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Jazz Catalogue G to Q

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George Benson - The Other Side of Abbey Road George Benson - The Other Side of Abbey Road Jazz purists probably turned up their noses when this LP appeared in 1970. George Benson, influenced by Wes Montogmery, had only just gone from being a well-kept secret to a bright star in the celestial jazz firmament. Despite his tender age! His youthful, happy-go-lucky ways may well have led him and his producer Creed Taylor to turn to this important Beatles album and - without great pathos or standing in awe - they put the music through a mincer as it were, adding a large pinch of jazz spice and a good portion of strings and Latin percussion on the way, and serving up this tasty dish to jazz freaks and beatniks. Today, almost 25 years later, this compilation, which ranges from "Come Together" to "The End," has lost nothing of its freshness and certainly need not shy away from comparison with the originals. These are no mere copies but little masterpieces in which the Fab Four’s immortal ideas have been taken up and remixed. George Benson’s singing is unobtrusive and reserved, knowing full-well that he cannot hope to compete with John and Paul - but as a guitarist he certainly can stand alongside George in every respect. The other soloists rank with Freddie Hubbard, Jerome Richardson and Herbie Hancock and offer a first-rate background in the arrangements from Don Sebesky. While this LP is certainly not a milestone in jazz history, one thing is for sure: it opened up boundaries. And that is why it is worth listening to in this day and age. A&M
Gil Evans - The Individualism of Gil Evans Gil Evans - The Individualism of Gil Evans At last, one might cry, at last these gems are available again after so many years. Strangely enough, connoisseurs of fine sound and music with a difference have been very reserved when it came to expressing their appreciation of the arranger, composer and conductor Gil Evans. Gil's milestones in jazz history (his work with Miles Davis and his melancholy trumpet is now legendary) have become entrenched in our memories thanks to his unusual combination of instruments: waldhorns, tuba, oboe - all played by jazz musicians. Verve
Grant Green - His Majesty King Funk Grant Green - His Majesty King Funk It was often very frustrating for producers at the Blue Note label to have their superstars bought up by other recording companies. That's precisely what happened to the greatest guitarists of the Sixties - Wes Montgomery and Grant Green, who is now heard on the present LP. Neither Montgomery or Green was able to enjoy big money, however, for they both died young. Verve's producer Creed Taylor took care to give Green a more up-to-date musical framework, ensured that he had plenty of time in the studio and that the stereo recording technology was the best of its day. The two themes on the A side are developed tranquilly and provide a basis for long improvisations by Green. Verve
Henry Mancini - The Music from Peter Gunn Henry Mancini - The Music from Peter Gunn This is not only a great LP but a key piece of jazz and pop music history. Back in 1958, Peter Gunn was one of the unexpected hits of the new television season, capturing the imagination of millions of viewers by mixing private eye action with a jazz setting. Composer Henry Mancini was more than fluent in jazz, and his music nailed down the popularity of the series. With the main title theme, a driving, ominous, exciting piece of music to lead off the album, The Music From Peter Gunn became a huge hit, charting extraordinarily high for a television soundtrack and doing so well that RCA Victor came back the next year asking for a second helping (More Music From Peter Gunn) from Mancini.

The music holds up: “Session At Pete’s Pad” is a superb workout for trumpets of Pete Candoli, Uan Rasey, Conrad Gozzo and Frank Beach, while Barney Kessel’s electric guitar gets the spotlight during “Dreamsville.” “Sorta Blue” and “Fallout” are full-ensemble pieces that constitute quintessential “cool” West Coast jazz of the period. RCA Living Stereo
Herbie Hancock - Man-child

After his early avant-garde years with Blue Note Records, Herbie Hancock achieved much success with pop music fans by gradually turning towards a mixture of Afro-American styles in which he combined soul, jazz and funk. Having composed the soundtrack to Bill Cosby's animated children's show "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" and released a popular family-oriented album titled Fat Albert Rotunda, Hancock stated that instead of looking for jazz musicians who could play funky music, he had searched for funk musicians with a feeling for jazz. That this concept functions only too well is demonstrated in the funky album ManChild, which features such brilliant jazz musicians as Wayne Shorter, Bennie Maupin and Ernie Watts. But wait! There's no narcissistic showing off here as in a jam session. The whole band performs as one, playing concentrated grooves around Hancock's carefully intertwined electronic sounds. The result is a fast-paced funky style, due to the collective efforts of the band, although each member is given ample opportunity to show off his prowess in short solo interludes and thus delight the listener with his unique style.

Illinois Jacquet - Swing's The Thing Illinois Jacquet - Swing's The Thing When a jazz fan begins to hum "Flying Home," the chances are that his buddy will cry out, "Hey, I know that tune - it's 'Flying Home' by Lionel Hampton with a fantastic solo by Illinois Jacquet!" Seldom is a solo so closely associated with its soloist. Throughout his career, Jacquet, who was born of a Sioux mother and a Creole father, played marvelous swing music. He was famed for his imaginative improvisations and gave brilliant shows with the Count Basie orchestra and at a number of Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts. The man from Louisiana performed swing at every live appearance - no wonder, then, that Norman Granz chose this theme as the title of the present recording, which was set down in October 1956. This time, however, Jimmy Jones on the piano was not responsible for providing the background for a vocal soloist; rather he delivers airy chords for the swinging tenor sax. That all musicians are superb interpreters of ballads is testified to in "Harlem Nocturne," where Illinois Jacquet's sound can best be described as "soulful." In stark contrast to this is "Achtung," where the tempo sheer takes your breath away. The program closes with a distinguished version of the classic "Have You met Miss Jones," and the swing title-number par excellence, "Lullaby Of The Leaves." Verve
Jacques Loussier - Play Bach No. 1 Jacques Loussier - Play Bach No. 1
As long as 40 years ago, at a time when pop and classical music were strictly separated from one another, Jacques Loussier's Swinging Bach thrilled both friends of Baroque music and jazz lovers alike. Other musicians have tried, and are still trying, to jump on this modern Bach band wagon, but not one of them has achieved anything like the international success of the French trio.

Play Bach is to be taken at its word. If Prelude, Fugue or Toccata is on the label then that's what one gets - the melodies and the harmonic structure of Johann Sebastian's original works, largely left untouched. You always know where counterpoint stops and groove sets in. Just as in Bach's day, the keyboard is at the fore, but the double bass also has a good share of the polyphony, and the finely nuanced percussion swings along as though it has no cares in the world.

What better way to bring the Bach Year to an end than with the re-release of the first Loussier album? The first of Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues shows how it began - just as they show how Jacques Loussier began. Decca

Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery - Jimmy & Wes - The Dynamic Duo Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery - Jimmy & Wes - The Dynamic Duo Producer Creed Taylor made a wise choice in bringing Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Oliver Nelson together in 1966: the innate drive of the arrangements audibly animated the man with the "strong thumb" (he did not use a plectrum) and the magician at the organ attacked the keys with just a mite more aggression than in his previous Blue Note recordings. This cauldron bubbles and boils hellishly, the ingredients are as hot as chili sauce, and with every taste one cries out for more but all too soon the five plates are empty. Luckily, one can start at the beginning again with "Down By The Riverside" where Wes plays the guitar as though he had invented it and Jimmy literally explodes on the keys. "Night Train" is an excellent example of Oliver's geniality in arranging for brass, sparingly allotting dabs of sound as it were between the two soloists. This small ensemble with its drums and percussion gives the listener the opportunity to admire the uncanny rapport between the two members of the dynamic duo. All in all a perfect production of the very highest standard. Verve
Joanne Grauer - Introducing Lorraine Feather Joanne Grauer - Introducing Lorraine Feather
Regrettably Joanne Grauer is listed with only three LPs to her name in encyclopaedias of jazz. The present album on the MPS label is the second, and certainly most sought-after, of this all-round musician. And it is probably Joanne Grauer's most personal LP, for she was given all the time she needed in the studio together with her friends - and what is more the critic and producer Leonard Feather did not influence her musically in the very least. Even though she did was not totally uninfluenced by Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans, it was the opportunities offered back in 1977 by the electronic keyboard that opened new doors for Joanne Grauer. But she is certainly not an avant-gardist for melodious sound-colouring is her top priority and she achieved mood music situated somewhere between the classical jazz piano trio and rock-pop sound. Most themes come from Joanne Grauer's pen, and she is certainly in the foreground as a soloist too. In "See You Later", "Can't Sleep" and "The Voice", she is joined by the gentle voice of Lorraine Feather, while Ernie Watts's saxophone provides a powerful, welcome contrast which successfully puts a halt to drifting off into mere melodiousness. Joanne Grauer's final work on the album, "Frog Child", is given over to be-bop and makes a wonderful final cadence to a recording which carries all the hallmark of the 70s but still sounds fresh and new in the year 2001.
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
"The thing worth raving about here is this top-notch (and pop-free) slab of vinyl from Speakers Corner, which brings the session to life with a you-are-there palpability that I've never heard from previous pressings. (Universal's deluxe CD, from a few years back, sounds like gaslight by comparison.) Hartman's voice is right there and full-throated; again, I've never heard all the subtleties of his vibrato or all the slight accents in his phrasing. Coltrane's saxophone is in the room. Elvin Jones' drums bang and whisper. (Listen to that brush-wooshing! You get every wisp and sizzle.) Even McCoy Tyner's piano, often hooded in Van Gelder sessions, rings clear. Jimmy Garrison's bass may be a little forward, but it sounds like the pick-up amp, not a recording artifact. This is a gorgeous album, gorgeously mastered and essential." - Fred Kaplan, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2005, Issue 154

The clarinetist Tony Scott, who trod the same musical path as Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, once called the number “Lush Life” “the Mount Everest of Jazz soloists.” Thousands have stood at the foot of the mountain but only a couple of dozen ever made it right to the top. Among these few were the singer Johnny Hartman and the John Coltrane Quartet in March 1963 — not just with that song but with other favorites too. The list extends from “They Say It’s Wonderful” which sounds as though it is clad in black silk, to the lyrical “My One And Only Love,” right up to the light-footed rumba “Autumn Serenade,” here are six true masterpieces which will get right under your skin. Just listen to how relaxed and self-assuredly the crooner’s great voice carries the melody, which is then taken up and continued by John Coltrane on his instrument. Impulse

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme John Coltrane - A Love Supreme Right from the very first hearing, absolutely every single jazzcritic shared the same opinion - whether trained musicians or not, true or would-be jazz expert: "A Love Supreme" is John Coltrane's most important recording. And the rave reviews which appeared in the magazines Downbeat, Jazz Hot, Jazz Podium and Swingjournal reflected this: critics all over the world, in America, Europe and Japan recognized that Coltrane's deep religious belief had influenced both his approach to life and his music-making. It not only enabled him to express himself with great intensity but also lent him the necessary inner peace to conceive a work of almost 40 minutes in length and to lead his quartet along the same path as himself. Impulse
John Coltrane - Africa/Brass John Coltrane - Africa/Brass Among the many albums which John Coltrane recorded for Impulse, Africa/Brass - along with A Love Supreme - is probably one of his most important. One reason is that on the present album he deviates from a normal quartet formation and employs trumpets, four coranglais (English horns), baritone sax, two euphoniums and a tuba. This instrumental combination produces a thick carpet of sound above which soar his improvisations on the tenor saxophone. Between the two layers of sound is a continuous African rhythm, provided by the two bass players Art Davis and Reggie Workman who complement one another wonderfully. Apart from John Coltrane, only the pianist McCoy Tyner performs solo interludes. The use of two basses is fundamental to the African rhythm of the album while the low brass instruments deliver the "atmosphere" which is why the album is appropriately entitled Africa/Brass. As to the studio and recording technique, the name Rudy Van Gelder says it all. Impulse
John Coltrane - Ballads John Coltrane - Ballads Before this ballad album was released, John Coltrane's critics and jazz fans classed him as an "avant-gardist," a modernist, an angry, wild young man who made his tenor saxophone scream out. Tongues wagged that free jazz could be made by just anyone who hung a horn around his neck. These eight Ballads made people stop and listen with real pleasure. "Have you heard him? He can blow the notes properly, the pianist knows all the harmonies and the drummer does far more than just bash!" These words were to be heard and read everywhere, in the specialist magazines, and in the jazz clubs from New York to Tokyo. All of the themes are taken from musicals and well-known numbers performed by Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee among others. All of them have been performed time and time again and although the musicians played the themes for the very first time at the recording session, their interpretation was well structured while at the same time fresh and intense. Impulse
John Coltrane - Impressions John Coltrane - Impressions Released on the Impulse label in a gatefold sleeve, Impressions is John Coltrane's seventh album, which brings together recordings made between 1961 and 1963. The two live numbers "India" and "Impressions," recorded during "evenings in Hell" (as Rudy Van Gelder called the smoke-filled Village Vanguard), are the highpoints on the LP. Although he only had a mixing console and a tape recorder placed on two tables next to the stage, Van Gelder managed to make full-bodied, intensive recordings of the quintet. Dolphy plays the bass clarinet in "India" and the alto saxophone in "Impressions"; the result is a new sound coloring, which demands that Coltrane perform with even greater expression. The ballad "After The Rain" has Roy Haynes on the drums and is one of these unmistakable hymn-like solo excursions which became a trademark of John Coltrane in his middle period. Impulse
Johnny Hodges - Johnny Hodges, Soloist/Billy Strayhorn and the Orchestra Johnny Hodges - Johnny Hodges, Soloist/Billy Strayhorn and the Orchestra Unfortunately, jazz fans in this century are forced to enjoy a concert by Johnny Hodges or Duke Ellington from the comfort of their television armchair. The climax of any of these recorded concerts is always found in the lyrical, gentle solos of the first-rate alto saxophonist. And one can see for oneself how seemingly effortlessly the notes just pour out of his instrument and how his restless eyes search contact with the audience. The melodies were almost always penned by Billy Strayhorn, Duke’s friend and alter ego.

For the jazz producer Norman Granz, it was a foregone conclusion to record an LP with the two lyricists. And for Johnny Hodges, who had already released more than a dozen LPs to his name, this particular recording was to be the summit of his career. The swinging, schmaltz-free carpet of sound of Duke Ellington's orchestra might well be better likened to the swell and surge of a calm sea over which the archlike melodies are allowed to unfold. Such a mood is virtually impossible to express in words - which is logical - for if it was easy then musicians would be authors, not musicians ...

One shouldn't be tempted to first pick out the new titles such as "Your Love Has Faded" or "Tailor Made" in the belief that there is nothing new to discover in such numbers as "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "Day Dream" and "I'm Just A Lucky So And So". That would be a real mistake - for it is precisely these catchy melodies, bedded in amongst the others, that make this album so exciting! And just listen to these wizards from the Ellington Band: they obviously thoroughly enjoyed performing 'in the background' for a change instead of playing solo and standing in the limelight.

There is plenty of good to be discovered in Johnny Hodges (even if gossip has it that he was no angel!), but for that you need the recordings being available. Thanks to the top-quality of this re-release of Verve 8452 you certainly don't have to place top-bids at an auction anymore! Verve

Jorge Ben - Negro E Lindo Jorge Ben - Negro E Lindo Samba, Afro-Cuban jazz, or was it bossa nova? No sooner has the infectious mix of styles of Brazilian music begun its whirlwind around your ears than you start to lose your grip on the terminology. The Afro Samba, yet another Brazilian variant, which the singer Jorge Ben established during the rhythmic merry-go-round of the ‘60s and ‘70s, completes the cycle of confusion. Yet those who have heard “Mas Que Nada,” that huge hit for which artists such as Sergio Mendes and Dizzy Gillespie have recorded cover versions, will know the man behind this album, at least by name. Ben’s compositions and arrangements can only be compared to those of Jobim or Mendes in a rudimentary sense. Verve
Les McCann - But Not Really

On But Not Really, the first of seven LPs on the Limelight Label, he plays in a trio with Victor Gaskin on the bass and Paul Humphrey on drums. The three musicians were carefully guided by their producer, Jack Tracy, and the liner notes describes their close collaboration. "A Little Three-Four" is highly recommended listening, as "is Yours Is My Heart Alone," which fans of Lehar's operettas will enjoy singing along to while others will appreciate the fantastic improvisations in this popular piece which Less McCann performs less showily than Oscar Peterson in his version but with more humor and emotion.

This album offers piano trio jazz that is free from intellectual encumbrance. It is jazz for the soul. Recorded in December 1964, the LP is now available once again after almost 50 years with the original outstanding and lavish cover artwork!

Lester Young - Le Dernier Message de Lester Young In January 1959, Lester Young was in Paris for a series of concerts at the famous Blue Note Club. He plays with Rene Urtreger on piano, Kenny Clarke on drums, Jimmy Gourley on guitar and Jamil Nasser on bass. On March 4, 1959, Eddie Barclay decides to record Lester at Studio Barclay, which will be Lester's last album. This legendary recording session is poignant and moving in line with Coleman Hawkins' Sirius and the last recording of Billie Holiday. Lester Young is reduced but the grace and genius are still there!

Some days later, on March 15, 1959, Lester succumbs at the Alvin hotel, a few hours after arriving in New York. A heart attack had just defeated the tenor sax master fellow musicians nicknamed "Prez" — The President.

Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson - Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson - Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson Peterson and his stellar trio were obviously elated to be playing with Armstrong, jazz music's own version of Prometheus. Oscar never allows his awesome prowess to intrude on his accompaniments for Louis, who is inspired to sing and play in a most relaxed manner. This is pure music that lifts the spirit. Plus bonus tracks! Verve
Luiz Bonfa - Luiz Bonfa Plays and Sings Bossa Nova Luiz Bonfa - Luiz Bonfa Plays and Sings Bossa Nova With bossa, simply everything goes and everything goes simply. A solitary voice, a simple wooden block or a solo guitar are all that are needed to conjure up the elementary forces of Brazilian music. But the great names didn't necessarily love a one-man show with a nameless band in the background but often wrote recording history by getting their individual teams together and combining their creative powers. In Lalo Schifrin and Oscar Castro Neves, the guitar virtuoso and singer Luiz Bonfa had two top musicians at his side who all left their handwriting on this album. Schifrin worked on the large string arrangements while Bonfa put his pen to the songs for smaller ensembles. Well over half of the numbers recorded here are by Bonfa, who even shared his work with himself in that he lent his voice to side one of the record and his instrumental skills to side two. And though he proves that he can go it alone, as in the popular "One Note Samba," the less well-known but hear-worthy "Samba De Duas Notas" tells us that with more of a crowd things get even better. Verve
Mahalia Jackson - Newport 1958 Mahalia Jackson - Newport 1958 The word “gospel” comes from the Bible - but it also describes Christian music which has been influenced by jazz and the blues. Gospel, says Mahalia Jackson, is a joyful cry of praise to the Lord. Her deep soulfulness, the passion of her Christian conviction and a belief in the power of her music led to her breakthrough in the USA, where she appeared at Carnegie Hall, and took her to Europe where she performed in the Vatican. It did not, however, though many had wished it so, lead her to jazz, blues and rock ’n’ roll. The public’s wide acceptance of her music proved her right in pursuing her spiritual path unerringly, although some critical listeners claimed to have spotted commercial undertones in her inimitable, highly expressive singing.

This live recording from the Newport Festival certainly cannot be accused of having been made for commercial reasons because it by no means reflects the common cliches of gospel singing. Fortunately there is no rhythm group, no chorus and no clapping of hands, and what is more: one misses nothing. Mahalia’s soft, raucous voice retains its volume and warmth in moments of drama as well as in whispered passages. In this performance she is accompanied only by a piano or occasionally a Hammond organ with a cloud of chords. This pure, authentic musical experience lets one forget all about style and trends and leads to the belief that gospel is a credo. Columbia
Mel Torme - Swings Shubert Alley Mel Torme - Swings Shubert Alley The musical collaboration between the pianist and arranger Marty Paich and the drummer and singer Mel Torme was particularly fruitful. Among the dozen LPs they made for various labels, Swings Shubert Alley for Verve is an absolute highlight. This is no wonder, if one takes a look at the old favorites it contains. All are composed by top musical composers ranging from Oscar Hammerstein and Cole Porter up to Leonard Bernstein. Not to forget "On The Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady. All the song selections come from between 1940 and 1960, and according to Paich, one of the main criteria for their selection was whether or not they had jazz potential. All 12 titles certainly do, and they all offer great opportunities for soloists Art Pepper, Frank Rosolino and Bill Perkins to show off their prowess.
Michel Legrand- Legrand Jazz Michel Legrand, just 26 years old in 1958, already had a number of distinguished trophies on his shelves, among them the "Grand Prix du Disque", and could thus entice New York’s top musicians into the recording studio. Three large ensembles with stars ranging from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ben Webster, Phil Woods and Bill Evans performed his new arrangements of famous numbers from the annals of jazz history. Michel Legrand breathed a touch of film music into zany Fats Waller’s "The Jitterbug Waltz", the serious Modern Jazz Quartet’s "Django", Bix Beiderbecke’s legendary "In A Mist" and Earl Fatha Hines’s portrait of "Rosetta". The fresh arrangements cast a new light on the old evergreens, and the solos are absolutely top class - the new arrangements seem to have been tailor-made for Miles Davis and Ben Webster.
Even though these recordings have slumbered in the archives for many, many years, they are not the least lethargic!
Miles Davis - Miles Smiles Miles Davis - Miles Smiles Except for the taping of a live performance at the Portland Festival, Miles Davis' discography for 1966 only lists the recordings made for the LP Miles Smiles. How strange when on considers the usual large output of Miles and his ensembles for Columbia Records in the Sixties. The bass player Ron Carter was best suited for the complicated rhythm part and remained Miles' "number one" in a quintet which gave a new interpretation to compositions by Wayne Shorter and jazz hits such as "Freedom Jazz Dance" by Eddie Harris and Jimmy Heath's "Gingerbread Boy." Every second of the nine-minute-long "Footprints" by Shorter is an absolute highlight, while the drumming of the young Tony Williams in "Freedom Jazz Dance" is full of vitality, with a quick pulse and even described as "threatening" in the liner notes. This music is neither "new stream" nor "old guard" but good modern jazz according to Anthony Tuttle. That's exactly what Miles Smiles was upon its release 40 years ago – and that's what it is to this day! Columbia
Miles Davis Quintet - 'Round About Midnight Miles Davis Quintet - 'Round About Midnight "A couple of the earlier albums are more consistently top-notch (Workin' and Relaxin'), but this one is just as hard-driving on the uptempos and as crisp and moody on the ballads, especially the title track (maybe the most galvanizing version of Monk's anthem), 'All of You,' and 'Bye, Bye Blackbird.' Columbia's sound was equal to that of Rudy Van Gelder's as well." – Fred Kaplan, Stereophile
At long last these early recordings, which Miles Davis set down for the Columbia label in 1955 and 1956, are available on LP again. And what is more, they were made without any alternate takes or second attempts, as is the custom these days. You can sit back and enjoy the six numbers in the order which the producer, probably in conjunction with Davis, decided upon. To be sure, all of the titles are well known and have been played a thousand times over in many different versions. But what this Quintet (and here each and every individual musician is meant!) produces as regards inventiveness, thrilling improvisations and artistry is absolutely top notch. Davis' vibrato-less sound is taken over seamlessly by John Coltrane – wonderfully demonstrated in the middle of "Bye, Bye Blackbird," while Paul Chambers' showpiece is "Ack Vameland du skona" (aka "Dear Old Stockholm"). In the years 1955-56, bebop was the talk of the day, born witness to by the classics Tadd's Delight by Tadd Dameron and Ah-Leu-Cha by Charlie Parker. Here, however, the improvised melodic strands are more moderate, pointing the way to the style that later became known as modal jazz. Although Round About Midnight as an album does not enjoy the reputation of Kind Of Blue, this Columbia recording contains many gems which are well worth hearing. Columbia
Milt Jackson - In a New Setting The vibraphonist presents himself in a new setting in this recording from 1964. Clearly Milt Jackson wanted to free himself occasionally from the straightjacket of the Modern Jazz Quartet. "Sonny's Blues" is proof of this: it is percussive and swinging, and without the eagle eyes of John Lewis in the background. This time the young McCoy Tyner, who had worked with John Coltrane ("A Love Supreme" was recorded in the same month), was at the piano. Jimmy Heath, responsible for the drive not only as a composer but also as instrumentalist, and Bob Cranshaw on the bass, contribute important impetus to the short blues, ballad-like and bop themes. None of the twelve numbers became a real jazz hit, but each has kept its own individual charm to this day.
If you set value on an excellent product being excellently packaged then you are well advised to purchase this LP. Unlike the CD version in its jewel case, this album is now being re-released with its original gatefold cover from the truly beautiful Limelight series, for which the designer alone should have received a Grammy.

Nina Simone - Emergency Ward! Nina Simone - Emergency Ward! We can thank our lucky stars that Nina Simone was well aware of her musical environment and enjoyed experimenting with it, despite her notorious eccentric personality. This was the only reason that so much basic repertoire, traditional blues numbers, black work songs and favorite white show melodies – all filled with a deep soul feeling – reached her fans. Emergency Ward! Is no exception. First there is the explosive medley, recorded live, of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" and David Nelson's "Today Is A Killer." Accompanied by a small combo and a gospel choir, Nina Simone ignites an 18-minute blazing bonfire, which loses none of its spiritual fire for even a second. In contrast to the gentle "Poppies," extravagantly produced with strings, woodwinds and chorus, is the questioning "Isn't It A Pity," arranged for piano. Here, simple, throbbing harmonies are occasionally allowed to swell into clouds of chords, giving Nina Simone the opportunity to show off her highly diversified vocal timbre, which fades away into nothing like an unanswered question. This is an exceptional album filled with a wealth of feeling and one which will leave no one untouched. RCA Living Stereo
Nina Simone - Sings The Blues Nina Simone - Sings The Blues The recently-deceased Nina Simone singing at her passionate best on this 1967 release. This is a tremendous artist accurately reproducing native blues in a most compelling fashion. There are no mannerisms. Affectation never enters the picture. There is no hiding behind big bands, studied arrangements or audio effects. Miss Simone simply sings - with heart at all times, with guts on certain tunes and with abandon on everything. RCA Living Stereo
Oliver Nelson - The Blues And The Abstract Truth Oliver Nelson - The Blues And The Abstract Truth Recorded in 1961 by the founder of the Impulse! label, Creed Taylor, Oliver Nelson's The Blues And The Abstract Truth is an historic, landmark recording. Oliver Nelson plays alto and tenor saxophone on his own compositions and arrangements. The album also includes such key jazz stars as Bill Evans, piano; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Paul Chambers, bass; Roy Haynes, drums; Eric Dolphy, alto sax and flute. The Blues And The Abstract Truth is Oliver Nelson's lasting contribution to the heritage of our American jazz idiom. Impulse
Oscar Peterson Trio with Milt Jackson - Very Tall Oscar Peterson Trio with Milt Jackson - Very Tall When Milt Jackson met Oscar Peterson, each had already made dozens of albums under his own name. Yet in this summit meeting each selflessly yields the spotlight to showcase the other. Jackson's meeting here with Ray Brown, though, was a reunion: They had both been in Dizzy Gillespie's 1946 band and then were charter members of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This is such a landmark recording that it has led to three sequel albums.

"Recorded in 1961, this Verve recording casts Peterson in the unusual role of supporting artist. With Jackson, Peterson, Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen on duty you know that the playing will be flawless. The question, as with so many temporary meetings of greats, is will the music get beyond virtuoso jousting to result in something really special. Well, this is one of those rare occasions when the participants really click, and the resulting performances shine…Those who see Peterson as a consummate technician should experience the range of moods he throws behind Jackson's flawless playing. Soulful, they're what transports this album beyond the ordinary and turns it into a record you should buy. That and the excellent Speakers Corner pressing which easily improves on my somewhat tawdry original." – Recording = 8/10; Music = 9/10 – Roy Gregory, Hi-Fi+, Issue 43. Verve

Oscar Peterson Trio - We Get Requests The Oscar Peterson Trio - We Get Requests We Get Requests is a perfect example of Oscar Peterson's remarkable two-sided appeal. Technically, the album is filled with above average melodic development and solid rhythmic blend, while the repertoire is a crowd-pleaser. On this LP, the listener is treated to a tasteful mixing of current pop tunes, standards and originals. In We Get Requests, the Oscar Peterson Trio shows again why it is consistently at the top of polls taken among fans and musicians alike. Oscar, Ray and Ed have that rare ability to please the public with music that is of the highest quality. You can't do much better than that. MPS
Paul Desmond - Take Ten Paul Desmond - Take Ten
No, not Take Five but Take Ten is the title of this LP and its very first number. Certainly this should not be taken as a hint that it was not Dave Brubeck but Paul Desmond who was the composer of this "million seller." At the recording session, the guitarist Jim Hall was more than a substitute for the piano - he contributed to the quartet a whole new sound coloring which was tinged with the influences of bossa nova. The numbers are all easy-going and airy, the melodic lines and sound are filled with transparency. All the while one is curious as to the clear part-writing, and the wealth of ideas emanating from the soloists. This does not only apply to the old favorites "Alone Together," "Nancy" and "The One I Love," all three of them arrangements made ad hoc in the studio and which demonstrate how familiar the musicians were with one another, how they listened to one another, answered, and kept the dialogue flowing. The atmosphere is relaxed, and this conveys itself to the listener even after almost half a century. RCA
Peggy Lee - Black Coffee Peggy Lee - Black Coffee "Peggy Lee's Black Coffee is a shiveringly sensuous album, recorded for Decca, first as an EP in 1953, then expanded to an LP in '56…Lee's voice is in your face, and appealingly so." – Fred Kaplan, Stereophile

During the early '50s, Peggy Lee rode high on the strength of her own taste into stardom – she was a glamorous beacon whose sultry voice gave her performances a shimmering eroticism. Black Coffee may be the greatest album of genuine "concept albums." Originally recorded in 1953, Lee turned Black Coffee into a jazz project – something no other mainstream pop singer had done up to that point. Many years later, Lee named this album as her own favorite.
Decca
Perez Prado - Prez Perez Prado - Prez It may well have been that Perez Prado regarded his label as "The King of Mambo" not only as an honor but also as restricting with regard to his ambition to move into big band jazz. Whatever the case, the release of his album with the shortened word "Prez" as its title shows that the Cuban-born arranger had plenty of self-confidence – it shouldn't be forgotten that the saxophonist Lester Young, a living legend at that time, held office as "President" in 1958. In his aspiration to enter the sound world of the well-established bandleaders and soloists, Perez Prado first strolls down the familiar path of Afro-Cuban folk music with such numbers as the sawing and gurgling "Maria Bonita" and the highly descriptive "Cu-Cu-Rru-Cu-Cu-Paloma." All the more surprising then is the B side, which begins with a version of "Lullaby Of Birdland" which is shaken to the core by hefty conga drum solos. Prado gives up his snappy mambo arrangement of "Flight Of The Bumblebee," the first jazzed-up version of which was heard to buzz in concert halls in the Forties, performed by the brilliant trumpeter Harry James. Among the numbers are several red-hot big band pieces such as "Leo's Special" and "Fireworks" which has a particularly lively trumpet section with the power to blast the paint off the walls. All in all this is a recording that combines easy listening with a peppy Latin jazz feeling. RCA Living Stereo
Quincy Jones - Quincy Jones Plays Hip Hits Quincy Jones - Quincy Jones Plays Hip Hits
"Hip Hits" offers commercially successful titles from the realms of soul, film music, jazz, and pop presented with a new look. Alongside compositions by Herbie Hancock and Jimmy Smith we find Dave Brubeck's "Take Five," and a Beatles hit of later years "A Taste Of Honey," not to forget themes from unforgettable films such as "Exodus" and the bossa nova hit "Desafinado": all these numbers were set down with the excellent recording technique of the A&R Studio in New York and make this album an absolute "must" for every collector. Mercury
Quincy Jones - The Birth of a Band Quincy Jones - The Birth of a Band The Birth Of A Band - could this title be an indication of big-talking self-confidence? Or could it be that Quincy Jones intended to modestly signal to America’s big-band fans that his newly established formation of youngsters was going to play in the "first division" along with the well-established great names? Well, it was probably a mixture of both, for what was hatched out of the egg at the end of the Fifties, and was soon to go on a tour of Europe, set new standards in mainstream jazz. Jones adhered to the unwritten rule of all new arrangers in that he kept to the evergreens in order to spotlight his extraordinary talents as a bandleader. Melodic development, coupled with intense rhythms ranging from hard to gentle, with plenty of room for solo interludes, characterize these early adaptations, all of which display Jones’ unique personal style which eventually wrote jazz history. As is to be expected, a great sound and wonderfully precise harmonies are provided by a lineup of band members whose names read like a celebrity calendar of contemporary mainstream jazz musicians. That Quincy Jones’ artistry was held in highest esteem by other top-notch colleagues is evident from the cover notes on this album - for they were written by none other than the legendary Count Basie. There’s certainly no better recommendation than that. Mercury

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