An amazing little group – and one of the real standouts in indie jazz during the 70s! Stone Alliance are a killer power trio made up of players who'd previously worked for Elvin Jones – and all three of them have inherited a frenzied sense of rhythm from Jones – and that great sharp edge he brought to his initial early recordings in the post-Coltrane years! But there's also a deeper sound going on here, too – a bit of funk, and definitely a bit of Latin in the percussion and basslines – which makes for these grooves that are as complicated as they are infectious – often given some sweet spiritual tones from the reeds on top! The lineup features Steve Grossman on tenor and soprano sax, Gene Perla on bass, and Don Alias on drums and percussion – all working together with tremendous energy, but a great focus too – always soulful, and never too jamming at all. Titles include the insane break track "Sweetie Pie", plus Stevie Wonder's "Creepin", "Duet", "King Tut", "Samba De Negro" and "Vaya Mulatto". CD
The title's an apt one – as Lea takes tunes most often associated with the history of rock, and turns them into jazz tunes with a whole new life! These "double standards" are performed with a laidback and easy-going style that takes them way past the obvious cliches or jokes they could easily become – sensitively arranged by pianist Gil Goldstein, and sung by Lea in a way that not only completely blows away the original interpretations, but which also has us hearing whole new nuances in the lyrics. And yes, the format's been done before – but this is easily one of the best renditions we've ever heard. Includes versions of Neil Young's "Philadelphia", Blondie's "Call Me", The Doors' "People Are Strange", The Pretenders' "Tattooed Love Boys", and Robert Wyatt's "Alliance". CD
(CD case has a cutout hole.)
Charles Mingus —
Clown ... CD Atlantic, 1957. Used ...
Stunning stuff – and one of the greatest Charles Mingus albums of all time – a true treasure recorded in that magical year of 1957, when Mingus was finally finding his strongest voice in modern music! The album's near-perfect from start to finish – as bold a statement in jazz as anyone might be allowed to make in the late 50s, yet still always focused, driven, and wrapped up with a tremendous sense of energy. The tracks are all quite long – perfect vehicles for Mingus to reach his full level of expression – played by a group that includes Curtis Porter on tenor and alto sax, Jimmy Knepper on trombone, Wade Legge on piano, and Dannie Richmond on drums – making an early appearance in his alliance with Mingus that would last for many many years. Titles include classic versions of "Haitian Fight Song", "Blue Cee", and "Reincarnation Of A Lovebird" – plus "The Clown", which features a long improvised monologue by Jean Shephard! CD