1982 will forever be known as the year that the punks got class – or at least when Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello, rivals for the title of Britain's reigning Angry Young Man – decided that they were not just rockers, but really songwriters in the Tin Pan Alley tradition. (Graham Parker, fellow angry Brit, sat this battle out, choosing to work with Aerosmith producer Jack Douglas instead.) Both had been genre-hopping prior to 1982, but Jackson's Night and Day and Costello's Imperial Bedroom announced to the world that both were "serious songwriters," standing far apart from the clamoring punkers and silly new wavers. In retrospect, the ambitions of these two 27-year-olds (both born in August 1954, just two weeks apart) seem a little grandiose, and if Imperial Bedroom didn't live up to its masterpiece marketing campaign (stalling at number 30 on the charts without generating a hit), it has garnered a stronger reputation than Night and Day, which was a much more popular album, climbing all the way to number four on the U.S. charts, thanks to the Top Ten single "Steppin' Out".
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Brother Jack McDuff recorded an enormous number of albums during the '60s, so it can be difficult to figure out where to start digging a little deeper into his output (which Hammond B-3 fans will definitely want to do). 1967's Tobacco Road stands out from the pack for a couple of reasons. First, unlike many of his groove-centric albums, it's heavy on standards and pop/rock tunes (seven of nine cuts), which make for excellent matches with McDuff's highly melodic, piano-influenced style.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Interesting session. Worth a listen. A versatile pianist and arranger, Dick Katz has been responsible for many stimulating and memorable recordings through the years, often as an important sideman and/or producer. He studied at the Peabody Institute, the Manhattan School of Music, and Juilliard, in addition to taking piano lessons from Teddy Wilson. In the 1950s, he picked up important experience as a member of the house rhythm section of the Café Bohemia, with the groups of Ben Webster and Kenny Dorham, the Oscar Pettiford big band, and later with Carmen McRae.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A unique moment from the legendary Jimmy Scott – a one-off album cut for Atlantic Records – recorded after his initial 50s fame, and decades before he'd finally get his due, much later in his life! The album's got a style that's a bit more mature than Scott's initial sides – a bit more grown up in approach, even though Jimmy's still got that really unique light tone to his vocals – and arranged by Arif Mardin and William Fischer in a hip blend of jazz and strings – with a slow-moving vibe that's completely mesmerizing. The core instrumentation is by a group that includes Junior Mance on piano, Billy Butler on guitar, and Ron Carter on bass – and titles include "Our Day Will Come", "I Wish I Knew", "This Love Of Mine", and a very moody version of "Exodus".
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Don't think "waltz music", think "modal jazz" – because the version of jazz waltz that Shorty Rogers serves up here is a great precursor to the great grooves to come on the European scene – especially the work from the artists at MPS Records! Tunes all have this great rhythmic pulse – a way of leaping into a groove that has the piano and bass dancing together wonderfully – often with some cool vibes from Emil Richards, and loads of great reed lines from Bud Shank and Paul Horn! Some tracks feature a small combo, some feature a larger group – and the whole thing is wonderful – with energy that almost rivals the Clarke Boland Big Band with Gigi Campi. Titles include "Be As Children", "Walk On The Wild Side", "Jazz Waltz", "Terrence's Farewell", and "A Taste Of Honey".
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A rare 50s performance – featuring a smoking version of "The Afro Suite" – plus some more boppish numbers too! Dizzy Gillespie was recruited as a special guest to perform on March 13, 1955, in concert with the Orchestra (a Washington, D.C., big band), a date that was recorded by Bill Potts and not initially released until 1983 by Elektra Musician. Although there was only a brief rehearsal of Gillespie with the band prior to their performance of the trumpeter's "The Afro Suite" (which includes "Manteca" plus a trio of pieces written in collaboration with Chico O'Farrill), they provide excellent support for this extended work, which features the composer extensively.
The beat goes on, and Herbie Mann gets plenty darn groovy – serving up these short, soulful tunes that really pack a sweet little punch – thanks in part to some excellent work on vibes by the young Roy Ayers! Ayers' rings out next to Herbie's flute in a very cool way – almost Latin, but a bit groovier overall, with some echoes of bossa and 60s soundtrack jazz – all mixed with deeper soul currents that are very much in the best 60s jazz spirit of Atlantic Records! Jimmy Wisner handles the arrangements, and also plays some mean piano. Titles include Dave Pike's "Dream Garden", which was arranged by Pike himself – plus Herbie Mann's "West African High Life", and Herbie Hancock's "Hey Ho" – as well as the cuts "No Matter What Shape", "More Rice Than Peas, Please", "Soul Montuno", and "The Beat Goes On".
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A really unique little chapter in the career of Shorty Rogers – and a near-lost record that's one of his best from the 60s! As you might guess from the title, the set was recorded as a sort of "stereo dynamics" album – post-bachelor pad, but in a mode that was very concerned with the overall sound qualities as much as the actual music. But the setting turned out to be a really great thing for Shorty, as it encouraged him to open up with his arrangements, and push the group into territory that you wouldn't hear on his 50s albums!
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Yusef Lateef's music from the early '70s commands large doses of both appeal and skepticism. At a time when funk and fusion were merging with the intensely volatile and distrustful mood of the U.S., Lateef's brand of Detroit soul garnered new fans, and turned away those who preferred his earlier hard bop jazz or world music innovations. Thus The Gentle Giant is an appropriate title, as Lateef's levitational flute looms large over the rhythm & blues beats central to the equation. Kenny Barron's Fender Rhodes electric piano is also a sign of the times, an entry point introducing him to the contemporary jazz scene, and on that point alone is historically relevant.