertzinger - 3:45
-10. "Bluzarumba" - Ammons - 3:34
-11. "The Moody Blues" - Marmarosa - 4:13
-12. "Falling in Love With Love [Take 2]" - Hart, Rodgers - 4:56
-13. "Falling in Love With Love [Take 2]" - Hart, Rodgers - 3:38
-14. "The Very Thought of You - Noble - 4:02

*Gene Ammons - sax
*Dodo Marmarosa - piano
*Sam Jones - bass
*Marshall Thompson - drums

24 June, 2011


Art Blakey - Live At Montreux and Northsea (1980)

Art Blakey - Live At Montreux and Northsea (1980)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 290MB
Art Blakey, leader of the highly influential hard-bop group The Jazz Messengers (which was usually a quintet or a sextet), made a rare tour with an 11-piece little big band in mid-1980. Included among the personnel were such unknown youngsters as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (then age 18), Branford Marsalis on baritone and alto, trombonist Robin Eubanks and guitarist Kevin Eubanks. The remarkable group also included the regular members of The Jazz Messengers (trumpeter Valeri Ponomarev, altoist Bobby Watson, tenor saxophonist Billy Pierce and pianist James Williams) and even a second drummer, John Ramsey. The music (three Bobby Watson compositions, the standard "Stairway to the Stars" and Williams's blues "Minor Thesis") is consistently excellent and all of the musicians get their chance to solo. A historically significant and rather enjoyable release.

-1. "Minor Thesis" - 13:17
-2. "Wheel Within a Wheel" - 7:02
-3. "Bit a Bittadose" - 6:41
-4. "Stairway to the Stars" - 8:34
-5. "Linwood" - 7:31

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers Big Band

22 June, 2011


Ahmad Jamal - The Awakening (1970) (20b-SBM)

Ahmad Jamal  - The Awakening (1970)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 260MB
Impulse | 20-bit SBM
The music on this CD has been reissued many times, most recently in 1997. By 1970, pianist Ahmad Jamal's style had changed a bit since the 1950s, becoming denser and more adventurous while still retaining his musical identity. With bassist Jamil Nasser (whose doubletiming lines are sometimes furious) and drummer Frank Gant, Jamal performs two originals (playing over a vamp on "Patterns"), the obscure "I Love Music" and four jazz standards. Intriguing performances showing that Ahmad Jamal was continuing to evolve.

-1. "The Awakening" - 6:19
-2. "I Love Music" (Emil Boyd, Hale Smith) - 7:19
-3. "Patterns" - 6:19
-4. "Dolphin Dance" (Herbie Hancock) - 5:05
-5. "You're My Everything" (Harry Warren, Joe Young, Mort Dixon) - 4:40
-6. "Stolen Moments" (Oliver Nelson) - 6:27
-7. "Wave" (Antonio Carlos Jobim) - 4:25
*All compositions by Ahmad Jamal except as indicated
*Recorded ay Plaza Sound Studios in New York City on February 2 & 3, 1970

*Ahmad Jamal - piano
*Jamil Nasser - bass
*Frank Gant - drums

21 June, 2011


George Russell - The Outer View (1962)

Georgr Russell - The Outer View (1962)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 310MB
Composer George Russell's early-'60s Riverside recordings are among his most accessible. For this set (the CD reissue adds an alternate take of the title cut to the original program), Russell and his very impressive sextet (which is comprised of trumpeter Don Ellis, trombonist Garnett Brown, Paul Plummer on tenor, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete La Roca) are challenged by the complex material; even Charlie Parker's blues "Au Privave" is transformed into something new. It is particularly interesting to hear Don Ellis this early in his career. The most famous selection, a very haunting version of "You Are My Sunshine," was singer Sheila Jordan's debut on records.

-1. "Au Privave" (Charlie Parker) - 6:21
-2. "Zig-Zag" (Carla Bley) - 4:03
-3. "The Outer View" - 10:03
-4. "The Outer View" [alternate take] - 9:26 Bonus track on CD reissue
-5. "You Are My Sunshine" (Jimmie Davis, Charles Mitchell) - 11:51
-6. "D.C. Divertimento" - 9:14
*All compositions by George Russell except as indicated
*Recorded August 27, 1962 in NYC

*George Russell: piano, arranger, conductor
*Don Ellis: trumpet
*Garnett Brown: trombone
*Paul Plummer: tenor saxophone
*Steve Swallow: bass
*Pete La Roca: drums
*Sheila Jordan: vocals on "You Are My Sunshine"

17 June, 2011


Bill Frisell - Unspeakable (2004)

Bill Frisell - Unspeakable (2004)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 420MB
With the exception of 2003's Intercontinentals, Bill Frisell had been playing it pretty safe for some time, sticking to his own personal vision of variations on the Americana theme (with nearly all of those albums being produced by Lee Townsend, by the way). Well, a change of producers often means a change of pace, and teaming up with eclectic producer Hal Willner for Unspeakable seems to have gotten the creative juices flowing again. Their working relationship goes back a long ways, all the way back to the Amarcord Nino Rota tribute from the early '80s. The use of a string section on more than three-fourths of the tunes already adds a different flavor to this album, but the fact that Frisell and Willner seem to have taken inspiration from the sounds of classic soul music is what really sets this apart from others in the Frisell catalog. Not only that, but Frisell's delays return in a more prominent role and he offers up some of his fiercest playing in years. There are a handful of introspective pieces that feature just the strings and guitar, with some slight sonic embellishments from Willner. The majority of the tunes, however, sound something like Bill Frisell scoring the music to Superfly! The soul grooves are tough to miss, but with this cast of players, it comes off like some cinematic offshoot of soul music. The grooves are fantastic, and Frisell really rises to the occasion, bringing back the delays, nasty distorted tone, and ugly harmonics that have been largely absent from his more recent releases. There are still lots of lovely sounds, but it's great to hear him stretching out a bit more again. Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen have not only served as Frisell's rhythm section in the past, but they also play together in Sex Mob. Sometimes aided by Don Alias, they really drive the tunes, with the strings and occasional horns punctuating the melody and Frisell's guitars floating all over the place. Willner's use of turntables and samplers adds some great sounds to the mix, sometimes adding an almost exotica flavor. It's all quite accessible, but fans with delicate ears may be put off by some of the noisier moments on the album, like the keyboard (?) sound on "Stringbean" or the guitar solo on "Old Sugar Bear." Other fans will be delighted to hear such a glorious din on a Bill Frisell record again. After so much of a similar thing, it's just great to hear Frisell being pushed in a new direction (and quite a fun one, at that). Recommended.

-01. "1968" - 4:35
-02. "White Fang" (Frisell, Willner) - 5:39
-03. "Sundust" (Willner) - 2:36
-04. "Del Close" (Frisell, Liljestrand, Willner) - 5:03
-05. "Gregory C." (Frisell, Willner) - 5:38
-06. "Stringbean" (Frisell, Liljestrand, Willner) - 5:57
-07. "Hymn for Ginsberg" - 2:24
-08. "Alias" (Frisell, Liljestrand, Willner) - 7:56
-09. "Who Was That Girl?" - 4:50
-10. "D. Sharpe" - 4:10
-11. "Fields of Alfalfa" (Frisell, Bernstein, Liljestrand, Walter, Willner) - 3:38
-12. "Tony" (Frisell, Scherr, Wollesen) - 3:37
-13. "Old Sugar Bear" (Grant, Liljestrand, Willner) - 7:10
-14. "Goodbye Goodbye Goodbye" (Frisell, Lasry, Willner) - 8:58
*All compositions by Bill Frisell except as indicated

*Bill Frisell: guitars
*Hal Willner: turntables, samples
*Tony Scherr: bass, guitar
*Kenny Wollesen: drums
*Don Alias: percussion
*Steven Bernstein: trumpet
*Briggan Krauss: baritone sax
*Curtis Fowlkes: trombone
*Adam Dorn: synth
*Jenny Scheinman: violin
*Eyvind Kang: viola
*Hank Roberts: cello

15 June, 2011


'Rahsaan' Roland Kirk - Brotherman in the Fatherland (1972)

'Rahsaan' Roland Kirk - Brotherman in the Fatherland (1972)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 510MB
It's very tempting to go off on Joel Dorn for his decision to call a Rahsaan Roland Kirk record recorded live in Germany Brotherman in the Fatherland. Dorn's had questionable taste about all kinds of things since he began running record labels that have had numerous names attached to them -- Kirk's music is not one of them. This gig, recorded in 1972, is one of those seemingly out-of-nowhere moments when Kirk, struggling to make a living, took it to the audience full-force. He was accompanied on this tour by longtime pianist Ron Burton, bassist Henry Pearson, drummer Richie Goldberg (who did a long stint with Ray Charles) and Joe Texudor on assorted percussion. The program is pure magic: from "Like Sony" to a bad-ass reworking of the insipid Bread tune "Make It with You," that Kirk turns into pure outre blues soul-jazz, and that's just the beginning. "Rahsaan's Spirit" is the place where Kirk spins off into his own universe with the band -- Burton's solo here is particularly telling as the members all solo. Kirk brings it back to a deeply soulful read of "My Girl" with a piano intro that sounds a lot like Roy Bittan's from Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road," but it was a couple of years ahead of that milestone. Kirk's nose flute hints the melody line before his flute takes over and runs the melody down to its root; he plays them simultaneously and even vocalizes, à la Charles. The swinging Ramsey Lewis-styled soul riffing gives the audience something else to hold onto before the doors come off with "Seasons/Serenade to a Cuckoo" that digs even deeper as it streams into "Pedals Up," a musically tender reading of "Lush Life," before it all melts down into Coltrane's "Afro Blue" with Kirk on all horns peeling the paint; there's only a brief respite before it goes all the way into jazz heaven with a deeply swinging, blues-drenched crazyland reading of "Blue Trane." Like his best live outings -- this one doesn't have the same sound quality as Bright Moments -- this one is simply astonishing in its intensity, soul, and acumen. One can only wonder when hearing the polite applause at the end of the gig (instead of the justifiable shouting and screaming that should've been there) if the German crowd were just blown away, or confused. Listeners, too, may wonder if they can believe what has just transpired in the space of an hour. They can. Dorn may be on the questionable side in naming this recording, but he's to be thanked for issuing it.

-1. "Intro/Like Sonny" (John Coltrane) - 8:32
-2. "Make It with You" (David Gates) - 5:39
-3. "Rahsaan's Spirit" - 7:04
-4. "My Girl" (Smokey Robinson, Ronald White) - 5:15
-5. "Seasons/Serenade to a Cuckoo" - 6:54
-6. "Pedal Up" - 10:20
-7. "Lush Life" (Billy Strayhorn) - 3:12
-8. "Afro Blue" (Mongo Santamaría) - 4:04
-9. "Blue Train" (Coltrane) - 17:31
*Recorded at the Funkhaus in Hamburg, Germany on March 3, 1972

*Roland Kirk: tenor saxophone, manzello, stritch, clarinet, flute
*Ron Burton: piano
*Henry Metathias Pearson: bass
*Richie Goldberg: drums
*Joe Habad Texidor: percussion

14 June, 2011


Captain Beefheart - Bluejeans & Moonbeams (1974)

Captain Beefheart - Bluejeans & Moonbeams (1974)
rock, blues, avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 210MB
About the best one can say about 1974's Bluejeans & Moonbeams is that it's not as bad as his other release of the year, Unconditionally Guaranteed. In fact, there are two tracks, the pretty reverie "Observatory Crest" and the stomping blues-rocker "Party of Special Things to Do," that are actually quite good. The rest of the album, however, is fairly dire. Recorded with anonymous studio musicians who are clearly out of their league and glossed to a soul-less polish by producer Andy DiMartino, Bluejeans & Moonbeams never catches fire even at its best, and its worst tracks -- those would be "Pompadour Swamp" and the utterly wretched proto-disco "Captain's Holiday" -- are the worst things that have ever borne the Captain Beefheart name. Captain Beefheart would eventually return with the revitalized Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) in 1978, but Bluejeans & Moonbeams sounds like a tired and cynical make-work project.

-1. "Party of Special Things to Do" (Don Van Vliet, Elliot Ingber) – 2:48
-2. "Same Old Blues" (J. J. Cale) – 4:00
-3. "Observatory Crest" (Van Vliet, E. Ingber) – 3:32
-4. "Pompadour Swamp" (Van Vliet) – 3:32
-5. "Captain's Holiday" (R. Feldman, W. Richmond, S. Hickerson, C. Blackwell) – 5:43
-6. "Rock 'n Roll's Evil Doll" (Van Vliet, Mark Gibbons, Ira Ingber) – 3:20
-7. "Further Than We've Gone" (Van Vliet) – 5:31
-8. "Twist ah Luck" (Van Vliet, Gibbons, I. Ingber) – 3:22
-9. "Bluejeans & Moonbeams" (Van Vliet) – 5:02

* Captain Beefheart - vocals, harmonica
* Dean Smith - guitar, bottleneck guitar
* Ira Ingber - bass
* Bob West - bass
* Micheal Smotherman - keyboards, backing vocals
* Mark Gibbons - keyboards
* Gene Pello - drums
* Jimmy Caravan - keyboard, star machine
* Ty Grimes - percussion


Dave Brubeck - Indian Summer (2007)

Dave Brubeck - Indian Summer (2007)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 230MB
It's not uncommon for anyone to turn toward nostalgia as the years wear on, and at age 86, with nearly 60 years of recording behind him and nearly 50 since he shook up the jazz world with his landmark Time Out album, Dave Brubeck is certainly entitled to look back and take stock of his life. Indian Summer -- the phrase itself suggests an acknowledgement of a waning in progress -- is something of a companion piece to 2004's Private Brubeck Remembers. Like that gem, Indian Summer is a solo piano work comprised of Brubeck's ruminations on standards of the mid-20th century, the period when he was just coming up as an artist and blossoming as a young man. These are reflective, meditative ballads, softly but skillfully played and hinting at melancholy. On time-worn Americana such as "Georgia on My Mind," "September Song," "Sweet Lorraine," and "Spring Is Here," Brubeck is restrained but soulful, out to prove nothing. It's not that age has dulled him; Brubeck's performance is uniformly exquisite, imaginative, and elegant; it's just not edgy. A small handful of original material nicely complements the standards, adding up to one of the more intimate entries in Brubeck's enormous discography.

-01. "You'll Never Know" - Gordon, Warren - 4:42
-02. "I'm Alone" - Hammerstein, Kern - 5:18
-03. "Autumn in Our Town" - Brubeck, Brubeck - 4:55
-04. "So Lonely" - Brubeck, Brubeck - 3:15
-05. "I'm Afraid the Masquerade Is oOver" - Magidson, Wrubel - 4:14
-06. "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You" - Crosby, Washington, Young - 4:20
-07. "Pacific Hail" - Winston - 4:21
-08. "September Song" - Anderson, Weill - 4:43
-09. "Summer Song" - Brubeck, Brubeck - 4:15
-10. "Thank You" - Brubeck - 5:04
-11. "Georgia on My Mind" - Carmichael, Gorrell - 4:30
-12. "Spring Is Here" - Hart, Rodgers - 3:58
-13. "Sweet Lorraine" - Burwell, Parish - 4:43
-14. "Memories of You" - Blake, Razaf - 4:16
-15. "This Love of Mine" - Parker, Sanicola, Sinatra - 3:56
-16. "Indian Summer" - Herbert - 4:53

Dave Brubeck: piano

13 June, 2011


Wayne Shorter - Alegria (2003)

Wayne Shorter - Alegria (2003)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 460MB
With 2002's Footprints Live, nearly two decades of false alarms about a Wayne Shorter "comeback" finally gave way to the real thing -- at least to many critics who welcomed his return to highly cerebral acoustic post-bop. Yet the follow-up, Alegria -- apparently Shorter's first all-acoustic studio album as a leader since 1967 -- is where Shorter really starts to get creative again. The rhythm section from Footprints Live -- pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade -- is intact on three tracks. On others, Brad Mehldau -- with his very different conception of sound -- is the pianist, Terri Lyne Carrington subs on drums, Alex Acuna adds percussion, and new, unusual timbres are supplied by a wind/brass ensemble. As on Footprints Live, Shorter revisits some old tunes from his relative youth, but not nearly in the same way. In "Orbits," which was given a racetrack post-bop run by the Miles Davis Quintet, Shorter slows it way, way down, virtually decontructing the tune, backed by a quizzical chart for winds and brass. Likewise, "Angola" and "Capricorn II" are altered nearly beyond recognition. Indeed, at this point in the 21st century, it was fascinating to see both Shorter and his former Davis bandmate, Herbie Hancock, radically reinterpreting their past, working separately yet often using the same bassist and drummer (Patitucci and Blade) and recording for the same label. Yet, the core message of this album is that Shorter was ready to move on to different things, drawing material from almost anything that caught his attention while soloing in top form on tenor and soprano saxes. With a wild soprano wail, Shorter leads off the CD with his new, absorbing boogaloo "Sacajawea," one that soon morphs into searching, nearly free jazz, with a magisterial solo from the composer. At last, someone in jazz chose to deal with both tunes from Leroy Anderson's Spanish-flavored light classical masterpiece "Serenata" rather than just the lush second subject -- and Shorter decorates them with a complex featherweight orchestration. Though Acuna's bongos pop away in the foreground, Shorter does maintain the melancholy feeling of the familiar aria from Villa-Lobos' "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5," with cellist Charles Curtis eloquently stating the tune, until he destabilizes things in the middle of the track. As he approached his 70th birthday, this disc seemed to confirm a long-awaited creative Indian summer for Wayne Shorter.

-01. "Sacajawea" - 7:40
-02. "Serenata" (Anderson) - 6:09
-03. "Vendiendo Alegría" (Himel, Spralja) - 7:03
-04. "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5" (Villa-Lobos) - 6:00
-05. "Angola" - 5:28
-06. "Interlude" - 1:49
-07. "She Moves Through the Fair" (Traditional) - 4:39
-08. "Orbits" - 6:09
-09. "12th Century Carol" (Traditional) - 6:04
-10. "Capricorn 2" - 5:59
* All compositions by Wayne Shorter except as indicated

*Wayne Shorter - tenor and soprano saxophones
*Chris Potter - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
*Danilo Perez: piano
*John Patitucci: bass
*Brian Blade: drums
*Brad Mehldau: piano
*Terri Lyne Carrington: drums
*Alex Acuña: percussion


Art Pepper - So In Love (1979) (SACD limited edition)

Art Pepper - So In Love (1979)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 410MB
Analogue Productions | SACD 24k gold limited edition
This deluxe release from the classy (but long defunct) Artists House label, as with all of Art Pepper's recordings of his comeback years, is easily recommended. Actually all of the music on So in Love has been reissued in greatly expanded form in Pepper's massive 16-CD Galaxy box set. The original LP has lengthy versions of "So in Love," "Stardust," "Straight No Chaser" and two Pepper originals ("Diane" and "Blues for Blanche"). Assisted by two equally talented rhythm sections (pianists Hank Jones and George Cables, bassists Ron Carter and Charlie Haden, and drummers Al Foster and Billy Higgins), Pepper is in excellent form throughout the album, giving these songs heart-wrenching interpretations.

-1. "Straight, No Chaser" - Monk - 6:24
-2. "Blues for Blanche" - Pepper - 6:47
-3. "So in Love" - Porter - 11:35
-4. "Diane" - Mingus, Pepper, Pollack, Rapee - 12:16
-5. "Stardust" - Carmichael, Parish - 10:35

*Art Pepper (alto saxophone)
*George Cables, Hank Jones (piano)
*Ron Carter , Charlie Haden (double bass)
*Al Foster, Billy Higgins (drums)

10 June, 2011


Classical Jazz Quartet - Play Tchaikovsky (2001)

Classical Jazz Quartet - Play Tchaikovsky (2001)
jazz, classical | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 380MB
Kind Of Blue | rem: 2006
A jazz quartet plays eight selections from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker on this CD. Some of the melodies are familiar but usually reinvented in the arrangements of Bob Belden. Vibraphonist Stefon Harris (who doubles on marimba) is joined by pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Lewis Nash for this enjoyable outing. Harris and Barron make for a particularly stimulating team as they perform such numbers as "The Swingin' Nut," "Groove of the Sugar Plum Fairy," and "Vaunce of the Flowers."

1. The Swingin' Nut
2. Marche Touche
3. Groove Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
4. Blues A La Russe
5. Bedouin Dreams
6. Oriental Rhythm
7. Mirlitonova
8. Vaunce Of The Flowers

*Kenny Barron - piano
*Ron Carter - bass
*Stefon Harris - vibes & marimba
*Lewis Nash - drums

08 June, 2011


Sonny Clark - Standards (1958) (20-bit SBM)

Sonny Clark - Standards (1958)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 410MB
Blue Note | 20bit SBM
The sessions that comprise the 14-track Standards were recorded by Sonny Clark at the end of 1958, with the intention that his interpretations would be issued as 45-rpm singles. His takes on these 12 standards (two of the tracks are alternate takes) are exceptional. Supported by drummer Wes Landers and, on varying dates, either Paul Chambers or Jymie Merritt on bass, Clark turns in lyrical, sensitive renditions of "Dancing In the Dark," "All of You," "I Cover the Waterfront," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "Black Velvet" and "I'm Just a Lucky So And So," among others. Although some of the performances are a little brief, limiting his opportunity to solo, Standards is a lovely collection of beautiful music that's a welcome addition to Clark's catalog.

-01. "Blues in the Night" (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer) - 5:53
-02 "Can't We Be Friends?" (Paul James, Kay Swift) - 4:15
-03 "Somebody Loves Me" (Buddy DeSylva, George Gershwin, Ballard MacDonald) - 4:14
-04 "All of You" (Cole Porter) - 3:52
-05 "Dancing in the Dark" (Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz) - 3:27
-06 "I Cover the Waterfront" (Johnny Green, Edward Heyman) - 4:37
-07 "Blues in the Night" [alternate take] (Arlen, Mercer) - 7:11
-08 "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You" (Andy Razaf, Don Redman) - 3:57
-09 "Ain't No Use" (Leroy Kirkland, Sidney Wyche) - 4:45
-10 "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) - 3:48
-11 "Black Velvet" (Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Mundy) - 3:19
-12 "I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So (Mack David, Duke Ellington) - 4:29
-13 "The Breeze and I" (Tutti Camarata, Ernesto Lecuona, Al Stillman) - 3:56
-14 "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You" [alternate take] (Razaf, Redman) - 3:49
* Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ on September 1, 1957.

* Sonny Clark - piano
* Jymie Merritt, Paul Chambers - bass
* Wes Landers - drums

06 June, 2011


Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson - At The Opera House (1957)

Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson - At The Opera House (1957)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 440MB
Whatever Norman Granz was using as a thinking man's energy drink in 1957 when he formulated this Jazz at the Philharmonic all-star band should be bottled and sold to the world. This stroke of genius was manifested in pairing Stan Getz with J.J. Johnson, backing them up with pianist Oscar Peterson's legendary trio including bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis, and adding MJQ drummer Connie Kay to this truly classic jazz sextet. Two JATP concerts done in Chicago (in stereo) and Los Angeles (in mono) comprise this expanded edition CD, with some stretched-out jams, repeat tunes, and extra material. Originally tabbed as an unusual teaming of tenor sax and trombone, the two principals sound well-suited, very compatible in their dynamic levels, and especially congruous when they play together, while Peterson is absolutely supportive so that these two giants of jazz can cut loose. The shorter concert in Chi-Town has the band absolutely on fire from the get-go, burning up the definitive bop flag-waver "Billie's Bounce" over ten minutes of hard-swinging perfection. Neither Getz nor Johnson had ever played the Charlie Parker evergreen before, nor had either of them done "My Funny Valentine," offered here with Getz's lead line as the trombonist follows gently in his footsteps via a midtempo pace. The swing-era standard "Crazy Rhythm" is cranked up very fast, and features a clever harmony from Johnson, while "Blues in the Closet" closes the show with the simplest bop idea turned into a brilliant, long-winded discourse from all the participants. For the L.A. show, the program also starts with "Billie's Bounce," done differently on the harmonic end just for kicks, while "My Funny Valentine" uses a completely different introduction from the horns. Peterson charges up "Crazy Rhythm" as the sax and 'bone play more in sync, while "Blues in the Closet" again closes the set, but is much shorter, faster, and a bit sloppy at the outset. The add-ons include a short (under four-minute) and easygoing feature for Johnson on "Yesterdays" and another brief rendering of the ballad "It Never Entered My Mind," exclusively for the soulful Getz and a more pronounced Ellis. The extraordinary playing by these expert jazzmen elevates this album to legendary status. It is some of their best work (from a pivotal year in modern jazz recording), and a shining example of how professionally Granz could mix and match musicians to form optimal results.

-01. "Billie's Bounce" (Charlie Parker) – 9:45
-02. "My Funny Valentine" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 8:10
-03 ."Crazy Rhythm" (Irving Caesar, Joseph Meyer, Roger Wolfe Kahn) – 7:59
-04. "Blues In the Closet" (Oscar Pettiford) – 9:04
-05. "Billie's Bounce" – 7:57
-06. "My Funny Valentine" – 8:28
-07. "Crazy Rhythm" – 7:47
-08. "Yesterdays" (Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach) – 3:42
-09. "It Never Entered My Mind" (Rodgers, Hart) – 3:52
-10. "Blues In the Closet" – 6:18

* Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
* J.J. Johnson – trombone
* Oscar Peterson – piano
* Herb Ellis – guitar
* Ray Brown – double bass
* Connie Kay – drums

03 June, 2011


Billie Holiday - The Complete Commodore Recordings(1939-44) (eac-log-cover)

Billie Holiday - The Complete Commodore Recordings (1939-44)
jazz | 2cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 430MB
Billie Holiday recorded on four occasions for the Commodore label: once in 1939 (a date that resulted in "Fine and Mellow" and "Strange Fruit") and three sessions in 1944 (dates highlighted by "I Cover the Waterfront," "I'm Yours," "He's Funny That Way," "Billie's Blues," and "On the Sunny Side of the Street"). While the former session has Lady Day joined by a background octet that includes trumpeter Frankie Newton, the Eddie Heywood Sextet forms the nucleus of the later dates. This two-CD set has all 18 selections and no less than 27 alternate takes. Since the great majority of the performances are ballads, and with the exception of pianist Heywood, there are very few instrumental solos, there are no significant differences between the versions. Therefore, this set (as opposed to a single CD of the master takes), even though it is well-conceived, is strictly for completists.

cd1: 24 tracks
cd2: 21 tracks

Personnel: Billie Holiday (vocals); Teddy Walters, Jimmy McLin (guitar); Lem Davis, Tab Smith (alto saxophone); Kenneth Hollon (tenor saxophone); Doc Cheatham, Frankie Newton, Freddy Webster (trumpet); Vic Dickenson (trombone); Eddie Heywood, Sonny White (piano); Eddie Dougherty, Big Sid Catlett (drums).


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