The Swinger From Rio // Sergio Mendes feat. Art Farmer and Phil Woods (Atlantic SD 1434)

After unexpected travel, I am back at my computer.  And when I say unexpected, I mean exhausting, and when I’m exhausted, there’s nothing like bossa nova to aurally scratch my back and help me relax.  Out of the many jazz bossa nova albums out there, this relatively obscure title by one of those most unobscure (just made a new word.  Webster take notice) Brazilian musicians around hits the spot. Continue reading

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Ritmo Caliente! // Cal Tjader (Fantasy 8077)

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Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus // Vince Guaraldi Trio (Fantasy 3337)

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Collaboration // The Modern Jazz Quartet With Laurindo Almeida (Atlantic SD 1429)

If it’s cool jazz, but comes from the East Coast, is it still cool jazz?  The Modern Jazz Quartet sure played as cool and as relaxed as any West Coast group during the 1950’s, but somehow avoided the scathing criticism that most West Coast groups endured.  At any rate, Milt Jackson’s cooking vibes and John Lewis’ spare piano combined with the bass and drums to create a hugely popular sound.  Team them with an equally tasty guitarist and you have an interesting match-up. Continue reading

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At Newport // Dave Brubeck Quartet, J. J. Johnson & Kai Winding Quintet (Columbia CL 932)

Another album featuring music from the Newport Jazz Festival, this time from the year 1956, and another live album from the Dave Brubeck Quartet.  Like most jazz records, particularly Brubeck’s, this album has a mysterious backstory. Continue reading

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Thelonious Monk Newport ’59 // Thelonious Monk (Concert Vault CVLP-001)

Live jazz is often the best kind of jazz, and live jazz albums are next best thing to actually experiencing live jazz.  Live albums are like time machines, transporting you to the scene of the recording.  The older the album is, the better the time travel experience.  One place I’d love to travel back to is the Newport Jazz Festival during it’s infancy of the 1950’s, when giants walked the earth.  Well, jazz giants like Thelonious Monk. Continue reading

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Dave Brubeck, Leonard Bernstein, Dialogue For Jazz Combo & Orchestra // Ozone (Ozone 14)

This is the big one.  The unicorn.  The white whale.  The record that woke the vinyl collector within me.  The search for this record took years, but this year the vinyl gods smiled on me, and I am now the owner of this rare bootleg album.  One of the reasons why I’ve been on the hunt for this album is because it’s only available on vinyl.  It was because of this and other rare Brubeck and Desmond music that’s only on vinyl that started me on the journey of record collecting.  Naturally, this record has a rather unconventional background.  But first… Continue reading

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