When you get up in the morning, you must have a song - Ray Charles

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sadao Watanabe - Pamoja

 Here's one you don't see around much. I stumbled across this little beauty in a little record store on my last visit to Chapel Hill. I probably wouldn't have given this a second look if it wasn't for all those great Japanese records that our friends at inconstant sol have been posting the last couple of years.
 I will say that I faced a conundrum when I picked up this lp. As usual I had more records in my pile than my budget allowed. But this record had two names that I had finally become acquainted with that I knew I really dug. Watanabe, the leader and Masahiko Togashi, the percussionist, whom I had several lps that seriously smoked.
 The point was that I had several records in my hands that I loved but only had rips of, but this was new stuff. Unheard and untested. Yet I felt confident that it would be up my alley. I just hoped the flute and guitar didn't play too prominent roles. The Cole Porter tune was the clincher. I slipped one of the other records back into the bin and took this in the pile to the counter. Couldn't wait to get home and listen, although that would be a couple of days and many lps later.
 Well the flute was certainly in the lead on the first track but damn it, it was still pretty cool. By the time the guitar finished it's turn in the spotlight, I was a believer. This ensemble is tight, with not a slacker in the bunch. I hope it makes a believer outta you as well.


1. Vichakani
2. Musitoni
3. Pamoja
4. Ev'rytime we Say Goodbye

Sadao Watanabe - alto sax, flute
Hiroshi Fukumura - trombone
Yoshiaki Masuo - guitar
Takehiro Honda - piano
Isao Suzuki -bass
Hiroshi Murakami - drums
Masahiko Togashi - percussion

recorded live 10.27.75 at Yomiuri Hall, Tokyo

East West records EW-8022

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coleman Hawkins - The Hawk And The Hunter

 I'll be honest. I don't often enjoy strings with my jazz.Well instrumentalists anyway. Even with singers I am a tad wishy-washy. It's like that thick icing on birthday cakes, all show but so cloyingly sweet it can only be ingested in small amounts. Save the strings for soundtracks is my general philosophy.
 But then again, when a giant of the idiom and a personal favorite thinks it's a good idea, I have to give it a listen. A fair listen.
 As any follower of this blog will note, I am a big Hawkins fan and besides just laying over some strings, he brought along a rhythm section for this recording. Well, actually two, and one of them sports one of my favorite pianists as well, Hank Jones.
 Despite the fact that the strings do indeed get a bit saccharine at times I still kinda dig this lp.It's very reminscent of those Moodsville lps. Hawkins shines through especially on the self penned tunes. Unfortunately this version of Brahm's Lullaby makes me long for a version without strings. That would have been some ballad.

Groovy cool cover for bonus points.

The Hawk and the Hunter
1. Easy Walker*
2. Traumerei
3. All The Time *
4. Lazy Butterfly
5. Not Quite Right*
6. Pebbles*
7. I Knew Dana*
8. Lullaby
9. Hawk Talk
10. Misty Morning
11. Lonely Tenor
12. Whisper To Me*

Coleman Hawkins - tenor sax
Frank Hunter - conductor

tunes marked *
Dick Hyman - piano
Milt Hinton - bass
Osie Johnson - drums

all others
Hank Jones - piano
George Duvivier - bass
Jimmie Crawford - drums

no recording info included

Mira records LP-3003

Sunday, January 20, 2013

After Hours - Grand Award Collection

 As much as I love jazz and the directions it is going, some nights I love looking back. This is one of those nights.

I have a few of these Grand Award lps. What a weird way of selling records. The encouragement of peeling off the cover and framing it seems a bit out there to me. None the less they produced some decent records with cool covers. Someone can come along and tell us if these sessions were originals or not.

Side 1 sports a fine cast with Hawkins standing out. I just dig his lyricism on these tunes. Side 2 doesn't swing as hard but it covers Hoagy Carmichael in no less of a deft manor.

Cover by Arthur Shilstone - whose fame rests mostly with outdoor/landscapes paintings - is pretty damn cool...and remains intact.

1. Caravan
2. Sweethearts On Parade
3. My Blue Heaven
4.Organ Grinder's swing
5. Honeysuckle Rose
6. Perdido
7. Stardust
8. I Get Along Without You
9. Rockin' Chair
10. Georgia On My Mind
11. New Orleans
12. Blue Orchids

1-6  Cozy Cole's All Stars
Cozy Cole - drums
Coleman Hawkins - tenor sax
Rex Stewart - trumpet
Tyrone Glenn - trombone
Claude Hopkins - piano
Billy Bauer - guitar
Arvell Shaw - bass

7-12 Marian McPartland's Quintet
Marian McPartland - piano
Jimmy McPartland - trumpet
Jimmy Rainey - guitar
Trigger Alpert - bass
Joe Morello - drums

Grand Award G.A. 33-334