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Jazz Blues Club » Articles for 02.10.2010
2007: Other Dimensions In Music - Live At The Sunset Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz » Avantgarde

2007: Other Dimensions In Music - Live At The Sunset
Artist: Other Dimensions In Music
Album: Live At The Sunset
Label: Marge Records
Year: 2007
Format, bitrate: mp3 224kbps w/scans
Time: CD1; 68:54 CD2; 73:38
Size: 228 MB (three parts)

For those who don't know Other Dimensions In Music : the band consists of Roy Campbell on trumpet; Daniel Carter on sax, flute and trumpet; William Parker on bass and Hamid Drake on drums. And what they bring is free jazz at its best : spontaneous improvization with rhythm, empathy, beautiful soloing and telepathic interplay. These four stellar musicians have played together for decades and in various bands and it shows. Drake and Parker play like they are one person with two bodies, and their rhythmic foundation supports the tonal soundscapes weaved by Campbell and Carter, who both have a huge background, but more importantly, they play with the rare combination of emotional and creative power. There is lots of variation in the instruments used : Parker also uses the musette, the reed instrument played by Dewey Redman in Old & New Dreams, stopping his solo and switching to arco, Hamid Drake sings and plays snare drum, Carter sings as well. The second variation comes from the variety of styles they integrate into their improvizations, often implicitly : blues, swing, bop, african, middle-eastern, and the third variation comes from the levels of intensity, ranging from subdued and spiritual to high-pitched high energy playing, but rarely chaotic skronking, like the great swells of the ocean, moving up and down in large uninterupted movements, all different, yet all part of the same. And all this has a meaning - the titles speak for themselves : "Blues configuration", "Afro Carribean High Life", "Blues for Baghdad", "Funk The Government/The Betrayal of New Orleans/Hurricane Katrina", "Suite for Miles Davis", "For Louis, Cootie and Lester", "James Brown Ascension", ... gives you an idea what musical references are used to illustrate the titles. But it's not only political or musicological in nature, in essence their music is spiritual : "multilayered music that is drenched in vision. Blues vision, world music vision, 21st Century vision, it's the music called Black Mystery Music that comes from the deepest parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. Sounds that can be found in the furthest reaches of the cosmos. The mud that binds the music is the call of the human soul in need of healing. Combined with all the beautiful things that have ever existed since the beginning of time". And Parker continues in the liner notes : "We never know what will happen from minute to minute in the music but we are ready to go anywhere it wants to go, without being restricted by style". And that's exactly what this double CD has to offer : excellent free playing, moving naturally, rhythmically, full of intensity, full of spirituality and musical vision.
~ Freejazz-stef blog
1961-1962: Grant Green - Complete Blue Note Recordings of Grant Green with Sonny Clark Music » Jazz » BeBop » Hard-bop
1961-1962: Grant Green - Complete Blue Note Recordings of Grant Green with Sonny Clark
Artists: Grant Green, Sonny Clark
Album: Complete Blue Note Recordings of Grant Green with Sonny Clark 4CD
Years: 1961-1962, release: 1990
Label: Mosaic Records
Quality: mp3, VBR
Size: 67+86+77+76 mb
AMG Rating: 1961-1962: Grant Green - Complete Blue Note Recordings of Grant Green with Sonny Clark

Guitarist Grant Green and pianist Sonny Clark recorded together on five separate occasions during the 1961-1962 period, but virtually none of the music was released domestically until decades later. These performances were clearly lost in the shuffle, for the solos are of a consistently high quality, and the programs were well-paced and swinging. Now, the long-lost music (much of which had been previously available only in Japan) is saved for posterity on this Mosaic limited-edition four-CD box set. Green and Clark blend together well. Tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec joins their quartet for one session, and the final two numbers add Latin percussion. All of this music should be enjoyed by hard bop fans. Included are the Blue Note albums Gooden's Corner, Nigeria, Oleo, Born to Be Blue (with Ike Quebec), and unissued tracks.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
1962-1967: Oliver Nelson: The Argo, Verve And Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions (6 CD) Music » Jazz » BeBop » Hard-bop

1962-1967: Oliver Nelson: The Argo, Verve And Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions (6 CD)
Artist: Oliver Nelson
Album: The Argo, Verve and Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions (6CD)
Year: Mar 26, 1962-Nov 14, 1967; release: 2006
Label: Mosaic Records
Quality: mp3/320 kbps
Size: 918 mb
Time: 75:39 / 66:20 / 53:51 / 61:24 / 66:40 / 77:17
AMG Rating 1962-1967: Oliver Nelson: The Argo, Verve And Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions (6 CD)

Oliver Nelson was one of the more distinctive arrangers to be active in jazz, the studios, and popular music of the '60s. While most Nelson reissues focus on his always-excellent saxophone playing (whether on tenor or alto), this six-CD set, Argo, Verve and Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions, focuses on Oliver Nelson the arranger-composer-bandleader. He does take solos on some of these dates on tenor, alto,and soprano (his only recorded solos on that instrument), but it his writing that takes center stage. Included are his albums Full Nelson, Fantabulous, Jazzhattan Suite (which finds the ensemble called the Jazz Interactions Orchestra), Sound Pieces, and his unusual and reverent tribute set Musical Tribute to JFK: The Kennedy Dream. In addition, Nelson's writing for Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz All Stars is here, plus his contributions (usually just part of each record) for sets by organist Shirley Scott (Roll 'Em), a group co-led by Ray Brown and Milt Jackson, and clarinetist Pee Wee Russell (The Spirit of '67). Topping off this well-conceived box are all of the music for organist Jimmy Smith's Hobo Flats, Peter and the Wolf (a classic jazz version), and Smith's first collaboration with guitarist Wes Montgomery, plus a few numbers from Smith's Bashin', Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Hootchie Coochie Man. In addition to the playing of Jimmy Smith (who was really at his peak during this period), Wes Montgomery, Shirley Scott, and Pee Wee Russell, the most memorable soloists are altoist Phil Woods, cornetist Nat Adderley (on the Feather date), and flugelhornist Clark Terry plus Nelson himself. There is plenty of classic material here (such as the Smith/Montgomery blues jamming on "Down by the Riverside") which, even when the big-band writing is secondary, serves as a superior tribute to the underrated Oliver Nelson. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
1955: Tony Parenti's All Stars - Happy Jazz Traditional Jazz, New Orleans Jazz
1955: Tony Parenti's All Stars - Happy Jazz
Artist: Tony Parenti
Album: Tony Parenti's All Stars - Happy Jazz
Label: Jazztone
Year: 1955
Quality: MP3@320 kbps
Size: 110 mb
Total time: 51:23
AMG rating 1955: Tony Parenti's All Stars - Happy Jazz

A major clarinetist from New Orleans who has been largely forgotten through the years, Tony Parenti had a smooth sound and impressive technique. He was born in New Orleans in 1900 and was playing music professionally by 1914. Parenti was familiar with many of the Crescent City's jazz pioneers. He led his own groups starting in 1917 and recorded as early as 1925 but did not leave for New York until near the end of the decade. Parenti was technically skilled enough to work in studio orchestras and dance bands, and he spent a six-year stint with Ted Lewis' band. In 1945 he returned to jazz, playing with Eddie Condon, leading his own band at Jimmy Ryan's and spending four years living and playing in Florida. After he returned to New York, Parenti had an additional six-year stint at Jimmy Ryan's and stayed active until his 1972 death.

One of Tony Parenti's finest records was the aptly-titled Happy Jazz. Parenti, trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen and trombonist Tyree Glenn all had strong musical personalities, resulting in quite a few fireworks. Joined by pianist Hank Duncan, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer George Wettling, the band really romps on such numbers as "In the Good Old Summertime," "Maryland, My Maryland" and even "I've Been Working on the Railroad." In addition, Parenti is showcased on two duets with Duncan and a pair of trios that add Wettling, including "Maple Leaf Rag." Fans of New Orleans, trad and hot jazz will definitely want Happy Jazz.

~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
1966: Eddie Daniels - First Prize! Music » Jazz » BeBop » Hard-bop
1966: Eddie Daniels - First Prize!
Artist: Eddie Daniels
Album: First Prize!
Label: Prestige/OJC
Year: 1966, release: 1993
Format: mp3, bitrate: 320 kb/s
Size: 106 Mb (full covers)
Total time: 46:42
AMG rating 1966: Eddie Daniels - First Prize!

When one hears this early Eddie Daniels CD (a straight reissue of the original LP), it is surprising to realize that he would remain in relative obscurity for almost another 20 years. As shown on the three of the eight selections on which he plays clarinet, Daniels (even at this early stage) ranked near the top, while his tenor playing on the remaining numbers was already personal and virtuosic. With the assistance of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis rhythm section of the time (pianist Roland Hanna, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Mel Lewis), Daniels is in top form on three standards, four originals and the pop tune "Spanish Flea." ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
2004: The Georgians - 1923-1924 Music » Jazz » Traditional Jazz
2004: The Georgians - 1923-1924Artist: The Georgians
Album: 1923-1924
Label: Retrieval
Year: 2004
Format, bitrate: mp3, 320kb/s
Time: 67:35
Size: 128 MB
AMG rating: 2004: The Georgians - 1923-1924

Repost by request

The Georgians in 1922 were the first jazz band to be assembled from a larger orchestra (not counting Paul Whiteman's Virginians, which were less jazz-oriented), a practice that would become common during the swing era. With trumpeter Frank Guarente as the star, pianist Arthur Schutt as the combo's main arranger, and drummer Chauncey Morehouse a key member, their records from 1922-1923 ranked with the finest jazz recordings of the time even if the group has since become quite obscure. Their first release (Retrieval 79003) is essential for 1920s collectors. 1923-1924 is slightly later, finishing the reissue of all of the Georgians' recordings with Guarente and also including two numbers from the Paul Specht Orchestra (from whom the Georgians' personnel was drawn) and a pair of selections by Specht's Society Serenaders (the Georgians under a different name) in 1922. In addition to their excellent instrumentals dating from November 1923 to May 1924, the band is heard backing singers Eddie Cantor, Billy Jones, Dolly Kay, and Blossom Seeley. Although the singers are fine for the period, it is the instrumentals (particularly the ones on the earlier CD) that are most memorable. It is very good to have their important performances readily available, showing that there was more going on in 1923 jazz than King Oliver.
~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
2005:Jamie Saft Trio-Astaroth: Book Of Angels Vol.1 Modern Jazz, Avantgarde
2005:Jamie Saft Trio-Astaroth: Book Of Angels Vol.1
Artist: Jamie Saft Trio
Album: Astaroth: The Book Of Angels Vol. 1
Label: Tzadik
Year: 2005
Format, bitrate: mp3 224kbps
Time: 55:27
Size: 88 MB

With Sanhedrin: Unreleased Studio Recordings 1994-1997, saxophonist/composer John Zorn put a period on what turns out to be but the first phase of his Masada project. His voluminous Masada songbook, first emerging in '94 with his quartet featuring trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassist Greg Cohen, and drummer Joey Baron, has gone on to a wide variety of interpretations, including solo guitar, piano/violin recital, string trio, and electric octet.
But when Zorn indicated in the liner notes to Sanhedrin that he had composed an entire second book of Masada music in an almost ridiculously short period of time, the question arose as to whether there was something new to be said, after over two hundred compositions in the first Masada songbook so vividly and completely explored the juncture of traditional Jewish music and a variety of improvising contexts. Based on the first recording of Masada Book Two material, Astaroth, Book of Angels, it's clear that Zorn's frenetic imagination has yet to run dry. In fact, there are a number of surprises about Astaroth that create high anticipation for future Book Two releases.
First is that, while Zorn continues to mine the harmonic territory of Jewish music, the overall aesthetic seems less direct, with the pieces now subsumed as part of a greater musical whole that recognizes broader thematic and rhythmic concerns. While some might accuse Masada Book One of ultimately becoming predictable, including hypnotic rhythmic foundations for some pieces, and rapid-fire themes for others, breaking down into chaos only to be magically pulled back at their conclusion, the material on Astaroth feels less categoric. And while nobody could accuse the Book One recordings of being anything but open-ended in terms of improvisational potential, the Book Two material feels somehow less rigidly of a kind.
But perhaps the biggest surprise is Jamie Saft—a keyboard player who has always seemed more a jack-of-all-trades, but here demonstrates an heretofore unheard talent in context of a traditional piano trio format (also featuring Greg Cohen and drummer Ben Perowsky). In the past, Saft's contributions have tended to feel more like confection, textural icing on the cake. Here he demonstrates an unfettered imagination and sense of invention that, for perhaps the first time, truly dominate. Capable of lyrical economy on the relaxed vibe of "Shalmiel and the melancholically bluesy "Lela'hel ; harder-edged expressionism on "Ygal ; flat-out swing on "Ezeqeel and "Sturiel ; nave innocence on "Ariel ; and darker abstract impressionism on "Baal-Peor, Saft's performance on Astaroth deserves to see him reach a larger audience.
Cohen and Perowsky are equally impressive, but that comes as less of a surprise. And with Cohen having been a member of the flagship Masada quartet from the mid-'90s, there's an undeniable continuity between earlier efforts and this new phase in Zorn's investigation of the varied possibilities of traditional Jewish music. If Astaroth is any indication, Zorn's Masada projects will continue to retain a specific identity, while branching out into even broader areas of exploration.

~ John Kelman, all about jazz
1970:Evan Parker/Derek Bailey/Han Bennink - The Topography of the Lungs Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz » Freejazz
1970:Evan Parker/Derek Bailey/Han Bennink - The Topography of the Lungs
Artist: Evan Parker/Derek Bailey/Han Bennink
Album: The Topography of the Lungs
Label: PSI
Year: 1970
Format: FLAC
Size: 266 MB

Originally released in 1970—with catalogue number Incus 1, thus launching Evan Parker, Derek Bailey & Tony Oxley's famous label—this is a long awaited and historic reissue. When Parker and Bailey went their separate ways in 1987, Parker took his Incus recordings and other archived material with him. Since the advent of Psi, most of his Incus recordings have been re-released there, with others mooted (Circadian Rhythm?).

However, there was a long-standing agreement between Parker and Bailey—at the latter's request—that this recording would not be released as long as Bailey remained a director of Incus, which he did until his death last December. Fittingly (and touchingly, given the Bailey-Parker rift), this release bears the dedication, "In memoriam Derek Bailey 1930-2005.

The 21-minute "Titan Moon (which occupied the whole of side one of the LP release) immediately sets the scene. Although free improvisation was at least five years old by the time this album was recorded, the trio's playing still shows clearly discernible links to free jazz. It is already a long way forward from, say, Joseph Holbrooke or even early SME, but still light years away from Company with its deliberate avoidance of jazz vocabulary and syntax. In 1970, free jazz and free improv were still joined by an isthmus, albeit one that was rapidly being eroded.

"Titan Moon would fox many a listener in a blindfold test: Parker's playing clearly shows a debt to Coltrane; crucially, Han Bennink's remorseless drive gives the music an irresistible pulse and a sense of boundless energy and forward momentum; maybe most surprising, Bailey's guitar is in transition from a traditional (mainly supportive) role within the trio to something more iconoclastic.

Both For Peter B and Peter K (the title acknowledging the vital influence of the Berlin scene) and "Fixed Elsewhere are similarly transitional. Again, Bennink propels them along with typical verve—but with few traces of his lovable eccentricity. Only on "Dogmeat, which closed the original album, are there clear signs of future developments into improv as it would become. The three players seem to have no model of how the piece will develop—it is shaped by their reactions to each other and consequently it is ever-changing in its focus, its tempo and its energy levels. Tellingly, Bailey's profile is higher here than in the preceding pieces.

The original master takes of the album are now lost, so this CD has been remastered from the best LP version available (a virgin Japanese pressing, not surprisingly). But fear not, the sound is high quality throughout. Two previously unissued pieces have been added to the original material, and while it is nice to hear them, they provide no great insights beyond the original LP.

Given its legendary status—brought about by decades of scarcity (and awesome auction prices)—it is inevitable that this release has a sense of anticlimax for some; nothing could live up to their expectations. Nonetheless, as well as being an illuminating historical snapshot, it is thoroughly excellent and still sounds remarkably fresh, in the pole position for reissue of the year. by John Eyles
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