The Cabildo's Three
Yuxtaposición is a recently unearthed treasure recorded by a tight Italian trio in Miami during the early seventies. Until now, this music has only been heard in office backgrounds, TV commercials and movie soundtracks. But the perseverance of an admirer brought about its first-ever release on the Italian Schema label. Imagine hearing a 1972-era Cal Tjader quartet without Cal Tjader and you get an idea of what to expect. Its slightly Latin, lightly funky and truly enjoyable. Yuxtaposición offers enough to interest a jazz listener. But the sounds heard in these 35 minutes are really better appreciated as mood music. Lead man, Cabildo, composer of all ten tunes here, has a knack for writing jazzy little hooks that launch his tasty, well-crafted keyboard solos. Often alternating Fender Rhodes and piano within the same song, his playing maintains a hypnotic command that recalls Bob James CTI style. Electric bassist Bobby Fares and percussionist Max Ronnie make subtle, supportive contributions that serve only to enhance Cabildos sound. Theres a funny thing about Yuxtaposición too. Its kind of like developing an addiction. You may not pay much attention to it at first. But before you know it, youre hooked. You need to hear it to be satisfied. A very nice surprise.
Tracks: Yuxtaposición; Dont Put Me In The Shade; Collection Samba; Two Types Of Complexion; Hierro Forjado; Jesus Maria District; African Penta Song; El Sonido Azul; Castenada Drive; Akorin.
Players: Cabildo: Keyboards; Bobby Fares: Bass; Max Ronnie: Percussion.
A Prescription For The
With A Prescription For The Blues, 69-year-old pianist Horace Silver proves hes writing and playing as well as if not better than he did over four decades ago. But mere stamina is no reason to appreciate this terrific remedy of first-rate bop-n-blues. The "hard bop grandpop" has assembled a classy all-star lineup, reuniting with Michael and Randy Brecker (their last time together was on Silvers 1972 album In Pursuit of the 27th Man) and adding one-time associates Ron Carter on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. This superb quintet, Silvers most ideal format, evidences truly outstanding playing from both Breckers (its always great hearing how well these two play together). Silver, too, sounds like a cat half his age; offering meaty solos that combine clever lines and jaunty blues chords. His music, which conveys rather than preaches his holistic values, is never less than memorable (easy-to-follow lyrics to each tune are printed on the disks booklet, though no one actually sings here). Its all fairly indistinguishable from one of his mid-sixties Blue Note records (except for Michael Breckers easily recognizable contemporary sound). But highlights abound and choice cuts include the catchy "A Prescription For The Blues," the funky "You Gotta Shake That Thing," the bop-eration of "Doctor Jazz" and a strong trio reading of "Brother John and Brother Gene" (dedicated to Silvers two departed brothers). Truth is, theres not a dud to be found here. Best of all, A Prescription For The Blues reveals the unique timelessness of Horace Silvers music (the recently issued compilation, Opus de Funk: The Jazz Giants Play Horace Silver (Prestige), is a terrific testament to how universal and well-loved Silvers music is too). Recommended.
Tracks: A Prescription for the Blues; Whenever Lester Plays The Blues; You Gotta Shake That Thing; Yodel Lady Blues; Brother John and Brother Gene; Free At Last; Walk On; Sunrise In Malibu; Doctor Jazz.
Players: Horace Silver: piano; Michael Brecker: tenor saxophone; Randy Brecker: trumpet; Ron Carter: bass; Louis Hayes: drums.
Its been 20 years and 11 albums since Tightrope, guitarist Steve Kahns quite good fusion debut on Columbia/Tappan Zee Records. Since then, hes moonlighted as a session man, handling gigs with the Brecker Brothers, Bob James, Steely Dan, Chuck Mangione and Ashford & Simpson. As a sessioneer, Kahn is an excellent assimilator with a tad too little personality (but thats often part of the job on a session). On his own, though, hes worked successfully to refine his electric sound to elaborate the potential beauty of amplified guitar. When he succeeds, as he does on 1991s excellent Lets Call This (Bluemoon), he interacts with a sterling bassist (Ron Carter, in this case) and an expressive percussionist (Al Foster) to interpret well-chosen material. When its less successful, hes a guitarist lost in John Scofields shadow; offering little more than the consistency of Jean-Michel Folons distinctive and symbolic cover paintings.
Got My Mental, though, is one of Khans winners. One can only hope it helps make this wonderful guitarist better known in the jazz world. Hes perfected his electric synthesis and has even got himself a nice set of pet licks which give him his own sound. Hes aided by sensitive bass technician John Patitucci and polyrhythmic percussionist provocateur Jack DeJohnette. The program includes one terrific Kahn original (the title track, based on something Khan heard a talk-show guest say on TV), two standards and such extremely well chosen covers as "R.P.D.D." (from Ornette Colemans 1961 album Ornette), Wayne Shorters "Paraphernalia" (from Miles Daviss 1968 album Miles In the Sky), "Common Mama" (from Keith Jarretts 1972 album Explorations), "Sham Time" (from Eddie Harriss 1967 album The Electrifying Eddie Harris) and "Cunning Lee" (from Lee Morgans 1968 album Caramba!). Khan keeps it simple and his playing is masterful. Patitucci and DeJohnette, as expected, fit snugly in the trio as well. But its really Khans show. By turns, hes thoughtful yet fired up, deliberate yet cautious. He proceeds at his own pace, often to the benefit of a songs mood. Hes a tremendous player and Got My Mental is an ideal showcase for his electric artistry on guitar. Well done and worth hearing.
Tracks: R.P.D.D.; Paraphernalia2, 3, 4; Common Mama1, 3; Got My Mental; The Last Dance; Sham Time1, 3; I Have Dreamed--5; Cunning Lee.
Players: Steve Kahn, guitar; John Patitucci, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums; Don Alia, timbales1, shekere2; Bobby Allenda, congas, guiro3; Marc Quinones, timbales4; Café, berimbau, percussion and voice5.
One can only hope the title is a reference to a leave of absence from the dreadful Fourplay. Bob James does what he does best (and worst) on Playin Hooky. Theres good stuff here like the Bach-to-the-fusion of "Playing With Fire" (featuring Dave Samuels on vibes and Fareed Haque on guitar), nice acoustic piano work on two exceptionally good numbers ("Organza" and "Glass Hearts") and the Fender Rhodes maestros return to the electric instrument on three undercooked pieces ("Mind Games," Do It Again" and Love Is Where"). Unfortunately, the quiet storm rolls in here and there often embodied by hack-supreme Boney James, whos featured on three tremendously annoying songs ("Mind Games," "Hook Line and Sinker," "Night Sky"). Playin Hooky isnt as inventive or memorable as James old Tappan Zee records of the seventies. But when hes not playin hokey, Playin Hooky makes for occasionally nice listening.
Tracks: Playing With Fire; Mind Games; The River Returns; Organza; Hook, Line & Sinker; Glass Hearts; Night Sky; Do It Again; Love Is Where; Are You Ready.
Collective Personnel: Bob James; keyboards; Boney James: tenor sax; Rick Braun: trumpet, flugelhorn; Fareed Haque: guitar; Chuck Loeb, Nick Moroch: electric guitar; James Genus, Chris Walker, Nathan East: bass; Billy Kilson, Steve Gadd: drums; Dave Samuels: vibes; Cyro Baptista, Emedin Rivera, Lenny Castro: percussion; Andy Snitzer, Michael Davis, James Hynes, Jeffrey Kievel, Tom Tinko, Randy Andos: Snitzer Howling Horns; Chris Walker, Hilary James, Kevin DiSimone: voices; Rasheeda: vocals; Bob James, Ken Freeman, Paul Brown, Jeff Carruthers, Michael Colina, Marcel East, Max Risenhoover: programming.