24 May 2008


Yusef Lateef for Argo from 1958.
While we all get carried away with the spiritual jazz theme which has been a unifying thread in blogland of late let's not forget the Detroit originator who has burned a trail in exotic,modal and spiritual jazz from the 50s right up to the present day-the mighty Yusef Lateef.
All three of these themes are represented on this live date recorded at Cranbrook University in 1958 moving from the spiritual "Let Every Soul Say Amen"the modal "Morning"the exotic "Brazil"and the 15 minute hard bop/afro cuban workout of Gillespie's "Woody n You" which at 8 minutes moves into a Blakey styled rhythmic mash up with Lateef speaking in tongues over a furious percussion break towards the finish.A truly righteous lp, and one of the first powerful flowerings of the Detroit underground.

Here's what Time had to say about it upon release in 1959:
Lateef at Cranbrook (Yusef Lateef, tenor sax; Frank Morelli, baritone sax; Terry Pollard, piano; William Austin, bass; Frank Gant, drums; Argo). A quintet given to spicing the group sound with finger cymbals, a one-stringed rebab, and a scraped ram's horn turns its talents to exploring Leader-Composer Lateef's oriental-flavored jazz fancies. Morning and Let Every Soul Say Amen may be too exotic for some tastes, but the easy-swinging sax flights of Gillespie's Woody'n You ought to set any pulse to bouncing.

Ripped @320 from the original vinyl-Cadet reissued it in 1971 with a different cover simply titled "Yusef Lateef" but otherwise no reissues in any format.A tough one to track down and expensive if you do-take a look here!

18 May 2008


Hastings Street Jazz Experience for Midnite Records from 1976.
A truly fabulous Big Band album of spiritual jazz from Detroit with a thirty plus member line up featuring Tribe and Strata East stalwarts such as Phil Ranelin,Miller Brisker and Nasir Hafiz plus guest vocalist Kim Weston of Motown fame.
Highly Recommended.
From the sleeve notes:
The Hastings Street Jazz Experience was founded in 1972 by musicians Ed Nelson,Dedrick Glover and Charles Miles.Miller Brisker and Ed Nelson,who is percussionist on on all of the compositions,have to be seen as the driving force both musically and from a production standpoint.The musicians on this date all agree that without their energy and persistence the album would never have been finished.Miller Brisker,whose solo on Ja -Mil firmly demonstrates his lyricism and his ability to swing,is also the founder of the Detroit Jazz Composers Ltd which is responsible for all the compositions rendered here.It is especially rewarding to hear Teddy Harris Jnr,Nasir Hafiz and and Herbie Williams.
Herb Boyd - Centre for Black Studies Jazz Research Institute
Ripped @320 from vinyl.

10 May 2008


Paul Horn for Columbia from 1961.
Paul Horn (alto saxophone, flute); Emil Richards (vibraphone); Paul Moers (piano); Jimmy Bond, (bass). Milt Turner (drums).
More flute to boot featuring the sublime modal masterpiece "Mirage For Miles".
Highly Recommended.
This sadly out-of-print Columbia LP features Paul Horn at the peak of his jazz powers. Horn, who after 1967 would stick mostly to mood music, was a fine jazz improviser who fell between cool jazz and hard bop. He doubles on alto and flute on six originals (including the lengthy "Mirage for Miles") plus "Without A Song" and "My Funny Valentine." Also in fine form are vibraphonist Emil Richards, pianist Paul Moer, bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Milt Turner. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
Ripped @320 from the Collectables double cd reissue.

4 May 2008


James Clay For Riverside from 1960.
And another one for the flute freaks!
James Clay (f, ts), Nat Adderley (c), Victor Feldman (vib), Gene Harris (p), Sam Jones (b), Louis Hayes (d)

James Clay only led two record sessions before settling in obscurity in Texas, where he would not be rediscovered until the late '80s. Cannonball Adderley helped present him on Riverside in 1960, so it seemed fair that Clay utilized several of Adderley's sidemen on this session (cornetist Nat Adderley or vibraphonist Victor Feldman, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes) along with a young Gene Harris on piano. Clay splits his time between his lyrical flute and tough tenor, proving to be an excellent bop-based improviser.Scott Yanow AMG.
320 rip of the original lp format from the OJC CD reissue-buy the cd for bonus tracks.