Charlie Byrd Quartet – Let Go (1969)

FrontCover1Charlie Lee Byrd (September 16, 1925 – December 2, 1999) was an American jazz guitarist. Byrd was best known for his association with Brazilian music, especially bossa nova. In 1962, he collaborated with Stan Getz on the album Jazz Samba, a recording which brought bossa nova into the mainstream of North American music.

Byrd played fingerstyle on a classical guitar. (wikipedia)

And here´s another exciting Charlie Byrd album (recorded live).

And Charlie Byrd is doing his bossa jazz thing …

… tasteful, low-key, and ingratiatingly melodic, Charlie Byrd had two notable accomplishments to his credit — applying acoustic classical guitar techniques to jazz and popular music and helping to introduce Brazilian music to mass North American audiences.

What a great musician !

Recorded live at the Hong Kong Bar, Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles,
February 27 and 28, 1969

BackCover

Personnel:
Charlie Byrd (guitar)
Gene Byrd (bass)
Mario Darpino (flute)
William Reichenbach (drums)

LinerNotesTracklist:
01. Let Go (Canto De Ossanha) (Gimbel/Powell/Demoraes) 5.27
02. Medley: Mood Indigo (Ellington/Mills/Bigard) / Satin Doll (Mercer/Ellington/Strayhorn) 6.21
03. Blues 13 (Byrd) 4.44
04. Here’s That Rainy Day (Burke/Van Heusen) 2.51
05. Esperando O Sol (Pereira/Albanese) 6.20
06. Bird Of Paradise (Ellis) 12.06
07. How Long Has This Been Going On (Gershwin) 3.47
08. Promises, Promises (Bacharach/David) 5.35
09. Lonely Princess (Mancini) 2.43
10. This Guy’s In Love With You (Bacharach/David) 2.02

LabelB1

*
**

CharlieByrd03Charlie Lee Byrd (September 16, 1925 – December 2, 1999)

Terje Rypdal – Bleak House (1968)

FrontCover1Terje Rypdal (born 23 August 1947) is a Norwegian guitarist and composer. He has been an important member in the Norwegian jazz community, and has also given show concerts with guitarists Ronni Le Tekrø and Mads Eriksen as “N3”.

Rypdal was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a composer and orchestra leader. He studied classical piano and trumpet as a child, and then taught himself to play guitar as he entered his teens. Starting out as a Hank Marvin-influenced rock guitarist with The Vanguards, Rypdal turned towards jazz in 1968 and joined Jan Garbarek’s group and later George Russell’s sextet and orchestra. An important step towards international attention was his participation in the free jazz festival in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1969, where he was part of a band led by Lester Bowie.[1] During his musical studies at Oslo university and conservatory, he led the orchestra of the Norwegian version of the musical Hair. He has often been recorded on the ECM record label, both jazz-oriented material and classical compositions (some of which do not feature Rypdal’s guitar).

His compositions “Last Nite” and “Mystery Man” were featured in the Michael Mann film Heat, and included on the soundtrack of the same name.

Rypdal was married (1969–1985) to the Norwegian singer Inger Lise Andersen/Rypdal, and they had two children, the auditor Daniel (1970) and the electronica musician Marius (1977). Rypdal was married again in 1988 to Elin Kristin Bergei (born 28 May 1955). They have two children Ane Izabel (1988) and the guitarist Jakob Rypdal (1989). They (as of 2013) live in Tresfjord. (wikipedia)

TerjeRypdal01

Psychedelic rock was hardly a recognized genre in 1967 Norway, but it was where a self-taught guitarist, barely out of his teens, made a brief stop on his way to becoming a global force in music. Terje Rypdal recorded a single album with a group called The Dream that year. The group subsequently signed with Polydor Records and disbanded before recording again. It proved to be an open door for Rypdal as he stayed with the label under cover of his new band with Jan Garbarek and Jon Christensen. Bleak House was originally released in 1968 and now Round 2 Records has licensed the groundbreaking album for re-release.

A joint venture between Norwegian record store Big Dipper and an independent label, Jansen Plateproduksjon, Round 2 has a goal of re-releasing both classic and obscure Norwegian albums, on vinyl. Since 2015 the label has released a selective seven albums leading up to Bleak House which was culled from three live concerts that occurred in October 1968 in Germany. A number of Norwegian musicians make sporadic appearances including tenor saxophonist Knut Riisnæs and pianist/organist Christian Reim, a holdover from The Dream.

TerjeRypdal03

Side A opens with “Dead Man’s Tale” a beautiful and bluesy piece that features Rypdal on guitar and flute, adding a vocal performance as well. Reim’s Hammond organ reverberates with the sound of the British Invasion of the 1960s. “Wes” is Rypdal’s tribute to Wes Montgomery, but more in spirit than practice. With ten horns participating, the number has a frenzied pace that owes much to Rypdal’s mentor George Russell. Winter Serenade is a three-part suite beginning with “Falling Snow,” a discreet duet with Rypdal and Reim. The “Snow Storm” movement is given some menacing life with the searing saxophones of Garbarek and Carl Magnus Neumann before Reim ushers in the tranquility of “Snow Melts.” Side B begins with the title track, its scope and sound reflecting the 1960s changing jazz scene in Europe with a collective avant-garde swing. “Sonority” and “A Feeling Of Harmony” close the side with pulsating heat and light.

The reissue of Bleak House gives us a lot to unpack. From a historical perspective, it represents a bridge in the European transition from jazz-rock into their unique avant-garde/free jazz hybrid. For Rypdal—even at this early stage of his career—his incorporation of post-bop, fusion and avant-garde, into a cohesive album, was a peerless feat of imagination. Rypdal has always been a heady composer, capable of floating intoxicatingly discordant melodies, impressionism such as that on “Winter Serenade,” or an unearthly sadness in his reflective pieces. Bleak House is a timeless and important recording and a pleasure to hear in this remastered format. (by Karl Ackermann)

BackCover

Personnel:
Jon Christensen (drums o 02. – 05.)
Ditlef Eckhoff (trumpet on 02.)
Kåre Furuholmen (trumpet on 02. + 04.)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone, bells, flute on 02. – 05.,)
Frøydis Ree Hauge (horns on 05. + 06.)
Kjell Haugen (trombone on 02., 04. + 05.)
Jarl Johansen (trumpet on 02. – 05.)
Tom Karlsen (drums on 01.)
Hans Knudsen saxophone on 02. + 05.)
C. M. Neumann (saxophone, flute on 02 – 05.)
Tore Nilsen (trombone on 02.)
Christian Reim (keyboards)
Knut Riisnæs (saxophone on 03.)
Terje Rypdal (guitar, flute, vocals)
Frode Thingnæs (tuba, trombone on 04. + 05.)
Odd Ulleberg (horns on 05. + 06.)
Terje Venaas (bass on 02. – 05.)
Øivind Westby (trombone on 02.)

Alternate front+backcover:
AlternateFront+BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. Dead Man´s Tale 7.08
02. Wes 4:15
03. Winter Serenade 6.08
03.1. Falling Snow
03.2.Snow Storm
03.3. Melting Snow
04. Bleak House 7.07
05. Sonority 5.24
06. A Feeling Of Harmony 3.01

Music composed by Terje Rypdal

LabelB1

*
**

TerjeRypdal02

 

Ella Fitzgerald (with Stevie Wonder) – Live At The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (1977)

FrontCover1Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

After a tumultuous adolescence, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Her rendition of the nursery rhyme “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. After taking over the band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start her solo career.

Her manager was Moe Gale, co-founder of the Savoy, until she turned the rest of her career over to Norman Granz, who founded Verve Records to produce new records by Fitzgerald. With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretations of the Great American Songbook.

While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career. These partnerships produced some of her best-known songs such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall”, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”.

Ella Fitzgerald01

In 1993, after a career of nearly 60 years, she gave her last public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health. Her accolades included fourteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (wikipedia)

On the evening of Friday, April 15, (Stevie Wonder) took a break from recording (in Bogalusa, LA) and headed to New Orleans to attend Ella Fitzgerald’s Jazz Fest set at Municipal Auditorium. Fitzgerald was delivering a powerful set and Wonder was feeling it. He joined her onstage, emerging from the crowd as if by magic. The crowd gasped at the sudden appearance of another superstar and, together, the two performed Wonder’s 1973 hit “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” They received a thunderous standing ovation. (nola.com)

Ella Fitzgerald02

There were severe thunderstorms in the New Orleans metro area on the morning of April 23 when this performance was first broadcast, so reception conditions (and FM static) were worse than normal for me on this day. Additionally, this was the first day of WWOZ’s “Jazz Festing in Place” broadcast. Interest in the broadcast was apparently much greater than anticipated, and the number of online listeners caused the station’s online stream to crash. As a result, the stream was offline for much of the morning when this performance was first broadcast, to the consternation of thousands of WWOZ listeners across the world. As a courtesy to them, WWOZ decided to re-broadcast this performance near the end of the day. WWOZ’s FM signal, however, never went off the air, so that’s why there are two sources available from the same day. (nolataper)

Thanks to nolataper for sharing the tracks at Dime.

BackCover1

Personnel:
Ella Fitzgerald (vocals)
+
Tommy Flanagan Trio:
Keter Betts (bass)
Bobby Durham (drums)
Tommy Flannagan (piano)
+
Stevie Wonder (vocals on 08.

Ella Fitzgerald04

Tracklist:
01. Intro 0.37
02. Too Close For Comfort (Bock/Weiss/Holofcener) 3.42
03. I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues (Ellington/George) 4.41
04. Ordinary Fool (Williams) 3.23
05. (If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have To Swing It (Coslow) 4.20
06. A-Tisket, A-Tasket (Fitzgerald/Feldman) 2.21
07. Intro of Stevie Wonder 1.01
08. Your Are The Sunshine Of My Life (Wonder) 4.23
+
09. My Man (Pollock/Yvain) 4.10

ProgramBook
*
**

Gwilym Simcock – Blues Vignette (2009)

FrontCover1Gwilym Simcock (born 24 February 1981) is a Welsh pianist and composer working in both jazz and classical music, and often blurring the boundaries of the two.

Simcock was chosen as one of the 1000 Most Influential People in London by the Evening Standard. He was featured on the front cover of the August 2007 issue of the UK’s leading Jazz journal Jazzwise Magazine.

Simcock was born in Bangor, Gwynedd. At the age of eleven he attained the highest marks in the country for his Associated Board Grade 8 exams – on both piano and French horn. He went on to study classical piano, French horn and composition at Chetham’s School, Manchester, where he was introduced to jazz by pianist and teacher Les Chisnall and bassist and teacher Steve Berry. He went on to study jazz piano at The Royal Academy of Music, London with John Taylor, Nikki Iles, Nick Weldon and Geoff Keezer.

He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a first-class honours degree and the “Principal’s Prize’ for outstanding achievement. Whilst at the Royal Academy of Music he studied with many renowned musicians including Milton Mermikides.

Gwilym Simcock01

In 2008 he was commissioned to perform at The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He composed a Piano Concerto “Progressions” which he performed with his trio and the BBC Concert Orchestra on 9 August 2008, broadcast live on BBC2 TV.

On 5 October 2008 he was featured in an evening at the King’s Place Opening Festival in which he performed four concerts leading four different groups including a duo with John Taylor.

In 2006 he was the first jazz musician to be selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and this was extended to 2008. It involved numerous recordings that were broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as solo performances, and his trio appearance at the Wigmore Hall during the London Jazz Festival 2006 (broadcast 7 July 2007).

His trio, which has performed at festivals and venues worldwide such as the North Sea Jazz Festival 2007, now features James Maddren (drums) and Yuri Goloubev (bass), while his debut album featured Stan Sulzmann, John Parricelli, Phil Donkin, Martin France and Ben Bryant. He was chosen by Chick Corea for a solo concert performance and live recording at Klavier Festival Ruhr 2007. This concert was broadcast on WDR radio and 20,000 copies were given away as a cover mount CD in Germany’s leading music magazine Fonoforum.

Gwilym Simcock02

In 2011 his album Good Days At Schloss Elmau was one of the twelve nominees for the Mercury Music Prize, ultimately losing to PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake.[2]

He was a member of Tim Garland’s Lighthouse Trio, however left in 2013 being replaced by John Turville. He was a member of Malcolm Creese’s Acoustic Triangle, Stan Sulzmann’s Neon, and Bill Bruford’s Earthworks. He has also played with musicians including Dave Holland, Lee Konitz, Bob Mintzer, Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Wheeler, Iain Ballamy, Julian Argüelles, Pete King, Don Weller, Steve Waterman, and Torsten de Winkel / New York Jazz Guerrilla. He is a founder member of The Impossible Gentlemen.

He also plays French horn[3] and has played with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), the BBC Big Band, and with Kenny Wheeler on his 2003/2005 tour.

In recent times he has been on tour with legendary US guitarist Pat Metheny in a quartet featuring Linda Oh and Antonio Sanchez. (wikipedia)

Booklet05A

And here´s his second solo-album:

And the album launched his new trio with extraordinary, classically trained Russian bassist Yuri Goloubev and young UK drum star James Maddren as well as documenting Gwilym’s emerging voice as a solo pianist. The first CD offers a mix of stunning improvisations and new Simcock compositions as well as insightful interpretations of Grieg’s Piano Concerto and the popular tune “On Broadway”. It also provides a brief window into the mind of a composer who mixes classical and jazz without effort, with a recording of a suite for cello and piano originally written for the opening of London’s newest venue King’s Place. Classical cellist Cara Berridge features on this work. The trio CD is a stunning mix of Simcock compositions and brilliant interpretations of great classics such as “Black Coffee” and “Cry Me A River”.

As Gwilym himself says “recording an album is like taking a photograph. An album is a document of a specific moment in time, a vignette, an insight into the stage that one as a musician has reached. This album marks both the beginning of a fresh journey with a new trio, and documents my continuing quest towards finding an individual voice as a solo pianist”.

He goes on to say: “All of this music is neither ‘Jazz’ nor ‘Classical’. It is just music, and the type of music that interests and stimulates me. What I feel is important in music is lyricism, subtlety and clarity in harmonic and rhythmic movement, and an overall sense of an emotional connection with the listener, whatever the context of the music may be”. (press release)

Inlay1

“The first of this double CD collection is a wonderful display of Simcock’s gifts as a solo pianist as well as his talents as a composer in jazz and classical idioms”. (Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times)

“Just when you thought the piano could go no further in jazz one emerges to raise the bar of invention and virtuosity still higher. On this recording Gwilym Simcock seems to have breached a dam of inhibition and let loose a flood of music that is truly exhilarating”. (Helen Mayhew, JazzFM)

“Gwilym Simcock’s latest Blues Vignette (Basho) adds to the British pianist’s growing reputation is an ambitious double album deftly covering both solo and trio formats with some vivid originals evoking Jarrett and Bill Evans while skilfully straddling the classical and jazz hemispheres”. (James McGowan, Tribune)

LinerNotes

“Simcock is certainly going to open some eyes and ears in North America with this ambitious release, which demonstrates why this still young musician and composer is starting to be mentioned as being among the very best in the world” (JazzChicago.net)

“The balance Simcock achieves between compositional structure and improvisation is the thread which runs through the trio numbers and is the unifying strand between the two CDs. Each is an inseparable part of Simcock’s emerging musical identity. It will be fascinating to see how this trio develops over time, for its potential is clearly great. Undoubtedly one of the year’s most satisfying releases”. (Ian Patterson, Allaboutjazz)

“Simcock’s imagination really does seem to flow freely across classical and jazz without noticing the joins. Simcock, Goloubev and James Maddren celebrate the trio tradition of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett on some vivid originals here – and the young leader sounds as if he’s wearing his immense knowledge more lightly, yet using it more incisively, than ever before”. (John Fordham, The Guardian)

And I add a small booklet with more reviews.

BackCover1

Personnel:
Yuri Goloubev (bass)
James Maddren (drums)
Gwilym Simcock (piano)
+
Cara Berridge (cello on 09. + 10.)

Booklet03A

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01.  Little People (Simcock) 6.56
02. Exploration On Mvt II Of Grieg Piano Concerto (Simcock) 8.33
03. On Broadway (Mann/Weil) 4.14
04. Improvisation I – Statues (Simcock) 3.05
05. Improvosation II – Letter To The Editor (Simcock) 3.49
06. Improvisation III – 
Be Still Now (Simcock) 4.04
07. Caldera (Simcock) 9.38
08. Jaco And Joe (Simcock) 9.20
09. Suite For Cello And Piano Part 1 – Kinship (Simcock) 14.56
10. Suite For Cello And Piano Part 2 – Homeward (Simcock) 6.04

CD 2:
01. Introduction (Simcock) 4.45
02. Tundra (Simcock) 7.04
03. Blues Vignette (Simcock) 8.11
04. Black Coffee (Burke) 5.22
05. Longing To Be (Simcock) 12.16
06. Nice Work If You Can Get It (Gershwin) 6.35
07. Cry Me A River (Hamilton) 8.05
08. 1981 (Simcock) 8.29

CDs

*
**

Gwilym Simcock03

More from Gwilym Simcock:
More

Barbara Thompson & Paraphernalia – Everlasting Flame (1993)

FrontCover1One of the finest saxophone player ever… Barbara Thompson:

Barbara Gracey Thompson MBE (born 27 July 1944) is an English jazz saxophonist. She studied saxophone and classical composition at the Royal College of Music, but the music of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane made her shift her interests to jazz and saxophone. She was married to drummer Jon Hiseman of Colosseum from 1967 until his death in 2018.

Around 1970, Thompson was part of Neil Ardley’s New Jazz Orchestra and appeared on albums by Colosseum. Beginning in 1975, she was involved in the foundation of three bands:

United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, a ‘band of bandleaders’ …
Barbara Thompson’s Jubiaba and:
Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia, her most recent band

Barbara_Thompson01he was awarded the MBE in 1996 for services to music. Due to Parkinson’s disease, which was diagnosed in 1997, she retired as an active saxophonist in 2001 with a farewell tour. After a period of working as a composer exclusively, she returned to the stage in 2003.

Thompson has worked closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on musicals such as Cats and Starlight Express, his Requiem, and Lloyd Webber’s 1978 classical-fusion album Variations. She has written several classical compositions, music for film and television, a musical of her own and songs for the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia and her big band Moving Parts.

She played the incidental music in the ITV police series A Touch of Frost starring David Jason. She also played flute on Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.

From 1967, until he died in June 2018, Thompson was married to the Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman. The couple’s son Marcus was born in 1972, and their daughter Anna (now known as singer/songwriter Ana Gracey) in 1975. (wikipedia)

Barbara_Thompson02

And here´s another brilliant album … criminally underrated …

”This recording produces breathtaking impressions in the listener.” (Extra Dry, 06/94)
What an album!
Barbara Thompson herself feels this is one of her best albums and I tend to agree. Featuring her daughter’s vocals, it is a rich aural experience that draws on Egyptian rhythm and harmony. Listeners won’t regret buying this wonderful album. (Agadoo)

BackCover1A

Personnel:
Anna Gracey Hiseman (vocals)
Jon Hiseman (drums)
Peter Lemer (keyboards)
Malcolm MacFarlane (guitar)
Hossam Ramzy (percussion)
Barbara Thompson (saxophone, flute)
Paul Westwood (bass)

Booklet02A

Tracklist:
01. Everlasting Flame (Thompson) 5.15
02. In The Eye Of A Storm (Thompson) 5.06
03. Emerald Dusky Maiden (Thompson) 4.59
04. Unity Hymn (Thompson) 3.54
05. So Near, So Far (Hiseman/Thompson) 3.20
06. Tatami (Lemer) 4.56
07. Ode To Sappho (Thompson) 9.27 (*)
08. The Night Before Culloden (MacFarlane) 5.10
09. Ancient Voices (Thompson/Westwood) 6.33
10. The Fanaid Grove (Thompson) 7.15

(?) This composition based probably on an song, written by Marika Papagika called “Ta Pedia Tis Gitonias Sou”, written in 1925

 

CD

*
**

Barbara_Thompson03

More from Barbara Thompson:
More

Kenny Clarke – Same (Telefunken Blues) (1955)

OriginalFrontCover1Kenneth Clarke Spearman (January 9, 1914 – January 26, 1985), nicknamed Klook, was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. A major innovator of the bebop style of drumming, he pioneered the use of the Ride cymbal to keep time rather than the hi-hat, along with the use of the bass drum for irregular accents (“dropping bombs”).

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was orphaned at the age of about five and began playing the drums when he was eight or nine on the urging of a teacher at his orphanage. Turning professional in 1931 at the age of seventeen, he moved to New York City in 1935 when he began to establish his drumming style and reputation. As the house drummer at Minton’s Playhouse in the early 1940s, he participated in the after-hours jams that led to the birth of bebop. After military service in the US and Europe between 1943 and 1946, he returned to New York, but from 1948 to 1951 he was mostly based in Paris. He stayed in New York between 1951 and 1956, performing with the Modern Jazz Quartet and playing on early Miles Davis recordings. He then moved permanently to Paris, where he performed and recorded with European and visiting American musicians and co-led the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band between 1961 and 1972. He continued to perform and record until the month before he died of a heart attack in January 1985.

Telefunken Blues is an album led by jazz drummer Kenny Clarke recorded in late 1954 and early 1955 and first released on the Savoy label. (wikipedia)

KennyClarke01

Everyone’s in good form on these two sessions from the mid-’50s. The earlier 1954 set, though, is the more interesting. It teams Modern Jazz Quartet alumni Kenny Clarke, Milt Jackson, and Percy Heath with West Coast beboppers Frank Morgan, Walter Benton, and Gerald Wiggins. Jackson’s spirited solos and strong presence in the ensembles make clear he is enjoying a change of pace from the austere formalism of the MJQ. Altoist Frank Morgan, too, comes to play, tempering tart Parker-isms with sounds that Jackie McLean, a Morgan contemporary, was also exploring at this time. Section partner Walter Benton counters with a rich, sonorous Websterian fog, rounding out a horn section that has range, depth, ideas, and chops. Wiggins, a commanding, understated presence, is in a role that would probably have gone to Wynton Kelly or Red Garland if the casting had not been for a West Coaster. Between them, Wiggins, Morgan, and Benton further undermine the artificial and meaningless dichotomy of West Coast cool versus New York City heat.

Alternate frontcover:
FrontCover1

The four tracks from the later 1955 date feature a familiar Savoy grouping of Count Basie band members: Frank Wess, Henry Coker, Charlie Fowlkes, and Eddie Jones, with Jackson, and Clarke. In the company of the Count’s men, Clarke and Jackson create a successful hybrid of bop and Basie-style swing. Frank Wess’ tenor and flute playing, both on form, is most at home with the Jackson and Clarke direction. Bassist Jones and Clarke are an effective study in contrasts, with Jones walks his bass unperturbedly as Clarke throws curves and change-ups to his cohorts. Telefunken Blues is recommended for the set with Morgan, Benton, and Wiggins, although the session with the Count’s men does offer several pleasures, notably, the work of the rhythm section, Wess’ flute, and Ernie Wilkins’ arrangements. (by Jim Todd)

Recorded November 1, 1954 in Hollywood, CA (tracks 01-04) & February 7, 1955 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ (tracks 05-08)

OriginalBackCover

Personnel:
Walter Benton (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Kenny Clarke (drums)
Henry Coker (trombone on 05. – 08.)
Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone on 05. – 08.)
Percy Heath (bass on 01. – 04.)
Milt Jackson (vibraphone on 01. – 04., piano on 05 – 08.)
Eddie Jones (bass on 05. – 08.)
Frank Morgan (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Frank Wess (saxophone, flute on 05. – 08.)
Gerald Wiggins (piano on 01. – 04.)

Booklet03A
Tracklist:
01. Strollin’ (Clarke) 4.24
02. Sonor (Wiggins/Clarke) 4.51
03. Blue’s Mood (Clarke) 4.19
04. Skoot (Beal/Garner) 3.49
05. Telefunken Blues (Wilkins) 5.51
06. Klook’s Nook (Wilkins) 5.11
07. Baggin’ The Blues (Wilkins) 5.41
08. Inhibitions (Wilkins) 3.53

Label1

*
**

KennyClarke02

Kenny Clarke (January 9, 1914 – January 26, 1985)

Wild Bill Davison & The Spree City Ramblers – Jazz aus der Eierschale (1957)

FrontCover1‘Wild’ Bill Davison (January 5, 1906, Defiance, Ohio – November 14, 1989, Santa Barbara, California) was an American jazz cornet player. He emerged in the 1920s through his association with Muggsy Spanier and Frank Teschemacher in a cover band where they played the music of Louis Armstrong, but he did not achieve recognition until the 1940s. He is best remembered for his association with bandleader Eddie Condon, with whom he worked and recorded from the mid-1940s through the 1960s. Born William Edward Davison, his nickname “Wild Bill” reflected a reputation for heavy drinking and womanizing.

The poet Philip Larkin, a fan, described his playing thus:

“…a player of notable energy, he uses a wide range of conscious tonal distortions, heavy vibrato, and an urgent, bustling attack. At slow tempos he is melting, almost articulate. Humphrey Lyttelton has compared him with the kind of reveler who throws his arm round your neck one moment and tries to knock you down the next.”

“All the same, his stylistic mannerisms-the deep hoarse blurrings, the athletic in-front-of-the-beat timing, the flaring shakes-are highly conscious (the ‘Wild’ is more a personal than a musical sobriquet), and, imposed as they are on a conventional Armstrong basis, make Davison one of the most exciting of white small-band cornetists. His sessions with Sidney Bechet for Blue Note are collisions of two furious jazz talents which at the same time were oddly sympathetic, and prove his ability to play in any kind of milieu; his numerous sides in the Condon tradition show him uniting with (Pee Wee) Russell in the same way. But solo after solo demonstrates that he is not a ‘wild’ player: each note is perfectly shaped and pitched as if the cornet were his speaking voice, in the style of his favorites (Louis) Armstrong and (Bobby) Hackett, and with an emotional immediacy always hard to parallel.”

WildBillDavison02

Richard M. Sudhalter described first seeing Wild Bill at Eddie Condon’s club in New York City in the 1950s:

“Up there, incredibly, is Bill Davison himself, looking like anything *but* the standard image of the cornet or trumpet player. Not like Louis Armstrong, horn tilted up and eyes rolled back as the tone takes flight; not like Maxie Kaminsky, so tiny that his instrument seems gigantic in his hands. Not like Bix Beiderbecke, in some old photo or other, dented cornet pointed resolutely to the floor.

“Nope. This guy is seated, one leg crossed casually over the other, drink on an upended barrel in front of him. He sweeps the cornet into the side of his mouth to expel some supercharged phrase, then jerks it away as if it’s too hot to keep there. And I realize, awe-struck, he’s chewing *gum*! Where in the world does he *keep* that stuff when he’s blowing?

“In short, he looked just the way he sounded – like a guy from Ohio (a town named, aptly, Defiance) with a fierce, uninhibited way of attacking the beat, driving a band of whatever size halfway into tomorrow. The music comes out as from a flame-thrower, but with a density and momentum only suggested by even the best (of his) records” (wikipedia)

WildBillDavison01

There are hundreds of recordings with Wild Bill Davison from his tours in Europe, mostly from ´the60s up to the 80´s. Only one track in a trumpet compilation shows Wild Bill in his absolutely prime coming from 1958 when he made a session with The Feetwarmers in Hamburg. He shows a tremendous drive on that session and that also goes for another session with The Spree City Stompers which you can find on the the other side of the same LP which once upon a time was issued on Geman Polydor/Brunswick and there is also another LP on Ariola-label (“Spree Coast Jazz”). But even better is a LP on Austrian Columbia from the same tour with The Tremble Kids where trumpet man Oscar Klein changes to the guitar on many tracks which creates a real Eddie Condon feeling. An absolutely marvelous session.
The year before Wild Bill Davison also recorded with The Spree City Stompers in Berlin and this CDR shows that Mr. Davison is not only a nice, funny peronality but also one of the true trumpet greats in the history of jazz. This single session from the RIGHT years is far more important than most of the other European sessions the years to come. “Jazz aus der Eierschale” is my favorite buy 2012 and I really wish that everything with Wild Bill Davison in Europe 1957/58 will be aviable on CD before my ears fall off.  (Leif Hallin)

BertelsmannBC

Personnel:
Wild Bill Davison (cornet)
+
Werner Geisler (trumpet)
Harald Müller (bass)
Thomas Keck (drums)
Poldi Klein (clarinet)
Eckhard Schmidt (piano)
Hans-Wolf Schneider (trombone)

The Spree City Ramblers03A

Tracklist:
01. Pagan Love Song (Freed/Brown) 3.46
02. Royal Garden Blues (C.Williams/S.Williams) 3.43
03. Struttin‘ With Some Barbecue (Armstrong) 4.30
04. I Want A Big Butter And Egg Man (Friend/Santly/Clare) 3.44
05. After You’ve Gone (Creamer/Layton) 5.21
06. Blues In The Egg Shell (unbekannt) 4.10
07. When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You) (Goodwin/Shay/Fisher) 4.09
08. ’s Wonderful (Gershwin) 2.44
+
09. Sweet Sue, Just You (Harris/Young) 2.22
10. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South (Muse/L.Rene/O.Rene) 3.45
11. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight (Creamer/Johnson) 2.56
12. Ol‘ Man River (Hammerstein II/Kern) 3.18

BertelsmannLabelB1

*
**

WildBillDavison

Eddie Harris – Is It In (1974)

FrontCover1Eddie Harris (October 20, 1934 – November 5, 1996) was an American jazz musician, best known for playing tenor saxophone and for introducing the electrically amplified saxophone. He was also fluent on the electric piano and organ. His best-known compositions are “Freedom Jazz Dance”, recorded and popularized by Miles Davis in 1966, and “Listen Here.”

Is It In is an album by American jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris recorded in 1973 and released on the Atlantic label. It reached number 100 on the Billboard 200 chart. (wikipedia)

Eddie Harris makes a radical turn toward electronic R&B on this popping, enterprising LP of grooves, humorous one-off vignettes, and other eclectic pursuits. Driven by a Eddie Harris02jpgstandard drum kit and tacky-sounding electric bongos, some of Harris’ most irresistible grooves (“Funkaroma,” “Look Ahere”) can be found here. The title track, a Ronald Muldrow/Harris collaboration, is an ingenious self-contained little piece, a chugging machine-driven rhythm, a catchy guitar riff, and a great brief repeated chorus. Harris resurfaces as a competent piano player (with overdubbed electric sax) on the down-home “House Party Blues” and as usual, he plugs another electronic innovation into his sax on “Space Commercial,” an eerie pitch-tracking device designed by Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer. (by Richard S. Ginell)

This is a high quality eclectic jazz set unmistakably from the mid Nineteen Seventies. The grooves are downhome and pure, Is it in and Funkorama are all time party funk classics. Lonely Lonely Nights is a superb slow jam. Great record. (by Gern Stroman)

BackCover

Personnel:
Eddie Harris (saxophone, varitone, piano, vocals)
Billy James (drums, percussion)
Ronald Muldrow (guitar, guitorgan)
Rufus Reid (bass)

Eddie Harris01

Tracklist:
01. Funkaroma (E.Harris/James/Muldrow/Reid) 4.57
02. Happy Gemini (S.Harris) 3.00
03. Is It In (Muldrow) 3.35
04. It’s War (E.Harris/James/Muldrow) 6.212
05. Space Commercial (Harris/James/Muldrow) 5.31
06. Look A Here (S.Harris) 3.49
07. These Lonely Nights (S.Harris) 5.47
08. House Party Blues (Harris/Muldrow/Reid/James) 8.04
09. Tranquility & Antagonistic (S.Harris) 4.16

LabelB1

*
**

Eddie Harris03

Eddie Harris (October 20, 1934 – November 5, 1996)

James Brown with the Louie Bellson Orchestra – Soul On Top (1970)

FrontCover1James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century music and dance, he is often referred to by the honorific nicknames “Godfather of Soul”,”Mr. Dynamite”, and “Soul Brother No. 1”. In a career that lasted over 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres.

Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia.[3] He joined a rhythm and blues vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters (which later evolved into the Famous Flames) founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer.[4][5] First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me”, Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra. His success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”.

During the late 1960s, Brown moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly “Africanized” approach to music-making, emphasizing stripped-down and interlocking rhythms, that influenced the development of funk James Brown01music. By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of the J.B.s with records such as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “The Payback”. He also became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”. Brown continued to perform and record until his death from pneumonia in 2006.

Brown recorded 17 singles that reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts.He also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach No. 1. Brown was inducted into 1st class of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2013 as an artist and then in 2017 as a songwriter. He also received honors from many other institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn’s analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, Brown is ranked No. 1 in The Top 500 Artists. He is ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone has also cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.

Soul on Top is the 28th studio album by American musician James Brown. The album was released in April 1970, by King. Brown and saxophonist Maceo Parker worked with arranger/conductor Oliver Nelson to record a big band, funk and jazz vocal album. It was recorded with Louie Bellson and his 18-piece jazz orchestra at United Western Recorders in Hollywood, California in November 1969, and features jazz standards, show tunes, and middle of the road hits, as well as a new arrangement of Brown’s funk hit “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”.

James Brown02

The album was reissued in 2004 with one previously unreleased bonus track, a big band version of Brown’s 1967 hit “There Was a Time”, and new liner notes by jazz critic Will Friedwald.

Reviewing the Verve reissue for The Village Voice in September 2004, Tom Hull said, “This extends Ray Charles’s omnivorous big-band soul, with Brown reinventing standards—’That’s My Desire,’ ‘September Song,’ ‘Every Day I Have the Blues,’ ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’—in front of Louie Bellson’s orchestra, which arranger-conductor Oliver Nelson barely manages to discipline, so caught up is the band in the singer’s excitement. In Brown’s discography, just a curio. But in the whole history of big band jazz, there’s never been a singer like him.” (wikipedia)

Linernotes

If Count Basie had hired James Brown to replace Joe Williams as his featured male vocalist, what would the results have sounded like? Brown offers some suggestions on Soul on Top, which finds the Godfather of Soul making an intriguing detour into jazz-minded big-band territory. Recorded in 1969, Soul on Top unites Brown with the Basie-influenced orchestra of jazz drummer Louie Bellson, and stylistically, the results are somewhere between soul-funk and the funkier side of big-band jazz. This Brown/Bellson collaboration isn’t straight-ahead jazz, nor is it typical of Brown’s late-’60s output. But if recording a big-band project with Bellson was a surprising and unexpected thing for the Godfather of Soul to do in 1969, it was hardly illogical or bizarre — Brown, after all, grew up listening to jazz (as well as blues and gospel) and was well aware of the legacies of Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, and others.

Louis Bellson01

While some jazz snobs would have listeners believe that jazz and R&B have little, if anything, in common, the fact is that they’re close relatives that get much of their energy and feeling from the blues. So it makes perfect sense for Brown to combine soul, funk, and jazz on this album, which finds him revisiting some major hits (including “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”) in addition to embracing “September Song,” “That’s My Desire,” and other standards typically associated with jazz and traditional pop. Although not among the Godfather’s better-known efforts, this fine album is happily recommended to anyone who holds R&B and jazz in equally high regard. (by Alex Henderson)

BackCover

Personnel:
Al Aarons (trumpet)
Jack Arnold (percussion)
John Audino (trumpet)
Louis Bellson (drums)
James Brown (vocals)
Ray Brown (bass)
Pete Christlieb (saxophone)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Buddy Collette (saxophone)
Chuck Findley (trumpet)
Nick DiMaio (trombone)
Jim Mulidore (saxophone)
Maceo Parker (saxophone)
Bill Pitman (guitar)
Tom Porello (trumpet)
Joe Romano (saxophone)
Louis Shelton (guitar)
Kenny Shroyer (trombone)
Bill Tole (trombone)
Frank Vincent (piano)
Ernie Watts (saxophone)

Arranged and conducted by Oliver Nelson

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. That’s My Desire (Kressa/Loveday) 4.10
02. Your Cheatin’ Heart (Williams) 3.00
03. What Kind Of Fool Am I? (Bricusse/Newley) 3.06
04. It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World (Unedited Version) (Brown/Newsome) 6.41
05. The Man In The Glass (Hobgood) 5.56
06. It’s Magic (Cahn/Styne) 3.14
07. September Song (Unedited Version) (Anderson/Weill) 5.03
08. For Once In My Life (Unedited Version) (Miller/Murden) 4.44
09. Every Day I Have The Blues” (Unedited Version) (Chatman) 4.29
10. I Need Your Key (To Turn Me On) (Bellson) 3.47
11. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Brown) 4.42
+
12. There Was A Time (Brown/Hobgood) 3.05

LabelB1

*
**

This is a man’s world
This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing
Nothing without a woman or a girl

You see man made the cars
To take us over the road
Man made the train
To carry the heavy load
Man made the electric light
To take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water
Like Noah made the ark

Man think about a little bit of baby girls
And a baby boys
Man makes them happy
‘Cause man makes them toys
And after man make everything everything he can
Even though the man makes money
To buy from other man

Oh how, how man needs a woman
I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness
He’s lost in loneliness

Don Grusin & Dave Grusin – Sticks And Stones (1988)

FrontCover1Sticks and Stones is an album by American pianist Dave Grusin with his brother Don Grusin. It was released in 1988, recorded for the GRP label. The album reached No. 14 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. (wikipedia)

This set works very well. Dave Grusin and his younger brother Don Grusin use a variety of keyboards to create a series of colorful duets. Other than Dori Caymmi’s “Southern Wind,” all of the fairly spontaneous yet well-planned performances are originals by one or both of the brothers. Even listeners who are not that much into electronics will find much of interest on this melodic and funky, yet often unpredictable set. (by Scott Yanow)
“Sticks and Stones” is a very special album musically and personally. The year was 1988 and Dave Grusin’s GRP label was off in full force producing one unique recording after another. One of the album’s released during this peak period is this one.

Dave Grusin and brother Don produced and played everything on “Sticks and Stones” themselves and with the exception of the dual piano rendition Dori Caymmi’s “Southern Wind”, they wrote all the music as well.

Don Grusin

The Grusin’s employed what was then the very latest in keyboard technology on this album. Several of the sounds on the album, especially the rhythm tracks, don’t sound synthetic at all. Listen for the snare drum marches on the closing Celtic-tinged track “North-Tribal Step Dance” or the bass-lines on “This Little Pig’s Got The Blues” and you’d swear they were the real instruments instead of from synths or drum machines.

The music on “Sticks and Stones” is quite varied. Beside the two tracks mentioned above, Dave’s TV/Film Theme style is heard in the opening track “Birds With Long Legs” as well as “River Song”. “Pico Pica” and the title track both have a slight Brazilian Jazz feel to them while “Good Ol’ Boys” has a humorous country quality to it. Dave and Don also team up for two acoustic piano duets – one of which is the above mentioned “Southern Wind” and the other being a bluesy gospel-tinged romp entitled “Dog Heaven”.

Lee Ritenour Band , Featuring : Dave Grusin

With all this said, Dave and Don Grusin’s “Sticks and Stones” is a highly entertaining album which brings back some great memories for this reviewer. The CD is unfortunately out-of-print and has been for many years. However, it is still highly possible to find it used at a decent price.

If you’re looking for some pleasant yet eclectic instrumental music with a good relaxing feel, look no further that this album. It’s a great CD and it sounds like the Grusin brothers just had a plain ball making it together. (by Louie Bourland)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Dave Grusin (all instruments)
Don Grusin (all instruments)
+
Dori Caymmi (vocals on 10.)

Booklet02A

Tracklist:
01. Birds With Long Legs (Dave Grusin) 5.05
02. Pico Pica (Don Grusin) 4.57
03. Sailing At Night (Don Grusin) 4.19
04. River Song (Dave Grusin/Don Grusin) 5.13
05. Sticks And Stones (Dave Grusin/Don Grusin) 6.10
06. Glissade (Dave Grusin) 5.19
07. Good Ol’ Boys (Don Grusin) 7.29
08. This Little Pig’s Got The Blues (Don Grusin) 5.29
09. Dog Heaven (Don Grusin) 4.52
10. Southern Wind (Caymmi) 4.19
11. North-Tribal Step Dance (Dave Grusin) 4.50

CD1

*
**

Don & Dave