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This release is titled "Glass Enclosure," named for a tune written by Bud Powell and articulated here by pianist Rob Schneiderman.
On six of the 10 tracks, one of America's most under appreciated jazz players, alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, is heard. Right out of Charlie Parker, McPherson is one of the most highly regarded players by his peers. A new name to me, and what a great one for a jazz musician, Todd Coolman is the bassist. The veteran Leroy Williams is on drums.
"Ready or Not" is bebop from start to finish with both Schneiderman and McPherson exercising their considerable chops. The two deliver a brilliant duo version of "Embraceable You." In addition, "Fine and Dandy," "Yardbird Suite," "Social Call," and "Cocktails for Two" are included.
"THE SPIRIT OF NEW ORLEANS"
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This is the most stirring gospel recording to come to my attention in a very long time.
New Orleans native Liz McComb, a disciple of the greatest, Mahalia Jackson is a strong voiced contralto with power and spirit to burn. She is supported by rhythm, horns, accordion, guitar and on the opener, "Over My Head," Eric Brown and Charity Choir.
Flexible enough even to take on the old showboat tune "Old Man River," McComb makes that song a good fit with her gospel selections. It is a polished treatment but gets its' message across. If your taste includes gospel, this is a sure thing.
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This early (1956) landmark recording by pianist Thelonious Monk brings together the talents of several of the era's mainstays.
Ernie Henry and Sonny Rollins share saxophone duties with Henry on alto and Rollins on tenor. Clark Terry's trumpet is heard in place of the alto on "Bemsha Swing." Paul Chambers also replaces Oscar Pettiford on bass on the same track.
Henry gets a chance to stretch out his passionate alto on a 13:19 version of "Ba-lue Bolivar Be-lues-are." Monk uses his trademark dissonant chords on with great effect. Of course his style was his trademark, seldom copied but often hinted. Rollins' tone was lighter those 58 years ago but a sharp ear would have no trouble identifying his sound.
Monk even treats us to an unaccompanied solo on "I Surrender Dear." He is gentle with his approach and really never obscures the melody. It's more of an exploration than a deconstruction.
This CD is another in the series of Riverside re-releases originally produced by the legendary producer Orrin Keepnews.
DAVE DOUGLAS & KEYSTONE
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The ever changing, ever creating trumpeter Dave Douglas focuses way back on the days of black and white movies for this collection of reflections on the times of actors Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton.
The nine tunes on "Moonshine" would never work as a soundtrack for those ancient films, nor was that Douglas' intent. They merely reflect the times off a modern mirror.
Known as a great musical experimenter, Douglas uses the young saxophone star, Marcus Strickland, also a great experimenter for some fascinating horn interplay. It's so modern, Douglas employs DJ Olive to manipulate turntables.
Even as old I as I am, it is impossible for me to connect this music with action in old movies. The jazz is very good and listenable. I just cannot connect the dots.
Dick Bogle hosts a weekly jazz radio show 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays on KMHD 89.1 FM. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.