Monthly Mixtape

January 2024

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  1. Camp Out” by John Scofield is a track from his 1992 album What We Do. Scofield, an influential jazz guitarist known for his work in jazz fusion and improvisational music, brings his distinctive style to this composition. The track features Scofield’s signature guitar sound, characterized by complex harmonies, intricate solos, and a deep, bluesy feel. Accompanying Scofield are Bill Stewart on drums and Dennis Irwin on bass, both of whom provide a solid rhythmic foundation and dynamic interplay. Together, the trio creates a rich, engaging soundscape that showcases their technical prowess and cohesive musicality. “Camp Out” exemplifies Scofield’s ability to blend traditional jazz elements with modern sensibilities, making it a standout piece in his discography.
  2. “Contra” by Walter Smith III from the album “return to casual” showcases Smith’s smooth, sophisticated saxophone playing against a backdrop of modern jazz rhythms. Accompanied by Harish Raghavan on bass, Matt Stevens on guitar, and Kendrick Scott on drums, the track balances technical prowess with emotional depth, creating a dynamic and engaging listening experience.
  1. “South State Line Road” by Christian Dillingham, Lenard Simpson, Dave Miller, and Greg Artry from the album Cascades is a collaborative effort featuring Dillingham on bass, Simpson on saxophone, Miller on piano, and Artry on drums. Each musician brings their unique style to the composition, resulting in a rich tapestry of sound with dynamic interplay and rhythmic complexity.
  1. “Nur al Anwar” by William Parker and Hamid Drake from the album Piercing The Veil blends Parker’s deep, resonant bass lines with Drake’s intricate percussion, creating a spiritually evocative and deeply immersive soundscape. This meditative track reflects the artists’ mastery of their instruments and their ability to convey profound emotion through free jazz and world music influences.
  1. “Jungoso” by Sonny Rollins from the album What’s New? features Rollins’ powerful and expressive saxophone performance. Known for his innovative improvisation and powerful tone, Rollins is supported by Jim Hall on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Ben Riley on drums. The track’s Latin-inspired rhythms and vibrant melodies highlight Rollins’ ability to blend different musical styles seamlessly.
  1. Along Came Betty” by Art Blakey from the album Moanin’ (Expanded Edition) is a classic hard bop track featuring Blakey’s dynamic drumming and the strong ensemble playing of his Jazz Messengers. Composed by Benny Golson, the track includes Golson on tenor saxophone, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymie Merritt on bass, making it a quintessential piece of hard bop history.
  1. “Not You Again” by John Scofield from the album “Works For Me” is a soulful and funky jazz piece showcasing Scofield’s signature guitar style. Joined by Kenny Garrett on saxophone, Christian McBride on bass, Brad Mehldau on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums, the track features a blend of groovy bass lines, crisp drumming, and Scofield’s melodic solos and rhythmic comping.
  1. “Heart Of The Country” by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney from the album Ram is a pastoral, folksy song that exudes simplicity and charm. Featuring Paul’s melodic bass lines, acoustic guitar, and vocals, combined with Linda’s harmonies and light keyboard touches, the track reflects the couple’s love for rural life with a relaxed and upbeat melody.
  1. “Blues For Django & Stephane” by Larry Coryell, Billy Cobham, Bireli Lagrene, and Richard Bona from the album Spaces Revisited is a tribute to jazz legends Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. The track features Coryell’s virtuosic guitar playing, Cobham’s dynamic drumming, Lagrene’s guitar, and Bona’s bass, blending blues and jazz in a sophisticated and cohesive performance.
  1. “Ut queant laxis (Hymn to St. John the Baptist)” by Konrad Ruhland, Capella Antiqua München, and Choralschola from the album GREGORIAN CHANT II – HYMNS is a Gregorian chant piece characterized by its monophonic, unaccompanied vocal line. Performed by Capella Antiqua München and Choralschola under Ruhland’s direction, the chant creates a serene and reverent atmosphere, reflecting its historical and liturgical significance.
  1. “Xtabay” by Les Baxter’s Orchestra, Moises Vivanco, and Yma Sumac from the album Voice of the Xtabay (And Other Exotic Delights!) features Sumac’s extraordinary vocal talents, accompanied by Baxter’s lush orchestral arrangements and Vivanco’s traditional Andean influences. The track is dramatic and captivating, showcasing Sumac’s incredible vocal range and exotic sound.
  1. “All the Things You Are” by John Scofield from the album “Flat Out” is a jazz standard interpreted with Scofield’s distinctive guitar stylings. Supported by Anthony Cox on bass and Joe Lovano on drums, the track features complex harmonies and improvisational solos, blending classic jazz elements with Scofield’s modern sensibilities.
  1. “Bait Tone Blues” by Mike Stern from the album “Between The Lines” is a blues-infused jazz piece featuring Stern’s expressive guitar playing. Accompanied by Bob Malach on saxophone, Jeff Andrews on bass, and Dave Weckl on drums, the track’s soulful melodies and strong rhythmic foundation showcase Stern’s technical proficiency and emotional depth. Jeff Andrews is stunning (as usual) on this track.
  1. “Nothing Personal” by Michael Brecker from the album “The Michael Brecker Band Live” features Brecker’s virtuosic saxophone skills in a live performance setting. Supported by Mike Stern on guitar, Joey Calderazzo on piano, James Genus on bass, and Dennis Chambers on drums, the track captures the energy and spontaneity of a live performance, highlighting Brecker’s exceptional improvisational prowess.
  1. “Dance Cadaverous” by Wayne Shorter from the album “Speak No Evil” is a haunting and sophisticated composition featuring Shorter on saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, and Elvin Jones on drums. The remastered edition enhances the clarity and depth of the recording, preserving the nuances of the ensemble’s interplay.