An excellent bit of early 60s soulbop – and one of two rare albums ever cut by the obscure female alto player Vi Redd, one of the few women sax players of her generation to get recorded! The album's got an easygoing groove that's mighty nice – a touch of R&B at times, but not nearly as much as you'd hear on Redd's other record for Atlantic – thanks to a sensitive jazz-based presentation by a group that also features a young Roy Ayers on vibes, making his first-ever appearance on record! Other players include Herb Ellis on guitar and Russ Freeman on piano – plus Kansas Lawrence on trumpet, who's clearly a bigger-name player working under another name. Vi sings on the record, in addition to playing alto sax – in this laidback way that's a bit like Trudy Pitts – and although the record's billed as a tribute to Charlie Parker, it's got a lot more going on than that! Tracks include "Summertime", "Old Folks", "Just Friends", "Now's The Time", "Anthropology", and "Cool Blues Perhaps". CD
An excellent gimmick – and yet another way that UnitedArtists was trying to push its "Bond" catalog in the 60s! Count Basie brings a soulful swing to the work of John Barry – hitting hard on the tracks with his own smoking piano, and an orchestra filled with some of his best players, like Al Grey, Eric Dixon, and Freddie Green – as well as Eddie Lockjaw Davis, an artist who wasn't credited on the session at he time. Arrangements are by Chico O'Farrill and George Williams – and titles include "Thunderball", "From Russia With Love", "007", "Girl Trouble", and "Goldfinger". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has tape and peeling on the spine and WGN marker on back.)
A real corker from Benny Carter's revival period at the end of the 50s – a large group session recorded with a very strong horn section, arranged and produced by Benny himself! The album's got a "calendar" gimmick – in that each of the 12 songs feature a month in the name – but you've gotta thank Benny for getting past that simple trick and keeping things real with an unobtrusive title and cover – and some extremely strong arrangements that cook nicely no matter what the tune! Titles include "Swingin In November", "Something For October", "August Moon", "March Wind", and "February Fiesta". LP, Vinyl record album
(Red label 60s pressing, with deep groove. Cover has a large cut corner, a partially split top seam, some wear, and some stains on the back.)
Kenny Dorham/Jackie McLean —
Matador ... CD UnitedArtists/EMI (Japan), 1962. New Copy ....
A brilliant album from Kenny Dorham – one of his more far-reaching efforts, with the expansive compositional style that he started bringing to some of his Blue Note work of the early 60s! The record features a group with Jackie McLean on alto, Bobby Timmons on piano, Teddy Smith on bass, and JC Moses on drums – all working with Kenny in a slightly Latin tinged mode that features some really shimmering trumpet work! The record features a stunning 3 part reading of McLean's haunting tune "Melanie" (done under his name on the album A Fickle Sonance) – plus the tracks "Prelude", "El Matador", "Smile", and "There Goes My Heart". CD
One of the great space rock records of the 70s – the sublime debut from Embryo – a group who were a lot more unique than most of their contemporaries! Embryo's almost more of a jazz fusion combo than a progressive rock one – and some of their later efforts have them working with key jazz figures on the European scene, in a mode that's definitely pretty far-reaching overall. This record's maybe a bit more down to earth, with slightly shorter songs and more focus on fuzzy guitars – yet the overall approach still points to the skies with a really well-fused sort of energy, and this strong sense of imagination that really packs a lot into a small amount of space. Titles include "Opal", "You Don't Know What's Happening", "Revolution", "Glockenspiel", "Got No Time", "Call", "End Of Soul", "People From Out Of Space". Includes the bonus track "You Better Have Some Fun". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes bonus CD of the full album.)
Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, & Bob Brookmeyer —
Stretching Out ... CD UnitedArtists (Japan), 1958. New Copy ....
A very well-titled album – as it definitely features Zoot Sims and Al Cohn stretching out – pushing their groove a bit more than on some of their tightly-composed mid 50s sessions for RCA! The lineup is still slightly large – an octet that features Zoot and Al on tenor, plus the latter on some baritone sax too – plus Harry Edison on trumpet, Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, Freddie Green on guitar, and Hank Jones on piano – working with a relaxed, easygoing vibe that swings in a gentle style that really opens up the solos. Titles include "Stretching Out", "Now Will You Be Good", "King Porter", and "Bee Kay". All this, and the album has a cover of a very sexy model – stretching out! CD
Some of the greatest work ever recorded by Randy Weston! Forget his trio stuff, this is the material that made him an instant legend in the late 50s! The record's a mindblowing batch of original compositions by Randy, arranged by Melba Liston, and featuring players like Ray Copeland, Johnny Griffin, and Charlie Persip – as well as Randy and Melba themselves. Langston Hughes wrote the liner notes, and the whole thing's so super-hip you won't believe it! Titles include "Babe's Blues", "Little Niles", "Earth Birth", and "Pam's Waltz" – all done in the full-group versions that have an angular, Monk-ish quality – and which represent one of the strongest statements in modern jazz at the end of the 50s! LP, Vinyl record album
Rarely are such "meeting of the minds" sessions worth any fuss at all – but in this case, the masterful talents of the players turn what should be a snoozy "common denominator" session into a modernist classic that still crackles with excitement after all these years! The real success factor here is Ellington, who was hitting a point in his career when he was really beginning to experiment again – as you'll hear in the beautifully angular piano lines that he lays next to Mingus' bass and Roach's lively drums. The set's nearly all originals, and titles include "Money Jungle", "Le Fleurs Africaines", and "Wig Wise". Very nice! LP, Vinyl record album
A great little album by this wonderful trumpeter – and one that we passed up for years because we were afraid of the words "brass" and "shout" in the title! If you're a Farmer fan, though, don't worry about this being some sort of snoozy "bold n brassy" session – because it's a much more subtle record, and features some excellent lead solos by Farmer, set amidst a larger group arranged wonderfully by Benny Golson! Golson brings a great sense of balance to the album – mixing some larger horn passages with soulfully snapping rhythms, all at a level that still allows plenty of space for Farmer to solo sweetly on trumpet. Other players on the record include Lee Morgan on trumpet and Curtis Fuller on trombone, Percy Heath on bass, and either Philly Joe Jones or Elvin Jones on drums – and titles include "Minor Vamp", "Nica's Dream", "Stella By Starlight", "Moanin", "April In Paris", and "Five Spot After Dark". LP, Vinyl record album
(Red label pressing with deep groove – nice and clean. Cover looks great on front, and has some light wear on back.)
Ronnie Laws —
Flame ... LP UnitedArtists, 1978. Used ....
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Ronnie Laws at the top of his early game – working in a tight mix of jazz and soul put together with some great help from Wayne Henderson's At Home Productions – very much in the hit style that team was putting out at the time! The work's surprisingly open and hip compared to efforts like this from a decade later – still smooth in production, but with lots of room for instrumental solos, and a groove that's still more heavy on fusion influences than anything else! Laws plays tenor, flute, and soprano sax – and other players include Larry Dunn on keyboards and Melvin Robinson on guitar – and a few cuts feature chorus vocals, by hip singers who include Eloise and Debra Laws, Diane Reeves, and Phillip Bailey. Titles include "All For You", "These Days", "Flame", "Living Love", "Joy", "Live Your Life Away", and "Love Is Here". LP, Vinyl record album
A late entry in the career of the legendary Embryo – but a set that may well be the group's most organic to date! Despite the early 90s date of the record, there's a very acoustic feel to the whole thing – a sound that's even rootsier than any of the group's classics from the 70s, with a whole host of percussion and instrumental elements that really live up to the album's title and cover! The set was recorded in Lagos, and only seems to have a bit of bass and guitar alongside a wide range of rhythms and a few regional stringed instruments too – and at a few points, a bit of vibes come into the mix to create some even more instrumental sounds. The whole thing is instrumental, and really without any hoke or cliche – far far better than any other session of this type we've heard from the time. Titles include "Konga", "Mao In Afrique", "Sango", "Bush", "Wole Alade", "Dun Dun Mix", and "Yulius' Song". LP, Vinyl record album
Early prog jazz genius from the mighty Embryo – and an album that perfectly fuses their love of world rhythms and electric jamming grooves! The percussion by Edgar Hofmann ranges from playful to hypnotic – with heavy drums and basslines crafting some incredible rhythms that spin out strongly – sometimes jamming, sometimes a bit looser – and often topped with great work on flute and this ultra-cool Leslie piano, which has a nice fuzzy sound. The album's got lots of other sweet organ and mellotron lines – and Hofmann also plays soprano sax and violin as well. Titles include "Tausendfussler", "Time", "Revenge", "Espagna Si Franco Finished", "Try To Be", and "Change". Also features the bonus track "Back To Africa"! LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes a bonus CD of the whole album!)
Curtis Fuller —
Sliding Easy ... CD UnitedArtists/EMI (Japan), 1959. New Copy ....
Out Of Stock
One of the rarest albums you'll ever find by Curtis Fuller – a sweetly modern set that's right up there with his Blue Note LPs! Arrangements on the set are by Benny Golson and Gigi Gryce – and the record's got the feel of some of their great work from the same time – soulful, grooving, but with one ear towards higher ideas and the future of modern jazz! The group includes Lee Morgan on trumpet, Hank Mobley on tenor, Tommy Flanagan on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums – a cracker of a lineup, working here with Blue Note-like intensity. The record's a great one, with 2 original tracks – "Bit Of Heaven" and "Down Home" – and versions of "CTA", "Bongo Pop", and "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone". CD
A brilliant album through and through – not just a standout from the late 50s years of the Modern Jazz Quartet, but also a compelling soundtrack composed entirely by pianist John Lewis! Lewis' writing was always a key part of the group's sound, but here it really comes into its own – shaping out these dark, moody little scenes for the movies – which work equally well as little sound pieces on their own – still jazz, yet often moving towards something deeper and more evocative too! The vibes of Milt Jackson are a masterpiece in economy – ringing out gently and filling up the space with each movement they make – and titles include "Skating In Central Park", "A Social Call", "A Cold Wind Is Blowing", and "Cue #9". CD
Wonderful stuff – a rare one from the early 60s that has master reedman Jerome Richardson running through hip versions of hip tracks from hip (and not-so-hip) movies! Includes nice long versions of "Delilah" and "No Problem" (from Les Liasons Dangereuses), plus "Never On Sunday", "Tonight", and "Moon River". Sound's snoozy, but it's not – mostly because the arrangements are sparkling and kind of modern, and because the band is excellent, and plays with unrestrained fire and imagination – not in the usual way you'd expect from a "jazz player meets movies" sort of session! Richardson is on tenor, baritone, and flute – and the group's a quintet with Les Spann on guitar and flute, Richard Wyands on piano, Henry Grimes on bass, and Grady Tate on drums. CD
One of the rare hip sides recorded by Alan Douglas during his brief tenure at UnitedArtists – and a key bit of avant jazz that's well worth seeking out! Ken McIntyre was one of the key underground modernists of the early 60s – and apart from a record on New Jazz with Eric Dolphy, most of his other work from the time is quite hard to find. This sublime album from the early 60s features McIntyre in two hip groups – one with bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, pianist Ed Stoute, and trombonist John M Lewis; the other with Jaki Byard on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Louis Hayes or Ben Riley on drums. McIntyre plays alto and flute in a mode that's very much in the best Dolphy manner – with a nascent sense of spiritualism mixed with a flurry of new stylistic techniques. The album features 5 originals by McIntyre – including "Arisin", "Say What", and "Cosmos" – plus a moody reading of "Laura". CD
Possible matches: 3
Herbie Mann & The Afro-Jazz Sextet + Four Trumpets —
Common Ground ... LP Atlantic, 1960. Very Good+ ....
A great little record, filled with loads of cross-cultural influences that make for one of the most exotic Herbie Mann albums of the 60s! The group's billed as the Afro-Jazz Sextet– but has a strong Latin vibe as well – a bit of an echo of the experiments Herbie Mann did with Latin jazz previously on labels like Verve and UnitedArtists – but given a bit more of the Atlantic-era punch here as well! The group features some wonderful vibes from John Rae – whose tones ring out beautifully on some of the best numbers – plus a mix of Latin and African-styled percussion from Ray Barretto, Olatunjii, and Ray Mantilla – who really make the record cook. A few tunes feature an added trumpet group, and the rest are mostly just flute and percussion – on titles that include "St Thomas", "Walkin", "Uhuru", "High Life", and "Sawa Sawa De". LP, Vinyl record album
(Purple & red label pressing. Cover has some light wear & staining.)
Cecil Taylor —
In Transition ... LP Blue Note, 1955/1959/1975. Used 2LP Gatefold ....
Temporarily Out Of Stock
This is the great Blue Note two-fer from the 70's that combines two rare Cecil Taylor albums from the 50's – one recorded for the Transition label, one for UnitedArtists. The playing's in a modernist mode that's not as free as Taylor's later work – but which has these magically sharp edges. Cecil is joined by Steve Lacy, Bill Barron, and Ted Curson. Titles include "Little Lees", "Song", "Azure", "I Love Paris", "Get Out Of town", "Rick Kick Shaw", and "Motystrophe". LP, Vinyl record album
Hannibal Marvin Peterson —
Tribe ... CD Kindred Spirits (Netherlands), 1979. New Copy ....
Out Of Stock
One of the boldest, most righteous 70s statements from trumpeter Hannibal Marvin Peterson – and that's saying a heck of a lot, given his previous body of work! The set's cast in the same large ensemble mode as Hannibal's Children Of The Fire album – and like that one, it features an array of all-star players, all united in the trumpeter's rich vision – artists who include Deirdre Murray on cello, Billy Hart on drums, Michael Cochrane on piano, Art Webb on flute, and Pat Peterson on vocals! Tracks are long, and build with energy that's very much in the Strata East mode – a vibe that Hannibal didn't seem to have down this well in the earlier part of the 70s, but which he more than made up for at the end of the decade with a record like this. Titles include "Now Stand", "A Sacred Multitude", "Returning To The Ways", "Of Live & Love & God", and "The Tribe". CD