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.
JAZZ A SAINT-GERMAIN is a tribute to the World War II Paris jazz scene.
This compilation of jazz and pop with a Continental flair includes two of the most famous French female pop stars, Jane Birkin and Françoise Hardy, in duets with Jimmy Rowles and Iggy Pop, respectively. Elsewhere, great tracks are turned in by Angélique Kidjo, the Jazz Passengers with Debbie Harry, and Catherine Ringer & the Renegade Brass Band. ~ Keith Farley
Few others besides avant-garde composer/instrumentalist Elliott Sharp could record a collection of blues songs and make them sound like a new genre altogether, a sort of blues/folk/jazz/new age sound with droning keyboards, slinky reverbed vocals, sinuous guitar parts, and angstful horns. The album is by turns haunting, sexy, volatile, and soothing
Pianist Eliane Elias follows her Latin Grammy win for 2017's magnificent Dance of Time with this set of tunes from the iconic musical Man of La Mancha. During the mid-'90s, Elias was approached by Mitch Leigh, the Tony-winning composer of her musical; he'd followed her career and greatly admired her work. Accompanied by Neil Warner, arranger for the original musical, he commissioned the pianist to rearrange songs from the show. Elias was given complete freedom to choose which songs she wished to record. She hired two rhythm sections: One featured drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Eddie Gomez; the other bassist Marc Johnson, drummer Satoshi Takeishi, and master percussionist Manolo Badrena (who plays with both groups). Elias and her sidemen recorded nine songs live in studio. Unfortunately, the completed album was shelved due to contractual issues and seemed doomed to obscurity. Leigh passed in 2014 and never saw its release. Concord rescued the album and added it to their catalog some 23 years after recording.
Billy Eckstine was looking back more than forward by 1960, and his second record for Roulette featured two remakes of familiar hits he'd enjoyed almost 20 years earlier. He also covered two average themes from forgottable movies, the first being the title song (from a Yul Brynner vehicle), the second being "Secret Love" (from a Doris Day film). It may read like a desultory date, and indeed it would have been if not for the presence of a solid jazz band and the surprisingly sympathetic arrangements of big-brass auteur Billy May.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Dizzy Gillespie meets the Phil Woods Quintet – a group that already has a great trumpeter in the form of Tom Harrell – which makes the album here a double-horn delight! Dizzy's on trumpet throughout, and Harrell plays both trumpet and flugelhorn – and the pair work well with Woods' alto in the front line, sharing back and forth, and creating a lively interplay between the different voices of their instruments. Dizzy is impeccable – as he always is at this point in his career – and rhythms are nice and tight, thanks to piano from Hal Galper, bass from Steve Gilmore, and drums from Bill Goodwin. Titles include a great reading of Galper's Loose Change" – plus "Terrestris", "Love For Sale", "Oon Ga Wa", and "Whasidishean".