A beautiful album of spiritual soul and Brazilian influenced jazz from Azar Lawrence – and a pretty rare one we're thrilled to have! Lawrence is a stellar sax player with a sound that's a bit like Gary Bartz, which means that he fits in perfectly with the Fantasy-era Prestige Records sound – but the sounds on this set are uncommonly rich and globally influenced. The set's predominantly acoustic, with lots of modal grooves in kind of a Strata East vein – and angular post-Coltrane playing that's very similar to Bartz's work on the Libra album from his early days. Players include Raul De Souza on trombone, Ron Carter on bass, Billy Hart on drums, Dom Salvador, who is really allowed to shine on piano on a few tracks, and drummer & percussionist Guilherme Franco, who brings a world of wonderful percussion on a couple of numbers.
In Memoriam. Larry Coryell, a guitarist who played rock 'n' roll as a teen but wound up pioneering jazz-rock fusion starting in the mid-1960s and then psychedelic fusion in the early '70s, died on Feb. 19. He was 73. RIP Mr. Coryell. In the 1970s, Germany's Radio Bremen simulcast a series of modern jazz concerts from all across the spectrum, and wisely archived them. Record producer Consul Bodo Jacoby was looking for a new project after losing the rights to reissue the MPS catalog and recalled them. His Promising Music label is issuing a number of these vintage performances in what he calls the Livelove series, of which January 1975 is the first volume.
Lawrence Brown played trombone off and on with Duke Ellington's orchestra for nearly 40 years. Surprisingly, he only led two albums of his own in his entire career, a set for Impulse in 1965, and this album for Clef (now Verve). Heard either as part of a quintet with tenor saxophonist Sam "The Man" Taylor or with a nonet that includes tenor saxophonist Al Cohn and pianist Hank Jones, Brown is in excellent form on the reissue. The music (not too shockingly) often sounds as if it were an Ellington small group, including such numbers as Brown's longtime feature "Rose of the Rio Grande," "Caravan," "You Took Advantage of Me," and "Blues for Duke." The original LP program is joined by two previously unreleased performances ("Time After Time" and "For All We Know"). Excellent mainstream swing of the 1950s.
Excellent compilation of Tiziano's hits over his 14 year career. The songs are mixed together from each of his five previous CDs on these four CDs so you don't really get an idea of his growth and maturity as an artist based on this compilation alone. However, this collection is a gem and the new and previously unreleased tracks along with the duets are worth every penny. Pop, ballads, rap, bossa nova, etc., it's all here. You will not be disappointed.