Oscar Peterson + Harry “Sweets” Edison + Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson {Pablo}


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)
During Nov. 12-14, 1986, pianist Oscar Peterson recorded three albums worth of material for Norman Granz’s Pablo label. This particular CD features the great pianist with his quartet (bassist Dave Young, drummer Martin Drew and guest guitarist Joe Pass) along with trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison and altoist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. The strictly instrumental set has many fine solos on appealing tunes such as “Stuffy,” “Broadway” and the lengthy blues “Slooow Drag.” This boppish session gave Vinson a rare chance to really stretch out and he was up for the challenge.

Tracklist:
01. Stuffy (09:14)
02. This One’s for Jaws (04:54)
03. Everything Happens to Me (04:37)
04. Broadway (05:14)
05. Slooow Drag (10:36)
06. What’s New (04:28)
07. Satin Doll (07:29)

Personnel:
Oscar Peterson – piano
Harry “Sweets” Edison – trumpet
Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson – alto saxophone
Joe Pass – guitar
Dave Young – bass
Martin Drew – drums

Recorded in Hollywood, CA; November 12, 1986.

Label: Pablo
Year: 1987
Genre: Jazz
Style: Mainstream, Bop
Total Time: 46:31

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

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Duke Ellington Quartet – Duke’s Big Four {Pablo}[xrcd]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

One of Duke Ellington’s finest small group sessions from his final decade was this frequently exciting quartet date with guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Louie Bellson. Ellington’s percussive style always sounded modern and he comes up with consistently strong solos on such numbers as “Love You Madly,” “The Hawk Talks” and especially “Cotton Tail,” easily keeping up with his younger sidemen. Highly recommended.

Tracks:
01 – Cotton Tail
02 – The Blues
03 – The Hawk Talks
04 – Prelude to a Kiss
05 – Love You Madly
06 – Just Squeeze Me (But Don’t Tease Me)
07 – Everything But You

Personnel:
Duke Ellington – piano
Joe Pass – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Louis Bellson – drums

Recorded in Los Angeles; January 8, 1973.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Joe Pass – Portraits of Duke Ellington {Pablo} “Japan”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Recorded just a month after Duke Ellington’s death, this tribute album (reissued on CD) features guitarist Joe Pass (just beginning to become famous), bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Bobby Durham jamming on eight Ellington tunes and “Caravan” (which was penned by one of Duke’s key sidemen, Juan Tizol). The interplay between the three musicians is quite impressive, and Pass’ mastery of the guitar is obvious (he didn’t really need the other sidemen). Highlights include “In a Mellow Tone,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” and “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good).” Recommended.

Tracks:
01 – Satin Doll
02 – I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart
03 – Sophisticated Lady
04 – I Got It Bad (and that Ain’t Good)
05 – In a Mellow Tone
06 – Solitude
07 – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
08 – Do Nothin’ ’till You Hear from Me
09 – Caravan

Personnel:
Joe Pass – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Bobby Durham – drums

Recorded on June 21, 1974

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Joe Pass Trio – Eximious {Pablo}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Joe Pass took time off from his solo guitar projects to record this excellent trio set with bassist Niels-Henning ├śrsted Pedersen and drummer Martin Drew. Pass swings hard throughout, is consistently inventive within the bebop tradition, and indulges in close interplay with Pedersen. Together, these musicians make the wondrous seem effortless. Among the highlights are “We’ll Be Together Again” (the one unaccompanied guitar showcase on the program), “Robbins Nest,” “Lush Life,” “Night and Day,” and “Speak Low.”

Tracks:
01 – A Foxy Chick and a Cool Cat
02 – Robbins Nest
03 – Lush Life
04 – Serenata
05 – Love for Sale
06 – Night and Day
07 – We’ll Be Together Again
08 – Everything I Love
09 – Everyting I’ve Got
10 – Speak Low

Personnel:
Joe Pass – guitar
Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen – bass
Martin Drew – drums

Recorded at Group IV Studios, Hollywood, CA; May 25 and July 8, 1982.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

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

Count Basie – Mostly Blues… and Some Others {Pablo}


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Count Basie’s final small-group studio session (one of a countless number for Norman Granz during Basie’s last decade), this outing features trumpeter Snooky Young (who was last with the orchestra in the early ’60s), tenor great Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and the dependable guitarist Joe Pass (along with rhythm guitarist Freddie Green). The repertoire lives up to the album’s title: blues and swing standards all played with joy and spirit.

Tracks:
01 – I’ll Always Be in Love With You
02 – Snooky
03 – Blues for Charlie Christian
04 – Jaws
05 – I’m Confessin’ that I Love You
06 – I Want a Little Girl
07 – Blues in ‘C’
08 – Brio

Personnel:
Count Basie – piano
Snooky Young – trumpet
Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis – tenor sax
Freddie Green – rhythm guitar
Joe Pass – solo guitar
John Heard – bass
Roy McCurdy – drums

Recorded at Group IV Studios, Hollywood, California; June 22, 1983

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ella Fitzgerald with Joe Pass – Speak Love {Pablo}


Review by Matthew G. Sherwin (amazon.com)

Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass will always remain the ultimate example of an accomplished, very special chanteuse and guitarist performing together, never giving us anything less than their very best. This CD is just one of three or four albums that Ella and Joe made together; and we get the rewards for all their hard work!

The CD track set begins with “Speak Low.” What a ballad! Ella’s voice is rich, warm and vibrant despite the fact that this set was recorded late in her career. Ella sings passionately and uses the full range of her voice to deliver “Speak Low” to perfection. Joe Pass plays the guitar well. It amazes me to hear just how much magic Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass could weave with just her voice and his solo guitar arrangement.

“Comes Love” follows “Speak Low.” “Comes Love” sports a romantic melody; and Ella’s treatment of the lyrics leaves you wanting for nothing! Ella plays with the tempo of her vocals as well; and this bolsters “Comes Love.” “I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful)!” lets Ella interpret a classic, well known love ballad–and her rendition shines like gold. Ella’s vocals are placed squarely in front of the musical arrangement; and she scats really nicely, too. When Joe does get his guitar solo in the middle of “I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful),” he more than compensates for his staying in the background while Ella sings!

“At Last,” a ballad made so famous by the great Etta James, really shines as Ella sings this soulfully, slowly and passionately. Ella sings her heart out for “At Last!” Awesome! Ella scats just a little; Ella performs most of “At Last” as a ballad made all the more beautiful by the simplicity of the lyrics. “Gone With The Wind” features Ella singing with energy while refraining from being unrealistically boisterous for this number. Joe’s simple but moving guitar arrangement adds a lot to “Gone With The Wind.” I love his guitar solo on “Gone With The Wind,” too! Ella scats a little bit near the end of this ballad and she even ends it with a slightly upbeat sound at the very end as if to remind you she didn’t lose her talents as a scatter. If you want to hear Ella doing some really fine scatting, give a listen to “Blue And Sentimental.”

The CD ends with “Georgia On My Mind.” Joe starts with a few notes on his guitar; and although Ella and Joe keep the usual tempo they inject it with their own personal touch. Ella scats somewhat and Joe plays a few extra spicy notes on his guitar. The overall effect provides the album with a particularly strong ending.

The liner notes have a very brief essay by Norman Granz; I would have liked a longer essay but this is a minor disappointment. The cover art work has a great picture of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass together.

Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass could turn out a set that would make even the very greatest artists green with envy. They never miss a beat on any of their flawless performances. I highly recommend this for fans of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass; and people who like classic pop vocals with a jazzy twist will like this CD, too.

Enjoy!

Tracks:
01 – Speak Low
02 – Comes Love
03 – There’s No You
04 – I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful)!
05 – At Last
06 – The Thrill is Gone (Medley)
07 – Gone with the Wind
08 – Blue and Sentimental
09 – Girl Talk
10 – Georgia on My Mind

Personnel:
Ella Fitzgerald – vocals
Joe Pass – guitar

Recorded in Hollywood, CA; March 21 & 22, 1983.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork