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MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Pete La Roca: Basra - 1965

Read "Pete La Roca: Basra - 1965" reviewed by Marc Davis

When drummer Pete La Roca recorded Basra in 1965, the Iraq war was decades away. Today, the name Basra evokes memories of the 2003 invasion. A recording called Basra in 2016 would probably make listeners think of Saddam Hussein. Not a good association. But in 1965? It was just an exotic-sounding, Middle Eastern name. And that's exactly what the 10-minute title track to Basra sounds like. It begins with a heavy, pulsing bass. It features a meandering, haunting ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Pete La Roca: Basra

Read "Basra" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Pete La Roca was one of those musicians with a long but under-sung career. He was a sideman to some great Blue Note leaders including saxophonists Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, and Joe Henderson, but he only ever recorded one date (1965's Basra) under his own name during the label's heyday, and indeed only three records total as a leader over a fifty-year career. He was a drummer in the background in almost every sense.According to La Roca's obituary ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Pete La Roca: Turkish Women at the Bath

Read "Turkish Women at the Bath" reviewed by Jim Santella

This album has a strange history. As Joel Dorn reminds us in the liner notes, it was originally produced by Alan Douglas in 1967 with the current title. The quartet is led by drummer Pete LaRoca, and features the talents of pianist Chick Corea, bassist Walter Booker, and tenor saxophonist John Gilmore. However, the album was later sold to Muse Records, who subsequently released it with a different title, Bliss! (MR-5011), listing Chick Corea as the leader. “Pete took umbrage, ...


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