Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Releases: DONALD BYRD - Byrd In Paris; JOHN LEE HOOKER - Boogie Chillin'; CARLOS GARNETT - Cosmos Nucleus


Early in his career, Donald Byrd spent some time in Paris – where he not only got a chance to work in a whole new setting with some really great players, but he also got to record some fantastic sides that still stand as some of his best hardbop work! This rare album was originally issued on the French Brunswick label – and it features a quintet that includes Bobby Jaspar on tenor, Walter Davis Jr on piano, Doug Watkins on bass, and Art Taylor on drums. The set was recorded live – and the tracks are all quite long – really giving the group ample room to stretch out on hard-blowing solos with a lot of soul. Titles include "Ray's Idea", "Flute Blues", "Paul's Pal", "Dear Old Stockholm", and "The Blues Walk". (Vinyl 180 gram limited to 1000 copies.) ~ Dusty Groove


Sublime live work from John Lee Hooker – a set that features the legend on solo guitar and vocals, but recorded at a level that's even crisper and more personal than some of his other albums from the time! The performance is clearly pitched more towards the folk blues audience of the time, which means that Hooker is looser, more open, and maybe even more creative than on some of his more singles-oriented material from the 60s – with some tracks that almost feel like personal statements or recollections, set to wonderful interplay between vocals and guitar. Titles include "Run On Babe", "TB Is Killing Me", "I Was Standing By The Wayside", "Matchbox", "I Want To Get Married", "I Need Some Money", "Cruel Little Baby", and "You Been Dealin With The Devil".  ~ Dusty Groove


One of the excellent early albums cut for the Muse label by soul jazz sax player Carlos Garnett! This set's one of his most righteous – and features a larger than usual ensemble, with players that include Cecil McBee, Kenny Kirkland, Zane Massey, and Al Brown – playing in a strident vein that recalls other albums of this sort on the Stata East label. Titles include "Mystery Of Ages", which features vocals by Cheryl Alexander, plus "Wise Old Men", "Kafira" and "Bed-Stuy Blues".  ~ Dusty Groove

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