CHET BAKER
       Chet Baker & Crew
              Recording Date:
                     July 31, 1956

                   Chet Baker         TP,Vo 
                   Jimmy Bond        B 
                   Peter Littman     D 
                   Bill Loughbrough Tym
                   Bobby Timmons  P
                   Phil Urso            TS


Review by Lindsay Planer
The numbers heard on Chet Baker & Crew were among a prolific flurry of recordings Baker was involved in during the last week of July 1956 — fresh from an extended European stay. Sessions were held every day from the 23rd through the 31st, which resulted in such classic titles as The Route, Chet Baker Sings, and Chet Baker Quintet at the Forum — which is also available under the title Young Chet — as well as Chet Baker & Crew. The crew on these sides includes Phil Urso (tenor sax), Bobby Timmons (piano), Jimmy Bond (bass), Peter Littman (drums), and of course Baker (trumpet/vocals). Joining the combo on both the original as well as the alternate take of "To Mickey's Memory" and "Pawnee Junction" is Bill Loughbrough (chromatic tympani). His unmistakable percussive accents and tuned drum solos give these West Coast bop tracks uniquely Polynesian intonations. The band members take full advantage of their individual roles and abilities as soloists to really stretch out on "Slightly Above Moderate" and the Urso-credited composition "Halema" — named after Baker's wife. The chemistry of cool that flows between Urso and Baker is perhaps at its finest during the seamless exchange heard on "Worryin' the Life Out of Me." Timmons also boasts notable contributions throughout. His playful and scampering style dresses up the bluesy "Lucius Lu" and "Line for Lyons," among others. The latter is also notable as it contains the sole Baker vocal on this set. Baker enthusiasts seeking companion tracks featuring the same lineup should likewise obtain the 1995 CD release Young Chet. Among the contents is the frenetic rendering of "Night on Bop Mountain." [The 1993 CD reissue of Chet Baker & Crew increases the original eight-song Pacific Jazz collection to include all 14 tracks completed during three sessions in late July 1956 at the Forum Theater in Los Angeles.]


           ART PEPPER
          Saturday Night
    at the Village Vanguard
             Recording Date:
                    July 30, 1977

                    George Cables  P
                    Elvin Jones       D
                    George Mraz    B
                    Art Pepper       AS,TS


Review by Scott Yanow
The CD reissue of this release, the third of four single sets that document Art Pepper's well-received engagement at the Village Vanguard, adds "For Freddie" to the original three-song program. The other selections, which feature pianist George Cables, bassist George Mraz and drummer Elvin Jones in addition to the altoist/leader, are intense interpretations of "You Go to My Head," Pepper's "The Trip" and a 16-minute version of "Cherokee." The altoist was entering his peak period and the entire gig has also been fully documented on a massive nine-CD box set.


             McCOY TYNER
     And the Latin All-Stars

             Recording Date:
                  July 29-30, 1998

                   McCoy Tyner       P
                   Gary Bartz           S
                   Claudio Roditi     TP,FG
                   Steve Turre         TB
                   Dave Valentin      FL
                   Avery Sharpe       B
                   Ignacio Berroa      D
                   Johnny Almendra  Tim
                   Giovanni Hidalgo   Per


Reviewby Jim Newsom
McCoy Tyner's percussive piano style has always worked well within an Afro-Cuban groove, and this recording provides an excellent setting for him and his all-star lineup to work in. Mixing genre classics like "Afro Blue" and "Poinciana" with original material, Tyner's first release for the Telarc label provides a completely satisfying, highly rhythmic experience. Regular bassist Avery Sharpe combines with a three-man percussion section to propel the group's extended explorations. Besides the leader's instantly recognizable pianistic flurries and fat, two-handed chords, the front-line foursome of flute whiz Dave Valentin, saxophonist Gary Bartz, trumpeter Claudio Roditi and bone-and-shell man Steve Turre is superb, both in ensemble passages and individual solo spots. In the course of his long career, McCoy Tyner has recorded in nearly every conceivable setting. Though many of his solo, trio and quartet dates are superb, his expansive style has often been most enjoyably showcased in the company of multiple horns. From the rollicking opener "Festival in Bahia," to the beautiful "A Song for Love," to the straightforward timbale-driven Latin groove of "We Are Our Father's Sons," McCoy Tyner & the Latin All-Stars makes a potent case for inclusion in the upper tier of Tyner's catalog.


            Now's the Time

                Recording Date:
                      July 28, 1953

                      Charlie Parker AS
                      Al Haig            P
                      Percy Heath    B
                      Max Roach      D


Review by Robert Taylor
Now's the Time captures Charlie Parker during one of his peak recording periods.  What makes this session extra special is the excellent recording quality that too many of his early recordings, brilliant as they are, suffered from. Hearing the clarity of each player contributes to one of bebop's best sessions. This is essential music.


           Lights Out!

               Recording Date:
                    July 27, 1956

                   Jackie McLean  A
                   Donald Byrd      TP
                   Elmo Hope        P
                   Doug Watkins    B
                   Arthur Taylor    D


Reviewby Scott Yanow
Altoist Jackie McLean's second session as a leader is reissued on this CD. The music that he makes with trumpeter Donald Byrd, pianist Elmo Hope, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor is essentially hard bop with fairly simple (or in some cases nonexistent) melody statements preceding two romps through the "I Got Rhythm" chord changes, a pair of blues, a thinly disguised "Embraceable You" and a straightforward version of "A Foggy Day." Enjoyable if not really essential music from the up-and-coming altoist.



                Recording Date:
                       July 26, 1955

                  Cannonball Adderley  AS

                  Hank Jones                P
                  Nat Adderley             CT
                  Paul Chambers           B
                  Kenny Clarke             D


I am writing this in the hope that when you do pick up this album in your favorite record store, that you will take the opportunity to listen to a bit of it. Just a couple of choruses by "CANNON BALL" will be enough to assure you of his stature as a Jazzman. This is not necessarily an introduction to "CANNON BALL" as he was introduced on records via a previous album called "BOHEMIA AFTER DARK," SAVOY MG-12017, which was just released a week before this. If you've already heard that album, you are sure to pick up this one also as here "CANNON BALL" is given quite a bit more time to express himself as this album features less horns, two, as against four in the "BOHEMIA AFTER DARK" Album. What I'm trying to say is that this is "CANNONBALL's" date and, as a leader, he blows more solos than do his very capable assistants. His brother, Nat, is blowing Cornet, yeah, I said Cornet. It sounds like Trumpet, but I guess there is a slight difference to a guy that blows Cornet. I don't think I would guess which was the Trumpet or Cornet if I were given a blindfold test. Could you?
Nat tells me he gets more facility on Cornet that's why he made the change from Trumpet. Beside blowing some of the most exciting Jazz today, Nat collaborated with Julian on "SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION" and "STILL TALKIN' TO YA." "A LITTLE TASTE" and "CARIBBEAN CUTIE" are by Julian
Paul Chambers is the Bassist on these sides and he's a joy to hear. This is a Detroit youngster who will go a long way in our Jazz field (at this writing he was 20 years old). He blows just as well whether he's pickin' or bowing and his ideas are wonderful. He certainly is an asset to this group.
What can I say about Hank Jones and Kenny Clarke? I'm sure that by now you all know of their talents and to compliment them again would only be repetitious. For those of you that haven't yet realized their talents, I can only suggest that you listen. We, at Savoy, are proud that we are able to present another fine Jazz recording to you, the Jazz Enthusiast, and we sincerely hope that this will give you many, many hours of listening pleasure. ”


                ELVIN JONES
        At This Point in Time

            Recording Date: 
                 July 24-26, 1973

                 Gene Perla         B
                 Warren Smith     Tym
                 Candido Camero  CG
                 Omar Clay          Per 
                 Cornell Dupree    G
                 Frank Foster       SS,TS
                 Pepper Adams    BS
                Jan Hammer        Syn,P
                Elvin Jones          D
                  Steve Grossman  S,TS


Amazon.com reviewer:
At This Point in Time is certainly Elvin's most experimental and probably most unsung album of all time. While most of his albums are wonderful and feature Elvin doing music in his Coltrane-period jazz style (although a little bit more straight ahead than most of the stuff he did with Trane) this particular album features intricate, percussion heavy compositions with harmonically-rich horn arrangments and some wonderful moog synth and fender rhodes work by Jan Hammer. I wouldn't exactly call the music fusion or free jazz (if only because it doesn't really have a funk or a rock edge to it and there aren't any freakout skronk moments) however a better term may be world jazz. The song structures feature a lot of African and Afro-Cuban style percussion along with some beautiful, catchy, modal-based melodies and some amazing drum solos. Probably the most interesting music of Elvin's career. Do yourself a favor and buy this album immediately if you like Elvin, or if you are a fan of different and good jazz-based music. A real gem!


                       SUN RA
        Mayan Temples

              Recording Date:
                    July 24-25, 1990

                Sun Ra              P,SYN

                Michael Ray      TP
                Ahmed Abdullah TP
                Tyrone Hill        TB

                Marshall Allen     AS,FL
                Noel Scott         AS
                John Gilmore     TS,Tim
                James Jacson     BSN,D


Ronald Wilson      TS
Carl LeBlanc        G
Jothan Callins      B
Clifford Barbaro   D

Earl "Buster" SmithD
Ron McBee           CG
Jorge Silva           Per
Elson Nascimento  Surdo
June Tyson           Vo


Reviewby Scott Yanow
One of the finest Sun Ra recordings from his final years, this effort is particularly recommended due to the many Ra keyboard solos and John Gilmore features, the latter of which include a tenor showcase on "Opus In Springtime." Trumpeters Michael Ray and Ahmed Abdullah, altoist Marshall Allen and singer June Tyson also have their spots, and the repertoire consists of ten Ra originals (including a remake of "El Is the Sound of Joy") and three standard ballads. Overall, this is a fine all-around studio set. Recommended.


  Genius of Modern Music
           Vol. 2 Session 
            Recording Date:
                  July 23, 1951

            Sahib Shihab      AS
            Milt Jackson       VB
            Thelonious Monk  P
            Al McKibbon        B
            Art Blakey           D


Review by Rick Anderson
On the second volume in this two-disc series Thelonious Monk has come fully into his own as a leader. The program consists almost entirely of original compositions, and in fact it opens with two of his most difficult: "Four in One" (with its conventional bop intro that leads into a bizarre, repeated five-against-two quintuplet sequence) and the forbiddingly abstract "Criss Cross." Get through those and you'll eventually be rewarded with the relatively straightforward, blues-based "Straight No Chaser" and the sweet ballad "Ask Me Now," among other treats. Sidemen include the young trumpeter Kenny Dorham and bassist Al McKibbon, as well as a more clued-in Art Blakey and (replacing Blakey on half of the program) Max Roach. Sahib Shihab's sax tone is more appropriate this time out, and the production quality is somewhat better. This disc, along with Volume 1, belongs in every jazz collection. [The CD reissue includes numerous alternate takes and features a chronological song order; thus, its program is very different from that of the LP that it duplicates in the catalog. The same is true of Volume 1.]


            MILES DAVIS
            Porgy and Bess

              Recording Date:
                July 22, 1958     tk 3,4,9
                July 29, 1958     tk 2,8,10,11
                August 4, 1958  tk 1,5-7,13
                August 18, 1958 tk 14

               Miles Davis                FH,TP
               Cannonball Adderley  AS
               Paul Chambers           B
               Philly Joe Jones    D tk 3,4,9
               Jimmy Cobb              D
               Gil Evans Orchestra


Review by Lindsay Planer
Tomes are available annotating the importance of this recording. The musical and social impact of Miles Davis, his collaborative efforts with Gil Evans, and in particular their reinvention of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess are indeed profound. However, the most efficient method of extricating the rhetoric and opining is to experience the recording. Few other musical teams would have had the ability to remain true to the undiluted spirit and multifaceted nuance of this epic work. However, no other musical teams were Miles Davis and Gil Evans. It was Evans' intimate knowledge of the composition as well as the performer that allowed him to so definitively capture the essence of both. The four dates needed to complete work on Porgy and Bess include contributions from several members of his most recent musical aggregate: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). Although the focus and emphasis is squarely on Davis throughout, the contributions of the quartet on "Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)," "I Loves You, Porgy," and "There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York" are immeasurable. They provide a delicate balance in style and, under the direction of Evans, incorporate much of the same energy and intonation here as they did to their post-bop recordings. There is infinitely more happening on Porgy and Bess, however, with much of the evidence existing in the subtle significance of the hauntingly lyrical passages from Danny Banks' (alto flute) solos, which commence on "Fishermen, Strawberry and Devil Crab." Or the emotive bass and tuba duet that runs throughout "Buzzard Song." The impeccable digital remastering and subsequent CD reissue — which likewise applies to the Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings box set — only magnifies the refulgence of Porgy and Bess. Likewise, two previously unissued performances have been appended to the original baker's dozen. No observation or collection of American jazz can be deemed complete without this recording.


               Recording Date:
                       July 21, 1967

                    Joe Chambers   D,Go
                    Herbie Hancock    P
                    Bobby Hutcherson D,Vi
                    Albert Stinson       B


Reviewby Steve Huey
Bobby Hutcherson's second quartet session, Oblique, shares both pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Joe Chambers with his first, Happenings (bassist Albert Stinson is a newcomer). However, the approach is somewhat different this time around. For starters, there's less emphasis on Hutcherson originals; he contributes only three of the six pieces, with one from Hancock and two from the typically free-thinking Chambers. And compared to the relatively simple compositions and reflective soloing on Happenings, Oblique is often more complex in its post-bop style and more emotionally direct (despite what the title may suggest). The latter is especially true on the two opening Hutcherson pieces, the sweetly lilting "'Til Then" and the innocent, childlike theme of "My Joy," which is reminiscent of "Little B's Poem" (save for its multi-sectioned structure). Meanwhile, Chambers' experiments with counterpoint in the context of group improvisation keep getting more evocative. The title cut is quick and driving, with lots of short, fleeting exchanges between Hutcherson and a surprisingly swinging Hancock; "Bi-Sectional" makes playful use of chromaticism in its first part, after which Hutcherson and Chambers switch between several different percussion instruments for what amounts to an artillery attack. As for the other pieces, Hutcherson's "Subtle Neptune" fuses post-bop with Brazilian rhythms, and Hancock's "Theme From 'Blow Up'" is a spare modal melody over a repeated chordal vamp, somewhat reminiscent of his classic "Maiden Voyage." All the performances are spirited enough to make the sophisticated music sound winning and accessible as well, which means that Oblique is one of the better entries in Hutcherson's Blue Note discography and one worth tracking down.


  Both Sides of Midnight
            Recording Date: 
                  July 20, 1967

                  Kenny Drew       P 
                  Dexter Gordon   TS 
                  Albert Heath      D 
            Niels-Henning Pedersen B 


Review by Michael G. Nastos
Dexter Gordon's Both Sides of Midnight was recorded in the summer of 1967, but released in 1988, with the title taking branding advantage of Gordon's role in the full-length feature film 'Round Midnight. A group of American expatriates teamed with 21-year-old bass prodigy Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen yields almost an hour of excellent music from a club date at the venerable Montmartre Jazzhuis in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sowing the seeds of the sound of Sonny Rollins and using part of Newk's repertoire, Gordon makes these musical statements all his own with a personalized voice free of imitation, but full of melodic hooks and ladders reaching skyward in distinguished, ad hoc fashion. Pianist Kenny Drew and drummer Al Heath stay very close to Gordon's muse during this short stack of standards, stretching the harmonic parameters of these well-known tunes in a delightful program of professionally rendered modern mainstream jazz. A twelve-and-a-half minute calypso-tinged version of Ben Tucker's "Devilette" proves the band warms up very quickly, as Heath's bouncy rhythm excites Gordon's vocal-like, linear lines with slight swinging inserts. The most amazing track is the near-16-minute, fast romp 12-bar blues take of "Sonnymoon for Two," as an inexhaustible Gordon plays what was then called a whopping "three foot long," 28 chorus solo without quoting a single standard, going on and on in Zen fashion before Drew hits up 20 choruses of his own. The Rollins signature tune "Doxy" is played flawlessly with nary a single cliché, as Gordon negotiates the tricky melody with his legendary cool ease and near nonchalance. Drew and Gordon together are best when wearing their hearts on their sleeves during the quiet tunes "For All We Know" and "Misty," using emotional constraint and control with throaty, pillow talk tones. A well-recorded live date, one of many Gordon did at the Montmartre, this easily ranks as one of Gordon's best, just shy of his magnum opus Homecoming.


             PHIL WOODS  

               Recording Date
                    July 19, 1957

                    Ray Copeland TP 
                    Red Garland  P
                    Teddy Kotick B
                    Nick Stabulas D 
                    Phil Woods   A


Review by Scott Yanow
This CD from Fantasy's Original Jazz Classics series is essentially a bebop jam session. The quintet (altoist Phil Woods, trumpeter Ray Copeland, pianist Red Garland, bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Nick Stabulas) performs three Charlie Parker compositions and three originals by Woods, but the melodies are quickly discarded in favor of heated solos. Woods and the greatly underrated Copeland work together very well, and Garland is a major asset both as a soloist and as an accompanist to the horns. This little-known date is quite enjoyable.


           JOHNNY DYANI
            Song for Biko
                  Recording Date:
                     July 18, 1978

                    Don Cherry       CT
                    Ed Blackwell     CT
                    Johnny Dyani     B
                    Makaya Ntshoko D
                    Dudu Pukwana   AS


Reviewby Scott Yanow
Bassist Johnny Dyani had a large tone and a relaxed yet authoritative style. On this classic SteepleChase release he teams up with two other South African expatriates (altoist Dudu Pukwana and drummer Makay Ntshoko) plus cornetist Don Cherry for music that is haunting, emotional, somewhat adventurous, yet also melodic. While "Song for Biko" is the most memorable piece, all five of Dyani's originals (including the 16-and-a-half-minute "Jo'burg-New York") are special. The music combines together Dyani's South African folk heritage with Ornette Coleman's free bop and elements of avant-garde jazz. Highly recommended.


                  SUN RA

             Recording Date:
                  July 17, 1978

                 Sun Ra            P,O,SYN 
                 M.  Allen      FL,OB,AS 
                 Eddie Gale        TP 
                John Gilmore    TS

                June Tyson        Vo
                Richard Williams B


Review by William Ruhlmann
While one can't quite call it the Sun Ra dance album, this 1978 recording, made for a tiny Philadelphia record label, finds the Sun Ra Arkestra's rhythm section settling into a steady groove on each of the lengthy tracks, while horns, reeds, guitars, and Sun Ra's keyboards solo in overlapping patterns on top. The title number recalls Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" in its slow pace and elegiac tone, while the middle three tracks have livelier beats with playing that often answers to the style of fusion played by many jazz groups in the late '70s. "There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)," the nearly 11-minute concluding tune, is the closest to more familiar 1960s and early-'70s Sun Ra, with its less cohesive lead work and the "ethnic voices" that speak, sing, and whisper about outer space. Lanquidity was extremely rare in its original vinyl pressing. It was reissued by Evidence Music on September 26, 2000, with liner notes in which John Dilberto discussed Sun Ra's 25-year residence in Philadelphia and Tom Buchler, who organized the recording session, discussed the making of the album.


             ZOOT SIMS
          Good Old Zoot 

            Recording Date:
                  July 16, 1954

                  Stu Williamson TP,VTB
                  Zoot Sims        TS
                  Kenny Drew     P
                  Ralph Pena       B
                  Jimmy Pratt     D



              SONNY ROLLINS
     All the Things You Are
           Recording Date:
                July 15, 1963 tk 1,2,5
                July 18, 1963 tk 3-4

                Coleman Hawkins TS
                Sonny Rollins      TS
                Paul Bley            P
                Roy McCurdy       D
                Bob Cranshaw     B tk 1,2,5
                Henry Grimes      B tk 3-4


Review by Scott Yanow
Half of this CD contains the famous session on which Sonny Rollins teamed up with his idol, the great tenor Coleman Hawkins. Actually the competitive Rollins did everything he could during these performances to throw Hawk off with plenty of sound explorations and free playing but Hawkins keeps from getting lost and battles Rollins to a tie; pianist Paul Bley plays well too. The remainder of this CD (three selections apiece from the former LPs Now's the Time and The Standard Sonny Rollins) is more conventional but has its moments of interest. The young Herbie Hancock is on piano for all of these tracks and guitarist Jim Hall helps on "Trav'lin Light." Rollins's RCA recordings of the 1960s are all worth picking up even though they are currently being reissued in piecemeal fashion.


               CHARLIE PARKER
             At Jirayr Zorthian's Ranch

              Recording Date:
                    July 14 1952

                    Chet Baker        TP 
                    Larance Marable D 
                    Frank Morgan     AS
                    Charlie Parker    AS
                    Don Wilkerson    TS

                    Amost Trice        P
                    Dave Bryant        B


Jirayr Zorthian was a painter and sculptor whose large ranch was known for wild parties attended by hordes of intellectuals, artists and naked women frolicking about. Thus it's easy to see why Charlie Parker wound up there in 1952. This concert captures a moment that is mentioned in every serious Parker discography, but is only available now for the first time. This session was not a formal concert performance, but rather an informal musical party, and thus featured plenty of relaxed improvisation and witty musical quotes. These are also the only existing recordings of Bird playing with tenor saxophonist Don Wilkerson, who would later make a name for himself on the Blue Note label, and alto saxophonist Frank Morgan. Chet Baker also makes an appearance on one track (and again, no surprise to see him there). The various combinations of musicians run through the usual suspects, like "Au Privave, "Scrapple From the Apple and "A Night in Tunisia, all for a crowd that was probably too drunk or stoned to care much about what was going on (although they seem quite invigorated by a strip tease performed during "Embraceable You ).

As wonderful as it is to have unreleased Parker material available, these recordings are about as amateur as it gets. The producers acknowledge the limitations of the source material and claim that the performances make up for it, but I found them close to unlistenable. The piano and bass are inaudible, and Parker barely makes it through the crackle and noise. True, Parker seems in good form, but it seems unlikely that anyone would check out this CD for other than mild curiosity or scholarly reasons.

No doubt Parkerophiles will snatch up these recordings, which offer a rare glimpse of a true master in about as informal a setting as one can get short of practice tapes. The rest of us can listen to the classic material already available and save ourselves the ear strain.

July 13

                 RON CARTER
             Third Plane
               Recording Date:
                   July 13, 1977

                   Ron Carter         B
                   Herbie Hancock  B,P
                   Tony Williams     D


Reviewby Scott Yanow
This reunion of Miles Davis' mid-'60s rhythm section (bassist Ron Carter, pianist Herbie Hancock, and drummer Tony Williams) has its moments but is not particularly memorable. Performing three of Carter's songs, one apiece from Hancock and Williams, and the standard "Stella by Starlight," the solos are fine, but on the whole, little special occurs; the magic is missing.


                           SUN RA
                    Sun Song
                    Recording Date:
                         July 12, 1956

                         Sun Ra             O,P
                         Robert Barry     D
                         Richard Evans   B,D
                         John Gilmore    Per,TS  
                         Wilburn Green   B,G
                         James Herndon  Tym
                         Arthur Hoyle      TP
                         Pat Patrick         B
                          Julian Priester   TB,Ch
                          James Scales     AS
                          Dave Young       TP  


Review by Lindsay Planer
Originally issued as Jazz By Sun Ra in 1956, Sun Song was the first long-player to feature the enigmatic bandleader. However, his various bands — or "Arkestras" as Ra proclaimed them — had been issuing 78 and 45 rpms since the mid '50s. This recording initiated a much larger audience to the multifarious and otherwise logical post-bop rhythms of one of jazz's most notorious and equally respected figures. The sides which comprise Sun Song were recorded on July 12, 1956 by Tom Wilson, who would go on to produce such rock luminaries as Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground, among others. Wilson's use of Chicago's premier Universal Recording Studio accounts for the amazing crispness and attention to nuance omnipresent throughout the disc. Ra's highly arithmetical approach to bop was initially discounted by noted jazz critic Nat Hentoff as "repetitious" with phrases which were "built merely on riffs with little development." In retrospect, however, it is obvious there is much more going on here. Among the musical innovations woven into compositions, such as the up-tempo "Brainville" and "Transition," are advanced time signatures coupled with harmonic scales based on Ra's mathematical equations. The intricate harmonies and complicated arrangements on "Possession" and "Sun Song" are inspiring in their deceptive simplicity. Text originally featured in a booklet accompanying Jazz By Sun Ra is reproduced in the CD liner notes booklet. This is noteworthy as one of the rare occasions upon which he sought to explain not only his influences, but his methods of composition and modes of execution as well. This may well be the most accessible work in Sun Ra's massive catalogue. It is likewise one of the most beautiful.


               JOHN COLTRANE
           July 1958 Session

                 Recording Date:
                      July 11, 1958

                    Wilbur Harden  FLH
                    John Coltrane  TS
                    Red Garland     P
                    Paul Chambers B
                   Jimmy Cobb      D



Review by Steve Leggett
John Coltrane had yet to move into his modal post-bop phase in 1958 when he recorded a session for Prestige Records on July 11 with trumpeter/flügelhornist Wilbur Harden, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, the results of which were issued in 1962 as Standard Coltrane. His groundbreaking modal work with Miles Davis on Kind of Blue was still a few months into the future, which makes this set more historical than vital or transitional, although it's pleasant enough, featuring Coltrane on several standards, including a ten-plus-minute version of "Invitation." Other Coltrane material from this 1958 Prestige era ended up on the albums Stardust (1963) and Bahia (1965), and all of it, including these four tracks, has been collected on The Stardust Session from Prestige Records, which is probably the way to go.

Review by Alex Henderson
In 1958, John Coltrane had yet to take the modal post-bop plunge. He was still a hard bopper, although his "sheets of sound" solos were certainly among the most interesting, creative, and distinctive that bop had to offer in the late '50s. Stardust contains some highlights of two bop-oriented Coltrane dates from 1958: one is a July 11 session with trumpeter/flugelhornist Wilbur Harden, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, the other is a December 26 session with Garland, Chambers, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and drummer Art Taylor. At both sessions, Coltrane's playing is quite engaging. He is a lyrical, expressive ballad player on "Then I'll Be Tired of You," "Stardust," and "Time After Time," but he swings fast and aggressively on "Love Thy Neighbor" (the only track on this 39-minute program that isn't a ballad). And at both sessions, Coltrane is well served by Garland's piano and Chambers' bass. When Coltrane was playing alongside those jazzmen in Miles Davis' 1955-1957 quintet, he enjoyed a strong rapport with both of them -- and that rapport wasn't any less strong in 1958. It is no coincidence that Prestige's A&R department united Coltrane with Garland and Chambers so often; Prestige knew how compatible all of them were. Although not quite essential, Stardust paints a consistently attractive picture of Coltrane's 1958 output. [When Fantasy reissued Stardust on CD for its Original Jazz Classics (OJC) series in 1997, the July 11 session had long been available in its entirety (except for alternate takes) on a disc titled The Stardust Session; however, performances of "Then I'll Be Tired of You" and "Time After Time" (both from the December 26 session) had only been available on CD as part of the 16-CD box set The Complete Prestige Recordings.]


             SONNY CRISS
               Go Man!

               Recording Date:
                     July 10, 1956

                    Sonny Criss          AS
                    Sonny Clark          P
                    Leroy Vinnegar     B
                    Lawrence Marable D


Review by Lee Bloom
By the mid-'50s, William "Sonny" Criss was maturing as a significant voice on the alto saxophone. Heavily influenced by Charlie Parker, much of Criss' earlier output was plagued by a hurried time feel, awkward phrasing and an uncomfortably tense vibrato. Go Man!, one of three dates he did for the Imperial label, showcases a confident, energetic Criss on ten standard tunes and two original lines. This hard-to-find collection is a must-have for fans of pianist Sonny Clark, heard in fine form (a bit more aggresive and "on top of the beat" than usual) along with the very coherent team of bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Lawrence Marable. Only 24 years old at the time of recording, Clark had recently settled in California and was establishing himself as an inspired accompanist and soloist with the groups of Buddy DeFranco and Howard Rumsey. Clark's piano introduces nearly every cut on this recording, and his crisp, inventive soloing is a perfect compliment for Criss' brightly expressive, lightening quick lines. Overall, a lively assortment of concisely rendered, boppish treatments.


             HORACE SILVER

              Recording Date:
                     July 9, 1960

                    Roy Brooks       D
                    Junior Cook     TS 
                    Billy Mitchell    TS 
                    Blue Mitchell    TP 
                    Horace Silver   P 
                    Gene Taylor     B 


Review by Steve Huey
Horace-Scope is the third album by Horace Silver's classic quintet — or most of it, actually, as drummer Louis Hayes was replaced by Roy Brooks starting with this session. The rhythmic drive and overall flavor of the group are still essentially the same, though, and Horace-Scope continues the tight, sophisticated-yet-swinging blueprint for hard bop pioneered on its two classic predecessors. The program is as appealing as ever, and even though not as many tunes caught on this time — at least not on the level of a "Juicy Lucy" or "Sister Sadie" — Silver's writing is tuneful and tasteful. The best-known selections are probably the lovely closing number "Nica's Dream," which had been around for several years but hadn't yet been recorded on a Silver LP, and the genial, laid-back opener "Strollin'." But really, every selection is full of soulful grooves and well-honed group interplay, the qualities that made this band perhaps the top hard bop outfit of the early '60s. Silver was in the midst of a hot streak that wouldn't let up for another few years, and Horace-Scope is another eminently satisfying effort from that period.