Jazz in an R&B Groove / Jazz for the Wee Small Hours – HighNote

by | May 9, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Jazz in an R&B Groove (Joey DeFrancesco, Eric Alexander, Melvin Sparks, Irene Reid, Charles Earland, Ernie Andrews, Joe Chambers, Jesse Thomas, David Newman & others)- HighNote stereo SACD HCD6015, 61:34 ****:

Jazz for the Wee Small Hours (Houston Person, Everett Greene, Freddy Cole, Gloria Lynne, Weslia Whitfield, Etta Jones, Della Griffin, Ernie Andrews, Dakota Staton, Carol Sloane, Irene Reid, Grady Tate, Charles Earland, Eric Alexander & others) – HighNote stereo SACD HCD6016, 52:18 ***:

Not many mid-priced SACDs around, in fact not many jazz SACDs around anymore.  So the improved sound and good prices will be an attraction for many to both of these releases. The R&B disc only has three vocal tracks, and some really fine instrumentalists.  Four of the ten tracks feature B3 organ, as you might expect if a R&B slant is in the offing. Irene Reid’s take on Your Mind is on Vacation is certainly different from author Mose Allison’s, but is still fun. Sorta missed the vocal on Dat Dere, but this instrumental sextet treatment is good to hear anyway.  Jazz samplers such as this are great background listening, and it you turn it up and listen closely the two-channel sound is a bit better than many 44.1 CDs.

Every one of the ten tracks on the Small Hours SACD are vocals, which rather threw me – I would have expected all laid-back instrumentals. It’s a nice introduction to some vocalists I wasn’t aware of, and a welcome revisit to some I already knew – such as Nat Cole’s brother and SF-based Weslia Whitfield. Houston Person’s extremely soulful tenor sax is a consistent participant in many of the tracks.

R&B Groove tracks:
Pick Up the Pieces, My Girl, Where is the Love?, Your Mind is on Vacation, Put it Where You Want It, She’s Got the Blues for Sale, Tu-Way-Pock-e-Way, Dat Dere, Ya-Ya, Hit the Road Jack

Small Hours tracks: Everything I Have is Yours, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, This Love of Mine, Teach Me Tonight, All the Way, You Go to my Head, I Want to be Loved, Too Late Now, Memories of You, All My Tomorrows

– John Henry

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