egroj world: julio 2016


sábado, 30 de julio de 2016

Herb Hardesty & His Band • The Domino, Effect Wing and Federal Recordings 1958-61

Review by Richie Unterberger
Just the first paragraph of the liner notes to this CD is enough to make you wonder why Herb Hardesty isn't in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the sideman category, as he played saxophone on numerous Fats Domino classics including "I'm Walkin'," "Blue Monday," and "The Fat Man" (as well as Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"). He also did some recordings on his own, with this anthology collecting 20 tracks he cut between 1958 and 1961. The first dozen have never been heard before this compilation, as they were recorded in 1958 (with a lineup including fellow New Orleans sax legend Alvin "Red" Tyler) for an album for Mercury's Wing subsidiary that never came out; the others appeared on obscure singles between 1959 and 1962 (though the final one, "Just a Little Bit of Everything," is an alternate take, as the master tape for the original 45 is lost). All are instrumental, with the exception of a couple songs featuring vocals by Walter "Papoose" Nelson.
Although Hardesty was undeniably a first-rate talent -- one listen to the sax on any of the aforementioned hits by other artists will confirm that -- these recordings are ordinary R&B/rock instrumentals, sometimes with a pronounced Latin feel. They'd be OK for background listening or warm-up dancing in a club, but they really don't have much going for them as interesting compositions (all were written or co-written by Hardesty, though he sometimes gave the credit to his son Michael). As generic music capturing the atmosphere of the time, they do fill the bill, whether it's the smoky sax on the ballad "Soft Lights," or the walking beat on more uptempo party numbers like "Feelin' Good." "Bouncing Ball" in particular echoes the arrangements on Fats Domino hits like "I'm Walkin'," though things usually tend toward a slightly jazzier, less rock-oriented mood. The thorough liner notes give a good account of Hardesty's career as a whole, not just the period covered by the material on this collection.


If you grew up listening to R&B and rock’n’roll during the 1950s, you could not have avoided hearing Herb Hardesty. If you own just one of countless Imperial Fats Domino 45s or 78s, you will own at least two examples of Herb’s craft, as he blew tenor saxophone solos on just about every track Fats cut on Imperial from his first session in 1949 to his last in 1962. Herb’s unique sax signature also appeared on a vast amount of other New Orleans productions throughout the 1950s and early 60s. He also toured with Fats’ road band for four decades, appearing all over the world.

It’s hardly surprising that Herb’s own recording career as a bandleader amounts to no more than the 20 tracks that make up ‘The Domino Effect’, a well-deserved salute to this giant of New Orleans music that, happily, he is still around to enjoy.

While he was on the road with Fats, Herb got noticed and signed as a solo act by the manager of Mercury Records group the Diamonds. Using his in at Mercury, Nat Goodman negotiated a deal for Herb and the other members of the Domino band to cut an album of mostly rockin’ instrumentals for the label’s Wing subsidiary at Cosimo Matassa’s New Orleans studio. For reasons that nobody can remember now, the album was never released – an oversight that Ace is more than happy to rectify 54 years later. Although the tracks are obviously sax-centric, there’s plenty of room for the other members of Herb’s outfit to be heard – it sounds like a Fats Domino album without vocals, which is exactly what it is.

The balance of the tracks here were either sold to or cut for King Records’ Syd Nathan and released on the Federal label over a period of a couple of years. Pretty much all of the same musicians participated in the sessions; although the sound is more 60s, there’s plenty for fans of later-period New Orleans R&B to enjoy. The overall listening experience is well summed up by the closing track, ‘Just A Little Bit Of Everything’, which is what Herb Hardesty and his band serve up throughout.

The great music is supplemented by a book full of gorgeous pictures from Herb’s own collection and testimonials from many of the great musicians he has worked with in his 60-plus years in music, from Dr John to Allen Toussaint to Herb’s most regular and loyal employer Dave Bartholomew. Herb is delighted with and fully supportive of our CD. We’re sure those who continually ask us for more music from the Crescent City will be too. - By Tony Rounce -

Toots Thielemans & Sivuca ‎• Chiko's Bar

Memphis Slim • Boogie Woogie and Blues Played and Sung By Memphis Slim

viernes, 29 de julio de 2016

Houston Person • The Party

Review by Ron Wynn
Good soul jazz and blues session, with young lion organist Joey DeFrancesco providing the funky undercurrent to tenor saxophonist Houston Person's thick, authoritative solos and Randy Johnston and Bertell Knox filling the spaces on bass and drums, plus Sammy Figueroa adding some Afro-Latin fiber for additional support.

jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

Tony Monaco, Yosuke Onuma & Gene Jackson • At One

Tony Monaco is a leader in a modest revival of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. As he has been with so many fledgling jazz organists, Jimmy Smith played a significant role in attracting Monaco to jazz and retaining his interest in the music. Monaco was 12 years old when he first heard Smith and, as a 16th birthday present, got a phone call from the organ giant. The culmination of this association came when Smith invited the young performer to join him at Smith's club. Monaco has also been fortunate to spend time with other jazz organ masters, including Hank Marr and Dr. Lonnie Smith. He started subbing for players, like Marr, in and around Columbus, OH, when he was just 16. Monaco has also been helped along by one of his peers, Joey DeFrancesco, who produced Monaco's first album, Burnin' Grooves, and joined the session on piano. Monaco added horns to his second album, Master Chops T, released in 2002, giving the Hammond organ player much more flexibility to the arrangements. It also allowed him to take full advantage of the rhythmic invention the electric organ allows its players to engage in. A live follow-up, Intimately Live, followed later that year. In addition to his albums as leader, Monaco has recorded with Eric Neymeyer and neo-bop guitarist Mark Elf. Monaco doesn't rely entirely on his jazz work to support his family. He and his brother run and own a concrete construction business. When not performing or building, Monaco listens to other masters of the organ, including Smith, Richard "Groove" Holmes, and Larry Goldings. ~ Dave Nathan

George Shearing Quintet • On The Sunny Side Of The Strip

Review by Scott Yanow
This is one of five live George Shearing Quintet. Superior to the pianist's studio mood music albums of the period, this set is quite bop-oriented with such songs as "Jordu," "Confirmation," "Bernie's Tune" and "Joy Spring" being given the Shearing treatment. Vibraphonist Emil Richards, guitarist Toots Thielemans, bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Percy Brice complete the quintet while as usual the congas of Armando Peraza help out on a couple of Latin pieces.

martes, 26 de julio de 2016

VA • The Blue Note Years, Vol. 3 Organ & Soul 1956-1967

This two CD collection was originally released as part of Blue Note's 60th Anniversary boxed set. Jimmy Smith, who was signed by Alfred Lion after he saw just one of Smith's shows, sets the pace for this chronicle of the organ fever of soul jazz. Other great organists featured include John Patton, Larry Young, and Freddie Roach. Aggressive and funky, this CD documents a sound that borrowed heavily from the blues and would influence jazz and rock well into the next decade. ~by Stacia Proefrock

VA • Rockin' The Spirit

Review by Scott Yanow
After attending an annual boogie-woogie concert organized by Mark Braun (Mr. B.), Monty Alexander headed a recording project that paid tribute to both boogie-woogie and spirituals. Five pianists participated, performing two numbers apiece, with four of the players (all but Alexander) playing a pair of duets. Alexander, Eric Reed, and Johnny O'Neal are better known nationally than Bob Seeley and Mark Braun, but all five pianists fare well, stretching beyond boogie-woogie and spirituals to include a few swing standards and even a bluish duet on Benny Golson's "Whisper Not." Recommended to boogie-woogie fans and the curious.

Five exceptional pianists join forces for an unforgettable evening of stomping boogie-woogie and soulful gospel music. As heard in these performances, both boogie-woogie and gospel are intricately linked. Both can light up a room, warm the heart, and stir emotions like nothing else.

Five phenomenal pianists show how close boogie-woogie is to gospel music, united as they are by a common directness and passion. Anyone who saw the movie Ray will remember the scene where Ray Charles and Art Tatum play a piano duet and come to the same conclusion. Johnny O'Neal played Tatum, and boogie is his speciality. In his hands, and in those of contemporary masters Bob Seeley and Mark Braun, the venerable idiom comes ferociously to life. It's hard to believe that one pair of hands can create such power and drive. - The Observer (UK)

Charlie Singleton • At His Best

Charlie Singleton was a New York City-based saxophonist and bandleader who worked in a jump blues/R&B vein during the late '40s and early '50s. During his tenure with Atlas Records; one of the first New York based, Black owned independent record labels of the early fifties, Charlie recorded a number of highly influential jump blues instrumentals and also backed many of the groups who recorded for Atlas including the great jump blues singer, H-Bomb Ferguson. This collection focuses on the sides Singleton cut as a leader between 1952 and 1953.

lunes, 25 de julio de 2016

John Patton • The Way I Feel

Jim Helms • Bossa Nova

André Previn And His Orchestra ‎• Misty

Jo Basile, Accordion And Orchestra • Roman Holiday

Ed Cherry • Soul Tree

by S. Victor Aaron
Ed Cherry is a veteran jazz guitarist with a bagful of bonafides. He was a student at Berklee in ’72, toured with Jimmy McGriff and Tim Hardin (among other jazz luminaries) and played in Dizzy Gillespie’s band for the last fifteen years of the iconic trumpeter’s life. Along the way, Cherry’s worked with a wide range of heavies, from Henry Threadgill and Oliver Lake to John Patton and Steve Coleman. His indispensability as a sideman may have curtailed his solo output, but Soul Tree (February 12, 2016, Posi-Tone Records) is his second for Posi-Tone four years after It’s All Good, his first for the label (and fifth overall).

This one’s another organ trio setup like Good but it’s got Kyle Koehler on the Hammond B3 and Anwar Marshall on drums, and these guys aren’t slouches. Cherry himself is firmly in the old school of soul-jazz guitarists and his precise, understated style is smoky, cool and sweet. Kenny Burrell is the guy I think most of when I hear Cherry play.

The fare for Soul Tree covers the gambit from Kool & The Gang’s “Let The Music Take Your Mind,” where jazz and RnB hand in hand, to the soulful swing put into Horace Silver’s “Peace.” In-between, Cherry and his own gang take on tunes that offer a different angle than the originals. A 2/4 swing caresses John Coltrane’s “Central Park West,” while Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes” is made into a mellow bossa nova with a heaping helping of octaves.

The trio simmers on “A New Blue” a blues-based tune from Jimmy Heath tune and Cherry delivers tasty, relaxed single line notes. He’s got only two of his own songs here, enough to show he’s a serious composer in his own right. For the dynamic boogaloo “Rachel’s Step” Cherry gets funky, and Koehler puts in work on the organ like Dr. Lonnie Smith. “Little Girl Big Girl” has a fetching, soulful melody and Cherry shows off nice rhythm chops.

Soul Tree is that kind of fundamentally solid, guitar/organ/drums record that you’d expect from a seasoned hand like Ed Cherry. You won’t go wrong here.

viernes, 22 de julio de 2016

Al Caiola • Bonanza

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Al Caiola era un conocido gran parte grabada y guitarrista, profesional de los '60. Él era un músico de sesión, lo que condujo a su papel destacado como el director musical para la serie álbum de RCA guitarras de Vida, y también tenía una carrera de grabación para los artistas unidos, grabando numerosos discos instrumentales para ellos entre 1960 y 1969, el período cubierto en Raven 33 pistas 2002 colección Bonanza !. El título, por supuesto, viene de mayor éxito de Caiola - el barrido, la versión de pantalla ancha del tema principal de la épica occidental smallscreen que, junto con su versión similar de Elmer Bernstein de "Los siete magníficos", llegó a las listas en 1961. Estas fueron las únicas veces que trazaron, pero continuó grabando prolíficamente, desde que fue obligado por contrato para suministrar 60 pistas a RCA por año. Eso llevó a una música en su conjunto lotta, y dado que era descaradamente comercial - su rumbly, guitarra echoey abrirse camino a través de las cadenas de dulces y bronce a todo volumen, coros vocales de vez en cuando - y, a menudo dispuestas alrededor de un tema suelto (Cleopatra y All That Jazz, oro sólido de la guitarra, guitarra Tuff Inglés Estilo, Tuff Guitarra Tijuana estilo, etc.), a menudo era cursi y tonto y consistieron en material de raída. Incluso si las canciones fueron leves, las producciones son atractivamente exuberante y fecha pop fácil instrumental que evoca la plaza, pero 60s de balanceo 'en lugar sin esfuerzo. Y es el sonido general que cuenta aquí - Caiola es un consumado guitarrista, pero esto no es música para los jugadores de la guitarra, es música de humor para mediados de los oyentes de la carretera. Esta es la música que está ligada a su tiempo, que es su atractivo, pero un poco de lo hace ir un largo camino - que es también la razón por esta colección de 33 pistas, con grandes notas de Chuck Miller, es tan amplio como una colección de grabaciones de Caiola tiene que ser. Puede ser mucho, mucho más en las bóvedas o dejado sólo en vinilo, pero todo lo que es necesario es una muestra, y esta es una, el muestreo por expertos montado bien elegido, una visión definitiva de la carrera de Caiola como artista de grabación titular. Pero tenga en cuenta que si bien esta es la buena música estado de ánimo, sólo aquellos oyentes que realmente tienen una alta tolerancia a los 60 kitsch se escuchan más de una vez o dos veces. :D

Paul Desmond • Bridge Over Troubled Water

Review by Richard S. Ginell
Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water was the hottest album in the land in 1970, and Paul Simon's tunes from that and their earlier albums unexpectedly find a congenial advocate in Paul Desmond. Against the odds as determined by bopsters, Desmond finds something beautiful, wistful, and/or sly to say in each of these ten tunes, backed by Herbie Hancock's Rhodes electric piano and a set of ravishing, occasionally overstated (as in "America") orchestrations by Don Sebesky. "The 59th Street Bridge Song" is given a jaunty, carefree rendition, adapting quite well to a jazz treatment (after all, Desmond's old teammate in the Brubeck quartet Joe Morello played drums on S&G's original record) and Desmond even does some cascading overdubs on his solo part. "Cecilia" is a fast samba, Desmond cleverly works his old "Sacre Blues" into the solo on "El Condor Pasa," and the title track has a breathtakingly pretty fadeout. Hancock's solos often reflect where he was personally at in 1970, with ideas transferred from his progressive electric Sextet. This is a Creed Taylor production in all but name; the sound, track editing, and production values are right in line with the A&M CTI line, but Sebesky is listed as producer, Taylor having recently severed his ties with A&M to form his own label.

The Jackson Four • Love The Life

The classic sound of the Hammond B3, mixed with soulful sax and vocals on a journey into the crossroads where Blues and Groove meets Jazz.
The band’s distinctive style and sound is centred around the classic Hammond B3 organ. With interplay from soulful sax and vocals. All driven by a strong swing, jazz, Latin rhythm and percussion section. Their music is a journey into the crossroads where Blues and Jazz intersect. And a repertoire mixing the sounds of New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Memphis into their own interpretations of renowned favourites and hidden unknown gems that the band searches out for their set.

The Band Are:
Hammond Organ - Gary ‘Groove Keys’ Jones. Gary is well known around Melbourne’s Jazz and Blues scenes for his skill and passion with the Hammond Organ. Gary can also be found as promoter of the ‘Hammond Sessions’ at ‘BAR 303’ in Northcote, Melbourne. Gary performs with Continental Robert from the legendary soul brothers ‘The Dynamic Hepnotics’, when on tour.
Sax - On sax is one of Melbourne’s most in-demand horn players, Jeff Mead. Besides featuring in some of Melbourne’s top big swing bands, Jeff plays regularly in The Andrea Marr Band and other well-established Blues acts.
Vocals and Percussion - Front man, soul and jazz singer, Peter Jackson has performed with Paul Kelly, The Australian Blues Brothers Show’, ‘Grand Wazoo’, ‘The Swing Genies’ and other funk, soul and jazz bands on the Australian circuit. Originally, Peter led his own bands including early 90’s popular Melbourne pub soulsters, ‘Sticky Soul’. In this line up, Peter’s percussion adds a touch of Latin to the groove rhythms with congas and a range of Latin hand instruments.
Drums - Consummate and well respected jazz drummer, Nick Mierisch. Nick has been the rhythmic force behind many jazz and soul funk bands around town over the last 30 years.

Grant Green • Matador

Matador featuring performances recorded in 1964 but not released on the Japanese Blue Note label until 1979.[1] The album was finally reissued in the U.S. on CD in 1990 with one bonus track. It was also reissued on vinyl in 2010, with a different cover.

Review by Steve Huey
Grant Green recorded so much high-quality music for Blue Note during the first half of the '60s that a number of excellent sessions went unissued at the time. Even so, it's still hard to figure out why 1964's Matador was only released in Japan in 1979, prior to its U.S. CD reissue in 1990 -- it's a classic and easily one of Green's finest albums. In contrast to the soul-jazz and jazz-funk for which Green is chiefly remembered, Matador is a cool-toned, straight-ahead modal workout that features some of Green's most advanced improvisation, even more so than his sessions with Larry Young. Part of the reason for that is that Green is really pushed by his stellar backing unit: pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Elvin Jones. Not only is Green leading a group that features one-half of the classic Coltrane Quartet, but he even takes on Coltrane's groundbreaking arrangement of "My Favorite Things" -- and more than holds his own over ten-plus minutes. In fact, every track on the album is around that length; there are extended explorations of two Green originals ("Green Jeans" and the title track) and Duke Pearson's Middle Eastern-tinged "Bedouin," plus the bonus cut "Wives and Lovers," a swinging Bacharach pop tune not on the Japanese issue. The group interplay is consistently strong, but really the spotlight falls chiefly on Green, whose crystal-clear articulation flourishes in this setting. And, for all of Matador's advanced musicality, it ends up being surprisingly accessible. This sound may not be Green's claim to fame, but Matador remains one of his greatest achievements.

jueves, 21 de julio de 2016

Bob Seeley • Burnin' The Boogie!

This is the fourth of a series of recordings from one of the world’s premier boogie piano players, Bob Seeley. An inductee to the Boogie Woogie Hall of Fame in Cincinnati, Ohio USA, Bob is a classically-trained pianist whose early discovery of boogie woogie is our blessing. Born and raised in Detroit, he learned boogie, stride, and ragtime from recordings and folios. Among his great influences is Pat Flowers (Fats Waller’s protégé) and the boogie pioneer Meade Lux Lewis – one of the three giants of boogie woogie (along with Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson).

The New Stan Getz Quartet, Featuring Astrud Gilberto • Getz Au Go Go

Review by Lindsay Planer
Although the name Stan Getz (tenor sax) was initially synonymous with the West Coast cool scene during the mid-to-late 1950s, he likewise became a key component in the Bossa Nova craze of the early 1960s. Along with Astrud Gilberto (vocals), Getz scored a genre-defining hit with the "Girl From Ipanema," extracted from the equally lauded Getz/Gilberto (1963). While that platter primarily consists of duets between Getz and João Gilberto (guitar/vocals), it was truly serendipity that teamed Getz with João's wife Astrud, who claims to have never sung a note outside of her own home prior to the session that launched her career. Getz Au Go Go Featuring Astrud Gilberto (1964) was the second-to-last album that he would issue during his self-proclaimed "Bossa Nova Era" -- the final being Getz/Gilberto #2 [Live] (1964) concert title from Carnegie Hall. In many ways, that is a logical successor to this one, as both include the "New Stan Getz Quartet." The band features a young Gary Burton (vibraphone), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Gene Cherico (bass), and Joe Hunt (drums). As is typical with jazz, there are a few personnel substitutions, with Helcio Milito (drums) and Chuck Israels (bass), respectively, filling in on nearly half the effort. As the name of the disc intimates, this recording hails from the venerable Greenwich Village venue, the Café Au Go Go, in mid-August of 1964 -- two months after "Girl From Ipanema" became a Top Five pop single. However, the focus of Getz Au Go Go steers away from the Brazilian flavored fare, bringing Astrud Gilberto into the realm of a decidedly more North American style. That said, there are a few Antonio Carlos Jobim compositions -- "Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)" and "One Note Samba" -- both of which would be considered as jazz standards in years to follow -- as well as the lesser-circulated "Eu E Voce." Getz and crew gather behind Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's "It Might as Well Be Spring," and the scintillating instrumental "Summertime," from Porgy & Bess. Other equally engaging cuts include affective vocal readings of "Only Trust Your Heart," and the diminutive, yet catchy "Telephone Song." There is also some great interaction between Getz and Burton on "Here's to That Rainy Day." Getz Au Go Go is highly recommended for all dimensions of jazz enthusiasts.

domingo, 17 de julio de 2016

Al Sears • Ride The 'D' Train

Al Sears fue un saxofonista y compositor de jazz, nacido en Macomb, Illinois, el 22 de febrero de 1910, y fallecido en Nueva York, el 23 de marzo de 1990.
Debutó en 1927, entrando muy pronto a trabajar en la big band de Chick Webb (1928-1930). A comienzos de los años 1930, dirige diversos pequeños combos, aunque abandona la música durante un tiempo. Ya en la década de 1940, volverá a la escena, con Andy Kirk y Lionel Hampton, así como al frente de una banda que incluía a Lester Young. En 1944 entra en la orquesta de Duke Ellington, sustituyendo a Ben Webster, permaneciendo con él hasta 1949, cuando realiza varias grabaciones con Johnny Hodges. Ya en los años 1950, tocará en bandas de rhythm and blues y dirigirá una empresa de ediciones musicales, junto a Budd Johnson.


Al Sears (February 21, 1910, Macomb, Illinois-March 23, 1990, New York City) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and bandleader.
Sears's first major gig came in 1928 when he replaced Johnny Hodges in Chick Webb's ensemble. Following this he played with Elmer Snowden (1931–32), then led his own groups between 1933 and 1941. In the early 1940s he was with Andy Kirk (1941–42) and Lionel Hampton (1943-44) before he became a member of Duke Ellington's Orchestra in 1944, replacing Ben Webster. He became one of Ellington's best-known soloists, and remained in his employ until 1949, when first Jimmy Forrest and then Paul Gonsalves took over his chair. He played with Johnny Hodges in 1951-52, and recorded the tune "Castle Rock" with him; the tune became a hit, but was released under Hodges's name. He played as a studio musician on a variety of R&B albums in the 1950s and recorded two albums for Swingville Records in 1960.
He also was in Alan Freed's band when Freed did live shows, being introduced as "Big Al Sears."

Artist Biography by Scott Yanow
It is ironic that tenor saxophonist Al Sears' one hit, "Castle Rock," was recorded under Johnny Hodges' name (the altoist is virtually absent on the record), denying Sears his one chance at fame. Sears had actually had his first important job in 1928 replacing Hodges with the Chick Webb band. However, despite associations with Elmer Snowden (1931-1932), Andy Kirk (1941-1942), Lionel Hampton (1943-1944), and with his own groups (most of 1933-1941), it was not until Sears joined Duke Ellington's Orchestra in 1944 that he began to get much attention. His distinctive tone, R&B-ish phrasing, and ability to build up exciting solos made him one of Ellington's most colorful soloists during the next five years, although his period was overshadowed by both his predecessor (Ben Webster) and his successor (Paul Gonsalves). Among Sears' many recordings with Ellington are notable versions of "I Ain't Got Nothing but the Blues" and a 1945 remake of "It Don't Mean a Thing." Sears worked with Johnny Hodges' group during 1951-1952, recorded a variety of R&B-oriented material in the 1950s, and cut two excellent albums for Swingville in 1960 before going into semi-retirement.

Howlin' Wolf • Rockin' The Blues Live In Germany

This is a reissue of the November 6, 1964, Bremen concert that was previously available as Live in Europe 1964 on the Sundown label, with the same incorrect title references. What is first-rate is the sound, which is head-and-shoulders above most of the Howlin' Wolf live recordings of this period, undoubtedly because the show was part of the American Folk-Blues tour, large chunks of which were recorded professionally, and also the performance, which comes from a time when Wolf was still in very robust health. It's been said that if Muddy Waters had been born in Africa, he would have been a king; this show, which Chess Records could only wish they'd recorded, is a reminder that if Howlin' Wolf had been born in Africa, he'd have been a witch doctor or shaman; he's spellbinding in his performance, and the band backing him (a kind of star combo itself, with Willie Dixon and Sunnyland Slim playing alongside Hubert Sumlin) is tight, if a little restrained. And to top it off, it's mid-priced. ~Review by Bruce Eder

Wild Bill Davis • Manhattan

Wild Bill Davis, fue un músico excepcional y un virtuoso del órgano Hammond, un instrumento claramente influenciado y utilizado en las iglesias norteamericanas.
Podemos decir sin lugar a dudas que Wild Bill Davis es junto al excelente organista, Milt Buckner, uno de los músicos mas brillantes de este instrumento. Wild fue músico puente entre las orquestas de la época del swing y los sonidos negros del Rhythm & Blues de los años cincuenta y sesenta. Wild Bill Davis fue junto al guitarrista, Floyd Smith y al batería Chris Culumbus quienes primero formaron un combo de jazz con el órgano de por medio.
Sus primeros comienzos como músico fueron como guitarrista en 1939 en la banda de Milt Larkin’ donde actuaban como pareja de saxofonistas el gran Eddie Cleanhead Wilson y el maestro Arnett Cobb.
El primer guitarrista de de la banda era el magnifico Freddie Green. En 1945 se pasó al piano con el quinteto de Louis Jordan y su grupo denominado “Louis Jordan’s and Symphony Five” desde donde producían arreglos para músicos de la talla de Duke Ellington o Count Basie. Precisamente con este ultimo Wild Bill Davis colaboró en los arreglos del celebérrimo tema de Basie titulado “April in Paris”.
Admirador del sonido del piano y del órgano del maestro Fats Waller, Wild Bill Davis, empieza a ensayar en sus actuaciones con el órgano Hammond y consigue ser un virtuoso del instrumento dominándolo a la perfección. Sus actuaciones con Johnny Hodges o Paul Gonsalves todavía son recordadas.
Ya en los años setenta la aparición de organistas básicos en el jazz como Jimmy Smith o Bill Dogett lo eclipsaron de los escenarios y murió prácticamente olvidado por todos.


Automatic translate:
Wild Bill Davis, was an exceptional musician and virtuoso Hammond organ, an instrument clearly influenced and used in American churches.
We can say without doubt that Wild Bill Davis is next to the excellent organist Milt Buckner, one of the most brilliant musicians of this instrument. Wild was musical bridge between the orchestras of the swing era and black sounds of Rhythm & Blues from the fifties and sixties. Wild Bill Davis was with guitarist Floyd Smith and drummer Chris Culumbus who first formed a jazz combo with the organ involved.
His early beginnings as a musician in 1939 were as a guitarist in the band Milt Larkin 'which acted as partner of the great saxophonists Eddie Cleanhead Wilson and teacher Arnett Cobb.
The first guitarist of the band was the magnificent Freddie Green. In 1945 he switched to piano quintet with Louis Jordan and his group called "Louis Jordan's and Symphony Five" from where they produced arrangements for musicians like Duke Ellington or Count Basie. Precisely the latter Wild Bill Davis collaborated on arrangements Basie very famous theme entitled "April in Paris".
Admirer sound of the piano and organ teacher Fats Waller, Wild Bill Davis, begins to rehearse their performances with the Hammond organ virtuoso and gets to be a dominating instrument to perfection. His performances with Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonsalves are still remembered.
Already in the seventies the emergence of basic jazz organists Jimmy Smith or Bill Dogett eclipsed the scenarios and died virtually forgotten by all.

viernes, 15 de julio de 2016

Sergio Mendes • Favorite Things

Review by Richard S. Ginell
As Sergio Mendes reached the peak of his first A&M period with Brasil '66, his old company, Atlantic, continued to release new instrumental Mendes albums, of which this was the last. As on the Brasil '66 recordings of the time, Mendes exposes fresh material from the '60s bumper crop of great Brazilian songwriters: Edú Lobo, Dori Caymmi, Baden Powell, Chico Buarque, and Caetano Veloso. Dave Grusin returns with his swirling, ambitious orchestral arrangements; John Pisano is back on rhythm guitar (along with a lounge-like bossa nova take of his "So What's New"); and Mendes continues to toy with the Fender Rhodes electric piano and electric harpsichord on a number of cuts. Yet this album has an entirely different sound than Mendes' A&Ms, with a typically trebly Nesuhi Ertegun production and more varied rhythm tracks (only on the title track does the rhythm section sound like that of Brasil '66). Buarque's "A Banda" -- which Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass took to the singles charts in the fall of 1967 -- conjures the effect of a ramshackle marching band in a Brazilian parade, and Caymmi's "The Sea Is My Soil" is an evocative mood-swinging tone poem. Ertegun gives Mendes a shot at one of his own favorite things, "Comin' Home Baby," perhaps hoping for hit lightning to strike yet again on this tune (it didn't). Ultimately, this comes off as a pleasant side trip from Mendes' prime period.

jueves, 14 de julio de 2016

T-Model Ford • Taledragger

James Lewis Carter Ford, artísticamente conocido como T-Model Ford1 (19242 - 16 de julio de 2013), fue un músico estadounidense de blues. Comenzó su carrera musical con alrededor de 70 años; grabó regularmente para el sello Fat Possum, y luego se cambió a Alive Naturalsound Records. Su estilo musical combina la crudeza del Delta blues con el Chicago blues y el juke joint blues.


James Lewis Carter Ford (c. early 1920s – July 16, 2013) was an American blues musician, using the name T-Model Ford. Unable to remember his exact date of birth, he began his musical career in his early 70s, and continuously recorded for the Fat Possum label, then switched to Alive Naturalsound Records. His musical style combined the rawness of Delta blues with Chicago blues and juke joint blues styles.

Review by Thom Jurek
There is a compelling tension on T-Model Ford's Taledragger, with his rawer-than-gravel blues style that has always staggered between the styles of his native Mississippi Delta and those of Chicago. This doesn't mean the record is tense, but merely that its cultural lines blur consistently between the above styles as well as those of his sidemen -- his backing band of the last few years, GravelRoad, is augmented by guest musicians from Detroit -- who all came of age in the post-punk to indie rock eras. Produced by Brian Olive, Matthew Smith, and Arthur Alexander in Glendale, CA, the set was mixed by Jim Diamond in Detroit. Suffice to say, the addition of baritone saxophone, Hammond B-3, and 12-string acoustic guitars to these extremely basic tunes makes for interesting listening. The set opens with "Same Old Train," a choogling shuffle that is "Mystery Train" with (some) different words. Ford's delightfully rough, front-charging guitar playing is supported by Stefan Zillioux's in-the-pocket pulse that bass and drums follow in sync, but Olive's upright piano is off the beat, following Ford; the entire tune ultimately slurs drunkenly. The lyrics refer to the record's muse: "a big legged mama" who appears often. On "Someone's Knocking on My Door" (one of the album's many death meditations), Ford channels the spirits of his old friend Junior Kimbrough and Howlin' Wolf in a hypnotic two-chord shuffle. The band psychs it up with Smith playing a sinister, snaky B-3, augmented by jangling single-string guitar lines played between beats; there's a stinging lead break with enough echo to add a trippy dimension. The tension on this set reveals itself best in the readings of "How Many More Years" and "I Worn My Body for So Long." The former is swampy and disorienting, full of wah-wah guitars, stuttering drums, and a heavy echo on Ford's voice. He sings with an amused acceptance of the inevitable, not dread -- though the accompaniment does its best to evoke it. This is true in the latter as well, with shimmering acoustic slide and fuzzed-out bass work by Smith. "Big Legged Woman" is an all-out party rave-up with everything becoming an orgy of sound more befitting a Detroit barroom than a Delta juke joint -- and does it ever work! What Ford, Olive, Smith, Alexander, and the rest have wrought on Taledragger is a modern blues album with primitive roots. The tension works. It's a far more interesting recording because of its "impurities" -- paradoxically, making it a far more "authentic" blues record because it is linked to multiple historic traditions simultaneously. It's exponentially more enjoyable and exciting as blues than anything coming out of Chicago in the 21st century.

Cal Tjader Quintet • Concert On the Campus

Paul Desmond • From The Hot Afternoon

All the featured performances are excellent, Paul Desmond's playing is superb, taking a little more of a back seat, but with some beautiful, memorable phrasing. Not mentioned in other reviews are three vocal tracks featuring Wanda de Sa, "To Say Goodbye", "Circles" and "Crystal Illusions". In "To Say Goodbye", she was forced by the recording schedule and low register of the instrumental part to sing well below her normal register, producing a striking and sultry version of this song, a must-have for her fans. Edu Lobo may not be Jobim, but "Crystal Illusions" is perhaps his best known work. He performs on the track and Wanda (his wife) sings it beautifully. The swirling '70s orchestation suits the song very well, the edgy chord shifts provide Paul with a challenging backdrop for his solos; this is probably my favourite version. This is an easy listening classic which is head and shoulders above others in the genre and has the power to move you with some exceptional performances by several icons of jazz and the '60s "Bossa" sound. - by Ricardo,

Review by Richard S. Ginell
Paul Desmond's first genuine all-Brazilian album under the Creed Taylor signature was a beauty, a collection of songs by the then-moderately known Edu Lobo and the emerging giant Milton Nascimento, then only in his early twenties. All Desmond has to do is sit back and ride the Brazilian grooves while lyrically ruminating on whatever pops into his head. It sounds so effortless -- until you try it yourself. The swirling, often gorgeous orchestral arrangements are by Don Sebesky (one CD edition mistakenly gives Claus Ogerman credit on the cover), Airto Moreira leads the samba-flavored percussion forces, and Lobo and his wife Wanda de Sah appear on three of Lobo's four songs. Lobo's "To Say Goodbye," "Circles," and "Martha and Romao" have exactly the brand of wistful sadness that Desmond could communicate so well; on the former, de Sah has to sing well below the register with which she is comfortable, and the strain is painfully obvious. Some of Nascimento's best early tunes are here, including the tense title track, the popping "Catavento," and "Canto Latino." "Catavento" inspires a particularly inventive solo from Desmond where he pulls out one of his age-old tricks, quoting "St. Thomas." This 2000 Verve "By Request" edition adds no less than six alternate takes to the package.

New York Jazz Lounge • The Trio Masterpieces, Vol. 3

miércoles, 13 de julio de 2016

Sonny Clark • The Art Of The Trio

Sonny Clark (Conrad Yeatis Clark, Herminie, de Pensilvania, 21 de julio de 1931 – 13 de enero de 1963) fue un pianista de jazz que principalmente desarrolló el idioma del hard bop.
Clark nació y fue criado en Herminie. A la edad de 12 años se mudó a Pittsburgh. Cuando estaba de visita en California, a los 20 años, decidió quedarse y comenzar a trabajar con el saxofonista Wardell Gray. Clark fue a San Francisco con Oscar Pettiford, y, luego de un par de meses, estaba trabajando con el clarinetista Buddy DeFranco en 1953. Clark recorrió los Estados Unidos y Europa con DeFranco hasta enero de 1956, cuando se unió a The Lighthouse All-Stars, orquesta de The Lighthouse Cafe de Hermosa Beach dirigida por el contrabajista Howard Rumsey.
Deseando volver a la costa este, Clark sirvió de acompañamiento de la cantante Dinah Washington en febrero de 1957 para reubicarse en la ciudad de Nueva York. Allí, Clark era requerido usualmente como acompañante por muchos músicos. Frecuentemente grabó para Blue Note Records tocando como acompañante de muchos músicos del hard bop, entre ellos Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Art Taylor y Wilbur Ware. También grabó sesiones con Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Billie Holiday, Stanley Turrentine, y Lee Morgan.
Clark murió de un ataque al corazón en la ciudad de Nueva York.1 Algunos comentarios atribuyen su temprana muerte al abuso de las drogas y del alcohol.
Su amigo Bill Evans dedicó al fallecido una composición titulada con un anagrama de su nombre: NYC's No Lark (Sin alondra en Nueva York, tomando la alondra como símbolo del alba); la pieza se publicó en el álbum Conversations with Myself (1963).
John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Ray Drummond y Bobby Previte, con el nombre de The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet, grabaron un álbum de composiciones de Clark: Voodoo (1985). Zorn también grabó varias de las composiciones de Clark con Bill Frisell y George Lewis en los álbumes News for Lulu (1988) y More News for Lulu (1992).


Conrad Yeatis "Sonny" Clark (July 21, 1931 – January 13, 1963) was an American jazz pianist who mainly worked in the hard bop idiom.
Clark was born and raised in Herminie, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town east of Pittsburgh. His parents were originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia. His miner father, Emory Clark, died of a lung disease two weeks after Sonny was born. Sonny was the youngest of eight children. At age 12, he moved to Pittsburgh.
When visiting an aunt in California at age 20, Clark decided to stay and began working with saxophonist Wardell Gray. Clark went to San Francisco with Oscar Pettiford and after a couple months, was working with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco in 1953. Clark toured the United States and Europe with DeFranco until January 1956, when he joined The Lighthouse All-Stars, led by bassist Howard Rumsey.
Wishing to return to the east coast, Clark served as accompanist for singer Dinah Washington in February 1957 in order to relocate to New York City. In New York, Clark was often requested as a sideman by many musicians, partly because of his rhythmic comping. He frequently recorded for Blue Note Records, playing as a sideman with many hard bop players, including Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Art Taylor, and Wilbur Ware. He also recorded sessions with Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Billie Holiday, Stanley Turrentine, and Lee Morgan.
As a band leader, Clark recorded albums Dial "S" for Sonny (1957), Sonny's Crib (1957), Sonny Clark Trio (1957), with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, and Cool Struttin' (1958). Sonny Clark Trio, with George Duvivier and Max Roach was released in 1960.
Clark died in New York City; the official cause was listed as a heart attack, but the likely cause was a heroin overdose.
Close friend and fellow jazz pianist Bill Evans dedicated the composition "NYC's No Lark" (an anagram of "Sonny Clark") to him after his death, included on Evans' Conversations with Myself (1963). John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Ray Drummond, and Bobby Previte recorded an album of Clark's compositions, Voodoo (1985), as the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet. Zorn also recorded several of Clark's compositions with Bill Frisell and George Lewis on News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu (1992).

VA • Best of Soul Jazz

Cal Tjader, Cannonball Adderley, Donald Byrd, George Benson, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith, Lou Donaldson, Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Roy Ayers, Sergio Mendes,  Herbie Hancock ...

Jay McShann • The Man From Muskogee

Review by Scott Yanow
Pianist-vocalist Jay McShann was in the early part of his comeback when he recorded this superior quartet session with violinist Claude Williams (a veteran who was also on the verge of finally being discovered), bassist Don Thompson and drummer Paul Gunther in 1972. Reissued on CD, the fine swing date is so enjoyable that it makes one wonder how McShann and especially Williams had remained so obscure for the past 20 years. McShann (who takes four spirited vocals) leads the quartet through veteran standards and a few blues with the highlights including "After You've Gone," "Yardbird Suite," "Hootie Blues" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside." Recommended.

Milt Buckner • Rockin' With Milt

Milt Buckner's Hammond organ sound is quite different than others who followed in his footsteps. His choppy two-hand chord approach, thorny and biting sound, and his regular usage of a bass player identified him as a raw industrialist, coming from the Midwest hearths of St. Louis and Detroit. Buckner has largely been ignored as a pioneer of the organ in the '50s, so this reissue of his recordings for the Capitol label -- Rockin' with Milt, Rockin' Hammond, and Send Me Softly, plus five tracks from 7" EPs -- should reinforce why he was an important purveyor of the primordial soul-jazz movement. Buckner came out of the swing era as a pianist and sometimes cocktail lounge performer who was able to straddle the line between popular sounds of the day and more riveting and substantive jazz. The title Rockin' with Milt is apropos, as these tunes establish the rhythm & blues based beat that Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and Chuck Berry turned into the seminal rock & roll that took over popular and dancehall music. The saxophonists who work with Buckner on these individual sessions are interesting picks, considering where their careers eventually landed. Danny Turner was a New York based alto and tenor saxophonist and a favorite of Sarah Vaughan and Count Basie, ex-Basie sax section stalwart Earle Warren's vibrato flavored alto was favorably compared to Earl Bostic, while tenor saxophone honker "Sam "The Man" Taylor" was well known in blues circles, also accompanying Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, and Ray Charles, but could swing with the best. Tracks from the Rockin' with Milt sessions feature bassist Wendell Marshall and Duke Ellington drummer Sam Woodyard, including four Buckner originals like the R&B based "Movin' with Mitch," the fleet "Slaughter on 125th Street," and the cute unison organ/sax tune "Little Miss Maudlin." Boppers like the speedy "Bernie's Tune" and the easygoing "Robbins Nest" are hardcore classics. Overdubbing piano and organ, Buckner uses only guitarists and bass/drums rhythm mates for the stomping "Hey Now, Zorina!," and originals like the keyboards calling back and forth to each other on "Count's Basement," the shuffling "Wild Scene" and well after midnight "Mighty Low." Warren enters with pronounced, bent, flatted notes on Ahmad Jamal's "Night Mist" and the lovely, romantic "Dinner Date." Sam "The Man" Taylor and plucky guitarist Skeeter Best drench champagne and chocolate respectively over the bluesy melodies of "Good Time Express" and the jive "Second Section." The sessions from the Send Me Softly LP are distinctly more cocktail or martini induced than ale or stout, with some light calypso, cha cha, nonchalant background music, and themes of regret or loneliness. "All or Nothing at All" is a mysterious and unique Latin treatment of this standard, while Warren's somber reading of "Lullaby of the Leaves" will leave you breathless. "Our Engagement Day" is a sentimental theme that nuptials should discover. Master bassist Milt Hinton is all over the second CD, and provides a good study in supportive rhythm and swing for those learning the idiom. Aside from the contrasts of tinkling piano as opposed to stabbing organ chords on "One O'Clock Jump," or the slow and slinky "Blue & Sentimental," Buckner is regular and predictable for those who know his work. If you are unfamiliar with Buckner's style, surprises abound, especially considering how his Hammond sound would preclude the more legato Wurlitzer or Farfisa sonic palate that was too slow for jazz improvisation in the '60s. As there are too few Milt Buckner recordings in contemporary catalogs, this is as close to his essential period as is available. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide