Blue Mitchell – The Cup Bearers {Riverside}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Trumpeter Blue Mitchell and four-fifths of the Horace Silver Quintet (with Cedar Walton in Silver’s place) perform a variety of superior songs on this CD reissue including Walton’s “Turquoise,” Tom McIntosh’s “Cup Bearers,” Thad Jones’s “Tiger Lily” and a couple of standards. The music swings hard, mostly avoids sounding like a Horace Silver group, and has particularly strong solos from Mitchell, tenor-saxophonist Junior Cook and Walton; excellent hard bop.

Tracks:
01 – Turquoise
02 – Why Do I Love You?
03 – Dingbat Blues
04 – Capers
05 – Cup Bearers
06 – How Deep is the Ocean?
07 – Tiger Lily

Personnel:
Blue Mitchell – trumpet
Junior Cook – tenor saxophone
Cedar Walton – piano
Gene Taylor – bass
Roy Brooks – drums

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City; August 28 and 30, 1962

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

John Coltrane – Blue Train {Blue Note}[MFSL]


Review by Lindsay Planer (allmusic.com)

Although never formally signed, an oral agreement between John Coltrane and Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion was indeed honored on Blue Train — Coltrane’s only collection of sides as a principal artist for the venerable label. The disc is packed solid with sonic evidence of Coltrane’s innate leadership abilities. He not only addresses the tunes at hand, but also simultaneously reinvents himself as a multifaceted interpreter of both hard bop as well as sensitive balladry — touching upon all forms in between. The personnel on Blue Train is arguably as impressive as what they’re playing. Joining Coltrane (tenor sax) are Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Kenny Drew (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). The triple horn arrangements incorporate an additional sonic density that remains a trademark unique to both this band and album. Of particular note is Fuller’s even-toned trombone, which bops throughout the title track as well as the frenetic “Moments Notice.” Other solos include Paul Chambers’ subtly understated riffs on “Blue Train” as well as the high energy and impact from contributions by Lee Morgan and Kenny Drew during “Locomotion.” The track likewise features some brief but vital contributions from Philly Joe Jones — whose efforts throughout the record stand among his personal best. Of the five sides that comprise the original Blue Train, the Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer ballad “I’m Old Fashioned” is the only standard; in terms of unadulterated sentiment, this version is arguably untouchable. Fuller’s rich tones and Drew’s tastefully executed solos cleanly wrap around Jones’ steadily languid rhythms. Without reservation, Blue Train can easily be considered in and among the most important and influential entries not only of John Coltrane’s career, but of the entire genre of jazz music as well.

Tracks:
01 – Blue Train
02 – Moment’s Notice
03 – Locomotion
04 – I’m Old Fashioned
05 – Lazy Bird

Personnel:
Lee Morgan – trumpet
Curtis Fuller – trombone
John Coltrane – tenor sax
Kenny Drew – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Philly Joe Jones – drums

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Freddie Hubbard – The Body & The Soul {impulse!} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Michael G. Nastos (allmusic.com)

At age 25, Freddie Hubbard made inroads into modern jazz most trumpeters could not imagine, much less come through with. As a soloist, one of Hubbard’s crowning achievements in his early period was this recording on which he teamed with Wayne Shorter, marginally as a performer but prominent in the role of arranger/conductor for his first time ever. Utilizing a septet, 16-piece big band, and orchestra plus stings to play concise, tight tunes, Shorter provides the backdrop to employ Hubbard’s bold toned trumpet and all of its devices in a full display of his powerful melodic talents. Yeoman Reggie Workman plays bass on all selections, with drummer Louis Hayes in the seven-piece combo, and great work from Philly Joe Jones in the larger bands. Interestingly enough, the three tracks with the smaller ensemble are the most interesting, due to the presence of Eric Dolphy, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, and Shorter on the front line. “Clarence’s Place” is a post-bop jewel with spiky brass accents and Dolphy’s ribald and outre alto sax solo contrasting Shorter’s relatively reserved tenor, “Dedicated to You” is a wisp of a tune, while “Body & Soul,” an atypical choice for the opening selection, is a straight read of the classic ballad with a chart that sounds larger than the small horn section, and a wavering flute via Dolphy. The big band does an unusual soul-jazz treatment of the Brazilian number “Manha de Carnaval” flavored by Robert Northern’s French horn, while “Aries” is a hard bop show stopper with two-note accents buoying Hubbard’s great lyrical lines, and goes further into hard bop with “Thermo” as the horns demand attention with the trumpeter as an afterthought. The string section, ten pieces strong, joins the big band on the film noir type Duke Ellington piece “Chocolate Shake,” the stock “I Got It Bad,” and “Skylark,” with its soft clarion intro bubbling underneath with the violins, violas, and cellos. The manner in which this recording is programmed is thoughtful in that it lends to the diversity of the project, but is seamless from track to track. Dan Morgenstern’s hefty liner notes also explain the concept behind this ambitious project, one which did not compare to any of Hubbard’s other recordings in his career. Therefore it stands alone as one of the most unique productions in his substantive discography, and a quite credible initial go-round for Shorter as an orchestrator.

Tracks:
01 – Body and Soul
02 – Carnival (Manha de Carnaval)
03 – Chocolate Shake
04 – Dedicated to You
05 – Clarence’s Place
06 – Aries
07 – Skylark
08 – I Got it Bad and That A’int Good
09 – Thermo

Personnel:
Wayne Shorter – tenor sax (leader & arranger)
Freddie Hubbard – trumpet
Bob Northern, Julius Watkins – frenchorn
Cedar Walton – piano
Joe Jones – drums
Reggie Workman – bass
Melba Liston, Curtis Fuller – trombone
Jerome Richardson – baritone saxophone
Eric Dolphy – alto saxophone
etc.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork