Sunday, August 22, 2010

Johnny Griffin - A Night In Tunisia (Freedom)

The companion set to this one, You Leave Me Breathless, surfaced here awhile back. I've search for this for years, finding the odd track showing up on another album, and even an edited version of one track. Here's the full album in it's original needle-drop glory. J-Griff was a badass among the badest, and nowhere is that more evident than here.

  1. All The Things You Are
  2. A Night In Tunisia
  3. Exactly Like You
  4. Indiana
  5. Rhythm-a-ning
Johnny Griffin - tenor sax
Kenny Drew - piano
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen
- bass
Albert Heath - drums

Recorded March 30/31 in Copenhagen

Freedom 147.308

Charles McPherson - New Horizons

If you're a hardcore be-bopper, this probably won't suit your fancy quite as well as Live In Tokyo, but if you're a child of that 70s period of Jazz, this is about as good as it gets. Tucker is in top form as a sideman (his strongest role, IMHO) and McBee is unconscious, as usual. This is a great period for McBee, and while maybe a step past prime for Freddie Waits, he's still burning and this is a very solid, straight ahead Jazz date during a period when the rhodes and crossover were favored. McPherson is sort of the forgotten soldier -- no one seems to discuss him much and he's always been under recorded. There are no anthems here, and I won't use the word 'clinic' to describe this music because there is nothing clinical about it (a fault much of the 70s/80s Jazz seems to suffer from). This is honest, productive, interesting and enjoyable Jazz, the way it was intended to be.

  1. Promise
  2. I'll Never Stop Loving You
  3. Night Eyes
  4. Horizons
  5. Samba D'Orfeo
  6. Dee Blues

Charles McPherson - alto sax
Mickey Tucker - piano
Cecil McBee - bass
Freddie Waits - drums

Recorded September 28, 1977

Xanadu 149

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Charles McPherson - Live In Tokyo

FYI: File has been fixed and re-upped.

This is another Xanadu, with similar personnel to the Billy Mitchell date. Again, simple, grooving Jazz. It's hard to go wrong with Barry Harris. There is no new ground broken, but this swings impeccably and there isn't a wasted moment on the date.

  1. Tokyo Blue
  2. East of the Sun
  3. Desafinado
  4. Orient Express
  5. These Foolish Things
  6. Bouncing With Bud

Charles McPherson - alto sax
Barry Harris - piano
Sam Jones - bass
Leroy Williams - drums

Recorded April 14, 1976

Xanadu 131

Billy Mitchell - The Colossus of Detroit

The sound on this always killed it for me, but my father absolutely loves this record. He's searched in vain for it on CD for years. It's been on my list to digitize, and now, I'm in that mode, so here it be. Killer lineup, and simply a solid Jazz record, in spite of the sound. Can't understand why this stuff hasn't seen the light of day, yet. Micheal Cuscuna, where are you? Track 5 is an understated duet with Harris, but track 6 is absolutely BURNIN'!!!

  1. Recorda-me
  2. I Had The Craziest Dream
  3. I Should Care
  4. Unforgettable
  5. How Am I To Know?
  6. Be My Guest
Billy Mitchell - tenor sax
Barry Harris - piano
Sam Jones - bass
Walter Bolden - drums

Recorded April 18, 1978

Xanadu 158

More Xanadus to come shortly

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Max Roach - Chattahoochee Red

FIXED: The original zip file had an issue with the final track.

And how about this one? Where the hell are you on this one, Columbia? I got this as a cut-out when I was in junior high. Off all the records this band produced, this remains my favorite. Pope is in top form and Max is just, well, Max. Cecil Bridgewater is warm and inviting throughout, even in the many fiery moments, and Calvin Hill has to be one of the all-time under-appreciated bassists. Great tunes, unique arrangements, and the Max factor make this one a must have.

This is also worthwhile for the history lesson associated with the title. During the early 80s, the city of Atlanta, Georgia, was terrorized by the Atlanta Child Murders. Many of the bodies were recovered from the Chattahoochee River, and the title refers to the bloodshed of the victims. After over a year of these vicious serial killings, the police arrested Wayne Williams for the murders. There has been much made (albeit quietly) about his being wrongfully accused, but nothing concrete has ever been released in the national media. I remember it being an issue at the time (even here in the north) because no one could believe that the perpetrator of the heinous crimes could be black. I saw (and still see) it differently. Under the circumstances, I'm not sure how a white person could have gotten away with the continued activities given the heightened sensitivity of the community -- it almost HAD to be a black person. This seems to be a forgotten piece of American history (probably everywhere but Atlanta), and really should not be, because it was a sinister tragedy. Kudos for Max for using his voice to address it.

  1. The Dream/It's Time
  2. I Remember Clifford
  3. Reach For It
  4. Lonesome Lover
  5. Wefé (We-Fay)
  6. Six Bits Blues
  7. 'Round Midnight
  8. Red River Road
  9. Giant Steps
  10. Chattahoochee Red
Cecil Bridgewater - trumpet, flugelhorn
Odean Pope - tenor sax, alto flute, oboe
Calvin Hill - bass
Max Roach - drums
Walter Bishop, Jr. - piano (5)

Released 1981

Columbia FC 37376

Charles Lloyd - Montreux 82

This is simply a fantastic album, and I cannot fathom why it has not be issued on CD, particularly with Lloyd's recent acceptance as an elder statesman. I've searched for years, and finally gave up. I have a nice turntable, but I damaged the stylus moving it last year. Given that I only have a handful of records I need to digitize, I put off replacing it. Well, I started shopping for a USB turntable, and quickly realized that the cost was going to be close to what it would cost to replace my cartridge. As it happens, that was not entirely true, but I was able to find a 'good enough' replacement for about 1/3 the cost thanks to some help from the good folks at Needle Doctor.

This album may contain one of my all-time favorite versions of Bill Evans' Very Early. While not essential, the whole date cooks, and Lloyd is in excellent form.

  1. Introduction
  2. Imke (The Call)
  3. Wind in the Trees
  4. Very Early
  5. Michel
  6. Forest Flower (Sunrise/Sunset)
Charles Lloyd - tenor sax
Michel Petrucciani - piano
Palle Danielsson - bass
Son Ship Theus - drums

Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival, July, 1982

Elektra/Musician 60220-1

Monday, August 16, 2010

Groove Holmes - Good Vibrations (Muse 5167)

This one showed up awhile back at the Muse blog, but the link has been dead for awhile. I requested a re-up, but I don't think it's an album in high demand, so folks aren't checking the thread. Well, between this and the one above, I decided to get my setup working, and this is the result: a no-frills, good quality, 320 KBPS rip. Sure wish somebody would reissue the originals from master.

  1. Good Vibrations
  2. Do It To It
  3. Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
  4. My One And Only Love
  5. Hackensack
Groove Holmes - organ
Houston Person - tenor sax
Bob DeVos - guitar
Idris Muhammed - drums
Buddy Caldwell - congas

Recorded 12/19/1977
Englewood Cliffs, NJ by Rudy Van Gelder

MR 5167

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Some posts to help out the Freedom Records blog

I just discovered this blog and he was missing some things I have, so I decided to do something about it. These are not the greatest quality, but they're good enough for you to decide to buy them, which I'm certain you will because these are all great music.

First, we have Randy Weston's CARNIVAL. If you need any incentive, how about Billy Harper on tenor and flute, and Don Moye on drums!?!? Add in some Weston tunes as well as a classic Guy Warren tune, and this is a must have. These guys are still kicking, breathing and playing, so please, buy this commercially -- it IS available.

Randy Weston piano
Billy Harper sax
Don Moye
Steve Berrios
William Allen

1 Carnival (Weston)
2 Introduction (Weston)
3 Tribute to Duke Ellington (Weston)
4 Introduction (Weston)
5 Mystery of Love (Warren)

Since we're talking about Randy Weston, let's also add in Berkshire Blues, a trio date

Randy Weston piano
Vishnu Bill Wood bass (except 4, 5, 6, 7)
Lennie McBrowne drums (except 4, 5, 6, 7)

1 Three Blind Mice (traditional arr. Weston)
2 Perdido
(Juan Tizol)
3 Purple Gazelle (D.Ellington)
4 Berkshire Blues (Weston)
Lagos (Weston)
Sweet Meat (Weston)
7 Ifran

and Blues To Africa, a solo set.

Randy Weston piano

1 African Village/Bedford Stuyvesant (Weston)
2 Tangier Bay
3 Blues to Africa
4 Kasbah Kids
5 Uhuru Kwanza
6 The Call
7 Kucheza Blues
8 Sahel

Good luck finding this one. I'm not sure where I uncovered it, but the tune Things That Go Bump In The Night once scared me out of my on apartment for the evening... no kidding. Mal Waldron is one of the most under appreciated cats in the history of the music. The fact that Signals is unavailable just proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Mal Waldron, solo piano

And finally, Archie Shepp's Montreaux Two. This contains the definitive version of Along Came Betty, in my opinion.

Archie Shepp, tenor & soprano sax
Charles Majid Greenlee, trombone
Dave Burrell, piano
Cameron Brown, bass
Beaver Harris, drums

1. Steam
2. Along Came Betty
3. Blues For Donald Duck