Monday, January 05, 2004

Quick Reviews:

Roy Ayers - Stoned Soul Picnic
Wow, I actually brought some music into work that wasn't universally panned. I always seemed to dismiss Ayers as a smooth jazz musician, but after hearing a cut of this on the radio, I couldn't resist picking up a copy. It's pretty nice - melodic rather than smooth, with a great band including Herbie Hancock and Gary Bartz. Standout tracks include the Laura Nyro penned title track and an 8 minute romp through Jobim's "Wave"

Rating: 7.5

Jaki Byard - Solo Piano
At his best, Jaki Byard had the history of jazz at his fingertips, whether it was playing with Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk or leading his own bands. This solo record was recorded in 1969 after he was part of the house band for the New Orleans Jazz Festival. The experience definitely stayed in has mind and "New Orleans Strut" is a stomping standout track.

Rating: 8.5

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