This Impulse recording features the fiery tenor Archie Shepp with his regularly working group of the period. (Scott Yanow)
This is a major set, "new" music from John Coltrane that was recorded February 15, 1967, (five months before his death) but not released for the first time until 1995. One of several "lost" sessions that were stored by Alice Coltrane for decades, only one selection ("Offering" which was on Expression) among the eight numbers and three alternates was ever out before. The music, although well worth releasing, offers no real hints as to what Coltrane might have been playing had he lived into the 1970s.
This CD reissues what was arguably the finest of the John Coltrane-Pharoah Sanders collaborations.
The soulful folk songs–past, present and future–which make up THE COMPLETE AFRICA/BRASS SESSIONS are a celebration of freedom: the freedom to create on a higher plane, the freedom he felt in playing with his new quartet. In a sense, THE COMPLETE AFRICA/BRASS SESSIONS are a celebration of McCoy Tyner's contribution to the group. Tyner's distinctive block voicings, and his method of modulating in fourths were a major part of the quartet's sound. Reed innovator Eric Dolphy (who joined Coltrane's Quartet later in 1961) took melodic ideas and chords from Coltrane and Tyner, and developed brass-reed orchestrations that echoed the characteristic Tyner sound, and the quartet's mode of interaction. Cal Massey's "The Damned Don't Cry" is a fascinating exception, as Dolphy allows individual voices to glisten against the dusky shadow of ten brass.
In 1984, a 45-year-old Tina Turner made one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of American popular music. A few years earlier, it was hard to imagine the veteran soul/rock belter reinventing herself and returning to the top of the pop charts, but she did exactly that with the outstanding Private Dancer. And Turner did so without sacrificing her musical integrity. To be sure, this pop/rock/R&B pearl is decidedly slicker than such raw, earthy, hard-edged Ike & Tina classics as "Proud Mary," "Sexy Ida," and "I Wanna Take You Higher." But she still has a tough, throaty, passionate delivery that serves her beautifully on everything from the melancholy…
For this excellent outing (his third project for JVC), keyboardist Tom Coster performs 11 originals plus "Lover Man." Although his fusion-oriented music is full of funky ensembles, there is more variety than expected. Coster shares the solo space with tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, and the fiery guitarist Scott Henderson, creating a colorful and sometimes unpredictable program of music.
This edition limited to 10,000 copies and 20-Bit K2 Super Coding. Abbey Lincoln's third of three Riverside albums directly precedes her more adventurous work with drummer (and then-husband) Max Roach. With fine backup from trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Wynton Kelly, Les Spann (doubling on guitar and flute), bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Philly Joe Jones) on seven of the ten numbers, and by Roach's regular quintet at the time on the other three selections, Lincoln is quite emotional and distinctive during a particularly strong set. Highlights include the first vocal version ever of "Afro-Blue," "Come Sunday," Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Brother, Where Are You," "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," "Long as You're Living," and Lincoln's own "Let Up." A very memorable set.
This edition limited to 10,000 copies and 20-Bit K2 Super Coding. Ugetsu, a 1963 live set from the original Birdland, finds Art Blakey & His Jazz Messengers at the peak of their powers with one of their strongest lineups. The group primarily recorded sessions for Alfred Lion's Blue Note label, but this Riverside date is as strong as any of their previous outings. Having acquired the services of trombonist Curtis Fuller in 1961, the Messengers' front line was its most robust ever, with Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard consistently turning in some of their best performances. Rounding out the rhythm section with Blakey are the equally powerful Reggie Workman and Cedar Walton.