ZOOT SIMS QUINTET featuring Bob Brookmeyer/Buried Gold-Complete 1956 Quintet Recordings: When you think Sims and duets in the same thought, you think Al Cohn. Both played sax and played together forever. Brookmeyer might have come up with Sims, but he played trombone and their paths didn't cross as frequently. This collection rounds up the three albums they made for different labels with a few odds and ends tossed in for completeness and it all leaves you wondering why no one wrote the checks needed for further explorations like this. Tasty, late 50s daddio jazz that hit's the mark lighting the kind of sparks that fly when two like minds are really in sync, this is wonderful timeless jazz that's easy to enjoy any time at all. Well done stuff by cats that were probably keeping an eye on the clock and not knowing how lasting the results would be. Hot stuff.
KENNY BURRELL/Complete Albums Collection 1956-1957: Never intimidated by the shadow of Wes or Charlie Christian, Burrell is closing in on the 100th original recording under his own name--certainly a feat that won't be matched any time soon. However, this is where it all began and if it seems like he made a lot of albums in two years, this collection is larded with all star dates he was more than just a part of along the way. Leading with 60 years old jazz guitar sets that sound remarkably contemporary right now as I listen to them, there was never any doubt this was the work of a master at work. While his legacy might not shine as brightly to casual musos, you do have to take note that is in part to him being a most in demand sideman for the greater part of his career while keeping his solo light burning at the same time. Sure delight for the jazz guitar fan, this is an 8 album collection that will never wear out it's welcome. Well done.
KENNY BURRELL/Complete Albums Collection 1957-1962: A period that gave us a run of 8 amazing albums either led by or starring Burrell, the guitarist simply laid down the law during this period--even if he did a two year turn with Benny Goodman that kind of had him sidelined from chasing his own glory. Smoking daddio jazz and more, this period let jazzbos run wild as long as they came in on budget and these albums set high standards for the time. Keeping company with an amazing and diverse bunch of jazzbos, this is a collection of jazz guitar hitting new heights. Well done and essential throughout.
CHARLES MINGUS/1953-1957 Complete Albums Collection: With John Hammond having no real competition as a jazz backer until Norman Granz gave him a run for his money, jazzbos were pretty much on their own, so much so that the initial recordings in this collection were on Debut, a label Mingus started because he had to. The collection ends with the start of his trail of mighty records for a variety of other labels. After being personally fired by Duke Ellington for the first flares of his famous temper, Mingus went on to become one of jazz's greatest conundrums with his juxtaposition of anger and finesse. With these sides going back over 60 years, they sound remarkably undated and timeless, even when the playing is at the simplest instrumentation. One of the jazzbos that has left a legend and legacy that can be discovered or rediscovered at any time, this 8 album plus collection that starts at the start is a well taken trip back in time. Check it out.
CHARLES MINGUS/1957-60 Complete Albums Collection: A period of great creative ferment for Mingus, the 8 albums in this collection are considered some of his mightiest and certain most legend making as an arranger. Virtually on another label every time he turned around, he's not only holding his own against other contemporary jazzbos, he's extending his reach so much that he can take on jazz slummers like Leonard Bernstein and win the fight on Bernstein's home turf. Just plain classic stuff that sets standards in daddio jazz, any real jazzbo needs this collection in their collection. Hot stuff.
CHARLES MINGUS/1960-1063 Complete Albums Collection: Some jazz collaborations, like Miles Davis and Gil Evans, were just fated. Here we find another such collaboration as this set closes out with the famous face off between Mingus and Marcia Brady, the ever popular "Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus". But before we get to that, we have to assess how the angriest man in jazz turned in the lyrical "Tijuana Moods", an essential album if there ever was one. Arguably, this set profiles the end of the ground breaking, mighty portion of his career, the Library of Congress went on to want it all to enshrine. Ending with the beginning of his Impulse period, at last he found a home where he could do what he had to do the right way. A smoking collection without a false note anywhere in the bytes with some of the top names in jazz lending hands, this is a period piece that transcends it's time. Killer stuff throughout.
JOSEPH L. YOUNG/Ethereum: The keyboard/flute ace known at all the better neo hippie/new age hot spots brings his chops to bear on his fourth album that sets some new age standards. Trippy while being more than hippie dippy, this is inner space music for the seeker that needs to chill out with something else than a bottle of wine after the end of a long day. Well played and well produced, this is a set for the seeker that thinks they have heard it all and wants a pleasant surprise.
RICK MALSICK with Evan Smalley/Morning Glories: You have to love the balls on Malsick for taking the time, effort and money to make an album of old public domain songs you sang at camp and thought were so old nobody wrote them. Did I mention he does it with passion, without affectation and breathes the kind of life into the songs that make you feel like this could easily be a contemporary, neo folkie album straight from the back porch? A record that shouldn't be a killer but is and then some, easily takes you back to a simpler time when Walmart parking lots were still corn fields. Ever taste a third cut steak that didn't need modern chef frippery to make tasty? This might be the closest you'll ever come. Killer stuff throughout---and you'll finally get to know the words to all these songs you've been faking knowing.
UWE GRONAU/Paradise Painting: First there were the jive instrumental knock off records. Then instrumental music got some respect. Then there was new age. Now there is something else. A fine something else recording, Gronau brings out a new set of sound paintings that certainly let you provide your visuals of choice---but it certainly is visual music, often with a wide, open canvas just right for day dreaming. A sure fingered master of the various 88s, Gronau knows how to keep things new and different continually adding spice to a progressively flavorless world. Well done.
Volume 40/Number 3
November 3, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record
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