MAY 31

               TAL FARLOW
          Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow
         
                 Recording Date: 
                     May 31, 1956


                 Personnel:
                     Eddie Costa     P
                     Tal Farlow       G
                      Vinnie Burke   B












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Review by Scott Yanow
In the mid-'50s, guitarist Tal Farlow led one of his finest groups, a drumless trio with pianist Eddie Costa and bassist Vinnie Burke. The same band would record the album Tal a week or two later. With Burke contributing a constant walking bass, the interplay between Farlow and Costa is always exciting, whether they are playing unisons or trading off. This 1999 CD reissue not only has the original seven selections but "Gone With the Wind" (which was left off of the original LP due to lack of space) plus three full-length alternate takes that are basically on the same level as the masters. Among the highpoints are "Taking a Chance on Love," "Yardbird Suite," "Like Someone in Love," and Farlow's lone original, "Meteor," which utilizes the chord changes of "Confirmation." Hot bebop that is easily recommended.
 

MAY 30

            THELONIOUS MONK
               Genius of Modern Music v2       

                  WOR Studios, NYC
                     May 30, 1952
       
                 Personnel:
                     Kenny Dorham      TP
                     Lou Donaldson      AS
                     Lucky Thompson   TS
                     Thelonious Monk    P
                     Nelson Boyd          B
                     Max Roach            D








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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,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.]
 

MAY 29

             HORACE SILVER
           A Prescription For The Blues 

               Recording Date:
                   May 29-30, 1997


               Personnel:
                   Randy Brecker   TP
                   Michael Brecker TS
                   Horace Silver     P
                   Ron Carter         B
                   Louis Hayes        D


                                                                                                  



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Reviewby Scott Yanow
Pianist/composer Horace Silver teams up with the Brecker Brothers (both of whom used to be in his quintet) and a veteran rhythm section of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Louis Hayes to debut nine of his originals. The funny part about Silver's music is that, no matter who he is paying tribute to (this set includes a song for Lester Young), the style always ends up sounding like Horace Silver, with no real reference to the subject matter. All of the music on this date is very much in Silver's funky hard bop tradition, in the phrasing, catchy themes, concise solos by tenor Michael and trumpeter Randy Brecker, and the pianist's distinctive and quote-filled improvisations. None of the melodies are all that memorable ("Walk On" has the best chance of catching on), so there are probably no future "hits" on this collection. But it is a joy to hear Horace Silver still playing in his prime at the age of 68.

MAY 28

                BUD POWELL
                 Time Waits
               The Amazing Bud Powell
        
                   Recording Date: 
                       May 28, 1958

                   Personnel:
                       Philly Joe Jones D
                       Sam Jones         B 
                       Bud Powell         P 







 
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Review by Scott Yanow
This set from pianist Bud Powell (which has been reissued on CD in a "complete" four-CD set) is most notable for having the debut versions of seven of Powell's compositions; most memorable are "Time Waits," "Monopoly" and especially "John's Abbey." With bassist Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones completing the trio, Powell is in surprisingly fine form throughout the enjoyable session, creating music that is far superior to his later Verve recordings.
 

MAY 27


               HAROLD VICK
               Steppin' Out!

                  Recording Date:
                      May 27, 1963

                  Personnel:
                      Blue Mitchell      TP
                      Harold Vick        TS
                      Big John Patton  O
                      Grant Green       G
                      Ben Dixon          D








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Reviewby Scott Yanow
This soul-jazz outing by tenor saxophonist Harold Vick (his recording debut as a leader) casts him in a role that was often occupied by Stanley Turrentine. Vick, with a quintet that also includes trumpeter Blue Mitchell, guitarist Grant Green, organist John Patton, and drummer Ben Dixon, performs four blues, a slightly trickier original (five of the six songs are his), plus the ballad "Laura" on this CD reissue. There are no real surprises, but no disappointments either on what would be Harold Vick's only chance to lead a Blue Note date. At 27 he was already a fine player.

MAY 26

             GRANT GREEN
       His Majesty King Funk

                Recording Date: 
                    May 26, 1965


                Personnel:
                   Candido Camero  CG 
                   Ben Dixon            D
                   Grant Green         G 
                   Harold Vick        FT,TS
                   Larry Young          O









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Review by Michael Erlewine
Don't be scared off by the His Majesty King Funk title; this is not Green's later commercial stuff. This is excellent Grant Green with Larry Young on organ, Harold Vick on sax, Ben Dixon on drums, and Candido Camero on conga — essentially a classic four-piece. And this is soul-jazz with a deep groove. His Majesty King Funk is the last of five albums Green recorded with Young. Produced by Creed Taylor, it is the only album Green did for Verve and perhaps his last real jazz album before several years of inactivity, after which he became somewhat more commercial in his approach. The album includes the standard "That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)."
 

MAY 25

               JOHN COLTRANE
                     Olé

               Recording Date:
                   May 25, 1961


               Personnel:
                  John Coltrane    AS,SS,TS 
                  Art Davis              B 
                  Eric Dolphy           FT,AS 
                  Freddie Hubbard   TP 
                  Elvin Jones           D 
                  McCoy Tyner         P 
                  Reggie Workman   B tk3







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Review by Lindsay Planer
The complicated rhythm patterns and diverse sonic textures on Olé are evidence that John Coltrane was once again charting his own course. His sheer ability as a maverick — over and beyond his appreciable musical skills — guides works such as this to new levels, ultimately advancing the entire art form. Historically, it's worth noting that recording had already commenced — two days prior to this session — on Africa/Brass, Coltrane's debut for the burgeoning Impulse! label. The two discs complement each other, suggesting a shift in the larger scheme of Coltrane's musical motifs. The assembled musicians worked within a basic quartet setting, featuring Coltrane (soprano/tenor sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), and Elvin Jones (drums), with double-bass chores held down by Art Davis and Reggie Workman. Added to that are significant contributions and interactions with Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) and Eric Dolphy (flute and alto sax). Dolphy's contract with another record label prevented him from being properly credited on initial pressings of the album. The title track is striking in its resemblance to the Spanish influence heard on Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain. This is taken a bit further as Coltrane's combo stretches out with inspired improvisations from Dolphy, Hubbard, Tyner, and Coltrane, respectively. "Olé" likewise sports some amazing double-bass interaction. The combination of a bowed upright bass played in tandem with the same instrument that is being plucked has a sinister permeation that assuredly excited Coltrane, who was perpetually searching from outside the norms. The haunting beauty of "Aisha" stands as one of the finest collaborative efforts between Tyner — the song's author — and Coltrane. The solos from Hubbard, Dolphy, and an uncredited Tyner gleam from within the context of a single facet in a multi-dimensional jewel. The CD reissue also includes an extra track cut during the Olé sessions. "To Her Ladyship" is likewise on the seven-volume Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings box set.
 

MAY 24

             SONNY ROLLINS 
             Tenor Madness         

                Recording Date:
                     May 24, 1956

                Personnel:
                    Paul Chambers   B 
                    John Coltrane    TS tk1 
                    Red Garland       P 
                    Philly Joe Jones  D 
                    Sonny Rollins      TS 


     





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Review by Michael G. Nastos
At a time when he was a member of the legendary Clifford Brown/Max Roach sextet, Sonny Rollins was still the apple fallen not too far from the tree of Miles Davis. Tenor Madness was the recording that, once and for all, established Newk as one of the premier tenor saxophonists, an accolade that in retrospect, has continued through six full decades and gives an indication why a young Rollins was so well liked, as his fluency, whimsical nature, and solid construct of melodies and solos gave him the title of the next Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young of mainstream jazz. With the team of pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, staples of that era's Miles Davis combos, Rollins has all the rhythmic ammunition to cut loose, be free, and extrapolate on themes as only he could, and still can. This is most evident on his version of "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," started in its normal choppy waltz time, followed by a sax/drums prelude, a drum solo from Jones, and steamed from there on in, a hot 4/4 romp. Garland is particularly outstanding for keeping up the pace, depth and placement on this one. A bluesy version of "When Your Lover Has Gone," again enlivened by Jones, and the legendary title track with Rollins and John Coltrane trading long solos, and fours with Jones, are tunes that in the mid-'50s defined the parlance "blowing session." "Paul's Pal," in tribute to Chambers, has become a standard in its own right with a bright, memorable melody showing the good humor of Rollins, especially on the second time through, while the saxophonist's ability to sing vocal like tones through his horn is no better evinced as during the light ballad "My Reverie." A recording that should stand proudly alongside Saxophone Colossus as some of the best work of Sonny Rollins in his early years, it's also a testament to the validity, vibrancy, and depth of modern jazz in the post-World War era. It belongs on everybody's shelf.
 

MAY 23

                  JOHN COLTRANE
             Africa / Brass v1-2

                  Recording Date:
                      May 23, 1961  tk 1,4

                     June 7, 1961    tk 2,3

                 Personnel:
                     John Coltrane      TS
                     Eric Dolphy         AS,CL
                     McCoy Tyner       P
                     Paul Chambers     B
                     Reggie Workman  B tk 1,4

                     Elvin Jones          D
                             Additional Personnel






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Review by Scott Yanow
This CD combines together the two related Africa/Brass LPs that formed John Coltrane's debut on the Impulse! label. On these dates the great tenor was backed by groups ranging from nine to 14 pieces playing pieces arranged by Eric Dolphy. "Africa" (which is heard in two versions) is the most memorable selection on an extended set that also includes "Blues Minor," "Song of the Underground Railroad," and two versions of "Greensleeves." Two other numbers from these sessions (a third take of "Africa" and "The Damned Don't Cry"), both of which were released on the double-LP Trane's Modes, are all that is missing. Although it would have been preferred that such sidemen as trumpeter Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and Eric Dolphy himself had received some solo space (only Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, and the various bassists get to stand out individually), the music is quite rewarding and sometimes haunting. [Universal''s 2007 edition included bonus tracks.]

MAY 22

             COUNT BASIE
          For the First Time
         
                 Recording Date:
                      May 22, 1974
 

                 Personnel:
                      Count Basie    P
                      Louie Bellson  D
                      Ray Brown      B 


        






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Review by Scott Yanow
Throughout his career, Count Basie was modest about his own abilities as a pianist, and his success at streamlining his style to the bare essentials often made listeners underrate his playing talents. This 1974 session was a rarity, an opportunity for Basie to be featured in a trio setting (with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Louie Bellson), during which he provides enough variety to hold one's interest and enough technique to lead many to reassess his piano skills.

 

MAY 21

             GRANT GREEN
                  Visions
          
                 Recording Date: 
                      May 21, 1971


                 Personnel:
                      Ray Armando        CG 
                      Harold Cardwell    D 
                      Grant Green         G 
                      Idris Muhammad   D 
                      Chuck Rainey        B 
                      Emanuel Riggins    P 
                      Billy Wooten         VB







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Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Grant Green's early-'70s recordings for Blue Note are continually attacked by jazz critics for being slick, overly commercial sessions that leaned closer to contemporary pop and R&B than hard bop or soul jazz. There's no denying that Green, like many of his Blue Note contemporaries, did choose a commercial path in the early '70s, but there were some virtues to these records, and Visions in particular. Often, these albums were distinguished by hot, funky workouts in the vein of Sly Stone or James Brown, but that's not the case here. On Visions, the guitarist crafted a set of appealingly melodic, lightly funky pop-jazz, concentrating on pop hits like "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is," "Love On a Two Way Street," "We've Only Just Begun," and "Never Can Say Goodbye." Supported by minor-league players, Green nevertheless turns in an elegant and dignified performance — after stating the melody on each song, he contributes typically graceful, memorable solos. Simply put, he sounds fresh, and his playing here is the best it has been since 1965's His Majesty, King Funk. Ultimately, Visions is a bit laid-back, and the electric piano-heavy arrangements are a little dated, but Grant Green never made a commercial pop-jazz album as appealing and satisfying as Visions.

MAY 20


               SUN RA
           Solo Piano v1

               Recording Date:
                    May 20, 1977


               Personnel:
                     Sun Ra    P












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Without his Intergalactic Space Research Arkestra to hide behind, Sun Ra recorded Solo Piano, Vol. 1, revealing a tender, gentle side always lingering but never entirely present in his days leading his large ensemble. Cutting a pair of standards -- the traditional "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and Duke Ellington's "Yesterday" -- and filling the rest of the disc out with original compositions, Ra extemporizes with a surprising mix of restraint and abandon, often sounding as if he is going to play it straight before launching into a key thrashing salvo that would ordinarily be accompanied by a burst of horns. Here, though, with the use of pedaling, Ra lets the notes drift off to space by themselves, lonely and floating in the void. Unfortunately, the production is far below par and Ra's piano sounds flat and lifeless throughout.(Jesse Jarnow - allmusic)

MAY 19

            DIZZY GILLESPIE
            The Bop Session

               Recording Date:
                   May 19-20, 1975

               Personnel:
                   Dizzy Gillespie   TP
                   Sonny Stitt         AS,TS
                   John Lewis         P tk 1,5
                   Hank Jones        P tk 2-4,6
                   Percy Heath       B
                   Max Roach         D









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Reviewby Scott Yanow
This LP matches together trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt (on alto and tenor) with an all-star rhythm section (John Lewis or Hank Jones on piano, bassist Percy Heath and drummer Max Roach) for six classic bop standards. Gillespie was near the end of his prime but is in generally good form while Stitt typically eats the material (songs such as "Confirmation," "Groovin' High" and "All the Things You Are") with no difficulty. Bop fans should enjoy this date despite the lack of surprises.

MAY 17

             TUBBY HAYES
         Down In The Village

        
               Recording Date:
                   May 17-18, 1962


               Personnel:
                   Tubby Hayes    TS,SS,VB
                   Jimmy Deuchar  TP
                   Gorden Beck      P
                   Freddie Logan    B
                   Allan Ganley       D


        






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One of England's top jazz musicians of the 1950s and '60s, Tubby Hayes was a fine hard bop stylist on tenor and occasionally vibes and flute. A professional at 15, Hayes played with Kenny Baker and in the big bands of Ambrose, Vic Lewis, and Jack Parnell during 1951-1955. He led his own group after that, and started doubling on vibes in 1956. Hayes co-led the Jazz Couriers with Ronnie Scott (1957-1959), and appeared in the U.S. a few times during 1961-1965. He headed his own big band in London, sat in with Duke Ellington's Orchestra in 1964, and was featured at many European festivals. Heart trouble forced him out of action during 1969-1971, and caused his premature death. Tubby Hayes led sessions for Tempo (1955-1959), London, Jazzland (1959), Fontana, Epic (a 1961 date with Clark Terry and Horace Parlan), Smash (a 1962 album which matched him with James Moody and Roland Kirk), 77, Spotlite, and Mole. ~ Scott Yanow
Tubby Hayes' ongoing appeal is virtually unique amongst British jazzmen of his era. Figures celebrated in their own lifetime, such as the drummer Phil Seamen or the saxophonist Harold McNair (both of whom also died young in the early 1970s), have achieved a kind of posthumous apocryphal value but their music is now all but forgotten. The music of Hayes, however, still possesses a charisma and vitality that ensures it is remembered both by fans and fellow musicians. The latter have perhaps taken too long to reappraise Tubby Hayes; when drummer Martin Drew's Celebrating the Jazz Couriers band, formed specially to reprise the music Hayes had written and performed at the close of the 1950s, secured first place in the small group category of the British Jazz Awards in 2001, it was a victory tinged with irony. Hayes' music, played by a tribute band consisting of four musicians too young to have ever heard him play in person or to have performed with him, had snapped up a contemporary jazz accolade in much the same dynamic manner as Hayes himself had once done. What could be seen as a telling reflection of the state of jazz in the early twenty-first century transpired to be yet another reminder of the unending vitality of Tubby Hayes' music.

MAY 16

                FRED HERSCH
            Live at Village Vanguard
          
              Recording Date: 
                  May 16-18, 2002


              Personnel:
                  Drew Gress       B 
                  Fred Hersch      P
                  Nasheet Waits   D 

      
    







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Review by Paula Edelstein
Renowned pianist/composer Fred Hersch debuts on Palmetto Records in this classic jazz piano trio performance titled Live At The Village Vanguard. Formally released at a "live" date at the world-renowned jazz club in New York City, Hersch is joined by bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits. In his own words, Hersch has stated that the trio specializes in high lyricism and high danger. Truer words were never spoken as the disc opens with Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing." Fred Hersch is in great form during his solo introduction before the bass and drums swing in. "Phantom of The Bopera" is a sensational bebop original that features the technical virtuosity of the trio and their ability to engage their listeners in compelling musical improvisations and conversations. The trio is really in the pocket on this one. Throughout the program, Nasheet Waits plays amazing drumlines including two outstanding solos on "Phantom of the Bopera" and Wayne Shorter's"Miyako/Black Nile" medley. He clearly shows why his is one of the better drummers of his generation. In addition to the seven originals written by Fred Hersch, the trio covers "Some Other Time" and "I'll Be Seeing You." These GAS favorites benefit from Hersch's award-winning style and shine in a pristine, new jazz environment. Live At The Village Vanguard is by far a major accomplishment for Hersch and shines just as brightly as his previous Grammy-nominated efforts.
 

MAY 15

               CHARLIE PARKER
          Live Birdland 1950

               Recording Date:
                  May 15-16, 1950


               Personnel:
                  Fats Navarro     TP
                  Charlie Parker   AS
                  Bud Powell         P
                  Curly Russell      B
                  Art Blakey         D

    





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Reviewby Scott Yanow
The recording date may be suspect (trumpeter Fats Navarro died of tuberculosis only a week later) and the recording quality is not state of the art but the music on this two-LP set is often quite brilliant. Charlie Parker is teamed with Navarro, pianist Bud Powell, bassist Curley Russell and drummer Art Blakey for extended (usually six- to ten-minute) versions of 13 songs including "'Round Midnight" (the only time that Bird ever recorded a Thelonious Monk tune), "Move," "Out of Nowhere" and "Ornithology." The all-star lineup clearly inspired each other, making this two-fer well worth searching for.

MAY 14

                 BILL EVANS 
           Undercurrent
      
              Recording Date:
                 April 24, 1962 tk 2,7,8
                 May 14, 1962  tk 1,3-6

              Personnel:
                 Bill Evans   P
                 Jim Hall     G




   






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Review by Scott Yanow
Other than four piano solos from April 4, 1962, this set was pianist Bill Evans' first recordings after a hiatus caused by bassist Scott LaFaro's tragic death in a car accident. The first of two meetings on record in a duo format with guitarist Jim Hall, the collaborations are often exquisite. Both Evans and Hall had introspective and harmonically advanced styles along with roots in hard-swinging bebop. The six selections on the original LP have been expanded to ten for this CD reissue with the inclusion of two alternate takes and previously unheard versions of "Stairway to the Stars" and "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You." There is more variety than expected on the fine set with some cookers, ballads, waltzes, and even some hints at classical music. Recommended.

MAY 13

                  JACK KEROUAC
       On the Beat Generation

          
                   Recording Date:
                       May 13, 1959


                  Jack Kerouac   Vo


     






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Reviewby Bruce Eder
Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation was the culmination of the author's short-lived recording career, a solo performance that transcends poetry and music -- it's literally spoken jazz, the artist improvising freely on the printed text of his own work in front of him. Produced by Bill Randle, it was Kerouac's most musical performance, despite the fact that the recording contained only his voice and no accompaniment, using his voice and language the way a saxophonist might improvise on a particular melodic line or riff. He's spellbinding throughout, intense, focused, and even subtly changing voices with the work itself. [Reissued in Rhino's Jack Kerouac Collection with a bonus track consisting of an excerpt from a 1958 forum on the existence of the "Beat Generation," held at Hunter College in New York.]

MAY 12


                   SONNY STITT
        Personal Appearance

               Recording Date:
                   May 12, 1957

               Personnel:
                   Kenny Dennis       D
                   Sonny Stitt          AS,TS 
                   Bobby Timmons   P 
                   Edgar Willis         B








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Review by Ken Dryden
While the comparisons to Charlie Parker were inevitable throughout a good part of his career, Sonny Stitt was very much his own man. He is in top form throughout this 1957 session made for Verve, featuring a very young Bobby Timmons on piano, bassist Edgar Willis, and drummer Kenny Dennis. Alternating between alto and tenor saxophone in a program consisting mostly of standards, Stitt is equally at home on each horn. His soulful tenor shines in "Easy Living," while the loping "Autumn in New York" showcases his exuberant alto. Timmons, who had just made his recording debut as a sideman with Kenny Burrell the previous year, hints at his potential with a blues-drenched solo in "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Long out of print and one of Stitt's best recordings at this point in his career, Personal Appearance was digitally remastered and reissued in a slim-line CD mini-record jacket as a limited edition; it is available until June 2007.
 

MAY 11

                CHARLIE PARKER
           Dizzy Gillespie And His All Stars
  
                Recording Date:
                     May 11, 1945

                Personnel:
                     Dizzy Gillespie   TP,Vo
                     Charlie Parker    AS
                     Al Haig               P
                     Curly Russell        B
                     Sidney Catlett     D
         


   





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1. G565A-1 Salt Peanuts 
2. G566A-1 Shaw 'Nuff  
3. G568A-1 Hot House

MAY 10

              ASTOR PIAZZOLLA
          Tango:  Zero Hour
     
               Recording Date: 
                   May 1986


               Personnel:
                   Hector Console       B
                   Horacio Malvicino   G
                   Fernando Suarez     Vio
                   Astor Piazzolla        ACC
                   Pablo Ziegler          P 







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Review by Stephen Cook
Considered by Piazzolla to be his best work, 1986's Tango Zero Hour was the culmination of a career that began in Argentina in the 1930s. Piazzolla started out auspiciously enough working with one of the brightest lights of the classic tango era, singer Carlos Gardél. After Gardél's tragic death in 1935 (by turning down an offer to tour with the singer at the age of 13, Piazzolla amazingly avoided the plane crash that killed Gardél), Piazzolla went on to perfect his bandoneón playing in various tango bands during the '40s and '50s, eventually studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Like she did with so many other great talents like Aaron Copeland and Quincy Jones, Boulanger encouraged Piazzolla to find a new way of playing his county's music. Piazzolla began experimenting and soon enough perfected what is now known as "nuevo tango." Moving tango music into the more serious area of high-art composition, Piazzolla added eccentric and, at times, avant-garde touches to the traditional format; he gained the appreciation of adventurous music lovers worldwide while alienating tango purists back home. Tango Zero Hour is the fruition of his groundbreaking work and one of the most amazing albums released during the latter years of the 20th century. Joined by his Quinteto Tango Nuevo featuring violin, piano, guitar, and bass, Piazzolla offers up seven original tango gems that take in the noirish, "Zero Hour" world found between midnight and dawn. Essential for all music lovers.
 

MAY 9

            SONNY ROLLINS
           This Is What I Do

               Recording Date:
                   May 8-9, 2000
                   July 29, 2000  tk3

               Personnel:
                   Clifton Anderson  TB
                   Sonny Rollins       TS
                   Stephen Scott      P
                   Bob Cranshaw      EB
                   Jack DeJohnette  D
                   Perry Wilson        D tk6

     



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Review by Alex Henderson
When it comes to picking material, today's young hard boppers (both instrumentalists and singers) could learn a lot from Sonny Rollins — a tenor titan who has always had a way of surprising us with interesting, unexpected choices. Over the years, he hasn't made the mistake of limiting himself to overdone Gershwin and Cole Porter favorites; Rollins doesn't exclude well-known standards by any means, but he has also made a point of interpreting a lot of material that other hard boppers have ignored (and that has included everything from forgotten show tunes to Stevie Wonder gems). True to form, the saxman continues to make interesting choices on This Is What I Do, which was recorded in 2000 and finds a 69-year-old Rollins joined by Clifford Anderson on trombone, Stephen Scott on acoustic piano, Jack DeJohnette or Perry Wilson on drums, and long-time companion Bob Cranshaw on electric bass. The CD's only real standard is the ballad "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" — the other selections range from Rollins originals (which include the funky, playful "Did You See Harold Vick?" and the calypso-minded "Salvador") to forgotten songs from 1937 movies. "Sweet Leilani" (which the seminal Bing Crosby defined) is from the film Waikiki Wedding, while "The Moon of Manakoora" is from The Hurricane (which starred Dorothy Lamour). Neither are tunes that have been done to death by hard boppers, and Rollins has no problem showing us that they can be relevant to jazz. This Is What I Do falls short of essential, but it offers some nice surprises and is a rewarding addition to Rollins' huge catalog.

MAY 8

                     RED RODNEY
              Live at the Village Vanguard

                 Recording Date:
                     May 8-9, July 5, 1980

                 Personnel:
                     Red Rodney    TP,FG
                     Ira Sullivan     SS,TS,FT,FG

                     Garry Dial       P
                     Paul Berner     B
                     Tom Whaley   D









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Review By Jim Santella
The first time on CD, the reissue of Red Rodney’s 1980 sessions at The Village Vanguard marks the beginning of his comeback and finds the leader’s trumpet work in fine form. Two experienced horn players and a young rhythm section made for a strong program with hard bop drama and pure musical ballad sentiment. In the liner notes, Rodney states, "I was determined to associate myself with young musicians in order to move ahead with the music of today."
Ira Sullivan picks up the flugelhorn as Red Rodney carefully interweaves muted trumpet lines around Johnny Mandel’s "A Time For Love." And they both opt for flugelhorns on "What Can We Do" with Sullivan coming from the right channel, Rodney from the left. Again on the final track, the two seasoned veterans perform together on trumpet and flugelhorn. Jack Walrath, who wrote half the tunes on this program, contributed much to Rodney’s band library over the years. It’s Walrath’s "Come Home to Red" that allows the leader to pour his open trumpet sound over the room (backed by Sullivan’s gentle flute fills) as a reminder that one of his earliest influences was Harry James. After a long career with several disturbing setbacks, it’s nice to remember that Red Rodney succeeded in the end by passing the torch on triumphantly to the next generation.

Reviewby Scott Yanow
In 1980, trumpeter Red Rodney teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan to form a modern jazz quintet. Their appearances at the Village Vanguard resulted in three LPs for Muse (and six over a two-year period), all of which will hopefully be reissued on CD someday. Rodney was inspired in the setting, which featured recent originals rather than bop standards; Sullivan (heard on soprano, tenor, flute, and flügelhorn) gained some publicity for his underrated skills; and young pianist Garry Dial (heard here along with bassist Paul Berner and drummer Tom Whaley) had an opportunity not only to play, but to write as well. On this album, the quintet performs three tricky pieces by trumpeter Jack Walrath, a couple of recent obscurities, and Johnny Mandel's "A Time for Love." Stimulating music.