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Jazz Blues Club » Articles for 20.04.2009
Manhattan Transfer - The Definitive Pop Collection Music » Jazz » Vocal Jazz
Manhattan Transfer - The Definitive Pop CollectionArtists: The Manhattan Transfer
Album: The Definitive Pop Collection
Label: Rhino
Year: 2006
Bitrate: mp3/192kb/s
Total Size: 170.11 MB

The ultimate Manhattan Transfer release! Here in this two CD collection are 30 of the fabulous vocal jazz quartet's best recordings spanning the 25 plus years they have been harmonizing together. All the greatest hits are here plus several of the group's personal favorite tracks. The release comes with a insert which includes photos and a history of the group. This is top-knotch four part vocal harmony!
Brad Mehldau - Places Music » Jazz » BeBop » Post-bop
Brad Mehldau - PlacesArtist: Brad Mehldau
Album: Places
Year: 2000
Label: Warner Bros.
Quality: FLAC
Size: 326 MB
Time: 1:09:30

Brad Mehldau is becoming a more interesting, more thought-provoking, more individualistic musician with each release — breaking away from the same old models, finding new ones to integrate into his own personality. The 11 compositions on this CD were conceived on the road, and only midway through did Mehldau realize that they developed similar ideas. Which indeed they do, seizing upon repeated riffing and vamps that Keith Jarrett has explored and sending them in cogent directions. The designated theme is travel; each selection bears the name of a place or mood, and the catchy, contemplative "Los Angeles" serves as the album's bookends, as well as a solo pit stop in the center. Like Elegiac Cycle, Places works like a song cycle; a unified, beautifully proportioned conception, with lots of rambunctious, swinging outbreaks amidst the contemplation. The titles in themselves mean nothing as far as the content of the music is concerned — or so he writes in another lengthy, provocative liner note. Rather, the album is about the constancy of his personality and musical language, taking all of your personal mental baggage with you wherever you travel. This is an important album, one that anyone interested in piano jazz ought to check out.
~ Richard Ginell, AMG
Michael Brecker - Wide Angles (2003) Music » Jazz
Michael Brecker - Wide Angles (2003)Artist:Michael Brecker
Album:Wide Angles
Label: Verve
Year: 2003
Format, bitrate: Lossless, FLAC+CUE+LOG+Covers
Size:460 MB

WIDE ANGLES won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. "Broadband" was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition. "Timbuktu" won for Best Instrumental Arrangement. Tenor sax legend Michael Brecker is justifiably showcased this sophisticated, large ensemble release. Brecker's playing is supremely focused here, moving from tender lyricism ("Angle of Repose") to Coltrane-esque runs to the outer registers ("Cool Day In Hell"), and touching on everything in between. Like his range on the sax, Brecker's compositions veer from the coolly cerebral to dramatic intensity. "Timbuktu" appropriates a skewed Latin boogie to anchor its cyclical melodic leads, which Brecker expands and reassembles in his solos. The in-pocket jazz-funk of "Night Jessamine" rubs against the rhythmic kaleidoscope of "Brexterity" and the floating pulse of "Evening Faces."
WIDE ANGLES is heavily textured via French horn, alto flute, bass clarinet, oboe, viola, cello and English horn, in addition to standard jazz instrumentation. The 14-piece ensemble lends color and dimension to what might otherwise be standard post-bop fare, creating orchestral overtones one moment, chamber music intimacies the next. The album should appeal then both to Brecker enthusiasts and to fans of large ensemble playing.
Michael Brecker - Time is of the Essence Music » Jazz
Michael Brecker - Time is of the EssenceArtist: Michael Brecker
Album: Time Is Of The Essence
Label: Verve
Year: 1999
Format, bitrate: Lossless, FLAC+CUE+LOG+Covers
Size: 441 MB

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group and "Outrance" was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.
Recorded at Avatar Studios and Right Track Studios, New York, New York. Includes liner notes by Michael Brecker.
1957-1960: Count Basie - The Count Basie Story 2CD Swing, Basie Count
1957-1960: Count Basie - The Count Basie Story  2CD
Artist - Count Basie
Album - The Count Basie Story 2CD
Label - EMI/Roulette Jazz
Years - 1957/1960, release - 2004
Quality - MP3@320 kbps
Size: 87,8+94 mb
Total time: 40:35+43:31

The Count Basie Story was originally issued as a deluxe double-LP box set in 1961 by Roulette Records. The basic idea was for the modern Basie big band to re-record some its classics from the 1930s and '40s as a celebration of its 25th anniversary. The original band had played host to some of the most legendary names in jazz: Lester Young, Harry Edison, Walter Page, Freddie Green, and Jo Jones. Of these, only Green remained in the 1960s edition of the band, which included Frank Foster, Billy Mitchell, Sonny Payne, Thad Jones, Sonny Cohn, Eddie Jones, Marshall Royal, Charles Fowlkes, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and Frank Wess. Singer Joe Williams had stepped in some years before to replace the great Jimmy Rushing. Co-produced for reissue by Michael Cuscuna and Billy Vera, this set's two discs include the original double LP in gorgeously balanced 24-bit remastered sound and three bonus tracks in the same vein recorded between 1957 and 1959 among them a stomping version of "Moten Swing," nodding to Basie's own roots in Bennie Moten's band in the 1930s. These sides were hotly contested when originally issued because of the contrast in accents between the 1937 band and the later one. The sound is so different that it cannot be compared to the pure and bluesy dance band swing of the originals; it is amped up and brassy, with charts (written by Royal or Neal Hefti) that stress tempo and sophisticated ensemble playing rather than riff-based solos, busyness, and dynamics. For any serious Basie fan, these sides are essential, particularly for the bonus cuts. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
Les McCann Biography Biography
Les McCann Biography

Name: Les McCann.
Born: September 23, 1935, Lexington, Kentucky
Styles: Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk.
Instruments: Piano

Terence Blanchard - A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007) Music » Jazz » BeBop » Post-bop
Terence Blanchard - A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007)
Artist: Terence Blanchard
Album: A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina)
Release Date: Aug 14, 2007
Label: Blue Note Records
Format: MP3@320/kbs
Rating Terence Blanchard - A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007)


"This moment must be seen," says Blanchard, has to be seen by those people around the world who don't know what has happened here. What is happening here. Yes. Still."
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans native son Terence Blanchard has created an impassioned song cycle, A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina), as his third album for Blue Note Records. (Since signing with the label in 2003, Blanchard has released two other critically-acclaimed albums, Bounce and Flow, the latter of which received two Grammy nominations in 2006. This 13-track emotional tour-de-force of anger, rage, compassion, melancholy, and beauty features Blanchard's quintet- pianist Aaron Parks, saxophonist Brice Winston, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Kendrick Scott- as well as a 40-member string orchestra.
An important jumpstart for A Tale of God's Will was director Spike Lee's decision to document the aftermath of Katrina on film, in what turned out to be the four-hour award-winning HBO documentary, When the Levees Broke, which aired last year. Lee, who has enlisted Blanchard on numerous occasions to score his films, such as Mo' Better Blues, Malcolm X, and Inside Man, tapped him once again for his documentary. Four of the tracks from the documentary were given new arrangements and expanded rounding out an album of nine new tracks inspired by New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2008, won a Grammy Award for "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album," and was nominated for "Best Jazz Instrument Solo" for his work on the song, "Levees."
McCoy Tyner - The Turning Point (1991) Music » Jazz » BeBop » Post-bop
McCoy Tyner  - The Turning Point (1991)
Artist: McCoy Tyner Big Band
Album: The Turning Point
Label: Verve
Year: 1991
Format: MP3@320/kbs
Time: 55:07
AMG Rating: McCoy Tyner  - The Turning Point (1991)

This recording may not have been an actual "turning point" in pianist McCoy Tyner's productive career but its success gave momentum to his big band. Although only a part-time affair, Tyner's orchestra (seven brass, four reeds and a four-piece rhythm section) is considered one of the major jazz big bands of the 1990s, a perfect outlet for the leader's percussive and modal-oriented piano. With arrangements by Tyner, Dennis Mackrel, Slide Hampton, Steve Turre and Howard Johnson, many of these performances are quite powerful. It is a pity though that the liners do not identify the soloists since there are several that are quite colorful. Recommended. by Scott Yanow
Larry Coryell - Spaces Revisited Music » Jazz » Fusion
Larry Coryell - Spaces RevisitedArtist: Larry Coryell
Album: Spaces Revisited
Label: Shanachie
Year: 1997
Format Mp3, bitrate: 320 kb/s
Time: 53:54
Size: 131 Mb (complete covers)
AMG Rating: Larry Coryell - Spaces Revisited

What started as a project to reunite Coryell with Billy Cobham on drums in order to take a second look at the sound and style of the Coryell's Spaces ended up creating a whole new chapter instead. With Richard Bona on bass and Bireli Lagrene on guitar, these nine songs capture the spirit of that 30-year-old session with new, adventuresome playing and vigor. Coryell takes great pride in the spontaneity of this project one day rehearsal, two days recording and well he should, since it contains musicians interacting with each other in a loose yet totally on-top-of-their-game manner. Bireli shines on the 9/8 section "Variations on Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," while Bona solos beautifully on "Blues for Django and Stephane." Yet it's ultimately Coryell's and Cobham's show, and their playing throughout is sublime with the on-the-spot recording of "Hong Kong Breeze" an off the cuff head arrangement done in one take showcasing their two players/one mind interplay. Maybe you can't go home again, but this album clearly proves you can always take your luggage with you and build a whole new house.
Cub Koda, AMG
Kenny Barron Quintet - Images Music » Jazz » BeBop » Post-bop
Kenny Barron Quintet - ImagesArtist: Kenny Barron Quintet
Album: Images
Label: Sunny Side
Year: 2004
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 320 kb/s
Time: 1:12:40
Size: 169 mb (covers)

Barron's quintet here with Anne Drummond on alto and flute, drummer Kim Thompson, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass, and vibraphonist Stefon Harris is a powerhouse of lyrical and percussive counterpoint and exotic voices. One listen to Barron's "Jasmine Flower," with its Eastern melody and exceptional interplay between the pianist and Harris' vibes that is knotty but never jagged, is enough to convince. Elsewhere, as on Harris' "The Lost Ones," where Barron's middle register ostinati are given free rein to punctuate the skeletal melody and warm texture of the tune's body, is so elegant it's moving. The lilting flute line played by Drummond, just ahead of the impressionistic beat and highlighted by the vibes, makes this an amiable yet compelling listen. This is followed with a wonderfully light-touched read of Bud Powell's "Hallucinations." Barron's touch is breezy and effective; he gets to the complex lyric fragments in the center of the structure and trots them out for the band's interaction. Harris' solo has just the right tautness to keep it grounded and pulsing. The reading of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" extrapolates the Latin melody from the tune's heart and makes it a rhythmic construct with Barron and Harris winding around Kitagawa in an easy but swirling pace to the top of the figure and then into the maelstrom of the solo exchanges. In sum, this is another fine date by a pianist who seems to restlessly climb another rung with every outing even though he has been at the top of his game for decades.
Thom Jurek, AMG
Jeff Golub - Grand Central Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz
Jeff Golub - Grand CentralArtist: Jeff Golub
Album: Grand Central
Label: Narada Jazz/EMI
Year: 2007
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 256 kb/s
Time: 53:14
Size: 103 Mb (complete covers)
AMG Rating: Jeff Golub - Grand Central

A staple of the smooth jazz format since the mid-'90s, the former sideman for Rod Stewart fills a unique rock/blues gap between the genre's overabundance of R&B-influenced saxmen and the cool, classy elegance of artists like Chris Botti. At his best, as on this exciting collection, he's raw and just a bit dirty, wailing with his buddies and having some loose, energetic fun. Though fans mostly saw him out there on the Guitars & Saxes Tour or on countless smooth cruises, Jeff Golub spent his down time at home in N.Y.C. seeking out local clubs where he could jam with his buddies and break in some new material. Fashioned as a celebration of both the loud and subtle conversations between workaday New Yorkers, Grand Central found Golub happy in the midst of his adopted hometown, jamming hard and fast as if the subway's doors are closing and he's just about to jump on or off. He plays it mostly fast and funky, but shows a unique emotional depth by making his guitar gently weep on a nice cover of "Something." It's clear he's having a blast taking a live-in-the-studio approach with a handful of the cats he ensembles with around town. Keyboardist Chris Palmaro throws a buoyant piano harmony down on the brassy scorcher "Hello Betty" (inspired by an old romantic gum commercial!) as easily as he creates a retro-chill cool on Sly Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay" (a vibe that echoes Golub's more laid-back previous disc, Temptation). On the Ray Charles-influenced "The Way I Feel Tonight," the guitarist's sweet, bluesy charm is massaged by Palmaro's brooding B-3 and pianist Kenny White's jazzy shimmer. Golub always includes tracks with his smoothie all-star pals; here, Rick Braun leads the horn section on "Hello Betty" (which he also produced), Kirk Whalum goes dark and cool on the acoustic jazz ballad "Slinky," and Richard Elliot keeps the customer satisfied on a pleasant cover of "Ain't No Woman Like the One I Got." The brightest cameo belongs to Philippe Saisse, who invokes the spirit of Les McCann stunningly on the crazed, horn-drenched soul-jazz jam "Mojito," a track inspired by a drink Golub dubbed a favorite on one of the smooth cruises. After a low-key chilled-out turn on his previous disc, it's great to hear him partying again.
Jonathan Widran, AMG
David El Malek - Music From Source Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz
David El Malek - Music From SourceArtist: David El Malek
Album: Music From Source
Label: Nocturne/Phantom Sound & Vision
Year: 2008
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 192 kb/s vbr
Time: 52:21
Size: 71,3 Mb (complete covers)

Music from Source - As it was once for Charlie Parker, John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins, inexhaustible soloists often reserved for daily occurrence, for David El-Malek, the saxophone has become an extension of himself, the vector of the words he has not been able to say for a long time. If his improviser speech is so clear, if he seems to be motivated by an inner urgency, is because he has a sincere voice which has managed to express. He also opens his heart through the instrument like a release of the words. But David's development is far from being finished. Music bulimic, eager to learn, he studies orchestration, he initiates himself into classical writing, takes great interest in the saxophone transcribing of classical works because he now has a desire to make his jazzman talents concur with the intimate heritage of the songs he wants to pass on to the world just as he hears them within himself : played by a symphonic orchestra...
Danilo Perez - Across The Crystal Sea Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz
Danilo Perez - Across The Crystal SeaArtist: Danilo Perez
Album: Across The Crystal Sea
Label: DECCA U.S.
Year: 2008
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 192 kb/s vbr
Time: 57:57
Size: 79,4 Mb

Many jazz pianists desire to record with strings at least one time in their careers. Unfortunately, this frequently causes them to play a bit too conservatively, while the strings overwhelm the release. Such is the case on this CD by pianist Danilo Perez with arrangements by Claus Ogerman (who previously worked on recording projects with Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson, among others). The jazz group, which includes bassist Christian McBride, drummer Lewis Hash, and percussionist Luis Quintero, plays acceptably but they clearly are having to reign in too much in deference to the strings. One wonders how Perez has top billing when hearing "Lazy Afternoon," as the piece is nearly two-thirds over by the time he and his group make their entrance, though vocalist Cassandra Wilson shines in the dreamy setting. She also appears in "(All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings," a neglected gem from decades ago; fortunately, Perez isn't shunted aside by the strings in this chart. Ogerman's originals, many of which are derived from themes by classical composers Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Massenet, and others.
Ken Dryden, AMG
The Blind Boys Of Alabama - Down In New Orleans (2007) Music » Blues » Gospel
The Blind Boys Of Alabama - Down In New Orleans (2007)
Artist: The Blind Boys Of Alabama
Album: Down In New Orleans
Release Date: Jan 29, 2008
Label: Time Life
Genre: Gospel
Styles: Black Gospel, Traditional Gospel, Contemporary Gospel
Format: Mp3@320kb/s

The Blind Boys of Alabamas latest release, Down In New Orleans, has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album.
Released on January 29th, Down in New Orleans represents the bands desire to bring hope to the still-storm-ravaged city and includes performances by some of New Orleans finest, including Allen Toussaint, The Hot 8 Brass Band, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. We may not be able to swing a hammer, explains founding member Jimmy Carter, but we hope we can help inspire folks with a song.
Produced by Chris Goldsmith, The Washington Post said of the record, "Inspired and relevant, [Down In New Orleans] borders on the miraculous." USA Today praised the "rousing musical tribute to New Orleans," Rolling Stone called it A super weapon of roots-music uplift, while the Toronto Sun gasped that the CD is Inspirational".
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