This LP has the debut of drummer Marty Morell with Bill Evans and bassist Eddie Gomez, and this particular trio would retain the same personnel for six productive years. Actually, this is a quartet set with guest flutist Jeremy Steig, whose playing recalls Herbie Mann's recording (Nirvana) with Evans back in the early '60s. Both flutists were always open to the influences of pop and rock, although in both of their collaborations with Evans, the music is very much on the pianist's turf. With the exception of Evans' "Time Out for Chris" and the "Spartacus Love Theme," the songs performed on this date would fit securely in the Miles Davis repertoire of the late '50s. Steig is in particularly fine form on the program which includes tunes such as "Straight No Chaser," "Autumn Leaves," and "So What."
Mama Kuku is the fifth and final Association P.C. recording (they were originally known as Association Earwax for two albums, and inexplicably changed their name). Led by guitarist Toto Blanke, this German supergroup stood outside the Krautrock and psychedelic camps and played their own fiery, non-academic brand of prog rock and jazz-rock fusion. The first half of this recording was performed at the Arkandenhof in June of 1973, and the final half, "Lausanne," at the Radio Suisse Romande during the same month.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Fantastic early work from flautist Jeremy Steig – a 60s quartet session for Columbia that came several years before the funky style of some of his later work – and a damn great record, with lots of soulful touches! Part of this has to do with the rhythm section of Ben Tucker on bass and Ben Riley on drums – both of whom put a nice kick in the proceedings, and substantially ground and groove the solo work of Steig's flute and Denny Zeitlin's piano.
A flute-bass duo is not an everyday occurrence on CD, let alone making up an entire release. Yet the combination of Jeremy Steig and Eddie Gomez in this 1975 concert works extremely well because of the virtuoso talent of both musicians, along with their obviously compatibility. They previously had worked together on the Bill Evans' album What's New and Gomez had recently departed Evans at the time of this recording.
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. Nicely sharp sounds from the great JJ Johnson – a set that has the trombonist really honing his edge on a host of tight, short tracks – with a vibe that almost recalls his initial bop recordings on Blue Note and Prestige! The style here is a bit more sophisticated – definitely with an ear towards the modern directions that JJ was exploring in the 50s – but the sound is also nicely spontaneous, with more focus on improvisation between group members than larger arrangements – quite nice, given that the group features excellent tenor from Bobby Jaspar on tenor – and either Tommy Flanagan or Hank Jones on piano, Percy Heath or Wilbur Little on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Tracks are short, and titles include "Overdrive", "Cube Steak", "Chasin The Bird", and "Solar".
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the hippest, hardest albums that trombonist JJ Johnson ever cut for Columbia – a session we'd rank right up there with his amazing JJ Inc record, and like that one a really cooking hardbop record that maybe even rivals the best on Blue Note and Prestige at the time! As with that gem, the strength here is really the group – not just tremendous trombone from JJ, but great work from Nat Adderley on trumpet, Bobby Jaspar on tenor and flute, Cedar Walton on piano, Spanky DeBrest on bass, and Albert Heath on drums – all working with a soaring, soulful energy that's a lot more hardbop heavy than you might expect from JJ Johnson on some of his other projects for the label.
Reissue with the latest 2015 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Not J.J. Johnson's initial public offering by any means, First Place was done with only a quartet in 1957 for Columbia Records, where other efforts by the legendary jazz trombonist were set in a larger ensemble format. Long out of print, this is now on CD with bonus tracks from 1954 featuring Charles Mingus. Playing standards and originals, Johnson assembled a mighty band with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Paul Chambers, and especially on-fire drummer Max Roach, a group you'd be hard-pressed to top.
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Louis van Dyke, in fact his surname was van Dijk, but that didn't look English enough I guess. In 1961 he had won the Loosdrecht Jazz concours with his trio and made his first album, titled Trio / Quartet in June 1964. In the quartet recordings Carl Schulze, the vibraphone player, was added. He won with this LP an Edison Award, one of the most important awards in the Dutch amusement world.
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. I first became aware of Louis Van Dyke on the "Fond Memories of Frank Rosolino" CD and it became apparent that here was a creative mind with impeccable jazz abilities who was able to play into the sound of whatever environment he chose. This recording could be by a very different musician than heard on the Rosolino album as Van Dyke is able to switch hats and maintain the integrity of whichever he is wearing at the time. What we have here is unusual to say the least: 9 songs by the Beatles performed in 1970 on the Flentrop Organ in the Netherlands Reformed Chuch at Loenen a.d. Vecht.