Keith Jarrett —
Byablue ... LP Impulse, 1976. Very Good ...
Just Sold Out!
There's a nicely warming vibe on this album from Keith Jarrett – a sound that's sometimes a bit more laidback and personal, but which is still carried off with familiar associates Dewey Redman on tenor, Charlie Haden on bass, and Paul Motian on drums! Most of the tunes are shorter compositions built around gently lyrical lines – somewhat introspective, and a bit less organic than in years past – but in a way that more than makes up for that difference with their own inner beauty. Titles include "Konya", "Rainbow", "Trieste", "Fantasm", "Yahllah", and "Byablue". LP, Vinyl record album
A brilliant new move for Willie Colon – a set that goes even further than his mid 70s classics with Ruben Blades, and pushes Willie into a Pan-American consciousness carried off with ambitious musical vision! The sound is still salsa at the core, but Willie's also brought in bits of other South American influences – traces of styles from Columbia, Argentina, and most importantly Brazil – heard wonderfully on Willie's reading of Chico Buarque's excellent "Oh Que Sera"! The backings are full, and sometimes have large orchestrations – and the vocals are both proud yet somehow fragile at the same time. Titles include "Oh, Que Sera?", "Mi Sueno", "Celo", "Amor Verdadero", "Al Dormir", "Toma Mis Manos", and "Sueno De Papelote". CD
That's a mighty trippy cover on this album from Grupo Fantasma – and it kind of sums up the more expansive, experimental sound the group is taking this time around – an approach that mixes their Latin roots with bits of psych, funk, and a whole range of global elements too – all while sticking in the tight groove we've come to expect! Adrian Quesada is in the group, and the style's somewhere in the territory of his other projects – a move to push older Latin styles into modes that are plenty darn fresh – not because they use any electronics or production tricks, but just because they showcase the breakdown of global boundaries in today's scene. Titles include "Esa Negra", "Solo Un Sueno", "Nada", "Otono", "Descarga Pura Y Dura", "That Night", "Roto El Corazon", and "Porque" – a sweet cover of The Beatles' "Because"! CD
A beautiful album by Ivan Lins – truly one of his greatest records, and a real gem that stands out as one of the best in his already-excellent catalog! The set has Ivan stepping out strongly from his sound of the 70s – working with Gilson Peranzzetta in a set of arrangements that have touches of jazz and a deeply expressive soul that matches Lins' growing vocal confidence wonderfully. Lins' voice is in top form, and the material is extremely strong (in fact, most of the songs are so good, and so catchy, that we've hardly noticed that they weren't in English!) Titles include "Vira", "Arlequim Desconhecido", "Barco Fantasma", "Novo Tempo", and "Coracao Vagabundo". CD
One of the weirdest, wildest albums we've ever heard from the great Piero Umiliani – an all-electronic set, but one that's even more freewheeling than his famous To-Day's Sound record! The music is all played by Piero on his own electronic setup – with terms under the tunes like "pulsating", "hallucinations", "in the space", "primordial life", and "cosmic anguish" – all of which really give you an idea of the vibe he's going for here! The sound is sometimes dark, but hardly ever too noisy – and as with Umiliani's soundtrack material, the level of composition and performance is extremely thoughtful, and full of surprises – that strong sense of delight that makes us go back to Piero's records again and again over the years. Titles include "Polvere Cosmica", "Nello Spazio", "Approdo Lunare", "Pulsando", "Addio Alla Terra", "Nell'Ombra Di Plutone", and "Asteroide Fantasma". LP, Vinyl record album
Great Latin groovers from the end of the 50s and start of the 60s – all tracks that are tight, upbeat, and filled with a lively mix of rhythm and jazz – all at a level that's designed to showcase the sorts of modes that led to the development of Latin Soul and boogaloo a few years later! These tracks aren't your usual cha cha or charanga numbers – and instead, many of them have some pretty fierce percussion, and strong solos that break out from the pack and really give the music a lot of spirit – the kind of subtle hipper touches the younger scene was bringing to bear against the bigger, more standard orchestras of the period. Titles include "Dry Coconuts" by La Playa Sextet, "Coco May May" by Jack Costanzo, "Pachanga En Changa" by Joe Quijano, "A Gozar Timbero" by Cachao, "Conmigo" by Eddie Palmieri, "Guajira Y Tambo" by Ray Barretto, "Gueita Caiman" by Fantasmita, "Las Bobitas" by Roberto Faz, "El Divorcio" by Arsenio Rodriguez, and "Anabacoa" by Pio Leyva with Bebo Valdes. LP, Vinyl record album
A Cuban classic from Orquesta Aragon – recorded back in the days when US labels like RCA still had access to music being recorded in Havana! The style here is very much in keeping with the cha cha cha in the title – but it's also very much the Cuban variation, with a slightly more subtle, lyrical approach to the music – especially compared with some of the New York modes of the time. Instrumentation includes flue, violins, piano, bass, and percussion – and vocals are by Pepe Olmo and Fernando Alvarez. Titles include "Los Fantasmas", "Sabrosona", "Calculadora", "El Bodeguero", "Silencio", and "Senor Juez". CD
A cool late 70s soundtrack from Stelvio Cipriani – for the Italian & French co-production Enfantasme – a film we know little about, but with a nicely dramatic score that dabbles a bit on spacier 70s Euro sounds! There's a bit of electric piano and Moogy sounds, along with more timeless textures. The revolving melody is infectious and memorable, and it has some really delicate passages, too. Just a solid blend dramatic film sounds and late 70s modern flourishes. LP, Vinyl record album
Seductively funky grooves from the French erotica scene – groovy and wonderfully sultry stuff from classy French cinema composers – including Pierre Bachelet, Michel Magne, Philippe Sarde and others! The sounds range from carnivalesque disco, to bubbly keyboard jazz funk and well beyond – with some atmospherically folksy and light proggy touches. Many of the tunes are done in a cosmic funk & disco vibe, with some string-laden symphonic flourishes, period electronic touches, and often with mood enhancing vocals – from light moans and breathing, to whispery French lyrics. The grooves are unpredictable and stylistically varied – richly composed and by no means seedy or cheap – but funky and erotically charged all the way. Happy endings guaranteed! Titles include "Disco Circus" and "O'Et Sir Stephen" by Pierre Bachelet, "Two Partners" and "Introduction Of Love" by Jean Pierre Pouret, "Premiers Desirs" by Philippe Sarde, "La Roulotte" by Pierre Bachelet & Jean Schulteis, "Get It Up Baby" by Mort Schuman, "Femmes" by Gizil, "Fantasme D'Emmanuelle" by Michel Magne & Marie Claude Calvet, "Laure" by Franco Micalizzi & E Arzan, and "Fascination" by Patrick Juvet. CD