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Nikica Gilic

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Painted Lady
Painted Lady
Price: £15.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous and sad, vocal jazz classic, 28 Nov 2010
This review is from: Painted Lady (Audio CD)
Equally appealing to Billie Holiday fans, Sarah Vaughan fans, Betty Carter fans and Nina Simone fans,
this ecclectic Abbey Lincoln's jazz vocal album
(with the touch of soul and even pop) has some fine back-up musicians some of which are true stars of modern jazz (well, at least one of them is), but here in a supporting role (in spite of some fine solos).
The recording is from Paris, in 1987;
it is gloriously spirited with some finger snapping, clapping and even cheerful overdubbing - hence Lincoln's short dueting with her self on "The painted lady on the stage".
Liner notes are close to non-existant in my 2008 cd reissue by ITM,
but that doesn't diminish my listening pleasure.
They don't say so nowhere on this CD, but most songs sound as if Abbey (co)wrote them, but I cannot vouch for that...
Well, at least we all know she didn't write "Sophisticated lady", but never mind; she owns it here nevertheless...

Paul Quinichette Plays Quincy Jones
Paul Quinichette Plays Quincy Jones
Price: £7.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quinichette and friends, 24 Nov 2010
Nice album of Quincey Jones related music (composed and/or arranged by Quincy), originally titled "Moods",
is actually a bit uneven in my view, in spite of fine back-up crew (that has alot of space to stretch out here):
Sam Most, Herbie Mann, Sir Charles Thompson, Jimmy Jones, Jerome Darr, Barry Galbraith, Paul Chambers, Al Hall...
Additional tracks are therefore very welcome; "Sunday" with either Jimmy Jones or John Williams on piano (nobody knows),
plus seven great tracks with Count Basie (on piano and, God bless his soul, on organ); Paul is the star but there are also Buck Clayton, Dicky Wells, Freddie Green, Walter Page and Gus Johnson - these tracks are more even and more powerful than the main album "Moods"...

Quinichette was never just a vice-pres fo me, his work with Coltrane or with Basie proves it amply (see the Basie/Quinichette group on this CD)... He is soulful and often passionate, creative and imaginative, although this CD gets 4 stars from me (I don't like all the Quincy Jones tracks equally)...

Roland Kirk - in Europe 1962 - 1967 [DVD]
Roland Kirk - in Europe 1962 - 1967 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rahsaan Roland Kirk

4.0 out of 5 stars Inflated DVD, 15 Nov 2010
NOT crisp and clear as stated on the DVD, but Kirk still shines...
His rapport with great Spanish pianist Tete Montoliu is a blast (they're both blind, which makes non-verbal communication a bit complicated) but, in spite of shoddy, substandard picture and slightly muffled sound (even on my ordinary TV-set),
it's a riot to watch and listen to Kirk perform! Even on this worn-out-VHS-quality DVD.

So, I'm giving it 4 stars, just for the content, but if you have some high quality equipment you might want to avoid this one.

BTW - the first concert boasts, in addition to Tete on piano, Tommy Potter on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums;
the second set is a bit weaker (the rest of the musicians are not such legends),
although the same numbers sound mighty fine on the album they recorded soon after:
The Inflated Tear

Muddy Waters-Live in Montreal [DVD]
Muddy Waters-Live in Montreal [DVD]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BLUES, 15 Nov 2010
Not bad, not bad at all...
Old Muddy shows some fine chops and energy here, although not QUITE at the top of his game, with nice back-up crew (including Pinetop Perkins at the piano)...
It is a bit brief though - an hour of music, with first 13 minutes without Muddy, just a warm-up... Hence only 4 stars...
Koko Taylor's (vocal) and James Cotton's (vocal and harmonica) appearance on "Got My Mojo Working" was a nice idea...

Other musicians - Luther Johnson, Bob Margolin -g, Jerry Portnoy - harmonica, Calvin Jones -b, Willy "Big Eye" Smith - dm

Great buy for blues lovers;
on my middle-of-the-road (not too expensive) TV set the music has better quality than the images, but the picture is still acceptable

Let's Get Lost [1988] [DVD]
Let's Get Lost [1988] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bruce Weber
Price: £3.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGNIFICENT film, 15 Nov 2010
This review is from: Let's Get Lost [1988] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a BEAUTIFUL FILM; ingeniously shot and beautifully edited...
You get to see glimpses of Chet's charismatic youth and the sad and moving images of his final years.
You get a good insight into his psyche (and it's not a pretty sight) but, oh, my God, even at his late phase he could produce some wonderful music phrases - there's this magnificent scene where he sings in the studio, almost kissing the mike, wrinkled, haggard and with glasses, while few youngsters (musicians?) look on in disbelief to hear such beauty...

I once read an old jazz history (was it Gunther Schuller?) that said Chet's singing is a joke but, although he did have his bad moments, he was one of true master of middle register, both in singing and in playing trumpet (which shows less impressive moments in his last years, at least in this film)...

If you would like to enjoy pure music, with no disturbing psychology, check out this DVD:
Chet Baker Live In 64 & 79 [DVD] [1964]

Ambassador Satch
Ambassador Satch
Price: £17.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jubilant Satchmo, 2 Nov 2010
This review is from: Ambassador Satch (Audio CD)
Now this is indeed a great argument against those folks who feel Louis Armstrong was washed down in the 1950s... His "conservative" and noisy band did use the dixieland format, but the star was Armstrong (and the other got to contribute some valiant individual contributions)
and the star was still musical powerhouse, very much swinging...
If you liked this one, you should also try Armstrong's albums "Satch Plays Fats" and "Plays W. C. Handy" from the same period.

Art Hodes - Jazz Alley Vol. 1 [DVD]
Art Hodes - Jazz Alley Vol. 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Art Hodes
Price: £5.67

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHICAGO, that swinging town, 2 Nov 2010
Two of the public TV shows dedicated to the Chicago school of jazz, hosted by the great pianist Art Hodes. Born in Ukraine in 1904, as the biographical info on the DVD tells us, he came to Chicago in 1905 and LATER got interested in jazz (interesting; I would expect an Ukranian immigrant toddler to be instantly struck by jazz in 1905)...
But, these too brief and not very well written additions aside, this is a GREAT DVD. The second show, with Art Hodes conversing musically with Doc Evans (trumpeter who represents Chicago school although he mostly played Mid-West), occasionally aided by Bob Cousins on drums, is fine,
but the first show on this DVD is a keeper. The great Jimmy McPartland and even greater Pee Wee Russell (PROBABLY the best clarinet player in jazz EVER) join Hodes' rhythm section for a string of musical gems, the greatest being "Meet me in Chicago" where Pee Wee really stretches out, breaking every rule in the jazz clarinet book (BTW, it is a Hodes composition, and it's mighty fine).
R. L. Wilson on bass (the only non-Caucasian musician here, if anybody's interested in that sort of thing)
and Harry Hawthorne on drums round up the band in the first concert/TV show...

Fans of Chicago jazz MUST own this,
but also all sorts of jazz traditionalists should own it; there are songs by (and/or verbal reminiscence of) Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong and other giants,
the full listing for the first band is Squeeze Me, China Boy, St. James Infirmary (with likable but not distinctive vocals by McPartland but great playing from everybody), Oh! Baby, Meet me in Chicago, Sugar (interrupted by the end credits, because the magnificent Meet me in Chicago went on longer than anticipated).
The second band (duo and trio) plays: Squeeze Me, You Took Advantage of Me, Singin' the Blues, Once in a While, Buddy Bolden Blues/I heard Buddy Bolden play, Wolverine Blues, Everybody loves my baby and, again for the ending, Sugar....

There are lot of fine solos all around, great small band work, sensitive duets and, although my personal favorite Pee Wee is the main attraction for me, this shouldn't take your attention from Art Hodes and other great players beautifully presented here in glorious black and white and mono-surround sound (sorry for the Monthy Python joke...).
The picture is clear black and white, the sound crisp and well recorded; I'm not listening on a very sophisticated equipment, but somehow I guess that Chicago jazz fans usually don't suffer from hi-tech bug.

Live At The Blue Note
Live At The Blue Note
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £8.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely swing from the 1990s, 2 Nov 2010
This review is from: Live At The Blue Note (Audio CD)
The spirit of swing is with these guys... Good old Stephane Grappelli plays joyously and elegantly, with a nice supporting group (although I must admit I have heard slightly "swingier" dates
by the French fiddle giant... But it is good-natured, it is sweet without being corny, swinging all the way,
with Bucky Pizzarelli (g) and Jon Burr (b) throughout the concert and John Pizzarelli (g) coming to the stage to help out on the final jamboree... The songs are mostly very well known and quite often played but that's hardly a problem if you're a swing fan or a Grappelli fan.

It was a smart choice not to edit out Steph's addressing the audience (complete with kisses); I wouldn't mind if there were more of that - his poor English with heavy accent is absolutely irresistible for me (he actually says something like "Georges Gershween")...
If you're fan, you might also search for
Stephane Grappelli - A Life In The Jazz Century [DVD] [2002]

Basie Jam
Basie Jam
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT JAMS, 30 Oct 2010
This review is from: Basie Jam (Audio CD)
My God, if Basie didn't record with his big band AT ALL and left us only with these late Norman Granz/Pablo/jam albums, he'd still be a true jazz giant!

Here he plays some really beautiful organ in addition to piano and, with marvelous contribution from JJ Johnson (who really played well, more mainstream less bop with Basie), Zoot Sims, Eddie Lockjaw Davis (to different but equally marvelous tenor men), Irving Ashby, Ray Brown, Louie Bellson and even Harry Sweets Edison (who was still capable to deliver some fire as well as switness in the first half of the 1970s),
this string of blues based jams and gems swings like mad.

When asked about the best jazz from the 1970s people should check out Basie's discography before making their final lists.

Cookbook, Vol 1
Cookbook, Vol 1
Price: £7.73

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sizzling Eddie Lockjaw Davis in great company, 30 Oct 2010
This review is from: Cookbook, Vol 1 (Audio CD)
Trully sizzling jazz date; the combination of muscular Lockjaw's tenor sax, funky but ellegant Scott's organ, beautiful Richardson's flute works magnificently,
but watchout for Richardson's switch to the tenor when he battles the leader of this great mainstream jazz date...
I believe these Cookbook albums were quite popular at their time; I think I can understand that - this is entertaining, accesible jazz, although not less intelligent or well played then more cerebral types of jazz...
Outside of Charlie Mingus' small group recordings, I haven't heard very much albums where such tight and compact group provides this much richness of the sound.

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