In 1984, a 45-year-old Tina Turner made one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of American popular music. A few years earlier, it was hard to imagine the veteran soul/rock belter reinventing herself and returning to the top of the pop charts, but she did exactly that with the outstanding Private Dancer. And Turner did so without sacrificing her musical integrity. To be sure, this pop/rock/R&B pearl is decidedly slicker than such raw, earthy, hard-edged Ike & Tina classics as "Proud Mary," "Sexy Ida," and "I Wanna Take You Higher." But she still has a tough, throaty, passionate delivery that serves her beautifully on everything from the melancholy…
In the '50s, the party line among New York jazz critics was that hard bop was the "true faith" and that cool jazz was lightweight and unemotional. But Miles Davis knew better. The trumpeter (whose Birth of the Cool sessions of 1949-1950 proved to be incredibly influential) was smart enough to realize that cool jazz and hard bop were equally valid parts of the house that Charlie Parker built, and he had no problem working with cool jazzmen one minute and hard boppers the next. Recorded for Charles Mingus' Debut label in 1955, Blue Moods is an excellent example of cool jazz…
For this excellent outing (his third project for JVC), keyboardist Tom Coster performs 11 originals plus "Lover Man." Although his fusion-oriented music is full of funky ensembles, there is more variety than expected. Coster shares the solo space with tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, and the fiery guitarist Scott Henderson, creating a colorful and sometimes unpredictable program of music.
This edition limited to 10,000 copies and 20-Bit K2 Super Coding. Abbey Lincoln's third of three Riverside albums directly precedes her more adventurous work with drummer (and then-husband) Max Roach. With fine backup from trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Wynton Kelly, Les Spann (doubling on guitar and flute), bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Philly Joe Jones) on seven of the ten numbers, and by Roach's regular quintet at the time on the other three selections, Lincoln is quite emotional and distinctive during a particularly strong set. Highlights include the first vocal version ever of "Afro-Blue," "Come Sunday," Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Brother, Where Are You," "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," "Long as You're Living," and Lincoln's own "Let Up." A very memorable set.
This edition limited to 10,000 copies and 20-Bit K2 Super Coding. Ugetsu, a 1963 live set from the original Birdland, finds Art Blakey & His Jazz Messengers at the peak of their powers with one of their strongest lineups. The group primarily recorded sessions for Alfred Lion's Blue Note label, but this Riverside date is as strong as any of their previous outings. Having acquired the services of trombonist Curtis Fuller in 1961, the Messengers' front line was its most robust ever, with Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard consistently turning in some of their best performances. Rounding out the rhythm section with Blakey are the equally powerful Reggie Workman and Cedar Walton.
This edition limited to 10,000 copies and 20-Bit K2 Super Coding. In the liner notes of Quiet Kenny, former Downbeat magazine publisher Jack Maher states that trumpeter Kenny Dorham's music is not necessarily the demure, balladic, rapturous jazz one might associate as romantic or tranquil. Cool and understated might be better watchwords for what the ultra-melodic Dorham achieves on this undeniably well crafted set of standards and originals that is close to containing his best work overall during a far too brief career. Surrounded by an excellent rhythm team of the equally sensitive pianist Tommy Flanagan, emerging bassist Paul Chambers, and the always-beneficial drummer Art Taylor, Dorham and his mates are not prone to missteps or overt exaggerations.
This edition limited to 10,000 copies and 20-Bit K2 Super Coding. Contemporary's 2000 re-release appended three bonus tracks, all of them alternate takes. A classic set that brings the east coast tenor of Sonny Rollins into contact with a west coast rhythm section of Ray Brown and Shelly Manne! Despite Rollins' silly look on the cover, and the album's overall "western" theme, the session's a brilliant one – right up there with Sonny's strongest trio sides of the late 50s, and a key link in a string of excellent recordings for Blue Note, Prestige, and Riverside! The lack of a piano really opens up the style of the set – letting Sonny explore freely on his solos, while Brown's bass and Manne's drums do more than enough to keep the rhythms going on their own. Solos aren't as "out" as on the Village Vanguard sessions, but certainly every bit as inspired – and titles include "I'm An Old Cowhand", "Solitude", "Come, Gone", "Way Out West", and "Wagon Wheels".
In one of those fascinating twists that add to the magic of jazz, it was a mild-mannered, non-exotic. Virginia-born wizard of (primarily) the acoustic guitar who spearheaded the early-Sixties onslaught of bossa nova on the music scene of this country. Charlie Byrd, fascinated by this Brazilian music while on a South American tour, became its most ardent advocate here. He first joined with Stan Getz for a trend-setting LP and then moved on to his own big hit with this Riverside album, highlighted by the best-selling, with-strings version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Meditation."
A great record – and one that's filled with so many wonderful little moments! The whole thing's a very cool, very off-beat set of jazz tracks recorded by vibist Gary McFarland, with a group that includes Jimmy Raney on guitar, Richie Kamuca on tenor, and Steve Swallow on bass – a lineup that's as quirky as the sound of the record! The tunes are quite different than some of Gary's larger arrangements for Verve, but they've definitely got a very similar charm – quite groovy, and a unique blend of bossa influences, west coast jazz, modal rhythms, and other wonderful touches. Tracks include "Pecos Pete", "Hello To The Season", "Schlock-House Blues", and "Love Theme From David & Lisa".
A quarter of a century after his death at 36, the astonishing saxophonist and flutist Eric Dolphy is still influencing and inspiring the most adventuresome jazz musicians. Dolphy was daring and iconoclastic while fully immersed in the jazz tradition. His musicianship was so thorough that innovators like Charles Mingus and John Coltrane held him in awe. In a dream partnership, Dolphy and trumpeter Booker Little made a handful of recordings in 1960 and '61, shortly before Little's own premature death. The first of them are in this album. Included is the rare "Serene," never before issued with the session's other material.