Anthology box set containing 7 hard-to-find and critically acclaimed albums, released on labels such as Cantil, Opal and All Saints. The box includes: ‘The Serpent (In Quicksilver)’ (1981), 'Abandoned Cities’ (1984), ‘The White Arcades’ (1987), ‘By The Dawn’s Early Light’ (1991), ‘Music For 3 Pianos’ (1992) ‘Through The Hill’ (1994, with Andy Partridge of XTC), ‘Luxa’ (1996). What can you say about ambient music? It's quiet … It's ethereal … It's meditative … It's minimal … It's passive … but it's also important! And Harold Budd is - in my opinion - right up there with Brian Eno when it comes to this particular genre of musical fields. I don't know who thought up the idea of releasing a boxed set of Harold Budd material, but God love you for doing it!! This is a true "must-have" for any Budd enthusiast who likes beautiful background music playing low while working on the computer (either at home or at work) or for also doing what I consider "low-noise household chores."
Pianist Harold Mabern and bassist Kieran Overs, although from Memphis and Canada, respectively, explore ten songs written by jazz musicians from Philadelphia on this CD, plus Mabern's "Edward Lee." While a few of the tunes are fairly well known in jazz (particularly Lee Morgan's "Ceora" and Benny Golson's "Whisper Not"), most of the others are obscure. Mabern and Overs work quite well together, with the bassist adding stimulating lines to the pianist's solos and having some good solo spots himself. Since Mabern, whose modern chord voicings are fresh and personal while influenced a bit by McCoy Tyner, has not recorded enough during his long career, this set is a valuable addition to his discography.
For a time in the early 1990s, some of the CDs from the Japanese DIW label were made available domestically through Columbia. This trio date by pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jack DeJohnette has Mabern originals dedicated to Sonny Stitt and Wayne Shorter, plus some offbeat standards and a pair of rarely performed John Coltrane tunes ("Straight Street" and "Crescent"). The interplay between the musicians is impressive and Mabern is heard throughout in excellent form. He closes the set with a piano solo that he titled "Apab and Others," after Art Tatum, Phineas Newborn, Ahmad Jamal and Bud Powell. This will be a difficult CD to find.
Harold Mabern, a superior hard bop pianist, had a rare opportunity to perform a set of unaccompanied solos for this Sackville release. Recorded live from Toronto's Café des Copains and originally broadcast on the radio, Mabern performs six jazz standards (including "Joy Spring," "Pent Up House" and Wayne Shorter's "House of Jade") and a pair of bluesy originals. Although Mabern sounds most comfortable in a trio, he has always been enough of a two-handed player to play solo; he readily acknowledges the influences of Phineas Newborn and Ahmad Jamal.
One of several excellent hard bop pianists from the Memphis area, Harold Mabern has led relatively few dates through the years, but he has always been respected by his contemporaries. He played in Chicago with MJT + 3 in the late '50s and then moved to New York in 1959. Mabern worked with Jimmy Forrest, Lionel Hampton, the Jazztet (1961-1962), Donald Byrd, Miles Davis (1963), J.J. Johnson (1963-1965), Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Joe Williams (1966-1967), and Sarah Vaughan. During 1968-1970, Mabern led four albums for Prestige, he was with Lee Morgan in the early '70s, and in 1972, he recorded with Stanley Cowell's Piano Choir.
After several years of few recordings, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers re-emerged with totally new personnel on this Prestige LP. The strongest performance is a quartet feature for the great trumpeter Woody Shaw on "I Can't Get Started," but the other three selections (which include such musicians as George Cables or John Hicks on keyboards, bassist Stanley Clarke and Ramon Morris on reeds) are also worth hearing and sound surprisingly "contemporary" for the time. An interesting set.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Harold Ashby's a tremendous tenorist – almost like Von Freeman or Buck Hill, in that he had years of experience before getting a bit of wider experience on records – thanks to albums like this! The set's got Ashby's great raspy tone in perfect formation with a trio led by pianist Horace Parlan – himself experiencing a big new wave of exposure at the time, on some of his other Timeless sessions, which marked a move to spacious, more tradition-filled playing – which makes him a great partner for Ashby on this set!
Harold Budd's discs tend to end up in the new age section of the record store, because his music is generally pleasant, quiet, and soothing. But where most new age composers go for the obvious (and sometimes saccharine) melody, Budd veers off into ambiguity; he also lacks the mystical bent that often goes along with the new age style. Instead, his compositional voice is more like that of a detached observer – one who creates beauty without getting too involved with it. By the Dawn's Early Light finds Budd writing for various combinations of viola, guitar, harp, and keyboards. All of the music is lovely, but not all of the compositions sound complete. In several cases, they sound like raw ideas rushed into the studio before their time. Guitarist Bill Nelson provides much of the interest throughout the album, and the sighing, slithery viola of Mabel Wong lends an occasional turn-of-the-century salon feel to the proceedings. The only really embarrassing moments occur when Budd – whose voice sounds like an unfortunate cross between Garrison Keillor and Kermit the Frog – reads his own poetry. Skip those tracks and you'll be fine.