Forgotten series: Bill Evans – The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings (1961)

by Nick DeRiso The pianist, of course, got all the press. But Scott Lafaro, this tragic genius in a unique counter-melodic style, is the one who so often gets forgotten. If you care anything about bass (rock, jazz or blues) you will find his recordings with Bill Evans at New York City’s Village Vanguard … and you will study them.Read More

Miles Davis and John Coltrane – Green Dolphin Street (1960)

by Nick DeRiso The last time Miles Davis and John Coltrane played together, as best I can tell. Recorded in Holland in April 1960, the stirring song cycle was later issued stateside by the little-known Natasha Imports. One version, from the 9th, had just So What, ‘Round Midnight, On Green Dolphin Street (obviously), Walkin and The Theme. Later copies, IRead More

Jesus "Chucho" Valdez – El Jazz Cubano/Solo Piano (1992)

by Nick DeRiso Capitol Records — under its Blue Note and World Pacific imprints — put out a much-needed overview of Cuban jazz a while back. From them emerged a new star: Showcased on both “El Jazz Cubano” (WP) and “Solo Piano” (BN) is the swinging magic of pianist Jesus “Chucho” Valdez. He’s featured both by himself and as theRead More

Deep Cuts: Herbie Hancock, "Elegy" (1994)

by Nick DeRiso “Elegy” begins with a trill from Herbie Hancock, then a persistent, oh-so distinctive tapping that could only be drummer Tony Williams. Next, a nimble, casually funky bass line from Ron Carter. Like a dream made real, Miles Davis’ second great group — with Wallace Roney stepping in for the fallen trumpeter — steps out of the shadowsRead More

Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay (1970)

Whenever the topic of discussion is a major work of early jazz fusion led by a trumpeter who’s already of renown in the straight jazz arena, most anybody would immediately think of the Prince Of Darkness. But Miles wasn’t the only cat on the horn making the successful transition from acoustic to electric jazz without loss of integrity. Before hisRead More

One Track Mind: Joe Lovano, "Central Park West" (1991)

by S. Victor Aaron Strange as this might sound, listening to Joe Lovano’s rendition of this 1960 Coltrane original makes me think of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. Hendrix’s “Wing” was a relatively brief and initially largely unnoticed track in it’s original form, but in someone else’s hands…Clapton’s…it became a more majestic theme and a form of tribute for it’s composer.Read More

Gimme Five: Jazz’s greatest last recordings

“Thank you very much, you make me feel so wonderful. It’s been a pleasure being here but I really must go now, it’s so hot.” Clifford Brown at the end of his final performance, June 25, 1956 Jazz history is full of personal tragedies; so many of the greats who for various reasons, left us far too soon. For someRead More

Something Else! Featured Artist: Dave Holland Quintet

For me, Dave Holland is one of those guys who has stood for excellence in almost four decades of recording, dating back to the In A Silent Way recordings and before. Yup, it’s time to devote space giving him mad props. Put on your raincoat and rain boots, ‘cos I’m gettin’ ready to slobber and gush. In My Humble Opinion,Read More

David Stryker – Shades Of Miles (1998)

by Pico Lately it seems every other article I write has some sort of Miles Davis connection to it (and I have yet another piece about a Davis sideman sitting in the pipeline). But as a lover of the early style of fusion as well as just about any form of adventurous jazz, it’s hard to ignore the man’s vastRead More

One Track Mind: Keith Jarrett Trio, “Autumn Leaves” (1994)

by S. Victor Aaron That Keith Jarrett, he’s one amazing individual. Consider: · In the middle of the domination of jazz by wanking electric guitarists and keyboardists in 1975, KJ sits down in front of an audience in West Germany armed with only a piano, starts playing whatever came out of his head for about an hour and the recordingRead More