Stanley Turrentine – Salt Song {SONY}


Review by Steve Huey (allmusic.com)

Stanley Turrentine’s stint with Creed Taylor’s CTI label may not have produced any out-and-out classics on the level of the very best LPs by Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, or George Benson, but the bluesy tenorist’s output was consistently strong and worthwhile for all but the most stridently anti-fusion listeners. Salt Song was Turrentine’s second album for CTI, and while it’s perhaps just a small cut below his debut Sugar, it’s another fine, eclectic outing that falls squarely into the signature CTI fusion sound: smooth but not slick, accessible but not simplistic. In general, keyboardist Eumir Deodato’s arrangements have plenty of light funk and Brazilian underpinnings, the latter often courtesy of percussionist Airto Moreira. The first three cuts are the most memorable, beginning with a ten-minute exploration of the abrupt time signature shifts of Freddie Hubbard’s “Gibraltar.” Though a hard bop version might have returned to the theme a little less often, Turrentine’s solo sections are full of ideas, befitting one of his favorite pieces of the period; plus, guitarist Eric Gale shines as both a rhythm and lead player. The traditional gospel tune “I Told Jesus” features Turrentine at his bluesiest and earthiest, with snatches of ethereal choir vocals floating up behind him. Milton Nascimento’s title track, naturally, has the strongest Brazilian flavor of the program, and Turrentine skillfully negotiates its frequent shifts in and out of double time. The 1997 CD reissue also includes Nascimento’s “Vera Cruz” as a bonus track. All in all, Salt Song has dated well, partly because the arrangements don’t overemphasize electric piano, but mostly on the strength of Turrentine’s always-soulful playing.

Tracks:
01 – Gibraltar
02 – I Told Jesus
03 – Salt Song
04 – I Haven’t Got Anything Better to Do
05 – Storm
06 – Vera Cruz (bonus)

Personnel:
Stanley Turrentine – tenor saxophone
Ron Carter, Russell George – bass
Billy Cobham, Airto Moreira – drums
Airto Moreira, Joao Palma, Dom Um Romao – percussion
Eumir Deodato, Horace Parlan, Richard Tee – piano/electric piano/organ
Eric Gale, Sivuca – guitar
Hubert Laws, George Marge, Romeo Penque, Jerome Richardson – flute
Julius Brand, Paul Gershman, Julie Held, Leo Kahn, Harry Katzman, Joe Malin – violin
Harold Coletta – viola
Charles McCracken, Alan Shulman – cello
Margaret Branch, Brenda Bryant, Patricia Smith – voices

Arranged and conducted by Eumir Deodato
Tracks 1-5 recorded at Van Gelder Studios, July 7 & 13, 1971
Track 6 recorded at Van Gelder Studios, April 23, 1971

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else {Blue Note} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Steven McDonald (allmusic.com)

It isn’t too difficult to understand why MFSL considered this album to be a worthy candidate for an Ultradisc reissue — aside from Cannonball Adderley, you have a lineup that includes Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Sam Jones, and Art Blakey. This is a group that could take on a Barry Manilow number and turn it into a jazz masterpiece. MFSL have done the purchaser a favor, too, by including an additional track that was left off the original album. This sixth track, “”Alison’s Uncle,”” closes out Somethin’ Else on a high note, changing the flow of energy in an interesting way (purists can still finish up on a quieter note, as with the original, by programming “”Dancing in the Dark”” as the final track). In many ways it’s a surprise that this track was left off originally — it’s an excellent piece, with Adderley and Davis trading licks and solos while Jones and Blakey keep pace. Blakey also takes some terrific solos. The remastering job is the usual superb MFSL effort, producing clear sound with almost no background noise. Due to the original recording (made in 1958), Davis’ trumpet sometimes seems a little shrill and metallic, but it’s not an overwhelming problem — certainly not when you consider Davis’ style. Altogether, an excellent addition to any jazz collection.

Tracks:
01 – Autumn Leaves
02 – Love for Sale
03 – Somethin’ Else
04 – One for Daddy-O
05 – Dancing in the Dark
06 – Alison’s Uncle (aka Bangoon)

Personnel:
Miles Davis – trumpet
Cannonball Adderley – alto sax
Hank Jones – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Art Blakey – drums

Originally released in 1958 by Blue Note Records as BST-81595.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Horace Silver – Cape Verdean Blues {Blue Note}[xrcd]


Review by Steve Huey (allmusic.com)

After the success of Song for My Father and its hit title cut, Horace Silver was moved to pay further tribute to his dad, not to mention connect with some of his roots. Silver’s father was born in the island nation of Cape Verde (near West Africa) before emigrating to the United States, and that’s the inspiration behind The Cape Verdean Blues. Not all of the tracks are directly influenced by the music of Cape Verde (though some do incorporate Silver’s taste for light exoticism); however, there’s a spirit of adventure that pervades the entire album, a sense of exploration that wouldn’t have been quite the same with Silver’s quintet of old. On average, the tracks are longer than usual, and the lineup — featuring tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson (a holdover from the Song for My Father sessions) and trumpeter Woody Shaw — is one of the most modernist-leaning Silver ever recorded with. They push Silver into more advanced territory than he was normally accustomed to working, with mild dissonances and (especially in Henderson’s case) a rawer edge to the playing. What’s more, bop trombone legend J.J. Johnson appears on half of the six tracks, and Silver sounds excited to finally work with a collaborator he’d been pursuing for some time. Johnson ably handles some of the album’s most challenging material, like the moody, swelling “Bonita” and the complex, up-tempo rhythms of “Nutville.” Most interesting, though, is the lilting title track, which conjures the flavor of the islands with a blend of Latin-tinged rhythms and calypso melodies that nonetheless don’t sound quite Caribbean in origin. Also noteworthy are “The African Queen,” with its blend of emotional power and drifting hints of freedom, and “Pretty Eyes,” Silver’s first original waltz. Yet another worthwhile Silver album.

Tracks:
01 – The Cape Verdean Blues
02 – The African Queen
03 – Pretty Eyes
04 – Nutville
05 – Bonita
06 – Mo’ Joe

Personnel:
Woody Shaw – trumpet
J. J. Johnson – trombone
Joe Henderson – tenor sax
Horace Silver – piano
Bob Cranshaw – bass
Roger Humphries – drums

Recorded 1 & 25, 1965, at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Joe Pass – Portraits of Duke Ellington {Pablo} “Japan”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Recorded just a month after Duke Ellington’s death, this tribute album (reissued on CD) features guitarist Joe Pass (just beginning to become famous), bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Bobby Durham jamming on eight Ellington tunes and “Caravan” (which was penned by one of Duke’s key sidemen, Juan Tizol). The interplay between the three musicians is quite impressive, and Pass’ mastery of the guitar is obvious (he didn’t really need the other sidemen). Highlights include “In a Mellow Tone,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” and “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good).” Recommended.

Tracks:
01 – Satin Doll
02 – I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart
03 – Sophisticated Lady
04 – I Got It Bad (and that Ain’t Good)
05 – In a Mellow Tone
06 – Solitude
07 – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
08 – Do Nothin’ ’till You Hear from Me
09 – Caravan

Personnel:
Joe Pass – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Bobby Durham – drums

Recorded on June 21, 1974

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Donald Byrd & Kenny Burrell – All Night Long {Prestige}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Two of guitarist Kenny Burrell’s best sessions from the 1950s were this release and its companion, All Day Long. Burrell is teamed with an impressive group of young all-stars, including trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, Jerome Richardson on flute and tenor, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. In addition to the lengthy “All Night Long” and three group originals (two by Mobley and one from Waldron), the original LP program has been augmented by a medley of “Body and Soul” and “Tune Up” from the same session. Jam sessions such as this one are only as good as the solos; fortunately, all of the musicians sound quite inspired, making this an easily recommended set.

Tracks:
01 – All Night Long
02 – Boo-Lu
03 – Flickers
04 – Li’l Hankie
05 – Body & Soul
06 – Tune Up

Personnel:
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Hank Mobley – tenor saxophone
Jerome Richardson – flute, tenor saxophone
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Doug Watkins – bass
Art Taylor – drums

Recorded in Hackensack, NJ; December 28, 1956.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Bill Evans Trio – Portrait in Jazz {Riverside}[DCC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

The first of two studio albums by the Bill Evans-Scott LaFaro-Paul Motian trio (both of which preceded their famous engagement at the Village Vanguard), this Portrait in Jazz reissue contains some wondrous interplay, particularly between pianist Evans and bassist LaFaro, on the two versions of “Autumn Leaves.” Other than introducing Evans’ “Peri’s Scope,” the music is comprised of standards, but the influential interpretations were far from routine or predictable at the time. LaFaro and Motian were nearly equal partners with the pianist in the ensembles and their versions of such tunes as “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “When I Fall in Love,” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” (which preceded Miles Davis’ famous recording by a couple years) are full of subtle and surprising creativity. A gem.

Tracks:
01 – Come Rain or Come Shine
02 – Autumn Leaves
03 – Witchcraft
04 – When I Fall in Love
05 – Peri’s Scope
06 – What is this Thing Called Love?
07 – Spring is Here
08 – Someday My Prince will Come
09 – Blue in Green
10 – Autumn Leaves (alternate – monarual LP version)

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Scott LaFaro – bass
Paul Motian – drums

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, Rockefeller Center, NY, on December 28, 1959

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Wes Montgomery – Bumpin’ {Verve} “Master Edition”


Review by Shawn M. Haney (allmusic.com)

Taking the listener on a smoother, rather than bumpier, ride down the moonlight highway of jazz is Wes Montgomery, a chief architect of the world’s guitar virtuoso scene. Not only is his brilliant command of the six-string present here, so is the vivid color tones of notes and blue notes played between. Backed up by a hauntingly beautiful and mesmerizing orchestra conducted and arranged by Don Sebesky, the music almost lifts the listener off his feet into a dreamy, water-like landscape. The atmosphere is serene and enchanting, such as a romantic evening for two under starlight, and certainly a romantic eve merits the accompaniment of this record. The sounds are soft, smooth, and silky, and Montgomery addresses full leadership of his graceful melodic style, fronting close to 20 members of a orchestra perhaps best described resonant and sweeping. So too are the sweeping note flows of Montgomery’s guitar, and his surprising fluidness towards the art of comping, a necessary trait of the jazz guitar virtuoso. Even the unforgettable Jim Hall can be tickled and intrigued through a listen of these influential records, as for all amateur and professional guitar musicians. “A Quiet Thing” is perhaps the most somber, peaceful, and smooth piece on the record, demonstrating Montgomery’s love of quiet, and how much the idea of not playing at all brings music to the listeners. The charming sounds of orchestral violas, violins, cellos, and harp are sent ablaze to create a pleasant atmosphere, either for a quick morning get up, get ready for work, or evening dining setting. “Here’s That Rainy Day” is an up-tempo bossa nova tune that resonates with Montgomery’s enticing chordal changes and blissful phrasing, not to mention the blend of harp and strings lays the groundwork for a perfect rainy day inside, with drops pattering at the windows and fires aglow. The recording engineer did a wonderful job with this album. The sound quality is clear and lush, and, overall, this collection of mid-’60s cool jazz is a delight to listen too, once and again.

Tracks:
01 – Bumpin’
02 – Tear it Down
03 – A Quiet Thing
04 – Con Alma
05 – The Shadow of Your Smile
06 – Mi Cosa
07 – Here’s That Rainy Day
08 – Musty
09 – Just Walkin’
10 – My One and Only Love
11 – Just Walkin’ (previously unissued)

Personnel:
Wes Montgomery – guitar, with Arnold Eidus, Lewis Eley, Paul Gershman, Louis Haber,
Julius Held, Harry Lookofsky, Joe Malignaggi, Gene Orloff, Sol Shapiro (violing);
Harold Coletta, David Schwartz (viola); Charles McCracken, George Ricci (cello);
Margaret Ross (harp); Roger Kellaway (piano); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Grady Tate (drums);
Don Sebesky (arranger, conductor)

On tracks 3 and 4; Helcio Milito (drums), replaces Grady Tate.

Recorded 1965 at Van Gelder Recording Studio, ENglewood Cliffs, New Jersey; tracks 7-9 and 11 on
May 16; tracks 2 and 5 on May 18; tracks 3 and 4 on May 19; and tracks 1, 6 and 10 on May 20.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork