Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm finally starting to trawl through the goodies plucked from various vinyl record bargain bins over the past couple of weeks:

George Adams - Sound Suggestions (ECM, 1979) This is an album of diverse pleasures ranging from overblown free jazz on "Stay Informed" to a deep blues with Adams belting a gravelly vocal on "Got Somethin' Good For You," to the tempered ballad "A Spire." Much like his mentor, Charles Mingus, Adams had big earls for all of the facets of jazz. Two lengthy post-bop improvisations, "Baba" and "Imani's Dance" round out the LP. This album isn't quite up to the level of the great music Adams made as a co-leader with Don Pullen, but it's still a good record.

Kenny Wheeler - Deer Wan (ECM, 1977) This is a moody and atmospheric record, which definitely has the clear, airless "ECM sound." "Peace for Five" has some fine buttery trumpet from Wheeler and a deep and strong bass solo from Dave Holland. John Abercrombie plays very tastefully in support of the ensemble. Abercrombie gets some fine spots along with Ralph Towner as the two trade sections on the open sounding ballad "3/4 in the Afternoon." There is a lot of thoughtful improvisation and soloing on this record, and it reveals itself slowly through several listens.

Illinois Jacquet - Port of Rico (Clef, 1956) This LP is credited to Jacquet and his Orchestra but at best the scare up a septet, but then again Norman Granz never missed a chance for hyperbole. It's interesting to hear Count Basie and Hank Jones take to the organ on this record, and they play it more in the style of Fats Waller and Wild Bill Davis than the Jimmy Smith type soul-jazz B3. It's great to hear Jacquet's raw bluesy sound hammering up against waves of roller-rink style organ. "JATP Conga" is a trip with, I assume, the drummer Shadow Wilson playing a conga which sounds for all the world like someone clicking their tongue against the roof of their mouth. Jacquet is tough but lyrical on "Blues in the Night" and "Somewhere Along the Way" shows the band slowing down enough to grind out a tender ballad. This is a fun LP and shows that treasures that can be found in a little crate digging.

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