CHRIS BYARS - THE MUSIC OF DUKE JORDAN
The music of Duke Jordan, but in a really fresh setting – handled here by altoist Chris Byars, who's brought together a compelling lineup for the set! Many of these tracks are numbers you'll either know as bop standards, or from Jordan's trio recordings – but the approach here is quite inventive, and makes the record way more than just a tribute – in the creative style of Byars' previous projects dedicated to Gigi Gryce or Lucky Thompson. Chris opens up the tunes with instrumentation that includes bass clarinet from Stefano Doglioni, trombone from John Mosca, and guitar from Pasquale Grasso – as well as vocals from singer Yaala Ballin, who composed lyrics for two Jordan tracks – "If I Did Would You" and "Lesson In Love" – which are nestled nicely next to instrumentals that include "Jordanish", "Undecided Lady", "There's A Star For You", "Glad I Met Pat", and "The Bullet". ~ Dusty Groove
MICHAEL COCHRANE - DISCOVERY
Wonderfully warm work from the great Michael Cochrane – a pianist we always love, and who also seems to be playing a bit of Fender Rhodes on this album too! The instrument's not credited on the back, but turns up in an excellent version of Denny Zeitlin's "Quiet Now" – which is handled by Cochrane with just the right sort of space and tone to really open up the composition – in a way that's very different from the bolder, more soulful tones the pianist uses throughout the rest of the album. As always with a record from Michael, the original tunes are some of the best – and include "Discovery", "MC's Bossa", "Erie Blues", and "Fantasy" – all the kind of numbers that always have us digging for his records whenever we get the chance. Other tunes include "Oblivion", "Yesterdays", and "Visitation" – and the trio includes Daryl Johns on bass and Steve Johns on drums. ~ Dusty Groove
BERNARD PURDIE - PURDIE GOOD!
Bernard Purdie's first album as a leader for Prestige – cut right after he'd hipped up plenty of other sessions for the label with his famous funky drums! The groove here is very much in the best Prestige jazz funk mode of the early 70s – tightly vamping rhythms that draw heavily from Purdie's monstrous drums – and which also offer solo showcase space for Harold Wheeler on electric piano, Ted Dunbar on guitar, Tippy Larkin on trumpet, and Charlie Brown and Warren Daniels on tenor. Rhythm is augmented by Gordon Edwards on Fender bass and Norman Pride on congas – and the grooves hit a variety of modes that show that Purdie could sometimes be a more open-thinking rhythmatist than his funky contemporary Idris Muhammad. Titles include great instrumental versions of "Cold Sweat" and "Montego Bay", plus the originals "Wasteland", "You Turn Me On", and "Purdie Good". ~ Dusty Groove