Duke Ellington recorded for Brunswick from 1926 to 1931, the period in which his great talent and great orchestra first flowered, whether the band was recording under his own name or such pseudonyms as the Washingtonians or the Jungle Band. The earliest recordings are highlighted by the presence of trumpeter Bubber Miley and trombonist "Tricky Sam" Nanton, whose brilliant work with plunger mutes for vocal effects did much to define the early sound–which, in turn, rapidly evolved and expanded with the additions of Harry Carney, Johnny Hodges, and Cootie Williams. While the band's repertoire included many blues and popular songs, its distinctive identity emerges from early renditions of such trademark pieces as "East St. Louis Toodle-O," "Black and Tan Fantasy," "The Mooche," and "Mood Indigo." By the end of the period covered in this set, Ellington's ambitious later suites–some of them CD-length–are portended in the elegant extended composition "Creole Rhapsody," his clearly superior contribution to the symphonic jazz movement.
Verve Jazz Masters 31 presents an introduction to the recordings of Cannonball Adderley. The enclosed booklet includes biographical material and commentary on the songs selected.
Cannonball Adderley was a happy man in an angry time. His success was largely based on that fact and so were his limitations. Called 'the new Bird" because of his remarkable facility on the alto saxophone, he never plumbed the dark depths of sorrow the way his predecessor did: he was Ella Fitzgerald to Charlie Parker's Billie Holiday. Nor did he ebulllient saxophone is showcased here playing classic songs, in small combos, swinging octets, and backed by string orchestras - from his mid-Fifties output for Mercury and EmArcy. With Paul Chambers, Kenny Clarke, John Coltraine, J.J. Johnson, Wynton Kelly an, of course, Cannonball's brother, Nat.
Being familiar with some of his work (basically the hit songs) I had no idea of the legacy this brilliant man has left behind. To my complete surprise this (ridiculously low priced) box set opened a new musical world before my ears and from the very first listening I have felt madly and hopelessly in love with Serge Gainsbourg's music. The quality of these recordings is matched by the quality of sound. The remastering is top notch and superior to most digital transfers heard today. I only wish this incredible set had been released on vinyl as well.
Before it was more common for jazz players like Wynton Marsalis to play both jazz and the "straight" music from stage, screen, and concert hall, trumpeter Joe Wilder broke the mold as a regular in Broadway pit bands and as a staff musician at ABC-TV from 1957-1973. After fleshing out his formal studies via stints with Lionel Hampton, Jimmie Lunceford, Lucky Millander, and Count Basie, Wilder augmented his "day job" at ABC with several dates as a leader. This 1956 Savoy session finds him in the sympathetic company of pianist Hank Jones, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Kenny Clarke.
Here is another LP helping from the Keith Jarrett "American" Quartet's last recording session – one that is almost as consistent in quality as its predecessor. The happy-go-lucky groove of the title track perfectly expresses its name, with Jarrett blithely singing along; both Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden get plenty of solo space on Redman's "Gotta Get Some Sleep" and Haden's "Pocket Full of Cherry" (a pun referring to Haden cohort Don Cherry); and Paul Motian remains a marvelously flexible drummer. Moreover, there is another fascinating swatch of Middle Eastern experimentation on "Pyramids Moving."
Martial Solal and Joachim Kühn joined forces in 1975 for a duo piano concert during the debut of the Festival Independent de Massy. Both musicians enjoy showing off their right-handed runs in the opening to "Solar," before turning on the afterburners and really starting to wow the audience. The remaining two numbers are evidently on-the-spot duo improvisations, with "Journey Around the World" segueing through many different moods. "Musica 2000," a 19-minute excursion, is even more intense and clearly much further into the avant-garde camp. Throughout the concert, the two pianists are clearly inspired by each other. Released by Dreyfus in Europe, but not in the U.S., this recommended live CD may be somewhat difficult to acquire.