Kenny Dorham – Quiet Kenny {Fantasy}[xrcd]


Review by Michael G. Nastos (allmusic.com)
In the liner notes of Quiet Kenny, former Downbeat magazine publisher Jack Maher states that trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s music is not necessarily the demure, balladic, rapturous jazz one might associate as romantic or tranquil. Cool and understated might be better watchwords for what the ultra-melodic Dorham achieves on this undeniably well crafted set of standards and originals that is close to containing his best work overall during a far too brief career. Surrounded by an excellent rhythm team of the equally sensitive pianist Tommy Flanagan, emerging bassist Paul Chambers, and the always-beneficial drummer Art Taylor, Dorham and his mates are not prone to missteps or overt exaggerations. One of Dorham’s all-time best tunes “Lotus Blossom” kicks off the set with its bop to Latin hummable melody, fluid dynamics, and Dorham’s immaculate, unpretentious tone. “Old Folks,” a classic ballad, is done mid-tempo, while the true “quiet” factor comes into play on interesting version of “My Ideal” where Dorham gingerly squeezes out the slippery wet notes, and on the sad ballad “Alone Together.” The rest of the material is done in easygoing, unforced fashion, especially the originals “Blue Friday” and the simple swinger “Blue Spring Shuffle” which is not really a shuffle. Never known as a boisterous or brash player, but also not a troubadour of romanticism — until he started singing — Dorham’s music is also far from complacent, and this recording established him as a Top Five performer in jazz on his instrument. It comes recommended to all.

Tracklist:
01. Lotus Blossom (04:43)
02. My Ideal (05:09)
03. Blue Friday (08:50)
04. Alone Together (03:14)
05. Blue Spring Shuffle (07:40)
06. I Had the Craziest Dream (04:42)
07. Old Folks (05:16)
08. Mack the Knife (03:04)

Personnel:
Kenny Dorham – trumpet
Tommy Flanagan – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Art Taylor – drums

Recorded in Englewood Cliffs, NJ; November 13, 1959.

Label: Fantasy – xrcd Edition
Year: 1992
Genre: Jazz
Style: Classic Jazz, Hard Bop
Total Time: 42:38

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

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Tina Brooks – True Blue {Blue Note}[xrcd]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Although a four-LP Mosaic box set purportedly includes every recording led by the obscure but talented tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks, this 1994 CD has previously unreleased alternate takes of “True Blue” and “Good Old Soul” that Mosaic overlooked. Brooks is teamed with the young trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (on one of his earliest sessions), pianist Duke Jordan, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Art Taylor for a set dominated by Brooks’ originals. None of the themes may be all that memorable (“Nothing Ever Changes My Love for You” comes the closest), but the hard bop solos are consistently excellent.

Tracks:
01 – Good Old Soul
02 – Up Tight’s Creek
03 – Theme for Doris
04 – True Blue
05 – Miss Hazel
06 – Nothing Ever Changes My Love for You

Personnel:
Freddie Hubbard – trumpet
Tina Brooks – tenor sax
Duke Jordan – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Art Taylor – drums

Recorded June 25, 1960; at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Year: 2009, Style: Hard Bop

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Hank Mobley – Jazz Message of Hank Mobley, Volume.2 {Savoy} “mono”


Review by Jim Todd (allmusic.com)

Impressive lineups, both in the front line and the rhythm section, fuel the two 1956 sessions on this Savoy reissue. The players are committed, the writing is good, and the performances reward repeated listening. The result is a worthwhile precursor to the industry-standard hard bop Mobley would later record for Blue Note.Lee Morgan, then 18, joins Mobley on two tracks that have pianist Hank Jones, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor in the rhythm section. Even if Morgan at this time was audibly still growing as a trumpet player, his poise, execution, and resourceful imagination were already the tools of a master. Donald Byrd, on form and playing with crispness and authority, moves into the trumpet chair for the three remaining tracks. This time it’s Barry Harris on piano, Kenny Clarke on drums, and Watkins (again) on bass. The influence on Mobley of swing era tenors, from Lester Young to Illinois Jacquet, can be clearly heard on these tracks. Mobley’s respect for and understanding of the pre-bebop style serve him well in his contribution to the development of the predominant jazz style that followed bebop. In addition to three Mobley originals, there is a blues by Thad Jones and another from Watkins. The standout track is Mobley’s “Space Flight,” a bright, up-tempo bop number that has memorable solos from Mobley, Byrd, Harris, and Clarke. The recording on this CD is very good but, as is common on Savoy reissues, the running time isn’t long — 32 minutes in the case of this jazz message.

Tracks:
01 – Thad’s Blues
02 – Doug’s Minor B’ Ok”
03 – B. for B.B.
04 – Blues Number Two
05 – Space Flight

Personnel:
Hank Mobley – tenor saxophone
Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd – trumpet
Hank Jones, Barry Harris – piano
Doug Watkins – bass
Art Taylor, Kenny Clarke – drums

Recorded on November 7 and July 23; 1956

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Charlie Rouse Quintet – Takin’ Care of Business {Jazzland}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Charlie Rouse’s debut as a leader (not counting his earlier work co-leading Les Jazz Modes with the great French horn player Julius Watkins) was made for Jazzland and is available as an OJC CD. The distinctive tenor saxophonist, who had just started a decade-long stint as a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet, teams up with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., bassist Earl May, and drummer Art Taylor. Together they perform straight-ahead material including Rouse’s own uptempo “Upptankt,” the standard “They Didn’t Believe Me,” and songs by Mitchell, Kenny Drew, and Randy Weston. A fine modern mainstream jam session-flavored set.

Tracks:
01 – Blue Farouq
02 – “204”
03 – Upptankt
04 – Wierdo
05 – Pretty Strange
06 – They Didn’t Believe Me

Personnel:
Charlie Rouse – tenor sax
Blue Mitchell – trumpet
Walter Bishop – piano
Earl May – bass
Art Taylor – drums

Recorded in New York; May 11, 1960.

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

Red Garland Trio – Groovy {Prestige}[xrcd]


Review by Michael G. Nastos (allmusic.com)

Red Garland’s third recording as a leader has him playing very well, somewhat energetic and more inclusive in his direction to span the mainstream jazz palate beyond the cool exterior he emanates. The title might be a bit deceptive, for this is not a project where soul-jazz or early boogaloo influences turned jazzmen into groovemeisters — it’s a swinging groove. With bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor, Garland has all the support he needs to wing it in a variety of directions. Recorded in that most legendary year of jazz, 1957, Garland is coming into his own in a more confident way, buoyed by his association at the time with Miles Davis. Chambers is flawless in his support role, and on this recording deserves a close listen, especially for students of the acoustic upright. They immediately dig in on the opener “C Jam Blues,” with Garland at his heartiest during his bridge solo, they agree in the affirmative during the entirety of the hard bop take of “Will You Still Be Mine?,” and repeat but modify the melody à la “Cool Blues” in an adept display of artistry for “Hey Now.” Of course Garland has to play a ballad or two, as on “Willow Weep for Me,” luscious with chord sequences, and really reflects the influence of Erroll Garner in that chiming, two-handed sustenato style for Garner’s “Gone Again.” It is said that by the third recording, most musicians should have their style down pat and begin attempting to take the music to a higher level. You really hear that in this recording, which was a springboard to making Red Garland one of the most revered and respected jazz pianists of the modern era.

Tracks:
01 – C Jam Blues
02 – Gone Again
03 – Will You Still Be Mine?
04 – Willow Weep for Me
05 – What Can I Say, Dear
06 – Hey Now

Personnel:
Red Garland – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Art Taylor – drums

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, New Jersey; December 14, 1956,
May 24 and August 9, 1957.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain [2CD]{Columbia} “Legacy Edition”


Review by Thom Jurek (allmusic.com)

More than likely, the serious Miles Davis fan has already bought Sketches of Spain in numerous editions before, from its original CD issue to two different remasters — and some have purchased it as part of the Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings box set as well. This 50th Anniversary Legacy Edition will more than likely be either for the serious Miles collector, or for a newcomer to the recordings of Davis and Evans. Since the single-CD issue of Sketches of Spain is still available, it remains to be seen who this 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition set — which contains no unreleased music — will appeal to; but it is a handsome issue and does contain a couple of nice bonuses to make it attractive. Along with the original album is a 70-minute bonus disc filled with alternate takes and extra tracks. There are four different takes of “Concerto de Arjanuez (Adagio),” including a two-part, alternate take version that lasts in total about 20 minutes; a stellar live version which is the only one that took place, and a brief alternate ending. In addition to other alternates of album pieces are “Maids of Cadiz,” which showcases the first Spanish composition that Evans adapted for Miles, and “Teo,” from the Someday My Prince Will Come sessions. It was included because of its symbiotic relationship to “Solea,” on Sketches of Spain. Also included on the bonus disc is a large .pdf file that is in essence a digital booklet with rare photos, press clippings, and previously unpublished documents related to the recordings sessions for the album. This version also comes with a new liner essay by Gunther Schuller. Again, the more casual Miles listener, and even the purchaser of his classic albums, may hesitate, but for the more serious jazz aficionado, it is somewhat revelatory to hear the bonus material prepared and sequenced in this context; and the extra digital booklet — given the attractive price of the set — makes it tough to resist.

Tracks – Disc One:
01 – Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)
02 – Will O’ the Wisp
03 – The Pan Piper
04 – Saeta
05 – Solea
06 – Song of Our Country

Tracks – Disc Two:
01 – Maids of Cadiz
02 – Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)_rehearsal take, incomplete, w/o
03 – Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)_alternate take, part one
04 – Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)_alternate take, part two
05 – Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)_alternate ending
06 – The Pan Piper (take 1)
07 – Song of Our Country_take 9, w/o intro
08 – Song of Our Country_take 14, slower tempo, w/o intro
09 – Saeta (full version of master)
10 – Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)_live
11 – Teo

Personnel:
Miles Davis – fluegelhorn, trumpet
Gil Evans – arranger, conductor
Paul Chambers – bass
Jimmy Cobb, Art Taylor – drums
Elvin Jones – percussion
etc.

Recorded on May 6 & 27, 1957 and November 20, 1959 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, NYC

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork