Friday, March 4, 2016

Tete Montoliu - Blues for Myself 1977 (2015 Remastered)

The blind Catalonian pianist Tete Montoliu is in great form on this 1977 session recorded in Spain, accompanied by bassist Eric Peter and drummer Peer Wyboris. He shows off his tremendous chops in a roller coaster treatment of the bittersweet ballad "You've Changed," then switches to a jaunty mood for a brisk treatment of "It Could Happen to You." Wyboris kicks off the thunderous take of Jimmy Heath's "Jimmy's Tempo," a passionate hard bop vehicle. But the primary focus of this CD consists of four original blues penned by the pianist. It seems likely that at least some of them were improvised on the date, though "Blues for Coltrane" seems to draw inspiration from the late tenor saxophonist's rapid-fire live solos that left little open space. "Blues for Myself," the centerpiece of the release, seems closely related to "You've Changed," though the chord progressions do vary. Released by the Spanish label Ensayo, this disc is worth acquiring.

Release date: 1977
Duration: 40:29
Recorded in Casino L'Aliança del Poble Nou, Barcelona, on January 3, 1977
Produced by Antonio Armet
Remastering: Cezanne Producciones. Las Rozas, 2015
Genre: Jazz
Style: Hard Bop
Label: DiscMedi Blau (DM5180-02)

1. Blues for Corien (Tete Montoliu) 5:13
2. You've Changed (Bill Carey-Carl Fisher) 7:35
3. And the Angels Sing: It Could Happen to You (Burke Van Heusen) 6:03
4. Blues for Myself (Tete Montoliu) 6:14
5. Jimmy's Tempo (Jimmy Heart) 5:16
6. Blues for Llorach (Tete Montoliu) 6:01
7. Show Details Blues for Coltrane (Tete Montoliu) 3:59

Tete Montoliu: Piano
Peer Wyboris: Drums
Eric Peter: Bass


Louis Hayes & Junior Cook (with Woody Shaw, Ronnie Mathews, Stafford James, Guilherme Franco) - Ichi-Ban 1976 (2015)

Taken from a live performance of the short-lived Louis Hayes-Junior Cook Quintet, this recording features some fine hard bop. The two horns are trumpeter Woody Shaw and tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, who are complemented by a fine rhythm section headed by drummer Louis Hayes. Shaw is in good form, and one of the joys of this album is the chance to hear Shaw as a sideman in the mid-'70s in a hard bop context not unlike his own small groups. Cook plays well, and he stretches on each piece, although his solos are not remarkable in any way. Hayes takes the customary drums solos to which he is entitled as a leader, and proves once again his solid feel for the genre. The limited recording time (under forty minutes) is a shame since the group is such a pleasure to hear. The music retains its excitement years after it was recorded, a tribute to both the choice of tunes and the quality of playing. The other members of group are pianist Ronnie Matthews, bassist Stafford James, and percussionist Guilherme Franco, each of whom makes adequate, though hardly distinguished, contributions.

Brothers And Sisters
The Moontrane
Book's Bossa

Louis Hayes, drums
Junior Cook, tenor sax
Woody Shaw, trumpet
Ronnie Mathews, piano
Stafford James, bass
Guilherme Franco, percussion