Fopp, just off Charing Cross Road, is amazing. I recommend sifting through the CD racks there before popping over to Rays Jazz at Foyles because, at these prices, they’re unbeatable. 4 albums that have previously escaped me featuring some of my favourite players, all for a tenner. Not bad indeedy. So, I have…
- Dexter Gordon’s The Panther. 70’s jazz featuring Tommy Flanagan on piano, yes yes! We all know the deserved attention Gordon received when he returned to the US in ’76 after a long european hiatus, but what’s often forgotten is the criminal lack of excitement his annual visits to the States garnered in the later 60’s & early 70’s. The Panther is one of Gordon’s summer recordings for Prestige during this time. Listening to Body And Soul whilst I write, beautiful piano intro, quite modal for Flanagan, but the Sax’s mix is a tad too dry. Bass not coming through too great either, however that might be the laptop speakers!
- Joe Henderson In Japan. Again, 70’s jazz! Japan was, and still is, as competitive as Europe when it comes to jazz appreciation and here we find the still typical scenario of a touring front-line musician, Henderson, performing with a local outfit (hey man, that’s jazz economics!) Recorded at the Junk Club a quick google of ‘Japan jazz junk club’ and sites discussing this album seem to be the only response, interpret that as you will! I don’t know any of the local players however according to the liner notes pianist Hideo Ichikawa plays on Jack Dejohnette’s Have You Heard? Opening with ‘Round Midnight this should be interesting!
- Lee Konitz’s Spirits, the first of two Konitz albums. Again, 70’s jazz! Featuring Ron Carter on bass with Mousey Alexander on drums (what a great name, Mousey!) and Sal Mosca on piano. This should be interesting, Carter and the experienced swingster Alexander performing alongside two of the major exponents of the Tristano school! Could this musical friction be why Konitz only included 4 of the 9 tracks with bass and drums? The track list is a nod to Tristano after all!
- Lee Konitz with Alan Broadbent, More Live-Lee. This was recorded live in performance at the turn of the millennium in LA. I like discovering new musicians all the time and whilst I’ve heard Broadbent’s killer reputation, I’m still not too familiar with his work. A duo with Konitz whilst performing Standards and Konitz originals should sort that out rather quickly! According to the liner notes, “what we hear is Lee Konitz “the singer,” using his alto saxophone as his voice, having the most revealing, emphatic relationship with some of his favourite songs.” Sold!
Any opinions on these recordings would be great. As I listen, I will write!