Four & More ($5 Special)

SKU: CK93595
Label:
Columbia Legacy
Category:
Jazz
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"In an odd bit of programming, Columbia placed the ballads from Miles Davis' February 12, 1964, concert on My Funny Valentine and the uptempo romps on this LP. Davis, probably a bit bored by some of his repertoire and energized by the teenage Tony Williams' drumming, performed many of his standards at an increasingly faster pace as time went on. These versions of "So What," "Walkin'," "Four," "Joshua," "Seven Steps to Heaven," and even "There Is No Greater Love" are remarkably rapid, with the themes quickly thrown out before Davis, George Coleman, and Herbie Hancock take their solos. Highly recommended and rather exciting music, it's one of the last times Davis would be documented playing a full set of standards." - Allmusic

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  • "Once upon a time there was a guitar god who had grown bored with all his fame, riches and glory. He longed for something more than another multi-platinum selling record. He desired not simply acclaim, but respect. He knew to get it he would have to walk away from the distinctive style that made him popular and wealthy. It was a risk to confuse his band and his fans by making a radical change in his musical direction. But he did it anyway and broke up the classic version of his band, alienating much of his audience in the process.It must have seemed worth it at the time to Carlos Santana. Appearing at Woodstock had announced to the world there was a new guitar hero on the scene, a skinny Mexican who fused elements of rock, Latin, jazz and funky R&B in one soul-stirring stew. Santana delivered on the promise with a trilogy of terrific albums.The initial effort in Santana's amazing adventures in fusion, Caravanserai (Columbia, 1972), is the sound of a band uncertain of its music and its leader equally uncertain of the direction he wants to take them. Following Santana III (Columbia, 1971), it must have puzzled executives at Columbia when Santana presented it to them. While it has its definite highs, the low points of Caravanserai are very low.Gregg Rolle was skillful on the organ, acceptable as a vocalist and totally out of his league trying to fake it as a jazz musician. Rolle simply lacked the feel for this dense, hook-free tunes and soon would leave to form Journey, taking guitarist Neal Schon with him.The record is disjointed as Santana can't fully let go of the Latin rock that made him wealthy and famous. Never the strongest vocalist, Rolle sings on three unmemorable songs. The songs aren't strong and neither is the playing. You can almost feel Santana's frustration. If he were going to succeed in this new path he was on he would need something conspicuous in its absence from Caravanserai.He would need better musicians to play the way he wanted and better music for them to play. Carlos took the first step when he joined with guitarist John McLaughlin for Love, Devotion and Surrender (Columbia, 1972). Santana brought along members of his band and teamed with McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra to produce an eclectic electric guitar summit that perplexed fans, critics and record executives.Welcome solved both problems. David Brown (bass) and Michael Carabello (percussion) were already out by that time and Rollie and Schon were eyeballing the exit sign as well.Santana has always fused the spiritual with the secular and Welcome is as close as the guitarist has ever come to the former with no regard for the latter. Welcome yielded no hit singles and was never conceived as an album rock radio would play. This is Santana's John Coltrane/A Love Supreme moment: creating transcendent, reverent, passionate music conceived and executed by a virtuoso artist without the slightest trace of concern for commercial considerations.The opening drone of the two organs on "Going Home" played by Tom Coster and Richard Kermode build gradually and soar high with grandeur. Santana lays out here and frequently fades into the background entirely. He is finally secure in his own playing and doesn't have to take the lead. His new-found confidence comes from knowing he finally has a band capable of delivering the goods and they do. Welcome is every bit as much of a classic as the first three Santana albums. It sounds great nearly 40 years after its release.The only comparable rock guitarist who altered his sound as drastically as Santana did with Welcome is Jeff Beck, with his career-altering Blow by Blow (Epic, 1975). The critical difference is Beck was taking the next step after a series of unremarkable bands and records that had flopped. Santana was at the peak of his fame when he drastically altered course and followed the path of A Love Supreme in seeking to make music that satisfied his soul, not a record company's ledger sheet.Even Robert Christgau, the noted (and notorious) rock critic/curmudgeon, and former music editor of The Village Voice smiled upon Welcome."More confident and hence more fun than Caravanserai, this proves that a communion of multipercussive rock and transcendentalist jazz can move the unenlightened—me, for instance. Good themes, good playing, good beat, and let us not forget good singing—Leon Thomas's muscular spirituality grounds each side so firmly that not even Flora Purim can send it out the window."Not everybody completely "got" Welcome in 1973. It wasn't slightly different like Caravanserai, with one foot still in rock and another with a toe dipping lightly into not only jazz fusion, but even free jazz. The signature sizzling guitar solos were there, but more restrained and at times even submerged within the collective of the group.The secret weapon is Michael Shrieve's energetic drumming and the dual keyboard attack of Coster and Kermode. They push and pull Santana to go beyond and stop holding back. Some have called the album disappointingly thin and self-indulgent, but that's a harsh assessment. There are no hit singles or any concessions made to radio here. Maybe an adventuresome jazz station would play "Samba De Sausalito," but even the vocal tracks, "When I Look Into Your Eyes" and "Light of Life" feature Leon Thomas' vocals. Alternating between soulful singing and off-the-wall yodeling, Thomas is perhaps the most polarizing of the many Santana vocalists.The other unique aspect to Welcome band was the band's first female member, Wendy Haas, a vocalist and keyboard player Santana plucked from Azteca, the same band he found a hot-shot 17-yr-old guitarist named Neal Schon, the future guitarist of Journey.If Welcome is the summit of Santana's jazz fusion era, Lotus (Columbia, 1974) and Borboletta (Columbia, 1974) are the sound of that era falling off a cliff. Lotus was a mammoth three-record live set that was only available as a high-priced import, but in 1991 Columbia released it domestically whittling it down to two CDs. It's brilliant, messy and at times, total overkill in overlength and Thomas is inept trying to front Santana standards such as "Black Magic Woman." Borboletta showcases a sullen Santana fronting an equally lethargic band and cursed by the ugliest cover art ever to appear on a Santana record. It's the splat of the band finally hitting the proverbial wall.frustrated by tepid record sales, Santana ditched his dalliance with jazz and returned to Latin rock glory with Amigos (Columbia, 1976). Though he was still billed as "Devadip" Carlos Santana he was drifting away from his guru, Sri Chimoy, and would leave both him and jazz behind for the rest of his career. Blues For Salvador (Columbia, 1987) won a Grammy for Best Instrumental and Santana Brothers (Universal/Polygram, 1994) is good, but these are primarily instrumental recordings and not really jazz.The Swing of Delight (Columbia, 1980) pairs Santana with trumpeter Miles Davis' classic quintet colleagues Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter, with Santana's blistering guitar leads replacing the lonely fire of Davis' trumpet, but the result isn't as incendiary as might have been hoped for. Most of the songs on The Swing of Delight are merely star-filled jam sessions lacking the structure and passion of Welcome.Santana has continued to release instrumental albums, but they aren't jazz and since the 15 million-selling Supernatural granted him late career superstar status on him in 1999, he has wasted the better part of a decade chasing similar success minus similar results. The bottom of the barrel is Guitar Heaven, which sounds like the name for a video game but is a pandering mess of classic rock covers.At this point in his life, Santana should be financially secure and has married his second wife, jazz drummer Cindy Blackman. In May he released the 22nd Santana album, Shape Shifter (Starfaith, 2012). With the exception of one vocal track it is a recording of instrumentals exclusively, with just the man and his band and no awkward guest stars crow-barred in except his son Salvador playing keyboards.In an interview, Santana explained why he was taking a break from his overly commercial direction of the past decade."In a lot of ways, yes, because I don't need to accommodate lyrics, and I don't need to accommodate artists. I say this in a funny way, but it's more about letting a Mexican play the guitar, you know?""I'm never going to wait so long to brew 'em like this anymore. I'm going to make sure that I do one album like this and then another kind. I remember reading that John Coltrane would do one Pursuance album, and then he'd do a ballads album where he'd hardly play a solo—he'd just play the melody verbatim."Shape Shifter may be a slight retreat for Santana from pop music and a return to pulling power chords from his guitar, but it's not going to be "Welcome: The Sequel." That was a different man making different music in a different time. The Santana of 1973 is not the Santana of 2012, but that man would not be the one he is now had he not chased his inner Coltrane and made a record as bold, brave and eternally beautiful as Welcome."- All About Jazz
    $7.00
  • Its been a couple of years but from the back of the warehouse, 8000 miles from here, we were able to exhume additional copies of the XRCD24 edition of this world music/new age classic.  While compatible with Redbook CD standards (this means it will work in your CD player) it is manufactured using JVC's proprietary mastering process.  There are lots of versions of this audiophile reference disc but this may well be the definitive one.Last time we had these they sold out immediately.  I would expect the same again. 
    $12.00
  • For some reason this live set originally released as a double album in 1975 only came out in Japan. It features the Headhunters lineup and they blow through incendiary version of material from Thrust, Maiden Voyage, Man-Child, and Headhunters. Expensive but worth it.
    $34.00
  • This superb Swedish band follow up their white hot performance at Nearfest with the release of their fifth album and its their best. The band really has developed their own identity. There is an underpinning of humor but at the same time the lyrics don't deal with unicorns and magical forests - in fact there is plenty of heavy duty swear words through out so if that is offensive to you stay clear. Its a musical monster with devastating organ work - check out the closer "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" (my dreams ARE made of this stuff!). In general the musical talent is mega-high and full on display here. Oh yeah - for about 10 seconds the Cookie Monster rears his head so watch out!!One of the finest (if not THE finest) example of contemporary progressive rock. Beardfish give a wink and a nod to the old timers but clearly have carved out a path of their own that ANY fan (with a strong heart) should endorse. This will make everyone's top 10 list at year end. BUY OR DIE!!
    $11.00
  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hard card fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.Unicorn is a hot set recorded by noted Japanese bassist Teruo Nakamura.  It features killer players like George Cables (electric piano), Steve Grossman (soprano sax), Lenny White and Alphonse Mouzon (drums) among others.  Recorded in 1973 in NYC, its a wonder example of "spiritual" or "soul" jazz."Unicorn was bassist Teruo Nakamura's first date as a leader. Recorded and issued in Japan on the legendary Three Blind Mice imprint in 1973, Nakamura had been working in New York since 1964. He'd done a lot of hardscrabble work before 1969 when he landed the gig as bassist in Roy Haynes' fine group of the time. During that year he formed a band with Steve Grossman and Lenny White, who both appear here. This is an interesting date because it is equally divided between very electric fusion tracks and more modal acoustic numbers. Grossman plays on all but one cut; White appears on three. Other players include Alphonse Mouzon on three cuts (instead of White), George Cables on Rhodes, John Miller on acoustic piano, a young percussionist named Ronald Jackson (born Ronald Shannon Jackson), pianist Hubert Eaves III (later of D Train fame), trumpeter Charles Sullivan, vocalist Sandy Hewitt (on Eaves' "Understanding" and "Umma Be Me"). Nakamura plays acoustic upright bass on four tracks and electric on two others. The music is very much of its time, and though it is a session players gig, with rotating lineups, there is plenty of fire here. Grossman had already done his stint with Miles Davis and is in fine form on soprano (especially on the opening title cut), and tenor on John Coltrane's "Some Other Blues." White and Mouzon are both outstanding, so the drum chair is killer throughout, no matter who's playing, and Cables' Rhodes work on the Trane cut and "Derrick's Dance," written by Miller, is stellar. Nakamura, for his part, is more than an able bassist; he leads by guiding the rhythm and not standing out as a soloist." - Allmusic Guide
    $29.00
  • Third instrumental album from the former Racer X shred monster. Very sick playing as Gilbert is backed by his touring ensemble. One of the best around...
    $16.00
  • "If you listened to the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the 1970s you are familiar with his keyboard wizardry. If you’re a fan of the Indiana Jones movies you have heard his piano. You might also have come across his works by watching US documentary films or TV series. Indeed, this man has “more than one iron in the fire”, as the saying goes. Since the 1980s Stu Goldberg is a highly requested soundtrack composer and session musician for Jerry Goldsmith, Lalo Schifrin and the like. Yet in recent years he began recording as a jazz musician again, and by doing so, resumed his early career which was exceptional in every way.Having caused a sensation at the Monterey Jazz Festival, when he was merely 17, Goldberg became a member of John McLaughlins Mahavishnu Orchestra, toured the world and played with Al Di Meola, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Billy Cobham, Jack Bruce and Alphonse Mouzon from the 1970s on. But it was the teamwork with the latter who finally set the ball rolling for Goldbergs solo career. And Joachim Ernst Berendt, of course, on who you can put the blame for many gems in the MPS vault. Since it was Berendt who produced Stu’s first LP “Solos – Duos - Trios” (1978) which already revealed Goldberg’s open-minded, organic and at the same time experimental philosophy, as he paired his piano and synthesizer with the guitar by one Larry Coryell and the Indian violin of L Subramaniam. Encouraged by label owner Brunner-Schwer, Goldberg created another three contributions to the MPS catalogue on his own, culminating in the album you now have in hand, which was long out-of-print and now is available on CD. It certainly ranks as the most elaborate and best thought-out work in Goldberg’s solo discography.Recorded and mixed in Hollywood in the August of 1981 “Eye Of The Beholder” holds many surprises: The title track is a rollicking opener which shows Stu in a virtuoso mood developing his solo parts in a very organic way. Teaming up is his brother Ken on sax whose recording debut we can witness here. “New Love” is a lavishly orchestrated piece with piano and strings under the lead of violinist Doug Cameron creating rich colours – it also features a tremendous bass solo by Jim Lacefield and plainly points at Goldberg’s cinematic capacity. This is also the case with “Song Burst”: Energetic and equally lyrical it unites a burning band with the driving pulse of drummer Dave Crigger (whom Goldberg knew through their common work in Don Ellis’ band) and quartet interludes of a nearly baroque character. “Daybreak, Sunbeam” and the following “Daybreak” must be seen as a suite, revealing a wide range of influences from the romantic period of Chopin and Rachmaninoff to daring modern jazz improvisation along its course, the two Goldberg brothers often playing side by side before Stu recaptures the first part with a splendid solo. “Montreal” once again shows all the qualities of this album, displaying a fine interaction between jazz band and strings with space for solo highlights, notably Ken on flute this time, and conga player Lee Pastora adding his skills to the Latin touch of the final section."
    $24.00
  • "With the 1968 album Miles in the Sky, Miles Davis explicitly pushed his second great quintet away from conventional jazz, pushing them toward the jazz-rock hybrid that would later become known as fusion. Here, the music is still in its formative stages, and it's a little more earth-bound than you might expect, especially following on the heels of the shape-shifting, elusive Nefertiti. On Miles in the Sky, much of the rhythms are straightforward, picking up on the direct 4/4 beats of rock, and these are illuminated by Herbie Hancock's electric piano -- one of the very first sounds on the record, as a matter of fact -- and the guest appearance of guitarist George Benson on "Paraphernalia." All of these additions are tangible and identifiable, and they do result in intriguing music, but the form of the music itself is surprisingly direct, playing as extended grooves. This meanders considerable more than Nefertiti, even if it is significantly less elliptical in its form, because it's primarily four long jams. Intriguing, successful jams in many respects, but even with the notable additions of electric instruments, and with the deliberately noisy "Country Son," this is less visionary than its predecessor and feels like a transitional album -- and, like many transitional albums, it's intriguing and frustrating in equal measures." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Woodenhead are one of the great US fusion/prog bands you may not be familiar with.  For the past forty years the band has been ensconced in New Orleans rarely straying outside of the Louisiana area.  The quartet is led by virtuoso guitarist Jimmy Robinson (who you may have seen in that recent AARP commercial!).To encapsulate Woodenhead's sound is actually pretty easy - take 3/4 parts Dixie Dregs and add 1/4 part Happy The Man.  Shake and stir.  Top it off with some local spicy cajun flavor.So while you may not have heard of Woodenhead in your part of the world, they are quite well known in New Orleans.  They have performed there continuously playing at all the local haunts and festivals.  To commemorate the band's 40th anniversary the band has dipped into the archives.  They have released highlights from a gig recorded at the legendary Tipitina's in December 1993, mixed from live tapes previously forgotten and recently unearthed.  Expect a white hot set of cajun fusion.  Highly recommended. 
    $12.00
  • Latest from this fine French band. Nemo is led by guitarist JP Louveton who is also the lead singer. Barbares features all long tracks including the 26 minute title piece. The music of Nemo is quite dynamic. Louveton is a fine player with has a bit of John Petrucci in him. His instrumental foil is keyboardist Guillaume Fontaine who takes a more symphonic approach to his playing. While there is more than enough flash he tends to emphasize textures over blazing fast solo runs. For some reason Louveton has a reluctance to sing in English. If could get over this the band might be able to expand their following on a much broader level. Highly recommended.
    $12.00
  • "Since it's billed as "Directions in Music by Miles Davis," it should come as little surprise that Filles de Kilimanjaro is the beginning of a new phase for Miles, the place that he begins to dive headfirst into jazz-rock fusion. It also happens to be the swan song for his second classic quintet, arguably the finest collective of musicians he ever worked with, and what makes this album so fascinating is that it's possible to hear the breaking point -- though his quintet all followed him into fusion (three of his supporting players were on In a Silent Way), it's possible to hear them all break with the conventional notions of what constituted even adventurous jazz, turning into something new. According to Miles, the change in "direction" was as much inspired by a desire to return to something earthy and bluesy as it was to find new musical territory, and Filles de Kilimanjaro bears him out. Though the album sports inexplicable, rather ridiculous French song titles, this is music that is unpretentiously adventurous, grounded in driving, mildly funky rhythms and bluesy growls from Miles, graced with weird, colorful flourishes from the band. Where Miles in the Sky meandered a bit, this is considerably more focused, even on the three songs that run over ten minutes, yet it still feels transitional. Not tentative (which In the Sky was), but certainly the music that would spring full bloom on In a Silent Way was still in the gestation phase, and despite the rock-blues-n-funk touches here, the music doesn't fly and search the way that Nefertiti did. But that's not a bad thing -- this middle ground between the adventurous bop of the mid-'60s and the fusion of the late '60s is rewarding in its own right, since it's possible to hear great musicians find the foundation of a new form. For that alone, Filles de Kilimanjaro is necessary listening." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Perhaps inspired by the passing of the legendary Jon Lord (who the album is dedicated to) or by the creative infusion from producer Bob Ezrin, Deep Purple's 19th studio album arrives firing on all cylinders.  Sure I miss Ritchie Blackmore.  Steve Morse is Steve Morse.  A legend...but he brings a different element to the band that to my ears was always defined by the neoclassical explorations of Blackmore.  Getting past that this album is a pure smoker.  Don Airey replaced Jon Lord over a decade ago.  He's always played the hell out of the Hammond organ and he doesn't disappoint here.  He's the perfect replacement for Jon Lord and even adds his own imprint in some not so subtle ways.  Oh yeah - Ian Gillan sounds great.  I wasn't a huge fan of the last couple of albums but this one sure does kick some major ass.This is the deluxe digipak edition.  It comes with one bonus track on the CD and a DVD that has interviews and bonus live clips.
    $15.00
  • "A never before released full length concert album from one of the greatest undiscovered gems of 70s rock, Captain Beyond!Formed in 1971 by members of Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly & Johnny Winter s band, Captain Beyond is heavy, spacey and most definitely FAR OUT!This show was recorded just after the release of the band s second album, Sufficiently Breathless, during the their tour with King Crimson!Liner notes by noted rock historian Dave Thompson!"
    $15.00
  • Budget priced 5CD set in a slimline case featuring the following albums:ManDo You Like It Here Now, Are You Settling In?Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A DayRhinos, Winos & LunaticsSlow Motion
    $21.00