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Jazz

Good Vibes from Gary Burton!

So last night I mentioned that I love the vibraphone and the three musicians that I’ve listen to the most are Gary Burton, Milt Jackson and Cal Tjader. I love all three  and probably in the order I listed. I’ve also listened to Bobby Hutcherson and Walt Dickinson and like them also. Here is a video of Gary Burton and Makoto Ozone (see Thursday Mix Part 2) – doing a Cal Tjader song “Afro Blue”  A version of that song can be found on my favorite Gary Burton CD For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal

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Thursday Mix Part 2

so the during the  rest of the day I listened to some early Greenwich Village scene music Fred Neil’s first solo album Bleecker and MacDougal and an earlier album  Fred Neil  released with Vince Martin entitled Tear Down the Walls. Now most of Fred’s music was released a little before I started listening to folk music in 1968-69 so while I knew of his music and especially loved “Dolphins”. I don’t have any of his albums. But I enjoyed both of these CDs and will probably listen to them both a few more times over the next few weeks. The one song on the album that has been covered several times by several folks including Jefferson Airplane was “The Other Side of this Life”. The other track that I remember when I heard it was “Little Bit of Rain”

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Mixed up Thursday Part 2 – Jimmy Smith

The rest of the day became a jazz day  as I listened to two Jimmy Smith albums. I love Jimmy Smith’s incredible organ playing. The first album I listened to Off the Top was recorded for Eleckta Records in 1982 and featured: George Benson, guitar, Stanley Turrentine, sax, Grady Tate, drums, Ron Carter bass and that stellar line-up did not disappoint. It’s a short album only 6 tracks, 7 if you count Jimmy’s rap regarding the making of the album at the end. You can preview the tracks here at Amazon and also read some of the glowing reviews. All I can say is that all the musicians were at the top of their game and I enjoyed the album and will definitely listen to it again.

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Thursday Jazz – Carry Over

so last night I mentioned two of my favorite jazz artists the incomparable Jimmy Smith and the fantastic Milt Jackson. Here are two videos of these greats! Jimmy Smith performing “The Sermon” in 1964 and Milt Jackson’s “Bags Grove” in 1986! Let me know what you think!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqSLoxwkCYE

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyTS7uzVM6A

Thursday Night – Live at Tsubo!

So I’ve written about the folk music I listen to and the blues, bluegrass, and some rock but I haven’t really written about the jazz I listen to. So tonight spinning in the CD player is one of my favorite jazz musicians the incomparable Wes Montgomery. I was still in high school when I started to listen to Wes Montgomery. He recorded three albums on A&M records that were the most commercially successful of his short career. (He died in 1968 of a heart attack). Those three albums A Day in the Life , Down Here on the Ground, and Road Song. all of which contained covers of pop hits along with Wes’ great guitar work were my introduction to his music. I soon moved on to other more classic jazz albums he recorded for Riverside and Verve like Movin’ Wes and Willow Weep for Me. One of my favorites is the album he recorded with Jimmy Smith The Dynamic Duo. That album that lead me to the music of the incredible Jimmy Smith, who will probably be the subject of subsequent jazz posts! As the years have passed, I’ve collected many of his albums on CD including The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, Bags Meets Wes (an album done with another favorite Milt “Bags” Jackson – like Jimmy Smith more on him later), Boss Guitar, Groove Yard (The Wes Montgomery Trio featuring brothers Buddy and Monk), Live in Belgium 1965 and the one I am listening to tonight Full House – recorded “live” and Tsubo in Berekely California.  From the liner notes: Wes had risen from obscurity to being the Number One jazz guitarist in less than two years and while his studio recordings were great most people thought they did not capture the full effect of how incredible a guitarist he was, for that they felt a live recording was needed! So in June of 1962, the stars figuratively and literally aligned to produce this album. Wes had new songs to record and the Miles Davis Sextet was in town which brought together a rhythm section for Wes consisting of Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers, bass, and Jimmy Cobb, drums. Johnny Griffn a top tenor sax man was also in town, so they were all pulled together and Wes taught them the material. Wes had worked at a coffeehouse called Tsubos and was impressed with the acoustic so that was where it was decided they would record! The place was packed that night, hence the name Full House. Seven songs were recorded that night six were used to fill out the album. Three of the tracks are nine minutes plus giving Wes time to develop his amazing solos, which evidently went from straight notes, to octaves (which no one else did or does) and finally block chords. I didn’t know that, actually I knew he played in octaves, but not the progressions.  All I know is that it’s great music and a great album! I also knew he played with his thumb rather than a pick, which gave him a distinctive sound but didn’t know why. Evidently, it was because he didn’t want to disturb his wife when he practiced at night after work!

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Thursday – Mixed Bag

So Thursday’s eclectic mix started with three CDs I picked up at the Dollar Tree the other night. First up was a self-titled album Tribaljazz from a band that I had never heard of,  but the sticker on the cover said it was John Densmore’s (drummer of The Doors) band so, aside from the price, that was good enough reason for me to pick it up. The band is a great eclectic jazz band lead by John Densmore on drums and Art Ellis on flute and the rest of the band is composed of musicians from around the world. John Densmore from the liner notes:

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