Thursday 30 December 2010

Jack DeJohnette's Directions - Cosmic Chicken (1975)

1.Cosmic Chicken 4:53
2.One For Devadip And The Professor 3:35
3.Memories 5:58
4.Stratocruiser 7:28
5.Shades Of The Phantom 6:13
6.Eiderdown 5:35
7.Sweet And Pungent 3:32
8.Last Chance Stomp 7:07.

Alto and Soprano Saxophone - Alex Foster
Bass - Peter Warren
Drums, Keyboards - Jack DeJohnette
Electric Guitar - John Abercrombie.
Recorded April 24-26, 1975 at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, Ca.

Crossfire - Hystorical Records (2007)

02.Ear Wig O Again
03.Away in D Major
04.Malice in Wonderland
05.Youth in Asia, A
06.Hysterical Records
07.No Hands Jive
09.Bob's Ya Uncle
10.It Coitainly Was
11.Let It Slide Down Easy.

James Kelly (guitar)
Tony Buchanan (flute, saxophone)
Michael Kenny (keyboards)
Steve Hopes (drums, percussion)
Ian Bloxsom (percussion).

During the 70's and 80's crossfire were the pre eminent Australian jazz rock fusion band. They toured australia, they toured the world. They released seven fine original albums and now origin releases a collection of their best instrumental pieces on this 'hystorical records' collection.

Elvin Jones - Very Rare (1979)

1.Sweet Mama
2.Passion Flower
4.Tin Tin Deo
5.Pitter Pat
6.The Witching Hour
7.E. J. Blues
8.A Love Supreme.

Elvin Jones (drums)
Art Pepper (alto saxophone)
Frank Foster (soprano & tenor saxophones)
Pat LaBarbera (tenor saxophone)
Roland Hanna (piano)
Roland Prince (guitar)
Richard Davis, Andy McCloud (acoustic bass).

Recorded at Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on June 13-20, 1979 and live at Yomiuri Hall, Tokyo, Japan on April 8-9, 1978. Includes liner notes by Chip Stern.
VERY RARE documents two superb sessions lead by the legendary drummer. Elvin Jones is in fine form on both 1978 studio session and 1979 live concert.
Jones' ability to play with great power, yet accompany soloists with a nimble sensitivity, is a sign of his drumming genius. He knows when to spur his bandmates on to reach higher musical vistas, and when to lay back and give them space, an acute and rare musical intuition. Highlights include the album's opener, "Sweet Mama," which finds Jones unleashing a barrage of dexterous counterpoint on drums and cymbals, and the 26-minute live version of John Coltrane's famous opus, "A Love Supreme," which serves as a kind of homage to the great musician.JazzTimes (12/93, p.67) - "..[VERY RARE] is a wonderful example of [Elvin] Jones' strengths as bandleader, as drummer, and as musical collaborator ..Suffice it to say that the concentration of the studio dates stands in majestic contrast to the athletic stretches of the concert hall--and that both repay repeated listenings..".

George Cables - Dark Side, Light Side (1996)

1.Dolphin Dance
2.Dark Side, Light Side
3.Ruby, My Dear
4.Alone Together
5.In a Sentimental Mood
6.One Finger Snap
7.Sweet Rita Suite, Pt. 1
8.Ah, George, We Hardly Knew Ya.

George Cables (piano)
Jay Anderson (bass)
Billy Hart (drums).

George Cables focuses primarily on works by other jazz pianists on this trio date with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Billy Hart. Thoughtful treatments of Thelonious Monk's "Ruby, My Dear" and Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" contrast with the elaborate workouts of two Herbie Hancock tunes, the easygoing "Dolphin Dance" and the rapid-fire "One Finger Snap." The sole standard is a brisk rendition of "Alone Together." Don Pullen's quirky "Ah George, We Hardly Knew You" adds an exotic air. Cables' two originals especially stand out. "Dark Side, Light Side" is an intricate post-bop vehicle with an infectious tension-and-release highlighted by Cables' breezy improvising in a swinging setting, while "Sweet Rita Suite" is actually a Spanish-flavored waltz in disguise. This is another fine recording from George Cables' productive association with Steeplechase. ~ Ken Dryden.

Dave Weckl Band - Multiplicity (2005)

1.Watch Your Step 5:29
2.Elements of Surprise 5:41
3.Vuelo 5:56
4.Inner Vision 6:03
5.What It Is 6:27
6.Chain Reaction 5:36
7.Cascade 5:34
8.Mixed Bag 6:37
9.Down on the Corner 6:54.

Dave Weckl - Percussion, Drums, Programming, Timbales
Gary Meek - Clarinet (Bass), Flute (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Paul Pesco - Guitar
Ric Fierabracci - Bass
Richie Gajate Garcia - Percussion, Conga, Cajon, Shakere
Steve Weingart - Keyboards
Tom Kennedy - Bass.
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Chris Washburne and The Syotos Band - Paradise in Trouble (2003)

01.Money Is the Future Tense
02.She's Dirty as a Boy
03.Anodyne of Muddledom
04.Nuyorican Son
05.Whatever You Want from Me
06.Paradise in Trouble
07.Your Inside Out
08.On Whatever Day of the Week Saturday Happens to Fall
10.Dr. Syo
11.Money Is the Future Tense - (Remix, remix).

Chris Washburne - trombone and percussion
John Walsh - trumpet and flügelhorn
Ole Mathisen - tenor and soprano saxophone
Barry Olsen piano, electric keyboards, trombone
Leo Traversa - bass
Vince Cherico - drums and percussion
Wilson "Chembo" Corniel - congas and hand percussion
Bobby Sanabria percussion on all tracks, drums on tracks 8 and 10
Renato Thoms - bongos on tracks 3 and 6

Special Guests:
Valerie Dee Naranjo - gyil, djembe, and kpanlogo drums on tracks 1, 7, 10, 11
Bernard Woma - Gyil on tracks 7 and 10
Ruth Sergel - bells and hand claps on tracks 1 and 11
Roberto Jose Sanabria hand claps on tracks 1 and 11
Gary Dallaire hand claps on tracks 1 and 11.
Recording information: Bennett Studios, Englewood, NJ (08/20/2002-08/22/2002).

Chris Washburne and his Syotos Band are very special. This would be just an opinion — however accurate — if it weren't for the fact that they've maintained long-term weekly gigs at a top jazz club (Smoke) and a top Latin club (Nuyorican Poets Cafe), the latter for eight years. Recently, they added Tuesdays at a top blues club (B.B. King's). These gigs are notable for two reasons: one, in the current dismal climate of New York's clubs, getting one weekly date is a major accomplishment, even for the very talented. And two, the breadth of the venues — jazz, Latin, and blues — reflects this band's appeal across conventional musical borders.
Paradise in Trouble is an exciting, crackling, danceable mix of Latin rhythms and percussion with jazz, funk, R&B, hiphop, gospel, Caribbean, and Afro-Cuban, with occasional Slavic and Middle Eastern moments. Ten tracks are catchy, varied Washburne originals; one, the powerhouse "Jazzy," is by legendary Willie Colon. All of them are expertly arranged and delivered, swinging and gleeful. The stage is set by the infectious opener, "Money is the Future Tense," which returns in a driving house-music remix as the closer. The combinations are intriguing: "Dirty as a Boy" (Cuban son and hip-hop), "Your Inside Out" (with its nine-beat rhythm from Zimbabwe), "Dr. Syo," (jazz and the African gyil, a mallet instrument made from gourds and wood), "Paradise in Trouble" (funk meets mambo). With its blazing horns, great percussion, joyful energy, and memorable melodies, this is a great party disc.
Note: SYOTOS stands for "see you on the other side," a wry and triumphant reference to Washburne's recovery from cancer.
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Wednesday 29 December 2010

Daly-Wilson Big Band - On Tour (1973)

1.Theme From Shaft 4:20
2.Fire & Rain 4:55
3.Ode To Billy Joe 4:50
4.Superstar Medley (Medley From "Jesus Christ Superstar")8:10
5.My Goodness 6:15
6.He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother)4:20
7.Space Odyssey "2001" 6:30
8.Hey Jude 5:45.

Bass - John Helman
Drums - Warren Daly
Guitar - Dave Donovan,Hugh Williams
Keyboards - Ray Alldridge
Saxophone - Bob Pritchard,Doug Foskett,Geoff Naughton,John Mitchell,Paul Long
Trombone - Bob McIvor,Ed Wilson,Herb Cannon,Merv Knott,Steve Powell
Trumpet - Don Raverty,Larry Elam,Mick Kenny,Norm Harris,Warren Clark.

Its Big Band, Eazy Jazz-Funk Time all the way from Australia,includes the cut "Space Odyssey - 2001"shadow used and featured in my DJ Shadow Breaks Set....also many other good covers & original tracks on this lp to enjoylike "shaft" & fire & rain" plus a couple of shite ones like "He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother)"and "hey jude" which was shite first time round anyway.
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Chucho Valdes - Jazz Cuba Vol 1 (1964)

02.Descarga Pa' Gozar
04.Mambo Influenciado
07.Guasabenado voy
08.Varadeo Cha
11.Descarga de Kike
12.Pilín Pilón
13.Por la libre
14.Descarga de Monte Adentro
15.Rabo de Nube.

Son of the pianist and bandleader Bebo Valdes, Chucho Valdes' mid 1960s band included three of the musicians who would go on to form Irakere some ten years later—Valdes himself on piano, Paquito D'Rivera on saxophones and clarinets, and Carlos Emilio Morales on electric guitar.
This 1964 album is number-one-with-a-mango, Latin jazz heaven from start to finish—sunny, dancefloor friendly, improvisation centred music featuring a breathtakingly virtuosic frontline. Valdes' inventive arrangements draw from bop and hard bop, chachacha and other Cuban dance styles, European classical music and African-American gospel. There's less santeria-derived roots percussion work than was to come with Irakere, but supple congas and timbales rhythms, rather than kit drums, are used to drive most of the tunes forward.
Valdes and D'Rivera are already fully on song, and the biggest revelation is guitarist Morales, captured playing a fluent, pure jazz style which he returned to all too infrequently with Irakere. His abandoned, rapid-fire, single note runs are amongst the most magical passages on the disc. When he plays the themes in agile, exhilarating unison with D'Rivera, you're reminded of saxophonist Stan Getz's live recordings with guitarist Jimmy Raney in the early 1950s.
The final track, "Rabo De Nube," was recorded in 1981, and is a little masterpiece: a mid tempo, expansive and declamatory, five minute solo piano showcase with flute and guitar (both uncredited) introduced towards the end.
After this album, you might reasonably imagine you'd heard the best Jazz Cuba could offer.
Personnel: Chucho Valdes & Combo (tracks 1-14): Chucho Valdes: piano; Paquito D'Rivera: saxophone and clarinet; Julio A. Vente: flute; Alberto "El Man" Giral: trombone; Carlos Emilio Morales: electric guitar; Enrique Kike Hernandez: bass; Emilio Del Monte: drums. Chucho Valdes Quintet (track 15): Chucho Valdes: piano; other personnel not credited.
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Tuesday 28 December 2010

David Becker Tribuna - Leaving Argentina (2007)

01.El Sueño de la Araña Roja
02.Café con Leche
03.It Takes Two
05.Mientras Duermes
07.Racin' Through The Andes
08.Hard To Say Goodbye
09.Memories Of Tomorrow
10.Rio de la Plata
11.Waltz For Lavignia
12.Leaving Argentina.

A major if somewhat underrated guitarist since the 1980s, David Becker and his Tribune (featuring his brother Bruce Becker on drums along with a variety of different bassists) were originally associated with fusion. Over the years, Becker has opened up his style, matured, and today can play post-bop jazz with lyricism, sensitivity, and constant creativity without any loss of the fire of his youth.
A world traveler, Becker has performed in at least 17 countries and Leaving Argentina is his tenth recording with his Tribune. Several of the selections on Leaving Argentina refer to other countries and the constant traveling that is a part of his lifestyle.
All but one of the songs are Becker originals; they vary tempos, grooves, and moods, ranging from some straight-ahead swinging, the tango "It Takes Two," an unaccompanied acoustic guitar feature ("Mentras Duermes"), and quiet ballads. David Becker's older brother Ed makes his recording debut on bass during the title cut while Dario Polonara's bandoneon is a nice touch on "It Takes Two." Recommended.”
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
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David Becker - Guitar
Bruce Becker - Drums
Bolle Diekmann - Bass
Live at Chris' Jazz Cafe Nov 2007

Johnny “Hammond” Smith - Here It ‘Tis (1970)

2.You Made Me So Very Happy
3.Here It ‘Tis
4.Gina D
5.Danny Boy

Houston Person – Tenor Sax
Jimmy Lewis – Electric Bass
James Clark – Guitar
Bernard “Pretty” Purdie – Drums (Tracks 3-6)
Johnny “Hammond” Smith – Organ
Eddie Gee – Drums (Tracks 1-2).
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 21, 1970

Michael Landau - Tales From The Bulge (1996)

01.I'm Buzzed (05:50)
02.Judy (06:17)
03.Chynna (02:11)
04.Johnny Swing (06:60)
05.Big Bulge (06:10)
06.Roodis Tones (06:17)
07.Eater (04:32)
08.I Don't Care (06:15)
09.My Bulbous Meathead (05:02)
10.I'm Hating (01:24)
11.Americana Boy (05:16).

Lenny Castro - Percussion
Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums
Luis Conte - Percussion
David Garfield - Composer, Keyboards, Mixing, Producer
Jimmy Johnson - Bass, Fretless Bass
John Keane - Drums
Larry Klimas - Sax (Tenor)
Michael Landau - Composer, Drum Programming, Guitar, Guitar (Baritone), Guitar (Electric)
Ted Landau - Bass, Composer, Voices
Steve Lukather - Composer, Guitar, Keyboard Bass, Voices
John Pierce - Bass
Wayne Shorter - Sax (Soprano)
Steve Tavaglione - Composer, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Carlos Vega - Drums.

Monday 27 December 2010

Cornell Dupree - Bop 'n' Blues (1994)

1.Freedom Jazz Dance 4:33
2.Bags' Groove 6:22
3.Manteca 5:52
4.'Round Midnight 6:52
5.The Hucklebuck/Now's the Time 5:42
6.Love Letter 4:09
7.My Little Suede Shoes 5:38
8.Walkin' 5:28
9.Bop 'N' Blues 4:45.

Ronnie Cuber - Sax (Baritone)
Cornell Dupree - Guitar, Rhythm Arrangements
Sammy Figueroa - Percussion
Herbie Mann - Liner Notes, Producer, Rhythm Arrangements
Leon Pendarvis - Horn Arrangements, Organ, Piano
Chuck Rainey - Bass
Ricky Sebastian - Drums, Rhythm Arrangements
Terell Stafford - Trumpet
Bobby Watson - Saxophone.

Guitarist Cornell Dupree has long been famous for his blues and R&B solos, so even he was surprised (and a bit apprehensive) when label head Herbie Mann suggested he record a variety of bop-oriented standards. As it turned out, several of the tunes were blues anyway (such as "Bags' Groove," "Now's the Time," and "Walkin'") and Dupree was free to adapt the other songs to his own style. "Freedom Jazz Dance" became a funky vamp, while "My Little Suede Shoes" was drastically slowed down and stretched out. With backing from a versatile rhythm section and occasional contributions from altoist Bobby Watson, trumpeter Terell Stafford, and baritonist Ronnie Cuber, Dupree sounds perfectly at home throughout this fine CD, even on "Manteca" and "'Round Midnight."by Scott Yanow.
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Johnny Hammond Smith - Talk That Talk (1960)

1.Minors Allowed – (Smith)
2.Bennie’s Diggin’ – (Smith)
3.Rip Tide – (Smith)
4.Talk That Talk – (Smith)
5.A Portrait Of Jennie – (Burdge/Robinson)
6.An Affair To Remember – (Adamson/McCarey)
7.The End Of A Love Affair – (Redding)
8.Misty – (Burke/Garner).

Art Taylor – Drums
Bill Erskine – Drums
Eddie McFadden – Guitar
George Tucker – Bass
Lem Winchester – Vibraphone
Oliver Nelson – Tenor Sax
Ray Barretto – Conga
Ricky Van Gelder – Engineer
Wendell Marshall – Bass.
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 22, 1960
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Legends of Acid Jazz - The Best of Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers (1967-1970)

01.Got Myself a Good Man 5:45
02.Ain't Nothin' Can't Happen 5:23
03.Listen to Louie 3:32
04.Tell Me 4:06
05.Return to Me Creque 5:48
06.Swing Thing 2:14
07.Dearly Beloved 3:43
08.Maiden Voyage 5:49
09.Yambo 6:16
10.Psychedelic Pucho 6:53
11.Swamp People 2:28
12.Here's That Rainy Day 4:02
13.Heat! 4:39
14.The Presence of Your Heart 4:01
15.Wanderin' Rose 7:48
16.Candied Yam 3:26.

Sanford Allen - Violin
William Allen - Guitar (Bass)
Noberto Apellaniz - Bongos
Joseph Armstrong - Conga
Claude Bartee, Jr. - Sax (Tenor)
William Bivens - Bells, Clavinet, Percussion, Piano, Tambourine, Trap Kit, Vibraphone
Alfred Brown - Violin
Billy Butler - Guitar
Selwart Clarke - Violin
Neal Creque - Arranger, Clavinet, Organ, Piano
William S. Fischer - Arranger
Cecil Jackson - Conga
Richard Landrum - Percussion, Shaker, Tambourine
Vincent McEwan - Trumpet
Eddie Pasant - Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Al Pazant - Trumpet
Jimmy Phillips - Bass
Seldon Powell - Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Pucho - Compilation Producer, Conga, Drums, Producer, Timbales
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie - Drums
Matthew Raimondi - Violin
Barry Rodgers - Trombone
Jackie Soul - Vocals
Seaborn Westbrook - Guitar (Bass).

This is an entirely different set than the British import compilation on Ace called The Best of Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers; only six tracks are found on both CDs. Which one you prefer totally depends upon your individual taste. Soul and rock fans will be far better off with the Ace collection, which concentrates far more heavily on his soul-jazz, R&B, and psychedelic-influenced numbers. The Prestige set focuses on his more sedate, straight jazz side, with tracks taken from his 1967-1970 albums (there's nothing from his first two Prestige records, which have been combined onto one CD on the Tough! reissue). This is nicely atmospheric stuff with a Latin lilt, but not Pucho at his funkiest and most adventurous. It's also wholly instrumental, with none of the un-honed but energetic vocals that occasionally adorned his material on cuts like "Shuckin' and Jivin'."by Richie Unterberger.
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Legends of Acid Jazz - Pat Martino & Trudy Pitts (1967)

01.Steppin' in Minor
02.Spanish Flea, The
03.Something Wonderful
04.Take Five
05.It Was a Very Good Year
07.Night Song
09.Matchmaker, Matchmaker
11.House of the Rising Sun, The
12.Just Us Two
13.Eleanor Rigby
14.Count Nine
15.Man and Woman
16.Whiter Shade of Pale, A
17.Teddy Makes Three
18.These Blues of Mine
19.What the World Needs Now.

Trudy Pitts (vocals, organ)
Pat Martino (guitar)
Bill Carney (drums)
Abdu Johnson (congas).

Anyone who likes the B-3 Hammond organ soul-jazz style and doesn't mind a bit of pop-lounge spice occasionally stirred into the sauce should check out this compilation. It combines Pitts' first two LPs, Introducing the Fabulous Trudy Pitts and These Blues of Mine (both from 1967) on one CD. Introducing is a strong debut, divided between covers of pretty mainstream standards ("The Spanish Flea," "It Was a Very Good Year," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker") and gutsier straight soul-jazz, including four originals by Bill Carney, whose "Organology" is a highlight for its nervous, bopping edge. The languorous swells of the opening number "Steppin' in Minor" make you think you're in for a set of swank lounge-jazz, but the pace quickly picks up, and Pitts really catches fire on "Take Five," jamming a lot of notes into her improvisation without sounding self-indulgent. Pat Martino's guitar is graceful and sensitive throughout, and the trio of Pitts, Martino, and Carney is embellished by Abdu Johnson on conga. These Blues of Mine employed the same kind of approach as her debut. Better than expected soul-jazz interpretations of contemporary rock and pop songs ("House of the Rising Sun," "Eleanor Rigby," "A Whiter Shade of Pale," the theme from Man and a Woman) stand alongside jazz originals from drummer Bill Carney, with Pitts herself contributing "Count Nine." Pat Martino is again along to provide fine guitar accompaniment, with Pitts occasionally adding soul-pop vocals (as on "Eleanor Rigby"). It works best when they cut to straight, burning soul-jazz groovers, though, as on Pitts' moody "Count Nine," executed in a challenging 9/12 rhythm. This CD is billed to " Trudy Pitts with Pat Martino," although Pitts had sole billing on the original LPs. ~ Richie Unterberger.
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Friday 24 December 2010

George Adams - Don Pullen Quartet - Earth Beams (1980)

1.Earth Beams 7:54
2.Magnetic Love Field 4:33
3.Dionysus 7:35
4.Saturday Nite In The Cosmos 6:35
5.More Flowers 5:34
6.Sophisticated Alice 7:22.

Don Pullen (piano)
George Adams (tenor sax)
Dannie Richmond (drums)
Cameron Brown (bass).
Rec.3.-5.8.1980 in Loenen, Holland.

Adams, Pullen and Richmond comprise one of the music's most potent partnerships and this — their fourth quartet LP — is perhaps their most compelling yet. Its honourable tradition began with a pair of albums for Horo, taped during a Mingus tour of Italy in 1975, and, in More Flowers, shows a direct link with the late bassist's then Jazz Workshop, this title being a passionate reshaping of Flowers For A Lady.
But it celebrates the bassist's ideals in less obvious ways, too — through its championship of individual creativity and its inspired, but disciplined abandon. To this extent, Adams, Pullen and Richmond represent a more rewarding development of some aspects of Mingus's work than the comparatively pale 'Mingus Dynasty'. They produce music of sharp, often violent contrasts in texture, tempo, mood and attack. Seething figures melt into plumply lyrical interludes, only to snap into lines that swerve and dart among the strong rhythms set up by Brown and Richmond.
Some of the richest moments occur during Adams' duets — with Pullen on the pulsating Magnetic Love Field, and with Richmond in some percussive polyphony at the end of Earth Beams itself. These are powerful and vivid meshings of rhythm and melody. In contrast, there is the good-humoured soul of Sophisticated Alice — another lady who's changed with the times having initially appeared in more commercial guise as Pullen's Big Alice on the pianist's 'Tomorrow's Promises', again with Adams. Dionysus is an appropriately Bacchanalian romp, opening deceptively as an elongated waltz before developing a complex rhythmic undertow.
However hectic the atmosphere or fervent the emotions, the sense of abandon is skilfully channelled, forging music of lasting value. This is strongly recommended, along with a second LP from these sessions, 'Life Line'. Those with finely-balanced budgets should aim for 'Earth Beams' first.
(Chris Sheridan, JJ 5/82).
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Johnny "Hammond" Smith - All Soul (1959)

1.Going Places
2.Sweet Cookies
3.The Masquerade is Over
4.Pennies From Heaven
5.Easy Like
6.Secret Love
7.All Soul.

Johnny “Hammond” Smith – Organ
George Tucker – Bass
Leo Stevens – Drums
Thornel Schwartz – Guitar.

On Johnny "Hammond" Smith's first album as a leader, the organist simply sits himself down in front of a standard guitar-bass-drums trio (featuring guitarist Thornel Schwartz, who had previously worked with Jimmy Smith) and lets rip. The songs are a nice combination of standards, like "Secret Love," "The Masquerade Is Over" and "Pennies From Heaven," along with Smith originals that have a more blues-based, gospel-like air. His playing throughout is excellent, although at this point in his career, his influences (Jimmy Smith -- no relation -- and Wild Bill Davis, mostly) are still clearly audible. In particular, Smith seems to have picked up Jimmy Smith's familiar walking basslines and chunky left-hand chords; however, his lengthy and wide-ranging solos incorporate influences ranging from Bud Powell onwards, suggesting that his early career as a pianist was still coloring his sound. Smith would go on to make better albums, but All Soul is a promising debut,by Stewart Mason.
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Baden Powell - At The Rio Jazz Club (1990)

02.Sambo Do Aviao
03.Tributo a Dorival Caymmi
05.Formosa - (Portuguese)
06.Variacoes Sobre ASA Branco
07.Noquele Tempo
09.Gente Humilde
10.Samba em Preludio
11.Choro em Menor
13.Violao Vadio.

Call this a master class in the art of Brazilian guitar. Recorded live in 1990, it's as stripped-down as it possibly can be, with just one man and his instrument. But when that one man was the late Baden Powell, you really don't need more. Working through a repertoire of samba and bossa nova, he creates a subtle, magical spell whether it's in Pixinguinha's "Rosa" or his own "Choro Em Menor." His fingers are fleet, but he never overdoes things, leaving plenty of space and often implying the complex rhythms at the heart of a piece rather than overtly stating them. Of course, it helps that the material is first-rate; apart from those stated above, there's work by Antonio Carlos Jobim and De Moraes, Goroto and Dorival Caymmi, among others. But he takes their offerings and transforms them into understated, glorious creations that shimmer. Even at his most pensive, Powell is brilliant, and you have to believe he was incapable of anything less. The improvisations flash with strong melodic and harmonic ideas. This is the type of disc aspiring guitarists (of any style) should listen to in wonder. And if you don't play the instrument? Just enjoy. ~ Chris Nickson.
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Frank Gambale - Coming To Your Senses (2000)

01.Up in Beachwood
02.Circular Quay
03.Major Fascination
04.Salvador Once More
06.Mirage Mystery
07.Isola d'Elba
08.Land of the Leal
09.Italian Job, The
10.Loch Ness Monsters.

Frank Gambale (acoustic & electric guitars, sitar, sound effects)
Hans Zemhuelen (keyboards)
Ric Fierabracci (bass)
Mark Shulman, Joel Taylor, Enzo Todesco, Ray Brinker (drums).

Ever since bursting onto the scene in the late '80s with Chick Corea, guitarist Frank Gambale has been a frustration for fans and critics. Finding an appropriate musical setting for his unique jazz/metal approach has proved difficult over the course of his career. He has tried his hand at contemporary jazz, hard rock, pop/rock, and fusion, all to varying degrees of success, but Coming to Your Senses proves to be the perfect forum for his hybrid style. Here Gambale sounds like the mature, seasoned guitarist that he is, still with chops to spare, but with an improved harmonic sophistication coupled with Larry Carlton-type taste and restraint. The compositions are more interesting than on his previous efforts and are no longer simply vehicles for his extemporaneous solos or contrite pop. He is joined here by keyboardist Hans Zermhuelen, heralded bassist Ricc Fierabracci, and four different drummers. This is familiar territory, but a first for Gambale in that he has finally combined all of his talents into a cohesive whole. ~ Robert Taylor.
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Thursday 23 December 2010

Cornell Dupree - Uncle Funky (1998)

1.Slippin' In 6:54
2.Duck Soup 6:13
3.Southern Comfort 7:24
4.Can't Get Through 5:39
5.Ode to Billie Joe 8:11
6.Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours 9:45
7.Forty Ounces of Funk 6:58.

Eric Parker - Drums
Richard Tee - Keyboards
Cornell Dupree - Guitar
Steve Greenfield - Saxophone
Will Lee - Bass.
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Adriano Giffoni Trio (2005)

01.Bom começo
02.Lula blues
03.Amor de brinquedo
04.Bebendo na fonte
05.Ladeiras de Olinda
06.Nem lá, nem cá
08.Tema da tarde
09.Um dia de sol
10.Baia de São Francisco.

Recorded live in the studio, this work provides compositions and Felipe Poli Adriano Giffoni, the trio led by bassist Adriano Giffoni, Felipe Poli Amaro on guitar, and Junior on drums, has no formal training and shows in his debut album, new sound options to play music with a Brazilian instrumental jazz language.
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Cal Tjader - Guarabe (1977)

1.Guarabe 7:47
2.Where Is Love 3:50
3.This Masquerade 6:58
4.Reza 6:29
5.Black Orchid 9:04
6.El Muchacho 4:30.

Moody mellow vibes from the great Cal Tjader – recording here with some excellent work on electric piano from Clare Fischer! Fischer didn't always use electric keys on records like this – and his presence here really makes the set sparkle – giving it an extra added Latin current on the keys – but one that's served up with a nicely spacious feel throughout! Even the mellow tracks have a beautiful sense of soul – Cal's vibes ringing alongside the tones of Fischer with a warmly seductive feel – and the set is proof that although Tjader could be plenty funky in the 70s, he also still had a great ability to do a lot with a little too. The rest of the lineup includes Poncho Sanchez on congas and Carmelo Garcia on timbales, and the tracks are a nice mix of mellow groovers like "Guarabe", "Where Is Love", "This Masquerade", and "Reza".
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Michael Landau - The Star Spangled Banner (2003)

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Wednesday 22 December 2010

Johnny "Hammond" Smith - That Good Feelin' (1959)

1. That Good Feelin’ – 5:36 (Smith)
2. Bye Bye Blackbird – 4:29 (Henderson-Dixon)
3. Autumn Leaves – 4:25 (Kosma-Mercer-Prevert)
4. I’ll Remember April – 4:37 (Raye-DePaul)
5. Billie’s Bounce – 5:32 (Parker)
6. My Funny Valentine – 4:34 (Hart-Rodgers)
7. Puddin’ – 5:13 (Smith).

Johnny "Hammond" Smith - Organ
Thornel Schwartz - Guitar
George Tucker - Bass
Leo Stevens - Drums.

A standards-heavy set from 1959, Johnny "Hammond" Smith's That Good Feelin' is indicative of his early style. Recorded in a simple quartet setting with guitarist Thornel Schwartz (best known for his earlier work with Jimmy Smith), bassist George Tucker, and drummer Leo Stevens, all of whom provide understated but effective support -- Schwartz in particular throws in a few concise and swinging solos in the style of early Wes Montgomery -- these seven tracks are surprisingly close to the cool, cerebral style of pianists like Bill Evans or Lennie Tristano, far afield from the funky, blues-based styles of most jazz organists of the time. Part of that feel comes from the song selection, weighted toward ballads like "Autumn Leaves" (a Bill Evans favorite as well), "I'll Remember April," and the evergreen "My Funny Valentine." Smith's playing is typically excellent, though he throws some unexpected curves like a herky-jerky solo in "I'll Remember April" that sounds more like the futuristic whirrs and bleeps of a '50s science-fiction movie soundtrack than a "Brother" Jack McDuff workout. This is good to great stuff, and a welcome change from the soul-jazz clichés that would overtake organ jazz in the '60s. [The 1996 CD reissue of That Good Feelin' starts off with seven tracks originally released as Smith's All Soul LP, also from 1959,by Stewart Mason.
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Tuesday 21 December 2010

Gary Thomas - Kold Kage (1991)


Gary Thomas (Synthesizer)(Flute)(Sax (Tenor))(Rap)
Anthony Cox (Bass (Acoustic))
Dennis Chambers (Drums)
Paul Bollenback (Guitar)(Guitar (Synthesizer))
Kevin Eubanks (Guitar)
Mulgrew Miller (Piano)
Steve Moss (Percussion)
Tim Murphy (Synthesizer)(Piano)
Michael Cain (Synthesizer)(Piano)
Joe Wesson (Rap)
Michael Caine (Synthesizer)(Piano)
Anthony Perkins (Synthesizer).

The struggle is apparent on saxophonist and composer Gary Thomas' 1991 album, The Kold Cage, reissued in 2004 as part of label auteur Stefan Winter's remastering of his JMT label titles. Thomas is a consummate tenor man and flutist. His frustration with what had become standard jazz discourse in light of the new, influential (very narrow-minded) traditionalism ushered in a decade earlier by Wynton Marsalis and cultural conservative Stanley Crouch is obvious here. Thomas employs everything from turntables to electric guitars, synthesizers, and even rap to combat the stasis, while remaining a jazz player. From his knotty forceful compositions "Threshold" and "Gate of Faces," which open the album, Thomas engages extrapolated notions of jazz harmonics and contrapuntal considerations while relying heavily on electronic keyboard textures, and electric guitars (courtesy of Kevin Eubanks and Paul Bollenback) to stretch the margin of that engagement. But on "Intellect," the tension cracks and splinters. Here Thomas' flute and saxophone are shored up by pianist Mulgrew Miller's funky modal statements while rapper Joe Wesson pops along the synth basslines and indicts everything around him in old-school Sugarhill style -- likewise on "Infernal Machine," where Michael Caine's synths paint an off-kilter basis for baseline rhythms to underscore and jump off of. Wesson's tough street rap about faltering neighborhoods, dope, and the strength of the "black mind" introduces a chillingly futuristic series of overdubbed horn lines in the gaps. And on it goes for the rest of the hour, feinting and darting before active confrontation with the myth and magic of jazz in an attempt to make it speak outside of its historical truth and into the current cultural one. It's an exhausting but compelling and rewarding listen. It messes with those classicists in a big way by sitting on their shoes while, at the same time, pulling the tradition into the current vernacular for its validation and assertion as popular music. Far from academic, this is fire-breathing music, one that forces not only confrontation but, from any open-minded music listener, a reexamination of the jazz terrain as a once, present, and future music. ~ Thom Jurek.
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Sunday 19 December 2010

Carlos "Patato" Valdes - Ritmo Y Candela II / African Crossroads (1996)

1.El lenguaje del son
2.Son de Patato
4.Guloya Swing
5.guajira en el espacio
6.Sangre de Africa
7.Soñando en Cubano
8.Señor Blues / Mbula Enoka
9.Ensalada de Melón / Patato y Angá.

Patato Valdes
Walfredo de los Reyes Sr.
Joe Santiago
Miguel Angá Diaz
Abdou M'Boup
Ivan Melón Gonzalez
Yosvany Terry
Omar Sosa
Samba Mapangala
Orestes Vilató
Greg Landau
Enrique Fernandez.

This is a remarkable recording-from the standpoints of both artistry and folklore. For this Grammy nominated disc producer Greg Landau assembled a bi-coastal and multi-national cast of players under the leadership of the esteemed conguero Carlos "Patato" Valdes. The leader, whose work is the centrifugal force of this recording, is a player of such shrewdness as to draw analogies to folks like Miles Davis as opposed to his fellow hand drummers. Let's say the great hard hands conguero Ray Baretto is Elvin Jones to Patato's Billy Higgins. Patato employs a melodic sensibility on the congas that casts a subtle tone to the proceedings.
What separates this session from other Afro-Cuban jazz projects are the seemlessly incorporated folkloric elements. The players, hailing from the Bay Area, New York, and Cuba are augmented by the Motherland, in the form of Congolese singer Samba Mapangala, and Senegelese kora player-percussionist Abdou M'boup. Through successfully fusing these elements the recording takes the listener on a tour of sounds and traditions ranging from African soukouss to Cuban son, with rudiments of descarga (Cuban jam session) and jazz, which is primarily invoked by such brilliant players as the Cuban saxman Yosvany Terry and pianist Ivan "Melon" Gonzalez, and New York saxophonist Enrique Fernandez, who augments his soprano sax solo on the album closer with some spooky overdubbed bass clarinet. As Cuban music continues to gain momentum in this country, this wonderful recording stands as yet another jewel in the necklace,By Willard Jenkins.
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Billy Cobham - The Traveler (1993)

01.Alfa Waves
02.All That Your Soul Provides
03.Balancing Act
04.What If?
05.Dippin' the Bisquites in the Soup
07.Just One Step Away
08.Mushi Creole Blues
09.On the Inside Track
10.Soul Provider.

Billy Cobham (drums, percussion)
Carol Rowley (vocals)
Gary Husband (keyboards, drums)
Joe Chindamo (keyboards)
Peter Wolpl (guitar)
Ira Coleman, Mike Mondesir (bass)
Nippy Noya (percussion).
Recorded at Real World Studios Box Mill, Bath, England in November 1993.

The overall feel of this recording is very similar to Incoming. Peter Wolpl remains on guitar, as does Nippy Noya on percussion. The pianist has been changed to Joe Chindamo; however, his style is similar to Rita Marcotulli's on Incoming. The music is very dense and cannot be listened to casually or infrequently if one wants to absorb the full impact of the recording. The underrated Wolpl provides an excellent acoustic guitar solo on "Alfa Waves." There are three vocal tracks here, which means a meager attempt at pop on a majority of contemporary jazz recordings. Fortunately, this is not the case here. Carole Rowley does a fine job of "jazz" singing and seems to be a cohesive part of the band, rather than a novelty. Cobham's mastery of rhythm (not technique) is evident on "Balancing Act." This is an aspect of his playing that is often overlooked due to his overwhelming power behind the traps. For fans just interested in that aspect of his playing, "On the Inside Track" features a mini-drum battle with drummer extraordinaire Gary Husband. As a whole, The Traveler is a very good recording and clearly shows Cobham's constant striving to grow as both a composer and musician. ~ Robert Taylor.
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