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Mid August 2015
image source: Gary Albertson (click to enlarge)
Shades of Blue
"Younger than Springtime"
"Keep On Trustin’"
With the possible exception of its song, "Footprints," which would become a jazz standard, Adam's Apple received quite a bit less attention upon its release than some of the preceding albums in Wayne Shorter's catalog. That is a shame because it really does rank with the best of his output from this incredibly fertile period. From the first moments when Shorter's sax soars out in the eponymous opening track, with its warmth and roundness and power, it is hard not to like this album.
Pianist/composer Horace Silver teams up with the Brecker Brothers (both of whom used to be in his quintet) and a veteran rhythm section of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Louis Hayes to debut nine of his originals. The funny part about Silver's music is that, no matter who he is paying tribute to (this set includes a song for Lester Young), the style always ends up sounding like Horace Silver, with no real reference to the subject matter. All of the music on this date is very much in Silver's funky hard bop tradition, in the phrasing, catchy themes, concise solos by tenor Michael and trumpeter Randy Brecker, and the pianist's distinctive and quote-filled improvisations. None of the melodies are all that memorable ("Walk On" has the best chance of catching on), so there are probably no future "hits" on this collection. But it is a joy to hear Horace Silver still playing in his prime at the age of 68.
Concert by the Sea was arguably the finest record pianist Erroll Garner ever made, and he made many -- a few outstanding -- good recordings. But this live recording (September 19, 1955) with his trio (Eddie Calhoun, bass; Denzil Best, drums) presented a typical Garner program; it was a mixture of originals, show biz, and pop standards delivered with his unique delivery and enthusiasm. The rhythms and brilliant use of tension and release were perfectly captured. — allmusic.com
This was her penultimate album, recorded when her body was telling her enough was enough. During the sessions with arranger Ray Ellis she was drinking vodka neat, as if it were tap water. Yet, for all her ravaged voice (the sweetness had long gone), she was still an incredible singer. The feeling and tension she manages to put into almost every track set this album as one of her finest achievements. "You've Changed" and "I Get Along Without You Very Well" are high art performances from the singer who saw life from the bottom upwards. The CD reissue masterminded by Phil Schaap is absolutely indispensable. — allmusic.com
"Teach Me Tonight"
Originally released as Twink in 1967 (and changed because of the unrelated connotations the word has been saddled with since), Wink is not a typical Ken Nordine album. Instead of a word jazz album with poetry of his own design, Wink takes a series of pieces written by beat poet Robert Shure and sets them to music. Knowing that it's not Nordine-penned, it might be tempting to write this one off without even hearing it, but that would be a mistake; Shure originally wrote the poetry in 1957, about the same time that Nordine was getting his start with the Word Jazz series of albums, and both shared a surreal sense of humor and a love of wordplay. — allmusic.com
"Your Mind Is On Vacation"
“Swingin' On A Star"
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