This whole album was an absolute stunning British Jazz work of art.
Pianist Neil Ardley directed the first half with an entire orchestra of musicians, a total of six songs.
Saxophonist Don Rendell played on three tracks of the albums 13 …. but when it came to this particular number with my love for Noir it was Ian Carr’s composition that infused the inner core of my brain.
A seducing walk down a dark alley or street either following or being followed not knowing the conclusion, but hoping it ends in the arms of a lover…. Brian Smith’s sexy sax takes it even further… of course you’d have to add a little drizzle or at least some mist.
I have no idea if Wine Dark Lullaby was ever used in any film noir considering it was released in 1970 and not its hey day of the 40’s and 50’s but man did it capture that era and mood. But many fit the bill and followed over the years… and if not somebody completely missed the boat here. This song as a theme or for just a scene would be to perfection.
From the album Greek Variations & Other Aegean Exercises…
… make it any fantasy you want.
George Kahn has kept west coast jazz alive and this the second time I’ve featured this talented artist, earlier in the year with a phenomenal rendition of Woodstock.
Born in New York he moved to California in the mid 1970s when he got hooked on John Coltrane. As with many like Dave Brubeck he studied classical when young and became a jazz natural. Love his sound and improvisational playing.
He wrote this song in dedication to Miles Davis.
One of those artists that when you go through her catalog of music you say to yourself which one do I post. Starting from the almost classical to the contemporary and every bop of jazz, then those very talented fingers dip into the realm of blues. Melodic and tantalizing.
Hilton has produced 19 albums, solo and with the best of players of the art with a soon to be released 20th due in December. Whether she is doing her own compositions as with City Streets or her covers of the jazz greats to including from those that the 1960’s invoked with folk and rockers like Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin also on this album are at times mesmerizing.
But for tonight this one caught my ears and soul and said…. yeah.
The album “On The Go” was originally released in 2011, but a Remaster was done adding three previously unreleased gems to the mix, Singing Everyday being one of them. So on May 20th, 2016 “On The Go (Special Edition)” was released.
I literally didn’t know which one to feature, all of them brilliantly done. I always go for the gentle flow for the Sunday sleep in’s but there will be much more to follow.
This British trumpeter and composer since his start has managed to capture the depths of the 1950s & 60s with everything we seek from the genre we love called Jazz. But in doing so has put his own refreshing touch and tone to it on every single piece he produces.
From 2008-16 he has released 7 albums with 2 Singles/EP. I encourage you to taste them all. One in particular will captivate your mind, because it highlights a place you’ve never been before unless born in that time period. “End of Dukkha” will have you in that jazz bar out of the past. This band makes sure of it and it is the biggest compliment I can give to them.
Halsall brings it all back to life and keeps it here.
A musician turns into a legend when they can play and everybody knows who they are hearing. They put a signature on their sound so when you hear this man there’s never a question of who. Archie Shepp let’s you know exactly.
I’ve heard many renditions of this Sidney Bechet gem. Victor Goines comes to mind as another fantastic.
Here we have George Mraz’s bass and Billy Drummond’s drums sultry intro with Harold Mabern’s piano further enhancing Shepp’s sax. All the musicians just compliment each other, your ears, soul and heart basically say yeah…. you’ll never forget or need to ever search the piece again, at least not this particular arrangement.
One of Canada’s best players and composers from the last 23 years, this from his 8th album.
On this ballad he managed to capture the mood straight out of a 1950’s jazz after hours club.
Order yourself a drink, close your eyes and lay back…
Ahhhhh….another exquisitely composed work and more importantly could be in any film score, notably crime noir.
The bass sets the seductive pulse from the get go.
Once again Radovanović’s guitar goes totally into the psyche of Hendrix after the 8:30 mark when it slowly begins to cook and then depicts into the manic hallucination stage of Melancholy. Although Petrović’s sax is always dripping in sex making this a hard one to be sad at the beginning, he also transitions as nicely into the chaos.
The drumming and percussion explicitly throughout defining the different stages. All of the bands members completes this titles musically descriptive piece.
Not the first time or the last featuring this band. I really wish somebody in film somewhere in this world would find these guys or isn’t anybody writing scripts anymore worthy of the noir Fish In Oil creates so tastefully. Their music always sends my mind into an imaginary place I make up with the scenes and those acting them out.
What an exceptional job by three stellar players on this James Black composition.
All you have to do to get the full picture in audio is look on bassist James Singleton face. This artist feels what he plays and expresses it to the max.
David Torkanowsky piano comes to life equaling Stanton Moore’s energy.
Italian bassist and German pianist creating magic…
I Can’t Believe in Spring
Composed by Davide Petrocca.
Recorded live at Theaterhaus Jazztage Stuttgart, Germany 2014.
Ian Wallace may have not been with King Crimson when this first album In the Court of the Crimson King was created that included this song, (he joined in 71) but he certainly managed to capture and transcend it into a great jazz work. Ian along with Jody Nardone and Tim Landers created this trio in 2005 and put out two albums paying homage to his former groups compositions.
King Crimson Songbook Volume One in 2005 and
King Crimson Songbook Volume Two with Mel Collins in 2009 two years after Ian’s death.
1969 still sounding good.
More like Sunday “Sass”…what a great piece of composing here by Redman that would befittingly seep into any film noir, sounding here right out of the 40s and 50s. Makes you want to write a script.
Certainly slips right into the album’s title – “Mood Swing” released in 1994 with a line up of players musicians dream of.
Joshua Redman –
Brad Mehldau –
Christian McBride –
Brian Blade –
What a refreshing jazz arrangement on this Joni Mitchell classic by George Kahn and company. Released off his 2004 album “Compared To What?”
Some nice bass work by Brian Bromberg to guide the entire piece.
This beautiful rendition from the Mal Waldron composition “All Alone” (originally released as a solo in 1966) was put on an album in 1990 to pay homage to French film soundtracks.
Waldron’s career started in 1950 with Ike Quebec, He was Billy Holiday’s pianist in her final years and throughout seemed to play and lead with every renown jazz artist there was.
A native New Yorker he moved to Europe where his home-base became France, Munich then Brussels where he died in 2002. He remained actively playing until the end.
Barney Wilen was born in France and started with Miles Davis when Davis was touring there. He led his own bands and produced numerous albums from that year on until his death in 1996.
Pete La Roca took this Jerome Moross composition and infused his musical soul and in my opinion put out the best rendition of this song that was ever done. With the help of Joe Henderson’s atmospheric sax playing, Steve Swallow’s guiding rhythm on the bass, Steve Kuhn’s climatic piano and finally Pete’s brushes softly guiding the piece… you go on a journey.
Gorgeous composition from Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen from his debut album Changing Places in 2003. He has produced 5 more since, his last being in 2014.
Sadly this artist from the beginning has pretty much stayed touring all of Europe with very sporadic visits to the USA and Canada. In 2013 he did play the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
From trio’s to quartets and entire ensembles all of his albums have only charted basically in Norway and France with a 100 in Germany in 2012. Sort of sad the U.S. in 12 years hasn’t caught on to him. I encourage all to dive in to all of his works, I guarantee there will be no disappointments.
Radio Suite was recorded in 1996 with 17 tracks and was released in 1998.
Trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti has been recording since 1964 and has a very lengthy discography both as leader and sideman.
Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi started in the 70’s and was a frequent guest on Dave Brubeck ensemble tours. His last release was 2013.
Antonio Faraò is one of the finest jazz pianists to ever come out of Rome. He has been recording since the 90’s.
Mike Richmond has played with so many jazz greats the list goes on forever. He has been recording sine the late 70’s.
Drummer Salvatore Tranchini has done most of his work and releases in Italy.
Composed by Pericle Odierna.
This Rogier Van Otterloo composition was originally performed by Toots Thielemans for the soundtrack of the 1973 film Turkish Delight or “Turks Fruit”. Karel Boehlee’s piano and Trio brings it back to life, not that Toots harmonica will ever be drowned out. It just seemed the song disappeared for some time.
The name of this Dutch artist Karel Boehlee himself doesn’t seem to be widely known outside of the jazz world even though he has been putting out albums since the late 80’s. More than a dozen, seven for a Japanese label. Seems he’d rather jam with whomever at all types of venues whether big, or small cafe’s. His band-mates from 2004-2012 as fine tuned.
Bassist Hein Van de Geyn has also worked with a long list of infamous names over the many years including Chet Baker back in the 80’s. He also has produced as composer many albums both as leader and side man.
Drummer Hans van Oosterhout who performed with Toots is still one of the most sought after jazz drummers today.
(from left) Hein Van de Geyn, Karel Boehlee, Hans Van Oosterhout.
What an exceptional rendition of a Billy Stayhorn classic.
Not only did Terell Stafford and Tim Warfield capture the era of jazz that this song was created in but they absolutely nailed and made it their own. With a more than sassy trumpet surge then a tenor drawing you into a sexy wail this entire quintet brings back that smoky age of a 40’s and 50’s holy grail sound that makes you feel like you are sitting in The Royal Roost on Broadway, one of NY’s finest of that day.
The sound is explosive and the entire album ignited, the Duke would be proud.
This Side Of Strayhorn released in 2011, jazz never sounded so alive.
What a beautiful piece of music composed and played by Russian virtuoso jazz tenor sax player Igor Butman.
He has been playing since the 1980’s among the cream of the crop of jazz.
Placed another live rendition below with full orchestration including strings to really let you absorb this man’s exemplary talent.
President Bill Clinton at one time had stated that Butman was his favorite living sax player, it’s certainly not hard to hear why.
A beautiful rendition of this 1933 classic written by Al Dubin – lyrics and Harry Warren – music, that was set in Paris.
You can read his Bio from where he started, his influences and mentors to who he has performed with.
All I know is Sean plays with such passion, with each note he plays draws you in further and further. 10 years with Mack Avenue Records of pure class and sophistication. Now also an educator.
This native Italian self taught pianist and composer at 17 got an out of a blue invitation to play with jazz legend Chet Baker in 1987 when Baker did a gig in Giovanni’s birthplace Perugia. How sweet was that.
Then he started composing his own music and got his own group together playing. By 19 he was touring Italy with Steve Grossman.
He learned by listening to the likes of all the masters, notably Art Tatum and Bud Powell among others. But in 1992 he would take his actual first piano lessons from Aldo Ciccolini, the teaching would be three years in Paris. Fellow Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi would also become a main inspiration.
In 1996 he would produce his first album and he never looked back. To date he has put out almost 25, his last release in 2014.
This particular trio you’re hearing would perform together from 2007 through 2010. On the albums they would be apart of each made their own magic making the compositions come alive and jump out at you as if you were seeing a black light poster only you hear the visions.
Tomasz Stańko has been playing since the early 60’s in his native land of Poland. He has produced numerous albums since the 70’s as leader and finally got world recognition in the 80’s when he started working with American jazz musicians. Yet this exceptional trumpeter really didn’t get his due in his own country until the late 90’s.
His septet album went gold in 1997 and this quartet’s 2002, 2004 & 2006 albums also went gold in Poland and finally started to chart in the U.S. in 2004. In 2009 his quintet album went Platinum in Poland charting at #16 in the U.S.
Outside of those who know and follow jazz this artist’s name still sadly isn’t a stand out and it should be. Stańko’s style of free form, almost at times avant-garde and spot on improvised playing deserves to be in the rankings with jazz’s more well-known earlier notable 50’s and 60’s artists that we relished in.
This man and the musicians who have made up his bands are not playing covers, they are playing Stańko’s compositions. So please check out his website and dive into this jazz artist’s history and discover all the music that has come out of him and his bands with the latest release, because this is just a mere taste.
We have lost so many legendary musicians recently it is completely disheartening. So this is in homage of this Detroit jazz trumpet great who just left us on May 24th and his homecoming service took place yesterday May 30th. BB King who passed on May 14th funeral also took place yesterday. Marcus had played on BB’s 1999 album, “Let The Good Times Roll”.
Marcus Belgrave was known throughout the world, he was and played among the elite of jazz and of all entertainment.
Ray Charles touring band in late 50’s, Max Roach, Eric Dolphy, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Dizzy Gillespie and this is only a mere few.
As Clifford Brown was his mentor, he became one himself to so many more for a future generation of players. Regina Carter, Robert Hurst, Kenny Garrett, Geri Allen, James Carter, Ray Parker Jr. along with the two women you see here playing with him. Again the list goes on.
This man and his talent will be very missed and forever remembered as his music will always play on.
A Beautiful song and sentiment for this Mother’s Day as I wish my Mom a very Happy one.
This Panamanian born pianist has to be one of the finest composers of contemporary modern jazz. Prior to joining Wayne Shorter in 2000 for four albums his repertoire has been one of excellence to whom he has played among.
Starting with getting to join and play with his Idol, Dizzy Gillespie. So to go on with already one Grammy under his belt along with numerous other awards only befitting to get to work with another stellar composer like Claus Ogerman (also a Grammy award winner).
This man orchestrated music for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Bill Evans from the 60’s and an even longer list of artists, God can it get any better.
This whole album (entitled with the song’s name) released in 2008 is pure bliss as you can hear from this one particular piece. Ogerman tapped into some classical composers to write his compositions and charts based on some of their melodies.
Across The Crystal Sea does exactly that, takes you on a wondrous journey that is exciting because you go places you’ve never been to or have experienced before.
The music just guides you as the trip gets better and better the farther it goes on, you never want it to end.
Soliloquy is everything you want in a jazz ballad and this Mike Longo composition defines his indescribable talent.
I’ll let you read his extensive Resume here with the Who’s Who of players this pianist has worked with through his long career.
He started playing at age three, by fifteen Oscar Peterson had become his idol and he also became his student. Need I say more. Longo was destined to become greatness.
Even though you don’t seem to hear his name with the same notoriety as other famous names don’t be fooled. He didn’t play with the likes of Red Allen, Gene Krupa, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry and then get hired the day after Dizzy Gillespie first heard him because he was no good.
On the contrary Longo was a masterpiece in the making and every well-known jazz artist and lover knows the sound of his piano keys. So enjoy the taste.
What an absolutely appropriate song title for this legend of a trumpet player and fluglehorn pioneer who just died last month on Feb. 21 at the age of 94.
Of course my first taste of Mr. Terry came watching the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the infamous segment of Stump The Band. It would be Clark who most of the time made up a song that a member of the audience would come up with.
He was one of the very first black musicians to be part of a staff holding a position on a TV network (NBC-TV’s in-house corps of musicians). Started playing with “Tonight Show” band, in 1962 when Johnny Carson took over. But when the show left New York for California in 72′ Terry stayed in NY, though he would appear many many times more throughout the following years.
This man did it all. Playing in both The Duke Ellington and Count Basie Orchestra’s in the 40’s & 50’s and played with and among every elite jazz player along the way. He put together 17 piece big bands and traveled the world. Led his own bands from 1959 until 2005 also became a Jazz educator. Clark Terry did it with grace, style and class.
Beautiful composition written by Matthew Pablo in 2013 for a short film score. There is also a rendition with lyrics written by Ryan Stunkel and sung by Laila Smith whose on her way but still needs a little work. I really just got into the instrumental. It was recorded live at Perfection Studio in Charleston, MA.
Pablo has also created music for a film trailer, animations and video games, personally I think he found his forte with Jazz. Specifically Noir.
All the musicians here are seasoned players each having produced albums on their own and apart of other bands of notoriety. Peter Erskine has performed the longest playing on over 500 albums and has won a Grammy when he was with Weather Report.
This particular song I just sort of latched onto. Written by guitarist Nguyên Lê it reminded me of an improvisation of three separate players only on the same song and it just worked. I like the European flavor.