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The Highest Mountain
The Highest Mountain
Price: £29.33

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Offering from an Under-appreciated Tenor Star, 25 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Highest Mountain (Audio CD)
Clfford Jordan really has not received the credit to which he is due , being very much in the shadow of other tenor titans of his generation - but that is a great shame,given the man's undoubted talent and ability. He first came to prominence under the inspired leadership of Charles Mingus in that great man's quintets/sextets of the mid-60's with no lesser band-mates than Eric Dolphy,Johnny Coles and Jaki Byard,and to my mind he certainly more than held his own in that exhalted company. In this CD Clifford is again in very fine form alongside his supporting rhythm section comprising Cedar Walton,Sam Jones and Billy Higgins, and they provide absolutely sterling support to their leader. Jordan has a strong attack but never loses the listener in mere showboating - you can follow him every step of the way and thoroughly appreciate what he is doing and how well he is doing it. More attention and credit should be given to this man's output of which this current offering is a splendid example which is highly recommended to all lovers of first rate tenor players.


The 11th Gate
The 11th Gate
Price: £13.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Trombone Trio, 31 Mar. 2014
This review is from: The 11th Gate (Audio CD)
I recently had the privilege of hearing this Trio live and was absolutely knocked out by the standard of musicianship being witnessed and promptly bought this CD at the gig. It is terrific stuff played with consumate skill by the three musicians concerned. You very rarely (if ever) hear of a trombone trio because the trombone isn't the easiest of instruments to accompany, but the hammond organ and drums of this trio merge spectacularly with Rollins' trombone to form a brilliant musical unit. All three musicians are truly masters of their respective instruments and they mesh together with sublime skill to generate a truly wonderful selection of contemporary jazz which is a complete joy to behold. Do yourself a favour and get this CD - and, if you get the chance, go and see them "live" - you certainly wont regret it.


Lionheart (The Making of England Quartet)
Lionheart (The Making of England Quartet)
by Stewart Binns
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Rip-Roaring Read !, 23 Jan. 2014
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This was a thoroughly enjoyable, fast moving, action-packed adventure story about the legendary figure of Anglo-French history which brought the character of "The Lionheart" vividly to life and did nothing to dent his all-action image of popular mythology.He really was quite a bloke who accomplished much in his relatively short life time , and would have accomplished a good deal more if it hadn't been for the perfidious French ! A very good historical novel admirably suited for holiday time reading.


The Unissued Cafe Bohemia Broadcasts
The Unissued Cafe Bohemia Broadcasts

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bohemian Rhapsody, 23 Nov. 2013
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THE MilesDavisQuintet live at the Cafe Bohemia in a selection of recordings never before heard on Cd is a treasure trove too good to be missed. It is THE QUINTET replete with Coltrane,Red Garland,Paul Chambers and the incredible Philly Joe Jones doing the business in 1957 and going through their full repertoir. The only slight disappointment is that for the first set (comprising 6 or so tracks) Miles is unfortuately somewhat "off Mic" and thus a little bit more dificult to pick up - particularly when using the Harmon Mute-but the rarity value of the recordings means this is a small price to pay - when you can hear all other band members perfectly well. There are no such microphone issues for the remainder of the recordings - the second set allowing us the rare pleasure of hearing Bill Evans at the piano. The CD is rounded off with bonus tracks (x2) featuring Miles in various settings - the first one of which includes sidemen of the calibre of the Adderley Brothers,Benny Green (trombone) and the incomprable Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax. All in all a most welcome addition to the Davis discography.


Boston 1950
Boston 1950
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.38

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lester Still Leaping, 23 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Boston 1950 (Audio CD)
This is a truly marvellous recording of late (1950) Lester Young performing with (what is somewhat laughably called - by the club announcer- his "orchestra"!) his quintet which includes Jesse Drakes on trumpet,Kenny Drew on piano and Conne Kay on drums - not a bad little line up! The sheer melodic exuberance of Lester's playing is a pure joy to behold and he is more than adequately backed by trumpet and piano - and all (relatively) well recorded to say it comes from the "dim and distant past" of 1950. On this CD you get 16 tracks - some of them admittedly very short introductory pieces - and on 14 of them Lester is in imperious form. The last two tracks come from a live recording made three years later - in 1953 - and the difference in Lester's playing is sadly all too obvious - the bubbly exuberance has been replaced with a far more hesitant and uncertain delivery heralding his gradual and tragic demise. Nevertheless the CD contains over an hour of live recordings and for most of that hour you get Lester still at his unrivalled best. As this CD claims that all tracks are previously unissued you are treated to something which is unique and unmissable. All fans of the maestro should waste no time in acquiring this CD.


Six Classic Albums [Audio CD] Gene Ammons
Six Classic Albums [Audio CD] Gene Ammons
Price: £8.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Jug Bands, 21 Nov. 2013
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Gene Ammons over 6 "classic" albums maybe stretching it a bit. This reviewer certainly cannot see them as being remotely "classic" but they are very "workman-like",and in all fairness, none the worse for that. Ammons has a very basic saxophone technique and can be somewhat lacking in ideas. If Getz is Pavarotti - then Ammons is Howling Wolf - very bluesy and somewhat raw and repetative. However the CDs are packed with some very handy sidemen who certainly help things along - principle among whom are the marvelous Pepper Adams (who crops up on no less than 3 of the albums) Jackie Mclean, Art Farmer and Indress Sulieman(wrongly credited as performing on trombone rather than upon trumpet). There is also John Coltrane lurking in the background supposedly playing both tenor and alto saxes!! You get plenty of basic,no-nonsense blowing for your money. A great deal of it for very little outlay.


First Light
First Light
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £6.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orchestral Hubbard, 21 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: First Light (Audio CD)
This is a studio recording which Hubbard himself rated as one of his best, largely because he did not feel the need to blow his socks off!! He does indeed play some lovely,restrained trumpet/flugelhorn,backed by some far-from-intrusive orchestral settings - which includes, what is anathema to some jazz fans, the "dreaded" violin/string ensemble. The tracks which do include such backing are, however, extremely tastefully performed and the strings certainly do not intrude. The studio sets are enlived with contributions from George Benson,and a rhythm section of Ron Carter and Jack Dejohnette. Added to the Creed Taylor studio sessions is a live performance which provides the real nitty gritty jazz combo elements to this excellent CD - you're on your own lads, there's no strings attached - just get on with doing what all jazzmen do best,performing in front of a live audience with no safety net.


The Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug
The Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.11

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sentimental Story, 12 Nov. 2013
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I was persuaded to purchase this CD relying on the reviews I had read from America and , overall , I was not dissatisfied or disappointed. The standard of musicianship is uniformally very high although the content of the playlist is, to this reviewer's taste, somewhat low-key and understated and, dare one say it , a little "samey". As a previous reviewer has intimated, it makes for a perfect late- night listening experience, although I would, personally, have preferred a little more "oomph" from at least some of the performances on offer. But - to each his own . For lovers of ballad tenor playing, however, it will certainly get top marks..


8 Classic Albums [Audio CD] Jack McDuff
8 Classic Albums [Audio CD] Jack McDuff
Offered by produXa UK
Price: £8.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Organ Grinder's Swing, 27 Sept. 2013
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This is a treasure-trove for those who like organ led combos. McDuff is a master of the "down home" bluesy style of playing and in all but one of the 8 albums presented here you get the business. The one album which frankly does dissappoint is the first one - "Brother Jack"- which is , to these ears, somewhat lifeless- partticularly when compared with what is to follow.On the other7 albums you get the real deal - organ,sax and guitar combos swinging/grooving like mad. McDuff has some oustanding saxmen working with him, among the foremost of which are Jimmy Forrest,Roland Kirk,Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt (all on tenor) and Leo Wright (on alto) ; you also get Grant Green and Kenny Burrell on guitar and Lem Winchester on vibes . Green is featured on several of the discs as is a tenor player ,new to these ears - Harold Vick - who fits in admirably and contributes well.As always with these "Real Gone" compilations, you get the barest details but you certainly do get access to obscure and, in some cases, long out of print material at real value for money. Recommended.


Zoot Sims Quartet in Paris (plus 3 bonus tracks)
Zoot Sims Quartet in Paris (plus 3 bonus tracks)
Price: £9.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zoot Alors !!, 29 July 2013
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Zoot Sims is the quintessential improviser and a master of the art of tenor sax-playing. His laid-back style has always been much admired by musicians and public alike and really just about anything recorded by him is worth the investment. In this rendition he fronts a French rhythm section of relatively modest accomplishments, but it is his efforts which capture the imagination and make the session memorable and eminently listenable. His ability to breeze through standards,blues and anything else which takes his fancy is sublime and thing of joy and beauty. The CD also boasts additional tracks where Zoot is in much more appropriate company - being accompanied by the doyen of bop pianists, the incomaparable Bud Powell - who, although by this time somewhat of a shodow of his former self, could, and on this recording undoubtedly did, rise majestically to the occasion - sharing the bandstand with another US Jazz Great.


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