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Impulse!

"The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" by Mingus on Impulse! A-35

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"The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" by Mingus on Impulse! A-35

Masterpiece.

A fantastic album by a true genius. I have just started to explore the albums on which Mingus is the leader. This is my first album by him. Seems a pretty good way to start. I have sunk my teeth into 60’s post bop and free jazz quite a bit for the past 6 months or so. This isn’t hard bop. Far from it. I really dig the different sounds, layers and influences on this album. From what I’ve gathered it is partially written as a ballet. The arrangements are inspiring and so well executed by all players. One of them is a fellow Swede, Rolf Ericson on trumpet, which is very cool. I have a lot of his output on several 7” Metronome EP’s and I love him. The album has elements of classical and even a little touch of flamenco or mariachi music and It’s so powerful. A big, bold sound. The vinyl sounds superb just like all the other Impulse! albums that I’ve heard so far.

The music stays highly interesting and engaging in all kinds of ways all the way through. This is a masterpiece and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the Mingus catalogue. I’m taking it slowly and I like it that way. To really discover a few artists at the time. Right now it’s a lot of Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk and also Mingus. I’m taking my time. Enjoying a few albums at the time and let them sink in. It’s a beautiful thing to have so many great records still to listen to. Some of the great geniuses takes a lot of time to fully grasp and the journey will be interesting and hopefully very fulfilling.

I’m enjoying exploring the period after the 50’s and early 60’s hard bop and getting into a lot of the Impulse! output and later Blue Note stuff. Like I’ve said, I’m exploring free jazz as well. I like it. Coltrane’s late period for example. Some Albert Ayler as well. It’s an exciting time!

Questions for my readers: What’s your take on Mingus and this album in particular? Do you have a favorite album by him that you can recommend?

Summer’s here in Stockholm for real and vacation time is not far away now. I’m aiming to add one or two records to the collection in the next month or so. I have some more as well in the collection that I haven’t posted yet, so stay tuned… Cheers!

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McCoy Tyner Trio "Reaching Fourth" on Impulse! A-33

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McCoy Tyner Trio "Reaching Fourth" on Impulse! A-33

A very satisfying jazz piano trio album.

This is one of my favorite albums. It’s very high quality piano trio jazz. And it features one of my favorite double bassists in Henry Grimes. Also, it’s one of my very best sounding albums. It sounds absolutely amazing.

As far as piano trios goes I hold the classic Bill Evans trio the highest, but then this trio is staking it’s claim on second place. I hold the Tommy Flanagan effort ”Overseas” on Prestige very high as well. There’s a lot of other very good piano trio albums that I haven’t completely absorbed yet. But so far the album on display here is, for me, one of the best I’ve heard.

All the tunes are very enjoyable. It’s a very nice mix of tunes. The personnel is fabulous. McCoy Tyner is so lyrical in his playing, and plays with such ease and feeling. Roy Haynes on drums is wonderful and he has such a nice drum sound here. He plays very delicate and I love his style. The cymbals sounds like heavenly chimes. The snare work is exceptionally good as well. And then we have the double bass. Henry Grimes… can’t find the words really. He’s one of my top three jazz bassists. When I got into jazz for real it started when I saw an old black and white concert of Sonny Rollins playing in Sweden on Swedish television together with Joe Harris and Henry Grimes. Sonny was up for the Polar Music Prize that year, that’s why they showed this concert. The young, modest bassist caught my attention. He was just so cool but at the same time looking very sweet. Total control on his instrument. He just made it look so easy standing there playing this big old double bass. I’ve loved him from that moment on. I also saw him on a YouTube clip later, with him playing with Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer and Dave Bailey. To be honest, I haven’t explored all of his work as of yet (far from it), but the stuff I’ve heard him play, especially on ”Reaching Fourth”, and the whole back history he has when he was lost and found together with my first encounter with him playing with Sonny Rollins just makes him special to me. Love his style and sound.

If you dig piano trios, then this is definitely one to pick up. And a 1st pressing doesn’t cost an absolute fortune. That’s one of the great benefits of the Impulse! label.

Have a great week folks. Stay tuned. Cheers…!

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Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet - Illumination! on Impulse! A-49

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Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet - Illumination! on Impulse! A-49

Some Impulse! candy.

I’ve started to explore the Impulse! label for real. I’ve bought a couple of titles. There’s a lot of wonderful albums to discover, as well as musicians you haven’t heard before. The type of jazz released on this label comes with great variety, which makes it interesting and you’ll discover new or/and different flavors with each release. I’m intrigued with what I’ve heard thus far and I will continue to explore the label with great excitement. I will of course seek out all the Coltrane albums but there is so much more to sink your teeth in.

I’ve fallen in love with the rhythm section of Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison. Elvin Jones is just phenomenal. I love his style, touch and sound. So the LP on display here is right up my alley. It’s a very diverse album with a nice blend of tunes. The personnel are Elvin Jones on drums, Jimmy Garrison on double bass, McCoy Tyner on piano, Sonny Simmons on alto sax and English horn, Charles Davis on baritone sax and Prince Lasha on clarinet and flute. Three of the cats I haven’t heard before, and it is interesting to soak in their different styles, especially when they deliver some stuff on instruments I do not often listen to; like the english horn, clarinet and flute. They all sound great. Highly recommended.

I love the packaging of these old Impulse! releases. The beautiful, heavy gatefold covers with the images and liner notes inside are oustanding. The iconic orange and black labels. I have a white label promo copy of this LP and those labels are very cool as well. The sound of the vinyl is brilliant. One of the best sounding records I’ve heard. It sounds so organic and powerful. Couldn’t ask for more. I would urge anyone who hasn’t delved into the Impulse! catalogue yet to do so. I think you will find many great and interesting titles. And if you’re looking for 1st pressings they won’t cost you a bloody fortune. Much more reasonable prices.

How about you guys, what’s your take on the Impulse! label and do you have some favorite titles you’d like to share?

Vacation time will soon be here and I look forward to that immensely. To get some warm sun on my face cause here in Stockholm the sun has forsaken us. I hope you will have a nice Sunday and enjoy some jazz. Stay tuned for more great albums from the collection. Cheers!

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