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  1. BFT216 Revealed

    Track 1 Thad Jones April In Paris (1956) The Magnificent Thad Jones Thad Jones - trumpet; Billy Mitchell - tenor saxophone; Barry Harris - piano; Percy Heath - bass; Max Roach - drums So, on the nights I can't sleep (most of them), if my wife has to get up early, rather than thrash about and keep her up, I'll move to the futon in a room upstairs. I have a little Bose mp3 player set up there, and sometimes I'll turn that on to help me sleep. I was in and out one night when this track came on. I should have nailed it sooner than I did (I've had this record for years, but it's fallen into that stack of "classics" that don't get enough attention), but I got up and hit the screen to see. The next day I found a transcription of this solo, because I couldn't stop singing it. Not to geek out too much, but it's epic in its simplicity, only to be matched by it's beautiful melodicism. Thad Jones is a vastly underappreciated GIANT. Track 2 Clifford Brown All-Stars Alone Together/Summertime/Come Rain Or Come Shine (1954) The Complete EmArcy Recordings Dinah Washington - vocals; Clifford Brown, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry - trumpet; Herb Geller - alto saxophone; Harold Land - tenor saxophone; Richie Powell, Junior Mance - piano; George Morrow, Keter Betts - bass; Max Roach - drums So, personnel is wonky on this one. Not 100% sure who fits where (though Maynard is quite obvious), so just providing the album info. Any clarity provided by the hive mind of the BFT greatly appreciated. I was late to the Clifford game. I didn't like the brass much when I was young, and slowly got there. This was in the collection because it had to be, but finally laid my ears on it appropriately, and this whole medley completely grips me. Track 3 Chico Freeman You Don't Have To Say You're Sorry (1979) Spirit Sensitive Chico Freeman - soprano saxophone; John Hicks - piano; Cecil McBee - bass; Billy Hart- drums; Famoudou Don Moye - percussion Had to get my guys in here. This one came on in the car one day and absolutely floored me. For the two people who don't yet own this album, here you go. Track 4 Mal Waldron ChangaChangaChanga (1973) Up Popped The Devil Mal Walron - piano; Reggie Workman - bass; Billy Higgins - drums I forget who said it, but I probably read it here, someone saying, "I'd listen to Mal Waldron set his drink down." I've always felt the guy was pure soul. This is no exception. Every so often, he hits with something you just can't clear from your brain. This, IMHO, is that. Track 5 The Second Message Horacement (2022) Moonlight In San Marcos Derek Kwong - trombone; Thom Keith - tenor saxophone, sequencing; Rob Gerry - bass; Mike Walsh - drums; Hal - electric piano, trumpet section Had to sneak it in. February is RPM Challenge month for me (challenge is to record/produce album, start to finish, in the month, all original material, never released before). This year's effort proved a huge challenge because of world events as much as anything. Sadly, never was able to get the entire band in the same room at the same time. So, in the words of Frank Zappa, "All that interesting interplay between the bass and drums never actually happened." Not my preferred way of doing things, but it's what it took for this year's project. Further complicating matters, the regular bassist (Tim Webb) was not able to do this tune, so I had to reach out to an alternate (and he nailed it). This is a tune I wrote over a decade ago, inspired by Horace Tapscott. Many thanks to those who participated in this project, and to you for listening. Track 6 Adele Sebastian I Felt Spring (1981) Desert Fairy Princess Adele Sebastian - flute; Bobby West - piano; Rickey Kelley - marimba; Roberto Miranda - bass; Billy Higgins - drums; Daoude Woods - perc Really love all of the work that Tom Albach has done getting this music out there. I owe thanks to my buddy Ken Eisen for introducing me to the world of Horace Tapscott. A very sad story behind the untimely passing of Adele Sebastian, but this is incredible music. Time for the Kamasi generation to dig a little deeper and find this stuff. To my ear, it's a lot deeper than KW. Track 7 William Parker The Wall Tumbles Down (2021) Mayan Space Station Ava Mendoza - guitar; William Parker - bass; Gerald Cleaver - drums I mean, William Parker is in that same class as Mal Waldron for me. Every time I think he can't possibly bring it on strong one more time, he blows me away. Had the privilege of meeting the man one time, and I'm not a big believer in the ethereal, but he has an aura. There's something about that guy, you know you're in the presence of something greater. Kudos to Tim for linking me up with this one. Track 8 Horace Tapscott & The Pan African People's Arkestra Motherless Child (1995) Moers 1995 Horace Tapscott, Nate Morgan - p; Arthurn Blythe - as; Michael Session - as,ss; Jesse Sharps - ss,basson,cl; Charles Owens - ts,bars; Steve Smith - tp; Fundi Legon - frh; Thurman Green - tb; William Roper - tuba; Roberto Miranda, Davide Bryant - b; Sunship Theus, Fritz Wise - dr,perc; Dwight Trible - voc I love Tapscott. But when you check this lineup, there's not a name here I DON'T love. Funny side story: Back when I had my radio show, I would add/tag musicians who appeared on the playlist. Typically it was fairly obvious if you had the right guy. Sometimes you just look at your mutual acquaintances. So, I added/tagged Nate Morgan. A couple of years later I read about his untimely passing decades earlier. I immediately contacted the guy I had added, apologizing for the error in identification. He responded, "No problem. Appreciate the add and thanks for the friendship." We've communicated since. #NewWorld Track 9 Mwata Bowden Praising Mama Ann (2019) 1 Foot In 1 Foot Out Mwata Bowden - reeds; Ari Brown - tenor saxophone; Leon Q. Allen - trumpet; Discopoet Khari B - spoken word; Avreeayl Ra - drums; Harrison Bankhead - bass Tim Webb laid this on me doing his Santa impersonation in December. My mind was blown. I wasn't sure right away what to expect, but even the foot that was out had my attention. If you've known me more than 4 minutes, you know I'm a sucker for the Chicago scene. This album leaves me wondering how many Mwata Bowdens there are out there that we've not heard of. Thanks to all who participated -- marks were high on this one.
  2. BFT216

    Okay, with apologies for the slight delay, here is Blindfold Test #216 for March. Nine songs, quite all over the place, so first, a word about my process. Throughout the year as something really grabs me, I'll make a list for what to include in the BFT. Before compiling, I search to make sure the songs haven't already appeared in a BFT* (*this is an imperfect science as it HAS happened several times, but I DO try). With apologies in advance to Jim, I promise man, I'm not trying to send you over the edge with the length of these tunes -- it's just the way it worked out. However, since Jim laid a Rusty Staub on me, I'm going to ask that you think of these tracks as a Juan Marichal or Luis Tiant outing, not this "opener" crap. Test can be found for listening or download here: http://thomkeith.net/index.php/blindfold-tests/ There is at least one "gimme" (probably 2), and at least one "is not possible" (probably 2).