Left to their own devices on Here and Now, Nickelback have done the unthinkable: they’ve embraced who they are. Chad Kroeger’s brow is no longer furrowed, treating rock & roll as an ordeal; he’s stepped back a bit, allowing himself to have a good time. This doesn’t quite mean he’s left his misogyny behind – it lingers, infecting otherwise innocuous songs – but it does mean that Nickelback no longer rely solely on heavy-footed power chords set to lumbering rhythms. True, this signature sound still underpins much of Here and Now, but the group is now loose enough to throw in a disco-rock thumper (“Kiss It Goodbye,” another in a long line of anti-Hollywood, anti-plasticity anthems destined to be staples in Hollywood strip clubs) and even dabbles in a bit of power pop on “When We Stand Together,” giving it an actual swing, something unheard on previous Nickelback albums, and this isn’t an isolated incident. “Gotta Get Me Some” abandons the brutal four-on-the-floor Nickelback signature in favor of an actual groove and the group even sounds nimble on its power ballads.
The Jazztet had been in existence for two years when they recorded what would be their final LPs, Here and Now and Another Git Together. The personnel, other than the two co-leaders, flugelhornist Art Farmer and tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson, had completely changed since 1960 but the group sound was the same. The 1962 version of the Jazztet included trombonist Grachan Moncur III, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Roy McCurdy. It is remarkable to think that this talent-filled group wasn't, for some reason, snapped up to record even more albums together. Highlights of their excellent out-of-print LP include Ray Bryant's "Tonk," "Whisper Not," "Just in Time," and Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear." A classic if short-lived hard bop group.
Here's my third and final upload by this much underated tenor player. It's from 1966 and was reissued in Japan some years ago. Good Stuff! Saxophonist Dick Morrissey towered among the finest and most innovative British jazz musicians of his generation when he teamed with guitarist Jim Mullen to spearhead the UK fusion movement of the 1970s. Born May 9, 1940 in Horley, England, Morrissey taught himself the clarinet at age 16, later mastering all of the saxophones and the flute. In his late teens, while apprenticing as a jeweler, he played with the Original Climax Jazz Band, followed by a stint in trumpeter Gus Galbraith's septet, where alto saxophonist Pete King introduced Morrissey to his chief inspiration, Charlie Parker.