Jacques Loussier Trio – Ravel’s Boléro (1999)

FrontCover1Pianist/composer Jacques Loussier demonstrated musical ability at an early age, starting to play at the age of ten and entering the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris at 16. Loussier’s main professor there was Yves Nat, who in turn was encouraged by Faure, Saint-Saens, and Debussy as a student himself. Loussier continued this distinguished tradition, graduating at the top of his class.

After traveling the world as an accompanist, in the late ’50s Loussier formed the Play Bach Trio with Pierre Michelot and Christian Garros. The Trio fused Loussier’s classical background with his interest in jazz, using Bach’s compositions as the basis for improvisation. The group was an immediate success, playing many shows and selling over six million albums in 15 years.

By the end of the ’70s, however, the group ran its course and Loussier retired to Provence, spending his days composing and recording at his studio in Miraval, experimenting with electronic and acoustic arrangements. The studio also played host to rock artists like Pink Floyd (including sessions for The Wall), Elton John, and Sting.

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1985 marked the 300-year anniversary of Bach’s birth, which prompted Loussier to re-form the Play Bach Trio with new members and a wider musical range, adding rock and electronic elements to the basic blend of classical and jazz. Loussier also continued composing through the ’80s and ’90s, as well as performing pieces by Bach and Ravel live and on albums like 1999’s Ravel: Bolero and Bach Book 40th Anniversary Album with his signature jazzy flair. A year later, Take Bach and Music of Debussy were released.

Ravel: Bolero continues Jacques Loussier’s series of jazz-inspired interpretations of classical music. His version of “Bolero” emphasizes the hypnotic, rhythmic structure of the work, and highlights his inspired, energetic playing. (by Heather Phares)

In other words: One of these brilliant albums by Jacques Loussier

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Personnel:
Andre Arpino (drums)
Jaques Loussier (piano)
Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac (bass)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Ravel’s Bolero (Ravel) 17.16
2. Nympheas: I. Allegro (Loussier) 6.11
3. Nympheas: II. Andante (Loussier) 5.46
4. Nympheas: III. Vivace (Loussier) 5.29
5. Nympheas: IV. Largo (Loussier) 6.03
6. Nympheas: V. Presto (Loussier) 3.55
7. Nympheas: VI. Cantabile (Loussier) 3.08
8. Nympheas: VII. Prestissimo (Loussier) 4.09

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Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond – At Wilshire Ebell (1953)

FrontCover1Dave Brubeck was a pioneer in the presentation of intimate concerts in colleges and universities and in the better small concert halls. The show at the Wilshire Ebell theatre, in Los Angeles, was one of the later, and probably one of Brubecks biggest personal triumphs to date.

It set high artistic standards mainly thanks to the college students (UCLA) who were aiming to bring good jazz groups to the creative atmosphere of the concert stage.

The event was recorded by Dick Bock. That year 1953, the Brubeck Quartet won both the Down Beat popularity poll, and the Down Beat critics poll. After this, he would soon become the most popular jazz artist since Benny Goodman. (promotion text)

The tune selection is rewarding, and Paul Desmond’s beautifully conceived and played solos are such a treat. Dave’s resoundiing playing and inspiration are wonderful and bass & drums are swingin’!

It’s great to hear this great group ‘live’ especially at this period – a great evening of memorable jazz by such marvelous artists. (by Bill Petersonon)

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The red vinyl edition

One of the rarest of all early Dave Brubeck recordings, this Fantasy LP features pianist Brubeck, altoist Paul Desmond, bassist Ron Crotty and drummer Lloyd Davis in top form on six standards.

Although Brubeck would record most of this material again (including “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Stardust” and “All the Things You Are”), these versions are often quite a bit different than the more familiar recordings.

There was plenty of magical interplay to be heard during that era between Brubeck and Desmond, making this set worth an extensive search. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Dave Brubeck (piano)
Ron Crotty (bass)
Lloyd Davis (drums)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. I’ll Never Smile Again (Lowe) 7.55
02. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 4.37
03. Stardust (Carmichael/Parrish) 6.33
04. All The Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein) 6.54
05. Why Do I Love You (Kern) 2.44
06. Too Marvelous For Words (Whiting) 8.06
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07. Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) 8.10
08. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 7.13
09. Tea For Two (Youmans) 6.59
10. Jeepers Creepers (Warren) 7.26
11. My Heart Stood Still (Rodgers/Hart) 3.24

Tracks 1 to 6: Wilshire Ebell, Los Angeles, July 20, 1953
Tracks 7 to 10: Surf Club, Los Angeles, February 1953
Track 10: Black Hawk, San Francisco, September 1953
Track 11: Bill Bate’s home studio, Los Angeles, circa December 1953

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Musicians Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond & Dave Brubeck

Les Brown And His Band Of Renown – Revolution In Sound (1962)

FrontCover1 This is one of the “gimmick” records from the early days of stereo, when “ping-pong” percussion and other effects were exaggerated to show off the new technology of 2 channels. This one is perhaps the only one of its kind, though, featuring the entire big band recorded while on a huge revolving bandstand. (bilrux)

This was an interesting (if not wholly successful) concept album in its time — utilizing stereo and some studio trickery, Les Brown and his band essentially emulate the kind of dance band showcase that one would have experienced in the 1930s, with a revolving bandstand. The result is that a piece fades as the platform “revolves” and the next outfit comes up, with its selection. It’s hokey and silly, but it was something different in the use of stereo circa 1962, when such details mattered to a lot of potential record buyers. And the juxtaposing of pieces such as “The Man with the Golden Arm,” “Unchained Melody,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” and “One O’Clock Jump” allows Brown and company to show off their range (and that of the arrangers) to great effect, and the hi-fi sound is still mighty impressive. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Abe Aaron (saxophone)
Leobardo O. Acosta (timbales)
John Audino (trumpet)
Don Bagley (bass)
Stumpy Brown (tuba, trombone)
Bobby Clark (trumpet)
Dick Collins (trumpet)
Herb Ellis (guitar)
Gene Estes (percussion)
Fred Haller (saxophone, flute)
J. Hill (trombone)
Roy Main (trombone)
Bill Mattison (trumpet)
Mickey McMahon (trumpet)
Ollie Mitchell (trumpet)
Bob Neel (drums)
Johnny Newsome (saxophone)
Frank Perry (saxophone)
Uan Rasey (trumpet)
Tony Rizzi (guitar)
Butch Stone (saxophone)
Terry Trotter (piano, celesta)
John Wanner (trombone)
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cello:
Eleanor Slatkin – Jesse Ehrlich
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viola:
Alexander Neiman – Stan Harris
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violin:
Amerigo R. Marino – Darrel Terwilliger – Felix Slatkin – Gerald Vinci – Jacques Gasselin – James Getzoff – John P. De Voogdt – Lou Klass – Mischa Russell

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Tracklist:
01 This Could Be The Start Of Something (Allen) 1.23
02. Patricia (Prado) 2.27
03. The Man With The Golden Arm (Cahn/v.Heusen) 1.59
04. Unchained Melody (North/Zaret) 2.40
05. Stompin’ At The Savoy (Razaf/Goodman/Webb/Sampson) 2.32
06. Lisbon Antigua (Vale/Galhardo/Portela) 2.32
07. Peter Gunn (Mancini) 2.35
08. One O’Clock Jump (Basie) 2.27
09. Man With A Horn (Lake/Delange/Jenney) 2.58
10. Calcutta (Gaze) 2.25
11. Music Makers (Raye/James) 2.48
12. The Song From Moulin Rouge (Auric/Engvick) 2.11
13. Tea For Two Cha Cha (Caesar/Youmans) 2.15
14. Little Brown Jug (Miller) 2.28

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Heinz Sauer & Bob Degen with Carey Bell – Blues After Sunrise (1983)

FrontCover1What a great idea, what a great recorded, created by two jazz  and one wonderful blues musician.

Bob Degen Jr (born January 24, 1944 in Scranton, Pennsylvania) is an American jazz pianist. Much of his work has been in the trio format.

Degen attended Berklee College of Music in the 1960s and played locally in Boston while there. He was influenced by jazz musician and multi-instrumentalist Art Kreinberg and played in a trio with Kreinberg and bassist Doug Smith in the early 1960s. In the mid-1960s he played in Europe with Dexter Gordon, Art Farmer, Carmell Jones, and Albert Mangelsdorff, and recorded an album as a leader in 1968. At the end of the decade he played with Paul Motian, as well as with Gary Peacock and Buddy DeFranco in the early 1970s.

In 1974 Degen moved to Germany, where he played often with Heinz Sauer. Since then, he has played with Makaya Ntshoko, the Frankfurter Jazz Ensemble, Adelhard Roidinger, Joki Freund, Leszek Zadlo, Günter Lenz, and Uli Beckerhoff.

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Heinz Sauer (born December 25, 1932, Merseburg) is a German jazz saxophonist.

Sauer was an autodidact on tenor saxophone and began his career playing locally around Frankfurt in the 1950s. He played for many years in Albert Mangelsdorff’s ensemble, as well as the Jazzensemble des Hessischen Rundfunks and the German All Stars. He worked often with Bob Degen, and has also performed or recorded with musicians such as Ralf Hübner, Günter Lenz, Stefan Schmolck, and Manfred Schoof. In the 1990s he began experimenting with the use of electronic processing on his saxophones. In the 2000s he founded a trio with Christopher Dell (vibraphones) and Bertram Ritter (percussion). (by www.revolvy.com)

HeinzSauer

Carey Bell (November 14, 1936 – May 6, 2007) was an American blues musician who played harmonica in the Chicago blues style. Bell played harmonica and bass guitar for other blues musicians from the late 1950s to the early 1970s before embarking on a solo career. Besides his own albums, he recorded as an accompanist or duo artist with Earl Hooker, Robert Nighthawk, Lowell Fulson, Eddie Taylor, Louisiana Red and Jimmy Dawkins and was a frequent partner with his son, the guitarist Lurrie Bell. Blues Revue called Bell “one of Chicago’s finest harpists.” The Chicago Tribune said Bell was “a terrific talent in the tradition of Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter.”

Bell was born Carey Bell Harrington in Macon, Mississippi. As a child, he was intrigued by the music of Louis Jordan and wanted a saxophone in order to be like his hero Jordan. His family could not afford one, so he had to settle for a harmonica, colloquially known as a “Mississippi saxophone.” Soon Bell was attracted by the blues harmonica greats—DeFord Bailey, Big Walter Horton, Marion “Little Walter” Jacobs, Sonny Boy Williamson I and Sonny Boy Williamson II—and taught himself to play. By the time he was eight, he was proficient on the instrument. When he was thirteen, he joined the blues band of his godfather, the pianist Lovie Lee.

In 1969, Delmark Records in Chicago released Bell’s debut album, Carey Bell’s Blues Harp.[4] He played with Muddy Waters in late 1970 and 1971 and later with Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All-Stars.[4] In 1972, Bell teamed up with Big Walter in the studio and recorded Big Walter Horton with Carey Bell for Alligator Records. A year later Bell released a solo project, Last Night, for ABC Bluesway. He continued to play with Dixon and with his own groups. In 1978, he was featured on the Grammy-nominated album Living Chicago Blues, released by Alligator. Also in the 1970s, he contributed to two recordings by the Bob Riedy Blues Band.

CareyBell02During the 1980s Bell continued to record for various labels and to tour. In 1990, he teamed up with fellow harpists Junior Wells, James Cotton and Billy Branch to record Harp Attack!, which became a modern blues classic and one of Alligator’s best-selling albums.

Despite years in the business and work with Alligator, Bell’s first full-length solo album for the label, Deep Down, was not released until 1995. He released a second album, Good Luck Man, for the label in 1997. Second Nature followed in 2004 (recorded in Finland a few years earlier), in which he was accompanied by his son, the guitarist Lurrie Bell (who also played guitar, along with Carl Weathersby, on Deep Down).

In 1998, Bell was awarded the Blues Music Award for Traditional Male Artist of the Year.
Final work

Bell died of heart failure on May 6, 2007, in Chicago. (by wikipedia)

What a hell of a record … most of the numbers are instrumentals and they jammed together … brilliant solos … brilliant duo solos … you know … in the call and response style …

And you will get lucks … listening to this rare album ! It´s another treasure …. a very unique, unusual mix between Jazz and Blues, produced by the great Horst Lippmann

Sometimes I can´t find the right words to describe the enormous power of music … sorry !

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Personnel:
Carey Bell (harmonica, vocals)
Bob Degen (piano)
Heinz Sauer (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. I Want You To Love Me (Morganfield) 5.00
02. Degen Blues (Degen) 5.46
03. Tonky Blues (Bell/Degen/Sauer) 5.34
04. Hollerin’ The Blues (Bell/Degen/Sauer) 6.31
05. A Classical Preacher (Sauer) 2.35
06. One Day I Get Lucky (Dixon) 3.02
07. Blues After Sunrise (Bell/Degen/Sauer) 6.13

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Pete York´s New York – What´s The Racket (1981)

FrontCover1After four years with the jazz-focused Chris Barber Band, drummer Pete York departed to form his own group, recruiting bassist Steve Richardson, Mel Thorpe on horns and woodwinds, and synth/keyboardist Roger Munns. Signing to the German Teldec label, the band released four Germany-only albums, kicking off with its 1980 debut, Into the Furnace, produced by Thomas Martin.

York’s time with Barber was well spent; it gave the drummer his first opportunity to play in a jazz ensemble, an experience he wasn’t ready to leave behind just yet. Thus, much of Into the Furnace is jazz-inspired, although with ribbons of rock and R&B streaming through, the band creates a hybrid sound far removed from the fusion most groups parleyed when crossing these genres.

Here´s the scond album by Pete York´s New York … and it´s another highlight in the long career of Mr. Superdumming Pete York:

You can hear one of the few Pete York compositions “What´s The Racket” … a hell of of jazz-rock tune …

And his “Chicken Chasing Charlie” is indeed a remake of his “Extension 345” from the third Hardin & York album “For The World” (1972)

“Pamplona” is a very fine acoustic guitar track, somposed and playd by Steve Richardson.

And Mel Thorpe was a monster on his instruments … listen to his saxophone and flute (“Segura Samba”)

Pete York´s New York was one of the best periods in Pete York´s career … a criminally underrated jazz group …

I gues this album was never released on CD … so … listen to one af the rarest Pete York recordings.

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Pete York – Steve Richardson – Roger Munns

 

Personnel:
Roger Munns (keyboards, synthesizer)
Steve Richardson (bass, guitar)
Mel Thorpe (saxophone, flute, clarinet)
Pete York (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. What’s The Racket (York) 3.52
02. Segura Samba (Thorpe/Munns) + Pamplona (Richardson) 7.43
03. Seguidillas Gitanas (Thorpe/Munns) 3.38
04. Hobgoblin (Thorpe/Munns) 2.51
05. Happy (Richardson) 3.21
06. Lucky For Some (Thorpe/Munns) 4.20
07. Chicken Chasing Charlie (York) 10.21

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Louis Armstrong – Armstrong Forever Vol. 1 (1972)

FrontCover1Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901– July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz.

Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance.[3] With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also very skilled at scat singing.

Armstrong is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet playing, Armstrong’s influence extends well beyond jazz, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over”, whose skin color was secondary to his music in an America that was extremely racially divided at the time. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society which were highly restricted for black men of his era. (by wikipedia)

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Louis Armstrong, nicknamed “Satchmo,” “Pops” and, later, “Ambassador Satch,” was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong’s charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like “Star Dust,” “La Vie En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.” Armstrong died at his home in Queens, New York, on July 6, 1971. (by

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And here´s just a sampler … but a real nice one … it´s a sort of “Best Of” Album …

And I guess it´s time to discover the great Louis Armstrong again … his music is timeless !

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Personnel:
Bernard Addison (guitar on 07. + 12.)
Henry Allen (trumpet on 01.)
Edward Anderson (trumpet on 078 + 12.)
Gene Anderson (piano on 02. + 06.)
Paul Barbarin (drums on 01. + 1.)
Mancy Cara (banjo on 02., 05. – 07.)
Johnny Dodds (saxophone, clarinet on 10.)
Lilian Hardin Armstrong (piano on 10.)
Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals, cornet)
Pete Briggs (bass on 02. + 06.)
Ceele Burke (banjo on 03. 04. + 09.)
Eddie Condon (banjo on 11.)
Luther Craven (trombone on 03., 04. + 08.)
Bert Curry (saxophone on 02. + 06.)
John St. Cyr (banjo on 10.)
Carroll Dickerson (violin on 02. + 06.)
Pops Foster (bass on 01. + 11.)
Lionel Hampton (drums, vibraphone on 03., 05. + 09.)
Henry Hicks (trombone on 07. + 12.)
J.C. Higginbotham (trombone on 01. + 11.)
Teddy Hill (saxophone on 01. + 11.)
Earl Hines (piano on 05. + 07.)
Les Hite (saxophone on 03., 04. + 09.)
Homer Hobson (trumpet on 02. + 06.)
Bobby Holmes (clarinet, saxophone on 08. + 12.)
Charlie Holmes (saxophone on 01. + 11.)
Lavert Hutchinson (bass on 08. + 12.)
Franz Jackson (saxophone on 03., 04. + 09.)
Lonnie Johnson (guitar on 11.)
Otis Johnson (trumpet on 01.)
Will Johnson (guitar on 01.)
Willy Lynch (drums on 08. + 12.)
Castor McCord (saxophone on 07. + 12.)
Theodore McCord (saxophone on 07. + 12.)
Albert Nicholas (clarinet on 10., saxophone on 01.)
Richard Orendorf (trumpet on 03., 04. + 09.)
Kid Ory (trombone on 10.)
Jimmy Prince (piano on 03., 04. + 09.)
Don Redman (saxophone on 07.)
Fred Robinson (trombone on 02., 05. – 07.)
Marshall Royal (clarinet on 03., 04. + 09.)
Luis Russell (piano on 01. + 11.)
Zutty Singleton (drums on 02., 05. – 07.)
Jimmy Strong (saxophone on 02., 05. – 07.)
Joe Turner (piano on 07. + 12.)
Crawford Wetherington (saxophone on 02. + 06.)

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Tracklist:

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
01. St-Louis Blues (Handy) 3.02
02. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Razaf/Waller/Brooks) 3.24

Louis Armstrong & His Sebastian New Cotton Club:
03. Body And Soul (Heyman/Green/Sour) 3.15
04. The Peanut Vendor (Simons) 3.27

Louis Armstrong & His Savoy Ballroom Five:
05. Basin Street Blues (Williams) 3.17

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
06. After You’ve Gone (Creamer/Layton) 3.21

Louis Armstrong & His Savoy Ballroom Five:
07. St-James Infirmary (Redman) 3.21

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
08. Tiger Rag (La Rocca) 3.12

Louis Armstrong & His Sebastian New Cotton Club:
09. Just A Gigolo (Caesar/Casucci) 3.18

Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five:
10. Muskrat Ramble (Ory) 2.37

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
11. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Fields/McHugh) 3.26
12. Dinah (Akst/Young/Lewis) 3.12

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The Impossible Gentlemen – Live At The Funkhaus Studio (Munich/Germany) (2016)

FrontCover1This Anglo-American supergroup could be seen as a canny way of raising the international profile of two of Britain’s most inventive jazz musicians.

These gentlemen first assembled in 2009, with pianist Gwilym Simcock and guitarist Mike Walker backed by flashy US drummer Adam Nussbaum and veteran bass legend Steve Swallow. The latter has now been replaced by another American, Steve Rodby, and the lineup has been expanded to feature Iain Dixon, who multitasks on reeds and synth. But the focus remains on the guitar/piano pairing of Simcock and Walker.

The two write most of the material, which often suffers from the curse of so much contemporary jazz in that it is overwritten, packed with tricksy chord changes and byzantine, unnavigable melodies. Where this is sometimes a problem on record, it becomes less of an issue tonight, as so many songs become vehicles for melodic and textural improvisation. (by www.theguardian.com)

Gwylim Simcock
And here´s a superb and excellent FM broadcast recording … The Impossible Gentlemen on tour through Germany to promote their third album called “Let’s Get Deluxe” from 2016.

A guitar and piano frontline is not the easiest line-up to manage. Those of us who saw the Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau band in Symphony Hall a few years ago will know that even for two musicians of such standing, it is by no means plain sailing. There are icebergs lurking dangerously out there. Pat and Brad could learn a lot from Gwil and Mike. They never got in each other’s way, neither did they inhibit each others’ natural style.

And, in a world where some jazz musicians can still be a little too cool, what a joy to be witness to the clear warmth and mutual respect of all the musicians on the stage. (by thejazzbreakfast.com)

That´s what I call a supergroup !

In other words: Let´s hear Jazz deluxe !

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Personnel:
Iain Dixon (saxophone, keyboards)
Adam Nussbaum (drums)
Steve Rodby (bass)
Gwylim Simcock (keyboards)
Mike Walker (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Let´s Get Deluxe (Simcock/Walker) 5.52
02. You Won´t Be Around To See It (Simcock) 9.28
03. Announcement by Gwylim Simcock 0.26
04. It Could Have Been A Simple Goodbye (Simcock/Walker) 10.37
05. Clockmaker (Walker) 9.50
06. Dogtime (Simcock/Walker) 10.07

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Iain Dixon