Category Archives: Jazz

ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-MOANIN’.

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Moanin’. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. Although Philly-born tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s tenure with The Jazz Messengers was short-lived, he still played an important part in the development and history of the group. He joined in 1958, and during the summer, helped Art Blakey recruit three new Messengers. They …

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CULT CLASSIC: HORACE SILVER QUINTET-FURTHER EXPLORATIONS BY THE HORACE SILVER QUINTET.

Cult Classic: Horace Silver Quintet-Further Explorations By The Horace Silver Quintet. By 1950, composer and pianist Horace Silver was twenty-two and living in Hartford, Connecticut, where he had formed his own trio. They were already a familiar sight in the local clubs and are were quickly establishing a reputation as one of the up-and-coming jazz …

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CLASSIC ALBUM: DR JOHN-IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

Classic Album: Dr John-In The Right Place. Very few musicians or bands can be accurately described as an overnight success. That is something that hardly ever exists except in the minds of a few tabloid journalists . The reality is that most bands need to do the hard yards and hone their sound before commercial …

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CULT CLASSIC: JACKIE MCLEAN-IT’S TIME!

Cult Classic: Jackie McLean-It’s Time! When Jackie McLean and his band journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on August the ‘5th’ 1964, it was his fourteenth solo session for Blue Note Records and resulted in the album It’s Time! It which featured a new band and saw him revisit his old …

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KEITH MANSFIELD-VIVID UNDERSCORES.

Keith Mansfield-Vivid Underscores. Label: Be With Records. Format: LP. Composer, arranger and musician Keith Mansfield nowadays is recognised and regarded as one the doyens of library music and original copies of his albums are now highly collectable. This includes Vivid Underscores which was released in 1977, a year after his other genre classic Contempo. Both …

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CULT CLASSIC: KELLEE PATTERSON-MAIDEN VOYAGE.

Cult Classic: Kellee Patterson-Maiden Voyage. When pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California, in 1971, the nascent label’s raison d’être was “to promote the talents of young African American jazz musicians and singers.” This was only part of their vision for their new label. They were determined that …

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HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO-DING DONG, YOU’RE DEAD.

Hedvig Mollestad Trio-Ding Dong, You’re Dead. Label: Rune Grammofon. Format: CD. Just nine months ago award-winning Norwegian guitarist, vocalist, bandleader and composer Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen released her critically acclaimed debut solo album Ekhidna.  By then, she was one of the leading lights of Norway’s vibrant music scene. She had founded the Hedvig Mollestad Trio in 2009 …

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CULT CLASSIC: DOUG CARN FEATURING THE VOICE OF JEAN CARN-SPIRIT OF THE NEW LAND.

Cult Classic: Doug Carn Featuring The Voice Of Jean Carn-Spirit Of The New Land. Doug Carn was one of the first artists that Gene Russell and Dick Schory signed when they founded Black Jazz Records in 1971. His debut solo album Infant Eyes was the nascent company’s third release and featured vocals from his wife …

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CULT CLASSIC FOUND: THELONIOUS MONK-PALAIS DES BEAUX ARTS 1963.

Cult Classic Found: Thelonious Monk-Palais Des Beaux Arts 1963. Nowadays, Thelonious Monk is regarded and recognised as one of the greatest ever jazz pianists. However, in the past, he wasn’t without his critics. English poet and jazz critic Phillip Larkin cruelly dismissed him as: “the elephant on the keyboard.” He didn’t appreciate Thelonious Monk’s innovative …

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CULT CLASSIC: DR JOHN-REMEDIES.

Cult Classic: Dr John-Remedies. Although Dr John eventually won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2011, commercial success and critical acclaim didn’t come overnight for the great showman who released thirty studio albums and nine live albums during a career that spanned six  decades where his music fell in and out of fashion. Dr John …

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CULT CLASSIC: AMBIANCE-INTO A NEW JOURNEY.

Cult Classic: Ambiance-Into A New Journey. During the seven year period between 1979 and 1986, Ambiance led by Nigerian born multi-instrumentalist Daoud Abubakar Balewa released six albums on the LA-based private press label Da Mon Records. It was a self-financed business that released short runs of Ambiance’s albums during a time when many smaller independent …

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THE SONGS OF LEON RUSSELL.

The Songs Of Leon Russell. Label: Ace Records. Format: CD. Leon Russell embarked upon a career as a professional musician in the late-fifties, and over the next six decades, the versatile singer-songwriter worked with some of the biggest names in music when he worked as a touring musician and session player. He worked with everyone …

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MANONGO MUJICA AND TERJE EVENSEN-PARACAS RITUAL

Manongo Mujica and Terje Evensen-Paracas Ritual. Label: Buh Records. Format: 2 x LP. Manongo Mujica has been a leading light of the Peruvian avant-garde music scene since the seventies, and has met a myriad of musicians who were touring Peru. In 2003, this included Norwegian drummer, sound designer, teacher and composer Terje Evensen who was …

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CULT CLASSIC: STANLEY TURRENTINE-THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT.

Cult Classic: Stanley Turrentine-That’s Where It’s At. In September 1962, twenty-eight year old saxophonist Stanley Turrentine released That’s Where It’s At which was his fifth album for Blue Note Records.  It was his much-anticipated followup to Dearly Beloved which at the time, many critics hailed as his finest album. That’s Where It’s At had  a …

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CULT CLASSIC: DAWAN MUHAMMAD-DEEP STREAM.

Cult Classic: Dawan Muhammad-Deep Stream. By 1979, jazz wasn’t as popular as it was during the fifties and early sixties. That was the golden age for jazz, and saw countless classic albums released on labels like Blue Note, Verve and Impulse! These albums sold in large quantities and were profitable for the record companies that …

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SHINTARO QUINTET-EVOLUTION.

Shintaro Quintet-Evolution. Label: BBE Music. Format: CD. Ever since  the mid-fifties, many American jazz musicians journeyed to Japan where they toured and recorded albums. They were respected and treated as series  musicians, and when they recorded an album the budget was much more generous and the working conditions far better than they were used to.  …

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CULT CALSSIC: TIM MAIA-RACIONAL VOLUME 2.

Cult Classic: Tim Maia-Racional Volume 2. By 1975, Tim Maia was a changed man and had turned his back on the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle that he had embraced and enjoyed since releasing his eponymous debut album in 1970. Back then, the charismatic Brazilian singer realised that he was only here for a visit and decided to live life to the fullest. He drank, …

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KEITH MANSFIELD-CONTEMPO.

Keith Mansfield-Contempo. Label: Be With Records. Format: LP. Nowadays, Keith Mansfield is regarded as one the doyens of library music, and original copies of his 1976 album Contempo are now highly collectable. That’s the case with many other KPM Records’ releases. Everyone from sample-hungry hip hop producers and crate-digging DJs to film producers collect library …

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JOANNA LAW-RHYTHM OF YEARS

Joanna Law-Rhythm Of Years. Label: Tangential Music. Format: Digital Album. London-based singer-songwriter Joanna Law’s career began when she and her brother Simon formed City Heat. The nascent group released its debut single The Raid in 1987, and this was followed by City Heat in 1988.  The same year, Joanna Law’s vocal featured on The Funky …

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DONALD BYRD-BYRD IN FLIGHT.

Donald Byrd-Byrd In Flight. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. When Donald Byrd signed to Blue Note Records in 1958, he was twenty-five and had already recorded five solo albums and had collaborated on albums with Art Farmer, Phil Woods and Gigi Gryce.  The Detroit-born trumpeter was also in demand as a sideman and had …

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