Andrzej Panufnik once wrote ‘Music gets its eternal beauty from an ideal balance of emotion and intellect’. Although Panufnik is primarily known as a composer of symphonies and large-scale orchestral pieces, his three original works for solo piano perfectly illustrate this motto. They are all highly crafted, demonstrating the composer’s fascination with mirror forms and symmetrical patterns.
While organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith never attained the status of Jimmy Smith, he nonetheless fronted first-rate bands and accumulated a fine discography. Recorded in 1961, Opus de Funk brings together two Smith albums in one package, Stimulation and Opus de Funk. Since the same band – vibraphonist Freddie McCoy, guitarist Eddie McFadden, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Leo Stevens – played on both sets, and since both albums aren't very long by contemporary standards, the pair fit snuggly on the same CD. The really unusual element here is the presence of McCoy, because one doesn't usually associate vibes with jazz organ combos.
Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). An excellent piece of early soul-jazz, 1960's Talk That Talk isn't as bop-oriented as Shirley Scott's albums with Stanley Turrentine from the same period, as flashy and ornate as the albums Jimmy Smith was starting to make with Creed Taylor and Lalo Schifrin, or as funky and blues-based as the best of Jimmy McGriff or "Brother" Jack McDuff. Smith's playing on this album is low-key almost to the point of being conservative, deeply soulful without resorting to what would soon become tired funk clichés.
A retitled compilation of two of Jack McDuff's live albums from the '60s, Brother Jack McDuff Live! is an outstanding album, one of the purest examples ever of quite possibly the finest Hammond B3 organ player in the world. These recordings were made with McDuff's classic lineup: Red Holloway on tenor sax and flute, Joe Dukes on drums, and a young George Benson (long before he became a star making formulaic soul-pop albums in the '70s) on guitar.
Reissue features the latest DSD remastering and HR cutting. Also features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). Good feelings and plenty of soul – some very early work as a leader from Hammond hero Johnny Smith! The set's got Johnny using the organ with lots of stops out – that full, wide range of the instrument that initially knocked so many folks for a loop when it first came into jazz – then really took strong formation in the hands of a player like this! The groove's a bit like a Jimmy Smith record for Blue Note, but a lot grittier too – with some occasional elements of R&B mixed in with the more far-reaching jazz sensibilities. The group features Thornel Schwartz on guitar, who'd played famously with Jimmy Smith – plus George Tucker on bass and Leo Stevens on drums.