A new section exclusive for our jazz messengers customers. Scott Yanow, top jazz journalist and writer, and one of the most prolific jazz record reviewers in history, reviews exclusively for Jazz Messengers a selection of new releases. A very reliable source for a glimpse of what is worth having in your shelf!

Bud Powell Live At The Blue Note Café

Scott Yanow

The innovative Bud Powell, who changed the way that the piano is played in jazz, was the main influence on young pianists of the 1945-60 period before the rise of Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner. The fluent single-note lines played by his right hand emulated horn soloists while the chordal interjections of his left hinted at drummers. The timekeeping role, formerly played by the left-hand of stride ...

read more

Larry Goldings Peter Bernstein Bill Stewart - Ramshackle Serenade

Scott Yanow

Organ-guitar-drums trios, sometimes joined by a tenor, were extremely popular in neighborhood bars in the 1960s. The group was less expensive than the average combo since it did not require a string bassist, the organ sound was attractive to many, and its typical repertoire of blues, ballads and standards along with a few current pop hits was accessible. While the instrumentation was used by Wi...

read more

Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express - Expectativas

Scott Yanow

Manuel Valera, a 33-year old pianist-composer-bandleader, looks towards the future of jazz. Born in Cuba and a resident of New York City since 2000, he had led eight CDs of his own since 2004 before recording Expectativas. He blends together his classical background with his Cuban heritage and modern jazz (both acoustic and fusion) to form his own modern and stimulating style. While...

read more

Benny Goodman - Rosemary Clooney Date With The King

Scott Yanow

Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, will always be most famous in the jazz history books for launching the swing era in 1935 and for leading big bands during the next decade. However he had a long career that lasted until his death in 1986. Goodman survived the end of the swing era by 40 years, was active during much of that time, and after 1949 was mostly heard with small groups except on specia...

read more

Piero Umiliani Da Roma A New York

Scott Yanow

This CD reissues a now-obscure but significant album from 1957. Piero Umiliani, a fine pianist from Italy, was a very good arranger-composer who wrote in the style of 1950s West Coast cool jazz. At the time, jazz was primarily thought of as an American music although there were excellent musicians and writers in the tradition who were part of important movements in several other countries, most...

read more

Art Pepper The Art Of Pepper

Scott Yanow

Art Pepper was one of the greatest jazz alto-saxophonists of all time. In the early 1950s he emerged as one of the few altoists of the period (along with Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond) who did not sound like a close relative of Charlie Parker. Pepper had developed his own sound during his stints with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and in the 1950s he recorded one classic album after another. Although ...

read more

Enrico Pieranunzi Autour de Martinu - Live At The Bird’s Eye

Scott Yanow

Enrico Pieranunzi, who is now 65, has been one of the top jazz pianists from Italy during the past 40 years. He originally studied classical music and was a music professor during 1973-75. However in 1975 he switched directions, leaving his job to become a jazz pianist. Since then he has led over 60 CDs of his own and worked with such notables as Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Frank Rosolino, Sal Nist...

read more

Stan Getz The Steamer

Scott Yanow

Stan Getz had such a beautiful tone on the tenor that in the 1950s he was for a time known simply as “The Sound.” His tone was light and floating yet he could swing as hard as any of his contemporaries. While Lester Young was an influence (and he also cited Jack Teagarden and Benny Goodman among other instrumentalists), by the late 1940s, Getz sounded unlike anyone else. He would continue evolv...

read more

Louis Armstrong At The Crescendo 1955 – Complete Edition

Scott Yanow

Trombonist Trummy Young and clarinetist Barney Bigard were two of Louis Armstrong’s most dependable and long-term sidemen, but they played together only a relatively short period of time. Bigard was with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars from the start in 1947 until 1955, returning for a few months during 1960-61. Trummy Young was with Satch for 11 years, from 1953-64, but only two of the years (19...

read more

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra - Overtime – The Music Of Bob Brookmeyer

Scott Yanow

Bob Brookmeyer had a split musical personality. He was the premiere valve trombonist starting in the 1950s, playing with Gerry Mulligan in his quartet, sextet and Concert Jazz Band, and also working with Stan Getz and on his own sessions. While his valve trombone playing perfectly fit into the more swinging side of West Coast cool jazz, Brookmeyer was also an innovative arranger-composer whose ...

read more

Marcus Wasilewski - Spark Of Life

Scott Yanow

Marcus Wasilewski, who is 39, is a Polish pianist with a lyrical style. While his melodic playing might recall Keith Jarrett or Bobo Stenson at times, he has his own sound within jazz’s modern mainstream. Wasilewski and bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz first played together when they were 15 year old high school students in 1990. They formed their first trio the following year and in 199...

read more

Henry Mancini - The Music From Peter Gunn + Driftwood And Dreams

Scott Yanow

One of the premiere Hollywood arranger-composers, Henry Mancini never thought of himself as a jazz artist. However many of his best soundtracks for movies and television included some jazz and were inspired by West Coast cool jazz. This single CD reissues in full two of Henry Mancini’s albums of 1957-58. One of his most famous soundtracks was the score that he wrote for the televisi...

read more

Stan Getz - At Large – The Complete Sessions

Scott Yanow

The great tenor-saxophonist Stan Getz spent much of 1956-60 living in Scandinavia. Already extremely popular (and playing bossa nova classics was still in his future), Getz’s cool sound, very fluent technique, and ability to play relaxed but exciting bop made him one of the most vital of all jazz artists. Unlike some American jazz stars who rested on their laurels while living in Eu...

read more

Duke Ellington - The Complete Newport 1958 Performances

Scott Yanow

There were many classic versions of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Some critics rank his 1939-42 band as his best while those who most love his early orchestra would vote for his outfit of 1927-29. But in reality during its entire existence (1924-74) and particularly after 1925, Ellington’s band was always among the top five in the world, whether it was 1932 or 1972. The orchestra never declined...

read more

Teddy Wilson - Live At The King Of France Tavern

Scott Yanow

New recordings by Teddy Wilson, the definitive swing pianist and a master for over 40 years, are pretty uncommon these days. However this two-CD set is an exciting find for all of its music from a couple of trio sets in 1978 has never been out before. Wilson (1912-86) took the powerful stride piano style of Fats Waller and came up with a more melodic and streamlined approach that pe...

read more

Aki Takase/Alexander Von Schlippenbach - So Long, Eric!

Scott Yanow

Eric Dolphy was one of the most original of all jazz musicians, developing very distinctive voices on the alto-sax, bass clarinet and flute. While associated with Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and the avant-garde in general, Dolphy actually stood apart from everyone else, having his own unusual logic in both his improvisations and his compositions. Only his early death in 1964 at the age of 36 ...

read more

Bobby Broom My Shining Hour

Scott Yanow

A superior straight ahead guitarist with a soulful sound of his own, too often Bobby Broom gets overlooked when one thinks of the top jazz guitarists around today. Born in 1961, Broom started playing guitar when he was 12 and jazz at the age of 15. He played with Al Haig, Walter Bishop Jr. and a Carnegie Hall concert with Sonny Rollins by the time he was 16. After graduating from sc...

read more

Mark Murphy Shadows

Scott Yanow

One of the most innovative jazz singers of the past 45 years, Mark Murphy always had his roots in bebop while moving the music forward. He was never shy to stretch himself in his often-wild scat-singing but he also loved to wrap his voice around meaningful lyrics. Murphy has been ailing in recent times and is probably permanently retired as of this writing, so the release of a “new”...

read more

Dave Brubeck Quartet - The Complete Storyville Broadcasts

Scott Yanow

The most famous version of the Dave Brubeck Quartet was his 1958-67 group that in addition to featuring the pianist-leader and altoist Paul Desmond, included bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello. However the earlier version of the group, which began in 1951 (long before “Take Five”), matched Brubeck and Desmond with quietly supportive bassists and drummers. Brubeck’s quarte...

read more

Harold Mabern - Right On Time

Scott Yanow

A very alert, supportive and intuitive drummer, Antonio Sanchez has had a very impressive career so far. He was born in Mexico City, started playing drums at five, played professionally as a teenager and earned a degree in classical piano. In 1993 he moved to the U.S. to study at Berklee and a few years later earned a Masters at the New England Conservatory. He has since worked with Dizzy Gille...

read more

Antonio Sanchez - Three Times Three

Scott Yanow

A very alert, supportive and intuitive drummer, Antonio Sanchez has had a very impressive career so far. He was born in Mexico City, started playing drums at five, played professionally as a teenager and earned a degree in classical piano. In 1993 he moved to the U.S. to study at Berklee and a few years later earned a Masters at the New England Conservatory. He has since worked with Dizzy Gille...

read more

Joe Harriott Quintet - Abstract/Southern Horizons/Free Form

Scott Yanow

Joe Harriott was one of the top saxophonists based in England during the 1950s and ‘60s. Born in Jamaica in 1928, he was well on his way to mastering the alto-sax before he moved to England in 1951. He was originally a bebop-based saxophonist inspired by Charlie Parker’s ideas but with a sound of his own. Harriott recorded six selections as a leader in quartets during 1953-54 and had two full-l...

read more

Jacques Loussier - Play Bach Vols. 1, 2 & 3 Plus Joue Kurt Weill

Scott Yanow

It would not be an understatement to say that pianist Jacques Loussier has had a unique career. He was born in Angers, France in 1934 and is still active today at the age of 80. He began piano lessons at ten, soon became very interested in the music of Bach, attended the Conservatoire National de Musique and began composing music of his own. He spent several years in his twenties vi...

read more

Lee Konitz & Bill Evans - You and Lee + Lee Konitz Meets Jimmy Giuffre

Scott Yanow

Lee Konitz, one of the few alto-saxophonists of the late 1940s to not sound like a close relative of Charlie Parker, has always had his own cool tone and a very inquisitive musical spirit. He has been a creative musician since at least 1946 and is still playing well 68 years later. Bill Evans was one of the most influential pianists of all time. His chord voicings and interaction with the membe...

read more

Grant Green - Nigeria

Scott Yanow

Grant Green and Sonny Clark always made for a great combination. But although they recorded several very rewarding Blue Note albums together, most of their joint recordings were not released until at least until the 1970s, probably due to Clark’s early death (at the age of 31 in 1963). Green, the main guitarist at Blue Note, was on an impressive string of exciting recordings during ...

read more

Scott Hamilton - Remembering Billie

Scott Yanow

When Scott Hamilton first caused a sensation in the mid-1970s, it was because the young tenor-saxophonist was a world class player who chose to play swing-oriented music. He has stuck to a steady course during the 40 years since, recording one swinging album of standards after another. None of his recordings are less than very good, but Remembering Billie crosses the line into being one of his ...

read more

Thelonious Monk/Sonny Rollins - Complete Recordings

Scott Yanow

Pianist-composer Thelonious Monk and tenor-saxophonist Sonny Rollins always seemed like an ideal combination, so it is surprising how relatively little they recorded together. Although Monk had considered Rollins his first choice to join his quartet in 1960, Rollins turned him down and they never actually worked together on a regular basis. The two-CD set Complete Recordings starts ...

read more

Chick Corea - Trilogy

Scott Yanow

t is very difficult to believe that Chick Corea is now 73. He is one of the most active and consistently creative musicians on the scene, not just today but during any of the past 50 years. Rather than coast or play the predictable, it seems as if every couple of months Corea forms a new band that is just as exciting and stimulating as his previous one. Trilogy is a three-CD set tha...

read more

Mike DiRubbo - Threshold

Scott Yanow

A superior alto-saxophonist whose sound is influenced a little by his mentor, the late great Jackie McLean, Mike DiRubbo is a passionate hard bop musician. Since graduating from the University of Hartford (where he studied directly with McLean), DiRubbo has led eight CDs of his own and worked with such notables as trombonist Steve Davis, pianist David Hazeltine, trumpeters Jim Rotondi and Brian...

read more

Sarah Vaughan - Wonderful Sarah

Scott Yanow

 Sarah Vaughan had one of the most miraculous voices not only in jazz but in popular music. She had a very wide range, perfect control over her voice, a very attractive tone, and the ability to sing whatever she wanted. She could have been an opera singer if that had been her goal.               Instead, Sarah Vaughan became one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, competin...

read more

Grant Green & Baby Face Willette Trio/Quartet Complete Recordings

Scott Yanow

While Grant Green was one of the most active and significant guitarists of the 1960s, particularly during the first half of the decade, organist Baby Face Willette has been somewhat forgotten since that era. Willette, who was born in 1933, was originally a pianist. He played in his early days with gospel and rhythm & blues groups including with Guitar Slim, Joe Houston, King Kolax, the Cara...

read more

Dave Brubeck Time Further Out

Scott Yanow

After 1959’s Time Out became a huge and unexpected success, highlighted by the famous recordings of “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo A La Turk,” Dave Brubeck and his quartet recorded several other albums that, like Time Out, found the group improvising over then-unusual time signatures. Brubeck had experimented with different time meters (such as 7/4 and 11/4) back in the late 1940s with his octet. ...

read more

Joe Pass & Les McCann Something Special – The 1962 Sessions

Scott Yanow

Guitarist Joe Pass and pianist Les McCann recorded together twice in 1962, and all of that music plus more is included on this two-CD set. At the time, Pass was just starting to get his career going after some time off the scene. While not that well known yet, he was beginning to become quite busy in the Los Angeles area. Meanwhile McCann had gained a strong reputation as one of the top funky j...

read more

Duke Ellington - In Grona Lund 1963

Scott Yanow

There is never any shortage of great Duke Ellington recordings to acquire. He recorded steadily during 1926-74, and not only are there a countless number of studio recordings but radio transcriptions, live performances and radio broadcasts. But even so, the release of the double-CD In Grona Lund 1963 is a special event.               Other than four songs that came out on casset...

read more

Curtis Counce - Exploring The Future

Scott Yanow

Bassist Curtis Counce, who passed away in 1963 from a weak heart when he was only 37, is best remembered today for a series of quintet albums that he made for the Contemporary label during 1956-57. During that period his group featured trumpeter Jack Sheldon, tenor-saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Carl Perkins and drummer Frank Butler.               Exploring The Future is much ...

read more

Ben Webster * Richard “Groove” Holmes * Les McCann Groove - The Complete Legendary 1961 Session

Scott Yanow

Groove came about quite by accident. The original idea was for it to be a Les McCann vocal album with assistance by organist Richard “Groove” Holmes, tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster, trombonist Tricky Lofton, guitarist George Freeman and drummer Ron Jefferson. However because the musicians had such a great time warming up (with McCann on piano), it was spontaneously decided to record a largely in...

read more

Jimmy Cleveland Septet/Octet

Scott Yanow

 Jimmy Cleveland was very busy during the second half of the 1950s. He had played with Lionel Hampton’s big band during 1950-53 and then settled in New York where as a freelance musician he recorded with such giants as Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, James Moody, Lucky Thompson, Oscar Pettiford and Gil Evans. But after touring Europe with the Quincy Jones big band during 1959-60, he became mor...

read more

Jessica Williams - With Love

Scott Yanow

One of the top jazz pianists of the past 30 years, Jessica Williams recently had to take some time off of playing to have spinal and back surgery. Fortunately, as can be heard throughout With Love, she has made a full recovery.             While she has gained fame as a pianist with superb technique and one who can play rapid stride, has a witty sense of humor and can emulate Thelonious...

read more

Opus 5 - Progression

Scott Yanow

Opus 5, which has now recorded three CDs, originally came about as an idea by trumpeter Alex Sipiagin and tenor-saxophonist Seamus Blake. They wanted to form a group that would introduce new music. Sipiagin and Blake were soon joined by the rhythm section of the Mingus Big Band: keyboardist David Kikoski, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Donald Edwards. All of the musicians in the group are not...

read more

ENRICO PIERANUNZI Stories

Scott Yanow

Italian jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has in the past played music that was comparable to that of Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and to a lesser extent Paul Bley. However on Stories he not only plays in his own adventurous style but he introduces seven superior originals of his own. The son of a jazz guitarist, Pieranunzi was classically trained and worked as an educator for two years b...

read more

CHUBBY JACKSON BIG BAND Ooh, What An Outfit – New York 1949

Scott Yanow

Chubby Jackson is best remembered as the bassist, talent scout and head cheerleader with Woody Herman’s First Herd of 1944-46. He was also back with Herman for a brief time in 1948. After leaving Herman for the second time, Jackson formed a boppish big band that was somewhat reminiscent of Herman’s Herd although without the big names. This two-CD set from Uptown has all of the existing music fr...

read more

DAVE DOUGLAS & URI CAINE Present Joys

Scott Yanow

Throughout his very productive career, trumpeter Dave Douglas can always be relied upon to do the unexpected. Whether playing free improvisations, the music of Jimmy Giuffre, a tribute to Miles Davis or ancient folk songs, Douglas never plays the predictable yet usually sounds relaxed no matter what he performs. He has worked with pianist Uri Caine in a wide variety of settings through the year...

read more

DEXTER GORDON Candlelight Lady

Scott Yanow

Dexter Gordon was already a living legend by 1962 when he moved to Europe for 14 years. He had been the first tenor-saxophonist to fully understand bebop, had starred at Los Angeles jam sessions in the late 1940s with Wardell Gray and Teddy Edwards, and had recorded influential sessions as a leader for Savoy. He had also survived long periods off the scene in the 1950s and made a major comeback...

read more

TED ROSENTHAL TRIO Rhapsody In Gershwin

Scott Yanow

It can be a challenge to play songs that have already been performed and recorded a countless number of times over the decades. On Rhapsody In Gershwin, pianist Ted Rosenthal plays such familiar George Gershwin tunes as “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” “Strike Up The Band” and “Someone To Watch Over Me,” but, by infusing the music with his own personality, and planning some inventive frameworks, Rosenthal...

read more

SCOTT HAMILTON Dean Street Nights

Scott Yanow

Ever since he burst upon the jazz scene in the mid-1970s, tenor-saxophonist Scott Hamilton has represented the very best in small group swing. While many of his contemporaries played fusion, funk, pop or avant-garde jazz, Hamilton has stuck to his original musical vision throughout his busy career. He may have sounded a little like Zoot Sims and Ben Webster in spots but basically he has had his...

read more

ELLA FITZGERALD Sings The Rodgers & Hart Song Book

Scott Yanow

During 1956-64 Ella Fitzgerald recorded eight “songbooks” which were extended sets of the music of a particular composer or lyricist. Producer Norman Granz had recently started the Verve label specifically to feature her singing and the songbook project was one of the most extensive and prestigious of his ideas. After she had success with her Cole Porter Song Book, the Rodgers & Hart projec...

read more

ERIC ALEXANDER QUARTET Recado Bossa Nova

Scott Yanow

When it comes to playing advanced and soulful hard bop, few are on the level today of tenor-saxophonist Eric Alexander. Still just 45 at this writing, he has already led over 35 albums of his own. Alexander was originally a classical musician who studied on the alto sax at Indiana University. However he soon realized that he loved to improvise, and that his true voice was on the ten...

read more

TETE MONTOLIU TRIO Catalonian Rhapsody

Scott Yanow

One of the greatest jazz musicians ever born in Spain, Tete Montoliu was a superb hard bop pianist who fortunately made many rewarding recordings during his life. Catalonian Rhapsody, recorded for the Japanese Venus label, is one of his rarest sets. For this project from 1992, Montoliu is joined by bassist Hein Van de Geyn and drummer Idris Muhammad. Rather than perform the usual st...

read more

STAN GETZ ‘Round Midnight In Paris

Scott Yanow

Did anyone on tenor-sax ever have as lovely a tone as Stan Getz? Due to his tone, he was given the nickname of “The Sound” in the 1950s. But rather than just play pretty ballads, Getz was also a hard-swinger who could hold his own with virtually any other musician of his time. He managed to sound comfortable and relaxed even at blazing tempos. ‘Round Midnight In Paris is taken from ...

read more

LESTER BOWIE - The Great Pretender/Steel & Breath

Scott Yanow

Lester Bowie will always be best remembered for being the trumpeter with the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, playing music that was accurately called “ancient to the future.” His high musicianship, highly expressive playing and wit were major assets to the innovative group. Bowie also did many side projects in his career, displaying his versatility and creativity in different areas. This do...

read more