Brass Construction continued to avoid the scrap heap, turning out another better-than-expected album. There were two more good singles in "Walkin' the Line" and "We Can Work It Out," and the production, arrangements, instrumental support, and vocals were all more inspired than they had been in the past.
The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here – all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label – features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material – check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document.
Vincent Herring is complemented by rising young trumpeter Jeremy Pelt on this enjoyable studio date. "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" is a standard from the swing era, though the quintet translates it into a hard bop vehicle very well, with the leader throwing in a quick reference to another song ("Kerry Dance") from long ago. Herring is a bit playful in his treatment of the ballad "You Leave Me Breathless," while he handles McCoy Tyner's explosive "Four by Five" with finesse. But most of the session is devoted to originals by the band. Bassist Richie Goods contributed the funky, infectious "Citizen of Zamunda," which showcases the leader on his dancing soprano sax. Pianist Danny Grissert, who evidently made his recording debut with this CD, not only proves himself as a capable soloist, but also penned the exciting "Hopscotch" (marked by its use of stop time) and the tense "Encounters."
The show was Great! This is my favorite line-up so far for the band- but I always say that. Greg looked and sounded super- singing and playing. He is a classic blues rock musician. Butch, Jaimoe and Marc are the best! Rico sat in for Butch on one tune as well. Way to go Rico… Marc has settled in solid with the band. Tazzz… Oteil had some crazy sounds coming out after his scat solo. Love the thunder of the bass and drums! Derek looks relaxed when he plays with the ABB.
Darek Oleszkiewicz, a native of Poland and member of the music faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, makes his recording debut as a leader with this remarkable CD. Not yet thirty-years-old at the time of these sessions, the bassist shows surprising depth as a composer, arranger and soloist, with a gift for lyricism and a virtuoso technique reminiscent of Niels Pedersen. The first five songs are sterling duets with pianist Brad Mehldau (with whom he has worked in the past). The only standard, "You Don't Know What Love Is," evolves from a conversational duo improvisation, with both men avoiding typical approaches. His shimmering "Like a Dream" ought to have lyrics, while his "Blues for Eden" is very playful with hints of "Kerry Dance" worked into it. On two tracks, Oleszkiewicz leads a quartet with saxophonist Chuck Manning, guitarist Larry Koonse and drummer Mark Ferber. "Precious Moments" is an intricate composition that gives a strong indication of the leader's classical background.
Love. Angel. Music. Baby. is the debut solo album by American singer Gwen Stefani. It was released on November 12, 2004, by Interscope Records. Stefani, who had previously released five albums as rock band No Doubt's lead singer, began recording solo material in early 2003. She began working on Love. Angel. Music. Baby. as a side project that would become a full album after No Doubt went on hiatus. Stefani co-wrote every song on the album, collaborating with various songwriters and producers including André 3000, Dallas Austin, Dr. Dre, the Neptunes and Linda Perry.