Friday, April 29, 2011

Mal Waldron with Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin - The Quest

A gem from the 1961 Dolphy cannon, this one has often been released under Dolphy's name but in fact highlights the compositional skills of pianist Mal Waldron. Waldron was an old school bopper who'd backed Billie Holiday and worked with artists like John Coltrane (Waldron wrote the song "Soul Eyes" which Coltrane later turned into a classic) on a decent series of hard-bop Prestige dates. In the early sixties Waldron changed with the currents and recorded extensively with Eric Dolphy (and later with Mingus).

This album finds Waldron and Dolphy with a great supporting cast including fellow Mingus alumnus Booker Ervin on tenor sax, Ron Carter on cello (echoing his work on Dolphy's "Out There" album), Joe Benjamin on bass and Charlie Persip on drums. Two of these songs, "Status Seeking" and "Fire Waltz" would become part of the repertoire when Waldron toured with Dolphy and Booker Little soon after these recordings, resulting in the legendary Five Spot shows captured by New Jazz. A good album that fits nicely with the sixty-some odd other recordings (I'm not kidding on that number, either) Dolphy made in 61 with the likes of Mingus, Coltrane, Oliver Nelson, Ron Carter, Booker Little, Max Roach, and Ornette Coleman (as well as a few solo albums and a couple other artists I'm forgetting). Enjoy.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Living Doorway - A Blog

The best kept secrets of the web will never turn up by accident. NEVER. I mean, if I was not looking around for that brutal death metal band from Madrid known as Wormed, I would never met JGD and his blog.

I'm not just featuring it in the right column, because although 95% revolving around music, it is a deeper experience than a random mp3 blog.

It's about life. The life of a random guy, once skater-kid, now skater-man, with a really passionate approach to music. Every post come packed with an out of teeth review that is closely related to a personal experience or is merely based on the thoughts of the moment. Plus he make some interviews well worth reading.

I really like it.

The Living Doorway

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eric Dolphy - The Complete Uppsala Concert

One of the legendary multi-reed instrumentalist's most inspired concerts, this edition contains Eric Dolphy's complete Uppsala Concert, recorded in Uppsala, Sweden on September 4, 1961. The performance features Dolphy's longest recorded improvisation ever, a 13 minute solo on his composition '245'. The concert also features an alto-sax solo on David Raskin's tasteful tune Laura. Dolphy is backed by pianist Rony Johansson, bassist Kurt Lindgren and drummer Rune Carlsson for a night of unforgettable music. Gambit Records. 2005.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ornette Coleman - Science Fiction


Ornette Coleman (alto sax, trumpet, violin), Dewey Redman (tenor sax), Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Higgins (drums), Ed Blackwell (drums), Asha Puthli (vocals), Carmon Fornarotto, Gerard Schwarg (trumpets).

Composed by Ornette Coleman.

Recorded: New York, October 13, 1971

Ornette Coleman's groups in the 1960s and early '70s that included Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, Billy Higgins, Dewey Redman and others were pivotal to me as a musician in that they seemed to bridge the gap between my early love of folk and rock with the more abstract and highly improvisational elements of jazz. There's a folksy quality to Ornette's music that seems to reflect the early days of jazz when the music was guttural and instrumentalists played lyrical melodies with voice-like tones. On Science Fiction, he used the studio as an instrument, more so than on many of his previous albums. This tune incorporates vocals (from Asha Puthli) in a seamless way. It takes guts to envision this kind of music.

Reviewer: Ben Allison (for Desert Island Dozens)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lee Morgan - Indeed

For years, the only Lee Morgan 50s session available as a single album was Candy (see my review). But now that the Mosaic set "The Complete Blue Note Lee Morgan Fifties Sessions" has sold out, and presumably the licensing contract has expired, all six original albums have finally been reissued in 2007 by the mother label, EMI. "Indeed" is indeed the trumpeter's first recording -- made on November 4, 1956, a day before "Introducing Lee Morgan," but the latter Savoy session made it to market first back in the day. "Indeed" is a quintet date featuring Lee, lesser known Clarence Sharpe on alto sax, Horace Silver on piano, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums. It is a typical "blowing session" of the day, though the original compositions of Silver, Donald Byrd, Benny Golson and Owen Marshall (the latter two will contribute on Lee's next album Lee Morgan, Vol. 2 -- see my review) show that Alfred Lion went to great lengths to showcase his young star in a proper setting. For most, Lee Morgan doesn't hit his stride until his stint with the Jazz Messengers or even his landmark The Sidewinder, but "Indeed" is a great look at early Lee. By Michael B. Richman