Quite an unusual session for Freddie Hubbard – one of his most modernist albums for BlueNote, recorded with a larger group that includes James Spaulding on alto and flute, Joe Henderson (or Hank Mobley) on tenor, McCoy Tyner on piano, and the surprising inclusion of Kiane Zawadi on euphonium! The presence of that instrument gives the album a real "bottom" sound – taking the overall mood much more into the depths than on some of Freddie's previous sets – really earning the album its "blue spirits" tag. Big Black also plays a bit of percussion on a few tracks, and titles include "Cunga Black", "Soul Surge", and "Outer Forces". LP, Vinyl record album
Jerzy Milian —
Bazaar ... LP Polskie Nagrania/GAD (Poland), 1969. New Copy (reissue)...
Around September 1, 2014 (delayed)
An incredible record from Jerzy Milian – easily one of the hippest vibes players in Europe in the 60s, and a key member of the Polish jazz scene that also included Krzystof Komeda and Tomasz Stanko! The album's an extremely evocative session that features Milian's vibes and marimba mostly in a spare trio setting – stepping out with a highly chromatic tone that has echoes of Bobby Hutcherson's straighter BlueNote work of the 60s, but which also flows out with a unique sense of color and timing. A few tracks feature great wordless vocals from singer Ewa Wanat of the Novi Singers – drifting along with the tunes in a haunting way that has a bit of a soundtrack feel – and the album also features a bit of guest flute from Janusz Mych. Titles include "Bazar W Aszchabadzie", "Tempus Jazz 67", "Serial Rag", "Valse Ex Cathedra", and "My Favourite Band". LP, Vinyl record album
Landmark material – one of Grachan Moncur's two classic albums for BlueNote, and a session that ranks as one of the best examples of the "new thing" moment in 60s jazz! Grachan's leading a sextet here that includes a number of players that he cut his teeth with in Jackie McLean's great mid 60's group, including McLean himself, Bobby Hutcherson, and a young Tony Williams. Lee Morgan joins in on trumpet – playing with a surprisingly modern tone for the time – and the group works their way through 4 stunning Moncur compositions – "Air Raid", "Evolution", "The Coaster", and "Monk In Wonderland". It's hard to describe the power of these recordings – but thankfully, we don't have to, as one listen to the album will blow you away! LP, Vinyl record album
Florian Pellissier Quintet —
Biches Bleues ... LP Heavenly Sweetness (France), 2014. New Copy ...
Just Sold Out!
The title might sound like a Miles Davis homage, but the record is something else entirely – a really warm, wonderful set of spiritually-tinged jazz tracks – served up with a very classic vibe! The group's led by pianist Florian Pellissier, who also wrote most of the tracks on the set – and the music's got this sense of color and flow that's completely sublime – modes that are almost in the current BlueNote world of Robert Glasper or some of his contemporaries, especially in the way that Pellissier blocks out his chords – but with a vibe that's often more old school too, especially when the music takes off with the trumpet of Yann Loustalot and tenor of Christophe Panzani. Both players are great, and know how to soar at all the right moments – and titles include "J'Ai Du Rever", "Cinq Minutes Avant La Fin", "Dance Cadaverous", "Six Jours Apres La Guerre", and "Biches Bleues". LP, Vinyl record album