Woody Shaw – Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard (1978)

August 1978, New York City. While the world was still half deranged from over-exposure to the falsetto squeals of The Bee Gees’ hits ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever’, and queues of eager movie-goers stretched around the streets of Manhattan waiting to get into screenings of the summer mega-hit musical ‘Grease’, there was still a … Continue reading Woody Shaw – Stepping Stones: Live at the Village Vanguard (1978)


Miles Davis – Sorcerer (1967)

  “Everything was worth a trial, just to see. Picasso had the curiosity of the juggler seeking the ball best suited to his hand.” Pierre Descargues   “You get the right guys to play the right thing at the right time and you got a motherfucker. You got everything you need.” Miles Davis   Drawing … Continue reading Miles Davis – Sorcerer (1967)

Larry Young – Unity (1965)

Reid Miles’ cover designs for Blue Note were very often innovative and many are now regarded as iconic, but few are as striking and timeless as his artwork for Larry Young’s Unity, the organist’s second release for the label. Stacked bold black capitals in sans-serif type on a plain white background. Blood-orange circles bouncing inside … Continue reading Larry Young – Unity (1965)

Miles Davis Quintet In Copenhagen (1960)

When Miles Davis undertook a Norman Granz organized tour of Europe during March and April of 1960, his famous 'first great quintet' was pretty much a done deal. Of that ground-breaking combo only Paul Chambers on bass and a reluctant John Coltrane (now playing soprano as well as tenor sax) remained, accompanied by pianist Wynton … Continue reading Miles Davis Quintet In Copenhagen (1960)

Miles Davis – “Four” & More (1964)

From the same benefit concert that delivered the astonishing My Funny Valentine LP, this album has explosive performances from all members of the quintet. To quote Miles Davis from his autobiography - "we just blew the top off that place that night. It was a motherfucker the way everybody played - and I mean everybody". … Continue reading Miles Davis – “Four” & More (1964)

Lee Morgan – Lee-Way (1960)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin This album was recorded in 1960, well before Lee Morgan, among others, became straight-jacketed into providing 'Sidewinder'-style boogaloo fluff that Alfred Lion front-loaded onto releases to try and sell a few thousand more units through the mid-60's. Thankfully there is none of that here, just solid tunes and classy performances … Continue reading Lee Morgan – Lee-Way (1960)

Donald Byrd – Slow Drag (1967)

There is a refreshing summery spontaneity about this 1967 release, set in motion by the loose-limbed opening title track featuring a scene stealing spoken ad-lib by drummer Billy Higgins, onward through a tumbling run-through of 'Secret Love' where Donald Byrd fires scattergun runs during the verses. 'Book's Bossa' unwinds gradually, the herky-jerky 'Jelly Roll' hops … Continue reading Donald Byrd – Slow Drag (1967)