Early in 2012 guitarist Diego Prato formed his first original project, consisting of a trio with bass (Arron Bell) and drums (Joe Luckin). His background includes jazz, funk, Latin, soul and hip hop music. These elements are all important influences, shared by all members, in a sound that is jazz-based but that has an interest in, and a vision towards, the contemporary. This is expressed in a series of original compositions as well as interpretations of standards and songs that range from John Coltrane to John Scofield to Curtis Mayfield.
This archival compilation is a much-needed addendum to John Lurie's recorded legacy. Since being struck with a chronic case of Lyme disease in 2000, the saxophonist and composer has focused more on painting than music. The John Lurie National Orchestra was an early-'90s trio with percussionists G. Calvin Weston and Billy Martin. This group recorded fairly little in the studio, issuing only one album, 1993's Men with Sticks. The title track from that recording is featured and showcases just how fluid and communicative they could be in virtually any circumstance. It's one of the true highlights here, with Lurie's hypnotic alto exploring the subtleties of a melodic idea atop a circular rhythm orgy by Weston and Martin.
John Christopher Williams is an Australian virtuosic classical guitarist renowned for his ensemble playing as well as his interpretation and promotion of the modern classical guitar repertoire. In 1973, he shared a Grammy Award in the Best Chamber Music Performance category with fellow guitarist Julian Bream for Julian and John (Works by Lawes, Carulli, Albéniz, Granados).Guitar historian Graham Wade has said: "John is perhaps the most technically accomplished guitarist the world has seen."
This is a memorable set. When pianist Junko Onishi performs songs from the likes of Charles Mingus ("So Long Eric"), John Lewis ("Concorde"), and Ornette Coleman ("Congeniality"), she interprets each of the tunes as much as possible within the intent and style of its composer.
Kenny Drew (1928-1993) was an extraordinary bebop-oriented pianist who recorded with Howard McGhee, Buddy DeFranco, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane (the famous album Blue Train) before moving to Denmark in 1961. While he sacrificed much of the interest of the American jazz audience, he gained a wide following across Europe, and by extension, in Japan. Dark Beauty, recorded in 1974 with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and Albert "Tootie" Heath, became a break-out hit that helped advance Drew's acclaim. On this album he displays tremendous pianistic skills, intelligent and advanced harmonic sensibilities and driving sense of swing. Pedersen is featured throughout, and his solos demonstrate awe-inspiring technique and imagination…