Erroll Garner – Now Playing: A Night at the Movies & Up in Erroll’s Room {TELARC}

Review by Scott Yanow (

Many of Erroll Garner’s sessions from the 1960s have been reissued by Telarc. This single CD brings back all of the music from two former LPs. Garner and his quartet (bassist Ike Isaacs, drummer Jimmie Smith and percussionist Jose Mangual) romp through 13 songs taken from movies (including “You Made Me Love You,” “I Found a Million Dollar Baby,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and even “Sonny Boy”) during the first half of the set while the later session finds the group backed by seven horns arranged by Don Sebesky on nine diverse tunes ranging from swing standards to “The Girl from Ipanema,” “Groovin’ High” and Garner’s lone original “Up in Erroll’s Room.” All of the Telarc Erroll Garner CDs are easily recommended (the pianist never seems to have made an uninspired record) and this one is no exception.

01 – You Made Me Love You
02 – As Time Goes By
03 – Sonny Boy
04 – Charmaine
05 – I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)
06 – I’ll Get By
07 – Three O’Clock in the Morning
08 – Stella by Starlight
09 – Jeannine I Dream of Lilac Time
10 – Schoner Gigolo (Just a Gigolo)
11 – How Deep is the Ocean
12 – It’s Only a Paper Moon
13 – Newsreel Tag (Paramount on Parade)
14 – Watermelon Man
15 – It’s the Talk of the Town
16 – Groovin’ High
17 – The Girl from Ipanema
18 – The Coffee Song
19 – Cheek to Cheek
20 – Up in Erroll’s Room
21 – (A) Lot of Living to Do
22 – I Got Rhythm

Erroll Garner – piano
Ike Isaacs – bass
Jimmie Smith – drums
Jose Mangual – percussion

Now Playing: A Night at the Movies
Recorded in New York City, July 25, 1964

Up in Erroll’s Room
Recorded in New York City, March 19, 1968
Orchestrations: Don Sebesky

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Wes Montgomery – Boss Guitar {Riverside}[OJC]

Review by Scott Yanow (

Guitarist Wes Montgomery’s string of brilliant straight-ahead jazz recordings for the Riverside label was near its end when he recorded this trio outing with organist Melvin Rhyne and drummer Jimmy Cobb. The music swings hard and is highlighted by “Besame Mucho,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Canadian Sunset” and “The Breeze and I.” Enjoyable if not essential.

01 – Besame Mucho
02 – Besame Mucho (take 2)
03 – Dearly Beloved
04 – Days of Wine and Roses
05 – The Trick Bag
06 – Canadian Sunset
07 – Fried Pies
08 – Fried Pies (take 1)
09 – The Breeze and I
10 – For Heaven’s Sake

Wes Montgomery – guitar
Mel Rhyne – organ
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Recorded in New York City; April 22, 1963.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans – Trio ’64 {Verve} “Master Edition”

Review by Lindsay Planer (

Joining Bill Evans (piano) on Trio ’64 — his initial first three-piece recording for Verve — is the compact rhythm section of Gary Peacock (bass) and Paul Motian (drums). The effort spotlights their communal and intuitive musical discourse, hinging on an uncanny ability of the musicians to simultaneously hear and respond. All the more interesting, Evans had not interacted in this setting before, having most recently worked with Chuck Israels (bass) and Larry Bunker (drums). The personable opener, “Little Lulu,” features the aggregate melodically molding individual and distinct sonic characteristics. Evans’ nimble and emphatic syncopation is not only ably supported, but framed by Peacock’s expressive runs and Motian’s acute sense of timing. “A Sleeping Bee” is one of the collection’s most endearing selections as the groove playfully scintillates surrounding some hauntingly poignant chord changes. Evans bandies back and forth with Peacock, the latter likewise providing a stellar solo. “Always” captures a similar effervescence as the instrumentalists ebb and flow in synchronicity. Since the December 18 session was held the week before Christmas 1963, they fittingly tote out “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” creating a minor masterpiece of post-bop from what could easily have started as a spontaneous seasonal suggestion. Noël Coward’s “I’ll See You Again” bears a brisk waltz persona, enabling the unit to fluently weave its offerings without obstructing the otherwise affective tune. Concluding Trio ’64 is Rodgers & Hart’s standard “Everything Happens to Me,” with an unhurried tempo lingering just long enough to embrace the familiar refrain. Evans sparkles, gliding around Peacock’s full-bodied basslines and Motian’s solid yet restrained beat.

01 – Little Lulu
02 – A Sleepin’ Bee
03 – Always
04 – Santa Claus is Coming to Town
05 – I’ll See You Again
06 – For Heaven’s Sake
07 – Dancing in the Dark
08 – Everything Happens to Me
09 – Little Lulu (bonus track #1)
10 – Little Lulu (bonus track #2)
11 – Always (bonus track)
12 – I’ll See You Again (bonus track)
13 – My Heart Stood Still (bonus track){unused title}
14 – Always (bonus){incomplete selection}
15 – I’ll See You Again (bonus){incomplete selection}
16 – My Heart Stood Still (bonus){incomplete selection}[false starts]

Bill Evans – piano
Gary Peacock – bass
Paul Motian – drums

Recorded December, 1963

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Joe Pass Trio – Eximious {Pablo}[OJC]

Review by Scott Yanow (

Joe Pass took time off from his solo guitar projects to record this excellent trio set with bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and drummer Martin Drew. Pass swings hard throughout, is consistently inventive within the bebop tradition, and indulges in close interplay with Pedersen. Together, these musicians make the wondrous seem effortless. Among the highlights are “We’ll Be Together Again” (the one unaccompanied guitar showcase on the program), “Robbins Nest,” “Lush Life,” “Night and Day,” and “Speak Low.”

01 – A Foxy Chick and a Cool Cat
02 – Robbins Nest
03 – Lush Life
04 – Serenata
05 – Love for Sale
06 – Night and Day
07 – We’ll Be Together Again
08 – Everything I Love
09 – Everyting I’ve Got
10 – Speak Low

Joe Pass – guitar
Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen – bass
Martin Drew – drums

Recorded at Group IV Studios, Hollywood, CA; May 25 and July 8, 1982.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Anita O’Day – All the Young Sad Man {Verve}

Review by Richard S. Ginell (

When Creed Taylor took over the production reins from Norman Granz when the latter sold Verve to MGM, he continued to place Anita O’Day in imaginative settings that challenged her creativity.
On this LP, she was served with a collection of brilliant, difficult big-band charts, courtesy of a 27-year-old emerging master named Gary McFarland who mixed instrumental voices and tempo changes in querulous, turbulent combinations. Even a truly odd pick like “You Came a Long Way From St. Louis” is enlivened with sprouting shafts of outlaw muted brass and reeds. Another highlight is the contemporary update of O’Day’s old flag-waver with the Krupa band, “Boogie Blues,” complete with one of her patented flip upturned glissandos at the end. This album must have been a traumatic experience for O’Day, for as she tells the story, the tapes of McFarland’s arrangements arrived by mail from New York and she had to overdub her vocals in an empty studio in Los Angeles. Yet it is a tribute to O’Day’s abilities that she makes it all sound easy, exhibiting a freedom in phrasing and improvising that is extraordinary even for her.

01 – Boogie Blues
02 – You Came a Long Way from St. Louis
03 – I Want to Sing a Song
04 – A Woman Alone With the Blues
05 – The Ballad of All the Sad Young Men
06 – Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me
07 – One More Mile
08 – Night Bird
09 – Up State
10 – Senor Blues

Anita O’Day – vocals, with The Gary McFarland Orchestra.

Recorded in 1961.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Scott Hamilton – My Romance {Concord}

Review by Scott Yanow (

Tenor-saxophonist Scott Hamilton has recorded so many records as a leader (this CD is his 27th for Concord so far) and been so consistent and unchanging through the years that it is difficult to describe any of his records as definitive. However this particular release is one of his stronger ones of recent times. Hamilton sounds quite inspired jamming on six standards, Blue Mitchell’s “Blue Caper,” two of Norman Simmons’ originals and his own blues “Sugarchile” with a quintet consisting of the talented trombonist Joel Helleny, pianist Simmons, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Chuck Riggs. Hamilton takes the title cut as a feature and duets with Simmons on a brief “Just A Gigolo;” otherwise the full group is heard on each song. The biggest surprise of this high-quality mainstream date is an uptempo version of the ballad “Poor Butterfly.” The presence of a second horn seems to really push Scott Hamilton to play at his best, making this an easily recommended release.

01 – Abundance
02 – Blue Caper
03 – Swingin’ Till the Girls Come Home
04 – My Romance
05 – Lullaby in Rhythm
06 – Will You Still Be Mine?
07 – Poor Butterfly
08 – Sugarchile
09 – Jan
10 – Just a Gigolo

Scott Hamilton – tenor saxophone
Norman Simmons – piano
Dennis Irwin – bass (except on #10)
Chuck Riggs – drums (except on #10)
Joel Helleny – trombone (except on #4 & 10)

Recorded at Sound on Sound, New York, NY; February 23, 1995

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Louis Armstrong meets Oscar Peterson {Verve} “Silver Collection”

Review by Review by Michael G. Nastos (

By 1957, hard bop was firmly established as the jazz of now, while pianist Oscar Peterson and his ensemble with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis were making their own distinctive presence known as a true working band playing standards in the swing tradition. Louis Armstrong was more recognizable to the general public as a singer instead of the pioneering trumpet player we all know he was. But popularity contests being the trend, Armstrong’s newer fans wanted to hear him entertain them, so in retrospect it was probably a good move to feature his vocalizing on these tracks with Peterson’s band and guest drummer Louie Bellson sitting in. The standard form of Armstrong singing the lead lines, followed by playing his pithy and witty horn solos based on the melody secondarily, provides the basis for the format on this charming but predictable recording. What happens frequently is that Armstrong and Peterson play lovely ad lib vocal/piano duets at the outset of many tunes. They are all songs you likely know, with few upbeat numbers or obscure choices, and four extra tracks tacked onto the CD version past the original sessions. In fact, it is the familiarity of songs like the midtempo “Let’s Fall in Love,” with Armstrong’s gravelly and scat singing, and his marvelous ability to riff off of the basic songs that make these offerings endearing. A classic take of “Blues in the Night” is the showstopper, while choosing “Moon Song” is a good, off the beaten path pick as the trumpeter plays two solo choruses, and he leads out on his horn for once during the slightly bouncy, basic blues “I Was Doing All Right.” Some extremely slow tunes crop up on occasion, like “How Long Has This Been Going On?,” an atypically downtempo take of “Let’s Do It,” and “You Go to My Head,” featuring Peterson’s crystalline piano. Liner note author Leonard Feather opines that this is Armstrong’s first attempt at the latter tune, and compares it historically to Billie Holiday. There are the dependable swingers “Just One of Those Things,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “Sweet Lorraine” with Peterson at his accompanying best; a ramped-up version of the usually downtrodden “Willow Weep for Me”; and a duet between Armstrong and Ellis on the sad two-minute ditty “There’s No You.” All in all, it’s difficult to critique or find any real fault with these sessions, though Peterson is subsumed by the presence of Armstrong, who, as Feather notes, really needs nobody’s help. That this was their only collaboration speaks volumes of how interactive and communal the session really was, aside from the music made being fairly precious.

01 – That Old Feeling
02 – Let’s Fall in Love
03 – I’ll Never Be the Same
04 – Blues in the Night
05 – How Long Has This Been Going On
06 – I Was Doing All Right
07 – What’s New
08 – Moon Song
09 – Just One of Those Things
10 – There’s No You
11 – You Go to My Head
12 – Sweet Lorraine
13 – I Get a Kick Out of You
14 – Makin’ Whoopee
15 – Willow Weep for Me
16 – Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)

Louis Armstrong – vocals, trumpet
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Louis Bellson – drums

Tracks 1-12, stereo, recorded in Chicago; October 14, 1957
Tracks 13-16, mono, recorded in Los Angeles; July 31, 1957

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork