Saturday, November 24, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Of Sands and Isles

Kenny Dorham: Trompeta Toccata. 1964. Re-released in 2006. Blue Note Records: 0946 3 62635 2 6.

Kenny Dorham: trumpet
Joe Henderson: tenor saxophone
Tommy Flanagan: piano
Richard Davis: bass
Albert Heath: drums

There's plenty of reason to celebrate Kenny Dorham as a great composer and arranger as well as an extraordinary hard bop trumpet player. And this particular performance of his original composition "Trompeta Toccata" should be all the evidence one needs to recognize his ability on all fronts. Adding Joe Henderson at his prime into the mix makes this an unbelievable record - unbelievable being pretty much the standard at Blue Note in the 1960s. This one is a welcome spin from the rotation.

Marianne Trudel Quintet: Sands of Time. 2007. TRUD 2007-1.

Marianne Trudel: composer, piano
Rob Mosher: soprano saxophone, oboe
Jonathan Stewart: tenor saxophone
Morgan Moore: bass
Robbie Kuster: drums

There's a sparkling lyricism to this music as the compositional and improvisational instincts of Marianne Trudel weave fresh - and often surprising - turns with varying configurations of solo, trio and quintet settings. The piano is often at the center of this music as the energy emanates outward from the ivories.

Herbie Hancock: Empyrean Isles. 1964. Re-released in 1999. Blue Note Records: 7243 4 98796 2 1.

Herbie Hancock: composer, piano
Freddie Hubbard: cornet
Ron Carter: bass
Tony Williams: drums

This disc is a great way to get an ear full of Ron Carter. The bass work on both takes of "Oliloqui Valley" feature some of the best Ron Carter sound I've heard. Empyrean Isles is a must have for any serious jazz collector and possibly one of Herbie Hancock's best recordings of all time. Everything comes together from the compositions, the astonishing talent of this quartet combined with the clarity of Rudy Van Gelder's re-mastering of these classic tracks.

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