While David Linx's name may not be writ large here in the States, the fifty-one year-old singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist is a mega-star in his native Belgium, and in 2005 was named Best Jazz Musician in Europe, which covers a whole lot of territory. On Brel, Linx sings music composed by his Belgian forerunner, the late and legendary Jacques Brel, accompanied by the world-class Brussels Jazz Orchestra (whose personnel are not listed on the bare-bones promotional copy save for saxophonist / music director Frank Vaganee).
One of the first and most talented proponents of the Vanguarda Paulistana movement (urban classically trained musicians of the city of São Paulo who added erudite experimentations to pop music), Arrigo Barnabé is an internationally awarded composer/arranger with an expressive contribution to Brazilian music…
R.I.P. Arthur. In Memoriam. Given the urban title of alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe's debut Columbia album, it's quite a shock when he and his red-hot band of collaborators that include James Blood Ulmer on guitar, Bob Stewart on tuba, flutist James Newton, bassist Cecil McBee, and Jack DeJohnette open with the decidedly funky Latin breaks on "Down San Diego Way." It's not a vamp and it's not a misleading intro, the first of four tracks showcases not only the deep versatility of the rhythm section, but Blythe's own gift as both a composer and as a soloist. He states the melody, handing off the harmonics to Ulmer and Newton and then flies high into the face of its chosen changes, allowing the beat to change under him several times before bringing back a theme and letting Ulmer solo.
Sonny Stitt goes Latin – and the results are tremendous! The set's still got all the soulful feel of the best Stitt sessions for Roost, but it brings in some nice Latin rhythms too – inflecting things with that blend of soul jazz and congas you might find over at Prestige or Blue Note, yet also taking things further, too – given the Roost/Roulette connection to the New York Latin scene! Sonny plays both alto and tenor, and gets jazzy accompaniment from Thad Jones on trumpet – but the rhythm section is the real charmer here – and features a young Chick Corea on piano, Larry Gales on bass, and the trio of Willie Bobo, Patato Valdes, and Chihuaua Martinez on percussion! Most tunes are originals – a great change from the usual Latinized standards you might find on a set like this – and Stitt's got this nicely exotic tone in his reeds which is a further highlight of the record – almost a Yusef Lateef inflection at points.
Originally released in 1973 as a 9-LP set, it presents a comprehensive survey of Friedrich Gulda's accomplishments as a superb composer and performer of works crossing the lines between classical music and jazz. This 5-CD box set features extensive new and original liner notes, song lyrics and rare photos in a 48-page beautiful booklet! It's really a rich "midlife harvest" of work by the Austrian genius of the universal music - a key figure in the intersection between jazz and modern music on the European scene of the postwar years, represented here by a wealth of recordings done for Preiser, Decca and MPS during the 60s and 70s.
They are young. Already large. And the head crowned with laurels many (first price RéZZo Focal Jazz à Vienne and Jazz Springboard La Defense in particular). But this time, the case escalates to Uptake who published his first album So Far So Good at Jazz Village. Bursting with energy and groove, this quartet from the Lyon scene is already a master in the art of interplay, the accomplice way to circulate and combine all the music in freedom … A four Bastien Brison piano and Rhodes, Pierre Gibbe on bass, trombone and Robinson Khoury Paul Bern on drums built a repertoire consisting essentially of compositions they say influenced the new generation of American musicians like Jason Lindner, Robert Glasper or Robin Eubanks.