JOEY CALERDAZZO
                   Joey Calderazzo

                     Recording date:
                          January 6-9, 1999

                          Joey Calderazzo      P
                          John Patitucci         B
                          Jeff "Tain" Watts     D

                       LINK Retired

Review by David R. Adler
A powerful trio outing, Joey Calderazzo's self-titled Columbia debut is comprised almost entirely of fine original compositions, in addition to Bill Evans' haunting "Time Remembered" and Michael Brecker's hard-swinging "Slings and Arrows." Bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jeff
"Tain" Watts provide an unwavering and hip rhythmic foundation for the blazing pianist. Calderazzo's tunes range from the richly contrasting waltz feels of "The Oracle," "Haiku," and "Catania" to the all-out uptempo fury of "Detonation." Combining melodic ingenuity, harmonic adventurism, and sheer aggressiveness of attack, Calderazzo's playing on this record stands as a yardstick against which all other post-bop pianists can be measured.


                      ROY HARGROVE

                      Recording Date: 
                           January 5-6, 1997

                          Gary Bartz            AS,SS
                          John Benítez         B
                          Miguel "Angá" Diaz  CG
                          Jose Luis Fuerte     TIM
                          Roy Hargrove         TP,FG

                          Horacio Hernández D
                          Frank Lacy             TB
                          Russell Malone        G
                          David Sanchez       SS,TS
                          Chucho Valdés       P

                          LINK Retired      
Review by Richard S. Ginell
At last, this highly touted, heretofore conservative Young Lion makes his move beyond neo-bop toward something new, fresh, and potentially important. He had to go to Havana to find it, starting with some jam sessions with Cuba's Los Van Van dance band in February 1996, which led to the formation of an exciting ten-piece U.S./Cuban band called Crisol. True, this album is a somewhat subdued recorded debut; as heard at the Playboy Jazz Festival in June 1997, Crisol is obviously capable of real thermal combustion. But one can still hear the embryo of its complex fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythm, bop, and progressive jazz impulses on this disc. Hargrove himself still seems dazzled by his new discovery, groping a bit for direction in his own solos. But challenged by the asymmetrical rhythms, he takes more chances and jaggedly strikes some fire. Irakere's Chucho Valdes, an awesome pianist and progressive-minded musician, is one of the anchors of the band, and Russell Malone contributes some of his meatiest, most driven guitar work. The tune that remains most indelible in the memory is trombonist Frank Lacy's "O My Seh Yeh," which opens and closes the CD in neat, bookended fashion. But the most promising track is a smoking arrangement of Kenny Dorham's "Afrodisia," where the heat of this cross-cultural exchange rises well above room temperature. One can only hope that U.S. and Cuban politicos will forego their usual roadblocks and allow these meetings to continue.


                    CHET BAKER
                 The Italian Sessions

                    Recording Date:
                        January 5, 1962

                        Chet Baker           TP
                        Daniel Humair       D
                        Bobby Jaspar      FT,TS
                        Benoit Quersin      B
                        René Thomas        G
                        Amadeo Tommasi  P

                  LINK Retired


Review by Scott Yanow
Throughout the 1950s Chet Baker gained fame as a quiet, low-register trumpeter with a cool tone and a relaxed style. This CD should therefore be a major surprise to listeners who believe he was incapable of playing heated material, or of utilizing the upper register of his horn. Assisted by a fine European sextet (including Bobby Jaspar on tenor and flute and guitarist Rene Thomas), Baker is heard in peak form throughout this memorable and frequently exciting bop date. [Originally issued as Chet Is Back!.]


                      JAVON JACKSON
                   Pleasant Valley
                      Recording Date:
                          January 4, 1999

                           Billy Drummond    D
                           Larry Goldings      O
                           Javon Jackson      TS
                           Dave Stryker        G

                            LINK Retired

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Javon Jackson worked steadily throughout the '90s, developing his own style as a soloist and a leader. In the process, he made a series of remarkably consistent albums, each one finding him exploring another aspect of his hard bop-derived sound and each one being more ambitious than the last. Pleasant Valley, his fifth effort for Blue Note, is on the surface a bit of a retreat from that pattern, since it largely concentrates on groove and soul-jazz. Dig a little a deeper, and it becomes apparent that Pleasant Valley is every bit as rewarding and skilled as Jackson's other efforts for Blue Note. Jackson has turned into a tremendous player, riding the groove, but spinning out interesting solos that always push a little harder than they initially appear to. He may be steeped in hard-bop tradition, but he never uses that as an excuse to be lazy; he's unpredictable and always engaging. The same applies for his supporting band here. Guitarist Dave Stryker, organist Larry Goldins and drummer Billy Drummond all manage to update soul-jazz and bop conventions, creating a sound that's familiar but fresh. Credit should also be given to producer Craig Street, who avoids the pitfalls of contemporary jazz production (namely, clean, septic sound) by keeping things organic and natural. He finds the perfect note for this music, which helps elevate Pleasant Valley to the status of another exceptional Jackson record and one of the more pleasing mainstream jazz albums of 1999.


                           BILLIE HOLIDAY
                         Songs for Distingué Lovers
                           Recording Dates:
                               January 3, 1957  tk 2
                               January 4, 1957  tk 5-6
                               January 7, 1957  tk 1
                               January 8, 1957  tk 3-4
                                Sweets Edison    TP
                                Ben Webster       TS
                                Jimmy Rowles     P 

                                Barney Kessel      G
                                Red Mitchell        D
                                Billie Holiday       VO      
                                                                                                    LINK Retired

Review by Scott Yanow
During the six days and four sessions covered by this 1997 CD (which in its original form consisted of six songs), Billie Holiday recorded 18 titles; a dozen of the best are here, although "Comes Love" is unaccountably missing. This were the last series of extensive small-group recordings that Lady Day would make in the studios. Although her voice was largely shot at this point, she puts so much feeling into some of the lyrics that one can often overlook her dark sound. The all-star band (trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, pianist Jimmie Rowles, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Red Mitchell, and Alvin Stoller or Larry Bunker on drums) is a major asset, and there are plenty of short solos for Edison, Webster and Kessel. Holiday does her best on such numbers as "A Foggy Day," "One for My Baby," "Just One of Those Things" and "I Wished on the Moon," and there are plenty of haunting moments, even if one could tell (even at the time) that the end was probably drawing near for the singer. The music is still well worth having, although completists will prefer a collection with all 18 songs, while beginners should sample Holiday's Columbia and Decca output first.


                RICHARD GALLIANO
                Ruby, My Dear
                   Recording Date:
                       January 1, 2004

                       Richard Galliano  AC
                       Larry Grenadier   B
                       Clarence Penn     D

                  Link retired

Review by Scott Yanow
There are two types of accordionists in jazz: Richard Galliano and everyone else. Galliano plays his instrument with the fluidity and looseness of a saxophonist, the technique of a classical pianist, and the individuality of a singer. Few are close to being on his level. The Ruby, My Dear sessions find Galliano in New York, interacting with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Clarence Penn. While the intriguing repertoire includes a tango, a couple of jazz standards ("Ruby, My Dear" and Oscar Pettiford's "Bohemia After Dark"), and a piece by Erik Satie, Galliano's five originals really showcase his playing the best, letting him stretch out over intriguing chord changes. Richard Galliano has made quite a few excellent recordings for Dreyfus; Ruby, My Dear is an excellent place for one to start in discovering his musical talents.

                  LESTER YOUNG
                   Live in Europe

                  Recording Date:
                     January 2, 1957

                     Lester Young      TS
                     Rene Urteger      P
                     Pierre Michelot   B
                     Christian Garros  D

                Link retired

- Polka Dots And Moonbeams (Burke-Van Heusen) 2:29
- Lester Leaps In (Young) 1:53

These tracks may be identical with the respective titles on “Pres in Europe” (Highnote). Personnel would then be: Young ts; René Urtreger p; Pierre Michelot b; Christian Garros d