FreeWheelin' Music Safari

Life’s Soundtrack – from Art Blakey to Jimmy and Wes!

Ok so the soundtrack for today continued this afternoon with some more jazz this time from drummer Art Blakey and his album Live at Slug’s N.Y.C. The album was recorded at Slug’s in New Your (duh) in August of 1968 and features along with Blakey; Billy Harper on tenor saxophone; Bill Hardman on trumpet; Julian Priester on trombone and Ronnie Mathews adds the piano. CDUniverse says this about the album “While longtime Blakey fans will likely opt for performances released on bigger labels, jazz neophytes may enjoy this disc”. Well I guess I’m a jazz neophyte because I enjoy this CD. Today I only got to listen to the opening track “Hey World” (It was a short trip!) and all I can say about Blakey drumming is wow!! So check it out!

Thia evening I was trying to decide between blues and jazz, jazz or blues so I turned to John Mayall and his 19 72 release Jazz Blues Fusion. This album has been a favorite since, oh, 1972. Anyway here’s what Wikipedia says about the album

 By the start of the 1970s Mayall had relocated in the USA where he spent most of the next 15 years, recording with local musicians for various labels. In August 1971, Mayall produced a jazz- oriented session for bluesman Albert King[10] and a few months later took on tour the musicians present in the studio.

A live album Jazz Blues Fusion was released in the following year, with Mayall on harmonica, guitar and piano, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Clifford Solomon and Ernie Watts on saxophones, Larry Taylor on bass, Ron Selico on drums and Freddy Robinson on guitar. A few personnel changes are noted at the release of a similar album in 1973, the live Moving On.

I listened to the first four tracks and am always blown away by the musicianship of these guys, especially Blue Mitchell and Freddy Robinson!

After dinner it was off to Wegman’s and onto just the blues! I listened to a few tracks from Matt Hill’s debut album On the Floor . Matt won the 2011 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist and this is a REALLY fine album. Here’s what   Ben Cox of Juke Joint Soul says about Hill:

“Where have the crazy performers like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Nappy Brown, Chuck Berry, Guitar Slim, and Howlin’ Wolf gone? We don’t have many like that anymore, especially in the blues. Matt Hill is that and more, conjuring thoughts of a blues baby of The Killer himself.”

Here’s Matt with “Red Boots”


On the way home from Wegmans it was back to jazz and for me to the cream of the crop Jimmy and Wes: The Dynamic Duo – Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery… oh yeah! I listened to the first to tracks a great version of “Down by the Riverside” with fantastic solos by first Jimmy and then Wes and also track two “Night Train”.  This is another album that’s been a favorite for a long, long time!!

So I ended the niht watching several of the Wes Montgomery videos and listening to more great Wes…. Here’s a live performance of “Windy”. Thus ends a great day of music! Now it’s off to John Hart’s Iron House and then to 30th Street Station to pick up my daughter at 12:00 AM!