Percussionist Norman Hedman's medium-sized combo is well named; it plays an engaging blend of salsa, Latin jazz, bomba, samba, and just about any other warm-climate dance idiom you can think of. The flute occasionally has a hard time getting in tune with the brass but, other than that, the sound is lush, sweet, and gently, percolatingly funky – less a musical stew than a fruit salad. Hedman's influences include Cal Tjader and Armando Peraza, and while he also owes a clear debt to the big salsa bands, he deliberately avoids overwhelming the listener with too many layers of percussive polyrhythm.
In the hands of Richard Galliano, the mechanical intricacies of the accordion become agents of a compelling musical power, grace, and expression. A virtuoso of the instrument, Galliano exploits the complete orchestral potential of the keys, buttons, and air beneath his fingers. On Laurita, his musicianship is put in the service of utterly swinging jazz that is informed by the romantic and impressionistic influences of Galliano's French-Italian heritage. Call it the soundtrack for the boulevardier who likes to chase his espresso with a shot of bop. The core group on this 1995 session is Galliano, drummer Joey Baron, and bassist Palle Danielsson — a formidable trio in which Baron's muscular, musical touch and Danielsson's rich tone and technique have unfettered space to interact with Galliano's multiphonics.
The idea for reuniting this seminal '70s fusion group first came in 2015, when the lineup for a previously booked one-week engagement at New York's The Blue Note club unexpectedly fell through. Rather than cancel, Coryell suggested bringing most of the 11th House's original members back together—trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummer Alphonse Mouzon and bassist John Lee, who replaced founding bassist Danny Trifan for the group's second album, Level One (Arista, 1975)—along with, Coryell's son, guitarist Julian Coryell, replacing Mike Mandel due to the keyboardist's ill health.
On May 19, 1961, Miles Davis was showcased at a Carnegie Hall concert, performing with his quintet of the time (tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb) and, for the first time in public, the Gil Evans Orchestra. Although thought of by some later on as being in an off period since he was between innovations, Miles' trumpet chops were actually in prime form during 1961-63, as he shows throughout the date. All of the music on this 1998 two-CD set has been out before, either on the original LP of the same name or on the later album More Music From the Legendary Carnegie Hall Concert, but this is the first time that the two sets have been reproduced in their original order.
For his second set as a leader, the focus is almost entirely on tenor saxophonist Ralph Moor, who switches to soprano on two of the six numbers. Accompanied by pianist David Kikoski, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart, Moore performs group originals, Wayne Shorter's "Black Diamond" and Bud Powell's "Un Poco Loco." Displaying a tone on tenor similar to John Coltrane's, Moore's note choices are more original than his sound. A solid modern mainstream set.
Reunions have become a requisite aspect of the music business, though the end results can vary in quality. Reunited, The Jazz Passengers first recording in twelve years, is a stellar example of this phenomenon. Picking up where they left off, this vivacious studio session juxtaposes mellifluous crooning, adventurous post-bop and stylistic eclecticism with irrepressible charm and sophisticated humor. Their all-inclusive embrace of multiple genres yields a hodgepodge of uncanny originals and surprising covers, executed with palpable enthusiasm.
Il ne suffit pas d’être deux pour faire une rencontre. En amour même, cela contrarie souvent l’esprit de la rencontre. Cette "séance" est jouée jusqu’au bout. La musique s’y pose comme un oiseau de paradis sur la queue du piano. Moon and Sand, qui donne son titre à l’album, a cette grâce d’incertitude, cette fragilité, la démarche intimidée et souple qui en font le charme. Les premières notes de Tom Harrell, son entrée en jeu, sont un des moments d’émotion de la vie. C’est la musique même, son affirmation sans roulement…
Still going strong at the age of 81, legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal's love letter to his favorite Broadway, Hollywood, and Great American Songbook classics, Blue Moon, is arguably one of his most accomplished efforts since his Chess/Impulse! heyday. The Pittsburgh virtuoso, once credited by Miles Davis as a major influence on his career, shows that age is no barrier to invention with six exquisite reworkings of postwar standards.