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New BalancoMore ... CD
Schema/Fez (Italy), 1999. Used ... $6.99
Incredible! Although the first album by Balanco had a definite Italian bossa sound (which was very popular in their acid jazz scene a few years ago), this great second album by the group breaks into whole new territory – like French and Italian soundtrack grooves, particularly in the vein of Ennio Morricone (who they covered on their first LP) and the great Francis Lai! The style of the group's changed slightly – and they've developed this amazing keyboard, bass, and vocals sound that's very similar to the instrumentation used in some of Morricone's best 70's work. Titles include "The Bachelor Waltz", "Mrs. Beat", "The Girl From Montenegro", "Dreamflight", "Man & A Woman", and "Bossa Memorandum". One of our favorites recently – and a another delight from the Schema label! CD

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Johnny GriffinLive At Ronnie Scotts ... CD
In & Out (Germany), 2008. Used ... $9.99
One of the last recordings ever made by the legendary Johnny Griffin – a live date in honor of Griffin's 80th birthday, and one that shows the tenorist still very much at the top of his game! The group's an all-star lineup – with Roy Hargrove's trumpet and flugelhorn joining Griffin in the frontline – plus piano from David Newton and drums from Billy Cobham. Tracks are often long, and taken in that solo-focused mode you're likely to hear at Ronnie Scotts – although this date is a lot better recorded than some of the live material from the club in earlier years. Titles include "Lester Leaps In", "When We Were One", "Mentor", "The Blues Walk", "Hot Sake", and "The Jamfs Are Coming". CD