This reissue is unrelated to another V.S.O.P. set simply titled A Jazz Band Ball. Terry Gibbs on vibes and marimba matches wits and creativity with Victor Feldman and Larry Bunker, both of whom double on vibes and xylophone. Assisted by pianist Lou Levy, bassist Max Bennett and drummer Mel Lewis, the intriguing frontline essentially plays bop, but with a great deal of color. The interaction between the vibraphonists, who are all featured and occasionally trade off, is the main reason to acquire this very interesting set.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Guitarist Phil Upchurch is in great company here – a cool, back-to-basics sort of group that almost gives Phil a hardbop heritage he didn't have in his youth! The lineup features excellent work on a variety of reeds from Brandon Fields – alto, tenor, soprano sax, and flute – each handled deftly, with an especially nice edge on the alto and soprano! Bobby Lyle plays acoustic piano – and reminds us what a great straight player he can be, even though we love his electric work – and the group's got a great bottom groove from Brian Bromberg on bass and Harvey Mason on drums. Upchurch is the real star, though – and sometimes solos with the ferocity of a horn on his guitar – matching Fields at some moments in this really great way.
A solid bop-based pianist, Eddie Higgins has never become a major name, but he has been well-respected by his fellow musicians for decades…
On this reissue CD, pianist/arranger Marty Paich heads a septet that consists of trumpeters Jack Sheldon and Don Fagerquist, valve trombonists Stu Williamson and Bob Enevoldsen, and a quiet rhythm section with bassist Buddy Clark and drummer Mel Lewis. While some swing standards are taken as stomps (including "Blue Lou" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside"), a pair of Dixieland warhorses ("Dinah" and "Ida") are surprisingly recast as dreamy and introspective ballads. In addition, there are a couple other familiar pieces, plus an original apiece by Paich ("Iris of the IRA") and Bill Holman. The cool-toned music holds one's interest and is one of many fine Marty Paich recordings from the 1950s.
Official Release #57. The third and final live album put together from recordings of Frank Zappa's 1988 concerts, the two-CD set Make a Jazz Noise Here focuses on the composer's instrumental pieces – which are not necessarily jazzy, by the way. As for the three vocal tracks included ("Stinkfoot," "Stevie's Spanking," and "Advance Romance"), they all feature interesting solos. The set presents old favorites, like the medley "Let's Make the Water Turn Black"/"Harry, You're a Beast," "King Kong," and "The Black Page." They are well-performed, but considering the number of versions of each of them available on other recordings, they hardly constitute the main interest of this album.