One of our favorite all-time records, and a real lost album on Blue Note! Eddie Gale leads this group of righteous singers and musicians through five fantastic tracks of soulful chanting and hard jazz playing that never goes too far out, but always threatens to break free of its own chains – soaring to the skies on wings of freedom and spirituality! Gale's trumpet rings hard and loud, and the vocal arrangements never verge on sentimentality, but manage to convey a ton of soul with an incredibly righteous approach that's never been duplicated again! Imagine Donald Byrd's vocal group albums recorded for Strata East – or a hipper version of Billy Harper's Capra Black – and you've only got part of the picture! Titles include "The Rain", "Fulton Street", "The Coming Of Gwilu", and "A Walk With Thee".
Music was a slight departure from pianist Michel Petrucciani's usual Bill Evans-influenced recordings of the period. Petrucciani uses synthesizers (his and Adam Holzman's) on all but two selections, but these are very much in the background, making the ensembles sound a little larger than they actually are. Petrucciani's ten originals range from romantic ("Memories of Paris") and manic ("My Bebop Tune") to charming ("Lullaby") and funky ("Play Me") with a generous supply of Latin-tinged pieces and one rhythmic vocal by Tania Maria; Joe Lovano (on soprano) and the accordion of Gil Goldstein make one appearance apiece.
When he expatriated to Scandinavia just before this session in Paris was recorded, Dexter Gordon said he was liberated in many ways, as a jazz musician and as a human being. This is reflected in the lengthy track on this album, a testament to that newly found freedom.
Between 1965's Maiden Voyage and 1968's Speak Like a Child, Herbie Hancock was consumed with his duties as part of the Miles Davis Quintet, who happened to be at their creative and popular peak during those three years. When Hancock did return to a leadership position on Speak Like a Child, it was clear that he had assimilated not only the group's experiments, but also many ideas Miles initially sketched out with Gil Evans. Like Maiden Voyage, the album is laid-back, melodic, and quite beautiful, but there are noticeable differences between the two records. Hancock's melodies and themes have become simpler and more memorable, particularly on the title track, but that hasn't cut out room for improvisation.
One of Blue Note's greatest mainstream hard bop dates, "Song for My Father" is Horace Silver's signature LP and the peak of a discography already studded with classics…it hangs together remarkably well, and Silver's writing is at his tightest and catchiest.
This was veteran tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec's final recording as a leader. It was cut in October 1962 and produced by Alfred Lion a little more than three months before the saxophonist's death. Bossa Nova Soul Samba was recorded and released during the bossa nova craze, as Brazilian music was first brought to the attention of pop listeners via Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's smash hit with Tom Jobim's "Desafinado," on their Jazz Samba record for Verve in February. After that, seemingly everyone was making a bossa nova record. Quebec's effort is a bit unusual in that none of the musicians (guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Wendell Marshall, drummer Willie Bobo, and percussionist Garvin Masseaux) was associated with Brazilian (as opposed to Afro-Cuban) jazz before this, and that there isn't a single tune written by Jobim on the set.
This is an another excellent album with Green and pianist Sonny Clark, who along with Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on drums make the foursome. The entire album is fine with "My Favorite Things," an old favorite of Green.
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).