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Profile for Nikica Gilic > Reviews

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Nikica Gilic

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Brussels Fair 1958
Brussels Fair 1958
Offered by marvelio-uk
Price: £10.33

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT JAZZ in Brussels (Bruxelles), 5 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Brussels Fair 1958 (Audio CD)
This CD might be the proper way to start studying Sidney Bechet if you're a younger jazz fan interested in past masters... It is reasonably well recorded (technically speaking) and there are hints of more modern styles with other players...
The band is quite stellar (particularly in the horns; the rhythm could have been a bit tighter IMHO): S. Bechet -ss, Buck Clayton -tp, Vic Dickenson - tb, George Wein -p, Arvell Shaw- b, Kansas Fields -dm.... On track 9 (Blues Ad-lib) a host of younger stars join old Sidney - Sarah Vaughan + a big band of really young players, including Dusko Goykovich from Serbia (Yugoslavia) on trumpet, great German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, Hungarian (I guess) guitarist Gabor Szabo and others...

I'm writing from a 2010 edition of this CD, with several bonus tracks (10-17) of Bechet's glorious quartet - Bechet (ss), Martial Solal (p), Lloyd Thompson (b), al Levitt (dm)... Actually, it's quite surprising how well Sidney and Martial (a future giant of modern piano AND the composer for J-L. Godard's Breathless) work together - a true meeting of the times.

Talk about an all-stars CD!
Sidney is still going strong, near the end of his rich life (he WAS one of the very few acknowledged soloists of jazz) although, I must admit my preference of trumpet and trombone sound over the sound of soprano sax is not shaken with this great album... Vic Dickenson and Buck Clayton are among the greatest performes of swing, classic and mainstream jazz - if anyone has any doubts, you can point him/her to this CD (Clayton's feature on "All of me" is oh-so-growlingly sweeet!).

Do I recommend this CD? Oh, my, do I!!!!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2011 12:12 PM BST

Breakfast Dance And Barbecue
Breakfast Dance And Barbecue
Price: £14.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SWINGING Basie, 30 May 2011
Of course, this beautiful album boasts the solos of Al Grey, Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Frank Wess (flute on "Cute", tenor on "Roll 'em Pete"...), Frank Foster and other major figures in the second testament Count Basie orchestra (plus Joe Williams, plus a guest spot for Harry Sweets Edison in the end...)... There's even a very nice Snooky Young solo on Foster-penned "Who me?"...
BUT it is the strong ensemble work that this band stands out for, with Basie's irresistibly plinking and splanking piano and rock-solid rhythm of Basie, Freddie Green (g), Eddie Jones (b) and Sonny Payne (dm)...
The songs are great, with some creative reworking and blending (for instance the beginning of Hefti's "Cute"), some are "greatest hits", some are less well known and there's an occasional pleasant surprise or two - for instance Ellington's tune "In A Mellow Tone" and Joe Williams singing "No Moon at All"...
Basiecly, this is an excellent swing album, yet another instance of 2nd testament Basie performing admirably, with chatter of bar-audience augmenting the relaxed atmosphere this tight band so easily creates!

A Meeting Of The Times (International Release)
A Meeting Of The Times (International Release)

5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece or don't you just love when the times meet?, 26 May 2011
In this magnificent and historical album Rahsaan Roland Kirk plays beautifully with the uniqly strange singer Al Hibbler;
Kirk adapts his style to the veteran singer's, but this should not make his fans skip this one,
since he still performs on his usual grand level - Kirk was NOT about showing hte pyrothenics, he was about the musical substance,
and it abounds here.
The instrumental tracks are also great (and more fiery than the Hibbler tracks),
so I don't really care they placed a Leon THomas vocal track in the end (although, it doesn't belong with the rest of the CD... great CD)..

Caution! Hard Hat Area!
Caution! Hard Hat Area!
Price: £7.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's this? Jazz. Hard Hat jazz., 24 May 2011
You know how convenient it is when you have liner notes to tell you what is what when you write your coment? Well, here you have only your ears and basic discographical info to rely upon. And, as ffar as my ear can take me, this is a very strong contemporary jazz outing...
The international band, lead by the Slovenian drummer Gasper Bertoncelj investigates the leaders original compositions, some very broody and pensive, some ellegantly swinging, some hard-driving. Sometimes you hear a hard-bop funkish touch ("It happened again" for instance), sometimes the band is as cool and introspective as it gets.

All these tunes are played beautifully by the top-notch group consisting of the leader of the date and: Vincent Herring, Jeremy Pelt, Boris Mihelich and Boris Kozlov.
Now, adding a standard (Porter's Love for Sale) never heart no one
and "What's this" is probably a modernist take on "What is this thing called love"...
So, there's quite enough of diversity here (which also never heart no one, at least IMHO)

Take a chance with this one!

Jazz Moods - Round Midnight
Jazz Moods - Round Midnight
Price: £6.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Some soulful singing!, 7 May 2011
Aretha is a beautiful, strong, soulful performer - that much is well known all over the world.
However, although I like her very much, I'm primarily a jazz purist, so I expected a soul/pop rendition of jazz and soul/pop standards (probably with strings), and was therefore happy to buy this as an inexpensive compilation of Aretha's early years.
If you are a true Aretha fan, this is not for you. No liner notes, scarce recording information, no pictures of the diva, no original artwork from the albums these songs were taken... Basically, this excellent music is shoddily packaged for us, casual fans of Aretha's singing.

This Columbia/Sony/Legacy company really doesn't show its material and its customers all the respect they deserve. I've listened to another from this Jazz Moods series (Louis Armstrong) and the package was basically the same.

The Bix Beiderbecke Story
The Bix Beiderbecke Story
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £24.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful old time jazz, 6 May 2011
Although the design of this edition leaves a lot to be desired (for instance, some sort of looking glass even for those who have normal sight), the music is absolutely fascinating, a collection of great historical significance, with lot of top class jazz performances.

Naturally, those who are not fans of vintage jazz will have difficulty with the sound quality and with a serious amount of non-jazz elements in many performances, but that is normal when you deal with the music and the times of Bix Beiderbecke (and his collaboraters, such as Adrian Rollini, Eddie Lang, Frankie Trumbauer, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Pee Wee Russell...). Mind you, I am satisfied with the sound, but I'm not listening on a very sophisticated audio-equipment...

Had he lived longer, some feel, he wouldn't have become such a legend, but then again his recording output would be even richer, done with more advanced recording technology, so his significance for present day fans could even be greater....

Live At Montreux 1975 [DVD] [2004]
Live At Montreux 1975 [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Charles Mingus
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very hot DVD, 27 April 2011
This is very interesting DVD, deviding mixed feelings and opinions from all around... Well, for my money, the original tunes on CDs Changes One and Changes Two actually sound BETTER than in these live performances from Montreux, although the band (Charles Mingus, Jack Walrath, George Adams, Don Pullen, Dannie Richmond) is still tight and hot. Also, the visual quality ofn the DVD varies and, in the last (musically glorious) segment, when the band is joined by guest stars - Gerry Mulligan, Benny Bailey - the finest on baritone sax and trumpet one can wish for this occasion - the visual quality suddenly deteriorates (at least on my copy of the DVD), while the sound is still OK.
BUT, on the other hand, I'm still giving it 5 stars, for the sheer joy of seeing this great band (yes folks, I'm huge jazz fan and proud of it, with Mingus being one of the greatest divinities in my pantheon)... Also, I'm giving it 5 stars for the Benny Bailey and Gerry Mulligan segment, enriching the proceedings greatly...
And for Don Pullen's exciting piano chomping, comping and I-dunno-whatting... And for Dannie Richmond, the ole' reliable, with the cigarette hanging from his mouth as he struts his stuff...

This is a rather politically incorrect DVD (if you care 'bout that kind of thing) - Mingus smokes his cigar when he has a pause in his playing schedule, while the song "Rockfeller in Attica", as known from the CD, is given its real title (which includes two very derogatory phrases about USA - I'm not naming them since I don't want the amazon puritan police to delete my review...)...

Basically, if you love Mingus, get it. Admittedly, Jazz Icons - Charles Mingus - Live in '64 [2007] [DVD] is a better DVD,
and you also have the choice of buying Changes One and/or Changes Two instead... But where else will you get the Mingus band, starring Mulligan and Bailey, jammin' on "Good Bye Pork Pie Hat" and Billy Strayhorn's "Take the A-Train"?

Since I don't really know Walrath's and Adams' work outside Mingus bands, there's so much fine jazz for me to explore... And there's Bailey, another master I have to learn more about...
p.s., as opposed to some web sites announcements, there's no "For Harry Carney" track on this dvd...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2011 11:54 PM BST

Dizzy Gillespie - Sextet '77 - Norman Granz Jazz In Montreux [DVD] [2002]
Dizzy Gillespie - Sextet '77 - Norman Granz Jazz In Montreux [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Dizzy Gillespie
Price: £5.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT 1970s BeBop/Mainstream date, 26 April 2011
This GREAT Gillespie concert, with some of the best playing I've heard from him in the 1970s so far, has all the tracks from
DIZZY GILLESPIE JAM/_MONTREUX '77, plus one - the encore of the concert...
It would be fine if DVD and CD identified this great group in the same way, so that nobody gets confused and buys both DVD and CD, thinking he's buying different concert recordings, but let's not be too demanding of music industry... It's a mirracle these things are still available on the market... Apparently, Dizzy's regular rhythm section ended up in Nederlands, due to some mix-up with the flight schedules and plane-changes, so Dizzy and Jon Faddis were stranded in Montreux with their trumpets, but without the rest of the band...
Thankfully, Norman Granz had a certain penchant for organisation
(and he knew some of the best people in the business), so he hired Ray Brown (b) and Jimmmie Smith (dm); Brown recommended Monty Alexander for the piano spot and, when Granz added the one and only Milt Jackson (vb), this became a jam session more than Dizzy Gillespie sextet session (CD has the more accurate title than the DVD)...

The music is swinging really hard and the only actual quibble I have is that the young and tallented Jon Faddis didn't try to "attack" Dizzy; he sounds (to me, here, at this concert) maybe too similar to Dizzy for his own good (down to the curved trumpet). However, that doesn't mean his playing is not great, or that he in any way diminishes the music. On the contrary, my wishful thinking in no way made me enjoy this DVD any less...
And knowing most songs from the CD didn't matter either - seing Dizzy Ray Brown or Milt in action is priceless and, since I've seen Jon Faddis live recently, it's quite interesting to compare that memory with the image and sound of this fresh young and lean player...

Piano In The Background
Piano In The Background
Offered by usnap
Price: £11.56

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Dukeness, 24 April 2011
This review is from: Piano In The Background (Audio CD)
I'm writing about 2004 edition of this CD, with 5 bonus tracks - Lullaby of birdland, The Wailer (with Gerald Wilson on trumpet), Dreamy sort of thing, Lullaby of Birdland (alternate take) and Harlem Air Shaft; other editions may have less or no bonus tracks at all; without these tracks you still get 9 tracks of GLORIOUS SWING...
This is a great Ellington CD for someone who wants to meet the Duke's music for the first time, with strong solos, equally strong ensembles and the song selection that includes some of the "greatest hits" of the repertoire, as well as some general jazz standards (although it has some more rare numbers...).
Since the page on amazon at the time I'm writing this doesn't give the titles, here they are:
1. Happy Go Lucky Local, 2. What Am I Here For, 3. Kinda Dukkish/Rockin' in Rhythm, 4. Perdido, 5. I'm Beginning to See the Light, 6. Mid-riff, 7. It Don't Mean a Thing, 8. Main Stem, 9. Take the "A" Train /+ the bonus tracks I listed in the beginning/.

The names of players speak for themselves:
Ray Nance, Fats Ford, Willie Cook, Eddie Mullens, Gerald Wilson - tp; Britt Woodman, Juan Tizol, Booty Wood, Lawrence Brown, Mathew Gee- tb; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney - reeds; Duke, Billy Strayhorn -p; Aaron Bell -b; Sam Woodyard-dm.

And if I add that booklet is rich and informative, photographically well funded, AND that Duke's piano is NOT in the background of this album, I believe I've said quite enough.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 28, 2011 12:04 AM BST

Blues in Orbit
Blues in Orbit
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £25.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Fusion with big band overtones, 24 April 2011
This review is from: Blues in Orbit (Audio CD)
Admiteddly, I'm anything BUT a fusion fan, so I bought this album because it said on the back it was done before Gil Evans started his explorations in electric fusion...
HOWEVER, that's not entirely true, since the electric guitar of Joe Beck is one of the main voices of these orchestrations and, in addition to normal piano, Gil also plays some sort of electric piano as well... BUT I'm not disappointed for buying this gem.
Surrounded by real all-star roster of musicians (in two big-band sized bands), Gil heavily relies on all sort of modern approaches to jazz - including psychodelic-free jazz, working beautifuly and ccreating something quite diverse.
I can't speak for fusion fans, but this is a rich and sometimes surprising album that might very well appeal to us mainstream-to-modern jazz fans, with other principal voices including Jimmy Cleveland on trombone and Billy Harper on saxophones...
The who-is-who of late 60s and early 70s includes Elvin Jones or Alphonse Mouzon on drums, Hubert Laws on flute, Jimmy Knepper on trombone, Johnny Coles, Snooky Young on trumpet...

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