Coleman Hawkins – Hawk Flies High {Riverside}[20bitK2]

Review by Ken Dryden (
Coleman Hawkins’ 1957 session for Riverside, aside from an oral documentary record in a short-lived series, was his only recording for the label under his name. Yet producer Orrin Keepnews had the good sense to invite the legendary tenor saxophonist to pick his own musicians, and Hawkins surprised him by asking for young boppers J.J. Johnson and Idrees Sulieman in addition to the potent rhythm section of Hank Jones, Oscar Pettiford, Barry Galbraith, and Jo Jones. The two days of sessions produced a number of strong performances, with Hawkins still very much at the top of his game, while both Johnson and Sulieman catch fire as well. Even though most of the focus was on new material contributed by the participants, the musicians quickly adapted to the unfamiliar music, especially the leader’s old-fashioned swinger “Sancticity” (which sounds like it could have been part of Count Basie’s repertoire) and the pianist’s tightly woven bop vehicle “Chant.” Hawkins was one of the great ballad interpreters, and his majestic performance of the standard “Laura” is no exception. The 2008 reissue in the Keepnews Collection series uncovered no previously unissued material, though expanded liner notes by the producer and improved 24-bit remastering make this edition an improvement over earlier versions.

01. Chant (05:08)
02. Juicy Fruit (11:19)
03. Think Deep (03:27)
04. Laura (04:36)
05. Blue Lights (05:47)
06. Sancticity (09:12)

Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone
Idrees Sulieman – trumpet
J.J. Johnson – trombone
Hank Jones – piano
Barry Galbraith – guitar
Oscar Pettiford – bass
Jo Jones – drums

Recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, New York City; March 12 and 15, 1957.

Label: Riverside – 20bitK2 remaster
Year: 2004
Genre: Jazz
Style: Mainstream, Saxophone
Total Time: 39:29

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Count Basie & Oscar Peterson – Night Rider {Pablo}[OJC]

Review by Scott Yanow (
When they first met up for a full album in 1974, the two-piano team of Count Basie and Oscar Peterson must have seemed like an unlikely matchup. After all, Peterson is known for filling up his rapid solos with virtuosic passages while Basie is the master of the “less-is-more” approach, making every note count. But because Peterson has such high respect for Basie, he showed great self-restraint and left room for Basie’s percussive solos. Night Rider, like their two previous joint albums, emphasizes the similarities rather than the differences in these two masters’ styles.

01. Night Rider (12:39)
02. Memories of You (04:57)
03. 9:20 Special (03:20)
04. Sweet Lorraine (07:08)
05. It’s a Wonderful World (03:21)
06. Blues for Pamela (08:07)

Count Basie – piano (organ on “Memories of You”)
Oscar Peterson – piano (electric piano on “Blues for Pamela”)
John Heard – bass
Louis Bellson – drums

Recorded at Group IV Studios, Hollywood; February 21-22, 1978.

Label: Pablo – OJC
Year: 1992
Genre: Jazz
Style: Standards, Piano Jazz
Total Time: 39:31

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Chet Baker Trio – Chet’s Choice {CrissCross}

Review by Scott Yanow (
One of the best settings for trumpeter Chet Baker was when he was accompanied by a guitar-bass duo. On this excellent Criss Cross CD, Baker is joined by guitarist Philip Catherine and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse on a variety of high-quality standards that include such songs as “If I Should Lose You,” Horace Silver’s “Doodlin’,” “Conception” and “Love for Sale.” A special treat is hearing the talented but forgotten Bob Zieff’s “Sad Walk.” This is one of Baker’s better albums from his later period.

01. If I Should Lose You (04:45)
02. Sad Walk (05:37)
03. How Deep is the Ocean (06:27)
04. Doodlin’ (05:38)
05. My Foolish Heart (09:25)
06. Conception (04:47)
07. Love for Sale (09:10)
08. Adriano (04:06)
09. Blues in the Closet (06:36)
10. Stella By Starlight (07:21)

Chet Baker – trumpet, vocal
Philip Catherine – guitar
Jean Louis Rassinfosse – bass
Hein Van De Geijn – bass (8, 9 & 10)

Recorded in Studio 44, Monster – June 6 & 25, 1985

Label: CrissCross Jazz
Year: 1985
Genre: Jazz
Style: West Coast, Cool
Total Time: 63:53

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

George Benson – New Boss Guitar of George Benson {Prestige}[OJC]

Review by Alex Henderson (
George Benson was only 21 when, on May 1, 1964, he recorded his first album as a leader, The New Boss Guitar of George Benson. At that point, the guitarist had yet to become a huge name in jazz, although many of those who knew Benson for his work with Jack McDuff’s group (which he joined in 1962) agreed that he showed great potential. Benson still had some growing to do in 1964, but even so, this is an impressive debut. The guitarist had developed a distinctive, recognizable sound on his instrument, and he plays with both feeling and technique on five Benson originals (including the sly “Shadow Dancers,” the exuberant “Rock-A-Bye,” and the earthy blues “I Don’t Know”) as well as interpretations of “Easy Living” and “Will You Still Be Mine.” Benson, of course, had an insightful teacher in McDuff, who plays both organ and piano on this hard bop/soul-jazz date. Tenor saxophonist Red Holloway, another member of McDuff’s early ’60s group, is also on board, as are bassist Ronnie Boykins and drummer Montego Joe. Originally released on LP by Prestige, The New Boss Guitar of George Benson was reissued on CD for Fantasy’s Original Jazz Classics series in 1990 (where Fantasy added “My Three Sons,” a driving bonus track that finds Benson, McDuff and Holloway appearing on drummer Joe Dukes’ The Soulful Drums session of May 14, 1964). In 1964, Benson’s best work was yet to come — nonetheless, this album is historically important as well as rewarding.

01 – Shadow Dancers 04:49
02 – The Sweet Alice Blues 04:42
03 – I Don’t Know 06:52
04 – Just Another Sunday 03:05
05 – Will You Still Be Mine 04:31
06 – Easy Living 06:41
07 – Rock-a-Bye 04:02
08 – My Three Sons 05:37

George Benson – guitar
Jack McDuff – piano, organ
Red Holloway – tenor saxophone
Ronnie Boykins – bass
Montego Joe – drums
Joe Dukes – drums (#8 only)

Recorded in New York; May 1, 1964.
(“My Three Sons” recorded May 14, 1964.)

Label: Prestige – OJC
Year: 1990
Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop, Soul Jazz
Total Time: 40:19

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork