The Honeysuckle Breeze was the debut album by saxophonist Tom Scott. The California Dreams were a vocal group who contributed their singing and harmonies. Scott brought in musicians like Mike Melvoin, Carol Kaye, Max Bennett, Lincoln Mayorga, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Gordon and others to this session. Some of the same set of musicians, including Scott, would also play on Gabor Szabo's album Wind, Sky And Diamonds, also featuring The California Dreamers and also released on Impulse, also in 1967. The Honeysuckle Breeze is celebrated in hip-hop circles for Scott's cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Today", which was sampled in the celebrated song by Pete Rock & CL Smooth, "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)", but the album shows a side of Scott that he would abandon eight years later as his music retained funkiness but started to become lightweight. The Honeysuckle Breeze also features covers of The Beatles' "She's Leaving Home", Donovan's "Mellow Yellow", and The Association's "Never My Love". Scott contributes one original song to the album, "Blues For Hari".
This excellent Columbia album was recorded less than a year after Dexter Gordon's well-publicized tour of the United States following a dozen years spent living in Europe. With assistance from such other major players as trumpeters Woody Shaw and Benny Bailey, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson sounds in superlative form on Woody Shaw's "The Moontrane," four standards, and his own "Fried Bananas." In addition to the original program (which features Dexter with an all-star tentet), the 1997 CD reissue adds two 1979 features for vocalese singer Eddie Jefferson ("Diggin' It" and "It's Only a Paper Moon") that were originally released on Gordon's Great Encounters; trumpeter Shaw and trombonist Curtis Fuller co-star with Gordon. An excellent acquisition.
A veteran pianist deserving of wider recognition, Larry Vuckovich has spent several decades on the American jazz scene since leaving his native Yugoslavia for the U.S. in the early '50s. For the most part the songs on these 2011 sessions focus on bop and hard bop from the late '50s and early '60s, ranging from solo piano to trio, quartet, and quintet, featuring tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton on five selections. Vuckovich's working group includes tenor saxophonist Noel Jewkes, bassist Paul Keller, and drummer Chuck McPherson. Vuckovich's solo treatment of Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica" mixes glistening lines with jaunty bop, while his approach to Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" is lush with a few Tatum-inspired runs added for fun.
Joshua Redman is joined by drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and trumpeter Ron Miles for Still Dreaming—an album inspired by his father Dewey Redman's 1976–1987 band, Old and New Dreams—due on Nonesuch Records May 25, 2018. Along with the senior Redman, Old and New Dreams featured an all-star lineup of Ornette Coleman collaborators—cornetist Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Ed Blackwell—who continued pushing musical boundaries as they had with Coleman even after their former bandleader moved in a new direction. Still Dreaming features six new compositions by the new band as well as one tune by Haden and one from Coleman.
Wycliffe Gordon is best known for being the star trombonist with Wynton Marsalis' groups, but as he shows on the colorful Joyride, he is much more. Gordon not only plays trombone but a bit of tuba, trumpet, and even piano (on "Blessed") in addition to taking some good-time vocals. His music is inspired by New Orleans jazz while also including swing, blues, bop, and some more modern explorations. With Victor Goines also showing off his versatility (mostly on tenor but also playing some soprano and clarinet) and the rhythm section being both flexible and alert, this is a highly enjoyable and rather unpredictable set that keeps one guessing.