Experimental at the time, this is a difficult listen years later. Recorded live at the 1970 Montreux Jazz Festival, this album features some challenging compositions by pianist Mike Nock. Violinist Michael White shows why he was a potential star, but this heavily electrified jazz is too abstract for most. The Fourth Way was a pioneering jazz-rock fusion group formed in the late 60s, before the horizons of the genre narrowed, and fusion became a perjorative term. The group was formed in the heady days of the San Francisco music era, comprised of pianist Mike Nock and violinist Michael White (both from the John Handy group), with bassist Ron McLure (from the Charles Lloyd quartet) and drummer Eddie Marshall.
Sonny Stitt goes Latin – and the results are tremendous! The set's still got all the soulful feel of the best Stitt sessions for Roost, but it brings in some nice Latin rhythms too – inflecting things with that blend of soul jazz and congas you might find over at Prestige or Blue Note, yet also taking things further, too – given the Roost/Roulette connection to the New York Latin scene! Sonny plays both alto and tenor, and gets jazzy accompaniment from Thad Jones on trumpet – but the rhythm section is the real charmer here – and features a young Chick Corea on piano, Larry Gales on bass, and the trio of Willie Bobo, Patato Valdes, and Chihuaua Martinez on percussion! Most tunes are originals – a great change from the usual Latinized standards you might find on a set like this – and Stitt's got this nicely exotic tone in his reeds which is a further highlight of the record – almost a Yusef Lateef inflection at points.
A great Capitol moment from pianist Paul Smith – an artist who really cut some of his best material ever for the label ! The Smith sound is at the height of its powers here in the late 50s — kind of a blend of jazz and more easy-going pianistic modes — often stretched out with lots of flourishes by Smith on the keys, but never the too-flowery styles used by some of his contemporaries ! Instead, Paul keeps things nice and lean — always enough to be plenty swinging in all the right moments — with quartet help from Barney Kessel on guitar, Joe Mondragon on bass, and Stan Levey on drums.
Alan Bown is most known – certainly in the United States – for his late '60s recordings as leader of a group (actually called the Alan Bown) that played psychedelic pop. The trumpeter had already been recording since 1965, however, with a group called the Alan Bown Set from 1965-1967 in a far more soul-influenced style. This compilation gathers both sides of all five singles the Alan Bown Set released on Pye in the U.K. during that time, along with the seven live songs from the London Swings: Live at the Marquee Club LP they shared with Jimmy James & the Vagabonds, and the French-only single "Jeu De Massacre (The Killing Game)," from the soundtrack of the French film of the same name.
Though labeled as a Cannonball Adderley Quintet session, this is actually a workout with a percussion section loaded with African drums, a big band, and in spots, voices – all unidentified. Nevertheless, this is one of the best and most overlooked of the Cannonball Adderley Capitols, a rumbling session that bursts with the joy of working in an unfamiliar yet vital rhythmic context. Cannonball turns in one of his swinging-est solos through a Varitone electronic attachment on Caiphus Semenya's "Gumba Gumba" and "Marabi" is a real hip-jiggler; you can't sit still through it. Other highlights include Cannon preaching blue smoke in his own Afro-Cuban-blues-flavored "Hamba Nami," a dignified trip through Wes Montgomery's "Up and At It," and Nat Adderley's commanding work on cornet at all times.
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.
"Plessner's transcriptions from Bernstein's more popular theatre works, notably Mass, Candide, and West Side Story, are immensely attractive. They capture the spirit of their originals yet sound completely at home on the guitar." ~BBC
A punk compilation which truly reflects the label's ethos of 'Unheard' ('Whips And Furs' - The Vibrators), 'Unearthed' ('Ain't No Legend' - The Maniacs) and all of it 'Rediscovered'. Happening, Alive and Nasty pays thrilling testament to the brief period when the music business had no idea what it was dealing with, when the doors flung open to mavericks, weirdo's and inspired innovators. The real spirit of punk - the full glorious, ear-bashing mess - was much more exciting than anything that would be defined. The album features Generation X's debut 'Your Generation', Buzzcocks and Wire B-Sides, rarities from the Stranglers and the never issued second Vibrators single 'Bad Time'.