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Archive for the ‘Freddie Hubbard’ Category

Short Takes: “Meet Glen Campbell” and “Matter of Time” Reissued, A Rare Earth Curio and More From Impulse!

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  • The legendary Glen Campbell has seen a number of his classic albums reissued this year by labels including BGO, Real Gone Music and New Haven.  Our friends at Rockbeat Records have lined up the next Campbell release, revisiting his 1985 LP for the Atlantic label, It’s Just a Matter of Time.  Produced by Harold Shedd, the album found Campbell revisiting some of his past triumphs.  Longtime collaborator and friend Jimmy Webb contributed three songs: the oft-covered “Do What You Gotta Do,” “Shattered,” and “Cowboy Hall of Fame.”  Al DeLory, the producer of Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” was enlisted to conduct the latter.  Bergen White, another familiar face, arranged four songs, and Webb provided the arrangements not only for his own songs but for two others on the LP.  It’s Just a Matter of Time was the third of Campbell’s Atlantic records, following Old Home Town (1982) and Letter to Home (1984).  Rockbeat’s reissue, with the original 10-track lineup, arrives on January 31.  But that’s not all for the legendary guitar-picker.  Hit the jump for news of Glen’s next reissue, plus you’ll also rediscover a Motown lost treasure and peruse the latest jazz reissues from the legendary Impulse! label! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 25, 2012 at 15:01

Benson, Hubbard, Turrentine On June Slate From CTI Masterworks

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Earlier this year, Universal and Hip-o Select released a bold orange box set containing the first 6 LPs on the Impulse! label, all of which were produced by Creed Taylor.  The ambitious producer didn’t stay long at Impulse!, however, departing for the greener pastures of Verve, then A&M, where he founded his CTI label.  Following a highly successful series of CTI albums under the A&M imprimatur, Taylor’s mini-kingdom went the independent route and along the way practically defined the sound of seventies jazz.  Sony’s Masterworks Jazz label quietly dropped four more CTI titles in stores on June 14, part of the 40th Anniversary Series that began with the release of the Cool Revolution retrospective box.  (We’ve got details on April’s batch here.)  The titles were released between 1970 and 1974, and all four feature bona fide legends who were integral parts of the CTI family: George Benson (guitar), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet/flugelhorn), Hubert Laws (flute) and Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone).

The earliest title in the group, Hubbard’s Straight Life (1970), was his second album for CTI following Red Clay, already released in this series.  Straight Life could be considered a “sequel” to Red Clay, as many of the same personnel returned, including saxophonist Joe Henderson, keyboard player Herbie Hancock and CTI stalwart Ron Carter.  George Benson, naturally on guitar, joined in as well.  On percussion, Richard “Pablo” (Richie) Landrum contributed, while Jack DeJohnette replaced Red Clay’s Lenny White on drums.  Straight Life consists of three lengthy tracks: the 17 minute jam on the title song by Hubbard, “Mr. Clean” by Weldon Irvine (who plays tambourine on the album) and the Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen standard “Here’s That Rainy Day.”  With only Hubbard, Benson and Carter playing, “Rainy Day” is as beautiful as “Straight Life” is funky.

Benson’s own album, Body Talk, is also released in this wave.  His third for the independent CTI, it’s all-instrumental.  Rather than “house arranger” Don Sebesky, it’s Pee Wee Ellis who arranged and conducted Body Talk, a duty he also performed on CTI albums for Esther Phillips, Johnny Hammond and Hank Crawford.  The only cover in this set of blazing originals is “When Love Has Grown” from Donny Hathaway and Gene McDaniels’ pen.  Ron Carter, of course, played bass, as did Gary Kng, and Earl Klugh joined to contribute second guitar.  As on previous reissues, this remastered Body Talk contains one bonus, an alternate take of the title track.

Hit the jump to meet Mister T. and go back to the Beginning. We’ve also got track listings, order links and discographical info for all four titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2011 at 14:02

Review: Don Sebesky, “Giant Box”

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Why can’t jazz be populist and pure, both at the same time?  One imagines Creed Taylor asked that question when he launched CTI (Creed Taylor Incorporated) as a solo label back in 1970.  Three years earlier he had decamped from Verve and christened the CTI name as an imprint of Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ A&M Records.  At A&M, Taylor produced nearly 30 albums by such jazz greats as Wes Montgomery, Montgomery’s heir apparent George Benson, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Herbie Mann.  Taylor’s maverick plans extended beyond making jazz commercial; each album was a lavish art object, usually adorned with striking (and often provocative) photographs, many by Pete Turner. Thanks to their jacket visuals, CTI albums stood out from the rest.  Don Sebesky was the “house arranger” at the independent CTI, applying lush orchestral settings to most releases which lent them a unified sound.  (Composer and arranger Sebesky has gone on to a second career as a theatrical orchestrator, and his current projects include recreating the pop sound of the 1960s in the new musical Baby, It’s You!)

Though his name adorned countless CTI albums, Taylor also gave Sebesky the opportunity to stretch out on his own…or more accurately, with a little help from his (usual) friends.  Masterworks Jazz has just reissued Sebesky’s 1973 Giant Box (88697 86743 2, 2011) for the first time domestically on CD, and while it’s a Don Sebesky solo album by name, it’s more a meeting of some of the most remarkable names in jazz: Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Ron Carter, Grover Washington, Jr., Paul Desmond, Jackie Cain, Roy Kral, Bob James, Airto Moreira and Milt Jackson, to name a few.

Sebesky began working with Taylor at Verve in the mid-sixties, where he crafted the orchestral arrangements on the Taylor-produced LPs for guitarist Wes Montgomery, many of which featured current pop covers not typically part of the jazz songbook.  Sebesky related that at CTI, Taylor would “take a given artist, find his commercial potential and draw in a larger audience.  So many listeners who were pop-oriented fans could come in the back door and discover jazz.”  The sprawling, eclectic Giant Box follows this mandate, and it’s a valuable entrée into the identifiable CTI sound and indeed, to jazz and fusion.  Taylor and Sebesky’s style wouldn’t win over every jazz purist, but the music they created together has held up remarkably well.

It was at Verve that Sebesky, who began his career as a trombonist, released his first solo records, both from 1968: Don Sebesky and the Jazz-Rock Syndrome and Distant Galaxy.  Both are a mixture of orchestrated jazz with pronounced pop/rock and soul overtones, and anticipate his work at CTI.  (Both albums are also very much of their time, which is far from intended as an insult.)  On the former, Sebesky tackles “I Dig Rock and Roll Music” and “You’ve Got Your Troubles,” while the latter features familiar titles like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “I Wish It Would Rain.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 25, 2011 at 13:32

Release Round-Up: Week of April 12

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Bob Dylan, In Concert: Brandeis University, 1963 (Columbia/Legacy)

Did you miss this when it first came to pass as a bonus disc with Amazon orders of the latest Bootleg Series? Here’s your second chance. (Official site)

Danny Elfman, The Tim Burton/Danny Elfman 25th Anniversary Music Box (Warner Bros.)

Can you believe it? These things are finally starting to ship after four months and endless posts of addressing speculation and delays. (Official site)

Jimi Hendrix, South Saturn Delta / Band of Gypsys Live at Fillmore East / Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

The latest bunch of Hendrix reissues through Legacy are the South Saturn Delta outtakes album, the Band of Gypsys DVD and – perhaps most interesting – a rare tribute compilation featuring Prince, Santana, Sting, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and more. (Official site)

George Benson, Beyond the Blue Horizon / Freddie Hubbard, First Light / Stanley Turrentine, Salt Song / Don Sebesky, Giant Box (CTI/Masterworks Jazz)

Fresh off the Creed Taylor “cool revolution” as encapsulated in the First Impulse! box set from Hip-O Select, Masterworks reissues four classic records from the CTI roster. Three of them are expanded with alternate and rare material. (Amazon: Benson, Hubbard, Turrentine, Sebesky)

Booker T. & The MG’s, The Best of Booker T. & The MG’s / Journey, Infinity (Vinyl) (Friday Music)

Some new vinyl reissues from Friday Music coming to a store near you. (Friday Music: Booker T. & The MG’s, Journey)

Jeff Buckley, Grace (Vinyl) (Columbia/Legacy)

Another vinyl reissue – 180 grams of Grace. (Amazon)

Jack Johnson, Brushfire Fairytales (Everloving)

A 10th anniversary remaster/reissue for the Hawaiian singer-songwriter’s debut record. (Amazon)

And let’s not forget all the releases for Record Store Day this Saturday!

Masterworks Jazz Continues “Cool Revolution” with a Quartet from CTI

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Chances are, if you think of a jazz artist, it wouldn’t take many degrees of separation to reach Creed Taylor. The esteemed producer began his career at Bethlehem Records overseeing a roster including Herbie Mann, Charles Mingus, Carmen McRae, J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding. In 1956, he departed Bethlehem for ABC-Paramount, where in 1960 he launched the Impulse! label with artists like Johnson, Winding, Ray Charles and John Coltrane. It was at Impulse! that Taylor came into his own, emphasizing that jazz and popular music could indeed co-exist and overlap, and seeing that LP packaging met the high standards of the music within. Taylor didn’t remain at Impulse! long, however. In 1961, he signed with Verve and championed Antonio Carlos Jobim and the bossa nova’s rise in America. By 1967, Taylor was already a legend in the field when he formed CTI Records, first as a label of Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ A&M Records, and then as an independent beginning in 1970. CTI went on to define the sound of jazz in the 1970s, and even its look, insisting on lavish gatefold LP covers that stood out from the rest, often adorned with striking photographs, many by Pete Turner. Don Sebesky, who has gone on to a successful second career as a theatrical orchestrator, was the “house arranger,” giving many of the label’s releases a unified musical signature. And while some purists gave Taylor flack for his “crossover” fusion records and pop covers, CTI’s repertoire has stood the test of time.

Late last year, Sony’s Masterworks Jazz Division released the acclaimed four-CD box set CTI Records: The Cool Revolution (88697 76821-2, 2010) documenting CTI’s prime period between 1970 and 1975. On April 19, Universal dips back even further for First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection 50th Anniversary box set as reported by Mike earlier this week. One week earlier, however, Masterworks continues its CTI campaign with four more titles, all remastered for CD from the original analog 2-track ¼-inch tapes for the first time. This brings the total number of individual album reissues in this series up to a healthy seventeen…and hopefully more are to come! Hit the jump for full details on this latest batch, featuring albums by George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, Don Sebesky and Stanley Turrentine! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 4, 2011 at 09:39