Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

Something Else! Featured Artist: Charlie Parker

by Nick DeRiso Spring time. That means sudden storms, stingingly bright flowers — and birds. Or, for me, Bird. Here are a few recommended Charlie Parker sides to while away the sunshine and showers … “The Legendary Dial Masters, Vols. 1 & 2,” from 1996 on Jazz Classics For beginning listeners, start here instead of Rhino’s two-CD “Yardbird Suite: TheRead More

Lists: Underrated jazz pianists Michael Wolff, Hampton Hawes, Monty Alexander, Sonny Clark, Joe Sample

by S. Victor Aaron Piano records are tough to pick, because there’s always the temptation to include records by Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Bill Evans: 1) The Michael Wolff Trio; Jumpstart (1995)Before this guy was twenty, he was already good enough to be playing in Julian “Cannonball” Adderley’s band. For this session, he employs Christian McBride and Tony WilliamsRead More

Gimme Five: More overlooked Miles Davis recordings

Here’s my handful of Miles Davis recordings, following Victor’s terrific list, that you might not have already grown dead-dog sick and tired of: 1. “Amandla,” from 1989.The old man still had it. Don’t believe me? The band (as always) says it all: new altoist Kenny Garrett, pianist Marcus Miller, keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco, tenor Rick Margitza, pianist Joe Sample. “Mr. Pastorius”Read More

Maceo Parker – Roots Revisited (1990)

By S. Victor Aaron Call this one, Mo’ Maceo. If you like Maceo Parker, get your hands on Roots Revisited; good, organic funky soul covering classic tunes by giants like Ray Charles (“Them That Got”), Charles Mingus (“Better Get Hit In Yo’ Soul”) and Sly Stone (“In Time”). “Children’s World”, a slight reworking of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World”,Read More

Pee Wee Ellis – Blues Mission (1992)

“Blues Mission” was the first bonafide solo release by Maceo Parker’s running buddy Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis — one of the funkiest homo sapiens anywhere. Happily included are updated versions of his seminal pieces with James Brown — the immortal, groundbreaking “Cold Sweat,” a sort of emancipation for jazz in the form of a soul-funk voting card. This song isRead More

Lists: Jazz rhythm standouts Peter Erskine, Christian McBride, Tony Williams, Dave Holland

by S. Victor Aaron PETER ERSKINE, Sweet Soul (1991) I’ve got scads of records led by John Abercrombie that show Erskine’s prowess on the skins better than this record. But here, Erskine does such a great job leading an ensemble that shifts from track to track. On some, we are treated to Kenny Werner’s inspired keyboard work and on others,Read More

Gimme Five: Funky records from Herbie Hancock, Jeff Lorber, Grover Washington Jr., The Crusaders, David Sanborn

This time we look at albums with grooves in the pocket even if they weren’t much in the press: 1) Herbie Hancock, Mr. Hands (1980)The seventies began very creatively for HH, first with the space funk Mwandishi albums followed by the better-known Head Hunters period that firmly eastablished Herbie’s pre-eminance in synthesized instrumental funk. But as the decade wore on,Read More

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – Fire of the Fundamentals (1994)

by Nick DeRiso While it doesn’t have the cohesiveness of 1992’s “Portraits of Ellington,” this makes its own kind of statement. The playlist is an evocative pairing of older, traditional big-band selections by composers like Billy Strayhorn, with more modern tunes from Miles, Monk and Coltrane. In that way, the CD nearly mirrors the band’s own makeup.

Lionel Hampton and Friends – Rare Recordings, Vol. 1 (1977)

by Nick DeRiso A line-up from jazzer nirvana is one thing. Wringing such ringing performances out of the guys is quite another. Call this cool vibes from vibrophonist Hampton, who certainly knows where to mail the invitations — a veritable who’s-who of jazz for the newbie: Pianist Hank Jones, trumpeter Thad Jones, pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines, bassist Charlie Mingus, trumpetRead More

Something Else! Featured Artist: Jean Luc Ponty

by S. Victor Aaron LIFE ENIGMA (2001): Born in Avranches, France, in 1942, classically-trained violinist Jean Luc Ponty discovered Miles and ‘Trane in his twenties and became a pioneer in the fusion movement of the late-sixties and throughout the seventies. He was — and still is — arguably the finest electric violinist in the world. Oops, did I say “arguably”?Read More

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