By the time of this fourth Blue Note album by trumpeter Donald Byrd, it became clear that his playing was becoming stronger with the passing of time. Byrd in Flight features separate studio sessions from January and July of 1960 with constants Duke Pearson on piano and drummer Lex Humphries. Bassists Doug Watkins and Reggie Workman split duties six tracks to three, as do tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley and alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, making for some interesting sonic combinations, although Byrd is the dominant voice…
Growing up as the child of one of the greatest icons in American music can't be easy, but Nancy Sinatra managed to create a sound and style for herself fully separate from that of her very famous father, and her sexy but strong-willed persona has endured with nearly the same strength as the image of the Chairman of the Board.
Barney Bigard is one of the great jazz clarinetists. Although most famous for playing in Duke Ellington's band, Bigard performed with a host of lesser bandleaders, giving a series of distinctive, lyrical performances with each. 1944 collects Bigard's performances with the Capitol International Jazzmen, Zutty Singleton's bands, and his time with Roger Kay. Although not as consistently revelatory as his playing with the Duke, these sessions show Bigard to be a master of his instrument, displaying fabulous technique and great lyricism throughout. The Classics label has done a fine job at remastering, and the excellent liner notes round off a nice package.
On the third album of his '90s comeback, Big John Patton chooses to create a relaxed vibe, smoothly grooving through a surprising choice of material. Most of the record consists of challenging songs like Coltrane's "Syeeda's Song Flute" and Grachan Moncur III's "Sonny's Back," which gives Patton – as well as his supporting band, featuring guitarist Ed Cherry and tenor saxophonist Dave Hubbard – the chance to create intricate yet accessible music. This is music that can be heard as simply a good groove yet it rewards careful listening. This One's for J.A. again confirms that Patton has made one of the rare comebacks in jazz, one that does justice to his earlier work.