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1. Radiance
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2. Getz/Gilberto
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3. The Way Up
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4. Saxophone Colossus
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5. Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
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6. Jazz Samba
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7. Mingus Ah Um [Bonus Tracks]
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8. Koln Concert
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9. The Out-of-Towners
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10. Overtime
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11. Bridge
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12. Maiden Voyage
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13. The Melody At Night, With You
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14. Headhunters
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15. Speak No Evil
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16. John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
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17. Unspeakable
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18. Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson
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19. Sunday at the Village Vanguard
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20. Bright Size Life

1. Radiance
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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. Getz/Gilberto
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Asin: B0000047CX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 519
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Originally released in March 1964, this collaboration between saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist João Gilberto came at seemingly the end of the bossa nova craze Getz himself had sparked in 1962 with Jazz Samba, his release with American guitarist Charlie Byrd. Jazz Samba remains the only jazz album to reach number one in the pop charts. In fact, the story goes that Getz had to push for the release of Getz/Gilberto since the company did not want to compete with its own hit; it was a good thing he did. Getz/Gilberto, which featured composer Antonio Carlos Jobim on piano, not only yielded the hit "Girl from Ipanema" (sung by Astrud Gilberto, the guitarist's wife, who had no professional experience) but also "Corcovado" ("Quiet Night")--an instant standard, and the definitive version of "Desafinado." Getz/Gilberto spent 96 weeks in the charts and won four Grammys. It remains one of those rare cases in popular music where commercial success matches artistic merit. Bossa nova's "cool" aesthetic--with its understated rhythms, rich harmonies, and slightly detached delivery--had been influenced, in part, by cool jazz. Gilberto in particular was a Stan Getz fan. Getz, with his lyricism, the bittersweet longing in his sound, and his restrained but strong swing, was the perfect fit. His lines, at once decisive and evanescent, focus the rest of the group's performance without overpowering. A classic. --Fernando Gonzalez ... Read more

Reviews (105)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tall and tan and young and lonely...
The 1964 winner for Best Album was this mellow but spright cool jazz album that pushed Latin bossa nova and samba rhythms on the map. With a lineup that included Joao Gilberto on guitar and vocals, Antonio Carlos Jobim on piano, Tommy Williams on bass, Milton Banana on drums, and on the two most memorable songs, Joao's wife Astrud. However, the driving force behind this was tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, and his straight-tone, controlled-vibrato sound.

The album starts appropriately enough with the Grammy winner for best song, "The Girl From Ipanema". This is the full 5:22 version that begins with Joao Gilberto singing in Portuguese. Then comes that soft voice and those familiar lyrics: "Tall and tan and young and lonely/The girl from Ipanema goes walking/And when she passes/Each one she passes goes haaa." Well, the thing that makes me go "haaa" here is Astrud Gilberto's voice. Getz's sax solo and Jobim's piano in the middle serves as a bridge between the two refrains. There is a 45 rpm version of this classic, the 2:46 single edit of just Astrud singing, included later. I must confess that I first heard a parody of this song, Bob River's "The Girl With Emphysema", and then sought hard to find out the original version, which led me to this album.

"Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)" is the other song featuring Astrud Gilberto. In the full 4:14 version, we have Joao doing Portuguese lyrics, as he did in the full version of "Ipanema." There is a dreamy quality about this song, particularly when Astrud sings "Quiet nights and quiet dreams/Quiet walks by quiet streams/And the window lookin' on the mountains and the sea how lovely." And Getz's sax really enhances that exoticness as does Jobim's piano. BTW, Corcovado is the name of a mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro. There is a 2:21 45 rpm issue included here as well.

As for the rest of the songs, Getz's rich saxophone provides the rich qualities that make this a winner, particularly his solo on "So Danso Samba" with its "vai vai vai vai vai" refrain by Joao Gilberto. The song title means "I Only Dance Samba", as opposed to calypso, the twist, and the cha-cha that were sweeping the country's dance floors in the 1960's. And Joao Gilberto's soft vocals complement the soft qualities of the other instrumentalists. Only complaint: Astrud should've been featured on more songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
This is such a terrific CD. It was a break trough in 1964 when it was released introducing Bossa Nova to world audiences. Every Grammy it received like best album and best song for The Girl From Ipanema was well deserved.

It's hard to say which performance is more impressive. Would it be the marvelous Tom Jobim composition? Or the whispering Joao Gilberto's voice accompanying his wonderful guitar cords? Would it be the melodic Stan Getz sax solos. Or the soft almost childish Astrud Gilberto's voice? Probably the combination of all.

Every track is special but my favorites are Corcovado and Doralice. Doralice has the most beautiful saxophone solo I ever heard however, for some strange reason, the song is almost unknown even in Brazil.

Most of the lyrics are in Portuguese but The Girl From Ipanema and the beginning of Corcovado are sung in English by Astrud but this shouldn't be an obstacle for the appreciation of this masterpiece. With under 40 minutes of total play time and two very similar releases of The Girl From Ipanema and Corcovado it might seem not too much bang for your buck but believe me it pays off.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Best Bossa Nova Album
Have owned two vinyl copies of this album. Wore out the first copy. Will probably buy the CD. I can't add too much to the previous reviews but let me add two words, 'Timeless & Elegant.'

5-0 out of 5 stars One thing to say---
I do not know a word of Portugese, but I can sing "The Girl From Impanema" by heart -- in Portugese. That's how many times I've played this album.

If you can and have the means to play it, get this in its original LP format. But the CD is most excellent as well, and if you haven't ever heard it, I encourage you to buy it right now; you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something about Samba
This will just be a short review..this CD is absolutely wonderful. I am not going to compare it to anything...I'm not even going to try and describe it other than to say it brings me an incredible amount of joy. It's sexy cool, it's flippin' hot.

It's just right for a night of loving.

My only complaint is that it is too short...but maybe that's the genius of it because it made me crave other music by both Getz and Gilberto.

So I'm going to let you stop reading and let you purchase this beautiful recording. ... Read more

3. The Way Up
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our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0006M4SO6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 363
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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For nearly 30 years, guitarist Pat Metheny and his longtime musical cohort, pianist/keyboardist Lyle Mays, have covered an incredible amount of diverse material. On their debut recording for this label, they and their international group--bassist Steve Rodby, Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez, Vietnamese trumpeter Coung Vu, and the Swiss-born harmonica virtuoso Gregoire Maret--distill that diversity into a continuous 68-minute opus. The challenge here lies in sustaining the melodic narrative thread while keeping the sound of surprise.Thanks to Mays's evocative pianisms and Metheny's array of acoustic, electric, and synthesized guitars, the group pulls it off.For Metheny fans this disc contains elements of his most acclaimed recordings, from the straight-ahead swing of Question and Answer and the folk-fusion of Offramp, to the Afro-Latin tinges of We Live Here, the atonally adventurous Zero Tolerance for Silence, and the Asian impressionism of Secret Story. --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

Reviews (117)

5-0 out of 5 stars The album I always hoped they would make
I have been a Metheny Group fan since I first heard "Still Life (Talking)" and "The First Circle" in the mid-80's.These guys always find melodies and changes that sound so logical they seem almost obvious, both when they really are obvious and when they are something we have never heard.For those of us who crave the "new" part of the equation, the transitional segments that occasionally pop up towards the end of medium-length compositions like Minuano (Six-Eight), The First Circle, And Then I Knew, or Lyle Mays' Highland Aire are like that whiff of pine-scented air you sometimes catch in the spring.

May I present an entire cedar forest.Flawless, exhilarating performances, crisp and rich recording, and composition that you can get lost in after repeated listening.Music that is both cerebral and moving.The Group doing what they were always capable of, but never inclined to do before: a work that's long but not stretched, organized but not predictable, tonal but not too sweet, exciting but not raw, thematic but not repetitious.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cocktail of Sounds
You take Imaginary Day , Speaking of Now , We Live Here , add some wild Trumpet and sequence touches and Voalá : The Way Up is Sea Level ... Not bad for a rainy day ... The art work is All The Way Down ... So , not everyday is kind of wonderful , so what , still , good music from some of the best players and writers of the moment ... For lack of Weather Report , get Pat Metheny Group ...

4-0 out of 5 stars Orchestrally amazing, but missing something
I've heard this album so many times I can't even begin to count.I feel bad giving this album 4 stars because I hold Pat to standards miles above everyone else.So this review is based on Pat's standards; keep in mind that it's still a piece of music far beyond the capability of anyone else alive.

This album is basically a bunch of different sections that weave in and out, sometimes overlapping.It works quite well actually--but the middle section is just simply too long and missing that emotional level that usually exists in Pat's music.The intro and closing are fun to listen to because they are busy with strumming, odd beats, full chords and buildup.The first six minutes of Part One introduces the simplest yet most prevalent theme on the album that's played over and over in many different contexts, and almost sounds progressive-rocky.Yet after this section dies out, I feel as if I'm walking across a very long desert.There's a couple of rocks here and there, but mostly it's just a flat walk.I want the moutains that Metheny creates--I don't want to get bored.

The straight-ahead jazz sections kind of pop out of nowhere, and I almost feel like he put those in there as a response to people calling his music cheesy (which it sometimes is, but we learn to get past that).The Way Up definitely has its share of beautiful sections--the pinnacle I'd say being in Part Three (the closing) starting around 7:45 or so when all of the themes sort of come together and build up to a climax.

There's no doubt that Metheny is a master of composition and his instrument.I don't think he went in over his head with his album.I think he was trying to not keep the middle section "too busy," but in doing so he kind of left an opening that needs to be filled somehow.

Just a quick recap on the musicians: Antonio Sanchez (drummer) is out of this world on this album.Cuong Vu (trumpet) makes some really well-fit-in background noises and adds color to this album that no other trumpet player can do--his range isn't amazing, but that's not what he's here for.Lyle Mays takes more of a background approach in this as well--he has a few solos, but nothing extraordinary.Gregoire Maret (harmonica) has his moment of glory, and it sounds nice and Western (because that's how harmonicas sound to me), but I get a little bored when listening.Steve Rodby holds his fort down, and has a little solo where the bass plays the melody (I love this part) in what I call the "whale section"--it kind of reminds me of whale song.And Pat is at his best with soloing here, although I feel like more recently he plays the same licks more and more often.With the exception of his solo in Part One at around 20:00, where he plays one of the best and most melodic, unique, and well developed solos I've ever heard.

Overall, a definite must, but didn't quite live up to its year-long hype.But that would have been nearly impossible.

4-0 out of 5 stars Uplifting.....
Having just been given this album the other day it has made quite an impression on me. Although it is not the 'highest' music I have ever heard it has many beautiful moments and the recording sounds great. I've been off listening to other things for a while so to hear the lyricism of Metheny and Mays is refreshing to say the least.
Other reviewers have described the album in some detail so I won't. What I do want to remark upon is how many reviewers seem to have a very stale and fixed idea of what 'jazz' is and how they pour scorn over anything that does not conform to their limited ideas. This attitude has been a factor ever since Davis started to experiment with different sounds and forms and has continued in the Masarlis vein, etc. So what is jazz? Does it have to be an endless rehash of bebop in 'clever' contexts - nods and winks to the establishment and those who only want to be reinforced and not challenged? Or do we have to play the same standards over and over again? How much can you do with that music that hasn't already been done now? Isn't that why a lot of contemporary jazz sounds so dead and uninspiring? Beyond which quote to pull in the next moment, the spontaneity has been left behind somewhere.
Personally, I am relieved to hear Metheny steering away from yet another 'jazz' album and towards something that's actually sort of unique. I enjoy what I consider to be the best of all musical styles - I love a taste of bebop, free-jazz, modern orchestral, baroque, prog, jazz-rock, folk or even pop. If I don't change between them fairly frequently I get bored.
So to those who deride new music of difference I wish you an eternity locked in a small room listening to the Residents. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maximal musical historisism is what you get...
if you join PMG The Way Up. It is the last 400 years of music history incorporated into multi-layers of sound, individual world class performances (I heard them in Oslo 15. May, amazing!!) and melodic simplicity as the "red thread" through the album. Buy it!

... Read more

4. Saxophone Colossus
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Asin: B000000YG5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1007
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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Though he lacked the improvisational fire of John Coltrane and the restless curiosity of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins played with a rich, round tone that complimented his melodic inclinations, making him the most accessible of the post-bop musicians. Saxophone Colossus is the most successful of the late '50s albums that made his reputation. Rollins' playing never falters; he's backed by the redoubtable Max Roach on drums, Tommy Flannagan on piano, and Doug Watkins on bass. Rollins is equally at home with the lilting Caribbean air of "St. Thomas," standards ("You Don't Know What Love Is"), blues ("Strode Rode," featuring a driving Tommy Flannagan solo), and a smoldering version of Brecht-Weill's "Moritat" (better known as "Mac the Knife"). If you are new to jazz, there is no better place to start than Saxophone Colossus. --Steven Mirkin ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic!
Sonny Rollins solidified his claim to the top tenor spot of the late 1950's with albums like, "Way Out West" and this one. His tone is warm, full, and flawless as he swings his way through this set with Max Roach on drums, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Doug Watkins on bass. The calypso flavored "St Thomas" opens the disc and is a textbook example of what makes Rollins great. His playing is effortless, relaxed, and flawless. He displays a soft touch with sensetive interpretation of the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is", and kicks it back into high gear with the hard charging uptempo "Strode Rode". He displays his talent for uncovering unconventional material with a selection from a German musical here titled "Moritat". The final track is the jazz masterpiece "Blue7". Featuring masterful solos by Roach and Rollins this track leaves one feeling Sonny is cooler than most people could hope to be. Saxophone Colossus is one of those rare albums that is packed with legendary performances and future standards, flawless from top to bottom. This cd is essential and is guaranteed to delight.

5-0 out of 5 stars A jazz milestone....
Without a doubt, one of the five best jazz albums ever made is this 1956 masterpiece. Recorded in a single day at Rudy Van Gelder's living room/studio, Sonny Rollins earned his place as a legend with "Saxophone Colossus". Aided and abetted by powerhouse drummer Max Roach, pianist Tommy Flanagan, and bassist Doug Watkins, the quartet plays with the precision of a chamber orchestra, and swings just as hard. It's not very often that you hear an album where the musicians are so in tune with each other. From the breezy sway of "St. Thomas" to the final notes of "Blue 7", Rollins and company shows how it should be done. This newly remastered edition finally sounds as great as the original vinyl pressing but without the hefty price you'll shuck out for an original copy. No serious jazz fan should be without a copy of this amazing album in their collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Colossal sounds
I bought this CD in steaming hot Singapore last summer and the Carribean melody to St. Thomas was like a cool breeze that made me forget about the heat! I knew that I was gonna love this album. All tracks here a great. There's no filler.

Rollins' tone is impeccable, big and warm and fat.

I like Miles and Coltrane because they can go very deep and bluesy in their approach, but I like people like Sonny Rollins and Horace Silver because they put the fun in the music. I can almost see them playing with a smile on their face.

My fave track is still St. Thomas... I know it's a simple tune, but it's an effective one. Even on wintery nights I get transported into Island moods when I put this CD on.

Definitely in my top 3 of all-time favourite jazz albums, which are at the moment:

1) Relaxing with the Miles Davis Quintet
2) Saxophone Colossus
3) Burrell Coltrane

5-0 out of 5 stars a must have classic
This is truly one of the "must have" classic jazz albums. Sonny Rollins' tone and technique is masterful. Don't miss St. Thomas, Strode Rode and the classics you see in the "Real Books". These are now jazz standards. Every jazz student today plays these tunes - listen to the originals and be inspired.

5-0 out of 5 stars Saxophone Colossus
The question of who was the greater tenor sax player--Rollins or John Coltrane--continues even today. Let's look at it this 1956, Coltrane was gaining prominence in Miles Davis' quintet, but he was far from being a great player. He did not yet have the technique to express the wild ideas in his brain. A year later, however, he went to play with Thelonious Monk's quartet, and the experience liberated him and his style. Only at that point could he truly hold his own against Rollins, who was already a mature player by 1956. Compared side by side, it seems Coltrane recorded more bona fide classic albums than Rollins, but I don't believe any of them are as consistently great as "Saxophone Colossus" ("Giant Steps" comes closest). Rollins' playing throughout the album is extraordinary, especially on the last number, "Blue 7", a strange blues improvisation which features one of Max Roach's fiercest drum solos. Tommy Flanagan plays piano, and he is known to double the quality of any album he plays on. Doug Watkins plays the bass, and he's got a nice sense of wonders why he only solos on one tune--"Moritat". But the star is Rollins, who is on fire from the word go. Clarity, coherence, speed, imagination and unpredictability are his weapons, and they make this probably the best saxophone record ever. ... Read more

5. Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
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Asin: B000000Y2F
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 546
Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Among Thelonious Monk's long stays at New York's legendary Five Spot was a six-month period in 1957 with possibly his most brilliant band, with John Coltrane finding fuel in Monk's music for his harmonic explorations. The quartet only recorded three studio tracks: a sublime reading of Monk's ballad "Ruby, My Dear"; a loping version of "Nutty"; and a stunning version of "Trinkle Tinkle" on which Trane's tenor mirrors Monk's piano part. The CD is completed with outtakes from an octet session that joined Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins and an extended solo version of "Functional." --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Two Misunderstood Jazz Geniuses in Perfect Sync
In 1957, eccentric piano genius Thelonious Monk was on the verge of breaking into the jazz mainstream. He formed a quartet featuring tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, another musician who was no stranger to controversy. Their legendary collaboration (and gigs at the Five Spot Cafe) only lasted a few months, but the few recordings that it produced are classic. This studio CD (recently remastered in clear 20-bit sound) contains three great tunes by the Monk Quartet, two "leftovers" from the octet session (with Art Blakey and Coleman Hawkins) that produced _Monk's Music_, and a solo piano feature. All the tunes mix Monkish angularity with catchy melodies as only Monk could write them. It's hard to pick a favorite on an album this good, but if I have to: "Trinkle, Tinkle" really stands out for both Monk and Trane's playing (you can hear some of the earliest traces of his "sheets of sound") and Monk's unaccompanied playing on "Functional" is outstanding. But that's not to say that the tender playing on "Ruby, My Dear", or the octet versions of "Epistrophy" and "Off Minor" aren't fantastic in their own right. If you like this album, you must pick up the lower-fidelity recording of the band live at the Five Spot, as well as the aforementioned _Monk's Music_ album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lyrically speaking, a perfect Ten!
In the Fifties, jazz artists like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk were among a handful of musicians who shaped the future of modern American music for several decades. The fact that they played together and that their sessions at The Five Spot Cafe were recorded is nearly a miracle, since they were under contract to different record labels. They both appear on another record ( Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants- Prestige LP 7150 ), but they don't play together! So this disc is the sole representation of their musical collaboration.

Ruby My Dear shows the young 'Trane playing mostly in the upper register of his tenor sax, with much vibrato, punctuating the sentiment in the tune. We can hear instantly the facility with which he deals with Monk's harmonic structure in this poignant ballad. Ironic piano solos are commonplace for Monk, but here he is more straighforward, with a half chorus that veers away from the polysyllabic phrasing of 'Trane's tenor. Monk's comping under Coltrane's restatement of the melody is unobtrusively perfect!

On Nutty, Monk's solo echos lines that 'Trane has drawn, showing that the conversation between sax and piano is between equals. The high point of this disc is that Monk and 'Trane clearly speak each other's musical language. Over and over, you can hear the attention they pay to the phrasing of one another, such that they complement rather than compete.

Two of the tunes add several other horns, including Coleman Hawkins, who gives forth with a taut chorus on Off Minor. The drummer here is Art Blakey, whose touch is very different from Shadow Wilson, more cymbal oriented, except for the characteristic press rolls that add exclamation points to solos.

The disc ends with an unaccompanied piano solo -- Functional -- by Monk. It's very sad that there isn't a cellar in Lower Manhattan with a box of tape from other Five Spot session waiting to be discovered. This is the sort of music I never tire of hearing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great...for what little there is of it.
I'm giving this disc 5 stars, because it features Jazz greats in their prime, with amazing talent. However, I guess I should have paid closer attention to the song listings, because with so few tracks, this disc has only about 37minutes of music. I was hoping for more. It would act as a great introduction to Jazz for the novice, I would highly recommend it in that. For the real fan, there are lenghtier discs which would better serve your cashflow.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just three tracks
I was a little dissapointed with this one, it should have a label saying: historic 3 tracks, the other tracks are just fillers. The 3 tracks of Trane and Monk are amongst the best I have ever heard in jazz, electryfing. But theres also two outtakes from the Monks music album that you dont need if you already own that album and that do not show the chemistry between Trane and Monk. And then there is a track with Monk playing by himslef. I cannot help but feeling a litlle .... off, sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars jazz greats
Ultra-hypnotic grooves; interweaving of diverse styles; a rollercoaster of emotions served up on an audible silver platter.

With the downturn in American pop, there's never been a better opportunity to re-explore the true magic of jazz by ones who really know their stuff.

Great jazz is this: it stimulates the mind, body and soul and takes you on a spiritual journey.

It also rocks pretty ... hard! ... Read more

6. Jazz Samba
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Asin: B0000047CW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1960
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Guitarist Charlie Byrd was invited to travel and play in Brazil during a cultural goodwill tour sponsored by the Kennedy administration in 1961. He was completely enamoured by the music, and when he returned, he headed straight for the recording studio to make the now classic Jazz Samba. Collaborating with Stan Getz on tenor sax and backed by a band that included Gene Byrd (bass, guitar), Keter Betts (bass), and Buddy Deppenschmidt and Bill Reichenbach (drums), Byrd forged a new and brilliant sound. American record companies were to churn out hundreds of watered bossa-pop albums that have since given the style its lounge-addled image, but this album stands as a tribute to the vitality and adaptability of jazz. --Louis Gibson ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stan and Charlie record first Bossa Nova hit.
Great companion to "Getz/Gilberto". Pure Samba without singers. NOTE: 20-bit version has best recording quality.

Charlie Byrd went to Brazil and heard the then unknown Antonio Carlos Jobim. He played Jobim records for Stan Getz, they got Keter Betts and two drummers and created the first Bossa Nova, Samba record in the US - a monster hit with "Desafinado".

Listen to polyrhythym drumming in "E Luxo So" and "Bahia". Most authentic Brazilian Getz Samba recording.

Hear Stan make each note 3-Dimensional blue fog count.

Beautiful!, Lyrical!! Soaring!!! One of the ten best Jazz recordings ever made.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & breezy
This is the album that kicked off the bossa nova craze in the US over 40 years ago. In the hands of lesser musicians this style could degenerate into lightweight cocktail music, but not here. Stan Getz's feathery, soft saxophone playing weaves beautiful melodies over the swaying, dancing Brazilian rhythms. Charlie Byrd's is terrific on the acoustic guitar and the tunes will get stuck in your head after 3 spins or less. The only possible complaint is the short playing time -- a mere 35 minutes.

This recording isn't as well-known as Getz/Gilberto but is just as essential. If you like Getz's playing, be sure to get some of his other, non-bossa-nova recordings as well. (One more caveat: those looking for more vocals by Astrud or Joao Gilberto will be disappointed -- this CD is entirely instrumental.)

5-0 out of 5 stars BOSSA NOVA IS NOT A STAN GETZ THING!!
Many think that this was "the first bossa nova album"... of course that this was the 1st album to introduce bossa nova to north americans, but stan getz and charlie byrd had to learn that from someone else.. they DID NOT invented the genre... if you want to listen to some true bossa nova, from one of the greatest brazilian musicians, the father of bossa nova, try some albums from the maestro TOM JOBIM!

5-0 out of 5 stars Tenor Saxophone and Acoustic Guitar Duets For All Seasons
Go to your nearest music store or get on the Net and buy this album right now. Skip dinner, skip the latest episode of "Survivor," skip tonight's poker game, do yourself a favor, go buy this album. Incredible as it seems to me now, this is the 3rd album I ever bought back in 1963, after Martin Denny's "Quiet Village" and Joan Baez's "In Concert," and it just blew me away. I just played this album about an hour ago and it still takes my breath away because it is so astonishingly beautiful, melodic, rhythmic and completely original. Jazz Samba is firmly ensconced in my own personal Pantheon of the greatest pop albums ever made. I mean right there with Sergeant Pepper, Fanfare for the Common Man, Graceland, September of My Years, Kind of Blue, Court and Spark, Highway 61 Revisited, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, Waylon Jenning's Dreamin' My Dreams, Gordon Lightfoot's Saturday Concert, and Eric Clapton's Unplugged. No matter what kind of music you like---classical, symphonic, swing, country, rock, cool jazz, Dixieland jazz, calypso, soul, hip-hop, bluegrass, folk---you are going to love this music and the bossa nova form this album put on the contemporary musical roadmap. It is interesting to keep in mind that Jazz Samba and the sweet guitar music of Charlie Byrd and rich breathy vibrato of Stan Getz's saxophone caught the public's attention so thoroughly when it was released that it was the number 1 album, across all genres, for several weeks in 1962.

So, get set for one of the most memorable musical experiences of your life. You'll be hearing a most unusual marriage of tenor saxophone with acoustic guitar, with the two congenial partners exchanging the most engaging musical conversations imaginable, weaving in and out of each other's solos with immaculate beauty and terrific melodies you'll be humming for the rest of your time on this alternately amusing and perplexing little planet. Let the rhythm of Brazil, the great songwriting of Antonio Carlos Jobim and other bossa nova tunesmiths, and American jazz virtuosity waft thru your home or car stereo and let Jazz Samba introduce you to messrs. Byrd, Getz, Gene Byrd (bass, guitar), Keter Betts (bass), Buddy Deppenschmidt (drums) and Bill Reichenbach (drums). In addition to all of its other attributes, this album has an extraordinary intimacy about it; you feel as though you're sitting right in the middle of this small 5-piece band as they trade off solos with each other. Their warm, breezy, haunting musicianship will make you a bossa nova fan for life, and I genuinely believe that you will know that you have experienced an archetype. There are other great, great bossa nova albums from this era, among them "Getz-Gilberto," "Black Orpheus," "Jazz Samba Encore," "Bossa Nova Pelos Passaros," but this is the one that shook the world. Forty+plus years later, let it shake yours. Among the great attributes of this album is that it possesses two of the loveliest, most unforgettable songs ever recorded: "Desafinado" and "The One Note Samba," both of which were written by Brazil's great composer, Jobim. This gifted songwriter (lovingly called "Tom" by the Brazilians) died in 1994 at the age of 66; Stan Getz died in 1991 at the age of 64; Charlie Byrd died in 1999 at 74 (one month shy of seeing the new millenium). But they live again through this timeless album, which by the way, was recorded in ONE DAY day on February 13, 1962, in Pierce Hall at the All Soul's Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C. Once hearing Jazz Samba, you will agree that this hall was clearly an acoustically-warm, perfect venue for making a ground-breaking album. An excellent sanctuary for Stan, Charlie and friends to get together to materialize a music form that was very new to American ears and something that still sounds like a unique type of gospel to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jazz for Under the Moon...
Nothing could top the opening track. What else is there? To borrow an overused cliche, this is "Smooth Jazz" at its best. BUt the homogenized smooth jazz of today but the sweet delicious tone of Staz Getz. This is music to hold hands to , music to make love to, music to gaze at the moon. The only problem being there is a lack of diversity among the tracks so they tend to blur. ... Read more

7. Mingus Ah Um [Bonus Tracks]
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Asin: B00000I14Z
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Sales Rank: 1029
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Mercurial bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus was signed to Columbia Records for the briefest of time during 1959. His Columbia recordings, however, remain some of the most inspired, mood-jumping jazz in history. The flowing sadness of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" (unedited here for the first time on CD!) rings like a funeral chorus that pitches headlong into a celebration of Lester Young's life and improvising flexibility, rather than his death. And there's the funky furnace blast of "Boogie Stop Shuffle" (also unedited!), which reaches its glory with Booker Ervin's Texas tenor sax, wrapped tight in bluesy tone. With the index of emotions captured, these songs nail why Mingus is possibly the most relevant jazzer for the '90s generation. He swings and shouts and hollers and somersaults. His tunes either induce foot-stomping with their intensity or reach for poignant yearning with their lyrical tapestry of orchestral colors. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Completely Satisfying¿A Work of Genius
The first track says it all: "Better get it into Your Soul." This is soul-stirring, head-thumping, body-shaking stuff. Insistent, penetrating, simply inspired. Hard to compare it to anything, really, although it has elements of bebop, blues, gospel, and that crazy no-holds-barred spirit of funk. One of my top ten jazz cuts.

The famous "Goodbye Porkpie Hat," a tribute to Lester Young, is a quieter blues-based piece, centered around soulfully played sax. Emotionally, it's both sad and affectionate. "Boogie Stop Shuffle" sounds like the soundtrack to some weird 60's spy movie --with Mingus, expect the unexpected! Excellent piano by Horace L. Parlan, Jr. driven along by the lionesque Mingus on bass. Self-portrait in "Three Colors" and "Open Letter to Duke" feature brilliant Ellingtonian arrangements and warm colors. The latter piece has superb boppish sax-riffs, settles into a richly colored niche, and then breaks into some rhythmic and melodic audacity.

Mingus' brilliant, daring "Fables of Faubus" retains its mocking tone, but is less political than the vocal version on the magnificent "Live at Antibes." It's an interesting contrast to his bold (courageous, even) attack on Governor Faubus in the live version, and, again, shows Ellington's influence in its beautifully complex arrangement. "Pussy Cat Dues" and "Jelly Roll" deliver a New Orleans laid-back sound. On 'Dues,' Mingus lays down some languid, monumental bass effects. It's thick luxurious sleaze, sliced through with the purity and strength of the sax.

One of the best of the studio albums, although, frankly, I like them all. An innovator, an explorer, a trailblazer, he is truly a genius. You'll find more and more to appreciate with every listening. Most highly recommended to the Mingus fan as well as the most hesitant newcomer

5-0 out of 5 stars First Great Mingus Album
This album is a classic, containing some of Mingus' best known compositions. Good By Pork Pie Hat is a deeply felt tribute to Lester Young, Better Get It In Your Soul raises the roof like a gospel revival meeting. Fables of Faubus is quirky and menacing.

The band is full of good hard bop players. While not as adventurous as Mingus' bands from the 60s and 70s they play with style and passion. Horace Parlan in a wonder, especially considering that he worked with only three fingers on his right hand.

A must have for any jazz fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great jazz albums
This is a wonderful album from the volatile genius of bassist, composer and arranger, Charles Mingus. The songs are all either classics or deserve to be--
'Better git it in your soul' is a swirling, bubbling act of creative inspiration; 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' is a lovely introspective tribute to the then recently deceased tenor sax giant Lester Young; 'Fables of Faubus' is a satirical dig at a racist politician; 'Self Potrait in 3 colours' written though never used, for a film, is beautiful, etc etc.
The playing is very good, especially the whole ensemble-individual playing not as striking individually as the great jazz players, although Mingus was a great bassist, Jimmy Knepper a wonderful trombonist, and Danny Richmond a phenomenal drummer.
This shows what jazz can, and should do. Unmissable.

5-0 out of 5 stars As Vital As Anything Recorded In Its Day
There are three albums that make up my introduction to jazz records. Time Further Out by the Brubeck Quartet was first. Next was Monk's Underground LP. Then I'm diggin' this great album cover with the cubist painting and what a great title Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, a selection from the Mingus Ah Um masterpiece. In no time I'm so crazy over Mingus, I start buying everything I can find by him and shortly after that I caught him live at 2-Saints, a small...No, make that a tiny club on St Marks Place. During intermission I even found myself standing next to this jazz titan at the pizzaria on the corner of St Marks & 3rd...Having a slice with Mingus....Man, what a night that was!!!

Back to Ah Um...It's a seminal jazz recording. In my opinion as vital as anything by Elington, Monk or Miles. Pork Pie Hat is at least as great as Round Midnight, Sophisticated Lady or Funny Valentine. If you don't own this one in your jazz've got a lot of explaining to do!

5-0 out of 5 stars Euphoric
If traditional jazz can be compared to arithmetic, you might say that Charlie Parker composed algebra, Monk worked in geometry, and Mingus entered the realms of calculus. The songs on this album have the cerebral quality of the best be bop, and the swing of Duke Ellington. For those unfamiliar with Mingus, don't be put off by the fact that he was a bassist. He does solo, but he knew enough not to expect non-musicians to sit through extended bass passages. While the music is complex, layer upon layer of rich sounds, it is also extremely accesable to anyone who loves jazz. ... Read more

8. Koln Concert
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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

9. The Out-of-Towners
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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

10. Overtime
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Sales Rank: 4855
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars !!!!!!!
Awesome album, showcasing all the greatest Holland strengths.The band is extremely tight and communicative, impressive given the fact that the arrangements are intricate, the time signatures complex.Dave continues to write tunes that are experimental, grooving and catchy, with both the expressiveness and technical challenge of the very best jazz.

Holland's playing is prodigious and seemingly unlimited in imagination and facility, as usual.Hats off to Kilson on drums, who seems to have fulfilled a great deal of his considerable promise on this record.He combines a strong fusion-funk groove with the rhythmic freedom and cymbal-expressiveness of T. Williams and E. Jones, a manic sense of constant motion, split-second free-association and a sense of humor.Not many drummers can play this relentlessly and stay both innovative and tuned-in to the band.I love it, and I'm still trying to count some of those measures!

5-0 out of 5 stars Colorful Conversations
Dave Holland has a very distinct way of creating colorful conversations between musicians of exceptional caliber.Witness his Quintet recordings and you can touch, feel andexperience the wide open spaces created to allow the band to explore and exchange ideas around the rhythm section.The Big Band preserves this concept but adds brass to color the space between the individual performances.What you end up with is a masterful approach to music that is easily accessible, yet innovative and exciting.

"Overtime" is another beautiful recording from an artist who understands the essence and improvisational beauty of Jazz.This music swings, grooves and stimulates.Just listen to themany exceptional solos from Chris Potter, Robin Eubanks and Antonio Hart.The magic happens at a higher level when they dialogue with each other.These musical conversations sound like two artist soloing at the same time, but if you listen closely, you can clearly hear the conversation and exchange between them.The glue to this entire approach is Billy Kilson's incredible rhythmic abilities.He knows when to push forward and when to back off to let the music simmer.The Chemistry between Holland, Kilson and Steve Nelson is magic.They take turns pushing the other musicians to stellar heights throughout the "Monterey Suite".Observe Kilson mixing it up with Potter and Eubanks on "Bring It On" and again on "Free for All".Nelson sparkles on the Marimba in between the solos.The darting & stabbing brass on "Happy Jammy" sets up a fast-paced swirling Gary Hart Soprano solo that echoes Wayne Shorter's best Weather Report performances.This track comes to a rollicking end that left me breathless.The remaining tracks are strong & cohesive."Ario" is a lovely ballad with beautiful texture and a great Alto solo from Mark Gross, while "Mental Images" is rhythmic rollercoaster ride from the M-Base school of thought."The Last Minute Man" reminds me of a soundtrack from a Jazz movie - not too heavy, but a great conversation piece.A nice touch to end this musical experience.

Dave Holland has delivered yet another masterful recording in a career that has been defined by innovation and creativity.He has earned numerous awards for his work over the last five years and this music continues his surge to the front of the Jazz Class.It will be interesting to see how they will follow-up on this recording."Overtime" succeeds on every level.Well done Mr. Holland!Your work is exceptional.Enjoy!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Tons of excitment, questionable 3 star review
This is definitly a 5 star record, how could that person say there is no intensity, if anything there is to much. The writing is complicated, exciting, and band is on. As close to musical perfection that I have seen in awhile

3-0 out of 5 stars I'm a bit disappointed
I've been a big Dave Holland fan for several years, and I loved What Goes Around, as well his quintet recordings.Overtime just seems flat to me in comparison.For me, it doesn't have the same excitement.I keep thinking while I'm listening (not a good sign, to start with) that I've heard all this before from this group - but done much better, with more surprises, better melodies and rhythms, etc.A note and then a caveat: Note that I could have given this 4 stars as easily as 3 (3 1/2 would have been perfect).I'm "marking" it hard, though, relative to other Holland recordings I'm familiar with.The caveat is that I've only heard this disc about 5 times through so far.It may very well be that it will grow on me and I'll change my opinion.I hope so.I love Dave Holland's work, and want to think he's done great (but more subtle) work here.It's very surprising to me to think that he could have fallen this short, leaving me to question myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Swing
Awesome stuff. It swings without a hint of self-consciousness or retro sensibility. Holland seems determined to push the big band concept forward rhythmically and structurally, and he succeeds with a record that's both challenging and rockin'. Ellington would've approved, I'd bet. ... Read more

11. Bridge
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Asin: B00009PJRN
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7907
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Widely acknowledged as the most significant and accomplished tenor saxophonist in the world, Sonny Rollins's recording legacy is nothing short of extraordinary. Beginning as a sideman in the late-'40s, he worked with Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis. Since recording his first date as a leader in 1954, Rollins has recorded dozens of albums for numerous labels, eventually settling in for a long stay on Milestone. The Bridge, recorded in 1962 for RCA Records, is one of Rollins's most dramatic recordings: it marks a return from three years of self-imposed retirement and its title track is a nod to the stories that Rollins had spent much of that time practicing by himself on the Williamsburg Bridge. The lineup for The Bridge is unusual for the time, a quartet featuring guitar (Jim Hall) instead of piano. The rest of the band serves simply to frame Rollins, whose time off only improved his already awesome abilities. Along with the title track, the album's standouts include "Without a Song" and "God Bless the Child." --Fred Goodman ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Underrated Sonny
A great Rollins recording, and unique in many ways. Here is Sonny playing with a guitar player, Jim Hall, who plays beatufifull both as an acompanist and taking good mellow solos. This recording is underated, because at the time this was supposed to be Sonny's big comeback after Ornette and Coltrane took the world by surprise. So everyone was expecting this to be a new sound, an avant gard session, and it wasnt. It was Sonny, with a more mellow sound, playing a mix bag of originals and standards. But time has proven that this is a masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic, indispensable
There's simply nothing more important than Sonny's work on this piece of American Art.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bridge is pure jazz.
I bought the 1996 BMG Music version after hearing it at a book store. I can't believe the quality of the music. I very seldom buy music but bought this instantly. "You Do Something To Me" is one of my favorite tracks. Great music to set a mood. I highly recommend Sonny Rollins and in particular this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sonny and Jim Hall in an atounding set
THis is a fantastic recording with Sonny Rollins sounding rich and melodic accompanied by the amazing Jim Hall on guitar. The very first cut ,Without A Song, is an absolute knockout. The quality of the mix is fabulous..sounds like it was recorded yesterday. A wonderful set that I will enjoy hearing again and again. ... Read more

12. Maiden Voyage
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Asin: B00000IL29
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3171
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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In the mid-'60s, a distinctive postbop style evolved among the younger musicians associated with Blue Note, a new synthesis that managed to blend the cool spaciousness of Miles Davis's modal period, some of the fire of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and touches of the avant-garde's group interaction. Maiden Voyage is a masterpiece of the school, with Hancock's enduring compositions like "Maiden Voyage" and "Dolphin Dance" mingling creative tension and calm repose with strong melodies and airy, suspended harmonies that give form to his evocative sea imagery. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard was at a creative peak, stretching his extraordinary technique to the limits in search of a Coltrane-like fluency on the heated "Eye of the Storm," while the underrated tenor saxophonist George Coleman adds a developed lyricism to the session. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars A landmark recording
Herbie Hancock reaffirmed his importance in modern Jazz history with this stunning album. Hancock always is a pioneer of Jazz music, and this album takes him to another level of Piano brilliance. Using outstanding musicians as backup compliments this album. With Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and Saxophonist George Colman, Hancock explores each and every song on here with different rythmic spacing, and musical influences from Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman and even Art Blakey. Hancock isn't afraid to go for a new sound and we are all gratefull to this Jazz pioneer. From "Maiden Voyage" to "Dolphin Dance" each and every song on this album (CD) is a delight to listen too. Blue Note recordings did an excellent job of letting Hancock explore and the Jazz world is gratefull for it. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic from the early 60's
This collection with Herbie Hancock fronting a group consisting of the rhythm section of Miles Davis' second quintet; the always amazing Tony Williams and Ron Carter; is an absolute classic from the period. Freddie Hubbard is at times astonishing in his soloing. George Coleman who also did a brief stint with Davis rounds out the group on tenor. While not one of my favorite tenor players overall he does some of his best recorded work on this. Hancock established himself as a composer of jazz standards with Maiden Voyage. His playing on this is comparable to another classic of the period Miles Smiles. Maiden Voyage ,Miles Smiles and Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil are the epitome of where modal jazz was headed in the 60's under the influence of Miles Davis. These fabulous musicians were making history again and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best jazz albums ever
Wow...this album blew me away. I'm a kid of the 21st century in a world of new exciting forms of music...the fact that this thing still gets to me shows that "Maiden Voyage" is a timeless jazz album....a classic. Herbie's masterful use of harmony is definitely evident in this recording. The beginning D Suspension and F Suspension chords are so classic...every jazz pianist should know his chord voicings in this song. It is incredible that Herbie is able to create beautiful musical textures in songs such as Dolphin Dance and Maiden Voyage. This recording is an essential item for every jazz listener. Yep, buying this is an option.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maiden Voyage - a classic!
I was listening to this disc just a moment ago and I decided to make justice for it and decided to review it. This is what I've got to say.


About The Rudy Van Gelder Edition
(In these RVG edition CDs all transfers from analog to digital are made at 24-bit resolution). The remastering done by Rudy Van Gelder is excellent! The sound Gelder gives the recording - which he originally engineered - a more life like balanced sound that is more pleasing to the ears. The listener is able to hear nuances of the instruments (f.ex. fingers on trumpet valves very clearly). Sometimes the remastering makes you believe that the recording session was held only recently.
By comparison most of the mid 80's Blue Note releases - that have been precursors to RVG editions - are muddy and have little bass definition and an inappropriate amount of treble.

About the packaging
I find it very nice! RVG edition CDs contain the original liner notes and also liner essay ("a new look at" as it is called) from critic Bob Blumenthal, that provides interesting historical insight that may - or may not - reveal new information to the seasoned jazz fan, but definitely could be helpful to new listeners discovering the legacy of Blue Note through these deluxe RVG editions. Also some session photos by Francis Wolff that fold out to full view in the booklet are very nice, some of them are well known and some are published for the first time.

About the music
To put its simply - it is beautiful. Other adjectives that I would use to appraise this disc: reserved, complex, elegant, sophisticated, cerebral, refined/mannered...
It is modal jazz that has some post-bop influences. Maiden Voyage is less overtly adventurous than its predecessor, Empyrean Isles, but it is nevertheless full of creativity of these musicians, notably Herbie Hancock who is at the peak of his entire career. It could easily be the finest recording of the '60s, reaching a perfect balance between accessible, lyrical jazz and chance-taking hard bop.
Each member is on top of his game for this session, and the result is a very enjoyable recording. Rhythm section is exceptional; Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Carter and Williams ceate an ideal backround (along with Herbie) where Coleman and Hubbard can do their soloing. Freddie Hubbard plays trumpet with nice phrasing but George Coleman won't stay far behind him as he shines with some of the best saxophone playing ever.
The quintet plays five Hancock originals. They are all simply superb showcases for the group's provocative, unpredictable solos, tonal textures, and harmonies. The quintet does take risks, but the music is lovely and accessible, thanks to Hancock's understated, melodic compositions and the tasteful group interplay. All the elemenst blend together and make Maiden Voyage a shimmering, beautiful album that captures Hancock at his finest as a leader, soloist and composer.
This is an excellent recording, which I unhesitatingly recommend as a great addition to any serious jazz library, and possibly as good a way as any to have Hancock represented as the essential musician he is. This is an excellent CD to begin exploring jazz - it is an ideal introduction for newcomers but also a must have for veterans.
It will immediately let you know that you're listening to a classic and with every listen it gets better.

When I listen to this CD I feel like I'm in one of those tropical isles surrounded by blue-green sea. Sun shines and the sand on the beach just shines pure white. Sky is blue and a few white clouds are scattered here and there. I walk in to the sea and dive to the direction of the bottom of the sea. I see many different coloured fish species swimming around me. A green turtle flows over my head. So much life... But suddenly it all disappears. I see couple of sharks swimming and passing by. And it all just calms down. Life returns. Turtles, fishes, octopussies... Everything shines and colours are bright and warm. It is so beautiful...And when the music begins to fade away I rise from the sea, get back to the beach and just watch as it all gets wrapped around the calmenss of nigth... Beautiful.

This is Essential jazz. Essential Hancock and essential modal jazz. It definitely deserves a five star rating. I have had this CD for a long time. I keep enjoying it time after time. You will do yourself a big favor if you buy this. If you don't believe me, just read what other reviewers have to say.

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfection
I would rate this CD as being a Jazz classic were it not for one or two weak moments in the set; that aside, it rates as one of Herbie hancocks best efforts to date, and is definitely a Jazz essential.

"Maiden Voyage" is a brilliant, mellow track, one that highlights both impressive individual improvisations and stunningly cohesive collaberation. "The eye of the hurricane" is a snappy little number that alomst allows its impressive style to overshadow its rather substantial substance. "Little One" veers back towards the mellow, serving as a quiet interlude before the free-form cacaphony of "Survival of the Fittest," a work that is not as cohesivelly structured as I would prefer. "Dolphin Dance" is a pleasently fitting close to the album. ... Read more

13. The Melody At Night, With You
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B00002EPJH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3857
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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This solo recording is a fitting coda for Keith Jarrett's more restrained, less prolific output in the 1990s. The fitful vamps and long, ruminative improvisations that made Jarrett a solo piano star in the '70s are here either stillborn or tightly tethered to classic melodies from the likes of Gershwin and Ellington, yet there is not the slightest hint of repression. Instead, Jarrett sprinkles notes and brings the familiar strains of "I Loves You, Porgy" and "Someone to Watch over Me" to bloom with a dynamic but resonantly earth-toned vibrancy. Rarely has the pianist kept his music so simple and free of pageantry. Audible moans and shenanigans with the piano's sustain pedal are held to a minimum, and even brawny, sing-along stuff like "Shenandoah" and "My Wild Irish Rose" never lapse into sloppy sentimentality--indeed, Jarrett's two-handed caress of the latter song is so delicately self assured, the tune seems to play itself. Among the 10 tracks, only "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good" finds the pianist stretching into busy (but still crisp) extended passages. Yes, there are moments when Melody's shimmering standards exude the glazed predictability of cocktail music in a hotel lobby. But those are far outnumbered by the cherished occasions when Jarrett's romanticism rings true. --Britt Robson ... Read more

Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars Piano...memories...and the time with you.
Finally there's a solo piano album in my collection that can match John McArthur's 'HIDDEN', Brad Mehldau's "Elegiac Cycle", Bill Evans' "Alone" and Keith Jarrett's legendary "Koln Concert". It's Keith Jarrett's 'The Melody At Night With You'. Haven't heard such a great piano solo album in years. "The Melody At Night With You" was a revelation to me. Jarrett finally prooves that he CAN be the kind of piano player we new he could be. He tones down his signature moans and grunts, his beating of the piano and he plays, honestly and sincere. As a gift to his wife, Jarrett's playing takes your breath away. His playing is daring and adventurous, and because he has a perfect sense of structure as well, he never gets lost and keeps everything in perfect balance. And on top of this, his playing is deeply moving. I hear a lot of McArthur and Evans in Jarrett's playing on this album, but, much more important, I hear foremost a pianist with a distinct style of his own, that is warm and not pretentious. He is distinct. You will not regret buying this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars JARRETT SCORES
In one of the most beautiful piano jazz albums I own, Keith Jarrett takes eleven standard songs about love and gives them a nighttime, quiet-by-the-fireplace treatment. He was obviously inspired/influenced by jazz pianists like Bill Evans and Barbara Carroll to name just two, but this album is certainly not a re-tread. It is an original.

Jarrett can do almost anything on the piano. I not only own some of his wonderful jazz recordings like "Whisper Not," but also classical recordings of works by Shostakovitch and Haydn. Everything Jarrett records comes out golden.

Every tune on this CD is special, but I particularly enjoyed the Gershwins' "I Loves You, Porgy" and Oscar Levant's "Blame It On My Youth" (a gorgeous song with a great lyric which, sadly, so few people sing or play). The American folksong "Shenandoah" is given a lovely, surprising arrangement by Jarrett. This album is a treasure. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

5-0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets?
To finaly hear an album of KJ where he does not have to show of, is in itself an thorougly good experience. To hear his genius on these classic songs are equaly good. Together making this one of his finer album in years. Oh, and the fact that he doesnt moan on this one is for me an improvement.

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly romantic
Now for those that got familiar with kj's art through his solo marathon albums might get really surprised. This album is made for your OWN personal time with a glass of scotch near the fireplace.....peacefull, intimate, slow (some said he got tired, but for me he is close to koln concert in performane although in totally different background)....this is the perfect gift to someone you care about. All the notes are clear and here comes the moto "less is more".....listen to it again and again. Soon it will get under your skin and you'll come back to it every time you are lookin for peace.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bland...
Jarrett was recovering from ME when he recorded these, and it shows. The standards (all ballads) are played simply and slowly, he uses conventional Bill Evans voicings, and none of his trade-mark lines. Moments of interest are very few and far between: moments of inspiration, non-existant. There's nothing to distinguish this playing from the average cocktail pianist's - that it's so popular is almost insulting to Jarrett's other work. ... Read more

14. Headhunters
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Asin: B000002AGP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2952
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Keyboardist Herbie Hancock's remarkable career took a surprising turn with this funk album--one of the first jazz albums to be certified gold. Hancock's already-storied career had included an extended tenure with Miles Davis as a member of both the classic quintet of the '60s and the trumpeter's groundbreaking electric dates. As a leader, the pianist had followed a similar course, cutting both outstanding acoustic dates (Maiden Voyage, Empyrean Isles) and experimental electric sessions (Sextant, Crossings).

Head Hunters, however, was something different: a stripped-down date featuring reedman Bennie Maupin as the only horn player, and a funk-oriented rhythm section made up of Paul Jackson, Harvey Mason, and Bill Summers. Hancock traded in his sophisticated piano performances and complex compositions for simple melodies, slow-burn funk grooves, and light electric keyboard splashes. The results, particularly on the tracks "Chameleon" and "Watermelon Man," had a profound impact on other musicians, although critics charged Hancock with playing to the galleries. But the album has stood the test of time--something neither the wealth of Hancock's imitators nor his own subsequent albums in this vein have been able to do. --Fred Goodman ... Read more

Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST HAVE, MUST HAVE MORE ALBUM
Either too much or not much can be said about Herbie Hancock's monumental masterpiece, HeadHunters. It is, without a doubt, one of the best and most influential recordings of the 20th century. Even 28 years from its inception, HeadHunters continues to influence music. All the "greats" of Hip Hop and Rap, from Puff Daddy to Dr. Dre have Herbie Hancock to thank. Herbie created funk grooves and instrumental inventions still advanced to latest attempts. Yet, sadly enough, Hilfiger-sporting, bleach-haired, suburbanite preps have no idea that the lastest masterpieces by Eminem couldn't have been without Hancock and the HeadHunters.

Hopefully, you, the prospective buyer, have either heard HeadHunters before or are listening to the samples at this moment. You should be beginning to understand the impact that this album made. If you are familiar with previous fusion, you know that this sound hadn't really started yet. And if you have a virgin ear, perhaps you are hearing the future during the past for the first time. My favorite song on the album remains to be "Watermelon Man". It is hip-hop, funk, and jazz at its finest. When I hear this song, I hear the beats and grooves of so many artists twenty years after, desperately trying to match its intensity. Furthermore, although there are so many highlights in HeadHunters, Saxophonist Bennie Maupin stands out. He is able to bring smooth, melodic, fast, and furious sounds into all the sounds and should be commended. HeadHunters appeals to such a broad audience because there is so much of "it" there, exactly what you want to hear at exactly the right time.

I have found only one qualm with HeadHunters, and it is not necesarily bad. I wanted more. I would listen to HeadHunters again and again and I needed more grooves, improvisations, and tricks. HeadHunters is incomplete, but that isn't bad. The follow up album, Thrust, in my opinion, closes what Herbie Hancock was trying to create. Put Headhunters and Thrust together and you have a vision, a focus, making a full circle of a musical style. But just HeadHunters itself still makes a powerful statement. Nevertheless, it's a safe bet that if you get HeadHunters, you're going to want more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep Grooves and Funky Rhythms
If anything could epitomize the pure sense of funk music, this album would be it. Herbie Hancock's career certainly contained some extremely creative and legendary work, but this is the first album of his that recieved a considerable amout of attention and record sales, providing the public with a perhaps more mainstream-oriented style of fusion. The grooves are, like any fusion from the era, inspired by 60's Motown and R&B rhythm lines, rooted deeply in the bass and drums. Herbie takes this, combined with superior musicianship, outlandish effects and his own skill with writing music to create a funky, dramatic and completely original creation. "Chameleon", the hit track of the album, starts it off on the right foot, with bassist Paul Jackson laying out its famous infectious groove, and drummer Harvey Mason providing a better-than-sufficient hi-hat/snare line. Hancock's array of keyboards provides a spectrum of sounds on top. "Watermelon Man", a remake from Herbie's first album, rolls along at a comfortable pace, with some great solos from horn player Bennie Maupin. "Sly" is multi-sectioned and more advanced than the other tracks, with syrup-thick grooves and intricate drum and bass interplay. "Vein Melter" is aptly named, sure to make any woman swoon, twisting and beautiful. Overall a brilliant album, universally listenable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funktastic Must-have
This album started a revolution. "Chameleon" is a staple for any band these days. After getting tired of hearing terrible versions by Gov't Mule and The String Cheese Incidint (Who by the way really are an incident and couldn't play a good song if they got payed a million dollars), I thought that I was finally sick of "Chameleon" Well... I was so wrong! I went back and got out my copy of "Headhunters" and it refreshed my faith in the song. Herbie adds that kind of Disco part and brings the funk up a notch. His whole band really jams on that song. There may be imitators, but Herbie is the only one who can really play "Chameleon" the way it should be played.

"Watermelon Man" is another instant classic. I was really diggin' the crazy tribal screams and the guy blowing on the jugs. "Sly" is also really funky going in and out of the groove, and "Veinmelter" delivers as well. Although I wouldn't label this as "One of my favorites of all time" it is definatley crucial to any collection. Whether you like Jazz, rap, Funk, rock, or whatever... You'll dig this fo' sho'.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Album For New & Old Funk-Jazz Fusion Lovers
I was introduced to this album upon a recommendation by a friend and the decision to buy the album was well worth it. I must however warn that the tracks on this album are VERY long and sometimes sound a little repetative. But with that in mind, the actual musical content is very enjoyable. Herbie was one of the great pioneers of the Funk-Jazz fusion era and this album truly showcases his unique talent. If you enjoy this album, I also highly recommend checking out some of his older stuff just so you can see how versatile an artist he is (his music from the 60's sounds completely different! - much more mellow and a more traditional, standard jazz feel to it, ex: "Cantaloupe Island").

5-0 out of 5 stars In the present is the future meeting the past
The jazz on this absolutely funky fusion album was ahead of it's time when originally released on vinyl in 1973, and it was an instant turn on for this reviewer, a college freshman at that moment. Though I couldn't possibly have known it then, Herbie Hancock would become one of jazz music's funk icons; he was a true innovator at the forefront of electronic jazz...melding synthesizer keyboards with jazz's traditional acoustic elements.

The band includes Paul Jackson on electric bass, Bennie Maupin on woodwinds, Harvey Mason on drums and Bill Summers on all kinds of percussion.

Chameleon is the longest tune on the album at just under 16 minutes and is a driving jam improvisation around a rhythm that is pure funk.

Watermelon Man, the shortest tune on the album at 6.29, is an updated version of a tune originally released by Herbie in 1962. It is an exploration of rhythm and soloing that draws the listener into the heart of the ensemble and touches the very soul of the listener.

Vein Melter, at 9.10 in length, has always been my favorite tune on the album. There are so many rich, unique elements of sound in this slow and experimental song that it seems like the band is painting a sound picture that sits just out of reach.

Bennie Maupin's soprano and tenor sax, saxello, bass clarinet and alto flute will draw you in like a moth to a flame and envelop you in the overarching mystery and intrigue of sound exploration that awaits the listener of this album.

Reach for the sky and embrace the future. All the best to you. ... Read more

15. Speak No Evil
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00000I8UH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2364
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Wayne Shorter's compositions helped define a new jazz style in the mid-'60s, merging some of the concentrated muscular force of hard bop with surprising intervals and often spacious melodies suspended over the beat. The result was a new kind of "cool," a mixture of restraint and freedom that created a striking contrast between Shorter's airy themes and his taut tenor solos and which invited creative play among the soloists and rhythm section. The band on this 1964 session is a quintessential Blue Note group of the period, combining Shorter's most frequent and effective collaborators. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Elvin Jones merge their talents to create music that's at once secure and free flowing, sometimes managing to suggest tension and calm at the same time. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Some of the best of wayne shorter and jazz music in general
There is a reason that there are only 5 star reviews of this cd. It is such a thoroughly consistent album. When I first bought it I liked it a lot, as it sounded very complex and original. Now having listened to jazz over almost the past decade, I can hear this album in much more emotional way. Emotionally implies that I feel this is really a brilliant blues written out with complex, but free flowing and loose textures, rhythms, and structure. The group is Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, and Wayne shorter...some of the biggest innovators of their instruments in the 60's. I feel that Elvin brings out a very different and equally as interesting side to all of other musicians as compared to Tony Williams, since he is such a bluesy, explosive drummer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Few Albums Can Compare
In the space of only about four years in the mid-1960s, Wayne Shorter put out about 7 albums, any one of which could have revolutionized jazz music. In my view, Speak No Evil is the best of them all (though the competition is incredible). Basically, jazz music entered a new and original phase through Shorter's compositions. In the '30s and '40s, people played swing and then bebop, which were "jazzed up" approaches to standard tunes. The '50s and early '60s saw a period of new jazz composition, and a self-conscious introduction of new styles that were centered around instrumental style rather than around standard tunes. These new styles definitely broke new ground, but they still were mostly built around virtuoso-style improvising that exploited the harmonic possibilities of the chord structure of a song. Though it is obviously indebted to this tradition, Shorter's compositions shifted the focus away from "blowing" and onto the beauty of the compositions. Playing these songs emphasized more the evoking of the appropriate mood and texture rather than just using them as generic platforms for playing the same scales and licks. Basically, these songs invited new forms of exploration--and for that reason they remain some of the most popular songs for contemporary jazz bands to play. This album, Speak No Evil, is a real pleasure to listen to, and that is true the first time and the five-hundredth time. This is one of the tiny handful of albums that can without question be called the greatest in the history of jazz. Everyone should have the pleasure of listening to this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Album, But...
I agree with all the other reviews, but there is one thing that has been bothering me for a while. I have the sneaking suspicion that Wayne owes a lot to Lee Morgan, which hasn't been credited. Listen to Lee's 'Melancholee,' on "Search For The New Land." Then listen to 'Dance Cadaverous.' Then, after a while, listen to 'Melancholee' again. I think you'll see what I mean. The melody and voicing are eerily similar. And it's no surprise. Wayne played on "Search" in February of 1964 and then recorded "Speak" in December.

I don't mean to detract from the greatness of this recording, but I think credit must be given where it's due. Lee Morgan should be acknowledged. If you are a serious jazz fan, consider buying "Search For The New Land" as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Criminally Underated
I know what you are thinking, "How could Speak No Evil be underated with all these five star reviews?". I'll tell you how. It's because people rarely put the phrases "Speak No Evil" and "one of the 5 greatest jazz LP's of all time" in the same sentence.

The main reason I think this LP is underated is because its main strength did not lie in amazing solo performances like on LP's such as Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and Coltrane's Love Supreme. The main strength of this album is Shorter's compositional genius. The ability of the band to turn in awesome and memorable performances while at the same time being so reserved and structured is what make this album so wonderful.

The entire LP gets heavy play from me, but I will try to highlight what I think are the it's best offerings. "Dance Cadaverous" is one of the best jazz compositions ever recorded and its alternate take, which is also on this LP, is even more stunning. Shorter and Freddie Hubbard are unbelievable on this track, Hancock's performance on this track is equally unforgettable. As good as "Dance" is the track that made me realize just how amazing Shorter is was "Infant Eyes". Every note on this performance is perfectly placed. Shorter and Hancock are the stars on this one. Everytime I hear Hancock's solo intro, and then Shorter's entrance I fall in love with the track all over again. These two turn in nothing short of brilliant performances.

I could go On and On but I will wrap this up. Get this CD. You can't be serious about jazz and not have this one in your collection.

7 stars for this one no less.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
Wayne Shorter puts his name close to or above all other jazz composers with this album. Although his technical proficency does not compare to that of such players as Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins or Benny Golson, his pure compositional genius sets him apart from everyone else in the jazz world. Flanked by piano phenom Herbie Hancock, trumpet virtuoso Freddy Hubbard, and an all-star rhythm section (Ron Carter and Elvin Jones,) Shorter displays his ability to play in complex time signatures (Wild Flower,) play lyrical ballads (Pretty Eyes,) and play downright hard forms (Fee-Fi-Foe-Fum.) This album is a must have -- Shorter's compositional ability is unsurpassed, and he displays this to its fullest through "Speak No Evil." ... Read more

16. John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
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Asin: B000003N7K
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2733
Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
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This is one of the three all-ballad albums that John Coltrane recorded in late 1962 and early 1963. Johnny Hartman was apparently Coltrane's suggestion, and his deep, dark voice meshes perfectly here with Coltrane's tenor. The material is well-chosen, including definitive readings of "My One and Only Love" and "Lush Life." McCoy Tyner fills out the chords, augmenting the harmonies and keeping the tone of these ballads respectful but not overly sentimental. All the players get to the deep structure of the songs and are not afraid to play in the most essential and elegant manner. This is beautiful jazz. --Michael Monhart ... Read more

Reviews (101)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hartman and Coltrane:Masters in Concert
Of all the CDs in my jazz collection, this is one of those I treasure most. John Coltrane's tender and sensitive accompaniments are a refreshing contrast to the "sheets of sound" reputation for which he is better known. However, for all of Coltrane's greatness, make no mistake:Johnny Hartman is THE star of this recording. His warm baritone is enthralling and irresistible throughout. The highlight of this outing is Lush Life, and Hartman gives THE definitive version of that timeless standard. It is absolute perfection. Hartman's version never has been, and never will be surpassed. We can only speculate why Hartman did not enjoy greater acclaim while he lived. I only know that since I first heard him on the radio in 1993, my life has been richer as a result. As an aspiring singer myself, this CD is a must for anyone who wants to hear it done at the highest, most intimate level.

5-0 out of 5 stars Arrestingly Gorgeous
As so many of these excellent reviews have said, this disc is an incredible experience. The warmth & tenderness of these songs convey the experiences of romantic love so well that it's pointless for me to try describing it with mere words. All of the emotions that make up romantic love: tenderness, passion, perhaps some tinges of sadness and regret, along with tremendous longing are present in these songs in ways both subtle and provacative.

I agree completely with one of the excellent reviewers who stated that it is incorrect to consider John Coltrane as a "sideman" to Johnny Hartman. This is truly an artistic collaboration that entailed one of the musical giants of the twentieth-century working with a woefully underated vocalist. With the wonderfully understated piano of McCoy Tyner, whispering bass by Jimmy Garrison and immaculate jazz drumming by Elvin Jones, this is sublime music.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best ever? Well, here's an argument for that....
Many jazzophiles opine that this is the best vocal jazz album ever made. I don't know that I'd necessarily agree; but I wouldn't argue vociferously for another alternative. And, I would agree that it's one of the most remarkable ones ever made.

Normally, an album with nothing but slow, romantic ballads gets 4 stars from me, no matter what else. I make an exception here, for these reasons:

First, I know that the three principal musicians--Mr. Coltrane, Mr. Hartman and Mr. Tyner--had humongous voices, and when they wanted to, could cause a volcano to begin erupting. But here, each trades off volume for musicianship. Every note is caressed and burnished with beauty. By each musician. Every note, I tell you. No voice breaks, no squeaks, no dissonant chords. Everything in this album is just gorgeous.

Second, they did this in one day. Yes, Trane went in later and added some overdubbing; but the fact that Johnny Hartman could knock out what he knocked out in one day is just mind-boggling.

Third, this album just now is getting its due. When you think of Trane, you think of more spectacular efforts ("Favorite Things", "Giant Steps", "Love Supreme" and "Ascension"); but his playing was never more beautiful and controlled than here. And when you think of a big-voiced bass-baritone who could take his instrument anywhere in his range without straining, pinching, or losing pitch, you think of Billy Eckstine or Earl Coleman. Here, Johnny Hartman was every bit their equal.

This album should be in every wedding d.j.'s "Playlist" in the country. Though "You Are Too Beautiful" is my personal favorite, any one of the 6 would do. This is one of the very few albums I can remember that brought a tear to my eye, the very first time I heard it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A love sublime
I love "A love supreme", but I can understand how some people find that one and even perhaps "My Favourite Things" kinda hard to get and artsy-fartsy. This one here, on the other hand, serves it straight and smooth. Standards, great playing, great vocals. That's that.

5-0 out of 5 stars What have you been missing?
OK, what have you missed if you haven't heard this album? The first time I ever played this cd, my wife came in and started slow dancing with me. This is easily one of the most romantic cds ever recorded. John Coltrane is inspired beyond belief, not in a fiery Blue Train way, but in a I am touching the romantic muse where she lives kind of way. The supporting players all contribute so heavily> I am sitting here listening lush life, written by a 19 year old Billy Strayhorn(who at 19 knows more about love and loss than most men will know at their retirement).
And the words are, "you are still burning inside my brain". This easily is the way I feel about the voice of Johnny Hartman. I could listen to this guy sing Barry Manilow. He has a voice that cuts through all sadness to create a sadness all its own. Your emotions disappear, and you are left adrift in the phenomenal voice of a master interpreter. I guess he found a resurgence because of "The Bridges of Madison County", but this stuff is beyond Iowa sentimentality. This, to me, is beyond hearts, flowers, lust, heartbreak, walks in a park at sunset, the seven wonders of the world. It is music that leaves you thinking,"Where has this been all my life".

and the answer is "It's been here> Floating in the ehads of all of us who have ever walked on this planet, in love, heartbroken, or both.
Check it out. ... Read more

17. Unspeakable
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0002JP4IC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2336
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Stylistic shifts are nothing new in the career of Bill Frisell, who changes musical directions more often than Madonna. In fact, he even covered a Madonna song once. Unspeakable continues that tendency as Frisell teams up with Hal Willner, a willful musical eclectic. The two have worked together on collaborative projects including tributes to Nino Rota, Walt Disney, and Charles Mingus. Willner, who is also the turntabulist here, orchestrates a landscape of turntable spins and space jams using generic library production discs for much of his source material. '60s Dragnet jazz horns and orchestral Twilight Zone stylings lend the modern sound of Unspeakable a strangely nostalgic hue. Frisell finds himself in a landscape of Ligeti-like strings, bongo percolations, and Ghanian tribal calls, most of it super-charged by the rhythm team of bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Their funky beats lay the terrain for Frisell's angular crossfire solos, but he can also wax sweetly nostalgic on "Hymn for Ginsberg" for guitar and string trio. Bill Frisell is filed in jazz, but he continues to be a genre unto himself. --John Diliberto ... Read more

18. Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio: The Silver Collection
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B0000046ZJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1735
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson were both consummate performers, comfortable at any tempo, when they met for this 1957 recording, and they're clearly enjoying one another's skills on ballads and uptempo tunes alike. The group is one of the finest editions of Peterson's trios, with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis. It's virtually a machine for quiet swing, and the absence of a drummer lets Getz's silky sound come to the fore with all its details intact. For all his fame as a virtuosic pianist, Peterson is an underrated accompanist. He complements a soloist with deft fills and unobtrusive propulsion, and the backgrounds he supplies here are as subtle as his solos are extroverted. The program is a good mix of standards and Getz originals, including the joyous "Tour's End," while the extended ballad medley could define jazz lyricism. There's also a brief but infectious version of Ellis's "Detour Ahead," the guitarist's early and highly successful foray into songwriting. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A dream quartet.
This CD presents a very important collaboration. Stan Getz may be the most lyrical tenor saxophone player to have ever graced the face of the earth. Only Lester Young comes close. Prez modeled his sound on that of Frankie Trumbauer's C-melody saxophone, and Getz' model is Prez. Both of them transcend Trumbauer's syrupy improvisations. Getz' tone and the lyricism it supports are evident. All of this is for context, of course. This recording is truly a major musical event. It was on a par with Lester Young's famous collaborations with Teddy Wilson and Oscar Peterson. During this 1957 recording session, all of which is on the CD, Peterson's trio and Getz were more than comfortable with one another, and their mutual musical respect yielded classic performances . The cooperation is evident in Getz' solo on "I Want to Be Happy," a model of precision and lyrical invention. Peterson's solos are equally impressive; there's no unnecessary embellishment or decoration, and he swings powerfully. The long ballad medley--"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "I Don't Know Why, I Just Do," "How Long Has This Been Going On?", "I Can't Get Started," and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams"--features fine solos by Getz and Peterson as well as Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass. In the interplay between the trio and Getz in such numbers as Getz' "Bronx Blues." the quartet sounds like a permanent group. In "Three Little Words" Ellis sets down a solid rhythm and Peterson comps behind Getz' opening solo before delivering an eloquent statement of his own which Getz answers with equal grace. The Getz-Peterson collaboration is particularly appealing on Ellis' "Detour Ahead," a prime instance of their treatment of ballad material. On "Sunday" Ray Brown's persistent bass and Ellis' percussive guitar support Getz admirably. The quartet even approximates a rhythm 'n blues song with Getz' "Blues for Herky." It's not every day that you hear Herb Ellis playing blues guitar with Oscar Peterson doing boogie woogie and Stan Getz blowing like he was in a jump band. But here it is, and it comes as a surprise bonus with some really superb jazz.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable jazz gem
The Oscar Peterson Trio never sounded so good. What a beautiful blending of melody and rhythm this group has. An atomic clock could be set with what Oscar, Ray and Herb do. The addition of Stan Getz's melodic ideas makes this CD a true joy. One gets the impression from how Oscar sometimes starts his solos by quoting the previous soloist that the guy can play almost anything that happens to enter his head.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heavenly hour of swingin' sax and piano from 1957...
This is the most enjoyable of the three Getz CD's I own, and of course, Oscar and his playing partners are superb, whether soloing or supporting. This has a great mix of uptempo and ballad tracks, and gives Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass some shining moments as well as the principals. There are ten earlier reviews posted here, and most of those folks agree with me that this is one of best albums to come out of what I consider the golden age of jazz...the second half of the '50's. I'm not sure why the 1955-'60 period produced such music, but rock was good, Broadway was good, classical LP's sold well, comedy records were hot, there still was a "pop" music segment distinct from rock, and rhythm and blues and country had their share of crossover hits as well. It just was a creative time in a fairly affluent culture, and all forms of music benefitted. There is not a minute on this Getz/Peterson outing which is boring. The menu is mostly standards, but played in quite interesting style. I can't imagine any general music lover not enjoying this one---you don't already have to be well-versed in jazz.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Oscar Peterson Trio - at work. Quality counts!
The Oscar Peterson Trio did a number of these releases featuring artists of the day. Stan Getz is another one who, with the help of the OPT, shines. Check out the OPT with Louis Armstrong... excellent craftmanship, and so is Stan Getz. The OPT set a standard for this type of collaboration. The sound quality is good, during periods of quiet some hiss is evident, this is probably caused by the tape quality and lack of effective filters for this white noise back when these recordings were put down on acetate. As always with OPT...Very enjoyable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
Check all of the other reviews for the technical talk of keeping time or the lack of a percussion session. Let me just add that many times during the album, I found my foot stomping to the beat. To me, that is the best litmus test out there!! The ballad medley can only be bettered by the swing of the blues numbers on this album. Truly an exceptional meeting of exceptional artists. ... Read more

19. Sunday at the Village Vanguard (20 Bit Mastering)
list price: $15.98
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Asin: B00005QY2Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2559
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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This live recording by the Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard on June 25, 1961, marked the end of one of the most sublime instrumental combinations in jazz history when bassist Scott LaFaro died in a car accident 10 days later. This unit is underdocumented because Evans, a notorious perfectionist, was reluctant to record. The interchange between Evans on piano, LaFaro on bass, and Paul Motian on drums is balletic in its balance of emotional beauty and technical precision. Multiple takes of "Gloria's Step," "Alice in Wonderland," "All of You," and "Jade Visions" show how the invention these players brought to each performance makes repeated material sound like movements in a suite. --John Swenson ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars For Bill Evans AND SCOTT LAFARO
First off, this album is a stone cold classic and it's importance to jazz can't be understated. If you are already a fan you know I'm stating the obvious and if you're a new comer to jazz this is a great place to start. That said, I'm only writing this review to offer the other side of the previous one in which the critic described Scott LaFaro's bass playing as "clunky" and "hysterical." I smell a jazz purist. But wait, even the purist of the jazz community would agree this album is amazing. I'm not putting down the reviewer as everyone has different tastes but it's hard to wonder why someone into jazz wouldn't like Scott LaFaro's bass playing. It's a perfect compliment to Bill's piano playing and his solos are tasteful and full of pulsing energy to the like that only Charles Mingus or Charlie Haden can match. It is by no means "rock guitar bass" or even fusion for that matter as the previous review may lead one to believe. For me, it's the bass playing that stands out and gives this album its niche in the many other great jazz albums I have. So I had to write this review just to clear the air about Scott's bass playing. It is superb and arguably some of the most exciting pressed to wax.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scott Lafaro was the greatest
Scott Lafaro's Playing on this record is perhaps his best ever, it is neither clunky nor hysterical. It is some of the most agile and artistic music ever played, tragically he died 10 days later. This trio was one of Bill Evan's favorites, if not the favorite (from biography) he struggled to release recording as quickly as possible, as a tribute to Lafaro, so everyone could hear the height of this musical achievment. This record is about Lafaro, to fast forward through his solos would be a crime. What some people don't understand is that the piano need not be the only focal point in a trio, it doesn't need to be solo piano with bass and drums. The concept here is where everyone in the trio is improvising in a more abstract way, playing off and around each other. The interplay is truly sublime, Paul Motian sounds great, Scott Lafaro sounds great, not only virtuostic, but also meaningful and with a well thought out timbre. I haven't ever heard a trio with this depth of musical thought. Keith Jarrett gets close, but this is where he is coming from. Too bad Lafaro didn't have a long carreer, or maybe this would be the concept people think of first. This is my favorite recording.

5-0 out of 5 stars I think even Danny Carrey (Tool) has this album!!
Yes, to the suprise of our illinformed reviever below, Danny Carrey probibly ownes this excelent album!! Why? because it's a rare work of beauty and art. Poor little Tool fan, somtimes we underestimate even the scope of those we admire: right?

Drop the bread Tool Head, and improve your 5 CD collection! Cheers jazz lovers- jb

1-0 out of 5 stars G-UNIT hates it!!!!
tool is the greatest band of all friggin time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.I only wrote this review because this band realy sucks. g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unitg-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit g-unit. g-unit is cool.bill evans is worse thannn tis bandd. tool is rad

5-0 out of 5 stars JADE VISIONS
The last song on this one really got my attention, Jade Visions. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard, and the highpoint of this set. It's short, focused, and electric.

Bill Evans' playing is remarkable throughout, and the rest of his unit do a good job in supporting him. It doesn't work as well when they're supporting the bass player, but the bass solos are infrequent.

There is something about the intimate atmosphere of this small nightclub, combined with the textures coming from Bill Evans' piano, and the gentle urgings of the rhythm section, particularly the drummer.

This is an amazing CD. It is my first Bill Evans CD. I wonder why, when I knew I loved his work with Miles Davis. I definitely put this on par with any of Miles' albums. If Miles is the Cool, then Bill is the Angel.

If you've bought lots of Miles albums, and Kind of Blue is still your favorite, then maybe you should check out Bill Evans, since he was part of the equation. ... Read more

20. Bright Size Life
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Asin: B0000261L9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5065
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Larger ensembles may have provided Pat Metheny with his most visible successes, but he's repeatedly fired up his most fluid and personal playing in leaner trio settings, starting with this, his 1976 debut as a leader. Bob Moses brings both delicacy and effortless dynamics to his drumming, but it's the late Jaco Pastorius's lyrical electric bass that clinches the guitarist's coming-out party: with Metheny already displaying the liquid tone and exquisite touch that define his sound, old friend Pastorius radiates a sympathetic lyricism and unerring sense of swing. Metheny would match, but not transcend, this level of interplay in justly celebrated troikas with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins (on Rejoicing) and Dave Holland and Roy Haynes (on Question and Answer). --Sam Sutherland. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Listening
This album is required listening for anyone who calls themselves a jazz listener. On this album you will hear Pat Metheny at his purist. No effects and no studio wizardry. Just good pure jazz.

This album is not just another collection of jazz standards done in the mainstream fashion by another young guitar stud. Each title is original except for the last track, "Round Trip/Broadway Blues" which was written by Ornette Coleman. Each composition has a fresh and contemporary sound. You will hear all of Metheny's skills as a guitarist, sideman and composer. In addition we are given a glimpse of the things that were later to come as Pat Metheny developed into what is arguably one of the most influential musicians of his generation.

While instrumentation is basic, the musicianship is superb. Pat is accompanied by the late Jaco Pastorius who gives us one of his greatest recorded performances. Bob Moses accompanies Pat on drums and even though his drumming can almost be called minimal it's perfect for situation. Perhaps the best thing about this combination of musicians is way they all played off of each other, each musician coming in just when needed.

This album is part of jazz history. "Bright Size Life" is to Pat Metheny what "Kind of Blue" was to Miles Davis

You cannot miss this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best jazz cd if not the best ever
Pat metheny and Jaco on bass are awsome toghter. the guitar on the cd is out of this world and it aslo as awsome paino and bass. Its hard to say how good this cd is you have to hear it for yourself. Art has its mona lisa jazz has pat metheny.


5-0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE
Pat Metheny has always been ahead of every musician. This album was released in 1976! It sounds like these songs are way too modern to be from the 70's. That's what is always great about Pat's albums.

I couldn't have asked for a better line up on "Bright Size Life". Jaco's basswork is amazing as usual. He complements metheny's flowing lines with just the right notes. Bob Moses is a rhythm section in himself and always keeps the song moving UP. I wasn't alive in '77, but I cannot imagine opening up the record back then and listening to the first track. I would have had a heart attack. It would have been too much to handle for me, TOO AMAZING. Pat's playing just blew me away on this album especially on the self-titled track. He's solos really take you somewhere. There is not a "bummer" track on here like there are on alot of albums. Every track is great... From the upbeat "Round Trip/Broadway Blues" to the beautiful, moving "Midwestern Night's Dream". As every reviewer has said. "You must have this album"!

5-0 out of 5 stars No gimmicks. This is a classic.
I am not a big fan of Pat's later albums but this is one of my all time favorites. Each track wears well with time and sounds astonishingly original and polished.

Though Pat has regularly come up with great compositions on his later albums, this surpasses them all in terms of overall quality. While one can faintly hear the echoes of other avant garde jazz of the 70's notably Weather Report, BSL sounds like nothing before it (or since).

5-0 out of 5 stars Any jazz fan who is without it...two words...
GET IT! So much has been said about this album, but it is a little bit like Kind of Blue as far as listening pleasure goes. A little bit. That, to me says a lot! ... Read more

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