28 July 2007

THE LEON THOMAS ALBUM





















Leon Thomas for Flying Dutchman from 1970.
One of my favourite Leon Thomas lps primarily for the epic side long "The Journey" and the 11 minute percussion heavy "Um Um Um "which features a bass line reminiscent of Silver's "Senor Blues".Thom Jurek gets it right when he asks "Why wasn't this guy huge?".A truly amazing album of spiritual jazz.Highly recommended.

On the follow-up to the mind-blowing Spirits Known and Unknown, singer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer Leon Thomas decided to take a different track. Far from the sparely orchestrated ensembles of the previous works, Thomas loaded this set with jazz luminaries such as Roy Haynes and Billy Cobham, Billy Harper, Donald Smith, James Spaulding, Sonny Morgan, Ernie Royal, and many others as well as a backing chorus of female voices. Side one is the up-tempo jazz ride, as Thomas and company rip through a host of his own tunes, such as the scatted post-bop of "I Am" and the nearly bar-walking blues of "Come Along." But the side is graced by an absolutely stunning read of Milt Jackson's "Bag's Groove," with Harper leading a five-horn section. The real gem on the album is "Pharaoh's Tune (The Journey)," which comprises all of side two. After setting up a live audience with a narrative laced with sound effects from the vanguard jazzers, the tune develops its groove about four minutes in and the bells and yodel come out, and from here it's Thomas at his improvisational best as both a singer and a bandleader. Everybody here is inspired, especially the two drummers. Harper, Spaulding, and Smith weave snake-charming lines around one another, and the entire thing just lifts off and never returns. It's a breathtaking ride made all the more so by the long, jazzed-out setup of side one. Why this guy wasn't huge is a mystery. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Billy Harper Sax (Tenor) Arthur Sterling Piano Howard Johnson Sax (Baritone) Billy Cobham Drums Bob Cunningham Bass Leon Thomas Flute, Percussion, Main Performer, Vocals Richard Landrum Percussion James Spaulding Flute John Williams Guitar (Bass) Oliver Nelson Arranger, Conductor Gene Golden Percussion Ernie Royal Trumpet Donald Smith Flute Roy Haynes Drums Sonny Morgan Percussion Jerome Richardson Sax (Alto)

Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-no cd issues.

STEVE GROSSMAN - SOME SHAPES TO COME


















Steve Grossman for PM records from 1974.
Hard as nails fusion from Steve Grossman and the PM gang:
Steve Grossman, tenor sax, soprano sax; Jan Hammer, Fender Rhodes, Moog; Gene Perla, electric bass, acoustic bass; Don Alias, drums, percussion.
This is the lp with the old break beat fave Zulu Stomp.Dusty Groove used to stock the cd reissue but it's now dissapeared.I've ripped this post from the original vinyl @320.
Beautifully choppy jazz from Steve Grossman and his legendary 70s comrades Gene Perla and Don Alias one of the heaviest hitting American combos of the time! The trio have a tight fusion sound that's as full-on as it is funky and Grossman blows some amazing work on tenor and soprano sax that cut into the tunes with a really fierce bite! For this session, the group's joined by Jan Hammer on electric piano and moog, playing in a nicely restrained fashion that's not nearly as overblown as his later work, and which jams into the groove just perfectly.

JERZY MILIAN - ORKIESTRA ROZRYWKOWA PRiTV























Jerzy Milian for Muza Poland from 1975.
Wow what a treat - Another lp I had been hunting down for many years but which always went for just too much.Then I picked up a vinyl rip (cheers Noreille !) and now wonder of wonders it's been reissued on CD- I bought one direct from Poland which I have ripped for this post @320.Dusty Groove have it back in stock again after a long wait so if you like it get over there quick and buy one.Here's their review:
Funky genius from Poland's Jerzy Milian -- a vibes player we normally know in much smaller settings, but who sounds great here in an MPS-styled big band album from the 70s! The tracks are relatively short and punchy -- all with some great rhythms and a fair bit of drum breaks too -- so much so that the record easily sounds like some of the best sound library albums coming from Western Europe in the early 70s -- a sublime blend of tight grooving and sweetly jazzy touches! Along with Jerzy's vibes, the record also has some great keyboards and funky flute too -- plus some occasional wordless vocals that scat nicely along at the bottom of the grooves -- creating a feel that's almost like the best work of Janko Nilovic!

25 July 2007

BAYETE ( TODD COCHRAN) - WORLDS AROUND THE SUN


























Bayete(Todd Cochran) for Prestige from 1972.
The Hutcherson connection rolls on with this funked up bit of spiritual jazz with a great supporting line up including Bobby Hutcherson,James Leary,Hadley Caliman,Oscar Brashaer and more.You may remember Bayete from Hutcherson's "Head On ",one of my previous posts,on which he played piano and also wrote most of the lp.On the strength of his work with Hutch he scored a record deal with Prestige and this was the result.
Here's a review from Soul Strut:

Bayete recorded Worlds Around The Sun when he was only 20 years old. The album fluctuates between straight Bop like on It Ain’t and spiritual Jazz like Njeri (Belonging to a warrior). Sandwiched in between however, are a few hot Funk tracks like Free Angela (Thoughts … and all I’ve got to say), a song dedicated to Black activist Angela Davis. The song opens with a nice stop and go drum break before some affects are added to make it sound like a b-boy break. Then the singing and the rest of the band join in for a mid-tempo jam session before ending on a spiritual note. I’m On It has a similar groove to it.

Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-No reissues,

21 July 2007

SHELLEY MANNE AND HIS MEN - CHECKMATE













Keeping it West Coast here's a repost from the very early days of this blog-a modal masterpiece.

Back in 1961, jazz pianist Johnny Williams was still making the transition to soundtrack composer John Williams, and one of the jobs he took on was the composition of thematic music for the television program Checkmate, a detective drama featuring the talents of Sebastian Cabot, Doug McLure and Anthony George. Williams wrote several pieces including the show's theme song and sketches that were associated with various characters and settings. Still strongly influenced by the jazz of the day, the music he created for the series reflected the modal experiments that were emerging from players like Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
The studio orchestra that recorded the themes included drummer Shelly Manne, who appropriated the music for his group, Shelly Manne & His Men, and began to introduce the material to audiences at his club, Shelly's Manne-Hole in Hollywood. When they had worked out the arrangements, he took the group, including Conte Candoli on trumpet, Richie Kamuca on tenor, Chuck Berghofer on bass and Russ Freeman on piano, into the studio and created this album.

Shelly Manne & His Men were one of the finest groups in West Coast jazz, and their ability to adapt this music for straight jazz performance gives a good indication why. They assimilated the modal approach, still considered new and challenging, and found the spaces in Williams' compositions that allowed for improvisation, then crafted excellent solos to fill those spaces, weaving a carpet of sound as only a true working band can. The ability to play the music in a club environment until their grasp of the possibilities was complete was a luxury rarely afforded in the world of jamming pick-up bands that was too often the circumstance in jazz studios, and the results are a modal masterpiece

10 July 2007

SHORTY ROGERS MEETS TARZAN


















Shorty Rogers gets that Afro Cuban influence under his collar again for this heavy duty percussion driven workout for MGM from 1959.If you enjoyed my recent post of Puente's Tambo you will love this !


In 1959, Shorty Rogers wrote the soundtrack for a remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man. The movie (starring Denny Miller) soon disappeared, and so did this obscure LP. However, Rogers' music is worth bringing back, as is the humorous photo on the cover featuring Tarzan effortlessly lifting up the smiling trumpeter/arranger. The music that Shorty wrote for the film utilizes 14 horns, including trombonist Frank Rosolino and the reeds of Bud Shank, Bill Perkins, and Bob Cooper, plus Pete Jolly, two bassists, drummer Frank Capp and four enthusiastic percussionists. While side one of the album has six selections, all of which are in the same rhythmic mood, the flip side consists of the lengthy "Tarzanic Suite," an extended arrangement of the main theme from the picture. Although there are many short solos, the emphasis is on the dense and frequently exciting ensembles. The music, which is heard here in full-length form (unlike in the movie, where it is often buried behind the action), sounds quite self-sufficient apart from the action. A collector's item that has not yet been reissued on CD. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Ripped @ 320 from the original vinyl-no reissues

6 July 2007

SHIRLEY SCOTT WITH THE LATIN JAZZ QUINTET - MUCHO MUCHO























Our girl Shirl teams up with Gene Casey-Piano;Juan Amalbert-Conga;Manny Ramos-Timbales;Bill Ellington-Bass;Phil Diaz on vibes aka The Latin Jazz Quintet for this Hammond meets latin swinger on Prestige from 1960.

Dusty Groove on the case:
An excellent album that mixes Latin grooves with heavy Hammond organ -- one of the most unique albums ever recorded by the great Shirley Scott! The session features Shirley's organ backed up by the Latin Jazz Quintet of Juan Amalbert-- a very hip combo that blends together piano, vibes, and percussion -- all with a highly rhythmic approach that really drives the album! The blend of organ and Latin modes was quite unique for the time -- and still sounds pretty darn great today -- and titles include "Mucho Mucho", "Muy Azul", "Tell Me", "The Lady Is A Tramp", and a nice long Latin version of "Walkin".

Ripped@320 from the Japanese issue cd which is now unavailable

5 July 2007

TERUMASA HINO - SPARK














Terumasa Hino for Somethin' Else Japan from 1994.
Great piece of post-fusion/ latin /hard bop with Hino and Tatsuyah Satoh riding a four man wave of drums and percussion with Jay Hoggard guesting on vibes and marimba-tough stuff.
Two files-here and here.

This is one of trumpeter Terumasa Hinos more interesting releases. Hino often sounds like an exact duplicate of Freddie Hubbard in his prime on the more hard bop-oriented pieces while mixing in a bit of Miles Davis with Hubbard on the funkier numbers. He is joined by a fine Japanese group (in addition to Jay Hoggard on marimbas and vibes and percussionist Don Alias) which includes two percussionists who keep the rhythms torrid; Hoggard (particularly on marimbas) is a major part of the ensembles. Highlights include memorable versions of Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" (which is given funky Latin rhythms) and Silvers neglected "Calcutta Cutie." Other than the tribute, "Art Blakey," most of the other performances utilize rhythmic vamps while "Suavemente" features the trumpeter's expressive long tones over a synthesizer. Every selection holds one's interest, making this one of Terumasa Hinos most rewarding recordings to date. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Tatsuya Sano
Sax (Tenor
Hiromasa Suzuki
Synthesizer
Tatsuji Yokoyama
Percussion
Mark DeRose
Percussion
Kenji Hino
Bass (Electric)
Benisuke Sakai
Bass
Takeaki Sugiyama
Synthesizer
Don Alias
Percussion, Arranger
Motohiko Hino
Drums
Terumasa Hino
Trumpet, Main Performer
Jay Hoggard
Marimba, Vibraphone
CD rip @320 .Only released in Japan and now deleted.

3 July 2007

LUIZ BONFA - JACARANDA

















Luis Bonfa arranged and conducted by Deodato for Som Livre Brazil in 1973.
Just read this rave review from Thom Jurek (as he put's it :It's so fine it's hardly even believable)and you'll understand why this one gets the Highly Recommended stamp from Orgy In Rhythm-simply superb !


After the initial shockwaves of Miles Davis' seminal fusion recordings began to settle, jazz rock fusion began to become a genre unto itself. What Miles had created as a way of opening both the disciplines up to one another -- in the same manner that bossa nova and rhythm and blues did in the 1960s -- created a slew of musical possibilities before fusion closed in on itself in the later 1970s and became its own restrictive genre, full of sterile, workmanlike chops, and endlessly repetitive rhythmic constructs. But perhaps no one, not even Weather Report's Joe Zawinul or Creed Taylor at CTI realized the full aesthetic and panoramic potential of fusing seemingly disparate elements together in an entirely new tapestry, the way that Brazilian composer and guitarist Luiz Bonfá did on Jacarandá in 1973. His collaborators, producer John Wood and arranger/conductor Eumir Deodato, assembled a huge cast of musicians in both New York and Los Angeles, and came up with nothing short of a grooving, blissed-out masterpiece of fusion exotica. The cast of players is in and of itself dizzying: Airto, Deodato, Bonfá on acoustic guitars, Stanley Clarke, Wood, Mark Drury, Ray Barretto, John Tropea (on electric guitars), Bill Watrous, Randy Brecker, Idris Muhammad, Jerry Dodgion, Sonny Boyer, Phil Bodner, Maria Toledo, and many others -- including full string and horn sections. The ambitious Deodato charts opened up the principals and brought hard Afro-Cuban rhythms, softer Brazilian ones, funky riffing soul and R&B interludes, and classical themes and variations, as well as sophisticated jazz harmonics and syncopation to a collection of tunes by Bonfá and others. Sound like a mess? Hardly. This is one of the most disciplined and ambitions recordings to be issued during that decade. Here Bonfá's gorgeous palette of samba and bossa melodies is married to film score dynamics, lush romantic cadenzas, smoking jazz grooves and cultured extrapolations of folk and popular music schemas. creating a stunning mosaic of color, release, pastoral elegance and bad-ass, intoxicating, polyrhythmic Latin soul vistas. While the entire album flows form front to back with seamless ease, there are a few standouts. The opener, "Apache Talk," features Barretto's congas creating a bottom for Muhammad's brushes and snare, as Clarke's bass plays one note insistently and hypnotically before Wood's Rhodes and finally Bonfá's 12-string come shimmering in with a funky urgency that is underscored by Tropea's bluesy fills. When the horns finally enter, the entire thing is popping and grooving on its own punchy axis. It's a wonder that Gilles Peterson hasn't picked up on this cut yet. Elsewhere, Bonfá's velvety tropical read of Enriqué Granados' "Dance No. 5," with its slippery classical guitar and extended harmonic palette, is a whispering wonder of sensual delight. The minor-key riffing in "Strange Message" that becomes a full-blown soundtrack-esque anthem is a wonder, and the jazzy soul of the title track with Drury's popping stand-up bass playing counterpoint to Bonfá's 12-string before Muhammad and Wood kick it on the funky side is breathtaking (Man, if Ralph Towner could only play 12-string like this, he might have been a contender!)

I've ripped this post from the US Ranwood vinyl issue @ 320.It made a cd reissue which is now out of print.

Personnel: Luiz Bonfá (guitar, vocal), Eumir Deodato (piano, electric piano, keyboards), John Wood (electric piano), Stanley Clarke (electric bass), Mark Drury (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums), Richard O'Connell (drums), Airto Moreira (percussion), Ray Barretto (conga), John Tropea (electric guitar), Sonny Boyer (tenor sax), Phil Bodner (flute, oboe, english horn, clarinet), Romeo Penque (flute, bass clarinet, baritone sax), Jerry Dodgion (flute, alto sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn), Burt Collins (trumpet), John Frosk (trumpet), Marky Markowitz (trumpet), Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn), Wayne Andre (trombone), Garnett Brown (trombone), Bill Watrous (trombone), Tony Studd (bass trombone), Jim Buffington (french horn), Peter Gordon (french horn), Harry Lookofsky (violin), Harry Cykman (violin), Max Ellen (violin), Paul Gershman (violin), Emanuel Green (violin), Harry Katzman (violin), Harold Kohon (violin), Joe Malin (violin), David Nadien (violin), Gene Orloff (violin), Elliot Rosoff (violin), Irving Spice (violin), Alfred Brown (viola), Harold Coletta (viola), Selwart Clark (viola), Emanuel Vardi (viola), Charles McCracken (cello), George Ricci (cello), Alan Shulman (cello), Gloria Lanzarone (cello), Alvin Brehm (arco bass), Russell Savakus (arco bass), Sonia Burnier (vocal), and Maria Helena Toledo (vocal

1 July 2007

MELVIN JACKSON - FUNKY SKULL





















I made a decision to pull the link for this one as its very easily available at a very nice price here
Post number 400 and what better way to celebrate than this wacked out bit of bass driven funk from
Melvin Jackson
for Limelite from 1969.
This one's been reissued by Dusty Groove on cd and here's their write up and it's bang on the mark:
One of our favorite albums of all times and a legendary testament to the greatness of the Chicago music scene in the late 60s! Melvin Jackson was the bassist in Eddie Harris' very successful group of the time -- and his playing on Eddie's trippy and funky records for Atlantic is one of the factors that made them so great. Here, he's working with an acoustic bass, amplified with electronics like a Varitone sax and this strange-sounding instrument is set up in a hip group that mixes Cadet funky studio players (Phil Upchurch, Morris Jennings, Jody Christian) with some of the brighter young players of the AACM (Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, and Leo Smith.) Jackson's bass is looped through all sorts of crazy effects, and the result is this amazing blend of avant garde playing and groovy rhythms that is beyond compare! The album includes great reworkings of two Eddie Harris funk tracks "Bold and Black" and "Cold Duck Time"plus monster originals like "Funky Doo", "Say What", "Dance Of The Dervish", and "Funky Skull (parts 1 & 2)".
Ripped @320 from the cd release.