FRANK FOSTER AND THE LOUD MINORITY BAND
Even listening to this big band work, it is hard to believe it was recorded back in the late 1970s and languished in a vault until last year.
"Circles of Love" begins slowly and then shifts to a Latin groove complete with exciting unison saxophone chorus and a great baritone sax solo by Kenny Rogers. Trumpeter Charles Sullivan and leader Frank Foster also contribute.
The Foster original, "Simone," is a grand bash with the entire band swinging all over and under saxophonist Bill Saxton. Never mind the decades long delay in getting this music to market. It will still be fresh in the decades to come.
"A LOVE SUPREME"
TURTLE ISLAND QUARTET
The music of the great jazz composers is universal, as this release by the Turtle Island Quartet proves.
Here, a cello, a viola, a violin and a second violin or baritone violin extract the essence of a jazz composition, improvise and come forth with a sound that blurs the lines of distinction between jazz and classical music.
Do not think, even for a moment, that these players don't swing. From the beginning with John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice," swing is established.
The four movements of "A Love Supreme" — "Acknowledgement," "Resolution," "Pursuance," and "Psalm" — are done in fine style. "Round Midnight" is somber, creating a dark mood. It is difficult to pick a favorite. For me, it would either be "Naima" or "My Favorite Things."
Guitarist Doug MacDonald delivers a lot of fine sounds on his 14 tracks of this, his latest.
He begins with an upbeat tune, "Miss Ann's Tempo," a swinging introduction. His treatment of "These Foolish Things Remind Me of You" is just as it should be. Chords abound on "Idaho," an old pop tune, jazzed up here by MacDonald and his bassist Harvey Newmark.
Exhibiting a natural fit for the blues, MacDonald and Newmark team for a superb version of "Back at the Chicken Shack."
TADD DAMERON-JOHN COLTRANE
My personal favorite from this six track CD, which features three of the biggest all time names in jazz — Tadd Dameron, John Coltrane and Philly Joe Jones — is "On a Misty Night."
After a brief intro, Coltrane emits the sound and improvisational skills that made him the icon he is. Dameron, known more for his compositions than piano virtuosity is excellent, as is bassist John Simmons.
Both Dameron and Coltrane tie into the blues tune "Romas" making it the most important tune here. In addition, there is "Mating Call," "Grid," "Soultrane" and "Super Jet."
"I AIN'T LOOKIN' AT YOU"
The name Alvin Queen may not be the most familiar but the drummer began his career early and has compiled a rich history as a sideman.
At age 12, Queen did his first studio recording with Joe Newman, Zoot Sims and Hank Jones. Later, he worked with Don Pullen, Ruth Brown, Horace Silver and George Benson. In 1979, he moved permanently to Geneva, Switzerland.
The group has guitarist Peter Bernstein, trumpeter Terrell Stafford, alto saxophonist Jesse Davis and organist Mike Le Donne. Davis issues a standout solo on the ballad "Old Folks" with some fine backing from Le Donne. Stafford responds with a lovely muted horn effort, which sets the stage for Bernstein's guitar and then Le Donne's Hammond B-3 with Davis closing it out.
There are plenty groove tunes like the opener, " There's Music Everywhere," a rollicking shuffle with solos by Stafford, Bernstein, Davis and Le Donne, a sort of introduction to the band.
Dick Bogle is the host of a weekly jazz radio show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays on KMHD 89.1 FM. He can be emailed at email@example.com.