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New Jazz From Old Friends from the Princeton Record Exchange

So I took the day off from work yesterday because I didn’t have anything to do, but my wife had something in mind, and she knew just how to get me to go look for dead people! I guess I should tell you first that looking for dead people, is in fact, just going to the NJ State Archives and looking up birth, death and marriage certificates, but I think looking for dead people sounds more interesting! So how did she do it, well, all she really had to do was remind me that I still had gift certificates to the Princeton Record Exchange from Christmas with lots of money left on them! So it was only moments after we decided that I would go, that she was working on the LIST of dead people. Actually, it wasn’t a very long or very hard list and I was able to find most of the certificates within two hours. I didn’t find out until later that I screwed up one of the most important ones . I was looking for the death certificate of a William S, Horner and I found it, but I didn’t have a microfilm machine that printed so I had to take the film to the staff machine to make the copy. When I did I mistakenly copied William F Horner instead of William S! So Brian I apologize and i anybody needs a death certificate for a William F Horner who died in 1939 in NJ, I have it! Now on to the good stuff… I found 10 CDs five of them jazz, four Americana and one rock. I won’t bore you with all ten at once, rather, I’ll split it over two posts. So here’s the jazz ones first:A Jazz OdysseyA Jazz Odyssey – Oscar Peterson – the album is a compilation CD put out with his autobiography and offers an overview of his career from 1950-1970. A good  CD for work!

This 18-track selection of Oscar Peterson’s work was assembled to coincide with the great pianist’s autobiography. Centering on his most creative period, from 1950-1970, this compilation focuses intently on the years Peterson spent playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Sweets Edison, and Max Roach, as well as establishing himself as a bandleader and soloist.   ….  This is a fine place to start for anyone interested in discovering Peterson’s contribution to the historical jazz canon. Full Review

Chet Baker PlaysThe Best of Chet Baker Plays – Chet Baker – I really like Chet Baker’s sound so I am looking forward to listening to this one! From Allmusic:

This 1953-1956 compilation represents Chet Baker’s early days recording in Los Angeles. The appellation “cool” has been ascribed to Baker because of his often understated, contemplative approach to jazz, but on THE BEST OF CHET BAKER PLAYS we hear a trumpeter who defies any such categorization. Just as Miles Davis’ BIRTH OF THE COOL is canted more towards bebop than the atmospheric, textural and reflective attributes so often associated with cool jazz, .Full Review 

Burnin in the WoodhouseBurnin’ in the Woodhouse – Milt Jackson – how can you go wrong with the great vibes of Milt Jackson. This album was released in 1995 by Qwest from AllMusic

Burnin’ in the Woodhouse is one of Milt Jackson’s final recordings as a leader prior to his death in 1999, and the vibraphonist is still very much at the top of his game on this mid-’90s session. With a stimulating young rhythm section (pianist Benny Green, bassist Christian McBride, and the seasoned, in-demand drummer Kenny Washington), plus a trio of up-and-coming horn players (trumpeter Nicholas Payton, alto saxophonist Jesse Davis, and tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman) added on some tracks, Jackson works his magic, mixing potent jazz compositions and standards.Full Review

Black Action FigureBlack Action Figure – Stefon Harris – while he’s not Milt Jackson. He’s distinctive and really good!

With his second album Black Action Figure, Stefon Harris still is finding his footing as an innovator, yet he is well on his way to developing his own exciting sense of style. At its core, this is fairly traditionalist hard bop, but there is energy and unpredictability to Harris’ playing that makes it feel chancier — and he does push harder at the borders of bop this time around. Full Review

ImpressionsImpressions:The Verve Jazz Sides – Wes Montgomery – I couldn’t pass up this two disc CD that covers Wes’ years with Verve. AllMusic says that the CD is great for the hardcore collector and the common fan! From Allmusic:

The two-CD set Impressions: The Verve Jazz Sessions salvages Wes Montgomery’s straight jazz sessions for Verve, leaving the pop-oriented covers and orchestral sessions to the original albums. There are selected numbers from albums like Movin’ Wes, Goin’ Out of My Head and California Dreaming, illustrating that those albums were hardly worthless — each track proves that Montgomery’s touch remained elegant and supremely tasteful.Full Review

So I don’t think I did to badly for a grand total of $12.00!!