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1974: Paul Desmond - Skylark Jazz, Cool
1974: Paul Desmond - Skylark
Artist: Paul Desmond
Album: Skylark
Label: CTI
Year: 1974
Format: Flac
Time: 51:28
Size: 290 MB w. artwork

Repost with new links from hungaropitecus

Moving over to the CTI label with Creed Taylor, Paul Desmond injects a bit of the 1970s into his sound, obtaining agreeable if not totally simpatico results. Here, the cool altoist is teamed with the progressive-slanted drumming of Jack DeJohnette (who might have been too busy a drummer for his taste), and Bob James' electric and acoustic pianos, with Ron Carter as the bass anchor, Gene Bertoncini on rhythm guitar, and, most interestingly, another individualist, Gabor Szabo, on solo electric guitar. For the first and only time, even taking into account the most inspired moments of Jim Hall, Desmond is not the most interesting soloist on his own record, for it is Szabo who most consistently draws you in with his mesmerizing incantations over vamps from the rhythm section. For those who missed it the first time, Desmond remakes "Take Ten" without the Middle Eastern elements "Romance de Amor" is eventually dominated by Szabo, and the inclusion of "Was a Sunny Day" proves that Desmond's involvement with the music of Paul Simon in 1970 was not a passing infatuation. Don Sebesky is credited with the "arrangements" but his orchestrating hand is not felt except for a single solo cello (George Ricci) in an adaptation of Purcell ("Music for a While"). It's a cautious change of pace for Desmond, although the fiercer context into which he was placed doesn't really fire his imagination.
Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide
1995: Mark Isham - Blue Sun Music » Jazz » Fusion
1995: Mark Isham - Blue Sun
Artist: Mark Isham
Album: Blue Sun
Label: Columbia
Year: 1995
Genre: New Age
Format: lossless
Time: 60:37
Size: 353 MB
AMG rating:1995: Mark Isham - Blue Sun

REPOST with new lossless links from Mr.hungaropitecus

A fine album by this trumpeter better known for film scores and Windham Hill new age electronics than for jazz. However, on this outing, Mark Isham struts his jazz stuff. Although the instrumentation includes electric bass, occasional electric piano, and a sprinkling of atmospheric electronics, the feel here is of an acoustic recording of the cool jazz school. Isham's quintet includes Steve Tavaglione on tenor saxophone and David Goldblatt on piano, both of whom inform this music with elegance and grace. Isham himself has never sounded better on record, recalling the Miles Davis of the '50s at times, and the rhythm section of drummer Kurt Wortman and bassist Doug Lunn keeps the music moving at a relaxed pace. Isham's work in his Windham Hill days was, while interesting, easily identifiable and properly classified in the new age bin. Here, he has moved into a new, classy direction, proving he can write and perform well-crafted music of substance. ~ Jim Newsom, All Music Guide
1964: Freddie Roach - Brown Sugar Music » Soul » Soul-Jazz
1964: Freddie Roach - Brown Sugar
Artist: Freddie Roach
Album: Brown Sugar
Label: Blue Note
Year: 1964
Format, bitrate: Mp3, 320 kBit/s
Time: 36:85
Size: 93 MB + Booklet
AMG Rating: 1964: Freddie Roach - Brown Sugar

Repost with a new link from egroj

Brown Sugar marks a turning point for Freddie Roach: It's the moment he decided to get dirty, funky, and soulful. Previously, he had plenty of funk in his playing, but he was tasteful, at times a little bit too tasteful. On Brown Sugar, he simply burns. The album is devoted to blues, R&B, and soul, with the title track (the lone original on the album) functioning as a rallying cry of sorts. Roach is hotter than ever, but he never overplays or overloads the organ; whether it's slow blues or smoking R&B, he gets deep into the groove and works it hard, without neglecting to contribute compelling solos. And if you're looking for compelling solos, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson proves that he is as exceptional with R&B and soul-jazz as he is with hard bop. Clarence Johnston, Roach's longtime drummer, provides stable support and guitarist Eddie Wright has his moments as well, helping make Brown Sugar the standout item in Roach's catalog.
~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
2008: Lizz Wright - The Orchard Music » Jazz » Vocal Jazz
2008: Lizz Wright - The Orchard
Artist: Lizz Wright
Album: The Orchard
Label: Verve Forecast
Year: 2008
Quality: FLAC + Cue
Size: 319mb (with covers)
Total time: 01:02:20

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Half of Lizz Wright's third album is a reinvention of the blues, an articulation of hard times and mistakes buoyed with the sense that change is around the corner. The other half is gently percolating music that enlivens, picks up the listener and transports them; it's those tunes that prevent "The Orchard" from sliding into the 12-bar doldrums.

After building a reputation for insightful interpretations, Wright partners with Toshi Reagon to pen seven of the dozen tunes on "The Orchard" and, among the songs from others, she turns to Reagon's mother Bernice for the country gospel gem "Hey Man." Producer Craig Street has carefully constructed the album, treating the songs like bare rooms that don't need much more than a couch a lamp and a rug. Some are colorful, others muted. But there are a few exceptions, and those are brightly colored with accents from the Caribbean.

"The Orchard," more than her previous disc, has an unerring intimacy. It is slow and pensive, a reflection of her rural Georgia roots and the inspiration for the album. Wright proffers a portrait of woman looking inward and expressing fear ("When I Fall"), empowerment from a ditched relationship ("Leave Me Standing Alone") and empowerment from change ("This Is"); "Speak Your Heart," which Wright wrote with Dave Tozer, is an ethereal feel. The Wright-Reagon works have a distinct pliability to them: Some could be easily beefed up for Beyonce or Alicia Keys to interpret and others could be shrunk and sound like John Lee Hooker in the early '60s.

Tim Warfield - One For Shirley Music » Soul » Soul-Jazz
Tim Warfield - One For ShirleyArtist: Tim Warfield
Album: One For Shirley
Label: Criss Cross
Year: 2008
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 75:36
Size: 87.8MB

A veteran of the groups of Nicholas Payton and Adonis Rose, saxophonist Tim Warfield breaks significantly from the format of the four previous Criss Cross sides. One For Shirley pays homage to the legendary organist Shirley Scott, with whom Warfield play
Tim Warfield, a big-toned, swaggering titan of the tenor saxophone, has decided to make his contribution to the jazz organ group tradition with ONE FOR SHIRLEY. The lady of the title is Shirley Scott, the late queen of jazz organ, with whom Warfield often played in the 1990s, and this set pays tribute to her style of bop-laced soul-jazz. Warfield's tenor (and soprano) is joined by Terrell Stafford's trumpet and Pat Bianchi's organ in a simmering, groove-heavy update of a Scott original as well as swing era and `60s pop classics--plus some nifty Warfield originals to put the icing on the cake.

~ Cd.universe
Paquito D'Rivera - Havana Cafe Music » Jazz » Latin
Paquito D'Rivera - Havana CafeArtist: Paquito D'Rivera
Album: Havana Cafe
Label: Chesky Records
Year: 1992
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 58:36
Size: 114MB
AMG Rating: Paquito D'Rivera - Havana Cafe

"Havana Cafe" was my introduction to Paquito D'Rivera's music in a small band setting. On this set D'Rivera plays alto and soprano sax, plus clarinet backed up by piano, guitar, bass, drums and percussion. The title track by musical director Danilo Perez opens the recording with a funky riff from the low end of the piano before breaking into a bright and upbeat melody; D'Rivera's alto sax solo is appropriately buoyant throughout. Guitarist Ed Cherry contributes "Jean Pauline", a smoothly grooving cha cha, and guitarist Fareed Haque brings his own "The Search", an exploratory piece of music. Two short tracks show off D'Rivera's considerable compositional skills: "Improvalsation", a duet for acoustic guitar and clarinet, and "Contradanza", a solo clarinet piece. These two works blur the lines between jazz, Latin and chamber music so effectively that trying to classify the them into any genre is futile. The highlight of "Havana Cafe" is the track "Who's Smoking?" a quick-paced bop number written by D'Rivera and featuring some excellent soloing from Ed Cherry. Although "Who's Smoking?" is dedicated to James Moody, D'Rivera is the one doing the smoking - his alto work on this track is, well, smoking. This is a killer set.
Johnny Shines - Hey, Ba-Ba-Re-Bop Music » Blues
Johnny Shines - Hey, Ba-Ba-Re-BopArtist: Johnny Shines
Album: Hey , Ba-Ba-Re-Bop
Label: Rounder
Year: 1978
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 42:37
Size: 72.3MB

Delta blues vocalist, guitarist and composer Johnny Shines hadn't yet encountered the physical difficulties that made his final years so troubling when he recorded the 13 selections on this CD. He could still sing and moan with intensity and passion, hold a crowd hypnotized with his remembrances and asides, and play with a mix of fury and charm. While the menu includes oft-performed chestnuts "Sweet Home Chicago," "Terraplane Blues" and "Milk Cow Blues," there wasn't anything staid or predictable about the way Shines ripped through the lyrics and presented the music. If you missed it the first time around, grab this one immediately.
~ Ron Wynn , AMG
Sergio Salvatore - Tune Up Music » Jazz » BeBop » Post-bop
Sergio Salvatore - Tune UpArtist: Sergio Salvatore
Album: Tune Up
Label: GRP
Year: 1994
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 53:57
Size: 93.1MB
AMG Rating: Sergio Salvatore - Tune Up

Sergio Salvatore certainly qualifies as a prodigy, having recorded two albums for GRP by the time he was 13. His father is a music teacher while his mother is a singer. Sergio began taking serious piano lessons at age four and amazingly enough his first two recordings give no hint as to his youth. Salvatore, who is influenced by Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea among others, held his own with the all-star casts (which include Dave Samuels, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, and even Corea), quite an impressive start to what should be a lengthy career.
~ Scott Yanow, AMG

Pianist Sergio Salvatore was only 13 at the time of this recording, his second release. But despite his extreme youth, one forgets Salvatore's age by the third song. He certainly gets the star treatment on the date, playing quartets with Gary Burton, interacting with the Brecker Brothers, and even duetting with Chick Corea on "Sea Journey." But Salvatore somehow manages to keep up with his illustrious sidemen, and the fairly complex music (which includes three of his impressive originals) rewards repeated listenings.
~ Scott Yanow , AMG
Nancy Wilson - R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) Music » Jazz » Vocal Jazz
Nancy Wilson - R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal)Artist: Nancy Wilson
Album: R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal)
Label: Manchester Craftsmen's Guild
Year: 2004
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 51:05
Size: 92MB

Nancy Wilson's R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) is her duets album, but unlike other recent releases by singers in this format, which feature two vocalists (and often oddly matched ones, at that), most of the pairings here are with instrumentalists like George Shearing, Toots Thielemans, Phil Woods, and Gary Burton, which means this remains very much Wilson's baby, dominated by her hushed and elegant vocals. Only two tracks feature other vocalists, one of which, a saccharine cover of Marvin Gaye's "Why Did I Choose You" sung with Kenny Lattimore, is worth a plea to the gods to let Gaye return to this veil of tears and give Wilson a worthy singing partner. Less pop than her recent outings, R.S.V.P. is mostly made up of ballads, highlighted by a wonderful version of Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" and the elegant, late-night regret of "Blame It on My Youth" which closes out the set, although Wilson steps up and swings on at least one track, the vibrant "Day In, Day Out." This might not be the greatest album of her half-century-long career, but it isn't an embarrassment, either (which can't always be said about some of the other duet projects major vocalists have released in recent years), and it shows that Wilson can still wring every last emotion on earth out of a ballad — then return to sing the second verse.
~ Steve Leggett , AMG
Bobby "Blue" Bland - Memphis Monday Morning Music » Blues
Bobby "Blue" Bland - Memphis Monday MorningArtist: Bobby "Blue" Bland
Album: Memphis Monday Morning
Label: Malaco
Year: 1985
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 49:24
Size: 91.8MB
AMG Rating: Bobby "Blue" Bland - Memphis Monday Morning

Age is no hindrance to Bobby "Blue" Bland doing what he does best — recording and entertaining. The husky-throated blues singer, who was close to 70 when this CD dropped, still has that growl that makes body hair stand on end, and he forges on stronger than ever without any noticeable quality drops — not recording-wise, anyway. Still strutting and profiling, Memphis Monday Morning commences with a taste of braggadocio la "I'm Bobby B"; the warning to all, "I Don't Want Nobody Kicking in My Stall"; and the "I'm letting you know (that I know what you've been doing)" "There's a Rat Loose in My House." It gets even better with chilling performances of "Memphis Monday Morning" and "I Hate Missing You." The titles are interesting in themselves, and when you add Bland's Jim Beam vocals; the best musicians in Mississippi; Quanda Brooks, Thomisene Anderson, and Jewel Bass' backing vocals; and production by Tommy Couch and Wolf Stephens, you have a high-quality, potent blues grenade on your hands.
~ Andrew Hamilton, AMG
Brian Lynch - Peer Pressure Music » Jazz » BeBop » Hard-bop
Brian Lynch - Peer PressureArtist: Brian Lynch
Album: Peer Pressure
Label: Criss Cross
Year: 1986
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 54:13
Size: 92.4MB

Lynch wrote three of the seven tracks, while Horace Silver, Benny Golson, Tommy Turrentine and Cole Porter penned one apiece. His trumpet sound definitely borrows from previous modern masters Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan & Bill Hardman, and the influence of Silver, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and those of the hard/post bop movement cannot be denied. The latin tinge is also prevalent on the Brazilian bossa inflected "Change Of Plan" and Silver's Afro-Cuban tinged classic "The Outlaw." These two selections serve Lynch well for future excursions away from strict mainstream jazz. A rock solid date from a promising musician whose star is on the rise.
~ Michael G. Nastos , AMG
George Benson - Love Remembers Music » Soul » Soul-Jazz
George Benson - Love Remembers
Artist: George Benson
Album: Love Remembers
Label: Warner Bros.
Year: 1993
Style: Crossover Jazz
Format: MP3@320
Time: 61:11
Size: 111Mb

By the time George Benson released Love Remembers for Warner in 1993, he had basically accomplished everything a musician could ever dream of: he has played with a who's who of jazz greats, scored big as both a jazz and an R&B artist, won numerous Grammys, and had his name become synonymous with two different radio formats: adult contemporary and smooth jazz. Long the bane of "serious" jazz critics, Benson didn't even need to think about it: he made music that communicated to millions from one record to the next — the man had a single or album somewhere on the charts ubiquitously from 1975 until the turn of the 20th century! This 12-track set listed a number of fine producers on its roster including Bob James, Stewart Levine, Gary Henry, Jimmy George, and David Gamson, in addition to the man himself . The set begins with the laid-back funky soul of Brian McKnight's "I'll Be Good to You." Benson's voice and Wah Wah Watson's guitar twin intro lines in trademark fashion before gliding right into the sensual lyric. The interesting thing here — besides the overwhelming infectiousness of the groove — is what a fine singer Benson had become by this time. With Ndugu Chandler on the kit, William Bryant on the Fender Rhodes, Bill Summers on percussion, and McKnight on backing vocals, the tune is unbeatable as an album opener — radio listeners thought so, too. "Got to Be There" is a romantic ballad with Benson in the guitar as well as vocal chairs, Melvin Davis holding down the big bank of keys, and Gary Henry handling the programmed loops and percussion samples. It's elegant, graceful and drenched in atmosphere. The old CTI gang gets together again on the Bob James produced instrumental "My Heart Is Dancing" by Omar Hakim. James Benson, Hubert Laws, Richard Tee, Randy Brecker, and Hakim team with relative newcomer Kirk Whalum on saxophone. It's an easy, mysterious groover with hip guitar work and horn charts. Another fine instrumental on the set is Whalum's "Willing to Fight," with James, bassist Will Lee, Hakim, Whalum and especially Benson all in fine form. This one got played like crazy on contemporary jazz radio stations at the time, and despite the dated sound of its production, holds up beautifully as a composition. Benson turns in another inspired vocal performance on "Lovin' on Borrowed Time," a mid-tempo soul tune written by Benson and John F. Hammond. A real surprise is the second from last cut, a cover of Ronnie Foster's "Lost in Love," with Phil Upchurch guesting on rhythm guitar and the composer on keyboards along with Paulinho Da Costa on percussion. A shimmering buckle shiner of a track, its groove is drenched in melody with Foster's keys hovering right around Benson's lead lines with Upchurch painting the backdrop with gorgeous chord fills. Love Remembers is certainly a solid high mark for Benson in the '90s, and anyone interested in Benson's brand of pop will be delighted with it.
~ Thom Jurek , AMG
Jim Snidero - Blue Afternoon Jazz, Post-bop
Jim Snidero - Blue AfternoonArtist: Jim Snidero
Album: Blue Afternoon
Label: Criss Cross
Year: 1989
Format, bitrate: MP3, 320 kbps
Time: 58:31
Size: 101Mb

A fine post-bop improviser and alto saxman, Jim Snidero is a bit underrated but is well-appreciated by his fellow musicians. He attended the University of North Texas and moved to New York in 1981. Snidero toured and recorded with Jack McDuff, he's been a member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra since the mid-'80s, has worked with the backup bands of Frank Sinatra and Eddie Palmieri, and has spent time playing with the Frank Wess Sextet, the Mel Lewis Orchestra, and the Mingus Big Band. As a leader, Jim Snidero has recorded for the Japanese East World label (1984), Ken, Square Discs, Red, and Criss Cross. He has also recorded as a sideman with Brian Lynch, Conrad Herwig, and Tom Varner, and been active in jazz education both as a teacher and as an author of instructional books.
~ Scott Yanow, AMG
Chris Potter - Follow the Red Line: Live at the Village Vanguard Music » Jazz » BeBop » Post-bop

Chris Potter - Follow the Red Line: Live at the Village Vanguard
Artist: Chris Potter
Album: Follow the Red Line: Live at the Village Vanguard
Label: Sunnyside
Year: 2007
Format: MP3@320
Time: 73:19
Size: 103Mb
AMG rating Chris Potter - Follow the Red Line: Live at the Village Vanguard

Chris Potter's quartet Underground should be looked upon as one of the many facets in the saxophonist's prismatic view of contemporary jazz. Certainly the band is oriented toward a progressive jazz image with the electric guitar work of the brilliant Adam Rogers and Craig Taborn's witty and pungent Fender Rhodes keyboard. Assumedly the concept of Underground harks somewhat to the fusion of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. But Potter's vision with this combo goes beyond those static and funkier values, entering a wilder, unabashed, and fierce aggression that cannot be corralled. In live performance at the storied Village Vanguard nightclub in Greenwich Village, you expect and receive long drawn-out compositions, extended solos especially from Potter, and new music tried out as audience experiments. "Train" is a long 16-minute trip, with mixed meters starting in 3/4 and going to 6/8, building momentum and leading to alternating beats of nine and seven and Potter's extended opening salvo solo. This is intense music sliced, diced, marinated, and flash-seared by Potter. "Arjuna" (not the Yusef Lateef composition) is a spectral sound analysis, lower key and illuminated, with a drum solo from Nate Smith, a Rhodes solo, choppy sax, and a workout from Potter and Rogers. Fond of interval leaps and overblown harmonic displacements, Potter's tenor is driven during "Viva Las Vilnius" over a quirky rhythmic idea meshed with a funky bottom end and Latin or ethnic inferences. The last two pieces of the set are decidedly settled, as Taborn's soulful electric piano on the sparse ballad "Zea" places the group in a calmer place and Potter plays delicate bass clarinet in an upper register atypical of its usual throaty sound. The finale, "Togo," is a version of the great melodic composition drummer Ed Blackwell brought to the repertoire of Old and New Dreams. It's very well rendered, with Potter sticking to bass clarinet, understating the melody with reverence and respect before Taborn goes crazy, stepping up the vibe into a funky mode while Potter switches to tenor and plays the calmer final chorus. For Potter's fans, this is a worthwhile addition to his growing discography. Considering Potter as a new music composer, this indicates how his music is changing and still flowering, and in a developmental stage. Evidently Potter and the audience were very pleased with the results, and perhaps a second volume of these sessions is in the can.
~ Michael G. Nastos , AMG

Freddie Cole - Always Music » Jazz » Vocal Jazz
Freddie Cole - Always Artist: Freddie Cole
Album: Always
Label: Fantasy
Year: 1994
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 53:27
Size: 96.5Mb

You have to hand it to Freddy Cole for breathing fresh air into such overdone classics as Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" and Amanda McBroom's "The Rose," originally made famous by Bette Midler. Cole, whose voice is reminiscent of his much-beloved older brother, Nat "King" Cole, even successfully tackles David Gates' "If," popularized by '70s mellow marvel Bread. Cyrus Chestnut shines on the piano throughout. Always also features Antonio Hart, Javon Jackson, Grover Washington, Jr., and Russ Kunkel. Nice arrangements and understated production.
~ Tim Griggs , AMG
Dr. Lonnie Smith - Rise Up Music » Soul » Soul-Jazz
Dr. Lonnie Smith - Rise UpArtist: Dr. Lonnie Smith
Album: Rise Up
Label: Palmetto
Year: 2009
Format: MP3 VBR
Time: 60:08
Size: 60 Mb

REPOST with a new link

Who says you have to slow down as you get older? The honorable B-3 master, Dr. Lonnie Smith, has been on a renaissance tear since the beginning of the 21st century. Rise Up! is the fifth new recording since 2000, and there have been a number of reissues of his older work to boot. Given that some artists issue a record a year, this may not seem like such a terrific feat but appearances are deceiving. Smith recorded only 13 albums between 1966 and 1996, so five in nine years is actually prolific. It's not only the quantity, however, it's the consistency of the quality of the records Smith has been releasing that is outstanding, and Rise Up! is no exception.
Ever since 2000's Turbanator and 2003's Boogaloo to Beck: A Tribute, Smith has packed his records with covers and originals that accent the "soul" in the deep, wide tradition of soul-jazz. Sure, he's funky, he's got chops, grooves, and tricks, and he's surrounded himself with compelling musicians from Jimmy Ponder to David "Fathead" Newman to great effect. Since 2003 he's been working with guitarist and producer Matt Balitsaris and the results have been, and remain, electrifying. This set, with guitarist Peter Bernstein, saxophonist Donald Harrison, and drummer Herlin Riley with extra help on a couple of cuts from Balitsaris and percussionist James Shipp is one of his most realized, funky, and resonant dates yet. The set jumps off with Smith's original "Matterapat,"showcasing the smoking Latin percussion of Shipp and taut, off-kilter breaks from Riley, the front line is all knotty soul and blues. The theme is greasy and in the pocket; Harrison's solo moves effortlessly from post-bop to soul. The cover of the Beatles' "Come Together" that follows is even nastier, with Smith's below-the-basement vocal growl on the first verse all but indecipherable except as a snarling rap. It's another instrument in this band's arsenal. This is a slow bump and funky grind with a big payoff. "Pilgrimage" begins as a ballad but quickly asserts itself as a cooker thanks to Riley playing counterpoint breaks to Smith's B-3. Other covers that appear and are reinvented in Smith's musical vocabulary are the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams," which commences, seemingly, as an astral afterthought but finds a deep percussive bottom end and a spooky articulation of the melody that is all rhythm based. One can guarantee that the version of "People Make the World Go 'Round" found here is unlike any other that exists. It's the longest cut on the set and builds itself right from a lithe, breezy funk groove with a poppin' set of rimshot breakbeats from Riley. Harrison is the perfect foil for Smith because of his lyric sensibility; it is the perfect counter to the percussive groove quotient of Smith. The solos here are wonderfully complex and sophisticated and the use of harmonic extension in the ensemble's reading is pure magic. The set ends on an atmospheric blues tip with Smith's "Voodoo Doll," where Harrison's alto plays it straight out of the noir-ish dark and into the shadows where traces of light emerge. Smith's comping and eventually structural form for the tune transforms it into a swirling, shimmering heat with Bernstein's guitar erecting a pulsing bridge for Riley. It's a killer way to end a record. For B-3 fans, Rise Up! is nothing but solid in terms of tunes, arrangements, and heat.

~ Thom Jurek, AMG
Stefano Di Battista - Trouble Shootin' Music » Jazz » BeBop » Post-bop
Stefano Di Battista - Trouble Shootin'Artist: Stefano Di Battista
Album: Trouble Shootin'
Label: Blue Note
Year: 2007
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 56 Min

Italian saxophonist Stefano di Battista has released a trio of albums as a leader, two of which were never issued in the U.S. The third, a U.S. release in 2000 from Blue Note, is self-titled and mainly features di Battista's own compositions. In addition, it includes "Song for Flavia" by Rosario Bonaccorso and a pair of songs by Jacky Terrasson, "Chicago 1987" and "Little Red Ribbon." Both bassist Bonaccorso and pianist Terrasson appear on the album, accompanied by former Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones and trumpeter Flavio Boltro.
Di Battista, a native of Rome who plays both soprano and alto saxophone, took up the instrument when he was 13 to play with some friends from his neighborhood.

~ Linda Seida, AMG
Pamela Williams - Elixir Music » Jazz » Fusion » Smooth & Lounge
Pamela Williams - ElixirArtist: Pamela Williams
Album: Elixir
Label: Shanachie
Year: 2006
Format, bitrate: MP3@320
Time: 40:49
Size: 45.5Mb
AMG Rating: Pamela Williams - Elixir

While her more publicized blonde counterparts Candy Dulfer and Mindi Abair have probably gotten more thunder from the smooth jazz world and beyond, the Philly bred saxophonist has slowly emerged as a champion of a silky yet grooving, modern yet retro style best dubbed "smooth urban jazz." While Pamela Williams has been a hit from the get-go -- her 1996 recording debut Saxtress earned the first of numerous accolades from the R&B world -- there's no question her last two Shanachie discs have shown her at her inviting, infectious best. She made a brilliant choice on Elixir to work with keyboardist and fellow saxman David Mann, whose texturing and irresistible Philly soul ambience inspires Williams to work wonders with the punchy first single "Positive Vibe," the sexy and swaying opening track "Forbidden Fruit," and the romantic and inspirational "A Toast to Eternity." Williams herself emerges as a solid writer/producer as well, crafting, among others, the sensual and laid-back title track, the buoyant, old-school slow funk jam "In the Cut," and the passionate but low-key ballad "Rejuvination." She also pays homage to Al Jarreau with a simmering, slightly brooding cover of "Give Me What You Got." Williams has long claimed Grover Washington, Jr. as her main inspiration, and his cool balance of edgy funk and rich seduction has come to define Williams' emergence as a smooth jazz heavy hitter. He was proud of her when he was alive and he's no doubt beaming wherever he is now.
~ Jonathan Widran , AMG
Eddie Jefferson - Body And Soul Music » Jazz » Vocal Jazz
Eddie Jefferson - Body And SoulArtist: Eddie Jefferson
Album: Body And Soul
Label: Prestige/OJC
Year: 1968
Release: 1991
Format, bitrate: MP3, 192 kbps
Time: 35:21
Size: 50Mb
AMG Rating: Eddie Jefferson - Body And Soul

Eddie Jefferson had not been on record in quite a few years when he recorded this excellent set (reissued on CD) for Prestige. A few of the songs ("Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Psychedelic Sally" and "See If You Can Git to That") were attempts to update the singer's style in the mod idiom of the late '60s but the most memorable selections are "So What" (on which Jefferson recreates Miles Davis's famous solo), "Body and Soul", "Now's the Time," "Oh Gee" and "Filthy McNasty"; the latter has very effective lyrics by writer Ira Gitler. Tenorman James Moody, trumpeter Dave Burns and pianist Barry Harris are in the supporting cast of this excellent set.
~ Scott Yanow, AMG
Sonny Stitt - Low Flame Jazz, BeBop
Sonny Stitt - Low FlameArtist: Sonny Stitt
Album: Low Flame
Label: Jazzland
Year: 1962
Format, bitrate: Mp3@320
Time: 76:51
Size: 104 Mb

Stitt plays both tenor and alto sax on this set, backed by his working band of the time: Don Patterson on organ, Billy James on drums, and Paul Weeden on guitar. This small combo jazz fits between Bebop and soul-jazz, dominated by group-penned material. Stitt gets an especially smoky tone on the ballads, particularly on the title track, which is a sultry blues number also featuring the guitarist and organ in their solo turns. Weeden distinguishes himself more as a soloist than Patterson does, particularly on the Wes Montgomery-type lines on "Silly Billy." Prestige's 1999 CD reissue of the album combines Low Flame and the entirety of Stitt's 1964 album Shangri-La (which also features Patterson and James, though not Weeden) on the same disc.
~ Richie Unterberger, AMG
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