A wonderful collection of unreleased jazz recordings from the overseas scene – the kind of open-ended, freewheeling work that brings together American and European musicians in a style that's similar to some of the best albums on the MPS/
Saba label! The first CD in the collection is especially great – as it features a much-needed performance as a leader by the great alto saxophonist Pony Poindexter – a great artist who contributed much to the Count Basie band in the 50s and 60s, but hardly ever got to work on his own! Here, Pony blows beautifully on a set of very long tracks – getting help from the mighty Benny Bailey on trumpet (another player we love in a small group setting!), plus a young Jan Hammer on organ and piano, George Mraz on bass, and Michael Dennert on drums. The set list is nicely different from another live Poindexter album of the time – and titles include "Orfeu Negro Samba", "Moonrider", "How Long", "Jive Samba", and "Bigfoot". Next is the famous west coast team of Frank Rosolino on trombone and Conte Candoli on trumpet – really soaring here in a German live date from 1975, a few short years before Frank's death. The tracks are long, and both players have really opened up their sound – and seem to get extra inspiration from a very cool rhythm trio that features Rob Pronk on piano, Isla Eckinger on bass, and Todd Canedy on drums – on the tracks "Conversation", "Nica's Dream", "All The Things You Are", and "Waltz For Diane". Next up is a more homegrown talent – the great Fritz Pauer, working on both acoustic and electric piano, and getting some great help on bass from Jimmy Woode – who you might know best for his work in the Clarke Boland Big Band. The group here is just a quartet – and also includes Joe Harris on percussion and Erich Bachtraegl on drums – a very rhythmic combo that may well make the 1972 performance one of Pauer's funkiest moments! Titles include "A Walk In The English Garden", "Blues For DS", "Ham Hocks", "Blues For Mr Jones", "Ridin Home", "Now Hear My Meaning", and "Gentle Eyes". Last up is Art Farmer – really soaring on a set of long live tracks recorded in 1978 – with a quartet that features Gerd Francesconi on piano, Gunter Lenz on bass, and Billie Brooks on drums! Art's in great shape here – really opening up with imaginative solos that never lose their energy – on titles that include "Some Time Ago", "Namely You", "Blue Bossa", "Some Other Time", and "I Remember Clifford".