Wayne Shorter – Supernova (1969)
Track Listing:
1. Supernova
2. Sweet Pea
3. Dindi
4. Water Babies
5. Capricorn
6. More Than Human

Review by Scott Yanow at Allmusic:
This CD reissue brings back an important transitional album for tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Doubling on soprano (which he had recently begun playing), Shorter interprets five of his originals (including "Water Babies" which had been recorded previously by Miles Davis) and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Dindi." He definitely used a forward-looking group of sidemen for his "backup band" includes guitarists John McLaughlin and Sonny Sharrock, Walter Booker (normally a bassist) on classical guitar for "Dindi," bassist Miroslav Vitous, both Jack DeJohnette and Chick Corea (!) on drums and percussionist Airto; Maria Booker takes a vocal on the touching version of "Dindi." The influence of Miles Davis' early fusion period is felt throughout the music but there is nothing derivative about the often-surprising results. As with Wayne Shorter's best albums, this set rewards repeated listenings.

Billy Bang & Dennis Charles – Bangception (1982)
Track Listing:
1. Air Traffic Control
2. Lonely Woman
3. Thelonious
4. Closer to the Flower
5. Know Your Enemy

Review by Thom Jurek at Allmusic:
This 1982 date by violinist Billy Bang (previously with Ronald Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society) and the late drummer Denis Charles is, for lack of a better term, a full frontal attack on the senses. In his liner notes, Art Lange makes the case for Bang being the focal point of this recording. That's fair enough, considering that his name is first and it's kinda named after him, but Lange, in this very rare case, misses the point. Bang's phrasing in the opening improvisation "Air Traffic Control" comes right out of Charles' opening solo. Charles' rolls and stuttered rim shots grant Bang a passageway into his own beginning. Later in the track when Charles is slashing his cymbals and Bang is sawing through chords to match the dynamic, it becomes obvious just how much a collaboration this set is. When Bang cues up Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," again, it's the hushed cymbal and brushes work of Charles that opens a dimensional door for Bang's idiosyncratic read of the melody. Charles punctuates it in all the right spaces, keeping the framework of the tune from disappearing into the improvisation. And so it goes, with this pair crisscrossing back and forth over the great divide of improvisational phraseology. Charles' tone on the drums is low, not thunderous but like rolling thunder in the distance; his brushwork is blinding and full of control.  Bang literally invented a method of playing the new music on violin. His phrasing and improvisational ideas are sometimes outrageously childlike and simple and in the next moment as wily and complex as you are likely to hear in Western harmony. And while it is true that this is a skeletal set, as full of space as it is "music," it is very satisfying nonetheless.


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    is a historical timeline for birthdays of blues and jazz artists and jazz album recording dates.  As our research progresses, we'll add more categories.  Look for updates each week, normally Mondays through Fridays, when we find something to share.


    October 2012
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    August 2012