An album recorded relatively early in the career of singer Nina Simone – but a set that already shows the very unique approach that would make her a legend by the time the 60s moved on! Even the very first tune is a stunner – a haunting reworking of the favorite "Just In Time", but with Nina grunting instead of singing at the start – as the bass comes across with more power than the drums or piano – really shaping the song in moody tones! That sort of inventiveness follows on every other tune – making the familiar numbers sound very unique, and the unusual ones even more striking – as the set list also features numbers by Oscar Brown Jr, Olatunji, and Simone herself. The recording quality is great – intimate, yet lively – and the set's filled with longish readings of some great tunes that include "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Brown Baby", "Zungo", "Children Go Where I Send You", and "He Was Too Good To Me". CD
Incredible work by Randy Weston – light years ahead of his trio material from just a few years before! The album is one of his most progressive from the early years, and features an extended suite dedicated to the newly-won freedoms of the African Nations – with occasional lyrics by Langston Hughes, and arrangements by the great Melba Liston! The material's political, radical, and modernist – but it never fails to groove, and uses its politics to achieve an added emotional punch, as in the best work from the same time by Max Roach and Charles Mingus – and some of their larger progressive projects. The group is much larger than you'd expect from Randy – with Benny Bailey and Richard Williams on trumpets, Slide Hampton on trombone, Sahib Shihab on reeds, and Candido and Olatunji on percussion – which really dominates the record. The whole thing is amazing – one of the purest realizations of the African influence in Weston's music – and movements of the suite are entitled "Uhuru Kwanza", "African Lady", "Bantu", and "Kucheza Blues" CD
(Out of print.)
Partial matches: 1
Herbie Mann & The Afro-Jazz Sextet + Four Trumpets —
Common Ground ... LP Atlantic, 1960. Near Mint- ...
A great little record, filled with loads of cross-cultural influences that make for one of the most exotic Herbie Mann albums of the 60s! The group's billed as the Afro-Jazz Sextet– but has a strong Latin vibe as well – a bit of an echo of the experiments Herbie Mann did with Latin jazz previously on labels like Verve and United Artists – but given a bit more of the Atlantic-era punch here as well! The group features some wonderful vibes from John Rae – whose tones ring out beautifully on some of the best numbers – plus a mix of Latin and African-styled percussion from Ray Barretto, Olatunjii, and Ray Mantilla – who really make the record cook. A few tunes feature an added trumpet group, and the rest are mostly just flute and percussion – on titles that include "St Thomas", "Walkin", "Uhuru", "High Life", and "Sawa Sawa De". LP, Vinyl record album