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Jose Reyes

“Jazz at the Plaza” Featured Album this week

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This will be the album that I will be featuring twice every day so it would be accessible in all times zones. It will be airing in the wee hours (New York Time) but late mourning in Europe. Check Schedule Link  for more times. It is an incredible album that was never planned to be. An All-Star ensemble featuring the Miles Davis Sextet (Miles, Coltrane, Cannonball, Jimmy Cobb, Paul Chambers and Bill Evans) Here’s more:

Back in 1958, Jazz at the Plaza was never meant to be a record; it was a Columbia party at the Plaza, a place jazz had never been played before. Also on the bill were Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Jimmy Rushing. Despite the fine remastering job done by the Sony crew, Jazz at the Plaza remains more a curiosity piece than an essential recording by a remarkable band, strictly because of its dodgy recording quality. The 40-minute set is plagued by the problem of barely being able to hear Davis in places, particularly on the stellar opener, “If I Were a Bell,” and Evans is all but absent on much of the record. In fact, there is no mix; it’s just a flat-out two- or three-mike set. That said, the performance is far from dodgy. There are four tunes in the set: the previously mentioned old stripe from Guys and Dolls; “Oleo,” played at a blistering tempo; “My Funny Valentine,” which, although recorded by Davis’ previous quintet for Prestige, had become a staple in the sextet’s play book; and Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser.” It is perhaps the last that brings the sextet to full bloom in this performance. Davis plays the theme faster than normal, alternating the groove between full and cut time, and Bill Evans goes directly to quoting “Blue Monk” in his own solo. Also notable is the performance of “My Funny Valentine” without the saxophone giants John Coltrane or Cannonball Adderley…...Learn More

 

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