Music from Ola Belle Reed, Mike Seeger with Etta Baker, George Pegram & Red Parham, Ginny Hawker, JP Fraley, Buddy Thomas, Hazel Dickens, Ron Thomason, the Fuzzy Mountain String Band, the Blue Sky Boys & more. CD
Curtis Fuller —
Opener ... LP Blue Note, 1957. Near Mint- ...
An obscure little groover from Curtis Fuller – and one of his hardest blowing sessions for Blue Note! Unlike some of the other Fuller sessions, which can have a slightly softer, rounder sound overall – this one's a much more in-the-pocket sort of Blue Note hardbop date – one that really cooks magically with contributions from Hank Mobley on tenor, Bobby Timmons on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Taylor on drums. Fuller's trombone is very hard-edged in this setting – in the same territory of his work with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but with some slightly lyrical overtones too. Titles include a great reading of Oscar Pettiford's "Oscarlypso", plus Fuller's own "Lizzy's Bounce" and "Hugore" – and the tunes "A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening" and "Here's To My Lady". LP, Vinyl record album
The legendary trumpeter Booker Little – paired here with drummer Max Roach, who was frequently Book's leader at the time! The set's got a sharp-edged and modern mix of hardbop and fresh ideas – very similar to the best Roach albums of the time – and with a similar sort of group – given that in addition to Little's trumpet, the set also features George Coleman on tenor, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Art Davis on bass! All arrangements were done by Little – making the album a real showcase of that bold vision in jazz that was taken from us all too soon – and titles include "Milestones", "Rounder's Mood", "Dungeon Waltz", and "Jewel's Tempo". CD
A very strong recent album from 60s avant legend Sonny Simmons – recorded in Paris with Sonny on alto sax – in a quintet that also includes Eddie Henderson on trumpet, John Hicks on piano, Curtis Lundy on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums! The Lundy/Lewis team is always a treat, and this especially soulful ensemble brings a style to Simmons' playing that isn't always captured on record – mixing his jagged approach to a solo with rounder and warmer tones – and actually pushing him a lot as a player, into territory that will have us keeping an ear out for new records in years to come! Titles include "Benedictina", "Mixolydis", "Echoes Of Eric Dolphy", "Reverend Church", "The Promise", and "Blues In The Pocket". CD
A seminal set of work from guitarist Grant Green – and one of his famous quartet outings with the great Sonny Clark on piano! These sessions have gone onto become the stuff of legend – argued by some as Green's finest moments at Blue Note – yet oddly, the label didn't issue most of the Sonny Clark material at the time – and this particular batch didn't see release until an obscure Japanese-only album in the late 70s! Green's tone is superb – as tight and focused as on his organ sessions of the time, but with a warmer, rounder quality overall – one that matches the mellow spiritual vibe of Clark's piano wonderfully – given lyrical rhythmic support from Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. Titles include "Gooden's Corner", "Two For One", "Shadrack", "On Green Dolphin Street", and "Moon River". LP, Vinyl record album
Steve Grossman —
Katonah ... CD DIW (Japan), 1986. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
A bold little set from Steve Grossman – a record that's nicely poised between his frenetic work of the 70s and mellower moments of later years – done in quartet formation, but with plenty of focus on Steve's wonderful tenor, especially on the longer tracks! There's a very nice "bit" in Grossman's reed on most of the numbers here – a sound that's not as screeching as on his 70s dates, but which often hints at that direction, then swings back into a rounder, fuller tone on the horn. Backing is by Takehiro Honda on piano, Masahiro Yoshida on drums, and either Hideo Kawahara or Yasushi Yoneki on bass – on titles that include "Taurus People", "Soultrane", "Katonah", and "Afternoon In Paris". CD
Olli Ahvenlahti —
Poet ... LP Love/Svart (Finland), 1976. New Copy (reissue)...
Olli Ahvenlahti's a poet on the keys – one of the most soulful players in the 70s Finland scene, heard here on one of his greatest albums ever! The record's got a glowing grace that's really wonderful – part CTI-inspired electric fusion, without as much jamming as other European work of the time – but also an album of rounder, warmer tones – recorded with a slightly larger lineup that includes Eero Koivistoinen on tenor sax, and lots of great percussion at the bottom! Tunes have a subdued approach to funky jazz – still tight in the rhythms, but with more of a focus on the nicely shaded horn solos, and on Olli's great use of electric piano and organ throughout. Titles include the classic jazz dance track "Grandma's Rocking Chair" – plus "The Poet", "Sunday's Stuff", "Aura", "Sambatown", and "A Day At The Zoo". LP, Vinyl record album
Incredible early recordings by The Fugs – a set that captures the group at a time when they still had tremendous power and potential! The sessions were originally done for Folkways, then later sold to ESP – in a story that's painfully detailed in the liner notes – and the spare, earthy Folkways approach is perfect for the group, capturing them in a setting that's more of a happening than an actual recording session – a freewheeling hippie-esque party that's perfect for the protest and politics of the songs. Instrumentation includes a lot of hand-held percussion – maracas, tambourine, etc – and the Holy Modal Rounders join the group on some songs as well. Titles include "Saran Wrap", "We're The Fugs", "Caca Rocka", "My Bed Is Getting Crowded", "New Amphetamine Shriek", and "CIA Man". LP, Vinyl record album
(White label ESP pressing with special "Fugs Sur-Prize Package". Cover has partially split top & bottom seams.)
Nashvile's known as Music City – and it's also known as the home of the country music scene – but the city's also got a great legacy of soul music that hardly ever gets its due, one that's beautifully presented in this ultra-cool collection! The groove's not entirely what you'd expect – a lot less twang, and styles that run between sweet uptown and raw southern soul – with, as the label says, "not a steel guitar in sight"! You may recognize a few of the artists, but most of this work is by long-overlooked figures who were often eclipsed by Nashville's bigger country scene – but who also got the chance to record in some of the great studio facilities that the city had to offer. CD features 22 tracks, in all, with a nicely detailed set of notes – and titles include "Hold On" by Rufus Hunter, "Sound Of A Crying Man" by Herbert Hunter, "Foolish Lover" by Jimmy Tig & The Rounders, "These Are My People" by Roscoe Shelton, "Love Is A Two Way Thing" by Freddie Waters, "My Loss, Your Gain" by The Jades, "You Girl" by Wendell Watts, and "Some Day" by Thomas Henry. CD