March 2003


Vince Benedetti - "Meets Diana Krall"

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The year is 1990. Through a chance meeting, Swiss trombonist Benedetti discovered a young, blond pianist playing in one of Zurich's classier hotels, and convinced her to join his four-piece jazz combo for a series of concerts and, eventually, to record with them. This 1990 session, however, was not released at that time and remained "in the can" until recently. These seven never-before-heard numbers predate pianist/vocalist Diana Krall's first 1993 CD. The music, all originals, offered "..material that was both new and challenging" for her. Noteworthy are "Sunshine Express" with Diana and guitarist Martien Oster in vocal tandem, Diana's bluesy solo on "Detroit Blues", her "…sensuous voice, her impeccable phrasing" on "Who Are You?", the easy accord between the pianist and the smooth-flowing lines of Benedetti's J. J. Johnson-influenced trombone with "Evidence". In addition, there are two unedited shortened alternate tracks for special radio airing. Krall seemed already a seasoned performer on these previously "lost tapes".

TCB 22182

The George Shearing - Cannonball Adderley Quintets- "At Newport"

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The Newport Jazz Festival was in its fourth summer of concerts, and the whose who in the jazz world were appearing, Ellington, Miles, Brubeck, Basie, Garner were some of the notables. July 5th, 1957 saw a future star and a musician who was already at the top of the heap, each performing their own sets and briefly joining forces. Cannonball Adderley - alto sax with brother Nat on trumpet, Junior Mance - piano, Sam Jones - bass and Jimmy Cobb - drums were in spectacular form breezing through five selections, J.J. Johnson's "Wee Dot", Gershwin's "A Foggy Day", a feature for Nat on his "Sermonette" which later became a jazz staple. "Sam's Tune" featured bassist Jones, and the up-tempo closer "Hurricane Connie". A marvelous set aided by Adderley's banter.

Later the George Shearing Quintet were brought were brought on stage with Emil Richards - vibes and percussion, pre-whistler, Jean "Toots" Thielmans - guitar, Al McKibbon - bass and Percy Brice - drums. Armanda Peraza - congas was added to the final two numbers. Shearing opens with Ray Bryant's "Pawn Ticket", then slows the pace down a little performing Rogers and Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind". Vibist Richards is featured on "There Will Never Be Another You". George invites the Adderley Brothers up on stage to join his group to play Curtis Fuller's composition "Soul Station". In his closing remarks after the tune George is heard saying to the audience "You don't mind us enjoying ourselves for one night, do you? Whew!" The band had just soared to a high level of improvisation, and George had obviously enjoyed the collaboration, as did the audience.

This recording is magic, and with two of the great jazz personalities adding their personal narration, you get the feeling of being there. A winning entry for anyone's collection. R.F.

Pablo PACD-5315-2

Richard Whiteman - "Solo Piano"

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Canadian-born pianist Whiteman has already released as a leader three Cornerstone recordings in quartet or trio format. This first solo CD draws largely on standard material often linked to vocalists that he has admired over the years, and remains strong in his belief that music from the past "…still sounds as good today. Its not corny or unhip; its just music". Even his two originals here, "Nowhere in Particular" and "Things", are based on his own takes of familiar changes. He offers an easy flow of ideas closely tied to the lyrics of a song, and one can hear how he would be an ideal accompanist to singers on such numbers as "It's The Talk of the Town", "While The Music Plays On" or "Mam'selle". Nothing is forced upon a tune that isn't integral to its melody and lyrics, even Parker's boppish "Marmaduke" transformed into Hyman-like stride. "I have always been drawn to music that was melodic and accessible", he states. That is the key to Whiteman's charm and appeal. J.S.

Cornerstone CRST CD 120

The Jacobs Brothers - "Jazz Standard Time"

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Judging by the picture on the album liner notes, the three Jacobs brothers have been interested in music for most of their lives. Dan, a veteran freelance trumpeter lives in Los Angeles, Rod a Chicago based drummer and Chuck playing bass in the L.A. studio environs, managed to get together in Ann Arbor, Michigan in January of 2003 with guest Randy Dorman - guitar and additional percussionists Brian Kilgore and Pat Freer, for this most pleasant recording. The group have recorded an assortment of mainly standards including"Summertime", "Falling in Love with Love", "Autumn Leaves", "Blue Moon", "I Can't Give You Anything But Love", "There Will Never Be Another You", "Quiet Nights", "Old Folks", and "Love For Sale".

There is also a selection that trumpeter Bobby Shew wrote as a tribute to Blue Mitchell a few months before Blue passed away "Can't Stop Crying", and a bonus track "Desert Sunrise", written by Chuck and recorded in California in 1985 with Dan - trumpet, Chuck- bass, John Novello - piano and Tommy Brechtlein - drums. Overall this effort has no surprises, just excellent solo work and good straight ahead playing by all involved. R.F.

Sea Breeze SB-3058

Charlie Parker - "Timeless"

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It doesn't take long for yesterday's avant-garde to become today's nostalgia. The proliferation of small independent record companies that followed the lifting of the recoding ban in the early 40's soon was diminished to a few who survived and went on to feature the new music scene, especially the rising bop era in jazz. The Savoy label continued to feature such changes with exciting explorative players like Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Erroll Garner, 'Hot Lips' Page, Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker, the latter with "… remarkable technical proficiency coupled with the sheer force of his personality". Parker often extemporizing on the chord changes of familiar melodies "Thrivin'" from a Riff" from "I Got Rhythm", "Koko" from "Cherokee", "Bird Gets the Worm" from "Lover Come Back To Me", created " entirely new sound .. Permanently changing the course of jazz forever". The 17 numbers on this CD, drawn from studio sessions [1945-48], have long since passed into the realm of legendary performances, but continue to fascinate both the seasoned collector and novice alike. J.S.

Savoy SVY 17107

Tony Bennett & K.D. Lang - "A Wonderful World"

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This is one of Tony Bennett's best albums in recent times. Always a vocalist with a classy repertoire, Bennett has added a partner to his latest effort, one who, would you believe it, could cut it with the crooner.

If you didn't think K.D. Lang could keep up with Tony, then in my opinion, you're wrong. She adds immeasurably to "A Wonderful World".

The rhythm section, Lee Musiker - piano, Paul Langosch - bass, Clayton Cameron - drums and Gray Sargent - guitar know just how to add more class to these two vocalists, especially Sargent. Tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton can be heard on about half of the dozen well-chosen compositions. K.D. gets her own space on "A Kiss To Build A Dream On" and "That Lucky Old Sun".

The late Peter Matz lends his expert orchestrations to "La Vie En Rose", "What A Wonderful World", "I'm Confessin' (that I love you) and "If We Ever Meet Again". Any Bennett or K.D. fan will want this one in their music library, and if you are not a fan yet, this is a great starter. R.F.

Columbia CK 86734

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