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  1. #1 / David T. Walker, “My Flowers” (Walker) The Sidewalk (Revue, 1968) David T. Walker (g), Tracy Wright (b), Mel Brown (d) I owe my knowledge of this record to the blogosphere, but I couldn’t tell you where or how I tracked down a copy. At the time, I knew nothing of Walker or this label (which seems to have specialized in slightly poppier forms of what we now call soul jazz). This is the first track on side 1 of the original LP, and it is a bold statement of purpose. Sure, Walker gets to show off his chops, but, more than anything, this is about vibe. Several of you noted the psychedelic touches here (evocative of Gabor Szabo), and they are applied very tastefully IMO. Definitely one of those tracks that sparks a desire to hunt down everything else the principals recorded. Walker made several more leader dates after this. I’ve not heard them, but I get the impression that they become steadily more commercial as the Summer of Love mutates into the Me Decade. During that same decade, though, Walker continued doing session work. Get ready for a who’s who: Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, The Jackson 5, Joe Sample, Stanley Turrentine, Cannonball… it’s a long list. He’s highly regarded in Japan, as his discography demonstrates. But if you want more of him immediately, I recommend checking out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74IHXQSWn1A. #2 / Reid Anderson, Dave King and Craig Taborn, “Solar Barges” (King) Golden Valley Is Now (Intakt Records, 2019) Composed by King Reid Anderson (b), Dave King (d), Craig Taborn (keyboards) I’m not that surprised this didn’t capture the attention (or win the affection) of many of you who auditioned this BFT. If the Walker track represents an improviser pushing against pop music’s constraints (musical, structural, emotional), then this track — and LP — represents improvisers leaning into the same. I find King to be a bit too obtrusive, TBH, but I picked this track because of Craig Taborn’s contributions. He might be my favorite contemporary pianist. What he does here with color and timbre sounds simple enough… but it’s not. It shows that he has an orchestral imagination. As noted, I also like to think that it’s something of an homage to the Hammond B3 players of an earlier era. That instrument was a kind of “primitive” (better, proto-)synthesizer, and someone like Shirley Scott really knew how to exploit the range of sounds it was capable of producing. Anyway, an interesting experiment and attempt to do something different with how so much modern music is conceived, created, produced, disseminated, and heard. #3 / Buddy Terry, “The Revealing Time” (Terry) Natural Woman / Natural Soul (Prestige, 1967) Buddy Terry (ts), Woody Shaw (tp), Larry Young (org), Eddie Gladden (d) What can I say that hasn’t already been said better by others? It’s Terry’s date, so he takes the longest solo. I kind of wish he’d opened up a bit more space for Shaw and Young. But that’s a quibble. What really stands out to me here is Eddie Gladden’s performance. It’s Elvin-like, sure, but it’s also as funky as Idris Muhammed. It’s downright heroic, in fact. Yet I can’t help but think it’s the kind of thing you probably could have witnessed pretty regularly if you followed these guys from Newark gig to Newark gig back in the day. So, yes, great playing that’s also of high historical and anthropological interest. #4 / Martial Solal, “Cinerama” (Solal) Réunion à Paris (Vogue, 1956) Martial Solal (p), Billy Byers (tb), Jimmy Deuchar (tp), Allen Eager (ts), Benoit Quersin (b), Kenny Clarke (d) Jimmy Deuchar — “the Scottish Kenny Dorham” — is always a musician I want to hear more of and from. He absolutely lives up to the high standards I’ve set for him here. 1) Check out the contrapuntal lines he’s playing under the trombone during the head. 2) Check out the beautiful brassy-but-not-too-brassy tone on his solo, which is also incredibly melodic. And Solal… well, this is not straight/conventional bebop. He speaks that vocabulary quite fluently, but he’s a polyglot. E.g., those runs he makes near the end of his solo. Hints there, too, of the freer playing that would shortly become his métier. Maybe more pleasant than exciting per se, this is state-of-the-art stuff for its time that still intrigues. (Bonus: the shadowy Allen Eager sounding vaguely Warne Marsh-like.) #5 / Frank Kimbrough, “Question’s The Answer” (Kimbrough) Solstice (Pirouet, 2016) Frank Kimbrough (p), Jay Anderson (b), Jeff Hirshfield (d) A pianist who left us too soon. I appreciate what big ears he had. As many of you pointed out, this performance shows a strong Paul Bley influence. But I also hear Andrew Hill and Herbie Nichols filtered through Kimbrough’s own sense of pacing and motivic development. I particularly like how this performance teases the listener with resolution. It’s self-interrogatory, and the interrogative was one of Nichols’ pet moods. Plus, what a wonderful touch Kimbrough had! This is not as “outside” as he could be (check out Noumena on Soul Note if you’re so inclined), but this is a fine example of jazz that’s both post-modern and recognizably swinging. #6 / The Ed Blackwell Project, “Grandma’s Shoes” (Ward) What It Be Like? (Enja, 1994; Recorded, 1992) Ed Blackwell (d), Mark Helias (b), Graham Haynes (cor), Carlos Ward (as) I’ve always enjoyed the heck out of this record and its companion volume (What It Is?), but I’ve struggled to explain why. The energy level here is not high. In fact, I want to say Blackwell sounds rather feeble. But I don’t think his powers really are all that diminished. He’s just rerouted them; they’re coursing through different circuits. He certainly hasn’t lost the pulse or rare ability to accent what the horn soloists are doing (most on display turning Ward’s turn). But I think Haynes plays the most provocative and satisfying music here. A bit of shame that his profile has fallen as low as it has. Relistening to these records has definitely jumpstarted my reassessment of him. #7 / Keith Jarrett, “Take Me Back” (Jarrett) Hamburg ’72 (ECM, 2014; Recorded, 1972) Keith Jarrett (p), Charlie Haden (b), Paul Motian (d) Polarizing? Prone to cheesiness? Often grandstanding? Yes, yes, yes. When Jarrett is on his worst behavior, he’s nigh intolerable. But when he’s good, he can and does show greatness. Enough: let’s talk about the rest of the trio. Is that not one of the most Charlie Haden-like things Haden could have played to lead the bad into the tune? And I did not know Paul Motian could be this… demonstrative? Flashy? I’m not sure I can find the right word for the odd way he keeps this performance both rollicking (like a wave) and propulsive (like a train chugging up the side of a mountain). Of its era? Unrepentantly so, and all the more admirable for it, IMO. Whatever; these three sound like they’re having a good time playing together, and the film footage of this performance bears this out. Watch Motian in particular. Those whoops and hollers aren’t entirely jive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDvO0Cl3PmM. #8 / Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter, “Diane” (Shorter) 1 + 1 (Verve, 1997) Herbie Hancock (p), Wayne Shorter (ss) I don’t think I was capable of appreciating this record when it was first released. There are nuances upon nuances upon nuances here, probably as a consequence of this being music that could only have grown out of the many affinities and experiences these two men shared. The results are chamber music in that sense, but also beyond category. If you’re not ready to accept this music’s terms, it’s going to disappoint you. But if you allow yourself to be the third (silent) instrument Hancock and Shorter are playing, it rewards repeated engagement. And it takes that level of engagement, not consumption. (Although you can treat the entire record like a very long drink of cool water.) #9 / Paul Jeffrey, “Ina” (Jeffrey) Family (Mainstream, 1972) Paul Jeffrey (ts), Hamiet Bluiett (bs, fl), J. C. Williams (b cl), Joe Gardner (tp, flgh), Stuart Butterfield (frh), Bob Stewart (tuba), George Cables (p), Stanley Clarke (b), Wilbur Ware (b), Thelonious Monk, Jr. (d) I’m tempted to say that, if Paul Jeffrey had waited a few years, he could have been Ricky Ford. That’s not fair, and I mean that mostly in terms of Jeffrey’s reputation. The Mingus is strong with this one, but you can hear the lessons Jeffrey learned from Monk, too. Commanding is what I want to call it. If it didn’t connect with you emotionally, I understand why; there is a cerebral quality to it, and it very much a showcase for the leader’s tenor. (No complaints from me there.) But I encourage you to go back and listen to the dialogue between Stanley Clarke and Wilbur Ware. Deep. From Valerie Wilmer’s liner notes: “Wilbur Ware (...) supplies accents on some of the tracks while Stanley Clarke (...) does most of the straightforward ‘walking’.” #10 / Oliver Lake, “I Would Like To” (Lake) Impala (Gramavision, 1987) Oliver Lake (as), Geri Allen (p), Santi Debriano (b), Pheeroan ak Laff (d) Has Oliver Lake gotten lost in the shuffle of musicians of his generation? Maybe. This performance dates from the period of his greatest visibility. He’s made better music since, I think, but I very much appreciate what these Gramavision records (Gallery, Other Side, Again and Again) set out to accomplish: to chart a path forward that wasn’t beholden to any particular jazz orthodoxy. This isn’t his duets with Julius Hemphill, and it’s not a David Sanborn record, either. But it glances in those directions along with many others. Lots of angles, let’s say. Geri Allen gets it. Complex playing that somehow lends even more clarity to the vision being articualted. (Maybe it’s a M-Base thing…) #11 / Hozan Yamamoto & Karl Berger, “Passing Rain” (Yamamoto) Again and Again (Victor Japan, 1985) Hozan Yamamoto (shakuhachi), Karl Berger (p) I’m trying to remember how I learned about Yamamoto and this record. For me, he and it are one of the more pleasant discoveries I’ve made in the last year. I mean, he recorded with Tony Scott on Music For Zen Meditation, so I should have known who he was. But I did not make the connection. In any event, this is some serious virtuosity. Just all of the expressive stuff he’s doing… lovely, and not showy. Everything he does serves the piece of music he and Berger, who offers the incredibly sensitive support you’d expect, are building. Yamamoto made another record with Yosuke Yamashita and Masahiko Togashi I’d very much like to hear. It’s in my YouTube queue, and you can add it to yours, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSOrCeJMyR0. #12 / Frank Rehak, “Insomnia” (Liston) Jazzville Vol. 2 (Dawn, 1957) Frank Rehak (tb), Melba Liston (tb, arr), Marty Flax (bs), Walter Davis Jr. (p), Nelson Boyd (b), Carlie Persip (d) Bass! How low can you go? The Afro-Cuban-esque (Diz connections abound here) head does sound like it could have spring from Sun Ra’s imagination, but the hard swing that follows is very East Coast. A fascinating mix of the fuzzy and the precise (Persip was always such a crisp player), and a fine reminder not to sleep on the talents of one Melba Liston. I believe she takes the second trombone solo, but I can’t confirm that. Maybe someone else can. #13 / Rob Schneiderman, “Deacceleration” (Eddie Harris) Keeping’ In The Groove (Reservoir, 1996) Rob Schneiderman (p), Rufus Reid (b), Akira Tana (d) OK, this sounds conventionally hard-boppish enough… until you hear the source material. (Which you can here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CatcJcVeaBI). I mean, as an act of translation, it’s impressive, even if Schneiderman and company are straightening out some of the more interesting kinks in Harris’s original. Maybe the whole thing is clever, but I don’t find it merely facile. Schneiderman is too smart for that. He reminds me a bit of Dick Katz here. Technically capable, of course, but not a “burner” so much as a prober of harmonic nooks and crannies. Do I also hear a Cedar Walton influence? I think I do, as much as others do Barry Harris (or Bud filtered through Barry Harris). Schneiderman’s run of Reservoir records from the 1990s and into the early 2000s continue in this vein if you don’t know them but like what you hear here. I remember Dark Blue, a quintet date with Ralph Moore and Brian Lynch, standing out. Thanks again for listening and discussing these 13 tracks!
  2. 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.
  3. 01 - El-P, Please Stay (Yesterday) from High Water (2004) From Thirsty Ear’s The Blue Series Continuum. This was an interesting project from Thirsty Ear that you can read more about here. I first heard some of this on Prime Cuts on MPBN back when Ken Eisen was hosting the show. Roy Campbell - trumpet, Steve Swell - trombone, Matthew Shipp - piano, Daniel Carter - woodwinds, William Parker - bass, Guillermo E. Brown - drums, El-P - producer 02 - Henry Butler, Fivin’ Around from Fivin’ Around (1986) This was a discovery back in my college radio days. Knew nothing about Butler, but fell in love with this track. Jeff Clayton - oboe, Henry Butler - piano, Charlie Haden - bass, Billy Higgins - drums 03 - Martina Almgren Quartet, Rumsia Samla from Unden (2009) I discovered this completely by accident back when I was subscribing to eMusic. It popped up and I listened to clips, liked it, took a chance. Nothing ground-breaking, but really enjoy most of this record. Björn Almgren - tenor saxophone, Tommy Kotter - piano, Owe Almgren - electric bass, Martina Almgren - drums 04 - Bridgewater Bros, Dear Trane from Lightning And Thunder (1978) I found my way to Cecil through Max Roach’s band, and then to this record via an article about the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis band. Cecil Bridgewater - trumpet/flugelhorn, Ron Bridgewater - tenor saxophone, Stanley Cowell - piano, Reggie Workman - bass, Michael Carvin - drums 05 - Robert Stewart, Get Out! from In The Gutta (1996) Robert Stewart is another guy I discovered through Ken Eisen. Robert used to have all of his stuff on his website. I sent him a message letting him know it was all downloadable. He said he knew. I told him I’d prefer to see him make a living and offered to pay for the downloads. He told me he wanted people to have his music. So I have it. (And yes, I have bought the albums, since). Robert Stewart - vocals & tenor saxophone, Ed Kelly - organ, Reginald Veal - bass, Jeff “Tain” Watts - drums 06 - Bobby Battle, To Wisdom, The Prize from The Offering (1993) This record showed up in my iPod rotation and never fails to send me to the screen to see what I’m listening to. Mapleshade really managed to capture that Prestige drum sound, and it frequently messes with me when trying to ID a track. Larry Willis - piano, Santi Debriano - bass, Bobby Battle - drums 07 - Sonny Fortune, Billy Harper, Stanley Cowell, Reggie Workman, Billy Hart, Awakening from Great Friends (1986) Billy Harper is a hero to me, but I like his own stuff usually much better than his stuff as a sideman. This one is is the middle ground. Sonny always leaves me a bit off, but again, he works in this setting. Sonny Fortune - alto saxophone, Billy Harper - tenor saxophone, Stanley Cowell - piano, Reggie Workman - bass, Billy Hart - drums 08 - George Adams, City of Peace from Paradise Space Shuttle (1979) My father picked this record out for me at Loony Tunes in Boston when I was… hell… 13? At first, I didn’t care for it, but George quickly became a personal favorite. This was the inspiration for my first attempt at improvising on the saxophone. Thanks to Richard Gardzina for his patience and support in that endeavor. George Adams - tenor saxophone, Rahn Burton - piano, Don Pate - bass, Al Foster - drums, Azzedin Weston - percussion 09 - Lloyd McNeil, Salvation Army from Treasures (1976) I became familiar with Lloyd through the BFTs. Man, am I glad I did! Covering this tune is a goal of the current quartet/quintet project I’m involved in. Lloyd McNeill - flute, Dom Salvador - piano, Cecil McBee - bass, Brian Blake and Portinho - drums, Ray Armando - percussion 10 - John Gordon, Making Memories from Step By Step (1976) I’m a sucker for most all things Strata-East, and this is no exception. John Gordon - trombone, Charles Tolliver - trumpet, Roland Alexander - woodwinds, Stanley Cowell - piano, Lisle Atkinson - bass, Andrew Cyrille - drums Probably a good time to mention that none of the reoccurring personnel on this BFT were intentional, excepting the two tracks from El-P. 11 - Charles Brackeen Quartet, Cing Kong from Worshippers Come Nigh (1988) available here: https://silkheart.bandcamp.com/ Brackeen is an under appreciated genius in my estimation. Here is the link to Silkheart's bandcamp page. Charles Brackeen - tenor saxophone, Olu Dara - cornet, Fred Hopkins - bass, Andrew Cyrille - drums 12 - Frank Lacy, Settegast Strut. 12:50 This is another tune I want to cover with the current project. I *love* Frank Lacy. I first heard this covered by Bluiett’s Baritone Saxophone Group, and they completely missed the feel of the song. This song has the strut, and Lacy feels the spirit. This interview may also be of interest. Frank Lacy - trombone, Katy Roberts - piano, Radu Olawu Ben Juda (Richard “Radu” Williams) - bass, Doug Hammond - drums 13 - El-P, Please Leave (Yesterday) from High Water (2004) Roy Campbell - trumpet, Steve Swell - trombone, Matthew Shipp - piano, Daniel Carter - woodwinds, William Parker - bass, Guillermo E. Brown - drums, El-P - producer
  4. Quite a bit of my listening time these days comes during my commute. What I’ll do is make notes when something really strikes me and add it to a list of songs for the next BFT. I’ve taken to loading my iPod with tunes by clicking play on a song set to shuffle, then forwarding. This gives me an eclectic mix of my collection and forces me to listen to some of the stuff hidden in the corners. 01 - Dick Cheney The Soggy Po’ Boys (2013) Seedy Business Mike Effenberger - piano, Stu Dias - vocals, Jim Rudolf - drums, Nick Mainella - clarinet, Zach Lange - trumpet, Colin Mainella - trumpet (solo), Eric Klaxton - tenor saxophone, Claude Fried - sousaphone, Matt Young - clarinet (solo) This is a local band of young-ish (mid-30s and lower) guys who play ALL sorts of music. This is one of their projects. They’re a lot of fun to see live and I just love this tune. 02 - Into A Fantasy Cecil McBee (1982) Flying Out John Blake - violin; David Eyges - cello; Cecil McBee - bass McBee is my all-time favorite bassist and something about this track really struck me. It’s not “Jazz” but it certainly is creative, interesting and thoughtful music. 03 - Arise Automaton Chris Klaxton (2015) Collage Chris Klaxton - trumpet, Taylor O’Donnell - voice, Mark Small - tenor sax, Kendall Moore - trombone, Tim Jago - guitar, Mike Effenberger - rhodes, Michael Piolet - drums, Sam Weber - bass Chris is really the backbone of the local music scene in the New Hampshire seacoast right now. He’s creative, interesting, talented and a super good guy. We did a session this spring and he handed me this, a copy of his latest effort. I really like what this band is doing. 04 - You’re Looking At Me Bill Saxton (1991) Live At The Henkelmann Jazz Club, Vol. 1 Bill Saxton - tenor sax, Christof Sänger - piano, Christian v. Kaphengst - bass, Heinrich Köbberling - drums Bill Saxton is one of those guys I like, but see in the second or third tier. It seems like I enjoy him because I identify with his struggles as a player. However, I just think this is a beautiful ballad. 05 - Nommo Max Roach (1966) Drums Unlimited James Spaulding - alto sax, Freddie Hubbard - trumpet, Ronnie Mathews - piano, Jymmie Merritt - bass, Max Roach - drums This one probably wasn’t going to fool anybody, but it is SUCH a bitch of a tune! Had to include it. 06 - Sister Caroline Nat Adderley (1958) Branchin’ Out Nat Adderley - cornet, Johnny Griffin - tenor sax, Gene Harris - piano, Andy Simpkins - bass, Bill Dowdy - drums J-Griff fools nobody. This came on the rotation and I just had to include a cut. No surprises this would be good when you look at the personnel. 07 - Ballad For Old Souls Muhal Richard Abrams (1972) Things To Come From Those Now Gone Muhal Richard Abrams - piano, Rufus Reid - bass, Emmanuel Cranshaw - vibes Another one that just caught my ear in the car. Beautiful song. 08 - Rain Is Coming Hamid Drake/Albert Beger/William Parker (2005) Evolving Silence Vol. 1 William Parker - bass, Africa hunter’s harp; Hamid Drake - drums, percussion, Albert Beger - tenor saxophone I love William Parker and Hamid Drake. I discovered these collaborations while trying to fill in some gaps in my collection. The world needs more of this music. 09 - In A Sentimental Mood Elvin Jones Jazz Machine (1980) Soul Train Ari Brown - tenor saxophone, Marvin Horn - guitar, Andy McCloud - bass, Elvin Jones - drums Andrew White also appears on this record, meaning there is a LOT of tenor. This was posted on FB and blew my away. I love Ari Brown and really don’t understand why he gets no love from the Jazz community. Though, that seems to be something afflicting the Chicago community in general. 10 - Three Gymnopedies, No. 1 Mal Waldron (1984) Plays Eric Satie Mal Waldron - piano, Reggie Workman - bass, Ed Blackwell - drums Come on. Someone once commented (perhaps here), “I’d listen to Mal Waldron set his drink on the table.” A former student hipped me to this album and boy am I glad he did. 11 - Round Midnight Max Roach (1981) Chattahoochee Red Cecil Bridgewater - trumpet, Odean Pope - tenor sax, Calvin Hill - bass, Max Roach - drums This is the second time I’ve gone to this well for a blindfold test. I love this record and can’t understand why it’s never found its way to CD (what gives, Columbia?). In my opinion, it is the best of the albums produced by this band. Hopefully this provided a balance of identifiable and challenging. Thanks to all who participated.
  5. Track 1 - She's Got It - Buddy Tate - (1968) Buddy Tate And His Celebrity Club Orchestra Vol. 2 Ben Richardson - alto & bari sax, clarinet, vocals; Buddy Tate - tenor sax, vocals; Dickie Wells - trombone, vocals; Dud Bascomb - trumpet, vocals, Skip Hall - keyboard; John Williams - bass; Billy Stewart - drums My Dad actually saw Buddy perform this with Arnett Cobb, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson and others in the 80s. I discovered this in my collection and had to include it. What can I say, I'm a sucker for dirty old men singing about a bad girl. Track 2 - 5/4 Thing - Art Matthews - (1978) It's Easy To Remember Archie Shepp - alto sax; Bill Pierce - tenor sax; Dizzy Reece - trumpet; Art Matthews - piano; Charles Fambrough - bass; Alan Dawson - drums I was very excited when I saw this record as a kid. I loved Shepp, loved George Coleman (his tune), loved Dizzy Reece, and was very excited to hear the young Billy Pierce on tenor. The album doesn't quite live up to what my expectations were, but it's interesting anyway. I don't know of any other albums by Matthews as a leader. Track 3 - The Chooch - The Fringe - (1981) Hey! Open Up! George Garzone - tenor sax; Richard Appleman - bass; Bob Gullotti - drums The original version of The Fringe. Most people don't realize that John Lockwood was NOT the original bassist. After I saw them perform this at the Portsmouth Jazz Festival (including vocals by Garzone), I had to have this. This was back when The Fringe were self-producing everything (not sure if that's still the case) and it's a needle drop. I'm torn on Garzone. Sometimes I love him, most times I don't. No denying he's a beast, though. Track 4 - Snake and Pygmy Pie - Bob Moses - (1979) David Liebman - tenor sax; Terumasa Hino - cornet, percussion; Steve Kuhn - piano; Steve Swallow - electric bass; Bob Moses - drums Heard this tune on the radio one night called Autumn Liebs and totally dug it. Encountered this album later and really liked the whole thing. This track was a bit of a discovery. Not sure when Liebman stopped being this guy, but I miss it. Track 5 - Light on the Path - Edward Wilkerson, Jr. - (1992) Light on the Path Edward Wilkerson, Jr. - clarinet; Rod McGaha - trumpet; Harrison Bankhead - bass; Reggie Nicholson - drums Throwing people off with a cut featuring the dreaded clarinet. This track is all about Rod McGaha on trumpet, for me. I love the guy. Love him on Jeff Coffin's Go 'Round, too. I picked up one of his own releases and it was awful. Heavy on the synth and "R & B" stylings. Again, don't know what happened. Track 6 - Queen of All Ears - The Lounge Lizards - (1998) Queen of All Ears John Lurie - alto & tenor saxes; Michael Blake - tenor sax; Steven Bernstein - trumpet; Evan Lurie - keyboards; David Tronzo - slide guitar; Jane Scarpantoni - cello ; Erik Sanko - bass; Calvin Weston - drums I had this folder of unknown tunes on my hard drive. No idea where they came from, no idea what they were. I finally was able to figure this one out, and had to include it here. Track 7 - Chris Klaxton - Exospheric - (2014) Starcode Chris Klaxton - tpt; Mark Small - saxophone; Taylor O'Donnell - vocals; Tim Jago - guitar; Kendall Moore - trombone; Mike Effenberger - keys; Josh Allen - bass; Michael Piolet - drums This is an odd cut from trumpeter Chris Klaxton -- I love it. He released two albums last fall and this is from one of them. He lives in my area and is really an impressive musician. He made a huge impression on me when he called an obscure Johnny Hodges tune on a gig at the now defunct Barley Pub. The guy REALLY knows his stuff. This is a little contemporary for my usual tastes, but he's really *doing* something, to my ear. Track 8 - Afrisong - Muhal Richard Abrams - (1975) Afrisong Abrams - piano I was going to include a different song from this album -- a more consistent ballad -- but this song was just too damned beautiful. I was slow to come to Muhal, but in the past couple of years, he's really making my ears happy. Track 9 - Do It To It - Richard "Groove" Holmes - (1980) Good Vibrations Groove Holmes - organ; Houston Person - tenor sax; Bob DeVos - guitar; Idris Muhammad - drums; Buddy Caldwell - congas I've always loved this adaptation of Santana. I used to gobble up these Muse albums as a kid, often for $3 a pop, on trips to Boston with my Dad. Not a lot of desert island classics, but some pretty consistent music from the period. Track 10 - On Green Dolphin Street - Buddy Tate - (1981) The Great Buddy Tate Buddy Tate - tenor sax; Warren Vaché - trumpet; Hank Jones - piano; Milt Hinton - bass; Mel Lewis - drums My second favorite version of this tune (Miles' Jazztrack being the first). Buddy Tate is just such a Jazz guy; straight to the point and always swings his ass off. Warren Vaché is the perfect compliment on this album. Good stuff. Double shot of Tate, so I was shocked when this one when unidentified. Track 11 - Brother Ed - Larry Willis - (2002) Sanctuary Larry Willis - piano; Joe Ford - alto sax; Ray Codrington - trumpet; Steve Novosel - bass; Steve Berrios - drums Larry Willis composed a song on my favorite Junior Cook album, Somethin's Cookin', called Illusions of Grandeur. I've been interested in him ever since, and he never disappoints. Most of this album is really unique and interesting. Several other tracks include strings, but in a very original arrangement. Larry Willis needs more appreciation. Track 12 - Jakubu's Dance - Dick Griffin - (1974) The Eighth Wonder Dick Griffin - trombone; Sam Rivers - tenor sax; Ron Burton - piano; Cecil McBee - bass; Freddie Waits - drums; Warren Smith, Leopoldo F. Fleming - percussion I was thinking, "Gee, I really need to include a Dick Griffin cut on one of these." I went back and checked and saw that I've done that two times, already (including the song I'd decided to include here, so I had to change that). I also found that someone else had included a track from this album on a previous test. Still, this is just such a great track, I had to include it. Track 13 - Song for the New Man - David Fathead Newman - (2003) Song for the New Man Fathead - flute; John Hicks - piano; John Menegon - bass; Jimmy Cobb - drums I didn't figure on confusing anyone with this track, but it came on in the car and it's just so damned choice, I had to include it. This is most of the band David had with him when I saw him (Yoron Israel as on drums), and this was pretty much what the night was like. Such a soulful player, and I really like the way this track plays out. Also, I really do need to include John Hicks more often -- my absolute favorite pianist. Track 14 - A Dream For Rahsaan - Dick Griffin - (1985) A Dream For Rahsaan Dick Griffin - trombone; Gary Bartz - alto sax; Stanley Cowell - piano; Cecil McBee - bass; Billy Hart - drums Speaking of favorite pianists and composers, why not a little Stanley Cowell. Another great Dick Griffin record (they're all quite good), this one just burns so hot. These are my guys. Track 15 - Debonair - John Handy - (1966) The 2nd John Handy Album John Handy - alto sax; Michael White - violin; Jerry Hahn - guitar; Don Thompson - bass; Terry Clarke - drums I'm a sucker for songs in three (in case you hadn't picked up on that), and this is a great cut from a remarkable album from a largely forgotten player. John Handy ALWAYS had something going on.
  6. Hi all. Here we go. For now, I'll simply present discographical info, with comments to follow here and there / gradually. Enjoy! 1) Nina Simone Trio. "African Mailman" (Simone). Simone (p), Jimmy Bond (b), Tootie Heath (d). Rec. 1957. Originally released on NINA SIMONE AND HER FRIENDS (Bethlehem); now available on expanded reissues (many of 'em) of LITTLE GIRL BLUE (Bethlehem). 2) Nathan Davis Sextet. "Now Let M' Tell Ya" (Davis). Davis (ts), Woody Shaw (tp), Jean-Louis Chautemps (bs), René Urtreger (p), Jimmy Woode (b), Kenny Clarke (d). Rec. 1965. From PEACE TREATY (SFP). 3) Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers. "Psychedelic Pucho" (Pucho Brown / Jimmy Phillips / Neal Creque). Pucho Brown (timbales), Eddie Pazant (bs), Neal Creque (p, org, arr), Jimmy Phillips (b), Norberto Appellaniz (bongos), Cecil Jackson (conga). Rec. 1968. Originally released on HEAT! (Prestige), now available on Pucho's volume of the Fantasy / Concord LEGENDS OF ACID JAZZ series. 4) Larry Williams & Johnny "Guitar" Watson with The Kaleidoscope. "Nobody" (Williams / Watson). Larry Williams (vo), Johnny "Guitar" Watson (vo), The Kaleidoscope [Chester Crill, John Vidican, David Lindley, Solomon Feldthouse, Chris Darrow… hard to know with these guys who played what, but Vidican is most likely on drums, Darrow on bass, Crill on organ, and either Feldthouse or Lindley takes the brief oud solo.] Rec. 1967. Originally released as the A side of a 7-inch (backed by "Find Yourself Someone To Love"), now available as part of the PULSATING DREAMS Kaleidoscope box set (sans B-side). 5) Leroy's Dallas Band / Leroy Williams Dallas Jug Band. "Going Away Blues" (unknown). Leroy Williams (cornet), Fred Millet (tb), Lawson Brooks or Roosevelt Harris (as), James Moore (p), Percy Darensbourg (banjo), Octave Gaspard (b), Percy Bragsby (d). Rec. 1928. Originally released on a Columbia 78 (Matrix: W147565=1), now available on the Timeless CD JAZZ IN TEXAS 1924 - 1930. According to the notes for the Timeless CD, this was, in fact, an African-American band.
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