The Five Corners Quintet (feat. Mark Murphy) – Hot Corner (2008)

FrontCover1Here’s a twist for you — a Finnish band playing newly composed soul-jazz and post-bop music. The Five Corners ensemble is clearly influenced by the Horace Silver/Lee Morgan/Art Blakey strain of ’60s jazz, and even uses recording techniques that are reminiscent of the reel-to-reel two-track era. Saxophonist Timo Lassy and trumpeter Jukka Eskola front this well-heeled jazz band that harkens back to better times for the music, and feels good doing it without resorting to funk or dance music. When you hear tracks like the handclap induced “Skinny Dipping,” the delightful soul traipse “Waltz Up,” or the echoed “Shake It,” it is clear where this music takes its information from. Lassy proves his versatility in stepping away from his John Coltrane influenced side going more for a Hank Mobley/Joe Henderson approach He’s especially good playing flute during the excellent “Habib’s Habit,” a hip modal piece that swings hard, and fully showcases the considerable gifts of pianist Mikael Jakobsson. “Hot Rod” is a spy swing jazz with a basic melody, while “Midnight in Trieste” also sounds like soundtrack music with Lassy’s tenor sax, the vibraphone work of guests Arttu Takalo, and Pekka Jaclin on tympani.

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Most of the material goes beyond the advertised five-piece combo, several cuts feature a string section — fairly unobtrusive — and the veteran vocalist Mark Murphy appears on two tracks. He sings “Kerouac Days in Montana,” bringing out the ’60s cruising California cool factor, while an Oliver Nelson derived “Come & Get Me” combines an orchestral approach blended in with rhythm & blues. Unfortunately, the balance between words and instruments tends to favor the music and not the singers, especially on Okou’s feature “Rich in Time,” where the strings and horns half-bury his thin vocals. Not only does the music have a retro feel, the production values overall reflect this, a bit muddled and murky, not sounding up to date or digital at all. Not a fault musically though, especially if you would enjoy a fresh take on mainstream jazz looking back in order to move forward. (by Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Jukka Eskola (flugelhorn, trumpet)
Pekka Jaclin (percussion, timpani)
Timo Kämäräinen (lap steel guitar)
Timo Lassy (flute, saxophone)
Antti Lötjönen (bass)
Matt Murphy (vocals)
Teppo Mäkynen (drums, percussion)
Ouko (vocals)
Jaakko Rajamäki (cello)
Arttu Takalo (vibraphone)

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Tracklist:
01. Hot Rod (Kallio) 5.41
02. Kerouac Days in Montana (Kallio/Murphy) 5.14
03. Skinny Dipping (Kallio/Lassy) 3.28
04. Rich in Time (Kallio/Okou) 3.11
05. Midnight in Trieste (Kallio) 4.39
06. Come and Get Me (Murphy) 5.09
07. Interlope II (Malm) 0.37
08. Waltz Up (Makynen) 4.14
09. Easy Diggin’ (Kallio) 4.55
10. Shake It (Makynen) 4.54
11. Habib’s Habit (Makynen) 4.38

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Najee – Share My World (1994)

FrontCover1One of the best-selling instrumentalists of the late ’80s to mid-’90s, Najee has been a consistent favorite in the quiet storm and so-called “smooth jazz” markets. Often compared to Kenny G, George Howard, and Dave Koz, the New Yorker has been greatly influenced by Grover Washington Jr. — although he hasn’t been nearly as adventurous. Heavily produced and quite formulaic, Najee’s albums have tended to avoid improvisation and strive for commercial radio airplay above all else. Debuting in 1987 with Najee’s Theme, Najee was an immediate hit in the new adult contemporary (NAC) market. Similar pop/urban jazz dates like 1988’s Day by Day and 1990’s Tokyo Blue did nothing to jeopardize his niche on smooth jazz radio.

Onstage, Najee takes some risks and stretches out more. Morning Tenderness was released in 1998, followed by Love Songs (2000), Embrace (2003), My Point of View (2005), True Spirit (with John Grant, Victor Williams, and Dennis Chambers in 2006), Rising Sun (2007), and Mind Over Matter (2009). In 2012, Najee released his 14th studio album, The Smooth Side of Soul, featuring the track “First Kiss,” a collaboration with R&B vocalist Phil Perry. Najee returned in 2013 with The Morning After: A Musical Love Journey which included the song “Shinjuku,” a tribute to the late jazz keyboard legend George Duke. (by Alex Henderson)

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Well played typical set of Smooth Jazz with R&B vocals, nothing major here just good music for mellow moments. I actually find this one more playable than his 1990 album “Tokyo Blue” the production has improved greatly since then, the melodies are well-balanced. Since some songs can get boring at points my standouts are “Secret Admirer” “My Angel” If only “Laid Back” didn’t have that corny male hook then it woulda been a huge standout, how could they funk up a couldhave been great song, it was a fusion between Hip-Hop/R&B & Jazz which some call “Urban Jazz” which is an nice title IMO and “Broken Promises” is another nice one. Fans will enjoy this. (by Oldspice Evans)

And “I Didn’t Know (Instrumental) / Reprise “is one of the best smooth jazz compositions ever !

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Personnel:
Victor Bailey (bass)
Buz (vocals)
Robert Damper (keyboards, strings)
Bernard Davis (drums)
Fareed (guitar, synthesizer, programming, drums, percussion);
Bill Jacobs (vibraphone)
Pocket, D “Dirty Mugg” James (guitar)
Barry Johnson (bass, background vocals)
Morris Pleasure (keyboards, strings),
Najee (saxophone, various instruments)
Artie Reynolds (bass)
Richie Ruiz (percussion)
Alec Shantzis (keyboards)
Andrew Sherman (keyboards)
Bryan Tate (clavinet)
Issac Wiley Jr. (drums)
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background vocals:
Jerry Elcock – Christian – Armstead – Amanda Elliot – April Spikes – Lori Ann Velez – Angela Stribling – Ushanda Tiana Goldsboro

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Tracklist:
01. My Angel (Najee/Sherman/Fareed) 6.16
02. Laid Back (Christian) 4.51
03. Now That I’ve Found You (Pleasure) 6.53
04. Joy (Najee/Christian) 4.52
05. I Didn’t Know (Holmes/Basby) 5.53
06. Secret Admirer (Najee/Fareed) 4.59
07. (G) Street (Christian)  5:15
08. Broken Promises (Najee/Fareed) 5.11
09. Heart Like Mine (Christian) 6.37
10 Saleemah’s Dream (Najee) 2.00
11 Share My World (Sherman/Glannille/Najee/Fareed) 4.44
12. I Didn’t Know (Instrumental) / Reprise (Najee) 6.27

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Dave Pell – A Pell Of A Time (1957)

FrontCover1David “Dave” Pell (February 26, 1925 – May 7, 2017) was an American jazz saxophonist and bandleader. He was best known for leading a cool jazz octet in the 1950s.
Pell first played in his teens with the big bands of Tony Pastor, Bob Astor, and Bobby Sherwood, and then moved to California in the middle of the 1940s. There he played on Bob Crosby’s radio show in 1946, and was a member of Les Brown’s band from 1947 to 1955.

In 1953, he began working with his own ensembles, mostly as an octet: Pell on tenor sax, another saxophone (either a baritone or an alto), trumpet and trombone, guitar, and a piano-bass-drums rhythm section).[2] Among the octet players were Pepper Adams, Benny Carter, Mel Lewis, Red Mitchell, Marty Paich, Art Pepper and, early his career, John Williams. These ensembles recorded in the 1950s for Atlantic, Kapp, Coral, Capitol, and RCA Victor; alongside this, he played as a sideman for Shorty Rogers, Pete Rugolo, Benny Goodman, and Gene Krupa. He also produced in the 1950s and 1960s for Tops, Uni and Liberty; among his credits in production were some singles by Gary Lewis & the Playboys.

In 1961, Pell switched to alto sax and clarinet for I Remember John Kirby, a tribute album to bassist/bandleader Kirby who led a successful small group in the 1930s and ’40s.

Pell was the recording session leader for the 1965 hit song “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)”, performed by Los Angeles studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew but attributed to The T-Bones.
In the 1970s, he assembled the group Prez Conference, a Lester Young tribute ensemble. In the 1980s, he returned to the octet format, and played on and off into the 1990s. (by wikipedia)

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The Dave Pell Octet was one of the great cool jazz bands of the mid- to late ’50s. This fairly rare LP found Pell altering the personnel greatly, with Pell and pianist/arranger Marty Paich being the only holdovers. In addition, the arrangements of Paich, Bill Holman, Paul Moer (who, like trombonist Ray Sims, is a substitute on three songs), and Jack Montrose are opened up, and the musicians take much longer solos than on Pell’s earlier albums. With trumpeter Jack Sheldon often starring and there being some excellent spots for baritonist Pepper Adams, this is a rather different album by the Dave Pell Octet, a bit harder-charging and more hard bop-oriented while still retaining the identity of the original group. Worth searching for. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Pepper Adams (saxophone)
Bobby Burgess (trombone)
Tom Kelly (bass)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Marty Paich (piano)
Dave Pell (saxophone)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Tommy Tedesco (guitar)
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Paul Moer (piano on 02., 05. + 07.)
Ray Sims (trombone on 02., 05. + 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Jazz Goes To Siwash (Holman) 4.31
02. Suze Blues (Paich) 3.07
03. Grey Flannel (Paich) 6.41
04. Angel Eyes (Brent/Dennis) 5.38
05. G Tune (Moer) 2.42
06. Sandy Shoes (Pell) 5.18
07. Cameo (Montrose) 4.11
08. Love Me Or Leave Me (Kahn/Donaldson) 7.14
09. Them There Eyes (Tauber/Pinkard/Tracey) 5.19

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Piero Odorici feat. Steve Ellington – Panarea (1996)

FrontCover1Piero Odorici represents one among the most clever new european Jazz’s young talent. Born in Bologna (Italy) in 1962 , he had his first approches with saxophone when he was ten years old . After classical studies he improved his jazz technique under the Sal Nistico and Steve Grossman’s guide, two between the most great modern Jazz’s saxophone players, and took part to workshops with Mal Waldron, Barry Herris and Joe Handerson. Piero Odorici began early his professional career having the opportunity to perform as member and as sideman of several european and foreign groups with tours in all the word (Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Finland, Canada….) and appear in radio and TV shows.

Among various collaborations : Ray Mantilla, Ben Riley, George Cables, Jimmy Cobb, PieroOdorici01Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Sal Nistico, Steve Grossman, Slide Hampton, Eddy Henderson, Red Rodney, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Steve Lacy, Jack Walrath, Elliot Zigmund, Gloria Gaynor, Steve Ellington, Steve Gadd, Jack McDuff, Mingus Big Band, Luciano Pavarotti, George Michael and many other. In May 2000 Odorici makes an american tour with an own band playing in famouses Clubs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. with Ray Mantilla & George Cables Quartet. He took part to numerous important Festivals like Umbria Jazz (Italy), Grande Parade du Jazz (Nice-F), Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Salonicco Jazz (Greece), Porretta Soul Festival (Italy), Pavarotti and Friends 2000 (Italy). He recorded with : Jack McDuff, Steve Grossman, Ray Mantilla, Jack Walrath, Steve Ellington, Eddie Henderson, George Michael, Luciano Pavarotti and some other.

Here´s an early Album by Piero Odorici featuring Steve Ellington:

Bradford Steven “Steve” Ellington (July 26, 1941, Atlanta – March 22, 2013, Montgomery, Alabama) was an American jazz drummer.
Ellington picked up drums when he was four years old and played with Ray Charles when he was nine. In the latter half of the 1950s he played with Charles Brown, George Adams, and Duke Pearson. He studied for one year at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1961-1962, where he played with Sam Rivers, then worked with June Christy, Joe Castro, and Hampton Hawes. He began playing with Roland Kirk in 1964, with whom he would perform and record through 1970; aside from Kirk, he played as a sideman himself with Jackie McLean, Chet Baker, Stanley Turrentine, and Mose Allison. Concomitantly, he led his own band in 1965-1966, whose sidemen were Woody Shaw, Walter Davis, Jr., Wilbur Ware, and C. Sharpe.

Steve Ellington
In the 1970s Ellington worked with Billy Eckstine, Brick Jazz Funk Fusion, Hampton Hawes, Art Farmer, Freddy Cole, Freddie Hubbard, Ike Isaacs, Maxine Sullivan, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and Dan Wall. He returned to work with Rivers in the period 1980-1982, played with Sonny Stitt and Dave Holland, then put together a new ensemble of his own, which was active from 1985 to 1990. He was the drummer for Michel Petrucciani’s trio from 1988 to 1990, and in the 1990s worked with Hal Galper, Steve Grossman, James Moody, and Johnny Griffin. (by wikipedia)

And we can hear a real superb jazz-Album … I guess this Album is a must for every Jazz-fan !

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Personnel:
Marc Abraham (bass)
Paolo Birro (piano)
Steve Ellington (drums)
Piero Odorici (saxophone)
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Tracklist:
01. Detour (Abrams) 4.38
02. To Ela (Odorici) 7.34
03. É Preciso Perdoar (Jobim) 5.23
04. All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm (Kahn) 3.00
05. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye (Porter) 6.44
06. Beatrice (Rivers) 6.05
07. Neon (Birro) 5.53
08. Panarea (Odorici) 7.08
09. Luise (Abrams) 5.44
10. All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm (Kahn) 3.41

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Chris Barber – Jazz Diaries feat. Mark Knopfler (2001)

FrontCover1This is a very nice radio show that Mark Knopfler did for Chris Barber in his radio show the Jazz Diaries. They recorded four songs exclusively for this show, two instrumentals and two with vocals.

Interesting to hear Mark Knopfler play with a jazz band and nice interview in this one hour show. Mark Knopfler joins at about half time in the show – the part about Mark Knopfler is from track 8 to track 18. Goin’ home is not the Mark Knopfler song, and it is played only by the Chris Barber Band, also recorded exclusively for this radio show. Perfect sound quality.

A more or less unknown Chris Barber album … with lots of personal memories of Chris Barber about his Career …

And … did you ever believe … that Chris Barber and Mark Knopfler … can play together ? …  YES … they can ! Listen !

Personnel:
Chris Barber (trombone)
John Crocker (reeds)
John Defferary (reeds)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Colin Miller (drums)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Paul Sealey (banjo & guitar)
John Slaughter (guitar)
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Mark Knopfler (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Isle Of Capri (Kennedy/Grosz) 3.36 (2)
02. Talking 0.49
03. I can’t Be Satsfied (Morganfield) 2.39
04. Talking 1.08
05. Sweet Georgia Brown (Lewis) 2.42
06. Talking 0.48
07. Ory’s Creole Trombone (Ory) 3.03
08. Introduction 0.25
09. Blues Stay Away From Me (A.Delmore/R.Delmore/Raney/Glover) (1) 3.42
10. Talking 0.08
11. Sultans Of Swing (Knopfler) 1.58
12. Interview 4.01
13. Dallas Rag (Traditional) (1) 2.46
14. Interview 3.34
15. I’ll See You In My Dreams (Kahn/Jones) (1) 4.41
16. Interview 3.46
17. The Next Time I´m In Town (Knopfler) (1) 3.27
18. Talking 0.28
19. Goin’ Home (Dvorak) (2) 4.41
20. Talking 0.28
21. Better Git It In Your Soul (Mingus) 7.21

(1) Chris Barber Band  & Mark Knopfler – special recording for this Show
(2) Chris Barber Band – special recording for this Show

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Donald Christopher “Chris” Barber (born 17 April 1930)
… he´s still alive and well … he´s  65 years on the road and he will play in September 2017 many gigs in Germany !

New York Trio – Love You Madly (2003)

FrontCover1The vast Duke Ellington songbook is always ripe for exploration, and the New York Trio, featuring pianist Bill Charlap, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Bill Stewart, is up to the task. The gorgeous ballad “The Star Crossed Lovers” is in good hands, as Charlap gently examines the facets of this gem, accompanied by Leonhart’s spacious basslines and Stewart’s whispering brushes.

The brisk run through “Love You Madly” is transformed into an extended workout instead of the brief versions typically played by its composer. Charlap’s bluesy gospel introduction to “I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So” will turn a few heads.

Even though there’s nothing new about tackling “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” at a racehorse tempo, this trio’s intricate workout is a bit more abstract than most recordings. Charlap’s jaunty treatment of “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” suggests its composer’s stride piano roots. (vy by Ken Dryden)

Another sentimental journey …

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Personnel:
Bill Charlap (piano)
Jay Leonhart (bass)
Bill Stewart (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Star Crossed Lovers 4.30
02. Jump For Joy 4.46
03. In A Sentimental Mood 5.57
04. Love You Madly 8.21
05. Sophisticated Lady 4.58
06. I’m Just A Lucky So-And-So 6.48
07. Prelude To A Kiss 6.16
08. It Don’t Mean A Thing 3.55
09. C Jam Blues 4.36
10. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 7.16
11. Warm Valley 5.39

All tunes written by Duke Ellington

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Quincy Jones – Plays (Songs) For Pussycats (1965)

FrontCover1An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Quincy Jones’ career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies and television.

Released in 1965, Quincy Plays for Pussycats is a bright, cheeky big-band album done in a more commercial pop style than previous Quincy Jones albums. Nonetheless, there’s plenty to enjoy here. From the hipster reworking of the Tom Jones hit “What’s New Pussycat?” to the buoyant lounge music version of “The Hucklebuck,” this is swinging ’60s jazz for the martini set. (by Matt Collar)

What a line-up: Kenny Burrell  – Gary Burton  – Jim Hall – Thad Jones – Roland Kirk – Lalo Schifrin – Zoot Sims – Toots Thielemans !!!

Alternate frontcover:

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Personnel:
Patti Brown (piano)
Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Gary Burton (vibraphone)
Billy Byers (trombone)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Jim Hall (guitar)
Milt Hinton (bass)
Thad Jones (trumpet)
Roland Kirk (saxophone)
Melba Liston (trombone)
Oliver Nelson (saxophone)
Joe Newman (trumpet)
Jerome Richardson (saxophone, flute)
Ernie Royal (trumpet)
Lalo Schifrin (piano)
Zoot Sims (saxophone)
Toots Thielemans (harmonica)
Julius Watkins (flugelhorn)
Chris White (drums)
Kai Winding (trombone)
Phil Woods (saxophone)
Snooky Young (trumpet)

Arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones

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Tracklist:
01. What’s New Pussycat? (Bacharach/David) 2.45
02. A Taste Of Honey (Scott/Marlow) 2.37
03. Sermonette (Adderley) 2.51
04. A Walk In The Black Forest (Jankowski) 2.53
05. Mack The Knife (Weil) 2.34
06. Moon River (Mancini/Mercer) 2.34
07. Take Five (Desmond) 3.31
08. Gravy Waltz (Brown/Allen) 2.44
09. I Hear A Symphony (B.Holland/Dozier/E.Holland) 3.08
10. Mr. Lucky (Mancini/Livingston/Evans) 2.27
11. Cast Your Fate To The Wind (Guaraldi) 2.47

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Quincy Jones 1965
Quincy Jones, 1965