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ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Carla Bley's Lost Chords at Yoshi's

Read "Carla Bley's Lost Chords at Yoshi's" reviewed by Roy Strassman

Carla Bley Yoshi's Oakland, CA September 14, 2005 Last night I slid into Yoshi's a few minutes late and the band was called “out . With seemingly a stellar cast of musicians I was dismayed when the music began with what sounded like a hoaky, low-key bossa nova. ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

Grant Green: Carryin' On

Read "Grant Green: Carryin' On" reviewed by John Ballon

Having firmly established himself as the '60s jazz guitarist second only to the great Wes Montgomery, Grant Green was willing and able to move into something new and give himself up to the emerging funk wave that would seep across the '70s. Attacked by purists as Grant's grand selling-out, these recordings have been rediscovered and widely ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

The Crusaders: Crusaders I

Read "The Crusaders: Crusaders I" reviewed by John Ballon

Most people think that when the Jazz Crusaders dropped the “Jazz" from their name, they also dropped the jazz from their playing. When the band first decided to call themselves the Crusaders, it was only to expand their musical horizons beyond what was narrowly defined as “jazz" at the time. True, the band quickly came to ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

Donald Byrd: Kofi

Read "Donald Byrd: Kofi" reviewed by John Ballon

An album of previously unreleased material taken from two 1969-1970 sessions which capture the immensely talented trumpeter Donald Byrd in a transitional moment of artistic brilliance. The first two tracks, “Kofi" and “Fufu," were both recorded during the 1969 session, and are the most original and imaginative compositions on the album. Rooted in the hypnotic African-infused ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

Charles Lloyd: Forest Flower

Read "Charles Lloyd: Forest Flower" reviewed by John Ballon

Recorded live at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966, Forest Flower was the jazz soundtrack of the Flower Power movement. Always accessible and majestic, the Charles Lloyd Quartet was recorded here at the peak of its powers. The title track, “Forest Flower," actually is split into two parts, “Sunrise" and “Sunset," which merge together seamlessly to ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

George Benson: The Other Side Of Abbey Road

Read "George Benson: The Other Side Of Abbey Road" reviewed by John Ballon

I first heard The Other Side Of Abbey Road at a cozy coffee shop in Hollywood, California, early in my jazz discovery days. At the time, I was just recovering from a heavy overdose on the Beatles, having listened to all their post-LSD records almost exclusively for several months. I was ready for something new, and ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

Ray Barretto: Acid

Read "Ray Barretto: Acid" reviewed by John Ballon

By the time 1968 rolled around, Ray Barretto was a celebrated studio session player whose hard-driving conga rhythms could be heard all over the records of Dizzy Gillespie, Cal Tjader, Cannonball Adderley, and countless others. Once he dropped Acid onto the music world, Barretto firmly established a reputation for himself as an innovator in his own ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

Charlie Parker: Jam Sessions

Read "Charlie Parker: Jam Sessions" reviewed by John Ballon

Charlie “Bird" Parker was a peerless musician who needs no further introduction. Despite his vast discography, there are few good-sounding recordings where the majority of the tunes run any more than 5 minutes in length. Jam Sessions is one of the notable exceptions. Backed by an all-star band (including such giants as Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

Armstrong & Ellington: The Great Summit

Read "Armstrong & Ellington: The Great Summit" reviewed by John Ballon

No two musicians defined the first half of the Jazz Century more than Duke Ellington & Louis “Satchmo" Armstrong. Duke was the dashingly elegant mad-genius of composition, a black Mozart who imbued jazz with an emotional sophistication and wit that will never be surpassed. Louis almost single-handedly popularized the art of the solo, liberating jazz from ...

ARTICLE: MUST HEAR REVIEW

Miles Davis: The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions

Read "Miles Davis: The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions" reviewed by John Ballon

I never waited as impatiently for a boxed set to be released as I did for this one. I assumed that the only thing that could possibly be better than In A Silent Way was The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions , because there would be so much more of it. Now that I have ...


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