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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 April 2013 issue:

New issues reviewed
Atzmon, Gilad & The Orient House Ensemble: Songs Of The Metropolis (World Village WVUK 04)
Battaglia, Stefano: Songways (ECM 372 4554)
Blake, Seamus: Live At Smalls (Smalls Live SL-0008)
Carrington, Terri Lyne: Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue (Concord Jazz CJA3402602)
Carroll, Liane: Ballads (Quiet Money QMR0002CD)
Chambr: Freewheel (F-IRECD61)
Celea, Jean-Paul: Yes Ornette! (Out Note OTN 016)
Cookers, The: Believe (Motéma 233644)
Lockheart, Mark: Ellington In Anticipation     (Subtone ST802)
Lockrane, Gareth: The Strut (Whirlwind WR 4627)
Mitchell, Robert: The Glimpse (Whirlwind WR4630)
Muthspiel, Wolfgang: Vienna Naked (Material MRE035)
Opus 5: Pentasonic (Criss Cross 1351)
Potter, Chris: The Sirens (ECM 279 4579)
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: In The Spirit Of Duke (Spartacus STS017)
Shorter, Wayne: Without A Net (Blue Note 79516)
Wheeler, Kenny/Norma Winstone: Mirrors (Edition EDN1038)

Reissues reviewed
Ardley, Neil: A Symphony Of Amaranths (Dusk Fire CD107)
Benson, George: Beyond The Blue Horizon (CTI 6009, vinyl)
Brandenburg, Inge: Sing! Inge, Sing! (Silver Spot 1036002SSR)
Brown, Clifford/Max Roach: Emarcy Albums (Mosaic 3004)
Brubeck, Dave: Bossa Nova U.S.A. (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55578)
Byas, Don: The Complete 1946-1954 Paris Recordings (Solid Jazz 36635)
Cobham, Billy: Original Album Series (Warner 8122-79692-1)
Davis, Eddie "Lockjaw"/Johnny Griffin: The Complete Sessions (Jazz Dynamics 001)
Davis, Miles: Quiet Nights + Sketches Of Spain (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55573)
Davis, Miles: Live In Europe 1969 The Bootleg Series Vol.2 (Columbia/Legacy 88725 41853 2)
Davis, Miles/John Coltrane: Live In Zurich (In Crowd 996683)
Donaldson, Lou: Cool Blues (Groove Hut GH 66716)
Ellington, Duke: Ellington Jazz Party (FiveFour 34)
Ellington, Duke: Meets John Coltrane & Coleman Hawkins (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 749)
Farmer, Art/Benny Golson: Here And Now/Another Git Together/The Jazztet & John Lewis (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 755)
Friedman, Don: A Day In The City/Circle Waltz (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 760)
Getz, Stan: Desafinado (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 753)
Gillespie, Dizzy: Dizzy On The French Riviera + New Wave! (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55575)
Golson, Benny: Turning Point/Free (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 750)
Hawkins, Coleman: Alive! At The Village Gate 1962 (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 756)
Hawkins, Coleman: Desafinado + Bluesy Burrell (Master Jazz MJR 8892861)
Hawkins, Coleman/Horace Silver: Complete Birdland Broadcasts New York September 1952 (Solid Jazz 36630)
Hayes, Tubby: Little Giant Steps (Properbox 176)
Jazz Crusaders, The: Freedom Sound & Lookin' Ahead (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 751)
Lewis, Ramsey: In Chicago (Phoenix Records 131562)
Lyttelton, Humphrey/Wally Fawkes Troglodytes: Rent Party (Lake LACD315)
Mann, Herbie: Do The Bossa Nova: Complete Brazilian Sessions (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 752)
McCann, Les: Plays The Shampoo At The Village Gate (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 754)
McCann, Les: Sings & Pretty Lady (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 757)
O'Day, Anita: Anita O'Day & The Three Sounds With Gene Harris + Time For 2 With Cal Tjader (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55559)
Pepper, Art: "Smack Up" (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55556)
Peterson, Oscar/Ray Brown/Cannonball Adderley: Bursting Out/Ray Brown With The All-Star Big Band (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55580)
Ponty, Jean-Luc: Original Album Series (Warner 8122-79692-0)
Rollins, Sonny: The Bridge, Complete 1962 Sessions (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 748)
Schrifin, Lalo: My Life In Music (Aleph 047)
Shank, Bud/Clare Fischer: Bossa Nova Jazz Samba + Brasamba! (Solar 4569934)
Sun Ra: Supersonic Jazz (Solar 4569933)
Teagarden, Jack: Chicago And All That Jazz! (Phoenix 131568)
Wilson, Gerald: You Better Believe It! + Moment Of Truth (Fresh Sound FSR-CD 759)

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Excerpts from the 56 CD reviews in this issue:

GILAD ATZMON & THE ORIENT HOUSE ENSEMBLE: SONGS OF THE METROPOLIS (World Village)
Through the range of instruments at his behest the most inventive Mr Atzmon delivers an astonishing array of textures and moods to capture the soul of some great capital cities of the world . . . plus Scarborough. (Anthony Troon) ****

STEFANO BATTAGLIA: SONGWAYS (ECM)
The delicate balance of instruments and the clarity of presentation on this CD will come as no surprise to those who are familiar with ECM and its founder, Manfred Eicher. All of the music presented here is composed by Battaglia and offers much to admire. The playing is spare, yet avoids being bleak; it is solemn, yet never gloomy. (Bruce Crowther) ****

INGE BRANDENBURG: SING! INGE, SING! (Silver Spot)
An excellent singer with a real feel for jazz and a good sense of swing, Inge Brandenburg (1929-99) first sang on US Army bases and with German jazz groups in the late 1950s. At the 1960 Juan-les-Pins jazz festival she was named best European singer. She appeared often on German television, the source of this long-buried material, and gradually her considerable talent was directed into pop, a sign of the times and changing public taste. Brandenburg led a troubled life but enjoyed a late and well-deserved revival of her popularity. (Bruce Crowther) ****

CLIFFORD BROWN/MAX ROACH: THE EMARCY ALBUMS (Mosaic)
Most people tend to think of hard bop beginning with the classic Miles Davis Quintet of 1955 and the original Jazz Messengers in 1954 but the Brown/Roach quintet was there first, ahead of the others by some months. Few jazz groups attain classic, magical status but, along with Louis's Hot Fives and Sevens, Parker's Savoys and Miles Davis's early quintets, this band was one that surely did. And this is the way to hear the music, on four pristine, 180-gram vinyl discs. (Derek Ansell) *****

LIANE CARROLL: BALLADS (Quiet Money)
There are probably more technically accomplished singers around than Carroll but for those of us who prefer involvement combined with an ability to reach an audience she is definitely our vocalist of choice. At a time when popular music is congratulating itself on having a couple of half-decent singers in Adele and Emeli Sande, jazzers should appreciate, not for the first time, that they have the real article in Liane Carroll. (Peter Gamble) *****

BILLY COBHAM: ORIGINAL ALBUM SERIES (Warner)
This was an incredibly concentrated period of activity, less than 30 months spanning the whole output here. Disconcerting, too, to consider how smoothed out much of what followed was. Cobham's stock dipped in the late 70s and after, even if he has, now approaching 70, made a striking return to form. A lot of this classic material has been available for a time on the Wounded Bird imprint, but it belongs together here. A good time for a re-evaluation. (Brian Morton) ****

MILES DAVIS QUINTET: LIVE IN EUROPE 1969: THE BOOTLEG SERIES, VOLUME 2 (Sony)
This is a band on the road caught on either side of the August 1969 sessions that fed into Bitches Brew, which explains the spread of material. It's great stuff, this. I'd happily put away Bitches Brew and Live Evil for a year or two and concentrate on these getting-on-for three hours of magnificent modern jazz. (Brian Morton) ****

DUKE ELLINGTON MEETS JOHN COLTRANE & COLEMAN HAWKINS (Fresh Sound)

August 1962 was a remarkable month for Coleman Hawkins recordings. This batch includes in Solitude what I regard as the most beautiful Hawkins performance that I know of, obviously not as earth-shaking as the original Body And Soul, but certainly one of the most moving (and least known) classics of his career. (Steve Voce) ****

STAN GETZ: DESAFINADO (Fresh Sound)
The minute one heard the first notes from it more than half a century ago one knew that this was a classic album. It succeeded on all fronts (except in cementing the friendship between Stan and Charlie Byrd). It was eloquent, artistic and had perfect form. It's one of those albums that everyone should have. (Steve Voce) ****

TUBBY HAYES: LITTLE GIANT STEPS (Properbox)
Fellow JJ scribe and Hayes disciple Simon Spillett wrote the 32-page booklet which tells you everything you need to know about these recordings. With superb sound reproduction throughout and nearly five hours of wonderful jazz for very little money, what are you waiting for? (Brian Robinson) *****

MARK LOCKHEART: ELLINGTON IN ANTICIPATION (Subtone)
Lockheart's contribution to the recent Kenny Wheeler recording Mirrors was a timely reminder of just how good he is. Anticipation is an element of the experience of surprise and this album creates the disconcerting sense that you know what the next note or harmonic shift will be, only to be proved delightfully wrong. Faultless. (Brian Morton) ****

THE HUMPHREY LYTTELTON-WALLY FAWKES TROGLODYTES: RENT PARTY (Lake)
Originally issued on Stomp Off, these performances capture Humph with close, long-time associate Wally Fawkes on one of his occasional returns to his early stomping grounds. Humph duets capably on clarinet with Wally, with Wally's original Leah's Lullaby and Humph's Mezz's Tune being particularly enjoyable. (Hugh Rainey)

CHRIS POTTER: THE SIRENS (ECM)
The headline news is that this is Potter's ECM debut and there's a certain novelty in that, but it would be wrong to expect departures. Rather, one listens out for the extraordinary moments in Potter's saxophone playing. Most of these are on Wine Dark Sea, its blowing section a funky seesaw between Am7 and F13 that gives full rein to Potter's modal mastery and surgical expressiveness: The neurotic staccato stuttering at the end of the third minute is exquisite, technically and intellectually. (Mark Gilbert) ***

SONNY ROLLINS & CO.: THE BRIDGE – COMPLETE 1962 SESSIONS (Fresh Sound)
There can't be many Rollins fans who haven't already got this material in some form or another, but as is their wont Fresh Sound have augmented the original album with more material by essentially the same band, making this a highly appealing option. The cherry on the top however comes in the booklet reprint of an article on Rollins by Bill Coss. Attractively packaged and in excellent sound, this issue couldn't come more highly recommended. (Simon Spillett) ****

SCOTTISH NATIONAL JAZZ ORCHESTRA: IN THE SPIRIT OF DUKE (Spartacus)
Smith explains in his notes the preparation for this enterprise – the transcriptions he made when charts were unavailable, the memorising of certain passages by his musicians so that the music was "in their head". The cracking, long version of Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue which completes the disc has the brass section using authentic Ellington-period mutes which he obtained specially. The devoted care and attention to detail, added to some superlative blowing, makes this a genuine triumph. Duke would have loved it madly too. (Anthony Troon) *****

WAYNE SHORTER QUARTET: WITHOUT A NET (Blue Note)
Back where he belongs on Blue Note for the first time in 43 years, Wayne Shorter returns with a stunning live set, recorded with one exception on tour in Europe in late 2011. At 77 minutes, this set never outstays its welcome. It's an extraordinary tour de force, a youthful exploration of high-risk music making all the more exceptional given that Shorter will be 80 this August. (Simon Adams) *****


 


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