Thursday, April 22, 2010

Heat Wave

I suck at writing reviews. I liked it. If you don't like it don't buy it. :o)

Album: Heat Wave
Year: 1982
Label: Concord Jazz

Cal Tjader: vibes
Carmen McRae: vocals
Marshall Otwell: piano on 2,3,5,7,8,9
Mark Levine: piano on 1,4,6,10
Rob Fisher: bass
Vince Lateano: drums
Poncho Sanchez: congas and percussion
Ramon Banda: timbales and percussion
Al Bent: trombone
Mike Heathman: trombone

Track List:

  1. Heat Wave
  2. All In Love Is Fair
  3. Besame Mucho
  4. Evil Ways
  5. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
  6. Love
  7. Upside Down (Flor De Lis)
  8. The Visit
  9. Speak Low
  10. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

sounds like:

I Remember Miles

There are a few remarkable recreations on tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson's tribute to Miles Davis, particularly "'Round Midnight" and parts of "So What" and "Bye Bye Blackbird." Trumpeter Eddie Henderson (especially when muted) comes very close to duplicating not only the sound but the spirit of Davis while Golson sometimes discards his own strong musical personality to do close impressions of John Coltrane. Trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Tony Reedus are also in fine form on a program that not only has five songs associated with 1950s Miles Davis but three Golson originals including "One Day, Forever (I Remember Miles)" which (although worthy) is not in the same league as his earlier classic "I Remember Clifford." This heartfelt tribute album has enough unique moments to make it easily recommended.

~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Artist: Benny Golson
Album: I Remember Miles
Year: 1992
Label: Evidence

Benny Golson: tenor sax
Eddie Henderson: trumpet
Curtis Fuller: trombone
Ray Drummond: bass
Tony Reedus: drums
Mulgrew Miller: piano

Track List:
  1. Four
  2. Heartstrings
  3. 'Round Midnight
  4. Bye Bye Blackbird
  5. One Day, Forever
  6. Autumn Leaves
  7. So What
  8. Uptown Afterburn

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or even flac

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Turtle's Dream

Since her 1960 recording for Candid, Abbey Lincoln has brought an unequaled passion to the jazz vocal art, an ability to invest words with special shades of meaning that recalls the spirit of Billie Holiday. Her talent has long been appreciated more by musicians than by a large general audience (perhaps because her work is so focused on maximizing the emotional potential of a lyric rather than on treating the voice as an instrument, as many jazz singers do). That respect is reciprocal: her work has always featured the finest musicians, from Eric Dolphy to Stan Getz. Lincoln composed most of the music and lyrics on this 1994 set, and each song is a journey into the self, into the wellsprings of life, from loss to joy. Her accompanists rise to the emotional occasion: fine moments are contributed by Kenny Barron, Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, saxophonist Julien Lourau, and Lincoln's frequent accompanist, pianist Rodney Kendrick.

-Stuart Broomer

Album: A Turtle's Dream
Year: 1994
Label: Verve

Abbey Lincoln: vocals
Rodney Kendrick: piano
Charlie Haden: bass
Victor Lewis: drums
Roy Hargrove: trumpet on 4,8
Julien Lourau: soprano saxophone on 10 and tenor saxophone on 2,4,7,8
Kenny Barron: piano on 3,11
Pat Metheny: guitars on 1,5,6,11
Lucky Peterson: guitar and background vocals on 9
Christian McBride: bass on 4,8
Michael Bowie: bass on 7,9
String arrangements by:
Laurent Cugny on 1
Randolph Noel on 3

Track List:
  1. Throw It Away
  2. A Turtle's Dream
  3. Down Here Below
  4. Nature Boy
  5. Avec Le Temps
  6. Should've Been
  7. My Love Is You
  8. Storywise
  9. Hey, Lordy Mama
  10. Not To Worry
  11. Being Me

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The five seasons

"A well-bred demon" is what Leonard Bernstein once called Eddie Daniels. Daniels by now is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz clarinetists alive. The aptly titled 1986 Breakthrough on GRP Records first showcased his unique and uncanny command of both jazz and classical styles. While nearly all subsequent releases were excursions into various jazz formats, Danny Weiss from Shanachie Records must have based his request on the precedent of Breakthrough-- a request, namely, to do a new jazz and classical version of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

The original score for orchestra and solo violin was to remain untouched, the solo violin parts to be transposed to suit the vocal range of the clarinet. There would be written-out sections of superimposed jazz. These might broaden into full-scale jazz improv based on the harmonic progression of the various seasons. The orchestra would simultaneously maintain rapport with Vivaldi’s score and ensure eventual return to it. Other excursions would drift into even more unexpected territory: a jazz trio of piano, drums and bass. And then of course there was the sacrilegious idea to add a fifth season.

If you’re not a clarinet player, the multidimensional enormity of this proposal can’t be fully appreciated. The classical literature for the clarinet is very limited and restricted to a few major solo works and innumerable chamber-music scores by lesser-order composers. The violin, next to the piano, is the solo instrument that has most captured the imagination of the first tier composers, and its repertoire is the envy of all others. The body of work available to the violinist is like that of a sumo wrestler compared to the mountain hermit of the clarinet. To be offered a chance to broaden the vocabulary must have strongly appealed to Eddie Daniels, while the monstrous technical demands might have initially had a more sobering effect. But this glove had been thrown in public, and Daniels gracefully bowed to pick it up. He chose his fellow duelists carefully: the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and a jazz trio of Alan Broadbent on piano, Peter Erskine on drums and Dave Carpenter on bass.

If you are familiar with Jacques Loussier’s Plays Bach oeuvre, you know how much swing is maybe not overtly obvious but nonetheless intrinsically inherent in Johann Sebastian, just waiting to be tapped by a clever Frenchman. But Vivaldi seems a bit more farfetched. You might doubt that it could be pulled off with Baroque. Loussier himself tried it on Telarc, and while his Bach remains the undisputed and pioneering masterwork of jive-talking classics, his Vivaldi just doesn’t yield as willingly.

Eddie Daniels' venture is a much more fulfilling vision. He introduces the diction and inflections of jazz sparingly, enhancing the score more than altering it. When he goes off the charts, as he must when the jazz trio kicks in, he does so by shifting dimensions. You remember the ladder he took up into the sky, but then you’re up above the clouds and the vision is different. Sometimes the return to earth is sudden; at other times it’s very gradual, as if lowering down in an air balloon. But these side trips into the blue don’t alienate you from Antonio Vivaldi, and when you’re back in his familiar embrace you stay curious as to what particular phrase or harmonic progression might become the next elevator shift for Daniels' jazz spins.

To appreciate Daniels' technical wizardry while he fearlessly navigates the solo violin passages through the seasons would require familiarity with his instrument. Even then, it’d be a bit too academic and dry, like marveling over a vineyard’s soil analysis without ever tasting its wine. Forgetting all technical analysis, Daniels' playing is sheer delight -- light, fleet-footed, sophisticated and utterly submitted to being a hollow bamboo for Vivaldi. His tone is chalumeau-like, slim and refined as befits the era had there been a clarinet. The transitions between the centuries, Vivaldi’s then and jazz’s now, are compellingly subtle and natural, even though this seems to be a contradiction in terms. But surely, rather than turning in his grave, Vivaldi would have offered a cheering toast and split his fingers in the universal V of victory: Viva Vivaldi!

The Four Seasons is arguably one of the most popular classical works ever, adored and beloved even by folks who usually shun the sophisticated snobbery of so many concert halls. This recording offers an entirely new take, and does so with respect, charm and a willingness to abandon preconceptions and plunge into unknown territories. And if you live in one of those areas that seem eternally condemned to alternate between merely twoseasons, doesn’t the notion of a fifth pique your interest just a bit? spring, summer, fall, winter -- and Eddie Daniels?

Srajan Ebaen -

Artist: Eddie Daniels
Album: The five seasons
Year: 1996
Label: Shanachie

Eddie Daniels: clarinet
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Bernard Rubenstein Conducting

The Jazz Ensemble:
Allan Broadbent: piano
Peter Erskine: drums
Dave Carpenter: bass
Arranged by Jorge Calandrelli

Track List:

  1. spring 1
  2. spring 2
  3. spring 3
  4. summer 1
  5. summer 2
  6. summer 3
  7. autumn 1
  8. autumn 2
  9. autumn 3
  10. winter 1
  11. winter 2
  12. winter 3
  13. the fifth season (Jorge Calandrelli)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

... And She Answered

I have been loving this since 1991. The older I get the better it gets.

Artist: AM4
Album: ...and she answered
Year: 1989
Label: ECM

Wolfgang Puschnig: Alto Saxophone, Alto Flute, Hojak, Shakuhachi
Linda Sharrock: Vocals
Uli Scherer: Piano, Prepared Piano, Keyboards

Track List:

  1. Streets And Rivers
  2. And She Answered: When You Return to Me, I Will Open Quick the Cage Do or, I Will Let the Red Bird Flee
  3. Lonley Woman
  4. Mi-La
  5. Bhagavad
  6. Over the Rainbow
  7. Far Horizon
  8. The Sadness of Yuki
  9. Oh!
  10. One T'une

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hidden Charms

There's so much to say about this man...instead of me copying and pasting all that information here you should just click on his name and read on. :o)

Artist: Willie Dixon
Album: Hidden Charms
Year: 1991
Label: Capitol Records

Willie Dixon: Vocals
Lafayette Leake: Piano
Red Callender: Bass
Earl Palmer: Drums
Cash McCall: Electric Guitar, National Steel, and Harmony Vocals
'T' Bone Burnett: Dobro
Sugar Blue: Harmonica

Track List:

  1. Blues You Can't Loose
  2. I Don't Trust Myself
  3. Jungle Swing
  4. Don't Mess With The Messer
  5. Study War No More
  6. I Love The Live I Live (I Live The Life I Love)
  7. I Cry For You
  8. Good Advice
  9. I Do The Job

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Mystical Garden

Working with longtime producer-multi-instrumentalist Brine Keane, Omar Faruk Tekbilek creates evocative soundscapes of Middle Eastern origin, both original compositions and arrangements of traditional material. Ney, kavala, zurna, baglama, oud, bendir and cumbus are set in a discreet wash of synthesizer drones and percussion parts performed by five members of his ensemble. The tone is light but spiritual, retaining an affinity to his heritage--but with a nod to contemporary New Age sensibilities, especially in the simple arrangements and occasional use of ambient nature sound effects. However, the strength of musicianship and commitment to tradition assures that Mystical Garden stays firmly rooted in the pastures of Allah and not in the organic flower borders of background music. Tekbilek makes original and uplifting music that consistently rewards the listener.

~Derek Rath (

Album: Mystical Garden
Year: 1996
Label: Celestial Harmonies

Omar Faruk Tekbilek: Ney, Kavala, Zurna, Baglama, Jura, Oud, Darbuka, Bendir, Tambourine, Davul, Finger Cymbals, Synthesizers, Vocals.
Brian Keane: Guitars, Synthesizers, Arrangements, Basses, Percussion, Cymbals, Drums.
Hassan Isikkut: Kanun, Violin.
Arto Tuncboyaciyan: Frame Drums, Shakers, Bells, Bendirs, Zil, Triangle, Guiro, Davul, Water Bowl, Vocals (tracks 1,3,7), Percussion (track 2).
Ara Dinkjian: Oud, Cumbus (tracks 3,5,7)
Dan Pickering: Flugelhorn (track 1)

Track List:
  1. other side of the river
  2. magic of the evening
  3. laz
  4. shashkin
  5. hasret
  6. egyptian dance
  7. three last words
  8. mystical garden
  9. hu allah
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