Now one of the most popular jazz players of the past decade, Avishai Cohen takes his artistic approach to its zenith, with Seven Seas. Featuring nursery rhymes, lullabies and suites in which heroic inspiration and symphonics abound. Seven Seas plunges us into a fabulous sound voyage, in which understatement and magnitude play a never-ending game of ping-pong, a trip that easily transposes to the silver screen. Once you get past the opening credits dripping in joyful nostalgia, you steer past isles of rhythm and continents of sound, winding up with a traditional piano ladino with Cohen's intense vocals. Cohen has reached a new pinnacle as an artist. It's more of a fusion album, perhaps bringing us closer to reality of an odyssey, with its title that transports us into nautical legend: seven seas' many twists and turns make it the most exciting of albums in Cohen's discography.
To say that this limited-edition six-LP Mosaic box is overflowing with classics is an understatement. Included are a variety of small-group sessions (with overlapping personnel) from the early days of Blue Note. The Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet has five songs that are the only existing examples of Charlie Christian playing acoustic guitar; clarinetist Hall, Meade Lux Lewis (on celeste), and bassist Israel Crosby complete the unique group. The king of stride piano, James P. Johnson, is heard on eight solos; other combos are led by Johnson, Hall (who heads four groups in all), trumpeter Sidney DeParis, and trombonist Vic Dickenson (heard in a 1952 quartet with organist Bill Doggett).
A lost treasure from the legendary Thelonious Monk – a live date recorded in Paris at the end of the 60s – late in Monk's life, and every bit as wonderful as his famous 60s studio work with his quartet! Of that group, only Charlie Rouse remains on tenor sax – but Rouse is more than enough to make things great, and the interplay between his tenor and Monk's piano is completely sublime – full of angular movements, underscored with plenty of soul – and given support from Nate Hygelund on bass and either Paris Wright or Philly Joe Jones on drums. There's a rough edge to the music that's really great – that sharper, more sinister vibe that Monk could have in a live setting – and titles include "Light Blue", "Bright Mississippi", "I Mean You", "Ruby My Dear", "I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams", "Crepuscule With Nellie", and "Nutty". Special package comes with a bonus DVD of the performance!
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Early Blue Note work from the legendary Bobbi Humphrey – a session cut before she hooked up with producer Larry Mizell, but one that's still got a righteously soulful vibe! The arrangements here are by Wade Marcus, but he still has the great idea of giving Bobbi a bit more expanded sound in the background – a full mix of sounds that lets her flute step out in the lead and find its own soulful space on the solos – all with a wonderful style that definitely marks Humphrey as one of the freshest jazz flute talents in years! The other players are all pretty hip too – and include Lee Morgan on trumpet and Billy Harper on tenor – who'd both played with Bobbi on one of Lee's late Blue Note dates – and titles include a version of Eddie Harris' "Set Us Free", plus "Sad Bag", "Don't Knock My Funk", "Journey To Morocco", and "Ain't No Sunshine".
Centered around the Byrd/Adams Blue Note dates Byrd in Hand, Chant, Royal Flush, The Cat Walk, and Off to the Races, Mosaic's Complete Blue Note Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Studio Sessions finds the Detroit natives at the top of their game during 1959-1962. Writing and performing some of the most original and tight hard bop around, Byrd and Adams led a variety of combos that featured the likes of Herbie Hancock (his first session), Wynton Kelly, Duke Pearson (who also contributed material), Charlie Rouse, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins. From distinct covers ("Lover Come Back to Me") to seamlessly complex originals ("Bronze Dance"), Byrd's pure-toned trumpet and Adams' angular baritone unexpectedly make a perfect match. And beyond a wealth of sides that prove the point, the collection also features – in typically thorough and classy Mosaic fashion – some stunning session photos by Blue Note lensman Francis Wolff and an extensive essay by Bob Blumenthal. A hard bop experience of the highest order.