19 December, 2012


René Thomas - The Real Cat (Jazz in Paris) (1954-56)

René Thomas - The Real Cat (Jazz in Paris) (1954-56)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 330MB
Rene Thomas was a Belgian guitarist who hoped to make it big on the international jazz scene following his move to Paris and a flurry of recording activity in the 1950s and early 1960s, though his goal ultimately eluded him. This CD in Verve's Jazz in Paris reissue series combines two separate dates originally made for Barclay and Polydor. For the most part, Thomas' approach to the guitar is rather laid back, particularly in his spacious arrangement to "All the Things You Are." As a result, the music throughout both dates is enjoyable though it falls short of being an essential purchase.

-01. "L' Imbécile" - René Thomas - 3:13
-02. "How About You?" - Ralph Freed / Burton Lane2:37
-03. "All the Things You Are" - Oscar Hammerstein II / Jerome Kern3:41
-04. "Relaxin' at the Grand Balcon" - René Thomas3:17
-05. "The Continental" - Con Conrad / Herbert Magidson2:54
-06. "There Will Never Be Another You" - Mack Gordon / Harry Warren2:27
-07. "Lover Man" - Jimmy Davis / Roger "Ram" Ramirez / Jimmy Sherman3:38
-08. "If I Had You" - Jimmy Campbell / Reginald Connelly / Ted Shapiro4:15
-09. "Shine" - Lew Brown / Ford Dabney / Cecil Mack2:59
-10. "My Old Flame" - Sam Coslow / Arthur Johnston4:47
-11. "Goodnight, Wherever You Are" - Al Hoffman / Dick Robertson / Frank Weldon4:01
-12. "Easy to Love" - Cole Porter2:42
-13. "The Real Cat" - René Thomas4:18
-14. "Someone to Watch over Me" - George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin3:19
-15. "Get Happy" - Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler3:16
-16. "A Night in Tunisia" - Dizzy Gillespie / Frank Paparelli4:41

* Double Bass – Benoît Quersin, Jean-Marie Ingrand
* Drums – Jean-Louis Viale, José Bourguignon
* Guitar – René Thomas
* Piano – René Urtreger, Roland Ronchaud
* Saxophone – André Ross, Serge "Bib" Monville



Eric Dolphy - In Europe vol 1-3 (1961)

Eric Dolphy - In Europe vol 1-3 (1961)
jazz | 3cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 725MB
Like many American jazz musicians then and now, multi-instrumentalist and composer Eric Dolphy found European audiences more receptive than those at home. This was especially true in Dolphy's case, as, with Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, he was among the more revolutionary players of the late 1950s and early '60s.
finds Eric Dolphy in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961 with a Danish trio, in tandem with bassist Chuck Israels (known for his association with pianist Bill Evans), and unaccompanied. This volume forgoes his alto sax playing in favor of his flute and bass clarinet.
One highlight is the Randy Weston gem, "Hi Fly," a flute and bass duet where Israels provides a steady foundation for Dolphy's lyrical, inspired flights of fancy. Dolphy has a certain cool reserve here that'll keep you coming back for more. Another standout is the unaccompanied bass clarinet reading of the Billie Holiday classic "God Bless the Child," where Dolphy caresses the melancholy melody before exploring it thoroughly, with several moments that anticipate the minimalist esthetic of composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Beautifully recorded and remastered, vol 1 is essential for Dolphy fans, and recommended as a good starting point for others.
Recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 8, 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7304)
finds Dolphy in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961 with a Danish trio, concentrating on alto sax and flute in a program of (mostly) standards. Though the trio isn't exactly cutting edge, it provides a solid, mellow backing throughout--sounding especially fine on "Don't Blame Me." For the most part, Dolphy, too, is in an easygoing mood on this session. His flute playing is brilliant: lyrical, sparkling, and gentle without being bland. Everyone cuts loose, though, on the frenetic, yet focused "The Way You Look Tonight," where Dolphy's vocalized alto, wailing and darting, is hard bop drenched in 1960s blues.
Recorded live in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 6, 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7350)
finds Dolphy in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961, supported by a trio of Danish players. "Woody 'N You," the Dizzy Gillespie standard, is taken at a fast clip, with Dolphy's brisk, twisting alto solo an exhilarating balance of freedom and focus. "The Blues" shows that Dolphy was never far from the roots of jazz, and "When Lights Are Low" features him swinging the bass clarinet. The Danish players aren't nearly as adventurous as Dolphy, but they play with a crisp exuberance, particularly drummer Jorn Elniff.
Recorded on September 6 & 8, 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7366).

01 - Hi Fly
02 - Glad to Be Unhappy
03 - God Bless the Child
04 - Oleo
01 - Don't Blame Me
02 - Don't Blame Me (take 2)
03 - The Way You Look Tonight
04 - Miss Ann
05 - Laura
01 - Woody'n You
02 - When Lights Are Low
03 - In the Blues (takes 1, 2, 3)

* Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet)
* Bent Axen (piano)
* Erik Moseholm (acoustic bass)
* Jorn Elnif (drums)

 sample & buy: v2 
sample & buy: v3


26 November, 2012


Mundell Lowe - Guitar Moods (1956)

Mundell Lowe - Guitar Moods (1956)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 140MB
This is very much a chamber jazz set. Mundell Lowe plays "Our Waltz" as an unaccompanied guitar solo and his trio with bassist Trigger Alpert and drummer Ed Shaughnessy is joined by either Al Klink or Phil Bodner on various woodwinds during seven of the 11 other selections. The bass clarinet, flute, oboe, and English horn are quite atmospheric, adding to the beauty of the ballads. The brevity of the individual selections is understandable but it is unfortunate that this CD reissue is only 32 and a half minutes long, for what is here is quite memorable. Guitar Moods, which lives up to its name, is recommended anyway.

-01. "Speak Low" (Ogden Nash, Kurt Weill) - 2:38
-02. "We'll Be Together Again" (Carl Fischer, Frankie Laine) - 2:07
-03. "Memories of You" (Eubie Blake, Andy Razaf) - 3:48
-04. "Ill Wind" (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler) - 3:02
-05. "You Don't Know What Love Is" (Gene de Paul, Don Raye) - 3:08
-06. "I Dream Too Much" (Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kern) - 2:18
-07. "June in January" (Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin) - 2:54
-08. "I'll Take Romance" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Ben Oakland) - 1:53
-09. "It's So Peaceful in the Country" (Alec Wilder) - 4:11
-10. "Our Waltz" (David Rose) - 1:54
-11. "I'm Old Fashioned" (Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer) - 2:09
-12. "Goodbye" (Gordon Jenkins) - 3:06
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, New Jersey on February 20 (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 & 11) and March 2 (tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 & 12), 1956

* Mundell Lowe - guitar
* Al Klink - bass clarinet, flute (tracks 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 & 11)
* Phil Bodner - oboe, English horn (tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 & 12)
* Trigger Alpert - bass
* Ed Shaughnessy - drums



Ellery Eskelin - The Sun Died (1996)

Ellery Eskelin - The Sun Died (1996)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 335MB
Soul Note
Eskelin gives the tough tenor tradition a downtown twist, playing a set of tunes by the likes of Harold Ousley, Gene Ammons, and Harold Vick, aided by a pair of punk jazz subversives: guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Kenny Wollison. It's a frequently successful jaunt, although the music sometimes sounds like the engineer forgot to take the mute button off the bass channel during mixdown. Actually, as one glance at the personnel listings tells you, there is no bass player; the ultra-resourceful Ribot fills in the spaces where he can, but anyone familiar with the soul/funk/organ trio genre (meaning just about anyone who might consider buying this album) is bound to miss that low end. That said, Eskelin plays wonderfully; he's got a big, grainy sound and arrogant way of articulating that does justice to the extroverted tenorists to which he's paying tribute. On top of the traditional elements, Eskelin adds free jazz harmonies, David Murray-esque intervallic leaps, assymetrical phrasing, and every other kind of post-Coleman/Ayler/Coltrane saxophonic device to good ends. The music swings hard, thanks in large part to Wollison, whose uninhibited style gives the music an extra dose of nihilism. As for Ribot, if he didn't write the book on jazz nihilism, he was surely there when it was being proofread. With all due respect to Eskelin -- who must've had a reason for it -- there seems to be no good purpose in not having a bassist on the date. As good as the record is, this reviewer's ear just craves that missing element; with a good bass player, the record might have been perfect. As it is, it's merely excellent.

-01. "Twistin' the Jug" - 5:07
-02. "The People's Choice" - 6:39
-03. "Canadian Sunset" - 5:14
-04. "Out of It" - 2:34
-05. "Seed Shack" - 7:36
-06. "Ca' Purange (Jungle Soul)" - 6:52
-07. "The Sun Died" - 6:40
-08. "Jivin' Around" - 3:31
-09. "Precious Memories" - 4:29
-10. "The Light" - 3:25

* Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone)
* Marc Ribot (guitar)
* Kenny Wollesen (drums)



Szabados Gyorgy, Roscoe Mitchell - Jelenés / Revelation (1996)

Szabados Gyorgy, Roscoe Mitchell  - Jelenés / Revelation (1996)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 440MB
György Szabados (13 July 1939 – 10 June 2011) was a Hungarian jazz pianist, and is sometimes referred to as the "father" or "unofficial king" of the Hungarian free jazz movement since the 1960s.
Szabados was born in Budapest. Even though he started performing in 1962, his rise to fame is generally considered to have started with his quintet winning the renowned San Sebastian Jazz Festival Grand Prize in the free jazz category in 1972. His first album that was recorded with a quartet in 1975 was entitled Wedding. Despite the abstraction of the music, the record was well received in Hungary and abroad, thereby setting the scene for his subsequent albums. International recognition is probably noted by including the album in The Essential Jazz Records compiled by Max Harrison, Eric Thacker and Stuart Nicholson (Volume 2: Modernism to Postmodernism).[2] Even though he could not record again until 1983, he maintained his status by establishing the Kassák Workshop for Contemporary Music, in which a new generation of musicians acquired a free and intuitive manner of playing jazz, with a distinct Hungarian sound. Generally, his collaborators would make up the next generation of Hungarian jazz, including acclaimed saxophone player Mihály Dresch. Further international recognition followed in the 1980s, through his collaboration with Anthony Braxton on their duo record Szabraxtondos. In Hungary, he proceeded to form MAKUZ, or the Royal Hungarian Court Orchestra, which membership varied, but always consisted of at least nine musicians that were committed to free, improvised music. Subsequently, he still collaborated with Roscoe Mitchell on their 1998 record Jelenés (Revelation) and again with Braxton and Vladimir Tarasov this time for the live recording Triotone. He was awarded the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious cultural award in Hungary, in 2011 by the President of Hungary. He died in Nagymaros on 10 June 2011.
Szabados' work and thinking is distinctly placed in Hungarian culture. Most importantly, a good deal of his music is influenced by Hungarian folk music, mainly from Transsylvania. Apart from direct folk associations, this influenced on Szabados' work was to a great extent mediated through the work of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881–1945), who pioneered the reintegration of folk tradition in classical by his numerous field recordings. As he formulated it himself:
'Apart from the occasional moments, it is difficult to find traces of Bartók's music in our music. Hungarian music has such characteristic features that, when they appear, they are immediately linked to Bartók, whereas the real kinship is not with Bartók but, on a much deeper level, with Hungarian music, a world view, and a special taste'
Apart from folk influences in his work, Szabados always gave clear references to other key instances of Hungarian culture. His 1983 record Adyton, for instance, is partially a reference to Hungarian poet Endre Ady, whereas his 1989 album A szarvassá vált fiak (Sons that became deer) was inspired by the Hungarian revolution of 1956. Choosing the word Adyton as a title for his record also shows the Szabados' philosophical thinking about his music.

-1. Motiv - 26:01
-2. Revelation - 28:12
-3. Free Music in honour of the Art Ensemble of Chicago - 18:29

* Roscoe Mitchell - alto sax
* György Szabados - piano, leader
* Mihaly, Dudas Dresch - tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet
* Ferenc Kovacs - trumpet, violin
* Robert Benkö - double bass
* Istvan Balo - drums, percussion
* Tamas Geröly - drums, percussion

THX to szakall

13 November, 2012


Cracow Klezmer Band - The Warriors (2001)

Cracow Klezmer Band - The Warriors (2001)
world, klezmer | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 310MB
Allmusic bio:
The Cracow Klezmer Band is a Polish quartet that plays a style of music that started as traditional klezmer and over time, evolved into contemporary Jewish music flavored with strong gypsy influences. Members of the group are violinist Jaroslaw Tyrala, double bassist Wojciech Front, accordionist Jarek Bester, and Oleg Dyyak, who plays percussion, clarinet, and accordion. Bester formed the Cracow Klezmer Band in 1997 in the city of Cracow. Over the next few years, the group built a growing fan base by appearing at Jewish Culture festivals in Hungary, Finland, Poland, Prague, and the Czech Republic. In between touring, the band began to work on recordings, completing a debut album, De Profundis, in September of 2000. It was followed by a sophomore offering, the Warriors, a short year later. A few of the tracks fans can sample from recordings done by the Cracow Klezmer Band include "Recollections of the Past," "Devil Circle," "Secrets of Life," "The Amorous Dance of the Orchid," "The Warrior," and "Memento Mori."
Each piece telling a different dramatic narrative, The Warriors is another brilliant release by one of Europe’s most original and exciting avant-Klezmer ensembles. Based in the historic city of Cracow, one of the last strongholds of Jewish life in Poland and home to one of the most important annual festivals of Jewish music in the world, this brilliant quartet blends the spontaneity of improvisation, the precision of classical music and the soul of the Jewish tradition. Ever-surprising new music by this thrilling band of virtuosos.

-1. "The Warrior" - 7:16
-2. "Klezmer Caravan" - 7:54
-3. "Klezmer Rhapsody" - 4:20
-4. "The Prayer" - 5:59
-5. "The Amourous Dance Of The Orchid" - 3:52
-6. "Memento Mori" - 6:02
-7. "The Fortress" - 6:37
-8. "Recollections Of The Past" - 10:08

* Jarosław Tyrała - violin
* Jarosłąw Bester - accordion
* Oleg Dyyak - accordion, clarinet, percussion
* Wojciech Front - double bass



Ketil Bjornstad, Terje Rypdal - Life in Leipzig (2005)

Ketil Bjornstad, Terje Rypdal - Life in Leipzig (2005)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 295MB
There is an art to the duo performance -- many jazz artists have tried it and accomplished it beautifully in many settings, live and in the studio. That said, there are very few recorded live performances between an electric guitarist and a pianist. Life in Leipzig is one. Recorded in 2005 by Germany's MDR radio as part of its broadcast of the city's jazz festival, this marks the debut live offering by pianist and composer Ketil Bjørnstad (and his first recording for ECM since 2000). It is also the first time this wonderful duo with guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal has been documented on tape for release. These two artists have been working together since the 1993 when Water Stories, Bjørnstad's debut recording for ECM, was released. They have also traveled and performed together as a duo extensively; the depth of shared language that such familiarity and rapport brings is displayed in spades here. The material comes from both volumes of Bjørnstad's The Sea as well as Water Stories and Rypdal's Skywards and If Mountains Could Sing. There is also a fragment from Edvard Grieg's Notturno. As evidenced here, this was a magical evening: the sound is pristine, the instruments seem to remain in tune (Bjørnstad considers himself a hard hitter and was worried the Bösendorfer wouldn't hold his attack -- perhaps he's never heard Cecil Taylor's performances on this type of piano), and the communication between the two musicians is almost out of this world in its warmth, beauty, ferocity, and intensely emotional melodicism. If music can approach poetry -- and the pianist is a fan of the art form, even recording a tribute to Paul Celan -- then there is no doubt, the gorgeously recorded studio efforts within the Bjørnstad quartet on the aforementioned records notwithstanding, that this live set gets there seemingly effortlessly.
The set begins with the dark, low-register rumble on the piano (the Bösendorfer has extra keys at the bottom) of "The Sea V." It is an ominous, dissonant way to begin a show -- to begin any recording, really. Rypdal allows his pedaled Fender guitar and twin Vox AC30 amps to offer some controlled feedback, a few razor-sharp notes, and then, as Bjørnstad begins to articulate the melody, the guitarist lightens also, still hovering in the background, offering texture and atmosphere as the theme of melody is asserted pensively and the blend of middle and higher registers articulates the song itself. Over eight minutes, the pair uses a rather simple melodic form to examine and sing in numerous harmonic registers, offering tension and release over and over, carrying the listener along through waves and stillness, yet each passage is different than the last. Rypdal, who has been writing plenty of classical music in the last decade or so, has lost none of his power as a jazz and rock guitarist. His sound is instantly recognizable, and all his notes and scales sting and climb before just pushing the melody through the noise. He is seldom talked about as a "guitar hero" in the same way some of his peers are, but he should be. His is one of the most original voices on the instrument in its history. As "The Sea V" exhausts itself after eight minutes, it is replaced seamlessly with "The Pleasure Is Mine, I'm Sure" from Rypdal's Skywards. The transition is seamless, though listeners have traveled a great distance already. The pianist asserts the melodic theme in expanded chord voicings, filling the entire range of the keyboard. But it's Rypdal with his sparse raging high notes who is actually articulating its finer points even as he attacks them. The beauty in his playing is that he doesn't need a flurry of notes or dashing up and down the neck with blinding speed to get his point across. He lets one fly every once in a while, but only as the tension and drama in a particular piece dictate.
"Flotation and Surroundings" offers some of that intensity and fury, though it never loses sight of the tune. This startling performance marks the end of the first half of the gig; the music has been continuous, as in a suite, for half an hour. A breath is taken and then Rypdal's "Easy Now" commences the next segment, whispering, halting, spacious, and springlike. The skeletal lyric lines go between the pair and eventually come into the clearing fully formed, and as sweetly sung as anything that is emotionally honest can be. Grieg's Notturno and Bjørnstad's "Alai's Room" are both less than two minutes in length and offer a kind of pastoral lull before the tension ratchets up again, but this time rapturously on "By the Fjord," which is almost a hymn. "The Sea IX" is a return to the lithe, languid beauty of an indescribable contradiction: that something so beautiful and majestic is also potentially terrifying, as a place of creation and destruction. The album ends with Rypdal's compositions "Le Manfred/Floran Peisen" and the scorcher "The Return of Per Ulv." The former is a guitar solo; it uses all of his effects pedals to paint the sound of a string orchestra as accompaniment to his feedback, loops, and open ringing drones. It begins with shimmers and whispers and becomes a tour de force, like the chorus of drunken angels singing in one gloriously rich yet riotous harmony, and then hushes itself before coming to a close. The latter is a sound rocker between piano and guitar. Both players allow this song to bring out the best of their collaboration. Easily identifiable changes and choruses are forcefully put forth, but there is no loss in the lyricism and grandeur of the song itself. Bjørnstad's solo is truly beautiful; it's all chords and theme. Rypdal paints around them, playing the melody and digging through it to find its nooks and crannies and prying it out of the inherent lyricism. His own solo goes against the grain and brings it down for a moment before letting it all fall out, and the intensity and communication are transcendent. The most amazing thing is that the entire set takes place in 54 minutes! What a contender this record is for one of 2008's finest recordings, and what a solid entry it is in the catalogs of both men.

1. "The Sea V" - 8:01
2. "The Pleasure Is Mine, I'm Sure" (Terje Rypdal) - 5:28
3. "The Sea II" - 7:29
4. "Flotation and Surroundings" - 6:42
5. "Easy Now" (Rypdal) - 4:35
6. "Notturno (Fragment)" (Edvard Grieg) - 1:01
7. "Alai's Room" - 1:38
8. "By the Fjord" - 3:06
9. "The Sea IX" - 5:23
10. "Le Manfred/Foran Peisen" (Rypdal) - 5:10
11. "The Return Of Per Ulv" (Rypdal) - 5:20
* Recorded live by MDR, October 14, 2005 during the Leipziger Jazztage.

* Ketil Bjørnstad - piano
* Terje Rypdal - guitar


26 October, 2012


Modern Jazz Quartet - Fontessa (1956)

Modern Jazz Quartet - Fontessa (1956)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 215MB
This LP has a particularly strong all-around set by the Modern Jazz Quartet. While John Lewis' "Versailles" and an 11-minute "Fontessa" show the seriousness of the group (and the influence of Western classical music), other pieces (such as "Bluesology," "Woody 'N You" and a pair of ballads) look toward the group's roots in bop and permit the band to swing hard.

-1. "Versailles" (John Lewis) - 3:22
-2. "Angel Eyes" (Earl Brent, Matt Dennis) - 3:48
-3. "Fontessa" (Lewis) - 11:12
-4. "Over the Rainbow" (Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg) - 3:50
-5. "Bluesology" (Milt Jackson) - 5:04
-6. "Willow Weep for Me" (Ann Ronell) - 4:47
-7. "Woodyn You" (Dizzy Gillespie) - 4:25

* John Lewis - piano
* Milt Jackson - vibraphone
* Percy Heath - double bass
* Connie Kay - drums



Scharwenka - Complete Chamber Works (1995)

Scharwenka - Complete Chamber Works (1995)
classical | 2cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 690MB
Franz Xaver Scharwenka was born on 6 January 1850 at Samter, near the Polish city of Poznan, which was then in East Prussia. Both Xaver and his older brother Philipp (1847–1917) showed early signs of musical talent and were much encouraged by their father in their first music lessons.
In 1865 the Scharwenka family moved to Berlin where the two brothers were enrolled at Theodor Kullak’s Neue Akademie der Tonkunst. Xaver made rapid progress, studying the piano with Kullak himself, a pupil of Carl Czerny, and composition with Richard Wuerst who in turn had studied with Mendelssohn in Leipzig. This formal musical education, together with his own natural ability and dedication, ensured Scharwenka’s success as both pianist and composer, and in 1869, a year after his pianistic debut at the Berlin Singakademie, his first compositions were published. Before 1874, when he took up a career as a travelling virtuoso, he had already been on Kullak’s teaching staff for some five years as professor of piano, and the experience thus gained was to prove invaluable in later years when he turned his attentions more to teaching, opening his own conservatory in Berlin in 1881, and subsequently a branch in New York in 1891 following his successful American debut. By the middle of the 1890s that institution had become one of the world’s largest, universally acknowledged as offering the highest quality of musical education.
It was the outbreak of war in 1914 which forced Scharwenka’s retirement from the international concert platform after some forty years, during which time he had achieved the highest reputation worldwide, not only as a pianist of exceptional quality but also as a fine all-round musician, receiving numerous decorations and orders from most of the crowned heads of Europe, as well as many honours from various educational institutions. The last few years of his life were spent in semi-retirement in Berlin, where he died, a much respected man, in December 1924.
Scharwenka’s reputation as a composer must surely rest with his four piano concertos and his large and varied output for piano solo, although he also wrote a symphony and had considerable success with his opera Mataswintha. By contrast, his chamber music was, in his own opinion, of lesser importance, although it is perhaps worth mentioning that, with the exception of the Serenade for violin and piano, Op 70, the other works in this genre (piano quartet, two piano trios, violin sonata and cello sonata) are substantial and, perhaps predictably, all include the piano.
Both the Piano Trio in F sharp minor, Op 1, and the Violin Sonata in D minor, Op 2, were probably conceived whilst Scharwenka was still studying at Kullak’s Academy, although the young composer was quick to attract sufficient attention for Breitkopf und Härtel, the famous German music-publishing house, to accept these early compositions, which duly appeared in print in 1869. Dedicated to his brother Philipp, the trio is respectably conservative both in structure and content, as may be expected from a student work, and follows the usual four-movement pattern, with a short ‘Adagio sostenuto’ introduction preceding the main first movement ‘Allegro con brio’. The second movement, ‘Andantino quasi Allegretto’, has an almost Schubertian quality, whilst the scherzo, with its contrasting trio section, together with a decisive finale, indicates how strong an influence the music of Schumann was to Scharwenka during his early years.
Although published simultaneously with the Opus 1 trio, the Violin Sonata in D minor, Op 2, shows a distinct advance in Scharwenka’s musical development and also bears evidence of his ever-increasing confidence and assuredness as a composer. Once again Schumann’s presence is still quite strongly felt, but Scharwenka is here less restricted by the requirements of classical conformity, resulting in a work which is naturally more fluent, and in which the thematic content is more fully and effectively developed. As with the trio, a short ‘Adagio sostenuto’ introduces the first movement ‘Allegro appassionato’, which is characterized predominantly by a restless and impulsive energy, with only occasional respite being offered by way of the more lyrical second subject. The second movement, ‘Romanze’, is a perfect centrepiece for the sonata with its intimate lyricism and quiet simplicity contrasting well with the excitement of the outer two movements. The finale, ‘Presto agitato’, hurries on impetuously, culminating in a triumphant conclusion in the tonic major.
Both the Piano Quartet, Op 37, and the Piano Trio No 2, Op 45, are mature products of Scharwenka’s most prolific period of creativity, dating from between 1876 and 1878. The Monthly Musical Record for April 1878 reports: ‘At the Chamber Concert at the Royal Academy of Music on the 5th March, Herr Scharwenka played his own quartett in F, his co-executants being Herren Peiniger (violin), Holländer (viola), and Van Biene (cello). The quartet was first introduced to an English audience, we believe, by Mr. Dannreuther, at a recent concert at his own house [3 January 1878], and the good impression then and there created by it was strengthened and deepened by a second hearing. It is unquestionably an artistic and effective work, especially as interpreted by the composer himself, who is a brilliant executant, phrasing with neatness and finish, and presenting the ideas of the composition with more than ordinary intelligence and power’.
In both of these works, the piano is given much prominence, and requires a virtuoso performer. The strings, however, are not merely given the job of accompanying, and in many places have to provide the main thematic material against the energetic piano writing. Both works are cast in the traditional four movements and in each instance Scharwenka places a rather extensive slow movement in second place, following with the scherzo movements in third. Whilst the fourth movement of the quartet has some textural similarity to that of the second piano sonata, Op 36, which was composed at about the same time, and in general reflects the influence of German romanticism in Scharwenka’s musical upbringing, the finale of the trio, by contrast, bears distinct evidence of the composer’s Polish character.
During the nine or so years between the publication of his first compositions and the appearance of the Cello Sonata in E minor, Op 46a, Scharwenka had established his reputation and reached full maturity as a creative artist. The sonata is jointly dedicated to his friends and former fellow-students at Kullak’s Academy, the brothers Heinrich and Alfred Grünfeld. Like Scharwenka, Heinrich Grünfeld had remained at the Academy where he taught the cello, and the two of them had joined together with the violinist Gustav Holländer to produce chamber music subscription concerts in Berlin during the years 1871 to 1881. Expansive melodic writing, infused with a new, more deeply-felt sense of romanticism, together with a more natural and effective integration of the two instrumental parts, are the main features of this work, setting it apart from the earlier examples. A rather dark opening theme, ideally suited to the cello, sets the mood and dominates much of the first movement. The Andante provides a somewhat surprising change of direction, beginning with a chorale-like passage which gives way to a rather Brahmsian centre section before returning and ending the movement on a note of tranquil calm. The finale, in E major, provides a contrasting affirmative conclusion. Such was the success of the work that Scharwenka arranged it for violin and piano, and also made an arrangement of the slow movement for string orchestra with harp and organ. Some twenty-five years later, along with a number of his other works, he made a thorough revision, making some small cuts and rewriting several passages, and it is this version that is recorded here.
The Serenade for violin and piano, Op 70, dates from 1895 when Scharwenka was based in the USA and, perhaps surprisingly, is the only example he left of the short ‘salon’ instrumental piece. It was dedicated to his brother’s wife, Marianne (née Stressov), a violinist who also taught at the Scharwenka Conservatory. In a simple A-B-A form, the mood is essentially lyrical and expressive and is typical of a genre very popular at the turn of the century.
These works possess energy, rich melody, harmonic interest and strong rhythm—qualities for which Scharwenka was renowned as a composer, and their revival after so many years of unjust oblivion is long overdue.

Tracks & Performers: 
   Piano Trio No 1 in F sharp minor Op 1    
Movement 1: Adagio sostenuto – Allegro con brio  [9'35]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Colin Carr (cello)
Movement 2: Andantino quasi Allegretto  [5'58]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Colin Carr (cello)
Movement 3: Scherzo: Vivace  [4'00]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Colin Carr (cello)
Movement 4: Finale: Allegro molto quasi presto  [5'43]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Colin Carr (cello)
    Violin Sonata in D minor Op 2    
Movement 1: Adagio sostenuto – Allegro appassionato  [9'10]
Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Movement 2: Romanze: Andante con moto  [6'20]
Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Movement 3: Finale: Presto agitato  [5'42]
Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Seta Tanyel (piano)
    Cello Sonata in E minor Op 46a
Movement 1: Allegro ma non troppo  [8'14]
Colin Carr (cello), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Movement 2: Andante  [6'50]
Colin Carr (cello), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Movement 3: Vivace ma non troppo  [6'05]
Colin Carr (cello), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Serenade for violin and piano Op 70  [8'16] English Français Deutsch
Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Seta Tanyel (piano)

   Piano Quartet in F major Op 37
Movement 1: Allegro moderato  [11'15]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Ivo-Jan Van Der Werff (viola), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Movement 2: Adagio  [12'31]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Ivo-Jan Van Der Werff (viola), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Movement 3: Allegro vivace  [6'37]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Ivo-Jan Van Der Werff (viola), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Movement 4: Allegro con fuoco  [8'16]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Ivo-Jan Van Der Werff (viola), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
    Piano Trio No 2 in A minor Op 45   
Movement 1: Allegro non troppo  [12'22]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Movement 2: Adagio  [11'28]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Movement 3: Molto allegro  [4'50]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Movement 4: Allegro con fuoco  [8'12]
Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)


02 October, 2012


JJ Johnson, Kai Winding, B Green, W Dennis - Four Trombones...The Debut Recordings (1953)

JJ Johnson, Kai Winding, B Green, W Dennis - Four Trombones...The Debut Recordings (1953)
jazz | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 470MB
Here is a nice album recorded live at a session with Mingus bringing together 4 of the great modern trombonists. If ya don't like bebop don't buy it. Such a dichotomy of approaches to playing the instrument. A feast for jazz trombonists and a chance to hear these guys stretch out !

-1. "Wee Dot" (14:26)
-2. "Stardust" (5:03)
-3. "Move" (6:58)
-4. "I'll Remember April" (11:13)
-5. "Now's the Time" (14:27)
-6. "Trombosphere" (3:29)
-7. "Ow!" (15:19)
-8. "Chazzanova" (4:57)

* John Lewis - Piano
* Charles Mingus - Bass
* Art Taylor - Drums
* Willie Dennis - Trombone
* Bennie Green - Trombone
* J.J. Johnson - Trombone
* Kai Winding - Trombone


12 September, 2012


'Rahsaan' Roland Kirk - A Standing Eight (1975&76&77)

'Rahsaan' Roland Kirk - A Standing Eight (1975&76&77)
jazz | 3lp on 2cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 950MB
These two CD's include the last three albums recorded by this most extraordinary of extraordinary musicians: The Return of the 5000 lb. Man, Kirkatron, and Boogie-Woogie String Along for Real. They're particularly poignant because of the circumstances in which they appeared: 5000 lb. Man landed in the can only a short time before Kirk's debilitating stroke; Kirkatron was assembled from outtakes and soundchecks during his recovery; and Boogie-Woogie was heroically recorded by a half-paralyzed Kirk who was determined to go out unbowed. Under these circumstances it's difficult at times to evaluate the music: the last two records are not vintage Kirk, (although they both have their moments), but they can't be separated from the way they came to be. And certainly second-line Kirk is head and shoulders above a good deal of first-line material being put out these days.
So 5000 lb. Man is the strongest of these three LP's, and it's as heavy as its title. Kirk plays his reeds roughly throughout, leaning lovingly toward his r&b roots and adding in heaping helpings of declamatory archness and sidelong romanticism. Like the LP's collected on 32's previous collection, Aces Back to Back, this one starts off with spoken (somewhat hectoring) introduction, this one by a woman explaining that a "Eulipion" is a "journey agent." If Rahsaan Roland Kirk can be called anything, "journey agent" is apt, for this record and the other two take us on his characteristic well-plotted and far-reaching journeys: into genres forgotten and familiar songs transmuted. On this "Theme for the Eulipions" and throughout this album his playing is brawny, with a soft center: on "I'll Be Seeing You" he achieves an aching tenderness. He towers so high over his sidemen that it's as if he's playing in a different galaxy. But this album can't be classified as essential Kirk for the cloying, dated vocals on "There Will Never Be Another You" and, appallingly, John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," which also gets a vocal treatment, is a bit better, but on the whole the vocals on this album show the hazard of Kirk's famous eclecticism: who but a Lawrence Welk or Hi-Lo's fan would appreciate this stuff, and how many Welkians jam to Rahsaan?
Kirkatron is, by its very nature, even more of a mixed bag. There are some unqualified gems: on "J. Griff's Blues" the master circular-breathes over a standard blues form before an enthusiastic crowd. His technique is all the more astonishing for his high level of lyricism and architectonic coherence: this is a track for the All-Time Best-Of-The-Best. Otherwise the album suffers from too many anonymous Seventies funk arrangements; probably if Rahsaan had been able to get this one exactly the way he wanted it it might have been been more exploratory; still, we get a "Bagpipe Melody" (but no bagpipes, just a few horns at once!), a funky "Night in Tunisia" ably played by the Man, and a cloying-vocal "Bright Moments" (probably left over from the 5000 lb. sessions. All in all it's a bit uneven, with some highs as high as anyone could want, and some lows to match.
Then comes the stricken Kirk's last effort. Where he once towered over his backgrounds, now he shares center-stage with others. But there is nothing pathetic here. His playing is more understated than it had been, (with just a bit of a flutter on "I Loves You Porgy" only), but he displays a Milesian keenness of placement and keeps the mood high throughout. As befits the title, most of this album is blues and boogie-woogie (the title track is just what it says: a boogie-woogie performed with strings), with Kirk investing old forms with new vitality just like in the old days. Knowing that he was playing with just one hand makes this one of the most extraordinary efforts by a man for whom the extraordinary was commonplace, but it holds up well on its own merits also. On "In a Mellow Tone" his solo murmurs and ruminates; he sings "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor" with delightful verve; his judgment is peremptory on "Watergate Blues."
Three last masterworks: if it's not the best Kirk, at least it's some of the best music. We have 32 Jazz and Joel Dorn to thank that this music can still be heard. Hear it.

-01. "Theme for the Eulipions" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk / Betty Neals - 9:22
-02. "Sweet Georgia Brown" - Ben Bernie / Kenneth Casey / Maceo Pinkard" - 5:07
-03. "I'll Be Seeing You" - Sammy Fain / Irving Kahal" - 6:07
-04. "Loving You" - Minnie Riperton / Richard Rudolph" - 4:42
-05. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk / Charles Mingus" - 6:17
-06. "There Will Never Be Another You" - Mack Gordon / Harry Warren" - 5:08
-07. "Giant Steps" - John Coltrane" - 6:11
-08. "Serenade to a Cuckoo" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 3:40
-09. "This Masquerade" - Leon Russell" - 5:31
-10. "Sugar" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk / Stanley Turrentine" - 3:27
-11. "Los Angeles Negro Chorus" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk - 0:26
-12. "Steppin' into Beauty" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 6:42
-13. "The Christmas Song" - Mel Tormé / Robert Wells" - 3:34

-01. "Bagpipe Medley" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 2:38
-02. "Mary McLeod Bethune" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk - 0:24
-03. "Bright Moments" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 4:14
-04. "Lyriconon" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 4:10
-05. "A Night in Tunisia" - Dizzy Gillespie / Frank Paparelli" - 4:59
-06. "J. Griff's Blues" - Traditional" - 7:41
-07. "Boogie Woogie String Along for Real" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 8:52
-08. "I Loves You, Porgy" - George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin / DuBose Heyward" - 1:51
-09. "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor" - Traditional" - 7:14
-10. "Hey Babebips" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 5:10
-11. "In a Mellow Tone" - Duke Ellington / Milt Gabler" - :15
-12. "Summertime" - George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin / DuBose Heyward" - 1:40
-13. "Dorthaan's Walk" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk" - 7:08
-14. "Watergate Blues" - Percy Heath" - 6:35


12 July, 2012


J. J. Johnson, Kai Winding - Jay & Kai (1954)

J. J. Johnson, Kai Winding - Jay & Kai (1954)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 205MB
The music on this Savoy disc is excellent but the packaging is rather dumb. Rather than reissue all 12 selections from a pair of 1954 sessions that led to the birth of the J.J. Johnson-Kai Winding two-trombone quintet (renditions that also include either pianist Wally Cirillo or guitarist Billy Bauer along with bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Kenny Clarke), there are just eight on this CD along with a Johnson track from 1947 ("Yesterdays") and three of the four Winding performances (in a quintet with pianist Lou Stein) from 1952. Sure to frustrate completists, this reissue is still worth picking up if found at a budget price, for the music contains plenty of worthy trombone solos.

-01. "Bernie's Tune" - Jerry Leiber / Bernard Miller / Mike Stoller - 3:55
-02. "Lament" - J.J. Johnson - 4:04
-03. "Blues for Trombones" - J.J. Johnson - 5:04
-04. "The Major" - J.J. Johnson - 3:10
-05. "Yesterdays" - Otto Harbach / Jerome Kern - 2:58
-06. "Co-Op" - J.J. Johnson - 3:30
-07. "Reflections" - J.J. Johnson - 4:13
-08. "Blues in Twos" - J.J. Johnson - 4:51
-09. "What Is This Thing Called Love?" - Cole Porter - 3:12
-10. "The Boy Next Door" - Ralph Blane / Hugh Martin - 2:50
-11. "I Could Wright a Book" - J.J. Johnson - 2:51
-12. "Carioca" - J.J. Johnson - 2:57

* J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding (trombone)
* Leo Parker (baritone saxophone)
* Wally Cirillo, Hank Jones, Lou Stein (piano)
* Billy Bauer (guitar)
* Charles Mingus, Al Lucas, Eddie Safranski (bass)
* Kenny Clarke, Shadow Wilson, Tiny Kahn (drums)
* Al Young (bongos, timbales)



Odetta - Ballad For Americans and Other American Ballads / At Carnegie Hall (1960)

Odetta - Ballad For Americans and Other American Ballads / At Carnegie Hall (1960)
  blues | 2lp on 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 485MB
This CD, issued under license from Vanguard by Italy's Universe label (on their Comet imprint), is one of the handsomest re-releases of its kind ever to turn up on CD. The sound is fine -- and it's so hard to find an unworn copy of Ballad for Americans and Other American Ballads that anything would be welcome -- but the producers have taken special care to re-create the original artwork and annotation in all of it thoroughness in a mini-LP-style gatefold CD package that's neat, handsome, and respectful of the original release, and will probably last for decades on shelves. As for the music, the CD showcases four sides of Odetta's work -- her gifts in art-song and conceptual music in "Ballad for Americans," her solo folk and blues singing in the accompanying studio sides, her way with an audience in a live setting with the Carnegie Hall tracks, with her singing in a choral setting on the final four tracks of that LP. It all sounds great, and could arguably be a best of Odetta, even if it isn't an official anthology of that type. It's just sort of a shame -- and an enigma -- that it takes an Italian-based label to give these recordings their due respect in the 21st century.

-01. "Ballad for Americans" (Earl Robinson)
-02. "This Land" (Woody Guthrie)
-03. "On Top of Old Smokey" (Traditional)
-04. "Hush Little Baby" (Traditional)
-05. "Dark as a Dungeon" (Merle Travis)
-06. "Great Historical Bum"
-07. "Payday at Coal Creek"
-08. "Going Home"
-09. "Pastures of Plenty" (Woody Guthrie)
-10. "If I Had a Hammer" (Pete Seeger, Lee Hays)
-11. "Red Clay Country"
-12. ""When I Was a Young Girl"
-13. "Gallows Pole" (Traditional)
-14. "God's A-Gonna Cut You Down"
-15. "John Riley"
-16. "John Henry" (Traditional)
-17. "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho" (Traditional)
-18. "All The Pretty Little Horses"
-19. "Prettiest Train"
-20. "Meeting at the Building"
-21. "No More Auction Block"
-22. "Hold On"
-23. "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" (Traditional)
-24. "Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down"

* Odetta – vocals, guitar
* Bill Lee – bass
* Fred Hellerman – guitar
* Robert De Cormier – chorale arranger, conductor



Ketil Bjornstad, David Darling - Epigraphs (1998)

Ketil Bjornstad, David Darling - Epigraphs (1998)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 215MB
Those familiar with previous work by these two instrumentalists will find no surprises on their second duo album, which consists primarily of compositions by pianist Bjornstad, interspersed with fragments of works by composers of the European Renaissance (William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, Guillaume Dufay, and the obscure German composer Gregor Aichinger) and a couple of David Darling compositions, one of them written for multi-tracked cello. The sixteen pieces on this disc are highly consistent in terms of mood and texture: from Bjornstad's "Epigraph No. 1" that opens the program to the Aichinger compositions "Factus Est Repente" that closes it, the feeling is one of deep calm and contemplation. To call this music "minimalist" wouldn't be entirely accurate, since there's quite a bit of harmonic movement and not much repetition, but because Bjornstad and Darling's playing is so consistently gentle and the music is so consistently quiet and pleasant, this album has a flavor that will be familiar to fans of Philip Glass and Arvo Part. Recommended.

-01. "Epigraph, No. 1" - Ketil Bjornstad - 3:01
-02. "Upland" - Ketil Bjornstad - 4:01
-03. "Wakening" - Ketil Bjornstad - 4:07
-04. "Epigraph No. 1, Var. 1" - Ketil Bjornstad - 1:35
-05. "Pavane" - Ketil Bjornstad / William Byrd / David Darling / Gabriel Fauré - 3:34
-06. "Fantasia" - Ketil Bjornstad / David Darling / Orlando Gibbons - 1:56
-07. "Epigraph No. 1, Var. 2" - Ketil Bjornstad - 2:16
-08. "The Guest" - Ketil Bjornstad - 2:37
-09. "After Celan" - Ketil Bjornstad - 3:41
-10. "Song for TKJD" - David Darling - 1:02
-11. "Silent Dream" - David Darling - 4:38
-12. "The Lake" - Ketil Bjornstad - 4:09
-13. "Gothic" - Ketil Bjornstad - 4:05
-14. "Epigraph No. 1, Var. 3" - Ketil Bjornstad - 1:22
-15. "Le Jour S'endort" - Ketil Bjornstad / David Darling / Guillaume Dufay - 3:41
-16. "Factus Est Repente" - Gregor Aichinger / Ketil Bjornstad / David Darling - 4:54

* Ketil Bjørnstad - piano
* David Darling - cello


05 July, 2012


Larry Coryell Organ Trio - Impressions (2008)

Larry Coryell Organ Trio - Impressions (2008)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 340MB
Chesky SACD
Larry Coryell's name isn't bandied around much now, but in the 1970s he was almost as big a guitar star as John McLaughlin, and an equivalent influence on the development of early electric jazz-rock fusion. But this is not just another cosy retro exercise. Coryell's crackling uptempo bursts and engagingly rough-hewn energy give this familiar music a vividness and infectious enthusiasm, and the powerful presence of sometime Bill Frisell and Norah Jones sideman Sam Yahel on Hammond organ and former Pat Metheny drummer Paul Wertico adds a lot more of that. The early tracks are mostly classics, but Coryell's original Szabador and Wertico's Full Moon Over Istanbul are memorable and unusual enough to suggest that the group could have scattered its own music a little more confidently through the programme. Coryell's own stealthily bluesy groover Stowaway is full of Wes Montgomery flourishes, and Yahel builds his solos with a compelling deliberation tentatively introducing fresh phrases and then igniting them, segueing flying runs into murmurs, and generally avoiding familiar Hammond organ licks. Wertico's brutal, pummelling drum solo in Coryell's fizzing Szabodar (a tribute to the late Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó) would also never have been heard the same way on a 1960s bop set. It's good to hear Coryell on top of his game.

-1. "Very Early" - 7:08
-2. "Stowaway" - 6:15
-3. "Come Rain or Come Shine" - 6:55
-4. "Embraceable You" - 7:32
-5. "Cariba" - 6:05
-6. "Impressions" - 5:58
-7. "Szabodar" - 5:19
-8. "Full Moon Over Istanbul" - 3:16
-9. "Centerpriece" - 7:25

* Larry Coryell - guitar
* Paul Wertico - Drums
* Sam Yahel - organ



Charles Mingus - Tijuana Moods 2cd (1957)

Charles Mingus - Tijuana Moods (1957)
jazz | 2cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 1000MB
Bluebird 2001
Inspired by a trip to Tijuana, Tijuana Moods was recorded in 1957 but was sat on by RCA until its release in 1962. Bassist/composer Charles Mingus at the time said that this was his greatest recording, and it certainly ranks near the top. The original version (which was usually edited together from a few different takes) consisted of just five performances. In the '80s, it doubled in size with the release of two versions of each of the songs, and in 2001, it reappeared as a double CD with 22 performances. It has often been said that Mingus forced and pressured his sidemen to play above their potential, and that is certainly true of this project. Altoist Shafi Hadi (who doubles on tenor) is in blazing form on "Ysabel's Table Dance," while trumpeter Clarence Shaw (who was praised by Mingus for his short lyrical solo on "Flamingo") sounds quite haunting on "Los Mariachis." Trombonist Jimmy Knepper and drummer Dannie Richmond made other great recordings, but they are in particularly superior form throughout this session, as is the obscure pianist Bill Triglia. Completing the band is Ysabel Morel on vocals and Frankie Dunlop on castanets. While "Dizzy's Moods" is based on "Woody'N You," and "Flamingo" is given a fresh treatment, the other three songs are quite original, with "Tijuana Gift Shop" having a catchy, dissonant riff that sticks in one's mind. The passionate playing, exciting ensembles, and high-quality compositions make this a real gem. In addition, this double-CD includes the recently discovered "A Colloquial Dream," an early version of a spoken word piece later called "Scenes in the City," with Lonnie Elder doing the talking rather than Melvin Stewart (though Stewart's later version was superior). Due to the repetition of titles (with eight of the final nine cuts being excerpts), more casual listeners may want to search instead for the single CD New Tijuana Moods, which was released in 1996 and just augments the original five songs with four alternate takes. But in any case, this stirring music belongs in every jazz collection, for it does represent one of Charles Mingus' finest hours.

-01. "Dizzy Moods"
-02. "Ysabel's Table Dance"
-03. "Tijuana Gift Shop"
-04. "Los Mariachis"
-05. "Flamingo"
-06. "Dizzy Moods (Alternate Take)"
-07. "Ysabel's Table Dance (Alternate Take)"
-08. "Los Mariachis (Alternate Take)"
-09. "Flamingo (Alternate Take)"
-01. "Tijuana Gift Shop (Alternate Take)"
-02. "A Colloquial Dream"
-03. "Flamingo (Alternate Take)"
-04. "Ysabel's Table Dance (Composite Incomplete Take)"
-05. "Dizzy Moods (Junkyard Take 8)"
-06. "Dizzy Moods (Bass Solos Take 14)"
-07. "Tijuana Gift Shop (Alternate Takes 1-4)"
-08. "Tijuana Gift Shop (Alternate Take 6)"
-09. "Los Mariachis (Take 1-3)"
-10. "Los Mariachis (Take 5-10)"
-11. "Los Mariachis (Take 15-23)"
-12. "A Colloquial Dream (Take 6)"
-13. "A Colloquial Dream (Take 8)"

* Charles Mingus, bass, vocals
* Clarence Shaw, trumpet
* Jimmy Knepper, trombone
* Shafi Hadi, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
* Bill Triglia, piano
* Dannie Richmond, drums
* Ysabel Morel, castanets, vocals
* Frankie Dunlop, percussion
* Lonnie Elder, voices



Gary Burton & Makoto Ozone - Face To Face (1994)

Gary Burton & Makoto Ozone - Face To Face (1994)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 320MB
This set of duets between vibraphonist Gary Burton and pianist Makoto Ozone is a bit of a surprise, not the quiet and introverted date one might expect but a consistently exciting outing. The duo (who first started working together back in 1982) clearly inspires each other and a lot of sparks fly. The music ranges from three of Ozone's diverse originals and Astor Piazzola's "Laura's Romance" to a pair of Thelonious Monk tunes, a few standards and a romping version of the Benny Goodman-associated "Opus Half"; on the latter Ozone plays some creditable stride piano. More than half of the selections are taken at medium-to-fast tempos and, whether it be "Blue Monk," a memorable version of Jobim's "O Grande Amor" or a heated rendition of Steve Swallow's "Eiderdown," this is a highly enjoyable outing, one of Burton's finest of the past decade.

-01. "Kato's Revenge" - Makoto Ozone - 7:07
-02. "Monk's Dream" - Thelonious Monk - 5:08
-03. "For Heaven's Sake" - Elise Bretton / S. Edwards .. - 7:21
-04. "Bento Box" - Makoto Ozone - 6:01
-05. "Blue Monk" - Thelonious Monk - 6:50
-06. "O Grande Amor" - Antonio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes - 6:11
-07. "Laura's Dream" - Astor Piazzolla - 10:04
-08. "Opus Half" - Benny Goodman - 5:19
-09. "My Romance" - Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers - 6:00
-10. "Times Like These" - Dan Fogelberg / Makoto Ozone - 6:25
-11. "Eiderdown" - Steve Swallow - 5:59

* Gary Burton (vibraphone)
* Makoto Ozone (piano)


29 June, 2012


Stan Getz - Cafe Montmartre (1987&91)

Stan Getz - Cafe Montmartre (1987&91)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 390MB
Universal 2002
Before his death after a several year battle with cancer, Stan Getz continued to release a flurry of outstanding recordings. Cafe Montmartre is a compilation of several live performances at the famous Copenhagen club with pianist Kenny Barron, selected from three earlier CDs, the 1987 quartet dates Anniversary! and Serenity, plus the two-disc set People Time from 1991. Getz was a masterful ballad interpreter and delivers with the mournful tribute "I Remember Clifford" and an absolutely haunting, emotionally charged take of Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count" (written as its composer lay dying of cancer). Barron makes a strong case as one of Getz's very best accompanists, while bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Ben Riley (present only on the 1987 material), are also superb. With the tenor saxophonist and his musicians delivering one outstanding take after another on the original releases, it must have been very difficult to choose only nine of the 26; those on a budget will want this anthology, but Getz fans owe it to themselves to seek out the complete original discs instead.

-01. "People TimeSee All" - 6:10
-02. "I Thought About You" - 8:07
-03. "Soul Eyes" - 7:20
-04. "I Can't Get Started" - 11:12
-05. "I'm Okay" - 5:21
-06. "Falling In Love" - 9:00
-07. "I Remember Clifford" - 8:51
-08. "Blood Count" - 4:04
-09. "First Song (For Ruth)" - 10:02

* Sran Getz -sax- 1987, 91
* Kenny Barron -piano- 1987, 91
* Rufus Reid -double bass- 1987
* Victor Lewis -drums- 1987



Tony Scott - Tony Scott (1967)

Tony Scott - Tony Scott (1967)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 230MB
Tony Scott's 1967 self-titled album for Verve is a good example of what makes him such an interesting but frustrating artist. After branching out from mainstream jazz in the 1950s, clarinetist Scott began exploring ethnic and folk music. Here listeners find him switching between straight-ahead standards and avant-garde, Eastern-influenced melodies. The result is utterly schizophrenic and ultimately makes for a frustrating listen. That said, Scott is a phenomenal musician and -- when he sticks to the experimental stuff - is quite compelling.

-1. "Ode To An Oud" - 4:22
-2. "My Funny Valentine" - 3:38
-3. "Satin Doll" - 3:30
-4. "Homage To Lord Krishna" - 5:04
-5. "Blues For Charlie Parker" - 3:21
-6. "Sophisticated Lady" - 4:00
-7. "Swara Sulina (The Beautiful Sound Of The Flute)" - 5:05
-8. "Nina's Dance" - 3:19
-9. "Brother Can You Spare A Dime" - 3:07

* Tony Scott (vocals, baritone saxophone, clarinet)
* Beril Rubenstein (piano, organ); Colin Walcott (sitar)
* John Berberian (oud)
* Attila Zoller (guitar)
* Milt Hinton, Richard Davis (bass)
* Jimmy Lovelace (drums)
* Souren Baronian (dumbek)
* Steve Purnillia (percussion)



Mimi & Richard Farina - The Complete Vanguard Recordings (1965-68)

Mimi & Richard  Farina - The Complete Vanguard Recordings (1965-68)
rock, folk | 3cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 110MB
Vanguard 2001
This is a straightforward three-CD set of the Fariñas' Vanguard recordings, each disc containing one of their three albums: Celebrations for a Grey Day, Reflections in a Crystal Wind, and the posthumous outtakes collection Memories. For Richard & Mimi Fariña fans who already have all of those albums, the chief interest lies in the seven previously unreleased bonus tracks that have been added to the Memories disc, all of them taken from their appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Those songs, in which the duo played in an acoustic setup with some help from onstage guests (including Bruce Langhorne and Fritz Richmond), are enjoyable but not essential, particularly as the sound quality isn't that great. The new additions, however, make live versions of some their best songs available, among them "The Bold Marauder" (the best of the live cuts), "Sell-Out Agitation Waltz," "Pack Up Your Sorrows" (with Peter Yarrow), and "Celebration for a Grey Day"; Jean Ritchie accompanies them on "Shady Grove" (which is sometimes nearly drowned out by airplane swoops). Overall this is seminal, underrated mid-'60s folk-rock, quite consistent in quality for the most part. It's not an over-investment for the cost-conscious, and if you like any one of their albums, you'll probably like all of them. Note, however, that it's not quite the complete Vanguard recordings since it doesn't have the unreleased version of "Tuileries" that appeared on the compilation Pack Up Your Sorrows: Best of the Vanguard Years. It's also a bit disappointing that no further studio outtakes were found, such as the demos referred to in David Hajdu's book Positively 4th Street.

Celebrations For A Grey Day
-01. "Dandelion River Run"
-02. "Pack Up Your Sorrows"
-03. "Tommy Makem Fantasy"
-04. "Michael, Andrew and James"
-05. "Dog Blue"
-06. "V"
-07. "One. "way Ticket"
-08. "Hamish"
-09. "Another Country"
-10. "Tuileries"
-11. "The Falcon"
-12. "Reno Nevada"
-13. "Celebration for a Grey Day"

Reflections in a Crystal Wind
-01. "Reflections in a Crystal Wind"
-02. "Bold Marauder"
-03. "Dopico"
-04. "A Swallow Song"
-05. "Chrysanthemum"
-06. "Sell. "out Agitation Waltz"
-07. "Hard. "loving Loser"
-08. "Mainline Prosperty Blues"
-09. "Allen's Interlude"
-10. "House Un. "american Blues Activity Dream"
-11. "Raven Girl"
-12. "Miles"
-13. "Childern of Darkness"

-01. "The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood"
-02. "Joy 'round My Brain"
-03. "Lemonade Lady"
-04. "Downtown (Instr.)"
-05. "Almond Joy"
-06. "Blood Red Roses"
-07. "Morgan The Pirate"
-08. "A Swallow Song (by Joan Baez)"
-09. "All The Wold Has Gone By (by Joan Baez)"
-10. "Pack Up Your Sorrows"
-11. "-1965 Newport Folk Festival (to -15)_ Leaving California"
-12. "Sell. "Out Agitation Waltz"
-13. "Pack Up Your Sorrows (with Peter Yarrow)"
-14. "House Un. "American Blues Activity Dream"
-15. "The Bold Marauder"
-16. "Hard. "Lovin' Loser"
-17. "Dopico"
-18. "Celebration For A Grey Day"
-19. "Shady Grove (with Jean Ritchie)"


25 June, 2012


Kai Winding, JJ Johnson, Bennie Green - Kai & Jay & Green With Strings (1954)

Kai Winding,  JJ Johnson, Bennie Green - Kai & Jay & Green With Strings (1954)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 170MB
Two unrelated session are combined on this CD reissue of an LP. Trombonist Bennie Green is heard on four ballads from 1952 while backed by a rhythm section and six strings. However, the more significant selections are eight songs that for the first time matched together trombonists J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding in a quintet. The Johnson and Winding group would be quite popular during the next two years and, listening to the colorful and melodic versions of such tunes as "How Long Has This Been Going On," "Dinner for One," and "We'll Be Together Again," it is easy to see why.

Green With Strings
-01. "There's a Small Hotel" - 2:41
-02. "Stardust" - 3:15
-03. "Serenade to Love" - 2:54
-04. "Embraceable You" - 2:58
Kai & Jay
-05. "Don't Argue" - 3:00
-06. "How Long Has This Been Going On?" - 2:33
-07. "Riviera" - 3:14
-08. "Dinner for One" - 3:04
-09. "Hip Bones" - 2:56
-10. "Wind Bag" - 3:10
-11. "We'll Be Together Again" - 3:16
-12. "Bags' Groove" - 3:11

Green with Strings:
* Benny Green - trombone
* John Malachi - piano
* Tommy Potter - bass
* Osie Johnson - drums
Kai & Jay:
* JJ Johnson, Kai Winding - trombones
* Dick Katz - piano
* Peck Morrison - bass
* Al Harewood - drums



Ketil Bjornstad, David Darling - The River (1996)

Ketil Bjornstad, David Darling - The River (1996)
jazz | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 325MB
You could say The Sea (ECM 1545) created The River from what pianist-composer Ketil Bjornstad describes as "a becalmed duo moment." With cellist David Darling joining him from that previous quartet, the duo's improvisations are inextricably in the ECM tradition that combines neo-classicism and neo-romantic sensibilities. Bjornstad also invokes late Renaissance British composers William Byrd for parts I and III, ant Orlando Gibbons for the final section of his 12-part suite.
The River distills the textures explored in The Sea. Where the earlier suite captures the extraordinary tug, ambience, and power of oceans, The River suggests an earthier setting. One qualm poses whether or not themes of this sort ought to be couched in such extended forms, given how The River is far more monotextural than the earlier work, its impressionistic proclivities focused on one or two moods, it seems, reminiscent of lingering beside a river or in a lull aboard rowboat or canoe. Listeners can then imagine whatever riverscape they please to fill in the setting. There are obvious possibilities for program application for this calming music, perhaps. But quo vadis?

- "I" (William Byrd) - 6:58
- "II" - 7:28
- "III" (Byrd) - 4:40
- "IV" - 8:49
- "V" - 6:39
- "VI" - 9:19
- "VII" - 5:15
- "VIII" - 2:39
- "IX" - 5:47
- "X" - 4:31
- "XI" - 7:26
- "XII" (Orlando Gibbons) - 3:39
Recorded at Rainbow Studio in Oslo, Norway in June 1996

* Ketil Bjørnstad - piano
* David Darling - cello



Flying Luttenbachers - Destroy All Music Revisited (2007)

Flying Luttenbachers - Destroy All Music Revisited (2007)
jazz, rock | 1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 555MB
Skin Graft GR85CD
Originally released in 1994, the Flying Luttenbachers' Destroy All Music was the group's final session with saxophonist Ken Vandermark. The album is defiantly unclassifiable - veering between the breathless energy of free jazz and the fevered intensity of punk, it also possesses a wild experimental noise streak outside the boundaries of either genre.
Still as uncompromising as it was at its release almost ten years ago, The Flying Luttenbachers Destroy All Music Revisited is an amalgamation of so many disparate styles of music that it continues to remain virtually unclassifiable. Formed by percussionist and Hal Russell protégé Weasel Walter in 1994, the group went through numerous personnel changes before arriving at the one that would record this, the group's best conceived and must successful effort.
The album features a line-up that pulled from all corners of the experimental Chicago music scene of the 1990s. Joining Walter is saxophonist Chad Organ (who doubles on Moog synthesizer), reedist and free jazz staple Ken Vandermark (who served as Walter's co-leader as a member of the group), trombonist, bassist and Vandermark 5 member Jeb Bishop, and guitarist Dylan Posa. This unique combination of jazz virtuosity and punk rock aestheticism tore apart the walls between No Wave, noise, metal and jazz to create a sound not unlike saxophonist Peter Brotzmann's Last Exit, though The Flying Luttenbachers may be even more relentless and jugular.
The album opens with the grinding "Demonic Velocities/20,000,000 Volts," whose initial single-note saxophone line leads the way into a percussive onslaught of stop-start rhythms, manic genre switches, and all-out chaos. The chaos continues with "Fist Through Glass," which may have even more punk influence. This is an adrenalin releasing mess, complete with thrash guitars, driving drums, and horns that sound more suited to demolition than music.
The original release signaled a regrouping of the ensemble, and consisted of tracks recorded in the studio, live, and in Walter's garage. The noisy freak-out of "(In Progress)" is an improvised piece recorded to 4-track cassette in a shed behind Walter's apartment, while "Tiamat en Arc" is pulled from a live show. The latter features an opening not dissimilar to the deranged lounge that John Zorn's Naked City treads into, but the sudden instrumental break quickly disavows any allegiances this group has to genre.
The original album closed with "Final Variation on a Theme Entitled 'Attack Sequence,'" a piece the group had already released in various manifestations four times. This particular version contains the broken fragments of speed metal, downtown experimental and, of course, jazz, leaving all of them scorched and smoldering on the floor by the end.
The reissue appends seven tracks, six of which are live performances. All of these add further depth to a recording already unmatched in its relentless destruction of musical conformity. Destroy All Music Revisited still fulfills its title's mission statement, and is an important reminder of a group that, despite its under-recognition, is perhaps more relevant than ever.

-01. Demonic Velocities / 20,000,000 Volts"
-02. "Fist Through Glass"
-03. "Sparrow's Thin Lot"
-04. "Splurge"
-05. "(In Progress)"
-06. "Ver aus Dun 'Turbo Scratcher'"
-07. "Necessary Impossibility of Determinism"
-08. "Dance of the Lonely Hyenas"
-09. "Tiamat En Arc"
-10. "Final Variation on a Theme Entitled 'Attack Sequence'"
-11. "One-Two Punch"
-12. "Improvisation"
-13. "Critic Stomp"
-14. "Clammer + Sprint"
-15. "Coffeehouse in Flames"
-16. "Eaten By Sharks"
-"17. "Throwing Bricks"

Chad Organ: tenor & baritone saxophones, Moog synthesizer; Dylan Posa: electric guitar; Weasel Walter: percussion; Jeb Bishop: bass guitar, trombone, Casio keyboard; Ken Vandermark: tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet (1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).



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