John Coltrane – Coltrane’s Sound

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The October 1960 sessions which comprise Coltrane’s Sound present a portrait of the John Coltrane Quartet in its infancy, yet many of the mature elements which were to distinguish the group during its primacy are already in place. Coltrane’s Sound was among the last releases to emerge from his Atlantic sessions, but, in some ways, it’s among the most satisfying.

John Coltrane’s search for the ideal rhythm section coincided with his transition from hard bop to the emerging modal stylings first suggested by Miles Davis on Kind Of Blue. Elvin Jones’ polyrhythmic inventions exploited the tension between triplets and eighth notes, and with his unique cymbal sound and powerful technique, Jones perfected a new rhythmic style of phrasing. Pianist McCoy Tyner offered a rich harmonic palette and a supple lyric dimension. He was able to play convincingly in hard bop and ballad modes, yet he also understood how to reinforce Elvin Jones’ rhythmic ideas and feed the saxophonist droning chordal support that didn’t limit Trane to any conventional chordal cycles. Bassist Steve Davis would soon be supplanted, but he sensed Coltrane’s new rhythmic priorities, and moved comfortably from vamping ostinatos to pulsing swing.

Personnel: John Coltrane (soprano & tenor saxophones); McCoy Tyner (piano); Steve Davis (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).

Tracklist

01. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
02. Central Park West
03. Liberia
04. Body and Soul
05. Equinox
06. Satellite
07. 26-2

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Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land

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This release is something of a departure for the bold trumpet stylist. After the Latin-tinged dance-floor jams of THE SIDEWINDER (released about six months prior to this disc), Morgan turns somewhat reflective. The music is quieter, with a good deal of structural space and restrained, almost expressionistic playing. The title track opens the album and evokes a mood of poignancy and careful balance, like a Japanese painting. Even the more up-tempo numbers like “The Joker” and “Mr. Kenyatta” are relaxed and thoughtful, the richly textured passages unfolding in a way that seems both organic and tightly disciplined.

Morgan’s playing maintains its articulate brightness, but his notes and phrases are carefully shaded. This is matched by Wayne Shorter’s sax work (also simultaneously edgy and lyrical), Grant Green’s glowing guitar and Herbie Hancock’s atmospheric contributions. Lee should also be recognized as a significant composer, since all the tracks here, with their floating themes and protean solo sections, are from his pen. Search For The New Land live up to its title, finding a high ground of intelligent, evocative work and outstanding playing.

Personnel: Lee Morgan (trumpet); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Grant Green (guitar); Reginald Workman (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).

Tracklist

01. Search For The New Land
02. The Joker
03. Mr. Kenyatta
04. Melancholee
05. Morgan The Pirate

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Dexter Gordon – One Flight Up

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Gordon takes his time stretching out over the forms, which are particularly drawn out to begin with. Drew’s “Coppin’ the Haven” is a more concise continuation of the effort to reconcile the modal approach with the use of more bop-like changes. “Darn That Dream,” a ballad feature for the leader, is done as a quartet, as is the one Gordon composition “Kong Neptune,” a track not released on the original LP. A particularly interesting aspect of this disc is the chance to hear bassist Niels–Henning Orsted Pedersen making one of his earliest recorded appearances.

Personnel: Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Dexter Gordon; Donald Byrd (trumpet); Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass instrument); Kenny Drew (piano); Art Taylor (drums)

Tracklist

01. Tanya
02. Coppin’ The Haven
03. Darn That Dream
04. Kong Neptune

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Andrew Hill – Point of Departure

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In an extensive label catalog as uniformly excellent as Blue Note’s, it’s virtually impossible to pick “the greatest” album. Still, there’s little doubt that pianist Andrew Hill’s Point of Departure is one of the label’s most extraordinary recordings. Hill, a Chicagoan whose varied resumé as a sideman included stints with Dinah Washington, Jackie McLean, the Johnny Griffin/Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis band, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, was a perfect addition to the Blue Note roster: a thoroughly modern composer and a thoughtful soloist, capable of handling both leader dates and sideman roles. Indeed, Hill’s stature as the leader here would seem arbitrary were the album not all his compositions. Every player on the album is a band leader and trendsetter in his own right: trumpeter Kenny Dorham, reedmen Joe Henderson and Eric Dolphy, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Anthony Williams. Employing a wide variety of meters, Point of Departure covers a broad range of material, from the angular and gripping “Refuge” though the shifting “Spectrum,” to the brisk “Flight 19,” and introspective closer, “Dedication.” It is, in many ways, the classic Blue Note album: an intense, modern, and gripping performance.

Personnel: Andrew Hill (piano); Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet); Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Richard Davis (bass); Tony Williams (drums).

Tracklist

01. Refue
02. New Monastery
03. Spectrum
04. Flight 19
05. Dedication
06. New Monastery (Alternate Take)
07. Flight 19 (Alternate Take)
08. Dedication (Alternate Take)

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Blue Mitchell – The Thing To Do

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When Horace Silver disbanded his quintet of six years in 1964, Blue Mitchell, Junior Cook and Gene Taylor decided to stay together and form the nucleus of the Blue Mitchell Quintet. The band took shape that summer with newcomers Chick Corea and Al Foster. Mitchell has learned wellfrom his former employer; for this debut album he kept the emphasis on consummahe ultra hip groove of the title tune to the now classic “Footprints,” this is among the best.

Personnel: Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Blue Mitchell; Gene Taylor (bass instrument); Aloysius Foster, Al Foster (drums); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Chick Corea (piano).

Tracklist

01. Fungii Mama
02. Mona’s Mood
03. The Thing To Do
04. Step Lightly
05. Chick’s Tune

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Duke Pearson – Wahoo!

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A truly wonderful advanced hard bop date, Wahoo captures pianist Duke Pearson at his most adventurous and creative. With the exception of Donald Byrd’s closing “Fly Little Bird Fly,” Pearson wrote all of the material on this six-song album, and his compositions are clever, melodic, and unpredictable without being cloying or inaccessible. He has assembled a first-rate sextet to perform the material, enlisting trumpeter Byrd, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Bob Cranshaw, alto saxophonist/flautist James Spaulding, and drummer Mickey Roker. Even the subdued “Wahoo” and “ESP” search out new territory with their subtle themes and exploratory solo sections. The key to the success of Wahoo is that Duke Pearson is a gifted arranger, creating nimble, challenging arrangements that are accessible, but reveal more details upon each listen. As a pianist, he has moved beyond his initial Bud Powell influence and reveals new aspects of his technique. Henderson, Byrd, and Spaulding are equally impressive, helping elevate Wahoo to one of the finest sophisticated hard bop dates Blue Note released in the mid-’60s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Personnel includes: Duke Pearson, Donald Byrd, Joe Henderson, James Spaulding, Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker.

Tracklist

01. Amanda
02. Bedouin
03. Farewell Machelle
04. Wahoo
05. Esp (Extransensory Perception)
06. Fly Little Bird Fly

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George Benson – The New Boss Guitar Of George Benson

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On this 1964 Prestige solo debut by George Benson, the revered guitarist enlists the support of his mentor, organ legend Jack McDuff, for a set of vintage soul jazz. Benson, only 21 years old at the time of the recording, clearly reveals the influences of Wes Montgomery and Charlie Christian in his dexterous playing. Even at this early stage, however, the young six-stringer displays a lyricism that’s all his own, as best revealed on the groove-laden “Sweet Alice Blues” and the simmering “I Don’t Know.” While McDuff graciously tones down his formidable key work to let his star pupil shine, saxophonist Red Holloway has no problem with making the occasional attempt (though rarely succeeding) to steal Benson’s thunder, as on the shuffling opener, “Shadow Dancers.” A far cry from Benson’s later R&B/pop work (“Gimme the Night,” etc.), the material on The New Boss Guitar Of George Benson is soul-tinged bop at its finest, and a key album in Benson’s remarkably long and varied career.

Personnel: George Benson (guitar); Red Holloway (tenor saxophone); Jack McDuff (piano, organ); Ronnie Boykins (bass); Montego Joe, Joe Dukes (drums).

Tracklist

01. Shadow Dancers
02. The Sweet Alice Blues
03. I Don’t Know
04. Just Another Sunday
05. Will You Still Be Mine
06. Easy Living
07. Rock-A-Bye
08. My Three Sons

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Free For All

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Free For All captures Art Blakey and his Messengers at the height of their powers in the mid ’60s. Since expanding to a sextet with the addition of Curtis Fuller on trombone, the group took on a larger-than-life sound with more complex arrangements encompassing the larger horn line, musical director Wayne Shorter’s dramatic compositions and, of course, the powerful drumming of Blakey himself. Boisterous, passionate and driven, the ’60s incarnation of the Jazz Messengers defined the hardbop movement more than any ensemble save those led by Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

The focus of this incarnation of the Messengers is on the compositions of saxophonist Wayne Shorter. His powerful title track opens the session with dark shadings and dense horn harmonies prodded by Blakey’s rambunctious flurry of drums. Also by Shorter, the bluesy “Hammer Head” is a swaggering blowing session that leans on Blakey’s shuffling backbeat for its fuel. “The Core” is trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s contribution and features furious ensemble shouts and passionate solos by Shorter, Hubbard, Fuller and pianist Cedar Walton. Finally, a beautiful arrangement of Clare Fischer’s “Pensativa” is the Messengers’ swinging take on the classic bossa nova.

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers: Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Cedar Walton (piano); Reggie Workman (bass instrument); Art Blakey (drums).

Tracklist

01. Free For All
02. Hammer Head
03. The Core
04. Pensativa

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Sam Rivers – Fuchsia Swing Song

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Originally released in 1964, Sam Rivers’ Fuchsia Swing Song was released immediately after his departure from the Miles Davis Quartet. A session player and former member of Herb Pomeroy’s Big Band prior to working with Miles, this auspicious debut displays both his influences and that he was a self-assured seasoned player transitioning into greatness.

Personnel: Sam Rivers (tenor sax); Jaki Byard (piano); Ron Carter (bass); Anthony Williams (drums)

Tracklist

01. Fuchsia Swing Song
02. Downstairs Blues Upstairs
03. Cyclic Episode
04. Luminous Monolith
05. Beatrice
06. Ellipsis
07. Luminous Monolith (Alternate Take)
08. Downstairs Blues Upstairs (First Alterate Take)
09. Downstairs Blues Upstairs (Second Alternate Take)
10. Downstairs Blues Upstairs (Third Alternate Take)

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John Coltrane – Black Pearls

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Originally released in May 1958, Black Pearls was a major step forward in the career of tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. Though Coltrane was already known as a fine soloist, mainly due to his association with Thelonious Monk’s quartet, Black Pearls proved that the saxophonist could also be a creative innovator. This dense, harmonically complex trio of compositions begins with the title track, a minor-mode but sprightly affair from the team of Romberg-Hammerstein. “Black Pearls” benefits from “the Coltrane changes”, chords that modulate every two beats instead of every one or two bars. His flurry of 16th notes is complemented by his use of substitutions, the practice of replacing common chords with complex chords consisting of higher intervals. In taking this practice to the extreme, the soloist fashioned a playing style referred to as “sheets of sound”. The same songwriting team returns in “Lover Come Back to Me”, which features an especially prescient Donald Byrd, who wields his trumpet with both fury and discipline. The final track is Robert Weinstock’s “Sweet Sapphire Blues”, a themeless, A-major excursion dominated by pianist Red Garland. Using the full range of the piano, Garland demonstrates his grasp of a number of performance styles within the 18-minute opus. Coltrane joins in with solo runs containing a multitude of melodies and rhythms, while drummer Art Taylor does more than simply keep time. The casual poise of Black Pearls is one of the album’s many pleasures, as is Coltrane’s democracy in allowing each member of his quintet to shine. An underrated, solid studio gem.

Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Taylor (drums).

Tracklist

01. Black Pearls
02. Lover Come Back To Me
03. Sweet Sapphire Blues

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John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (Deluxe Edition)

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John Coltrane saw the album-length suite A Love Supreme as his gift to God. The world has come to see it as a classic — not only Coltrane’s best-known work, but one of the most important and influential jazz records ever made. Now, for the first time, the full story of A Love Supreme is available in one package.

The first disc of this deluxe edition consists of A Love Supreme as released in 1965. The second disc includes the John Coltrane Quartet’s only live performance of the suite, recorded at the Antibes jazz festival that summer and receiving its first authorized release. Most notably, it also includes the long-rumored sextet version of the opening movement, receiving its first release of any kind.

Mastered by the original recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder, and containing extensive annotation and many photographs, this is the definitive edition of an indisputable masterpiece.

Tracklist

CD1
01. Part 1 – Acknowledgement
02. Part 2 – Resolution
03. Part 3 – Pursuance
04. Part 4 – Psalm

CD2
01. Introduction by André Francis
02. Part 1 – Acknowledegment (Live Version)
03. Part 2 – Resolution (Live Version)
04. Part 3 – Pursuance (Live Version)
05. Part 4 – Psalm (Live Version)
06. Part 2 – Resolution (Alternate Take)
07. Part 2 – Resolution (Breakdown)
08. Part 1 – Acknowledgment (Alternate Take)
09. Part 1 – Acknowledgment (Alternate Take 2)

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Indestructible

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Art Blakey (drums); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Cedar Walton (piano); Reggie Workman (bass).

Lee Morgan once again became part of the Jazz Messengers after replacing Freddie Hubbard, who left after replacing Morgan originally. The band is rounded out by pianist Cedar Walton, a steaming Wayne Shorter on tenor, Curtis Fuller on trombone, and bassist Reggie Workman with Art Blakey on the skins, of course. Indestructible is a hard-blowing blues ‘n’ bop date with Shorter taking his own solos to the outside a bit, and with Blakey allowing some of Fuller’s longer, suite-like modal compositional work into the mix as well (“The Egyptian” and “Sortie”). There are plenty of hard swinging grooves– an off-Latin funk à la Morgan’s “Calling Miss Kadija,” Shorter’s killer “Mr. Jin,” and Walton’s ballad-cum-post-bop sprint “When Love Is New” — and the Blakey drive is in full effect, making this album comes closest in feel to the Moanin’ sessions with Bobby Timmons. Here the balance of soul groove and innovative tough bop are about equal. Morgan lends great intensity to this date by being such a perfect foil for Shorter, and their trading of fours and eights in “Sortie” is one of the disc’s many high points. Morgan’s bluesed-out modal frame is already in evidence here as he was beginning to stretch beyond the parameters of the 12-bar frame and into music from other spaces and times.

Tracklist

01. The Egyptian
02. Sortie
03. Calling Miss Khadija
04. When Love Is New
05. Mr. Jin
06. It’s A Long Way Down

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Joe Henderson – In ‘N Out

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This progressive session from Joe Henderson is a quintessential mid-’60s Blue Note disc. Although a great deal of attention has been placed on the significance of the work of Miles Davis and John Coltrane at that time, Henderson was one of the leaders in the ’60s scene that forged new ground into adventurous areas of jazz. The saxophonist plays sharply with a highly rhythmic style that swings and strides through the modally oriented material of stellar tracks like the blazing title cut, “Punjab,” and the funky mambo “Short Story.” Joining Henderson on the session are Kenny Dorham, McCoy Tyner, Richard Davis, and Elvin Jones, the last of whom drives the proceedings like a madman in one of his best non-Coltrane performances. Also included is “Serenity,” one of Henderson’s best-crafted melodies and an additional take of the dynamic title track.

Personnel: Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Joe Henderson; Richard Davis (double bass); Kenny Dorham (trumpet); McCoy Tyner (piano); Elvin Jones (drums).

Tracklist

01. In ‘N Out
02. Punjab
03. Serenity
04. Short Story
05. Brown’s Town

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Grant Green – Street Of Dreams

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Grant Green’s 1964 Street Of Dreams date with organ guru Larry Young is an entirely different affair than Talkin’ About, the session the pair recorded earlier that year. It features four lengthy meditations that find Green and Young (not to mention vibraphone viscount Bobby Hutcherson) unfurling thoughtful, low-key riffs that establish an autumnal, introspective feel, as opposed to the more hard-bop-tinged tracks on the previous album. Green may be known as a master of soul jazz, but Street Of Dreams proves he’s got plenty more strings to his bow, and sounds oddly contemporary, as though it could have been released on a label like ECM some 20 years later.

Tracklist

01. I Wish You Love
02. Lazy Afternoon
03. Street Of Dreams
04. Somewhere In The Night

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Andrew Hill – Andrew!!!

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Andrew!!! finds the avant-garde composer and pianist Andrew Hill following up his landmark 1964 LP, Point Of Departure, with a more flowing quintet session, featuring the estimable vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson and Sun Ra tenor saxophonist John Gilmore (in a rare appearance outside of the Arkestra). This is the Blue Note sound of the ’60s at its best, cutting edge yet beautifully produced with room enough for full, exploratory improvisations by all concerned. Hutcherson in particular provides a warm, fluent foil to Hill’s more abstract conceptions, and Gilmore’s bright tone and energetically structured solos bring even more fire to the mix. Andrew Hill remained somewhat underrated throughout his career, but few musicians of the time possessed his special intellectual integrity, the mark of a true composer. Andrew!!! captures him in a peak period.

Personnel: Andrew Hill (piano); Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone); Richard Davis (bass); Joe Chambers (drums).

Tracklist

01. The Griots
02. Black Monday
03. Duplicity
04. Le Serpent Qui Danse
05. No Doubt
06. Symmetry
07. The Griots (Alternate Take)
08. Symmetry (Alternate Take)

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Grachan Moncur III – Evolution

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The trombonist Grachan Monchur is relatively unknown to the general jazz public but in the ’60s, he made a series of important progressive albums for Blue Note ususally in the company of altoist Jackie McLean and vibist Bobby Hutcherson. This newly remastered CD in 24 bit is a god-send. It was Moncur’s very first release and besides McLean and Hutcherson, he is abetted by bassist Bob Cranshaw, trumpeter Lee Morgan and a very young 17 yr old drummer who would achieve fame in the Miles Davis Quintet, Tony Williams. The tunes are not your normal Be-bop staple but in a more progressive stance such as the title tune of the album which is practically all in whole tones. Of course, after having served a tenure in the Farmer-Golson Jazztet, Monchur can also swing with the modal/boppist “Coaster” and also a tribute to Thelonius Monk, “Monk in Wonderland”. Anyone intrigued by Moncur’s compositions should also check the albums he did with Jackie McLean, “One Step Beyond”, “Destination Out”, “Bout Soul plus his last album featuring Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock, “Some Other Stuff”. Recommended for all those interested in modal-free form jazz.

Tracklist

01. Air Raid
02. Evolution
03. The Coaster
04. Monk In Wonderland

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Wayne Shorter Albums!

Though some will argue about whether Wayne Shorter’s primary impact on jazz has been as a composer or as a saxophonist, hardly anyone will dispute his overall importance as one of jazz’s leading figures over a long span of time. Though indebted to a great extent to John Coltrane, with whom he practiced in the mid-’50s while still an undergraduate, Shorter eventually developed his own more succinct manner on tenor sax, retaining the tough tone quality and intensity and in later years, adding an element of funk. On soprano, Shorter is almost another player entirely, his lovely tone shining like a light beam, his sensibilities attuned more to lyrical thoughts, his choice of notes becoming more spare as his career unfolded. Shorter’s influence as a player, stemming mainly from his achievements in the 1960s and ’70s, has been tremendous upon the neo-bop brigade who emerged in the early ’80s, most notably Branford Marsalis. As a composer, he is best known for carefully conceived, complex, long-limbed, endlessly winding tunes, many of which have become jazz standards yet have spawned few imitators.

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1959 – Introducing Wayne Shorter
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Tracklist

01. Blues A La Carte
02. Harry’s Last Land
03. Down In The Depths
04. Pug Nose
05. Black Diamond
06. Mack The Knife
07. Blues A La Carte (Alternate Take)
08. Harry’s Last Stand (Alternate Take)
09. Down In The Depths (Alternate Take)
10. Black Diamond (Alternate Take)

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1960 – Second Genesis
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Tracklist

01. Ruby & The Pearl
02. Pay As You Go
03. Second Genesis
04. Mr.Chariman
05. Tenderfoot
06. The Albatross
07. Getting To Know You
08. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

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1962 – Wayning Moments
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Tracklist

01. Black Orpheus (Take 4)
02. Devil’s Island (Take 8 )
03. Moon Of Manakoor (Take 2)
04. Dead-End (Take 8 )
05. Wayning MOments (Take 2)
06. Powder Keg (Take 5)
07. All Or Nothing At All (Take 3)
08. Callaway Went That A Way (Take 3)
09. Black Orpheus (Take 3)
10. Devil’s Island (Take 7)
11. Moon Manakoor (Take 1)
12. Dead End (Take 7)
13. Wayning Moments (Take 3)
14. Powder Keg (Take 1)
15. Callaway Wen That A Way (Take 1)

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1964 – Juju
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Tracklist

01. Juju
02. Deluge
03. House Of Jade
04. Mahjong
05. Yes Or No
06. Twelve More Bars To Go
07. Juju (Alternate Take)
08. House Of Jade (Alternate Take)

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1964 – Night Dreamer
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Tracklist

01. Night Dreamer
02. Oriental Folk Song
03. Virgo
04. Black Nile
05. Charcoal Blues
06. Armageddon
07. Virgo (Alternate Take)

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1964 – Speak No Evil
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Tracklist

01. Witch Hunt
02. Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum
03. Dance Cadaverous
04. Speak No Evil
05. Infant Eyes
06. Wild Flower
07. Dance Cadaverous (Alternate Take)

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1965 – Etcetera
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Tracklist

01. Etceter
02. Penelope
03. Toy Tune
04. Barracudas (General Assembly)
05. Indian Song

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1965 – The All Seeing Eye
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Tracklist

01. The All Seeing Eye
02. Genesis
03. Chaos
04. Face Of The Deep
05. Mephistopheles

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1965 – The Soothsayer
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Tracklist

01. Lost
02. Angola
03. The Big Push
04. The Soothsayer
05. Lady Day
06. Valse Triste
07. Angola (Alternate Take)

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1966 – Adam’s Apple
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Tracklist

01. Adam’s Apple
02. 502 Blues
03. El Goucho
04. Footprints
05. Teru
06. Chief Crazy Horse
07. The Collector

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1967 – Schizophrenia
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Tracklist

01. Tom Thumb
02. Go
03. Schizophrenia
04. Kryptonite
05. Miyako
06. Playground

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1969 – Super Nova
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Tracklist

01. Super Nova
02. Sweet Pea
03. Dindi
04. Water Babies
05. Capricorn
06. More Than Human

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1970 – Moto Grosso Feio
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Tracklist

01. Moto Grosso Feio
02. Montezuma
03. Antigua
04. Vera Cruza
05. Iska

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1970 – Odyssey of Iska
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Tracklist

01. Wind
02. Storm
03. Calm
04. De Pois Do Amor o Vazio
05. Joy

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1974 – Native Dancer
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Tracklist

01. Ponta De Areia
02. Beauty And The Beast
03. Tarde
04. Miracle Of The Fishes
05. Diana
06. From The Lonely Afternoons
07. Ana Maria
08. Lilia
09. Joanna’s The Theme

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1985 – Atlantis
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Tracklist

01. Endangared Species
02. The Three Marias
03. The Last Silk Hat
04. When You Dream
05. Who Goes There!
06. Atlantis
07. Shere Khan, The Tiger
08. Criancas
09. On The Eve Of Departure

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1986 – Phantom Navigator
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Tracklist

01. Condition Rend
02. Mahogany Bird
03. Remote Control
04. Yamanjia
05. Forbidden, Plan-It!
06. Flagships

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1988 – Joy Ryder
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Tracklist

01. Joy Rider
02. Cathay
03. Over Shadow Hill Way
04. Anthem
05. Causeways
06. Daredevil
07. Someplace Called Where

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1995 – High Life
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Tracklist

01. Children Of The Night
02. At The Fair
03. Maya
04. On The Milky Way Express
05. Pandora Awakened
06. Virgo Rising
07. High Life
08. Midnight In California
09. Black Swan (In Memory Of Susan Portlynn Rome)

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2002 – Footprints Live!
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Tracklist

01. Santuary
02. Masequelero
03. Valse Trist
04. Go
05. Aung San Suu Kyi
06. Footsprints
07. Atlantis
08. Juju

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2003 – Alegria
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Tracklist

01. Sacajawea
02. Serenata
03. Vendiendo Alegria
04. Bachianas Brasileras No.5
05. Angola
06. Interlude
07. She Moves Through The Fair
08. Orbits
09. 12Th Century Carol
10. Capricorn II

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2005 – Beyond the Sound Barrier
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Tracklist

01. Smilin’ Through (Arthur Penn)
02. As Far As The Eye Can See
03. On Wings Of Song
04. Tinker Bell
05. Joy Ryrder
06. Over Shadow Hill Way
07. Adventures Aboard The Golden Mean
08. Beyond The Sound Barrier

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Freddie Hubbard – Breaking Point

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After leaving his post with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Freddie Hubbard led one of the most adventurous sessions of his career, the remarkable Breaking Point. Also of significance here is Hubbard’s depth as a composer, as he also penned four of the five stunning pieces on this disc. Hubbard breaks new ground with his playing as well. His edgy tone, relentless drive, and signature chops come together to present a highly individual sound that supports his newfound musical vision. Powerful though he was with Blakey, this session certainly finds Hubbard breaking out on his own trail.

The explosive title track’s raucous fanfare eventually settles into driving calypso that sports a heated exchange between Hubbard and saxophonist James Spaulding. The modal “Far Away” is a compelling mambo that clearly draws on Hubbard’s days with Blakey while pointing out a new direction for the trumpeter. The swinging blues of “Blue Frenzy,” Breaking Point’s most traditional cut, features superior blowing by all. Of special note, Chamber’s “Mirrors” is presented here, a classic ballad with magnificent counterpoint work by Hubbard and Spaulding (flute) on the gracefully intertwining melody line. In all, this is a classic session that is not to be missed.

Tracklist

01. Breaking Point
02. Far Away
03. Blue Frenzy
04. D Minor Mint
05. Mirrors
06. Blue Frenzy (Alternate Take)
07. Mirrors (Alternate Take)

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John Coltrane – Crescent

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Like the legendary “A Love Supreme”, John Coltrane’s “Crescent” is one of the most revered albums of his career. The classic Coltrane quartet is in prime form as Tyner, Garrison and Jones form a tight bond with their leader in a stunning display of expression and musical interaction. Coltrane stretches and contorts his sound to construct solos of mesmerizing beauty as on the opening title track.

The brooding ballad “Wise One” is a free-form lilt that meanders its way through the haunting melody while Jones’ cymbals surge and swell in support. The classic blues of “Bessie’s Blues” and the exceptional “Lonnie’s Lament” provide examples of this group’s ability to express powerful moods on both ends of the emotional spectrum. The grand finale “The Drum Thing” reflects a Middle Eastern influence as Coltrane’s snaking melody floats above Jones’ churning solo that eventually erupts into an explosive torrent of sound.

Tracklist

01. Crescent
02. Wise One
03. Bessie’s Blues
04. Lonnie’s Lament
05. The Drum Thing

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Jackie McLean – It’s Time!

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Recorded in 1964, Jackie McLean’s It’s Time was only available on CD in the United States as part of a four-disc Mosaic set of his complete Blue Note recordings between 1964-1966. The band here includes trumpeter Charles Tolliver, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Roy Haynes. The music was written entirely by either Tolliver or McLean and walks the line between modal post-bop and free jazz. It came hot on the heels of McLean’s first forays into these waters on 1963′s One Step Beyond and Destination Out!. There is more to it than that, of course; chordal improvisation still plays a large part in the music on this fine record. Hancock’s solo on the opening “Cancellation” is the most angular thing here, and the tempo is simply breathtaking. McLean’s butt funky “Das’ Dat,” which follows, owes a debt to Horace Silver to be sure, but the blues element, which is in the tune’s head, is pure Jackie McLean. McLean’s own playing isn’t particularly adventurous, though he pushes his tone to the limits at times. He swings tough with the hard bop sensibility that put him on the label in the first place, and “Das’ Dat” is the most enjoyable thing here. The knotty head in the title cut is killer, with Tolliver and McLean going head to head and charging out of the gate, and the blues return in “‘Snuff” by McLean. Here again is a complex, winding head for the horns in call-and-response with Hancock — lean, spirited and full of crackling energy. Tolliver’s solo in the cut is his best on the disc. Given that this has been issued as part of Blue Note’s Connoisseur Series, it’s a limited edition that won’t be available for long. Just get it.

Tracklist

01. Cancellation
02. Das’ Dat
03. It’s Time
04. Revillot
05. ‘Snuff
06. Truth

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