Amos Miller writes: “The release of this album marks the 25th anniversary of Onyx Brass. During this period, we have premiered around 200 new works, and believe that new music is utterly essential both for the development of brass chamber music and to the wider survival and success of classical music."
Zoot and trumpeter Jon Eardley were in Paris in 1956 as part of the Gerry Mulligan Sextet which performed at the Olympia. They took time off to record on their own in the studios. Tracks 1-4 released on French 10 inch LP were actually a rehearsal with the Henri Renaud trio which was deemed good enough to release. The rest of this Jazz In Paris CD features a Live set by the Henri Renaud ensemble complete with vibes and guitar dwarfing the saxes, and a loud but not unruly audience.
A magnificent follow up to the Undercurrent album from the team of Bill Evans and Jim Hall – and like that one, a set that features amazing interplay between piano and guitar! Hall's guitar has never sounded better – and in the airy company of Evans, it takes on many of the same qualities as on his famous late 50s recordings in the Jimmy Guiffre trio. Bill's work is great too – almost more tonally focused than before, with perfectly chosen notes that resonate beautifully in this very spare space. Titles include "Jazz Samba", "All Across The City", "Angel Face", and "Turn Out The Stars".
The unique all-star group featured on this live set from 1994 had not only never performed together before as a band, but most of the musicians had never been on the same stage with each other before. Miles Davis had passed away three years earlier, so the two Marcus Miller pieces, "Tutu" (which sounds surprisingly similar to "So What" during the solos even if the chords are different) and "The King Is Gone" are in tribute to the late trumpeter. "The King Is Gone" is a straight-ahead extended blues, while "Looking Up" has heated solos over a simple vamp. Overall, Kenny Garrett and Michel Petrucciani generally take solo honors (Biréli Lagrène is a bit overshadowed), while Miller and Lenny White keep the rhythms stimulating. Although the three selections are each quite extended, they hold one's interest throughout.
During the three years that he recorded for Verve, flutist Herbie Mann's playing changed from straight bop to incorporating elements of Latin, African and South American music. This CD reissues all of the music from one former LP (Flautista) and several of the selections from two others (The Magic Flute of Herbie Mann and Herbie Mann's Cuban Band). Whether it be with a standard quartet, backed by a string section, jamming with a sextet that includes two percussionists or interacting with a brass section, the flutist is heard in explorative form, satisfying his fertile musical curiosity; he even plays bass clarinet and piccolo on one song apiece. Highlights of this excellent overview of Mann's Verve period include "Baia," "Oodles of Noodles" (Jimmy Dorsey's theme song "Contrasts"), "The Peanut Vendor," "Cuban Patato Chip" and "Caravan."
For some reason, the Jazz in Paris series has put together a collection of music featuring these three vocalists. Except for the fact that all three recorded in Paris, there appears to be little connection. The music is still excellent however. The first 8 tracks by Harold Nicholas show off his excellence in covering standards. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", with its last verse in French, is a highlight. June Richmond, accompanied by the Quincy Jones Orchestra, sings "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues" through "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea". Excellent renditions all. The last two tracks, by Henry Bey and the Bey Sisters, are nice, but give only a small introduction to their music.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. The lesser-known third album by Cedar Walton's landmark Eastern Rebellion combo – one of the most important indie soul jazz groups of the late 70s, still going strong on this set! The lineup is still the same as on the second set – with Bob Berg on tenor, Curtis Fuller on trombone, and the wonderfully solid team of Billy Higgins and Sam Jones on rhythm. However, the sound here is slightly different – with a more conscious sense of disharmony at times – creating an unsettling edge that replaces the warm, fluid feel of earlier records. The change shows that Walton and the group were still growing and searching – and titles include "Incognito", "Firm Roots", "Seven Minds", and "Never Never Land".