Albums

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Bebop - Released August 8, 1957 | Verve Reissues

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Bebop - Released October 3, 2008 | Nonesuch

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Bebop - Released April 24, 2009 | Nonesuch

Pat Metheny by himself with an acoustic guitar -- for longtime fans it might not get any better. Always interested in blending jazz with folk and pop, the guitarist does just that, focusing heavily on the folk end of things on One Quiet Night. Featuring a nice afterglow interpretation of Norah Jones' hit "Don't Know Why" and an unexpected reinterpretation of "Ferry Cross the Mersey" which turns the Gerry & the Pacemakers classic into a poignant lament, the album also showcases Metheny as a melodic pop composer. "Song for the Boys" sounds surprisingly like an instrumental take on early-'80s British pop à la the Smiths, while "Last Train Home" brilliantly mixes Metheny's knack for taking simple chord progressions and beautifully tweaking them with odd harmonies. Perhaps a bit light for some straight-ahead jazz fans, listeners interested in thoughtful, folky, jazz-inflected ballads will find this rapturous. ~ Matt Collar
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Bebop - Released June 14, 2011 | Nonesuch

Booklet
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Bebop - Released December 14, 2018 | Nonesuch

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The jazz tradition has long taken pop songs, reimagined and reinvented them harmonically and rhythmically and re-presented them as vehicles for improvisation. Pat Metheny has done something different on What's It All About, his second Nashville-tuned baritone acoustic guitar record (with a handful of other acoustic instruments and no overdubs, but there are edits). Here he performs ten pop songs that have long been part of his personal arcana and recorded them so that we might hear what's inside these songs -- as songs. Recorded on a single day in February of 2011, Metheny interprets well-known songs by Paul Simon, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Lennon & McCartney, Henry Mancini, the Ventures, Burt Bacharach, Paul Williams, Terry Kirkman, Carly Simon, Thom Bell, and others across the pop spectrum. His approach is deliberate; his interest is in the subtlety of melody; its nuance, and mystery; he finds the places he hears inside the music before these songs even begin, or just after they end, through a unique series of tunings he employs between A-flat and C. "The Sound of Silence" opens the set by suggesting the tones of a Japanese koto in its intro (courtesy of his 42-string Pikasso guitar). When the melody commences, its languorous richness and rhythmic balance are so perfect, we hear it not only as the pop song we remember by Simon & Garfunkel, but as a lyric invention that is almost magical in its possibility. The version of Kirkman's "Cherish" (a big hit by the Association), is equally profound. He finds the space where the human voice inserts itself in the harmonic structure and opens it with his guitar. There is slightly more improvisation in "Alfie," but it's open, spacious, and full of hinted-at dimensions in the crafting of the song's parameters. "Girl from Ipanema," played as a skeletal, impressionistic ballad, uncovers suggestions of darker melodies inside. He pulls out both the implied elegance in "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," and the quietly majestic variety of it in "Rainy Days and Mondays." "Betcha by Golly, Wow" stands as a revelation: its inventive harmonics and syncopations are inherent in the tune's basic architecture. In closer "And I Love Her" are the direct implications of bossa that Lennon and McCartney had no doubt taken note of at the time. Ultimately, What's It All About is an intimate work revealing Metheny's investigation of composition itself. The notion of song is inherent in everything he does, and he reveals that inspiration in spades here. ~ Thom Jurek
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Bebop - Released June 2, 2009 | Nonesuch

This 2009 deluxe package brings together LP and CD versions of the Pat Metheny Trio's well-received 2008 DAY TRIP along with its live-in-Japan prequel EP, TOKYO DAY TRIP. Accompanied by Christian McBride on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums, DAY TRIP was recorded in just one day in 2005 and is widely regarded as one of Metheny's finest recordings. There are no unusual fusion experiments here and no superstar turns, just an utterly fluent contemporary guitar trio playing in a thoroughly modern idiom. A enduring highlight is the plaintive acoustic ballad, "Is This America?," written in 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina. As for the Tokyo date, it was actually recorded before the studio session but released at the same time as DAY TRIP in early 2008. Ironically, the live recording sounds larger and more produced than its studio cousin. Likewise, there is no repetition of material; these Tokyo compositions are painted in broader strokes and have a certain rock feeling to them, reminiscent of up-and-coming avant-guitarist Mary Halvorson's striking DRAGON"S HEAD. The availability in one place of both these live and studio dates, and in their respective formats, is a real treasure trove for contemporary jazz and Pat Metheny fans alike.
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Bebop - Released September 15, 2017 | jazz family

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Bebop - Released April 8, 1993 | Columbia - Legacy

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Bebop - Released May 23, 2007 | Rhino - Elektra

The last Steps Ahead recording to feature Michael Brecker, this album finds the band exploring the use of electronic instruments and synthesis. Michael Brecker's use of the Akai E.W.I. (electronic wind instrument) is astonishing. ~ Paul Kohler
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Bebop - Released December 6, 2005 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

By 1984, Steps Ahead's personnel had stabilized with original keyboardist Warren Bernhardt rejoining the group and teaming up with tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, bassist Eddie Gomez, drummer Peter Erskine, and vibraphonist Mike Mainieri; guitarist Chuck Loeb guests on one selection, as does Tony Levin, who is heard on the Chapman stick. This outing is very electronic and does not quite reach the heights of Steps Ahead's earlier Elektra album, but it certainly has plenty of spirit and power. ~ Scott Yanow
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Bebop - Released January 23, 1995 | RCA Bluebird

Although the sheer scope of this double-CD roundup of all of Dizzy's Victor sessions places it most obviously within the evolution of bebop, it is absolutely essential to Latin jazz collections as well. Here listeners find the discographical launching pad of Afro-Cuban jazz on December 22, 1947, when Cuban conguero Chano Pozo added his galvanic congas and bongos to Gillespie's big band for the first time on record. One can feel the explosive effect of Pozo's subdivisions of the beat, rhythmic incantations, and grooves on the band's bebop charts. Though the musicians' styles aren't much affected, and Pozo does most of the adapting to bebop rather than vice versa, the foundation has clearly shifted. Alas, aside from recorded live gigs, Pozo only made eight tracks with the band -- four on December 22 and four more eight days later, just before the second Musicians Union recording ban kicked in. Yet even after Pozo's murder the following year, Gillespie continued to expand his Latin experiments, using two Latin percussionists who brought more rhythmic variety to the sound of tunes like "Guarachi Guaro" (later popularized by Cal Tjader as "Soul Sauce") and even commercial ballads like "That Old Black Magic." The reprocessing of these recordings from late in the 78 rpm era through the CEDAR process sounds a bit harsh, though less so than most of RCA's earlier desecrations of vault material using NoNOISE. Even so, this remains the best way to acquire these seminal Latin jazz tracks. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Bebop - Released January 21, 2011 | Masterworks Jazz

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Bebop - Released February 15, 2007 | Nonesuch

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Bebop - Released September 24, 2002 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Bebop - Released May 7, 2013 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Bebop - Released May 18, 2007 | RCA - Legacy

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Bebop - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

The first studio date of the Charles Lloyd Quartet, with Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee, and Jack DeJohnette, was recorded and released just a few days before the band took both the European and American festival circuits by storm. First came Europe, which was just getting the disc as the band was tearing up its stages. While the live dates are now the stuff of legend, it's easy to overlook the recordings, but to do so would be a mistake. Dream Weaver is a fully realized project by a band -- a real band -- in which each member has a unique part of the whole to contribute. Jarrett's unusual piano style fits musically with Lloyd's lyricism in a way that it shouldn't. Jarrett was even then an iconoclast, playing harmonic figures from the inside out and relying on counterpoint to create new spaces, not fill them in. (Just listen to "Autumn Sequence," where his solos and his backing harmonics are equally strident and inventive as Lloyd's Eastern explorations of mood and mode.) And then there's the rhythm section of McBee and DeJohnette, whose modal inventions on the intervals make the "Dream Weaver" suite an exercise in open time, allowing all players to wander around inside it and take what they want out. The set closes with a group party jam on "Sombrero Sam," with Lloyd and Jarrett trading eights on a Cuban variation on a fantasia. There were no records like this one by new groups in 1966. ~ Thom Jurek
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Bebop - Released June 16, 2014 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Bebop - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic