Predictable is not an adjective associated with the recordings of pianist Steve Kuhn. He is joined by bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete La Roca for this exciting studio session from the mid-1960s, both of whom he had worked with under Art Farmer, as well as on La Roca's smashing debut as a leader, Basra. With the exception of "Ida Lupino" and "Never Let Me Go," the music will likely be unfamiliar to most jazz fans, but adventurous souls are in for a treat. Kuhn's originals include the furious modal work "Bits and Pieces," which sounds as if it represents the center of a storm, as well as "Today I Am a Man," which suggests a well-known composition from the heyday of the bop era. "Why Did I Choose You" is played with a soft bossa nova accent, while Sergio Mihanovich's "Three Waves" is intense, with overlapping changes of rhythm. "Never Let Me Go," a favorite of singers, is understated and subtle, only hinting briefly at the melody.
All the rave reviews about this album are justified; this is a superb, sizzling, and very soulful live recording from 1970. According to the liner notes this recording was made "almost as an afterthought" by Blue Note. But afterwards, the label decided not to release the show, keeping it in the Blue Note vaults until it finally saw the light of day in 2000. But patience is rewarded; this is a fantastic album.
Recorded in 1970 but not released until 1996, Live At the "It Club" shows the Three Sounds pulling out funky, gritty rhythms out of their basic bluesy hard-bop sound. The group's funky influences are most noticeable in the rhythm section of drummer Carl Burnette and bassist Henry Franklin, who had been playing with Harris for only a short time when this set was recorded. The rhythm section pushes Harris, making the music loose and swinging – the groove matters more than anything on the album. Occasionally, the energy of the Three Sounds lags, but Live at the "It Club" is an enjoyable piece of grooving soul-jazz.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. One of our favorite Ornette Coleman albums of the post-Atlantic 60s years – a set that still hangs onto some of the bold rhythmic conception of his previous records, but also points the way towards his freer jazz modes to come! The group's a trio – with really tremendous work from Charlie Haden on bass, able to match Coleman's energy with effortless ease, and really getting a lot of room to leave his mark on the music – plus the very young (10!) Denardo Coleman, who plays drums here with this stark, simple style that's not only completely unique, but which also leaves a lot of open room left for Haden and Ornette to really stretch out. Ornette plays his usual alto, plus trumpet and violin – and titles include "Good Old Days", "The Empty Foxhole", "Zig Zag", and "Freeway Express".