While its title and cover certainly suggest a record firmly in the bachelor pad/lounge music camp, Cool and Sparkling: The Liquid Sounds of Paul Smith nevertheless boasts a melodic ingenuity and technical emphasis that reward deeper listening. What keyboardist Smith dubs "liquid sound" is in fact a space-age pop precursor to soul-jazz, with an energy and groove all its own. Aided by clarinetist Abe Most, guitarist Tony Rizzi, and bassist Sam Cheifitz, Smith is too good a player and too clever a composer to settle for mere background music – structure is as important here as sound, and while Cool and Sparkling blends effortlessly with its surroundings, it never sacrifices substance for style.
Unique compilation and 100th release in the catalogue of Sonorama Records - file under: cool, modern, hard bop, modal! Fourteen previously unknown tracks recorded 1959-63 in West-Germany by some of the best European jazz artists of the time, featuring Barney Wilen, Francy Boland, Rolf Kühn, Joki Freund, Attila Zoller, Fats Sadi, Roland Kovac, Rolf Ericson, Michael Naura and countless others. All tunes picked from collectors' archives, carefully mastered for 2LP-Gatefold and Longplay Digipack-CD with new sleeve notes and artist photos by Susanne Schapowalow and Hans Harzheim. Great moments from the most prosperous period in the development of European progressive jazz.
Rice Miller (or Alec or Aleck Miller – everything about this blues great is somewhat of a mystery) probably didn't need to take the name of the original Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee Williamson) to get noticed, since in many ways he was the better musician, but Miller seemed to revel in confusion, at least when it came to biographical facts, so for whatever reason, blues history has two Sonny Boy Williamsons. Like the first Williamson, Miller was a harmonica player, but he really sounded nothing like his adopted namesake, favoring a light, soaring, almost horn-like sound on the instrument…
15 track compilation that pulls together this talented production duo’s best work.
This single CD reissues all of the music from two rare Dizzy Gillespie LPs. Dating from 1963-64, the set features the trumpeter's interpretation of the score of the obscure film The Cool World (although these are not the actual performances heard in the movie) plus 11 themes from other films. Gillespie, who is joined by James Moody (on tenor, alto and flute), pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Chris White and drummer Rudy Collins, was in peak form during that era and hopefully all of his other Philips recordings will also be reissued by Verve in the future. Although the liner notes deal only with The Cool World, the other set is actually of greater interest. Gillespie uplifts such tunes as the "Theme from Exodus," "Moon River," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Never on Sunday" and "Walk on the Wild Side," turning them into swinging jazz. The Cool World pieces (all composed by Mal Waldron) are also worth hearing although they are not as memorable overall. This set is a real historical curiosity and, although not essential, it is a release that should please Dizzy Gillespie fans while reminding others of how great a trumpeter he was before his long decline.
John McNeil had the idea of applying some of Gerry Mulligan's arranging principles to free jazz after arranging some of the late baritone saxophonist's music for a tribute band. Recruiting baritone saxophonist Alan Chase, bassist John Hebert, and the much in-demand drummer Matt Wilson, McNeil's experiment creates some provocative music. "Deadline" features a constantly shifting time signature, changing its mood throughout the piece, contrasting it with the more steady and loping "A Time to Go." McNeil's humorous take of "Bernie's Tune" (long a part of Mulligan's repertoire, though written by Bernie Miller) quickly takes it away from its roots for a wild ride on his horn into the world of free jazz. He also adapts Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone classical music into his realm with his playful arrangement of "Schoenberg's Piano Concerto." Throughout the session the band is up to the challenges of McNeil's compelling music, producing a provocative CD that should open ears for decades to come.