Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cannoball Adderley....Somethin' Else...Blue Note classic

You don't have to be a pure Jazz fan to appreciate this masterpiece. Just put it on and chill man!

This wondrously relaxed blowing session was recorded in 1958 when Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was a member of Miles Davis's group--the one that recorded Kind of Blue--and the date is as much the trumpeter's as it is the altoist's. Davis's voice is much in evidence, from the subdued fire of the ballads to the crackling flames of the title tune, while Adderley's creamy alto invokes earlier swing and blues masters as well as Charlie Parker. The ballads and long, medium-tempo blues are complemented superbly by the thoughtful voicings of pianist Hank Jones and the great rhythm section of bassist Sam Jones and Art Blakey, who distinguished every session they participated in together. While Davis's Columbia recordings of the period were often ambitious and groundbreaking music, this Blue Note date is a more casual masterpiece.

1. Autumn Leaves
2. Love for Sale
3. Somethin' Else
4. One for Daddy-O
5. Dancing in the Dark
6. Alison's Uncle (extra track not on original vinyl LP)


Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Dave Brubeck Quartet...Time Out

Boasting the first jazz instrumental to sell a million copies, the Paul Desmond-penned "Take Five," Time Out captures the celebrated jazz quartet at the height of both its popularity and its powers. Recorded in 1959, the album combines superb performances by pianist Brubeck, alto saxophonist Desmond, drummer Joe Morrello and bassist Gene Wright. Along with "Take Five," the album features another one of the group's signature compositions, "Blue Rondo a la Turk." Though influenced by the West Coast-cool school, Brubeck's greatest interest and contribution to jazz was the use of irregular meters in composition, which he did with great flair. Much of the band's appeal is due to Desmond, whose airy tone and fluid attack often carried the band's already strong performances to another level. Together, he and Brubeck proved one of the most potent pairings of the era. --Fred Goodman ( 

1. Blue Rondo à la Turk 
2. Strange Meadow Lark 
3. Take Five 
4. Three To Get Ready 
5. Kathy's Waltz 
6. Everybody's Jumpin' 
7. Pick Up Sticks 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


This collection from one of the masters of Jazz contains 20 of his finest moments including "Blue Train", "My Favourite Things" and "A Love Supreme". Just play and chill!

Bio - Whether legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane was inverting bebop chord structures or inducing meditational depth with his complex melodies, he seemed to shift gears and gain new expertise with every passing year in the 1960s.
In the 50s, Coltrane played in Miles Davis’ ‘First Great Quintet’, and experienced a spiritual epiphany after kicking heroin in 1957 that inspired everything he played thereafter. The same year his first real solo album was released, Blue Train, before he played on Davis’ seminal Kind of Blue and released his second major solo work, Giant Steps. At this stage Coltrane was at the forefront of the innovative changes in jazz, moving from the usual hard-bop style to the modal form that Kind of Blue introduced. Coltrane took modal jazz and ran with it through the 60s - from My Favourite Things (1961) and Live at the Village Vanguard (1962), to Duke Ellington and John Coltrane (1962) and John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (1963), Coltrane produced innovative and complex jazz that divided the critics of the time, but is now accepted as era defining. In 1965, Coltrane and his quartet released his most famous record, the deeply spiritual A Love Supreme, which has since been regularly acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz albums ever.

After A Love Supreme, Coltrane became more interested in free jazz, as shown on the classic Ascension. After adding Pharoah Sanders to his band, Coltrane began to take hallucinogenic drugs and his music became more spaced-out, alienating some listeners. In 1967 Coltrane was diagnosed with liver cancer, and he died shortly afterwards at the age of 40, leaving a hugely influential legacy of jazz. His spirituality was influential too - in 1971 a San Francisco church began worshipping Coltrane as a saint. (This biography was provided by community contributors.)


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Miles Davis...Birth of the Cool

Birth of the Cool is the first important leader date from Miles Davis, one of jazz's most seminal figures and farsighted practitioners. Having made his reputation in large measure from playing with bop giant Charlie Parker, Davis confounded expectations when he embraced the "cool" arranging style of Gil Evans, an arranger for Claude Thornhill's band. Evans, who was employing unique voicings by adding French horns and tuba to Thornhill's instrumentations, also emphasized a diminished use of vibrato in both reeds and brass, producing a drier, "cool" sound. Two of Evans's arrangements, "Boplicity" and "Moon Dreams," appear on the album. Also involved are baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, who contributed such outstanding tunes as "Jeru" and "Venus de Milo," and Modern Jazz Quartet pianist John Lewis. The result is a date that has withstood the tests of time, fashion, and Davis's own extraordinary growth as a performer. An enhanced set, The Complete Birth of the Cool expands the original issue with previously bootlegged live recordings of Davis's nonet at the Royal Roost in New York in 1948. Although the sound quality is far from perfect, the performances are remarkable, and worth the additional expense for the serious fan. --Fred