February 1997


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From the Vaults of Columbia Records, rising like the Phoenix are a series of reissues from three different time periods featuring some of the major names in jazz.

Slim and Slam - The Groove Juice Special

From early 1938 to 1942, twenty tracks of exquisite Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart material, some taken from the original 78 recordings, and others never before released. This is happy, sometimes crazy (listen to the lyrics) music that has an infectious swing to it and leaves the listener with a good feeling. Apart from the remarkable guitar work of Gaillard and the exceptional bowing and picking of Stewart (who incidentally carved quite a name for himself in the jazz world with the likes of Art Tatum, Benny Goodman and Erroll Garner) there is always, on every track, some outstanding musicians, most of whom never did get to become famous.

Columbia/Legacy label CK 64898 To Order

Charles Mingus and Friends in Concert

Recorded in Concert at the Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on February 4th, 1972 this is an all star assemblage of the highest order. Mingus who had been ill for some long time, had just written a book "Beneath the Underdog" and it was getting great publicity, a perfect time to get back into the studios, or, in this case, thanks to producer/conductor Teo Macero, on stage. Having comedian Bill Cosby, an ardent fan of jazz and Mingus, to act as host was an extra delight, his comments throughout the concert give that humerous edge so often lost at concerts. With the centrepiece of the concert "Little Royal Suite" featuring Roy Eldridge, there are many other moments of extreme pleasure featuring Gene Ammons, Charles McPherson, Joe Chambers, Milt Hinton, Howard Johnson, Jon Faddis, James Moody, Gerry Mulligan, Randy Weston, Lee Konitz, Lonnie Hillyer, and oh, yes, Dizzy Gillespie, who was backstage without his horn, but could not resist making an impromptu entrance at one point, scatting. On the original release this was a two LP set, now on double CD format there is an additional and very welcome 40 minutes of new music.

Columbia label C2K 64975 To Order

Oscar Brown Jr - "Sin & Soul"

Originally recorded in 1960 this was Brown's debut album for Columbia and became somewhat of a classic. His previous claim to fame was a recording he did with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln "We Insist! Freedom Now Suite". The collective personnel on the seventeen tracks work well within the charts set out by Brown, whose voice is, as the title implies, soulful. Taking such tunes as Bobby Timmon's "Dat Dere", "Work Song" a collaboration he did with Nat Adderley, and "Afro-Blue" another collaboration with Mongo Santamaria, he turns them around much in the same fashion as Lambert, Hendricks and Ross have done with jazz standards. The balance of the tunes are all original compositions by Brown and with the exception of a couple from the five tunes added here on this CD they are all meaningful stories done in a highly artistic manner.

Columbia label CK 64994 To Order

Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - "The Hottest New Group in Jazz"

One of the "Hottest" groups around in the late 50's/early 60's, this enchanting unit ran the gamut from paying tributes to one artist to a mixture of original material by Jon Hendricks or Dave Lambert intended for many of their favourite musicians at that time including John Coltrane ("Mr P.C."), Art Farmer ("Farmer's Market"), Horace Silver ("Come on Home"), Randy Weston ("Hi-Fly"), Dizzy Gillespie ("A Night in Tunisia"), and, well...... you get the idea. This particular release is on two CD's and features three previously released LP's: "The Hottest New Group In Jazz", "Lambert,Hendricks & Ross sing Ellington", and "High Flying with L,H&R. Musicians backing L.H.R. include the Ike Isaacs Trio, Harry Edison, Ron Carter, Pony Poindexter and Stu Martin.For the lovers of Vocalese, this is a must, one of the precursors of modern jazz singing by three of the most talented people in the business.

Columbia label C2K 64933 To Order

Dave Brubeck - "Time Further Out"

One of a series of recordings done in odd meters by the Dave Brubeck Quartet this 1961 recording features a Blues Suite written by Brubeck and featuring the Quartet of Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Eugene Wright. Nine of the tracks are from the original release, a new title never before released is added "Slow and Easy" (a.k.a. Lawless Mike) and a live recording from the 1963 Carnegie Hall Concert "It's a Raggy Waltz". Desmond is fluid and is always probing and searching in his solos, Brubeck is quite venturesome, sometimes aggressive in his attack of the keyboard. Morello is the impeccable time keeper injecting fire into the rhythm and Wright the ever strong anchor on bass keeps the Quartet on track regardless of the time changes. Time to replace your worn out LP, add this to your list of CD purchases.

Columbia label CK 64668 To Order

Joe Henderson - "Big Band"

About time. At long last we get to hear one of the world's most important voices on the tenor saxophone in a big band setting. Here he is featured as leader, arranger and soloist and rises to the occasion with aplomb. There are nine examples of superb playing here on this CD, one standard tune written by Vincent Youmans-Billy Rose-Edward Eliscu "Without a Song" (This is the opening roaring track on the CD, and sets the mood perfectly), one by Billy Strayhorn "Chelsea Bridge" (Henderson produces one of his greatest ballad performances on this inducing in its pathos without ever remotely approaching the sentimental), and the rest are Henderson originals, "Isotope" featuring Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Henderson. "Inner Urge" Corea/Henderson, this one arranged by Slide Hampton, "Black Narcissus" Corea/Henderson again, "A Shade of Jade" with Freddie Hubbard sounding muscular and fiery. "Step Lightly" Henderson and Nicholas Payton, "Serenity" Corea/Henderson, and "Recordame" with Henderson, Payton and Helio Alves featured. Throughout Henderson's playing is brilliant, full of fleet ideas, lyrical and energetic. Kudos to the conductors too: Don Sickler, Slide Hampton, Bob Belden, and Michael Philip Mossman and to the excellent choice of musicians in the band.

Verve 314 533 451-2 To Order

Nick Brignola - "The Flight of the Eagle"

Baritone saxophonist Brignola's seventh release for the Reservoir label is further proof that he is a voice that should be recognized by a larger audience. With a rhythm section comprising of Kenny Barron - piano, Rufuis Reid - bass and Victor Lewis - drums Brignola turns in some impressive performances on originals "Gerrylike", "The Flight of the Eagle", "Rollerblades", and "The Last of Moe Hegan", and standards such as "A Pretty Girl is like a Melody", "Body and Soul", and "My Foolish Heart" plus a Billy Taylor tune called "Diz". The combination of Brignola's highly experienced virtuosity with this great rhythm section makes for jazz on an unusally sophisticated level.

Reservoir label RSR CD 145 To Order

Don Byron - "Bug Music"

Byron known for his outstanding clarinet playing is here featured on both clarinet and baritone along with an impressive lineup of musicians in a tribute to Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Orchestra, John Kirby and his Orchestra and The Raymond Scott Quintettet.We are transported back to the 30's and 40's to engage in some reflections of music that at the time was considered somewhat commercial. The musicians interact well with the charts and bring them to life with the reading and the solos. Another venture for Byron in his quest for understanding and performing in his favoured area, jazz.

Nonsuch label 79438-2 To Order

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