This collection on the U.K.'s Soul Brother imprint is a very compelling look at a big slice of Freddie Hubbard's long career as a leader, and one that gets ignored for the most part. Hubbard recorded over 20 records between Backlash, his Atlantic debut in 1966, and Ride Like the Wind for Elektra in 1982, with lengthy stops at Columbia and CTI (as well some straight hard bop and post-bop outings for labels Fantasy and Pablo). In many cases, some of these original recordings were not only disregarded by more traditional jazzheads, they were regarded with outright hostility. It didn't matter to Hubbard, however, because at the time, these were among his best-selling albums and connected with the public deeply.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. John Hicks works in some really wonderful company here – a trio with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Idris Muhammad – both of whom really add a lot to the date! We're always big fans of Lundy's sound on bass – and his approach here has the same warm-rolling quality you'd find in his own best 80s work – really helping to push Hicks' lyrical agenda on the piano with a rhythmic support that's tremendous. Muhammad's pretty great too – definitely on the understated side of his talents, that nicely subtle sound he developed in the 80s – and Hicks, as always, is more than a cut above most of his contemporaries, and continues a long legacy of extremely soulful work on the keys of the piano.
Reissue with the latest 24bit remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. One of the greatest albums of Brazilian jazz that Bud Shank ever recorded — done with a style that's a lot more like some of the best bossa albums from Rio at the time! Bud's recorded in other bossa settings before — but there's something about this record that really gets the whole thing right — as Shank's alto and flute come into play with a killer combo that includes Clare Fischer on piano, Larry Bunker on vibes and drums, Joe Pass on guitar, and Milt Holland and Chuck Flores on percussion.
In Memoriam. By 1980, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson had evolved from a member of the avant-garde into a top exponent of the modern mainstream. This excellent album (mostly originals and obscurities but highlighted by an inventive version of Bud Powell's classic title cut) features Hutcherson with a top notch all-star group also including guitarist John Abercrombie, keyboardist George Cables, electric bassist Chuck Domanico and drummer Peter Erskine. Pity that this fine set has been long out-of-print.
Reissue with the latest 24bit remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A sublime little set all the way through – an early 60s date from the west coast scene – and one that was almost as important to that side of the country as the Verve bossa records were to New York! Bud Shank's in the lead on alto sax – no flute at all this time around – blowing sharp and soulfully, in a way that's even more deft than most of his other albums! But the equal star here is the young Clare Fischer – who plays piano in the group, and also contributed a host of original tunes to the set – fresh numbers that are way different than the usual "bossa-ized" standards, or American remakes of Brazilian classics. Ralph Pena is a key member of the group on bass – and Larry Bunker plays some vibes as well. Titles include "Joao", "Pensativa", "Samba Guapo", "Samba Da Borboleta", and "Que Mais?".
Reissue with the latest 24bit remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. That's Brasil 65, not Brasil 66 – a distinction that marks a key early stage for the great Sergio Mendes – heard here on one of his first albums to mix together bossa jazz and vocals! The approach here is a bit more like vintage bossa dates from Brazil – or a bit like some of the Verve bossa records too – as Sergio's core trio is at the heart of every tune, playing with a great jazzy approach – then augmented in different ways by alto and flute from Bud Shank, guitar from Rosinha De Valenca, and vocals from the lovely Wanda De Sah! Production is perfect – really in a classic Elenco Records mode – and titles include "Let Me", "Consolacao", "Tristeza Em Mim", "Muito A Vontade", "Reza", "Berimbau", and "Aquarius".
Reissue with the latest 24bit remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. This LP features the Stan Kenton Orchestra (during the period when it had a mellophonium section) performing some of its familiar standards and a few newer songs with a light Brazilian rhythm provided by percussionists Frank Guerrero and Milt Holland (Larry Bunker fills in for Holland on three songs). Although one might consider this project to be an example of Kenton jumping on the bandwagon (since the bossa nova fad was at its peak at the time), the music is quite enjoyable.