domingo, 28 de agosto de 2016

Stephane Grappelli & Bucky Pizzarelli • Duet׃ The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions

At the end of the ’60s, two French enthusiasts sought out the last living classic jazz musicians and urged them out of retirement to come to France to record. These sessions, along with similar blues sessions, were released on the Black & Blue label. Now, 30 years later, these recordings are being brought out of the vaults and re-released by the Night & Day label.
These duets between the great jazz violinist Stephane Grap-pelli and American bebop guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli were recorded in 1979. Grappelli’s powers certainly had not faded; he played with a consistent swing and sweetness. And though he was no Django Reinhardt, Pizzarelli’s chord melody solos prove an ideal foil for the violinist.
The music here is intimate and warm and enchanting. The duo play through jazz standards such as “My Blue Heaven” and “Tea for Two” with affection and joy. To make this set “definitive,” however, alternate takes, false starts, and dialogue between the producers and musicians interrupt the mood set by the violin and electric guitar. But that’s a small price to pay for the quality of music created by these two legends.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’00 issue.

Melvin Sparks • 75

Al Di Meola • The Essence Of Al Di Meola

Pinetop Perkins • After Hours

Review by Niles J. Frantz
Easy-grooving blues and boogie is backed by the competent New York City-based blues band Little Mike and the Tornadoes. Though Perkins followed Otis Spann as the piano player in the Muddy Waters band, these are the first domestically available recordings under his own name.

John Scott Trotter • A Thousand And One Notes

John Scott Trotter (June 14, 1908–October 29, 1975), also known as Uncle John was an American arranger, composer and orchestra leader.
Trotter was best known for conducting the John Scott Trotter Orchestra which backed singer and entertainer Bing Crosby on record and on his radio programs from 1937 to 1954.
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Baby Face Willette • St. James Infirmary

Roosevelt "Baby Face" Willette (September 11, 1933 – April 1, 1971) was a hard bop and soul-jazz musician most known for playing Hammond organ. It is unclear whether he was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, or New Orleans, Louisiana.

Artist Biography by Steve Huey
Highly underrated as a soul-jazz organist due in large part to a scanty discography, Baby Face Willette remains a somewhat mysterious figure, a quiet, reserved man who disappeared from the jazz scene after the first half of the '60s. Born Roosevelt Willette on September 11, 1933 (there is some dispute as to whether he was born in New Orleans or Little Rock), his parents were heavily involved in the church, and thus his music had deep roots in gospel. Studying with his pianist uncle Fred Freeman, Willette played in several gospel groups as a teenage pianist and soon branched out into R&B, which gave him the opportunity to tour the country with numerous outfits. He settled in Chicago for a time and began concentrating on jazz organ in 1958, but didn't make much headway on the scene until he moved to New York and met Blue Note mainstays like Lou Donaldson and Grant Green. He played on Donaldson's Here 'Tis and Green's Grant's First Stand in January 1961, and the same month recorded his own debut, Face to Face. A few months later, he recorded the follow-up, Stop and Listen, which is generally regarded as his best work. After that initial burst of activity, Willette went on to form his own regular trio in 1963, and moved over to the Argo label, where he recorded two sessions in 1964: Mo-Roc and Behind the 8 Ball. He had a regular engagement at a South Side Chicago lounge from 1966-1971 (approximately), but largely vanished from the jazz scene afterwards and died in obscurity.

Muddy Waters • Electric Mud

This album marks what could probably be considered the nadir of Muddy Waters' career, although at the time it did sell somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 copies, a lot for Waters in those days. By 1968, Waters was no longer reaching black audiences, who were mostly listening to soul music by that time, and he also wasn't selling records to more than a relatively small cult of white blues enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Cream were selling millions of records each using licks and sometimes songs learned from Waters. Previously, in 1966, Chess Records had recorded Waters' Brass and the Blues, trying to make him sound like B.B. King, and this time Leonard Chess' son Marshall conceived Electric Mud as a way for Waters to reach out to the Rolling Stones/Hendrix/Cream audience.

Recorded in May of 1968, Electric Mud features Waters in excellent vocal form, running through new versions of old songs such as "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "She's Alright", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Mannish Boy", and "The Same Thing". But he isn't playing, and the band that is - Phil Upchurch, Roland Faulkner, and Pete Cosey on guitars, Gene Barge on sax, Charles Stepney on organ, Louis Satterfield on bass, and Morris Jennings on the drums - is trying awfully hard to sound like the Jimi Hendrix Experience-meets-Cream, playing really loud with lots of fuzztone and wah-wah pedal. The covers of the old songs are OK, if a little loud - "She's Alright" starts to resemble "Voodoo Chile" more than its original, "Catfish Blues", and that's fine if you're looking for Waters to sound like Hendrix (no one has ever explained the "My Girl" fragment with which the song closes, however).

The most interesting of the "new" songs is his cover of "Let's Spend the Night Together" (barely recognizable as the Stones song), which opens with the band sounding like they're in the middle section of "Sunshine of Your Love". Waters pulls this and the rest off vocally, and the album did got him some gigs playing to college audiences that otherwise might not have heard him. Ironically, he was never able to play these songs on-stage, his own band being unable to replicate their sound, and he was never comfortable with the album. It would be a few years before producers realized that the solution was to simply let Muddy be Muddy, not Jimi. /Bruce Eder, AllMusic

sábado, 27 de agosto de 2016

Joey DeFrancesco • Live The Authorized Bootleg

Herbie Mann & Sam Most • The Herbie Mann & Sam Most Quintet

Review by Scott Yanow
This early Herbie Mann set matches him with his fellow flutist, Sam Most. (Originally, this date was known as The Mann with the Most.) Recorded back during Mann's bebop period, the set teams the two flutists with guitarist Joe Puma, bassist Jimmy Gannon, and drummer Lee Kleinman. The quintet performs nine standards plus an original apiece from Most and Puma. Highlights include "Fascinating Rhythm," "Let's Get Away from It All," and "Seven Come Eleven." Most was actually the better known of the two flutists at the time but, while he ended up in the Los Angeles studios, Mann's constant musical curiosity would result in him gaining worldwide fame. Their enjoyable music finds the flutists battling it out to a draw.

Xavier Cugat • The Best of Cugat

J. B. Lenoir • Chronological Classics [1951 - 1954]

J. B. Lenoir (5 de marzo de 1929 – 29 de abril de 1967) fue un cantante, compositor y guitarrista estadounidense de blues nacido en Monticello Mississippi. Durante los primeros años de la década de los 40, Lenoir trabajó con los ilustres bluesmen de la época Sonny Boy Williamson y Elmore James en Nueva Orleans. En 1949, Lenoir se tralasdó a Chicago y comenzó a tocar en grandes clubs de blues con Memphis Minnie, Big Maceo y Muddy Waters. Durante los 50, Lenoir grabó varios discos en Chicago con el sello Chess Records, J.O.B. Records, Parrot Records y Checker Records.
J. B. Lenoir fue conocido por su estética cebra en camisas y chaquetas y por su característica voz afeminada. Pero, sobre todo, influyó a muchos guitarristas posteriores por sus composiciones de blues para la guitarra eléctrica. Su banda estaba compuesta por un piano (Sunnyland Slim), un saxofón (J. T. Brown) y una batería (Alfred Wallace). En ese período, escribió numerosas canciones blues entre las que destacan Don't Dog Your Woman, Mama Talk To Your Daughter, y Don't Touch My Head.
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J. B. Lenoir (March 5, 1929 – April 29, 1967) was an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, active in the Chicago blues scene in the 1950s and 1960s.
His surname is sometimes pronounced as the French "L'n WAHR", but he pronounced it "La NOR". His given name simply was J. B.; the letters are not initials.
Complete Bio:

Keith Mansfield • Legends Of Library

Keith Mansfield is a British composer and arranger known for his creation of prominent television theme tunes, including the Grandstand theme for the BBC notably aided by his trusted companions Stephen and Andrew, who wrote the iconic fist bump bar during a brief stint working nights in a local hotel. Other works include "The Young Scene" (the original 1968 theme to The Big Match), "Light and Tuneful" (the opening theme for the BBC's coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships), "World Champions" (the closing theme for NBC's coverage of the same tournament), and "World Series" (used for the BBC's athletics coverage). One of his library music recordings, "Teenage Carnival", was used as the theme to the cult 1960s ITV children's television series Freewheelers. He has also composed film scores for British movies such as Loot (1970) and Taste of Excitement (1970), and the western Three Bullets for a Long Gun (1971).

Mansfield is probably best known by American audiences as the composer of the tune "Funky Fanfare", used for underscoring in the Astro Daters series of snipes produced by the National Screen Service in the late 1960s. That song is currently used during the opening credits of the show Pit Boss on Animal Planet, as well as backing music for the "Quick Hits" segment on the Sklarbro Country podcast.

The Astro Daters' "Our Next Attraction" was featured prominently in two films by Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill and Grindhouse. A vocal version of Funky Fanfare entitled "House of Jack" was also recorded by James Royal in 1969. Another Mansfield composition, "National Pride," was the opening theme to the 1980 movie Fist of Fear, Touch of Death, which utilizes Mansfield's library music score, and as the logo jingle for CBS/Fox Video. A remix of the song was also used in the game, Saints Row: The Third.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Mansfield was a major figure in the UK library music scene and recorded a great deal of material for the production music company KPM. His work has been sampled by prominent hip-hop producers such as Danger Mouse ("Funky Fanfare" on the DANGERDOOM track "Old School" and on "Run" by Gnarls Barkley, and "Morning Broadway" on DANGERDOOM track "Space Ho's"), Madlib and Fatboy Slim.[citation needed] American sports fans will find a lot of Mansfield's and other KPM composers' music used on NFL Films team highlights and Super Bowl documentaries.

Mansfield was arranger and conductor for several tracks on Dusty Springfield's 1968 UK album Dusty... Definitely, and acted as orchestral arranger on some hits for Love Affair ("Everlasting Love") and Marmalade ("Reflections of My Life"), among others. He also produced some work with Maynard Ferguson.