In the late 1970s, Gary Bartz's work became quite commercial. But earlier in the decade – when the alto and soprano saxophonist led his Ntu Troop – he was more ambitious. Recorded in 1972, Juju Street Songs is among the risk-taking efforts that came from the Ntu Troop. This ambitious LP finds Bartz drawing on a variety of influences – everything from John Coltrane's modal post-bop to world music to the electric fusion that Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock were providing at the time. The term world music, of course, can mean a lot of different things; for the Ntu Troop, it means a strong Middle Eastern/Arabic influence on the moody "Teheran" and more of an Afro-Caribbean outlook on the exuberant "Africans Unite.".
A live recording with cuts from two concerts in Germany, it was recorded live to 24-track and later remixed for an amazing sound quality for a live album. Evans expands on the style of the late Miles Davis and the album is sometimes reminiscent stylistically of We Want Miles, but it has an individual touch due to the contributions from the different bandmembers. It's one of those rare live albums that is really enjoyable even if you were not at one of the shows. This album was voted Best Album of the Month by several large German publications.
Kathleen Battle initially made her considerable reputation on the operatic stage, but quickly went on to become a premier recitalist and a vibrant interpreter of a wide variety of musical styles. CLASSIC KATHLEEN BATTLE - A PORTRAIT is an overview of the dynamic soprano's career that emphasizes her remarkable versatility. Her extraordinary technical control is shown to great effect in works by Handel and Bach, and her crystal clear readings of Mozart's "Laudate Dominum" and "Alleluja" leave no doubt as to why she's considered one of the leading exponents of his work…
Stanley Clarke stretches his muscles and comes up with a mostly impressive, polystylistic, star-studded double album (now on one CD) that gravitates ever closer to the R&B mainstream. Clarke's writing remains strong and his tastes remain unpredictable, veering into rock, electronic music, acoustic jazz, even reggae in tandem with British rocker Jeff Beck. Clarke's excursion into disco, "Just a Feeling," is surprisingly and infectiously successful, thanks to a good bridge and George Duke's galvanizingly funky work on the Yamaha electric grand piano (his finest moment with Clarke by far). The brief "Blues for Mingus," a wry salute from one master bassist to another (Mingus died about six months before this album's release), is a cool acoustic breather for piano trio, and the eloquent Stan Getz can be detected, though nearly buried under the garish vocals and rock-style mix, on "The Streets of Philadelphia."
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. The Dutch jazz scene had plenty to offer back in the 70s – not just the better-remembered avant jazz from big free jazz musicians, but also some great straight ahead material too! This album's a key set from that wonderful time – and features a combo led by pianist Rein DeGraaf and reedman Dick Vennik – a great player who blows tenor, soprano sax, and flute on the record – with a depth of feeling that has us wondering why he never scored bigger fame on this side of the Atlantic. Even the mellower moments have a nice sort of bite – and rhythms are from Koos Serierse on bass and Eric Ineke on drums – on titles that include the stunning 13 minute title track "Modal Soul", plus "Short Rainbow", "Sweet Basil", "Detour Ahead", and "Lonely Hunter".
Its evident from hearing the jazz big band works of composer, arranger, conductor and trombonist Henry Wolking’s debut album on Big Round Records, IN SEA, that he effectively mixes complexity with simplicity in his jazz harmonies and colorful orchestrations that make for an exciting and memorable listening experience. The inspired solo work of band members and guest artists add to the sincere and fresh cosmopolitan character of the recording.