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

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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

Frank Morgan – Easy Living {Contemporary}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

After nearly 30 years off the scene, altoist Frank Morgan made a remarkable comeback. Despite his years in prison and obscurity, he had not lost anything in his playing; in fact, he had grown as an individual. Teamed with pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Tony Dumas and drummer Billy Higgins, Morgan (still just 51) digs into songs by Walton, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter and Antonio Carlos Jobim that had not been written when he had last recorded; in addition, he plays versions of three standards that recall his main inspiration, Charlie Parker. Morgan’s improbable comeback after such a long period was fortunately permanent. This set (originally released by Contemporary) has been reissued on CD in the Original Jazz Classics series, and in addition to being a historic date, the music is excellent.

Tracks:
01 – Manha de Carnaval
02 – Yes and No
03 – Easy Living
04 – The Rubber Man
05 – Third Street Blues
06 – Three Flowers
07 – Embraceable You
08 – Now’s the Time

Personnel:
Frank Morgan – alto saxophone
Cedar Walton – piano
Tony Dumas – bass
Billy Higgins – drums

Recorded digitally at Monterey Sound Studio, Glendale, CA; June 12 and 13, 1985.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Milt Jackson – It Don’t Mean a Thing If You Can’t Tap Your Foot to It {Pablo}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Vibraphonist Milt Jackson’s recording career has been remarkably consistent, and his Pablo recordings of 1975-85 are uniformly excellent. This particular set features his 1984 quartet (a group consisting of pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Mickey Roker) performing four obscure group originals and three standards with swing, subtle creativity and soul. This CD is a good example of Milt Jackson’s enjoyable music.

Tracks:
01 – Midnight Waltz
02 – Ain’t that Nothin’
03 – Stress and Trauma
04 – Used to be Jackson
05 – It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got that Swing)
06 – If I Were a Bell
07 – Close Enough for Love

Personnel:
Milt Jackson – vibes
Ray Brown – bass
Cedar Walton – piano
Mickey Roker – drums

Recorded at RCA Studios, New York City; July 1984.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork