It was only fitting that vibraphonist Cal Tjader launched the Concord Picante label with this release for Tjader did a great deal to popularize Latin-jazz. This was not his strongest effort (the solos of Tjader and flutist Roger Glenn are not all that substantial) but the drumming of Vince Lateano and the percussion of Poncho Sanchez keep the momentum flowing on these likable performances.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Two different sides of Verve Records in the 50s – one modern, one a bit more traditional – and both represented in live material from the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957! Side one features a stunning live performance from pianist Teddy Wilson – working in a tight trio with Milt Hinton on bass and Spec Powell on drums – and really blowing away any conceptions we might have had about Wilson being aging or flowery at the time. Instead, he's got a sharp edge and command of the keys that's amazing – and which almost seems to have a bit more bite than usual in this concert setting.
At Newport 1960 is a live album by Muddy Waters performed at Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, with his backing band, consisting of Otis Spann (piano, vocals), Pat Hare (guitar), James Cotton (harmonica), Andrew Stevens (bass) and Francis Clay (drums), on July 3. Waters's performances across Europe in the 1950s and at Newport helped popularize blues to a broader audience, especially to whites. The album is said to be one of the first live blues albums.
Vibraphonist Cal Tjader is in typically fine form on this live set from 1968. His quintet at the time featured Armand Perazza on congas and pianist Joe Kloess and his repertoire ranged from Afro-Cuban jazz to occasional straightahead tunes. Six of the eight selections on this date are originals by band members or Gary McFarland. Although Tjader had been playing this style of music for 15 years by this time, he still was quite creative and enthusiastic, and is heard throughout in excellent form.
The second album pairing Palmieri and Tjader, Bamboleate moves beyond El Sonido Nuevo into the respective territories of each artist. "Bamboleate" is the Latin cooker ones expects from Palmieri but didn't find on the more subdued El Sonido Nuevo. "Semejanza" is an equally affecting jazz lilt led by Tjader. Framed by a melody that could have come straight off the Vince Guaraldi Trio's Charlie Brown Christmas album, it has an equally indelible, locomotive rhythm. Tjader's samba, "Samba de Los Suenho," is a welcome departure from the relative rigidity of El Sonido Nuevo.
Joe Lovano is part of a select group of established musicians who have been around for so long, achieved so much, and have such an instantly recognizable sound, that a new release is more or less guaranteed to be good. And so it is with Classic! Live at Newport – everybody knows what to expect but that doesn't in any way diminish the enjoyment of listening to it.