There is no greater paragon of tenor saxophonist taste than Harry Allen. While the fickle winds of prevailing styles continue to blow this or that way, Allen stands tall like the mighty oak, unswayed by fad fashions and firmly rooted to the music of the Great American Songbook. On this appealing date, Allen visits the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Probably recorded in the mid-'80s, this delightful collaboration between American trumpeter Woody Shaw and the Tone Janša Quartet works on nearly every level. Janša shares the front line with the trumpeter, and is a perfect foil for Shaw on each of Janša's instruments, tenor and soprano saxophones and flute. Janša's fluid, driving lines fit beautifully with Shaw's concepts. Even more importantly, Shaw is in great form, and there is an electricity in the air that infuses each track.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. A killer Dutch duo from the end of the 70s – tenorist Harry Verbeke, who's got a bold, clear sound – and pianist Rob Agerbeek, who's been making soulful sides from the 60s onwards! The pair get great accompaniment here from drummer Billy Higgins and bassist Herbie Lewis – the last of whom may be at his best here – with these well-placed, well-rounded lines that help the record groove right from the start – and which give the record a nice bounce, even in gentler moments – followed up strongly by Agerbeek and his strong sense of chord progressions. Most tunes are familiar, but get nice readings by the group – and titles include "Gibraltar, "Holy Land", "Soul Sister", "No Me Esqueca", and "No Problem".
Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren form the trio “Mare Nostrum”. This band forges connections between the discrete musical cultures of its three protagonists. This new album marks the return to the studio of a European supergroup. And they're on top form.
Long ago, before he achieved relative stardom with his Nordic, somewhat new-agey recreations of medieval music, Jan Garbarek produced a handful of spectacular, robust albums for ECM where the influence of free jazz, particularly Albert Ayler, was paramount. Afric Pepperbird was his first recording for the then fledgling label and it features his quartet at the height of their powers, embellishing his muscular and imaginative compositions with outstanding, individualistic playing. From the eerie keening of the opening "Scarabee," framed by Jon Christensen's pinpoint delicate drums, to the hard-driving "Beast of Kommodo" with the leaders wailing bass sax to Rypdal's manic explorations on Blow Away Zone, this is one stellar effort.