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What a wonderful tribute to Cannonball Adderley and his legacy of swinging.
Some of Adderley's best known tunes are here like "Work Song," "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Sack 'O Woe," "Country Preacher," and "Stars Fell on Alabama." Not only are these great instrumental hits articulated by Tom Scott, Terrence Blanchard, George Duke, Marcus Miller, Steve Gadd but a real vocal surprise is on board.
Jazz legend Nancy Wilson, sounding as strong and bluesy as ever, reprises her 1961 recording of "Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley." She includes two from that outing, "Save Your Love for Me," and "The Masquerade Is Over."
Altoist Scott, organist Larry Goldings and pianist Duke dig in for an earthy rendition of "Country Preacher." Trumpeter Blanchard takes "I Should Care" over with a slow easy flowing solo effort. Duke on piano is perfection behind him and with his own solos.
This recording will likely be on many top ten lists of 2008.
PIERS LAWRENCE QUARTET
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This is a neat guitar led quartet release with some familiar chestnuts like "Stolen Moments," "Donna Lee," "Pent Up House," and "Secret Love."
Guitarist Piers Lawrence and pianist Chuk Fowler work well together sharing major solo responsibilities. Lawrence takes "Secret Love" at a rapid clip and turns it into a race. Somehow the pace robs the tune of all its subtlety. He makes up for that with his emotional solo on his own composition "Everytime."
"LICENSE TO FUNK"
NILS LANDGREN FUNK UNIT
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What a funky good time one can have listening or dancing to this 2007 release by trombonist Nils Landgren.
The pulsing bass of Magnum Coltrane Price combined with the solid drumming of Wolfgang Haffner and Ida Sand's keyboard work send enough rhythm reverberations to make even the most clumsy want to get up and dance.
Landgren's trombone and Ray Parker Jr.'s guitar carry the melodic load on 12 stellar tunes gauged for the young at heart. Tunes credited to composers including Fred Wesley, Wilton Fielder and Quincy Jones -- it's a great addition to any collection.
"CANOPY OF STARS"
YOKO MIWA TRIO
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Pianist Yoko Miwa, a native of Japan, delivers her third album, one deserving critical acclaim.
Accompanied by bassists Massimo Biolacate or Bronek Suchanek and drummer Scott Golding, Miwa performs a program of her compositions. Her sound is one which smacks of classical training. In fact, she studied with Minomi Ozone, father of the well known Japanese jazz pianist Makoto Ozone.
"Solitude," her composition, not Duke Ellington's resounds of classical background as she plays over a lovely bowed bass by Suchanek. Although she lists Keith Jarrett, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, and Herbie Hancock as her influences, she really swings just marginally. So, technically sound, one doesn't get to hear the roots of jazz in this collection.
Dick Bogle has a weekly jazz radio show 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays on 89.1 KMHD FM. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.