RAY CHARLES
         The Genius After Hours

               NYC, April 30, 1956  tk3,6,8
                  Ray Charles         P,Vo
                  Oscar Pettiford    B
                  Joe Harris           D

               NYC, November 20, 1956 tk2,4,5
                  Joe Bridgewater    TP
                  John Hunt             TP
                  David Newman      TS,AS
                  Emmett Dennis      VB
                  Ray Charles            P,Vo
                  Roosevelt Sheffield B
                 William Peeples       D

                NYC, September 12, 1957 tk1,7
                   Ray Charles          AS,P
                                                                                                           Oscar Pettiford     B
                                                                                                           Connie Kay          D

Reviewby Scott Yanow
Taken from the same three sessions as The Great Ray Charles but not duplicating any of the performances, this set casts Charles as a jazz-oriented pianist in an instrumental setting. Brother Charles has five numbers with a trio (three songs have Oscar Pettiford on bass) and jams on three other tunes ("Hornful Soul," "Ain't Misbehavin'," and "Joy Ride") with a septet arranged by Quincy Jones; solo space is given to David "Fathead" Newman on tenor and alto and trumpeter Joseph Bridgewater. Fine music -- definitely a change of pace for Ray Charles.


                  THELONIOUS MONK
               At  the Blackhawk
                    Recording Date: 
                        April 29, 1960

                        Joe Gordon         TP 
                        Billy Higgins        D 
                        Harold Land        TS 
                        Thelonious Monk  P
                        John Ore             B 
                        Charlie Rouse      TS 



Review by Scott Yanow
Thelonious Monk's 1960 quartet (which also includes tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist John Ore and (for a brief period) drummer Billy Higgins is augmented on this live session by two guests: trumpeter Joe Gordon and the tenor of Harold Land. The extra horns uplift the date and add some surprising moments to what otherwise might have been a conventional but still spirited live session. Highlights include "Let's Call This," "Four in One" and a swinging version of "I'm Getting Sentimental over You."


                   BENNIE GREEN
                     Soul Stirrin'
                    Recording Date 
                        April 28, 1958

                        Gene Ammons    TS,Vo
                        Sonny Clark        P
                        Babs Gonzales    Vo
                        Bennie Green     TB,Vo 
                        Ike Isaacs           B 
                        Elvin Jones          D 
                        Billy Root            TS,Vo


Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Soul Stirrin' is an invigorating, exciting date from trombonist Bennie Green, showcasing his wide range of skills. His tone is alternately boisterous and reflective — the juxtaposition of the wildly swinging "We Wanna Cook" (complete with shouted vocals) and the gentle "That's All" is startling, demonstrating that Green can vary his robust sound according to the occasion. Green's fluid trombone is at the center stage throughout most of Soul Stirrin', but he also steps aside to shine some light on his extraordinary support group — saxophonists Gene Ammons and Billy Root, pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Ike Isaacs and drummer Elvin Jones. Each musician plays with soul and passion, both on the laidback blues and mambos and the rollicking swing numbers. It's a thoroughly enjoyable record and one that is a good introduction to Green's wonderful, friendly style.

APRIl 27

             JOHN COLTRANE
                  Recording Date:
                      April 27, 1964

                      John Coltrane     TS,SS 
                      Jimmy Garrison   B
                      Elvin Jones         D 
                      McCoy Tyner       P 



Review by Michael G. Nastos
John Coltrane's Crescent from the spring of 1964 is an epic album, showing his meditative side that would serve as a perfect prelude to his immortal work A Love Supreme. His finest quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones supports the somewhat softer side of Coltrane, and while not completely in ballad style, the focus and accessible tone of this recording work wonders for anyone willing to sit back and let this music enrich and wash over you. While not quite at the "sheets of sound" unfettered music he would make before his passing in 1967, there are hints of this group stretching out in restrained dynamics, playing as lovely a progressive jazz as heard anywhere in any time period. The highlights come at the top with the reverent, ruminating, and free ballad "Crescent," with a patient Coltrane acquiescing to swinging, while the utterly beautiful "Wise One" is accented by the delicate and chime-like musings of Tyner with a deeply hued tenor from Coltrane unrushed even in a slight Latin rhythm. These are the ultimate spiritual songs, and ultimately two of the greatest in Coltrane's storied career. But "Bessie's Blues" and "Lonnie's Lament" are just as revered in the sense that they are covered by jazz musicians worldwide, the former a hard bop wonder with a classic short repeat chorus, the latter one of the most somber, sad jazz ballad reflections in a world full of injustice and unfairness — the ultimate eulogy. Garrison and especially Jones are put through their emotional paces, but on the finale "The Drum Thing," the African-like tom-tom sounds extracted by Jones with Coltrane's sighing tenor, followed by some truly amazing case study-frantic snare drumming, makes it one to be revisited. In the liner notes, a quote from Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka states John Coltrane was "daringly human," and no better example of this quality transferred to musical endeavor is available than on this definitive, must have album that encompasses all that he was and eventually would become.


                    GRANT GREEN
                 The Latin Bit
                 Recording Date: 
                    April 26, 1962  tk 1-7

                    September 7,1962 tk 8-9

                    John Adriano Acea P
                    Sonny Clark           P tk9
                    Willie Bobo            D
                    Grant Green          G 
                    Wendell Marshall    B 
                     Ike Quebec           TS 
                     Carlos Valdes        CG
                     Garvin Masseaux    CK


Review by Michael G. Nastos
Grant Green, being known mainly as a soul-jazz guitarist, eventually gravitated into the popular boogaloo sound, a derivation of Latin music. The Latin Bit is the natural bridge to that next phase, though a bit premature for most in 1961-1963, even relative to the subsequent bossa nova craze. Pianist Johnny Acea, long an underrated jazzman, is the nucleus of this session, grounding it with witty chops, chordal comping, and rhythmic meat. The Latino rhythm section of drummer Willie Bobo and conga player Carlos "Patato" Valdes personify authentic, seasoned spice, while at times the chekere sound of Garvin Masseaux makes the soup too thick. At its collective best, the group presents a steady, serene, and steamy "Besame Mucho" and the patient, slow, slinky, sultry "Tico Tico." Just a small step below is a classy take on Charlie Parker's "My Little Suede Shoes," a premier jazz bebop (emphasis) tune with a Latin undertow and Green's tiniest staccato phrases, slightly marred by the overbearing constant chekere, but still classic. "Mambo Inn" is played inaccurately, but forgivable. "Mama Inez" ranks high for its calypso-infused happy feeling and wry stop-start lines. The straight-ahead hard bopper "Brazil" and lone soul-jazz tune, "Blues for Juanita," display the single-note acumen that made Green's style instantly recognizable. Tacked on the end are two selections with pianist Sonny Clark and tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec. While Clark is not known for Latin or soul-jazz, he's quite good, while Quebec, who emphasized Brazilian rhythms in the last years of his life, plays hip secondary harmonies on the bossa nova-flavored "Granada," but is in the complete background and a non-factor on the pop tune "Hey There." This CD always yielded mixed results for staunch fans of Green, but a revisit shows it to be a credible effort, even if slightly flawed in part. [This edition of The Latin Bit was remastered by Rudy Van Gelder in 2007.]


                 JIMMY SMITH
              Midnight Special
                 Back at the
               Chicken Shack
                  Recording Date:
                      April 25, 1960

                      Donald Bailey         D
                      Kenny Burrell         G
                      Jimmy Smith         O 
                      Stanley Turrentine TS 


 LINK RETIRED              

Reviewby Scott Yanow
Midnight Special is a perfect complement to Back at the Chicken Shack, which was recorded the same day. Organist Jimmy Smith, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, and guitarist Kenny Burrell always make for a potent team, and with drummer Donald Bailey completing the group, the quartet digs soulfully into such numbers as the groovin' "Midnight Special," "Jumpin' the Blues," and "One O'Clock Jump." Highly recommended.

Review by Al Campbell
Back at the Chicken Shack is one of organist Jimmy Smith's classic Blue Note sessions, and the first to draw attention to tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. Recorded in 1960 with Kenny Burrell on guitar, Donald Bailey on drums, and Turrentine, the group reaches the peak of funky soul-jazz that all other challengers of the genre would have to live up to. Included on this uptempo session is a reworking of "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" (a feature for Turrentine), Turrentine's "Minor Chant," two Smith compositions, "Messy Bessie" as well as the set's notable title cut, and the CD-only bonus track, "On the Sunny Side of the Street." Smith's Midnight Special album was recorded at these same sessions, and is also exceptional. 


                    GUY KLUCEVSEK
             The Well-Tampered Accordion

                 Recording Date:
                     April 22-25, 2004

                     Guy Klucevsek   ACC



Biography by Joslyn Layne
Accomplished accordionist and composer Guy Klucevsek has stunned audiences around the world with his mastery of the unwieldy instrument in jazz- and world-influenced avant-garde concerts. Included on compilations from Tzadik's Burt Bacharach tribute to the more mainstream Ellipsis Arts release Planet Squeezebox, Klucevsek has also led over 15 of his own recordings for labels including Tzadik, Winter & Winter, Ewa, and CRI. He has composed extensively for modern dance, and was awarded a BESSIE in 1995 for the score for Hey by choreographer David Dormanis. Since at least the mid-'80s, Klucevsek has performed and recorded with a variety of creative musicians such as John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Anthony Braxton, and Kronos Quartet. In 1996, he co-founded Accordion Tribe with master accordionists from around the world including Lars Hollmer (Sweden), Maria Kalaniemi (Finland), Bratko Bibic (Slovenia), and Otto Lechner (Austria). In 1998, Accordion Tribe came out on Intuition, and Winter & Winter released an album by another new group with Klucevsek, Dave Douglas' new project Charms of the Night Sky, with Klucevsek, bassist Greg Cohen, and violinist Mark Feldman.
The Charms of the Night Sky group toured North America and Europe for parts of the next three years, and recorded A Thousand Evenings for RCA, while Accordion Tribe would release two additional Intuition CDs, Sea of Reeds (2003) and Lunghorn Twist (2006), and tour extensively throughout Europe well into the new millennium. Meanwhile, Klucevsek would continue to release a number of CDs under his own name as both leader and collaborator, including the Winter & Winter CDs Accordance (2001) and Notefalls (2007), both featuring Klucevsek in duet with pianist/accordionist Alan Bern; Tales from the Cryptic (2003), by the duo of Klucevsek with saxophonist Phillip Johnston; and The Well-Tampered Accordion (2005), a solo accordion recording. Klucevsek's Tzadik label CDs as leader include Stolen Memories (1996), featuring his Bantam Orchestra; the modern composition-oriented Song of Remembrance (2007); and Dancing on the Volcano (2009), with Klucevsek in a quartet lineup featuring clarinet/sax, bass, and drums. He has also performed solo at festivals all over the world, and can be heard providing musical accompaniment on the audio book version of Accordion Crimes, a novel by E. Annie Proulx.


                  SONNY CRISS
                  Jazz in Paris
                     Mr. Blues Pour Flirter

                  Recording Date:
                      April 22-23, 1963

                      Georges Arvanitas  O,P
                      Philippe Combelle   D

                      Sonny Criss            AS
                      Pierre Michelot       B


Review by Ken Dryden
Sonny Criss was relatively inactive as a leader in the first half of the 1960s, though he did produce outstanding music during two trips to Paris. The latter visit in 1963 resulted in these studio sessions,originally released by Brunswick and reissued in complete form (with three unreleased tracks) by Polydor, before reverting to the initial version on this Verve CD reissue. Powered by some of France's finest musicians, including guitarist Rene Thomas, bassist Pierre Michelot, drummer Philippe Combelle and pianist Georges Arvanitas, the hard bop alto saxophonist mixes it up with a set which contains classic jazz compositions, standards and an original. Arvanitas switches to organ for a peppy take of "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and Criss' two part blues "Early and Later." But the leader's best solo comes during the smoking interpretation of "On Green Dolphin Street." Arvanitas' introductory vamp to the softly played "God Bless the Child" hints at "One for My Baby (and One for the Road)" before Criss makes his entrance. Highly recommended!


                        ZOOT SIMS
                 Somebody Loves Me

                        Recording Date:
                            April 22, 1974

                            Zoot Sims          TS, Vo 
                            Bucky Pizzarelli   G
                            Milt Hinton         B
                            Stan Kay             D
                            Buddy Rich          D, Vo


By A Customer (Amazon)

Originally recorded in the mid-70s for Groove Merchant under the title "Nirvana," this is a delightful quartet date with Zoot on tenor and soprano, Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass), and Buddy Rich (drums). Zoot is in wonderful form, loose and swinging, and the material--a mix of standards and originals--suits the group well. Zoot's solo on "Come Rain or Come Shine" contains echoes of his recording of the tune with Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band; it's one of his masterpieces. On "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" we even get to hear Zoot and Buddy Rich sing! The final four tracks are from another date. "Send in the Clowns" is a Bucky Pizzarelli solo, and the others are from a session with Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson. The LaserLight edition sounds fine, and it's a bargain.


                     RON CARTER
               Jazz and Bossa
                   Recording Date: 
                       April 21, 2008

                       Ron Carter        B 
                       Javon Jackson   TS
                       Roland Morales   Per
                       Portinho            D
                       Stephen Scott    P



2008 release from the Jazz bass legend, a musical exploration of the wonderful sounds of Jazz and Bossa Nova. Nine tracks including 'Saudade', 'Salt Song (Cancao Do Sal)' and 'Whisper Not'. Blue Note. For those who do not know, bassist Ron Carter is an American who already has several years of experience and dozens of albums and shared stage with the greatest of jazz. Passing, for example, by Thelonious Monk, the quintet with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Paul Desmond, and a long long etc. He then became a major figure reference in the bass and jazz.If I am not mistaken this is the last album released so far (it was released in 2008).  On the style of the album I think the name says it all. It's an album assembled on a base of Bossa Nova, expanded and focused more so in the Jazz.


                                      SUN RA
                        Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra
                        Recording Date:
                            April 20, 1965

                              Sun Ra                  P,

                              Marshall Allen         AS,
                              Ronnie Boykins       B 
                              Chris Capers          TP 
                              Robert Cummings

                               Danny Davis       AS,FT
                               John Gilmore              

                              Jimmy Johnson    

                                                                                                                     Teddy Nance       TB
                                                                                                                     Pat Patrick          Per, BS
                                                                                                                     Bernard Pettaway TB


Review by "Blue" Gene Tyranny
A re-titled re-issue of "The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1," ESP-Disk 1014, issued in 1966. The astonishing sessions that went light years beyond "free jazz" improvisation to create a music of deeply felt explosive and gentle gesture made from sound itself without reference to previous notions of melody or harmony.


                      BUD POWELL
                At The Golden Circle v1-2
               Gyllene Cirkeln, Stockholm
                   April 19, 1962

                    Bud Powell                 P
                    Torbjorn Hultcrantz   B
                    Sune Spangberg         D


Review by Scott Yanow
Bud Powell sounds as if he enjoyed his engagement at the Golden Circle in Stockholm, Sweden. Five CDs have been released from two of his nights at the club and they find him playing in generally good form. Accompanied by a couple of local musicians (bassist Torbjorn Hultcrantz and drummer Sune SpÄngberg), Powell on the first volume is at his best on "Move," "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and an emotional "I Remember Clifford"; two of the other three songs are brief sketches that are under two minutes long. None of the sets are essential (the first volume clocks in at just 33 minutes) but they will easily be enjoyed by Bud Powell fans. [Steeplechase reissued At the Golden Circle, Vol. 1 on CD in 1995 and included a bonus track: a ten-plus minute read of Barney Kessel's "Swedish Pastry."]

The second of five CDs taken from a gig by Bud Powell in Stockholm in which he was joined by a pair of obscure local players (bassist Torbjorn Hultcrantz and drummer Sune Spangberg) has its strong moments. Highlights include Thelonious Monk's "Hackensack," "Moose the Mooche," "Star Eyes" and particularly a 15-minute version of Oscar Pettiford's "Blues in the Closet." The entire series is worth picking up by listeners who enjoy bop-based piano; Powell is generally in fine form.


                                                                                                                 ED THIGPEN        
                 Out of the Storm
                   Recording Date:
                        April 18-20, 1966

                        Kenny Burrell      G
                        Ron Carter          B
                        Herbie Hancock   P
                        Clark Terry    FG,MP,TP 
                        Ed Thigpen          D


Reviewby Scott Yanow
Drummer Ed Thigpen's first album as a leader (recorded a year after he left the Oscar Peterson Trio) was reissued as a CD in 1998. Although not soloing much, Thigpen wrote three of the seven selections and occasionally played tuned drums, which sound a little bit like timbales. In addition to the leader, the main star is Clark Terry (on flugelhorn and trumpet), who plays quite freely on two numbers utilizing only a trumpet mouthpiece in spots. Guitarist Kenny Burrell gets in a few good solos and is showcased on "Struttin' With Some Barbeque" while bassist Ron Carter and pianist Herbie Hancock also make strong contributions. Unfortunately, there are only 32 minutes of music on this CD (which is highlighted by "Cielito Lindo"), so its brevity keeps it from being too essential, but the performances are enjoyable.


             RED GARLAND
          Red In Blues-Ville

                Recording Date: 
                     April 17, 1959

                     Red Garland  P
                     Sam Jones    B
                     Art Taylor     D



Review by Scott Yanow
Pianist Red Garland and his trio (with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor) explore six veteran blues-based compositions ranging from Nellie Lutcher's "He's a Real Gone Guy" and "St. Louis Blues" to "Your Red Wagon" and Count Basie's "M-Squad (Theme)." Throughout, Garland modernizes each of the selections with his distinctive chord voicings, and he makes the songs sound fresh and new. A solid effort from this very consistent pianist, who will always be best remembered for his playing with the classic Miles Davis Quintet.


                ALEX SIPIAGIN
              Live at Bird's Eye

                    Basel, Switzerland
                     April 16-17, 2004

                     Alex Sipiagin    TP, FG
                     David Gilmore  G
                     Boris Kozlov     EB
                     Gene Jackson   D

               LINK RETIRED

Born in Yaroslavl, Russia in 1967, studied classical and jazz in various schools, including the Gnesin Institute of Music in Moscow. Competed in the Thelonius Monk Competition dedicated to Louis Armstrong (Washington DC) in 1990, placed 4th amongst thousands, including Ryan Kaiser, Nicolas Payton, Gregory Gisbert, Scott Wendholdt, Kenny Rampton, Joe Magnarelli, etc.  Moved to the U.S. in 1991. Joined Gil Evans Orchestra directed by Miles Evans ('91). Joined Gil Goldstein's Zebra Coast Orchestra ('93). Joined George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band ('94). Joined Mingus Big Band ('95). Joined Dave Holland Big Band (2000). Joined Michael Brecker's Quindectet ('03). Regular member of all groups still.  First solo album "Images" released in '97 (TCB Records). Steadily began releasing solo albums through Criss Cross Jazz from 2000 -- "Steppin' Zone" (2000), "Hindsight" (2002), "Mirrors" (2003), "Equillibrium" (2004), "Returning" (2005), and the latest from Criss Cross Jazz "Prints", and from award winning internet label ArtistShare, still getting pressed, "Out of the Circle" and "Live at Bird's Eye".


           JAMES CARTER
            JC on the Set
             Recording Date:
                 April 14-15, 1993

                James Carter  AS,BS,TS 
                Jaribu Shahid  B 
                Tani Tabbal     D 
                Craig Taborn   P

               LINK RETIRED

Review by Scott Yanow
Twenty-five at the time of this CD, James Carter had already absorbed much of the tradition. His debut as a leader includes compositions by the classic tenors Don Byas and John Hardee, Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" and even a Sun Ra ballad. He also shows that he has the courage to play completely outside whenever it seems logical to him; in fact on the title cut Carter moves from Gene Ammons and Illinois Jacquet to outbursts a la David Murray in the stratosphere. But most importantly, at this early stage James Carter already had his own sound. He switches between the tenor (his main ax) to alto and baritone, shows self-restraint on the ballads and fills his improvisations with continual surprises. Joined by the supportive pianist Craig Taborn, bassist Jaribu Shahid and drummer Tani Tabbal, James Carter puts on quite a tour-de-force throughout this very impressive set.


                    ELVIN JONES
             Love and Peace

                 Recording Date:
                      April 13-14, 1982

                      Pharoah Sanders    TS
                      McCoy Tyner          P
                      Jean-Paul Bourelly  G
                      Richard Davis        B
                      Elvin Jones            D

                  LINK RETIRED

Review by Scott Yanow
With the exception of one number ("House That Love Built") from 1978 that matches drummer Elvin Jones with the reeds of Frank Foster and Pat LaBarbera, guitarist Roland Prince and bassist Andy McCloud, this CD reissue focuses on an unusual and generally successful reunion session. Drummer Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner have not recorded together that often since leaving John Coltrane's Quartet in late 1965. With Pharoah Sanders (who was part of the reason they departed) on tenor, bassist Richard Davis in the late Jimmy Garrison's spot, and guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly an added wild card, the musicians avoid Coltrane tunes in favor of newer originals and the standard "Sweet and Lovely." Sanders sounds very much like late-1950s Coltrane; Bourelly is a bit out of place, and Tyner easily takes solo honors. An interesting but not overly memorable outing that was originally cut for the Japanese Trio label and made available in the U.S. by the now-defunct Black-Hawk company.


           CHUCK WAYNE
           Tasty  Pudding
               Recording Date:
                   April 13, 1953

                   Chuck Wayne       G
                   Zoot Sims            TS
                   Brew Moore         TS
                   Harvey Leonard    P
                   George Duvivier   B
                   Ed Shaughnessy    D

            LINK RETIRED

Chuck Wayne’s participation in some of the earliest bebop recordings have lead many to conclude that he was purely a bop-style guitar player. Yet on the recordings he made in the mid-1940s, first with the Billy Eckstine Band and later with Dizzy Gillespie, his swing-oriented guitar collides with the "new music" being played by the more modern musicians on the set. It was with George Shearing that Wayne had his greatest success, making a major contribution to the Shearing sound. This particular album reissues 1953 sessions with his Quartet featuring Zoot Sims and Brew Moore;. There are some standards along with seven originals, including five by Wayne. Words that can best be used to describe the latter are "innocuous," "pleasant," "nice background music." These arrangements could be heard in a hundred lounges and small clubs throughout the country during the years when this album was made. While there is virtually no inventiveness going on, the playing is entertaining. One quality that comes through with the Wayne guitar is its hornlike sound, which adds a dimension to his playing and is especially complementary when either Sims or Moore is soloing. Several of the players at these sessions were from the upper echelons of jazz; it’s regrettable they were not offered more interesting or challenging music to perform. -by Dave Nathan


            CHARLIE PARKER
           Happy Bird session
                Recording Date:
                    April 12, 1951
                    Christy's Restaurant,
                   Howard McGhee  TP
                   Charlie Parker     AS
                   Bill Wellington     AS tk1
                   Wardell Gray       TS
                   Nat Pierce           P
                  Jack Lawlor          B
                  Joe MacDonald     D

           LINK RETIRED

1. Lullaby In Rhythm 
2. Scrapple From The Apple 
3. Happy Bird Blues 

The weak recording quality hurts this album a bit but it does offer extended performances of "Scrapple from the Apple" (over 15 minutes), "I Remember April" and "Lullaby in Rhythm" (mislabelled "I May Be Wrong") in addition to a short blues. These jam sessions, in addition to altoist Charlie Parker, feature solos from tenor-saxophonist Wardell Gray, pianist Dick Twardzik and trumpeter Benny Harris; bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Roy Haynes are fine in support. Not essential music but recommended if seen at a budget price. ~ Scott Yanow