Near the end of 1965, harmonically advanced trumpeter/cornetist Thad Jones organized a big band with drummer Mel Lewis that from February 1966 onward played Monday nights at the Village Vanguard. During the next decade, the orchestra became famous and gave Jones an outlet for his writing. Central Park North, recorded and released in 1969, testifies that one could be a big band and progressive at the same time. Flügelhornist Jones and percussionist Lewis are joined by a large cast of players, including tenor Joe Farrell, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, and pianist Roland Hanna. The music runs the gauntlet from funky soul-jazz to more gentle traditional work, sometimes within the same piece…
With the hit "Mercy Mercy Mercy" still reverberating on the sales charts, Capitol simply had the Quintet crank out one live club date after another at this point, hoping for another smash. They never really got one, but Cannonball and Nat Adderley, in league with pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Victor Gaskin and drummer Roy McCurdy, left a strong legacy like this vigorous live Hollywood gig. One of Nat's best gospel-styled hip-shakers, "Do Do Do," opens the record, and Joe Zawinul comes up with another bluesy, catchy self-help tune in the vein of "Mercy" called "Walk Tall," prefaced by another of Cannonball's wryly inspirational talks.
The Jazztet were only in existence for a brief time (1959-1962, not counting the later reunions), but with a flurry of recording activity they left a valuable legacy. By the time of they made their fourth album, co-leaders Art Farmer and Benny Golson were the only remaining original members, but the presence of underrated trombonist Tom McIntosh (who is appreciated more for his compositions than his playing ability, since he stopped performing in 1969), Cedar Walton, bassist Thomas Williams, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath are a welcome presence. These live performances are from a 1961 engagement at the Birdhouse in Chicago.
Sarah Vaughan recorded frequently during her three years with Roulette, and all 16 albums she completed for them plus five previously unissued tracks are included in this comprehensive eight-CD boxed set from Mosaic. The gifted singer is heard in a variety of settings, from superb small-group sessions to big-band settings and various dates bordering on easy listening; the sessions omitting the often syrupy string sections are the cream of this bumper crop.
In Memoriam. RIP Mr.Wess. There’s no Count Basie here, but his spirit pervades these relaxed, swinging sessions, not least because five Basie alumni – Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Benny Powell, Henry Coker and Eddie Jones – splendidly lead the way. Aided by guitarist Kenny Burrell and drummer Kenny Clarke, with arrangements that offer plenty of space for soloists, this is a typically accomplished, unpretentious Basie-type small group blowing session. The piano-less rhythm section is buttressed by the solid bass of Eddie Jones and a cooking Kenny Clarke, while Kenny Burrell proves a fine comper and a down-home blues player.
"I think there in the field of medieval music ensemble with a better level of interpretation and musicological rigor that Sequentia Ensemble. This vinyl is a convincing example. The pity is, that at least one of its members no longer living. In memory of Barbara Thornton. "
Duke Ellington was constantly composing new material as well as creating new arrangements of vintage works, as heard on this Columbia LP recorded in 1959. "Perdido" is an extended feature for Clark Terry's virtuoso flügelhorn, though this would be his final studio session as a regular member of the Ellington band. "Copout Extension," a longer version of an earlier work called "Copout," showcases marathon soloist Paul Gonsalves on tenor sax. Among the new pieces, the three-part suite "Duael Fuel" features drummers Jimmy Johnson and Sam Woodyard, though the piece was dropped from the band book after 1960.(Ken Dryden - AllMusic Guide, rated 4 out of 5 star)
Sonny Criss plays Cole Porter – and the results are way greater than the sum of the parts – even though those parts are already pretty darn great! Criss' alto sax has a superb tone at this time – razor-sharp, and nicely crisp – yet still filled with warmth that sets it apart from some of his more modern contemporaries – a beautiful balance that really illuminates these tunes, and has you thinking of them as fresh Criss compositions, not older Porter standards. The instrumentation is quite fresh, too – thanks to the addition of Larry Bunker on vibes, which is a really nice surprise – and piano by Sonny Clark and Jimmy Bunn. The great Lawrence Marable plays drums – and titles include "I Love You", "Easy To Love", "Night & Day", and "Love For Sale".