Bobby Broom, Song And Dance (Origin). Accompanied by bass and drums, the Sonny Rollins and Dr. John guitarist plays a relaxed program of his compositions and others by Schwartz & Dietz, The Beatles, Charlie Chaplin and Jimmy Webb. A highlight: Broom’s harmonic adventuring in an extended cadenza in “Good Old Days,” the Little Rascals theme.
Frank Foster Loud Minority Band, Well Water (Piadrum). There is more than curiosity value in this session that went three decades between recording and release. It may not quite qualify as recovered treasure, but the writing and ensemble playing are fine, and Elvin Jones’s drumming is superb. In his liner notes Foster puts himself down, amusingly, but he solos well on tenor and soprano saxophones, and we are treated to several solos by Charles Sullivan, a drastically overlooked trumpeter.
Billy Strayhorn, Lush Life (Blue Note). Blue Note’s all-star variety show CD of Strayhorn compositions was designed as a supplement to the PBS television special of the same name. Hank Jones, Bill Charlap, Joe Lovano, Diane Reeves and Elvis Costello head the bill, with important participation by George Mraz, Paul Motian, Russell Malone, Peter Martin, Gregory Hutchinson and Reuben Rogers. Charlap sets the bar high by opening with a tight, smart “Fantastic Rhythm,” and all hands maintain his standard. The collection is weighted toward Reeves, who sings with simplicity and little of the overdone melisma that sometimes mars her work. Lovano’s tenor sax is a hoot on “Johnny Come Lately.”
Jackie Cain & Roy Kral, Echoes (Jazzed Media). Five years after Kral’s death comes the discovery of a new Jackie & Roy album. Beautifully recorded in 1976 at Howard Rumsey’s Concerts By The Sea and digitally remastered, it contains a rich cross-section of the repertoire of the preeminent jazz vocal duo of their time. Of any time.
Frank Collett, Music From The Movies (Fresh Sound). Following up his CD of the film music of Bronislaw Kaper, the pianist surveys some of the best known movie songs. Among them: “Laura,” “I Remember You,” “Tangerine” and “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead.” With bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Joe La Barbera, or in solo, Collett builds new stories around old themes.
Red Garland, Red’s Good Groove (Jazzland OJC). I ran across this on the shelves when I was looking for something to play along with and, boy, was I glad. There’s nothing recent–and nothing dated–about it. Recorded in 1962 and reissued on CD in 2001, the master pianist is nominally in charge of an organized jam session with four of his peers. And what peers: Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Pepper Adams, baritone saxophone; Sam Jones, bass; and Philly Joe Jones, drums. Six good tunes. Relaxed, unpretentious blowing. Sheer pleasure. It’s still in the OJC catalog. Get it while you can and remember five great players, all departed.