Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Bonus tracks. The other half of the New York Is Now session, which is, in a sense, ridiculous. Blue Note issued two records when they really had one. There were two dates, April 29 and May 7, 1968. Half the tunes from this volume and half from New York Is Now were recorded at each session. The CD versions contain all of the alternate takes and unreleased cuts of both days. Here, Coleman with Dewey Redman and the rhythm section of Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison work through Coleman's melodic conceptions and harmonic constructs on five numbers, with alternate takes making up two more.
Earl Klugh Trio, Vol. 1 gives listeners a rare chance to hear the guitarist playing straight-ahead jazz. Some bebop musicians contend that playing dull background music year after year means you can kiss your bebop chops goodbye, but there's no evidence of that on this rewarding CD. With Klugh sticking to acoustic guitar and employing Ralph Armstrong on upright bass and Gene Dunlap on drums, someone who is best known for recording schlock offers tasteful and lyrical interpretations of such well known standards as "I'll Remember April," "Night and Day" and "One Note Samba." Klugh also excels on "Lonely Girl" (a beautiful but underexposed Neal Hefti piece) and pleasantly surprises by demonstrating that the theme from the '60s sitcom Bewitched and the Aretha Franklin hit "I Say a Little Prayer" (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David) can work in an acoustic bebop setting.
Grant Green, being known mainly as a soul-jazz guitarist, eventually gravitated into the popular boogaloo sound, a derivation of Latin music. The Latin Bit is the natural bridge to that next phase, though a bit premature for most in 1961-1963, even relative to the subsequent bossa nova craze. Pianist Johnny Acea, long an underrated jazzman, is the nucleus of this session, grounding it with witty chops, chordal comping, and rhythmic meat. The Latino rhythm section of drummer Willie Bobo and conga player Carlos "Patato" Valdes personify authentic, seasoned spice, while at times the chekere sound of Garvin Masseaux makes the soup too thick. At its collective best, the group presents a steady, serene, and steamy "Besame Mucho" and the patient, slow, slinky, sultry "Tico Tico.".
Drummer Art Blakey led many great editions of the Jazz Messengers from the inaugural mid-'50s sessions until his death in the '90s. While arguments rage regarding which was his best, there is no doubt that the 1960-1961 unit figures in the debate. This wonderful six-disc set, notated with care and painstaking detail by Bob Blumenthal, covers studio and live sessions from March 6, 1960, to May 27, 1961, with the same personnel on all but two songs. Producer Michael Cuscuna used only first issue dates, and while he included some alternate takes, he did not litter the discs with second-rate vault material. They smoothly detail the band's evolution, cohesion, and maturation. This set, as with all Mosaic boxes, goes beyond essential. Get it post haste.