Hank Jones, Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb – West of 5th {Chesky}


Review by Ken Dryden (allmusic.com)

Veteran pianist Hank Jones is hardly slowing down at the age of 87, as heard on this beautifully recorded session in early 2006. With drummer Jimmy Cobb (who sticks to brushes) and Christian McBride rounding out his potent trio, Jones keeps old warhorses like “On Green Dolphin Street” fresh, giving ample space to his partner and adding a humorous detour into Billy Strayhorn’s “Rain Check.” Other highlights include his elegant treatment of his late brother Thad’s timeless ballad “A Child Is Born” and a hard driving take of Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation.” McBride shows depth beyond his years with strong accompaniment and swinging solos. This Hybrid Super Audio CD, recorded without any gimmickry such as remixing or compression, enables the listener to enjoy these intimate performances as if sitting in the studio with the players. Highly recommended!

Tracks:
01 – On Green Dolphin Street
02 – Mr. Walker
03 – Speak Low
04 – A Child is Born
05 – If I Were a Bell
06 – Billie’s Bounce
07 – Lotus Blossom
08 – Confirmation
09 – We’ll Be Together Again
10 – Stella by Starlight
11 – Eleanor

Personnel:
Hank Jones – piano
Christian McBride – bass
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Recorded January 29, 2006 at St.Peter’s Episcopal Church, New York City.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Duke Ellington & John Coltrane {impulse!} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

For this classic encounter, Duke Ellington “sat in” with the John Coltrane Quartet for a set dominated by Ellington’s songs; some performances have his usual sidemen (bassist Aaron Bell and drummer Sam Woodyard) replacing Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones in the group. Although it would have been preferable to hear Coltrane play in the Duke Ellington orchestra instead of the other way around, the results are quite rewarding. Their version of “In a Sentimental Mood” is a high point, and such numbers as “Take the Coltrane,” “Big Nick,” and “My Little Brown Book” are quite memorable. Ellington always recognized talent, and Coltrane seemed quite happy to be recording with a fellow genius.

Tracks:
01 – In a Sentimental Mood
02 – Take the Coltrane
03 – Big Nick
04 – Stevie
05 – My Little Brown Book
06 – Angelica
07 – The Feeling of Jazz

Personnel:
Duke Ellington – piano
John Coltrane – tenor & soprano saxophone
Jimmy Garrison, Aaron Bell – bass
Elvin Jones, Sam Woodyard – drums

Recorded September 26, 1962

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ben Sidran – Mr. P’s Shuffle {GoJazz}[MFSL]


Review by Mike Holmes (epinions.com)

I’ve been listening to Ben Sidran and playing his music on my radio show for years but this is my first review of one of his albums. Sidran is truly a Renaissance man. He is an accomplished author of three books (“Black Talk”, “Talking Jazz”, and, “A Life in the Music”), he hosted a Peabody-award-winning NPR show (“Jazz Alive”) as well as VH-1’s “New Vision” series. He has an advanced degree from Sussex College.

Oh, and, he plays piano and organ, produces music, sings and composes. Born in Chicago in 1943, Sidran started doing gigs while a teenager. In the early 60’s while still in college, Ben joined a group known as the Ardell’s with a couple of fairly well known musicians (later on), Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs. He played with that group for a while but then continued his studies.

In the late 60’s, Sidran re-joined Miller and wrote the lyrics for one of Miller’s big hits “Space Cowboy.” Sidran moved on, however, and started recording on his own in the early 70’s. He excelled in jazz, modern jazz, rock and pop.

In the early 70’s, his wife grew tired of L.A. and the couple moved back to Madison, Wisconsin where Ben started played in a small club known as The Tuxedo Lounge. That club soon changed its name to Mr. P’s. After playing all over the world for the next two decades, Sidran was called by Mr. P’s owner to play a gig. He almost refused but decided to go back to his “roots”. What he found there gave him a new appreciation for music.

He and his son Leo (who plays the drums) played the gig and continued playing there off and on for a few years. Sidran enjoyed the club atmosphere so much that he wrote the song “Mr. P’s Shuffle” in honor of the original owner. In 1996, he decided to record this album in honor of the club and the man who gave him so much joy.

After listening to the CD, I could understand what Sidran was talking about in his liner notes for the album. The music on the record is a relaxed visit to old friends played with old friends. There is a cool joy with a hipness that reminds me of the old “beat” days of the 50’s and 60’s. A major part of that is due to the ability of Sidran to create the hip atmosphere but he also recruited an incredible group of musicians for the album.

Tracks:
01 – I’m Back
02 – Like a Boat on the Water
03 – Sentimental Journey
04 – Get Happy
05 – Jive Samba
06 – I’m Not Talking
07 – The Glory of Love
08 – Mr. P’s Shuffle
09 – Walk Right In
10 – Lover Man
11 – No Moon at All
12 – Memory Lane

Personnel:
Ben Sidran – piano & vocal
Richard Davis – bass
Clyde Stubblefield – drums
Leo Sidran – drums
Frank Morgan – alto saxophone
Phil Upchurch – guitar
Ricky Peterson – hammond B-3 organ
Margie Cox – background vocal
Alejo Poveda – percussion
Howard Levy – harmonica
Roscoe Mitchell – soprano saxophone

Recorded at Smart Studios, Madison, WI.
Additional recording at Creation Audio, Minneapolis, MN.
Released on 1996.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Barry Harris at the Jazz Workshop {Riverside}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Pianist Barry Harris’ second recording as a leader (he led a set for Argo in 1958) finds him at the age of 30 playing in the same boppish style he would have throughout his career. Teamed up with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, this live CD reissue (which adds three alternate takes to the original LP program) is an excellent example of Harris’ playing. Highlights of the enthusiastic straight-ahead set (which includes three obscure but worthy originals by the pianist) include “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” “Moose the Mooche” and “Woody’N You.”

Tracks:
01 – Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby (take 2)
02 – Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby (previously unissued-take 1)
03 – Curtain Call
04 – Star Eyes
05 – Moose the Mooche
06 – Lolita
07 – Morning Coffee
08 – Don’t Blame Me (take 2)
09 – Don’t Blame Me (previously unissued-take 1)
10 – Woody’n You (take 2)
11 – Woody’n You (previously unissued-take 1)

Personnel:
Barry Harris – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Louis Hayes – drums

Recorded live at The Jazz Workshop, San Francisco; May 15 and 16, 1960.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ben Webster – Days of Wine and Roses {JazzLife}


Tracks:
01 – Days of Wine and Roses
02 – Blue Light
03 – Stompy Jones
04 – Pound Horn
05 – For Max
06 – Brother John’s Blues
07 – Nancy (with the Laughing Face)
08 – Duke’s in Bed
09 – What’s I’m Gotchere
10 – My Romance
11 – Bill Coleman

Personnel:
Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Arnved Meyer – trumpet
Bill Coleman – trumpet, flugelhorn
John Darville – trombone
Ole Kongsted – tenor saxophone
Niels Jorgen Steen, Fred Hunt – piano
Jim Douglas – guitar
Hendrik Hartmann, Ron Rae – bass
Hans Hymand, Lennie Hastings – drums

Recorded at Metronome Studios, Copenhagen, September 1965; and
at Olympic Studios, London, 27th April 1967

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Red Garland – The Nearness of You {JazzLand}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Unlike his slightly earlier recordings for Moodsville (which feature Red Garland on unaccompanied piano solos), this strictly ballad date has Garland joined (on all but the solo “Lush Life”) by bassist Larry Ridley and drummer Frank Gant. Since all eight of the standards are taken at the same medium/slow tempo, there is not much variety here, keeping the CD from being essential. But Garland’s attractive and distinctive chord voicings, plus his ability to uplift melodies while swinging at a slow speed, make this project a success. Highlights include “The Nearness of You,” “Where or When,” and Irving Berlin’s “All Alone.” Particularly effective when used as background music.

Tracks:
01 – Why Was I Born?
02 – The Nearness of You
03 – Where or When
04 – Long Ago and Far Away
05 – I Got it Bad (And That Ain’t Good)
06 – Don’t Worry About Me
07 – Lush Life
08 – All Alone

Personnel:
Red Garland – piano
Larry Ridley – bass
Frank Gant – drums

Recorded and mastered at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City; November 30, 1961

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Scott Hamilton & Friends – Blues, Bop & Ballads {Concord}


Review by Ken Dryden (allmusic.com)

Big-toned tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton leads a swinging small group session that concentrates mostly on songs that didn’t receive much attention in the 1990s. “Answer Me (My Love)” is a potent ballad feature for the leader that reveals the influence of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster, while Hamilton also has fun with lively riff tunes like his own “Rhythm Riff #127,” and Hawkins’ “Stuffy.” Trumpeter Greg Gisbert is outstanding throughout the date, while trombonist Joel Helleny and guitarist Duke Robillard only appear on three tracks each, but make valuable contributions with their solos. This delightful CD stands up well to repeated listening, and is one of Scott Hamilton’s best recordings.

Tracks:
01 – I Mean You
02 – Blue Harlem
03 – Rhythm Riff #127
04 – Skylark
05 – Wabash
06 – Fish Market
07 – Answer Me (My Love)
08 – Stuffy
09 – Smile
10 – Good Bait

Personnel:
Scott Hamilton – tenor saxophone
Greg Gisbert – trumpet
Joel Helleny – trombone (tracks 3, 5 & 6)
Norman Simmons – piano
Dennis Irwin – bass
Chuck Riggs – drums
Duke Robillard – guitar (tracks 2, 3 & 6)

Recorded at Sony Music Studios, New York City; February 23-24, 1999

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork