Betty Carter - I'm Yours, You're Mine|
Miss Carter's newest takes the listener on another
journey into a magic world of new found lyricism. When it comes
to quality in the music and the musicians she surrounds herself
with (where does she get them?), she is reliable as the sun on
a tropical isle. Her singing is of the highest order and she can
bend and reshape notes in such a manner that you wonder how she
will ever get out of the corners she sometimes places herself
in. She allows her chosen sidemen plenty of space to take chances
too, making the result a thrilling adventure. Curtis Lundy is
the bassist, Gregory Hutchinson - drums, Xavier Davis - piano,
plus the addition of Mark Shim on tenor and Andre Hayward - trombone.
Matt Hughes replaces Lundy on most of the tracks which include
"This Time", "Close your Eyes", "East
of the Sun", and a wonderful interpretation of Antonio Carlos
Jobim's "Useless Landscape" sung in Portugese and English.
Verve 314 533 182-2 To Order
Jimmy Smith - "Angel Eyes"|
The B3 master is back with a set of ballads and blues
and some very special guests to assist him with a well chosen
set of tunes. The rapport the veteran jazz musician establishes
with his younger collaborators is a joy throughout the whole 9
tracks. The mood is set from the opening moments of "Stolen
Moments" with statements from Jimmy, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas
Payton, Mark Whitfield, Christian McBride and Gregory Hutchinson.
Jimmy brings one of the members of the band to the fore for each
track and lays down a nice groove behind them. "Angel Eyes"
has some Wes Montgomery inspired work from Mark Whitfield, "You
better go now" is all Jimmy and Roy. "Bess, Oh where's
my Bess" and "What a wonderful World" are solo
spots for Mr.Smith and he creates a warm and embraceable mood.
For a more upbeat and aggressive setting check out the reissue
of Jimmy's "Got My Mojo Working" and "Hochie Coochie
Man" (2 LP's now available on one CD) in the company of an
orchestra lead by Oliver Nelson. Both of these CD's are worthy
of your attention.
Verve 314 527 632-2 To Order
Got my Mojo Working
Verve 314 533 828-2To Order
Carol Welsman - Inclined|
To quote some comments made by fellow musicians:
"Carol Welsman is undoubtedly the best jazz vocalist on the
scene today" (Peter Appleyard). "Her day has
come. She has to be heard by everyone because she is so
talented. Harmonically she is fantastic". (Guido Basso).
Carol Welsman is the perfect example of a vocal musician. She
has a warm, relaxing, well-paced sound......."(Ranee Lee).
This her second recording and should certainly draw much attention
to the remarkable talent she displays both in her vocals and piano
playing. Listen closely to her interpretation of "Fever"
done here with just piano and the gentle flugelhorn of Guido Basso,
the uptempo version of "My Favourite Things" with a
rousing solo by Phil Dywer on tenor, and "Fais Comme L'Oiseau"
sung in French featuring guitarist Rob Piltch, and of course the
title track "Inclined" and "New Day" both
original compositions by Carol with some intriguing lyrics. "Samba
De Uma Nota So" (One Note Samba) shows off another aspect
of the talents of Carol, her ability to sing in fluent Portugese.
Koch International is planning to produce albums by Carol in both
French and Italian.
Kudos to co-producer Gordon Sheard for this CD.
Welcar Music WMCD 363 To Order
Leroy Jones - Props for Pops|
As the title would suggest this is a recording dedicated
to the memory of Louis (Pops) Armstrong . There is a definitive
New Orleans feel to the music by these young musicians, and it
is not the choice of tunes that bring this to the fore.Leroy has
a brilliant tone, imaginative phrasing and his ideas flow easily.
And he swings hard all the time, with lightening fast phrases
a la Clifford Brown. Jones and trombonist Craig Klein (the only
other front line instrument) read each other's minds with clairvoyance
on most of the tracks. Leroy sings too, and the voice is steeped
in the early jazz tradition. The rhythm section changes on many
of the sessions so we get to hear pianists Richard Rhypps, Glenn
Patscha, Thaddeus Richard, and Harry Connick,Jr. Kerry Lewis and
Reginald Veal share the bass chores and Gerald French, Shannon
Powell split the drum chair between them.Tunes range from "Struttin'
with Some Barbeque", "Baby Won't you please come Home"
(Craig Klein sounding a lot like the late Vic Dickenson), "Jeepers
Creepers", "What a Wonderful World" (the spotlight
on Leroy's trumpet and vocal plus some strings), "When it's
Sleepy Time Down South" and "Beale Street Blues".
Revisit New Orleans with Leroy Jones and enjoy the wonderful memory
Noptee/Columbia CK 67643 To Order
Dodo Marmarosa - Up in Dodo's Room|
The subtitle of this CD is "The complete Dial
sessions: 1946-1947 and features one of the most brilliant pianists
to rise out of the Bop era. There were not many players who could
work with the legendary Charlie "Bird" Parker for any
length of time due to Parker's overpowering ideas. No matter how
good you were, Parker was always better, but Dodo (Michael) Marmarosa
was one musician who played piano for the Bird for over two years
but did not record that frequently in order to get exposure. These
sessions feature Dodo in trio settings with Harry Babasin on cello
and Jackie Mills - drums, some solo piano performances, two sextet
dates with Howard McGhee as leader and one session with the Charlie
Parker Septet which included Miles Davis and Lucky Thompson. It
is in the solo and trio performances that one gets to hear the
brilliance and highly original bop influenced lines that made
most of his contemporaries feel like an an anticlimax.
Jazz Classics CD-JZCL-6008 To Order
Howard McGhee - Trumpet at Tempo
More rare sessions from the same time period as the
above Marmaroso dates. Actually Marmaroso is on one of the dates
here with an alternate take of one of the tunes that appear on
the above date "Dilated Pupils". McGhee was probably
one of the best known Bop trumpet players after Dizzy Gillespie
in the late 1940's and one of the most recorded artists in that
period. His solos show a constant flow of ideas, perhaps with
fewer surprises and less humour than Gillespie, but swinging constantly.These
recordings are probably some of the best he did in the company
of Teddy Edwards, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown and J.C.Heard
amongst others. This CD has 21 tracks taken from four different
recording dates and is hard driving music that is characteristic
of the vitality of the period.Imaginative music from then practically
unknown artists which is a must in any person's collection which
has a BeBop section.
Classic Jazz CD-JZCL-6009 To Order
John Arpin - The Complete Piano Works of Scott
Considered by many to be the world's best "ragtime"
player, pianist John Arpin performs the music of the undisputed
"King of Ragtime". Although ragtime has been played
on virtually every instrument that exists, as well as full scale
bands and orchestras it is essentially a piano music, and in the
hands of Arpin it comes to life again. Many clubs have been formed
to keep this music intact, and pianist musicologist Joshua Rifkin
in 1971 recorded an album of Joplin's pieces for the Nonesuch
label which became a hit. This led to the movie "The Sting"
and later the Broadway show "Treemonisha" and thus a
new interest in ragtime was born. Now we have this remarkable
four CD set of superbly recorded versions of Joplin's compositions.
Many of the popular well known rags are here but the strength
is in the rare and "not so well known" titles, and the
manner in which Arpin approaches them.
Classical Heritage CH 1715 To Order
Fred Hersch plays Rodgers & Hammerstein
Pianist-Composer Fred Hersch seems very much at home
with the music of composers of popular music from the past, composers
he obviously admires tremendously as is the case here with a celebration
of piano solos of some of Rodgers & Hammersteins better known
works, but then what tunes did they write that didn't become well
known.Hersch is a true musician with virtuostic gifts and a rare
insight formed with close studies in both jazz and classical music
and obviously much hard work. He has proven himself with the likes
of Art Farmer, Lee Konitz, Stan Getz, Toots Thielmans and Joe
Henderson and it is a rare opportunity to hear him in a solo setting.
This one is well chosen and the music is a delight.
Nonesuch 9414-2To Order
Oscar Peterson - The Jazz Soul of Oscar Peterson/Affinity
Two for the price of one is this exceptional recording
of Mr. Peterson in trio format with Ray Brown - bass and Ed Thigpen
- drums from 1959 - "Soul" and 1962 "Affinity".
I treasure the "live" sessions done at the London House
in Chicago with this trio and "West Side Story", "Something
Warm" and "Very Tall" (with Milt Jackson added)
and the superb MPS recordings done later, but it is gratifying
to see these two sessions finally re-issued as they are Oscar
Peterson at a very high peak with two like minded musicians who
are constantly giving their best. From "Soul" rekindle
the warmth of "Con Alma", "The Maidens of Cadiz"
and "Woody 'n' You". Of the Affinity tracks the beautiful
"Waltz for Debby" is given another reading, different
from the original Bill Evans recording, savour once again "Gravy
Waltz", relax to the ballad "Baubles, Bangles, and Beads"
and listen very closely to Ray Brown's solo on "Six and Four".
The transfer to CD ensures that the sound quality is enhanced
and we can add two more exceptional Peterson sessions to our collection.
Verve 314 533 100-2 To Order
Dave Turner/Nelson Symonds - The Pulse Brothers
Recorded in 1993, and from the same session that
gave us "Thank you for your Hospitality" (DSM-3001)
the fiery saxophone voice we hear in the Vic Vogel Big Band is
heard here in extended performances of mostly standard tunes in
the company of the legendary guitarist Norman Symonds , Dave Gelfand
- bass and Claude Lavergne - drums. The audience in the Resto
Bar where this was recorded are for the most part quite attentive
and this inspires the group to great heights. Best tracks include
the ballad "Like someone in Love", "Black Orpheus"
done in the expected Bossa rhythm, a moving up tempo version of
"You stepped out of a Dream" and the Charlie Parker
composition "Au Privave" with an exciting and inventive
solo by Symonds.
DSM 3006 To Order
Tony Bennett on Holiday
Being a great admirer of both Billie Holiday and
Tony Bennett I looked forward to this release with some excitement
and I am not dissapointed. The treatment of the 19 classic selections
chosen is a pure tribute from Tony to "Lady Day". He
has captured the true feeling of the sadness that haunted Billie,
but at no time does he attempt to emulate her. The piano of long
time Tony Bennett's accompanist Ralph Sharon is at the forefront
throughout most of the songs, there are strings conducted by Jorge
Calandrelli on numerous tracks. Bennett remains a voice to marvel
at, his mastery of these tunes is testament to that, listen to
what he does with "Willow weep for me" bending notes,
adding breathy tones to capture your attention and give feeling
to the lyrics. Adding a new dimension to "What a little Moonlight
can Do". I can hear the pain in the voice of Billie's original
version of "These Foolish Things" and "Good Morning
Heartache" in Tony's interpretations. "God Bless the
Child" has the voice of Billie added in a duet with Tony,
very much the same way that Natalie Cole did with her late father
Nat King Cole for a recording. This is a delightful memory of
one of the world's greatest singers done with much love by another
great singer. The portrait of Billie on the CD jacket was also
done by Tony.
Columbia CK 67774 To Order
John Abercrombie/Andy Laverne - Where we Were
The duo of Abercrombie and Laverne captured live
in early 1996 comes off in a relaxed manner, as if they had been
working together for a long time getting to understand each other's
inermost thoughts musically. These excursions vary from a couple
of well known standard tunes to originals by Laverne and Abercrombie
and Bill Evan's "Turn out the Stars". Laverne's playing
is so full of ideas he flows through each piece with ease pushing
himself to the limit with his improvisation. Likewise with Abercrombie
whether soloing or comping. These are two mature voices engaging
in creative and energetic music.
Double-Time Records DTRCD-110 To Order