Resonance Records goes out of its way again to unearth yet another significant chapter in jazz history, and once again, it's one that relatively few fans have ever heard. This performance of Jaco Pastorius' Word of Mouth Big Band was captured during George Wein's Kool Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall. It was broadcast on NPR's Jazz Alive program, but this double disc contains the entire performance, with more than 40 minutes of additional music.
Released in 1982, Middle Class White Boy was Mose Allison's first recording in six years, and his debut for the fledgling and relatively short-lived Elektra Musician label run by Bruce Lundvall. Allison is featured here in a sextet setting. His fellow front-line players are saxophonist Joe Farrell and guitarist Phil Upchurch. The set is a well-blended collection of originals and covers including Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone," and Duke Ellington's "Just a Lucky So and So." As is his trademark, Allison effortlessly blends jazz, backwoods blues, and Southern hipster jive in a heady brew of fantastic musicianship…
Is There Anything About? is the seventh album by British jazz fusion group Brand X. It is the last album to feature longstanding members Robin Lumley and Phil Collins. It was assembled from outtakes from the 1979 sessions. These sessions produced around twenty tracks which became Product (1979), Do They Hurt? (1980) and Is There Anything About? (1982). "Modern, Noisy and Effective" is the backing track to "Soho" with a new keyboard line overdubbed over the top of it. "A Longer April" is just an extended version of "April" from Product, with a bit of synth noise added in the middle. "TMIU-ATGA" is taken from an old cassette tape running in the studio when the band were improvising.
Chick Corea was involved in a wide variety of projects during the early 1980s, some acoustic, others electric, and everything from solos and duets to orchestral projects. Touchstone really displays quite a bit of diversity with features for flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia, a one-song ("Compadres") reunion of Return to Forever (with guitarist Al DiMeola, bassist Stanley Clarke, and drummer Lenny White), a spot for alto-great Lee Konitz ("Duende"), and a conventional sextet outing on "Dance of Chance." A bit uneven but with its interesting moments, Touchstone is worth checking out.
At the time of this recording, New Zealand's Mike Nock was one of the great, unsung pianists in European stlyed jazz. His elegant phrasing and wildly inventive melodicism fly in the face of all notions that claim improvisation must be outside Western musical parameters and structures. On Ondas, Nock has assembled a rhythm section that, while never having played together before shared the ability to create the bedrock, however flexible, for the artist's crystalline compositions and solos. Eddie Gomez was a wise choice for this session because of his experience with Bill Evans, who is an obvious influence on Nock's own composing — as is Keith Jarrett. His pizzicato flourishes and shifting timbres on "Forgotten Love" and "Visionary," while retaining an elemental sense of meter, are remarkable.