One of the hippest albums ever from the team of Harold Land and Bobby Hutcherson – and a set that's even more open than some of their other records on Blue Note or Chess! This set's a bit more electric than some of the other records from the pair – with these drawn-out Fender Rhodes lines from Bill Henderson – who comps and vamps with modal energy that really draws out some searing, searching solos from Land's tenor! Bobby's vibes are maybe a bit more restrained, but offer a key element in the overall soundshape of the record – and the rest of the lineup includes Reggie Johnson on bass, Ndugu and Woody Theus on drums, and Harold Land Jr on additional piano.
Vocalist Cassandra Wilson has used her 15 years at Blue Note to explore the interpretive range of her voice, whether singing tunes by Van Morrison, Robert Johnson, Lewis Allan, Miles Davis, or Hoagy Carmichael. In many ways, Wilson has offered a new view of the standard by using classic rock and Delta blues tunes in her live and recorded repertoires. That said, Loverly is her first offering comprised almost completely of American songbook standards since Blue Skies 20 years ago. Wilson produced the recording in Jackson, MS, and surrounded herself with old friends: guitarist Marvin Sewell, bassists Reggie Veal and Lonnie Plaxico, drummer Herlin Riley, and labelmate and pianist Jason Moran…
For some reason, the Jazz in Paris series has put together a collection of music featuring these three vocalists. Except for the fact that all three recorded in Paris, there appears to be little connection. The music is still excellent however. The first 8 tracks by Harold Nicholas show off his excellence in covering standards. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", with its last verse in French, is a highlight. June Richmond, accompanied by the Quincy Jones Orchestra, sings "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues" through "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea". Excellent renditions all. The last two tracks, by Henry Bey and the Bey Sisters, are nice, but give only a small introduction to their music.
No matter where Big Daddy Wilson travels on this big, beautiful, mixed-up planet of ours, he takes the South with him. For more than two decades, he has been carrying his message of hope and unity to each and every show, whether in New York, Paris, Auckland or – in the case of his new live album Songs From The Road – the village of Rubigen in central Switzerland.
Due to his decision to settle in Los Angeles, tenor saxophonist Harold Land has long been underrated. A strong bop stylist who later on would be influenced a great deal by John Coltrane, Land in 1959 had a sound closer to Sonny Rollins. For this excellent straight-ahead quintet set with trumpeter Dupree Bolton and pianist Elmo Hope, Land performs four of Hope's superior but little-known compositions along with two of his own. This is high-quality hard bop, easily recommended to fans of straight-ahead jazz.