Taking off from 2004's Up Jumped Spring, trombonist Curtis Fuller once again reunites with a former Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers alum for a set of standards and original compositions. Joining Fuller this time is tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, who played with Blakey from the late '80s until the drummer's death in 1990. Together they reignite the fiery, soulful Jazz Messenger aesthetic on such standout Fuller tunes as the John Coltrane-influenced "Maze" and the swinging hard boppish "A La Mode." Backing Fuller here is pianist Doug Carn, bassist Rodney Jordan, and drummer Fritz Wise.
Although he lived for another five years after this session, this seems to be bassist Curtis Counce's last date as a leader. His quintet was in fine form playing originals by band member Elmo Hope and tenor saxophonist Harold Land, also playing standards like "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Angel Eyes" with convincing chops. Swedish trumpeter Rolf Ericson, who became better known to jazz fans while with Duke Ellington in the '60s, fits in beautifully with the cool-sounding hard bop style of this tight unit. Originally released on the long-defunct Dootone label, this highly sought-after record was finally reissued as a CD on the English label Boplicity in 1996.
Saltern presents its fifth release, Charles Curtis: Performances & Recordings 1998-2018, the first comprehensive collection of recordings surveying the career of renowned, American cellist Charles Curtis. Selected by Curtis and Tashi Wada from recordings spanning the past two decades, the collection offers a broad, inclusive view of Curtis’s activities across the diverse worlds of music he inhabits, containing rare, unreleased recordings, and never-before-released music by Terry Jennings, Richard Maxfield, Éliane Radigue, Alison Knowles, and Curtis.
When most listeners think of King Curtis, jazz comes to mind. It is instrumental jazz that has strong R&B and even rock 'n' roll sensibilities. Some might even consider what King Curtis played as simply instrumental R&B. Forget about all of that. Set aside the King Curtis that you thought you knew. This is the King playing straight jazz. As one of King Curtis' first albums, this is a serious, straight jazz effort. This 1960 release is a timeless gem.
Reissue with latest 2014 remastering. Comes with liner notes.Curtis Fuller cooks it up nicely on this rare date for Epic from the 60s – a chance to hear the trombonist open up and move in a style that's a bit different than his work for Blue Note! The set's got a great undercurrent of soul – one that comes not just from Fuller's smoking solos, but also from the rhythm group – which features Les Spann on guitar, Walter Bishop Jr on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Buddy Catlett on drums. There's a few rough around the edges moments – the kind that are a great surprise in these early 60s Epic jazz sessions – and titles include "Teabags", "I'll Be Around", "Mixed Emotions", and "Playpen".
Curtis/Live! is, simply, one of the greatest concert albums ever cut on a soul artist, and one of the legendary live albums of all time. Cut in January of 1971 during four nights at The Bitter End (then Greenwich Village's leading music venue) in New York, the resulting double LP transcended any expectations in both its programming and execution – Mayfield performed numbers off of the Curtis album ("[Don't Worry] If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go"), as well as exciting and urgent new versions of songs originally performed by the Impressions ("We're a Winner," "People Get Ready," "Gypsy Woman"), plus a very moving R&B version of "We've Only Just Begun." This is all beautifully stripped-down work by a quintet consisting of Mayfield (vocals, guitar), Craig McMullen (guitar), Tyrone McCullen (drums), "Master" Henry Gibson (percussion), and Joseph "Lucky" Scott (bass) – a solid, intense performance, with quietly elegant guitar playing against a rock-solid rhythm section, as Impressions hits are rethought and reconfigured in a new context, and Mayfield's early solo repertory comes to life in newer, longer live versions.