Saturday, January 19, 2019

Arista All Stars - 1978 [2014] "Blue Montreux"

A sweet session of 70s electric jazz – recorded as a unique live all-star outing by a group of Arista's best jazz players at the time! The group's an octet, but plays together in differing formations throughout the record – with Warren Bernhardt on keyboards, Michael Brecker on saxes, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Steve Jordan on drums, Steve Khan and Larry Coryell on guitars, Tony Levin on bass, and Mike Maineri on vibes – the last of which really make for some of the best numbers on the album! Bernhardt's keyboards are pretty good too – stepping out with a spacious, fluid feel that's never jamming – and more in the open-ended Bob James side of the spectrum, although his overall sound is a lot different than Bob's!

At the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival, a variety of artists (including keyboardist Warren Bernhardt, tenor-saxophonist Michael Brecker, guitarists Steve Khan and Larry Coryell, trumpeter Randy Brecker and vibraphonist Mike Mainieri) recorded a dozen funky selections which were originally released on two Arista LPs. This single CD has the eight top performances from these important fusion stylists; Michael Brecker in particular is in good form. The results are not essential but offer listeners a time capsule of where R&B-oriented fusion was in 1978.

Both CDs are absolute fantastic recordings. Mike Mainierie and especially Mike Brecker are at their best. For me the highlight came one year later in the recording of Jun Fukamachi & New York All SAtars. Joined by David Sanborn, Steve Jordan replaced by Steve Gadd and Steve Khan on guitar. Tuines are mainly identical but I think they have more drive than the Montreux ones.

Personally, Larry Coryell IS one of my favorite guitarists, and since he covered Rocks on his Planet End album it's fitting he guests here. The other stellar guitar moment is Steve Khan's awesome solo on Magic Carpet. Other than that it's about the horns and what horns!!. While this is not straight ahead jazz, it's not fusion like either. Electric instruments mixed into an acoustic setting with taste. If you like the Breckers, buy this if you can find it. It's a gem.

What a line-up! An incredible performance by legends in their own time. I was particularly surprised to find Tony Levin here. His playing on "Rocks" is unbelievable. This is an album to be reckoned with. Sometimes fast and aggresive, lots of feeling when called for. The Breckers tear the CD player apart! They pull out all the stops on "Rocks". Michael's opening line in "I'm Sorry" shows the sensibilities he's capable of rendering. Just an amazing album by an amazing bunch!

This recording is the beginnings of what was to become Steps. Michael Brecker, God rest his soul never made a bad recording and this is worth buying for the tune, "I'm Sorry" alone. The intro still brings tears to me eyes. There's a little bit everyone's compositions including Randy Brecker's eccentric funk, and Manieri's lyricism. I believe that drummer, Steve Jordan was around 19 or 20 at the time of this concert and still a phenom in the world of jazz-fusion. Tony Levin holds down the bottom and Warren Bernhardt contributes nicely on keyboards.

Track listing:

Blue Montreux (8:47)
Rocks (7:54)
I'm Sorry (8:38)
Magic Carpet (5:34)
Buds (4:58)
Floating (7:54)
The Virgin And The Gypsy (8:24)


Guitar – Steve Khan (tracks: 1-6), larry Coryell (tracks: 2)
Tenor Saxophone – Michael Brecker (tracks: 1-3, 5-6)
Trumpet – Randy Brecker (tracks: 1,2,5-7)
Vibraphone, Synthesizer [Oberheim] – Mike Mainieri
Bass – Eddie Gomez (tracks: 1-6)
Bass, Chapman Stick – Tony Levin (tracks: 1-6)
Drums – Steve Jordan (tracks: 1-6)
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Keyboards – Warren Bernhardt

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Santana - 2016 Santana IV - "Live At The House Of Blues Las Vegas"

On March 21st, 2016, a few weeks prior to the release of the Santana IV album, the classic line-up of Santana (Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals); Neal Schon (guitar, vocals); Gregg Rolie (keyboards, vocals); Michael Shrieve (drums); Michael Carabello (congas, backing vocals); with Karl Perazzo (percussion, vocals), Benny Rietveld (bass) with special guest vocalist Ronald Isley) took to the stage at the House Of Blues in Las Vegas.

The show they delivered combined tracks from the new album with the classic hits from the band's first three albums, to which Santana IV is the natural successor. This was a hugely anticipated reunion of a line-up that had not performed and recorded together since the early seventies. It brought back the scintillating combination of rock, Latin, blues, jazz and African rhythms which was the band's trademark and made them truly unique. The concert was a celebration of the chemistry, dynamism and pure musical joy that had made the original band so special and earned them a place in so many fans hearts. It is a show to be enjoyed over and over again.

This visual and audio celebration of the original members of Santana is fantastic. In early 2016, at the urging of guitarist Neal Schon, the five original members of Santana came together after more than 40 yrs. to play together again and ultimately released an album, Santana IV. In addition, they also started playing live dates together. It is from these shows that this Blu-Ray and 2CD set is taken.

It is truly amazing how new songs like, "Anywhere You want to Go" and "Suenos" fit seamlessly next to older hits like, "Oyo Como Va", "Evil Ways/Black Magic Woman", and "Soul Sacrifice". The band itself plays together so well, it's like the 40 yr. separation never occurred.
As for the technical aspects of the discs is concerned, it doesn't get any better than this. The Hi-Definition taping of the show gives you a "crystal clear", "sharp as a tack" picture. The audio recording of the show is every bit as exceptional as the visual recording.
This purchase is a "no-brained". In a genre where spotty editing and sub-par audio and visual recording are, a lot of the time, "standard", this is a true gem!

I rarely attend concerts these days because very few bands today rock like they did back when I was growing up in the seventies. That was a time when bands were made up of virtuoso musicians who coaxed the very best out of each other on stage. This Santana concert takes me back to that time and, although the original band only reunited for a few shows, it's as if they've been playing together all of this time, their performance is every bit as good as when I saw them 45 years ago.

To watch Carlos, Greg, Michael and Neal playing their hearts out together brought a huge smile to my face, and it was clear that they were loving it too. From the beautiful Samba Pa Ti to the rocking Batuka and the final jam of Toussaint Overture, this band is on fire. Because in a sense Neal plays in Santana's shadow, some may not appreciate what a fantastic guitarist he is, in fact, I think he is one of the very best players today and I love how Carlos introduces him as his "little brother". I do wish he didn't use so much processing and whammy bar on his guitar, it brings a little of that 80s Van Halen distortion which only detracts from the soulful and bluesy Santana sound.

I tend to favor the older material over the new, but the cuts from Santana IV sound great too. While one can say that watching a DVD of a concert will never be the same as being there, the filming and audio quality are so good that, played on a big screen and a high-end sound system, you almost feel that you're in the front row at the show.

Emotional brawn, complexity, abandon, and elegance. Timelessness, too, has always been a fitting attribute for describing the culture of sound that is Santana. That distinction applies more now than ever. While writing about the “Santana IV” reunion album earlier this year, I have to say I wondered if these men could pull off on stage the kind of timeless magic they ignited in the studio. More than 40 years had passed since this particular group played together, but IV really does sound like the natural follow-up to “III,” from the early 1970s.

Reports emerged that they’d tour, but only for a limited number of dates, with the current lineup of Santana filling out the remainder of the calendar. Well, forget any doubts about commitment or ability. As it played out, for a little while anyway, time stood still. Quite simply, Santana burned down the House this night, and “Santana IV Live at the House of Blues Las Vegas” captures the event in the best possible light on DVD or Blu-ray, coupled with two CDs.

Carlos Santana and Neal Schon together again on guitars are a force to be reckoned with. Their fiery duel during the new, thunderous “Shake It” — just one of many examples — sends electric shivers through a body. The songs from “IV” blend seamlessly with the classics. Gregg Rolie back in the seat as lead singer and B3 player not only shows how strong he still is, but that his tenure in the Santana band best represents the Santana band.

Rolie leads the charge on “Anywhere You Want to Go” with the same gusto he gives the absolutely iconic and note-perfect Santana take on Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman.” Rousing performances of “Soul Sacrifice” and “Jingo” kick-start the night, right away illuminating the awesome, interwoven percussion of Michael Shrieve, Karl Perazzo, and Michael Carabello. Their performances of the lovely “Samba Pa Ti” (focused on Carlos Santana’s mesmerizing, melodious guitar), the tribal-like “Batuka,” and an at once nonchalant and raging “No One to Depend On,” keep the night flying on high.

Reprising his role on “IV,” the Isley Brothers’ Ronald Isley as special guest dazzles as he sings “Love Makes the World Go Round.” But this is all about Santana — the man and the band. Carlos is one of the few who can paint colors with a guitar, and if ever there was an example of unyielding chemistry between musicians, this band is it. They define Mexican rock music. For every right reason, this package is recommended even more so than “IV.” Viva Santana!

Track listing:

CD 1
01 Soul Sacrifice
02 Jingo
03 Evil Ways
04 Everybody's Everything
05 Shake It
06 Anywhere You Want To Go
07 Choo Choo
08 All Aboard
09 Samba Pa Ti
10 Batuka
11 No One To Depend On
12 Leave Me Alone
13 Sueños

CD 2
01 Caminando
02 Blues Magic
03 Echizo
04 Come As You Are
05 Yambu
06 Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen
07 Oye Como Va
08 Ronald Isley Intro
09 Love Makes The World Go Round [featuring: Ronald Isley]
10 Freedom In Your Mind [featuring: Ronald Isley]
11 Toussaint L'Overture


Guitar, Vocals – Carlos Santana, Neal Schon
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Gregg Rolie
Congas, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Michael Carabello
Drums – Michael Shrieve
Timbales, Percussion, Vocals – Karl Perazzo
Bass – Benny Rietveld
Keyboards – David K. Mathews

Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! - 1972 [1994] "Live!"

Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live! is a live album by Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles.

From December 1971 to April 1972, Carlos Santana and several other members of Santana toured with drummer/vocalist Buddy Miles, a former member of the Electric Flag and Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys. The resulting live album contained both Santana hits ("Evil Ways") and Buddy Miles hits ("Changes"), plus a 25-minute, side-long jam titled "Free Form Funkafide Filth." It was not, perhaps, the live album Santana fans had been waiting for, but at this point in its career, the band could do no wrong. The album went into the Top Ten and sold a million copies.

Just an all-around hard-rocking, kick-butt collection of songs from a live concert in Diamond Head crater in Hawaii 1972; (this has been famously debated, only because the liner notes list the concert as January 0, 1972, but I believe this was a real show, as there are people that have stated they were there) In any case it is an amazing set of songs with Santana and his band, with Buddy Miles on drums, and the equally shredding Neal Schon on guitar..highlights are a fast version of Evil Ways, and an almost 25 min. jam called Free Form Funkafide Filth!

Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live!…was recorded on New Year’s Day, 1972 at the Sunshine ’72 Festival inside Diamond Head volcano crater, Honolulu Hawaii. Carlos was coming off the massive commercial success highs of three critically acclaimed Santana albums, but was moving away from the Latin rock format he had pioneered and was taking more and more aggressive steps towards focusing his attentions and talents on fusion jazz.

Carlos though was a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix, very evident in his pre-studio and early studio playing techniques and extremely evident in the unreleased 1967 single “Ballin'” a gigantic homage to Jimi! The chance to team up with Band Of Gypsy’s drummer Buddy Miles was as close as he would ever get to meshing with one of his guitar heroes. As a matter of force, Carlos and Buddy were accompanied on this record and in the concert with some main elements of Santana (the band) including 2nd guitarist and soon to be founder of Journey, Neal Schon.

The concert album kicks off with a two-part jam penned by Carlos’ new guitar hero John McLaughlin in the first part (Marbles) and by Buddy in the 2nd drum led part (Lava). An R&B funky version of Evil Ways, with lead vocals by Buddy offers a unique take on the hit single. I’ve been listening to this for nearly 40 years and the jury is still out. As a live performance it has its merits, but in comparison to the Santana original, it is a few bricks shy of a full load for me. The opening song Marbles is much better by a mile (no pun intended), but the closer to side one of the album, a newly refreshed version of Band Of Gypsy’s hit Them Changes is the stand out track here.

These molten grooves were recorded in Hawaii right on a volcanic crater. Carlos Santana together with drummer/vocalist Buddy Miles and several members of Santana channel Evil Ways; Marbles; Lava; Them Changes , and nearly a half hour of Free Form Funkafide Filth !

Track listing:

1. "Marbles" John McLaughlin 4:18
2. "Lava" Buddy Miles 2:10
3. "Evil Ways" Clarence "Sonny" Henry 6:36
4. "Faith Interlude" Miles, Carlos Santana 2:13
5. "Them Changes" Miles 5:50
6. "Free form Funkafide Filth" Greg Errico, Ron Johnson, Miles, Santana 24:54


Buddy Miles – vocals, drums, percussion, congas
Carlos Santana – guitar, vocals
Neal Schon – guitar
Bob Hogins – organ, electric piano
Ron Johnson – bass guitar
Greg Errico – drums
Richard Clark – drums, percussion, congas
Coke Escovedo – drums, percussion, timbales
Mike Carabello – percussion, congas
Mingo Lewis – percussion
Victor Pantoja – percussion, congas
Hadley Caliman – flute, saxophone
Luis Gasca – trumpet

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Al Foster - 1997 "Brandyn"

Al Foster (born January 18, 1944) is an American jazz drummer. Foster played with Miles Davis during the 1970s and was one of the few people to have contact with Davis during his retirement from 1975–1981. Foster also played on Davis's 1981 comeback album The Man with the Horn. He was the only musician to play in Davis's band both before and after his retirement. He has toured extensively with Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson.

Foster was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up in New York. He began playing drums at the age of 13 and made his recording debut on Blue Mitchell's The Thing to Do at age 20.

He joined Miles Davis's group when Jack DeJohnette left in 1972, and played with Davis until 1985. In his 1989 autobiography, Davis described the first time he heard Foster play live in 1972 at the Cellar Club in Manhattan: "He [Foster] knocked me out because he had such a groove and he would just lay it right in there. That was the kind of thing I was looking for. Al could set it up for everybody else to play-off and just keep the groove going forever."

Foster began composing in the 1970s, and has toured with his own band, including musicians such as bassist Doug Weiss, saxophonist Dayna Stephens, and pianist Adam Birnbaum.

Drummer Al Foster is widely recognized as a first call jazz drummer who has worked with many greats, including an extended tour of duty with Miles Davis, as well as stints with Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Henderson. This 1996 studio session made for the German Laika label is evidently Foster's first opportunity to record as a leader. Putting together an excellent band, with saxophonist Chris Potter (who doubles on soprano and tenor), pianist Dave Kikoski, and bassist Doug Weiss, Foster writes challenging post-bop compositions that inspire his bandmates, while he is perfectly happy to give them the spotlight.

His bittersweet, bluesy "Monk Up and Down," is harmonically rich, with a superb tenor solo by Potter. The saxophonist contributed the percolating "Amsterdam Blues," suggesting the lively night scene of Harlem in its heyday. Kikoski composed the driving "Hope." The one familiar piece is Wayne Shorter's "Black Nile," played with gusto by the quartet. This may not be an easy CD to find, but it is obvious to anyone hearing it that Al Foster merits more opportunities to lead his own record dates.

Master drummer Al Foster puts together his dream band for this supremely listenable collection of modern jazz originals. Chris Potter starts the first two on soprano sax, quickly shifting to tenor and mixing it up. To these ears, Dave Kikoski never sounded more lyrical or intense than with comping and soloing on this set. Doug Weiss and Foster anchor with supreme confidence. That this release is so little known is criminal.

Track listing:

1.The Chief 07:36
2.Brandyn 05:22
3.Monk Up And Down 09:12
4.Barney Rose 07:31
5.Amsterdam Blues 06:32
6.Hope 07:26
7.No Title 05:55
8.Black Nile 05:53


Al Foster - drums
Chris Potter - soprano sax
Dave Kikoski - piano
Doug Weiss - bass

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Alain Caron Le Band - 1997 "Play"

The album features seven original tunes and three reworkings or arrangements, and is his third recording since embarking on his solo project LE BAND (apart from UZEB). It is a testament to both his talents as a composer and his daring feats of world-reknowned bass playing. (He has consistently been rated one of the top ten bassists in the world by the prestigious American magazine BASS PLAYER)

LE BAND has changed somewhat since its previous outing: the core group now consists of: Otmaro Ruiz (California/Venezuela) on keyboards, and stalwart buddy Paul Brochu on drums. To this basic trio is added on various invited guests such as Toronto tenor saxophonist Phil Dwyer, local heros François d'Amours on alto sax and Luc Boivin on percussion, as well as a full horn section. All of it came together beautifully at Montreal's Studio Tempo under Alain's skilled direction.

For this recording, Alain wished to underline the playful aspects of his music: the serious "playing" of the music, as well as the more fun "interactive" aspects: the improvisation, the trading of solos, and the pure joy of playing together. Thus, the title, PLAY.

During the last two years, Alain has worked mainly outside of Québec, performing and giving masterclasses. He is well-known for his virtuosity and drive, and has often been feted with honors and prizes: here in Montreal he was given his own invitational series during the 1996 edition of the International Jazz Festival - five nights, carte blanche - at the Monument National. Canada's JAZZ REPORT Magazine has named Alain, for five consecutive years now, top electric bassist in the country. great grooves!! great players and very original.

Play is the third album by Alain Caron Le Band and was released in 1997. The album contains seven original songs by Alain Caron and two interpretations: “Trouble” by Leni Stern, “Impressions” by John Coltrane.

“Play” is a valuable record of Alain Caron talent, both as a bassist and composer superfine.

“Play” oscillates between jazz-soul ( “Pac Man” and “D-Code”), the fusion ( “In & Out” or “B 12”) and sentimental ( “Après la pluie” and “Ton Jardin”) and Alain Caron wanted to emphasize the fun aspect of his music: improvisation, the sheer joy of playing with others and exchanging solos … from here in fact the title of the album, “Play”!

In this collection are some of the best known and appreciated pieces of Alain Caron, among which is “D-Code” which has become a major event for every concert.

Accompany Alain Caron on this record extraordinary musicians such as Paul Brochu on drums, and Otmar Ruiz  on piano.

Alain Caron plays divinely and ranges in various genres, passing easily from the instrument to the fretted and fretless leaving the listener astonished and amazed.

Track listing:

01. P.A.C. Man (4:20)
02. In & Out (6:20)
03. D-CODE (5:05)
04. Ton Jardin (5:50)
05. Pole Position (4:29)
06. Grand Café (8:18)
07. Impressions (7:53)
08. Après la pluie... (7:07)
09. B 12 (7:10)
10. Trouble (6:14)

Total Time: 62:52


Bass [Fretted and fretless], Producer, Mixed By, Photography [Studio pictures] – Alain Caron
Alto Saxophone – François D'Amours* (tracks: 1, 3, 5)
Drums – Paul Brochu
Keyboards, Piano [Acoustic piano], Organ – Otmaro Ruiz
Leader [Horn section leader] – François D'Amours* (tracks: 1, 5)
Percussion – Luc Boivin (tracks: 6)
Tenor Saxophone – André Leroux (tracks: 1, 5), Phil Dwyer (tracks: 2, 7, 9)
Trumpet – Benoît Glazer (tracks: 1, 5), Jocelyn Turcotte (tracks: 1)

Miles Davis - 1961 [1990] "Someday My Prince Will Come"

Someday My Prince Will Come is the seventh studio album by Miles Davis for Columbia Records, catalogue CL 1656 and CS 8456 in stereo, released in 1961. Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in Manhattan, it marked the only Miles Davis Quintet studio recording session to feature saxophonist Hank Mobley.

Keeping to his standard procedure at Columbia to date of alternating small group records and big band studio projects with Gil Evans, Davis followed up Sketches of Spain with an album by his working quintet. In 1960, however, the jazz world had been in flux. Although Davis had garnered acclaim for Kind of Blue, the entrance of Ornette Coleman and free jazz via his Fall 1959 residency at the Five Spot Café and his albums for Atlantic Records had created controversy, and turned attention away from Davis.

Similarly, Davis' touring band had been in flux. In 1959, Cannonball Adderley left to form his own group with his brother, reducing the sextet to a quintet. Drummer Jimmy Cobb and pianist Wynton Kelly had been hired in 1958, but most difficult for Davis was the departure of John Coltrane, who stayed on for a spring tour of Europe but left to form his own quartet in the summer of 1960. In 1960, Davis went through saxophonists Jimmy Heath and Sonny Stitt before settling on Hank Mobley in December, the band re-stabilizing for the next two years.

Unlike Kind of Blue, which featured nothing but group originals, this album paired equal numbers of Miles Davis tunes and pop standards, including the title song resurrected from the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The titles to all three Davis originals refer to specific individuals: "Pfrancing" to his wife Frances, featured on the album cover; "Teo" to his producer Teo Macero; and "Drad Dog" (Goddard reversed) to Columbia Records president Goddard Lieberson. While the cover credits the Miles Davis Sextet, only the title track featured six players, Coltrane making two cameo appearances on the album, taking solos on the title track and "Teo", playing instead of Mobley on the latter. On March 21, ex-Davis drummer Philly Joe Jones made his final contribution to a Davis session, replacing Cobb for the original "Blues No. 2", which was not used on the album.

On June 8, 1999, Legacy Records reissued the album for compact disc with two bonus tracks including the unused "Blues No. 2" and an alternative take of "Someday My Prince Will Come".

In a contemporary review for Down Beat, Ira Gitler praised Coltrane's solo on the title track while finding Kelly equally exceptional as both a soloist and comping musician. "His single-lines are simultaneously hard and soft. Cobb and Chambers groove perfectly together and with Kelly", Gitler wrote. "The rhythm section, individually and as a whole, is very well-recorded."[9] The magazine's Howard Mandel later viewed Someday My Prince Will Come as "a commercial realization rather than an artistic exploration" but nonetheless "lovely", highlighted by each musicians' careful attention to notes and dynamics, and among Davis' most "romantic, bluesy and intentionally seductive programs".

After both John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley left Miles Davis' quintet, he was caught in the web of seeking suitable replacements. It was a period of trial and error for him that nonetheless yielded some legendary recordings (Sketches of Spain, for one). One of those is Someday My Prince Will Come. The lineup is Davis, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and alternating drummers Jimmy Cobb and Philly Jo Jones. The saxophonist was Hank Mobley on all but two tracks. John Coltrane returns for the title track and "Teo." The set opens with the title, a lilting waltz that nonetheless gets an original treatment here, despite having been recorded by Dave Brubeck.

Kelly is in keen form, playing a bit sprightlier than the tempo would allow, and slips flourishes in the high register inside the melody for an "elfin" feel. Davis waxes light and lyrical with his Harmon mute, playing glissando throughout. Mobley plays a strictly journeyman solo, and then Coltrane blows the pack away with a solo so deep inside the harmony it sounds like it's coming from somewhere else. Mobley's real moment on the album is on the next track, "Old Folks," when he doesn't have Coltrane breathing down his neck. Mobley's soul-stationed lyricism is well-suited to his soloing here, and is for the rest of the album except, of course, on "Teo," where Coltrane takes him out again. The closer on the set, "Blues No. 2," is a vamp on "All Blues," from Kind of Blue, and features Kelly and Chambers playing counterpoint around an eight bar figure then transposing it to 12. Jones collapses the beat, strides it out, and then erects it again for the solos of Davis and Mobley. This is relaxed session; there are no burning tracks here, but there is much in the way of precision playing and a fine exposition of Miles' expansive lyricism.

The album is ranked number 994 in All-Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd. edition, 2000).

Track listing:

1. Someday My Prince Will Come 9:06
2. Old Folks 5:16
3. Pfrancing 8:32
4. Drad-Dog 4:30
5. Teo 9:35
6. I Thought About You 4:30


Miles Davis – trumpet
Hank Mobley – tenor saxophone on all tracks except "Teo"
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone on "Someday My Prince Will Come" (master) and "Teo"
Wynton Kelly – piano
Paul Chambers – bass

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Rick Laird - 1977 [1989] "Soft Focus"

From ex-Mahavishnu bassist and featuring Joe Henderson (sax). Lively, creative, and intriguing mix of standards and originals.

This CD is a rare and amazing find. Laird (electric bass) has Tom Grant on piano, Ron Steen on drums, and Joe Henderson on tenor sax for several tunes. You'll find standards, funk, latin, done in most excellent arrangements, by these accomplished musicians. For Joe Henderson fans this is a must have.

Rick Laird stepped away from the bombast of the Mahavishnu Orchestra to wax Soft Focus (1979) - a swinging slab featuring Joe Henderson (who also served as producer), Ron Steen, and Tom Grant. Laird’s warm electric tone affords the resonance of an upright as he works the supportive and solo roles with his usual understated expertise.

Track list:

1 Outer Surge
2 Now You Know
3 Thorn In A White Robe
4 I Love You
5 Soft Focus
6 Tranquility
7 We'll Be Together Again
8 No Me Esqueca
9 Peddle Has A Point
10 Gazelle
11 Caribean Firedance
12 Mystified
13 Pannonica


Bass Guitar – Rick Laird
Drums – Ron Steen
Piano – Tom Grant (2)
Saxophone – Joe Henderson