Bob Downes Open Music —
Flashback ... CD Bob Downes Music/Openian (Germany), Early 70s. New Copy ...
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
One of the last live dates captured at Fred Anderson's original Velvet Lounge location – a hotbed of creative jazz energy in Chicago, summed up here perfectly by the power of performance! Anderson's working in a trio with Harrison Bankhead on bass and Hamid Drake on drums – free, but almost never too far out, and always with a tuneful sensibility that's really great – a tenor style that echoes some of the more creative moments of Von Freeman and earlier improvisers on the scene, yet which shows some of the bolder opportunities of Anderson's generation. Titles are all long, and include "Flashback", "Ode To Tip", "By Many Names", and "Timeless". 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
Wonderful work from pianist Ole Matthiessen – an artist we especially love as a composer, thanks to his fantastic compositions on this set! The album's a small combo outing – but there's a richness to the tunes that grabs us right away – a balance of color and emotion that's careful, but also very organic – flowing from Matthiessen's hands on the piano, and illuminated beautifully by the tenor of Bob Rockwell and trumpet of Henrik Bolberg. Matthiessen's tunes are both lyrical and melancholy at the same moment – almost a bit like the wonderful compositions that Bill Lee did for the early films of Spike Lee. The rest of the group features Jesper Lundgaard on bass and Ole Streenberg on drums – and titles include "Love Song", "Drummer's Mare", "Ocbbct", "Voodoo Dance", "To Trane", "Light & Darkness", and "Miss Lise". CD