Chris Barber´s Jazz Band – Petite Fleur + Wild Cat Blues (1957)

FrontCover1Donald Christopher Barber OBE (17 April 1930 – 2 March 2021) was an English jazz musician, best known as a bandleader and trombonist. As well as scoring a UK top twenty trad jazz hit with “Petite Fleur” in 1959, he helped the careers of many musicians. These included the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time his wife, and Lonnie Donegan, whose appearances with Barber triggered the skiffle craze of the mid-1950s and who had his first transatlantic hit, “Rock Island Line”, while with Barber’s band. He provided an audience for Donegan and, later, Alexis Korner, and sponsored African-American blues musicians to visit Britain, making Barber a significant figure in launching the British rhythm and blues and “beat boom” of the 1960s.

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Barber was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, on 17 April 1930. His father, Donald Barber, was an insurance statistician who a few years later became secretary of the Socialist League, while his mother was a headmistress. His parents were left-leaning, his father having been taught by John Maynard Keynes, while his mother became, in Barber’s words, “the only socialist mayor of Canterbury”. Barber started learning the violin when he was seven years old. He was educated at Hanley Castle Grammar School, near Malvern, Worcestershire, to the age of 15, and started to develop an interest in jazz. After the end of the war, he attended St Paul’s School in London, and began visiting clubs to hear jazz groups. He then spent three years at the Guildhall School of Music, and started playing music with friends he met there, including Alexis Korner.

In 1950, Barber formed the New Orleans Jazz Band, a non-professional group of up to eight musicians, including Korner on guitar and Barber on double bass, to play both trad jazz and blues tunes. He had trained as an actuary, but decided to leave his job in an insurance office in 1951, and the following year became a professional musician.

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Barber and clarinetist Monty Sunshine formed a band in late 1952, with trumpeter Pat Halcox among others, began playing in London clubs, and accepted an offer to play in Denmark in early 1953. Simultaneously, it was found that Halcox would be unable to travel but that Ken Colyer, who had been visiting New Orleans, was available. Colyer joined the band, which then took the name Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen. The group also included Donegan, Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums) and Barber on trombone. In April 1953 the band made its debut in Copenhagen, Denmark.

There Chris Albertson recorded several sides for the new Danish Storyville label, including some featuring only Sunshine (clarinet), Donegan (banjo) and Barber (bass) as the Monty Sunshine Trio. The bands played Dixieland jazz, and later ragtime, swing, blues and R&B. Pat Halcox returned on trumpet in 1954 when Colyer moved on after musical and personal differences with both Barber and Donegan, and the band became “The Chris Barber Band”.

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The band’s first recording session in 1954 produced the LP New Orleans Joys, and included “Rock Island Line”, performed by Donegan. When released as a single under Donegan’s name, it became a hit, launching Donegan’s solo career and the British skiffle boom.[10] The Barber band recorded several In Concert LPs during the 1950s, regarded by critic Richie Unterberger as “captur[ing] the early Barber band in its prime…. [T]here’s a certain crispness and liveliness to both the acoustics and the performances that make this in some ways preferable to their rather starchier studio recordings of the same era.”

In 1959, the band’s October 1956 recording of Sidney Bechet’s “Petite Fleur”, a clarinet solo by Monty Sunshine with Dick Smith on bass, Ron Bowden on drums and Dick Bishop on guitar, spent twenty-four weeks in the UK Singles Charts, making it to No. 3 and selling over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. After 1959, Barber toured the United States several times (where “Petite Fleur” charted at #5).

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Barber was married four times. His second marriage, to Ottilie Patterson, lasted from 1959 until their divorce in 1983. He subsequently had two children during his third marriage.

Barber died on 2 March 2021. He was 90 and had suffered from dementia (wikipedia)

And are two songs from his very early days … two songs (taken from a German single) that are among his early classics …  and they are still pretty good … till today !

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Personnel:
Chris Barber (trombone, bass on 02.)
Monty Sunshine (clarinet)
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Dick Bishop (guitar on 01.)
Ron Bowden (drums on 01.)
Lonnie Donegan (banjo on 02.)
Dick Smith (bass on 01.)

The US edition:
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Tracklist:
01. A Petite Fleur (recorded 1956) (Little Flower) (Bechet) 2.44
02. Wild Cat Blues (recorded 1955) (Williams/Waller) 2.58

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Chet Baker – As Time Goes By (1990)

FrontCover1Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for major innovations in cool jazz leading him to be nicknamed the “prince of cool”.

Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals (Chet Baker Sings (1954), It Could Happen to You (1958)).

Jazz historian Dave Gelly described the promise of Baker’s early career as “James Dean, Sinatra, and Bix, rolled into one”. His well-publicized drug habit also drove his notoriety and fame. Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late 1970s and 1980s.

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As Time Goes By, (subtitled Love Songs), is an album by trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker which was recorded in 1986 and released on the Dutch Timeless label.,(wikipedia)

ChetBaker03While Baker’s chops are clearly subpar there is a quaint romanticism to it all that somehow snares the listener. Performing with a first-rate trio (pianist Harold Danko, bassist Jon Burr, and drummer Ben Riley), the trumpeter runs through ten tunes, most of which Baker has recorded before. Nonetheless, the more than an hour of recording time gives everyone a chance to stretch. And, Baker’s vocals on “As Time Goes By” and “Round Midnight” are never tiring. Baker is a more than a bit muddled in his singing, sounding as though his mouth is filled with steel wool. Yet, the feelings he displays are so pure and touching that every note is imbued with deep emotion. Most of the songs are performed slowly, sometimes heart-wrenchingly so. While Baker seems tired, there is a cool, raw touch throughout, making this a decent example of the trumpeter’s later playing. His range seems even more limited than usual, too. Danko is a thorough joy, and plays splendidly in support. (by Steve Loewy)

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Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals)
Jon Burr (bass)
Harold Danko (piano)
Ben Riley (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. You And The Night And The Music (Schwartz/Dietz) 5.27
02. As Time Goes By (Hupfeld) 6.48
03. My Melancholy Baby (Burnett/Norton) 6.58
04. I’m A Fool To Want You (Wolf/Herron/Sinatra) 8.40
05. When She Smiles (Danko) 6.02
06.Sea Breeze (Burr) 6.57
07. You Have Been Here All Along (Burr) 7.40
08. Angel Eyes (Brent/Dennis) 6.05
09. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To (Porter) 4.31
10. ‘Round Midnight (Monk/Williams) 7.37

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Esbjörn Svensson Trio – Tuesday Wonderland (2006)

FrontCover1Esbjörn Svensson Trio (or e.s.t.) was a Swedish jazz piano trio formed in 1993 consisting of Esbjörn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (double bass), and Magnus Öström (drums). Its music has classical, rock, pop, and techno elements. It lists classical composer Béla Bartók and rock band Radiohead as influences. Its style involves conventional jazz and the use of electronic effects and multitrack recording.

The trio deliberately blurred genres, with Svensson’s musical catholicism drawing on a wide variety of artist influences. e.s.t. was also renowned for its vibrant style in live performances, often playing in rock and roll oriented venues to young crowds. It achieved great commercial success and critical acclaim throughout Europe. Its 1999 release From Gagarin’s Point of View started its international breakthrough, being the first e.s.t. album to be released outside of Scandinavia through the German label ACT.

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Svensson died in a scuba diving accident in Stockholm on 14 June 2008. He is survived by his wife and two sons. The publication All About Jazz remarked that the loss “will surely deeply sadden music lovers everywhere.”

Since 2013 Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund are touring with the project e.s.t. symphony with Swedish arrangeur and conductor Hans Ek, performing symphonic versions of the e.s.t. songs.
In 1995 and 1996, Svensson was awarded Swedish Jazz Musician of the Year and 1998 Songwriter of the Year, and the 1997 release Winter in Venice (consisting mainly of original material) was awarded the Swedish Grammy. Strange Place For Snow, e.s.t.’s 2002 release earned numerous awards including the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (from the German Phonoacademy), the German Jazz Award, Choc de l’année (Jazzman, France), the Victoire du Jazz – the French Grammy – as best international act and also the Revelation of the Festival award, a special award from Midem. In December 2004, e.s.t. was awarded the Hans Koller prize as European Artist of the Year.

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Tuesday Wonderland is the eleventh album by the Swedish jazz trio Esbjörn Svensson Trio in its fourteenth year. On the occasion of its release, the American jazz magazine Downbeat, the best-selling periodical in the genre, featured E.S.T. on its cover as the first European jazz formation in the magazine’s 72-year history. In turn, the album was received very positively to cautiously by critics.

Stuart Nicholson notes in the Guardian that, as with the previous album, there is no sign of musical stagnation in the Swedish jazz group, although that would be significant given the length of time they have been playing together. This album is influenced by classical music such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, which enriches E.S.T.’s signature blend of jazz, rock and pop. John Kelman feels that Tuesday Wonderland expresses the tendency for the formation – although Svensson’s piano playing is the main part of the sound – to act even more democratically and more parts of Berglund and Magnus Öström can be heard.

In 2007, Tuesday Wonderland received, among other awards, a platinum record (Jazz Award) for over 20,000 units sold in Germany. The album is thus one of the best-selling jazz albums in Germany. (wikipedia)

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Sweden’s preeminent jazz fusion band the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, named after the charismatic and inventive pianist, has been a sensation in Europe since the early ’90s, capturing numerous Swedish Grammys (including one for Tuesday Wonderland long before its Stateside release), a French Grammy, and gold and platinum awards in their home country, Germany and France. But they deserve more than this — a medal, actually — for finding a unique blend of melodic jazz, classical, electronica and rock — that has earned them an audience of both older jazz lovers and trendy hip-hop kids. It speaks to the freshness of their vibe that their videos play regularly on MTV Scandinavia and they’re the only European jazz band ever to grace the cover of Downbeat. Though there are traditional elements at work, Tuesday Wonderland thrives on being unconventional.

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On the opening track “Fading Maid Pendulum,” just as it’s hypnotizing with a gentle, classically tinged piano melody, Dan Berglund jumps in with a brooding, distorted heavy metal bass craziness and drummer Magnus Ostrom goes cymbal crazy. It’s electro-ambient jazz gone mad. The title track features Svensson’s David Benoit-like, melodic dark-meets-light piano dichotomy over Ostrom’s sharp, off-meter drums before some spacy electronica takes over for a spell. “Brewery of Beggars” is another inspired dose of insanity, darting from busy cymbal-piano swirls to softer, contemplative piano-bass moments. “Beggar’s Blanket” puts those pesky beggars to sleep with a sweet, lullaby-like, straightforward trio ballad. The Pat Metheny-esque “Dolores in a Shoestand” explores the melodic and rhythmic potential of jazz, a vibe which extends to other enjoyably seductive pieces like “eighthundred Streets by Feet.” “Goldwrap,” on the other hand, is a marriage between trippy jazz and explosive trance music — no wonder the kids love this stuff! Listening to this disc is a gloriously schizophrenic experience that will appeal more to adventurous listeners than those who prefer one style to another. But it was a great introduction to what makes Europe tick in the early 2000s jazz-wise. (by Jonathan Widran)

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Personnel:
Dan Berglund (bass)
Magnus Öström (drums)
Esbjörn Svensson (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Fading Maid Prelude 4.10
02. Tuesday Wonderland 6.32
03. The Goldhearted Miner 4.51
04. Brewery Of Beggars 8.22
05. Beggar’s Blanket 2.56
06. Dolores In A Shoestand 8.53
07. Where We Used To Live 4.27
08. Eighthundred Streets By Feet 6.48
09.Goldwrap 4.02
10. Sipping On The Solid Ground 4.37
11. Fading Maid Postlude 12.28

Music composed by Dan Berglund – Magnus Öström – Esbjörn Svensson

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More from the Esbjörn Svensson Trio:
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The official website:
Website

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Alison Balsom – Paris (2014)

FrontCover1Alison Louise Balsom, Lady Mendes, OBE (born 7 October 1978) is an English trumpet soloist, arranger, producer, and music educator. Balsom was awarded Artist of the Year at the 2013 Gramophone Awards and has won three Classic BRIT Awards and three German Echo Awards, and was a soloist at the BBC Last Night of the Proms in 2009. She was the artistic director of the 2019 Cheltenham Music Festival.

Balsom attended Tannery Drift First School in Royston, Hertfordshire, where she started taking trumpet lessons from the age of seven, followed by Greneway Middle School and Meridian School, whilst also playing in the Royston Town Band from ages eight to 15. Subsequently, she took her A-levels at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge.

Playing in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain from ages 15 to 18, Balsom studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2001 with first class honours and the Principal’s Prize for the highest mark. She has also studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and at the Conservatoire de Paris with Håkan Hardenberger

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Balsom has been a professional solo classical trumpeter since 2001. She is a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, during which time she performed much of the major concerto repertoire for solo trumpet and orchestra with all of the BBC Orchestras,[6] and she released her debut album with EMI Classics in 2002. In 2005, she released her second disc, Bach Works for Trumpet, as part of a contract with EMI Classics. In 2006, Balsom won ‘Young British Classical Performer’ at the Classical BRIT Awards and was awarded the ‘Classic FM Listeners’ Choice Award’ at the Classic FM Gramophone Awards. She won ‘Female Artist of the Year’ at the 2009 and 2011 Classical BRIT Awards.

Her third album (the second disc in the EMI contract), Caprice, was released in September 2006, and her Italian Concertos disc was on the list of New York Times albums of the year. Balsom was a soloist at the 2009 Last Night of the Proms, performing, among other pieces, Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a jazz arrangement of George Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” with mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly.

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In collaboration with playwright Samuel Adamson, Balsom devised Gabriel, a play using the music of The Fairy-Queen and other pieces by Henry Purcell and George-Frideric Handel, which she performed with actors and The English Concert as part of the 2013 summer season at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Balsom was the principal trumpet of the London Chamber Orchestra.[8] Her main trumpet is a Bob Malone-converted Bach C trumpet.[citation needed] About her natural trumpet playing, Balsom said in 2014, “I have been playing since I was in the 3rd year at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – so since I was 21. I just fell in love with this instrument as soon as I started learning it, as it makes total sense of the whole Baroque era in terms of phrasing, colour and the difference in keys and certain notes of the scale, which you lose on a modern instrument such as the piccolo trumpet. I play various different makes but my favourite is by Egger of Switzerland.”

She is a Visiting Professor of Trumpet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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She gave the world premiere of Qigang Chen’s Joie éternelle for solo trumpet and orchestra at the 2014 BBC Proms, and Guy Barker’s Lanterne of Light trumpet concerto at the 2015 BBC Proms. In addition to 14 years of solo appearances at the Proms, Balsom has also appeared at the iTunes Festival, Latitude Festival, Henley Festival, Un Violon Sur le Sable, France and Wege durch das Land, Germany.

In 2014 Balsom was chosen as one of 27 artists, including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Florence Welch, and Sam Smith, to feature in one of BBC Music’s first broadcasts, an extravagant cover of the 1966 Beach Boys classic, God Only Knows. This track marked a first-time collaboration between the Warner, Sony and Universal Music labels.

She appeared on BBC Radio 4’s long-running Desert Island Discs programme on 4 October 2015.

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In 2014, she returned to BBC Young Musician of the Year as a presenter of the category finals and semi-final of the competition alongside Miloš Karadaglić. In 2016 she co-presented BBC Young Musician with Clemency Burton-Hill.

Balsom succeeded Richard Rodney Bennett as President of Deal, Kent Festival in 2015. She was artistic director of the 2019 Cheltenham Music Festival, then stepped down in July 2019 to concentrate on performing and recording.

Balsom was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music.

She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from the University of Leicester (2015) [20] and Anglia Ruskin University, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

She has a son with the English conductor Edward Gardner. In 2017, she married film director Sir Sam Mendes. Their daughter was born later that year. (wikipedia)

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And here´s her 9th solo album:

Studying in Paris helped to define Alison Balsom’s belief of what a virtuoso trumpet soloist might achieve in the footsteps of her mentor, Maurice André. This potpourri of a recital is, though, very much of its own time, eclectically flavoured in its collaborative elements and juxtaposition of music languages, and deftly underpinned by Balsom’s considered curating.

If the opening Satie Gymnopédie represents something of a beguiling temptress, a pair of Piazzollas reveal the soloist’s inimitable capacity for shaping a melody with the seasoned tonal focus and impeccable intonation which are integral to Balsom’s admired armoury.

For all the ‘loungey’ resonances in the arrangements, there is considerably more skill here than meets the eye. One could never imagine how Michel Legrand’s La valse des lilas could morph successfully into a reimagined vision of Messaien’s ‘Le baiser de l’Enfant-Jésus’ – but it does with almost Ravelian exoticism. Purists who followed Yvonne Loriod’s Vingt regards around the world may run a mile, but the result is an ensemble piece of kaleidoscopic discrimination and invention.

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Slow-tempo trumpet discs can take their toll in a single sitting, however fine the playing, but there is a pleasing overall shape here; only in the arrangement of the slow movement of the Ravel concerto does the removal of the composer’s exquisite original textures occasionally outweigh the gains, not helped by some neutral longueurs in the emotional journey. Atmospherically recorded (as if in a smoky Montmartre club), with a high proportion of excellent arrangements to match Balsom’s measured panache, the key to this project’s success lies in how she, Guy Barker and Timothy Redmond have restitched a seam of Parisian music culture and envisaged a world which has taken on a life of its own. (by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood)

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Personnel:
Alison Balsom (trumpet)
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The Guy Barker Orchestra conducted by Guy Barker / Timothy Redmond (on 05.-07. + 09.)
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Al Cherry (guitar on 11.)
Miloš Karadaglić (guitar on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Gymnopedie No. 3 (Satie) 2.28
02. Cafe 1930 (Piazolla) 7.06
03. Oblivion (Piazolla) 4.07
04. La Valse Des Lilas (Legrand/Marnay/Barclay) 3.28
05. Le Baiser De L’Enfants Jesus Tres Lent, Calme (Messiaen) 5.46
06. Le Baiser De L’Enfants Jesus, Modere (Messiaen) 4.55
07. Piece En Forme De Habanera (Ravel) 2.43
08. Piano Concerto In G – Adagio Assai (Ravel) 8.18
09. Gnossienne No. 3 (Satie) 3.20
10. Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves) (Kosman) 4.58
11. Nuages (Reinhardt) 4.13

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The official website:
Website

Dizzy Gillespie – Afro (1954)

FrontCover1John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator and singer. He was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic and rhythmic complexity previously unheard in jazz. His combination of musicianship, showmanship, and wit made him a leading popularizer of the new music called bebop. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, scat singing, bent horn, pouched cheeks, and light-hearted personality provided one of bebop’s most prominent symbols.

In the 1940s, Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Chuck Mangione, and balladeer Johnny Hartman.

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Scott Yanow wrote, “Dizzy Gillespie’s contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up being similar to those of Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis’s emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy’s style was successfully recreated [….] Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time”.

Afro is an album by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, released in 1954 on the Norgran label.[1] Gillespie worked with many Cuban musicians on the album. (wikipedia)

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Pairing Dizzy Gillespie with Cuban arranger/composer Chico O’Farrill produced a stunning session which originally made up the first half of a Norgran LP. O’Farrill conducts an expanded orchestra which combines a jazz band with a Latin rhythm section; among the participants in the four-part “Manteca Suite” are trumpeters Quincy Jones and Ernie Royal, trombonist J.J. Johnson, tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and Lucky Thompson, and conga player Mongo Santamaria. “Manteca,” written during the previous decade, serves as an exciting opening movement, while the next two segments build upon this famous theme, though they are jointly credited to O’Farrill as well. “Rhumba-Finale” is straight-ahead jazz with some delicious solo work by Gillespie.

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A later small-group session features the trumpeter with an all-Latin rhythm section and flutist Gilberto Valdes, who is heard on “A Night in Tunisia” and “Caravan.” Both of the Latin versions of these pieces are far more interesting than “Con Alma,” as the excessive percussion and dull piano accompaniment add little to this normally captivating theme. Long out of print, this 2002 CD reissue will only be available until May 2005; it is well worth acquiring. (by Ken Dryden)BackCover1Personnel:
Danny Bank (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Cándido Camero (percussion)
Leon Comegys (trombone on 01. – 04.)
George Dorsey (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Lou Hackney (bass on 01. – 04.)
Réne Hernandez (piano on 05. – 07.)
Hilton Jefferson (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
J. J. Johnson (trombone on 01. – 04.)
Quincy Jones (trumpet)
Wade Legge (piano on 01. – 04.)
José Mangual (percussion)
George Matthews – trombone on 01. – 04.)
Ralph Miranda (percussion on 05. – 07.)
Hank Mobley (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Ubaldo Nieto (timbales)
Jimmy Nottingham (trumpet)
Charlie Persip (drums on 01. – 04.)
Roberto Rodríguez (bass)
Ernie Royal (trumpet on 01. – 04.)
Mongo Santamaria (percussion on 01. – 04.)
Lucky Thompson (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Gilbert Valdez (flute on 05. – 07.)

Tracklist:
01. Manteca Theme (Fuller/Gillespie/Pozo) – 4:10
“Contraste” (Gillespie, Chico O’Farrill, Pozo) – 2:45
“Jungla” (Gillespie, O’Farrill, Pozo) – 4:44
“Rhumba Finale” (Gillespie, O’Farrill, Pozo) – 4:43
“A Night in Tunisia” (Gillespie, Frank Paparelli) – 4:19
“Con Alma” (Gillespie) – 5:05
“Caravan” (Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Juan Tizol) – 7:19

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Singles

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Dick Heckstall-Smith, Jack Bruce & John Stevens – This That (1994)

FrontCover1Richard Malden Heckstall-Smith (26 September 1934 – 17 December 2004) was an English jazz and blues saxophonist. He played with some of the most influential English blues rock and jazz fusion bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

Dick Heckstall-Smith was born in the Royal Free Hospital, in Ludlow, Shropshire, England, and was raised in Knighton, Radnorshire, learning to play piano, clarinet and alto saxophone in childhood. He attended a York boarding school but refused a second term there, instead enrolling in Gordonstoun, where his father had accepted a job as headmaster of the local grammar school.

Heckstall-Smith completed his education at Dartington Hall School, before reading agriculture – and co-leading the university jazz band – at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, from 1953. Aged 15, he had taken up the soprano sax while at Dartington, captivated by the sound of Sidney Bechet. Then Lester Young and tenor saxophonist bebop jazzman Wardell Gray proved to be major influences for him.

DHS01Heckstall-Smith was an active member of the London jazz scene from the late 1950s (including a six-month stint from December 1957 with the band led by clarinettist Sandy Brown). He joined Blues Incorporated, Alexis Korner’s groundbreaking blues group, in 1962, recording the album R&B from the Marquee. The following year, he was a founding member of that band’s breakaway unit, The Graham Bond Organisation. (The lineup also included two future members of the blues-rock supergroup Cream: bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker.)

In 1967, Heckstall-Smith became a member of guitarist-vocalist John Mayall’s blues rock band, Bluesbreakers. That jazz-skewed edition of the band also included drummer Jon Hiseman, bassist Tony Reeves, and future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. They released the album Bare Wires in 1968.

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From 1968 to 1971, Heckstall-Smith, Hiseman, and Reeves were members of the pioneering UK jazz-rock band Colosseum. The band afforded Heckstall-Smith an opportunity to showcase his writing and instrumental virtuosity, playing two saxophones simultaneously.

When Colosseum broke up in October 1971, Heckstall-Smith recorded solo albums and fronted and played in several other fusion units, including Manchild, Sweet Pain, Big Chief, Tough Tenors, The Famous Bluesblasters, Mainsqueeze, and DHSS. Collaborating musicians common to many of these outfits included Victor Brox, Keith Tillman and harp player John O’Leary, a founder member of Savoy Brown. In the 1980s in his Electric Dream ensemble Heckstall-Smith also worked with the South African percussionist Julian Bahula. From 1983 to 1986 Heckstall-Smith was a member of 3-Space with John James (guitar), fellow Mainsqueeze member Dave Moore (keys), and Chris Billings (bass), with Paul Harris on keys for one tour. Apart from tenor and soprano sax, Heckstall-Smith also played baritone sax in 3-Space.

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Heckstall-Smith participated in a 1990s reunion of the original Colosseum lineup and played in the hard-working Hamburg Blues Band. In 2001 he recorded the all-star project Blues and Beyond, which reunited him with Mayall, Bruce, Taylor, ex-Mayall and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green.

Heckstall-Smith published his witty memoirs, The Safest Place in the World, in 1984; an expanded version, retitled Blowing the Blues, was published in 2004. He died aged 70 in 2004, as a result of acute liver failure. (wikipedia)

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And here is one of his great solo-albums … with a trio line up featuring Jack Bruce and John Stevens.

This is of course a jam album, recorded n one day … and we hear the conversations between saxophone and bass .. what a wonderful idea …

… and if you love or like the sound of Dick Heckstall-Smith or Jack Bruce … then this rare album is a must !

Dick Heckstall-Smith

Listen and enjoy !

Recorded Sunday, 13th June 1993

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
John Stevens (drums, trumpet)
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Glen Nightingale (guitar on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Within 9.06
02. This Piece 9.52
03. That Piece 11.09
04. Next Piece 5.42
05. Other Piece 13.38
06. Another Piece 5.39
07. Following Piece 7.41
08. Our Peace 7.32

Music composed by: Dick Heckstall-Smith – Jack Bruce – John Stevens
except 01.: composed by John Stevens

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Lena Horne – Stormy Lady (1991)

FrontCover1Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American dancer, actress, singer, and civil rights activist. Horne’s career spanned over seventy years, appearing in film, television, and theatre. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood.

Horne advocated for human rights and took part in the March on Washington in August 1963. Later she returned to her roots as a nightclub performer and continued to work on television, while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than 300 performances on Broadway. She then toured the country in the show, earning numerous awards and accolades. Horne continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, retreating from the public eye in 2000.

Lena Horne was born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Both sides of her family were African American though with a mixture of African, Native American, and European ancestry. She belonged to the upper stratum of middle-class, well-educated black people. She was reportedly descended from the John C. Calhoun family; his nephew, Dr Andrew Bonaparte Calhoun, “owned the slaves whose descendants include… Horne”.

Her father, Edwin Fletcher “Teddy” Horne Jr. (1893–1970), at one time owner of a hotel and restaurant, was a gambler- he and “his partner, the gambler and philanthropist Gus Greenlee, owned the Belmont Hotel on Wylie Avenue and ran the numbers racket in the Hill”- who left the family when Lena was three years old and moved to an upper-middle-class African American community in the Hill District community of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Lena came to live with him aged 18 until her marriage the next year. Her mother, Edna Louise Scottron, was an actress with a black theatre troupe and traveled extensively. Edna’s maternal grandmother, Amelie Louise Ashton, was from modern Senegal. Horne was raised mainly by her grandparents, Cora Calhoun and Edwin Horne.

When Horne was five, she was sent to live in Georgia. For several years, she traveled with her mother. From 1927 to 1929, she lived with her uncle, Frank S. Horne. He was the Dean of students at Fort Valley Junior Industrial Institute (now part of Fort Valley State University) in Fort Valley, Georgia, who later served as an adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From Fort Valley, southwest of Macon, Horne briefly moved to Atlanta with her mother; they returned to New York when Horne was twelve years old, after which Horne attended St Peter Claver School in Brooklyn.

She then attended Girls High School, an all-girls public high school in Brooklyn that has since become Boys and Girls High School; she dropped out without earning a diploma. At age 18, she moved to her father’s home in Pittsburgh, staying in the city’s Little Harlem for almost five years and learning music from native Pittsburghers Billy Strayhorn and Billy Eckstine, among others.

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In the fall of 1933, Horne joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City. In the spring of 1934, she had a featured role in the Cotton Club Parade starring Adelaide Hall, who took Lena under her wing. Horne made her first screen appearance as a dancer in the musical short Cab Calloway’s Jitterbug Party (1935). A few years later, Horne joined Noble Sissle’s Orchestra, with which she toured and with whom she made her first records, issued by Decca. After she separated from her first husband, Horne toured with bandleader Charlie Barnet in 1940–41, but disliked the travel and left the band to work at the Cafe Society in New York. She replaced Dinah Shore as the featured vocalist on NBC’s popular jazz series The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. The show’s resident maestros, Henry Levine and Paul Laval, recorded with Horne in June 1941 for RCA Victor. Horne left the show after only six months when she was hired by former Cafe Trocadero (Los Angeles) manager Felix Young to perform in a Cotton Club-style revue on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

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Horne already had two low-budget movies to her credit: a musical feature called The Duke is Tops (1938, later reissued with Horne’s name above the title as The Bronze Venus); and a two-reel short subject, Boogie Woogie Dream (1941), featuring pianists Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. Horne’s songs from Boogie Woogie Dream were later released individually as soundies. Horne made her Hollywood nightclub debut at Felix Young’s Little Troc on the Sunset Strip in January 1942. A few weeks later, she was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In November 1944, she was featured in an episode of the popular radio series Suspense, as a fictional nightclub singer, with a large speaking role along with her singing. In 1945 and 1946, she sang with Billy Eckstine’s Orchestra.

She made her debut at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Panama Hattie (1942) and performed the title song of Stormy Weather (1943) based loosely on the life of Adelaide Hall, for 20th Century Fox, while on loan from MGM. She appeared in several MGM musicals, including Cabin in the Sky (1943) with an entirely African American cast. She was otherwise not featured in a leading role because of her ethnicity and the fact that her films were required to be reedited for showing in cities where theatres would not show films with black performers. As a result, most of Horne’s film appearances were stand-alone sequences that had no bearing on the rest of the film, so editing caused no disruption to the storyline. One number from Cabin in the Sky was cut before release because it was considered too suggestive by the censors: Horne singing “Ain’t It the Truth” while taking a bubble bath. This scene and song are featured in the film That’s Entertainment! III (1994) which also featured commentary from Horne on why the scene was deleted prior to the film’s release. Lena Horne was the first partially black person elected to serve on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors.

Lena Horne posing with the Tuskegee Airmen in Tuskegee Alabama during World War II.:
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In Ziegfeld Follies (1946), she performed “Love” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. Horne lobbied for the role of Julie LaVerne in MGM’s version of Show Boat (1951), having already played the role when a segment of Show Boat was performed in Till the Clouds Roll By, but lost the part to Ava Gardner, a friend in real life. Horne claimed this was due to the Production Code’s ban on interracial relationships in films, although MGM sources state she was never considered for the role. In the documentary That’s Entertainment! III, Horne stated that MGM executives required Gardner to practice her singing using Horne’s recordings, which offended both actresses. Ultimately, Gardner’s voice was overdubbed by actress Annette Warren (Smith) for the theatrical release.

Horne became disenchanted with Hollywood and increasingly focused on her nightclub career. She made only two major appearances for MGM during the 1950s: Duchess of Idaho (1950, which was also Eleanor Powell’s final film); and the musical Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956). She said she was “tired of being typecast as a Negro who stands against a pillar singing a song. I did that 20 times too often.” She was blacklisted during the 1950s for her affiliations in the 1940s with communist-backed groups. She would subsequently disavow communism. She returned to the screen, playing Claire Quintana, a madam in a brothel who marries Richard Widmark, in the film Death of a Gunfighter (1969), her first straight dramatic role with no reference to her color. She later appeared on screen two more times as Glinda in The Wiz (1978), which was directed by her then son-in-law Sidney Lumet, and co-hosting the MGM retrospective That’s Entertainment! III (1994), in which she related her unkind treatment by the studio.

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After leaving Hollywood, Horne established herself as one of the premier nightclub performers of the post-war era. She headlined at clubs and hotels throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, and the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. In 1957, a live album entitled, Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria, became the biggest-selling record by a female artist in the history of the RCA Victor label at that time. In 1958, Horne became the first partially black woman to be nominated for a Tony Award for “Best Actress in a Musical” (for her part in the “Calypso” musical Jamaica) which, at Horne’s request featured her longtime friend Adelaide Hall.
Horne performing on The Bell Telephone Hour, 1965

From the late 1950s through to the 1960s, Horne was a staple of TV variety shows, appearing multiple times on Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show, and The Bell Telephone Hour. Other programs she appeared on included The Judy Garland Show, The Hollywood Palace, and The Andy Williams Show. Besides two television specials for the BBC (later syndicated in the U.S.), Horne starred in her own U.S. television special in 1969, Monsanto Night Presents Lena Horne. During this decade, the artist Pete Hawley painted her portrait for RCA Victor, capturing the mood of her performance style.

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In 1970, she co-starred with Harry Belafonte in the hour-long Harry & Lena special for ABC; in 1973, she co-starred with Tony Bennett in Tony and Lena. Horne and Bennett subsequently toured the U.S. and U.K. in a show together. In the 1976 program America Salutes Richard Rodgers, she sang a lengthy medley of Rodgers songs with Peggy Lee and Vic Damone. Horne also made several appearances on The Flip Wilson Show. Additionally, Horne played herself on television programs such as The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Sanford and Son in the 1970s, as well as a 1985 performance on The Cosby Show and a 1993 appearance on A Different World. In the summer of 1980, Horne, 63 years old and intent on retiring from show business, embarked on a two-month series of benefit concerts sponsored by the sorority Delta Sigma Theta. These concerts were represented as Horne’s farewell tour, yet her retirement lasted less than a year.

On April 13, 1980, Horne, Luciano Pavarotti, and host Gene Kelly were all scheduled to appear at a Gala performance at the Metropolitan Opera House to salute the NY City Center’s Joffrey Ballet Company. However, Pavarotti’s plane was diverted over the Atlantic and he was unable to appear. James Nederlander was an invited Honored Guest and observed that only three people at the sold-out Metropolitan Opera House asked for their money back. He asked to be introduced to Horne following her performance. In May 1981, The Nederlander Organization, Michael Frazier, and Fred Walker went on to book Horne for a four-week engagement at the newly named Nederlander Theatre on West 41st Street in New York City. The show was an instant success and was extended to a full year run, garnering Horne a special Tony award, and two Grammy Awards for the cast recording of her show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. The 333-performance Broadway run closed on Horne’s 65th birthday, June 30, 1982.

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Later that same week, she performed the entire show again to record it for television broadcast and home video release. Horne began a tour a few days later at Tanglewood (Massachusetts) during the week-end of July 4, 1982. The Lady and Her Music toured 41 cities in the U.S. and Canada until June 17, 1984. It played in London for a month in August and ended its run in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 1984. In 1981, she received a Special Tony Award for the show, which also played to acclaim at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 1984. Despite the show’s considerable success (Horne still holds the record for the longest-running solo performance in Broadway history), she did not capitalize on the renewed interest in her career by undertaking many new musical projects. A proposed 1983 joint recording project between Horne and Frank Sinatra (to be produced by Quincy Jones) was ultimately abandoned, and her sole studio recording of the decade was 1988’s The Men in My Life, featuring duets with Sammy Davis Jr. and Joe Williams. In 1989, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1995, a “live” album capturing Horne’s Supper Club performance was released (subsequently winning a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album). In 1998, Horne released another studio album, entitled Being Myself. Thereafter, Horne retired from performing and largely retreated from public view, though she did return to the recording studio in 2000 to contribute vocal tracks on Simon Rattle’s Classic Ellington album.

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Horne was long involved with the Civil Rights Movement. In 1941, she sang at Café Society, New York City’s first integrated venue, and worked with Paul Robeson. During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform “for segregated audiences or for groups in which German POWs were seated in front of Black servicemen”, according to her Kennedy Center biography. Because the U.S. Army refused to allow integrated audiences, she staged her show for a mixed audience of black U.S. soldiers and white German POWs. Seeing the black soldiers had been forced to sit in the back seats, she walked off the stage to the first row where the black troops were seated and performed with the Germans behind her. However, the USO observed at the time of her death that Horne did in fact tour “extensively with the USO during WWII on the West Coast and in the South”.[23] The organization also commemorated her for the appearances she made on Armed Forces Radio Service programs Jubilee, G.I. Journal, and Command Performances. In the film Stormy Weather (1943), Horne’s character would perform the film’s title song as part of a big, all-star show for World War II soldiers as well. After quitting the USO in 1945, Horne financed tours of military camps herself.

She was at an NAACP rally with Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, the week-end before Evers was assassinated. She was at the March on Washington and spoke and performed on behalf of the NAACP, S.N.C.C., and the National Council of Negro Women. She also worked with Eleanor Roosevelt in attempts to pass anti-lynching laws. Tom Lehrer mentions her in his song “National Brotherhood Week” in the line “Lena Horne and Sheriff Clark are dancing cheek to cheek” referring (wryly) to her and to Sheriff Jim Clark, of Selma, Alabama, who was responsible for a violent attack on civil rights marchers in 1965. In 1983, the NAACP awarded her the Spingarn Medal.

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Horne was a registered Democrat and on November 20, 1963, she, along with Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.) Chairman John Bailey, Carol Lawrence, Richard Adler, Sidney Salomon, Vice-Chairwoman of the DNC Margaret B. Price, and Secretary of the DNC Dorothy Vredenburgh Bush, visited John F. Kennedy at The White House, two days prior to his assassination.

Horne married Louis Jordan Jones, a political operative, in January 1937 in Pittsburgh. On December 21, 1937, their daughter, Gail (later known as Gail Lumet Buckley, a writer) was born. They had a son, Edwin Jones (February 7, 1940 – September 12, 1970) who died of kidney disease. Horne and Jones separated in 1940 and divorced in 1944. Horne’s second marriage was to Lennie Hayton, who was music director and one of the premier musical conductors and arrangers at MGM, in December 1947 in Paris. They separated in the early 1960s, but never divorced. He died in 1971. In her as-told-to autobiography Lena by Richard Schickel, Horne recounts the enormous pressures she and her husband faced as an interracial couple. She later admitted in an interview in Ebony (May 1980) that she had married Hayton to advance her career and cross the color barrier in show business, but “learned to love him very much”.

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Horne had affairs with 25 time heavyweight champion Joe Louis and actors Artie Shaw, Orson Welles, as well as director Vincente Minnelli.

Horne also had a long and close relationship with Billy Strayhorn, whom she said she would have married if he had been heterosexual. He was also an important professional mentor to her. Screenwriter Jenny Lumet, known for her award-winning screenplay Rachel Getting Married, is Horne’s granddaughter, the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet and Horne’s daughter Gail. Her other grandchildren include Gail’s other daughter, Amy Lumet, and her son’s four children, Thomas, William, Samadhi, and Lena. Her great-grandchildren include Jake Cannavale.

Horne was Catholic. From 1946 to 1962, she resided in a St. Albans, Queens, New York, enclave of prosperous African Americans, where she counted among her neighbors Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz luminaries.

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Horne died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 2010. Her funeral took place at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue in New York, where she had been a member. Thousands gathered and attendees included: Leontyne Price, Dionne Warwick, Liza Minnelli, Jessye Norman, Chita Rivera, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Leslie Uggams, Lauren Bacall, Robert Osborne, Audra McDonald, and Vanessa Williams. Her remains were cremated.

In 2003, ABC announced that Janet Jackson would star as Horne in a television biographical film. In the weeks following Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” debacle during the 2004 Super Bowl, however, Variety reported that Horne had demanded Jackson be dropped from the project. “ABC executives resisted Horne’s demand”, according to the Associated Press report, “but Jackson representatives told the trade newspaper that she left willingly after Horne and her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, asked that she not take part.” Oprah Winfrey stated to Alicia Keys during a 2005 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show that she might possibly consider producing the biopic herself, casting Keys as Horne.

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In January 2005, Blue Note Records, her label for more than a decade, announced that “the finishing touches have been put on a collection of rare and unreleased recordings by the legendary Horne made during her time on Blue Note.” Remixed by her long-time producer Rodney Jones, the recordings featured Horne with a remarkably secure voice for a woman of her years, and include versions of such signature songs as “Something to Live For”, “Chelsea Bridge”, and “Stormy Weather”. The album, originally titled Soul but renamed Seasons of a Life, was released on January 24, 2006. In 2007, Horne was portrayed by Leslie Uggams as the older Lena and Nikki Crawford as the younger Lena in the stage musical Stormy Weather staged at the Pasadena Playhouse in California (January to March 2009). In 2011, Horne was also portrayed by actress Ryan Jillian in a one-woman show titled Notes from A Horne staged at the Susan Batson studio in New York City, from November 2011 to February 2012. The 83rd Academy Awards presented a tribute to Horne by actress Halle Berry at the ceremony held February 27, 2011.

Stamp

In 2018, a forever stamp depicting Horne began to be issued; this made Horne the 41st honoree in the Black Heritage stamp series.

In June 2021, the Prospect Park (Brooklyn) Bandshell was renamed the Lena Horne Bandshell to honor Horne, a Bed-Stuy Brooklyn native, and to show solidarity with the black community. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a fine sampler with many of their great songs:

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It´s time to discover this great voice and great lady again !

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Personnel:
Lena Horne (vocals)
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many, many unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Whispering (Schonberger/Conburn) 2.47
02. It’s A Rainy Day (Moore) 2.51
03. Little Girl Blue (Rodgers/Hart) 2.35
04. Old Fashioned Love (Mack/Johnson) 2.46
05. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen (Moore) 2.58
06. I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore (Schertzinger) 2.32
07. Hesitation Blues (Smythe) 3.06
08. Glad To Be Unhappy (Rodgers/Hart) 2.39
09. At Long Last Love (Porter) 2.44
10. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child (Moore) 2.49
11. Blue Prelude (Jenkins/Bishop) 2.36
12. My Man’s Gone Now (Heyward/Gerswhin) 2.59
13. More Than You Know (Youmans/Rose/Eliscu) 3.04
14. Beale Street Blues (Handy) 3.05
15. Frankie And Johnny (Clark/Moore) 5.51

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The Manhattan Transfer – Tonin’ (1995)

FrontCover1The Manhattan Transfer is a Grammy award-winning jazz vocal group founded in 1969 that has explored a cappella, vocalese, swing, standards, Brazilian jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop music.

There have been two editions of the Manhattan Transfer, with Tim Hauser the only person to be part of both. The first group consisted of Hauser, Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, Pat Rosalia, and Gene Pistilli. The second version of the group, formed in 1972, consisted of Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, and Laurel Massé. In 1979, Massé left the group after being badly injured in a car accident and was replaced by Cheryl Bentyne.

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The group’s long-time pianist, Yaron Gershovsky, accompanied the group on tour and served as music director. Trist Curless from the Los Angeles a cappella group m-pact became a permanent member in October 2014 following Hauser’s death. (wikipedia)

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Tonin’ is a studio album by The Manhattan Transfer. It was released in 1995 on Atlantic Records. The expression “tonin'” is associated with the vocal groups of the 1950s and 1960s. The songs on this album are favorites of the band’s from that era. Singer-songwriter Laura Nyro makes one of her last performances on this recording. (wikipedia)

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The idea on Tonin’ was to turn the Manhattan Transfer loose on a baker’s dozen of good old 1960s pop and R&B hits in league either with the original artists or prominent guests from that period and beyond. And yes, it’s a stellar list, guaranteed to stir warm and fuzzy memories, and the tunes echo the old lament of an earlier age, “they don’t write songs like they used to.” For almost any other vocal group, this would be an entertaining coup, yet for the hugely gifted, compulsively adventurous Transfer, this is just a detour into the tent of nostalgia that they had long outgrown (though they would do better in the retro arena with 1997’s buoyant Swing).

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Moreover, they really have nothing new to bring to these tunes; they serve as background singers to Smokey Robinson on his “I Second That Emotion,” to Felix Cavaliere on his “Groovin’,” or — good grief — Phil Collins subbing for Marvin Gaye on “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby.” Indeed, “The Thrill Is Gone” can serve as its own epitaph; even with B.B. King’s authentic guitar obbligato and Ruth Brown’s rap, the Transfer’s smooth vocal harmonies turn this gritty blues into pap. However gutsy Arif Mardin’s productions were in Atlantic’s 1960s heyday, he just goes through the crisp-sounding motions here. (by Richard S. Ginell)BackCover1

Personnel:
Cheryl Bentyne – Tim Hauser – Alan Paul – Janis Siegel
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Mike Baird (drums on  02., 03., 08. + 11.)
Herb Besson (trombone on 01. + 04.)
Edwin Bonila (percussion on 01.)
Ruth Brown (vocals on 07.)
Robbie Buchanan (keyboards, synthesizer (on 02., 03., 05., 08. – 11.)
Tony Cadlic (trumpet on  01. + 04.)
Jorgé Casas (synclavier programming, bass on 01.)
Lenny Castro (percussion on 02., 04. + 08.)
Felix Cavaliere (vocals on 02.)
Phil Collins (vocals on 06.)
Luis Conte (percussion on 01.,02. + 08.)
Paulinho da Costa (percussion on 11.)
Mike Finnigan (organ on 11.)
Jim Hines (trumpet on 01. + 04.)
Chris Hunter (saxophone on 01. +  04.)
Paul Jackson Jr. (guitar on 04. + 06.)
Jimmy Johnson (bass on 09. + 11.)
Randy Kerber (keyboards, synthesizer on 04.)
Chaka Khan (vocals on 08.)
B.B. King (guitar on 07.)
Ben E. King (vocals on 10.)
Robbie Kondor (keyboards on 09., programming on 10. + 11.)
Abraham Laboriel (bass on 03.)
Michael Landau (guitar on 02., 03, + 08.)
Will Lee (bass on 05.)
Mark Mann (programming on 02., 03., 08. – 11.)
Joe Mardin (programming, percussion on 05., drums on 06.)
Dave Marotta (bass on  07.)
Harvey Mason (drums on 07.)
Bette Midler (vocals on 03.)
Tommy Morgan (harmonica on 02.)
Laura Nyro (piano, vocals on 05.)
Clay Ostwald (keyboards, synclavier programming on 01.)
Chris Parker (drums on 05.)
Dean Parks (guitar on 09., 10. + 11.)
Joel Peskin (saxophone on 03 + 10, flute on 09.)
Greg Phillinganes (keyboards on 07.)
Mike Porcaro (bass on 10.)
Tom Ranier (synthesizer on 04.)
John Robinson (drums on 04. + 09.)
Smokey Robinson (vocals on 04.)
Roger Rosenberg (saxophone on 01. + 04.)
David Spinozza (guitar on 05.)
Steve Skinner (programming on 02., 04., 06.,08. + 09.,  (2, 4, 6, 8, 9), keyboards on 02., 06., 08. + 11.) (2, 8, 11)
Neil Stubenhaus (bass on 04 + 06.)
James Taylor (vocals on 10.)
Michael Thompson (guitar on 04. + 09.)
Rene Toledo (guitar on 01.)
Frankie Valli (vocals on 01.)
Carlos Vega (drums on 10.)
Danny Wilensky (saxophone on 06.)
David Williams (guitar on 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Let’s Hang On (Crewe/Linzer/Randell) (with Frankie Valli) 4.41
02. Groovin’ (Brigati/Cavaliere) (with Felix Cavaliere) 4.09
03. It’s Gonna Take A Miracle (Randazzo/Stallman/Weinstein) (with Bette Midler) 3.57
04. I Second That Emotion (Cleveland/Robinson) (with Smokey Robinson) 3.40
05. La-La (Means I Love You) (Bell/Hart) (with Laura Nyro) 4.36
06. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby (Whitfield/Strong/Bradford) (with Phil Collins) 4.44
07. The Thrill Is Gone (Hawkins/Darnell) (with Ruth Brown & B.B. King) 6.07
08. Hot Fun In The Summertime (Stewart) (with Chaka Khan) 4.17
09. Along Comes Mary (Tandyn Almer) – 3:34
10, Dream Lover (Darin) (with James Taylor) 4.54
11. Save The Last Dance For Me (Pomus/Shuman) (with Ben E. King) 4.05
12. God Only Knows (Wilson/Asher) 2.47

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The official website:
Website

Various Artists – Magic Moments 2 (The Ultimate ACT World Jazz Anthology Vol, VII) (2004)

FrontCover1ACT is a German record label founded in 1992 by Siegfried Loch. It is a division of ACT + Music Video founded by Loch and Annette Humpe in 1988. ACT started as a pop music label but folded soon after it started. Loch turned it into a jazz label, at first reissuing music he had recorded for Liberty, Philips, and WEA before turning to new recordings.

ACT’s first release was the album Jazzpaña by Vince Mendoza and Arif Mardin and featured Michael Brecker, Al Di Meola, and Steve Khan. It earned two Grammy nominations. ACT was voted Label of the Year in the German Echo Jazz online poll four times in a row from 2010 to 2013.

ACT artists include Marius Neset, Bugge Wesseltoft, Lars Danielsson, Viktoria Tolstoy, Vijay Iyer, Leszek Mozdzer, Iiro Rantala, Nils Landgren and Esbjörn Svensson Trio.

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Also: Esbjörn Svensson, Rigmor Gustafsson, and Ulf Wakenius. Artists contracted from other countries are the Norwegian saxophonists Geir Lysne, Tore Brunborg, Frøy Aagre, violinist Henning Kraggerud, the band In The Country, the Danish vocalist Cæcilie Norby, the Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, the Austrian pianist David Helbock, the French drummer Manu Katché. German musicians on the label include Christian Muthspiel, Joachim Kühn, Christof Lauer, Wolfgang Haffner, and Michael Wollny (winner of the ECHO Jazz award in 2010 for best instrumentalist, piano/keyboards).

ACT has recorded Nguyên Lê and Youn Sun Nah (winner of the Echo Jazz award in 2011 for best singer internationally), Jasper van’t Hof, Simon Nabatov, and Paolo Fresu. (wikipedia)

This compilation contains contemporary jazz of the highest quality even including compositions Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman and … Abba !

A great opportunity to discover fantastic music and musicians !

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Personnel:

E.S.T. Esbjörn Svensson Trio:
Dan Berglund (bass)
Magnus Öström (drums)
E.S.T. Esbjörn Svensson (piano)

Norah Jones / Joel Harrison:
David Binney (samples)
Tony Cedras (accordion)
Guitar – Joel Harrison (guitar)
Norah Jones (vocals)
Rob Thomas (violin)

Gerardo Nuñez / Paolo Fresu / Perico Sambeat:
Mariano Diaz (piano)
Paolo Fresu (trumpet)
Gerardo Nuñez (guitar)
Perico Sambeat (saxophone)

Viktoria Tolstoy:
Bror Falk (piano)
Wolfgang Haffner (drums)
Christian Spering (bass)
Viktoria Tolstoy (vocals)

T.L. Carrington / G. Osby / A. Rogers / J. Haslip:
Terri Lyne Carrington (drums)
Jimmy Haslip (drums)
Alto Saxophone – Greg Osby (saxophone)
Adam Rogers (guitar)

Ramón Valle Trio:
Bass – Omar Rodriguez Calvo (bass)
Liber Torriente (drums)
Ramón Valle (piano)

Muriel Zoe:
Johannes Huth (bass)
Michael Leuschner (trumpet)
Matthias Pogoda (guitar)
Drums – Michael Verhovec (drums)
Muriel Zoe (vocals)

Perico Sambeat / Brad Mehldau:
Jeff Ballard (drums)
Brad Mehldau (piano)
Perico Sambeat (saxophone)
Ben Street (bass)

Rebekka Bakken / Julia Hülsmann Trio:
Rebekka Bakken (vocals)
Julia Hülsmann (piano)
Heinrich Köbberling (drums)
Marc Muellbauer (bass)

Richie Beirach / Gregor Huebner / George Mraz:
Richie Beirach (piano)
Gregor Hübner (violin)
George Mraz (bass)

Huong Thanh / Nguyên Lê / Paul McCandless:
Nguyên Lê (guitar)
Paul McCandless (englsih horn)
Huong Thanh (vocals)

Marsmobil:
Till Brönner (fluelhorn)
Roberto Di Gioia (keyboards)

Rigmor Gustafsson / Nils Landgren:
Lars Danielsson (bass)
Roberto Di Gioia (piano)
Rigmor Gustafsson (vocals)
Wolfgang Haffner (drums)
Nils Landgren (trombone)

Elbtonalpercussion / Christopher Dell:
Jan-Frederick Behrend (percussion)
Christopher Dell (marimba)
Andrej Kauffmann (percussion)
Stephan Krause (percussion)
Wolfgang Rummel (percussion)

Jens Thomas / Christof Lauer:
Christoph Lauer (saxophone)
Jens Thomas (piano)

Nils Landgren Funk Unit:
Roberto Di Gioia (keyboards)
Wolfgang Haffner (drums)
Henrik Janson (guitar)
Nils Landgren (trombone, vocals)
Jesper Nordenström (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. E.S.T. Esbjörn Svensson Trio: O.D.R.I.P. (Radio Edit) (Berglund/Öström/Svensson) 3.27
02. Norah Jones / Joel Harrison: I Walk The Line (Radio Edit) (Cash) 3.46
03. Gerardo Nuñez / Paolo Fresu / Perico Sambeat: La Habana A Oscuras (Nuñez) 5.18
04. Viktoria Tolstoy: Dear Diary (Svensson/Holknekt) 3.45
05. T.L. Carrington / G. Osby / A. Rogers / J. Haslip: Ethiopia (Mitchell) 5.49
06. Ramón Valle Trio: Dilsburgh Morning Light (Valle) 3.33
07. Muriel Zoe: Bye Bye Blackbird (Dixon/Henderson) 3.29
08. Perico Sambeat / Brad Mehldau: Mirall (Radio Edit) (Sambeat) 4.21
09. Rebekka Bakken / Julia Hülsmann Trio: Same Girl (Newman) 3.18
10. Richie Beirach / Gregor Huebner / George Mraz: Chant (Radio Edit) (Palestrina) 3.03
11. Huong Thanh / Nguyên Lê / Paul McCandless: South Delta Song ( Lê) 4.08
12. Marsmobil: Hand in Hand (Radio Edit) (Di Goia) 3.33
13. Rigmor Gustafsson / Nils Landgren: Makin’ Whoopee (Donaldson) 4.00
14. Elbtonalpercussion / Christopher Dell: Freak Taeb (Radio Edit) (Behrend) 2.40
15. Jens Thomas / Christof Lauer: Be Yourself (Thomas) 3.42
16. Nils Landgren Funk Unit: Thank You For The Music (Ulvaeus – Andersson) 3.31

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“Today ACT is considered one of the finest curators of progressive jazz and creative music.” DOWNBEAT. With a roster that boasts a wide range of leading jazz instrumentalists and singers, ACT has released some of the most influential contemporary jazz recordings of the recent past. In the years since its foundation in 1992, it has built a global presence and profile. Over the years, ACT has championed an incredible array of jazz artists who are defined by their desire to push musical boundaries while reaching out to a wider audience with both authenticity and innovation at their core.

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This list includes the likes of Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Nils Landgren, Michael Wollny, Marius Neset, Lars Danielsson, Joachim Kühn, Youn Sun Nah, Leszek Możdżer, Vincent Peirani, Emile Parisien and many more. Although the main focus of ACT is on European jazz, it has also played a significant role in the careers of US artists such as Terri Lyne Carrington, David Binney, Vince Mendoza, Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa. Having released more then 500 albums to date, the ACT label has written part of the continuing story of jazz by staying true to its mission of presenting music “in the spirit of jazz”.

The official website:
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Jack DeJohnette – Works (1985)

LPFrontCover1Jack DeJohnette (born August 9, 1942) is an American jazz drummer, pianist, and composer.

An important figure of the fusion era of jazz, DeJohnette is one of the most influential jazz drummers of the 20th century, given his extensive work as leader and sideman for musicians including Charles Lloyd, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, John Abercrombie, Alice Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock and John Scofield. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2007. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a pretty compilation:

Jack DeJohnette has, of course, been long known as the go-to drummer on practically every Keith Jarrett trio album ever to be released on ECM. But he has also led a phenomenal double life as a composer and bandleader, and his strengths in those capacities—along with his mastery of the kit—are highlighted in this compilation. For intensity of atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with “Bayou Fever.” The opening tune off 1978’s New Directions places him in the esteemed company of trumpeter Lester Bowie, guitarist John Abercrombie, and bassist Eddie Gomez. Against Abercrombie’s surreal backdrop, Bowie’s trumpeting is delirious yet lucid while the band pulls its blues from another dimension. Building tension without release, they sustain their balance over an expanse of marshland, amphibious dreams, and childhood memories. Two cuts from the output of DeJohnette’s Special Edition outfit reveal deeper layers of his craftwork. “One For Eric,” from the band’s 1980 self-titled debut, situates Arthur Blythe (alto saxophone), David Murray (bass clarinet), and Peter Warren (bass) in a classic eruption of creative magma and shows DeJohnette at his most cathartic. As does “The Gri Gri Man” (Tin Can Alley, 1981) at his most atmospheric. Featuring the man of the hour on congas, drums, organ, and timpani, it illustrates distant and arid terrain even as it carries a storm’s worth of rain in the heart.

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“To Be Continued,” from the 1981 album of the same name, reshuffles the deck and deals a new hand with guitarist Terje Rypdal and bassist Miroslav Vitous. As one of the most inspired combinations to spring from the mind of producer Manfred Eicher, it couldn’t not be represented here. Rypdal’s blue solar flares, in tandem with Vitous’s joyous extroversions, provide the very substance through which DeJohnette draws his continuous thread. A likeminded masterstroke is the Gateway trio with Abercrombie and bassist Dave Holland. Where the guitarist’s original “Unshielded Desire” (Gateway, 1975) is a duet with DeJohnette that finds the musicians speaking two dialects of the same fervent language, “Blue” (Gateway 2, 1978) swaps drums for piano in a lyrical love letter to time itself.

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Taken together, these selections offer a glimpse into a career that continues to evolve yet compresses it into an idol worthy of self-regard. Candid, rooted, and authentic are the names of the game. (Tyran Grillo)

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Personnel:
John Abercrombie (guitar on 01. + 05.,, mandolin on 01. + 06.)
Arthur Blythe (saxophone on 04.)
Lester Bowie (trumpet on 01.)
Eddie Gomez (bass on 01)
Dave Holland (bass on 06.)Jack DeJohnette (drums, percussion, organ on 02., piano on 06.)
David Murray (clarinet on 04.)
Terje Rypdal (guitar on 03.)
Miroslav Vitous (bass on 03.)
Peter Warren (bass on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Bayou Fever (1978) 8.45
02. The Gri Gri Man (1981) 4.51
03. To Be Continued (1981) 9.18
04. One For Eric (1980) 9.55
05. Unshielded Desire (1975) 4.54
06. Blue (1977) 8.14

Works is a series of ten albums which is being released on the occasion of ECM’s 15th anniversary. The series presents recordings of ten musicians who have been working with ECM from the beginning. The Works albums are available in a limited edition only.

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