Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A heck of a great little album from drummer Billy Higgins – one of his few standout efforts as a leader, after years and years of impeccable work as a player on some of our favorite records! The set's got a simple, almost innocuous approach – with Higgins leading a quartet that features Cedar Walton on piano, Walter Booker on bass, and Monty Waters on alto sax. But from the very first note, the album bristles with energy and excitement – in a mode that recalls the Clifford Jordan recordings that also featured Higgins from the mid 70s – sharing a similar sense of soulful and joyous expression. Waters is really great, with a really biting, honest tone – and singer Roberta Davis joins the group on an excellent reading of Waters' composition "Sugar & Spice". Other tracks include Walton's nice "Midnite Waltz", and great versions of Horace Silver's "Peace" and Sonny Rollins' "Sonnymoon For Two".
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. A familiar grouping, but one that's presented here in a very different way – as bassist David Williams is up front in the lead, instead of working in his more familiar role in the trio of pianist Cedar Walton! Yet Walton's on board for this debut set from Williams as a leader – as is drummer Billy Higgins – and it's wonderful to hear the way they change things up slightly to give David more time in the spotlight, and to hear the way that Williams hits some of his more lyrical, melodic modes too – qualities that further our love of his talents on the bass, which were already great enough when working behind Walton. Cedar gets in plenty of solos along the way, but often cedes more time to Williams.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. West coast meets Dutch jazz – in this sweet set that features Bob Cooper on tenor and Conte Candoli on trumpet – both musicians who rose to fame in the LA scene of the 50s, but who still stand plenty strong here with the trio of Rein DeGraaff in the 90s! Cooper and Candoli continued to play often over the years – even after both had lost the opportunity to record much as leaders – and the musicians are in fine form here, with strong backing from Rein's trio that also features Koos Serierse on bass and Erik Ineke on drums.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Ben Webster plays live in Harlem – not the uptown scene in New York, but the Dutch city that became a surprisingly strong showcase for American players overseas! The date's got that easygoing style of some of Webster's best late live performances – a laidback rhythm trio, and Ben himself blowing these raspy, blue-tinged notes that are full of feeling – even when in a familiar setting – that quality that can make even subtle handling of a standard pop out with such Webster-like charm! The group features Tete Montoliu on piano, Rob Langereis on bass, and Tony Inzalaco on drums – and titles include "Stardust", "How Long Has This Been Going On", "Sunday", "For All We Know", and "Perdido".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Bassist Clint Houston never made many albums as a leader, but all of them are well worth tracking down – and this one may be the best of the bunch! The set has Clint working with frequent musical partner Joanne Brackeen on piano, as well as Ryo Kawasaki on guitars – who'd played with Joanne around the same time – and percussionist Rubens Bassini completes the group, and adds in some great subtle elements at the bottom. Tracks are long, and often very personal – quite different than the sort of music that many other bassists might provide as a leader – and a great showcase for Houston's highly melodic approach to his instrument. Clint plays both acoustic and electric, and a bit of guitar as well – and titles include "Black Thing", "Geri", "Goodbye Mr P", "You Are Like The Sunshine", and "Letitia".
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. A mighty nice set from pianist Cees Slinger – a live performance from a very hip octet – a group who can come on with ensemble fury one minute, then play like a small combo the next! Slinger's choice of musicians is wonderful – and includes Dusko Goykovich on trumpet, Fredinand Povel on alto and soprano, and Ruud Brink on tenor – all musicians who really make the sound sparkle with their solos, but can also slide nicely into the context of the rest of the group, too – in the manner that Povel and Goykovich were so good at on performances for MPS. There's a great sense of color throughout – really showing off Slinger's skill as an arranger – and titles include "Never Forever", "From Way Back", "Changing Colours", "Fee Fi Fo Fum", and "Killer Joe".
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. The 1978 Jazz Messengers was one of Art Blakey's strongest groups in years, although it would soon be overshadowed by its successor (which introduced a young Wynton Marsalis). With trumpeter Valerie Ponomarev, altoist Bobby Watson and a tenor saxophonist forming a potent frontline and new material from each of the principals (plus pianist James Williams) in addition to a lengthy ballad medley, this is a fine all-around set, last available on LP.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. One of Art Blakey's final recordings as a leader features two separate pianists (Benny Green and Mulgrew Miller) and two bassists (Leon Lee Dorsey and Lonnie Plaxico) taking part, along with the guest appearance of former Jazz Messenger Freddie Hubbard. Blakey was going deaf near the end of his life and sounds a tad tentative at times, while Hubbard's return may have been more to improve his chops (which had been in question after his experiments with fusion). The trumpeter seems rejuvenated by working with his former boss and his latest crop of Young Lions, who also include tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson.