This long-out-of-print CD has finally been reissued and it's a must-have for Phil Woods fans, or for anyone interested in an excellent example of post-Parker be-bop saxophone. The sound quality is excellent, the rhythm section is very competent and Phil is at the top of his game on a nice mix of standards and originals. It's easy to see why he has been the benchmark for jazz alto for decades. His swing and inventiveness are nicely showcased as he eases his way through the list of tunes. If one were to buy one or two CD's that best show Phil Woods' ability to create meaningful jazz, this one would have to be high on the list for consideration. Don't miss it!
Grand Prix Du Disque De L'académie Charles Cros 1959. Recorded at the celebrated Club Saint Germain, the formation presented here marks the third incarnation of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, with trumpeter Lee Morgan (then only 20 years old), tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merrit. For the last two tunes, bop drum pioneer Kenny Clarke (who was living in Paris) substitutes Blakey. Besides the individual gifts of each member, the group forms a compact unit with a cohesive sound. “We play modern jazz”, explained Blakey during a 1958 interview, “and to understand it you mus listen. We study, we rehearse. The Jazz Messengers are very serious about getting the music across to you. If you don’t want to listen, maybe the person sitting next to you does.”
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. Nicely sharp sounds from the great JJ Johnson – a set that has the trombonist really honing his edge on a host of tight, short tracks – with a vibe that almost recalls his initial bop recordings on Blue Note and Prestige! The style here is a bit more sophisticated – definitely with an ear towards the modern directions that JJ was exploring in the 50s – but the sound is also nicely spontaneous, with more focus on improvisation between group members than larger arrangements – quite nice, given that the group features excellent tenor from Bobby Jaspar on tenor – and either Tommy Flanagan or Hank Jones on piano, Percy Heath or Wilbur Little on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Tracks are short, and titles include "Overdrive", "Cube Steak", "Chasin The Bird", and "Solar".
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the hippest, hardest albums that trombonist JJ Johnson ever cut for Columbia – a session we'd rank right up there with his amazing JJ Inc record, and like that one a really cooking hardbop record that maybe even rivals the best on Blue Note and Prestige at the time! As with that gem, the strength here is really the group – not just tremendous trombone from JJ, but great work from Nat Adderley on trumpet, Bobby Jaspar on tenor and flute, Cedar Walton on piano, Spanky DeBrest on bass, and Albert Heath on drums – all working with a soaring, soulful energy that's a lot more hardbop heavy than you might expect from JJ Johnson on some of his other projects for the label.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Guitarist Yoshiaki Masuo was only 22 years old when he recorded Winds of Barcelona, his first leader album, in 1969. He had been discovered by the Japanese jazz giant Sadao Watanabe, and had been a member of Watanabe's group for over a year. Masuo, and the fresh, new kind of jazz – sometimes referred to as "pop jazz" – was immensely popular at the time.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of Barney Kessel's greatest albums ever – a rare Italian-only session that has a sparkly Brazilian groove! The record was recorded in Rome in 1970, and it's got Kessel's guitar fronting a combo with organ and some very tight percussion – all dancing around in a fast samba mode that's different from virtually anything else he ever recorded – very groovy, very upbeat, and very much what you might expect when the talents of a west coast guitar giant meets the best of the Italian studio scene of the time! There's loads of original tracks on the set – like "Freeway", "Lison", "BJ's Samba", and "On the Riviera" – and the whole thing has a breezy dancing feel that's really wonderful!
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of JJ's best from the late 50s – a tightly crackling hardbop set, recorded very much in the manner of his classic JJ Inc album! The sound here is a bit more compact overall – with some shorter tracks that really allow Johnson to display his keen sense of economy on his horn, while working in a burning mode that recalls some of his best bop sides from the early years – particularly his work on Blue Note.
Reissue with the latest 2015 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Not J.J. Johnson's initial public offering by any means, First Place was done with only a quartet in 1957 for Columbia Records, where other efforts by the legendary jazz trombonist were set in a larger ensemble format. Long out of print, this is now on CD with bonus tracks from 1954 featuring Charles Mingus. Playing standards and originals, Johnson assembled a mighty band with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Paul Chambers, and especially on-fire drummer Max Roach, a group you'd be hard-pressed to top.
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Louis van Dyke, in fact his surname was van Dijk, but that didn't look English enough I guess. In 1961 he had won the Loosdrecht Jazz concours with his trio and made his first album, titled Trio / Quartet in June 1964. In the quartet recordings Carl Schulze, the vibraphone player, was added. He won with this LP an Edison Award, one of the most important awards in the Dutch amusement world.
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. I first became aware of Louis Van Dyke on the "Fond Memories of Frank Rosolino" CD and it became apparent that here was a creative mind with impeccable jazz abilities who was able to play into the sound of whatever environment he chose. This recording could be by a very different musician than heard on the Rosolino album as Van Dyke is able to switch hats and maintain the integrity of whichever he is wearing at the time. What we have here is unusual to say the least: 9 songs by the Beatles performed in 1970 on the Flentrop Organ in the Netherlands Reformed Chuch at Loenen a.d. Vecht.