Bill Evans – The Tokyo Concert {Fantasy}[OJC]


Review by Ken Dryden ~allmusic.com
The Bill Evans Trio’s 1973 concert in Tokyo was his first recording for Fantasy and it produced yet another Grammy nomination for the presentation. With bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell, this straight reissue of the original LP mixes offbeat songs with overlooked gems, familiar standards, and surprisingly, only one Evans composition, the demanding “T.T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune Two).” Bobbie Gentry’s “Mornin’ Glory” was an unusual choice to open the performance and seems a bit conservative for Evans. The adrenaline picks up considerably with his mid-tempo waltzing take of Jerome Kern’s “Up With the Lark” and a driving “My Romance.” Evans also revisits the twisting Scott LaFaro tune “Gloria’s Step,” which showcases both Gomez and Morell. The closer, “On Green Dolphin Street,” is given a slight bossa nova flavor and isn’t nearly as aggressive as most of the pianist’s live recordings of this popular standard. Although this CD doesn’t rank among the Top Five live dates recorded by Bill Evans, it should be considered an essential part of his discography. It seems odd that no additional music turned up for this reissue, as the concert is just under an hour long; all nine tracks are included in the boxed set The Complete Fantasy Recordings.

Tracklist:
01. Mornin’ Glory (5:48)
02. Up with the Lark (6:48)
03. Yesterday I Heard the Rain (6:33)
04. My Romance (8:43)
05. When Autumn Comes (6:05)
06. T.T.T.T. (Twelve Tone Tune Two) (6:38)
07. Hullo Bolinas (4:01)
08. Gloria’s Step (7:57)
09. On Green Dolphin Street (6:47)

Personnel:
Bill Evans – piano
Eddie Gomez – bass
Marty Morell – drums

Recorded in performance at Yubin Chokin Hall, Tokyo, Japan; January 20, 1973.
Digital mastering, 1990 – Phil De Lancie; Fantasy Studios, Berkeley.
Produced by Helen Keane.

Genre: Jazz
Style: Mainstream, Post-Bop
Label: Fantasy / OJC
Year: 1990
Time: 59:19

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McCoy Tyner Trio – Inception {impulse!} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Alexander Gelfand ~allmusic.com
Those familiar with the dense, percussive style that pianist McCoy Tyner has cultivated since the 1970s onwards may be surprised by what they hear on Inception. Like Reaching Fourth and Nights of Ballads and Blues, this album gives listeners the chance to hear what a very young Tyner sounded like outside the confines of the classic John Coltrane quartet of the early ’60s; it reveals a lyrical approach to jazz piano that seems a far cry from Tyner’s mature style. The choice of material is fairly evenly split between modal pieces like “Inception” and more harmonically involved tunes like “Speak Low,” and the pianist’s treatment of both demonstrates the extent to which his early work was rooted in bebop. Tyner had yet to develop the massive orchestral sound and highly distinctive vocabulary of modal licks that would mark his later style, and throughout this album he spins dizzyingly long and singing lines with an exquisitely light touch. The irresistible rush of forward momentum that he maintains on tracks like “Effendi” and “Blues for Gwen” is breathtaking, and there is an exuberant, almost athletic quality to much of his solo work. Bassist Art Davis and drummer Elvin Jones provide superb accompaniment throughout, and they lay a solid rhythmic foundation for Tyner’s sparkling melodic flights. The pianist’s penchant for drama, which asserts itself more strongly in his later work, is on brief display in the original ballad “Sunset”; his skills as an arranger, though evident on several tracks, are perhaps best illustrated by the intricate contrapuntal treatment of “There Is No Greater Love.”

Tracklist:
01. Inception (4:28)
02. There is No Greater Love (6:20)
03. Blues for Gwen (4:26)
04. Sunset (4:41)
05. Effendi (6:39)
06. Speak Low (6:22)

Personnel:
McCoy Tyner – piano
Art Davis – bass
Elvin Jones – drums

Recorded January 10, 1962

Genre: Jazz
Style: Post Bop, Piano Trio
Label: impulse! / Analogue Productions
Year: 2011
Time: 32:56

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Cal Tjader’s Modern Mambo Quintet – Mambo with Tjader {Fantasy}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow ~allmusic.com
Vibraphonist Cal Tjader was quickly becoming one of the most important forces in Latin jazz when he recorded the infectious music on this CD reissue. Joined by pianist Manuel Duran, bassist Carlos Duran, and a couple of percussionists, Tjader performs Latinized versions of such standards as “Cherry,” “This Can’t Be Love,” “I’ll Remember April,” “Autumn Leaves,” and even “Sonny Boy.” Decades later, this highly rhythmic music (which helped lay the groundwork for Latin jazz in general) still sounds fresh and lively.

Tracklist:
01. Mamblues (mambo) 2:28
02. Midnight Sun (cha cha cha) 3:58
03. Sonny Boy (mambo) 2:37
04. Cherry (cha cha cha) 3:25
05. I’ll Remember April (bolero) 3:22
06. This Can’t Be Love (mambo) 3:05
07. Tenderly (bolero) 3:49
08. Dearly Beloved (cha cha cha) 3:58
09. Chloe (mambo) 2:32
10. Lucero (mambo) 3:17
11. Bye Bye Blues (mambo) 2:59
12. Autumn Leaves (bolero) 2:49

Personnel:
Cal Tjader – vibes
Manuel Duran – piano
Carlos Duran – bass
Bayardo Velarde – timbales, bongos
Edgard Rosales – congas

Recorded Fall 1954.

Genre: Jazz
Style: Latin Jazz
Label: Fantasy / OJC
Year: 1992
Time: 38:19

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