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.
A portrait of the artist as a young man, The Nightfly is a wonderfully evocative reminiscence of Kennedy-era American life; in the liner notes, Donald Fagen describes the songs as representative of the kinds of fantasies he entertained as an adolescent during the late '50s/early '60s, and he conveys the tenor of the times with some of his most personal and least obtuse material to date. Continuing in the smooth pop-jazz mode favored on the final Steely Dan records, The Nightfly is lush and shimmering, produced with cinematic flair by Gary Katz; romanticized but never sentimental, the songs are slices of suburbanite soap opera, tales of space-age hopes (the hit "I.G.Y.") and Cold War fears (the wonderful "The New Frontier," a memoir of fallout-shelter love) crafted with impeccable style and sophistication.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Janice Lakers is a singer we only know from this one album – but she's a hip vocalist with a very compelling style – one that's very much in the best mode of some of the cooler American jazz singers of the late 70s! The song choices are great – some hipper jazz standards – and she's got a way of opening up with the lyrics that's far different than older vocal modes of the 50s – instead nearer to the territory of artists like Janet Lawson or Judy Roberts. Backing is by a hip trio with Debbie Poryes on piano – who really open up with their own sense of presence on the record, too – and titles include "Waltz For Debby", "Like A Lover", "Falling Grace", "Rainbow Lady", "In Your Own Sweet Way", and a nicely grooving take on "Moondance".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Pianist Hein Van Der Gaag definitely gets right to the point here – starting off the album with a great version of Horace Silver's "Ecaroh" that's filled with these descending note clusters that really open up the tune – setting up this bold, dark mood which is then balanced over the course of some more introspective tunes that follow! The approach is great – that really special way of creating a trio session that the Limetree label had during the 80s – a quality that's maybe made the imprint one of the best on the European scene at the time for piano jazz. Hein's group here features Joep Lumey on bass and Ben Schroeder on drums.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. One of the more freewheeling groups we've ever heard recording for the Timeless label – especially during the 80s stretch in which this set was recorded – a free-thinking quartet that features Urs Leimgruber on soprano, tenor, and bass saxophone – plus Don Friedman on piano, Bobby Burri on bass, and Joel Allouche on drums! Leimgruber's sound really sets the tone for the record – with moody passages some stretches, or a bolder attack at other moments – then supported strongly by Friedman's piano, really gets a lot of freedom here. All tracks are long, and very different than usual for Timeless.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Trumpeter Steve Gut's on the frontline here alongside the legendary Clark Terry and the great Dusko Goykovich – and the younger musician really manages to hold his own, and work well with the two master trumpeters! The setting is a larger group – the RTB Big Band – and all three players get a chance to solo – and the mighty Alvin Queen is in the group on drums, providing a soulful kick that maybe makes the album sparkle a bit more than usual for the RTB – although they've always had a great legacy of work with bigger name players, especially American ones. Titles include "Mr CT", "Black Triangle", "Stemi", "Summer Afternoon", "On The Road", "Some Memories", and "Blues To Clark".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. A sweet trio session from Dutch pianist Dolf De Vries – a player who can be lyrical one moment, but have a nice sort of punch the next – almost the sort of soulful swing that was first showing up on the Dutch scene in the 60s! The album's got a sprightly vibe all the way through – thanks to Dolf's style – and the trio also features Frank Noya on bass and Peter Ypma on drums – both rhythm players who are well-suited to the approach of De Vries. Titles include "Bernie's Tune", "La Mer", "Comecar De Novo", "30 Square Holiday", "Love City", and "The Look Of Love".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Tenorist Harry Verbeke's a hell of a reedman – a Dutch player who's never gotten the notice he should on our side of the Atlantic, but definitely one of the shining stars of the scene in Netherlands over the past 50 years! Harry blows with a sense of soul and bite right from the very first few notes of this gem of a record – working in tight formation with pianist Rob Agerbeek – another tremendous Dutch talent – in a groove that's as soulful and fluid as the best American work of the late 60s or 70s – classic in conception, but really trying to so something new as well, and with a very personal vibe on the tenor solos. Bassist Harry Emmery rounds out the groove with this wonderful warm tone – and drummer James Martin completes the group – on stellar titles that include "Sometimes Bread", "Ladies Birthday", "Seven Steps", "Ghana", and "Off The Top".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Intrioduction, recorded live at the North Sea Festival – on a set that features sparkling interplay between Harry Happel on piano, Koos Wiltenburg on bass, and Fred Krens on drums – a lineup that has a great balance between the strength of Happel's piano lines, and some of the more inventive roles the other musicians can play! The date was recorded by Timeless in 1982, but not issued until the mid 90s CD generation – which means there's plenty of space to present the full performance – almost 75 minutes of music, on some nicely long tracks that include "Soft Winds", "Night Child", "Jordu", "Love For Sale", "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life", "Cowboy Samba", "Summertime", and "Place St Henri".