Aug 31, 2012

Jazz Supreme – Modal Blue Sketches

barabara sounds sez:  
Jazz Supreme Numero Cinco, and it's yet another cracker – another belting line-up in the tried-and-true vein. It starts out like it means business with the one and only Dave Brubeck, moving on into Duke Pearson and then the wonderful Harold McNair. Then come the heavy hitters: Wayne Shorter, Leon Thomas and Mingus, via Ray Russell and Ahmad Jamal, before sealing the deal with Paul Horn, Dave Pike and Freddie's version of Little Sunflower.

By this stage in the series you could argue there is only one way to go, and compiler Toru Hashimoto is maybe playing it safe in some respects. But, bottom line, there are no no-nos! OK, the world can exist very readily without soft piano trio renderings of Boz Scaggs. But Louis van Dijk really is not a problem. And at least there's no Elliott Smith… 

So here we reach the end of the Jazz Supreme line. Yes, there were actually six in the series. But someone appears to have borrowed/lifted the sixth and final album from me. So, unless someone steps forward and kindly contributes the last one – this is the one we're missing – then that's it.

01. Dave Brubeck – Unsquare dance
02. Duke Pearson – The fakir
03. Harold McNair – The hipster
04. Lee Konitz – FIve, four and three
05. Wayne Shorter – Mahjong
06. Dave Grusin – Inez 
07. Leon Thomas – The Creator has a master plan (Peace)  
08. Ray Rusell Quartet – Footprints 
09. Ahmad Jamal – MASH theme (Suicide is pointless) 
10. Charles Mingus – Better git it in your soul
11. The Paul Horn Quintet  – Abstraction
12. The Dave Pike Quartet – Why not
13. Freddie Hubbard – Little sunflower
14. Louis van Dijk Trio – We're all alone

Aug 28, 2012

Jazz Supreme - Spiritual Love Is Everywhere

barabara sounds sez:  
The fourth in the Jazz Supreme series, and it follows pretty closely the template of the previous volume, featuring a succession of heavy-hitting tracks (mostly) from that golden age of 70s spiritual jazz, spiced with a few tasty numbers from the early 60s, and even before that. It kicks off — obviously and appropriately — with Pharoah and barely lets up, with Mike Westbrook and Michael Garrick again added to the mix, closing with the wonderful Bill Evans' Peace Piece.

And, just like last time around, there are also a couple of clunkers thrown in — or at least non-sequiturs. Compiler Toru Hashimoto must have had a serious infatuation with Elliott Smith (or perhaps the record company was leaning on him hard) but he (Smith) just doesn't belong in this company. And why Hashimoto picked just about the one throwaway track from Shepp's entire immense back catalog — personally I find Cal Massey's five-year-old daughter's warbling quite unlistenable — when there are so many other possibilities is hard to understand.

But even so, even so, even so… it's not a bad comp at all. And although jazz heads will know 'em all, it's still nice to hear your old favorites spliced in a new sequence. Spiritual Love IS everywhere, especially if you're taking it with you in your iPod…

01. Pharoah Sanders – Love Is Everywhere
02. Mike Westbrook Concert Band – Love Song No.2
03. Elliott Smith – Waltz #2 (XO)
04. Michael White – The Blessing Song
05. Gary Bartz NTU Troop – I've Known Rivers
06. Stanley Clarke – Unexpected Days 
07. The Michael Garrick Trio – First Born  
08. Dorothy Ashby – Come Live With Me 
09. Ramsey Lewis – Les Fleur 
10. Archie Shepp – Quiet Dawn
11. Yusef Lateef – Brother John
12. Prince Lasha Quintet – Congo Call
13. Paul Gonsalves Quartet – Boom-Jackie-Boom-Chick
14. Bill Evans – Peace Piece

Aug 19, 2012

Jazz Supreme - Modal Waltz-A-Nova

barabara sounds sez:  
Album #3 in the Jazz Supreme series strikes a rather different balance of sounds. This time around there are none of the contemporary club jazz artists (unlike the first two albums). Instead we get a classic selection of tracks by the likes of Roy Haynes, McCoy Tyner, Oliver Nelson, Elvin Jones and — one of the standouts — Walt Dickerson.

Great to have some UK and European jazzers represented in the mix, too. If you like that Roland Kovac track, check out the full album here. There are also a couple of odd ones out: what Pedro Biker and Elliott Smith or their tracks are doing here is hard to fathom. But hey, it's really no problem: if (like me) you don't think they belong, then just program them out of your playlist... 

01. James Clay – Pavanne
02. The Mike Westbrook Concert Band – Waltz (for Joanna) 
03. Oliver Nelson – Patterns
04. Walt Dickerson – Death and taxes
05. The Latin Jazz Quintet – Rip a dip 
06. Roy Haynes – Dorian  
07. McCoy Tyner – Three flowers  
08. Pedro Biker – Wives and lovers  
09. Elvin Jones – Half and half 
10. Mary Lou Williams – It ain't necessarily so
11. Michael Garrick Septet – Ursula
12. Yusef Lateef – Love theme from 'Spartacus' 
13. Roland Kovac Orchester – Blue dance
14. Wolfgang Dauner Quartet – Waltz for a young girl
15. Elliott Smith – Waltz #1

Aug 13, 2012

Jazz Supreme - Spiritual Waltz-A-Nova

barabara sounds sez:  
More supremely jazzy sounds from this great series. This was actually the very first of the excellent Jazz Supreme comps, and it sets the tone perfectly. A brilliant blend of classic and club, drawing from the back catalogs of Strata-East, Black Jazz, Tribe and interspersing them with righteous sounds from more recent times. 

Among my favorites: Abdul Rahim Ibrahim (the former Doug Carn); Dee Dee Bridgewater; and Charles Greenlee (with Archie Shepp of course). And I'm sure I'm not the only person to discover the Pete Jolly Trio through this album. 

01. John Hicks – After the morning 
02. The Ted Vining Trio – Impressions
03. Dee Dee Bridgewater – Little B's poem
04. S.O.L.A.R. – Faith for my mind
05. Hipnosis – Black Forest stomp
06. Two Banks Of Four – One day
07. The Pete Jolly Trio – My favorite things
08. Abdul Rahim Ibrahim – Tropic sons
09. Haki R. Madhubuti And Nation – Children
10. Pharoah Sanders – Moments notice
11. Kindred Spirits Ensemble – Naima
12. Charles Greenlee – Steam
13. The Descendants Of Mike And Phoebe – Coltrane
14. Doug Hammond – Moves
15. Joe Bonner – Soft breezes

Aug 6, 2012

Jazz Supreme – Fender Rhodes Prayer

barabara sounds sez:  
Summer nights, balmy and subtropical. Some spiritual vibes to mellow out once the heat of the day is done... One of my alltime favorite comps, this is a tasty shuffling of classic 70s jazz and newer clubbier sounds – some better known, others a lot more obscure – put out some five years back as part of a series given the exceptionally cool title Jazz Supreme. Cue plenty of exclamation points from the ever-enthusiastic Dusty!

dusty sez: 
A sublime batch of Fender Rhodes grooves – all of them deeply spiritual numbers with a strong jazzy vibe – most from the 70s, but also including a few contemporary cuts as well! There's a totally righteous feel to the whole collection – one that goes even farther than the first volume this great Jazz Supreme series – and the mixture of electric keys with deeper spiritual leanings is completely sublime – a sound first forged in the 70s, and carried through by some current artists who share a very similar vibe! …[this] 18 song collection runs for nearly 80 minutes in all!

01. Build An Ark – Peace with every step / Equipoise
02. Mark De Clive-Lowe ft. Bembe Segue – Naima
03. Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes – Golden dreams
04. Steve Kuhn – The meaning
05. Berardi Jazz Connection – F.D.P
06. Yesterdays New Quintet – Superwoman
07. Kindred Spirits Ensemble – Ja-Mil
08. Weldon Irvine – Feelin' mellow
09. Frank Owens – Freddie's dead
10. Larry Willis – Inner crisis
11. Dave Hubard – T.B.'s delight
12. Karin Krog – The meaning of love
13. moO – Moostic voyage
14. Joe McDuphrey Experience – Solar waves
15. INO hidefumi – Spartacus
16. Carmen Lundy – Afrasia
17. Build An Ark – The blessing song