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RECORD REVIEWS

Jazz Journal offers unrivalled coverage of recorded jazz old and new. We carry more than 20,000 words of expert comment and discography on recent jazz issues in every issue. Here's what we reviewed in the August 2012 issue:

New issues: Albare Itd, Roy Assaf, Dan Barrett, Ketil Bjørnstad, Bill Carrothers, Chicago Underground Duo, Floratone, Frank Holder & Shane Hill, Hot Fingers, Gary Husband, Vijay Iyer, Jazz Punks, Ingrid Laubrock, Oriole, Evan Parker, Bucky Pizzarelli, Steve Plews, Eric Reed, Daryl Sherman, Martin Speake, Toots Thielemans, Sumi Tonooka, United Jazz + Rock Ensemble, Bob Wilber, Thilo Wolf

Reissues or unissued archive material: Joe Alexander, Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt, Dorothy Ashby, Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Booker Ervin, Bill Evans, Art Farmer, Maynard Ferguson, Benny Goodman, Gigi Gryce, Coleman Hawkins, Keith Jarrett, Teddi King, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Karin Krog, Francis Lockwood, Johnny Lytle, Jack Millman, Marilyn Monroe, Brew Moore, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Lucy Ann Polk, Jimmy Rushing, Pee Wee Russell, Terje Rypdal, Zoot Sims, Frank Sinatra/Count Basie, Dakota Staton, Cecil Taylor, Various: British Traditional Jazz, Phil Woods

ONE FINGER SNAPS

Capsule comment, discography and star rating on CDs we don't have space to review in full. In the August 2012 issue:

Mina Agossi, Richard Andersson, Alvaro Bello, Bilbao Syndrome, Jack Davies, Lasse Ehn, Espen Eriksen, Nicholas Genest, Mark Hanslip/Javier Carmona, Anne Mette Iversen, Bertil Jonasson, Marcel Loeffler, Jesper Løvdal, Andrea Marcelli, Miklin-Känzig-Hart, Phil Miller, Livio Minafra, Oltremare Quartet, The Splendor, Theo Jackson, Third World Love, Simon Toldam, Manual Valera

*   *   *   *   *   *

Just a taste from over 80 CD reviews in the August 2012 issue:

DAVE BRUBECK: THEIR LAST TIME OUT (Columbia)
"Another, perhaps clinching testament to what a magnificent group this was. I would hazard that no leading jazz musician has attracted as much vitriol and sheer nasty prejudice as Brubeck. Dates like this prove how shamefully, viciously cloth-eared were those inane detractors." (Richard Palmer) *****

BOOKER ERVIN: TEXAS TENOR: SEXTET, QUINTET AND QUARTET (Fresh Sound)
"The title track is a terrific two-tenor chase, with piled up twos and fours and great accompaniment. Largo is Booker's loveliest ballad performance apart from Uranus, and Poor Butterfly underlines his command of song form and willingness to stretch it. I'd say this was an essential set." (Brian Morton) ****

ART FARMER: FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS (Avid)
"A word about Art's trumpet sound in this pre-flugel period. In the original notes, Gene Lees detects a 'smoked quality,' but I would go further. It's also peaty, like an island malt, so that the trumpet's brilliance is suffused with a touch of expressive hoarseness – a distinctive jazzman's soundprint that would be frowned upon by symphonic players." (Anthony Troon) ****

FLORATONE: FLORATONE II (Savoy Jazz)
"The sound is an extension of familiar Frisell territory with each number a curious American vignette. By turns sombre, poignant, sinister and jaunty, the Frisell/Chamberlain compositions capture different essences of the big country – with the emphasis on country. But it is jazz because the music is made and remade in the moment." (Garry Booth) ****

BENNY GOODMAN/ ANITA O'DAY: BIG BAND LIVE (Jazzhaus)
"This issue purports to be part of the first batch of some 3000 hours of jazz recordings from the archives of this German radio station. Something to look forward to!" (Jerry Brown) ****

GIGI GRYCE QUINTET: 1960-1961 (Fresh Sound)
"The sound quality and recording balance are first-rate and the 24-page booklet provides an interesting resumé of Gryce's career. A likely candidate for the 2012 top ten." (Brian Robinson) *****

COLEMAN HAWKINS: CLASSIC COLEMAN HAWKINS SESSIONS 1922-1947 (Mosaic)
"It's not just Hawk who's great. These discs are crowded with brilliant work by the other horns and pianists who find themselves in his company. The booklet, with the best assessment of Hawk's work that I've ever read, deserves an award on its own. I haven't voted in our record poll for a couple of years, but this one's enough to bring me out of retirement!" (Steve Voce) *****

GARY HUSBAND: DIRTY & BEAUTIFUL, VOLUME 2 (Abstract Logic)

"Time was when fusion was widespread and widely derided. Still often derided, this most musically revolutionary of jazz genres (like many step changes, a synthesis of innovation in style and technology) is now an endangered species, though not if people such as Gary Husband and the valiant Souvik Dutta of ABLX can help it." (Mark Gilbert) ****

VIJAY IYER: ACCELERANDO (ACT)
"Undoubtedly one of the crucial voices of his generation, Iyer with each new release is pulling the mainstream ever more left of centre, and an increasing range of musical influences is passing through his utterly unique lens." (Fred Grand) ****

KEITH JARRETT: SLEEPER (ECM)
"While mostly familiar, the music abounds in new accents and ideas and underlines these ultra-melodic improvisers’ uncanny ability to bring a compositional quality to their work. The packaging has some rare and excellent black and white shots of the quartet in action. For me, it all adds up to a record of the year." (Michael Tucker) *****

RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK: SPIRITS UP ABOVE: THE ATLANTIC YEARS 1965-1976 (Warner Jazz - vinyl issue)

"Kirk was an original soloist with a fresh sound, style and approach to jazz. This two-LP set on 180-gram vinyl sounds great although if you prefer you can get it as a two-CD set on Warner 2564659266." (Derek Ansell) *****

GERRY MULLIGAN AND THE CONCERT JAZZ BAND: SANTA MONICA 1960 (Fresh Sound)

"Five stars do not do justice to this CD, which serves as a reminder of what jazz lost when Mulligan disbanded the CJB in 1964 due to lack of bookings. Ira Gitler said it best: 'If this band cannot work when it wants to, there is something very wrong with the state of music in America.'" (Gordon Jack) *****

EVAN PARKER/JOHN EDWARDS/EDDIE PREVOST: MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE SAXOPHONISTS VOLUME 1 (Matchless)
"Although he occasionally airs his still-astonishing circular-breathing polyphonic routine, Parker, on excellent form, mainly stays connected to the jazz roots, displaying an unmistakeable, albeit stern and fragmented, lyricism." (Barry Witherden) *****

ART PEPPER: THE QUINTESSENCE: LOS ANGELES 1950-1960 (Frémeaux)
"This set captures magnificently the sheer variety of settings that Pepper recorded in during this troubled time. From the big, brassy arrangements of the Stan Kenton orchestra, through to more intimate quartet and duo performances, Art sounds remarkably fluid and inventive." (John Adcock) *****

ZOOT SIMS: FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS (Avid)
"Has there ever been a jazz musician to match the consistency of Zoot Sims? The music heard on this latest Avid is an unalloyed joy throughout, proving yet again that each time John Haley Sims stepped up to a recording microphone riches poured forth." (Simon Spillett) *****

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