The Jazztet had been in existence for two years when they recorded what would be their final LPs, Here and Now and Another Git Together. The personnel, other than the two co-leaders, flugelhornist Art Farmer and tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson, had completely changed since 1960 but the group sound was the same. The 1962 version of the Jazztet included trombonist Grachan Moncur III, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Roy McCurdy. It is remarkable to think that this talent-filled group wasn't, for some reason, snapped up to record even more albums together. Highlights of their excellent out-of-print LP include Ray Bryant's "Tonk," "Whisper Not," "Just in Time," and Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear." A classic if short-lived hard bop group.
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. The music of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe – composers usually associated with the Broadway stage, brought into a whole new light here by the late 50s Jazz Messengers! The album's one of Art Blakey's more unusual outings – part of that great 1957 run away from Blue Note – but it cooks strongly with a lineup that includes Jackie McLean on alto, Johnny Griffin on tenor, and Bill Hardman on trumpet – all players who bring an unusual degree of bite to these tunes, while still reflecting the lyrical beauty within!
This release contains Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ complete recordings from their first Japanese tour in 1961. These consist of two sets, one recorded live at Sankei Hall in Tokyo, and a posterior TV show performed in the same city the following week. Both sets feature an amazing lineup, with the leader on drums, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymmie Merritt on bass.
A mighty meeting of two modern alto giants – a set cut under the leadership of Lee Konitz, but which also features some great work from Art Pepper too! Both Pepper and Konitz were two of the most distinctive players to emerge in the 50s – both in the generation after Charlie Parker first set the horn on fire with his bebop creations – but both very individual, distinct players who took the music in fresh new directions.
This Art Farmer studio session from 1971 has a slight contemporary flavor to it, due to the addition of conga player James "Mtume" Forman and percussionist Warren Smith, Jr. to a core group of collaborators including Jimmy Heath, Cedar Walton, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins. Unfortunately, the additional percussionists are too prominent in the mix, greatly distracting from the driving arrangements of Farmer's "Homecoming" and Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa" as well as a peppy bossa nova, "Cascavelo." Far better are the quintet tracks, including the laid-back and mellow interpretation of Leonard Bernstein's ballad "Some Other Time," featuring the leader's matchless flügelhorn and Heath's soprano sax, and an upbeat chart of "Here's That Rainy Day." Another annoying problem is the seemingly out of tune piano, though Walton makes the best of a bad instrument. Not an essential album in the vast Farmer discography, but worth acquiring if found at a reasonable price, though it will be difficult.
This lesser-known set, released by several Japanese labels including a 1991 CD issue by Denon, features flugelhornist Art Farmer with pianist Masahiko Satoh (doubling on electric piano), bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette and a 14-piece string section arranged and conducted by Satoh. Despite its initial release in Japan, the music was actually recorded in New York City. Farmer is in excellent form on the seven modern jazz originals, most of which are given fresh treatments. The arrangements are fine, and Farmer is up to the task of carrying the main load on such songs as "Nica's Dream," "Blue In Green," "Maiden Voyage" and "Naima".
At his best, Jack DeJohnette is one of the most consistently inventive jazz percussionists extant. DeJohnette's style is wide-ranging, yet while capable of playing convincingly in any modern idiom, he always maintains a well-defined voice. DeJohnette has a remarkably fluid relationship to pulse. His timing is excellent; even as he pushes, pulls, and generally obscures the beat beyond recognition, a powerful sense of swing is ever-present. His tonal palette is huge as well; no drummer pays closer attention to the sounds that come out of his kit than DeJohnette. He possesses a comprehensive musicality rare among jazz drummers.