The second CD by Philip Johnston's Big Trouble is jazz mixing great musicianship with a touch of madness. He treats Steve Lacy's "Hemline" as if it were penned by Raymond Scott (whose music was adapted for classic Looney Tunes cartoons) and "Bone" sounds like a wild improvisation on a childhood chant. Pianist Joe Ruddick's "Heaven, Hell, or Hoboken" has a nifty calypso beat with an intense cacophony of reeds and brass. Johnston is also a gifted composer; his "Pontius Pilate Polka" blends folk dances with swinging Dixieland interludes. "Mr. Crocodile" is a light samba with a touch of reggae. Highly recommended for fans of the great melting pot of jazz.
The songs in this collection span a period of over four hundred years, yet they show a fundamental unity of style which illustrates how static a genre based in a tradition of apparently untrained music-making necessarily remained. Tudor court composers conjure up an Arcadian world of innocence, while later works often derive from indigenous folk-songs. Either way, the secular song packages and sanitises a dangerous world of rustic abandon for an audience more restrictively cultured.
By the time of this fourth Blue Note album by trumpeter Donald Byrd, it became clear that his playing was becoming stronger with the passing of time. Byrd in Flight features separate studio sessions from January and July of 1960 with constants Duke Pearson on piano and drummer Lex Humphries. Bassists Doug Watkins and Reggie Workman split duties six tracks to three, as do tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley and alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, making for some interesting sonic combinations, although Byrd is the dominant voice…
Growing up as the child of one of the greatest icons in American music can't be easy, but Nancy Sinatra managed to create a sound and style for herself fully separate from that of her very famous father, and her sexy but strong-willed persona has endured with nearly the same strength as the image of the Chairman of the Board.