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randyhersom

Blindfold Test #6 Discussion

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I looked before I listened, but then, there is no disk yet anywhere I think. Does that make it okay? :g

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Same here! Expect it to hit my mailbox any day!

p.s. We're only in it for the fun - and the post count - aren't we ? :g

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I looked before I listened, but then, there is no disk yet anywhere I think. Does that make it okay? :g

It's never okay!!!!

;)

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Where is everybody? Received my disks this morning and have listened so I'll jump in first with both feet on the little I can guess at. Ears only.

DISK 1

#2 Kenny Garratt or Gary Bartz alto sax, McCoy Tyner piano, Woody Shaw trumpet.

#3 Bobby Hutcherson?

#9 Ellington? - Johnny Hodges?

#10 Body and Soul - John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones?

DISK 2

#1 Gil Evans. guitar sounds a bit like Kenny Burrell

#11 Exactly Like You - no prizes for guessing that?!

Thanks Randy. Really enjoyed it and will listen again.

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Randy, first let me thank you for two and a half interesting hours of music, most of which I've never heard! Some tracks did not do anything for me, some I did identify, some I did not know I like a lot...

In keeping with the tradition, I will only add links for the tracks I do know, not tell what it is right here in my post. This then, is a transcription of the notes I made while listening.

Disc 1

1. Dizzy Gillespie's late forties big band? Lateef or Big Nick? I did not find this track on my RCA set, the tune seems very familiar, and I guess that's one I will feel ashamed of not identifying, once it will be revealed...

Then, there's not enough trumpet playing, it seems, for this being a Gillespie track? Great opener! Like it a lot!

2. Woody Shaw - no idea what the tune could be, but I would guess it comes from some Columbia album (too lazy to check with my Mosaic). Nice alto solo! Gary Bartz? Fascinating piano, and a great trumpet solo to top things off! The rhythm section is really cooking, building up lots of steam, and really in support of the soloists. The bass solo then shows the frame of time this is from (late seventies - early eighties), with that rather ugly sound...

3. Beautiful! No ide who this could be. Has a late sixties Blue Note-Hutcherson feel to it, but I do not know it. Great bass playing!

Very relaxed, which is a good thing after the first two tracks!

Either I have this (which I don't think to be the case), or I gotta run and get it!

By the way, the tune sounds almost like something Dolphy could have written, to my ears.

4. Infectious groove! Not what I listen to, but I like it rather well! I am not sure if I like the alto solo, sound rather generic at some moments. All in all though, I like it.

5. Very dense. I like the mix of the rhythmic complexity and the rather simple piano stylings.

6. Nothing to say about this one, not my kind.

7. Great sax playing! Love the sound of this one! The strings and sax are marvellous together! Maybe my favourite so far!

8. No idea, rather like it. Nice sound on alto!

9. Ellington/Strayhorn/Hodges... the original studio recording can be found here, track 9 to be exact. Maybe one of my favorite Ellington compositions!

10. This one's track 4 from this album. Reminds me I got to listen to that nice, very nice box set again! This was my very first box set, and one of my first ten or fifteen jazz purchases, and I still love the music! They sound so absolutely fresh on these October 1960 sessions!

11. "Crucificado" (by Dave Burrell) - I only have this in Archie Shepp's live rendition on the 2CD "Attica Blue Big Band - Live at the Palais des Glaces" (Blue Marge). Rather nice tune.

Disc 2

1. Love it, love it, love it!

What a great tune, what a simple yet thoroughly engaging composition! It's track 3 from this album. Great bass support, great trombone solo, and some nice guitar, too! Those piano touches added by the maestro himself are intriguing, too! I love his piano playing!

2. Betty Carter? I appreciate her a lot, but somehow I am not (yet?) completely ready for her music.

3. Not my cup of tea - but I like this lots better than #6 on disc 1.

4. Interesting, but not much to say.

5. Not my cup of tea at all, sorry,

6. ditto, sorry again.

7. From the opening, this sound like something I could like again!

Could be Abdullah Ibrahim. Great tune! The piano does not sound like Ibrahim. Whoever this is, I love it!

8. Another one I rather like, but after the preceding track, it's a bit of a let-down for me.

9. A great one! Very cool tune - but I have not the slightest idea who this could be.

10. Not much to say about this one. Somehow I like the minimalist soundscapes, but it is a little bit boring, in my opinion.

11. Some Standard I fail to identify... No idea who's playing. The sax seems a bit too forced to my ears.

Randy, despite me not liking all of your discs, it has been very interesting to listen to all that music! Quite a lot of it is new to me, and there are some tracks I definitely would like to know more about!

ubu

Edited by king ubu

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Hi Randy,

just brought the two disks up from the mailbox. Just wanted to let you know that the discs got to Germany in perfect condition. Nice and safe packaging! I will listen to the discs this afternoon while I'm redoing the shelves in the living room. Am looking forward to the music and will get back later with opinions/guesses/facts.

Cheers!

Edited by deus62

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Hi Randy, mine is at my place too since few minutes... Feedback within next days.

Cheers, Tjobbe

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Preliminary remarks: Randy, thanks for a superb collection! There are a couple of things that don't thrill me and one that really makes me flee in horror, but they're more than made up for by the excellent quality of the rest. I'll be looking to buy a few of the things represented here.

As these blindfold tests keep coming, I find I care less and less about guessing who's who. I find them most valuable in letting me really listen and, if you follow me, listen to how I'm listening. If I don't like something and it turns out to be by someone I think I should like, or vice-versa, so be it. They're helping me learn to really trust my own tastes and rely on my ears more completely. When the music is as diverse and exciting as it is on this BFT, it's a wonderful activity.

On to my stabs in the dark. I didn't go searching on the web and I haven't read anyone else's guesses--all this is my own immediate reactions, supported by memory.

CD1

Track 1: An early bebop big band, and the presence of congas makes me think it's Dizzy's. We're off to a racing start!

Track 2: More modern big band. I like it, but it's not something I'd play very often. No idea who it is.

Track 3: Love this one! Because of the vibes I thought of the new Mulgrew Miller, but that's not a fit. The trumpet could be Terell Stafford; the sound of the vibes makes me think of Joe Locke. I suspect it's quite recent.

Track 4: I like the vocal stuff. I dig the saxophonist's tone, but the solo doesn't kill me - the kind of thing that would be loads of fun live, but on record it wears on me. The drums and percussion end up being a little monotonous, IMHO. I wonder if this isn't a Leon Parker thing.

Track 5: Randy, I'm trying to guess what attracted you to this appallingly monotonous performance, but I'm failing. For me this is the only ringer in the test. The pianist should be shot for the sequence that starts at 0:39 and goes on for half a minute or so. And it appears again at the end. I guess it's the melody! No prizes for composition here. Or improvisation either. Or swing. Or anything.

Track 6: Whoa! I have this song by singer 1 on her own album, but was unaware of this beautiful version in collaboration with singer 2. There are some moments where they don't seem to be on quite the same page pitch-wise, but so what. I love them. I don't know where this one comes from - I'm sure they didn't make a whole album together.

Track 7: I think this is a song called "Soft and Furry" - I know an Eddie Jefferson version. The saxophonist is extremely familiar, too, someone I've heard so many times, but the name won't come. Frustrating!

Track 8: Sounds late 60's/early 70's but could be more recent emulators of that era. Again, very familiar, and I feel I should know it, but I don't. The more I listen to it the more I like it. The theme has an Ornettish quality. Beautiful playing all around, beautiful development of the piece and integration of improvising with the theme.

Track 9: So classic it's almost Shakespearian. Appears to be a live version. This is just untoppable.

Track 10: "Body and Soul," as performed by God in person. Well, I exaggerate. But not by much.

Track 11: Beautiful! I was surprised when the vocal began; it sounded a little rough, but what passion, what an edge. I want this! I think it's Joe Lee Wilson, whom I listened to a little bit decades ago. Could be from one of those records he made in the loft-jazz years when he was part of that Studio Rivbea, Ali's Alley crowd. Or it could be more recent: I think he lives in Europe now, since he shows up around Paris occasionally even now. If this is he, I'll definitely make it a point to see him the next time he's around.

CD2:

Track 1: I like the brooding, bottom-heavy presence of this one. Something proud and Spanish about it too. No idea who it is.

Track 2: Rudy Vallee! Randy, you've got some great singers on this blindfold test! Actually, this isn't Rudy Vallee, although it's a Rudy Vallee song. I believe the leader of this record was "The Audience."

Track 3: More singers! Excellent! This is killer stuff, so soulful! This is another one I have to have.

Track 4: No idea what this is, but to my ears it harks back to some of the more cerebral, mid-to-late 60's Blue Note things: alert, nervous, dynamic, moving carefully, even deliberately, through the piece but with lots of energy and gesture on the surface. I could see Bobby Hutcherson doing this. It seems to fade before the end, or perhaps it's a Part 1.

Track 5: Stanley Clarke? George Duke? Al Dimeola? Makes me think of the salad days of fusion. No longer my kind of thing.

Track 6: Still not my kind of thing. Sounds kind of clumsy to me, plodding. Don't like that bass sound. The soloists never really build up any steam.

Track 7: I thought the flute solo would never end. This would probably have been cool to see live, but I find it pretty dull on record.

Track 8: I think this is Jarrett with the American quartet (Redman/Haden/Motian), plus himself overdubbed on soprano, and a percussionist. I used to listen to his stuff all the time back then, but I'm not sure what album this would have been on.

Track 9: Know the tune but can't name it. I think I may have this, but for the life of me I can't place it right now. Impressive for its sheer athleticism, but this kind of fast and furious playing doesn't do it for me the way it once did. It makes me tired (unlike track 1 of CD1 of this blindfold test, equally athletic and considerably older).

Track 10: A bit of a respite after the last one. Talk about a contrast. Saxophone and electronics, with an ECM kind of sound. I'll guess John Surman. The ideas seem kind of obvious--"I'll play here and then it'll all echo and repeat." BWTFDIK?

Track 11: "Exactly Like You," don't know who's playing although yet again it rings lots of bells. Like many of the things on this blindfold, with repeated listenings I like it more and more. My only quibble is with the rhythm section, which sounds curiously disjointed. The bass guitar doesn't seem to be feeling the same rhythms as the other guys.

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Hi Randy,

first feedback (really blindfold and non cheating ^_^ ) from my side on disk 1 only... the second one later:

Disc1:

#1 some late 40's recording.. its a kind of High Speed intro

#2 no clue, but also an up tempo small band piece (no clue who that might be) although the man playing Piano sounds familiar

#3 great blues.. mid 60's.. guess it might be that one here

#4 wow...great drums and great interaction with the voices. But I have no clue who that is as nothing similar can be found in collection (yet..)

#5 not my taste....(starts like a some trial and error piece.. sorry, but gets better afterwards).. what about Cecil Taylor ???

#6 great song, but need to listen a bit more to it...

#7 first though on the Intro was.. Henry Mancini :D but the bowed bass reminded me somewhat of Paul Chambers

#8 not one of my favourites on this compilation

#9 I have the feeling I must say what it is but its like a blackout... heard it recently :( , great tune anyway and fine arrangment

#10 reminded me of some Cole Porter (got you under my skin) with the broken intro where I believe some notes where missed out.

#11 would guess its some of this here

Cheers, Tjobbe

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Some quick thoughts on the selections.

I did listen to the whole set yesterday, twice, and I have my problems with it. Alot of it comes from styles/areas/whatever of jazz that I am not familiar with, hardly ever listen to and, to be quite honest, that (in many cases) I have shied away from until now. Give me some time to virtually immerse myself in the tunes. There were some things I thought I recognized, but it's far too early to post anything comprehensible.

I'm having a hard time with this test.

Again, I need more time.

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ok... and here's disc2

#1 I hear my favourite Composer/arranger when he crosses my way. As soon as the brass starts I got it, aa good follower of the Impulse ones.....

Great choice Randy !

#2 Although I do rarely listen to vocals in Jazz, I'd liked this one, but bare with me.. no idea so far who that is ! some contemporary I would think...

#3 another vocal one.... ;)

#4 I'm nearly sure but can't put my fingers for 100% on it... would say a Steeplechase from Walt Dickerson Trio but.... (as he's the only one I know playing vibes in a more free style)

#5 sounds GRP'isch or DMP'isch to me (or some better Al DiMeola maybe)

#6 sorry not my taste...

with the #7+#8 I had some slight probs to concentrat on.... maybe dig deeper into them later

#9 would bet on Dizzy Gillespie here

#10 same as with 7/8

#11 is that a Strayhorn medley ??? Starts with some "Take the A train" phrases ?

Edited by tjobbe

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Randy-

I received the discs and started listening yesterday evening. I'll keep adding my thoughts as I go along.

Disc One

#5 - This sounds like Matthew Shipp to me. I have no idea what album this is from but the track makes me think of Shipp with William Parker on bass. No clue on the drummer yet.

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First of all, I want to thank Randy for his great discs, and I feel the urge to express my gratefulness: It is fantastic that you can get discs with great music from like-minded people that live so far away, that you don't know personally, giving you endless inspiration and joy. This blindfold project is a labor of love and trust by all involved, and I feel privileged to be a part of it, I cannot find appropriate words to express my feelings about this. Or perhaps, simply: I love it, and sincere thanks to all!

Here are my thoughts about the music on Disc One after several turns without help from AMG etc.:

# 1: This CD sure starts at a frantic pace! I know this is track 7 from This LP, so I won't say no mo'.

# 2: Freddie Hubbard or Woody Shaw was my first thought about the trumpet player, but I'm not sure - I lean more towards Hubbard. Alto saxc reminds me of Sonny Fortune or a young Kenny Garrett, but I do not know the music of all of these well enough to be sure. Don't know if Hubbard ever recorded with larger horn sections - I hear a tenor and trombone in the background. Don't recognize the rhythm guys either. Nice and energetic, but not something I would buy.

# 3: If this is from the Curtis Amy Mosaic Select, I'll have to get it soon! Did Amy play bass clarinet? This is a very good trumpet player and an individual conception of soprano, anyway, my top track of this disc! So much for guesses; vibist reminds me of Bobby Hutcherson or Roy Ayers, I'd say Ayers since he place some very rhythmic phrases and has a very fluent melodic quality I do not hear in Hutcherson, who always appears a little more abstract to me. Ayers is my favourite vibist of all time, it is such a pity he decided to quit jazz.

# 4: These two guys (there ain't no mo', although they make some big noise!) start out at such a level that they have a hard time intensifying: I would have liked to hear more rhythmic variations by the drummer of that calypso beat, and the patterns the alto saxist beats out on the cowbell are a little too sloppy. The best moment on this is at the end when they do scatted rhythm exchanges - they should have done that with their instruments! Before that they simply hit too hard, and I find this track too long for the substance they present.

# 5: I'd say this is Mal Waldron with his heavy rhythmic piano style that Joe Berendt compared to morse codes. No idea from what album this is or who the bassist and drummer are. This would be more fun to hear live the way it is, again a little too extended for a record for my taste.

# 6: At first listen it took me a few lines to realize she was singing in English! This is the traditional folk ballad "The Water Is Wide", which lingers in my mind forever since I heard it on a record by folk singer Fred Neil many, many years ago, and the simplicity of his version is hard to top for me. I'd say it is not a native speaker of English singing, the color of the voice reminds me of Karin Krog. No idea who that singing soprano player is, I like his sax more than his singing. Their phrasing and intonation is not to my taste, although I appreciate their deeply personal approach, they project a very sincere feeling for that song. No idea but curious who this is.

# 7: Every BT includes a track from a CD or musician I considered for my own. Here 'tis, one of my favourite albums of this artist, track 1 from this CD.

# 8: I'd say Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry or something in that direction, I have the Atlantic but haven't listened to it often enough. This is a track I will return to, it sustains my interest even after repeated listening.

# 9: This must be Johnny Hodges, probably with Duke's orchestra, probably Harry Carney's baritone, this is no secret, so I tell it right away! Don't have this, but as often with these men, great music of an eternal quality.

# 10: I once heard Dexter Gordon say on a club date: "There comes a time in the life of every saxophonist when he must play Body And Soul!" Track 4 on this CD. I think these early recordings of this quartet are a little underappreciated - but more later.

# 11: This sound very much like an impromptu session to me. The soprano sax is terribly off mike, and he and the guitar act like they were in different rooms disregarding each other while ad libbing over the same rhythm section. The guitarist's mind is ahead of his fingers, but he has nice ideas. That vocalist has a big voice which I kind of like - again I think this is way too long and too sloppy in execution. Okay for a slightly boozed jam session. Is this an amateur recording?

As I said, track 3 is my favourite, followed by # 9 - I'll listen to the second disc tomorrow! This is fun!

p.s. edited to fix a link.

Edited by mikeweil

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2. Woody Shaw - no idea what the tune could be, but I would guess it comes from some Columbia album (too lazy to check with my Mosaic). Nice alto solo! Gary Bartz? Fascinating piano, and a great trumpet solo to top things off! The rhythm section is really cooking, building up lots of steam, and really in support of the soloists. The bass solo then shows the frame of time this is from (late seventies - early eighties), with that rather ugly sound...

Ubu, it's not from the Woody Shaw Mosaic, I have checked that one.

(didn't read your guesses for disct two ;) )

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#3 great blues.. mid 60's.. guess it might be that one here

Definitely not from that one!

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Track 6: Whoa! I have this song by singer 1 on her own album, but was unaware of this beautiful version in collaboration with singer 2. There are some moments where they don't seem to be on quite the same page pitch-wise, but so what. I love them. I don't know where this one comes from - I'm sure they didn't make a whole album together.

I was thinking about these two singers too, but there wasn't enough characteristic of the second for me to guess her - as the soprano always lays out when she is heard I thought it might be a high pitched male singer doubling on soprano!

You never know!

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As these blindfold tests keep coming, I find I care less and less about guessing who's who. I find them most valuable in letting me really listen and, if you follow me, listen to how I'm listening. If I don't like something and it turns out to be by someone I think I should like, or vice-versa, so be it. They're helping me learn to really trust my own tastes and rely on my ears more completely. When the music is as diverse and exciting as it is on this BFT, it's a wonderful activity.

Some very fitting remarks, Tom!

In addition to what you said I noticed I take my time much more now - gave the first disc four spins before I wrote down my thoughts, and haven't even listened to the second! (Didn't peek at the guesses either, I swear! ;) )

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I just peeked in some time ago to check whether posting was already underway or whether everyone was still making silly remarks :g It was underway, so I thought I shouldn't take too long to write up my ideas. I am only writing down my guesses to the first disk and hope to return to the second disk soon (no peeking, I promise!)

Overall, the set didn't quite gel with me. I did like most the selections, some of them a lot, others I didn't like at all, but overall the disk didn't grab me. Maybe it is also because I have been a little preoccupied with other things. Sorry for that Randy, I may have another go with a different basic feeling in my bones.

disk 1

track 1. A tight big band from the be bop era or just after that. No clue who this might be. I discarded the possibility of Gillespie (althought the presence of latin percusion seems to point in his direction) because there is no trumpet solo. Are these two tenors or only one? Overall rather nice.

track 2. Sounds like Woody Shaw, with Bartz and Tyner; electric bass. The tune may well be by Tyner; one of his 70s Milestone albums maybe? This is a bit too uptight for me to appreciate at the moment.

track 3. The guy playing the doorbells is the leader. The one on ivory wrote the tune. Ode to the lamps in da hood. I like this very much, it functions well within its original album context, a little less so here IMHO.

track 4. Cool beans! I rather like this, but have no idea who's playing. Sounds like some street dance-percussion band. Really cool to see those live somewhere when you least expect it. Bands like this have brought a lot of joy to the people. The alto has a nice tone. Overall, this being a recording and not a street concert, this does go on too long for my taste.

track 5. Nice build up of tension. Mal Waldron springs to mind, but the left hand doesn't play dark enough IMHO (look at me go! as if I can really tell pianists apart...) The easiest point of critique would be that this all too repetitive. To me that seems exactly what this is about. Jusging it from within that stance, I must say I can probably get used to it. Another easy point of critique would be that this goes on way too long. As with track 4 I do have to concur with that and just like with track 4 I would probably be cheering very loud if I would hear this live.

track 6. I do like the first voice, but do not like the second voice, nor combination of the two voices. I don't know why exactly, but I hear a lot of trickery and only a little true dedication to the story told. The voices sound more concerned with themselves than with the music. An effort seems to be made to do it just not completely right, to make us think that this is something way cool and special. It sounds like one of those popstar duets we are all supposed to be very excited about. It doesn't work for me I am sorry to say.

track 7. bass sounds like Chambers, but it isn't him as this is all too well in tune on the arco and the pizzicato parts support me in my idea. I'd be damned if that tenor ain't Johnny Griffin. I like this one a lot and I am curious as to what it is.

track 8. The trumpet reminds me a lot of Don Cherry. I have no clue about the tenor; there are traces of Ornette there, but the rhythmic bounce is very different. The bass playing is intruiging. There is a certain European quality to it. I don't know, but I like it very much.

track 9. Ellington w/ Hodges. Very nice. I should invest more time and money in this stuff.

track 10. Timeless Coltrane pouring his body and soul into his horn. Marvellous. There is a lot of truth in this playing.

track 11. The sax is way off mike. The guitar is too close for comfort compared to that. It makes it all sound very disjointed. The voice sounds a bit strained, as if it is too closely miked. Close but no cigar.

edited for readability

Edited by couw

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#3 great blues.. mid 60's.. guess it might be that one here

Definitely not from that one!

wanna bet? :g

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Track 6: Whoa! I have this song by singer 1 on her own album, but was unaware of this beautiful version in collaboration with singer 2. There are some moments where they don't seem to be on quite the same page pitch-wise, but so what. I love them. I don't know where this one comes from - I'm sure they didn't make a whole album together.

I was thinking about these two singers too, but there wasn't enough characteristic of the second for me to guess her - as the soprano always lays out when she is heard I thought it might be a high pitched male singer doubling on soprano!

You never know!

so I wasn't the only one who was in doubt whether the second singer is male or female...

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# 7: Every BT includes a track from a CD or musician I considered for my own. Here 'tis, one of my favourite albums of this artist, track 1 from this CD.

that was a great track. I will keep my eyes open for this album. :tup

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After some webbrowsing, this is my guess for track 11

Edited by couw

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That looks like it, all right. This performance is certainly open to the criticism of being a loose jam, poorly miked, with the singer's voice kind of rough and unpolished. But I can overlook all that, it grabs me. The singing--not so much the solos.

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Agreed. The voice sounded familiar and unique, just couldn't remember the name. I think the recording quality of this is barely acceptable, and it's too much of a jam session to be really fulfilling. Guitar is too loud, sax too much in the background and playing all through the track with little regard to what's happening around him. I expect some extraordinary music from a live recording in doubtful sound, and that's not like it.

At least I don't have to buy this. ;)

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