The necessity of reviving the disabled Rifftides computer temporarily derailed the plan to immediately continue posting short alerts about worthwhile recent releases. (See the first installment here.) Treatment at the digital hospital succeeded, however, and we’re back in action.
Roswell Rudd, Fay Victor, Lafayette Harris, Ken Filiano, Embrace (Rare Noise)
Rudd, an intrepid—often blowsy—trombonist, meets his match in the powerful singer Fay Victor. Gusto aside, in ballads each is capable of tenderness that has fetching rough edges. Pianist Lafayette Harris is a focal point of the album by dint of his brilliant accompaniments. Rudd and Ms. Victor manage to inflect passion and longing into a memorable performance of Billy Strayhorn’s “Something To Live For.” Throughout, Filiano is rock-solid on bass.
Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto ’76 (Resonance Records)
Nearly twelve years after the triumph of their original recorded collaboration in 1964, the great tenor saxophonist reunited with the enigmatic guitarist, singer and composer who changed Brazilian music. They were beautifully recorded at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner. The emotion of the occasion is palpable. Pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint Houston and drummer Billy Hart are valuable contributors, but it is Getz’s and Gilberto’s album in nearly every sense. Glberto’s new take on Jobim’s “Aguas de Marcos” more than justifies Getz’s praise in his introductory remarks.
Danny Grissett, Remembrance (Savant)
Long impressive as trumpeter Tom Harrell’s pianist, Grissett applies his soft touch and deep harmonic gift to pieces that include four of his compositions. The album title refers to “Lament For Bobby,” an elegy honoring Grissett’s late brother. Grisset’s “Digital Big Foot,” bears no apparent resemblance to Charlie Parker’s classic non-digital “Big Foot.” It has intensity and compelling forward motion. Soprano saxophonist Dayna Stephens stands out in Thelonious Monk’s “Gallop’s Gallop.” Bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Bill Stewart meld nicely with Grissett in the rhythm section.
Jane Ira Bloom, Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson (Outline)
An uncompromising soprano saxophonist, Bloom has long indulged a literary bent, with particular attention to the American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The first of the two CDs here presents her with a formidable rhythm section of her frequent piano collaborator Dawn Clement, bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte. The other disc has the actor Deborah Rush narrating variations on the same Dickinson poems. With and without narration, Bloom’s quartet may stimulate a rewarding visit to the bookshelf or the library in search of Dickinson.
Jimmy Heath, Picture of Heath (Xanadu Master Edition-Elemental)
Elemental Music rescues from rarity one of saxophonist Heath’s major Xanadu titles. With pianist Barry Harris, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins, Heath is splendid on tenor and soprano. Five of his compositions include the classics “CTA” and “For Minors Only,” and the album has a first-rate tenor sax “Body And Soul.” Heath and the standout rhythm section remind us that the 1970s had jazz riches, despite critics’ frequent downgrading of the decade’s importance. Elemenal deserves applause for unearthing this and other Xanadu treasures.
We will have more Briefs as time and other matters allow.