This release includes two rare sessions led by West Montgomery in 1963 and 1965. The first date was recorded in New York on November 1963 and features the solid drumming of Montgomery's long-time contemporary Grady Tate as well as the tasteful playing of pianist Billy Taylor. The group is rounded out by bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Grady Tate with a special guest appearance by jazz vocal giant Joe Williams. An excellent studio date. The second group of tunes was recorded live during his triumphal European tour in the spring of 1965, with a completely different lineup. The four titles include the participation of the exceptional guest star, Clark Terry on trumpet, with accompaniment by a local rhythm section. A must have for all Wes Montgomery fans. Includes booklet with comprehensive liner notes.
Phenomenal live material from the sextet-era version of the Jazz Messengers! This 2-volume CD series takes a small amount of live material that was originally issued under the 3 Blind Mice title, and adds a huge amount of previously unreleased tracks to expand both CDs into a whopping batch of hardbop killers. The group includes Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller, and Cedar Walton – and the live setting shows the band at their finest, able to trade lines and invent solos with amazing dexterity.
Sophisticated Swing is the fifth album by jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, and his fourth released on the EmArcy label, featuring performances with Nat Adderley, Junior Mance, Sam Jones, and Jimmy Cobb. A couple of decades ago Sophisicated Swing was the title of an instrumental tune - by Will Hudson, if our memory holds up - and the music that corresponded with it had a certain sleekness that probably justified the title by the standards of that era. But today sophistication in jazz has a somewhat deeper meaning. The true jazz sophisticate has absorbed the lessons of a new musical generation, one that brought with it great advances in harmonic, melodic and rhythmic subtlety. The word "swing", too, has acquired a significance mare far-reaching than any of us could have imagined in the days of monotonous four-to-the-bar rhythm sections and comparatively limited and unimaginative syncopation.
Tracks have a nice rolling feel, and the group is very comfortable with each other. Foster's tone is excellent. “….this is a great, great record; a very swingin', soulful, and I dare say slightly modal side from the great sax man Frank Foster, long time sideman and musical director of the Count Basie organization. …..Foster has assembled a very competent and skillful support crew, mostly former and then current Basie sideman (which accounts for the title of the LP: 'Basie is Our Boss…) but he is also supported by a great favorite of this blog; the unheralded John Young on piano. Unusually for an Argo side, there are only 6 tracks on this LP, as Foster & company are given a rare opportunity to stretch out and tackle the material.
Few jazz followers would think of trumpeter Chuck Mangione and pianist Keith Jarrett as former members of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but in 1966, they both worked in the drummer's classic hard bop unit and the stint gave them needed exposure and helped the pair to develop their own individual voices. With tenor saxophonist Frank Mitchell and bassist Reggie Workman completing the quintet, this particular version of The Jazz Messengers only had the opportunity to record this one excellent live LP (which is currently out of print) but proved to be a worthy successor to their more acclaimed predecessors.
One of the few sides ever recorded as a leader by Chicago soul jazz pianist John Young – a tasty trio set with just the right touch of pepper! The tracks are short and lively, very much in the mode of other Chicago trio players – like John Wright or Ramsey Lewis – and most of the tunes have a nicely rolling groove, thanks to great backing from from Sam Kidd on bass and Phil Thomas on drums – both of whom echo strongly the great Chicago groove going on at the time. The album also features a strong mixture of originals and upbeat standards – with titles that include "Joey", "In Other Words", "Blues Oreenee", "The Bridge", "Serenata", and "Search Me".
This 18-track selection of Oscar Peterson's work was assembled to coincide with the great pianist's autobiography. Centering on his most creative period, from 1950-1970, this compilation focuses intently on the years Peterson spent playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Sweets Edison, and Max Roach, as well as establishing himself as a bandleader and soloist. Tracks such as "My Romance," "Get Happy," "Blue Moon," and "Pennies from Heaven'' are standards in Peterson's repertoire and showcase his sprightly, often dizzying right-hand machinations and his complex, often frighteningly difficult conception of harmonic architecture…