John Hart —
Checkmate ... CD Steeplechase (Denmark), 2021. New Copy ...
John Hart has a crystalclear sense of tone on his guitar – one that almost hearkens back to some of the key jazz players of the postwar years, but which also has a nice edge too – coming across with a very personal, individual quality that's supported by a fair bit of original material on the date too! The group's a quartet – with David Wong on bass and Andy Watson on drums – and Gary Smulyan contributes some wonderful lines on baritone sax, deepening the sound past the tones of Hart's guitar – creating a really great counterbalance in tone! Titles include the originals "Power Of Three", "Right To Lie", "Bittersweet", "Checkmate", "Miniature", and "123 Blues". CD
A really unique album from the great Lee Morgan – a set that features the trumpeter in two different settings, but in a way that really works well together! Most of the album has Lee blowing in a very cool quintet – with Joe Henderson on tenor, McCoy Tyner on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – a group who maybe bring out a slightly hipper vibe that really points the way to the rest of Morgan's direction in the late 60s, when he was really letting some more spiritual currents loose. The other two tracks on the record feature a hip larger band directed by Oliver Nelson – swinging hard in a really soulful style! Nelson's arrangements on these two tracks are great – quite progressive, with a soul jazz big band style that seems to point the way towards the 70s – and the band provides a raging backdrop that lets Lee's trumpet soar over the top in beautiful crystalclear solos. Titles include "Nite Flite", "Delightful Deggie", "Ca-Lee-So", and "Zambia". CD also features 4 bonus tracks – "Need It", "Filet Of Soul", "Zambia (big band version)", and "Delightful Deggie (big band version)". CD
Great work from this top-shelf group of up-and coming players – all newer artists on the Posi-Tone label, hence their name – but working with the kind of crystalclear focus on original material that always makes the label so great! If you love Posi-Tone as much as we do, you'll likely have other albums by these artists – but the lineup together is even greater than the sum of its parts – with a bold sense of arrangement that seems to have each soloist spurring the other on to new heights – amidst original material written by the members of the group! Players include Brandon Lee on trumpet, Markus Howell on alto, Nicole Glover on tenor, Caili O'Doherty on piano, Adi Meyerson on bass, and Cory Cox on drums – on titles that include "Luna Lovejoy", "Shades Of Brown", "Whistleblower", "Afloat", "Stop Gap", "Hold MY Heart", and "Blues For Tangier". CD