"LIVE AT THE 1972 MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL"
ART BLAKEY AND THE GIANTS OF JAZZ
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This band actually toured together for a brief period, as unbelievable as it may seem.
This band, all legends, has trumpeters Clark Terry and Roy Eldridge, saxophonist Sonny Stitt, trombonist Kai Winding, bassist Al McKibbon, pianist Thelonious Monk and drummer-leader Art Blakey.
"Blue 'n' Boogie" starts with a Blakey drum roll and from then on it's a 13:56 hard swinging jam tune. Solos begin with a Stitt romp followed by a scorching Roy Eldridge and then some heavy chording by Monk before McKibbon takes a brief run.
Monk leads off his "Round Midnight" with solos by Stitt and Winding before Monk returns for a longer exposition. There are also great jamming versions of "Perdido," "Stardust," "Lover Man," "I Can't Get Started With You," "The Man I Love,' and "A Night in Tunisia."
Please don't disregard this 1972 live performance as old-timey. Remember, these cats are the musicians emulated by today's and tomorrow's stars.
"A LOVELY WAY TO SPEND AN EVENING"
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Singer Johnny Mathis said, "This recording of Calabria Foti's voice is some of the most beautiful and artistic music I have ever heard. It is a treasure."
I am not going to disagree. This lady has a lovely mid range voice and when she sings a lyric, she takes you wherever it is she is going. She has excellent taste in choosing her material. Her songs come from the pens of such composers as Benny Carter, Jimmy Mc Hugh, Ray Noble, Cole Porter and other equals.
On "Close Your Eyes," she pours her heart into it as does tenor saxophonist Rob Lockart. Their treatment is so emotional that when it's over, you want to smoke a cigarette. She is beneficiary of great arrangements, a real string section and songs like "For All We Know," "All of You,' "The Touch of Your Lips," "Do It Again," and more.
Like Johnny Mathis said, 'She is a treasure."
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I fell in love with one song on this release by organist Pete Levin.
"Where Flamingos Fly" is a mood piece on which Levin states and restates its plaintive theme. It is truly gorgeous and when guitarist Joe Beck enters, it takes on an added luster.
Levin kicks off the first track with a funky "I'm Falling," follows with a so-so "Nana," gets funky again on the only standard, "Love for Sale." Saxophonist Erik Lawrence adds a needed boost on "Teen Town," a tune with interesting rhythms and "Out of Darkness," another dark and moody piece but not as pretty as "Where Flamingos Fly."
"GOIN' ALL OUT"
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Duke Ellington once said, "There are only two kinds of music: good and bad.
This column tends to focus on mainstream straight ahead, "real" jazz but once in a while someone like saxophonist Eric Darius comes along and lays down excellent smooth jazz tracks.
He makes good use of electronics like drum programming and a wah wah guitar and his own electrified sounding horn. "Because of You" has a heavy pulsating beat over which he blows with that special smooth jazz tone.
Norman Brown, an excellent guitarist, gets in a nice solo on "Just for The Moment." Plenty to dance to here.