Violinist Svend Asmussen (who has had too few of his albums through the decades available in the U.S.) teams up with pianist John Lewis, bassist Jimmy Woode and drummer Sture Kalin on this 1962 session from Stockholm, Sweden. Most notable is the repertoire: six Lewis originals (including "Django") and Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman." Asmussen fits in well with Lewis and brings a solid sense of swing to the somewhat complex music.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Pianist Jay McShann has spent much of his career being classified as a blues pianist when in fact he is a flexible swing stylist. On this excellent release, McShann appears with two groups of all-stars. His original "Crazy Legs and Friday Strut" and "Georgia on My Mind" find him joined by Herbie Mann (on flute and tenor), baritonist Gerry Mulligan and a rhythm section that includes guitarist John Scofield. The other selections (two standards, Duke Ellington's "Blue Feeling" and McShann's own "Jumpin' the Blues") are performed by an octet also featuring Mann, altoist Earle Warren, trumpeter Doc Cheatham, trombonist Dicky Wells and Scofield. The unusual grouping of swing, bop and modern stylists is successful (the material is pretty basic) and Janis Siegel's guest appearance for a vocal duet with McShann on "Ain't Misbehavin'" works.
It isn't easy following in the steps of Tinariwen, but Tamikrest are the brightest young contenders among the new Tamashek-speaking desert blues bands mixing traditional styles with elements of indie rock. Driven from northern Mali by the fighting and imposition of sharia law, they are currently exiled in Algeria, and their new set is a concept work, dealing with the courage of Tuareg women and the suffering of the past year. But the music is anything but bleak, driven on by sturdy bass, insistent percussion, and gently driving and inventive guitar work from lead singer Ousmane Ag Mossa, who also duets with the band's fine female singer Wonou Walet Sidati, formerly with Tinariwen. It's a refreshingly varied set, from the slinky and optimistic Tomorrow, Another Day to the atmospheric mix of wailing guitar and voices on the gently drifting The Journey, influenced by Pink Floyd.
Between 1960 and 1963 Texas tenor Curtis Amy (1927-2002) made six superb albums for Dick Bocks Pacific Jazz label, three of which, Groovin Blue, Way Down, and Tippin on Through, are included here. They were part of Bocks recognition of the emergence on the West Coast scene of a more groove-based, harder swinging approach than the cooler, considered style that preceded it. He chose well. Years of semi-obscurity in L.A. dance bands and organ combos had made Amy a thoroughly seasoned, assertive and inventive player in the mould of fellow tenor, Harold Land; these Pacific albums established him as a major exponent of the new music revitalizing West Coast jazz.