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Posts posted by tkeith

  1. Well, I was going to hold off on this one because I had an advance listen, but I see everybody else is cooped up, as well.

    Track 01 - Sophisticated Alice (later Big Alice).  Don't know who, doesn't matter -- it's a Pullen tune and it's a bitch.  I assume that's DP on piano.  Maybe not; seems a bit stiffer than Don.  It's not Craig Harris.  Is that actually a Euphonium?  What the hell is this?  Some of the lines are straight bebop (and grossly out of context), but then it flirts with being downright dirty.  Stewart and HoJo are the only guys I can think of that would do something like this, but that doesn't sound like a Tuba to me.  And it clearly is NOT Pullen on piano.  Maybe Steve Turre?  They don't *quite* pull it off, but it still works.  Wondering if your throwing a curve with some newer players.  Maybe Anthony Cox on piano.  Arrangement is Quotey Quotenstien, but I'm loving it.  

    Track 02 - Man!  What a BITCH of a tune!  [FYI -- Growing up, this guy used to make me mixed tapes like this all the time.  Not a bad way to learn.]  Though I'm sure I have this, it's dancing around me.  It's guys I know but I'm trying too hard.  Stitt?  Benny Golson.  Man... why is he NOT the guy every horn player loses his mind over?  So that's Sahib.  Could that have been Phil Woods on alto?  Seems like the band on New York Scene, but I can't think of the title.  

    Track 03 - If this isn't Sam Cooke's Wonderful World, it probably should be.  Because of recent avenues your ears went down, it has me thinking Khan Jamal, and that could be right.  Either that or somebody like Warren Smith.  I'm about to doze here, but I'm doing it with a smile.  

    Track 04 - ARI!!!!!  How can this NOT make you smile?  Two tenors just sit there, **glaring** at me while I listen to this.  Ari is SUCH a baaaad mf!

    Track 05 - This just showed up recently on a BFT if I'm not mistaken.  Tonk (Ray Bryant?), from Art Farmer's Perception.  Yes please.

    Track 06 - How dare you.  Grew up in a duplex owned by my grandparents.  My grandfather told me he loved it when I played this song (transcribed it from the album; for me this was the first version I really knew beyond the one lyric).  George was inspired to do this tune by Elizabeth Taylor's version.  One of my first purchases from Loony Tunes in Boston.

    Track 07 - Swear I know the tune, but I'll be wrong.  So... guitar and two basses?  So there's only a handful of people this could be.  I'm also positive you've played this for me once before and I was surprised.  But, my memory is shit, so I get to be surprised, again!

    Track 08 - You're a dirty man.  MY GUUUUYS!  Took me forever because Assif threw me off.  I couldn't come up with Ragin's name, and when I did the rest of it smashed me in my face.  Lucky enough to take part in an after show jam with this rhythm section years ago in central Maine.  Still have chills.  #Hamid  Kamal's Gift from Revelation.

    Track 09 - Yeah, pretty sure you played this for me recently, too.  I'm always wrong if I don't try it, Sweets?  If I guess him, it'll be one of the others I'll usually guess here.  Gotta listen again, but I'll come back.  This is killing me, because I know this is a tenor I absolutely love!  Smoother than Ike.  Clean and powerful.  Lucky?  Fifth listen, damnit.  I'm going to get this guy.  WAIT!  That's Ray Nance!  Shit!  Of course!  Took some sleuthing, but I got it.  I'm wrong on the tenor and I would have NEVER guessed this.

    Track 10 - Can't get me here!  Gotta be Khan Jamal!  It's one of the ones I don't have, but you definitely laid this on me on a recent visit.

    Track 11 - Damnit!  I know this.  I'm sure I have it, but I'm not seeing it.  It's Frank Lowe, but I'm not sure if that's Bang, I don't think so.  This is a bitch, too!  Drummer is a bad man.  Damned digital piano.  Okay, found it, but I don't have it?  Don't know how that is.  It's Nothing But Love from this.

    Okay, coach.  How bad'I hit?



  2. With apologies, very late to the game this month.  

    Track 01 -- This sounds familiar, but the longer it goes on, the less I feel that way.  Sounds like a player whose main horn is the soprano, rather than a doubler.  However, the list of players I can think of who fit that description is very short, particularly in the post-Lacy era.  I like the general feel, but the drummer bores the hell out of me.  Seems like if there was a bit more drive, this would really cook.  Soprano player has a nice sound, but when the improv tries to get too tricky, it loses it's footing to my ear, and ends up being a far less interesting statement.  I don't believe I know these players.  I'd like to hear more, but with a more supportive drummer.  Don't know the song, but it owes much to Lacy and Monk.

    Track 02 -- Born to be Blue, representative of what I don't care for about 90% of Jazz vocalists.  She has a nice voice, but just sing the damned song.  There's a Miriam Klein record from the 70s (IIRC) featuring Dexter Gordon.  If you've known me 3 seconds, you know I love Dex.  I find that album almost unlistenable because she just won't shut up.  I'm sure the opinion is not popular, but too many singers have to play star and ruin the music.  The rhythm section is really enjoyable, and I'm even going to go so far as to suggest it's Mal Waldron on piano, because it's that good.  Likewise the bass player.  When the singing comes back in, it's very good at first, but then she gets all vocalist.  Sorry, just my bias, but this one missus and it's all the singers fault.

    Track 03 -- This one is odd, but speaks directly to me.  Glad to hear increasingly more exploration of this instrumentation.  It's not desert island material, but it IS sheer enjoyment.  

    Track 04 -- Billie's Bounce, my guess is by a blues guitarist, because that is not a Jazz rhythm section.  Guitarist can play, though again, definitely rooted in a different style.  Listened for the guitarist, in spite of the bass/drums.  Almost sounds like a canned backing behind the guitar and the keys.

    Track 05 -- All The Things You Are.  This one has all that the last one didn't.  Weird comment, but reminds me of the old Music Minus One series from the 1950s.  Makes me wonder if we're not dealing with Milt Hinton, Barry Galbraith, Osie Johnson, and Tyree Glenn.  Again, not desert island material, but a very enjoyable cut -- mostly because they're just playing the music.  There's great musicianship without competing egos.

    Track 06 -- Thought we were going in the direction of Caravan.  Instead, feels more like someone went in that direction and avoided royalties.  Not the level of musicianship of the last cut, but they mean it.  Thinking it's a little newer than it sounds, but not by much.

    Track 07 -- Comin' Home Baby.  Not going to lie, I'm a sucker for this feel.  Sure sounds like a younger Ronnie Cuber, but seems too obvious.  Nope.  I take it back -- this guy is more raw than Ronnie (and I mean that in a good way).  No new ground being broken, but I can sit through this all day long.  Insert guitarist here.  Could be Pat Martino, but I don't think this guy is quite there.  Still, I find no fault with any of this -- maybe I'm an easy mark for this genre.  That COULD be Groove Holmes, because the organist is no slouch.  Seems maybe a shade off of Groove, but if it's not him, has definitely done a lot of listening to the man.  I'll take extra helpings of this, please.

    Track 08 -- Sounds kind of like a soundtrack.  I like the oddness of the instrumentation, in context.  I'm getting a sense of Peter Sellers in the playful nature of the composition.  I don't think it IS a soundtrack, but it oughta be.  

    Track 09 -- Good tune.  That rhythm section sound is perfect.  Almost feels like this song could be done even a tad slower or more rubato.  I really like this a lot, but I've got nothing on the saxophonist.  Wondering if it's one of those local/regional players on one of his rare recorded dates.  Again, could take a lot more of this.  Beautiful song.  Almost has the kind of feel of a Johnny Griffin ballad, but not that level of facility (hell, who DID?).  

    Track 10 -- Sure has a Randy Weston feel in the first 20 seconds.  That left hand is filthy, and it surely does sound like Randy.  Wait, that phrasing is Billy Harper, though the sound isn't quite.  This must be that duet of Randy and Billy not too long ago.  Is the tune Blue Moses?  Yeah, that's Billy.  A little sleuthing suggests it's Blues To Senegal from this.

    Track 11 -- Not sure who it is, but I'll bet the ranch that's Stanley Clarke on bass.  Sure sounds like McCoy's piano, too.  It's McCoy, but is it Stanley?  I was sure early, now I'm not.  Doesn't walk like Stanley, but that opening piece was very much in the Stanley alley.  I'm sticking with Stanley, but not sure what this is.  Needle drop, so it could be Rites of Strings, but I'm not familiar with the music from that album.

    Track 12 -- Busy 70s Jazz?   Reminds me of the Roy Haynes Hip Ensemble.  
    "I have no kick against modern Jazz,
    Unless they try to play it too darn fast,
    And change the beauty of the melody,
    Until it sounds just like a symphony"
      - Chuck Berry
    Sure sounds like Randy Brecker of that period on trumpet.  

    Track 13 -- 70s cheese, but I'm not proud -- I love it.  The electronics bug me, but in the setting has me feeling wistful.  Makes me feel like Donald Fagen on the way to a hangover.  :D Sounds like somebody going for a hit.  To my ear, they should have made it.  That guitar reminds me of the guitar on Pharoah! on India Navigation.  The hornline is very Mangione-influenced.  Man, I'd play this stuff if asked.

    Track 14 -- Holy Land!  I've been trying to find a chart that includes this intro.  One of the first tunes my Dad taught me (he no longer owned the record, so I played notes until he heard the right one).  It's not Cedar.  I like the addition of the strings.  Now, that sounds like Billy Higgins' gallop, so what the heck is this?  Sounds like Buster Williams to me on bass.  I take it back; that is either Cedar or somebody doing their best Cedar in tribute.  I can hear Billy's grunt, so there is no more doubt, there.  How do I not have this?  Nice!  A quote of Clifford's The Highest Mountain at the end of the piano solo.  Must have.

    Track 15 -- Detest that drum sound (not the player, the recording).  Recognize the song once it gets going around 1:30, but can't give you the title.  I refer back to the Chuck Berry quote.  These are good players, but I'd rather slow it down and hear the message.  This is so fast it lacks a message, to me.  Amazing ability, but the tempo is gratuitous.  Bassist has a great sound (slow down so I can hear it [YOU DAMNED KIDS!!!]).  This would be intense live (minus the crappy engineering).  Curious what it is (particularly because of the instrumentation).  Very much like the bassist.

    Track 16 -- Take 5, obviously.  Desmond, and I assume Ed Bickert. Oh, yeah.  I bought this on vinyl in college at a flea market.  Live.  Great quote in Desmond's notes about Bickert:  "He smokes more than me, which is impossible."  The way this tune should have always been done, particularly the bass.

    Stuff landed on both sides of me, but my ears appreciated the exercise overall.  I feel like I should have known more of these people so I'm looking forward to the reveal.


  3. 2 hours ago, Joe said:

    2) “Ecaroh” from Ran Blake’s Horace Is Blue: A Silver Noir. hatOLOGY, 2000.
    Ran Blake (p)

    Happy I was at least in the neighborhood.  Embarrassed to not get the song.

    2 hours ago, Joe said:

    3) “Improper Authorities” from Ralph Alessi’s Imaginary Friends. ECM, 2019.
    Ralph Alessi (tp); Ravi Coltrane (ts); Andy Milne (p); Drew Gress (b); Mark Ferber (d)

    Yeah, just don't jibe with Ravi.  Got to meet Ferber at a jazz camp, once, and he really made an impression on me; had great feel.

    2 hours ago, Joe said:

    6) “Phrygian Waterfall” from Toshiko Akiyoshi’s At Top Of The Gate. Columbia (Japan), 1969 (recorded: 1968). 

    When discussing some of Lew's work with Toshiko's big band with a horn player, he sort of scowled and said, "He married well."  Still cracks me up.

    2 hours ago, Joe said:

    8) “Solar” from Steve Kuhn’s Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 13. Concord Jazz, 1990.



    It always bugs me when I don't like Kuhn.  Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers is absolutely one of my all-time favorite tunes.

    2 hours ago, Joe said:

    11) “Boo” from Ernie Watts’ Planet Love. World Pacific, 1969.


    Ernie Watts (ts), Clarence McDonald (p), Stanley Gilbert (b), Robert Morin (d). Produced by Wayne Henderson. Read the original liner notes to this LP here:

    Huh.  Right guy, wrong horn.  Hate when that happens.  ;)

  4. On 9/3/2020 at 4:25 PM, tkeith said:

    09 - Ah, the somewhat rare trumpet/unemployment stick unison lead.  Post-Shorter doubler on soprano, could be about anybody.  Now, that alto provide a hint.  Is this The Travelers, perhaps?  Certainly sounds like it.  Let’s make a triple line.  Getting a Dizzy feel from the horn, but 90% sure it’s not him.  Could be Jon Faddis (it sounds THAT close to me).  Really almost don’t hear the alto on the head.  


    Jesus.  What was in the pipe when I wrote this.  Wasn't until I read Felser's comments that I realized I'd called The Visitors "The Travelers".   #justsayno

  5. 21 hours ago, Joe said:

    Thanks Thom!

    A couple of your guesses are spot-on.

    I will confess that there are some artists here whose jazz "credentials" might be considered questionable.

    I was wondering if the Tristano connection was intentional.

  6. Listening to this one before the month gets away.

    01 - Summertime.  Not sure about the snake-charmer intro.   At first, the bass had me thinking Francois Rabbath.  It’s not him, but my guess is that this has European origins.  Not sure I’m fully buying the gratuitious use of the Byzantine scale, but I like it in spite of that.  Definitely digging the bass.  I appreciate the attempt at a different approach, but I’m not sure I can handle it more than once.

    02 - Now, I like this.  It’s got that restrained solo piano feel, but with some nice extensions in there.  Sort of like Roland Hanna meets Ran Blake.  I’m going to switch gears about 4 minutes in.  Sounds like a Monk tune, but maybe a Fred Hersch interpretation.

    03 - At first, I was thinking someone else was sneaking in some Dennis Gonzalez.  It has that modern Steeplechase feel, like something John Swana would do.  These guys are more modern than that, at least the saxophonist is.  Has that heavy rhythmic variance of a lot of modern Jazz.   I like it, but I’m not in love with it.

    04 - Meandering melodic lines, questionable direction.  I should detest this, but I quite like it.  Seems like it owes a bit of a nod to Abdullah Ibrahim.  I don’t believe it’s him, but neither would I be surprised if it were.  Has touches that suggest Mal Waldron, as well.  I believe I would enjoy sitting and talking music with this pianist.  Runs a bit long, but I like it overall.

    05 - This is weird.  First thought was this cat like Cannonball, a lot.  Then I was getting a distinct Sonny Criss vibe, though the rhythm section has a Bitches Brew meets Shepp’s Mariamar vibe.  I want to make a weird guess of Anthony Ortega, but it seems too aggressive.  I like this, though.  This hits the wheelhouse really well.  It’s raw.  I’m in.  Let me add, it’s raw, but hasn’t lost the blues.  This just works.  This one seems to run a shade long, as well, but I’m still in.  

    06 - Shades of Tristano.  At times, shakes hands with Mal.  I could listen to a lot of this.  Live, but not sure who it is.  GIMME MORE!!!

    07 - It’s an interesting feel, but I’m not convinced it goes anywhere.  It’s great in the background, but not a sit-and-listen track.  I can always do without electronics, but I have to confess, I’m a fan of drummers replicating that remix sound.  My guess is, this is the drummer’s gig, and that’s what we’re supposed to focus on (because it’s where the action is).  Nice bass line, but again, doesn’t really go anywhere.  Reminds me of Radio Citizen.

    08 - Guessing a younger pianist.  Has that technique.  First note sounded like Don Pullen.  The main line sounded like Mal Waldron, but too precise.  Then, it turns out, we’re at Solar.  No idea.  Sticking with younger pianist.  Wait, is this perhaps TWO pianists?  I’m still thiinking younger, but they’ve done their listening.  Even a direct Tristano quote at about 5:00.  Still unsure if it’s one or two.

    09 - Ah, the somewhat rare trumpet/unemployment stick unison lead.  Post-Shorter doubler on soprano, could be about anybody.  Now, that alto provide a hint.  Is this The Travelers, perhaps?  Certainly sounds like it.  Let’s make a triple line.  Getting a Dizzy feel from the horn, but 90% sure it’s not him.  Could be Jon Faddis (it sounds THAT close to me).  Really almost don’t hear the alto on the head.  

    10 - Not sure where I am on this one.  It’s pleasant, but I’m working, listening on the laptop, and it really hasn’t made much of an impression on me.  A co-worker of my Dad’s had alternate lyrics to this song, and it’s kind of ruined the song for me.  I will not share them here — no need to ruin it for others.

    11 - A little second-line, I’m in.  Especially when you put it with a bitchin’ bass line.  Not sold on the horn, entirely, but the feel of the tune is awsome.  Sounds like a Larry Willis groove.  Very busy saxophone — why not?  Plenty of energy here.  I’m loving the rhythm section more than the horn, though.  I’m going to throw out a weird guess of Ernie Watts on alto.

    12 - Man, somebody always throws in an old needle-drop and it’s obvious, but I’m always afraid to risk it.  To hell with it — is it Fats Waller?

    13 - Know the song, can’t give you the title.  First impression was Art Farmer.  Oh, shit.  Cherokee, for crissake.  Hmmm… sure sounds like Lee Konitz.  Seems to me I had this at one point (Live in Genoa?), but I don’t recall this being so long.  

    14 - This one is going to irritate me.  I know that pianist.  Two listens and I don’t have it.  I’m going to hate myself, later.

    15 - This one is weird.  Pace and general feel is Donna Lee, but I don’t hear it, yet.  Are we dealing with solo organ?  That’s an oddity, but I’m not sold on it.  Only guy I can think of trying something like this is Joey D., but this person sounds a bit older.  Wait… now we’re at the ballpark.  I’m so lost.  I give it points for being original, but I’m not feeling this one.

    And, for some reason, my wife is downstairs rocking out to Mingus Ah Um.  Guess I did something right last night!  :D

    Nearly all of this is new to my ears.  I’ll be interested to see the reveal.




  7. On 8/28/2020 at 7:52 PM, Hot Ptah said:

    Track 12. I have this and know it. It is George Garzone from his Moodiology album. I saw Joe Lovano live around 2000 with Steve Slagle and George Garzone in the band. I was so impressed with Slagle and Garzone that for a few years I bought several albums by both of them, including this one. Excellent!

    i really enjoyed this Blindfold Test. Thanks for putting it together for us!

    NOW all the comments make sense!  I was in the right neighborhood with Kurtis, at least.


  8. On 8/19/2020 at 3:25 PM, eklaxton said:

    I was hoping Thom would get 12. That tenor sound is one and only! Tho the composition is not his regular setting. 


    This comment has been keeping me up at night.  After repeated listening, it sounds like Bob Gulotti on drums, which suggests a Boston band, but I'm not getting the horn players.  *Could* be Kurtis Rivers on alto, but I don't think so.

  9. Alrighty, took longer to get to than I'd hoped.  Some stuff new to me on here, but a few bags.  One listen, spontaneous commentary, so... sorry.

    Track 01 - Solitude.  Very patient version with solid nods to the composer.  Trying to think who does that in the right hand.  Tommy Flanagan came to mind but the voicings are wrong.  Seat-of-the-pants, I’m going to say Sir Roland Hanna.  [just saw a great mini-interview with David Murray where he talks about the importance of using different pianists because piano occupies so much space on a recording.  He said [loosely quote]: I’ve fired LOTS of guys.  I say it with pride, I’ve fired some of the best.  I fired John Hicks, I fired Don Pullen… I fired Roland Hanna.”]  Good stuff.  I believe this is from this.

    Track 02 - Not someone I’m overly familiar with.  Pretty sure the trumpeter is the vocalist (definitely sounds like a player singing as opposed to a vocalist).  It certainly is tight.  Not sure how often I’d go to this well, but I appreciate it.

    Track 03 - First reaction, my gut tells me that’s Big George.  Nope.  My gut was wrong.  Monk tune.  One of the few I’ll get by name.  Ask Me Now.  Believe I read somewhere that when he first recorded it he was asked the title and grunted “Don’t ask me now,” and the “don’t” went unheard.  Not sure if that’s true, but I love the story if it is.  Feel like I know the player, but it may just be the heavy George Coleman influence.  Very fluid, very facile.  HUGE Big George influence, but I’ve never heard George do those growls.  Most times I struggle on modern interpretations of Monk, but I like this one a lot.

    Track 04 - Oh yeah, baby.  Two beautiful things:  Big Ben and a GREAT Ellington ballad, Single Petal of a Rose.  This is it  This is everything, we can all go home.  I’ve got it on this  but I know it’s on a couple of anthologies, as well.  Man, you’ve got some PIANO players on this BFT!

    Track 05 - And a GREAT Newk tune — Valse Hot.  SUCH a great tune.  Something very Herbie about the piano and I’m not sure it fits with the tune.  Mmm.  Don’t care for where that went on the solos.  There’s doing it your own way, but not sure it’s always the best choice.  Once we get back to time, I’m liking it more.  Not fully loving the tenor.  A lot of those conservatory lines that don’t seem to have much to do with the tune (this is where I show I’m really a fussy prick).  Second tenor is much more to my liking.  First one is all about the notes and the math, but I’m not feeling the story.  Second one was all story.  Okay, that’s Roy Hargrove.  That’s a lot of clues.  I may actually have this.  I’m guessing first soloist was Branford, doing that thing that drives me nuts about him.  I know the album is various tenor players (I definitely have it, but can’t recall the title).  Too lazy to go look.  :D Can’t remember the other guy, but like I said, iirc, it’s shifting personnel throughout.  

    Track 06 - Sounds like Joe Lovano.  Song is familiar but it’s eluding me.  Weird arrangement.  Definitely Joe.  I don’t always line-up with JL, but this one works.  Friggin’ song is going to drive me nuts — I KNOW this.  No.  Did he just quote Donna Lee?  Is that the friggin’ song!?  GAH!

    Track 07 - Ooooo!  Rhodes less travelled.  Oh, that’s familiar.  Joe Henderson on tenor.  Joe fools nobody.  Took a bit, but it’s the title track from this.  

    Track 08 - Lotta Coltrane there.  Ah, yes — that’s Jerry Bergonzi.  What is that friggin’ song?  It’s Brubeck, right?  [Love that video of JB with DB at the vineyard; heard some horror stories about that gig, but it’s a good video]  Not sure on those busy-ass drums, but could be Tain.  I don’t always love the stuff so directly out of Coltrane, but when Jerry is on, he’s ON.  He’s on, here.

    Track 09 - Fields of Gold?  No.  Now it sounds like Danny Boy.  Nope.  Now it sounds like Ry Cooder.  No idea what this is.  Seems to be hitting lots of ‘ish’ pieces of various songs.  Or, perhaps I’m f****d.  :D

    Track 10 - Love that bass.  Thought this was going in a different direction.  At first, felt very Johnny Dyani, but then turns more toward a Manfred Eicher feel, then moves to 80s Jazz.  At first I was thinking Chico Freeman on the tenor, now I’m leaning more towards a less-specific post-Coltrane voice.  Sure sounds like Brad Meldau on piano (so that narrows nothing down).  Good tune.   

    Track 11 - Feeling like this might be a ringer.  Any chance this is an unreleased Chris Klaxton thing? :D Not completely sold that it’s him, but not completely discouraged from the guess, either.  Sounds like his writing to me.

    Track 12 - Loved the 12/8 intro but it went somewhere I wasn’t expecting.  Goes where I’m not expecting, but touches on  some strange places that mostly make me happy.  A bit pedantic just shy of the 1 minute mark, but overall, really liking what it’s doing.  As it goes on, the only thing I’m sure of is I have no concept who this is.  Almost sounds like Ekaya, but it’s too spread out.  Can’t place the bari and that’s pissing me off.  That bouncing call between the horns is the only thing not really grabbing me.  The rest of it is a bop.  

    Thanks for mixing in a few ringers along with the moments of abject torture where I had no idea.  ;)






  10. On 7/31/2020 at 7:58 AM, JSngry said:

    I bought that J.R. lp. found it on the Progressive label. Liking it a lot.

    Speaking of Sauer, have you heard his earlier work with Mangelsdorff? Equally strong, and the context of time/place there helps to sort out what actually might have been brought in from Shepp and what was there all along. Always a strong voice.

    Yeah, I got into that period about five years ago when I heard some of his more recent stuff.  Went on a binge and bought Metal Blossoms, these two, and a couple of other things that were floating around, and worked my way back to Mangelsdorff (whom I LOVE).  It's been a nice ride.  His work with Terumasa Hino was very interesting, as well.


    23 hours ago, felser said:

    Interesting on #12, it does indeed evoke Sanders, now I know what I was hearing when I first responded to the BFT.  Cuber has always struck me as a strong player in whatever contexts I've heard him, going all the way back to those ancient George Benson Columbia sides, though I've never sought out his leader work.  Definitey on the lookout for #'s 9 and 10, which would never have been on my radar otherwise.  Thanks as always for stimulating BFT!

    Happy to help spend your money, my brother!  :D


  11. My process for programming a BFT usually involves making a list throughout the year.  As most of my listening time is on my commute these days, this year proved a bit challenging.  On the upside, I’ve started making more time to just sit and listen, which has been missing.  On the downside, a lot of this test was assembled on the fly, late last month.  The occurrences of slight duplication of personnel were unintentional, but are probably the only thing holding this test together.  Incidentally, the two cuts with Dennis Gonzalez were chosen long before he agreed to do last month’s test.  #serendipity

    01-Weird Nightmare (Charles Mingus) - Mingus Big Band featuring Ku-Umba Frank Lacy - (2014) Mingus Sings


    Arranged by Sy Johnson; Frank Lacy - vocals; Alex Norris, Jack Walrath, Lew Soloff - trumpet; Coleman Hughes, Conrad Herwig, Earl McIntyre - trombone; Abraham Burton, Brandon Wright, Craig Handy, Wayne Escoffery - tenor saxophone; Alex Foster - alto & soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet; Ronnie Cuber - baritone saxophone; David Kikosk i- piano; Boris Koslov - bass; Donald Edwards - drums

    First time I heard this was in college, with Elvis Costello doing the lyrics.  It was a well-intentioned, pretty awful record of Mingus’ music done by unexpected people.  I’ve seen Ku-Umba sing on multiple occasions live, and it was ALWAYS better than it is on this record.  It is what it is.

    02-The Sorrow of Guernica (Pinkish Black & Yells At Eels) - Pinkish Black & Yells At Eels - (2019) Vanishing Light in the Tunnel of Dreams


    Dennis Gonzalez - trumpet; Daron Beck - keys; Aaron Gonzalez - bass, electric bass, voice; Stefan Gonzalez - drums, percussion, marimba; Jon Teague - drums, synthesizer

    Dennis was kind enough to speak to one of my classes, and as we were chatting beforehand (via Google Meet) he mentioned this project.  I’m a fan, and have quite a DG collection, so this was a no-brainer.  Dennis does not sit idle, he is constantly evolving.  Purists may be put off by that, but every conversation I’ve ever had with the man has been an encapsulated education.

    03-African Drums (Beaver Harris) - David S. Ware Quartet - (1999) Surrendered


    David S. Ware - tenor saxophone; Matthew Shipp - piano; William Parker - bass; Guillermo E. Brown - drums

    My friend Ken Eisen played this on his radio show the first time I heard it.  I broke out in a cold sweat.  The same thing happens every time I hear this song (and I always play it back-to-back with itself).  I know Ware and Shipp can be polarizing, but to my ear, this is everything.  The energy in this recording, as well as the musicianship, are terrifyingly beautiful.

    04-Little Melonae (Jackie McLean) - Frank Lowe Trio - (1997) Vision Blue


    Frank Lowe - tenor saxophone; Steve Neil - bass; Anders Griffen - drums

    From the CIMP heyday.  Bob Heroux, a late friend of my family, once described Frank Lowe’s playing as, “very thoughtful”.  It’s the perfect description.  Frank is so unique, and so absent any bullshit in his playing that I just love him.  He did a few of the records around this time, all shorter songs, all understated.  Very glad I got to see him with Billy Bang before he left this plane.  One of the REAL cats.

    05-Lush Life (Billy Strayhorn) - Heinz Sauer/Michael Wollny - (2005) Certain Beauty

    05-Certain Beauty.jpg

    Heinz Sauer - tenor saxophone; Michael Wollny - keys

    I’ve played another cut from this record on a previous BFT, Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U.  I first came to Heinz as a sideman in George Adams’ band, and I didn’t appreciate him right away.  I heard him, initially, as watered-down Shepp.  Later, when I came across the Prince cover, I developed a new ear and a newfound respect for his playing.  He’s not Kansas City, but he’s an interesting and serious player.  A lot of this record pushes my boundaries due to the synth, but I keep going back to it.  Also, he STILL reminds me of Shepp.

    06-Hello Little Girl (Kemp/Ellington) - The Duke Ellington Orchestra featuring Jimmy Rushing - (1959) Ellington Jazz Party

    06-Ellington Jazz Party.jpg

    Jimmy Rushing - vocals; Andres Ford, Cat anderson, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie (soloist), Shorty Baker, Ray Nance - trumpet; Britt Woodman, John Sanders, Quentin Jackson - trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope - alto saxophone; Paul Gonzalves - tenor saxophone; Jimmy Hamilton - tenor saxophone, clarinet; Harry Carney - baritone saxophone; Jimmy Jones - piano; Jimmy Woode - bass; Sam Woodyard - drums; Arranged & conducted by Duke Ellington

    This was the gimme on this test, but MAN!  What a bitch this is!  I wish Jimmy’d spent his whole career with Duke.  Hearing him go up against the mighty Ellington cast, THIS is what it’s all about, baby!  Just a 12-bar blues, but absolutely on fire!  If this doesn’t move you, pull the dirt over you, because you’re gone.  And, oh yeah, that trumpet player isn’t half bad, either.

    07-My Old Flame (Sam Coslow) - J.R. Monterose Quartet - (1979) Welcome Back J.R.!

    07-Welcome Back JR.jpg

    J.R. Monterose - tenor saxophone; Hod O’Brien - piano Teddy Kotick - bass; Jimmy Wormworth - drums

    Let’s be honest, this album is all about the cover.  :D Later re-issued as Lush Life.  J.R. is another guy I was slow to come to, but as I age, he really speaks to me (though, more his earlier work, but this album is still a nice piece of my collection).  This was an eBay score from Japan.  The one thing I’ve always admired about J.R. is that he’s completely himself, always.  This record is no exception.  I recall reading that he kicked his heroin addiction cold turkey, alone, because he knew if he’d gotten help, he’d go back to it.  That says a lot about who he is and that came across in his playing.

    08-First Take (Richard Gardzina) - Richard Gardzina - (1998) Play This

    08-Play This.jpg

    Richard Gardzina - tenor saxophone; Steve Aubert - piano; Roger Kimball - bass; David Berman - drums

    Richard was my most influential private teacher.  Truly a great guy and a wonderful musician.  This track is the class of this record, and it showcases what I love about his playing so well.  You can hear his influences, but he always stays true to himself.  In addition to being a terrific musican and teacher, he’s an absolutely quality human being.  I swear I’ve included this cut before, but a search of the BFT thread does not turn it up.

    09-Camel (Dennis Gonzalez) - Alvin Fielder Trio - (2007) A Measure of Vision

    09-A Measure of Vision.jpg

    Dennis Gonzalez - trumpet; Chris Parker - piano; Aaron Gonzalez - bass; Alvin Fielder - drums

    I first heard Dennis play this song in person with Rodriguo Amado and Yells At Eels.  It blew me away then, and continues to do so.  The live version was *so* intense.  Later I asked Dennis for a copy of the chart, which he sent.  When covering this tune, the drummer on the session said, “Man, it’s just so *greasy*!”  I’m not sure if that was Dennis’ intent, but that’s what I love about playing this song — you can just get *so* nasty!

    10-Little Sunflower (for Roy Hargrove) (Freddie Hubbard) - The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble - (2019) Be Known: Ancient / Future /

    10-Be Known.jpg

    Corey Wilkes - trumpet; Alex Harding - baritone saxophone; Ian Maksin - cello; Kahil El’Zabar - drums, percussion

    Finally got to see Kahil (w/David Murray) last spring.  My word.  Epic.  I love what it is that he does.  Don’t know what to call it, don’t care — I love it.  Thanks to Tim Webb for convincing me to give this album a try.  I had seen some videos from their tour, and they didn’t do what I’d hope they would.  Not sure if it was the recordings, or just a couple of off nights, but THIS is what I was expecting.  LOVE Alex Harding.  THE man on the big horn, at the moment.   This is not the best track on the album, but I was tryiing to be time conscious (particularly where there were already several other long tracks).  

    11-Stay Informed (Heinz Sauer) - George Adams - (1979) Sound Suggestions

    11-Sound Suggestions.jpg

    George Adams, Heinz Sauer - tenor saxophone; Kenny Wheeler - trumpet; Richie Beirach - piano; Dave Holland - bass; Jack DeJohnette - drums

    This has always been my favorite George Adams record.  I played the death out of my original copy.  I was playing for a friend who would go on to be a very well known pro (when I was about 14).  We were at his house and I had him put on this track.  He was looking at the liners and said during George’s mercurial solo, “Dude, that’s Heinz!” showing me the album jacket.  It was not.  His speakers were wired incorrectly left-right.  I took a deep breath (he was five years older than me, and we had this music in common, so I didn’t want to tread heavily) and said, “no, the jacket is wrong.”  I didn’t want to suggest that he had wired his speakers wrong (though, in fact, he had).  Anyway, I was slow to appreciate what Heinz does on this recording, particularly where I was SUCH a huge George Adams fan as a kid.  It’s not George at his most tasteful, but he definitely claims his territory here, and I love it.  This album was also my introduction to Kenny Wheeler.  It was years (decades?) before I actually heard Deer Wan, but to me, this album and that go hand-to-hand (see what I did there?).

    12- Song For Pharaoh (Ronnie Cuber) - Ronnie Cuber - (1993) The Scene Is Clean

    12-The Scene Is Clean.jpg

    Ronnie Cuber - baritone saxophone; Georg Wadenius - guitar; Geoff Keezer - keys; Reggie Washington  - bass; Victor Jones - drums; Manolo Badrena, Milton Cardona - percussion

    I didn’t have a lot of Cuber in my collection, but I got turned onto this via a Facebook post (probably by Tim Price).  There is nothing I don’t love about this track.  It just works on every level, and is an absolute earworm.  Go ahead, try to make it through your day after this without humming it — it can’t be done.  

    Hope you found something to make your ears smile.





  12. The suspenseful build-up has ended.  :D

    Dennis sent me the answers as he still is unable to get in.  Maybe we can do a group effort to post the personnel?

    1. Griot Galaxy – Kins – “Xy-moch”

    2. Robin Kenyatta – Girl from Martinique – “Blues for Your Mama”

    3. Elton Dean – Boundaries – “Fast News”

    4. John Abercrombie – Arcade – “Nightlake”

    5. Oliver Lake Big Band – Wheels – “Is It Real”

    6. Paul Motian – Tribute – “Victoria”

    7. Amina Claudine Myers – Sama Rou – “Call To Prayer”

    8. Edward Vesala – Satu – “Ballade for San”

    9. Art Lande – Rubisa Patrol – “A Monk in His Simple Room” 1

    0. Jan Garbarek – Runes – “I Took Up the Runes”

    11. Arild Andersen – Sagn – “Lussi”

    12. Charles Brackeen – Bannar – “Stone Blue”

  13. 2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    I really like this BFT. Most of it is right up my alley.

    Glad to hear it.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    1. This Is Charles Mingus' composition "Weird Nightmare," which I know from his "Mingus Revisited" album. The singer sounds like an instrumentalist taking a turn with a rare vocal. He is not really a polished singer. Maybe he is the bandleader. Still, his vocal is moving. I like the trombone solo. I am not familiar with a large ensemble which has ever recorded something like this. At least not that I can remember.

    Spot on.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    2. I really like the arrangement and instruments used here. It is not the usual mainstream approach. Is that a xylophone (instead of a marimba or vibes)? That is really interesting to me toward the end when the entire ensemble comes in and gets louder. This reminds me of post-2000 local Chicago bands.

    This one is going to surprise some people.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    3. Whoever this is, I like it! I like the groove and the saxophone player's tone and approach. I have no idea who it is. I am looking forward to the Reveal on this one.

    This one is a must have.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    4. "Little Melonae". Miles'  version always comes to my mind when I hear this composition. I had an LP, "Basic Miles," with a nice version of it. I don't know who this is. I like the rougher approach of the group and especially the saxophonist--not so polished like some jazz recordings.

    That's this guy.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    5. Now that is a unique take on "Lush Life." I have no idea who it is, but this is very appealing to me.

    I kind of figured that would happen.  :D


    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    6. Ah, this was on a Blindfold Test by my old friend Cardinal Jazz Fan. I remember because he asked me before he finalized his test if it would be too familiar to everyone. Looking back it was on BFT 163. It is "Hello Little Girl," the closing track from Duke Ellington's "Jazz Party" album, with Jimmy Jones on piano, Dizzy Gillespie on the trumpet solo, and Jimmy Rushing on vocals. The liner notes to the LP state that this was a totally unplanned jam which developed spontaneously in the studio.

    I have played this track over 200 times in my life, easily. It was a real favorite of mine in my first burst of jazz enthusiasm in the 1970s and I have always enjoyed it a lot. 

    I missed it when I searched the thread for the song, but I do remember it (because I had decided to use it and scrubbed that choice).  No matter -- never a wrong time for Ellington.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    7.  "My Old Flame." That is some excellent tenor sax playing, great tone and ideas. I don't know who it is. I want to know!

    Yes, you do want to know.  Jim ID'd it.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    8.  This sounds very much like the later Atlantic recordings of John Coltrane. They get the feeling of those recordings, not just the notes. I have no idea who it is, but I like this a lot and again, I want to know!

    I'm glad to bring people something new, but I wish more people were aware of this guy.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    9. This is a great track. The drummer has heard a lot of Elvin Jones in his life, which is all good! The trumpet player is so compelling, so memorable. I want to get this album. I am pretty sure I don't have it!

    Likely not.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    10. I love this but have no idea who it is. Great feeling and approach, just the kind of music I like.

    Agreed.  You'll be pleased.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    11. That is George Adams from his "Sound Suggestions" album, one of my all time favorites, which I have played a great many times. That is Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland, Richard Beirach, Kenny Wheeler and Heinz Sauer also on tenor saxophone. This was the first track on Side 2 of the LP I played over and over when this album was first released. Looking it up, that means the song title is "Stay Informed." Simply great.

    Bang on!

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    12. I like this. It is almost too cheery, like it is insanely cheery. But the baritone sax player has a lot of soul to his approach. His gritty sound and style contrast nicely with the sugary sweet background. I used to guess Azar Lawrence every time there was a Coltrane influenced tenor saxophonist on a 1970s sounding album. Rarely was it actually Azar Lawrence.  Now I guess Ronnie Cuber whenever I hear bluesy baritone sax with a lot of technique. It is often not Ronnie. But this could be him.

    Could be and is.

    2 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

    Great BFT! I thoroughly enjoyed it!.

    Glad to hear it.

  14. On 7/7/2020 at 0:23 PM, Dub Modal said:

    2nd half tracks: 

    7. Sax & piano opening is smooth as silk. Drums & bass sneak up and fit right in. Perfect quartet playing because it all moves so well together. Absolutely love this tune. 

    Yep.  ID'd by JSangry.

    On 7/7/2020 at 0:23 PM, Dub Modal said:

    8. Piano sets the path at the beginning. Then the sax, drums and bass come in right over. A little smoother tone on the sax here than in song 7. Still - fantastic quartet playing and a great recording. Man, these two songs are just wonderful. 

    This one is a personal favorite, but I don't expect anyone to get it.

    On 7/7/2020 at 0:23 PM, Dub Modal said:

    9. A bass intro like this lets you know - this song is gonna be good. And it is. Recording struggles a bit - sounds like the drums were recorded in another room down the hall. But damn, that trumpet (or flugelhorn?) is perfect. Sounds like a Coltrane Quartet rhythm but with brass instead of woodwind. The piano solo is epic, and I'm wondering if the recording quality diminishes the experience because the rest of the rhythm section behind doesn't gel with it quite like the earlier 2 tracks - almost like the piano is playing their own tune for a while separate from the rest - but I think it could be because the band gets buried a bit. I love the following bass solo with the drums playing along though. When it all comes back together around the 10 minute mark it's a real beautiful moment. I don't usually harp on recording quality because I don't have audiophile equipment but I'll say here that a better mastering would probably reveal this song to be the masterpiece it is. 

    Agreed.  A great tune, masterful in it's simplicity.  I'm a big fan of this trumpeter.

    On 7/7/2020 at 0:23 PM, Dub Modal said:

    10. Oh yeah - love the bari sax/trumpet duo over the drums and bass. Great solos and a great tune. 

    These guys are currently where it's at, IMHO.

    On 7/7/2020 at 0:23 PM, Dub Modal said:

    11. Some really great selections in this whole BFT. I love this one too. It just keeps building the intensity and the playing is awesome. Tension released at about 4 mins by the piano and then the trumpet comes back in. Whoever is playing that trumpet is masterful. Sax player really blows the doors off as well. 

    You're not wrong about the trumpeter.  This has been ID'd.

    On 7/7/2020 at 0:23 PM, Dub Modal said:

    12. Damn - lovely. The percussion and guitar make this one for me, along with the sax player's tone. Beautiful. What a groover! 

    A few have found this a bit too poppy, and ordinarily, I would agree.  But this one is such an earworm that I can't NOT love it.

  15. On 7/3/2020 at 2:06 PM, JSngry said:

    I've been wanting to say Sal Nistico, but I know of no record like this.

    No, not Sal, and not Billy. And not Charles Lloyd.

    damn good tenor player, whoever it is.

    Oh my god, that's J.R. Monterose!!!!!!!!

    Well then, no wonder! :g



    Ding! Ding!

    On 7/4/2020 at 9:12 PM, JSngry said:

    That George Adams ECM record works. It just works.

    You know, in spite of "ECM", you got Jack DeJohnette lighting a fire up under everybody's ass on a lot of those records. No matter what Eicher did to it sonically, it's always there. and on this one, it seems like it let it ride (no pun intended) maybe a little more than usual.

    and Heinz Sauer was a for real player, total cred. Him and Adams make for an attractive combination, on this cut almost in a Trane/Pharoah way, Sauer lights it up pretty good, and then Adams goes up even one tenor notch higher and gets it done..

    Like I said, it works.


    Agreed.  I came slowly to Heinz, always preferring George (Remember,  I was probably 13 when I bought this).  But, over time, I really came to appreciate him. 

  16. 54 minutes ago, JSngry said:

    I don't know, definitely a Trane-influenced concept, but I still hear Lloyd in the tone, as well as some faint Billy Harper type's a really good solo, very organic, and I want to hear more of the player, probably. But right now, I can't put a name to him/her.

    You definitely KNOW the player.  In fact, I'd guess this is a player you really appreciate.