Tomasz Stanko – Almost Green (1979)

FrontCover1Tomasz Ludwik Stańko (11 July 1942 – 29 July 2018) was a Polish trumpeter and composer. Stańko was associated with free jazz and the avant-garde.

In 1962, Tomasz Stańko formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with saxophonist Janusz Muniak, pianist Adam Makowicz, bassist Jacek Ostaszewski, drummer Wiktor Perelmuter. Inspired by Ornette Coleman and the innovations of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz. In his later years, he collaborated with pianist Krzysztof Komeda on Komeda’s album Astigmatic, recorded in late 1965. In 1968, Stańko formed a quintet whose members were Janusz Muniak (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute), Zbigniew Seifert (alto sax and violin), Bronisław Suchanek (bass), Janusz Stefański (drums, percussion). In 1975, he formed the Tomasz Stańko-Adam Makowicz Unit.

Stańko established a reputation as a leading figure not only in Polish jazz, but internationally as well, working with musicians including Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Reggie Workman, Rufus Reid, Lester Bowie, David Murray, Manu Katché and Chico Freeman. From 1984, he was a member of Cecil Taylor’s big band.

Tomasz StankoTomasz Stańko was born in Rzeszów, Poland, on 11 July 1942. His first encounters with jazz were through Voice of America radio programs and tours initiated by the U.S. State Department. Coming of age in Communist Poland, Stańko was impressed by the correlation jazz had with a message of freedom. In 1958 he saw his first jazz concert given by Dave Brubeck.[8] Along with the pianist Adam Makowicz and with the saxophonist Janusz Muniak, the group took inspiration from the music of musicians such as Ornette Coleman, George Russell and Miles Davis and was considered by many critics to be the first group in Europe to perform in the free jazz idiom.

In 1963 Stańko joined the Krzysztof Komeda quintet, where he learned much about harmony, musical structure and asymmetry. During his career with Komeda, which concluded in 1967, Stańko did five tours with the pianist and recorded eleven albums with him. In 1968 Stańko formed a quintet that met critical acclaim—one that included Zbigniew Seifert on violin and alto saxophone.[10] In 1970, he joined the Globe Unity Orchestra, and in 1971 he collaborated with Krzysztof Penderecki and Don Cherry. Not long after he formed a quartet that included himself, saxophonist Tomasz Szukalski and Finnish drummer Edward Vesala. His performances with Vesala are often considered to be some of his most important work. In 1975, he formed the Tomasz Stańko-Adam Makowicz Unit. (wikipedia)

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“Almost Green” is fourth and last record by great Stanko Quartet with Vesala and Szukalski, this time with wonderful dwarf Palle Danielsson on bass. Released by Finnish label Leo Records in 1979, this album was preceeded by “TWET” (Muza 1974), “Balladyna” (ECM 1976) and “Live at Remont” (Helicon 1978), each with different bassist. But always the rhythm section sounded pretty heavy and whole quartet freshly and recognizably. Maybe it is wishful thinking from my side, but I often thought when listening to “Balladyna” that there are some similarities with great Elton Dean Quintet’s “Boundaries”, and I got that feeling again with “Live at Remont” and “Almost Green”, which were completely new to me during last weeks… Thanks to original uploader svantetic and his former blog Almost Black, and to mew23, who kept this rip and shared it with us. BTW, “From Greenhills” theme is reprised as title track of Stanko’s 1999 ECM album “From The Green Hill”. (inconstantsol.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Tomasz Stanko (trumpet)
Tomasz Szukalski (saxophone)
Edward Vesala (drums)

Edward Vesala

Tracklist:
01. New Song (Stanko) 10.37
02. From Greenhills (Stanko) 3.37
03. Slowly By (Stanko) 5.25
04. When On Earth (Stanko) 10.17
05. Almost Green (Stanko) 3.41
08. Megaira (Vesela) 3.48

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Lee Wiley – Night In Manhattan (1951)

FrontCover1Lee Wiley (October 9, 1908 – December 11, 1975) was an American jazz singer during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Wiley was born in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.[1] At fifteen, she left home to pursue a singing career, singing on New York City radio stations.[2] Her career was interrupted by a fall while horseback riding. She suffered temporary blindness but recovered. At the age of 19 she was a member of the Leo Reisman Orchestra, with whom in 1931 she recorded three songs: “Take It from Me”, “Time On My Hands”, and her composition “Got the South in My Soul”.

Wiley began her radio career at KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She sang on the Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt program on NBC in 1932,[5] and was featured on Victor Young’s radio show in 1933. From June 10, 1936, until September 2, 1936, she had her own show, Lee Wiley, on CBS.

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In 1939, Wiley recorded eight Gershwin songs on 78s with a small group for Liberty Music Shop Records. The set sold well and was followed by 78s dedicated to the music of Cole Porter (1940) and Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart (1940 and 1954), Harold Arlen (1943), and 10″ LPs dedicated to the music of Vincent Youmans and Irving Berlin (1951).

She sang with Paul Whiteman and later, the Casa Loma Orchestra. A collaboration with composer Victor Young resulted in several songs for which Wiley wrote the lyrics, including “Got the South in My Soul” and “Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere.”

On October 11, 1963, Bob Hope Theater on NBC-TV presented “Something About Lee Wiley”. Piper Laurie portrayed Wiley in the episode, which was produced by Revue Studios. Wiley’s singing voice was provided by Joy Bryan.

Lee Wiley02Lee Wiley was born with last name Willey. Lee was a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was buried in her family plot in Cherokee Nation. Wiley married the jazz pianist Jess Stacy in 1943. The couple was described by their friend Deane Kincaide as being as “compatible as two cats, tails tied together, hanging over a clothesline”; they divorced in 1948. Her response to Stacy’s desire to get a divorce was, “What will Bing Crosby be thinking of you divorcing me?”, while Stacy said of Wiley, “They did not burn the last witch at Salem.” (wikipedia)

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Her husky, surprisingly sensual voice and exquisitely cool readings of pop standards distinguished her singing, but Lee Wiley earns notice as one of the best early jazz singers by recognizing the superiority of American popular song and organizing a set of songs around a common composer or theme — later popularized as the songbook or concept LP. She was also a songwriter in her own right, and one of the few white vocalists with more respect in the jazz community than the popular one. Even more tragic then, that while dozens of inferior vocalists recorded LPs during the late ’50s and ’60s, Wiley appeared on record just once between 1957 and her death in 1975.

Wiley was born in 1910 in Ft. Gibson, OK; early press reports claimed lineage from a Lee Wiley04Cherokee princess, as well as a birthdate five years later than the true one. Whatever her background, she began singing at an early age, influenced by the “race records” of the day by Mildred Bailey and Ethel Waters. She left Oklahoma for New York City as a teenager, and made a few demos in the late ’20s before hiring on with Leo Reisman. Her first hit, “Time on My Hands,” came in 1931 with Reisman, and earned her solo billing on a few radio programs. Wiley also began recording her own sides for Kapp, backed by the Casa Loma Orchestra, the Dorsey Brothers, and Johnny Green.

Her popular fortunes fell however, after the threat of tuberculosis kept her from singing for more than a year. In the late ’30s, Wiley began recording sides for the Liberty music shop. The results were a series of unique sessions, each organized around the work of one composer (first the Gershwins, then Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, and Harold Arlen) and released on the standard catalog album — four 10″ records played at 78 rpm — for a grand total of eight songs by each composer. These “songbook” recordings also utilized the cream of the era’s hot jazz musicians, including Eddie Condon, Bunny Berigan, Pee Wee Russell, Joe Bushkin, Fats Waller, and Jess Stacy; the latter became her husband for several years during the ’40s. Wiley also performed often with Stacy’s big band and with smaller groups led by Condon during the ’40s. She signed to Columbia in 1950 and recorded several additional albums, including the excellent Night in Manhattan.

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After recording a single album for Storyville, Wiley had moved again by the mid-’50s, to RCA Victor. Her two albums for the label, 1956’s West of the Moon and the following year’s A Touch of the Blues, were touching capstones to her career, the first with the delicate arranging of Ralph Burns proving the perfect accompaniment to her voice. Unfortunately, they were practically the last recordings of her career. After 14 years off-record, Wiley returned with one final session, 1971’s Back Home Again. She died four years later. (by John Bush)

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Collectors’ Choice Music presents a rare compilation featuring Lee Wiley’s most prolific and oft-requested post-World War II extended-play platter, including three complete 10″ discs that the vocalist cut for Columbia in the early ’50s. When initially issued, Wiley had already experienced significant success as a traditional pop and torch singer circa the ’30s. During this era she was supported by such notables as Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, and the Johnny Green-led Casa Loma Orchestra. Due to its thematic nature, this project could rightly be considered as an early Songbook or concept album. That said, it is Night in Manhattan that perhaps most accurately exemplifies the moods, sounds,and auras of The Big Apple after hours. Wiley’s unmistakable voice yields a distinct, organic,and otherwise full-bodied timbre. She unleashes varying degrees of that charm, bringing to life the Great American Songbook classics “Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere” and “(I Don’t Stand) A Ghost of a Chance (With You)” with her trademark sense of a distant and at times flawed Lee Wiley07vulnerability.

Wiley is joined by Bobby Hackett and Joe Bushkin’s Swinging Strings on Night in Manhattan. Comparatively, the Vincent Youmans and Irving Berlin anthologies offer collaborations with Stan Freeman and Cy Walter, who collectively continue building upon Wiley’s considerable back catalog of similar “songbooks” cut throughout the ’40s. These centered on the works of Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, and George & Ira Gershwin. The original decision to cover both high-profile and obscure titles alike — such as the elegant “Tea for Two” compared to the equally engaging “Why Oh Why” — was an inspired one to be sure. Yet it is unquestionably Sings Irving Berlin that serves up one of the finest examples of the magic that can occur when a performer is given access to songs that at times sound as if they were penned specifically for them. Supported by a single keyboard, the classics “I Got Lost in His Arms,” “Fools Fall in Love” and “How Deep Is the Ocean (How High Is the Sky)” are haunting and ethereal — much like Manhattan herself. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Lee Wiley (vocals)
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Joe Bushkin And His Swinging Strings (Titel: 1 to 4, 7 to 10)
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Stan Freeman (piano)
Bobby Hackett (cornet)
Cy Walter (piano)

The CD edition from Japan:
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Tracklist:
01. Street Of Dreams (Lewis/Young) 3.14
02. A Woman’s Intuition (Washington/Young) 3.32
03. Sugar (Alexander/Pinkard/Mitchell) 3.08
04. Any Time, Any Day, Anywhere (Wiley/Washington/Young) 2.26
05. Manhattan (Rodgers/Hart) 3.25
06. I’ve Got A Crush On You (I. Gershwin/G. Gershwin) 3.26
07. A Ghost Of A Chance (Crosby/Washington/Young) 3.17
08. Oh! Look At Me Now (Bushkin/De Vries) 3.09
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09. How Deep Is The Ocean (Berlin) 2.52
10. More Than You Know (Rose/Eliscu/Youmans) 3.11
11. Soft Lights And Sweet Music (Berlin) 2.33
12. Time On My Hands (Adamson/Gordon/Youmans) 2.48

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Paolo Conte – 900 (1992)

LPFrontCover1Paolo Conte (born 6 January 1937) is an Italian singer, pianist, composer, and lawyer notable for his grainy, resonant voice. His compositions are evocative of Italian and Mediterranean sounds, as well as of jazz music and South American atmospheres.

Paolo Conte was born in Asti, Piedmont. His parents were avid jazz fans and Conte and his younger brother Giorgio spent their formative years listening to a lot of early jazz and blues recordings. After obtaining a law degree at the University of Parma, Conte started working as an assistant solicitor with his father, simultaneously pursuing his musical studies. He learned to play the trombone, the vibraphone and the piano,[1] and formed a jazz band with his brother on guitar. Conte’s skill for composing music and original arrangements was noted by music producer Lilli Greco, who paired Conte with lyricist Vito Pallavicini. They wrote songs for Adriano Celentano (“Azzurro”, 1968), Caterina Caselli (“Insieme a te non ci sto più”, 1968), Fausto Leali (“Deborah”, 1968) and Enzo Jannacci (“Messico e nuvole”, 1970). In 1974 Conte recorded his first album, Paolo Conte. The following year, he released another eponymous album. Following a series of well-received shows at Club Tenco in Sanremo in 1976 and the commercial success of his third album, ‘Un gelato al limon’, Conte concentrated almost exclusively on his solo career.

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Some of Conte’s most popular songs have been used as film soundtracks, including “Come Di” in I Am David (2003) and Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), “Via con me” in French Kiss (1995), Mostly Martha (2001) and Welcome to Collinwood (2002). In addition, Conte’s song “L’orchestrina” is featured during the end credits for episodes 3 and 4 of the television series The New Pope (2020). In 1997 Conte won the Nastro d’Argento for Best Score for the film La freccia azzurra.

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On 24 March 1999, Paolo Conte was awarded with the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, by President Giorgio Napolitano for his “outstanding cultural achievements”. On 15 May 2001, France ordered Paolo Conte Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2015, Conte was awarded a Premio Galileo for contemporary music.

Has also received several honorary doctorates, including one from the University of Macerata (1990) (wikipedia)

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And here´s his 14th album:

The musical lawyer from Asti goes on another nostalgic journey of discovery. His destination is the “900” (“Novecento”), the “Twentieth Century”, more precisely: the time of elegant entertainment in the European metropolises. The gentleman from the Mediterranean Piedmont has absorbed tango fever, swing and French chanson like an elixir of life since childhood – and he passes this inspiration on to his audience in fascinating performances. After Paolo Conte wrote love letters on the typewriter for his last work (“Parole D’Amoure Scritte A Macchina”), this time he reached for the fountain pen again. The accompaniment of the 13 new chansons obeys the acoustic purity rule. Only a synthesiser is occasionally allowed to intersperse flat harmonies, otherwise double bass, bandoneon, saxophone, vibraphone, guitars and violin create an ideal framework for the rhetoric of this fabulous man in his mid-fifties, who embellishes his wild dreams with imaginative linguistic images. 900″ does not contain compositional masterpieces like “Aquaplano” or “Azzurro”. But that does not detract from the enigmatic magic of this music. From the Dixie arrangement for “Gong-Oh” to the contemplative finale with the double bass-supported “Do Do”, there is a wide stylistic arc. Conte whispers and scratches his way through the lines of verse in his inimitable manner, miming the grief-stricken senior as well as the risk-taking airhead. Here is an original at work that has become rare in the European music scene. (Stereoplay Magazine)

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If you like, you can breathe the air of a circus or a fairground, cuddle with your cuddly beloved or tango in a jazz bar at blue hour, brood over your umpteenth whisky alone and forlorn at dawn or ponder on a park bench in the sunshine. Italian chansonnier Paolo Conte conveys such and similar moods with a smoky voice and this time again without any synthetics. So double bass, piano, sax or accordion can swing all the more sensual and relaxed. (Audio Magazine)

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Personnel:
Paolo Conte (vocals, piano, kazoo)
Daniele Di Gregorio (drums, percussion, vibraphone)
Davide Di Gregorio (saxophone)
Leo Martina (synthesizer)
Eleonora Nervi (bass tuba)
Daniele “Pirri” Dall’ Omo (guitar, ukulele, trumpet on 01.)
Massimo “Max Pitz” Pitzianti (bandoneon, accordeon, saxophone, clarinet)
Jino Touche (bass)
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Massimo Barbierato (violin)
Roberto Caviglione (viola)
Claudio “Dado” Dadone (guitar on 07.)
Sergio Gavioli (violin)
Luciano Girardengo (violoncello)
Marc Laferrière (saxophone on 08.)
Renzo Marino (guitar on 07.)
Massimo Dall’Omo (drums on 10.)
James Thompson (saxophone on 11.)
Jino Touche (vocals on 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Novecento 3.35
02. Il Treno Va 3.43
03. Una Di Queste Notti 3.16
04. Pesce Veloce Del Baltico 3.49
05. La Donna Della Tua Vita 3.35
06. Per Quel Che Vale 3.48
07. Inno In Re Bemolle 3.14
08. Gong-Oh 3.17
09. I Giardini Pensili Hanno Fatto Il Loro Tempo 3.30
10. Schiava Del Politeama 3.21
11. 
Chiamami Adesso 2.56
12. Brillantina Bengalese 3.14
13. Do-Do 3.13

All songs written by Paolo Conte

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Jimmy Smith – House Party (1958)

FrontCover1James Oscar Smith (December 8, 1925 or 1928 – February 8, 2005) was an American jazz musician whose albums often appeared on Billboard magazine charts. He helped popularize the Hammond B-3 organ, creating a link between jazz and 1960s soul music.

In 2005, Smith was awarded the NEA Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor that America bestows upon jazz musicians. (wikipedia)

Jimmy Smith wasn’t the first organ player in jazz, but no one had a greater influence with the instrument than he did; Smith coaxed a rich, grooving tone from the Hammond B-3, and his sound and style made him a top instrumentalist in the 1950s and ’60s, while a number of rock and R&B keyboardists would learn valuable lessons from Smith’s example. (by Mark Deming)

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House Party is the fourteenth album by American jazz organist Jimmy Smith featuring performances recorded in 1957 and 1958 and released on the Blue Note label.[1] The album was rereleased on CD with one bonus track.

Blue Note used the Manhattan Towers Hotel Ballroom in New York City for recording sessions in 1957-1958, while their recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder was still using his parents’ Hackensack, N.J. home studio to record artists. House Party was the first of two Smith albums recorded on two dates, the second was Smith’s next album The Sermon!, released in 1959. Blue Note mainly used the Manhattan Towers ballroom for larger groups of musicians, or when New York was a more convenient location to record the artists involved.(wikipedia)

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In 2000 when Blue Note upgraded 1958’s House Party as part of the label’s superior Rudy Van Gelder series, they augmented the title with a ten-plus minute driving blow of Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation” as a well-chosen bonus track. Now the effort is bookended by some primal Bird, which was always a forte of the assembled coterie. In addition to sharing three of the five sides with the RVG edition of The Sermon! (1958), there are two selections from the August 25, 1957, confab of Lee Morgan (trumpet), George Coleman (alto sax), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Eddie McFadden (guitar), Kenny Burrell (guitar), and Donald Bailey (drums). The remaining three were recorded precisely six months later on February 25, 1958, with a slightly amended lineup featuring altoist Lou Donaldson (in for Coleman) alongside Tina Brooks (tenor sax) and the ubiquitous Art Blakey (drums) providing unique contributions of their own.

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“Au Privave” is a refined piece of indisputable bop mastery as Smith commands the combo through an incendiary and driving rendition that grooves unforced flair and organic charisma. Morgan bandies about with Smith and Brooks behind the flowing support of the amended rhythm section of Blakey and Burrell. Even at 16-plus minutes, the pace and timbre of the performance begs for more. “Lover Man” is splendid and sincere as Donaldson drives right to the heart, unreeling stunningly lyrical leads behind Smith’s distinguished progressions.”Just Friends” is a true gem and one of the two cuts not duplicated on The Sermon! Beginning with McFadden, each musician is given room to stretch and reveal his identity as both an ensemble player and soloist. “Blues After All” is a soulful outing that offers up arguably the most sublime and understated bop on the album. Concluding House Party is the aforementioned cover of Bird’s “Confirmation,” which is as stinging and incisive as its opening counterpart. It also questions why one should spend time reading about genius when the real pleasure lies in the experience of hearing it. (by Lindsay Planer)

Recorded at Manhattan Towers in New York City on August 25, 1957 (tracks 3 & 4) and February 25, 1958 (tracks 1, 2 & 5)

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Personnel:
Donald Bailey (drums on 02., 03. + 04.)
Art Blakey (drums on 01. + 05.)
Tina Brooks (saxophone 0n 01. + 05.)
Kenny Burrell (guitar on 01., 04. + 05.)
George Coleman (saxophone on 03. + 04.)
Lou Donaldson (saxophone on 01., 02. + 05.)
Curtis Fuller (trombone on 03. + 04.)
Eddie McFadden (guitar on 02. + 03.)
Lee Morgan (trumpet on 01., 03., 04. + 05.)
Jimmy Smith (organ)

CDBackCoverTracklist:
01. Au Privave (Parker) 15.08
02. Lover Man (Davis/Ramirez/Sherman) 6.59
03. Just Friends (Klenner/Lewis) 15.14
04. Blues After All (Burrell) 6.02
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05. Confirmation (Parker) 10.34

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Jan Garbarek – Rarum II – Selected Recordings (2002)

FrontCover1Jan Garbarek (born 4 March 1947) is a Norwegian jazz saxophonist, who is also active in classical music and world music.

Garbarek was born in Mysen, Norway, the only child of a former Polish prisoner of war, Czesław Garbarek, and a Norwegian farmer’s daughter. He grew up in Oslo, stateless until the age of seven, as there was no automatic grant of citizenship in Norway at the time. When he was 21, he married the author Vigdis Garbarek. He is the father of musician and composer Anja Garbarek.

Garbarek’s sound is one of the hallmarks of the ECM Records label, which has released virtually all of his recordings. His style incorporates a sharp-edged tone, long, keening, sustained notes, and generous use of silence. He began his recording career in the late 1960s, notably featuring on recordings by the American jazz composer George Russell (such as Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature). By 1973 he had turned his back on the harsh dissonances of avant-garde jazz, retaining only his tone from his previous approach. Garbarek gained wider recognition through his work with pianist Keith Jarrett’s European Quartet which released the albums Belonging (1974), My Song (1977) and the live recordings Personal Mountains (1979), and Nude Ants (1979). He was also a featured soloist on Jarrett’s orchestral works Luminessence (1974) and Arbour Zena (1975).

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As a composer, Garbarek tends to draw heavily from Scandinavian folk melodies, a legacy of his Ayler influence. He is also a pioneer of ambient jazz composition, most notably on his 1976 album Dis a collaboration with guitarist Ralph Towner, that featured the distinctive sound of a wind harp on several tracks. This textural approach, which rejects traditional notions of thematic improvisation (best exemplified by Sonny Rollins) in favour of a style described by critics Richard Cook and Brian Morton as “sculptural in its impact”, has been critically divisive. Garbarek’s more meandering recordings are often labeled as new-age music, or spiritual ancestors thereof. Other experiments have included setting a collection of poems of Olav H. Hauge to music, with a single saxophone complementing a full mixed choir; this has led to notable performances with Grex Vocalis. In the 1980s, Garbarek’s music began to incorporate synthesizers and elements of world music. He has collaborated with Indian and Pakistani musicians such as Trilok Gurtu, Zakir Hussain, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Bade Fateh Ali Khan. Garbarek is credited for composing original music for the 2000 film Kippur.

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In 1994, during heightened popularity of Gregorian chant, his album Officium, a collaboration with early music vocal performers the Hilliard Ensemble, became one of ECM’s biggest-selling albums of all time, reaching the pop charts in several European countries and was followed by a sequel, Mnemosyne, in 1999. Officium Novum, another sequel album, was released in September 2010. In 2005, his album In Praise of Dreams was nominated for a Grammy Award. Garbarek’s first live album Dresden was released in 2009. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a brilliant overview about the carreer of Jan Garbarek:

After the broad yet intimate selected recordings of Keith Jarrett, it’s only natural that the :rarum series should follow up with another two-disc album from another of its biggest talents: Jan Garbarek. The Norwegian saxophonist and composer has left his fingerprints on many an object in the ECM curio cabinet, and in so doing has gifted listeners with countless hours of creative engagement, ideas, and memories. Indeed, perhaps more than those of most artists on the label, his albums are easily connected to times, places, and experiences for nearly everyone who has followed his career.

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One thing that distinguishes this compilation from those that follow it is the abundance of title tracks, as if each were sigil of the past. From the anthemic enmeshments with Keith Jarrett on 1974’s Belonging and 1978’s My Song to his interdisciplinary collaborations with Shankar (Song For Everyone, 1985), Ustad Fateh Ali Khan (Ragas and Sagas, 1992), and Anouar Brahem (Madar, 1994), his saxophone is a cleansing harmonizer. Dominant but never dominating, its echoes carry every message as if it were the last. Like a strip of cloth washed in a river and wrung out to dry in the sun, it changes color in the evaporation process. Other noteworthy titles abound. Personal favorites include 1985’s It’s OK to listen to the gray voice, a timeless theme rendered by David Torn on guitar synthesizer, Eberhard Weber on bass, and Michael DiPasqua on drums that keeps us earthbound by the gentlest of gravities; 1992’s Twelve Moons, in which drummer Manu Katché and percussionist Marilyn Mazur add fire and attunement to one of his most mature melodies; and 1989’s Rosensfole, which elevates his arrangements of folk songs sung by Agnes Buen Garnås. It’s an album so brilliant and relatively neglected in the Garbarek catalog that I almost wish there was more of it here to entice newcomers to its wonders. Seek it out if you haven’t already.

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Then again, any Garbarek admirer will know he has always been adept at creating traditions from scratch. Whether weaving himself into the rainforest with guitarist Egberto Gismonti and bassist Charlie Haden in “Cego Aderaldo” (Folk Songs, 1981) or rendering aching parabolas of honest reflection with organist Kjell Johnsen in “Iskirken” (Aftenland, 1980), or even riding the wave of windharp with Ralph Towner on 12-string guitar in “Viddene” (Dis, 1977), his music comes to us fully formed and preloaded with histories of their own. That thread of ancient purpose is woven through “Lillekort” (Eventyr, 1981), a track combining the signatures of percussionist Nana Vaconcelos and guitarist John Abercrombie on mandoguitar, and a turning point in the engineering of Garbarek’s sound. It continues on in “The Path” (Paths, Prints, 1982), a balancing act of sun and shade shared with guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Eberhard Weber, and drummer Jon Christensen, as well as “Its Name Is Secret Road” and “Aichuri, The Song Man,” both solo excursions documented on 1988’s Legend Of The Seven Dreams. Said thread reaches something of a terminus in Part 1 of the floating “Molde Canticle,” from 1990’s I Took Up The Runes.

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This collection offers even more joys for veterans and newcomers alike, such the classical piece “Windsong” (Luminessence, 1975), written by Keith Jarrett and performed with the Stuttgart Südfunk Symphony Orchestra, and the iconic cries of “Skrik & Hyl” (Dansere, 1976), with pianist Bobo Stenson, bassist Palle Danielsson, and drummer Jon Christensen. There’s even a haunting nod to 1991’s StAR with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Peter Erskine.

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But the two most important touchstones of my own Garbarek discovery are also to be found in these borders. First is “Parce Mihi Domine” (Officium, 1994). This profound collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble was my introduction to Garbarek at a time when I was only immersed in ECM’s New Series classical releases, and which compelled me to purchase one of Garbarek’s own albums, Visible World, thus opening the doors to ECM proper. The beginning of that 1996 masterpiece, “Red Wind,” has always been a special one for that reason alone. With barest means—Garbarek on synths and soprano and Mazur on percussion—it meshes beautiful details and unfettered expression and stands as a testament to a relationship between musician and producer that will never be equaled in the hall of mirrors that is our audible universe. (Tyran Grillo)

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Peronnel:
John Abercrombie (guitar, mandolin)
Anouar Brahem (oud)
Rainer Brüninghaus (piano)
Jon Christensen (drums)
Rogers Covey-Crump (vocals)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Peter Erskine (drums)
Bill Frisell (guitar)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone, flute, keyboards, percussion)
Agnes Buen Garnås (vocals)
Egberto Gismonti (guitar)
Trilok Gurtu (percussion)
Charlie Haden (bass)
Ustad Shaukat Hussain (tabla)
Zakir Hussain (tabla)
David James (vocals)
Keith Jarrett (piano)
Kjell Johnsen (pipe organ)
Gordon Jones (vocals)
Manu Katché (drums)
Ustad Nazim Ali Khan (sarangi, vocals)
Marilyn Mazur (percussion)
Michael DiPasqua (drums)
John Potter (vocals)
Shankar (violin)
String Section of the Suedfunk Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mladen Gutesha
David Torn (guitar)
Ralph Towner (guitar)
Nana Vasconcelos (percussion)
Miroslav Vitous (bass)
Eberhard Weber (bass)
Bugge Wesseltoft (synthesizer)

Booklet15A

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Jan Garbarek / Bobo Stenson Quartet: Skrik & Hyl (Garbarek) (1975) 1.39
02. Jan Garbarek: Viddene (Garbarek) (1976) 5.41
03. Jan Garbarek / Kjell Johnsen: Iskirken (Garbarek/Johnsen) (1979)
04. Jan Garbarek: Lillekort (Garbarek/Abercrombie/Vasconcelos) 5.00
05. Jan Garbarek: The Path (Garbarek) (1981) 7.13
06. Jan Garbarek Group: It’s Ok To Listen To The Gray Voice (Garbarek) (1984)
07. Jan Garbarek: All Those Born With Wings, 3rd Piece (Garbarek) (1986) 7.41
08. Jan Garbarek: Its Name Is Secret Road (Garbarek) (1988) 1.48
09. Jan Garbarek: Aichuri, The Song Man (Garbarek) (1988) 5.06
10. Jan Garbarek: Molde Canticle, Part 1 (Garbarek) (1990) 5.18
11. Jan Garbarek / Ustad Fateh Ali Khan  & Musicians From Pakistan: Raga I (Khan) (1990) 8.43
12. Jan Garbarek: Twelve Moons (Part one- Winter-Summer, Part two- Summer-Winter) (Garbarek) (1992) 7.33
13. Jan Garbarek: Red Wind (Garbarek) (1995) 3.46

CD 2:
01. Keith Jarrett / Jan Garbarek: Windsong (Jarrett) (1974) 6.37
02. Keith Jarrett / Jan Garbarek: Belonging (Jarrett) (1974) 2.18
03. Ralph Towner: Oceanus (Towner) (1974) 11.03
04. Keith Jarrett: My Song (Jarrett) (1977) 6.15
05. Keith Jarrett: Sunshine Song (Jarrett) (1979) 12.02
06. Haden / Garbarek / Gismonti: Cego Aderaldo (Gismonti) (1979) 7.57
07. Shankar: Song For Everyone (Shankar) (1984) 6.22
08. Agnes Buen Garnås / Jan Garbarek: Rosensfole (Traditional) (1988) 2.49
09. Miroslav Vitous / Jan Garbarek / Peter Erskine: Star (Garbarek) (1991) 6.15
10. Jan Garbarek / Anouar Brahem / Shaukat Hussain: Joron (Traditional) (1992) 6.28
11. Jan Garbarek / The Hilliard Ensemble: Parce Mihi Domine (de Morales) (1993) 6.34

CD1A

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More from Jan Garbarek:
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Chet Baker Quartet – Jazz At Ann Arbor (1954)

FrontCover1Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for major innovations within the cool jazz subgenre 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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Early on May 13, 1988, Baker was found dead on the street below his room in Hotel Prins Hendrik, Amsterdam, with serious wounds to his head, apparently having fallen from the second-story window. Heroin and cocaine were found in his room and in his body. No evidence of a struggle was found, and the death was ruled an accident. According to another account, he inadvertently locked himself out of his room and fell while attempting to cross from the balcony of the vacant adjacent room to his own. A plaque was placed outside the hotel in his memory. Baker is buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California, next to his father. (wikipedia)

Plaque at the Hotel Prins Hendrik, in Amsterdam:
Plague

Jazz at Ann Arbor is a live album by jazz trumpeter Chet Baker which was recorded at the University of Michigan in 1954 and released on the Pacific Jazz label. (wikipedia)

ConcertAd

Chet Baker (trumpet) was arguably at the peak of his prowess when captured in a quartet setting at the Masonic Temple in Ann Arbor, MI, May 9, 1954. He’s joined by Russ Freeman (piano), Carson Smith (bass) and Bob Neel (drums), all of whom provide ample assistance without ever obscuring their leader’s laid-back and refined style. Baker’s sublime sounds also garnered notice from critics, who had placed him atop polls in both Metronome and Down Beat magazines the previous year. Evidence of these lauds are obvious upon listening to the combo as they nestle into one of the cornerstones in their repertoire, the suave “Line for Lyons” — a track dating back to the artist’s short-lived yet genre defining work with the song’s author, Gerry Mulligan.

Booklet03

Almost immediately after establishing the melodic theme, Baker dives into his trademark solos. The fluidity throughout the seemingly off-the-cuff excursions presents confirmation of both his unquestionable timing and understated subtle authority. The rhythm section ably follows the improvisations with solid, yet never overpowering support. Freeman also shines throughout, especially during the stately opening to “Lover Man” or the up-tempo jiving “Maid in Mexico.” Other classics include the stark intimacy of Baker’s signature “My Funny Valentine,” as well as respectively frisky renditions of “Stella by Starlight” and Freeman’s own crowd-pleasing “Russ Job.”

The Ann Arbour Masonic Temple – Michigan:
The Ann Arbour Masonic Temple - Michigan

In 2000, these eight cuts were coupled with five additional previously unreleased sides from the Carlton Theatre in Los Angeles circa August of 1953. The results were Quartet Live, Vol. 1: This Time the Dream’s on Me (2000), the first of three archival volumes featuring Baker during his initial reign as the poster child for West coast cool jazz. (by Lindsay Planer)

This album was released in red vinyl !

BackCoverPersonnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Russ Freeman (piano)
Bob Neel (drums)
Carson Smith (bass)

Booklet01+02Tracklist:
01. Annoucement 0.18
02. Line For Lyons (Mulligan) 7.17.
03. Lover Man (Sherman/Ramirez/Davis) 6.06
04. My Funny Valentine (Hart/Rodgers) 5.27
05. Maid In Mexico (Freeman) 5.12
06. Stella By Starlight (Washington/Young) 4.33
07. My Old Flame (Johnson/Coslow) 6.04
08. Headline (Montrose) 5.06
09. Russ Job (Freeman) 6.19
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10. Zing ! Went The Strings Of My Heart (Hanley) 6.04
11. My Little Suede Shoes (Parker) 6.30
12. Line For Lyons (Mulligan) 5.32
13. My Old Flame (Johnson/Coslow) 5.46
14. Everything Happens To Me (Carmichael/Mercer) 5.20

10. – 14.: Recorded live at the Carlton Theatre in Los Angeles circa August of 1953

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Booklet07

LinerNotes

More from Chet Baker:
More

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Charlie Byrd Quartet – Let Go (1969)

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

Byrd played fingerstyle on a classical guitar. (wikipedia)

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

And Charlie Byrd is doing his bossa jazz thing …

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

What a great musician !

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

BackCover

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

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

LabelB1

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

Terje Rypdal – Bleak House (1968)

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

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

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

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

TerjeRypdal01

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

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

TerjeRypdal03

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

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

BackCover

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

Alternate front+backcover:
AlternateFront+BackCover1

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

Music composed by Terje Rypdal

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

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

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

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

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

Ella Fitzgerald01

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

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

Ella Fitzgerald02

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

Thanks to nolataper for sharing the tracks at Dime.

BackCover1

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

Ella Fitzgerald04

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

ProgramBook
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Gwilym Simcock – Blues Vignette (2009)

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

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

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

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

Gwilym Simcock01

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

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

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

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

Gwilym Simcock02

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

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

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

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

Booklet05A

And here´s his second solo-album:

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

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

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

Inlay1

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

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

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

LinerNotes

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

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

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

And I add a small booklet with more reviews.

BackCover1

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

Booklet03A

Tracklist:

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

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

CDs

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More from Gwilym Simcock:
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