Cannonball Adderley with Milt Jackson – Things are Getting Better {Riverside}[OJC]


Review by Lindsay Planer (allmusic.com)

This title provides ample evidence why Cannonball Adderley (alto sax) is considered one of the masters of his craft. Here he joins forces with Modern Jazz Quartet co-founder Milt Jackson (vibes) to create a variety of sonic atmospheres. They are backed by the all-star ensemble of Wynton Kelly (piano), Percy Heath (bass), and the one and only Art Blakey (drums). The moody “Blues Oriental” opens the set with Jackson immediately diving in with his trademark fluid runs and shimmering intonation. Adderley counters with a light and lively line that weaves between the rhythm section. The optimistic “Things Are Getting Better” is a good-natured romp as the co-leads trade and cajole each other into some downright rollicking exchanges. This directly contrasts with the sultry “Serves Me Right,” which allows the combo members to demonstrate their collective musical malleability. The interaction between Adderley and Jackson sparkles as they entwine their respective playing with an uncanny singularity of spirit. The cover of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High” contains another spirited performance with some thoroughly engaging improvisation, especially during Adderley’s voracious solos. “Sidewalks of New York” bops freely as Jackson unleashes some sublime licks against a hearty and equally boisterous sax. Adderley’s “Sounds for Sid” demonstrates his uncanny ability to swing with a strong R&B vibe. With drop-dead timing and profound instrumental chops, this cut is undoubtedly one of the best from Adderley’s earliest canon. The album concludes with a jumping reading of Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things.” While Wynton Kelly has been uniformly solid, his interjections stand out here as he bridges and undergirds the two as they banter with flair and aplomb. When Things Are Getting Better was issued on CD, two bonus tracks supplemented the original seven-song running order. These consist of alternate takes of “Serves Me Right” and “Sidewalks of New York.” In the case of the former, it can be reasonably argued that this outtake might emotively best the version initially chosen as the master. This disc can be recommended without hesitation to all manner of jazz enthusiast, as it quite literally offers something for every taste.

Tracks:
01 – Blues Oriental
02 – Things are Getting Better
03 – Serves Me Right (take 5)
04 – Serves Me Right (take 4)
05 – Groovin’ High
06 – The Sidewalks of New York (take 5)
07 – The Sidewalks of New York (take 4)
08 – Sounds for Sid
09 – Just One of Those Things

Personnel:
Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone
Milt Jackson – vibes
Wynton Kelly – piano
Percy Heath – bass
Art Blakey – drums

Recorded in New York; October 28, 1958.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, scans

Advertisements

Paul Chambers – Go [2CD] {VeeJay}


Review by Michael G. Nastos (allmusic.com)

The first of two Vee Jay label dates by the acclaimed modern jazz bassist Paul Chambers is a fine exercise in hard bop, split between showcasing his compositions and famous standards. Alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard are on the front line, perhaps for the only time in their storied careers, and work well for the most part. Pianist Wynton Kelly and either drummers Philly Joe Jones or Jimmy Cobb complete the quintets. The advantage in buying this reissue is that the second CD is comprised exclusively of outtakes from the originally issued tracks, and many of them have extended solos. Of the covers, “There Is No Greater Love” features a chuckling and cajoling Adderley, very happy for the fortune smiling on him, while “Just Friends” has the two horns playing this chestnut pretty much straight, with counterpointed stop-start techniques chirping at the rhythm section, and a young Hubbard offering his best solo. “I Got Rhythm” brings Cobb to the team, as a modal base from Kelly and Chambers buoys the wailing horns. Of the originals, Hubbard and Adderley sound mismatched on the 6/8 to 3/4 calypso-swing “Julie Ann,” where their harmonics don’t quite synch up. Their teamwork pays off royally during “I Heard That” and the classic hard bopper with Cobb “Ease It,” where the tempo persists, but the horns grow quieter and quieter in mezzo piano range to near nothingness — the epitome of cool. There’s another classic here, as “Awful Mean” is emotionally neither, but instead cures Adderley’s brief once-through melody statement into a vintage shuffle. The alternate take of this one is two-and-a-half minutes longer. “I Heard That” is called a “remake” though the original is just fine, and the second “remake” of the ballad “Dear Ann” (one of three attempts included) extends Chambers on his arco bowed bass melody, both pieces adding a ramped uptempo. This recording and 1st Bassman offer different aspects of Chambers as a leader, with the latter album having him take on more responsibility as a lead melodicist. After having played with the game changing bands of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Chambers died far too young ten years hence in January of 1969, but left behind a memorable 15-year legacy, well represented by this recording where he was in his early prime.

Tracks – Disc One (Master Takes):
01 – Awful Mean
02 – Julie Ann
03 – There is No Greater Love
04 – I Heard That
05 – Dear Ann
06 – Shades of Blue
07 – Just Friends
08 – Ease It
09 – I Got Rhythm

Tracks – Disc Two (Alternate Takes):
01 – Awful Mean (take 4)
02 – I Heard That (remake take 1)
03 – I Heard That (take-8)
04 – Dear Ann (remake take 2)
05 – Dear Ann (take 3)
06 – Just Friends (take 6)
07 – I Got Rhythm (take 2)

Personnel:
Freddie Hubbard – trumpet
Cannonball Adderley – alto sax
Wynton Kelly – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Philly Joe Jones, Jimmy Cobb – drums

Recorded in New York City, February 2 and 3, 1959

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Hank Mobley – Soul Station {Blue Note}[xrcd]


Review by Stacia Proefrock (allmusic.com)

Often overlooked, perhaps because he wasn’t a great innovator in jazz but merely a stellar performer, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley was at the peak of his powers on Soul Station. Recorded with a superstar quartet including Art Blakey on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Wynton Kelly on piano, it was the first album since Mobley’s 1955 debut to feature him as a leader without any other accompanying horns. The clean, uncomplicated sound that resulted from that grouping helps make it the best among his albums and a peak moment during a particularly strong period in his career. Mobley has no problem running the show here, and he does it without being flashy or burying the strong work of his sidemen. The solidness of his technique means that he can handle material that is occasionally rhythmically intricate, while still maintaining the kind of easy roundness and warmth displayed by the best players of the swing era. Two carefully chosen standards, “Remember” and “If I Should Lose You,” help to reinforce that impression by casting an eye back to the classic jazz era. They bookend four Mobley originals that, in contrast, reflect the best of small-group composition with their lightness and tight dynamics. Overall, this is a stellar set from one of the more underrated musicians of the bop era.

Tracks:
01 – Remember
02 – This I Dig of You
03 – Dig Dis
04 – Split Feelin’s
05 – Soul Station
06 – If I Should Lose You

Personnel:
Hank Mobley – tenor sax
Wynton Kelly – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Art Blakey – drums

Originally released in 1960 on Blue Note Records as BST-84031.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue “50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition” [2CD] {Columbia}


~wikipedia.org
Kind of Blue is a studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released August 17, 1959, on Columbia Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York City on March 2 and April 22, 1959. The sessions featured Davis’s ensemble sextet, which consisted of pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. After the inclusion of Bill Evans into his sextet, Davis followed up on the modal experimentations of Milestones (1958) and 1958 Miles (1958) by basing the album entirely on modality, in contrast to his earlier work with the hard bop style of jazz.

Though precise figures have been disputed, Kind of Blue has been cited by many music writers not only as Davis’s best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, it was certified quadruple platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It has been regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time and Davis’s masterpiece. The album’s influence on music, including jazz, rock, and classical music, has led music writers to acknowledge it as one of the most influential albums of all time. In 2002, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2003, the album was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine ~allmusic.com
Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of “So What.” From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality. All of this doesn’t quite explain why seasoned jazz fans return to this record even after they’ve memorized every nuance. They return because this is an exceptional band — Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb — one of the greatest in history, playing at the peak of its power. As Evans said in the original liner notes for the record, the band did not play through any of these pieces prior to recording. Davis laid out the themes before the tape rolled, and then the band improvised. The end results were wondrous and still crackle with vitality. Kind of Blue works on many different levels. It can be played as background music, yet it amply rewards close listening. It is advanced music that is extraordinarily enjoyable. It may be a stretch to say that if you don’t like Kind of Blue, you don’t like jazz — but it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a cornerstone of any jazz collection. [Legacy’s greatly expanded 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition was issued in 2008.]

Tracklist, disc one:
01. So What (9:25)
02. Freddie Freeloader (9:49)
03. Blue in Green (5:38)
04. All Blues (11:36)
05. Flamenco Sketches (9:26)
06. Flamenco Sketches (alternate take) (9:34)
07. Freddie Freeloader – studio sequence 1 (0:53)
08. Freddie Freeloader – false start (1:28)
09. Freddie Freeloader – studio sequence 2 (1:31)
10. So What – studio sequence 1 (1:56)
11. So What – studio sequence 2 (0:14)
12. Blue in Green – studio sequence (1:59)
13. Flamenco Sketches – studio sequence 1 (0:45)
14. Flamenco Sketches – studio sequence 2 (1:12)
15. All Blues – studio sequence (0:19)

Tracklist, disc two:
01. On Green Dolphin Street (9:50)
02. Fran-Dance (5:50)
03. Stella by Starlight (4:47)
04. Love for Sale (11:49)
05. Fran-Dance (alternate take) (5:54)
06. So What (previously released in unauthorized form) (17:29)

Personnel:
Miles Davis – trumpet
Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Recorded May 26, 1958 – Apr 9, 1960 at 30th Street Studio; New York
Produced by Teo Macero and Irving Townsend

Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop, Post Bop
Label: Columbia – 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
Year: 2008
Time: 65:44 + 55:39

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

Wynton Kelly – Piano {Riverside}[xrcd]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

With the exception of an album for Blue Note in 1951, this was pianist Wynton Kelly’s first opportunity to record as a leader. At the time he was still a relative unknown but would soon get a certain amount of fame as Miles Davis’ favorite accompanist. With guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Paul Chambers, and (on three of the seven selections) drummer Philly Joe Jones, Kelly performs four jazz standards, Oscar Brown, Jr.’s “Strong Man” and two of his originals. Kelly became a major influence on pianists of the ’60s and ’70s and one can hear the genesis of many other players in these swinging performances. The CD reissue adds an alternate take of “Dark Eyes” to the original program.

Tracks:
01 – Whisper Not
02 – Action
03 – Dark Eyes
04 – Strong Man
05 – Ill Wind
06 – Don’t Explain
07 – You Can’t Get Away
08 – Dark Eyes (take 2)

Personnel:
Wynton Kelly – piano
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Paul Chambers – bass
Philly Joe Jones – drums

Recorded at Metropolitan Sound Studios, New York City; January, 1958

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Blue Mitchell – Blue’s Moods {Riverside}[xrcd]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Of trumpeter Blue Mitchell’s seven Riverside recordings (all of which have been reissued as CDs in the Original Jazz Classics series), only this set (along with three numbers on Blue Soul) feature Mitchell as the only horn. Joined by pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Roy Brooks, the trumpeter is typically distinctive, swinging and inventive within the hard bop genre. He performs four standards, Ronnell Bright’s “Sweet Pumpkin,” and the obscure “Avars,” and a pair of originals in fine fashion.

Tracks:
01 – I’ll Close My Eyes
02 – Avars
03 – Scrapple from the Apple
04 – Kinda Vague
05 – Sir John
06 – When I Fall in Love
07 – Sweet Pumpkin
08 – I Wish I Knew

Personnel:
Blue Mitchell – trumpet
Wynton Kelly – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Roy Brooks – drums

New York City; August 24 and 25, 1960.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork