Three Blind Mice Blu-spec CD reissue series! Limited paper sleeve edition! Now's The Time captured two groups who performed at the Three Blind Mice's own jazz festival called "5 Days in Jazz 1974." The first group was the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio with guest soloists Isao Suzuki on cello and Sunao Wada on guitar. They performed two songs on Side A of the original vinyl LP.
Japanese drummer George Otsuka is always one hell of a hip cat – one of those players whose name on a record always means that we'll pick it up – and never fail to hear something wonderful! And while Otsuka first got his start working with a piano trio at the end of the 60s, this sweet set from the mid 70s really has him stretching out nicely – working with a freewheeling group that has plenty of spiritual elements – but in that gentler avant mode you'd find in the Japanese scene of the time. The set's got some especially great Fender Rhodes and piano from Fumio Karashima, plus tenor and soprano sax from Shozo Sasaki – and all tracks are nice and long, and really let the instrumentation build up in this flowing, organic sort of way. Mitsuaki Furuno plays bass, and Norio Ohno adds in a bit of extra percussion too – and titles include a nice reading of "Naima", with lots of fast-moving congas – plus "Physical Structure", "Mustard Pot", and "Little Island".
Special Feature / Bonus Track: 2 bonus tracks. After years of staying free of comparisons with Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt steps confidently into a set of compositions by the late, great one – sounding really wonderful in his own interpretations of these classics! The album's got the same simple and focused still as Stitt's best work on Roost – and although the compositions are all by Bird, the overall sound is still very much Sonny's own – especially given the wonderful sense of space and timing brought to some of the performances! The group's an unusual one, especially for Stitt – and features John Lewis on piano, Jim Hall on guitar, Richard Davis on bass, and Connie Kay on drums – all offering a slightly more modern take on Bird than might be expected – especially through the angular lines on Hall's guitar.
Best known for his "Mission: Impossible" theme song, Lalo Schifrin is an Argentinean-born composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor, whose jazz and classical training earned him tremendous success as a soundtrack composer. Born Boris Claudio Schifrin in Buenos Aires on June 21, 1932, his father was a symphonic violinist, and he began playing piano at age six. He enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire in 1952, hitting the jazz scene by night. After returning to Buenos Aires, Schifrin formed a 16-piece jazz orchestra, which helped him meet Dizzy Gillespie in 1956.