No, I’d never heard of Sam, either. He’s one of those gems, hiding on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Maui (Hawaii), to be specific. You might think of the local musicians as tourist attractions, but there are plenty of great performers there and Sam is one of them. Continue reading
I’m lucky to live in Silicon Valley, there are several venues that play live jazz pretty often. One of the newest is Cafe Pinkhouse in Saratoga, Calif. The place holds maybe 50-60 people, all facing an oddly shaped stage that sort of measures 25 feet by 10 feet. In fact, the whole room is oddly shaped to begin with. There’s a piano squeezed into the front corner. Continue reading
My favorite jazz guitar record might be this relatively obscure LP, Guitar/Guitar (Columbia CS 9130, stereo) by Charlie Byrd and Herb Ellis. It isn’t flashy or fast. No fretboard fireworks. Just two pros, playing together and making great music. I can listen to this quite a bit and not tire of it.
Byrd is not my favorite guitarist. He and Ellis also played together with Barney Kessel on a few LPs on the Concord label in the 1970s. Continue reading
The Tender Gender is my favorite LP by jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell. I’ve owned it awhile and don’t recall the cost, but it must of been around $8-12 for this Japanese pressing of Cadet 772 (This Japanese version was produced by Baybridge Records as UPS-2228-BC in 1983, Cadet released it originally in 1966). I was expecting excellent sound, but the sonics on this LP are just ok. It’s somewhat dull in timbre and compressed, as if the four musicians had their instruments mushed together in the mix. I also owned the domestic version of the album and it’s hard to recall, but the sonics weren’t any better and may have been slightly worse. But no worries, because Burrell’s playing trumps all of that. Continue reading