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1924-1930: VA - Timeless Historical presents: Jazz In Texas 1924-1930 Music » Jazz » Traditional Jazz » Early jazz
1924-1930: VA - Timeless Historical presents: Jazz In Texas 1924-1930
Artist: Various Artists
Album: Timeless Historical presents: Jazz In Texas 1924-1930
Label: Timeless Records CBC 1-033
Years: 1924-1930; release: 1996
Format: mp3, 320 kbps CBR
Time: 01:12:22 min
Size: 166,94 Mb
AMG rating: ****/*

Although one thinks of New York, Chicago, and possibly Kansas City and Los Angeles as major jazz centers in the 1920s, jazz was actually everywhere once records started becoming well-distributed. The 24 selections on this excellent CD were recorded in Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio, TX. Featured are a variety of top territory bands: Jimmy Joy's St. Anthony's Hotel Orchestra, Lloyd Finlay, Fatty Martin, Irene Taylor, Randolph McCurtain's College Ramblers, Troy Floyd's Plaza Hotel Orchestra, Leroy's Dallas Band, and Fred Gardner's Texas University Troubadours. Nearly all of the sidemen are quite obscure, but Troy Floyd's band has solos by trumpeter Don Albert and (on the two-part "Dreamland Blues") future Count Basie tenor saxophonist Herschel Evans. Little-known but valuable and enjoyable vintage music.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
1971: Don Ellis - Tears Of Joy Vol.1&2 Music » Jazz » Big Band » Modern Big Band
1971: Don Ellis - Tears Of Joy Vol.1&2
Artist: Don Ellis
Album: Tears Of Joy
Label: Wounded Bird
Year: 1971; release: 2005
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 1:21:19
Size: CD1 & Scans:143,3Mb; CD2: 95,9Mb
AMG rating: ****/*

Recorded in 1971, Tears of Joy is a Don Ellis classic. The sheer musical strength of this ensemble is pretty much unparalleled in his career. The trumpeter/leader had backed off -- a bit -- from some of his outlandish and beautifully excessive use of strange and unconventional time signatures, though there is no lack of pioneering experimentalism in tone, color, arrangement, or style. This double LP/CD features a string quartet, a brass octet (four trumpets, tuba, bass trombone, trombone, and French horn), four winds, and a rhythm section boasting two drummers, a percussionist, a bassist, and the Bulgarian jazz piano wizard Milcho Leviev. This is a sprawling album. Disc one is made up of short- to mid-length pieces, the most notable of which are the intense adrenaline surge of "5/4 Getaway" (with a killer string arrangement by Hank Levy, one of three arrangers on this set) and the blazing Eastern European klezmer meets Bulgarian wedding music meets hard bop blues of "Bulgarian Bulge." Leviev's solo on the latter comes right out of the knotty, full-on bore of the tune's melody (written by Ellis, who scored all but three selections), and cites everyone from Wynton Kelly to Scott Joplin to Mal Waldron. Elsewhere, such as on "Quiet Longing," the strings are utilized as the base and texture of color. One can hear Gil Evans' influence here, and in the restrained tenderness of this short work one can also hear Ellis' profound lyricism in his flügelhorn solo. The second disc's first moment, "How's This for Openers?," is a knotty composition that touches on bolero, Aaron Copland, and operatic overture. Levy's "Samba Bajada" is a swinging opus that uses tropes from early Deodato in his bossa years, Sergio Mendes, and Jobim, and weaves them through with an elegant, punchy sense of hard bop and the American theater. On the 17-plus minute "Strawberry Soup" (with a vocal quartet in the background), Ellis gets to show what his band is capable of in its different formations. Full of both subtle and garish colors, timbral grace and vulgarity, elegant and roughly hewn textures, and a controlled yet wildly divergent set of dynamics, this tune is one of the most adventurous and most brilliantly composed, arranged, and executed works to come out of the modern big band literature. It is virtually a big-band concerto. Ultimately, Tears of Joy stands as a singular achievement in a career full of them by a musical auteur whose creativity seemingly knew few if any bounds. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide.
1981: Jaki Byard - To Them - To Us Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz » Freejazz
1981: Jaki Byard - To Them - To Us
Artist: Jaki Byard
Album: To Them - To Us
Label: Soul Note
Year: 1981
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 43:56
Size: 102,6Mb
AMG rating: ****

Jaki Byard was captured alone in a Milan studio for this delightful session. As usual, he displays his formidable technique with an ever-present twinkle of humor. Everything from early jazz ("Tin Roof Blues") to classic renditions of Ellington masterpieces (an introspective "Solitude" and a rollicking "Caravan") to the surprisingly enjoyable arrangement of the usually saccharine Chuck Mangione hit "Land of Make Believe" is worth repeated hearings. Another surprise is his hilarious but solid reworking of another pop smash, "Ode to Billie Joe." Several strong Byard originals round out this highly recommended CD. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide.
1958-1962: Duke Ellington - Swingin' Suites, Bal Masque, Midnight In Paris,The Count Meets Duke Music » Jazz » Big Band
1958-1962: Duke Ellington - Swingin' Suites, Bal Masque, Midnight In Paris,The Count Meets Duke
Artist: Duke Ellington
Album: Swingin' Suites, Bal Masque, Midnight In Paris,The Count Meets Duke
Label: Avid
Years: 1958-1962; release: 2015
Quality: MP3@320 kbps
Size: CD1-178 mb; CD2-177 mb (with scans)
Total time: CD1-79:32; CD2-77:33
New Series:- Phase Compensated Stereo; revealing hidden qualities of stereo sound.

Swinging Suites; At The Bal Masque; Midnight in Paris; The Count Meets The Duke First Time! 4LP/2CD

Swinging Suites kicks off our new series revealing the hidden qualities of stereo sound and here the Duke goes classical .again! Following the success of the Ellington & Strayhorn Nutcracker Suite, the pair take on Greigs Peer Gynt Suite Nos 1 & 2 coupled with their own Suite Thursday. For At The Bal Masque the Ellington band line up at the famous Bal Masque supper club at Miami Beachs famed Americana Hotel. This time however the great man was billing himself as his piano, his band and his orchestra, revealing himself finally as not only the greatest band leader but also a very fine piano player! Midnight in Paris and here we again quote from the original liner notes to give you a flavour of what to expect within the grooves. These songs comprise the Paris of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Only three of the songs in the album are original Ellington compositions, but because they are creative artists who have expressed musically their love for Paris, they are all part of Midnight in Paris. Jazz royalty meets for our next title in this new series, The Count Meets The Duke First Time!. For the first time the entire bands of Duke Ellington and Count Basie join forces for a summit meeting of jazz! The Count is quoted from the original liner notes Why it is a thrill, a pleasure and an honor, just standing there and discussing things with this great man. As for the great man himself, he concludes I tried to establish a status of hostness to the mostness. I hope I succeeded.
We hope you will discover for yourselves the hidden qualities of stereo sound. ~ Avid Records
1994: James Moody - Moody's Mood For Blues Jazz-Blues, Soul, Soul-Jazz
1994: James Moody - Moody's Mood For Blues
Artist: James Moody
Album: Moody's Mood For Blues
Label: OJC/Prestige (Limited edition)
Year: 1994
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 54:47
Size: 137,1Mb
AMG rating: ****/*

In the mid-'50s James Moody led a four-horn septet that played music falling somewhere between bop and rhythm & blues. The danceable rhythms and riffing made its recordings somewhat accessible but the solos of Moody (on tenor and alto) and trumpeter Dave Burns also held listener's interests. Vocalese master Eddie Jefferson has two guest appearances (on "Workshop" and "I Got the Blues") and Iona Wade sings "That Man O' Mine" in a Dinah Washington-influenced style but the emphasis is on Moody's solos and the ensembles; the leader's two versions of "It Might as Well Be Spring" (one on tenor, the other on alto) are highlights of this enjoyable CD reissue.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
1995: Al Grey - Me N' Jack Music » Jazz » Mainstream
1995: Al Grey - Me N' Jack
Artist: Al Grey
Album: Me N' Jack
Label: Pullen Music
Year: 1995
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 51:37
Size: 119,4Mb
AMG rating: ****/*

This release from Pullen Music has a very logical matchup between trombonist Al Grey and organist Jack McDuff. The music is blues-oriented, with occasional departures such as "God Bless the Child," and features several excellent soloists on a set of mostly basic originals. Grey's mastery of the plunger mute has long given his swing-to-bop trombone its own distinctive sound. Organist Jack McDuff is quite subtle, yet always swings hard, and his regular tenor saxophonist, Jerry Weldon, is a strong asset. Guitarist Joe Cohn continues to grow as an improviser; bassist Jerome Hunter is fine in support, and drummer Bobby Durham drives the ensembles and has a few drum breaks, most notably on "Deli's Blues," which is dedicated to Art Blakey and purposely reminiscent of "Blues March." The music is accessible, full of high spirits and quite joyful. Highly recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
1951: Shorty Rogers & Art Pepper - Popo Music » Jazz » BeBop » West Coast Jazz
1951: Shorty Rogers & Art Pepper - Popo
Artists: Shorty Rogers & Art Pepper
Album: Popo
Label: Xanadu Records
Year: 1951
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 45:33
Size: 112,8Mb
AMG rating: ****

The recording quality is not the greatest on this 1980 LP but the very early session by the Lighthouse All-Stars is both historic and quite listenable. Trumpeter Shorty Rogers teams up with altoist Art Pepper, pianist Frank Patchen, bassist Howard Rumsey, and drummer Shelly Manne for his own "Popo" (a blues that was Shorty's theme song) plus nine jazz standards including "Lullaby in Rhythm," "Robbins Nest," "Scrapple from the Apple," and "Cherokee." This is one of Pepper's best early showcases and it is for his playing that the album is most highly recommended.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
1972: Jaki Byard - There'll Be Some Changes Made Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz » Freejazz
1972: Jaki Byard - There'll Be Some Changes Made
Artist: Jaki Byard
Album: There'll Be Some Changes Made
Label: Muse Records
Year: 1972
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps (LP-Rip)
Time: 50:07
Size: 92,3Mb
AMG rating: ****

Jaki Byard's solo piano set for Muse ranges in styles from ragtime and stride to bop and the avant-garde. In addition to some off-the-wall choices (including "There'll Be Some Changes Made," "Besame Mucho" and Leonard Bernstein's "Lonely Town"), Byard performs some of his better originals and displays his mastery of virtually every jazz style. This is one of his best all-round albums. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
1962: Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer - Previously Unreleased Recordings Music » Jazz » BeBop » Cool
1962: Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer - Previously Unreleased Recordings
Artists: Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer
Album: Previously Unreleased Recordings
Label: Verve
Year: 1962
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps (LP-Rip)
Time: 38:35
Size: 88,1Mb

This obscure LP released in 1973 reveals previously unknown performances from the Clark Terry-Bob Brookmeyer quintet, a very likable unit of the period. Terry's flugelhorn and Brookmeyer's valve trombone blended together very well, they both had hard-swinging but witty styles, and their ensemble work was frequently exciting. With the fine support of pianist Eddie Costa (in one of his last sessions), bassist Joe Benjamin, and drummer Osie Johnson, Terry and Brookmeyer perform two originals, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and "Stolen Moments"; the four renditions clock in between eight-and-a-half and 12 minutes. Excellent music, but this album will be difficult to find. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
1962: Don Ellis - Don Ellis / Wojciech Karolak Trio Post-bop, Third Stream
1962: Don Ellis - Don Ellis / Wojciech Karolak Trio
Artist: Don Ellis
Album: Don Ellis / Wojciech Karolak Trio
Label: Polskie Radio PRCD 1590
Year: 1962
Release: 2013
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 320 kBit/s
Time: 63:44
Size: 145.53 MB

Polish Radio Jazz Archives 02

A talented trumpeter with a vivid musical imagination and the willingness to try new things, Don Ellis led some of the most colorful big bands of the 1965-75 period. After graduating from Boston University, Ellis played in the big bands of Ray McKinley, Charlie Barnet, and Maynard Ferguson (he was featured with the latter on "Three More Foxes"), recorded with Charles Mingus, and played with George Russell's sextet (at the same time as Eric Dolphy). Ellis led four quartet and trio sessions during 1960-1962 for Candid, New Jazz, and Pacific Jazz, mixing together bop, free jazz, and his interest in modern classical music. However it was in 1965 when he put together his first orchestra that he really started to make an impression in jazz. Ellis's big bands were distinguished by their unusual instrumentation (which in its early days had up to three bassists and three drummers including Ellis himself), the leader's desire to investigate unusual time changes (including 7/8, 9/8, and even 15/16), its occasionally wacky humor (highlighted by an excess of false endings), and an openness towards using rock rhythms and (in later years) electronics. Ellis invented the four-valve trumpet and utilized a ring modulator and all types of wild electronic devices by the late '60s. By 1971, his band consisted of an eight-piece brass section (including French horn and tuba), a four-piece woodwind section, a string quartet, and a two-drum rhythm section. A later unrecorded edition even added a vocal quartet.

Autumn Among Don Ellis's sidemen were Glenn Ferris, Tom Scott, John Klemmer, Sam Falzone, Frank Strozier, Dave MacKay, and the brilliant pianist (straight from Bulgaria) Milcho Leviev. The orchestra's most memorable recordings were Autumn, Live at the Fillmore, and Tears of Joy (all for Columbia). After suffering a mid-'70s heart attack, Ellis returned to live performing, playing the "superbone" and a later edition of his big band featured Art Pepper. Ellis's last recording was at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival, a year before his heart finally gave out.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
1985: Various Artists - Swing Reunion Vol.1&2 Swing, Mainstream
1985: Various Artists  - Swing Reunion Vol.1&2
Artists: Various Artists
Album: Swing Reunion
Label: Book of the Month Records
Year: 1985
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 2:14:25
Size: CD1 & Scans:184,7Mb; CD2:144,8Mb
AMG rating: ****

This historic live two-CD set recorded at Town Hall was distributed exclusively by Book of the Month Records in 1985, featuring an all-star cast of swing musicians. This collection is a bit of a swan song for several musicians, including Teddy Wilson (who wasn't so obviously ill with cancer as he was when he performed in the November 1985 concert for public television honoring Benny Goodman), Red Norvo (who had a major stroke not long after the concert), and bassist George Duvivier (in his final recording prior to his death); but all three men make vital contributions. Likewise, alto saxophonist Benny Carter, drummer Louis Bellson, electric guitarist Remo Palmier, and Count Basie's longtime rhythm guitarist Freddie Green are also in top form. The cast continuously fluctuates as musicians come and go between pieces and they stick mostly to well-known standards, but there are some strong originals, too. Duvivier's "E.K.E.'s Blues," in memory of Duke Ellington, opens with a potent solo; Palmier and Bellson co-composed the swinging "Town Hall Tonight" for the concerts, while Carter sings his "All That Jazz" (and jokes afterward, "Nobody left!") and his "Swing Reunion" is actually a lively blues written for the occasion as well. There are so many highlights among the 22 tracks it's impossible to list them all, so fans of swing will be richly rewarded by locating this long out of print release. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide.
1931-1934: Fletcher Henderson - Tidal Wave Music » Jazz » Big Band
1931-1934: Fletcher Henderson - Tidal Wave
Artist: Fletcher Henderson
Album: Tidal Wave
Label: Decca/GRP
Years: 1931-1934; release: 1994
Style: swing
Quality: MP3@320 kbps
Size: 132 mb
Total time: 62:26
AMG rating: ****/*

Fletcher Henderson's five Decca sessions are reissued in full on this fine CD. The 1931 and 1934 big bands are showcased. While the former group (heard on eight numbers) features such soloists as trumpeters Bobby Stark and Rex Stewart, trombonist Benny Morton, and Coleman Hawkins on tenor, the later group showcases trumpeter Red Allen, trombonist Claude Jones, clarinetist Buster Bailey, and tenor Ben Webster; altoist Benny Carter has a guest appearance on "Liza." Highlights of these early swing performances include "Sugar Foot Stomp," "Singin' the Blues" (which has Rex Stewart paying tribute to Bix Beiderbecke), the atmospheric "Radio Rhythm," "Big John's Special," "Down South Camp Meetin'," and "Rug Cutter's Swing." Excellent music that proves that swing did not begin with Benny Goodman in 1935. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
1967: Jaki Byard - Sunshine Of My Soul Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz » Freejazz
1967: Jaki Byard - Sunshine Of My Soul
Artist: Jaki Byard
Album: Sunshine Of My Soul
Label: OJC/Prestige (Limited edition)
Year: 1967; release: 2001
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 45:47
Size: 105,6Mb
AMG rating: ****

In 1967, Jaki Byard turned 45. At that age, some musicians are very set in their ways -- they have a niche, cater to it, and stick with whatever it is they do best. But Byard wasn't becoming complacent; the restless pianist was continuing to experiment and take chances, which is exactly what he does on Sunshine of My Soul. Recorded on Halloween 1967, this unpredictable post-bop/avant-garde effort finds Byard being influenced by a wide variety of pianists. One minute, his lyricism is acknowledging Erroll Garner and Dave Brubeck -- the next minute, he takes it outside and shows his appreciation of Cecil Taylor's free jazz. McCoy Tyner is an influence on original pieces like "Sunshine" and "Cast Away," while W.C. Handy's often-recorded "St. Louis Blues" (the only tune on the album that Byard didn't write) becomes an unlikely mixture of free jazz and stride -- sort of Taylor by way of James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. Taylor's influence is especially strong on the very stream-of-consciousness "Trendsition Zildjian," which is among the most abstract pieces that Byard has recorded. And whoever might be influencing Byard at a particular moment -- Taylor, Brubeck, Tyner, Garner, Bud Powell, or someone else -- the Bostonian always sounds like himself. Of course, a musician who is that broad-minded and eclectic needs musicians who are capable of keeping up with him and, thankfully, Byard has that in drummer Elvin Jones and bassist David Izenzon (known for his work with Ornette Coleman in the 1960s). Neither of them have a problem keeping up with Byard on this superb Prestige date, which Fantasy reissued on CD in 2001 under its Original Jazz Classics imprint.
~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide.
1945-1946: Benny Goodman-The Different Version Vol.5 (2CD's) Music » Jazz » Big Band
1945-1946: Benny Goodman-The Different Version Vol.5 (2CD's)
Artist: Benny Goodman
Album: The Different Version Vol.5
Label: Phontastic NCD 8825
Year:1945-1946 ; release: 1993
Style: Swing
Quality: MP3, 320 kbps
Time:CD 1-59:24, CD 2-70:47
Size:CD1-132.6MB, CD2-162.2MB, Scans-6.9MB

Goodman continued his meteoric rise throughout the late 1930s with his big band, his trio and quartet, and a sextet. By the mid 1940s, however, big bands had lost much of their popularity. In 1941, ASCAP had a licensing war with music publishers. In 1942 to 1944 and 1948, the musicians' union went on strike against the major record labels in the United States, and singers acquired the popularity that the big bands had once enjoyed. During the 19421944 strike, the War Department approached the union and requested the production of V-Discs, a set of records containing new recordings for soldiers to listen to, thereby augmenting the rise of new artists. Also, by the late 1940s, swing was no longer the dominant mode of jazz musicians.
1998: Paquito D'Rivera - 100 Years Of Latin Love Songs Music » Jazz » Latin » Afro-Cuban Jazz
1998: Paquito D'Rivera - 100 Years Of Latin Love Songs
Artist: Paquito D'Rivera
Album: 100 Years Of Latin Love Songs
Label: New Note
Year: 1998
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 45:51
Size: 98,6Mb
AMG rating: ****/*

For this CD, Paquito D'Rivera performs one number from each of the ten decades of the 20th century. The songs originated from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Even if "La Morocha" is from 1905, all of the music sounds quite modern. Bob Belden arranged the pieces for a 13-piece sting section, a rhythm section with pianist Dario Eskenazi, three acoustic guitarists, and Roberto Perera on Paraguayan harp. In addition to his alto and clarinet, D'Rivera plays soprano on five pieces. The highly enjoyable set is additionally valuable, for it features a variety of rare but superior material full of rich melodies.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
1961: James Moody - Cookin' The Blues Music » Jazz » BeBop » Hard-bop
1961: James Moody - Cookin' The Blues
Artist: James Moody
Album: Cookin' The Blues
Label: Argo
Year: 1961
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps (LP-Rip)
Time: 41:11
Size: 114,9Mb
AMG rating: ****

Cookin the Blues, the album , features his septet recorded live at the Jazz Workshop in June 1961, during his tour on the West Coast. Moody, wonderfully relaxed and in good form, fronts a band (with trumpeter Howard McGhee in his come back to the coast) offering inspired performances and more musical content than groups with a bigger name. Eddie Jefferson was also was one of the moving forces behind the whole show, with his humorous, and happily frantic singing.
1962 - 1973: Jimmy Smith - Walk On The Wild Side: Best Of The Verve Years Vol.1&2 Music » Soul » Soul-Jazz
1962 - 1973: Jimmy Smith - Walk On The Wild Side: Best Of The Verve Years Vol.1&2
Artist: Jimmy Smith
Album: Walk On The Wild Side: Best Of The Verve Years
Label: Verve
Years: 1962 - 1973; release: 1995
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps
Time: 2:26:48
Size: CD1&Scans:166,3Mb CD2:164,9Mb
AMG rating: ****/*

Smith recorded most of his most popular sides for Verve, and this double CD contains 25 tracks taken from his recordings for the label between 1962 and 1973, in both small-combo and big-band settings. There are a few Jimmy Smith compilations out there, and this isn't necessarily the best; anthologies that focus on his early and mid-'60s prime might be better values overall. It does have his most famous performances -- "Walk on the Wild Side," "Got My Mojo Working," and a couple of his great duets with guitarist Wes Montgomery. It's a decent enough pickup if you just want one or two Smith albums for your library, though not so definitive that it's worth getting if you already have some Smith compilations that cover the Verve era. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide.
1953: Clifford Brown - The Clifford Brown Sextet In Paris Music » Jazz » BeBop » Hard-bop
1953: Clifford Brown - The Clifford Brown Sextet In Paris
Artist: Clifford Brown
Album: The Clifford Brown Sextet In Paris
Label: Prestige
Year: 1953
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps (LP-Rip)
Time: 56:39
Size: 121,7Mb
AMG rating: ****/*

While in Paris with Lionel Hampton's Orchestra, trumpeter Clifford Brown teamed up with altoist Gigi Gryce and a top-notch rhythm section (which includes pianist Henri Renaud, guitarist Jimmy Gourley, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Jean-Louis Viale) for two fine sessions that are reissued in full (other than a couple of rare alternate takes) on this enjoyable CD. Although Gryce was not a major soloist, he held his own with the trumpeter and was a talented composer. Most of the songs on this date are his including "Minority" (Gryce's most famous original). But it is for Brownie's brilliant playing on such tunes as "All the Things You Are," "I Cover the Waterfront" and "Minority" that this CD is most significant. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
1962: Jaki Byard - Hi-Fly Hard-bop, Post-bop
1962: Jaki Byard - Hi-Fly
Artist: Jaki Byard
Album: Hi-Fly
Label: Prestige
Year: 1962
Format: bitrate: mp3@320kbps (LP-Rip)
Time: 39:46
Size: 83,9Mb
AMG rating: ****

Following the success of Here's Jaki, the eclectic pianist continued his explorations in a trio format, with Pete La Roca replacing Roy Haynes on the drums. The set mixes standards with some forgotten gems, plus three originals. The "Excerpts from Yamecraw" is an updated version of the nearly forgotten James P. Johnson orchestral suite, which is complimented here by the Byard original "There Are Many Worlds," which was also written for an orchestra. "Tillie Butterball" is a fun blues romp based on a puppy and a bowling alley. Byard's distinctive approach is evident on Randy Weston's title track "Hi-Fly" and George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland," while his debt to Thelonious Monk, sprinkled throughout this session, is obvious on "'Round Midnight." What makes this session special, however, is his original "Here to Hear." His multi-influenced compositional style matched by his versatile technique is explored at length. There are certain pieces that can never be interpreted by anyone else but the composer, and that is the case here, for it would be virtually impossible, and futile, to try and duplicate the individual genius of Jaki Byard. This stands as one of his best. ~ Robert Taylor, All Music Guide.
1968: Stanley Turrentine - Look of Love Music » Soul » Soul-Jazz

1968: Stanley Turrentine - Look of Love
Artist: Stanley Turrentine
Album: Look of Love
Year: 1968
Label: Blue Note
Format: mp3, 320 Kbps
Total Time: 37:12
Total Size: 88,17 Mb
AMG rating: ****

With its mix of pop covers and jazz material, The Look of Love could be considered a typical Turrentine album from the late '60s. What sets this and a few other of his Blue Note titles apart, though, are the full yet tasteful string and band arrangements by jazz flügelhorn player and composer Thad Jones. With his flexible phrasing and muscular tone, Turrentine dives into the lush arrangements, especially on the sweeping rendition of Burt Bacharach's "Look of Love." Other pop selections bring mixed results: The plodding arrangement on "McArthur Park" garners a lukewarm response from Turrentine, while the tender settings for "Emily" and another Bacharach number, "This Guy's in Love With You," elicit the kind of velvety vaporous tone and sincere romantic phrasing Turrentine usually killed with on ballads. More upbeat, straight-ahead material like "A Beautiful Friendship" and the blues swinger "Blues for Stan" keep the date well balanced and set the table for some masterful Turrentine solos. Again, special mention should be made of Thad Jones who, along with Oliver Nelson (Nancy Wilson's Welcome to My Love in particular) and Duke Pearson, supplanted the usual syrupy arrangements found on "cross-over" dates with intelligent, complimentary charts. Turrentine certainly appreciated it, as evidenced by his strong work here. Purists who usually cringe at late-'60s jazz dates like this (yes, there is a Beatles cover here) might be pleasantly surprised. For those who feel Bacharach and Jimmy Webb provide fine material for jazz, then The Look of Love is a must. ~ Stephen Cook, All Music Guide
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