Sounds Of Space, the title of Cuban pianist and composer Alfredo Rodriguez’ debut recording, evokes images of science fiction. In truth, it’s about a far more personal adventure. “It’s about the space that surrounds us,” he explains. “In this record I wanted to introduce myself: here are the people, the places and the sounds that have surrounded me, and made me who I am.” A key player in Rodriguez’ extraordinary story is producer Quincy Jones, who co-produced Sounds Of Space with Rodriguez.
Though it was recorded live at New York's jazz emporium, Iridium, Detroit born saxophonist Kenny Garrett makes a return home of sorts with Sketches of MD, his debut on the Motor City's own Mack Avenue Records. His quartet here, with bassist Nat Reeves, pianist/organist Benito Gonzalez, and drummer Jamire Williams, may not possess the star power of some of his studio albums, but this band is more than up for the gig. In addition, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders reprises his role from Beyond the Wall from 2006 as Garrett's foil, creating sparks aplenty.
1966 was a most illogical time for anyone to try forming a new big band but Buddy Rich beat the odds. This CD reissues the first album by the Buddy Rich Orchestra, augmenting the original Lp program with nine previously unissued performances from the same sessions. The arrangements (eight by Oliver Nelson along with charts by Bill Holman, Phil Wilson, Jay Corre, Don Rader and others) swing, put the emphasis on the ensembles and primarily feature Corre's tenor although trumpeter Bobby Shew, altoist Pete Yellin, pianist John Bunch and guitarist Barry Zweig are also heard from.