Still going strong at the age of 81, legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal's love letter to his favorite Broadway, Hollywood, and Great American Songbook classics, Blue Moon, is arguably one of his most accomplished efforts since his Chess/Impulse! heyday. The Pittsburgh virtuoso, once credited by Miles Davis as a major influence on his career, shows that age is no barrier to invention with six exquisite reworkings of postwar standards.
The drummer gives the saxophonists some on Coexist, another round of sophisticated truth telling from Winard Harper that demonstrates high standards of musical excellence when it comes to expansive compositions, creative arrangements and choice of able bandmates. Leading ensembles ranging from sextets to tentets, the leader taps guest saxophonists on five of the disc’s 12 tracks. He also shows off his considerable gifts as a trap-set wizard, percussionist and, on his African-tinged “Ummah” and “Jeli Posse,” a player of the balaphone, a vibraphone-type instrument from West Africa.
This album confirms it, Virginie Teychené is a musician with a voice. She strolls through her imaginary museum dedicated to jazz singer-songwriters and brings her own light to each of its rooms. A grazing light in Familiar Dream, a bright light in Tight, the light of dawn in I'm Gonna Go Fishing and that of dusk in Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. The contributions of her co-musicians are intense due to their restraint; Gérard Maurin's weightless double-bass arrangements, Stéphane Bernard's chiaroscuro piano playing, Jean-Pierre Arnaud's dance-like drumming, and last but not least, Éric Le Lann's inspired trumpet playing, all make Bright and Sweet an exemplary jazz album, where all the miniatures that make it up are in fact merely beginnings.
We are pleased to announce "Charles Mingus - The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (Town Hall, Amsterdam, Monterey '64, Monterey '65 & Minneapolis)." It chronicles the essential live performances of this genius of modern music as his compositions achieved a depth and complexity we would come to know as Mingus's most signature work. It includes (on the earlier recordings) the brilliant Eric Dolphy, along with Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond, Johnny Coles, and Clifford Jordan – certainly one of the best assemblages of musicians ever. And the music, recorded across the world's concert stages and intended for release by Charles Mingus Enterprises, dashes once and for all every previously-held notion about what is, and isn't, jazz.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. Other than "Our Love" (a familiar classical theme adapted to American pop music by Larry Clinton), all six selections are originals by the pianist. Utilizing a nonet that includes trumpeter Johnny Coles (who does his best to be soulful on "Honeybuns"), trombonist Garnett Brown, flutist Les Spann, altoist James Spaulding, tenor saxophonist George Coleman, baritonist Pepper Adams, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Mickey Roker, Pearson performs music in a style that would have fit in quite well on Blue Note. Most memorable among his originals is "Is That So." This is not an essential date, but it is nice to have this rarity back in print again.
Most of the titles on this album are derived from Thelonious Monk's vast catalog of bop standards. Both co-leaders are at the peak of their respective prowess with insightful interpretations of nearly half a dozen inspired performances from this incarnation of the Blakey-led Jazz Messengers. This combo features Art Blakey (drums), Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), Bill Hardman (trumpet), and Spanky Debrest (bass). Immediately, Hardman ups the ante with a piledriving lead during "Evidence" that underscores the heavy-hitting nature of this particular jazz confab. Monk counters with some powerful and inspired runs that are sonically splintered by the enthusiastic – if not practically percussive – chord progressions and highly logistic phrasings from the pianist. The inherent melodic buoyancy on "In Walked Bud" contains a springboard-like quality, with Griffin matching Monk's bounce measure for measure.
France has been a hotbed for weird avant-garde and jazz rock music for quite some time. Ever since the world first heard the likes of Magma, Art Zoyd, Zao and many other bands, listeners have been playing close attention to what gets released in France. One of the intriguing releases comes from the band Stabat Akish and it is called Nebulos. This album is one of those that will leave you smiling long after you’ve stopped listening. It’s just such a fun, quirky and enjoyable listen all the way through. Their take on jazz rock is so loose, but full of gorgeous melodies, which get developed by some fierce playing and an apparent absence of any rules…
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. When Charles Lloyd brought his new band to Monterey in 1966, a band that included Keith Jarrett on piano, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and the inimitable – though young – Cecil McBee on bass, no one knew what to expect. But they all left floored and this LP is the document of that set. It is difficult to believe that, with players so young (and having been together under a year), Lloyd was able to muster a progressive jazz that was so far-reaching and so undeniably sophisticated, yet so rich and accessible. For starters, the opening two title tracks, which form a kind of suite (one is "Forest Flower-Sunrise," the other "Sunset"), showcased the already fully developed imagination of Jarrett as a pianist.
This was the follow-up to the legendary Introducing the Eleventh House recording. While it never achieved the classic status of its predecessor, it is an excellent follow-up that captures the band at their creative and technical peak. From the whimsical "Diedra" to the intense "Nyctophobia," Coryell leads his group with an understated refrain. He has always been at his best when acting as an equal within a group's space rather than as the centerpiece. His one indulgence here is the pretty, acoustic guitar solo "Eyes of Love." Of particular interest on this recording is the ferocious drumming of Alponse Mouzon, who displays a style of speed and power that rivals that of Billy Cobham. This is a forgotten gem from the fusion era.