Profile for Robert W. Palmer > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Robert W. Palmer
Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,910
Helpful Votes: 304

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Robert W. Palmer "bassinstinct" (UK)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
12 Classic Albums 1947-1962
12 Classic Albums 1947-1962

5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing value, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
69 tunes featuring Dexter Gordon's engaging tenor saxophone sound. That amounts to less than 6p a tune!! If you went into a charity shop and saw 12 Dexter Gordon cds for 33p each, what would you do? Even if you had never heard him and just wanted to see what all the fuss was about!!

A great way of hearing Dexter Gordon and a truckload of other players including Wardell Gray, Paul Chambers, Sonny Clark, Butch Warren, Red Callender, Billy Higgins, Kenny Drew, Philly Joe Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Parlan and a host of others. Each of the 12 albums is worth the cover price so think of it as getting the classic 'Go' for 3.99 with 11 free cds thrown in!! It is mainly mainstream and bop playing. Great rhythm sections and a generally good recorded sound (a couple of live shots let the side down but the energy and spirit are adequate compensation).

3.99. It's a no brainer.

Package includes the full contents of The Resurgance of Dexter Gordon, Doin' Alright, Dexter Calling, Go, A Swingin' Affair, The Chase, Dexter Rides Again and 5 more. There were a couple of glitches in my download but that only pushed the price up to 6.5p a track. Don't sweat it; just enjoy hours of classic Jazz for less than the price of a meal at Macdonald's.

Joe Lovano Nonet: The Paris Concert [DVD] [2001] [NTSC]
Joe Lovano Nonet: The Paris Concert [DVD] [2001] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Joe Lovano
Price: 14.21

3.0 out of 5 stars It's great but......, 7 Aug 2013
....there are an awful lot of notes that don't seem to mean very much.

A bebop fest, chock full of testosterone but a little full-on for my tastes. Embraceable You is beautiful but the rest of it is lacking in light and shade. Top flight players, undoubtedly, but the occasional breath may have helped with pacing. ;)

The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
by Brian Sibley
Edition: Misc. Supplies

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another useless fact about the Radio 4 dramatisation, 15 July 2013
Not a review but a bit of trivia!

The music on the soundtrack to the Radio 4 adaptation was written by one Stephen Oliver. One of the singers who sang lead on several of the tracks featured was one Oz Clarke; yes, the wine expert of 'Food and Drink' fame.

Price: 13.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Harmony, melody and rhythm......, 24 May 2013
This review is from: Moonstone (Audio CD)
Toninho Horta is a Brazilian guitarist who has performed extensively across the field of Latin and Latin Jazz. He works primarily with the nylon acoustic guitar but does utilise electric guitar sounds as a feature and to subtly colour in his nylon guitar work. The waltz 'Francisca' is conventional jazz guitar (with exquisite soloing) whilst 'Moonstone', for instance, features Norta and Metheny, in duet, on nylon strung guitars.

What makes this particular album special is Horta's arranging skills. Like Pat Metheny, Horta uses the instrumentalists around him to build soundscapes and to present beautiful, melodic ideas in a musical way. The music is pretty but not bland, soothing but not banal. There is solo/duo guitar work and full band performances including, amongst others, Pat Metheny - guitar, Nana Vasconcelos - percussion, Mark Egan - bass, Danny Gottlieb - drums, Elaine Elias - keyboards, Randy Brecker - trumpet and Billy Drewes - alto saxophone. Like Metheny, Horta features wordless vocals across many of his tunes, rendering the complex, melodies emminently accessible; think 'Still LIfe Talkin'' and 'Letter From Home' and you won't go far wrong.

Beautifully recorded and beautifully played.

Blue Soliloquy
Blue Soliloquy
Price: 12.72

5.0 out of 5 stars A man, a mouthpiece, a reed and a horn., 10 May 2013
This review is from: Blue Soliloquy (Audio CD)
Steve Lacy heads that illustrious group of saxophonists that renounced their claim on the two mainstays of the saxophone family to focus their time and energies on the so-called `misery stick'. The soprano saxophone remains, for many saxophonists, an afterthought, the horn that gathers the most dust in the practice room and only retains its place on the bandstand due to its similarities to the tenor (both are transposing instruments in Bb) and its relationship with John Coltrane. The list of dedicated soprano specialists is, however, growing. Jane Ira Bloom augments her saxophone with synthesisers, electronics and prepared tapes but the straight horn remains her mainstay.

Sam Newsome's soprano, on the other hand, remains unadulterated and unadorned by bells and whistles, unencumbered by microphones, pick-ups and electronica. The sounds Newsome extracts from his horn are organic and extremely natural. Percussive, metallic, breathy or warm, Newsome's tones are created by lip, tongue, lungs and fingers alone; no toys and no modifications, just a straight horn, a mouthpiece and his beloved Roberto's Winds reed. Even more startling is Newsome's willingness to undertake solo work, performing concerts and recordings that feature his ground-breaking soprano work as the only voice. No looping, no drone instruments or programmes percussion. Just Newsome, his horn and the space they inhabit.

Newsome's `Blue Soliloquy' should be a must have for all soprano players if not for all saxophonists. There is melody and there is texture but what he primarily achieves here, apart from anything else, is to evidence the fact that any instrument, however superficially `limited', can be utilised for the making of profoundly personal statements and that his chosen instrument has considerable potential beyond the requisite performances of `My Favourite Things'. All that is required is commitment, passion and a little courage. If he surrounded himself with a stellar rhythm section, there is no doubt that he would move more units. In situations like this, however, there is much more at stake than commercial success.

`Blue Soliloquy' will be around a lot longer than `Songbird'.

Oh - and as a Jazz bass player of 32 years experience; hearing this CD made me go out a buy a soprano.

Eternally Yours
Eternally Yours

4.0 out of 5 stars The boy done good..., 29 April 2013
This review is from: Eternally Yours (MP3 Download)
Before I say anything, I have to decalre an interest as I have played with Dan a couple of time; a couple of trio gigs and a wedding, if I recall correctly. I came across his CD on Spotify and have to say I am impressed. The recording is not entirely my cup of tea but, if you are looking for some smooth saxophone playing a la Dave Sanborn or Dave Koz, you could do far worse that this, Dan's first outing as a leader. Some pretty compositions, nicely arranged and neatly executed, a nice little band, good production values. Even the drum machine, a potential deal breaker for many, is managed tastefully and doesn't undermine the warmth and humanity of the tunes presented.

Give it a go; you may one day be able to say 'I was listening to that guy before....'

Price: 14.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Cloth, 12 April 2013
This review is from: Cloth (Audio CD)
Oliver Lake is probably best known for his contributions to the legendary World Saxophone Quartet which he co-founded in 1977 with David Murray, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett. Lake was also a member of the St. Louis based Black Artist's Group, one of several multi-disciplinary arts groups set up across the US in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the wake of the Civil Rights. The saxophonist's pedigree would accordingly suggest that his approach would incorporate the innovations that were around during that era in Jazz history; John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler and others of that ilk. On `Cloth', however, Lake shows surprising sympathy for more conventional aspects of large ensemble writing. Tunes with titles like' Dedicated to Dolphy' would seem to threaten atonality and discord and there is plenty of that on show here but there are certainly passages that speak more tenderly and a lot of the horn parts are, internally, surprisingly conventional. Rhythmically and melodically, the path is less smooth and the effect achieved offers a surprisingly comfortable ride through otherwise unfamiliar territory, rather like a drive across an inner-city safari park where the risk of being eaten alive is tempered by the security of an air-conditioned 4WD and the knowledge that there is a man with a gun nearby, ready to leap into action if your engine stalls.

`M.I.L.D.' unsurprisingly features the most conventional arranging. Some beautiful soloing from Bakida Carroll leads us gently by the hand through all the kinks whilst pianist Michael Cochrane tries very hard not to wake the baby. `Dedicated To Dolphy' frightens the wildlife at least a little but tries to calm them down with the occasional titbit. Jimmy Steward's flute is particularly apposite, given Dolphy's affinity for the instrument and his solo carries some welcome snatches of birdsong. '63 Impala' is also surprisingly conventional, especially Cochrane's solo, but there are the occasional elegant leaps and surefooted turns that keep the game alive.

`Round 2000' is a tense ballad with all the requisite textures and wide open spaces but with the tense harmonies that take the material away from the mundane. An elegant bass solo from Mark Helias is perfectly placed and fenced in buy some lovely muted brass á la Gil Evans before being let free to gambol around another relaxed piano solo. 'Dance 6/8' gets things moving apace but there is nothing too vicious in there whilst `Bouncin' Back' treads ground that is far too familiar, despite some nice saxophone duelling (this time over electric bass) . The album closes with `Creole Talkin'' (what is it with these apostrophes), sounding like a Mingus Town Hall construct with moments of madness interspersed with routine riffing.

Alongside Lake, the band includes Peck Allmond, Winston Byrd, Bakida Carroll and Duane Eubanks on trumpets, Joseph Bowie, Aaron Johnson, Al Patterson and Josh Roseman (trombones), Marty Ehrlich and Bruce Williams (alto saxophones), Jimmy Steward on tenor sax and flute, Ron Blake on baritone, and, in the rhythm section, Michael Cochrane (piano), Mark Helias (double and electric bass) and Otis Brown (drums).

An interesting trip with some interesting detours. There are some animal traps along the way but, be assured, we will get home safely. If we are honest, we knew that all along.

Me, Myself & I
Me, Myself & I
Price: 11.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a master musician doing what he was born to do, 19 Feb 2013
This review is from: Me, Myself & I (Audio CD)
Kenny Werner first came to my attention as the pianist with Joe Lovano on the saxophonist's 'Landmarks' cd. Like many of his peers, Werner was a highly accomplished musician with loads of chops and great ideas. Since hearing that cd, I have read his 'Effortless Mastery' book and become aware of his zen-like approach to teaching and to playing.

Unsurprisingly, 'Me, Myself and I' is a solo piano collection. What distinguishes it from similar solo performances is the sheer musicality of the event (a live recording at the 2011 Montreal Jazz Festival). There are no histrionics and no overt displays of superfluous technique, just pure, contemplative music. A highlight for me is the end of his solo on 'A Child Is Born' (and 'Balloons') when, for a few bars, Werner whistles along quietly with the pretty little melodies being created by his right hand; beautiful.

Very nicely recorded, the piano sounds rich and warm and Werner's unpretentious and delicate playing is what it was designed and built for. Solo piano is sometimes quite hard to listen to for those of us not dedicated to the instrument but, on this occasion, I found the experience of listening to be highly conducive. I am trying very hard to not compare Werner's recording to Jarrett's; as different as they are as players, a piano is a piano after all, but fans of Jarrett's solo performances would delight in the parallels. Werner is in no-one's shadow, however, and deserves to be listened to without unnecessary comparisons to other exponents.

Just plain pretty.

Follow The Red Line - Live At The Village Vanguard
Follow The Red Line - Live At The Village Vanguard
Price: 7.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live without a safety net, 19 Feb 2013
I have been listening to Potter for a while but avoided this CD because, as a bass player myself, I was 'unimpressed' by the absence of Potter's regular sideman Scott Colley. one of my favourite musicians. Thanks to the wonders of Spotify and a couple of hours to kill, I finally got to listen to FTRL today. It's a monster! It reminds me, in spirit and energy, of that marvellous CD of Antonio Sanchez with Colley and saxophonists David Sanchez and Miguel Zenon, also recorded live in New York. The tunes are long, most are in excess of 10 minutes, but the buzz being created by these four musicians is so energising, it makes you want to get your own horn out and 'get involved'! The band is Potter, Adam Rogers (guitar), Craig Taborn (piano) & Nate Smith (drums), each of them a master musician. There is talk of rock and fusion influences in other reviews here and I am not going to disagree but I just hear great, great Jazz.

Time well spent.

Year of the Snake
Year of the Snake
Price: 7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Year Of The Snake, 31 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Year of the Snake (MP3 Download)
A really strong trio outfit, Fly represent one of those rare ensembles that are greater than the sum of their respective parts. Often a sax/bass/drums trio is essentially a stellar horn player with two supporting musicians but the interaction between Grenadier, Turner and Ballard is exquisite. Some of the bass player's arco work is particularly interesting in this context; none of the Paul Chambersesque bebop soloing, Grenadier uses the texture created by fast arco passages to create a wave of sound that washes over the performance like a Billy Higgins sizzle ride, leaving space in which the other two players can swim. Wonderful compositions, creative improvisation. Highly recommended.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9