Follow the Rainbow is, in fact, a creative album, and it’s an album that has very little to do with jazz. The CD includes a few fusion instrumentals, including the Brazilian-flavored “Festival.” But 90% of Follow the Rainbow is devoted to R&B, and anyone who judges it by those standards instead of jazz standards will have to agree that Duke is triumphant on sweaty funk tunes (”Party Down,” “I Am for Real”) as well as mellow soul ballads and slow jams like “Say That You Will,” “Straight From the Heart,” and the Earth, Wind & Fire-influenced “Sunrise.” This album is consistently excellent, but it isn’t recommended to jazz snobs — only those with a healthy appreciation of 1970s soul and funk will enjoy this album.
Roberto Gatto is an Italian jazz drummer, born October 6, 1958 in Rome. He has performed with Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Bob Berg, Tommy Flanegan, Joe Zawinul, and Joe Lovano. He has composed film music, is the leader of his own jazz group and a member of the ensemble of Pino Daniele, a prominent Neapolitan singer.
This budget two-fer in Impulse's 2011 reissue series offers trombonist Curtis Fuller's first two releases for the label, both recorded in 1961; they are his 18th and 19th overall. The first, Soul Trombone, recorded in November, is aptly titled and places Fuller as the leader of a stellar band that includes pianist Cedar Walton, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Granville T. Hogan on drums, and either Jimmy Cobb or Jymie Merritt on bass. Of the six track on the set, three are originals, and they include the stellar hard bop offering "The Clan," the swinging "Newdles," and the breezy "Ladies Night." Two standard ballads here, "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," and Stan Getz's arrangement of "Dear Old Stockholm," are also beautifully delivered.
This 1966 concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles features sets by Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, with the source evidently being a soundboard tape. His star soloists consistently shine, especially tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves in the flag-waver "Soul Call" and the ballad "In a Sentimental Mood" (the latter usually a feature for Johnny Hodges). Cootie Williams' brash trumpet is showcased in "Take the 'A' Train," while high-note specialist Cat Anderson squeals in his "Prowling Cat." The drums are a bit too prominent in the mix, the sound is a bit muddy in places, and the microphone does not always pick up the leader's spoken…
This collection of Artie Shaw big band recordings comes from his brief association with the Musicraft label. Having assembled and broken up several earlier units, this edition, heard in recordings made between 1945 and 1946, is more of an arranger's band than one that features many soloists, other than the leader. During this period of Shaw's career, he was constantly changing the instrumentation of his band and making personnel substitutions. Fellow Musicraft artist Mel Tormé and his group the Mel-Tones are added on some tracks, though this was a studio relationship exclusively and they were not a part of Shaw's organization. The innovative blend of strings, voices and brass in the swinging arrangement of "What Is This Thing Called Love" is the highlight of the vocal selections, along with an updated instrumental version of the clarinetist's earlier hit, "Begin the Beguine." The only reservation about this compilation is that several tracks are abruptly faded or even truncated.
This double-CD reissues the nine numbers from a former double LP, adding three previously unreleased tunes from the same Switzerland concert. The Steve Lacy Five (the leader on soprano, Steve Potts on alto and soprano, Irene Aebi on cello, violin and vocals, bassist Kent Carter and drummer Oliver Johnson) is at its best on scalar-based instrumentals such as the near-classic "Blinks." Some tunes utilize the voices of Aebi and Lacy, and these are often quite eccentric and for more selective tastes. But the many strong solos by Lacy and the highly underrated altoist Potts makes this two-fer of interest for followers of advanced jazz. This was always a well-organized and highly original group.