THE BAD PLUS
      These Are the Vistas
           Recording Date: 
              Sep 30, 2002-Oct 5, 2002

              Reid Anderson   B
              Ethan Iverson    P
              David King        D 


Review by Jesse Jarnow
Whether or not pianist Ethan Iverson is literally using it, all of the Bad Plus' These Are The Vistas sounds as if it was recorded with the sustain pedal of the piano depressed. It's actually probably mostly the fault of producer Tchad Blake (Soul Coughing, Cibo Matto, Los Lobos), who applies his incredible treatments throughout the album, shining through especially in his work on David King's chaotic drums. Nonetheless, the Bad Plus sound as if they are in a cavernous space. The band rolls out the now-requisite jazz covers of pop tunes (in this case, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Blondie's "Heart of Glass," and Aphex Twin's "Flim"), but it is their attitude (the very fact that they hired Blake to begin with, for example) that carries them the distance. The band itself is quite compelling. Iverson is a complex piano player. His skills come to bear on the abstract epic "Silence Is The Question," which closes the album, as his spidery piano lines melt into chaotic statements, left hand meeting subtly with bassist Reid Anderson, right hand meeting crazily with King. What is impressive is that the trio manages to sound contemporary using only piano, bass, and drums, and without resorting to electronic gimmicks. Whether or not the band is reinventing jazz is irrelevant. These Are The Vistas is good, interesting music.


            CHARLIE PARKER
            Bird & Diz

             Recording Date:
               NYC, June 6, 1950

               Dizzy Gillespie   TP
               Charlie Parker    AS
               Thelonious Monk P
               Curly Russell       B
               Buddy Rich         D


Reviewby Rick Anderson
This collection of 78 rpm singles, all recorded on June 6, 1950, was originally issued in album format in 1956. Several things distinguish this from numerous other quintet recordings featuring these two bebop pioneers. It was recorded during the period that Parker was working under the aegis of producer Norman Granz, whose preference for large and unusual ensembles was notorious. The end result in this case is a date that sounds very much like those that Parker and Gillespie recorded for Savoy and Dial, except with top-of-the-line production quality. Even more interesting, though, is Parker's choice of Thelonious Monk as pianist. Unfortunately, Monk is buried in the mix and gets very little solo space, so his highly idiosyncratic genius doesn't get much exposure here. Still, this is an outstanding album -- there are fine versions of Parker standards like "Leap Frog," "Mohawk," and "Relaxin' with Lee," as well as a burning performance of "Bloomdido" and an interesting (if not entirely thrilling) rendition of the chestnut "My Melancholy Baby." [The CD reissue adds three alternate takes to make what was originally a very skimpy program slightly more generous.]


                Seth Air
             Recording Date:
                  September 28, 1991

                 Wallace Roney     TP
                 Antoine Roney      TS
                 Jacky Terrasson    P
                 Peter Washington B
                 Eric Allen             D


Review by Scott Yanow
Trumpeter Wallace Roney, 32 at the time of this recording, has yet to escape from the shadow of Miles Davis. However he is one of the stronger brassmen in jazz of the 1990s and plays quite well on this set, which includes three numbers by younger brother Antoine Roney (who is heard on this CD on tenor), two from Roney's pianist Jacky Terrasson and three odd standards: "People," Gershwin's "Gone" and Burt Bacharach's "Wives & Lovers." The music is straightahead but occasionally as unpredictable as the repertoire.


             TONY  BENNETT
             BILL EVANS
          Together Again

              Recording Date:
                 September 27-30, 1976

                Bill Evans       P
                Tony Bennett Vo 


Review by William Ruhlmann
The second Tony Bennett-Bill Evans duet album was recorded a year after the first and took an essentially similar approach, mixing Bennett's warm, relaxed vocals with the reflective, melodic, and spare piano work of Evans. If anything, Evans dominates this encounter more than he did the first, but it's still a good showcase for Bennett, too. [Originally released on Bennett's own Improv Records label, Together Again was reissued on CD by DRG.]


       And Duke Ellington

           Recording Date:
              September 26, 1962

             Duke Ellington   P
             John Coltrane   SS,TS
             Jimmy Garrison B tk 2,3,6
             Elvin Jones       D tk 1-3,6
             Sam Woodyard  D tk 4,5,7
             Aaron Bell        B tk 1,4,5,7


Review by Scott Yanow
For this classic encounter, Duke Ellington "sat in" with the John Coltrane Quartet for a set dominated by Ellington's songs; some performances have his usual sidemen (bassist Aaron Bell and drummer Sam Woodyard) replacing Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones in the group. Although it would have been preferable to hear Coltrane play in the Duke Ellington orchestra instead of the other way around, the results are quite rewarding. Their version of "In a Sentimental Mood" is a high point, and such numbers as "Take the Coltrane," "Big Nick," and "My Little Brown Book" are quite memorable. Ellington always recognized talent, and Coltrane seemed quite happy to be recording with a fellow genius.


          DAVE HOLLAND
           Points of View

             Recording Date: 
                 September 25-26, 1997

                Robin Eubanks   TB
                Dave Holland     B 
                Billy Kilson         D
                Steve Nelson   Mar,VB
                Steve Wilson   AS,SS 


Review by Richard S. Ginell
For Points of View, Holland expands his group into a quintet, shakes up the remaining personnel, and comes up with a marvelous example of thoughtful, dynamically shifting ECM chamber jazz. The new wrinkles in the sound are the return of Robin Eubanks on trombone, which gives the front line a richer, more balanced texture, and drummer Billy Kilson, who displays a wider, more animated range of rhythmic sympathies than did Gene Jackson on Dream of the Elders. Steve Nelson on vibes and marimba is the only returnee, and Steve Wilson contributes a dry tone on both alto and soprano saxes. The elegant textures so typical of ECM belie considerable stylistic variety here, including a gentle reversion to the progressively funky Holland band of the '80s on "Metamorphos"; a happy-go-lucky, easy-swinging tribute to Ray Brown, "Mr. B."; reflective, relaxed ballad work in "The Benevolent One," and Nelson's charming calypso/folk lullaby for marimba, "Serenade." Of course, Holland leaves himself a lot of solo space, which he fills with mobile eloquence.


              SUN RA
         The Magic City

             Recording Date:
                 September 24, 1965

                 Sun Ra            CLV,P
                 Walter Miller     TP
                 Ali Hassan          TB
               Marshall Allen AS,FL,PCC
                 Danny Davis     AS,FL
                 Harry Spencer    AS
                 John Gilmore     TS
                 Pat Patrick       BS,FL

Robert Cummings BCL
Ronnie Boykins     B
Roger Blank          D
James Jacson       Per

Review by Lindsay Planer
The boundaries of Sun Ra's self-proclaimed "space jazz" underwent a transformation in the mid-'60s. The Magic City is an aural snapshot of that metamorphic process. Many enthusiasts and scholars consider this to be among Ra's most definitive studio recordings. Although the "city" in the album's title was thought to have been New York — where the disc was recorded — it is actually Ra's earthly birthplace of Birmingham, AL. The Magic City consists of four free jazz compositions: the album side-length title track, "The Shadow World," "Abstract Eye," and "Abstract I" — two variants of a common work. These pieces are essentially ensemble improvisations recorded live. Any direction from Ra, indicating the order of soloists for instance, would be given either through his playing or with hand signals. Sun Ra & His Solar Myth Arkestra took up residency in Manhattan's East Village in the early to mid-'60s. Their neighbors included Pharaoh Sanders as well as Babatunde Olatunji. In fact, "The Shadow World," "Abstract Eye," and "Abstract I" were actually recorded in Olatunji's loft. The title track begins with weaving distant and frenetic lines from Ronnie Boykins (bass) and Ra (piano, clavoline), connected by intermittent eruptions from Roger Blank (drums). All the while, Marshall Allen's dreamlike piccolo randomly maneuvers through the sonic haze. The piece also contains an ensemble onslaught that abruptly contrasts with everything experienced up through that point. In the wake of the innately earthbound "Magic City" are three comparatively shorter pieces with subtle undercurrents that return Ra to space motifs. For example, the importance of sonic contrast defines "The Shadow World" by juxtaposing the lightly churning bass and cymbal into some surreal keyboard interjections from Ra. The Magic City also comes with an insightful liner notes essay from Ra scholar John F. Szwed, aiding in understanding the circumstances surrounding this piece of free jazz genius.


          Leroy Walks

          Recording Date:
             July, 15, 1957  tk 1,4
             Sept 16, 1957 tk 3,5,6
             Sept 23, 1957 tk 2,7

            Gerald Wilson     TP
            Teddy Edwards   TS
            Victor Feldman   VB
            Carl Perkins        P
            Leroy Vinnegar    B
            Tony Bazley        D


Review by Scott Yanow
On this reissue CD of a Contemporary set (bassist Leroy Vinnegar's first as a leader), six of the seven songs have the word "walk" in their title, including "Would You Like to Take a Walk," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "I'll Walk Alone," and Vinnegar's original "Walk On." Vinnegar actually does not take much solo space and generously features his talented sidemen: vibraphonist Victor Feldman, trumpeter Gerald Wilson, tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, pianist Carl Perkins, and drummer Tony Bazley. A fine, straight-ahead session.


               SONNY CRISS
               1949 Session

                    Recording Date:
                       September 22, 1949

                      Sonny Criss         AS
                      Hampton Hawes   P
                      Iggy Shevack       B
                      Chuck Thompson  D


272-6   CALIDAD

by Thom Jurek
Criss was like so many other young players on the bebop scene and tried to emulate Charlie Parker. That said, he possessed his own wicked, edgy tone. He was also on his way to becoming one of the most lyrical improvisers this side of Art Pepper. The material here showcases Criss in a number of settings from early bop dates .


       Five Mingus session

            Recording Date:
                September 20, 1963

               Eddie Preston     TP
               Richard Williams TP
               Eric Dolphy        AS,FL
               Booker Ervin      TS
               Jaki Byard          P
               Charles Mingus    B,Vo
               Walter Perkins    D
               Dick Hafer      FL,CL,TS
               Jerome Richardson FL,SS,VB
               Britt Woodman   TB
               Don Butterfield    TU


Review by Steve Huey
Having completed what he (and many critics) regarded as his masterwork in The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Charles Mingus' next sessions for Impulse found him looking back over a long and fruitful career. Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus is sort of a "greatest hits revisited" record, as the bassist revamps or tinkers with some of his best-known works. The titles are altered as well — "II B.S." is basically "Haitian Fight Song" (this is the version used in the late-'90s car commercial); "Theme for Lester Young" is "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"; "Better Get Hit in Your Soul" adds a new ending. but just one letter to the title; There's also a cover of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo,"  Which naturally leads to the question: With the ostensible shortage of ideas, what exactly makes this a significant Mingus effort? The answer is that the 11-piece bands assembled here (slightly different for the two separate recording sessions) are among Mingus' finest, featuring some of the key personnel (Eric Dolphy, pianist Jaki Byard) that would make up the legendary quintet/sextet with which Mingus toured Europe in 1964. And they simply burn, blasting through versions that equal and often surpass the originals — which is, of course, no small feat. This was Mingus' last major statement for quite some time, and aside from a solo piano album and a series of live recordings from the 1964 tour, also his last album until 1970. It closes out the most productive and significant chapter of his career, and one of the most fertile, inventive hot streaks of any composer in jazz history

11757 Theme For Lester Young - 
11758 II B.S. - 
11759 Freedom Impulse A 99, AS 9234-2, IMPD 170 
11760 Better Get Hit In Yo' Soul Impulse A 54, AS 9234-2 
11761 Take The "A" Train unissued 
11762 Mood Indigo Impulse A 54, AS 9234-2


            ERROLL GARNER
      Concert by the Sea
           Recording Date: 
               September 19, 1955
               Carmel, CA

               Denzil Best       D 
               Eddie Calhoun  B 
               Erroll Garner    P 


Review by Bob Rusch
Concert by the Sea was arguably the finest record pianist Erroll Garner ever made, and he made many — a few outstanding — good recordings. But this live recording (September 19, 1955) with his trio (Eddie Calhoun, bass; Denzil Best, drums) presented a typical Garner program; it was a mixture of originals, show biz, and pop standards delivered with his unique delivery and enthusiasm. The rhythms and brilliant use of tension and release were perfectly captured. And while for many jazz listeners, Garner's deliberate structures were too orchestrated, there was an equal spontaneity in the propulsion of these orchestrations that swung as well as anything.  


            Gold Sounds
            Recording Date
                  September 16-19, 2004

                James Carter   SS,TS
                Cyrus Chestnut P,K,O 
                Ali Jackon        D,Vo 
                Reginald Veal   B,Vo 


Review by Sean Westergaard
Given the glut of "String Quartet Tribute to So and So," "Electronic Tribute to Some Crappy Band," and "Pickin' on Whomever" "tributes," it's somewhat surprising that no one has tackled Pavement in a tribute album — not until now, at any rate. And even more surprising is that it's not one of those aforementioned knockoffs; it's a heavyweight jazz session with James Carter, Cyrus Chestnut, and Reginald Veal, three of jazz's finest players on their respective instruments (rounded out by the talented Ali Jackson on drums). You may be asking, "what the hell are a bunch of jazzbos doing playing Pavement tunes?" The short answer, "making a great album." Remember, underneath their slacker image and loose, lo-fi aesthetic, Pavement's best tunes were memorable and melodic with interesting (though sometimes ramshackle) arrangements. Carter and Company play to those strengths as a unit, and Gold Sounds is an overwhelming success, not just as a tribute but as a jazz album. Chestnut's sparkling Fender Rhodes shines throughout, and Veal really shows his versatility on both electric and acoustic bass. James Carter is hands down one of the greatest reedmen alive: he can play it tender or can summon squalls on his instruments that rival electric guitars. As a group, the entire band is locked into each other and the tunes (just listen to the tradeoffs between tenor, Rhodes, and drums as Veal holds the groove on "Stereo"), which generally don't depart drastically from the original arrangements beyond the instrumentation. "Summer Babe" is one of several highlights, with great electric bass and soulful playing. With judicious overdubs, Carter adds a second tenor and Chestnut comps on Hammond organ while soloing on Rhodes (and check out Carter's percussive comping). "Cut Your Hair" is slowed way down with more great Rhodes/Hammond work and Carter's soulful soprano. Toward the end, they kick it into high gear by upping the tempo for the outro. "Blue Hawaiian" is built on the same smooth bassline, and Chestnut sends his Rhodes through a Leslie speaker to great effect as Carter tears it up on tenor and Jackson dances around the beat. The set closes with a rousing solo piano version of "Trigger Cut." If you're a Pavement fan, you owe it to yourself to check out what these guys do with the songbook. If you're a jazz fan, forget that these tunes come from the world of indie rock; in the hands of Carter and Chestnut, they might as well be undiscovered standards.


             Luz Negro

            Recording Date: 
               September 14-17, 2006

               Philippe Aerts       B 
               Alexis C├írdenas    VLN 
               Hamilton de Holanda MDL
               Richard Galliano   ACC
               Amoy Ribas          Per



By CHRIS MAY,  Black Music & Jazz Review (UK)
A little accordion can go a long way. The instrument's blowsy, wheezing sound, perfectly fashioned to express sadness and tears, can quickly become a downer, and it takes a player with unusual gifts to transcend all that. It is no accident that two styles intimately associated with the accordion, Argentinian tango and French musette, frequently deal with loss and bad luck. Je ne regrette rien? I don't think so.
Richard Galliano has recorded several tristesse fests in his time, but at his best he's a creative composer and improviser who has a gift for non-generic orchestration and who is at home with a variety of atmospheres and emotions, including the happy and the optimistic. Luz Negra, recorded with his Tangaria Quartet and his first studio album since 2001's Face To Face (Dreyfus Jazz), presents Galliano at his very best, and anyone with an aversion to accordion music would do well to check it out.

Despite the band's name, tango takes a back seat—only "Des Volliers," "Escualo" and "Tangaria" plough the familiar furrow—and it's outnumbered by valse musettes, tunes derived from French, Italian and Brazilian popular song, and globally imagined originals whose cultural provenance is harder to pin down. Some of the tunes are sad, in the traditional accordion fashion, although here the atmosphere is redolent of tender memories rather than painful ones, but just as often they are fierce, gutsy and performed with seat-of-the-pants abandon. The overall effect is upbeat and life-affirming.

There are moments of real excitement, lots of them, from all corners of the quartet, which is augmented on four tracks by mandolinist Hamilton De Holanda. Most of the tracks, even the fairy tale-like arrangement of Erik Satie's "Gnossienne No.3," are driven forward by Philippe Aerts' energised bass. He solos rarely but is always at the centre of the action. Violinist Alexis Cardenas is another delight, a visceral, attacking player, whether in bowed or plucked mode, whose improvisations, like Galliano's, strike a fine balance between muscle and melodicism. Percussionists Raphael Meijas and Amoy Ribas, whose propulsive responsibilities are handled in the main by Aerts, are relatively far back in the mix and concerned with colours rather than beats.

De Holanda's inclusion is inspired. The combination of accordion and mandolin is a perfect marriage of opposites, in which the mandolin's mercurial, non-sustained, percussive sonorities perfectly complement the langorous, drawn-out notes of the accordion. Galliano and De Holanda's counterpoints bring a shimmer to "Tangaria" and the tenderly romantic "Sanfona," and they duel fiercely on the manic head charge "Fou Rire" and swaggering "Sertao."

One small gripe. Most of the tracks last less than four minutes, permitting only brief solos. Given the strength of the material and the players, it would be good to hear some longer workouts. Sometimes the tunes sound like postcards, when a letter would be welcome.


                  JOE LOVANO
             Trio Fascination

                 Recording Date: 
                     September 16-17, 1997

                     Dave Holland  B 
                     Elvin Jones   D 
                     Joe Lovano    TS,



Review by Alex Henderson
Whether embracing Gunther Schuller's arrangements or paying tribute to Frank Sinatra, Joe Lovano was as consistent as he was unpredictable in the 1990s. Most of his Blue Note output was excellent, and Trio Fascination, Edition One is no exception. This impressive inside/outside date finds Lovano forming a pianoless trio with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Elvin Jones, and the three are very much in sync on originals that range from the dusky "Sanctuary Park" and the haunting "Studio Rivbea" to the very angular "New York Fascination" and the difficult "Cymbalism." Meanwhile, "Impressionistic" is an eerie number with Middle Eastern overtones. The only song on the CD that isn't an original is a very personal interpretation of the standard "(I Don't Stand A) Ghost of a Chance." Heard on tenor, alto and soprano, the saxophonist never fails to command our attention on this consistently heartfelt and captivating release.


           HAL McKUSICK
    In a Twentieth Century
           Drawing Room

          Recording Date:
              September 14-15, 1955
                   tk 1-2,4-7,9,11
              September 29, 1955
                   tk 3,8,10

               Hal McKusick    AS,CL
               Barry Galbraith G
               Milt Hinton       B
               Osie Johnson    D
               Sol Gubin       D tk 3,8,10

Harvey Shapiro, Lucien Schmidt CE
Abram Borodkin, Milton Prinz   CE
Bernard Greenhouse  CE tk 3,8,10
Sidney Edwards  CE tk 3,8,10



             KENNY BURRELL
        Out Of This World

           Recording Date:
               September 14, 1962

               Ray Barretto        CG  
               Eddie Locke         D  
               Kenny Burrell        G  
               Tommy Flanagan   P   
               Coleman Hawkins TS



By Scott Yanow 
The great Kenny Burrell receives a major assist from saxophone patriarch Coleman Hawkins (who is in exemplary early-Sixties form), Hawkins' rhythm section of the time (made up exclusively of natives of Burrell's hometown Detroit) and conga drummer Ray Barretto. The choice of material and variety of settings are inspired, with Burrell heard solo on "No More," over just bass and drums on "Guilty," in two different settings and on three titles by the full sextet. Each soloist is fully engaged throughout, with things shifting into even higher gear when Burrell and Hawkins converse on "Montono Blues" and "I Thought About You."

Kenny Burrell has been a very consistent guitarist throughout his career. Cool-toned and playing in an unchanging style based in bop, Burrell has always been the epitome of good taste and solid swing. Duke Ellington's favorite guitarist (though he never actually recorded with him), Burrell started playing guitar when he was 12, and he debuted on records with Dizzy Gillespie in 1951. Part of the fertile Detroit jazz scene of the early '50s, Burrell moved to New York in 1956. Highly in demand from the start, Burrell appeared on a countless number of records as a leader and as a sideman. Among his more notable associations were dates with Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Milt Jackson, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Stanley Turrentine, and Jimmy Smith. Starting in the early '70s, Burrell began leading seminars and teaching, often focusing on Duke Ellington's music. He toured with the Phillip Morris Superband during 1985-1986, and led three-guitar quintets, but generally Kenny Burrell plays at the head of a trio/quartet.


           CHET BAKER
          Lighthouse Club

             Recording Date:
                  September 13, 1953

                 Chet Baker         TP
                 Russ Freeman     P tk 1-3
                 Howard Ramsey  B 
                 Max Roach          D
                 Miles Davis       TP tk 7-9
                 Rolf Ericson         TP
                 Bud Shank           AS
                 Bob Cooper         TS
                 Lorraine Geller     P


Review by Scott Yanow
This set has odds and ends recorded at the Lighthouse on a Sunday when Miles Davis was in town. He jams with the regular sextet (which included trumpeter Rolf Ericson, altoist Bud Shank, Bob Cooper on tenor and drummer Max Roach) on two numbers and has "'Round Midnight" as his feature. Max Roach takes "Drum Conversation" unaccompanied and trumpeter Chet Baker plays "At Last" with pianist Russ Freeman. The recording quality is merely okay but the viable and occasionally exciting historical music makes this a set worth picking up.


         From This Moment

             Recording Date: 
                  September 11-12, 1994

                  Nicholas Payton TP 
                  Mark Whitfield  G
                  Mulgrew Miller   P
                  Monte Croft      VB


Review by Scott Yanow
The young trumpeter Nicholas Payton is featured on this CD as the only horn in a sextet also including guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Mulgrew Miller and vibraphonist Monte Croft. Best are Payton's melodic and very mature statements on the veteran standards "You Stepped Out of a Dream," "It Could Happen to You," "From This Moment On" and "Taking a Chance on Love." His six originals are less memorable, but overall, this is a pleasing date that finds the trumpeter showing a great deal of potential. Payton's tone, mixing aspects of Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis and New Orleans jazz in a post-bop setting, is quite appealing.


      Live at the Five Spot

            Recording Date:
                September 11, 1958

                Ahmed Abdul-Malik  B 
                John Coltrane         TS 
                Roy Haynes             D 
                Thelonious Monk      P


Review by Lindsay Planer
The urban mythology surrounding this non-professional recording — suggesting that Naima Coltrane (aka Mrs. John Coltrane) was running tape during this particular set — is fortunately true. Fortunate, that is, for lovers of bop or anyone who ever wished in vain that they could be transported to a legendary night such as the one captured during this short disc. The raw nature of this audience tape more accurately reveals the reality of experiencing a performance during the Five Spot's halcyon days. What can also be found beyond the sporadic chatter and general hubbub of a New York City Harlem nightclub is arguably the strongest aural evidence of the unique working rapport these two jazz icons shared. While the relationship between Monk and Coltrane is at the crux of these performances, bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik and the irrepressible drummer Roy Haynes also contribute mightily by allowing enough context to support the soloists and pulling out occasional solos of their own. Haynes' interjections to "In Walked Bud" and "I Mean You" go beyond the simple progression of rhythm. While the perspective of this recording is somewhat unfavorable to Coltrane, there is no mistaking the intense activity of his tenor sax. His solo during "I Mean You" is particularly potent, as he somehow finds the room to incorporate a well-placed line or two from a popular show tune. No surprises are spoiled here for potential enthusiasts eager for a good sonic hide and seek. The version of "Crepuscule With Nellie" — joined in progress, however only by a few bars — best personifies both the character of this audience recording as well as the ability of the music's sublime nature to filter those distractions away. This combo's residency at the Five Spot during the summer of 1958 coincides with several other notable live sets cut during this time — Thelonious in Action! and its counterpart, Misterioso. These two are professionally documented releases that capture much of the same verve, although they sadly lack Coltrane. The early CD pressings of Discovery! Live at the Five Spot ran a semitone too fast. When the set was remastered for inclusion in the four-disc Complete Blue Note Recordings, this was fixed and the corrected version issued in that box set. Caveat emptor.


        Back in New York

            Recording Date:
               September 9-10, 2004

               Scott Hamilton     TS
               Kenny Washington D
               Peter Washington  B
               Bill Charlap            P


Reviewby Matt Collar
Journeyman tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton keeps things light and swinging on Back in New York. Bringing to mind a mix of Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster, Hamilton has always displayed an unerring classicist aesthetic, and this album is no exception. Featuring the deft rhythm section of pianist Bill Charlap, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Kenny Washington, Back in New York is a template for what solid modern mainstream jazz should sound like. To these ends, Hamilton kicks things into gear with a sprightly take on "What Is This Thing Called Love," nudges his way through a tasty samba version of "Love Letters," and keeps thing warm and fuzzy on "This Is Always."


               SUN RA
                   Outer Space
              Employment Agency

             Recording Date:
                  September 9, 1973

                  Sun Ra          CV,P
                  John Gilmore    TS
                  Marshall Allen   AS
                  Aktal Eba         TP
                  Ali Hassan        TB
                  Ronnie Boykins  B
                 Nimrod Hunt       D

Review by Richie Unterberger

Recorded on September 9, 1973 at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, this is a fair-fidelity live document; the sound is listenable, but not exceptional. Of the three tracks, "Discipline 99" and "Love in Outer Space" are by far the more cacophonous, with Sun Ra's spooky farfisa organ and mini-moog being by far the most interesting elements in the inscrutable brew. The 20-minute medley "At First There Was Nothing/The Universe Has More to Offer You/Wake Up Angels/Outer Space Employment Agency" — yes, that's the full title — is more ingratiating. Anchored on a lilting swing groove, much of it is devoted to the inimitable, and uplifting if not purely sensical, cosmic rap-philosophizing of the Arkestra, joined by vocalist June Tyson. If this were the only aural evidence of the Arkestra in this era, you could still get a sense of their more enduring qualities. But there are better-sounding albums of this phase of their development; this should be investigated by those hungry to hear Sun Ra in quantity.


          ROLAND KIRK

           Recording Date:
             August 31, 1971  tk 1,8,11
             September 8, 1971

           Personnel 9/8/1971:
              Charles McGhee    TP
              Dick Griffin           TB
              Rahsaan Roland Kirk TS
              Richard Tee           P
              Mickey Tucker        O
              Cornell Dupree       G
              Keith Loving          G
              Bill Salter               B
              Bernard Purdie       D
              Arthur Jenkins        CG
Joe Habad Texidor Per
Princess Patience Burton  Vo


Review by Thom Jurek
From its opening bars, with Bill Salter's bass and Rahsaan's flute passionately playing Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," you know this isn't an ordinary Kirk album (were any of them?). As the string section, electric piano, percussion, and Cornel Dupree's guitar slip in the back door, one can feel the deep soul groove Kirk is bringing to the jazz fore here. As the tune fades just two and a half minutes later, the scream of Kirk's tenor comes wailing through the intro of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," with a funk backdrop and no wink in the corner -- he's serious. With Richard Tee's drums kicking it, the strings developing into a wall of tension in the backing mix, and Charles McGhee's trumpet hurling the long line back at Kirk, all bets are off -- especially when they medley the mother into "Mercy Mercy Me." By the time they reach the end of the Isleys' "I Love You, Yes I Do," with the whistles, gongs, shouting, soul crooning, deep groove hustling, and greasy funk dripping from every sweet-assed note, the record could be over because the world has already turned over and surrendered -- and the album is only ten minutes old! Blacknuss, like The Inflated Tear, Volunteered Slavery, Rip, Rig and Panic, and I Talk to the Spirits, is Kirk at his most visionary. He took the pop out of pop and made it Great Black Music. He took the jazz world down a peg to make it feel its roots in the people's music, and consequently made great jazz from pop tunes in the same way his forbears did with Broadway show tunes. While the entire album shines like a big black sun, the other standouts include a deeply moving read of "My Girl" and a version of "The Old Rugged Cross" that takes it back forever from those white fundamentalists who took all the blood and sweat from its grain and replaced them with cheap tin and collection plates. On Kirk's version, grace doesn't come cheap, though you can certainly be a poor person to receive it. Ladies and gents, Blacknuss is as deep as a soul record can be and as hot as a jazz record has any right to call itself. A work of sheer blacknuss!