Sunday, 24 January 2010

TED TAYLOR - TAYLOR MADE (RONN 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 4 bonus

Soul-blues singer Ted Taylor unleashed his stratospheric, falsetto-driven voice on a wide variety of material during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, his gospel heritage never far from the surface. Taylor first entered the studio as a member of the Cadets and Jacks, a Los Angeles R&B vocal group with two names that recorded for Modern. By the late '50s, Taylor was signed to Ebb, and a myriad of other imprints soon followed (notably Duke, where he waxed his first version of the sugary ballad "Be Ever Wonderful"), Okeh (his sides for the Columbia subsidiary were done in Chicago and Nashville), and Ronn, where he spent nearly a decade. A car wreck claimed his life in 1987.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

JON HENDRICKS - SALUD! JOAO GILBERTO (REPRISE 1963) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Jon Hendricks idolizes Joao Gilberto (he has spoken fondly of their first meeting where they scatted to each other before ever speaking a word), and he wasted little time putting together a tribute album at the height of the first bossa nova wave. It ought to come as no surprise that he would display total sympathy with the bossa nova manner here, singing softly and smoothly -- and Hendricks' English wordplay is quite faithful to the original tunes and meanings of the Portuguese lyrics, in contrast to his usual whimsical work with jazz improvisations. Hendricks is particularly winning, and irresistibly swinging on the rare occasions ("Voce E Eu," "Samba Da Minha Terra") when he scats to the Brazilian rhythm; he should have done more of that here. But then, his versions of Gilberto's repertoire are carefully based on Gilberto's early EMI/Odeon recordings (now available on The Legendary Joao Gilberto); even Antonio Carlos Jobim's string and wind charts for the originals are preserved by adapter Johnny Mandel. Alas, the only Hendricks lyric that has become a universal standard is Jobim's "Chega de Saudade" ("No More Blues"). As Hendricks' only album-length encounter with bossa nova, Salud! Joao Gilberto Originator of the Bossa Nova is essential.[allmusic]

LONNIE SMITH - MOVE YOUR HAND (BLUE NOTE 1969) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Anyone that has listened to Lonnie Smith should know that Dr. Smith is at his best when performing the slow and grinding ilk of funk. While his album "Live at Club Mozambique" is a great and funky disc, it tends towards the faster and more energized groves; it only gives us a taste of the grinding slow stuff. This album, however, gives us a lot more of the slow grinders that Dr. Smith is rightly known for.
Just as Lou Donaldson's albums broke loose of many blues cliches a few years before, introducing a new funky boogaloo rhythm into Jazz, Lonnie breaks free of the boogaloo funk cliche's of the '60s and absorbs the funk of JB and then contemporary black radio. In fact, this is probably the least dated B3 CD of that era. He even does a bit of singing visa vis the enormously funky "Move Your Hand" which could of just as easily been taken up by George Clinton and P-Funk.
Cool, Funky and Groovin', this album along with Jimmy Smith's ROOT DOWN and Lou Donaldson's Midnight Creeper are definitely top picks for the true Hammond B-3 funkateer.
Lonnie has that essential groove that remains through the whole album. Right from the first track you realise you are on one of Blue notes very special albums. "Charlie Brown" sets the scene while "Layin in the Cut" builds up the pace to an awe inspiring state on one of the greatest groove organ tracks I have ever heard. On the Title track "Move Your Hand" Lonnie matches his organ brilliance with unique heart felt vocals. On "Sunshine Superman" Lonnie continues the saga. The man is backed by awesome performances on guitar by Larry Mcgee and Rudy Jones on Tenor Saxaphone as well as many other musicians also giving excellent performances. This is an album that always remains by the stereo, mainly in it. You will always return to it. This is the exact music you would want to listen to in your favourite bar with dim lights a groovy armosphere and your favourite drink in your hand...[net]