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Groove Funk Soul
Groove Funk Soul
Price: $14.71
54 used & new from $6.11

4.0 out of 5 stars Look for Teddy Edwards' albums with this band, Castro isn't ready, June 12, 2016
This review is from: Groove Funk Soul (Audio CD)
The band immortalised here was a regular working unit in California in 1960, recording sets under Teddy Edwards' leadership for both Contemporary and Pacific Jazz. The quartet's major label showcase on Atlantic came here, under pianist Joe Castro's name, and it's the group's mildest, least-intriguing set. Despite the title, much of the album has an atmospheric, pianistic quality, with Edwards' granular tone sounding thinner, more refined than on his own dates. Groove Funk Soul as an album only achieves a modicum of those three qualities on the cut "Play Me the Blues", where Edwards gets down and dirty, drummer Billy Higgins works up a nice little sweat, and bassist Leroy Vinnegar unleashes some funky soul groove. Elsewhere the album sounds more upscale nightclub than grimy dive bar, lots of brushwork and tidy intimacy. The album's opener and title track, in fact, has to be reckoned a failure. It begins, mid-tenor solo, on a long fade-in and then fades out several minutes later just when you would expect the closing theme. The liner notes suggest that Castro wanted to achieve the effect of the listener walking into (and out of) a club mid-performance, but it's not really happening, so you can see why this imaginary pedestrian might have turned and walked back out. Maybe Castro could have achieved the desired effect by dubbing in some street sounds outside and giving the track a little more club ambience and a lot more heat. The effect is one of listening to an incomplete or edited take by Shelly Manne and His Men within the sterile confines of a high-priced recording studio rather than a smoking club date with the likes of Cannonball. Not the way to put your best foot forward, Joe.

Warren Zevon (Collector's Edition)
Warren Zevon (Collector's Edition)
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $18.79
44 used & new from $11.94

5.0 out of 5 stars The undiscovered country, March 14, 2016
While 'Warren Zevon', beautifully remastered here, stands tall as one of the great singer-songwriter albums of the 1970s (that veritable decade of great singer-songwriter albums), the bonus disc included in this edition of demos and outtakes suggests it also could have been one of the decade's great rock albums. Almost to a number, the alternate versions are faster, rougher and harder-rocking, not to mention funnier. The songs bite as hard as Elvis Costello's early work, which would follow just a year later. Makes one wish Warren had linked up with Nick Lowe as a producer - Basher woulda just dressed up and released these demos, I reckon - rather than Jackson Browne, who may have been a bit more stately in his approach than this material warranted. In any event, Browne was instrumental in getting Zevon heard at all, and both discs of this edition of 'Warren Zevon' are essential listening.

The Sax Section
The Sax Section
5 used & new from $18.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Your toes will tap, guaranteed., March 10, 2016
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This review is from: The Sax Section (Audio CD)
A highly enjoyable if slightly lightweight mid-50s showcase for the prodigious arranging talents of the great Al Cohn. The sax ensembles sound sumptuous and the clarinet-oboe-flute tracks are particularly choice and surprisingly swinging. They sound like cuts from some romantic-comedy movie soundtrack of the era. I wanted Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly to come waltzing in the door. The recording is in glorious mono and my only caveat is that Fresh Sounds' CD remaster leaves the piano and drums somewhat buried in the murk. Reeds and bass sound great, though, and have lots of punch. Al Cohn fans will want to have this; others aren't missing anything more earth-shattering than an easy good time.

Xanadu In Africa / Night Flight From Dakar [2 CD]
Xanadu In Africa / Night Flight From Dakar [2 CD]
Price: $11.99
28 used & new from $11.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting reissue captures bop super-group on tour in West Africa in 1980, September 22, 2015
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Al Cohn, well known for his work with Zoot Sims, his stint with Kenton, and as a player and arranger in the 1950s, really solidified his claim to be viewed as one of the greats on the tenor sax with his lesser-known recordings for the Xanadu label in the 1970s. Alongside the Muse label, Xanadu spearheaded a bop renaissance in a decade better-known for the rise of fusion, giving us career-defining recordings by guys like Sonny Stitt, Charles McPherson, Jimmy Raney and Barry Harris, as well as Cohn and Billy Mitchell. This very-welcome CD reissue packages together two of the more exciting Xanadu releases, documenting a tour to Senegal in West Africa in 1980 by a Xanadu super-group known as the Xanadu All-Stars that featured Cohn and Mitchell with a rhythm section of Dolo Coker, Leroy Vinnegar, and Frank Butler, all legends of the West Coast jazz scene of the 1950s who were still going strong here. (The same group also recorded a couple of fantastic sets at the Montreux festival, a set of LPs also way overdue for CD reissue.)

The two Senegal dates here, meanwhile, were recorded just five days apart yet have surprisingly different flavours. "Xanadu in Africa" captures this group of old pros at the Club Med in Dakar, turning in a quality set of mostly-standards. It is beautifully recorded and feels similar in many ways to the two-tenor groups Cohn used to lead with Zoot Sims, although Billy Mitchell has a more angular approach than Sims. He and Cohn engage in some nice interplay, but it is things like the group's easy lopes through the ballads "I Surrender Dear" and "Easy Living" (features for Cohn and Mitchell, repectively) that give the recording its relaxed vibe.

The album "Night Flight to Dakar" shows the group five days later, feeling a bit more comfortable together and taking more risks to achieve a more challenging and energised post-bop flavour in a concert in front of VIPs at the National Theatre in Senegal. It is an exciting performance that suffers only from the rather hollow ambience of the concert hall. Pianist Coker gets a nice extended feature on "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying", while the great Frank Butler takes one of his famous solos on "Sweet Senegalese Brown", an original based on chord changes of obvious provenance.

This lovingly remastered 2-CD set should be viewed as an essential purchase by fans of the 1970s bop revival or of any of the guys in this group. Let's hope more is on the way from the Xanadu vaults.

Shinco 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Cooling/Fan with Remote Control in White
Shinco 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Cooling/Fan with Remote Control in White
Price: $269.00
14 used & new from $259.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Struggles on a hot day with a 250sq.ft room, July 4, 2015
I received this as a gift so my child and I could survive the heatwave currently broiling the Pacific Northwest. 10,000btu was intended to cool an entire 400sq.ft apartment, but we had to seal off various rooms and limit the machine's efforts to one 250sq.ft area. With outside temps at 95 to 103 degrees, the room never cools below 79 or 80. Overnight, with outside temps of 75 or so, it has never cooled the apartment (still warm from the day) below 73. Air only feels downright cold if you sit right in front of the unit. Noise is about like an average in-window unit. (I got a reading of 68db using an iPhone decibel meter.) All in all, unit is inexpensive and it is waaay better than being in a hot room. It does the trick ... minimally. But, in air conditioners as in life, you get what you pay for. If you want a room at 72 or below and want it to stay that way even as outside temps climb, you are gonna want to spend more on a more powerful unit.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2016 11:45 PM PDT

Monk in Tokyo
Monk in Tokyo
Price: $26.99
27 used & new from $11.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monk's best drummer?, May 8, 2015
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This review is from: Monk in Tokyo (Audio CD)
There is a lot of live Monk available from this period, so the real reason to seek out this set is his band. Drummer Frankie Dunlop is playing a beautifully-tuned kit and has been recorded here to detailed perfection. He turns in an astonishingly melodic performance, and one that shows a real sympathy with the structure of Monk's music. The only drummer I have ever-heard this attuned to a pianist is Frank Butler on some of the recordings he made with Elmo Hope. Dunlop, surprisingly little-known otherwise, may be the best drummer Monk ever had - and he was never better-recorded than he was here. If that weren't enough, Monk's long-term partner on tenor Charlie Rouse also turns in one of his most probative performances, and Monk himself is clearly energised by his receptive Japanese audience and delivering seldom-played material like "Hackensack", making this one of a small group of essential Monk recordings.

Sanford and Son: The Complete Series (Slim Packaging)
Sanford and Son: The Complete Series (Slim Packaging)
DVD ~ Redd Foxx
Price: $24.99
36 used & new from $18.45

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A stack of discs on a cheap plastic spindle, September 23, 2014
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This is one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and watching episodes always lifts my spirits and calms my soul, but the cheapo packaging of this set makes this one to avoid. It is basically a single stack of discs with no sleeves stacked on a single spindle in a very cheap and flimsy extruded plastic tray. The whole is then slipped into a flimsy box. No liner notes or info about casts or original air dates. Just the shows to speak for themselves. Spend a little more for the season sets with better packaging.

Essential Sides 1929-1939
Essential Sides 1929-1939
Price: $24.99
43 used & new from $14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A must-own for even the most casual of jazz fans, September 23, 2014
Four discs of utter genius and a box set that has a rare distinction of being playable straight through in a single day without once becoming tedious. The sides with Benny Goodman and Mildred Bailey are a particular highlight, and the recording with the Dutch unit called the Ramblers never fail to put a smile on my face. Much has been written about JSP's remastering work, and I will only add that, while these remain 75-year-old recordings, they sound in these masters utterly balanced and transparent and musical. A pure, transcendent joy.

Jazz Tribune No. 6
Jazz Tribune No. 6
Offered by swapfest
Price: $15.79
21 used & new from $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant mood enhancement, September 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Jazz Tribune No. 6 (Audio CD)
Fantastic set of early jazz in astoundingly good sound quality. This recording of "You Were Only Passing Time With Me" is one of my all-time favourite songs. And I got it from an Amazon Marketplace Seller and it was PRISTINE. Press the Buy button.

Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers With 4-Inch Carbon Fiber Woofer and Silk Dome Tweeter (Black, Pair)
Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers With 4-Inch Carbon Fiber Woofer and Silk Dome Tweeter (Black, Pair)
Price: $89.00
4 used & new from $74.91

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just good enough. Just., September 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These speakers have a nice forward push that make them seem bigger than they are, but high-end hi-fi they are not. Recommended in lieu of an all-in-one-box mini-stereo, but if what you really want is a high-end system on the cheap, these are not the droids you are looking for.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2014 8:34 AM PDT

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