Wednesday Apr 25
 
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Ballads and Blues
Ellington gets personal
Music music04
Sound sound04

This is a very special Duke Ellington CD.

Ellington was a man of many parts. He regularly introduced himself as "the piano player" and he was pleased with his role as "the world's greatest listener." (I have no doubt that many of the "We've had a request to play" announcements were self-referential.) On this CD we get to hear Ellington in both those roles along with Ellington the composer. And it offers an extra treat in the form of Ellington the producer.

Come Sunday
Vocal Jazz Meets Gospel
Music music04
Sound sound05

Hang in for a slight digression. I promise a proper discussion of Crosscurrents after just a couple of short paragraphs of reminiscence.

Kenny Werner Live
Balloons: Four by Five at the Blue Note
Music music04
Sound sound05

I can pretty much sum up Kenny Werner's Balloons by quoting the last two words of Bill Milkowski's liner notes:  "inspired evening."

Mark Levine: Moacir Santos
Off & On - The Music of Moacir Santos
Music music04
Sound sound04

Pianist Mark Levine's resumé is impressive.  He has major credentials in what's commonly called hard bop (Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Blue Mitchell, Harold Land), in Latin jazz (Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, Moacir Santos, Willie Bobo), and jazz education (authoring The Jazz Theory Book and The Jazz Piano book as well as serving on various jazz faculties and clinics).  His most significant current performing work is done with his "and the Latin Tinge" band.

Eddie Henderson's Inspired Trumpet Sound
Inspiration
Music music04
Sound sound03

Eddie Henderson produces one of the most convincing jazz trumpet sounds since Clifford Brown. But his personal aesthetic is heavily grounded in the post-Coltrane acoustic adventures of the late '60s and early '70s. So Henderson occasionally sets forth somewhat abstracted melodic lines which, oddly enough, sound dated in today's neoclassic atmosphere.

Woody's SESAC Rarities
The Fourth Herd & The New World of Woody Herman
Music music04
Sound sound04

For nearly twenty years, SESAC (a music licensing entity similar to ASCAP and BMI) operated a recording division which prepared transcriptions for radio station use.  Stations who subscribed to SESAC's service would receive a set of 16 inch transcriptions each month along with printed commentary and anecdotes that DJs could use while presenting the music--music that was not otherwise available to the stations' listeners.

UFO:  A Bit of Taboo For Me and You
No Sound Is Too Taboo
Music music04
Sound sound05

United Future Organization is a jazz-dance-dj-Afro-salsa-samba collective that formed on the Tokyo club scene a few years ago. No Sound Is Too Taboo is the group's second North American release. It's a powerful work that may break UFO through to solid acceptance here. The group apparently already enjoys considerable renown not only in Japan but also in the UK and Europe.

Jamal Remembers
I Remember Duke, Hoagy & Strayhorn
Music music04
Sound sound04

Critics used to complain that Ahmad Jamal's playing "lacked density" and "left too many spaces." They were objectively correct, but subjectively in error. Indeed, Jamal used few notes and outlined melodic space rather than filling it in. But he did it expertly, compellingly, and artistically.

Elvin Jones: Swinging
It Don't Mean a Thing...
Music music04
Sound sound04

Yes, Elvin Jones is a busy drummer: complex, daring, creating circles of polyrhythmic pulsations. But, as the title of this CD implies, "that swing" is the foundation of everything Jones plays.

Delano: Technology bites art.
Bite of the Apple
Music music04
Sound sound02

Bite of the Apple displays a focus and depth of character that eluded pianist Peter Delano on his earlier Verve release. This set features Delano in a variety of ensembles exploring genres from chamber jazz with cellos and alto flute to traditional trio performances to hard bop modernism laced with a Latin beat.

 
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