Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Herman Foster - Explosive Piano of Herman Foster / Have You Heard?


As a thirteen year veteran of Lou Donaldson's band, pianist Herman Foster developed a style of playing that one can only describe as "percussive" and "animated." Foster explores Latin, jazz and blues on these two original Columbia albums from the 1960's.


Herman Foster (piano)
Earl May (bass)
Grassella Oliphant, Drnkie Dunlop (drums)

Recorded in 1960-61. Originally released on Epic (17016) & Epic (17010)

Booker Ervin - TEXBOOK TENOR


Booker Ervin’s Tex Book Tenor finds the tenor saxophonist surrounded by a talented cast consisting of Woody Shaw (trumpet), Kenny Barron (piano), Jan Arnet (piano), and Billy Higgins (drums). Tex Book Tenor is indeed a “textbook” of harmony, rhythm and cohesion. Of course, Ervin shines, but his partners are equally astounding, particularly the delicate notes of Barron on Gichi. Gichi is a swaying, bluesy track that has Ervin and Shaw working congruently while Barron and Arnet lay down the melody. Higgins, the master technician, provides fresh, timely accoutrements while Arnet’s steady bass line maintains a flowing tempo. This track is just over seven minutes, but seems to fly by much too soon thanks to delicious solos by Shaw and Barron.

--Reviewed by Eddie Becton


Booker Ervin – tenor saxophone
Woody Shaw – trumpet
Kenny Barron – piano
Jan Arnet – bass
Billy Higgins – drums

Alice Coltrane - World Galaxy


One of Alice Coltrane's most ambitious albums of the early years -- recorded with a full set of heavenly orchestrations! The core group features Alice on piano, organ, and harp -- alongside Frank Lowe on saxes, Reggie Workman on bass, Leroy Jenkins on violin, and Ben Riley on drums. Added to this combo is a much larger set of strings -- swirling around in a rich musical backdrop that gives Alice's work a sense of majesty and power we could have never imagined. This is the album that really showed the world that she was far far more than just the wife of the late great one -- a true mystical visionary with a sound that demanded to be heard! Side 2 features a recitation by Alice's spiritual mentor, Swami Satchdiananda -- and the album features a wonderful version of "My Favorite Things", done with both organ and harp, plus the tracks "Love Supreme", "Galaxy In Turiya", and "Galaxy In Satchidandana".

---Dusty Groove

Alice Coltrane : percussion, piano (2), organ (1,4,5), harp (1,3,4,5), tamboura (4) Reggie Workman : bass
Ben Riley : drums
Elayne Jones : timpani
Frank Lowe : saxophones, percussion
Swami Satchidananda (5) : voice
Leroy Jenkins (5) : solo violin

STRING ORCHESTRA - David Sackson : concertmaster; Arthur Aaron, Henry Aaron, Julien Barber, Avron Coleman, Harry Glickman, Edward Green, Janet Hill, LeRoy Jenkins, Joan Kalisch, Ronald Lipscomb, Seymour Miroff, Thomas Nickerson, Alan Shulman, Irving Spice, William Stone : strings

Alice Coltrane - Journey in Satchidananda


Direct inspiration for Journey in Satchidananda comes from my meeting and association with someone who is near and dear to me. I am speaking of my own beloved spiritual perceptor, Swami Satchidananda. Swamiji is the first example I have seen in recent years of Universal Love or God in action. He expresses an impersonal love, which encompasses thousands of people. Anyone listening to this selection should try to envision himself floating on an ocean of Satchidanandaji's love, which is literally carrying countless devotees across the vicissitudes and stormy blasts of life to the other shore. Satchidananda means knowledge, existence, bliss.

-Alice Coltrane, from the liner notes to Journey in Satchidananda

Donald Byrd & Booker Little - Third World


Renowned trumpet players on their own, Byrd and Little joined their considerable forces in this musical collaboration of legends. This album, first released in 1959, features session work from other jazz greats such as "Philly" Joe Jones, Curtis Fuller, and Paul Chambers.


Donald Byrd, Booker Little (trumpet)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Mal Waldron (piano)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Philly Joe Jones (drums)
Armando Perazo, Willie Rodriguez (congas)

Donald Byrd & Gigi Gryce - Jazz Lab / Modern Jazz Perspective


In 1957, horn player Donald Byrd and alto sax player Gigi Gryce formed the Jazz Lab to experiment with composition and harmony. The pieces in this collection are truly ensemble works which paved the way for the jazz fusion movement.


Personnel: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Gigi Gryce (alto saxophone); Sahib Shihab (baritone saxophone); Julius Watkins (French horn); Benny Powell, Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Don Butterfield (tuba); Tommy Flanagan, Wade Legge (piano); Wendell Marshall (bass); Art Taylor (drums).


Personnel: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Gigi Gryce (alto saxophone); Jackie Paris (vocals); Sahib Shihab (baritone saxophone); Julius Watkins (French horn); Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Wendall Marshall (bass); Art Taylor (drums).


Oscar Pettiford - Another One


Don't let the Another One title make you think this is some passable record that repeats earlier ideas -- because the set is a real gem in the 50s catalog of bassist Oscar Pettiford, and one of his strongest dates as a leader! Pettiford really sparkles here -- leading a great group that features key 50s modernists like Gigi Gryce on alto, Jerome Richardson on tenor, Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, and Donald Byrd on trumpet -- all tightly arranged at most moments, but given enough space on the set to strike out and state their own ideas. Pettiford's bass is wonderfully upfront in the mix, leading off most tunes with a nice sense of force -- and titles include some really wonderful original material -- like "Oscalypso", "Don't Squawk", "Bohemia After Dark", "Minor Seventh Heaven", and "Kamman's A Comin".
---Dusty Groove

**** Some of the Tracks got Misnamed...Sorry ****