The original Chico Hamilton Quintet was one of the last significant West Coast jazz bands of the cool era. Consisting of Buddy Collette on reeds (flute, clarinet, alto, and tenor), guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Carson Smith, and the drummer/leader, the most distinctive element in the group's identity was cellist Fred Katz. The band could play quite softly, blending together elements of bop and classical music into their popular sound and occupying their own niche. This six-CD, limited-edition box set from 1997 starts off with a Hamilton drum solo from a 1954 performance with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet; it contains three full albums and many previously unreleased numbers) by the original Chico Hamilton band and also has quite a few titles from the second Hamilton group (which has Paul Horn and John Pisano in the places of Collette and Hall).
Doug Sahm once sang, "You just can't live in Texas if you don't have a lot of soul," and, as a proud son of the Lone Star state, he seemed bent on proving that every time he stepped in front of a microphone. Whether he was playing roots rock, garage punk, blues, country, norteño, or (as was often the case) something that mixed up several of the above-mentioned ingredients, Doug Sahm always sounded like Doug Sahm – a little wild, a little loose, but always good company, and a guy with a whole lot of soul who knew a lot of musicians upon whom the same praise could be bestowed. Pulling together a single disc compilation that would make sense of the length and breadth of the artist's recording career (which spanned five decades) would be just about impossible (the licensing hassles involved with the many labels involved would probably scotch such a project anyway), but this disc, which boasts 22 songs recorded over the course of eight years, is a pretty good starter for anyone wanting to get to know Sahm's music.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Although flugelhornist Art Farmer permanently moved to Europe in 1968, he has returned many times to the United States to play. For this live LP (recorded for East Wind and released domestically by the defunct Inner City label), Farmer joins up with tenor-saxophonist Clifford Jordan, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins for lengthy versions of Charlie Parker's blues "Barbados," "I Remember Clifford," "'Round Midnight" and "Will You Still Be Mine." The group had not rehearsed beforehand but rehearsals were not really needed for these hard bop veterans and even an uptempo version of the ballad "Will You Still Be Mine" comes off quite well.
Guitarist, composer, arranger, and songwriter Doug Sahm was a knowledgeable music historian and veteran performer equally comfortable in a range of styles, including Texas blues, country, rock & roll, Western swing, and Cajun. Born November 6, 1941, in San Antonio, TX, he began his performing career at age nine when he was featured on a San Antonio area radio station, playing steel guitar…
In a three-year period, Stan Getz played with bands featuring either pianist Duke Jordan or a young Horace Silver. This is the boppin' Getz on tenor, playing standards fervently. There are two Gigi Gryce originals, the Getz original "Hershey Bar," and Silver's "Penny" among the 24 tracks. This is a decent introduction to the pre-bossa nova player the world would later know.
French saxophonist Émile Parisien, instigator of some of the most musical, formidably skilful yet wackily diverting adventures in recent European jazz, makes a rare UK visit in a duo at November’s London jazz festival, but this exuberant album rams home the full Parisien experience, with a new quintet, regular accordion partner Vincent Peirani, and two revered European elder statesmen in German pianist Joachim Kühn and French bass clarinet original Michel Portal. From the opening vibrato-trembling soprano sax Préambule (Parisien can be a spiky avantist, but he’s a devoted Sidney Bechet admirer, too), through the hard-swinging Poulp – which sounds like the work of a 21st-century Hot Club band with Ornette Coleman leanings – through the contemporary-noir doom-walk of Brainmachine or the accordion-throbbing Umckaloabo, Parisien leads an exhilarating genre-hop bubbling with captivating remakes of US and European jazz traditions. And Kühn, a majestic soloist inside or outside conventional harmony, sounds as if he’s been an instantly responsive communicator with this lineup – and particularly the leader – for years.