Albums

Bebop - Released January 11, 2011 | SendDigital

Download not available
$7.49

Bebop - Released November 10, 2017 | HighNote Records

Booklet
$12.49
$7.99

Bebop - Released July 15, 2016 | Savant

Hi-Res Booklet
$8.99

Bebop - Released June 17, 2016 | HighNote Records

Booklet
Saxophonist Houston Person and bassist Ron Carter have a duo partnership that goes back at least as far as their two 1990 recordings, Something in Common and Now's the Time! Since those albums, the legendary artists have released several more duo collaborations, each one a thoughtful and minimalist production showcasing their masterful command of jazz standards, blues, and bop. The duo's 2016 effort, the aptly titled Chemistry, is no exception and once again finds Person and Carter communing over a well-curated set of jazz standards. As on their previous albums, Chemistry is a deceptively simple conceit; just two jazz journeymen playing conversational duets on well-known jazz songs. At face value, that is certainly what you get. The deception enters into the equation with just how masterful and nuanced Person and Carter are in each song. Whether it's the way Carter anchors the duo's yearning reading of "But Beautiful" with his languorous, doomy basslines, or the way Person's languorous rubato introduction joins up with Carter on "Fools Rush In," they never fail to find surprising and deeply emotive ways to interpret each song. Similarly, cuts like the poignant "Blame It on My Youth" and the dewy-eyed "I Can't Get Started" are endearing romantic numbers that cradle the listener in the warmth of Person and Carter's warm tones. Elsewhere, they deliver a gleeful version of Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk," and summon the memory of Carter's former boss, trumpeter Miles Davis, with their jaunty take on "Bye Bye Blackbird." Ultimately, Chemistry is a lovely, heartfelt album of well-loved standards imbued with the duo's decades of experience. ~ Matt Collar
$13.49
$8.99

Bebop - Released August 4, 2015 | Savant

Hi-Res Booklet
$7.99

Bebop - Released September 23, 2014 | Savant

$8.99

Bebop - Released September 9, 2014 | HighNote Records

Coming off his Grammy-nominated 2013 album, The World According to Andy Bey, vocalist/pianist Andy Bey delivers the equally compelling 2014 release Pages from an Imaginary Life. As with its predecessor, Pages finds the jazz iconoclast returning to his roots with a set of American Popular Song standards done in a ruminative, stripped-down style. This is Bey, alone at the piano, delving deeply into the harmony, melody, and lyrics of each song. But don't let the spare setting fool you. Bey is a master of interpretation. In his seventies at the time of recording, and having performed over the years in a variety of settings from leading his own swinging vocal trio, to working with hard bop pioneer Horace Silver, to exploring the avant-garde with Archie Shepp, Bey has aged into a jazz oracle who doesn't so much perform songs as conjure them from somewhere in the mystical ether of his psyche. Famously blessed with a distinctive, sonorous baritone warble, Bey's voice has only ripened over the years to a warm, burnished, woody resonance; a sound perfectly suited for these poignant, romantic songs. In his hands, songs like "My Foolish Heart," "How Long Has This Been Going On?," and "Everything I Have Is Yours," take on new hues of gorgeous devastation. And yet, there's still something hopeful, swinging, and urbane about Bey's performances, and songs like "Lover Come Back to Me" and "Take the 'A' Train," are, as with all of the music on Pages from an Imaginary Life, joyous, earthy celebrations of life and love. ~ Matt Collar
$6.74$8.99

Bebop - Released June 25, 2013 | HighNote Records

$7.99

Bebop - Released October 9, 2012 | HighNote Records

$7.49

Bebop - Released August 14, 2012 | HighNote Records

$8.99

Bebop - Released May 22, 2012 | HighNote Records

Larry Willis mixes standards, jazz classics, and potent originals on this solo piano release. The sessions have a late-night, ruminative flavor, starting with a loping take of "This Time the Dream's On Me." His shimmering rendition of "Lazy Afternoon" opens with a spacious improvised introduction, while he makes great use of space in his interpretation of this ballad. The Ellington-Strayhorn songbook is represented by the former's whispering "The Single Petal of a Rose" and the latter's haunting "Lotus Blossom," both played with restraint, as these timeless pieces require few embellishments. The pianist's originals are just as impressive. "Sanctuary" was written for a project that included strings, though his moving solo piano arrangement is no less moving, suggesting an idyllic, isolated beach hideaway on a clear summer afternoon. "Blues for Marco," named for his co-producer, has a whimsical air, while "Silly Blues" starts like a ballad but quickly shifts to a laid-back, closing-hour blues. Recorded over two days on a top-notch Fazioli grand piano, this solo piano CD is easily among Larry Willis' best recordings. ~ Ken Dryden
$8.99

Bebop - Released September 13, 2011 | HighNote Records

$7.49

Bebop - Released May 27, 2011 | HighNote Records

Eric Alexander has been fortunate to record often as a bandleader since he emerged on the jazz scene, with over 30 CDs to his credit in less than two decades. But one of the biggest challenges facing any jazz musician is to constantly expand his repertoire without rehashing the familiar standards and timeless jazz vehicles. Working with his frequent collaborators, including pianist Harold Mabern (his former teacher, who has played on a number of Alexander's recordings), bassist Nat Reeves, and drummer Joe Farnsworth, Alexander asked them to suggest songs to go along with those he chose. How many musicians would think of transforming "Cavatina from 'The Deer Hunter'" into a viable jazz setting? The tenor saxophonist did, and delivers a breezy performance with his big tone soaring with the driving rhythm section. Mabern suggested "Footsteps" (which first appeared on a smooth jazz album), but it evolves into something very different in the quartet's hands, reborn as brisk hard bop vehicle with a slight touch of Latin, with potent solos by both Alexander and the pianist. Jazz bassist Bill Lee's melancholy "Don't Follow the Crowd" is an overlooked gem, a lush ballad that is perfect for Alexander's lyrical solo. The one widely familiar song is Henry Mancini's "Charade" (the theme from a delightful Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn mystery film), the quartet embellishes this tasty waltz with just the right seasoning. Alexander also brought two originals to the date, including his infectious "Nomor Senterbress," a sizzling hard bop cooker, along with peppy "Remix Blues." Eric Alexander remains one of the greats of his generation as he continues his musical exploration with the outstanding Don't Follow the Crowd. ~ Ken Dryden
$8.99

Bebop - Released October 5, 2010 | HighNote Records

$6.74$8.99

Bebop - Released October 5, 2010 | HighNote Records

$21.49

Bebop - Released September 8, 2009 | HighNote Records

The Art & Soul of Houston Person is a unique compilation. The great saxophonist has recorded as a leader for labels such as Prestige, 20th Century, Muse, Savant, and is currently with High Note, where this appears. His tenure at Prestige is the only one longer than this one. As such, this massive, three-disc collection is drawn from a dozen High Note albums cut in as many years. The unifying factor in these cuts is that they were not chosen randomly to include simply stellar performances, but from his wide-ranging interpretations on standards; in addition, they were all recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at his studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. There are 30 performances in all, including four that open disc one which are all new takes on tunes he'd tracked previously, but this time out with his current quartet of pianist John di Martino, bassist Jon Burr, and drummer Jerome Jennings. Some of the other players on this comp include pianists Bill Charlap, Stan Hope, and Richard Wyands, bassists Ray Drummond, Ron Carter, Per-Ola Gadd, Peter Washington, and George Kaye, drummers Grady Tate, Chip White, and Kenny Washington, and guitarists Russell Malone and Paul Bollenback. The readings of these tunes make for a very unified collection because no matter who the personnel are and what gifts they bring to the table, Person has a way of playing songs that not only retain their melody, but their melodic integrity; his is simply not interested in employing them as frameworks for showboat improvisation. His own inventiveness is in how warm and dignified a melodist he is. He sings through the horn with the emotional commitment of Ben Webster, the soul of Gene Ammons, and the studied elegance of Paul Quinichette and Frank Wess. Listeners will have a great time picking their favorites out of this morass of excellent material, but it is safe to say that Person makes virtually all of it compelling -- there isn't a dull second here. Whether it's "Sentimental Journey,"and "All The Things You Are," or "Blue Moon" and "Mack the Knife," these sides are drenched in classy sophistication and down-home soul. Highly recommended. ~ Thom Jurek
$7.99

Bebop - Released July 28, 2009 | HighNote Records

$7.49

Bebop - Released June 16, 2009 | Savant

Guitarist/arranger Peter Hand assembled a big band for this concert, stocking it with a number of well-known veterans, but featuring tenor saxophonist Houston Person prominently. The program consists of seven songs by the legendary Harold Arlen, starting with an easygoing, bluesy take of "Come Rain or Come Shine" showcasing Person, Hand, and pianist Richard Wyands, with some potent writing for the horns to accompany it. The poignant ballad "The Man That Got Away" is an overlooked gem in Arlen's vast output, with a heartfelt solo by Person, while the tenor saxophonist communicates the words with his effective playing of "Stormy Weather," backed by Hand's inspired voicings for the brass and reeds. The one medley of the evening is a departure from the Arlen songbook, a medley of spirited blues by Person and Hand. To wrap the evening, Houston Person plays a lush, unaccompanied solo of "Over the Rainbow" to bring down the house. ~ Ken Dryden
$5.62$7.49

Bebop - Released January 27, 2009 | HighNote Records

It is hard to believe that Ernestine Anderson was within a few months of her eightieth birthday at the time of this 2008 session, but she shows the wisdom of a veteran vocalist in her interpretations of this collection of standards, ballads, and pop songs, often proving that less is indeed more. Well complemented by tenor saxophonist Houston Person (who was an important presence on so many of the late vocalist Etta Jones' albums), pianist LaFayette Harris, bassist Chip Jackson, and drummer Willie Jones, Anderson sings with a confidence that makes each song sound like a first take. She masters the catchy midtempo setting of "Make Someone Happy," a piece often played painfully slow in order to get a sense of drama, but her upbeat treatment is a fine alternative. She knows how to sing a ballad, demonstrated in her richly textured and soulful rendition of the timeless "Skylark." She is equally at home with pop material like Leon Russell's "A Song for You" and her superb, very deliberate take of "Candy," with soulful fills inserted by Person. This is a potent effort by a singer who remains very much in her prime. ~ Ken Dryden
$8.99

Bebop - Released August 15, 2008 | Savant