16 December, 2011


Gabor Szabo - High Contrast (1971)

Gabor Szabo - High Contrast (1971)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 285MB
An unusually successful pairing of Gabor Szabo with R&B legend Bobby Womack. Szabo digs deep into a soulful groove, inspired by Womack's silky-smooth originals. High Contrast features "Breezin," the Womack tune written especially for Szabo, which George Benson parlayed into a huge hit in 1976, and several tunes Womack popularized in the film Across 110th Street.

-1. Breezin' - (Bobby Womack) 3:03
-2. Amazon - (Gábor Szabó) 4:55
-3. Fingers - (Gábor Szabó, Meltz) 7:25
-4. Azure Blue - (Gábor Szabó) 4:12
-5. Just A Little Communication - (Bobby Womack)7:45
-6. If You Don't Want My Love - (Gábor Szabó, Bobby Womack) 5:08
-7. I Remember When - (Bobby Womack) 7:35

* Gábor Szabó - Guitar
* Bobby Womack - Rhythm Guitar
* Phil Upchurch, Wolfgang Meltz - Bass
* Mark Levine - Piano
* Felix Falcon - Congas
* Carmelo Garcia - Percussion
* Jim Keltner - Drums
* The Shadow - Tambourine, Percussion


New Klezmer Trio - Melt Zonk Rewire (1993)

New Klezmer Trio - Melt Zonk Rewire (1993)
jazz, klezmer | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 305MB
The New Klezmer Trio are a group of three high-caliber musicians making klezmer-rooted jazz with some definite rock included. Electric bassist Dan Seamans occasionally uses effects pedals more often found in thrash rock than jazz; versatile percussionist Kenny Wolleson effortlessly moves between jazz techniques and rock; and clarinetist Ben Goldberg, well-versed in the klezmer music tradition, sometimes plays his "Fender reverb clarinet." With a perfect mixture of a sincere love of music, wit, and serious chops, they create a new klezmer that draws from jazz, rock, and improvised traditions. Melt Zonk Rewire is full of creativity, with high energy and grooves tastefully offset by subdued, whispery pieces such as "The Chant" or Wolleson's marimba solo on "The Haunt." Songs like "Feedback Doina" demand that listeners be rock fans too. This great recording for Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture series is essential for anyone whose music collection holds many disparate musical styles.

-01. "Gas Nine" - (trad., arr. Wolleson) - 2:24
-02. "Sarcophagous" - (Goldberg) - 5:02
-03. "The Haunt" - (Seamans) - 4:33
-04. "Thermoglyphics" - (Goldberg) - 3:33
-05. "The Chant" - (Goldberg) - 3:23
-06. "We Got" - There" - (Seamans) - 5:27
-07. "Feedback Doina" - (Wollesen) - 5:08
-08. "Freilakh Nakht" - (trad., arr. Wolleson) - 3:04
-09. "Hypothetical" - (Goldberg) - 3:22
-10. "The Shot" - (Goldberg) - 3:59
-11. "Distiller" - (trad., arr. Seamans) - 3:59
-12. "Phrases" - (Goldberg) - 3:29
-13. "Fourth" - Floor" - (Seamans) - 2:59
-14. "Starting Place" - (Goldberg) - 4:11

* Bass – Dan Seamans
* Clarinet, Clarinet [Bass] – Ben Goldberg
* Drums – Kenny Wollesen

13 December, 2011


Red Garland - Red Garland's Piano (1957) (RVG)

Red Garland - Red Garland's Piano (1957)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 270MB
Prestige | RVG 24-bit remaster 2005
Red Garland's third session as a leader finds the distinctive pianist investigating eight standards (including "Please Send Me Someone to Love," "Stompin' at the Savoy," "If I Were a Bell," and "Almost Like Being in Love") with his distinctive chord voicings, melodic but creative ideas, and solid sense of swing. Joined by bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor, Garland plays up to his usual consistent level, making this an easily recommended disc for straight-ahead fans.

-1. "Please Send Me Someone to Love" - Mayfield - 9:51
-2. "Stompin' at the Savoy" - Goodman, Razaf, Sampson, Webb - 3:12
-3. "The Very Thought of You" - Noble - 4:12
-4. "Almost Like Being in Love" - Lerner, Loewe - 4:52
-5. "If I Were a Bell" - Loesser - 6:41
-6. "I Know Why (And So Do You)" - Gordon, Warren - 4:50
-7. "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" - Fields, McHugh - 5:05
-8. "But Not for Me" - Gershwin, Gershwin - 5:52

* Red Garland (piano)
* Paul Chambers (bass)
* Art Taylor (drums)


Captain Beefheart - London 1974

Captain Beefheart - London 1974
rock, blues, avantgarde | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 220MB
MPG 74025
This live recording of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band was taken from a London date during one of the more fierce peaks of the band's existence, the same period that produced the overlooked classic masterpiece Clear Spot. Though the session was intended to produce a live album for Virgin, the release never materialized, though the versions of "Mirror Man" and "Upon the Me Oh My" came out of the 1975 Virgin sampler V. Thanks to the obscure Portuguese imprint Movie Play Gold, highlights from the concert made it onto CD at a concise 40 minutes. The disc features nine tracks of full-tilt Magic Band mayhem on "Full Moon Hot Sun," "Sugar Bowl," "Crazy Little Thing," "This Is the Day," "New Electric Ride," as well as older '60s classics like "Abba Zabba" and "Peaches." The CD has exceptional sound quality, while some other live Captain Beefheart from the same period fares a little rough in recording quality. This comes highly recommended as an opportunity to hear the Magic Band at an all-time high.

-1. "Mirror Man" - Van Vliet - 4:48
-2. "Upon the Me Oh My" - Di Martino, Van Vliet, Van Vliet - 4:07
-3. "Full Moon Hot Sun" - Di Martino, Van Vliet, Van Vliet - 3:29
-4. "Sugar Bowl" - Di Martino, Van Vliet, Van Vliet - 2:55
-5. "Crazy Little Thing" - Van Vliet - 3:45
-6. "This is the Day" - Di Martino, Van Vliet, Van Vliet - 7:48
-7. "New Electric Ride" - Di Martino, Van Vliet, Van Vliet - 3:20
-8. "Abba Zabba" - Van Vliet - 3:16
-9. "Peaches" - Di Martino, Van Vliet, Van Vliet - 6:03

* Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) / harmonica, vocals
* Del Simmons / Tenor saxophone, flute
* Dean Smith / guitar
* Fuzzy Fuscaldo / guitar
* Michael Smotherman / keyboards
* Paul Uhrig / bass
* Ty Grimes / drums


Curtis Fuller - The Opener (1957) (RVG)

Curtis Fuller - The Opener (1957)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 170MB
Blue Note/EMI | RVG 24-bit remaster 2008
The Opener is trombonist Curtis Fuller's first album for Blue Note and it is a thoroughly impressive affair. Working with a quintet featuring tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor, Fuller runs through a set of three standards -- "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening," "Here's to My Lady," "Soon" -- two originals and an Oscar Pettiford-penned calypso. The six songs give Fuller a chance to display his warm, fluid style in all of its variations. "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening" illustrates that he can be seductive and lyrical on ballads, while the brassy "Hugore" and hard-swinging "Lizzy's Bounce" shows that he can play hard without getting sloppy. His backing musicians are equally impressive; in particular, Mobley's robust playing steals the show. In all, The Opener, along with his three earlier sessions for Prestige and New Jazz, establishes Fuller as one of the most distinctive and original hard bop trombonists of the late '50s.

-1. "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening" (Harold Adamson, Jimmy McHugh) - 6:52
-2. "Hugore" (Fuller) - 6:43
-3. "Oscalypso" (Oscar Pettiford) - 5:40
-4. "Here's to My Lady" (Rube Bloom, Johnny Mercer) - 6:43
-5. "Lizzy's Bounce" (Fuller)- 5:25
-6. "Soon" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) - 5:33
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on June 16, 1957.

* Curtis Fuller - trombone
* Hank Mobley - tenor saxophone (tracks 2, 3, 5 & 6)
* Bobby Timmons - piano
* Paul Chambers - bass
* Art Taylor - drums

07 December, 2011


Max Roach, Hank Mobley - Max Roach Quartet feat. Hank Mobley (1953)

Max Roach, Hank Mobley - Max Roach Quartet feat. Hank Mobley (1953)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 170MB
Drummer Max Roach's first studio session as a leader falls stylewise between bop and hard bop. The earlier set, which has four group originals played by a septet that also includes trumpeter Idrees Sulieman, trombonist Leon Comegys, altoist Gigi Gryce, Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Walter Davis, Jr. and bassist Franklin Skeete, was the recording debut for both Mobley and Davis. The other session (two standards, two originals by Roach including his solo "Drum Conversation," Mobley's "Kismet" and Charlie Parker's "Chi Chi") features the same rhythm section, with Mobley as the only horn. The music is enjoyable although not as essential as the great drummer's later dates. This CD reissue adds "Drum Conversation Part 2" to the original LP program.


-01. "Cou-Manchi-Cou" - Roach - 3:01
-02. "Just One of Those Things" - Porter - 3:08
-03. "The Glow Worm" - Lincke, Mercer, Robinson - 2:27
-04. "Mobleyzation" - Mobley - 2:42
-05. "Chi-Chi" - Parker - 2:58
-06. "Kismet" - Mobley - 2:39
-07. "I'm a Fool to Want You" - Herron, Sinatra, Wolf - 3:13
-08. "Sfax" - Roach - 2:17
-09. "Orientation" - Mobley - 2:50
-10. "Drum Conversation" - Roach - 2:42
-11. "Drum Conversation, Pt. 2" - Roach - 4:38

* Alto Saxophone – Gigi Gryce (tracks: 3, 4, 8, 9)
* Bass – Franklin Skeete*
* Drums – Max Roach
* Piano – Walter Davis II*
* Tenor Saxophone – Hank Mobley
* Trombone – Leon Comegys (tracks: 3, 4, 8, 9)
* Trumpet – Idrees Sulieman (tracks: 3, 4, 8, 9)


John Coltrane - Coltrane (1957)

John Coltrane - Coltrane (1957)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 250MB
On his first session as a bandleader, tenor saxophonist John Coltrane is joined by Johnny Splawn on trumpet, Sahib Shihab on baritone sax, and a rhythm section of bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath with piano duties split between Mal Waldron and Red Garland. Right out of the gate, the propulsive syncopated beat that drives through the heart of Coltrane's fellow Philly denizen Calvin Massey's "Bakai" indicates that Coltrane and company are playing for keeps. Shihab's emphatic and repetitive drone provides a manic urgency that fuels the participants as they weave in and out of the trance-like chorus. Coltrane grabs hold with bright and aggressive lines, turning the minor-chord progressions around into a spirited and soulful outing. While the refined and elegant "Violets for Your Furs" as well as the slinky and surreptitious "While My Lady Sleeps" are undeniably ballads, they aren't redundant. Rather, each complements the other with somewhat alternate approaches. "Violets for Your Furs" develops the role of the more traditional pop standard, whereas the somnolence is disrupted by the tension and release coursing just below the surface of "While My Lady Sleeps." The Coltrane-supplied "Straight Street" is replete with the angular progressions that would become his stock-in-trade. In fact, the short clusters of notes that Coltrane unleashes are unmistakable beacons pointing toward his singular harmonics and impeccably timed phrasing on 1960's Giant Steps and beyond. The closer, "Chronic Blues," demonstrates Coltrane's increasing capacity for writing and arranging for an ensemble. The thick unified sound of Coltrane, Splawn, and Shihab presents a formidable presence as they blow the minor-chord blues chorus together before dissolving into respective solos. The trio's divergent styles prominently rise, pitting Shihab's down-and-dirty growl against Coltrane's comparatively sweet tones and Splawn's vacillating cool and fiery fingering. Regardless of the listener's expertise, Coltrane is as enjoyable as it is thoroughly accessible.

-1. "Bakai" - Calvin Massey - 8:41
-2. "Violets for Your Furs" - Tom Adair, Matt Dennis - 6:15
-3. "Time Was" - Gabriel Luna de la Fuente, Paz Miguel Prado, Keith Russell - 7:27
-4. "Straight Street" - John Coltrane - 6:17
-5. "While My Lady Sleeps" - Gus Kahn, Bronislau Kaper - 4:41
-6. "Chronic Blues" - John Coltrane - 8:12

* John Coltrane — tenor saxophone
* Johnny Splawn — trumpet on "Bakai," "Straight Street," "While My Lady Sleeps," "Chronic Blues"
* Sahib Shihab — baritone saxophone on "Bakai," "Straight Street," "Chronic Blues"
* Mal Waldron — piano on side one
* Red Garland — piano on side two
* Paul Chambers — bass
* Albert "Tootie" Heath — drums


Cramps - Flamejob (1994)

Cramps - Flamejob (1994)
psychobilly, rock | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 320MB
Something of a return to form, Flamejob features the band's most committed, energetic performances in quite some time, with wild, crazed vocals from Lux Interior and sizzling guitar work from Poison Ivy enlivening some of the band's most entertainingly stupid and crude offerings, including "Let's Get Fucked Up" and "Inside Out and Upside Down (With You)." The failed stylistic experiments of some then-recent work are gone, replaced by simple, straight-ahead vintage Cramps psychobilly. Also featured is a cover of "Route 66."

-01. "Mean Machine" - 3:57
-02. "Ultra Twist!" - 3:48
-03. "Let's Get Fucked Up" - 3:55
-04. "Nest of the Cuckoo Bird" - 3:26
-05. "I'm Customized" - 3:04
-06. "Sado County Auto Show" - 2:59
-07. "Naked Girl Falling Down the Stairs" - 2:44
-08. "How Come You Do Me?" - 2:17
-09. "Inside Out and Upside Down (With You)" - 2:27
-10. "Trapped Love" - 2:00
-11. "Swing the Big Eyed Rabbit" - 3:39
-12. "Strange Love" - 2:49
-13. "Blues, Blues, Blues" - 2:23
-14. "Sinners" - 2:06
-15. "Route 66 (Get Your Kicks On)" - 3:17

* Lux Interior - vocals
* Poison Ivy Rorschach - guitars, theremin
* Slim Chance - bass guitar
* Harry Drumdini - drums

01 December, 2011


New Klezmer Trio - Masks and Faces (1990)

New Klezmer Trio - Masks and Faces (1990)
jazz, klezmer | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 310MB
This first release from the New Klezmer Trio is rocking, energetic, and young. Not quite as developed as the later Melt Zonk Rewire, it is nevertheless an invigorating and fun listen. After all, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, bassist Dan Seamans, and drummer Kenny Wolleson are terrific musicians, and Masks and Faces is a restructuring and resurrection of traditional Jewish music melted into rock, with a good amount of improvisation. But don't let the improv element deter you -- this raucous, bursting, and somewhat disjointed music sustains a groove that's not so hard to hang on to. Almost an hour in length, New Klezmer Trio's first release ebbs and flows, relentlessly packed with high quality tunes.

-01. "Cardboard Factory" - Goldberg - 5:06
-02. "Hot and Cold" - Traditional - 3:44
-03. "Rebbe's Meal" - Traditional - 7:36
-04. "Up" - Black Oak Arkansas, Seamas - 4:19
-05. "Washing Machine Song" - Traditional - 2:59
-06. "Galicain" - Beckerman - 5:18
-07. "Masks and Faces" - Goldberg - 6:33
-08. "Haphazard" - Kramtweiss - 4:03
-09. "Bitonal Song" - Kramtweiss - 3:06
-10. "The Gate" - Goldberg - 10:33

* Bass – Dan Seamans
* Clarinet, Clarinet [Bass] – Ben Goldberg
* Drums – Kenny Wollesen


Anthony Braxton - Eugene (1989)

Anthony Braxton - Eugene (1989)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 410MB
Black Saint
The innovative alto-saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton leads the Northwest Creative Orchestra (a 16-piece big band) through eight of his compositions on this CD. Few of the sidemen have yet gained more than a local reputation (trumpeter Rob Blakeslee is the biggest "name"), but they perform the complex music quite well, although it would have been nice if the liner notes had identified the soloists and listed what reeds the saxophonists play. A stimulating set of avant-garde music.

-1. "Composition No. 112" - 10:03
-2. "Composition No. 91" - 9:53
-3. "Composition No. 134" - 10:49
-4. "Composition No. 100" - 8:48
-5. "Composition No. 93" - 8:26
-6. "Composition No. 45" - 12:55
-7. "Composition No. 71" - 10:32
-8. "Composition No. 59" - 8:01
All compositions by Anthony Braxton
Recorded at Beall Hall at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon on January 31, l989

* Anthony Braxton - alto saxophone, conductor
The Northwest Creative Orchestra:
* Rob Blakeslee, John Jensen, Ernie Carbajal - trumpet
* Ed Kammerer, Tom Hill, Mike Heffley - trombone
* Thom Bergeron, Jeff Homan, Carl Woideck, Mike Curtis - reeds
* Mike Vannice - reeds, piano
* Todd Barton -synthesizer
* Joe Robinson - guitar
* Forrest Moyer - bass
* Tom Kelly -percussion
* Charles Down - percussion, vibrophone


RCA Living Stereo: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff - Piano Concertos (1958)

RCA Living Stereo: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff - Piano Concertos (1958)
Van Cliburn & Chicago S O
classical | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 355MB
RCA | SACD | rel.: 2004
Recorded hot on the heels of his landmark Gold Medal victory in the first Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition, the 23-year-old Van Cliburn's million-selling 1958 Tchaikovsky First remains one of this war-horse's most poetic, intelligently paced versions on disc. If an operatic aesthetic governs Cliburn's golden tone and big technique, the heart of the ballet lies within Kondrashin's enlivening support, especially in the Finale's syncopations. Surround-sound technology allows us to appreciate the spatial perspective of the original three-track stereo master. The results prove less dry and more three-dimensional than the standard two-track mixdowns passed down to consumers over the years.
Similar sonic improvement marks Cliburn's 1962 Rachmaninov Second under Fritz Reiner. However, that doesn't change my long-held mixed response to the performance. Cliburn's easygoing line and tendency toward expansive phrasing come alive in the outer movement's slower episodes and throughout the central movement. Yet friskier, scintillating passages lack fire and vitality, especially when compared to, say, Rubinstein's dashing interpretation with the same conductor and orchestra six years earlier. I'll bet that if you played Cliburn and Rubinstein back to back, you'd swear that Cliburn was the older pianist. But Reiner's dovetailed accompaniments carry Cliburn like a baby, and the Chicago Symphony's principal winds particularly stand out. In sum--a qualified recommendation for the Rachmaninov, while the Tchaikovsky's legendary patina has yet to fade.

-1. "Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23" - 34:41
* RCA Symphony Orchestra
* Van Cliburn piano
* Kiril Kondrashin - conductor

-2. "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18" - 34:08
* Chicago Symphony Orchestra
* Van Cliburn - piano
* Fritz Reiner - conductor


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