This album is a collaboration between Hugh Hopper of The Soft Machine and Kramer. Robert Wyatt is featured on "Free Will And Testament." A Remark Hugh Made was produced and engineered by Kramer. This album is recommended for fans of The Soft Machine and Kramer. Although this album was recorded long after the peak creative period of The Soft Machine, all artists on this CD demonstrate that they were not past their prime in 1994.
Listening to Sketches of Life is something like finding a diamond midway through a box of Cracker Jack. It starts off with some typically easygoing midtempo quiet storm action that offers more cinders than real fire, but then it suddenly explodes with soul, jazz, and fusion – and some of the leader's finest performances this side of the old Crusaders. Henderson's trombone turbulence finds willing support from friends old (saxman Wilton Felder) and new (Rob Mullins, Dwight Sills), and these all-stars stretch the limits of the pop side of jazz. Especially impressive is Lee Oskar's bluesy, Toots Thielemans-styled harmonica playing. Henderson could do just fine without the rap and chant, but otherwise, he leads a fun-filled cruise through adventureland.
Trombonist Wayne Henderson has had a surprisingly sporadic solo career. During his years with the Jazz Crusaders, he only led two record dates of his own, and it was not until a decade after he left the group that he led his third session. Henderson does take some fine solos on this generally rewarding disc, which also features tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder (his old section mate in the Crusaders), keyboardist Rob Mullins, and guitarist Dwight Sills. The release, which is subtitled "The Next Crusade," is an extension of Henderson's old band, and the selections range from straight-ahead (including "Joshua") to soul-jazz and some funkier sounds. Worth picking up, although this CD will probably be difficult to find.
German harmonica master and singer Chris Kramer fulfilled a blues dream of his. A must have for all Blues lovers.
Phantom Navigator is the seventeenth album by jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, that was released on Columbia in 1987.
Beyond category or idiom, audacious in its very idea, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter perform a little over an hour of spontaneous improvised duets for grand piano and soprano sax. That's all no synthesizers, no rhythm sections, just wistful, introspective, elevated musings between two erudite old friends that must have made the accountants at PolyGram reach for their Mylanta. Hancock's piano is long on complex harmonies of the most cerebral sort, occasionally breaking out into a few agitated passages of dissonance. His technique in great shape, Shorter responds with long-limbed melodies, darting responses to Hancock's lashings, and occasional painful outcries of emotion.