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Reviews Written by
R. Bawden jazz fan "walker"
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Live at Campus West
Live at Campus West
Price: £13.34

5.0 out of 5 stars A great live session by top British musicians., 29 April 2016
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This review is from: Live at Campus West (Audio CD)
Chris Biscoe has already released two CDs on a similar theme. One dedicated to the music of Eric Dolphy, the other to the music of Charles Mingus. Both are excellent albums.

I have seen his bands on several occasions and have enjoyed the concerts. Chris (alto sax and alto clarinet), Larry Bartley (bass) and Stu Butterfield (dms) are regular band members. Chris runs a sextet with Henry Lowther and others, and this quartet with the brilliant alto saxophonist, Toni Kofi who studied the music of Thelonious Monk at Berklee University. Kofi handles the music of both Mingus and Dolphy with equal facility.

This quartet (lacking a piano) is ideal to platform the tunes chosen. The front line of either two altos, or alto clarinet (not dissimilar to the bass clarinet that Dolphy himself favoured and played with such fluency) works well, the two musicians complementing each other. Larry Bartley produces a very strong bass line (a la Mingus) and the rather introverted drummer Stu Butterfield together provide a strong platform to the music.

The album was recorded live at the "Campus West" jazz club in Hertfordshire and the music is well received by the appreciative audiende who encourage the musicians in their endeavours.

Undoubtedly a great CD. Whether owners of the previous two albums need this is debatable, but if one owns neither, then this is an ideal purchase. The music is a dedication to the music of the two greats without merely recreating their work (how could one?).


Native Dancer
Native Dancer

3.0 out of 5 stars A Brazilian slant to the music of Wayne Shorter, 27 April 2016
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This review is from: Native Dancer (Audio CD)
I bought this album dating from 1974 without having heard any of it prviously. It was recommended by a young musician who was a finalist in the BBC jazz awards 2016.I am probably more than fifty years older and probably with quite different tastes but I was prepared to give it a trial. The album features a selection of tunes mostly either by the Brazilian Milton Nascimento (a vocalist), Wayne Shorter or Herbie Hancock. The flavour is Latin American throughout. The lineup is not specified on the sleeve but appears to feature the three composers and others on unspecified instruments.

At first listening I thought "what have I let myself in for"? espcially since I am not particularly a fan of LA music. A friend suggested that I persevere and listen some more, and the almost hypnotic music has grown upon me. I suppose the Shorter original "Beauty and the Beast" remains my favourite track.

For aficianados of Wayne Shorter this album represented a brave diversion from the style of his previous work.


Footprints Live!
Footprints Live!
Price: £5.98

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting live album., 27 April 2016
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This review is from: Footprints Live! (Audio CD)
I was only aware of Wayne Shorter from his early work with Art Blakey and Miles Davis and some of the albums that he made under his own name, a little of his work with Weather Report. This 2001 album tempted me because I think that the composition "Footprints" is a marvellous tune and I was eager to hear the version on this album. At first listening I was a little taken aback but over several plays the album has grown upon me and I have found many of the tracks quite intriguing.

Wayne Shorter plays both tenor and soprano sax on these eight tracks in a quite idiosyncratic fashion (not directly related to the style that he had adopted in his youth). I found the pianist, Danilo Perez excellent throughout as were J0hn Patitucci (bs) and Brian Blade (dms). Several of the tunes deserve mentioning but the stand out track for me was "Aung San Suu Kyi" (9.29).

In summary, unless you are "up to date" with Wayne Shorter this album may initially come as a surprise / shock but I would urge potential customers to give it a chance. It isn't "easy listening" but entirely captivating in its way.


Winter Moon
Winter Moon

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not in the same category as his live work with his "jazz trio"., 22 April 2016
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This review is from: Winter Moon (Audio CD)
This album recorded a couple of years before his demise was apparently an ambition long held. Was making the album worthwhile? Yes, but nowhere near the quality of the music that Art was producing in live performance with his quartet. Having a written scored backing of strings inhibited Art (unlike his live jazz performances). He still produces some sensational music but I think that the format was inhibiting. An interesting experiment that I understand Art was pleased with.


Road Shows, Vol.1
Road Shows, Vol.1
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £10.81

5.0 out of 5 stars The master tenor saxophonist at work., 22 April 2016
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This review is from: Road Shows, Vol.1 (Audio CD)
Sonny Rollins is imperious, but he is at his best in live performance. The series "Road Shows" are tracks chosen by the master himself from recordings, many previously not released, from the past three decades. This volume has music from 1980 through until 2007. There are seven tracks the shortest being a mere 9.26, the longest 12.27. As expected Sonny has time to explore these tunes in his customary fashion of completely dissassembling the tune before putting it back together piece by piece. I have no favourite track. Each has its own merits. No one track is "better" than another. All are imperious improvisations. Considering that they are all live recordings the sound quality is superb.

A highly recommended CD purchase.


In My Solitude: Live At Grace Cathedral
In My Solitude: Live At Grace Cathedral
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An imperious live concert recording of modern music., 22 April 2016
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Like another reviewer I heard a track (Stardust) on Radio Three's "Jazz Record Requests" and added the album to my "wish list", but I've only recently purchased a copy. Like the other reviewer I had reservations about buying a CD of long running time which was solo saxophone, but,as hoped, the whole concert in captivating. I have very little Brandford Marsalis in my record collection so this was essentially my introduction to him as a musician. Like brother, Wynton, he is true virtuoso whole not only has complete control over his instruments (tenor and soprano saxophones) but is a skilled improviser. I had imagined that this live concert would be classified as jazz, but it is really modern improvised music that covers that area of improvised music between jazz and the classical form. Several of the tracks are simply entitled "Improvisation".

The stand out track for me is his original "Blues For One" which cleverly uses hints of several Blues themes dating back to W.C.Handy.

The sound quality if absolutely magnificent, perfectly clear and no doubt picking up the resonances of Grace Cathedral.


Outdoor Rock Stone Key Hider Storage Yard Garden (Black)
Outdoor Rock Stone Key Hider Storage Yard Garden (Black)
Offered by styleinside-uk
Price: £4.82

5.0 out of 5 stars A reality stic key hidy- hole., 21 April 2016
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A realistic stone to place in your garden with a spare key. Takes a standard "yale" key, but nothing larger. Looks very realistic.


Bridge Partner - Bridge Boxes for Bidding - Red - Set of 4 with Bidding Cards
Bridge Partner - Bridge Boxes for Bidding - Red - Set of 4 with Bidding Cards
Offered by Chess and Bridge
Price: £24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bidding box, 21 April 2016
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There are several designs of bidding boxes available and this design is compact and the cards are well printed and clear to read.


Neon Art: Volume Two
Neon Art: Volume Two
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another must own performance from the world's greatest jazz musician., 21 April 2016
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This review is from: Neon Art: Volume Two (Audio CD)
The second in a three CD (or vinyl) release of recordings made during Novemer 1981 while in Japan shortly before Art's demise in 1982.

With long term colleagues: George Cables pno), David Williams (bs) and drummer Carl Burnett, we are treated to three tunes :"Mambo Koyama" (18.39), "Over The Rainbow" (14.37) and "Allen's Alley" (9.17). Despite the group being on top form these are really a showcase for Art who was at this time at his most emotional and creative. This is a man facing death and determined to create music of the highest intensity possible for him. An amazing performance.

Don't judge this, or the other discs in this series, on the grounds of reduced playing time. It's quality that counts, not mere quantity.


Neon Art: Volume Three
Neon Art: Volume Three
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT album., 21 April 2016
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This review is from: Neon Art: Volume Three (Audio CD)
This is the third of three releases by his wife, Laurie, in this series all recorded live during 1981 just before his death in 1982. These three tracks come from November 1981 while on a tour of Japan. Art is accompanied by long standing colleagues: George Cables (pno), David Williams (bs) and Carl Burnett (dms). The whole quartet is in top form but these three tracks are showcases for Art.

The tracks are: "Make A List"(24.40), "Everything Happens To Me" (8.36) and "Arthur's Blues" (10.27).

Knowing that he was at death's doorstep, Art was determined to play in a manner that he hadn't earlier. He totally exposes his soul during these highly creative, but essentially emotional recordings. This music is exceptional and shows how Art had become the premier jazzman of all time.

Don't be put off by the slightly short duration of this CD. It's quality that counts, not quantity.

Marvellous from start to finish; not a wasted note.


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