Although legendary L.A. composer/producer/arranger David Axelrod has not released a new album in six years, his back catalog has been sampled by DJ’s around the world. In fact, this CD isn’t a completely “new” collection of tracks either. Seven of the nine tunes here come from sessions Axelrod recorded for Reprise in 1969, which have been buffed up with the addition of strings, vocal choirs and other orchestral flourishes. While Axelrod’s ambitious pop, rock, jazz, classical, and blues compositions have aged reasonably well, they still have a slightly dated 70s feel to them. Two new tracks "The Little Children," featuring West Coast rapper MC Ras Kass and "Loved Boy," featuring soul singer Lou Rawls – are certainly more contemporary in tone. Nevertheless, the CD contains marvelous solo performances by Ernie Watts (sax), Lanny Morgan (alto), Bob Efford (baritone), and Howard Roberts (guitar). Special attention should also be paid to the outstanding work of Carol Kaye, a freelance bassist who has reportedly played on over 10,000 recording sessions! Despite its meager playing time (34 minutes), Axelrod’s eponymous return is jam-packed with brilliant moments. ####
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.