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ROSWELL RUDD DIES

Saturday, 23 December 2017 10:18 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

     altNoted jazz trombonist, ROSWELL RUDD, who once jokingly described himself as a "White Anglo-Saxon Pythagorean," has died at the age of 82 after a long battle with cancer. He was a leading light of the avant-garde jazz scene of the 1960s and 70s and among those he worked with during his 60-year career were Archie Shepp (pictured below), Cecil Taylor, Carla Bley, Steve Lacy, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Gato Barbieri, and Steve Lacy.

Born in Sharon, Connecticut, in 1935, Rudd attended Yale University where, as a devotee of Louis Armstrong's trombonist, Kid Ory, he began playing Dixieland jazz before later gravitating to free jazz and making his mark in the genre in the 1960s. In the 1980s, Rudd dropped off the jazz radar for over a decade and seemingly forgotten, eked a living playing in hotel show bands in the Catskills area of New York. His jazz comeback began in earnest in the late '90s and he won a Grammy in 1999 for the album 'Monk's Dream.' His most recent album was 'Embrace,' released  in November by the Rare Noise label.                         alt

  ROSWELL RUDD R.I.P. 1935-2017

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 December 2017 13:32

 

WESTWARD HO!

Friday, 22 December 2017 09:47 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

            alt

One of jazz saxophonist SONNY ROLLINS' most iconic albums, 'Way Out West,' is being reissued in early 2018 via a deluxe vinyl format to coincide with the LP's 60th anniversary. It's being repackaged as a 2-LP set presented in a tasteful hinged collectors' box that includes a booklet featuring  a recent interview with the saxophonist, himself, by Grammy-winning liner note writer, Neil Tesser. It also features rare session photos by top jazz snapper, William Claxton. As for the music, it's being pressed up on audiophile quality 180-gram vinyl. The original album takes up the first vinyl album while seven bonus tracks (four of which are previously unissued) from the same session can be found on the second LP.

Sonny Rollins was 27 when he recorded 'Way Out West' on March 7th, 1957 for producer Lester Koenig's west coast indie label, Contemporary.  The session was notable for the fact that Rollins chose to omit a piano player and instead elected to record in a trio setting, with the redoubtable Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. The repertoire was loosely cowboy-themed and included the saxophonist's takes on 'I'm An Old Cowhand,' 'Wagon Wheels,' and 'Way Out West.' Two ballads were also included - Duke Ellington's 'Solitude,' and 'There Is No Greater Love,' where the New Jersey-born tenor titan displayed his skill at melodic invention. The conspicuous absence of a chordal instrument allowed Rollins' saxophone to roam free and play in an unfettered manner that further underlined his virtuosity and talent as an improviser.

Way Out West' will be available from February 16th via Concord archival arm, Craft Recordings.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 December 2017 10:56

 

THE HEAT IS ON…..

Thursday, 21 December 2017 13:55 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt was back in October that we were delighted to have some new music from Gospel diva, Ann Nesby. The lady fronted a big, dance tune called 'Jam'. The cut was credited and featured to EMKAYBE and we were told that the tune was from an upcoming EP... well that EP has now landed and 'Jam' still sounds mighty fine!

The EP is simply called 'Heat' and we've learned a little more about its creator Mr EmKayBe. His real name's Merrick Buckingham and he describes himself as "vocalist/dancer/choreographer/music producer hailing from Gary, Indiana". He began in the music biz at an early age – as part of a dancing duo with his sister. Young Merrick eventually became a dancer on 'Soul Train' then after a stint in the US Navy he began working in music production and the first proper fruit is the 7 track EP that is 'Heat'.

Maybe, though, "7 tracker" isn't quite accurate. You see the mini album is topped an tailed with brief intros and outros while track 5 is a 57 second rock guitar take on 'Gloria In Excelsis Deo' for which the template seems to be Hendrix's Woodstock 'Star Spangled Banner'.

That then leaves four proper tunes. 'Jam' is still the biggie; the rest.... well 'Baby' is moody and shifty; 'Heat' is a jerky, jaunty R&B groove; while 'Wait' is a bass-led soul mover.

EMKAYBE'S 'HEAT' is available now via usual download portals.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 December 2017 14:03

 

PROMISES PROMISES!

Thursday, 21 December 2017 13:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altCARL BARTLETT JR is a New York-based alto jazz sax man and he debuted back in 2011 with 'Hopeful' – an ambitious album from which we singled out his take on the old 'I Love Lucy' TV theme as a highlight. Carl's just launched his sophomore album, 'Promise!' with a sold out show at Manhattan's Kitano jazz club.

I'm sure the audience were thrilled with what Carl calls his "Post-Bop/Modern Jazz, with occasional leanings toward Avant-garde". Well now you can make up your own minds as the album wins world wide release.

Carl sets out his stall right from the start with the LP's title cut. After a bleak, atmospheric opening, 'Promise!' takes off into some proper swigging bop. More of the same on the hand-clapping, hard-bopping 'It's Been So Grand'.

Elsewhere? Well 'High Pizzazz' is a swinging boss nova and there are Latin touches too on the aptly named 'Ethereal Heartbeats'. The album's big ballad is 'As The Gift Unfolds Before My Eyes' while right now we've got 'The Bartlett Family' on repeat. It's a brash affair with the feel of those old 60s TV comedy show themes about it.... maybe dear old 'I Love Lucy' was the influence? The other tracks are 'Dialed In (Like A Laser)' and 'Fidgety Season' which, if my memory serves me correctly, also featured on Carl's first album.

The band, by the way, comprises Carl Bartlett, Jr. - alto saxophone; Yoichi Uzeki – piano; Marcus McLaurine – bass; Sylvia Cuenca – drums while Carl's uncle, Charles Bartlett guests on trumpet on two tracks.

Find out more @ www.carlbartlettjr.com

Last Updated on Friday, 22 December 2017 10:24

 

ON SHAKEY GROUND!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 20:31 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack in the summer we drew your attention to a great new version of the Temptations' classic 'Treat Her Like A Lady' from blue-eyed soulster KYLE MAACK. Kyle (real name Kyle Allen McCarty) is the protégé of Tempts' mainstay Otis Williams while Kyle's godfather is sometime Temptation Bruce Williamson, and we're told that the veteran group were mighty proud of Kyle's version – they had no choice really.... they sang harmonies on it!

We were also told that 'Treat' was the lead single from an EP and that mini album is now widely available. The set is named for the cut 'Shakey Ground' – another Tempts' oldie (it originally appeared on their 'A Song For You' album) and Kyle's version follows the original tough n' funky template. More interesting, we think, is a slowed down version of the Temptations' 'All I Need'. It's given a soul authenticity via bvs from Temptations Otis Williams and Terry Weeks. The EP concludes with two versions of an original ballad penned by Maack and Otis Williams called, 'Here I Am.'

KYLE MAACK'S 'Shakey Ground' is out now on 10/30 International Records (which is owned by Otis Williams).

Find out more @ www.facebook.com/kylemaackofficial

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 December 2017 20:38

 

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