Category: Jazz

Fourplay – Let’s Touch The Sky

Fourplay – Let’s Touch The Sky Thom Jurek: It would be incorrect to say that not much has changed Fourplay’s sound since they began recording together in 1991. That said, while these musicians — who were all successful artists individually — have continued to evolve, as a group they’ve stayed remarkably focused on what they […]

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Quiet Sun – Mainstream

Quiet Sun – Mainstream       Ted Mills: ‘ Phil Manzanera’s pre-Roxy Music group never got to release their first attempt at an album, but in a break from Roxy in 1974, Manzanera regrouped the band and put out this effort: Quiet Sun – Mainstream, recorded at the same time as his solo extravaganza, […]

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Chick Corea – My Spanish Heart

Chick Corea – My Spanish Heart       Thom Jurek: ‘This 1976 release features Chick Corea in what was then, and remains, a unique musical setting. While it is truly an electric jazz fusion record, it is also the only solo recording of Corea’s on which he attempted to truly explore the Latin side […]

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Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Ella And Louis

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Ella And Louis     Rovi Staff: ‘Ella and Louis is an inspired collaboration, masterminded by producer Norman Granz. Both artists were riding high at this stage in their careers, and Granz assembled a stellar quartet of Oscar Peterson (piano), Buddy Rich (drums), Herb Ellis (guitar) and Ray Brown […]

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Bill Evans – Time Remembered

Bill Evans – Time Remembered Scott Yanow: ‘Pianist Bill Evans’ final project for the Riverside label resulted in eight songs released as Bill Evans Trio at Shelly’s Manne-Hole. This set doubles the program by adding eight previously unreleased selections. Evans, who is in fine form playing in a trio with bassist Chuck Israels and drummer […]

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Sun Ra – Jazz In Silhouette

Sun Ra – Jazz In Silhouette Lindsay Planer: ‘Throughout their mid-to-late-’50s stay in Chicago, Sun Ra (piano) and his Arkestra established themselves as formidable purveyors of a new strain or sub-genre of jazz. Having evolved from elaborate reworkings of familiar standards, Jazz in Silhouette (1959) presents a collection of originals, building upon Ra’s abilities as […]

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Blue Note – Blue Funk

Blue Note – Blue Funk  Thom Jurek: ‘This is a very attractively priced sampler by Blue Note, issued in the early ’90s on CD highlighting their deep and funky soul-jazz titles for the beat heads and emergent hip-hop nation that was sampling in earnest at the time. In any case, this attractively priced sampler of […]

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Bob James – One

Bob James – One Jazz/Funk. 1974. ‘One of the earliest entries in the smooth jazz genre, featuring players Gene McDaniels, Grover Washington, Steve Gadd, Idris Muhammed, and a deep horn section, perhaps most noteable for its closing track, “Nautilus”, which has been virtually appropriated by hip hop as one of that genre’s anthems/cultural reference points. […]

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Stan Getz – Voyage

      Scott Yanow: ‘Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz found a perfect accompanist in pianist Kenny Barron, who would regularly play in his group for his last five years. This out-of-print Black Hawk LP finds the pair, along with bassist George Mraz and drummer Victor Lewis, performing two standards and four more recent pieces, including […]

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Billy Cobham – Spectrum

Billy Cobham – Spectrum Spectrum is the debut album by jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham. The album contains much influence of the music of Miles Davis and Mahavishnu Orchestra, with whom Cobham had previously collaborated extensively. Tommy Bolin, who would go on to join the hard rock band Deep Purple two years later, plays the […]

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Herbie Hancock – Mr Funk

Herbie Hancock – Mr Funk ‘Andy Kellman’ Opening with the Head Hunters version of “Watermelon Man” and closing with the electro-embracing crossover hit, “Rockit,” Mr. Funk is a semi-random skip across Hancock’s Columbia recordings, and it technically spans 1973-1983 (at least going by release dates), rather than the 1972-1988 range printed on its cover. Its […]

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Diana Krall – Quiet Nights

Diana Krall – Quiet Nights       ‘Stephen Thomas Erlewine’ Bossa nova is not unfamiliar to Diana Krall, but 2009’s Quiet Nights is her first record devoted to the gently swaying rhythm. Teaming up again with arranger Claus Ogerman, who last worked with Krall on 2001’s The Look of Love and who also frequently collaborated […]

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John Coltrane – My Favorite Things

John Coltrane – My Favorite Things My Favorite Things is the seventh album by jazz musician John Coltrane, released in 1961 on Atlantic Records, catalogue SD-1361. It was the first album to feature Coltrane playing soprano saxophone, and yielded a commercial breakthrough in the form of a hit single that gained popularity in 1961 on […]

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Chet Baker – Chet

Chet Baker – Chet Chet (The lyrical trumpet of Chet Baker) is an album by jazz trumpeter Chet Baker (1929-1988) featuring performances by Baker with Herbie Mann, Pepper Adams, Bill Evans, Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers, Connie Kay and Philly Joe Jones recorded in December 1958 and January 1959 and released on the Riverside label. The […]

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Paul Desmond – Take Ten

Paul Desmond – Take Ten I guess everybody knows Paul Desmond from “Time out” and from his composition Take Five. On this recording, it doesn’t take much time to recognize his beautiful floating tone, his wonderful solos which are new melodies by themselves, his “cool jazz” signature. On this repertoire — mostly bossa nova tunes, […]

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Colosseum – Valentyne Suite

Colosseum – Valentyne Suite Chris Nickson: “One of England’s prime jazz-rock — or, more accurately, rock-jazz — outfits, most of the members of Colossuem had apprenticed in blues bands, and it shows very strongly on some of the material here. Both “The Kettle” and “Butty’s Blues” are essentially tarted-up 12-bar blues, although they work well […]

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Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain

Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain       Thom Jurek: ‘Along with Kind of Blue, In a Silent Way, and Round About Midnight, Sketches of Spain is one of Miles Davis’ most enduring and innovative achievements. Recorded between November 1959 and March 1960 — after Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley had left the band — […]

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Quincy Jones – Walking In Space

Quincy Jones – Walking In Space Richard S. Ginell: The protean Quincy Jones returned to the recording studio as a leader after a long stretch in Hollywood with this triumphantly contemporary big band album. He re-established himself firmly with his big band jazz base while casting a keen eye on the pop scene and the […]

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Jim Hall – Jazz Guitar

Jim Hall – Jazz Guitar AMG Review: Jim Hall’s debut as a leader has a somewhat tortured history. The original LP had ten tracks, though producer Richard Bock edited six of them for a later pressing and also inexplicably overdubbed Larry Bunker’s drums (he wasn’t originally present) on a third pressing. Over time the complete versions […]

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Crimson Jazz Trio – King Crimson Songbook 1

Crimson Jazz Trio – King Crimson Songbook 1 AMG Review: A jazz piano-bass-drums trio performing the songs of the rock group King Crimson? That’s what the Crimson Jazz Trio accomplished on this intriguing CD, King Crimson Songbook, Vol. 1, the first of several. By re-harmonizing the music a bit, adding vamps, and digging into the grooves, […]

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