Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Jose Y Manuel - 1970 - Genesis

Jose Y Manuel 

01. Triste Niñez 2:25
02. Esta Tarde 2:42
03. Mi Pequeña Hermana 2:38
04. Elisa 2:55
05. Oh Madame 2:57
06. A Las Seis 3:50
07. Un Rincón Oculto 2:15
08. Anatolia 2:33
09. Una Joven Mama 2:38
10. No Podre Vivir De Recuerdos 2:30
11. Geraldine 5:02

Bass Guitar – Joaquín Torres Méndez
Drums – Luis Baizán Carretero
Lead Guitar – Rodrigo García Blanca
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – José Antonio Martín
Vocals -  Manuel Martín

Orchestra: Waldo De Los Rios

The brothers from Málaga José Antonio and Manuel Martín formed a duo since their adolescence. Regular participants in festivals of folk music , in 1970 won the attention of the powerful Hispavox record company, with which they recorded a first single: "Y me Enamoré / Pronto Amanecerá" (Hispavox, 1970) , two songs composed by themselves. As the album was not defended badly at the time of sales, they undertake the task of preparing an LP, which will be released the following year. "Génesis" (Hispavox, 1971)  would be, in the end, the most important work of this pair of brothers, fans of vocal games, who, surrounded by a discreet orchestra, achieved one of the best works of theSpanish folk pop . In this long play will appear his most remembered song, "My little sister", with which they achieved a certain notoriety and appear in the sales classifications.

"Genesis" had an impact that the company considered more than acceptable, which continues to support the brothers Martín, who undertake the recording of their second album, "Pronto Amanecerá" (Hispavox, 1972) , very similar in intentions to the first and that enjoys the same production of Rafael Trabuccheli. However, neither criticism nor sales were on a par with those of the first album.

They published a couple of more singles until in 1973 they moved to Madrid to become part of Solera , a project to which they would contribute their voices and their compositions. This supergroup announced to drum and cymbal soon be dissolved, precisely because of the disagreements between these two brothers and the other two components: José María Guzmán and Rodrigo García , not without first leaving one of the fundamental LP of our history: "Solera" ( Hispavox, 1973) .

The Martin brothers, then, began a new project next to the group New Horizons , along with those who recorded the magnificent and now almost unknown LP "Telaraña" (Hispavox, 1974) . José and Manuel took back the original project in 1976 and will still put on the street one last single: "Tomate la Vida tal y Como es / Solo para ti" (Hispavox, 1976) . Soon after, they ceased their activity. Manuel will abandon music and José Antonio will start a long career as a guitar teacher.

Jimmy Smith - 1965 - Organ Grinder Swing

Jimmy Smith 
Organ Grinder Swing

01. The Organ Grinder's Swing 2:15
02. Oh, No, Babe 9:00
03. Blues For J 5:15
04. Greensleeves 8:53
05. I'll Close My Eyes 3:16
06. Satin Doll 7:00

Drums – Grady Tate
Guitar – Kenny Burrell
Organ – Jimmy Smith

Recorded June 14 and 15, 1965 at Van Gelder Recording Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Right after defying the boundaries of idiom with his Hammond B-3 organ and big band collaborations with Lalo Schifrin (The Cat) and Oliver Nelson (Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?) in 1964, Jimmy Smith made his stark return to the organ trio format In 1965 with this strikingly fun-filled masterpiece that became another Top 20 album for him. Organ Grinder Swing is a highly acclaimed masterwork that found Smith in perfect companionship with the great jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell and session drummer Grady Tate as the three musicians gradually demonstrate a vibrant form of free spirited soul jazz and world class merriment, which produced both a true hit with the title track and the entire album as well. Beginning with the highly supercharged title track, the step by step track set proceeds at rapid pace on other organ classics, like the swooning Oh, No Babe and the classic Blues For J, as well as classic standards like Greensleeves, I’ll Close My Eyes and even Duke Ellington’s Satin Doll. Also a part of Verve’s Master Edition Series, what can be best described about Organ Grinder Swing are the liner notes that stated: “To many, the organ truly did belong in church, classical music, in movie palaces, or the roller rink--any place but jazz. In the end, it was listeners and fans who turned the tide--people for whom jazz was still a functioning social music”.
Jimmy Smith was the Hammond organ soloist determined to help break with the instrument’s past by incorporating a set of modern mediums and yet found his way to create a new popular form of acceptance of the instrument, his ideas, a rich legacy, the countless jazz organists he influenced and for jazz itself.

Greg Hatza With Eric Gale And Grady Tate - 1968 - Organized Jazz

Greg Hatza With Eric Gale And Grady Tate 
Organized Jazz

001. John Brown's Body
002. That's All
003. Tate Worm
004. My Favorite Things
005. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
006. Blues For Charlie

Drums – Grady Tate
Guitar – Eric Gale
Organ – Greg Hatza

A native of Reading, Pennsylvania, Greg Hatza’s musical instincts came to him as early and as naturally as the ability to walk, and he was picking out blues and boogie woogie tunes on the piano around age four before starting formal lessons shortly thereafter.  The Hammond B-3 became his life’s obsession as a teenager, when a friend turned him on to records by Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Ray Charles, and Johnny Hammond Smith.  His first professional gig on the instrument came when he was 16, with the Frankie Scott Trio, where he played around small towns in central Pennsylvania.

Because there were no jazz organ instructors at the time, Greg was largely self-taught, picking up most of his insider knowledge from the organ players at jam sessions at a local club called the Grand Hotel.  It was the Grand that Baltimore Colts football great and jazz fan Lenny Moore asked the teenager to perform at a club he was opening in Baltimore.  Moore became Greg’s manager and Baltimore became Greg’s home.  The organist played at the club for four years and was something of a young jazz lion himself, recording two albums for MCA subsidiary label Coral Records, The Wizardry of Greg Hatza and Organized Jazz.

In the late sixties, Baltimore was still an organ town and had its share of great players.  It was here that Greg really got a chance to hone his jazz organ skills by playing with the best musicians in town.  Lenny’s club was a great stopping point for national jazz artists who came to Baltimore to perform.  It was here that Greg met his mentor Jimmy Smith and got to play with him. Smith later advised Greg on his soon to be recorded albums.  He also met and got to play in jam sessions with such personalities as Kenny Burrell, Groove Holmes, Damita Joe, Philly Joe Jones, Roland Kirk, Les McCann, James Moody, and Sonny Stitt.

With the trend towards more advanced electronic keyboard and rhythms, Greg adapted to the trend, switching from the Hammond B-3 to the electric keyboard and piano. He played in different be-bop groups and as a member of his contemporary fusion band Moon August, selected as the number one jazz group from over fifty contestants at the First Annual Jazz Quest held at the 1983 Eubie Blake Festival. Moon August was named as the number one jazz band in the Maryland/Washington area by Maryland Musician Magazine from 1985 to 1987.  In 1999, Moon August was awarded the title “Cultural Ambassadors” for the city of Baltimore under then Mayor Kurt Schmoke. The group traveled to Kawasaki, Japan for the 20th anniversary celebration of the Kawasaki/Baltimore Sister City Exchange.

In the meantime, Greg expanded his stylistic scope to include distinct ethnic elements. In 1974, he began to study tabla and later sitar.  He continued his studies for ten years under Ustad Hamid Hossain.  He traveled around the U.S., India, and Bangladesh with Hamid, performing ragas on piano.  In 1986, he won 1st place on tabla in the annual “All Indian Music Competition” held at UMBC in Maryland.  In addition, Greg studied classical music on the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese fiddle, under Shanghai instructor, Liang Shan Tang.

Greg Hatza’s formal education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Composition from the Peabody Conservatory and a Master’s from Towson State University, where he subsequently taught jazz, piano composition, improvisation and music theory for many years. He also performed with the Towson Jazz Faculty Quartet in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In 1994, Greg met Joey DeFranscesco who told him the Hammond B-3 was enjoying a popular renaissance.  He formed the Greg Hatza ORGANization and has been performing and recording on the instrument non-stop since that time. For the last fifteen years, in partnership with the Rev. Dred Scott, they formed a group called Jazz in the Sanctuary. Based in Baltimore, they perform jazz-gospel concerts throughout the tri-state area. Greg currently serves as the Choir and Music Director at St. Gregory the Great Church in Baltimore. He also performs Indian/World Fusion music with the Grammy nominated group Melodic Intersect.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Herbie Hancock - 1968 - Hear, O Israel - A Concert Service In Jazz

Herbie Hancock, Thad Jones, Ron Carter, Jerome Richardson, Grady Tate
Hear, O Israel - A Concert Service In Jazz

01. Blessing Over the Candles - 00:56
02. Matovu - Bor'chu - 06:43
03. Sh'ma - 06:19
04. Micho Mocho - 03:32
05. Sanctification - 05:28
06. May the Words of My Mouth - 01:28
07. Kiddush - 02:40
08. Torah Service - Adoration - 09:52
09. Final Amen - 01:00\

Ron Carter - Bass
Phyllis Bryn-Julson - Contralto Vocals
Grady Tate - Drums
Jonathan Klein - French Horn, Saxophone [Baritone]
Herbie Hancock - Piano
Jerome Richardson - Flute, Saxophone [Alto, Tenor]
Antonia Lavanne - Soprano Vocals
Thad Jones - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Rabbi David Davis - Voice [Reader], Other [Original Sleeve Notes]

Recorded in New York in 1968 and originally released on a private label.

This album is a missing link in the discography of Herbie Hancock, so much so that many ardent fans didn't even know it existed. Hear, O Israel is the recorded version of a jazz concert comprised of lyric and sacred material from the Friday night prayer service in the Jewish synagogue. Privately released in an edition of a few hundred copies, the music was composed by Jonathan Klein, who was commissioned by Rabbi David Davis in 1965 to write jazz for the Friday evening conclavette. Klein was 17 at the time he began. Composed for piano, bass, drums, soprano/alto/baritone saxophones, French horn, flute, flugelhorn, and two voices, Klein performed it with his own group and Rabbi Davis; it was so successful that a few years later, in 1968, the synagogue commissioned a full-blown concert by name jazz musicians. Klein, then a college student, composed more material to supplant some of what he'd written previously, and the instrumentation was changed a bit. The synagogue recorded this concert and it is presented here as performed by Hancock; Jerome Richardson on flute, tenor, and alto saxophones; Klein on French horn and baritone sax; trumpeter Thad Jones (who also plays flugelhorn); bassist Ron Carter (he and Hancock were part of the Miles Davis Quintet at the time); and drummer Grady Tate. Other participants are Rabbi Davis (reading the proper prayer texts), soprano vocalist Antonia Lavanne, and contralto Phyllis Bryn-Julson. But is it good? Heavens yes. One can hear traces of Vince Guaraldi and the early Columbia period of Dave Brubeck in these compositions, but so what? Hancock's no imitator; he was and remains a tremendously lyrical and rhythmically inventive pianist, and the band plays these charts effortlessly with requisite soul and swing. There are beautiful solos by Hancock, Richardson, and Jones, and the rhythm section is fluid, fresh, and upbeat throughout. The vocalists might bother some listeners, but essentially, these tunes and the manner in which they are presented and recorded are quite striking — in the same way that those appearing on records by Azar Lawrence, Doug Carn, and Harold McKinney in the '70s are. The vocal charts are somewhat abstract, so in a sense they are further out than the jazz. In fact, this is a nearly perfect meld, where jazz and sacred music meet and become something else together. One not only reflects the other, but causes it to transcend itself. The longest track here, the nine-plus-minute "Torah Service — Adoration," is a hopping soul-jazz number with killer funky piano work by Hancock in full-on Blue Note mode. The segments read by Rabbi Davis are also very effective in the context of the band's charts, vamps, and improvs. Hear, O Israel was mastered from an LP copy, since the masters no longer exist. There was some groove wear near the end of each side due to a worn stylus, but considering the source, Jonny Trunk has done an excellent job of cleaning it up without sacrificing a bit of the performance. This recording is available on both CD and LP, and should be heard by anyone interested in '60s progressive jazz or Hancock's career during the period. Hear, O Israel gives an entirely literal meaning to the term "spiritual soul-jazz."

Most likely you don't immediately connect Modern Jazz with Jewish Ritual, but this gorgeous reissue of a long lost private pressing of a 1968 Friday night service may have you rethinking those ideas. Written by Jonathan Klein, a then 17 year-old son of a Massachusetts Rabbi, who was asked to compose music for a service dealing with "Sects and Symbols Within Judaism". The music and service were so popular that the Synagogue incorporated the piece into every Friday night service, and Klein assembled a group to tour various New England Universities. For the debut performance in New York, Klein managed to get the finest New York Jazz musicians to perform his piece, including Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Grady Tate on drums, Jerome Richardson on flute and saxophone and Thad Jones on trumpet and flugelhorn with Antonia Lavanne and Phyllis Bryn-Julson on soprano and contralto voices respectively. Thankfully it was all recorded. Unlike the Christian Youth movement who used spiritually minded rock and folk music to sway new converts, the music for this service doesn't pander to youthful audiences. The music swings in unexpected ways for a religious ceremony but its full intent is an abstract spiritual openness. Even with the Hebrew recitations by Rabbi David Davis, the message is divine, universal and inspired. Rejoice!

Grady Tate - 1968 - Windmills Of My Mind

Grady Tate
Windmills Of My Mind

01. The Windmills Of Your Mind 4:08
02. And I Love Her 4:41
03. Sack Full Of Dreams 2:39
04. Would You Believe 5:01
05. Work Song 6:35
06. A Little At A Time 3:57
07. T.N.T. 3:55
08. Don't Fence Me In 2:17
09. All Around The World 3:47

Bass – Bob Cranshaw (tracks: A1, B2), Chuck Rainey (tracks: A2 to A4, B1, B3 to B5)
Drums – Bernie Purdie (tracks: A2 to A4, B1, B3 to B5), Bob Thomas (tracks: A1, B2)
Guitar – Billy Butler (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to B3), Eric Gale (tracks: A3, A4, B4, B5)
Organ – Herbie Hancock (tracks: A1)
Piano – Paul Griffin (tracks: A2 to A4, B1, B3 to B5)
Vocals – Grady Tate

Producer – Gary McFarland

Mention Grady Tate's name to most bop lovers, and his excellent drumming is the thing that immediately pops into their minds. His singing isn't the first thing they think of, which is regrettable because he really is a fine singer. One of the impressive vocal albums he did was Windmills of My Mind, a jazz/R&B release recorded when he was 36. This album (which DCC reissued on CD in 1998) underscores the fact that Tate was never a radical or abstract type of singer; the smooth, elegant crooner heard on "And I Love Her," "The Windmills of Your Mind" and "A Little at a Time" has a lot more in common with Johnny Hartman, Arthur Prysock and even Johnny Mathis (up to a point) than hardcore beboppers like Jon Hendricks, Babs Gonzales and Eddie Jefferson. Although Tate's backing group includes pianist Herbie Hancock and bassist Bob Cranshaw, much of Windmills isn't jazz -- "Don't Fence Me In" and "Would You Believe," in fact, are pure '60s soul music. One of the best tunes on the album is "Work Song," a riveting account of life on a chain gang. The disappointing thing about the CD reissue of Windmills isn't the material, but the sound quality. An abundance of pops, clicks and crackling make the CD sound like a vinyl LP that's been played too often -- one would expect an audiophile label like DCC Compact Classics to do a much better job of digitally remastering a 1968 recording. Nonetheless, this is an album that both jazz and R&B enthusiasts should hear.

Grady Tate With The Gary McFarland Orchestra, Bobby Scott - 1969 - Slaves

Grady Tate With The Gary McFarland Orchestra, Bobby Scott 

01. Slaves
02. Slaves
03. Meetin' House
04. Black Lullabye
05. Another Mornin'
06. Pickin' Cotton
07. Nightwind (Esther's Theme)
08. Another Mornin'
09. Pickin' Cotton
10. Nightwind (Esther's Theme)

Recorded at A&R Recording, New York

Grady Tate was renowned as a session drummer extraordinaire, an expert in the use of the rim shot for syncopating purposes; prized for his driving, pushing, or subtle coaxing of the beat. Yet he also displayed a warm, flexible, rhythmically agile baritone voice, which, in a reversal of the usual commercial situation, was less well-known than his drumming. He began singing at age four, impressing local Durham, North Carolina church and school audiences, but quit temporarily when his voice broke at age 12. Self-taught as a drummer at first, he picked up the fundamentals of jazz drumming during his hitch in the Air Force (1951-1955), and arranger Bill Berry made some vocal charts for him there. Upon his discharge, he returned to Durham to study psychology, literature, and theater at North Carolina College, before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1959 to teach high school and take up a musical career with Wild Bill Davis.

A move to New York City in 1963 led to a gig with the Quincy Jones big band, and soon he caught on as a recording session drummer. His most famous records as an accompanist were made under the aegis of producer Creed Taylor, for whom he became the house drummer of choice. Tate played on many of Jimmy Smith's and Wes Montgomery's most popular recordings, including 1964's The Cat and 1965's Bumpin'. He can also be heard on albums by such luminaries as Nat Adderley, Stan Getz, Tony Bennett, Kenny Burrell, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Roland Kirk, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, J.J. Johnson, and Kai Winding, among countless other artists.

Arranger Gary McFarland thought enough of Tate's singing voice to record a number of vocal albums for his short-lived Skye label, beginning with 1968's Windmills of My Mind. Yet despite further vocal sessions for Buddah, Janus, Impulse!, and a host of Japanese labels, Tate's profile as a singer was never as high as it could have been. During this period, he also stayed active appearing on albums with a bevy of jazz and soul artists including Ron Carter, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Gato Barbieri, and others. Tate's voice can also be heard on several songs in the beloved Schoolhouse Rock! animated educational series.

Despite the absence of his own solo albums, the '80s proved a fruitful time for the drummer, who returned to teaching and joined the faculty of Howard University. He also remained a highly sought-after session player, appearing with jazz artists like Jimmy Smith, Helen Merrill, and Teresa Brewer, as well as pop superstars like Simon & Garfunkel. His distinctive, undulating drum patterns were also used to good effect on composer Angelo Badalamenti's soundtrack to director David Lynch's Twin Peaks.

He returned to his solo recording work with 1991's excellent, vocal-only album for Milestone, TNT, where drummer Dennis Mackrel used many patterns that he learned from Tate. Body and Soul followed a year later, and he resurfaced with Feeling Free in 1999. Several more well-regarded albums followed, including 2003's All Love with pianist Kenny Barron and 2006's From the Heart: Songs Sung Live at the Blue Note. Tate's drumming was once again featured on the soundtrack to David Lynch's Twin Peaks: The Return. Tate died on October 8, 2017 at his home in Manhattan's Upper East Side. He was 85 years old. ~ Richard S. Ginell

Slaves was a film staring Ossie Davis made in the very early 1970s. I probably don't need to elaborate on the implications of this, given the social context of the era. I have not seen it.

Before Slaves, some background: Gary McFarland was a band leader in the 1960s who went his own way. He was not traditional, he was not avant gaurde. But even is non-soundtrack albums were a mix of jazz, TV-like program music, and movie music of the era. McFarland had a unique approach to harmony, and when you mix all this, you get some amazing music. Check out America The Beautiful: An Account of its Disappearance from 1968, not as a summation, but a departure point. Grady Tate is an amazing jazz drummer. Frankly I don't know his work but if Slaves is any indication I will be finding out more very soon.

Bobby Scott wrote the amazing music here. Most of this is a mournful, sophisticated test tube mix of blues, melodic soul, and early 1970s funk. Funk that works on extremely advanced harmonies.

I just read that last paragraph and realized how strained that sounds: a pretty lame description for a crack reviewer like me. Bad for me but good for you--if I can't describe a piece of music, that is usually the best indicator that I have found music truly unique.

It is joy to review music this brilliant, but you don't need me. Listen and download. You're ears will thank you later.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Happy Birthday Uncle Ted

Happy Fucking Birthday to the Motor City Madman!

Bobby Enriques And Richie Cole - 1981 - The Wildman Meets Madman

Bobby Enriques And Richie Cole
The Wildman Meets Madman

01. Groovin' High 6:10
02. Once In A While 4:50
03. Yardbird Suite 4:50
04. Wild Man Blues 6:50
05. Green Dolphin St. 6:35
06. Blue Hawaii 6:30
07. Serenata 2:28
08. Um Um 5:07

Alto Saxophone – Richie Cole
Bass – Bob Magnusson
Drums – Shelly Manne
Guitar – Bruce Forman
Piano – Bobby Enriquez

If you enjoy flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, all out "balls to the wall" jazz at it's best, this is the album for you. Controlled mayhem and tight, tight, hard to find this kind of energy on studio recordings of jazz artists...usually only found live. Get it - you won't regret it!

Richie Cole - 1981 - Cool 'C'

Richie Cole
Cool 'C'

01. Back To Bop 5:18
02. Willow Weep For Me 7:30
03. Blue Bossa 5:40
04. Someday My Prince Will Come 4:28
05. Autumn Leaves 4:29
06. Cool "C" 4:56
07. On Green Dolphin Street 4:48

Bass – Nobuyoshi Ino
Drums – Motohiko Hino
Percussion – Masato Kawase, Tadaomi Anai
Piano – Himiko Kikuchi
Saxophone – Richie Cole
Trombone – Hitomi Uchida, Michio Kagiwada, Toshinobu Kawashima
Trumpet – Masahiro Kobayashi, Shin Kazuhara* (tracks: B2), Yoshikazu Kishi

Recorded On Feb. 7&8,1981 at King Studio,Tokyo.

Recorded during his first visit to Japan, this out-of-print LP features altoist Richie Cole playing five bop standards, his own "Cool 'C"' and pianist Himiko Kikuchi's "Back to Bop." Cole is joined by eight brass players, a rhythm section and two percussionists, all of whom are fine Japanese musicians. The results are generally hard-swinging bop with enough humor and color to hold one's interest. The focus is on Cole throughout and he makes a rare appearance on tenor during "On Green Dolphin Street."

Richie Cole With Phil Woods - 1980 - Side By Side

Richie Cole With Phil Woods
Side By Side

01. Save Your Love For Me 8:50
02. Naugahyde Reality 2:42
03. Scrapple From The Apple 7:56
04. Donna Lee 5:30
05. Polka Dots And Moonbeams 5:42
06. Eddie's Mood / Side By Side 12:42

Walter Booker Bass
Jimmy Cobb Drums
Richie Cole Sax (Alto), Vocals
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Sax(Tenor)
John Hicks Piano
Phil Woods Sax(Alto)

Recorded live at The Historic Paramount Theatre - Denver, Colorado on July 25 & July 26, 1980

This set features a very logical matchup. Richie Cole's main influence has long been Phil Woods, so these concert performances pitting the two altoists together have plenty of fire and extroverted improvisations. With pianist John Hicks, bassist Walter Booker and drummer Jimmy Cobb backing the soloists, Woods and Cole really push each other on "Scrapple from the Apple," "Donna Lee" and "Side by Side." Tenor-great Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis sits in on "Save Your Love for Me," the younger altoist has "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" to himself and Cole and Woods have fun on a brief free-form "Naugahyde Reality." It's a generally high-powered and enjoyable set.

Richie Cole With Eddie Jefferson - 1980 - Hollywood Madness

Richie Cole With Eddie Jefferson
Hollywood Madness 

01. Hooray For Hollywood 4:42
02. Hi-Fly 6:46
03. Tokyo Rose Sings The Hollywood Blues 4:46
04. Relaxin' At Camarillo 4:30
05. Malibu Breeze 5:53
06. I Love Lucy 5:05
07. Waitin' For Waits 3:50
08. Hooray For Hollywood (Reprise) 1:10

Bass – Marshall Hawkins
Drums – Les DeMerle
Guitar – Bruce Forman
Percussion – Michael Spiro
Piano – Dick Hindman
Saxophone [Alto] – Richie Cole
Vocals – Eddie Jefferson (tracks: A2, A4, B3), The Manhattan Transfer (tracks: A3, B2, B3, B4)
Vocals [The Manhattan Transfers] – Alan Paul (tracks: A3, B2, B3, B4), Cheryl Bentyne (tracks: A3, B2, B3, B4), Janis Siegel (tracks: A3, B2, B3, B4), Tim Hauser (tracks: A3, B2, B3, B4)

Recorded at Home Grown Fidelity Studio, Studio City, Calif. 4-25-79. Mixed at Garden Rake Music, Studio City, Calif.

This is one of Richie Cole's most successful LPs. Four songs utilize the Manhattan Transfer; the great vocalese singer Eddie Jefferson (heard two weeks before his tragic death) makes his final record appearance; there are some good solos by pianist Dick Hindman and guitarist Bruce Forman; and Tom Waits makes an eccentric guest appearance. But it is altoist Cole who stars throughout on an unlikely program highlighted by boppish versions of such tunes as "Hooray for Hollywood," "Hi-Fly," "Relaxin' at Camarillo," "I Love Lucy," and his original "Tokyo Rose Sings the Hollywood Blues." A true gem.

Richie Cole - 1979 - Keeper Of The Flame

Richie Cole 
Keeper Of The Flame

01. As Time Goes By 6:59
02. I Cant Get Started 4:51
03. Keeper Of The Flame 6:09
04. Harolds House Of Jazz 4:58
05. Holiday For Strings 5:45
06. New York Afternoon 3:59
07. Strange Groove 4:57

Bass – Rick Laird
Drums – Eddie Gladden
Guitar – Vic Juris
Piano – Harold Mabern
Saxophone [Alto] – Richie Cole
Vocals – Eddie Jefferson (tracks: b1-b3), The Alt-Tettes (tracks: b4)

Recorded at Van Gelder Studio 6th September 1978. Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder. B4- featuring the wonderful vocal by The "Alt-Tettes" The "alt-Tettes" Joe Fields, Richie Cole, Harold Mabern, Vic Juris, Eddie Gladden, Rick Laird, David Lahm and Terry Silverlight

This is one of altoist Richie Cole's best-ever albums. He rips through surprisingly effective medium-to-up-tempo versions of "As Time Goes By" and "Holiday for Strings," welcomes the great vocalese singer Eddie Jefferson to "Harold's House of Jazz" and "New York Afternoon," has a humorous dig at free jazz on "Strange Groove," introduces his "Keeper of the Flame" and comes up with a near-classic solo on "I Can't Get Started." This LP is long overdue to be reissued by Muse

Richie Cole - 1978 - Alto Madness

Richie Cole 
Alto Madness

01. Cole's Nocturne 6:11
02. The Price Is Right 7:13
03. The Common Touch 2:23
04. Last Tango In Paris 4:40
05. Island Breeze 5:20
06. Big Bo's Paradise 5:29
07. Remember Your Day Off 5:15
08. Moody's Mood '78 2:59

Richie Cole : Alto saxophone
Eddie Jefferson : vocals
Eddie Gladden : drums
Harold Mabern : piano
Rick Laird : bass
Steve Gilmore : bass
Vic Juris : guitar
Ray Mantilla : percussion.

Some of altoist Richie Cole's finest records were made for the Muse label during 1976-1981 when he did a great deal to help revive bebop. Cole has long had the ability to turn almost anything into jazz and on this set he manages to swing both the theme from The Price Is Right and the main melody from Last Tango in Paris. In addition to solo space for pianist Harold Mabern and guitarist Vic Juris, singer Eddie Jefferson is featured on two numbers: "The Common Touch" and "Moody's Mood '78."

Richie Cole - 1977 - New York Afternoon (Alto Madness)

Richie Cole
New York Afternoon (Alto Madness)

01. Dorothy's Den
02. Waltz for a Rainy Be-Bop Evening
03. Alto Madness
04. New York Afternoon
05. It's the Same Thing Everywhere
06. Stormy Weather
07. You'll Always Be My Friend

Recorded October, 1976 at Blue Rock Studio, NYC

Richie Cole: Sax (Alto)
Eddie Jefferson: Vocals
Vic Juris: Guitar
Mike Tucker: Piano
Rick Laird: Bass
Eddie Gladden: Drums
Ray Mantilla: Percussion

Back in the mid-'70s, when bebop was being greatly overshadowed by fusion, Richie Cole showed that not only was bop not old-fashioned, but it could be quite fun. His Alto Madness was essentially the idea that any tune, no matter how unlikely its source, could be turned into exuberant bop. Through the years, he has successfully recorded such songs as "The I Love Lucy Theme," "Holiday for Strings," "Horray for Hollywood," "The White Cliffs of Dover," "Come Fly With Me," "The Star Trek Theme," and even "La Bamba." Influenced by Phil Woods and Charlie Parker, Richie Cole heard jazz from an early age because his father owned a jazz club in New Jersey. He started on alto when he was ten, attended Berklee for two years, and joined Buddy Rich's big band in 1969. After a stint with Lionel Hampton, Cole formed his own group, doing a great deal to popularize bebop in the 1970s. Some of his finest recordings were his early ones for Muse, during a period when he often teamed up with singer Eddie Jefferson. His humor sometimes left critics cold, but Cole was one of the top bop-oriented players of the 1980s, and his Heads Up releases of the '90s (after a few years off the scene) are excellent.

This Muse album features the group that altoist Richie Cole and the late singer Eddie Jefferson co-led in the mid-'70s. They had a mutually beneficial relationship, with Cole learning from the older vocalist and Jefferson gaining extra exposure from associating with the popular young saxophonist. Their spirited set, which has two Jefferson vocals, is highlighted by "Waltz for a Rainy Be-Bop Evening," "New York Afternoon," "Stormy Weather" and "Alto Madness."

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Narumo - 1971 - London Notes

London Notes

01. If Everyone
02. She Was A Country Girl
03. Remember?
04. Running Away From Me
05. Everybody Needs A Little Loving
06. When Love Comes Knocking
07. A Touch Of Moonlight
08. It Was Sweet Of You
09. Come Out Fighting
10. The Road Just Goes On
11. Paint Yourself Pretty

Shigeru Narumo: guitar
Brian Keith: vocals, harmonica
Michael de Albuquerque: electric bass, vocals
Bill Parkinson: acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Pete Woolf: drums, percussion
Graham Todd: organ, piano
Maria Popkiewicz: vocals
Frank Aiello: vocals
The Pop Arts Quartet: strings

Album by Strawberry Path / Flied Egg Guitarrist Shingeru Narumo recorded in London in 1971 with a full cast of British musicians. Not an earthshaking album, just a solid rock album that I enjoy playing every so often, recently a vsitor requested it, so here it is!