Monday, September 30, 2013



Hiroshima’s latest is their 19th album release – entitled “J-Town Beat”. The 11 track album was released on Sept. 26th, 2013, and comes right off the heels of their successful recording from 2011, "Departure." The group, led by Dan Kuramoto, has been on the urban music scene for well over 30 plus years, and still counting. Tracks include Red Buddha, Lost In Provence, State Of Mind, Da Kitchen, and Lady Of Mystery. Upcoming concerts include the Denver Jazz Festival on Oct. 5; the Summer Concert series at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach on Oct. 11; and Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival on Oct. 12.


The first ever full length collaboration from contemporary soul veterans Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson – and it's by no means a predictable male/female joint R&B record – they're rolling with a sound enriched by their mutual love of reggae! Musiq and Syleena both went through the major label ringer of the 2000s, and have emerged with more creative control in the indie realm – and you gotta love that they're doing just what they want to do at this stage in the game. There's a reggae inflected vibe throughout, but it's still in their modern soul wheelhouse at the same time. Bottom line: it works! Includes "Alright", "Feel The Fire", "The Hunger", "Slow Love", "So Big", "Never Had", "Pieces Of You", "Bring Me Down", "Promise", "Feel The Fire (Reggae Style)" and more. ~ Dusty Groove


A smooth set from reedman John Klemmer, but a pretty darn soulful one too – and a great illustration of the way that Klemmer could still hold onto his roots a lot more strongly than some of his contemporaries! The backings are gentle and fusiony – often with some great keyboard work from Russell Ferrante – and Klemmer soars out wonderfully in the lead – with a depth of tone and creativity of solos that goes far beyond anything that might have been needed for the date – a real "something extra" that shows that John's still got all the deep elements of his Impulse years in place. Tracks include "Finesse", "Man & Woman", "Sometimes", "Heart", "Sun, Moon And The Stars", and "Beloved". ~ Dusty Groove  

Friday, September 27, 2013



Important 70s work from Don Cherry – one of the first albums to bring his overseas experiments to a larger US audience! The set builds nicely off of styles that Don forged earlier in France and Scandinavia – a freer style of music than his work with Ornette Coleman, and a richly organic groove that builds up strongly from the bottom, often with elements of world music settled in alongside the jazz – but there's also some funkier moments here too, a bit like the Brown Rice album, but looser overall! The groups on most numbers are relatively large and spiritual – almost like Alice Coltrane at times, but a bit more electric and funky at others – and players include Collin Walcott on sitar, Michael Brecker on saxes, Cliff Carter on keyboards, Lenny White and Tony Williams on drums, Lois Colin on harp, and Raphael Cruz on percussion. Cherry himself plays conch shells, bells, and flute in addition to his usual trumpet – and he even sings a bit on a few numbers, in a soulful, scatting sort of groove. Narada Michael Walden produced, and the whole set's got a very righteous feel – with tracks that include "Universal Mother", "Buddah's Blues", "Eagle Eye", "Mahakali", "Karmapa Chenno", "Surrender Rose", and "Journey Of Milarepa". ~ Dusty Groove


Incredible early work from German guitarist Volker Kriegel – rare recordings that easily stand strong alongside his classic work for the MPS label – including his trippy sides with the Dave Pike set! A number of tracks here preface his work with Pike – and feature vibes from German players Fritz Hartschuh and Claudio Szenkar – showing that Volker's guitar had already found a great place alongside the chromes and tones of the electric instrument – a perfect match for the young guitarist's freewheeling style and strong sense of rhythm! Some of the best cuts here hint at the trippier styles Volker would later hit at MPS – and a good number of them also show his strong ear for songwriting too – that love of a playful groove that really makes Kriegel very different than any other jazz guitarist we can think of. Titles include "Na Na Imboro", "Morandi", "Nyleve", "Tea & Rum", "Vian De", "Traffic Jam", "Little Pear", "Five By Four", "Soul Eggs", "Somewhat Somewhere Somehow", "Slums On Wheels", "Sitting On My Knees", and "Pluns". ~ Dusty Groove


The DKV in all its fierce, raw power – a blistering onslaught of sounds from Ken Vandermark on clarinet and tenor, Mats Gustafsson on tenor and baritone sax, Kent Kessler on bass, Massimo Pupillo on electric bass, and both Hamid Drake and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums! Although all players are capable of more sensitive sounds, the DKV is where they really like to let loose – especially Vandermark and Gustafsson, who prove again that they're still some of the most dynamic players of their generation – or, honestly, of any generation of avant jazz as well! Titles include "All In" and "All Out" – the latter of which spills over both sides of the record. ~ Dusty Groove



One of the few recordings ever from the amazing Larry Saunders – a 70s soul artist we'd rank right up there with Donny Hathaway or Stevie Wonder, but one who's also got some of the deep soul touches of Al Green too! This album's a total gem all the way through – full of beautifully-written, beautifully-arranged tunes that balance Larry's deep vocals with some rich charts that never get too overdone – just always in this perfect style that shows off some of the jazzy changes in Saunders music, but with a simple and focused groove that really keeps things moving too. The whole thing was recorded at Muscle Shoals, but it was produced with a feel that reminds us much more of a New Jersey album from the same time – and the legendary Mr Wiggles (August Moon) helped put the whole thing together. Tracks include "You Beat Me Baby", "Fly Away Love Bird", "This Is My Prayer", and "All My Friends Call Me a Fool". ~ Dusty Groove


Brian Jackson re-ignites the righteous magic he forged back in the 70s with Gil Scott-Heron on a set of legendary albums that we'll treasure forever – but he does so here in a richly collaborative spirit that takes the message and the music even farther than ever! Jackson's keyboards and sense of composition really holds the whole thing together – but the sound also includes contributions from a whole host of others – including MC M1, vocalists Martin Luther and Gregory Porter, percussionists Bill Summers and Airto, speakers Bobby Seale and Abiodun Oyewole, drummer Stanton Moore, and guest MCs Chuck D and Dead Prez. Some tracks are remakes of older Gil Scott-Heron numbers, but most are new grooves that really offer up a 21st Century take on the combination of knowledge and rhythm that Brian and Gil forged back in the 70s. Titles include "Go Ahead On Bobby", "Winter In America", "Opponent", "Liberation Psychology", "All We Got", "Tradition", and "Song Of The Wind". ~ Dusty Groove


An excellent bit of funk – and one of those records that folks were digging for way back in the days when folks were hardly digging for obscure funk records! The album's centerpiece is the classic "Seven Minutes of Funk", a biiiig sample cut from the early days (think EPMD), and a beautiful slow track that's in a class by itself when it comes to funk – sly, sinister, and with a heavy groove that's held up beautifully over the years! Other tunes follow in a similarly tight funk mode – played with lots of sharp edges, and some great energy by the group. In addition to "Seven Minutes Of Fun", other titles include "New Yorkin", "I'm Hurt", "You Know That You Liked", "Ain't Nothing But Something To Do", and a version of "Fly Away Love Bird", which was cut by Larry Saunders, who was also on the Soul International label. CD features two bonus tracks – an alternate take of "Seven Minutes Of Funk", and the single "Half Of Seven Minutes Of Funk".  ~ Dusty Groove



A famous set of crossover fusion – one with lots of heavy drums from Alphonse Mouzon, and plenty of sweet guitar from Larry Coryell! This set definitely plays to the rockish side of the fusion crowd, but still has some funky undercurrents too – thanks to lots of bold lines from Cobham, who could easily sit on both sides of the fence at this point in his career! The rest of the group is equally tight, too – and includes the great John Lee on bass, who really keeps things deep, plus Philip Catherine on additional guitar, sometimes acoustic. Mouzon sings on the cut "Reconciliation", but all others are instrumental – and titles include "The Phonse", "Transvested Express", "Rock N Roll Lovers", "High Love", "Mr C", "Get On Up", and "Beneath The Earth". ~ Dusty Groove


This 3 cd set is packaged in a specially embossed sea shell shaped metal tin. 45 tracks from the legend himself. Highlights include Kissa Me Baby #8 R&B 1952 Hallelujah-#5 R&B 1956 What I'd Say(Live) #1 R&B 1959 Georgia On My Mind(Live) #1 Pop 1960/ #3 R&B 1960 Hit The Road Jack(Live) #1 Pop 1961/#1 R&B 1961 You Are My Sunshine(Live) #7 Pop 1962/#1 R&B 1962 Crying Time-#1 AC 1965/#5 R&B 1965 Let's Go Get Stoned(Live)-#1 R&B 1966 and many other favorites. Also includes I Don;t Needno Doctor, One Mint Julep, That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day), That Lucky Old Sun, Unchain My Heart,, Eleanor Rigby and others.


A rare bossa treat – and one of the best albums ever recorded by jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks! The album came out only briefly, at the start of the bossa craze in the US – and it features Hendricks singing a batch of tracks popularized by Joao Gilberto, translated into English, and backed by arrangements by Johnny Carisi and Johnny Mandel. The album's way more than just a bossa cash-in session – as Jon was comitted to Brazilian sounds from the start, and really presents the material here in a wonderful way – mixing his fragile vocal style with lightly jazzy arrangements, in a manner that's both in keeping with the greatness of bossa recordings from Brazil, yet also infused with all the soulfulness of America. Tracks include "Jive Samba", "Chega de Saudade", "Outra Vez", "O Pato", "Bolinha De Papel", and "Coisa Mais Linda".~ Dusty Groove



Warner Music Group presents an exciting and comprehensive 4CD boxset charting the soul sensation Donny Hathaway s short but compelling career. The set compiles well know classic tracks from Hathaway s solo career and his duets with Roberta Flack as well as newly discovered and previously unreleased live and studio performances exhumed from deep inside the Atlantic vaults. The set includes extensive liner notes written by noted music journalist Charles Waring, with valuable input from Roberta Flack who gives a very candid memory of her time spent working with Hathaway, as well as quotes and discussion from Leroy Hutson, Arif Mardin and Jerry Wexler. -Disc 1 : Overview: Young, Gifted & Black The Life & Music of Donny Hathaway;  Disc 2 : Unreleased Studio Recordings; -Disc 3: Live at The Bitter End 1971 - All Previously Unreleased Performances; -Disc 4: Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway Duets. ~ amazon


Essential Ornette Coleman – and some great rare material pulled from his early days at Atlantic Records! The sides were recorded in 1959 and 1960 – but never issued until this format, a rare mid 70s album that was only issued in Japan! Despite that obscurity, though, the material is tremendous – on a par with Coleman's more familiar Atlantic albums – and every bit as essential as the revived lost sides on the albums Twins and Art Of The Improvisers! Ornette's working here with his classic quartet that included Don Cherry on trumpet, Charlie Haden on bass, and either Ed Blackwell or Billy Higgins on drums – and the album features 7 tracks, titled as a statement – "Music Always", "Brings Goodness", "To Us", "All", "PS Unless One Has", "Some Other", "Motive for Its Use". Brilliant – and very true in this case! ~ Dusty Groove


Wonderful work by one of the best Latin-styled groups to emerge from the African scene over the past few decades – a combo who've fully integrated a range of Afro-Cuban influences – so much so that they can easily challenge the best Latin ensembles of New York! This smoking set sits equally well in any collection of salsa as it does with the usual global sounds we've come to love from Sterns – and the combo's instrumentation is very tight throughout, and recorded with a really classic sort of feel. There's lots of room for great guest work, too – and Africando are joined by talents as diverse as Amadou Ballake, Bassirou Sarr, Sekouba Bambino, Jos Spinto, Rene Cabral, and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra – on titles that include "Deni Sabali", "Yen Djiguengny", "Destino", "Boure Yaye Diama", "Africa Es", "Esa Para Ti Gnonnas", and "En Vacances". ~ Dusty Groove

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Andrew T. Mackay and Garry Hughes formed Bombay Dub Orchestra nearly ten years ago after multiple visits to India. Both men loved their experiences working with Indian orchestras and decided to pursue their compositional skills by melding electronica and dub with orchestral textures. Three years of germination lead to their self-titled debut, released to great acclaim in 2006; two years later, their second full length album, 3 Cities hit the shelves.

Alongside their unique originals, Bombay Dub are renowned for their globally minded remixes, having reworked the songs of Bob Marley, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bebel Gilberto and many others. This worldly mentality continued as recording sessions for their new album, Tales From The Grand Bazaar saw them bouncing around the United States and London, through the Bombay and Delhi they know so well, as well as into Kingston, Jamaica to work alongside the legendary rhythm section of Sly & Robbie. Grand Bazaar also features some beautiful new Turkish musical flavors, due to prominent sessions in Istanbul which saw the group working with a Turkish orchestra, as well as renowned soloists from the region.

While Istanbul is a focal point for the new release, India is in no way forgotten. The duo’s greatest conceptual challenge was uniting their South Asian foundation with Turkish melodies. The challenge soon dissolved when they performed with their respective orchestras and the new album's sound came together beautifully.

What remains most provocative about Bombay Dub’s growing catalog is the imagery each song invokes: movements through medinas, riverside strolls, even the scent of the spice markets Hughes loves walking through. “The sense of the unexplored territory is always very exciting,” he says, explaining that while one moment can leave a last impression, capturing it properly can take many months of detailed studio work.

For Mackay, who likens the experience of this album to being in a kind of Paris, Texas scenario—the 1984 film co-written by playwright Sam Shepard—it is impossible to separate sound from picture. He’s spent a lifetime doing it, and along with Hughes, eloquently captures the beauty and struggle of an entire planet on Tales From the Grand Bazaar.

“Music creates something visual,” he says. “When you have a subject matter of a piece of music, you automatically start having visions. From the day I left music college, I was doing music to picture in some way; for both Garry and myself there has always been an integral connection between music and images.”



A tremendous tribute to the music of Burt Bacharach – but one that's almost completely comprised of soul and jazz songs recorded for Atlantic Records in the 60s! Hard to believe that Burt and Atlantic had so much in common – but as you'll hear in this massive 45 track set, Bacharach tunes worked surprisingly well for the label's soul singers – including both those working on the scene down south, and those closer to the Brill Building in New York! CD one features Atlantic Ladies – a whole host of female soul – and side two features Atlantic Men & Jazz – with a few instrumental cuts thrown in next to the male singers. Titles include "Please Stay" by the Drifters, "Any Day Now" by Carla Thomas, "April Fools" by Aretha Franklin, "Please Stay" by Lulu, "Let The Music Play" by Leslie Uggams, "Alfie" by Sweet Inspirations, "In The Land Of Make Believe" by Leslie Uggams, "The Look Of Love" by Carmen McRae, "I Say A Little Prayer" by Sergio Mendes, "This Guy's In Love With You" by Roy Ayers, "Please Stay" by The Persuaders, "Close To You" by Richard Evans, "Anyone Who Had A Heart" by Nino Tempo, "They Don't Give Medals To Yesterday's Heroes" by Ben E King, "Any Day Now" by Percy Sledge, "Walk On By" by Arif Mardin, and "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" by The Young Holt Unlimited. ~ Dusty Groove


One of the grooviest collections of Burt Bacharach songs we've ever heard – a sweet double-length set that dips deep into the Warner Brothers catalog of the 60s, then moves into later decades for a few choice moments too! Tracks here represent a great range of Warner pop from the time – a bit of jazz, mod instrumentals, soul, girl pop, and more – including some excellent cuts from overseas that fit perfectly in with the American tracks that dominate the set. CD2 moves into some later territory that includes some 70s and 80s takes on Burt's music – showing the ever-growing power of Bacharach, even after his initial burst of songwriting and production. Titles include "Made In Paris" by Trini Lopez, "The Look Of Love" by Anita Kerr Singers, "Cross Town Bus" by Gals & Pals, "And This Is Mine" by Connie Stevens, "You're Following Me" by Caterina Valente, "Promise Her Anything" by Marty Paich, "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" by Ella Fitzgerald, "Baby It's You" by Jeff Phillips, "Me Japanese Boy" by Harpers Bizarre, "Non Mi Innamoro Piu" by Johnny Dorelli & Catherine Spaak, "I Wake Up Crying" by Watts 103rd Street Rhythm BAnd, "I Say A Little Prayer" by Siw Malmkvist, "In My Reality" by Natalie Cole, "Alfie" by Everything But The Girl, "Are You There With Another Girl" by Mari Wilson, "Tell It To Your Heart" by Randy Crawford, and "Anyone Who Had A Heart" by Linda Ronstadt.  ~ Dusty Groove

Wednesday, September 25, 2013



Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project has been on a mission to promote innovation and cross-cultural understanding through the arts for the last 15 years; the latest chapter comes with their new album, A Playlist Without Borders. The vision of Yo-Yo Ma's limitless collective is as timely as ever: to connect the world's neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences. From flashy surf guitar sounds to ninth century Chinese poetry, from modular playlists to Egyptian rhythms, the Silk Road Ensemble mixes the modern and the traditional, breaking boundaries of ethnicity and era. The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma's A Playlist Without Borders is the groundbreaking group's fifth recording and the first since 2009's Grammy® nominated Off the Map. With A Playlist Without Borders, The Silk Road Ensemble once again demonstrates that there are no barriers for those approaching music with an open mind. !


Incredible stuff from the the incomparable John Lee Hooker – originally issued on Atco in 1963 – featuring Hooker in some his sparest settings ever captured! Hooker's mostly rolling alone on these tracks, tapping a foot, and telling the truth with just his emotive vocals and trebly licks – a spare approach that really works some magic throughout! The album's a classic – from the cover right down to the grit in the grooves – and titles include "Stuttering Blues", "Wobbling Baby", "You've Lost A Good Man", "Love Me Baby", "My Baby Don't Love Me", "Real Real Gone", "Guitar Lovin' Man", "Talk About Your Baby", and "Drifting Blues". ~ Dusty Groove


Tremendous work from the great Mark Murphy – a great reminder that he's still one of the greatest jazz vocalists to come our way in the past 50 years! The short set's a loving tribute to the late Shirley Horn – delivered by Mark in some of his most personal, poetic modes in years – with backing from a trio that features Alex Minasian on piano and Curtis Lundy on bass – plus guest trumpet from Til Bronner on two of the album's tracks! Bronner's trumpet rings out warmly alongside Murphy's vocals – which have the same edge we've loved for so many years. The pairing is one that would definitely make Shirley Horn smile – and titles include "A Beautiful Friendship", "Get Out Of Town", "Here's To Life", and "But Beautiful". (Beautiful vinyl pressing – nice and heavy, with bonus download too!) ~ Dusty Groove


After nine CDs over 20 years with her longstanding Tierney Sutton Band, the five-time Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist decided to leave her comfort zone and leap off the cliff by tackling an homage to the revered pop singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. With After Blue, her most daring and revealing project to date, Sutton puts her own unique stamp on familiar Mitchell tunes going back to 1969’s “Both Sides Now” and 1970’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and including more recent numbers like 1979’s “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines” and 1982’s jivey “Be Cool,” along with Joni’s haunting take on the standard “Don’t Go to Strangers” from her 2000 orchestral album, Both Sides Now. “That album with orchestral arrangements by Vince Mendoza was my doorway into ‘Joni-land,’ Sutton writes in the liner notes to After Blue. “It is the vocal album that I have listened to more than any other in the years since its release. I consider it to be on par with Sinatra’s Wee Small Hours and Billie Holiday’s Lady in Satin.”

Having come up as a Jazz singer with an intimate knowledge of the Great American Songbook, Sutton wasn’t all that familiar with Mitchell’s work prior to hearing Both Sides Now in 2000. But that tour de force recording sparked her interest and sent her on a journey of investigating Mitchell’s earlier masterworks like Blue, Ladies of the Canyon and Court and Spark. But it would be years before she started performing any of that material in concerts. “I knew that Mitchell’s music was not something I could glance at and then perform,” she writes in the liner notes. “I had to live with it---for years—like her fans who had absorbed the music in their youth. I wanted to ‘marinate’ in Joni Mitchell.” Eventually, Sutton incorporated “Big Yellow Taxi” into her sets with her working band (pianist Christian Jacob, bassists Trey Henry and Kevin Axt, drummer Ray Brinker) and by 2011, she was performing “All I Want” and “Little Green” on tour with the Turtle Island Quartet.

When the time seemed right to do her own Joni Mitchell tribute recording, Sutton’s regular pianist Jacob was immersed in his own solo project and her longtime drummer Brinker had just gotten married and was preparing for life as a first-time father. So she recruited pianist-organist Larry Goldings, whose longstanding tenure with James Taylor gave him a greater understanding of pop forms and the decidedly non-jazzy accompaniment required of a pop gig. Next she recruited friend and former Weather Report drummer Peter Erskine, who had actually played on “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines” from Mitchell’s 1979 Mingus album. Cellist and Turtle Island Quartet founder Mark Summer came on board for a frisky duet with Sutton on “All I Want” and a stark, stirring duet rendition of “Both Sides Now,” while the full TIQ backed Tierney on intricate arrangements of “Blue” and the delicate “Little Green.” Parisian guitar master Serge Merlaud turned in a beautiful straight ahead reading of the melancholy jazz standard “Don’t Go To Strangers,” which also features Tierney Sutton Band bassist Kevin Axt chording, a la Freddie Green, on acoustic bass guitar. Merlaud also played nylon string acoustic guitar in an intimate, classically influenced duet with Sutton on “Answer Me, My Love,” which Mitchell performed on 2000’s Both Sides Now.

Elsewhere on After Blue, Goldings supplies the Hammond B-3 bass lines and bluesy-churchy organ work on “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines” and “Be Cool,” then switches gears for wonderfully evocative piano-voice duet readings of “Court and Spark” and “Woodstock,” along with a moving medley of “April in Paris” that morphs back and forth into Joni’s “A Free Man in Paris.” “What I love about Larry is that he is all about the sound and the beauty of the simple line,” says Sutton. “And I’m sure that comes from all of his years with James Taylor. All the albums I’ve done up until now have been about these really amazing, crazy arrangements with all this stuff going on with reharmonization and all the rest of it. But I really wanted to be simple on this project. Of course, I’m a Jazz singer so there has to be some sensibility with a couple of tensions in there. And Larry is the perfect balance of those things. He’s really special and I feel lucky to have him on this session.”

Ralph Humphrey, the longtime in-demand West Coast studio drummer and one-time member of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, adds a deft touch with brushes on an inventive 5/4 drums-voice duet rendition of “Big Yellow Taxi.” Flute legend Hubert Laws appears on “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines”” and “Be Cool,” the latter also featuring the great Al Jarreau in a soulful and scintillating vocal duet with Tierney. Says Sutton on how she came to recruit fellow Milwaukeean Jarreau for this tribute project: “I was listening to Travelogue, the other Vince Mendoza record with Joni Mitchell, and all of a sudden ‘Be Cool’ comes on. And I remember I was walking around my house, doing stuff while listening to this record, and I did like a double take in my kitchen and said to myself, ‘This sounds like an Al Jarreau tune, it doesn’t sound like a Joni Mitchell tune.’ And I decided that was it. That was the tune for him to sing on this album. I suggested it to his manager and they ran it by him and the next thing I knew, we were in the studio together. It was really propitious…a very fun, lucky thing.”

Sutton’s last musical tribute was her 2001 Bill Evans homage, Blue in Green. With After Blue, she pays tribute to an artist whom she holds in equal esteem. “Joni’s phrasing is so signature and influential, and as a lyricist and as a poet she stands alone. She has deep Jazz credentials and there is a legitimate respect that Jazz musicians and jazz lyricists have for her.

This album means many things to me,” Sutton writes in the liner notes to After Blue. “It comes after my 30 years of concentrating on the ‘Blue In Green’ tones of Miles and Bill Evans and Coltrane and Sinatra. And after spending time with the many hues of Joni’s own repertoire, I hope this record represents a coming together of those hues, those colors of music. Thank you Joni Mitchell for your inspiration, your excellence. All I can hope for here is to scratch the surface of your deep legacy…to paint a little multi-colored portrait inspired by you.”

Sutton’s hues are vivid, inviting and highly personal throughout her Joni-inspired portrait on After Blue.



A gem of a record from Nancy Wilson – and further proof that some of her best moments come from her late 70s years at Capitol Records! This set's done in close collaboration with Larry Farrow – who wrote, arranged, and produced most of the set – in the same warm modern vibe that Nancy hit with her seminal Life, Love, & Harmony album – a mode that draws on all her roots in jazz, but which pushes things with this new sort of flow that really works magic with the vocals! The tunes are mature, but grooving – at a level that goes past any easy cliches for the clubs, and which firmly place Wilson at that special level she belongs. Titles include the sublime originals "Take My Love" and "Let's Hold On To Love" – and a version of Leon Ware's "I Loved You All The Time" – plus "Someone Else", "Welcome Home", "Bows", and "I'm Coming Home". ~ Dusty Groove


Beautiful live recordings from the Modern Jazz Quartet – recorded in Germany in the late 50s, and featuring some especially great vibes from Milt Jackson! The recording quality is great on most cuts – and there seems to be an especially strong focus on Milt's contribution to the group – those wonderfully shaped tones that almost have a bell-like quality at times, but which still swing better than most other cats on vibes. One track features Milt solo on a version of "Tenderly" – and other titles include "Ralph's New Blues", "Willow Weep For Me", "I'll Remember April", "I Can't Get Started", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", and "JB Blues". CD also features some extra tracks with German larger ensembles – those of Kurt Edelhagen and Harald Banter – on titles that include "Midsommer", "Django", and "Bluesology". ~ Dusty Groove


A gem of a record – Eric Dolphy's last studio session, recorded in Paris with some very surprising guest stars! The work is really tremendous – every bit as great as Dolphy's monumental studio albums for Prestige, and written and performed with a similar blend of the free, the lyrical, the avant, and the soulful – a groove that's often a bit more inside than some of Eric's other late recordings – and played with plenty of spirit throughout! The sessions make great use of American soloists Donald Byrd on trumpet and Nathan Davis on tenor – both players whose sound really balances Dolphy in a great way – holding down a groove while Eric takes off on alto sax or bass clarinet. The rhythm is by a French combo – with Jack Dieval on piano, Jacques Hess on bass, and Franco Monzecci on drums – plus a bit of congas on two tracks from Jacky Bambou. Titles are quite long, and really wonderful – and tunes include "245", "GW", "Serene", and "Springtime". ~ Dusty Groove



Legacy Recordings and Columbia Records have announced the release of the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One, a colossal box set encompassing the entire official discography of the American songwriter-performer who's revolutionized folk, pop and rock music over the past half century with a profoundly influential catalog of songs and sounds.  Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One will be available on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Beginning with tracks recorded for his eponymous 1962 Columbia Records debut album, the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One follows Dylan's restless transformations across six decades as a singer, a songwriter, a concert performer and a studio artist who's continually finding fresh ways of expressing and exploring the varieties of human experience, worldly and other, with music. Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One brings together for the first time, on two "Side Tracks" discs, a wealth of previously released non-album singles, tracks from Biograph and other compilations, songs from films and more.

The CD boxed set contains 35 studio titles (including the first-ever North American release of 1973's Dylan album on CD), 6 live albums, the 2-CD "Side Tracks," and a hardcover book featuring extensive new album-by-album liner notes penned by Clinton Heylin and a new introduction written by Bill Flanagan. The Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One will be available as a limited-edition harmonica-shaped USB stick containing all the music, in both MP3 and FLAC lossless formats, with a digital version of the hardcover booklet, housed in a deluxe numbered box.

Each of the albums in the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One is being made available in state-of-the-art sound, with 14 titles* remastered especially for this set. Coinciding with the release of the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One,  four decade-specific digital album collections--Bob Dylan - The Complete Album Collection - The 60's, The 70's, The 80's, The 90's - 00's--will be released as online downloads.  A fifth digital album collection, Bob Dylan - The Original Mono Recordings, the artist's first 8 studio albums in mono, will also be released as downloads.

Dylan is currently enjoying the critical and commercial success of The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971), the latest release in the acclaimed Bootleg Series of previously unreleased live and studio recordings.  The Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. Two, slated for release next year, will compile the entire Bootleg Series for the first time.
Bob Dylan and his band will be touring Europe and the UK this fall beginning with a concert in Oslo on October 10.

"There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music," said President Barack Obama when presenting Dylan with the nation's highest civilian honor at the Presidential Medal of Freedom Ceremony on May 29, 2012.  "A modern-day troubadour, Bob Dylan established himself as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.  The rich poetry of his lyrics opened up new possibilities for popular song and inspired generations.  His melodies have brought ancient traditions into the modern age.  More than 50 years after his career began, Bob Dylan remains an eminent voice in our national conversation and around the world."

Bob Dylan is perhaps the only recording artist to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Pulitzer Prize (a special citation awarded in 2008 for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power"), an Academy Award for Best Original Song ("Things Have Changed") alongside multiple Grammy Awards.

Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. One includes:

Studio Albums
Bob Dylan (1962)
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)
The Times They Are a-Changin' (1964)
Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964)
Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
Blonde on Blonde (1966)
John Wesley Harding (1967)
Nashville Skyline (1969)
*Self Portrait (1970) - newly remastered for this collection
New Morning (1970)
*Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) - newly remastered for this collection
*Dylan (1973) - newly remastered for this collection
Planet Waves (1974)
Blood on the Tracks (1975)
The Basement Tapes (1975)
Desire (1976)
*Street Legal (1978) - newly remastered for this collection
Slow Train Coming (1979)
*Saved (1980) - newly remastered for this collection
Shot of Love (1981)
Infidels (1983)
*Empire Burlesque (1985) - newly remastered for this collection
*Knocked Out Loaded (1986) - newly remastered for this collection
*Down in the Groove (1988) - newly remastered for this collection
Oh Mercy (1989)
*Under the Red Sky (1990) - newly remastered for this collection
*Good as I Been to You (1992) - newly remastered for this collection
*World Gone Wrong (1993) - newly remastered for this collection
Time Out of Mind (1997)
Love and Theft (2001)
Modern Times (2006)
Together Through Life (2009)
Christmas in the Heart (2009)
Tempest (2012)

Live Albums
Before the Flood (1972)
*Hard Rain (1976) - newly remastered for this collection
*Bob Dylan at Budokan (1979) - newly remastered for this collection
*Real Live (1984) - newly remastered for this collection
Dylan & the Dead (1989)
MTV Unplugged (1995)

"Side Tracks"
Baby, I'm in the Mood for You
Mixed-Up Confusion
Tomorrow Is a Long Time (live)
Lay Down Your Weary Tune
Percy's Song
I'll Keep It with Mine
Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?
Positively 4th Street
Jet Pilot
I Wanna Be Your Lover
I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (live)
Visions of Johanna (live)
Quinn the Eskimo
Watching the River Flow
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Down in the Flood
I Shall Be Released
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
George Jackson (acoustic version)
Forever Young
You're a Big Girl Now
Up to Me
Abandoned Love
Isis (live)
Romance in Durango (live)
Caribbean Wind
Heart of Mine (live)
Series of Dreams
Things Have Changed


The release of The Spiritual Side Of Wynton Marsalis coincides with the month-long "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration Tour" featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, conductor Damien Sneed, and 70-voice Chorale Le Chateau.  Billed as "an historic hand-clappin', tambourine-slappin' celebration," the tour opens at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, NC on October 3 and concludes in Boston's Symphony Hall on October 27 (see tour dates below).  Production for the 16-city tour is staggering: more than 85 people on the road with four buses and an equipment truck at a cost of more than $2 million performing before a combined audience of over 30,000 people.  Following the release of The Spiritual Side Of Wynton Marsalis on October 22, the tour comes to New York City for three homecoming dates at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall, October 24 through 26.

Coursing through The Spiritual Side Of Wynton Marsalis are such swingers as Marcus Roberts and Eric Reed (piano), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Wessell Anderson (alto sax), Victor Goines (tenor sax), Dr. Michael White (clarinet), Ted Nash (reeds), and many more, including Wynton's pre-eminent rhythm section of Reginald Veal on bass and drummer Herlin Riley.

Simeon Marsalis writes in his liner notes, concerning his father's spiritual beliefs, "We learn that Wynton is a secular humanist whose growth was grounded in Christian philosophy by his mother." Wynton reflects, "Spiritual means the innermost reflections on the most high and on an all-pervasive consciousness. It is a basic warmth and acceptance of human beings in the glory of unruly humanness." The tracks that Wynton has personally selected for The Spiritual Side Of Wynton Marsalis range from duets, trios and small combos to full orchestral settings, and were chosen from seven albums originally released on the Columbia and Sony Classical labels.  The music, Simeon writes, "strikes a balance between the sacred and secular worlds." 

This balance is heard on tracks featuring vocals by contemporary gospel luminary Shirley Caesar ("I Hear a Knockin'" and "If I Hold On"), along with the genre-defying song craft of singer Cassandra Wilson ("Oh We Have a Friend in Jesus") and on other tracks on the recording.  The album's centerpiece is a previously unreleased performance of "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," by gospel legend Marion Williams, recorded at age 65, in 1993, the year before her death.  This song, from the pen of Thomas A. Dorsey, the father of gospel music, is one of Williams' signature showpieces.

Among the deep well of recordings from which Wynton draws are:

•In This House, On This Morning (recorded 1992-93, released 1994), his first commis­sioned work for Jazz at Lincoln Center, in which he first projected his theme of universal humanism, authentically capturing the feeling of "church" and Sunday morning in the American South on "Processional," "Hymn," the sermon of "Holy Ghost," "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" (with Marion Williams), and "Pot Blessed Dinner" among others;

•Blood On The Fields (recorded 1995, released 1997), his Pulitzer Prize winning oratorio on American slavery, featuring Cassandra Wilson on "Oh We Have a Friend in Jesus," as she channels the hopes and cries of a slave woman finding liberation;

•Sweet Release & Ghost Story (Sweet Release recorded 1996, Ghost Story recorded 1998, released together 1999), sub-titled Two More Ballets by Wynton Marsalis. "Awakening" is from the Ghost Story ballet, inspired by Buddhist teachings about the cycle of life with a tale of a woman caught between the living world and the spirit realm;

•Reeltime (recorded 1996, released 1999), Marsalis's musical narrative of the nearly forgotten 1923 Rosewood massacre, in which a (mainly) black Florida town was torched by white racists bent on lynching. The massacre was the subject of the 1997 film, Rosewood, directed by John Singleton for which Wynton wrote the powerful score (including the two tracks with Shirley Caesar). Marsalis' score was subsequently released by Sony Classical.

•Live At The Village Vanguard (recorded 1990-1994, released 1999), a monumental 7-CD box set that melded material recorded by three Septet lineups at the venerable jazz club over a four-year period, making each CD a multi-year entity unto itself, so that no exact date could be specified for the spiritual "Flee as a Bird To the Mountain."

Simeon compares the theme of The Spiritual Side of Wynton Marsalis to a New Orleans funeral function, "sorrowful but ultimately uplifting" as it alternates tempos.  The effect is "designed to celebrate our collective soul," he writes, "from a single plaintive chant, to an instrumental re-enactment of a Sunday service, to a full choir shouting for redemption."  Simeon writes that his father and grandfather were inspired and uplifted by the integrity and spirituality of A Love Supreme, John Coltrane's 1965 masterpiece.  Today, Simeon concludes, "We are uplifted by [Wynton's] supreme love for artistic excellence and that most pervasive of consciousnesses, the spirit.  ALL RISE."

The Spiritual Side Of Wynton Marsalis track list: 1. I Hear a Knockin' (E) • 2. All Rise: XII: I Am (Don't You Run From Me) (edit) (G) • 3. If I Hold On (E) • 4. Processional (B) • 5. Psalm 26 (A) • 6. Awakening (D) • 7. Hymn (B) • 8. Precious Lord, Take My Hand (B sessions, previously unreleased) • 9. In the Sweet Embrace of Life Sermon: Holy Ghost (B) • 10. Flee as a Bird To the Mountain (F) • 11. Sing On (E) • 12. Benediction (B) • 13. Oh We Have A Friend in Jesus (C) • 14. To Higher Ground (E) • 15. Pot Blessed Dinner (B).

Album index:
A – from Uptown Ruler – Soul Gesture, originally released 7/91, as Columbia CK 47976
B – from In This House, On This Morning, originally released 3/22/94, as Columbia C2K 53220
C – from Blood On the Fields, originally released 6/97, as Columbia CK 57694
D – from Sweet Release & Ghost Story, originally released 8/10/99, as Sony Classical SK 61690
E – from Reeltime, originally released 10/29/99, as Sony Classical SK 51239)
F – from Live at the Village Vanguard, originally released 12/7/99, as Columbia CXK 69876
G – from All Rise, originally released 10/1/02, as Sony Classical S2K 89817

“Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration Tour" featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Damien Sneed, and Chorale Le Chateau

 Oct. 3-4 / Chapel Hill, NC /  UNC Chapel Hill Memorial Hall
 Oct. 5 /  Norfolk, VA /  Chrysler Hall
 Oct. 6 /  Washington, DC /  Kennedy Center
 Oct. 8 /  Charlotte, NC /  Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
 Oct.10 / Athens, GA /  University of Georgia
 Oct. 11/ Augusta, GA /  Good Shepherd Baptist Church
 Oct. 13 / New Orleans, LA /  Saenger Theatre
 Oct. 14 / Houston, TX / Fountain of Praise Church
 Oct. 15 / Austin, TX / The Long Center
 Oct. 16 / Dallas, TX /  The Black Academy of Arts and Letters
 Oct. 18 /  St. Louis, MO /  Touhill Performing Arts Center
 Oct. 19 / Kansas City, MO / Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts,
 Oct. 21/  Mechanicsburg, PA / Messiah College
 Oct. 22 / New Haven, CT / Yale University, Woosley Hall
 Oct. 24-26 / New York, NY / Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall
 Oct. 27 / Boston, MA / Symphony Hall


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Throughout the glorious history of jazz, special collaborative relationships have been a rich source of profound musical creativity. Ellington/Strayhorn, Bird & Diz; Miles and Trane; and the list goes on. But no relationship has had a greater impact upon both the lives and legacies of the partners more than that of Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb. Had the innovative drummer and bandleader not connected with Ella in 1934, his life, ravaged by the birth defects that led to his passing at the age of 37, may have been relegated to the memories of those who saw him - and the aficionados who preserve those special legends. Had Ella not been rescued from the streets at 17 by Chick and his wife Sally, the unparalleled 60 year history of vocal jazz expression at its highest level may have never come to light.

Now, through the peerless efforts of Mosaic Records, the full history of that most special collaboration is available to the public for the first time with The Complete Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald Decca Sessions (1934-1941), an 8-CD set comprised of 187 tracks (three of which are previously unreleased in any format). For the sake of both historical clarity and the edification of the audience, the set includes both pre-Ella material dating back to 1929 and 59 tracks of Ella's recordings with both the full band and smaller ensembles that remained together for two years following Chick's untimely death in 1939.

Of the 13 pre-Ella tracks, five were recorded for Brunswick and Vocalion during the years 1929 through 1931. Their inclusion offers a glimpse of the up-and-coming Chick Webb as he was soon to become a popular and highly regarded fixture on the Harlem scene, in residence at the legendary Savoy Ballroom. Terribly under-recorded and with virtually no documentation on film, Webb's dynamic presence and magnetism shine through on these and other instrumental sides before Ella became a regular member of the band. The set's producer Scott Wenzel states, "Since his prominence alongside the jazz elite has been greatly overlooked, we felt that the need to gather these gems in a new Mosaic package was a project well worth diving into.

One of the first truly "musical" drummers, Chick specially tuned each of his drums religiously, and meticulously replaced the heads at the first sign of wear. He used cowbells, woodblocks and rim shots for color and accenting. Afflicted with spinal tuberculosis as a child that left him hunchbacked, stiff and under five feet tall, Chick overcame his physical limitations with his creativity, musicality, showmanship, personality and leadership. Chick provided the glue that held his explosive ensemble together from his elevated platform at the center of the bandstand. Unable to physically sustain extended solos, Chick made up for it with his subtle phrasing techniques and sparkling dynamics. The dazzling drummer whipped the Savoy's dancers into a frenzy while totally satisfying those who just came to listen. Among the latter were future drum legends like Big Sid Catlett, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Art Blakey.

Ella Fitzgerald was brought to Chick's attention following her victory at the famed Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in 1934. Soon afterwards, Chick and Sally brought the shy 17-year-old into their home, providing stability and a loving environment that properly nurtured and cultivated the astonishing talent within. Her first recordings with the band in 1935 display that shyness and naiveté, which in no way eclipsed the unique essence of her artistry. As the recordings ensue, the listener can clearly hear the blossoming and maturing of the extraordinary talent that bathed the world of song in its brilliance for more than half a century to follow. Together, Ella and Chick created a duality previously unmatched in the history of jazz. As John McDonough states in his extensive and highly informative notes, "Never in jazz history did a major swing band ever come to be so dominated by a single singer. But then no other swing band ever had Ella Fitzgerald."

From a purely historical viewpoint, this set is a must-have as it not only provides a long overdue tribute to Chick, but also allows the listener to witness the emergence of one of its most immortal figures in Ella. Of course, all of her early hits are included - "Sing Me a Swing Song," "You'll Have to Swing It (aka Mr. Paganini)," "Darktown Strutter's Ball," and of course, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." There are also two tracks featuring Ella with the Mills Brothers in acapella renditions of "Big Boy Blue" and "Dedicated to You."

A stellar array of sidemen further add to the musical joy - many of whom span the full 12 years covered in this set (and a number of whom became respected leaders in their own right). These include Louis Jordan, Benny Carter, Taft Jordan, Bobby Stark, John Kirby, Hilton Jefferson, Wayman Carver, John Trueheart, Mario Bauza, Pete Clark, Chauncey Haughton, Garvin Bushell and Edgar Sampson (who was also the band's full-time arranger). Others like Ram Ramirez and Eddie Barefield joined in the post-Webb years when the ensemble became known as Ella Fitzgerald and Her Orchestra.

As always, the pristine reputation of Mosaic Records' commitment to the highest standards of quality and clarity has been fully sustained by producer Wenzel's outstanding work. For the finest audio fidelity he sought out the best quality master or physical item available. Whether that be a mint American Decca 78, a vinyl test pressing, or an Australian Decca release with their smoother surfaces not found in most American Deccas, Wenzel was unsurpassed in his pursuit of excellence. The classic Mosaic booklet that always accompanies these sets is filled with many rare photographs, exceptionally detailed notes by McDonough and the intensely researched and detailed track-by-track session information. The remarkable memory of arranger Van Alexander, the one surviving participant in these sessions, helped keep this highly complex and elusive information as accurate as possible.

For those who were fortunate enough to have actually been present at the Savoy Ballroom during the years these recordings were made, this set will provide magical memories. For those of us who weren't so blessed, this is the closest we'll ever be. Once again, Mosaic reminds us why it has no peers.

Reflecting on Mosaic's 30th Anniversary, label founder and producer Michael Cuscuna says, "Thirty years into the process, it is personally gratifying for me to create sets like The Complete Muse Recordings of Woody Shaw for which I produced the original sessions and The Complete Clifford Jordan Strata-East Sessions (available November 12), which I helped Clifford license and release. I had been directly involved with other sets as a producer including those of Anthony Braxton and Henry Threadgill and each time, such projects bring back resonating memories and renew old and deep friendships."


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