everybodydigs#27 Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Indestructible

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Lee Morgan once again became part of the Jazz Messengers after replacing Freddie Hubbard, who left after replacing Morgan originally. The band is rounded out by pianist Cedar Walton, a steaming Wayne Shorter on tenor, Curtis Fuller on trombone, and bassist Reggie Workman with Art Blakey on the skins, of course. Indestructible is a hard-blowing blues ‘n’ bop date with Shorter taking his own solos to the outside a bit, and with Blakey allowing some of Fuller’s longer, suite-like modal compositional work into the mix as well (“The Egyptian” and “Sortie”). There are plenty of hard swinging grooves– an off-Latin funk à la Morgan’s “Calling Miss Kadija,” Shorter’s killer “Mr. Jin,” and Walton’s ballad-cum-post-bop sprint “When Love Is New” — and the Blakey drive is in full effect, making this album comes closest in feel to the Moanin’ sessions with Bobby Timmons. Here the balance of soul groove and innovative tough bop are about equal. Morgan lends great intensity to this date by being such a perfect foil for Shorter, and their trading of fours and eights in “Sortie” is one of the disc’s many high points. Morgan’s bluesed-out modal frame is already in evidence here as he was beginning to stretch beyond the parameters of the 12-bar frame and into music from other spaces and times. ~ Thom Jurek

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Art Blakey (drums); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Cedar Walton (piano); Reggie Workman (bass).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#17 Grachan Moncur III – Some Other Stuff

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Grachan Moncur III was one of the top trombonists of the jazz avant-garde in the 1960s although he had only a few chances to lead his own record sessions. This 1964 set was one of his finest, a quintet outing with bassist Cecil McBee, two of the members of the Miles Davis Quintet (pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Tony Williams), and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter just a brief time before he joined Miles. The group performs four of Moncur’s challenging originals, including “Nomadic” (which is largely a drum solo) and “The Twins,” which is built off of one chord. None of the compositions caught on but the strong and very individual improvising of the young musicians is enough of a reason to acquire the advanced music. (allmusic)

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#7 Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

This release is something of a departure for the bold trumpet stylist. After the Latin-tinged dance-floor jams of THE SIDEWINDER (released about six months prior to this disc), Morgan turns somewhat reflective. The music is quieter, with a good deal of structural space and restrained, almost expressionistic playing. The title track opens the album and evokes a mood of poignancy and careful balance, like a Japanese painting. Even the more up-tempo numbers like “The Joker” and “Mr. Kenyatta” are relaxed and thoughtful, the richly textured passages unfolding in a way that seems both organic and tightly disciplined.

Morgan’s playing maintains its articulate brightness, but his notes and phrases are carefully shaded. This is matched by Wayne Shorter’s sax work (also simultaneously edgy and lyrical), Grant Green’s glowing guitar and Herbie Hancock’s atmospheric contributions. Lee should also be recognized as a significant composer, since all the tracks here, with their floating themes and protean solo sections, are from his pen. Search For The New Land live up to its title, finding a high ground of intelligent, evocative work and outstanding playing.

Personnel: Lee Morgan (trumpet); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Grant Green (guitar); Reginald Workman (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorie track:

everybodydigs#6 Eric Dolphy – Out To Lunch

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everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

Eric Dolphy was among the most daring, impassioned, and technically assured improvisers to come of age in the 1960s. From his groundbreaking work with Chico Hamilton and Charles Mingus, through his catalytic stint with John Coltrane, and all through his brilliant solo recordings for Prestige, this reed innovator defined the best elements of the swing and the bebop traditions, from Benny Carter through Bird, while extending on the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic freedom of Monk. Dolphy is an emotional shaman with a keen comic edge, as is evident in the rhythmic sauntering, drunken gait of his theme to “Straight Up and Down,” and Monk’s influence is clearly discernible in Dolphy’s witty dissonances and vocalized blues phrasing throughout Out to Lunch! (his only Blue Note recording, completed shortly before his untimely death). Rhythm masters Richard Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, and Tony Williams suspend time at will, sculpting in open space, while deconstructing the harmony and superimposing cubist rhythmic displacements–periodically regrouping around Freddie Hubbard’s bumblebee trumpet and the leader’s vocalized bass clarinet (his Monkish “Hat and Beard”), wailing alto (the martial parodies of the title tune), and exhilarating flute (the lyric, swinging “Gazzelloni”). Out to Lunch! represents Dolphy’s most fully realized vision.

Personnel: Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet); Richard Davis (bass); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone); Anthony Williams (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track: