Category Archives: Modal Jazz

HARD BOP CLASSIC: ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-THE WITCH DOCTOR.

Hard Bop Classic: Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-The Witch Doctor. When The Jazz Messengers were formed in 1954, the collective was led by Horace Silver and Art Blakey when they played live. However, it wasn’t until November the ‘23rd’ 1955 when they recorded At the Cafe Bohemia, Volumes 1 and 2. That night, the …

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CULT CLASSIC: KOHSUKE MINE-FIRST.

Cult Classic: Kohsuke Mine-First. Nowadays, the most important period in the development of  J-Jazz is between late-sixties through to the early eighties. That’s regarded as a crucial period in the development of modern jazz in Japan. During that period, many Japanese composers and musicians and bands released ambitious and innovative music that astounded those who …

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CULT CLASSIC: GENE RUSSELL-NEW DIRECTION.

Cult Classic: Gene Russell-New Direction. In 1969, pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California. 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 Black …

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CULT CLASSIC: STEVE POTTS-MUSIQUE POUR LE FILM D’UN AMI. 

Cult Classic: Steve Potts-Musique Pour Le Film D’Un Ami. Sadly, musical history is littered with artists whose music never received the recognition that it deserved. Often, it’s only much later that their albums start to find the audience that they so richly deserve. That was the case with Alice Clark, Gram Parsons, Laraaji, John Martyn, …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE AWAKENING-HEAR, SENSE AND FEEL.

Cult Classic: The Awakening-Hear, Sense and Feel. Of the twenty albums that Black Jazz Records released between 1971 and 1975, The Awakening’s Hear, Sense and Feel is a much prized rarity amongst collectors. Copies of the album change hands for hundreds of dollars. That is no surprise given the quality of music The Awakening recorded. It …

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ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-THE WITCH DOCTOR.

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-The Witch Doctor. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. When The Jazz Messengers were formed in 1954, the collective was led by Horace Silver and Art Blakey when they played live. However, it wasn’t until November the ‘23rd’ 1955 when they recorded At the Cafe Bohemia, Volumes 1 and 2. …

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IMPULSE RECORDS: MUSIC, MESSAGE AND THE MOMENT.

Impulse Records: Music, Message and The Moment. Label: Impulse. Format: 2CD Set. The roots of Impulse! can be traced to 1955 when the American Broadcasting Company decided the time was right to diversify into the record business. History was made on June ‘14th’ 1955 when  Am-Par Record Corporation was incorporated and Samuel H. Clark became …

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CULT CLASSIC: SHINTARO QUINTET-EVOLUTION.

Cult Classic: Shintaro Quintet-Evolution. 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.  It was no …

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CULT CLASSIC: ROLAND HAYNES-2ND WAVE.

Cult Classic: Roland Haynes-2nd Wave. Forty-five years ago in 1975, Roland Haynes released his debut album 2nd Wave on the Detroit-based Black Jazz Records. The label was founded by Gene Russell and Dick Schory and released twenty albums between 1971 and 1975. 2nd Wave was the label’s penultimate release and it folded later in 1975. …

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KOHSUKE MINE-FIRST.

Kohsuke Mine-First. Label: BBE. Format: CD. Nowadays, the most important period in the development of  J-Jazz is between late-sixties through to the early eighties. That’s regarded as a crucial period in the development of modern jazz in Japan. During that period, many Japanese composers and musicians and bands released ambitious and innovative music that astounded …

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DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC 1969 TO 1973.

Directions In Music 1969 To 1973. Label: BGP. Format: CD. By the time of John Coltrane’s death in 1967 rock was by far the most popular musical genre in America. A headline in Downbeat magazine warned that: “Jazz as We Know It Is Dead.” The future of jazz looked bleak. Fortunately, fusion rode to the …

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CULT CLASSIC: WALTER BISHOP JR-CORAL KEYS.

Cult Classic: Walter Bishop Jr-Coral Keys. In 1971, Gene Russell and Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records and later that year, the nascent label released their first release. This was Doug Carn’s debut album Infant Eyes. It was the first of twenty albums that the label released between 1971 and 1975. Later in 1971, Black …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOBBY HUTCHERSON-OBLIQUE.

Cult Classic: Bobby Hutcherson-Oblique. On July the ‘21st’ 1967, Bobby Hutcherson journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to record Oblique which was his sixth solo album for Blue Note Records. It was just the second album he had recorded with a quartet.  The first was Happenings, an album of modal hard bop …

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GENE RUSSELL-NEW DIRECTION.

Gene Russell-New Direction. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. In 1969, pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California. 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 …

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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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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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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 CLASSIC: BOILLAT THERACE QUINTET-BOILLAT THERACE QUINTET.

Cult Classic: Boillat Thérace Quintet-Boillat Thérace Quintet. By 1974, the Swiss jazz scene was thriving, and the Montreux Jazz Festival which had been launched in 1967, was in its eight year. The organisers had surpassed themselves with what was an all-star lineup Between the ‘2nd’ and ‘7th’ July 1974, the great and good of jazz arrived at …

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ 13: NOW! PART TWO.

Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part Two. Label: Jazzman Records. Format: CD. Nowadays, there aren’t many compilation series’ that are still going strong after thirteen years and thirteen volumes. However, Jazzman Records’ critically acclaimed compilation and commercially successful Spiritual Jazz seems to be going from strength-to-strength. Recently, the label released Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part One and Two which are …

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ 13: NOW! PART ONE.

Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part One. Label: Jazzman Records. Format: CD. Little did anyone at Jazzman Records know when they released Spiritual Jazz (Esoteric, Modal and Deep Jazz From The Underground 1968-77) in 2008, that this was the first instalment in what would become their longest-running and most successful compilation series. Over the next thirteen …

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