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The Art Pepper Quartet'
The Art Pepper QuartetOriginally released on the small Tampa label, this album features the great altoist Art Pepper with pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Gary Frommer. Highlights include the Pepper original Diane, Besame Mucho, and Pepper Pot. - Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)1. Art's Opus
2. I Suurender Dear
4. Pepper Pot
5. Besame Mucho
6. Blues At Twilight
7. Val's Pal
8. Tampa Blues$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Red Colored Vinyl!
Previously Unreleased Performances from January 28, 1981 at Parnell's Seattle, WA!
Cut at Capitol Records by Ron McMaster!
Just in time for what would have been jazz great Art Pepper's 87th birthday (September 1st) and in cooperation with Art's widow, Laurie Pepper and her label, Widow's Taste Music, Omnivore Recordings is pleased to release the first volume in a series of previously unissued live recordings by Art Pepper called Neon Art.
From his early recordings with Stan Kenton's and Shorty Rogers' bands and sessions with Chet Baker, Henry Mancini or Quincy Jones, to his own recordings like classics made for Contemporary and Galaxy Records (The Art Pepper Quartet and Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section) Art Pepper built a legacy of recordings that can only be described as legendary. Thankfully, he also left us a narrative, tracing the history of his life and the roadmap with details of his great recordings in the shape of the book, Straight Life, which Art and Laurie authored together.
The first volume of Neon Art features two tunes drawn from the unissued performances at Parnell's in Seattle, WA on January 28, 1981. Side one features a workout on Art's composition, "Red Car," while side two features "Blues For Blanche," also a Pepper-composed track. Cut at Capitol Records by Ron McMaster and pressed on red vinyl in a see-through jacket, this first volume is aimed at both the longtime Art Pepper aficionado and collector, and to those just coming to know Art's work. It's an entry point into the multifaceted colorful world of Art Pepper. Download card included.1. Red Car
2. Blues For Blanche$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP -Sealed Buy Now
Arms & HandsCornetist and composer Kirk Knuffke is one of modern jazz's most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing. On his latest album, Arms & Hands, he assembles the ideal trio to bridge that divide. Joined by bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bill Goodwin, along with special guests Brian Drye (trombone), Daniel Carter (alto saxophone), and Jeff Lederer (soprano/tenor saxophone), Knuffke creates a set of music that is both engaging and inventive.
Helias is best known for his work with jazz experimentalists like Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell, and Gerry Hemingway, his band BassDrumBone with Hemingway and Ray Anderson, and his trio Open Loose with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey. Goodwin, on the other hand, is recognized as a premiere straight-ahead drummer, through his decades-long relationship with saxophonist Phil Woods and credits that include such giants as Bill Evans, Tony Bennett, Dexter Gordon, Jim Hall, Gary Burton, and Art Pepper.
The chemistry between the trio is irrefutable on Arms & Hands, which is a showcase for the immense creativity of all three musicians. Knuffke intentionally wrote compositions that took advantage of Goodwin's gift for groove and swing while remaining open enough to allow the improvisations to wander however far afield the moment might call for.
Kirk Knuffke is a prolific composer and improviser who has worked with a host of incredible musicians including Roswell Rudd, William Parker, Uri Caine, Myra Melford, Allison Miller, Steve Swell, John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Steven Bernstein, and Mary Halvorson. Internationally, he has played with ensembles at jazz festivals in Saalfeldan Austria, Willisau Switzerland, The North Sea Jazz festival in Holland, The Moers festival as well as festival dates in Canada, Mexico, Italy and France. He is currently a member of the Matt Wilson Quartet. Knuffke is also a member of the Mark Helias Quartet, the Andrew D'angelo Big Band, Josh Roseman's Extended Constellations, Kenny Wollesen's Wollesonic and Allison Miller's Boom tic Boom. Knuffke's leader debut, Big Wig, was released by Clean Feed in 2008, followed by the trio recordings Chew Your Food and Amnesia Brown and the quartet album Chorale. He has also recorded several duo CDs with pianist Jesse Stacken and one with percussionist Mike Pride, and co-led the collaborative trio Sifter with Mary Halvorson and Matt Wilson and a quartet with saxophonist Ted Brown.1. Safety Shoes
2. Bright Light
7. Arms & Hands
10. Thanks A Lot$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bringin' ItIconic bassist Christian McBride has been doing what the title of his upcoming big band album implores for years: Bringin' It. This highly anticipated release, which follows the Christian McBride Big Band's 2011 Grammy® Award-winning debut, The Good Feeling, puts his status and skills as an all-around entertainer on full display. With a list of growing accolades including his recent appointment as Artistic Director at the Newport Jazz Festival, hosting shows on SiriusXM ("The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian") and NPR ("Jazz Night in America," as well as frequent online contributions to various programs including "All Things Considered"), speaking engagements, and occasional DJ performances under the alias DJ Brother Mister, he's more than just a bandleader: Christian McBride is transcending that title to something more complete.
If it is true that jazz is a sponge for musicians to absorb and then squeeze out what they hear to produce their own sound, McBride has been "bringin' it" for quite a long time. From his amazing quintet, Inside Straight, to his avant-garde leaning quartet, New Jawn, the contemporary sound of his fusion group, A Christian McBride Situation, to the critically acclaimed music he's made with his trio, the bassist has always disseminated his own unique 360-degree view of jazz.
While the music played by the Christian McBride Big Band is on the cutting edge of 21st century large ensemble music, the orchestra's presentation, like its sound, respects the past while looking forward. Danny Ray, the legendary stage announcer for James Brown, travels with the group to give the leader an old-school intro before playing his thoroughly modern music. "I love having the show aspect of it as well, with Danny Ray there, and being able to create somewhat of a show while also having Melissa there as our vocalist."
That would be Melissa Walker, who graces Bringin' It on two tracks: "Upside Down," originally done by Brazilian superstar Djavan, and the unlikely slick arrangement of "Mr. Bojangles." In addition to maintaining a career in jazz, Walker is also the co-founder of Jazz House Kids, the award winning jazz education center and she's Mrs. Christian McBride.
Only two tracks on this 11-song set were not arranged by the leader: the "Upside Down" arrangement was contributed by Norman Simmons, while "Optimism" is from the person he's known the longest in his band, trombonist Steve Davis. Davis has the distinction of being the very last Jazz Messenger that Art Blakey hired before he died in 1990.
"I saw that last Jazz Messengers band that Steve was in," McBride remembers. "Blakey was a huge influence on me and because of that, Steve and I share the same compositional and arranging DNA. You see, even though I've been influenced by every great big band and every great arranger I've ever heard, three of my greatest influences - not just as composers but also as improvisers - are Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter and Cedar Walton. I mean before, after and during the period when they were with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers."
McBride played bass for Freddie Hubbard's quintet for nearly three years starting when he was 18. One of the songs he loved to play with the legendary trumpeter was "Thermo." A few years ago he brought this arrangement to a gig with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. When the four trumpeters had to work hard to go over the riffs in the tune, McBride felt a certain pride. "I just thought that Freddie was somewhere up in heaven laughing," says McBride.
Perennial poll-topping arranger Maria Schneider has also been an influence on McBride. He cites times when he'd just bug her for hours, peppering her with questions, particularly on a recent trip to Europe. He honors her with his rendition of "I Thought About You." "She has an arrangement of 'Giant Steps' where she arranged the melody over a D pedal so I said let me try something like that," McBride recounts. "That's where that came from. She really gave me a lot of information and has been a great influence on me."
Another aspect that has helped the bassist find his voice as an arranger is the fact that, except for drummer Quincy Phillips, this is the exact same band that recorded with him six years ago. "These guys know my sound. They know my style. They know what my compositional and arranging DNA is. I've been able to keep the exact same unit, so like Duke Ellington used to do, I can write for my guys because I know their sound and style.
"As for my originals, they all have been recorded with my small groups," he continues on about the tracks "Gettin' To It," "Youthful Bliss," and "Used'ta Could." "As an arranger I'm still in the early stages of my development so it seems to me the best way to really make my hopeful ascension into a better arranger is to obviously take a song I've already written and try to add to that and make it a worthy large ensemble song."
While the Wes Montgomery smoker "Full House" isn't a McBride original, it is part of his development as an arranger - it's a big band chart he first created for guitarist Russell Malone at Jazz Aspen in 2009. He says he's tweaked it since then for his go-to guitarist Rodney Jones. For the McCoy Tyner classic "Sahara," the bassist channeled his 20+ years of playing with the legendary Chick Corea, for which McBride won two of his five Grammys. Another one of his Grammys came from a co-op project with Tyner. "I always thought of Chick, in his early years, as being a branch from the tree of McCoy Tyner, if you will," he commented.
McBride's work ethic is evident in the challenge he set for himself on the steamy old ballad "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning." "I decided to torture myself by writing that arrangement in the key of B. To me that's a very pretty key, but it is a very hard key for a double bass because I get to play no open strings," McBride explains. "When I play it live, every bass player in the house comes to me and says, 'is that in B? Why do you do that?' Maybe it's because I'm crazy, but I really wanted to do something difficult and keep myself on my toes."
Planning to keep this group simmering while he simultaneously resurrects his Inside Straight band and introduces his new trio, Tip City, McBride is most excited to embrace the golden age of big bands while they continue bringin' it with more gigs and their first European tour. "With my big band I try to combine all of my journeys and goals as a musician and then try to put it in a wrapper of show business," the five-time Grammy® Award-winner comments. "I really think in that sense I'm following something of a big band tradition."1. Gettin' To It
3. Youthful Bliss
4. I Thought About You
6. Upside Down
7. Full House
8. Mr. Bojangles
9. Used 'ta Could
10. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
11. Optimism$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now