Nov 26, 2010

Reverie - Reverie

barabara sounds sez:
I don't know much about this band or this album, other than what's here in front of me: a limited edition reissue of the band's first album which originally came out in 1980.
It appears they were together for a dozen years or so, made 3 or 4 albums and gigged solidly without making too much impact (except in Philly, where apparently they were 'legendary')...

On some of these tracks you can tell they spent plenty of time listening to Weather Report. And interestingly, bassist Gerald Veasley went on to play with the Zawinul Syndicate for some seven years (also with Grover Washington and plenty others). None of the other band members seem to have made it big, but they certainly had pretty fine chops. Whether or not you like the music will depend on what your take is on fusion/electro jazz.

Mark Knox keyboards; Ed Yellen sax; Gerald Veasley bass; Jim Miller drums; also Stan Slatter trumpet, flugelhorn, flute; Larry Coryell guitar (track 4)

There's some footage of Reverie in action here and here and here.
Also a nice number featuring Veasley with the Joe Zawinul Syndicate here...
And I just noticed that he's also featured on a couple of Odean Pope albums here and here, posted recently by PostMiles.

Nov 20, 2010

Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra - Ten Gallon Shuffle

barabara sounds sez:
I have to say I usually spend more time looking at cowgirls than I do listening to big bands... But I definitely make an exception with Toshiko's adventures with Lew Tabackin. She handled all the arrangements; he was the featured soloist on flute and sax. And they made the kind of joyful sound I still enjoy (like a guilty secret)...
Little known factoid: this album has its own Facebook page.

Dusty sez:
A hokey title and cover, but a great little record — a lesser-known gem from the Toshiko Akioshi big band, recorded in the mid 80s for Japanese release! Toshiko's still working strongly with reedman Lew Tabackin here — and as always, the sound of the reeds really make the record — not only on the bold ensemble passages, but also on the snakey, well-crafted solos that slide out of the fuller arrangements — letting Lew, Frank Wess and Jim Snidero contribute some really great work on the longer tracks. Titles include "Ten Gallon Shuffle", "Fading Beauty", "Blue Dream", and "Happy Hoofer" — and in case you're wondering, that's a young Monday Michiru on the cover!

Toshiko Akiyoshi: arranger, piano; Lew Tabackin: flute, tenor sax; Joe Mosella: trumpet; John Eckert: trumpet; Brian Lynch: trumpet; Chris Albert: trumpet; Hart Smith: trombone; Chris Seiter trombone; Conrad Herwig: trombone; Phil Teele: bass trombone; Frank Wess alto sax, flute, soprano sax; Jim Snidero alto sax, clarinet, flute; Walt Weiskopf: clarinet, soprano sax, tenor sax; Ed Xiques baritone sax, bass clarinet, soprano sax; Mike Forminek bass; Scott Robinson drums

Nov 9, 2010

Hino-Kikuchi Quartet - Counter Current

barabara sounds sez:
Two of the finest jazzmen from Japan's golden age of modal/fusion/free exploration. And they're still laying it down. Unlike some of their contemporaries (Sadao W. springs to mind immediately), these guys still have plenty to say. This album was one of two they cut in 2007 — this one a quintet format; the other (Edges) a duo. Both are now hard to lay hands on even here, and can cost a pretty penny in the rest of the world.

Counter Current brings the pair together with a multi-generational trio to explore another set of originals, this time almost exclusively by Kikuchi. The effect is that of strangers on a long train ride trying to find out what they have in common but amiably engaging in disagreements along the way. Hino is more muted, allowing more room for the cultured musings of Michael Attias' alto (who also contributes one piece). And Kikuchi forms part of a remarkably porous rhythm section, Thomas Morgan's Charlie Haden-esque bass gently overlaying Paul Motian's drums, like a bullfrog jumping languidly from lily pad to lily pad on a still pond. Though the instrumentation is typically modern, the feeling is not overly cerebral. Counter Current, like Edges, is an apt name for this beguiling document.


J.L.L. (ver.1); Sky Over Rain Forest; Blue in Yellow (for Mark Rothko); Misery on the Hudson; Making the Elephant Run (ver. 1); Making the Elephant Run (ver. 2); J.L.L. (ver.2).


Terumasa Hino: trumpet; Masabumi Kikuchi: piano; Michael Attias: alto sax; Thomas Morgan; bass; Paul Motian: drums.

For earlier work by these two guys, head over to the inestimable Orgy in Rhythm, where you will find Bacoso has posted a good number of their classic older albums.

And Katonah recently posted another, the brilliant Wishes, at his equally excellent Private Press.

Essential listening!

Nov 2, 2010

Tubby Hayes - Return Visit

barabara sounds sez:
Tubby Hayes from 1962... He's in NYC, been playing gigs down in the Village, and he goes into the studio with a scratch group of musicians, most of whom have never heard of him before.
There's Walter Bishop Jr. on piano — he's the only one who's ever actually played with Tubby; the rhythm section is Sam Jones and Louis Hayes; on tenor there's James Moody (for contractual reasons he goes by the unimaginative alias of 'Jimmy Gloomy'); and then there's a reed player who has an array of horns with improbably names, many of which he plays at once — yup, Roland Kirk. Not bad for a tag team...
It doesn't take them long to gell and to jam. Produced by Quincy Jones, it's a great date. Tubby sounds commanding on vibes as well as his usual sax, and he's definitely not overawed by the company. Enjoy.

AMG (Yanow) sez:
One of Britain’s top jazz musicians of the 1950s and ’60s, Tubby Hayes was a fine hard bop stylist on tenor and occasionally vibes and flute. A professional at 15, Hayes... co-led the Jazz Couriers with Ronnie Scott (1957-59), and appeared in the U.S. a few times during 1961-65. He headed his own big band in London, sat in with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra in 1964, and was featured at many European festivals. Heart trouble forced him out of action during 1969-1971, and caused his premature death. Tubby Hayes led sessions for Tempo (1955-1959), London, Jazzland (1959), Fontana, Epic (a 1961 date with Clark Terry and Horace Parlan), Smash (a 1962 album which matched him with James Moody and Roland Kirk), 77, Spotlite, and Mole.

David Baxter sez:
A Saturday morning in June 1962 and Tubby Hayes arrives at the recording studio on West 48th Street in New York City... Introductions are made. One member wonders who Tubby Hayes is, asks if he's a rock 'n' roll singer... Producer Quincy Jones suggests maybe they get started. But what to play? They don't have a play list, have never rehearsed. Apart from pianist Walter Bishop Jnr, Tubbs has never met any of them. Quincy suggests they warm up with a blues, and they choose `Stitt's Tune`, the theme of Tubb's old band The Jazz Couriers — Tubbs and Gloomy on tenor sax, Roland Kirk providing counter melody on manzello and stritch, his customary hybrid horns.
Next it's a minor blues - a Kirk original 'I See With My Third "I"', then a ballad medley, including 'Alone Together,' one of Tubbs' favourites. Next Tubbs switches to vibes for 'Afternoon In Paris,' with solos from Kirk and Gloomy on tenors and Bishop on piano, and an unrehearsed coda from one-man brass section Kirk on tenor, manzello and stritch. They round off the session with another Kirk original 'Lady "E"', with Tubbs still on vibes and Kirk on flute.
And then they're through. Just time for bassist and drummer Sam Jones and Louis Hayes to get to Birdland and Kirk to the Five Spot for their first sets, and for Tubbs to return to the UK. In the space of just a few short hours they've recorded an exciting and memorable jazz album. That's how it was and them were the days.

Tubby Hayes tenor sax, vibes; Roland Kirk tenor sax, manzello, flute, nose flute, stritch; Jimmy Gloomy tenor sax, flute; Walter Bishop Jr. piano; Sam Jones bass; Louis Hayes drums

1. Afternoon In Paris 5:46; 2. I See My Third "I" 9:27; 3. Lady "E" 3:15; 4. Stitt's Tune 9:51; 5. Medley: If I Had You; Alone Together; For Heaven's Sake 7:24

Want to get more Tubby?

There's plenty of early Tubby Hayes — plus lots more — over at BritJazz