Wes Montgomery – Guitar On The Go (1963)

FrontCover1.jpgGuitar on the Go is the eleventh album by American jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, released in 1963. It included tracks recorded in October and November 1963 as well as two from early 1959 sessions. It was Montgomery’s last principal release for Riverside and he subsequently moved to the Verve label.[1]Guitar on the Go is the eleventh album by American jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, released in 1963. It included tracks recorded in October and November 1963 as well as two from early 1959 sessions. It was Montgomery’s last principal release for Riverside and he subsequently moved to the Verve label. (by wikipedia)

The final Riverside release of Wes Montgomery material (before the important label went completely bankrupt) was similar to his debut four years earlier: a trio with organist Melvin Rhyne and an obscure drummer (this time George Brown). In general, the music swings hard (particularly the two versions of “The Way You Look Tonight”), and is a worthy if not essential addition to Wes Montgomery’s discography. He would have a few straight-ahead dates for Verve, but this release was really the end of an era. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
George Brown (drums)
Wes Montgomery (guitar)
Melvin Rhyne (organ)
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Paul Parker (drums on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. The Way You Look Tonight (Kern/Fields) 9.08
02. Dreamsville (Evans/Livingston/Mancini) 3.48
03. Geno (Montgomery) 2.54
04. Missile Blues (Montgomery) 6.01
05. For All We Know (Coots/Lewis) 4.30
06. Fried Pies (Montgomery) 6.40

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Herbie Mann – Herbie Mann Plays (1954/56)

FrontCover1.jpgHerbie Mann Plays is an album by flautist Herbie Mann on the Bethlehem label featuring seven tracks originally released on the 10 inch LP East Coast Jazz/4 along with four tracks which were recorded in 1956. The CD reissue added three alternate takes.

Flutist Herbie Mann’s first recording as a leader
(seven selections from 1954 originally on a 10″ LP plus four others cut in 1956)
has been reissued on CD with three alternate takes added on.
Even back in 1954, Mann (who doubles here on flute and alto flute) had his own sound.
The music (featuring either Benny Weeks or Joe Puma on guitar in a piano-less quartet)
is essentially straight-ahead bop and finds Mann playing quite melodically and with swing.
This set is a good example of Herbie Mann’s early style before he started exploring various types of world musics. (by Scott Yanow)

Herbie Mann

Personnel:
Keith Hodgson (bass)
Herbie Mann (flute)
Lee Rockey (drums)
Benny Weeks (guitar)+
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Whitey Mitchell (bass on 02., 04., 07. + 09.)
Joe Puma (guitar on 02., 04., 07. + 09.)
Herb Wasserman (drums on

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Tracklist:
01. Chicken Little (Mann) 3.01
02. Cuban Love Song (Fields/McHugh/Stothart) 3.16
03. The Things We Did Last Summer (Cahn/Styne) 4.13
04. Deep Night (Henderson/Vallée) 3.40
05. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Arlen/Koehler) 4.06
06. After Work (Mann) 4.07
07. Moon Dreams (MacGregor/Mercer) 3.30
08. A Spring Morning (Mann) 2.46
09. Scuffles (Mann) 2.58
10. The Purple Grotto (Mann) 2.45
11. My Little Suede Shoes (Parker) 2.44
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12. A Spring Morning (alternate take) (Mann) 2.51
13. The Purple Grotto (alternate take) (Mann) 2.57
14. Chicken Little [alternate take) (Mann) 3.12

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Nina Simone – Antibes (1977)

FrontCover1.jpgOne of the integral voices of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, her music provides and will continue to resonate as a thoroughly unique chronicle of the changes of our epoch. In her heyday she moved effortlessly between frameworks and genres, and was perhaps the World Champion of being able to use material from all walks of song and experience to transmit her message of dignity.

She had one toe in Chanson, one in Jazz, one in Soul, one in Rock, one in Classical, and both feet in using the power of sound and expression to make a cohesive statement about the imperative need for human equality in our world.

I’ll say it: if Nina Simone was alive and kicking today, the cartoon shitscape of a social construct we see spitting in our dourly mocked faces on a daily basis would in no way go unchallenged. – nowbodhi’s blissness

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Thanks to nowbodhi’s blissness for sharing the show on the net.

Recorded live at the Festival de jazz d’Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, France; July 19, 1977. Very good FM broadcast.
Master digicapture of a 2017 European radio rebroadcast

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Personnel:
Al Schackman (guitar, vibes, percussion)
Nina Simone (piano, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Ne Me Quitte Pas (Brel/Jouannest) 3.56
02. My Way (François/Revaux/Anka) 4.41
03. Plain Gold Ring (Burroughs) 2.21
04. Please Read Me (R.Gibb/B.Gibb) 4.30
05. I Love To Love (Baker/Hayton) 3.05
06. Just Say I Love Him (Val/Dale/Kalmanoff/Ward) 5.51
07. Four Women (Simone) 5.23
08. I Loves You Porgy (Heyward/G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 5.52
09. Let’s Stick Together (Harrison) 2.05
10. Be My Husband (Stroud) 3.41
11. Alabama Song (Brecht/Hauptmann/Weill) 3.41
12. In Our Childhood’s Bright Endeavor (Brecht/Hauptmann/Weill) 2.51
13. In My Life (Lennon/McCartney) – Let’s Stick Together (Reprise) (Harrison) 4.57

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Nina Simone (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003)

Helen Carr – Down In The Depths On The 90th Floor (1955)

FrontCover1.jpgAn overlooked vocalist inspired by Billie Holiday, Helen Carr never had time to make her mark on the history of jazz music during her short-lived career. Before her death at the age of 38 she only recorded two albums. One of the darkest vocal jazz albums of the 50s – packaged with a great title and cover image that features a lone lit window in a New York skyscraper! Helen has incredible backing on the record – a small combo that includes Charlie Mariano on alto sax, Don Fagerquist on trumpet, and Donn Trenner on piano – all gently sliding in behind Carr’s blue vocals in a way that’s similar to some of the Chris Connor work on Bethlehem from the same time. (sacdr.net)

She only recorded two albums. She may or may not have died in a car accident. Her year of birth is up for grabs. Who is Helen Carr?

It’s a mystery, or at least a mystery in terms of digging up information about her on the Internet. She was born in Utah in 1924, or perhaps 1922, and once her career took off, she fronted for a number of big bands, including Stan Kenton and Charlie Barnett. Her voice is breathy and distinctive, and while some liken her to Billie Holiday, I think a sharp-toned Blossom Dearie is a much closer match if we’re going for comparisons.

Yet why compare? She has her own sound, one that never quite comes at you directly, but sneaks up on you sideways and around corners. Her first – or was it her second? – LP, 1955’s “Down In The Depths Of The 90th Floor” is also noteworthy because her set, including “Tulip or Turnip” and “I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore” haven’t all been done to death. Everything about it feels fresh.

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Adding to the mystery of Helen is the fact that she never reveals her face on her LP covers, including 1955’s (or 1956’s?) “Why Do I Love You” – a Cheerfully Heavenly Helen Exclusive! – which features two models (I’m assuming) making out on the beach. This version’s been remastered, yet what makes it truly stand out, again, are the off-the-beaten-track song selections and Helen’s gorgeous vocals, which can turn hot or cool on a dime.

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Helen died in 1960, either in a car accident or due to breast cancer, leaving behind her husband, pianist/arranger Donn Trenner (who’s still kinkin’ at age 90). They even wrote a song together, “Memory Of The Rain,” which is featured on “90th Floor.” Treasure these two LPs, because that’s all there is. (thecheerfulearfull.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Max Bennett (bass)
Helen Carr (vocals)
Don Fagerquist (trumpet)
Stan Levy (drums)
Charlie Mariano (saxophone)
Donn Trenner (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Not Mine (Mercer/Schertzinger) 3.01
2. I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore (Schertzinger) 5.15
3. Tulip Or Turnip (George/Ellington) 2.24
4. Memory Of The Rain (Carr/Trenner) 2.48
5. Down In The Depths Of The 90th Floor (Porter) 3.11
6. You’re Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson) 2.58
7. I’m Glad There Is You (Madeira/Dorsey) 3.01
8. Moments Like This (Loesser/Lane) 2.27

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Novi Singers – Novi In Wonderland (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgHere´s a real very rare album:

“NOVI” is actually an acronym for “New Original Vocal Instruments”. All group members were multi-instrumentalists who graduated from the Warsaw Advance Music School.

And here´s an album recorded for the legendary German jazz label MPS Records:

One of the earliest records by the legendary Novi Singers – and a rare MPS set that exposed the group to a larger European audience! Novi hail from Poland, but have a name that’s an condensation of the English phrase “new original vocal instruments” – a great summation of the way the quartet use their voices to recreate the feel of instruments in modern jazz – a mode first explored by the Lambert Hendricks & Ross group in the US, but taken to a much farther extreme on this set! The group are supported here by a border-crossing small combo of musicians that includes Zbigniew Namyslowski on alto sax, Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Adam Makowicz on piano, and Billy Brooks on drums – and the sound is cool, laidback, and very groovy – extremely tight, almost even more so than some of the group’s Polish albums! Titles include “The Second Side”, “Secret Life”, “Kulfon”, and “Apartment Under The Roof” (by dusty groove)

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Sounds confusing but the album starts really at side one with a tune that’s called THE SECOND SIDE. The Novi Singers are backed by excellent Jazz musicians, blending together perfectly with the “New Vocal Instruments”. Essential recording from 1968, Villingen, SABA-Tonstudio with engineer Rolf Donner and producer Joachim E. Berendt. Sensational also at the time because it was one of the first recordings of a Polish Jazz ensemble made outside their country, across the Iron Curtain which was dividing the Europe of this time until the end of the Cold War in 1991.

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The second edition of this album was pressed directly for MPS Recods

Forward with the last tune on this exquisite album. SECRET LIFE, for sure also my long time favorite and of course also the most powerful song of this recording. In the middle of the 90s it was smartly sampled by United Future Organization. But that was not the only groovy sample the trio from Tokyo had used for their great tune UNITED FUTURE AIRLINES. (by whatiswrongwithgrooving.com)

This is not only a very rae album, but a fantast ablum, one of finest vocal jazz album I´v ever heard … sensational !

Recorded at SABA Tonstudio, Villingen/Black Forest, Germany
February 22nd, 23rd, 1968 – produced by Joachim E. Berendt

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Personnel:

vocals:
Bernard Kawka – Ewa Wanat – Janusz Mych – Waldemar Parzynski
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Billy Brooks (drums)
Roman Dylag (bass)
Adam Matyszkowicz (piano)
Zbigniew Namyslowski (saxophone)
Idrees Sulieman (trumpet)

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Tracklist:
01. The Second Side (Kawka) 5.47
02. Alice In Wonderland (Churchill) 2.47
03. Satin Doll (Ellington) 4.12
04. A Foggy Day In London Town (Gershwin) 3.45
05. Li’l Darling (Hefti) 4.15
06. Kulfon (Parzynski) 3.42
07. I Don’t Know (Kawka) 3.24
08. Apartment Under The Roof (Parzynski) 3.47
09. Secret Life (Kawka) 3.15

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Stan Kenton and His Orchestra – The World We Know (1967)

FrontCover1.jpgThe World We Know is an album by bandleader Stan Kenton recorded in 1967 by Capitol Records.

Remarkably, after over two decades as an active recording artist, Stan Kenton (piano/arranger) could still pull off efforts as interesting as World We Know (1968). Combining divergent reworkings of pop music standards with his own undeniably unique originals, Kenton applies his trademark intricate and individual harmonic phrasings. The consistent results bear out his ability to augment his highly stylized arrangements within a framework of familiarity. While there is no mistaking this platter for rock or even what would be considered as ‘pop’ circa 1968, Kenton’s adaptation of Bobby Hebb’s soulful “Sunny” is given a spry up-tempo demeanor, building from a bop-influenced piano line to a full-blown big band drill. Similarly, Neal Hefti’s “Girl Talk,” taken from the film Harlow (1965) , is also rerouted, bringing out the smouldering and scintillating melody as it perpetually yields to a brash and bouncy conclusion. Another mid-’60s soundtrack-derived side is “Man and a Woman,” from the Claude Lelouch film Un Homme et une Femme (1966), which has been turned around into an affective, if not somewhat darker piece. Kenton’s compositions present his own formidable talents with an equally broad spectrum of sonic techniques. At the heart of “Changing Times,” or the moody and romantic “Theme for Jo,” is Kenton’s uncanny marriage of memorable tunes and interpretive keyboard lines leading the larger ensemble through his voicings and contrasts in tempo. While enthusiasts of the artist’s work will undoubtedly be impressed, to modern ears the easy listening orchestration may seem heavy-handed, if not lackluster.  (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Jim Amlotte (trombone)
Don Bagley (bass on  01., 04-, 06., 07., 09. + 11.)
Dee Barton (drums)
Monty Budwig (bass on  02., 03., 05. 08. + 10.)
Bob Dahl (saxophone)
Jay Daversa (trumpet)
Graham Ellis (trombone, tuba)
Bill Fritz (saxophone, flute)
Stan Kenton (piano)
Jack Laubach (trumpet)
Carl Leach (trumpet)
John Mitchell (saxophone)
Clyde Raesinger (trumpet)
Ray Reed (saxophone, flute)
Alan Rowe (saxophone)
Tom Senff (trombone)
Dick Shearer (trombone)
Dalton Smith (trumpet)
Adolpho “Chino” Valdez (percussion)
Tom Whittaker (trombone)

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Tracklist:
01. Sunny (Hebb) 3.07
02. Imagine (Lai/Cahn) 3.03
03. A Man And A Woman (Lai/Cahn) 4.46
04. Theme For Jo (Kenton) 3.33
05. Interchange (Kenton) 3.03
06. Invitation (Kaper/Webster) 3.21
07. Girl Talk (Hefti/Troup) 4.36
08. The World We Know (Kaempfert/Rehbein/Sigman) 2.25
09. This Hotel (Keating/Quine) 2.35
10. Changing Times (Kenton) 3.30
11. Gloomy Sunday (Seress/Jávor/Lewis) 4.49

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Chris Barber With John Lewis & Trummy Young – Swing Is Here (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgTaken from the original liner notes:

The only surprising thing about Chris Barber – according to BBC jazz presenter Peter Clayton – would be if he failed to surprise. “Surprise” puts mildly the initial reaction of many people when Eumig’s “Swing Is Here” package was first announced. After all, The MJQ, The Louis Armstrong All-Stars and “British trad Jazz” are still, in the minds of many so-called jazz fans as musically removed from each other as any three galaxies you may care to name.

Trummy Young does not live exactly a galaxy away from Britain – but he was persuaded away from his haven in Hawaii to join the tour – his first visit to Europe since touring with Louis in 1964. That he had turned down all previous offers of work in Europe is no small compliment to Chris and the Band. John Lewis has for many years been a confessed admirer of the Chris Barber Band – even before they recorded his “Golden Striker” in 1960. The suite that he composed specially for this tour was written with the sound of the original six-piece Chris Barber Band in mind. These days, of course, the Barber Band has evolved to an eight man line-up but the additional reed and string instruments have, naturally, been written into the suite.

In the year that Chris Barber was to form his first amateur band (1949) John Lewis was forming the MJQ and Trummy Young was embarking upon his marathon stint with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. The backgrounds of John and Trummy in music prior to that time (Swing, be-bop, blues) make their coming together with the Chris Barber Band far less of a surprise than may at first sight appear to be the case.

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The biggest surprise during the tour was to learn from John Lewis that when the package played at Southport we were just down the road from a venue where he had played his first ever gig in England: it was a Saturday night hop with a local dance band during the war! The pearls such as “Yes we have no Bananas” and “The Palais Glide” that John played in that Lancashire ballroom are NOT featured on this album! (Vic Gibbons)

The catalyst of Jazz and Jazz based popular music in Europe over the last fifteen years has been Chris Barber and his band. He has discovered that wonderful and rare experience of Jazz ensemble playing which can only be achieved by long time association (I know it from my years with the MJQ), and has also developed into one of the great and unique trombone soloists in Jazz. I enjoyed and appreciated the experience of performing with his great institution the Chris Barber Band. (John Lewis)

Recorded live during the “Swing Is Here” European tour

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Personnel:
Chris Barber (trombone, vocals)
John Crocker (saxophone, clarinet)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Roger Hill (guitar)
Johnny McCallum (banjo, guitar)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Sammy Rimmington (saxophone, clarinet)
Pete York (drums)
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John Lewis (piano)
Trummy Young (trombone, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01.  Home Folks (Lewis)
02. Time (Lewis)
03. Mood Indigo (Bigard/Ellington)
04.  ‘Tain’t What You Do (Oliver/Young)
05. Georgia (Carmichael)
06. Some Say You’ll Be Sorry (Armstrong)
07. Muskrat Ramble (Ory)
08. When The Saints Go Marchin’ In (Traditional)
09. Outro
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10. Swing Is Here (part one)
11. Swing Is Here (part one)

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