Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jimmy Raney - Jazz Guitar Rarities (LXXVII)

In 1946 Jimmy worked for a time as guitarist with the Max Miller Quartet at Elmer’s in Chicago, his first paying gig. Raney also worked in the Artie Shaw Orchestra and collaborated with Woody Herman for nine months in 1948. He also collaborated and recorded with Buddy DeFranco, Al Haig and later on with Bob Brookmeyer. In 1967 alcoholism and other professional difficulties led him to leave New York City and return to his native Louisville. He resurfaced in the 1970s and also did work with his son Doug, who is also a guitarist. Raney suffered for thirty years from Meniere’s Disease, a degenerative condition that eventually led to near complete deafness in both ears. Fortunately, his playing remained unaffected. Raney died of heart failure,in Louisville Ky. on May 10th of 1995, just short of his 68th birthday. An obituary in the New York Times referred to Jimmy Raney as 'one of the most gifted and influential postwar jazz guitarists in the world'.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Raney

Jimmy Raney
Jazz Guitar
Rarities
 [1948-1956]
LXXVII

Tracks

1 Pardon My Bop (Getz)  2:31
2 As I Live and I Bop (Getz)  2:59
3 Interlude In Bebop (Getz)  2:44
4 Diaper Pin (Getz)  2:36
5 In A Little Spanish Town (Wayne, Louis, Young)  2:35
6 Always (Berlin)  2:24
7 Bopelbaby (Haig)  2:39
8 Take A Little Bop (Haig)  2:56
9 Medicine Man (Steward)  2:37
10 Passeport To Pimlico (Steward)  2:36
11 T’Ain’t No Use (Steward)  2:52
12 Sinbad the Sailor (Steward)  2:46
13 Gone with the Wind (Magidson, Wrubel)  3:26
14. Scholar’s Mate (Raney)  3:54
15 Yesterdays (Kern, Harbach)  4:25
16 Two Drams of Soma (Raney)  3:46

*

Personnel
[# 1-4] STAN GETZ QUINTET
Stan Getz - ts
Jimmy Raney - g
Al Haig - p
Clyde Lombardi - b
Charlie Perry - dr
Recorded in New York ; Summer 1948
[# 5-8] AL HAIG QUARTET
Terry Swope - vc
Jimmy Raney - g & vc
Al Haig - p
Don Russo- b
Charlie Perry - dr
Recorded in New York ; late 1948
[# 9-12] HERBIE STEWARD QUINTET
Herbie Steward - ts
Jimmy Raney - g
Al Haig - p
Curly Russell - b
Roy Haynes - dr
Recorded in New York ; January 17, 1950
[# 13-16] JIMMY RANEY QUINTET
John Wilson - tp
Jimmy Raney - g
Hal Overton - p
Teddy Kotick - b
Nick Stabulas - dr
Recorded in New York ; May 4, 1956

Jess Stacy (1944-1950)

Real jazz happens when the musicians really listen to one another. You, the listener after the fact, can hear this communication woven into the music itself. "D.A. Blues," played by Pee Wee Russell's Hot 4 with Jess Stacy at the piano, moves slowly enough for this dynamic to be spelled out as big as skywriting. "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now" works like a charm. The interplay among the four — and especially between pianist and clarinetist — is remarkable. It's emblematic of everything that Commodore Records ever stood for. The next session in the Jess Stacy chronology resulted in a fine crop of piano and drum duets. It is strange that Commodore didn't issue them at the time, but such decisions often seem odd many years later. These are really piano solos with gently percussive accompaniment — about as gentle as Specs Powell ever played on record, in fact. That is, until the fast-paced "Ridin' Easy" and "Song of the Wanderer," where Stacy runs his hands like lightning over the keys and Powell responds with steamy licks of his own. What a shame it is that Jess Stacy's big band only managed to record enough music to fit on both sides of a single, 10" 78 rpm platter. "Daybreak Serenade" is a very pretty instrumental and Stacy's wife Lee Wiley sings "Paper Moon" splendidly. Just imagine what they could have accomplished given the opportunity to wax a few more sides. Instead what we get are one dozen examples of the Jess Stacy Quartet, recording for Capitol and Columbia during the summer of 1950. These are gorgeous reveries, heavily featuring the guitar of George Van Eps. This makes the second-half of the CD decidedly cool and relaxing, friendly and unobtrusive. Bassist Morty Corb walks briskly through the changes of "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," a melody still associated with Fats Waller even though he didn't write it. Waller's "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now" reappears, joyously stir-fried to perfection. This handsome collection of top-notch piano jazz ends with a virtuoso realization of Bix Beiderbecke's "In a Mist," something like Chantilly cream over strawberries after four courses.
arwulf arwulf

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/1944-1950-r567585/review

Jess Stacy
Chonological Classics
(1944-1950)

Tracks

1 Take Me to the Land of Jazz (Kalmar, Leslie, Wendling)  3:03
2 Rose of Washington Square (Hanley, MacDonald)  2:40
3 Keepin' Out of Mischief Now (Razaf, Waller)  3:01
4 D.A. Blues (Gabler, Hodges) 3:25
5 After You've Gone (Creamer, Layton)  2:20
6 Old Fashioned Love (Johnson, Mack)  2:11
7 I Ain't Got Nobody (Graham, Peyton, Williams)  2:46
8 Blue Fives (Stacy)  2:10
9 Ridin' Easy (Stacy)  2:14
10 Song of the Wanderer (Howard, Moret)  2:13
11 Daybreak Serenade (Brueder, Rusincky, Van Cleave)  2:56
12 It's Only a Paper Moon (Arlen, Harburg, Rose)  3:11
13 Careless (Howard, Jurgens, Quadling, Watt)  2:44
14 I'll Be Seeing You (Fain, Kahal)  3:03
15 Can't We Be Friends (Swift, Warburg)  2:28
16 Imagination (Burke, VanHeusen)  2:44
17 Under a Blanket of Blue (Livingston, Neiburg, Symes)  3:15
18 I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me (Gaskill, McHugh)  3:00
19 Lullaby of the Leaves (Petkere, Young)  2:56
20 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter (Ahlert, Young)  2:42
21 Lover Man (Davis, Davis, Ramirez, Sherman)  3:21
22 Keepin' Out of Mischief Now (Razaf, Waller)  2:37
23 Cherry (Gilbert, Redman)  2:52
24 In a Mist (Beiderbecke)  3:37

*


Personnel
[# 1-4] PEE WEE RUSSELL'S HOT FOUR
Pee Wee Russell - cl
Jess Stacy - p
Sid Weiss - b
George Wettling - dr
Recorded in New York ; September 30, 1944
[# 5-10] JESS STACY
Jess Stacy - p
Gordon "Specs" Powell - dr
Recorded in New York ; November 25, 1944
[# 11-12] JESS STACY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Billy Butterfield, Pee Wee Erwin & Anthony Natoli - tp
Will Bradley, Jack Satterfield - tb
Sal Franzella - cl
Hank Ross, Hymie Schertzer, Larry Binyon, Julius Bradley - cl & as
Jess Stacy - p
Frank Worrell - g
Bob Haggart - b
Mario Toscarelli - dr
Lee Wiley - voc
Recorded in New York ; June 29, 1945
[# 13-16] JESS STACY AND HIS TRIO
Jess Stacy - p
George Van Eps - g
Morty Corb - b
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; June 28, 1950
[# 17-20] JESS STACY
Same as above
Recorded in Los Angeles ; July 5, 1950
[# 21-24] JESS STACY
Same as above
Recorded in Los Angeles ; July 10, 1950

Jess Stacy - Chronological Classics (1951-1956)

The third installment in the Classics chronological overview of recordings issued under the name of pianist Jess Stacy traces a time line from March 16, 1951, to March 3, 1956, with recordings made exclusively in Los Angeles, CA. It opens with eight titles recorded for Brunswick by Stacy, guitarist George Van Eps, bassist Morty Corb, and drummer Nick Fatool. This quartet's marvelous integrity is strongly in evidence on Rodgers & Hart's "You Took Advantage of Me" and endures throughout each of the ensemble members' subsequent collaborations. Tracks nine through 18 were recorded for Atlantic during April 1954 by two different nine-piece Benny Goodman reunion bands under the leadership of Jess Stacy. With all due respect to tenor saxophonists Babe Russin and Vido Musso, the real star of these swinging sessions was front-line trumpeter Ziggy Elman. According to Classics producer Anatol Schenker, these miniature big-band recordings (including a rendition of Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye" lasting 50 seconds and a tiny take of "Let's Dance" that clocks out at less than half a minute) were only released to the public following the success of the sentimentalist motion picture The Benny Goodman Story. Stacy recorded four more titles (including a blues dedicated to jazz critic Otis Ferguson) for Atlantic on October 6, 1955, this time with bassist Artie Shapiro and drummer Nick Fatool. Stacy and Fatool also recorded four duets (on themes composed by Stacy) for Brunswick on March 3, 1956. This all adds up to one of the most enjoyable Jess Stacy compilations ever assembled by anyone, especially as the range of instrumentation — duet, trio, quartet, and nonet — illuminates him as a wonderfully adaptable improviser.
arwulf arwulf

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/1951-1956-r1291168/review

Jess Stacy
Chronological Classics
(1951-1956)

Tracks

1 You Took Advantage of Me (Hart, Rodgers)  2:35
2 Fascinating Rhythm (Gershwin)  2:12
3 I Can't Get Started (Duke, Gershwin)  2:55
4 I Want to Be Happy (Caesar, Youmans)  2:45
5 Indiana (Hanley, MacDonald)  2:34
6 Stars Fell on Alabama (Parish, Perkins)  2:57
7 If I Could Be with You (Creamer, Johnson)  2:29
8 Oh, Baby (Murphy)  2:49
9 Roll 'Em (Williams)  4:00
10 Where or When (Hart, Rodgers)  2:56
11 Sing, Sing, Sing (Prima)  3:17
12 Let's Dance (Baldridge, Bonime, Stone)  0:25
13 Goodbye (Jenkins)  0:52
14 King Porter Stomp (Morton)  4:27
15 Don't Be That Way (Goodman, Parish, Sampson)  3:16
16 Sometimes I'm Happy (Caesar, Grey, Youman)  3:21
17 When Buddha Smiles (Brown, Freed, Zany)  2:34
18 Down South Camp Meeting (Henderson)  3:04
19 You Turned the Tables on Me (Alter, Mitchell)  2:53
20 I Must Have That Man (DeRose)  3:18
21 Gee, Ain't I Good to You (Redman)  2:31
22 Blues for Otis Ferguson (Stacy)  3:44
23 Boo-Boos for Bob (Stacy)  3:17
24 Ec-Stacy (Stacy)  3:08
25 Complainin' (Stacy)  2:20
26 Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Stacy)  2:37

*

Personnel
[# 1-8]
Jess Stacy - p
George Van Eps - g
Morty Corb - b
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; March 16 & April 10, 1951 [# 5-8]
[# 9-14]
Ziggy Elman - tp
Murray McEachern - tb
Heinie Beau - as & cl
Vido Musso - ts
Chuck Gentry - bs
Jess Stacy - p
Allan Reuss - g
Artie Shapiro - b
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; April 15, 1954
[# 15-18]
Ziggy Elman - tp
Ted Vasely - tb
Heinie Beau - as & cl
Babe Russin - ts
Joe Koch - bs
Al Hendrickson - g
Jess Stacy - p
Artie Shapiro - b
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; April 28, 1954
[# 19-26]
Jess Stacy - p
Artie Shapiro - b [out # 23-26]
Nick Fatool - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; October 6, 1955 & March 3, 1956 [# 23-26]

Herbie Harper (BCP-1025)

A fine trombonist active in the West Coast jazz scene of the 1950s, Herbie Harper spent most of his playing time after 1955 as a studio musician, although he occasionally re-emerged in the jazz world. After playing with Charlie Spivak's Orchestra (1944-1947), Harper settled in Los Angeles, where he gigged with Teddy Edwards and had short-time associations with Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, and Stan Kenton (1950). In addition to recording in the 1950s with June Christy, Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Benny Carter, and Barnet, Herbie Harper led five albums of his own during 1954-1957 for Nocturne, Tampa, Bethlehem, and Mode. He mostly worked in the studios afterwards, but emerged to play with Bob Florence's big band and, in the 1980s, he recorded for SeaBreeze and with Bill Perkins for VSOP.

Source : http://discoverbit.com/artist/id:2763557/Herbie_Harper

Herbie Harper
(BCP-1025)

Tracks

1 Anything Goes (Porter)  3:48
2 I'm Old Fashioned (Kern, Mercer)  2:38
3 My Romance (I'll Take Romance) (Rodgers, Hart)  3:51
4 Topsy (Durham, Battle)  3:51
5 How Deep Is The Ocean (Berlin)  3:37
6 Now You Know (Troup)  3:33
7 Angus (Graas)  5:04

*


Personnel
Herbie Harper - tb
Paul Saramento - tub
Charlie Mariano - as
Jimmy Giuffre - ts & bs
Corky Hale - hrp
Jimmy Rowles - p
Harry Babasin - b
Irv Cottler - dr

Recorded in Los Angeles, California ; January 25, 1955

See also
http://www.jazzdisco.org/bethlehem-records/discography-1955/

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Heinrich Neuhaus

Heinrich Neuhaus was born in the Ukraine to a German father and Polish mother. His parents were music teachers and he took to music from an early age making his debut aged fourteen, from then on he rapidly made a name for himself both as a performer and teacher. Always an erratic, nervous performer in public, teaching gradually took precedence over his concert activities and he gave his Farewell Recital in Moscow in 1949. He was the leading piano professor at the Moscow Conservatoire from 1922 to 1964, and Director there between 1935 and 1937.
Neuhaus is now best remembered for his incredible list of pupils ; Gilels, Richter, Zak , his son Stanislav, as well as Bakst, Brumberg, Goldfarb, Krainev, Kvapil, Lupu, Naumov, Nasedkin, Slobodyanik, Vedernikov, Versaladze, and Zhukov to name a few, however he also made a great many recordings, very few of which have been issued in the west. They reveal a most poetic pianist, ideally attuned to Chopin or to the smaller scale Scriabin presented here. His Beethoven reveals a musical integrity which takes us to the heart of the composer. Above all Neuhaus reveals the musical value of a work rather than its superficial effect and it is no doubt this spiritual response to music which he was able to impart to his pupils, making him such an inspiring and successful teacher."
APR - The Russian Piano Tradition

Source : http://www.norpete.com/p0522.html

Heinrich Neuhaus
Plays
Beethoven
(Grands Pianistes russes)

Tracks

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)

Piano Sonata n° 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 n° 2
"Moonlight"
1 I. Adagio sostenuto  5:06
2 II. Allegretto  2:02
3 III. Presto agitato  7:05

Piano Sonata n° 24 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 78
4 I. Adagio cantabile - Allegro ma non troppo  6:46
5 II. Allegro vivace  2:46

Piano Sonata n° 30 in E Major, Op. 109
6 I. Vivace ma non troppo  2:59
7 II. Prestissimo  2:16
8 III. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo  10:48

Piano Sonata n° 31 in A-Flat Major, Op. 110
9 I. Moderato cantabile  5:35
10 II. Allegro molto  1:57
11 III. Adagio ma non tropp  2:43
12 IV. Fuga - Allegro ma non troppo  6:10

*

Heinrich Neuhaus - p

Recorded between 1948 & 1950

*

Heinrich Neuhaus
Russian Piano School, vol. 2

Tracks

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)

1 Rondo in A Minor, K. 511  8:38

Sonata for two Pianos in D Major, K. 488
2 I. Allegro con spirito  10:55
3 II. Andante  9:40
4 III. Molto allegro  5:37

Claude Debussy
(1862-1918)

Préludes, Book I & II
(excerpts)
5 N° 1. Danseuses de Delphes  2:52
6 N° 9 La Sérénade interrompue  2:20
7 N° 15. La Puerta del vino  2:46
8 N° 6. Des pas sur la neige  3:09
9 N° 4. Les Sons et les  parfums tournentdans l'air du soir  3:19
10 N° 5. Les Collines d'Anacapri  2:42
11 N° 17. Bryères  2:53
12 N° 12 Minstrels  1:55

Sergei Prokofiev
(1891-1953)

Visions fugitives, Op. 22
13 N° 1. Lentamente  0:58
14 N° 2. Andante  1:06
15 N° 3. Allegretto  0:55
16 N° 4. Animato  0:48
17 N° 5. Molto giocoso  0:20
18 N° 6. Con eleganza  0:26
19 N° 7. Pittoresco (Arpa)  1:28
20 N° 8. Commodo  1:04
21 N° 9. Allegretto tranquillo  1:07
22 N° 10. Ridicolosamente  0:52
23 N° 11. Con vivacità  0:57
24 N° 12. Assai moderato  0:55
25 N° 13. Allegretto  0:45
26 N° 14. Feroce  0:57
27 N° 15. Inquieto  0:44
28 N° 16. Dolente  1:18
29 N° 17. Poetico  0:50
30 N° 18. Con una dolce lentezza  1:04
31 N° 19. Presto agitatissimo e molto accentuato  0:37
32 N° 20. Lento irrealmente  1:27

*

Heinrich Neuhaus - p
Stanislav Neuhaus - p [# 3-4]

Recorded in 1946 [# 9-12] ; 1948 [# 5-8] ; 1950 [# 1-4] ; & 1956 [# 13-32]

Monday, June 29, 2015

Benny Goodman - The Complete Small Combinations (vol. 1 & 2)

These small groups cut a total of 47 titles for Victor over a 45-month period. The first recording session, by a trio, was in New York on 13th July 1935 and began with "After You've Gone", an old war-horse for jazz improvisers. The last session was also in New York (others had been in Chicago and Hollywood) on 6th April 1939, and the quartet recorded an original composition, "Opus 3/4". By now a show-business star, Goodman signed for another label a few months later and in the following October made a sextet recording of a certain "Flying Home", with a young man by the name of Charlie Christian in the ranks. But that's another story !
The prinicipal feature of these "Black and White" double-album reissues of Benny Goodman's small-group sessions is that they present in chronological order not only every title as originally released, but also all the alternative takes, which for the most part have remained unknown until now. Altogether there are twelve alternative versions, different in tempo and improvisation, extending right through from the first to the final sessions. The class of the musicians involved meant that there was rarely need for more than two takes of any number. Irrespective of the version finally selected for release, we have the opportunity here of discovering that the choice must have been extremely difficult, even at times purely arbitrary ; for the quality of the rejected performances is not noticeably inferior. Most of these extra takes have been drawn straight from the RCA/Victor archives in the USA and have never previously been issued. The only alternative versions hitherto be published in France are the first takes of "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy", which were both included in vol. 10 of the "Black and White" Benny Goodman series, entitled "Echoes From the Swing Era", on French RCA FXM1 7083.
The Benny Goodman trio/Quartet/Quintet did a total of eighteen sessions, and these "Jazz Tribune" vol. 1/2 include exactly half of them. They provide a faithfull reflection of these studio get-togethers, which produced such intimate, swinging music that some people have referred to it as chamber jazz. [...] There is no doubt that these combo sessions were relaxed and highly productive. In listening once again to the results, one realises from their diversity, vitality, eclecticism and spontaneity that they managed to remain absolutely unspoilt by the big, interfering hand of the system.
Pierre Lafargue, Jazz Hot (1980), from the booklet (English adaptation by Don Waterhouse)

Benny Goodman
The Complete Small Combinations
vol. 1/2
(July 13, 1935-July 30, 1937)

Tracks

Cd. 1

1 After You've Gone [alt. take] (Creamer, Layton)  2:45
2 After You've Gone (Creamer, Layton)  2:43
3 Body and Soul (Eyton, Green, Heyman, Sour)  3:24
4 Body and Soul [alt. take] (Eyton, Green, Heyman, Sour)  3:23
5 Who ? (Harbach, Hammerstein II, Kern)  3:09
6 Someday, Sweetheart (Spikes, Spikes)  2:44
7 China Boy (Boutelje, Winfree)  2:26
8 More Than You Know (Eliscu, Rose, Youmans)  3:06
9 All My Life (Mitchell, Stept)  3:10
10 Oh, Lady Be Good (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:57
11 Nobody's Sweetheart (Erdman, Kahn, Meyers, Schoebel)  2:42
12 Too Godd to Be True (Boland)  3:23
13 Moonglow (DeLange, Hudson, Mills)  3:22
14 Dinah (Akst, Lewis, Young)  2:40
15 Exactly Like You (Fields, McHugh)  3:15

*


Cd. 2

1 Vibraphone Blues (Hampton)  3:25
2 Sweet Sue, Just You (Harris, Young)  3:18
3 My Melancholy Baby (Burnett, Norton)  3:27
4 Tiger Rag (Da Costa, Edwards, LaRocca, Ragas, Sbarbaro, Shields)  3:23
5 Stompin' at the Savoy [alt. take] (Goodman, Razaf, Sampson, Webb)  3:15
6 Stompin' at the Savoy (Goodman, Razaf, Sampson, Webb)  2:49
7 Whispering (Coburn, Rose, Schoenberger)  3:24
8 Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider (Leonard, Munson)  3:46
9 Tea for Two (Caesar, Youmans)  3:07
10 Runnin' Wild (Gibbs, Grey, Wood)  2:38
11 Avalon Song [alt. take] (DeSylva, Jolson, Rose)  2:50
12 Avalon Song (DeSylva, Jolson, Rose)  2:48
13 Handful of Keys (Horwitz, Maltby, Waller)  2:23
14 Handful of Keys [alt. take] (Horwitz, Maltby, Waller)  2:31
15 The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin)  3:26

*


Personnel
[Cd. 1, #1-6] Benny Goodman Trio
Benny Goodman - cl
Teddy Wilson - p
Gene Krupa - dr
Recorded in New York ; July 13, 1935
[Cd. 1, # 7-8] Benny Goodman Trio
Same as above
Recorded in Chicago ; April 24, 1936
[Cd. 1, # 9] Helen Ward with Benny Goodman Trio
Same as above, except
Helen Ward - vc, is added
Same location & date as above
[Cd. 1, # 12] Helen Ward with Benny Goodman Trio
Same as above
Same location as above ; April 27, 1936
[Cd. 1, # 10 & 11] Benny Goodman Trio
Benny Goodman - cl
Teddy Wilson - p
Gene Krupa - dr
Same location & date as above
[Cd. 1, # 13, 14 ; Cd. 2, # 1] Benny Goodman Trio/Quartet
Same as above, except
Lionel Hampton - vb & vc [Cd. 1, # 15 & Cd. 2, # 1], is added
Recorded in Hollywood ; August 21, 1936 [Cd. 1, # 13] ; August 26, 1936 [Cd. 1, # 14 & 15 ; & Cd. 2, # 1]
[Cd. 2, # 2 & 3] Benny Goodman Quartet
Benny Goodman - cl
Lionel Hampton - vb
Teddy Wilson - p
Gene Krupa - dr
Recorded in New York ; November 18, 1936
[Cd. 2, # 4] Benny Goodman Trio
Same as above, except
Lionel Hampton - vb, is out
Recorded in New York ; December 2, 1936
[Cd. 2, # 5-15] Benny Goodman Quartet
Same as above, except
Lionel Hampton - vb, is added
Same location and date as above [Cd. 2, # 5-7] ; New York ; February 3, 1937 [Cd. 2, # 8-10] ; Hollywood ; July 30, 1937 [Cd. 2, # 11-15]

Martha Argerich - Live from the Concertgebouw [I]

This is terrific playing — in both the modern and the original sense of the word. It isn’t just that Martha Argerich has some of the strongest fingers in the business (she can raise a fortissimo like a full Mahlerian brass section) ; the shaping intellect is always in control, even when the intensity is white-hot. You may not like everything she does — Chopin’s C sharp minor Scherzo is almost unrelentingly forceful, the cascading quavers in the contrasting trio section brittle rather than conventionally flowing — but it’s too compelling to be lightly dismissed. Hear Argerich in repertoire which really suits her, like Bartók’s Sonata or Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata, and the authority is overwhelming. This is playing which tolerates no competition. In the Bartók, Argerich releases all the piano’s percussive power, but the energy is controlled, with moments of surprising delicacy to throw the stomping and pounding into relief.
As for the Prokofiev, Argerich can’t match the wit and phantasmal moodiness of Mikhail Pletnev’s outstanding recording — but I doubt that troubles her for a moment. Hers is a performance which burns and blisters ; even the quietest passages in the first movement are heavy with suppressed menace, and the finale is an astonishing display of cumulative excitement, apparently ceasing only when the piano can’t give any more. Argerich’s Bach C minor Partita is very different from the thoughtful concentration of Richard Goode hard as tempered steel, diamond-like in its sharpness and clarity. The six movements flow together with almost Prokofievian momentum (the final ‘Capriccio’ follows without a break, as though the energy of the preceding ‘Rondeaux’ had spilled out of its frame). Granted, the ‘Sarabande’ is very slow – too slow to dance, and much too slow for today’s scholarly ears; the unscholarly among us will simply enjoy the respite.
BBC Music Magazine

Source : http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2210

Martha Argerich
Live from the
Concertgebouw
[I]

Tracks

Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)

Partita n° 2 in C Minor, BWV 826
1 I. Sinfonia - Grave. Adagio  1:02
2 Andante  3:29
3 II. Allemande  4:20
4 III. Courante  2:08
5 IV. Sarabande  3:42
6 V. Rondeau - VI. Capriccio  4:33

Frédéric Chopin
(1810-189)

7 Nocturne n° 13 in C Minor, Op.48 n° 1  5:13
8 Scherzo No. 3 in C Sharp Minor, Op.39  6:03

Béla Bartók
(1881-1943)

Sonata (1926), Sz.80
9 I. Allegro moderato  4:17
10 II. Sostenuto e pesante  4:10
11 III. Allegro molto  3:23

Alberto Ginastera
(1916-1983)

Danzas argentinas, Op.2
12 I. Danza del viejo boyero (Dance of the Old Cowherd)  1:12
13 II. Danza de la moza donosa (Dance of the Delightful Young Girl)  2:44
14 III. Danza del gaucho matrero (Dance of the Artful Herdsman)  2:57

Sergey Prokofiev
(1891-1953)

Piano Sonata n° 7 in B-Flat, Op. 83
15 I. Allegro inquieto - Andantino  7:05
16 II. Andante caloroso  5:19
17 III. Precipitato  3:34

Domenico Scarlatti
(1685-1757)

18 Sonata in D Minor, Kk.141 (L.422)  3:18

Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)

19 Bourrée, from English Suite n° 2 in A Minor, BWV 807  3:56

*

Martha Argerich - p

Recorded at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam ; May 7, 1978 [# 7-14] ; April 22, 1979 [# 1-6 & 15-18]

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Martha Argerich - Live from the Concertgebouw [II]

From the first note of ‘Des abends’ we are floating, thanks partly to Argerich’s finely graded singing tone and partly to her taking the score’s extraordinary pedal markings at something close to their face value. Once airborne, it seems all the worlds of Schumann’s fantastical imagination are open to us. ‘Aufschwung’ is the epitome of ardour – a note of desperation never far beneath the surface. ‘In der Nacht’ skirts even closer to the borders of insanity, its post-Appassionata swirlings founded on staggeringly articulate fingerwork. Yet there is still room for an extra touch of dazzlement in the dartings of ‘Traumes-Wirren’. Part of me wishes that ‘Ende vom Lied’ might have relaxed a little more and offered a measure of consolation rather than more of the same kind of intensity ; but the Coda is perfection.
The element of Latin American caprice in Argerich’s Ravel Sonatine may not be everyone’s idea of appropriate style ; what it does, though, is take us close to the heart, if not of Ravel, then of the art of musical recreation itself. Everything here seems dictated by the feeling of the moment ; yet the sheer beauty of sound, with textures once again bathed in fabulously imaginative pedalling, is no less overpowering. At the opening of the finale, Argerich’s enthusiasm momentarily gets the better of her fingerwork, and around 0'50'' to 0'55'' her memory falters for an instant, an extra beat being added to put things back on course (in the parallel passage from 2'37'' almost the opposite happens, and two beats are lost).
All this sits oddly with Bryce Morrison’s perfectly reasonable description of the Sonatine in his essay as ‘classically based, the epitome of distilled grace and Gallic understatement’. Yet he surely hits the nail on the head when he describes these performances as complementary to Argerich’s studio accounts. For one thing her Gaspard is an astonishing four minutes faster than her by no means sedate DG recording from three years earlier (18'09''as against 22'21''). In expression it is polarised towards demonic flair and abandon, in a way scarcely imaginable under studio conditions. ‘Ondine’ flickers ravishingly and improvisatorily, but the later stages feel more like white-water rafting than the contemplation of a seductive water-nymph, and the big climax at 3'18'' won’t stand close scrutiny. On the other hand ‘Le gibet’ is as effective in its restraint as in its hallucinatory colourings — the passage from 2'23'' is truly ‘pp sans expression’. Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of horripilating malevolence in ‘Scarbo’ ; the final stages have to be heard to be believed.
The sound picture may not be to all tastes, combining as it does a close-up image with a generous amount of ambience. This gives us simultaneously the clamorous impact of a super-pianist projecting to the back of a big hall and the atmosphere of a spellbound auditorium. I can’t say I would willingly be without either, and all told, this is a tremendous sequel to EMI’s previous Argerich Concertgebouw compilation (4/00) that came in as runner-up for the Instrumental category in the 2000 Gramophone Awards.'
David Fanning

Source : http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/argerich-live-from-the-concertgebouw-ii

Martha Argerich
Live from the
Concertgebouw
[II]

Tracks

Robert Schumann
(1810-1856)

Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
1 Des Abends  3:31
2 Aufschwung  2:44
3 Warum ?  2:05
4 Grillen  2:46
5 In der Nacht  3:21
6 Fabel  2:23
7 Traumes Wirren  2:01
8 Ende vom Lied  4:53

Maurice Ravel
(1872-1937)

Sonatine
9 Modéré  3:28
10 Mouvement de menuet  2:39
11 Animé  3:12

Gaspard de la nuit
Trois Poèmes pour piano
d'après Aloysius Bertrand
12 Ondine  5:16
13 Le Gibet  4:53
14 Scarbo  8:00

*

Martha Argerich - p

Recorded at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam ; May 7, 1978 ; April 22, 1979 [# 9-11]

Australian Jazz Quintet At the Varsity Drag

In the mid-'50s, the Australian Jazz Quartet were considered an unusual group since, in addition to piano, bass, and drums, their instrumentation had alto or flute, tenor or bassoon, and vibes. The band featured their own sly wit, which is often in evidence on this collection of tunes, particularly on Varsity Drag. In addition to seven standards (including "Alone Together," "The Lady Is a Tramp," and "It Might As Well Be Spring"), the Aussies play three songs by Bill Holman, one from Med Flory, and an obscurity. The blend of bassoon, flute, and vibes in some sections is quite memorable even if the music overall was not all that innovative. Although a touch lightweight (with each of the selections clocking in around three minutes apiece), the results are enjoyable.
Scott Yanow

Source : http://www.answers.com/topic/
the-australian-jazz-quintet-at-the-varsity-drag


The Australian Jazz Quintet
At the Varsity Drag

Tracks

1 Alone Together (Schwartz, Dietz)  2:09
2 Koala (Holman)  3:09
3 That Old Feeling (Brown, Fain)  3:12
4 Affaire d'Amour (Holman)  3:08
5 The Lady Is A Tramp (Rodgers, Hart)  3:08
6 Lover Man (Davis, Ramirez, Scherman)  3:53
7 The Thrill Is Gone (Brown, Henderson)  2:45
8 New South Wail (Flory)  2:45
9 Few Get It (Schmidt)  2:59
10 So Nice (Holman)  3:09
11 Varsity Drag (DeSylva, Brown, Henderson)  2:45
12 It Might As Well Be Spring (Rodgers, Hart)  2:42

*


Personnel
Dick Healey - as & fl
Errol Buddle - ts & bsoon
Jack Brokensha - vb
Bryce Rohde - p
Jimmy Gannon - b
Frankie Capp - dr

Recorded in Los Angeles, California ; July, 1956

Chet Baker Sextet

Chet Baker Sextet features tracks recorded by trumpeter Chet Baker in 1954 and 1957 for the Pacific Jazz label and released over the years on various albums, including the original Playboys date. These are stellar "West Coast"-style tracks reminiscent of the small group work Baker did with saxophonist Jerry Mulligan and featuring first class arrangements by Jack Montrose and Bob Zieff. However, the Zieff cuts feature an unusual for the period chamber-style group with French horn, bassoon, cello, bass clarinet, and bass. The result was softly angular and very modern for the time. Interestingly most of the tracks have remained largely unavailable until this collection. While there are far more influential Baker albums from the '50s, Sextet is a beautiful album and a must-hear for Baker aficionados.
Matt Collar

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-chet-baker-sextet-r153054

Chet Baker
The Chet Baker Sextet

Tracks

1 Little Man, You've Had a Busy Day (Hoffman, Sigler, Wayne) 4:45
2 Dot's Groovy (Montrose) 4:34
3 Stella by Starlight (Washington, Young) 3:55
4 Tommyhawk (Mandel) 3:43
5 I'm Glad There Is You (Dorsey, Madeira) 3:14
6 The Half Dozens (Holman) 2:23
7 Dot's Groovy [EP Take] (Montrose) 3:09
8 Stella by Starlight [EP Take] (Washington, Young) 3:09
9 A Minor Benign (Zieff) 4:20
10 Ponder (Zieff) 4:27
11 Twenties Late (Zieff) 5:41
12 X (Zieff) 4:33

Arranged By Bill Holman [# 5, 6] ; Bob Zieff [# 9-12] ; Jack Montrose [# 1, 2, 7]
Johnny Mandel [# 3, 4, 8]


Personnel
[# 1-8]
Chet Baker - tp
Bud Shank - bs
Bob Brookmeyer - tb
Russ Freeman - p
Carson Smith - b
Shelly Manne - dr
[# 9-12]
Chet Baker - tp
Seymour Barab - cel
Gene Allen - b. cl
Jimmy Buffington - frch hrn
Bob Tricarico - bss
Russ Savakus - b

Recorded [# 2, 4, 6, 7] September 9, 1954 ; [# 3, 4, 8] Radio Annex, Los Angeles ; September 15, 1954 ; & Coastal Studios, New York ; [# 9-12] December 9, 1957 

*

[# 1-6] originally issued on Pacific Jazz (10") LP-15 in 1955 ; [# 7, 8] originally issued on Pacific Jazz ER 4-24 in 1955 ; [# 11] originally issued on Playboy BR 1959 in 1959 ; [# 9, 10, 12] originally issued on Chet Baker - The Pacific Jazz Years (CD 89292) in 1994

Evan Christopher - Django à la Créole

For clarinetist Evan Christopher, Django à la Créole is the result of a forced journey from his home in New Orleans. In what might be seen as a positive aftermath of the Katrina disaster in 2005, Christopher temporarily relocated to Paris, focusing his actions on raising awareness for the musical culture that had put New Orleans on the map rather than that of Katrina. His "Django à la Créole" project debuted in August 2007 with concerts in Great Britain and Norway. The album was recorded in December, just before Christopher — who had been commuting to the United States since February 2007 — moved back to New Orleans, and was proudly released at the 25th anniversary of the French Quarter Festival.
Accompanied by three most eminent gypsy jazz ambassadors, Django a la Creole is not only an homage to the musical identity and legacy of New Orleans, but a weaving in of patterns celebrating the collaboration of Django Reinhardt with musicians like Frank Goudie, Rex Stewart, Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard and Hubert Rostaing. Christopher also adds distinct, warm Latin American- Caribbean-Spanish moods and sounds, bringing new angles to the six classic Reinhardt compositions found among the album's ten compositions.
It's like being presented a case of fine Cuban cigars where each has its own scent and recipe, making it impossible to pick the one that appeals the most. The Reinhardt tracks — from the opener "Douce Ambiance" to "Dinette," "Manoir de mes Rêves," "Nuages," "Mélodie au Crépuscule" and "Tears/Djangology" — each breathe their own rhythm without losing the master's original signature. The charm of "Manoir de mes Rêves" resonates through guitarist Dave Blenkhorn's gentle yet decisive touch and Christopher's lush vibrato. Blenkhorn originally hails from Australia, but moved to the UK in 2005. His chemistry with guitarist Dave Kelbie and bassist Sebastien Girardot (also from Australia) prove to hold the right sort of energy needed to make Christopher's clarinet sing, slide and sigh with ease on Rex Stewart's "Low Cotton."
Christopher almost turns the saxophone into a superfluous piece of metal junk on Reinhardt's "Mélodie au Crépuscule" and the slow but intoxicating "Insensiblement," written by Paul Misraki. The range and sound of these tunes matches so closely to the saxophone that almost any reed player could deliver the melodies. Still, Christopher's mastery of his instrument — knowing that a clarinet is tougher to handle than a saxophone — promptly emphasizes the skill required to produce such intricate sounds. Both Blenkhorn and Christopher showcase their technique and intuitive approach, whilst Kelbie and Girardot offer balance where needed, allowing Girardot a rare moment in the spotlight on "Low Cotton."
"Farewell Blues" is extremely powerful in a colorful palette of classic, nuanced swing. "I Know That You Know" is another tune carrying a passionate torch for the Hot Club de France sound. If any comparison arises after having experienced the musical joy of these four musicians, it's the round, full, deep and lyrical tones of Christopher that might crown him the Stan Getz
of the clarinet.
Gina Vodegel

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/django-a-la-creole-evan-christopher-lejazzetal-records-review-by-gina-vodegel.php

Evan Christopher
Django à la Créole

Tracks

1 Douce Ambiance (Reinhardt)  5:21
2 Farewell Blues (Schoebel, Mares, Rappolo)  4:08
3 Dinette (Reinhardt)  4:13
4 I Know That You Know (Youmans, Caldwell)  5:25
5 Manoir de mes Rêves (Reinhardt)  5:24
6 Low Cotton (Stewart)  5:47
7 Nuages (Reinhardt)  3:59
8 Mélodie au Crépuscule (Reinhardt)  4:55
9 Insensiblement (Misraki)  5:37
10 Tears/Djangology (Reinhardt, Grappelli)  5:15

*

Personnel
Evan Christopher - cl
Dave Blenkhorn - g
Dave Kelbie - rhthm g
Sebastien Girardot - bass

Recorded at Stiwdio Felin Fach, Abergavenny, Great Britain ; 2008 ?

Lester Young - The Jazz Giants '56

Even critics who feel (against the recorded evidence to the contrary) that little of tenor saxophonist Lester Young's postwar playing is at the level of his earlier performances make an exception for this session. Young was clearly inspired by the other musicians (trumpeter Roy Eldridge, trombonist Vic Dickenson, pianist Teddy Wilson, guitarist Freddie Green, bassist Gene Ramey, and drummer Jo Jones), who together made for a very potent band of swing all-stars. The five songs on this album include some memorable renditions of ballads and a fine version of "You Can Depend on Me," but it is the explosive joy of the fiery "Gigantic Blues" that takes honors. This set, a real gem, is highly recommended.
Scott Yanow

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-jazz-giants-56-mw0000192693

Lester Young
The Jazz Giants
'56

Tracks

1 I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan (Dietz, Schwartz)  9:31
2 I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Hart, Rodgers)  10:02
3 Gigantic Blues (Young)  6:51
4 This Year's Kisses (Berlin)  6:45
5 You Can Depend on Me (Carpenter, Dunlap, Hines)  9:06

*


Personnel
Lester Young - ts
Vic Dickenson - tb
Roy Eldridge - tp
Teddy Wilson - p
Freddie Green - g
Gene Ramey - b
Joe Jones - dr

Recorded at Fine Sound, New York ; January 12, 1956