Jun 06

Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes – Soul Message (1965/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 34:37 minutes | 371 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: August 3, 1965 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Remastered: 2006, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Many Eastern and Midwestern musicians helped sustain the West Coast jazz scene in the ’50s and ’60s, but the only one among them who made an impact in Southern California on Hammond organ was New Jersey native Richard “Groove” Holmes. This was Holmes’s first recording for Prestige, and it both confirmed his status as one of the B-3’s leading practitioners and elevated his profile with the crossover success of “Misty.” Armed with a talented and totally sympathetic rhythm section, a program that emphasized jazz classics (including the first cover version of Horace Silver’s “Song for My Father”) plus two infectious originals, and a unique sound that created excitement without flamboyance and allowed the brilliant bass lines created by his skillful pedal work to shine through with clarity, Holmes turned Soul Message into the signature album of his celebrated career.

Organist Richard “Groove” Holmes hit upon a successful formula on this Prestige session (reissued on CD in the OJC series), mixing together boogaloo rhythms with emotional solos. His double-time version of “Misty” became a big hit, and the other selections, including Horace Silver’s “Song for My Father” and a pair of soulful originals, are in a similar vein. The lone ballad of the set (“The Things We Did Last Summer”) is a fine change of pace. With the assistance of guitarist Gene Edwards and drummer Jimmie Smith, Groove Holmes shows that it is possible to create music that is both worthwhile and commercially successful. –AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

1. Groove’s Groove 07:07
2. Dahoud 05:41
3. Misty 06:04
4. Song For My Father 06:09
5. The Things We Did Last Summer 06:07
6. Soul Message 03:29

Richard “Groove” Holmes, organ
Gene Edwards, guitar
Jimmie Smith, drums

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Jun 06

Roland Kirk with Jack McDuff – Kirk’s Work (1961/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 32:59 minutes | 404 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: July 11, 1961 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Remastered: 2007, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Roland Kirk, the amazing one-man saxophone section and sublime soloist, had yet to add “Rahsaan” to his name when he recorded his first album for Prestige in 1961. It wasn’t yet quite clear to many, even people at the center of the jazz community, that Kirk’s gifts went considerably beyond the ability to play three horns at once.

Gradually, it began to dawn on one and all that the man’s almost superhuman energy and dedication were matched by musicianship based as firmly in tradition as in innovation. Eventually, it became possible to accept as parts of Kirk’s kaleidoscopic expression those odd instruments the manzello and the strich, not to mention the nose flute and kirkbam that he added later. And what a tenor saxophonist. Kirk’s Work is a milestone in the brief, brilliant career of a major artist.

Kirk’s Work, Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s third long-player, teams him up with organist “Brother” Jack McDuff for Kirk’s most soulful post-bop set to date. His unorthodox performance style incorporates the polyphonies of a tenor sax, flute, manzello, and stritch. (The latter instrument is Kirk’s own modification of a second-generation B-flat soprano sax.) This contributes to the unique sonic textures and overtones Kirk creates when playing two — and often three — of those lead instruments simultaneously. The loose and soulful nature of McDuff’s Hammond organ lends itself to the swinging R&B vibe pervasive throughout the album. Completing the quartet is Joe Benjamin (bass) and Art Taylor (drums), both veteran jazzmen in their own right. They lend their expertise as well as innate sense of rhythm to the up-tempo “revival meetin’” rendition of Sammy Kahn’s “Makin’ Whoopee” as well as the ominous swing of the title track. This is also an ideal showcase for Benjamin and Taylor’s running counterpoint that glides throughout — supporting soloists Kirk and McDuff. Of the four original Kirk compositions, “Doin’ the Sixty-Eight” is arguably the strongest. The percussive rhythms weave a hypnotic Latin groove over which Kirk and McDuff both snake some highly cerebral solos. The stellar interpretation of “Skater’s Waltz” combines a well-known traditional melody with some of the most aggressive interaction from the quartet. The tune is put through its paces and the tenor sax/Hammond organ leads bounce around like a game of sonic ping pong. The more aggressive performance style that Kirk would later incorporate definitely shows signs of development on Kirk’s Work. While certainly not the best in his catalog, it is a touchstone album that captures the early soulful Rahsaan Roland Kirk. –AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer


1. Three For Dizzy 5:11
2. Makin’ Whoopee 5:07
3. Funk Underneath 6:15
4. Kirk’s Work 3:54
5. Doin’ The Sixty-Eight 4:20
6. Too Late Now 3:52
7. Skaters Waltz 4:23

Roland Kirk, tenor saxophone, manzello, strich, flute, siren
Jack McDuff, Hammond organ
Joe Benjamin, bass
Arthur Taylor, drums

Recording and mastering engineer: Rudy Van Geld

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Jun 06

Ralph Alessi – Baida (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 58:41 minutes | 1,04 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | ©  ECM

Baida is Ralph Alessi’s ECM debut as a bandleader. Renowned as a musician’s musician, the trumpeter has assembled a powerhouse lineup of pianist Jason Moran, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits.

What Mr. Alessi prizes in music is not the impeccable but the ineffable: the thrill of seeking but not knowing.

1. Baida 05:27
2. Chuck Barris 07:39
3. Gobble Goblins 04:08
4. In-Flight Entertainment 04:39
5. Sanity 04:49
6. Maria Lydia 05:50
7. Shank 04:47
8. I Go, You Go 06:16
9. Throwing Like a Girl 05:57
10. 11/1/10 06:12
11. Baida (Reprise) 03:32

Ralph Alessi, trumpet
Jason Moran, piano
Drew Gress, double-bass
Nasheet Waits, drums

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Jun 05

Oliver Nelson Sextet – Screamin’ The Blues (Rudy Van Gelder Remaster) (1960/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 39:54 minutes | 498 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: May 17, 1960 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Remastered: 2006, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Posterity remembers Oliver Nelson (1932-1975) primarily as an arranger/conductor. When he first began to attract attention with a series of albums for Prestige and its subsidiaries, however, Nelson was hailed as a versatile leader of small groups and a composer/instrumentalist who could refresh the music’s traditional verities while also looking ahead. There is no better showcase for these skills among his initial sessions than Screamin’ the Blues, a rousing set of funky modernism interpreted by a sextet of players who shared Nelson’s allegiance to both virtuosity and vision. The pairing of saxophonist Eric Dolphy with Nelson was particularly inspired as both men were adept on more than one instrument, and allowed this sextet to create an uncommon diversity of colors. Nelson and Dolphy would reunite a year later on both the classic Blues and the Abstract Truth and (with the band heard here minus trumpeter Richard Williams) on the looser yet intense Straight Ahead.

1. Screamin’ The Blues 11:00
2. March On, March On 04:59
3. The Drive 05:49
4. The Meetin’ 06:43
5. Three Seconds 06:25
6. Alto-Itis 04:58

Oliver Nelson, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Richard Williams, trumpet
Richard Wyands, piano
George Duvivier, upright bass
Roy Haynes, drums

Produced by Esmond Edwards
Rudy Van Gelder, engineer

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Jun 05

Omer Avital – Abutbul Music (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:27:19 minutes | 1,79 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Digital Booklet | © Jazz Village
Recorded: Midilive Studios, Villetaneuse, France, on November 8th and 9th, 2015.

Born in Israel to a Moroccan father and a Yemenite mother, now living in the U.S., the bassist, composer, bandleader, Omer Avital, is a major force in the New York music scene for over twenty years. Avital’s genre-defying ensembles are pushing the boundaries of jazz expression with swing and spiritual sustenance in equal measure. On this new album, recorded in Paris, Avital delivers a strong statement, with a powerful sound, joyful rhythms and oriental melodies that draw on gospel and soul. Avital is continually evolving contemporary jazz, rightly being called one of the most unique musicians of his generation.

Thank you to Yonathan Avishai, Asaf Yuria, Alexander Levin and Ofri Nehemya for their beautiful and soulful playing on this album! Thank you to Daniel Freedman, Joel Frahm, Greg Tardy, Johnathan Blake and Ali Jackson for their musical contributions to this music, to Pini Shavit, Frédéric Gluzman and Pascal Bussy for contributing to the making of this album, and to my beloved wife and son – Liat and Zohar Avital.
Muhammad’s Market is written for and dedicated to my great friend and master jazz musician, Ali Muhammad Jackson Jr. Ramat Gan is dedicated to my beloved mother, Dalia (Meoded) Avital, who was born and raised in the city of Ramat Gan, Israel. New Yemenite Song is dedicated to my beloved father-in-law, Yechiel Yeminy, with whom I share the love and admiration for our traditional Yemenite music. –Omer Avital

1. Muhammad’s Market 07:00
2. Three Four 08:35
3. Afrik 08:21
4. New Yemenite Song 10:23
5. Bed-Stuy 07:38
6. Bass Hijaz (intro to Ramat Gan) 04:32
7. Ramat gan 07:45
8. Ayalat Hen 08:55
9. Eser (Middle Eastern Funk) 06:58
10. Zohar Smiles 05:19
11. Dr. Yon 05:16
12. Me and You Tonight 06:36

Omer Avital, double bass
Yonathan Avishai, piano
Asaf Yuria, tenor and soprano saxophones
Alexander Levin, tenor saxophone
Ofri Nehemya, drums

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Jun 05

Okinero – Charity Cafe (2005/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:55:40 minutes | 1,13 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © Alfa Music


1. Dodecafunk: 8:07
– Diagonale quattro
– Dodecafunk
– Data morbida
– Stop Benny
2. Com-pat 3:09
3. Tre Quarti Latino: 8:19
– Tre quarti latino
– Session Wood
– Idea di Velluto
4. Straniera 5:36
5. Per Silvia 3:42
6. Beat-rice 2:52
7. Latin Nature 4:06
8. Ocho Rios 3:51
9. I’m Calling You 3:30
10. Interferenze: 12:31
– Charity Samba
– Marco’s time
– Strablues
– Sette quarti
– Gae in latin

Mario Di Marco, clarinet
Giancarlo Evangelisti, guitar
Giulio Ceccacci, bass
Carmine Chiappettam drums
Francesco Leonardi, flute (#1,3,5)

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Jun 04

Pat Martino – El Hombre (1967/2014) 
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 47:48 minutes | 526 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: May 1, 1967 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Remastered: 2006, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Legendary six-string master Pat Martino’s debut album, El Hombre, finds the then-22-year-old flashing his distinctive soul-jazz chops in first date as a leader. Accompanied by organist Trudy Pitts, flutist Danny Turner, drummer Mitch Fine, and both Abdu Johnson and Vance Anderson on percussion, Martino’s runs alternatingly dance over Latin-tinged rhythms and groove in the pocket with classic, soulful flavor. Recorded May 1, 1967 by Rudy Van Gelder at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, El Hombre stands the test of time as an absolute best-of-genre, guitar soul-jazz workout.

1. Waltz For Geri 06:23
2. Once I Loved 05:46
3. El Hombre 05:59
4. Cisco 04:31
5. One For Rose 04:58
6. A Blues For Mickey-O 08:04
7. Just Friends 05:52
8. Song For My Mother 06:15
Pat Martino, guitar
Danny Turner, flute
Trudy Pitts, organ
Mitch Fine, drums
Vance Anderson, bongos
Abdu Johnson, congas

Cal Lampley – producer
Rudy Van Gelder – engineer

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Jun 04

Sam Rivers – Contrasts (1980/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 43:35 minutes | 860 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Digital booklet | © ECM
Recorded: December 1979 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg

Dave Holland always described Sam Rivers’ groups as his finishing school. It was Sam who instructed him to play “all the music” – inside, outside, atonal, swing, blues, and all the hues of the jazz and chamber music traditions. By the time of Contrasts, Rivers and Holland had been working together consistently for seven years (with Dave’s Conference of the Birds at the start of the story), a powerhouse combination of multi-reeds and double bass. Of the drummers who passed through the line-up, Thurman Barker was one of the most creative, rippling across drum kit and marimba. Young trombone innovator George Lewis had already worked with Holland and Barker in Anthony Braxton groups. For Contrasts everyone was fired up and ready to play.

Tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers (also heard on soprano and flute) teams up in a quartet with trombonist George Lewis, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Thurman Barker (doubling on marimba) for a date that certainly defies the stereotype of a typical ECM session. The seven Rivers originals, although sometimes having colorful melodies, are quite complex. However, the intriguing and very alert interplay between the brilliant musicians makes the music seem fairly logical and worth exploring by adventurous listeners. ~~AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

1. Circles 04:18
2. Zip 04:45
3. Solace 06:57
4. Verve 07:12
5. Dazzle 09:16
6. Images 03:55
7. Lines 07:12

Sam Rivers, soprano and tenor saxophones, flute
George Lewis, trombone
Dave Holland, bass
Thurman Barker, drums, marimba

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Jun 04

Sam Rivers – Fuchsia Swing Song (1965/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 38:57 minutes | 1,47 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © 2xHD
Recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 11, 1964

Saxophonist Sam Rivers’ debut album on Blue Note Records, originally released in 1964.

Recorded in 1964 immediately after leaving the Miles Davis Quintet, Sam Rivers’ Fuchsia Swing Song is one of the more auspicious debuts the label released in the mid-’60s. Rivers was a seasoned session player (his excellent work on Larry Young’s Into Somethin’ is a case in point), and a former member of Herb Pomeroy’s Big Band before he went out with Davis. By the time of his debut, Rivers had been deep under the influence of Coltrane and Coleman, but wasn’t willing to give up the blues. Hence the sound on Fuchsia Swing Song is that of an artist at once self-assured and in transition. Using a rhythm section that included Tony Williams (whose Life Time he had guested on), pianist Jaki Byard, and bassist Ron Carter, Rivers took the hard bop and blues of his roots and poured them through the avant-garde collander. The title, opening track is a case in point. Rivers opens with an angular figure that is quickly translated by the band into sweeping, bopping blues. Rivers legato is lightning quick and his phrasing touches upon Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Coleman, and Coltrane, but his embouchure is his own. He strikes the balance and then takes off on both sides of the aisle. Byard’s builds in minor key, rhythmic figures just behind the tenor. “Downstairs Blues Upstairs” sounds, initially anyway, like it might have come out of the Davis book so deep is its blue root. But courtesy of Byard and Williams, Rivers goes to the left after only four choruses, moving onto the ledge a bit at a time, running knotty arpeggios through the center of the melody and increasingly bending his notes into succeeding intervals while shifting keys and times signatures, but he never goes completely over the ledge. The most difficult cut on the date is “Luminous Monolith,” showcases a swing-like figure introducing the melody. Eight bars in, the syncopation of the rhythm sections begins to stutter step around the time, as Byard makes harmonic adjustments with dense chords for Rivers to play off. This is a highly recommended date. Other than on 1965’s Contours, Rivers never played quite like this again. ~~ AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

1 Fuchsia Swing Song 6:03
2 Downstairs Blues Upstairs 5:33
3 Cyclic Episode 6:58
4 Luminous Monolith 6:32
5 Beatrice 6:14
6 Ellipsis 7:43

Sam Rivers, tenor sax
Jaki Byard, piano
Ron Carter, bass
Tony Williams, drums

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Jun 03

Jackie McLean – 4, 5 And 6 (Rudy Van Gelder Remaster) (1956/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 45:22 minutes | 542 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: July 13 (#1-3) & 20 (others), 1956 at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ
Remastered: 2006, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

This album of ballads and burners features sax man Jackie McLean in various small-group combinations. He is joined on three numbers by Hank Mobley and on two numbers by Donald Byrd (one of those numbers also including Mobley). The other three cuts are jazz quartets. Thus, the album title refers to the three personnel configurations used over the two recording dates.

This was McLean’s third album as leader and second for Prestige. The LP at the time helped to establish McLean on the jazz scene. Writing in the original notes, Ira Gitler said, “Jackie McLean is musically coming of age. His playing, out of Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, has become a personalized, more individual voice in 1956 and he has not lost any of the basic emotion, swinging qualities that help his style live up to the second syllable of his last name so well.”

In 1956 Jackie McLean was only beginning to assert himself as a true individualist on the alto saxophone, exploring the lime-flavored microtones of his instrument that purists or the misinformed perceived as being off-key or out of tune. 4, 5 and 6 presents McLean’s quartet on half the date, and tunes with an expanded quintet, and one sextet track — thus the title. Mal Waldron, himself an unconventional pianist willing to explore different sizings and shadings of progressive jazz, is a wonderful complement for McLean’s notions, with bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor the impervious team everyone wanted for his rhythm section at the time. The quartet versions of “Sentimental Journey,” “Why Was I Born?,” and “When I Fall in Love” range from totally bluesy, to hard bop ribald, to pensive and hopeful, respectively. These are three great examples of McLean attempting to make the tunes his own, adding a flattened, self-effaced, almost grainy-faced texture to the music without concern for the perfectness of the melody. Donald Byrd joins the fray on his easygoing bopper “Contour,” where complex is made simple and enjoyable, while Hank Mobley puts his tenor sax to the test on the lone and lengthy sextet track, a rousing version of Charlie Parker’s risk-laden “Confirmation.” It’s Waldron’s haunting ballad “Abstraction,” with Byrd and McLean’s quick replies, faint and dour, that somewhat illuminates the darker side. As a stand-alone recording, 4, 5 and 6 does not break barriers, but does foreshadow the future of McLean as an innovative musician in an all-too-purist mainstream jazz world. ~~ AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos

1. Sentimental Journey 9:57
2. Why Was I Born? 5:13
3. Contour 4:58
4. Confirmation 11:25
5. When I Fall In Love 5:32
6. Abstraction 8:00

Jackie McLean, alto sax
Hank Mobley, tenor sax (#4)
Donald Byrd, trumpet (#3,4,6)
Mal Waldron, piano
Doug Watkins, bass
Art Taylor, drums

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