Tenor saxophonists and bossa nova go together like coffee and cream. These two albums from Tower Records' "Exclusive CDs from Blue Note compilation series feature some of the best from both worlds in a salute to good jazz and to a highly enjoyable ensemble sound.
Blue Bossa Nova
Jazz and bossa nova hooked up in the early 1960s to launch a wave that was felt around the world. Fads may come and go, but this one has lasted. The songs on this compilation continue to provide a thrill. What's more, most jazz audiences today remain accustomed to finding at least one bossa nova on the program any night of the week. The evening just doesn't quite feel complete without one.
Horace Silver's "Swingin' the Samba actually predates the bossa nova wave. From a January 1959 recording, it finds the pianist's animated quintet having rhythmic fun interpreting with a Latin jazz sense. Fun pieces such as this one had been all over radio and cinema for decades, and came as no surprise to the jazz listening public. Items such as "Samba de Orfeu and "Manha de Carnaval, on the other hand, made quite a splash. Here, Charlie Rouse interprets one, while Dexter Gordon, Bobby Hutcherson and Barry Harris tackle the latter with Bob Cranshaw and Billy Higgins providing memorable rhythmic lines. Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan give "Recado Bossa Nova a dramatic tilt, while Cannonball Adderley and Sergio Mendes take "Corcovado for a pleasure ride. Never to be forgotten, Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa features solos from Joe Henderson, Dorham, McCoy Tyner and Butch Warren. Kenny Burrell's "Loie pairs the formidable guitarist with Ike Quebec in a tasty adventure from their 1962 session. Jazz gems such as these never fade.
Great Jazz Tenor Saxophone
The cross-section of great tenor saxophonists found on this Blue Note compilation extends from the 1940s into the '90s. We find hard-driving tenors such as Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane blowing the walls down with authority as they interpret "Why Don't I, and "Moment's Notice, respectively. In '57, both were dishing out familiar, up-tempo bebop lines and having fun doing it. Similarly, Hank Mobley interprets "This I Dig of You, along with Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Art Blakey, in a driving bebop spirit that gets the adrenaline flowing. Twin tenors Joe Lovano and Joshua Redman romp with "Miss Etna through an equally exciting landscape to continue the tradition.
Coleman Hawkins interprets "It's the Talk of the Town with a slow, comforting ease that we can always find welcome. It's like the return of an old friend after years of absence. Similarly, Stanley Turrentine delivers "God Bless the Child with heart worn on his shirtsleeve and Wayne Shorter interprets "Infant Eyes with a lovely ethereal quality. "Beatrice, from a 1985 session with Ron Carter and Al Foster, gives Joe Henderson cause for celebrating the passion that comes with the territory. Great tenors do it with a loving embrace.
The other albums in this limited-release compilation series include: Blues in the Pocket, Blue Funk, Jazz Super Hits, Soul Party, Great Jazz Organ, Great Jazz Piano, Sanctified and Ultimate Cool. For more information on this series, click here.
Tracks and Personnel
Blue Bossa Nova
Track Listing: Blue Bossa; Corcovado; Samba de Orfeu; Recado Bossa Nova; Loie; Manha de Carnaval; Swingin' the Samba.
Personnel: Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Rouse, Hank Mobley, Junior Cook, Ike Quebec: tenor saxophone; Cannonball Adderley: alto saxophone; Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Blue Mitchell: trumpet; Durval Ferreira, Kenny Burrell, Lord Westbrook: guitar; Bobby Hutcherson: vibraphone; Horace Silver, Harold Mabern, Barry Harris, Sergio Mendes, McCoy Tyner: piano; Wendell Marshall, Octavio Bailly, Jr., Butch Warren, Larry Ridley, Bob Cranshaw, Gene Taylor, Larry Gales: bass; Billy Higgins, Louis Hayes, Pete La Roca, Dom Um Romao, Willie Bobo: drums; Carlos "Patato Valdes: conga drums; Garvin Masseaux: chekere.
Great Jazz Tenor Saxophone
Track Listing: It's the Talk of the Town; Why Don't I; This I Dig of You; God Bless the Child; Moment's Notice; Infant Eyes; Beatrice; Miss Etna.
Personnel: Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Hank Mobley, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman: tenor saxophone; Allen Reuss: guitar; Lee Morgan: trumpet; Curtis Fuller, J.J. Johnson: trombone; Shirley Scott: organ; Sir Charles Thompson, Horace Silver, Kenny Drew, Wynton Kelly, Herbie Hancock, Mulgrew Miller: piano; Paul Chambers, Major Holley, Christian McBride, Ron Carter, John Simmons: bass; Denzil Best, Art Blakey, Lewis Nash, Al Harewood, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Al Foster: drums; Don Alias: conga drums.