Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kenny Barron - "Innocence" (1978) & discography

This is a 1978 album with Kenny Barron on both rhodes and acoustic piano, ripped from vinyl and donated to the blog by swboy, who also gave us the Brasil : Samba Bossa MPB compilation back in July. I think this one is a first for the blogosphere ...


Kenny Barron's first 'appearance' on record was as both arranger and composer on Yusef Lateef's "The Centaur and the Phoenix" in 1960 when he was only seventeen, although he didn't actually play on the record.

He spent most of the 60s as Dizzy Gillespie's pianist, as well as recording on albums by his brother Bill Barron and saxaphonist James Moody, who also came from Gillespie's band.

After being replaced by Mike Longo in the Gillespie band in 1967, Barron formed the Jimmy Owens - Kenny Barron Quintet with trumpeter Owens, and they released the album "You Had Better Listen" the following year, featuring Bennie Maupin on sax and flute.

In 1967 he also made his first electric piano recordings on the Joe Henderson albums "The Kicker" and "Tetragon", though it was not until Freddie Hubbard's "The Black Angel" in 1970 that he began to use it as a major instrument in recordings. He rounded out the 1960s as a player on a wide variety of albums by Tyrone Washington, Booker Ervin and others.

As the 70s began, Barron explored an increasing range of musical styles on albums by Freddie Hubbard / Ilhan Mimaroğlu, Idris Muhammad, George Freeman, Charles Sullivan and many others.

For the first half of the decade, he joined Yusef Lateef as pianist (and frequent composer) for many albums and live dates, continuing to record on Lateef albums throughout the 70s such as "The Gentle Giant" , "Hush n Thunder", "Ten Years Hence" and "The Doctor Is In ... and Out".


By the time of his debut solo album "Sunset to Dawn" in 1973, it was clear that he'd absorbed the global musical visions of leaders like Gillespie and Lateef. The rhodes-led sessions are awash with latin rhythms and percussion, with occasional melodic and harmonic suggestions of Brazil and the Caribbean.

These influences continue into some of "Peruvian Blue", his second Muse release in 1974, which alternates between acoustic standards and great latin-funk rhodes workouts (particularly the title track, which to me recalls Carlos Garnett's work at the time).

1975's "Lucifer" sees Barron branching out both musically and instrumentally, adding clavinet and string synthesiser to his keyboard arsenal across a range of tracks that expand his palette into fusion, acoustic spiritual, jazz-funk and other forms. Later in the year, he also recorded the live acoustic duet album "In Tandem" with guitarist Ted Dunbar (who'd been on "Peruvian Blue") while both were teaching at Rutgers University.

- "INNOCENCE " (1978) -

1978's "Innocence" features four of Barron's own compositions and one by trumpeter Jimmy Owens. Barron himself plays rhodes, acoustic piano and minimal string synth in a sparser grouping than on "Lucifer", with the latin elements of his keyboard style back at the forefront. For the most part, he's working here with musicians that he'd begun associations with in the preceding few years.

There are essentially two sessions and lineups here. The first three tracks feature Barron trading lead lines with saxaphonist Sonny Fortune, who he'd first worked with on Buddy Rich's "Tuff Dude" in 1974.

Fortune had subsequently brought Barron on board for his albums "Awakening" (1975) and "Serengeti Minstrel" (1977), which had featured the first recordings of the Barron tracks "Sunshower" and the uptempo "Bacchanal" respectively, both of which are strongly covered here. The other track from this session is the title track "Innocence", for which Barron multi-tracks both rhodes and acoustic piano. (Fortune's album for this year was "Infinity Is", which steps texturally towards a more commercial Mizell-style production while continuing some of the samba-play evident in the rhythms here).

The bass player for these first three tracks is Buster Williams, who Baron had first worked with on the Visitors' 1974 album "Rebirth". Williams, who'd worked with Sonny Fortune on his 1975 album "Pinnacle", used Barron on his low-key 1976 album "Crystal Reflections". In 1978, the year this album was recorded, Barron also accompanied Williams on something of a schizophrenic musical journey across the more structurally experimental albums "Heartbeat" and "Tokudo" (the latter not released until 1989) and the relatively ultra-commercial "Dreams Come True".

Percussion and drums on this first session are handled respectively by Rafael Cruz and Ben Riley. Cruz had been on Sonny Fortune's aforementioned "Serengeti Minstrel" and "Infinity Is". Riley, a veteran of Thelonius Monk's band, had worked with Barron and Williams on Ron Carter's albums "Piccolo" (1977) and "Peg Leg" (1978).

Ben Riley subsequently became Barron's drummer-of-choice for the next twenty years, including eight albums by their 80s band "Sphere", initially a Monk tribute band, then later recording original material - that they formed with Charles Rouse and Buster Williams, with Gary Bartz coming on as saxophonist after Rouse's death.

The other session, comprising tracks 4 and 5, is built around Barron and trumpeter Jimmy Owens. Apart from the aforementioned 1967 quintet album that the two had co-led, they'd worked together on albums by Eric Kloss, James Moody, Curtis Amy, and Yusef Lateef, as well as Owens' 1970 solo album "No Escaping it".

Over the previous two years, Owens had made two albums that had swung harder towards the discofunk dollar than any of his compatriots' attempts : "Jimmy Owens" (1976) and "Headin' Home" (1978), both featuring Barron on keyboards. While the former has some funky, almost Headhunters-meet-the Mizells moments, the 1978 album sometimes pushes into territories of disco dross akin to Chuck Mangione on a sugar jag. Bassist Gary King and drummer Brian Brake from those albums form the backline for the remaining two tracks here.

Barron's track "Sunday Morning" is as harmonically unadventurous as that second Owens album, and seems to precurse a lot of the smooth jazz of the 80s, apart from a good latin rhodes solo that builds towards the end, with Billy Hart joining in on percussion before it once again descends into smooth jazz hell with yukky synth-string overkill. Nah, I dun like this one ... can you tell?

Mwandishi veteran Billy Hart - who's on percussion for these last two tracks - had first worked with Kenny Barron on Buddy Terry's 1972 album "Pure Dynamite", and had since joined him on "Lucifer", Fortune's "Awakening", Williams' "Crystal Reflections" and Charles Sullivan's "Why Not". He'd released his debut album "Enhance" for A&M the year before, featuring Buster Williams and others.

The album finishes with Owens' track "Nothing to Fear", which comes across initially as a less-adventurous Eddie Henderson fusion-jazz number, flipping occasionally to a disco backbeat, but is saved by a great extended rhodes solo from Barron.

- AND THEN ... -

Kenny Barron started to back away from electric keyboards after this album, and aside from his 1996 album "Swamp Sally" with percussionist Mino Cinelu, hasn't used them on his own albums since this one.

Later in 1978, Buster Williams, Jimmy Owens and Kenny Barron took part in his brother Bill Barron's album, the all-acoustic "Jazz Caper".

In 1979 Barron recorded an acoustic piano duet album with Tommy Flanagan for the Denon label called "Together". He recorded his first solo piano album "At the Piano" in 1981.

I also strongly recommend a listen to "Golden Lotus" on Muse from 1982 (recorded 1980) - Barron's exploring all sorts of eastern and spiritual textures alongside Buster Williams and John Stubblefield in a way that recalls his great early 70s Muse sides.

Since "Innocence", he's gone on to record another 37 albums as a leader, and at the age of 65 shows no sign of slowing down - in one of the links below you'll find a live bootleg of him at the Village Vanguard last month, August 27th 2008.


01. "Sunshower" - 12:05
02. "Innocence" - 10:07
03. "Bacchanal" - 7:58
04. "Sunday Morning" - 8:40
05. "Nothing To Fear" 7:21

All tracks by Kenny Barron except track 5 (Jimmy Owens, Chris White)


Keyboards, Arranged By - Kenny Barron
Acoustic Bass - Buster Williams (1-3)
Electric Bass Gary King (4-5)
Drums - Ben Riley (1-3) , Brian Brake (4-5)
Percussion - Billy Hart (4-5) , Rafael Cruz (1-3)
Alto Saxophone - Sonny Fortune (1-3)
Trumpet - Jimmy Owens (4-5)


Wolf Records
WOLF 1203
Producer - Joel Dorn for the Masked Announcer
Producer's Assistant - Kathy Tufaro
Engineer, remixer - Vince McGarry
Recorded and remixed at Regent Sound Studios, New York, NY

- Please add links when you come across them

1967 Joe Henderson - The Kicker at
1967 Joe Henderson - Tetragon at
1970 Freddie Hubbard - The Black Angel at
Into the Rhythm
1970 Jimmy Owens – No Escaping It at Soul Food

1972 - Yusef Lateef - "The Gentle Giant" donated by Corvimax / alternate

1971 Idris Muhammad - Peace and Rhythm at Into the Rhythm
1971 Pete Yellin - Dance Of Allegra at
The Shad Shack
1972 Jimmy Heath - The Gap Sealer at
Ile Oxumaré
1972 Yusef Lateef - Hush n Thunder at
My Favourite Sound
1972 Buddy Terry - Pure Dynamite at
Everything Is On The One
1973 James Moody - Feelin' It Together also on this blog

1973 Albert Heath - Kwanza (The First) at Ile Oxumaré
1973 Kenny Barron - Sunset to Dawn at
Orgy in Rhythm
1973 Roy Haynes - Togyu at Orgy in Rhythm
1974 Kenny Barron - Peruvian Blue at Ile Oxumaré
1974 George Freeman - Man and Woman at
My Favourite Sound
1974 Ted Curson – Quicksand
1974 George Benson – Bad Benson at
Freakywax / alternate
1974 Buddy Rich - The Last Blues Album, Vol. 1 at El Goog ja
1975 Sonny Fortune - Awakening at
Ile Oxumaré
1975 Kenny Barron - Lucifer at
Everything Is On The One
1975 Elvin Jones - New Agenda at Never Enough Rhodes
1976 James Moody - Timeless Aura at Home of Jazz 

1976 Al Gafa Quinteto - Leblon Beach at Porco's Hideaway
1976 James Moody – Sun Journey at Call It Anything
1976 Roland Prince – Colour Visions at An Ism to Horns and Beats 
1976 Buddy Rich – Speak No Evil at Barin99
1976 Jimmy Owens – Jimmy Owens at
My Jazz World
1976 Buster Williams - Crystal Reflections at
Ile Oxumaré
1976 Yusef Lateef - The Doctor Is In .. and Out at My Favourite Sound
1977 Elvin Jones – Time Capsule at Never Enough Rhodes
1977 Roland Prince – Free Spirit at Weirdope
1977 Sonny Fortune - Serengeti Minstrel at
My Jazz World
1978 Kenny Barron - Innocence at base of this post

1978 Jimmy Owens – Headin’ Home at
My Jazz World
Freddie Hubbard - Super Blue at Orgy in Rhythm
1979 Sam Jones – The Bassist
1981 Michal Urbaniak - NY5: Music For Violin & Jazz Quartet
1981 Joe Chambers – New York Concerto
1983 Al Grey, J. J. Johnson - Things are getting better all the time
1984 Sharon Freeman - That's The Way I Feel Now
1988 James Moody – Moving Forward
1996 Christian McBride - Number Two Express
1996 Kenny Barron, Mino Cinelu - Swamp Sally at No Na mo

(membership required)
KENNY BARRON leader discography
1973 "Sunset to Dawn" at Orgy in Rhythm
1974 "Peruvian Blue" at
Ile Oxumaré
1975 "Lucifer" at Everything Is On The One
1978 "Innocence" at the base of this post
1981 'At the piano'
1982 'Golden Lotus' at Orgy In Rhythm
1982 'Imo Live' at Dr Jellyfish's Rare Taringa post
1984 'Spiral'
1986 '1+1+1'
1984-87 "Green Chimneys" (released '94) at CIA contributions
1985 "Landscape" R'Share ONE TWO donated by anonymous (thanks!)
1986 "Scratch" at musica que cuelga
1986 'What if?' at Musica Desde Las Antipodas / alternate : @ Barabara Sounds
1988 'Live at Fat Tuesdays'
at Musica Desde Las Antipodas
1990 "Live at Maybeck Recital hall" at Call It Anything
1991 "Live in Copenhagen" (with Stan Getz) at CIA1991 "Lemuria-Seascape" donated by Dr Jellyfish. album info
1991 'Invitation'
1991 'Quickstep'
at Musica Desde Las Antipodas
1993 "Sambao" at Musica Desde Las Antipodas
1993 "Other Places" at na bula bula com / alternate
1994 "Wanton Spirit"
at musica que cuelga / alternate
1994 'The only one'
1994 'The moment'
1994 "Jazz En Tete" at Musica Desde Las Antipodas
1996 'New York attitude' at Musica Desde Las Antipodas
1997 "Things Unseen" at Into the Rhythm
1998 'The artistry of Kenny Barron'
2000 'Live In Tokyo' (w/Michael Brecker) at Taringa via Dr Jellyfish2000 "Spirit Song" at Into the Rhythm
2002 "Live at Bradley's" at Avax2002 "Canta Brasil" (with Trio de Paz) at Um Que Tenha / alternate
2004 "Images" at Jazz a gogo
2004 'A table for two'
2004 'Images' at Jazzsi
2005 'Super Trio' '(Super standards') at Jazzsi
2005 'Live at Bradley's II: the perfect set' at Avax
2006 Live at JazzBaltica (bootleg) at Bogard's Jazztapes
2008 "Live at the Village Vanguard" at Jazz Boot Experiment
2008 "The Traveler" at DMusic Club
KENNY BARRON co-leader discography

Jimmy Owens-Kenny Barron Quintet "You Had Better Listen" at Casquería fina y menudillos de ocasión
1975 with Ted Dunbar - 'In Tandem' at The Dr Jellyfish Jazz Collection
1978 with Tommy Flanagan - 'Together'
1986 with Buster Williams - 'Two as one
'1981 with Bobby Hutcherson & others - "One Night Stand" at My Jazz World
1986 with Red Mitchell - "The Red Barron Duo" - gone, re-up someone ?
1989 with Stan Getz - "Bossas and Ballads : The Lost Sessions" at rfccbh
1990 with the John Hicks Quartet - 'Rhythm-a-ning'
1991 with Joe Locke - 'But beautiful'
1991 with Stan Getz - "People Time" at seventeen green buicks / alternate
1991 with Stan Getz - "Copenhagen 1991" (bootleg) at Ubu Roi
1991 with Stan Getz - 'Café Montmartre'
1992 with Barry Harris - 'Confirmation
1996 with Mino Cinelu - "Swamp Sally" at No Na mo (membership required)
1998 with Charlie Haden - "Night and the City" at Singin' and Swingin'
1999 with Brad Mehldau - "Live at Umbria Jazz Festival" at Music for my people
2001 with Regina Carter - Freefall" at Jazz a gogo or lossless
2002 with George Robert - 'Peace' at Musica Desde Las Antipodas2003 "The Art Of Three : Cobham-Carter-Barron live in japan" at Avax
2007 with James Moody - 'Fly me to the moon' (1962-63 recordings) at CIA2008 with Harvie S (Swartz) - "Now Was The Time" - gone, re-up someone ?

Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse / Gary Bartz, Ben Riley, Buster Williams

1982 "Four In One" at Seventeen Green Buicks1983 "Flight Path" at Call It Anything1985 "On Tour"
1986 "Live At Umbria Jazz"
1986 "Pumpkin's Delight" (live)
1987 "Four For all"
1987 "Sphere" at Musica Desde Las Antipodas / alt
1988 "Bird Songs"

1975 Sonny Fortune - "Awakening" at Ile Oxumaré
1977 Ron Carter - "Piccolo"
1978 Kenny Barron - "Innocence" in comments here1981 KB / Bobby Hutcherson - "One Night Stand" at My Jazz World

1986 with Red Mitchell - "The Red Barron Duo" - gone, re-up someone ?
1989 KB / Stan Getz - "Bossas and Ballads : The Lost Sessions" at rfccbh
1990 KB / John Hicks - "Rhythm-a-Ning"

1990 "Live at Maybeck Recital hall" at Call It Anything

1993 Jeanie Bryson - "I Love Being Here With You" at Singin' and Swingin'


Vinyl rip by swboy. Big thanks!
Text by Simon666Research from Michael Fitzgerald's Kenny Barron discography.

Album links in this post go to :

Call It Anything, Vinyl4giants, Into the Rhythm, Orgy In Rhythm, The Sly Mongoose, Alainfinkielgrautrock, My Favourite Sound, Ile Oxumaré, Everything Is On the One, Pharoah's Dance, K Kao Shima, El Goog Ja, Blog o Blog, Jazzclub No Na Mo, I Sounds, The Shad Shack, Freakywax, musica que cuelga, banattan, na bula bula com, Music for my people, Singin' and Swingin', Jazz a gogo, YuYazz,
seventeen green buicks, My Jazz World, Um Que Tenha, Fender Jazz Music, Where Did All this Steam Come From?, Jazzever, Casquería fina y menudillos de ocasión, and Jazzy2U.

Please thank and support these bloggers if you click through and download.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Galapagos Duck - "St James" (1976)

Continuing the series of rare mid-70s Australian jazz albums (also see "Crossfire" from last week), this is the third album from Sydney-based band Galapagos Duck from 1975. Formed in 1969, they were initially the house band at "The Basement", the city's main jazz venue. I used to come across them in my teens, often playing at outdoor festivals. This album features guest woodwinds player Don Burrows, something of a stalwart in the jazz scene of the time. The album was produced by Horst Liepolt for his 44 Records label - Liepolt seems to have been behind most of the city's jazz releases, festivals and venues in the 60s and 70s.

It features the ubiquitous rhodes and wah-wah woodwinds of the period and has a good loose, live feel on most tracks, with little overdubbing. Strange mix of tracks as an overall album, though - sometimes it's riffing on contemporary forms, then suddenly lurches back to trad New Orleans, particularly when Burrows is on clarinet. Reading between the lines, this was a band that had to please many audiences to maintain a working lifestyle in a city that was just starting to develop a jazz scene that went beyond the apeing of classic forms - so there's still a bit of crowd-pleasing going on here. Nevertheless, enough good stuff here to make it worthwhile, and I like McNamara's work on keyboards in particular. Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks to Keith from the Midoztouch community forum for the rip and scans.


01. 'St James Infirmary' (Trad, arr. Galapagos Duck)
02. 'Flutin' ' (Galapagos Duck)
03. 'Ivory Moss' (Tom Hare, Chris Qua, Marty Mooney)
04. 'For Elizabeth'
(Galapagos Duck)
05. 'Hey Timbales' (Marty Mooney, Tom Hare, Chris Qua ) 
06. 'That Particular Model' (Paul McNamara)
07. 'What Am I Doing Here'
(Paul McNamara) 
08. 'Teo' (Paul McNamara) 
09. 'Mr Bojangles' (J. J. Walker)
10. 'Squeelers and Grunters'
(Galapagos Duck)


Tom Hare - trumpet, drums, saxaphones, flugelhorn

Don Burrows - clarinet, baritone sax, 5 key school flute, cabasa
Marty Mooney - tenor sax, flute, clarinet
Paul McNamara - electric piano, acoustic piano
Chris Qua - bass, bass violin, flugelhorn
Willie Qua - drums, flute, electric flute


44 Records
Catalogue number 6357 704
Recorded November-December 1975Produced by Horst Liepolt
Recorded and mixed by Ross Kirkland at the Earth Media Recording Company, Sydney.
Album design by Lorraine Hall
Photos by Terry Slyer Graphic Concept
Distributed in Australia by Phonogram Pty Ltd

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aquarian Dream - "You're a Star / Play It For Me (One More Time)" 12" (1977)

Thought i'd leave the sticker on, though it's better described as 126 bpm

I've got a couple of big posts that are taking too long to prepare, so I thought I'd drop another 12" single on you in the meantime.

We had an extensive look at Norman Connors' jazz life last month with the albums "Dance Of Magic" and Jazz-Nekko's "Live at Nemu Jazz Inn" - the first of those posts has a full Connors discography with blog links.

Today's 12" single features both Norman Connors and Gary Bartz again, but this is a very different record from those other two. The band Aquarian Dream were Connors' pet funky disco project, launched in 1976 with their debut album "Norman Connors presents Aquarian Dream", the same year as Connors hit his commercial peak with his own album "You Are my Starship".

The two tracks on this 12" come from their second album "Fantasy" (1978), though the edits are slightly different from the album versions. The uptempo "You're a Star" has had several lives on the dancefloor, most recently in sped-up, house-ified fashion on Dimitri From Paris' first "Night at the Playboy Mansion" compilation in 2000. Connors himself, and writer Jacques Burvick, also revisited the track on the 1980 "Celestial Sky" album by the Starship Orchestra.

These days I'm more likely to spin the funkier "Play It For Me One More Time", which has a great strong vocal from Gloria Jones and Sylvia Striplin. Fantastic lineup on both of these tracks, check below.

Neither of the first two Aquarian Dream albums were great commercial successes at the time, though their reputation has grown since. They broke their ties with Norman Connors and recorded a third album, "Chance to Dance" (1979) with producer Jeff Lane, best known for his work with B.T. Express and Brass Construction. After the commercial failure of that album they broke up.

Hope you enjoy this one!

** Also, continuing the new explosion of jazz blogs, check out Cheeba's new THE SHAD SHACK - a Mainstream Records Fan Site, for all sorts of funky goodness.


1. "You're a Star" (5:30)
2. "Play It For me one More Time" (4:28)

Both tracks written by Aquarian Dream / Jacques Burvick


Vocals - Gloria Jones , Marcella Allen , Patricia Shannon , Sylvia Striplin
Backing Vocals - Julia Tillman Waters , Luther Waters , Maxine Willard Waters , Oren Waters
Bass - Eddie Watkins , Ernie Adams
Drums - James Gadson , James Morrison
Fender Rhodes, Micro Moog, Poly Moog, Vocals, Piano - Jacques Burvick
Guitar - Wah Wah Watson , Ray Parker Jr.
Guitar, Vocals, Percussion - Claude Bartee III
Horns - Garnet Brown & The L.A. Horns
Keyboards - Winston Daley
Soprano Saxophone - Gary Bartz
Soprano & Tenor Saxophone, Vocals - Claude Bartee Jr.
Strings - Bill Henderson
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals - Albert Jones


Elektra, WEA Records Ltd.
Catalog#: LV 7, LV 7
Executive Producer - Don Mizell
Producer - Norman Connors
Arranged By - Aquarian Dream, McKinley Jackson
Co-producer (1) - Jacques Burvick
Remix Assistant (1) - Bob Bullock , Jimmy Simpson
Assistant To The Producer - Aki Aleong
Mastered By - John Golden
Mixed By - Barney Perkins
Recorded and mixed at ABC Dunhill Studios
Horns and strings recorded at Burbank Studios
Mixed at Burbank Studios
Mastered and remixed at Kendun Studios


Vinyl rip by Simon 666.
Album links in this post go to : Baby Grandpa, Blak's Lair, My Jazz World, Black to Blog.
Please thank and support these bloggers if you click through and download ...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

15 great rhodes albums

A reader recently asked me to give a "Top Ten" of rhodes albums. This is not that - I avoid things like 'Top Tens" because they change all the time for me – something I was excited about ten years ago, and might be sick of now, may be completely new and exciting to someone else - and also, I judge albums on overall criterion, not just on the "rhodes content".

If I was forced into a “Top Ten” of all time, I guess there’d be lots of Herbie Hancock, Lonnie Liston Smith, early Patrice Rushen etc. etc., and some albums from here like George Duke's "Inner Source" and Bill Evans' "Symbiosis"....

But instead, here's a random list of some rhodes-flavoured jazz albums I've recently been enjoying or re-listening to from other blogs over the past year, with a few classics thrown in as well.

So, not a top ten, but a random fifteen.

( 6-years-later note : files from dead blogs and dead posts now re-upped! )

"Hairpin Circus” – Masabumi Kikuchi from El Goog Ja

"Call" - Michael Naura,  from Ish

”Four Corners” – Second Direction originally from The Growing Bin and Forrealheadz