Jul 10

Jiggs Whigham – Values (1971/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 38:48 minutes | 709 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | © MPS

A major trombonist who is quite versatile, Jiggs Whigham has thus far not received the recognition that he deserves, possibly because he has spent a lot of time performing in Germany.

Born in Cleveland Ohio in 1943, Jiggs Whigham began playing professionally at 17; by the age of 20 he occupied the first trombone chair with Stan Kenton, moved onto Maynard Ferguson’s band, and then to Cologne Germany in 1965 where he immediately found work with Kurt Edelhagen’s popular big band. Jiggs went on to become an international name, both as a player and as an educator – his playing credits read like a telephone book of jazz greats from Cannonball Adderley to Joe Zawinul. The crack quartet on this 1971 album includes the Swiss jazz pioneer, pianist George Gruntz and the quality bass and drums of Austrian great J. A. Rettenbacher and American Tony Inzalaco. Everyone gets a say on the urbane up-tempo Values, as Jiggs electronically divides his playing into two octaves and Gruntz solos on electric keyboard. The group composition Result wends its way down its modal path led by Jigg’s crystal-clear tone – sparkling bass and piano solos on this acoustic gem. The rocking blues Dance of the Magic Eggs has the band back in electric mode with Jigg’s funky synth solo, along with e-bass and e-piano. The band takes a warm, relaxed Brazilian detour on Gemini Samba, and then journeys home to a lush, soulful version of Am I Blue, the song first made famous by Ethel Waters, and covered by everyone from Billy Holiday to Cher. Jiggs is a minor-key modal tour de force, highlighted by Whigham’s passionate synth-enhanced solo. One of Jigg’s best recordings.

01 – Values
Jiggs Whigham – [Values CD1 #02 – Result
03 – Dance of the Magic Eggs
04 – Gemini Samba
05 – Am I Blue
06 – Jiggs

Produced by Willi Fruth. Engineered Rolf Donner.
Recorded in March 1971 at MPS-Tonstudio, Villingen, Germany.

Jiggs Whigham – trombone
George Gruntz – piano, Fender Rhodes
J.A. Rettenbacher – double bass
Tony Inzalaco – drums

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Jul 10

Kristin Berardi – Where Or When (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 56:26 minutes | 521 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | Label: ABC Jazz

Kristin Berardi is acknowledged as one of Australia’s finest jazz singers. Twice winner of the Australian Bell Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Kristin has toured extensively throughout Australia and internationally – and now presents her new album, recorded with a hand-picked band of homegrown musicians.

Where or When is a collection of songs that showcase Berardi’s astonishing vocal talents. The intimacy of the band is heightened by the decision to record without drums, anchoring the album’s sound in Sam Anning’s rich bass.

01 – Where or When
02 – Lucky 13
03 – Suzanne
04 – Born to Be Blue
05 – Brad
06 – Unity Village
07 – Cool Baby
08 – Limbo
09 – Is It Ok for Clowns to Cry?
10 – Young at Heart

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Jul 09

Kenny Clarke – Bohemia After Dark (1955/2012) 
DSD64 2.0 Mono (.dsf) 1 bit/2,82 MHz | Time – 00:41:58 minutes | 1,65 GB | Genre: Jazz
Source: SHM-SACD Nippon Columbia COGY-1040 | © Savoy Records

An excellent hardbop session from the glory days of the Savoy label – easily one of the label’s key 50s classics! Drummer Kenny Clarke’s at the front of the group – but all players are great, and the set features work by Cannonball Adderley on alto, Jerome Richardson on tenor, Donald Byrd on trumpet, Nat Adderley on cornet, Hank Jones or Horace Silver on piano, and Paul Chambers on bass. The Adderley brothers sound especially great – and the young Cannonball has a quality here that’s more soulful and sharp-edged than his work on Mercury – much more in a Prestige blowing session style! Titles include “Late Entry”, “Chasm”, “Bohemia After Dark”, and “Hear Me Talkin To Ya”.

Along with Max Roach, Kenny Clarke was one of the definitive drummers of jazz’s original bebop movement. By the time of the Bohemia After Dark sessions (in June 1955), Clarke was firmly established as a bandleader. He probably didn’t know it at the time, but he also made jazz history here, as Bohemia marks the recording debut of the soulful Adderley brothers — alto sax heavyweight Cannonball and ace cornetist/composer Nat. The brothers also contributed several tunes as well. This session is earnestly swinging bop with very good early career work from pianist Horace Silver and bassist Paul Chambers. —AllMusic Review by Mark Keresman

1. Bohemia After Dark 6:06
2. Chasm 4:18
3. Willow Weep For Me 6:18
4. Late Entry 6:56
5. Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya 3:12
6. With Apologies To Oscar 9:06
7. We’ll Be Together Again 5:42

Kenny Clarke, drums
Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, alto sax (#1-5,7)
Nat Adderley, cornet (#1-2,4-7)
Donald Byrd, trumpet (#1-2,4-5)
Jerome Richardson, tenor sax, flute (#1-2,5,7)
Horace Silver, piano (#1-5,7)
Hank Jones, piano (#6)
Paul Chambers, bass

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Jul 09

John Lee Hooker – It Serves You Right To Suffer (1966/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:37 minutes | 642 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Pono Music |  © Impulse! Records/Geffen Records

Anyone hearing this 1966 album for the first time may well be startled at the unfiltered passion and power of John Lee Hooker in his earlier days; a surprise when comparing Hooker’s later recordings with those made in the 1960s. His unmistakable raw voice has fully matured here, but his incantory style of singing appears markedly finer and more flexible. And then there is the perfect gem of a rhythm group whose sinewy sounds fill the grooves with merciless gravitational force: Barry Galbraith on second guitar, Milt Hinton on bass, William Wells on trombone and David “Panama” Francis on drums.

Given Hooker’s unpredictable timing and piss-poor track record recording with bands, this 1965 one-off session for the jazz label Impulse! would be a recipe for disaster. But with Panama Francis on drums, Milt Hinton on bass, and Barry Galbraith on second guitar, the result is some of the best John Lee Hooker material with a band that you’re likely to come across. The other musicians stay in the pocket, never overplaying or trying to get Hooker to make chord changes he has no intention of making. This record should be played for every artist who records with Hooker nowadays, as it’s a textbook example of how exactly to back the old master. The most surreal moment occurs when William Wells blows some totally cool trombone on Hooker’s version of Berry Gordy’s “Money.” If you run across this one in a pile of 500 other John Lee Hooker CDs, grab it; it’s one of the good ones. ~~ AllMusic Review by Cub Koda

1 Shake It Baby 4:23
2 Country Boy 5:40
3 Bottle Up And Go 2:28
4 You’re Wrong 4:22
5 Sugar Mama 3:16
6 Decoration Day 5:09
7 Money (That’s What I Want) 2:26
8 It Serves You Right To Suffer 5:08

John Lee Hooker – vocals, guitar
Barry Galbraith – guitar
Milt Hinton – bass
Panama Francis – drums
William Wells – trombone on “Money”

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Jul 09

Jerry Bergonzi – Spotlight On Standards (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 1:03:19 minutes | 1,3 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Front Cover | © Savant

There’s an old saying that a great jazz musician never plays a song the same way once. That could certainly be said of Jerry Bergonzi. He is an intellectual artist of uncompromising integrity and a bold, original composer. On Jerry’s new Savant recording he returns to the organ-tenor trio format after a long hiatus from it. From the opening track, Cy Coleman’s “Witchcraft” with its hypnotic organ vamp and “bewitching” chord substitutions Jerry gives to the first 8 bars, you know this isn’t going to be your parents’ organ-tenor gig. Bergonzi and his discmates, Renato Chicco on organ and Andrea Michelutti on drums, take these standards down new harmonic paths and use them as a launching pad for fertile and impressive improvisation. The playing is always intense and distinctive, fresh and spontaneous.

1. Witchcraft
2. Bi-Solar
3. Blue Cube
4. First Lady
5. Gabriella
6. Dancing in the Dark
7. Out of Nowhere
8. Come Rain or Come Shine
9. Stella by Starlight

Jerry Bergonzi – tenor sax
Renato Chicco – B-3 organ
Andrea Michelutti – drums

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Jul 08

Jean-Marc Foltz & Stephan Oliva – Gershwin (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2kHz  | Time – 45:05 minutes | 645 MB | Genre: Jazz
OStudio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © VISION FUGITIVE

Non, décidément, enregistrer un hommage à George Gershwin ne se résume pas au choix de quelques standards célèbres relus comme à la parade par de bons musiciens. Il y faut, plus encore qu’avec n’importe quel autre répertoire, une compréhension intime de la richesse harmonique, une conscience de l’histoire — comment faire du neuf avec du jamais vieux — et ce savoir spécial qui consiste à éviter tous les clichés jazzistiques tout en s’inscrivant dans une tradition. Trois qualités distinctives que cultivent, depuis déjà plus d’une décennie, le clarinettiste Jean-Marc Foltz et le pianiste Stéphane Oliva. Ils avaient auparavant fréquenté l’ombre intimidante de Giacinto Scelsi, l’un des plus passionnants créateurs de musique contemporaine (Soffio di Scelsi, 2007), revisité en voyageurs engagés le grand répertoire classique pour clarinette et piano (Visions fugitives, 2011) ou plus récemment relu le mythe de Pandore (Pandore, 2016).

01. Somehow
02. The Man I Love
03. Fascinating Rhythm / Someone to Watch Over Me (to Woody Allen)
04. S’Wonderful (Morning)
05. My Man’s Gone Now
06. A Foggy Date / Rhapsody in Blue Them (Gershwin’s Dream)
07. I Can’t Get Started
08. Rhapsody in Blue Theme
09. Summertime
10. S’wonderful (Evening)
11. Prelude No. 2, Blue Lullaby (The Bridge)
12. I Love(s) You Porgy

Jean-Marc Foltz – clarinets
Stephan Oliva – piano

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Jul 08

Jaimeo Brown Transcendence – Work Songs (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 55:21 minutes | 634 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Bandcamp | Artwork: Front cover | © Motéma

Echoes of the past meet visions of the future on Work Songs, the follow up to Jaimeo Brown Transcendence’s arresting 2013 self-titled debut. From recordings of prisoners in Mississippi to stonemasons in Japan, the album brings renewed life to historical work songs through a mixture of powerfully evocative samples and new recordings. Comprised of drummer/producer Jaimeo Brown and guitarist/producer Chris Sholar, Jaimeo Brown Transcendence deftly weaves together the acoustic and the digital, compellingly connecting jazz and blues with contemporary rock, hip-hop and electronic music.

The inventiveness to cope with difficulty lies at the heart of Work Songs, the follow-up to drummer Jaimeo Brown’s outstanding 2013 release Transcendence. The syncopation of hammers on nails forging railroad tracks and weary chants of laborers are mixed with progressive blues, rock, jazz, and hip hop influences to create a patchwork that’s soulfully compelling. Brown and co-producer/guitarist Chris Sholar deftly integrate sampled field recordings with scintillating performances from jazz saxophonists JD Allen and Jaleel Shaw, blues singer Lester Chamber and new talents such as keyboardist Big Yuki.
Hardship is not confined to a specific people or location and Brown and Sholar cast the geographic net from American prison settings and cotton fields in “Hidden Angel” and “The Valley” to “Safflower” a Japanese folk song that contains entrancing vocals, keyboards and Jaleel Shaw’s fluent alto. Brown’s playing is explosive or nuanced to fit the need and moments such as JD Allen’s fierce solo in “Lazarus” while quoting the Disney tune “Whistle While You Work” are improvised perfections. Though the music juxtaposes voices from the past and present, electronics and live instruments—Brown and Sholar suggest that they are simply a conduit for expressing the human condition in turning bad situations into something more bearable. Like its predecessor, Work Songs is another captivating and thought-provoking journey.

01 – Hidden Valley
02 – Mississippi
03 – Lazarus
04 – Safflower
05 – Be So Glad
06 – Happy Serving
07 – 2113
08 – Moment of Rest
09 – For Mama Lucy
10 – Stonemason
11 – Paterson
12 – The Valley

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Jul 07

JD Allen – Americana: Musings on Jazz and Blues (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 45:00 minutes | 894 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Savant Records

This is tenor saxman and composer JD Allen’s tenth album as a leader and his fifth consecutive project for Savant. Once again, his regular sidemen for the past eight years, bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston, are back on board. Eight years is a pretty impressive stint for any band to put in together, especially in the jazz world and the ensemble work reflects the familiarity of the players, presenting a series of friendly obstacle courses hinged on spontaneous and collective choice-making.

Allen’s playing sometimes murmurs, and other times rises to a heartfelt cry, but he never abandons himself to free jazz screaming, or tangles himself up with knuckle-busting ribbons of notes. His phrases have a deep blues feeling, and his compositions are built around concise, memorable melodies which he repeats until they’ve sunk deep into the listener’s memory. But whether he is looking back to the earliest forms of America’s home-grown music or pointing the way to its future, JD Allen never fails to challenge and engage the listener as few of his generation can.

1 Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil 6:52
2 Another Man Done Gone 5:54
3 Cotton 5:50
4 Sugar Free 5:43
5 Bigger Thomas 4:16
6 Americana 4:51
7 Lightnin’ 5:52
8 If You’re Lonesome, Then You’re Not Alone 2:50
9 Lillie Mae Jones 3:31

JD Allen – tenor saxophone
Gregg August – bass
Rudy Royston – drums

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Jul 07

Jeremy Pelt – #Jiveculture (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 53:16 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © HighNote

Jeremy Pelt adds another jazz album to an already impressive discography. The quartet on this album includes Danny Grissett on piano, Ron Carter on Bass, Billy Drummond on drums, and Jeremy Pelt on trumpet.

Great musicians need to play with great musicians. It’s not an ego-driven game, it’s tug-of-war. The way to get better, expand one’s horizons as both technician and visionary, is to have someone capable of challenging one’s established ability. Artists travel new paths most often because someone or something pushes us. Perhaps it’s for that reason that Jeremy Pelt has long entertained a wish to make a recording with Ron Carter, a solid claimant to the title of Greatest Living Bassist. “I didn’t know how it would happen, I didn’t know what it was going to be,” the trumpeter says, “But I knew I wanted to do a record with Ron.” With Jive Culture, that wish becomes reality. Long-time associates Danny Grissett and Billy Drummond are on hand backing Pelt as he roars and soars through some new compositions, a couple of standards and Ron Carter’s own “Einbahnstrasse”. Not to be missed!

Taking a more stripped-down approach than the expansive electric path he’s been pursuing since 2013’s Water and Earth, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s 2016 album, #Jiveculture, is a visceral exploration of small-group post-bop. It’s also Pelt’s first album featuring legendary bassist and Miles Davis associate Ron Carter. Also joining Pelt here are longtime bandmates pianist Danny Grissett and drummer Billy Drummond. While Pelt has never completely eschewed swinging, harmonically challenging, straight-ahead jazz, his previous efforts, Water and Earth, Face Forward, Jeremy, and Tales, Musings, and Other Reveries were notable for their more experimental flourishes that combined Pelt’s love of hip-hop and electronic dance music with his reverence for ’70s-era jazz fusion, à la Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. For much of his career though, Pelt has excelled at the kind of organic, modal-based jazz that Davis played in the mid-’60s. This is the approach he takes on #Jiveculture and one that works perfectly with the addition of Carter, whose languid, supple bass style helped to define modern jazz. Here, Pelt and company dive headlong into a set of originals and lesser-played standards, including a jaunty take on Carter’s own “Einbahnstrasse.” Similarly compelling is the relaxed midtempo swinger “Dream Dancing,” which brings to mind both mid-’50s Miles and ’80s Wynton Marsalis. Davis is also evoked on the angular “The Haunting” and the lyrical, sad-eyed ballad “Akua,” with Pelt utilizing a plaintive Harmon mute. Ultimately, while #Jiveculture is a more stripped-down, traditional jazz production than Pelt’s previous releases, it’s also one of his more densely packed, flowing with harmonic and melodic ideas that are all the more striking when set against the straight-ahead framework of a quartet.

01 – Baswald’s Place
02 – Einbahnstrasse
03 – Dream Dancing
04 – A Love Like Ours
05 – The Haunting
06 – Rhapsody
07 – Akua
08 – Desire

Jeremy Pelt – trumpet
Danny Grissett – piano
Ron Carter – bass
Billy Drummond – drums

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Jul 07

Joe Lovano – Cross Culture (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 61:39 minutes | 1,39 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover | © Blue Note Records

Cross Culture is the newest work by GRAMMY Award-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano. Lovano has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the greatest musicians in jazz history.” The album marks his 23rd recording for Blue Note and his third consecutive release by his critically-acclaimed quintet, Us Five. Cross Culture features the band’s original line up of Francisco Mela, Otis Brown III, James Weidman, Esperanza Spalding and the newly recruited Peter Slavov, plus a special guest appearance by Lionel Loueke. Cross Culture is a stunning eleven-track album of ten Lovano originals along with a breathtaking rendition of Billy Strayhorn’s “Star Crossed Lovers.” The album fulfills Lovano’s lifelong dream to explore the notion of universal musical language.

Lexington Herald‘s Critics Choice – “There you have it, jazzers. We’re only a week into the new year and the bar for 2013 has already been set.” – Lexington Herald

2013 release, saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano’s most fully realized representation of a career-long quest to explore the notion of universal musical language. The album is an 11 track tour de force that represents I 0 of Lovano’s original compositions along with a stunning interpretation of the Billy Strayhorn ballad ‘Star Crossed Lovers.’ The album features his core Us Five ensemble of pianist James Weidman, bassists Esperanza Spalding and Peter Slavov, and drummers Otis Brown and Francisco Mela and is augmented with guitarist and fellow Blue Note artist Lionel Loueke.

01 – Blessings In May
02 – Myths And Legends
03 – Cross Culture
04 – In A Spin
05 – Star Crossed Lovers
06 – Journey Within
07 – Drum Chant
08 – Golden Horn
09 – Royal Roost
10 – Modern Man
11 – PM

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