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1. Song: I’m Shooting High
Artist: Catherine Russell
Album: Bring It Back
Label and Year: Jazz Village, 2014
Composers: Ted Koehler/Jimmy McHugh
Dan Block-Alto Saxophone
Andy Farber-Tenor Saxophone
Mark Lopeman-Baritone Saxophone
Catherine Russell is the daughter of Luis Russell, the big band leader and musical director for Louis Armstrong. She began her solo career in the 2000s, and has recorded several albums which I think are excellent. It could be that her singing is better than her sidemen, as some members here found the backing to be like a not entirely successful recreation of an earlier time.
Artist: McCoy Tyner
Album: Inner Voices
Label and Year: Milestones, 1978
Composer: McCoy Tyner
Arranger: McCoy Tyner
Solos—Alex Foster—Tenor Saxophone, McCoy Tyner—Piano, Jon Faddis—Trumpet
Cecil Bridgewater, Eddie Preston, Ernie Royal, Jon Faddis—Trumpets
Charles Stephens, Dick Griffin, Earl McIntyre, Janice Robinson—Trombones
Jerry Dodgion, Joe Ford—Alto Saxophones
Alex Foster—Tenor Saxophone
Ed Xiques—Baritone Saxophone
I love this recording, from its energy, the arrangement, the solos by Alex Foster and Jon Faddis--it all clicks for me.
Artist: Eddie Palmieri
Label and Year: Ropeadope, 2017
Composer: Eddie Palmieri
Arranger: Eddie Palmieri
Ronnie Cuber—Baritone Saxophone (solo)
David Spinozza—Guitar (solo)
Marcus Miller—Electric Bass
Little Johnny Rivero--Congas
Anthony Carrillo—Bongos, Cowbell
Iwao Sado—Bata Drums
This is from a very recent Eddie Palmieri album which I think is very strong overall. This Track did not seem to get much approval from the members who commented, though.
Artist: Mario Bauza and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra
Label and Year: Messidor, 1999
Composer: Ray Santos
Arranger: Ray Santos
Solos: Dioris Rivera—Tenor Saxophone, Conrad Herwig—Trombone, Stanton Davis--Trumpet
Victor Paz, Ross Konikoff, Stanton Davis, Larry Lunetta—Trumpets
Tracy Turner, Gregory Williams—French Horns
Conrad Herwig, Gerry Chamberlain, Bruce Eidem, Douglas Perviance—Trombones
Nathan Durham-Bass Trombone
Rolando Briceno, Eddie Alex—Alto Saxophones
Enrique Fernandez—Tenor Saxophone, Flute
Dioris Rivera—Tenor Saxophone
Jerome Richardson—Tenor Saxophone
Pablo Calogero—Baritone Saxophone
Juan “Papo” Pepin—Congas
Carlos “Patato” Valdez—Congas, Guiro
Joe Gonzales—Bongos, Cowbell
Bobby Sanabria—Drums, Timbales, Cascara
Mario Bauza—Musical Director
I heard this song in the background at a Mexican restaurant while I was planning this Blindfold Test. It made me think of the excellent albums which Mario Bauza released in the 1990s.
Artist: Kamasi Washington
Album: Heaven and Earth
Label and Year: Young Turks Recordings, 2018
Composer: Freddie Hubbard
Arranger: Kamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington-Tenor Saxophone
Brandon Coleman-Organ, Keyboards
Ronald Bruner, Jr.-Drums
I think that this new Kamasi Washington album is very enjoyable to listen to, and is mostly successful, (except for a few songs which seem overarranged with strings to me). This is one of my favorites from the album.
Song: De Pois Do Amor, O Vazio (After Love, Emptiness)
Artist: Wayne Shorter
Album: Odyssey of Iska
Label and Year: Blue Note, Recorded August, 1970, Released 1971
Composer: Robert C. Thomas
Wayne Shorter—Soprano Saxophone
Dave Friedman—Vibes, Marimba
Ron Carter, Cecil McBee—Bass
Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Hart—Drums
Frank Cuomo—Percussion, Drums
I love this lyrical Wayne Shorter performance, released after Weather Report was underway.
Song: Dreaming of the Master
Artist: Art Ensemble of Chicago
Album: Nice Guys
Label and Year: ECM, 1979
Composer: Joseph Jarman
Roscoe Mitchell—Saxophone Soloist.
Don Moye—Drums, Percussion
The credits list many other instruments played by members of the group, but I do not hear them on this particular track.
This is the concluding selection on their ECM album "Nice Guys." I loved the Art Ensemble of Chicago and I think that this is one of their better studio selections. Roscoe Mitchell is smoking in his solo work here.
Song: Snurdy McGurdy and Her Dancin’ Shoes
Artist: Roscoe Mitchell
Album: Snurdy McGurdy and Her Dancin’ Shoes
Label and Year: Nessa, 1981
Composer: Roscoe Mitchell
Roscoe Mitchell—Tenor Saxophone
Here is a Roscoe Mitchell solo album from a few years after "Nice Guys." It is interesting to compare his soloing on the two tracks, I think. This album was released on the label owned by board member Chuck Nessa.
Song: Exaltation/Religious Experience/Major
Artist: Carla Bley
Album: The Carla Bley Big Band Goes to Church
Label and Year: Watt, 1996
Composer: Exaltation composed by Carl Ruggle
Religious Experience/Major composed by Carla Bley
Arranger: Carla Bley
Recorded live at Chiesa San Francesco Al Prato, Umbria Jazz, Perugia, Italy
Soloists: Wolfgang Puschnig—Alto Saxophone, Dennis Mackrel—Drums,
Lew Soloff—Trumpet, Wolfgang Puschnig—Alto Saxophone
Lew Soloff, Guy Barker, Claude Deppa, Steve Waterman—Trumpets
Gary Valente, Pete Beauchill, Chris Dean—Trombones
Richard Henry—Bass Trombone
Roger Jannotta—Soprano and Alto Saxophones, Flute
Wolfgang Puschnig—Alto Saxophone
Andy Sheppard, Jerry Underwood—Tenor Saxophones
Julian Arguelies—Baritone Saxophone
Karen Mantler—Organ, Harmonica
This is from one of my favorite Carla Bley big band albums. At first I thought it was Carla on organ, but a reading of the liner notes shows that it is her daughter, Karen Mantler, on organ.
My cover of the CD has very shiny gold lettering, which I cannot find in any online image of the album cover.
Song: If You Could See Me Now
Artist: John Lewis
Album: CD Only Bonus Track to The Wonderful World of Jazz
Label and Year: Atlantic.
This track was recorded in 1960.
The original album was released in 1961. This CD Only Bonus Track was first released in 1988.
Composer: Tadd Dameron.
I love the sound and depth of this track. There is something about veterans playing with purpose, which young technicians cannot attain. I like George Duvivier's sound on bass on this track.
Song: Was It Something I Said?
Artist: Yoko Miwa
Label and Year: Ocean Blue Tear Music, 2017
Composer: Yoko Miwa.
Yoko Miwa is a 48 year old Japanese pianist, who is new to me. I am very favorably impressed with all of this recent album.
Song: Random Vibrations
Artist: Frank Ku-Umba Lacy
Album: Tonal Weights and Blue Fire
Label and Year: Tutu Records, 1991
Composer: Frank Lacy.
Frank Lacy—Trombone, keyboards
I love the sound of Frank Lacy's trombone and Fred Hopkins' bass on this selection. It was a great loss when Hopkins passed away at a relatively young age. I think that this is one of Lacy's more successful albums.
Song: Shepp’s Way
Artist: Charlie Haden
Album: The Golden Number
Label and Year: A&M Horizon, 1977
Composer: Charlie Haden.
Archie Shepp—Tenor Saxophone
I love everything about this track. I have always liked Charlie Haden's sound and playing. Archie Shepp really impresses me here as well.