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Some info from John Gill who was on this recording: The band had been traveling all day. When they finally arrived at the festival it was late and they had to wait for many hours before they went on. To their dismay they found that it was a modern jazz fest. They assumed that they’d bomb. When they went on, the crowd went wild. The LP reveals the wild cheers, not only after each song and each solo, but even after the ensemble sections.
You have to love the traditions of Indian musicians – if you are good, pass on what you know to your children and increase the spirit of the music! Ravi Shankar has done just that with his 20 year old daughter Anoushka – this live recording (mostly at Carnegie Hall October 6 2000) is outstanding – she has not quite equaled her father yet but she is well on her way. Double Tabla and lots of Tanpura provide rhythmic and harmonic support, but it is brilliant Sitar through and through. Some tracks have very short introductions included in the time.
Actually not a collection: Morgan Fisher (keyboardist for Mott the Hoople) did the whole thing himself with just a 1979 home studio 4 track recorder! Great twisted takes of modern and classic gems – even a little Sun Ra flavor… http://www.morgan-fisher.com/discogpages_e/hybrids.html
Wagner has been playing with the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars for many years but this is NOT KLEZ at all. He is also in the circle of Galactic/Groove Jazz scene but this is NOT GROOVE JAZZ It is not even very much like a lot of other modern New Orleans jazz. The first cut features Rob playing Tenor and Sop. Sax at the same time but not in an ‘outside? way. Now that I have said what it is not, I still like it (and I don’t like many sax-heavy recordings) because it is solid, tasty, enjoyable jazz with great bass and drumming.
Playing ‘World Jazz? without being ‘World Music? is a bit tricky. Rudresh plays his Alto in a mostly western way but some of the notes and tones pick up on music from various Indian cultures. He says he is creating music based on the spoken languages of the area. To me it is not a heavy aspect of this recording – just a subtle flavor. Maybe I am missing something, but it still very interesting.
The last track has a silent bit towards the and then a collage of voices in many different Indian languages.
Fluid and multi-textural NYC ensemble creating a very full soundbank of support for well thought-out solos Fast, slow and moderate tempos (sometimes in the same piece) without too much squonk makes for a very musically enjoyable recording. I like the balance between the brass and reeds – no section dominates and they all have something to say here (while the rhythm section keeps things rolling, just like they are supposed to!) Tom Varner on French Horn adds a lot to the mix. Year 2000 recording. Dave Richoux
Camille Howard seems to have been one of those musicians that could have much more well known except for the fact that she was Black, and American culture at the time would not let her succeed to the level of her skills. From this recording you will hear OUTSTANDING Blues, Jazz, and some AMAZING Boogie-Woogie piano, great singing, and fine arrangements of original songs from the late 40′s to the early 50′s.
George Mraz is from the eastern part of what was Czechoslovakia so his jazz influences include a lot of the more traditional folk music of the area. His bass playing is very full and classical and that sets the pace for this recording – no “up” songs. Zuzana Lapcikova plays the cymbalom (hammer dulcimer) and sings some songs in Moravian – you probably won’t understand them, but it is pretty, interesting and different – give it a try! *review by David Richoux
This is the first recording of traditional klezmer tunes using original instruments and music. Many of the tunes might be familiar to you (if you listen to modern klez) but the tempos will drive you crazy! Not because they are fast and lively, but just the opposite – I guess they just danced a LOT slower back in the 1700s and 1800s. In those times the violin was used the lead instrument ( the clarinet is today,) but the voice and feeling of the improvised melodies is still very beautiful. Note the bowed string bass and dulcimer-like cimbal. These are all instrumental tracks. A very detailed notebook will tell you anything you want to know about early klezmer music. Enjoy! *review by David Richoux
Following many years working with Ruben Blades, Timbal player Ralph Irizarry has formed his own group. The result is naturally percussive, but there is a lot more going on here. It is a bit hard to figure expressive jazz in a danceable Latin style, but these guys do it somehow, without being too “commercial.” *review by David Richoux
Yet another great sample of jazz and more from all over the place. All recorded at the Spirit Room in Rossie, New York in 1999. From slightly scary sax squirts to tasty violin & guitar, cello & trombone duets, this covers a lot of territory. Track 9 is an almost trad reading of “Just a Closer Walk,” but most everything else is original compositions. Lots of short tracks here, drop them in anyplace! *review by David Richoux
It has taken almost 20 years for the music of the Dirty Dozen and ReBirth Brass Bands to finally expand out of New Orleans, finding young musicians who now understand that it is something more than just brass and percussion – it is a drive, a spirit, and “A LA CARTE has got it, plenty! They are from the Washington D.C. area, been around since 1994 and they take a lot of influence from the D.D. (they use that band’s arrangement of Caravan) I really enjoyed this live and lively performance. The 4 man percussion section is quite strong, especially when the Brazilian samba style beat gets going. The trumpets and bari sax are also very hot- and the tuba is very much in control of the whole thing! Slipping in a few rock/soul/torch songs sung by Shaun Murphy (of Little Feat) and a rapping track were nice touches.
Arthur Blythe and Bob Stewart have a long association, and they really work well together. The tuba is providing just as much “melody” as rhythm and Stewart really knows how to play! Blythe on Alto is both tuneful and honking (at points) but mostly the fluid style he has mastered weaves around the tuba voice so amazingly well. When you ad the incredible percussion of Cecil Brooks to the mix – this little trio becomes a monster! There is a taste of New Orleans street / funk, a lot of driving hard bop, and just a ton of wonderful interaction in music. This was recorded live in Amsterdam in 1999, the audience is really into it! Not scary, just great! *review by David Richoux
This project from southern California’s ultra retro swing band picks some of the more obscure tunes from jazz history. Some male, some female vocals, some novelty renditions of interesting songs that were not especially “hits” – but they do have merit. Please remember that jazz musicians were not considered respectable in all social circles back in those days – these songs reflect some of that “outsider” status. Fun and swinging stuff!
The third CD from this multi-talented east coast trio plus one – mixing powerful tuba lines with jazz/zydeco/boogie style music. This group is also now part of the New Line Brass Band but I think they actually work better in quartet form. (A few of the tracks have extra musicians from the NLBB helping out.) New Orleans Mardi Gras standards mix well with swinging dixie tunes and band originals. The shifting from trumpet to accordion is interesting and gives the band a whole new flavor, but it is Andy Kochenour on tuba that makes the group really move! *review by David Richoux
Complex quartet stuff here with Drew Gress mostly on bass (but some pedal steel,) Tim Berne on reeds (with some multi-track recording,) Uri Caine on piano and Tom Rainey on drums. Not very squonky – it moves right along even with extended bass solos. Tasty! *review by David Richoux
Like many other jazzers, Bill Ware shows his respects to The Duke (and I don’t mean John Wayne) with a selection of his classics. With just the addition of Marc Ribot on the guitar, this recording does not have quite the same pulse & drive of his “Vibe” CD from a while back, but it is still quite good. The up songs are tasty, especially Caravan and “A” Train but the moodier songs need a little something, in my opinion. *review by David Richoux
Bassist Greg Cohen has lined up a bunch of his New York friends to make this VERY SWANK recording. Taking a few cuts from Duke Ellington (the little known title track and Creole Rhapsody) a Bud Powell tune and he rest his own compositions, Cohen really sets up a great, if short CD. Dave Douglas on the vital trumpet and Scott Robinson on the reeds are outstanding, but the rest of the group ain’t small change either… check it all out, please! *review by David Richoux
This 2nd installment from the group of KFR regulars is an outstanding look back to the days of big band jazz as it progressed through “Hot Jazz” to “Swing” to “Bop.” The adaptation and arrangements of both hits and somewhat obscure songs by Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, and others bring the genre into the 21st century with just a little kicking and screaming. Hot and tasty licks (including some from Anthony Coleman on the B3 organ this time) – even a Glenn Miller standard ballad is turned into a moody sax and bone gumbo (samples of a 30′s announcer and Miller Orchestra performance are blended into the mix.) Ballin’ the Jack have done the research well, and I think they had a lot of fun making this record. Not scary at all – just wonderful and varied – give any track a spin! *review by David Richoux
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