CD: Alan Broadbent

Alan Broadbent, Moment's Notice (Chilly Bin). In heavy demand as arranger, conductor and accompanist, Broadbent's schedule leaves him too few opportunities to work with his longtime sidemen, bassist Putter Smith and drummer Kendall Kay. In this welcome set, Broadbent plays with his customary blend of power, relaxation and inventiveness on tunes by Charlie Parker, Mal Waldron, John Coltrane and Benny Golson, among others. There is riveting interaction between Broadbent and Smith on Parker's "Chi … [Read more...]

CD: Javon Jackson

Javon Jackson, Once Upon A Melody (Palmetto). Whether as the result of marketing gambits or of press stereotyping, Jackson's name rarely appears without the word "funk" nearby. In truth, from the time of his early beginnings with Art Blakey, his tenor saxophone playing has had fuller stylistic and emotional range that of a funkmeister. This CD is satisfying evidence of Jackson's breadth, from the sensitivity of his respectful treatment of the melody of "My One and Only Love" to the engaging … [Read more...]

CD: Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong, Fleischmann's Yeast Show & Louis' Home-Recorded Tapes (Jazz Society). If Armstrong's big band of the late 1930s had been this supercharged on its commercial recordings, critics might not have written all those disparaging things about it. These air checks tell the real story of what Armstrong was capable of in fronting Luis Russell's band. Here is the fountainhead of jazz inspiration in full flight. The companion CD is a generous sampling of Louis reminiscing, singing, … [Read more...]

DVD: Cannonball Adderley

Cannonball Adderley, Live in '63 (Jazz Icons). Riding high on his success as a leader, the alto saxophonist was proud of his early 1960s sextet. These televised concerts capture him and his sidemen expansive and swinging. Yusef Lateef, Nat Adderley, Joe Zawinul, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes had integrated with Cannonball into one of the tightest small bands in jazz. Lateef was nearing the end of his tenure with the band, pleasing the audiences --and, clearly, Cannonball, too-- with his solos on … [Read more...]

Book: Benny Green

Benny Green, The Reluctant Art (Da Capo). Dave Frishberg's recent message to Rifftides in which he recommended this book sent me scrambling in haste and embarrassment to obtain a copy. I had never read Green's book, subtitled "Five Studies in the Growth of Jazz" and should have. There are actually six studies. I am being rewarded by Green's insights into Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Art Tatum and Charlie Parker. One provocative thought from Green: "Improvisation … [Read more...]