It's a damn shame that Leucocyte is the final studio album by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Svensson died in a tragic diving accident in June of 2008, shortly after this set was finished. More than any other recording issued by this excellent band, Leucocyte captures the art of music making at the moment of conception; it was recorded as live-in-the-studio improvisation over two days in an Australian studio. It was completely finished, post-production and all, with a release date before Svensson's death. The words "post-production" mean plenty when it comes to E.S.T.'s music. The trio often recorded and added sonic effects to their structured, composed pieces. It underscored their hip sophistication and accessibility. It made them a hit with both jazz fans and younger audiences who listen to Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and even heavy metal more than jazz.
This aptly named set was recorded on November 28, 1972, in Barcelona, Spain. Although many of Ben Webster's European sessions suffered when compared to his American ones, this outing is one of the exceptions, due in no small part to the fluid piano work of Tete Montoliu. Supported by a rhythm section of Eric Peter on bass and Peer Wyboris on drums, both Webster and Montoliu have plenty of room to breathe, and the result is a wonderful and pleasant set highlighted by the opening track, "Ben's Blues," and an easy, elegant version of "Sweet Georgia Brown." Webster's trademark breathy tenor sax tone is in full supply here, but the real revelation is Montoliu, who proves to be a marvelous jazz pianist, making Gentle Ben somewhat of an overlooked gem.
La Maison du Duke is proud to present a collection of unpublished recordings of Duke Ellington, which come from an important stock of Ellington archives (Clavié collection), acquired by the association, which only a few collectors had access to today . The CDs are reserved for members of the Maison du Duke association and are not intended to be marketed.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Two different sides of Verve Records in the 50s – one modern, one a bit more traditional – and both represented in live material from the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957! Side one features a stunning live performance from pianist Teddy Wilson – working in a tight trio with Milt Hinton on bass and Spec Powell on drums – and really blowing away any conceptions we might have had about Wilson being aging or flowery at the time. Instead, he's got a sharp edge and command of the keys that's amazing – and which almost seems to have a bit more bite than usual in this concert setting.
The ultimate blindfold test, this disc contains recorded performances of Beethoven's "Archduke" Piano Trio as well as his Variations on "Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu," but nowhere does it say who the performers are. This is, of course, unacceptable. While it is acceptable to buy a recording of a performance, it is unacceptable not to attribute the performers.
The Fresh Sound label is one of the major reissue record companies, also releasing new music on their Fresh Sound New Talent subsidiary. Fresh Sound, under the direction of the tireless Jordi Pujol, has repackaged and reissued a great deal of very valuable jazz from the 1950s and early 1960s. In addition to the major names, some of their most intriguing sets focus on obscure figures from jazz history whose music has been out-of-print for decades.
This is a wonderful, warm-hearted, and effortlessly virtuosic live recording by one of the finest living exponents of pre-bop small-ensemble jazz. With pianist Ray Kennedy and bassist Martin Pizzarelli (and on two songs joined by vocalist Grover Kemble), singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli runs through a generally lightweight but thoroughly charming set of standards, homages, funny stories, and the occasional original tune; the fast tunes are light and frothy, the ballads smooth and gentle, and even the moments that are less than utterly inspired work together with the album's highlights to create a very satisfying whole…
If you're looking for a recording of Locatelli's complete Opus 8 Violin Sonatas, look no further. These 1994 recordings by the aptly named Locatelli Trio are not only superbly played and beautifully recorded, they have the singular virtue of being the only available recordings of the works. That's alright: with violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch at the helm, they are uniformly first-rate performances. Wallfisch is herself a superior period instrument player who balances the virtuoso demands of the music with its undeniable melodic charm and harmonic invention, and she leads cellist Richard Tunnicliffe and harpsichordist Paul Nicholson in performances that amaze as well as delight the listener. Furthermore, when the trio becomes a quartet with the addition of violinist Rachel Isserlis for the final four sonatas for two violins and continuo, the best gets even better through the brilliant interplay of two skilled soloists. For lovers of virtuoso violin music of the Italian High Baroque, this is as good as it gets. Hyperion's sound is crisp but warm, detailed but deep.