Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery – Further Adventures of Jimmy & Wes {Verve} ”Japan”


Review by Richard S. Ginell (allmusic.com)

Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes picks up where Dynamic Duo left off, digging a little further into the one-time-only Wes Montgomery/Jimmy Smith sessions and coming up with more fine music — mellower in general than Dynamic Duo but first-class nonetheless. Unlike most of the studio sessions from this time, Montgomery gets plenty of room for his single-string work as well as his famous octaves, and both techniques find him in full, mature bloom, needing fewer notes in which to say more (Smith, of course, is precisely the opposite). All but one of the tracks on the original LP find Smith and Montgomery interacting only with themselves, the drums of Grady Tate, and the congas of Ray Barretto; Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” (not often covered by jazzers) and Montgomery’s “O.G.D.” (later known as “Road Song”) come off best. Oliver Nelson’s big band makes a sole appearance with a swaggering chart of “Milestones.” Though Dynamic Duo is probably the priority purchase by a hairsbreadth margin, you’ll need to have both that album and Further Adventures eventually.

Tracks:
01 – King of the Road
02 – Maybe September
03 – OGD
04 – Call Me
05 – Milestones
06 – Mellow Mood

Personnel:
Jimmy Smith – organ
Wes Montgomery – guitar
Grady Tate – drums
Richard Davis – bass
Ray Barretto – percussion

Bob Ashton, Danny Bank, Jerry Dodgion, Jerome Richardson, Phil Woods – woodwinds
Jimmy Maxwell, Joe Newman, Ernie Royal, Clark Terry – trumpets
Jimmy Cleveland, Quentin Jackson, Melba Liston – trombones
Tony Studd – bass trombone

Recorded on September 21 and 28, 1966
Year: 2004

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

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Joe Henderson – Relaxin’ at Camarillo {Contemporary}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Originally on Contemporary, this CD reissue teams the great tenor Joe Henderson with pianist Chick Corea, either Tony Dumas or Richard Davis on bass, and Peter Erskine or Tony Williams on drums. The repertoire includes two songs by Corea, Henderson’s “Y Todavia la Quiero,” the standard ballad “My One and Only Love,” and Charlie Parker’s “Relaxin’ at Camarillo.” This informal session has plenty of fine solos from the two principals and is recommended to fans of advanced hard bop.

Tracks:
01 – Y Todavia La Quiero
02 – My One and Only Love
03 – Crimson Lake
04 – Yes, My Dear
05 – Relaxin’ at Camarillo

Personnel:
Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone
Chick Corea – piano
Tony Dumas, Richard Davis – bass
Peter Erskine, Tony Williams – drums

Recorded at Contemporary Record Studio, Los Angeles; August 20 and December 29, 1979.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ben Sidran – Mr. P’s Shuffle {GoJazz}[MFSL]


Review by Mike Holmes (epinions.com)

I’ve been listening to Ben Sidran and playing his music on my radio show for years but this is my first review of one of his albums. Sidran is truly a Renaissance man. He is an accomplished author of three books (“Black Talk”, “Talking Jazz”, and, “A Life in the Music”), he hosted a Peabody-award-winning NPR show (“Jazz Alive”) as well as VH-1’s “New Vision” series. He has an advanced degree from Sussex College.

Oh, and, he plays piano and organ, produces music, sings and composes. Born in Chicago in 1943, Sidran started doing gigs while a teenager. In the early 60’s while still in college, Ben joined a group known as the Ardell’s with a couple of fairly well known musicians (later on), Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs. He played with that group for a while but then continued his studies.

In the late 60’s, Sidran re-joined Miller and wrote the lyrics for one of Miller’s big hits “Space Cowboy.” Sidran moved on, however, and started recording on his own in the early 70’s. He excelled in jazz, modern jazz, rock and pop.

In the early 70’s, his wife grew tired of L.A. and the couple moved back to Madison, Wisconsin where Ben started played in a small club known as The Tuxedo Lounge. That club soon changed its name to Mr. P’s. After playing all over the world for the next two decades, Sidran was called by Mr. P’s owner to play a gig. He almost refused but decided to go back to his “roots”. What he found there gave him a new appreciation for music.

He and his son Leo (who plays the drums) played the gig and continued playing there off and on for a few years. Sidran enjoyed the club atmosphere so much that he wrote the song “Mr. P’s Shuffle” in honor of the original owner. In 1996, he decided to record this album in honor of the club and the man who gave him so much joy.

After listening to the CD, I could understand what Sidran was talking about in his liner notes for the album. The music on the record is a relaxed visit to old friends played with old friends. There is a cool joy with a hipness that reminds me of the old “beat” days of the 50’s and 60’s. A major part of that is due to the ability of Sidran to create the hip atmosphere but he also recruited an incredible group of musicians for the album.

Tracks:
01 – I’m Back
02 – Like a Boat on the Water
03 – Sentimental Journey
04 – Get Happy
05 – Jive Samba
06 – I’m Not Talking
07 – The Glory of Love
08 – Mr. P’s Shuffle
09 – Walk Right In
10 – Lover Man
11 – No Moon at All
12 – Memory Lane

Personnel:
Ben Sidran – piano & vocal
Richard Davis – bass
Clyde Stubblefield – drums
Leo Sidran – drums
Frank Morgan – alto saxophone
Phil Upchurch – guitar
Ricky Peterson – hammond B-3 organ
Margie Cox – background vocal
Alejo Poveda – percussion
Howard Levy – harmonica
Roscoe Mitchell – soprano saxophone

Recorded at Smart Studios, Madison, WI.
Additional recording at Creation Audio, Minneapolis, MN.
Released on 1996.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Ben Webster – See You at The Fair {impulse!} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Ben Webster’s final American recording was one of his greatest. At 55, the tenor saxophonist was still very much in his prime but considered out of style in the U.S. He would soon permanently move to Europe where he was better appreciated. This CD has the nine selections originally included on the LP of the same name, a quartet set with either Hank Jones or Roger Kellaway on piano, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Osie Johnson. Webster’s tone has rarely sounded more beautiful than on “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Our Love Is Here to Stay.” In addition, one song from the same session (but originally released on a sampler) and two tunes featuring Webster on an Oliver Nelson date (More Blues and the Abstract Truth) wrap up this definitive CD.

Tracks:
01 – See You at The Fair
02 – Over the Rainbow
03 – Our Love ‘s Here to Stay
04 – In a Mellow Tone
05 – Lullaby of Jazzland
06 – Stardust
07 – Fall of Love
08 – While We’re Dancing
09 – Someone to Watch Over Me

Personnel:
Ben Webster – tenor sax
Hank Jones – piano
Roger Kellaway – piano and harpsichord
Richard Davis – bass
Osie Johnson – drums

Recorded March 11 and 25, 1964.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Hank Jones (Great Jazz Trio) – Autumn Leaves {441 Records}


Review by Ken Dryden (allmusic.com)

The Great Jazz Trio was a working cooperative working with various lineups led by Hank Jones in during the 1970s and 1980s, but the revival of this defunct group finds Jones joined by two newcomers to the group, seasoned veterans Richard Davis on bass and the leader’s brother, Elvin Jones, on drums. Oddly enough, the two brothers have recorded together very infrequently during their long careers, so this opportunity must have been special to them. The opening track signals a different direction for the group, with Elvin’s explosive solo stealing the show in “Autumn Leaves.” The pianist’s imaginative arrangement of “Yesterdays” begins as a stunning solo before Davis’ sparse bass and Elvin’s brushes join him. The buoyant treatment of Kenny Dorham’s “Blue Bossa” finds Hank in a humorous mood, inserting several brief quotes from well-known works such as “Hot House” and “Blue Skies.” The trio is clearly cooking by the time it recorded the percolating take of Oliver Nelson’s “Six and Four.” Hopefully, this delightful date by the Great Jazz Trio will result in a follow-up recording session.

Tracks:
01 – Autumn Leaves
02 – Yesterdays
03 – Rhythm-a-Ning
04 – Blue Bossa
05 – Take the “A” Train
06 – Summertime
07 – Caravan
08 – Six and Four
09 – My Funny Valentine
10 – Bye Bye Blackbird

Personnel:
Hank Jones – piano
Richard Davis – bass
Elvin Jones – drums

Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, on May 12 and 13, 2002

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Sarah Vaughan and Her Trio – Swingin’ Easy {Mercury}


Review by Ken Dryden (allmusic.com)

Swingin’ Easy is one of Sarah Vaughan’s lesser known albums for Emarcy, combining two separate trio sessions from 1954 and 1957. The earlier date includes pianist John Malachi (who also worked with singers like Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstine, and Al Hibbler, plus bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Roy Haynes. Vaughan’s lush ballad technique is in full force in “Lover Man,” “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” and “Body and Soul,” while she scats in a midtempo setting of “If I Knew Then (What I Knew Now)” and her own “Shulie a Bop.” The second trio include pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Richard Davis, and Haynes. Aside from a brisk, miniature treatment of “Linger Awhile” and a playful setting of “I Cried for You,” the session is highlighted by a breezy “All of Me.” Vaughan is in terrific form throughout both dates, with the songs mostly running around the three-minute mark. This CD is well worth acquiring, though it is out of print.

Tracks:
01 – Shulie a Bop
02 – Lover Man
03 – I Cried for You
04 – Polka Dots and Moonbeams
05 – All of Me
06 – Words Can’t Describe
07 – Prelude to a Kiss
08 – You Hit the Spot
09 – Pennies from Heaven
10 – If I Knew Then (What I Know Now)
11 – Body and Soul
12 – They Can’t Take That Away from Me
13 – Linger Awhile

Personnel:
Sarah Vaughan – vocals
John Malachi, Jimmy Jones – piano
Joe Benjamin, Richard Davis – bass
Roy Haynes – drums

Recorded April 2, 1954 & February 14, 1957; in New York.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork