Art Blakey – !!!!!Jazz Messengers!!!!!
Art Blakey – !!!!!Jazz Messengers!!!!!
Four jazz evergreens give the musicians the time and opportunity to display their soloistic talents. The real climax, however, is to be found in the harmonic layering of the three winds which lend the themes new appeal. The message was broadcasted many times until the death of Art Blakey, but the history of jazz would have been a great deal poorer without these milestone recordings on the Impulse label. Art Blakey certainly knew how to delight his audience with fire, originality, a wealth of ideas and great humor.
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Chico Hamilton – El Chico
Chico Hamilton – El Chico
The titles on this LP are well balanced between compositions by Chico Hamilton himself and film and musical hits. People, for example, is from Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. This is Chico Hamilton’s first album with Latin percussion and it is to his credit that he was able to get hold of one of the very best musicians as support, namely Willie Bobo. “El Chico”, the boy who wanders the streets, offering his wares in a loud voice, is the title of the album. But shouting out the virtues of his wares was not for Chico Hamilton and so this album has remained a real hot tip. Luckily things have changed! Latin rhythms are all the rage these days, especially when played by Chico Hamilton and his septet and offered in such excellent quality as on this re-release.
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Count Basie and The Kansas City 7
Count Basie and The Kansas City 7
Although for many fans the equation Count Basie = big band jazz is quite undisputable, one has to agree that when one listens to these eight numbers: less is more when it comes to swing. Bob Thiele, Impulse producer – seen here on one of the photos with Count Basie – came to the conclusion that even with a meagre budget a whole lot of music with a terrific sound could be squeezed into the grooves. AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow One of Count Basie's few small-group sessions of the '60s was his best. With trumpeter Thad Jones and tenors Frank Foster and Eric Dixon filling in the septet, Basie is in superlative form on a variety of blues, standards and two originals apiece from Thad Jones and Frank Wess. Small-group swing at its best.
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Duke Ellington – Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
Duke Ellington – Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
The Self Portrait Of The Bean is a further, highly successful number by one of the greats of jazz history; when the piece came to an end, Duke jumped off his piano stool and shouted »Magnifique!«. And we should join him, for this is a truly splendid album! Additionally, it is a testimony to the mutual respect and recognition of the musicians. What a piece of luck that this recording is now available once again as an LP. There’s not even a tinge of patina on these 45-year-old recordings.
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Freddie Hubbard – The Body And Soul
Freddie Hubbard – The Body And Soul
Freddie Hubbard was 25 when he entered the studio with this fantastic band in 1963. The boss of the Jazz messengers, Art Blakey (in whose quintet Hubbard followed in the footsteps of such brilliant trumpeters as Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan), had given him a few days off, and Bob Thiele, producer with Impulse, got hold of the very best soloists and wind instrumentalists he could find for him to record with. In particular their performance of such standards as Body And Soul, Skylark and I Got It Bad reveals not only a sensitivity and respect for the melody, but also avant-garde phrasing (and still considered so even today!) which is lent emphasis by the restrained accompaniment of the strings. Freddie Hubbard’s colleague Wayne Shorter is not only leader of the formation but also the arranger. Particularly pleasing is that other soloists such as Eric Dolphy and Cedar Walton are given ample opportunity to display their talents. The re-release of this album, an album which easily deserves to be called a “milestone in jazz history”, is long overdue, especially when one recalls that Rudy van Gelder, one of the very best sound engineers, was hired specially for this Impulse recording, thus guaranteeing an absolutely first-class sound quality for the nine titles on this album – even after almost 40 years.  
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John Coltrane – Ballads
John Coltrane – Ballads
Before this ballad album was released, John Coltrane's critics and jazz fans classed him as an "avant-gardist," a modernist, an angry, wild young man who made his tenor saxophone scream out. Tongues wagged that free jazz could be made by just anyone who hung a horn around his neck.
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John Coltrane – Impressions
John Coltrane – Impressions
The ballad "After The Rain" has Roy Haynes on the drums and is one of these unmistakable hymn-like solo excursions which became a trademark of John Coltrane in his middle period.
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John Coltrane : Live At The Halfnote
John Coltrane : Live At The Halfnote
This is a release of historic importance and one that, now that it's off the bootleg market, will be talked about by jazz fans and Coltrane aficionados for the foreseeable future.
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John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman
John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman
"The thing worth raving about here is this top-notch (and pop-free) slab of vinyl from Speakers Corner, which brings the session to life with a you-are-there palpability that I've never heard from previous pressings. (Universal's deluxe CD, from a few years back, sounds like gaslight by comparison.) Hartman's voice is right there and full-throated; again, I've never heard all the subtleties of his vibrato or all the slight accents in his phrasing. Coltrane's saxophone is in the room. Elvin Jones' drums bang and whisper. (Listen to that brush-wooshing! You get every wisp and sizzle.) Even McCoy Tyner's piano, often hooded in Van Gelder sessions, rings clear. Jimmy Garrison's bass may be a little forward, but it sounds like the pick-up amp, not a recording artifact. This is a gorgeous album, gorgeously mastered and essential." - Fred Kaplan, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2005, Issue 154
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Roy Haynes Quartet – Out of the Afternoon
Roy Haynes Quartet – Out of the Afternoon
The present recording, which his Quartet made together with the blind multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in 1962, is certainly one of his very best. The seven numbers not only offer astounding moments of “drum talk”, and of syncopation carried out with absolute precision, they also offer the main soloist Roland Kirk the opportunity to display his amazing technique of simultaneous performance on some unusual instruments, in Moon Ray for example, or his use of various types of flute in Snap Crackle, and his wealth of ideas in the ballads (If I Should Lose You).  
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Sonny Rollins – East Broadway

Speakers Corner (Impulse)

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Sonny Rollins : East Broadway Run Down
Sonny Rollins : East Broadway Run Down

AllMusic Review by Steven McDonald Around the ten-minute mark of the title track, things get very interesting indeed — moody and spooky as Jimmy Garrison hangs on a single note, making his bass throb along while Elvin Jones widens the space and fires drum and … Continued

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