130

Various Artists: Jazz Memories

Charlie B. Dahan By

Sign in to view read count
Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver once said the most valuable weapon in baseball is the three-run home run; a more perfect analogy couldn’t exist between Weavers' baseball intellect and Universal Music’s recent boxset offering Jazz Memories. The three runs figuratively crossing the plate are the packages’ astute track choices, the groundbreaking photography of the legendary Herman Leonard, and the short but poignant and insightful notes about the artist and each particular recording. Add to this the beautiful and attractive packaging and reasonable pricing and you have nothing short of a grand slam!

The two compact disc set draws from the exciting and inspiring recording period of the 1950s and early '60s. The mix of styles interspersed with instrumental and vocal recordings makes the disks play from beginning to end with the ease and flow of a Miles Davis solo. The blend of tunes works well as both a recording for background music and as a disk that commands your attention and keeps you both entertained and inspired.

Some of the aural highlights include Louis Armstrong’s reworking of his trumpet/piano piece “Dear Old Southland,” Art Blakey with Lee Morgan for their rendition of “Are you Real?”, the sultry and personable vocal stylings of Billie Holiday’s “My Man,” Dexter Gordon’s “Don’t Explain,” Lester Young’s romantic “All of Me” (which features Teddy Wilson), and a Duke Ellington solo piano piece entitled “Lotus Blossom” that closes out this collection appropriately. This encapsulation of track choices epitomizes the period’s vast wealth of styles and interpretations of this exciting era of recording, while seamlessly placing them together in an almost perfect track order.

The package also includes a 72-page book that features 35 8x10" photographs from Herman Leonard. Leonard helped in defining the eye catching black and white, stark and artistic photography similar to Francis Wolff’s photos for Blue Note, where the artist was captured in an intimate moment in the studio and usually had some white cigarette smoke billowing around the frame. My particular favorite photograph from his collection is the Dexter Gordon piece. It is a perfect composition of hip and sophisticated, relaxed and breath-taking. It features the signature plume of smoke in the composition and a gaze upon Gordon’s face that makes you wish you were there to join in on the resurgence this session.

On the opposite page of the Leonard photographs are brief but informative bits of information about the recording, artist, and session. Not detailed enough to lose the interest of neophyte jazz fans, but not brief enough to take away from any pertinent appearance of scholarly information. This will surely pique the interest of those who are not serious jazz fans yet and whet the appetite of those who are more familiar with the genre.

Jazz Memories sets itself up as an almost perfect entry-level release for anyone with a growing fancy to learn more about the music called jazz. It entices the mind, ears and soul in a wonderful blend of music, words, and photography.

Visit Jazz Memories on the web at www.jazzmemories.com .


Track Listing: Disc One: 1. Dear Old Southland - Louis Armstrong 2. The Song Is You - Charlie Parker 3. Joy Spring - Clifford Brown & Max Roach 4. Body And Soul - Stan Getz 5. Easy Living - Dinah Washington 6. Blue Monk - Thelonius Monk

Personnel: Cannonball Adderley

Title: Jazz Memories | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Universal Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Tempe Jetz" CD/LP/Track Review Tempe Jetz
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by John Kelman
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Road to Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Nessuno" CD/LP/Track Review Nessuno
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.