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Charles Lloyd Quartet: Montreux Jazz Festival 1967

Read "Montreux Jazz Festival 1967" reviewed by Chris May

2018 and 2019 have seen more than one release of newly discovered material by jazz icons which have been hyped as masterpieces by the record label, but proven to be underwhelming on investigation, no more than marginally interesting artefacts for anyone other than completists and the star-struck. The John Coltrane albums Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Impulse, 2018) and Blue World (Impulse, 2019) are cases in point. With the Charles Lloyd Quartet's 2CD Montreux Jazz Festival ...

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Ben Zahler's Songgoing: Quietly Cold

Read "Quietly Cold" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Swiss flautist Ben Zahler names his principal influences as Herbie Mann and Eric Dolphy. Having said that, he immediately backtracks. Mann was too commercial, Dolphy too experimental. Zahler positions himself somewhere between the two. He strives to avoid the “streamlined sluggishness" of Mann and similarly has no truck with way-out, overblowing excess a la Dolphy. In very Swiss fashion, he takes a neutral standpoint though--as the sleeve note to the album by Swiss journalist Steff Rohrbach, of ...

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Nat King Cole Trio: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950

Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Nat King Cole means two very different things to two different segments of the music-loving populace today. To those simply plugged into popular culture he's the golden-voiced baritone crooner, debonair and delightful as can be while travelling over the airwaves. But to those steeped in jazz history he's known as a mighty and true pianist, throwing down the gauntlet at Jazz at the Philharmonic shows, pushing a then-progressive agenda with fellow giants Buddy Rich and Lester Young, and walking a ...

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Sonny Rollins: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959

Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

The quantity and quality of music released in 1959 have led many to call it a watershed year for modern jazz. Even just cursory research calls up such landmark titles as John Coltrane's Giant Steps (Atlantic), Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic), Dave Brubeck's Time Out (Columbia) and Miles Davis's Kind of Blue (Columbia). Recorded live at Radio Station Zurich that March, Sonny Rollins Trio & Horace Silver Quintet: Zurich 1959 hoists another pillar in 1959's monument ...

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Ray Charles Orchestra: Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41

Read "Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

We generally take it for granted now, but Ray Charles' trademark blend of jazz, gospel, R&B and soul in a large ensemble or orchestral setting was a unique sound mastered by few artists when this 1961 set was recorded. Number 41 in the Montreux Jazz Label's Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Zurich 1961 is a historical and musical treasure which might have been better recorded but could not have been better performed. Zurich 1961 reaches crackling, up-tempo jazz ...

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Sonny Rollins Trio & Horace Silver Quintet: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959

Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

To some extent, the concept of glory days equates to fiction based on romanticized truth. When you talk to those who walked the walk at any seemingly important time, you learn that very quickly. Many of them would likely say that there's no time like the present, and the truth is that there's great music and history to be gleaned from any era and area if you know where to look. But then again, you can't argue with the facts ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ray Charles Orchestra: Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41

Read "Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

1961 was a classic jazz vintage for Ray Charles. That was the year he delivered unto us Genius + Soul = Jazz (Impulse!, 1961), and the year he took Europe by storm with a big band in tow. He was in good voice and spirits, he had top quality charts in his book--a good number from the pen of Quincy Jones--and he had a talent-filled band that included trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, trombonist Dicky Wells, alto saxophonist Hank Crawford, and tenor ...


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