image: Gary Albertson


(The following describes the show as it took place from: September 13, 2014 to January 16, 2016)
Oregon Jazz Central where jazz and blues music conversation can stretch out. Journey and explore the full spectrum of styles and artists on KZSO 94.9FM. Listen on Saturdays 10am - Sundays 9pm - Tuesdays 7pm / / Sisters Oregon USA /

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

50. OJC August 22 2015

Howdy and welcome to Oregon Jazz Central Contact Me

Mid August 2015
image source: Gary Albertson (click to enlarge)
Miles Davis
"Summertime" is the centerpiece of Porgy & Bess, one of the greatest and best-known works of George Gershwin. Porgy & Bess was filled with timeless music, but "Summertime" earned a life outside of the musical, becoming one of the most-recorded songs of the 20th century. Hundreds of different versions of the song have been recorded, and since the ballad's melody is so sweet and strong, it sounds good even in pedestrian arrangements. —

Bob Belden
"Una Mas"
Shades of Blue

Blue Hats
As they continue to evolve, the Yellowjackets have gradually gone from being an R&B-oriented fusion band to a more acoustic group that emphasizes fairly straight-ahead improvisations.

Nelson Riddle
"Younger than Springtime"
Nelson Riddle was quite possibly the greatest arranger in the history of American popular music. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, he was also a popular soundtrack composer, a conductor, a trombonist, and an occasional hitmaker in his own right. He worked with many of the major pop vocalists of his day, but it was his immortal work with Frank Sinatra, particularly on the singer's justly revered Capitol concept albums, that cemented Riddle's enduring legacy.

Marlena Shaw
"Keep On Trustin’"
A sassy, big-voiced diva full of vitality, humor and soul, Shaw lets us know how much she missed jazz on very enthusiastic interpretations of these jazz chestnuts. —

Charlie Christian
"Wholly Cats"

Wayne Shorter
"Adam's Apple"

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.

Horace Silver
"Yodel Lady"
Blues Prescription

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. 

Erroll Garner
"Teach Me Tonight"
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. —

Billie Holiday
"You've Changed"
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. —

Ken Nordine

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. —

Irene Reid
"Your Mind Is On Vacation"

Tony Bennett
“Swingin' On A Star"
On his first children's album, Tony Bennett presses into service some familiar titles from The Great American Songbook, such as Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke's "Swinging on a Star," and Arlen, Billy Rose and E.Y. Harburg's "(It's Only) a Paper Moon." He also dips into his own repertoire for "Firefly," his 1958 hit. And he calls upon such partners as the Muppets' Elmo ("Little Things") and Kermit the Frog ("Bein' Green" and "Firefly"), and Rosie O'Donnell ("Put on a Happy Face"). All of that is very good, but the best parts of the collection are unexpected discoveries and commissions, such as Alan and Marilyn Bergman's newly written lyric for the Bill Evans-composed title song, Bobby Timmons and Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Dat Dere" and Dr. Seuss' assertive declaration "Because We're Kids," with music by Frederick Hollander. The Ralph Sharon Quartet provides typically sympathetic accompaniment and a child's chorus jumps in here and there, while Bennett exudes his usual warmth, which is perfect for the mood of the album. —

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