In 2003 Anthony Braxton Quartet went on a European tour which has become legendary. The members of this quartet were Kevin O'Neil on guitar, Kevin Norton on percussion and Andy Eulau on bass. The concept of the tour was to perform jazz standards and during the tour the quartet performed over 60 different ones. The results of the tour were two 4-CD sets entitled 23 Standards (Quartet) 2003 and 20 Standards (Quartet) 2003 released by Leo Records. Both sets received tremendous critical acclaim. Reviewers noted that Braxton performed jazz standards in an entirely new way. Rather than echoing, aping or diminishing the tradition he was reinventing it making both the past and present much richer than it was before. Now we are releasing the remaining 19 standards (no duplication with previous volumes), totalling 4.5 hours of music. The set is a must not only for Braxton's followers but for all jazz fans at large. Limited edition 500 copies.
This album is somewhat unique in that it was recorded just a few days after his pianist Dick Twardzik died of a heroin overdose while in Paris. According to Chet, this event lead to him "seeing what heroin was all about" and it became an instant and lifelong companion for him. Because Twardzik was not able to play, they had to come up with some basic "standards" that Chet normally didn't play that often, so that there new sit-in pianist could keep up. In this case, you here some really wonderful versions of songs that Chet rarely ever played, like Summertime, Tenderly, Autumn in New York, etc, which are all marvelous.
A great Lee Morgan set – and one of his rarest! The album was recorded in 1967, but unissued until 1998, when Blue Note unveiled the material as part of its "standards" series that featured label players performing material not of their own composition. Unlike the other records in the series, though, this set by Morgan is not filled with snoozy evergreens, and instead features some excellent reworkings of 60's pop tracks and a few traditional numbers. The group's a septet, with instrumentation that hearkens to other Morgan sessions from the time – like Infinity or Sixth Sense – and players include Wayne Shorter, James Spaulding, and Herbie Hancock. Duke Pearson did the arrangements.
Guitarist Mike Stern, best-known for playing rock-oriented fusion and in more commercial settings, surprised many listeners by recording an album dominated by standards. Actually, there are three originals included among the 11 pieces, but Stern also digs into such songs as "Like Someone in Love," "Moment's Notice," Chick Corea's "Windows," and "Straight No Chaser." Among Stern's sidemen on this fairly straight-ahead but adventurous set are trumpeter Randy Brecker, Bob Berg on tenor, and keyboardist Gil Goldstein. This little-known release is well-worth acquiring.