everybodydigs#24 Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues

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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!

Taken from a couple of sessions taped during 1955-1956, Lady Sings the Blues finds Holiday in top form and backed by the sympathetic likes of tenor saxophonists Budd Johnson and Paul Quinichette, trumpeter Charlie Shavers, pianist Wynton Kelly, and guitarist Billy Bauer. And while these autumnal sides bear some of the frayed vocal moments often heard on Holiday’s ’50s Verve sides, the majority here still ranks with her best material. This is especially true of the cuts from a June 1956 date, which produced unparalleled versions of “No Good Man,” “Some Other Spring,” and “Lady Sings the Blues.”

Personnel: Billie Holiday (vocals); Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel (guitar); Anthony Sciacca (clarinet); Willie “The Lion” Smith (alto saxophone); Paul Quinichette (tenor saxophone); Harry “Sweets” Edison , Charlie Shavers (trumpet); Wynton Kelly, Bobby Tucker (piano); Red Callender, Aaron Bell (bass guitar); Chico Hamilton, Leonard Browne (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#23 Chet Baker – She Was Too Good To Me

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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!

Besides being a great recording, this one also has some historical significance, as it is viewed by many as Chet’s “comeback” album. Although Baker recorded in the late sixties, they were really dreadful commercial albums. This is the first significant recording Chet made since the ’65 Prestige sessions. It also marks the beginning of a very successful association with Creed Taylor and CTI Records. Chet recorded some of best work for CTI in the mid-to-late 1970′s. Bob James’ electric piano and some strings (just the right amount) give this CD a unique flavor. Chet sings several ballads, and this is where you start to hear the change in his voice. It’s still soft and sincere, but it is lower and starting to show the ravishes of cigarettes and drugs. (chetbakertribute.com)

Personnel: Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals); Paul Desmond (alto saxophone); Bob James (electric piano); Ron Carter (bass); John DeJohnette (drums); Steve Gadd (drums); Dave Friedman (vibes); Hubert Laws (flute).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#22 Charles Mingus – Blues and Roots

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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!

Bassist Charles Mingus was always ready for a good fight. In the liner notes to this disc, Mingus says he wanted to respond to critics who said he didn’t swing enough. And reply he did. Mingus gave whoever these absurd quibblers were some of the most ecstatic blues (“Moanin’” and “Cryin Blues”), gospel (“Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting”), and Dixieland (“My Jelly Roll Soul”) the jazz world has ever heard. Along with his striking original compositions, the instrumental combination in Mingus’s nonet remains unconventional: the frontline included four saxophonists and two trombonists without the counterweight of a trumpeter. The leader’s sliding-octave bass lines and percussive slaps are totally rollicking, and the wild abandon in the group’s playing is irrepressible. –Aaron Cohen

Personnel: Charles Mingus (bass); Jackie McLean, John Handy (alto saxophone); Booker Ervin (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Jimmy Knepper, Willie Dennis (trombone); Horace Parlan, Mal Waldron (piano); Dannie Richmond (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#21 Roy Ayers Ubiquity – He’s Coming

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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!

One of the rarest and greatest Roy Ayers albums of all time – the sly, funky and spiritual masterpiece He’s Coming from 1971 – really the beginning of the funk years from Roy Ayers Ubiquity! This one’s a totally solid mix of soulful jazz, jazzy soul and righteous funk – and it’s straight up wonderful all the way through – with a groove that’s hugely influential to say the least! Includes the amazing track “We Live In Brooklyn Baby”, which has a slow sample bassline in the intro that’s just incredible – plus groovy cuts like the spiritual funk classic Jesus Christ Superstar “He’s a Superstar”, “He’s Coming”, and “Sweet Tears”. The lineup includes Sonny Fortune on soprano sax and flute and Billy Cobham drums and percussion, and the record’s co-arranged by Harry Whitaker, who’s also on keys and vocals – with other tracks include “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, “Ain’t Got Time”, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”, “Sweet Butterfly Of Love” and “Fire Weaver”. Amazing stuff, really a beautiful encapsulation of Roy Ayers in peak form! (dustygroove.com)

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#20 Stan Getz – Sweet Rain

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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!

One of Stan Getz’s all-time greatest albums, Sweet Rain was his first major artistic coup after he closed the book on his bossa nova period, featuring an adventurous young group that pushed him to new heights in his solo statements. Pianist Chick Corea, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Grady Tate were all schooled in ’60s concepts of rhythm-section freedom, and their continually stimulating interplay helps open things up for Getz to embark on some long, soulful explorations (four of the five tracks are over seven minutes). The neat trick of Sweet Rain is that the advanced rhythm section work remains balanced with Getz’s customary loveliness and lyricism. Indeed, Getz plays with a searching, aching passion throughout the date, which undoubtedly helped Mike Gibbs’ title track become a standard after Getz’s tender treatment here. The quartet’s level of musicianship remains high on every selection, and the marvelously consistent atmosphere the album evokes places it among Getz’s very best. A surefire classic. (allmusic)

Personnel: Stan Getz (tenor saxophone); Albert Daily (piano); Chick Corea (electric piano); Stanley Clarke, George Mraz (bass); Tony Williams, Billy Hart (drums).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#19 Grover Washington Jr – A Secret Place

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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!

A Secret Place was produced by Creed Taylor and issued on his Kudu imprint, while the versatile David Matthews arranged the horn section. This lineup may not be surprising, but the scope of the recording is. Washington could have gone the easy route and followed up his R&B chart success with a series of uptempo, rousing tracks that leaned heavier on funk–in the style of the title tracks of both his previous albums, 1974′s Mister Magic and 1975′s Feel So Good. But he went in a different direction, at least partially. The bottom line on A Secret Place is that while the set did well commercially, it got nowhere near the critical praise of its predecessors. That’s a shame, because it is a truly fine album whose grooves and pleasures stand the test of time easily.(cduniverse)

Personnel: Grover Washington, Jr. (saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Eric Gale , Steve Khan (guitar); Gerry Niewood (saxophone, alto saxophone); John Gatchell, Randy Brecker (trumpet); Dave Grusin (piano); Anthony Jackson (bass instrument); Harvey Mason, Sr. (drums); Ralph MacDonald (percussion).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:

everybodydigs#18 Stanley Turrentine – Sugar

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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!

One of the main weapons in sax legend Stanley Turrentine’s arsenal was the knowledge that a real groove requires just the right amount of energy without hitting the listener over the head. That knowledge is put to practical use throughout Turrentine’s first recording for CTI, SUGAR. Aided by the subtly soulful organ of Butch Cornell and the smoldering sensuality of George Benson’s guitar, Turrentine churned out solidly grooving (though not literally “funk”) tunes that employ blues-based economy and bob-schooled chops in equal measure. The fiery trumpet interjections of Freddie Hubbard keep things moving, but Turrentine’s mastery of the mid-tempo groove is exemplified throughout, whether on the down-and-dirty jam “Sunshine Alley” or a soulful take on John Coltrane’s “Impressions.” And don’t worry, the music is leagues more tasteful than the questionably raunchy cover art.

Personnel: Stanley Turrentine (saxophone); Lonnie Liston Smith Jr, Johnny Hammond (electric piano); Hubert Laws (flute); George Benson (guitar); Butch Cornell, Johnny Hammond (organ) Airto Moreira (percussion); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Ron Carter (double bass); Billy Cobham, Billy Kaye (drums).

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:

Weedy of 40 Winks – Retrospect Suite

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New album from Weedy of 40 Winks released today on the berlin-based label Project Mooncircle, enjoy!

In a repeatedly rephrased metaphor of vinyl archaeologists digging for samples and re-constructing music from tiny pieces and fractions of long lost sounds, Weedy of 40 Winks is actually a rare example of this image being executed to perfection. His puzzling way of piecing together intricate beats, rich in details, breaks and variations, is rather analogous to surrealist art than to most of his fellow contemporary beat-smiths. On top he adds his own instrumentation to perfect these compositions, being like a conservator creating mosaics of rhythms, grooves and harmonies, giving the listeners imagination ample space to wander about.

For more info and buy check: www.projectmooncircle.com

Full listen here:

Long Arm – The Branches – Deluxe Edition

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Originally released by Long Arm via Project Mooncircle in 2011  “The Branches” was already a beautiful album but right now is even better, today the berlin-based Project Mooncircle release a Deluxe Edition that contains the original album plus various remixes by Hidden Orchestra, Dday One, 40 Winks, Robag Wruhme, Sieren, Yoko Duo, Berry Weight, Empt and Speck from CYNE.

For more info and buy check: www.projectmooncircle.com

Full listen here: