Saturday Oct 20

Reviews

victor 78 sleeveReviews of music on CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray, and various analog formats (LPs and 78s, mainly), current and vintage.  Even I am surprised at how far back some of them go, not to mention how much there is to keep up with.

 

 
 
26 results - showing 11 - 20 1 2 3
Ordering 
 
That Latin Jazz Feeling from the Bronx
Catch the Feeling
Music music05
Sound sound04

Latin jazz places special demands on its creators.  A band must sound relaxed while dealing with complex rhythms that require precise, yet energetic, treatment.  And no matter how fiery the proceedings get, the musicians must communicate melodically, and honestly.  There's no room for untidy musicianship or ego trips.  Neither the music nor its audience will tolerate such abuse.  (Yes, I have a specific transgression in mind, but that recent CD shall remain nameless here.)

 
 
Chico O'Farrill: the writer
Pure Emotion
Music music03
Sound sound04

Latin jazz patriarch Chico O'Farrill says "I'm a big band writer" and sets forth ten charts full of Pure Emotion to demonstrate that premise to anyone's satisfaction.

 
 
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.

 
 
Booker Ervin's Finest 40 Minutes on CD
Exultation!
Music music05
Sound sound04

Exultation! was Booker Ervin's first and finest session for Prestige and, not coincidentally, offers some of the best  Frank Strozier on record. Ervin's bristling yet stylish hard bop abounds and there's even a rare exquisite ballad performance  ( of Fats Waller's  "Black and Blue").

 
 
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.

 
 
Pharoah Sanders: Love for Coltrane
Crescent With Love
Music music05
Sound sound05

Crescent With Love is Pharoah Sanders's tribute to John Coltrane. Happily, Sanders chooses to focus his attention on tunes that Coltrane recorded in the years preceding Coltrane's direct association with Sanders. We get "Lonnie's Lament," "Crescent," and "After the Rain," rather than "Kulu Se Mama," "Ascension," and "Om." This is a remembrance of the sounds of classic rather than cosmic Coltrane. And what wonderfully evocative sounds they are!

 
 
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.

 
 
A Swinging Tribute to Blakey's Art
One for Bu!!
Music music04
Sound sound04

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but youthful drummer Sebastian Whittaker obviously believes that emulation is the finest form of appreciation.  One for Bu!! is Whittaker's heartfelt and skillful tribute to the late jazz master drummer and leader Art Blakey, not an attempt at simple simulation.

 
 
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