viernes, 26 de mayo de 2017

Willis Jackson • Legends of Acid Jazz

Review by Scott Yanow
Willis "Gator" Jackson's initial reputation was made as a honking and screaming tenor saxophonist with Cootie Williams' late-'40s orchestra and on his own R&B-ish recordings. By 1959, Jackson had de-emphasized some of his more extroverted sounds (although they occasionally popped up) and had reemerged as a solid swinger influenced by Gene Ammons and (on ballads) Ben Webster. This CD reissue from 1998 brings back in full two of Jackson's 1959-60 LPs: Blue Gator and Cookin' Sherry. Some of the music (which often falls into the soul-jazz genre) is reminiscent of the funky groove music that would become popular in the late '60s. Jackson sounds fine and is joined throughout by guitarist Bill Jennings, organist Jack McDuff, one of three bassists, one of two drummers, and sometimes Buck Clarke on conga. The accessible music alternates between warm ballads and jump tunes.

jueves, 25 de mayo de 2017

Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins • Don't Mess With Miss Watkins

Artist Biography by Richard Skelly
Georgia-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter Beverly "Guitar" Watkins is one part soul singer, one part rockin' roadhouse mama, and one part gifted songwriter. She's also been chronically under-recorded for a woman with her résumé: she spent the early '60s playing rhythm guitar with Piano Red & the Interns. She recorded with Piano Red from 1959 until the mid-'60s, and can be heard on his popular singles "Doctor Feelgood" and "Right String But the Wrong Yo Yo." Watkins learned guitar and got her earliest musical sensibilities from several of her aunts, who had a quartet named the Hayes Family. She also had a banjo playing grandfather, Luke Hayes. On holidays and at family get-togethers, these musicians would assemble and the blues and gospel were passed on in a true folk process to the young Watkins.
Her earliest influences included Rosetta Tharpe, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Memphis Minnie, and she was exposed to the music because of her grandmother, who would play their recordings on the family Gramophone. She began playing guitar as an eight-year-old, learning by listening to the records her mother would play for her. Later, she was exposed to the records of touring bands, including Louis Jordan's and Count Basie's. She began to model her playing after Charlie Byrd and Basie's rhythm guitarist, Freddie Green. Throughout high school, she participated in a variety of talent shows and played trumpet in the school band. Her high school band master helped broaden her knowledge of jazz and blues guitar, and piano. After a succession of bands in high school, she settled in with playing with Piano Red, who later changed their name and found their widest appeal, as Piano Red & the Houserockers, which led to bookings outside Atlanta and northern Florida in cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.
In 1965, the band broke up, but not before going through several more name changes. Watkins then hooked up with Eddie Tigner and the Ink Spots and toured extensively with that group, playing for nearly a year with him before he was felled by a stroke. Watkins came off the road and took a break from the brutal touring she had done for much of the '60s. She worked a procession of day jobs as a domestic and in car washes before joining Leroy Redding & the Houserockers. Watkins worked on and off with Redding until the late '80s before striking out on her own and creating a residency for herself at Underground Atlanta, an Atlanta nightclub, often accompanied by a drummer and her son on bass. Here she developed her singing and harmonica-playing skills. Back in Business, her solo debut album, was released in 2001 as part of the Music Maker Series distributed by Sire Records Group/ Warner Bros. The album showcases Watkins' flexibility and prowess in a wide range of styles: roadhouse blues, jazz-inflected blues, and rockabilly-blues. Now in her sixties, Watkins continues to perform in Atlanta-area blues clubs and at major festivals around the U.S.. She put in a particularly compelling, energetic performance at the 2000 Chicago Blues Festival.
Watkins was playing internationally (for example, the Main Stage at the Ottawa Blues Fest in 2004) as well as in her hometown Atlanta until temporarily sidelined by surgery in 2005, but is recovered and taking bookings. She performed a set at the 2008 Cognac Blue Festival.

Jazz Ansambl Mojmira Sepea • Ansambl Sepe Jazz

Founded in the late 50-ties. They were proned to modern jazz style (bebop, cool, swing ).
Country: Yugoslavia

Trumpet, piano: Mojmir Sepe
Clarinet, saxophone: Ati Soss
Vibraphone, piano: Jure Robežnik
Guitar: Mitja Butara
Bass: Borut Finžgar (later Pavle Oman)
Drums: Janez Sever (later Koko Jagodic)

Martin Denny • A Taste Of Honey

Review by Stephen Cook
Taking a tip from George Shearing, Martin Denny cruised through most of the '60s with a slew of bossa nova and jazz cocktail albums. Denny's late-'50s exotica records had established him as a name to reckon with in bachelor pad circles, but were only good for a limited stretch. Denny didn't forsake this period completely, though, when he turned to jazz; on this release at least, one hears bits of his earlier South Seas and Hawaiian backdrops in the bongo accompaniment and occasional leftfield percussion accent. Other factors to consider are Cal Tjader and Dave Brubeck, both of whom Denny pays homage to by covering their respective numbers "Black Orchid" and "Take Five." As both Tjader and Shearing did on many recordings, Denny and company raise these cuts and their version of "A Taste of Honey" beyond the confines of kitsch by way of some top-notch ensemble playing. The whole album, for that matter, is well played, but things do go south a bit towards the end as the band slips into background music mode. This is not to say that versions of war horses like "Exodus" and "Claire de Lune" aren't enjoyable, or even tailored made for entertaining guests, but they don't offer much in the way of exotic thrills or rarefied touches. Still, A Taste of Honey should resonate with dedicated Denny fans; and since there has to be at least a few gems on each of the several lounge jazz records Denny released, someone should put together a compilation covering this period as a compliment to Rhino's exotica-era collection.

Herbie Mann & Buddy Collette • Flute Fraternity

Gabor Szabo • Live with Charles Lloyd

Pablo Picasso • Anatoli Podoksik, pdf

miércoles, 24 de mayo de 2017

VA • Watching the Detectives

Crime shows alongside Westerns and sit coms had been a mainstay of American radio for many years when TV first launched seriously in the late 1940's. It was natural therefore that the same genres would be equally popular as the new medium took its hold on the public imagination.
Much loved TV shows Dragnet, Highway Patrol and M Squad meet great movie themes The Man With The Golden Arm and Touch of Evil.
Superbly crafted and catchy songs from big name orchestras such as Ray Anthony, Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Count Basie, Pete Rugolo and more.

Lou Levy • Jazz in Four Colors

Bruce Ewan • Mississipi Saxophone

Basily • Antara

Basily est un groupe de jazz manouche hollandais.
Peu connus en France, ce sont des stars aux Pays-Bas où ils tournent beaucoup : concerts, festivals, télés... On a d’ailleurs pu les apprécier récemment au festival de Samois cette année (édition 2005). Ils ont à ce jour réalisé cinq disques sous leur nom.
La formation est un sextet familial organisé autour des deux solistes : Popy Basily (guitare solo) et Tucsi Basily (violon). Trois guitares tenues par Gino Basily, Zonzo Basily et Martin Limberger assurent une pompe solide. A cette base viennent se greffer d’autres musiciens qui varient selon les disques (on a pu entendre ainsi Sani van Mullen à la basse, Peter Beets au piano, ou encore Giani Lincan au cymballum...).
Antara est leur tout premier disque, paru en 1991. Les musiciens sont encore des gamins, comme on peut le constater sur la pochette... mais ils jouent déjà terrible et sans complexe ! Le style est très inspiré des Rosenberg (on reconnait des plans de Stochelo !), et les influences vont chercher des rythmes du côté de l’Espagne, voire même au delà de la Méditerrannée avec l’ajout de percussions appuyée sur quelques morceaux.
Un disque toujours agréable à écouter, même si le son d’ensemble reste par moment un peu daté (et je parle pas des coupes de cheveux...).

Cherry Wainer • Rhythmus Im Blut