DIZZY GILLESPIE
        Pleyel Jazz Concert 1948

                   Recording Date:
                        February 28, 1948

Review by by Scott Yanow
A superior live concert by the 1948 Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, this LP is highlighted by a lengthy version of "'Round Midnight," "Two Bass Hit," "The Afro Cuban Suite"  and "Things to Come." Every recording by this shortlived but memorable orchestra (the most innovative big band of 1946-49) is worth acquiring.

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        Benny Bailey      TP
          John Brown     AS 
          Dave Burns      TP 
          Kenny Clarke    D 
          Kenny Dorham  TP 
          Joe Gayles       TS 
          Dizzy Gillespie TP, Vo 
          Kenny Hagood   Vo
          Al Haig              P

          Ted Kelly          TB
          John Lewis       P
          Al McKibbon      B
          James Moody    TS
          Big Nick Nicholas TS
          Cecil Payne      BS 
          Tommy Potter  B
          Chano Pozo     CG 
          Max Roach       D
          Bill Shepherd   TB
          Elmon Wright   TB 
          Lammar Wright  TP 


                 MAX ROACH
                   It's Time

                 Recording Date:
                     February 27, 1962

                     Clifford Jordan     AS
                     Richard Williams   TP
                     Julian Priester      TB
                     Mal Waldron         P
                     Art Davis              B
                     Max Roach            D
                     Earl Baker            VO 
                     Abbey Lincoln       VO
                     Coleridge Perkinson CGA

            LINK Retired

This Max Roach date had been out-of-print for around 30 years when it was finally reissued on CD by Impulse in 1996. An unusual set, this outing featured the drummer's all-star sextet (which consisted of trumpeter Richard Williams, tenor-saxophonist Clifford Jordan, trombonist Julian Priester, pianist Mal Waldron and bassist Art Davis) joined by a vocal choir conducted by Coleridge Perkinson and orchestrated by Roach (who contributed all six originals). Unlike most other collaborations, the choir was not overly gospel-oriented and was utilized as a sort-of jazz ensemble. Each of the horns has a feature or two and singer Abbey Lincoln stars on "Lonesome Lover." But despite the sincerity of this effort, there are times when one wishes the choir would leave altogether and let the quintet really stretch out.


                   CHARLIE PARKER
                   C.P. MacGregor Studios, CA

                   February 26, 1947
                       Howard McGhee   TP
                       Charlie Parker      AS
                       Wardell Gray        TS
                       Dodo Marmarosa   P
                       Barney Kessel       G
                       Red Callender       B
                       Don Lamond         D

              1. Relaxin' at Camarillo
              2. Cheers
              3. Carvin' the Bird
              4. Stupendous

LINKs Retired

Charlie Parker
"Royal Roost", NYC

February 26, 1949
    Kenny Dorham     TP
    Charlie Parker     AS
    Lucky Thompson  TS
    Milt Jackson        VB
    Al Haig                P
    Tommy Potter     B
    Max Roach          D
    Dave Lambert     VO
    Buddy Stewart    VO

1. Half Nelson
2. Night in Tunisia, A
3. Scrapple from the Apple
4. Deedle


                        JIMMY SMITH
                    The Sermon!

                  February 25, 1958  tk 1, 3
                     Lee Morgan        TP
                     Lou Donaldson    AS
                     Tina Brooks        TS
                     Jimmy Smith      O
                     Kenny Burrell      G
                     Art Blakey          D

                 August 25, 1957     tk2
                    George Coleman   AS
                    Lee Morgan          TP
                    Curtis Fuller         TB
                    Jimmy Smith        ORG
                    Kenny Burrell        G
                    Donald Bailey       D

LINK Retired

Review by Lindsay Planer
The seven sides on The Sermon! (1958) come from a pair of studio dates, the first of which was held August 25, 1957 and includes Jimmy Smith (organ), Lee Morgan (trumpet), George Coleman (alto sax), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Eddie McFadden (guitar), Kenny Burrell (guitar) and Donald Bailey (drums). This was followed by a second exactly six months (to the day) later on February 25, 1958. Along with Smith, present and accounted for during the session were Lou Donaldson (alto sax) replacing Coleman in addition to contributions from Tina Brooks (tenor sax) and the ubiquitous Art Blakey (drums). From the '57 confab are the popular music standards "S'Wonderful" and "Blue Room". The former is given an unhurried mid-tempo workout as Morgan banters sublime licks with McFadden. Fuller's full round tones effortlessly manoeuvre "Blue Room" with the intimate trio of Bailey and Smith in support. The real essence can be heard in the variety of styles utilized in the latter gathering. An emotive "Lover Man" is punctuated by Donaldson's fluid leads behind Smith's heartfelt changes. This is sharply distinguished by the longer jams featuring Burrell, Blakey and mighty impressive blows throughout from Morgan and Brooks. They ride hard on the Bird classics "Confirmation" and an intense "Au Privave". Brooks' solos are much of the reason why each excels with such bop finesse and are best experienced rather than simply read about. "Flamingo" is a sumptuous ballad that allows Morgan and Burrell to trade some laid back lines within the context of an unencumbered rhythm section. Whether upgrading the mid ‘80s CD or discovering the platter for the first time, The Sermon! is a prime example of Smith and company's myriad of talents.


                    SONNY CRISS 
                      Jazz USA
                   Recording Date:
                          February 24, 1956

                         Sonny Criss          AS
                         Kenny Drew         P
                         Barney Kessel       G
                         Bill Woodson        B
                         Chuck Thompson  D

                     LINK Retired

January 26, 1956
      IM-981 Easy Living Imperial LP 9006, LP 9205
      IM-982 Criss Cross Imperial LP 9006 
      IM-983 Willow Weep For Me Imperial 5694, LP 9006, LP 9205 
      IM-984 Alabamy Bound Imperial LP 9006, LP 9205 

February 24, 1956
     IM-1012 Something's Gotta Give Imperial LP 9006, LP 9205
     IM-1013 These Foolish Things Imperial LP 9006
     IM-1014 West Coast Blues Imperial 5694, LP 9006 
     IM-1015 Blue Friday Imperial LP 9006 

March 23, 1956
    IM-1034 More Than You Know Imperial LP 9006, LP 9205 
    IM-1035 Sunday -
    IM-1036 Sweet Georgia Brown - 
    IM-1037 Ham's Blues Imperial LP 9006 


               PEE WEE RUSSELL
                 Jazz Reunion

                 Recording Date:
                      February 23, 1961

                     Emmett Berry        TP 
                     Bob Brookmeyer    TB 
                     Coleman Hawkins   TS 
                     Milt Hinton             B
                     Jo Jones                D 
                     Nat Pierce              P 
                     Pee Wee Russell     CL

                  LINK Retired

Review by Scott Yanow
This LP (whose contents have been reissued on CD) features a reunion between tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and clarinetist Pee Wee Russell; they revisit "If I Could Be with You," a song they had recorded together in a classic version back in 1929. Russell was beginning to perform much more modern material than the Dixieland music associated with the Eddie Condon players and on this set (which also features trumpeter Emmett Berry, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, pianist Nat Pierce, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Jo Jones), he plays a couple of Duke Ellington tunes, two originals and "Tin Tin Deo." Hawkins is also in fine form and this somewhat surprising program is quite successful.


             JOHN COLTRANE
             Interstellar Space

                Recording Date:
                     February 22, 1967

                    John Coltrane  TS, Bells
                    Rashied Ali       D

                LINK Retired

Reviewby Scott Yanow
Not released for the first time until 1974 but now available in expanded form as a CD, this set of duets by tenor saxophonist John Coltrane and drummer Rashied Ali are full of fire, emotion and constant abstract invention. The original four pieces ("Mars," "Venus," "Jupiter" and "Saturn") are joined by "Leo" and "Jupiter Variation." Coltrane alternates quiet moments with sections of great intensity, showing off his phenominal technique and ability to improvise without the need for chordal instruments. Rousing if somewhat inaccessible music.


                ART BLAKEY QUINTET 
               A Night at Birdland v1-2
                        Recording Date 
                            February 21, 1954

                            Art Blakey          D 
                            Clifford Brown   TP 
                            Lou Donaldson    AS 
                            Curly Russell       B
                            Horace Silver     P 

                        LINK Retired

Review by Michael G. Nastos
When Art Blakey founded the Jazz Messengers, his initial goal was to not only make his mark on the hard bop scene, but to always bring younger players into the fold, nurture them, and send them out as leaders in their own right. Pianist Horace Silver, trumpeter Clifford Brown, and saxophonist Lou Donaldson were somewhat established, but skyrocketed into stardom after this band switched personnel. Perhaps the most acclaimed combo of Blakey's next to the latter-period bands with Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter, the pre-Messengers quintet heard on this first volume of live club dates at Birdland in New York City provides solid evidence to the assertion that this ensemble was a one of a kind group the likes of which was not heard until the mid-'60s Miles Davis Quintet. Three of Silver's greatest contributions to jazz before he turned to original soul and funkier sounds are here. "Split Kick" (introduced by the erudite Pee Wee Marquette) is a definitive hard bop vehicle, as Brown and Donaldson dig into their melody and solo lines with deep affection and joy for this music. "Quicksilver" is more of the same as the horns play in unison and pull the famous lyrical quote from "Hey, You Beautiful Doll." "Mayreh" is a happy reharmonized version of "All God's Children Got Rhythm," hard bop at its best, with Brown on fire. Of course, Donaldson's forte is soul, as emphasized during the slow "Blues," assimilating Charlie Parker's cooled tones nicely. A near ten-minute "A Night in Tunisia" establishes the loose-tight concept Blakey patented as he dominates the bandstand in loudness. J.J. Johnson's "Wee-Dot" is as definitive a bop flagwaver as there is, with a short head and plenty of solo space. Where Brown was always masterful in a ballad, "Once in a While" showcases his beautifully executed legato sound, but not at the expense of his innate ability to both invent and extrapolate without losing touch of this special melancholy song. This recording, as well as subsequent editions of these performances, launches an initial breakthrough for Blakey and modern jazz in general, and defines the way jazz music could be heard for decades thereafter. Everybody must own copies of all volumes of A Night at Birdland.

Review by Scott Yanow
The second volume taken from Art Blakey's pre-Jazz Messengers gig at Birdland features the immortal trumpeter Clifford Brown, altoist Lou Donaldson, pianist Horace Silver, bassist Curly Russell and the leader/drummer romping through the blues "Wee-Dot," two Charlie Parker tunes, an alternate version of "Quicksilver" and a Donaldson ballad feature on "If I Had You." All of the musicians are inspired, none more than Blakey who would soon form The Jazz Messengers as a permanent outlet for his hard-swinging drums.


                WALLACE RONEY
         The Wallace Roney Quintet

                 Recording Date:
                     February 20-22, 1995

                    Wallace Roney    TP
                    Carlos McKinney  P
                    Antoine Roney    TS
                    Clarence Seay     B
                    Eric Allen            D

                 LINK Retired

Trumpeter Wallace Roney's work is often linked to that of Miles Davis, and there's an undeniable resemblance in his sparse lines, carefully placed notes, and concentrated sense of expression. It's a positive resemblance, though, and one that's been endorsed by Davis himself and by close associates like Herbie Hancock and Gerry Mulligan. Here he's heard to excellent effect in his regular working band, with his brother Antoine, a rapidly developing player on tenor saxophone, and strong support from pianist Carlos McKinney, bassist Clarence Seay, and the potent drummer Eric Allen. It's a powerful, modally based music, filled with darkly murmuring lines and an emotional force that's too rare among the more conservative wing of contemporary players. --Stuart Broomer


                    FREDDIE HUBBARD
                        Blue Spirits

                    Recording Date:
                         February 19, 1965   tk 1-2,6-7
                         February 26, 1965   tk 3-5

                       Freddie Hubbard   TP
                       Kiane Zawadi        EU
                       James Spaulding    AS, FT
                       Joe Henderson      TS tk 1-2,6-7
                       Harold Mabern       P  tk 1-2,6-7
                       Larry Ridley          B  tk 1-2,6-7
                       Clifford Jarvis       D  tk 1-2,6-7
                       Big Black     
                       Hank Mobley         TS  tk 3-5
                       McCoy Tyner         P   tk 3-5
                       Bob Cranshaw       B    tk 3-5
                       Pete LaRoca          D   tk 3-5


Review by Scott Yanow
This CD, Freddie Hubbard's last Blue Note release of the 1960s (with the exception of the blowing session The Night of the Cookers), adds two numbers to the original LP program and features the great trumpeter in three challenging settings ranging from a sextet to an octet. Hubbard uses such sidemen as altoist James Spaulding, tenors Joe Henderson and Hank Mobley, the euphonium of Kiane Zawadi, pianists Harold Mabern, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock, bassists Larry Ridley, Bob Cranshaw and Reggie Workman, drummers Clifford Jarvis, Pete La Roca and Elvin Jones, the congas of Big Black and on one song bassoonist Hosea Taylor. The set is comprised of seven diverse Hubbard originals and, even though none of the songs caught on to become standards, the music is quite challenging and fairly memorable.


                  CHARLIE PARKER
                  Bird at St. Nick's
                     St. Nicholas Arena, NYC
                     February 18, 1950

                         Red Rodney      TP
                         Charlie Parker  AS
                         Al Haig             P
                         Tommy Potter   B
                         Roy Haynes       D

              LINK Retired


Review by Scott Yanow
Veteran Charlie Parker collectors generally know that they should avoid all but his most famous live sessions. It is not that Parker plays badly on this CD reissue (in fact his solo on "Confirmation" is quite miraculous) but, as is often the case with these privately recorded sets, the recording quality is horrible. Bird (with trumpeter Red Rodney, pianist Al Haig, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Roy Haynes) plays quite well but these versions only hint at what the music must have sounded like.


                FRANK SINATRA
          In the Wee Small Hours
                February 8, 1955
                    Glad To Be Unhappy
                    Can't We Be Friends?
                    I'll Be Around
                February 16, 1955
                    Ill Wind  
                    Mood Indigo      
                    I See Your Face Before Me
                    What Is This Thing Called Love

February 17, 1955
    In The Wee Small Hours
    I Get Along Without You Very Well
    When Your Lover Has Gone
    This Love Of Mine  

March 1, 1954
    Last Night When We Were Young 

February 24, 1955
    Deep In A Dream
    I'll Never Be The Same  

March 4, 1955   
    It Never Entered My Mind  

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Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Expanding on the concept of Songs for Young Lovers!, In the Wee Small Hours was a collection of ballads arranged by Nelson Riddle. The first 12" album recorded by Sinatra, Wee Small Hours was more focused and concentrated than his two earlier concept records. It's a blue, melancholy album, built around a spare rhythm section featuring a rhythm guitar, celesta, and Bill Miller's piano, with gently aching strings added every once and a while. Within that melancholy mood is one of Sinatra's most jazz-oriented performances — he restructures the melody and Miller's playing is bold throughout the record. Where Songs for Young Lovers! emphasized the romantic aspects of the songs, Sinatra sounds like a lonely, broken man on In the Wee Small Hours. Beginning with the newly written title song, the singer goes through a series of standards that are lonely and desolate. In many ways, the album is a personal reflection of the heartbreak of his doomed love affair with actress Ava Gardner, and the standards that he sings form their own story when collected together. Sinatra's voice had deepened and worn to the point where his delivery seems ravished and heartfelt, as if he were living the songs.


                       ARNETTE COBB
                 Movin' Right Along

                 Recording Date: 
                     February 16, 1960  
                    Buck Clarke          CGA 
                    Arnette Cobb        TS
                    Sam Jones             B 
                    Art Taylor              D 
                    Bobby Timmons      P 

                    Tommy Flanagan     P    tk7
                    Danny Barrajanos   CGA  tk7

               LINK Retired

Review by Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.
From the opening notes of "Nitty Gritty," Movin' Right Along is a warm, stimulating set. Recorded in two days in February 1960, the album finds Arnett Cobb and a few friends playing an energetic, straight-ahead set. The only oddity is the presence of Buck Clarke's congas, which manage to add an extra layer of rhythm, even though there isn't a Latin tune in sight. There's a good mix between ballads like "(I Don't Stand) A Ghost of a Chance (With You)" and up-tempo pieces like "Exactly Like You." Cobb's expressive playing stands out most clearly on slower pieces like "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," allowing plenty of room for him to breathe life into each note. The odd piece out is "Fast Ride," the lone tune to include pianist Tommy Flanagan and conga player Danny Barrajanos. This upbeat piece leans toward hard bop and, as Joe Goldberg points out in the liner notes, recalls "Lester Leaps In." Today, many would call Movin' Right Along "mainstream jazz," though the term doesn't quite do justice to Cobb's soulful tenor work. For those who remember Cobb's work from the 1940s through the 1980s, the value of this reissue will be obvious. For everyone else, Movin' Right Along will serve as a fine introduction.


                 HORACE PARLAN
           Happy Frame of Mind
               Recording Date:
                     Febraury 15, 1963

                    Johnny Coles    TP
                    Booker Ervin    TS
                    Grant Green     G
                    Billy Higgins      D
                    Horace Parlan    P
                    Butch Warren    B

             LINK Retired

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Happy Frame of Mind finds Horace Parlan breaking away from the soul-inflected hard bop that had become his trademark, moving his music into more adventurous, post-bop territory. Aided by a first-rate quintet -- trumpeter Johnny Coles, tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, guitarist Grant Green, bassist Butch Warren, drummer Billy Higgins -- Parlan produces a provocative set that is grounded in soul and blues but stretches out into challenging improvisations. None of the musicians completely embrace the avant-garde, but there are shifting tonal textures and unpredictable turns in the solos which have been previously unheard in Parlan's music. Perhaps that's the reason why Happy Frame of Mind sat unissued in Blue Note's vaults until 1976, when it was released as part of a double-record Booker Ervin set, but the fact of the matter is, it's one of Parlan's most successful efforts, finding the perfect middle ground between accessible, entertaining jazz and more adventurous music.


                                                                                                         PHARAOAH SANDERS

                 Recording Dates:
                    February 14, 1969  tk 1-2
                    February 19, 1969  tk 3
                   Julius Watkins          FRH
                   James Spaulding       FL
                   Pharoah Sanders       TS
                    Lonnie Liston Smith  P
                    Richard Davis           B
                    Reggie Workman      B
                    Billy Hart                 D 
                    Ron Carter               B
                    Reggie Workman      B
                    Freddie Waits          D
                    Nat Bettis                PER
                    Leon Thomas           PER, VO

                                                                                                                                                                                   LINK Retired

Review by Thom Jurek
Pharoah Sanders' third album as a leader is the one that defines him as a musician to the present day. After the death of Coltrane, while there were many seeking to make a spiritual music that encompassed his ideas and yearnings while moving forward, no one came up with the goods until Sanders on this 1969 date. There are only two tracks on Karma, the 32-plus minute "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and the five-and-a-half-minute "Colours." The band is one of Sanders' finest, and features vocalist Leon Thomas, drummer Billy Hart, Julius Watkins, James Spaulding, a pre-funk Lonnie Liston Smith, Richard Davis, Reggie Workman on bass, and Nathaniel Bettis on percussion. "Creator" begins with a quote from "A Love Supreme," with a nod to Coltrane's continuing influence on Sanders. But something else emerges here as well: Sanders' own deep commitment to lyricism and his now inherent knowledge of Eastern breathing and modal techniques. His ability to use the ostinato became not a way of holding a tune in place while people soloed, but a manner of pushing it irrepressibly forward. Keeping his range limited (for the first eight minutes anyway), Sanders explores all the colors around the key figures, gradually building the dynamics as the band comps the two-chord theme behind with varying degrees of timbral invention. When Thomas enters at nine minutes, the track begins to open. His yodel frees up the theme and the rhythm section to invent around him. At 18 minutes it explodes, rushing into a silence that is profound as it is noisy in its approach. Sanders is playing microphonics and blowing to the heavens and Thomas is screaming. They are leaving the material world entirely. When they arrive at the next plane, free of modal and interval constraints, a new kind of lyricism emerges, one not dependent on time but rhythm, and Thomas and Sanders are but two improvisers in a sound universe of world rhythm and dimension. There is nothing to describe the exhilaration that is felt when this tune ends, except that "Colours," with Ron Carter joining Workman on the bass, was the only track that could follow it. You cannot believe it until you hear it.


                       Jazz Samba
                      Recording Date: 
                          February 13, 1962

                         Keter Betts                 B 
                         Charlie Byrd               G
                         Gene Byrd                  B,G 
                         Buddy Deppenschmidt D 
                         Stan Getz                  TS
                         Antonio Carlos Jobim  G 
                         Bill Reichenbach         D 

                     Recording at All Souls Church
                     Washington, DC

                     LINK Retired

Review by Steve Huey
Partly because of its Brazilian collaborators and partly because of "The Girl From Ipanema," Getz/Gilberto is nearly always acknowledged as the Stan Getz bossa nova LP. But Jazz Samba is just as crucial and groundbreaking; after all, it came first, and in fact was the first full-fledged bossa nova album ever recorded by American jazz musicians. And it was just as commercially successful, topping the LP charts and producing its own pop chart hit single in "Desafinado." It was the true beginning of the bossa nova craze, and introduced several standards of the genre (including Ary Barroso's "Bahia" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado" and "Samba de Uma Nota Só" [aka "One Note Samba"]). But above all, Jazz Samba stands on its own artistic merit as a shimmering, graceful collection that's as subtly advanced — in harmony and rhythm — as it is beautiful. Getz and his co-billed partner, guitarist Charlie Byrd — who was actually responsible for bringing bossa nova records to the U.S. and introducing Getz to the style — have the perfect touch for bossa nova's delicate, airy texture. For his part, Byrd was one of the first American musicians to master bossa nova's difficult, bubbling syncopations, and his solos are light and lilting. Meanwhile, Getz's playing is superb, simultaneously offering a warm, full tone and a cool control of dynamics; plus, Byrd's gently off-kilter harmonies seem to stimulate Getz's melodic inventiveness even more than usual. But beyond technique, Getz intuitively understands the romanticism and the undercurrent of melancholy inherent in the music, and that's what really made Jazz Samba such a revelatory classic. Absolutely essential for any jazz collection.


                   KENNY DORHAM
                 Jazz Contemporary

                   Recording Date:
                       February 11, 1960 tk 3,7,8,10
                       February 12, 1960  tk 1,4,5,6,9

                      Charles Davis    BS
                      Kenny Dorham   TP
                      Buddy Enlow     D
                      Jimmy Garrison B [2/11]
                      Steve Kuhn     P
                      Butch Warren   B [2/12]

                                                                                                    LINK Retired

Review by Scott Yanow
Originally on the Time label, this LP features the excellent (but always underrated) trumpeter Kenny Dorham heading a quintet that also includes baritonist Charles Davis, pianist Steve Kuhn, either Jimmy Garrison or Butch Warren on bass, and drummer Buddy Enlow. The results are not quite essential but everyone plays up to par, performing three of Dorham's originals plus "In Your Own Sweet Way," "Monk's Mood," and "This Love of Mine." It's fine hard bop, the modern mainstream music of the period.