25 October 2008

JOAO DONATO - SAMBOU SAMBOU




















Joao Donato for Pacific Jazz from 1965.
Donato at the piano, Milton Banana on drums, Tião Neto on bass and Amaury Rodrigues, percussion.
Donato dropped the vocals for this top crack jazz influenced bossa session which spawned the classics "Tim Dom Dom ","Tema Teimoso"(later covered by Cal Tjader),"Minha Saudade" and the dance floor swingers "Caminho de Casa" and "Vamos Nessa".
The lp was originally issued in Brazil as Muito a Vontade in 1960.
Highly Recommended.

JOAO DONATO - LUGAR COMUM
















Joao Donato for Mercury from 1975.
More beautiful funky bossa from the great Joao Donato.Originally posted here late 2006.

Thom Jurek nailed it with this review:
This funky bit of samba by the king of bossa pianists was the second such album he recorded in the middle of the decade. Moving away from his earlier bossa nova and Latin jazz sound, João Donato cut Quem E Quem a year earlier with stellar results: The disc landed him on the charts for the first time in three years and was actually distributed in the U.S. to the fusion-hungry jazz audience. Lugar Comum is another step away. The bossa has been replaced by a more pronounced samba sound and there are few acoustic pianos on the disc at all. Furthermore, in addition to funking it up -- in that light, airy, breezy Brazilian way -- on electric keys, Donato handles all the lead vocal chores himself. As for his voice, well, Tom Jobim's is worse, but not much. Nonetheless, Donato's arrangements are lush, tight, and full of life and light, and they are well suited to tunes like the title track, the chorus-heavy "Patumbalacunde," and the shimmering wisp that is "Xango E Da Be," with its gorgeous strings and whistle-stop percussion. This is now regarded as a classic of the genre and, in some ways, the hep cats and kitties are right: While Airto and Flora and Deodato were moving into hard and heavy territory with rhythms clashing everywhere atop harried and crowded arrangements to adapt to the fusion market, Donato played it commercial in his own sweet, laid-back way. This is a beautiful, if very slick, album that should interest all fans of Brazilian pop. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

JOAO DONATO - A BLUE DONATO









Joao Donato from 1973-discovered and issued by Whatmusic in 2005
Musicians:
Joao Donato: piano / scat;Tita Lobo: viola / scat;Eduardo Lobo: drums;Edson Lobo: bass;Bill Horne: Mellophone;Edison Machado: drums;Ion Muniz: flute;Edson Maciel: trombone;Barnabé Ferreira: bass

Review edited from the sleeve notes:
Over thirty years ago, in 1973-1974, some high calibre Brazilian bossa nova musicians met regularly at Bill Horne's place in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro. Bill, a flute, flugelhorn and mellophonium Brazilian player, had a small recording studio in his penthouse in which he was the engineer. It was equipped with a 4-track recorder, a Steinway and a Fender-Rhodes piano.
João Donato used to hang out at Bill's place, often in the company of guitarist and singer Tita, drummers Eduardo Lobo and Edison Machado, bassist Barnabé Ferreira, flautist Ion Muniz and trombonist Edson Maciel, all of them highly recognized musicians in future years. The meetings were pretty casual: Donato would show up with some musicians, a jamming session would get started and a recording would come out of it. The creative environment was nurtured with good beer plus an unlimited supply of cafezinhos (portuguese for a small cup of strong sweetened coffee). Some musicians provided themselves with other "inspiring" snacks (like what Cuban musicians used to quite smokily call manteca, way back in the 1940's).
The musicians in these sessions showed an unlimited willingness to play their souls out. They created some intimate and spontaneous bossa nova which after more than three decades is to the ear what an aged Bordeaux is to the palate and the spirit.

Donato's love for jazz is evident throughout his career and all the more so in this particular album. Listen to "Sem Nome aka Mr. Keller» (Without a Name aka Mr. Keller), a trio number, perhaps a jam session, by Donato, Ferreira and Machado, in which the fusional character of his art is so much on the jazz side. Then the same trio extends to a quintet with Muniz on flute and Maciel on trombone to communicate their enthusiasm for McCoy Tyner's "Message from the Nile": we meet a Tyner bent Donato and experience how jazz prone Brazilian musicians can be, yet retaining their Brazilian roots. In Donato's "Tom Thumb" we see how an extremely soul tinged tune is bossa-novaed by the same group.
We are given two different versions of Herbie Hancock's "Mimosa": one of them by the trio made of Donato on piano, Tita on guitar and Eduardo Lobo on drums in which Donato and Tita scat à la brésilienne. The other purely instrumental with the trio and Bill Horne on mellophone. If you can decide which is the jazzier one of both bossa nova renderings, please write and tell us! We think both sit easily in the ocean of bossa-jazz music. An ocean for the special pleasure of bathing in or floating on unboundedly swinging music. Let this pleasure be yours.

14 October 2008

PAUL HORN - THE DESERT IS A CIRCLE / JOY














7" single by Paul Horn for Paramount from the early 70s .
One for the CTI/Kudu heads!(Pekis where are you?).Only the second 7 I've posted here but it's a cracker!
So there I was having a few beers one night and shooting the breeze on line about cinema in the 70s with my learned friend xmnr0x23,the professor of axography,when he comes up with a line about Jodorowsky's El Topo and have I ever heard the Paul Horn version of "The Desert Is A Circle" ?
Have I fuck!!!!!Has he???No way!!!Does it really exist???He must be making it up!!!
But he's not.....Professor Axe wings over a comment from a site dedicated to the mighty Claus Ogerman which reads:

"Dave Blume my friend and producer for Paramount Records, brought
in jazz musician PAUL HORN to my studio SOUND IDEAS, and we recorded
two tunes for 45 RPM, "The Desert is a Circle", based on the music of the
film's original composer Alexandro Jorodorowsky, and "JOY", composed by
Paul Horn.
Ogerman arranged and conducted both tunes with his usual brilliance.
Sincerely,
George Klabin - New York, NY"

Holy Crap the search is on gotta have this one quickly hit ebay wow there it is ....easy now... GOT IT!
And a month later here it is!
And it's a cracker-both sides come on like a lost CTI session(in fact "Desert" sounds like something from Bob James 1 or 2) replete with fantastic strings,terrific horns,guitar a la Eric Gale(it's gotta be him on "Desert"),in the pocket drums and as Mr Klabin so rightly says both tunes are arranged and conducted with Ogerman's usual brilliance.Oh and I almost forgot Paul Horn soaring beautifully over both sides on flute.
"Joy" is the first cut on my rip as for my money it's just got the edge on "Desert is a Circle" but see what you think.Best 7 I've bought for a long time-2 top quality sides!
Big thanks to xmnr0x23 for tipping me off.If anyone can shed any more light on this one I'd really appreciate it. Please leave any info you might have in the comments-I've googled it to death but all I can find is Mr Klabin's comment and one overpriced copy for sale on MusicStack.
Oh and before you try and dig it up on lp it was only ever issued as a 7".

11 October 2008

LOUIS BELLSON,SHELLY MANNE,WILLIE BOBO,PAUL HUMPHREY - THE DRUM SESSION




















The Drum Session for Philips Japan from 1974.
Drums - Louis Bellson , Paul Humphrey , Shelly Manne , Willie Bobo/Keyboards - Mike Wofford/Bass - Chuck Domanico/Saxophone, Flute - Jerome Richardson/Trumpet - Bob Bryant
Producer - Oliver Nelson

A true feast of Orgy in Rhythm for this super heavy percussion and drum battle recorded direct to disc over four sides of vinyl in California for the Japanese audiophile market.
As you might imagine this is a real banger from start to finish stuffed with beats and breaks and plundered for samples by the likes of The Beastie Boys(Shake Your Rump from the monster break on Super Mellow).But it's much more than a series of extended drum solos with most cuts featuring swinging and funky accompaniment by Bobby Bryant, Jerome Richardson, Mike Wofford and Chuck Domanico with Willie Bobo adding latin flavours - although we do get "Drum Battle Sections 1 & 2" with four kits battering it out together and in relay.
From the jazz dance "Samba Sushi" to the funky "Super Mellow" to the vocalised percussion of "Mouth to Mouth Resucitation" you just know this has got to be All Killer No Filler !!!
It's also beautifully recorded with absolutely fantastic sound plus Oliver Nelson(who also contributed the lovely compositions "Japanese Garden"and "Your Warmth")at the production desk.
This double album was later edited down and reissued as a single lp for the US market by Inner City Records.I have ripped the full unedited 12 track Philips Japan Audiophile cd issue for this post

10 October 2008

MILT JACKSON AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART













Milt Jackson for Verve from 1965.
Milt Jackson - Vibraphone* Cedar Walton - Piano* James Moody - Reeds* Ron Carter - Bass* Otis Finch - Drums

Review purloined from Amazon-excellent piece of writing from Stephen Reddy:
Milt Jackson at the Museum of Modern Art is one of the many live jazz record dates that should be better known than it is. Perhaps it's because the LP has been unavailable in America since the early '70s; it was released on CD only briefly in Japan. Verve's brilliant Originals series has remedied this situation by issuing the gatefold-sleeve of the LP in a fine edition on compact disc (with the original liner notes pasted into a handsome booklet with the original photos). Released in 1965, shortly after the concert took place, this set is regarded by jazz historians as one of the greatest concerts ever to be performed during the MOMA's terrific free concert series during the '60s. During a rare respite from the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jackson was able to record as a solo artist with musicians of his own caliber. In this case his companions are pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Ron Carter (who was already playing with the Miles Davis Quintet), drummer Candy Finch, and James Moody on flute. The program is a lithe, breezy set of tunes written by Jackson, Walton, and Moody, with two exceptions: a beautiful reading of Jimmy Heath's "The Quota" to open the program, and a leisurely, sensitive stroll through J.J. Johnson's "Enigma." Even encountering this in the 21st century, the easy, symbiotic flow and tight arrangements are quite surprising. Heath's tune is a knotty hard bop number with a tight, brief head, and Jackson takes the first solo with requisite hipness and swing. Moody's flute fills the first chorus a bit and then drops out, leaving the rhythm section to dig into it with Jackson. Moody's solo wraps itself around the fat comping chords of Walton and darts in and out of Carter's hard dancing pulse. This is followed by the Latin tinge of "Novamo" by Jackson. The rhythm section sets out pacing a near charanga, and Jackson and Moody move through it with a beautiful, repetitive, singsong melody that quickly gives way to one of the great vibist's elegant high-register solos. Walton was already in his early thirties when he played with Jackson, and he'd been on the N.Y. scene for a decade, but this was before he became a house pianist with Prestige and well-known as a composer. His tune "Turquoise" is a fiery, fast bop waltz, with a terrific front-line melody for Moody and Jackson. Milt takes the first solo and turns the high notes into a blur of groove and grease. There's terrific humor on the set as well: Jackson's "Flying Saucer" begins in montuno mode. His voice at the intro sounds like something from the Twilight Zone before the rhythm section kicks in and he lays out the melody. Moody takes it away from the montuno feel and turns it toward the blues, but Jackson counters and begins singing in a perfect hepcat confidence, reinforcing the Latin groove. It might be the best tune here. This date is red hot for any fan who lives for jazz with rhythm, swing, and soul in equal tonnage.

3 October 2008

JORGE DALTO - CHEVERE












Jorge Dalto for United Artists from 1976.
Jorge Dalto-Fender Rhodes,Acoustic Piano,Clavinet,ARP,Minimoog;Bernard Purdie-Drums;Carlos Martin-Congas;Rahsan Jemmott-Bass;Ronnie Foster-Minimoog;Tom Malone-Trombone;Sheldon Powell-Tenor;Jerry Dodgion-Alto,Flute;Ernie Royal,Victor Paz-Trumpet;Tony Jiminez-Percussion;Adela,Ruben Blades,Jorge Dalto-Vocals.
Produced by Teddy Reig

From the sleeve notes:
"If you are a Latin you will already know what the title means.If not ask a latin and he will tell you "Chevere" is latin hip for groovey...among other things.
Whether you know what chevere means or not is really immaterial to the music.It's contemporary.Very much to the kind of jazz flavoured instrumental sound that has grown in popularity over the past year...with one very important difference.The music is from Dalto.And this means the sounds are very musical and very exciting.What you have in this album is a bright,fresh and musical use of electronic keyboard instruments in combination with voices,horns and driving latin percussion.
Dalto arranged all eight tunes on the album,wrote all but three and plays multiple keyboards on just about every track.Those keyboards are :Fender Rhodes,Acoustic Piano,Clavinet,ARP String Ensemble,Minimoog and Satelite Synthesizers."
[That list alone should have all the rhodes and moog freaks frothing at the mouth!]

The lp is very much ,as the title description suggests,of the times.In 1976 Dalto was playing keyboards for George Benson with Ronnie Foster and I guess this album was Jorge's stab at commercial success for himself.It wasn't a great seller-too heavily latin for the easy jazz listeners,too crossover for the latino market- although the gorgeous "I've Got You On My Mind" was a minor hit at the time,and as an lp this was doomed to be relegated to the cut out/used bins where it has languished ever since with no reissues in any form-even from Japan!
The Clavinet is the name of the game here,squelching and squeezing the rhythm forward along with Pretty Purdie's insistent disco high hat which slices through a constant rippling carpet of congas and percussion.Soloing over the top come waves of ARPs,Minimoogs and Fender Rhodes played by Dalto and Foster finished off with a creamy froth of vocal harmonies.Most of the cuts spin off into a discofied latin jam style -check out the club banger "Time For Some Changes " - what a tune!I remember Chris Bangs dropping this in the early 80s while I danced across the floor to it like a total arse-well,I was always off my tits in those days so that's my excuse!
The Dalto penned "For Openers" and "Theme in Berlin" take a similar intro/jamming route while "I Only Care For You" and the previously mentioned "On my Mind" are both lovely ballads.
There's also a nice,swinging version of "Dolphin Dance" replete with doo doo doo doo vocals and horn section plus funky takes on "Love For Sale" (Cole Porter would be spinning in his grave if he heard this rendition)and "Stella By Starlight".
So this is my attempt to rescue Chevere from the dusty bins of history-as Dusty Groove so succinctly put it:An excellent album of mellow spacey Latin fusion!
Plus imo a liberal sprinkling of disco dust!

Here's a bio about Jorge from AllAboutJazz:
Jorge Dalto - piano, keyboards (1948 - 1987)

Jorge Dalto was an Argentine-born jazz pianist whose version of ''This Masquerade'' with the guitarist George Benson won a Grammy Award in 1976, he was the pianist arranger on Benson’s mega album “Breezin.’” Dalto was one of the principal keyboardists in the fusion movement of the era.
Jorge Dalto was born July 7, 1948, in Jorge Perez, Argentina. He studied piano in his home country and came to the United States in 1969. In 1973, he settled in New York, playing with Latin jazz groups such as Tito Puente's and the Machito Orchestra. He was the featured pianist on Dizzy Gillespie’s “Afro-Cuban Moods,” in 1975.
Shortly afterward, he became a member of his fellow countryman Gato Barbieri's group, and got involved in the mid-1970's fusion movement, which mixed jazz and rock. He appeared on albums of the period with artists as; Flora Purim, Spyro Gyra, Paquito D’ Rivera, Djaban, Eddie Daniels, Carmen McRae, Rubén Blades among others.
During the ‘80’s he was the leader of the InterAmerican Band which featured his wife Adela on vocals. He was also the pianist/arranger for the Percussion Jazz Ensemble consisting of top tier Latin musicians including timbale player Tito Puente, conga player Carlos “Patato” Valdes and violinist Alfredo De La Fe.
He released several excellent albums as pianist/arranger with an all star cast of musicians he called Super Friends. These included sax man David Sanborn, guitarists George Benson, and Eric Gale, with Steve Gadd and Buddy Williams as drummers, among others. This was just a partial lineup on the album “Rendevous” released in 1983.
In 1985 he put out “Urban Oasis,” with his InterAmerican Band, an excellent session emphasizing his strong latin roots and mastery of the genre.
A “Solo Piano,” was released in 1990, and “New York Nightlife” came out in 2007. These were reissues from albums that unfortunately did not have a wide release or market at the time of his death. His appreciation and prominence as an excellent Latin jazz pianist has only grown through the years.

CESAR - CESAR 830




















Cesar Ascarrunz for Flying Dutchman from 1975.

Produced,Arranged,Conductor - Teo Macero; Bass - Harold Martin , Thomas Rutley Bongos, Bells - Willis Colon Congas - Francisco Aquabella Drums - Tony Smith Flute - Hadley Caliman Guitar - Jim Vincent , Joe Jammer , Stephen Busfield Piano - Cesar Ascarrunz ,Mark Levine , Merl Saunders Saxophone [Alto] - Martin Fierr Saxophone [Soprano] - Steve Marcus Saxophone [Tenor] - Hadley Caliman , Martin Fierro Timbales - Benny Velarde Trombone - Jules Rowell Trumpet - Joseph Ellis, Jr. Vocals - Benny Velarde , Francisco Aquabella , Linda Tillery , Tony Smith , Willie Colon

And here's another post inspired by yet another discography blog - this time it's my old boozing partner Reza who has turned the spotlight on the mighty Flying Dutchman label.Marvellous stuff!!!

Dusty Groove:
An excellent lost Latin Funk album from the early 70s west coast scene featuring a group led by Latin pianist and promoter Cesar Ascarrunz and including some of the greatest Latin and jazz players from the San Francisco scene at the time! Big names on the session include Francisco Aquabella, Benny Velarde, Steve Marcus, Hadley Caliman, and even Merl Saunders all coming together in a really hard-hitting Latin funk jam session that never lets up for a minute! The music is a mix of instrumental and vocal tracks grooving with a sound that's very much in the mode of the bigger early 70s Latin groups from LA and SF but with a freer-thinking sound, and a much more jazz-funk approach.

And here's a write up from Cesar's site:
CESAR 830 is a rare recording that highlights the exceptional musical ensemble that pianist-bandleader Cesar Ascarrunz led during his years as a San Francisco nightclub entrepreneur. With his Cesar's Latin All Stars, the house band at his venues Cesar's on Green Street and Cesar's Latin Palace in the Mission District, he forged this 1975 collaborative effort with Bob Thiele of Flying Dutchman Records and legendary jazz producer Teo Macero, who did Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" and Dave Brubeck's "Take Five." CESAR 830 came out at the tail end of the Bay Area Latin rock boom almost 30 years ago and is an exceptional blend of Latino jazz rock fusion. It featured great musicians who together made an album that was ahead of its time. In the long run this album stands as a testament to Cesar Ascarrunz, the self-taught pianist and personality who arrived here as an immigrant from Bolivia and worked his way up to running for SF Mayor numerous times. As you listen to these jams recorded almost 30 years ago you will hear a music stretching out and representing a spirit of experimentation and creativity born out of flower power. You don't have to pull out the bell bottoms, beads and grow your hair long to fully enjoy this album; just turn it up and let the music take you away!

HAROLD LAND - CHOMA (BURN)














Harold Land for Mainstream from 1971.
Originally posted 2006 at OIR.

Harold Land- Tenor Sax N'Dugu- Drums Bill Henderson- Piano & Electric Piano Bobby Hutcherson- Vibes and Marimba Harold Land, Jr.- Piano & Electric Piano Woody Theus- Drums Reggie Johnson- Bass
Produced by Bob Shad

Inspired by the great Mainstream discography blog created by Cheeba I thought I'd repost this little beauty from the label of the Red Lion with a fresh 320 rip.

Not quite fusion not quite new thing not quite bop - just a hard hitting piece of jazz from Harold Land at the start of the 70s.His son is featured with Bill Henderson on both electric and acoustic piano and Bobby Hutcherson is deep in the mix along with pile driving drumming by Woody Theus and Ndugu especially on Black Caucus.This is uncompromising music from Land and his group.