Reissue. Comes with new liner notes. Herbie Hancock's lackluster string of electric albums around this period was enhanced by this one shining exception: an incorrigibly eclectic record that flits freely all over the spectrum. Using several different rhythm sections, Herbie Hancock is much more the imaginative hands-on player than at any time since the prime Headhunters period, overdubbing lots of parts from his ever-growing collection of keyboards. He has regained a good deal of his ability to ride in the groove.
Opening with the Head Hunters version of "Watermelon Man" and closing with the electro-embracing crossover hit, "Rockit," Mr. Funk is a semi-random skip across Hancock's Columbia recordings, and it technically spans 1973-1983 (at least going by release dates), rather than the 1972-1988 range printed on its cover.
Reissue with latest 2014 remastering. Comes with liner notes. Acoustic magic from Herbie Hancock – proof that he wasn't only cutting electro records in the 80s! The set's got a fluid, open feel that's a bit like some of the VSOP Quintet work – although the group here is slightly different, with Hancock on acoustic piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums – plus a young Wynton Marsalis on trumpet – stepping in where Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard left off. The tracks are somewhat sharp-edged and modern, but never in a way that's too outside – more just a continuation of the VSOP mode, with some of the Marsalis love of darker colors and tones. The double-length set has plenty of room for long solos – and titles include "Well You Needn't", "Round Midnight", "Clear Ways", "A Quick Sketch", "The Eye Of The Hurricane", "Parade", "The Sorcerer", "Pee Wee", and "I Fall In Love Too Easily".
Reissue with latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. This is a unique experiment in the Hancock discography, recorded in Tokyo in just one day during a tour of Japan. The first side contains two introspective, complex solo acoustic piano tracks, "Maiden Voyage" and "Dolphin Dance," which are notable since they date from a period when Hancock was supposedly totally immersed in electronics. Side two has two even more unusual pieces – "Nobu," a one-man show recorded in real time with the sample-and-hold feature of an ARP 2600 synthesizer providing a rhythm section for Hancock's electric keyboards, followed by "Cantaloupe Island" with a pre-recorded synth bassline.
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Mongo Santamaria at the height of his Latin Soul years – working on a cool Columbia session titled after an earlier hit, but served up with his new lean sound of the late 60s! The album's got that perfect Santamaria combo from the time – a group that features trumpet and these wonderfully sharp arrangements from the great Marty Sheller – plus very smoking reed work from a young Hubert Laws, wailing away on flute and tenor, and Bobby Capers on alto and baritone – both players who mix jazz and soul instrumental modes, to bring a hell of a lot of feeling to the overall sound of the band – in ways that really get past more familiar use of trumpet or trombone in other Latin combos. The band grooves nicely on original material like "Streak O Lean", "Ricky Tick", "Do It To It", "Fatback", "Coconut Milk", and "Jose Outside" – and they also reprise Mongo's big hit "Watermelon Man".
Reissue with latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Jeru was a favor that Gerry Mulligan did for his drummer, Dave Bailey, who owned a startup label called Jazzline. Mulligan was bet-ween recording contracts. The ensemble played together only once, during the four-and-a-half-hour session when Jeru was made in 1962. It features Tommy Flanagan on piano, Ben Tucker on bass, Bailey on drums and Alec Dorsey on congas. The album never appeared on Jazzline because CBS bought the master and released it on Columbia.
Reissue with latest 2014 remastering. Comes with liner notes. The last of the pianoless quartet albums that Gerry Mulligan recorded in the 1950s is one of the best, featuring the complementary trumpet of Art Farmer, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Dave Bailey along with the baritonist/leader. This recording is a little skimpy on playing time but makes every moment count. Virtually every selection is memorable, with "What Is There to Say," "Just in Time," "Festive Minor," "My Funny Valentine," and "Utter Chaos" being the high points. Highly recommended both to Mulligan collectors and to jazz listeners who are just discovering the great baritonist.
This long-out-of-print CD has finally been reissued and it's a must-have for Phil Woods fans, or for anyone interested in an excellent example of post-Parker be-bop saxophone. The sound quality is excellent, the rhythm section is very competent and Phil is at the top of his game on a nice mix of standards and originals. It's easy to see why he has been the benchmark for jazz alto for decades. His swing and inventiveness are nicely showcased as he eases his way through the list of tunes. If one were to buy one or two CD's that best show Phil Woods' ability to create meaningful jazz, this one would have to be high on the list for consideration. Don't miss it!