Archive for November, 2010

Bobby HACKETT – Blues With A Kick 1958

Posted in Bobby HACKETT, JAZZ on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Bobby HACKETT – Blues With A Kick 1958
ST1172

Jazz

BOBBY HACKETT Blues With A Kick (Original 1959 US 12-track stereo LP on a ‘rainbow rim’ Capitol label, staging the trumpeter’s blues roots against a stereo curtain of rich strings conducted by Stan Applebaum. Housed ina pasted picture sleeve in fine condition, the vinyl excellent with just one or two light cosmetic marks not deep enough to affect play – a gem!.
**
Bobby Hackett- Trumpet, Cornet
Dave McKenna- Piano
Nicky Tagg- Piano, organ
John Giuffrida, Milt Hinton- Bass
Joe Porcaro- Drums
Harry Breuer, Phil Kraus- vibraphon, Percussion
Stan Applebaum- Conductor of String section with Nine Violins, Two Violas and Two Cellos
**
A1. Good-bye Blues   (McHugh-Fields-Johnson)   2:32
A2. Weary Blues   (Greene-Cates-Matthews)   2:49
A3. Sugar Blues    (C. Williams-L. Fletcher)   3:13
A4. Blues In The Night   (J. Mercer-H. Arlen)   3:32
A5. Baker’s Keyboard Blues   (B. Hackett)   2:51
A6. Wang Wang Blues   (Mueller-Busse-Johnson)   2:38
B1. Limehouse Blues   (P. Braham-D. Furber)   2:41
B2. Davenport Blues   (B. Beiderbecke)   2:57
B3. Blues In My Heart   (B. Carter-I. Mills)   2:44
B4. Alcoholic Blues   (E. Laska-A. Von Tilzer)   2:45
B5. Bye Bye Blues   (Bennett-Gray-Hamm-Lown)   1:22
B6. Blues With A Kick   (B. Hackett-S. Applebaum)   2:53
**

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McCoy TYNER – Reaching Fourth 1963

Posted in BLUES, McCoy TYNER on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

McCoy TYNER – Reaching Fourth 1963
2001 Issue. IMP-88083

Jazz

This album is quite interesting as many of McCoy’s non-Trane features (both as a leader and sideman) usually featured Elvin Jones on drums and Reggie Workman (both Coltrane alumnus) or Ron Carter on bass, while Reaching Fourth has a different trio format. What we have here is part of Roy Haynes’s working group, Roy Haynes on drums and henry Grimes on bass. Although Haynes and Tyner played together in the John Coltrane Quartet (when Elvin was unavailable) it is quite interesting to hear the strikingly different interaction between the three. The difference here probably lies in the fact that Coltrane was looking for someone (Haynes) to replace Elvin, while with McCoy in charge, he seems to be looking for a whole new and different “group” experience. The members of the trio all play strong here and have pleanty of solo space where they shine… Highly fun and recommended, especially the first song, Reaching Fourth, a McCoy Tyner original which has some extrodinarily high quality soloing by both Haynes and Grimes.
By Frank Bock.
**
Anyone who was confused by other reviews of this product, might want to read this quick history of Tyner, Coltrane, Monk and Haynes; which is interestingly tied together through the 1957-62 period.

Coltrane & Monk first played together April 16, 1957 on the tune “Monk’s Mood” and in June and July of that year for nine more songs which have all been issued on Monk’s Complete Riverside sessions. Coltrane only played live during the rest of this time with Monk (July 18 till December 16 1957). Oddly enough Roy Haynes & Coltrane first played together September 11, 1958 at the Five Spot, NYC when both Coltrane and Haynes sat in the Thelonious Monk Quartet for five tunes, now issued on Thelonious Monk’s Complete Blue Note Recordings (Disc 4). This single performance and Tyner’s album REACHING FOURTH must have made an impression, as Coltrane would enlist Haynes later. As for Tyner & Coltrane, they first played together June 27, 1960 in a Coltrane led Quartet which appeared at the Jazz Gallery, NYC for 2 shows and the Showboat in Philly for 4 shows the next month; all of which are unreleased as commercial products. Tyner & Coltrane’s first studio session together was September 8, 1960 at United Recorders in Los Angeles; producing “Mr Day (aka One And Four),” “Exotica” & “Like Sonny (aka Simple Like)” for Roulette. Their next session, which was their first together for Atlantic, and also the first time Tyner & Elvin Jones played together with Coltrane was on October 21, 1960 for the songs “Village Blues” and “My Favorite Things”. And finally, it wasn’t until November 2, 1961 that Tyner and Haynes first played together for what is now Coltrane’s The Complete Village Vanguard sessions, but strangely enough only on the first song of the night “Chasin’ Another Trane,” after which Haynes is replaced by Elvin Jones. Tyner plays for a total of 5 songs, comping on only the first with Haynes. As a side note, Tyner & Workman first played together when Workman joined the Africa Brass session on May 23, 1961. So, to sum up; REACHING FOURTH is the first studio session Tyner & Haynes ever recorded together, though they had played one song together at the Village Vanguard previously and would continue to work together in the Coltrane Quartet later whenever Elvin was unavailable. I hope this elucidates, rather than further confuses Jazzophiles.
**
McCoy Tyner- Piano
Henry Grimes- Bass
Roy Haynes- Drums
**
01. Reaching Fourth 4:18
02. Goodbye 5:42
03. Theme for Ernie 5:57
04. Blues Back 6:53
05. Old Devil Moon [From Finian's Rainbow] 7:26
06. Have You Met Miss Jones [From I'd Rather Be Right] 3:46
**

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Bill BRUFORD Featuring Tim GARLAND – Random Acts Of Happiness 2004

Posted in Bill BRUFORD, JAZZ, Tim GARLAND on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Bill BRUFORD Featuring Tim GARLAND – Random Acts Of Happiness 2004

Jazz

Bill Bruford is quite rightly regarded as one of the finest drummers in the world through his work with Yes, King Crimson, UK and his work with Patrick Moraz not forgetting his own band Bruford. In fact in 1969 Bill had already been noticed by the great Buddy Rich who was to comment “Hey, that’s a good drummer…Good hands!” Praise indeed. Bill Bruford however has always been a huge fan of Jazz and so inevitably it was jazz that Bill turned to when he wanted to expand his musical horizons. Bill formed the band Earthworks in 1986 with the idea of integrating electronic drums and percussion into a jazz situation. Previously electronic drums had been seen as a novelty and more or less ignored by the jazz community. However by the mid eighties Bill felt that technology had moved on to such an extent that the introduction of electronic drums into a jazz set up would not only be viable but musically worthwhile. The band was made up of Bill on drums and percussion and young jazz musicians Django Bates, Ian Bellamy and Mick Hutton. The band recorded their debut album the self titled Earthworks which was released in 1987. The band set about playing dates and subsequently followed this up with their second release Dig in 1989 and another studio album, All Heaven Broke Loose in 1993. Following the bands live album Stamping Ground in 1994 Bill turned his attention back to work with King Crimson and for the next few years worked with Robert Fripp not only in King Crimson but also other improvisational projects connected with King Crimson. In 1997 Heavenly Bodies was released which provided an introduction to the music of Earthworks as a fine compilation of tracks from the bands releases to date and included one unreleased live track. By the time the band had returned to full time activity not only the line up had changed but also the musical direction. Whilst the music was still definitely jazz Bill felt that he had taken the electronic drums direction as far as it could go and the band was now an acoustic based jazz quartet which now included Bruford, Steve Hamilton, Patrick Clahar and Mark Hodgson The new line up of Earthworks wasted no time in recording the album A Part and Yet Apart in 1999 and The Sound Of Surprise in 2001. This line up was also responsible for the live album Footloose And Fancy Free that was recorded in front of an enthusiastic audience at dates in London during 2001. An accompanying DVD was also filmed in New York and entitled Footloose In New York. Having re established themselves both live and in the studio the band then set about recording their next album and the decision was taken to record another live album. The album, Random Acts Of Happiness was recorded in San Francisco at the celebrated jazz club Yoshi’s in Summer 2003. This album also sees the recording debut of the latest line up of Earthworks and includes the most recent member Tim Garland who replaced Patrick Clahar. As the magazine Downbeat said in a review of Earthworks in 2002 “It’s no surprise anymore how good Earthworks is”
Product Description
Random Acts Of Happiness is a very special album not least because it is the most recent album in a long line of quality releases from this band but also because it is the inaugural release on the Summerfold records Imprint which will be followed no doubt by many more Earthworks releases in the future.
**
Recorded in May 2003 at Yoshis, Oakland, California’s premiere jazz venue, Random Acts of Happiness features multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland’s recording debut with the quartet, bringing with him a wealth of solo material and boundless creative inspiration for Bruford and his distinguished colleagues (Steve Hamilton, piano, and Mark Hodgson, bass).

This Summerfold Records release offers up a new set of tunes artfully crafted by the band, with an Earthworks selection from the original lineup entitled “My Heart Declares a Holiday” and two classic Bruford gems (“Seems Like a Lifetime Ago” and “One of a Kind”) thrown in for good measure. Recorded in the elegant setting of Yoshis Jazz House on May 13 and 14, 2003, the sound quality and musicianship are both at their peak here.

Tim Garland’s sultry “Bajo Del Sol” features a deep, provocative introduction on bass clarinet, and Garland later transitions effortlessly between flute and tenor and soprano saxes. It is evident why Garland was asked to join the illustrious ensemble, as he brings back the progressive compositional element that was the hallmark of the first lineup featuring Django Bates and Iain Ballamy.

Bruford has always had a knack for selecting unique song titles, “White Knuckle Wedding” notwithstanding. Garland’s staccato flute, Bruford’s emphasis on log drum, and Hodgson’s driving bass move the song to a feverish pitch. One can almost envision this fictitious wedding over the course of the nearly eight-minute romp.

The acoustic arrangements of “Seems Like a Lifetime Ago” and “One of a Kind” are just as fulfilling as their original, guitar-oriented versions, while “Speaking With Wooden Tongues” evokes the more playful side of the ensemble with its determined percussiveness and Garland’s flowing winds. Absent from the CD is the popular finale “Bridge of Inhibition,” understandable as it has topped off 2 live albums (Stamping Ground and Footloose and Fancy Free). The master drummer clearly pays homage to his past with the revival of his solo and early Earthworks pieces but steps out of the known with this set of new compositions.

Bruford continues to stretch boundaries with the Balkan-influenced “Modern Folk” and in the tenacious soloing of “With Friends Like These.” Lots of surprises for longtime Earthworks and Bruford fans, and a leap forward in progressive acoustic jazz for audiophiles and new listeners alike.
**
Bill Bruford’s Earthworks are presently celebrating their twentieth anniversary, and if their last album is anything to go on, long may they continue.
Earthworks (Edition Two) were originally formed after Bill Bruford’s two year collaboration with Patrick Moraz, (Who first rose to fame as replacement for Keith Emerson in a band called ‘Refugee’ after ‘Nice’ broke up) and an aborted attempt to get that old cart horse of a band ‘Yes’ back on the road which was not one of Bill Bruford’s better moves.
Earthworks (Edition One) 1986, were a hugely successful jazz orientated band with Bill Bruford experimenting using electronic drums to supplement the jazz sound. Four highly original and musically exciting albums were released featuring various musicians including multi-instrumentalist Django Bates and saxophonist Iain Bellamy.
Then once again the call went out for Bill Bruford to re-join his old cohort Robert Fripp in ‘King Crimson’ in King Crimson’s double trio which lasted for three years from 1994 -1997, sharing drum responsibilities with Pat Mastelotto. A highly successful touring unit that released several live CD’s and a cracking live DVD called ‘Eyes Wide Open’ not actually released until 2003.
You have to remember at this stage of his career Bill Bruford had been playing drums professionally for thirty years. He had already built up the reputation as the drummer’s drummer, and it was often said that at any concert that Bill Bruford was playing in, the first five rows were taken up by drummers trying to work out his technique. Bill Bruford’s jazz style had always been evident as his childhood heroes were such drummers as Art Blakey. In 1969 Buddy Rich watched the young Bill Bruford through his entire set from the side of the stage, and afterwards walking off simply said “He is a great drummer…. good hands”. From Buddy Rich the ultimate compliment. He had also been a founder member of ‘Yes’, ‘UK’ with John Wetton, Allan Holdsworth, and Eddie Jobson, been a member of ‘King Crimson’ three times, The Bruford / Moraz Band, ‘Bruford’, ‘The Roy Harper Band’, and been a member of ‘Genesis’ at the height of their success, as well as countless solo albums, collaborations, and session work. So his credentials were not exactly in question.
But then it was back to Earthworks (Edition Two).
The second edition went back to basics revisiting the broadly acoustic sax-piano-bass-drums line up. The first stable line up included Patrick Clahar, the fast rising tenorist best known for his work with ‘Incognito’, Mark Hodgson on bass, and Steve Hamilton on piano. Although the line-up of Bill Bruford’s Earthworks are relatively stable in jazz terms inevitably in jazz quartets people move on, and others move in. For the recording of this album the excellent Tim Garland who made his name with Chick Corea had replaced Patrick Clahar. More recently Steve Hamilton has been replaced on the ivories by Gwilym Simcock, who last year won the prestigious B.B.C. radio’s rising young musician of the year award. This year Laurence Cottie took over the bass position in the quartet.
‘Random Acts of Happiness’ released in 2004 is a wonderful live album, although you do not notice this until the audience burst into applause at the end of the first song ‘My Heart Declares A Holiday’ a number that allows all the musicians to stretch out musically preparing themselves for what is to come. This album is also the first recording to show off the talents of Tim Garland within the band, and the results are astonishing, quite simply a joy to the ear. Do not let the jazz tag put you off either if you are a newcomer to this form of music and think it is only listened to by men with pipes, scarf’s, beards, and deer stalker hats. Jazz / Fusion would be a good category to put this under as this reviewer has no idea what that exactly means! If it means music played with a basis of jazz and then taken out of it’s box and allowed to enjoy itself then this is what we have.
Describing the music is not easy, joyous at times, imaginative, thoughtful, intense, and certainly unpredictable, but certainly never boring. Tim Garland seems to have taken over the lion’s share of the new compositions, and his penchant for not curtailing a song too quickly works well here. ‘White Knuckle Wedding’ with it’s long and winding melody also features Tim Garland on flute, which adds another string to the Earthworks bow. (Great title for a song by the way). While Earthworks are still essentially an acoustic jazz quartet they do not let themselves be shackled to this format Tim Garland still dabbles with electronics using a pitch-shifter to add an oriental flavour to the end of ‘White Knuckle Wedding (Just had to say that title one more time). He also does the same thing with his saxophone on ‘Speaking With Wooden Tongues’. ‘Tarmontana’ and ‘Bajo Del Sol’ with their Latin-leanings demonstrate some of the influence that Chick Corea had on Tim Garland whilst he was with the great man. Throughout the recording Bill Bruford lives up to his reputation if not surpassing it. In the hands of Bill Bruford all the songs become more than the whole. Bruford’s mathematical precision on the tighter pieces like ‘Modern Folk’ compare favourably with the loose feel he is able to impart to his approach to songs like ‘Bajo Del Sol’, shows an artist who, while already at the top of his particular tree continues to look for new inspiration and further develop his sound and approach.
Whilst some of the songs are brand new the band is not afraid to look back at work from previous line ups of Bill Bruford’s earlier bands, and re-invent songs like ‘Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (part one)’ and ‘One Of A Kind (parts one and two)’ Which come from Bill Bruford’s early Seventies work and bring a fair helping of progressive rock to the proceedings. Whilst proving the old saying a good tune is always a good tune. Songs that seemed unimaginable twenty years ago without Allan Holdsworth’s guitar woven into them seem quite exhilarating in their new home.
By Kim Fletcher.
**
Tim Garland- (Flute, Clarinete Bass,Saprano and Tenor Sax)
Steve Hamilton- (Piano)
Mark Hodgson- (Bass Guitar)
Bill Bruford- (Drums, Percusión)
**
01. My Heart Declares A Holiday 5:28
02. White Knuckle Wedding 7:46
03. Turn And Return 2:52
04. Tramontana 8:07
05. Bajo Del Sol 8:46
06. Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (Part 1) 3:56
07. Modern Folk 6:29
08. With Friends Like These 2:53
09. Speaking With Wooden Tongues 7:57
10. One Of A Kind (Part 1) 2:10
11. One Of A Kind (Part 2) 4:18
**

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The Allman Brothers – Live at Beacon Theatre 2003 (AVI)

Posted in BLUES, MOVIES, The Allman Brothers on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

The Allman Brothers – Live at Beacon Theatre 2003 (AVI)

Blues

The Allman Brothers’ strong, occasionally startling set on this DVD may soften those intransigent purists who won’t accept the band without its original (and now fired) guitarist, Dickey Betts. The group’s classic dual-guitar sound is capably covered by returning member Warren Haynes and rising star Derek Trucks (young nephew of Allmans’ drummer Butch Trucks), who sounds as if he’s lived and breathed the late Duane Allman’s playbook since he left the cradle. Derek’s barbed riffs feed the textured funk of “Statesboro Blues” and get some mileage out of filler like “Come and Go Blues,” but the blissful-looking fellow’s supreme moment comes when he joins Haynes in a blisteringly beautiful attack on gospel stunner “Soul Shine.” Some of the material here borders on the pedestrian, but vocalist-keyboardist Gregg Allman’s grizzled mastery of the blues can still lead this legendary band through some epic mysteries.
By Tom Keogh.
**
The first ABB DVD since 1994. Filmed and recorded live at the Beacon Theatre March 25-26, 2003. The Allman Brothers’ strong, occasionally startling set on this DVD may soften those intransigent purists who won’t accept the band without its original (and now fired) guitarist, Dickey Betts. The group’s classic dual-guitar sound is capably covered by returning member Warren Haynes and rising star Derek Trucks (young nephew of Allmans’ drummer Butch Trucks), who sounds as if he’s lived and breathed the late Duane Allman’s playbook since he left the cradle. Derek’s barbed riffs feed the textured funk of Statesboro Blues and get some mileage out of filler like Come and Go Blues, but the blissful-looking fellow’s supreme moment comes when he joins Haynes in a blisteringly beautiful attack on gospel stunner Soul Shine. Some of the material here borders on the pedestrian, but vocalist-keyboardist Gregg Allman’s grizzled mastery of the blues can still lead this legendary band through some epic mysteries.
**
An excellent live concert release from one of the original jam bands. Here The Allman Brothers Band present an uncut 2 Hour and 48 minute concert recorded in March 2003 at The Beacon Theater in New York. Although a few Allman Brothers classics like Ramblin Man, Jessica, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, and Revival are not here they are included on other video releases and what is included here is excellent and worthy of 5 stars. The 5.1 sound and video quality are excellent and the band is as tight as they have ever been. This version of the Allman Brothers Band (Founding members Gregg Allman, Jaimoe, and Butch Trucks, along with longtime band members Warren Haynes, Marc Quinones, and Oteil Burbridge, and more recent addition Derek Trucks doing a good job filling Dickie Betts’ shoes) seem to be really enjoying themselves on stage and it comes through in the quality of the music.
Besides the concert, the double DVD release also includes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes of interviews and behind the scenes footage. There is a also a very good dressing room performance of Old Friend by Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks along with a photo gallery and discography.
By Bill Thompson.
**
Gregg Allman- Organ, Piano, Guitar, Vocals
Butch Trucks- Drums, Tympani
Jai Johanny Jaimoe Johanson- Drums, Percussion
Warren Haynes- Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocals
Marc Quinones- Drums, Percussion, Background Vocals
Oteil Burbridge- Bass, Vocals
Derek Trucks- Guitar, Slide Guitar
**
01. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
02. Black Hearted Woman
03. Statesboro Blues
04. Woman Across The River
05. A Change Is Gonna Come
06. Maydell
07. Come & Go Blues
08. Rockin’ Horse
09. Desdemona
10. Don’t Keep Me Wondering
11. Midnight Rider
12. Soulshine
13. High Cost Of Low Living
14. Leave My Blues At Home
15. Old Before My Time
16. The Same Thing
17. Melissa
18. Instrumental Illness
19. Worried Down With The Blues
20. Dreams
21. Whippin’ Post
22. One Way Out
**

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Pat METHENY Trio – Live At Umbria Jazz 1999 (AVI)

Posted in JAZZ, MOVIES, Pat METHENY on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Pat METHENY Trio – Live At Umbria Jazz 1999 (AVI)

Jazz

No Comment.
**
Pat Metheny- Guitars
Larry Grenadier- Bass
Bill Stewart- Drums
**
01. Turnaround
02. James
03. The good life
04. Hermitage
05. All The Things You Are
06. Into The Dream
07. So May It Secretly Begin
08. Waltz For Ruth
**

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Lizz WRIGHT – Salt 2002

Posted in JAZZ, Lizz WRIGHT on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Lizz WRIGHT – Salt 2002

Jazz

Vocalist Lizz Wright delivers jazz that harks back to such luminaries as Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln on her debut Verve release, Salt. Still in her early twenties, Wright has a warm, dusky voice reminiscent of Cassandra Wilson and similarly to Wilson seems interested in tackling an eclectic mix of jazz standards, traditional folk, and R&B. Early on, a folky afterglow-Latin version of “Afro Blue” takes center stage followed by the gorgeous “Soon as I Get Home,” which betters the version from The Wiz. Wright fairs equally well as a songwriter with about half the album filled with her soaring, bluesy ballads. There is a melancholy yet positive ’70s vibe that eminates from songs like “Fire,” which resonates lyrically as well as melodically much like the personal/sociopolitical writing of another of Wright’s obvious inspirations, Terry Callier. Perhaps a little too low-key to register very high on the pop radio scale, but invested with enough sanguine emotionality and chops to make Salt easily recommended to fans of the neo-soul movement.
By Matt Collar.
**
Throughout its existence, Verve has particularly excelled in recording most of the fiercest chanteuses on the planet. Billie, Ella, Sarah, Dinah, Nina, Betty, Abbey, Shirley, Dee Dee, Cassandra, Diana – so off-the-iconoclastic-genius-meter that we refer to them on a strictly first-name basis. These are the true chanteuses; the rare ones who could sing anything (jazz to blues to pop) and who owned everything they sang.

It’s 2003 and fierce young chanteuses are hard to find. Fittingly, Verve has signed 23-year-old Lizz Wright. The most promising of a very short list, this Georgia native has been singing since childhood. A minister’s daughter, Ms. Wright naturally started out singing gospel in church. By the end of high school, she was heavily into ’70s black pop and drum ‘n bass. For the last three years, the artist has been polishing her star in Atlanta’s vibrant neo-soul/jazz underground scene.

Ms. Wright’s debut album, Salt produced by Tommy LiPuma, Brian Blade, and Jon Cowherd. Ain’t no half-stepping here: The backing musicians including Blade, Danilo Perez, and Chris Potter are Gen-X all-stars; the repertoire, an eclectic blend of jazz/pop standards, five Lizz Wright originals, one song written for her by Blade, and one Broadway showstopper. Salt reveals Ms. Wright to be uniquely blessed with a mellifluous, full-bodied contralto, emotionally-nuanced phrasing and an intuitive ability to swing.

Strong enough to transform Flora Purim’s high-stepping “Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly” into a sly ‘n slinky, neo-soul groove. Fearless enough to remodel both Stephanie Mills’ immortal rendition of The Wiz’s “Soon as I Get Home” and the late Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue.” Open enough to flow from jazzy Latin-soul slo-drags (“Goodbye”, “The End of the Line”) to AC-friendly folk-rock (“Lead The Way”, “Silence”). Genius enough to work her self-penned title song into a dope R&B/blues homage to Donny Hathaway.

Better start getting used to calling her just “Lizz”.
**
Jon Cowherd- Piano, Keyboards
Kenny Banks- Piano, Keyboards, Organ (1-2, 5, 9, 10)
Sam Yahel- Organ  (1)
Danilo Perez- Piano  (3)
John Hart- Guitar, Acoustic Guitar  (1-11)
Adam Rogers- Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar  (12)
Chris Potter- Soprano Saxophone  (7)
Doug Weiss- Bass  (1-11)
Terreon Gully- Drums  (2, 3)
Brian Blade- Drums, Acoustic Guitar
Jeff Haynes- Percussion  (1, 3-9, 11)
**
01. Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly 5:07
02. Salt 3:25
03. Afro Blue 5:51
04. Soon As I Get Home 4:26
05. Walk With Me, Lord 4:06
06. Eternity 3:35
07. Goodbye 3:57
08. Vocalise / End Of The Line 4:33
09. Fire 4:15
10. Blue Rose 4:06
11. Lead The Way 4:23
12. Silence 2:42
**

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Charles MINGUS – Mingus At The Bohemia 1955

Posted in Charles MINGUS, JAZZ on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Charles MINGUS – Mingus At The Bohemia 1955
Recorded December 23, 1955, at Cafe Bohemia, NYC.
1990 Issue.

Jazz

Mingus at the Bohemia is an album by Charles Mingus, recorded during a live concert and released in 1955. Further recordings from the concert were released under he title The Charles Mingus Quintet & Max Roach

The songs from “Cafe Bohemia” contain the typical Mingus “Jazz Workshop” characteristics. A concert as work shop meant first of all a live experiment; this is mainly true for his “guest” musician Max Roach in “Percussion Discussion”. “Mingus at the Bohemia” fixed a moment in time where Mingus found his musical identity.

The first song, “Jump, Monk” is a tribute to Thelonious Monk, but has no connection to Monks music. Mingus rather tried to simulate with his bass play the dance like movements of the great musician. This composition is described by Mingus as “a profile of Monk”, not a complete picture of the man but a side view or one aspect of a complex personality. Actually, it is a double profile because we can see an important aspect of the composer, Mingus. The eight-bar, many-voiced section that keeps alternating with the melody most certainly mirrors the emotional, earthy quality found in both subject and composer. If you listen carefully to the last chorus, you will hear Mingus shout during a couple of the sections, thus bearing out the identity.

Of importance, also, are the compositional techniques used in this piece. Along with given melodic figures, the composer created the form and mood by giving the musicians scales on which they could build their own figures. These figures then had to appear in certain places and also had to maintain the mood of the composition. Listen to the first and last choruses and notice that even though George and Eddie play different notes in comparable places, the mood and feeling are still the same.

The second song, “Serenade in Blue” The compositional devices used here are diminution and agumentation. The melody is first played slow then diminished and played twice as fast. The piano augments the melody in the bridge and it sounds slow again. Once again it is diminished, or played fast, and we go into the blowing choruses.

The above mentioned “Percussion Discussion” is a duet of Mingus and Roach, which was later also used in the Epitaph suite[1]. Just two men playing two instruments that are very rarely found on the stand alone. Two men producing and assortment of rich and exciting sounds. Here is a chance to really enjoy the artistry of Max and Mingus. Notice the clean, true snare sound that Max gets on his highest pitched drum. As he moves from snare drum to tom-tom, there is no doubt that he’s changed intentionally. No muddled indistinct sound here but a real fresh, swinging sound for Max. And he has his earthly qualities too: strong, vigorous, earthy qualities. Mingus is tremendous, matching Max mood for mood. His pizzicato becomes so strong at times that it sounds very close to Max’s percussive effort. Also, for a new concept in jazz sounds, listen to the high, scraping sound Mingus gets on his bass immediately after Max’s cymbal entrance.

The “Work Song” (not to be confused with the Nat Adderley composition) should reflect the history of the black workers in the US, with elements of the soul jazz. This is the only truly representative composition in the album. It is actually a jazz tone poem depicting the old slave gangs as they did their back-brakeing work of “swinging that hammer”. Driving stakes or laying railroad ties with all the opression and problems the Black race had at that time. Notice the cannon-like sound of the piano which really simulates the blow of a sledge-hammer. This called a “cluster” on the piano. Because of the low register clusters and other rhythm section accents, we get a strong feeling of depression throughout the piece. However, there is a note of hope in the composition which is found in the words of the original melody: “Swing that hammer over your shoulder: get bolder and – BOLDER!”

“Septemberly” is a fusion of two songs: “September in the Rain” goes over into a romatic “Tenderly”. Sub-titled :The Song Of The Thief”, this is, of course, a conscious accusal of musical plagiarism. As Mingus said, “Two composers collect royalties for the same tune”. Eddie has the first melody (September in the Rain) and George has the other (Tenderly). After treating both melodies simultaneously, the arrangement then moves from one section of the first tune to another section of the second tune. The solos are built on the exact chord changes of “September”, but they could just as well have been built on “Tenderly”. On the end of the arrangement you will hear another of Mingus’ new developments on old ideas. In the early days of jazz, the musicians had no planned endings. They would all solo together into some kind of consonant, harmonious ending “a la New Orleans”. For this arrangement we have no ending. We just move together, each in his own way, toward a resolution of the composition. Now, however, with the new jazz idea, we can end with an atonal feeling. Note the beautiful sonority achieved at the end of this composition.

The last song is the standard “All the Things You Are” blended with “Prelude in C-sharp minor”. “All The Things You C-Sharp” Mingus was very aware of similarities in tunes, and, as in one other case in this album, Septemberly, he combines two or three in a composition. Whether intentional or not, this often implies to the listener that one tune was derived or stolen from the other(s). In this case, the combined tunes are “All Things + Prelude” and if you listen carefully to the piano line, “Clair de Lune” The similarity, of course, is the three-note motif that is found in the beginning of “Prelude”, in the introduction on “Things”, and although the melody is different, in the rhythmic idea of “Clair”. The motif is found throughout the composition and gives the piece a well-knit feeling.
**
George Barrow Tenor Sax
Eddie Bert Trombone
Mal Waldron Piano
Charles Mingus Bass
Willie Jones Drums
Max Roach Drums (Percussion Discussion)
**
01. Jump Monk (Charles Mingus) 6:44
02. Serenade In Blue (Gordon/Warren) 5:57
03. Percussion Discussion (Roach) 8:25
04. Work Song (Charles Mingus) 6:16
05. Septemberly (Warren/Dubin and Lawrence/Gross) 6:55
06. All The Things You C-Sharp minor (Kern/ Hammerstein) 6:47
07. Jump Monk (previously unissued alternate take) – 11:53
08. All The Things You C# (previously unissued alternate take) – 10:44
**

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Junior MANCE – Sweet Lovely 1960-1961

Posted in JAZZ, Junior MANCE on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Junior MANCE – Sweet Lovely 1960-1961
2004 Issue.(From Lps: Soulful Piano Of J.M. 1960 & Big Chief 1961)

Jazz

In the `60s, the terms “soul-jazz” and “organ combo” went hand-in-hand — frequently, but not always. Although organ combos dominated soul-jazz in the `60s, there is another valuable part of `60s soul-jazz that isn’t discussed quite as much: piano trios led by funky, soulful players like Ray Bryant, Bobby Timmons, Ramsey Lewis, and Gene Harris. All of those artists demonstrated that earthy down-home soul-jazz didn’t have to have an organ, and Junior Mance was also well aware of the piano’s possibilities as a soul-jazz instrument. The Chicago native has often made it clear that piano jazz (to borrow Marian McPartland’s term) can also be soul-jazz — a fact that is quite evident on Sweet and Lovely. This 2004 release unites two of Mance’s early-`60s sessions on a single 77-minute CD: The Soulful Piano of Junior Mance and Big Chief (minus the Big Chief track “The Seasons,” which Fantasy omitted due to space limitations). Both albums were produced by Orrin Keepnews for Jazzland/Riverside, and both of them find Mance leading cohesive piano trios. Whether Mance is joined by bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Bobby Thomas on Soulful Piano, or bassist Jimmy Rowser and drummer Paul Gusman on Big Chief, the pianist is in fine form throughout Sweet and Lovely. Mance excels on 12-bar blues themes, and he is equally convincing on standards that range from George Gershwin’s “Summertime” and Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale” to Thelonious Monk’s “Ruby, My Dear”. Occasionally, Mance ventures into cerebral territory; “Love for Sale” and the original “Swish,” for example, underscore the Chicagoan’s ability to play tough, complex, demanding bop changes at a fast tempo. But most of these trio performances thrive on groove-oriented accessibility and will easily appeal to those who prefer their jazz on the melodic side. ~ Alex Henderson
**
The heyday of hard bop was a boon for jazz piano enthusiasts. New names on the ivories surfaced continuously like seedlings after a fresh rain. Along with the acknowledged masters like Powell and Monk were their second generation acolytes: Bobby Timmons, Cedar Walton, Harold Mabern and Junior Mance among them. Like their forbearers these fellows paid their dues as sidemen. A Chicagoan by birth, Mance got his first high profile gig with Gene Ammons. Future employers included Lester Young, Cannonball Adderley as well as a recurring spot at the Windy City watering hole The Beehive Lounge where he served as pinch-hit piano man for Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Stitt. Quite an enviable resume and all before he hit the age of 32. The steady exposure led to a contract with Milestone Records and the two albums reissued here, his first and third for the label.

On both of the dates collected here Mance isn’t especially adventurous in terms of his tune choices, but his playing is quite often agile and creative with an emphasis placed on propulsive drive rather than structural complexity. Toe-tapping blues patterns fuel the bulk of the seventeen tracks with a judicious balance between standards and originals adding to the variety. Tucker shows himself the better of the two bassists, but Rowser fulfills his role competently. The two drummers come across basically as session men, doing what’s required behind their respective kits, but little more. Gathered under somewhat slapdash title The Soulful Piano of Junior Mance , the first nine cuts find pianist capitalizing on a keen confluence between his hands and fingers. “The Uptown” is a marvel of interlocking rolls and adroit accents as his left holds down a funky stride-derived vamp and his right tinkles away with a string of variations. “Ralph’s New Blues” almost sounds like a continuation, so seamless is the transition, starting slow and quickly gaining steam under the aegis of the leader’s bright rippling progressions. Drummer Bobby Thomas spends a surprising amount of time wielding brushes and his relaxed sensitive demeanor only augments the after hours ambience of the session.

Big Chief! , the second platter represented, reflects the then-vogue kitsch of all things Native American only in its cash-in title. A wise move on the part of Mance as it wards off any chance of the date sounding dated. Even the eponymous piece avoids any faux Indian rhythms and instead focuses on some particularly punchy bass work from Rowser reeled out on a corpulent walking line. The menu is much the same with a cerulean hue tinting much of the action. Was there a keyboardist in the Sixties who didn’t take a stab at “Summertime”? Mance notches his name in the long roster of interpreters with a muscular reading that transforms the theme into a steady strolling march emphasizing momentum over sanguine reflection. Another standout of the session is “Swish,” a feature for second drummer Paul Gusman who paints the purpose of the title in bold relief with his supple and speedy brush play before stoking the fires with some ferocious stick-driven press rolls. Around the time of these sessions Mance was also tapped as the pianistic sparkplug for the joint tenor venture of Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Johnny Griffin. No doubt the music on the first of these albums had something to do with their decision to recruit him.
By Derek Taylor.
**
2 albums’ worth of sweet early soul jazz work from Junior Mance — both of them pretty darn hard to find! The records both hail from Junior’s early 60s years — a time when he was getting a bit more freedom to stretch out on the keys and work through some soulful inflections — in a style that was encouraged by the contemporary success of pianists like Ray Bryant and Bobby Timmons. Like those two, Junior’s working here in a style that’s dripping with influences from gospel and blues, yet which also still firmly swings in a jazz-based sensibility — lightly gliding up and down the keys, with help from either Ben Tucker or Jimmy Roswer on bass, and Bobby Thomas or Paul Gusman on drums. The set’s got 17 tracks in all, with lots of original tunes — and titles that include “Uptown”, “Ralph’s New Blues”, “Main Stem”, “Playhouse”, “Sweet & Lovely”, “In The Land Of Oo Bla Dee”, “Swish”, “Swingmatism”, and “Big Chief”. Note: CD omits the track “Seasons” from the album Big Chief due to space restrictions.
From Dusty Groove.
**
Junior Mance- (Piano);
Ben Tucker, Jimmy Rowser- (Bass);
Paul Gusman- (Drums);
Bobby Thomas, Jr.- (Drums).
**
01. The Uptown 2:12
02. Ralph’s New Blues 4:24
03. Main Stem 4:44
04. Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup 3:27
05. Playhouse 4:14
06. Sweet And Lovely 3:44
07. In The Land Of Oo-bla-dee 4:36
08. I Don’t Care 4:27
09. Swingmatism 5:12
10. Big Chief 4:16
11. Love For Sale 4:48
12. Fillet Of Soul 4:27
13. Swish 3:38
14. Summertime 5:20
15. Ruby, My Dear 4:46
16. Little Miss Gail 4:45
17. Atlanta Blues 5:52
**

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Alan SKIDMORE, Tony OXLEY, Ali HAURAND – SOH 1979

Posted in Alan SKIDMORE, Ali HAURAND, JAZZ, Tony OXLEY on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Alan SKIDMORE, Tony OXLEY, Ali HAURAND – SOH 1979
EGO 4011

Jazz

This remarkable and exciting tenor player never fails to move and lift an audience.
Manchester Evening News.
**
There are far too few Alan Skidmore recordings available. This one, long since unobtainable, is one of the best I’ve heard. For most of the tracks, Skidmore is in unashameably Coltrane mode, and nobody does it better than him. Curiously, as a contrast, the track Trio nr. 10 sounds more like Evan Parker. I have my doubts about that track, but it’s only short, and the rest of the tracks more than make up for it.
**
Alan Skidmore- Tenor, Soprano Sax
Ali Haurand- Bass
Tony Oxley- Drums, Percussion.
**
A1. One, Two, Free 20:20
B1. Das Ist Alice 9.55
B2. Trio nr. 10 3:46
B3. Lost in W.G. 8:24
**

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Cannonball ADDERLEY – Cannonball Adderley's Fiddler On The Roof 1964

Posted in JAZZ, Julian "Cannonball" ADDERLEY on November 23, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Cannonball ADDERLEY – Cannonball Adderley’s Fiddler On The Roof 1964
1972 Issue. ST-11008
Jazz

It is a bit strange that none of the eight songs performed on this LP found their way into Adderley’s permanent repertoire for the altoist is quite inspired throughout this surprising set. With strong assists from cornetist Nat Adderley, Charles Lloyd on tenor and flute, pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, Cannonball plays near his peak; this is certainly the finest album by this particular sextet.
By Scott Yanow. AMG.
**
Once again, Cannon proves that it’s not the song, it’s the singer! This set of tunes from the hit musical Fiddler On The Roof should be schmaltzy — but thanks to the quality of the group (a great sextet with Nat Adderley, Charles Lloyd, Joe Zawinul, Sam Jones, and Louis Hayes), and thanks to some hip production from David Axelrod, the album really sparkles! The tones of Cannon and Lloyd are great together — and the make the best songs sound like strange Eastern-tinged jazz numbers. Tunes include “To Life”, “Fiddler On The Roof”, “Cajvalach”, “Sewing Machine”, “Matchmaker”, and “Now I Have Everything”. (Rainbow label pressing. Vinyl has a mark that clicks on Side 1. Cover has some staining on each side near the bottom seam & a cutout hole.)
From Dusty Groove.
**
Fiddler on the Roof is  the longest-running, most-beloved musical in Broadway history, (2) a smash motion picture directed by Norman Jewison and starring the Israeli-actor Topol, and (3) now an exceptional-if surprising -jazz vehicle for Cannonball Adderley.

Not surprisingly, the unpredictable Cannon performs the warm, uplifting Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock score with style and sentiment, and a lot of help from his extremely talented friends-namely, Nat Adderley, Charles Lloyd, Joe Zawinul, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes.

It is rather improper to single out certain tracks and solo performances for special praise. Instead, the entire album should be enjoyed-as an exciting marriage of superb material, fragrant mood and riveting artistry.

Titles of three selections in this package do, however, require explanation.Fiddler on the Roof in the show itself is also called Tradition. The Bolero-tempered Chavalah is strictly a dance sequence in the show, and does not appear in the original cast recording. Cannon, however, found it perfect in the context of this recording. Sewing Machine was deleted prior to the Broadway opening, but Cannon liked it so much he felt that it too should be included on this date.
**
One of the melodies I’ve heard in my pre-teenage years and am still able of humming today was “If I Were a Richman” from the film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof; but if that trailer ‘s soundtrack having been forever embedded in my memory is a mere personal testimony that proves the movie did immortalize the musical 7 years after its opening,  one of the very first persons to have realized its immense potential was Cannonball, who scarcely a month after that date was ready to enter the studio to record his own arrangements of Jerry Bock’s originals.
To discover this album so many years after those TV viewings  in the  early 70s was an almost moving experience, in that, and although the mentioned number is not included in Cannonball’s selection, some melodic segments such as those  on “Chavalah” brought back visual memories of the red-bearded Jewish father of five joyously singing perched on a roof top.

The rich harmonic content of the songs was a magnificent playground for Cannonball, brother Nat Adderley and Charles Lloyd to unleash striking improvised statements and to breed new life into their immortal melodies with an emotional expressivity as only the most outstanding interpreters can achieve.
Same as the multiple emotions and contradictory states of mind a father goes through while trying to keep his family together and living according to sacred ancestral traditions, so does this album conveys a large spectrum of moods: it is bookended by the lengthiest tracks, two pulsing hard-boppers, the title track after an hoping staccato theme taken to stellar heights by the successive solos of the leader, Nat and Lloyd, interspersed by a brief unison arrangement and brought back to reality by an earthy Joe Zawinul piano rendition; and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” its theme stated by the flute with the alto occasionally swirling around, attacked by liquid contrapunctual arrangements by trumpet, sax and piano and fed by concise but vigorous trumpet, flute and piano solos.

A pair of tracks are like a family affair, Nat muted trumpet delineating the joyous “To Life” theme under the surveillance of the perspicacious Zawinul, before Cannonball injects the mid-tempo swing with a dose of resurrecting arguments, a bring-a-dead-man-back-to-life treatment he also applies to the brisk Jazz-waltz  of “Sewing Machine” with a scorching solo duly propelled by the turbulent drumming of Louis Hayes, the propulsive bass of Sam Jones and punctuated by a bouncing Zawinul.

Depicting both the feelings of a freshly wedded couple and those of one on its 25th anniversary, are the genuinely passionate love poem Cannonball sings on his alto on “Now I Have Everything”, sensitively embellished by the flute, and the gentle and tender tenor work of Lloyd embellished by the piano and anchored by lingering bass punctuations on “Do You Love Me” a couple of moving ballads the more romantic will fall in love with.
Yet on different mind sets are the both charming and mournful “Sabbath Prayer”, with the saxes moving around the main trumpet melody accompanied by the funeral like march tempo of the rhythm section, and the calm bolero of “Chavalah” opened by the flute and soon joined in a broken unison by the horns atop a smoothly martial looping rhythm pattern, making this an album rich with contrast that may only disappoint those who only like their Cannonball on “full exuberance mode”.
**
Cannonball Adderley- (Alto Sax),
Nat Adderley- (Trumpet, Cornet),
Charles Lloyd- (Tenor Sax, Flute),
Joe Zawinul- (Piano),
Sam Jones- (Bass),
Louis Hayes- (Drums).
**
A1. Fiddler on the Roof  7:20
A2. To Life  5:05
A3. Sabbath Prayer  3:12
A4. Chavalah  2:50
B1. Sewing Machine  3:31
B2. Now I Have Everything  4:08
B3. Do You Love Me?  4:58
B4. Matchmaker, Matchmaker   5:30
**

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