Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers —
Blue Night ... CD Timeless/Bellaphon (Holland), 1985. Used ...
A great Art Blakey lineup here, as usual – filled with fire from younger musicians who are really finding their voice in the Jazz Messengers – a group that includes Terence Blanchard on trumpet, Donald Harrison on alto, Jean Toussaint on tenor, and Mulgrew Miller on piano! Miller's work is a great match for Blakey's vibe – a bit like that time when Cedar Walton brought both lyricism and swing to the Messengers – and we love Toussaint at this point in his career, as he plays with this raspy tone that always gets us, and holds onto us long after his solos are done! Blanchard and Harrison are as great as you'd expect – and titles include "Blue Night", "Two Of A Kind", "Blue Minor", and "Mr Combinated". CD
An unusual pairing – pianist Mark Levin, whose resume includes great electric and Latin work – joining in duets with avant drummer Smiley Winters! The set features just piano and drums – quite unusual for Concord – and titles include a version of the Bobby Hutcherson/Eugene McDaniels tune "Now"! CD
Great work from this hip German ensemble – a group with Herbert Joos and Michael Sell on trumpet and flugelhorn; Heiner Wiberny on flutes, alto, and baritone; Bernd Konrad on flute, soprano sax, and bass clarinet; Paul Schwarz on flute and piano, Adelhard Roidinger and Jacek Bednarek on bass, and Thomas Cremer on drums! LP, Vinyl record album
The only album ever issued by this German band from the early 70s – one who clearly draw a lot of inspiration from American blues, but also spin things out with a longform vibe that really opens the door to the prog years to come! The guitars are nice and sharp, and much more complicated at times than some of their hard rock contemporaries – but that's also because the long tracks allow for plenty of solo space that really lets things stretch out. H Peter Bischof handles the lead vocals with a raw edge that's great next to the organ lines and heavy bass – and titles include the 18 minute "You Can't Change Them All", the 10 minute "We Still Try To Change", and a 7 minute workout on "Tobacco Road". LP, Vinyl record album
Flora Purim & Airto —
Sun Is Out ... CD Crossover/Bellaphon (Germany), 1989. Used ...
A set from 1989 that somehow manages to return to the style that Flora used a bit more often on 70s California albums – still electric and fusion-based, but freer and more open – in the manner that we first came to love in her work! Titles include "The Sun Is Out", "The Hope", "Asas Da Imaginacao", "Olivia", "Midday Sun", and "Lua Flora". CD
Quite an unusual pairing – recorded here shortly before Chet Baker's too-early death! The group is great all-around – more like a Shepp combo from the time – and features Horace Parlan on piano, Herman Wright on bass, and Clifford Jarvis on drums. CD
Seminal early disco work from Ecstasy Passion & Pain – a group with a much harder soul approach than some of their counterparts on the 70s Philly scene! Singer Barbara Roy really gives the group a wonderful sound here – working with a level of soul that matches some of the deeper soul divas of the late 60s, but able to soar along easily with the album's full, rich Philly arrangements from Bobby Martin – in a way that gives the record a range that far surpasses most other female soul albums coming out from Philly in the 70s. Roy's passion and vitality make the album way more than just a "singer with disco backing in the studio set" – and Martin wonderfully tailors the sound of each tune to match the spirit of Roy's vocals. Titles include "I'll Do Anything For You," "Ask Me," "Try To Believe Me," "I Wouldn't Give You Up," and "Don't Burn Your Bridges Behind You." LP, Vinyl record album
(German Bellaphon pressing. Cover has light wear and a name in pen on front and back. Labels have a name in pen.)