Tuesday 21 April 2009

Charles Mingus - Three Or Four Shades Of Blues (1977)

1.Better Get Hit In Your Soul
2.Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
3.Noddin' Ya Head Blues
4.Three Or Four Shades Of Blues
5.Nobody Knows.

The Mingus Band:

Charles Mingus (acoustic bass);
Ricky Ford (tenor saxophone);
Jack Walrath (trumpet);
Bob Neloms (piano);
Dannie Richmond (drums).

Additional personnel:
George Coleman (alto & tenor saxophones);
Sonny Fortune (alto saxophone);
Jimmy Rowles (piano);
Larry Coryell, Philip Catherine, John Scofield (guitar);
George Mraz, Ron Carter (acoustic bass);
Dannie Richmond (drums).

On Three or Four Shades of Blues, Jimmy Rowles is addedon piano; John Scofield replaces Philip Catherine on guitar; George Mraz does not appear in this selection.

On Nobody Knows, Sonny Fortune is added on alto saxophone; John Scofield replaces Larry Coryell on guitar; Ron Carter replaces George Mraz on bass; George Coleman does not appear in this selection.

Solo orders:
Better Get Hit in Your Soul: Mingus (intro), Coryell, Catherine/Coryell (over last riff before tenor solo), Ford.
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat: Mraz (bowed intro), coryell,Catherine, Coleman, Mingus, Coryell/Catherine.
Noddin Ya Head Blues: Coleman, Coryell, Ford, Catherine, Mingus.
Three or Four Shades of Blues: Walrath, Neloms, Rowles, Neloms, Walrath,Ford, Coryell, Mingus, Coleman, Scofield.
Nobody Knows: Fortune, Scofield, Walrath, Catherine, Ford.

Three or Four Shades of Blues was arranged by Charles Mingus. All the other selections were arranged by Paul Jeffrey.
Better Get Hit in Your Soul: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and Noddin Ya Head Blues were recorded on march9, 1977. Nobody Knows on on march 11, 1977, at Atlantic Studios, New York, NY.
Recording Engineer Bobby Warner.
Three Or Four Shades Of Blues was recorded on March 29, 1977 at The Record Plant, New York, NY. Recording engineer Carmin Rubino.
Mixing Engineers: Bobby Warner, Carmine Rubino, Don Puluse.Charles Mingus is using a Yamaha bass amplifier in this recording.

Cal Tjader Quintet, Armando Perazza - Latin + Jazz

1.Armando's Quajira
2.Armando's Bossa
3.Why Did I Choose You
4.Milo's Other Samba
5.Song For Pat
6.The Touch
7.Colorado Waltz
8.Nica's Dream

Cal Tjader (vibraphone);
Joe Kloess (piano);
Paul Warburton (bass);
Mike Buono (drums);
Armando Perazza (congas).

Recorded live at the Red Onion, Aspen, Colorado in 1968.

Cal Tjader was undoubtedly the most famous non-Latino leader of Latin jazz bands, an extraordinary distinction. From the 1950s until his death, he was practically the point man between the worlds of Latin jazz and mainstream bop; his light, rhythmic, joyous vibraphone manner could comfortably embrace both styles. His numerous recordings for Fantasy and Verve and long-standing presence in the San Francisco Bay Area eventually had a profound influence upon Carlos Santana, and thus Latin rock. He also played drums and bongos, the latter most notably on the George Shearing Quintet's puckishly titled "Rap Your Troubles in Drums," and would occasionally sit in on piano as well.

Tjader studied music and education at San Francisco State College before hooking up with fellow Bay Area resident Dave Brubeck as the drummer in the Brubeck Trio from 1949 to 1951. He then worked with Alvino Rey, led his own group, and in 1953, joined George Shearing's then hugely popular quintet as a vibraphonist and percussionist. It was in Shearing's band that Tjader's love affair with Latin music began, ignited by Shearing's bassist Al McKibbon, nurtured by contact with Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, and Armando Peraza, and galvanized by the '50s mambo craze. When he left Shearing the following year, Tjader promptly formed his own band that emphasized the Latin element yet also played mainstream jazz. Bobo and Santamaria eventually joined Tjader's band as sidemen, and Vince Guaraldi served for a while as pianist and contributor to the band's songbook ("Ginza," "Thinking of You, MJQ"). Tjader recorded a long series of mostly Latin jazz albums for Fantasy from the mid-'50s through the early '60s, switching in 1961 to Verve, where under Creed Taylor's aegis he expanded his stylistic palette and was teamed with artists like Lalo Schifrin, Anita O'Day, Kenny Burrell, and Donald Byrd. Along the way, Tjader managed to score a minor hit in 1965 with "Soul Sauce," a reworking of Dizzy Gillespie/Chano Pozo's "Guacha Guaro," which Tjader had previously cut for Fantasy. Tjader returned to Fantasy in the 1970s, then in 1979 moved over to the new Concord Picante label, where he remained until his death. ~ Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide.

Saturday 18 April 2009

Archie Shepp Quartet - Deja Vu (2003)

01.What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life
02.Petite Fleur
03.Les Feuilles Mortes
04.L' Ame des Poetes
06.April in Paris
07.Sous le Ciel de Paris
08.Deja Vu.

Archie Shepp - Sax (Tenor)
Billy Drummond - Drums
Harold Mabern - Piano
George Mraz - Bass.

Of all the Japanese Shepp recordings, this is the best. His ballad playing is outstanding on this date -- DeJa Vu being a standout. In his later years, he's become a Ben Webster meets Trane outside a blue bar on CHicago's South Side after having smoked a joint with Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman and Roswell Rudd. Well woth the high price tag. He's the last of the line!

Sonny Sharrock - Ask the Ages (1991)

1.Promises Kept
2.Who Does She Hope to Be?
3.Little Rock
4.As We Used to Sing
5.Many Mansions
6.Once upon a Time.

Elvin Jones - Drums, Drums (Snare)
Charnett Moffett - Bass, Bass (Acoustic)
Pharoah Sanders - Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Sonny Sharrock - Guitar (Electric), Producer.

Review by Steve Huey
Ask the Ages is Sonny Sharrock's masterpiece, and sadly it was also the last album he would record before his premature death in 1994. It's the most challenging jazz work he recorded as a leader, and it's the clearest expression of his roots as a jazz player, drawing heavily on Coltrane's modal post-bop and concepts of freedom. To that end, Sharrock reunites with Coltrane's old cohort, Pharoah Sanders, who featured Sharrock on his wild Tauhid and Izipho Zam LPs; what's more, Coltrane Quartet drummer Elvin Jones is on hand, as is young bassist Charnett Moffett. It's far and away the best, most adventurous, and most jazz-oriented backing group Sharrock recorded with during his comeback, and the results are breathtaking. The compositions are all Sharrock originals, and all six have utterly memorable themes that often recall the sweeping lyricism of Sanders' most spiritual '60s works. For his part, Sanders responds with some of his most ferocious playing in years, and Sharrock sounds vitally energized by the tenor's screeching passion. There isn't a wasted moment on the album, but particular highlights include the fiery, majestic opener, "Promises Kept," the searching ballad "Who Does She Hope to Be?," and the awe-inspiring blast-fest "Many Mansions," where Sharrock and Sanders both reach a blistering pinnacle. Listeners coming to Sharrock from rock & roll or his Space Ghost Coast to Coast soundtrack might find that Ask the Ages isn't the nonstop skronk-fest they expected; it's his overall musicality that's on display, but there's still plenty that will scare the bejeezus out of timid jazzbos. It's a tragedy that Sharrock didn't get much of a chance to expand on this achievement, but thankfully it exists in the first place.

Friday 17 April 2009

Jean-Luc Ponty - Upon The Wings Of Music (1975)


1.Upon The Wings Of Music (5:24)
2.Quesion With No Answer (3:25)
3.Now I Know (4:25)
4.Polyfolk Dance (5:10)
5.Waving Memories (5:40)
6.Echoes Of The Future (3:08)
7.Bowing - Bowing (4:52)
8.Fight For Life (3:34).

This 1975 Atlantic album is considered one of the very best in Jean-Luc Ponty's five-decade career. Fusion classics include 'Question With No Answer', 'Waving Memories' and 'Echoes Of The Future.' Collectables.
Recorded at Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, California in January 1975. Originally released on Atlantic (18138).

Jean-Luc Ponty (violin, electric violin, string synthesizer)
Patrice Rushen (piano, electric piano, Clavinet, organ, synthesizer)
Dan Sawyer, Ray Parker Jr. (electric guitar)
Ralphe Armstrong (acoustic & electric basses)
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler (drums, percussion).

Jean-Luc Ponty is the most commercially successful fusion violinist. On the face of it, that doesn't seem to be such a big deal because there were and are only a handful of them. But jazz-rock did allow a return to popularity of the jazz violin. Such legendary players as Stuff Smith, blueser Sugar Cane Harris, jazzer Joe Venuti and Stéphane Grappelli had made their marks. But the violin as an instrument for the young jazz or rock fan didn't seem to be in the cards. That was changed by fusion players Ponty, Jerry Goodman, Zbigniew Seifert, L. Shankar, Allen Sloan and a few others. Ponty in particular, having played with old-school Grappelli and Smith and new-school Frank Zappa and Mahavishnu, bridged the generations. He also popularized the instrument enough to front bands that sold records by the ton and brought droves of younger fans to large venues.
"Upon the Wings of Music" is a typical Ponty performance from that time. Its title suggests its vibe. As a general rule, Ponty's tunes would be introduced by a minute or two of soaring electric bowing. In fact, the word "soaring" in the dictionary should have Ponty's picture next to it. There's a little more room on this tune for some improvisational light funk and jazz noodling, which Rushen, Armstrong and Chandler do quite well. But the overall feel is dominated by Ponty's melodious strains that quite literally allow you to float away on a cloud.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

Bruce Forman Quartet - Pardon Me! (1988)

01.Count Down
03.Pardon Me
04.I Thought About You
05.Blues For Wes
06.Picture Window
07.Autumn Leaves
08.Once Again
09.I Hear A Rhapsody.

Bruce Forman - guitar
Billy Childs - piano
Jeff Carney - bass
Eddie Marshall – drums.

This is an excellent cd, a bit more modern than some of the other Forman recordings I've heard to date. Deeply rooted in the bebop idiom, Forman reveals other sides of his playing here, including a profound debt to Coltrane and an awareness of `outside' playing in his improvisation. Both the opener, Countdown (a Coltrane classic), and the title tune - a Forman original - exhibit the agility of the guitarist and testify to the close interplay between Forman and his drummer. At the other end of the range we find Forman's straightforward tribute to Wes Mongomery in Blues for Wes, and Skylight, a gospel-like jazz waltz where pianist Billy Childs' Bill Evans-influenced playing provides a nice counterpoint to Forman's statement. The standards Autumn Leaves and I Hear a Rhapsody are both first-takes, and receive a fresh and loose treatment by the group. Especially the latter is interesting, prefiguring the sort of bebop-with-an-edge explorations found on the younger guitar-wizard Kurt Rosenwinkel's later album, Intuit (CrissCross).

Archie Shepp - The Cry of My People (1972)

1.Rest Enough (Song to Mother)
2.Prayer, A
3.All God's Children Got a Home in the Universe
4.Lady, The
5.Cry of My People, The
6.African Drum Suite Part 1
7.African Drum Suite Part 1
8.Come Sunday.

Recorded at Allegro Sound Studios, New York, New York on September 25-27, 1972. Originally released on Impulse (9231).

Archie Shepp (tenor saxophone); Peggie Blue, Joe Lee Wilson, Andre Franklin (vocals); Charles McGhee (trumpet); ... Full DescriptionCharles Greenlee, Charles Stephens (trombone); Leroy Jenkins, Lois Siessinger, Gayle Dixon, John Blake (violin); Esther Mellon, Patrica Dixon (cello); Harold Mabern, Jr., Dave Burrell (piano); Cornell Dupree (guitar); Ron Carter, James Garrison (bass); Bernard Purdie, Beaver Harris (drums); Nene DeFense (tambourine, percussion); Judith White, Mary Stephens, Barbara White, Mildren Lane (background vocals).

Review by Thom Jurek
Recorded in 1972 with a core band of Leroy Jenkins, Cornell Dupree (!), Jimmy Garrison, and Charles McGhee, Shepp supplemented these proceedings in much the same way he did with the cast of Attica Blues, with gospel singers, big bands, quintets, sextets, and chamber orchestras, with guests that included Harold Mabern on piano, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie on drums, and Ron Carter on electric bass! Recorded during a period in which Shepp was reaching out of the jazz idiom to include all of what he perceived to be "trans-African" music at the time, there is gutbucket R&B here, as well as the sweetly soul gospel of "Rest Enough." The charts' arrangements are a combination of Ellington's more pastoral moods — usually expressed in his suites — and the more darkly complex modal stylings of George Russell. Unlike some of Shepp's dates from this period, the vocals do not detract from the mix employed here. This is an urban record that showcases Shepp's ability, at this time in his career, to literally take on any project, combine as many sources as he was permitted by his financial resources, and come up with something compelling, provocative, and soulful. All extremes are subsumed by the whole: The avant-garde free jazz of the period is covered in the large-ensemble playing, which is covered by the gospel and R&B stylings that are accented by the free jazz players. Shepp worked with many larger ensembles as a leader, but never did he achieve such a perfect balance as he did on The Cry of My People. Given that the remastered version — with excellent liner notes, superb sound, and a gorgeous package — is being issued during an election year in the United States, its poignancy and urgency couldn't be more timely.

Brute Force - Brute Force (1970)

1.Do It Right Now
2.Some Kind Of Approval
3.The Deacon
4.Right Direction


Bass - Russel I. Ingles , Thomas Lee Williams
Congas - Robert A. Jones
Drums - Sidney Smart
Guitar - Sonny Sharrock
Piano [Electric] - Richard Daniel
Producer - Herbie Mann
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute - Stanley Strickland
Trumpet - Arthur Ray Brooks , Teddy Daniels, Jr.

Review by Sean Westergaard
Brute Force was a soul-jazz band (slanted toward the soul end) that released a single self-titled album in 1970, produced by Herbie Mann. The band had a solid soul sound, which could head into slightly more out territory, as well. The band and Mann had a stroke of genius when they decided to recruit the band's childhood friend and Mann bandmate Sonny Sharrock (who had also played with Pharoah Sanders at that point) to add some extra spice to the sessions. The results are so righteous and groovy, you'll wonder where this album has been for the last 30 years. Imagine the Black Panthers recording Memphis Underground and you're somewhere in the ballpark. Strong vocals on about half the tunes, great horn playing, dirty electric piano, killer two-bass grooves, and Sharrock's ultra-aggressive soul playing make this album a solid winner. Sharrock fans will flip at this forgotten session, and DJs and crate-diggers everywhere would be well-served by picking this up. Right on, Brother!

Thursday 16 April 2009

Petite Blonde Live (1993)

1.Two Price Hit
2.Brancas' Hal
4.Oh So Hip
5.Daddy Long Legs
7.Captain Brutis.

Bill Evans (sax)
Mitch Forman (keyboards)
Chuck Loeb (guitar)
Victor Bailey (bass)
Dennis Chambers (drums).
Recorded: live in Hamburg, Germany, July 4, 1992.

Ostensibly, Bill Evans (sax) led the band for this live outing. The players have all been part of a revolving fusion ensemble that has recorded many albums since the mid-'80s. Keyboardist Gil Goldstein may replace Forman on one album while Jim Beard replaces Goldstein on another. Darryl Jones and Victor Bailey seem to trade off. There are two or three different drummers who play musical chairs. The bottom line is that these players have virtually created a troupe, allowing them to become intimately familiar with each other's musical styles. This makes for some really tight playing.
"Two Price Hit" hits the ground running. Chambers's in-the-pocket drumming provides the impetus for Forman's swathing keyboard chords and boisterous soloing by Evans, who can blow up a storm. Forman's synthesizer work is always creative and informative. His solo is furiously circular in nature. Loeb closes out the solo trips with some classic fusion guitar to help the tune lift the roof. Outrageously paced unison lines are played out en masse and abruptly discarded to end the piece. The unbridled energy let loose in this performance overrides the rather unmemorable composition.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky.

John Coltrane With Archie Shepp - New Thing at Newport (1965)

1.One Down, One Up
2.My Favorite Things
3.Rufus(Swung His Face At Last To The Wind, Then
His Neck Snapped)
4.Le Matin Des Noire
6.Call Me By My Rightful Name
7.Gingerbread,Gingerbread Boy.


Joe Chambers - Drums
John Coltrane - Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Jimmy Garrison - Bass
Bobby Hutcherson - Bass (Vocal), Vibraphone
Elvin Jones - Drums,
Barre Phillips - Bass,
Archie Shepp - Sax (Tenor),Recitation.

Review by Al Campbell
The classic John Coltrane Quartet made one of its final appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1965. The tension among band members is evident on the advanced versions of "One Down, One Up" and "My Favorite Things." Coltrane's performance is moving...yet weary. It's apparent the saxophonist wasn't getting the sound he wanted and by the end of the year he would take a different direction, hiring Pharoah Sanders and wife Alice Coltrane for the band. Tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp's earlier afternoon New Thing performance includes engaging versions of "Call Me By My Rightful Name" and "Gingerbread, Gingerbread Boy" (included as a bonus track on this package) with Bobby Hutcherson on vibes.

Friday 10 April 2009

Archie Shepp - Mama Too Tight (1966)

1.A Portrait Of Robert Thompson (As a Young Man):
Prelude To A Kiss
The Break Strain - King Cotton
Dem Basses
2.Mama Too Tigh
3.Theme For Ernie

Archie Shepp – tenor sax
Roswell Rudd – trombone
Grachan Moncur III – trombone
Tommy Turrentine – trumpet
Perry Robinson – clarinet
Howard Johnson – tuba
Charlie Haden – bass
Beaver Harris - drums.

The octet Archie Shepp surrounded himself with in 1966 was filled with new and old faces. The twin trombones of Roswell Rudd and Grachan Moncur III embodied this, but so did bassist Charlie Haden and trumpeter Tommy Turrentine, while familiar figures like drummer Beaver Harris and tubaist Howard Johnson had been part of Shepp's regular band. There are four tracks on Mama Too Tight, all of them in some way acting as extensions of the opening three-part suite, "A Portrait of Robert Thomson (As a Young Man)." Shepp had hit his stride here compositionally. The track is, at first, a seeming free jazz blowout, but then traces the history of jazz, gospel, and blues through its three sections. Certainly there is plenty of atonality, but there is plenty of harmonic and rhythmic invention too. The piece, almost 19 minutes in length, has an intricate architecture that uses foreshadowing techniques and complex resolution methods. The title track is a post-bop blues swinger with a killer front-line riff turning in and out as the trombones go head to head. And finally, "Basheer," with its Eastern modality that transposes itself toward blues and folk music, becomes a statement on the transitional ties the '60s were ushering in musically. Here again, lots of free blowing, angry bursts of energy, and shouts of pure revelry are balanced with Ellingtonian elegance and restraint that was considerable enough to let the lyric line float through and encourage more improvisation. This is Shepp at his level best.

Archie Shepp - Four For Trane (1964)

1.Syeeda's Song Flute
2.Mr. Syms
3.Cousin Mary
5.Rufus (Swung, His Face at Last to the Wind, Then His Neck Snapped).

Bass - Reggie Workman
Drums - Charles Moffett
Engineer [Recording] - Rudy Van Gelder
Saxophone [Alto] - John Tchicai
Saxophone [Tenor] - Archie Shepp
Trombone - Roswell Rudd
Trumpet - Alan Shorter.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on August 10, 1964.

By Robert Spencer
This is Archie Shepp’s first album for Impulse (1964); in a gesture of gratitude to the man who got him the gig, he records four Giant Steps -era Coltrane tunes plus one original in an unusual large-ensemble arrangement. It is newly available in a pristine 20-bit remastering.

One listen to this album reveals the debt Shepp owes not only to Coltrane but to Mingus. The group sound here, although Shepp’s ensemble is smaller, recalls nothing more than Mingus’ Impulse recordings The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus. Shepp does it with a sextet that achieves a fuller sound by containing four horns and no piano: Shepp’s tenor is combined with John Tchicai’s alto, plus the brass of Alan (The Other) Shorter on trumpet and the impeccable Roswell Rudd on trombone. Reggie Workman plays bass and the late, great, criminally underrated Charles Moffett mans the drums.

Shepp did the arranging. At the time his work received mixed reviews, for some of the propulsive dynamism of the original Coltrane quartet recordings of these songs ("Syeeda’s Song Flute," "Cousin Mary," and "Naima" from Giant Steps and "Mr. Syms" from Coltrane Plays the Blues ) is necessarily lost as Shepp transforms the heads that were originally performed by Coltrane’s sax alone into vehicles for four horns. Indeed, if one turns immediately from Giant Steps to Four for Trane, the effect can be jarring. Yet it is only a drop-off in quality if one expects simply to hear Archie Shepp playing Coltrane tunes (an experience that can be had on innumerable lesser Shepp records). Dropping expections and taking these arrangements on their own terms, they succeed beautifully, not in restating Coltrane’s work on these pieces, but making them something new. Check out especially the strikingly imaginative alternating-note head arrangement on "Naima." Four for Trane illustrates the ability of Coltrane as a composer. While Coltrane’s songs were widely thought of as empty platforms for blowing, Shepp shows here that they have the depth to stand a different treatment.

The playing is fine. Shepp’s soloing is typical for the period; whoever first called him a sheep in wolf’s clothing should get an award for precision of statement. His tone is tinged with the multiphonic "scream," but his choices always tend toward lyrical statements. When the tension between these two elements is balanced, as it is here, he is a delight to hear. Wayne’s brother, heard most extensively on "Mr. Syms" and "Cousin Mary," plays a trumpet of similar emotional intensity that to my ears recalls no one’s trumpet work more strongly than that of Mr. Ornette Coleman. Were it not that this album precedes by a year any recorded appearance of the Coleman trumpet, I’d go so far as to say that Shorter actually betrays Ornette’s influence. Perhaps it’s the other way around, or that both Shorter and Coleman take Don Cherry as their primary trumpet exemplar. Rudd, the trombonist, is astonishing. He is a good match for Shepp (as they both obviously knew; he appears on a good many more Shepp albums of the time) in that the playing of both betrays an awareness of the entire jazz tradition. Finally, Rudd is probably the world’s only Dixieland / swing / free jazz trombonist, and virtually any recording with him on it is worth hearing.

Ornette Coleman - Complete Science Fiction Sessions (1971)

01.What Reason Could I Give
02.Civilization Day
03.Street Woman
04.Science Fiction
05.Rock the Clock
06.All My Life
07.Law Years
08.Jungle Is a Skyscraper, The
09.School Work
10.Country Town Blues
11.Street Woman - (previously unreleased, alternate take, bonus track)
12.Civilization Day - (alternate mix, previously unreleased, bonus track)

1.Happy House
3.Written Word - (previously unreleased, bonus track)
4.Broken Shadows
5.Rubber Gloves
6.Good Girl Blues
7.Is It Forever
Ornette Coleman: alto sax, violin, trumpet
Dewey Redman: tenor saxophone, musette
Don Cherry: pocket trumpet
Bobby Bradford: trumpet
Charlie Haden, bass
Billy Higgins: drums and timpani
Ed Blackwell: drums
Carmine Fonarotto: trumpet (cd1/1, cd1/6)
Gerard Schwarz, trumpet (cd1/1, cd1/6)
Asha Puthli, vocals )cd1/1, cd1/6)
David Henderson: poet (cd1/4)
Jim Hall: guitar (cd2/6, cd2/7)
Cedar Walton: piano (cd2/6, cd2/7)
Webster Armstrong: vocals (cd2/6, cd2/7)
unidentified flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, French horn (cd2/6, cd2/7).

This two-CD set combines a pair of Ornette Coleman's Columbia LPs, Science Fiction and Broken Shadows, and adds three tracks--a new piece, an alternate take, and an alternate mix. Most of the material comes from sessions in September 1971, when Coleman surrounded himself with old associates--including the group with which he'd made his startling New York debut a dozen years earlier: trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Billy Higgins. Also along were tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, drummer Ed Blackwell, and trumpeter Bobby Bradford, another longtime associate. The seven musicians recorded as two distinct quartets, as a quintet with Bradford, and as a septet, while other guests contributed to still more permutations. All the musicians were deeply immersed in Coleman's musical language: the complex, sometimes jagged tunes; the emotional directness that drew on the wellspring of the blues; the sprung rhythms and melodic freedom that had first defined the free-jazz movement.

The set's first CD consists largely of quartet and quintet pieces. There are new groupings that take new directions, such as two evocative songs with the gifted Indian vocalist Asha Puthi, accompanied by a septet with two classical trumpeters and Higgins on tympani. And on "Science Fiction," the band breathes seething chaos around the poet David Henderson's voice. Much of the second CD concentrates on the septet, a group that inevitably invokes Coleman's most radical grouping, the "double quartet" that recorded Free Jazz in 1960, with five of the original members present. The pieces here are shorter, with more clearly defined compositional materials, but the collective improvisations are still bracing and the rhythmic dialogues often stunning. While Cherry and Coleman no longer worked together regularly, they shared a vision and empathy unique in jazz, and the shifting densities and internal meters of "Elizabeth" are something to behold. "Good Girl Blues" and "Is It Forever" catch Coleman layering and alternating different components--Kansas City blues, swing, bop, free, and classical--to create unique musical spaces. This is one of Coleman's strangest groupings, with his regular band joined by blues singer Webster Armstrong, guitarist Jim Hall, hard-bop pianist Cedar Walton, and a woodwind quintet. This is essential hearing, varied and intriguing music from one of the greatest architects, composers, and improvisers in the history of jazz. Stuart Broomer.

Cal Tjader - Soña Libre (1963)

01.Hip Walk
02.Sally's Tomato
03.O Barquinho (The Little Boat)
04.El Muchacho
06.My Reverie
07.Morning of the Carnival

Cal Tjader - Vibraphone
Johnny Rae - Drums
Clare Fischer - Organ, Piano
Bill Fitch - Conga
Fred Schneider - Bass.

Excellent Verve album that Cal recorded with the great Clare Fischer on organ and piano. Clare's organ work on here is stellar, and he's got this cool little spare sound that works very well with Cal's vibes. The set includes a great version of "Sally's Tomato", plus the cuts "Hip Walk", "O Barquinho", and "Insight".

Thursday 9 April 2009

Cal Tjader - Monterey Concerts (1959)

02.Afro Blue
04.Walkin' With Wally
05.We'll Be Together Again
06.Round Midnight
07.Love Me or Leave Me
08.Tu Crees Que
09.S. S. Groove
10.Night in Tunisia, A
11.Bess, You Is My Woman
12.Lover Come Back to Me

Cal Tjader (vibraphone); Paul Horn (flute); Lonnie Hewitt (piano); Al McKibbon (upright bass); Willie Bobo (drums, timbales); Mongo Santamaria (bongos, percussion).

Originally released on vinyl as the two-volume CAL TJADER'S CONCERT BY THE SEA in 1959, THE MONTEREY CONCERTS is the vibraphonist/percussionist's breakthrough recording under any name. The bass-less, percussion-heavy lineup--Tjader on vibes, ... Full DescriptionWillie Bobo on drums and timbales, Mongo Santamaria on bongos, Lonnie Hewitt on piano, and Paul Horn on flute--offers a curious mixture of Latin rhythms and the sort of West Coast cool pioneered by Tjader's former employer Dave Brubeck. Evenly balanced between standards given Tjader-style cool arrangements and band originals like Santamaria's classic "Afro Blue" (given a definitive reading here, with the exception of John Coltrane's 1963 take), THE MONTEREY CONCERTS captures Tjader's best band at their collective peak, and is essential listening for all fans of Tjader's unique brand of Latin jazz.
Recorded April 20, 1959. Includes original liner notes by Phillip Elwood.

Chuck Loeb with Andy LaVerne - Magic Fingers (1989)

01.Book & Beads
02.Circadian Rhythm
06.23rd & 15th
09.Magic Fingers
Lygya Barreto - Percussion
Cliff Carter - Synthesizer
Carmen Cuesta - Vocals
Andy LaVerne - Piano, Piano (Electric), Performer, Associate Producer
Will Lee - Bass
Chuck Loeb - Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Programming, Producer, Guitar (Classical), Performer
Steve Thornton - Percussion
Dave Weckl - Drums.

Review by Scott Yanow
This is a feel-good "happy jazz" set, about as deep as a TV theme song. Guitarist Chuck Loeb and his sextet (which also includes pianist Andy Laverne, bassist Will Lee and drummer Dave Weckl) create pleasant sounds, but the lightweight performances never rise above the level of background music, except on the heated "Maybe." All of the talented musicians are capable of producing a much more substantial recording.

Sticks & Strings - Jam Fever (1998)

2.Cool City
4.Spring Thing
7.Red Magic

Leonardo Amuedo - Guitars
Lucas van Merwijk - Drums, Percussion
Reno Steba - Bass, Bells.

Take three musicians from the world. One from Uruguay, another from the Netherlands and one from Aruba. These guys make music with the power to create the synergy between their cultures and backgrounds. This means Fever! Jam Fever at work on this album. Up-tempo tracks with some real cool compositions. The cool tranquility has another meaning in this trio-setting. It's calm but with an undertone, for the good listeners, where you can expect an eruption. This jazz from three different parts of the world is the strength of this album. There's Fever!

Steve Bailey And The Blue Flames - Hop on Board (1999)

01.Steve's Harmonica Boogie
02.Eyesight to the Blind
03.Ain't Gonna Cry
05.I Started Drinkin'
06.Playin' the Greats
07.Pocket Full of Money
08.She Is Real
09.Bon Ton Roulet
10.Dear Dad
12.Hop on Board
14.Every Night.
Steve Bailey - Guitar, Harp, Vocals, Liner Notes, Group Member
Duffy Bishop - Vocals
Doug Bright - Piano
Nancy K. Dillon - Vocals
Joe Guzman - Drums
Doug Kearney - Guitar, Group Member
John "Babbacombe" Lee - Bass
John Lee - Bass
Marty Lockwood - Drums, Group Member
Dan Newton - Guitar, Group Member
Dick Powell - Organ
Guy Quintino - Bass, Bas Dessus, Group Member
Tim Sherman - Guitar.

Steve Bailey and the Blue Flames have been a solid Seattle blues band since the early 1970's. The band's trademark is its intensity. If you've only heard Robert Cray, Curtis Salgado, or some of the bigger names to come from the area, check out the down home sounds of Steve Bailey and the Blue Flames.

Friday 3 April 2009

Nana Vasconcelos - Minha Loa (2002)

02.Afoxe Do Nego Veio
03.Estrela Negra
05.Voz Nago
07.Don's Rollerskates
09.Caboclo de Lanca
10.Forro das Meninas
12.Don's Rollerskates Remix.

Extremely creative and now world famous Brazilian artist Nana Vasconcelos celebrates his native city, Recife, on these 12 mesmerizing tracks.
When Nana left the state of Pernambuco, his teary-eyed mother said: "You won’t come back".
He did Twenty-six years later. After recording around the world, Nana, a legendary percussionist, has decided to put on record his beloved city of Recife.

Paul Motian - Misterioso - (1983)

3.Once Around the Park
4.Gang of Five
6.Folk Song for Rosie
9.Johnny Broken Wing.

Bill Frisell - electric guitar
Joe Lovano - tenor saxophone
Paul Motian - drums
Jim Pepper - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Ed Schuller - bass.

Although often overlooked, drummer Paul Motian led one of the most inventive jazz bands of the mid-1980s. His quintet, which featured the tenors of Joe Lovano and Jim Pepper, guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Ed Schuller, could play anything from swinging advanced hard bop and Ornette Coleman-type free bop to spacier improvising. An underrated composer, Motian contributed seven of the nine numbers for this date; the quintet also performs Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso" and "Pannonica." Frisell is featured on "Byablue" (which had earlier been recorded by Keith Jarrett); the two tenors (Pepper doubled on soprano) work together quite well, and the band definitely had its own sound. Of its three recordings, this is a strong one to start with. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.

Ron Carter - Plays Bach (1985)

01 - Suite I- Courante
02 - Suite I- Menuetto I
03 - Suite I- Menuetto II
04 - Suite I- Gigue
05 - Suite II- Menuetto I
06 - Suite II- Menuetto II
07 - Suite II- Gigue
08 - Suite III- Courante
09 - Suite III- Bourree I
10 - Suite III- Bourree II
11 - Suite IV- Bourree I
12 - Suite IV- Bourree II
13 - Suite IV- Gigue
14 - Suite V- Gigue
15 - Suite VI- Gavotte I
16 - Suite VI- Gavotte II
17 - Lute Suite- Praeludium
18 - Suite II- Sarabande
19 - Suite II- Gavotte II
All music written by J.S. Bach. All arrangements by Ron Carter.
Recorded at Clinton Studio, New York on December 15, 16, & 17, 1991. Includes track annotations and liner notes by Kermit Moore.

Solo performer: Ron Carter (double bass,piccolo bass).Down Beat (6/93, p.42) - 3.5 Stars - Good Plus - "Aided only by multi-tracking, Carter confronts the old master directly with transcriptions for bass and piccolo bass...worth hearing for Carter's display of virtuosity and interpretive skills..."

Renaud Garcia-Fons & Jean-Louis Matinier - Fuera (1999)

01.Derniere Route
04.Le Byzantin
06.Mer Blanche
07.Born To Play
08.Lueurs Perdues
10.Munecas Animadas

Recorded between December 1998 and March 1999. Includes liner notes by Renaud Garcia-Fons and Jean-Louis Matinier.
Renaud Garcia-Fons (5-string acoustic bass)
Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion, accordina).

"The duo Garcia-Fons & Matinier emerged from an informal improvisation session ten years ago, and it has conquered a wide range of musical styles and expression since. Says Renaud: "For us the duo is a symphonic orchestra - with thousands of instruments hidden in the heart of the bow and the bellows. Each composition is particularly orchestrated so that it evokes certain emotions and moods." With some help from master engineer Walter Quintus, Renaud's singing bass and Jean-Louis' many-sided accordion make up for a virtuoso tour de force through Mediterranean moods, Oriental scales, advanced composing, rocking grooves, and fascinating sound scapes. Melodically rich and rhythmically adventurous, this music is full of surprise and challenge and will appeal to jazz fans, world music lovers and classical listeners alike."

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Chucho Valdes - Canciones Ineditas (2002)

01.Balada a Caridad y Emilio
03.Calle 7ma.
04.Que Puedo Hacer
09.El Bolero
11.Jessie y Leyanis
14.Para Pilar
15.Mambo en Re Menor

Chucho Valdes (born October 9, 1941), born Jesus Dionisio Valdes, is a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. He was born in Quivican, Cuba. In 1972 he founded the group Irakere, one of Cuba's best-known Latin jazz bands. Together with pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Valdes is revered as one of Cuba's greatest jazz pianists.
His father Bebo Valdes, also a pianist, is the former director of Havana's famous "Tropicana" night club. Bebo Valdes, who will turn 90 in 2008, is still actively performing, and won a Latin Grammy award in 2003 together with Israel "Cachao" Lopez and Patato Valdes, and in 2005 together with flamenco singer Diego El Cigala for the CD 'Lagrimas Negras'.
Chucho has won five Grammy awards - one in 1978 for the album Live at Newport by Irakere, a second in 1998 for his contribution to the CD Havana by his band Crisol (formed in 1997), with two songs Mr. Bruce and Mambo para Roy written by Chucho, and the third in 2003 for his album Live at the Village Vanguard.

Pat Martino - Live! (1972)

1.Special Door
2.The Great Stream

Pat Martino - guitar
Ron Thomas - electric piano
Tyrone Brown - electric bass
Sherman Ferguson - drums.

Recorded September 1972.

For this intriguing club date, guitarist Pat Martino (who by the early 1970s had his own distinctive sound) really stretches out on two of his originals (including "Special Door," which clocks in at 17:43) and the pop song "Sunny." With keyboardist Ron Thomas, electric bassist Tyrone Brown and drummer Sherman Ferguson offering alert and forceful support, Martino performs music that falls between advanced hard bop, fusion and the avant-garde without really fitting into any of the genres. Well worth several listens, but this LP is long out of print. -- Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.

Larry Coryell - Fairyland (1971)

1.Souls Dirge
4.Further Explorations For Albert Stinson.

Larry Coryell; Chuck Rainey, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie.

Earth and Fire were one of the leading Dutch progressive rock groups with female singers as can be heard on this, their debut album recorded in 1969. They had a powerful sound and their strong compositions were always based on inspired and highly memorab.

This LP was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1971 as part of the "Flying Dutchman Night" and released in 1974 on Mega Records, guitarist Larry Coryell teams up with Chuck Rainey on bass and Pretty Purdie on drums for some smoking live jazz.

Pharoah Sanders - Karma (1969)

1.Creator Has A Master Plan

Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone)
Leon Thomas (vocals, percussion)
Julius Watkins (French horn)
James Spaulding (flute)
Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. (piano)
Reggie Workman, Richard Davis, Ron Carter (bass)
Freddie Waits, William Hart (drums); Nathaniel Bettis (percussion).
Recorded at RCA Studios, New York on February 14 & 19, 1969.

Pharoah Sanders' third album as a leader is the one that defines him as a musician to the present day. After the death of Coltrane, while there were many seeking to make a spiritual music that encompassed his ideas and yearnings while moving forward, no one came up with the goods until Sanders on this 1969 date. There are only two tracks on Karma, the 32-plus minute "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and the five-and-a-half-minute "Colours." The band is one of Sanders' finest, and features vocalist Leon Thomas, drummer Billy Hart, Julius Watkins, James Spaulding, a pre-funk Lonnie Liston Smith, Richard Davis, Reggie Workman on bass, and Nathaniel Bettis on percussion. "Creator" begins with a quote from "A Love Supreme," with a nod to Coltrane's continuing influence on Sanders. But something else emerges here as well: Sanders' own deep commitment to lyricism and his now inherent knowledge of Eastern breathing and modal techniques. His ability to use the ostinato became not a way of holding a tune in place while people soloed, but a manner of pushing it irrepressibly forward. Keeping his range limited (for the first eight minutes anyway), Sanders explores all the colors around the key figures, gradually building the dynamics as the band comps the two-chord theme behind with varying degrees of timbral invention. When Thomas enters at nine minutes, the track begins to open. His yodel frees up the theme and the rhythm section to invent around him. At 18 minutes it explodes, rushing into a silence that is profound as it is noisy in its approach. Sanders is playing microphonics and blowing to the heavens and Thomas is screaming. They are leaving the material world entirely. When they arrive at the next plane, free of modal and interval constraints, a new kind of lyricism emerges, one not dependent on time but rhythm, and Thomas and Sanders are but two improvisers in a sound universe of world rhythm and dimension. There is nothing to describe the exhilaration that is felt when this tune ends, except that "Colours," with Ron Carter joining Workman on the bass, was the only track that could follow it. You cannot believe it until you hear it. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide