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Showing posts with label go to album. Show all posts
Showing posts with label go to album. Show all posts

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Update on Go-To Album No 1 - Joe Farrell Quartet

Wounded Bird Records comes through again! After spending a few years as a major rarity on cd, often over $100 for a copy; a very fine sounding & affordable version is now available; released in mid-July of this year (without even notifying me!). If you're unfamiliar, see this post; although the year (1970) and the lineup speak volumes. Wounded Bird stick to the original tapes & again, reproduce the artwork faithfully. This is the kind of surprise I like! - Kendo

below is a link to the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Go-To Album 7

Astrud Gilberto's lone release on the CTI label, but a good one!

Astrud Gilberto - Gilberto with Turrentine

CTI 6008 - Audio sample below the review!

I'll be honest with you - I don't know much of Astrud Gilberto, musically (besides the famous collabs with former beau Getz) other than that her career was something of happenstance; a singer because Stan Getz said so. I was certainly not expecting to have my socks blown off sonically or emotionally when I acquired a vinyl copy a few months back.

Recorded in 1971 - this is CTI at the height of Creed Taylor's creative vision and strength; with chill, simplistic arrangements
ahead of their time by newcomer Deodato, extremely catchy and soothing Brazilian pop melodies wafting over sparkling guitars, triangle, electric piano & so-forth. Not to say the album doesn't have that dated, CTI sound; it does, but as in many of these recordings, the effect is not one of awkwardness, but of charm and enchantment. The luscious mixes are an aural delight, supporting and enhancing Gilberto's vocal assets. She sets the dreamy mood perfectly for "Brazilian Tapestry", caresses the lovely melodies of both "Zazueira" and especially "Ponteio", and is the perfect waif on 2 Bacharach/David numbers. Even "Solo e fine" ("For All We Know" of Carpenters fame) and "Theme from Love Story", both sung in Spanish, are surprisingly compelling, much less fluffy than you're imagining right now.

Astrud Gilberto circa 1964
The  addition of Stanley Turrentine was nothing short of genius. His engaged, soulful & expressive solos and interjections on some of the numbers make the recording wonderfully satisfying for jazz lovers. Obviously inspired by the arrangements, he lays down some of his best recorded work; even getting the haunting instrumental "Vera Cruz" to stretch out on. Also in the groove are Bob Mann on guitar, Airto on percussion, Ron Carter on bass, (Russell George takes the electric bass numbers) and even Toots Thielemans on harmonica!

Here is an important note, tho' - I am speaking about the mixes on the vinyl version, do not get the cd version! The cd has been remixed, much for the worse, with everything re-panned, reverb and delay removed, congas pulled way back and triangle pushed way up front - eek!! The remix leaves Astrud swinging in the breeze - way up front in the mix, with nothing to hide her frailties and occasional flatness. I am not overstating - it is like owning a different album - a very un-special one with little delight for your ears. If you have a turntable - don't even think twice. The vinyl is a highly rewarding experience.

Below I've posted my own gently remastered version of "Brazilian Tapestry" taken from the original vinyl. Enjoy! - DJ Kendo

Below is a link to some vinyl copies for sale on Amazon - when you use these links
to treat yourself, you also help support this blog! :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Go-To Album 6

Stan Getz - Captain Marvel (1972)

For a number of years back on Long Island, I had a night-time playlist I'd load on my computer just before hitting the hay. The first track was "La Fiesta" from this amazing outing from Getz. Every night, I'd listen enrapt, and not once did I get tired of it.

Recorded a good half a year before Return to Forever covered the same material (and just a month after they recorded their first album), Chick is obviously on a writing high; and this lineup of Stan's had recently been clubbing and performing these numbers. 

If you can't get enough of "Light as a Feather" then this is a fabulous addition to your pleasantries. Stan is in peak form, relishing Chick's sumptuous compositions - "Times Lie" in particular is a must-hear. Also included are "500 Miles High", "Day Waves" and the title track, all penned by Corea. The cd has 2 alternate takes plus a fine, pensive version of "Crystal Silence". Add to it all a brief but highly memorable "Lush Life" - essential Getz.

The band: Corea, Stanley Clarke on bass, Tony Williams on drums putting a different, harder spin on the familiar pieces with typical Williams aplomb; and Airto filling the spaces with taste and flair on percussion. Chick is on fire (who  wouldn't be!), and Getz hardly ever sounded better. Three cheers for Stan who didn't settle into a hard-bop 70's malaise of defiance like so many others from his generation at this time - surely one of his gifts was the foresight into what new musical 'fads' would be lasting and classic in jazz. - DJ Kendo   

Here's a video from the same year of the same line-up minus Airto, finishing up "Times Lie" at the Montreaux Jazz Festival!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Go-To Album 5

Stanley Turrentine with Milt Jackson - Cherry

Rhythm section is just nuts: Billy Cobham, Ron Carter, Bob James, Cornell Dupree on guitar & of course Milt on vibes. The opening number, Lee Morgan's "Speedball" finds them completely in sync and swinging hard. Turrentine is all fire on the up tracks and in prime, inspired form for the whole album. The ballads are slow and gorgeous with Jackson taking the melodies. Two sweet treats are compositions by Weldon Irvine Jr: "Introspective" (hard-edged 12/8 minor blues romper) and especially the popular "Sister Sanctified"; sampled decades later for rap & hip-hop tracks. The real surprise on "Sister" is how well Bags hangs with the soul-funk (way better than on his own "Sunflower" album), his exquisite solo paired with a relaxed, sunny rhythm section help make for a highly memorable recording. The album boasts Stanley's fantastic tenor tone throughout, and he's wonderfully sensitive to what's going on around him. Between talent and variety - "Cherry" has everything! - DJ Kendo

Below is a link to this album sold on Amazon - usually some pretty sweet deals in the used section :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Go-To Album 4

Bill Evans/Shelly Manne - Empathy

I've already blogged at length about my own personal good times with this cd... (see here). The bottom line is it's real nice, no - it's awesome, to hear Bill Evans just having fun, playing well, and indeed enjoying the 'empathy' that he and drummer Shelly Manne share for this session. Manne is on top of his creative game, and Monty Budwig lends ample support and buoyancy.

My cd copy is paired with "A Simple Matter of Conviction" - Eddie Gomez's debut, also with Manne, and it has many wonderful moments; but it's 4 years later, and that hipty-hopty high energy (cocaine?) is starting to creep in to Evans' playing - something that would escalate for the rest of his career. I have the sessions separated in my pc jazz folder, and hit up "Empathy" way more.

As the author Peter Pettinger put it: "On Empathy...Evans was having a night out and enjoying the change. Shelly Manne, too, had a ball, interacting constantly and prompting Evans into more clipped exchanges than usual, while Monty Budwig lent clean, rich-toned support."  (from book "How My Heart Sings").
Jazz as it should be - fun! The opener "The Washington Twist" is worth the price of the whole album. Below is the exquisite take on "Danny Boy". - Dj Kendo 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Go-To Album 3

Art Farmer - Something You Got
CTI 7080

I scored go-to albums 1-3 all during 2002, all at the same store. This particular one I didn't warm up to right away; I misinterpreted the intentions of Art & producer Creed Taylor. Indeed, if you don't have your ears on, track 1 sounds hokey. But there's some fine things going down on that one and throughout. It features two out-of-sight compositions by arranger David Matthews, "Flute Song" and "Hombre del Sol"; a good-time cover of "Sandu", as well as the title track. The emotional highlight comes on the amazing ballad "Saudhade". Wonderful performances from Farmer, Yusef Lateef, Hiram Bullock, Harvie Swartz on bass, Sue Evans on percussion and Jim Madison on drums.

The album definitely captures a moment in time (1977), but it captures it at it's finest - I never get tired of the buoyant mood! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Go-To Album 2

Spaces - Larry Coryell

Some personnel shared with Go-To Album 1 - namely Corea and McLaughlin, who once again only play on a few tracks together - "Chris" on the original album, and "Tyrone" on the Planet End album from the same recording sessions.

I won't even try describing the sounds on this album - it is for many, including myself, everything a fusion album should be, with none of the trappings. No overindulgence, no self-importance - just some seriously well thought out and executed music that seems to flow effortlessly and liberally, in spite of the prowess shown by all. Once you've heard it and gotten to know it - you'll be spoiled and want to find a whole bunch more albums just like it; but there are nearly none, making it all the more precious.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Go-To Album 1

Joe Farrell Quartet - CTI 6003

1970, the fourth release on CTI, and a basic hijacking of Miles' early fusion group. The music is entirely different, though - from the tie-die groove of "Follow Your Heart" (in 11/8), to introspective freakouts like "Alter Ego" and then all-out psycho freakouts (thanks mostly to Chick) on "Motion". Everything else is rather pretty and memorable, and everyone's playing is prime. Chick plays on 9 of the tracks, McLaughlin on 2, and they're only on 1 together. Still - it's a startling release in every way. Grab it if you see it; and if you see the CD release, I will do your dishes for 3 months in exchange.

L-R ~ Chick & John, Jack De Johnette, Dave Holland, Chick Corea

Here's a taste from youtube: