Live Jazz in Spotlight
Live at the Bistro is an excellent duet recording by pianist Benny Green and guitarist Russell Malone, both of whom find themselves stablemates at Telarc Jazz. Messrs. Green and Malone are very well suited to one another as they both purport a similarly lyrical style and approach to the blues. The Bistro of this concert is of the St. Louis variety, where the duo appeared June 28-29, 2002. Fourteen songs plus a single alternate take where assembled for this recording. The pieces range from the older well-established war horses (Monk's "Ask Me Now" and Benny Carter's "When Lights are Low") to the newly christened as jazz standards (the Bee Gee's "How Deep is your Love" and "Killing Me Softly"). The two young musicians share empathy, perhaps developed when each interned with the MasterRay Brown. Each is very respectful of the other, setting up a perfect circumstance for music making.
AyagunaLive Duo Concert with Gustavo Ovalles
OTA Records 1010
On the heels of the Grammy®-nominated Sentir (Ota 1009, 2001), Omar Sosa's most recent endeavor, a live recording, Ayaguna, roars out the Caribbean with the force of a Category 5 Hurricane. Joined by percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, Sosa proves and proves again why he may be considered one of the greatest pianist/composer/musicians to emerge from the tropics. Born in Camagüey Cuba, Sosa was conservatory-trained as a percussionist before moving on to the piano. His percussionist's leanings are in dense evidence in his piano playing. His style might best be described as a Latin Cecil Taylor with melody and direction. Permeating his music is a very thick Western Classical Music element that is tempered with the heat and humidity of his home country. More incendiary than Gonzalo Rubalcaba and more on-the-edge than Chucho Valdes, Sosa is THE jazz pianist to watch, as is proven on Ayaguna.
Veteran record producer Joel Dorn resurfaces with Hyena Records, an imprint of the California-based SinDrome Records. For his first four releases, Dorn visited his archives and elected to release music first comprised all of Night Records's output. Released in the early 1980s, these four albums were culled from hours of soundboard recordings and sound, it anything, like documentaries, or more appropriately, documentary soundtracks. Let's look
Rashaan Roland Kirk
The Man Who Cried Fire
Hyena Records TMF 9302
Jump right on over to "Multi Horn Variations" and hear Rashaan Roland Kirk boldly reinterpret Paganini's 24th Caprice in Am for Violin in ways that could have scarcely been considered by Liszt, Schumann, Rachmaninov, or Paganini himself. At once, the variations are Jazz, Klezmer, Polka, Classical, Blues, Country, and anything else one can hear from that brilliant breath. Rashaan Roland Kirk is an artist of the same ilk as Ray Charles and Ry Cooder. Kirk had a health sense of humor. On this recording, he criticizes Miles Davis for his electric leanings and then launches a perfectly respectable "Bye, Bye Blackbird" on trumpet. Kirk was always full of surprises. These recordings were pulled from several mid '70s performances Kirk played at San Francisco's Keystone Korner. The sound is acceptable and the music is unmatchable. Dig this version of "Mr. P.C."
Hyena Records TMF 9303
Cannon loomed larger than life over the alto saxophone landscape after the death of Charlie Parker. Collected from live radio broadcasts from the old Half Note in New York City, this music finds Cannon leading his most famous band composed of his brother Nate Adderley, saxophonist Charles Lloyd, keyboardist Joe Zawinul, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes. There are several Cannonball standards here. "Working Song" and "Stars Fell On Alabama" were fixtures in the Adderley band book. "Fiddler on the Roof" makes a surprising appearance here. The song environment tends toward the blues, as is often the case with Julian Adderley bands. The soloing is uniformly fine and exciting.
A Tale of Two Cities
Hyena Records TMF 9304
Eddie Harris, the Baddest M***er F***er his ownself. Sans the electronics (for most of the record), Harris plays one of his most straight-ahead and satisfying recitals on A Tale of Two Cities. The two cities are San Francisco and Chicago and the year was 1978. For those listeners who think that Eddie Harris is only about novelty electric saxophone tunes, listen to "Cherokee" and tell me he does not know his way around the Be Bop vernacular. "Loverman" is a straight-ahead tour de force while "Illusionary Dreams" is the same on the electric side. "Sonnymoon for Two" has Harris playing piano and a trumpet (with a saxophone mouthpiece). Eddie Harris had nothing if not a sense of humor and this recording captures that perfectly.
Les is More
Hyena Records TMF 9305