This is an enjoyable, somehow spontaneous recording of several of Bach's works for a pair of harpsichords, with the great Japanese Bach conductor Masaaki Suzuki joined by his son Masato. The high spirits of the elder Suzuki here could be chalked up to any combination of several factors. One might be freedom from the rigors of his complete Bach cantata cycle, just recently completed when this album appeared in 2014.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Early Blue Note work from the legendary Bobbi Humphrey – a session cut before she hooked up with producer Larry Mizell, but one that's still got a righteously soulful vibe! The arrangements here are by Wade Marcus, but he still has the great idea of giving Bobbi a bit more expanded sound in the background – a full mix of sounds that lets her flute step out in the lead and find its own soulful space on the solos – all with a wonderful style that definitely marks Humphrey as one of the freshest jazz flute talents in years! The other players are all pretty hip too – and include Lee Morgan on trumpet and Billy Harper on tenor – who'd both played with Bobbi on one of Lee's late Blue Note dates – and titles include a version of Eddie Harris' "Set Us Free", plus "Sad Bag", "Don't Knock My Funk", "Journey To Morocco", and "Ain't No Sunshine".
Pianist Russ Freeman, who produced this record, related it this way : “The last time we were (with Shelly Manne’s quintet) in San Francisco, we went to blow at some motel on the outskirts of town one afternoon. There were some other musicians there; we took turns playing. Jerry (Dodgion) was there. The afternoon wound up with Charlie and Jerry playing the blues with a rhythm section for about twenty minutes. It was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had, and I wasn’t even playing!
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. An unusual global session for Atlantic Records – an album that has John Lewis presenting work by three other musicians that he feels are ripe for wider discovery! The set's got some killer work from Rene Utreger – a key Parisian player in the postwar years, working here with dexterity that's almost at a Bud Powell level! Dick Katz is also featured on the set – with some nice colors and tones in the mix, similar to some of the work he'd go onto do for Atlantic and other labels. And perhaps the least known here is the British player Derek Smith – stepping out with a lyrical style that's captured surprisingly well here – and which makes the record a key addition to Smith's catalog.
While not one of the classics of the jazz fusion movement of the early '70s, The Guerilla Band does attempt to say something substantial and avoids the genre's commercial pitfalls. Leader Hal Galper, who went on to become an acoustic pianist of note, is heard here exclusively on electric piano. His highly electronically processed sound is unlike the playing of the Fender Rhodes' more representative players from this era, such as Joe Zawinul or George Duke. Galper's band includes brothers Mike (saxophone) and Randy Brecker (trumpet), who at this time were gaining critical acclaim with their band Dreams.
Groove Holmes and Gerald Wilson – a wonderful combination on this late 60s session – in a style that's everything great about mainstream LA jazz at the time! Wilson really has a way with the charts on the session – and although the group is large, they've got a lean, clean sound that bounces along nicely – slightly funky at times, always soulful at others – a perfect backdrop for the well-played Hammond lines that Groove brings to the set! The album's not as much of an all-out organ wailer as some of Holmes' albums for Prestige – but that's a-ok with us, because Wilson's group features some other great players too – including Dennis Budimir on guitar, Tony Ortega and Arnie Watts on saxes, and Paul Humphrey on drums!
A killer album of Afro Funk – with a very unusual origin! In the wake of Manu Dibango's big hit (and some kind of failure to register the copyright), many many versions of "Soul Makossa" were recorded and released, some good, some bad. This album is a good example of that situation – kind of a quickie project issued by Mainstream Records to cash in on the hit – but it's also an amazing bit of lost funk, and a record that's lasted for years in the hearts of beatheads! The group's a studio combo headed by Richard Fritz – and includes funky drummer Paul Humphrey, organist Charles Kynard, and guitarist David T Walker – all players we can trust to keep things groovy.