Monday, August 24, 2009

Sonny Sharrock - Ask The Ages 1991

Sharrock was semi-retired for much of the 1970s, undergoing a divorce from wife/occasional collaborator Linda in 1978. In the intermittent years until producer/bassist Bill Laswell coaxed him out of retirement, he worked as both a chauffeur and a caretaker for mentally challenged children. At Laswell's urging, Sharrock appeared on Material's (one of Laswell's many projects) 1981 effort, Memory Serves. In addition, Sharrock was a member of the punk/jazz band Last Exit, together with Peter Brötzmann, Laswell and Ronald Shannon Jackson. During the late 1980s, he recorded and performed extensively with the New York-based improvising band Machine Gun, as well as leading his own bands. Sharrock flourished with Laswell's help, noting in a 1991 interview that "the last five years have been pretty strange for me, because I went twelve years without making a record at all, and then in the last five years, I've made seven records under my own name. That's pretty strange." [5] Laswell would often perform with the guitarist on his albums, and produced many of Sharrock's recordings, including the entirely solo Guitar, the metal-influenced Seize the Rainbow, and the well-received Ask the Ages, which featured John Coltrane's bandmates Pharoah Sanders and Elvin Jones. One writer described Ask the Ages as "hands down, Sharrock's finest hour, and the ideal album to play for those who claim to hate jazz guitar

The Freedom Sounds Featuring Wayne Henderson

People Get Ready was the first of two albums cut for Atlantic Records by Freedom Sounds, a nine-piece group put together by trombonist Wayne Henderson of the Jazz Crusaders. It was cut around the same time that Henderson appeared as part of Hugh Masekela's band at the Monterey International Pop Festival, and it comes from a similar multi-cultural, musical, multi-lingual sensibility. Henderson and his band -- including Al Abreus on tenor and soprano sax, James Benson on baritone sax and flute, Pancho Bristol on electric bass, Harold Land at the piano, Moses Obligacion on the conga drum, Ricardo Chimelis on the timbales, Max Garduno on percussion, and Paul Humphrey on drums -- range freely across excellent Henderson originals such as "Cucamunga," and cover "Respect," "People Get Ready," "Things Go Better" (yes, the Coca-Cola jingle, which they do wonderful things with), and "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)." The originals, especially "Orbital Velocity" and "Cathy the Cooker," possess vast kinetic energy and the bracing quality of a concert performance, capturing for posterity the reality behind this group's reputation as a live band. The record has aged well and, as if to prove it, WEA International reissued it in 2004 as part of the Atlantic Masters series, in an audiophile-quality CD reissue re-creating the original LP jacket.

Sonny Sharrock - Black Woman (1969)

Picked by WIRE magazine as one of the 100 records which set the world on fire, 1970s-era Miles Davis guitarist Sonny Shamrock's LP was released in 1969 and produced by Herbie Mann, who loved Sharrock's uncompromising blasts of atonal guitar with Mann's own band. Recorded with N.Y. free jazz musicians Dave Burrell, Norris Jones, Ted Daniel and Milford Graves, the LP features Sonny's with Linda on Yoko Ono-style vocals. There's plenty of soul and gospel influences and a slight pop element counterpoint to Sonny's aggressive guitar and Linda's wails. Originally released on Atlantic Records.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thelonious Monk - Underground

Underground is a 1968 album by Thelonious Monk, notable for its diverse and rare time signatures. It features Monk on piano, Larry Gales on bass, Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, and Ben Riley on drums.

Although this album is most widely-known for its provocative cover image, which depicts Monk as a fictitious French Resistance fighter in the Second World War, it contains a number of new Monk compositions, some of which only appear in recorded form on this album. This is the last Monk album featuring the Thelonious Monk Quartet, and the last featuring Charlie Rouse (who only appears on half the tracks)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thelonious Monk - Straight, No Chaser

Straight, No Chaser is an album by jazz musician Thelonious Monk, released in 1967.
The album was reissued on CD in 1996, including restored versions of previously abridged performances and three additional tracks.

Track Listing (1996 Cd Reissue)

1. "Locomotive" - 6:40
2. "I Didn't Know About You" - 6:52
3. "Straight, No Chaser" - 11:28
4. "Japanese Folk Song" - 16:42
5. "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" - 7:36
6. "We See" - 11:37
7. "This Is My Story, This Is My Song" - 1:42
8. "I Didn't Know About You" - 6:49
9. "Green Chimneys" - 6:34


* Thelonious Monk - piano
* Charlie Rouse - tenor sax
* Larry Gales - bass
* Ben Riley - drums

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chico Hamilton - The Dealer

The Dealer is a 1966 release by jazz drummer/bandleader Chico Hamilton. It was first released by Impulse! Records (AS-9130) and has been subsequently reissused on CD with the addition of bonus tracks from 'Chic Chic Chico', 'Definitive Jazz Scene Vol.3' and 'Passin' Thru'. The bonus tracks feature different line-ups to that of the album, including Charles Lloyd and Gabor Szabo. In the 1960s, Chico Hamilton recorded five albums for Impulse! Records, The Dealer and Man from Two Worlds are the only two to be reissued on CD. The bonus track, "El Toro" is also featured on the Impulsive! Unmixed compilation. The packaging takes the form of a digipack-styled case with a 12-page booklet featuring the original liner notes and photographs.

All tracks are originals, composed by Hamilton and some arranged by Jimmy Cheatham. The exception is "For Mods Only"; composed by free jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp, who features on the track playing piano.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Illumination!: Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison Sextet

Recorded in 1963 and co-led by John Coltrane's drummer and bassist (Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison), the music is most significant for introducing Sonny Simmons (alto and English horn) and Prince Lasha (flute and clarinet), who are joined in the sextet by underrated baritonist Charles Davis and Trane's pianist McCoy Tyner. Each of the musicians except Jones contributed an original (there are two by Davis); the music ranges from advanced hard bop to freer sounds that still swing. While Garrison's contributions are conventional (this was his only opportunity to lead or co-lead a date), Jones is quite powerful. However, it is the playing of both Simmons, who tears it apart on English horn during 'Nuttin' Out Jones,' and Lasha (when is he going to be rediscovered and recorded again?) that make this early 'New Thing' date of greatest interest.

Eddie Costa & Art Farmer - In Their Own Sweet Way

Eddie Costa was one of the most sought after studio pianist and vibes players in New York before he died in a car crash in 1962 at the age of 31. This is the one of the few release currently available which features him as leader. Accompanied by Art Farmer...

Recorded in New York in July, 1957.

Personnel: Eddie Costa (piano, vibraphone), Phil Woods (alto saxophone), Art Farmer (trumpet), Teddy Kotick (bass), Paul Motian (drums).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Barry Miles - White Heat (1971)


A1 Little Heart Of Pieces (4:37)
A2 White Heat (8:04)
A3 Woodstock (4:25)
Written-By - Joni Mitchell
B1 Descent (3:33)
B2 Tangent (4:38)
B3 Foot Mother (6:06)
B4 Sound Song (4:44)
An overlooked gem from keyboardist Barry Miles -- and one of the most compelling early 70s sides on the Mainstream Records label! Barry's got a way of really making his keys sing out nicely -- playing both acoustic and electric piano with plenty of warm tones and gently flowing modes -- but never in a way that's too far out from jazz, or too smooth to be sleepy. The set features twin guitars from Pat Martino and John Abercrombie, both of whom underscore the chromatic nature of Miles' playing -- and other players include Lew Tabackin on tenor and flute, Victor Gaskin on bass, Terry Silverlight on drums, and Warren Smith on congas. Titles are mostly Miles originals -- and include "Descent", "Tangent", "White Heat", and "Little Heart Of Pieces".

Chick Corea - Sundance

Sundance is an album recorded by Chick Corea and released in 1969.

Track listing

  1. "The Brain" (Corea) – 10:04
  2. "Song Of Wind" (Corea) – 7:53
  3. "Converge" (Corea) – 7:56
  4. "Sundance" (Corea) – 9:49


Herbie Hancock - The Collection

1. Empty Pockets
2. Jack Rabbit
3. Yams
4. Eye Of The Hurricane
5. Cantaloupe Island
6. Sorcerer
7. I Have A Dream

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Free Spirits - Out Of Sight And Sound (1967 - 2006, Sunbeam)

Way ahead of its time, The Free Spirits' radical 1967 album Out of Sight and Sound has never previously been available on CD. Co-founded by the young and future jazz-rock guitar legend Larry Coryell, who made his recording debut here, the band was only together briefly but dazzled all who heard them (including Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and The Velvet Underground) with their revolutionary brand of psychedelic jazz-rock. One highlight includes "Blue Water Mother," a song which employs the oft-unheard sound of two separate vocal tracks singing two entirely separate sets of lyrics. One of the first fusions of jazz and rock, this early experiment in sound will appeal to fans of straight-up heavy '60s jams as well.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gary Burton - A Genuine Tong Funeral

One of vibraphonist Gary Burton's most intriguing recordings, A Genuine Tong Funeral (Carla Bley's suite which musically depicts attitudes toward death) was called by its composer a "Dark Opera Without Words." Burton's classic Quartet (which also includes guitarist Larry Coryell, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bob Moses) is augmented by six notable all-stars: soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, trumpeter Mike Mantler, Gato Barbieri on tenor, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, Howard Johnson on tuba and baritone and Bley herself on piano and organ. The music is dramatic, occasionally a little humorous, and a superb showcase for Gary Burton's vibes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

John Coltrane - The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions

Africa/Brass is a 1961 album by John Coltrane, his first for the new Impulse! label. It features Coltrane's five-piece working band (which at the time included two bassists - Reggie Workman and Art Davis), backed by a fifteen-piece brass band including, among others, trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Booker Little, and bass clarinetist Eric Dolphy. The brass arrangements were originally credited to Dolphy, but in the years since the album was released it has emerged that they were, in fact, primarily the work of pianist McCoy Tyner (misspelled "Turner" on the original issue). Tyner wrote out the arrangement for the English traditional song, "Greensleeves"; for the two original pieces, "Africa" and "Blues Minor", Dolphy and Coltrane adapted Tyner's piano voicings for the orchestra.

A second LP, culled from the same sessions, was released in 1974. It was titled Africa/Brass Sessions, Volume 2. It featured a version of the slavery-era spiritual-cum-code-tune, "Follow the Drinkin' Gourd" (retitled "Song of the Underground Railroad") as well as alternate takes of "Greensleeves" and "Africa". There also exist outtakes from the sessions - a version of Cal Massey's "The Damned Don't Cry", and additional alternate versions of "Africa" and "Greensleeves".

Both albums have since been combined onto one compact disc. All existent takes (including both albums, and the three outtakes) from the sessions have also been compiled in order of recording on the double-CD collection, The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions....Africa/Brass remains one of the most powerful and compelling examples of the art of John Coltrane.

Kenny Dorham - Afro-Cuban

1. Afrodisia
2. Lotus Flower
3. Minor's Holiday
4. Minor's Holiday (Alternate Version)
5. Basheer's Dream
6. K.D.'s Motion
7. La Villa
8. Venita's Dance
9. K.D.'s Cab Ride

KD - tr
J.J. Johnson - 'bone (1-5)
Hank Mobley - tenor sax.
Cecil Payne - baritone sax.
Horace Silver - piano
Oscar Pettiford - bass (1-5)
Percy Heath - bass (6-9)
Carlos "Patato" Valdes - conga (1-5)
Art Blakey - drums

Sunday, August 2, 2009

California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium [LIVE] - 1971

CD 1 (total time 39:55) :
1. Fire and Rain (11:35) [James Taylor]
solos: Hubert Laws, flute; George Benson, guitar
2. Red Clay (14:31) [Freddie Hubbard]
solos: Freddie Hubbard, trumpt; Stanley Turrentine, tenor saxophone; George Benson, guitar; Ron Carter, bass
3. Sugar (15:51) [Stanley Turrentine]
solos: Stanley Turrentine, tenor saxophone; Freddie Hubbard, trumpt; George Benson, guitar; Ron Carter, bass
CD 2 (total time 36:36) :
1. Blues West (20:40) [Eumir Deodato]
solos: Stanley Turrentine, tenor saxophone; George Benson, guitar; Freddie Hubbard, trumpt; Hubert Laws, piccolo; Johnny Hammond, electric piano; Ron Carter, bass
2. Leaving West (15:51) [Stanley Turrentine, Ron Carter]
solos: Stanley Turrentine, tenor saxophone; George Benson, guitar; Billy Cobham, drums; Airto Moreira, percussion

George Benson & Joe Farrell - Benson & Farrell

This little-known CTI recording matches guitarist George Benson and Joe Farrell, a multi-reed player who mostly sticks to flute. Joined by a large rhythm section and sometimes two other flutists (including Eddie Daniels), Benson and Farrell play four originals by session arranger Dave Matthews, plus the standard "Old Devil Moon." This pleasing if not all that memorable instrumental date was recorded right after Benson's Breezin' (and before its release), ending the guitarist's CTI period right before he became a vocal star


Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section is a 1957 jazz album by saxophonist Art Pepper playing with Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones, who at the time were the rhythm section for Miles Davis's quintet.

According to legend, the album was recorded under enormous pressure: Pepper first learnt of it on the morning of the recording session, had never met the other musicians (though he admired them all), hadn't played for two weeks (according to the liner notes) or six months (according to Pepper's autobiography Straight Life), was playing on an instrument in a bad state of repair, and was suffering from a drug problem. (This story is clearly unreliable: the discography in Straight Life reveals, for instance, that he had recorded many sessions in the previous weeks, including one just five days before.) Whatever the truth of the recording's circumstances, it is considered a milestone in Pepper's career, and launched a series of albums for Les Koenig's Contemporary label which remain the cornerstone of Pepper's recorded work.

TAL FARLOW - Tal's Blues

01 - Strike Up The Band 02 - Skylark 03 - Have You Met Miss Jones - 04 - Tenderly 05 - And She Remembers Me 06 - My Old Flame 07 - Cherokee 08 - Autumn In New York 09 - Tal's Blues 10 - I Like To Recognize The Tune 11 - There Will Never Be Another You 12 - Just One Of Those Things 13 - Tenderly 14 - It's You Or No One

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thelonious Monk ~ Brilliant Corners (1957)

Brilliant Corners is a 1957 album by jazz musician Thelonious Monk. It was his third album for the Riverside label and the first, for this label, to include his own compositions. The complex title track required over a dozen takes in the studio, and is considered one of his most difficult compositions. In 2003, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

Because of its historical significance the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

The track "Pannonica" is named for Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a close friend of Monk's.

Track listing

1. "Brilliant Corners" (Thelonious Monk) – 7:42
2. "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are" (Monk) – 13:24
3. "Pannonica" (Monk) – 8:50
4. "I Surrender Dear" (Barris-Clifford) – 5:25
5. "Bemsha Swing" (Monk-Best) – 7:42



* Thelonious Monk — piano; celeste on "Pannonica"
* Ernie Henry — alto saxophone on "Brilliant Corners", "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are" and "Pannonica"
* Sonny Rollins — tenor saxophone
* Oscar Pettiford — double bass on "Brilliant Corners", "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are" and "Pannonica"
* Max Roach — drums; timpani on "Bemsha Swing"

* Clark Terry — trumpet on "Bemsha Swing"
* Paul Chambers — double bass on "Bemsha Swing"