Stan Getz – Bossas and Ballads: The Lost Sessions {Verve}


Review by Thom Jurek ~allmusic.com
First off, these “Lost Sessions” were never actually lost. The music here was supposed to be released as the Stan Getz Quartet’s first issue on A&M, and for the usual record company reasons, it was shelved instead. The tapes were in the vault and catalogs, so it’s not like they were found in someone’s closet. The bottom line is that Getz, already ill at this point, still had the goods. Produced by Herb Alpert (a genius in his own right even if his records don’t always hold up), the bossas here are tough, innovative jazz tunes mainly written by Getz’s pianist, Kenny Barron. Don’t look for the gentle side of Getz that was so beautifully displayed on his early bossa records with Charlie Byrd and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Instead, this is the man who had reinvented his playing technique. With a strong foil in Barron, Getz was free to explore his form of melodic improvisation to a fuller and wider extent, which is evident if you simply check out his solos on Barron’s “Sunshower” and “El Sueno,” and Mal Waldron’s classic ballad “Soul Eyes.” Interestingly, this was Barron’s date as much as it was Getz’s. His compositions and musical direction are key here, and he was trying to get deeper into and stretch the samba groove in his writing. Finding Getz in such an adventurous space in his playing allowed for this. With a rhythm section that includes bassist George Mraz and drummer Victor Lewis, this disc is essential not only for fans of Getz and Barron, but for real jazzheads.

Tracklist:
01. Sunshower (7:21)
02. Yours and Mine (8:01)
03. Joanne Julia (7:51)
04. Soul Eyes (7:24)
05. Spiral (7:55)
06. Beatrice (8:15)
07. The Wind (8:57)
08. El Sueno (6:37)
09. Feijoada (6:24)

Personnel:
Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
Kenny Barron – piano
George Mraz – bass
Victor Lewis – drums

Recorded & mixed by Al Schmitt
Mastered by Doug sax and Robert Hadley
Produced by Herb Alpert

Recorded March 1989 at A&M Recording Studios, Hollywood: track 6 on March 26;
tracks 1, 3-5 and 7 on March 28; tracks 2,8 and 9 on March 29

Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop, Latin Jazz, Bossa Nova
Label: Verve
Year: 2003
Time: 68:44

Quality-1: flac (tracks, eac, cue, log) + artwork (full, except “tray”)
Quality-2: mp3@320 + artwork (full, except “tray”)

Zoot Sims and The Gershwin Brothers {Pablo}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Along with his album with Count Basie (Basie and Zoot) during the same period, this is one of Sims’ most exciting recordings of his career. Greatly assisted by pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Grady Tate, he explores ten songs written by George and Ira Gershwin. Somehow the magic was definitely present and, whether it be stomps such as “The Man I Love,” “Lady Be Good,” and “I Got Rhythm” or warm ballads (including “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and “Embraceable You”), Zoot Sims is heard at the peak of his powers. A true gem.

Tracks:
01 – The Man I Love
02 – How Long has This Been Going On
03 – Lady Be Good
04 – I’ve Got a Crush on You
05 – I Got Rhythm
06 – Embraceable You
07 – ‘S Wonderful
08 – Someone to Watch Over Me
09 – Isn’t it a Pity
10 – Summertime
11 – They Can’t Take That Away from Me (bonus track)

Personnel:
Zoot Sims – tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Joe Pass – guitar
George Mraz – bass
Grady Tate – drums

Recorded at RCA Recording Studios, New York; June 6, 1975.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Tommy Flanagan – Jazz Poet {Timeless}


Review by Steve Loewy (allmusic.com)

By the time of this recording, pianist Tommy Flanagan had been performing for decades — mostly as a sideman — for a who’s who of jazz: players such as Miles Davis, J.J. Johnson, and Sonny Rollins, to name a few. His perfect, yet unassuming style made him the pianist of choice for dozens of musicians. While he has recorded as a leader from time to time, this album may be the best representation of his work available. He performs a set of great tunes (“Caravan,” “Willow Weep for Me,” “St. Louis Blues,” “Lament,” and others) in a topflight trio, with George Mraz on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. Flanagan is at the peak of his powers. Never flashy, never showy, this is just outstanding music performed by a true master who is one of the great bop pianists of the 20th century.

Tracks:
01 – Raincheck
02 – Lament
03 – Willow Weep for Me
04 – Caravan
05 – That Tired Routine Called Love
06 – Glad to Be Unhappy
07 – St. Louis Blues
08 – Mean Streets
09 – I’m Old Fashioned
10 – Voce Abuso

Personnel:
Tommy Flanagan – piano
George Mraz – bass
Kenny Washington – drums

Recorded January 17th & 19th 1989;
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork