Creed Taylor is best known for his CTI label of the 1970s, but he has been important in the jazz recording industry for quite some time.
| Chet Baker: She Was Too Good To Me (1974)|
Sebesky proves the perfect arranger/conductor for this Baker comeback, with material to match: "Autumn Leaves suits Baker's trumpet (his opening salvo is very like Miles, supple and gentle yet taut and strong), as does the title track, where he sings like he plays, with brittle melancholy, as the strings dance with the spectre of his vocals. Baker coolly swings Hank Mobley's bop "Funk in Deep Freeze. On two tracks, Paul Desmond's astringent alto counterpoints Baker's style and sound.
| Chet Baker/Gerry Mulligan: Carnegie Hall Concert (1974)|
This final reunion performance by two West Coast giants presents the debut of Mulligan's "A Song for Strayhorn and one of the first recordings of young guitarist John Scofield. Baker's trademark kid-leather glove treatment of "My Funny Valentine (as the notes correctly observe, "a piece Chet owns in all but copyright ) remains the highlight of their joint repertoire; other highspots include the jam scrambles "It's Sandy at the Beach and "Bernie's Tune.
| George Benson: White Rabbit (1971) |
Benson's second CTI set comes from Wes Montgomery's linage even as the band (Hancock, Cobham, Laws and Carter) and arrangements of "California Dreamin,' the "Theme from 'Summer of '42' (Michel Legrand), and "Little Train (Villa-Lobos), plus the psychedelic title track, spotlight his sparkling guitar in Spanish-tinged orchestral lushness. Ends with Benson's original "El Mar, featuring 17-year-old Earl Klugh.
| Ray Charles: Genius + Soul = Jazz (1960)|
The second album released on Impulse! features the label's first single, a cool "One Mint Julep with Charles grooving on electric organ. NOT a pop collection but bursting with seriously swingin' rhythm and blues, mostly arranged by Quincy Jones and Ralph Burns and played by Thad Jones, Clark Terry, Freddie Green and others from the Basie band. The popular reissue combines Charles' Genius with his 1972 release My Kind of Jazz, which kicks out foot-stompin' versions of Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder and Horace Silver's "Señor Blues.
| Deodato: Prelude (1972)|
Deodato's rejuvenation of Strauss, "Also Sprach Zarathustra, a genius stroke of classical, Brazilian, fusion and funk, was a Grammy-winning top ten hit. The principal on electric keyboards plus bassists Carter and Stanley Clarke, Cobham, and percussionists Airto and Ray Barretto, also deliver the "Spirit of Summer as soft as spring rain; creepin' synthesizer funk ("September 13 ); and updates of Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and "Baubles, Bangles & Beads (favored by Sinatra in his sessions with Jobim).
| Paul Desmond: Skylark (1973)|
With his instantly recognizable alto soundchilled and dry as an ice-frosted martiniDesmond's CTI date bursts with Sebesky-arranged classical (Purcell's "Music For A While ), standard ("Indian Summer ) and pop (Paul Simon's "Was a Sunny Day ) pieces. Guitarist Gabor Szabo and low-groaning cello add a gypsy touch, and the leader soars through "Take Ten, Desmond's derivative of his own classic "Take Five.
| Bill Evans: Conversations with Myself (1963)|
Brilliantly titled and executed, claiming the first of Evans' seven Grammy Awards: Master pianist Evans overdubbed to perform a compelling program with...master pianist Evans. An abundance of Thelonious Monk ("'Round Midnight, "Blue Monk, "Bemsha Swing ) spotlights the lighthearted side that sometimes romped behind Evans' austere visage. The restmost notably "Stella by Starlight is sheer, uncompromised genius.
| Gil Evans Orchestra: Out of the Cool (1960)|
The pianist, composer, arranger and conductor maps out Lydian chromatics as a comfy, large-ensemble twelve-bar blues ("Stratusphunk ) and floats ascending and descending horns like a spaceship ("Bilboa Song ). Arrangements coax amazing voices from his instrumentation yet leave soloists such as Jimmy Knepper, whose trombone digs up jazz' New Orleans roots ("La Nevada, "Where Flamingos Fly ), plenty of room to blow. Evans' finest hour outside of his series with Miles Davis.
| Joe Farrell: Moon Germs (1972)|
An electric quartet date where Hancock, Stanley Clarke and Jack DeJohnette construct multi-hued, shifting rhythmic hotplates upon which Farrell cooks with flute and soprano sax. The opening "Great Gorge is one of Farrell's most memorable melodies, his saxophone shadowing Clarke's bass down into the groove, and his flute swings and stings in response to the rhythmic challenges of Clarke's "Bass Folk Song.
| Jürgen Friedrich/Kenny Wheeler: Summerflood (2003)|
Composed, arranged and produced by pianist Friedrich, who leads his own quartet plus guest soloist Wheeler. While the composer exercises his own piano chops in "Baghira, Wheeler gorgeously soars above the accompaniment in "Opal, and saxophonist Claudius Valk proves Wheeler's equal in the opening "my shy i (quartet sans Wheeler) and title track. Modern acoustic jazz that embraces Wheeler's warm, personable tone within the sound of European classicism.
| Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd: Jazz Samba (1962)|
Warm and cool like a tropical breeze in the sun, quietly unleashing two soft supple minutes that changed music forever: The saxophone and guitar dance through "Desifinado laid the foundation for the international bossa nova movement to follow. Getz commands the forefront in a mere whisper, especially in "Bahia and "Samba Triste, as Byrd and the rhythm section samba and sway through pure rhythmic magic. Indescribably delicious.
One moment, you will be redirected shortly.