Because there have been relatively few major jazz violinists, it is difficult for a newcomer to emerge without comparison to some of the greats, or often sounding too much like one of them. Fortunately, Antoine Silverman doesn't resort to mimicry but has already seemed to have developed his own distinct sound; this talented young man is accompanied by Stefan Karlson (a fine pianist who has yet to receive the acclaim he deserves), bassist Roger Spencer, guitarist Pat Bergeson, and drummer Chris Brown…
What one feels about this 27-song CD will depend entirely upon one's tolerance for soft rock and bubblegum pop. Pickettywitch were huge in England for about two years, and remain one of the more fondly remembered pop/rock groups of their period, mostly by virtue of singer Polly Browne, who has maintained a fandom for 30 years. The sound is soft rock in a modified group context, similar to the kind of music generated by the Partridge Family, the Cowsills, and, on a two-dimensional level, the Archies in America, slick and smooth, catchy and unthreatening; their version of Paul Simon's "Sound of Silence" is something akin to what the New Seekers' rendition might've been like, while "Days I Remember," which came close to charting in America, is akin to the Carpenters trying their hand at blue-eyed soul. It's all rather pretty, for all of its relative wimpiness, and difficult to dislike on that basis – "Solomon Grundy," the B-side that launched their public success, is one of those tunes that was meant for radio airplay two or three times daily, and the title track, a top-five U.K. hit, is a breezy piece of romantic soft rock.
The first solo album by Juhani Aaltonen, a rarity since its original release in 1974 on Love Records. Saxophonist and flautist Juhani “Junnu” Aaltonen is a living legend among Finnish jazz musicians, having also performed stints with rock groups such as Tasavallan Presidentti. Encouraged by the ubiquitous Edward Vesala, with whom Aaltonen recorded several albums over the years, he ended up in the recording studio as a band leader. Vesala’s influence is evident on the resulting album Etiquette, which also features a host of other remarkable musicians as well, such as guitar hero Hasse Walli, bassist Pekka Sarmanto and saxophonist Sakari Kukko in his pre-Piirpauke days.
In 1960 bassist Charles Mingus helped to organize an alternative Newport Jazz Festival in protest of Newport's conservative and increasingly commercial booking policy. The music on this LP (which has been reissued on CD) features some of the musicians who participated in Mingus's worthy if short-lived venture. Trumpeter Roy Eldridge performs three numbers with pianist Tommy Flanagan, Mingus and drummer Jo Jones; of greatest interest is "Mysterious Blues" for it adds trombonist Jimmy Knepper and the unique altoist Eric Dolphy successfully to the group. The other selections match up drummers Max Roach and Jo Jones with Roach's quintet (featuring trumpeter Booker Little) on "Cliff Walk" and feature singer Abbey Lincoln on "Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do."