The achievement of Namaste—and it is a genuine achievement—is also the achievement of Miles Davis's In a Silent Way (Columbia, 1969): namely, providing room to breathe in a crowded room of musicians—soloists all, not a big band. (On Miles's subsequent Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969), in contrast, a crowded room of musicians was happy to sound like a hot and tumultuous marketplace.) Despite the carefully-crafted compositions and arrangements, it's that sumptuous but spacious sound fabric that is most remarkable about this record.
Singing trombonist Jack Teagarden came up in the jazz and dance bands of his native Texas and the surrounding territories. By the end of the '20s he was making noise with the Eddie Condon mob in New York City, where the South-and-Midwesterners quickly learned that authentic, New Orleans-Chicago-styled jazz could be performed in public if you didn't need to eat more than one meal per day. The paying gigs were with society dance bands, and Teagarden made ends meet during the first half of 1930 by serving in the brass sections of orchestras under the direction of Ben Selvin and Sam Lanin, as well as the toothpowder and toothpaste-affiliated Ipana Troubadours. This type of economic problem solving would lead to his being contractually tethered to the Paul Whiteman Orchestra during the years 1933-1939. In 2006, the Jazz Oracle label released a thrilling 25-track collection of recordings that document Teagarden's professional activity during the first grueling months of the Great Depression.
Bill Evans features five separate performances by one of the most revered pianists in music history. This collection covers an 11-year span, highlighting Evans’ ever-deepening artistry as he performs with four different all-star rhythm sections, including the stunning duo of bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and drummer Alan Dawson. This DVD includes for the first time on home video Evans’ renditions of the rarely performed “Sareen Jurer,” “Blue Serge” and “Twelve Tone Tune Two.” Among the many surprises in this collection is a live performance of “My Melancholy Baby” with saxophonist Lee Konitz.
This amazing concert, issued here for the first time ever on DVD, features some of the only images of Lee Morgan captured on film (he was 21 years old when this concert took place) as well as a young, pre-Miles era, Wayne Shorter. This DVD shows the Jazz Messengers at the height of their skills, in a city they were very familar with (they recorded one of their most famous albums a year previously at the Club Saint Germain). All the tunes here have their highlights, yet it is Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night In Tunisia" which really stands out.
Jazz Icons: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers features what many consider to be one of the finest line-ups in the history of jazz—Art Blakey (Drums), Bobby Timmons (Piano), Jymie Merritt (Bass), Benny Golson (Sax) and the legendary trumpet player, Lee Morgan. Lost for nearly 50 years, this historic 55-minute concert, filmed in Belgium in 1958, one month to the day after they recorded their masterpiece Moanin', is the only known visual document of this influential band who were together for only six months.