The Kansas City alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, who was to post-second-world-war jazz what Louis Armstrong had been to its first wave, is as likely to be remembered today for his heroin habit and early death than for his exquisite and melodically stunning improvising. If that era's jazz is like journalism, Parker was its acutely observant war reporter, who kept coming back from the front of his own exploding world with new stories to tell.
Rare 1974 perfomance from New York's Bottom Line Club. Deeply affected by the narcotic-induced deaths of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten in 1972 and roadie Bruce Berry the following year,Neil Young became somewhat adrift and lost in a haze of drugs and drink following these tragic events.
The fact that something was founded as a side project doesn't necessarily mean that the participants don't take it as seriously as they take their other endeavors. Blackfield, for example, started out as a side project for singer/multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson, who had been leading Porcupine Tree for a decade when he co-founded Blackfield with Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen in the early 2000s…
A killer live set by Les McCann – and one that actually him playing with some horns! The record was cut early in McCann's career, with his Ltd trio that had Herbie Lewis on bass and Ron Jefferson on drums – plus some great guest work by Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Stanley Turrentine on tenor, and Frank Haines on tenor. We can't stress how much these players add a groove to Les' group – as we always enjoy his piano playing, but find most of his trio sets a bit sleepy. Instead, this one grooves like a rare Blue Note – and the tracks are long with plenty of great solo interplay.
On first thought, one might be hard-pressed to find a common ground between Algerian raï music and Latin jazz. But for the pianist Maurice el Medioni, an Algerian-born Jew who left his home for France decades ago as an exile, and the Cuban-born, New York-based percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, the link connecting North Africa and Cuba is a direct one – by way of Spanish Andalusia. World music fusion exercises are more common all the time, and cultural distinctions often become so blurred that the sources are obscured rather than accented.