This album was released on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the North Sea Jazz Festival. It contains live recordings of John Patitucci, Spyro Gyra, Russ Freeman & The Rippingtons, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Robben Ford and Gary Burton. All songs were recorded live during various editions of this festival.
Although not released until 2000, the tracks on Eartha Kitt's THINKING JAZZ were recorded at a studio session in 1991 and a German live date in September, 1992, towards the end of Kitt's self-imposed European exile. This is one of Kitt's most straightforwardly jazz-oriented albums, with none of her usual pop and cabaret overtones. The five-piece combo playing behind her-clarinet and tenor saxophone plus rhythm section-is tight and economical, and the arrangements give each member room to stretch out without dissolving into extended jams. Kitt's spectacular voice remains front and center throughout, although the instrumental "God Bless the Child" that provides the link between the studio and live material shows that even without her contributions, this would be a swinging album.
ESOTERIC proudly introduces a new series of re-master collection - A great Jazz collection from impulse!
The reissue of historical music masterpieces by ESOTERIC has attracted a lot of attention, both for its uncompromising commitment to recreating the original master sound, and for using hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) technology to improve sound quality. These new audio versions feature ESOTERIC's proprietary re-mastering process to achieve the highest level of sound quality. Limited edition (3,500 sets).
My absolute favorite Black Jazz album was Infant Eyes, by pianist Doug Carn and his wife, Jean Carn. The record had a sensual, powerful feel. What made the album a hit were the soulful lyrics the Carns crafted for jazz standards such as Bobby Hutcherson's Little B's Poem, Wayne Shorter's Infant Eyes, John Coltrane's Acknowledgment from A Love Supreme, and Horace Silver's Peace. Doug's arrangements and Jean's searing, passionate vocals gave the album a distinctly 1970s African-American feel.
Jazz Loves Disney was recorded between Paris, London and Los Angeles by a dream cast. It is incredibly coherent, as if all participants had agreed to pay a rightful tribute to the most beautiful and symbolic tunes of Walt Disneys magic world, as if nothing was too good for the stars when they revisited the classics and the sweet childhood memories connected to them. This is the ultimate proof of the impact Disney has had on generations of jazz musicians, including the ones taking part in Jazz Loves Disney.
Chucho Valdes, Cuba's most famous jazz musician, has rebalanced the repertoire of his Afro-Cuban Messengers on Border-Free, mixing its American-jazz agenda (the group's name deliberately references both Valdes' roots and the late Art Blakey's classic soul-bop Jazz Messengers group) with more extended Latin-American input, and some Native American and Andalusian connections, too. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, guesting on three tracks, is warmly romantic on tenor on the loping Tabu, agile and fluent on the Cuban dance-shuffle Bebo, and mercurial on a soprano-sax break full of north African microtonalisms on the hurtling, horn-hooting finale, Abdel.
Drummer Idris Muhammad's first two albums as a leader (Black Rhythm Revolution! and Peace and Rhythm) are reissued in full on this single CD. The former set has a few worthy tracks (including Muhammad's colorful feature "Soulful Dreams"); the latter recording…has a pair of soul vocals and some R&B material. Trumpeter Virgil Jones and saxophonist Clarence Thomas get in their spots, and the music is danceable.
Jazz and flamenco first crossed paths not in Spain, but in the USA when Miles Davis and arranger/composer Gil Evans recorded “Sketches of Spain” in November 1959 and March 1960. It became one of the most successful jazz albums of all time. And the jazz musicians in Spain? They attempted to emulate – as did their colleagues world-wide – the American model. Jazz stood for open-mindedness; national folklore was thought of as too parochial. Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde was the only musician who, under the influence of “Sketches of Spain”, added a couple of flamenco melodies to his repertoire as he toured Europe accompanied by two Germans and a Swiss. That’s why Joachim-Ernst Berendt sought him out to play at the 1967 Berlin Jazz Festival. With the festival’s motto “Jazz Meets the World”, Berendt was looking for a jazz-flamenco combination to fit the bill.
For those who like a little mysticism and classical influence in their smooth jazz, Japanese-born composer and keyboardist Keiko Matsui has long been the ticket. She was Billboard's number one Independent Contemporary Jazz Artist in 1997 and is the top New Adult Contemporary female instrumentalist of her time. In the early days (she's up to 14 albums now), Matsui did it with a mix of thunderous film score-like sweeps, elegant and jazzy piano command, and a guest sax solo here and there to score some radio hits. On The Ring, she continues her recent trend of all those same elements and gorgeous melodies without concern for pop airplay considerations.