Hoo-wee!! Absolutely smoking soul-jazz from altoist Donaldson with some help from Lonnie Smith on Hammond & George Benson (pre-"On Broadway") on guitar. Leo Morris on drums and Melvin Lastie on cornet round out the quintet.
from Alligator Boogaloo, available on CD (Blue Note)
One of the few succesful attempts at using a gospel choir on a jazz recording (along with Max Roach's "It's Time" LP from the previous year...which, coincidentally, featured the same chorus), Byrd's "A New Perspective" album was the first time it was really attempted with a small group setting (Roach's was backed by an orchestra). This, the opening track, begins with a vocalese scat by the choir that calls to mind old slave work songs. From there, the incredible band (featuring a very young Herbie Hancock and Kenny Burrell, among others) strikes up, and begins to follow a basic riff with the chorus that takes you through the remaining nine-plus minutes with various tempo changes throughout. An equally impressive edited version appeared as a b-side to the single of "Cristo Redentor", which got to be a minor hit on the pop charts.
from A New Perspective, available on CD (Blue Note)
Beautiful samba, with great mellow sax playing from one of the masters of the Coleman Hawkins-influenced tenor on his final album. The counterpoint of Kenny Burrell's guitar and Garvin Masseaux's gentle percussion with Quebec's long warm tones really make this track.
"Easy fantastic, lonely together.." - I have listened to this song at least 100 times since receiving it on Audiogalaxy. Simple yet beautiful. I never knew Mos Def had such a pleasant and sexy voice! I am in heaven when he sings "I just go walking in the rain ... when I feel you passing by..." The back drop is provided by the talented contemporary 8 string jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter (once a member of Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy).
This whole album is a masterpiece, but "Blow Up" is a track that should definitely be better known. It's a vibes-piano-bass-drums quartet session with Herbie on piano that inexplicably was never released at the time, only in Japan over a decade later. It was available on CD for a while in the early 90s, but has since been deleted. The track builds on a steady, understated 4/4 groove anchored heavy bass and creative drumming courtesy of Joe Chambers. Eight minutes of relaxed heaven, with messrs. Hutcherson and Hancock engaging in sublime vibes/piano dialogue over a very catchy theme. Seek out this album any way you can!