Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. This studio date came about as a result of Albert Mangelsdorff's appearance at the Third Yugoslavian Jazz Festival, where pianist John Lewis was impressed enough with his performance to set up a recording session a few days later. With bassist Karl Theodor Geier and drummer Silvije Glojnaric also on hand, none of the musicians had ever played together, though it made little difference as they quickly absorbed the originals of Lewis and Mangelsdorff, along with the familiar standard "Autumn Leaves" (a trio arrangement omitting Lewis) and Gary McFarland's "Why Are You Blue."
Helen Merrill's first American record since 1968 (she had spent much time in Japan) is mostly a duet set with pianist John Lewis; three songs also have flutist Hubert Laws, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Connie Kay. The emphasis is on ballads, with all of the nine songs (other than the pianist's "The Singer") being quite well-known. The obvious empathy between Merrill and Lewis is well displayed on such numbers as "Django" (which has rarely been sung), "Angel Eyes," "Alone Together" and "Mad About the Boy." An introspective set full of subtle creativity.
Essence, released in 1962, allows space for improvising around the charts provided by vibraphonist Gary McFarland. Arranged by Lewis, it featuring an array of jazz greats including Eric Dolphy, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Jimmy Giuffre, and Jim Hall.
Violinist Svend Asmussen (who has had too few of his albums through the decades available in the U.S.) teams up with pianist John Lewis, bassist Jimmy Woode and drummer Sture Kalin on this 1962 session from Stockholm, Sweden. Most notable is the repertoire: six Lewis originals (including "Django") and Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman." Asmussen fits in well with Lewis and brings a solid sense of swing to the somewhat complex music.
This is one of pianist John Lewis' most rewarding albums outside of his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet. Three numbers (including a remake of "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West") showcase his piano in a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Connie Kay. A 15-and-a-half-minute rendition of "Body and Soul" has one of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' finest solos, while "Afternoon in Paris" features a diverse cast with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, Gunther Schuller on French horn, tenor man Benny Golson, baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, and guitarist Jim Hall; altoist Eric Dolphy cuts everyone.
The emphasis on this fine LP is on John Lewis' piano playing. Taking time off from the Modern Jazz Quartet and his orchestral writing, Lewis performs five standards plus two of his originals ("Delaunay's Dilemma" and "Love Me") in a trio with drummer Connie Kay and either George Duvivier or Percy Heath on bass. A master at playing blues, Lewis' versatility and solid sense of swing can be heard on such songs as his two originals as well as "Now's the Time," "Yesterdays," and "September Song."
This album of duos stands out as one of a kind; recorded during a phase in which he began to consistently incorporate a freer musical language into his playing, and set within a constellation of diverse duo formations, there emerges an exciting portrait of the central figure in German jazz: Albert Mangelsdorff. With tongue in cheek – or better said – in mouthpiece, Mangelsdorff accompanies Don Cherry on a journey that culminates in a zany duel staged almost without instruments. With his close friend Elvin Jones, Mangelsdorff unfurls so many melodic and metric parameters that one could believe they are listening to a full combo that dissolves conventional time patterns into kaleidoscopic polyrhythms, whereas the colorful tonal confrontation between Karl Berger’s agile, inspired vibes and the questioning, challenging trombone stands out as a lesson in Avant-garde brainstorming.