Later work from the Gus Giordano dance studios – a session that's not as funky as some of their earlier work, but still mostly original material played by a group of local Chicago studio musicians! The feel here is mostly an early 80s approach to jazz funk – smooth at times, with a fair bit of electric touches – and many numbers have an uptempo sort of soundtrack feel from the time. Titles include "Nuance", "Brigado", "Con Amigos", "Sicilienne", "Arms A Kimbo", "Blue Funk", and "Jazz Network". LP, Vinyl record album
A wonderful way to hear the genius of Ella Fitzgerald at its best – as the set features all tracks that just have the first lady of jazz singing alongside a piano – spare, open, and in a way that really lets you get all all the care and nuance that Ella can bring to a tune! Most of the recordings here are from the 50s – quite unusual for the time – and they're matched with one more set of duets that Ella Recorded for Pablo Records in the 70s, at a time when she was exploring more intimate modes in a really great way. There's a host of great surprises along the way – and the set begins with 8 tracks from the album Ella Sings Gershwin, with Ellis Larkins on piano – then moves to another Decca duet with Larkins on the album Songs In A Mellow Mood. The set follows with two spare numbers from the Songbook recordings for Verve – one with Oscar Peterson on piano, one with Paul Smith. Then, Smith returns on another set of 13 tracks taken from the rare Let No Man Write My Epitaph album for Verve – then adds in a spare duet with Tommy Flanagan from the 1964 A Juan Les Pins album – before ending with the full set list from the wonderful Ella & Oscar album from 1976 – 7 more duets with Oscar Peterson on piano. CD
MC genius Jean Grae teams up with production duo Blue Sky Black Death for the Evil Jeanius project! JG and BSBD craft a tight sound with plenty of crafty nuance – a different approach than the scratchy soul beat territory that Jean covered with producer 9th Wonder earlier in the year, but Jean's storytelling is once again the dominant trait. Keys,synthy beats and organ tones work with darker, moodier textures, samples & scratches that show a real love of classic underground hip hop. Titles include "Shadows Forever", "Ahead Of The Game" feat Blacastan, "Strikes", "Threats" feat Chen Lo, "Away With Me", "Take It Back", "Lights Out", "Nobody'll Do It For You" and "It's Still A Love Song". CD
A nicely understated set from piano genius Red Garland – a master of understatement himself, but in completely great form in this Japanese-only live set from the start of the 80s – one that also features guest work from Lou Donaldson on two of the album's tracks! The sound quality is wonderful – and you can not only capture every slight nuance of Garland's shading on the piano, that special touch he brought to the keys on his famous 50s recordings for Prestige – but also the sublime work by Jamil Nasser on bass, and the always-thoughtful work of Jimmy Cobb on drums. Donaldson blows alto on "Moonlight In Vermont" and "Who Can I Turn To" – and other tunes include "That's All", "My Romance", "My Funny Valentine", "Street Of Dreams", "I Should Care", and "When Sunny Gets Blue". CD
(Part of the Jazz Legends In Japan series!)
Partial matches: 3
Brenda Nicole Moorer —
Marrow ... CD Ropeadope, 2020. New Copy ...
Great work from a really unique singer – a vocalist who's equally well-balanced between jazz and soul, and who uses that balance to great advantage throughout this well-crafted LP! Brenda's vocals and inflection definitely show a strong side of the understanding of the nuances you'd use in jazz – but she also works in tunes that are more soul-based, although still with a nice degree of complexity – instrumentation that changes from track to track, and which has way more going on than just beats and keyboards too. Tracks include "Marrow", "Catch Me Falling", "The Core", "Little Prayer", "Flying Lessons", "Return To Sender", and "Your Light". CD
Way more than just a live recording – and instead a host of original material from bassist Ben Wolfe –- really sparkling with the strength of a well-crafted studio session! The tunes are fresh, and handled by a dynamic group that really brings out some wonderful energy in the music – the soaring horn combination of Marcus Strickland on tenor and Ryan Kisor on trumpet – and the rhythm trio of Wolfe on bass, Luis Perdomo on piano, and Gregory Hutchinson on drums – leaping into the fray in a way that really gets things moving. The recording quality – like most of these Smalls Live sets – is excellent, and perfect for capturing the nuances of both Wolfe's writing, and the interplay of the members of the group. Titles include "For The Great Sonny Clark", "Telescope", "Contraption", "Coleman's Cab", and "Double Czech". CD
Freddie Hubbard —
Gleam ... CD CBS/BGO (UK), 1975. New Copy 2CD ...
Out Of Stock
Jazz funk genius from Freddie Hubbard in the mid 70s! Gleam was a Japanese-only double album from the jazz giant in its original release – mighty funky at times, too – right up there with some of the best Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock Japanese sets from the 70s! It's a live set captured in March of '75 at Tokyo's Yubin Chokin Hall – long numbers played by a group that includes Freddie on trumpet, Carl Randall on tenor and flute, George Cables on electric piano, Henry Franklin on bass, Carl Burnett on drums, and Buck Clark on percussion! Each player has plenty of space to groove, and it's very well captured – you can hear the most expressive solos and the most subtle nuances. Some great solos by Freddie and the rest of the players – breathless tenor & flute by Randall, keys by Cables that are jazz funk perfection and interplay between Burnett's drums and Clark's congas & percussion that's somehow tense and comfortable at the same time. The shortest number in the set runs more than the 7 minutes and the longest is more than 20 minutes – and none is one second shorter than necessary, actually leaving us pining for more – making it all the more vital in the double album format. Released on 2CDs here! How this great album has been so hard to find over the years is a mystery. Titles include "Kuntu", "Spirits Of Trane", an amazing cover of Stevie Wonder's "Too High", "Midnight At The Oasis", "Ebony Moonbeams", and "Put It In The Pocket". CD