Listening to Sketches of Life is something like finding a diamond midway through a box of Cracker Jack. It starts off with some typically easygoing midtempo quiet storm action that offers more cinders than real fire, but then it suddenly explodes with soul, jazz, and fusion – and some of the leader's finest performances this side of the old Crusaders. Henderson's trombone turbulence finds willing support from friends old (saxman Wilton Felder) and new (Rob Mullins, Dwight Sills), and these all-stars stretch the limits of the pop side of jazz. Especially impressive is Lee Oskar's bluesy, Toots Thielemans-styled harmonica playing. Henderson could do just fine without the rap and chant, but otherwise, he leads a fun-filled cruise through adventureland.
Trombonist Wayne Henderson has had a surprisingly sporadic solo career. During his years with the Jazz Crusaders, he only led two record dates of his own, and it was not until a decade after he left the group that he led his third session. Henderson does take some fine solos on this generally rewarding disc, which also features tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder (his old section mate in the Crusaders), keyboardist Rob Mullins, and guitarist Dwight Sills. The release, which is subtitled "The Next Crusade," is an extension of Henderson's old band, and the selections range from straight-ahead (including "Joshua") to soul-jazz and some funkier sounds. Worth picking up, although this CD will probably be difficult to find.
These two discs from Sun Ra and his Solar Myth Arkestra are not, as their title suggests, parts of a singular or continuous work. They were initially issued as two separate titles – similar to the two-part Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra – by the Belgian BYG Actuel label in 1971. Both volumes consist of mid-fidelity and primarily self-realized and -produced recordings. Despite the claim that these sides were taped in New York City at Sun Studios, Ra discographer Robert L. Campbell notes that by the time these tracks were documented, the Arkestra had ended its N.Y.C. residency and returned to Philadelphia.
2015 Remastered Audiophile Edition. Issued in a replica of the original gatefold cover with a 24 page booklet including new liner notes, credits, lyrics and a Charly Records advertising booklet. Digitally remastered from the original BYG 1/4-inch analogue master tape at Soundmastering Limited, London. This LP was recorded during full moons of May, & June & September, 1971 at Strawberry Studios ("Honky Chateau") Herrouville, Normandy, France
Celebrating sixty years since the launch of one of the most successful independent record labels in US Popular music. Received wisdom would have us believe that before Motown, no black-owned record company had made a significant impact on the US mainstream. However, the actuality is something else entirely. Way back in the early 50s, long before Berry Gordy had written his first song, VEE-JAY RECORDS - a black, family owned and run, Chicago-based label - was establishing itself via a steady stream of Blues, R&B, DooWop and Gospel hits.
… In 1962 Antolini went to live in Stuttgart, Germany where he spent 5 years playing with bassist Peter Witte and pianist Horst Jankowski in the SWR Bigband led by Erwin Lehn. He also played in big bands with Kurt Edelhagen, Peter Herbolzheimer and Max Greger in the NDR Bigband. In 1976 he set up his own band, "Charly Antolini's Jazz Power". … In the 80s he toured Germany, Italy and Denmark with Benny Goodman, as well as with Lionel Hampton, Barbara Dennerlein, Albert Mangelsdorff, Earl Hines, Roy Eldridge, Jimmy Giuffre, Art Farmer, Oliver Nelson, Art Van Damme, Stuff Smith, Baden Powell among others. …