Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. A beautiful late 70s set from reedman Marion Brown – maybe not as all-out adventurous as some of his earliest material, but still filled with a strong sense of spirit and soul! The group here is a bit unusual – as Brown's alto is set up with the guitar of Brandon K Ross, bass of Jack Gregg, and drums of Steve McCraven – in a format that often has the ringing tones of Ross' guitar working nicely with the introspective tones of Brown's alto sax. Some tunes are spacious and have a sense of sonic exploration, others are a bit more swinging, with some unusual rhythmic inflections from the guitar – and McCraven's nicely open sensibilities on the drums. And while the whole thing maybe isn't as all-out avant, the shift is actually a nice one in showing some of Brown's more personal, spiritual currents too.
From a label with no shortage of first-rate jazz material come this very attractive vocal sampler. Staying true to the Compact Jazz ethos, Best of the Jazz Vocalists favors quality over hits and comes with a budget price tag. The majority of songs are from the label's prime '50s and '60s run, including a cloud-bound "Summertime" by Helen Merrill and one of the all-time great versions of "If You Could See Me Now," compliments of Billy Eckstine. Continuing with this balancing act between the sexes, the collection also includes fine work by Bill Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Abbey Lincoln, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn, and Anita O'Day; latter-day entries include Lincoln's "I've Got Thunder and It Rings" from her 1990 Verve debut and Horn's "I Got Lost in His Arms" from 1988's Close Enough for Love. Nicely wrapped up with Nina Simone's Afro-percussion clarion call "Come Ye," this Verve roundup works as the perfect primer for more adventurous trips through the label's fertile stores of essential jazz.
Released in 1982, Middle Class White Boy was Mose Allison's first recording in six years, and his debut for the fledgling and relatively short-lived Elektra Musician label run by Bruce Lundvall. Allison is featured here in a sextet setting. His fellow front-line players are saxophonist Joe Farrell and guitarist Phil Upchurch. The set is a well-blended collection of originals and covers including Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone," and Duke Ellington's "Just a Lucky So and So." As is his trademark, Allison effortlessly blends jazz, backwoods blues, and Southern hipster jive in a heady brew of fantastic musicianship…
The 1987 edition of the Brubeck Quartet featured pianist Brubeck, his son Chris on electric bass and bass trombone, clarinetist Bill Smith and drummer Randy Jones. In addition to remakes of "Blue Rondo à la Turk," "Strange Meadowlark" and "Swing Bells," the leader contributed six new originals including "I See, Satie" and a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz called "Dizzy's Dream." Bill Smith, who uses electronics with taste on his clarinet during a few songs, has long been a major asset to the later Brubeck Quartets. This is one of their better Concord CDs.
When it comes to the boundary-stretching spirit that has become so widespread among many of today's leading jazz musicians, drummer Mark Guiliana deserves credit for being one of the most enthusiastic embodiments of this attitude. He has a longstanding passion for electronic music, as heard especially on the releases on his own Beat Music label (2014's My Life Starts Now and Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations).