If your Latin jazz collection centers mainly around styles from Cuba and Brazil, pianist Edward Simon would like you to consider expanding your library to include musical influences from a culturally diverse land geographically situated between those two countries – namely Venezuela, where he was born and lived until the age of 12. Simon is an acclaimed post-bop and modern creative jazz pianist in his adopted country of the United States, and while Latin American elements have certainly seasoned his recorded output to date, this 2014 Sunnyside release finds him focusing more intently than ever on the nexus between creative jazz and the folk music of his home country. The album's title is derived from "Venezuelan Suite," whose four parts fill over 28 minutes of the disc's concise 38-minute duration. Simon composed the suite for his Ensemble Venezuela, and the ten-member version of the group heard here – including musicians from the U.S., Venezuela, and Colombia – is wonderfully vibrant, ably fulfilling the pianist's creative intent. Chamber Music America commissioned Simon to write this work, and he rose to the challenge with music that is suitably rich with timbral and textural variety.
This 2012 disc gathers all known sides cut during a July 26, 1956 confab led by West Coast cool purveyors Chet Baker (trumpet) and Art Pepper (alto sax). Keen-eyed enthusiasts will note that this particular date occurred during a remarkable week – July 23 through July 31 – of sessions held at the behest of Pacific Jazz label owner and producer Dick Bock at the Forum Theater in Los Angeles. Recordings made during this week not only inform The Route, but three other long-players as well: Let's Get Lost, Chet Baker & Crew, and At the Forum Theater. These were likewise the first sides cut by Baker since returning from his triumphant and extended stay in Europe.
The Big Town Playboys are a six-piece acoustic British rhythm and blues revival band playing American music of the 1940s and 1950s, though they were formed in the '70s. Personnel has changed over time, but the group leader is pianist/singer Mike Sanchez. The Big Town Playboys have released a series of studio albums, as well as a collaborative project with Jeff Beck (entitled Crazy Legs), re-creating the songs of Gene Vincent. Several of their songs also appeared on the soundtrack of the film, The Pope Must Die. They have performed as a backing band for Robert Plant, who contributed guest vocals on their album Roll the Dice They…
Crazy Legs is a studio album by Jeff Beck and the Big Town Playboys, released on 29 June 1993. The recording is an album of Gene Vincent songs. The album is considered to be a tribute to Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, and in particular to Vincent's early guitarist Cliff Gallup, whom Beck recognized as his biggest influence.
Italian Playboys includes nine original songs from the classic 6T’s beat styled title track to the introspective After and Once Again, along with a selection of rarely attempted covers including the heavy funk of Jon Lord on Rubber Monkey, an uplifting interpretation of Jack McDuff’s Briar Patch (an alternate version will also appear on the forthcoming McDuff tribute album from Scufflin’ Records), and a scorching slice out of the library classic Move, Move, Move.