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Clive Hedges (Durham)
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Solid
Solid
Price: £18.42

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swinging Hard-Bop in a Classic Blue Note Style, 12 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Solid (Audio CD)
Fans of Grant Green, Joe Henderson or the classic Coltrane quartet stop off here and add this to your collection. This is a great group set. Green gets a bit less solo space than is usual for albums under his own name - there are two horn players, Henderson and James Spaulding, as well as McCoy Tyner on hand, so his room is limited. So if you're expecting the long, bluesy solos he showcases on some of the earlier trio sessions you may be disappointed. However, what you do get is great modern hard-bop.

Green's guitar is, as always, crystal clear and his essentially saxophone-like style of choosing his notes and building a solo is actually ideally suited to these kind of themes. They're of the slightly tricky hard-bop variety that was by then a staple for these players and all make the most of their space. The one exception is the, perhaps wryly titled, 'Grant's Tune', Green's only original and the one where he hogs most of the available time, but to good effect.

Spaulding is urgent and bluesy, Henderson, broad ranging and intense and Tyner his usual lyrical self. Elvin Jones, on drums, is relatively restrained and gets little chance to break loose except on 'Ezz-thetic' but still adds another dimension to the sound. The version of 'The Kicker' feels quite different to the one on Horace Silver's Song for My Father and is worth checking out. There's a Burt Bacharach tune at the end without the horn players and it sounds as lyrical, swinging and fun as you would expect from the combination of tune and players and if you like Green's other sessions with these players on Matador , for example, you'll like that.


The Right Touch
The Right Touch
Offered by chris26821
Price: £17.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, James Spaulding..., 5 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Right Touch (Audio CD)
..all guest here, but I'm afraid for me this album never really catches fire. It's played in little big-band style with themes that have a slighlty somnolent, supper-club air to them at times, that even Hubbard sounds slightly restricted by. There are highlights, however, the bluesy numbers, like the slow crawl of 'Scrap Iron' and the funky 'Chili Peppers' are a perfect environment for Turrentine to show off his r'n'b-drenched splutter and growl, and Hubbard breaks out on the livelier and slightly trickier theme of 'Los Malos Hombres', although Spaulding has more difficulty with it it seems.

Part of the problem is Pearson's piano playing I think, his solos rarely stray far from the source material and never really seem to build much, mixed with a lack of solo space for the horn players to really stretch out.

There are good aspects to it and if you're a fan of Turrentine you'll enjoy his work here, there are catchy themes and solid bass and drum work but, overall, especially given the cast list, I found it a little underwhelming.


Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia
Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urbane Hard-Bop?!?, 5 Jun. 2009
Kenny Dorham perfected a unique trumpet style - part quick-fingered Dizzy Gillespie and part Miles-like urbanity. The result is a kind of intense coolness, if that makes sense. This group, dubbed 'The Jazz Prophets' at the time, is pretty much moulded in his image. There is a lot of bluesy but sophisticated hard-bop, mixing standards and Dorham originals. The group includes the very liitle heard J R Monterose, whose slightly stuttering attack and buzzy tone on sax are a perfect match for Dorham and is augmented by the ever-tasteful Kenny Burrell on guitar on most tracks. Bobby Timmons on piano is caught in his early Bud Powell-influenced days, rather than the gospel-soaked style he shows on later Jazz Messenger albums and he fits in well. It's a shame the line-up didn't last longer as it clearly worked together well and the whole album has some very good moments - not least a great version of 'Round About Midnight', which is worth the entrance fee alone.

It's a live recording over two nights at a club so there are a number of repeats, but the sound quality is good and there's a lot of music here so it still offers good value for money I think. It doesn't offer quite the fireworks or catchy themes of some Jazz Messengers' CDs but it feels perfectly conceived and executed and fans of Dorham should snap it up.


Hank Mobley Quintet (Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
Hank Mobley Quintet (Rudy Van Gelder Edition)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hank Mobley on Form, 21 May 2009
if you like Hard Bop, the Jazz Messengers etc. you won't go wrong wih this album. Mobley's Charlie Parker influence shows a bit more strongly than at some times, possibly because some of the themes are pretty quickfire. Don't be put off by the presence of Art Farmer on trumpet, he gives as good a demonstration of hot hard-bop trumpet playing as you're likely to hear - just listen to him and Mobley trade phrases towards the end of 'Startin' From Scratch', it's truly exciting stuff. With Mobley, Horace Silver and Art Blakey on hand the bluesy numbers, like 'Funk in Deep Freeze', 'Stella-Wise' and 'Base On Balls', are also a treat. The set also has a lovely ballad, 'Fin De L'Affaire', as good as Mobley ever did in this regard I think. The alternate takes don't add an awful lot but the albums a good length anyway. Another slice of great hard bop from Blue Note.


Roll Call
Roll Call
Price: £5.45

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomplicated Great Hard Bop, 21 May 2009
This review is from: Roll Call (Audio CD)
Fans of Hank Mobley, Blue Note, Funky Hard Bop, Freddy Hubbard stop and buy this - at this price you'd be daft not to. It's the kind of straightforward, funky stuff Blue Note did so well in the early-mid 60s. Quibblers might wish Lee Morgan, with his bluesier edge, was paired with Mobley but Hubbard produces some quickfire, powerful trumpet and on the marvellously gospel-tinged Baptist Beat (a more laid-back cousin of the famous Moanin') he pushes up the intensity levels brilliantly. Art Blakey is his usual powerful self and Wynton Kelly on piano is perfect for these themes. A blues-edged hard bop feel dominates and if you like other Mobley albums like Soul Station you won't be dissappointed.


Page One
Page One
Price: £5.75

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfectly Realised Chapter of Jazz, 8 May 2009
This review is from: Page One (Audio CD)
One of the great things about these Kenny Dorham-Joe Henderson albums is how their character is influenced by the different pianists they were hooked up with for the recording date. This has the great McCoy Tyner on and, as you might expect, it's more lyrical and 'tasteful', as it were, then the other albums in the series. Being partly a Kenny Dorham date there is of course one of his trademark latin-tinged hard-bop themes, 'Blue Bossa', but, and this may be a bossa too far for some, also one by Henderson, the well-covered 'Recorda Me'. The mix is leavened though with the funky 'Homestretch' and the lovely standard-sounding ballad, 'La Meisha' as well as the bouncy, but slightly oblique, 'Jinriksha'.

Regardless, the soloing, by all of the front men is of a uniformly great standard and if it's all a bit more subtle than some of the other albums by the pair that's no bad thing. Henderson's soloing, in particular, is excellent and rewards close listening and if you like Tyner his work here is just the sort music making you like him for. The whole album is, in my opinion, the equal of many much more lauded ones of the time by the likes of Wayne Shorter or Lee Morgan, but for some reason Henderson's output rarely gets the attention it deserves. Add this to your collection and it'll sit nicely alongside Search for the New Land and Speak No Evil.


Our Thing (RVG Edition)
Our Thing (RVG Edition)
Price: £6.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is a Great Thing, 8 May 2009
This review is from: Our Thing (RVG Edition) (Audio CD)
If you're a fan of 60s Blue Note or just that type of jazz where hard bop starts to mix a little with the new thing, get this album. Kenny Dorham and Joe Henderson created at least 3 albums together that should be in any self-respecting jazz collection and this is one of them. What sets 'Our Thing' apart is the presence of pianist Andrew Hill, who adds a wonderful, angular, Monk-inspired edge to the proceedings. The opener, the aptly-named 'Teeter-Totter', is perfect for him but also brings out great solos all round. The other themes are perhaps less 'out', 'Pedro's Time' is a standard Dorham, latin-tinged piece of hard-bop and 'Back Road' the kind of funky number common for the time, but the soloing and group interaction are outstanding, fuelled by Hill's unique take on things and Pete La Roca's fantastically busy, but supportive and never grandstanding, drum work. Of all the solos only Dorham's on the aforementioned 'Pedro's Time' sounds too much like other outings of his from the time to be completely gripping. The rest is first-rate jazz.

At this price this album is an absolute steal, buy it and then go and get the other two great albums they did, Page One and 'Una Mas'.


My Point Of View
My Point Of View
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £6.06

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Work in Transition, 5 May 2009
This review is from: My Point Of View (Audio CD)
Wouldn't disagree too much with the other review for this but would note a word or two of detail for those that maybe know Hancock for his later work or 'Watermelon Man'. At the core of the album are two bluesy numbers, 'Blind Man, Blind Man' and 'And What if I Don't?' and two other Hancock originals, the gently swinging 'A Tribute....' and the more gentle, pleasingly sentimental 'The Pleasure...'; the latter two sounding for all the world like standards from decades earlier. The soloists are well chosen, with Grant Green putting in appearances on the blusey numbers. None of this is anything but fairly standard Blue Note stuff for the time but it's meat and drink to Green, Byrd and Mobley who all turn in perfectly apt and pleasing solos. Hancock also sounds perfectly able to keep up with the more experienced company and offer a little more orignality of his own. The odd-one-out of the bunch is 'King Cobra', a taste of the direction Hancock would go in soon on the classic 'Maiden Voyage'. This is interesting and worth hearing for Hancock and especially Williams but does sound a bit out of place in the surrounding material.


Una Mas (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
Una Mas (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
Price: £7.69

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great straightahead album, 2 May 2009
Quite agree with the other review of this fine album. The often overlooked but great partnership of Dorham-Henderson produced at least 3 minor classics, in this and Henderson's 'Our Thing' and 'Page One', all with quite different feels to them, not least because of their different rhythm sections. Cook and Morton are a bit sniffy about this album I think but it offers two great, if standardish for the time, themes, in the title track and 'Straight Ahead'. The soloing by both horn players is top class and Hancock does a great job of both interacting and supporting. Only 'Sao Paulo' has a slight air of routine about it I feel. The final ballad is played fairly straight but beautifully, giving Dorham's own take on less-is-more playing. If you like Blue Note early 60s stuff this is well worth trying out.


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