Friday 27 March 2009

Cecil Taylor - Loooking Ahead (1958)

1.Luyah! The Glorious Step
2.African Violets (Cecil Taylor & Earl Griffith)
3.Of What
6.Excursion On A Wobbly Rail.

Cecil Taylor: piano
Earl Griffith: vibra-harp
Dennis Charles: drums
Buell Neidlinger: bass.
Nola's Penthouse Studios, NYC, June 9, 1958.

One of Cecil Taylor's earliest recordings, Looking Ahead! does just that while still keeping several toes in the tradition. It's an amazing document of a talent fairly straining at the reins, a meteor about to burst onto the jazz scene and render it forever changed. With Earl Griffith on vibes, Taylor uses an instrumentation he would return to occasionally much later on, one that lends an extra percussive layer to the session, emphasizing the new rhythmic attacks he was experimenting with. Griffith sounds as though he might have been a conceptual step or two behind the other three but, in the context of the time, this may have served to make the music a shade more palatable to contemporary tastes. But the seeds are clearly planted and one can hear direct hints of Taylor's music to come, all the way to 1962 at least (the Nefertiti trio with Sunny Murray). Pieces like "Luyah! The Glorious Step" and "Of What" are so fragmented (in a traditional sense) and so bristlingly alive that one can understand Whitney Baillett's observation of crowds at a Taylor concert fidgeting "as if the ground beneath had suddenly become unbearably hot." The contributions of bassist Buell Neidlinger and drummer Dennis Charles cannot be understated; they breathe with Taylor as one unit and appear to be utterly in sync with his ideas. When the pianist edges into his solo on "Excursion on a Wobbly Rail," it's as though he's meeting the tradition head on, shaking hands and then rocketing off into the future. Looking Ahead! is a vital recording from the nascence of one of the towering geniuses of modern music and belongs in any jazz fan's collection. ~ Brian Olewnick, All Music Guide.

Bill Evans Trio - Explorations (1961)

02.Haunted Heart
03.Beautiful Love (Take 2)
04.Beautiful Love (Take 1)
07.How Deep Is The Ocean
08.I Wish I Knew
09.Sweet & Lovely
10.The Boy Next Door.

Bill Evans (piano)
Scott LaFaro (bass)
Paul Motian (drums).

EXPLORATIONS, Bill Evans' fourth solo album, is aptly named. Throughout, Full Description Evans displays the high-minded lyrical facility, long flowing phrases and rich sound that made him so popular with both fans and other musicians during the 1950s and '60s. The intrepid nature of his improvisations and the edgy interactivity of his trio echo the album's title in tracks like the expansive "Elsa," "Israel," and the Miles Davis composition "Nardis."
Evans is also a master of the ballad, and he shapes tracks such as "Haunted Heart" and the shimmering, evocative "Elsa" into exercises of grace and sensitivity. There is a fair share of swing here too, with the up-tempo "Sweet and Lovely" and "Beautiful Love." Evan's imaginative, meticulous stylings flow through every piece, and it is difficult to resist the balance of intelligence, tenderness, groove and mood that EXPLORATIONS achieves.
Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York on February 2, 1961. Originally released on Riverside (9351). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.

Oregon - Northwest Passage (1997)

01.Take Heart
02.Don't Knock On My Door
03.Lost In The Hours
04.Over Your Shoulders
06.Joyful Departure
08.Under A Dorian Sky
09.Fortune Cookie
10.Under The Mountain
11.L'assassino Che Suona
13.Yet To Be
14.Northwest Passage.
Paul McCandless (soprano saxophone, english horn, sopranino, oboe, bass clarinet)
Ralph Towner (classical & 12-string guitars, keyboards)
Glen Moore (acoustic bass)
Arto Tuncboyaciyan (Percussion, Cymbals, Drums, Triangle, Vocals, Shaker, Microphone)
Mark Walker (drums, percussion).

Review by Scott Yanow
Oregon's first recording in a while features the three surviving original members (Ralph Towner on guitar and keyboards, bassist Glen Moore, and Paul McCandless, who switches between soprano, English horn, sopranino, oboe and bass clarinet) with either Arto Tuncboyaciyan or Mark Walker on percussion. They perform 14 originals that usually avoid blue notes, making the music sound very folk-oriented. There is plenty of variety in the atmospheres, and the consistently intriguing music should appeal to many listeners, including those who are into mood music, world music or folk songs in addition to jazz.

Jimmy Smith's - Finest Hour (2000)

01.Walk On The Wild Side
02.Ol' Man River
03.Organ Grinder's Swing
04.Got My Mojo Workin'
05.Hobo Flats
06.Blues For Del
07.The Cat
08.Blues In The Night
09.The Sermon
10.James And Wes
11.Papa's Got A Brand New Bag.

Jimmy Smith (organ, vocal)
Oliver Nelson, Lalo Schifrin (conductor)
Jerry Dodgion, Phil Woods (alto saxophone, woodwinds)
Al Cohn, Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone)
Jerome Richardson (baritone saxophone)
Ernie Royal, Doc Severinsen, Clark Terry, Thad Jones, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton (trumpet)
Ray Alonge (French horn)
Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green (trombone)
Don Butterfield (tuba)
Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Mark Whitfield (guitar)
George Duvivier, Milt Hinton, Christian McBride (bass)
Ed Shaughnessy (drums, percussion)
Grady Tate, Bill English, Mel Lewis, Bernard Purdie (drums)
Ray Barretto (congas).
Recorded between 1962 and 1995.

Few musicians have ever been able to generate the sheer excitement of organist Jimmy Smith, straddling the worlds of jazz and R&B and matching keyboard wizardry with an ability to find the funky essence of a groove. His Verve recordings of the 1960s presented him in big-band and small-group formats, and there's a good sampling of both here. His hit "Walk on the Wild Side," arranged by Oliver Nelson, and Lalo Schifrin's "The Cat" effectively update the big-band tradition, with the brass acting as an effective balance to Smith's surging, electric power. He's more inventive in the small groups, though, especially when matched with comparable giants of the bluesy end of the jazz spectrum, like frequent partner Kenny Burrell or Wes Montgomery on "James and Wes." This is an excellent introduction, with Smith's adding blazing runs and electric soul to familiar material from James Brown and Muddy Waters, as well as originals and older pop and swing tunes. --Stuart Broomer.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Paul Desmond - Skylark ( 1974 )

1.Take Ten
2.Romance de Amor
3.Was A Sunny Day
4.Music For A While
6.Indian Summer
7.Music For A While (alt. take)
8.Skylark (alt. take)
9.Indian Summer (alt. take).

Gene Bertoncini - Guitar
Ron Carter - Bass
Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Paul Desmond - Sax (Alto)
Bob James - Piano, Piano (Electric)
Hilary James - Piano, Piano (Electric)
Ralph - MacDonald Percussion
George Ricci - Cello
Don Sebesky Arranger, Conductor
Gabor Szabo - Guitar, Soloist.

SKYLARK represents something of a change of pace for Paul Desmond. Usually a paragon of high lyricism and cool, often ballad-based post-bop, SKYLARK finds the alto saxophonist ... Full Descriptionamong especially progressive company. Drummer Jack DeJohnnette (whose playing bears hallmarks of rock, soul, and fusion), bassist Ron Carter (best known for practically redefining the instrument in Miles Davis's second great quintet), electric pianist Bob James, and guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Gabor Szabo round out the personnel. This lineup gives the album a decidedly contemporary, forward-leaning feel that contrasts somewhat with Desmond's "classic" style.
However, the combination works very well. Desmond's playing is still subtle and nuanced, while the rest of the sextet provides exciting new frames for appreciating his sound. Of particular note here is the lead guitar playing of Szabo, whose sinuous solos offer some of the album's finest moments. The eclectic set list--which ranges from an adaptation of Purcell to the Carmichael/Mercer title track to a Paul Simon cover tune--adds to the enjoyment, as do Don Sebesky's arrangements (his work can also be heard on Jim Hall's excellent CONCIERTO, which Desmond also appears on). Overall, this is a welcome, intriguing, and energetic departure for Desmond.
CTI Master Series remastered reissue of 1974 album for the cool jazz alto sax player famous for his association with the Dave Brubeck Quartet features 9 tracks including 2 previously unreleased bonus tracks, 'Skylark' (alt. take) & 'Indian Summer' (alt. take). Originally released in 1974. 2003.Down Beat (12/97, p.94) - 3 1/2 stars (out of 5) - "The beautiful tone of Desmond's alto is featured on SKYLARK....Desmond plays with a pure, simple warmth..."

Jack DeJohnette - Have You Heard? (1970)

1. Neophilia (Love Of The New)
2. Papa-Daddy
3. Have You Heard?
4. For Jane.

Jack DeJohnette - Drums,Piano(Electric)
Hideo Ichikawa - Piano
Bennie Maupin - Reeds(Multiple)
Gary Peacock - Bass.

By Tyler Smith
Devotees of free jazz will want to check out this 1970 release from DeJohnette, the great drummer, who was to go on to build a recording career as varied as the sounds you will find on this album.
"Have You Heard?" recorded in Japan, featured DeJohnette (who also contributes to one tune on piano) with reedman and flautist Bennie Maupin (who played with Miles during this period, as did Jack), bassist Gary Peacock and the Japanese pianist, Hideo Ichikawa. All three were fine players; Maupin and Ichikawa, unfortunately, for the most part slipped from sight in the years following this release.
The release, nearly an hour in length even in the original vinyl, courageously explored abstract sounds and broken rhythms, pushing the boundaries of improvisation in some cases about as far as they will go. For an example, check out the title cut, which features all four players freely exploring ideas suggested by a series of rhythms laid down by DeJohnette at the beginning of the piece. Near the end of the piece, we have sound dissolving into abstract forays and DeJohnette crying out. A harmonica seems to wander in for a few stretch. The 21-minute piece has the quality of a dream.
The 19-minute "Papa-Daddy," similarly takes the listeners through an aural landscape that is not immediately recognizable. Although the sound at times seems to wander aimlessly, there is a superb lengthy section in which all four improvise together. No, it doesn't "swing," but one feels that however disparate the paths the four are following, they are observing, thinking about and responding to the decisions of one another.
The other two cuts, "Neophilia" and "For Jane," are a bit more conventional, but still move closer to abstraction than to conventional form. The former has a fine dark, sonorous refrain from Maupin that forms the core of the tune; "For Jane" gives us a chance to hear DeJohnette at the piano, an instrument on which he has a fine touch. Check out his mid-'80s piano album on Milestone for a full album of his work at the keyboard.
Jack's drumming on this album, though, is the feature, and it is a marvel. Few drummers are more melodic, and he listens wonderfully, as do the best. He juggles rhythms incessantly behind his bandmates, who present very different voices. Maupin has some very fiery, discordant passages, particularly on "Have You Heard?"; Ichikawa offers stretches of melodicism that are a refreshing contrast, much in the same way that McCoy Tyner leavened the fury of Coltrane's last releases. Peacock moves in and out of the changing sounds expertly and offers some fine solo moments.
The audience for this is probably quite limited. However, if you are open to challenging sounds, it offers a very worthwhile listen. These recordings are necessary to keep alive the notion of what music can be.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Nana Vasconcelos - Saudades (1979)

O Berimbau
Cego Aderaldo

Nana Vasconcelos - berimbau, percussion, voice, gongs
Egberto Gismonti - guitar
Members of Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart
Mladen Gutesha - conductor.

By Cpierola
I have full respect for those who think that the only enjoyable pleasures are the love-at-first-sight ones. But I don't agree. When I bought this CD some years ago, the shop's host warned me that this was a great one but also a tough one.
Since then, each time I listen to it I discover new sounds and I improve my ability to be impressed again and again. These pieces are always a mystery but at the same time are so primarily human that you can't avoid finding links on the intellectual and physical levels.
The brilliant percussion leads you to a catharsis. The litany of the fantastic berimbau is overwhelming. The voice is tranformed into an instrument through emerging whispers and wild screaming. You can find a mix of the most rustic, almost tribal sounds blended with an academic chords section.
One advice: Listen to this music alone on a peaceful atmosphere. Otherwise you are wasting time.

Mike Nock - Ondas (1981)

1.Forgotten Love
4.Land Of The Long White Cloud

Mike Nock piano
Eddie Gomez bass
Jon Christensen drums.

By Johan Adams
The sound of waves breaking on the shore, that's what Mike Nock produces on this great album, recorded in Oslo, Norway. Rarely was an album title a more fitting description of the content. Five tracks, of which the longest runs for almost 16 minutes, conjure up the sounds of the shoreline and the sea under various weather conditions. This description is highly subjective, of course, but that's what I hear in it. Drummer Jon Christensen is a reliable partner, adding some nice touches. It's a pity that bassist Eddie Gomez doesn't really fit in. Some of his solos are just plain inferior. Maybe he was just having a bad day, but a second take might have been a good idea. But don't let that scare you away from this great CD. The sound on this album is crystal clear, true to the great ECM-tradition. As far as I can see, there's only two ways to appreciate this album : you either love it, or it leaves you totally indifferent. I just happen to love it !.

Nock, Mike (Michael Anthony)
Nock, Mike (Michael Anthony), pianist, composer; b. Christchurch, New Zealand, 27 September 1940. His parents were Randolph Audrey Nock (1900-1952) and Marjorie Millicent (nee Keenan, b. 1910). His sisters are Anne (Bewley, 1942-1989) and Jennifer-Mary (Stills, b. 1943). His current wife is Yuri Takahashi. They have no children.
Nock has spent almost forty years recording and touring professionally. After his first recording in 1960/61 in Australia with his trio The Three Out he then went to the US where he spent the next 25 years working with such musicians as Coleman Hawkins, Michael Brecker, John Scofield and Yusef Lateef among many others. A jazz veteran who has been featured on over 80 recordings worldwide, Nock's latest efforts are for the Naxos Jazz label - Not We But One (Mike Nock Trio), Ozboppin' (Mike Nock Quintet), I Don't Know This World Without Don Cherry (The New York Jazz Collective) and his latest release The Waiting Game (Mike Nock - Marty Ehrlich Duo). Due to his vast recording accomplishments, touring, and mentoring of a new generation of musicians, Nock has become thoroughly recognized in both the United States and abroad for his abilities. His accolades range from three U.S. National Endowment for the Arts fellowships to top piano/keyboard honors at the Australian Critic's Awards in 1991,'92,and '93, and multiple composer international commissions and an Australia Council Fellowship 1999 - 2001. The subject of a TVNZ documentary made on his life and music in 1993, Nock now lives in Sydney where he lectures at the Sydney Conservatorium's Jazz Studies Program which he combines with a busy international schedule as composer / performer and artistic director for the Naxos/Jazz label.
Touch; Ondas; In Out and Around; Almanac; Dark and Curious; Climbin; Beautiful Friendship.

Keith Jarrett - Treasure Island (1974)

01.The Rich (and The Poor)
02.Blue Streak
03.Fullsuvollivus (Fools Of All Of Us)
04.Treasure Island 4:19
05.Introduction & Yaqui Indian Folk Song
06.Le Mistral
07.Angles (Without Edges)
08.Sister Fortune.

Keith Jarrett (Piano, Soprano Saxophone and Osi Drum)
Dewey Redman (Tenor Saxophone and Tambourine)
Charlie Haden (Double Bass)
Paul Motian (Drums and Percussion)
Guilherme Franco (Percussion)
Danny Johnson (Percussion)
Sam Brown (Guitar)-4,8.

Originally an Impulse LP that surfaced on MCA as a straight reissue on CD, this fine recording features pianist Keith Jarrett's best regular group. Dewey Redman is heard from on tenor, bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Paul Motian and percussionists Guilherme Franco and Danny Johnson are superb in ensembles and guitarist Sam Brown guests on two selections. The emphasis is on the band's sound and Jarrett's rich melodies; he contributed eight originals to this enjoyable modern set. ~ Scott Yanow,AMG.

Freddie Hubbard - Life Flight (1987)

1.Battlestar Galorica
2.A Saint's Homecoming Song
3.The Melting Pot
4.Life Flight.

Carl Allen - Drums
George Benson - Guitar
Wayne Braithwaite - Bass (Electric)
Freddie Hubbard - Trumpet, Horn
Ralph Moore - Sax (Tenor)
Idris Muhammad - Drums, Tambourine
Rufus Reid - Bass
Stanley Turrentine - Sax (Tenor)
Larry Willis - Synthesizer, Piano (Electric).

Review by Scott Yanow
This CD captures the great trumpeter Freddie Hubbard at the age of 48 just before he began to decline. Hubbard is heard in excellent shape on two selections apiece with two separate bands. One group, a sextet with tenor-saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and guitarist George Benson, recalls the trumpeter's glory days on CTI although the material ("Battlescar Galorica" and "A Saint's Homecoming Song") was of recent vintage. The other band, a quintet with tenor-saxophonist Ralph Moore, looks back toward his earlier Blue Note and Atlantic days; they perform two Hubbard originals ("The Melting Pot" and "Life Flight"). Overall this set (from an era when the veteran trumpeter was being overshadowed by Wynton Marsalis) gives listeners one of the last opportunities to hear Freddie Hubbard in peak form.

Oscar Peterson - Tristeza on Piano (1970)

5.You Stepped Out Of A Dream
6.Watch What Happens
7.Down Here On The Ground
8.Fly Me To The Moon.

Bass - Sam Jones
Drums - Bobby Durham
Piano - Oscar Peterson.

By Buck
This is a fabulous album by Oscar Peterson at the very height of his powers. Recorded in 1970 or 1971 by Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer (who did 'Tracks' the same year), with Sam Brown on Bass and Bobby Durham on Drums.
The first track 'Tristeza' is really scary. Taken at a frightening tempo Oscar just wastes the keyboard. You might expect this as that is what Oscar Peterson does! However track 2 is demonstration of one of his other talents. 'Nightingale' is one of his own compositions (the only one on this album) and its another excellent track. The remaining tracks are all standards of one form or another, with perhaps my favourite being 'down here on the ground'. This is a slower tempo soulful tune, which contains one of Oscar's trademark rolling crescendos (as on Hymn to Freedom). Oh boy is this man good on the Piano!
This album is from an era when Peterson only made really good albums, and whilst this perhaps isn't as essential as 'Tracks', 'The Trio' or 'La Salle Pleyel' its still so good I had no choice but to award it 5 stars.

Ornette Coleman - Something Else!! (1958)

2.The Blessing
5.The Disguise
6.Angel Voice
8.When Will The Blues Leave
9.The Sphinx.

Ornette Coleman - sax
Don Cherry - trumpet
Walter Norris - piano
Don Payne - bass
Billy Higgins - drums.
Rec. on 10 Feb and 22 Mar 1958.

By John Barrett Jr.
Here it is: Ornette's first recording, containing his most conventional compositions, one ("The Blessing") written in 1951. Even so, it came only after a long period of struggle ("…most musicians didn't take to me; they said I didn't know the changes and was out of tune.") He was an elevator operator in an L.A. department store; he'd take the elevator to the top floor and practice for hours. He was about to return to Forth Worth when Red Mitchell heard a tune of his; it led to an audition and two albums for Contemporary, of which this is the first. It was a signpost, leading to a pathbreaking career.
Two things should be done when hearing this: you should remember Ornette's horn is plastic, and you should forget his later work. His tone sounds a little muffled, mushy perhaps; it has little of the sharp ringing tone of altos like Cannonball or Art Pepper. Don Cherry, the trumpeter heard on much of his work, says "it has a drier, warmer sound without the ping of the metal…He can now express on his horn what he hears, and he has a very unusual ear." Admittedly, the plastic tone sounds funny to these ears, though it does contribute to the feel of this record.
These are also early compositions, using chords, which he would soon abandon on his Atlantic sides. Those wanting free jazz will have to look elsewhere. There are moments of dissonance here (in the theme of "The Disguise"), but this is largely a straight-ahead date, with the corners slightly askew. There is much worth hearing here, especially the compositions, which received the bulk of the praise when this was originally released. My favorite tunes here would be "The Blessing" and "The Disguise"; "Alpha" and "The Sphinx" are also worth mention. Don Cherry has several fine moments and possibly takes instrumental honors. He has a good muted solo on "The Blessing", and strong moments on "Jayne" and "Chippie". Ornette's best solo comes on "When Will the Blues Leave?" and "The Sphinx". While totally competent, the rhythm section (especially Walter Norris on piano) seems to be a strict mainstream vein, and perhaps more avant-garde players would have gotten more out of these tunes. (Norris gets a few solos, but none really stand out.) As played, only the horns command attention, which is just as well, considering it's Ornette's show, and that of his tunes.
Where did this record lead? Not far, at least at the moment. A follow-up album, TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION!, was made in 1959, but jobs were still scarce. He moved to New York and signed with Atlantic, resulting in the albums which remain the basis of his reputation. This record was a foot in the door; the big noise (and big it was) would come later.

Oliver Nelson - A Dream Deferred (1976)

01.Self Help Is Needed
02.I Hope In Time A Change Will Come
03.3, 2, 1, 0
04.Black, Brown & Beautiful
05.Black, Brown & Beautiful
06.Requiem, Afterthoughts
07.The Creole Love Call
08.Echoes Of Harlem
09.Duke's Place
10.Martin Was A Man, A Real Man
11.What A Wonderful World
12.Stolen Moments
13.African Sunrise
16.Top Stuff
17.The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
18.Dumpy Mama.

Compilation mixing okay material from Nelson's Flying Dutchman records with his outstanding arrangements for Count Basie, Johnny Hodges and Louis Armstrong.

Flying Dutchman (United States) 1976
Excellent double lp compilation of all his best work for Flying Dutchman in the 70's. tracks include "Self Help Is Needed", "Black, Brown, & Beautiful", "Duke's Place", "Stolen Moments", and "Dumpy Mama". In addition this record also got 2 new tracks, "Top Stuff" and "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold".

Saturday 21 March 2009

Egberto Gismonti and Nana Vasconcelos - Duas Vozes (1985)

1.Aquarela Do Brasil
2.Rio de Janeiro
7.Don Quixote
8.O Dia, A Noite.

Guitar -
Flute - Piano - Egberto Gismonti
Percussion -
Berimbau - Naná Vasconcelos
Vocals - Egberto Gismonti , Naná Vasconcelos.

A beautiful pairing of these two Brazilian instrumentalists captured with near-perfect ECM sound, in a space that offers up the full complexities of their music! Egberto Gismonti plays acoustic guitar, as well as piano and flute and even sings a bit, just slightly and Nana Vasconcelos plays his familiar beribmau, and additional percussion often with that airy, ethereal style that leant so much grace to other ECM recordings. This date's a lot earthier than most of the rest on the label, though and marks the great European extrapolation of styles that occurred with both players heard here in a space that's arguably freer and more expressive than they might have found back in Brazil at the time. Titles include "Bianca", "Don Quixote", "Aquarela Do Brasil", "Rio De Janeiro", "Tomarapeba", and "Fogueira".

Joe Pass - Ira, George, and Joe (1981)

01.Bidin’ My Time
02.How Long Has This Been Going On
04.Oh Lady, Be Good
05.But Not For Me
06.A Foggy Day
07.It Ain’t Necessarily So
08.Love Is Here To Stay
09.‘S Wonderful
10.Nice Work If You Can Get It
11.Embraceable You
Joe Pass, guitar
John Pisano, rhythm guitar
Jim Hungart, bass
Shelly Manne, drums.

The repertoire of jazz musicians would be considerably smaller if the Gershwin brothers hadn’t lived. Here, guitarist Joe Pass gives a definitive demonstration of why the Gershwin’s music so beautifully fits the jazz requirement for logical harmonic structures and inspirational melodies. It is unlikely that “’S Wonderful” has ever swung harder or “Embraceable You” been embraced more tenderly. Shelly Manne, a drummer who was a passionate admirer of Gershwin’s music, is at his best here. Guitar support is provided by Pass’s longtime alter-ego, John Pisano.

Chema Vilchez - El Sueño Del Navegante (1995)

02.El Sueño del Navegante
03.Canción del Mar de Mansala
04.Fragmentos de Realidad
05.El Valle de los Espectros
06.Perdido en el Laberinto
07.Cuando las gotas de lluvia caen sobre el cristal y se deslizan hasta morir al borde de
la ventana
08.Colores de guerra
10.Canción de Despedida
11.La ciudad de las sombras
12.Escribiendo sobre el agua.

Chema Vilchez:Guitars(2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12),Key(1),(Singer 2 [12])
Eric Marienthal: Sax (2,3,6,11)
Alex Acuña: Percussion (2,3,5,9,10)
Andrea Marcelli: Drums (3,5,9,10)
Gary Willis: Bass Fretless (2,3,6,7,8,11,12)
Chad Wackerman: Drums (2,4,6,7,8,11,12)
Alphonso Johnson: Bass (5,9,10)
Steve Hunt: Piano (10) ,Keyboards (2,4,11,12)
John Beasley: Keyboards (5,10,11)
Steve Tavaglione: Sax (8) ,Ewi (10)
Walt Fowler: Trumpet (2,6,8)
Michel Forman: Piano (5,8,9)
Marlon Mehr: Voice (Singer 1 [12])

In 1995 guitarist Chema Vilchez (Madrid, 1967) released their first album, "The Dream of the Navigator," and became the first Spanish musician capable of recording and surround yourself with some of the best jazz musicians of the American scene. The press acknowledged Vílchez a promising musician, exquisite and, above all, surprising. Madrid, after a series of concerts and to continue his teaching at the Institute for Music & Technology, which was the founder, decided to return to Los Angeles to find inspiration and support for their second album. After a year of playing there and meet new friends artists, brought together a cast of musicians even more prestigious than its previous record from the bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl, the pianist and percussionist Mitchel Forman Alex Acuna.

Joao Donato and Eumir Deodato- Donato Deodato (1973)

1.Whistle Stop
2.Where's J.D.?
5.You Can Go

Bass - Doug Bascomb
Congas - Ray Barretto
Drums - Allan Schwartzberg
Flute - Romeo Penque
Guitar - Bob Rose
Harmonica - Mauricio Einhorn
Keyboards - Deodato* , Joao Donato*
Percussion - Airto
Producer - Joe Fields
Trombone - Michael Gibson
Trumpet - Randy Brecker.

The legendary meeting of the two biggest Brazilian keyboard talents of the 70s -- Joao Donato and Eumir Deodato -- coming together in beautifully funky formation! The sound is a great blend of the moody electric work of Donato's classic Quem E Quem album, and some of the fuller, funkier grooves on Deodato's work for CTI -- served up here in a double-keyboard blend with help from a host of great guest musicians! Other players include Randy Brecker on trumpet, Romeo Penque on flute, Mauricio Einhorn on harmonica, and Michael Gibson on guitar -- plus plenty of percussion from Airto and Ray Barretto, who both join in to round out this all star session. Tracks are nicely long, and very jamming at times -- and titles include the funky "Whistle Stop", plus "Where's JD", "Capricorn", "Nightripper", and "Batuque".

Friday 20 March 2009

John Scofield & Pat Metheny - I Can See Your House From Here (1994)

01.I Can See Your House From Here
02.The Red One
03.No Matter What
04.Everybody’s Party
05.Message To My Friend
06.No Way Jose
07.Say The Brother’s Name
09.Quiet Rising
10.One Way To Be
11.You Speak My Language.

John Scofield (electric & steel-string acoustic guitars)
Pat Metheny (electric & nylon-string acoustic guitars, guitar synthesizer)
Steve Swallow (acoustic & electric basses)
Bill Stewart (drums).

Superstar jazz recording sessions generally proceed with an abundance of ego and good intentions--yet rarely if ever is the sum equal to its parts. There's simply no substitute for empathy and forethought.
Or the mutual respect these ... Full Descriptionmaster stylists display on I CAN SEE YOUR HOUSE FROM HERE. Scofield and Metheny represent two distinct takes on modern jazz and the electric guitar. Both come directly out of Jim Hall, the poet laureate of jazz guitar. Metheny's romantic "Say The Brother's Name" and "Quiet Rising," and Scofield's after hours blues "You Speak My Language" provide ardent settings for both guitarists to pay homage to their primary influence with suede, legato phrasings and supple harmonies.
But where Metheny's muse (and his immensely popular band) often tends toward rich layered harmonies and percolating Brazilian rhythms, Scofield is a hard blues, hard bop player, with more than a little touch of funk in his tone. Where Metheny flows, Scofield sort of barks and bites into his lines, as reflected by such ardent, jagged themes as "One Way To Be" and "No Way Jose."
Yet for all the stylistic differences, the sum of their collaboration is such that casual listeners might find it difficult to tell who's who. Scofield and Metheny touch on all sorts of dancing instrumental moods, leavened by modern jazz, flavored by rock, blues and Latin America, driven in style by bass guitarist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart. Beautifully recorded, I CAN SEE YOUR HOUSE FROM HERE is an authentic musical communion.

Recorded at The Power Station, New York, New York in December 1993.

John Coltrane - Coltrane's Sound (1960)

8.BODY AND SOUL (Alternate Take).

JOHN COLTRANE- tenor and soprano sax
McCOY TYNER- piano

The October 1960 sessions which comprise COLTRANE'S SOUND present a portrait of the John Coltrane Quartet in its infancy, yet many of the mature elements which were to distinguish the group during its primacy are already in place. COLTRANE'S ... Full DescriptionSOUND was among the last releases to emerge from his Atlantic sessions, but, in some ways, it's among the most satisfying.
John Coltrane's search for the ideal rhythm section coincided with his transition from hard bop to the emerging modal stylings first suggested by Miles Davis on KIND OF BLUE. Elvin Jones' polyrhythmic inventions exploited the tension between triplets and eighth notes, and with his unique cymbal sound and powerful technique, Jones perfected a new rhythmic style of phrasing. Pianist McCoy Tyner offered a rich harmonic palette and a supple lyric dimension. He was able to play convincingly in hard bop and ballad modes, yet he also understood how to reinforce Elvin Jones' rhythmic ideas and feed the saxophonist droning chordal support that didn't limit Trane to any conventional chordal cycles. Bassist Steve Davis would soon be supplanted, but he sensed Coltrane's new rhythmic priorities, and moved comfortably from vamping ostinatos to pulsing swing.
The ballad "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" is given a new rhythmic dimension, powered along by Jones' snaking Afro-Cuban beat and swinging release (a favored Coltrane device), and the saxophonist expounds on the theme with vigorous harmonic variations, followed by Tyner's chanting chords and driving lines. "Central Park West" features Trane's gently wafting soprano and is among his most tender ballads, while "Liberia" is a rhythmically exuberant cousin to old boss Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night In Tunisia." The classic tenor ballad "Body And Soul" is transformed by Tyner's fresh voicings and Jones' overtones of gospel and swing, while "Equinox" evokes images of Africa and the deep south in its moody blues refrains. The concluding "Satellite" is an exercise in hard swing, as Trane traverses "Giant Step"-like changes with fresh rhythmic urgency.

Recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York, New York on October 24 & 26, 1960. Includes liner notes by Ralph J. Gleason.

Oregon - Prime (2005)

02.An Open Door
05.Solar Flare
06.Castle Walk
08.Pepe Lique
11.Mountain King
Oregon: Paul McCandless (soprano, bass clarinet, oboe, horns)
Ralph Towner (acoustic 12-string guitar, classical guitar, piano, keyboards, guitar synthesizer)
Glen Moore (bass guitar)
Mark Walker (drums, drum, percussion).

By John Kelman
Given most marriages don't last 35 years, the fact that three of perennially genre-busting group Oregon's four founding members have remained together so long—and there's little doubt that if Colin Walcott had not tragically died in a car accident in '84, he'd still be around too—is truly remarkable. Sure, there are a few old warhorse rock and roll bands like the Rolling Stones who've been around longer. But given the mercurial and significantly less-recompensable nature of jazz, guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless, and bassist Glen Moore's ability to continue to evolve and find new things to say makes them a definite anomaly in the jazz landscape.
Their latest release also features more recent recruit Mark Walker, who, having been with the group since '97's Northwest Passage, is Oregon's longest-standing percussionist since Walcott's untimely passing. Prime demonstrates just how they've taken influences from a variety of spaces over the years—jazz, folk, classical, ethnic music of India and Brazil, and more—and integrated them in ways that eliminate delineation, developing a unique language imitated but never copied. Their strongest album in years, Prime also reconnects the group with recording engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug and Rainbow Studio in Oslo, Norway. This is the first time they've recorded there since their short tenure with the ECM label in the mid-'80s, and the result is an album whose sonic excellence matches its exceptional writing and performances.
As always, Towner provides the lion's share of the writing. It's as much about his unique way of voicing as specific melodic and rhythmic concerns, and it remains instantly recognizable but never predictable. In its pastoral folksiness, "If" bears some resemblance to earlier pieces like "Green and Golden," but its odd meter and deceptively difficult changes provide characteristic yet fresh grist for Towner and McCandless' advanced improvisational acumen, which remains uncannily lyrical in the face of harmonic adversity.
And while some have accused Oregon of becoming softer and less edgy over the years, Towner's three-part "Monterey Suite," some of his best writing in recent years, lays waste to that suggestion. While lacking the sharp angularity of some of his earlier work, the complex nature of the first part, "Dark," still comes from a shadowy place similar to "Distant Hills," even as Walker's kit work gives it less idiosyncratic but more dynamically-building forward motion. The second movement, "Tammurriata," vividly proves that Towner's creative sense of counterpoint is still intact.
As always, a number of brief free pieces act almost as way stations along the disc's greater narrative arc, and it has the same inherent sense of purpose that has always differentiated Oregon's spontaneous improvisations, which are more about texture and ambience than mere notes and pulses.
Moore contributes two pieces, most notably a reprise of "Pepe Linque" from '85's Crossing which, with Walker's shuffle beat and Towner's blues/gospel piano, is the closest Oregon has ever come to boogie. Proof that, with Prime, despite the kind of familiarity that can only come from so many years together, Oregon still has more than a few tricks up its sleeve.

Ornette Coleman - Opening the Caravan of Dreams (1985)

1.The Know What to What
2.Harmolodic Bebop
3.Sex Spy
4.City Living

Denardo Coleman - Percussion, Drums
Ornette Coleman - Trumpet, Violin, Alto
Charles Ellerbee - Guitar (Electric)
Sahir Kamal - Percussion, Drums
Al Macdowell - Guitar (Bass)
Bern Nix - Guitar (Electric)
Jamaaladeen Tacuma - Bass.

Review by Scott Yanow
Ornette Coleman's innovative Prime Time band is heard at the peak of its powers on this LP from the small Caravan of Dream label. The altoist/leader is the main voice throughout the otherwise very democratic ensembles, which feature guitarists Bern Nix and Charles Ellerbee, bassists Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Albert MacDowell, and drummers Denardo Coleman and Sabir Kamal. The six originals, which include such titles as "To Know What to Know," "Harmolodic Bebop" and "Sex Spy," feature dense ensembles, equal doses of dissonance and wit, and more than their share of high energy. This was the leading "free funk" band of the 1980s, and this LP, which is worth a search by open-eared listeners, gives one a definitive look into the group's unusual music.

Jerry Gonzalez - Music for Big Band (2006)

02.El vito en el Congo
03.Goodbye porkpie hat
06.Duende y aché
07.Rumba pa’Kenny.

Jerry González - Congas, cajón, trompeta.
Miguel Blanco - Dirección musical y arreglos
Israel Sandoval – Guitarra
Mariano Diaz - Piano
Javier Colina - Contrabajo
Dani García - Batería
Jesús Catalá - Percusión
Fernando Hurtado - Trompeta 1
Raul Gil - Trompeta 2
Jonathan Badichi - Trompeta 3
Carlos Rossi - Trompeta 4
Norman Hogue- - Trombón 1
Roberto Pacheco - Trombón 2
Victor Correa - Trombón 3
José Pardal - Trombón 4
Patxi Pascual - Saxo Alto 1, clarinete, saxo soprano
KevinRobb - SaxoAlto 2, clarinete
Iñaki Araquistain - Saxo Tenor 1, Flauta
Jaime Muela - Saxo Tenor 2, flauta, saxo soprano
Sergio Bienzobas - Saxo Barítono, clarínete bajo.

It all starts with a very impressive imitation of jungle sounds by the percussionists, then the big band progressively enters with the melody and rhythm of a lush 3/4 song that displays its beauty at a relaxed medium tempo. Jerry Gonzalez, who established himself in Spain, is the main soloist and has definitely found the musicians he needed to express his broad vision of music. Indeed he has assembled a magnificent orchestra of international quality only by calling on instrumentalists who mostly live within a few miles of his new Barcelona home. This is added evidence that the level of European musicians – and Spain is not a country with a huge jazz tradition, at that – has risen notably in the last few decades.
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

Jazzista con vocación de rumbero, o viceversa, Jerry González es uno de los músicos más progresivos del jazz latino. Durante sus años de universitario, integra un quinteto de jazz latino con su hermano Andy y el trompeta Kenny Dorham. Conoce al batería Rashied Ali, su primer guía en la vanguardia. A partir de 1969, graba con importantes jazzistas, como George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie y Houston Person. Colabora con la orquesta Jazz Composers, de Clifford Thornton. A partir de 1974, participa en importantes sesiones latinas con los hermanos Palmieri, Bobby Paunetto y el Grupo Folklórico Experimental Nuevayorkino.
En 1979, Kip Narran le ofrece la oportunidad de grabar en solitario. A raíz de la grabación, surge la Fort Apache. La banda lleva por nombre el del problemático barrio hispano de Nueva York donde crece Jerry y donde brota esa música – desenfadada, intensa y sensual –que de manera imprevisible une a dos culturas distintas. Por su compromiso con la búsqueda de nuevas modalidades, los Apache se sitúan de inmediato en la vanguardia del jazz latino. Además de Monk, otras referencias de la banda son Miles Davis y sus discípulos Ron Carter y Wayne Shorter. De hecho, durante años, González suena como el fantasma de Davis en trompeta.
En 1981, participa en el debut norteamericano de Paquito D’Rivera; también, con Totico y sus rumberos. Colabora con McCoy Tyner, por primera vez, en 1982. Será el percusionista de su big band diez años más tarde. En 1983 aporta percusión a la vocalista Abbey Lincoln. Hace jazz punk con Jaco Pastorius. En años recientes, lo escuchamos con Dave Valentin, David Sanchez y la orquesta de Chico O’Farrill.
Desde su llegada a España en 2001 ha grabado trabajos como Jerry González y los Piratas del Flamenco, y ha abierto una ventana a los flamencos para que estos dos lenguajes musicales se estimulen, se provoquen, se combinen y se seduzcan hasta doler.
González ha tocado en diferentes trabajos de Paco de Lucía, Enrique Morente, Martirio, El niño Josele, y un largo etc. de figuras del flamenco, lidera su propia banda de latin jazz.
Music for big band no solamente es la primera grabación realizada en España por Jerry González con una big band, es también el álbum que confirma el talento de arreglista de Miguel Blanco, el bajista de La Calle Caliente quien además ha dirigido y producido las sesiones. La relación musical de Blanco y González data de la grabación en 2002 de la composición Invitation que figura en el álbum Mozambique Soul de La Calle Caliente. “Este nuevo disco tiene que ver con la muerte sin pretenderlo” dice bromeando Blanco. “Fijámonos en los títulos: Goodbye Porkpie Hat es un tema por la muerte de Lester Young; Rumba p’a Kenny está dedicado al difunto Kenny Kirkland; Fall (¡Otoño!), Nightfall (¡Anochecer!) ¿Será que nos estamos riendo de la muerte? ¡Jerry lo hace!

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Joe Pass with Ella Fitzgerald - Take Love Easy (1974)

01.Take Love Easy
02.Once I Loved
03.Don’t Be That Way
04.You’re Blase
05.Lush Life
06.A Foggy Day
07.Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You
08.You Go To My Head
09.I Want To Talk About You.

Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Joe Pass (guitar).
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1987, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Recorded in Los Angeles, California on August 28, 1973. Includes original release liner notes by Benny Green.

One of several voice-and-guitar albums recorded by Ella Fitzgerald ... Joe Pass in the early '80s, TAKE LOVE EASY is possibly the best of the lot. Voice and guitar albums are arguably the trickiest projects to pull off in jazz; with no rhythm section to weight the music, the results can often float off into the ether. Fitzgerald, of course, is one of the greatest singers in jazz history, and her vocals on languid versions of classics like Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" are simply magnificent, but Pass's fluid, bop-influenced guitar style is equally important here. Rather than playing in a strictly melodic style, Pass subtly emphasizes the rhythm behind the melodies, creating a sense of forward motion missing from most solo jazz guitar showcases, particularly on sprightlier material like "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You," but also in quiet ballads like the title track.

Monday 16 March 2009

Ornette Coleman - Sound Grammar (2006)

1.Jordan (after introducing the band members)
2.Sleep Talking
5.Waiting for You
6.Call to Duty
7.Once Only

Ornette Coleman: sax, violin and trumpet
Denardo Coleman: drums and percussion
Gregory CVohen: bass
Tony Falanga: bass.

By Dan McClenaghan
In the beginning of free jazz, there was Ornette Coleman. Actually, the alto saxophonist was the beginning of free jazz. His 1959 Atlantic recording The Shape of Jazz to Come followed on the heels of a couple of innovative smaller label outings that didn't make a splash at the time. Many musicians have followed Coleman down the path of freedom, but none have equaled him.
Sound Grammar is his first CD release in ten years. His last studio efforts, the simultaneously released Sound Museum and Four Women (Verve, '96), featuring overlapping tracks, were, to my ears, the high points of an already legendary career. He's surpassed even those stellar outings with this release.
Over a nearly forty-year career, Coleman has recorded with various configurations, from duos all the way to symphony orchestras. Sound Grammar, a live set recorded in Germany in October 2005, features a quartet with his son Denardo on drums and two bassists—Gregory Cohen (picking); and Tony Falanga (bowing). The two-bass dynamic creates a texture that feels viscous and frictional at the same time, a perfect backdrop for the saxophonist's piercingly resonant tone, which finds the "sound of expressed reality."
On listening to past recordings, Sound Grammar comes closest in tone to Coleman's two masterful volumes of At the "Golden Circle" Stockholm. Those 1966 Blue Note trio recordings were also live dates, placing the leader alongside drummer Charles Moffett and bassist David Izenzon. The "Golden Circle" sound glowed with the rare energy and electricity of an artist in full swing, a true American original, unfettered by expectations or outside influences. Remarkably, Sound Grammar surpasses those youthful efforts. The intensity level of his earlier work is undiminished on Sound Grammar; the band is "as one," and Ornette blows with a transcendent luminescent soulfullness.
The disc features six vibrant new tunes, along with interpretations of "Song X" (from his 1985 album of the same name with Pat Metheny); and "Turnaround" (from the classic 1959 album Tomorrow is the Question).
Hit the play button. Ornette wails. It's an unmistakable sound: every human joy and heartache—and every emotion in between—blowing out of an alto saxophone.

Charlie Haden, Jan Garbarek, Egberto Gismonti - Magico (1980)

1.Bailarina (Geraldo Carneiro/Piry Reis)
2.Magico (Egberto Gismonti)
3.Silence (Charlie Haden)
4.Spor (Jan Garbarek)
5.Palhaco (Egberto Gismonti).

Charlie Haden (Double Bass)
Jan Garbarek (Saxohones)
Egberto Gismonti (Guitar and Piano).

Perhaps it was the presence of bassist Charlie Haden, but this trio set has more energy than one normally associates with the other members of the group (Jan Garbarek on tenor and soprano and Egberto Gismonti doubling on guitar and piano). The trio performs group originals and an obscurity during the picturesque and continually interesting release; this combination works well. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Alphonso Johnson - Yesterday's Dreams (1976)

1.Love´s The Way I Feel Bout Cha
2.As Little As You
4.Show Us The Way
5.Balls To The Wall
6.Tales Of Barcelona
7.Flight To Hampstead Heath
8.One To One.

Bells [Orchestra], Marimba, Vibraphone - Ruth Underwood
Congas, Percussion - Sheila Escovedo*
Drums - Chester Thompson , Mike Clark
Executive Producer - Jerry Schoenbaum
Guitar [Acoustic, Electric] - Lee Ritenour
Guitar [Electric] - Ray Gomez
Keyboards - Patrice Rushen
Organ - David Foster , Mark Jordan
Producer - Skip Drinkwater
Saxophone [Baritone], Flute - Ernie Fields
Saxophone [Tenor] - Ernie Watts , Grover Washington, Jr.
Synthesizer - Ian Underwood
Trombone - Garnett Brown , George Bohannon*
Trumpet - Chuck Findley
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Gary Grant
Vocals - Diane Reeves , Jon Lucien , Phillip Bailey*
Vocals, Bass, Guitar [Acoustic] - Alphonso Johnson.

I used to select albums based on the players listed on the back cover. This was one of those albums. Alphonso Johnson, Lee Ritenour, Grover Washington Jr., Ernie Watts, Phil Bailey, Diane Reeves, Shelia Escovedo, Jon Lucian, Ray Gomez, Ian Underwood, Ruth Underwood, Patrice Rushen, Chester Thompson, and more... Do musicians put this type of album together anymore? This CD has a couple of lighter disco-fusion type of songs - but '76 was the disco era - and if you were a CTI fan, you'll be satisfied. Pump up the bass and check out Jon Lucien on 'Show us the way'. Things start rockin a little more on tracks 5,6,7. HeY CDU - How about a copy of Duke's - 'I Love the Blues', 'The Aura Will Prevail', and some of his other Zappa alumus recordings?.

Lalo Schifrin-Astor Piazzolla - Two Argentinians In Paris (1955)

01.Moulin Rouge - Lalo Schifrin
02.Oignons [Mamba] - Lalo Schifrin
03.Fascination [Boléro] - Lalo Schifrin
04.Cabello Rojo [Guarahca] - Lalo Schifrin
05.Mon Homme - Lalo Schifrin
06.Mam-Bop - Lalo Schifrin
07.Pigalle - Lalo Schifrin
08.Sérénade Méditerranéenne [Boléro] - Lalo Schifrin
09.Picasso - Astor Piazzolla
10.Mi Tentacion - Astor Piazzolla
11.Sens Unique - Astor Piazzolla
12.Estamos Listos - Astor Piazzolla
13.Chau Paris - Astor Piazzolla
14.Bando - Astor Piazzolla
15.Luz y Sombra - Astor Piazzolla
16.Tzigane Tango - Astor Piazzolla.

Jack del Rio - Latin Percussion
Pierre Michelot - Bass
Astor Piazzolla - Bandoneon, Arranger
Lalo Schifrin - Piano
Martial Solal - Piano, Celeste
Jean-Louis Viale - Drums.

Rare early work by two of the greatest musical forces on the South American scene -- both sessions recorded in mid 50s Paris, one by pianist Lalo Schifrin and one by neuvo tango genius Astor Piazzolla! The Schifrin session is quite possibly the earliest we've ever seen by him -- recorded in 1955, years before his more famous soundtrack and jazz work in the US -- and done in a choppy, Latin-based mode by a quartet that features Pierre Michelot on bass, Jean-Louis Viale on drums, and Jack Del Rio on Latin percussion. The feel is a bit similar to that of Schifrin's early Latin album in the US -- but even more angular and rhythm-oriented, with a stripped-down sound we really love! Titles include "Les Oignons", "Cabello Rojo", "Mon Homme", "Mambop", and "Pigalle". Piazzolla follows with an equally great album also recorded in 1955 -- one that features Martial Solal on piano and celeste, plus some additional light string backing. The sound is richly dramatic, and has all the power and modernism of Piazzolla's more famous recordings from later years -- proof that the neuvo tango was flourishing even in Astor's earliest years, in a way that might have found its greatest youthful expression in the Paris jazz scene! Titles include "Picasso", "Mi Tentacion", "Chau Paris", "Bando", "Tzigane Tango", and "Estamos Listos".

By Kurt Harding
Those who are fans of both Lalo Schifrin and Astor Piazzolla should be delighted by this reissue of important early works. The tunes here were originally on separate albums by their respective artists and have been long out of print until the issue of this BMG compilation.
The first eight songs are by Lalo Schifrin and they show the listener both his piano virtuosity and his already strong skills as an arranger. I recognize many of these songs having heard them done by other artists in my father's record collection. Though the "tropical" sound may seem dated and quaint to modern ears, several listens will show you just how far advanced Schifrin was for his time. Jack del Rio's Latin percussion work is just outstanding across the board! The booklet says that Schifrin is embarrassed by the title of the album on which these songs were originally available, and so they have been omitted from his discography and from previous compilations. Once you hear them, you will be perplexed by his embarrassment.
The last eight songs are from an Astor Piazzolla recording session in Paris done the same year (1955) as the Schifrin sessions. They are available with other songs from the Paris sessions on another CD called Paris 1955 that I own and which can be obtained from the French music publisher that owns its rights. These were done at a time when Piazzolla was getting away from the traditional "orquesta tipica" that dominated the Argentine tango scene and began blending his tango with classical and jazz elements. The results here are nothing short of spectacular. Never before and never since had Piazzolla made a recording of such dazzling beauty! I am a fan of most of what Piazzolla did in his career, but these timeless compositions remain among my favorites. If you are a Piazzolla fan who hasn't yet heard these obscure and admittedly hard to find recordings, then your understanding of Piazzolla's music and career cannot yet be fully developed.
With the CD comes a booklet in French and English. Though it is very informative, the French portion is much more thorough in its commentary.
After listening, I find it hard to believe that this great music is already more than 50 years old. Order Two Argentinians In Paris today and you will hear what I am writing about.

Dino Saluzzi Group - Mojotoro (1991)

2.Tango a mi padre
5.Viernes Santo
6.Milonga (La Puñalada)
7.El Camino.

Dino Saluzzi bandoneon, percussion, voice
Celso Saluzzi bandoneon, percussion, voice
Felix 'Cuchara' Saluzzi tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet
Armando Alonso guitars, voice
Guillermo Vadalá electric bass, voice
José Maria Saluzzi drums, voice
Arto Tuncboyaci percusson, voice.

Review by Ron Wynn
With Astor Piazzolla's recent death, Dino Saluzzi inherits the mantle of tango supremacy. This '91 release has him playing with his brothers Celso (who also plays the bandoneon), Jose (a drummer and percussionist), and Felix (a saxophonist), plus vocalists, guitarists, and another percussionist. The music mixes tango with elements of Bolivian and Uruguayan music. There are some beautiful sections, and some uneven ones as well.

Larry Coryell - Difference (1978)

2.Acoustic Solo
3.Memphis Underground
5.Picean Moon
7.Aquarian Mode.

Review by Robert Taylor
An obscure recording that finds Coryell in solo, duo and group settings. The group performances range from free ("Octaves") to funk ("Memphis Underground"). Of the two solo guitar performances, "Improvisation," is the more cohesive as "Acoustic Solo" finds Coryell laboring for speed, a fault that has often hindered his playing. "Picean Moon" is a moody piece similar to the "ECM sound," with Michael Brecker sounding like a dead ringer for Jan Garbarek. "Serabond" is a fine acoustic duet with Steve Khan and even includes a quote from "Theme from Love Story." Despite some interesting moments, Difference is too inconsistent to sustain a lasting interest.

Collin Walcott - Grazing Dreams (1977)

1.Changeless Faith: Song of the Morrow
2.Changeless Faith: Gold Sun
3.Changeless Faith: The Swarm
4.Changeless Faith: Mountain Morning
5.Jewel Ornament
6.Grazing Dreams
7.Samba Tala
8.Moon Lake.

Collin Walcott sitar, tabla
John Abercrombie electric and acoustic guitars, electric mandolin
Don Cherry trumpet, flute, doussn'gouni
Palle Danielsson bass
Dom Um Romao berimbau, chica, tambourine, percussions.
Recorded at Talent Studio, Oslo, Norway in February 1977.

Collin Walcott's second album is truly of a superior quality; if his interesting "Cloud Dance" has shown the world what a sitar can do in the jazz emisphere, this pushes things even further. A wonderful desert pearl, nearly flawless modern jazz recording. Someday this will be remembered as a masterpiece. Walcott and Cherry created a near perfect this album called Grazing Dreams for ECM which perfectly fused elements of ethnic music with the harmonies and structural sense of jazz.

Clare Fischer with Salsa Picante - Machaca (1979)

1.African Flutes
8.Gentle Breeze.

Bass - David Troncoso
Congas - Poncho Sanchez
Drums - Aaron Ballesteros
Drums, Percussion - Alex Acuña
Guitar - Rick Zunigar
Keyboards - Clare Fischer
Percussion - Hector Andrade
Saxophone, Flute - Gary Foster.
Recorded May 1979 at Capitol Records Recording Studios, Hollywood, USA. Mixing June 12, 1979 MPS Studio, Villingen.
Salsa picante at its instrumental best. Latin jazz-hots with Rick Zunigar (g), Gary Foster on saxophone and flute, and Alex Acuna and Poncho Sanchez on percussion.

Friday 13 March 2009

Charlie Haden - Jan Garbarek - Egberto Gismonti - Folk Songs (1979)

1.Folk Song
2.Bôdas De Prata
3.Cego Aderaldo
6.For Turiya.

Bass - Charlie Haden
Guitar 8 String & Super 8,Piano - Egberto Gismonti
Saxophone Tenor, Soprano,Jan Garbarek.

One of the better ECM recordings, this collaboration by bassist Charlie Haden, Jan Garbarek on tenor and soprano, and Egberto Gismonti (switching between guitar and piano) is filled with moody originals, improvisations that blend together jazz and world music, and atmospheric ensembles. This date works well both as superior background music and for close listening. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.

Charlie Haden & Carlos Paredes - Dialogues (1990)

1.Asas Sobre O Mundo/Nas Asas da Saudade
2.Dança Dos Camponeses
3.Canto de Trabalho
5.Song for Ché
6.Balada de Coimbra
8.Variações Sobre O Fado de Artur Paredes I de Conçalo Paredes
9.Verdes Anos.
Charlie Haden (acoustic bass)
Carlos Paredes (Portuguese guitar).

Album Reviews: Musician (7/91) - "Haden and Paredes conjure riveting romantic revelations over a broad harmonic palette. Paredes is the master of the 12-string Portuguese guitar, and his crystalline eruptions of melody suggest gypsy mystery and intrigue. Haden responds with his most forceful, song-like counterpoint."

Bill Frisell - Nashville (1995)

01.Gimme a Holler
02.Go Jake
03.One of These Days
04.Mr. Memory
05.Brother06.Will Jesus Wash the Bloodstains from Your Hands
07.Keep Your Eyes Open
08.Pipe Down
10.We're Not from Around Here
11.Dogwood Acres
13.The End of the World

Bill Frisell (guitar)
Robin Holcomb (vocals)
Ron Block (acoustic guitar, banjo)
Jerry Douglas (dobro)
Adam Steffey (mandolin)
Pat Bergeson (harmonica)
Viktor Krauss (bass).

Bill Frisell is a gentle giant of modern guitar, pure in his jazz-influenced mission to uncover and reinvent American music across a disparate styles. At once unmistakable for the fluid, elastic sound of his instrument and restless in his pilgrimage across often widely varied sources, Frisell can find the lyrical gold beneath pop, rock, and classical sources--devling into Madonna, Aaron Copeland, and John Hiatt with equal success. Nashville finds Frisell exploring the kindred small group dynamics and string-bending aesthetics of country and bluegrass in the company of a shrewdly-chosen players including members of Alison Krauss' esteemed Union Station band, virtuoso dobro player Jerry Douglas, and vocalist Robin Holcomb, who confers an earthy beauty to the set's three vocals culled from Neil Young ("One of These Days"), Hazel Dickens ("Will Jesus Wash the Bloodstains from Your Hands"), and Skeeter Davis's country crossover, "The End of the World." Keening lyricism, soul-deep emotions, and the kinship of wonderful musicians communicating across putative stylistic borders make Nashville a stunning achievement. --Sam Sutherland.

Thursday 12 March 2009

Cal Tjader - Huracán (1978)

2.Tres Palabras
3.Ritmo Caliente.

Bass - Rob Fisher (2)
Bongos, Cowbell - Victor Pantoja
Congas - Poncho Sanchez
Electric Piano - Clare Fischer
Guitar - Rick Zunigar
Saxophone [Alto], Flute - Gary Foster
Saxophone [Baritone] - Kurt McGettrick
Timbales - Willie Bobo
Trombone - Frank Rosolino
Trumpet - Alex Rodriguez , Ronald King
Vibraphone - Cal Tjader.

Review by Ken Dryden

Originally issued as a limited-edition direct-to-disc LP by the long defunct Crystal Clear label in the late '70s, this budget reissue of Cal Tjader's Huracán does not list any of the musicians heard with the vibraphonist, though his band on this occasion includes brass and reeds in addition to the usual electric piano, electric bass, and congas, with most of the compositions and arrangements by Clare Fischer. Tjader, long one of the few non-Latin innovators in Latin jazz, is in top form and is able to work in the demanding direct-to-disc recording environment, which required recording an entire album side of performances without overdubs, splicing, or stopping for very long between selections. Due to its relatively low profile, this is one of Cal Tjader's lesser-known releases, but it is well worth acquiring.

Paul Bley - Ballads (1970)

3.So Hard It Hurts.

Paul Bley: Piano
Gary Peacock or Mark Levinson*: Bass
Barry Altschul: Drums.

Ballads, which really seems to make ballads out of ballads, has been considered both worthy of hanging on the museum wall alongside the other masterpieces and being accorded special merit as the jazz record most used for background music. Since no less a genius than the great French composer Erik Satie invented the concept of background music, this might not be such a contradiction or insult. Only the short "Circles" invites a real comparison with the piano music of Satie; elsewhere you're in extremely extended territory, Paul Bley's desire to play the slowest music in history meshing with a new style of rhythm section accompaniment that sounds like everything from tuning the drums to adjusting the drapes. In the case of drummer Barry Altschul, maybe it wasn't such a new style at all. His drum solo on "So Hard It Hurts," which it isn't, is nonetheless the loudest part of the entire record, the moment where the person using the record for background listening gets up and turns it down. It also sounds very much like a showboat drum solo from a Buddy Rich-style player, just a touch more abstract, yet still building up to the big tom-tom finish.

The bassists probe a bit further in their own solos, and probably feel they better, since they are often handed the solo spot after only a brief taste of Bley's piano improvising. Sometimes these sections seem shorter than they are, strangely enough, because even though they are moving extremely slowly, the pianist doesn't appear to be doing much at all. He may have figured out a way to whittle each phrase he is going to play down to its shortest form, allowing the other players ample room to comment. All this space, in fact, means a player such as Altschul has lots of room, his expressive command at the drum kit impressive to be sure. The bassists also develop ideas as if each note required a brief hang from the side of a chasm. What all this adds up to, when not shoved to the background of the listener's psyche, is a beautiful sound indeed, this album being one of several that helped establish the entire concept of the divine "ECM sound," despite actually being one of Bley's own productions.

It also sounds vapid, just as the musicians, except for a smiling Altschul, look dour in the back cover photograph. This doesn't mean that the music is vapid, or that these were dour people. It is just that this album, as a document, presents a glum outlook and the energy of a comforter that has finally been tossed off the bed at one in the afternoon. Bley's requirements for a sideman to tour Europe during this period were that the individual within 24 hours in a new town be able to locate a car, a place to stay, a girlfriend, and a source of drugs, so it is obvious these were people that had fun, too. Surely it was fun making this album, but it has not proven to be an album that is that much fun to really listen to. Perhaps the music's magic is marred by the excessive echo and pristine recording quality, or maybe the playing is simply pretentious. A decision can be made at the end of the recording, if the listener is still awake. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide

Chick Corea, David Holland & Barry Altschul - A.R.C (1971)

2.Ballad For Tillie

Chick Corea (p)
Dave Holland (b)
Barry Altschul (per)
Ludwigsburg,West Germany,January 11, 12 & 13,1971.

Review by Scott Yanow

This LP features pianist Chick Corea, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul during the brief period that, along with Anthony Braxton, they were members of the fine avant-garde quartet Circle. The music heard on this set is not quite as free as Circle's but often very explorative. Four of the six songs are Corea originals which, in addition to Holland's "Vedana" and Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti," form a very viable set of adventurous jazz, recorded just a few months before Corea changed direction.

Dave Liebman - Lookout Farm (1974)

1.Pablo's story
2.Sam's float
3.M.d. lookout farm.

Dave Liebman: soprano, tenor saxes, alto C flute
Richard Beirach: piano
Frank Tusa: bass
Jeff Williams: drums
John Abercrombie: guitar
Armen Halburian: percussion
Don Alias, congas: bongos
Badal Roy: tablas
Steve Sattan: tamburine, cowbell
Eleana Sternberg: voice.

Review by Michael G. Nastos

For saxophonist/flutist David Liebman, the collective septet Lookout Farm earmarked him as an emergent band leader and conceptualist, not to mention top-of-the-heap unabashed improviser, especially on the soprano. With Richie Beirach on acoustic piano, identifying him as the post-Lennie Tristano disciple of the '70s, electric guitarist John Abercrombie, East Indian percussionists Badal Roy and Armen Halburian, drummer Jeff Williams, and underrated upright bassist Frank Tusa, Lookout Farm's sheer democracy in motion, for progressive modern jazz in a fusion era, defined how far artistically a group could go while retaining a distinct identity. Tack-on to that the stunning production values of ECM's Manfred Eicher, and you have a trend setting icon of a large ensemble for the ages. This one-of-a-kind band and recording set a high-water mark for far too few bands, even unto itself, to follow. This is worth searching for and savoring.

Randy Weston - Uhuru Africa (1960)

1.Uhuru Kwansa (Weston)
2.African Lady (Weston, L. Hughes)
3.Bantu (Weston)
4.Kucheza Blues (Weston).

Randy Weston Orchestra
Randy Weston piano
Clark Terry trumpet, flugelhorn
Benny Bailey trumpet
Richard Williams trumpet
Freddie Hubbard trumpet
Slide Hampton trombone
Jimmy Cleveland trombone
Quentin Jackson trombone
Julius Watkins french-horn
Gigi Gryce alt sax, flute
Yusef Lateef tenor sax, flute, oboe
Sahib Shihab alt sax, baritone sax
Budd Johnson tenor sax, clarinet
Jerome Richardson baritone sax, piccolo
Cecil Payne baritone sax
Les Spann guitar, flute
Kenny Burrell guitar
George Duvivier bass
Ron Carter bass
Max Rouch drums, percussion
Charlie Persip drums, percussion
Wilbert G. T. Hoggan drums
Candido congas
Michael Babatunde Olatunji percussion
Armando Peraza bongos
Martha Flowers vocal
Brock Peters vocal
Tuntemeke Sanga narrator.

On a recent trip to Nigeria at the time of Independence, I listened to much Nigerian jazz, both live and recorded. In this music of the New Africa, it seems to me, the American influence is considerable. Tony Scott has been to South Africa. Louis Armstrong has attracted enormous crowds to racetracks and outdoor stadiums all over the continent. Dizzy Gillespie has charmed not only snakes but hep and unhep cats alike. American recordings have penetrated to the farthest jungle jukebox.

Jazz is a popular commodity with all African radio stations. And Victor Ola-lya's Yoruba band in Lagos calls itself The Cool Cats. To the African drum beat have been added Birmingham breaks, Harlem riffs and Birdland trimmings. The basic beat of jazz which began in Africa, thence transplanted to the New World, has now come back home bringing with it most of the contemporary American additions -from blues to post-bop.

Monday 9 March 2009

Stanley Turrentine - Salt Song (1997)

2.I Told Jesus
3.Salt Song
4.I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do
6.Vera Cruz.

Margaret Branch - Voices
Julius Brand - Violin
Brenda Bryant - Voices
Ron Carter - Bass
Billy Cobham - Drums
Harold Coletta - Violin, Viola
Deodato - Organ, Piano, Arranger, Conductor, Keyboards,Piano(Electric)
Eric Gale - Guitar
Russell George - Bass
Paul Gershman - Violin
Julie Held - Violin
Leo Kahn - Violin
Harry Katzman - Violin
Hubert Laws - Flute
Joseph Malin - Violin
George Marge - Flute
Charles McCracken - Cello
Airto Moreira - Percussion, Drums
João Palma - Percussion
Horace Parlan - Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Piano (Electric)
Romeo Penque - Flute
Jerome Richardson - Flute
Dom Um Romão - Percussion
Alan Shulman - Cello
Sivuca - Guitar
Patricia Smith - Voices
Creed Taylor - Producer
Richard Tee - Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Piano (Electric)
Curtis Turrentine - Guitar
Stanley Turrentine - Sax (Tenor)
Rudy Van Gelder - Engineer.

Review by Steve Huey

Stanley Turrentine's stint with Creed Taylor's CTI label may not have produced any out-and-out classics on the level of the very best LPs by Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, or George Benson, but the bluesy tenorist's output was consistently strong and worthwhile for all but the most stridently anti-fusion listeners. Salt Song was Turrentine's second album for CTI, and while it's perhaps just a small cut below his debut Sugar, it's another fine, eclectic outing that falls squarely into the signature CTI fusion sound: smooth but not slick, accessible but not simplistic. In general, keyboardist Eumir Deodato's arrangements have plenty of light funk and Brazilian underpinnings, the latter often courtesy of percussionist Airto Moreira. The first three cuts are the most memorable, beginning with a ten-minute exploration of the abrupt time signature shifts of Freddie Hubbard's "Gibraltar." Though a hard bop version might have returned to the theme a little less often, Turrentine's solo sections are full of ideas, befitting one of his favorite pieces of the period; plus, guitarist Eric Gale shines as both a rhythm and lead player. The traditional gospel tune "I Told Jesus" features Turrentine at his bluesiest and earthiest, with snatches of ethereal choir vocals floating up behind him. Milton Nascimento's title track, naturally, has the strongest Brazilian flavor of the program, and Turrentine skillfully negotiates its frequent shifts in and out of double time. The 1997 CD reissue also includes Nascimento's "Vera Cruz" as a bonus track. All in all, Salt Song has dated well, partly because the arrangements don't overemphasize electric piano, but mostly on the strength of Turrentine's always-soulful playing.