Bob Downes Open Music —
Flashback ... CD Bob Downes Music/Openian (Germany), Early 70s. Used ...
More amazing work from the legendary Bob Downes – the British reedman/arranger/composer who's getting really rediscovered these days – represented here in a host of previously unissued tracks! Bob put together the package from his vaults, and we've got to say that the music here is every bit as wonderful as anything Downes released back in the day – and is perhaps overall maybe even more striking, as most of it is played by a trio that features Bob on flutes, tenor, alto, and soprano saxes, with Barry Guy on bass and Denis Smith on drums! There's a great groove on many numbers – kind of a modal, soulful bounce that really has us appreciating Guy's bass work from a whole new direction – especially since we've mostly known him as a more avant player. And Downes is as creatively as compelling as ever – even playing "simultaneous saxes" at one point in the record! Titles include "Seashore", "West Eleven", "Walkin Runnin Man", "Funky Groove (parts 1 & 2)", "Brasilian Beauty", and "Wavelength". CD
There's nothing "flashback" about this one – because the record's about as in-the-moment as you could be for jazz piano in the early 60s! Don Friedman's a really tremendous player at this point in his career – a sometimes unsung hero in the space between Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett – and one who played with the sensitivity of the former and some of the pre-cliche sense of freedom of the latter. There's a fresh voice to nearly all the tunes on the set – even when they're not originals – and Don has a way of making the keys of the piano step forth in waves of sound that are subtle, but seductive – although not in any too-romantic or too-flowery ways. Rhythm is by Dick Kniss on bass and Dick Berk on drums – on titles that include "News Blues", "Flashback", "How Deep Is The Ocean", "Ochre", and "Ballade In C Sharp Minor". CD
An excellent bit of spiritual soul jazz on Horace Tapscott's Nimbus label – featuring a group led by pianist Kaeef Rauzadun that includes Henry Franklin on bass, George Bohannon on trombone, Wilbert Hemsley on tenor, and Gary Bias on alto and soprano sax. The album's also got some beautiful vocals from BJ Crowley – who co-leads the group, and sings out with a proud righteousness that recalls some of Dee Dee Bridgewater or Jean Carn's early early soul jazz recordings. The tracks are all long and spiralling numbers – never really "out", but in a free searching mode that's a perfect platform for the piano work of Ruzadun. Titles include "One Step Out", "Flashback Of Time", "All Praises Due", and "Stars In Lightyear Time". CD