Friday, February 27, 2009

LaMont Johnson - "Nine : A Mystical Musical Allegory" (1976)

 Time for another rhodes album ... this has been around but I wanted to up the bitrate quality because it's a fine album, and also dig into the life of the fascinating Mr Johnson ...

LaMont Johnson appeared as a post-bop pianist in the 1960s, playing on albums like "Demon's Dance" (1967) for saxophonist Jackie McClean, and winning the Downbeat Magazine Jazz Critic's poll as "New Pianist of the Year" in 1968.

Johnson was something of a renaissance man : He was an accomplished recording engineer, and built Downeast Recording Studios, the first studio in the lower east side of NYC. He put out a German-language book of poems in the early 1960s called "Schwarzer Zweifel" ("Black Doubt"); and was a co-designer of some animation techniques for Hanna-Barbera. I'm considering calling him to see if he can fix my stove as well.

In 1972 he released "Sun, Moon and Stars", on which he started experimenting with electric keyboards, bending an organ out of shape, experimenting with synths and mixing in rhodes on others. The tracks range from post-bop to funky jazz, and their titles seem to suggest some dabbling in astrology. Grab it from Ile Oxumaré. He also scored a B-film called "How Come Nobody's On Our Side ?", in which two bikers turn to astrology and drug-smuggling to get money. As you do.

Later in 1972 he helmed an ambitious independant soul-funk album called "Speed Of Light" by Mokie, J.J. and R.O.B. This time around, Johnson produced, wrote most of the tracks and played keyboards. The styles range from southern soul to orchestrated, string-and-multi-tracked vocal pieces that suggest a slightly funkier Fifth Dimension.

There's a thankyou to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard on the cover credits for "Speed Of Light" - Johnson had also composed music for a 1970 Church Of Scientology short film called "Freedom", based on Hubbard's writings. He went on to form the first branch of the church to minister to celebrities. When he later rejected Scientology, he faced the full force of their renowned "Fair Game" revenge policy, including, it is said, having his studio burnt down.

'Thunderfist' - opening theme
DOWNLOAD TRACK as long as you don't mind a mid-section of German dialogue, a safe being cracked, the occasional gasp ... .

Moving into both film production/distribution and film composition, Lamont Johnson had an early success in 1973 with his kung fu feature "Thunderfist" (aka "Lightning Fists Of Death"), for which a promo 7" single was released. I also managed to download a section of a German-dubbed torrent of the movie, so the track in the player above is ripped from the opening sequence (but is not on the EP). I'll translate the film for you, like, next year or something ....

Between 1973 and 1976 he concentrated on film production, started two film distribution companies, and composed music for commercials, for which he won nine major awards. He continued producing kung fu films up until 1983's "When Dragons Collide".

In 1976 he came back to recording with this album - "Nine : A Mystical Music Alllegory". You can see from his cosmic notes below that numerology was now all the rage, but let's just say that Lamont would probably not have been Obama's next pick for Commerce Secretary, and get into the music.

Imagine a Lonnie Liston Smith 70s cop movie ("Calypso After Nine", "The Cat and Nine Tomorrows"), filled with rhodes, great soundtrack-like string arrangements ("Nine") and the occasional Bl*ck J*zz-ish soul-jazz workout ("Benign Beginning", "Dare To Be Different") - and you'll get an impression of this fine album. Previews above if you missed them.

It's got superb production but is never too slick, and it's got modal harmonic structures mixed with interesting touches like plucked/scraped piano strings and toy pianos. Johnson's rhodes work is dense and flowing, fully in control of the dynamics in the way he used the in-built effects.

In the string arrangements for the Karmazyn String Ensemble you can really hear that Johnson's been working on film action structures in the past few years - in fact, his co-orchestrator is Gordon Konkle, who had worked with him on the "Thunderfist" soundtrack. Other musicians include Ronnie Laws, Rudy Johnson, Ndugu Chancler and Blue Mitchell, who'd been on the "Thunderfist" soundtrack.

Check it out!


01. 'Benign Beginning' (5:53)
The sound of love, enchanted lovers - the energy of beginning Life

02. 'Nine' (12:51)
a) 'Philosopher's Stone' - The first statement of the concept of Creation - "I AM"
b) 'Alchemy' - Positive and negative forces moulding and changing Creation - "I CREATE"
c) 'Touchstone' - The test against all odds, and arrival at Truth - "I AM INDEED"

03. 'Calypso After Nine' (5:54)
A lovers' dance, swirling, floating through spirals of Time, infinitely

04. 'The Cat And Nine Tomorrows' (13:28)
For the Cat, each moment is an eon, and he continues and continue
05. 'Dare To Be Different' (7:37)
Throughout the universe, each species exalts in his beingness
06. 'No, I Never End' (3:15)
Infinity achieved and exposed for all, through the knowledge of Self
All tracks composed by LaMont Johnson


NINE, the spiritual number, added to another number does not change the number, subtracted from a number gives you the number, and when multiplied by another number gives you itself. Explore, and you'll find many more properties for NINE.

Eight (8) represents the unity of two totalities - 0 and 0. Turned on its side, eight becomes the symbol for infinity (∞), or the Universe.

One (1), of course, is Man, or the Individual.

In composing this music, I let NINE be made up of 1 and 8, where 1 represents you (or me), and 8 represents your infinite capability (or my own). The music makes the statement - YOU AND YOUR INFINITE CAPABILITY (1 + 8) ARE GREATER THAN THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE (∞). NINE is a song to You and Me - sublime, infinite Beings flowing and growing through time, infinitely. I sing my song to you and share with you the moment eternal.

You are infinite as am I, and we endure longer than litany, mantra, chant or prayer. I send you my love through my music, as others send me their love and one sends us his all.
- LaMont Johnson."


Keyboards, synthesisers, percussion - LaMont Johnson
Moog programming - Paul Beaver
Acoustic Bass - Stanley Gilbert
Fender Bass - Chuck Rainey, Stanley Gilbert
Drums - Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Nate Neblett
Flugelhorn - Alex Rodriguez, Richard "Blue" Mitchell
Flute - Ronnie Laws
French Horn - Chris Boyle
Guitar - Tony Drake
Harp - Richard Kade
Sax (Soprano) - Rudy Johnson
Sax (Tenor) - Ronnie Laws, Rudy Johnson
Trumpet- Alex Rodriguez, Richard "Blue" Mitchell
Woodwind - John Kip

Strings - The Karmazyn String Ensemble 


Recorded and released in 1976
A MasterScores production
Produced by LaMont Johnson & Gil Rosoff
Assistant Producer - Caroline Judd
Orchestrations - LaMont Johnson and Gordie Konkle
Cover Art - Gil Rosoff / MasterScores
Photography - Bev Kelly
Artist Management - MMG-Taylor and Associates, San Diego, CA
Special thanks to : Diane Millett, Sandy Rosen, Stan Gilbert, Gordie Konkle.


Rip by Simon666Thanks to Fraykerbreaks for alerting me to this album.
Album links within the text go to Jazz Disposition, Ile Oxumare and Fraykerbreaks.
Please thank these guys if you visit them.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Harold Vick - "Commitment" (1967/74)

I've been on the trail of this album ever since I did a history of saxaphonist Harold Vick and came across the killer track "H.N.I.C", which apparently stands for 'Head N#@@er In Charge'. So a few weeks ago, I went into ebay with all guns blazing, fought the good fight, and here we are ....

In 1966, three years after his organ n' sax debut "Steppin' Out", Vick released two quite different albums on RCA Victor : the latin-flavoured "Caribbean Suite" and the relatively straight-ahead "Straight Up".

Discography minutiae :

"Commitment" was generally thought to also have been recorded in 1966, languishing in the vaults until Muse put it out in 1974. However, due to some help from the folks over at the Organissimo forums, it seems that this album was most probably recorded for RCA Victor on May 1-2, 1967. Sessions on those dates are listed as having exactly the same lineup, with three same-named tracks. The other four tracks here are the Vick compositions, so I think we can safely assume that he re-named them seven years later. This would mean there are still three unreleased tracks somewhere, including a version of "Sunny".

It remains a mystery why this album was shelved for seven years. Vick released one more album with RCA, 1968's orchestrated "Watch What Happens". He went on to Encounter Records for the funky "Power Of Feeling" in 1973 under a pseudonym, then had a heart attack in April 1974. However, by August he was back in the studio recording "Don't Look Back" for Strata-East.

Sometime in the last four months of 1974, Muse released these 1967 recordings as "Commitment", and then Strata-East released "Don't Look Back". Independent label war ?

Annnnnnyway ... these sessions were and are worth excavating :

While the instrumentation is the same as that of "Straight Up" from the year before - saxaphone, guitar, vibes, piano, bass and drums - this is a more live, less orchestrated band who break out more often, harking back to some of the rawness of the "Steppin' Out"album.

Even in straight-ahead jazz tracks like "Commitment" and "Out Of It" there's a sense of communication between the soloists that is sometimes missing from Vick's more heavily 'arranged' albums from the 60s. Vick flourishes in this looser atmosphere, and his playing is beautiful and lyrical throughout.

There's a fantastic up-tempo take on Jimmy Heath's "A Time and A Place" , which you may know from Heath's 1974 album, or versions by Art Farmer, Milt Jackson and others. The jazz dancers should cream themselves over this one, with solid solos from Vick's tenor, pianist Walter Bishop Jr (last seen here with "Cubicle"), vibesman Victor Feldman, and guitarist Malcolm Riddick showing some Grant Green-like moves.

Victor Feldman, who's a significant presence on this album, takes over Bishop's piano chair for "H.N.I.C" to contribute a fiery, percussive piano solo that winds around Vick's flute throughout the track.

While mostly heard on tenor sax on this album, Vick switches to soprano for a beautiful reading of "Wild is the Wind" , supported just by Feldman's vibes, and Bishop's piano, backed by sparse work from Herb Bushler's bass and Mickey Roker on drums.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this album, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Download links and more Harold Vick albums are below.

Corrected as much as possible from an original Discogs entry - unsure who's on bass for some tracks.
01 Commitment (5:10)

Drums - Mickey RokerBass - Ben TuckerGuitar - Malcolm Riddick
Piano - Walter Bishop
Vibraphone - Victor Feldman
Tenor Saxaphone - Harold Vick
Written By - Harold Vick
H.N.I.C. (5:00)

Drums - Mickey RokerBass - Ben Tucker
Piano - Victor Feldman
Flute - Harold Vick
Written By - Harold Vick
A Time And A Place (6:10)

Bass - Ben Tucker
Drums - Mickey Roker
Guitar - Malcolm Riddick
Piano - Walter Bishop
Vibraphone - Victor Feldman
Tenor Saxaphone - Harold Vick
Written By - Jimmy Heath
Out Of It (5:30)

Bass - Herb Bushler
Drums - Mickey Roker
Guitar - Malcolm Riddick
Piano - Walter Bishop
Vibraphone - Victor Feldman
Tenor Saxaphone - Harold Vick
Written By - Harold Vick
Wild Is The Wind (4:18)

Bass - Herb Bushler Drums - Mickey RokerPiano - Walter Bishop
Vibraphone - Victor Feldman
Soprano Saxaphone - Harold Vick
Written By - Dimitri Tiomkin , Ned Washington
Blue Gardenia (4:24)

Drums - Mickey Roker Bass - Herb Bushler
Piano - Victor FeldmanTenor Saxaphone - Harold Vick
Written By - Bob Russell , Lester Lee
From Within (4:48)

Bass - Herb Bushler
Drums - Mickey Roker
Guitar - Malcolm Riddick
Piano - Walter Bishop
Vibraphone - Victor Feldman
Tenor Saxaphone - Harold Vick
Written By - Harold Vick

PRODUCTION CREDITS Recorded May 1-2, 1967 at Bell Sound Studios, New York.Muse Records MR-5054
Released in 1974
Producer, Liner Notes - Fred Norsworthy
Artwork By - Ron Warwell
Photography - Jim Dunn

(Presuming that four Vick compositions here were later re-named)

New York, May 1st 1967Harold Vick (fl,ts) Vic Feldman (p,vib) Walter Bishop Jr. (p) Malcolm Riddick (g) Ben Tucker (b) Mickey Roker (d)

UPA1-4086 Sunny (unissued) RCA
UPA1-4087 Reflections
UPA1-4088 Home is where love is
UPA1-4089 A time and a place
UPA1-4090 Like Alice
UPA1-4091 Where butterflies play
UPA1-4092 Pitco blues

New York, May 2nd, 1967

Bob Bushner (b) replaces Tucker, rest same

UPA1-4093 Blue gardenia (unissued) RCA
UPA1-4094 Wild is the wind
UPA1-4095 Leave it the way it is
UPA1-4096 Where butterflies play


1963 "Steppin' Out" at Ile Oxumaré
1964 rejected Blue Note sessions May 27th
1966 "Straight Up" at
Call It Anything
1966 "The Caribbean Suite" at
Orgy in Rhythm
1967/74 "Commitment" (released 1974) in comments here.
"Watch What Happens" also at Never Enough Rhodes
1973 "Power of Feeling" (Vicks as "Sir Edward") also at Never Enough Rhodes
1974 "Don't Look Back" also at Never Enough Rhodes
1977 "After The Dance" at My Jazz World

is HERE.

Vinyl rip by Simon666This vinyl is a little worn. I used a new needle, but there's some mild distortion here and there, not too bad.
Album links in this post go to : Ile Oxumare, Orgy In Rhythm, Call It Anything.
Please thank and support these bloggers if you click through ..


Friday, February 13, 2009

Sarah Vaughan - "Feelin' Good" (1972, Mainstream)

22.3.09 - Hello to all the New York Times readers who read the story about the man searching for "Just a Little Lovin" ... a friend sent me the article today. My conjecture is that the guy who finally sent him the song a few weeks ago got it from here ... timing seems right ... anyway welcome, enjoy, say hi in the comments ...

Sarah Vaughan's third studio album for Mainstream Records sits somewhere between the lush orchestrations of the Michel Legrand "Sarah Vaughan" album and the pop-jazz stylings of "Send In The Clowns" and "A Time In My Life".

"Feelin' Good"
includes both contemporary pop songs and classics with rich orchestrations coming from three groups of arrangers.

This is not my usual jazz - the album arrived in a throwaway box from a retiring DJ. I dismissed it on a quick listen, but revisited it when I noticed that it was missing from the Shad Shack, and several tracks have grown on me since.

At this stage of her career Vaughan is something of a vocal dramatist, and here refines the dynamic range that Legrand's orchestrations had afforded her on the previous album. To my mind, she hits the mark in spectacular fashion on about half of this album ... and sounds like a drag queen channelling Shirley Bassey on the other half.

Michel Legrand's only contribution here is "Deep in the Night", an extraordinary track that builds from a cocktail bar blues into a full scale drama that leaves you breathless, with vocal and instrumental arrangements that trump anything on their previous collaboration - it ended up being tacked on to the CD re-release of the other album.

"Easy Evil" is a great restrained soulful piece, previously covered on this blog on Marcia Hines' album "Marcia Shines". Some nice wah-wah guitar, building brass and evil strings. "Promise Me" is a good ballad, with a nice reverbed second vocal playing call-and-answer with Vaughan's main vocal.

"Take a Love Song"
sounds here like a lost Burt Bacharach number that deserves to be found, and is written by Donny Hathaway - just another example of his lost genius, covered from his second studio album.

"Just a Little Lovin' " is the established sample dig here (though I never quite understand why people want to dig holes that have already been dug, isn't that more canine than hip hop, behaviourly speaking? ) Anyway ... a guy named Irfane had a notable, catchy underground success about four years ago when he chopped it over a compressed house pulse, first running into sample clearance problems and then later releasing it on an album under the moniker "Outlines". Here's that track.

Hope you enjoy this album, just watch out for "Alone Again (Naturally)" and a cover of the Bee Gee's "Run To Me", along with a few of the others they're just a little bit scary. This album is guaranteed 50 % killer!

01. And The Feeling's Good (4:20)
(N.Gimbel - C.Fox)

02. Just A Little Lovin' Early In The Mornin' (3:07)

03. Alone Again (Naturally) (4:25)
(R. O'Sullivan)
04. Rainy Days And Mondays (3:42)

05. Deep In The Night (3:17)

06. Run To Me (3:00)
(Bee Gees - R.Stigwood)

07. Easy Evil (3:04)
(Alan O'Day)

08. Promise Me (4:00)
(Peter Matz - Carol Hall)

09. Take A Love Song (3:25)
(D.Hathaway - N.McKinnon)

10. Greatest Show On Earth (3:00)
(J.Marcellino - M.Larson)

11. When You Think Of It (4:00)
(R. Allen - A.Kent)

Mainstream Records MRL 379
Producer - Bobby Shad
Conductor, Arranged By:
Allyn Ferguson (tracks 2, 6, 10)
Jack Elliott (tracks 2, 6, 10)
Michel Legrand (tracks 5)
Peter Matz (tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9)

Vinyl rip by Simon666
Links in this post go to the Shad Shack and Daytime Lovers.
Thank them for their work if you go there!


Please say hi in the comments. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hermeto Pascoal on the rhodes (1979)

Brazilian wunderkind Hermeto Pascoal on the bowl and then the rhodes.

This man can do no wrong, give him four minutes of your time.

There's a voiceover in the first minute, and in the comments Renato has interpreted it for us :

"the guy is giving a resume of Hermeto's life, like place of birth, the groups he played in (before his solo career) and that he played with some jazz monsters (like miles). is also said that this record took place 02 years after the release of 'Slaves Mass', so we can assume that it was 1979... "

Too busy for a full discography right now, but you definitely need "Hermeto" (1970) , "A Música Livre de Hermeto Pascoal" (1973) and "Slaves Mass" (1977).

If you like those, his other solo albums are pretty well covered here, here and here.

Links today go to Ile Oxumare, Loronix, Quintal Cultural, Um Que Tenha, The Bossa Blog and Buscador.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sarah Vaughan - "Send In the Clowns" (1974, Mainstream)

Art Director : "Don't worry Sarah, you'll look great!"

A post for the Shad Shack, cheeba's temple to all-things-Mainstream Records.

After an uncharacteristic four year break from recording, Sarah Vaughan began an association in 1971 with Bob Shad's new label, Mainstream Records - he'd worked with her during her time at Mercury Records.

First cab off the rank was the album "A Time In My Life", produced and arranged by Count Basie veteran Ernie Wilkins, and featuring a fantastic version of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" - also check a preview here. Generally, that album's a nice mix of classic pop-jazz orchestration with some "band" elements thrown in, including the occasional rhodes. The Wilkins version of "On Thinking It Over" from there, written by Brian Auger, also re-appears on today's album.

She followed that in 1972 with "Sarah Vaughan", a collaboration with Michel Legrand and his orchestra. It's a more traditional ballad collection with some superb string arangements from Legrand. 1973 saw the release of "Feelin' Good", which I've finally ripped and will throw at you when I get the cover scans fixed up - it has several different arrangers and is overall a better album than this one.

After a few live albums for Mainstream, her final studio release for the label was this one, 1974's "Send In The Clowns". Possible confusion : she released another album under the same title for Pablo Records in 1981, and later also used the title for a greatest hits collection - but this is the 1974 Mainstream release.

Primary arranger here is Gene Page, whose work with Barry White and Love Unlimited was exploding into the charts at the time. You can echoes of that work in the simple, unison-based string arrangements and backing vocals, though the disco beat is absent - there's more elements of a blues-based southern soul.

AMG's Scott Yanow calls this album ...
... which Google's "Yanow Interpreter" translates as "contains pop/soul elements and some electric instrumentation - and there's that damned rhodes again!". Essentially this is an early 70s pop/soul album with some jazz stylings - you've just got to look at it from a different perspective to her earlier work.

Anyway - not an all-killer-no-filler, there are a few absolute stinkers, but enough good moments to recommend checking it out. "That'll Be Johnny" and "On Thinking It Over" are the standouts for me. "I Need You More" has a Fifth Dimension flavour that I like, and arranger Michel Legrand returns with an arrangement of Jobim's "Wave".

Later in 1974, Vaughan's then-lover/manager (I need one of those!) Marshall Fisher apparently had a fight with Mainstream Records over a record cover (this one??) and/or unpaid royalties, and Vaughan remained without a record contract for a further three years, until she signed with Pablo Records in 1977 and dumped Fisher.

This is a rip from a deleted CD re-release with a much nastier cover even than the one above, and it's remarkably short of information, but I've gathered what I can below.


TRACKLIST1. 'Send in the Clowns'
(Stephen Sondheim)
2. 'Love Don't Live Here Anymore'
(Rose Marie McCoy / Reddington)

3. 'That'll Be Johnny'
(H.Miller / Rose Marie McCoy)

4. 'Right in the Next Room'
(H.Miller / Rose Marie McCoy)

5. 'I Need You More (Than Ever Now)
(H.Miller / Rose Marie McCoy /Holley)
6. 'On Thinking It Over'
(Brian Auger / J.Mullen)
7. 'Do Away With April'
(H.Miller / H.Greenfield)
8. 'Wave'
(A.C. Jobim)
9. 'Got to Go See If I Can't Get Daddy to Come Back Home'
(H.Miller / Rose Marie McCoy)
10. 'Frasier (The Sensuous Lion)'
(Johnny Mercer / Jimmy Rowles)

PRODUCTION INFORMATIONReleased in 1974, Mainstream Records MRL 412
Produced by Bob Shad
Arranger on 2-5, 7, 9 - Gene Page
Arranger on 1 - P.Griffin
Arranger on 6 : Ernie Wilkins
Arranger on 8 : Michel Legrand
Arranger on 10 : Wade Marcus


Rip by
Other links in this post go to : The Shad Shack, Daytime Lovers, Crap jazz Covers and Blaxploitation Jive.
Please thank these fine folks for their music if you go there.

Some info sourced from Michael Minn's Sarah Vaughan biography.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bennie Maupin - "Walter Bishop Jr." (2006)

'Walter Bishop Jr.'

As a follow-up to yesterday's "Cubicle" post, here's a beautiful track called "Walter Bishop Jr", by Bennie Maupin, from his 2006 album "Penumbra". I've put the whole track in the preview this time, so just have a listen and download it if you like it.

Saxaphone - Bennie Maupin
Percussion - Munyungo Jackson, Michael Stephans
Bass - Darek Oles

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Walter Bishop Jr.- "Cubicle" (1978, Muse)

Several great tracks on this 1978 Muse album by keyboardist Walter Bishop Jr. , who's mostly on rhodes here and still has some of his Black Jazz flavors intact. "Cubicle" comes the year after his Muse album 'Soul Village' and features similar instrumentation and some similar textures. It's also a nice clean piece of vinyl.

There's still some rawness here - the album doesn't have 1978 slick arrangement/production values stamped all over it, even though the vast majority of these musicians seemed to be getting most of their work on CTI albums at the time. While then-ubiquitous pop/jazz session trumpeter Randy Brecker is here, his precision is nicely balanced with the more lyrical, loose work of trombonist Curtis Fuller, and saxophonists Rene McClean and Pepper Adams.

Over the course of his solo career, Bishop tended to re-record different versions of songs by himself and others from one album to the next. "Cubicle" is no exception, with half of the tracks having appeared on previous albums in occasionally radically different forms.

The opener "Valley Land" has rarely left my turntable since I acquired the record. Previously recorded as a piano trio instrumental on Bishop's 1974 "Valley Land" album, here it's beefed up into an energetic vocal track featuring a young Carmen Lundy in one of her first recordings.

It sounds like a Strata-East track from earlier in the decade, perhaps from Billy Parker's Fourth World, or even like a Doug Carn vocal track, with Ray Mantilla's latin percussion working upfront. Check it out on the preview. (Also, check out a few different versions of Carmen Lundy singing the classic track "Time Is Love" over at Private Press).

'Summertime' excerpt 

The album features Bishop's fourth recording of the standard "Summertime". He'd given blues-infused jazz readings of the track on 1963's "Walter Bishop Trio" and the 1964 recording on "Bish-Bash", then funked it up on his 1973 Black Jazz album "Keeper of my Soul", switching from piano to a harsh hammond organ that probably demanded a heavier backline than he had there.

The "Cubicle" version of "Summertime" is his funkiest yet - Bishop switches to rhodes, and this time is ably supported by the ubiquitous Billy Hart on drums, great percussion from Ray Mantilla - who put out an excellent solo album the year before - and a nice dirty baritone solo from Pepper Adams.
"Those Who Chant" receives a similar treatment to the version on 1973's 'Keeper Of My Soul', although the unison doubling of Joe Caro's guitar with Bishop's rhodes gives the melody a slight fusion edge (but thankfully not too much!). There's some nice rhodes solo work in the track as well - Bishop had just played acoustic in the earlier version. Caro's guitar work is generally in a restrained soul-jazz style, perhaps more suited to Bishop's work than Steve Khan's was on "Soul Village".

"Now, Now That You've Left Me" is a bossa-tinged piece that recalls some of the tracks on "Soul Village", or perhaps some of Kenny Barron's work from the same period. It's written by the album's producer Mitch Farber, who later released an album called "Starclimber" (1982) on Muse.
Bishop gives the rhodes treament to "My Little Suede Shoes" a favourite standard from his Charlie Parker days, and finally returns to his bop roots with an acoustic rendition of the title track "Cubicle", pre-cursing his return to a concentration on acoustic piano work that would follow this album.



01. 'Valley Land' - 6:34 -
(W. Bishop Jr.)
02. 'My Little Suede Shoes' - 4:50 - (C.Parker)
03. 'Those Who Chant' - 7:08 - (W. Bishop Jr.)
04. 'Summertime' - 8:06 - (G. Gershwin - D. Heyward)
05. 'Now, Now That You've Left Me' - 6:35 - (M. Farber)
06. 'Cubicle' - 4:12 - (W. Bishop Jr.)


Bass [Fender] - Bob Cranshaw , Mark Egan (tracks 1,4)
Drums - Billy Hart
Guitar - Joe Caro
Keyboards - Walter Bishop, Jr.
Percussion - Ray Mantilla
Saxophone (Alto, Soprano, Tenor) - Rene McLean
Saxophone (Baritone) - Pepper Adams
Trombone - Curtis Fuller
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Randy Brecker
Vocals - Carmen Lundy (track 1)


 Producer, Arranged By - Mitch Farber
Engineer - Elvin Campbell
Art Direction, Photography - Hal Wilson


1961 'Speak Low'
at jazzdisposition or Pharoah's Dance
1961 'Milestones'
('Speak Low' with three alternate takes added)
1963 'The Walter Bishop Trio' (FLAC)
at Sic Vos Non Vobis
1964-68 'Bish Bash' (MP3)
at Pharoah's Dance
1964-68 'Bish Bash' (FLAC)
at Call It Anything
1971 'Coral Keys' (FLAC)
at Call It Anything
1973 'Keeper Of My Soul'
1974 'Valley Land'
at Ile Oxumare1975 'Soliloquy' at My Jazz World
1976 'Old Folks' at Casqueria Fina Y Menudillos de Ocasion
1977 'Hot House' at Arkadin's Ark
1977 'Soul Village' 1978 'Cubicle' in comments here
1978 'The Trio'
(with Billy Hart, George Mraz)
1988 'Just in Time'
1989 'Ode to Bird'
1990 'What's New'
1991 'Midnight Blue'
1998 'Speak Low Again'


Vinyl rip by

Apart from the discography, other album links in this post go to : My Jazz World, Ile Oxumare, Orgy In Rhythm, Sic Vos Non Vobis, Pharoah's Dance, Call It Anything, Private Press and Jazz Disposition.

Please thank and support these bloggers if you download their albums.

Oh. and this is Walter reading his poem about Max Roach :
"Max The Invisible Roach" :