JAY McSHANN
           Hootie's KC Blues
               Recording Date:
                    April 30, 1941

                   Buddy Anderson    TP
                   Harold Bruce        TP
                   Orville Minor        TP
                   Joe Taswell Baird TB
                   John Jackson        AS
                   Charlie Parker      AS
                   Harold Ferguson   TS
                   Bob Mabane         TS
                   Jay McShann         P
                   Gene Ramey         B
                   Gus Johnson         D
                   Walter Brown       Vo

Charlie Parker's first recorded solo on a record date at the age of twenty.It is the 12 bar break after the intro and before the vocals.

Dallas, TX, April 30, 1941
1. 93730-A Swingmatism Decca 8570; MCA 1338 
2. 93731-A Hootie Blues Decca 8559; MCA 1338 
3. 93732-A Dexter Blues Decca 8583; MCA 1338 


            Night Dreamer
                Recording Date:
                    April 29, 1964

                   Elvin Jones          D
                   Lee Morgan         TP
                   Wayne Shorter    TS
                   McCoy Tyner        P
                   Reggie Workman  B 


Review by Scott Yanow
Tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter's Blue Note debut found him well prepared to enter the big time. With an impressive quintet that includes trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Elvin Jones, Shorter performed a well-rounded program consisting of five of his originals (this CD reissue adds an alternate take of "Virgo") plus an adaptation of an "Oriental Folk Song." Whether it be the brooding title cut, the Coltranish ballad "Virgo" or the jams on "Black Nile" and "Charcoal Blues," this is a memorable set of high-quality and still fresh music.


             New York Cool
                  Live at the Blue Note

                 Recording Date:
                     April 28-29, 2005

                     Donald Harrison   AS
                     Ron Carter          B
                     Billy Cobham       DS


Review by Scott Yanow
Altoist Donald Harrison gained his initial fame in the late '70s when he was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, following that up by co-leading a notable quintet with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. Although he never quite became a poll winner or a major influential force, Harrison has always been a solid improviser. New York Cool moves his career up a notch and is one of his finest recordings to date. Reuniting in 2005 with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Cobham (the trio had recorded Heroes for the Nagel Heyer label in 2002), Harrison and his sidemen constantly challenge each other, with each of the musicians feeling free to set the direction of the performances. The repertoire is comprised of "Body and Soul," "Harrisburg Address" (based on "I Got Rhythm"), "Easy Living," "I'll Remember April," "Star Eyes," Ron Carter's "Third Plane" (which deserves to become a standard), and the medium-tempo "Blues for Happy People." The musicians feed off each other's ideas and their interplay is full of subtle surprises and unpredictable moments. New York Cool demonstrates that there is plenty of life still to be found in bebop standards when they are played in creative fashion. Highly recommended.


            BENNY CARTER
        Carter, Gillespie, Inc

                Recording Date:
                    April 27, 1976

                   Tommy Flanagan  P
                   Dizzy Gillespie     TP
                   Joe Pass              G
                   Al McKibbon         B
                   Benny Carter        AS  
                   Mickey Roker       D, Vo


Review by Scott Yanow

Although they were from different musical generations (Benny Carter was born ten years before Dizzy Gillespie), it is little wonder that the swing altoist and the bop trumpeter could match up so well on this sextet session; they were quite compatible. Surprisingly, the material they chose to perform could have been better (there is only one Carter composition among the six songs) but on "Broadway" and "A Night in Tunisia," the two veteran hornmen (along with pianist Tommy Flanagan and guitarist Joe Pass) sound at their best.


                      BUD POWELL
          At the Golden Circle
               Gyllene Cirkeln, Stockholm

                  Recording Date:
                      April 23, 1962

                     Bud Powell              P,Vo 

                     Torbjorn Hultcrantz  B
                     Sune Spangberg        D


Review by Scott Yanow
The fourth of five CDs taken from two nights that Bud Powell performed at Stockholm's Golden Circle, has repeats of some tunes from the earlier date (April 19) but the playing is completely different. Accompanied by bassist Torbjorn Hultcrantz and drummer Sune Spangberg), Powell generally sounds in pretty good form for the period with the highlights including "Moose the Mooche," "Blues in the Closet" and Powell's own "John's Abbey." The fifth and final CD from pianist Bud Powell's 1962 stay at the Golden Circle in Stockholm has as its high points versions of "52nd Street Theme" and "Straight No Chaser" (the latter lasts 20 minutes); on the minus side is a throwaway (and off-mike) Powell vocal on "This Is No Laughin' Matter." On a whole, this series is as essential as the Blue Notes but has its strong moments and is worth picking up by lovers of bop piano and the troubled but brilliant Bud Powell.


                WES MONTGOMERY
                 Boss Guitar
                  Recording Date: 
                      April 22, 1963

                      Jimmy Cobb           D 
                      Wes Montgomery    G 
                      Melvin Rhyne          B



Review by Scott Yanow
Guitarist Wes Montgomery's string of brilliant straight-ahead jazz recordings for the Riverside label was near its end when he recorded this trio outing with organist Melvin Rhyne and drummer Jimmy Cobb. The music swings hard and is highlighted by "Besame Mucho," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Canadian Sunset" and "The Breeze and I." Enjoyable if not essential. [Originally released in 1963, Boss Guitar has been reissued several times on CD.]


                    BEN WEBSTER
                 King of the Tenors

                     Recording Date:
                          April 21, 1953   tk 5,7-9
                          December 8, 1953 tk 1-4,6

                          Ben Webster     TS
                          Oscar Peterson  P
                          Ray Brown         B
                          JC Heard           D tk 5,7-9
                          Barney Kessel    G tk 5,7-9
                          Harry Edison     TPtk 1-4,6
                          Herb Ellis          G tk 1-4,6
                          Alvin Stoller       D tk 1-4,6


Review by Ron Wynn
This 1953 date matched Webster with such peers as alto saxophonist Benny Carter, trumpeter Harry Edison, and pianist Oscar Peterson for a series of elegant yet soulful and exuberant small group dates. With no cut longer than four and a half minutes, the players didn't have time for excess statements or overkill; they had to quickly get to the heart of the matter in their solos, make their points, and return to the head. The original session has been enlarged by the addition of two previously unissued tracks, plus an alternate version of "That's All" that was later issued as a single. Label head Norman Granz excelled in producing swing-oriented, crisply played mainstream dates. Although this date is more than four decades old, Ben Webster's solos have a freshness and vitality that make them quite relevant to contemporary events.


                       EDDIE HARRIS
          Electrifying Eddie Harris

                   Recording Date: 
                         April 20, 1967

                         Ray Barretto    Per 
                        Jodie Christian P 
                        Eddie Harris    TS
                        Richard Smith   D 
                        Melvin Jackson  B 
                        King Curtis 
                        Melvin Lastie 
                        David "Fathead" Newman 
                        Joe Newman 
                        Haywood Henry
                        Joe Wohletz
                        Arif Mardin Arr

Review by Scott Yanow
This is one of tenor saxophonist Eddie Harris' most famous and significant LPs. He displays his mastery of the electronic varitone saxophone (virtually the only player before John Klemmer to get his own sound on the electric sax) during the memorable "Theme in Search of a Movie" and particularly on his hit version of "Listen Here." A couple of tunes add a pair of percussionists and "Sham Time" features a horn section in back of Harris; the basic quartet is comprised of the leader, pianist Jodie Christian, bassist Melvin Jackson, and drummer Richard Smith. A classic date.


              ANTONIO FARAO

                    Recording Date: 
                        April 19-20, 2000

                        Antonio Faraò       P
                        Chris Potter         SS,TS
                        Drew Gress          B
                        Jack DeJohnette  D



Review by Steven Loewy
Any pianist who can attract the likes of drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Drew Gress as part of a trio, and is joined by chic saxophonist Chris Potter on a few tracks, must have something going for him. Antonio Faraò swings confidently on this set of original compositions, and although his playing is a tad derivative, there is no doubting his talent. The pianist fits in comfortably with his all-star colleagues, leaving little question that he has the ability to ride with the giants. His two-handed facility finds him equally at home with varied tempos and rhythmically challenging phrases. On the obstacle course he calls "Arabesco," the pianist marches forward, backtracks, and then continues his progression, following a scintillating improvisation by the often dazzling Chris Potter. On "B. E.," Faraò plays it pretty and gentle, but not too sweet. Unlike some Italian jazz modernists, Faraò does not add humor to the mix, and his compositions and solos do not covertly display the influences of his native land. Rather, his is a universal language that is as at home in Rome, Italy, as in New York City. While he adds little that is new, his solid technique and command should feel right at home anywhere on the globe; that is, where the universal language of modern azz is spoken.  


                 JOHNNY GRIFFIN
           Introducing Johnny Griffin

                        Recording Date: 
                             April 17, 1956

                             Johnny Griffin     TS 
                             Wynton Kelly       P 
                             Max Roach           D 
                             Curly Russell        B 


Review by Scott Yanow
This CD reissue does not have tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin's first recording as a leader (he made a few sides for OKeh in 1953 and a full album for Argo a few months earlier in 1956), but it gained Griffin a great deal of attention. Soon billed as "the world's fastest saxophonist," Griffin was also a superior ballad interpreter with a fairly distinctive tone of his own. With strong support given by pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Curly Russell, and drummer Max Roach, Griffin romps on three of his originals, barn-busting versions of "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Cherokee" (the latter two were not on the original vinyl LP but included as bonus tracks on the initial CD release of the album), and a couple of ballads. Superior music. [In 2007 Blue Note reissued Introducing Johnny Griffin in a remastered Rudy Van Gelder edition.]


                 HORACE SILVER
        Natives Are Restless Tonight

               Recording Date:
                     April 16, 1965        tk 1-2,4-5
                     February 11, 1966  tk 3
                     February 18, 1966  tk 6

                    Joe Henderson         TS
                    Horace Silver            P
                    Roger Hamphries      D
                    Teddy Smith             B
                    Larry Ridley              B tk 3,6
                    Carmell Jones           TP tk  1-2,4-5


Review by Scott Yanow
Taken from three concerts performed during 1965-66 and released by Horace Silver's own record label decades later, this valuable CD features tenor-saxophonist Joe Henderson and either Carmell Jones or Woody Shaw on trumpet playing fresh versions of four of Silver's compositions including a "new" "Song for My Father," "Que Pasa," two versions of "The African Queen" and the title cut. Since the great Silver has tended to record on an annual basis through the years, mostly sticking to new material, this live set gives one a rare opportunity to hear his quintet stretching out on songs that were more familiar to them.


                   MILES DAVIS             
                Saturday Night at the Blackhawk

                     Recording Date:
                          April 22, 1961

                          Miles Davis       TP
                          Hank Mobley     TS
                          Wynton Kelly      P
                          Paul Chambes    B
                         Jimmy Cobb       D


Review by Thom Jurek
The Legacy imprint's issuance of the complete performances of the Miles Davis Quintet at San Francisco's (infamous) Blackhawk in April of 1961 sets straight a very confusing record once and for all. The individual nights have been available in many different configurations over the decades, first as LPs, and in even weirder ones on CD. That's all over now, as this pair of double discs contain both nights in their entirety, adding a total of four previously unreleased performances to Friday night and nine unissued performances to Saturday night, including an entire unreleased fourth set. This alone is reason to purchase the four-CD package, though both evenings are available individually as well. In terms of which night of the two was better, it's a toss-up. This short-lived version of the quintet featured Paul Chambers, Wynton Kelly, Jimmy Cobb, and Hank Mobley with Davis. These four discs should begin to fill the void of criticism about this band. Though short-lived, the unique character of this group was its sheer intensity and diversity of attack. Because of the departure of Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane, Davis had to rely as much on a muscular attack in playing his instrument as his considerable gift for melodic improvisation. For his part, Mobley had the shoes of two monster players to fill, and he does so elegantly with a ton of fire in his playing. But it is Kelly and Chambers who really set the pace for this band. Kelly fills space in the middle register with an amazingly percussive attack that is as rhythmic as it is harmonically inventive. Mobley steps away from the hard bop side of his trademark sound to go back to the Sonny Rollins book of bebop, and even Davis uses the method of attack and surprise that gained him a reputation with Charlie Parker. Chambers is the man on whom it all turns, equating the parts of the band's aesthetic. He and Cobb move toward one another and Chambers translates the shifting rhythmic patterns and segues to Kelly, whose interplay with him is almost instinctual, and then through Kelly to the horn players. Kelly's sense of that ever-changing momentum and dynamic allows him to be a real part of the rhythm section (as opposed to a melodic counterpart to the front line) and adds room for the horn players to move about inside the bridges he creates between the two factions. His right-hand soloing is based on a series of harmonic and intervallic modes he continually pulls out of his hat and feeds Chambers, more in terms of directional possibility, which is vertical rather than horizontal. For evidence, check the contrast between the opening tunes: Friday's "Oleo" at breakneck speed, and the nearly 13-minute "If I Were a Bell" on Saturday, which lopes and takes its time articulating the varying chromatic architectures being erected not only during the solos, but in the band's ensemble playing as well.  On Saturday, the set is relaxed, uptempo in most cases, and filled with a kind of comfort that allows for chances to be taken without consequences. 


                 CHARLES MINGUS
              Copenhagen Denmark

                     Recording Date:
                          April 14, 1964

                           Charles Mingus       B
                           Eric Dolphy       AS,FT,BC
                           Clifford Jordan      TS
                           Johnny Coles         TP
                           Jaki Byard             P
                           Dannie Richmond   D


Charles Mingus 4-14-1964 Odd Fellow Palæet Copenhagen Denmark
The show starts with Mingus talking about being arrested along with the rest of the band earlier in the day.
He was arrested for shoplifting.  The first set starts minus Jaki Byard, he was still in police custody, but
he arrives shortly thereafter.


                  MILES DAVIS
                  Miles Ahead

                    Recording Date:
                        April 13, 1957  tk 2-3
                        May 10, 1957 tk 4-5
                        May 23, 1957 tk 1,6-7
                        May 27, 1957 tk 8-10

                        Miles Davis              TP
                        Red Garland             P
                        Paul Chambers         B
                        Philly Joe Jones       D
                        Gil Evans Orchestra


Review by Stacia Proefrock
This album is perhaps most significant for the process it set in motion — the collaboration between Gil Evans and Miles Davis that would produce Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain, two of Davis' best albums. That said, this album is a miracle in itself, the result of a big gamble on the part of Columbia Records, who put together Evans and Davis, who hadn't worked together since recording the critically admired but commercially unsuccessful sides that would later be issued as The Birth of the Cool. Columbia also allowed Evans to assemble a 19-piece band for the recordings, at a time when big bands were far out of fashion and also at a time when the resulting recordings could not be released until two years in the future (because of Davis' contractual obligations with Prestige). Davis was also expected to carry the album as its only soloist, and manage not to get lost among a cast of supporting musicians that included a huge horn section. To a large extent, he succeeds. Evans' arrangements in particular are well-suited to the format, and he and Davis formed a deep and close partnership where ideas were swapped back and forth, nurtured, and developed long before they were expressed in the studio. Davis gets off to a great start, with the hyper-kinetic "Springsville," which seems to almost perfectly embody Evans' and Davis' partnership with its light, flexible exchanges between soloist and orchestra. He is strongest on the ballads, though, where his subdued and wistful tone rises high above the hushed accompaniment, especially on "Miles Ahead" and "Blues for Pablo" (which foreshadows the bluesy, Latin-tinged sound of Sketches of Spain). The upbeat "I Don't Want to Be Kissed (By Anyone but You)" is another strong song, but shows the weakness of the format as Davis intersperses a charming, bright, technically challenging solo with a blasting horn section that occasionally buries him. It is a fine end, however, to an album that gave a hint of the greatness that would come as Evans and Davis fine-tuned their partnership over the course of the next several years.


                 ETHAN IVERSON
                   School Work

                      Recording Date:
                            April 10, 1993

                            Ethan Iverson             P
                            Dewey Redman          TS
                            Johann Weidenmuller B
                            Falk Willis                  D


Review by Scott Yanow
Pianist Ethan Iverson (originally from Wisconsin) teams up with two fine German musicians (bassist Johannes Weidenmuller and drummer Falk Willis) and, on half of the selections, the great tenorman Dewey Redman for some stimulating inside/outside improvising. The performances range from a warm version of Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad" and a Charlie Parker blues to Ornette Coleman's upbeat "School Work," Herbie Nichols' "2300 Skidoo," and five Iverson originals. The free bop music is often quite exciting without getting too radical for straight-ahead fans. Ethan Iverson shows a lot of talent, and Dewey Redman is up to his usual high level.


              FREDDIE HUBBARD
                    Hub Cap

                     Recording Date:
                           April 9, 1961

                          Freddie Hubbard     TP
                          Julian Priester        TB
                          Jimmy Heath          TS
                          Cedar Walton          P
                          Larry Ridley            B
                          Philly Joe Jones      D


Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On Hub Cap, his third effort as a leader, Freddie Hubbard sticks to the tried-and-true hard bop formula, which is something of a mixed blessing. There's no question that much of this music is enjoyable, but it's not quite up to the standards of its two predecessors. Part of the problem is Hubbard's sextet, which features tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, trombonist Julian Priester, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Larry Ridley, and drummer "Philly" Joe Jones. All of the musicians are talented, but only a few are inventive, and that becomes a problem, since it becomes clear that Hubbard is beginning to break free from his influences and develop his own style. In other words, he's capable of more adventurous music than this straight-ahead hard bop. That said, Hub Cap is a very good hard bop date. There is energy to the performances, and the artist's vigorous, inspired playing continues to impress, as do some of his original compositions. Only when compared to Hubbard's first two records, or what would come later, does Hub Cap seem like a lesser effort.


                        AL HAIG
                  Live in Hollywood

                    Recording Date:
                          April 8, 1952

                          Chet Baker         TP
                          Al Haig               P
                          Dave Bryant        B
                          Larry Bunker       D
                          Sonny Criss         AS tk 1,6,7
                          Jack Montrose     TS tk 1,2,6
                          Les Thompson      HA tk 4
                          Ted Ottison         TP tk 5,7



           BUDDY DeFRANCO
           With  Sonny Clark

                 Recording Date:
                       April 7, 1954

                       Buddy DeFranco   CL
                       Sonny Clark          P
                       Gene Wright        B
                       Bobby White        D


 Review by Thom Jurek
The Giants of Jazz imprint sometimes gets it exactly right, and this is a case in point. Buddy DeFranco -- a subject of one of Mosaic Records famous limited-edition box sets -- is one of the great underappreciated clarinet players in the history of the music. Using it as his primary instrument, he was every bit as technically gifted as Art Pepper on the instrument, and more so than Woody Herman. DeFranco expanded the vocabulary for the clarinet, using it as a powerful and delightful tool of complex improvisation and freewheeling creativity. These 15 cuts with the genius hard bop pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Gene Wright, and drummer Bobby White, lay down some seriously swinging hard pop, ballads and standards, that walk the line between past and present, and even future. The nostalgic sound of the clarinet is present near the beginning, but fades almost immediately as the two frontline players go head to head with knotty call and response work on Clark's "Cable Car," and DeFranco's "The Bright One" and especially on Gene DePaul's stunner "I'll Remember April," which moves right through the heart of bebop while keeping the deft, turn-on-a-dime swing even when the pedal is to the metal. But the depth of melodic improvisation can really be heard on tunes like Johnny Mercer's "Laura," or Peter de Rose's "Deep Purple," or even George Gershwin's "Foggy Day," where Clark uses dissonance in counterpoint. This is a beautiful set, and one that should be heard by all serious Clark fans, as well as by those who've been intrigued by DeFranco.


                  JOE LOVANO
                    Rush Hour

                   Recording Date:
                     April 6, 1994 - June 12, 1994

                      James Chirillo         G
                      John Clark              FH
                      Mark Helias             B
                      Joe Lovano       CL,D,SS,TS

                      Richard Oatts          FL,TS
                      James Pugh            TB
                      Michael Rabinowitz BSN,BCL
                      Charles Russo     CLBCL,AS,TS
                      Ed Schuller             B
                      George Schuller      D


Review by Scott Yanow
This is one of the most exciting jazz releases of 1995. Joe Lovano is showcased on four songs backed by a string section, is accompanied by a stringless big band filled with woodwinds and brass during four other pieces, performs Ornette Coleman's "Kathline Gray" with a chamber group, takes two songs as duets with his wife Judi Silvano (who contributes wordless vocals), plays his own "Wildcat" as an overdubbed feature for his tenor and drums, and does a straightforward version of "Chelsea Bridge" unaccompanied. Gunther Schuller's arrangements for the larger pieces (which include three of his own colorful originals: "Rush Hour on 23rd Street," "Lament for M," and "Headin' Out, Movin' In") expertly blend together Gil Evans-type orchestrations with aspects of modern classical music and freer forms of jazz, while allowing the music to swing. Silvano's voice is also an asset on three of the orchestra performances, and trumpeter Jack Walrath briefly makes his presence felt. However, this very well-conceived release would not have succeeded were it not for the talent, versatility and risk-taking of Joe Lovano. His improvisations (mostly on tenor) push the boundaries of this already adventurous music and his sound (which occasionally hints a little at Clifford Jordan) is quite original; on the basis of this date alone, Lovano must rank as one of the top tenors of the 1990s.


                   JOHNNY HODGES
                  All The Duke's Men

                    Recording Date:
                          April 5, 1958     tk 4,7,9
                          December 11, 1961 tk 1-3,5
                          December 12, 1961 tk 8,10

                          Johnny Hodges    AS
                          Roy Eldrige         TP tk 4,9
                          Vic Dickenson      TB tk 4,9
                          Ben Webster       TS tk 4,9
                          Billy Strayhorn     P  tk 4,7,9
                          Jimmy Woode     B  tk 4,7,9
                          Sam Woodyard    D  tk 4,7,9



              BOOKER LITTLE
                  Out Front

                Recording Date:
                     April  4, 1961 tk 2,4,6
                     March 17, 1961 tk 1,3,7

                     Booker Little      TP
                     Julian Priester    TB
                     Eric Dolphy     AS,BCL,FL
                     Don Friedman     P
                     Art Davis            B  tk 1,3,7
                     Ron Carter          B 
                     Max Roach          D,Tim,VB



Review by Scott Yanow
Booker Little was the first trumpet soloist to emerge in jazz after the death of Clifford Brown to have his own sound. His tragically brief life (he died at age 23 later in 1961) cut short what would have certainly been a major career. Little, on this sextet date with multi-reedist Eric Dolphy, trombonist Julian Priester, and drummer Max Roach, shows that his playing was really beyond bebop. His seven now-obscure originals (several of which deserve to be revived) are challenging for the soloists and there are many strong moments during these consistently challenging and satisfying performances.


                  McCOY TYNER
               New York Reunion

                     Recording Date:
                         April 3-4, 1991

                         Ron Carter     B
                         Al Foster        D
                         McCoy Tyner  P


Review by Scott Yanow
Pianist McCoy Tyner and tenor-saxophonist Joe Henderson had not recorded together in over two decades when they finally met up for this Chesky CD. With strong assistance from bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster, Tyner and Henderson make for a perfect team on four originals by group members (including the tenor's classic "Recorda Me") and four superior standards. The advanced hard bop music is as rewarding as one would expect.