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✨✧ George DukeAura Will Prevail ... CD
MPS (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The aura here is spreading wide – as George Duke really grows his sound strongly from the early years, and takes hold of a whole host of cosmic influences! The record's one of Duke's biggest for MPS – a beautiful balance between jazzy fusion and spacey soul – served up with help from an array of great singers and players from the west coast scene. Duke's still stretching out plenty on keyboards – but never in a too-jamming, too-indulgent way – always sensitive enough to never mess up the groove, and always with a sense of space and timing that never showed up this well in his later records. Players include Airto on percussion, Alphonso Johnson on bass, Ndugu Chancler on drums, and Duke himself on more keyboards than we could ever hope to list here! Vocals are by Sylvia St James, Gee Janzen, and Kathy Woehrle – as well as Duke himself – and titles include "Foosh", "For Love", "Uncle Remus", "Fools", "The Aura", "Enchinda's Arf", "Floop De Loop", and "Dawn". CD
(K2 HD Pro Mastering pressing!)
 
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✨✧ Tom LellisFlow ... CD
Beamtide, 2016. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An excellent set from Tom Lellis – a jazz vocalist we've been digging since the 70s – as part of an elite group of really special singers that might include Mark Murphy or Kurt Elling – able to work in a jazzy style that's far more than just delivery of a lyric, with a sense of individuality that's always compelling! This album has Lellis in wonderful form – at a level that rivals all the greatness of his classic records, with a similar commitment to excellent material, and sublime small group presentation of the music – with instrumental energy that really matches his vocal phrasing of the words. Tom plays piano, keyboards, vibes, and guitar – and other musicians include Orlando Valle on flute, Toninho Horta on guitar, Dave Kikoski on piano, and Gary Fisher on piano and keyboards. Titles include a great blending of "Berimbau/Pomba Gira" – plus "Love Comes & Goes", "Tones For Joan's Bones", "Can It Be Done", "Waiting The Day", "Sea Aura", and "The Flow". (Vocalists, Jazz) CD
 
Partial matches: 19
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Bill LauranceLive At Union Chapel (CD/DVD) ... CD
Verve/Ground Up, 2016. New Copy 2CD ... $17.99 19.99
You might know Bill Laurance as the keyboardist with Snarky Puppy – but here, he's something else entirely – a hell of a jazz musician with a mighty rich vision – one that's got just the right sort of heavenly vibe to be recorded in a church! There's nothing churchy about the music – just a great spirit in Bill's vision – as his piano lines pour out effortlessly – cascading in sound, and rising in the company of a sweet little string quartet, which is then driven onward with both drums and percussion! The mix of instrumentation is quite unique – and has a sound that's jazz at the core, but also reaching for other elements too – maybe a bit like some of the young Japanese piano trios of recent years, but also with a wider vision in the use of tone and timing. Titles include "The Rush", "Gold Coast", "Swift", "The Real One", "December In New York", "Good Things", "Never-Ending City", and "Ready Wednesday". (Neo Soul, Jazz) CD

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Michael NauraCall ... CD
MPS/Edel (Germany), 1970. New Copy ... $9.99
A stunner of a Fender Rhodes album – one of a few rare sides cut by pianist Michael Naura – and a lost MPS session that's one of the label's best from the 70s! The group's a quartet, with a very open, fluid sound – and it mixes Naura's Rhodes with the vibes of Wolfgang Schluter – another relatively obscure player, but one who really resonates with the sound of the keyboard strongly – as both players spin out these warm, soulful sounds that are almost like the best Roy Ayers instrumental moments of the late 60s and early 70s. There's a few moments that get slightly funky, but even the laidback passages are great – and the rest of the group includes Eberhard Weber on bass and Joe Nay on drums. Titles include "Take Us Down To The River", "Soledad De Murcia", "MOC", "Why Is Mary So Nervous?", "Don't Stop", and "The Call". Great stuff – and pure MPS! CD

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✨✧ Michael NauraEuropean Jazz Sounds – Unreleased Live Recordings & Rare Radio Sessions ... CD
Be! (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Brilliant work from pianist Michael Naura – one of our favorite players on the German scene at the start of the 60s – and one of the few who was really picking up the best sorts of soulful currents from the American scene! Most of the work here features Naura's excellent combo with Wolfgang Schluter on vibes and Klaus Marmulla on alto sax – both equally-great players who work with Michael's piano in a vibe that maybe rivals some of our favorite Prestige Records material of the period, but also has some slight European modern currents too – always at a level that keeps things soulful and swinging, but with a vibe that's pretty darn fresh! 2CD package features well-recorded, non-LP material by the group – a great complement to their famous debut record on Brunswick – and titles include "Blues Walls", "Rainy Clouds", "Nightlife", "A Party With John", "Micha's Dilemma", "Blues For Werner", "Night At Tony's", "Mike's Blues", and "Minority". CD

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George BraithMusart ... CD
Prestige/Dusty Groove, 1967. New Copy ... $10.99 13.98
One of our favorite-ever albums on Prestige Records from the 60s – and a set that's a fair bit different than most of the other work on the label! The set's an unusual outing for saxophonist George Braith – cut after his famous albums for Blue Note, and in a mode that's quite different – very far-reaching, and almost spiritual at points – with the blend of jazz and other modes that you might find on the Cadet/Concept sessions in late 60s Chicago! Braith plays a wide assortment of saxes – c-melody, alto and soprano – but his playing here is a bit different than the Roland Kirk-like vibe of before – sometimes more stretched-out and exploratory, in a Nathan Davis sort of vibe – sometimes wrapped up in some larger explorations from the whole group. There's moments of raw percussion with echoey production, others with wordless vocals floating alongside the lead soloist, and still others that have that catchy blend of soul jazz and exoticism you'd find in the music of Eddie Harris or Yusef Lateef – even though Braith here is completely his own artist too! The set features Jane Getz on piano, Jay Carter and Eddie Diehl on guitar, and Ben Dixon on drums – but there's also a lot of percussion, both Latin and otherwise, from a shifting lineup of players. The whole thing's wonderful – and titles include "Del's Theme", "Musart", "Evelyn Anita", "Our Blessing", "Laura", and "Splashes Of Love". CD
(On the Dusty Groove label.)

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Kent CarterOratorios & Songs ... CD
Emanem (UK), 2010. New Copy ... $11.99 19.98
A really different side of the deep talents of bassist Kent Carter – an artist you might know best for his improvised work with Steve Lacy and other members of the European free jazz scene – working here in a much more compositional mode! Music is by a quartet that features Carter on bass, Christiane Bopp on trombone, Albrecht Maurer on violin, and Katri Mickiewicz on alto viola – and most numbers feature vocals by Laura Tejeda Martin, a mezzo soprano who really opens up the poetic lyrics penned by Carter! The style's a bit like some of Steve Lacy's jazz/poetry experiments, but maybe a bit more song-based, too – as you'd guess from the title. Instrumentation hangs nicely between avant jazz and chamber work – and titles include "Something For Conny", "Manhattan Blues", "Can't Get Up", "You Know", "The Beginning", "Dumb Delights", and "Cluster Ringing". CD

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Arne DomnerusFavourite Groups 1949 to 1950 ... CD
Metronome/Dragon (Sweden), Late 40s. New Copy ... $9.99 16.99
Seminal work from one of the first great modernists to emerge on the Swedish scene of the postwar years – reedman Arne Domnerus, whose work on clarinet tied him to an earlier generation, but whose increasing recordings on alto sax really opened up to the best tones of the bop modern scene! These recordings feature Domnerus on both instruments – the clarinet, like Buddy DeFrano, far more bop than swing at times – alongside a range of other wonderful players who include Gosta Theselius on piano, Leppe Sundevall on trumpet and bass, Ulfe Linde on vibes, Bengt Hallberg on piano, and even some guest tenor work by James Moody! The set features recordings that Arne made for the Metronome label, but also expands out past any other package of this work to even include some unissued numbers, and some live jam session material with baritone giant Lars Gullin. 22 tracks in all – with titles that include "Conversation", "Running A Temperature", "More Than You Know", "Deep Purple", "Car Rider", "Laura", "Larry's Blues", "Stuffy", "Out Of Nowhere", and "All The Things You Are". CD

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Alan Skidmore/Leszek ZadloEgo Recordings Vol 2 (Thoughts/Morning Rise/SOH/European Jazz Quintet) (4CD set) ... CD
Ego/Organic (Germany), Late 70s. New Copy 4 CDs ... $42.99
A treasure trove of rare work from the obscure German Ego label – four different albums, all of them great – packaged here in tiny LP-styled covers too! The set's especially noteworthy for the work of British saxophonist Alan Skidmore – working here on some of his best material of the late 70s – records that easily rival the best sides cut back home in the UK, but which also have a very different feel and flavor! On Morning Rise, Skidmore plays tenor and soprano sax, alongside Gerd Dudek, who also plays both horns too – in these long, textural lines that merge and diverge nicely with Skidmore's – creating these majestic shapes in sound, before then taking off towards much more powerful solos. Rhythm is from Adelhard Rodiginger on bass and Lala Kovacev on drums – and titles include "Morning Rise", "Macedonian Market", "Dr Les Mosses", and "Nakemiin". SOH is a trio outing from Alan Skidmore, drummer Tony Oxley, and bassist Ali Haurand – hence the title – and the set really allows Skidmore to expand on some of his most open, expressive lines on tenor and soprano sax! Tracks are quite long, and build with this almost late-Coltrane sort of energy – almost glowing with a sense of spirituality that's pushed along strongly by the reed lines. Titles include "One Two Free", "Das Ist Alice", "Lost In WG", and "Trio Nr 10". European Jazz Quintet features tremendous reeds from the trio of Alan Skidmore, Gerd Dudek, and Leszek Zadlo – all of whom play both tenor and soprano sax – and work alongside the bass of Ali Haurand and drums of Pierr Courbois! The set features two long tracks – "Das Ist Alice" and "Miss B" – both of them balanced nicely on the cusp between European free jazz and some stronger spiritual jazz structures, in a very nice way. Last up is Thoughts, from Leszek Zadlo – a record that has Zadlo on both flute and tenor, working with the excellent Ego Records rhythm trio of Joe Haider on piano, Isla Eckinger on bass, and Joe Nay on drums! The sound is quite different than other Ego sessions with the trio – as the tracks here build very slowly, often through the initial utterings of Zadlo on his reeds – kind of growing into a spiritually expressive style that gets increasingly focused as the set goes on – in ways that are a nice change from European free jazz. Titles include "Two Friends", "Some Body", "Struggle", and "Thoughts". CD

Partial matches10
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✨✧ Johnny SmithJohnny Smith Foursome Vol 2 ... CD
Roost/Warner (Japan), 1957. New Copy ... $13.99
The second record from Johnny Smith's "Foursome" group – a great ensemble that features Bob Pancoast on piano, in addition to Smith's guitar, the bass of George Roumanis, and drums of Mousie Alexander! The sound here still has the gentler feel of Smith's other Roost work, but the style is slightly different with the presence of a piano – a bit more directed, and less introspective – although still undeniably graced with that trademark Johnny Smith touch on guitar! There's plenty of warm tones on the record, and titles include "Laura", "Tea For Two", "Angel Eyes", "Deep Night", "These Foolish Things", "East Of The Sun", and "You Go To My Head". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

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Smith-Glamann QuartetPoinciana ... CD
Bethlehem/Solid (Japan), 1955. New Copy ... $5.99
One of the most unusual groups to ever record for Bethlehem Records in the 50s – a special combo that's led by Betty Glamann on harp and Rufus Smith on bass – and who work here with an airy sound that's pretty darn nice! Glamann beats Dorothy Ashby on the jazz harp by a few years, and uses the instrument in a great style that's plucked one minute, strummed the next – creating these waves of sound that ring out wonderfully next to Smith's careful work on bass. Other instrumentation includes guitar from Barry Galbraith, drums from Frank Garisto, and accordion from Nick Perito – but the main focus is often on Glamann's instrument, which gets plenty of room for solo space. The overall sound is pretty cool, as the stringed instruments intertwine with the accordion lines, making for a dream mix of melodies – and titles include "Poinciana", "Liza", "Laura", "Now Get Out", "Lotus Land", and "Pulling Strings". CD

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Larry YoungLarry Young's Fuel ... CD
Arista (Japan), 1975. New Copy ... $13.99
Quite possibly the greatest Larry Young album of the post-Blue Note years – and a massive bit of funk that totally redefines his sound! Larry's working here with his hip group Fuel – an ensemble that features Laura Logan on lead vocals, giving the tunes a real focus through her lyrics – and letting them pack a bit more punch too, since her voice sounds a lot like Betty Davis at the time! Larry's keyboards are forceful, but never too over the top – and he's notched things down a bit to focus on the overall groove of the set – still keeping things adventurous on the keys, but also working in a mode that's much more heavily jazz funk! The album's one of THE essential electric jazz sets of the 70s – and features the classic break cut "Turn Out the Lights" – plus other great tracks that include "Floating", "Fuel for the Fire", "I Ching", "H+J=B (Hustle + Jam = Bread)" and "New York Electric Street Music". CD
Also available Larry Young's Fuel ... LP 9.99

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VariousCool Europa – European Progressive Jazz In Germany 1959 to 1963 ... CD
Sonorama (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... $19.99
A fantastic celebration of the 100th release by the Sonorama label – and one that offers up what the label does best – a collection of never-heard jazz recordings from the European scene! The work here isn't collected from other Sonorama reissues, but instead is comprised from tracks that never added up to a full reissue project – but which easily rival all the better-known sounds you'll hear from the French scene of the new wave years, the hip Scandinavian modern scene, or the German scene of 60s MPS/Saba fame! Most numbers are hardbop or modal jazz, and the leaders alone are some of our favorite talents of this generation – players who never fully got their due in the US, but whose music continues to excite us over the decades. Titles include "Blues For Koebes" by Francy Boland, "Gigi's Pad" by Fast Sadi, "Straight No Chaser" by Rolf Ericson, "Tempus Fugit" by Barney Wilen, "Ginger" by Jack Sels, "Psychophysis" by Roland Kovac, "Ole Coltren" by Joki Freund, "Warm Up" by Helmut Brandt, "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" by Attila Zoller, "Inspiration In 6/8" by Hermann Mutschler, "Futurity" by Michael Naura, and "Bag's Groove" by Rolf Kuhn. (Funky Compilations, Jazz) CD

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VariousDie Deutschen Allstars ... CD
Be! (Germany), 1963. New Copy ... $16.99
The German jazz scene in 1963 – a year when the nation's musicians were really finding their own sorts of sounds – and breaking free from just American-inspired modes! The set brings together all the best players from that year – and begins with an all-star jam at the start, then moves into smaller group readings that are even more compelling – as they allow for the individual voices and styles of the players to really come to the forefront! The recording quality is great – this must have been a radio project, or conceived as a full album back in the day – and we'd rank the music here right up there with the most exciting sounds from the earliest years of the Saba/MPS label. Titles include the leadoff number "Madame B" – arranged and composed by saxophonist Joki Freund, who plays in the Deutschen All Stars group with Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone, Rolf Kuhn on clarinet, Gerry Weinkopf on flute, Helmut Brandt on baritone, Ingfried Hoffmann on organ, Peter Trunk on bass, Joe Nay on drums, Emil Mangelsdorff on alto, Hans Koller on tenor, and Conny Jackel on trumpet. Other titles include "Ruth" by the Albert Mangelsdorff/Hans Koller Septet with Wolfgang Schlitter on vibes and Michael Naura on piano; "Meeting At The Barberina" by the Horst Jankowski/Rolf Kuhn quintet; "Andreas" by the Helmut Brandt Sextet with Schluter's vibes; "Anything Else" by the Joki Freund Quintet, "When You're Young" by The Feetwarmers; "Joes Blues" by the Klaus Doldinger Quartet with Ingfried Hoffmann on Hammond; "Rainy Clouds" by the Michael Naura Quintet with Schluter on vibes; and "Gerti" by the All Star Sax Group, with Koller, Mangelsdorff, Freund, Doldinger, and Brandt. CD

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VariousFrom The German Jazz Festival 1964 ... CD
Be! (Germany), 1964. New Copy ... $16.99
Incredible sounds from the German Jazz Festival of 1964 – a wonderful meeting of modern talents from all over the European continent at the time – including some great work from behind the Iron Curtain too! The album features a few tracks each by a number of different groups – all of them excellent, and the sorts of players who are really under-represented in terms of available recordings – which makes this selection of tracks completely essential! The set begins with "Sopranitis" and "Birmingham Post" – played by a very cool combo with Heinz Sauer on tenor and soprano sax, Joki Freund on the same two instruments, Emil Mangelsdorff on alto, and Gunther Kornberg on alto and baritone – a four-sax group that works with just bass and drums to give them a groove, with strong solos from all players. Next up is the fantastic Zagreb Jazz Quartet – with Bosko Petrovic on vibes – playing "In Walked Bud" and "Degressia" – plus a version of "Bluesette" with a guest appearance by Sven Asmussen. Tenor player Karl Drevo (Drewo) leads a quintet with trumpeter Maffy Falay and pianist Bora Rokovic – on a long reading of "Save Your Love For Me". The legendary quartet of saxophonist Klaus Doldinger is next – his great group with Ingfried Hoffmann on Hammond, Peter Trunk on bass, and Klaus Weiss on drums – with guest work by Rolf Kuhn on tenor and Inge Brandenberg on vocals – on the titles "Waltz Of The Jive Cats", "What's The Matter Daddy", and "Groovin In Berlin". Last up is one of our favorite groups of the time – the quintet of pianist Michael Naura, which also features Wolfgang Schluter on vibes and Peter Reinke on alto – on "Rainy Clouds" and "Rhythm A Ning". CD

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VariousLegacy Of Jazz (3CD set – with bonus track)) ... CD
Sony (Germany), Late 30s/1940s/1950s/1960s. New Copy 3CD ... $12.99
A wealth of rare jazz tracks, mostly from the 50s and 60s – and almost all from the super-huge catalogs of Columbia and RCA Records! The music here is a mix of vocal and instrumental tracks, and the collection does a nice job of mixing in more obscure numbers with classics – which really keeps things interesting as the set moves on. There's a nice sense of flow as the music moves on, showing the development of styles – and the package features 31 tracks that include "Once Upon A Summertime" by Miles Davis, "Body Talk (alt take)" by George Benson, "Little Susie" by Ray Bryant, "Self Portrait In Three Colors" by Charles Mingus, "Capricious" by Gerry Mulligan, "Indian Summer (live)" by Ella Fitzgerald, "Body & Soul" by Coleman Hawkins, "Bill Bailey (alt version)" by Aretha Franklin, "Night & Day (live)" by Helen Merrill, "Jive Hoot" by Bob Brookmeyer, "I Know You Oh So Well" by Andre Previn, "I Got Rhythm (take 1)" by Martial Solal, "Laura" by Charlie Parker, "Don't Stop The Carnival" by Sonny Rollins, "Three To Get Ready" by Dave Brubeck, and 'I'm Through With Love" by Chet Baker. (Funky Compilations, Jazz) CD

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✨✧ Jazz Couriers (Ronnie Scott & Tubby Hayes)Jazz Couriers Live In Morecambe 1959 – Tippin' ... CD
Gearbox (UK), 1959. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Primo work by one of the greatest Brit jazz groups of the 50s – the legendary Jazz Couriers, and their smoking frontline of Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott on tenor sax! The pair have a way of coming together that's simply beautiful – not the kind of "battle" you might have gotten from American tenorists a few years before – and instead, a way of collaborating on long-spun, beautifully-blown tracks that really expand under the two voices of the tenors – in ways that other hardbop groups might with just a sax and trumpet. Part of the group's success is their great rhythm section too – Terry Shannon on piano, Jeff Clyne on bass, and Billy Eyden on drums – a trio who really kick things into gear wonderfully on this previously-unissued live date! The material was recorded at a restaurant gig – nice and intimate, but with very good sound – so much so that the record is very much on a par with the group's famous studio sides of the time. Tubby Hayes also plays a bit of vibes on the record – and titles include "For All We Know", "Embers", "Tippin", and "Cherokee/The Theme". CD

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✨✧ Modern Jazz Group FreibergEuropean Jazz Sounds (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Christophorus/Be! (Germany), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A wonderful collection of work from this overlooked modern jazz combo from the 50s German scene – a group whose material was originally issued on a handful of 45rpm EP titles by a Christian music company – finally brought together in this excellent full length collection! The Modern Jazz Group Freiberg have a style that echoes the other European Jazz Sounds releases of the time by Joki Freund and Michael Naura – a groove that draws strongly from the best American modern impulses of the time – with both a west coast style of arranging, and a bit more New York fire on the way that the soloists come across! The group here has a strong trumpeter in the lead – Raymond Court – who clearly loves Clifford Brown, but also has his own sort of vibe, too – working here with Ewald Heidepriem on piano, Karl Theodore Geier on bass, and Eberhard Stengel on drums. Titles include "Remember Clifford", "Blues Pour Alice", "Solar", "My Old Flame", "A Night At Tony's", "St Joseph's Blue Concept", and "Jubilation". CD features 7 more bonus tracks – with work from tenorists Barney Wilen, Francis Netz, Bruno Spoerri, and Gustl Mayer! CD

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✨✧ Terry PollardTerry Pollard ... CD
Bethlehem/Solid (Japan), 1955. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the few female pianists in 50s jazz – the great Terry Pollard, a player who's usually associated with the Detroit scene, but who works here in a hip west coast setting for Bethlehem Records! The date's got Terry's strong piano in a quintet – with Don Fagerquist on trumpet and Howard Roberts on guitar – both musicians who bring a strong sense of presence to the group passages on the date, but who are also more than willing to step aside and let Pollard really flourish on her solos during some of the album's trio tracks. Terry's sometimes got this bite that's a bit unusual for Bethlehem – a nice nod to her Detroit roots – and the group also features Herman Wright on bass and Frank DeVito on drums. Titles include "Laura", "Fedj", "Emaline", "Almost Like Being In Love", and "Where Or When". CD

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✨✧ Sonny StittLittle Bit Of Stitt (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Roost/Warner (Japan), 1959. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A little bit of Stitt is always a great thing – especially when Sonny's playing this well! The album's a killer from Stitt's Roost years – a time when the player was really stepping ahead of the pack – moving past anyone's easy categorizations of his playing – and into territory that's completely Stitt-like overall! Sure, there's some roots of older jazz traditions – but Sonny manages to make the whole thing uniquely his own – hitting these moments that are crisp and modern, yet soulful and personal at the same time – really sparkling with work from a quartet that features Jimmy Jones on piano, Aaron Bell on bass, and Charlie Persip on drums. The solos are mind blowing – and titles include "Laura", "JB Blues", "After The Late Late Show", "For All We Know", and "Star Eyes". Features two bonus alternate takes too! CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

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✨✧ Lucky ThompsonBop & Ballads – Hamburg 1959 & 1960 ... CD
Sonorama (Germany), 1959/1960. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Bop, ballads, and lots more too – played by reedman Lucky Thompson at a time when he was really picking up some new ideas on the European scene! As with contemporaries like Sonny Criss or Benny Bailey, Thompson was great before he hit the continent – but then came back from Europe a completely changed man – a musician whose sense of expression had evolved strongly in a very short time – to a point where the music on these recordings from 1959 and 1960 is quite different than his American records from a few short years before! Part of the change might come from pianist Michael Naura – who's on all these sides, and is one of the hippest cats working in Germany at the time – but you can already hear Lucky opening up his tone and his inflections, especially on the numbers that feature soprano sax. Other players include Jimmy Gourley on guitar, Hans Koller on tenor, and the great Wolfgang Schulter on vibes – on titles that include "The World Awakes", "Brother Bob", "Yesterdays", "Deep Passion", "Thin Ice", and "Summertime". CD
 
 
 



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