Andy Brown's previous album, Soloist (Delmark 5019), received outstanding reviews in JazzTimes, Jazziz, Vintage Guitar and in Down Beat where Scott Yanow described Andy as "a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene since 2003 ... a superior mainstream guitarist". Direct Call features a rarity in jazz today - a working band. Several years of performing weekly at Andy's Jazz Club has given this quartet a cohesive and tight-knit sound that can only be gained through countless gigs together. With Jeremy Kahn, piano, Joe Policastro, bass and Phil Gratteau, drums, the album features an eclectic mix of standards, Brazilian music and jazz compositions.
In 1976 George Lewis' association with Muhal Richard Abrams and the AACM led to recordings with Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton and a tour with Count Basie. Gradually his startling musicianship - the time-honored jazz virtues of a mellow tone and driving sense of rhythm, harnessed to a soaring imagination and technique – became known to a growing number of listeners. Lewis came to play at A Space in Toronto -his first solo concert - and record this album. On "Toneburst (Piece for Three Trombones Simultaneously)", Lewis overdubbed all three trombone parts in the studio. The rest is solo. Solo horn albums have a curious ambience, inherent in the perfect clarity with which they reveal a performer's abilities. In this setting this amazing musician revealed himself as a unique solo voice.
This 1981 date was the first of three albums by this truly all-star lineup of Buddy Tate (tenor sax, clarinet), Jim Galloway (soprano, tenor, baritone sax), Jay McShann (piano), Don Thompson (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums). "The music is at a high level throughout, though a trio of tunes from the vast band book of Duke Ellington, Mercer Ellington's "John Hardy's Wife," a strutting take of Johnny Hodges' "Good Queen Bees," and a gospel-flavored "Saturday Night Function" particularly stand out on this highly recommended disc." Ken Dryden, Allmusic. Also available: The Sackville All Stars Christmas Record (Sackville SK 3038).
It’s been 50 years since the jazz pianist released his first album Larry Novak Plays! on Dot Records in 1964. Novak led his trio at Chicago’s London House from 1961 to '63, then at Mr. Kelly's from '63 to '75. He played with and arranged for Peggy Lee, and worked extensively with Pearl Bailey. He also worked with Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, instrumentalists Dizzy Gillespie, Louie Bellson, Charlie Shavers, Barney Kessel and countless others. This new trio recording features Eric Hochberg, bass and Rusty Jones, drums. "Waltz For Debbie", "The Days of Wine And Roses", "Minority", "Close Enough For Love", "Very Early", "Yesterdays", "The Touch Of Your Lips", "Invitation", "Nobody Else But Me" and "Too Late Now".
As this new album A Dance and a Hop makes clear, jazz cornetist Josh Berman's music has grown by leaps and bounds (or hops). It's only his third as leader—the first two, also on Delmark, were Old Idea (2009) and There Now (2012). Berman is accompanied by labelmates Jason Roebke, bass and Frank Rosaly, drums. Berman points out that the eleven original tunes "are directly related to content that I play on cornet; I rarely write without it. I think these trio pieces aren't from different planets when compared to music of Old Idea or There Now. The main difference here might be an interest in concision. I am very interested in the way Jason plays the bass and Frank plays the drums, and how the tunes live without space being filled by reeds, vibraphone, other voices. I think I wanted to hear what 'my idea' sounds like without everything else."
Perhaps best known as a blues label Delmark Records actually has issued more jazz albums than blues and was the first label to record Chicago's AACM jazz collective. Founded in 1953 by Bob Koester, Delmark Records continues to record jazz and blues under Koester's leadership including today's cutting edge jazz scene in Chicago. Delmark 60th Anniversary: Jazz features Red Holloway, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis from masters originally recorded for the Apollo label but never issued on CD, Sonny Stitt, Nicole Mitchell, Corey Wilkes, Ernest Dawkins, Kahil El'Zabar, a sneak preview of the forthcoming new album from The Fat Babies, Ira Sullivan with the Jim Holman Trio, Keefe Jackson, Josh Berman and more.