Category Archives: Records

Bennie Maupin: Early Reflections

The return of Bennie Maupin to somewhat regular recording, beginning with his first Cryptogramophone release Penumbra in 2006, is one of jazz music’s more welcome stories of the past few years. Maupin, widely known for his work with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock through the late 1960s and well into the 1970s, is a strong tenor saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and also plays soprano sax and flute. In addition, he is a top-notch composer, and his 1975 ECM release The Jewel In the Lotus, has long been considered a classic recording (ECM just reissued the album for the first time on CD last year).

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Sonny Rollins Volume One

At the end of 1956 Sonny Rollins ended his six-year period of recording at Prestige Records, and he proceeded to record prolifically for the next two years for a variety of labels. Rather than accept the advances against royalties arrangement of his Prestige contract, Rollins opted to be paid by the session, without royalty provisions. He recorded this way for Lester Koenig at Contemporary, Orrin Keepnews at Riverside, and Alfred Lion at Blue Note, as well as recording a variety of performances, both as leader and sideman, for EmArcy, Verve, and Atlantic. This period culminated in the famous vacation from recording that found Rollins practicing nightly on the George Washington Bridge.

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Sam Rivers: Fuchsia Swing Song

In the autumn of 1964 tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers spent two months on tour with the Miles Davis quintet. This was the group that, with the addition of Wayne Shorter, would become known as Davis’ “Second Great Quintet.” Miles found the young tenor man to be too “out there” for his group, influenced as he was by avant-gardists such as Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Archie Shepp.

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Charlie Rouse: Bossa Nova Bacchanal

I love bossa jazz, but let’s face it, during the early 1960s there were so many instrumental boss nova albums cut that it’s sometimes hard to get enthusiastic when yet another surfaces from the back catalogues. Listeners really need to sit up and take notice of this reissue by tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, though. Bossa Nova Bacchanal is a real lost treasure.

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