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    $20.78 $19.82 list($25.98)
    1. Radiance
    $13.49 $8.25 list($18.98)
    2. Live in Paris
    $14.98 $8.49
    3. The Paul Desmond Quartet Live
    $13.99 $13.74 list($17.98)
    4. Koln Concert
    $13.99 $13.84 list($17.98)
    5. The Out-of-Towners
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    6. Smokin' at the Half Note [Bonus
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    7. EnRoute
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    8. Swiss Movement:Montreux 30th Anniversary
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    9. Friday Night in San Francisco
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    10. Night At The Village Vanguard
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    11. Smokin' at the Half Note
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    12. Paris Concert
    $32.49 $27.29 list($35.98)
    13. Solo Concerts: Bremen & Lausanne
    $13.99 $12.89 list($17.98)
    14. Breakdown: Live Recordings 1973
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    15. What Now?
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    16. Waltz for Debby (20 Bit Mastering)
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    17. Ultimate Collection
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    18. Nina At the Village Gate [Roulette]
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    19. At Carnegie Hall
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    20. Sunday at the Village Vanguard

    1. Radiance
    list price: $25.98
    our price: $20.78
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    Asin: B0007YH4EO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 263
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Returning to the solo live format for this double disc, one hour and 20 minute set, Keith Jarrett is in fine form. Recorded on two nights, three days apart, in Osaka and Tokyo in 2002 (but not released until 2005), Jarrett approached these recordings with no planning. Instead he let the energy transport him and his hands to places that can only be found when the philosophical and physical join as one. It was a risky move, but it paid off in one of the most inspired and challenging albums of his near four decade career.

    The usual Jarrett musical concepts apply as he combines classical, jazz, avant-garde, and dynamic melodic ideas within a single piece. Even in the album's many quiet moments, the energy level never wavers as this performance proves that the space between notes is every bit as intense and important as the notes themselves.Shifting between subtle passages such as those in "Part 6" and the more dissonant work of "Part 7," Jarrett takes his audience on a journey that seems as illuminating for him as it is for us. This is cerebral, obdurate yet flexible and emotionally driven music from a musician who always follows his inner calling. Established fans will be thrilled with this performance and open-minded newcomers will be left slack-jawed at Keith Jarrett's talent and uncompromising vision. Hal Horowitz

    Recommended Keith Jarrett Discography

    The Köln Concert (LIVE)
    The Survivor's Suite


    Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings (Box Set) (LIVE)

    Nude Ants

    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Both Avant-guard and Romantic Aspects in Osaka and Tokyo
    14 - 17 tracks are from Tokyo, October 30, 2002.Later than track 15, Keith once stopped his improvisation due to an ill-timed applause.He should got excited and restarted even more avant-guard tune, even destroying not only melody but rhythm also.I felt that it was like sonatas of Prokofiev or Boulez.Please enjoy this section in DVD released in this autumn.Tunes in this album are the beginning and the end of the Tokyo concert.Keith even broke tonality and rhythm in tracks 1, 4, 5, 7, and 11.They are spontaneous inspiration on the night of Osaka, started from his left hand.Many people remember his romantic and nostalgic recitals in Bremen, Sun Bear (six CD Japan tour), and Koeln.This album may be the avant-guard development of the idea in Dark Interval or Solo Tribute, both in Tokyo.The world of Jarrett improvises freely in various ways, rushes, deeply considers himself, and released to the memory of adolescence.Personally, tracks 1, 4, 5, 7, and 11 are extending the world of Jarrett.In the framework of concert, nostalgic tracks 3, 6, 8, 13, and 16 are well contrasted with avant-guard parts.Keith also played in Tokyo on October 31, 2002, but it was too much romantic and not avant-guard.I prefer the coexistence of avant-guard aspects and romanticism found in this album.This album is based on classical aspects of Keith.In his solo in Tokyo, this October, I also eager Jarrett promoted by his groove and swing, as I experience in Tokyo, September 29, 1999.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime Return
    It's truly a joy and a privilege to hear this cutting edge artist, who has proven himself pretty clearly to be one of the best musicians of the last 30 years back on top of his game after falling into chronic fatigue syndrome. This album, which is a recording of a live solo performance, is deeply moving and introspective. I'm glad they decided to leave Keith's humming in the recording at the last minute. What is evident from his playing here is that he is a true artist, who is constantly devoted to sharing his most private feelings and challenging our ears. He seems fully energized here, though he has sections of amelodic and very dark and perhaps even slightly aggressive movements. Highly varied and beautiful. The conclusion is among the most intense bits I've ever heard. To any fan of music, do not miss this record!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Keith and ECM
    This is the only forum I know of to express my deep appreciation for the music that Keith shares with his audience. I can't imagine the talent, emotion, effort and expressiveness that goes into making music this wonderful. I figure I've spent about $400 in 20 years of buying Keith's music. I will treasure all of it for the rest of my life. This excellent recording only adds to the list. Buy it and you will understand what I mean.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite New Solo Work
    To sit and listen to Keith Karrett's piano, particularly when it entails his solo improvisations on the piano, puts me in a state of awe before the first note is touched on his keyboard. Yet, saying this stems less from the faithful love of a long-time fan but rather from the recognition of the quality and depth of a man's work over so many years.
    "Radiance," his first solo offering in many years, can only reaffirm my appreciation and anticipation for the depth and range of moods he has me accustomed to, with his recordings.
    Throughout the seventeen pieces selected for this double CD release, Jarrett, again, conjures up moments of sublime tenderness and vivid and soulful conflict.
    Not knowing in much detail about his ordeal with chronic fatigue, the compositions included here seem to portrait the range of emotions of a man that has gone through a journey of initiation.
    At times, through melodies that evoke a profound sense of personal peace or bound to stir some ancient pains, whether the notes seem to flow or be painfully forced out of a difficult confession, the album as a whole confirms Jarrett's artistic stature and the maturity and deep honesty of his current work.
    Jarret's a virtuoso, yet this not only accounts for his exquisite technique but, even more, for the troubled vulnerability he can express so vividly on each of these pieces. It's hard not to be moved by the wondrous combination of blissful and disturbing truths coming out of his piano.
    So, my awe has been more than justified, and my gratefulness for a work of such emotional and austere beauty cannot sufficiently do justice to what you are about to hear in these two CDs.
    This is one of the most moving, intelligent and courageously vulnerable sets, in any genre, I have heard in a long time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Profound
    Perhaps it was his battle with fatigue and stress, but ever since the CD, THE NIGHT ALONE WITH YOU, Jarrett's intensity has taken on an ever more profoundly reverent regard for silence, for what is not uttered, for what is and must be left unsaid because our deepest spiritual aspirations can only approximate and in some way parenthesize what id ineffable. It is what is in Music itself that calls upon musicing to articulate, to clear a ground, to shine and glimmer in a night, not so it can radiate in its own glory, but so that it can remind us of what remains left unsaid. In dwelling so poetically, Jarrett has through his trio and solo work, always sought what breathes when all else goes quiet. Rapturous at times, melodic, abstract, the considerations on this disc operate from a spontaneity that he deliberately attempeted to avoid thinking about and planning for.
    The results are profound. Possibly his very finest work to date. The audience was with him all the way on this, even though he notes that they were likely as unprepared as he was. Some sections end without applause, startling both him and his listeners. In the end, there is a silence before the enthusiasm that speaks volumes for hwat they have done together. He hesitated to remove audience coughing and his own sounds, gracefully at a minimum, and reinserted them because they somehow further articulated what was perhaps uneasiness on one or the other's part.
    This is not simply improvisational. This is spontaneous. This is Music announcing itself through the hands of one man hitting notes, chords, motifs that either occur or are delivered whole through him, to point back to what it is in the human soul that so desperately needs Music in a world so noisy, so full of things, that something as ephemeral as this would have so everlasting an effect seems at direct odds with our reifying existence. This music belongs to no one and yet infuses all of us, as though we belong to it, and to what it leaves unsaid about the very truth of our lives.
    ... Read more

    2. Live in Paris
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B00006J9OT
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 341
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Recorded at the historic Olympia Theatre in Paris in November 2001, this is Diana Krall's first live album. Backed by her quicksilver comboof bassist John Clayton, drummer Jeff Hamilton, and guitarist JohnPisano (on some tracks), Krall's jazz heritage comes through loud and clear on this programof standards, ballads, and bossa novas. On Peggy Lee's "I Love Being Herewith You," Bob Dorough's "Devil May Care," and Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon," Krall's snappy, postbop piano playing shows off her debt to Nat "King" Cole and Jimmy Rowles. Her cool contralto vocals are illuminated by the Orchestre Symphonique Europeen, under the direction of Alan Broadbent, as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Claus Ogerman. Krall's deep take on Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" is a great choice for an encore, and the CD concludes with Billy Joel's "Just theWay You Are" (a studio track from a film called The Guru), withtenor saxophonist Michael Brecker and bassist Christian McBride. This collection only hints at what Diana Krall has to offer in the future.--Eugene Holley Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (104)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Separate but equal to some of her other stellar releases
    After spending the past few weeks listening to her other releases I own, it's apparent to me that Diana Krall's "Live in Paris" highlights several qualities which aren't as noticeable on the other albums. For one, her voice is fuller, huskier, and shows a greater dynamic range here than on many of her studio-recorded tracks. In addition, the more open arrangements which come with a live gig allow her jazz piano skills to shine in ways not often heard on the albums. Finally, the rhythmic variations she displays with her voice and fingers throughout the performance aren't utilized much on her earlier albums.

    After listening through the album several times, my personal faves are "The Look of Love," "Maybe You'll Be There," and "A Case of You." I don't care much for the version of "Just the Way You Are" included here. Though it's included as a bonus track, its polished smooth-jazz/pop sound doesn't fit well with the jazzy, more open and engaging tracks which precede it.

    All in all, if you've seen Ms. Krall live (I saw her in D.C. in April) I heartily recommend this CD - it'll bring back what makes evenings with her so memorable. And if you haven't seen her live, this CD will make you want to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Swinging Diana Krall is Back!
    This CD has what Diana Krall does best and what I really want to hear her do: get togther with a cookin' rhythmic combo and just swing through some jazz tunes. She really finds a solid groove and sits right in the pocket during almost every tune. Her piano playing gets better all the time: simple, with just the right combination of single note elegance and splendid jazz licks. Listen especially to her performances here of "Let's Fall in Love" and "East of the Sun." She doesn't play a lot of notes, but she sure plays the right ones. They are right on the money. Jimmy Rowles and Hank Jones would be pleased. "Look of Love?" Well, OK, it was a different marketing shot, but my two cents ask that she put that aside now and get back to swinging and jazz, just like we get it here. One quibble: she sings such great tunes with such classic melodies, it would nice to hear her actually sing them, rather than to play around with every one. The great jazz singers always sang a few songs straight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of Diana's Best
    I bought "Girl in the Other Room" and did not care for that depressing album at all. But when a friend played this for me, I could not believe it was the same singer. This is an amazing album, full of swing, sass, life and great orchestration, everything the other album is not. I am going to have to listen to her other previous albums now. This one was wonderful, I hope there is more from this singer like this!

    5-0 out of 5 stars So good live!
    Diana is so good live! has more live clips...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kick off your shoes, put on this CD, and relax.
    I was introduced to Diana Krall when a friend of mine recommended "Love Scenes," and I have been hooked on Diana's laid-back, slick, vaguely retro voice ever since. "Live in Paris" is by far my favorite of her albums. While the DVD features several more songs than does this CD--"Pick Yourself Up" and "All or Nothing" come to mind--the CD is still perfect for setting a causal, intimate vibe (during car trips, get-togethers, or quiet evenings at home with a good book and a glass of wine). In fact, the range of moods Diana sets with her smoldering voice make "Live in Paris" appropriate for a variety of occasions; "I Love Being Here With You" features a lively, hopping rhythm section, "East of the Sun" is playful swing, and Diana's cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" is given a new, meloncholic texture with her deep voice and tinkling piano work.

    The charm of "Live in Paris" does not lie in the touch-ups of any producers, but in the subtle performance Diana gives, along with the tight-as-clockwork jazz ensemble backing her up. This is a disc that can be played for years and still sound fresh. Fans of Norah Jones; Harry Connick, Jr.; or Natalie Cole will surely enjoy this treat, as will any lover of well-crafted music with a jazzy bend. ... Read more

    3. The Paul Desmond Quartet Live
    list price: $14.98
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    Asin: B00004ST3S
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 39420
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a Great Example of "Cool" Jazz
    Jazz can mean many things and the definitions vary from person to person. This recording is one of my favorite examples of the "Cool Jazz" that happened in the fifties and sixties.

    Preserving the genre into the mid 1970s Paul Desmond stands out as a brilliant leader able to present a beautifully finished product in this classic setting. Recorded in a club you can hear the occasional clinking of glassware in the background although crowd noise is never a problem. The effect is to make one wish they had been there experiencing this performance in person. Thankfully the recording does a wonderful job of preserving the overall affect of this jazz master's later years.

    Ed Bickert's guitar work is outstanding, an example few well known jazz guitarists can even approach. His harmonic content and control is nothing short of incredible. His solos tend to be chord based and unique to him.

    In my humble opinion this is jazz at its best, mellow, warm and unobtrusive yet never boring. If you love cool jazz you will very likely love this recording.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Replace Take Five with a better take!
    When I first heard this live on double LPs in the early 90s, I thought Desmond's playing was feeble. His usual "slow" playing didn't sound "smooth" or "polished" but "tired" and "vanishing." This was understandable, given the fact that he was suffering not only from creeping old age but also from lung cancer, as we know now. But this CD reissue has given me a completely different impression. He sounds great with a lot more energy that I failed to catch in the LPs.

    But what on earth happened to Take Five? Vulnerable Desmond is back. His sax sounds "off microphone" as compared to other tunes whose Paul's solos are captured much more clearly "on microphone." Since five evenings worth of their performances were recorded, much better take of Take Five should have been included in the LPs and this CD. OR, I welcome the box set issue of "The Complete Bourbon Street Sessions," as we have seen with a number of Bill Evans Trio club sessions.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't just "Take Five", take 79 instead...
    This is 79 minutes of very lovely, mostly mellow jazz from the excellent sax player and composer Paul Desmond, recorded live less than two years before his death from lung cancer. He is well supported here by guitar, bass and drums. His elongated version of his own famous "Take Five" comes out quite different than it was on the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Time Out" recording which made the song and Desmond famous. This was originally issued as a double-LP in 1975, eight years after Brubeck's quartet disbanded. Here, Desmond is the leader, and there is no piano. His saxophone and Ed Bickert's guitar both offer many, many minutes of beauty, and the bass of Don Thompson and drums of Jerry Fuller get a little attention as well. This music is closer to "smooth jazz" than to the energetic deliveries of Coltrane or Rollins, yet it is never boring, never pedestrian enough to qualify as "background" music. You really can't help but like this a lot. It's the kind of album you want if you have a 90-minute drive to make on a crisp autumn day, alone (or two 45-minute segments for the round trip!) It also would set a great romantic mood if you were cooking for your loved one and hoped for cuddling after dessert. The extensive and fascinating liner notes are an added bonus, and tell the owner quite a bit about the kind of mind Paul Desmond had...witty and likeable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For Desmond fans only- but man, what a treat!
    I should state a personal bias before writing this review: I am practically a Paul Desmond completist. Like many other Desmond fans, this was an album that I owned on vinyl for a few years and nearly wore out from listening to it so much. This is Desmond in his final days with his final quartet, which fit him like an old comfortable shoe. These songs are long and moody, often with long, pretty guitar solos by Ed Bickert and plenty of accomplished bass solos as well. What I love about this album is that Desmond plays some of his favorite songs here, and he plays them with so much emotion its enough to make one cry. This is Desmond at his best: emotional but not whiney. It's a great album, and a real treat for Desmond fans. Since it's so cool and down-tempo though, the new Paul Desmond fan may want to start else where, but for those familiar with his catalogue this is considered one of the most cherished recordings out there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure
    I just want to put in another good word for this album. I've owned it on vinyl since it came out in the mid 70's and it's always been one of my irreplaceable treasures. To have it available again in this significantly improved reissue is a great joy. The sound on this cd gives full voice to Don Thompson's bass and also gives richer presence to Ed Bickert's incredible guitar.
    Paul Desmond's tone, obviously, has always been to die for, but it's even better here with this digital remastering. He's never sounded better, to my ear, than he does in this live club setting where he can really stretch out. He plays chorus after chorus of inspired, lyrical, beautiful, impossible improvisation, putting his lifetime of experience behind every note. The first two tunes especially, Wendy and Wave show him at his best, but really they're all great.
    This is one of my favorite albums; in fact, yes, it's one of my "desert island" discs. If you like Paul Desmond at all you have to get this. You'll be more than delighted. ... Read more

    4. Koln Concert
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0000262WI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1959
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (77)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A sublime performance
    Generally I resist the urge to hurl superlatives at something; but for this particular disc, only words like "transcendent" and "sublime" will do. Twenty years on, it still floors me.

    The third track ("IIb") alone is a gem that is worth the price of the disc. I've listened to it a hundred times, and I continue to be astonished by the journey it takes you through: a steady progression over moody, lyrical landscapes, spiralling up to a jagged peak, urged on by Jarrett's mesmerizing left-hand work and annotated at the crest by his own gasped vocalizations, as if he, too, were amazed at the scenery. Its the climax of the whole concert --there's nowhere to go but gently retrace our steps back down to the sweet coda of "IIc". Truly a masterpiece of improvisation.

    The recording that, unfortunately, launched a thousand New Age noodlers seeking to capture its mood in simplified imitation; its no wonder that Jarrett has mixed feelings about it. And yes, as a long-time fan, I wouldn't even say its his best work. But it still speaks to me across the years like few other pieces of music I have ever known, in any category. I can't imagine ever tiring of it...and those who have heard it know what I mean.

    And finally: if you like Jarrett's solo piano improvisations but haven't heard 'La Scala' yet, PLEASE do yourself a favor and click on over to get it asap. More technically brilliant than 'Koln' (as you would expect given the interval between the two performances), and the encore of "Over the Rainbow" is achingly beautiful. An absolute must-have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My One True Love
    I have kept from writing about the Koln concert for such a long time, but I feel I must... Now that I read all the reviews.

    Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert captures your soul and never lets go. I have went on and listened to all of Jarrett's albums. All the solo performances. All the solo albums. La Scala is perfect. Probably the best solo concert, in terms of musicality, soul and beauty. Paris is an overall genius, lyrical, touching, aching. So are Vienna, Concerts and the clavichord session, Book of Ways, which is a must-have, although it is not for everybody.

    Whisper Not CD1 is friendly jazz. CD2 is hardcore jazz. Judge it as you might. The Melody At Night With You is pure Keith Jarrett.

    But Koln... It is above all that. While all those other works are standing tall, rising high, crawling, digging deep... They are all grounded somwhere. Classically, jazz-oriented, blues, even pure piano soloing... You can DEFINE them.

    The Koln Concert just floats. It belongs nowhere. It is in a world of its own. No one, including Jarrett, has ever, and will ever make another composition like this one. It belongs to no category. It obeys no rules. It does something to you that only Toccata and Fugue in D Minor comes close to doing to you. It does that from the very first note. It lasts long after the CD ends.

    People wrote, I have listened to it well over a hundred times. Me too. Well over a thousand. Hundreds of times to Jarrett's other albums, too. Keith Jarrett hates this album because he knows he will never repeat such a divine composition. Notice something interesting - Koln is not played even in Jarrett's style.

    Koln was a concert played by a force larger than Jarrett. It was a composition playing itself through Jarrett. A gift from God, whether you believe in God or not. Laugh as you may, this album does something to you no other album does. It grabs your soul and never lets you go. You are a different person once you've heard Koln.

    5-0 out of 5 stars some of Jarrett's most sweepingly majestic moments
    This is the first Keith Jarrett album I've heard. I am aware that Jarrett himself said: "I think of that album as being full of really rich ideas but describing not as much of the process as I'm interested in describing...very much less describing the process than the other live solo recordings."
    Contrasting Koln to his other concerts (I own also Vienna, Paris, Bremen/Lausanne, Tokyo '84, Dark Intervals), I'm not sure what he means.

    For one thing its the most "straightforward" sounding one, I suppose, which explains its accessibility and popularity.

    But does that matter? How does that make it less good than the others?

    Personally I think the Koln concert contains some of Jarrett's most hauntingly gorgeous moments. Part IIB has an almost minimalist (although much more interesting) passage which erupts into a very Romantic piano like passage. This is the most touching and deeply moving piano solo I have yet heard.

    Whether or not Jarrett wants to get all intellectual on us and imply that its easily accessible to the public is immaterial as far as I'm concerned.

    This is gorgeous music and you had better buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
    This was the second cd of mr Keith Jarrett that I bought and is certainly the best way to be introduced to his world....great record and easy to listen to by anyone.
    I recommended to everyone. Music that doesnt fit into any category.....just a masterpiece of solo piano and music in general.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just buy it
    This is an absolutely wonderful record. I have probably listened to it several hundred times. It is hard to believe that Jarrett improvised all of it.

    This music exists somewhere in the space between jazz and classical. People who don't know so much about classical music would probably identify it as piano music by some Romantic composer. The biggest "jazz" feature about it is that it is all improvised by Jarrett.

    I don't think this 1975 recording has dated at all. (OK, there is some tape hiss on it.)

    If you don't have any Keith Jarrett records, this is the one you should start with (it's the one I started with). ... Read more

    5. The Out-of-Towners
    list price: $17.98
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    Asin: B0002JP41O
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1323
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    Keith Jarrett's "Standards Trio" with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette has been so good for so long that they might be taken for granted, but this 2001 concert from Munich's State Opera shows their combination of depth and spontaneity can still surprise. Jarrett has a knack for marking his own path through familiar repertoire, from the playfully exuberant "I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me" that opens the set to his deeply reflective solo version of "It's All in the Game." In between, the group's close-knit interplay enhances a limpidly beautiful version of "You've Changed," an up-tempo harmonic exploration of Cole Porter's "I Love You," and a hard-swinging account of Gerry Mulligan's "Five Brothers." The highlight, though, is the title track, a funky 20-minute tour de force that explores the blues from roots to branches. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

    6. Smokin' at the Half Note [Bonus Tracks]
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B0006VXF4G
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2902
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Wes Montgomery brought the art of the electric guitar to new heights in the 1950s and 1960s before his untimely death at 43. His vaulting style employed octaves much as his main influence, Charlie Christian, did in the Benny Goodman Sextet. Montgomery's crowd-pleasing facility with the fretboard was best employed in live performance when he could stretch out and really be heard. Smokin' is a thoroughly satisfying live album recorded in 1965 and 1966 at the New York nightclub, with co-leader Wynton Kelly and his trio--Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Montgomery and Kelly are in perfect sync here, especially on "No Blues" and "If You Could See Me Now." --John Swenson ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best just got better
    The orginal version of this album has been available on CD for some time, but until now the complete live recording wasobtainable only as a pricey import. This re-release adds bonus tracks as well as stage announcements that make the listener feel as if he or she is actually present to hear Wes Montgomery and the Wynton Kelly trio in an intimate club setting. If you have the older CD, this new version is definitely a worthwhile upgrade. If you have never owned this album before and love good jazz guitar, there has never been a better time to start "smokin'."

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fire that won't go out.
    This remastered, expanded edition of the classic Wes Montgomery-Wynton Kelly session is essentially an economy-priced version of the import, "The Complete Smokin' at the Half Note."If you have the original "Smokin' at the Half Note" and are not a Wes completist, the audio quality of this version is not sufficiently superior, imo, to justify purchase.Still, it's reassuring to see that Wes' popularity continues to be supported by new editions of his work.

    Wes did not receive widespread public recognition until he was 35, and he was barely 44 when he died.Still, it's unlikely any other guitarist (including Christian and Django) has had a greater impact in the history of this music. By the time he had moved on from Riverside to this session for Verve, he had little to prove to musicians and was beginning to accept more accessible, popular assignments that would broaden his appeal to the general public. "Smokin'," despite lacking any tunes as challenging as "Airegin" ("The Incredible Guitar Artistry of"), can stand alongside his Riverside work as an example of creative, inspired playing. And the presence of Wyn Kelley along with Chambers and Cobb definitely raises the swing factor a notch.

    What sets Wes apart from the field is not pyrotechnical legerdemain or bold innovation but every "little" thing that he does so well so effortlessly so much of the time. The sound he gets out of the instrument is of itself a marvel. It has a deep and meaty, utterly natural, resonance, almost as if the tone is doubling itself, reminding me less of other guitarists than of Bird and Clifford. Additionally, there's never a microsecond of doubt in his playing or solo constructions. Nothing is tentative--in terms of notes, phrases, or choruses. It's all so completely lyrical and logical that the listener's biggest challenge can be not to take it for granted.

    His solo on Sam Jones' "Unit 7" might serve as a touchstone to all of his playing. He starts with inventive single note melodic ideas, then moves to octaves without the faintest suggestion of slowing down to accommodate the extra note, then finally kicks it into high gear with a fully chorded "out" chorus that feels as forceful as a shout chorus by the whole Count Basie Band.

    I never caught Wes live, but I've heard that visually he was the mirror image of his music--efficient, composed, resourceful, economical--not the least hint of wasted motion, just like Bird and Tatum. Genius requires a level of concentration that the rest of us probably have little to no experience with. Wes Montgomery is one of those artists who can take the listener beyond the music, offering a glimpse of the creative process itself as practiced by a true master. ... Read more

    7. EnRoute
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B0001EJ7IQ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3050
    Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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    With the live EnRoute, recorded at New York's Blue Note, guitarist John Scofield returns from the jam-band wars in challenging high style, leading a trio for the first time on record in more than 20 years. With his strong blues and funk sensibility, Scofield has always been the jazz guitarist most likely to succeed among rock listeners, and fans from both camps will be drawn to this purer improvisational enterprise. Teamed here with longtime drumming associate Bill Stewart and veteran bassist Steve Swallow (who was featured on those early-'80s trio albums), he's still jamming, but there's a sharpness of focus and a locked-in intensity among the musicians that you rarely encounter in jam-band settings--including his own. Emptying out his bag of much-imitated tricks--the sighing pedal tones, slab-like chords, shimmering lyrical lines, and controlled screams--Scofield romps through the bop classic, "Wee," and delivers a diaphanous reading of "Alfie." The album also features a pair of remakes: "Name That Tune," Swallow's bounding remake of Duke Ellington's "Perdido," and the leader's strutting "Over Big Top," based on "Bigtop" from his 1995 album, Groove Elation. From whatever perspective you choose, it's Scofield's best album since Time on My Hands, his 1990 quartet date with saxist Joe Lovano. --Lloyd Sachs ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a reference-standard live recording
    I've been a Scofield fan for as long as I can remember and see him live as often as possible. That said, and much as I've enjoyed his funk outings, this is the best thing he's released since his days with Joe Lovano in the band. This is a telepathically tight trio, and Scofield's solos here make it clear he's one of the greatest jazz guitarists ever. Lots of risk-taking, tremendous creativity and chops, with a range that moves from Bop to blues to New Orleans funk - often all in the same song. Truly a master at the top of his game.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MAN! That guy can play!
    Scofield fans rejoice! This is probably his best album in years. It's live, so we actually get to hear Old Man Sco play, and play, and play, and, well, you get the idea. The energy is great, the band is solid, and Scofiled's solos go on for days. Usually, in the studio, the guitarist is more cautious. He keeps his solos relatively short and he doesn't come up with as many crazy voicings and riffs that fans have seen in his live shows. That is not the case here. He comes up with so much off the wall stuff that it blows my mind. Also, we have the unusual treat of hearing him play some high tempo bop. I have most of his albums and I never realized he could play and sound so good playing that fast. I agree with the other reviewer that Swallow's playing is a little too low key, but it isn't a big deal. Bottom line: if you dig sco, you'll dig this; if you were never really sure about sco's chops, you'll be pleasantly supprised; and if you're just looking for a kickin' record, you've found it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great cd
    I saw the later show both nights, and couldn't believe what I was hearing. Scofield truely took it to a new level for me. I had been into his work with MMW and jamabands but I didn't know he had it in him. This show prooves he does, Scofield is truely a jazz musician.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Staggers, but remains interesting
    As much as I'd like to pretend it was, this is definitely not something that all newer fans of Scofield will enjoy. There are definately moments on this cd that amaze me every time I hear them, but there are also moments where Mr. Scofield goes a little too far outside the lines for too long for my tastes. This cd gets four stars for all the amazing moments and for the fact that the groove is a constant that Scofield has made his trademark. If you are new to straight ahead trio work or come to Scofield by way of his funkier cds, you might want to take this cd into consideration with caution. Make no mistake that at times this album has hard bop written all over it, but make no mistake that Scofield is one of the best guitarists that has ever graced jazz/fusion.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for being alive
    Aside from that, in the light of the genious of Wes, VanEps, and Breau, I'll forgo the current trends in jazz guitar. ... Read more

    8. Swiss Movement:Montreux 30th Anniversary Edition
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0000033T6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5565
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Jazz
    I heard "Compared To What" a few times before buying the album, and that was the track that really turned me onto this excellent jazz album. "Compared to What" has a great beat and is just an overall amazing song. The song that follows, "Cold Duck Time" is a great jazz tune because it has a cool mellow feel to it. The rest of the album from there is excellent, I reccomend this album to everyone that likes jazz and even for some that may not, it is hard not to appreciate the great musical pieces on this album.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect first jazz record
    A thoroughly enjoyable CD. Great fun, but still deep. "Compared To What" is the kind of track that blows away anyone who hears it -- everyone I've played it for has immedietly bought this CD! Like the rest of the album, "Compared to What" is intensely groovin', passionate, nicely loose, positively upbeat with just the right hint of righteous '60s revolution vibe.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very cool
    It's a good thing there are still a few radio stations in the country, such as WXRT in Chicago, that dig up great nuggets like "Compared to What", the leadoff track on this great CD. I'd never heard the number before, but liked it so much when I heard it in my car I ordered the CD as soon as I got home that day. If you like cool '60s-era jazz, the kind of music your folks might have listened to if they were hip; this is your album. This impromptu collaboration of the Les McCann Trio and horn players Eddie Harris and Benny Bailey, taken from a live performance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1969, holds up well. OK, the sardonic lyrics in "Compared to What" are dated, but the music still packs a wallop. McCann's piano playing compares favorably to Ramsey Lewis', and that's saying something. Throw in Eddie Harris' tenor sax, Benny Bailey's trumpet, Leroy Vinnegar's bass and the uptempo beat of most of the tracks, and you have a nice, tight package here that will not disappoint. This is not "new age" jazz; this is straight-ahead music that you can move to. Very highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ages well
    This is one of those recordings that seemed always to be on someone's stereo when I went to college. Lots of people who ordinarily didn't listen to much jazz had it and loved its mixture of funk, soul and jazz improvisation.

    Sometimes these recordings don't age well, and I picked up this CD with just a bit of wariness, thinking its hipness might have gone the way of tie-dyed shirts and bottles of Mateus. I'm happy to report that the 1969 concert still packs plenty of punch.

    This 30th anniversary edition in particular is worth buying because it contains detailed notes on how pianist McCann, saxophonist Harris and trumpeter Benny Bailey came to be on the same stage that night in Montreux. Turns out it was very impromptu -- to the point that Bailey didn't even know most of the tunes and had to follow Harris's lead as he searched for the changes.

    Given that, Bailey's performance is especially impressive. His solos not only are crisp, they crackle. He's particularly effective on the date's best known tune, "Compared to What," on which he delivers a very sharp plunger mute solo that adds spice to an already very hot performance.

    Harris is in fine form throughout, delivering plenty of unforced soulfulness on each track, especially "You Got It in Your Soulness." His solos have a fluidity that makes the tunes sound rehearsed, although they really weren't.

    The date is not long on compositional surprises (there's no way it could have been; bassist Leroy Vinegar's "The Generation Gap," was so new it didn't even have a title on that night), and that makes it a four-star release for me. McCann's piano is funky but not particularly inspired -- although his vocal on "Compared to What" is -- but overall the group displays some genuine fire that I think many listeners will find just as enjoyable as I did when I first heard it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Time Capsule
    Swiss Movement is that most precious artifact: Something that is both completely of its time and of all time. If (heaven help you) you wonder whether there was more to the period we've come to call The Sixties than Jerry Garcia and Grace Slick, you owe it to yourself to check out Les McCann singing "Compared To What?" When it first came out, Playboy Magazine (uh, they put on a jazz festival as well as show pictures of nekkid wimmen) called it "rock and roll disguised as jazz." Hey, whatever. It grooves. And the secret weapon of this session is the amazing trumpet/cornet of Benny Bailey. His work on "Cold Duck Time" is not an acquired taste--you take to it right away. Also dig the late Leroy Vinnegar aka The Tennessee Walker on bass--he's right there, every cut. ... Read more

    9. Friday Night in San Francisco
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B000002AHM
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10691
    Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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    This live recording from 1980 matched fusion guitar heavyweights Al DiMeola and John McLaughlin with Spanish guitar whiz Paco DeLucia. The result, a dazzling technical display, also earned jeers as the international summit of world-class finger-wigglers by critics who felt it was long on chops and short on heart. John McLaughlin's importance to the development of the jazz fusion scene can't be overestimated: as the guitarist on Miles Davis's seminal Bitches Brew and A Tribute to Jack Johnson, he was the first significant guitarist of the electric jazz era; on his own, he brought power rock, spiritualism, and lush orchestration to the scene via his Mahavishnu Orchestra. DiMeola, the most commercially successful next-generation fusion guitarist, achieved stardom with Chick Corea's group Return to Forever and on his own records. DeLucia, virtually unknown in the U.S., is a fine flamenco guitarist, and it is that orientation more than anything that colors Friday Night: even when playing straightforward non-flamenco compositions, the phrasing and sensibility lurks behind every note. Still, the passion of the music is frequently marred by the participants' inability to play at anything but the most breakneck pace. --Fred Goodman ... Read more

    Reviews (49)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Live Virtuosity!
    I saw the Trio perform at the Warfield in San Francisco the night after they recorded this outstanding album. I've been to a fair number of concerts over the last thirty years, but that one is indelibly etched in my mind as the best by far that I ever saw. Another reviewer makes an excellent point in commenting that it's difficult if not impossible to capture completely the greatness of a live performance on record, and this album is no exception. As good as it is, the actual concert (or, at least Saturday night's version of it) was unbelievably good, with emotional depth some critics of the album say is missing on the recording. Never before or since, not even with future tours of the Trio, have I experienced such a magical interplay of performers, audience, and breathtaking sound quality. But "Frevo Rasgado" perhaps comes closest to capturing it. It's magnificent! I think McLaughlin's solo on this relatively obscure but wonderful piece is one of his finest ever, a stunning example of the kind of rare, preciously transcendent moment he says he lives for. His interplay with Paco throughout the piece is telepathic, and the ending will drop your jaw. If you're a guitar lover and don't have this album already, buy it. It's the next best thing to having been at one of the greatest concerts you ever did or didn't see.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Energetic Improvisation
    What happens when you bring together two great improv jazz guitarists and an incredible flamenco player? The answer is this album: an acoustical tour de force of flamenco and Latin flavored jazz tunes. Three great guitarists, each in their own right, come together to provide a little over forty minutes of mind blowing music.

    John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola are improvisational giants with a great understanding of the music that they are playing and seem to be able to play new ideas with simple ease, always surprising to the listener. Paco de Lucia had never strayed from the proper form of flamenco music before joining his compatriots on this album. Night after night of trying to play the notes that reflected his feelings, instead of the same way each time, left Lucia with headaches after each show. The improvisational skills Lucia learned from these two masters would help him change flamenco to reach a wider audience.

    The album opens with "Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho", a powerful duet between DeLucia and DiMeola that explores lightning fast runs and a flamenco style rhythms. This is the showcase tune of the album, which turns out to be more of a cutting contest of seeing who can play their phrase the fastest. Nevertheless, this is still a fun piece to listen to. DiMeola and McLaughlin team up for a cover of Chick Corea's "Short Tales of the Black Forest". "Frevo Rasgado" finds McLaughlin and DeLucia trading phrases at blinding speed. This was the piece that piqued my interested in this album. Very flamenco sounding. All three get together to play the remaining two songs. "Fantasia Suite" is simply amazing. There isn't a dud on this album.

    Normally, I will purchase a live album over a studio because the performers play at a higher energy level. Although this is true with Friday Night in San Francisco, there are parts where the audience is too loud and drowns out the musicians. Hearing adults "shushing" is annoying, and reminds me of being in school.

    If you like great guitar playing, especially with a flamenco sound, definitely purchase this album. Your jaw will drop and your head spin trying to comprehend how fast these three virtuosos play.

    5-0 out of 5 stars To the guy who thinks this is a poor recording....
    You're joking right?!! Technical proficiency is not a sign of poor playing, you moron! The fact that each one of these incredibly talented musicians is able to PLAY WITH EACH OTHER is already saying so much about their abilities. If you actually gave the recording a good listen, which you obviously didn't, you would notice that the quiet, slow sections are just as beautiful, if not more so, than the lyrical, speedy sections. Frankly, if you were really a musician, or knew anything about music at all, you would realize that the mark of a great musician, is the ability to play softly, and slowly. You sound like a jaded Berklee student who is trying to find himself and is so insecure in your own inability to develop a sound you have to crap on other people. Oh and by the way...the pressence of arpeggios is included in only about 1/1,000,000 of the playing, most of the runs that Paco plays are augmented, but maybe you skipped that class at music school.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lets Play Extremely Fast Scales Over Paco's Arpeggios!
    If you love to hear extremely fast scales being played up and down, up and down, up and down over relatively simple chord changes then you will love this. (It also sounds like they are using the same scales, not much variation.)

    It was very surprising to me that these brilliant musicians did this. Where was the importance of trying to convey a mood? Or the subtle sophistication that great musicians possess?

    If you're a musician who's advanced musically beyond being dazzled by very fast technique than you would be better to go and check out a musician who really knows how to make the guitar speak, "Moro". A classical guitarist with an enchanting original musical ability. See

    To sum up this recording: Three 115 Ampere sewing machines plugged into 220 Ampere outlets. Unbelievable...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss the point.
    I first heard this on vinyl. Properly awed, I promptly listened to all the other instrumental guitar music I could find. Now, twenty years or so later, I'd challenge critics: Name the OTHER acoustic guitar recording that even meets, let alone surpasses, the standard set by "Friday Night in San Francisco." I love Leo Kottke and Allan Holdsworth and Phil Keaggy and all the rest, but this is still the pre-eminent acoustic recording.
    Here are two points to consider:
    (1) Critics talk about the emotion and beauty being lost in the fireworks. Certainly the fireworks take up the majority of the CD, but listen again to the quiet moment right before the conclusion of "Short Tales of the Black Forest," where one of the guitarists even tells the rowdy crowd, "Shut up, now" (and, by the way, when was the last time you heard a live performer have to tell the crowd to curb its enthusiasm?). Or what about the haunting, eerie melody of the middle section of "Fantasia Suite"? You'll hear it in your dreams.
    So, first of all, this recording does have the "beautiful" moments. But that leads into the second response:
    (2) Don't miss the point! This is not supposed to be a meditative hour to play in the background while you eat your tofu meat loaf. These three guitarists clearly wanted to have fun with each other, to provoke each other to better performance, and, primarily, to blow away the listener who never thought acoustic guitar could sound remotely like this. If judged by these criteria, "Friday Night in San Francisco" deserves seven or eight stars instead of five. ... Read more

    10. Night At The Village Vanguard
    list price: $26.98
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    Asin: B00000K4GJ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 11596
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    In 1957, Sonny Rollins was at an early creative peak, already a masterful improviser who could range from hard-bitten bop blues to broad or sly humor, all conveyed with a swaggering virtuosity and bullying warmth. One of the first jazz musicians to develop the extended solo, Rollins would turn tunes inside out rhythmically, often building a solo around complex variations on a tune's melody. The Vanguard recordings come from a period when Rollins found maximum freedom in a trio pared down to the essentials of tenor, bass, and drums, and the multiple takes here testify to his fluent invention. Disc 1 of this set is highlighted by two takes of "A Night in Tunisia," the first recorded at a matinee with bassist Donald Bailey and drummer Pete LaRoca, the second and faster version at the evening performance with regular accompanists bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Elvin Jones. The second CD continues the evening performance with Ware and Jones. It's a uniquely gifted threesome, with each musician seeming to invent new ways to swing, without a note or a musical opportunity wasted. Both Rollins and Ware reveal their relationship to Thelonious Monk in the ability to create complex, arresting music out of shifts in rhythmic inflections. It's especially apparent in the second version of "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise." In this context, Jones has an opportunity to show just how melodic a drummer he was. The two versions of "Get Happy" demonstrate Rollins's ability to make complex and witty music out of the most banal material, while "What Is This Thing Called Love" is a tour de force of sustained group invention. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Anticipation Of Things To Come
    At some point in 1956 Sonny Rollins developed from being a promising new voice on the tenor saxophone to one of the great jazz improvisers. From then until his temporary withdrawal from the jazz scene at the end of the decade he produced a series of fine recorded sessions, including a classic album aptly titled 'Saxophone Colossus'. This Village Vanguard recording from 1957 is valuable for capturing Rollins in good form in a live setting accompanied only by bass and drums. Of additional interest is that the drummer was another jazz colossus treading his own path to greatness: Elvin Jones.

    As these were live sessions, it's not surprising if some of Sonny's playing here is sometimes more diffuse than in the more tightly constructed pieces on his studio albums from this period. Nevertheless there is a lot of inspired and energetic playing here. Tracks such as "Sonnymoon for Two", "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" and "A Night in Tunisia" are often singled out as highlights; but I haven't yet come across any appreciation of "What Is This Thing Called Love?" as the most remarkable performance. This track reminds me of two other Rollins classics: "There's No Business Like Show Business" (on the earlier album, 'Worktime') and "Three Little Words" ('Sonny Rollins on Impulse' - 1965). Like them it shows Sonny paring down and reconstructing a well-known standard with characteristic resourcefulness and wit, playing with motifs from the tune and with time and phrasing, and managing to sound both supremely relaxed and intensely concentrated at a moderately fast tempo. Notice how at the beginning he exploits the lack of a piano accompaniment to create harmonic ambiguity: by playing with just a few notes from the tune he teasingly hides its identity for a few bars (it sounds at first as though he is going to launch into "Toot, Toot, Tootsie").

    Here and there on these sessions, but particularly on "What Is This Thing Called Love?" you can also hear Elvin Jones beginning to cut loose from his influences and to anticipate the kind of percussion playing he was to develop in the next few years, reaching a peak in his work with John Coltrane in the 1960s. For example, on this track he already shows that ability both to maintain the basic pulse and to appear to subvert it with the use of complex polyrhythms. This begins to happen during Sonny's solo and becomes increasingly adventurous in Elvin's. There is a particularly telling moment at the end of Elvin's long solo, when, after the original tempo seems to have been lost in a succession of polyrhythms, Rollins comes back in, immediately picking up the original tempo as if both players had rehearsed it down to the fraction of a beat. If it weren't for that moment when Sonny re-establishes control, one could suppose that on this track Elvin is the leader, taking the music where he wants it to go (it is he who has the first as well as the last word!). So for different reasons I think this track is the 'classic' of the album and one which gives an intriguing anticipation of things to come - not only of Elvin's later work with Coltrane and others but also of the increasingly abstract style which Sonny was to develop in the next decade.

    To describe these performances as 'dialogues' between Sonny and Elvin would be to unfairly slight the contribution of bassist Wilbur Ware who plays well throughout, reliably maintaining the trio's harmonic foundation, and produces some good melodic motifs in his solos on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise". But it's fair to say that his more conventional playing helps to set in relief the occasional glimpses into the future we get from his partners.

    Whether as an historical document or in its own terms as an exhilarating blowing session, this is a highly recommended album. The sound is mono only, but for a club date is good - clear, realistic and well balanced between the three instruments.

    The only other collaboration between Sonny and Elvin that I know of is the mid-1960s album, 'East Broadway Rundown'. You might not like the long 'free jazz' title track, but the remaining two excellent trio tracks are available on a CD in the Priceless Jazz series, along with some other good Rollins performances from the period (Priceless Jazz GRP98762- see my Amazon review).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Volcanic.
    Before this live album was recorded saxophonist Sonny Rollins dabbled with a number of different sized groups. Eventually he settled on the trio with either drummer Pete La Rocha or Elvin Jones (pre John Coltrane classic quartet) and bassist's Wilbur Ware and Donald Bailey. A NIGHT AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD was the first recording ever made at the esteemed jazz club. I don't know what recording techniques were used, but some have expressed their reservations about the sound quality. I would like to dispell those reservations up front. This album does not sound quite as good as some later live recordings from the club. But if you turn it up it sounds practically as good. This is one of those albums that sounds better as you play it louder. Fiddle with your EQ a bit and you will be satisfied.

    This double disc set is THE one to get-don't even consider earlier partial releases of material from this gig. Here all the music is properly sequenced and you can enjoy the interplay of the trio, the often goofy introductions by Rollins, the chatter between him and the audience, and you can hear him counting off the beginning of tunes which is kind of fun. You get a nice set of standards here including "A Night In Tunisia", "I've Got You Under My Skin", and "What Is This Thing Called Love?" as well as some great originals like "Sonnymoon For Two" and "Striver's Row".

    The jazz trio is a bit easier to listen to when you talk about a piano-based trios like Sonny Clark or Bill Evans. Without the piano to provide a solid chordal foundation for the melody, it is easy to get lost. The bassist can only provide so much of a tonic root. Think of it as a vine that grows up and wraps itself around a wooden post or trellis; the vine adventures off to one side and then another, but always comes back to its foundation, its root: the post. In jazz, the piano and bass usually make up that post, the center around which the soloist works. Without the piano, the soloist is even more free to explore. This can be dangerous as the tonal boundaries of the music become less defined and blurry-in essence, the soloist may lose his or her way much more easily. And without the piano, to where does the soloist return? This certainly *could* have been the case with this recording. The fact that Rollins never loses his way is a testament to his brilliance and complete command of his instrument. It may take you a few listens to acclimate your ear to this piano-less trio, but when everything clicks for you, you'll be loving life. On one of his first albums as leader, Sonny Rollins was already showing us the future of jazz.


    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty great, but...
    is it just me or is Elvin's drumming kinda sloppy on this album?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece in the making
    Trane sometimes seems to get all the glory ans talk and many other great players get overlooked. Sonny Rollins, on this date, proves that he is second to nobody, he is is own man. I had listened to other recordings of him, including to Saxophone collosus, his greatest recording for many people. But until I listened to this record I was able to completely get a grasp of this genious and endlessly imagination. This is an essential purchase, one fo the best live recordings in Jazz, and a great remaster by the way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars pure saxophone genius
    Sonny Rollins is said to have had great nights and nights when he played but his mind was on other things.
    One thing I am certain of - on this night at The Village Vanguard - Rollins mind was focused on playing, and the results are fantastic.
    In the trio setting Rollins' saxophone takes center stage even more than that usually does. He recorded the interesting "Freedom Suite" and "way out west" with only drums and bass, but I think this time the results are the best. It may have been working with the young Elvin Jones, or just a coincidence, but Rollins' humor and talent for interesting phrases never sounded better.
    It seems to me that by 1957 - Rollins was the most developed modern tenor player around. I find it hard to imagine Coltrane at this time playing in a trio format and producing such wonderful results, although this may never be known since as far as I know Trane did not record in such a format.
    I recommend this double CD along with great Saxophone Colossus as the best Rollins' cd's and two of the best tenor cd's ever. ... Read more

    11. Smokin' at the Half Note
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    Asin: B00000470Y
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2802
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Wes Montgomery brought the art of the electric guitar to new heights in the 1950s and 1960s before his untimely death at 43. His vaulting style employed octaves much as his main influence, Charlie Christian, did in the Benny Goodman Sextet. Montgomery's crowd-pleasing facility with the fretboard was best employed in live performance when he could stretch out and really be heard. Smokin' is a thoroughly satisfying live album recorded in 1965 and 1966 at the New York nightclub, with co-leader Wynton Kelly and his trio--Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Montgomery and Kelly are in perfect sync here, especially on "No Blues" and "If You Could See Me Now." --John Swenson ... Read more

    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE Jazz Guitar Album
    I could sing most of the solos in their entirety off of this album just because I've listened to it so many times. The first cut "No Blues" just tells you what Wes is all about. Every other track is great as well and of course you get to hear "Four on Six" which is any Wes fan's favorite. There arn't any disappointing tracks on this album.

    AND HIS TONE! I have never heard Wes' tone sound so big and full. I didn't think that his tone could get any fatter... but it has, and it is gooood. The whole album is choc full o' phat octaves, as are all of his albums. And let me also tell you that this is some straight ahead jazz, before Wes went Pop.

    I have no doubt that this is one of the best Wes Montgomery albums available. Most people I know think it is, and it's worth the $10.99 (which is a good deal for any CD these days) You owe it to yourself to get "Smokin' at the Half Note.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Overrated?
    As everyone is entitled to their opinion I will give mine on Wes Montgomery and especially this album. Way overrated? Wes swung like no other guitar player and his lines are not only beneficial to the guitar player but to horn players as well and all jazz musicians. Why? His solos follow a "plot" type form that build and build and are not just pretty sounds. He also was a pioneer of the octave technique (while Charlie Christian and others did use octaves, no one was as skillful and smart with them as Wes). I will not describe his chordal solos, they need only to be listened to get what he was doing with modern/bebop harmony. To all readers out there- ask any guitar player or jazz musician (try Pat Metheny?? about Wes and they will tell you that Wes is "it". But really just go and listen to one of the best jazz album a few times and you will be able to sing every note of these melodic and swinging solos. Thanks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Guru of the Guitar
    Wes arrived late (he was 35) and checked out early (fewer than 10 years in the spotlight). Still, no guitarist has had a greater impact in the history of this music. By the time he had moved on from Riverside to this session for Verve, he had little to prove to musicians and was beginning to accept more accessible, popular assignments that would broaden his appeal to the general public. "Smokin'," despite lacking any tunes as challenging as "Airegin" ("The Incredible Guitar Artistry of"), can stand alongside his Riverside work as an example of creative, inspired playing. And the presence of Wyn Kelley along with Chambers and Cobb definitely raises the swing factor a notch.

    If you're new to Wes, don't expect to be blown away by just one recording. Guitar is such a popular if not universal instrument that to be designated "number one" often seems to over-inflate listeners' expectations, inviting subsequent doubt and dissent. What sets Wes apart from the field is not pyrotechnical legerdemain or bold innovation but every "little" thing that he does so well so effortlessly so much of the time. The sound he gets out of the instrument is of itself a marvel. It has a deep and meaty, utterly natural, resonance, almost as if the tone is doubling itself, reminding me less of other guitarists than of Bird and Clifford. Additionally, there's never a microsecond of doubt in his playing or solo constructions. Nothing is tentative--in terms of notes, phrases, or choruses. It's all so completely lyrical and logical that the listener's biggest challenge can be not to take it for granted.

    His solo on Sam Jones' "Unit 7" might serve as a touchstone to all of his playing. He starts with inventive single note melodic ideas, then moves to octaves without the faintest suggestion of slowing down to accommodate the extra note, then finally kicks it into high gear with a fully chorded "out" chorus that feels as forceful as a shout chorus by the whole Count Basie Band.

    I never caught Wes live, but I've heard that visually he was the mirror image of his music--efficient, composed, resourceful, economical--not the least hint of wasted motion, just like Bird and Tatum. Genius requires a level of concentration that the rest of us probably have little to no experience with. Wes Montgomery is one of those artists who can take the listener beyond the music, producing vibrations that are not merely satisfying at a sensual or emotional-intellectual level: his music is capable of leading to discoveries about the creative process itself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars amazing, but incomplete
    Of course this album is a classic - and rightly so. But for the complete recordings from these historic sessions, check out "The Verve Jazz Sides". Though the double-album includes samples from Wes' other Verve albums (which you may already have or not desire), it's worth the investment (and 5 stars) to hear 'Smokin' in its entirety.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HEADS-UP TO ALL WES FANS....
    Just wanted to say there's a new Live release of Wes in Paris, in 1965, that is killer, called "Complete Live In Paris 1965" ... Read more

    12. Paris Concert
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    Catlog: Music
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    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have CD
    Keith Jarrett's "Paris Concert" beings in a classical vein, employing quiet spots to create a meditative mood, but it quickly turns to moodier, even dangerous, territory with quicksilver tempo changes. Think of a stream that rolls and runs, building a force that nothing can stop. Jarrett piles on layer after layer of dense, pulsing sound, until the last third of "October 17" is awash in thunderous arpeggios, with the clouds clearing in the final, gorgeously sunburst six minutes. This music doesn't put you "in the mood" - it opens up the moods that are inside you and transcends mere listening.

    The more melodic "The Wind" seems like an appropriate coda for this brilliant recording, with a thoughtful, almost nostalgic coloring. I also own the "Koln Concert," which also has its incredible passages, but I'm surprised that "Paris" only has a dozen reviews thus far. It's one of Jarrett's best pieces of improvisation and it shows his mastery of feeling, technique and range of styles.

    I think that Jarrett's fans may prefer not to overdo their praise; the music is like all the better things in life: best savored in the intimate way Jarrett meant to convey it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Keith Jarrett - Paris Concert
    Well, what should I say...Once I had a girl...Or should I say - she once had me. She brought me a tape , left it with me and went back home. That night changed my level of musical perception. I was introduced to Keith Jarrett and his music. That night that tape was played about 10 times until power outage and lack of AA batteries saved it from complete wastage. Folks, if you have never heard Keith Jarrett before, then be very careful listening to this album - it might knock you off your chair (bed) or it might glue you to your chair(bed) for quite a while. By now I have more than 40 CDs of Keith Jarrett and all of them are fantastic but... but... PARIS CONCERT is something enormous... This is a single most emotional concert of all I possess on my 1500 CDs and of all I have ever been present and listened to. If you can imaging a "naked piano" then that's what comes to smb's mind listening to "THE WIND" . I do not only RECOMMEND you to get this album, I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to do so.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Point of clarification
    Regarding the piece "The Wind" - it is NOT by the guitarist Russ Freeman of the Rippingtons as another reviewer mentioned, but is by the great west coast jazz pianist Russ Freeman (1926-2002). Originally recorded by Chet Baker & Freeman in 1954, the composition has been kept alive for decades with recordings by several dozen great jazz performers.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Sincere and involving.
    As a lifelong baroque fan I have encountered Keith Jarrett's recordings on many occasions. While I have never been truly impressed by these ventures, I do have to admit that Jarrett's baroque is light years ahead of the way most classical pianists play jazz.

    In order to visit Keith on his home turf, I browsed the Amazon pages and gave this cd a chance, since one of my fellow reviewers alluded to Bach's Goldberg variations in his comments.

    This cd contains three pieces: two smaller jazz tunes, preceded by a massive "baroque" improvisation. This improvisation is without a doubt the meat and bones, or to keep the link to the place of origin, le raison d'etre of this cd, and I will focus my review on this piece.

    There is no doubt that Jarrett's exposure to works by the baroque masters was a big influence on the opening composition October 17, 1988. Yet, it would be more accurate to consider this piece a jazz re-examination of some baroque principles through an updated Cesar Franck perspective. I have been a great admirer of Awadagin Pratt's "Live from South Africa", which starts with Franck's prélude, fugue, et variations. While I am not certain that Jarrett was in any way familiar with this rather obscure transcription, there is great similarity between the first section of Jarrett's half hour long meditation and the Belgian organ master's prelude. In addition Keith's interpretative approach of this first section also sounds a lot like Awadagin's. The resulting first of a total of three sections, which seems more scripted than improvised, is a very involving revisit of a romanticized baroque, based on a jazz/soul harmonic backbone.

    Next comes the section that took me repeated listening to appreciate, yet that I now consider the most interesting of the disc. Both Schubert's Wanderer Fantasie and the fifth section of Liszt' piano sonata- the latter greatly inspired by the former- contain a pseudo-fugue section, that shortly follow Beethoven's twist on integrating baroque forms in a contemporary setting, yet never deliver more than short, but intense "turbo-boosts" in the work. The second section of October 17, 1988, similarly is a pseudo chaconne. It starts with an ostinato bass theme that initially seems to lead to a cycle of variations, but that evolves in a rhythmic and harmonic fundament on which Jarrett lets his improvising skills run wild. While the bass drum beat never ceases to induce long lasting headaches in my fellow family members, I think Jarrett is at his best here. Ok, it may be somewhat repetitive here and there, but few can match the fluidity of the phrasing and rhythmic layering.

    October 17, 1988 ends with a third section that is a long choral. Again there is a lot of room for improvisation and Jarrett neatly ties up the strings from the previous two movements. The piece is entirely jazz, yet exudes the atmosphere of a church hymn played on an organ. Playing again is extremely emotionally involving.

    The level of the recording may not be great, but is decent enough. As a Glenn Gould fan, I am used to hearing sung accompaniment to the piano -by the way both Maurizio Pollini, Kristian Zimerman and to a lesser extent Alfred Brendel can be terrible vocalists too-, yet I am not too pleased with the strange distorted "squeeze" that the engineers have given Jarrett's vocal eruptions. To me, it would have been far less bothersome if the singing had been reproduced unaltered.

    In all, I have greatly enjoyed listening to this Prelude, Fantasy and Choral for more than two months and give it my full endorsement for jazz lovers and open minded classically oriented listeners.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jarrett's soaring Baroque masterpiece
    Recorded in 1988, not long after Jarrett had been studying Bach's Well-tempered Clavier, this wonderful concert performance captures many of the most sparkling elements of baroque keyboard composition. Since acquiring this CD I have listened to Bach's Goldbery Variations and Jarrett's recording of Handle's Keyboard Suites, and there is nothing that comes close to the celestial excitement of the first ten minutes or so of the opening track on this album. This is a great multi-purpose CD -- play it in the car, in the office, at your next dinner party, while you're working, impress a classical buff with it, maybe even impress your parents.

    The most startling aspect of track #2, 'The Wind', is that it was co-written by Russ Freeman, leader of the Rippingtons, a sort of dinner-jazz collective held in low esteem by most serious jazz fans. I wouldn't have expected Jarrett to have many Rippingtons' albums in his collection, but he's selected a goodie for this concert.

    Track #3, 'Blues', doesn't maintain the compositional strength of the rest of the performance, but it's a nice encore piece to send the audience away with a riff to hum.

    Readers who are familiar with only a few Jarrett albums should definitely invest in this year's 150+ minute RARUM compilation, which besides being excellent value and well remastered, provides lots of pointers towards the gems elsewhere in Jarrett's catalogue. I have already bought four Jarrett albums (including PARIS CONCERT) as a result of purchasing RARUM. ... Read more

    13. Solo Concerts: Bremen & Lausanne
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    Asin: B0000261GX
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7614
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars It deserves a lot more than 5 stars
    This solo concert was the first Keith Jarrett solo concert I heard, and from the very first notes I was immediately swept into his wonderful, exciting self-created world. It has remained my favourite solo concert ever since that moment.

    Part 1 on the first CD is the best of the three parts. It's 18 minutes of pure genius. Part 2 is longer and not that "compact", but it's still nearly perfect. The second CD is very good. I can't describe the music in words alone, for it's just too beatiful, deep, and powerful that you have to listen for yourself.

    What is characteristic of the Bremen/Lausanne concert is that is has much more flow to it than all of his other concerts. And it's far more based on melody, whereas in a lot of other concerts he keeps his left hand playing the same notes again and again. You won't find it here - a little, but not much anyway. Just a little note on the Köln Concert. In comparison to Bremen/Lausanne, it's very direct and not very deep. The Köln Concert is the most famous and popular of Jarrett's solo concerts, but the most overrated too. If you want the real thing, and aren't afraid of listening to this music in a quiet environment many times, you'll come to love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
    I was actually searching for Jarrett's 1997 La Scala to review, but can't seem to find it. Strange. So, I figured I'd write a review of Bremen/Lausanne. These two discs really are at the top of Jarrett's solo live series. It's funny, we all write in with our picks for THE best- Koln, Paris, La Scala, Vienna, Bremen & Lausanne, etc., but really, it's very hard to pick one, isn't it? Some days it's this double disc, others it's La Scala, sometimes Koln. Then, most Amazon reviewers cite Paris as their favorite, which is usually last among equals on my list.

    This double disc is great from start to finish though, which says a lot because it is A LOT of music. Be careful to listen to the end of track 2 (i forget if it's disc 1 or 2)- there's really a third track, an encore of sorts, which is one of the most gorgeous small movements in all of the Jarrett canon.

    One reviewer of the Vienna Concert remarked that it took him two years to "hear" Vienna part II. I think this is one of the most astute comments on appreciating Jarrett's music I've ever heard. It definitely takes time to *really* hear the music. I think I listened to La Scala (whose part I is quite possibly the most beautiful of ALL Jarrett solo music I think (at least this month!) for months and months, not really caring for it, until one day I finally *heard* it; like Siddhartha sitting at the same old river, one day it clicks and you HEAR it. This to me is the experience of appreciating Jarrett's music.

    One final word- it has been noted that Mr. Jarrett felt Vienna was the pinnacle of his solo series upon it's release in the early 90's. I am curious if that opinion still holds up in light of La Scala. I only recently picked up Vienna, so who knows what treasures it holds, but to my ears La Scala- the pure beauty of the resolution of the first movement- seems to be the shining star above all the rest.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the one to get!
    This is a two CD set. The first disc contains Keith Jarrett's most appealing music, if not his best. If you're only curious enough about Jarrett's music to buy one of his albums, this is the one to get! No doubt.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If there is better piano music than this - let me know.
    I have been listening to Jazz for almost 40 years and am also a jazz pianist and flutist. I first heard keith Jarrett Live in 1974 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver,Canada...that concert was the best musical experience I have ever had. There were also Jazz concert reviewers there (including Bob Smith a man in his 60's then) that wrote that the concert was "Mind-Blowing" , I also felt that way. Keith Jarrett came on stage and just blew everyone away, it was as though we were transported into a higher dimension far from Earth and all it troubles, Jarrett was playing 8 note chords in rapid rythms and also started drumming on the piano and strings at one point, this was the man a his peak, the power and endless ideas of his playing just flowed like a river, as if effortlessly, all the musical ideas from centuries around the world were being fused into something astonishing! Unfortunately that concert was not recorded...however Bremman Lussane which was recorded - about 1 year earlier - is a very good album (was named Time Magazines Jazz Album of the year in 1973) These disks contain exhillaratingly beautiful passages and complex counter-point type runs as well as the thick chords that he became famous for.

    Unfortunately Keith could not keep it up, the Sun-Bear concerts while very good do not have the over-all brilliance that these disks have. Koln concert which was his most poplular and has great moments and a harp-like sound due to close miking still is not as good over-all as Bremman Lussane.

    This is a musician's musician's finest recorded work. This is the man who Oscar Peterson named as one of his favourite pianists, Winton Marsalais said "he is very good". Down-Beat Mag's readers named him best Pianist in the World. Even Rock stars Elton John and Mick Jagger("I know its only Rock and Roll but I like it") said he was their favourite.
    BTW...One likely strong influence on Keith way back in the early 1970's was South African pianist Dollar Brand (now Abdulla Ibrahim)and you can also hear Keith's influence on Abdulla on some of his albums of recent years. No one comes from no where.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Jarrett's debut long improvisation
    Keith Jarrett is probably the greatest improviser of the 20th century. He can sit down and spin out original ideas from the top of his head for up to an hour (Lausanne concert).

    A tremendous melting pot of styles, you'll hear gospel, boogie, trance-like atmospheric passages, Romantic style melodies, atonal improvisation, contrapuntal improvisation, name a style and Keith Jarrett has absorbed it.

    Jarrett himself said of originality: "Jazz has built up this need to be unique. That's egotistical. As far as I'm concerned, the last thing you should try to be is original. If you sound like 80,000 others, as long as you don't imitate, it's still music."

    There are many hauntingly beautiful moments on this album. They don't move me quite as deeply as the Koln Concert, but all the solo concerts I've heard by Jarrett are outstanding. Buy it. ... Read more

    14. Breakdown: Live Recordings 1973
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    Asin: B00000391Q
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3330
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Short-lived and with only a limited output, this five-piece bluegrass band nevertheless helped spread the gospel of this extraordinary genre via the famous coattails of its most notorious member: Jerry Garcia. However, they were no novelty act. Breakdown is the second posthumous release culled from a series of 1973 concerts in San Francisco. At a robust 70 minutes, the album flows like a complete live set, featuring scrumptious musicianship and harmonious camaraderie. Much better than the eponymous debut from 1975--and a perfect second volume companion to 1996's equally worthy That High Lonesome Sound--Breakdown features covers of greats Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, originals by the band's guitarist Peter Rowan, fiddler Vassar Clements and banjoist Garcia. A must own for any fan of acoustic music and a great primer for bluegrass neophytes. --Greg Emmanuel ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The circle is not unbroken (thanks again Dawg!)
    Back when I was in college OLD&IN the WAY were a novelty that let city boys like me sniff the country air I had no idea just how pure & sincere the band is/was.There are different configurations of this band still playing,but this is the original band caught live in 1973. It's pure grass (not the Panama Red kind.)The band exhibits a depth & respect for the originals that takes this listener's breath away ( none of the Flying Burritos hipster sneer here).The song choice is great:jigs, hymns,blues & covers. It clocks in at 70 mins, not counting the bonus track. It has the the Dawg/Acoustic Discs quality.The grass is bluer on these sides & I'm buying more Dawg/Garcia. Thanks DAWG for making it available...

    5-0 out of 5 stars My eyes were opened
    I guess I was always aware of Bluegrass growing up, as my grandparents would always gather round the TV to watch Bill Monroe wail away on his mandolin but it wasn't until I started to explore Jerry Garcia's side projects that I realized how intricate and complex this music is, not to mention how talented the musicians are. From the opening introduction by Pete Rowan through old classics like the signature Panama Red, Working On A Building, and Pig in a Pen to an amazing rendition of the Rolling Stones' Wild Horses this album is a winner. As you listen to it you can't help but think that these guys are sitting on your portch in rocking chairs. It is an excellent recording that captures the essence of the work of this excursion in the mid seventies. If I could urge every Deadhead out there to learn one more thing about Jerry Garcia, it would be to appreciate his love for Bluegrass and Folk music. He has certainly done me a favour by introducing it to me. Also, check out Old & In The Way as well as That High Lonesome Sound, as both are equally superb. Thanks again Jerry, fare thee well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Dad's Finally Hooked on Jerry!
    After 20 years of trying to convince my father that the Dead weren't an Acid Metal band of hoodlums, I struck gold w/ this album! Loved the look on his face when the CD was over & I told him "that was Jerry Garcia and David Grisman from the Grateful Dead!".

    A must own for your CD Jukebox.

    5-0 out of 5 stars They are no fluke
    Many folks are initially suspect of Old & In the Way's authenticity considering the group includes Jerry Garcia. Let there be no doubts of Garcia's bluegrass integrity (personally, I think he should have played more bluegrass.) Garcia introduced a whole new generation of folks to bluegrass...and most of them probably would not have heard it otherwise. That being said...onto the music review.

    This is truly an all-star lineup: Vassar Clements! David Grisman, Peter Rowan & John Kahn round out the lineup. This amazing set of 19 tunes includes many classics like Bill Monroe's "Pig in a Pen," "Workin' On a Building." It includes the Rolling Stones "Wild Horses," which the group makes sound like a true bluegrass tune (this is no gimmick.) The playing is clean and tight. Also, this is the way bluegrass should be heard...LIVE! This music is ultimately learned in an oral tradition and from watching and jamming with others. Sure you can learn from books, but that strips the soul out of the tunes. Plus many songs are anonymous and there are many versions of the same tune passed down through the generations.

    Peter Rowan's voice is splendid and is one of the best in the business. From breakneck speed banjo pickin' to soft country ballads, this disc has them all. This good 'ol string band music is a great way to enter the wide world of bluegrass (which has many sub-genres.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Performance
    I will never get tired of hearing these guys play. I put this CD on and I forget everything else. Bluegrass? Country? I call it Excellent. ... Read more

    15. What Now?
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    Asin: B00080Z6IS
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 17552
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best of 2005
    This isn't a live album. It was recorded over two days in Sear Sound Studio in New York, without any overdubs. The program is comprised of Wheeler originals -- and just for the record, the band is Wheeler (flugelhorn), Chris Potter (tenor saxophone), John Taylor (piano), and Dave Holland (bass).

    It's still early, but I'll climb out on a limb. I think Down Beat is going to give this CD five stars. I'll bet money it's going to make most critics' Best of 2005 lists. It's far and away the best CD I've heard this year. If you like jazz, you need this CD.

    There are a couple of ways to view the background of this session. Wheeler and Taylor released a duet CD on CAM Jazz earlier this year. But I expect a more common comparison will be to 1997's "Angel Song," which has proven Wheeler's most popular record. "Angel Song" deserved every bit of acclaim it received, and "What Now" is a worthy successor. If you like one, you'll like the other. And I can't imagine anyone not liking both.

    Jazz is often described as conversation. This quartet proves that metaphor beyond any doubt. The first thing that struck me about this CD was how intently these guys listen to each other. I've never heard more fluid interplay. And Wheeler's tunes are perfectly suited to this dynamic, blurring the line between composition and improvisation.

    I've heard a hundred all-star albums pairing first-rate musicians. Sometimes it works. Often it doesn't. But every once in awhile you strike something special, a chemistry that can only be described as magical. That's what happened here. It's so good, you almost don't want them to record a follow-up for fear it would disappoint.

    Music like this doesn't come along often. Cherish it. ... Read more

    16. Waltz for Debby (20 Bit Mastering)
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    Asin: B00004UEIF
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5789
    Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    Recorded live at the Village Vanguard, this set rounded out what became known as an early "full" portrait of Bill Evans by following Sunday at the Village Vanguard with most of the rest of the music he played on June 25, 1961. Very little in the annals of piano-trio jazz had ever reached the clarity of execution that Evans made his own with the recordings from this single date. With bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, Evans reached a rapport that sounded whisper-intimate, rolling into gentle cascades and then rhythmically pouncing juts. On the keys, Evans sounds at once completely walled-off and nakedly open as he takes on "My Foolish Heart" and the title melody. The chords are voiced ever so oddly, as are the bass and drums. Coming as it did several months in the wake of the successful first episode in Evans's Vanguard run, Waltz for Debby just made it all the more obvious what a wonder the world had in this trio and its leader. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tied with Kind of Blue for my favorite album.
    This album might not blow you away the first time you hear it, but man is it powerful. I honestly think that the synergy between Motian, LaFaro and Evans is comporable to that of the players in Davis's kind of blue. Chances are, if you're a jazz fan you've heard Kind of Blue. Evans was in it, and was absolutely amazing. Here, a few years later, he's at it again with a thoughtfulness, sensitivity and passion that might take a while to sink in, but it gets better each time you listen to it and if you're like me, you'll listen to this album hundreds of times. I haven't heard all of Evan's albums but a lot of people say that Live at the Village Vangaurd is the best. I think this album is so great that it tops even that album. I believe Evan's piano will be played as long as the piano of Bethoven . . . seriously! As if the previous reasons weren't enough to justify buying it, you'll hear one of the best bassists of all time. Buy it. The sooner the better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the all time greats
    The piano is a versatile instrument. It can function as an accompanying instrument or as a leading instrument. For the latter, there is no better album.

    Evans' rendition of My Foolish Heart is one of the great moments of jazz history. It opens the album superlatively. The title track and Detour Ahead are both gems. Everything on the record is stunning. The late Scott LaFaro sounds more inspired than ever.

    In regards to which you should buy first Waltz for Debby or Sunday at the Village Vanguard, obviously it is all subjective. However, to make things maybe too simple, I will say this. Sunday at the Village Vanguard (released first) has a greater focus on LaFaro's bass and writing than Waltz. Waltz for Debby is just an inch stronger because the trio is presented more as a unit and less as a platform to feature each instrumentalist. But truly they are both phenomenons of jazz history. Easily the greatest records Evans ever made, and easily the greatest piano trio recordings ever made. And most impressively, probably still the most astounding music ever recorded at the Vanguard, tied with Coltrane from the same year.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Warning this will spoil you for other trios or pianists.
    This is a genuine classic. But, be forewarned it may spoil you because the level of individual musicianship and the group interplay of the three musicians is at a level rarely equalled by other jazz (or any style) musicians. Its companion volume, "Sunday at the Village Vanguard," which focuses more on bassist Scott LaFaro, is its equal. Evans' touch, sense of rhythm, intelligence and his long, flowing melodic lines have been better documented by others than I can. And LaFaro's inventiveness and technique have, too. But, I find few people talk about Paul Motian on drums. His is some of the best drumming ever committed to cd. He is so much more than a timekeeper, he is a melodist and an equal member of the trio. He is endlessly creative, in tune with the other musicians, mindful of the ebb and flow of the music and plays in the context of the other's contributions and the song at hand. (Compare to the drumming on Rubalcaba's "The Blessing" which is often brilliant, but often too busy or loud for the context he's playing in.) Nobody uses brushes as well as Motian. (Though the style of music and drumming is very different, I find Motian the equal of Art Blakey in Monk's trio recordings--"Work" and "Nutty"-- in that the drummer is not subserviant to the gifted pianist, but makes him even better by his level of musicianship and inventiveness. Both Motian and Blakey prove that drumming can be about much more than rhythm but about music.) Many people talk about the fact that this is an ensemble in which all three members solo, play lead and push the envelope. The best proof of that is that I find myself listening differently to the same cut at different times. Sometimes I focus on Evans, sometimes on LaFaro and sometimes on Motian. In different listenings I find myself thinking that the real leader is a different member of the trio. This is one of those cd's I listnen to late at night and find myself using the back control to listen again to a phrase, or how one musician plays off another's ideas, or just to hear again a stunningly beautiful or inventive phrase. I find, even after 20 years of listening to this music (on vinyl and cd) that I still find new wonders and delights. Warning, the level of musicianship, interplay, creativity will spoil you. No one plays like Evans,(except imiatators) and few have found "sidemen" equal to the task of matching them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Be Quiet, Please!
    For trained ears, this 20 bit K2 remastered version sounds significantly better than the conventional less expensive version. But the price difference is more than justified, if you are a devoted Bill Evans fan who wants to get as close as possible to the real performance on stage that magical Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, I cannot help but listen to this CD with genuine respect and apprecaition to the musicians but also with disdain to the audience at the club. They were so lucky beyond any stretch of imagination to be there but (at least, some of them) kept on chatting with occasional laughter during the performance. This may be an indication that Bill Evans was still taken lightly as a budding musician in those early days of Bill's career. If you want more, Bill's "The Complete Riverside Recordings" will give you a chance to expose to the entire show in the sequence of each tune as originally played.

    5-0 out of 5 stars just incredible
    This is just one of Evan's most outstanding albums. If you haven't had the pleasure of discovering one of the masters of jazz piano, don't hesitate a moment more! You will not find a better introduction to this stirring music. ... Read more

    17. Ultimate Collection
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0002476CY
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1430
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    This live, double disc collection is the first and only compilation package on the market. It spans Setzer's entire 25 year career, from the Stray Cats to the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and includes the hits "Rock This Town", "Stray Cat Strut", "Rumble In Brighton", "I Won't Stand In Your Way", and Grammy Award winning songs such as "Jump Jive An' Wail", "Sleepwalk", and "Caravan". ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun
    Live cds can be either really good or really bad depending on the production work done.
    Well this one is very good the audience sound dosen't interfere with enjoying the music as some live cds can and the music sounds crisp clear, the vocals not all fuzzy as some live shows can sounds and the other instruments are also very well produced.
    I like the selcetion of songs on both cds as they are two different concert many years apart and they don't repeat any tracks even though I'm sure the actual concerts had some of the same songs played. Very well thought out and an excellent addition to your BSO collection.
    Another one of the reasons I like this cd is that live Big bad/Swing/Rock-a-billy sounds much more exciting in live concerts than they can in studio don't get me wrong I love the BSO studio albums but the energy is completely different and if you are like me and love the higher energy music style of these genres then live is sometimes the best way to get the best versions.
    Well worth it! ... Read more

    18. Nina At the Village Gate [Roulette]
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B000005HGA
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10656
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    Nina Simone recorded for Columbia Pictures adjunct Colpix records from 1959 through 1964, cutting 10 records for the imprint. Five of her Colpix records were concert recordings, a setting that suits her idiosyncrasies while protecting her from overproduction, and one she's returned to frequently. At the Village Gate captures a particularly intimate 1961 performance and stands as the cream of her live collections. Backed by a trio that includes her favorite sideman, guitarist Al Shackman, Simone ranges from the yearning "He Was Too Good to Me" to a sprightly eight-minute-plus version of "Bye Bye Blackbird" that displays her underrated keyboard skills. This is the kind of album that ages like a fine merlot. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Incomparable Nina Makes Pure Magic!
    In the intimate ambiance of The Village Gate, Nina Simone made pure magic with her voice and on the keyboard, one Manhattan evening back in 1961. She sang and played with a trio, which featured her favorite guitarist, Al Shackman. We are so fortunate that the moment was captured and recorded. This is by far my favorite collection of Ms. Simone's music.

    I can't really categorize Nina's sound or her music and call her "just" a fabulous jazz vocalist. Although, she plays extraordinary jazz with her voice, as in "Just In Time." She has been often called a musical anomaly, because there is no one category for her work. She was trained as a classical pianist, and in cuts like "Bye Bye Blackbird," the complexity of her piano comes through loud and clear. Her folk songs, like the biting "House Of The Rising Sun," and "Zungo" an African work song, place her at the top of a long list of folk singers. Ms. Simone's gospel songs, i.e., "Children Go Where I Send You," can raise the roof and bring down the house, as she did at the Gate in '61. She is a protest singer, "Brown Baby," and an actress, capable of an extraordinary range of emotions.

    Nina has the rare ability to dig into her material and bring unexpected meaning to familiar lyrics. She is eclectic with her taste and her repertoire. But whatever touches Nina, and whatever Nina touches, will reach you and evoke an emotional response. Her music is as fresh today, as it was 42 years ago, singing for that Manhattan audience. They could not have loved her more then, than we do now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Hear for yourself," said Nina.
    I recently read her autobiography, and in reference to this concert at the Village Gate, Nina Simone stated that she owned the crowd that night, and if you don't believe it you can buy the album and hear for yourself. Ms. Simone does not exaggerate: she gave an incredible performance that night.

    The album starts with a jazzy standard "Just In Time", then goes onto a ballad. Already having snapped your fingers and bopped your head, then stared wistfully, meaningfully into space while the ballad works its magic, you shift into blues with her breathtaking rendition of "House of the Rising Sun" which she released before the Animals had the hit.

    One thing that's great about this album is that it really showcases her skills as a classically trained concert pianist. Though most people, sadly, know her as a vocalist and stylist, she's playing the piano when you hear one in her songs because she never intended to do popular music, but there had not yet been a black woman concert pianist and despite her best efforts and prodigious talent, she did not succeed in being the first. The fourth track on the album is a nice lift from the second and third, more somber tracks.

    "Brown Baby" returns to the eerie and hopeful ballad territory. Though she became known for her protest music later in her career, at the time of this recording Nina was still doing a variety of styles. To hear the emotion and strength of conviction in this song is to understand how anyone develops the strength to fight passionately for justice, and to taste the salty tears of rage.

    "Zungo" is upbeat and yet another style. Then "If He Changed My Name" turns toward the reflective strength of the spirit, a sparse arrangement with haunting vocals. And "Children Go Where I send You" brings the house down. "You ever been to a revival meeting...? Well, you're in one right now."

    I own dozens of Nina Simone albums and have been a fan for years. Until I heard this one, though, I could not appreciate fully the range of her talent from the early days of her career. As much as I love some of her other albums, this would be the one I'd have to take with me to a remote island. No fan should be without this album. And nobody who's reading this should leave the page without giving it a try: it's dang good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nina Weaves Her Spell and You're in 1961
    This CD is not to be missed. Don't be put off by the low song count (8), each song easily tops 5-6 minutes (some clock in at 8 mins)and what's missing in quantity is made up for in quality. The intimacy of Nina's appearance here is captured as she sheds new light on well-worn Broadway standards and unknown songs alike. Her voice was also a bit lighter than it became later on so she hits some high notes easily. As usual her piano-playing is great and she's backed by great sidemen but they never get in the way of her singing. Plop this CD in the player and suddenly you are sitting in the audience watching and listening to Nina in New York's Village, 1961. That's how intimate this CD is. ... Read more

    19. At Carnegie Hall
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $22.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005AWMW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 9444
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Among the top ten best concerts in mankind's history
    How come a recording like this took so long to be released on CD?
    If one is to own only ten Jazz CDs, this one MUST be among them. It is so perfect you won't believe it is a live concert! The solos are so harmonious, beatiful and flawless that they sound like every note was written and rehearsed to exhastion. Take a great deal of time to enjoy the extended version of Blue Rondo a la Turk. You'll be so amazed you'll keep playing some parts over and over. Eleven-four is one of my favorites. Paul Desmond is dazzling in his solo. Paul Desmond's solo in For All We Know is so perfect it could be transcripted and played as a new song.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have!
    If you are a jazz fan but you're not that familiar with Brubeck, get this one now! You won't be disappointed. I have the 33 1/3 rpm vinyl from 1963 and had dubbed it to tape to play in my car since there were no CD's at that time. I'm pleased to see this album is on CD.

    My brother saw this concert when he was in the Navy and I've been jealous for 40 years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Top 10 (ever!)
    I've been a working musician for nearly 40 years . . . I love all sorts of music . . . I'm currently in a band that plays a bit of everything (rock, country, blues, jazz) . . . I've even played (brass or drums) in several "Big Bands".
    Dave Brubeck "Live at Carnegie Hall" is one of the very best LIVE albums that ANYONE has EVER produced. Every time I hear it I say "Damn, I wish I could play like that!" If you want to learn how to play "through the chords" . . . buy this album!

    Larry Hicks
    Cloudland Studios
    Hoover, Alabama

    4-0 out of 5 stars 1/2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This album is great, but a little uneven. The first side is all right, but the second is absolutely incredible. It's a must have for Brubeck collectors to complete your collection. In the first set, the group warms up for the outrageous second set.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Dave Brubeck Quartet In Full Force
    This concert captures the Dave Brubeck Quartet at their best. The whole group was nervous before getting on the stage, but the energy on this album is unstoppable from "St. Louis Blues" till "Take Five".
    It's hard to pick highlights because the whole concert is awesome. "St. Louis Blues" gets the concert off the ground and then some. Brubeck's solo here is my favorite piano solo Brubeck did, building an interesting melodic idea until it explodes into a thundering climax, with Brubeck's heavy block-chords, and he stops when the intensity level is at its highest, paving the way for an awesome Joe Morello drum solo. And the concert is underway.
    Another standout is Brubeck's treatment of "Pennies From Heaven", the melody heavily chorded. Also, one of Desmond's greatest solos is here, his creativity clearly ignited. Brubeck's percussive solo is also very impressive.
    But, I think the second half of the concert is better, featuring songs from Time Out and Time Further Out. Every performance here is awesome, but the one that stands out the most is "Castilian Drums", featuring a lengthy but REMARKABLE drum solo from Joe Morello, one of the best drummers in jazz. It is a series of climaxes that brings the audience to a roar.
    I would also say the Quartet playing "Blue Rondo" is awesome here. This performance is better than on the album Time Out, where it was first recorded. It is spend up considerably, but it works out so it builds up energy released when the guys solo during the blues section.
    And, of course, the Quartet could not go home that night until they played "Take Five", and the audience immediately applauds when Brubeck plays the familiar vamp. There is also a piano solo by Brubeck, which was not done on the original version.

    I would definitely recommend this to jazz fans in general, but especially Dave Brubeck fans. The Quartet is unstoppable on this CD, and they expand songs they've recorded to the point where some of the performances here are better than the studio versions. Don't miss out on this one! ... Read more

    20. Sunday at the Village Vanguard
    list price: $12.97
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    Asin: B000000Y87
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10228
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Alchemy
    When Scott La Faro died ten days after this remarkable performance, he wasn't the only one who died. The Bill Evans Trio, which functioned as a single entity, also lost its life. While it might sound just like the ordinary praise heaped on a jazz recording of this stature, the interplay between these three musicians is truly nothing short of telepathy. What do you get when the product is greater than the sum of parts as spectacular as Bill Evans, Scott La Faro, and Paul Motian? This. There's not much I can say that will do this music justice. Like many of improvised music's best recordings, this one will not necessarily command your attention, but close listening is more than welcome and will reap tremendous benefits. Look past La Faro's unparalleled virtuosity on upright bass and find melodic and harmonic ideas that were yet to be discovered by anyone, regardless of instrument. "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" is for anyone even remotely curious about the evolution of the jazz trio and for anyone who is a fan of thoroughly enjoyable music. It doesn't get much better than this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great Sunday morning albums of all time!
    Luckily, this was one of my first purchases when I started buying jazz. After Miles' Kind of Blue, I thought there was nowhere to go but down. But Sunday at the Village Vanguard, along with Evans' Portrait In Jazz and Waltz For Debby prove that there is pristine beauty in this music to be found elsewhere. Listening to this disc, its incredible to hear a trio that is so tight and so loose at once. The band grooves through "Gloria's Step" and "Alice In Wonderland" with incredible ease and class. Evans is a keymaster, but his playing is anything but intimidating. Instead, it invites you in and lulls you. LeFaro's bass playing has such solid swing to it and the sad fact he died ten days after recording this gives the album a bit of a ghostly presence to it that is strangely comforting; just like the ghosts that live in the applause that follows every track or the bit of smoke from the club you think you smell when listening to it. After Kind of Blue, this is the disc I recommend to anyone beginning to taste the wonders of jazz. It souns simple enough on the surface, but holds scores of wonders upon careful listening. When my coffee is brewing on Sunday morning, this album always helps to keep the relaxing weekend spirit alive. That an album so quiet and mellow at its highpoints is so powerful is evident anytime I walk by the Village Vanguard in NY and I feel the Bill Evans chills take over me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The height of the trio
    Neither Oscar Peterson nor Ahmad Jamal nor Bud Powell acheived the level of telepathy exhibited on this record and the two or three others that this trio recorded before LaFaro's sudden death. The trio may be at its absolute peak on "Alice in Wonderland". Evans often looked outside the jazz songbook to find compositions that he could turn inside out, but who would've thought that this Disney tune could be so revitalized by a piano trio? Evans also takes Cole Porter's "All of You", one of my favorite standards, and completely stands it on its head.
    LaFaro's genius on the bass was singular, and I have no doubt that had he not died so young, he would've supplanted Ray Brown and Charles Mingus and whoever else as the king of his instrument. His playing behing Evans is mesmerizing, totally original. His dexterity was unbelievable. But when it came time for him to solo, he really caught fire. Just when you think he's lost himself and descended into some abstract quagmire, he picks up the melody again and it's off to the races. He almost steals the show, which is quite a feat since Evans brings his A-game. Paul Motian, though capable and talented on the drums, does just what he should do--keep the time and stay out of the way. It's a historical irony that the audiences at the Vanguard during these shows were relatively sparse, and fairly inattentive, judging by the constant chatter in the background. The trio, however, remains totally focused, as will the listener.

    5-0 out of 5 stars God's chillout album
    Another reviewer has referred to SATVV as "one of the all-time great Sunday morning albums". Amen. The perfect music for either brunch or just relaxing with coffee and the newspaper. Honest, heartfelt virtuosity that is never, ever boring. You won't regret purchasing this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scotty steals the show (just about)!
    There are cases where other reviewers have already nailed it, but I just have to chime in anyway. This is such a case: the sublime explorations of rhythm and melody that are the Bill Evans Trio's June 25, 1961 Village Vanguard performances.

    It should perhaps be stated at the outset that any of these remarks also apply to the album _Waltz for Debby_, which consists of takes culled from the same live sessions as _Sunday at the Village Vanguard_. Definitely get that one concurrently with this. It makes no sense to not have both.

    For me, probably the greatest pleasure in this music is listening to Scott LaFaro's bass playing (maybe that's because I'm a bass player, I don't know). The mix has him more or less front and center, even in front of Bill's piano, and Scott's playing is inspired and deserves such treatment. Most people first mention his virtuosic high-speed upper-register runs, but there's also his sonorous double-stops and strummed chords, and just listening to him hold down a single whole note is wonderful. But he never pulls away and "steals the show" overtly, because everything he plays is so rooted in interaction and response with Bill's piano. Listening to LaFaro's strength, sensitivity, and total command of his instrument is just a total joy to behold.

    Evans' playing, too, was never better, I think, than on these recordings. His uncanny knack of extracting the essence of tunes and laying down "definitive" versions of them is in full effect here. Paul Motian's drumming seems quite in the background; I hardly ever notice him. In the quiet tunes, for instance, he mostly seems to work the cymbals with brushes to create atmosphere. All in all, he plays an effective supporting role.

    My personal favorite moments on these albums are the contemplative, haunting masterworks that are the trilogy of quieter songs: "My Foolish Heart", "I Loves You, Porgy" (which are from _Waltz for Debby_ ) and "My Man's Gone Now", plus Scott LaFaro's "Jade Visions." I'd almost regard it as something like blasphemy for any other group to play that song. It's just so untouchable, and elegiac; as though Scott wrote his own eulogy without knowing it (he was killed in a car accident ten days after these recordings were made). And the "simultaneous improvisation" (I think some critic cooked up that phrase) this group achieves is really special. It's at a level that was never achieved on this trio's two prior studio LPs, _Portrait in Jazz_ and _Explorations_. Obviously, the spirit was just right on June 26, 1961 at the Vanguard, and these three wonderful musicians play brilliantly as an inspired unit. "Solar" is a prime example of this: listen to how the solos run; you can hardly tell at any given moment who's soloing and who's comping.

    For most jazz albums, the "alternate takes" you get on the CD releases seem kinda "pesky" to me; I could easily stick with just the master takes without any distractions. But in this case, I'm quite grateful for the alternate takes that round out these discs. It just means even more unique moments of special music by this wonderful trio. I dislike cliches as much as anyone, but hey, desert island discs, for sure, these two. Don't miss out. ... Read more

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