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.
Bassist Eddie Gomez is better as a sideman than as a leader on recording dates, but this is one of his stronger efforts in the latter category (even if one has to get used to him taking or sharing virtually all of the melodies). Chick Corea sticks exclusively to an atmospheric synthesizer, but otherwise this is a fairly straight-ahead quintet session featuring Gomez with the Coltrane-ish tenor of Rick Margitza, pianist James Williams, drummer Lenny White, and a guest appearance from flutist Jeremy Steig.
Mann, who has changed his style numerous times throughout his long career, is heard exclusively in a straight-ahead and bop context on this pair of studio dates. Evans, who studied flute through his college years, rarely recorded with a flutist (Jeremy Steig joined him on a later record for Verve), though he was fond of the instrument; the capable Chuck Israels on bass and drummer Paul Motian round out the trio.