Ken D.'s Reviews

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1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

I'm puzzled as to Michael G. Nastos' usually right-on-the-money reviews. This CD was so awful that the GRP executive tracking it told our station not to bother. The teenager's playing is very immature, as he blew multiple takes, angering Clark Terry and Roland Hanna, while the exec pulled Murray aside and told him, "If you're going to make it in this business, you're going to have to practice." This CD bombed and Murray has yet to record as a leader (or even sideman) again. Avoid this turkey like the plague.

Review Date: 9/16/2009

Don't be mislead by the cover, these are not live recordings but earlier studio records and transcriptions with applause spliced in between tracks. The applause sounds almost identical each time. Researched by Tatum discographers Ray Spencer and Arnold Laubich.

Buyer (or trader) beware!

Review Date: 2/1/2010

This is an absolutely dud CD, because Nigel Kennedy is a classical violinist who is hopelessly out of his element attempting to keep up with veteran jazz musicians. The jazzers all play with gusto, but Kennedy's improvising leaves a lot to be desired.

Review Date: 10/7/2009
Title: Breathless
Artist: Kenny G
Label: Arista
Original Release Date: 11/17/1992
Date: 12/31/2012
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

When you see over 200 copies of a CD available at SwapaCD, there's a reason. This is some of the lamest pseudo-jazz ever recorded by the Milquetoast Maestro, aka The Duke of Puke.
Avoid this turkey unless you want to drown in schmaltz and repetitive phrases.

Review Date: 12/31/2012
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Excerpted from a longer concert aired on NPR's Jazz Alive! in Nov. 1982, this excellent CD finds all three musicians at the top of the game. Too bad additional material, including all three of Mulligan's big band instrumentals, were omitted from this CD. There's little hope of a second volume.

Review Date: 9/2/2009
Title: Classics in the Key of G
Artist: Kenny G
Label: Arista
Original Release Date: 6/29/1999
Date: 8/28/2009

Absolute garbage, dumbing down standards into bland, forgettable smooth arrangements. Especially annoying is the sampling of Louis Armstrong's vocal, as it seems unbelievable that any of Armstrong's descendants (if he had any) would have allowed this travesty.

Review Date: 8/28/2009

While this is a historic recording, be aware of the mechanical flaws, including dropouts and an incorrect speed on the source tape. The later version issued as a part of the Blue Note complete recordings of Monk at least pitch corrected this audience tape.

Review Date: 10/27/2009
Title: Enchantress
Artist: John Serry
Label: Telarc
Original Release Date: 8/27/1996
Date: 10/29/2011

This extremely disappointing CD was the result of a contest featuring several judges, including Dave Brubeck and Bob James, with the winner earning a record date. In spite of what the liner notes claimed was a "unanimous" decision, Brubeck actually favored Eric Doney over Serry, which would have been a far better choice. John Serry's dull release sank like a stone and has long since been deleted from Telarc's catalog.

Review Date: 10/29/2011

An excellent date which is well worth checking out, note the AMG review.

Review Date: 6/23/2009
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

The fact that so many copies are available should tell you something: Rod murders the Great American Songbook.

Review Date: 4/13/2009

This bootleg live recording has turned up on various CDs and LPs, including a Laserlight CD issue and the defunct Vantage label. Ponty' extended suite is interrupted with an abrupt splice at one point. Ponty disavows all of the remaining tracks as not being by him, perhaps another European violinist is present. The suite is enjoyable, but buyer (or trader) beware...

Review Date: 5/3/2009
11 of 11 member(s) found this review helpful.

This 1987 version not only has the still incorrect speed on several tracks, but a sloppy cover photo with a reversed negative, showing Miles playing trumpet left handed, with the valves on the wrong side of the instrument.

There is no reason to own this edition, get a later version on CD with the speed correction and the original cover photo.

Review Date: 4/11/2009
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Please note that the Lindsay Planer AMG review refers to the four disc Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings of Coltrane, this particular CD is a straight reissue of the original three track LP released in the series.
Fans of Coltrane and Eric Dolphy are advised to search for the larger boxed set.

Review Date: 6/4/2009

From All Music Guide:
Though the music on Mulligan is labeled as being recorded in France in 1958 by the baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, it actually consists of three songs by three different groups between 1960 and 1966, plus three cuts from a previously issued LP. Track one is labeled "Jeru," though it is instead a medley of "Roundhouse" and "Out of Nowhere." Backed by pianist Claude Williamson, bassist Buddy Clark, and drummer Mel Lewis, this track is flawed because of the wow in the tape source, though there's nothing wrong with the playing. "Festive Minor" comes from a 1960 concert in Stockholm featuring Mulligan's highly regarded quartet with Art Farmer, Bill Crow, and Dave Bailey. A broadcast of the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival is the source of "Rose Room"; Mulligan mixes it up with an all-star band consisting of cornetist Ruby Braff, pianist Billy Taylor, and tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, with great results. The last three tracks were lifted from the Chiaroscuro LP Idol Gossip. The incompetent packaging and the mediocre sound of this CD make it one that can be safely bypassed.

Review Date: 10/23/2009

New York Swing is not a various artists album, but a working group that recorded several CDs. Featuring pianist John Bunch, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Joe Cocuzzo. Excellent swinging music!

Review Date: 5/1/2017
Title: One Alone
Artist: Dave Brubeck
Label: Telarc
Original Release Date: 8/22/2000
Date: 7/9/2016

I reviewed this CD when it was issued in 2000 and it has stood the test of time. Although Brubeck told me that he didn't like performing in concert without a rhythm section, he was clearly quite capable of doing so, as these studio sessions demonstrate. He had a vast knowledge of songs accumulated from his long career and was also a prolific, gifted composer, even though only two pieces are originals on this release. Suffice to say this is a nostalgic look at some of his favorite tunes. If you want to read my original review, you can find it here:

Ignore the star rating, as AMG would not allow reviewers to assign 5 stars to any new release.

Review Date: 7/9/2016

I can't say that I've enjoyed John Beasley's earlier work, but this CD is the pits. By the time I got to "'Round Midnight," I was fed up with the dumbed down, bland arrangements. His treatment of that jazz standard sounded like something you'd expect to hear in a third rate 1970s lounge. The beauty of Monk's music is in its dissonance, playfulness and sudden twists. Unfortunately, many of these timeless songs are diluted in John Beasley's charts.

Review Date: 5/24/2017

Calling this lightweight pop release a jazz CD is like hanging a silhouette next to a Leonardo Da Vinci painting and calling both masterpieces. It's no wonder there are so many copies available of this best-selling turkey.

Review Date: 3/5/2009
Title: Silhouette
Artist: Kenny G
Label: Arista
Original Release Date: 10/4/1988
Date: 10/19/2010
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

More bland pop from the Milquetoast Maestro. Calling this a jazz CD is like hanging a silhouette next to a Leonardo da Vinci painting and calling both masterpieces.

Review Date: 10/19/2010

Red Mitchell was best known for his virtuoso bass work, though this CD is a fine solo effort featuring his amusing originals, complete with lyrics, in addition to his piano. Mitchell's vocals are fun and not meant to be compared to those who made (or make) a living as singers, though the highlight is "Where's Don Ellis Now?," a tune making fun of the late trumpeter's odd time signatures in his compositions like 3.5/4. Snap it up while you can.

Review Date: 8/9/2016

Neither Sonny Fortune nor Eddie Cleanhead Vinson is on this CD. It is actually some little known smooth jazz musicians.

Buyer beware!!!

Review Date: 3/12/2009

This CD compiles a number of radio broadcasts of the Dave Brubeck Quartet in concert roughly between 1958 and 1964. Like many such bootlegs, the packaging is minimal, an inappropriate photo is used (the one shown on the cover is Brubeck circa 1973), while two of the songs, "It's a Raggy Waltz" and "Castillian Drums," are misidentified as "Three to Get Ready" and "Castillian Blues" respectively. Also the 2nd Movement of Dialogue For Jazz Combo and Orchestra is abbreviated and doesn't mention either it's individual name ("Theme For June") or its composer's full name, Howard Brubeck, Dave's older brother. The performances are enjoyable, though the fidelity on the last three tracks isn't as strong as the rest of the CD. These release is mainly for completists.

Review Date: 2/9/2010
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