A pair of funky jazz sets from Bennie Maupin – '77's Slow Traffic To The Right and '78's Moonscapes – together in a single set! Slow Traffic To The Right is Maupin's first LP for Mercury, and a great bit of spiritual funky jazz that recalls a lot of the sound of his work with The Headhunters. The first track, "It Remains to Be Seen", is an excellent groover, with some very dark keyboard work by Patrice Rushen, and the rest of the tracks are pretty great too. Pat Gleeson produced and plays synth on the LP, and the cuts include "Quasar", "You Know the Deal", "Water Torture", and "Lament".
' Bennie Maupin's Cryptogramophone label follow-up CD to "Penumbra" both parallels and provides a departure from that excellent effort. What is similar is the softer tone Maupin is displaying in his far post-Headhunters days, refined by experience and cured though wisdom. The music Maupin plays on this beautiful effort is even more subdued, as he collaborates with an ensemble of relatively unknown musicians from Poland.' Michael.G.Nastos@allmusic.com
' Bennie has played and recorded with a wide variety of musical icons, including trumpeters Davis, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard; pianists McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill; saxophonists Lateef and Marion Brown; and drummers Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette, and Lenny White – to name only a few. He has played in all manner of musical settings and configurations, from solo performances to large orchestra concerts; from chamber recitals to Broadway shows. There is simply nothing the man can’t do and do brilliantly.' Liner Notes Penumbra
' Some of the best and most forward thinking of today’s young musicians clearly find ways to avoid being locked into a stylistic corner by self-proclaimed mavens of jazz and improvised music. Such eclecticism has to come from somewhere. Two of the major breeding grounds for this kind of imaginative diversity were and are, of course, the many musical odysseys of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Both were restless seekers, never satisfied with the status quo, always reaching beyond themselves for new and uncharted improvisational geographies. Both men, each in his own way, sounded a clarion call for musicians and listeners alike to wake up, shake off their complacency and free themselves from the known. It’s safe to say that among those who were first to hear the call was woodwind virtuoso and master improviser, Bennie Maupin.' Liner Notes
Drummer Jack DeJohnette's debut as a leader (which has been reissued on CD) has quite a bit of variety. The music ranges from advanced swinging to brief free improvisations and some avant-funk. DeJohnette (who doubles on melodica) is joined by Bennie Maupin (on tenor and flute), keyboardist Stanley Cowell, bassists Miroslav Vitous and Eddie Gomez, and drummer Roy Haynes. He uses six different combinations of musicians on the eight songs (five of his originals, John Coltrane's "Miles' Mode," Cowell's "Equipoise" and Vitous' "Mirror Image"). Intriguing and generally successful music.
None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Miles Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970, and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete. For the opener, "Right Off," the band is Miles, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Michael Henderson, and Steve Grossman (no piano player!), which reflects the liner notes.
Bitches Brew is a studio double album by Miles Davis, released on March 30, 1970, on Columbia Records. The album continued his experimentation with electric instruments previously featured on his critically acclaimed In a Silent Way album. With the use of these instruments, such as the electric piano and guitar, Davis rejected traditional jazz rhythms in favor of a looser, rock-influenced improvisational style. Upon release, it received a mixed response, due to the album's unconventional style and experimental sound. Later, Bitches Brew gained recognition as one of jazz's greatest albums and a progenitor of the jazz rock genre, as well as a major influence on rock and funk musicians. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 1971.