Sarah Vaughan and Her Trio – Swingin’ Easy {Mercury}

Review by Ken Dryden (

Swingin’ Easy is one of Sarah Vaughan’s lesser known albums for Emarcy, combining two separate trio sessions from 1954 and 1957. The earlier date includes pianist John Malachi (who also worked with singers like Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstine, and Al Hibbler, plus bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Roy Haynes. Vaughan’s lush ballad technique is in full force in “Lover Man,” “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” and “Body and Soul,” while she scats in a midtempo setting of “If I Knew Then (What I Knew Now)” and her own “Shulie a Bop.” The second trio include pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Richard Davis, and Haynes. Aside from a brisk, miniature treatment of “Linger Awhile” and a playful setting of “I Cried for You,” the session is highlighted by a breezy “All of Me.” Vaughan is in terrific form throughout both dates, with the songs mostly running around the three-minute mark. This CD is well worth acquiring, though it is out of print.

01 – Shulie a Bop
02 – Lover Man
03 – I Cried for You
04 – Polka Dots and Moonbeams
05 – All of Me
06 – Words Can’t Describe
07 – Prelude to a Kiss
08 – You Hit the Spot
09 – Pennies from Heaven
10 – If I Knew Then (What I Know Now)
11 – Body and Soul
12 – They Can’t Take That Away from Me
13 – Linger Awhile

Sarah Vaughan – vocals
John Malachi, Jimmy Jones – piano
Joe Benjamin, Richard Davis – bass
Roy Haynes – drums

Recorded April 2, 1954 & February 14, 1957; in New York.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue “50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition” [2CD] {Columbia}
Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released August 17, 1959, on Columbia Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York City on March 2 and April 22, 1959. The sessions featured Davis’s ensemble sextet, which consisted of pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. After the inclusion of Bill Evans into his sextet, Davis followed up on the modal experimentations of Milestones (1958) and 1958 Miles (1958) by basing the album entirely on modality, in contrast to his earlier work with the hard bop style of jazz.

Though precise figures have been disputed, Kind of Blue has been cited by many music writers not only as Davis’s best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, it was certified quadruple platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It has been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time and Davis’s masterpiece. The album’s influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical music, has led music writers to acknowledge it as one of the most influential albums of all time. In 2002, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2003, the album was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of “So What.” From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn’t quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they’ve memorized every nuance. They return because this is an exceptional band — Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb — one of the greatest in history, playing at the peak of its power. As Evans said in the original liner notes for the record, the band did not play through any of these pieces prior to recording. Davis laid out the themes before the tape rolled, and then the band improvised. The end results were wondrous and still crackle with vitality. Kind of Blue works on many different levels. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don’t like Kind of Blue, you don’t like jazz — but it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection. [Legacy’s greatly expanded 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition was issued in 2008.]

Tracklist, disc one:
01. So What (9:25)
02. Freddie Freeloader (9:49)
03. Blue in Green (5:38)
04. All Blues (11:36)
05. Flamenco Sketches (9:26)
06. Flamenco Sketches (alternate take) (9:34)
07. Freddie Freeloader – studio sequence 1 (0:53)
08. Freddie Freeloader – false start (1:28)
09. Freddie Freeloader – studio sequence 2 (1:31)
10. So What – studio sequence 1 (1:56)
11. So What – studio sequence 2 (0:14)
12. Blue in Green – studio sequence (1:59)
13. Flamenco Sketches – studio sequence 1 (0:45)
14. Flamenco Sketches – studio sequence 2 (1:12)
15. All Blues – studio sequence (0:19)

Tracklist, disc two:
01. On Green Dolphin Street (9:50)
02. Fran-Dance (5:50)
03. Stella by Starlight (4:47)
04. Love for Sale (11:49)
05. Fran-Dance (alternate take) (5:54)
06. So What (previously released in unauthorized form) (17:29)

Miles Davis – trumpet
Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Recorded May 26, 1958 – Apr 9, 1960 at 30th Street Studio; New York
Produced by Teo Macero and Irving Townsend

Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop, Post Bop
Label: Columbia – 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
Year: 2008
Time: 65:44 + 55:39

Quality-1: flac (tracks, eac, cue, log) + full artwork
Quality-2: mp3@320 + full artwork

Coleman Hawkins – Genius of Coleman Hawkins {Verve}

Review by Scott Yanow (

Genius may not be the right word, but “brilliance” certainly fits. At the age of 51 in 1957, Hawkins had already been on records for 35 years and had been one of the leading tenors for nearly that long. This date matches him with the Oscar Peterson Trio (plus drummer Alvin Stoller) for a fine run-through on standards. Hawk plays quite well, although the excitement level does not reach the heights of his sessions with trumpeter Roy Eldridge.

01 – I’ll Never Be the Same
02 – You’re Blase
03 – I Wished on the Moon
04 – How Long Has This Been Going On
05 – Like Someone in Love
06 – My Melancholy Baby
07 – Ill Wind
08 – In a Mellowtone
09 – There’s No You
10 – The World is Wainting for the Sunrise
11 – Somebody Loves Me
12 – Blues for Rene

Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Alvin Stoller – drums

Recorded October 16, 1957 at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans Trio – I Will Say Goodbye {Fantasy}[OJC]

Review by Scott Yanow (

The title refers to the Michel Legrand piece performed twice on the date, and to the fact that pianist Bill Evans was on the verge of switching labels from Fantasy to Warner Bros. For his final Fantasy album, Evans, bassist Eddie G√≥mez, and drummer Eliot Zigmund perform memorable renditions of such songs as Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance,” Johnny Mandel’s “Seascape,” and Burt Bacharach’s underrated “A House Is Not a Home.” The CD reissue adds two additional selections (“Nobody Else But Me” and “Orson’s Theme”) from this excellent series of sessions. Fine post-bop music from an influential piano giant.

01 – I Will Say Goodbye
02 – Dolphin Dance
03 – Seascape
04 – Peau Douce
05 – Nobody Else But Me
06 – I Will Say Goodbye (take 2)
07 – The Opener
08 – Quiet Light
09 – A House is Not a Home
10 – Orson’s Theme

Bill Evans – piano
Eddie Gomez – bass
Eliot Zigmund – drums

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Wynton Kelly – Piano {Riverside}[xrcd]

Review by Scott Yanow (

With the exception of an album for Blue Note in 1951, this was pianist Wynton Kelly’s first opportunity to record as a leader. At the time he was still a relative unknown but would soon get a certain amount of fame as Miles Davis’ favorite accompanist. With guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Paul Chambers, and (on three of the seven selections) drummer Philly Joe Jones, Kelly performs four jazz standards, Oscar Brown, Jr.’s “Strong Man” and two of his originals. Kelly became a major influence on pianists of the ’60s and ’70s and one can hear the genesis of many other players in these swinging performances. The CD reissue adds an alternate take of “Dark Eyes” to the original program.

01 – Whisper Not
02 – Action
03 – Dark Eyes
04 – Strong Man
05 – Ill Wind
06 – Don’t Explain
07 – You Can’t Get Away
08 – Dark Eyes (take 2)

Wynton Kelly – piano
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Paul Chambers – bass
Philly Joe Jones – drums

Recorded at Metropolitan Sound Studios, New York City; January, 1958

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Red Garland Trio – Bright and Breezy {Jazzland}[OJC]

Review by Scott Yanow (

During 1961-1962, following a long series of recordings for Prestige, pianist Red Garland recorded four LPs for the Jazzland label. His style was unchanged from a few years earlier, and this trio set with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Charlie Persip (reissued on CD on the Original Jazz Classics label) is very much up to par. Highlights include Garland’s interpretations of “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “Blues in the Closet,” and “Lil’ Darlin’.” An enjoyable straight-ahead session.

01 – On Green Dolphin Street
02 – I Ain’t Got Nobody
03 – You’ll Never Know
04 – Blues in the Closet
05 – What’s New
06 – Lil’ Darlin’
07 – What is There to Say?
08 – So Sorry Please

Red Garland – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Charlie Persip – drums

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City; July 19, 1961

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Tal Farlow – Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow {Verve} “By Request”_mono

Review by Scott Yanow (

In the mid-’50s, guitarist Tal Farlow led one of his finest groups, a drumless trio with pianist Eddie Costa and bassist Vinnie Burke. The same band would record the album Tal a week or two later. With Burke contributing a constant walking bass, the interplay between Farlow and Costa is always exciting, whether they are playing unisons or trading off. This 1999 CD reissue not only has the original seven selections but “Gone With the Wind” (which was left off of the original LP due to lack of space) plus three full-length alternate takes that are basically on the same level as the masters. Among the highpoints are “Taking a Chance on Love,” “Yardbird Suite,” “Like Someone in Love,” and Farlow’s lone original, “Meteor,” which utilizes the chord changes of “Confirmation.” Hot bebop that is easily recommended.

01 – Taking a Chance on Love
02 – Yardbird Suite
03 – You Stepped Out of a Dream
04 – The Can’t Take that Away from Me
05 – Like Someone in Love
06 – Meteor
07 – I Love You
08 – Gone With the Wind
09 – Taking a Chance on Love (alternative take)
10 – Yardbird Suite (alternative take)
11 – Gone With the Wind (alternate)

Tal Farlow – guitar
Eddie Costa – piano
Vinnie Burke – bass

Recorded May 1956.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork