Jazz Haunts & Magic Vaults : The New Lost Classics Of Resonance Vol. 1 HCD-2026, 77:37 ****:
A number of tasty offerings designed to entice the most discriminating listeners.
(Jaki Byard; Dennis Coffey; Bill Evans; Tommy Flanagan; Stan Getz; João Gilberto; Gene Harris; Shirley Horn; Freddie Hubbard; Thad Jones; Scott LaFaro; Mel Lewis; Charles LLoyd; Wes Montgomery; Sarah Vaughan; Larry Young)
In the January 2017 (Issue #171) of The New York City Jazz Record, Resonance Records was chosen as one of the Best Labels of the Year 2016 in the non-profit category. While being a non-profit jazz label might be somewhat of an oxymoron, the owners of the label are to be commended as they have done a yeoman job of unearthing recordings of historical interest and bringing them to the listening public.
This compilation Jazz Haunts & Magic Vaults (back in day of LPs, such releases were called samplers) showcases a variety of tracks from either projects that the label already has on the market, or that would be forthcoming. There are a number of tasty offerings that should clearly entice listeners to purchase the entire album, depending on their musical proclivities.
The bold-face names who are represented on this compilation, for the most part need no introduction. The one outlier is guitarist Dennis Coffey who hails from Detroit and is primarily an R&B player. He got his early start in the 1960s with The Royaltones, but it was in the late 1960s when he was part of the Funk Brothers studio band that he played on many seminal Motown recordings. The track on this disc is entitled “Fuzz” and comes from the album Hot Coffee In The D: Burnin’ At Morey Baker’s Showcase Lounge in Detroit in 1968. It is a typical R&B rouser with those fuzzy waw-waw guitar licks and a Hammond B-3 that swirls, dives and growls to give a great sense of what was fashionable at the time.
All of the tracks chosen for this release are interesting representations of the music of the principals. However there are a couple worth particular mention. The Bill Evans Trio version of “How About You?” comes from the album Some Other Time – The Lost Sessions From The Black Forest, recorded in 1968, and features bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack De Johnette. This is the only studio session by this trio iteration, beautifully recorded, and the group has a symbiosis that is startling.
Scott LaFaro was a bassist of uncommon originality and dexterity who came into prominence as a member of the Bill Evans Trio (1959-61) and died tragically at 25 in 1961. In this track from the album Pieces Of Jade, La Faro leads a group composed of brilliant pianist Don Friedman and drummer Pete La Roca as they race through “Woody’n You”. With nary a clunker or missed note, the trio delivers a dazzling rendition of this bop classic.
This is as good a way as any to whet your whistle for the full monty.
TrackList: Low Down; Blue Genes; Something Happens To Me; Happiness Is Now; Fuzz; How Can I Tell You; How About You?; Luny Tune; Aquas De Marco; Our Delight; Fascinating Rhythm; Woody’n You; The End Of A Love Affair; Peace