Nina Simone – Nina Simone’s Finest Hour (2000)

Nina Simone – Nina Simone’s Finest Hour
2000 Verve Records (314 543 604-2)

I thought I would make a quick blog post to commemorate International Women’s Day and pay tribute to one of my heroes, the great Nina Simone.  Superlatively gifted and inspired as both a pianist and vocalist, courageous and visionary, groundbreaking, tenacious, mercurial — I could keep throwing adjectives at this woman all day and never run out of them.  Is this collection her “finest hour”?  Continue reading

Kelle Patterson – Maiden Voyage (1973) (2020 Black Jazz / RGM) – 12 Days of Xmas, Day 1

Kellee Patterson – Maiden Voyage
Vinyl transfer in 24-bit/192 kHz | 300 dpi scans | Jazz, Vocal Jazz
2020 Real Gone Music RGM-1189/ Original Release 1973 Black Jazz

Welcome to what might become a new tradition here: Flabbergasted Vibes’ Twelve Days of Christmas.  There’s been a ton of great music that has helped me get through the last year, and although I don’t have as much time to write about it as I did once upon a time, I’d still like to spread the word and the joy, hence this “holiday event” with some short and sweet blog posts.  In 2021, reissue label Real Gone Music finished putting out the rest of the Black Jazz catalog, the first time this significant body of work has received a legitimate reissue campaign. This Kellee Patterson album was resissued last year, and is a singular entry in the catalog of Black Jazz records – a set of sweet and soulful vocal jazz. She would go on to make some solid jazz-funk-disco albums later in the decade, but nothing that sounded quite like this.   Note that the title track is the classic by Herbie Hancock with the addition of lyrics.  The reissue features informative liner notes from Pat Thomas, but unlike the original releases, these are not also pressed as quadrophonic discs.

Continue reading

Al Jarreau – Glow (1976)


Al Jarreau – Glow
1976 Reprise MS2248
This reissue, late-80’s German CD pressing

There has been another round of recent deaths of talented people in the arts, and I might be tempted to print another list here or to work up a bunch of “tribute” posts on this blog.  But my last post here was a bit ‘heavy’ and I thought I would change things up again for something more upbeat and life-affirming.  If you are the kind of person who sees the tag “vocal jazz” and are about to skip this post, please reconsider.  Many of the best jazz vocalists use their instrument to compliment an ensemble rather than dominate it, and the early Al Jarreau records fall into that camp.  Anyone who only knows Jarreau from his slicker, pop-oriented records from the 1980’s might even be taken aback but just how extremely funky his earlier work could be, yet he was always attuned to popular but soulful melodies that were ripe for improvisational riffing.  Continue reading

Johnny Alf – Diagonal (1964)

Johnny Alf
Released 1964 on RCA-Victor
Reissued by Sony/BMG – RCA

Johnny Alf is one of the older figures in the nascent bossa nova movement who inspired everybody and then failed to receive the same recognition as the young scrappy bunch that ended up putting it on the map. Although his name is more associated with the effloresence of that scene in the 1950s, he didn’t record until the 1960s. This is his second album. A jazz crooner of the first order, the combo backing him up is tight as can be on this record, peppered with the rhythmic organ of Celso Murilo, with wonderful brass and woodwind work going on as icing on the cake. Alf also wrote a great deal of his own material, setting him apart from the majority of singers in the genre. The title track sees him having a harmonic scat duet with himself, using overdubbing techniques that most people weren’t taking advantage of in 1964 jazz bossa. This album is a delight.

01 – Disa (Johnny Alf / Maurício Einhorn)
02 – O Céu Você (Luis Bonfá / Maria Helena Toledo)
03 – Bondinho do Pão-de-açúcar (Armando Cavalcanti / Victor Freire)
04 – Podem Falar (Johnny Alf)
05 – Vejo a Tarde Cair (Tita / Edwiges)
06 – Desejo do Mar (Marcos Valle / Paulo Sergio Valle)
07 – Céu e Mar (Johnny Alf)
08 – “Seu” Chopin Desculpe (Johnny Alf)
09 – Diagonal (Durval Ferreira / Maurício Einhorn)
10 – Moça-flor (Durval Ferreira / Luis Fernando Freire)
11 – Têrmos de Canção (Victor Freire / Johnny Alf)
12 – Triste Noturno (Zé Maria / Johnny Alf)

Celso Murilo – organ, piano, arrangements
Santos, Maurilio, Hamilton, Julinho and Wagner – trumpets
Ze Bodega – tenor sax
Aurino – baritone sax, Macaxeira and Norato
Jorginho – alto sax and flute
Macaxeira and Norato – trombones
Neco – electric guitar
Luis Marinho – bass
Edison Machado – drums
Johnny Alf – vocal

There is a biographical article about Johnny Alf, written by Duracell bunny, that you can read here

Johnny Alf – Diagonal (1964) in 320 kbs em pee three

Johnny Alf – Diagonal (1964)in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO format