Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wayne Shorter - Adam's Apple (Blue Note, 1966)

Amongst Wayne Shorter's consistently excellent Blue Note recordings of the mid to late '60's, Speak No Evil gets the nod from most critics as the best record of the period, but I have always preferred the stripped down quartet sessions of Juju and this wonderful album. Joining Shorter (tenor sax only, no soprano) on this disc are Herbie Hancock on piano, Reggie Workman on bass and Joe Chambers on drums. This session followed the classic Blue Note blueprint of the period, mixing the blues and ballads of hard bop with some of the emerging freedom of the period. There's some burning saxophone on the driving title track, abstract balladering of "501 Blues" and the epic soon-to-be-standard "Footprints" which would go on to be one of the most memorable jazz compositions of the post-war period.

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Prestige Profiles, Vol. 10 (Prestige, 2005)

Lockjaw Davis' deep tenor saxophone was featured on many wonderful sessions for the Basie band and he also co-led a couple of wonderful small bands with the organist Shirley Scott and fellow tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin. This sampler features a number of the tracks with Scott and her swinging gospelish organ fits Davis' bluesy tenor very well. Davis and Scott kick it out on the uptempo wailers "Intermission Riff" and "The Rev" but also throttle back to show off their ballad skills on the standards "Willow Weep For Me" and "Speak Low." In addition to the organ tracks, Davis is displayed in a big band context on an Oliver Nelson composition and arrangement "Trane Whistle," and an acoustic quintet setting with Horace Parlan on piano on "Goin' to a Meeitn'." This is a solid low-cost introduction to Davis' finest work.

Send comments to: Tim