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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.

Complete list of CDs reviewed in JJ October 2013 (see below for excerpts):
Adderley, Nat: Workin' (Timeless TJL 74511)
Ainsworth, Laura: Necessary Evil (Eclectus ER-1002)
Art Ensemble Of Chicago: A Jackson In Your House/Message To Our Folks/Reese And The Smooth Ones (BYG/Charly 649 X)
Baker, Chet: Chet Baker & Crew (Phoenix 131580)
Ban, Lucian/Mat Maneri: Transylvanian Concert (ECM 372 8258)
Barnard, Tony/International Jazz Collective: The Australian Suite (Bondi Shed Productions BSPCD3502)
Basquiat Strings: Part Two (F-IRECD 55)
Benson, George: Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole (Concord CRE-34518-01)
Bechet Legacy: Birch Hall Concerts Live (Classic Jazz Records CJ4)
Blanco, Leo: Pianoforte (www.leoblanco.com)
Brown, Donald: Born To Be Blue (Space Time BG 1336)
Brown Jr, Oscar/Maggie Brown: We're Live (ESP 4071)
Brubeck Dave: Live At Juan-Les-Pins 1967 (Domino 891222)
Byrd, Donald/Kenny Burrell: All Night Long/All Day Long (Phoenix 131582)
Calhoun, Will: Life In This World (Motéma 233728)
Clayton, Buck/Legacy Band: Claytonia (BCLB001)
Colyer, Ken/Jazzmen: Rediscovered Treasures From The Classic Years (Upbeat URCD257)
Daniels, Eddie/Roger Kellaway: Duke At The Roadhouse Live In Santa Fe (IPO Recordings IPOC1024)
Davis, Miles: The Miles Davis Quintet & Sextet (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55594) Davis, Miles/John Coltrane: The Unissued Café Bohemia Broadcasts (Domino 891221)
Desmond, Paul: With Strings/Desmond Blue (RCA LSP-2438)
Dowland Project: Night Sessions (ECM 476 5968)
Dunmall, Paul/Tony Bianco: Tribute To Coltrane (Slam CD 292)
Edelhagen, Kurt/Orchester: Big Bands Live (Jazz Haus 101718)
Ellington, Duke: All American Jazz + Midnight In Paris (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55591)
Ellington, Duke: 4Tet/5Tet/6Tet/7Tet: The 1956-58 Small Group Recordings (Phoenix 131584)
Farmer, Art/Benny Golson: The Complete Jazztet Sessions (Jazz Dynamics 005)
Fitzgerald, Ella/Roy Eldridge: Live In Stockholm 1957 (In Crowd 996688)
Getz, Stan: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Sony Legacy 88697 88058 2)
Hamilton, Chico: Drumfusion + Passin' Thru (Master Jazz MJR 8892862)
Hayes, Louis: The Super Quartet (Timeless TJL 74514)
Hayes, Tubby: The Complete Tempo Recordings 1955-59 (Acrobat ACSCD6002)
Imbert, Raphaël: Heavens. Amadeus & The Duke (Jazz Village JV 570011)
Jamal, Ahmad : Complete Live At The Pershing Lounge 1958 (Phoenix 131585)
José, Caro: Turning Point (Skip 9108-2)
Kelly, Wynton: Complete Vee Jay Studio Recordings (Phoenix 131586)
Locke, Joe: Lay Down My Heart: Blues & Ballads Vol. 1 (Motéma 233725)
Lyttelton, Humphrey: Live At The Nottingham Jazz Festival 1972 (Calligraph CLGCD 049)
Mance, Junior: Three Classic Albums Plus (Avid Jazz AMSC 1090)
Mazurek, Rob/Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Ensemble: The Space Between (Delmark DE 5007)
Mazzu, Giancarlo/Luciano Troja: Live At The Metropolitan Room NYC (Slam CD 545)
McBride, Christian: Out Here (Mack Avenue MAC 1069)
McFerrin, Bobby: SpiritYouAll (Masterworks 88883718382)
Monk, Thelonious/John Coltrane: Complete Live At The Five Spot 1958 (Phoenix 131587)
Moore, Dudley: From Beyond The Fringe (él/Cherry Red ACMEM 248CD)
Mostly Other People Do The Killing    : Red Hot (Hot Cup HC 125)
Mraz, George/Zoe Rahman: Unison (Cube-Metier MJCD 21250)
Murphy, Mark: Remembering Shirley Horn (Gearbox GB1515)
Muthspiel, Christian/4: Seaven Teares (ACT 9551-2)
Peacock, Gary/Marilyn Crispell: Azure (ECM 370 8869)
Jack Reilly: Tsu-Jan: The Sound Of The Tarot Volume 2 (Unichrom 9003)
Relatives, The/Phil Miller: Virtually (Relatives RR 213 06-05)
Roach, Max: The Quintessence (Frémeaux FA 292)
Rollins, Sonny/Don Cherry: Our Man In Jazz (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55592)
Ruffins, Kermit: We Partyin' Traditional Style! (Basin Street BSR 0113-2)
Shaw, Woody: The Complete Muse Sessions (Mosaic 255)
Sims, Zoot: Compatability (Jump 12 36)
Sinatra, Frank: Sinatra-Basie + Sinatra And Swinging Brass (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55596)
Smith, Wadada Leo & Tumo: Occupy The World (TUM CD 037-2)
Thacker, Simon/Svara- Kanti: Rakshasa (Slap The Moon STMCD02)
Various: Unissued On 78s Hot Jazz 1926 – 1932 (Retrieval RTR79072)
Various: The Chicago Blues Box (Storyville 108 8612)
Vaughan, Sarah: The Complete 1947-1950     (Le Chant Du Monde 274 2247.48)
Vaughan, Sarah: You're Mine You + The Explosive Side Of Sarah Vaughan (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55598)
Vaughan, Sarah: Sarah + 2 + After Hours (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55599)
Warfield, Tim: Eye Of The Beholder (Criss Cross 1355)
Welsh, Alex/Mick Mulligan: The Radio Luxembourg Sessions: The 208 Rhythm Club, Vol. 4. (Vocalion CDNJT5318)
Yellowjackets: A Rise In The Road (Mack Avenue MAC 1073)

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Excerpts from the 67 CD reviews in this issue:


THE BECHET LEGACY: BIRCH HALL CONCERTS LIVE (Classic Jazz Records CJ4)
Many elements which had made Soprano Summit so successful are retained. The tightly driving ensemble, often busy, is balanced and integrated in close interplay with effective and sensitive dynamics. There’s close harmony voicing in melody statements, riffs and other structured figures, which sound closely arranged – though Zottola states that many performances had brought this about, and that nothing was written down. The interpretations have certainly been planned, at least, and the spirited rapport between these two gifted stylists in upbeat tracks is exhilarating. What’s recorded here is truly first-class, and should surely have been released long ago. (Hugh Rainey) *****

LEO BLANCO: PIANOFORTE (www.leoblanco.com)
Leo Blanco won many new friends on his recent UK tour, his fecund imagination and phenomenal technique creating a real summer buzz. Though based in Boston where he holds a faculty position at Berklee, he recorded this music back in his native Venezuela in 2011 . . . The final coup de grace of this unalloyed triumph of invention is a truly Cageian moment. Harnessing the midnight peels of some nearby church bells, Blanco creates a perfectly formed musical haiku which lingers on the air. (Fred Grand) *****

DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET: LIVE AT JUAN-LES-PINS 1967 (Domino 891222)
Over the years, I’ve come more and more to appreciate and enjoy the multi-faceted music of Dave Brubeck. His characteristic blend of linear exploration and chromatically inflected chordal punctuation and elaboration is well caught here in an archetypal programme: connoisseurs of the famous group with Desmond, Wright and Morello will have heard many a version of most of the numbers in this 1967 concert from the south of France, recorded in the last year of the quartet’s life. To my ears, over-familiarity is never once a problem. (Michael Tucker) ****

THE BUCK CLAYTON LEGACY BAND: CLAYTONIA (Claytonia BCLB 001)
When Buck Clayton died, he left many compositions and sketches for arrangements some of which were passed, at Buck’s request, to bassist Alyn Shipton. Shipton then worked with Matthias Seuffert to fill out the arrangements and form a band to play them. There is fine ensemble work punctuated by delightful solos by all the front line. There are short notes by Alyn Shipton about the origin of the music and the band while Peter Vacher comments briefly on the performance. Recommended. (George Hulme) ****

STAN GETZ THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA ALBUMS COLLECTION (Sony Music/Columbia Legacy 88697 88058 2)
The CBS sessions, presented here in CD-sized cardboard cover colour facsimiles of the originals, were all produced by Getz, who also contributed trenchant liner notes to a portion of the releases. Some of the music, like the lovely Brazilian-themed disc 2 (sample the rounded weight of Getz’s sound and solo on Perdoar) harks back to the glory days of the early 1960s. While much of the rest of this package casts further new light on long-classic material, including fine readings of Willow and Blue Serge, it also shows Getz very much in forward motion. (Michael Tucker) *****

TUBBY HAYES: THE COMPLETE TEMPO RECORDINGS 1955-59 (Acrobat ACSCD6002)
It’s thanks to the single-mindedness, belief and enthusiasm of producer Tony Hall that this priceless evidence exists of the youthful emergence of one of our earliest (and greatest) modernists. The notes by jazz writer and musician Simon Spillett explain the vicissitudes that Hall had to overcome in bringing Tubby’s astonishing homegrown talent to wider attention. (Anthony Troon) ****

HUMPHREY LYTTELTON AND HIS BAND: LIVE AT THE NOTTINGHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL 1972 (Calligraph CLGCD 049)
This double CD covers a typically eclectic and entertaining Lyttelton concert, seasoned with Humph’s rambling, witty announcements. Ex-Lyttelton stalwarts Tony Coe and John Pickard are added guests. Bringing a more hard-bop “modern” approach, their quintet mini-set of three tracks is filled with turbo-charged flurries of notes in the schools respectively of Paul Gonsalves and J.J. Johnson and beyond. (Hugh Rainey) ***

JUNIOR MANCE: THREE CLASSIC ALBUMS PLUS (Avid Jazz AMSC1090)
In the four sessions collected here Mance shows his ease with assorted rhythm sections. Intelligent repertoire choices present works by fellow pianists Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, Thelonious Monk, Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin and Ray Bryant along with eight of his own tunes . . . This collection of his early trios is a bargain not to be missed. (Mark Gardner) ****

ROB MAZUREK EXPLODING STAR ELECTRO ACOUSTIC ENSEMBLE: THE SPACE BETWEEN (Delmark DE 5007)
As ever with Mazurek, there are echoes of electric Miles, especially on Illumination Drone 17. Mazurek’s own cornet is rarely heard, the odd blurt of hard sound trying to make form out of flux. The title of the last track – Indra’s Net – explains all this, for that net is a Buddhist metaphor for emptiness, the space between sounds, the liminal edges of meaning. Like all Mazurek’s adventurous music, it’s like nothing else you have heard, or are likely to hear. Well worth a listen. (Simon Adams) ****

MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING: RED HOT (Hot Cup 125)
If this is a joke, and my suspicions in that directions are aided by sleeve notes recounting spontaneous human combustion in the town of Red Hot, Pennsylvania, then it has been done better before by the likes of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. If, however, my worst fears are realised and this is intended as a serious jazz album then I have serious reservations about the future of the genre. (Jerry Brown) *

GEORGE MRAZ & ZOE RAHMAN: UNISON (Cube-Metier MJCD 21250)
Since moving to New York in the late 60s, Jirí Mraz has become one of the most recorded and dependable bassists in mainstream jazz. Endlessly melodic and with that rare gift of seemingly perfect note placement, he steps out as a leader all too infrequently. This new release is therefore a cause for double celebration – not only is Mraz thrust centre-stage, but he is also joined by the outstanding Zoe Rahman in what is surely her most relaxed and straight-ahead recording to date. (Fred Grand) ****

SONNY ROLLINS: OUR MAN IN JAZZ (Essential Jazz Classics EJC55592)
After a lay-off of several years to re-appraise his musical and personal life, Sonny Rollins formed a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall. But in the swirl of avant-garde development so conspicuous in the early 1960s, Sonny replaced the lyrical Hall with the taut trumpet sound of Don Cherry, an Ornette Coleman collaborator. The partnership never worked harmoniously. The configuration was mercifully brief and goes down as a failed experiment. The three stars awarded are for the excellent performances by earlier non-Cherry small groups included here; the rest accrue a big round zero. (Mark Gardner) ***

KERMIT RUFFINS: WE PARTYIN’ TRADITIONAL STYLE (Basin Street BSR 0113-2)

Having visited New Orleans earlier this year I would suggest that this album presents a fairly typical picture of the “traditional” jazz currently played for the many jazz tourists visiting the city. The tune selection is hardly adventurous with the only Dixieland non-standard repertoire being the Treme titles which are a reference to the leader’s participation in the HBO television series. In fact it could have been produced for sale at the end of gigs by Mr Ruffins. That having been said is it any good? To me the answer is in the affirmative. (Jerry Brown) ****

WOODY SHAW: THE COMPLETE MUSE SESSIONS (Mosaic 255)
This typically thorough Mosaic set collects in seven CDs the albums Shaw released on the Muse label (an earlier sold-out Mosaic set covered his Columbia period). At root is probably Coltrane’s quartet (Shaw said “I would like to do for the trumpet what John Coltrane did for the saxophone”) and perhaps what Dick Hyman identifies as the Slonimsky effect. Classical theorist Slonimsky laid out scale permutations that are said to have inspired Coltrane, Tyner and others. For jazz players such as Shaw this material led to a method whereby non-tonal pentatonic and fourth intervals were used to transform the improvising landscape in both standard sequences and modal situations. Presentation is as impressive as usual. The usual LP-sized Mosaic black box contains a booklet with session photos, essay by Woody’s son and full discography. Anyone recognising Shaw’s genius will want the set, but they’ll have to be quick - it’s issued in a limited edition of 5,000 copies. (Mark Gilbert) *****

YELLOWJACKETS: A RISE IN THE ROAD (Mack Avenue 1073)
The Yellowjackets have always been masters of a not-to-smooth brand of jazz fusion, and since accredited jazzer Bob Mintzer joined many years ago, the band has acquired rather more depth. The trend continues in this latest well-crafted issue, even more gravitas coming in the form of guest Ambrose Akinmusire – it’s certainly good to see his talents thrown into sharper relief over a less abstract background than he adopts on his own records. (Mark Gilbert) ****

 


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