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Jazz Blues Club » Articles for 08.10.2011
1944 - 1952: Budd Johnson 1944 - 1952 Music » Jazz » Swing
1944 - 1952: Budd Johnson 1944 - 1952
Artist: Budd Johnson
Album: Budd Johnson 1944 - 1952
Label: Classics
Years: 1944 - 1952; release: 2003
Quality: MP3@320 kbps
Size: 110 mb
Total time: 67:15

One thing about these chronological compilations: if the featured musician only rarely acted as a bandleader, what listeners get is a core sample of nearly every recording date he happened to be in on. In the case of Texas tenor Budd Johnson, the people at Classics decided to begin his story with sessions waxed when he was 34 years of age and had been making records as a sideman for more than ten years. This is a pity, as a thorough survey could have begun with his bizarre vocal on Louis Armstrong's "Sweet Sue" (1933), then sampled his work with Lionel Hampton and Earl Hines, up through 1943. That would have lent context and background to this grab bag of primal bebop and R&B, designated as "the first volume of the recordings of Budd Johnson." Nevertheless, this segment of Johnson's career is exciting and full of surprises. Clyde Hart's Hot Seven, recording for Savoy in December of 1944, included legendary trumpeter Benny Harris and the wild alto sax of Herbie Fields. A Manor date led by squealing trumpeter Al Killian is extra solid due to the presence of Ellington's baritone, Harry Carney, who seems to enjoy weaving a bit of thunder into an already smoking ensemble. J.C. Heard & His Cafe Society Orchestra deliver four very concise, classy studies in boppish swing. George Treadwell's muted trumpet is notably attractive, and Johnson is able to shout or soothe as needed. James Charles Heard was a discerning artist, and his band's interpretation of Ellington's "Azure" is breathtakingly lovely. Of the three sides recorded in March of 1946 for the Hot Record Society by trombonist Dicky Wells & His Big Seven, "Bed Rock" is the cooker, but is somewhat upstaged by "Opera in Blue," a rhapsody built entirely around Johnson's lyrically inspired tenor.

Johnson led his own session in June of 1947 for the obscure Cyclone label. Included here are apparently the only two surviving sides. The tenor is very expressive on "My Heart's Doin' Time (For You)," and Mary Stafford belts out a smart little piece of blues on the flip side. A few months later, crooner Leslie Scott fronted a band with strings and a handful of jazz musicians, including drummer Denzil Best and a very sensuously laid-back Johnson. These sentimental numbers are oddly comforting, and fortunately the strings are not obtrusive. Johnson seems to have specialized in getting signed with small-time labels. In February 1951, working for Faith Records, he can be heard leading an all-star ensemble including Howard McGhee, J.J. Johnson, Cecil Payne, Kenny Drew, Oscar Pettiford, and Kansas Fields. Freddie Jackson sings a tough take on the blues called "Sometime I Feel Like Leaving Home," the band bounces through something called "Grooving in Birdland," and Johnson completely dominates the ballad "Talk of the Town." In March of 1952, Budd Johnson's All-Stars backed vocalist Johnny King on a pair of Louis Jordan-style numbers issued on the MGM label. The leader adapted unflinchingly to every stylistic trend during these years, always delivering gutsy, substantial solos. Here is an intriguing glimpse of one working tenor's professional evolution during a period notable for its many cultural transitions.
~ arwulf arwulf, All Music Guide
2009: Lolek - Alone Music » Jazz » Fusion

2009: Lolek - Alone
Artist: Lolek (Giannis Anagnostatos)
Album: Alone
Label: Inner Ear Records
Year: 2009
Genre: Indie/Folk
Quality: mp3; 192 Kbps
Total Time: 49:33
Total Size: 84.59 MB (with artwork)

"Alone" is Lokek's debut album which is released by Inner Ear. It is an album full of melancholic melodies and nostalgic atmosphere, which is led by the guitar. The lyrics set a scene of mixed feelings and blend with his deep, low-pitched voice, which it also sounds assertive. "Alone" is the portrait of a world which spins around the damnation and redemption through gauzy and romantic valses ("A Valse of True Romance"), folk rhythms ("I Went to the Beach Alone"), lo-fi style ("River of diseases"), slow ballads ("Now Cry") and electric melodies ("These guns"). Lolek handles adequately the power of guitar and his haunting voice combined with simple orchestration and he is featured in a great singer-songwriter. The minimalism, the unassuming performance, the lyricism, the dullness and the undertone are the elements of this new-romantic debut album.

The album has been produced by Lolek and Callmelazy and it's been mastered by Greg Calbi, famous for his collaboration with John Lennon, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Interpol, MGMT and many others. The Boy, furthermore, plays the piano ("Since I am a soldier", "Oh mama") and does backing vocals ("I went to the beach alone").

Lolek's debut album creates a personal and especial ambience, which demonstrates his temperamental nature. Music, without enigmas and odd forms, explicitly comes across as an honest assessment of its creator.

1992: Miłość - Miłość Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz » Avantgarde
1992: Miłość - Miłość
Artist: Milosc
Album: Milosc
Label: Biodro Records (Poland)
Year: 1992
Format, bitrate: mp3, 320kbps
Time: 56:31
Size: 124 MB

The Polish ensemble Milosc is something of a super-intelligent instrumental rock band along the lines of American groups like Dr. Nerve or the Ordinaires. It's an excellent band in its way -- influenced by jazz in ways similar to Zappa and Beefheart. High-energy grooves, tonally ambiguous horn lines and improvisations are the order of the day. Tenor saxophonist Maciej Sikala, altoist Mikolaj Trzaska, and pianist Leslaw Mozdzer are all smart and exciting improvisers. ~ Chris Kelsey, All Music Guide

1974: Woody Herman - Herd At Montreux Music » Jazz » Big Band

1974: Woody Herman - Herd At Montreux
Artist: Woody Herman
Album: Herd At Montreux
Year: 1974; release: 1998
Label: OJC/Fantasy
Quality: MP3@320kbit/s
Size: 74,4 Mb
Total Time: 35:26
REPOST by request with a new link from lex

This live performance was recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland at 3:30 a.m.! It chronologically follows Sonny Rollins' 1974 Montreux set, The Cutting Edge. Herman plays soprano saxophone exclusively, leads a 15-piece band through contemporary funk and fusion music of the day, and is backed by such fine soloists as trombonist Jim Pugh, tenor saxophonists Greg Herbert and Frank Tiberi, and trumpeter Dave Stahl. Andy LaVerne plays primarily electric piano, while Chip Jackson anchors the band on bass; both would go on to long careers as sidemen and leaders, but this is the seed of their early work. Overt funk and wah-wah, and Herbert's overblown tenor, accent the Temptations' hit "Can't Get Next to You," while Stahl's excellent horn blowing and LaVerne's arpeggios flavor the slow, rockish swing and swelling horns of Leon Russell and Delaney & Bonnie's "Superstar." Harder funk and Afro-Cuban rhythms buoy clarion horns and Herman's Wayne Shorter-like solo on Gary Anderson's chart of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" (which liner-note writer Herb Wong called an "acid feel" arrangement), while the Bill Mays-penned, Alan Broadbent-organized, flute-drenched (by Tiberi, Herbert, and Anderson) samba "Montevideo" starts with an upbeat swing and moves to LaVerne's Chick Corea-styled solo. Broadbent also wrote the beautiful Duke Ellington tribute "Tantum Ergo," which features a hymnal vocal choir and Herbert's soulful, pungent tenor sax dancing over meditational horns. Billy Cobham's "Crosswinds" is less potent than the original, but still plenty funky, with horns filling in considerable cracks. A CD for Herman completists only, this prefigured the direction he would take for most of the '70s, following trends rather than setting them. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide
2010: The Convergence Quartet - Song/Dance Music » Jazz » Modern Jazz » Avantgarde
2010: The Convergence Quartet - Song/Dance Artist: The Convergence Quartet
Album: Song/Dance
Label: Clean Feed Records
Year: 2009; release: 2010
Format, bitrate: mp3, 320
Size: 122 mb

It must have seemed like a long shot when the young British pair of pianist Alexander Hawkins and bassist Dominic Lash invited two illustrious north Americans, cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Harris Eisenstadt, to join them for a series of dates back in the fall of 2006. But now after two subsequent tours under the banner of the Convergence Quartet, the foursome is forging its own distinct identity. Its second disc continues the format found on Live In Oxford (FMR, 2007). Each member brings charts to the party which ensures a variety of styles, but common ground comes from a left field take on the interstices between composition and improvisation.
Not only are all four musicians accomplished writers, they are also fearsome improvisors, and the blend makes for a heady brew. Hawkins is carving a name for himself through his own Ensemble and as part of the collective Decoy, whose collaboration with reed player Joe McPhee, Oto (Bo Weavil, 2010), garners critical plaudits. Frequent associate Lash has also lent his far-reaching bass to collectives with saxophonists John Butcher and Tony Bevan and drummer Chris Corsano. Bynum, though strongly associated with reed player Anthony Braxton and the late trumpeter Bill Dixon, has developed an increasingly influential body of work, while Eisenstadt's leadership vehicles stretch from small group intricacy, via explorations of West African rhythms, to soaring orchestral vision.
This repertoire passed muster on tour before being distilled to the essence for the recording. That accounts for the tightness of the tricky charts, but also for the relaxed way in which the band inhabits them with strong solos and well developed arrangements, featuring some haunting melodies alongside the instrumental prowess. There is a lot happening on each cut such that it seems that someone is always improvising, no matter what else is going on.
Eisenstadt doesn't have a conventional feature, but he stretches over the bass riff and understated cornet/piano concord at the conclusion of his own "Next Convergence." Hawkins excels on the same track, spraying notes with his right hand as his left marches up the keyboard before both meet in crashing unison. He shines also on Bynum's "Iris," where his driving rhythmic display appears to have strolled in from a different number entirely, encompassing Thelonious Monk-ish dissonance, stride and two handed counterpoint, bringing proceedings to an unexpected ending. That piece opens with the composer parading the tricks of his trade with slobbering growls, emphatic farts and querulous squeals all fashioned into a marvellously musical introduction. Hawkins' title track showcases duets, with brash cornet partnering an abstract tattoo initially, then notably later where piano and drums provide an insistent backdrop for a chorus of wide ranging arco creaks by Lash and Bynum's whistles and slurs.
There is a staggering range of approaches explored. At one extreme is Lash's austere "Representations 17," which in concert relies on a laptop for some combination of cues, score or instruction, but here manifests as a sequence of disjointed overlapping sounds which come in bursts of activity, and the occasional melodic fragment which isn't sustained, becoming more pronounced in a final off kilter coming together. While at the other is the joyful upbeat South African jazz of "Kudala (Long Ago)" complete with Bynum's playful cornet parachuting in for a goodtime romp. Lash's "Second" makes for a bright opener, with piano and cornet spots gradually stretching the buoyant framework of interweaving lines. Elsewhere "Albert Ayler (his life was too short)" is a gentle processional rendition of the late Leroy Jenkins tune with cornet taking the composer's violin part, while "The Pitts" is a lyrical world weary theme by the drummer with a lilting piano solo. Although the broad sweep might disorientate some listeners, nothing smacks of pastiche, and the varied program coheres around the conviction and skill of the participants. So prolific is the Clean Feed label that some releases are easily overlooked. This shouldn't be one of them.

~ John Sharpe, All About Jazz
2010: Various Artists - Big Swing: African-American Legends of the Big Band Era Swing, Big Band
2010: Various Artists - Big Swing: African-American Legends of the Big Band Era
Artist: Various Artists
Album: Big Swing: African-American Legends of the Big Band Era
Label:Nordstrom CD 80013895-02
Year: 2010
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 320 Kbps
Time: 57:54
Size: 123.8MB

Swingin' compilation offers an impressive sampling of legendary artists of the Big Band era, including Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.
1968: Billy Hawks - More Heavy Soul Music » Soul » Soul-Jazz
1968: Billy Hawks - More Heavy Soul
Artist: Billy Hawks
Album: More Heavy Soul
Label: Prestige
Year: 1968
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 320 Kbps
Time: 30m.20s
Size: 39.8mb

Billy Hawks second album for Prestige, (see previous post for his first offering) and as far as I know his final recording.Difficult to categorise,it falls between Blues and SoulJazz.From the opening bars of the first track "OhBaby",you know you are in for a classic Jazz Dancer and on to the bluesy "Drown in my own tears",it`s a gritty,getdown performance.
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