Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. Nicely sharp sounds from the great JJ Johnson – a set that has the trombonist really honing his edge on a host of tight, short tracks – with a vibe that almost recalls his initial bop recordings on Blue Note and Prestige! The style here is a bit more sophisticated – definitely with an ear towards the modern directions that JJ was exploring in the 50s – but the sound is also nicely spontaneous, with more focus on improvisation between group members than larger arrangements – quite nice, given that the group features excellent tenor from Bobby Jaspar on tenor – and either Tommy Flanagan or Hank Jones on piano, Percy Heath or Wilbur Little on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Tracks are short, and titles include "Overdrive", "Cube Steak", "Chasin The Bird", and "Solar".
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Fantastic early work from flautist Jeremy Steig – a 60s quartet session for Columbia that came several years before the funky style of some of his later work – and a damn great record, with lots of soulful touches! Part of this has to do with the rhythm section of Ben Tucker on bass and Ben Riley on drums – both of whom put a nice kick in the proceedings, and substantially ground and groove the solo work of Steig's flute and Denny Zeitlin's piano.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. A great small group session from trombonist JJ Johnson – a record that sets him up with a crack rhythm section, then really lets him open up on his solos! The approach is a great change from some of the more tightly arranged Johnson albums for Columbia – and is a great reminder of the sharp, soulful hardbop style that first made folks take note of JJ during his early work for Blue Note and Prestige Records! The set cooks nicely – thanks to piano from Tommy Flanagan, bass from Paul Chambers, and drums from Max Roach – and titles include "Kev", "100 Proof", and "What's New". Including the two part "Blue Trombone," and shows listeners why he is still considered one of the greatest jazz trombonists of all time.
Reissue with the latest 2015 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Not J.J. Johnson's initial public offering by any means, First Place was done with only a quartet in 1957 for Columbia Records, where other efforts by the legendary jazz trombonist were set in a larger ensemble format. Long out of print, this is now on CD with bonus tracks from 1954 featuring Charles Mingus. Playing standards and originals, Johnson assembled a mighty band with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Paul Chambers, and especially on-fire drummer Max Roach, a group you'd be hard-pressed to top.
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the hippest, hardest albums that trombonist JJ Johnson ever cut for Columbia – a session we'd rank right up there with his amazing JJ Inc record, and like that one a really cooking hardbop record that maybe even rivals the best on Blue Note and Prestige at the time! As with that gem, the strength here is really the group – not just tremendous trombone from JJ, but great work from Nat Adderley on trumpet, Bobby Jaspar on tenor and flute, Cedar Walton on piano, Spanky DeBrest on bass, and Albert Heath on drums – all working with a soaring, soulful energy that's a lot more hardbop heavy than you might expect from JJ Johnson on some of his other projects for the label.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of JJ's best from the late 50s – a tightly crackling hardbop set, recorded very much in the manner of his classic JJ Inc album! The sound here is a bit more compact overall – with some shorter tracks that really allow Johnson to display his keen sense of economy on his horn, while working in a burning mode that recalls some of his best bop sides from the early years – particularly his work on Blue Note.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. A wonderful record – one in which Phil Woods blows alto solos over the arrangements of Michel Legrand – handled in the masterful style of Legrand's best jazzy soundtrack work, and in a way that lets Woods hit some of his best solos of the 70s! Legrand's always been great at this sort of album for any jazzman – and here, he unlocks a romantic tone in Woods' style that is a nice counterpart to some of the hippy-dippiness that he'd been showing in other sides from the 70s.
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Rare as hens' teeth – and an incredible meeting of two vastly underrated alto talents! Phil Woods got plenty of opportunities to record as a leader in the 50s, but altoist Gene Quill was often buried in bigger groups – a fact that makes this album one of the few chances to really hear him shine! Woods and Quill work together beautifully throughout – playing boppishly, but also in a more relaxed groove – one that's a bit like Phil's excellent Warm Woods session for Epic from the same stretch, but perhaps a bit more upbeat overall.
Reissue. Comes with new liner notes. A sweet session of 70s electric jazz – recorded as a unique live all-star outing by a group of Arista's best jazz players at the time! The group's an octet, but plays together in differing formations throughout the record – with Warren Bernhardt on keyboards, Michael Brecker on saxes, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Steve Jordan on drums, Steve Khan and Larry Coryell on guitars, Tony Levin on bass, and Mike Maineri on vibes – the last of which really make for some of the best numbers on the album! Bernhardt's keyboards are pretty good too – stepping out with a spacious, fluid feel that's never jamming – and more in the open-ended Bob James side of the spectrum, although his overall sound is a lot different than Bob's! Titles include "Blue Montreux", "Rocks", "I'm Sorry", "Floating".
Reissue with the latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of Gary Peacock's rare Japanese-only albums for Columbia – really dynamic trio work that's a lot more powerful than the bassist's later sides for ECM! Gary's working here with Masabumi Kikuchi on piano and Hiroshi Murakami on drums – in a mode that's got the open-ended, long flowing energy that would emerge most strongly in Japanese trio sessions a few years later – a style that's exploratory, but never too free – and perfectly suited to the tonal colors that Peacock's always brought to his work on bass. The set is sophisticated, yet never full of itself – with a great juxtaposition of lyrical and modern moments, carved out here with a heck of a lot of power!