Jazz Loves Disney was recorded between Paris, London and Los Angeles by a dream cast. It is incredibly coherent, as if all participants had agreed to pay a rightful tribute to the most beautiful and symbolic tunes of Walt Disneys magic world, as if nothing was too good for the stars when they revisited the classics and the sweet childhood memories connected to them. This is the ultimate proof of the impact Disney has had on generations of jazz musicians, including the ones taking part in Jazz Loves Disney.
The quality of Chet Baker's product was so varied during the last decade or more of his life that recording sessions varied markedly. For this "remixed version" of Mr. B Baker sounds a tad tired, though his chops are in fine form. The studio recording captures the trumpeter with highly sympathetic and self-effacing pianist Michel Grallier and bassist Ricardo Del Fra, both of whom engage in the leader's brand of sensitivity. There are no vocals by the trumpeter, but plenty of improvising. The interesting tune selection features a few songs played often by Baker (such as Wayne Shorter's "Dolphin Dance" and Horace Silver's "Strollin'"), but several that are not associated with him at all (Grallier's "White Blues" and his gorgeous "Father X-mas," to name a couple). There is a sadness permeating the trumpeter's sound throughout, exacerbated by the lazy, sometimes sluggish, tempos. A deep and touching beauty can be felt, marking this as one of Chet's best from the period.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. George Adams and Don Pullen knock it out of the park on this one – finding great company in each other's presence, and really moving things forward in the process! The set begins with a long track titled "Mingus Metamorphosis", and that really sums up the spirit of the record – an 80s reworking of all the ideas that the players had learned from Mingus, but with an individual, personal sense that's all their own – and very different than some of the more standard modes of the Mingus Dynasty group that continued the legacy in a more direct manner. Adams is bold one minute, lyrical the next – and plays both tenor and flute – alongside Pullen on piano, Cameron Brown on bass, and Dannie Richmond on drums.
While touring between Strikes Twice and its follow-up, Sleepwalk, Larry Carlton recorded Eight Times Up live in Tokyo in early 1982. This was his second live album recorded in Japan in under a decade (following 1979's excellent Mr. 335 Live in Japan), and once again found Carlton and band in fine form playing smooth jazz-fusion. Songs from Strikes Twice and Sleepwalk largely comprise this six-song recording. And though the production and instrumentation definitely sound dated, Carlton's guitar playing is once again textbook smooth jazz, and makes up for that slight sonic nuance.