29 August 2006
Final post on the organ theme for the time being and it's the sprawling 1975 jazz funk extravaganza Afro-desia from Lonnie Smith on Groove Merchant.Quite a line up on this one with,among others,Ron Carter on bass,Joe Lovano on saxes and George Benson on guitar -way,way before he started warbling and became a superstar.George was of course mates with the pre-turban Lonnie in Jack McDuff's combo which Smith used to fill in for and George appears on this as an uncredited friend due to contractual reasons.The albums a pretty wild brew moving from the storming latin conga and cowbell breakdown of Straight to the Point thru a full tilt take on Coltrane's Impressions (called Favors for this set) to the bass heavy psychedelic break driven funk of both Afro-desia and Spirits Free.
Incidentally I read some where that Lonnie took to wearing a turban and in recent years calling himself "Doctor"Lonnie Smith because "he felt like it"!Interesting what you can do as a bona fide master of the hammond b3!!!
This is ripped from a vinyl re-issue although its had a couple of cd presses over the years which are filled out with tracks from other lps and with different titles to the same tunes(!!!)
What series of posts on Hammond players could be complete without the Mighty Burner himself - Charles Earland.This is a blistering live set from a performance at Montreux in 1974 recorded for Prestige with Jon Faddis,Clifford Adams,Dave Hubbard,Aurell Ray,George Johnson and Ron Carter.
Here's a review from Richie Unterberger @ All Music Guide
Earland was getting into mixing up his customary organ with electric piano and synthesizer by the time of this 1974 concert, recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival. While this sometimes broadened his tonal range impressively, at other times it worked against his best strengths and his best instrument, the organ. Still, this is a respectable and energetic set containing some real flights of inspiration, as when he seems to be barely keeping some demons in check during the more frenzied solos in "Joe Brown" and "Morgan." There's a good share of space for the three hornmen in the lineup, and he lets loose with some pretty combative outer-space electronics once he gets into the two-part, 16-minute "Suite for Martin Luther King," complemented by some nearly free jazz soprano sax by Dave Hubbard. That piece mellows into some near-fusion in its second half as Earland moves to electric piano, a mood which carries over to the closing "Kharma," probably the most pop-R&B-friendly of the five tracks (all Earland compositions).
27 August 2006
Organ goes lounge for this fantastic psych beat set from one of the great studio combos of the Italian scene during the 70's. This groovy album, recorded on Cometa (an obscure music library label) is a perfect mix of organ beat, bossa jazz, fast fuzz, batucada, samba beat with funky flute.Of course this is the first album by the legendary Marc 4 studio group - a funky Italian combo that often featured Armando Trovajoli on keyboards, plus backing by guitar, drums, and bass.The name I Marc 4 (or Marc 4) comes from the initials of their members: Maurizio Majorana (Bass), Antonello Vannucci (Hammond/Piano), Roberto Podio (Drums/Percussion) and Carlo Pes (guitar)who played and recorded most of Travajoi's compositions. The keyboards vary from funky organ to jangly electric harpsichord to sharp-edged piano and the group's sound is often complimented by some extra horn work.Groove-tastic !
26 August 2006
Yet more from the organ grinder swing-While most practitioners of the instrument have followed closely on the heels of Jimmy Smith, on Into Somethin', Larry Young demonstrates his unique horn-like approach to melody. With the help of Sam Rivers (saxophone), Grant Green (guitar), and Elvin Jones (drums), Young puts forth a swinging collection of tunes that isn't particularly drenched in the traditional gospel/soul sound usually produced by an organ ensemble. Instead, this is a crisp, exciting session that, along with Unity, would eventually help make Young one of the legends of the B-3. The effortless waltzing bounce of "Tyrone" opens the set as Rivers and Young glide through the melody while Jones swings intensely in the background. The heavy Latin groove of "Plaza de Toros" sets up some stunning rhythmic interactions between Grant, Young, and Jones. The intricate "Paris Eyes" and the bluesy "Backup" are both excellent swinging numbers that further display Young's non-traditional approach to the instrument and his masterful soloing prowess. Finally, the classic "Ritha"is an exhilarating composition that displays the full wealth of Young's legendary abilities.
25 August 2006
A lovely piece of organ led loungecore jazz arranged and conducted by Gary McFarland with Bob Thiele on prodction duties from 1965 on Impulse.Our girl Shirl (she was married to Stanley Turrentine from 61-71)is on B3 supported by McFarland,Bob Cranshaw,Willie Rodrigues,Mel Lewis and Jim Raney who are also joined by a string section on some cuts.This album features the insanely catchy "Hanky Panky"and a great version of "Soul Sauce".This is what Dusty Groove had to say about it:
A great album from Shirley Scott - with some excellent arrangements by Gary McFarland! We've always felt that Shirley plays best when she's not leading the group -- when someone else is handling the arrangements, so that she can groove mightily on her own -- and this album is a perfect illustration of that fact! The album has a sparkling bossa and 60s groove finish -- similar to McFarland's albums for Verve at the time -- and Shirley's light touch on the Hammond really makes the whole thing dance nicely! Tracks include a sweet version of "Soul Sauce", plus covers like "Can't Get Over the Bossa Nova", "Downtown", and "Dreamsville". Also includes "Latin Shadows", a great original by McFarland.
Another one that only made it to cd in Japan.
More B3 business from Blue Note this time from "Big" John Patton leading a trio featuring Harold Alexander on tenor and flute with Hugh Walker on drums.Not much to choose between this and "Let'em Roll"as Patton's best album in my opinion.This set goes outside the parameters of the usual organ trio sound with a more angular set of compositions that aren't so blues/groove based but it's still pretty funky with a really hard edge.Harold Alexander gets into some great overblowing and Hugh Walker keeps the whole thing grooving without resorting to the standard bashing which often accompanies Hammond lps.For me John Patton is the missing link between Larry Young and the mainstream especially on this set.
Incidentally I found the following review from Michael Erlewine at All Music Guide and thought it was a kind of good back handed compliment!!!
"Patton with saxman Harold Alexander and drums. Alexander is playing sax that is just a tad too "out" for an organ combo than is standard for soul jazz, thus turning the sound toward something other than a real groove. If you like progressive sax, you might be able to stay in the groove. Not me, the sound keeps popping me out. I like to get in the groove and ride."
24 August 2006
And the organ groove rolls on with this date from Lonnie Smith for Blue Note in 1970.Ever the arbiter of style Lonnie hadn't got to his turban phase at the time of this recording and instead can be seen sporting a rather natty white cap on the cover.The music is very much of the times too with the addition of a couple of hits from the period-"Twenty Five Miles" and "Spinning Wheel" with a Miles Davis cover "Seven Steps to Heaven" a Smith original"Psychedelic Pi"and -guess what ? A rocking version of "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf"which rounds of a great set of 70s funky hammond grooves.Ronnie Cuber is on baritone as well ...so it's just got to be great!!!
22 August 2006
Carrying on with the organ grinder theme here's a walloping Hammond B3 meets big band monster from Jimmy Smith with arrangements from Oliver Nelson and Claus Ogerman. Produced by Creed Taylor and engineered by Rudy Van Gelder in 1964 (yea don't these names come up a lot with great jazz lps?)this is one of the best lps Jimmy Smith ever made and features-of course-the dance floor wipe out of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf ".Championed by DJs far and wide for more than two decades if this doesn't get you moving you must be dead (or more likely a watcher of the X Factor!!)
The rest of the lp is excellent with a great version of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue"and the modal waltz of "Wives and Lovers" along with "Bluesette" and "Women of the World".Barnstorming stuff-get some Jimmy Smith into your life!
Ripped from original vinyl as this album NEVER made it to cd or a vinyl re-issue...unbelievable!
Sorry-I stand corrected-didn't do my homework properly!This made a re-issue on cd in Japan -and it's still available at CDUniverse for $37.25.Thanks to Pekis for bringing this to my attention-he runs a top blog too !
20 August 2006
Thought I would post this rarity to celebrate the fact that this blog has now had over 200,000 hits-it's now running at about 1400 visitors a day.So thanks to all of you especially those who have left such great comments and been so forthcoming with help,advice,information and been ...well,so friendly!You keep dropping in and I'll keep posting!
Some sad news now that VOLTAGECONTROLLEDTECHNICOLOR called it a day on sunday and deleted his great blog-please go 5 posts back for more information.And be warned-his name and URL have been hi-jacked already-it ain't him!
So this is a rip from the double vinyl of Brother Jack McDuff's The Heatin' System from 1972 on the mighty Cadet label.It's never made it to cd despite most of the tracks appearing on compilation after compilation over the years,and it's also been sampled and remains a big groove heavy dj friendly slab of jazz funk in the truest sense of the genre.In other words-IT ROCKS!!!
Here's a review from the Soul Strut site:
"Jack McDuff's playing was best known for its bluesy influences, and that's highlighted on the title track, Heatin System, a long 12 minute plus track, which starts off in the Blues, but then picks up in the middle and turns to some James Brown influenced funk. The Prophet and Pressure Gauge are long groovers, with the latter having a nice guitar breakdown in the middle by Phil Upchurch who was a Cadet studio musician at the time. McDuff finishes off this double LP with two mellow songs that have their moments. 1st is a cover of Ain't No Sunshine which has a little Beatles melody in the middle, but which lacks the drum break, and then Radiation, which has a nice horn beginning."
19 August 2006
Great bit of latin fusion from Japan put together and generally masterminded by the keyboard player Naoya Matsuoka.This came out in the early 80s when the japanese jazz funk thing was massive in the UK and was one of the better examples of the genre.Matsuoka is/was a prolific artist knocking out album after album of latin influenced fusion usually with aid of Wesing -this one goes a cut above the rest by the masterful addition of top crack u.s. players in the shape of Ndugu on drums,Byron Miller on Bass,Paulinho Da Costa on Percussion and the ace in the hole....Airto and Flora Purim!
It kicks of with the thumping "Antes De Mais Nada" which was the big spin back in the day .This is followed by a few breezy latin fusion cuts and then into "Night Trip" a great vehicle for Flora Purim's vocals.
"Pao De Acucar" is the biggie for me-a full on 100 mph batucada onslaught which spins off into a series of solos-a real mover!
Never re-issued - ripped from the original jap vinyl.
18 August 2006
Another essential soundtrack and one of my favourites when you get past the old baloney of Noel Harrison's rendition of "Windmills of your Mind"- don't let it put you off hearing this sumptuous,sublime music.This is what Stylusmagazine had to say about it in a retrospective review:
"Set my pen free to trace an unfettered path and thus epitomize the story of the movie." -- Michel Legrand to Norman Jewison
Just imagine if a score-composer suggested that to a filmmaker today? A resounding “huh?” would surely occur. But the late 1960s was a different scene; a time when being iconoclastic and intellectual were seen as hip and even sellable traits. It was also a time when French composer, Michel Legrand, was at the top the soundtrack game—in the ranks of John Barry and Burt Bacharach. Classically trained and the ability to play a dozen instruments, Legrand’s chief passion was jazz and he first made a name for himself in the 1950s with his distinct jazz arrangements (working with the likes of Miles Davis, Bill Evans and John Coltrane). In the early and mid 1960s, Legrand began his prolific work in the movies, scoring numerous French films, including the musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Jean-Luc Godard’s Band Of Outsiders (one of my favorite movies and scores). Eventually, he took to Hollywood’s call and scored perhaps my favorite score for perhaps my favorite film, 1968’s The Thomas Crown Affair, directed by Norman Jewison and starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Like many directors, Jewison was clearly influenced by the work of Godard—with his spontaneous mixture of pulp pretense and explorations into the ambiguities of male/female relationships—so it was indeed appropriate to enlist Legrand for The Thomas Crown Affair, whom worked on so many of Godard’s films as well as others dubbed French New Wave.
Before the bulk of “Thomas Crown” was edited, Jewison showed Legrand various scenes, one of which was the split-screen crazed bank-robbery. Inspired, Legrand proposed a daring idea to Jewison; he suggested that the director hold on editing the rest of the film and allow him to compose the soundtrack based solely on the rough footage he was provided with. Jewison agreed and Legrand went to work. The final result was a musical body of such kinetic jazz character that Jewison edited the film accordingly: one of the few cases—if not the only case—in which a film was edited to suit the score rather than the other way around.
The emotional and sensual drive of the film’s love story is intensified by its reciprocity with the adjoining music. The first evidence of this is the seductive chess game scene (entitled “The Chess Game” on soundtrack); gentle strums of harpsichord, guitar and harp sparsely breeze across a hanging space as various percussion instruments rub and rattle with amorous ceremony; horns and strings appear periodically to push forward the chess game—the elegant, fireside foreplay—dictated onscreen via each suggestive musical cue. Subsequent montages of the lovers as courtship—shadowed by a caper—elapses to the rhythm and mood of Legrand’s score. “Playing The Field” is a fervent stream of jazz with a walking bass and fast-played keys rushing manically to the end of each measure—giving the soundtrack listener (and watcher of the movie) the impression of euphoric lovers trying to take in as much as possible before crisis derails their dune buggy. “Doubting Thomas” is a somber piece of smooth jazz with beautifully phrased horns, each overlapping a moodier variation of the main love theme and foreshadowing the end to this affair.
Although the Oscar-winning and quickly-turned standard, “The Windmills Of Your Mind” is labeled “Theme From The Thomas Crown Affair” it is actually the piece entitled “His Eyes, Her Eyes” that is the predominant theme throughout the film—the above mentioned love motif. However, “His Eyes, Her Eyes” is the weakest use of the theme on the soundtrack; this is firstly due to the more conventional, cocktail jazz arrangement and secondly, to Michel Legrand’s syrupy vocals. “The Windmills Of Your Mind” is also hindered by vocals—this time, the dandy crooning of Noel Harrison—although the haunting arrangement and clever lyrics are first-class. Its impressive, looping wordplay will cause more discerning listeners to pine for a day when there was true lyrical craft in song writing. Nonetheless, it would have been better if Legrand hired Dusty Springfield to sing “Windmills” (she did a marvelous job singing it on Dusty In Memphis).
The two most exciting pieces on the Thomas Crown soundtrack are the two most upbeat numbers. “Cash and Carry” takes the listener on a stimulating wallop through the busy streets of Boston; blaring, catchy horns sound off as the bank heist is completed; bells clang and resound; funky bass grooves; this is swinger music at its most swingingness. “The Boston Wrangler” has a similar fun swing to it, but with the sublime addition of tense keys and strings dropping in and out, plus a crazy organ fill that gives a subtle touch of psychedelia to the piece.
Overall, The Thomas Crown Affair soundtrack is a satisfying listening experience independent of the film. When added to Norman Jewison’s hip imagery—as well as McQueen and Dunaway’s onscreen charisma—the music takes on an even greater life. I won’t say it’s a perfect marriage of sight and sound (that cliché is far too restrictive); I’d say it’s a passionate affair.
Insert Thomas Crown guffaw with cigar.
This is ripped from the Rykodisk re-issue on cd and the music is interspersed with short sections of dialogue from the film.
17 August 2006
Back in 1970 João Donato was living in Los Angeles when the Blue Thumb label offered him carte blanche to make a record, telling him to go out and buy the latest electric gizmos. While shopping for keyboards, he also picked up a few Led Zeppelin and James Brown records along with some mind-altering substances.He dragged in Emil Richards as producer-yes,the man behind the totally bonkers"Stones"LP and grabbed Deodato to do the horn arrangements.Bud Shank,Dom Um Romao,Ernie Watts,Conti Candoli,Chuck Domanico,Oscar Castro Neves all came along with more of the best of L.A.s session men to create this masterpiece.
"At the time, music was very raw, noisier," says Donato. "And I made the noisiest record I can ever remember making." True enough. The wildly funky album Donato created with arranger Eumir Deodato , A Bad Donato stands as one of the great sleeper psych-funk party blasts of the 70s.Totally essential!!!
Ripped from the original vinyl.
14 August 2006
What an album-stone killer all the way !Just re-issued by Kindred Spirits this one's a 100% proof deep mix of fusion,spiritual-modal jazz and latin from 1976 and lost in Argentina ever since.Tough as they come -here's some reviews of this essential work from Carlos Franzetti.Highly recommended.
It may be too early for best-of-the-year nominations, but the Prime Element 's Alborada album, the debut release in the Kindered Spirit label's promising new Free Spirit series, is a definite front-runner. Recorded by Argentinian composer/conductor Carlos Franzetti soon after arriving in New York in 1974 - years before he became known for scoring films like the Mambo Kings, Beat Street and Misunderstood, and collaborating with symphony orchestras from Buffalo to Buenos Aires - Alborada is a heady string-enhanced spin on spiritual jazz with magnificent modal moves and hot Latin grooves featuring the flutastic Mauricio Smith and conga king Ray Mantilla . It's like the best Strata East session you've never heard.
Kindred Spirits launch their new imprint, Free Spirits Series, in fine style with this much sought after rarity. ‘Alborada’ was originally released on Trova Records in 1976 by The Prime Element, a band formed by Argentinian musician / composer / arranger, Carlos Franzetti shortly after his move from Buenos Aires to New York. It fuses spiritual and modal jazz with soul and a heavy dose of Latin, to take us on a truly satisfying musical journey, with delights such as ‘Southamelodic’, ‘In The Dawn Of Time’, ‘The Prime Element’ and ‘Lola’. One not to be missed!
An early gem from keyboardist Carlos Franzetti -- a mid 70s session done with a really ambitious sound, and easily one of Franzetti's most righteous recordings ever! At the time of the set, Carlos was fresh on the New York scene from years in his native Argentina -- but he's working here with a host of American players to craft a record of boundless soul and imagination -- in a style that mixes free solo work on keyboards and saxes with added strings on many tracks, and a few choice vocals that really expand the set. There's a sound here that almost reminds us of the mix of modes used by another Argentinian, Gato Barbieri, in some of his best work of the period -- but Franzetti's approach is much more in a spiritual soul jazz mode than Gato's, yet it shares a similar optimism and ability to freely combine styles. Players on the session include Omar Clay on drums, Marvin Blackman on soprano and tenor sax, Kenny Rogers on flute, and Ray Mantilla on congas -- and voices are by Mel Dancy and Gayle Dixon Clay.
From DUSTY GROOVE
BTW This is a vinyl rip-yes,bust the bank and bought a new Sony Audio Burner.
13 August 2006
ARCHIGRAM at VOLTAGECONTROLLEDTECHNICOLOR has called it a day and finished his blog so his wonderful shares (including Sven Libaek's Solar Flares) are no longer available for download.Please be aware that although Archigram deleted his blog the name and site have been hooked up to already for something totally different - have a read of the following comment :
"Hey Bacoso, this is unrelated, but as you may know I ended my blog only about two hours ago (on 8/20/06)... now someone has started a new one using the same exact name and URL!!! It is NOT me, just to make it known. Thanks for your support."
So there you have it-one of the best blogs going is now gone.Thanks a lot VCT for some of the best shares in blogspot land-you'll be greatly missed.
However,the down load link from Archigram is still available in this comments post for Sven Libaek's incredible shark documentary soundtrack "Inner Space".Be sure you read his coments on the music before down loading it as some of the files are corrupt.
Archigram-if you read this(sorry,don't have your email address)and you do not want me to continue to share your link for Inner Space please leave a comment in the box and I will delete this post.Thanks again for all the great music-you certainly sent me in some new musical directions !!!
Tremendous afro-cuban work out pairing Dizzy Gillespie with Cuban arranger/composer Chico O'Farrill who produced this stunning session which originally made up the first half of a Norgran LP. O'Farrill conducts an expanded orchestra which combines a jazz band with a Latin rhythm section; among the participants in the four-part "Manteca Suite" are trumpeters Quincy Jones and Ernie Royal, trombonist J.J. Johnson, tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and Lucky Thompson, and conga player Mongo Santamaria. "Manteca," written during the previous decade, serves as an exciting opening movement, while the next two segments build upon this famous theme, though they are jointly credited to O'Farrill as well. "Rhumba-Finale" is straight-ahead jazz with some delicious solo work by Gillespie. A later small-group session features the trumpeter with an all-Latin rhythm section and flutist Gilberto Valdes, who is heard on "A Night in Tunisia" and "Caravan.Jose Mangual and Candido are also featured in the rhythm section .Scorching stuff!
This is really a Deodato record, Joao Donato having written and laid down basic keyboard tracks and promptly hightailed it back to Brazil, leaving Deodato and studio players to flesh out the rest.Big crew on this one including Airto,Ray Barretto,Randy Brecker and Romeo Penque who create a fantastic mix of bossa ,jazz ,and latin influences.Donato went on to use the basic melodies for most of these tunes but re-titled them for his monstrously funky "A Bad Donato" which I will post soon.
I bought this many years ago, dismissed it as easy listening and filed it.As time went on I found myself playing it again and again and I gradually fell in love with the whole lp.I guess a lot of it was finally admitting to myself after buying Quem a Quem that it's ok to like beautiful music and it doesn't always have to be full on, hardcore, banging, knock em dead stuff.I'll leave it there and let you be the judge - but if you enjoyed my Brazilian posts then this will be essential for you !
HERES A NEW UPLOAD OF JUST THE TRACK CAPRICORN WHICH WAS CORRUPT ON THE ORIGINAL POST
Old school latin jazz from Robin Jones-this lp was dug up from obscurity by Paul Murphy in the early 80s and hammered at the Electric Ballroom, The Wag and Jazzrooms around the country.He picked up a supply of copies and sold them from his shop in Soho which is where I got mine.
Essentially a library lp this was released by Apollo Sound and recorded straight to two track with no overdubbing at CTS Studios in London.The quintet was made up of Robin Jones-Drums and Percussion;Tony Uter-Congas;Simon Morton-Bongos;Percy Borthwick-Bass;Olaf Vas-Bass;Ian Henry-Piano.The music falls in to two broad rhythmic genres-Afro-Cuban and Brazilian and was an attempt to capture the more "tipico" feel of latin music.Jones had played bongos for Edmundo Ross in the 60s and Borthwick had been a session musician working with Chocolate Armenteros andCharlie Palmieri.Heres a bit more info about Robin Jones from Ubiquity:
Master percussionist of world renown, Robin Jones enjoys an envied musical pedigree not only as the leader of King Salsa and the Robin Jones Latin Jazz Sextet. He has always been a busy session musician working with major artists around the globe. While in Paris in the 60s, he played with Bud Powell and Johnny Griffin. He also performed regularly at the Blue Note with Chet Baker, played on John Barry's early music, plus worked in the studio with Elton John on his first album "Tumbleweed Connection". He also played and recorded with many other jazz greats including Al Casey, Barney Kessell, Tal Fralow, Ben Webster, Lucky Thompson, Art Farmer, Sonny Stitt, Red Rodney and Stan Getz.
Incidentally this rip is from cd as my lp was immersed and wrecked in a shower of lager whilst djing with my partner in crime at the time-22 years ago !-Bob Povey who went on to Bump and Hustle fame and more.Needless to say I sank into obscurity as I continued to thrash hard core latin and jazz to an ever dwindling minority-but thats another story.
12 August 2006
Harold Vick led relatively few record dates of his own, but this little-known session is one of his better efforts. Known primarily for his work as a tenor saxophonist, Vick also plays soprano sax and flute on this mid-'60s RCA Victor album. Most of the disc is devoted to British tenor saxophonist Kenny Graham's eight-part "Caribbean Suite," which consists of musical impressions of various islands in the West Indies. Joining Vick are trumpeter Blue Mitchell, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, pianist Albert Dailey, guitarist Everett Barksdale, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Mickey Roker, along with Latin percussion by Montego Joe and Manuel Ramos. Like other boppers who delved into Afro-Cuban music, Vick's arrangements of this obscure suite work very well. He also adds a fine take of Charlie Parker's "Barbados" and his own "Letitia," both of which fit in rather nicely with the album concept. Long out of print, this LP may be difficult to acquire. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
This was re-issued on cd a couple of years ago.
10 August 2006
The final installment of Gato Barbieri’s excellent Latin America series features the fire-breathing Argentinean tenor saxophonist leading a smoking international septet—with Howard Johnson (bass clarinet, flugelhorn and tuba), Eddie Martinez (keyboards), Paul Metzke (electric guitar), Ron Carter (bass), Portinho (drums) and Ray Armando (percussion)—at the Bottom Line back in 1975, a time when jazz was moving in many directions. A post-Coltrane avant gardist with a firm grounding in the tenor saxophone tradition, Barbieri merged the world music of his native continent and the blossoming fusion movement into a uniquely personal mélange that remains exciting today.
The satisfying set begins with Barbieri’s “Milonga Triste,” a melancholy tango that showcases the leader’s sensual sound swathed in an opulent textural tapestry of interwoven rhythms and tones (enriched by Johnson’s superb bass clarinet backgrounds). The album’s centerpiece, “La China Leoncia,” an extended four-part suite by Barbieri, is constructed similarly, but unfolds even more dramatically. It begins with the composer’s poetic recitation over an airy backdrop of fluttering tuba, keyboards and percussion, seamlessly segueing into the second section, which opens with Martinez’s processional piano and gives way to Carter’s insistent bass line and Barbieri’s flamenco-inspired handclapping. Then the tenor enters, gradually building in dynamics until it shrieks and squeals fervently in the third section. Metzke’s cavaquinho-styled strumming opens the final movement, where Portinho’s drumming and Johnson’s flugelhorn push the leader’s high-energy horn.
The penultimate “Bahia” spotlights Barbieri hearkening to Coltrane’s ‘50s persona in the opening strains of a beautiful ballad (over the lush cushion of Johnson’s tuba) and moving on to the master’s uninhibited ‘60s tone (mingled with a Rollins-esque coarseness) later in the song. The final selection, the leader’s “Lluvia Azul,” a pretty melody first heard in a Chico O’Farrill arrangement on the previous Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata, features the whole band in an Afro-Cuban styled descarga jam that was quite novel at the time.
Review from allaboutjazz
Personnel: Gato Barbieri: tenor saxophone, guiro, voice; Howard Johnson: tuba, bass clarinet, flugelhorn, tambourine; Eddie Martinez: piano, Fender Rhodes; Paul Metzke: guitar; Ron Carter: bass; Portinho: drums; Ray Armando: percussion, conga
BOLLOCKS !!!My audio cd burner just died on its ass and has passed over to the other side ( the bin ).Bloody thing was only a couple of years old and was fantastic for ripping vinyl with good quality results.So there will be no more vinyl posts for a little while which has scuppered my immediate plans for Pharoah's Live at the East and some more from Michael White.It's cd rips for the time being unless anyone can shed light on the diagnostics/ workings of a Philips cdr775.In the meantime here's a picture of me on the phone complaining to the local hi fi shop !
9 August 2006
This Impulse thing is here,there and everywhere - Palestinian Light Orchestra has been on the case-check his archives for the above goodies-from the new thing to jazz exotica.A great selection-check the links above.
The October Suite is a magnificent album by Steve Kuhn and Gary McFarland, was recorded in 1966 and released soon thereafter with little fanfare; it quickly went out of print but has been recently been re-issued on cd by Verve, though used copies of the LP are still around. It's a sterling example of chamber jazz, brimming with sensitivity and fire. McFarland (1933-71) is a nearly forgotten giant of jazz composing and arranging. Though he was prominent in the '60s, much of his best recorded work as a leader and in support of others is currently unavailable. The October Suite comprises six incandescent McFarland originals for piano trio (Kuhn, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Marty Morell) and either a string quartet or woodwinds and harp. Years ago, Kuhn allowed me to examine the scores; it's amazing how simple the individual parts are and yet how full the writing sounds. Kuhn and McFarland were close friends, and their personal and musical empathy is evident throughout. After four decades as a unique pianist, Kuhn remains undersung, and this recording is one of his -- and McFarland's -- finest achievements. --Bill Kirchner
On this 1966 Impulse release, tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp unleashed his 18-minute tour de force "The Magic of Ju-Ju," combining free jazz tenor with steady frenetic African drumming. Shepp's emotional and fiery tenor takes off immediately, gradually morphing with the five percussionists -- Beaver Harris, Norman Connor, Ed Blackwell, Frank Charles, and Dennis Charles -- who perform on instruments including rhythm logs and talking drums. Shepp never loses the initial energy, moving forward like a man possessed as the drumming simultaneously builds into a fury. Upon the final three minutes, the trumpets of Martin Banks and Michael Zwerin make an abrupt brief appearance, apparently to ground the piece to a halt. This is one of Shepp's most chaotic yet rhythmically hypnotic pieces. The three remaining tracks, somewhat overshadowed by the title piece, are quick flourishes of free bop on "Shazam," "Sorry Bout That," and the slower, waltz-paced "You're What This Day Is All About." ~ Al Campbell, All Music Guide
Another one of Shepp's Impulse lps thats only made it to cd in Japan-this rip is from that cd isue.
8 August 2006
6 August 2006
Chapter 3 was recorded in June 74 and broke from the style of Chapters 1 and 2 by bringing in a big band with the great Chico O'Farrill arranging and writing the charts for the session.This was a revolutionary move as big bands were hardly the happening thing at the time and to make an lp based loosely around the tango was thought to be commercial suicide.However it didn't quite turn out that way and went on to sell well and re launch the career of O'Farrill.
The opener Milonga Triste begins with a tangoish feel and rhythmically is in the form of a habanera-it's an Argentinian melody and is based on a fragment of a theme penned by Gato.
Next up is Lluvia Azul which is based around the cha cha but forget all that easy listening crap - this starts of slow and low and just builds into a double time mambo that cooks with Gato strafing in over the top while the percussion section of Luis Mangual,Ray Armando,Ray Mantilla and Portinho drive the big band interjections before a quick lapse into cha cha then into a storming finish.
Rhythmically El Sublime is in 6/8 and 4/4 with the tempos occassionally doubled - the big band goes to town on this one blasting Gato into orbit as the tune slides into 6/8 - totally sublime!
Still cant decide which is the best track on this lp -La Padrida or the final superb Viva Emiliano but La Padrida must be one of the greatest mambos ever recorded.The big band come to the fore with this and and the percussion and bass of Ron Carter mesh perfectly with Gato blowing hard to fan the rhythmic flames -impossible to sit still through this dancer's dream.
You will probably recognise Cuando Vuelva a Tu Toda as What a Difference a Day Makes which apparently started out as a latin song before it became a hit north of the border-here it is covered as a moody bolero.
To finish the lp on a explosive note we have another mambo and this is a monster.Eddie Martinez plays a relentlessly tumbling montuno figure on piano and is quickly joined by percussion,bass and band until Gato fires up in incendiary fashion and blasts across everything taking no prisoners until the track wraps in a big band crescendo - fantastic music !
5 August 2006
As a saxophonist, composer and arranger, Oliver Nelson was a prolific talent firmly rooted in jazz but equally skilled in pop vocal charts and television scoring.
His two greatest statements in jazz must be Blues and the Abstract Truth, which boasted astonishing small ensemble arrangements, Oliver's finest tunes and best tenor playing, and Sound Pieces, which gives us some of his best orchestral writing and some superb soprano saxophome work accompanied solely by a first class rhythm section.
As this album makes clear, Oliver has turned the soprano into a personal voice. It was because it reflected both the Nelson pragmatism and his delight in self-challenges. "Well, it's very compact and therefore easy to carry around. And then it's one of the most difficult instruments to play in terms of intonation. Also I sort of think high, so the soprano seems to fall naturally into what I do," Oliver Nelson said.
Throughout the album, it's absorbing to follow Oliver's own skill at thematic improvisation along with his sense of what would be called narrative drama and his command of dynamics. The evident pleasure Oliver experienced in playing at length is because he is a crisp, lucid improviser and brings a provacative individuality to the still underused soprano saxophone.
Review from VERVE/IMPULSE.
This album features the modal killers "Elegy for a Duck" and "Patterns"
4 August 2006
Live at Pep's" memorializes a 1964 Lateef performance at the then-famous Philadelphia lounge. The set features Lateef's exotic sounds on oboe and wood flute,his rooted-in-the-earth blues playing on alto and the fine trumpet stylings of the late Richard Williams. If there's a complaint, it's that some of the tunes are too brief.
Lateef's ability to manage the recalcitrant double reed of the oboe is immediately demonstrated on "Sister Mami," where he rides herd over a sinuous, whining line that manages to sound bluesy and Eastern at the same time. Williams contributes a great, flashy trumpet break, but it doesn't last long enough.
There's plenty of blues throughout, the best being "Number 7" and "12 Tone Blues." The former is a kind of blues trilogy that goes through some interesting changes and features some fine harmonizing by Lateef and Williams and nice work by the underrated Mike Nock on piano.
Lateef is not the most technically gifted player around, but his playing has lots of soul and emotion and like Rahsaan Roland Kirk, he's never been afraid to stretch the boundaries of jazz with new instrumentation and incorporation of nontraditional influences. And any recording that gives us another taste of Richard Williams is to be valued. Great album from one of jazz's solid citizens.
In the 60s political sentiments had been central to the work of musicians like Archie Shepp, Max Roach and John Coltrane. As the 70s dawned, mainstream black music made those sentiments explicit. While many jazzers adopted the innovations of James Brown, Sly Stone et al, most did it at a purely musical level. Shepp could have just added a spot of electric funk to his usual arsenal of free jazz, R'n'B and romantic Ellingtonia. Instead with 1972's Attica Blues he created a furious, tender blast of faintly psychedelic soul jazz that's a jewel in his vast, uneven discography.
The opening title track refers to the shooting of 43 inmates at the Attica Prison riot some months before. Shepp distils righteous, bristling anger into a huge, shuddering slice of funk. Two electric bassists, four percussionists and obligatory wah-wah guitars provide monster riffage under huge slabs of horns, strings and Henry Hull's urgent, desperate vocal pleading.
The album never touches those energy levels again, but finds its intensity in different ways. "Steam" is one of Shepp's loveliest tunes and gets a couple of string-soaked readings here, topped off with whirling, electronically treated soprano and Joe Lee Wilson's mellifluous vocal. "Blues for Brother George Jackson" is classic Shepp R&B - more dancefloor friendly perhaps and posessed of some fruity tenor blasts, while the gorgeous "Ballad for a Child" hints at the lush melancholic protest of What's Going On.
It's on this track that Shepp's blend of avant brutalism and Ben Webster-esque tenderness works best. Remember, this is the man that described himself as a sentimentalist, not a romantic. Solos are kept short if not sweet; the soprano outing on Cal Massey's Louis Armstrong tribute "Goodbye Sweet Pops" is one of the few that last more than a few bars.
The album closes with another Massey tune, "Quiet Dawn", sung by the composer's seven year old daughter in a faltering voice. It's not as bad as it might sound, honest, but it's an inauspicious ending to an otherwise indispensable record.
Reviewer: Peter Marsh@BBC Jazz Reviews
Until it was reissued in 1998, this was one of the more elusive Impulse sets of the 1960s. Recorded in 1963 and co-led by John Coltrane's drummer and bassist (Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison), the music is most significant for introducing Sonny Simmons (alto and English horn) and Prince Lasha (flute and clarinet), who are joined in the sextet by underrated baritonist Charles Davis and Trane's pianist McCoy Tyner. Each of the musicians except Jones contributed an original (there are two by Davis); the music ranges from advanced hard bop to freer sounds that still swing. While Garrison's contributions are conventional (this was his only opportunity to lead or co-lead a date), Jones is quite powerful. However, it is the playing of both Simmons, who tears it apart on English horn during "Nuttin' Out Jones," and Lasha (when is he going to be rediscovered and recorded again?) that make this early "New Thing" date of greatest interest. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
This lp also features the modal classic "Half and Half".
Ripped from the original vinyl.Picked up a nice condition first pressing of this in Miami for 10 bucks-what a bargain !
Here's my first Coltrane post for this blog and it's from his modal phase - between the bop of the 50's and his later avant-garde sessions for Impulse! before his death in 1967. The line-up needs no introduction - Coltrane with his 'sheets of sound' on sax, the powerful Elvin Jones on drums, the expressive Jimmy Garrison on bass and the mighty McCoy Tyner on piano.
It kicks off with 14 minute modal sprawl of Harold Arlen's 'Out of This World' (a Coltrane favourite and a tune he would revisit for pretty much the rest of his life). Over a slinky, mantra like 6/8 groove, the saxophonist unwinds two long solos that alternate keening, soulful lines with sudden flurries of notes or cranked up overblowing.
Tyner's limpid chording is economical, percussive and sleekly propulsive; on the album's only ballad, Mal Waldron's "Soul Eyes" he takes a short but delicate solo sandwiched between the leader's passionate statements. Though there are moments of intensity, the material here is cooler than the firestorms the quartet would be starting in a year or two on (or were already cooking up in performance).
"Inchworm" is another 6/8 modal outing; perhaps Coltrane was going for another "My Favourite Things" with this adaption of Frank Loesser's tune (first sung by Danny Kaye in the film Hans Christian Andersen). More substantial is the slow, dark swing of "Tunji", featuring a sonorous solo feature from Garrison.
This is ripped from the original Impuse vinyl as is the Michael White lp from the previous post
2 August 2006
I expect you're familiar with Michael White from John Handy's Quintet & The Fourth Way, both a-list ensembles. Pneuma's side-long title track's more on the cosmic/out side, starts out like an Art Ensemble record with small percussion, some nice inside-the-piano stuff from Ed Kelly, going on thru a series of encounters within the group (rhythm section's Ray Drummond, Kenneth Nash on percussion - strictly by hand). This whole side has more of an AACM feeling than a Miles kinda thing, but it is just *so* good. On the other side, "Ebony Plaza" is more inside, just over nine minutes of modal groove, Kelly doing his best McCoy Tyner impression in the background (he gets to do it in the foreground on "The Blessing Song"), and White blazing away on top. The kozmigroov charter-centric stuff is the last two cuts "Journey of the Black Star" adds a vocal quartet (Faye Kelly, Leola Sharp, D. Jean Skinner, Joyce Walker) contributing the profound sentiment "EE-yah" over & over & over again ... in "The Blessing Song" they actually get some lyrics before they sink into ooh-aah ... both cuts are midtempo infectious grooves (ok, I've started playing this one now, it just feels so Just-After-Sunset-Summer-Night I could die) - "Journey" is a bit more *pushed*, "Blessing" just sways into the sunset - both would be prime sweet-soul dancing cuts if it weren't for that lunatic scraping away like he wants to be (post-Miles pre-ALS) Coltrane on top (but that's what makes it *good*). This side is a great argument for the live drummer ... Nash patters around all over the place *tonally*, but damn if he isn't on that One ... always a groove, never the same.
Review from Kosmigroove
1 August 2006
COMING SOON ...... VINYL RIPS FROM JOHN COLTRANE / PHAROAH SANDERS / MICHAEL WHITE / ELVIN JONES / GATO BARBIERI / OLIVER NELSON AND MORE
Live at Montreux (1978) was Ellis's final recording. This recording offers reflections of the more adventurous Ellis ensemble recordings on selections such as "Future Feature," "Sporting Dance," and "Niner Two." However the hi hat driven "Go-No-Go" indicates Ellis's continued connection to popular styles. The selection "Open Wide" enjoyed some degree of popularity with its 4/4 meter and accessible main theme (somewhat reflective of Chuck Mangione's hit "Feel So Good"). Despite the conventional meter, the selection also represents an excellent example of Ellis's rhythmic superimpositions 5 beats over a 4/4 barline.
Live at Montreux demonstrates a more-restrained use of Ellis's trademark "odd" meters, but makes up for it with a more liberated use of extremely sophisticated rhythmic superimpositions including a good deal of latin influences.
This is ripped from the original vinyl-it was reissued on cd by Koch with bonus tracks but although its still floating around on the net I think its been deleted.