A really amazing set of work from tenorist Clifford Jordan – a player who first rose to fame in the hardbop scene of the late 50s, but who moved into tremendous new territory with these Strata East recordings of the late 60s and early 70s! Jordan was a Chicago contemporary of players like Johnny Griffin and Von Freeman, but he was never content to rest on his laurels – and stretched out on these records with a spiritual vibe that he'd never expressed before – and which would go onto inspire countless other musicians in years to come! This set brings together all the Dolphy Series recordings that Jordan recorded – either as an artist or producer – two of which were never issued on record at the time.
In a way, Brown was the Wynton Marsalis of his time; like Marsalis, Brown came on the jazz scene following a period of significant stylistic change. However, unlike Marsalis (who rejected the free jazz made famous by the generation just preceding his own), Brown chose to embrace the innovations of his immediate elders. In the process, Brown became one of the great post-Gillespie trumpeters, developing a voice that spoke the language of bebop with a distinct, personal inflection. In September 1953 – having just recorded his first dates as a leader for Blue Note – Brown went to Europe with Lionel Hampton.
Whether at the helm of a record date or as a sideman, Clifford Jordan was known for giving his all. These studio recordings were originally made for Strata East, a label known for its adventurous spirit. The tenor saxophonist leads two separate groups. The sextet selections include trombonist Julian Priester, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassists Wilbur Ware and Richard Davis, drummer Albert Heath, and trumpeter Don Cherry. Jordan's pensive "Vienna" is given an extended workout, with Cherry's somewhat abstract playing fitting in rather well. The second piece, Jordan's "Doug's Prelude," is also a bit brooding, showcasing the leader, Priester, and Kelly.
Two excellent early Clifford Jordan albums, Starting Time and A Story Tale, are reissued in full on this single CD. Jordan, whose sound was just beginning to become quite distinctive in 1961, is heard with a quintet also including trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, and on a set with altoist Sonny Red, Tommy Flanagan or Ronnie Mathews on piano, bassist Art Davis, and drummer Elvin Jones. With the exception of four selections, all 16 tunes are group originals. Best-known are Walton's "Mosaic" and "One Flight Down," but all of the music is high-quality hard bop. Dorham and Red are both in excellent form, constantly challenging Jordan. Fine if formerly obscure music.
Rare spiritual jazz by reed player Milton Marsh – one of the harder-to-find albums on Strata East – and one of just a couple incredible records to Marsh's name! Obscurity aside, this is prime Strata East – with some sprawling moments in a larger band formation that go just far out enough, but an overall approach that's pretty inside, very much in the label's strong 70s soul jazz tradition. There's a pretty large cast of players in action, including some legendary ones like saxophonist David Ware, percussionist Greg Bandy, Cedric Lawson on piano and others. Titles include "Vonda's Tune", the incredible "Monism" with its spoken word excerpt from Hazrat Inayat Khan's Sufi Message, nicely read by Marsh himself over an amazing mix of soulful strings and tense interplay, plus "Metamorphosis", "Community Music", "Sabotage 3 Preparations" and "Ode to Nzinga". A lost masterpiece!
In the early 70's a band named Catalyst was formed in the heart of Philadelphia. The core of the group was Odean Pope, Sherman Ferguson, Eddie Green and Al Johnson (who was replaced by Tyrone Brown after their first album). The band drew from a wide range of musical styles; jazz, funk, R&B, avant garde and fusion all found their way into the creative sonic tapestry of Catalyst. With the given talents of Catalyst they could have and should have been bigger but sadly they found themselves with little promotion or recognition outside the proximity of Philadelphia. Thankfully Catalyst were able to leave behind four extraordinary recordings that will appeal to both jazz heads and those in the hip hop community.
22 April 2012 marks 100th anniversary of the birth of Kathleen Ferrier. Kathleen Ferrier was born on 22 April 1912 and died at the age of forty-one on 8 October 1953. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Kathleen Ferrier’s birth the DECCA legacy is brought together in a comprehensive 14-CD set with a bonus DVD. All the recordings have been remastered for this anniversary edition and will further demonstrate the unique qualities of this much-loved artist.
This limited-edition three-CD set will be hard to acquire but it is a gem. Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Jimmy Raney had very complementary cool-toned but hard-swinging styles. Their gig at Storyville in Boston resulted in some classic music that, along with five studio sessions, is included in this box. The supporting cast includes pianists Al Haig, Horace Silver, Duke Jordan, and Hall Overton; the music was originally recorded for Roost, Clef, Norgran, and Prestige. This essential set is filled with exciting performances from Stan Getz when he was first becoming a highly influential force in jazz.