everybodydigs#65 Bill Evans Trio – Waltz For Debby

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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!

Recorded at the Village Vanguard in 1961, shortly before Scott LaFaro’s death, Waltz for Debby is the second album issued from that historic session, and the final one from that legendary trio that also contained drummer Paul Motian. While the Sunday at the Village Vanguard album focused on material where LaFaro soloed prominently, this is far more a portrait of the trio on those dates. Evans chose the material here, and, possibly, in some unconscious way, revealed on these sessions — and the two following LaFaro’s death (Moonbeams and How My Heart Sings!) — a different side of his musical personality that had never been displayed on his earlier solo recordings or during his tenures with Miles Davis and George Russell: Evans was an intensely romantic player, flagrantly emotional, and that is revealed here in spades on tunes such as “My Foolish Heart” and “Detour Ahead.” There is a kind of impressionistic construction to his harmonic architecture that plays off the middle registers and goes deeper into its sonances in order to set into motion numerous melodic fragments simultaneously. The rhythmic intensity that he displayed as a sideman is evident here in “Milestones,” with its muscular shifting time signature and those large, flatted ninths with the right hand. The trio’s most impressive interplay is in “My Romance,” after Evans’ opening moments introducing the changes. Here Motian’s brushwork is delicate, flighty and elegant, and LaFaro controls the dynamic of the tune with his light as a feather pizzicato work and makes Evans’ deeply emotional statements swing effortlessly. Of the many recordings Evans issued, the two Vanguard dates and Explorations are the ultimate expressions of his legendary trio. (allmusic)

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#64 Dexter Gordon – Dexter Calling…

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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!

Dexter Gordon’s second recording for the Blue Note label is a solidly swinging affair, yet constantly full of surprises. It’s not unexpected that Gordon’s tenor at this time — 1961 — is one of the most enjoyable in mainstream jazz, but his transition from the cool California scene to the hotter music environs of New York City had energized his sound and attitude. A first-time pairing with bassist Paul Chambers has something to do with this, but it also inspires pianist Kenny Drew to a great extent, while drummer Philly Joe Jones is his reliable, energetic self, and always works well with Gordon. Where Gordon’s fluent melodic sense is perfectly demonstrated during the simple-as-pie groove waltz “Soul Sister,” the steady, steamy bopper “I Want More,” and the familiar Charlie Chaplin evergreen “Smile,” his sense of expanding the specific line upon soloing is truly remarkable. He constantly keeps the song form in mind, riffing on and on without violating the basic note structures, constantly reharmonizing, shuffling the chords like a card dealer and updating the song form. “The End of a Love Affair” takes this concept into an area where his deep, subtle voice is translated directly into the low-slung voicings of his horn. The remarkable “Modal Mood” combines hard bop with Drew’s three-chord piano repetitions and Gordon’s soulful, simplified sax, while the equally impressive “Clear the Dex” steamrolls the competition as the band — cued by Jones — skillfully pushes or pull tension and release elements, then busts loose into joyous swinging in a true signature tune that is immediately recognizable as only the long, tall tenor man. The sad ballad “Ernie’s Tune” is based on a yin/yang theme via Freddie Redd’s stage play The Connection and the crazy character that ran wild or tame. The excellent band, solid musicianship, and memorable music on every track make this one of the more essential recordings of Gordon’s career, enhanced by the improved audio quality. (allmusic)

Personnel: Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Kenny Drew (piano); Paul Chambers (bass instrument); Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#63 Wayne Shorter – Juju

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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!

When Wayne Shorter recorded this date in 1964, he was asserting his own voice as both a saxophonist and a composer after his years with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He’s joined here by pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones, essential parts of the then dominant John Coltrane Quartet, but Juju serves to emphasize what was distinctive in Shorter’s approach as well as the similarities. Though he shared something of Coltrane’s twisting line and hard sound, Shorter was far more interested in crafting conventional compositions, and there’s a range of everyday emotions to be felt in this music that went untouched in Coltrane’s more intense work. Shorter’s a master of tension and release, using contrasting elements in a piece, mixing major and minor, consonance and dissonance, and different rhythms to evoke complex moods of doubt and playfulness or constraint and joyous swing. Those structures are a happy fit with Tyner and Jones as well, who can bring their characteristic welling intensity to “Juju,” a relaxed bounce to “Yes or No,” or a subtle oriental emphasis to “House of Jade.” –Stuart Broomer

Personnel: Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); McCoy Tyner (piano); Reginald Workman (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#62 Oliver Nelson – The Blues and the Abstract Truth

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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!

Oliver Nelson had recorded several sessions for Prestige when the fledgling Impulse! label gave him the opportunity to make this septet date in 1961. The result was a rare marriage between an arranger-composer’s conception and the ideal collection of musicians to execute it. The material is all based somehow on the blues, but Nelson’s structural and harmonic extensions make it highly varied, suggesting ballads, hoedowns, and swing. The band is one of those groupings that seem only to have been possible around 1960, a roster so strong that the leader’s name was actually listed fourth on the cover. Nelson shares the solo space with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, alto saxophonist and flutist Eric Dolphy, and pianist Bill Evans, while bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Roy Haynes contribute support and baritone saxophonist George Barrow adds depth. In stark contrast to Dolphy’s brilliant, convulsive explosions, Nelson’s tenor solos are intriguingly minimalist, emphasizing a tight vibrato and unusual note choices. It’s not quite Kind of Blue (nothing is), but Blues and the Abstract Truth is an essential recording, one that helped define the shape of jazz in the ’60s. –Stuart Broomer

Personnel: Oliver Nelson (tenor/alto saxophone); Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute); Geroge Barrow (baritone saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Paul Chambers (bass); Bill Evans (piano); Roy Haynes (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

sampleecious#4

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sampleecious#: a post every Friday where i choose just one great track sampled for one or more other great tracks, also you can listen to (when it’s possible) a small preview on the video below, enjoy!

#4: “So Good” by The Whispers from “So Good” released in 1984 > sampled in > “Eye” by Madvillain from “Madvillainy” released in 2004.

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Shawn Lee – The Word Jam

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New music from Shawn Lee, 2 dope breakbeat funk tracks (“The Word Jam b/w Bushy Haired Man”) released as single on Paris DJs, available now on bandcamp > parisdjs.bandcamp.com enjoy!

Paris DJs contacted Shawn Lee last summer offering the man a spot on the Afrofunk/Tropical album project they were working on. He sent two breakbeat soundtrack funk tracks, ‘The Word Jam’ and ‘Bushy Haired Man’, which didn’t really fit the proposed theme, but which they thought would make a great 2-tracker! Illustrator Ben Hito couldn’t pass on designing a cool and flashy tiger artwork for this single, which will hopefully be the first in a long series of collaborations between London (where Shawn lives), Los Angeles (where AM is), Austin (where Adrian Quesada lives, collaborator of both Shawn Lee and Grant Phabao, Paris DJs main artist and sound engineer) and Paris (where Paris DJs is, obviously)…

For more info check: www.parisdjs.com

Full listen here:

Souleance – La Beat Tape

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After their debut LP “La Belle Vie” released last year, the french duo Souleance (formed by Fulgeance & DJ Soulist) is back with more music. This is “La Beat Tape” their last work released on First Word Records. It’s a 20 track beat tape touching Turkish breaks, Hammond funk,  tripped out western cinematics, brooding jazz, Shadow-esque breaks, Just Blaze-style horn-heavy hip hop, 80s synth-hop and much much more. Go get it because there is music for everybody! Available now on bandcamp > souleance.bandcamp.com enjoy!

Full listen here:

Mark de Clive-Lowe & the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra – Take The Space Trane

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New album from producer, composer and musician Mark de Clive-Lowe in collaboration with the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra entitled “Take The Space Trane” released on Tru Thoughts Records.

MdCL and the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra join forces for the first time, delivering big orchestral jazz grooves with a nod to club productions, for a modern, experimental take on the big band sound. The album brings together a selection of bespoke compositions and existing cuts from across MdCL’s highly prolific career, as well as a cover of the jazz standard, “Caravan” – all realised with traditional big band arrangements and instrumentation.

The title track “Take The Space Trane” (which you can stream down below) totally got me, amazing! The album is available now a week ahead of general release exclusively to Etch Shop, enjoy!

For more info check: www.tru-thoughts.co.uk

Tamara Saul – Neon Nights EP

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The french label Trueflav Records released this EP entitled “Neon Nights” by the Croatian R&B singer Tamara Saul, it’s a 4 tracks EP and all tracks have been produced by Mister Bibal, i do not like “Sugar Spicy” but overall is a good ep and a good introduction to Tamara Saul’s voice, available now on bandcamp > trueflavrecords.bandcamp.com enjoy!

Full listen here: